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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

3,193 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,193
Reviews: 998
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.42%
Wants: 224
Gots: 326 | FT: 19
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rodenbach Grand Cru Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,193 | Reviews: 998 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of svenness
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

svenness, Oct 12, 2014
Photo of Jonada
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Best before October 22nd 2016. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark red brown color with a finger of a light tan head which settles into a thin cap and thick collar and leaves some spotty lacing. Body is very murky (nearly opaque).

Smell: Acidic sour notes, stone fruit, sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, dark bread .

Taste: Green apple, red grape, light oakiness, slight breadiness and a faint red berry character. Sourness is on the lower end of medium.

Mouthfeel: Light/medium bodied with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Really well balanced and complex. This is a such a unique style and this is a great example of it. This one is a classic for a reason.

Jonada, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of aflamang
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in Schott Zwiesel bordeaux glasses from 750 mL bottle, which we got from the Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont, MA.

Appearance is deep brown. I found it to have almost no burgundy coloring. The head was lighter than tan, and had a lot of big bubbles.

Nose is sour berries and oak with a wonderful slight whiff of vinegar. Very complex nose even for a sour.

Taste is not overwhelmingly sour. The flavors really develop through each sip and between sips as the temperature rises. The major notes I picked up were cherry, grape, lemon, oak, and a surprising amount of yeasty flavor at the tail.

Mouthfeel is thinner than I expected, and more carbonated than other great sours.

aflamang, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my tulip glass a deep burgundy with a large blooming head,sour cherry to be expected dominate the aromas with a touch of iron and barnyard as well.This stuff can make you pucker sour cherry hits hard on the tastebuds but rounds nicely into a more sweet cherry-pie like flavor in the finish.It has an almost creamy mouthfeel to it as I drink more the more it grows on me once your palate gets used to the sour tinge this stuff goes down very easily,glad to try this classic.

oberon, Aug 03, 2005
Photo of bashiba
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice dark red with some brown hints, almost no head on the cellered bottle, fresh it has a big creamy head.

Smell is dominated by a sour balsamic quality, and a deep dark fruity sweetness. Both old and new bottles seem to smell the same.

Taste has a great mix of woody notes, tart sour flavors, and deep dark fruit sweetness, a nice marriage of big flavors, a bit of balsamic flavor comes through more and more.

Mouthfeel has a medium body to it with a dry woody finish, good levels of carbonation especially considering its age and almost flat appearance.

Very well done Flanders Red, nicely sour and has great woody flavors.

Updated on 01/23/12 with a vintage bottle from the celler, I think from 2005.

bashiba, Jan 31, 2006
Photo of puboflyons
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the 750 ml. corked bottle. Sampled on January 7, 2011. It pours opaque bown from the heavy duty bottle with ruby hues and an inch thick silky beige head that fizzles down to nothing quickly. The aroma reeks of bourbon and wine with a cherry or grape maltiness evident. The body is smooth. The taste is very tart like grapefruit or cherry. After it settles it reminds me more of wine than beer but nowhere near as dry.

puboflyons, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of Caml
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Glassware: 4oz de Molen goblet

A: Gorgeous mahogany red-brown, dark but with a good deal of clarity. Short, tan head followed by strong lacing.

S: Nice and sour, maybe even a touch astringent, somewhere between good vinegar and really sour cherries.

T: Amazingly dry and crisp. There's a mite of malt sweetness swimming around in there somewhere, but the dry sourness is the primary feature.

M: Lightly carbonated and rather astringent.

Drinkability: Not terribly high for me, despite its excellent taste and reasonable ABV. Two would easily do it and send me on my way to something else.

Caml, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of Sechavar
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Did I mention that I love cherries? I know it's not "made" with cherries, but the critters in this stuff make it taste like tart dark fruit. Delicious! It's got a light red-brown color going on, and a really lace head. Like some lingerie. Sexay. Sour. Tart. Lip smacking. Tonguing the inside of your mouth for residual flavor. Good.

Sechavar, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of JustinQ
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 2 finger head, Off white. dark red/mahagony hue. Nice Lacing

S: strong fruity, boozy character, cherries, currants, maybe even beets. has that true belgian type aroma

T: Instant fruity/sour/sweet . true to its blend description, little funky, acidic

M: thick full bodied. dry. wine like

O: great beer, not at all what i expected when i purchased this brew. amazed

Im a new fan of sour beers and im sure this was a major contributor

JustinQ, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of Swim424
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from bomber into stella chalice

A-dark burnt amber, mahogany color up to light. much darker away from light. small 1 finger head.

S-very familiar smell, cant put my finger on it. definitely smells a bit sour. sort of vinagar fruity smell.

T-Tastes like less sugary sour candy. Tart, apple flavor.

Mf-pretty thin for what I was expecting. Sort of fizzy.

O-I have never had a beer anything like this beer before. Never had a sour of anything along those lines. But this is really good. Drinks more like a wine. I really like this beer. I will be looking for more like this and i highly recommend this one.

Swim424, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of CraftAleRookie
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capone's- served in a 9 oz Brandy Snifter

A- Deep, dark, ruby-brown color. No head at all- a thin ring of lace only right up against the glass.

S- Wow! Sweet, yet....sour? Hint of tart vinegar, but not in a bad way. Slight hint of ripe cherry.

T- Good! Sweet, cherry, cassis.

M- Fizzy, medium body- but the tartness makes it feel on the lighter side.

D- Here is where I will not be at a loss for words. I enjoyed this ale with a piece of Reese's Peanut Butter cake (this was the last course)- and it was a perfect pairing. At the end of a night of sampling IPAs, DIPAs, and Belgian Dark Ales with appetizer foods (wings, poppers, nachos), this ale was the perfect match with dessert.

A suprising change of pace.

CraftAleRookie, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of modernartblues
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on Tap at Mikro in Hamden

Served in a Tulip

A: brownish-red with a dark head 1/2" head that recedes into nothing, not much lacing and no head retention

S: sour cherries, vinegar, touches of other fruit and funk....I like it, but not blown away.

T: cherries, tartness, sour with some funk, sweetness on the finish is not overbearing, this is a nice balance of acidity and vinegarness and fruity sweetness..impressive

M: light and smooth, pretty good for the flavor profile, I don't like these types of beers when they get super chewy.

D: really good for the style, I can see knocking off one of the 750 ml bottles in a night

I'm not as enraptured with this one as others I've talked to, but hey tastes are different right?

modernartblues, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of texashammer
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Red in color, very little head but creamy, with beautiful lacing. Smells pretty straightforwardly of sourness, like vinegar. I love the smell but know that many people would turn away. Mouth-puckering sourness with a superdry finish. Very acidic and dry. Boy that's good, and a great apertif. In my opinion, the most sour of the sour Flemish beers.

texashammer, Nov 14, 2005
Photo of rawthar
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark cola brown with some burnt red tones where the light meanders through, some dusty grey head that simmers down to a nice film with a respectable collar.

S- Vinegar and prunes, intensely sour and intensely sharp.

T- Balsamic vinegar is the major player, extremely tart and sour, refreshing. Dark dried fruits behind the wall of vinegar. An intense beer for the hearty, and as thirst-quenching as unsweetened lemonade.

M- Light, thin, kind of watery. Stings the hell out of the mouth (in a good way) but that is more a function of the flavor than the feel.

D- Rating drinkability to this style is almost an oxymoron, and while this would be very difficult to session, its a great drink for the right time.

rawthar, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of stakem
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split with friends. I decided to do a side by side tasting and open this along with the clasdic red and also the caractere rogue to analyze the differences in each. Poured into a cervoise, the brew appears a murky brown with a yellowish clarity around the edges and ruby through the body. A figner of tan head appears across the top and fades leaving spotty lace.

The smell is tangy with alcohol. Much more bright and less sweet smelling than the normal red rodenbach offering. It displays fruity esters, oak and vinegar in a more bright way. The barrel character impats some mild burnt sugar quality like caramel and toffee that does a good job contrasting the alcohol an tangy aspects of the nose. As it warms up, some vanilla comes through with lots of fruity tones.

The taste is fruity almost like raisins. Lotd of tart cherry and mild apple cidar vinegar. Some barrel presence like caramel/vanilla contrasts the mildly acidic nature. A touch of oxidation in the aftertaste has a bit of focus shifting towards the woody and almost cardboard quality mingled with earthy components.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. There is a light effervescence and it is overall very easy drinking with low alcohol impact. I really enjoy how well blended and flavorful this beer is without being face crushing/puckering sour. It has just a bit more tartness and is overall more dry than the base. Nicely done and even more enjoyable than the rodenbach red.

stakem, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of Wildman
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a very dark amber color and formed an off white foamy head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. An aroma of chocolate, caramel and cherries. The flavor was of cherries and some malt and the sourness of it is definately there in the finish of the beer.

Wildman, Jun 14, 2003
Photo of donnebaby
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks similar to the Rodenbach Classic, but perhaps a little lighter in color and lighter in head. Looks like cherry juice, with a thin tan smattering of foam scum. Smell is sweet dark cherries, but light compared to the R. Classic.

Taste is an overpowering lemon cherry cough drop. Sour to the max, with a spicy grating of the throat. Lasting cherry taste in the throat, with notes of anise cookies and vanilla. Mouthfeel is creamy on the intake--but immediately changes to gripping lip-smacking sourness. It gets points for kicking my ass. Sort of the feeling when drinking vinegar, or eating something that has alot of vinegar. I love vinegar though, so it's all good fortunately.

This is an awesome taste and creation, but I don't think I really want to have more than one at a sitting. That said, I certainly want to finish the one I'm having.

I'm also reminded of eating too many salt-and-vinegar chips at once...definite parallels.

donnebaby, May 25, 2004
Photo of mithrascruor
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark crimson color with a tinge of brown, but looks black outside of the full light (or when the glass is low). Nice off-white/slightly tan 1/2-finger head turns to a film but with creamy bubbles still around the edges.

Smell: Initial aroma of cider vinegar, but with the hint of, perhaps, some apple and a bit of cherry.

Taste: Significant vinegar flavor here, both cider and balsamic. There's definitely some (crab?)apples in there too. However, there's only a hint of cherry in there, at least to me. A bit of sweetness come out in the aftertaste, but then it is back to mostly sour in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Has a great active yet not overly strong tingly carbonation, that goes well with the flavor. Light mouthfeel, and quite smooth.

Drinkability: As long as you're good with the taste, this is really quite drinkable. Perfect ABV.

While I enjoy these sour Belgian red beers, this one is definitely strong in the vinegar department. It might take more adjustment for some than other similar beers. For those unfamiliar with this style, be prepared to share it with a friend (as I've only seen 750 mL bottles), or grab a smaller bottle of Duchesse De Bourgogne.

mithrascruor, May 15, 2010
Photo of blakesell
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Boston's Bistro 9/20/07 into a fluted Belgian glass (la fin du monde).

Appearance- Beer pours a deep dark red with a decent head. The head is an off pink that dissipates quickly.

Smell- Lots of cherries and raspberries with a hint of vinegar.

Taste- They may call this a grand cru, but I insist that this is a Kreik. Strong cherry with raspberry sourness. a nice kick of tartness in the finish.

Mouthfeel- Sticky and thick. I would like this over ice cream. An excellent dessert beer.

Drinkability- Very nice for a beer with this level of sweetness. Back to back I noticed very little difference between this and the regular Rodenbach.

blakesell, Sep 21, 2007
Photo of Hop_head22
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%

Hop_head22, Oct 19, 2014
Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear chestnut red color with a thin white head that subdsided quickly.
The aroma has a lactic and acetic acid smells with a touch of brett. The aroma reminds me of fresh cut sour apples alongside a piece of stinky bleu cheese in that some of the funk dd a refreshing sharpness while other parts add complexity.
The taste begins with sharp sourness that quickly segues into a more balanced flavor as the malt come to the fore. The flavors then move to the dry side and the sour apple taste then blends with the horeblanket funk and the finish is surprisingly clean.
The mouthfeel is a bit thin though the carbonation makes up for it.
This is not a session beer but accompanied with the right foods this ale would make an amazing dinner companion. I liked this sour brown and would order it again.

RenoZymurgist, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of Higuerah3
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%

Higuerah3, Aug 16, 2014
Photo of falloutsnow
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From: Friar Tuck's, Savoy, IL
Date: "12/09/14 13:56" stamped on bottom of bottle
Glass: Tulip

Rodenbach's Grand Cru is a superb Flanders Red Ale, with complex malt, cherry, and wild yeast flavors and aromas. Overall, not as potently sour as Jacobins, but approaching that level; slightly less to equally complex. The price point and availability of this beer is phenomenal as well. I think I'd like to have one of these on hand at all times.

Pours a 1.5cm head with small to medium-sized bubbles, tan in color, that has average retention, fairly quickly receding to a thickish ring around the glass and a wispy island of foam isolated atop the body. Lacing is fairly substantial, small continents washed upon the sides of the glass. Body is an opaque dark brown with reddish tinge. Carbonation is visible only towards the top of the glass.

Aroma has elements of apple cider and balsamic vinegar, sauerkraut, oak barrel, fresh sweet cherries, and a bit of cherry candy.

Generally well-balanced between tartness and sweetness. Opens with some brown malt sweetness, mineral and iron nuances, and lush, ripe, red cherries with just a hit of tartness. Tart cherry becomes dominant in mid-palate, alongside lighter notes of vinegar and oak barrel. Back of palate is stronger on tartness than sweet cherries and brown malt base, but those are still there, too. Aftertaste of brown malts and lingering tartness on the sides of the palate.

Beer is medium-bodied, with higher-level carbonation that foams the beer substantially across the palate. Overall mouthfeel is at first fizzy, then smooth and creamy, suitable for the style. Closes dryly, with notable lingering tartness on sides of palate.

falloutsnow, Sep 17, 2012
Photo of RoyalT
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This is a deep, deep red in color that's borderline brown. The head was moderate and went down rather quickly, which is typical of the style.

Smell – The tart cherry sweetness comes out way before the malt. The malt does eventually make itself known, but it’s quite wimpy here, much afraid of the big bad sour wolf. There’s an earthy character to this FRA as well, giving the bouquet some real substance.

Taste – Mother pucker! This is one sour, uh, Sour Ale. It’s not so much sour like a lemon as it is just super tart like an early-picked cherry. There are a lot of simple sugars here no doubt, but it’s the tartness that really sticks out. It’s not cheap-tasting though like a lot of pretenders of the style. This is the real deal.

Mouthfeel – This is a bit bigger than light-bodied with some saliva-activating mouth-puckering sourness that will send a shiver down your spine.

Drinkability – This is a very intense FRA that begs to be shared.

RoyalT, Apr 13, 2006
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)
A- This beer is clear but a bit dense with a glow of reddish-brown at the base. There is a thin tan head supported by a soft carbonation.
S- This beer has a soft bright hint with an old wet wood note that has some hints of walnuts. There is a bright tart cherry hint in the finish. As the beer warms there are notes of caramel and roses with a stronger cola note in it.
T- This beer has a nice brown malt note with a bright tart finish and some chewy flavor and vinegar notes in the finish.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a soft astringency and no real alcohol heat.
D- This beer has a nice flavor with notes of old and young beer in good combination. It was a pleasant surprise of malt flavors coming through as the beer warmed.

rhoadsrage, Jan 06, 2010
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
96 out of 100 based on 3,193 ratings.