New Year means New Beer, with not one, but TWO Limited edition releases from Rodenbach. These editions are in short supply but your local specialist independent off-licence is the place to hunt them down! For more information get in touch @premierintbeers
Irish fans of sour beer will no doubt already have fallen in love with Rodenbach and Rodenbach Gran Cru. Following initial fermentation with top fermenting yeasts, these “foeder” beers are matured in giant oak casks where a secondary fermentation occurs over a 2 year maturation period. During this time an army of micro-organisms living within the oak including lactic acid bacteria, acetic acid bacteria, and Brettanomyces form organic acids, which combined with alcohol are then converted into a complex array of fruity esters.
Depending on which version of Rodenbach you buy, this red-brown Flanders ale is a blend of young and matured sour beer, wonderfully balanced and very complex.
Rodenbach Vintage 2014
RODENBACH Vintage is 100% matured example and for Vintage editions only the cask which has produced the best beer after two years of maturation is chosen. Hence the year and cask number appear on the label, and the year refers to the start of maturation. As with all Rodenbach ales, Vintage is sour, intense and delivers and extremely refreshing acidity. However, due to its lengthy maturation period and full blend of 2yr old ale, Vintage is even more mellow and complex than either Rodenbach (3/4 young beer & 1/4 aged in 2yr old casks) or Rodenbach Gran Cru (1/3 young beer & 2/3 aged in 2yr old casks).
It is characterised by an acidic, appley fruitiness combined with caramel, wild honey and oak with a touch of vanilla, cherry and liquorice. The aroma consists of touches of caramel and oak, as well as green apples mixed with honey and chocolate. The slightly sour, fruity aftertaste is long and nicely balanced, just like a Grand Cru wine.
Rodenbach Alexander is a celebratory beer brewed for the first time in 1986 on the occasion of Alexander Rodenbach’s 200th birthday. Alexander follows the blend of Rodenbach Gran Cru, being 1/3 young beer and 2/3 aged in 2yr old casks, however, there’s a twist! Sour cherries are added and macerated with the portion of young beer offering a a delightful combination of sour beer and cherry flavour. Its aftertaste is reminiscent of a Burgundy wine and its freshness makes this beer the perfect aperitif or accompaniment to cheeses or dessert.