Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
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Ratings: 2,401 | Reviews: 956 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by tectactoe:
4.55/5 rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
I've had a surprising amount of trouble finding this beer in my area, so when I finally was able to find it, I made sure to grab a few bottles. I've heard great things about this beer, and I'm excited to finally give it a go. It pours a deep, murky brown-ish color with some red and ruby hints when light is allowed to pass through it. Translucent with a bit of haze, topped off with a slightly beige head; big-bubbled and quick to fade away.
The aroma is simply fantastic - one whiff and I already know this is going to be a winner for me. Incredibly layered and complex, each successive sniff brings about new aromas that I wasn't getting before; cherry skins, berries, balsamic vinegar, vinous grapes, heavy oak, tannic dryness, faint lemon... Just so much to take in. As a whole, the combination proves to be exceedingly tart and sour and I can feel my saliva glands starting to sweat just a bit.
The marriage of the fruit and barrel aromas are exquisitely done here, and the level of sourness that my nose is picking up is great. The finishing dryness from the oak is enough to blunt the acidic characters just enough to keep you from tiring of the smell too quickly. Every once in a while, a beer comes along that will have you sitting and smelling it for minutes before you even bother to take a sip, and Rodenbach Grand Cru has done just that.
When I finally bring the beer to my lips, my palate is met with a wonderful display of ripe fruits, straight out of the gate; cherries, grape skins, and more berries, all with insane, yet manageable levels of tartness. Each sip has me puckering my lips as the beer traverses to every corner of my mouth, injecting a solidifying sourness that's putting a smile on my face. I was hoping for sour, and the Grand Cru delivered.
But it's not just the copious tartness of the beer that makes it enjoyable, as anyone can dump lactic acid into a beer and make it sour as hell. It's the crafted execution of how the sourness developed that must be appreciated, and the layered complexity of the flavor profile can speak to those methods. The tart cherries, the heavy grape skins, the dry oak, the mild vanilla, the heavy balsamic-like vinegar, the sharp yet delicate acidity, the delicate tannin, and the superbly integrated vinous feel make this beer almost as much of an art form as it is a drink.
The mouth feel is nice for the style; thin, bordering on medium; my only complaint is that the carbonation in my bottle could have been higher. There isn't much more that I can say about this beer, other than the fact that it exceeded any and all expectations I had. I'm a big fan of sour beers, and I sure do love my American Wild Ales that stretch the palate towards unobtainable levels of tartness, but this beer proves that you can be both sour AND complex, and when done properly, it's a wonderful thing to behold. The fact that it's fairly readily available may be the biggest wonder of them all.
Serving type: bottle
06-03-2013 11:49:29 | More by tectactoe
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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 2,401 ratings.