Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,040 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,040
Hads: 3,544
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 280
Gots: 482 | FT: 26
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website
Belgium

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: 1,040 | Hads: 3,544
Photo of pezoids
4.95/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Michael at the Eulogy Bar was kind enough to let us sample this rare beer at his bar. Poured into an authentic Rodenbach stemmed glass, this beer looked fabulous from the start – Glowing bright amber in appearance and topped with a thin lacy head of foam. The aroma is exceptional and very misleading. Like a lamb in wolfs’ clothing! After the first whiff, you would think that this was going to be a very heavy beer with a big body. Freshly tapped maple syrup was the initial aroma, then came oak, vanilla and finished with tart bing cherries. The beer is truly revealed after the first sip. Light and almost airy, with a perfect sourness. The finish is crisp, clean and leaves a lemon zestfulness on the tongue. A real beauty of a beer. (740 characters)

Photo of EeRocKK
2.94/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I tried the Grand Cru once from the bottle, and once from a slender pilsner style glass, akin to my profile pic. This brew is an interesting mix of flavours. It has the barnyard gueuze undertones to it, yet it has a slightly malt vinegar taste to it.

If you are looking for a complex beer, this is a great example. It isn't torture to drink one of these, but I could not drink them all night like I could lambic ales.

Try it once anyway!

(449 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from a 33cl bottle with a date on the back of 01/03/06. Appearance is of a cherry wood colored body with a light tan head on top. A bit bubbly in the glass this left a decent bit of lace. Aroma is quite rich with tart cherries and some sweet malt. Notes of woodiness also blend in quite well. The tartness had a bit of edge to it. Flavor starts off with tart fruits up front. The sourness is cut a bit by an underlying sweetness and woodiness. Not as balanced as the Red, but it works out better that way. A biting sourness with a hint of cherries is how this finishes. Mouthfeel is lively with carbonation and is very crisp and clean. Drinkability is exceptional. I should have got me some more of this when I had the chance. Very tasty and refreshing. This will definitely get me more into the style. (811 characters)

Photo of foamer
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep red with a frothy light tan head which diminishes to a layer of bubbles on the surface. No lacing down the glass. Sour aroma, some fruits too. Strong sour flavour which lasts and lasts. Not too overpowering though. Nice, like lemonade. That's the closest thing I can match it to - lemonade, with some malt. A taste until what I've normally tried in a beer. I've only ever tried one gueuze before, and now this. Nice mouthfeel. This is an intriguing style. Tasty for certain, but I'm not sure how many I could drink. I do like the sour taste, but I'm not sure I could have many of them. Still, a nice enjoyable beer. (628 characters)

Photo of Weizenmensch
1.41/5  rDev -66.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I tried this beer with no preconceptions, although it was a Belgian Grand Cru. It may be my first Flanders Red Ale, but I've had quite a few oak aged beers in the past. I didn't like the taste. Too sour, very unique and lacking in a real beer feel. Tasted like Shiraz, in that it was dry and peppery, although it also had a watery consistency. Generally it was unpleasant, I don't think I'll be having another one, and I'll be noting my aversion to the style (not many beers of this style are available in Australia). A real disappointment. (540 characters)

Photo of slitherySOB
3.69/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A multi coloured brew. Depending on how the light hits the glass, the colour changes. Sometimes, it's almost purple. Other times, cola black. Sometimes, red. Considering the colour it most appears to be is red, I'll say it's red. Sort of a cherry red. Quickly foams up, only to die down with no head. Glass is clean, so I know that's not the reason. Still, little whisps of lace stick to the glass. First smell is sour. Lot's of citrus, cherries, and some raw malt. First taste. Whoa, hits you unexpectedly. Sour at first, then finishes with some malt and vanilla sweetness. Second taste, the sweetness becomes a bit stronger, but the sourness does not weaken. Aftertaste is a bit strong of cherries. Not to my liking, but a minor setback. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and smooth. Pretty good beer. But for me, the cherry aftertaste is too strong. (842 characters)

Photo of Bierschenker
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

*Bottle: 33cl
*Alcohol: 6%
*Special beer category is not noted
*Brewery: Brouwerij Rodenbach, B-Roeselare 8800
*Place beer was reviewed: Den Stillen Genieter, Nauwstraat 9, B-2800 Mechelen

As soon as I ordered this beer I knew I was up for something special. When I saw the bartender go down into the cellar I could barely wait to take the first nip. And a exceptional bottle it was . It had been waiting patiently for me since 1992.
It poured a dark red beer with a small head. When I looked through the glass I could make up a dark-red and orange colour. The first smell was a fruity sour odour. Quite like the normal Rodenbach. And then came the first taste. Truly magnificent! A deep sour and at the same time a rewarding sugary taste. The sourness kept on lingering in my mouth, but never was it to powerful. Just like you would want it to be. It did remind me of some traditional Gueuze, but this was truly a unique taste.

Ut vivat, crescat, floreat! (968 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep ruby red/brown with a pale pink dense head that settles to a film after a while. It really does look mysterious and wonderful.

Coppery and sour on the nose, hints of maraschino cherries, pickled onions, fresh herbs, nutmeg, all underpinned by a syrupy sweetness. Smells unbelievable, unique and rich.

Coppery sourness on the front palate with a dryness that slowly spreads around your mouth like a dry red wine. There is a peppery spiciness there as well which beautifully counterpoints the sweetness. It takes some time to drink it, but you can savour every moment of it.

I can understand why some people might not like this. It certainly has the ability to offend if you're not prepared for it. I absolutely love this one. I get the taste for this in my mouth for days afterwards.

Truly remarkable (816 characters)

Photo of chunkylover53
3.3/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Reddish brown with a small head.

Smell: This smells like candy and good scotch. Very peaty.

Taste: Very sour. A little too much so for my liking. Not like a lambic, but still quite sour. Like Sour Chews candy with a hint of blackberry.

Mouth: A bit thin.

Overall, it's OK. I guess. Fans of lambics might like it, but I won't be rushing out to get more. (376 characters)

Photo of BrewMaster
3.35/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I was looking forward to tasting this beer so when my friend got a hold of a bottle I was quite excited. The beer poured a cloudy brown with light read hues and no head on it. The aroma had a dry grape smell along with some sweetness. The flavor was just sour, sour, sour like a mean old woman. Also some flavors of cherry (kriek) and a bit of a yeasty flavor. But the cherry and the yeast flavors were getting the shit beaten out of them by the sourness, just like my palate. The beer was puckering in the mouth with a bit of a ferric character to it. Overall I was very disappointed in this beer. I had such high hopes but htey were dashed in a blaze of sourness. This beer was just too sour for my tastes. Thanks, but no thanks. Not my style. (745 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear, deep orange/amber colour topped by a full tan head that quickly receeded to a thin lace. Good stickage and retention.

Smell: Very prominent aroma of sour cherries was released as soon as the bottle cap was removed. Vinous grape and roasted (almost smoky) aromas appear when the beer is agitated. Hints of biscuity malts are also hiding in there along with a bit of alcohol and oak. This beer has one of the most interesting aroma profiles of those that I've tried.

Taste: Acidic tartness is present (and dominant) from beginning to end. Much of this is due to green apple, grape, and subdued sour cherry flavours. Sweetness shows up mid-sip, but disappears just as fast. The finish is long, dry, and tart.

Mouthfeel: Medium/light body and moderate carbonation. Texture is dry, but not grainy. Quite refreshing.

Drinkability: This beer has one of the most interesting aroma profiles of any beer I've tried, which makes it very enjoyable. The finish keeps the palate quite clean and the complexity keeps things interesting. This is a very enjoyable beer.

330mL brown bottle with best before date clearly printed on rear label. (1,158 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another brew split with fish113d. Big thanks to Manekineko for the hookup!
I am sampling @ room temp in a tulip glass. the beer pours a clear cranberry color with minimal off white head that fades to an edge layer quickly. Aroma is tart, sour cherries, merlot wine, and some light oak scents mixed with a bit of vanilla. The first sip reveals a lighter body and fine yet prickly carbonation.
Flavor is as advertised by the nose, tart and sour cherries mix with a hint of oak but mostly puckering sour. I dig it!
the finish is very light with a lingering tartness and wine flavors in the burp. QUite an experience, I really enjoy this style. (644 characters)

Photo of Fish113d
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my tulip glass at room temperature, it left a 1/4" head w/ some sediment floating. Cranberry in color w/ definite clinging lacy head on the sides of my glass. To me it smelled much like a red wine would smell with some vinegar undertones. However, some vanilla and grapes come through as well and even a slight scent of sandlewood (barrels).

The taste is a tart cranberry-chocolate malt (mostly cran), w/ soem oak wood flavors but not really dry (maybe like a Merlot Wine) w/ a mild aftertaste. The feel is a tart and bitey feel w/ tickling carbonation and a mild aftertaste. This was a "new" beer for me to try, so i was quite suprised and interested in this style now. (700 characters)

Photo of baiser
3.72/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a dark brownish red, a pinkish white head and soapy lacing clinging to the glass. Nose was acidic, vinegar and like a dry red wine. Taste was quite something. The sourness shocked the tastebuds during the first few sips. But this diminishes as you drink, and some cherry flavour, some sweetness pokes through. Has qualities of a red wine. Mouthfeel was bubbly, finish was dry. But the tartness really limits the drinkability, at least for me anyway. (456 characters)

Photo of tatterdash
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red, effervescent, with a bubbly pinkish-white head, my friend commented that it looked really good (she like red things). Aroma of wild yeasts, winey, very good. Taste was tart, with a cherry/cranberry flavour right off, with some malts creeping in at the finish. The ingredients list corn, but I (thankfully) didn't taste any. This has a light bubbly mouthfeel, akin to wine. This was tart if not downright sour, but if you like sour (which I do) 'tis a grand Grand Cru. (485 characters)

Photo of Popsinc
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: a lovely reddish/brown pour with a lively, off-white head.

Smell: tart cherries and a musty woodiness.

Taste: tart of the top. cherry fruitiness creeps through instantly. some of the sweetness peeks out for a moment but the tart ale moves towards the back of the mouth and makes its presence on the back of the tongue. A perfect blend of sweet n sour.

Mouthfeel: lively and crisp. ends off semi-dry. very lively and active. some creaminess mid sip.

Drinkability: hey, it doesn't get much better than this. have it as an apertif, have it as a night cap. great range. great complexity. World Class! (620 characters)

Photo of pootz
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled..330ml crown top expirery date 06/06. Served at 48 deg.F in a thin stemmed tulip... it poured a brilliant ruby red-amber with a sticky off white cap that laces beautifully.Tiny bubbled ample effervescence. Aroma is a knock out!..concord grape, cherry tartness some herbal smells, acidic like dry cider. Taste? sure does!..glorious layers of berry like tarness, malty but herbal, some horse blanket... sweetness balances against sour cider tartness...what a ride! Finish is tart and dry like a strong cider. This is a remarkable brew...some will hate it some will love it (as I do) for it’s amazing flavor and refreshing fruity tartness. Recommended to those with no boundaries who want to experience one of the worlds most unique and well crafted ales...truely remarkable. (781 characters)

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an intriguing and mysterious mahogany with cherry glints which get bolder the more you look at the glass. The head is a pinkish cap the leaves a great network of lace. The aroma is of lemon rinds, grapefruit, red berries and sweet malts. These flavors are so rich and I know I havent done the aroma justice.

The taste is absolutely astounding. An initial pronounced tartness quickly shows its complexity. Theres sour cherry, and citrus notes. Theres a yoghurt like lactic tartness as well as slight vinegar notes. In the middle, a balancing maltiness makes itself present. Plums and green apple skins appear. Theres no alcohol or hop flavor perceptible. The finish is dry with a white wine acidity. An oaky character is also apparent. The mouthfeel is prickly from frenetic carbonation and wine like.

Now this is a cool beer. It has a very unique taste that is much like wine. One interesting thing is that corn is listed on the label as an ingredient. Viva adjuncts!!

I wish there were more commercial examples of this style available (in Canada). Its really incredibly. (1,098 characters)

Photo of chelovek
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was fortunate to sample this beauty complements of the famous Sam. Poured into my westmalle glass, apearance was a nice reddish brown with a small head forming at the top. First taste was a bit surprising and definatley pleasing. A bit sour but in a very good way, countered by a slight sweetness a la cherries. Although it may seem odd when describing a beer it truely was sweet and sour. The first swill coated my mouth and delighted my pallet as the sweet and sour played a beautiful symphony on my tongue. I know it sounds cheesy but if you have tried this beer you will know the rosy crap is from the heart. Every sip brought on a new appreciation for this beer. I was crying for more when finished and will definiatley have another go at this one. I had previously tried a "sour" tasting beer but didn't get it. After this beer I finally do. Those that have the privilige of trying this beer must do so at once. (919 characters)

Photo of canucklehead
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I can't believe this beer came into BC but dreams sometimes come true. The dark red colour is quite a sight in a nice chalice. The nose is sour, old and very different from any other beer including Duchesse de Bourgogne. The taste is oaky,aged , fruity and most importantly smooth. You can feel the time that this beer has spent in barrels gives a cellared taste that melds all the flavours into a fine blend. Not as intense as Duchesse or as earthy as Goudenband, this beer is truly a class act. (496 characters)

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

Pours a dark ruby red with brownish highlights. Very small cap of head tops the beer. Smell is musty and vinegary. Smells of a German Cherry Vinegar i used once. Taste is similar, sour cherries, wine vinegar, pucker the cheeks. A note of horsey funkiness also creeps into the taste. Mouthfeel is nice, low carbonation. No real hops to speak of which probably wouldnt be to style any how. A nice beer with dinner or a salad. Definately not a session beer, but one that I would definately pick up again. (501 characters)

Photo of Naerhu
2.77/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Thin brownish head, dark ruddish body. No visible carbination.
Huge vinous aroma.
This is not beer, it is red wine vinegar made with malt. Sour with an earthy base. Low carbination, medium body. Sweetness is present to balance the sour, but this is not chinese food, so I will pass on the sweet and sour combination. Smooth on the palate, the beer says nothing, if it does not say sour cherries. (397 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really like nomad's eloquent review of this classic. I poured my 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass, resulting in a dark, ruby mahogany body that reveals some magnificent garnet hues when held to the light. Small, tan head was short lived and left behind just a few patches of lace.

Inviting aroma beckons with tart cherries, and oak aromas straight out of an antique furniture shop. A note of vanilla is also picked up.

Mouthfeel is satiny, medium bodied, and has moderate carbonation. There is an explosion of tart fruit all over the senses.

The taste begins with a mouthpuckering, tart fruitiness which mellows, considerably, as it warms to room temperature. Intense, sour cherries, fresh pressed apple cider, and a hint of allspice. Much more mellow and complex near room temperature.

Absolutely a classic, and perfect for style. I could enjoy one of these any time of day, anywhere. (900 characters)

Photo of Sigmund
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rerate: Drank it out of a proper glass this time, still a great beer! Original rating: 330 ml bottle, ABV 6%. Drank it out of a plastic "glass" (sacrilege, I know!) at cellar temperature. Cherry-like aroma with hints of cowshed and ensilage. Flavour is sour/acidic/red wine vinegar-like, with strong barnyard and ensilage elements (not that I normally eat ensilage, but still...). This was my first Flemish red ale, an exciting experience! It will not be my last beer of this style. (Okay, I know I wrote my rating of the Duchesse de Bourgogne a bit earlier today, but I actually drank the Rodenbach 4-5 days before the Duchesse). (630 characters)

Photo of nomad
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Unknown Pre-Palm vintage, estimated as 1999

I recently had one of those lucky beer days that reward your hunting and attention. At a Sunday brunch at the Belgique Gourmande cafe in Occoquan, VA I perused their beer menu for something amber or dark in sorts to pair with my Flemish beef carbonade. What's this Rodenbach, and Grand Cru to boot? No longer imported, and since I wasn't picking up the check does the price matter? Had to try.

One of those beers you don't need to take notes to review, at least for me its flavor, scents, and appearance is tough to forget. Poured in to the correct Rodenbach flute-type glass, it comes an intriguing color: red in general but hazy near its center with brown hues lightly shading it. The head is soft and soapy and does not stay up well, though the lacing is more than sufficient on each and every tip to my lips.

Smell is just the definition of a wonderfully conditioned Flemish Red, as the oak and sour scents are toned and rounded, wrapped up in a gorgeous fruity scents. Strawberry juice, sour cherries, hints of vanilla (don't understant where that comes from), caramelized brown sugar, and lacto-bacillus yeast pepper the body as well. Beyond the exotic and extravagant smells is an actual sense of malt, reminding you that this elixir is made with barley and not just the magic of oak, yeast cultures, and Belgian magic.

Taste was amazing, truly the king of the style since the oak, sour, and fruity accents are rounded and impeccably integrated, flashing each without overpowering each other or the palate. The fruity flavors are the most awe inspiring, as this Flemish red goes beyond the sour cherry flavor into changing sides of raspberries, strawberries, and pomegranate. To make it more than a sweet beer was the earthiness of oak and hints of roasty and caramelized sugars. Minty Continental hops bring on the smoothest and quietest dry finish, impeccably cleaning off the full flavor of the beer. Mouthfeel was fairly moderate with just enough carbonation, evading the prickliness of a young Flemish Red.

Wow. Just one of those beers you remember like yesterday and informs every opinion of the Flemish Red style you've ever had. Gets the balance of sourness, fruitiness, sweet and cinnamon spice, and oak conditioning perfect for what the beer style requires. The bottle I enjoyed was past its "best by" date, and such aging was happily enjoyed. What an experience, who knows when and if I'll ever catch another one - only a trip to Belgium would make it possible. (2,538 characters)

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,040 ratings.