I have not really explored Belgian red beers very much here. I guess I am really not excited about them much as a genre. I found Bourgogne des Flandres rather uninspiring, and my review of Rodenbach was pretty neutral: it seemed metallic when I’d first tried it, and not inspiringly better the second time.
Still, we all live in hope, so when I sampled Rodenbach Grand Cru the other day, I did try to approach it with an open mind. The brewery certainly put a lot of work into this beer: it's a mix of one third young, fresh brew and two thirds beer that's been aged for two years in oak barrels. Sadly, though, it didn’t live up even to my meagre expectations.
“Vinegar times ten”, was my first tasting note, though I then imagined a fleeting whiff of cranberry.
“Smells like cough medicine”, was Fiona’s initial comment. “Can you honestly drink that? The sink needs descaling: why don’t you pour it down there?”
Sadly, I couldn’t even finish this one, so yes, some basin descaling did occur.
Will I never find a red beer I really like?
Saving the evening, however, my nephew just sent me his drawing of the car he’s been refurbishing. If he gets it looking that good, it would be pretty cool. Perhaps he can use Belgian red beer as paint stripper...