Ahhh, Petrus, Doc’s favourite new Belgian brewer for two simple reasons: 1) It’s cheap, 2) It’s good… really what more could you want? Cheap & good is good enough for me. That said their Aged Red was not without flaws – it was cloyingly sweet with cherry cough syrup notes, will this Oud Bruin – which is one of the base beers used in the Aged Red – be a sweet cherry cough syrup nightmare… all right, slight exaggeration; mildly bad dream? Or will it triumph with a more balanced flavour? Time will tell (15 mins to be exact).
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Presents a deep hazy chocolate brown body with a thin half centimetre tan head that soon dies back to a light lace on top. Looks brown enough to qualify as an Oud Bruin. 8/10.
S: Sour cherry and musty yeast notes punctuate what is (for me at least) a delightful and classic moreish Belgian aroma – cherries and dusty cellars – can’t get more Belgian than that! [the entirety of my imagination pictures Belgium as one giant dusty catacomb with cherry trees growing throughout it]. Another whiff gives off book-like characters, it actually brings back memories of those scratch-n-sniff stickers from my primary school days – the power of a brew to make you reminisce is indeed a prodigious thing. 9/10.
T: This is the Rodenbach-en-like I was hoping for when I had the Aged Red – Sour cherries front to back, it’s not too astringent (it’s just right), apple cider vinegar lends acidity (as with any beer style that begins with “Flanders”) with a mid-palate hint of grape sugars and a mildly dry bitter finish. Oh yeah, yeast – plenty of that lending a dusty/stale character. Très Bien! 8/10.
M: Mouthfeel is a little bit lacking, a little bit watery, with a mid to light body and light but dense carbonation. 7/10.
D: The balance with this Oud Bruin is up there with the greats, however I’m almost left wanting for a tad more of the sweetness found in the Aged Red… this is though a minor complaint for an otherwise excellent brew. If you’re seeking traditional Flanders Oud Bruin flavours this is a decent introduction to the style that balances sweet and sour so aptly, à votre santé! 8/10.
Food match: Brasserie cuisine (eg; Steak frites) or a hard cheese platter are appropriate matches.