Rodenbach Vintage 2010 just hit the west coast of the United States this month. If you’re not familiar with this expression of the Rodenbach line, it’s a unblended batch of 2 year-old beer that comes from a single barrel or “foeder.” The foeder that is selected is based on its superior quality and unique character. Each foeder has its own unique microbiological climate which creates different flavor profiles for each batch of beer put into it. Usually, Flemish reds are blended to create a balanced flavor taking some beer from many foeders. In the case of the “Vintage,” a particular foeder happens to create a batch that is exceptional enough to be bottled on its own. For the 2010 Vintage, it was foeder number 144. Currently, the “Vintage” is the top of the line for Rodenbach in the United States. As they continue to grow and get more creative, we may be lucky enough to get some of their newer offerings.
If you’d like to read more about the inner workings of Rodenbach, you can read about my visit to the brewery: “The Foeders of Roeselare: A Visit with the Wooden Behemoths of Rodenbach.”
Appearance: Garnet with a touch of haze. Tan head with good retention.
Aroma: Sour cherries, brown sugar, vanilla, tart apples, spicy phenols with light funky and earthy notes.
Taste: Malt Vinegar, tart apples, sherry vinegar. Nicely tart with a savory finish.
Overall Impression: This beer is why Rodenbach continues to be the King of the Flemish Reds/Browns. It’s depth of flavor and character is nuanced and balanced. It’s sour, but that’s not its primary flavor component. If you’re fortunate enough to see a bottle of this, grab it. It’s a bit more expensive than the Grand Cru (which is a bargain), but worth it.
Availability: Rare, check with your better beer outlets who carry Rodenbach products.
Notes: This was one of the bottles given to me by Rhudi Ghequire during my tour of Rodenbach.