Our usual ‘sour beer alert’ goes out for this one. But for all those
heathens who are not (yet) sour fans, I do urge you to try this one.
Rodenbach is famous for their sweet and sour Flemish Red. But this one is the big brother, and not because it is just more sour.
The beer begins as a brown ale of around 5% ABV, which is then ‘ripened’ in oak barrels for a period of around 2 years. It is this time in the oak ‘foeders’ that the beer picks up the vinuous and vinegar characteristics.
The Grand Cru is a mix of 67% aged beer and 33% young beer. There is a malty Madeira-like sweetness, while the sharp vinegar sourness competes. They take turns dominating, in a dynamic flavour profile which also has with lots of wood and esters adding to the complexity.
The late Michael Jackson (beer hunter) once referred to this beer as the ‘Burgundy of Belgium’, and a ‘World Classic’.