Grand Cru by Rodenbach of Steenhuffel Belgium

992999_10101358398191100_635887340_n 1185481_10101358398121240_606586928_nRating: 5.09/5

Grand Cru by Rodenbach of Steenhuffel Belgium is a 6% ABV World Class Flanders Red Ale aged in oak vats. Composed of 33% “young” ale and 67% ale matured for two years

Label: 
Rodenbach Grand Cru is an exceptional Belgian ale known as Flemish Red Brown Ale. It enjoys a special status in Belgium as a “Traditional Regional” product. A mixed fermentation ale, Rodenbach is matured in oak vats, giving this ale a signature sweet-sour taste and intense bouquet with a very long after taste like a Grand Cru wine. Rodenbach Grand Cru is a blend of “young” ale (33%) and ale that has matured for two years (67%).
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While looking for the old Lips of Faith New Belgium Grand Cru, I was recommended to get this one instead as it was highly recommended by one of the personnel at the store. I have had may experiences with Grand Crus and those have become a progressing favorite style of mine as I try more. When I read this was a Flanders ale or Flemish Red brown I was was kind of surprised. At first I thought, well, most grand crus are red or brown in color but a lot of Belgian Strong Dark Ales or even Quadruples. At that point I realized, this I had to see. To my surprise, this was not a sour beer at all, it was more delightful

Aromas are of wine grapes close to funky beer, but then I got a rush of greater dark cherry yogurt fragrances as well as dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, toffee, apples, pears, buttery biscuit, butterscotch, raspberries, cherry cobbler, cherry pie, figs, raisins and brown sugar.

The flavors was definitely not what I has presumed. You don’t get much sour notes, but instead more tangy cherry notes and more fruit driven flavors like apples, apricots, raisins, figs, wine grapes, raspberries, tart cranberries, currants and black berries. You also get dulce de caramel, vanilla, cherry cobbler, cherry pie notes, oak wood, light lemon dash, earthy spices, and Black cherry yogurt.

The aftertaste is caramel sweet and cherry tart with some nice light acidic and bready notes. Not your typical sour at all. Dark crimson blood body yet pleasing to drink.

Over all, I was highly impressed. This is the first time I try a Flanders that was not more tart to sour flavored. This is the sour noted beer that many of those people that love fruity beers but don’t like sours would absolutely love. Now I see why its simply amazing. Leave it to Belgium to create the best beers in the world. If they can take a lighty funky beer and make it compete with the quads and dark strongs as “Grand Crus”, that has got to be Godly.

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Lips of Faith Series Cascara Quad by New Belgium

577377_10101092847541730_1773082401_nRating: 4.75/5

Lips of Faith Series Cascara Quad by New Belgium is 10%ABV Belgian Quadrupel brewed with dates and coffee cherries added

Label: 
Local roasters Novo Coffee turned us onto Central America’s Cascara, the fruit or husk that surrounds coffee beans. When dried, it can be made into a tea with hints of cherry and tobacco. Blend that into a quad fermented with gorgeous malts and date sugar for a crazy complex beer to warm winter nights. 
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Freaking sweet. Quads are some of my best styles out there. To know that NB brewed a quad, definitely had to get 2 of these. The aromas are somewhat apparent but still there. Chocolate, cherries, biscuit bread, vanilla, caramel, some dark fruits, a little bit of bananas and very faint oakyness or brown sugar. Flavors are almost like Three Philosophers, almost. Cherries, chocolate, dulce de leche caramel, bananas, cloves, phenolic esters, biscuit bread, coffee cake, raisin and pecan pudding, dates, toffee, tobacco, candi sugars, . In terms of flavor, that is what hits this one home. Maybe not as aromatic as other quads but the flavors are great. The balance could use a little work as you can sense the alcohol but doesn’t detract too much from the flavors of this one. I picked up 2 since I thought it would be awesome. Well, I sure was not disappointed. This is still a very good beer and would pick up again if no other quads available. Also, at 10% this is definitely a winner. Just be careful because if it warms up then the booze becomes more apparent but the complexity is still complex but not supremely complex. Some people may like this while others may not.