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Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

1,103 Reviews
For Trade:
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

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Reviews: 1,103 | Ratings: 3,843
Photo of delta490
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown with a nice cap of light tan head. Great retention and small tight lacing that is slightly soapy. The aroma and taste are definitely sour but it was not overpowering to me as they tend to me. It is lighter bodied and smooth.

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Photo of citizencane
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Disclaimer: I don't usually like sours. That said, this is a good sipper. Dark reddish brown color. Tart raisin with a hint of cranberry up front, with woody cranberry lingering. Smooth and crisp mouthfeel. Like and would definitely drink again.

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Photo of woemad
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle purchased at Huckleberry’s in Spokane for $3.99. According to the label, this is best before March 23, 2017.

Poured into a Chimay goblet, this was a dark brown looking beer until held up to light, when it took on a clear, dark rubyish look. Minimal, beige-colored head.

The aroma is about what I expected. A bit like a raspberry vinaigrette, with a minimal, oaky aroma from the oak aging.

Tart, fruity, vinegary flavor, much like in the taste. I don’t get much from the oak aging beyond a light aftertaste. Finishes dry.

Fairly light bodied, with a somewhat creamy mouthfeel. I feel like the carbonation might have been a little low.

Quite yummy tasting. This is up there with the Duchesse in terms of flavor, and just falls short with the carbonation. I would drink this again.

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Photo of NilocRellim
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear garnet color. Smells like a raspberry vinagrette; sour tart and fruity but light overall, and a little woody. Nice carbonation, tart and fruity, sweet but lighter bodied than expected. Well balanced and rounded flavors. Tart dark cherry and a woody oakiness. Hints of lingering fruit but relatively clean finish.

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
3.34/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Taste: semi sweet, cherry, spicy, sour notes. Sour fruit and alcohol nose.
Deep red copper color, mostly clear with a delicate head. Medium body. It had a kick to the finish.

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Photo of JordanlikesAles
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep orange-brown pour with sour, tart fruit and some caramel aromas & taste. The flavor is Gose like, though more on the cranberry side than lemon. Very refreshing & different.

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Photo of illpass78
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

8 oz. on draft at Novare Res in Portland, Maine. Served in an Allagash tulip.

Appearance: Pours a murky ruby brown with a short crown of bubbles.

Aroma: Big bouquet. Wine, cherries, tartness, vinegar, barnyard.

Taste: Follows the nose. Delicious. Wine-like. Cherries and sourness dominate, but there's a mix of inviting flavors.

Mouthfeel: Also wine-like. Way better though (duh).

Overall: Excellent sour beer. Complex, delicious and refreshing.

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Photo of chinchill
3.24/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle served in a St. Bernardus snifter. BB date of 28 Jan. 2017.

Hazy mahogany body with a thin, weak head. Patches of lacing left on the glass nonetheless.

Aroma: Some barnyard and wet leather aromas mixed with vinegar and dark, over-ripe fruits.

Flavor: moderately tart with a light sweetness. Less funky and more, appealing dark dried fruit and cherries than the aroma suggests. The finish is the best aspect.

Overall: not my favorite Rodenbach.

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Photo of dleigh
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thin, fizzy head. Smells dry and vinegary and oaky, maybe a hint of cherry but not much. Taste is tart, fruity, and vinegary, with some spiciness from the carbonation. This is a great hot-day beer.

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Photo of ssam
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this one in the Belgian bar Herman in Berlin last week. I was with my family and my dad who thinks he doesn't like beer. This whole trip he was tolerating my beer geekiness and tid bits and trying all the local fare. But I hadn't converted him until he tried this one. Poured a dark ruby red with a very thin head. The smell is minimal but the flavor is great. It's lightly carbonated and perfectly sour without being too tart. It tastes kinda like wine, but more beery and way better. Loved this and so glad I got to try it!

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Photo of Beginner2
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You're looking at the Grand Champion of its style.
Do you like the style ? (My second largest challenge as a beer drinker is to have Belgian Reds more than once a month or once in winter.)
But this is beyond good and refreshing ale.

MJ gives Rodenbach 10 pages in his "Great Beers of Belgium". Without rivals for space... probably because Rodenbach revived the flagging style so well. If you are a devotee of Belgian Reds, read that chapter.
MJ's 1999 "Guide" gave it 4 of 4 stars (really, really rare.)
The Grand Cru is listed in the "1001" and deserves to be there.
Reviewed in Roger Protz' CAMRA classic "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"

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Photo of Weixiaobao
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Ruby colored. Very light head. Thin layer head almost has pinkish hue. Bubbles swirling in four separate quadrants of the glass.
S: Not as sharp as the taste. A wider spectrum than expected.
T: Quintessential sour Belgian ale. Not puckering levels of sourness, but quite high, even compared to other Flanders reds.
F: Acidity doesn't push things towards vinegar-y territory, which is a good thing. Balanced.
O: A fantastic brew. This is about as good as it gets when it comes to Flanders reds. Look forward to the day when these are more available on the shelves in my local liquor stores.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer wads brownish red color with soft off-white bubbles.

Smell - Sour cherry comes through in the nose with a slight oakiness.

Taste - Sweet cherry comes to the front with a slight oakiness. The sweetness is well balanced with the sour. The taste is not overly acidic. The sweetness fades in the aftertaste, with the oak coming to the front.

Mouthfeel - I found myself wishing the beer had more staying power.

Overall - I like this beer a lot. It is a well balanced sour.

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Photo of Dzu
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Dark brown with a little foam head.
S: Smell soar, cherry.
T: Sweet-soar, smoother thaen Rodenbach Caractère Rouge.
F: Soar grapes.
O:Good balnced ale.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.34/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Rocks the ruddy brown and dark red color scheme, poured wicked but not enough going on to make much of a head. Disappointing. Doesn't look world class. Aroma was heavy on the acetic vinegar like acid. That really is a make or break aspect of this brewery, you gotta be down with that old style sour vibe here.

This one is maltier than the regular flanders they make. Smoother. Hides the alcohol decently. I got one or two of these aging at the 5+ year mark, I'll revisit as I get the chance, but again, the traditional flanders brown malt and vinegar sour thing is well represented here.

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Photo of joeseppy
3.59/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ruddy pour with scant head. Maybe my olafactories are not in sync but all I can muster is red wine vinegar/cider and even that is scant. Not off putting in any way but just my take. More sour upfront and then lingering to fresh sweet cherry tart. Nice Italian fruit plum dancing in there. I don't get any oak influence. Barely any carbonation makes this an easy drinker. Matter a fact it goes down too fast. This would be a great introductory "sour".

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a taster glass. Thanks, Chris.

A: Plum colored with an off-white half finger head that settled down to a ring. Thready lacing.

S: Cherries, vinegar, peat, grape and some light oak barrelness.

T: So downright tart and refreshing. Cherries dominate with some red wine and cranberries floating in. A bit vinegar-y, but in a good way. Sweet/sour tastiness.

M: Low to medium with medium, dry carbonation.

O: This was a nice taste surprise. Don't have this style everyday. The best Flanders Red I've had. Great to pass among friends at a St. Paddy's parade.

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Photo of stevoj
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really well done sour, smooth and not too tart. Brown/ruby with spare beige/pink head. Aroma of sour cherries, peat, wood barrel. Taste is sort of cider-like, light bodied, tingly palate. Sweet, but not too much.

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Photo of kitch
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A corked and caged 750ml bottle with a best before date of 18th March 2016. Poured into a Cantillon ballon glass.

Appearance: It poured a clear dark amber brown colour with a thin tanned head that dissipated quickly but left nice stringy lacing.

Aroma: Tart, cherry, grape, green apple and vinegar.

Taste: Tart cherry, grape soda, grape, oak with some light caramel.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with medium to high carbonation.

Overall: A wonderfully tart and fruity beer that is well balanced.

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Photo of Dravin
4.84/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Duvel tulip. Best bey date on the bottom of 04/05/2018.

Look -- A finger of slightly beige head atop a amber brown body with a lovely noticeable red tinge.

Smell -- Acetic tartness, cherry, green apple, and a vinous quality.

Taste -- Apple cider vinegar, cherry, red wine, some nuttiness hiding in there. There is some mild sweetness to counterbalance the tartness that lingers for a handful of second after the swallow.

Feel -- The acid and carbonation tickle the tongue and scrub away the medium body. It's fairly dry and aside from the tartness lingering a little is fairly crisp.

Overall -- Tart, fruity, winey, refreshing, complex. It's a fantastic beer and I can't think of anything I'd change. It's an amazing beer and if tartness doesn't scare you or repulse you I'd recommend it in a heartbeat.

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Photo of Cramshawbar
2.5/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Less sour than the others in this style, but still a style I just can't like. Nice nose and very dry finish.
In the end though, as much as I respect the work that went into making it, this is still just a more tolerable sauerkraut juice to me.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Poured a minimal white head and red-brown body.

Smell: Red wine, sour green apples, cranberries.

Taste: Same as the above, but also includes hints of cinnamon and apple cider vinegar.

Feel: Medium body, medium carbonation, mild tartness, and slightly tannic. A bit of a vinegar astringency.

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Photo of joshleo
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tasted this after finishing a bottle of the 2013 vintage. Compared to that, the grand cru was less red in color, had less complex aroma, and was a little less tart. I felt like the grand cru is more mellowed. It is like the 2013 vintage is young and energetic, ready to show off all the fun of sours- complex and showy with the variety of smells and flavors and the grand cru is a little more mature, it isn't trying to punch you in the face with anything but is happy with what it is and what it has to offer.

 510 characters

Photo of JackieKu
3.99/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. Best before 2017-04-23.

A: Hazy brown. Thin head.
S: Plum. Green apple. Quite fruity.
T: Raisin. Balsamic. Moderate caramel. Medium sourness. Dry. Short finish.
M: Moderate body. Moderate carbonation.
O: Smooth and fruity.

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Photo of DevWand
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Just getting into the whole sour beer style and I have to admit, that the few I've had so far have not impressed me much. Thanks to this beer I'll continue drinking the style. The cherry tartness from the beer blends perfectly with the oak aging. Mouthfeel finds the best balance; not too light and bubbly, not too thick and heavy.

Completely blown away! Definitely a must try.

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 1,103 ratings.