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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,070 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,070
Hads: 3,674
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 11.27%
Wants: 298
Gots: 537 | 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: 1,070 | Hads: 3,674
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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Photo of walshclimb
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly cloudy and reddish brown with 1/4 inch bubbly head and active carbonation. Smells sour with wet cardboard and green apple. The initial flavor is sweet and salty that transitions quickly into a sour aftertaste that picks up the green apples noted in the aroma. That apple flavor is relatively long lived, especially on the tip of the toungue. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a lightly oily texture and fizzy carbonation. This beer is interesting and complex but definitely not something I would drink very often.

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Photo of yelterdow
3.84/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle served at just over fridge temperature in the distinctive tulip glass acquired at Ommegang's BCTCIV. Best by 27/06/07, this has been cellared for one year.

Appearance- With a terrific *pop* and a full nose of sour cherries, the beer flows a deep, musty pink into the glass. The head rises quickly to the top of the bulbous vessel, a four full fingers... then suddenly it falls with a loud crackle to just a thin mat.

Smell- Wild and sweet, this aromatic sensory trip offers some funky, sour cherries and some subtle oak notes that are completely in balance. The awesome nose combined with the chilly surface temperature of the beer feels perfect for drinking on this hot, humid evening.

Taste- From the moment this hits the tongue, you can begin bracing for the wonderful sour attack that ensues. Though the overall taste is one of extremely sour cherries, it's after the swallow that Part II begins and earns the brewer's undeniable respect. Chewy, woody, and extremely delicious... the teeth and gums are left with a marvelous impression of aged oak barrels. The hint of sweetness at the finish line wraps things up... this is the benchmark beer for the style IMO.

Mouthfeel- Wickedly carbonated, this beer goes ballistic in the mouth to the point of being impossible. It's gassy and explosive... a gentle swish in the mouth blows my cheeks up with air and leaves no choice but to swallow both beer and empty space. This category is poised to tank the numbers.

Drinkability- The most difficult beer I've encountered lately to actually enjoy based on its mouthfeel, yet the flavor and style execution is almost flawless.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice brown with red edges.
Smell is sour, dark fruits and wood. (I think my nose is drooling (Ewww! Sorry.)) :-{)
Taste is very sour with a wierd vinegar sweetness (not unlike balsamic in that regard), cherry and a wood note.
A medium body, medium effervescence, sour cherry/vinegary aftertaste fades fast. An extremely drinkable brew. I want more!

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

AP: ruby tinted amber with a slow but plentiful carbonation creating a formidable tan colored head that becomes a fizzy 1/4" cap.

nose: sour and tart raspberrie fruity malt, sour dill pickles, overripe apples, sweaty feat-cheese, herbal hop and fermented grapes. pretty dang complex and odd.

flavor: This is an extremely tart raspberry flavored belgian yeast effect at first, mildly sweet malt, sour apples and a light white-wine taste that takes a back seat to the dominant sour yeatieness.

Feel: Medium body, light and fluffy feel with a dry finish. goes down pretty smooth.

DA: not bad at 6% ABV.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I thought this was a very nice sour beer with a very cherry/fruity sourness nicely complemented by a pleasing amount of roastiness. It was a bit like a chocolate covered cherry, but a good bit more sour! Quite nice.

I split a 22 oz of this with SurlySober in a futile effort to empty his beer fridge.

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Photo of karst
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Complex black cherry/red currant fruitiness with complementary malt. Mild vanilla and oak from 18 months in barrel. Sour, acidic wine like aromas arise from the reddish brown (from an extended less than rolling boil) clear half filled 0.4 L rastal sniffer a moderate head well supported by fine beading. Aromatics abound from the falling off white head with average retention.

Medium body with medium carbonation to links with tanic mow astringency to off set the slightly dextrinous "fat" body for this style. Little need for hops as Brett, Lacto and acetobacter and their elevated T. A. easily overcome the round malt mouthfeel. This was a pleasant surprise (adding to the drinkability) and demonstrates the brewers skill with this unblended masterpiece.

Rodenbach brewery, established in 1820, ages the Grand Cru in huge oaken barrels for up to two years. The staves host a wonderful microbiota that along with their expertise provide a Rlanders Red reminescent of a well aged red wine from start to finish.

Not as oaked as New Belgium La Folie, more drinkable that Duchesse de Bourgogne and more wine like than Petrus Oud Bruin.

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Photo of Damian
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from an 11.2 fl. oz. bottle at The Squealing Pig, Boston, MA

Poured a dark crimson/mahogany with no head but rather a tan layer of bubbly froth that faded to a lasting ring.

The aroma was oaky, funky and very intriguing. The eighteen months of barrel aging definitely came through in the nose. Sour cherries and a touch of fruity sweetness was noticeable as well.

The taste was a strong, yet well-balanced mix of sweet and tart flavors, along with a Brett and Lacto yeasty funk. Some rich, supple maltiness appeared up front before the sour, cherry-like flavor kicked in. As the beer moved along the palate, I picked up strong notes of dark fruity sweetness as well. The flavor profile switched between tart and sweet. At times the beer also took on a red wine-like quality. As the beer reached the back end, the sourness intensified. The beer finished sour and slightly tannic, but the aftertaste was an equal mix of sour and sweet. Needless to say, this beer definitely kept me on my toes. There was absolutely no indication of hops in this brew, as is typical for the style.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied with a fine, mild carbonation.

Overall, this was a terrific and interesting beer. My only complaint was that it was at times a bit too sweet. It was definitely much sweeter than Rodenbach Red but also much more complex.

I would suggest pairing this with a pot of freshly steamed mussels (and pouring another bottle in the pot if you are making them yourself).

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown with ruby highlights, foams up somewhat but is fairly subdued. Not much for retention, decent collar around the brew with some spotty stuff in the middle. Little lacing.

Aroma is big on the tart, with plenty of cherry and other fruity esters, and a deep vinous character. Oak, with a hint of toffee malt, but very much dominated by the sour fruits.

Similar flavor to the nose, very light and tart. Body is light, with not a lot of carbonation, the powerful fruit blast stays on the palate. An incredible array of yeast strains combine to produce this outstanding wild Flemish ale. Very flavorful and easy to drink. As highly recommended a Red Ale as any.

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Photo of nickfl
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark reddish brown with a medium sized head and good clarity.

S - Acidic and earthy/ spicy. Fruity with some dark cherry character.

T - Tart smooth and spicy. Very earthy and refreshing.

M - Fairly dry and strongly carbonated. Finishes somewhat sweet and never becomes overly sour and puckering.

D - This is a greatly enjoyable beer. It is so well balanced that I find myself often overlooking the complexity of its flavor and aroma. Hard to find any flaws in this one.

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Photo of brdc
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Large corked bottle, expiration date 12/12/08.

Beautiful, classical reddish appearance, slightly hazy, with a foamy pinkish tan head when poured into my Rodenbach Grand Cru glass. The foam eventually dissipates, but the lacing coats the glass and the top of the beer all the way to the end.
The aroma immediately suggests the tartness/sourness to come. Acidic, vinegary, fruity, mostly berries and grapes, sour apples and sugar, with some oak and vanilla notes as it wamrs up.
Light and extremely refreshing, it is puckering at times, tart, acidic and sour, but also sweet and sugary, fruity with notes of cherries, sour apples, strawberries and other berries, with some oak and vanilla hints.
Very complex, wonderfully refreshing, a great summer brew, one of my favorites.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a frothy head of a red tint that disipates slowly to leave thin lacing. The beer itself is a brownish ruby red. A very impressive looking brew.

Smell: Smells as if it will taste tart. Hints of fruit, maybe cherries and damp dank wood. Unlike anything I've encountered before.

Taste: My palate is completely unprepared for this beer. The tartness was a little difficult to handle and it took a great degree of thought and contemplation to uncover this beer's flavors. I would really love to find a proper meal to pair this with, but the flavor was too much for me to handle and I'll have to come back to it in a few years. Tasted of tart cheeries. It was amazingly tart along the edges of my tongue though sweet at the same time. Clearly there's more going on here than I can handle, but the tartness overwhelms me and the main reason I'm not giving it a better taste rating.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The aging smoothes out this beer very nicely, but it's difficult to see this as drinkable with the great degree of tartness. Yet, somehow it gets better the more I drink, strange. To sum this up in one word - peculiar, but I feel as if there's something more here than I'm realize. I'll come back to this one sometime down the road.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color with a nice light tan head. It has the aromas of sweet dark cherries. In the taste, sour cherries, a nice malt and a tad yeasty. It is a smooth beer, well the sourness leaves a small sweetness behind. It has a great body nice and complex.

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Photo of basica
3.03/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought this at Brussel Sprouts together with my long awaited Abbaye Des Rocs Brune beer. I
was pretty skeptical about this beer due to reviews saying that it is sour. I am just not into
sour beers and that's the reason why I close myself to Lambics. The Rodenbach is a Flanders Red
Ale style of brewing and is generally sour and fruity (in a sense analagous Lambics though not
quite) This Flanders Red Ale pours out slightly dark ruby red with minimal head which quickly
becomes a fair lacing. It smells intensely sour with notes of grape. The sour taste was further
pronounced in the taste and it was kind of too overwhelming for me; it was very much like someone
spilled vinegar into a beer that tastes like a light wine. I could develop an appreciation for
this beer by sipping it and the entry taste was actually fruity and yeasty which was quite
pleasant. But once the pellates are filled and the after taste starts to kick in the vinegar
like sourness is domainating and even in the nose. All in all way to sour for me; after I got
used to it; the sourness was mainly overwheming in the after taste and on the nose. The after
taste also has grapes in it; somewhat like red wine but the sourness kills it all. This ale was
medium body and with an overly high level of carbonation. Drinkability is low and this one's
definitely a sipper unless you want to sour up your evening. Not really my type but I still
can slightly appreciate the grape and winey side of it.

 1,490 characters

Photo of SirChugsAlot
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out rather dark when held up to a light revealed a redish hint with a nice cream colored head that faded quickly. Smell reminds me of vinegar and fruit with the sour yet sweet taste to follow and a hint of citrus. Tingled the taste buds with the carbonation and left me wanting another

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

Very surprised at the very faint sound when the cork was opened. My first thought was uh-oh!! Not to worry though. Virtually no head. Cherry, vinegar, and large amount of oak. No overpowering sour like some of this style. Good mouthfell - only a lishgt pucker. Surprisingly lively considering the lack of head and lack of any kind of pop with the cork. If this was the first sour ale I had I would be really iimpressed. But I prefer others over this one - slightly.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beautifully bold and shiny dark brown color with a fine, bright ruby glow within and around the edges when strongly back lit. Much like if it were an interchangeable stage light. Starchy topping of parchment paper colored foam builds up gracefully after the pour to about a finger high and slowly fades to a light skim and a few light specks and strings of lacing.

Aroma is sweet and mostly sour with vineous grapes and cherry vinegar and a whole lot of earthly woodish notes that are very high ended and nose hair pullingly sour.

Taste is a towering inferno of souring stuff that is quite complex and uniquely snappy on the palate. Instant tongue cleansing and cheek parching with super sweet, tart cherries, souring vinegar, and vineous quailties that scream dry wine. Lots of superb surroundings to earth, wood, and leaves. Dare I say raisin seems to drift around with some currant skins and a bit of plum too. The texture of sourness is incredibly complex. Acidicly sublime and balanced with just enough sweet to help keep it a bit more in check then it probably could be. The oak aging has done wonders here with all sorts of unique notes that remind me of being in a deeply wooded forest on a hot day as the heat rises from the forest floor and sifts through the thick tree foilage. Wonderful in that regards.

Mouthfeel is like a swig of vinegar balanced with souring fruits and sweetened fruity malt. Crisp, tangy, full on oaky tinged heat and character, vineous dryness, and tones of well-handled sour is the beast of each sip. If sour patch candies were oak aged and pulled from the ground this would be the liquid form of that.

Now as much as I enjoy these types of beers, I have always had a tremendously hard time drinking them with any ease. The sourness is beyond me and my capacity to handle them like a pro Lambic drinker is not something I can keep up with. So on that note I unfortunately have a hard time attributing a nubmer to the drinkability of such a beer. So since this took me a very, very long time to finish, I guess its my average? Damn good stuff though.

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Photo of Cascadia
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very complex beer. Beautiful to look at, a very nice dark brown, until the light hits it from behind and brings out the ruby red corners. Nice. Smells of cider and fresh cracked black peper. Tastes unlike any beer I've had. Sour, oaky, more like a fruit cider to me than a beer, but tasty nonetheless. Not a beer that I've grown a taste for yet, but worth the purchase. Flanders reds are going to take me some time to appreciate.


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

a - poured a two-fingers thick tan head into a tulip glass. the body was a dense reddish-purple-brown color and it left a nice bubbly ring throughout that was easily agitated with a swirl of the glass.
s - dark fruits like grapes, cherries with a whiff of red wine.
t - tart cherries and a finish of black currant.
m - crisp and bubbly.
d - very refreshing and pleasant to drink.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vivid blood orange with bright tangerine trim. The cork colored cap is two fingers immediately after the pour and isn't strinking very quickly. It becomes nicely creamy as it melts and leaves a surprising amount of thick lace on the upper reaches of the glass. What a warm, inviting looking ale.

The nose is reminiscent of sweet and sour fruit (cherries mostly) soaked in gourmet vinegar. There's also a lovely woodiness born of 18 months in Brouwerij Rodenbach's massive oak tuns. I love the way I smell something slightly different each time I put my nose over the glass. I haven't had a huge number of Flanders reds yet, but this nose has to be a classic of the style.

No version that I've had thus far prepared me for what just splashed over my taste buds. Most of them seem to be sour for sour's sake. I like sour, but I need more. Rodenbach Grand Cru delivers more... and more... and more. I'm amazed at the stunning amount of depth and complexity in each mouthful.

I have to believe that oak is the key to Grand Cru's success. I'm sure the chemical reactions that occur as the beer seeps into the wood and is then breathed back out again change the original ale in untold ways. I have no idea if more time together would improve things to an even greater extent, but I do know that less time wouldn't be advisable.

Impressively tart and tangy are the order of the day. Having said that, I don't know that I've had a Flanders red with as much underlying sweetness. The utilization of multiple sets of taste buds (sweet at the tip, sour along the sides), and the contrast between the two, is what sets this world-class ale apart.

The finish has a perfect acidic bite. It's easy to see why Michael Jackson considers this the most refreshing beer in all the world. I'd probably choose something else for that honor, but I can damn sure see what he means. As much as I'm enjoying it solo, I can also see how it would complement a wide variety of foods extremely well.

I wouldn't change a single thing about the mouthfeel. Given the style, it's pretty close to perfect. It's light, yet has a undeniable strength; like a heavy strand of silk thread. A light stickiness promotes flavor linger and a gentle sizzle of carbonation keeps the tongue's attention. Not that it was in danger of wandering given the remarkable flavor profile.

This is fantastically delicious beer. I'd advise anyone who is interested in Flanders reds to start here before proclaiming their love, like or dislike for this unique style. Put me solidly in the 'love' camp. It's hard to imagine that La Folie is superior since there's so little room between Rodenbach Grand Cru and perfection.

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Photo of JustinOSU99
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark orange-red color with a large head that fades away rather quickly.
S: Very tart and fruity with hints of alcohol behind it.Apple, raspberries, strawberries, oranges and fig dominate the smells.
T: Wow. Very different. I'm not even sure how to really describe it at first. Extremely tart and sour, followed by sweetness and alcohol. A very good flavor consisting of heavy apple tastes.Really a crazy tasting beer, but one to enjoy as a desert.
M: Heavily carbonated, light and refreshing though.
D: I would never drink more than one of these, but as a desert beer or with appetizers on a hot summer day it would be wonderful.

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Photo of brendan13
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark mahogany colour with a small head that fades away to nothing pretty quickly.
S - Quite a sour aroma. Apple vinegar and raisins are the first things that come to mind.
T - Tart fruitiness hits first followed by a bit of sweetness.
M - Medium mouthfeel with quite a spritzy feel on the back on the tongue.
D - I can see why people would be turned off by this type of beer but I dig it. Not for regular drinking but every now and then would be good.

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Photo of Stephen63
3.62/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pleasant red/dark appearance, pretty short lived head.

S - Very complex lots of fruit and sour aromas.

T - Possibly too much going on here. Sourness is very apparent. Very sharply citrus.

M - Nippy!

D - Nice one to try once in a while but not looking for a second.

A decent beer though red beer not one of my favourite styles.

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Photo of BDTyre
3.48/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not sure how I feel about Flanders Red Ale. Reddish-brown colour with very little head. Winey, vinegar smell. Sour, and a very slight hint of sweetness. Not the most appealing smell.

Tart, almost vinegar taste. Hints of sugar, raisins and plum. Sour dominates.

I'd like to describe this in more detail, but I really am mostly getting tart, sour flavour out of this. Drinkable, but there's other beers I'd rather have.

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Photo of counterpart9
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this served to me in a fairly cool bottle

A- the head dissapates quickly and leaves the beer with little lacing. The color is a deep red, similar to a porter.

S- smell hints of grape/citrus

T- it is a complex mixture of tartness, a dark grape, and maybe some hickory.

M- the first sip of this was amazingly crisp and flavorful in the mouth, quite differnet from anything I've had before.

D- very easy to drink, low ABV and the complexity of the taste is a very enjoyable experience for your mouth

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 1,070 ratings.