Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

1,106 Reviews
For Trade:
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,106 | Ratings: 3,848
Photo of bark
3.38/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The colour is pale wine red; the finger thick head is beige. No lacing. The liquid is clear.

The smell is powerful. Sour-sweet notes of red wine vinegar and lightly roasted nuts.

The taste is complex with notes of sweet red berries, fruit syrup and vinegar. The aftertaste is a bit dry with lots of long lasting sour notes, some hints of sweet almonds.

The carbonation is strong; the liquid is smooth.

Although the flavours are strong, the beer is very drinkable.

 470 characters

Photo of tmitch75
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany color, darker than expected, with thick head that dissipates quickly.

Smells oaky and cork-like with some cherries and sour apples in the background.

Taste is tart - sour apples again - followed by oaky notes with a little sweetness. Very wine-like.

Mouthfeel is rich and medium-bodied. Carbonation stays strong well after the head fades away.

Overall a very drinkable beer. One of my first experiences with the style but I'll start searching out more of these after this one!

 502 characters

Photo of Philabeerphia
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been very excited for this one. The appearance is a deep amber rust. Smell is a little sharp but very fresh (not warm or spicy)- orchard, ahhhh, apples, and acerbic. The very first smell is the oak followed quickly by the sour fruit. Slight undertone of malt. Taste- tart up front, like sour apples, slightly sharp on the tongue, some carbonation. Soft sweetness on the back end to balance the taste. More balance than other red ales. Overall, extremely pleasing and above average drinkability. No head, no lace. Resembles the body of a wine. Direct relative of the orchard. Warms the stomach. It's been a treat. I would love to try it on tap.

 648 characters

Photo of ryane
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Great beer!

got a bit of a funky smell, but to be expected from a flanders red

wonderful wine like taste, sour cherry dominates and a very pleasant tartness, hard to believe there is no fruit in this beer

really good with cheese, my gf loved this beer

 254 characters

Photo of IgnatiusReilly
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle to a tulip glass at Monk's in Philly.

Pours a deep ruby, not as much head as I would have expected, less than a finger maybe. Not very much lace along the sides of the glass, and the head pretty much dissipates to nothing. Aroma is fruity, some plum and tart raspberry scent. Some underlying malt tones in the nose as well. Lots of wild yeast. Very tart/sour bite in the taste, mimics the aroma, sweet plum and cherry flavors, some orange as well. Some malt sweetness to balance out the sour. Couldn’t detect any hops at all. Mouthfeel gives loads of carbonation, medium body, making this pretty tart beer very palatable. Refreshing and invigorating, extremely drinkable. Flemish sours aren’t usually the first beer I’d order, but this was very good.

 779 characters

Photo of watchnerd
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle. Apparently nearly impossible to get through normal retail channels in California. Had to order mine through Liquid Solutions.THE definitive Flemish red. Sour, fruity, yeast, with just a hint of citric acidity. Wonderful. If I could find a source in the Bay Area, I'd buy a case, or perhaps a bottle a week.

 321 characters

Photo of Boppar
4.76/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap in a tulip glass at Map Room.

A: Dark brownish black, with subtle ruby tones. Two fingers of fluffy, creamy off-white head. Excellent lacing.

S: Enticingly sour and vinegary notes with an underlying sweetness.

T: Absolutely exquisite. Rich and sour and horsey and sweet all at once. Sour on the nose, segueing into a a rich mid-palate maltiness with subtle barnyardy notes and finally, an acidic lingering finish.

M: Slick, fluffy, and chewy.

D: Truly remarkable drinkability. I would not have ever considered sessioning this style, but I could drink this beer all night.

Everyone should try this.

 612 characters

Photo of allergictomacros
4.71/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was very excited to get this one, so I might be overrating it to some degree.

Pours a hazy copper with a bit of a loose head. Not really a strong point of this beer.

The aromas OTOH are much more enticing - funky, raisins, earth, sour apples, musty horseblanket, soy sauce. Sour of course including some vinegariness.

Flavour is big, big concord grapes and aged red wine. Sour edge is well controlled. Not at all boozy, and refreshing clean fruitiness.

Light bodied, very spritzy and dry. Extremely drinkable. My impression is a fairly clean fruity flavour combined with quite a funky, complex aroma. I doubt either would work on its own, but the combination is fantastic.

 678 characters

Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tried this in a side by side tasting paired with La Folie. It was a flavorful tasting indeed.

Poured part of a 750ml bottle into a flute glass.

Appearance - It produced a 1/2 finger head, which had a pink hue. The beer itself was a hazy ruby burgundy color - it was translucent, only a hint of light could pass through the brew. The head retention was relatively low. It would produce a head when the glass was swished, but would quickly dissipate.

Smell - I can mostly smell tart fruit. I get a large green apple presence, but I also get a sweet red apple scent as well. Sour cherry notes make an appearance as well. There is also a sweet scent present - it reminds me of caramel covered apples. There is a heavy wild yeast scent, which I could only assume would be Brettanomyces.

Taste - The flavor of this beer is extremely close to its nose. There is a heavy tart fruit flavor, with a heavy bit of sweetness. Fruit like red apple, green apple and sour cherry dominate the flavor, while a sweet caramel essence rounds out the taste of the brew.

Mouthfeel - Light/medium bodied. It is very easy drinking for being a sour brew. It is incredibly smooth as it washes over the tongue. For it not having much head retention, there is a great level of carbonation in the mouthfeel, which helps to cut through the sour/sweetness.

Drinkability - I love sour brews. If you enjoy sours, the drinkability of this beer is pretty much perfect. Although I shared this bottle, but I don't think I would have a problem finishing this one off. It is a damn shame this isn't sold in my area, otherwise I would drink this all the time.

 1,625 characters

Photo of budducci
3.55/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a nice dark amber color with a very slight head on it. As a new comer to sour ales I was surprised. It was very tasty, but I wish I had someone to share the bottle with. It was almost too much to have much more than a glass of.

I didn't have any food with this, but that would probably make this beer more enjoyable.

 334 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mild ruby/brown ale with a one-finger head. Aroma is a decent sourness upfront that is reminiscent of cherries. Very tart, much more than Rodenbach Classic. Taste is very tart and nice with the mouthfeel taking on the essence of cherries. Not too sour at the back of the throat. A second sip brings about that wonderful tartness that I'm starting to develop an affinity for. Excellent! Drinkable as well.

 412 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.92/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle, says best before 11/16/07. I hope a month doesn't affect it that much! It pours a brown/red color with no head at all. No lacing either. The aroma is cherries, oak and booze. It smells much stronger than the 6% ABV. Taste is similar to the aroma, although the alcohol isn't strong in the taste at all. Sour cherries is the strongest thing I can taste, along with some other berries. There's definitely an acidic tart taste, but there's also a good bit of sweetness there too. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, with moderate carbonation. It's a bit thin, but not watery. Drinkability is good, it's not something I think I could drink more than a bottle or 2 at a time, but it's pretty good for when I'm in the mood for this style of beer. It's definitely worth a try, not a bad choice.

 801 characters

Photo of ajr24
3.87/5  rDev -8.9%
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

 447 characters

Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

 808 characters

Photo of oakbluff
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

 369 characters

Photo of Patrick999
4.71/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

 1,973 characters

Photo of YankChef
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
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

 803 characters

Photo of MrBen
3.58/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

 887 characters

Photo of Windigstadt
3.79/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

 1,728 characters

Photo of IronDjinn
4/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

 777 characters

Photo of Doomcifer
4.79/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

 469 characters

Photo of mfhlucky13
4.42/5  rDev +4%
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!

 280 characters

Photo of callmemickey
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
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

 332 characters

Photo of thierrynantes
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 389 characters

Photo of TexIndy
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
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

 803 characters

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 1,106 ratings.