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Notes on beers in the style

Flanders Red Ale

Rodenbach
Alexander

330 mL bottle, reddish-purple foiled and capped. 30.06.24. Pour is a dark purplish, burgundy body with decent clarity, and a light pinkish foam. The head is not very well retained in general, but it does leave a thin film and a decent ring around the edges. Nose has a decent, ethanoic acid, sinus clearing note about it, but this doesn't manifest itself quite so aggressively in the tastes. Decent sourness up front, but the sour cherries really do have a big presence that dampen down the acidity...

Duchesse
Petite

11.2 oz can, from Belgian Style Ales here in the US. Pour is as expected with the Coke like head that is gone in seconds. Zero retention, zero lace. As expected. Great garnet red color as the light hits it. Nose is indistinguishable from its bigger sister. Light, but obvious ethanoic acid. Tastes follow suit, with the typical apple acidity and light barrels notes that the Duchesse always brings. Light carbonation hangs on, and gives a decent, lively feel to the beer. I suppose that the alcohol...

Duchesse
Cherry

Reports suggest that this beer is just a re-branded version of Echt Krienenbier coincidently recently reviewed. As such, these notes are on essentially a fresh version of that beer. 11.2 oz single from Gays, Angola, IN. Odd find in a weird place. Pour as expected with some fizzy carbonation that dissipates immediately. Classic, dirty burgundy, clouded pour. I know what this is, but no matter how you look at it the beer isn't exactly a looker. Nose gives not much more than some generic, fruity...

Fantôme Sante 23!

750 mL, capped and corked bottle. Pour offers a frankly unattractive, murky, reddish-brown body with little to no head. Some acidic fruit on the nose, and a bit of malty bread. The first couple of gulps are full of ethanoic acid and it burns a little. As the beer warms and the palate adjusts, there is a slight backing off of that initial assault, but to be honest it does linger down the whole glass. The finish is dry, but the acidity hangs around, and in the end this basically drinks like a...

RU-55

Chestnut brown pour with a better than anticipated head on the aggressive pour. JesterKing classes this a 'Barrel Aged Sour Red'. Unfiltered, unpasteurized and aged on oak barrels. Some mid-level ethanoic acid on the nose amongst some organic wafts of hay. The initial tastes offer some barrel notes that I am not keen on and don't need. Luckily the light vinegar sourness is enough to counteract this fairly quickly, and even about a quarter of the way down the bottle, the barrel elements becomes...

Cascade Kriek Ale

750 mL, corked & caged from Brawley's, Charlotte, NC. 2009 vintage, $19.99. No hint of a pop on opening. Pour gives some more head than I was expecting but no lace and only a thin film is left behind after a couple of minutes. The body is a light, chestnut brown color and lacks much hint of red that a few others seem to have mentioned. Nose gives plenty of sinus clearing, fruity acidity - as expected. Tastes reflect the nose but with a touch more aggression and more residual drying effects...

Monstre Rouge

*SHRUG* I have literally no idea what is going on here. If the attempt was to make a Flanders Red then this is a complete failure. If they wanted to produce a slightly watered down version of a DIPA, then success! $14.99 (at least), in some locations even more expensive, for the 750 mL (plastic) corked and caged bottle. Cork is very difficult to remove. Beer pours an ugly, murky brown that looks like tea. Head is initially good, but fades very quickly to give a thin white film on the top of...

Bacchus

12.7 oz, mini-champagne bottle, complete with green glass and dimpled bottom. Very different to the current picture in the BA db. Thick glass with black foiled neck and neck label. Bottle has a confusing date. It literally says "Bottled On", 090414 which would suggest the 9th of April 2014, i.e about four years FROM now! I guess it must mean "Best Before" unless this beer WAS actually bottled 96 years ago!! Mid-brown pour with some good clarity and plenty of persistent, fine carbonation. A...

La Folie

Part of the new wave of Lips of Faith releases, this one in the silk-screened, Lips of Faith series as a 22 oz bottle rather than the corked and caged affairs of years past. I bet the purists are saying, "it's just not the same". Having not tasted this until now, I can't possibly comment on that so this review is just based on what's in the glass now. A good thing I feel. For me, the temperature of this style is absolutely fundamental and crucial. Warming, as it does naturally in the glass,...

Ommegang Rouge

Stumbled across this at Summits Wayside, Woodstock, GA, USA last week and was delighted to see it. I thought that I was going to miss out on this brew, but happily got to catch up with it by chance. Served in a Gulden Draak tulip, the beer sits with a brownish-red body and a small head that disappears quickly. Better lace than I was anticipating. Nose and tastes do a great job of replicating the style nicely, but at the same time give a degree of accessibility that is somewhat unusual for this...

Rodenbach Grand Cru

750 mL, $6.99, Corked & Caged, thick gold foil on the neck. Poured into a large wine glass. No lace, and a spotty head that looks like patchy mold on the surface of the beer. Nasty looking, murky brown body. Pop is absent on opening. Nasty, nasty ethanoic acid, sinus-clearing, eye-watering aroma. Reminds me of red cooking vinegar. Overwhelming acid that does not let up. Gets even sharper in the finish. As the "beer" warms the edge is taken off, but this is still a beer that I cannot...

Rodenbach Classic (Red)

750 mL bottle, $6.99. Nice red/brown body with a decent head but not much lacing. Aroma begins to tempt the acidic sourness straight out of the box, and this is reflected immediately in the taste. Taste is all dry, acidic tartness with a little bit of fruity cherry character. Slight medicinal feel. Just not really my cup of tea. I found it to be not especially drinkable because despite knowing that the style and what to expect, it still is not easy to enjoy and get down.

Duchesse De Bourgogne

This was pretty much exactly what I thought it would be. If you were brought up like I was, in an area of England renowned for its cider production, then this will remind you very much of a dry, genuine "scrumpy" farmhouse cider. The only difference being the dark mahogany colored body, and the slightly less crisp feel that you would associate with those rural ciders. Small head that quickly disappears, this beer is not really something you are going to drink much of, more a mood beer, or...