Experimental Cassis
Hanssens Artisanaal bvba

Experimental CassisExperimental Cassis
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Lambic - Fruit
Ranked #161
Ranked #32,174
3.77 | pDev: 15.38%
Hanssens Artisanaal bvba
Very Good
Experimental CassisExperimental Cassis
Notes: Ale brewed with black currants and matured in oak barrels.
View: Beers
Reviews: 115 | Ratings: 263 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of officerbill
officerbill from New York

4.31/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

so far as I can tell this was bottled in February of 2016 (4 years, 10 months ago)

The, difficult to remove, cork came out without any poof or pop. An easy pour (to avoid sediment) resulted in a deep purple ruby with no head.
Immediately hit with the aroma of black currant jam and hay
currants, almost ripe blackberries, green grapes, hay, straw, barnyard funkiness with a little apple cider
No carbonation, a "thick" feel on the tongue with a dry leathery oak mildly tart finish
This is very good. The black currant (cassis) is front with moderate tartness and natural funkiness filling it all out. An excellent fruit lambic.

Oct 31, 2020
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hanssens Artisanaal bvba "Hanssens Lambic Experimental Cassis"
12. 7 fl. oz. green glass bottle, corked & caged.
$11.09 on clearance @ Roger Wilco, Pennsauken, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: The cork came out with some difficulty, but also without any "pop". The first pour was then completely clear but lacking any head. It's ruby in color. I can see it has some carbonation to it though as there are some very fine bubbles, but only a few. The aroma is funky with brett and lactic acid. It's got the usual "barnyard" as well as leather and must, and a bit of fruit to it. I know that it's cassis but I wouldn't know that from smelling it. On to the flavor... it's sour but somewhat rounded. It's certainly got some sharpness to it but it's not nearly as cutting as some. The funk remains heavy and I appreciate that - sour and funky is what I want from a lambic, and the fruit here adds a third dimension that's great. I'm still not particularly getting cassis, but at the same time I'm certainly not getting any other specific fruit as well. If I didn't know that there was cassis here I'd probably suspect blackberry or elderberry, or maybe a mix with some black raspberry thrown in. There's some oak to it, and a dusting of mineral character as well, and I guess I don't need to point out that it's got a dry and acidic finish. It's bone-dry and oaky with a touch of crushed granite-like mineral lingering. It's also a bit astringent, like chewing on a grape, but that's to be expected and not a fault. It's vinous, but really more like red grape juice that's been thinned with white vinegar and water. Ohhhhh, that sounds horrible! It's really not bad at all, and so much more. I could easily see sitting at a table and relaxing in an old brown café in Antwerp while slowly working my way through one of these - and maybe more! It's a sipper. Even a nipper! But I'm constantly drawn back to it, and its aroma and flavor do not let me down. In fact, the further I go, the further I become accustomed to its acidity, and the more it opens up to me. Now, there is the issue of the cassis and so let me address that. It's unique. Cherry and raspberry are common, but the cassis lends it something special. That mineralish note that I found is most likely from the skin of the cassis. There's a kind of bitterness to it that's different, and not from hops. That's the cassis. In the mouth it's acidic, and thus zesty, but also fairly light in body. Ah, this is interesting. Now that I've poured the last of it I notice that it must have been laid on its side before I bought it. One side of the bottle is black with sediment while the other remains green. There's still a lot of sediment at the bottom of the bottle though. The label suggests that it's from March of 2013 which would make it almost 7 years old now, which makes sense. I wonder how much that has changed it. In the end I find it really well done, and somewhat unique. It's everything I'm looking for in a fruited lambic with the geueze base showing itself clearly and the fruit not becoming sweet, or falling back too far in overall flavor. I'd suggest that this is well worth seeking out but I'm pretty sure that time has passed.
Review #6,869

Dec 28, 2019
Photo of Thomas_Wikman
Thomas_Wikman from Texas

3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It is good but I am not sure black currants are great in a Lambik. Different but not my favorite Lambic.

Look: dark red and somewhat purple with a very thin white head

Aroma: black currants, red wine.

Taste: It is tart, some Brett funk, lots of black currants, some oak tannins and red wine flavor.

Body/Overall: light to medium body.

Nov 11, 2019
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.31/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

There seems to be a dividing line between judging lambics. You have your shitty category of lambics that add sugar that you often are more likely to see on shelves than an other. Then, you have those that don't. They're usually, universally almost, better. Well, here is one that doesn't add sugar, but is also kind of at the bottom of the ladder in terms of good unsweetened lambics. I blame the currant. Fuck that thing. Shitty dark cranberry.

Anyways, pours a mixture of brown and purple, more dark than a bright purple for sure. Small head, lacks retention, kind of a brown, cherry cola impression from it. Sour and tart cranberry burnt nose.

Taste, ugh, exceedingly dried out from the currant, the oak further seems like it is sapping your mouth of all water content. Puckering and drying like a sweet tart infused hair dryer. Currant always seems to amp up acidity. Does contribute some barnyard horsey stuff. Does that nice if you're looking for it. Its really the "fruit" that clashes with everything else here. There's some real good aspects of it, but ultimately this would be better without currants.

Mar 27, 2017
Photo of moose1980
moose1980 from Germany

2.9/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Looks like the Experimental Raspberry; no head. Similar paint thinner-like aroma, and at the same time metallic. Taste is not as acidic, and the black currants are extreme, but it's still hard to get past the aroma. At least I can finish this one though.

Edit: couldn't finish this one either.

Mar 26, 2017
Photo of Ciocanelu
Ciocanelu from Romania

3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy red color with absolutely no head. Aroma has lots of dusty barrel and cellar notes with some fermented fruits in the back. Taste has medium sourness, quite acidic, fruity with slight pits and skin bitterness. Light body, no carbonation, quite dry. Overall it's really rustic with lots of cellar and damp wood notes.

Nov 14, 2016
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore from Oregon

3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

375ml cork and caged bottle, bottled March 2015, served in a tumbler glass. Pours a dark ruby purple body, minimal head of any kind, zero retention, no lacing. Kind of weird for a fruited lambic of any kind. Smell is a cheesy funk, moderate acetic cidery acidity, black currant tartness, a bit of hay. Solid nose here. Flavour is similar, although it seems a bit more of a sweettarts sourness to me overall; a moderate-heavy acidity overlies the black currant fruit, musty hay, cheesy funk. It's not as complex or funky as the base Oude Geuze from the same blendery, not by a mile. Still, a tasty and acidic beverage. Mouthfeel is lighter bodied, seems a bit undercarbonated for a fruited lambic. Slightly watery, but plenty of acidity on the backend. An overall interesting take on a fruit lambic, but the carbonation is low and the acidity a bit too overwhelming.

Aug 11, 2016
Photo of parkeak0
parkeak0 from District of Columbia

4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My fiancée smelled this and, without knowing that barnyard is a somewhat common wild beer flavor note, she goes "this smells like a horse."

One of the ripest, horsey-est lambics I've ever tasted. Huge sour fruit from the currants and a ton of hardcore barnyard funk. I loved it but this is an extreme beer -- even for the category --that will put some off.

Apr 10, 2016
Photo of rudzud
rudzud from Massachusetts

3.54/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Kyle for sharing.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a light ruby hue with a thin white head that fades to leave thin wisps.

S - Aromas of acidic vinegar, light berry notes, faint black currants. Nose isn't that bad.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, nice light black currants, flash of berries with lightI acidic vinegar.

M - Mouthfeel is almost completely flat, next to no carbonation.

O - Overall this beer was nicely tasty, however, the utter lack of carbonation really hurts the flavour profile too.

Serving type: bottle

Nov 06, 2015
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to Kyle.

No head, hazy semi clear rosy ruby color.

Nose big tart funk, sour berry funk, vinous grape and musty dank concord grape, little sweet candy sour fruit, acidic.

Taste quite tart, fair acidic bite, grape wine vinegar notes, with nice tart sour fruit, sour reddish grape vinous dank, tart funk, sour funk, bready notes. Dry bready notes, tart sticky grape, sour funk.

Mouth a bit thin, lighter carb, light flemmy, decent acidic.

Overall decent but not nearly as good as many others out there.

Nov 06, 2015
Photo of BranfordBound
BranfordBound from Connecticut

4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Drank this beer from a wine glass yesterday. It's retired on here but I just picked it up at the store last week, label says "Lotnr: C" on the side. Pours a beautiful red with ruddish, ruby highlights. Opaque in its cloudiness and with an almost non-existent head.

Smell is sweet fruit, super tart, hints of funk.

First sip reveals this is a doozy. Initial blast of ultra tart, middle is sweet with the currant fruit dominating, hints of funk at the end with some fleshy fruit and a residual tartness. Feels light in the stomach but difficult to drink fast due to the acidity. Overall flavor experience like chewing into a raw lemon.

A brilliant beer from Hanssens, but judging by the reviews on here, a bit too extreme for some not used to ultra-tart lambics. If this is truly from 2013 then it has benefited from the added time in bottle. Otherwise this is still really great.

Sep 07, 2015
Photo of TrilliumFan
TrilliumFan from Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice fruit taste, but tastes very vinegary. No carbonation. Not a very good sour and certainly not worth the cost. Interesting experiment, but not terribly successful.

Jun 02, 2015
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2015-05-23 in Columbia, PA from a 350 ml bottle

Dark ruddy brown. Smells of Brett funk, sour and light fruit. Taste is VERY sour with lots of oak tannin. Black currant flavor is there but recessed. Almost on keel with a Cuvee des Jacobins Rouge but not top tier like Cantillon, Russian River or the Rare Barrel sours.

May 25, 2015
Photo of Danny1217
Danny1217 from Florida

3.99/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This seems to have mixed reviews. I don't really get any off notes here, just huge sourness with some funky brett, tannic dryness, and jammy fruit. It's flat but that's just how Hanssens rolls.

Mar 14, 2015
Photo of Dreizhen
Dreizhen from District of Columbia

4.56/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this with a messed up label on clearance at Kroger. Wonderful surprise. Beautiful aroma really stands out. Taste isn't quite as good, but still comes out really strong. Black current taste was subtle, but enough to catch your attention. This was better than a handful of Cantillons I've had. Great with a cheese plate.

Mar 12, 2015
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill from Wyoming

4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled March 2013.

Pours a brown/rusty cloudy with almost no foam. Lacing? Nah.

The smell is 2 fold. Sour fruit and oak. Oak may be the bigger presence.

The taste is also 2 fold. Sour fruit with vinegar sourness, and that oak that for me, makes this brew more drinkable.

Light side of medium bodied, low carbonation.

My first for anything labelled Cassis. I quite like it.

Jan 01, 2015
Photo of Wayne17
Wayne17 from Texas

2.65/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Funkier than James Brown. No carb at all which isn't necessarily a bad thing. the smell is muted, not getting much but maybe a little funk and no fruit. The taste is something like putting an old band-aid you dropped in the zebra pen at the zoo into your mouth. I wondered if maybe mine was super old or hadn't been cellared properly before my acquisition but I've read similar reviews. I also consulted a friend in Belgium who drinks lambics regularly and he said, "I poured this in the drain."

Dec 30, 2014
Photo of M-girard
M-girard from Canada (ON)

3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: The color is an amber brown with a red hue shining through. A moderately agitated poor only yielded slight head and little lacing.

Smell: At first, acidic tartness with notes of dark fruits and notes of barnyard, horse blanked Bretty funk.

Taste: The acidity hits the palate immediately, but the sour fruitiness of the black currants is felt all the way to the bottom of the palate. Bretty funk, comes and rounds out the almost overwhelming acidity.

Mouthfeel: The low carbonation makes the beer smooth and leaves you with a complete flavor spectrum despite the high acidity.

Drinkability: This is definitely a beer to share, half way through to bottle the acidity overwhelms the palate, hard to finish a bottle.

Nov 30, 2014
Photo of macrosmatic
macrosmatic from Florida

4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12.7 oz. bottle into a Peg's snifter.

A: Pours a pinkish to reddish brown, mildly hazy, with a thin white head that fades quickly. Fairly low visible carbonation.

S: Some serious funk up front - barnyard, feet, musty basement and a bit of ripe cheese. Some tart underripe fruit provides some backbone.

T: Funky barnyard, tart currants and cherries up front. Then lactic lemony citric acid, musty hay, some cheese and feet, with a dry and tart/sour fruit at the end.

M: Medium body, average carbonation sensation. Low alcohol presence.

O: I thought this was tasty, but big on the funk for sure. Nice tartness to the fruit profile. The funk and tartness has a nice complexity to it, but the sheer level of it may be a bit over the top.

Nov 14, 2014
Photo of sjccmd
sjccmd from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Pours burnt light ruby with some haze and a tiny ring of head. More bubbles than I expected though.

Smell is definitely funk forward. Cheesy, farmy brett. Musty basement. Currants find their way through. Lemon rind. Old hops and oak. Pleasant wet dog aroma...as pleasant as that gets. Oxidation provides a nice red wine character.

Sour cherries, lactic, and some acetic acid. Very sour. Earthy brett mingles with oak. Acetic acid begins to build in the back of the throat. Dryness and tannins keep it from being overwhelming.

Slick mouthfeel, super dry, and very tannic. Very little carbonation, but not thin and watery on the palette.

Not quite as interesting as the Scarrenbecca Kriek, but still very nice. A touch less acetic acid would be nice.

Aug 29, 2014
Photo of Jonada
Jonada from New Jersey

3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

375ml bottle with no clear freshness date served in a wine glass

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby red color with only a thin ring of large bubbles. Appears very lightly carbonated. Body is a dark and hazy but still lightly translucent.

Smell: Really strong barnyard funk, lemon acidity, red berry, hay, oak, red grape.

Taste: Lots of brettanomyces funk, high acidic sourness, juicy sour cherry/berry/grape fruit character, slight oak. Dark black currant character comes through more in the finish and carries through for a moment into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Low/medium bodied, slick mouthfeel. Carbonation is very low, but just enough to keep from feeling flat.

Overall: Pretty nice lambic. Much more funky than I was anticipating with a strong acidic sourness. It's nothing crazy, but worth a try if you see it on a shelf.

May 17, 2014
Photo of spointon
spointon from Illinois

3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I poured this one from a corked and caged green bottle into a small stemmed tulip.

A= beautiful deep reddish purple in color, with decent clarity. There was very little head to speak of and zero retention as can be expected from the style.

S= Smelled like it should, with lots of acetic sourness, some jammy cassis notes, and a kiss of bretty funk.

T= Started off with a big punch of sourness that slowly yields to the fruit character. Later in the swallow the oakiness and the Brett come through, before a bone dry and well flavored fruity finish.

MF= very thin body, as is appropriate to the style. This was nearly devoid of carbonation, and could have used some more.

D= Not quite the acid bomb that I find many of the Hanssens lambics to be, and the cassis fruit is well integrated and quite pleasant. I would drink this again for sure, but hope for a bit more carbonation next time.

Apr 19, 2014
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.21/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

shocked these are rated so low here. this is delicious limbic with just the right amount of fruit. beautiful pink color to this and much more carbonation than some of their other beers, which i am thankful for in this context. a pucker nose so sour i can feel it in my jaw line and my whole palate begins to water. so tempting and alluring. a little sweetness on the nose, ripe fruit, but its hard to decipher black currant specifically. the taste starts lean and sharp, lots of lactic character not overshadowed by the fruit, which comes on slow and mellow, picking it up with a little sugar but not too much. mouth watering after the swallow, this is a beauty of a fruited sour. currants are an interesting choice, giving color and body, and a jammy property. i like that we have some real carbonation here, and the light body is a nice canvass for the flavors and textures to paint. prohibitively expensive, but absolutely delicious.

Feb 02, 2014
Photo of LambicPentameter
LambicPentameter from Nebraska

4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Nov 22, 2013
Photo of kindacold
kindacold from Virginia

4.36/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quick review:

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.

Sep 19, 2013
Experimental Cassis from Hanssens Artisanaal bvba
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 263 ratings