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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

3,011 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,011
Reviews: 988
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 213
Gots: 295 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website

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
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Ratings: 3,011 | Reviews: 988 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tschnab
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice ruby red color with a pinkish white head and little lace.

S- a lot of balsamic vinegar here, along with sour cherries, lemon, and a little bit of vanilla.

t- the taste starts out very sour with cherries and vinegar as the main flavor, but at the back of the palate there is a nice washing over of oak and vanilaa, carmel and malt at the end. It really can be broken down into two phases: very vinegary, and then toasty and oaky. Well-balanced.

O- really nice sour here and I'm glad that it is so available because it is truly an incredible representation of the style.

Tschnab, Feb 13, 2012
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.

geexploitation, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into my trusty Duvel glass pours a deep, dark burgundy red ale, topped by an inch thick cream head, dollops of arched lacing slow descend back into the deep. After a short time, the head has dissipated, leaving a swirling froth of film.

I'm taken aback by the aroma, sour it is. A bouquet abounds, apples, cherries, plums, red grapes, an earthy hue of oaky delight.

Tart, gripping fruit hold your attention from the first instant, the plum and wood taking the lead, the tart overpowering the sweet, but gently so. Grape and apple make flirting passes, but the true master here is the tartness.

The mouth if full and sumptuous, the carbonation light and fleeting, caressing the mouth's senses. A dry finish completes the picture.

In all, this is a very fine beer, the pinnacle of its style. I can't say I'm completely hooked on the style, but when the occasion suits me, it's a fine thing to behold.

objectivemonkey, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of Cloaked_Phantom
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Cloaked_Phantom, Jul 19, 2014
Photo of craftbeerasian
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

craftbeerasian, May 30, 2013
Photo of drseamus
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

drseamus, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of chefduff2
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

chefduff2, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of Reaper16
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

served on-tap @ Alcove, Tuscaloosa, AL, into a tulip glass

Pours a gorgeous dark ruby color. The body is pretty clear and contains within it many spectrum of red, but they skew darker. It looks vinous in this way, but the 1.5 fingers of head reveal this to be a beer. I can't imagine a Flanders Red looking any better, so I'm scoring this a 5.0.

The aroma is not all that different from regular Rodenbach. I find that beer's nose to be full of sour cherry, full of balsamic vinegar, full of red wine notes. I find the same with the Grand Cru. The only real difference for me is the elevated amount of astringent oak barrel aroma in the Grand Cru.

The taste, however, is significantly different than normal Rodenbach. Where that beer is lightly tart and quaffable, the Grand Cru does not shy away from being tart. This is a truly sour beer, in all of the good ways. Balsamic vinegar, sour cherries, blackcurrants, and woody, dry oak flavor (but not the vanillin you'd get in oak-aged stouts) -- Rodenbach Grand Cru has a lot going on for it. There's just enough sweet malty flavors and red fruit flavors to balance the sour character (the beer becomes more balanced as it warms, too). It's really delicious.

The mouthfeel is nice and dry. The aggressive tartness makes for a beer that isn't as easy to drink as it could be, but everything is just fine. Overall, this is about as great as you could ever expect a Flanders Red to be. In this day and age of scarce fruit lambics and overhyped American Wild Ales, this beer still exists as an affordable option for that sour fix.

Reaper16, Jul 22, 2012
Photo of sleazo
4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A_dark reddish brown with a nice cream and reddish coloured head. The head dissipates quickly.

S_smells like a sour cherry Dr Browns Black Cherry. Very nice

T-not as sweet as the aroma. Cherries invade the mouth followed by a nice puckering sourness. Hints of cola, lime and wood.

M_very reminscent of a fountain soda. Slightly syrupy but full of carbonation

D_This is absolutely delicious. Complex, challenging and at the same time approachable. I am wanting more and more of this.

sleazo, Oct 09, 2007
Photo of Boston_Steve
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Boston_Steve, Feb 22, 2014
Photo of cbl2
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$7.99 750 mL 6.00% Best by 9/07.


Pours a deep almost opaque reddish brown that is freckled with carbonation, though only a thin haze rimes the top.


As tart and acidic as the regular rodenbach, but with an underlying vanilla/oak component. That gentles it a bit, and somewhat lessens the cherry aspect.


This one pops in the mouth! Even more tart than the original with intense cherry/raspberry overtones that send your salivary glands into high gear. This beer doesn't ask for respect, it demands it. I'm almost forced to chew on this one, as the juices released in my mouth congeal a bit. Some subtle oak nuances are apparent, though I don't know if this is worth the few extra dollars over the regular.

cbl2, Jul 30, 2006
Photo of mattreitz49
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

mattreitz49, Mar 12, 2014
Photo of VncentLIFE
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

at Sams. Pour is deep red. Thin tight white head. The smell is really sweet, but sour as hell. Lots of vinegar, sweet cherries as well. The taste is tart and sour as hell. Almost puckering. Loads of tart sour cherries dominate through the drinkable finish.

This is how to do a Flanders. Loads of tartness, sourness, yet subtly sweet and drinkable.

VncentLIFE, Jul 17, 2012
Photo of yamar68
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

yamar68, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of cnbrown313
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

cnbrown313, Oct 02, 2013
Photo of scottoale
4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 750ml. green bottle with gold foil covered cork and a best before date of 06/06/09 on the concave bottom. It pours a deep, dark mahogany with almost an inch of bubbly egg-shell foam that settles to a creamy thick head with lace.

Sour aroma of grape, cherry and plum rise up to greet the nose.

This brew goes in sweet like candy and quickly become tart on the tongue, then finally winds down to a pleasant, mildly sweet finish. Nice and fruity with an amazing delightful sourness. A wee bit of alcohol peeks through as it warms...very nice.

Plenty of body with a slight astringency. High drinkability and a Flanders to be reckoned with.

scottoale, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of CloudStrife
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle split and poured served into a snifter.

A: Pours a clear but very dark ruby red with a 1 finger off white head. Pretty good visible carbonation. Leaves some good lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Just a hint of any sour. A fairly non-desrcript beer, maybe a spice or something in the background.

T: Was surprised at the amount of oak that came through on this brew. A very yeasty and malty blend but a great sour and funky backbone. One of the more well balanced sours I have tried. Fairly sweet, candied sugar?

M: A smooth, velvety character with a crisp finish. Has a great carbonated mouthfeel almost like a soda.

Overall a beer I would love to have again. Impressive sour and sweet combination going on here. Can tell this is blended with care and doesnt spare the oak aged ales.

CloudStrife, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of TheRuss9585
4/5  rDev -6.8%

TheRuss9585, May 17, 2012
Photo of Rastacouere
4.95/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Straight from Winnipeg, thanks piscator34 Rodenbach grand cru appears ruby brown with a vague haze. It wears a delicately laced beige head that, while diminishing, is more persistent than it's usual for sour ales. Sticky leftover. Deep, intense and complex aroma. Magnificient old cask wood and oak gently complement malic and acetic acid. Sharp maderized cherries and vinous blue grapes are blend together in the most virtuous cookie/toasty malt. Moist and old cave yeast in which you've spilled a few drops of vinegar and let a few apples rott. You don't get much more complex than that. The first sip surprises me. I have very high expectations you see? This is a good bit sweeter than anticipated and less tart. Multiple flavors come and go: vanilla, grapes, caramel, green plants, vinegar, mint, oak(!)... Mouthfeel is thin-medium and proposes above average effervescence. Very dry eternal grapes and cherries from the wood aftertaste, astringent, delicately lactic. I hoped to have found a first 5, but this is not quite there, the quest is not over. I can only desire I had a chance to bask in the glory from the pre-palm versions era. Ahhh, desire... Fabulously complex and a nice souvenir from glorious times. How could you ever grow tired of a good flemish sour ale?
After having this 4 times in the last 2 weeks, I indeed can't see myself ever growing tired of it and raise the rating one point overall and there might be more to come!

Rastacouere, Apr 05, 2004
Photo of lunarbrew
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

lunarbrew, Aug 21, 2014
Photo of stealth
4.95/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep red color that looks beautiful with some light behind it and comes with a thick white foamy head. Steady carbonation bubbles flow. Fruit aroma, and you can smell the tartness

Rodenbach is sour and tart. Leaves your mouth begging for more. Abundant sweetness, but not candy sweet - more like sour cherry sweet. The dry finish is perfect.

Light/medium mouthfeel, but very thirst quenching and crisp, crisp, crisp.

Rodenbach is my ultimate standby. Always have some ready to serve. It's cheap, readily available, and nearly the best sour available.

stealth, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of innominat
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

innominat, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of EBeckett3
5/5  rDev +16.6%

EBeckett3, Aug 09, 2013
Photo of taospowder
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

taospowder, Sep 18, 2013
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,011 ratings.