Saturday, July 23, 2011

Rodenbach Grand Cru

Rodenbach Grand Cru

Brewed by:

Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Flanders Red Ale

6.00% ABV

Commercial Description:
Bottle: Filtered.
A blend of 1/3 young beer and 2/3 of beer aged 2 years in large oak vats. The more important proportion of oak matured beer contributes to its fruity taste, complexity and intensity. The finish is worthy of a great wine.

General Pricing:
750 ml bottles: ~$9.50 each

I bought this beer to evaluate for my upcoming Third Annual Belgian Beer Banquet, more on that later. I am looking to turn up the Belgain Funk a little bit in this year’s offerings. I certainly can’t purchase a keg of this until I give it a good sampling. So lets see how this measures up for a Flemish Red.

The beer pours a dark brown with rich ruby hues and a modest off white to tan head.

The nose is exquisite. Mahogany comes to mind although I realize that that’s a typical aroma. The nose is full of sweet dark malt aromas with dark fruit esters rich wood notes and good dose of Belgian funk (sourness). Man, I can’t wait to see what this taste like.

Wow, No, I really mean WOW! This is just amazing. Rich dark malts with sweet fruity notes all raiding on that classic Flemish Red sourness. This is extremely complex; it’s going to be difficult for me to do this justice.

The experience starts out with sweet dark malts and fruit up front. That is immediately followed by a tart sourness that continues to build throughout the middle of the sip. The back of you jaw starts to quiver a bit by the time you get to the top of the swallow on the back-end. There is a carbonation release during the swallow that masks some of the flavors of this exquisite ale. The finish is astounding; everything comes together on the finish and makes this a most unusual and exquisite experiences. The finish is full of rich dark malt flavors with sweet dark fruits and a powerful sour ending. The final aftertaste is of sweet dark fruit along with a yeasty sourness. There is also a rich caramel malt and sweet dark fruit coating that is left throughout the mouth. This is similar to that stout coating but in this case it is sweet and sour; classic Belgian Funk.

This is one exquisite ale. Of course this taste is not for everyone. It is a very unusual blend of rich dark malt, dark fruit on a bed of sourness.

This is solid A+ for a Flemish Red. An outstanding ale with rich dark malts, exquisite dark fruit esters a rich nutty wood flavor mahogany, all on a sour bed of Belgian yeast.

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