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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,078 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,078
Hads: 3,734
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 20.89%
Wants: 305
Gots: 571 | FT: 27
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Belgium | 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: 1,078 | Hads: 3,734
Photo of GOBLIN
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

In the minority here but I just was a little underwhelmed with this beer. Still a pretty good flanders red though. Aromas are standard for a world class sour but I personally am a little put off by the slight rum noses and flavors as well.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Coffee District. Served in a Rodenbach flute.

Appearance - Deep murky red. No real head, but a thick white collar.

Smell - Malty. Lots of caramel. Oak and vanilla. Acetic acid, but not a lot.

Taste - More sour, but still not the centerpiece. Lots of oak and vanilla. Malt is strong, like the nose. Acetic sourness builds into an oaky finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Slick. Well carbonated.

Overall - Quality all around. Nothing that stands out but a great all around Flanders Red.

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

Poured from a 750ml bottle corked and caged.

Reddish-brown body which is capped by a loud and fizzy khaki colored head. Once the lively carbonation slows down a bit, a nice 1cm thick, creamy looking head remains.

Aroma is heavy with the vinegar upfront, which seems appropriate given the style. A tart and sweet cherry like aroma balances out the vinegar aroma. Lingering in the back is a slightly woody note from the oak aging.

Taste is sour, no doubt about it. Tart cherry flavors mixed with the acidic sour flavor will make any sour-lover happy. However, the sourness does not wreck your palate by staying around too long. It seems to move aside to let a sweeter malt and vanilla like character finish out the beer.

Mouthfeel is dry but lively, with a strong carbonation giving it a very bubbly feel.

Overall, this is a great beer for anyone who likes the various styles of sours. Drinkability is good for a sour, but I would hardly consider any sour beer to be highly drinkable.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark crimson with an off-white head. Good deal of lacing as it goes down. Smell is vinegar and lactic acid with some dark fruits, cherries, and currants. Taste is quite similar, with the acetic acid coming through. Also a sort of cream-soda-type taste. Mouthfeel is very nice between the sourness and the creamy body. Good drinkability. Not the best Flanders Red, but up there, especially considering its availability.

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

750 ML bottle, poured cold into tullip shaped glass beer snifter at Revolution Brewery (Chicago)

A) Dr. Pepper comes to mind -- brownish rusty red cola with frothy brown head that dissipates quickly

S) Sour dough bread, sweet cherries, musty with mild pepper spice

T) Classic version of the Flanders Red Ale. Sweet and Sour, an acquired taste. Dark fruits, pastry, tart apples

M) Sticky but smooth with ample carbonation. Alcohol is mild, the tart/sour is dominant

O) An excellent example of this category

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

Finally, after a brief hiatus Rodenbach is back on draft in SEPA. It's been over a year since i've had it and it's been calling me.

A- Served up in a tulip, Grand Cru boasts a deep dark mahogany appearance. It is quite dark almost to the point of a deep brown color. Once I got a good look this had a dark array of red, brown and ruby. Just a cap of beige foam on top.

S- Sweet jusus, this smells good. Deep scents of ripe sour apple and cherrys. As with the style a good bit of vinegar. Some oak and wood from the huge barrels used in the brewing process.

T- This is a bit more sweet from the vinegar type taste but it is not a problem. I guess im used to a little age on the grand cru as these kegs are new to the area to my knowledge. Either way there is a nice sour element that is not much but there. Sour cherry and ripe apples.

M- More sweet then sour but this did pack some puckering ability, nothing I cant handle. Even at that Rodenbach GC seems to just go down very easy with a great balance of flavor making it even easier to enjoy. Perhaps I can get used to extremely fresh rodenbach.

D- I really missed this and Im glad it's back. I will order one at each outing whenever I see it. Not too much of alcohol content and a good beer to pair up with alot of food types. Perhaps my favorite flanders red (with Ommegang Rouge not far behind) and probably the most authentic in the style.

Edit- After having this a few more times in bottle and draft, I just cant seem to get away from the over abundance of vinegar and sweetness in this. I still love this beer, but after having different versions of rodenbach, this grand cru version is not so grand in my eyes.

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Photo of Brian700
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a 750 that Realale sent to me as a suprise. So I must thank him first for this unreal ale.

This beer pours a reddish amber color with a light tan head that leaves nice lace on my glass. Looks refreshing.

I am immediately hit with a huge fruity aroma the second I popped the cork on this one. I smelled the top of the bottle and I got a mixture of all kinds of things. There was fruit, peppers, vinegar, and some mild oak presence. Pouring this into my glass it was intensified.

The flavor is like nothing I've tasted. The first sip took me by suprise. I couldn't believe how much sourness was in there. There is presence of sour fruit, mild vinegar, and there is some hot pepper (possibly Cyan pepper) finish in the back of the throat. After I got used to it I could pick up on more sweetness and fruit (raspberries, cherries). This beer warms you all the way down to your stomach. This is a very complex and tasty beer but if you have a 750 ml bottle of this you should definately share it with a friend or two.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with heavy carbonation. It consumes the mouth like pop rocks.

The drinkability is a little bit lower because this is such an intense flavor. I highly recommend trying it if you have an experienced palate. Not for the faint of heart.

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

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a chalice.

A - Dark browny/red colour. Minimal head.

S - Sweet red wine and liqueur aromas. Various sweet berries as well.

T - Initially strong carbonation with an immediate red wine taste. Sugary-sweet and slighlty malty. Probably the malt that separates it most notably from a red lambrusco. Very intense flavour hit.

M - Strong carbonation gives it a very lively mouthfeel. Slightly sour aftertaste.

D - Very nice, but quite sweet. Strong carbonation makes it a bit of a handful but would still be quite easy to drink... just would've preferred a little bit more beer flavour here.

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

A: Rodenbach has a deep copper body with considerable haze, a touch of lacing, and a thin, quickly dissipating head.

S: Faint hints of bing cherries and soy sauce are detectable.

T: I nice blend of sweet and sour flavors, with bing cherries, sweet and sour sauce, and a hint of Granny Smith.

M: Medium body, low carbonation, and slightly chewy.

D: This is a nice Flanders Red. I enjoy it because it is considerably less sweet than Duchess. I'm not huge on Flanders Reds, but this is one of the better ones out there. I'm happy to see it back in the states!

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

Served in a Rodenbach tulip glass at Closed for Business...

A: Ruby / brown body, with a light beige head; a few specks of lace get left on the glass.

S: Apple cider vinegar; vinous.

T: Cidery; sweet tarts; some malt vinegar toward the finish.

M: Medium bodied and zippy; puckering; kind of dry on the finish.

O: A sipper of a sour; good tartness with a bit of funk.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A couple of nights ago I opted to try one of these for my night-cap. Enjoyed from a 25.4oz caged/corked bottle. Didn't bother to look for any "best before/bottled on" dates.

No problem either removing the cork or with any excess carbonation. Pours a medium amber hue, clear throughout, and with sporadic, indifferent bubbles rising within. Topping was a thin, light beige, fine head. Some stick, yet not a lot. Has a robust aroma right from the get-go. Smelled it even as the cork came out. Tart and sour all the way, making its presence known right off. Fruit notes dominate, with nary a typical hint of malt or hops. Across the tongue it goes; just about medium body-wise, yet quite bubbly/prickly for the feel. Airy, too, like a Hefe.

Flavor has a big combo of sweetness and tartness. Sweetness is not a typical malt sweetness, though; more-so from the fruit. Again, tart and sour, with notes of grapes and cherries being the most noticeable. Not really much picked up in the way of oak character, even though it's oak-aged. Great fruitiness, though without getting overly puckery. Quite the distinct, flavorable and enjoyable bier. Yet, still something to be enjoyed in small measures, imo. Doing an entire bottle took me a while, even though it was eminently tasty. Worked well for #900.


overall: 3.9
appearance: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5


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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 jazzyjeff13
3.84/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A 330ml bottle with a BB of June 2012, so it's well out of date. I'm hoping the style allows for aging with too much deterioration. Picked up several years ago on a trip to Belgium. A classic aged Flemish red that I've been wanting to try for a long time.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. A deep reddish hue that appears almost opaque in the glass. Yields a decent head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a patchy surface layer. Slight lacing. Aroma of tart, fruity malt with hints of balsamic vinegar, cherries/red fruits, subtle dried fruit, faint brown sugar, earthy yeast and a lingering sourness. Mild notes of sherry in the background - I can't tell if the oxidation is due to the age of the bottle. Impressive.

Tastes of sharp, acidic malt with a fruity character and a tart, dry finish. Notes of balsamic, cider vinegar, cherries, red fruits, mild dried fruit, a twinge of brown sugar, faint sherry/port and earthy yeast. Highly attenuated and sour, with subtle oxidation and a lingering fruitiness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and bone-dry, with prickly carbonation and decent body. The acidity puckers the palate. Pretty astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of dry, fruity vinegar.

A unique brew in a class of its own. Looks good, while the aroma and flavour are great - very sour and fruity. Plenty of vinegar notes. The only aspect I'm not sure about is the oxidation - I can't tell if this would be present in a fresher bottle. Lovely body that tantalises the tongue. An intriguing drinking experience and one that I must repeat (and possibly re-review). Well worth sampling if you have the chance.

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

had this on tap. Poured a nice dark amber color with a good foamy head.

Excellent aromas of tart red cherries, sour apples, some malt tones and a touch of florals. Very good aromas

very good medium body with a real good feel, but the flavors seemed a slight bit muted and weren't as alive as the nose was

it's been a while since I've had a rodenbach and I was quickly reminded how good it was. A real quality sour that is just as enjoyable

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

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Poured into a tulip glass, an opaque reddish brown with a small, beige head that receded to a thin film. Aroma of sour cherries, and vinegar. Very kriek-like in the taste, with sweet, light sugar up front, followed almost immediately by tart cherries. Light spice, yeast, and maybe a touch of grapes finish things off smooth, but a little bitter. Medium mouthfeel, and pretty drinkable. My sister-in-law doesn't like beer, but she liked this one a lot.

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

Poured from the 33cL bottle into a branded tulip at Delirium Cafe in Brussels.

A: Brown with a very dark ruby tint that only really shows through when held to light. Tan head of 2.5 fingers with good retention.

S: Somewhat funky and medicinal. Hint of brett, yeast. Not quite vinegary but along those lines. Also tangy fruit notes coming in and out.

T: Tangy and fruity with hints of cherry. Slight funk there at the end but covered up with berry note. Very vinous taste. Turned grapes, but in a good way.

M: Smooth going down with a lively character.

D: Somewhat cloying towards the end.

A good intro to the stranger side of Belgian beers.

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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 dogfishlove120
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Due date marked on bottle said best if drank by june 08 yet here we are in november and I will still give it a whirl.Pours brown with a redish tint and ice tea like murkyness. The head is thin and disapates quickly.

Smell: Charecteristics of wine and a pungent acidic aroma fill the nostrills. The smell of cork is also very present in the beer. Slight scent of honey and grapes.

Taste: The taste is wine like in many qualities with an acidic almost stringent nature. Grapes and honey are many of the subtle notes that I am experiencing while drinking this brew. I can't help but note that this remind me off some kind of juice drink I drank as a child, yet I cannot put my finger on it. The taste of apple is also prominant upon finnish.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is slightly astringent yet delectable, viniger like element also play a part in the mouthfeel.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally sampled 19 May 2003. Rodenbach Grand Cru is brown/reddish in color with a vinuous aroma. the sourness on the tongue is quite pleasant. This is a complex brew not for a beginner; however, it is certainly a beer that any serious beer drinker should try.

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Photo of zoso493
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into the infamous Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a coco-cola color with a thin one-finger head. When held up to the light, some reddish tints come out. When you open the bottle, you get a huge whiff of cherry soda, so I was kind of expecting this to pour a bright red.

Smell: Huge smell of cherries up front with some oak, vanilla, vinegar with a general theme of sourness.

Taste: Follows the smell with some berry-like funk. Very, very sour and vinegary, with some malts, berries and dark fruit coming out.

Mouthfeel: Creamy but fairly carbonated. Pretty crisp and dry.

Drinkability: As interesting as this brew is, it's just too sour for me to drink a lot of. I think this one is going to be enough for now.

Overall, this is a hell of an intriguing and very sour brew. It's certainly worth sampling.

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Photo of karait95
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown reddish color not bright but not opaque either, is a nice presentation with a big head formed of small bubbles that make a compact head, this one dissipates not to fast leaving some traces behind.

S: Here starts the complexity, starting with a fermented fruity aroma really intense with lot of sour inside fruits like citrus and prunes and some other things are really intense, not clear to say because it is a rare type, also can be sensed some malts in the back.

T: Really sour tasting not a common flavor but not unpleasant it is really complex, you need to evaluate it from a mature perspective, not an easy one, not for beginners.

M: It is nice, as the main mouth-feel is sour the bitterness and the sweetness are set aside but at some point the beer-like sensations is present with a medium lasting ending not to easy to process. Good but rare beer feeling.

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Photo of russpowell
3.81/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cheers to Ding for this one! Date/batch code of 404237

Pours an effervescent garnet hued chestnut with 2 fingers of brown head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Tartness & vinegar & a bit of vanilla

T: Tartness & vinegar, a bit of cherry & raspberry up front. Oaky dryness really hits you along with more berry tarttness/vanilla, & musty notes as this warms. Acidic notes really open on the finish along with some caramel sweetness, cherries & tannic notes

MF: Spritzy with some creamy notes once warm & medium bodied, much puckery dryness & tartness, with some acidic notes in the finish

Drinks a bit too slow. I remember this being an easier beer, maybe my tastes are changing? Or maybe I'd try this one after my taste buds were whacked in the past! Not as harsh as the laFollie though

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Photo of crossovert
3.81/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I hated Duchesse but Im giving this a try.

Pours a reddish brown with a short lived off white head.

Smells like vinegar, some oak, and sour cherry.

Taste is sweet and sour, tastes like cherries fermenting in oak barrels, a huge step over Duchesse. This isn't the offensive vinegar horseradish tasting harseshit that I have associated with this style, Well done.

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Photo of musicforairports
3.8/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle with no freshness date into a tulip.

Brown in color, pours with a big fizzy head that goes away pretty quick.

Smells like acetic acid, some dark cherries and some lactic aspects. The acetic component makes this a bit distinctive from others in the style, and is rather reminiscent of nail polish remover.

Taste is much like the nose, with more dark cherry flavors. Not a whole lot of fruit, though. Very tart and finishing with an acetic puckering quality.

Feels fizzy and smooth, a bit creamy on the way down.

This is more sour than I was expecting, and in a pretty unique way. Glad I tried it, and I'd have it again, but it's different from what I was expecting. The acetic component is sharp and different from the usual aspects I pick up on in sour beers.

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 1,078 ratings.