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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,812 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,812
Reviews: 979
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 209
Gots: 243 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website

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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Ratings: 2,812 | Reviews: 979 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of berpwillie


4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

almost opaque ruby brown color with spare off white head, spare lacing, and average carbonation. strong balsamic vinegar like smell that followed through in the taste but wasn't nearly as potent. very sweet sour and tart with some fruity like hints. the blend of the sweet and sour was almost perfect. light body and a thin slick texture. long flavor duration with a very tart finish. very different and unusual flavors that were very pleasing. definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2010 17:56:50 | More by berpwillie
Photo of thain709


4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Ffej of July

A - Poured with a deep, crimson colored body...a fluffy, white head stood about two fingers and showed nice retention...nice lacing was left behind

S - Sweet and tart cherries are up front...they mix well with some vinegar, other sour notes, more fruit, some wine, and some oak

T - Well, all those flavors present in the nose combine excellently on the palate...the sweet and sour aspect of the beer is present throughout the entire beer...cherries play a big part in this...there is some grape and apple coming through creating the wine-like flavors...I really taste the vinegar that's described for a Flanders...the vinegar cuts through the sweetness and really lets the tart and sour notes stand out...finishes long, tart, and dry

M - Medium bodied...this one has a nice creaminess to it as well as some subtle carbonation...tart and dry finish

O - What a surprise to have this keg at the party...an excellent addition to the tap line up...my first Flanders Red and I was impressed...probably one of the best out there that I'll have

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2011 17:27:47 | More by thain709
Photo of Dope


4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No date spied on this one.

A: Pours a dark reddish brown. Tall, effervescent light brown head. Head fades slowly but leaves absolutely zero lacing. Decent retention.

S: Sweet and sour berries. Sugary, perhaps belgian candi sugar?

T: Much more tart than the aroma gives away. Tart cherries and a vague berry-ish flavor to go with it. A touch leathery at times. Tartness is at its strongest in the finish. Minor acidic character here too. Lingering sour cherries in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, surprisingly full for 6% in fact. Smooth. Super drinkable.

O: Mildly tart, nicely balanced. One of the better sours I've ever had. Very drinkable. Nice berry and stonefruit fruitiness. Simple but balanced and very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2014 04:48:03 | More by Dope
Photo of drabmuh


4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally reviewing the Rodenbach.

Served in a Bruery tulip, just because. Beer is brown and hazy with a thin brown head of tiny bubbles that doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. Looks fine. Carbonation moderate.

Beer smell like vinegar and sweetness. Its like a thin bruin aroma. Smells good.

Beer is mildly sweet and acetic biting sour on the backend. It leaves the mouth with an apple flavor, sour apple. Beer is light in body and goes down smooth with minimal carbonation on the palate. Its good, drinkable, less sour than I remember / was expecting but still not for amateurs. Enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 00:43:32 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Overlord


4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think I was expecting something more along the lines of a gueuze ... or maybe Lost Abbey's Red Poppy. Still, this was a nice sour brew and a good change of pace.

Pours an effervescent orangey brown. Lots of small champagn-esque bubbles. Smells like vinegary, apply, and plummy.

Taste is definitely more balanced than the tart smell, with a gigantic grape/vinous backbone, tart cherries and plums, and some other fruits I can't put a name to. Very mouth puckery.


Serving type: bottle

03-09-2008 07:44:43 | More by Overlord
Photo of thekevlarkid


4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark clear red like polished mahogany. Nice two finger head of tan bubbles displays good retention. Moderate lacing. Strong alcohol aromas with yeast and sourdough, sweet like overripe fruit and sour like vinegar. Wild. And what flavors! Incredibly complex and demanding. Maintains the interesting seesaw of malty sweet and sour. The sourness is acidic in a fruity way like the lambic made from cherries. Tart, tart, tart. Like a fortified wine (port, sherry). An oaky backbone holds it all together. Medium body and good mouthfeel. Highly drinkable but odd. This is probably the most unusual beer I have ever found myself liking. Very German, it reminds me of sauerkraut. Unique!

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2008 15:34:20 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of beertunes


4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into crystal tulip. The beer poured a reddish mahogany color with a thin cap of dark khaki color that had low retention and lacing.

The aroma was a sharp vinegary, sour scent some slight fruit notes blended in. I didn't really get much oak aroma. There was a bit more fruitiness in the taste than in the nose and the oak was subtly noticeable.

The body was fairly typical for the style, perhaps a touch on the thin side. Drinkability was good for the style, although I shared the bottle with 2 others, i could have easily drank the whole 750 by myself. As with all sours, drinkabilty is going to very with individual tolerances for the sourness.

Overall, a very fine example of the style, grab a bottle when you see it.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2010 20:42:36 | More by beertunes
Photo of drewbage


4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle of the new version (2006) shipped fresh from Belgium. Best Before date of 10/3/2008

Pours a slightly hazy red red brown with a low, rapidly disappating white head. Lots of CO2 in this glass. More than I remember from the pre-Palm batches.

Aroma is of vinegar and sour cherry candy. Candy floss, fruit leather, christmas mulled drinks in a cold brew.

The flavor matches with a spritzy carbonic acid bite that breaks into a sweet raspy brown malty character that is wiped out of existence by a quickly rising acectic acid character.

Still a refreshing sweet tart beer, but even with the acidity this feels like a far cleaner and simpler beer than the older crazier more variable brews. Absolutely worth it, just a bit faded

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2007 08:17:20 | More by drewbage
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle - $9.49 at Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georiga.

Appearance: Escapes the bottle an opaque, dark brown-red body with a thinnish, scant, khaki-colored head.

Smell: Easy breezy aroma of moist, ripe cherries leisurely soaking in first-class vinegar and dusted with vanilla sugar.

Taste: Flavorful blend of both sweet and tart cherries with a lesser hint of black raspberry and an overall robust acetic quality. Subtle, subdued oakiness with a kiss of vanilla. Pinch of pickling spices. Cracklingly tart, puckering finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-high carbonation. Mouthfeel is has a tad oiliness to it but is also lightly spritzy.

Drinkability: An all-around admirable brew that's surprisingly refreshing. As my astonished roommate said of it, "How dey do dat??" Some things are best left unsaid, man.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2010 04:46:12 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of TruePerception


4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

Rodenbach Grand Cru Ale: 6%; Appearance: hazy cola; Smell: raisin; Taste: Tartaric acid (sour candy powder), raisin; Mouthfeel: small bubbles, nicely effervescent; easy to drink, really good; head tastes of cantaloupe melon.

Poured into a pint glass.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2013 16:10:32 | More by TruePerception
Photo of recoveringmormon


4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Brown, minimal redness when held to the light, in a wide round goblet

S: Fruity and crisp, with vinegar undertones

T: Sweet nose, with balanced and complex sour/funky/earthy finish.

M: Thin and astringent, as most sours, with maybe a little more carbonation.

Overall: my second-favorite sour (after Cuvee des Jacobins), but a little easier to find. Admittedly less tart and better balanced, this is usually the one I'll order for friends when introducing them to the style.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2013 01:31:22 | More by recoveringmormon
Photo of Michael_D

New York

4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark pour with a khaki head. Smells very tart with some hay and earthiness. Tastes impressively smooth with heavy notes of cherries, sour, cherry, with some bitterness to balance. Very nice. Would definitely drink this again, and regularly if possible!

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2013 02:45:38 | More by Michael_D
Photo of wjimson


4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A beer with a very clean finish, though not the most drinkable. The aroma is very welcoming, suggestive of a dry sour cherry like flavour. A complex flavour indeed. The flavour starts with an intense vinegar sourness, followed by hints of dry hops aftertaste. The aged oak taste is quite addictive and very much defines the character of this beer. Maybe I will try this one again with fish and chips for just an experiment.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2005 02:38:29 | More by wjimson
Photo of Magpie14


4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: deep, robust rudy red color with a touch of crimson. No head retention and was foamy at best. Little bit of lacing as it goes down.

Smell: not picking up to much but heavy malts, caramel sweetness and slight fruit tart

Taste: wow! this is the first flanders red ale/flemish sour that I have had. Mild to heavy tartness that I found incredibly drinkable that pairs well with slight maltiness. Sweet candied/caramel flavor soothes the tongue. Very interesting!

Mouthfeel: surprisingly smooth and nice medium bodied brew. Tartness comes around at the end and leaves a slight acidic bitterness.

Drinkability: I'll have this one around on special occasions or when I need to treat myself. Good brew! But a few of these would be a little to much for me to handle...but a great break from the ordinary.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2008 02:50:28 | More by Magpie14
Photo of Kromes


4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A very nice dark red with a thick tan colored head. When held up to the light it gives off ruby edges. Good looking beer.

S: Very sour and acidic smelling. A cherry and vinegar aroma. A little bit of earthy cork in the background.

T: Very tart and sour up front with an acidic tang to it. After the initial shot to the taste buds, a sour cherry and apple flavor kicks in. There is some sweetness there....the finish is almost like a sour candy.

M: Mouth puckering sour and tang. There is an almost citric acid feel and flavor to it. When it fades in the finish it leaves the mouth clean. It's a refreshing beer.

O: One of the better sour beers that I've had. The sourness is quite powerful and it adds to the quality of the beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2012 23:22:08 | More by Kromes
Photo of joecast


4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

so after trying the "regular" rodenbach recently and being surprised by how much i liked it, i was pretty excited to see this sitting in the display fridge at my favorite bottleshop. best before 08/12/06

sort of a turbid reddish amber color. head is pretty small, just forming an even layer above the beer and has a light tan tinge. pretty unassuming really.
pouring in the rest of the bottle helps form a much nicer sized head which settles to about 1cm. dense with the tinyest of bubbles. and the color of the beer does grow on you.

sweet/tart aroma makes the mouth pucker slightly with each sniff. cant say much more about the smell. its good, but not really inspiring.

take a sip, and wow! i think i need a tissue to wipe away the tears. this stuff is making my eyes water.
oh yeah, this is a sipper. seems like smaller sips let the flavor come out more. really sharp tartness through the whole mouth. leaves a hot sensation in the mouth, not from the alcohol, but from the flavor.

wish i could give this more for drinkability, but i couldnt see having too many of these in one night. however, with two flanders reds under my belt, i can say i have discovered a style i can definitely enjoy on occassion. very satisfying.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2005 15:22:13 | More by joecast
Photo of BeastofWotan


4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Very dark, almost black, but with a slight red or brown hue. Very little head or visible carbonation.

Smell: A pleasant vinegar-esque scent dominates the nose. Perhaps a bit of fruit in there as well. Very nice.

Taste: Fruits hit you at first, but it dissipates quickly, followed by an intense pleasant sourness. The sourness is gone by the aftertaste, leaving the drinker with more fruits.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light. A slight carbonation tingles on the tongue.

Drinkability: The sourness prevents this from being a chugger, but why would you want it to be?

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 23:48:35 | More by BeastofWotan
Photo of JayS2629


4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grading this one for what it is supposed to be, though it took some adjusting for my pallette. Not my favorite style.

A- Beautiful deep amber red with creamy thick head that fades slow and leaves nice rings of lace.

S- Tart sour mash, tart cherries, pears, and other fruit notes. Perhaps green apples. Buttery esters with some sour grape and touch of yeasty spice like cloves and and coriander.

T- Bitter-sweet mix, sour mash, lemon and sour cherry, sweet/sour vineagar like reduced balasamic touch, sweet malts are there, but sour dough bread like. Buttery hints. Unique but balanced and nice. Took some getting used to.

M- Tart pucker, but sweet middle, medium and creamy

D- Must adjust taste buds, but once acquainted its a very enjoyable unique experience. It grows on you.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2011 06:21:48 | More by JayS2629
Photo of treque


4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice deep red completely traslucent with white off two finger compact head never dissipates at all waste is left behind
S: A noticeable sour aroma lots of cherry and some wood is noticed
T: Same notes on flavour the sour is amazing on tongue some bitter is present the final is long and lasts for a while
A unique beer a totally different taste

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2011 03:44:52 | More by treque
Photo of srandycarter


4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Raspberry/brown color, not head nor lace. Clear through.

S - Sharp sour acidity and fruit.

T - Tart, with sweet fruit in middle. Clean tangy finish.

M - Medium body, good carbonation, nice balance.

D - A refreshing wonderful beer. Glad I got to try it on tap too.

Serving type: on-tap

09-22-2011 01:41:16 | More by srandycarter
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Beer Deluxe. From notes.

A - Poured bright with a ruby red colour. One finger of light brown head left a ring of retention and spotty lace.

S - Tart cherry, sugar, sweetness, wood.

T - Tart cherry, dark fruit, nice tartness and sweetness together. Sugar, wood, and fruit all together. Flavours blend well.

M - Gentle carbonation, nice medium body and a sweet then dry finish.

O/D - A nice Flemmish Red. Lot's of easy flavour with complexity while being easy to drink. A good one.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2012 19:45:07 | More by tbeckett
Photo of Gueuzedude


4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My first Palm version, Sampled May 2006
Incredibly well carbonated, this beer pours with a frothy, though quickly disappearing, initially 4 finger thick, amber tan colored head. I get a nice tart aroma as soon as I pour this beer, a nice level of tart acetic acid. As I go in for a deeper smell the aroma becomes much more tart; a mix of vinegar and something like tamarind. Underneath the dominating sour character is astringent note that seems a bit woody. The aroma has a certain fruitiness to it that hints at cherries.

Tart and effervescent, the beer seems to be fermenting a bit more than expected in the bottle. Is this now being bottle conditioned, that would be surprising from this traditionally pasteurized product. This is quite tasty as usual, a combination of tart and fruity with woody tannic notes that come on in the finish. It is so interesting to compare this beer to others that I have had most recently (Supplication, La Folie, & Panil Barriquée), beers now carrying the torch that had so long only been held by Rodenbach. It is interesting to me, the other newer beers are so much more satisfying and complex than this brew, but you can't fault the Grand Cru for that. It did what it had to survive all those years, but it is clearly now not one of the best examples of the style. I can only hope that Palm will choose to make this a bit more complex brew in the culture.

Having said all of that ruminescent, romantic b.s., this is still a damn good beer. I am a sucker for these beers and this is still quite good. I can see this beer aging quite gracefully for some time. The acidity should round out a bit and a touch of oxidation should play up the rich malt character a bit more. In the end that is what this needs a bit more complexity to balance out the great sour character.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2006 04:50:25 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of ADZA


4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

How on this world have I not reviewed this I'm sure I've tasted this before but after seeing no rating from me my memory is asking the question have I ever tried it and after a 2litre growler purchase ill be sure and on popping it pours a cherry red hue with a creamy off white two finger head and clingy lacing everywhere a beautiful looking red,the smell is musty,funky,slight oak and red grapes and highly approachable,the mouthfeel is borderlining on perfection it's medium bodied with moderate carbonation and like most have said before the taste of this Flanders is one for the non believers of this crazy beautiful style and its red grapes,beautiful funk,cherries and the finish is sour tart and bloody refreshing and overall now I'm confident I've tried this and the 2lt purchase was a great choice by me as its not on your face like most of this style and a great step in Flanders territory for virgins of the style and even veterans like me cheers.

Serving type: growler

12-21-2013 12:13:41 | More by ADZA
Photo of SirRuss


4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep conker red with a gradually declining, off white head true to the style. The result is a resilient halo crowning the perimeter, a skim of surface foam, and good lacing.

S: Sarson's and wood come forth with more weight than other reds of this ilk, resulting in an aroma almost indicative of TCA - although the sum is expressed with a subtlety that makes it intriguing rather than repulsive. Tart cherry plays throughout, and a certain herbaceous quality hides within - although can't quite place my finger on it - perhaps sage or rosemary.

T: The genius of this brew is the way in which the complexity of flavors present themselves. Sequential expectations are defenestrated as contrasting tastes spontaneously appear, namely sweet and sour. Reminiscent of chewing on a packet of Sour Patch, candy-coated sourness works hand-in-hand, and it's up to you to decide which aspect is worthy of the most attention. How ever you chose to perceive it, the flavors are undeniably fruit focussed, with recapitulations of cherry, along with unripe white grapes, key lime, and Granny Smith cooking apples, all of which offer a welcome malic cleanliness. The complexity continues with a bold woodiness - a kind of wet cork - manifesting itself on the mid -to -finish, and provides a classy, atmospheric weightiness. Also characteristic of the finish is a distinctive Cola impression owed to the earlier fruitiness.

M: The score here is owed to the way in which polarized aspects of the palate are balanced in perfect harmony with an exemplary carbonation. The precision of that carbonation aligns the contradictory elements of this brew to see the dry acidic spine, round sweetness, and warm alcohol all fall into a very desirable place.

D: A very versatile ale, which would be equally successful as an aperitif with its mouthwatering tartness, as it would a digestif thanks to its candied coating. However, despite the palate-cleansing dryness, that charismatic tartness imposes a stern limitation, which should only be breached with a preparatory arsenal of pepto-bismol.

O - solid flemish red/brown, great complexity, superb balance, although slightly on the acidic-side.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2011 07:04:26 | More by SirRuss
Photo of Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

on tap at ridgewood in raleigh. into a tulip.

pours a dark reddish brown with no head. good cherry aroma on the nose, not too tart or overwhelming. taste is quite drinkable and refreshing with a perfect amount of tart cherries . medium bodied with low carbonation.

overall just an excellent flemish red.

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2013 16:52:48 | More by Axnjxn
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 2,812 ratings.