Located in Dworp, Belgium, Hanssens Artisanaal bvba is one of the oldest lambic blenders in the country, tracing its roots back to 1871. The brewery offers a number of different lambics, including the only authentic strawberry lambic in Belgium and was reportedly the first brewery to use the names Oude Gauze and Oude Kriek on its labels.
One of the blendery’s most well known releases is Hanssens Lambic Experimental Cassis, a 6 percent ABV lambic blended with black currents and aged in oak barrels. The lambic was originally intended to be a one-time release, but has since become part of Hanssens’ regular lineup, and is sold exclusively in 375ml corked and caged bottles.
The cork on the Hanssens Lambic Experimental Cassis pops with the faintest sound of carbonation I have heard in a while, so it is no great surprise when the lambic pours a deep reddish purple color with no head at all and just the slightest amount of carbonation visible around the edges. Aroma from the glass is a combination of strong berries, funky horse blanket, creamy oak, vinegar and slight pepper.
The first sip of the Hanssens Lambic Experimental Cassis brings flavors of rich, jammy berries, creamy oak, grapes and lemongrass acidity. There is a tartness on the finish that is not quite sour, but very close and despite the lack of any sort of of head, there is a touch carbonation that keeps it from being completely still. I defiantly noticing some vinegar on the finish as well that gets stronger as the beer warms up, but the note is sometimes masked a bit by the pervasive fruit flavor.