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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,374 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,374
Reviews: 1,025
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.42%
Wants: 252
Gots: 420 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,374 | Reviews: 1,025
Reviews by NolateM:
Photo of NolateM
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I believe this bottle is a year or two old, but I have no exact number. Poured STRAIGHT DOWN into a Maudite tulip glass, with a perfect 2-finger head. Brownish-crimson red.

Smells sour and kriek-ish. This is a good thing, if you're anything like me. It's the kind of sour/sweet funky aroma that almost makes me start to salivate before I even take a sip. But I will anyway...

Wow. That is different than regular Rodenbach, that's for sure. Definitely just as sour, if not moreso, but there's definitely more than just funky sour cherry-ish wild-yeast flavor in there. Pretty prominent malt kick too, and I think I can taste a very small hint of roasted barley. Some earthiness and even faint remnants of hops, which do give it a little bit of clash in tastes ("flavor dissonance," so to speak), but it's not overpowering. Very vinous in the finish, almost like olive brine, which could put some people off... but not me.

Fairly lively carbonation, doesn't leave the mouth too dry, and seems relatively drinkable. Maybe not quite as 'refreshing' as regular Rodenbach (which to some may sound like an odd description, but I tend to agree with that sentiment), but a fantastically funky brew nonetheless. I will say it's not for everyone though.

If you can find it for ten bucks a four-pack like I somehow did, go for it!

More User Reviews:
Photo of Hollywould
5/5  rDev +16.6%

Draught pour into mini tulip glass.

Appearance: Clarity is Hazy, color is Brownish/Mahogany
Aroma: Intensely sour, with some sweetness. Notes of green apple lemon-lime and herbal, slight orange citrus and tart & overripe cherry.
Taste: Sweet on entry, green apple skin, lemon-lime, then a burst of cohesive flavors and a sour pucker towards the end. Finish is tart with green apple and cinnamon.
Mouthfeel: Fizzy, foam, dry feel that leaves you salivating and anxious for the next sip.
Overall: A wonderful, drinkable, exciting beer that makes you crave each sip. It is sour but a slight sweetness balances the palette.

Photo of Gehrig
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at The Independent in Tampa, FL.

Deep ruby red with dark orange trim, topped by a finger of white foam; nice lacing and and head duration, a very good-looking beer all around.

Good aromas, nicely sour with some maraschino cherry sweetness, but more raspberry.

The taste is excellent, really sour, almost puckeringly so, but with some sweet berry and cherry as well. Raspberry and blackberry are evident, with cherry in the finish. It reminds me of a delicious, sour version of Ommegang's Three Philosophers, no light comparison given my deep fondness for 3P.

The mouthfeel is just about ideal--very smooth, but with a nice creaminess, a velvety finish that brings a hint of tart in the end.

This really impressed me, so much so that ordering a second quickly on the heels of the first was in order. Fabulous beer, a very pleasant surprise. Highly recommended.

Photo of RoyalT
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This is a deep, deep red in color that's borderline brown. The head was moderate and went down rather quickly, which is typical of the style.

Smell – The tart cherry sweetness comes out way before the malt. The malt does eventually make itself known, but it’s quite wimpy here, much afraid of the big bad sour wolf. There’s an earthy character to this FRA as well, giving the bouquet some real substance.

Taste – Mother pucker! This is one sour, uh, Sour Ale. It’s not so much sour like a lemon as it is just super tart like an early-picked cherry. There are a lot of simple sugars here no doubt, but it’s the tartness that really sticks out. It’s not cheap-tasting though like a lot of pretenders of the style. This is the real deal.

Mouthfeel – This is a bit bigger than light-bodied with some saliva-activating mouth-puckering sourness that will send a shiver down your spine.

Drinkability – This is a very intense FRA that begs to be shared.

Photo of tectactoe
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had a surprising amount of trouble finding this beer in my area, so when I finally was able to find it, I made sure to grab a few bottles. I've heard great things about this beer, and I'm excited to finally give it a go. It pours a deep, murky brown-ish color with some red and ruby hints when light is allowed to pass through it. Translucent with a bit of haze, topped off with a slightly beige head; big-bubbled and quick to fade away.

The aroma is simply fantastic - one whiff and I already know this is going to be a winner for me. Incredibly layered and complex, each successive sniff brings about new aromas that I wasn't getting before; cherry skins, berries, balsamic vinegar, vinous grapes, heavy oak, tannic dryness, faint lemon... Just so much to take in. As a whole, the combination proves to be exceedingly tart and sour and I can feel my saliva glands starting to sweat just a bit.

The marriage of the fruit and barrel aromas are exquisitely done here, and the level of sourness that my nose is picking up is great. The finishing dryness from the oak is enough to blunt the acidic characters just enough to keep you from tiring of the smell too quickly. Every once in a while, a beer comes along that will have you sitting and smelling it for minutes before you even bother to take a sip, and Rodenbach Grand Cru has done just that.

When I finally bring the beer to my lips, my palate is met with a wonderful display of ripe fruits, straight out of the gate; cherries, grape skins, and more berries, all with insane, yet manageable levels of tartness. Each sip has me puckering my lips as the beer traverses to every corner of my mouth, injecting a solidifying sourness that's putting a smile on my face. I was hoping for sour, and the Grand Cru delivered.

But it's not just the copious tartness of the beer that makes it enjoyable, as anyone can dump lactic acid into a beer and make it sour as hell. It's the crafted execution of how the sourness developed that must be appreciated, and the layered complexity of the flavor profile can speak to those methods. The tart cherries, the heavy grape skins, the dry oak, the mild vanilla, the heavy balsamic-like vinegar, the sharp yet delicate acidity, the delicate tannin, and the superbly integrated vinous feel make this beer almost as much of an art form as it is a drink.

The mouth feel is nice for the style; thin, bordering on medium; my only complaint is that the carbonation in my bottle could have been higher. There isn't much more that I can say about this beer, other than the fact that it exceeded any and all expectations I had. I'm a big fan of sour beers, and I sure do love my American Wild Ales that stretch the palate towards unobtainable levels of tartness, but this beer proves that you can be both sour AND complex, and when done properly, it's a wonderful thing to behold. The fact that it's fairly readily available may be the biggest wonder of them all.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Chewy and foamy oatmeal-colored head, two fingers thick and persists well. Body is like a ruby, deep red but good clarity against light. 5

Vinous quality to the nose and tart cherry aroma. Seems to have a touch of lacto but everything is clean and vinegar-free. 4

Excellent taste here, especially for the cleanness. Tart cherry, a hint of cranberry, sweet vanilla and a citric, faintly lemony finish. 4.5

Exceptionally smooth and creamy and still tart and a tad acidic. It's refreshing, vinous and dry. 4.25

Great brew and for the price a steal almost.

Photo of zeledonia
4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A classic beer, and one I've yet to try. Tasted 11 July 2014.

Pours deep cherry-wood rust brown, clear but dark. Two fingers of yellowish-tan head tinged with red.

Smell is delightfully tart. Cherries, wood, and acidity. Lovely, if a bit on the simplistic side.

Taste is outstanding. Starts out tart, bends fruity, then brings back the sour pinch. All the while little variations are playing on the edges, adding complexity. Definitely on the acidic side of balanced, but with enough fruit presence and balancing sweetness that it's not a straight paint-stripper. Yum.

Feel is, likewise, outstanding. Full-bodied and robust, but airy and flowing as well, with medium-high carbonation that fizzes up and stirs the pot of tastiness. An excellent fit with the taste.

No question why this beer is renowned. It's great across the board, nothing bad, and a whole lot good. Deliciously tart with just the right amount of fruit to complement it. I'll be drinking more of this.

Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my tulip glass a deep burgundy with a large blooming head,sour cherry to be expected dominate the aromas with a touch of iron and barnyard as well.This stuff can make you pucker sour cherry hits hard on the tastebuds but rounds nicely into a more sweet cherry-pie like flavor in the finish.It has an almost creamy mouthfeel to it as I drink more the more it grows on me once your palate gets used to the sour tinge this stuff goes down very easily,glad to try this classic.

Photo of Popsinc
4.59/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: a lovely reddish/brown pour with a lively, off-white head.

Smell: tart cherries and a musty woodiness.

Taste: tart of the top. cherry fruitiness creeps through instantly. some of the sweetness peeks out for a moment but the tart ale moves towards the back of the mouth and makes its presence on the back of the tongue. A perfect blend of sweet n sour.

Mouthfeel: lively and crisp. ends off semi-dry. very lively and active. some creaminess mid sip.

Drinkability: hey, it doesn't get much better than this. have it as an apertif, have it as a night cap. great range. great complexity. World Class!

Photo of Dekhar
3.6/5  rDev -16.1%

Photo of beerhunter13
5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of ricke
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark reddish brown with a big cappuccino-colored head that stays around for quite a while before settling into a decent lid of foam.

S: A deep and complex smell, but still very refreshing. Plenty of both tart and sweet fruity aromas. Some vinegar. Faint note of funky cellar. Sweet chocolate aromas.

T: Sweet upfront with a very pleasant taste of berries (cherries). Some blackberries and ripe apples. Tart fruits, faint vinegar and notes of oak. Prominent vinous character in general. In the middle, a slightly harsh taste develops. A long and rather dry finish of fruity tartness, fruit pits, spices and a note of iron. Slightly warming finish. Overall, the malts are very restrained in this one and the hops are basically totally absent.

M: Medium body, plenty of carbonation. The texture goes from rather smooth to dry in the finish.

D: A fantastic beer that is very refreshing and at the same time showcases a deep and rich character. Very complex and well balanced. Great vinous character.

Photo of DavyJones
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of boston2bburg
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks a million to Aaron for this freeby. Dark brown with streaks of auburn, a snap crackle pop head that settles along the edges of the glass. The aroma is light but complex. Oak and fruit with dark chocolate malts and a bit of dubbel-like raisin and yeast character.

Holy crap, there is no shortage of flavor here. Admittedly I'm still new to sours, but this is the best I've had so far. The fresh, clean, sweet wine taste finishes with a mouth-puckering tartness. Glorious.

Perfect carbonation matches the tartness, producing an acidic, crisp all-encompassing mouthfeel devoid of any slick or syrupy sensations.

Incredibly drinkable, I find it hard to savor for very long. At 6% you could drink them as long as you could afford them.

Photo of MadScientist
4.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A hazy deep cooper with orange and ruby highlights. The head is light tan made of creamy bubble with a good retention. Some lacing.

S: A strong fruit aroma of red currents and sweet red cherries with a moderate sour aroma. There is a moderate spicy phenol, a little bit of malt aroma and a light chocolate note. No hops, no diacetyl.A little bit of leather

T: Strong complex, fruit flavors again with red currents but the cherry flavor seems tart with the moderately-strong sour flavor. A moderately-light sweetness provides a counterpoint to the sour but the balance is fairly tart and satisfyingly so at that. A light chocolate note. No hops flavor and a restrained, light hops bitterness. The wine-like character is very evident with some tannic and acidic bitterness. No diacetyl.

M: Smooth and creamy with a medium body and moderate carbonation. No warmth.

O: A outstanding Flanders and a world class beer. The fruit and that sourness are strong but in balance with the other element. I'm partial to the Flanders Red style so I'm trying not to let it bias my score but this is almost perfection.

Photo of Zakk
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of brownbeer
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is dark brown and red. It would be completely opaque if it weren't for a few ruby highlights around the edges. Not much head without swirling.

The nose isn't as balsamic vinegary as a lot of other examples of this style, though it's still there in spirit. A bonus for me. Sweet berries, a suprising hint of alcohol, and oak bounce around the nostrils. A little vanilla as it warms. It does have a mouthwatering acidity in the nose that preps you for something good.

The taste is similar to the aroma. Sweet up front. Reminiscent of plums, currants, and blueberries. If you let it sit in your mouth for a second the acidity comes to life and leaves a more sour finish. Otherwise, it's just a super-balanced, semi-sour chugger. As it warms a lot more complexity comes out. The barrel makes an appearance with vanilla and oak.

Soft and smooth, it's not a flashy beer, but it does encourage you to drink more and drink it quickly. This has to be my favorite example of this style.

Photo of npala86
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of hotglassmama
5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of Tiernan
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rodenbach Grand Cru Flanders Red Ale 6.0% alcohol. 33% young ale, 67% ale matured for two years in oak vats. 750ml corked and caged bottle poured into a Lindeman's flute glass.

A- Pours a dark brown fluid with a heafty off white almost tan head that grows with the pour and falls to a half inch tightly carbonated froth that lingers the whole way down. Lacing is slick with remaining rings as you drink down the Flute. In direct light the beer a dark firey copper brown glow.

S- Upfront are scents of sour cherries and currants, with notes of sweet sugary malts. Secondly sour Granny Smith green apples come to mind with sweet rasberries.

T-M- Taste is perfect with a sour kick of apples, cherries, and unripe grapes. Not only sour but midway through it shows a great light brown sugary malt backbone leveling off with a earthy yeast ending. Mouthfeel is refreshing and light with huge carbonation to roll this one over the buds in a world class way.

Overall the best representation of Flander Red ale i've ever come across... period.

Photo of Krafty34
5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very dark caramel brown with a 1-2 finger creamy light tan head. Excellent lacing.

S - Strong scent of sour cherries. I also smell some dry sherry and vanilla. Really pleasant and the sour smell isn't too overbearing.

T - Straight cherry punch to start that dries the tongue with tartness.

M - Very nice balance of sweet/tart. Good carbonation and medium body.

O - Wow, I don't know why I put off trying this classic beer for so long. It's my first Flanders Red Ale and I really enjoyed it. Now I might be able to justify buying the $20 2008 vintage version soon.

Photo of jeagleton
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,374 ratings.