Total Score: 8.95/10
Already back into the Rodenbach with yet another tantalising brew: Vintage 2014 Foeder No. 192. Yes, I’m a huge fan of their Grand Cru, that said whilst I did enjoy the beer I reviewed for #1,000 (Caractère Rouge) the tartness of that beer did end up leaving my jaw a bit sore afterwards. Now I’m not too sure what happens to sour beers when you age them, but I’m hoping/suspecting that the sourness drops a little and gives way to that overall grape character I found in Grand Cru. If this is the case I will be both elated and disappointed – elated for obvious reasons – disappointed because this is probably the last bottle I will ever see of this vintage (this was the last bottle at my local). Well, as they say in Belgium: Santé! (or Proost!).
Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Hmmm, more bruin than rogue, not unlike the Grand Cru, with a hazed brown body and a thin beige head that drops back to a nice lace ring – looks tops, though (like Grand Cru) I would probably classify this as an Oud Bruin instead. 8/10.
S: Yep there’s no mistaking the base beer of this being Grand Cru with an aroma of: pungent, funky grape must, grape Hubba Bubba™, musty yeast, acidic vinegar and sour cherry. It’s almost a carbon copy of the Grand Cru I had recently, except maybe a bit more vinegar acidity and a touch of woody character. 9/10.
T: Once again Rodenbach gets my “acid reflux trigger warning” award for being brazenly acidic – luckily this time I have some Gaviscon handy! Wow, what a crazy Hubba Bubba™ nightmare [in a good way]! Flavour profile is front and centre with an almost balsamic vinegar intensity, grape must, grape Hubba Bubba™, hint of sour cherry, musty yeast and that slight woody note. Finish is sour, though not quite as intense as Caractère Rouge, with a slight drying character. It’s sweet but not OTT, balance (apart from the obvious acid bulldozing) is great. 9/10.
M: Mouthfeel is again a weak point with Rodenbach (if it can even be considered a weakness here): Mid to light, slightly denser than Grand Cru, with a borderline aggressive carbonation. 7/10.
D: So evenly matched with Grand Cru that the scores turned out the same – this is the slightly bigger, more acidic and woody version of Grand Cru. The only big difference is the size of the bottle and the fact that it’s limited release (hence rarer). Not sure if I’m missing something but I don’t see the nuance that makes this any better than Grand Cru though (which is already exceptional). 10/10.
Food match: You’re gonna need a big cheese platter for this bad boy.