Label notched Feb. 2017, but it tastes very fresh. Label states “black berries” macerated in young lambic, though it says bosbessen in Dutch, which are bilberries (european blueberries).
Deep saturated crimson purple, a thin layer of foam and broken skim, spotty broken lacing.
Intense saturated fruit aroma, juicy black currant, wisps of Brett funk around the edges, damp oak, leafy and seedy berries with a mild clean acidity.
Bursting with juicy dark berry tartness, crisp and acidic, drying oak around the edges. A good amount of Bretty horseblanket that lingers into the aftertaste. Medium bodied with persistent supple carbonation. Moderately acidic, zero vinegar. For a blend of fruit and young lambic, it certainly has ample funk and some depth to it. Drinks like a natural wine. Much more balanced than Experimental Cassis in years past, definitely more fruit forward, yet still nicely funky and acidic.
Overall this is great stuff, and I can only imagine it will improve with the new barrels Hanssens has acquired last year. Looking forward to drinking more of this. Killer pairing with dark chocolate.
Side note: Still unblended lambic is intentional and traditional. Anyone can force carbonate beer. This is done the traditional way, straight from the barrel without CO2 added, which has become nearly extinct in our modern/filtered/sterilized world. This is often lost on international consumers. Go to Belgium and drink unblended lambic at the source, it will change your life and alleviate any misperceptions.
Pours a deep, dark ruby red coloration with no head whatsoever. Smells of tart blackcurrant with hints of funk, fruity esters, hay and oak coming through as well. Taste is clearly dominated by tart blackcurrant with a light citric acidity and light/medium musty funk coming through, as well as just a hint of hay, fruity esters, balsamic vinegar and earthy, woody, tannic oak. Finishes with a strong sourness and some balsamic vinegar and oak lingering in the aftertaste. Almost flat mouthfeel with a medium body and very light carbonation.
I have to say that this is quite a bit better than pretty much every other fruited Lambic I've had by Hanssens so far, being far better balanced and not as overwhelmingly sour and vinegary, although these notes still feature prominently. The mouthfeel is also not as flat, although still pretty lightly carbonated. All in all a surprisingly nice Lambic with quite a vibrant blackcurrant character and decent balance, although a little lacking in complexity.