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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,053 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,053
Hads: 3,602
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 287
Gots: 496 | FT: 26
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website
Belgium

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: 1,053 | Hads: 3,602
Photo of LambicPentameter
3.72/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed out of a brown 750 mL cork & cage bottle with a best by date of May 29th, 2016. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack chalice glass with a thick sturdy base and a thinner glass bowl.

Appearance - Pour yields a three-fourths finger head the color of light tan, with effervescent bubbles that are reminiscent of champagne foam, only this one sticks around a bit longer. It still dissipates rather quickly, leaving a rim of light foam and a small amount of film across the body. Speaking of which, the body is a dark walnut brown with ruddy burgundy highlights that can only be seen when the glass is held directly in front of the light. Small carbonation bubbles cling to the side of the glass in isolated places.

Smell - Nice blend of musty funk, with fainter notes of oak and light cherry, almost like syrup. Underlying the entire taste is a considerable presence from the grain--with a malty sweetness underscoring the other elements. Throughout there is a pleasant vinegar-like character as well, hinting at a very sour beer to come.

Taste - I have to admit I'm a little dismayed by the lack of puckering after the smell suggested a good deal of tartness. In fairness, allowing the beer to warm up a bit enhanced the tart characteristics of the beer. I also have to wonder if this would have been more tart if I had opened it closer to the freshness date engraved on the label, especially given the number of reviews that note just how sour this beer is to them. At any rate, I get a mix of flavor profiles--some tart citrus and almost lemon juice element blends rather nicely with the fruitier cherry and red currant elements. Some apple cider vinegar notes are also present, but the predominant flavor profile is cherry, with some faint elements of wood as well.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied, with a slightly viscous feel to it, as well as a moderately-carbonated effervescence that fades away as I let it sit to warm up a bit and enhance the tart elements. Finish is mostly sweet.

Overall, a good beer, and much like Duchesse, it is reputedly a benchmark for the Flanders Red style. Admittedly, my favorite Flanders Red was bordering more on kriek territory, with a teeth enamel-melting sourness to it, so perhaps this style isn't my favorite in the world. I am curious enough about aging it to go get a second bottle so that I can sit on it until closer to the 'drink by' date. (2,390 characters)

Photo of fourstringer
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a corked & caged 750 mL bottle into a Brewer's Art goblet. Moderately aggressive hand. Bottle dated 22/04/15. I've had this in the cellar for about a year or so.

A: Hazy, dark ruby brown with 1 finger of off-white head. Ok retention. Light lacing.

S: Tart cherry. Notable acetic acid notes. Lighter citric acid, lemon. Oak. Honey. Balsamic. Light tobacco.

T: Moderate tartness rolls into a fruity, cherry-forward sweetness. Semi-dry finish. Very little bitterness/hop quality. No perceivable alcohol presence. Very tasty chocolate, honey notes develop and linger in the aftertaste, along with the pleasant sour.

M: Moderate, smooth carbonation with moderate body. Nice coating on the palate. Fitting.

O: Very nice Flanders red. Nice mix of sour qualities and good underlying depth of flavor. Excellent sweet/sour balance. Solid through and through.

Prost! (876 characters)

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

A: Ruby red, purplish color, and with no carbonation.
S: Sour Dark fruits, cherries and plums
T: Sour cherries, lemons, limes, with hints of oak.
M: tartness, but overall enjoyable.
O: This is only my second tart beer. (1st Cuvée Freddy). Sour beers are such a shock to my taste buds and mind that I can't even say with conviction that I like the taste. It's unique. And I don't hate it. (388 characters)

Photo of BierJager89
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark purple tinted ruby red and dark enough to be opaque with a light mocha, almost gray, head.

S: Dark tart cherries, oak, dark fruit, red berries in the nose.

T: Sour cherries, oak, raspberry, mellow and very drinkable, especially for a sour.

M: Medium bodied and neither smooth nor harsh with carbonation.

O: An excellent tart beer. The oak flavor really plays well with the tart fruits. (397 characters)

Photo of Bookseeb
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is brown in color supporting a crisp dissipating head. Smell of prominant fruity sour with some wild yeast and oaky aromas. Taste has a very nice balance of sweet and sour with the yeast and woody oak. Mouthfeel is medium light with good carbonation. Not much on sours, but one of the better sours I've tried. (320 characters)

Photo of CalgaryFMC
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The king of the Flanders reds perhaps, there could very well be better tasting examples of the style out there but this one is widely available and a relatively recent arrival to Alberta. A russet reddish to brown color with around three inches of tan head comprised of noticeably small bubbles. Aroma is that of red wine vinegar, grape candy, tart cherry juice, red berries, and lemon. Very sour and makes the nose tingle (in a good way). I also get some light earthy malt beneath the sour assault. Taste is dry, sour, woody, fruity, carbolic, and sour. Complex and somehow manages to juggle a bright, intense fruitiness with a strong sourness such that neither component gets trumped or dominated by the other. Tastes like dilute balsamic vinegar, sour pie cherries, lemon, tamarind, raspberry, nectarine, and tea leaf, but there are also some light sultana raisin and brown sugar notes in the background. Pucker-inducing to my palate. The ABV does put in a brief appearance here and there. Body quite thin with a moderate to high degree of carbonation. Reminds me a bit of the chokecherries you could snack on in the Northern Saskatchewan bush if you were so inclined, albeit much, much tastier. I am tempted to introduce this beer to a few wine snobs I know. (1,262 characters)

Photo of a0lbudman
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-dark brown with a hazy brown reddish tint when a light was going though
S- wine smell that seemed to faded to a tart like raspberry aroma
T- a sour tart raspberry taste that turned to a sweeter taste in the aftertaste
M- full body feel that seen to have a medium carbonation
O-my first of this beer style and I was not disappointed, great beer (345 characters)

Photo of MattRiggs
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: mahogany w/purple hue. not much of a head or retention.

Smell: sweet grapes, slight alcohol, barrel

Taste: carbonic and fairly thin, but works very nicely to sweep the sweetness off your tongue. dark malt/candy sugar sweetness that pairs nicely with a fair amount of oak, finishes very clean

Notes: A fantastic beer that would be a great alternative to champagne due to the carbonic bite and sweetness. You can definitely smell the barrel in this beer. I’d like to try it directly from the finishing tank. (522 characters)

Photo of Roguer
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big fizzy head, tons of carbonation. Head is a light tan, almost cream, with pretty good retention. Brew is surprisingly dark for a Flanders red-brown ale, with hints of garnet coming through an otherwise opaquely dark beer (not unlike a stout). Lacing is very nice but minimal.

Beer has a wine-like sourness to the aroma, along with muted wild ale funkiness. Red grapes, yeast, oak, wheat, wine.

Such a surrounding and complete flavor profile, encompassing everything in the nose and more. Vanilla and dark fruit make an appearance, everything blended with a bit of sour, incredibly delicate funkiness, oak, and grapes.

Almost no carbonation sting in a beer that nonetheless comes across as very lively. This is a shockingly thick beer, about medium-full, with such a full flavor profile and slight sour and funk notes that make it a sipper.

Rodenbach was my revelation beer in 2013, and Grand Cru is more of the same. This is an excellent beer across the board, for someone who truly appreciates the complexities of the style, to a complete novice in wild-type ales. (1,072 characters)

Photo of LambicLion
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%

Dark, even very rich appearance, little or no head, pleasantly sour as described on the establishment's beer list minus the term "pleasantly". To my disappointment, it was the only sour on tap. From which I can gather that my taste buds have rare company or/and it's just not a popular taste. I'm fine with that... (314 characters)

Photo of titty_mcbitty
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep brown with ruby tones when held to the light. Not really any head on this one, but there's a thin tan film.

S: Tart raspberries with brown sugar, acid, and vinegar.

T: Oh yeah, this is good! First off: tart raspberries, brown sugar, citrus acid, vinegar, light oak, tangy raisins. There's some cherries and peach as well. Good stuff.

M: I think a lot of others said it well; damn near perfect. For this style, I don't think I'd have it any other way. Light, almost medium bodied and slightly creamy but dry finish.

O: Glad I found this one for such a cheap price. I wanted to buy it earlier but it costs over $20 at the local store- found it for $10. This is an awesome Flanders red ale and reminds me of Jacobins Rouge. It comes in a huge bottle as well so that you can enjoy it for a long period. (822 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This sets the bar very high with a near sculpturesque body. The head is tight, thick and resembles a cream like froth. The color is a deep ruby with highlights of mahogany at the edge.

The scent is sour with a sweet cheery tartness, some dried fruit lingers at the back.

The cherry tartness stands out on the tongue. I'm catching some date and prune but the sour washes it away. Dry malts also make an appearance but for the most part the cherry really rides on through.

The feel is very dry and smooth. The carbonation is not too noticeable but it still has a sprite air to it.

This is very good, very tasty, and nice all around. My only complaint is that it seems to be holding out the real strength that lies within. (723 characters)

Photo of KVNBGRY
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Ap - Deep, brilliant amber; thin, off-white head that dissipates to a thin ring. Spotty lacing throughout.

Ar - Sweet vinegar, ripe red fruits.

T - Tart berries, vinegar is more subdued than nose suggests. Lingering candy sweetness, almost like a fruit roll-up.

M - Perfect. Slick, light to medium bodied with great carbonation. I wouldn't want this any different.

O - A near perfect Flanders Red. Having it on tap is a surprise for me. I have never seen it anywhere else than my local bottle shop. (505 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Thirsty Monk, Asheville NC

A- pours murky brown with a small white head that reduces to a ring of lace

S- balsamic vinegar, tart cherry, grape, with a hint of oaky vanilla

T- puckering up front with grape skin and apple peel, fruity and tart cherry with a bone dry finish

M- Medium body with a fizzy carbonation, spritzy mouthfeel with a fizzy and dry finish

O- The fruity flavors that come from this beer are amazing, considering there is no fruit used to make it, a fine beer. (494 characters)

Photo of BastardKing24
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I really dig this beer. I mean DIG, its just loads of fun to pop one of these and smell it right away straight from the bottle and savor whats to come.

Pours a dark red with minimal head but retains decent lacing.

Smell is gorgeous under-ripe fruit, vinegar, tartness, nose searing sour smells, with dark fruits, and oak.

Taste is like the smell with a big sour punch, not as much as some stronger examples, but damn near perfect. Oak, cherries, nectarine, slight vinegar, and sour apple.

Feel is fantastic. Light but present malt character, and mild carbonation.

Great beer, Great brewery (594 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

75 cl

Pours a cloudy deep brown with a reddish tinge. Yellowish lacing for a head.

Smells of lemon, apple, sour grapes, and vinegar.

Apple, cherry, and vinegar make up the flavor, balanced by a slight oak earthiness.

Medium, poppy body with a mild fizzy carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

Exceptional, the best sour ale I have had thus far. Truly fantastic balance of flavors and aromas and a delicate body. A must-try for fans of sours. (448 characters)

Photo of ADZA
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

How on this world have I not reviewed this I'm sure I've tasted this before but after seeing no rating from me my memory is asking the question have I ever tried it and after a 2litre growler purchase ill be sure and on popping it pours a cherry red hue with a creamy off white two finger head and clingy lacing everywhere a beautiful looking red,the smell is musty,funky,slight oak and red grapes and highly approachable,the mouthfeel is borderlining on perfection it's medium bodied with moderate carbonation and like most have said before the taste of this Flanders is one for the non believers of this crazy beautiful style and its red grapes,beautiful funk,cherries and the finish is sour tart and bloody refreshing and overall now I'm confident I've tried this and the 2lt purchase was a great choice by me as its not on your face like most of this style and a great step in Flanders territory for virgins of the style and even veterans like me cheers. (958 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.01/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Victoire in Rochester, NY.

Pours a reddish hazy brown, with a fizzy head, and no lacing.

Smells include cherry, vinegar, and some funk.

The taste is the same. The sourness is definitely there, but not overpowering at all. Some cherry, with some lactic acid, and mild musty funkiness. Some oaky vanilla type character is also noticeable.

Medium bodied, syrupy mouthfeel, pretty drinkable.

This is one of the beers that showed me I might end up liking some sours. It's quite tasty. (494 characters)

Photo of HochFliegen
4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

What a treat to find this wonderful beer at Costco this evening.

The Grand Cru pours a very dark and murky red-brown with a think light tan head that slowly dissipates into a thin frothy top. The smell is sour and tart like sour cherries and rotting pears. There are also elements of yeasty maybe baking bread scents. The taste starts with a punch of tartness and flows into sweet cherry flavors with hints of vanilla and oak in the rich finish. The mouthfeel is on the low end of being medium bodied and very silky and smooth. I love this beer its very nice and as far as on style I think this is the benchmark that I judge all other Flanders Red Ales by. (658 characters)

Photo of Jimmys
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle into tulip. best before: 03-18-16.

A: a very deep red hue. very deep. head is a reddish white and is pretty bubbly. good retention, minimal lacing.

S: tart. sour cherries. oak. slightly acidic, but certainly doesn't scare me away.

T: sweet cherry flavor. vinous and tart. some soft edges on the tartness. vanilla notes.

M: fizzy carb. medium body.

D: really good stuff. dangerously drinkable. tart but refreshing. I could drink this all day. (462 characters)

Photo of Jonada
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Best before October 22nd 2016. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark red brown color with a finger of a light tan head which settles into a thin cap and thick collar and leaves some spotty lacing. Body is very murky (nearly opaque).

Smell: Acidic sour notes, stone fruit, sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, dark bread .

Taste: Green apple, red grape, light oakiness, slight breadiness and a faint red berry character. Sourness is on the lower end of medium.

Mouthfeel: Light/medium bodied with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Really well balanced and complex. This is a such a unique style and this is a great example of it. This one is a classic for a reason. (710 characters)

Photo of RandomExile
2.8/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: deep brown, tinged with red, quickly dissipating head. Fine, persistent, sheeting lacing.
S: sour, fruity, medicinal
T: dominantly sour, slightly bitter, malt/citrus
M: thin-medium body, sour bite
O: Not particularly enjoyable. Sour, on the watery side for a dark beer ... it feels like there's just something missing. I've heard it compared to champagne ... and I guess if you want a beer glass of middling champagne, this works. (433 characters)

Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into flute glass.

A - Surprising lack of murkiness and cloudiness. Ruby brown with a finger of off white head that dissipates somewhat rapidly.

S - Cherry and vinegar. It definitely smells tart and sour.

T - A big pucker punch of tart cherry and a bit of sour apple. The sweet and sour combo really works well with the cherry and apple.

M - Light-to-moderate body with high carbonation. The carb really makes the sour cherry pop on your tongue.

O - An outstanding sour from Rodenbach. Great puckering pour in a good way, letting the sweet/sour/tart cherry dominate the palate. (602 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into tulip 12/10/13

A clear dark cola that has a ruby glow when held to the light, just a thin tan foam that quickly falls leaving just a lone patch of lace, enough clarity to see the other side of the glass under the foam

A tart cherry, raspberries, strawberries, very jammy, faint oak, vanilla, loads of brown sugar, some sour candy, smells solid

T tastes even better, great mix of sweet and sour, lots of fizzy candy, lots of berries, just a little vinegar, lots of flavor in a 6%er I could drink this all day

M medium bodied, a little creamy from the bubbles, slick after the fact, just a little sour, slightly sticky on the lips, brown sugar and berries on the finish

O pretty much what I want from the style, well rounded and it tastes awesome, very drinkable brew going on here, my glass is already empty

I'm loving this one and considering its 4$ a bottle I might go stock up, another great addition to the shelves here in Alberta, an easy recommendation (992 characters)

Photo of williamjbauer
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled, served in a triple karmilet tulip, 2012 vintage.

Opaque burgundy with a little ruby light on edge, thin cream head on edges with moderated retention and bubbly lacing.

Moderate potency aroma with oak, vanilla, and sour cherry notes.

Hint of vanillin touches my tongue first then overwhelmed with tart cheeries, fresh, creamy, finish with surprising strong oak character. This beer packs a punch considering how inexpensive and readily available it is...maybe I should shut up and just buy them all...

Mouthfeel is medium body, a bit wet, dry talc finish.

Amazing beer at price point of 8-9 clams. I will snag this anytime I see it. A benchmark for this style as others have mentioned. (699 characters)

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,053 ratings.