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A dark sweet and sour cherry flavor flows over the palate along with a healthy maltiness that has notes of sweet caramel and chocolate. Deep chocolate brown that you cannot see through unless you hold the bottle up to the light, then you catch glimpses of ruby at the edges. Oak wood aromas hit the nose first, but I'm not certain this is barrel aged.Hints of wood and vinegar peek through with each sip. Smells of tart cherries and lime with faintly earthy and grassy aromas. Good mouthfeel and quite easy to drink and quite refreshing. Tart cherries quickly emerge, with a sourness that is suggestive of a flavored vinegar.On closer sniff, I notice hints of cherries and a faint note of fresh bread. never to sweet - but personally i could have it more sour - maybe too mellow? The nose is grape and cherry-like, with some earthy character (muddy barnyard), and some mild acetone. The flavor is a bit more intense than the nose suggests, and includes a wider range of fruit (some plum), more tartness over some sweet caramelish maltiness.T- The flavor starts with a soft mild sour note that has a faint cola hint. M - Frothy, fruity, viscosity is high, leaves a light soft and fuzzy fruit flavor to savor. The bitterness is limited, as it should be, and the tart character over-rides its sweetness to become acidic and dry in the finish. Almost opaque from the side, a deep, deep ruby under the light. The vinegary, kombucha-esque tartness, sure, but balanced by a ton of sweetness and some malt character that reminds you that in fact the lovely fermented beverage in front of you is beer.
Smell The big, malty sourness was prominent in the nose. It was well-mixed with some darkish malts and a light yeast flavor. The smooth silkiness and medium bodied goodness flows in. Gueuze-like with a nice woodsy oakiness that is in the background, not too strong. Great sipper, highly enjoyable one that I could sit back and enjoy a few of.The brew is quite a bit sweeter than the nose led on, however there's still a nice sour/bitter component that helps to balance it out. Tart cherry and lime flavors somewhat overpowering the more complex woody and earthy components; not particularly balanced. There is also a distinct, barnyard chickenhouse yeasty presence that is very similar to a Lambic.Lingering funky yeast notes and acidity make me think of a lambic. Mouthfeel is fairly thin, but it's smooth, refreshing and enjoyable. The mouthfeel is soft and satiny, with a medium body and low carbonation. Some toffeeish malt flavors around the edges envelop the essence of this nectar, the tart, fruitiness that is mouth puckering.Another beer road trip is definitely in the near future, in order to acquire a decent stock of this fine Flanders Red. There appears to be lots of carbonation of tiny bubbles. It pours a reddish-chestnut brown beneath a short lid of creamy tan foam that drops shortly to a standard collar with just some spider-web surface covering (which is common for the style).Gulpener, by the way, is brewed in Netherlands' Limburg province, very near the Belgian border, so this one can lay a good claim to regional authenticity. S- Even as I pour I detect an odor of red wine vinegar. Very dark head with lots of lace and a quarter inch of retained head. It does, however, leave some nice splashes and spots of lace about the goblet.
Mouthfeel This one was light to medium-bodied with some subtle carbonation that tingled the tongue. Thanks to Beerookie for letting me enjoy this for the first time! Gulpener was my favorite brewery during my trips to the Netherlands, several years ago, but I don't remember sampling this Flanders Red ale.