If you were to blind fold yourself and smell this ale, you would know instantly that you were dealing with a sour, and I make a point of dealing with a sour whenever I can! Nonetheless, while the ale has a recognisable sour aroma, the aroma isn’t indicative of its flavour.
The Rodenbach brewery has been brewing blended barrel aged ales since 1821, so it’s in their genes, and needless to say, they brew a Flanders well.
Their Flanders red ale is blended with one-quarter beer oak barrel aged for 2 years, and the other three-quarters is younger beer blended before bottling. The delicious sourness is developed in the aging process. The wild yeast and bacteria in the oak barrel get together and have a sour producing two-year orgy; feisty little buggers!
Of course, I know that sour ales are not for everyone but if you wanted to dip your toe in the sour waters, Rodenbach would be a good start. It isn’t lemon face inducing like some sours so don’t be scared of it! It has a fruity sweet tartness at the beginning and a subtle dry tartness to finish. I had one very good friend of mine tell me a particular sour beer reminded her of bile! We are now in friendship therapy… I guess my point here is that there are subtle sour brews you can try like this one before you hit the big boys.
The Rodenbach is available in Next Door Cellars in cans (I love a can!) and is part of their October specials. Click here for more details!
Colour: Reddish Brown
Taste: Subtly sour and fruity (like me!). It has a sweet tartness to start, and dry tartness to finish.
Overall: This would be a great introduction sour. Very subtle, a great session ale, and very palatable.