Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,060 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,060
Hads: 3,634
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 20.89%
Wants: 291
Gots: 512 | 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 (6) | 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: 1,060 | Hads: 3,634
Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Cold Spring Beverage in Yardley, PA...who always seems to have in stock! Poured from a cork and caged 750ml bottle into my Delirium Tremens large snifter. Pours light pink from the bottle but fills the glass a super dark brownish red. A small frothy toffee colored head forms, but quickly dissapates into a frothy ring around the outside of the glass. Not much lacing to speak of...what's present slides relatively quickly.

Wow...what a potent aroma! Big vinegar wave up front...tons of funky and tart fruit. Earthy and oak notes throughout. The vinegar aroma in this Flanders Red is huge!

There's so much going on with this beer! Big vinegar tang up front, followed immidiately by a semi sweet and tart fruit flavor, followed again almost immediately by a massive funk! Big oak and wood flavors throughout. Mouthfeel is medium body, semi complex, high carbonation. This is one interesting beer. I have a feeling this would do well with age as it would most likely mellow out. The vinegar is almost repulsive...but the rest of the beer is outstanding and so inviting. I love it and hate it at the same time! With that said, I'd have to conclude this is definitely a top class beer!

 1,199 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip. Poured a deep dark ruby red with a one finger off-white head that subsided to half a finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, wood, vinegar, and sour. The flavor was of sweet malt, vinegar, fruit, wood, and tart. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. I have had this one before out of the bottle and I have to say that It carries over quite well on-tap as well. The vinegar touch on this brew is what keeps me coming back to it over and over. This also includes the various Vintage versions that I have had in the past as well. Really enjoyable and definitely brings the pucker along for the ride to keep you on your toes. An absolute must try as Rodenbach is doing good things with this one.

 870 characters

Photo of Brabander
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is an unexpected pleasure. I bought this beer last week when i was at the beerloods in Poppel, Belgium.

Pouyred in my Struise glass this beer looks very nice. Fluid is like very dark tea with a very noce head, three fingers which stays a while and then leaves a ring in the glass.

A slightly sour smell. Hmmm, i am not really into sours. Ah well, i opened it so i will drink it.

Very refreshing taste, do i taste cherries? Body is a bit too thin, could use a bit more ABV.

Very well made and very drinkable, even for a non lover of this style.

 552 characters

Photo of DovaliHops
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark, murky brown with beautiful dark red glow when held to light. Medium off-white, almost hazel colored head. Scent is lots of vinegar, cherries, and sweet fruits. I also get slight oak scents with some great funk. The taste is very interesting. Upon first sip, the sweetness comes first, followed by a cherry tartness. The vinegar taste is present but not overwhelming. Not as sour as I was inspecting. The oak and wood flavors follow through in the aftertaste along with hints of vanilla. The mouthfeel is like nothing I've tasted before...kinda an awkward feel. Very airy and somewhat "fluffy." Not necessarily bad, but just very different and weird feeling. The drinkability is somewhat high as long as this mouthfeel becomes more inviting.

 759 characters

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This Belgian classic has finally made it to Indiana, and I’m very happy it did. Cheers.

A: Deep ruby in color with a whispy off-white head that ends up as a little more than a thin ring along the glass’s interior, even after a moderately aggressive pour.

S: Strikingly acidic, yet grounded in a base of barrel wood aromas: tart white wine vinegar scents accented by black cherry and berry stand in bright contrast to a mellow vanilla beneath. A great blend of the two characters.

T: Sour yet savory, much like balsamic vinegar. Ripe fruit meets a subdued acid profile upfront, quelling most of the edge the acetic had and leading to a rounded flavor of maraschino cherry, sweet red wine, and faint vinaigrette. Barrel wood is less prominent here than in the nose, but each sip is endowed with a dense undertone of dark candi syrup that’s augmented by the unmistakable vanilla of oak. Finishes lightly dry and herbal, like sweet vermouth.

M: Fizzy carbonation and a light body, reminding me of a soda fountain Sprite. Very refreshing when you take into account the fruit tastes of the body.

O: Meaty sours are hard to come by (Duchesse de Bourgogne is the only one that comes to mind) so this is something of a treat for sour lovers. Though not exactly my favorite take on the Flanders red style, this beer is unforgettably unique and would make for a great dinner beer; I could see it pairing with countless dishes.

 1,426 characters

Photo of tjd25
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A totally opaque red-brwon color. The very fine head fades quickly but doesn't die. The smell is of vinegar. Sourness and tart, but with some fruity and sweet aspects. The taste is what the smell makes you expect. The tart and sour aspects are so strong that they're almost not unpleasing. I got an impression of baked cookies after a while (butter and eggs). The sourness fades as I got used to the brew. The mouthfeel is aggressive and thick. It overwhelms the palate and takes time to fade. I'll try to taste this brew again in a few months, to see if the evolution of my palate makes it more easy to drink for me. As of now, drinkable is not a word I could use for that beer, although I can appreciate its disturbing complexity.

 732 characters

Photo of mikereaser
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capones a while ago

A - pours a deep chestnut brown with a layer of fine bubbles resting on the surface

S - faint aroma of cherries, oak & leather

T - strong cherries and woodiness up front followed by the vinegar, tart with a little bit of vanilla

M/D - good flavor, smooth in the mouth, not overly puckery, nicely balanced brew

 343 characters

Photo of heygeebee
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

No BB. From Platinum.

Pours a deep mahogany red - the one finger off white head dies to film. Large spots of lace.

Aromas of lemon citrus, cherries, sherbert, vinegar. A tart explosion.

Taste is in the same vein. Dry crisp, refreshing, without being overpoweringly sour. More cherry on palate than on nose.

Mouthfeel is zesty and well carbonated, light bodied.

Overall, good drinking, prefer this to their Classic.

 419 characters

Photo of gory4d
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a small bottle into a tulip glass, it presents a thick, off-white head that dissipates quickly, leaving only traces of lacing down the glass. The color is dark -- a deep reddish brown. Smell is sharp, like vinegar, with lots of fruit. Taste is tangy but rich, with some figgy notes and plenty of citrus -- tangerine, more than anything else. It feels thin to the palate but fills up the mouth very well -- a tad viscous, but not too much. It's a sipping beer, for sure, but goes down easy.

 501 characters

Photo of Satchboogie
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml caged and corked bottle poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours dark red/brown, 1 finger bubbly brown head that quickly recedes.

S: Tart dark fruits, cherries, lots of vinegar, funk

T/M: Very tart dark fruits (sour apple, cherry, etc), a little vinous, slight vinegar, bready malt, a little funk, a little oak. Fruit esters are off the chart. The vinegar isn't as pronounced as the nose suggests. Fairly high carbonation, medium to full bodied, very sticky and chewy, dry. Finish is dry and puckering.

D: While this is refreshing and pretty tasty, it's too sour to be a real easy drinker. I definitely need to take my time.

 629 characters

Photo of jettjon
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Went into this thinking I was trying a Belgian dark… man was I surprised. After the smoke cleared:

Cork pops out with a nice report. Pours into the cervoise a beautiful, crystal-clear deep red cranberry color with a small number of tiny bubbles. Head is smallish, brown to tan, and fades slowly leaving a pretty good cap. Lacing is moderate. Damn nice looking beer. Nose of heavy yeast, alcohol, and some dark fermented fruit, maybe plums? Yeast smell reminds me of when I was making my own wine. A hint of sour vinegar on the nose. Taste: now here’s where it gets interesting. First impressing: surprisingly sweet. Like a lambic. And then OH YEAH, sour, like a lambic. A very sweet/sour cherry taste, very bitter on the swallow, almost wincingly so. Yet the finish is surprisingly clean, and there’s absolutely no bitter aftertaste, or really any aftertaste at all. What’s even more amazing is that there is NO FRUIT in this beer. It’s all specialty yeasts. Yet it tastes like a cherry lambic! There's a bit of alcohol evident, no real malt or hops flavor. Mouth is semi-creamy, lightly carbonated, and satisfying. Drinkability… OK, I know I’m going to struggle through the 750ml bottle. As a sipping beer, it’s good; to chug, not happening.

Overall: I suppose one man’s Flander’s Red Ale is another’s cherry lambic, though of course the Flander’s doesn’t have any actual cherries in it. That fact seems academic, and I would say that Rodenbach Grand Cru is a great lambic –style- brew, if you like that sort of thing.

 1,539 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.92/5  rDev -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 FondueVoodoo
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours with 1 - 2 fingers of pale tan head with nearly a thin cap of retention. The colour is a reddish brown - something like tannin rich pond water.

S: Sour scent of red wine barrel, acidic, with wet wood and tannins
Profile of sour cherries and some wet earthy funkiness, but not at all disagreeable.

T: Tastes of sour cherries with a pucker of red wine vinegar and the dry tannins of red wine. I'm getting something that I can only describe as leather.

M: Medium carbonation and medium bodied with acidic complex like a red wine with more sugars. Great mix of sour, sweet, acidic and tannins.

O: Complex mix that presents a multitude of opposing flavour combinations. Interesting brew in how it so closely resembles a red wine. While I'm not a fan of sours generally, I find this brew complex and intriguing.

 821 characters

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.

 857 characters

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

Burgundy colour, compact head.
The smell is acetic, but fresh and with some notes of fruity.
The taste is sparkling, fruity (it seems "fragolino"). Cherry, sour black cherry, lime, apple.
Notes of tannin.
Good aftertaste acid and woody.
Well rounded body.
The result of ageing in wood barrel is manifest in the complexity of the smell and taste.

 351 characters

Photo of B967ierhunter177
3.91/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights under the light. There's a 1 finger head and lasting lace. The aroma is of dark fruit, a yeasty mustiness, and wood. The flavor has dark cherry, plum, and vinegar notes with a hint of wild yeast. It's mouthfeel is medium with a mild lasting warmth. Rodenbach Grand Cru is a good beer. Highly recommended.

 359 characters

Photo of atigerlife
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Rodenbach tulip.

Pours a deep amber with a 2 finger light brown head. Good head retention. Lots of carbonation seen rising. Quite impressive to look at.

Aroma has a wine/vinegar nose with dark fruits and oak rounding out the experience. Nice.

Taste is startling. Be prepared for a slap in the face! Dominating is the dark sour cherries. Some oak also is present. The strong sourness and some light sweetness have an interesting interplay. Some light spices in the background.

Mouthfeel was medium/light bodied, medium carbonation and a VERY dominant dry mouthfeel. This beer will leave you puckered.

Overall, the first few sips were not enjoyable but it defnitely grew on me the more I drank. Too bad I didn't have more. Beautiful to look at and the taste is an aquired one. Good for sipping. Very interesting.

 859 characters

Photo of ChrisBowers
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I usually don't like sour beers, but I figured I'd give this a try as it was being reintroduced to the US and the brewer was in my friend's bar (Sean Bolans) at the time. Poured on tap into a Rodenbach stemmed glass. Sorta a redish dark ruby color. Initial smell is of sour cherries. Taste really surprised me. Not nearly as tart as the bottled version I had. Lots of sour cherries, lemon zest, and a bit of an acidic tartness. Aftertaste of the cherries lingers somewhat unpleasantly in your mouth, although others may like this. Not nearly as badly as the bottled version in my opinion. Couldn't drink more than one or two of these in a row though. I cleansed my pallate with a Dominion Real Ale afterwards :) Will never be my favorite beer, but then again I don't really like the style. Others seem to love this beer so by all means check it out.

 849 characters

Photo of gonzo138
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours into my snifer a very deep red, has frothy white head that didn't retain well, but laced very well

S- a very sour aroma, a little fruity too, smells like applecider vinegar, but in a good way

T- sour bite at first, then accompanied by a fruity apple cider/ citrusy aftertaste

M- very nice light feeling in mouth, good carbonation, sticky mouthfeel

D- a very interesting beer, this is my first time trying this style and I am impressed, I bought it because this is one of the few belgian styles that I had not tried yet, I'm glad I decided to buy it. A very good beer, not something to drink often, but every now and then something to enjoy, I want to try this beer with a food, see what it pairs with

 722 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 8/5/08. Bottle. Pours a dark brown with just a slight white ring of head. Aroma is tart tart tart of sweettarts, wood! Flavor initially of rye. Lots of rye bread with a tart, sour finish. Unfortunately the rye faded as the beer warmed. Overall, quite drinkable for a tart sour and much more complex and richer than the original. Nice malty backbone to balance out the super sweetness. Anyway, this beer is quite good.
8/4/8/4/15 (3.9/5)

 448 characters

Photo of SundaySour
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, GoGators! I blame my future bathtub blackout on you!

A: Looks brownish red. Like if you tried to make raisin soda happen. (It's not going to happen!) There is a teeny rim of foam, and I could psychically sense that it was a sour before I knew it was one. (Cavery tried to "trick" me beforehand)

S: Smells like those containers of bite-sized prunes you shouldn't eat too many of. There is an undertone of fancy alcohol, like bourbon. Unlike most sours, cherry is not stomping me in the face.

T: Prune Warhead delight! Perfectly tart with that taste of sweet vinegar I love. I get raisins and figgy pudding and Christmas. This is the Wild West of sours; totally uncharted new flavors for me. Brown sugar, chest hair, and gunpowder are all present. I don't think I've tried anything like it. It finishes with a dry lip-smacking apple cider vinegar flavor.

M: Lip-puckeringly tart, not very fizzy. Dry and tasty.

O: I was surprised by this beer; the elegant bottling made me think this would be a half-hearted game of peekaboo for a sour. But it didn't hold back. I'm so glad that brewers worldwide finally make an acceptable drink for closet vinegar drinkers like myself. Very yummers, a must-try for horrible mean sour people like yours truly.

 1,255 characters

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

Rodenbach- Grand Cru

Appearance- dark ruby brown with a thick head.
Smell- Strong cherries with a slight molassess hint.
Taste- Strong bitter cherries with a sour whiskey sour mix.
Mouthfeel- Sour but sweet and tasty. Each sip needed to be backed by another.

Overall- A sour/tart beer that was hard to NOT sip. Very tart but very tasty! Try it, you'll like it!

 369 characters

Photo of RickS95
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Early on in the poor, it's a looker. Darker brown than I expected, like a 7 out of 10 dark brown. The head is a finger thick of contrasting offwhite. Unfortunately, the head dissipates quickly leaving a tiny white ring up top.

Several scents take center stage in the nose. A slight vinegar smell, a slightly tart, funky, fruity yeast smell, and grapey wine smell.

It's not my style, so I may be biased against a sour. It reminds me of a kriek, just not so vinegary. The vinegar is there, it's just balanced by a slightly sweet-tart fruitiness. Some green grape in the background.

Lots of complexity. VERY tart early on, but the sweetness breaks up the tartness before it gets overwhelming. There's a malt character, but no hop presence. Some spiciness near the crisp, dry finish.

It's actually not a bad beer, rather it's pretty good, but it's an acquired taste. While not as sour as a kriek, it's still got a vinegar bite that will chase some away. I couldn't drink a lot of this, but I'm glad I had the bomber I did. Will be a while before I have another, but I'll definitely have one again someday.

 1,106 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Rich tan batter like head... Slow steady rolling carbonation... Deep burgundy color that still allows light to shine through... Solid lacing... Sort of murky...

S - Grapes... Cherries... Cedar chips... Morning dew... Slightly musky funk... Apple and pear become noticeable as the beer warms... Tart...

T - Salty puckering sourness from the get go... Grapes and a slight sweetness... Smokey (perhaps from the oak aging vats)... Layers of complexity... Berries... Slightly varied taste with each sip...

M - Dry... Light to medium bodied... Crisp... Bubbly... Richness felt all the way up the nasal passages... Syrupy... Refreshing... Invigorating... Attention grabbing...

D - Solid Flanders Red through and through... Everything one would expect with great taste complexity that proves a pleasant surprise...

 814 characters

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.

 817 characters

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 1,060 ratings.