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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.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

2,938 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,938
Reviews: 984
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 212
Gots: 274 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website
Belgium

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: 2,938 | Reviews: 984 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

3.88/5  rDev -9.6%

I've had this one several times, so it's about time I got around to writing a review.

Appearance: A dark but clear ruby red. The two finger head slowly settles to a thin cap, leaving sheets of lace as it recedes. The color is exceptional.

Smell: Simultaneously sour and sweet. Tart cherries, vanilla, balsamic vinegar and a hint of buttery oak.

Taste/mouthfeel: Initially sweet, though it's quickly cut by an acetic fruity sourness (raspberries, black cherries). Notes of oak appear, dry and slightly tannic with a caramel undertone. The finish is tart and fruity, leaving a hint of vanilla on the tongue after the sourness fades.

Drinkability: Fairly easy to drink, but the acetic acid catches up with you after a while.

06-10-2008 01:50:12 | More by largadeer
Photo of scottg
scottg

Vermont

4.63/5  rDev +7.9%

Served in a tulip glass at American Flatbread in Burlington, VT.

Pours a dark reddish brown color with a thin creamy head. Aromas of apple, alcohol, and some dark fruit. Up front taste of a sweet apple cider blends with cherry, raisins, and a tart green apple flavor to form an almost brandy like flavor, very complex. High carbonation, medium body, this beer coats and cleanses your mouth awakening your taste buds. The combination of sweet and tart is fantastic. An absolute must try for anyone who appreciates great beer.

06-02-2008 20:22:17 | More by scottg
Photo of tiger88
tiger88

Alabama

4.05/5  rDev -5.6%

My first Flanders Ale...
Pours a reddish brown in the glass that creates a nice, fluffy white head. The head slowly goes away to leave light lacing on the glass. Smells sweet and fruity but I can;t place the fruit immediately. The taste is very distinct and very sour upon first touch. The sour gives way nicely to a sweet almost wine taste as it rolls back on the tongue. It as a very light and crisp mouthfeel that goes down smothly. I would not be able to drink more than one, but that;s just my opinion. As I become better versed in this style, that may change.

05-30-2008 00:31:26 | More by tiger88
Photo of albern
albern

Massachusetts

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%

The style is my favorite, but I prefer the Rodenbach Alexander which blends both the 18 month and the 6 month ales. The Grand Cru is for purists and only has 18 month aged ales. The result is that it is a bit more puckerish, a bit more vinegary, a bit more acidic, less pleasantly sweet and vinous, a bit more oaky, and a lot less cherryish than its better counterpart. The beer pours a slighly hazy ruby brown, with some head. The smell is a delight in that you get the nice oaky, cherry, fruity, musty, and slightly vinegary aroma characteristic of the style. The mouthfeel is very good as well, and you feel as though you are having a nice aperitif, port, or other vinous after dinner drink. The style is eminently unique, unlike almost every other style of ale made, so in that sense it is a must try. Within the style, I prefer the Rodenbach Alexander and the Duchesse de Bourgogne. L'Chaim.

05-24-2008 09:19:24 | More by albern
Photo of SkittleBrau82
SkittleBrau82

Maryland

4.68/5  rDev +9.1%

On tap at Monk's in Philly.

Appearance- Beautiful deep red with a minimal head.

Smell- Great wild rich fruity winey smell.

Taste- unlike anything I have ever had. Bitter, vinegary (aftertaste) on first sip, but has a great body and a tart dryness that is very refreshing. Can really taste the bitter cherry pits.

Drinkability - Don't think I would have more than a couple of these at a time, but I would have a couple every night if I could. I actually bought a bottle of this on my way out of the city and had it with a friend the other night.

05-21-2008 16:34:34 | More by SkittleBrau82
Photo of SurlyDuff
SurlyDuff

Oregon

4.55/5  rDev +6.1%

I looove Flanders Reds. There's only been like two ever that I wouldn't mind never having again, and it's because of an ungodly amount of cherries or fruit.

This, I am happy to say, is one of my favorites.

Woody brown with reddish trim. Hazy in my flute glass.

Great tart fruity funk. Sourness overwhelms at first, but mellows (or maybe my senses adjust) and I can't take my nose out of the glass.

Tart apple, unripe vineous grapes, and cherries. Tiny bit sweeter in the finish and aftertaste than I would have prefered it, perhaps aging it for longer may have helped with that. A tad bit of vinegar and lactic sourness, but not anywhere near offensive.

Mouthfeel is exceptional. The first sip is always a kicker, but then it settles in and I can't stop drinking it. I love this stuff!

05-19-2008 22:03:45 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of 0110x011
0110x011

California

4.47/5  rDev +4.2%

750ml corked, caged, & foiled bottle. Pretty. Pours a clear, deep, coppery red into a tulip glass. Bubbly two-finger off-white head subsides quickly, with little lacing to speak of. Nose is sweet fruits, caramel, some oaky woodiness, & sour cherries. The sourness hits the tongue with a bang, but eventually gives way to sweet fruits, caramel, oak, and quite a few other flavors I can't quite put my finger on. Champagne-like effervescence makes for a dry, crisp finish.

The complexity of the Grand Cru definately makes it superior to the more one-dimentional Rodenbach. A thoroughly enjoyable brew.

05-15-2008 02:28:30 | More by 0110x011
Photo of number1bum
number1bum

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -6.8%

Part of NEPA BC split #14.

This is my first Flanders Red, and I have little familiarity with tart and sour beers at all, so here goes nothin.

Pours a reddish brown color that is significantly redder when held to the light. Pretty good clarity and about one finger of off-white head. Maintains a thin lace and doesn't leave too much stick.

Smell is tart and fruity, with sour cherry aromas in particular. Also bready with yeasty notes, and there is some vinegar and a musty sort of aroma, too. It's very complex even if I can't pick out exactly what I'm smelling.

Taste immediately puckers the mouth with a big splash of tart, sour cherries. Bit of sweetness hits the palate to balance the sour through the finish. There is some vanilla, maybe some green apple, and a bit of alcohol, too. I found the first few sips to be a shock to the senses but after that the sourness started to become quite enjoyable. There is a bit too much of a vinegar flavor, though, which detracts a bit. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and crisp.

This was a very interesting ride for my tastebuds, and I expect that I will need to try more of this style before I can fully appreciate this beer. Nevertheless, even to my inexperienced palate I can tell that this is a fine brew, although the vinegar qualities are somewhat of a detractor.

05-11-2008 01:15:12 | More by number1bum
Photo of Portertime
Portertime

Florida

3.8/5  rDev -11.4%

Found a case of this in the back of the cooler at the liquor store I work at. It is well out of date but I hope it was aged. I am sampling this beer for free to report back to my general manager so we can still sell it at a reduced price so here goes.... Pours a nice deep tea like color with a pretty good but fast dissapating head. Smell is strong of oak and sour apple and cherry. Very intense bouquet. Taste is very thick in the finish, just clings to the back of the throat with oak, sour cherry and green apple. Very smooth with a big tang on the tongue. I couldn't stand the whole bottle at once though.

05-06-2008 20:08:18 | More by Portertime
Photo of BeerZack
BeerZack

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +0.9%

Fairly clear mahogany color with but a small thin tan covering of bubbles.

Sweet fruit-wine smell and acetone jump right out. As it warms more sweet fruit, caramel and sour apple come out to join the fingernail polish.

Pretty sour impression. Almost a rotten fruit-like impression, sour cherry, fruitcake gummies, and a bunch of fingernail polish.

Why does this fingernail polish taste/smell so appetizing? Very acidic and juicy feeling, begs to be drunk.

05-06-2008 16:31:48 | More by BeerZack
Photo of seaoflament
seaoflament

California

4.4/5  rDev +2.6%

Picked up a bottle from South Bay Drugs and Liquor.

Pours a dark rosy color with about half inch of foam that quickly reduces to a thin ring. After it warms up I get about two inches of head when I pour, and some lacing as well.

Smells of tart cherries, cherry fruit roll-up, vinegar, apples, dark grapes and oak wood. The aroma reminds me of a fresh Lost Abbey- Red Poppy, which was great, but this one is still distinctly different. There is a good amount of malt presence, some lightly toasted bread and hints of caramel and vanilla.

On the first sip I get flavors of green apples, various grapes, and then followed by sweet and tart cherries. It finishes semi-dry with a vinous and vinegary after-taste. On the second taste I can identify the flavors provided by the oak aging, wood and vanilla. When it warms up it develops a lemon flavor at the beginning and the middle of the palate.

Very good mouth-feel, thin yet crisp and refreshing.

04-29-2008 03:58:40 | More by seaoflament
Photo of MrIncognito
MrIncognito

Virginia

3.68/5  rDev -14.2%

Had on tap at HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI. Poured into an oval chalice.

A - Deep purple, just like red wine, with a nice white and purply head. Lots of carbonation racing to the top.

S - A musty concord grapejuice smell. Almost has some red wine tanins. Actually smells a little sour and bitter.

T - Very dry grape juice taste. Sweet with a sour punch at the end, then very drying. The drying effect is key or this would be too sour for me. The dryness cuts it off. I swear I'm drinking carbonated concord grape juice, but with a tart, sour kick. Some musty horseblanket thrown in. Gets better as it warms.

M - Dry and a good amount of carbonation. Definitely a sipper.

This is my first Flanders red and I actually liked it. I was a little iffy at first but really enjoyed it in the end. Went great with a Greek salad... mixed well with the olives, feta, and vinagrette.

04-28-2008 18:19:46 | More by MrIncognito
Photo of filmlabrat
filmlabrat

California

5/5  rDev +16.6%

Exceptionally delightful. The tartness provided a perfect balance to all the other intricate flavor characteristics. A little like an extremely drinkable dry sherry, with fruit and nut notes playing on each other. Not much to report in the oak flavor department, I guess those huge oak casks that have been used for decades are well beyond adding oak flavor characteristics. My wife, who only likes the finest of beers, raved about this one.

04-25-2008 04:28:31 | More by filmlabrat
Photo of kiya
kiya

California

4.3/5  rDev +0.2%

Pours a dark reddish brown with a head that quickly dissipates and leaves no noticeable lacing.
Smells of overripe Granny Smith apples with a hidden note of oak seeping through, scents aren't overpowering, almost hidden.
Strong front end with a heavy fresh cider flavor giving way to a lime tanginess combined with a bitter (almost Gueuze-like) flavor that lingers for a few moments. The tart bitterness in this brew works very well, and for me they've hit the balance perfectly between subtle ripe fruit and the sour stone fruit ending.
The feel is great, with great balance from beginning to end.
I can drink an entire bottle of this, and might even want seconds, which is rare for a 750ml serving of any beer, regardless of how much i enjoyed it.

04-24-2008 02:46:52 | More by kiya
Photo of CanuckRover
CanuckRover

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev -3.3%

Ruby red, cappacino-like creamy off-white head. Looks fantastic. Carbonation bubbles floating to the top.

Incredibly fruity on the nose, almost kriek-like. Sour cherries, apple juice, oak lingers in the background.

Sour cherries up front. Champagne-like grapes, very crisp, refreshing acidity. Quite tart in the finish. Oakiness is certainly evident, giving it a bit of a warming quality.

Great mouthfeel. Red ales really require a perfect amount of carbonation, otherwise I find they taste like stale cola.

This is a fantastic example of the style. Very complex, very well done.

04-23-2008 22:08:47 | More by CanuckRover
Photo of TheEremite
TheEremite

California

4.58/5  rDev +6.8%

Served on tap at the bistro in Hayward, CA.

Served dark burgundy with red highlights and a tan head. Looks brilliant in the glass. Smells of sour apples and apple cider vinegar. Very pungent and sharp aroma. Tastes very tart, almost striking for how malty the beer looks. It's not though. Drinks very dry with lactic and acetic pricks throughout the drink. There's some lingering oakiness in the aftertaste too. Outstanding beer. It's not as complex as other Flanders reds I've had before, but it's extremely straightforward and a remarkable beer.

04-21-2008 16:18:49 | More by TheEremite
Photo of roblowther
roblowther

Texas

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%

It shows up black-red with a thin head but not much lace. There's something in the color that promises a lot somehow. The smell is cooked cherries, dark chocolate and a sour note that is just mouthwatering. The taste is surprisingly sweet, with a sour note thrown in for good measure. It has a very dry finish, reminding me of cherries and leather. Just wonderful, really. The mouthfeel is too thin, which is surprising given the depth of this offering. The drinkability is great, with the dry finish not dry enough to offset the good flavor, leaving a very, very drinkable beer indeed. Get some of this and horde it!

04-21-2008 00:09:14 | More by roblowther
Photo of dill
dill

California

4.15/5  rDev -3.3%

poured on draught into a snifter.

A - a deep mahogany color with a thin white head.

S - fruitcake.

T - reminiscent of cherry syrup. there's definitely some spices in here too, but the fruit is dominant without being too sour. perhaps i would have enjoyed a touch more sourness in fact.

M - tight carbonation, almost champagne-like.

D - a nice beer to sip although I wouldn't look to have more than one at a time.

04-19-2008 16:24:08 | More by dill
Photo of dennarb
dennarb

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +16.6%

The first thing you notice is the huge head. The bartender at Monk's had to top up twice to get about an 80% liquid to head ratio. The color is a beautiful translucent reddish brown. The first taste has crisp Granny Smith apple tartness, but nice roundness in the mouth and just a little malty sweetness going down. This is a really fine beer. It doesn't really taste like sherry but if you can imagine the depth of a good dry sherry reborn as a Belgian ale you'll come close to the Rodenbach Grand Cru.

04-19-2008 05:07:31 | More by dennarb
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
BamaBeerBuff

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -3.7%

A: A beautiful dark crimson-brown color with a thin, wispy head. Almost no retention, but that's the style.

S: Very sour at first, with some grape and cherry notes emerging. Some woodiness is detectable--no doubt from the aging. A faint sweet caramel malt, also. This stuff smells almost like a wine.

T&M: Tart and sour fruit with much acidity in the finish. Less distinctive, specific fruit notes in the taste than the nose--just a generally acidic fruitiness. With slight warming, some nuttiness and earthiness emerges towards the back of the palate and in the finish. Finish itself is smooth, dry, and acidic. The beer really beckons you to another sip quickly. Medium-bodied, with a substantial amount of carbonation that really enhances the sour flavors of the beer. Obviously, the acidity and tartness detracts from overall smoothness, but the beer nonetheless goes down smoothly relative to its taste.

D: The beer has great flavor, but I can't see myself drinking more than 1 or 2 of these in one sitting. The sourness and tartness is wonderful, but definitely not something that could be enjoyed all night long.

04-14-2008 22:45:06 | More by BamaBeerBuff
Photo of Atron67
Atron67

Wisconsin

4.2/5  rDev -2.1%

A- poured a dark brown clear body, which built up a light brown head that fell quickly, non-surprizingly due to its sour nature..

S- sour, barnyard almost, pretty damn good, much better than the normal flemish sour they have.

T- strong onset of acetic sour charachter which is really nice. big burst of it which slowly fades down to a not sweet, but close (like the sourness should) lingering on the tongue for a long while. i dont really taste the oak charachter from the aging, but its delicious

M- light body, high carbonation, sticky on the tongue

D- this goes down quick and makes me want more and more

04-12-2008 02:47:28 | More by Atron67
Photo of gory4d
gory4d

New York

3.95/5  rDev -7.9%

Poured from a small bottle into a tulip glass, it presents a thick, off-white head that dissipates quickly, leaving only traces of lacing down the glass. The color is dark -- a deep reddish brown. Smell is sharp, like vinegar, with lots of fruit. Taste is tangy but rich, with some figgy notes and plenty of citrus -- tangerine, more than anything else. It feels thin to the palate but fills up the mouth very well -- a tad viscous, but not too much. It's a sipping beer, for sure, but goes down easy.

04-09-2008 03:46:09 | More by gory4d
Photo of Beerzebub
Beerzebub

California

4.47/5  rDev +4.2%

750 ml bottle, best before date 06/06/09 on the bottom of the bottle. Served in a big wine glass at 59 F/ 15 C.

Rusty orange-red-brown color, small beige head, plenty of mottled lace.

Smells like tart fruit - apple, grape, cherry -with raw beef and some caramel, wood, and vanilla. Some mild nutty oxidization develops. Complex and very nice.

Taste has plenty of crisp acidity. Tart sweet fresh fruit - apple, grape, cherry, lime - with underlying savory beefiness, musty earth, and wood. A touch of nutty oxidization. Dries out and becomes woodier and more acidic. Great flavor and great balance. Long almost dry savory woody tart finish.

Texture is grippy yet smooth. Astringency like fruit skin, and prickly acidity. Quite drinkable and refreshing.

Great beer, thoroughly enjoyable. It wants food, and the last glass paired well with some Dubliner cheese.

04-08-2008 07:51:29 | More by Beerzebub
Photo of dfillius
dfillius

Michigan

4.47/5  rDev +4.2%

Enjoyed in a snifter
A: A thin ring of bubbles around the top. Color was a clear reddish-brown (oh so rich looking!)
S: Dry crisp smell, lemon, oaky, vanilla, bourbon, coriander.
T: Tart start moves into a sweet finish. Fruity - citurs, cherry, raisin, pears. Wowzers, yum!
M: Very champagne like in it's fizzy bubbly nature. True to style, but a little too fizzy for me.
D: Not a session beer only because of the tartness and complexity. What a shame that I must mark it down for these delightful characteristics. The drinkability of a single bottle is high, but two bottles would be too much. This beer is SO tasty.

04-04-2008 01:05:25 | More by dfillius
Photo of illidurit
illidurit

California

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Deep red-brown with a pinkish beige head of about 2 fingers. The suds is very creamy and dense, leaving sheets of lacing on the snifter.

Aroma is sharp and vinegar-like. Red fruits oozing with acetic acid. Oak and funk come out just a little.

Flavor is throat-burningly sour but not in a bad way. Cherry and grape provide only a hint of sweetness that's immediately obliterated by acerbic acidic acetic tartness.

Medium body and perfect carbonation. The only knock here is the puckering of the mouth and the charring of the throat. Drinkability is also affected by this, but if you love sour beer, you can drink this all night.

03-31-2008 07:39:50 | More by illidurit
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 2,938 ratings.