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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.

2,910 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,910
Reviews: 984
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 212
Gots: 270 | FT: 15
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: 2,910 | Reviews: 984 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of metter98

New York

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%

A: The beer is clear dark reddish brown in color. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly faded into lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface. Only a very light amount of carbonation is evident from the rising bubbles.
S: The nose has a moderately sour aroma along with some notes of cherries, oak barrels and vinegar.
T: Like the smell, there is a moderate amount of sour taste but these are intermixed with some sweetness from the fruit that results in an interesting balance between sweet and sour flavors. Notes of the oak barrel aging are also noticeable in the taste.
M: The beer feels medium-bodied and rather tart on the palate, particularly in the lingering aftertaste. It has a light amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and quite refreshing because the sourness is not overpowering.

08-06-2010 00:12:46 | More by metter98
Photo of zoolzoo


4.22/5  rDev -1.6%

Pours a sort of dirt brown with red highlights. A copious amount of bubbles gather in the depth of glass, rushing up to form a surprisingly small head. Notably, the head was off white, almost tan.

Smell is of big vinegar and oak - sour cherries thrown in the mix. In regards to taste, one of the best Flanders I have had. Sour, oak, a little vinegar, sure. What stood out here was the fruit. Rodenbach Grand Cru gave me more than an impression of dark fruit. Grapes, cherries, plums - layered beautifully. Also a hint of sour green apple.

Mouthfeel is right on the mark with a blast of carbonation, and a wonderfully light body. Think sparkling red wine but brighter flavors. A 750ml easily polished off.

08-01-2010 21:34:33 | More by zoolzoo
Photo of berpwillie


4.15/5  rDev -3.3%

almost opaque ruby brown color with spare off white head, spare lacing, and average carbonation. strong balsamic vinegar like smell that followed through in the taste but wasn't nearly as potent. very sweet sour and tart with some fruity like hints. the blend of the sweet and sour was almost perfect. light body and a thin slick texture. long flavor duration with a very tart finish. very different and unusual flavors that were very pleasing. definitely worth a try.

07-31-2010 17:56:50 | More by berpwillie
Photo of jmhart


4.63/5  rDev +7.9%

Served a bottle at Cambrinus Pub in Bruges, and it was so good, I brought a 4 pack home and served it with a pepper encrusted porterhouse steak and asparagus.

A- Pours a thick creamy reddish-brown, forming a heavy off white head that rescinds quickly and leaves an intricate lace all over the beer. The lace eventually disappears.

S- Heavy acetic acid with some tart fruits like plums and dark cherries. Hard to pick out any flavors over the acetic acid.

T- Straight up sweet and sour. Deliciously sour with strong acetic notes, dark cherries, plums, and some really nice oak and bready, like a piece of bread soaked in red wine vinegar and buried in a pot for 3 years.

M- Really wonderful. Chewy and sour, with some nice oils, and impressively moist. Something this sour usually dries you out, but it's really refreshing.

D- Easily one of my favorite beers. So tasty and refreshing. I can't say enough about this beer. I'd never had it before my trip to Europe, and I was so happy to see it in nearly all of the beer stores I frequent back home.

Overall, I love this beer and drink it FREQUENTLY. Great with dinner. A nice steak or delicious pot roast. If it wouldn't be such a waste of good (and expensive) beer, I'd love to cover a good roast in this and slow cook it for 8 or 10 hours...mmm

07-27-2010 00:10:20 | More by jmhart
Photo of Caml

South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -4.9%

Glassware: 4oz de Molen goblet

A: Gorgeous mahogany red-brown, dark but with a good deal of clarity. Short, tan head followed by strong lacing.

S: Nice and sour, maybe even a touch astringent, somewhere between good vinegar and really sour cherries.

T: Amazingly dry and crisp. There's a mite of malt sweetness swimming around in there somewhere, but the dry sourness is the primary feature.

M: Lightly carbonated and rather astringent.

Drinkability: Not terribly high for me, despite its excellent taste and reasonable ABV. Two would easily do it and send me on my way to something else.

07-22-2010 11:47:19 | More by Caml
Photo of wethorseblanket


4.22/5  rDev -1.6%

Corked and caged bottle poured into a chalice. Nice reddish brown and very murky appearance with a large bubbly light-tan head which fades slowly. Nose is lemon and citrus zest with oak and sour cherries. Some vinegar in there too. Taste is really nice with a mild sour/tart combined with a sweet and deep tannin bite. Noticed a cherry and red grape skin combo with a crisp oak finish. Prickly carbonation makes this really drinkable. Overall, a great "sweet-tart" sour blend. A favorite for sure.

07-22-2010 03:13:59 | More by wethorseblanket
Photo of thepeter

United Kingdom (England)

4.47/5  rDev +4.2%

Pours a dark murky reddish brown with very little head that turns into a swirling film and leaves very nice lacing.
S- Unripened plums, grapes, and sour cherries, a hint of vanilla and wood
T - those same sour fruits along with slight vineger taste and the woody bitterness at the back end as you swallow
M&D- Wonderful carbonation that makes it so easy to drink. Very smooth in your mouth and all the way down, I would gladly drink this all day. . . unless too many gave me a sore stomach, I guess I will have to find out.

07-21-2010 19:16:22 | More by thepeter
Photo of pokesbeerdude


4.1/5  rDev -4.4%

Picked up a 750ml from Best Damn Beer Store in San Diego. $10. Poured into my sweet new Delerium Tremens goblet.

A: Pours a deep red brown color with a off colored tan head, great retention, nice spots of lacing. Pretty decent clarity. Not a bad looking beer.

S: This really reminds me of NB La Folie, maybe just a little bit more sweet, strong sour notes, sour cherries and lemons really stand out, oak aging is there, and caramel as well. Nicely complex nose. Great.

T: Not as sour as the nose leads on, based on the smells I was expecting a huge pucker factor, but instead there is a slight sour cherry flavor, slight lemony sourness and then a really deep complex malty profile. There are some excellent caramel notes and even maybe a bit of roast. Definitely a tasty beer.

M: Medium to medium thick body, light bubbly carbonation, slightly puckering sour, and dry as well. Nice here. Maybe a little on the thick side.

D: It won't be much to drink a whole 750 of this, however I think a little bit more sour would really make this beer top notch. Nice beer, glad to try it.

07-17-2010 05:04:36 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of Bendurgin


4.05/5  rDev -5.6%

Had this on tap in a goblet at Pepperland. The appearance is a dark mahogany with a hint of red. A centimeter of off white head sits on top with very thing lacing. At first whiff all I got was a nose full of red wine vinegar. It really reminded me of a fresh garden salad with a vinaigrette on top. At my second go towards a smell tart cherries and raspberries penetrate through a big vinegar nose. The fruit is very welcome company to this one. The taste seems a little more balanced. Nice and sour with a forefront of tart cherries followed by a vinegary aftertaste. Oak notes underlie fruit and sourness. The finish is rather a little sweet, making this a very ranged beer on the pallet. Nice to drink and it went very well with my corn chowder. I thought the carbonation was a little much but overall, this one drank nicely.

07-17-2010 03:44:27 | More by Bendurgin
Photo of jpoder


4.97/5  rDev +15.9%

This is one of my absolute favorite beers!

a: pours cola colored with red highlights when held to the light. creamy off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly to a lacing

s: whoo nellie! there is A LOT going on in this beer. sour cherry is the first thing to hit, followed by vinegar, funk, apple, assorted fruit. you just know this one is going to be SOUR

t: ambrosia! puckering sour/tart (not as much as Cantillon gueze). oak. very woody taste.

m: feels pretty full up front with quite a bit of sweetness, but the sourness balances it out, and a second after the sip it leaves a very dry aftertaste leaving you wanting more. good amount of carbonation definately tingles in the mouth.

d: excellent. I could drink A LOT of this.

07-14-2010 02:52:20 | More by jpoder
Photo of sisuspeed

New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev +0.9%

Poured into a snifter. Slightly hazy brown-cherry in color with a small off-white head that fades to a ring around the edges of the glass. Light patches of lacing. Swirling the glass brings back a decent amount of head.

Light ethanol, cherries, oak and creamy vanilla comprise the nose. Sweet malts and a touch of sourness linger. One of the best Flanders Red's I've had the pleasure of smelling.

Sweet, candied grapes, a touch of tart cherry and light vinegar notes dance on the tongue. Sweet malts, yet a good sour burn on the finish. Lots of sour candied fruits. Very good for the style.

The mouthfeel is composed of a smooth body and vinegary sourness. Small, tingly carbonation. Somewhat warming and rich.

Drinkability is quite good. This is a very well done Flanders. Nice sourness. Sweetness cuts down on the drinkability a bit, but otherwise very enjoyable. Had a good time splitting this with three others. Great to sip with blue cheese. Looks like I should check out the Alexander Rodenbach if it crosses my path in the future.

07-05-2010 01:45:39 | More by sisuspeed
Photo of pmccallum86


3.68/5  rDev -14.2%

Thanks to kbutler1 for busting this beer out.

Pours a dark cherry color with a bubbly small head.

Smell is is sweet, and a little off. It almost smells like grape cough syrup.

Taste is very sweet and sugary with lots of grape. Light tart funk also comes through. This beer is decent, but not good, I am trying to figure out why so many people seem to love it.

Mouthfeel is light, bubbly and sweet. Actually pretty good in this department.

Drinkability is pretty good, but would be better with less sugary sweetness. I would imaging some age could do this beer well.

07-02-2010 20:49:18 | More by pmccallum86
Photo of maximum12


4.1/5  rDev -4.4%

Shared with friends the past weekend at a cabin in northern Minnesota, with the loons screaming outside & the smell of bass on my hands. Thus are summer weekends made.

This bottle was purchased two-plus years ago, & the right time just never seemed to arrive to open it until now. Pours a sparkling, fiery red that seems to smile a bit in the light. Smell is sharp cherries & fruit.

This bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru appeals to me more than I recall it doing. The taste is more tart, sharp, than sour. Raspberries & cherries come knocking, with an attendant dose of vinegar bitterness, but it seems subdued, perhaps due to the aging of the bottle. Drying, oaky, highly carbonated on the tongue, this is very pleasant. Mouthfeel is light, & I ended up drinking over half the bomber as it did not appeal to the friends we were visiting, & glad to have it!

Excellent brew. I will have to try this once more, fresh, to see if the taming of the colors is what led me to this pass.

06-29-2010 03:52:02 | More by maximum12
Photo of jlandis


4.53/5  rDev +5.6%

750ml bottle poured into a chalice

A - Murky brown with a thin white head.

S - Pungent sour aroma with something that reminded me of a dry champagne.

T - Tart green apple and cherries with a malty sweetness.

M - Highly carbonated but still maintained a solid mouth feel. Acidity hits you in the back of the throat.

D - This beer was fantastic. Even though some of the characteristics reminded me of a vinegar this was a delicious beer. Two glasses worth was enough for one sitting.

06-28-2010 14:04:05 | More by jlandis
Photo of jdense


4.33/5  rDev +0.9%

750 ml bottle purloined from gout-stricken buddy's beer cellar, bottle stamped best before date 02.01.12, enjoyed on my birthday with a buddy, drank from wine glasses 6.25.2010.

Shares many of the same characteristics as the on-tap version I had at Le Trappe SFO last month, would reinforce lack of head, resulting in thin layer of carbonation on top of garnet red body, minimal effervescence in mouthfeel. On the positive side, a very complex taste, cherry-line esters, certainly a lot of oak character, and a refreshing sweet and sour tart finish. While I wouldn't hop to drink an entire bottle by myself, my buddy certainly enjoyed his first Rodenbach beer. Not sure if this would have benefited from any more cellaring, but this was certainly a worthy brew to enjoy on my birthday. World class.

06-26-2010 17:31:39 | More by jdense
Photo of Jemonster


4.6/5  rDev +7.2%

A: This beer is the same shade as root beer, but a bit lighter. It has a dense foamy tan colored head.

S: Sour yeasty smell, strong with fermentation. Believe it or not, similar to a soy sauce odor.

T: Immediately sour and reminiscent of green apples and cranberry.

M: Small bubbles like Champagne. Dries the palate slightly from the acidity.

D: Like many of the other sour style beers, this one is difficult to drink a lot of because it is so flavorful. The tartness starts to get to me after about 12 oz. It is still very delicious and at 6% alcohol, I could drink a lot before feeling the effects.

06-22-2010 07:28:23 | More by Jemonster
Photo of CraftAleRookie


4.08/5  rDev -4.9%

On tap at Capone's- served in a 9 oz Brandy Snifter

A- Deep, dark, ruby-brown color. No head at all- a thin ring of lace only right up against the glass.

S- Wow! Sweet, yet....sour? Hint of tart vinegar, but not in a bad way. Slight hint of ripe cherry.

T- Good! Sweet, cherry, cassis.

M- Fizzy, medium body- but the tartness makes it feel on the lighter side.

D- Here is where I will not be at a loss for words. I enjoyed this ale with a piece of Reese's Peanut Butter cake (this was the last course)- and it was a perfect pairing. At the end of a night of sampling IPAs, DIPAs, and Belgian Dark Ales with appetizer foods (wings, poppers, nachos), this ale was the perfect match with dessert.

A suprising change of pace.

06-18-2010 23:29:20 | More by CraftAleRookie
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.9/5  rDev -9.1%

Thanks to kbutler1 for cracking this one.

Poured into great lakes snifter.

Pours 1/4 finger of fizzy white/light brown head. Light lace left. Color is a dark brown hued ruby red.

Aroma: Grape candy sticks out the most. Some cherry flavors with oak. Slightly sour. Lots of grape flavors.

Taste: Cherries and sweet grapes. Candy like grape flavors. Oak, flavors, but very sweet. Sugar flavors. It has some sugar flavors. Also has some funk to it.

Mouthfeel: Sour, but sweet. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends fairly clean, but leaves the mouth watering a bit.

Overall, a very sweet tasting sour. Decent drinkability but too sweet for me and I just can't stress this enough. I enjoyed it, but one glass was enough for me.

06-18-2010 04:44:26 | More by mothman
Photo of DmanGTR


4.65/5  rDev +8.4%

On tap at Capone's near Philly. Review from notes on 6/4/10.

A - Clear deep maroon/cherry, nicely formed off-white head in a snifter. 4.5

S - Rich cherry and tartness reminiscent of a red wine, very light funk. 5.0

T - Nice tart and sweet body with a sour cherry flavor throughout. Hint of chocolate, sweet as well but a decent dryness in the finish too. 4.5

M - Medium bodied, smooth and bubbly carbonation. 4.0

D - Incredible. I wouldn't mind 3 or 4 more please. 5.0

06-15-2010 12:49:22 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of djmichaelk


4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

750ml bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A - Held to the light, it's got ruby and amber. Maybe all of one finger of head, no lacing on the glass. Lots of tiny bubbles but nothing that lasts very long. Pretty colors but somewhat uninspiring looking.

S - Malt and balsamic vinegar, and red grapes. Almost like a sparkling red wine. Surprising at first, then it becomes one of the best aspects of this beer.

T - The first thing that comes to mind is Welch's grape soda. Plenty of tartness, sour fruit, and malty sweetness in the back. I keep going back to a sparkling red wine, only with somewhat more coarse carbonation. For the style it's excellent, the funkiness lingers around for a long time, and I get plenty of the cherries and grapes coming through.

M - Lovely mouthfeel, very silky. The carbonation is very champagne-like, but not much in the way of coating.

D - The ABV is undetectable, not that it was high to begin with. I could easily finish this bottle, but not sure if the cloying nature of the sweetness would allow me to have another. I'd like to maybe have a few on tap mixed in with other styles.

Overall - Good stuff. I've had people tell me that this is their favorite beer in the world, and I can at times see flashes of why that is. It's not mine, though.

06-10-2010 03:02:59 | More by djmichaelk
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%

Quite an iconic, rich, fruity, and unique red ale.

Presentation: 750 ml brown corked bottle. Label design around the name "Grand Cru" in oversized yellow fonts with dark red top and bottom bands, displaying an icon of the oak vats, and noting main composition, and brewery founding. Back label offers a narrative going over history, local context, intent, and composition, alongside serving and cellaring notes. Shows best before date (02/01/12), and Alc. by Vol. (6%) Served in a stemless glass wine.

A - Deep amber/red-brown pour with a generous bubbly head, short retention with a small surface ring, and a bit of lacing.

S - Sweet and sour fruit, with a marked tart sense around fermented apples, fresh initially, and with a yeasty, and dark sugar and woody touch towards the lingering finish.

T - Rich fruity sourness, natural cider memories, sweet oak touches in the far back, acid yeasty touch. Nice and long range with dark fruits supporting the early tartness.

M - Light-medium body with good carbonation, generous early on and with a good tingly retention in the finish. Nice acidic dryness as it ends too.

D - Great complex brew, nicely rounded and pleasing.

Notes: The personal reference, and more and more as I share it with people close to Spain, is that of some natural ciders form the North of the country. It is not the same at all, but the memories of fermented apples in a complex fruity range are there. The finish and depth has nothing to with them in the end, with a broader woody and yeasty range. Prepare people for a sour, and this works great too as a socially stimulating drink.

06-07-2010 23:38:57 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of rawthar


4.08/5  rDev -4.9%

A- Dark cola brown with some burnt red tones where the light meanders through, some dusty grey head that simmers down to a nice film with a respectable collar.

S- Vinegar and prunes, intensely sour and intensely sharp.

T- Balsamic vinegar is the major player, extremely tart and sour, refreshing. Dark dried fruits behind the wall of vinegar. An intense beer for the hearty, and as thirst-quenching as unsweetened lemonade.

M- Light, thin, kind of watery. Stings the hell out of the mouth (in a good way) but that is more a function of the flavor than the feel.

D- Rating drinkability to this style is almost an oxymoron, and while this would be very difficult to session, its a great drink for the right time.

06-07-2010 01:13:27 | More by rawthar
Photo of augustgarage


4.55/5  rDev +6.1%

Poured from a caged-and-corked 750mL bottle into my White Birch flute/tulip.

A resounding sonorous pop greets me as I ease the cork out. Aromas surge forth before I can even pour any liquid.

Dark auburn-tinged burgundy liquid with crimson/cerise highlights and an active light tan head that recedes to a thin layer of cream. Thick even sandy lacing coats the sides. Very thin oily legs.

Dark cherries, lemon and strawberries from afar - when you bring the liquid closer to your nose, the acidity picks up considerably. Tangy red-wine vinegar, light oaky wood notes, and a mild intermingling of young port with toasted malt round out the boquet.

Complex flavors - a wide range of acidity suggesting a variety of light vinegars (champagne, aged balsamic, rice wine), plum wine, and citrus and a bit of pit fruit. Brown sugar, malt syrup, and cola notes add sweetness, while the finish adds in bitterness and a wave of tannins. Perfectly blended.

Well carbonated, nearly medium-bodied, and moderately astringent.

Perfect with food, really nice on its own - similarly enjoyable to a good (if not a great) wine, but with much less alcohol.

While it's been a while since I've tried the original, I believe this is sweeter and more nuanced than the standard Rodenbach. Well worth seeking out if you enjoy the style as this is among the very best I've tried.

06-05-2010 03:01:05 | More by augustgarage
Photo of Lars3


4.95/5  rDev +15.4%

750mL bottle, first into a Lindemans flute, then into an oversized snifter.

Poured into the flute this beer had a beautiful billowing brownish head. The body was garnet with only small amounts of light able to pass through. When I switched to the snifter the beer looked black with only a modest head quickly falling to a mere lacing.

In the flute I smelled nothing, but the snifter exploded with delicous sweet sour aroma. It reminds me of red wine, but less sharp.

Super cold out of the fridge this beer was gross and candy-like. As it warmed over less than 5 minutes it transformed into something otherworldly. It reminds me if green apples with the tiniest hint of caramel in the background.

Perfect carbonation. Small sharp bubbles that carres the tongue instead of attacking it. Not too tannic. I expect a beer this sour to be drier, not a bad thing.

Incredibly drinkable. Only $8.99 for a 750mL of an imported beer this tasty is dangerous. The 6% alcohol makes it far too easy to put back a whole bottle in under an hour. Perfect on a hot muggy day... like today.

EDIT: For about 2 hours after finishing this beer I craved nothing but cilantro.

06-01-2010 23:05:07 | More by Lars3
Photo of GregoryVII


4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Served from a 12 oz. bottle, poured into a snifter. The color could be aptly described as red, but there was brunette rivaling for for dominance in the color-scape. The head was a beautifully fluffy, candy coating that was enduring. The smell was deep and fruity, evoking plum and a hint of grape. Sour and sweet, there is sharp acidity, there is sugar, a dose of oak, a depth of fruit character akin to plum, raisin, and a splash of cherry. It is sour and it coats, almost like a good vinaigrette. This beer has as much charcter as can be fit into a bottle. Complex, earthy and lasting.

06-01-2010 14:38:58 | More by GregoryVII
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 2,910 ratings.