Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,503 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,503
Reviews: 1,057
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.19%
Wants: 272
Gots: 463 | FT: 24
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,503 | Reviews: 1,057
Photo of keithmurray
3.43/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My first attempt at a Flanders Red Ale. Opened a Rodenbach Grand Cru 750ml that I bought about a month ago.

Wow, as soon as I popped the cork I was immediately punched in the nose by the aroma, which is of tart cherries mixed with vinegar, apple juice and apple cider.

The taste isn't as intense as the smell, but this is FUNKY, but somewhat similar profile to the smell, cherries, vinegar and carbonated apple juice. Wow, this is really tart, almost like I am drinking a carbonated apple cider beverage, but in a good way.

this is really tart and sour, I couldn't see having more than one glass in one sitting (I have to put the rest of the 750ML for later drinking, I dont think I can drink anymore of this tonite), maybe because this is my first approach to this style of beer. This is good, but would take a little bit more of getting used to. This is certainly a unique style, to me its less a beer and more of a malt beverage.

Photo of Prufrock
3.43/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750mL bottle, corked and caged, into a thin Lindemans pilsner.

clear amber orange with tons of rising bubbles and a creamy layer of off-white head that retains well and leaves plenty of lace.

what an odd combination of aromas. sharp sweetness with cherries, apples, raisins and honey; sharp sourness with sour grapes and cherries; vinegar, resiny woodiness.

initial apple and raisin sweetness, then an overpowering lemon, cherry and grape sourness with a strong note of balsamic vinegar in the finish. fairly light feel and carbonation. unsparingly strong in its flavors, but the combination and finish are slightly off-putting.

Photo of Matt1516
3.44/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Opens with a pop, and pours dark-reddish brown with lots of carbonation and three-finger head that rapidly dissipates.

Smells funky--I did a double-take because there was a lot of malt vinegar and rotten fruit on the nose.

Tastes mild-vinegar with sour cherry and other field berries. Dry cider finish.

I'm conflicted on this one--I respect the crafting of this beer--the two year process, the blending and the funky yeasts...but the taste is a little out there for me. That said, I feel like a phillistine for underrating a legend.

Photo of trep
3.45/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750mL bottle, corked n caged.

Murky brown with a mocha head that fades to a thin ring around the glass. Some carbonation visible and some yeast sediment.

Smells like vinegar and wine. Very fruity but the alcohol is very overwhelming.

Very tart all the way through, appley and grapey. Alcohol isn't too prevalent in the taste as it was the aroma.

High carbonation and thin mouthfeel. Kind of tough to drink through the tartness. But overall its above average.

Photo of HossMcGraw
3.45/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is really tough to review since I haven't really aquired a taste for this yet. I can tell that it's well crafted, but not sure if it's for me.

The appearance is not that exciting. Reddish brown with a slight head that reduces to a ring, and a little lacing. Aroma is very complex, tart and funky. Blue cheese is prominent. I can also pick up some unripened fruit (strawberry) and some creaminess along with some wood.

Very tart once again on the palate with strong acidity, some strawberry and more funky blue cheese. Alcohol is noticeable. There is a burning sensation as it goes down my throat (not necessarily due tio alcohol), and the finish is more sour strawberries and blue cheese.

The mouthfeel is prickly with carbonation which is nice, but I couldn't see myself drinking a whole lot of this.

Overall an interesting beer. Personally I don't like blue cheese, and there is a lot of that characteristic here. I would definitely reccomend this to someone who does enjoy it however. Glad I tried it. May need to drink more of the style in the future.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.47/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark red and brown appearance, undersized head, not much lace to speak of. A slightly sour aroma, vinegar, dark fruit.

Taste, was quite underwhelmed, I thought this was supposed to be super sour, it was just kind of sour methinks. No hops, just the most tiny dark fruit feel and mild sour/tartness. Smooth. Velvety at times. No barrel taste or aroma. Cork popped off fine, but the carbonation seemed to be lacking at times.

This was a good enough beer, I guess I just thought it was going to be excellent, and it was merely a good beer. No alcohol noticeable, which is nice. $10 a bottle, just kind of meh to it. One bottle left, may update the review if it is materially different, I kind of hope so.

Photo of bennetj17
3.47/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle. Pours a reddish amber with a tinge of copper. Minimally hazy, low on carbonation resulting in only some soapy froth and not much head. The aroma is intense with notes of dominant sour cherry and light oak. Some of the fruit flavor gives hints of grape and strawberry also.

Dry, oaked tartness in the flavor, with some light smoke in the finish and a hint of cinnamon spice. The end is astringent with a juice like acidity. The cherry fruit is present, but not as bright as in the aroma. The body seems thin, and the carbonation is fine yet razor sharp on the tongue.

I didn't find this Flanders Red very appealing. The astringent finish was the major turn-off for me. Perhaps I should have paired it with a lemon-garnished dish as they suggest, because it wasn't that enjoyable by itself...

Photo of akorsak
3.48/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a 750 mL bottle, served slightly chilled in a snifter.

Appearance: With no light upon it, the beer appears to be quite dark. When held up to light, a deep ruby red color comes out. The beer pours a 1.5 finger head.

Smell: This smells unlike any other Flemish red that I've had (including Duchess and Rodenbach Red). The aroma is not pleasant. In fact, it reminds me of my dog have receiving a bath (heretofore known as a wet Domi odor). My dog does not smell great just after a bath, neither does this beer.

Taste: Very good pucker factor in this ale. The sour taste inherent to this style hits mid-sip. Up front, there is a nice fruity taste that transitions nicely into the sour aspect. This beer is so sour that one can't help but take another sip.

Mouthfeel: The interplay of sweet and sour is very nice and makes for an enjoyable drinking session.

Drinkability: While the flavors meld and transition nicely, I don't see this as an ale meant for pounding. It is, however, nice for sipping, especially as it warms.

Photo of OttoPeeWee
3.48/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I hate to do this because I know this is a very well respected beer, but I'm not that much into it.

The flavors are good, but too much vinegar to be very drinkable. Smells good, definately cherry and sour apple. And there's proof of fine craftsmenship.

I just think it would be fantastic with more of "young" beer and just some of the aged to balance it out and give it the complex elements. It would probably be one of my favorite beers, just not as balanced as I would like for it to be.

Interesting, a must try if you have not had one.

Photo of JDV
3.48/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at the draught house tasting.
Pours dark maroon with a very light beige head. Smell is sour cherries and perhaps some cinnamon. Taste is tart cherries, vinegar, with maybe some funk. A bit creamy, and nicely carbonated. A tart and enjoyable sour.

Photo of BDTyre
3.48/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not sure how I feel about Flanders Red Ale. Reddish-brown colour with very little head. Winey, vinegar smell. Sour, and a very slight hint of sweetness. Not the most appealing smell.

Tart, almost vinegar taste. Hints of sugar, raisins and plum. Sour dominates.

I'd like to describe this in more detail, but I really am mostly getting tart, sour flavour out of this. Drinkable, but there's other beers I'd rather have.

Photo of rustymoore
3.49/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is my first review of a Belgian Red Ale but here goes...pours with a light head and good lacing. The color is a dark, reddish amber that is fairly uniform. The ale smells of sour fruits and wine with a slight nutty hint. It smells amazing! The taste is where this ale declines in my opinion...sour grapes and cranberries are the primary flavor while the tartness tends to take away from this red ale for me. A little more sweetness to balance out the tartness could help. This ale is however very fruity in taste (however sour) and the acidic mouthfeel is somewhat unpleasent as well. Not something one could drink consistently I wouldn't think.

Photo of laituegonflable
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a gorgeous red colour, just a vibrant scarlet with head that is off-white with a pink tinge to it. Body is clear and there is a small amount of lace, but not a huge amount. Head sinks to a modest film. Pretty nice.

Smells very acidic, with lots of red wine vinegar adding plenty of sourness with a nuttiness to it as well. A saltiness maybe and a touch of olive brine to it. Yeah, olive oiliness and maybe some cherry fruit as well. Unique, quite lovely and complex, but it's an odd one for sure and has some off-putting aspects to it.

Taste is very fruity on the front. Rich cherry with lots of tart raspberry and baked apple. Develops a strong tartness on the mid, giving very sharp citric acid and vinegar with a robust acetic character. Rich dark notes as well, especially on the back, with a balsamic touch and flavours of brown sugar and toffee. The sourness prevails to the end and just trails off on the back as far as flavour goes, but there's a sharp tartness lingering as a reminder. A spiciness underlying it all, too, masses of black pepper. Unique and fascinating, but not a flavour I can handle in large quantities.

Yeah, fair amount of texture but the slightest bit thin. Very dry on the back, too.

There's just a wildness and a big snap of sour that just impacts the mouth more than most sour beers I've had (notable exception being Cantillon Kriek Lambic, hi to all the folks at Cantillon). Not bad, but just really couldn't handle very much of this.

Photo of StevenBilodeau
3.53/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rodenbach Gran Cru, what an exceptional beer. Obviously a sour ale, which doesn't appeal to most, but shows me that the Belgian's know there shit when it comes to beer. Pardon my language. You can taste notes of wood, maybe oak, Tart cherries, and vinegar, all giving this beer a sour taste. While not too sweet, this beer is very drinkable, but not yet drinkable by some. This beer is very good, and is a famous addition to any ones beer collection.

Photo of Slynger
3.53/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one pours a deep, clear orangey-brown. A big, fuzzy, cherry tinted cap accompanies.

Powerful and pungent nose. Sweet and sour fruit, vinous and vinegary, with woody oak.

The flavor is subtly sweet and fruity on the front of the tongue. Red grapes and plum with some vanilla. Sourness quickly takes over with a puckering punch. Tart cherries and apple cider vinegar deliver the blow while light oakiness brings it back around.

Medium-full body with good carbonation but slightly too acidic on the way down.

I really wanted to love this brew but it wasn't quite what I expected. The vinegar and acidic qualities of it put me off a bit. It was my first of the style and a very, very interesting brew so I will definitely give it another shot down the line.

Photo of SirChugsAlot
3.53/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out rather dark when held up to a light revealed a redish hint with a nice cream colored head that faded quickly. Smell reminds me of vinegar and fruit with the sour yet sweet taste to follow and a hint of citrus. Tingled the taste buds with the carbonation and left me wanting another

Photo of Jetulio
3.53/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Big Tulip Glass (Judas glass) from a 33 cl bottle.
A/ muddy brown with a head of-white (1 finger)
S/ vinegar, alcohol and wood. Long laste, acetic smells even when the tulip is empty.
T/ sour vinegar taste with a little sweetness touch. Long.
M/ medium body with high carbonation (little bubbles ), very fizzy in mouth.
O/ strange, bizarre ale. Honestly I can't say if I have enjoyed or I am only surprised.

Photo of budducci
3.55/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a nice dark amber color with a very slight head on it. As a new comer to sour ales I was surprised. It was very tasty, but I wish I had someone to share the bottle with. It was almost too much to have much more than a glass of.

I didn't have any food with this, but that would probably make this beer more enjoyable.

Photo of kasper
3.55/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky, opaque walnut brown, similar to the color of dirty water after a watermain break. Wet and bubbly cream/off-white head that shows some false signs of lacing that ultimately fails to stick.

S: Aromas of charred oak, sweetness akin to ice cream sprinkles, vinegar, maybe some underlying hints of chocolate, and some traditional belgian (yeast?) flavors. The oak is most prominent, and the aromas of the oak quite unique. Obviously the aromas hint at some sweet and sourness.

T: The nose is a good indication of what you're going to taste with the exception of the red wine vinegar flavor being much more pronounced. It melds with a sweet belgian backbone, hints of sour apple and some cherry. The sourness is a bit puckering on the first few sips, which caught me by surprise on the finish and lent to a slight tingly/burning sensation in the nose.

M: On the heavier end of medium bodied. Almost a bit too much for my liking, bordering on syrupy. Fairly carbonated like a white wine, but shy of champagne.

D: You know, I'm partial to american wild/sours. The Belgians, with their mix of sweetness and heavy vinegar flavors, don't afford me the same appreciation. I'm glad I tried this. It's a solid, well crafted beer. But it's not my preferred sour.

Photo of BigMike
3.56/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown ruby red color. A nice fluffy tan head. About two fingers worth. A very nice looking beer.
Lots of sour cherry and vinegar on the nose. Raisins, dried plums and sour green apple.
That sour green apple is really prominate on tongue. Tons of initial sourness turns into a tart cherry sweetness on the finish. An almost concord grape flavor on the finish.
Medium mouthfeel with lots of tanginess on the tongue.
I like this one alot more then the Duchesse I recently had. I would drink again for sure if I was able to find the smaller bottles.

Photo of MrBen
3.58/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had high hopes for this, given my love for Duchesse De Bourgogne. Rodenbach Grand Cru didn't necessarily disappoint, but it didn't measure up to the Duchesse.

Rodenbach poured from the caged/corked bottle a rusty, reddish color and tossed up a big, rocky, off-white head that leaned a little toward the yellow. Excellent head retention. Smell is sour, slightly sharp, and hinting at some mildly metallic and acrid notes. I can also smell some traditional, malty beer in there.

Taste is full-on sour, with a palette-drying finish that really opens up the beer-like flavors in the aftertaste. They're otherwise (not surprisingly) buried in the overall profile of the beer. I'm not sure fruit is the right word to describe the complex stew of yeast byproduct we have here, but the beer is interesting. This is not something I would drink too often, instead spending my cash on Duchesse.

Photo of shbobdb
3.6/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not a bad brew, I suppose. It is a little too sweet-sour for me, not a combination I've ever really been in love with.

The beer pours a deep red with a surprisingly short-lived head. The first time I had this beer, I assumed it was my glassware, but nope, it looks like this beer just has some head retention problems. Unusual for a Bug Beer.

The beer both tastes and smells like rotting sour cherries. It is pleasant, if a touch too acetic for my tastes. As the beer warms, the vinegar aspect really starts to predominate, as it takes on strong notes of balsamic and nail-polish remover.

The mouthfeel is slick and smooth, if a little vineous.

It is a good beer, but I guess after La Folie, I really had my hopes up. I am not sure how they manage to make it so sweet, but I do not like it. I can't call the beer dry, which is a pity. It really reminds me of sweet-sour sauce at a crappy chinese restaraunt, but good -- if that makes any sense.

I had high hopes for this beer, and it is good . . . don't get me wrong, but it isn't some transcendental experience either.

Photo of tzieser
3.6/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

valentines day review...2 year old bottle of Rodenbach....i'm really excited for this one

aquired in a trade from youbrewidrink. thanks!

a: pours a nice signature red/burgundy color....very clear with a one finger head that slowly dissipates.

s: ahhhh, i love that flanders red aroma...great sour malt notes...subtle hints of oakiness. good, and fitting of the style.

t: very tart and sour. borderline vinegar in flavor. i was hoping for a bit more sweetness, but i guess the age took care of that. nice oaky flavor, but overall, this is just too far on the sour side. and i really love sours, mind you.

m&d: smooth mouthfeel, but the tartness makes your tongue tingle, which i find unpleasant.

unfortunately, i had bigger expectations for this brew. i really love flemish red ales, but i think this one could do without 2 years of cellaring, because this was very vinegar-y. i would certainly try it again and see if it's better balanced than this time around.

Photo of CampusCrew
3.6/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Whoa... this is going to get some gettign used to.

appearance: beutiful red copperish color, looked liek a glass of red wine

smell: sour fruity, grapes and cherries

taste: extemelely sour and slightly sweet than. sourness was very balsamic like and too dominatting. I prefer the classic red

mouthfeel: high carbonation and light

drinkability: it was a rough ride but I thin I'l appreciate it later.

Photo of Auracom
3.62/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Put back a bomber of Grand Cru with my friend on May 23rd, 2011 in a Dogfish Head tulip glass.

Pours a dark, murky brown. Offwhite thin head dissipates quickly with little retention. Good lacing and some carbonation sticking to the sides of the glass.

The aroma is very tart with fruity undertones - granny smith apple, caramel, cherry, and slight yeast characters. Taste is hugely sour (like aggressively puckering), again slight yeast with some spices underlying that dominant tart and sour taste.

Lots of carbonation in the feel of the drink, with a medium body and very long and very dry finish (appropriate given the taste).

Drinkability really depends on your enjoyment of sours. It's hugely sour, to the point that I though it damaged the overall complexity of the beer.

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,503 ratings.