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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,062 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,062
Hads: 3,637
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 11.27%
Wants: 292
Gots: 515 | FT: 26
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
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Reviews: 1,062 | Hads: 3,637
Photo of rustymoore
3.49/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is my first review of a Belgian Red Ale but here goes...pours with a light head and good lacing. The color is a dark, reddish amber that is fairly uniform. The ale smells of sour fruits and wine with a slight nutty hint. It smells amazing! The taste is where this ale declines in my opinion...sour grapes and cranberries are the primary flavor while the tartness tends to take away from this red ale for me. A little more sweetness to balance out the tartness could help. This ale is however very fruity in taste (however sour) and the acidic mouthfeel is somewhat unpleasent as well. Not something one could drink consistently I wouldn't think.

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Photo of aleyeast
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me preface by saying, I think this could have used a little more time in the cellar, not a usual problem with me as I have quite a backed up cellar.

poured into a rodenbach tulip from 75cl corked bottle

color is auburn-amber, head is orangy with mixed bubble size
aroma is slight sour, earth
taste is sour, fruity, very effervescent
mouthfeel probably could us 6 months to mellow and have the flavors blend, almost unripe, still easy drinking for a sour ale.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.73/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours light coppery color with amber highlights. Head dissipates to a crisp white ring.

Smell is sour grape and reminds me of wood aged balsamic vinegar.

Taste is very tart with an underlying sugary sweetness. Finish is a lingering sourness. Generous dry cedar notes. I'm having difficulty identifying the the flavor as sour grape or cherry.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with generous carbonation.

This brew is certainly an aquired taste. Unusual and complex. This brew is good for a change of pace.

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

Poured a nice dark red with some brown hints, almost no head on the cellered bottle, fresh it has a big creamy head.

Smell is dominated by a sour balsamic quality, and a deep dark fruity sweetness. Both old and new bottles seem to smell the same.

Taste has a great mix of woody notes, tart sour flavors, and deep dark fruit sweetness, a nice marriage of big flavors, a bit of balsamic flavor comes through more and more.

Mouthfeel has a medium body to it with a dry woody finish, good levels of carbonation especially considering its age and almost flat appearance.

Very well done Flanders Red, nicely sour and has great woody flavors.

Updated on 01/23/12 with a vintage bottle from the celler, I think from 2005.

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

The beer pours a dark amber/red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a very sour scent that boasts of crystal and roasted malts along with a yeast sour aroma; very enticing. The taste is great. It has a refreshingly sour taste that is solid on the malts and easy drinking. It boasts Belgian crystal and roasted malts. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a damn good brew. It is quite refreshing. It has great malt character and an excellent yeast sourness.

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

Large bottle, caged and corked, with a foil enclosure to boot. Best before date stamped on the bottle of the bottle. (There's a good place to put vital info...) Pours an interesting chestnut shade of amber, with a slight dark cherry hue. Well developed lacing emerges from a light tan puffy head, which exhibited moderate retention. Nose also, I would characterize as interesting, sweet, nutty and fruity. This brew is a classic of the style, sour, sweet,smoky,acidic, complex. Not for everybody, this style takes awhile for most to warm up to and appreciate. It goes well with food, particularily "fish with lemon" as noted on the label. Tasty, mysterious, interesting and thirst quenching. Get some, taste it, taste it again, come to love it

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

Dark reddish-amber color with a medium thick eggshell white head that lasts fairly long. Thick sheets of lacing. Aroma of sour cherry and grape, with a touch of sweet malt too. Medium-bodied and super tart and vinous and first, but smoother as it warms. Sour fruit is the name of the game here, with cherry and apple being dominant. Some light spices and malts are there as well. The finish is dry and fruity. Admittedly I usually struggle with this style but this is a complex and well-crafted beer.

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

Out of a 750ml bottle received from Michael Jackson's Rare Beer Club, into a Hoegaarden Grand Cru Goblet:
Appearance: Red, almost burgundy in the light. Slightly tan head. Lacing on the side of the glass as I drink.
Smell: Vinegary, barnyardy, oak, vanilla, tropical fruit; very complex.
Taste: Sour, sharply acidic, yet a note of creamy oakiness.
Mouthfeel: Tart acidity left me salivating, which only made me drink more.
Drinkability: The acidity seems too much at first, but the bottle was gone before I knew it. Fantastic beer, maybe not for everyone (do you like sour beer?), but I think that's just the nature of the style.

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

No doubt this is an acquired taste. I, for one, couldn’t keep my nose out of the glass. What an aroma!!! Funky, fruity, sweet…yeast, vinegar, spice…magic marker, sugar, oak, vanilla, cherries, sour-candies….you can’t count all the smells. The taste is equally thrilling….sour and mouth puckering one minute, sweet and succulent the next. I enjoy this style by taking long, deep sniffs, followed by small, slow sips. I swear that you can experience something different each time. This brew is a little sweeter than expected, and very earthy. At times it seems to have a musty, woods-like quality about it. The tart, acidity is refreshing and really clears the pallet for another sip. The liquid is a deep brownish red, with a respectable head. There’s a lot of carbonation, and a medium body. Lingering, funky finish. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of Shiloh
2.77/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I used to drink a lot of this stuff back "in the day" of the early seventies while listening to the tunes and having an illegal smoke or two.
We called it something else though, I believe it was wine, or sherry.
Anyhow, this product arrived a deep brownish/red with a medium + carbonation. The body is a medium.
The aroma is yeasty fruit.
The taste is very strong, very sweet, very lingering, and all of cheap wine.
Think I could use a smoke right about now...

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Second sampling: Still a strong contender in the Flander's market. Still, could use more body and depth. A hint of chocolate malt and nuttiness would really improve this brew.

Mother pucker! That one's taaaart. Right out of the aromas, barnyardy, vineous, and muskiness makes the mouth water and the eye twitch. Looks burgundy in color with a lightly creamy off-white head that fleeted quickly. Flavors of cider, cherries, and tart berries accompany the intense tartness. Though malt sweetness offers a nice mellowness, it never balances the beer correctly. It could have more sweetness. Alcoholic and lightly astringent in the mouth feel. A woodsy flavor persists in the aftertaste. I like it, but it makes my teeth hurt. Good for all Flander's lovers! Thanks SheepNuts

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Photo of wcudwight
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

*Aim bottle in opposite direction when opening*
Appearance: Mixed hues of red, brown and gold. Bourbon colored with an excellent 3 finger head that rises a good 1/4 inch above the glass. Very foamy head that last a long, long time. Thick lace covers the whole glass.
Smell: Tart, Raspberries, with a hint of oak
Taste: Overpowering with raspberries. Very tart. It's missing the oak that's in the smell. Leaves a lingering tart aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated with thick foam in the mouth. Feels somewhat like you're sucking a lemon and has a slight burn to it. I like the mouthfeel, but don't think it's for everyone.
Drinkability: A classic sipping beer. The tartness and carbonation lower the drinkability.
Overall: It's a good beer, but save it for special occasions. Would be good with a nice meal.

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Photo of Enola
2.88/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer shocked me. The color is an oak stain color. The head was unreal. I poured a small amout into a sampler glass and it turned into all head. No beer at all. It finally settled so here we go.

The smell is of wine. No question about it. Maybe some hidden caramel in there too. The taste will take you if you are not prepared. It tastes like wine as well. A very distinct flavor af soured grapes. The mouthfeel is active. The carbonation comes alive. The drinkability is affected by the alcohol. If the alcohol was not so up front this would be a much better beer. I could not drink this much but it would be ok time to time.

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Photo of Citadel82
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ML Bottle purchased at Spirtis Unlimited in Red Bank. Poured this Flanders Red Ale into a large snifter. A thin tan head formed and quickly disspated to near nothigness. The body of the beer is a reddish mahogany, it has some red highlights when held up to light.

Aroma is sour vinegar, and then the cherries make an appearance.

Taste is a like a tart vinagrette, which morphs into a sourness. No evidence of hops in this brew just wave upon wave of acidic sourness. Any hop presence was lost or diminished from the oak aging process for this beer.

Light bodied with active carbonation which lends to the mouth puckering and thirst quenching qualities of this brew.

Drinkablilty - Very bracingly refreshing. A welcome treat when you have a thirst to slake. I found that the sourness while delightful at first becomes overwhelming at length.

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Photo of ikats
4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep red, mahogany color. Large tan head dissipates quickly to a thin cover. Wonderful sour aroma. It's full of sour cherries and plums. Wood notes are there too (not surprisingly since it was aged in oak for 18 months). As I keep enjoying the aroma, it starts to remind me of sour candies. And with that thought it tastes like sour candies too. Such a wonderful taste, especially if it's not straight out of the fridge. The pleasure is the same I get out of eating sour cherries. Tartness is not overbearing as there is very sweet background to balance it. It all plays very nice on my tongue. I do enjoy sour beers and this one is the best so far. Grand Cru seems like a fitting name.

This was a 750 ml bottle that I saved for a few months for a special night. "Best before" date is stamped on the bottom of the bottle, but it's a bit hard to make out.

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

From bottle purchased at the Stuffed Sandwich.

A- dark brown leather color like stained wood with deep mohogany hues when held up to the light. Had a thin tooth white head that didnt last too long.
S- basalmic vinegar, sour cherries and a burnt fireworks smell that i cant place.
T- Hmmm, well the tartness hits your mouth like you had a basalmic vinegar reduction sauce with sour cherry brine and unripe apple peels. Ended on a burnt sulfer like note with faint sweetness, then back to the vinous character... cant place it.
M&Dr - had a wine like mouthfeel to it with carbonation befitting the style. Good sipping brew.

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Photo of HogHill
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this Flanders red ale into a chalice. A small light tan head formed and quickly retreated to the walls of my chalice. The body of the beer is a mahogany brown, it has some clarity and red tones against light.

Aroma is largely vinegar at first, and then the sourness kicks in. Reminds me of sour cherries.

Taste is a little bit vinagrette, which transforms into a sourness. With the main sour flavor being that of cherries. Like a blend of a young red wine with some sparkling white perhaps. I can say that I cannot taste any hops here, but they are probably very well disguised and/or diminished from the oak aging process for this beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with above average amount of carbonation which lends to the mouth puckering and thirst quenching ability of this brew.

Drinkablilty - For some the sourness gets old or becomes too much, but I would have no trouble drinking a 750 or two by myself, especially with the humble ABV in this beer. It's a complex beer that is interesting time after time.

Would like to do a side by side tasting with Rodenbach Classic, Duchess, Monks and La Folie.

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Photo of akorsak
3.48/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a 750 mL bottle, served slightly chilled in a snifter.

Appearance: With no light upon it, the beer appears to be quite dark. When held up to light, a deep ruby red color comes out. The beer pours a 1.5 finger head.

Smell: This smells unlike any other Flemish red that I've had (including Duchess and Rodenbach Red). The aroma is not pleasant. In fact, it reminds me of my dog have receiving a bath (heretofore known as a wet Domi odor). My dog does not smell great just after a bath, neither does this beer.

Taste: Very good pucker factor in this ale. The sour taste inherent to this style hits mid-sip. Up front, there is a nice fruity taste that transitions nicely into the sour aspect. This beer is so sour that one can't help but take another sip.

Mouthfeel: The interplay of sweet and sour is very nice and makes for an enjoyable drinking session.

Drinkability: While the flavors meld and transition nicely, I don't see this as an ale meant for pounding. It is, however, nice for sipping, especially as it warms.

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

Translucent ruby brown, tiny bubbled head, persistant ring and some lacing. Gobs of carbonation. The smell has a little aspirinish odor connoting a sour taste is coming. There is also a malty aroma, albeit twisted by the sourness. Tart starts it all off, but never puckering. The malt base washes through in the middle. Balance is not bad at all. Mouthfeel is thin to medium with a light body and carbonic finish. There are lots of bubbles in this one, plenty of sour burps. Not overpowering, actually pleasant for a Flanders and paired very well with grilled porkchops. Spouse really liked it, too, a first for a sour brew.

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

It pours a deep coppery amber, flashing orange, and softly cloudy. A finger of tight, light tan head fizzles soon to floating clouds of froth. Fingers of lacing tickle the glass.

The aroma is a vinegary, vinous sour wind, carrying green apples, dark cherries, toasted malt, sherry, and a hoe-down of funky wet barnyard glory. A rounded spiciness peeks through from a distance.

The first sip grants a tongue-twisting, cheek-puckering grapy apply sourness, along with the juicy tartness of cherry. the middle grows into a vinous, malty sweetness that's soon attenuated by a gentler oaken earthiness. As the close nears, a warm, moist blanket of horsey gaminess sprints in, then out, to allow a mellower sour redux and a touch of dry lingerance. It's a passionate progression of sourtartsweet presentations.

Between light and medium bodied, the palate puckering sourness and slip and slide of flavor deliver a splendid, gullet-bound experience.

From the sour start to the sweet center to the funky finish, it's a series of interesting personalities. It's a cider that's a wine that's a fine Flemish sour red. Granted, it's not for every taste, but if it is for yours, it would be easy to crave. It all comes together with a workable ABV to start and remain drinkable to the bottom of the bottle. It's the fun sassy taste of Belgium in a glass.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, corked and caged. Pours slightly cloudy, light ruby color. Thin off-white heawine like in the nose. Smells like port, slightly smoky, and some alcohol. What hits in the flavor off the bat is the sharp acidity. Very tart, fruity and sour. Hints of oak in the finish, but subtle. Medium body, with a good amount of carbonation. This is certainly one to savor. Some will be turned off by the sourness, but certainly a beer that you should try at least once to appreciate the differences.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Corked, caged and foiled in the style of a champagne bottle. First time I have seen this beer in the US. Didn't see any smaller bottles.

Pours out a reddish-brown with a small head that doesn't last. Smell is tart and sweet, which is what I expected. Kind of opens up your nostrils. Hints of cherries and something a bit cakey.

Taste is a suprise. Much more sour than I really expected. That quickly gives way to sweetness which seems fake in the middle. The ending hits me like vinegar with berries. The sourness is completely different than say Cantillion. This is more like vinegar than very tart candies. Too be honest, it's the vinegar that turns me off a bit. Doesn't seem to have great balance.

This bottle can't be very old as I don't believe they have been importing this for long. Cool silkscreened label.

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

Red in color, very little head but creamy, with beautiful lacing. Smells pretty straightforwardly of sourness, like vinegar. I love the smell but know that many people would turn away. Mouth-puckering sourness with a superdry finish. Very acidic and dry. Boy that's good, and a great apertif. In my opinion, the most sour of the sour Flemish beers.

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Photo of dgallina
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle, dated best-before 09-17-2007. Poured a clear ruby with a few quickly-dissipating fingers of foam and a nice sheen of lace. Alcohol-laden green apples and wood in the nose. Sweet initially, but explodes with sour apples in the middle, a touch of prickly alcohol, and a surprising melange of sweet and sour wood in the finish. Light-to-medium and nicely carbonated body.

Less evenly balanced, less sweet, more wood-toned than the classic variant. Very pleasing for lovers of the style, however.

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Photo of bruachan
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

from the hudson acme

cork pops and i get musty port aromas. in the glass these seem even more complex and add a bright cherry smell. a hint of the sourness to come

gorgeous seep cranberry color with a two-finger head that drops to a topographic coating with rings that effect an appearance of a coral reef from the air

super-carbonated spritz spreads the sourness around my palate; no nook of my mouth is safe from the prickly acidity. there's a noticeable, but only barely, bitterness, which just adds to the tactile experience

at the front a brief cherry sweetness that quickly gives way to a consuming sourness

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 1,062 ratings.