Rodenbach Grand CruSeptember 1, 2005 Roeselare, Belgium
Imported by: Brewery Ommegang
Available: PA, MD, MA, DC, NJ, NY, GA
The Rodenbach Grand Cru is matured in the oak casks for up to two years, where oxygen diffusion through the wood along with the micro-organisms in the wood contribute to the fermentation and further acidification, and help create the finished beer. Grand Cru is bottled directly from the oak casks.
Alcohol (wt.): 4.8
Alcohol (vol.): 6
Color: 60 EBC
Original Gravity: 1054
Final gravity: 1040
Malts used: Kiln-dried summer barley
Hops used: Local hops from Poperinge, Belgium
Yeast: Mixed fermentation of ale yeasts, including Brettanomyces (mainly lambicus and bruxellensis) and other micro-organisms (lactobacilli)
This is a world classic beer, a Belgian style that may have been inspired by the early English porters stored for months and even years in unlined oak vessels. Rodenbach is sour but refreshing, matured in the brewery in red-hooped “tuns” where wild yeasts and other organisms lurk and add their lascivious flavors and character to the beer. The first time I tried the beer in an Ostend bar in Belgium I was warned, “You won’t like it.” But I did and have relished it ever since for its challenging aroma and sour wine, tannic flavor. It’s the perfect companion for equally-challenging dishes: rabbit, moules, oysters, tangy cheese, “angry” pasta arrabbiata. One word sums it up: fantastic.
- Roger Protz
Beautiful pour—almost sonorous with its song—this Flanders red ale has a spicy, fruity, even tangy overtaste; with a smooth, tart underlay, embedded in a wholesome, full-flavored malt salute to the (almost) dark side. The balance here is grand and the tart finish perfect. Sharply refreshing and a joy to drink! It’s so nice to have this beer back in the country.
- Fred Eckhardt
Challengingly complex. Equally as rewarding, too, for those whose minds are as open as their mouths. Not too many gastronomic experiences are refreshingly tart in taste, yet satisfyingly creamy in texture like this beer is. I taste caramel-covered green apples, toffee, sour cherry pits, almonds and oaky vanilla. With each sip, the beer becomes more compelling. A benchmark Flemish sour ale whose taste is as big as the wooden vats it is matured in.
- John Hansell
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
Fred Eckhardt lives, writes about and drinks beer in Portland, OR. He is the author of The Essentials of Beer and Sake (USA).
John Hansell is an equal-opportunity drinker. He writes about beer, wine and spirits. He is the creator, publisher & editor of Malt Advocate, a magazine for the whisky enthusiast.
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