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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,069 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,069
Hads: 3,668
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 20.89%
Wants: 299
Gots: 534 | FT: 27
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (7) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rodenbach Grand Cru Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,069 | Hads: 3,668
Photo of ajr24
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was actually the first sour ale that I've tried, and I'm glad it was from Rodenbach.

A- From the 750 ml bottle into a glass with a little bit of head at first which quickly dissipated. Appetizing dark and murky reddish brown color. Not really any lacing.

S- Smells of candy like sweetness. If I had to characterize I'd say it was cherries or some sort of berries.

T- Sweet and tart

M- Enjoyable sourness

D- Very enjoyable to drink slowly

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear chestnut red color with a thin white head that subdsided quickly.
The aroma has a lactic and acetic acid smells with a touch of brett. The aroma reminds me of fresh cut sour apples alongside a piece of stinky bleu cheese in that some of the funk dd a refreshing sharpness while other parts add complexity.
The taste begins with sharp sourness that quickly segues into a more balanced flavor as the malt come to the fore. The flavors then move to the dry side and the sour apple taste then blends with the horeblanket funk and the finish is surprisingly clean.
The mouthfeel is a bit thin though the carbonation makes up for it.
This is not a session beer but accompanied with the right foods this ale would make an amazing dinner companion. I liked this sour brown and would order it again.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky reddish brown with quickly dissipating off white head. Nose is tart cherries, and some funk. Taste- pretty straight forward sour cherry. Slightly acidic but nothing crazy. Citrusy finish to it. Carbonation is high which suits the style. Very good beer, but not mind blowing. Some woodiness comes through as it warms. Definitely an approachable beer for the style.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.71/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'd seen this on the shelves at the liquor store a million times. Never bothered to pick it up. "It can't be *that* good," I'd think.

I stand corrected. It really IS that good.

A - Poured into a snifter a vibrant mahogany - second pour with all the yeast made things considerably murkier. Not much head, not much retention.

S - The nose is perfect. What else can be said about it? All you want in a Flanders Red and more. Framboise, kriek and pomme all rolled up into one fruit bomb. That oaky and Brett-y smell is there in spades, especially in the second pour - lots of goose-down funk underneath all that fruit.

T - Oddly enough, not quite as sour as I might have thought, given some of the other reviews. Sure, there's plenty of sour, but it's very well balanced by a good bit of sweetness, too. Finish is long and explicitly redolent of a fine balsamic vinegar. If you're not big on balsamic vinegar, I might shy away from this. Barnyard and leather noted, again, much louder in the second pour. The funk here is about as shy or explicit as you want to make it, depending on whether or not you swirl-and-pour the dregs. Either way, this is top-shelf. Zoetzuur and now this in the same week, what did I do to deserve this?

Mouthfeel - to me, almost seems not quite carbonated enough. I was expecting something a little sharper, especially at 6% ABV. Not that I would consider this a major flaw.

D - When Michael Jackson called this the most refreshing beer on the planet, I really should have listened to him. Very drinkable, easy to polish off that 750 alone, as you'll barely feel the alcohol. I think I could line up TWO 750s and drain them in short succession. Further plus - this is relatively easy to find, and surprisingly, reasonably priced. One of the great beers of the world....how much would it cost to obtain a wine of this complexity?

It's hard to believe that there is, indeed, NO fruit in this beer. That yeast is working overtime, I tell ya.

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Photo of YankChef
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Very deep dark red with a strong crimson hue when held up to the light. A 1 inch head developed and then dissipated to about 1/2 inch.

Smell: Big nose of cherry, raspberry and strawberry. There is a slight smokiness that is noticable from the oak.

Taste: Upfront the beer is sweet and smoky, but this is quickly dominated by the very powerful sour flavor of tart berries and it almost tastes like someone squeezed a lemon in here on top of it, big time citrus notes to go along with the tart berry flavors.

Mouthfeel: Moderate-Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly syrupy.

Overall: This is truly a kick-ass beer that is unlike just about any ive ever had, Unbelievably delicious and refreshing and complex. Very highly recommended

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Photo of MrBen
3.58/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had high hopes for this, given my love for Duchesse De Bourgogne. Rodenbach Grand Cru didn't necessarily disappoint, but it didn't measure up to the Duchesse.

Rodenbach poured from the caged/corked bottle a rusty, reddish color and tossed up a big, rocky, off-white head that leaned a little toward the yellow. Excellent head retention. Smell is sour, slightly sharp, and hinting at some mildly metallic and acrid notes. I can also smell some traditional, malty beer in there.

Taste is full-on sour, with a palette-drying finish that really opens up the beer-like flavors in the aftertaste. They're otherwise (not surprisingly) buried in the overall profile of the beer. I'm not sure fruit is the right word to describe the complex stew of yeast byproduct we have here, but the beer is interesting. This is not something I would drink too often, instead spending my cash on Duchesse.

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Photo of Windigstadt
3.79/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- Pours a slightly hazy deep chestnut with a decent off-white head.

S- Wow, what a nose. Sweet and sour (now that I think of it, it really does smell a little like sweet & sour sauce), with notes of apple, cranberry, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar.

T- You think the tartness hits up front, but once you swallow and the real tartness kicks in, the first taste seems downright sweet. Initially the sour, acidic tang is balanced by a malt sweetness of molasses and rock candy. Soon, however, the sweetness fades away and you're left with an assertive sour flavor--somewhere between vinegar and lemon juice--with solventy phenolic notes and a tang almost reminiscent of strong bleu cheese, and just a hint of tart apple sweetness. While I think the sourness somehow exaggerates the sweet notes by contrast, it's not malty by any means and finishes rather dry.

M- It's well-carbonated and a little on the thin side, but overall I can't help but write that the mouthfeel is "puckered" more than anything else.

D- This is where the beer really takes a hit. I wish this was more widely available in small bottles, because I can't imagine anybody drinking an entire 750 mL bottle of this by themselves. Obviously it's not overly alcoholic or thick. It's just that the sourness and harshness of the beer makes it difficult to consume more than one goblet-full.

Overall: I feel like my description makes it sound really gross when in reality the flavors work together; it's just very unique and certainly not for everybody. It's definitely more aggressive than American variations on the style such as that brewed by Monk's. You may want to try one of those before jumping up to the big boys, just so you know what you're in for.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came in a small brown 330 ml Euro bottle, best before date on back label is 10/03/08.

Appearance is a deep nutty still somewhat transluscent brown, with deep garnet highlights. Short spongy beige head on the pour that recedes quickly to a broken creamy cap.

The aroma is assertive, tart and a bit acidic, a mild sour cherry character, raisins, and bready malt like sourdough.

Immediate tartness up front in the flavour, but with a curious effervescent texture as well, like mixing a couple of fizzy candies in your mouth. I taste vinuous purple grape more than the sour cherry that the aroma advertised. The flavour profile isn't very complex, but it is compelling, I'm really enjoying this.

A fantastic and quite accessible grand cru, it does a great service to the style.

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.79/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a brownish-amber with lots of lively carbonation. Very little head.

Smells very tart, sweet...cherries, raspberries. Mmmm, I'm loving the nose on this. Taste is what would be expected from the nose. Extremely tart and puckering, sweetness, sour cherries, can pick up on the woodiness in the finish...almost musky. Mouthfeel is very thin, very carbonated, finishes ever so slightly dry. I'm huge on this style and love this beer, so I could sip on many of these.

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Photo of mfhlucky13
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rodenbach's best offering. It's beautiful deep red color and off-white head lead to a wonderful sour cherry smell. As for the taste it has a nice sweet, but sour start and finishes dry. It had the right amount of carbonation to perk it up in my mouth. This is one of my favorites!

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Photo of callmemickey
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rich reddish-brown with a thin red-tinged cream head that quickly fades..

S: Sweet and sour cherry aroma

T: Lush cherry taste that starts with some sweetness and ends with a more sour finish.

M: Lots of carbonation, with a slightly velvety lingering feel

O: Thoroughly delicious, slightly over the top for regular consumption

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Photo of thierrynantes
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sorry but this comment is in french :

Appearance : une bière de style flemish red
Smell : Subtil aigre-doux évoquant la cerise, mais provenant du type de maturation qui s'y déroule (fermentation lactique).
Taste and mouthfeel : Un peu plus alcoolisée que la Rodenbachde base, fine et rafraîchissante.
Drinkability : Une très bonne brune fruitée, très agréable et désaltérante.

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Photo of TexIndy
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle with best by date on bottom into my NBB snifter. It was a dark ruby color and opaque in the center. It had a tiny bubbly head that quickly evaporated. No lacing and little carb.

The aroma was heavy on sour cherries and oaky vanilla. The taste followed the aroma and was almost painfully tart and tangy - in a good way. Very sharp. I prefer La Folie and La Terrior by a hair with these and it's cousin Rodenbach in close 3rd. The mouthfeel is excellent and again right on the edge of painfully tart.

Overall, a really excellent beer. It's not a beer that I want to drink all the time but I find that a good Fl Red Ale every couple months is perfect. Highly recommend this one. (4.5, RR/RB, T, Y)

Had again 1/24/09 - modified review slightly, mainly format

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Photo of sleazo
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A_dark reddish brown with a nice cream and reddish coloured head. The head dissipates quickly.

S_smells like a sour cherry Dr Browns Black Cherry. Very nice

T-not as sweet as the aroma. Cherries invade the mouth followed by a nice puckering sourness. Hints of cola, lime and wood.

M_very reminscent of a fountain soda. Slightly syrupy but full of carbonation

D_This is absolutely delicious. Complex, challenging and at the same time approachable. I am wanting more and more of this.

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Photo of NCSUdo
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark maroon/brown with a smallish off white head. Head retention is minimal.

S: Sour. Some cherry and plum character. Sourness is pretty heavy but not overwhelming.

T: Very nice fruitiness up front. Sourness is very complementary. A hint of sweet malt. Very well balanced taste.

M/D: Medium bodied. Carbonation is around medium. Finish leaves a tartness along with a mild dryness. Pretty good drinkability. Would go nicely with food.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Gold Foiled


Poured into a chalice a nice ruby red color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy off-white head, traces of sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, good dose of cherries, raspberries, and caramel. The taste is sweet, tangy, lots of cheeries/raspberries. Nice little tingle of carbonation at first. Slightly dry finish. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a nice Flanders Red.

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Photo of botham
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip. pours a dark copper color with brilliant ruby red highlights. a finger of light tan head sits atop the brew, which is loose and does not last long.

smell is distinctively vinous, with a sour, fruity character. fruit notes of apple and plum are present as well. little else for the nose.

taste is earthy and sour up front, with the same vinous character running through the taste. malts and hops are overpowered by the sour character, which does exactly what a flanders red should. a nicely executed example of the style.

mouthfeel is light to medium-bodied, with a sour character and a not so smooth finish because of it.

drinkability is good for drinkers who prefer the taste of a flanders red, and gateway drinkers who have come fro mthe world of wines. overall, this is a great example of the style, and worth checking out for a different taste. cheers!

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Photo of RedChrome
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour produced a light tobacco brown colored liquid. A one-half inch white head faded after a few minutes. No carbonation to be seen. A thin watery lacing is left.

Sour cherries popped right out of the glass and into the nose. An earthy aroma of dried grass fades into the back of the nose. Oak hint is sweet when compared to the other scents.

A sweet bitterness of tart red fruits. Cherries are extremely bitter but strong. Oak leaves a light vanilla in the very end, and only searching for flavors makes it appear.

Watery body that leaves a clinging flavor on the tongue. Carbonation is strong as it tingles with the tartness.

A very strong tartness. Worth pairing with a cheddar aged multiple years. A style that may not be suited for everyone. If you like something extremely tart, this is good for you.

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Photo of DaggerEyes
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had a glass at The Diamond in Greenpoint

Poured off the tap a dark ruby red with a very thin head. Stuck to the glass like crazy but there was minimal lacing present.

The nose consitsted of stewed fruits, sour cherry's and sweet tabacco. In many ways the profile of the nose was more consistant with a red wine than a beer.

Sour cherry present on the tongue with hints of candied lime. Makes you really pucker up but in a good way

Thin body with a fantastic dry finish. It's dry but at the same time doens't make you feel like you just swallowed a desert.

It'd be hard to session this beer but I think it would do an outstanding job as a food beer due to the high levels of acidity. it'd go great with steak or really any other heavy grilled meats.

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Photo of blakesell
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Boston's Bistro 9/20/07 into a fluted Belgian glass (la fin du monde).

Appearance- Beer pours a deep dark red with a decent head. The head is an off pink that dissipates quickly.

Smell- Lots of cherries and raspberries with a hint of vinegar.

Taste- They may call this a grand cru, but I insist that this is a Kreik. Strong cherry with raspberry sourness. a nice kick of tartness in the finish.

Mouthfeel- Sticky and thick. I would like this over ice cream. An excellent dessert beer.

Drinkability- Very nice for a beer with this level of sweetness. Back to back I noticed very little difference between this and the regular Rodenbach.

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Photo of flowerysong
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Appearance: Reddish brown with a thin white head.

Smell: Black cherry fruitiness with mild acid character and hints of vanilla and oak.

Taste: Tart, acidic sourness in medium amounts on a background of sweet vanilla caramel. Intense cherry fruit, some oak character and yeast notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body, medium carbonation. Light and crisp, with a long smooth finish.

Drinkability: Nice, well-balanced and refreshing. Will not be to everyone's taste, but I quite enjoyed it.

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Photo of ejquin
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Beatiful ruby/brown with thin white head. Some lacing.

S: Very nice candy sweetness. Cherries and raspberry pie, with some hop prescence. Smells exactly like cherry laffy taffy.
T: Very nicely balanced. Very sweet but held in check by the smokiness. Effervesces with sour cherries, fades to hop spiciness and smokiness from the oak and an alcohol tinge.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D: Good, but limited slightly by sourness.

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Photo of joeysmokedporter
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

A: pours dark brownish-red, slightly murky, with a 2-finger off-white hear. Some lacing from the head.

S: Immediate aroma is sour mixed with candy sweetness, some cherry. Sourness is lemony and almost vinegar-like.

T: Starts with a sour cherry, lemon, slightly vinegar flavor, moves into sweetness like rock candy, a bit of woody dryness. Acidic in the finish.

M: light, medium carbonation, smooth, not viscous.

D: A very enjoyable beer; the sourness is quite intense but somewhat refreshing. Needs to be served at 45-50 degrees; colder seems to accentuate the acidity of the sourness a little too much. At the right temperature it is unbelievably smooth.

This beer was consumed as a tribute to Michael Jackson. His books and videos opened a world that I never know existed and that I enjoy much more immensely as a result. Thank you Michael.

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Photo of bosco7
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia (never seen it on tap before). Poured into a tulip dark red with a frothy head. Smells of lemon, sour cherry, slight vanilla, and vinegar. Tastes like it smells only smoother. Sourness is definitely mellow and not overpowering. Finish is bone dry and tart. This is my favorite Flanders Red because of the fact that it is quite sour but at the same time it has a silky smooth quality in both its flavor and mouthfeel. Highly recommended.

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Photo of markaberrant
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on June 30, 2006

A - pours very dark red, clear, small white cap recedes to nothing but a ring, no lacing,

S - vinegar, sweet cherries, some malt

T - slightly more sour than sweet, still very much a cherry flavour, with some vanilla notes underneath.

M - light body, but not watery, carbonation is medium which restrains the acidity

D - I really enjoy this beer, but it is still just a once in awhile treat.

This is one of my favourite sour beers. I'm glad to finally have a whole bottle to my self instead of the shared samples I've previously had. Thanks to Goldorak for the bottle!

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 1,069 ratings.