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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.

3,007 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,007
Reviews: 988
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 213
Gots: 294 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,007 | Reviews: 988 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of boston2bburg
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks a million to Aaron for this freeby. Dark brown with streaks of auburn, a snap crackle pop head that settles along the edges of the glass. The aroma is light but complex. Oak and fruit with dark chocolate malts and a bit of dubbel-like raisin and yeast character.

Holy crap, there is no shortage of flavor here. Admittedly I'm still new to sours, but this is the best I've had so far. The fresh, clean, sweet wine taste finishes with a mouth-puckering tartness. Glorious.

Perfect carbonation matches the tartness, producing an acidic, crisp all-encompassing mouthfeel devoid of any slick or syrupy sensations.

Incredibly drinkable, I find it hard to savor for very long. At 6% you could drink them as long as you could afford them.

boston2bburg, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of wl0307
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly 3 years since my last encounter, this bottle is enjoyed straight after its junior family member, Rodenbach Classic; BB 25/07/10, served lightly chilled in Tripel Karmeliet's branded long-stemmed, tulip-shaped glass.

A: given a force-pour, it lands in the glass a deeply dark brown hue with lively fizziness and a 1.5cm-thick creamy dark beige foamy head with good retention.
S: absolutely amazing... the nose has both metallic and lightly funky notes of yeasts intertwined with a deep-running but restrained aroma from oak-barrel-ageing; the classic aroma that I'd only refer to as "smoked-prune-flavoured sorbet" lingers in the background, showing random bits of old vinegar that is more fruity than sharply tart, but always with a refreshingly savoury edge of yeastiness to "complicate" the matter... Compared with the Classic that I've had ten minutes ago, the aroma is definitely drier, tarter, and cleaner, with a deeper impact of oak-ageing.
T: milder in carbonation but refreshing enough, the foretaste presents high quality vinegary made of sour dried-prunes (Chinese "Hua-Mei") that is both bold and slick, but never far away from a funky/yeasty edge and a dry-ish wheatiness as of a very smooth berry-lambic... The fruity theme stays deep down the tongue, accompanied by smooth, well-aged vinegary berry-fruits, an herbally-dry and lightly chewy undertone that shows brown-malt aroma as well as bitterness of old, dried hops, and an elegant, low-level oakiness that has been absorbed into the fruity theme. Clean, yet lightly dry in the finish, with a bit less aroma here than the aftertaste of the Classic, but the understated chewy palate still seems to outlast everything else.
M&D: the texture is impeccable, mildly spritzy yet slick enough to render an attractive palate to go with the thirst-quenching, medium-bodied flavour profile. Having tried this ale for many times now, each time I seem to find something different from the glass: this bottle is more mellow and less astringent than most of the previous encounters, which I suppose is attributable to the temp. (slightly warmer than chill) that I choose to serve this bottle. The only one thing that has not, and never will, changed is the profound complexity (in various forms) and quaffability this 6%abv. ale has to offer. This is a sheer bliss to me.

* Tasting Date: 05/05/2006
BB 29/04/07, served lightly chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.
4 A: deep and dark ruby hue, slightly hazy; the foamy off-white beer head dissipates slowly, on top of gently fizzy body.
4.5 S: sourness dominates the nose, as expected--new wood-barrels, profound prune-ish note, starfruit juice, wheat aroma, dark fruit vinegar, a faint touch of fruit esters... overall the aroma is intense and very focused, dragging all elements to a central point as far as my nose could sense.
4.5 T: slightly sharp-textured, vinegary-sour flavour upfront, cutting deep through the palate... gradually an almost lambic-like raw, dry wheat-ish and woody taste develops subtly underneath, turning softer and transforming into a slightly dryish, sour-sweet aftertaste. Crisp and tangy-fruity finish.
4 M&4 D: initially sharp on the texture but softens, while the soft fizziness sustains throughout the drink and provides a refreshing palate. A thirst-quenching, or thirst-provoking, beer with great complexity and depth. I can't pretend that I'm a great fan of this style, but this one surely is something really worth savouring once in a while--especially in summer.

wl0307, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of mwilbur
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into flute.
A: Pours a clear red with moderate carbonation producing a bubbly 1/2 inch that quickly recedes.
S: Sour vinegar predominates, subtle fruit.
T: Soft oak, vinegar, sugary fruit, and sour notes...a wonderful melange. Reminds me of eating strawberries dipped in balsamic vinegar.
M: Light body and effervescent. Very clean taste.
D: Very drinkable. Best paired with food (lighter fare, seafood, salads, etc.) than on its own. Definitely one to seek out!

mwilbur, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of Zeisloft
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pouring from a big bottle, came out deep deep red. I couldnt wait to get into it. Smell gave many thoughts, superfruity, vinegar, sour. Hit the sourness I was looking for in the taste, and then that sweetness that comes out of no where. I knew what I was getting into and couldnt wait. very smooth and light in the mouth, carbination pushes the beer through. Very Drinkable, but wouldn't be on it an entire night.

Zeisloft, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of atis
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

300 ml bottle from Dublin

Pours clears brown with tan head that soon fades to patchy layer, lots of small carbonation bubbles on the side of the glass, some patchy lacing. Aroma is strong acidic, slightly vinegary, with rather high fruitiness.

Taste is intense tart, vinegar, sour fruit. Mouthfeel is light-medium with medium carbonation and prickly acidic feel, there is slight alcohol warming at the end.

Overall, an excellent and complex brew.

atis, Mar 23, 2009
Photo of gdfan47
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- comes out a nice darkish red with very little head
S- Vinegar, cherries, sugar, cranberries, not overly sweet
T- very tart, slightly like cranberry juice but more refined and interesting, alot going on, tart but not like brett tart
M- almost flat but still refreshing, slightly less abrasive than the smell
D- a very good beer, a very expsensive beer.... just a little too sweet to drink more than 3 or so..

blurring the lines of aa lambic ,fantastic and worth checking out for sure

gdfan47, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of sonicdescent
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky brown with a bubbly head leaving a crown.

Smells fantastic. Sweet grapes, cherries, other fruity esters as well as a sour bite.

Taste is similar to smell with cherries and grapes heading up front. Not incredibly sour like a Cantillion but not sweet like a Lindemans. Somewhere in the balanced and kind of wine like middle and excellent.

Mouth is thin with pretty high carbonation.

Drinkability? I won't have any trouble polishing of this bottle. Price is fantastic. A really great all around sour.

sonicdescent, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of stoutfiend27
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml caged & corked bottle

a-dark reddish brown color with little head but nice lingering lacing on top..

s-lactic acid and slight vinegar...almost like has a sour granny smith apple smell as well...sour jolly ranchers, and a sweet sugary smell

t-i really dont know how to describe it except it tastes like it smells....this is a great beer

m-light and refreshing..not to thick and not to watery i think the mouthfeel is perfect

d-i think i would have no problem drinking at least 2 or maybe even 3 of these 750 ml bottle and thats a bit much to me but these are so easy going

overall this is a fantastic beer...i want more of it...and plan on getting more...the sours are growing on me

stoutfiend27, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of hopdog
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

How have I not rated this one yet! Notes from tap at Capones.

Poured a deeper amberish/brown color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of woodiness, vinegar, and sour cherry. Tastes of vinegar and sour dark fruits. If you don't like vinegar, skip this one for sure.

hopdog, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.38/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Davros (1442) - Melbourne, - MAR 6, 2009
UPDATED: APR 27, 2013 First sour ale. Been putting this one off for ages, but realised it’s 4 months past it’s use by, so time to face my fears! Head lasts for all of two seconds before dissapearing without a trace. Dark, fiery, ruby red, perfectly clear. Aroma is sweet red wine (lambrusco?), vinegar, stale sweat, more vinergar, sweet plums, vinegar, raisins, brandy, and more vinergar. Taste is (surprise!) vinegar, unripe plums, astringent lemon peel. I can feel my stomach shuddering in protest. No where near as crazy as the aroma though. Rather pleasant actually, after a few sips. Phwoar! This is once crazy mofo style right here! Cherry and other dark fruits are apparent after being desensitised to the vinegar. Slightly watery, with active carbonation giving it extra tang (as if it needed it). No way I’d be drinking more than one of these in a week, let alone a night. However, this is my first sour ale... Crazy crazy crazy. UPDATE: Now that I’ve tried my fair share of sours, I’m really digging this.... bloody awesome.

CrazyDavros, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of rhinos00
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a tulip glass.

A- Dark, murky brown. Almost looked like a liquid chocolate brownie. Had a fingers width of off-white head that dissipated quickly.

S- Nice bouquet of tart and sour fruits. Besides the grape and cherry smell, there was a pleasant vinegar scent that was very subtle, yet relevant.

T- Wonderful, yet balanced combination of sour grapes, sweet cherries and an oak undertone. Finished so smoothly with a nice tart finish.

M- Medium bodied with some carbonation. Had a nice, smooth texture and left the mouth dry after each sip.

D- Hmmm...I was able to drink a whole 750mL by myself and still craved more. That has to tell you something. This beer is delicious and so drinkable.

Overall, after my disappointing experience with the Dissident I decided to give this a go as it was relatively cheap at $10 a bottle and pretty available. This is definitely going to be my go to beer when I'm craving something on the sour side. Highly recommended for new and experienced beer drinkers alike.

rhinos00, Mar 06, 2009
Photo of ArrogantB
3.78/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle $8 courtesy of Beverage World in Ft. Oglethorp, GA. Nice dark ruby red color. This smells awesome, glue, vinegar, sour, lemons. The flavor seems to lean more towards eating glue and sucking on a lemon at the same time but is definitely a little more sour than the regular Rodenbach. For only $8 this was an outstanding value.

ArrogantB, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of cvstrickland
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The attractive 750 ml bottle is sealed under a cork-in-cage with the bottleneck swaddled in gold foil. A soft pop! marks the lightly-chilled vessel's opening, and poured into my Maredsous goblet, Grand Cru is ruby-tinted burnt amber in color and very clear. A small sizzling cap of light tan foam recedes quickly to the edges of the drink, and leaves only token speckles and wisps of lacing that mostly slide back into solution rather than sticking onto the glass.

The smell is zesty and fruity-sweet with a lovely underpinning of oaky caramel and light toast. Sour cherries and a spritz of lemon-lime soda wrangle a cool, mellow woodiness into my olfactory range-- with the crisp, aggressive sourness almost snapping at my nose as I stick it into the glass for a bigger jolt of this exciting perfume.

The taste is crisp and tart with a cheek-slam of sour cherry soothed with mellow caramel and a touch of brown sugar candy. Notes of fermented apple provide mild, juicy sweetness and a cooling whiff of alcohol. The oakiness from the aroma profile is in the flavor-party, too, finding itself a dry, comfortable resting place on the palate, lingering deep into the aftertaste.

The drink is light in body with a touch of puckering that fades quickly and a near-perfect sizzle of carbonation. Positively quaffable.

cvstrickland, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of LittleCreature
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 3.5
Poured a loose beige head that quickly reduced to very little over the dark red body. So dark you could mistake it for a stout before holding it to direct light.

Smell - 4.5
Strong woodiness is the first impression, but beneath lies aromas of oxizised red wine and toasted grains.

Taste - 4.5
The complexity is off the charts on this one. Tart, sweetish, acidic, woody, flavours of overripe cherry, vanilla, oak and a sour cream like bite.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Gets a little syrupy towards the bottom of the glass, but has persistent fine carbonation.

Drinkability - 4.0
Surprisingly good. The beer is quite quenching and after the initial shock it is quite morish.

The overall impression is simply.... WOW! What started as a beer I really did not like, quickly became a beer I was fascinated with and wanted more of. Wow.

LittleCreature, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of Greggy
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a light tan head, 1 finger in height with decent retention. The body is ruby red/brown color that is relatively clear but does have isolated yeast sediment present. Lacing is pretty sparce.

S- Beautiful bouquet. Tart cherry aroma, smooth sour, buttery oak, butterscotch.

T- Starts out very buttery with tart fruit notes, buttery oak, butterscotch, and tart/sourness. Very great balance.

M- LIght carbonation, big mouthfeel, very tart/sour. Great whack of acidity.

D- Extremely good beer, and pretty drinkable. It took a while to tag off the 750 but was a joy, none the less. Given the acidity, it's a sipper. Definitely will drink again.

Greggy, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of kasper
3.55/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky, opaque walnut brown, similar to the color of dirty water after a watermain break. Wet and bubbly cream/off-white head that shows some false signs of lacing that ultimately fails to stick.

S: Aromas of charred oak, sweetness akin to ice cream sprinkles, vinegar, maybe some underlying hints of chocolate, and some traditional belgian (yeast?) flavors. The oak is most prominent, and the aromas of the oak quite unique. Obviously the aromas hint at some sweet and sourness.

T: The nose is a good indication of what you're going to taste with the exception of the red wine vinegar flavor being much more pronounced. It melds with a sweet belgian backbone, hints of sour apple and some cherry. The sourness is a bit puckering on the first few sips, which caught me by surprise on the finish and lent to a slight tingly/burning sensation in the nose.

M: On the heavier end of medium bodied. Almost a bit too much for my liking, bordering on syrupy. Fairly carbonated like a white wine, but shy of champagne.

D: You know, I'm partial to american wild/sours. The Belgians, with their mix of sweetness and heavy vinegar flavors, don't afford me the same appreciation. I'm glad I tried this. It's a solid, well crafted beer. But it's not my preferred sour.

kasper, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of tmoneyba
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured clear brown with a large creamy off-white head that was mostly diminishing with good lacing.

Good complex aroma of raisin, port and cask wood.

Medium to full body with a dry texture and soft carbonation.

Moderate sour bitter flavor with a light astringent finish of long duration.

This is a standout beer and one of my top rated active bottled beers for this style.

tmoneyba, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of MaggieReed
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am a huge fan of this style, but this is not AS amazing as Ommegang Rouge- still amazing though. The flavors are extremely layered and rich, but they don't quite blend as seamlessly at the front as they could. But if left to linger, what you have is utter deliciousness- a party in your mouth...and a very good beer overall.

MaggieReed, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of Dantheman4162
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is the first beer I have tried of this style and I am not going to lie, its definitely going to be an acquired taste. I will try to base my review on the style.
poured from a 12 oz bottle.

Smells sweet of wine, dry wine-like taste, tart. Cranberry, Pomegranate? base of burnt hard candy/sugar.

Dark red cloudy hue
dark creamy head, but not think

Fizzy, dirt? very tart. tastes like sour candy.

very fizzy, foam very tiny, micro bubbles, looks cool to swirl.

Not a big fan, might eventually try again to get the hang of it.

Dantheman4162, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of SLeffler27
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, red mahogany with a thin head and light lace in a Rodenbach snifter.

The aroma draws one in from several yards away. The strong sour undertones of cherry are followed by very sweet floral, lime and peat.

A highly acidic vinegar and long sour fruity finish warms exquisitely.

Grand Cru is highly carbonated and medium bodied with some alcohol and loads of pucker.

This is a very complex beer, perfect for contemplation or meaningful conversation.

Date consumed: 27 July 2008

SLeffler27, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of TMB0424
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml corked bottle. poured into flute

Appearance is a light ruby/maroon body with a light, loose head that dissipates pretty quickly. Sticky lacing.

Aroma of sour apples and cherries. Bready, funky yeast as well - with a splash of oak. Nothing overly complex here, but certainly smells interesting to say the least.

Taste is basically like the smell. Sour, sweet cherries. Sour green apples. Sour patch kid-like. Fairly tart, but not overboard. The sourness is what grabs you first, but then there's a hint of sweetness in the finish that is pretty pleasant. I don't detect any alcohol at all really.

The mouthfeel is crisp and light. Carbonation is a little high but it fits very well. Extremely drinkable, as this is probably one of the more refreshing beers I've had of late. I didn't get tired of the tartness or sourness at all, even after a few glasses. I'm definitely going to try this on a hot summer's day. Highly recommended.

TMB0424, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of maddogruss
3.7/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My friend invited me over to help him out with a growler of this he got from the bar.

A: Pours a reddish, amber body with no head to note, only a light ring around the top of the beer. There was no significnat lacing to note.

S: A bitter, cherry smell. Reminded me of like a bitter, Robitussin smell.

T: A very sour, slightly cherry, Robitussin, taste with a sour, mildewy kind of aftertaste that sits on the back of the throat during the whole beer.

M: A fairly light and pretty thin beer. Seemed almost like drinking cold wort - that is how low the carbonation was in the beer.

D: For the style, it was a pretty drinkable beer with a pretty good mouthfeel and taste combination. However, this style is a pretty acquired taste, like sushi. If another style was available, I might have went for that beer over this one.

maddogruss, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 8/5/08. Bottle. Pours a dark brown with just a slight white ring of head. Aroma is tart tart tart of sweettarts, wood! Flavor initially of rye. Lots of rye bread with a tart, sour finish. Unfortunately the rye faded as the beer warmed. Overall, quite drinkable for a tart sour and much more complex and richer than the original. Nice malty backbone to balance out the super sweetness. Anyway, this beer is quite good.
8/4/8/4/15 (3.9/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of peabody
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a cloudy ice tea color with 1/2 finger of white suds and lots of carbonation at the bottom of the glass.
Smell is sour orange peel and cherries with some malt and sugar. The oak comes through.
Taste is sweet at first with a sugary cherry flavor then the sourness hits with that half/bretty flavor and half oakiness.
Mouthfeel is very clean with just a hint of the dry sourness hanging on.
Drinkability is very good here. I can get this at the local shop and def. will be doing just that.

peabody, Dec 13, 2008
Photo of philbe311
3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Rich tan batter like head... Slow steady rolling carbonation... Deep burgundy color that still allows light to shine through... Solid lacing... Sort of murky...

S - Grapes... Cherries... Cedar chips... Morning dew... Slightly musky funk... Apple and pear become noticeable as the beer warms... Tart...

T - Salty puckering sourness from the get go... Grapes and a slight sweetness... Smokey (perhaps from the oak aging vats)... Layers of complexity... Berries... Slightly varied taste with each sip...

M - Dry... Light to medium bodied... Crisp... Bubbly... Richness felt all the way up the nasal passages... Syrupy... Refreshing... Invigorating... Attention grabbing...

D - Solid Flanders Red through and through... Everything one would expect with great taste complexity that proves a pleasant surprise...

philbe311, Dec 13, 2008
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,007 ratings.