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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.

2,911 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,911
Reviews: 984
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 212
Gots: 269 | 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: 2,911 | Reviews: 984 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerwolf77


4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Poured into my glass the beer is blood red with brown edges. The tan head is a thick creamy two inches high that recedes to leave just a touch of lace around the rim.

The aroma is a fantastic mix of sweet and sour cherries. Some dark fruits. A nice funkiness can be picked out after a little warming. This smells great.

The flavor is sour cherries, red grapes, plums, and apples. Raisins and dates are there as well. Nice dry tart finish leaves a slight funk in the mouth.

Medium to full body. Some chewiness. Lots of carbonation. Bone dry in the finish.

Overall a great beer. I love the push pull of the sweet and sour fighting for my taste buds attention. Nice and lively. A great after dinner beer.

11-22-2009 23:32:20 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of diechipmunk


4.18/5  rDev -2.6%

I had a glass poured from an aged 2007 keg. I was kind of amazing. This is not a beer to quaff, the flavors are intense and concentrated. The aging blunted some of the sharper edges and allowed some of the more subtle malt to develop a presence. Wonderful stuff!

A: poured into a tulip glass, 3 finger of rocky head that dissipate quickly into a thin lacing. The beer is deep amber with a reddish glow.

S: Barn, skunk, cherries, raspberry, black pepper and wet leaves.

T: Tart citrus and a slight peppery bite in the beginning fades into sweeter fruit with some pleasant malt. Sourness still dominates the millde, but the finish mellows to earthy, woody a hint of malt. Sourness and a little sweetness lingers on the tongue long after the beer is gone.

M: Crisp, light, smooth, mild carbonation.

D: It's light bodied yet immensely complex. A small sip spreads an grows across the palate, lingering long after.

11-20-2009 14:55:25 | More by diechipmunk
Photo of Trappissed


4.85/5  rDev +13.1%

I'll start off by saying I enjoyed this much more than the Rodenbach Classic Red, although that one was still plenty good. This has nice reddish brown color with decent head and lacing. A pleasant sweet-n-sour smell and a little funky with a touch of vinegar. In the taste, it starts off sour and fades into a mellow caramel flavor. Then the sourness comes back for the aftertaste. Also getting some tart cherries and oak.

I can see why they describe this as a Flemish Red Brown Ale on the bottle. The different elements keep each other in check and produce a very balanced beer. Although sour, its definitely not overpowering by any means. A great and lively mouthfeel, with prickly carbonation keeps things interesting. I'm glad I finally found a place that carries this and I'll be getting more in the future.

11-16-2009 07:07:38 | More by Trappissed
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

3.43/5  rDev -20%

Poured from 750ml bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter.

A: Gentle pour creates a 3 finger fine, fluffy, whitish-brown head that dissipates quickly into a thin film. Brew is clear deep amber/red. Lacing is light but clumpy.

S: Woody skunk, cherries, raspberry, alcoholic nose.

T: Tart alcohol and hops in the beginning fade into red fruit. Middle is just straight sour. Finish is woody, earthy, a hint of malt.

M: Light bodied and coarse. Filmy mouth that is also very dry. Finish is dry, messy.

D: Unbalanced compared to other Flander's Reds that I've had. A bit too tart and alcoholic as it warms. Mouthfeel takes away from the blending of the different flavors.

11-16-2009 03:59:45 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of Reinheitsgebot71

Ontario (Canada)

4.3/5  rDev +0.2%

Well the other of the two beers I had at the only café the other day. I had this one ages ago when the LCBO brought it in for a seasonal but this was long before my enlightened reviewing days, so time for another sample.

Well now the pour was a nice cherry red with next to no head on it, but the colour was damn appealing none the less.
On to the smell, now this is a whole other ballpark. Smells of sour cherry, watermelon, lime and cantaloupe all hit me like a fruit fight in the grocery store produce section. Wow what a bouquet, other notes I sniffed included bubble gum, candy sugar, apple esters, ripe pear, some chocolaty malt and finally cider vinegar. This is definitely one of the most robust noses I've smelled in a long time.

On to the taste which proved no less impressive. A peppery fruitiness initially too hold, like the bite of cayenne pepper. Followed this, very astringent sourness, balanced by a chalky sensation in the mouth attacked my tongue. The bite of mustard and an overwhelming sensation of balsamic vinegar coated my mouth, the viscous liquor leaving the piquant nip of the latter mentioned flavours. Star anise ,apples and pear soaked in meandered throughout the flavor spectrum completing one of the most complex palettes I've had the privilege of tasting.

Alas I did not get to see the freshness date on the bottle. I have the feeling that this beer was a little aged after reading some of the reviews. This is possibly why I feel this beers drinkability and appearance are a little slacking compared to what others have rated. It was just a bit too rough with the vinegary sensation to be supremely quaffable, though twas still quite quenching. My suspicions about the age might also be the reason why this beer had next to no head upon pour which was also a slight downer. Regardless this is a magnificent beer which I'd love to try on tap or at least a fresher bottle.

11-05-2009 04:28:29 | More by Reinheitsgebot71
Photo of Arbitrator


4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Chilled bottle into a glass. Purchased and consumed at 't Brugs Beertje.

A: Pours a bloody amber color with hints of orange against the light. The light tan cap is 2 fingers in thickness, and it recedes over a minute or so to leave thick gobs of lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: Dark cherries, oak, vinegar, and soy sauce. Yes, the last one seems bad, but it complements the vinegar nicely.

T: Dark cherries, tamarind, oak, and vinegar. The soy sauce is only an aromatic component, and it doesn't come out in the flavor. The cherries and tamarind present a nice underlying sweetness to contrast against the vinegar sourness; oak tannins in the finish give this beer a delicious complexity.

M: Dry and acetic in the finish, but not so strongly that it stings the palate. Just cleansing enough and properly refreshing. Light-bodied, with ample carbonation to support the flavors.

D: After the disappointing standard Rodenbach, I found this a much more impressive and enjoyable beer.

10-19-2009 20:28:57 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +1.4%

I picked this beauty up in Brussels.

Rodenbach Grand Cru has the classic flanders red pour, or a deep mahogany body and a finger of creamy off-white head. The head shows good retention and leaves some nice streaks of lace. Blasamic, candy sugar and a light sourness refresh the nose. This sourness is definitely present in the flavour, but is well balanced by sugar and far from one-dimensional. Nice vinegary balsamic notes lead off, and are complimented by light woody notes. Sugar brings things back to earth in the middle, and a long lightly puckering finish caps things off. The body is well matched, with its medium heft and carbonation.

The thing that really impresses me about Rodenbach Grand Cru is that its insanely drinkable in a style that I usually struggle with after the first half of a bottle (see Vichtenaar). I'd be really happy to sit down with a bomber of this and that says something about how well-balanced it is.

10-19-2009 01:01:48 | More by bobsy
Photo of ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +2.6%

11.2 oz shared courtesy of Bobsy - thanks a lot man! Best before date of 28.01.11

Pours a murky, muddy dark blood red, hints of amber with a finger of creamy tan head that dies slowly down, leaving a thin sweater of bubbles all the way.

Nose is effervescent. Sour cherries meets a restrained vinegar, foiled by a light sugary sweetness.

This is an extremely drinkable Flemish red. Wow. The carbonation sparkles and twirls around with your tongue as the balanced sourness and hint of funk glide through. Light on the vinegar, lots of cherry, hint of tannins and light oak notes, nice balanced sweetness without making it too thick or cloying.

This was an excellent example of the style, everything working in harmony to pucker you up without blasting you away. I wouldn't have ever imagined a Flemish red as overly drinkable but this one changes my mind - I would gladly sit down with a bottle or two of this. Cheers Rob!

10-17-2009 18:18:59 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of zoso493

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -11.9%

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into the infamous Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a coco-cola color with a thin one-finger head. When held up to the light, some reddish tints come out. When you open the bottle, you get a huge whiff of cherry soda, so I was kind of expecting this to pour a bright red.

Smell: Huge smell of cherries up front with some oak, vanilla, vinegar with a general theme of sourness.

Taste: Follows the smell with some berry-like funk. Very, very sour and vinegary, with some malts, berries and dark fruit coming out.

Mouthfeel: Creamy but fairly carbonated. Pretty crisp and dry.

Drinkability: As interesting as this brew is, it's just too sour for me to drink a lot of. I think this one is going to be enough for now.

Overall, this is a hell of an intriguing and very sour brew. It's certainly worth sampling.

10-15-2009 14:40:09 | More by zoso493
Photo of Lupin


3.8/5  rDev -11.4%

Aged 40 months in the cellar. Cork comes off like panties on prom night. Pours smellier than usual. Looks exactly the same. Decent initial fizz, wears down quickly.

Tastes almost exactly the same. The acidity is slightly more prominent, really coats the whole tongue. Profound---but then again, so is one's first view of goatse.

I'm not sure how one can go about giving any sour-style ale a good rating for drinkability, I guess it has to be relative to to the style. I don't think this is better than the original, so I had to avoid anything over a 3.5 here.. As someone who has learned that you really can't let this style invade your entire mouth, I'm still not sure what to think of this. It's just.. meh.

Don't hold your breath waiting for this one to get better.

10-14-2009 04:07:55 | More by Lupin
Photo of Paisan


4.97/5  rDev +15.9%

Di-vine (lame pun intended). And coming from an atheist, that is no small compliment.
This is a truly exceptional beer.

Dark reddish brown, pours with a fast receding head. The second you open the bottle - or the glass is placed before you -, you get a noseful of berries, cherry, oak, vanilla, caramel, some vinegar. You would expect this of wine, not beer.
The taste is exactly what the smell promised: lots of sour fruit, a malty sweetness, tannins, something resembling balsamico vinegar, woody aftertaste.
Very refreshing, very drinkable, very desirable.

Take a regular Rodenbach (which is already great), and double its aroma, complexity, finesse... and that's the Grand Cru.
World class, without a doubt.

10-07-2009 09:48:18 | More by Paisan
Photo of twiggamortis420


4.88/5  rDev +13.8%

750 mL pours a dark brown color with a thin coating of tan head. Spotty lacing and poor retention. This bottle is probably at least 2 years old.

Nose is very acetic, red-wine vinegar and caramel malts. Nice, very similar to the regular Rodenbach, maybe a little more malt. Fruitiness leans apples and pears, maybe red grape skins as well.

Much smoother and maltier than the regular Rodenbach, concord grape juice meets a tannic malbec. The sweetness really melds so well with the sour aspect, it is utterly ridiculously drinkable. I could finish a liter of this in less than 10 minutes and enjoy every last drop. Amazing beer, just like it's regular (red) brethren. Muy delicioso!

10-04-2009 13:24:39 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of Grunewald

British Columbia (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%

A - poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet. It pours cloudy ruddy light brown with a fine white head that leaves clumpy lacing.

S - balsamic vinegar and tart berries

T - tart vinegar, berries and a malt finish. The sour taste is so strong when I drink that I can feel the fumes affect my nose, but not in a bad way.

M - light with medium carbonation

D - unique and refreshing. I'd have one or two of these by themselves, but these would be best paired with food.

09-19-2009 03:33:31 | More by Grunewald
Photo of HopHead84


4.33/5  rDev +0.9%

Consumed on 9/16/2009 at the Taproom in a Chimay glass. The beer appears dark crimson with a huge light brown frothy head. Great retention.

The nose is of sour cherries, raspberries, ripe red grapes, and other dark fruits that I'm not at liberty to mention. There's a touch of sweetness in there, as well as oak and some vanilla. Vinegar is evident, as well as tannins.

Holy hell, this is tannic. It's tart, with a lot of vinegar. I can't get over how tannic this is. The dark fruit component in the nose is also in the flavor: grapes, sour cherries, and raspberries. A little sweetness sneaks in midpalate. The dry finish is fruity and tannic with moderate tartness.

Though I've heard much about it, this is the first time I've tried this beer. It's excellent and very unique.

09-17-2009 02:45:20 | More by HopHead84
Photo of John_M


3.8/5  rDev -11.4%

The beer pours a darkish brown color with some red highlights. The beer also has fairly good head retention and lacing, with an interesting aroma of vanilla, cherry and sour funk. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose, except the sour tartness really dominates this beer. I do get some underlying vanilla and chocolate, but it's really dominated by the sour component. Mouthfeel is fairly light, with some prickliness from the sour. The alcohol is pretty well disguised, but the amount of sour in this beer is a bit much, and detracts a bit from this beers drinkability. Nevertheless, this is a pretty solid red flanders beer from the folks at Rodenbach.

09-16-2009 17:04:33 | More by John_M
Photo of nomomentwasted


4.35/5  rDev +1.4%

Had this on-tap at O'Briens today. Been wanting to try it for a while, happy to finally have the chance to sit down and enjoy one. 25cl pour into a Chimay Goblet.

Appearance: Brownish-red hue of a lightly carbonated and ultimately poor lacing brew, but still very beep in the color radius and retains that reddish hue around the edges.

Smell: Whew, here it comes. Big sour notes of a wine-like nature, with sour green apple notes, red and white grapes, and a sprucy / oaky nature to it as well. You can tell from the smell the different yeast strands working for the same sugars, all yielding just slightly different breadiness. Pucker inducing as well in the profile, just the smell gets my mouth watering.

Taste: More wine-like, almost straight red grape flavor with a very oaky profile and just a hint of green apple to it. Sourness is prominent and unrelenting, but not earth-shattering. Pucker is definite, but fades as the brew wamrs up and progresses. It almost rotates from sweet to sour and then back to sweet, finishing again with the sour. I was impressed, for not being mind-bendingly sour, it sure had a huge profile of complexity. Bit of vinegar on the back end adds a little astringency, but not enough to kill the profile by any means.

Mouthfeel: A little dry, almost champagne-like texture, but man, today was another scorcher here in Southern California, and damn it was delicious, refreshing, and thirst-quenching. My glass was empty much faster than my table-mates with other brews.

Drinkability: While being refreshing, I don't think I'd want too much more of it than I had just due to nature of it. But as a sour, it's great and enjoyable, a bit heavier than expected, but tasty and enjoyable. Not quite as tasty as Duck Duck Gooze though, which immediately followed this, but then again, not a whole lot else is.

09-02-2009 02:24:10 | More by nomomentwasted
Photo of dqderrick


4.65/5  rDev +8.4%

Served at 45F initially and allowed to warm to 50-55 during sampling.

Dark reddish brown with nicing lacing that sticks around. Surprising opaque.

Smells a little cherry sour. It took me a few whiffs to "get into" the smell but it grew on me and I quickly fell in love. The sour smell hits hard.

Tastes SOUR, fruit, a touch of vanilla. The barrel aging didn't immediately present itself but my lack of tasting barrel aged beers of this style may be the cause. The initial sour bite is such a great experience and ends with a light vinegar sour that I have to attribute to the barrel aging. I'm loving the fresh aftertaste.

Nicely carbonated and amazingly fun on my palate.

I had no problem finishing the large bottle by myself. I'd definitely like to grab another to keep in the fridge... but would definitely only have one a session.

08-30-2009 03:48:40 | More by dqderrick
Photo of TLove

District of Columbia

2.95/5  rDev -31.2%

750 ml bottle hanging out with a friend.

I'll be honest... I took one sip and I was immediately offput by the awkward tartness of this beer and the septic carbonation. There is a vinegar-like flux to it that really pulled my focus on the flavors away from the complexity of the beer. I had tried the Portsmouth Flanders and liked it, but there was a different approach to this one.

The color is incredible. Has a reddish tint when held up to the light, but the brown color is soft and full. The consistency is muddled in the smell, but the smell is quite round, rolling into the taste. The flavors and alcohol are overpowered by the tartness and, while smoky and oaky and slightly spicy, are dominated by the plum, apricot, and framboise flavors. Tartness also dominates the mouthfeel, but dissipates quickly with the awkward and rather late-blooming carbonation. But it drinks like a Belgian brown, with its complexity and fervent porousness. Excellent finish.

08-28-2009 02:11:47 | More by TLove
Photo of JohnGalt1


4.13/5  rDev -3.7%

I received this in the beat down Czoch75 gave me in the 2nd Round of the Fight Club.... Clint put a hurtin' on my wants list... seriously.

Edit.. this is an '06!! Thanks again Clint!!

Shared this with inflatablechair.. Sam brought over some doozies.. so I had to reciprocate..

Poured into my New Belgium goblet.. reddish orange.. a little cloudy and a lite foamy head.

Nose is acetic with a bunch of fruity notes... sour cherries with a lite apple butter element.

Palate is much sweeter than the nose... a sweet apple cider vinegar combines with a bit of peachy fruitiness.. red wine vinegar is drying on the finish... A bunch more tannic oak arrives at room temperature.

the body is lite/medium with a lighter than expected carbonation.. very complex...

08-21-2009 08:44:12 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of berkey


4.22/5  rDev -1.6%

Corked and caged 750 ml bottle poured into a tulip. From last nights notes.

Forms a medium sized khaki colored head with very good retention for the style. Fairly solid brown body that shows some garnet tones when held to light. Leaves a fair amount of filmy lacing as it it goes.

Aromas are of wood, earth, tart fruit, red wine vinegar. and the same almost cheesy pungency I always seem to get from this style.

Flavor profile follows the aroma continuing the slightly bitter wood character at first followed by a strong sour cherry flavor, and even some faint sweet chocolate. Definite vinegar type acidity on the aftertaste. Pleasantly complex and wonderfully balanced. The sour bacteria, sweet malt, and woody tannins are all played into one another quite well.

On the light side of medium in body and just enough carbonation on the feel. Very drinkable for the style because of the relative balance but even with the moderate ABV a 750 is probably best shared. The final glass seemed like one too many.

Overall I'm glad to get a chance to review this one. I had this for the first time less than two years ago and it really got me into sours beers. I've yet to find another Flanders Red that comes close.

08-20-2009 19:30:29 | More by berkey
Photo of mrkrispy


4.53/5  rDev +5.6%

Big fan of the Flanders Reds, and have been a fan of the Rodenbach Grand Cru for a while. We finally got some new bottles in to San Diego so I finally reviewed one.

Poured in to a Duvel snifter. A very dark ruby color, looks like black cherry juice. Lace abounds. Nice fizzy head, sticks around for a bit.

Nice pungent cherry aroma, dark fruits, and sourness to the nose. Smells effervescent. Nice.

A wonderfully complex sourness. Slightly sweet, some tartness, a bit acidic. A dark fruit taste there. A real fruit juice taste in the middle as opposed to sweetened juice flavor. No funk, but a great sourness. Flavors all over. Some oak in the distance, not a big woody flavor.

Moderately thick mouthfeel, nice even carbonation. Lingering aftertaste of red grapes and dark cherrys. Tartness builds up though, might take a while to down a bottle solo.

A world class beer, firing on all cylinders.

08-19-2009 22:10:24 | More by mrkrispy
Photo of Hojaminbag


4.58/5  rDev +6.8%

An orange/red colored body that is lightest and more orange at the edges and becomes darkner with developing red hues closer to the center. About two fingers of tan head spring up and have some solid retention, but only very spotty lacing.

This aroma is bursting with all kinds of layers, and is rather strong in a pleasant way. Fruitiness and tartness come together with sour cherries and maybe a bit of plum. A good dose of oak is in there too. Vinegar comes through pretty powerfully too. Rodenbach Grand Cry has A well-crafted nose that is sure to impress.

A tartness is noticeable up front and is fairly strong, but overall this one has a great balance that includes sweet, sour, and oak flavors. To start, the sourness teams with cherry-like fruit sweetness. The sweetness from the fruit then becomes a bit darker, and the plums I thought I noticed in the aroma are definitely noticeable in the taste. In addition to fruit-like tartness there is also a good dose of vinegar here; good red wine vinegar, the expsive type that you might even consider drinking small quantities of. Underlying this sweet and sour concoction is a big, balancing oak flavor that seems to insure that nothing becomes too sour or too sweet. Woody, and only very slightly spicy. Tasty beer overall.

No surprise that the mouthfeel here is pretty well done.

Rodenbach Grand Cru has a ton of flavor but manages to remain balanced at the same time. This is one of the best Flanders I have had, and is certainly the best that is readily available and reasonably priced.

08-18-2009 15:58:55 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of AgentZero


4.3/5  rDev +0.2%

A - Beautiful red color on this. This is just an impressive looking beer. Not a whole lot of head on this one because it was a partial pour at a tasting, but nice lacing on what was there.

S - Nice cherry smell on this, very pleasant and tart. A bit more complex than some of the other reds I've had, maybe grapes or apples, but smells very nice.

T - Fantastic taste on this one, probably the best beer of this type I've had. Nice cherry taste, subtle oak at just the right touch, and a nice vinegar bite that leaves and finishes clean. A surpring complexity in a taste that seems to leave your mouth shortly.

M - Medium bodied and the carbonation works well with this one. Leaves the mouth cleanly.

D - Easy to drink for how much body this seems to have. Very pleasant.

08-17-2009 02:11:31 | More by AgentZero
Photo of beertooth


3.65/5  rDev -14.9%

Picked up this bottle today.

Poured into a Bell's tulip glass.

Dark, deep ruby red with a finger of somewhat fluffy head

Smell is dusty oak, cherries, dirty fruit, apple and white grapes.

Taste is tart apple and cherries, musty oak, earth, balsamic vinegar. There's a sweet and sour mix in the middle that's quite pleasant.

Mouthfeel is prickly and medium bodied.

An extremely tasty beer. I've never had this before, somehow and I could easily finish this bottle by myself even if it's not as sour as I thought it would be.

08-14-2009 02:19:49 | More by beertooth
Photo of DerBayer


2.28/5  rDev -46.9%

Now this is one sickly brew although it pours a decent colour with head. However the taste was getting so appaling after a while that i could not even finish a half pint. The smell is kind of telling it has slightly sickly hop notes and off malted with some sour grapes and apple. The mouthfeel again is kind of good but hard to segregate from the taste. I hope this was a bad sample

08-09-2009 20:27:18 | More by DerBayer
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 2,911 ratings.