Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

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1,039 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,039
Hads: 3,537
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 278
Gots: 480 | FT: 25
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,039 | Hads: 3,537
Photo of John_M
3.78/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a darkish brown color with some red highlights. The beer also has fairly good head retention and lacing, with an interesting aroma of vanilla, cherry and sour funk. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose, except the sour tartness really dominates this beer. I do get some underlying vanilla and chocolate, but it's really dominated by the sour component. Mouthfeel is fairly light, with some prickliness from the sour. The alcohol is pretty well disguised, but the amount of sour in this beer is a bit much, and detracts a bit from this beers drinkability. Nevertheless, this is a pretty solid red flanders beer from the folks at Rodenbach. (657 characters)

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

Pours slightly cloudy and reddish brown with 1/4 inch bubbly head and active carbonation. Smells sour with wet cardboard and green apple. The initial flavor is sweet and salty that transitions quickly into a sour aftertaste that picks up the green apples noted in the aroma. That apple flavor is relatively long lived, especially on the tip of the toungue. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a lightly oily texture and fizzy carbonation. This beer is interesting and complex but definitely not something I would drink very often. (538 characters)

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

Very surprised at the very faint sound when the cork was opened. My first thought was uh-oh!! Not to worry though. Virtually no head. Cherry, vinegar, and large amount of oak. No overpowering sour like some of this style. Good mouthfell - only a lishgt pucker. Surprisingly lively considering the lack of head and lack of any kind of pop with the cork. If this was the first sour ale I had I would be really iimpressed. But I prefer others over this one - slightly. (465 characters)

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

Pour produced a light tobacco brown colored liquid. A one-half inch white head faded after a few minutes. No carbonation to be seen. A thin watery lacing is left.

Sour cherries popped right out of the glass and into the nose. An earthy aroma of dried grass fades into the back of the nose. Oak hint is sweet when compared to the other scents.

A sweet bitterness of tart red fruits. Cherries are extremely bitter but strong. Oak leaves a light vanilla in the very end, and only searching for flavors makes it appear.

Watery body that leaves a clinging flavor on the tongue. Carbonation is strong as it tingles with the tartness.

A very strong tartness. Worth pairing with a cheddar aged multiple years. A style that may not be suited for everyone. If you like something extremely tart, this is good for you. (810 characters)

Photo of Jredner
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is sweet white fruits and balsamic vinegar. Amber/brown color with a smallish and mostly diminishing head. Fore is balsamic vinegar and tart cherries. Flavor range is narrow highlighting the vinegar and fruits and carries through to the dry acidic finish. (261 characters)

Photo of zac16125
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750mL bottle into a tulip
no bottled on date

A: Pours a dark mahogany brown with 2plus fingers width of light mocha colored head, that is quite dense and had good retention. Leaves a good amount of streaky lacing.

S: Aroma is tart and sweet dark fruits. Cherries, figs, and currants. A good amount of oak. And a bitter sweetness, like bakers chocolate. There are some vinegary notes that I dont particularly enjoy, that detracts from an otherwise really nice aroma.

T: Some tartness, balanced by a large sweetness. VERY reminiscent of a homemade apple cider. Lots of dark fruit sweetness including plum and cherry to go along with the red apple. There are some malty notes of sweet bread. And the vinegar notes that I found somewhat unpleasant on the nose are here in the taste as well. I like it, but dont love it as I think its a little too sweet, and not enough sour for my palate.

M/D: High carbonation, which gives it a somewhat lively mouthfeel, but
its denser and heavier than I was expecting, and is also somewhat syrupy. Ever so slightly puckering it times, but for the most part the sourness doesnt reach that level. Drinkability is moderate, somewhat limited by the syrupy sweetness.

O: This was my first take on a Flanders Red. Its not what I was expecting, much sweeter and not as sour. I enjoyed it, but I much prefer the lighter feel with greater sour notes of Lambics and Gueuze's. I would drink this again if it were on draft somewhere and I was in the mood for something different, but its not something that I want to go out and buy another bottle of or a beer that would make my regular rotation. Worth a try though, for sure. (1,655 characters)

Photo of magnj
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a - Deep purple with a mostly non-existent head.

s - Tart, fruity aroma. Not typical Belgian dark fruits, this is more grape and cranberry.

t - Just like the aroma. Not a real funky sour, just sour. Tart and fruity.

m/d - Body was on the thin side. Served in a snifter, at 6% this was drinkable. My second sour, enjoyed it more than the other, I think the low ABV made it tolerable. (386 characters)

Photo of CharlesRiver
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
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. (839 characters)

Photo of ThoreauLikeAGirl
3.76/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured deep brown in color with hints of ruby
small amount of lacing around the glass. any bit of head recedes quickly.
Nose: balsamic vinegar and sour cherries. some oak.
medium amount of carbonation
Very refreshing. Taste of sour cherries and sweet dark fruit. Not overly sour. Vinegar not as pronounced as nose suggests. Dry finish with some bready malts. Taste improves through the bottle. Very drinkable. (409 characters)

Photo of moderndrunkard
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

As the slogan goes, you either love it or you hate it, and I fell in love with it after trying it on tap last summer. Since it's readily available here in Dresden, I almost always keep one handy.

This beer pours a cloudy, dark brown color with a hint of red. Even an aggressive pour yields only the slightest head that quickly disappears.

The smell is obvious as soon as you start to pour. Overwhelming acidic, vinegar smell. Has the aroma of wine.

The taste is all tart. Nice moderate carbonation level. And the sparkling character really adds to the flavor. The tartness really lingers on the back of the tongue. And as I'm drinking this glass, I suddenly realize why I love this beer so much. It reminds me of the sparkling cider we would always have at family dinners when I was a kid. I couldn't get enough of that stuff.

As for the mouthfeel, it's medium-bodied, not too thin. The serious sourness really balances the beer out.

Unfortunately, though, this is not very drinkable. I love having one in a night, usually to get things started. But after that, I'm ready to move on, which accounts for the low score.

Still, all in all, this one's one of my favorites. (1,192 characters)

Photo of Dantheman4162
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is the first beer I have tried of this style and I am not going to lie, its definitely going to be an acquired taste. I will try to base my review on the style.
poured from a 12 oz bottle.

Smells sweet of wine, dry wine-like taste, tart. Cranberry, Pomegranate? base of burnt hard candy/sugar.

Dark red cloudy hue
dark creamy head, but not think

Fizzy, dirt? very tart. tastes like sour candy.

very fizzy, foam very tiny, micro bubbles, looks cool to swirl.

Not a big fan, might eventually try again to get the hang of it. (535 characters)

Photo of mj001jk
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At Toronado, pours slight haze dark amber red. Nose of ripe red apple, caramel and citrus. Flavors are ripe and mellow with a fine acidic backbone. Tart cherry, apple sauce and balsamic vinegar on finish, a funky character lingers until closing time. Complex and rustic, feels aged and at prime. Nice smooth and sophisticated. (326 characters)

Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark chestnut, cloudy body; no real head

Aroma: wine-like; oak notes; sour

Taste: Acidic; Sour; fruity;

Remarks: good to have something different every once in a while. Don't normally like sour beers, but this one wasn't bad.

Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores (306 characters)

Photo of brendan13
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark mahogany colour with a small head that fades away to nothing pretty quickly.
S - Quite a sour aroma. Apple vinegar and raisins are the first things that come to mind.
T - Tart fruitiness hits first followed by a bit of sweetness.
M - Medium mouthfeel with quite a spritzy feel on the back on the tongue.
D - I can see why people would be turned off by this type of beer but I dig it. Not for regular drinking but every now and then would be good. (459 characters)

Photo of SilentSabre
3.74/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was very powerful in the way of smell and taste. In fact, its assertive nature hurt it a bit in my scoring. The appearance was very nice and stuck to the style well, pouring a medium brick red colour with a considerable level of cloudiness. Smell was very musty and "soured" and reminded me of muscadines. Taste was sweet and sour up front, and then at the end, a colossal tanic surge strips your mouth. Very assertive. Good, but I'll be hard pressed to drink this entire 750mL myself tonight.
I have had Flanders Reds before, but never anything this aggressive. (568 characters)

Photo of Blakaeris
3.73/5  rDev -12%
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. (500 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 LambicPentameter
3.72/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed out of a brown 750 mL cork & cage bottle with a best by date of May 29th, 2016. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack chalice glass with a thick sturdy base and a thinner glass bowl.

Appearance - Pour yields a three-fourths finger head the color of light tan, with effervescent bubbles that are reminiscent of champagne foam, only this one sticks around a bit longer. It still dissipates rather quickly, leaving a rim of light foam and a small amount of film across the body. Speaking of which, the body is a dark walnut brown with ruddy burgundy highlights that can only be seen when the glass is held directly in front of the light. Small carbonation bubbles cling to the side of the glass in isolated places.

Smell - Nice blend of musty funk, with fainter notes of oak and light cherry, almost like syrup. Underlying the entire taste is a considerable presence from the grain--with a malty sweetness underscoring the other elements. Throughout there is a pleasant vinegar-like character as well, hinting at a very sour beer to come.

Taste - I have to admit I'm a little dismayed by the lack of puckering after the smell suggested a good deal of tartness. In fairness, allowing the beer to warm up a bit enhanced the tart characteristics of the beer. I also have to wonder if this would have been more tart if I had opened it closer to the freshness date engraved on the label, especially given the number of reviews that note just how sour this beer is to them. At any rate, I get a mix of flavor profiles--some tart citrus and almost lemon juice element blends rather nicely with the fruitier cherry and red currant elements. Some apple cider vinegar notes are also present, but the predominant flavor profile is cherry, with some faint elements of wood as well.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied, with a slightly viscous feel to it, as well as a moderately-carbonated effervescence that fades away as I let it sit to warm up a bit and enhance the tart elements. Finish is mostly sweet.

Overall, a good beer, and much like Duchesse, it is reputedly a benchmark for the Flanders Red style. Admittedly, my favorite Flanders Red was bordering more on kriek territory, with a teeth enamel-melting sourness to it, so perhaps this style isn't my favorite in the world. I am curious enough about aging it to go get a second bottle so that I can sit on it until closer to the 'drink by' date. (2,390 characters)

Photo of buzzardman
3.71/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Funky Champagne, light fruit

Appearance: Light brown with a red tint, small light tan head.

Flavor: Sour, fruity, grape soda.

Mouthfeel: Light tart, dry finish, highly carbed.

Overall: Nice tart sour ale. Very grape soda like and easy to drink. Not a huge fan of this beer, too much like drinking grape soda. (319 characters)

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is my second flemish sour ale. I've heard this brew described or referenced so much I had to try it. that said, here's what I thought:

A - faint head that quickly disspiated. Steady rising bubbles from the the glass let you know it's not flat. The beer is ruby red when held up to the light. Very nice to look at in the glass.

S - sour cherries, sour mash. did not notice any hints of oak but hey, could be me.

T- Sourness straight up. undertones of cherry and faint sweet malt. No question this delivers on the style flemish sour ale.

M - served at approx 55 degrees. medium to full bodied. Lot of reviews describe the carbonation as strong, but I did not see that with my drink. carbonation was light and complimentary to the drink.

Drinkablilty - Not a beer that drinks easy or fast. This brew is a commitment in my mind. A stronger sour than I expected.

Tantalizing style, but it may be a while before I try the other bottle. this is definitely a beer you need to be ready for. (1,005 characters)

Photo of MrIncognito
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI. Poured into an oval chalice.

A - Deep purple, just like red wine, with a nice white and purply head. Lots of carbonation racing to the top.

S - A musty concord grapejuice smell. Almost has some red wine tanins. Actually smells a little sour and bitter.

T - Very dry grape juice taste. Sweet with a sour punch at the end, then very drying. The drying effect is key or this would be too sour for me. The dryness cuts it off. I swear I'm drinking carbonated concord grape juice, but with a tart, sour kick. Some musty horseblanket thrown in. Gets better as it warms.

M - Dry and a good amount of carbonation. Definitely a sipper.

This is my first Flanders red and I actually liked it. I was a little iffy at first but really enjoyed it in the end. Went great with a Greek salad... mixed well with the olives, feta, and vinagrette. (874 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of vinegary & tart apples and dark fruits, some Belgian yeast, some malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sour with strong flavors of apples and cherries. There's a little bit of sweetness that comes in along with a hearty but not too heavy malt character. The hops presence is mild. The after-taste is sour.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Flavorful, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it's a decent beer to drink for a while if you're in the mood for a sour beer. (786 characters)

Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark ruby red with a light white head.

S: Fruity and a hint of vinegar. Powerful smell.

T: Very complex. Starts with a "wow" of tart cherries. Finishes off with a vinegar bite. While the whole experience is continually sour, in a good way.

M: Not too heavy, but pretty well carbonated. Still a bit of a sipper.

D: Personally, could only drink one. Very interesting. (372 characters)

Photo of ashleyshalyn
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into a snifter glass

A: Crystal clear brandy color with auburn and big frothy head

S: Smells like acetone / fingernail polish remover. To prove this to a few people I actually pulled a bottle of nail polish out of my bag and proceeded to make everyone take a whiff and then smell the beer again a few minutes later…. Yep… Also smells of brine/vinegar with some notable fruits like granny smith apple and sour cherry.

T: SOUR! Wooo boy sour cherry alll over the place. Finished with an alcohol/sour flavour. Very complex ale, but it is really hard to get around the sourness.

M: Medium body but high high carbonation!

D: I can’t drink much of this b/c sour really isn’t my thing… but I would drink it again just as something different. Not really my type of a beer…. (799 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)

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,039 ratings.