Review: Rodenbach Grand Cru

Review of Rodenbach Grand Cru from Rodenbach Brewery in Roeselare, Belgium.

Beer Type: Flemish Sour Ale  ABV: 6%  Tried on draught.

Their Description: “Grand Cru by RODENBACH has on average been left for much longer in the oak casks (“foeders”) of the Roeselare “beer cathedral”, which results in a more pronounced version of the “Flanders Red-Brown Beer” style. RODENBACH Grand Cru consists of 1/3 young beer and 2/3 beer matured two years in oak. The result is a complex beer with a great deal of wood and esters, vinous and with a very long aftertaste, just like a Grand Cru wine.”

The Reality: The color is dark cloudy purple with a sweet cherry funk scent. Has a full sour bite up front with the flavors of cherry and plum in the finish. There are notes of wood and esters, as mentioned, and it drinks dry with a medium body. The aftertaste is smooth and does hang around for a bit.

Final Verdict: Sour beer fans should love this beer, as it is considered a classic staple in the sour beer community. The long oak aging process does give it more sweet notes, but also gives it more complexity. Make no mistake, this is a true sour beer, it just has some other layers of flavor to round it out. As for blending 1/3 young beer with 2/3 beer matured for 2 years, I’m going to have to take their word that this is the best approach, after all, it doesn’t work well with many other products (milk, bath water, sunblock, motor oil for your car, etc.)