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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.

3,008 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,008
Reviews: 988
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 213
Gots: 294 | 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: 3,008 | Reviews: 988 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of scbrew
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2nd in 1st day of Summer tasting w/ Vistica. Bottle from O'Shea Brewing in Laguna Niguel. Pours dark amber with a tight white head. Flavor is tart raison/plum and fig. Beautiful balance between sweet & sour leaning towards sour. Medium carbonation with smooth little bubbles. Finishes with the same balance.

scbrew, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of Patrickbrusil
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Obviously this beer needs not much of an intro. It is one of the most widely recognized flander red ales around the world.

The nose has hints of mashed cherries and oak. The taste is utterly refreshing. This could be consumed all day long. For days on end.

It has notes of dried cherries, slight vanilla, and a wonderful woody sour taste that just dances across the tongue and begs one to take another sip.

A wonderful mouthfeel from the champagne like bubbles.

Drink it up. What a brew.

Patrickbrusil, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip glass.

A nice thick foam of light creamy brown is created off the pour, sitting on a solid dark Indian red brown body. Minimal sticking, but what is gives some nice sheets.

Salty sour, and hint of sweet cherry on the last whiff. Real wonderful, extremely balanced even a hint of creamy vanilla. Really like this mix

Taste is a wonderful rush of flavors. A great mix of sweet and sour cherries in the mid palate. Carbonated small but tight tingles on the swallow, creamy afterfinsh bringing some of the vanilla hints, maybe even some pepper strangely, and hot cinnamon. Chewy, sour viscous and a perfect almost raspberry tartness. Just loving it.

I could drink this all day. This is pure magic in a bottle, and much tastier than the classic. Complete total beer enjoyment.

smakawhat, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of karait95
3.83/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown reddish color not bright but not opaque either, is a nice presentation with a big head formed of small bubbles that make a compact head, this one dissipates not to fast leaving some traces behind.

S: Here starts the complexity, starting with a fermented fruity aroma really intense with lot of sour inside fruits like citrus and prunes and some other things are really intense, not clear to say because it is a rare type, also can be sensed some malts in the back.

T: Really sour tasting not a common flavor but not unpleasant it is really complex, you need to evaluate it from a mature perspective, not an easy one, not for beginners.

M: It is nice, as the main mouth-feel is sour the bitterness and the sweetness are set aside but at some point the beer-like sensations is present with a medium lasting ending not to easy to process. Good but rare beer feeling.

karait95, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of spinrsx
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle

Appearance – Hazy reddish brown colour with a large size frothy off white coloured head. It’s hard to make out the carbonation level due to the haziness and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 5 minutes or so before it began to dissipate.

Smell – Malts, vinegar, dark fruits, caramel, citric acid

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, balsamic vinegar, and some dark fruits. (raisins, cherries) I can also taste an earthiness, some citric acid, and some notes of caramel. The beer finishes with a tart/sour vinegar and dark fruit aftertaste.

Overall – I've only had a handful of flanders red ales before, but this was by far the best one I've encountered. The taste is complex but too over the top. It's got a lot of flavour punch but it's still quite drinkable. I'd buy this beer again.

spinrsx, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was excited and surprised to find this at a Walmart in Cancun, Mexico.

A: Pours a dark ruby/brown color with a one finger off-white head. Spotty lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: Light tart cherries, vanilla, a little bit of brown sugar. Slightly vinegary, and overall not as sour as expected. There is a subtle sweetness.

T: Nice sour cherries, vanilla and oak. There is some plum, raspberry, and a little bit of apple. On the acetic side, but not overly sour.

M: Medium bodied with lots of carbonation, really spot on in both regards.

O: A great beer, fits style pretty much spot on. Great flavor profile and mouthfeel. Look forward to picking this up when I get back to the states.

mdaschaf, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of kawilliams81
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a La Chouffe Tulip.

A- Dark ruby red. 1 finger head with some lacing on glass.

S- Rasberries and tart cherries with some oak.

T- Semi-sweet dark fruits, with tart cherries and rasberries. Get a hint of oak and some vinegar at the finish.

M- Fairly smooth on the lighter side. Lower carbonation and semi-dry finish.

O- Enjoyed this a lot. Nice blend of sweet dark fruits and tart cherries/rasberries. Would definitely get again.

kawilliams81, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of ryanonline
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the beer appears very dark amber red brown. a unique mix of colors, but it still retains an off white thin and spritzy head, that does leave some nice sheet like lacing.

smells, sour and sweet simultaneously. cherrys and figs are very light with a strong vinegar taste overpowering them both. in the end of the nose it has a bit of dry woody and earthy aromas.

This flavor is more of the same, lots of cherry and vinegar. lots of dry woody flavor in the finish.

The mouthfeel is very dry, although somewhat thin bodied. A bit creamy, with some moderately foamy carbonation.

This beer is surprisingly drinkable despite having a fairly dominant flavor profile.

I had a rather poor experience with this beer before. I happened to have gotten a past dated bottle and it was not pretty. Im glad that it was only a single time incident and not a consistent problem. I am much more impressed this time so here's to ya, cheers.

ryanonline, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Poured into a tulip glass, an opaque reddish brown with a small, beige head that receded to a thin film. Aroma of sour cherries, and vinegar. Very kriek-like in the taste, with sweet, light sugar up front, followed almost immediately by tart cherries. Light spice, yeast, and maybe a touch of grapes finish things off smooth, but a little bitter. Medium mouthfeel, and pretty drinkable. My sister-in-law doesn't like beer, but she liked this one a lot.

Rifugium, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of Auracom
3.65/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Put back a bomber of Grand Cru with my friend on May 23rd, 2011 in a Dogfish Head tulip glass.

Pours a dark, murky brown. Offwhite thin head dissipates quickly with little retention. Good lacing and some carbonation sticking to the sides of the glass.

The aroma is very tart with fruity undertones - granny smith apple, caramel, cherry, and slight yeast characters. Taste is hugely sour (like aggressively puckering), again slight yeast with some spices underlying that dominant tart and sour taste.

Lots of carbonation in the feel of the drink, with a medium body and very long and very dry finish (appropriate given the taste).

Drinkability really depends on your enjoyment of sours. It's hugely sour, to the point that I though it damaged the overall complexity of the beer.

Auracom, Jun 06, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
3.43/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

kojevergas, Jun 02, 2011
Photo of mikeg67
3.83/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Pours brown hue with a small, short lived, tanned head and some lacing. Nose is of spoiled apple juice, vinegar and some yeast and malt. Medium, very sharp, acidic body. Taste is sweet and sour barn yard which requires getting used to.

mikeg67, May 31, 2011
Photo of samie85
3.68/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes; originally 4/4/11.

A-Pours a very ruddy, cherry juice-like color with a few fingers of pink foam.

S-Soft notes of vinegar with oak and some cherry.

T-Quite a bit of cider-like vinegar with some cherry.

M-Not as carbonated or light bodied as a lot of other Flanders Reds I've had.

D-Very easy drinking but I was definitely hoping for more tart, acetic, vinegar notes.

samie85, May 29, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a very interesting choice for me to make this evening after everyone went to bed, a really am just trying to get through my backlog, but wow, what an unexpected result

Rich red in color and cloudy with a ruby/garnet look to it. nice light head that hung around for a nice little bit. Then I go in for the smell and I am knocked back. Sour, apple vinegar with hints of citrus bouncing around it as well. tart cherries all over. So amazingly complex. Grapes, and plums, lots of fruit notes and a granny smith apple or two all coming up into the air. Carried over very well in to the first sip, as it was biting tart through and through. Really lip puckering sour that took a second to get used to, but once you did, look out. Bright lemon and orange notes then lit it up. Very light, very bright flavor that was soo complex and wonderfully done. Smooth, gentle, not overly carbonated, but amazingly drinkable.

overall just what i needed and really set me back where i needed to be

mikesgroove, May 27, 2011
Photo of pitasoup
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

labeled #11 from flexabull, a cork/cage 750 w/ tulip suggestion. poured into NB globe.

A: Nice pop as it opens, pours hazy mahogany with a light creme colored, dense, half inch of head that is quite slow to subside. 4.0

S: Lemons and yeast at very first, then funk, tart cherries and cranberries. A touch of oak and vanilla towards the end. 4.5

T: Tart cherries, cran, apple, slightly acidic. Nice and sour but not puckering. Currants, plums, vanilla, oak, lime, and nutmeg linger on the tongue. So complex and dense in flavor, I'm taking the smallest sips in the hope of extracting the most flavor here, almost like a whisky. Oak is a bit more present as it sits and warms. 5.0

M: medium body. fine effervescence is both astringent and soothing at the same time. finishes with a bit of dryness, lingering chalkyness from the sour. 4.0

O: fantastic flanders red/oud bruin. tons of layered and complex flavors. a sipper for all weather and seemingly appropriate for all occasions. This could replace Sunday morning mimosas, after dinner aperitifs, and even fireside scotches. Well perhaps not that last one. Still, Not much I could suggest to improve this one. 5.0

pitasoup, May 25, 2011
Photo of LusciousJackson
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's been awhile since my local spot has had these on the shelf and when I spotted a case waiting to be stocked I had to snatch a few up before they all disappear.

Average pour into the good ol' New Belgium balloon produced a gorgeous two fingers of head. A tinge of amber in the tan. Body of the beer is a very pretty deep red brown although as I move the glass around I catch a purplish hue reminding me of plums.

Aroma is just outstanding. Big sour cherry, tart apple with a slight vinegar in the back. I could hang my nose is the glass all day long.

Taste is as refreshing as I can imagine. Sour cherry again, raspberry tartness. The vinegar comes through a bit in the middle and that tongue scrubbing sour at the end begs for another sip.

Mouthfeel is incredibly crisp and clean. Very pleasant experience.

This is an amazing beer and an amazing value to boot earning a permanent spot in my cellar.

LusciousJackson, May 23, 2011
Photo of FanofHefe
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a Chimay chalice. Although it looks red as it poured, it is darker in the glass: deep brown with red highlights around the edges. One finger tan head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma starts with cherry, tart apple, and vinegar. It definitely sets up very well for a sour tasting. As I stir the glass and as it warms, I get some light woody oak and also a bit of caramel malt.

Delicious flavor. The tartness is very tolerable and enjoyable. Definite flavors of cherry, raspberry, and green apple on the fruity side. The vinegar flavor is present but much less pronounced than the aroma would suggest. Only the slightest note of oak, but the flavors blend so well, it's just goes down easy.

The mouthfeel is fairly light overall as it does not taste "heavy" at all. It finishes crisply with no notice of the alcohol. A superb brew. Highly recommend this one.

FanofHefe, May 23, 2011
Photo of ummswimmin
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first time I had this, there was no presentation on the style of this beer. I didn't know that it was a sour type, and so I thought it was past it's time. My friend seemed to enjoy it... so I thought he was crazy or something was wrong with my bottle.

Since then I have been educated on sours and I read the label to understand their goals for this beer.

For reviewing I sampled this beer in a chalice glass.

There was a decent amount of carbonation yielding a very good head. The lacing from this is very attractive.

I smelled the sour offsetting the strong fruit flavors. I smell plum, apple, and raisin coming through in the bouquet.

The first drink reminds me of a beer/wine hybrid. The mouthfeel is like a wine, but I get the yeastiness of the beer. There are a lot of complex flavors in each drink.

Overall I feel like there are oppotunities to balance out the beer even better. I don't know what I am looking for, but I still feel like the beer could get better (just not much).

I really appreciate my improved understanding for this beer. I recommend this as a good example of a sour.

ummswimmin, May 20, 2011
Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
3.83/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rugbroud Felmish Brown Ale

A: the appearance is an optical illusion that shifts with the light from almost a light brown to a deep red to a rose red hue at the edges. Nice carbonation throughout with no lacing, solid foamy 1 inch head at the crown.

S: Very apparent with its intentions, the bouquet has cherry, sour apple, vinuous and vinegar notes.

T: Fantastic sour beginning with sweet strawberry underpinnings and very slight hops added at the end for variety

M: the mouthfeel is perfectly balanced with good coating that supports the sour until it fades and then subsides leaving you wanting to take another drink.

D: this is a fantastically drinkable beer with light fruity notes that even wine afficionados will enjoy, you can present this to people who may think of "beer" as urine yellow pilsners. This beer is at home in several climates and situations.

Narrative: She sat there day after day, painting landscapes in the Garden at Giverny. Her flowing red gown seemed ill at east in the summer breeze, yet inviting. Each day you would feign the pretence to visit the shores of the recending lakeline, prod about in the muck while wondering what the glowing red countenance had to offer. The air was redolent with bluebell that fateful day you crushed the poppy flowers and closed the distance. So sweet in demeanour you introduced yourself, and were treated to a laundry list of compound curse words that would make a Press Gang blush. So sweet in appearances and introduction, you could take your new baroness anywhere, to the Salons, to the racetrack, to Tinpenny alley to bet on cockfights. She was your patient, yet offensive muse. She likened your grandmother's face to pachyderm ankles, but you dont care, you love the sweet and the sour that she presents.

SubpoenaDeuces, May 12, 2011
Photo of Matt1516
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

Matt1516, May 12, 2011
Photo of ThoreauLikeAGirl
3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured deep brown in color with hints of ruby
small amount of lacing around the glass. any bit of head recedes quickly.
Nose: balsamic vinegar and sour cherries. some oak.
medium amount of carbonation
Very refreshing. Taste of sour cherries and sweet dark fruit. Not overly sour. Vinegar not as pronounced as nose suggests. Dry finish with some bready malts. Taste improves through the bottle. Very drinkable.

ThoreauLikeAGirl, May 11, 2011
Photo of jera1350
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby hued amber with an everlasting tan colored head that appears very soft. Some noticeable lacing on the glass.

Smells both sweet and sour. A lactic sour in fact. Apple cider vinegar lightly present.

The taste is a mix of sweet and sour as well, with the sour having a slight edge. A tart apple like sourness. I would call this a little beyond moderately sour. About as sour as I would really want to have. There is a little bit of noticeable woody oak notes as well in the background.

As expected, this one is very tongue suckingly puckering and dry. Light-medium body with lots of carbonation. Can't say I've burped from a beer as much as this one.

Nicely drinking for a sour. Well done and decently priced for the category. This is a good intro/evolving into sours beer. Not too sour, but plenty there to showcase the style.

jera1350, May 09, 2011
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rodenbach Grand Cru

Pours a reddish brown in color, off white head forms and crackles away. Aroma of balsamic vinegar, very tart fruit, some sweetness. In the flavor profile, a nice pronounced sour. Acidic and alittle lemony, sour, lip puckering goodness. Alittle oak influence with some woodsy tannins showing late. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, well carbonated and slightly dry. Overall, a sophisticated sipper, nice sour, worth revisiting.

Stinkypuss, May 06, 2011
Photo of rarbring
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The brew is brown with deep ruby tones, has a light tan head that leaves good lacing and curtains.

The smell is earthy and sour, red vinegar, leather, musk, and yeast.

Starts sweet, raisins, lemon curl marmalade, rhubarbs, bitter cherries, grape-fruit zest.

Low carbonation, small bubbles, smooth texture, a sour dryness.

Solid, refreshing, interesting, and good with cheese.

rarbring, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of musicforairports
3.78/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle with no freshness date into a tulip.

Brown in color, pours with a big fizzy head that goes away pretty quick.

Smells like acetic acid, some dark cherries and some lactic aspects. The acetic component makes this a bit distinctive from others in the style, and is rather reminiscent of nail polish remover.

Taste is much like the nose, with more dark cherry flavors. Not a whole lot of fruit, though. Very tart and finishing with an acetic puckering quality.

Feels fizzy and smooth, a bit creamy on the way down.

This is more sour than I was expecting, and in a pretty unique way. Glad I tried it, and I'd have it again, but it's different from what I was expecting. The acetic component is sharp and different from the usual aspects I pick up on in sour beers.

musicforairports, Apr 21, 2011
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,008 ratings.