FlacoAlto (3676) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - NOV 4, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: MAY 7, 2006 My first Palm version, Sampled May 2006
Incredibly well carbonated, this beer pours with a frothy, though quickly disappearing, initially 4 finger thick, amber tan colored head. I get a nice tart aroma as soon as I pour this beer, a nice level of tart acetic acid. As I go in for a deeper smell the aroma becomes much more tart; a mix of vinegar and something like tamarind. Underneath the dominating sour character is astringent note that seems a bit woody. The aroma has a certain fruitiness to it that hints at cherries.
Tart and effervescent, the beer seems to be fermenting a bit more than expected in the bottle. Is this now being bottle conditioned, that would be surprising from this traditionally pasteurized product. This is quite tasty as usual, a combination of tart and fruity with woody tannic notes that come on in the finish. It is so interesting to compare this beer to others that I have had most recently (Supplication, La Folie, & Panil Barriquée), beers now carrying the torch that had so long only been held by Rodenbach. It is interesting to me, the other newer beers are so much more satisfying and complex than this brew, but you can’t fault the Grand Cru for that. It did what it had to survive all those years, but it is clearly now not one of the best examples of the style. I can only hope that Palm will choose to make this a bit more complex brew in the culture.
Having said all of that ruminescent, romantic b.s., this is still a damn good beer. I am a sucker for these beers and this is still quite good. I can see this beer aging quite gracefully for some time. The acidity should round out a bit and a touch of oxidation should play up the rich malt character a bit more. In the end that is what this needs a bit more complexity to balance out the great sour character.
This is the Pre Palm version of this beer, Sampled March 2004
Pours a deep ruby color, and it is topped by a tan head. The aroma is sour, a complex mix of acetic, citric, and other un-placeable sour notes. There is some woodiness and some fruitiness in the nose as well; lie a tart plum. The taste is sour, with hint of sweetness, soft and rounded. The tartness is nice, it really does remind me of a a sour plum. The finish is slightly tannic. As it warms up it becomes woody and a tad bit more austere. There are hints of tangerine here as well. Damn it is gone, I am already disappointed, and I want more, I wish that I had stocked up on this beer before it disappeared.
Sampled 2001 in Belgium
Rodenbach has always been wonderful to me, there is a bit of a sour tang that accompanies this beer that melds just perfectly with a malty hint of sweetness. It is deep red, and the taste is a fantastic balance of complimentary flavors, notes of dark fruit, light bit of vinegar. Someone please import this too me! I need my fix.
maltdog (610) - Colorado, USA - OCT 27, 2003
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Clear ruby mahogany capped by a small but lasting head. Fruit dominates the nose- apple cider and blueberry, perhaps sherry and mild tobacco? Juicy flavors with citric tartness, apple and pear cider, cherry. Champagne-like effervescense. Cleansing, dry finish lingers and surprises with both mellow vanilla and mouthwatering acidity. Just for kicks, I ate a few chocolate chips, which blunted the tartness and allowed toffeeish malt to emerge. Wow your friends by serving this with a chocolate cheesecake.
TChrome (1397) - Bedford, Texas, USA - OCT 20, 2003
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Fruity, sour aroma. Appearance is quite pleasant bging mostly reddish. Flavor is very sharp and fruity, cherries, with biting acidity. Am in the early learning stages of this style, but would definately like more.
DougShoemaker (3147) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - OCT 20, 2003
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bold, fruit aroma. Clear ruby, pours an enormous long lasting toffee head, with lace for days. Red cherry and concord grape flavours, so intense You can taste the grape skins. Wonderfully tart, extemely dry finish, oakiness is present. Sensational!!
mutant (854) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - SEP 29, 2003
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
All the recent debate on the forum made me ambivalent about this one before I opened it. Aroma is pretty immediately vinuous sour. Flavour has cherry tones, but that could be colour assciation. Becomes quickly sour but not too sour like some other Flemish Ales. Good carbonation but no head, like a sparkling red wine. Very refreshing, I liked it. And to think, apparently it used to be even better!
CEZ (393) - Milano, ITALY - SEP 26, 2003
2.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
Brown body, slightly opaque, medium-sized beige head, mostly lasting. Spices, vanilla and even earthy notes (wood) in the aroma. Initally sweet, then dries out and gets hoppy and sour, ending with a strong vinegar note. Too strong and unbalancing, actually - for me, at least. I would probably appreciate it if it was less winelike. Since I can't believe that the famous RGC can't be better than this, I will probably try it again in the future.
Dalle (1145) - Skørping, DENMARK - SEP 20, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: SEP 2, 2004 Light-brown head. Red-brown colour. Vinegar, fruit, sweet, rounded/balanced. Very good.
Nate (3464) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 18, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Sour, sour cherry aroma - hot and sour soup - balsamic vinegar and malt. Acidic. Dark caramel brown with small off-white lacing head. Medium body with medium heavy carb. Taste is very sour up front - cherry, balsamic, cayenne, malt. Finish is light hoppy and malty. After is light sour sweet cherry wood.
Nesta13 (205) - AUSTRALIA - AUG 20, 2003
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Cherry and old wine aroma. Quite attractive with its murky red body and small cream head. It seems like there is a brand new flavour with every mouthful... the cherry-sourness is always there and then sometimes there is vinegar or caramel or wine. Amazingly complex. Just a weird beer but the more you drink of it the more it grows on you !(although if I had to make a criticism i'd say the "cherryness" is just slightly too dominant - I'd like to taste more of the wood for example) Palate is sour up front, bitter on the sides and sweet down the back. Definately NOT a session beer but a great treat. "Ewww, there's something wrong with that beer, nesta." says my mum. hehehehhehe
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 16, 2003
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
dirty dark rose water color with hints of brown..no head..low carbination...strong vinegar & sour aroma hinting at a mixture of balsamic and red wine styles..big oak notes in the flavor with raspberry, strawberry, and chardonney notes..very dry, yet not as clean as i thought it should be.