About Flanders Style Red Ale

About Flanders Style Red Ale
Flanders style red ales are deep red to reddish-brown in color and range in alcohol from 5-6.5%. These beers are defined by a complex fruitiness ranging from cherries to apples to oranges and a bracing acidic sourness. This defining sourness is a result of having been aged for years in well-used large wooden tuns allowing bacterial interaction with the beer and imparting a sharp ’sour’ character. Hops do not play much of a role in the overall flavor profile of these beers. Similar to Flanders style brown ales, these beers are a result of careful blending of aged beers to achieve the desired flavor profile. Noteworthy examples of this style include: Duchesse de Bourgogne, Rodenbach and Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge.

Top Picks for Flanders Style Red Ale

Rodenbach Brewery Rodenbach Belgian Red Ale
97 points
Mahogany color. Aromas of ripe cassis, eucalyptus, beeswax, anise, barnyard, and marinated beets with a round, racy, finely carbonated, fruity medium body and a tingling, very complex, very long thyme, oregano, dried cranberry, chocolate brittle, and oak finish. A fabulously complex Flanders-style Red Ale that will please the connoisseur’s palate; stylish and deeply satisfying.
Rodenbach Brewery Rodenbach Grand Cru
96 points
Reddish mahogany color. Complex aromas of salami, blueberry pancake, balsamic vinaigrette, sundried tomato, and arugula and bib lettuces with a silky, tart, effervescent, fruity sweet medium body and a tingling, compelling, medium-long pomegranate glaze, mace, ripe strawberry and feta, fig, and meyer lemon spritz finish. A very appetizing and balanced Flanders-style ale that will delight enthusiastic diners.
Samuel Adams Stony Brook Red Ale
92 points
Minutely hazy burnt sienna color. Attractive, sourish aromas and flavors of honeyed sour cherries, lemon-berry vinaigrette, cherry cobbler, and pickle relish with a satiny, racy, finely carbonated, sweet-and-sour medium-to-full body and a smooth, appealing, medium-long finish displaying shades of green apple skin, dark raisin bread, nut skin, and cocoa finish. A nicely approachable, tart Flanders Red with fine flavor and balance.
August Schell Brewing Co. Solar Evolution Flanders Red Style Ale
91 points
Ruby color. Interesting aromas of peppercorns, cedar pencil shavings, and cocoa with a supple, racy, finely carbonated, sourish medium-to-full body and a tingling, layered, long kumquat, cranberry vinaigrette, marinated hearts of palm, and fireplace ash finish. An interesting mash-up of bright sour and toasty wood and earth notes will make this a fun beer for the table.
Rodenbach Brewery Rodenbach Classic
90 points
Dull bronze color. Aromas of white balsamic vinaigrette on lettuces with sourdough croutons and dried apple with a supple, lively, effervescent, sweet-and-sour medium-to-full body and a tingling, delightful, medium-length honeyed mulberries and quince and starfruit finish. A mellow sour ale with a very traditional style and effortless drinkability.
Great Dane Brewing Neds Red Flemish Style Red Ale
84 points
Mahogany color. Vegetal, sourish aromas and flavors of roasted brussels sprouts with berries and lardons, spinach salad, and sourdough toast points with a supple, tart, effervescent, sour medium body and a tingling, odd, medium-length finish evoking notes of spiced sour apples, cranberry kefir, artichoke and watercress, and nettles finish. Too many off vegetal notes and excessive bitterness on the finish holds this sour ale back.