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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.

2,853 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,853
Reviews: 982
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 210
Gots: 253 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,853 | Reviews: 982 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Murchmac


3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review number 400. I can't believe i've managed to write 400 reviews of utter garbage... Here's another drop in the bucket.

Pours a dark Ron burgundy with reddish brown highlights. Nice clingy Betty White head that sticks to the oops up side the head.

Smells like vinegar, then if you swish it, it smells like sweet. I haven't seen anything this complex since the Man-e-Faces He Man doll. One side he's happy, the other, angry.

Once your mouth gets knocked out like Piston Honda you can taste the subtle ebb and flow of puckering sourness followed by the sweet undertow wafting on the wind....(cue flute)

Great beer all around, but I like Duchess with Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes better.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2009 04:03:49 | More by Murchmac
Photo of TheSarge


4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Produces a good amount of light tan head. The body is nearly pure black, but has a deep ruby red tint to it, and also seems to be well filtered.

Aroma has sour notes. Somewhat like red wine. Cherry traits are also easily detectable.

The taste is very sour of course. Cherry and very tart. Cranberry is another fruit very detectable in this brew.

MF is crisp with the body being medium. It's very refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2009 19:53:57 | More by TheSarge
Photo of jrallen34


4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from a bottle into a chalice.

This is the best flemsih red brown going.

It pours dark amber, a reddish brown color with a very light tan head and with minimal lacing.

It smells vinegary but sweet, a touch of cherry.

It starts out tasting sweet notes of cherry and oak and finishes with great vinegar bite. A wonderful surprising end.

If you want something sour with bite this is your beer. Great every once in awhile.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2009 15:40:29 | More by jrallen34
Photo of crnipeter


3.6/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogany reddish brown. The first pouring produced tan head dissipating into a crescent-shaped bubbly sheet, while second one resulted in a ring of delicate lace.

Rum soaked sweet cherries, vinegar. Excellent

Very sour - prevalent sharp acidic vinegar flavor + tart berries. Apparently no hops in here. Maybe some tannins raising from below, but the acidity is so overpowering that kills all delicate flavors that might be hidden within.
This beer needs something to balance the sourness - some additional sweetness would made it much better.

Pleasantly carbonated, light to medium bodied and smooth.

This beer requires some time to be appreciated. My first bottle went down the sink after 3 sips, but those that followed were the most refreshing thing one could desire on a hot summer day. However, due to high level of acidity one at a time is enough.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2009 08:24:42 | More by crnipeter
Photo of tai4ji2x


4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to stevemcqueenjr for helping me get a few bottles of this while the american distribution issues are still being worked out. 750ml green glass bottle with cork and cage. best by date on the underside of the bottle SEEMS to read "06/06/09". tasted in late april/early may 2009.

dark red, almost brown. clear, dark ruby under the light. 1.5-finger light tan head fades to persistent wisps and ring. thin rings of lace which fade/shrink slightly, but linger to the end.

aroma: cider, malt and balsamic vinegars meet fruity dried cherries and cranberries, with touch of fresh berries (raspberry?). wood notes with slightest trace of farm funk. vinous notes throughout.

taste: mildly tart, fruity, with more vinegar tones, but again mild in the acidity. gentle woodiness and faint funk. sweeter than expected, but restrained and not cloying. trace of grassy, hay-like bitterness. again, vinous character throughout.

medium body, quite smooth, touch of acidic texture in the finish. mild, tingly carbonation for faint fluffiness and flavor lift.

the scores needed readjusting anyway.

A 4.0 -> 4.5
S 4.0 -> 4.5

OLD REVIEW 6-2-2008

split a case with friends from the importer in beijing.

330ml bottle, poured into tulip. "best by" of dec 2008 (importer's label says bottled in dec 2006)

dark cola color with red hues. two-finger head soon fades to wisps and thin ring. lacing is decent.

aromas of cider vinegar, barn funkiness and must. dried cherries and raisins.

tart presence throughout, but manages to explode with other flavors, including malt vinegar, apple fruitiness, earthy grass and lactobacilus funk. plus even a hint of spice. all the while, oak woodiness makes itself known with a moderate hop bitterness that provides a surprisingly clean finish. some of the phenols may get in the way of me scoring this higher however.

not too thin, with slight acidic pucker and astringency. carbonation is moderate and prickles gently.

a unique brew, and like all acquired tastes, requires some getting used to. but once you are acclimated, the rewards are without comparison.

despite the bottle being over 1.5 years old, this brew has stood up well - quite a feat considering the ofttimes unreliable state of chinese warehousing practices...

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2009 13:15:34 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of BarrelO


4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a goblet. Best-by date of 2/1/2012. I figure they're using the European dating system, so I guess that means January 2.

A: Dark reddish brown. Pretty much no head.

S: Whoa. Vinegar. I'd better keep this away from any ammonia. Fruity notes buried far far underneath.

T: Major tartness with a hint of sweetness. Kind of like a sour apple Jolly Rancher that has been dipped in vinegar. A few traces of woodiness.

M: Light yet syrupy.

D: This is definitely a love-it-or-hate-it beer. And even the most diehard Flemish sour fans would likely have trouble finishing more than a bottle at a time. Everyone should give this a try at least once simply because there's no other beer quite like it.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2009 23:01:03 | More by BarrelO
Photo of Maction


4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This is a nice medium brown with gold edges and some burgundy highlights. The frothy tan head dissolves almost immediately.

S: First my nose gets tangy vinegar, then sour cherries, with a little tobacco and leather in the background.

T: I taste sourness like cider gone hard, some oakiness, tangerine rind, some wet wool funkiness, and mineral notes on the finish.

M: This has a medium weight, light carbonation, and leaves a slick oily coating.

D: This is a strong flavored beer, but with a nice sweet to sour balance that makes it pretty easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2009 19:55:57 | More by Maction
Photo of Chinon01


4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Deep garnet-purple hue with semi dense head that lasted minutes. Lacing was intricate but sparce.

Smell - A planet of aromas including horse blanket, tremendous tartness, sweet/red vermouth, citrus, earth-funk, balsamic vinegar . . .

Taste - Massive flavor with similar attributes to the smell along with peppercorns, bubble gum, and aggressive acidity on the back of my mouth. Attack is bubble gum, mid-palate is earth-funk/ peppercorns/ balsamic and finish again is highly acidic clean finish. Like a balanced gueuze. The taste is a journey.

Mouthfeel & Drinkability - Both fair. The beer is quite sharp due to the apparent acidity but balanced. Drinkability is moderate as the beer is massive in flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2009 23:09:47 | More by Chinon01
Photo of dgilks


4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a deep crimson red with a thin light tan head. Very short lasting head but this looks great.

S - Sour cherries, sauvingnon blanc. It is enough to say that this is appealing.

T - Some tart cherries, black currants and grape. This has some vinous wine elements and plenty of tartness. Really, really good.

M - Medium body with a lively carbonation. This lingers a little bit but is really good.

D - Exceptional. I could drink plenty of this and it goes down so well. Plenty of flavour and interest.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2009 08:38:04 | More by dgilks
Photo of roscoehnj

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red with little head. Very interesting looking.

More interesting to taste and smell however. One whiff tells you this is going to be sour and one taste blows you away. I was not sure that this was how it was supposed to taste until I read some of the reviews here but this is by multiples the most sour beer I have ever had. The cherry like sour taste grabs hold of your tounge and does not let go. Right amount of carbonation for this type of beer makes it easier to drink than one might think. I'm not sure I could drink this on a regular basis but it is one hell of an interesting beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2009 19:06:32 | More by roscoehnj
Photo of lamarr04


4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bought this beer on special because it is just past its best before date. from what I've read that means it's been about two years in a bottle. never had a fresher bottle but here goes:

750ml bottle poured into medium size wine glass (its the best option I had).

A: Pours a dark reddish brown with fizzy tan head

S: Wow. I've don't have much experience with any of the sour beer styles so that is probably why I was blown away by the smell and taste: Vinegar like sourness mixes with sweet cherry and vanilla. Some oak as well from the aging process.

T: Again this was a holy sh** experience. Tartness and sweetness that I can only describe as cherry like. some earthiness as well, oaky and maybe a bit from the yeast. There may be some malt and hops somewhere in this beer but they are hard to pick out.

M: Fizzy champaign like carbonation cuts the medium body and acts in opposition to the tongue coating quality of the beer. Finishes pretty clean.

D: Amazingly complex beer which makes it a pleasure to consume.

Notes: If I didn't know better, I would be sure that this was brewed with cherries. Its crazy that they achieve that level of fruitiness just through using various strains of yeast.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2009 07:27:07 | More by lamarr04
Photo of cpmau11


4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flemish Sour Ale aged in Oak for 18 months

Poured into a snifter glass. Decent head, but did not last very long. The body has a dark amber color, with a tan head. The aroma is the first thing that popped out to me. Extremely robust aroma, smells very sour with nice roast malt smell. This beer has one of the most interesting taste to it. It's a sour beer but not overwhelming. The sourness is first thing your front palate picks up but is than followed by a nice roasty malt flavor to counter-act the sourness. Slightly bitter on the back palate and after taste. I probably couldn't drink more than two or three of these in one spot. But this is definitely a great beer, very rare in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2009 22:28:13 | More by cpmau11
Photo of BARFLYB


3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally, after a brief hiatus Rodenbach is back on draft in SEPA. It's been over a year since i've had it and it's been calling me.

A- Served up in a tulip, Grand Cru boasts a deep dark mahogany appearance. It is quite dark almost to the point of a deep brown color. Once I got a good look this had a dark array of red, brown and ruby. Just a cap of beige foam on top.

S- Sweet jusus, this smells good. Deep scents of ripe sour apple and cherrys. As with the style a good bit of vinegar. Some oak and wood from the huge barrels used in the brewing process.

T- This is a bit more sweet from the vinegar type taste but it is not a problem. I guess im used to a little age on the grand cru as these kegs are new to the area to my knowledge. Either way there is a nice sour element that is not much but there. Sour cherry and ripe apples.

M- More sweet then sour but this did pack some puckering ability, nothing I cant handle. Even at that Rodenbach GC seems to just go down very easy with a great balance of flavor making it even easier to enjoy. Perhaps I can get used to extremely fresh rodenbach.

D- I really missed this and Im glad it's back. I will order one at each outing whenever I see it. Not too much of alcohol content and a good beer to pair up with alot of food types. Perhaps my favorite flanders red (with Ommegang Rouge not far behind) and probably the most authentic in the style.

Edit- After having this a few more times in bottle and draft, I just cant seem to get away from the over abundance of vinegar and sweetness in this. I still love this beer, but after having different versions of rodenbach, this grand cru version is not so grand in my eyes.

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2009 04:09:24 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of Natural510


4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, best-by date 10-07-09 (July 10th for we Americans). Just in time.

When I open the bottle the scent hits me right in the nose. Very powerful sweet & sour: funky yeast mixed with lemon & raspberry. Smells nearly like a lambic to me.

Pours an opaque amber; head not quite what I expected (possibly due to age) but ring of lacing still sticks nicely to the glass.

Sweet & sour flavor as well. Citrus twang puckers my mouth aided by the yeast to give a very dry finish. Berry flavor in full force, though not to the extent it tasted juicy. More fruit comes through as well: apple, orange, pear. After-effects mainly carry a yeast note reverberate throughout the mouth and tingle at the back of the throat.

Drinkability? Well, if it's Belgian sour you seek, this is apparently the blueprint. It's a sipper for sure; would pair well with cheese, or even a sweet dessert.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2009 09:30:57 | More by Natural510
Photo of ricke


4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark reddish brown with a big cappuccino-colored head that stays around for quite a while before settling into a decent lid of foam.

S: A deep and complex smell, but still very refreshing. Plenty of both tart and sweet fruity aromas. Some vinegar. Faint note of funky cellar. Sweet chocolate aromas.

T: Sweet upfront with a very pleasant taste of berries (cherries). Some blackberries and ripe apples. Tart fruits, faint vinegar and notes of oak. Prominent vinous character in general. In the middle, a slightly harsh taste develops. A long and rather dry finish of fruity tartness, fruit pits, spices and a note of iron. Slightly warming finish. Overall, the malts are very restrained in this one and the hops are basically totally absent.

M: Medium body, plenty of carbonation. The texture goes from rather smooth to dry in the finish.

D: A fantastic beer that is very refreshing and at the same time showcases a deep and rich character. Very complex and well balanced. Great vinous character.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 22:20:43 | More by ricke
Photo of mltobin


4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at The Half Door in Hartford, CT.
Poured into a goblit, the appearance is a light red color with a one finger head. The smell is tart, cherry, faint sugar. With a taste sour like the normal Rodenbach, but the Grand Cru to me seemed not to be as sour, but still interesting to say the least. With a tart, sweet taste, but not overpowering in my humble opinion. Mouthfeel is full and flavorful like most Flanders. Drinkability is pretty good for such an interesting and unique beer. Not a beer for someone who has only been exposed to bud light. But if you have tried some other styles and wish to expand your palate, start with the regular Rodenbach and then try this Rodenbach Grand Cru, it is worth your efforts.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2009 02:30:35 | More by mltobin
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.73/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of vinegary & tart apples and dark fruits, some Belgian yeast, some malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sour with strong flavors of apples and cherries. There's a little bit of sweetness that comes in along with a hearty but not too heavy malt character. The hops presence is mild. The after-taste is sour.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Flavorful, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it's a decent beer to drink for a while if you're in the mood for a sour beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 04:32:12 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of goblet

New Jersey

4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2009 14:55:39 | More by goblet
Photo of mhatters


4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at TND in Wayne on tap

A ruby color with a clean cream colored head

Great nose, tart cherry dominates at first, but then the oak comes through, and after one minute a variety of notes including spice, butterscotch(?)

Nice tart sour to this, the oak does not over power but fits right in, fruit notes but not fruity

Some acid to the taste, a big beer feel, but easy to drink, this is a classic

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2009 00:48:01 | More by mhatters
Photo of JohnQVegas


4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Beer Table, Brooklyn.

Dark brown, with a fluffy tan head.

Aroma is sour, balsamic, with a hint of fruity sweetness.

Taste is sour, biting, acidic, tart, vinegar, but very clean and refreshing. Sour cherry skins underneath. Crisp, palate cleansing.

Mouthfeel is dry, vigorous carbonation.

This one was my introduction to the style. Reviewed from notes, but I still remember the experience vividly almost a year later.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2009 13:22:18 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of rtepiak


4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle states best before: 13/09/08. suppose about six months passed due?

pour is a light murky reddish brown with a decent head. beautiful nose. tart, cherry, wood, vanilla with a bit of dough. palate is actually quite nice. mellowed out tart in comparison to some bottles. predominantly cherry, but plum and blackberry fruit also. the skunky nature comes through in the food wood interaction like in a traditional lambic. a wonderful vanilla. with a wood that sits in the light doughy quality like a headboard. a 'german' apple malt finish with a light sense of smokiness even. some grape. very gentle but in the wood grain giving it a earthy acid similar to coffee. never really notice it before but i can say they this is one of the best bottle i've had. a mild earth that gives way to meaty seasoning herbs. a blend of thyme and rosemary mostly. quite a successful earth though. wonderful. one of the best.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 21:25:08 | More by rtepiak
Photo of Parrotshake


4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours more brown than red, with a thin tan head that slowly dissapears in patches. Tiny bubbles all over the inside of the glass. You could pretty easily fool me into thinking this is Coca-cola....

... until I smell it. Medicinal-metallic-iodine, balsamic vinegar and wood. Wild stuff.

Even as a fan of other sours/lambics and regular Rodenbach, the first sip of this one is still quite a shock. A hell of a lot going on.
Big tart sour fruit candy (cherry, lemon), prune juice, oak, red wine and smoke. Starts tart, finishes tart, with a glue-y kind of thing toward the end.

Complex in the way that it makes you want another sip just so you can sort it out in your head. Dry-finishing and crisply carbonated enough to totally refresh the palate and keep you going once you're used to it.

Awesome stuff. With the right food partner - (something that don't mind a bit of acid - salads, seafood, fried fish etc) - you could drink it forever.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2009 08:40:03 | More by Parrotshake
Photo of craytonic

District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep cherry mahogany red with a little head and lacing.

Smell: Sweet and sour fruit or candy, like a spree or a tart cherry, with some vinegar (The grand cru has less vinegar than the plain vanilla version). Certainly some woodiness, but not as much as I would like. Definitely an earthy element.

Taste: Deliciously tart and tangy, like a sweet tart or spree. However, perhaps a bit too much sugar has been added, I would prefer the pure sour over the candy. I think I detected a little rhubarb and prune juice.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth! Almost like a merlot. Very well carbonated.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, although a bit too sweet.

The Grand Cru is certainly better than the plain vanilla version, but I am not sure it beats Dutchesse, and certainly Panil has surpassed it. I would like to age one and see how it goes.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 19:58:45 | More by craytonic
Photo of ColForbinBC

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Eulogy Belgian Tavern, served in a Rodenbach tulip

Pours a rather opaque ruby red in color with a thick, ecru cap that had great staying power but left almost no lacing.

Sweet and tart. Big vinegar, granny smith apple, and cherry nose with a hint of rubber cement. Kinda weird that I got rubber cement out of the nose, but I swear that's what I smelled.

Light sweetness up front from the cherries and then the vinegar takes over. The carbonation is nice and light and does not interfere with the overwhelming tartness of this beer.

Drinkability is pretty damn good considering vinegar isn't the most pleasing of liquids.

A damn fine example of the style, arguably the best.

Serving type: on-tap

04-10-2009 00:48:45 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of aubuc1


4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle dated best before "21 09 07" poured in to a goblet.

Pours a carbonated dark orange brown with a lacey but thin and quickly disappearing head.

Sweet, tart smell with cherry. Beatiful smell.

Bright tart, sour taste. Very smooth finish. Cherries.

Very smooth mouthfeel, and a very drinkable sour, as a dry finish takes away every sip.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2009 00:06:11 | More by aubuc1
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 2,853 ratings.