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Where Spotted: Whole Foods, 1440 P St. NW
Price: $18.99 per 750ml bottle
Jaw Jacking: The kegnoscenti are abuzz about “sour beer,” as breweries increasingly try their hand at tart saisons, garnet Flemish ales, and lambic-inspired fruit beers. This means that the word “sour” gets thrown around like sprinkles at a cupcake convention, but it applies wholly to Rodenbach Vintage. Each sip bursts with a bolt of sherry vinegar that speeds all the way up your jawline, making for an exhilarating reminder that even “extreme” beer can be complex.
Totally Cheesy: While the original Rodenbach is a blend of “young” and oak-aged red ale, this limited vintage release is unblended, every ounce of it matured for two years in a single wine barrel. During the beer’s long slumber, live yeast munch on residual sugars, to the point where the ale exchanges all its sweetness for pucker. As a result of the process, the intense tartness competes with the woody astringency from the oak, a tongue-scraping combo that’s ideal for an aperitif or pairing with a triple-cream brie.