classic Flanders Red, and pretty much invented the style
single-handedly. And while not the most delicious sour ever made, it’s
definitely a safe bet and makes for a great introduction to the style.
I poured an 11.2oz bottle into a flute glass. It had a best by date of 9/7/15 and cost $4.49 ($0.40 per ounce).
Appearance: Hazy shade of cherry red/rusty mahogany. Murky, but no
sediment. Pours to a two-finger, tan, soapy head which mostly dissipates
but still leaves some lacing.
Smell: Oak aroma with dark fruits and berries. Slight vinegar or Brett-like character.
Taste: Palette begins with a light sourness with a dark fruit flavor.
Raspberry, black currants and other tart berries and dark fruit flavors
are noticeable. The oak flavor is pronounced as well, complementing the
natural fruity flavors from the bacteria and yeast (there’s no actual
fruit used in the brewing of this beer). Little to no hop flavor or
bitterness, with a strong tart sensation on the finish. Some
confectionery notes of chocolate and toffee or caramel emerge in the
aftertaste momentarily. Some notes of vinegar, too, but it’s quite faint
and easily tolerable. Definitely a tasty beer.
Drinkability: I tend to associate sour beers with big beers, so I’m
always impressed when a fairly sessionable brew like Rodenbach – at only
5.2% ABV – is sour. The mouthfeel is light and crisp with a virtually
clean aftertaste (a little too clean, actually). Not really refreshing
(unless drank ice cold – which would kind of defeat the purpose).