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Flanders Brown Ale/Oud Bruin Reviews

Indigenous to Belgium’s Flanders region, the best examples of this style still hail from their birthplace. The style was designed for aging—Flanders browns are aged in steel, while their red siblings are aged in oak—and thus, these beers must display complexities only attained through long stints in the cellar. Aromas should be rich in caramel or toffee malt and peppered with dark fruit; the flavor should aggrandize the scent. Aging lends the beer a muted sourness, more detectable in the taste than the smell, and the finish is tart and sweet. A medium body and low carbonation and a sometimes high ABV (up to 8 percent) makes them slow sippers. Note that oud bruins feature a deeper malt essence than Flanders reds, while reds are more acetic. Also noteworthy: Flanders browns are the base beers for cherry krieks and raspberry frambozens, which fall into the fruit beer category.

Pair: These beers slight bit of tang and solid footing make them good matches for Asian dishes and desserts with similar punch—think sweet-n-sour chicken and cherry cobbler.

Glassware: tulip or snifter