Total Score: 8.95/10
“Rodenbach, Rodenbach, Rodenbach” – A colleague at the bottleshop I work at raves on about Rodenbach all the time. Naturally I had to get some Rodenbach and review the absolute shit out of it [as I do]. My colleague recommended starting with the Grand Cru, “You like Flemish Reds? This is the best.” I nodded back adding “Of course, who doesn’t love Flemish Reds!?” secretly knowing that I’ve never had a Flemish Red before, damn my incessant beer-snobberyism! Turns out they’re similar to a Gueuze… great! I love a good Gueuze *cork pops*.
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: The style should be called “Flanders Brown Ale” if this is representative of their general appearance: Hazy deep caramel body with a thin off-white lace ring around the glass… I’m giving it a good score because I don’t know any better. 8/10.
S: Holy funk Batman, this is one funky aroma. Starts out with a pungent (but delightful, I love the smell of) Hubba Bubba™ grape note, add some yeast funk, follow this with sharply acidic white wine characters and sour cherry and you’ve got yourself Rodenbach Grand Cru. 9/10.
T: That Hubba Bubba™ grape note morphs quickly into a “Meady” character (i.e. that fruity vinous taste in Mead, the alcoholic beverage of much renown). Following this is some yeast funk, sour cherry and a red wine tannin in the finish, in fact if a beer wanted to grow up and become a wine it would become a Rodenbach Grand Cru first. No doubt there were some large oak barrels involved somehow in this nefariously good process. The finish is astringent/tart/dry and leaves you wanting another sip… then another… and you get the idea. 9/10.
M: Mouthfeel is definitely the weakest aspect, but don’t take that as a criticism Rodenbach as the rest of your beer is pretty awesome, with a mid to light body, hmm, slightly watery, with a nicely dense carbonation. 7/10.
D: My work mate was right: Rodenbach rock(enbach)*s! This whole Flanders Red Ale style is a new and wonderful experience for me after falling for Gueuzes and I’m definitely keen for another now. Rodenbach might even become one of my FDR’s (Fridge Door Regular’s). Top marks Grand Cru! 10/10.
Food match: You’d better bring a sharp cheese platter to this bad boy.
*You knew I wouldn’t be able to resist such a terrible and obvious pun, shut up.