Ploegers Vlaams Rood | Grand River Brewing

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Ploegers Vlaams RoodPloegers Vlaams Rood

Brewed by:
Grand River Brewing
Ontario, Canada

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Sammy on 03-11-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 19
Photo of Cycle69
4.13/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of kinguy
2/5  rDev -45.5%

Photo of irishkyle21
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ericandersnavy for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark amber color with a tan head. The aroma is a mix of lightly tart apples. toffee and some dark fruit. The flavor is more of the same. I get some toffee and lightly tart fruit, some grapes and grassy hops. A little more bitterness than I expected in a sour beer. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
4.3/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't pretend to know a lot about sours, so this could be properly classified for all I know. But this is listed as a Flanders Oud Bruin and not a Flanders Red Ale, and seeing as Ploegers Vlaams Rood is Dutch for Plowman's Flemish Red I can't help but wonder if something is amiss. Not that I care.

Pours a dark, cloudy rich amber topped by a frothy, moussey head which dies down leaving a respectable and persistent thick film of foam and spots of lacing.

The aroma is rich, plummy, sour and like red wine, but it's also quite malty.

Peppery grape juice is the first thing that comes to mind, with a nice lingering lemon rind in the finish. The taste is great, something of a sour Aventinus Eisbock, only without all the booziness. My fear with any sour beer is that it will be too dry and mouth-puckering. But here the sourness is balanced nicely against mildly bready malt and sherry-esque characteristics. The mouthfeel is lighter than the taste would suggest, but it works.

I don't have a palate expert enough to extract any more descriptors, analogous flavors, or nouns with a y tacked on the end out of what I taste than that, but I do know enough to say that this is a really interesting and great tasting beer, and that it is brewed in such a pedestrian brewing culture as Ontario is truly a marvel. My only complaint is that the aftertaste is a tad on the astringent side, which is why I gave it a 4.5 instead of a 5.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to northyorksammy for this one. Bottled January 19th, 2010. Poured from a 500mL bottle into my White birch flute/tulip.

Hazy, rose taupe, burnt orange, and rust intermingle in the body with a faint edge of amber. A very large rocky crown of soft peaks recedes slowly to a sizable mesa of pale wheat foam. Thick jagged lacing pastes the sides.

Fresh black cherries and plums, dates, and light brown sugar in the nose. Malt is present but doesn't intrude much on the fruit...

...which is in stark contrast to the palate entry which is a heady malt bomb. Lightly sour and woody flavors float around as well, but primarily you get a big dose of almost syrupy bready malt which nearly suggests sausage with its smokey/toasty melanoidins. Some touches of black pepper, blackberries, balsamic or maybe sherry vinegar in the finish as well. Not bad.

Medium-bodied and soft, with moderate carbonation.

I prefer the tartness of some other examples of the style - but this would be a good introduction to Oud Bruins none the less, as it is a good representation of the standards...

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Photo of pootz
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled at the brewery.

Poured a murky reddish-brown...short lived cap.

Aroma of grape skins and musty burlap with a large dose of boiled grains.

Taste was rather decent... lots of sour fruit in the front (like sour cherry) grains in the background...sour but not astringent, like a mouthful of Rodenbach mixed with a malty lager. Very vinous.

The brewer tells me this was frozen to extract some water and was done with the sour mash method using a lacto bacillus...whatever, it is a tasty enough local version of a Flanders sour..very drinkable for this style.

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Photo of cratez
3.4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at Chancey Smith's. Deep reddish brown with a fluffy off-white head and threads of lacing on the pint glass. Smell and taste are light vinegar, fire wood, cherries, a Brett-like funk, pit fruit, caramel and roasted malts, strong hop bitterness, and a pronounced sour tartness that borders on puckering. Mouthfeel is creamy/smooth, crisp carbonation, brief bitterness precedes a drying sour finish with some warmth going down. A well-crafted brew, and interesting to try, but I wouldn't reach for it again.

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Photo of mrmanning
4.15/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This sour ale, frozen not once, but to my understanding , twice, is a rare treat. A sour ale with Eis-bock qualities. I've had this a few times, but the latest was on cask at the Winking Judge. It poured a murky, tan, almost brindle, with a slight white foam ringing the rim of the glass, that surprisingly leaves good lace. The aroma is quite vinous (white grapes), lots of wood, sherry, over-ripe fruit (in an enjoyable sense), and is full of funky, barnyard Brett like aromas. The flavour profile is like sour grapes upfront, lots of wet hay,cherries, yeasty and tart, with just hints of white wine vinegar, then vanilla and milk chocolate sweetness lingering upfront. The finish is assertive with the alcohol, which makes this all the more pleasant. I can still taste the tart grapes after 10 minutes. WONDERFUL!!! This is the absolute fullest bodied sour I have had. This brewery simply amazes me every time! Thanks Rob, Dave, and crew for crafting such great beer!

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Photo of illidurit
3.68/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

RBSG09 bottle at the grand tasting courtesy of IrishBoy. Pours dark orange with a huge beige head. Tart cherry pit aroma, slight vinegar, slight metallic note. Flavor is vinous with tart cherry juice and yeast. Interesting but not great by any means.

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Photo of biegaman
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A rustic terra cotta artifact recently unearthed from the layers of dirtying soil that for centuries have suffocated it. The beer is muddied, its complexion sullied by a colour that is simply unconcerned with aesthetics. The ring of carbonation which encloses its surface is resilient and adhesive enough even to envelop much of the goblet's circumference.

I might as well disclaim right now that this is one of the most unique and peculiar ales I've ever tasted. (I say that with no bad connotations what so ever.) The first distinctiveness lay in its production, an unusual process, one that involves a heavily exaggerated amount of hops as well as freezing the beer twice (a la eisbock) to concentrate the flavours and boost up the alcohol content.

The aroma exhales tiny breaths of fresh-ripened cherries and Merlot stained oak barrels. The fruitiness is presented as fortified, at very least fermented, and it might be understandable for some to make allusions to a favourite rustic French red wine. That said, cherries and wood are but a footnote. Rich, rum-soaked butterscotch, low-lying phenols and earthy, musty hops are what linger longest.

The flavour bears much similarity to an eisbock, arguably more than a Flemish Red. It is a full-bodied beer, dominated by a rich, intense maltiness and a definite alcohol presence. It is plenty full of toasty, bready sweet melanoidins, an abundance of caramel, and the backdrop of dried fruits (dates, raisins, prunes.) The finish is drying and chock full of malt and alcohol, leaving also a good impression of wild honey and earthy hops.

It is nowhere near as acidic as a classic Flemish Red nor is it in any big way sour. It does relate, however, on levels of mustiness and layered complexity (even without the added advantage of being barrel aged or blended.) The flavours taste musty and slightly oxidized with a vivid spike of alcohol that stirs the palate as the beer passes down the throat.

I'm not sure if any Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus, Brettanomyces or other bacteria sneaked in there during the fermentation but the beer does posses some underlying sourness which compliments the complex fruitiness (one that ranges from fresh-harvested orchard fruits to citrus zest to dried, fortified berries.) That characteristic also plays nicely with the toasty, caramel-laden maltiness. In some ways, this resembles a mulled wine.

This is certainly not your grootmoeder's Flemish Red! Of course, translation must inevitably entail appropriation, so for Grand River to create something inspired by the sour red ales of Flanders does not necessitate it be identical to them. Those familiar with the concept of 'terroir' should understand why this simply can't be. And why should it? This is darn right unique ... and that's something all Ontario beer lovers should take pride in.

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Photo of beachbum1975
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks for this one, mjohnston!

Pours a hazy reddish, murky brown with a small off-white head.

Very unique nose on this one. Fruity esters including cherry, sour grapes and cherries. Very much like a wine overall.

Sour and vinegar on the tongue, grapes, an odd malt presence... Musty and old tasting.

Medium bodied and very crisp. Very unique, but I'll pass.

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Photo of pwoods
1.84/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Thanks to beachbum1975 for sharing this.

500ml brown bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a coppery amber with some clarity. Shortish head with only a bit of retention. some lacing.

S: Grapey and winey aroma with some light sour notes. Some spicy and peppery yeast. Fruity esters, but undistinguishable.

T/M: Odd flavor in the dry and sour base... acidic but very odd... very offputting, too. Like what I'd imagine what battery acid would taste like. I can't get past that. No hops. Body is medium to medium light with little carbonation.

D: Nasty stuff. Drain pour for me.

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Photo of Viggo
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to grub for sharing this one on brewday.

Pours a slightly hazy blood red, some orange highlights all around the outside, very neat colour, insane thick off white head forms, drops down to a thick layer leaving tons of lace chunks on the glass, great retention. Smell is nice, lots of sour fruit and berries, biscuit and caramel, sweet/sour middle, cherries and strawberries, fresh fruit salad, earthy, nice acidity and orange peel, very fruity. Taste is similar, berries and some tart fruit, caramel and toast, sweet/sour again, oranges, butterscotch, earth, very neat, lots of malt, good acidic and sour finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, very nice stuff. Cool take on the style, not as sour as some but really shows a lot of character. Really nice example of the style. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of grub
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle purchased at the brewery. sampled march 28/09.

pours crystal clear deep red. it actually looks more brown until you hold it to the light and see its true garnet hue. a big fluffy dark tan head forms, even cascading a little on the pour. the head drops fairly fast but leaves plenty of lace behind.

aroma is good. nice sour malt vinegar punch up front that gives way to a rich doughy base of whole wheat bread, biscuit, cracker, and a bit of grain. lemon and orange peel. alcohol. vanilla and oaky character, though i know neither was used. butterscotch and a bit of caramel.

taste is good. nice big malt base. biscuit, whole wheat bread, cracker and grain. doughy. much less vinegar character than i got in the aroma, more just a basic sourness. grapefruit, bit of lemon, orange peel. light alcohol. bit of caramel and butterscotch, but without really any accompanying sweetness.

mouthfeel is good. medium-light body with a nice drying finish. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. not overly sour or wild to throw you off, and with a nice interesting depth. well balanced and nice. nice to see a north american brewer, especially a local, making a worthy attempt at this classic belgian style.

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Photo of stumac
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

...this brew pours up a murky Indian Red color with a small tan head... in the nose, I get sour fruits and sweet malts... I taste bitterness and sour fruits... full bodied, low carbo...dont get sucked into the turbine! A nice Oud...what a weird word...oud ya later

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep clear red color ale with a huge foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma consists of notes of funk with some very light oak. Taste is also a mix between some light tart notes with some funk. Interesting experiment but lacking some of the sour and tart notes that I enjoy so much in the style but I also applaud the brewer who is swilling to try this style.

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Photo of allergictomacros
4.62/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy red/brown with a rocky head tan foam. Very sticky and creamy lace.

S - Very rich aroma - red berries and earthiness forefront. Also some notes of molasses, dried fruit, spicy yeast, hint of funk and white pepper.

T - Up first are dark sugars and coffee. Sourness is up next - a bit on the light side. Middle is concentrated fruit and some yeastiness. Finish is fairly bitter. Also in here are notes of soy sauce, wood, tobacco and spice.

M - Creamy body. Dry and somewhat astringent.

D - Really, really nice. Very rich, with lots of flavour and complexity. Not as sour as I expected, but it seems to work. The only real knock is that the finish is a bit too bitter. Props for attempting a sour beer (not many to be found in this neck of the woods), and more props for doing a great job. Easily the best brew I've had from this brewery.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled August 26th. What a great looking beer, stylistically. An almost opaque reddish brown with a nice big frothy tan head. Lacings coat the entire glass. Retention is fantastic.

Tart, ripe fruit on the nose. A hint of sourness that comes across like raspberries.

Very interesting. No where near as sour as I was expecting, or, to be frank, as it should be. I agree that this is toned down a notch, but it certainly is not a bad beer. Big flavour here. The tartness is up front but gives way fairly quickly to big chewy barnyard malt and, just as quickly some somewhat out-of-place bittering hops. Finishes with a little pang of sourness and is slightly drying.

Mouthfeel is great. Been a while since I've had such a full-bodied, chewy beer. This will fill you up.

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Photo of Derek
3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A sour mash was done prior to fermentation. I'd classify this as an American Wild Ale.

A: Murky, reddish-brown; light-tan/off-white head, some retention & lace.

S: Tart fruity aroma with steelie, grassy hops.

T: Quite fruity with a tart acidity, steelie-piney hops and grainy bread. A nice bitter-sour balance, and an interesting twist on a Belgian classic.

M: Light to moderate body, with a tart, dry, crisp finish.

D: A little too acidic for me to session.

I tried this fresh from the conditioning tank as well, and the hop flavour was even more pronounced.

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Photo of bobsy
4.46/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Its nice seeing a local brewer try their hand at such an unusual style, and to actually pull it off. It looks really good in the tulip, with a red body and a large off-white head. The aroma has a bit of caramel, some nut, and an underlying (but not offensive) sourness. The taste is quite heavy, almost like a really good brown ale, but thicker, and tailing off into a light sourness. The mouthfeel is thick and filling - not syrupy, yet somehow heavy. Grand River just can't disappoint!

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Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Volo. Reddish colour and yeasty sour mild aroma with sweet malts. Taste is creamy, above average, with candied sourness behind it. A very good creation, trying to be more acceptable though not the ususal example of the style. Worth a half pint.

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Ploegers Vlaams Rood from Grand River Brewing
3.67 out of 5 based on 22 ratings.
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