I had enjoyed a couple of sour browns, but still nothing was quite like my love for the red Rodenbach. Some may argue that it is more brown than red, but that is for another day. Traveling up from Belgium into The Netherlands I tried a lot more sour browns than ever before. Some were fruitier, with distinct green apple notes interplaying, others had more complex malt characters, relying on coffee and chocolate notes for balance. The latter excited me more, and upon my return I immediately started work on it.
Being pretty deep into my red trials by this point, I used what had been learnt as a baseline to build upon for this. Subbing out some of the toffee and caramel flavours for more raisin and coffee forward grains made sense. That plus increasing the alcohol to reign in the acidity a bit proved to make the beer that I wanted it to be.
This beer was inspired by the tart, maltier beers of Flemish speaking Belgium. A blend of younger and older barrel aged beer
Coffee, Chocolate and Toffee are the prominent flavours in this one. There is only a tiny difference in grains used in this beer versus the Red, everything else is done the same [albeit the slight increase in alcohol content]. Once again the young beer brings some sweetness to balance out the sourer older beer. The increased alcohol in this helps suppress the acid development in this beer.
Grain Bill: Barley, Wheat, Oats
Yeast: Belgian Ale
Bacteria: Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus
Secondary: French Oak Hogshead
Batch #1: 50% 1YO, 50% 3YO at time of bottling