The Beerumnati are abuzz about “sour beer,” as breweries increasingly try their hand at tart saisons, garnet Flemish ales and lambic-inspired fruit beers. This means that the word “sour” gets thrown around like sprinkles at a cupcake convention, but it applies wholly to Rodenbach Vintage. While the original Rodenbach is a blend of “young” and oak-aged red ale, the more than 200-year-old Belgian brewery’s limited vintage release is unblended, every ounce of it matured for two years in a single wine barrel. During the beer’s long slumber, live yeast chow down on residual sugars, to the point where the ale exchanges all its sweetness for pucker. As a result of the process, the intense tartness competes with the woody astringency from the oak, a tongue-scraping combo that’s ideal for as our Fancy Pants Sunday pick of the week — a column that champions complex and delicious craft beers.
Rodenbach Vintage 2015 dropped this year, and dropping an aroma of balsamic vinegar, overripe dark fruit, cherry pits and caramel, bread from its murky root beer brown body. The taste is sour, duh, with dark fruit, oak, lemony and green apple flavors, yet the complex, seven-percent-alcohol brew remains smooth and refreshing.
Want to give it a try? It’s waiting in Peaks and Pints‘ cooler.
You fancy Rodenbach Vintage 2015!