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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,522 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2522
Reviews: 960
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.89%


Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,522 | Reviews: 960 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of joesc230
joesc230

New Jersey

1.35/5  rDev -68.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Decided to try this out based on the reviews I saw on this site. To be honest, this was the first time I've tried a well-rated beer (based on this site's ratings) that I absolutely hated. I'm sure it's a great choice for some people, but both the smell and taste of this beer reminded me of a very sweet and sour vinegar. After trying it out and being suprised by its taste, I asked a friend to try it out and he totally agreed with me.

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2010 23:39:46 | More by joesc230
Photo of Weizenmensch
Weizenmensch

Japan

1.38/5  rDev -67.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I tried this beer with no preconceptions, although it was a Belgian Grand Cru. It may be my first Flanders Red Ale, but I've had quite a few oak aged beers in the past. I didn't like the taste. Too sour, very unique and lacking in a real beer feel. Tasted like Shiraz, in that it was dry and peppery, although it also had a watery consistency. Generally it was unpleasant, I don't think I'll be having another one, and I'll be noting my aversion to the style (not many beers of this style are available in Australia). A real disappointment.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2005 11:39:04 | More by Weizenmensch
Photo of Litterbean
Litterbean

New York

1.65/5  rDev -61.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours a reddish brown color with a decent sized head. Looks decent, if not a little typical.

Very tart to the nose, hints of raspberries and sour apple. Overpowering and not at all pleasant.

Taste is terribly sour, like sucking on a green jolly rancher. Hints of acidic vinegar and ripe raspberries. Mouth puckeringly sour, with little else going for it. Oak notes are subdued and pretty much nonexistent behind the yeast-induced sourness. Made my mouth feel nasty afterwards too.

After spending $10 for a bottle, I certainly wasn't going to pour this down the drain, but I did think about it. I forced myself to drink every last drop of this god-awful beer. I award it no points for being unique. Just a terribly unappetizing beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2006 05:41:46 | More by Litterbean
Photo of kkipple
kkipple

South Carolina

1.83/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Well, this was a surprise. Pop the cork and immediately a sour, yeasty smell emanates menacingly from the bottle. Hm, what's this...? Poured a clear amber into my goblet, with a huge fluffy head that faded fast, leaving little sign it was ever around.

The smell is... bold. It's a VERY intense sour fruit aroma with tons of funky yeast and gives a vinegary punch to the nose. Subtle this isn’t. I've never smelled a beer remotely close to this... smelled like cherry vinegar... I'm going to give it rather high marks on uniqueness of smell alone.

Taste is unbelievably sour. This ale smacks you right in the face with mouth-puckering sour fruit (chiefly cherries), citrus, and a raging tartness. It’s advertised as "aged 18 months in oak", but I couldn't tell. Second sip is just as horrid. I couldn't taste anything else past the mind-bending sourness. Just destroyed my palate. Ever drink pickle brine? Yeah, it's that harsh. Didn't enjoy this at all.

Finishes rather wet and with a lingering sourness. This is one bizarre beer.

I ended up dumping most of this one. My friend who shared the bottle with me (and took one in the wallet for us!) did the same.

I can possibly, maybe, see this beer paired with food and improving, but... it's a stretch. I'm actually a bit curious to sample this again (in the distant future) and see if I enjoy it the second time around. I actually wouldn't rule out the possibility that we got a bad bottle, but as it stands, this is the least drinkable beer I've ever had.. That said, it's certainly different.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2006 16:26:56 | More by kkipple
Photo of bellebouche
bellebouche

France

2.25/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

No two ways about it. A very, very challenging beer.

I'm perplexed at the consistently stellar reviews for this beer. It's so highly rated yet deserves to be far more polarised. If you like this kind of thing - you're going to love it - but you really have to like it.

I'm not quite the the polar opposite in terms if actually disliking it but I have to say - if you're at all new to funk/sour/oxidised beers then step lightly.

So, down to business. I paid €3.15 for a 33cl bottle of Grand Cru, bought from a Belgian beer emporium in Thouars, France.

Bottle was marked up as BBE July 2010 and I'm tasting it in April 2010 so it's fairly close to the end of its stated bottle life.

I know 'fresh' is a misnomer but the bottle age might have had an impact on the beer I'm tasting here.

A. Spectacular deep ruby/garnet colour, impressive clarity and sparkle. Poured a huge thin cream coloured head which sank to cola-like rim of bubbles after a minute or two. After 4 mins, flat as a pancake with NO head at all. Some light brown edges at the periphery of the glass,

S. Sour cherry, treacle toffee, slight hints of an espresso coffee bitterness. Long backnotes of acetic vinegar harshness. Off smelling, some woody oak but very subtle

T. Cloying, full acid profile. Vinegar. No malt, no hops. Harsh black pepper minus the heat at the back of the palette.

M. Despite the acidic sharpness it's not at all thin as you might expect. Some mousse which disappears quickly. Persistent acid Zing at the edge of the jaws. Whatever the acid profile is that is so dominant actually flashes off if I hold a mouthful and starts to seer the back of the nose/sinus.

D. Very hard to approach this one - the kind of thing you're going to have to man-up for. It's actually hard to drink. I do wonder what percentage of bottles actually get finished. I can't easily think of a natural food pairing for this drink as it would overwhelm anything with a much simpler flavour profile. Maybe a very mature vintage English cheddar?

So. Will I drink it again? YES! If only to satisfy a small morbid curiosity that I didn't have a ropey bottle or that the rest of the world wasn't barking up the wrong tree.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 19:35:27 | More by bellebouche
Photo of DerBayer
DerBayer

Germany

2.28/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

Now this is one sickly brew although it pours a decent colour with head. However the taste was getting so appaling after a while that i could not even finish a half pint. The smell is kind of telling it has slightly sickly hop notes and off malted with some sour grapes and apple. The mouthfeel again is kind of good but hard to segregate from the taste. I hope this was a bad sample

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2009 20:27:18 | More by DerBayer
Photo of gregb13
gregb13

California

2.28/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Cracked this one open after Thanksgiving dinner. Looks nice in the glass, but that's where the compliments end. Smell isn't bad necessarily, just lopsidedly sour with nothing else to balance. Taste is like drinking balsamic vinegar straight up. Bottle said it's supposed to have a "sweet-sour" taste and it absolutely did not. It's also so dry in the mouth that a couple sips totally ruin the palate. Very disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2011 01:41:49 | More by gregb13
Photo of barknee
barknee

New York

2.65/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

RGC pours a deep red-cognac color with generous carbonation and a settling tan head. Quickly dispersing industrial vinegar nose, leading to repressed malty-apple cider vinegar nose. Taste of moderate tart laden cherries and an inhaled fresh black pepper attack upon the tonsil area of the throat. Medium bodied and strangely refreshing, there is some desensitizing to the overly assertive acids that are omnipresent within. I tried this version after it was recommended to me that the Grand Cru was "much better" than the standard version. This version of the style is commercial, squeaky clean and aromatically void of any discernable bret or wild yeast elements available to the taster.
I still continue to find it impossible to grasp what it is that turns beer enthusiasts on when consuming the Rodenbach line, as there is nothing hedonistic about it. Lacking true Flanders red authenticity; and as much as I try to convince myself that this is an enjoyable product; ingestion is a definite struggle.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2006 12:00:59 | More by barknee
Photo of Naerhu
Naerhu

Japan

2.68/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Thin brownish head, dark ruddish body. No visible carbination.
Huge vinous aroma.
This is not beer, it is red wine vinegar made with malt. Sour with an earthy base. Low carbination, medium body. Sweetness is present to balance the sour, but this is not chinese food, so I will pass on the sweet and sour combination. Smooth on the palate, the beer says nothing, if it does not say sour cherries.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2004 14:04:55 | More by Naerhu
Photo of Higravity
Higravity

Michigan

2.7/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Dark brown tint with a amber hue with a slight head of white foam. Sour vinegar sweet with a weird alcohol punch and large citrus bloom. The taste while complex is way too acidic in the finish. The favor of oak is present but the citris owns this beer and the heartburn is already starting. The malt comes through and the sourness would be pleasent but the vinegar note is sending this sideways. Maybe it might have been better colder but I thought cellar temps would be best. I finally polished off the 750 solo as the wife ran for the door at the first sip even though she usually like the sour beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2007 16:05:43 | More by Higravity
Photo of Shiloh
Shiloh

Ontario (Canada)

2.73/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I used to drink a lot of this stuff back "in the day" of the early seventies while listening to the tunes and having an illegal smoke or two.
We called it something else though, I believe it was wine, or sherry.
Anyhow, this product arrived a deep brownish/red with a medium + carbonation. The body is a medium.
The aroma is yeasty fruit.
The taste is very strong, very sweet, very lingering, and all of cheap wine.
Think I could use a smoke right about now...

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2006 00:02:15 | More by Shiloh
Photo of Martin2D
Martin2D

New Jersey

2.75/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Brown with a large tan carbonated type head

S - Smells awesome. Hints of fruits and tartness dance in my nose. Can't wait to taste this one.

T - Well, I can't say the nose matches the flavor. There are hints of light malts and fruits, but there is an overwhelming acetic finish which is completely off putting. It's almost like drinking vinegar.

M - Light in body with a medium-heavy carbonation.

D - The cork was stuck in this beer so it took me a while to open this beer. It was fate telling me not to crack this beer by myself. It's far too tart to drink a bottle by itself. Any more than one glass is going to be a challenge.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2010 02:22:58 | More by Martin2D
Photo of diablo14
diablo14

Australia

2.8/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

have to say, i really didnt enjoy this beer at all. maybe it was too old, tho it wasnt past its use by, but it was just way too tart for me to enjoy it on any level.

superb reddy brown color with a voluminous head, it looked like a fair dinkum ripper. ordinary smell, alot like red wine vinegar, with some hops and a bit of citrus. tasted alot like vinegar too, and also resembled blood oranges and grapefruit. the malt and sweetnees was completey overcome by the tart acidic nature of the beer. finished really dry and cloying. the subtle presence of wood didnt help much either. not as full in body as id hoped for. couldnt help but think if i wanted something that tasted and felt like this i would have just grabbed a carton of succo rosso or a bottle of pellegrini.

i was utterly disappointed with this beer, the alexander is so much better. definately an acquired taste. it wasnt total crap, but i was wanting a lot more, and i can find it much better with numerous other belgians. worth a try, but again, its going to be one of those beers you either really love or really hate. im heading toward the latter.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2003 13:27:43 | More by diablo14
Photo of gonzo46and2
gonzo46and2

Florida

2.83/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a dark amber. Rocky head. Fully diminishing.

Smell - Rotten wood with a hint of beaver piss. I now have beaver fever. Another whiff gives off soy sauce and lemonade.

Taste - Very sour close to lemonade mixed with tea. Puckering cherry and other sour fruit. I have a very hard time determining what else I'm tasting. No hops. No malt. No Yeast.

Mouthfeel - Fizzy and clean finishing.

Drinkability - Easy to drink but the flavor leaves a lot to be desired.

This would be my first sour ale. I am thinking because of high marks on this site that this is probably a good example of a style that I simply just don't like.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2008 04:51:10 | More by gonzo46and2
Photo of RandomExile
RandomExile

Maryland

2.83/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: deep brown, tinged with red, quickly dissipating head. Fine, persistent, sheeting lacing.
S: sour, fruity, medicinal
T: dominantly sour, slightly bitter, malt/citrus
M: thin-medium body, sour bite
O: Not particularly enjoyable. Sour, on the watery side for a dark beer ... it feels like there's just something missing. I've heard it compared to champagne ... and I guess if you want a beer glass of middling champagne, this works.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 05:04:07 | More by RandomExile
Photo of Nbr1Geech
Nbr1Geech

Germany

2.85/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 1 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Rusty bike chain, leaky D batteries, fermented cider, and deep inside, a robust Belgian beer. I shall drink it 'til I get it right! It is part of a bounty I captured at my new favorite place on earth. It is the 7th Belgian I've tried and is very distinct in character. At first taste I believed it to be bad. I quickly inspected the bottle cap looking for signs of rust. There were none. I proceeded to google. To my fiscal satisfaction, it's supposed to taste that way. I will inspect every drop.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2010 19:45:56 | More by Nbr1Geech
Photo of Enola
Enola

North Carolina

2.88/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer shocked me. The color is an oak stain color. The head was unreal. I poured a small amout into a sampler glass and it turned into all head. No beer at all. It finally settled so here we go.

The smell is of wine. No question about it. Maybe some hidden caramel in there too. The taste will take you if you are not prepared. It tastes like wine as well. A very distinct flavor af soured grapes. The mouthfeel is active. The carbonation comes alive. The drinkability is affected by the alcohol. If the alcohol was not so up front this would be a much better beer. I could not drink this much but it would be ok time to time.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2006 00:12:15 | More by Enola
Photo of JAXSON
JAXSON

Pennsylvania

2.9/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours like coca cola from a 12 oz. bottle with a quickly dissipating beige head with lively bubbles. A light sourness followed by a huge vinegar kick dominates the aroma and flavor, and to me, nothing could overcome that vinegar phenomena. Kind of tough to get through the whole bottle, to be honest. Not great at all; no cherry, oak, or other expression making it complex or noteworthy beyond the slightly unpleasant vinegar character. I've had good beers of this style and though according to many it's a benchmark, it's not enjoyable to me in the least.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2010 18:46:46 | More by JAXSON
Photo of joedon
joedon

Minnesota

2.93/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Nice tan head with lots of lace atop a dark brown-garnet beer.
Strong aroma of sour cherries plus earthy-dank notes.

Overpowering sourness with sour cherries, buttery-acetyl and alcohol bite. Very much of an acquired taste.

Decent mouthfeel for a strong flavored beer.

Not very drinkable to me. This beer might be right for someone really into lambics or lactobacillus flavors but it's not for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2006 22:02:33 | More by joedon
Photo of plaztikjezuz
plaztikjezuz

Michigan

2.93/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

this grand cru pours a very deep copper, with some reddish hues, the head is very thin and beige.
the aroma is a mix of carmelized malt, some unidentified spice, some mangos, and some thing acidic.
the flavor is malty, fruity, acidic, light.
i guess i'm not much of a fan of this beer, i dont like the acid zing, and the body is a little to light for the aroma.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2007 03:46:02 | More by plaztikjezuz
Photo of EeRocKK
EeRocKK

Ontario (Canada)

2.95/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I tried the Grand Cru once from the bottle, and once from a slender pilsner style glass, akin to my profile pic. This brew is an interesting mix of flavours. It has the barnyard gueuze undertones to it, yet it has a slightly malt vinegar taste to it.

If you are looking for a complex beer, this is a great example. It isn't torture to drink one of these, but I could not drink them all night like I could lambic ales.

Try it once anyway!

E

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2005 04:40:39 | More by EeRocKK
Photo of TLove
TLove

District of Columbia

2.95/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle hanging out with a friend.

I'll be honest... I took one sip and I was immediately offput by the awkward tartness of this beer and the septic carbonation. There is a vinegar-like flux to it that really pulled my focus on the flavors away from the complexity of the beer. I had tried the Portsmouth Flanders and liked it, but there was a different approach to this one.

The color is incredible. Has a reddish tint when held up to the light, but the brown color is soft and full. The consistency is muddled in the smell, but the smell is quite round, rolling into the taste. The flavors and alcohol are overpowered by the tartness and, while smoky and oaky and slightly spicy, are dominated by the plum, apricot, and framboise flavors. Tartness also dominates the mouthfeel, but dissipates quickly with the awkward and rather late-blooming carbonation. But it drinks like a Belgian brown, with its complexity and fervent porousness. Excellent finish.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2009 02:11:47 | More by TLove
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

2.98/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - wow, the first ounce or two gets completely converted to about four fingers of foam. Getting a mug full of this beer will take some patience. Ends up a nice caramel amber capped with a solid film of multi-colored foam ranging from light mocha to cocoa brown.

Aroma - yeasty, mild funk mixed with some sour lemon. Hmm, I'm undecided.

Taste - sour lemon, sweet, musty. A mix of flavors, some I like more than others. The finish is dry, tart, and sour. Still not my favorite style.

Mouthfeel - lively carbonation with medium body, this beer has panache, that's for sure.

Drinkability - I liked it less at first and more as I progressed. Generally, this isn't a beer I'd revisit, but it's not bad, just not for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2006 03:45:07 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of ptykozoon
ptykozoon

California

3/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark red, wannabe brown. Spotty Lacing. Pretty color.

Band aid, dark fruit, cherry, cherry and more cherry. Cough syrup cherry. Very dense and sweet. Bits of raisin and raspberry.

Very yeasty/sedimenty/grainy - which I dislike in sours. Lots of cherry, vanilla undertones.

Aforementioned grainy mouthfeel, cloyingly sweet. So much fruit in this.

I have come to the realization that there is a particular brand of sours that I don't care for. It is these dense, super fruity, acidic and sediment ridden ones. I'll keep revisiting the style though as I know Rodenbach is a staple.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2010 01:09:10 | More by ptykozoon
Photo of basica
basica

Singapore

3.03/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought this at Brussel Sprouts together with my long awaited Abbaye Des Rocs Brune beer. I
was pretty skeptical about this beer due to reviews saying that it is sour. I am just not into
sour beers and that's the reason why I close myself to Lambics. The Rodenbach is a Flanders Red
Ale style of brewing and is generally sour and fruity (in a sense analagous Lambics though not
quite) This Flanders Red Ale pours out slightly dark ruby red with minimal head which quickly
becomes a fair lacing. It smells intensely sour with notes of grape. The sour taste was further
pronounced in the taste and it was kind of too overwhelming for me; it was very much like someone
spilled vinegar into a beer that tastes like a light wine. I could develop an appreciation for
this beer by sipping it and the entry taste was actually fruity and yeasty which was quite
pleasant. But once the pellates are filled and the after taste starts to kick in the vinegar
like sourness is domainating and even in the nose. All in all way to sour for me; after I got
used to it; the sourness was mainly overwheming in the after taste and on the nose. The after
taste also has grapes in it; somewhat like red wine but the sourness kills it all. This ale was
medium body and with an overly high level of carbonation. Drinkability is low and this one's
definitely a sipper unless you want to sour up your evening. Not really my type but I still
can slightly appreciate the grape and winey side of it.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2007 19:42:59 | More by basica
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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 2,522 ratings.