Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 2,913 | Reviews: 984 | Display Reviews Only:
4.18/5 rDev -2.6%
My first Palm version, Sampled May 2006
Incredibly well carbonated, this beer pours with a frothy, though quickly disappearing, initially 4 finger thick, amber tan colored head. I get a nice tart aroma as soon as I pour this beer, a nice level of tart acetic acid. As I go in for a deeper smell the aroma becomes much more tart; a mix of vinegar and something like tamarind. Underneath the dominating sour character is astringent note that seems a bit woody. The aroma has a certain fruitiness to it that hints at cherries.
Tart and effervescent, the beer seems to be fermenting a bit more than expected in the bottle. Is this now being bottle conditioned, that would be surprising from this traditionally pasteurized product. This is quite tasty as usual, a combination of tart and fruity with woody tannic notes that come on in the finish. It is so interesting to compare this beer to others that I have had most recently (Supplication, La Folie, & Panil Barriquée), beers now carrying the torch that had so long only been held by Rodenbach. It is interesting to me, the other newer beers are so much more satisfying and complex than this brew, but you can't fault the Grand Cru for that. It did what it had to survive all those years, but it is clearly now not one of the best examples of the style. I can only hope that Palm will choose to make this a bit more complex brew in the culture.
Having said all of that ruminescent, romantic b.s., this is still a damn good beer. I am a sucker for these beers and this is still quite good. I can see this beer aging quite gracefully for some time. The acidity should round out a bit and a touch of oxidation should play up the rich malt character a bit more. In the end that is what this needs a bit more complexity to balance out the great sour character.
05-08-2006 04:50:25 | More by Gueuzedude
4.8/5 rDev +11.9%
11.2 oz. bottle,
A: Pours a burgundy red, with a small tan/pink head, which fizzes away pretty quickly, though the residual colour of this beer is quite beautiful.
S: Tart cherries and oak, syrup, wildberries.
T: Sweet cherries and strawberries and mild malts start the beer, which ends in an oaky, winey sour/cranberry tart finish with a hint of vanilla, very complex, a more mellow and richer beer than the regular Red, IMO.
M: Tart and dry on the finish, with a residual sugar/maple syrup sweetness as a good contrast.
D: An exceptional beer from Rodenbach, would be a great thirst quencher, would drink a lot of this if it wasn't $4 a bottle, glad it finally came to Orange County.
01-21-2008 05:51:20 | More by Halcyondays
United Kingdom (England)
4.45/5 rDev +3.7%
33cl Brown bottle, best before 27th Mar 2010, drank after a heavy day at work 5th Aug 2008.
Poured into my new La Chouffe tulip glass (the first beer to grace it). Deep Ruby red and as clear as clear when held up to the light. The tan head looked well formed at first, but it fell away to a collar very swiftly.
Incredible aroma of sour red fruit (Raspberries, Cherries and Redcurrents), Almonds and Mazzipan type smells too, but all sour.
The sourness is also incredible in the taste, very pronounced and in your face.
I have had a few 'Reds' in my time, but this one was very true to its style, a rich sourness prevails throughout and althought not a favourite style of mine, you can't help but appreciate the complex mix your senses are given by this beer. Whoever blended this brew did a fine job.
08-05-2008 16:38:51 | More by BlackHaddock
3.43/5 rDev -20%
Bottle served in a Rodenbach Grand Cru goblet in a bar in Ghent, Belgium. Reviewed from notes.
A: 2.5 finger head of nice cream and thickness. Black colour. Good retention.
Sm: Dark fruit, hops, a bit of caramel. Complex, and featuring some wonderful esters that me broken nose can't quite identify.
T: Dark fruit body with a sourish finish. Very hoppy, particularly in terms of esters. Fairly simple for the style. The souring notes are nicely balanced against the fruit body, but still strange in the beer, even considering the style.
Mf: Relatively coarse and wet. Matches the style but not the beer per se.
Dr: Too sour to drink repeatedly, but overall a good beer, and an affordable one in Belgium.
06-02-2011 04:04:33 | More by kojevergas
4.5/5 rDev +4.9%
10/11/05- Purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle, WA.
Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with a best by date imprinted on the back label. Poured into my Duvel tulip.
Appearance- Murky plum, almost brown color. Medium 1/2 inch head which fades soon here after. Above average lacing.
Smell- Lots of sour and vinous like funk. About the only way I can describe it. Doesn't really smell "good", but fits the style perfect.
Taste- Not even as sour as it smells. Was looking for something more sour than La Folie, but what I got was a mildly tart and kinda sweet at the same time, brew. Maybe even some cherry and darker fruit flavors as well.
Mouthfeel- Low carbonation and pretty smooth. Easy drinker for a Flanders.
Drinkability- One of the better Flanders for sure. Super easy to drink. Great sweet and sour combo.
10-12-2005 16:49:16 | More by GClarkage
3.15/5 rDev -26.6%
Serving type: on tap at Monk's Cafe, Philadelphia, PA.
Pours a very dark amber color with a foamy off-white head. Very sour fruity aroma with hints of oak and vanilla. Intensely tart and acidic with a nice amount of sour cherry as well as oak and vanilla. Very sour with a puckering dry finish.
11-27-2008 18:13:25 | More by corby112
4.33/5 rDev +0.9%
Had on tap at Max's. My first Flanders Red Ale (I think?) so I'm curious to try. Pours a nice ruby red color, nice tart aroma. Taste is a bit sour, with tons of cherry flavor, more balanced and drinkable than I thought it would be. Delicious beer with tons of flavor, finishes nice and clean. Count me in as a fan of this style, would definitely try this one again.
06-24-2012 21:39:20 | More by oriolesfan4
4.22/5 rDev -1.6%
Appears a red with a brown hue and a bubbly off white head. Nice amounts of lacing.
Smell is of sour cherries, funky yeast, pixie stix, and a touch of vinegar.
Taste is yeasty with the same aromas. Delicious though.
Mouthfeel is sugary, sour, and lingering with some lip smacking goodness.
10-07-2005 18:40:39 | More by weeare138
4.83/5 rDev +12.6%
Deep ruby red/brown with a pale pink dense head that settles to a film after a while. It really does look mysterious and wonderful.
Coppery and sour on the nose, hints of maraschino cherries, pickled onions, fresh herbs, nutmeg, all underpinned by a syrupy sweetness. Smells unbelievable, unique and rich.
Coppery sourness on the front palate with a dryness that slowly spreads around your mouth like a dry red wine. There is a peppery spiciness there as well which beautifully counterpoints the sweetness. It takes some time to drink it, but you can savour every moment of it.
I can understand why some people might not like this. It certainly has the ability to offend if you're not prepared for it. I absolutely love this one. I get the taste for this in my mouth for days afterwards.
02-19-2005 00:01:24 | More by lacqueredmouse
4.7/5 rDev +9.6%
This 11.2 Fluid Ounce bottle lost its labeling at some point and it was only the cap that allowed me to identify it. My cellar has been out of control for some time and this summer seems like the perfect opportunity to clear it out.
I used a very gentle pour so as not to stir up any lees that may have been in the bottom of the bottle, resulting in just a little bit of light-tan head that quickly fell to wisps. Color was a gorgeous mahogany with NE-quality clarity. Nose was both wood-like (oak?) and vinegar, causing my mouth to pucker. Mouthfeel was medium and my initial reaction was TART! on the tongue. Once I recovered, I tasted what reminded me of my uncle's sour cherry wine, along with the vinegar/wood combination I had noted on the nose. Each successive sip became more palatable and as it warmed, I really got the oakiness more prevalently. Finish was tart and dry, perfect for this sweltering afternoon in my A/C-less house. I am celebrating just having hung a mesh curtain across the back doorway that is allowing a nice breeze to blow through without giving access to flies and other pests. One Beer Pest in the house is enough!
07-19-2011 21:57:51 | More by woodychandler
4.23/5 rDev -1.4%
A: Poured a nice deep red color but as it settled it was very much a deep red-borwnish color with a nice white cap
S: Dark fruits, fresh and ripened cherries with vinegar, wood and funk
T: Tart dark and red cherries on the tip of the tongue. It's delicious. Middle of the mouth you get that funkiness. Mid mouth pucker but not as much as a Kriek. And the a crisp refreshing finish. Booze tinge with a vinegar note from start to finsih
M: Light to medium. Tart, tasty and funky
with a nice lingering vinegar and tart funk
O: Very good
05-28-2012 21:52:27 | More by barleywinefiend
United Kingdom (England)
4.53/5 rDev +5.6%
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.
03-28-2009 19:34:41 | More by wl0307
4.33/5 rDev +0.9%
Large bottle, caged and corked, with a foil enclosure to boot. Best before date stamped on the bottle of the bottle. (There's a good place to put vital info...) Pours an interesting chestnut shade of amber, with a slight dark cherry hue. Well developed lacing emerges from a light tan puffy head, which exhibited moderate retention. Nose also, I would characterize as interesting, sweet, nutty and fruity. This brew is a classic of the style, sour, sweet,smoky,acidic, complex. Not for everybody, this style takes awhile for most to warm up to and appreciate. It goes well with food, particularily "fish with lemon" as noted on the label. Tasty, mysterious, interesting and thirst quenching. Get some, taste it, taste it again, come to love it
01-21-2006 01:14:56 | More by Billolick
4.33/5 rDev +0.9%
Pours a cloudy dark reddish brown. Moderate head.
Very acetic smell with a touch of sweetness at the end. The whole is supported by earthy, yeasty undernotes.
The taste is like no other- spicy, sour and sweet. Starts with a slight candy sugar sweetness, then stingingly sour, and then a cinnamon spiciness and more sweetness at the very end. A really complex beer that may be an acquired taste, but once you've acquired it, nothing refreshes quite the same. The only down note is that the current incarnation doesn't seem quite as complex or integrated as the earlier incarnation. Still very good, though.
Mouthfeel is quite carbonated and crisp.
Very drinkable, extremely refreshing and different.
12-19-2006 18:11:48 | More by Georgiabeer
3.55/5 rDev -17.2%
This is a 750 mL bottle, served slightly chilled in a snifter.
Appearance: With no light upon it, the beer appears to be quite dark. When held up to light, a deep ruby red color comes out. The beer pours a 1.5 finger head.
Smell: This smells unlike any other Flemish red that I've had (including Duchess and Rodenbach Red). The aroma is not pleasant. In fact, it reminds me of my dog have receiving a bath (heretofore known as a wet Domi odor). My dog does not smell great just after a bath, neither does this beer.
Taste: Very good pucker factor in this ale. The sour taste inherent to this style hits mid-sip. Up front, there is a nice fruity taste that transitions nicely into the sour aspect. This beer is so sour that one can't help but take another sip.
Mouthfeel: The interplay of sweet and sour is very nice and makes for an enjoyable drinking session.
Drinkability: While the flavors meld and transition nicely, I don't see this as an ale meant for pounding. It is, however, nice for sipping, especially as it warms.
12-18-2005 02:28:23 | More by akorsak
4.08/5 rDev -4.9%
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.
08-21-2012 13:05:03 | More by stakem
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 2,913 ratings.