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Monday, January 21, 2013

Madame Rose – Goose Island




                MadameRose from Goose Island was most recently released last September.  It is a Belgian-style, sour beer that is somewhere between a Flanders Red, a Kriek (Cherry Lambic) and an Oud Bruin.  It quickly sold out at my local liquor store, although I have seen a few lingering bottles in Milwaukee area as recently as last week, so if you act quickly you can likely still find a bottle somewhere.  

                If you are interested in some background on Goose Island, check out my earlier post on 2012 release of Bourbon County Stout.  On to the review:

                On Beeradvocate, Madame Rose has a score of 93.  Over at ratebeer, it has a score of 99 overall and 93 for style.

They Say: 

Brewer's Notes:
Madame Rose is a crimson colored Belgian style brown ale fermented with wild yeast and aged on cherries in wine barrels. Layers of malty complexity, sour cherry, spice and wood notes make Madame Rose an ideal beer to suggest to Bordeaux enthusiasts and beer drinkers fond of Belgian Kriek and Flanders Brown Ales.

Recipe Information:
Style: Belgian Style Brown Ale
Alcohol by Volume: 7.1%
International Bitterness Units: 25
Color: Deep Crimson
Hops: Fuggles
Malt: 2-Row, Caramel, Wheat, Dark Chocolate, Victory
Serving Suggestions:
Preferred Glass: Wide Mouth Glass
Food Pairings: Madame Rose pairs well with a wide variety of foods, her earthy tannin, rich malt and sour fruit character complement the richness of red meats and contrast with rich chocolate desserts.
Cheese Pairings: Firm cow milk cheese like aged cheddar

Cellaring Notes: Develops in the bottle for up to 5 years

Availability:
Limited Release
Bottles: 650mL

I Say:

                Madame Rose pours a clear deep mahogany, with scarlet highlights. It has a thick, creamy tan head with a moderate level of retention that slowly fades to the edges of the glass and leaves behind intricate lacing.  The aroma is full of malty sweetness with notes of sour red cherries, toasted oak, red grapes and lingon berries with a slight bready note on the back end.  The aroma becomes increasingly complex as Madam Rose warms in the glass.

                The flavor is sweet upfront with tart/sour cherry and toasted oak notes.  Rounding out the oak and cherries are notes of caramelized sugars, a hint of blueberries, a slight red wine-like acidity, and sour note that reminded me of Sour Patch kids.  There is a subtle hint of red wine vinegar in the finish.  With the addition of the sediment from the bottle, Madame Rose takes on a very smooth, subtle cherry flavor that is reminiscent of a semi-sweet cherry wine.

                Madame Rose is light to medium bodied with a moderate to high level of carbonation and has low level of alcohol warmth.

                This is a very interesting beer.  The flavors all meld together to create a moderately complex sour that is still approachable for a majority of beer drinkers.  If you can get past the fact that Goose Island is no longer a true craft brewery now that AB – Inbev, owns them be sure to pick up a bottle.  If you cannot get past that, you are missing out on a quality beer.  A quick note though, the prices of a bottle of Madame Rose vary widely, $12 – 25.  At $12, it is definitely worth your money; at $25, not so much.

                That’s all for today, Check back soon for another review!

                Happy MLK Jr. Day and Happy Drinking!

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