1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,303 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,303
Reviews: 1,010
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.42%
Wants: 241
Gots: 382 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rodenbach Grand Cru Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,303 | Reviews: 1,010 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pentathlete
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Translucent ruby brown, tiny bubbled head, persistant ring and some lacing. Gobs of carbonation. The smell has a little aspirinish odor connoting a sour taste is coming. There is also a malty aroma, albeit twisted by the sourness. Tart starts it all off, but never puckering. The malt base washes through in the middle. Balance is not bad at all. Mouthfeel is thin to medium with a light body and carbonic finish. There are lots of bubbles in this one, plenty of sour burps. Not overpowering, actually pleasant for a Flanders and paired very well with grilled porkchops. Spouse really liked it, too, a first for a sour brew.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Brand flute glass. Pours a deep dark amber with a generous inch of off white, fluffy head. Aromas of sour cherries are most apparent followed by spicy yeast. Tastes of tart and sour dried fruits such as plum, prune, and cherry. The sourness lasts through the dry finish and then some. medium body and moderate carbonation. I did not think I would like this after my first few sips, but as I made my way to the bottom of the bottle, it sure did grow on me. Very well made.

Photo of TinusTime
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby red with brownish highlights. Very small cap of head tops the beer. Smell is musty and vinegary. Smells of a German Cherry Vinegar i used once. Taste is similar, sour cherries, wine vinegar, pucker the cheeks. A note of horsey funkiness also creeps into the taste. Mouthfeel is nice, low carbonation. No real hops to speak of which probably wouldnt be to style any how. A nice beer with dinner or a salad. Definately not a session beer, but one that I would definately pick up again.

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours clear ruby red with a medium-large off-white creamy head. Dissipation is slow and leaves rich lacings.

S: Oak, a bit sour and some cherries. Dry, some malt, dark syrup, bready. Faint bitterness.

T: Cherries and brett. Sour. Rich cherryflavour. Well balanced and well matured. Oranges.

M: Long sour bitter aftertaste. Body is medium and carbonation is very mild.

O: Nice sour Flanders red.

Photo of fuzzcherry
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of jera1350
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby hued amber with an everlasting tan colored head that appears very soft. Some noticeable lacing on the glass.

Smells both sweet and sour. A lactic sour in fact. Apple cider vinegar lightly present.

The taste is a mix of sweet and sour as well, with the sour having a slight edge. A tart apple like sourness. I would call this a little beyond moderately sour. About as sour as I would really want to have. There is a little bit of noticeable woody oak notes as well in the background.

As expected, this one is very tongue suckingly puckering and dry. Light-medium body with lots of carbonation. Can't say I've burped from a beer as much as this one.

Nicely drinking for a sour. Well done and decently priced for the category. This is a good intro/evolving into sours beer. Not too sour, but plenty there to showcase the style.

Photo of Dogbrick
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark reddish-amber color with a medium thick eggshell white head that lasts fairly long. Thick sheets of lacing. Aroma of sour cherry and grape, with a touch of sweet malt too. Medium-bodied and super tart and vinous and first, but smoother as it warms. Sour fruit is the name of the game here, with cherry and apple being dominant. Some light spices and malts are there as well. The finish is dry and fruity. Admittedly I usually struggle with this style but this is a complex and well-crafted beer.

Photo of fields336
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into my SN Snifter
best by 1/09/13 printed on the bottom of the bottle

A: Dark brown reddish color with 1/2 finger of khaki/mocha colored head. lingers on the side with slight carbonation, alcohol legs present. lacing is nice and leaves different patterns on my glass as I drink it.

S: first smell is of vinegar, then opens up to a bouquet of cherries and grapes. with the funkiness/sourness it is almost like a red wine. some coffee or dark chocolate is latent. definitely smells acidic.

T: Red wine vinegar mixed in with dark fruits. the sourness washes away to a nice mix of fruity and earthy undertones. Definitely wine-like. Pretty nice. The mix of sweet and sour is nice and neither one overpowers the other. Definitely getting some tannins and oak late in the taste as it sweetens and lingers on my tongue. nice balance and the different waves of flavors are welcome.

M: light-bodied and carbonated, not a whole lot lingers but a bit on the sides of my tongue. hangs around for a while.

O: My palate was not ready for this style, so I will definitely mark this as one to have to re-review, but I think sour beers could become something I like.

Photo of amsguitarist
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of sulldaddy
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another brew split with fish113d. Big thanks to Manekineko for the hookup!
I am sampling @ room temp in a tulip glass. the beer pours a clear cranberry color with minimal off white head that fades to an edge layer quickly. Aroma is tart, sour cherries, merlot wine, and some light oak scents mixed with a bit of vanilla. The first sip reveals a lighter body and fine yet prickly carbonation.
Flavor is as advertised by the nose, tart and sour cherries mix with a hint of oak but mostly puckering sour. I dig it!
the finish is very light with a lingering tartness and wine flavors in the burp. QUite an experience, I really enjoy this style.

Photo of ckollias
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of cookedw
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I was shocked to discover that Jupiter (Berkeley) had this beer on tap, but then I remembered they were doing a sour special for beer week.

A - This is a gorgeous looking beer, a beautiful deep red.

S - Very red wine in character from the oak+fruit notes, a little vinegary but not a ton. Not really very aromatic, honestly.

T - Immediately, I tasted cranberry and sour cherries, and then this subsided into grapes. This beer is not particularly sour, which I appreciate, but it was almost too fruity. As the flavor accumulated on my tongue over time, I tasted a lingering tobacco-like note.

M - Lightly carbonated, this was pleasurable, with enough robustness to let the flavors linger and enough pucker to make the mouth water without blistering it.

D - As far as the style goes, it's really light and not super sour, so I consider it pretty drinkable.

O - This beer is good, but I kept on wanting something more from it. Maybe 'cause it's relatively low in alcohol content and so fruit-centric, I just didn't really yearn for each sip. I'm glad I had it, and it was tasty, but this is not one for the "absolutely seek out", IMO.

Photo of cokes
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this bottle for quite some time. I'm not sure when it was produced, but the bottom has a best before date of: 09 08 07.

Pours a shimmering and lightly hazy auburn-brown body with a firm rise of tan suds.
The nose is heavy on balsamic vinegar, and backed with oak, old sneakers, mentholated cherry coughdrops, and mildew.
It begins with lightly sugared brown raisin fruitiness, as it morphs towards cherry, and then begins an exponentially sour descent. From this sour cherry, it turns towards cider. From the cider, it turns towards lime juice. From lime juice, it becomes a well aged balsamic vinegar with the requisite oaky nuances. It stay bracingly tart as it hits the back of the mouth and explodes into splinters of cinnamon.
The tartness is generally autocratic, but some funkier yeast flourishes pop up from time to time, mostly via pungent cheese and wet basement impressions.
It carries a medium body, with a small amount of sweettart tackiness, but a fluffy carbonation keeps it from gumming up too much.
In some ways, the tartness makes this a bit of a one trick pony. It's not refreshing like a gueuze; more like liquid heartburn.
That said, this still has plenty of charm, and I like it quite a bit more than their Classic.

Photo of jsanford
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Distillery in Savannah, GA. I was surprised to see this on tap, it was quite an unexpected treat.

A - Dark, cola-brown with reddish tints and a wispy rose-colored head. Solid retention, looks very inviting.
S - Quite sour smelling. Red wine vinegar dominates with a bit of tart cherry, sweet-smelling hay and oak.
T - Again, I'm getting a ton of pleasantly sour red wine vinegar. Some sweet malt and dark cherry balances the tart a bit, while the straw and oak help smooth the whole thing out. Quite tasty.
M - Thin-bodied with a slightly syrupy consistency. Carbonation is crisp and sharp.
D - Got a bit intense toward the end of the glass, so one should be good for me. Also, I need to pop a TUMS. Worth it though.

Photo of Immortale25
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Southern Tier tulip-style glass. Stamp on the bottom of the bottle says 07/03/14 which I take to mean drink by March 7, 2014.

A- Pours a dark brown that's almost opaque with a 1/2 inch head that's very fizzy as it quickly gasses away to just a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and almost no surface foam. Below average lacing.

S- Smells of rotten cherries and sour red grapes. Oh boy. Here we go.

T- Immediate lashing of the tongue with dry, puckering sourness but what's this? A soaring rescue as the sweetness follows and gives the tartness a purpose. As more sips are taken, the palate becomes acclimated to the wildness and things become more enjoyable. The aroma is still kind of off-putting but can be overlooked. Notes of cherry, raspberry and blackberry.

M- Not as dry or acidic as other Flanders Reds can be. Still plenty of pucker but the body keeps things balanced. Low carbonation.

O- This could definitely be intense for someone who's not used to sour beers but IMO it's one of the better beers in its class. I'm still not a fan of the aroma, but it tastes great.

Photo of geexploitation
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Wow. The Rodenbach Grand Cru is everything the regular Rodenbach is and more more more. Pours a bright ruby brown with a big head. Massive sour cherry nose with underlying vanilla notes. Taste is initally sweet, but upon starting to swallow the sourness takes over, and by "over" I mean "overpowering". Swig some of this and the sourness explodes in the back of the palate; even after swallowing, the sourness sticks around in the back of the throat. Mouthfeel is bright with that sour flavor. Drinkability, alas, is pretty low. The sourness is just a bit too much for me (and I like the regular Rodenbach, this is just dialed up so much), which reduces the drinkability.

Perhaps this could be excellent with the proper food pairing, and served in a smaller vessel (I'm working on 2/3 of a 750 at this point). Lots of extra points for rather rare flavors to encounter in a beer. Overall this is a great beer that I can appreciate but not, perhaps, love.

Photo of mmapes
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had a bottle earlier in the day that was fresh. Reviewing a roughly five year old bottle from Beer Mania.

Poured into wine glasses. Head was there briefly but dissipated quickly. Color is cola-reddish-brown.

Smell is sour up front, carmel, maybe a hint of slight vinegar... we hope it's okay. I think the fresh bottle earlier had a more appealing scent -- the sour note seemed more fruity.

Very interesting first sip: Sweet, a little sour, very complex. Some cherry up front, but quickly turns less fruity than the fresh bottle earlier had been. The age makes it smoother than the fresh bottle. The sour component is preceded by a dark brown sugary malt that is quite sweet, and just the right offset for the sour. The long finish makes it easy to sip. I'm not the biggest fan of sour beers, but this is delicious.

Photo of beersabound
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

When we first opened this one it had a strong vinegar aroma and flavor. This was beyond sour and unpleasant. However, after it warmed up, the vinegar subisided substantially allowng the fruity tones and sourness to come through. This beer has a hazy amber hue with a fizzy head that forms nicely and then snap, crackle, pops away. The aroma is predominantly sour with cherry and other fruits. The mouthfeel is puckering, quite lively and dries the mouth. the carbonation is high and it has a little body. Good Sour! Let it warm before you dive in.

Photo of mltobin
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at The Half Door in Hartford, CT.
Poured into a goblit, the appearance is a light red color with a one finger head. The smell is tart, cherry, faint sugar. With a taste sour like the normal Rodenbach, but the Grand Cru to me seemed not to be as sour, but still interesting to say the least. With a tart, sweet taste, but not overpowering in my humble opinion. Mouthfeel is full and flavorful like most Flanders. Drinkability is pretty good for such an interesting and unique beer. Not a beer for someone who has only been exposed to bud light. But if you have tried some other styles and wish to expand your palate, start with the regular Rodenbach and then try this Rodenbach Grand Cru, it is worth your efforts.

Photo of davesway10
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So this is the first time I've had this style of beer. Words such as "sour" usually send me packing. That said, I really enjoyed this beer. Nice Hazy brown, a little red, with a tan head the quickly recedes. Taste has some nice tart fruitiness to it, I get the apples more than the cherry that others have noticed, and thats fine. My palate isn't as "refined", one day though. Anyway, this wont be a regular staple for me but I'll certainly pick it up again, and look forward to trying others of the style.

Photo of Caml
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Things are just as burgundy here as in Classic world, though a touch darker and a whole degree of magnitude more brackish. The khaki cap is now more baseball than beret, ‘cause it has to appeal to a wider audience, and who doesn’t love America’s pastime, eh? No one, that’s who!

Whatever subtlety lived in the classic nose is mostly gone here, replaced by an even sharper contingent of berries, the elite sniper brigade of the bush/bog/wherever the hell else berries happen to come from. Luckily for the sanity of the nose hairs, these sumbitches are constantly hounded (and likely annoyed) by a loudmouthed, yappy little toffee bastard. Now the berries know how Spike felt all those years ago with that pest Chester always tagging along, makin’ a comedic mess o’ things for the big lug. The traces of red wine on the edges are more blatant now, in the vein of a rich, earthy Pinot Noir. A short field of dark ivy crawls beneath it all, ensuring the tartness and the sweetness don’t battle in a vacuum, that it’s not just a young buck taking on a crowd of comers one at a time (I’m lookin’ at you, any extra that’s ever been in an action movie before). Finally, swinging along the edge of the canopy with the last vestiges of the wine is a twinge of apple vinegar, young, lithe, and carefree, but still with a chip on its shoulder. Be wary of this little fireball, as it probably won’t take much to set it off in an adolescent rage. I blame the parents. It’s always the parents. Usually. Sometimes.

Similar layers stratify themselves atop the tongue. First comes a basal sediment of sweet, buttery toffee. On top of this rolls a tide of berry-laced wine, this time verging closer to a Malbec. Then comes a thin-ish wash and veneer of straight white vinegar, quick and effervescent as a misty ninja, yet effective as the blade of a veteran samurai. Once this silent wind of puckering doom whooshes away, the wine and toffee helically battle through the air, a Torch and Sub-Mariner for these Modern Age times (clearly I’m not counting their appearance in Marvels as anything new, more a rerun of the past in stunning Alex Ross HD). Depending on the curvature of your tongue at the right instant, you may be left with a dry, tannic scar or a mildly-nutty sweetness. Either way, the feeling doesn’t last long, but a crater is indeed left behind, laden with remnants of everything that once dwelt on that craggy little asteroid. Shit, geologists are gonna have field days for years to come with this nonsense.

As hearty as everything comes and as thoroughly as things express themselves, there is a very bearable lightness in their collective being. An evanescence somehow pervades, even in spite of the lack of that dark beauty, Amy Lee. Dammit, this shit just turns out to be so drinkable because of this. There are worse burdens, I s’pose.

Photo of svenness
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.07/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

AP: ruby tinted amber with a slow but plentiful carbonation creating a formidable tan colored head that becomes a fizzy 1/4" cap.

nose: sour and tart raspberrie fruity malt, sour dill pickles, overripe apples, sweaty feat-cheese, herbal hop and fermented grapes. pretty dang complex and odd.

flavor: This is an extremely tart raspberry flavored belgian yeast effect at first, mildly sweet malt, sour apples and a light white-wine taste that takes a back seat to the dominant sour yeatieness.

Feel: Medium body, light and fluffy feel with a dry finish. goes down pretty smooth.

DA: not bad at 6% ABV.

Photo of jbonapar
4.07/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

See My prior review below review below. I was new to this style, and since then have realized this beer is fantastic. A perfect balance of sourness and malt. It truly grows on you. I now agree with many others who state this is a world class beer.

Purchased a bottle in QUebec. I was very excited to try this after the reviews on this site.

Smell - Yikes. Is this beer gone bad? Balsamic vinegar. Thats all i can smell. I'm not getting the same odor as many others describe.

Taste - Sour, very sour...Again, vinegar and funky. Some sweet red wine a tiny hint of malt. With each sip, i get used to the tartness, but its overpowering for sure. Interesting nonetheless.

Overall - I'm not as impressed as most are, perhaps i'm too new to the style.

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,303 ratings.