Style: Flemish red
Based in Roeselare, this brewery was set up by four brothers in 1821, with sole ownership moving to one of the brothers (Pedro) after a 15-year partnership period. It is well known for its barrel aged Flemish red style beers and is classed as a world leader in the style. This beer is usually called Grand Cru, but this version has been stored in oak casks for 10 years rather than the traditional 18 months, to produce an even greater depth of flavour. The light red to orange colour is achieved through the red malts used in the brewing process, with the style known for its tart, vinegary and fruity notes.
Hazy copper with ruby flourishes in colour, this beer formed an airy beige head when decanted, but it disappeared rather quickly. The aroma was an impressive blend of balsamic vinegar, cherry, red wine, almonds and oak, which I found to be very pleasant. Upon sipping, the same notes of cherry, red wine, oak and acidity came flooding onto the palate, with a medium body and reasonable carbonation detected. The aftertaste was a lingering dry acidity with a vinous red grape skin tightness.
This, like most Rodenbach, was very nice indeed, but you do feel that a small amount goes a long way. I would find it hard to drink a 75cl of this on my own, so personally I recommend this as a sharing beer to maybe combine with some cheesecake or a robust cheddar. This was great to have as part of the tasting though, with the 10 years of maturation really helping to create some lovely complex flavour combinations.