Beer of the Moment: The Return of Rodenbach AlexanderJune 1, 2016
Brouwerij RodenbachRodenbach Alexander
Roeselare, Belgium Style: Blended Oak-Aged Sour Ale ABV: 5.6%
All About Beer Magazine’s Beer of the Moment series aims to find that compass heading in the endless sea of new beers. Whether classic or the current cutting edge, these are fresh releases that inspire, that challenge, that stand for something. They’re why we’re All About Beer.
What better place to begin than with the return of a legendary release from Rodenbach? The Big Poppa of beer writing, Michael Jackson, referred to Rodenbach’s Grand Cru as the most refreshing beer in the world. Argue if you want. This particular release from the brewery is a limited-edition blend—currently: two-thirds oak-aged beer plus one-third young ale, macerated with sour cherries—and it hasn’t been produced by the brewery for more than 16 years. In a trading landscape before rare beers were dubbed “whalez,” this was a whale worth the effort.
In response to folks like me (but likely not me) whining about its long absence, it’s back as a U.S.-only release via Latis Imports: a renewed existence in one-way kegs and 750mL bottles.
For others who’ve traded an arm and/or legs for decade-old bottles of the previous batches of Alexander (many of which held up beautifully even at that age), this shouldn’t disappoint. Those same epic depths of dark cherries and leather are there, and this newest batch seemed familiar despite the wide separations involved. There’s a fresh acidity, like tart white peaches, in this fresh batch, its texture’s prickly CO2 atop plush maraschino cherry, and that caramel is certainly dialed back from examples of this I’ve met before. So good to see this beer again.
Drink now, or age forever.
This is the first in a series of limited releases coming from Rodenbach this year. Alexander, named after one of the four founding Rodenbach brothers from 1821, is the inaugural release in the brewery’s Limited Edition Sour Series. More coming soon.
About Beer of the Moment:
Think you’ve got something tasty that fits the bill for Beer of the Moment? Get in touch via @kenweaver on Twitter or Instagram, or lob an electronic missive: [email protected]Ken Weaver is the beer editor of All About Beer Magazine