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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.

3,000 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,000
Reviews: 987
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 212
Gots: 290 | 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: 3,000 | Reviews: 987 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdense
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

jdense, Jun 26, 2010
Photo of Jemonster
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

Jemonster, Jun 22, 2010
Photo of CraftAleRookie
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

CraftAleRookie, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of mothman
3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

mothman, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of DmanGTR
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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

DmanGTR, Jun 15, 2010
Photo of djmichaelk
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

djmichaelk, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of Daniellobo
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Daniellobo, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of rawthar
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

rawthar, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of augustgarage
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

augustgarage, Jun 05, 2010
Photo of Lars3
4.95/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Lars3, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of GregoryVII
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

GregoryVII, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle - $9.49 at Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georiga.

Appearance: Escapes the bottle an opaque, dark brown-red body with a thinnish, scant, khaki-colored head.

Smell: Easy breezy aroma of moist, ripe cherries leisurely soaking in first-class vinegar and dusted with vanilla sugar.

Taste: Flavorful blend of both sweet and tart cherries with a lesser hint of black raspberry and an overall robust acetic quality. Subtle, subdued oakiness with a kiss of vanilla. Pinch of pickling spices. Cracklingly tart, puckering finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-high carbonation. Mouthfeel is has a tad oiliness to it but is also lightly spritzy.

Drinkability: An all-around admirable brew that's surprisingly refreshing. As my astonished roommate said of it, "How dey do dat??" Some things are best left unsaid, man.

ChainGangGuy, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of Tucquan
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this from a 750ml bottle on 2010-05-30 in Columbia, PA

A - Mahogany with a short-lived, tan head

S - Wine, oak, cherry and hard apple cider

T - Crisp, sweet-sour cherry, sherry, hard cider, oak and a slight maple syrup finish. Not bitter. Delicious.

M - High carbonation and a light body

D - Perfect for a warm summer evening.

Tucquan, May 31, 2010
Photo of bonsreeb85
4.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle from a generous BA by the name of G311. Cheers buddy.

Appearance is that of a murky brown brew with a slight reddish tint. Tan/creme/khaki head with excellent retention.

Now for the smell... Balsamic, vinegar, lemon, tart cherry, dark fruit(plum) and vanilla.

Oh my, this is complex(and tasty) as hell! Tug of war between sweet and sour. Tartness wins. Underlying vanilla and sweetness really complement this amazing beer.

Perfect MF, Drinks light but has some weight to it. Reasonable carbonation with a smooth and creamy texture.

Very refreshing, not too tart. Great with food or alone. Now I know why this is the benchmark for the style.

bonsreeb85, May 31, 2010
Photo of fropones
4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - A nice reddish orange color with minimal off-white head.

S - One whiff of this lets me know I'm one for a sour treat. Acetic cherries with some oak mixed in. Some earthy wine characteristics here, as well.

T - Mouth puckering sourness right up front. Cherries and oak are fluid throughout. Vinegar. Sweet caramel malt hidden behind the sour. Also some grapes in here, as well. Immensely complex.

M - Great carbonation, creaminess, with a nice dry finish.

D - I was expecting one very sour beer and I was not let down. Easily the most sour beer I've had and also very complex. This is an amazing beer.

fropones, May 30, 2010
Photo of meatyard
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a mostly clear, ruby/brown with a 1-finger, short lasting, tan head that leaves no lacing.
The smell is tart fruits and is vinegary, it's very pleasant.
The taste starts with a cider vinegar moves quickly into sweet and sour fruits and ends with a tart green apple flavor that lingers a while. I feel a bit of the acidic burn down my throat as well.
Mouthfeel is light tending toward medium with appropriate though, maybe, slightly low carbonation for me.
Drinkability: For me this is excellent though those not enamored with sour beers may find it a chore. I've held onto this bottle for a couple of years and it may have mellowed slightly. I will have to pick up another this week.

meatyard, May 29, 2010
Photo of xjapanhomebrewx
4.9/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Lovely dark wood and raisin tones. Is it going too far if i use the word sexy?

S-Vinous with a robust woody undertone. A nose full of vinegar every few sniffs, but not in a bad way. Curious and very enjoyable, I can't put it down and get to the tasting.

T-Incredible. So many flavors and elements to this one. Sour yet the malts can still be tasted and enjoyed. Very delicate fruity and wine like character with some mouth puckering sourness at times!

M-Just a vast amount of textures each sip. really silky smooth and drying at the end. Layers of creamy, then prickly from the high carbonation, and a drying finish.

D-Very easy, but this beer begs for the slow appreciative approach.

xjapanhomebrewx, May 29, 2010
Photo of popery
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Toronado. Absolutely, positively delicious stuff. The beer is a blend of deep ruby and mahogany with a small head. The aroma is a fascinating blend of fruit flavors. There are cherries, peaches, grapes, cherries, apricots and cherries. It's also wrapped in one of the most refined vinegar aromas I've ever smelled. There's even further refinement in the oak and light barnyard notes. The flavor is moderately sour with lots of dry woodiness. Again, refinement marks this beer solidly in the flavor, as well. The mouthfeel is incredibly soft, a particular achievement given the acidity of the style. It's just incredible to find such velvety softness coating vinegary sour flavors. My tasting notes simply end with "excellent."

My score would be even higher, if it were not for newer, harder to find offerings that I have not yet reviewed. Rodenbach Grand Cru is a world class beer and I could see upping these scores once I figure out a way to round up a tasting of Flanders-style sours.

popery, May 25, 2010
Photo of degerbah
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a reddish brown with very little head at all. There is a very noticable amount of sediment down at the bottomm of my glass. The aroma is slightly fruity and extremely vinegar-like. The taste is sour and refreshing with an intense vinegar characteristic. This was my first ever sour almost two years ago, and after that time I finally bought another bottle to reconsider. This is an amazingly drinkable sour and a great way to introduce a non-sour drinker to the wonderful world of sours.

degerbah, May 22, 2010
Photo of mwa423
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Dark brown with a finger of slightly tan head that quickly dies to a lacing.

S - Lots of dried fruit, a bit of funk, and a slightly sour cherry note at the end.

T - Lots of sweet dried fruit including cherry and plum. The middle of the taste is quite sweet and it ends with some sourness. A fantastic complex flavor and definitely worthy of the name "Grand Cru"

M/D - Mouthfeel is very smooth and only a slight sour bite. Very drinkable and something that I will certainly have again.

mwa423, May 22, 2010
Photo of mithrascruor
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark crimson color with a tinge of brown, but looks black outside of the full light (or when the glass is low). Nice off-white/slightly tan 1/2-finger head turns to a film but with creamy bubbles still around the edges.

Smell: Initial aroma of cider vinegar, but with the hint of, perhaps, some apple and a bit of cherry.

Taste: Significant vinegar flavor here, both cider and balsamic. There's definitely some (crab?)apples in there too. However, there's only a hint of cherry in there, at least to me. A bit of sweetness come out in the aftertaste, but then it is back to mostly sour in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Has a great active yet not overly strong tingly carbonation, that goes well with the flavor. Light mouthfeel, and quite smooth.

Drinkability: As long as you're good with the taste, this is really quite drinkable. Perfect ABV.

While I enjoy these sour Belgian red beers, this one is definitely strong in the vinegar department. It might take more adjustment for some than other similar beers. For those unfamiliar with this style, be prepared to share it with a friend (as I've only seen 750 mL bottles), or grab a smaller bottle of Duchesse De Bourgogne.

mithrascruor, May 15, 2010
Photo of cakirkl
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown, looks like a quad nearly. The two finger head doesn't stick around for long.

S - I can smell sour notes right as I pour it. But that's all I smell, just sour. Little disappointed on the nose factor of this one. As I let it warm up, I'm getting more wood'ish notes. As it warms the sour wears a bit, and gains a bit of complexity.

T - Hey, that's pretty good. This isn't as good as previous ones I've had. I was blown away by the first one of these I had. This one might be light struck or something. The taste is good, but not amazing. I'm going to let this warm up for a few minutes and see what happens.

M - Pretty solid on this count.

D - Feels pretty darn good, but leaves the mouth a bit dry, that's my only compaint.

cakirkl, May 13, 2010
Photo of HalfFull
3.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served into a small tulip glass and shared from a 750 ml. bottle. A firm pour yields one finger of bubbly off white foam atop a light brown body, clear and crimson in the light. Offers some artsy lacing after settling to a light film.

Tart cherry and some and light plum on the nose after a light hop presence dissipates with the foam. Some vinous grape notes initially, though lessening with air and exposing a bit of light wood and spice. Black currant adds some depth, along with a subtle hint of vanilla and carob, then more dark cherry. Nicely tart yet not really sour.

Mostly tart cherry in flavor and with a firm bite of carbonation that tingles the palate. A bit of smoke and wood appear briefly then a moderate fruit sense returns. Just a bit rich in viscosity through the finish to truly grab my attention. Carbonation holds up well over an hour yet drink is kept in check as the tartness numbs the palate somewhat, though paired with food this would surely not be a concern..

HalfFull, May 12, 2010
Photo of wedgie9
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from a 750mL bottle. Pours dark amber with a thin white head. Nose of red wine vinegar, vanilla, sour cherry, and grenadine pomegranate sweetness. The first flavor is of vanilla and cinnamon oak, sour cherry, and somewhat sweet on the back displaying the pomegranate. The body and carbonation are both medium with a long sour finish. Overall, this is the best Flemish style beer I have had. It is super balanced and really showcases the perfect use of oak in this style of beer.

wedgie9, May 12, 2010
Photo of mj001jk
3.73/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At Toronado, pours slight haze dark amber red. Nose of ripe red apple, caramel and citrus. Flavors are ripe and mellow with a fine acidic backbone. Tart cherry, apple sauce and balsamic vinegar on finish, a funky character lingers until closing time. Complex and rustic, feels aged and at prime. Nice smooth and sophisticated.

mj001jk, May 10, 2010
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,000 ratings.