Hanssens Experimental Cassis - Hanssens Artisanaal bvba
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Ratings: 174 | Reviews: 95 | Display Reviews Only:
3.99/5 rDev +8.7%
Was quite pleased to find bottles of this at Bier Station--they pulled out some of their cellared beers for a New Belgium Accumulation KC tapping party that also was offering bottles of Le Terroir and La Folie. So, sort of a sour beer theme, I suppose (albeit strange to connect the sour beers to a white IPA tapping). But i digress... Enjoyed out of a 375 mL green C&C bottle and poured into a narrow Boulevard Smokestack tulip glass. No dating to be found, but the label is notched with "lotnr C". Based on the scant info that I could find online, this bottle is likely 2-3 years old. Or not--that's just a stab in the dark.
Appearance - Further suspicion of the age is confirmed when the pour reveals a line of dark sediment lengthwise down the bottle. Clearly has some age, as well as some time being stored on it's side. I had this one upright for a good two weeks before opening. Anyway, moving on to the appearance in the glass. The pour yields an apologetic half finger of bubbly froth at the top of the glass that further suggests a bit of age to this bottle. I hesitate to call it 'head'. It's the color of purple-twinged parchment. Body is very beautiful, however, a deep amethyst jewel color with hints of reddish purple.
Smell - Dominated by the woody characteristic of the oak barrels along with a lightly tart and acidic fruitiness from the black currant. There are some almost wine-like tannin characteristics, as well as notes of pinot and syrah grapes. The acidity is sufficient to give my olfactory nerves that exciting pinch of anticipation of a sour beer.
Taste - Almost delivering on the promise of the smell, this is predominantly oak and currant. There is a wonderfully puckering element, but it's faint, and then a dry finish. As it warms, it becomes a little more lactic and sour. But it never rises to that level of pucker that I really like in a nice fruit lambic. This one is more on the sweet side, but not as sweet as what I expected based on what I'd heard about Hanssens.
Mouthfeel - Medium-to-light body with low carbonation and a dry finish.
Overall, I thought this was a quality fruit lambic and one that let the currant and barrel shine through. The only drawback is that I think I can find pretty comparable fruit lambics and sour beers for less than $15 for a single serving beer. Glad to have sampled it once.
11-22-2013 04:45:12 | More by LambicPentameter
4.33/5 rDev +18%
Pours beautiful red with murky brown colors, no head. Beautiful.
Smells very sour. Vinegar, oak, fruit. Outstanding!
Tastes very complex. Of course starts with vinegar and oak. Currants follow, with some pepper and spiciness. There is a distinct bitterness throughout, but it balances with the tartness and sour flavors. Subtle meat flavor at finish.
Feels very dry and light bodied.
Love this beer.
09-19-2013 10:13:14 | More by kindacold
4.19/5 rDev +14.2%
375ml bottle, from a basket into a Fantôme tulip. Thanks, Tony! I believe this is the only bottled Hanssens offering that I haven't already ticked. Very excited.
A: Opaque maroon body with a thin cap of light purple bubbles that settles into a persistent ring. Light lace. Ok, but nothing memorable.
S: Um...smells like nice, traditional cow manure. Once I get beyond the shit, it's got some lovely jammy currant notes as well as tons of straight lemony acidity. Crazy, and I'm rather ashamed to admit that in this context I actually love it. Only Hanssens, only Hanssens...
T: Tons of juicy currant up front, with bright acidity and some nice earthy funk behind. Cleanly sour finish. Beautiful, and (for better or worse) entirely devoid of the...interesting...aromatics. Great tasting fruit Lambic, plain and simple.
M: Quite flat, slick medium body. Not great, but acceptable.
O: What can I say? Hanssens consistently makes the most offensively delicious, the most delectably obnoxious beers I've ever had. There's something comforting about that, don't you think?
06-01-2013 14:12:59 | More by woosterbill
3.83/5 rDev +4.4%
I've had this one for a few months and decided to pull it out today, as I was in the mood for a sour beer. And it's definitely sour. Drank it in my Sam Adams beer glass.
Appearance: A rich looking brown with just some red-plum tones. No head whatsover, as there is very little carbonation. Just a few bubbles on the side of the glass. Still, a very attractive beer.
Smell: Funk. No over the top vinegar, but primarily sour. The dark currants don't seem to be present in the aroma.
Taste: Still primarily sour, but the currants are there at the back. Definitely closer to a straight funky lambic, rather than a fruit lambic. I don't find this overly sour, but then again, I really like sours.
Mouthfeel: Pretty thin. Doesn't cling to the glass or your mouth.
Overall: A good but not great lambic. It's not going to convert any non-sour drinkers but pleasant enough if you enjoy your beer on the funky side. There is no date on the bottle, so I don't know the age of the beer. I would definitely drink it again, but wouldn't go out of my way to find it like I would a Cantillon.
05-09-2013 16:43:08 | More by jcurtis55
4.2/5 rDev +14.4%
2010 Vintage (3 years of age)
12.7 cork and caged green bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Lot A.
Pours out a nice pure red color, maybe some hues of purple. The total lack of carbonation is noticeable with pretty much no head.
Nice sour funk, tart lemons, lactic funk, sour pie cherry. Smells more gym sock funky as it warms up.
Lots of sour, acetic and lactic acids, tart lemons, sour pie cherries, maybe some rotted wood and almost a hint of a cork like flavor. Hard to pull out much currant, maybe because I've never really tasted one, but there are definatly some grape and berry like notes.
Coats the palate with some really sour citrus that lingers. No carbonation, but it doesn't other me at all as this was to be expected.
A pretty exceptional lambic, there are better ones out there, but a lot more that are worse. Age has done this well and ill definatly be seeking out more Hanssens in the future.
05-04-2013 00:04:03 | More by dogfishandi
3.94/5 rDev +7.4%
Poured from a 12.7 oz bottle into lindemans flute glass
A: deep ruby red, almost a lighter shade of plum. What little carbonation that is present rests in a ring on top. Actually a pretty beautiful lambic.
S: balsamic, berry funkiness. Hints of lemongrass and cheddar cheese. Pleasent, but pretty mild and nothing especially unique.
T: barnyardy, but I like it. Kinda like what you get with goat cheese or something. Aged beachwood, current, mild plum flavors all poke through.
M: unique, astringent appeal. Very dry, what small carbonation that was present is just for show, folks. sits and hangs out on your tounge long after you've taken a sip.
O: would recommend to those seeking to try a new lambic or sour of another nature. Maybe not something a diehard sour fan would be itching to get at, but worth a try. Fruit flavor could shine a little more, but other than that a solid lambic.
04-27-2013 02:40:25 | More by take_it_sleazy
3.83/5 rDev +4.4%
From: Friar Tuck's, Savoy, IL
Date: None, but "Lot B" is notched
Glass: Girardin degustation glass
Hanssens' experimental currant lambic is a very tart, but vinous and berry-like fruit beer that is complex and satisfying when in the mood for the style. A bit on the expensive side, but locally available, which makes this a probably go-to when looking for a fruit-influenced lambic.
Pours a 1cm light purple to pink colored head of small to medium-sized bubbles, which fizzle fairly quickly to a thick ring around the center of the glass and some ghostly ripples of wispy foam atop the body of the beer. Body is an amber purple color, with light bringing out brighter amber red hues with a touch of purple and orange. Carbonation is visible through the transparent body, fairly minimal though rather active.
Aroma is quite pungent and sour, of very strong lemons combined with acetic and lactic acids with noticeable hints of strong red wine that are undoubtedly contributed by the red currants. There's a bit of light brettanomyces-influenced composting farm hay in the background, and with time, a bit of oak and graham-cracker crust peek through as well.
Overall flavor is quite sour, puckering, but berry-like and delicious. The tongue tingles from the tartness even some time after the sip is swallowed. Opens with light tartness, slight vinous characters, and berrylike fruit esters, particularly red and blackberries. Mid-palate finds tart Meyer lemons, oak, acidic and berry-like wine, fruit esters as from dark blackberries and raspberries. Back of palate is strongly tart with very flavorful berry-like esters and some oak and light funk. Aftertaste of oak, residual tartness from acids, and lingering dark raspberry and blackberry flavors.
Beer is medium to medium-light in body, with carbonation of low intensity, resulting in a faint effervescence that goes well with the sourness and tart fruit of the beer. While the carbonation could be stronger and aid this beer, the tartness effortlessly moves this across the palate. Closes quite dry, as one would expect, with little residual stickiness on the tongue and long-lingering mild astringency. In general, this doesn't feel poorly, but just average.
04-13-2013 02:15:15 | More by falloutsnow
Hanssens Experimental Cassis from Hanssens Artisanaal bvba
83 out of 100 based on 174 ratings.