Style: Flanders Oud Bruin
Color: Deep Crimson
Malt: 2-Row, Caramel, Wheat, Dark Chocolate, Victory
Brewer’s Notes: Ale is fermented with wild yeast and aged on cherries in wine barrels
The bottle is classy and elegant, with a lovely light gray oval displaying a simple yet pretty branch with cherries on it. I like how the bottle carries the year, as this is the mark of a well made aging beer, and I like the suggested glass on the side of the bottle, though I am going to ignore it for this review and use my snifter. Annoying text is nicely sequestered to the sides of the label, and the font choices are very fancy, though the style font and the beer’s name font do clash a little as one is flowing and round while the other is more rigidly elegant. This beer is worthy of a shelf but personally I think I will be scrapbooking it.
The beer pours a deep candied brown with light ruby hints to it and a light eggshell-white head on top that fades quickly leaving little to no lacing. The body of the beer is dark and opaque; leaving one to guess what might be inside of it, though little carbonation bubbles can be seen dancing to the top of the glass. On the nose, the beer has some great sour cherry notes that hint at fruit leather and vinegar, and heavily remind me of the Bruery’s Oude Tart. Light notes of brown sugar and bready malt can be picked up, but are really faint in comparison to the sour cherry. Light spices can also be found in the sour smell. The initial sip of the beer begins with prickling sour that opens into big cherry and leather fruit notes before hinting at fruit-rollups towards the end of the middle and closing out as a faint sour tingle. The taste is actually surprisingly simplistic and I’m really just getting a lot of cherry sour with faint hints at the wine barrels that the beer sat in. The taste is lighter and less mouth puckering than other sours I have sampled, which makes this beer more acceptable for table pairings as it won’t ruin the tastes of the food. As it warms the beer also bring more of its malt character into play, and though it is still light it hints at caramel and bread notes. Mouthfeel is thinner than expected, though I think that is actually helpful with this beer, especially in terms of making it a table pairing beer. Carbonation is quite prickly at the start but that dies down to just leave the tongue a little numbed but cleans the palate. The mouth is actually left rather neutral after the beer has left it, with a very slight sour lingering, and some saliva on the sides of the tongue while the middle sits slightly dry yet still moist. Overall my feelings are neutral on this beer. I have not had an Oud Bruin before, so my judgment of it comes more from the Flanders Red Style, which is supposed to be similar but sourer. I’m intrigued with how the beer allows for more pairing options with lighter food, but really the beer did not blow me away. A lovely sipper, and I great for the table, but nothing overly special with this beer
I tried pairing this beer with a slice of cheddar jack, just because I was dying to see what it did with food, and I was pleasantly rewarded. Though the heat from the cheese was amplified from the beer I also detected more of a buttery smooth taste from the cheese which was pleasant and intriguing. If you have this beer, definitely try to have it with food.