DanielBrown (3592) - Birmingham (via Leicester), West Midlands, ENGLAND - DEC 16, 2003
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 4, 2010 I sampled this with some trepidation, knowing how highly regarded it is. Vinegar/strawberry aroma, mulled wine appearance. Upon sipping, your mouth is flooded with spicy, tart fragrances. There is a sharp, sour hit on the back of the throat, and a lingering, pleasant appley flavour. Sourness is wonderfully balanced with sweetness and never overpowering. (3.7 - 16/12/2003) RE-RATE: /my original rating woefully underscored this at 3.7. It’s an amazing beer - delicious depth and power (4.4 - 3/4/2010)
thedm (4866) - Fort Wayne, USA - DEC 15, 2003
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
TheDM and Hotstuff vacation brew 12. This bottled brew was enjoyed at the Days Inn in Chattanooga Tennessee with Shag after we returned from the Big River Bar and Grill. It poured a creamy head of finely sized light brown colored bubbles that left behind a fair lace and a hazy light brown colored body. It had a fruity strawberry aroma and a dry mouthfeel that was fizzy initially and soured in the finish. I remember it being a wonderful brew. I want to thank Shag for bringing it to the room for our night cap. It was wonderful!
Prostman (1077) - Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 14, 2003
3.5 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This was very interesting. The nose was winey, with almost a vinigar-like smell. The taste was tart and refreshing, with almost no aftertaste whatsoever. This is a beer that takes a bit of getting used to, but regardless, it is interesting and distinct, and I recommend it.
CapFlu (4311) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 11, 2003
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: NOV 29, 2004 (Bottle) Thin, white, non-dissipating head and a red body. Nose of sour cherries. Lasting sour smoothness. Loving!
MrRomero (1972) - Nolanville, USA - NOV 27, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Pours brown with a touch of red. Diminishing white head. Has an aroma of vinegar/fruit. Is sweet up front, slowly souring in the end. Quite tasty and refreshing. I like it.
wulfhere (217) - Billings, Montana, USA - NOV 24, 2003
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
Like the Red, this has similar physical characteristics--Ruby color, same rich head, same acidic/spicy smell. The Grand Cru is more sour than the Red, and the depth and assertiveness of the spices is bolder, more prevalent. This is a lambic on steroids.
mullet (849) - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA - NOV 18, 2003
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 18, 2005 Wow! Crazy stuff. Doesn’t look all that exciting, and the label sucks, but man... it is amazing. A million things going on aroma-wise: vinegar, nail polish, wood, alcohol, vanilla, red wine, yoghurt, passionfruit, pineapple, hay and a musty, cellar type smell. Amazing stuff, though some slightly dodgy stuff comes through. Flavour starts lightly fruity-sweet like a raspberry yoghurt, then becomes nicely sour in a pretty clean way. Long finish very much reminiscent of the flavour that lingers after eating salt and vinegar chips (yum!) Slighty fizzy - your mouth initially fills with bubbles in a really good way.
Sensational stuff. Loses marks only for the occasional objectional aroma, appearance and the fact that the acidity really didn’t agree with my sensitive teeth.
RR: Even a month past its BB date this is one kick arse beer. Yum.
A small vertical - BB 09/04 vs BB 12/06: The older bottle smelled a great deal more acetic - I could feel the sides of my mouth puckering just smelling it! The younger one smelled more like a regular Belgian ale in comparison. Old bottle showed significant oxidation (not surprisingly) but it blended in quite well. It definitely seemed softer, rounder and sweeter, whereas the fresh one was a lot more vibrant and acidic. It aged pretty well considering it’s pasteurised and all, but I can’t really see it improving any further. The fresh bottle was better.
herbjones (742) - Orange, California, USA - NOV 16, 2003
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Muddy red color with a thin head the consistency of whipped cream.Nose is full of sour cherries and oak.On the first taste what stands out is the excellent balance between the sweetness and acidity. Not to tart nor to sweet. Just the right amount of both. Cherries melding with a oakiness that also hints at leather. Nice fruit sweetness at the front blending artfully to a dry tart finish. Outstanding beer.
OKBeer (1168) - Halifax, Nova Scotia, CANADA - NOV 12, 2003
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: SEP 12, 2005 RE-RATE 1/28/05: 330 ml bottle, best before 30/06/06. Many thanks to Radek for this one. Brilliant red amber colour with a creamy and frothy beige coloured head. Fruity, oak, balsamic vinegar, herbal, and lightly acidic aroma. Cherry and berry fruits, balsamic and woody notes, lightly oaked and herbal, very tart finish. Medium bodied, very dry and refreshing. A bit more restrained than I remember, but stil every bit as good. (10/5/9/5/19)
Whoa, this was unexpected. I was at a meeting of the local homebrew / beer appreciation club, just about ready to head home with La Terrible as the highlight of the night when the host (thanks Jeff if you ever see this) brings in this sight for sore eyes. Gorgeous sparkling red colour with touches of gold. Fizzy and rocky off-white head. Cherry and strawberry aroma with oaky notes. Very sour cherry flavour, slight apple, with oaky notes and an acidic but mellow character. Brilliantly matched with a refreshing and astringent dryish mouthfeel. (9/5/9/5/19)
FlacoAlto (3737) - 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.