Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,078 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,078
Hads: 3,736
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 20.89%
Wants: 306
Gots: 577 | FT: 27
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Belgium | 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.
View: Beers (7) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rodenbach Grand Cru Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,078 | Hads: 3,736
Photo of bluejacket74
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle, says best before 11/16/07. I hope a month doesn't affect it that much! It pours a brown/red color with no head at all. No lacing either. The aroma is cherries, oak and booze. It smells much stronger than the 6% ABV. Taste is similar to the aroma, although the alcohol isn't strong in the taste at all. Sour cherries is the strongest thing I can taste, along with some other berries. There's definitely an acidic tart taste, but there's also a good bit of sweetness there too. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, with moderate carbonation. It's a bit thin, but not watery. Drinkability is good, it's not something I think I could drink more than a bottle or 2 at a time, but it's pretty good for when I'm in the mood for this style of beer. It's definitely worth a try, not a bad choice.

 801 characters

Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours with 1 - 2 fingers of pale tan head with nearly a thin cap of retention. The colour is a reddish brown - something like tannin rich pond water.

S: Sour scent of red wine barrel, acidic, with wet wood and tannins
Profile of sour cherries and some wet earthy funkiness, but not at all disagreeable.

T: Tastes of sour cherries with a pucker of red wine vinegar and the dry tannins of red wine. I'm getting something that I can only describe as leather.

M: Medium carbonation and medium bodied with acidic complex like a red wine with more sugars. Great mix of sour, sweet, acidic and tannins.

O: Complex mix that presents a multitude of opposing flavour combinations. Interesting brew in how it so closely resembles a red wine. While I'm not a fan of sours generally, I find this brew complex and intriguing.

 821 characters

Photo of Fargrow
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours an orange-ish brown with a light tan head. Smells of vinegar, cherries, apples. Kind of pungent, but in a good way. Flavor is perfumey apple cider with cherry, spicy. Ends tart. Very sweet. The sweetness leaves the mouthfeel a little heavier than I would like. Overall, it's a nice beer. But not good enough to buy again at the price.

 340 characters

Photo of Citadel82
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ML Bottle purchased at Spirtis Unlimited in Red Bank. Poured this Flanders Red Ale into a large snifter. A thin tan head formed and quickly disspated to near nothigness. The body of the beer is a reddish mahogany, it has some red highlights when held up to light.

Aroma is sour vinegar, and then the cherries make an appearance.

Taste is a like a tart vinagrette, which morphs into a sourness. No evidence of hops in this brew just wave upon wave of acidic sourness. Any hop presence was lost or diminished from the oak aging process for this beer.

Light bodied with active carbonation which lends to the mouth puckering and thirst quenching qualities of this brew.

Drinkablilty - Very bracingly refreshing. A welcome treat when you have a thirst to slake. I found that the sourness while delightful at first becomes overwhelming at length.

 857 characters

Photo of stcules
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Burgundy colour, compact head.
The smell is acetic, but fresh and with some notes of fruity.
The taste is sparkling, fruity (it seems "fragolino"). Cherry, sour black cherry, lime, apple.
Notes of tannin.
Good aftertaste acid and woody.
Well rounded body.
The result of ageing in wood barrel is manifest in the complexity of the smell and taste.

 351 characters

Photo of B967ierhunter177
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights under the light. There's a 1 finger head and lasting lace. The aroma is of dark fruit, a yeasty mustiness, and wood. The flavor has dark cherry, plum, and vinegar notes with a hint of wild yeast. It's mouthfeel is medium with a mild lasting warmth. Rodenbach Grand Cru is a good beer. Highly recommended.

 359 characters

Photo of atigerlife
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Rodenbach tulip.

Pours a deep amber with a 2 finger light brown head. Good head retention. Lots of carbonation seen rising. Quite impressive to look at.

Aroma has a wine/vinegar nose with dark fruits and oak rounding out the experience. Nice.

Taste is startling. Be prepared for a slap in the face! Dominating is the dark sour cherries. Some oak also is present. The strong sourness and some light sweetness have an interesting interplay. Some light spices in the background.

Mouthfeel was medium/light bodied, medium carbonation and a VERY dominant dry mouthfeel. This beer will leave you puckered.

Overall, the first few sips were not enjoyable but it defnitely grew on me the more I drank. Too bad I didn't have more. Beautiful to look at and the taste is an aquired one. Good for sipping. Very interesting.

 859 characters

Photo of ChrisBowers
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I usually don't like sour beers, but I figured I'd give this a try as it was being reintroduced to the US and the brewer was in my friend's bar (Sean Bolans) at the time. Poured on tap into a Rodenbach stemmed glass. Sorta a redish dark ruby color. Initial smell is of sour cherries. Taste really surprised me. Not nearly as tart as the bottled version I had. Lots of sour cherries, lemon zest, and a bit of an acidic tartness. Aftertaste of the cherries lingers somewhat unpleasantly in your mouth, although others may like this. Not nearly as badly as the bottled version in my opinion. Couldn't drink more than one or two of these in a row though. I cleansed my pallate with a Dominion Real Ale afterwards :) Will never be my favorite beer, but then again I don't really like the style. Others seem to love this beer so by all means check it out.

 849 characters

Photo of gonzo138
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours into my snifer a very deep red, has frothy white head that didn't retain well, but laced very well

S- a very sour aroma, a little fruity too, smells like applecider vinegar, but in a good way

T- sour bite at first, then accompanied by a fruity apple cider/ citrusy aftertaste

M- very nice light feeling in mouth, good carbonation, sticky mouthfeel

D- a very interesting beer, this is my first time trying this style and I am impressed, I bought it because this is one of the few belgian styles that I had not tried yet, I'm glad I decided to buy it. A very good beer, not something to drink often, but every now and then something to enjoy, I want to try this beer with a food, see what it pairs with

 722 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 8/5/08. Bottle. Pours a dark brown with just a slight white ring of head. Aroma is tart tart tart of sweettarts, wood! Flavor initially of rye. Lots of rye bread with a tart, sour finish. Unfortunately the rye faded as the beer warmed. Overall, quite drinkable for a tart sour and much more complex and richer than the original. Nice malty backbone to balance out the super sweetness. Anyway, this beer is quite good.
8/4/8/4/15 (3.9/5)

 448 characters

Photo of SundaySour
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, GoGators! I blame my future bathtub blackout on you!

A: Looks brownish red. Like if you tried to make raisin soda happen. (It's not going to happen!) There is a teeny rim of foam, and I could psychically sense that it was a sour before I knew it was one. (Cavery tried to "trick" me beforehand)

S: Smells like those containers of bite-sized prunes you shouldn't eat too many of. There is an undertone of fancy alcohol, like bourbon. Unlike most sours, cherry is not stomping me in the face.

T: Prune Warhead delight! Perfectly tart with that taste of sweet vinegar I love. I get raisins and figgy pudding and Christmas. This is the Wild West of sours; totally uncharted new flavors for me. Brown sugar, chest hair, and gunpowder are all present. I don't think I've tried anything like it. It finishes with a dry lip-smacking apple cider vinegar flavor.

M: Lip-puckeringly tart, not very fizzy. Dry and tasty.

O: I was surprised by this beer; the elegant bottling made me think this would be a half-hearted game of peekaboo for a sour. But it didn't hold back. I'm so glad that brewers worldwide finally make an acceptable drink for closet vinegar drinkers like myself. Very yummers, a must-try for horrible mean sour people like yours truly.

 1,255 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rodenbach- Grand Cru

Appearance- dark ruby brown with a thick head.
Smell- Strong cherries with a slight molassess hint.
Taste- Strong bitter cherries with a sour whiskey sour mix.
Mouthfeel- Sour but sweet and tasty. Each sip needed to be backed by another.

Overall- A sour/tart beer that was hard to NOT sip. Very tart but very tasty! Try it, you'll like it!

 369 characters

Photo of RickS95
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Early on in the poor, it's a looker. Darker brown than I expected, like a 7 out of 10 dark brown. The head is a finger thick of contrasting offwhite. Unfortunately, the head dissipates quickly leaving a tiny white ring up top.

Several scents take center stage in the nose. A slight vinegar smell, a slightly tart, funky, fruity yeast smell, and grapey wine smell.

It's not my style, so I may be biased against a sour. It reminds me of a kriek, just not so vinegary. The vinegar is there, it's just balanced by a slightly sweet-tart fruitiness. Some green grape in the background.

Lots of complexity. VERY tart early on, but the sweetness breaks up the tartness before it gets overwhelming. There's a malt character, but no hop presence. Some spiciness near the crisp, dry finish.

It's actually not a bad beer, rather it's pretty good, but it's an acquired taste. While not as sour as a kriek, it's still got a vinegar bite that will chase some away. I couldn't drink a lot of this, but I'm glad I had the bomber I did. Will be a while before I have another, but I'll definitely have one again someday.

 1,106 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
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 -8.9%
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 -8.9%
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 -8.9%
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 dro7
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pretty good Flemish Amber Sour. Amber color, light mouth feel, not a strong sour smell, sourness is right on, not too sour, not really too sweet, a vinegar smell with a faint cherry smell. Totally different than an American Sour or a Gueuze.

 241 characters

Photo of swizzlenuts
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
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 -8.9%
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 -9.2%
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 -9.2%
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 -9.4%
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 -9.4%
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 -9.4%
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

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 1,078 ratings.