Rodenbach Grand Cru
Rodenbach Grand Cru is a Flemish red (also known as red brown) beer by Brewery Rodenbach. It is a blend of old and young sour ale. This grand cru contains much more matured ale (67%) than the regular Rodenbach beer (25%), which give it a darker color and a more complex and pronounced flavor. Because the aged ale has matured for 2 years in oak casks, the flavor of this beer almost tends to that of a wine. Beer guru Michael Jackson called it “The Burgundy of Belgium”. It has an alcohol content of 6.0%.
Brewery Rodenbach in Roeselare, in the West of Belgium is probably the best known brewer of this particular beer style. Flemish red, or Flanders red ale is a sour beer with a dark reddish color that can be compared to no other beer. The brewery was founded in 1821 by three brothers and developed this very particular beer style, by which the beer ripens in unique oaken casks (called ‘foeders’) before being blended and brought on the market. The brewery currently has no less than 294 such casks, some of them more 150 years old.
The traditional Rodenbach beer consists of mainly young beer, and is a real thirst quencher for every day. Since a few years however, the brewery has started to focus more on the older and mature beers. Rodenbach Vintage for example, is a two-year-old sour ale, selected once per year from one particular cask with the best flavor. Or Caractere Rouge is two-year-old sour ale, to which red fruits have been added for six months. Both these beers are quite rare, because they are only produced in limited quantities.