Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,041 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,041
Hads: 3,547
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 281
Gots: 482 | FT: 26
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website
Belgium

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.
View: Beers (7) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,041 | Hads: 3,547
Photo of philbe311
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Rich tan batter like head... Slow steady rolling carbonation... Deep burgundy color that still allows light to shine through... Solid lacing... Sort of murky...

S - Grapes... Cherries... Cedar chips... Morning dew... Slightly musky funk... Apple and pear become noticeable as the beer warms... Tart...

T - Salty puckering sourness from the get go... Grapes and a slight sweetness... Smokey (perhaps from the oak aging vats)... Layers of complexity... Berries... Slightly varied taste with each sip...

M - Dry... Light to medium bodied... Crisp... Bubbly... Richness felt all the way up the nasal passages... Syrupy... Refreshing... Invigorating... Attention grabbing...

D - Solid Flanders Red through and through... Everything one would expect with great taste complexity that proves a pleasant surprise... (814 characters)

Photo of wcudwight
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

*Aim bottle in opposite direction when opening*
Appearance: Mixed hues of red, brown and gold. Bourbon colored with an excellent 3 finger head that rises a good 1/4 inch above the glass. Very foamy head that last a long, long time. Thick lace covers the whole glass.
Smell: Tart, Raspberries, with a hint of oak
Taste: Overpowering with raspberries. Very tart. It's missing the oak that's in the smell. Leaves a lingering tart aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated with thick foam in the mouth. Feels somewhat like you're sucking a lemon and has a slight burn to it. I like the mouthfeel, but don't think it's for everyone.
Drinkability: A classic sipping beer. The tartness and carbonation lower the drinkability.
Overall: It's a good beer, but save it for special occasions. Would be good with a nice meal. (817 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this one several times, so it's about time I got around to writing a review.

Appearance: A dark but clear ruby red. The two finger head slowly settles to a thin cap, leaving sheets of lace as it recedes. The color is exceptional.

Smell: Simultaneously sour and sweet. Tart cherries, vanilla, balsamic vinegar and a hint of buttery oak.

Taste/mouthfeel: Initially sweet, though it's quickly cut by an acetic fruity sourness (raspberries, black cherries). Notes of oak appear, dry and slightly tannic with a caramel undertone. The finish is tart and fruity, leaving a hint of vanilla on the tongue after the sourness fades.

Drinkability: Fairly easy to drink, but the acetic acid catches up with you after a while. (725 characters)

Photo of Murchmac
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review number 400. I can't believe i've managed to write 400 reviews of utter garbage... Here's another drop in the bucket.

Pours a dark Ron burgundy with reddish brown highlights. Nice clingy Betty White head that sticks to the oops up side the head.

Smells like vinegar, then if you swish it, it smells like sweet. I haven't seen anything this complex since the Man-e-Faces He Man doll. One side he's happy, the other, angry.

Once your mouth gets knocked out like Piston Honda you can taste the subtle ebb and flow of puckering sourness followed by the sweet undertow wafting on the wind....(cue flute)

Great beer all around, but I like Duchess with Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes better. (699 characters)

Photo of swizzlenuts
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: A dark dark red beer, with an inch high head. The head dissipates rather quickly. Looks like a bit carbonation.

S: It smells very sweet with a bit of tartness.
T: The beer is really sweet with a tart, sour flavour. It tastes like sweets tarts. This is incredibly sweet with a sour taste in the background.

M: This mouthful is slightly watery, but with a decent amount of carbonation.

D: It's not that drinkable because the flavour is so strong. (450 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kbutler1 for cracking this one.

Poured into great lakes snifter.

Pours 1/4 finger of fizzy white/light brown head. Light lace left. Color is a dark brown hued ruby red.

Aroma: Grape candy sticks out the most. Some cherry flavors with oak. Slightly sour. Lots of grape flavors.

Taste: Cherries and sweet grapes. Candy like grape flavors. Oak, flavors, but very sweet. Sugar flavors. It has some sugar flavors. Also has some funk to it.

Mouthfeel: Sour, but sweet. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends fairly clean, but leaves the mouth watering a bit.

Overall, a very sweet tasting sour. Decent drinkability but too sweet for me and I just can't stress this enough. I enjoyed it, but one glass was enough for me. (746 characters)

Photo of MagicJeff
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just had an RR Supplication, in a sour mood.

Poured from a big bottle into my Russian River tulip glass.

Appearance: Brown but when held to the light deep amber and dark ruby. Nice off-white head. This one looks pretty.

Smell: Vinegar and lemon. Acidic plum and pear? I'm afraid based off the smell...

Taste: Tart lemon and cherry. This one is a lot more subtle than other sours I've had which is a good thing IMO. Tart apple finish. As it warms the lemon and vinegar become prevalent. Even some slight sweet caramel on the back end. Somehow, it's sweet and sour in different ways. Taste is way harsher than the smell, somehow.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of medium bodied. Carbonation is more moderate than other sours I've had.

Overall: This one is awesome, along with being a great value. Smell threw me off but the taste made up for it. Highly recommend to any sour enthusiast. Very refreshing and drinkable. (922 characters)

Photo of ajr24
3.87/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was actually the first sour ale that I've tried, and I'm glad it was from Rodenbach.

A- From the 750 ml bottle into a glass with a little bit of head at first which quickly dissipated. Appetizing dark and murky reddish brown color. Not really any lacing.

S- Smells of candy like sweetness. If I had to characterize I'd say it was cherries or some sort of berries.

T- Sweet and tart

M- Enjoyable sourness

D- Very enjoyable to drink slowly (447 characters)

Photo of nkurz129
3.86/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this on-tap at the Speckled Hen Pub in Reading, PA. When I ordered it, I was warned by the bar keep that it was a real "love-it-or-hate-it" beer. It had a powerful, sour aroma more fitting to a dry cider than a beer. The mouthfeel was dry as well. In the glass, it looked like a kind of murky brew, as reddish-brown colored as the mahogany decor of the bar. It was much lighter on the tongue than its appearance and aroma would have suggested but had a very full complex taste full of fruity tastes and a pleasant, lingering aftertaste. (544 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
3.86/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Firm sour note, with some sour cherry and malt

Appearance: Amber glass with a tan head that left a good curtain of lace

Flavor: Tart! The sourness gives a real bite. Again, some sour cherry and a hint of what I’ve heard others describe as a nail polish note. Funny, I HATE nail polish, but it strangely works in this beer.

Mouthfeel: Lively carbonation and a puckering astringency.

Overall Impression: Easy drinking, which is a bit dangerous. The sour is firm, but it has enough base to keep the drinkability high. Enjoyed this in the Poperinge city square at Café de la Paix. (597 characters)

Photo of oskoreien
3.86/5  rDev -9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml corked and caged bottle, poured into a goblet.

Firstly, I've had a very small number of these types of beer and my taste generally doesn't lean toward the style either, so my review may be just a bit skewed.

This beer is very visually striking to me. It pours a brown color, with beautiful red hues around the edges, especially when held into the light. It has a moderate off white head that fades and laces the edges of the glass.

It's very tart, almost lambic like. Strong flavors of cherries and perhaps a little bit of raspberries. Some vinous characteristics that make the beer exceptionally interesting. The sourness is what keeps me away from beers like this. It's good, but I can only stomach a glass of it at a time. (736 characters)

Photo of GOBLIN
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

In the minority here but I just was a little underwhelmed with this beer. Still a pretty good flanders red though. Aromas are standard for a world class sour but I personally am a little put off by the slight rum noses and flavors as well. (239 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Coffee District. Served in a Rodenbach flute.

Appearance - Deep murky red. No real head, but a thick white collar.

Smell - Malty. Lots of caramel. Oak and vanilla. Acetic acid, but not a lot.

Taste - More sour, but still not the centerpiece. Lots of oak and vanilla. Malt is strong, like the nose. Acetic sourness builds into an oaky finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Slick. Well carbonated.

Overall - Quality all around. Nothing that stands out but a great all around Flanders Red. (497 characters)

Photo of Kinsman
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle corked and caged.

Reddish-brown body which is capped by a loud and fizzy khaki colored head. Once the lively carbonation slows down a bit, a nice 1cm thick, creamy looking head remains.

Aroma is heavy with the vinegar upfront, which seems appropriate given the style. A tart and sweet cherry like aroma balances out the vinegar aroma. Lingering in the back is a slightly woody note from the oak aging.

Taste is sour, no doubt about it. Tart cherry flavors mixed with the acidic sour flavor will make any sour-lover happy. However, the sourness does not wreck your palate by staying around too long. It seems to move aside to let a sweeter malt and vanilla like character finish out the beer.

Mouthfeel is dry but lively, with a strong carbonation giving it a very bubbly feel.

Overall, this is a great beer for anyone who likes the various styles of sours. Drinkability is good for a sour, but I would hardly consider any sour beer to be highly drinkable. (991 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark crimson with an off-white head. Good deal of lacing as it goes down. Smell is vinegar and lactic acid with some dark fruits, cherries, and currants. Taste is quite similar, with the acetic acid coming through. Also a sort of cream-soda-type taste. Mouthfeel is very nice between the sourness and the creamy body. Good drinkability. Not the best Flanders Red, but up there, especially considering its availability. (426 characters)

Photo of bskrtz
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ML bottle, poured cold into tullip shaped glass beer snifter at Revolution Brewery (Chicago)

A) Dr. Pepper comes to mind -- brownish rusty red cola with frothy brown head that dissipates quickly

S) Sour dough bread, sweet cherries, musty with mild pepper spice

T) Classic version of the Flanders Red Ale. Sweet and Sour, an acquired taste. Dark fruits, pastry, tart apples

M) Sticky but smooth with ample carbonation. Alcohol is mild, the tart/sour is dominant

O) An excellent example of this category (511 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally, after a brief hiatus Rodenbach is back on draft in SEPA. It's been over a year since i've had it and it's been calling me.

A- Served up in a tulip, Grand Cru boasts a deep dark mahogany appearance. It is quite dark almost to the point of a deep brown color. Once I got a good look this had a dark array of red, brown and ruby. Just a cap of beige foam on top.

S- Sweet jusus, this smells good. Deep scents of ripe sour apple and cherrys. As with the style a good bit of vinegar. Some oak and wood from the huge barrels used in the brewing process.

T- This is a bit more sweet from the vinegar type taste but it is not a problem. I guess im used to a little age on the grand cru as these kegs are new to the area to my knowledge. Either way there is a nice sour element that is not much but there. Sour cherry and ripe apples.

M- More sweet then sour but this did pack some puckering ability, nothing I cant handle. Even at that Rodenbach GC seems to just go down very easy with a great balance of flavor making it even easier to enjoy. Perhaps I can get used to extremely fresh rodenbach.

D- I really missed this and Im glad it's back. I will order one at each outing whenever I see it. Not too much of alcohol content and a good beer to pair up with alot of food types. Perhaps my favorite flanders red (with Ommegang Rouge not far behind) and probably the most authentic in the style.

Edit- After having this a few more times in bottle and draft, I just cant seem to get away from the over abundance of vinegar and sweetness in this. I still love this beer, but after having different versions of rodenbach, this grand cru version is not so grand in my eyes. (1,675 characters)

Photo of Brian700
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a 750 that Realale sent to me as a suprise. So I must thank him first for this unreal ale.

This beer pours a reddish amber color with a light tan head that leaves nice lace on my glass. Looks refreshing.

I am immediately hit with a huge fruity aroma the second I popped the cork on this one. I smelled the top of the bottle and I got a mixture of all kinds of things. There was fruit, peppers, vinegar, and some mild oak presence. Pouring this into my glass it was intensified.

The flavor is like nothing I've tasted. The first sip took me by suprise. I couldn't believe how much sourness was in there. There is presence of sour fruit, mild vinegar, and there is some hot pepper (possibly Cyan pepper) finish in the back of the throat. After I got used to it I could pick up on more sweetness and fruit (raspberries, cherries). This beer warms you all the way down to your stomach. This is a very complex and tasty beer but if you have a 750 ml bottle of this you should definately share it with a friend or two.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with heavy carbonation. It consumes the mouth like pop rocks.

The drinkability is a little bit lower because this is such an intense flavor. I highly recommend trying it if you have an experienced palate. Not for the faint of heart. (1,301 characters)

Photo of xylophonica
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a chalice.

A - Dark browny/red colour. Minimal head.

S - Sweet red wine and liqueur aromas. Various sweet berries as well.

T - Initially strong carbonation with an immediate red wine taste. Sugary-sweet and slighlty malty. Probably the malt that separates it most notably from a red lambrusco. Very intense flavour hit.

M - Strong carbonation gives it a very lively mouthfeel. Slightly sour aftertaste.

D - Very nice, but quite sweet. Strong carbonation makes it a bit of a handful but would still be quite easy to drink... just would've preferred a little bit more beer flavour here. (620 characters)

Photo of Avagadro
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rodenbach has a deep copper body with considerable haze, a touch of lacing, and a thin, quickly dissipating head.

S: Faint hints of bing cherries and soy sauce are detectable.

T: I nice blend of sweet and sour flavors, with bing cherries, sweet and sour sauce, and a hint of Granny Smith.

M: Medium body, low carbonation, and slightly chewy.

D: This is a nice Flanders Red. I enjoy it because it is considerably less sweet than Duchess. I'm not huge on Flanders Reds, but this is one of the better ones out there. I'm happy to see it back in the states! (560 characters)

Photo of jpro
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Rodenbach tulip glass at Closed for Business...

A: Ruby / brown body, with a light beige head; a few specks of lace get left on the glass.

S: Apple cider vinegar; vinous.

T: Cidery; sweet tarts; some malt vinegar toward the finish.

M: Medium bodied and zippy; puckering; kind of dry on the finish.

O: A sipper of a sour; good tartness with a bit of funk. (371 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A couple of nights ago I opted to try one of these for my night-cap. Enjoyed from a 25.4oz caged/corked bottle. Didn't bother to look for any "best before/bottled on" dates.

No problem either removing the cork or with any excess carbonation. Pours a medium amber hue, clear throughout, and with sporadic, indifferent bubbles rising within. Topping was a thin, light beige, fine head. Some stick, yet not a lot. Has a robust aroma right from the get-go. Smelled it even as the cork came out. Tart and sour all the way, making its presence known right off. Fruit notes dominate, with nary a typical hint of malt or hops. Across the tongue it goes; just about medium body-wise, yet quite bubbly/prickly for the feel. Airy, too, like a Hefe.

Flavor has a big combo of sweetness and tartness. Sweetness is not a typical malt sweetness, though; more-so from the fruit. Again, tart and sour, with notes of grapes and cherries being the most noticeable. Not really much picked up in the way of oak character, even though it's oak-aged. Great fruitiness, though without getting overly puckery. Quite the distinct, flavorable and enjoyable bier. Yet, still something to be enjoyed in small measures, imo. Doing an entire bottle took me a while, even though it was eminently tasty. Worked well for #900.

Prosit!!

overall: 3.9
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5

900 (1,398 characters)

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I thought this was a very nice sour beer with a very cherry/fruity sourness nicely complemented by a pleasing amount of roastiness. It was a bit like a chocolate covered cherry, but a good bit more sour! Quite nice.

I split a 22 oz of this with SurlySober in a futile effort to empty his beer fridge. (303 characters)

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.84/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A 330ml bottle with a BB of June 2012, so it's well out of date. I'm hoping the style allows for aging with too much deterioration. Picked up several years ago on a trip to Belgium. A classic aged Flemish red that I've been wanting to try for a long time.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. A deep reddish hue that appears almost opaque in the glass. Yields a decent head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Slight lacing. Aroma of tart, fruity malt with hints of balsamic vinegar, cherries/red fruits, subtle dried fruit, faint brown sugar, earthy yeast and a lingering sourness. Mild notes of sherry in the background - I can't tell if the oxidation is due to the age of the bottle. Impressive.

Tastes of sharp, acidic malt with a fruity character and a tart, dry finish. Notes of balsamic, cider vinegar, cherries, red fruits, mild dried fruit, a twinge of brown sugar, faint sherry/port and earthy yeast. Highly attenuated and sour, with subtle oxidation and a lingering fruitiness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and bone-dry, with prickly carbonation and decent body. The acidity puckers the palate. Pretty astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of dry, fruity vinegar.

A unique brew in a class of its own. Looks good, while the aroma and flavour are great - very sour and fruity. Plenty of vinegar notes. The only aspect I'm not sure about is the oxidation - I can't tell if this would be present in a fresher bottle. Lovely body that tantalises the tongue. An intriguing drinking experience and one that I must repeat (and possibly re-review). Well worth sampling if you have the chance. (1,686 characters)

Photo of yelterdow
3.84/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle served at just over fridge temperature in the distinctive tulip glass acquired at Ommegang's BCTCIV. Best by 27/06/07, this has been cellared for one year.

Appearance- With a terrific *pop* and a full nose of sour cherries, the beer flows a deep, musty pink into the glass. The head rises quickly to the top of the bulbous vessel, a four full fingers... then suddenly it falls with a loud crackle to just a thin mat.

Smell- Wild and sweet, this aromatic sensory trip offers some funky, sour cherries and some subtle oak notes that are completely in balance. The awesome nose combined with the chilly surface temperature of the beer feels perfect for drinking on this hot, humid evening.

Taste- From the moment this hits the tongue, you can begin bracing for the wonderful sour attack that ensues. Though the overall taste is one of extremely sour cherries, it's after the swallow that Part II begins and earns the brewer's undeniable respect. Chewy, woody, and extremely delicious... the teeth and gums are left with a marvelous impression of aged oak barrels. The hint of sweetness at the finish line wraps things up... this is the benchmark beer for the style IMO.

Mouthfeel- Wickedly carbonated, this beer goes ballistic in the mouth to the point of being impossible. It's gassy and explosive... a gentle swish in the mouth blows my cheeks up with air and leaves no choice but to swallow both beer and empty space. This category is poised to tank the numbers.

Drinkability- The most difficult beer I've encountered lately to actually enjoy based on its mouthfeel, yet the flavor and style execution is almost flawless. (1,652 characters)

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,041 ratings.