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Hanssens Experimental Cassis - Hanssens Artisanaal bvba

Hanssens Experimental CassisHanssens Experimental Cassis

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160 Ratings
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Ratings: 160
Reviews: 93
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 16.58%

Brewed by:
Hanssens Artisanaal bvba

Style | ABV
Lambic - Fruit |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
Ale brewed with black currants and matured in oak barrels.

(Beer added by: JohnQVegas on 03-01-2009)
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Ratings: 160 | Reviews: 93 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of hoppymcgee


3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at Brett Fest at Spuyten Duyvil in Brooklyn, NY in August 2009.

Approx. a 6 oz. pour from a 375ml bottle.

A: A dark and cloudy burgundy color.

S: Toasted tuna fish sandwich. Weird, I know.

T: Roasted chestnuts at the front, blueberries and raspberries in the middle and a "Warhead" type finish that explodes with Brett.

M: Smooth, just like you would expect a lambic to be.

D: A little too tart to drink a lot of, but some people enjoy that.

Overall, an "experimental" beer for sure. There was a lot going on, but I think needs a little more age to get that complexity you'd find in a Cuvee de Tomme.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2009 03:30:24 | More by hoppymcgee
Photo of ffejherb


3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12.7oz. bottle on 11/23/09. Thanks to FooFaa for sharing this rarity with a small group of us!

A - Appeared from the bottle as a hazy, unfiltered red raspberry-colored liquid with literally no head or carbonation. Very nice color, but that's about it.

S - Woosh! Like a bowl of sour fruit... think intensely tart cherries wrapped in week-old band-aids. Surprisingly, I didn't find the aroma to be as off-putting as I had anticipated, especially given my fair-weathered fandom of this particular style. The aroma is rounded out by plenty of dry, oaky tannins and astringent notes.

T - The aroma sets you up for an extremely sour, tart affair, but what rolls across the tastebuds isn't nearly as extreme as I was expecting. Sure, this is indeed a sour beer, but not overly so, and blends tart black cherries, berries and dark fruit quite eloquently.

M - Medium bodied with a dry, acidic finish. While not very carbonated, the sourness just envelopes the palate resulting in a mondo pucker fest.

D - Fruity and sour with lots of woody oak dryness, this is quite a complex sour beer that is surprisingly more drinkable than I would have thought.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2009 23:34:15 | More by ffejherb
Photo of akorsak


3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to FooFaa for sharing this 375 mL corked and caged bottle.

A: The bottle opened without a pop - clearly an ominous sign. In my glass, the lambic had a dark red/purple hue that could go down either of the cherry or currant avenues. A wispy band of foam indicated more carbonation than initial opening let on.

S: The nose is disgusting. A rank combination of old sneakers, smegma and fromunda cheese, and other such nastiness. Seriously, this is ranker than many bleu cheeses that I've encountered. Stink! I like a bit of funk but this is just too damned much.

T: Luckily the body of the lambic is nothing like the nose. The gross funk is gone, replaced by a bone dry body that has been sucked dry of nearly all residual sugars. A mild fruit flavor is evident but it lacks oomph. The lack of carbonation is very apparent, allowing the tart funk to sit around and gather dust in my mouth. Barnyard and horseblanket accurately describe the flavor, which would benefit from just a little more in the cassis department. Surprisingly, the finish isn't that bad (not much funk lingers).

M: The mouthfeel is decent but you have to get past the aromas, which are much tougher and bolder than anything I've ever encountered. That's some serious funk.

D: Interesting and very authentic. I don't see myself having more than one glass though.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 22:00:16 | More by akorsak
Photo of seaoflament


3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had the opportunity to try this beer on Oct. 31st. Thanks to my buddy Kyle for sharing this one.

Poured a violet with shades of dark red, almost like the color of coagulated blood. The beer sits pretty flat but has a very attractive color.

A burst of cassis on the nose, berries, and a great funk profile. Horse blanket, sweat, hints of pineapple, oak tannins, vinous notes, and grapes.

Unfortunately, the taste didn't measure up to the aroma for me. High vinegar flavor upfront, followed by berries, very fruity with some sweetness in the end. The funk is a bit more reserved than the aroma. I would have preferred if it was a bit more balanced and not so acetic. A tad syrupy and thick on the palate, no carbonation and it feels heavy on the tongue and stomach. A bit filling as well. Not a bad beer at all, wouldn't mind having again, maybe some age will balance it out as it dries out over time.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 21:07:12 | More by seaoflament
Photo of DefenCorps


4.05/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared with the usual chumps this past weekend

Brilliantly clear cassis-colored crimson pour, almost blood like. No head, but the very metal color gets it some points. The nose has plenty of currant character with some cherry and strawberry character. Funk is low, probably washed out by the strong fruit character, as well as the prominent acetic character.
The palate opens sour and acetic with a beautiful fruit character, a ton of cassis, strawberry and black berries. Mid palate is dominated by acetic acid, but the fruit character is excellent. Drying on the finish, there's a lot of vinegar and fruit present. Medium in body, and low in carbonation, this beer is great on the palate. I've always loved the Hanssens beers, and I'm looking forward to trying this again.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2009 14:37:17 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of BarrelO


4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a stange.

Purple body without much of a head. Smell is incredibly tart with just a bit of dark berries. Taste is of vinegar and funk with tart dark berries lingering in the background to balance everything out. Leathery aftertate which seems to be a Hanssens trademark. I don't really know if making a lambic with blackcurrants is enough to warrant the title of "experimental." It's a fine sour, though.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 22:35:25 | More by BarrelO
Photo of HopHead84


4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by floydster on 10/31/2009. Thanks Kyle. The beer pours near still and burgundy. The few bubbles that materialize are from the result of a hard pour.

The nose is a Brett assault with musty and musky barnyard, goaty, wet leather, and horse blanket. This is unbridled funk. Currant and dark berry notes are strong, and I get a moderate amount of acetic acid. The nose is outstanding.

The flavor opens funky and stays funky throughout. Lactic notes are present in the flavor, though I didn't detect them in the nose. The flavor is every bit as funky as the aroma, with notes of musty barnyard and horse blanket. The cassis is ripe and ready for picking. Though, it's sour, so maybe it's not quite ripe. It could probably use a few more weeks, but it's damn good in this beer. The beer has a moderate acidity and a low level of vinegar with wood notes. The beer could use a little more carbonation, but that's my only complaint. This is delicious stuff.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2009 21:17:39 | More by HopHead84
Photo of Travlr

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very dark purple with only six bubbles, all of which lasted less than a second. Aroma of fresh fruit and a bit of must, faint barnyard. Taste starts with blackcurrant, very dry, moderately sour. Hints of vanilla. Finishes with more fruit and some mustiness. Complex. Would love to see it age.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 15:20:25 | More by Travlr
Photo of mikey711

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this last week.

A: nearly purple without any light getting through and NO carbonation at all. I like the color but other aspects of this should be better

S: Earthy and very berry fruitiness with plenty of sourness and barnyard funk.

T: Lots of tart berries with funk and wood notes that are very easy to sip. A bit of vineagar is present at well.

M: It is much milder than most sours and it leaves a nice coasting in my mouth. The sourness is very pleasant and fruity.

D: Maybe this was exactly what I was in the mood for, but it really hit the spot. I was able to sip on the bottle for a long time and the fruity flavors were great!

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2009 00:18:33 | More by mikey711
Photo of corby112


4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've wanted to try this one for a while and finally got one via trade thanks to PALEJ1. Thanks man!

Pours from a 375ml bottle into a Cantillon tulip. Pours a very deep dark ruby/plum dark purple color that is completely opaque and still with only the faintest bubble or two of carbonation.

Sweet fruity berry aroma with some earthy oak and funky barnyard horseblanket. These aromas blend together very well without any of them overpowering the other. The berries are more prominent than expected but the band aid funkiness are strong as well. Very vinous.

Vinegary tart and extremely puckering mouthfeel that is surprisingly not very acidic. There is a good bit of vinous fruit up front that provides a pleasant sweetness that is immediately taken over by a very funky tart and sour dry puckering flavor. Nice earthy oaky tannis followed again by more sweetness from the currants. Its nice to see the fruit resurfacing after the funky sourness kicks in. All to often the sourness of these beers can kill the fruit presence. Not the case here however. This is a very refreshing well balanced drinkable fruit lambic.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2009 04:04:58 | More by corby112
Photo of GbVDave


4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and caged 12.7oz bottle into a Struise tulip.

A: The cork made a quiet "puh" sound as it just about fell out of the bottle. Pours a dark, rosy pink with some purple tinting. I poured vigorously and only got a thin pink ring of small bubbles that disappeared quickly and left no lace in the glass.

S: Yikes! Vinegar and olives with a current aroma that intensifies as it warms. Also noted were saddle leather, damp oak barrel, bark, twigs, dirt, and tart tart fruit.

T: More of the same as above. Where I could really notice a difference was particularly in the middle where a dirt flavor popped up and segued into flavors of plant clippings and playground wood chips in a vinegar reduction.

M: Surprisingly full and coating considering the tart, acidic qualities of this. Opens with a full on blast of tart fruit and olives that leads into more earthy, "barny" areas. The finish is briefly peppery and then drops off leaving just a faint fruity tang on the tongue.

D: Easily enjoyable. The 12.7oz bottle is the perfect serving size for Lambics. It gives you a glass full of tart pungeant goodness and then it's done, never overstaying its' welcome.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2009 23:51:03 | More by GbVDave
Photo of emerge077


4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Weak pop as the cork is pulled, the cork itself is stained magenta on the bottle end. Served at 52º in a Hanssens tumbler glass. An aggressive pour yielded a thin layer of larger bubbles. After a few minutes they are reduced to a threaded strand of white foam at the edge. The color is a very saturated and vivid burgundy tone, it looks like cherry juice or the grape "communion wine" of my youth.

Traditional lambic funk of hay and barn stalls, musty old leather with some light acidic sweetness from the currants. Swirling brings out some wood and uric notes against the sweet fruit. A definite "house character" funk that runs through all of the Hanssens Lambics, hard to pin down but noticeable after trying their lineup.

Wet topsoil, cheese rind, dark berries, the flavor is literally earthy in the gardening sense. More and more it has the taste of currants, stems, leaves, roots and all. Dirty I guess. Some horsiness, rose petal, and minor sterile gauze (Brett) in the aftertaste. Very unique flavor with good complexity.

Very little to no carbonation, quite vinous, acidic and puckering with a drying finish. Really stimulates the salivary glands like none other. It's slick and a little briny, much like an unblended Lambic and Oudbeitje.

Definitely one to sip slowly and savor, strictly for the hardcore Lambic fans.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2009 00:24:59 | More by emerge077
Photo of beertooth


3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12.7oz bottle split into two goblets.

A dark juicy ruby red liquid with no head and very few bubbles.

The nose is sour funk. Old leather, dried olives, musty balsamic, rotten fruits, some buttery oak..

The taste is very sour and very, very tart. Lot's of vinegar, tons of vinergar and dried olives. Very oaky and musty. Not a ton of funk. It's a little one dimensional and the finish falls off fast.

Mouthfeel is slick and flat.

A very interested beer from one of my favorite Belgian breweries. I'm not sure if I could drink more than one glass, but I'm glad I was able to try it. Probably my favorite out of all of their fruit beers that I've had, but I think I'll stick to their Gueuze.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2009 02:20:34 | More by beertooth
Photo of drgonzo3705


4.53/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a bit of a translucent ruby color with barely any carbonation but it still manages to leave a bit of lacing.

S: Mmmm. Funky dark currants and cherry. Great bouquet for the nose.

T: Big mouth of funk with the dark fruits following right behind. Nice ripe cherry taste left on my tongue.

M: Light to medium body with light carbonation and a pleasant dry feeling left behind.

D: Beautiful beer here that I'm glad I had the pleasure of trying!

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2009 22:16:12 | More by drgonzo3705
Photo of Gueuzedude


4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer is pretty lightly carbonated; a careful pour only summons forth a wispy, pale pink head that only covers a third of the top of my beer. The beer is a darkish, red-plum color that shows a hazy, bright red color when held up to the light. Ah, this has that signature Hanssens funk, dirty as they come without becoming truly nasty. This smells of woody, moldy mushrooms, musty cellar notes, funky enteric notes, butyric barnyard notes, phenolic and sweat soaked dried leather, musky animal notes are the up front note, but there is a nice berry-like, fruity currant note that sort of ties the back end together. Other notes of spicy, woody oak and puffed wheat cereal notes that are actually quite strong. A lactic induced tartness is here, a touch of urea as well, and the fruit character also adds a tannic, berry skin note that helps to boost the currant character.

Only very lightly carbonate, and the beer is very dry and nicely tart. Subsequent sips see the chewy, fruitiness actually seems to suggest a very light sweetness that might not actually be here. The lactic sourness definitely is nicely aggressive with a bracing tartness that provides a nice puckering note. The currants and oak character provides a bit of a tannic structure that helps to also boost the body of this beer; it actually has a light viscousness to it that provides a touch of heft as it moves across the tongue. The currants also evoke thoughts of a light, fruity, but oaky red wine underneath the more dominant tartness. There is a fair amount of funkiness here, but it is not at the same level it is in the aroma, nor is it as funky as Hanssens' Lambics can sometimes get. Woody mushroom notes, musty earthy flavors, a touch of urea, with some enteric notes in the finish and a solid Brettanomyces character that provides some muskiness and some sweat dried blanket notes. A touch of puffed wheat flavor adds some grain notes towards the finish

The currants provide some nice character here, evocative of a berry-focused, oaked red wine at times, but still with a solid currant character that melds quite well with the funky base Lambic beer. I am definitely finding the puffed wheat cereal note in this beer quite interesting, it isn't very strong, but nicely accents the finish of both the nose and flavor of this beer. Some more carbonation and effervescence would make this more lively and would like make the flavors pop a bit more, but I honestly don't miss the carbonation that much. I hope they are making this a more regular item as I would love to see what they can do with this once they dial this beer in. I'll definitely say that a 375ml bottle was not enough for me as my bottle is gone way too fast.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2009 15:39:30 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of tpd975


3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Retorp for the try.

A: Pours a bizarre reddish orange hue with zero head. No lace either.

S: Tart, Funky, and Sour. Lots of sweet tarts and rotten red berries, and hints of earth as well.

T: Red fruit, sweet tarts, earth and sour milk.

M: Fairly flat, with a sourness that clings.

D: Not my thing and I like sour beers.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2009 00:21:53 | More by tpd975
Photo of Ego

New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

no real pop from the cork but a nice must tart waft of lambic goodness does entice the nose...

lowly carbonated, like flat grape soda, the color reminds me of a cloudy-er version of rose de gambrinus, so boring and lambic looking, but of course that is cue on for the style. reddish clay with just a few archipelagos of bubbles inhabiting the globe of water as viewed from an eagle eye atop, utterly sublime...

definite musty odor but the fruit holds well in defiant tartness, a touch grassy with metallic/mineral notes, the currants form a nice pillow in the back to rest all the confluence of odor here, it's like smelling rotten bubble gum... as a lambic fan, I dig it. nothing seems so "experimental" so far...

taste etc...
thin and very tart to start, the tartness is quite acceptable compared to some cantillon stock but it is a nice refresher, the currants for me lay some where up front and blend throughout the sip, the tartness just gives it a crazy mouthwatering feel that supplants the actual lack of feel to the beer itself, although this drinks thin it is a touch thicker than most lambics, which is nice...
there is no sense of carbonation whatsoever, and that doesn't detract whatsoever.

verdict ?
why experiment ? this is a really nice lambic more towards the tart end of things but I like that (and there's nothing wrong with that). Worth seeking out...

music: minus the bear "...gigantic"

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 03:23:22 | More by Ego
Photo of JohnQVegas


4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into flute.

Pours hazy red, hints of purple, no head, with lots of yeasty particulate. Towards the bottom of the glass, there's a ton of dark currant pieces floating around, and I mean a ton.

Nose is leathery, red grapes, currants, musty, soft.

Taste is soft, funky. Musty, dank, but with a very soft acidity that never bites back - softly sour. Notes of currant, red grapes come through, interwoven and staying slightly underneath the sourness and funk; vinous; tannic finish.

Mouthfeel is still, medium bodied. A nice, spritzy carbonation would be a welcome addition to this, though with age, this might grow into its present state.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2009 03:33:14 | More by JohnQVegas
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Hanssens Experimental Cassis from Hanssens Artisanaal bvba
83 out of 100 based on 160 ratings.