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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,069 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,069
Hads: 3,668
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 20.89%
Wants: 299
Gots: 534 | FT: 27
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rodenbach Grand Cru Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,069 | Hads: 3,668
Photo of sethmeister
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 corked and caged bottle into flute

Attractive caramel brown body with a creamy light tan head and a touch of streaky lace.

The scent is quite amazing. A blast of pungent and acidic sourness, vinous grapes, yeast, spice, toasty notes.

The taste is just as overwhelming as the scent. Sour, salty, wine grapes, yeast, oaky and toasted flavors. My unlettered palate can't help but taste apple cider vinegar.

Mouthfeel is intensely astringent and puckering. The back of my throat tingles and itches.

Drinkability is, at least for me, not high. I suspect that finding just the right food to accompany it might make it easier to drink.

This is the James Joyce of beers. Its not for the casual quaffer and may leave you confused and upset at times but the experience makes you a richer human being. Well, perhaps that's stretching it but if you want a beer that is both shocking and enriching Rodenbach Grand Cru is a good choice.

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Photo of Cresant
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this brown 750 mL bottle into a Lindemans flute. No date. The body was clear and burnished brown/red in color. The mild head retreated to a tiny collar. The off white head was effervescent and quickly faded leaving no lacing.

Smell was bold. Sour and vinegary. War-head candies come to mind. Vinous.

Taste was sweet and tart. Salty. Sour cherries. Crisp and drying. Unmistakable woodiness. Complex and unfolding throughout the drink.

Mouthfeel was spritzy and medium in body.

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Photo of shbobdb
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

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Photo of techdiver
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a rich clear mahogany with a modest head that dissipates slowly.

Nose of sour cherries and yeast.

Taste is crisp, tart and almost overwhelmingly complex. An amazing and refreshing taste that overpowers the senses.

Mouthfeel is just so exceptional, it just tingles as it rolls through your mouth.

Drinkability is such that I'm distraught that I have but this one sample - for now.

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Photo of mnj21655
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle best before 21/06/07

Pours a clear reddish-brown which resembles mahogany, with a huge head that settles down to about a finger and leaves somewhat spotty lacing. Has a nice yeasty smell to it. This beer even smells tart. As for the taste, this is amazingly complex. Simply calling it tart or sour is a huge understatement. There is a nice fruity sourness, specifically berries and citrus, that makes this especially enjoyable. In terms of mouthfeel this is light-bodied and moderate to high carbonation. In terms of drinkability this is great. While this is quite tart I found it very enjoyable. The amazing complexity of this beer makes it a pleasure. Bottom Line: this is an excellent beer that I would certainly recommend.

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Photo of warmstorage
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just realized that as I'm about to keg several batches, I needed to free up some space in the beer fridge to use it as a keg fridge. Time to drink!

750ml bottle, 6%, says Best Before: see bottom, but no date discernable on the bottle of the bottle (or anywhere else.)

Pours a deep red with a moderate, fairly dense off-white head that dissipates rapidly and leaves just a little lacing.

Aroma is sour pungent funk, in a great way.

Taste is sour and lactic and slightly sweet, with a long sour finish. Notes of fresh, young granny smith apples? Slightly sugary sweet, more than I might expect to show through in a sour beer. Long lingering sweetness.

Mouth is relatively thin, with a prickle that is probably more from sour than carbonation.

A delicious beer, and it shows my love of sour beers that I don't find this particularly sour. It gets only a relatively minor response from my salivary glands, and finishes sweet more than sour. Still pretty tasty.

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Photo of Onibubba
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cracked open this 750 in celebration of St Pat - In your face Guinness! Beautiful ruby pour with a rich beige head. The expected aromas of port, vinegar, and sweet tarts assail my nose aggressively. You don't have to work to smell this beer - It smells you. Very heady, very nice. Taste is awesome. Very reminescent of The Duchesse, but this is more tart. Balsamic and tart cherries and port. Mouthfeel is not as smooth as the aforementioned lady, but is nice. A bit more highly carbonated.

Drinkability is great. Killed thi in no time and reached for the Duchesse to finish the night off. I think this style could take a bit more alcohol. I'd love to try a 9% version.

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Photo of kajerm
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first Flanders Red, and outside of a few lambics (of varying degrees of autheticity), my first adventure with sour beer. 750mL bottle with foil, cork, and cage. My girlfriend thought it was going to taste like champagne-- man, was she in for a shock.

Pours a rich, gorgeous amber with a foamy head of fine carbonation that puts up a hell of a fight before dying down. The head did not fade entirely throughout the entire drink, thanks to the constant stream of tiny bubbles. Very nice.

Smells exactly like I imagined. Mountains of horsey brettanomyces, layered with a cidery note that I couldn't pin down exactly. There is an underlying aroma of acetic acid.

Holy living fuck. This is a sour beer. Tastes exactly like it smells, only stronger in every conceivable way. The vinegar taste is overpowering on the first few sips, but as my taste buds adapt the barnyardy brett flavor, the apple cider note (does beer have malic acid in it?), and other sour notes become more dominant, and thank God, Zeus, and Thor for that.

Mouthfeel is sharp and thin, a deadly combo of high carbonation and a really, really acidic beer.

Drinkability? This is interesting, but one is more than enough. I was very very very very glad I didn't have to kill that 750 alone.

RERATE: I like it this time. I'm jacking up drinkability-- this is actually very subdued. I'm guessing it was warm or oxidized last time; in any case, this is a fine sour beer. Fortunately I overrated last time, so the numbers will stay more or less the same.

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Photo of drseamus
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bottle was labeled as best by 11/16/07 and poured into a chimay chalice consumed on 3/15/07. I drank this right after RR Suplication to compare two different sour ales. This one pours brown but the light makes it appear ruby colored. There is very little head. It has a very similar aroma to the Supplication with a very strong sour brett presence. The taste is also similar to the Supplication with a strong sour brett presence but is still very smooth. This is sweeter than the Supplication and has a slightly fuller body. This is a great example of a Flanders red.

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Photo of RedHaze
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle with a best by 13/09/08.

Pours a dak garnet tinged brown with a on finger head that fades fairly quickly to a thin soapy cap. The isn't very sticky, sliding down the sides of the glass when I set it down.

Smell; sour apples and tart cherries come out right up front, followed by a bit of vinegar and oak. There's a touch of some earthy funkiness floating around in the background as well.

Taste; the tart cherries a very evident on the first few sips, and then some of the sour apples start to show through a little bit. Vinegar and oak barrels mix with a bit of a woodsy earthiness, and just some faint hints of a barnyard funk, with a bit of an acidic bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of a carbonation tingle that adds a bit of bite to the tartness, and the drinkability is really good, but I really like this style of beer.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: There was some off-gas when popping the top, but the beer pours mostly still with a small ring of foam on top. This beer is mostly clear with a reddish brown tint. There are only a few bubbles rising, but the head was never really there to maintain.

Aroma: My first impression is of a little bit of sweetness and a defined dark cherry presence. I get a little bit of dry woody aromatics that contribute to the impression of sourness to the beer. It obviously has a wild character. As it warms, the complexity of the aroma gets more intense and seems to accentuate the sweetness giving it a mild caramel-like quality.

Taste: The beer comes across the palate as being pretty dry and clean. It is obviously well attenuated and the sweetness that you pick up in the nose is just an impression that is left from the wild yeast. The flavor tells a different story than the aroma did, but the cherry notes stand strong the entire time. There is a strong malty backbone that this beer once stood upon, but the yeast took care of that and left some dryness in their wake...however you can still taste that depth in the flavor. I don't get any strong hops or anything, and the wild yeast character lend as much to the balance as anything.

Opinion: I am really enjoying this beer and again, it makes me wonder why in the heck we can't get beer like this in Texas. I really enjoy the depth of flavor in this beer and ones similar (like the Duchesse), but for some reason "Texans don't get it". A beer like this is one that you will either love or hate depending on your preference, but I really enjoy them. I would most certainly drink this beer again and would do so regularly if it were available in my area. As it is, I got a four pack (now three pack) in Florida to sit on an enjoy on special occasions. I would definitely recommend this beer to try and see if your palate is agreeable to it or not.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Many many thank to Patrick for getting this one for me. $3.59/11.2 oz bottle.6% ABV.

Pours out to a sparkingly clear deep garnet, forming a modest soapy yellow head with very good retention and decent lacing. Carbonation is moderate, which is mild compared to most other Belgians. This is good in my book. The aroma wafts immediately out of the bottle, hitting the nose with a sharp, biting super-fruity sourness. This reminds me of Duchesse but the oak is much more pronounced here. You can actually smell the vats. Overripe fruit, basement must, brand new tennis shoes, a touch of burnt rubber and magic marker, rotting cherries, oak and when swirled, fresh pipe tobacco and a hint of leather....a very complex and wonderful nose. Does this come in a cologne? The mouthfeel is very tart and puckering with a medium-light body and plenty of astringency in the finish. As it hits the tongue, it doesn't quite explode, but it has a very soft, almost meringue-like airy texture composed of very fine bubbles. The taste is a recap of the aroma...not as sweet as Duchesse and perhaps a bit more sour and dry...the tennis shoes and black markers don't quite make it into the flavor, but the other aromas do with the inclusion of concorde grapes and red cherries. The vats leave a nice woodsy finish. Towards the middle, there seems to be a brief tinge of metals. I don't know where this would be picked up...you would think it would dissipate during the 18 months of aging.

A wonderful beer, however, I'm going to have to go with the Duchesse as far as pure drinkability and enjoyment goes. This is an amazingly complex and tasty beer worthy of it's reputation. I only wish that it was more full-bodied. Thank heavens I picked up a 4-pack!

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Photo of malcontent
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky red/brown leaving hardly any head in its wake. Uninspiring ring of lacing lingers behind.

Ah, there it is! Cherries, red wine vinegar and earth scents flood my nose. Soft berry and cola show up on subsequent sniffs. An exciting nose to say the least.

Tart cherry vinegar right up front with that great mouth-puckering effect on the finish from the oak. This is actually sweeter than the tap version and all sorts of milder, even buttery flavors are coming through with some mild spice and honey to name a few.

Mouthfeel tingles the tongue and yet maintains its smoothness. I'd once said I couldn't drink this all night but I'd love to try. Screw that. I'd totally drink this until I fell over. Love it, love it, love it.

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Photo of soupyman10
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one on-tap into the snifter. Actually had a friend order it who couldn't end up handling it, so I gave it a shot. Color is reddish-brown with a fairly small to medium amount of white head; looks alright, but nothing to write home about. Smell is biting, lots of cherries and grapes. Taste is remarkably strange; I've never anything remotely like it. It's mostly acidic; lots of sourness that really knocks you on your ass. There's also a good amount of cherry and grape, but not much in the way of hops. Other flavors in there as well (which other reviews hint might be oak). Again, body is medium overall, with fairly high carbonation (maybe a touch too high for me). It's a pretty good beer, and extremely unique; it's just not something I'd go out of my way to drink that often. So not bad, but not necessarily fantastic either.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.47/5  rDev -18.5%
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...

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Photo of atigerlife
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Rodenbach tulip.

Pours a deep amber with a 2 finger light brown head. Good head retention. Lots of carbonation seen rising. Quite impressive to look at.

Aroma has a wine/vinegar nose with dark fruits and oak rounding out the experience. Nice.

Taste is startling. Be prepared for a slap in the face! Dominating is the dark sour cherries. Some oak also is present. The strong sourness and some light sweetness have an interesting interplay. Some light spices in the background.

Mouthfeel was medium/light bodied, medium carbonation and a VERY dominant dry mouthfeel. This beer will leave you puckered.

Overall, the first few sips were not enjoyable but it defnitely grew on me the more I drank. Too bad I didn't have more. Beautiful to look at and the taste is an aquired one. Good for sipping. Very interesting.

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Photo of Cadyfatcat
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Moody red color with small brown head with lingering rather large bubbles.

Smells of blood orange, papaya, floor cleaner, sourness, nail polish.
Taste is very sour the entire way through, some red candy apple sweetness, burnt caramel notes. A little carrot, caramelized peppers, extreme key lime acidity and tartness. The flavor ending is hardly bitter like most beer; it’s a lip puckering sourness which retains a perfect amount of dryness.

Body is extremely light and fizzy, normally this would be a bad attribute but it goes wonderfully with the flavors in this beer. A great example of one of my favorite and most esoteric types of beer.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
2.95/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

this grand cru pours a very deep copper, with some reddish hues, the head is very thin and beige.
the aroma is a mix of carmelized malt, some unidentified spice, some mangos, and some thing acidic.
the flavor is malty, fruity, acidic, light.
i guess i'm not much of a fan of this beer, i dont like the acid zing, and the body is a little to light for the aroma.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of Morris729
4.92/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark ruby-amber color with a tall foamy light tan head that settles into a heavy lace. Nose is sour cherries and vinous vanilla oak along with a bit of a berry sweetness—very nice. Taste begins with a sharp cherry tartness that makes your mouth pucker for a second before immediately craving more. A tangy black cherry and dark plum sourness follows along with a nice balance of cherry and apple sweetness. There are also some woody oak flavors along with notes of vanilla and grape skin tannins. Very complex and thoroughly enjoyable.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Translucent reddish-brown with a light tan head. The head leaves a nice foam over the top of the beer.

Smell: Cherries and apple are the majority of smells. Some oaky grapes appear in the background.

Taste: Sharp almost sour apple tasting. Tart then take over your palette. The grapes and a little plum are present toward the end. Nice dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Like a nice champagne. Very well balanced.

Drinkability: RThis is a fruity and complex beer that is very crisp and refreshing to drink. I have another one aging now.

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Photo of drewbage
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
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

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Photo of tboom29
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a deep red brown when poured. A lot of head at first, but it quickly subsides.

Lots of cherry and red fruits in the nose. Smells great.

Very crisp and has a dry, almost tanniny finish, which is probably from the oak. Tart cherry comes through, as well as other dark fruits and some of the oak as well. Medium mouthfeel, with a nice sharp bite throughout. Despite the bite, surpisingly smooth. Although I didn't do this, I would recommend eating with some cheese, as it can get a bit sweet. I'm not a huge fan of sour beers, but this was really great and would be great to sip in the summer.

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Photo of emerge077
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Into a Liefman's tulip, the Grand Cru pours a deep scarlet tone, capped with several fingers of off-white foam. There's a good level of clarity in this one, without pouring the yeast sediment the first time around.

Smell is perfect, and one of my favorite aspects of Belgian farmhouse styles. The yeast has a distinct funky wildness about it. The aroma first conjures up a wet field in the late morning, as the sun starts to warm up the soil. Damp earth, overripe berries, and a ripened cheese note. A citric sharpness cuts through all the romantic notions, alluding to it's potency.

Taste is citrusy tart at first, spritzy on the palate. Midway through, it has a rounder mouthfeel, with oak and sour berry lasting on the tongue. There is a Balsamic sweetness, but toned down and not vinegary. Aftertaste is a little dry, but balanced by the mouth-watering sweet/sour element.

I can finish a 750 in a sitting, but it's definitely one to pair with food (and share). The label recommends pairing with seafood or dishes with lemon garnish.

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Photo of xav33
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rodenbach Grand Cru
12 oz bottle
Medium pour in a tulip glass
Best before 04/08, crucified 01/07

Poured a ruddy brown with an average light brown somewhat lasting head that settles into a thin consistent layer due to good carbonation.

Smelt of strong sweet vinaigrette, and white grape juice, with moderate oak, pipe tobacco, cobwebs.

Taste was upfront strong sourness and moderate sweetness, like some concentrated white grape juice or biting into a fresh tart plum, followed by more strong sourness and moderate sweetness and a tinge of oak, roasted or smoky malt bitterness, and a comfortable brandy like alcoholic warmth on a long sour finish. Palate was light to medium bodied, watery, strongly puckering, lively but softly carbonated, and very slightly alcoholic.

Overall, this is a pretty amazing beer. I have seldom been a fan of sour beers, but the balance of sweetness and subtle bitterness all mesh perfectly. The smell was strong, teasing and enchanting; I spent the first 15 minutes basking in its redolence.

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 1,069 ratings.