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Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

1,103 Reviews
For Trade:
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

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Reviews: 1,103 | Ratings: 3,843
Photo of B967ierhunter177
3.91/5  rDev -8%
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.

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Photo of atigerlife
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

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Photo of gonzo138
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
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

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
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)

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Photo of SundaySour
3.89/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
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!

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Photo of RickS95
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of philbe311
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
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...

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Photo of wcudwight
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
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 largadeer
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this one several times, so it's about time I got around to writing a review.

Appearance: A dark but clear ruby red. The two finger head slowly settles to a thin cap, leaving sheets of lace as it recedes. The color is exceptional.

Smell: Simultaneously sour and sweet. Tart cherries, vanilla, balsamic vinegar and a hint of buttery oak.

Taste/mouthfeel: Initially sweet, though it's quickly cut by an acetic fruity sourness (raspberries, black cherries). Notes of oak appear, dry and slightly tannic with a caramel undertone. The finish is tart and fruity, leaving a hint of vanilla on the tongue after the sourness fades.

Drinkability: Fairly easy to drink, but the acetic acid catches up with you after a while.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review number 400. I can't believe i've managed to write 400 reviews of utter garbage... Here's another drop in the bucket.

Pours a dark Ron burgundy with reddish brown highlights. Nice clingy Betty White head that sticks to the oops up side the head.

Smells like vinegar, then if you swish it, it smells like sweet. I haven't seen anything this complex since the Man-e-Faces He Man doll. One side he's happy, the other, angry.

Once your mouth gets knocked out like Piston Honda you can taste the subtle ebb and flow of puckering sourness followed by the sweet undertow wafting on the wind....(cue flute)

Great beer all around, but I like Duchess with Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes better.

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Photo of dro7
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pretty good Flemish Amber Sour. Amber color, light mouth feel, not a strong sour smell, sourness is right on, not too sour, not really too sweet, a vinegar smell with a faint cherry smell. Totally different than an American Sour or a Gueuze.

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Photo of swizzlenuts
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: A dark dark red beer, with an inch high head. The head dissipates rather quickly. Looks like a bit carbonation.

S: It smells very sweet with a bit of tartness.
T: The beer is really sweet with a tart, sour flavour. It tastes like sweets tarts. This is incredibly sweet with a sour taste in the background.

M: This mouthful is slightly watery, but with a decent amount of carbonation.

D: It's not that drinkable because the flavour is so strong.

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Photo of mothman
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kbutler1 for cracking this one.

Poured into great lakes snifter.

Pours 1/4 finger of fizzy white/light brown head. Light lace left. Color is a dark brown hued ruby red.

Aroma: Grape candy sticks out the most. Some cherry flavors with oak. Slightly sour. Lots of grape flavors.

Taste: Cherries and sweet grapes. Candy like grape flavors. Oak, flavors, but very sweet. Sugar flavors. It has some sugar flavors. Also has some funk to it.

Mouthfeel: Sour, but sweet. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends fairly clean, but leaves the mouth watering a bit.

Overall, a very sweet tasting sour. Decent drinkability but too sweet for me and I just can't stress this enough. I enjoyed it, but one glass was enough for me.

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Photo of MagicJeff
3.87/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just had an RR Supplication, in a sour mood.

Poured from a big bottle into my Russian River tulip glass.

Appearance: Brown but when held to the light deep amber and dark ruby. Nice off-white head. This one looks pretty.

Smell: Vinegar and lemon. Acidic plum and pear? I'm afraid based off the smell...

Taste: Tart lemon and cherry. This one is a lot more subtle than other sours I've had which is a good thing IMO. Tart apple finish. As it warms the lemon and vinegar become prevalent. Even some slight sweet caramel on the back end. Somehow, it's sweet and sour in different ways. Taste is way harsher than the smell, somehow.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of medium bodied. Carbonation is more moderate than other sours I've had.

Overall: This one is awesome, along with being a great value. Smell threw me off but the taste made up for it. Highly recommend to any sour enthusiast. Very refreshing and drinkable.

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Photo of ajr24
3.87/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was actually the first sour ale that I've tried, and I'm glad it was from Rodenbach.

A- From the 750 ml bottle into a glass with a little bit of head at first which quickly dissipated. Appetizing dark and murky reddish brown color. Not really any lacing.

S- Smells of candy like sweetness. If I had to characterize I'd say it was cherries or some sort of berries.

T- Sweet and tart

M- Enjoyable sourness

D- Very enjoyable to drink slowly

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Photo of nkurz129
3.86/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this on-tap at the Speckled Hen Pub in Reading, PA. When I ordered it, I was warned by the bar keep that it was a real "love-it-or-hate-it" beer. It had a powerful, sour aroma more fitting to a dry cider than a beer. The mouthfeel was dry as well. In the glass, it looked like a kind of murky brew, as reddish-brown colored as the mahogany decor of the bar. It was much lighter on the tongue than its appearance and aroma would have suggested but had a very full complex taste full of fruity tastes and a pleasant, lingering aftertaste.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.86/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Firm sour note, with some sour cherry and malt

Appearance: Amber glass with a tan head that left a good curtain of lace

Flavor: Tart! The sourness gives a real bite. Again, some sour cherry and a hint of what I’ve heard others describe as a nail polish note. Funny, I HATE nail polish, but it strangely works in this beer.

Mouthfeel: Lively carbonation and a puckering astringency.

Overall Impression: Easy drinking, which is a bit dangerous. The sour is firm, but it has enough base to keep the drinkability high. Enjoyed this in the Poperinge city square at Café de la Paix.

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Photo of oskoreien
3.86/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml corked and caged bottle, poured into a goblet.

Firstly, I've had a very small number of these types of beer and my taste generally doesn't lean toward the style either, so my review may be just a bit skewed.

This beer is very visually striking to me. It pours a brown color, with beautiful red hues around the edges, especially when held into the light. It has a moderate off white head that fades and laces the edges of the glass.

It's very tart, almost lambic like. Strong flavors of cherries and perhaps a little bit of raspberries. Some vinous characteristics that make the beer exceptionally interesting. The sourness is what keeps me away from beers like this. It's good, but I can only stomach a glass of it at a time.

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Photo of GOBLIN
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
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 -9.4%
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 -9.4%
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 -9.4%
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 -9.4%
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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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 1,103 ratings.