Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

1,103 Reviews
For Trade:
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,103 | Ratings: 3,841
Photo of jampics2
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at McNulty's Bier Market.

I was thrilled to see this was on tap and I had a few pours :)

Looks great - a reddish brown with a nice white ring.

Smells like cherries, leather, sour funk, Balsamic vinegar. Lots of Oak as well.

Taste can only be described as "WOW". My notes say "the beer, the myth, the legend". Sour cherry backed with tanins and vanilla from the oak. Sour but not decimating. Very wine like.

A lovely carbonation and body, this feels great in my mouth.

As for drinkability, the best ever. Hands down the standard for Flanders and perhaps all sours in general. Classic business here, thrilled to have had it on tap.

 642 characters

Photo of kleffman
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at Hamilton's for only $4.25. That's a steal. Poured into a Val Dieu glass.

Pours a mild ruby/brown with a minimal thin head that didn't linger for a very long time.

For a flanders red the aroma is spot on. The oak and Brett qualities shine, and there is a very strong tart cherry and vanilla presence. A bit of vinegar but not too intense.

Taste is mostly sour fruit like apples and cherries which is not surprising. Some oak and a great sour character.

While this is a little puckering even my girlfriend enjoyed it, and she's rather skeptical of this entire style of beer. The mouthfeel is nothing crazy, but it's very drinkable for a flanders beer. I could've had more than one 12 oz easily. I would also say this is better than the Rodenbach classic but not by a ton, they're both fantastic. This just may be a little more mature.

 866 characters

Photo of wl0307
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly 3 years since my last encounter, this bottle is enjoyed straight after its junior family member, Rodenbach Classic; BB 25/07/10, served lightly chilled in Tripel Karmeliet's branded long-stemmed, tulip-shaped glass.

A: given a force-pour, it lands in the glass a deeply dark brown hue with lively fizziness and a 1.5cm-thick creamy dark beige foamy head with good retention.
S: absolutely amazing... the nose has both metallic and lightly funky notes of yeasts intertwined with a deep-running but restrained aroma from oak-barrel-ageing; the classic aroma that I'd only refer to as "smoked-prune-flavoured sorbet" lingers in the background, showing random bits of old vinegar that is more fruity than sharply tart, but always with a refreshingly savoury edge of yeastiness to "complicate" the matter... Compared with the Classic that I've had ten minutes ago, the aroma is definitely drier, tarter, and cleaner, with a deeper impact of oak-ageing.
T: milder in carbonation but refreshing enough, the foretaste presents high quality vinegary made of sour dried-prunes (Chinese "Hua-Mei") that is both bold and slick, but never far away from a funky/yeasty edge and a dry-ish wheatiness as of a very smooth berry-lambic... The fruity theme stays deep down the tongue, accompanied by smooth, well-aged vinegary berry-fruits, an herbally-dry and lightly chewy undertone that shows brown-malt aroma as well as bitterness of old, dried hops, and an elegant, low-level oakiness that has been absorbed into the fruity theme. Clean, yet lightly dry in the finish, with a bit less aroma here than the aftertaste of the Classic, but the understated chewy palate still seems to outlast everything else.
M&D: the texture is impeccable, mildly spritzy yet slick enough to render an attractive palate to go with the thirst-quenching, medium-bodied flavour profile. Having tried this ale for many times now, each time I seem to find something different from the glass: this bottle is more mellow and less astringent than most of the previous encounters, which I suppose is attributable to the temp. (slightly warmer than chill) that I choose to serve this bottle. The only one thing that has not, and never will, changed is the profound complexity (in various forms) and quaffability this 6%abv. ale has to offer. This is a sheer bliss to me.

* Tasting Date: 05/05/2006
BB 29/04/07, served lightly chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.
4 A: deep and dark ruby hue, slightly hazy; the foamy off-white beer head dissipates slowly, on top of gently fizzy body.
4.5 S: sourness dominates the nose, as expected--new wood-barrels, profound prune-ish note, starfruit juice, wheat aroma, dark fruit vinegar, a faint touch of fruit esters... overall the aroma is intense and very focused, dragging all elements to a central point as far as my nose could sense.
4.5 T: slightly sharp-textured, vinegary-sour flavour upfront, cutting deep through the palate... gradually an almost lambic-like raw, dry wheat-ish and woody taste develops subtly underneath, turning softer and transforming into a slightly dryish, sour-sweet aftertaste. Crisp and tangy-fruity finish.
4 M&4 D: initially sharp on the texture but softens, while the soft fizziness sustains throughout the drink and provides a refreshing palate. A thirst-quenching, or thirst-provoking, beer with great complexity and depth. I can't pretend that I'm a great fan of this style, but this one surely is something really worth savouring once in a while--especially in summer.

 3,523 characters

Photo of popery
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Toronado. Absolutely, positively delicious stuff. The beer is a blend of deep ruby and mahogany with a small head. The aroma is a fascinating blend of fruit flavors. There are cherries, peaches, grapes, cherries, apricots and cherries. It's also wrapped in one of the most refined vinegar aromas I've ever smelled. There's even further refinement in the oak and light barnyard notes. The flavor is moderately sour with lots of dry woodiness. Again, refinement marks this beer solidly in the flavor, as well. The mouthfeel is incredibly soft, a particular achievement given the acidity of the style. It's just incredible to find such velvety softness coating vinegary sour flavors. My tasting notes simply end with "excellent."

My score would be even higher, if it were not for newer, harder to find offerings that I have not yet reviewed. Rodenbach Grand Cru is a world class beer and I could see upping these scores once I figure out a way to round up a tasting of Flanders-style sours.

 988 characters

Photo of stoutfiend27
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml caged & corked bottle

a-dark reddish brown color with little head but nice lingering lacing on top..

s-lactic acid and slight vinegar...almost like has a sour granny smith apple smell as well...sour jolly ranchers, and a sweet sugary smell

t-i really dont know how to describe it except it tastes like it smells....this is a great beer

m-light and refreshing..not to thick and not to watery i think the mouthfeel is perfect

d-i think i would have no problem drinking at least 2 or maybe even 3 of these 750 ml bottle and thats a bit much to me but these are so easy going

overall this is a fantastic beer...i want more of it...and plan on getting more...the sours are growing on me

 694 characters

Photo of Netdigger2
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had in growler form thanks to the guys at Community Tap.

It pours a deep brown with hints of mahogany and chestnut with a thick tan head that leaves thin, sparse lacing.

The nose is sour funk masked with remnants of wild berries and sour candy.

There is a bruising, but welcoming, sour opening to this that reminds me of an unripened wild blackberry. It opens up to have a bit of malt shell coupled with a very pleasant helping of passion fruit, walnut, blackberry and almond.

The Mouthfeel and carbonation are second-to-none, very crisp and quaffable while staying refreshing all the way through. It has a heavy feel on the back of the palate without leaving overwhelming dryness.

Great beer. Better than La Folie and much cheaper at $15.00/ growler.

 756 characters

Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

look - pours a dark brown/ruby red color. thick tan head. not so much retention or lacing

smell - raisns/grapes, malty, musty, sort of chocolaty, has that aged smell. overall a very strong, pleasant aroma.

taste - absolutely delicious. tastes like raspberries with some citrusy character and hints of raisins. the sour tickles the tongue. finishes sweet and savory

feel - creamy, smooth, tingly

overall - super delicious. am going to buy again and also try other versions of this style ale.

 494 characters

Photo of vacax
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle for $10. This classic Flanders Red Ale has been selected for review #100.

This Grand Cru pours a blended red and brown with a slight haze. Initial head is an oaky cream color that is generous. Retention is solid and graceful lacing is among the finest of the sour world.

Nose is acetic with tannins, grapes, and sour cherry. Quite floral, perking up a musty oakiness that accompanies the sourness. Well rounded between oak, fruit, sour, and acetic qualities. Taste upfront has a smooth sweet red fruit quality that quickly takes a backseat a smooth yet thorough tart. This is a moderately sour beer, but at the same time its robust complexity makes it easy to handle. This is not just a one-note beer, it is sour then the acetic quality expands, coating the entire palate. A real treat. Medium bodied and silky with a medium champagne like carbonation. Excellent mouthfeel.

Rodenbach Grand Cru is the classic Flemish Red Ale. Rich in its oak and fruit characteristics, along with a rich complex acetic quality. The luscious mouthfeel, and attractive visuals are all icing on a cake. I am happy that this beer is available once again, and for only $10 it is a relative bargain. This is a beer worthy of sharing at on any happy occasion, or enjoying by oneself on a fine evening. Outstanding.

 1,307 characters

Photo of camil1mj
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle found on the shelf at my local bottle shop.

A: Reddish/brown. Foamy white 3 finger head that is slow to dissipate. Ring of head lingers around the edges while drinking.

S: Strong tart and sour smell.

T: Crisp, tart nose that gives way to a very fruity and refreshing cherry finish.

M: Heacy carbonation and light bodied.

O: Great Flanders. Glad I decided to give this a try. As good as many of the "rare" sours.

 430 characters

Photo of ssam
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this one in the Belgian bar Herman in Berlin last week. I was with my family and my dad who thinks he doesn't like beer. This whole trip he was tolerating my beer geekiness and tid bits and trying all the local fare. But I hadn't converted him until he tried this one. Poured a dark ruby red with a very thin head. The smell is minimal but the flavor is great. It's lightly carbonated and perfectly sour without being too tart. It tastes kinda like wine, but more beery and way better. Loved this and so glad I got to try it!

 529 characters

Photo of sirdillon
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-Clear brownish red with beautiful ruby highlights on the edges, slightly off white head that doesn't stick around too much but leaves a ring of foam around the glass. Great looking beer.

Smell- A lot of tartness, cherry, fruitcake, and cinnamon. Maybe a bit of funkiness, but generally a very well-behaved smell.

Taste- Really excellent, taste begins with a lot of sour cherry and strawberry flavors, and ends with that very familiar juicy sweet/honey taste. This is great.

Mouthfeel- Not much to say here. It's acidic and medium bodied. not a ton of carbonation, but it's just fine.

Overall- This is not my favorite style of beer, but I found this to be exceptional. Not too sour, but also not god awfully sweet and juicy like a lot of these flemish reds. Real easy and pleasant drinking, highly recommended.

 827 characters

Photo of 1100
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is delicious. It really doesn't taste like any other beer I have had. But it is the only one of it's style I have had. It has a distinct apple cider vinegar taste... sour and tart . But the taste will definitely grow on you. Pours with a nice reddish color and a thick head. Sour, creamy full mouth feel leave you ready to take another slash. I've only seen it in bombers or on tap. Excellent beer for special occasions. Try it, you'll like it!

 454 characters

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Bavarian Lodge, Lisle, IL:

The beer was served in a tulip glass, 10oz (?):

The beer was a nice dark cola color that produced a very small head that was not well retained (as expected for the style) but did leave a nice ring throughout the beer.

Great aroma…gave off both a sour and sweet aroma. Cherries and citrus

The taste of the beer is outstanding. Sour and you get all of those fruit flavors combined, but not overly so. The beer was exceptionally smooth and easy to drink. Overall, perhaps the best Flanders Red that I have had.

 558 characters

Photo of Mosstrooper
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL bottle into 330mL St.Bernardus branded chalice.

Appearance: Pours a very dark reddish-blackish-brown color with a medium tanned head that dissipates fairly quickly yielding to a thick ring of lace and leaving behind a good amount of foam floating on the beer.

Smell: Sour cherry and lemon are predominant, with a slightly woody backing and hints of grain, yeast, and caramel.

Taste: Begins sweetish and mildly tart and spicy, rounding out to a sour flavor somewhere between cherry and lemon. The finish is bittersweet with a solid funky note. There's also a woody and mildly musty noted that makes its way through the back of the palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with lighter, natural carbonation and a sticky, acidic finish.

Drinkability: A great sour beer that will satisfy a craving for funk without being overpoweringly sour. Complex, without being something that requires too much though. A thoroughly enjoyable brew.

 945 characters

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle foiled corked and caged, poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark and woody looking ruby brown topped with a one inch mildy rocky cherry tinged beige head. Head fades to a ring which is what I suppose I was expecting but still leaves some mild lacing down the side of the glass, this beer looks sexy.

S: Tart cherries and oak hit the nose and dont let go.

T/MF: Oak cherry wonderfully tart mouthfeel, raspberries, cherry pie, unripe blueberries but grounded by a woody earthiness, a fantastic quencher for a hot day, or any dayjust the right amount of carbonation to smoothness ratio. Not at all silky and I am damn thankful its not, there is a wonderful texture to this beer and attaches to the back of your mouth like champagne. Wonderful wonderful.

D: I don't know what people are griping about here, compared to some other beers this one is sweet in comparison. A little drying on the back end by thats the point really. All I want it another sip! I'm sad I let this beer hide on me for so long.

 1,019 characters

Photo of sitbooboosit
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a mud red/brown
head is tight and dense, vanilla ice cream colour, nice lacing, doesn't stick for too long
aroma is of strong concord grape juice, welch's. strongly sour and wine-like. almost a grapelike bubblegum fragrance
sour grape, winey start, oak aging really comes through, rounds out with a sweet malt middle, either hoppy or sour bite to finish.

really enjoyed it. didn't expect it to be as sour as it was, but loved it. couldn't drink em all night, but fantastic with food or after dinner.

 511 characters

Photo of ManekiNeko
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

33 cL bottle served chilled in a Brewer's Art chalice

Appearance: A clear brownish red liquid topped by a small tan head. Dissipates to a layer of foam after a minute or so. Small fingers of lace attempted to form, but ultimately stopped

Smell: Powerful aromas of funky brett, wood, vinegar, cherries, and raspberries. She's a harsh mistress and lets you know this upfront.

Taste: Mindblowingly tart cherries and raspberries with doses of balsamic vinegar, tannins, twigs, pits, seeds, oak, and heaps of funk. Hoo-yah! Aftertastes of funk.

Mouthfeel: Very light in body and quite puckering due to the high acidity.

Drinkability: If La Folie was using this as their model, they nailed it. High acidity = one a night for most peeps. I'll definitely try this one again. It's certainly an acquired taste, one I'm still working on. I hope my secret source still has some lying around

Other: I first tried this about 6 months ago without really knowing much about the style or the beer. An opportunity arose to try it again with slightly more experience under my belt, and I took it. Original review: 4.05

 1,118 characters

Photo of Cavery
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by GoGators, a long time tick that has been on the backburner. I finally convinced SundaySour that it was time to give this thing a proper treatment. Two tulips were splashed with red soon after.

A: Dark tree bark with a light decaf coffee top. The foams are a bit coffee like, but the body looks more like an iced tea that's been served too cold. A very dark, almost black, gradient that begins at the bottom of the glass. This really looks nice. This is one of those beers you'd toast with after a job promotion, or the birth of that kid you meant to have. An academic fiesta beer.

S: Smells like a red wine spill in woodshop. Dusty old woods with some tart sun dried cherries. Potent dark savory cherries. Tartness is soothed by an incredibly clean vanilla. The vanilla notes really tame the present vinegar for an amazingly in check acidity.

T: This tastes of refinement. A beautiful blend of All of the flavors benefit from the creamy vanilla, and it makes this thing like a coulis. Cherry coulis mixed with creme anglaise with the cherries winning the battle only slightly. A wee bit of plum appears midst the clash. Nut butters on fruit cake, a bit of cranberry bite between the cherry and vinegar. This is not a vinegar bomb though, this is a refined flavor bomb, maybe not bomb -- but some sort of lighter munition.

M: The true maestro of this beer: so full for the style, and oh so creamy. The bubbles are fantastic, slow mild release, but there's never any doubt that this is well carbonated. The mouth is the puppeteer behind the show. A symphony in the mouth. One of those beers that feels significantly better than others.

O: Really truly I could never have expected to pour such a gem from this bottle. I had kept it in the back of my cellar with the intent of opening it when SundaySour was willing to drink it. She had been on champagne for many months now, but she finally caved in on this night. It was divine intervention, as this bottle was in its absolute prime. This beer is truly a magical blend of flavors. The young beer is vibrant, the old beer is wise, and the barrel is the time in between. After drinking this beer, I felt like I had watched a fine film. My mouth applauds. Truly though, this was exceptional in its balance, with an in check vinegar.

 2,305 characters

Photo of areich6
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoying with my good friend pshul4

A: Very dark orange or brown. Pours with very little head and no lacing is left. Looks like apple cider.

S: Light sour notes, melons and dark cherries. Quite pleasant. The sour scent is somewhat analogous to the scent of a bourbon barrel aged beer.

T: Very nice. Cherries and lemons and green apples, similar to how it smelled but better. Tastes a little like apple cider with some lemon juice mixed in.

M: Really smooth, very little carbonation. Goes down like juice. Super easy drinking.

O: Really good beer. I honestly have not had very many sours so it is difficult for me to compare this to other beers of the like, but this is just downright tasty.

 700 characters

Photo of TheEremite
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the bistro in Hayward, CA.

Served dark burgundy with red highlights and a tan head. Looks brilliant in the glass. Smells of sour apples and apple cider vinegar. Very pungent and sharp aroma. Tastes very tart, almost striking for how malty the beer looks. It's not though. Drinks very dry with lactic and acetic pricks throughout the drink. There's some lingering oakiness in the aftertaste too. Outstanding beer. It's not as complex as other Flanders reds I've had before, but it's extremely straightforward and a remarkable beer.

 548 characters

Photo of Jordan
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So happy I picked this baby up from my Whole Foods Market. The beer pours easily, its looks a little flat out of the bottle, almost no head, but it is actually highly carbonated when agitated and when it hits the mouth.

Caramels, sour apples, oak on the nose.

Lot of fine particulates make it opaque. Deep red-brown. Gorgeous.

Sour grapes, vinegar, lemon peel. Lots of flavor. This one lingers for quite a while. It sticks with you.

 435 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From notes. Pours a deep deep ruby-hued amber color with a 2 finger head that fell to coat the beer. The nose was sweet and sour cherry, but not overbearing. Very clean and slightly crisp. Incredibly enjoyable. Right on where I expect things. Flavor was as good as the nose promised. Light sour cherry, creamy oak notes with moderate sourness. Just incredible. The beer left just a touch of sticky spit. It was moderate with a light carbonation. Overall, this was an incredible brew. Right what I want from the style. Incredible balance. Loved this beer.

 554 characters

Photo of ncfranklin
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml into a Duvel Tulip

750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Very deep reddish, copper, brown. Small tan head that recedes to a ring very quickly.

S: Strong pungent sour vinegar nose, with big cherry notes in it. Light hint of caramel.

T: Very, very sour. Strong on the fruit notes of cherry, apple, raspberry, with a vinegary sting in the back. With some warming, it mellows a little and the oak comes through lightly in in the finish.

M: A medium mouthfeel with strong, dry tartness. Makes you want to sip again and again to refresh the mouth.

D: The best of the style I've had, a real treat. The don't make them like this often.

 638 characters

Photo of hardy008
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown color with a 2 finger tan foamy head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has tart cherries, vinegar, and oak.

The flavor has tart cherries, green apples, vanilla, and oak. I do not taste the vinegar which showed up in the aroma. There is a nice combination of sweetness and tartness, with the tartness being dominant. Very complex, and good.

Light to medium bodied, above average carbonation. Finishes somewhat dry and tart. The mouthfeel is luxurious, and could not be better. This is an excellent Flanders Red Ale. I recommend it highly.

 561 characters

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep cherry with a 1/4 inch tan head. Smells of sour cherry, vanilla, oak, hints of port.

Taste is quite sour and cherry tart. The fruity tartness overpowers most of the other flavors. Lots of cherry flavors in here. Hints of oak and vanilla way back there. My only complaint is that with the sour aftertaste there is also a strong coppery aftertaste which I don't find appeaing. Don't know if that is indicative of the style or this bottle is past its prime. Full bodied and flavorful beer. This was the flavor explosion I was expecting from the Rodenbach Red. Not nearly as balanced but still amazing.

 614 characters

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 1,103 ratings.