Rodenbach Vintage 2016 Bottle, 375ml, 7% ABV
Mild and rich sourness, ripened green apple, cherry, wild honey, raisins, caramel, more madeira taste and notes of balsamico, more winy, very long aftertaste
Rodenbach Vintage 2017, 375ml Bottle, 7% ABV
Mild sour, ripened green apple, cherry, wild honey, raisins, slightly caramel, notes of madeira wine and balsamico, more winy, very long aftertaste
Rodenbach Vintage 2018, 375ml Bottle, 7% ABV
Fresh sour, green apple, sour cherry slightly Brett, wild honey, notes of pinot noir, no madeirisation, more beerish, long aftertaste
Rodenbach Caractere, 375ml Bottle, 7% ABV
A fruity nose, with a taste of cherries, raspberries and cranberries followed by a woody caramel note on the finish that comes from the barrel-aging process. The taste is sour but exceptionally pure. With its long, clean aftertaste and its unique combination of delicacy and strength, a beer reminiscent of a crisp Burgundy wine.
Humans have been making beer for longer than they have been baking bread. Let that sink in for a minute. While this is a fun fact for Tuesday night trivia, what this means more practically is that they have become pretty good at the art of brewing, with the experience of some breweries stretching back centuries. Rodenbach Brewery in Belgium is one such producer.
Founded in 1821, Rodenbach has a proud history stretching back 200 years. Rodenbach has become famous for a unique method of production where the beer is matured in oak barrels and both mature beer and young beers are mixed together. This method was first adopted when Eugene Rodenbach travelled to England on a beer pilgrimage of sorts and pioneered the method and the rest as they say is history!
In more modern times, the brewery has become synonymous with great sour beers, Flemish red ales and further mastery in the art of mixed fermentation. Some of their beers such as the Rodenbach Alexander, Rodenbach Grand Cru, Rodenbach Caractère Rouge and Rodenbach Classic Flanders Red Ale are acclaimed across Belgium and the world.
So how does the brewery continue to produce exceptional sour, mixed and young beers? A large part of the success over the years can be attributed to the yeast and bacteria cultures the brewery uses. So good are they that many of the top breweries from around the world purchased them until recently. Breweries such as De Dolle Brouwers, Westvleteren and Brouwerij owe a debt of gratitude to Rodenbach.
While the style may not be to everyone’s taste, what we can say is that anything produced by these West Flanders masters of the red fruits is made to the highest standards. There aren’t many people who can say that they have been honing their craft for hundreds of years.
The history, knowledge, tradition and uncompromising drive for excellence is what sets them apart. For the uninitiated, anything bearing the Rodenbach name is something you can drink with confidence knowing it is true to the style and is a benchmark for excellence. For those in the know their beers truly are something to savour!