Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

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1,040 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,040
Hads: 3,545
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 280
Gots: 482 | FT: 26
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,040 | Hads: 3,545
Photo of Snamnoum
3.35/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - ruddy dark brown with red hues throughout. Murky like old pond water with two fingers of beige head.

Smell - Incredibly funky. Like oxidized red wine that has been left opened on a kitchen counter for a week. Red wine vinegar, cinnamon or cloves, and old oak. Not much malt presence and no hops to speak of.

Taste - super super funky. We're talking red wine vinegar, blue cheese with some fruit (over ripe grapes, raspberries, cherries, green apple, and cranberry) Both sweet and sour at the same time with the sweetness coming at the beginning and lingering into the middle and then being replaced by a dry tart sourness which lingers on your palette. It is a very complex beer and everything it says it is on the bottle but I'm sorry I just can't handle the off, burn wine flavor.

Mouthfeel - the feel is actually very nice rather soft like a cream soda. The beer itself is medium bodied.

Overall - This is a robust, complex and authentic Flemish sour. I can appreciate that it is true too the style and beloved by many. I have tried to keep an open mind when reviewing this beer but have come to the conclusion as some others have said that this is just one you either love or hate. MY GOD IS THIS A FUNKY BEER!!! (1,233 characters)

Photo of Netdigger2
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had in growler form thanks to the guys at Community Tap.

It pours a deep brown with hints of mahogany and chestnut with a thick tan head that leaves thin, sparse lacing.

The nose is sour funk masked with remnants of wild berries and sour candy.

There is a bruising, but welcoming, sour opening to this that reminds me of an unripened wild blackberry. It opens up to have a bit of malt shell coupled with a very pleasant helping of passion fruit, walnut, blackberry and almond.

The Mouthfeel and carbonation are second-to-none, very crisp and quaffable while staying refreshing all the way through. It has a heavy feel on the back of the palate without leaving overwhelming dryness.

Great beer. Better than La Folie and much cheaper at $15.00/ growler. (756 characters)

Photo of Redneckwine
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into tulip

Appearance - Dark and hazed over completely, but edges are showing some clarity, small little offwhite chunkies are swirling about, 2 finger tan-ish head has awesome retention and leaves great lacing. Looks like a glass of muddy water with a nice head on it.

Smell - Over-ripe, barrel fermented apple/cherry fruitiness is prevalent above all, toasty but clean malts with some bready yeast

Taste - So complex, but generally follows the nose: juicy tart cherry and sour apple are front and center, and earthy wooden barrel is integrated perfectly with it. You'd almost think you were drinking a barrel aged cider (gone a bit south) until the toasty, yeasty, bready malts roll in mid-late palate to smooth things out with mild sweetness. Has a bit of a complex vinous character too, like soured red-wine. Vague spiciness? Finish comes back to a clean, dry, sour snap.

Feel - Carb is scrubbing and lively yet not at all harsh, makes for a light feeling, crisp medium body that finishes perfectly mixed with the beers tartness. Reminds me of good champagne in a way.

Overall - This beer is a masterpiece. I'm a bit new to sour beers in general, so I was taken aback initially by the sour/spoiled fruit character, but after the first few sips or so, it just got more complex, more interesting, and more delicious until the entire 750ml bottle was gone... What a kickass beer - these Belgians really know what they're doing. (1,447 characters)

Photo of joezak5
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel tulip; hazy brownish red with and almost glittery sparkling three finger head; good spotty retention and amazing glistening lace.

Smell: Unreal vinegary acidic, sour and tart cherry, so pungent it just burrows to the back of your nasal cavity. Very nice oaky and earthy background. It's hard to believe this is all natural.

Mouthfeel: Puckeringly tart and sweet, with muted carbonation; I expected a cherry soda kinda bubble blast but this was smooth and creamy.

Taste: Puckeringly sweet cherries on the start with the sourness builing up to a crisp sour and warming finish. The oak swirls througout and is very welcome.

Drinkability: I want this on a hot sticky day; refreshing beyond belief. I'm glad this is a 750ml bottle. It's welcoming and just a complete surprise. This is something to introduce a non-beer drinker to. (864 characters)

Photo of Matt1516
3.44/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Opens with a pop, and pours dark-reddish brown with lots of carbonation and three-finger head that rapidly dissipates.

Smells funky--I did a double-take because there was a lot of malt vinegar and rotten fruit on the nose.

Tastes mild-vinegar with sour cherry and other field berries. Dry cider finish.

I'm conflicted on this one--I respect the crafting of this beer--the two year process, the blending and the funky yeasts...but the taste is a little out there for me. That said, I feel like a phillistine for underrating a legend. (535 characters)

Photo of texashammer
4.07/5  rDev -4%
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. (348 characters)

Photo of Grunewald
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet. It pours cloudy ruddy light brown with a fine white head that leaves clumpy lacing.

S - balsamic vinegar and tart berries

T - tart vinegar, berries and a malt finish. The sour taste is so strong when I drink that I can feel the fumes affect my nose, but not in a bad way.

M - light with medium carbonation

D - unique and refreshing. I'd have one or two of these by themselves, but these would be best paired with food. (467 characters)

Photo of deskim
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured into a snifter

appearance - brown with red that shows through in the light

smell - smells slightly sour with hints of fruit

taste - not as sour as it smells. fairly sweet with cherry flavors. oak is present in the finish

mouthfeel - high carbonation level

drinkability - very drinkable, almost like a juice. especially for the price. will buy again (360 characters)

Photo of joshstevens87
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a dark red/rusty brownwith a minimal dirty tan head
S-a big bouquet of fruit mixed with a sharp vinegar
T-a sharp vinegary mustyness and a good dose of darkerfruits and apples with a slight smooth woodness
M-a full boddy with a modest carbonation very smooth and complex
D-a delicious beer that is amazingly complex and vcan easily be enjoyed all night (361 characters)

Photo of OttoPeeWee
3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I hate to do this because I know this is a very well respected beer, but I'm not that much into it.

The flavors are good, but too much vinegar to be very drinkable. Smells good, definately cherry and sour apple. And there's proof of fine craftsmenship.

I just think it would be fantastic with more of "young" beer and just some of the aged to balance it out and give it the complex elements. It would probably be one of my favorite beers, just not as balanced as I would like for it to be.

Interesting, a must try if you have not had one. (543 characters)

Photo of foamer
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep red with a frothy light tan head which diminishes to a layer of bubbles on the surface. No lacing down the glass. Sour aroma, some fruits too. Strong sour flavour which lasts and lasts. Not too overpowering though. Nice, like lemonade. That's the closest thing I can match it to - lemonade, with some malt. A taste until what I've normally tried in a beer. I've only ever tried one gueuze before, and now this. Nice mouthfeel. This is an intriguing style. Tasty for certain, but I'm not sure how many I could drink. I do like the sour taste, but I'm not sure I could have many of them. Still, a nice enjoyable beer. (628 characters)

Photo of afdempse
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Huhzubendah for the bottle!

A: Head fizzes away leaving a slightly hazy dark brown liquid.

S: Oak, with some fruity sour notes

T: Sour, slight funkiness. Oak gives a mouth-puckering effect and dries the palate. Nice, pleasant tartness reminiscent of sour cherries and apples. Vinegar-ish in the throat with a cherry soda finish.

M: Very nice balance of sweet/tart. Good carbonation and overall a joy to drink. (423 characters)

Photo of Martin2D
2.87/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Brown with a large tan carbonated type head

S - Smells awesome. Hints of fruits and tartness dance in my nose. Can't wait to taste this one.

T - Well, I can't say the nose matches the flavor. There are hints of light malts and fruits, but there is an overwhelming acetic finish which is completely off putting. It's almost like drinking vinegar.

M - Light in body with a medium-heavy carbonation.

D - The cork was stuck in this beer so it took me a while to open this beer. It was fate telling me not to crack this beer by myself. It's far too tart to drink a bottle by itself. Any more than one glass is going to be a challenge. (637 characters)

Photo of TMB0424
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml corked bottle. poured into flute

Appearance is a light ruby/maroon body with a light, loose head that dissipates pretty quickly. Sticky lacing.

Aroma of sour apples and cherries. Bready, funky yeast as well - with a splash of oak. Nothing overly complex here, but certainly smells interesting to say the least.

Taste is basically like the smell. Sour, sweet cherries. Sour green apples. Sour patch kid-like. Fairly tart, but not overboard. The sourness is what grabs you first, but then there's a hint of sweetness in the finish that is pretty pleasant. I don't detect any alcohol at all really.

The mouthfeel is crisp and light. Carbonation is a little high but it fits very well. Extremely drinkable, as this is probably one of the more refreshing beers I've had of late. I didn't get tired of the tartness or sourness at all, even after a few glasses. I'm definitely going to try this on a hot summer's day. Highly recommended. (941 characters)

Photo of hefevice
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle.! Poured deep garnet with a reasonable head. Aroma just blew me away. Huge, sour acetic, lactic, medicinal (acetone almost) and funky. Taste was as per the aroma, reminded me of linctus phocodeine (cough medicine) that I used to take when I was a kid but with a little more funk and sophistication. What an amazing beer! (337 characters)

Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well the other of the two beers I had at the only café the other day. I had this one ages ago when the LCBO brought it in for a seasonal but this was long before my enlightened reviewing days, so time for another sample.

Well now the pour was a nice cherry red with next to no head on it, but the colour was damn appealing none the less.
On to the smell, now this is a whole other ballpark. Smells of sour cherry, watermelon, lime and cantaloupe all hit me like a fruit fight in the grocery store produce section. Wow what a bouquet, other notes I sniffed included bubble gum, candy sugar, apple esters, ripe pear, some chocolaty malt and finally cider vinegar. This is definitely one of the most robust noses I've smelled in a long time.

On to the taste which proved no less impressive. A peppery fruitiness initially too hold, like the bite of cayenne pepper. Followed this, very astringent sourness, balanced by a chalky sensation in the mouth attacked my tongue. The bite of mustard and an overwhelming sensation of balsamic vinegar coated my mouth, the viscous liquor leaving the piquant nip of the latter mentioned flavours. Star anise ,apples and pear soaked in meandered throughout the flavor spectrum completing one of the most complex palettes I've had the privilege of tasting.

Alas I did not get to see the freshness date on the bottle. I have the feeling that this beer was a little aged after reading some of the reviews. This is possibly why I feel this beers drinkability and appearance are a little slacking compared to what others have rated. It was just a bit too rough with the vinegary sensation to be supremely quaffable, though twas still quite quenching. My suspicions about the age might also be the reason why this beer had next to no head upon pour which was also a slight downer. Regardless this is a magnificent beer which I'd love to try on tap or at least a fresher bottle. (1,908 characters)

Photo of rustymoore
3.49/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is my first review of a Belgian Red Ale but here goes...pours with a light head and good lacing. The color is a dark, reddish amber that is fairly uniform. The ale smells of sour fruits and wine with a slight nutty hint. It smells amazing! The taste is where this ale declines in my opinion...sour grapes and cranberries are the primary flavor while the tartness tends to take away from this red ale for me. A little more sweetness to balance out the tartness could help. This ale is however very fruity in taste (however sour) and the acidic mouthfeel is somewhat unpleasent as well. Not something one could drink consistently I wouldn't think. (650 characters)

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

On tap at Sergio's World Beers in Louisville, KY.

In an appropriate tulip. A dark reddish-amber with off-white head.

Smells of sour cherry, alcohol, and some grains.

Flavors of raspberry, sour cherry, clean hop flavors, and minimal toffee malt.

Very clean beer, refreshing and well carbonated to offset the sour flavors.

One of the finest examples of the Flanders Red Ale/Sour style. Don't miss a chance. (409 characters)

Photo of Iguana
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked/caged bottle

A: Poured a reddish amber into my tulip glass, with a 1cm frothy head that didnt go down.

S: Smells like cherry smarties candy, tart and sweet, smells great.

T: Wow, tart cherries, some barnyard funk, dry finish. Hints of oak in there. Man thats tasty.

M: Acidic, tingly on the tongue, tartness that gives a little cringe and settles into sweetness. I am diggin it.

D: I can see this being hard for some, but for me, this stuff is great, refreshing, and I plan on getting some more. A bit harsher than the classic, but a great beer. (573 characters)

Photo of thirtysixbelow
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - red brown color with tan 2 finger creamy bubbly head on an aggressive pour.

s - holy crap! grape, cherry, tart berries, sour yeast, slight alcohol... I feel like there is so much going on that I can't grasp it all. This is the kind of experience I save the 5 rating for :)

t - tart, cherry, sour, berries, and wood all hit you at once when the beer touches your tongue. Not much hops to speak of, but a little bit of alcohol warmth is noticable in the aftertaste.

m - smooth oily character with barely any carbonation.

d - Man, this was an eye opening experience for what beer can be. This is out there in terms of aroma and taste. It's an amazing experience, but it's so extreme that I don't think a drop more than this 11.2oz bottle would be appropriate or palatable. It's a must try, but the price and intensity are going to keep it from being a regular. (868 characters)

Photo of TVolt1
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: nice dark red color with finger width of white head.

S: great sour cherry smell with a small amount of wine smell to it.

T: love this taste. Very crisp, sour, somewhat dry with a finish of an Oakley small.

M: good dry crisp light mouth feel. Bubbly

O: overall, a delicious beer. Unique finish for a Flanders as well. Would get it again (343 characters)

Photo of HogHill
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this Flanders red ale into a chalice. A small light tan head formed and quickly retreated to the walls of my chalice. The body of the beer is a mahogany brown, it has some clarity and red tones against light.

Aroma is largely vinegar at first, and then the sourness kicks in. Reminds me of sour cherries.

Taste is a little bit vinagrette, which transforms into a sourness. With the main sour flavor being that of cherries. Like a blend of a young red wine with some sparkling white perhaps. I can say that I cannot taste any hops here, but they are probably very well disguised and/or diminished from the oak aging process for this beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with above average amount of carbonation which lends to the mouth puckering and thirst quenching ability of this brew.

Drinkablilty - For some the sourness gets old or becomes too much, but I would have no trouble drinking a 750 or two by myself, especially with the humble ABV in this beer. It's a complex beer that is interesting time after time.

Would like to do a side by side tasting with Rodenbach Classic, Duchess, Monks and La Folie. (1,128 characters)

Photo of cpmichael
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Founder's Brewing snifter.

A: Pours a reddish brown, more red though, with a half-inch of brownish foam that recedes quickly.

S: Sour tartness, coming from cherries specifically, with oak and vanilla hints, and a little vinegar.

T: Very sour in the beginning, but not off putting at all. The tartness of cherries is most prevalent. The oak, vanilla and vinegar come through near the back end of this beer.

M/D: A medium amount of carbonation that balance out the beer. Very refreshing, a clean and dry finish, which makes this beer highly drinkable. (568 characters)

Photo of Trappissed
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'll start off by saying I enjoyed this much more than the Rodenbach Classic Red, although that one was still plenty good. This has nice reddish brown color with decent head and lacing. A pleasant sweet-n-sour smell and a little funky with a touch of vinegar. In the taste, it starts off sour and fades into a mellow caramel flavor. Then the sourness comes back for the aftertaste. Also getting some tart cherries and oak.

I can see why they describe this as a Flemish Red Brown Ale on the bottle. The different elements keep each other in check and produce a very balanced beer. Although sour, its definitely not overpowering by any means. A great and lively mouthfeel, with prickly carbonation keeps things interesting. I'm glad I finally found a place that carries this and I'll be getting more in the future. (814 characters)

Photo of goblet
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

the bottle is a 330 ml /12.2 fl oz that says "flemish sour ale aged in oak for 18 months "on the label and a grand cru R on the crown which i popped and poured into my goblet.

Apeareance: after the pour i got a small rocky, frothy head with very little retention time.the color is a deep russet hue on the reddish brown side no carbonation ,lite lace.

Smell:oh yes this is good ,sour vingery heaven.It`s like sour cherries and grapes with lemon and sugar ,red vinger a bit of malt in the back ground,no hops .its magic ! you could get a lot more out of this .

Taste:like the smell a lot of sharp sour flavors like an green apple cidar ,sour grape juice and fresh lemon ,yep acidity and even a bit of a woodsy taste that must be from the magic wand that they used to make this brew.

Mouthfeel:meduim to lite body with all this sour ness my mouth just wants to pucker up like i just ate a lemon wedge but not to much ,its got great balance .

Drinkability: this is a fantastic brew one of the best beers of this style out there ,i like sour brews tremendously,(to give you an idea of my taste) .over all great beer. (1,118 characters)

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,040 ratings.