Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rodenbach | Grand Cru

Rodenbach Grand Cru

Yeah, it's time for another one of those unusual Belgian beers, this one being a Flanders Red Ale. Rodenbach Grand Cru sets itself apart from other ales because of the extensive maturing in oak vats that it undergoes. Then a blend of the older aged ale is mixed with younger ale (67%/33%) to create the "Grand Cru."

Poured into a tall fluted pilsner glass, Grand Cru has a transparent dark copper color and a soda-like fizzy tan head that disappears almost as quickly as it is poured. The aroma is quite pungent with powerful vinegar, sour cherries, apples, oak, hints of vanilla, and a touch of malt. Although this aroma is a bit odd for a beer, it honestly reminds me of smelling a magic marker. You know it smells like pure chemicals but for some reason it smells so good! Or maybe I'm just psychotic. Don't hold Eric to blame, it's only me (Pat) spewing this crazy talk.

The flavor is strong of tart cherries and grannysmith apples. The sourness is smoothed out a bit by sugary malt sweetness and woody notes before finishing crisp, earthy, and dry. Airy carbonation gives this ale a gentle mouthfeel despite it's rather full body. Not to mention the sourness adds that refreshing mouth watering effect that makes these beers so amazing. One of the most remarkable aspects of this beer is that all the sour fruit flavor you taste, is from the unique yeast and extensive aging; and no fruit ingredients or additives were used.

I'm going to quote Todd Alström from Beeradvocate here, since he puts it so eloquently, "Dear beergod, thank you. This is indeed one of the most refreshing beers on the planet. An absolute must try." I didn't think I was capable of being so poetic. Anyway, try this beer, you will not be disappointed. If you've never had a sour ale, Rodenbach Grand Cru is the one you want.

Personal 9.5/10, for a Flanders Red Ale 10/10.

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