Review #19 Rodenbach Grand Cru 84/100
I’m about to put my head down for the night, but thought I’d get my tasting notes on this beer down whilst they are fresh.
First, a little bit about the beer…Rodenbach is is a Flemish Red Ale brewed in West Flanders, Belgium . For those of you who have never tried a Flemish Red Ale, red malt is used to impart flavour and the typical red colour you see in the beer, in addition to the yeast used for fermentation the brew is also purposely infected with a culture of bacteria, usually Lactobacillus before being placed into barrels for upwards of a year, during this time the Lactobacillus bacteria produce lactic acid which gives the beer a sharp tang, similar to what you might experience with a wild yeast cider. To some people this flavour is undesirable, but I love sour beers and suggest any beer lover to give them a shot.
Out of the bottle and into the glass, this beer pours a very deep ruby red colour and in low light appears brown. The beer produces a very lively head which kills itself after a few seconds leaving only a few bubbles around the edge of the glass, although I think I may have used the wrong type of glass, maybe a tulip would have been better…oops.
On the nose, up front there are notes of lactic and acetic acid, followed up by delicate notes of sour cherries, raspberries, crab apples and Chardonnay wine.
On the palate, I’m greeted with an initial sourness, strong but not overpowering, slightly less than the Duchess De Bourgogne. The sharp sourness soon mellows out into more delicate flavours of plum, raspberry, cherry and wine seasoned oak.
The beer finishes with flavours of soft, ripe fruits immersed in a full bodied red wine.
One of my favourite Flemish Reds and one of my favourite sours in the world.