1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,003 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,003
Reviews: 988
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.42%
Wants: 213
Gots: 293 | FT: 16
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: 3,003 | Reviews: 988 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

kylehay2004, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

jaydoc, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

ChainGangGuy, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of Knapp85
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This poured out as a nice deep red color with a fizzy white head on top. Hardly any lacing and retention on this beer. The smell of the beer is slightly sour, with notes of oak and cherry. The taste is really nice, it's got a subtle tart cherry flavor with a slight sweet malt backbone. The flavors are very well balanced. The mouthfeel is light bodied, with a solid carbonation and very drinkable. Overall this beer is very good. Would drink it again anytime.

Knapp85, Apr 21, 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 westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -6.8%

westcoastbeerlvr, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

TMoney2591, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of emerge077
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

emerge077, Jan 23, 2007
Photo of largadeer
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this one several times, so it's about time I got around to writing a review.

Appearance: A dark but clear ruby red. The two finger head slowly settles to a thin cap, leaving sheets of lace as it recedes. The color is exceptional.

Smell: Simultaneously sour and sweet. Tart cherries, vanilla, balsamic vinegar and a hint of buttery oak.

Taste/mouthfeel: Initially sweet, though it's quickly cut by an acetic fruity sourness (raspberries, black cherries). Notes of oak appear, dry and slightly tannic with a caramel undertone. The finish is tart and fruity, leaving a hint of vanilla on the tongue after the sourness fades.

Drinkability: Fairly easy to drink, but the acetic acid catches up with you after a while.

largadeer, Jun 10, 2008
Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, at Beer Bistro in suit-heavy downtown Toronto.

This beer pours a clear, very dark, yet bright ruby amber hue, with one skinny finger of low-key foamy, and mostly soapy beige head, which leaves a small ring of lace in its slow retreat.

It smells of tart, fruity funk - cherry, apple, and red grape, mostly - a softly oaken woodiness, bready, pastry-like malt, a twitch of likewise malt-borne vinegar, a bit of earthy yeast, and soft leafy, weedy hops. The taste is sour, acidic orchard fruit - cherry, apples, dry white wine, some sweeter Lifesavers-like analogue, a hint of dry yeast, and a bit of earthen woodiness.

The carbonation is actually quite average, and quotidian in its support duties, the body a bit south of medium weight, and generally smooth. It finishes fruity, dry, and receding in its tartness, the cherry tendencies most likely to come out and make a day of it.

A well-balanced sour ale, if that's even a thing, though not quite the sort to knock one over the head, like some of its brethren. Easy to drink, fruity, and a tad funky - good stuff.

biboergosum, Feb 11, 2010
Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It pours a reddish-chestnut brown beneath a short lid of creamy tan foam that drops shortly to a standard collar with just some spider-web surface covering (which is common for the style). It does, however, leave some nice splashes and spots of lace about the goblet.

The nose is grape-like, and vinous; with some earthy character (muddy, mineral-rich barnyard), and a touch of underlying wood.

In the mouth it's medium-light bodied but with a certain amount of dextrins, and it's very-fine, natural (bottle-conditioned) carbonation is gently effervescent.

The flavor is tart and sweet right up-front like dark grapes (Concorde even), with a combination of cherry and plum-like fruitiness that's backed by a wide, sweetish caramelish malt base. It's not overly sugary, but there's definitely some dextrinous sweetness there acting as a soft platform for it's spritely, spinning, and sublimely metallic-spicy tart character. The bitterness is limited, as it should be, and the tartness and drying woodiness balance it well, and bring it to a fruity, but still raspy-dry finish.

The Rodenbach beers are of the highest caliber, and this is their finest. It's refreshing and exciting!

NeroFiddled, Jul 09, 2005
Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

SocalKicks, Jul 06, 2012
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.73/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of vinegary & tart apples and dark fruits, some Belgian yeast, some malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sour with strong flavors of apples and cherries. There's a little bit of sweetness that comes in along with a hearty but not too heavy malt character. The hops presence is mild. The after-taste is sour.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Flavorful, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it's a decent beer to drink for a while if you're in the mood for a sour beer.

TheManiacalOne, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of Jason
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 33 cl bottle with a “consume before” date on the back label.

Appearance: Quick to foam though retains a healthy looking lace, deep reddish brown lets little light through.

Smell: Sour fruit; cherries, grapes and lemon. Hints of vanilla and malt husk.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Mild viscous smoothness, lots of tartness with fruity suggestions of cherries and plum. Mild flare of alcohol with a hollow vanilla flavor. Not much for hops though any kind of hop flavor would not be expected any way.

Drinkablity & Notes: A pretty exceptional brew, I have had better from this brewery in the past though this one still stands up to be a quality brew for sure.

Jason, Jun 16, 2004
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hoooie. Gotta love you some Flanders ales. If only they were more readily available and more people were making them.

This ale carries all of the hallmark characteristics of the style. Woody, mostly cherry tartness. Makes the back of your mouth pucker a little and do funny things. I'm really building this up quite nicely, aren't I? This is closer to the wild tones of a lambic or wild ale, so you better know what you're getting into. Bottom line: this is a grand cru that deserves the title. Gotta love it.

RblWthACoz, May 09, 2012
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep ruby brown color with a tan head leaves behind webbed fine belgian style lacing. Aroma: Vinous and effervescent some tart cherry or raspberry tones to it leaves a woody almost cedar like finish to it an Oud Bruin in all of it's glory. Taste: Whopping array of tart tones but it's multilayered a tartness forms on the back of the tongue then sweet fruit grapes again the wine like tone very vinous and mild chocolate tones soften the mouthfeel by applying some sweetness to the overall profile of the flavor. Mouthfeel: High carbonation in that it's spritzy on the back of the throat but it still tends to be smooth going down a medium bodied masterpiece, a step above Petrus Oud Bruin in my opinion. Drinkability: The tartness does a lot to the palate and I believe this one should be enjoyed slowly in small portions there's alot going on relax and explore this beer there's no rush.

WVbeergeek, Dec 24, 2003
Photo of nickfl
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark reddish brown with a medium sized head and good clarity.

S - Acidic and earthy/ spicy. Fruity with some dark cherry character.

T - Tart smooth and spicy. Very earthy and refreshing.

M - Fairly dry and strongly carbonated. Finishes somewhat sweet and never becomes overly sour and puckering.

D - This is a greatly enjoyable beer. It is so well balanced that I find myself often overlooking the complexity of its flavor and aroma. Hard to find any flaws in this one.

nickfl, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of russpowell
3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cheers to Ding for this one! Date/batch code of 404237

Pours an effervescent garnet hued chestnut with 2 fingers of brown head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Tartness & vinegar & a bit of vanilla

T: Tartness & vinegar, a bit of cherry & raspberry up front. Oaky dryness really hits you along with more berry tarttness/vanilla, & musty notes as this warms. Acidic notes really open on the finish along with some caramel sweetness, cherries & tannic notes

MF: Spritzy with some creamy notes once warm & medium bodied, much puckery dryness & tartness, with some acidic notes in the finish

Drinks a bit too slow. I remember this being an easier beer, maybe my tastes are changing? Or maybe I'd try this one after my taste buds were whacked in the past! Not as harsh as the laFollie though

russpowell, Mar 18, 2008
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sourness from the start, as my nose merely glides over the open bottle neck. Once poured into a tall, slender glass, the aroma pervades the atmosphere, sour cherries, rich and pungent, with a nice side-saddle dose of fruity sweetness A deeper sniff offers melodious complexities that dance freely in the caverns of the senses, a resonant aura of unearthly delights.

Color is a light leather-brown, but cloaked with cherry-red tinges, at side, bottom, and trickling in from behind.

First sip...AMAZING! I stop, pause, seep in the immediate pleasure of this initial sampling. Tasty tart texture...low hops, just-perfect malt ballast...long, luxuriant finish, grips the tongue, lips, even teeth, senses and brew caught up in amorous embrace, locked up too tight to untwist....sip after sip, sweetness and sour, a recurring, relaxing joy!

A mellowing effect is applied to the body and the soul, for this is that plush armchair ale, to swish in a snifter in the dark of night, leafing through the works of Voltaire, Old Dog Blue at your feet, while all is well with the world, and the mind can slip from serious matters and perambulate the corridors of less than lofty philosophy, epicurean ambitions, and bacchanalian designs.
This is that beer.

Sadly, the drink left the glass too soon...can I get a magnum, please?

feloniousmonk, Oct 20, 2003
Photo of Slatetank
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I picked this bottle up at Brass Rail, enjoyed chilled in a teku and sampled until about cellar temp toward the end.

The color is very deep crimson with translucent clarity with thick sand colored head that dissipates and recedes to nothing with fine bead and visible carbonation. The smell is very fruity, lots of tart cherry scents with mild wood ester. The feel is great, very tart, but not overwhelming, a mild sweetness is there with moderately high carbonation and dry finish with low alcohol but a slight acidic bite in the finish.

This taste is pretty incredible, lots of fruit presence as in the nose with some dark cherry and slightly tangy cherry flesh flavor with a nice amount of malt and yeast adds that lactic tang with a nice wood flavor rounding out this fine flemish red. Overall I have had this on a few occassions and it really is a treat. I was glad I could enjoy a 750ml myself but the acid was a little strong as it warmed for me- a highly drinkable Belgian, well worth having multiples of.

Slatetank, May 18, 2013
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

i have to thank my friend paul for sharing this with us. what a legend, thanks man. killer beer of fame here, not sure i would ever find one, but sure enough. not quite a flanders red to me, not quite an oud bruin, but some dynamic synergy of both, greater than either, and about as complex as beer can get, just so much going on in this one. hazy very dark amber color, as much brown as red, with an inch of tan head that doesnt fade at all. it smells like nutty grain on the front end, but carries with it a palate watering acidity and tartness thats short of fully sour, but lactic and enticing. the first part of the sip is malt heavy, its sweet, brown sugar and candied red grain, but it moves swiftly into a whole mouth experience that draws unusual connections between acidity, oak, and earthy grain. the sweetness doesnt last at all, and the tartness that replaces it is both surprising and welcomed. even after the swallow i taste this for miles, some preserved lemon vinegar as it dies out, but i am amazed by all the layers here. massive body, but i like that the alcohol is so manageable. so many of these get too enormous for much drinking, but this stays right in the comfortable range. as much flavor as ive seen in a beer at 6% abv. enough carbonation, i wouldnt call it lively, but its not flat either. somewhere in the upper medium range, which is a nice compliment to the complexity. i wish this came to colorado. thanks again paul for sharing such a high end and unique beverage.

StonedTrippin, Mar 13, 2014
Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally reviewing the Rodenbach.

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

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

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

drabmuh, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of jlindros
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wha! I've never reviewed this beer before. Well silly me.

Pours a nice fizzy almost 1 finger head that fades pretty quickly, just a touch of light getting through the dark reddish maroon burnt sienna brown colored beer.

Nose is definite Belgian flemish, sour malts, malt vinegar, light bready malts, sour fruit, a bit of tart cherry and apricot like fruits, hints of brown sugar and molasses, and a bit of lactic acid like aromas.

Taste is more of the same as expected, tart fruit and sour malts hit right off, again a malt vinegar but not quite Duchesse level, tart berry, sour peach and cherry like fruit, lactic acid, etc. Then a bready brown malt, hint of molasses, juicy tart fruits. Finish is bone dry, actually even more than bone dry, but slightly flemmy, with tons of sour and tart fruits and malt flavors lingering, and a bit of lactic acid.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb which I always thought it had more carbonation, and a little bite from the acidity.

Overall great, this is one of the staples for a flemish red style, great tart fruit, sour brown malts, light lactic acid, but smooth and juicy, and still somehow decently drinkable.

jlindros, Mar 03, 2012
Photo of oline73
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Poured hazy reddish brown color with one finger of off white head. Most of the head goes away almost right away leaving just a ring around the edge.

Smell: Quite sweet from the malt with a strong sourness. Hints of sour fruit, raspberry etc, some vinegar as well.

Taste: Initially sour, with hints of fruit, think sour raspberries. There is also some sweetness from the malt along with the sour fruit notes. There is some dry oak in there as well. All the flavors blend together very well and are very smooth.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with delicate mild carbonation. The finish is quite dry.

Overall: This beer is very smooth and good. I love the sweet and sour notes together. Overall I like this beer and would definitely have it again.

oline73, Mar 19, 2011
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,003 ratings.