Overview for the Flanders Red Ale

The Flanders Red Ale originated in West Flanders, notably produced by the Rodenbach brewery in 1820. The beer is aged for two years in oak barrels containing the bacteria needed to sour. Its color ranges from burgundy to a reddish brown with good clarity. Fruity palate and aroma consist of plum, orange, black cherry, and red currant. Light sweetness of chocolate and/or vanilla is sometimes present. Low to none hop bitterness. Its sourness ranges from mild to intense. Medium body feels light and crisp with low to moderate carbonation. Low to moderate astringency. Comparatively, the style is less malty than an Oud Bruin with a greater presence of tart fruit.

Style Expectations

A sour, fruity, red wine-like Belgian-style ale with interesting supportive malt flavors and fruit complexity. The dry finish and tannin completes the mental image of a fine red wine.

Appearance

Deep red, burgundy to reddish-brown in color. Good clarity. White to very pale tan head. Average to good head retention.

Aroma

Complex fruity-sour profile with supporting malt that often gives a wine-like impression. Fruitiness is high, and reminiscent of black cherries, oranges, plums or red currants. There are often low to medium-low vanilla and/or chocolate notes. Spicy phenols can be present in low amounts for complexity. The sour aroma ranges from balanced to intense. Prominent vinegary acetic character is inappropriate. No hop aroma. Diacetyl is perceived only in very minor quantities, if at all, as a complementary aroma.

Flavor

Intense fruitiness commonly includes plum, orange, black cherry or red currant flavors. A mild vanilla and/or chocolate character is often present. Spicy phenols can be present in low amounts for complexity. Sour flavor ranges from complementary to intense, and can have an acidic bite. Malty flavors range from complementary to prominent, and often have a soft toasty-rich quality. Generally as the sour character increases, the malt character blends to more of a background flavor (and vice versa). No hop flavor. Restrained hop bitterness. An acidic, tannic bitterness is often present in low to moderate amounts, and adds an aged red wine-like character and finish. Prominent vinegary acetic character is inappropriate. Diacetyl is perceived only in very minor quantities, if at all, as a complementary flavor. Balanced to the malt side, but dominated by the fruity, sour, wine-like impression.

Mouthfeel

Medium bodied. Low to medium carbonation. Low to medium astringency, like a well-aged red wine, often with a prickly acidity. Deceivingly light and crisp on the palate although a somewhat sweet finish is not uncommon.

Reviews

Wild Sour Series Flanders Red Ale

Flanders Red Ale  •  DESTIHL Brewery

Wild Sour Series Flanders Red Ale is a Belgian-style Flanders Red Ale by DESTIHL Brewery that’s a dry and refreshing blend of sour cherries and sweet caramel. Read More

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