Roots Flanders Red.
Roots Organic Brewing Releases the Much Anticipated Flanders Red

The release of Roots Organic Brewing's Flanders Red has been a long time coming. Previous releases were canceled as Roots waited for the ideal time to start filling glasses. This beer has been around for over two years, fermenting, aging, blending, and waiting to be consumed. And for two years, the public has been waiting. From Craig Nicholls of Roots: "This is exquisite ale made with a blend of wild and domestic yeast strains. Brewed two years ago, 3/4 of this beer spent eleven months of it’s life in neutral Pinot Noir French Oak barrels. It was then re - blended with the remainder of the original Flanders Red that had been cellaring since it’s conception. After going through a secondary fermentation, we cellared it again for the last eight months. This Belgian beer is extremely smooth with a fruity nose that will leave no senses untouched. 9.2% ABV."

Now I'm not even going to pretend to know what I'm talking about when it comes to this style of beer. I've been slowly experimenting with various Belgian styles and found that Quadrupels, Oud Bruins, and Flanders Reds are my favorites--so far. I'm new to this area of beers, so I've got a lot of "work" to do--drinking, sampling, and tasting. I've had some of the top rated beers from Belgium as well as getting my hands on some local Belgian style ales from breweries like Cascade Brewing, Rock Bottom Brewery, Deschutes, and Roots Organic Brewing.

Roots Organic Brewing Releases the Much Anticipated Flanders Red
Brewers Ben Love (Hopworks) and Van Havig (Rock Bottom) came out to support the release of the Flanders Red.
So, with my lack of experience in this area, I really can't do this beer justice. In fact, I was almost robbed of the experience by showing up at 4:00. The beer didn't start pouring until 6:00. Not a big deal to most, but there was no way I could sit at Roots for two hours and not drink a couple of delicious Epic Ales. Drinking a few 14% beers while waiting for a 9% release isn't a great idea, so I pulled some strings and got my glass early. This was ideal, as I was able to get the beer with a fresh palate.

The beer was a red brown color with light carbonation. One sniff and you knew that this was going to be quite a complex beer. For me, the aroma contained a lot of fruit in combination with some earthy woody tones. The mouthfeel was medium bodied and the taste was a good balance between sourness, tartness, and dark sweet fruit. Complimented by malt sweetness and wood notes from the barrel aging. Though 9.2% ABV, the alcohol seemed to be pretty well hidden within the rest of the flavors. Every sip brought out some new subtle flavors. Definitely pleasant flavors, but too subtle for my current palate. Overall, a delicious beer. You can also check out some notes over at Beer Around Town. For those with more experience with these beers, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

If you haven't ventured into this style of beer yet, do yourself a favor and check it out. It's not going to be like anything you've ever had in a beer. Grab one at Roots, sip it, and talk about it with friends. It's a great way to get started.

Check out the rest of the photos here.