Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 2,833 | Reviews: 981 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by tectactoe:
4.55/5 rDev +6.1%
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.
Serving type: bottle
06-03-2013 11:49:29 | More by tectactoe
More User Reviews:
4.28/5 rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Pours a brilliant amber with red highlights and a lingering, frothy khaki head. Aroma is laden with balsamic vinegar and oak. Tart cherry surfaces late. Flavor is slightly sweet, but the balsamic vinegar acetic notes counter to balance. Cherry notes mingle with oak, and somehow, there's an almost creamy mouthfeel. Not as tart as some, but very characterful. It's sweeter than I recall.
Serving type: on-tap
07-26-2014 02:26:07 | More by barczar
4.44/5 rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Took me a lot longer to get to this than it should have.
A - Blood red, darker than regular Rodenbach, but just as heady. Crystalline.
S - Sharp tart vinegar leads, a twinge of alcohol and oak, and cherries.
T - Wow. Thank jeebus this was created. Sharp tartness makes your tongue stand on end at the beginning, but quickly changes to sweet tastes of cherry juice, oaky vanilla and earth. Slight bitterness and very slight alcohol flavor, but to me, this helps accentuate the other qualities and puts a nice little "bow" on top. Incredible.
M - Very bubbly, light and clean. Super, super refreshing and cleansing.
O - I understand why people call this the best shelf sour you can buy. Would buy cases of this stuff next time I see it. An absolute gem, and a must-drink for any beer connoisseur.
Serving type: bottle
07-23-2014 06:09:53 | More by Trifecta1
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 2,833 ratings.