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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.

3,188 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,188
Reviews: 998
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.42%
Wants: 224
Gots: 324 | FT: 18
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: 3,188 | Reviews: 998 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nataku00
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a long stemmed tulip glass. Dark brown with maybe a finger of head initially. Lots of carbonation visible at the edge of the glass.

Nose is vinegary acidity, with sour cherries and a bit of oak.

Taste is pleasantly sour with a decent amount of sourness. Sour cherries and plums.

Light bodied and nicely carbonated. Not too much of an aftertaste from the sourness.

nataku00, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of JAXSON
2.9/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours like coca cola from a 12 oz. bottle with a quickly dissipating beige head with lively bubbles. A light sourness followed by a huge vinegar kick dominates the aroma and flavor, and to me, nothing could overcome that vinegar phenomena. Kind of tough to get through the whole bottle, to be honest. Not great at all; no cherry, oak, or other expression making it complex or noteworthy beyond the slightly unpleasant vinegar character. I've had good beers of this style and though according to many it's a benchmark, it's not enjoyable to me in the least.

JAXSON, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of Cheesemoose
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Glass: Flute

Pours a deep brown/red, very rich coming from the bottle. Nice whimsical head comes to rest on the top, effervescent in character that leaves a nice film. Lacing is spotty at best, following the beer on its downward journey.

Almost immediately following the pour, a tartness enters the air, though not crushing, it entices you forward for more. Cherries being the predominant smell to present itself, as you delve deeper you find the oak, providing a nice backbone on which the cherries seem to rest. Tartness is well balanced.

For a Flemish Red Sour, this is quite approachable. Tartness is almost a treat, as the cherries and oak notes play off each other coming together to form a very refreshing, mellowed, and cultured sour. Very enjoyable. Cherry is more dominant cool, but as it warms, the oak starts to join in.

Crisp mouth feel, leaving your mouth in wanting. Definitely an experience best enjoyed slowly to bring out all the flavors. At 6%, the ABV does not come into play in a heavy sense, meaning you can enjoy this one solo or with a close group of friends.

Cheesemoose, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of OneDropSoup
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint: Dark reddish brown, barely translucent with deep ruby highlights -- the color of natural strawberry preserves. Finger of beige head.

Smell is tart cherry & strawberry, raspberry, mild vinegar (like a vinaigrette?). Subtle vanilla, little bit of roasting cocoa. Real good, kind of a floral tang to it, too.

Tastes of moderately tart berries, mild vinegar -- more acidic than the aroma suggests, but most of the same notes. Really dries out in the center, tannic & oaky, vinous.

Fairly sharp acidity that becomes tannic & dry, kicks in those drools glands.

Very good -- not my favorite for the style, not the most complex I've encountered, but still pretty awesome. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but one or two is enough for this rich brew.

OneDropSoup, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of Kinsman
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle corked and caged.

Reddish-brown body which is capped by a loud and fizzy khaki colored head. Once the lively carbonation slows down a bit, a nice 1cm thick, creamy looking head remains.

Aroma is heavy with the vinegar upfront, which seems appropriate given the style. A tart and sweet cherry like aroma balances out the vinegar aroma. Lingering in the back is a slightly woody note from the oak aging.

Taste is sour, no doubt about it. Tart cherry flavors mixed with the acidic sour flavor will make any sour-lover happy. However, the sourness does not wreck your palate by staying around too long. It seems to move aside to let a sweeter malt and vanilla like character finish out the beer.

Mouthfeel is dry but lively, with a strong carbonation giving it a very bubbly feel.

Overall, this is a great beer for anyone who likes the various styles of sours. Drinkability is good for a sour, but I would hardly consider any sour beer to be highly drinkable.

Kinsman, Oct 21, 2010
Photo of Liverpool08
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at Monk's in Philly

A nice dark browinsh red. Whiffs of cherry and sour patch kids. A great first sip, tart, crisp, a great kick to the taste buds. Nots of cherry, oak, which ends in a great balsamic vinegar sweetness. What a great brew!! Gets more complex with every sip. Sour is a bad term for this beer. Its more a great tartness with hints of fruit. And stil you get that hint of vinegar at the end. Can drink lots of these!!

Liverpool08, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of joesc230
1.35/5  rDev -68.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Decided to try this out based on the reviews I saw on this site. To be honest, this was the first time I've tried a well-rated beer (based on this site's ratings) that I absolutely hated. I'm sure it's a great choice for some people, but both the smell and taste of this beer reminded me of a very sweet and sour vinegar. After trying it out and being suprised by its taste, I asked a friend to try it out and he totally agreed with me.

joesc230, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of Docer
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Snagged a bottle to try here at By the Bottle in Vancouver, WA

- Murky cloudy brown and violet hued brew... a quick fizzing head... quickly left behind a large ring of off-white bubbles, and an island perfectly separated from the ring... in the middle of my tulip.

- Sweet oak funk... straw, light mint, brown sweet malts, beets, fig, prune... a true blend of scents... trying to find them to pick out... tart currants... and grape juice.

- Wonderful spicy tart sour with a blend of currants, oak, wood, grass, funk... very well balanced. This is one amazing and complex brew.... someone knows what they are doing. Fig, molasses, light brown sugar, zest, currants, grape... fig and straight out beer... I am getting a chub.

- Thin, and yet lightly creamy... mouth watering... yet only the slightest sticky and syrupy...

- This is a world class beverage, and one to be respected. The flavors of all worlds of sours and aged beers are right here in one bottle. Very well worth the purchase, and one I will most certainly buy again.

Docer, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of bohemiandonut
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Having recently come into possession of some goat cheese Brie and a sourdough baguette, I found myself in dire need of another bottle of this classic.

This beer and I go way back, to what remains the single most traumatic and influential turning point of my beer-drinking career. I had come in search of Blondes, Belgian Blondes, and within the course of several easy-drinking fizzy wonders in strange glasses suddenly this is on my table.

"What the hell is this?" I drunkenly demanded. It tasted like balsamic spiked kombucha. Needless to say I had absolutely no appreciation for the style whatsoever. I wanted my money back and thanks to poor service and my somewhat belligerent disapproval with the beer, I took it to the limit, talking to managers and essentially kicking myself out of The Trappist in Oakland. Oh, what folly youth does bring!

Fast forward one year and I can hardly name a beer that does its thing more gracefully. To me now this is not even a challenge on the palate. Reddish brown whiffs of sour cherry, oak, and tamarind with a subtle coat of vinegar and funk.

A rapidly descending head loses marks and somewhat detracts from the experience, but as a world class "food beer" there is little one can say that detracts from the greatness that is Rodenbach. Compared to where some are taking the style this might be considered a rather simple offering, but like I said before, if you've got brie and bread what better pair is there? This beer is to wine what wine is to Capri Sun. Sold.

bohemiandonut, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of OtherShoe2
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours reddish brown with a tan foamy head. Some good bubbles rising.

Great tart fruit, yeasty bread, toasty malt aromas.

Sour bite up front, with mellow toasted malt, tart cherry fruity elements, then the smooth sour/light bitter finish with some wood and intermingled sweet/sour/bitter playing off of each other. No booze element at all. Super-smooth.
Enough carbonation to keep this moving, nice medium body.

Terrific and very easy to drink. Nearly did a cartwheel when I saw this for sale (and not over the top either -- $11.). Great great beer.

OtherShoe2, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of armock
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured a brown color with a brown head that leaves spotty lacing behind

S - Is of sour dark fruits

T - Follows the nose with the sour dark cherry fruit flavors

M - This beer has medium body with higher carbonation to it

D - This is a very enjoyable sour beer with its great flavor this is one that I'm not going to have a problem finishing the bottle worth hunting down to try

armock, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of RuudJH
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fine example of this style of beer: Dark red-brown colour, with a modest head, but nice lacing in my glass.

Fresh and fruity smell: red, and also dark, forest fruits like berries, cherries etc. Sweet and sour smell and taste: it's a very nice balance between malts and fruits.

Complex and flavourfull.
Refreshing mouthfeel.

RuudJH, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally reviewing the Rodenbach.

Served in a Bruery tulip, just because. Beer is brown and hazy with a thin brown head of tiny bubbles that doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. Looks fine. Carbonation moderate.

Beer smell like vinegar and sweetness. Its like a thin bruin aroma. Smells good.

Beer is mildly sweet and acetic biting sour on the backend. It leaves the mouth with an apple flavor, sour apple. Beer is light in body and goes down smooth with minimal carbonation on the palate. Its good, drinkable, less sour than I remember / was expecting but still not for amateurs. Enjoyable.

drabmuh, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of silentjay
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

the beer that made the whole "sour" category click for me, I will now review formally.

pours to a murky mahogany brown with a decent sized khaki head that retains very well and laces extreme.

aroma is dominated by vinegar and cherries, with a bit of oak and vanilla. pleasantly tart and sour with a bit of sweetness as well.

flavor is fruity and sour and tart and sweet all at once, I can't help but think of sour patch kids candies, with the stages of sour, sweet, tart coming and going in stages. the vinegar is strong in the first sips, but the interplay between the flavors works its way into the forefront of a multi-faceted brew. wonderful.

medium bodied with light carbonation but the tart acidity drys the tongue and tingles the sides of the mouth for a lively mouthfeel that few can match.

not for everyone, but for me, it drinks wonderfully. the interplay between, tart, sweet, sour, acidic, and vinegar flavors with a tingly mouthfeel just works for me. Not many 6%abv beers would be worth $10+, but this one is. maybe an introductory into the sours, but you could do worse as a starting point.

silentjay, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
3.83/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark crimson with an off-white head. Good deal of lacing as it goes down. Smell is vinegar and lactic acid with some dark fruits, cherries, and currants. Taste is quite similar, with the acetic acid coming through. Also a sort of cream-soda-type taste. Mouthfeel is very nice between the sourness and the creamy body. Good drinkability. Not the best Flanders Red, but up there, especially considering its availability.

Thorpe429, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of CPeterson
4.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A -- A beautiful, deep crimson / brown pours with a vigorous head that settles at a mellow pace and leaves nice lacing.

S -- Sour cherry and apple, fig and other dark fruit are followed by oak and acid.

T -- Cherry and sweet - tart apple, acid and sweetness play to no end and contest to see which will win. You get both with this flavorful monster. Dark fruits come through later on the tongue with a great residual taste.

M -- A nice crisp bite from the acid and a nice pucker.

D -- Buy it, drink it, be amazed.

CPeterson, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of DovaliHops
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark, murky brown with beautiful dark red glow when held to light. Medium off-white, almost hazel colored head. Scent is lots of vinegar, cherries, and sweet fruits. I also get slight oak scents with some great funk. The taste is very interesting. Upon first sip, the sweetness comes first, followed by a cherry tartness. The vinegar taste is present but not overwhelming. Not as sour as I was inspecting. The oak and wood flavors follow through in the aftertaste along with hints of vanilla. The mouthfeel is like nothing I've tasted before...kinda an awkward feel. Very airy and somewhat "fluffy." Not necessarily bad, but just very different and weird feeling. The drinkability is somewhat high as long as this mouthfeel becomes more inviting.

DovaliHops, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of BigMike
3.55/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown ruby red color. A nice fluffy tan head. About two fingers worth. A very nice looking beer.
Lots of sour cherry and vinegar on the nose. Raisins, dried plums and sour green apple.
That sour green apple is really prominate on tongue. Tons of initial sourness turns into a tart cherry sweetness on the finish. An almost concord grape flavor on the finish.
Medium mouthfeel with lots of tanginess on the tongue.
I like this one alot more then the Duchesse I recently had. I would drink again for sure if I was able to find the smaller bottles.

BigMike, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of cpetrone84
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A-pours a dark plum color, red edges with a dark purple center. the head is a light tan color and has some bubbles leaving a lace that covers the entire glass.

S-sour dark cherries and plums hit the nose up front, plenty of acetic acid and sourness throughout the entire nose, a dusty oak aroma comes in with caramel malts holding strong and some tart raspberries in the back.

T- the acetic acid vinegar compenent has subsided slightly in the flavor, the caramel malt base starts off but very faint and there is a certain dustyiness to the oak. plenty of sour cherries, tart raspberries and ripened plums. the taste is quite sour with a moderate acidity and good bit of sweetness.

M-this has a good medium body and is extremely active on the tongue, great carbonation with a good crisp clean finish, its somewhat dry but not all overbearing or astringent.

D-this is a world class brew, it has a fantastic nose and great flavor profile. it has a very nice balance of sour and acidity to the sweet ripe fruit flavors. well done!

cpetrone84, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of brewcrew76
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Muddy brown with a thin tan head that fades immediately.

S - Vinegar, acetic acid, tart fruits, plums, dark sour cherries. Complex but fairly simple at the same time.

T - Sour with sharp acetic notes, dark sour cherries followed by light sweet malt, red wine oaky tannins and more sour fruit.

M - Light side of medium mouthfeel with average carbonation and a lingering tartness.

D - Wonderfully complex and simple at the same time. Very easy to drink for a sour.

brewcrew76, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip. 6% ABV, 33% Young, 67% Matured ale. Serve at 6°-8°C, Best before 02/01/12.

Thanks to Bryan for sharing this awesome beer with me!

A - Clear mahogany brown with a low off-white head. Decent retention and great lace clinging to the glass.

S - Sweet dark Belgian candi sugar, dark fruity aroma of currants and plum skin with some tart cherry. Awesome light vinegar and sour fink nose.

T - Tart cherries flourish in the flavor with a dash or vinegar and some toasted amber malts. A nice sourness to the finish and great fruity undertones to the flavor.

M - Awesome sourness level and medium body with a good medium-high level of carbonation. Tart crisp finish with a great feel.

D - Spectacular, this brew is a major winner in the sour/tart category. I love it and could put this bottle down myself. So enjoyable!

BeerFMAndy, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of pdoran10
4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

oh my! came into this beer with little expectation and a wait and see attitude.

From a magnum into a standard pint glass. shared with non craft beer enthusiast friends.

pours a beautiful dark red-brown with three fingers of white head that will not quit. good lacing. waited for it to settle with a standard pour for about 5 minutes.

my first glowing review in a while.

Smell is must and a hint at complex sour. not pungent.

Is there something higher than 5.0 for taste? cherries, brett funk awesomeness, smoothness coming through from barrel aging. Hey Rodenbach we get it, you win beer, well played.

Mouthfeel - Belgian angels dancing on your tounge while you consider buying more of this beer,

Drinkability, easy drinking sour Belgian at 6% abv? yes please!

pdoran10, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of nerdrocker101
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a dark brown with a ruby hued edge and just under an inch of light brown head. Somewhat inconsistent lacing around the sides of the glass.

The aroma of tart, red fruit is dominant but not overwhelming.

Sour cherries come out first with a sharp bite. The tart notes are then followed up by softer flavors of red fruits, orange, lemon and wood.

Loads of carbonation. Medium body with a dry finish. Pretty refreshing overall. Each sip demands another.

nerdrocker101, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Eulogy in Philly. 12oz into a Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip.

A: Pours a deep ruby reddish brown with a thin beige head.

S: Smells sour, fruity, cherries, maple syrup, flowers, slight cocoa.

T: Taste is dry, sweet, sour, cocoa, tart, citrus, cherries, strawberries, apples, peaches. Lots of fruit in there, but it's still not overly sweet. It's not as sweet as Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Red Ale. This has a great balance between the dryness, fruitiness and sour/tartness.

M: Mouthfeel is light, dry, only slightly astringent, little carbonation.

D: Very refreshing and easy drinking.

VoiceOfTheSoul, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of kbutler1
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours a really nice red/brown color with a surprisingly nice frothy head. The aroma is sourness followed by fruit and oak. The taste does not disappoint! The initial taste is of tart and sour fruit flavors followed by a a mild vinegar taste. Acidic. Light /medium mouthfeel. An excellent example of a Flanders Red Ale. Re-Rate: Having tasted this next to Amorosa, Temptation, and Consecration, I have since re-rated this beer to be below those. Grand Cru is very good and easily accessible but it is a little sweet.

kbutler1, Aug 20, 2010
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
96 out of 100 based on 3,188 ratings.