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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rodenbach Grand Cru Roeselare Ale

Rodenbach Grand Cru, a sour-style Roeselare ale from Rodenbach Brewery, poured a deep, dark brown with mild carbonation floating to a foamy sand-colored head.  The nose carried sweet and sour peaches, strawberry, and just a hint of sour funk.  

Rodenbach Grand Cru hit the palette like liquid strawberry-rhubarb pie filling.  More sweet than sour, tart berries and a bit of peach came through as the ale warmed in the mouth, and the funky notes in the nose were only present enough to cut a bit of the sweetness.  The ale ended on a lingering strawberry fade.

Rodenbach Grand Cru is every bit worthy its reputation and asking price.  Grand Cru is one of the most approachable (and least tart) of the sour ales I have tried, but manages to miss the overly sugary, two-dimensional aspect of many lambics with the soft tartness and a bit more yeast complexity.  I will be buying more of this soon!

I had the Rodenbach 2007 Vintage Oak Aged Ale earlier this summer, and while it was nice, it fell a little short of the standard Grand Cru offering... it was getting a bit soft and most of the fruit flavors had faded, but I'm not sure one could expect any different from a four year old ale.  Both were great, but Grand Cru is king.

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