2015 Vintage Oak Aged Ale (Barrel No. 195)
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

2015 Vintage Oak Aged Ale (Barrel No. 195)2015 Vintage Oak Aged Ale (Barrel No. 195)
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Style:
Sour - Flanders Red Ale
ABV:
7%
Score:
91
Avg:
4.29 | pDev: 6.99%
Reviews:
16
Ratings:
44
From:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
 
Belgium
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  3
Gots
  6
SCORE
91
Outstanding
2015 Vintage Oak Aged Ale (Barrel No. 195)2015 Vintage Oak Aged Ale (Barrel No. 195)
Notes:
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Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 44 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unblended, single barrel and unaltered, there's no more esteemed release than that of Rodenbach's Vintage Ale. The selection of barrel no. 195 carried the load in 2015 and we're seeing it shelved five years later.

Much like their Grand Cru, Vintage Ale 2015 pours a tawny rust-brown color with ruby low lights in its body. Showing a light haze and a buildup of fine mesh haze, the beer's red wine influences are evident. Also winey to the nose, a sour twinge of balsamic is laced with cider, dark fruit and cobbler. Its mild mannered sweetness resonates on the early palate with those cobbler, pastry crust and toasted grain in its malt profile.

Sweet and sour notes mingle on the middle palate along with a malty taste of light chocolate, sour grapes, toast and apples. Its acidity is charged with dark cherry, crab apples, under-ripened berries, lime, and strong balsamic vinegar savoriness. Oxidized sherry, leather, wine must, and light sea brine, offers up a sour taste that's backed with firm umami whimsy. Light on bitterness, the beer relies solely upon its acidity to create balance in taste.

The beer's medium-light body causes a "richer-than-actual" early mouthfeel because of its creamy carbonation and slight malt body. But after the initial taste, the beer relegates to a red wine character with a cleansing acidic tone that favors sour fruit, pleasant tannins, and mild mannered astringency. Spicy alcohols culminate in a dry vinegary body that's ultimately sultry and ooh so very clean.

Where barrel 144 exhibits the most exclussive taste of the Rodenbach vintage, the flavors of Vintage 2010 is slightly lesser than the Grand Cru, but the clean lactic character of this version cannot be denied. Lacotobacillis notes create a clean finish to this beer that makes it slightly better than other Vintage brands.

Dec 22, 2020
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snaotheus from Washington

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2020-03-21
750ml corked/caged bottle served in a WABL sample glass. Date on the bottle is 07/28/2017.

Pours ruby-amber with a respectable head that fades quickly to a ring, looks quite carbonated. Pretty, translucent beer. Smell is tart, oak, cherries, and plums.

Taste is a nice sweet-tart cherry with an oak background and a surprisingly nicely integrated bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is dry and crisp. Overall, lovely beer.

Mar 21, 2020
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rapayn01 from Kentucky

4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a taster of this on a flight at Billie's Bier Kafeteria in Antwerp in May 2018. It's really a sour, with some sweetness. Ii didn't realize it was 2015 vintage when I ordered it from the board. It was a Nitro.

Jan 02, 2020
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scott451 from Canada (ON)

4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic. Dark reddish brown body with a bubbly tan head which disappears very fast
Winey. A bit sharp in the middle. Some balsamic notes. a long finish. Light body.
Overall smooth and balanced.

Nov 16, 2019
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.11/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

$ 8.37 (Including discount and tax)/750 mL cork and cage bottle ($ 0.703/oz) from State Line Liquors, Elkton, MD. Reviewed 10/20/19.
Marked on both the bottom of the bottle and on the back of the label “07/28/2017”. On shelf in store. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 42 degrees in a hand washed and dried Rodenbach tulip.
Appearance – 4.
First pour – Pinkish-amber, clear.
Body – Amber, opaque. When held to the light, reddish-amber and clear with effervescence noted.
Head – Large - (Maximum five cm, aggressive center pour), tan, dense, short retention, rapidly diminishing leaving neither crown nor cap.
Lacing – None.
Aroma – 4.25 – Slightly sour cherries and some mixed fruit.
Flavor – 4.25 – Begins moderately sour with cherries and oak. Ends with oak tannins and a bit of mixed fruit and berries. Throughout there is a hint of sherry. No alcohol (7% ABV) flavor or aroma. No dimethylsulfide, no diacetyl.
Palate – 3 – Medium, watery, lively carbonation.
Final impression and summation: 4.25. What can I say? I absolutely love Rodenbach brews and drink them whenever I can find them. While the appearance, aroma, and flavor are all above average for a Flanders Red Ale, their mouth feel is exactly as it should be, i.e. average.

Oct 20, 2019
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zeff80 from Missouri

4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft. Poured a dark, dark brown color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It smelled of dark cherry, lemon and sweet maltiness. Tart, sour black cherry taste with toffee and caramel.

Aug 25, 2019
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

a gorgeous single vessel flemish red here, to me a little more dynamic than the original, but also this is cellared to the peak of its maturity, i cant imagine it improving any from here. it has a deep caramel to brick red color, with shiny mahogany edges and a short tan head from the bottle, mellow, but still some life to this. it smells incredible, with a crazy fruitiness well beyond the tangy cherry thing i always seem to get in rodenbach beers. i get ripe strawberry, tart raspberry, and like cooked sweet raisin. i also get red wine vinegar, port, and sherry, some alcohol coming through with all of this, and some caramelized sugar as well, still quite overtly malty to me. the flavor is just as good as the nose, strong red wine notes with berries and even plums, not as acidic as it smells, and to me way less caustic and sour than some of the others they have done. i love all the fruit, and i like the lactic bacterial element in concert with it. some light funk here, a ton of wet oak, subtle vanilla and toffee sweetness, black pepper, char, and brown sugar to finish with the classic vinegar profile. overall an exceptional beer, an awesome example of the style, and one that shows how patient cellaring can be rewarded. a pleasure to share with new friends!

Jul 18, 2019
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Harder to find this year's edition of one of my favorite series, so happy to find a bottle while traveling. This year had more of a cane sugar, caramel cherry presence, with the oak tart finish being more mellow. Had a touch more funk this year too, but still more sweet than anything. Highly drinkable and smooth with decent carbonation. This all being said the smell and taste flavors were muted compared to years past, almost more brown focused than red. Still worth your time

Nov 19, 2018
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mwilbur from Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into cervoise.
A: Pours a dark red amber hue with 1 inch off white head that fairly quickly settles to a thin skim.
S: Oak tannins, sour red berries, vinegary pepper, musty yeast.
T: Oaky tannins with mild caramel malt hits first quickly followed by sweet sour red berries and cherries. Vinegary pepper (better here than in the aroma) and the musty yeast flows along in the background. The sweet and sour fruit notes linger beautifully into the finish.
M: Light body. Sour, sweet, and slightly peppery. Nice fruit and oaky tannin balance. Lingers and matures beautifully on the palate.
D: Nice complexity and a great sipper. I’m thinking it would go really well with Thanksgiving dinner.

Oct 28, 2018
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npolachek from New York

4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Deep Amber body . Taste of cherry. Only weakness I can think of is the smell which is benign. Taste in mouth feel are stupendous. One of the best offerings from Rodenbach a tremendous beer.

Sep 04, 2018
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Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

3.33/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On-draught @ The Green Lady, Chicago, IL. Truncated notes below:

Head is fluffy, soft, and enticingly creamy. Sticks around a good 12+ minutes...very impressive retention.

Body is a deep amber-brown. A bit lacking in terms of vibrance.

Aroma: cherry juice, acetic acid, pie crust, brown malt, tart pomegranate seed, bacterial complexity.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Acidic, but a bit thinner than past vintages. Creamy, soft, refreshing. Medium-bodied. A bit leathery on the palate.

Flavours of cherry juice, acetic acid, pie crust, brown malt, and creamy almost nitrogenated notes.

Any oak/foeder flavour is so subdued as to be nonexistent.

The thinness is an issue, but it's balanced flavourwise.

OVERALL: It's nice work from Rodenbach, but I think this is best Bottle-conditioned and/or aged. Lacks the complexity, depth of flavour, and harmony of past vintages.

B- / WORTHY

Jul 22, 2018
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metter98 from New York

4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is hazy brown in color and has some hints of reddish hues. It poured with a thin layer of beige bubbles covering the surface and a thick collar around the edge of the glass. The head left wisps of bubbles on the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of sour cherries are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell and has flavors of sour cherries along with some sourness and hints of vinegar.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little tart on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has lots of sour cherry flavors and also has bits of sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

Jun 24, 2018
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patre_tim from Thailand

4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Rusty reddish brown, and cloudy with lots of carbonation. Topped with a 3 fingers of light beige head.

Smells of sour funk, barnyard, dark toasted notes, balsamic, oak and sour berries.

The taste follows the nose, and comes through in a smooth, balance. Nail polish as well.

Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a tart finish.

Drank in Muskoka, April 13th, 2018. Excellent brew. Very similar to the 2013 version I had couple weeks ago, but the sourness is sharper, the sweetness sweeter, the nail polish stronger, and the flavours slightly less mellow.

Apr 15, 2018
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hman43 from North Carolina

4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: It pours dark burgundy with a bit of haze. The head is tan. moderate head retention.

Aroma: It has strong fruit aromas and intense sourness. There are moderately strong black cherry with low orange and chocolate.

Taste: The fruit flavors are intense with plum, black cherry, and orange in the background. The is a hint of chocolate with moderately intense sourness. The is some toast towards the end of the taste and is has red wine like qualities.

Feel: It has a moderate body with moderate carbonation. It is quite sour initially but the malt comes out a bit more in the finish.

Overall, a beautifully put together Flanders red with a complex combination of fruit and malt flavors and sourness.

Apr 14, 2018
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taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

1,400th review! Corked and caged with gold foil. Served fairly cold into a Chimay chalice. LCBO purchase for about $12 CDN. Expecting marvelous things from this given how good the 2013 bottle was and my general adoration for the Grand Cru. Best before date is August 17, 2022.

Appearance - Murky dark ruby colored beer with loads of brown coloring. Pours a fine finger plus of light tan head, lots of frothiness and after it recedes to a mere quarter finger looks like a desert of Caribbean sand on top.

Smell - Oak and balsamic hit right away, with a very subtle brown sugar like sweetness underneath. Some sour cherries as well and a vinous grape-like characteristic showing again, making this the wine-drinker's beer perhaps? Very much in common with the 2013 Vintage ale and Grand Cru.

Taste - Intensely tart, with sour cherries and berries shining through, some oak and a subtle little sugary sweetness there mid sip. Tartness fades out rather quickly, maybe just a touch too quickly, but nitpicking here. Tremendously deep and encompassing flavor. Vinous throughout.

Mouthfeel - Tart and as another reviewer has mentioned, a little more chewy than expected. Astringency tickles the tongue and carbonation is appropriate for the style, if lighter on the grand scheme of beer carbonation.

Overall - Surprise , surprise, Rodenbach makes another damn good sour ale. Very nice level of tartness, that seems marginally more intense as some of the other iterations of this style, but the intense lasts just a little less than others. A nice trade off, and a wonderful beer that balances subtle wood, tart and sour fruit, vinous complexities and just a pinch of sweetness to keep this together. Another awesome brew from these guys.

Mar 25, 2018
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Bruno74200 from France

4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a 750mL, it pours a dark brown bubbly body with a head which quickly disapears.
The smell is sour with some dark fruit notes.
The taste is very enjoyable, quite balanced it's sour but nothing overwhelming, very vinous, dark berries and dark fruits, some balsamic notes.
The mouthfeel enhances the taste and is quite chewy, very enjoyable.
Nice

Feb 27, 2018
2015 Vintage Oak Aged Ale (Barrel No. 195) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 44 ratings