Lindemans Cassis, from Brouwerij Lindemans in Vlezenbeek, Belgium was the beer I enjoyed after preparing my taxes (quite early!) this year. I thought of something more American to celebrate the end of my ordeal, but I was really hankering for something different. Its hard to find a beer more un-beery than a Lambic, and so a Lambic it was. The one that had been sitting in my fridge was this Cassis Lambic, which is just a fancy term for Black Currant added to the mix!
I’ve had one other Lambic prior to this which was the Lindeman’s Framboise (raspberry) and checking my notes, I seemed to have liked it enough to give it a 4-star review. Bob the Brit has also reviewed a couple here on The Brew Club, one of them the Lindemans Kriek Foudroyante (cherry), so we’re slowly getting through all of these wild Belgian beers.
Without boring you to death, a quick review of what a Lambic is can be found conveniently on the label! How nice.
“Lindemans Cassis is a lambic made from local barley, unmalted wheat, and wild yeast. After spontaneous fermentation the lambic is aged in oak. Black currants are added creating a secondary fermentation and yielding a beer of exceptional flavor and complexity.”
Its interesting that this Cassis is aged in oak. I don’t think the others I’ve tried were. I’d also like to mention I’m still impressed by the heft of these European beer bottles. These lambic ales, along with a lot of the beers out of the UK, come in some industrial-strength glassware. I wonder why that is. Its just so different from what we’re used to getting our beer out of here in the States.
Like all Lindeman’s beers, you have to work a bit to get it. The beer has a foil-wrapped cap which concealed a cork. So, you need a bottle opener along with a corkscrew to pour this baby.
Once you’ve gotten past all of the seals, go ahead and pour it out. I chose a snifter glass (I’m big on appearance 😉 ) and I was amazed at how little of a head this brew created. It looked to me, a lot like red wine. Kinda flat, but there was a clear ruby-red that was nice to look at. I was also surprised that this 12oz bottle seemed to barely fill up my glass! The bottle looks so much bigger! Oh well. For a little more $, I should have gotten the bigger bottle which would have provided a second serving.
Cassis smells like black currant, and I know this because I’ve had the black currant preserves! (The empty bottle smells even moreso I think.) Its a nice aroma, and while it dominates, I wouldn’t say it overpowers at all. To immediately contradict myself, I don’t think I can pick up any other scents that well!
The taste follows closely where black currant leads the way, but there is some mellowing flavors provided by the malt, and I assume in this case, the oak barrels but its subtle at best. There is a very mild hop bite, but hops are not a big part of this beer at all I think. I did like the slight sourness that was in the taste which balanced the sweetness nicely. Can black currants be sweet and tart at the same time? I dunno, but its good!
So, I’m glad I got to wash the 2010 tax season away with a little bottle of Belgian lambic beer, and its a reminder how weird and wild beer can be. Let a non-beer drinker try this and it will freak them out that this fruity stuff is considered a beer. For me, it hit the spot but I’ll get the bigger bottle next time, especially if there is an audit.