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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,069 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,069
Hads: 3,672
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 20.89%
Wants: 298
Gots: 537 | 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 (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: 1,069 | Hads: 3,672
Photo of jeranbrews
4/5  rDev -6.1%

A - murky soda brown lots of carbonation clings to glass. Low heads with lacing that glides down fast. 4

S - sweet dates figs and a pinch of green tomato also cloves 3.75

T - sour almost wine-like. Not unpleasant. Notes of yeasty esters and citrus salads. 3.75

M - more watery and sleek that I'd prefer but acceptable for the style. 4

D - an interesting unique tomato-y wine-y beer. 4

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

October 5, 2014

25.4 oz bottle, snifter

A – Dark brown, bubbly, with red highlights when the light passes through at certain angles. Mild, pinkish-white head, a couple centimeters, with low retention. Thin film of lacy bubbles remains on top.

S – Dark fruit and high lactic, acidic bite, with sweet maltiness shining through. Cherry pits, toffee-covered raisins Some wine-like notes, perhaps of sherry and tawny port.

T – Initial lactic, funky bite, but sugary-malty sweetness follows quickly behind. Black cherries, some plums. Tartness is very much present, but not at all puckering or overwhelming. Sweetness and sour acidity are in incredible harmony. The mellow, aged beer accentuates the green beer and allows all of the flavors to meld and shine.

M – Light to medium body, carbonation is more millions of tiny bubbles than big sudsy CO2. Acidity and light tannins, if any, are very balanced with the malty body and sugars. Aftertaste is acidic sweetness. Not puckery, very refreshing.

O – This is an example of sour ale at its best. Tight but complex, light yet satisfying, and again very, very refreshing. Fantastic blend, well-balanced. Would drink this any time, anywhere.

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Photo of Redneckwine
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into tulip

Appearance - Dark and hazed over completely, but edges are showing some clarity, small little offwhite chunkies are swirling about, 2 finger tan-ish head has awesome retention and leaves great lacing. Looks like a glass of muddy water with a nice head on it.

Smell - Over-ripe, barrel fermented apple/cherry fruitiness is prevalent above all, toasty but clean malts with some bready yeast

Taste - So complex, but generally follows the nose: juicy tart cherry and sour apple are front and center, and earthy wooden barrel is integrated perfectly with it. You'd almost think you were drinking a barrel aged cider (gone a bit south) until the toasty, yeasty, bready malts roll in mid-late palate to smooth things out with mild sweetness. Has a bit of a complex vinous character too, like soured red-wine. Vague spiciness? Finish comes back to a clean, dry, sour snap.

Feel - Carb is scrubbing and lively yet not at all harsh, makes for a light feeling, crisp medium body that finishes perfectly mixed with the beers tartness. Reminds me of good champagne in a way.

Overall - This beer is a masterpiece. I'm a bit new to sour beers in general, so I was taken aback initially by the sour/spoiled fruit character, but after the first few sips or so, it just got more complex, more interesting, and more delicious until the entire 750ml bottle was gone... What a kickass beer - these Belgians really know what they're doing.

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Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%

750ml bottle poured into a tulip. Drink before 16/09/16.

A - Deep ruddy brown with hints of garnet. The creamy foam on top is so fine that it looks like a nitro pour. Fluffiness of beaten egg whites. Gorgeous. The contrast between head and body gives this beer such an elegant aspect. The head has phenomenal retention.

S - Huge nose of sour red grapes, musty cherry, damson plum. Sweet berry crumble. Scent of red wine vinegar spilled on oak planks. Sour red fruits predominate with the musty and oaky flavours playing a supporting role.

T - The first sip provides a mild mouth-puckering before washing the palate with a richer and fruitier parallel to the nose. I got more sourness on the nose while the palate is treated to a symphony of dark red fruits, musty earth, soured malt and a sweetly vinegary, oaky flavour, finishing dry. Rodenbach Grand Cru is such a juicy and flavourful beer, it's hard to say enough good things about it. The more I drink the more I get the sourness and hint of sweetness as of fresh-picked wild raspberries. I say this every time, but it amazes me this does not contain any actual fruit influence.

M - Effervescence abounds on the pour, rendering the sumptuously creamy mouthfeel that is in store all the more surprising. The prickliness from the carbonation peppers the tongue on first sip before the the tongue is enveloped by a blanket of plush russet decoction. Lovely balance.

O - I have not had this beer in about 9 months so I was a little anxious to see if it would be as impressive as I remember it being after drinking many new beers. It is. It's hard to say if I'd change anything about it. I'd perhaps opt for a darker vanilla head, accompanied by a little more funk and sweetness on the nose. Tastewise perhaps a little more funkiness and weirdness. I'd love to try this beer at 10-12% just to see what the additional viscosity could do for the mouthfeel, although it's already superb. A must try.

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Photo of baumaxx1
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%

Bottled beer served in a glass.

Appearance - Transparent red-brown, tan 1cm head which dissipates quickly, a bit of lacing, mildly carbonated.

Smell - Red wine, cocoa, caramel, malt, oak, cherries, orange peel.

Taste - Cherry, pear, cider sourness, mandarin, blackforest cake, a hint of oak and tart, blackberry and raspberry.

Mouthfeel - Mild carbonation, a bit of fizz which is refreshing, smooth, creamy and clean. Slightly tarty.

Overall - Very refreshing - not too heavy, not too sour, not too fizzy and big on flavour. A bit of a cherry brandy/port influence going on.

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Photo of mtomlins
4.76/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750ml caged and corked bomber into a stemmed MoB teku glass and shared with friends.

Pours a cloudy mahogany red color with a bubbly reddish tan head with decent retention and nice lacing. The nose…ahhh, the nose is just wonderful! Lots of toasted malt, ripe fruit sweetness, cherries, hints of oak, some subtle acidity, leather and whispers of some tart barniness. The taste is equally complex and yet so drinkable. Really pronounced red fruit (cherries), but some deeper ripeness in the form of raisins; some toasted malt and caramel, white pepper, leather, oak, balsamic. The body is full and round, yet light on the tongue with lots of carbonation, but in no way over-carbed. Wow, this is just a fantastic complex, subtle yet highly drinkable beer. Truly delicious!

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Photo of SmashPants
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: a standard 330mL brown bottle with a decent macro label. (3.5)

Appearance: poured into a tulip glass. A dark amber-red in colour with visible carbonation across the profile. A thin off-white head lingers for a time before dropping to a thin ring. (3.5)

Aroma: plenty of sour notes up front - currants, cherries, dark fruits, and an almost vinegar note. Not unpleasant though - quite the contrary. (4.0)

Taste: again that lovely sourness comes through nice and strong - almost mouth puckering, but it is softened slightly by a light fruit sweetness. A great sour beer. (4.5)

Aftertaste: still a strong sourness lingers on the palate, with some spice, heavy fruits and a touch of base malts. (4.5)

Mouth feel: absolutely bang-on. I don't know how they manage to make it viscous, smooth and sharp all at the time, but it is very impressive. (5.0)

Overall: definitely the best sour beer I have had to date. Lots of complexity and an fantastic, smooth-yet-sharp mouth feel make this one a must have, even at a price of AU$130+ for 24 x 330mL. Maybe one every now and then as a treat.

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Photo of Hollywould
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Draught pour into mini tulip glass.

Appearance: Clarity is Hazy, color is Brownish/Mahogany
Aroma: Intensely sour, with some sweetness. Notes of green apple lemon-lime and herbal, slight orange citrus and tart & overripe cherry.
Taste: Sweet on entry, green apple skin, lemon-lime, then a burst of cohesive flavors and a sour pucker towards the end. Finish is tart with green apple and cinnamon.
Mouthfeel: Fizzy, foam, dry feel that leaves you salivating and anxious for the next sip.
Overall: A wonderful, drinkable, exciting beer that makes you crave each sip. It is sour but a slight sweetness balances the palette.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

14oz pour on-tap at bier markt mississauga

a: a very gorgeous clear ruby red with about a finger of off-white frothy head

s: really sour vinegar up front, but underneath that is a blend of woody notes and tart fruits, mainly cherries

t: follows the nose. tart to begin with, but leads quickly into fruity notes -- cherries, slight tart apples, berries, even some vinous qualities. the oak flavours add a dimension of complexity, working really well with the fruit tastes. no alcohol whatsoever. dry finish

m: medium-bodied with medium-to-high prickly carbonation, but it's kind of creamy. i love this mouthfeel

o: what an absolute delight of a beer. it's sour, fruity, tasty, and refreshing. i'm glad to have had the opportunity to taste this, and i'll definitely have this again in the future if i ever see it

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Photo of Wobbly
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Deep, amber-like in appearance with a lovely, frothy head that lingers for a bit.

S-At first, an aroma of vanilla develops into a more complex bouquet of oak-like fruitiness, perhaps of grapefruit or passion-fruit.

T- Complex notes of oak, vanilla, and passion fruit combine with perfectly balanced acidity. A clean, deeply refreshing beer with an intense serious of flavors.

M- Delightful, complete texture. Medium-bodied and very refreshing. Indeed, it is easy to guzzle this beer if one is not careful.

O- Probably my favorite beer in the world; certainly my favorite of this style. I have been fortunate to try some of the vintage examples from Rodenbach, which are worth the effort to obtain.

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Photo of barczar
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant amber with red highlights and a lingering, frothy khaki head. Aroma is laden with balsamic vinegar and oak. Tart cherry surfaces late. Flavor is slightly sweet, but the balsamic vinegar acetic notes counter to balance. Cherry notes mingle with oak, and somehow, there's an almost creamy mouthfeel. Not as tart as some, but very characterful. It's sweeter than I recall.

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Photo of Trifecta1
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Took me a lot longer to get to this than it should have.

A - Blood red, darker than regular Rodenbach, but just as heady. Crystalline.

S - Sharp tart vinegar leads, a twinge of alcohol and oak, and cherries.

T - Wow. Thank jeebus this was created. Sharp tartness makes your tongue stand on end at the beginning, but quickly changes to sweet tastes of cherry juice, oaky vanilla and earth. Slight bitterness and very slight alcohol flavor, but to me, this helps accentuate the other qualities and puts a nice little "bow" on top. Incredible.

M - Very bubbly, light and clean. Super, super refreshing and cleansing.

O - I understand why people call this the best shelf sour you can buy. Would buy cases of this stuff next time I see it. An absolute gem, and a must-drink for any beer connoisseur.

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Photo of zeledonia
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A classic beer, and one I've yet to try. Tasted 11 July 2014.

Pours deep cherry-wood rust brown, clear but dark. Two fingers of yellowish-tan head tinged with red.

Smell is delightfully tart. Cherries, wood, and acidity. Lovely, if a bit on the simplistic side.

Taste is outstanding. Starts out tart, bends fruity, then brings back the sour pinch. All the while little variations are playing on the edges, adding complexity. Definitely on the acidic side of balanced, but with enough fruit presence and balancing sweetness that it's not a straight paint-stripper. Yum.

Feel is, likewise, outstanding. Full-bodied and robust, but airy and flowing as well, with medium-high carbonation that fizzes up and stirs the pot of tastiness. An excellent fit with the taste.

No question why this beer is renowned. It's great across the board, nothing bad, and a whole lot good. Deliciously tart with just the right amount of fruit to complement it. I'll be drinking more of this.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt 9.6 fl oz bottle from FMcDs poured into a tulip.

A - Dark brown with faint amber highlights. Two finger head that moves quickly to a thin lace. Great lace retention through the drink.

S - Cider, vinegar, plums and cherries.

T - Follows the nose, with the addition of some pear and cola. Sour level is moderate.

M - Carbonation is on the moderate/low side, with some mid swig to the finish sharpness to finish semi dry.

O - A pleasant sour. Highly drinkable and recommended. Well made.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown, slight reddish tinge. Little to no head, black chunky floaties near the bottom

S: Smells of rotting sour fruits, cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, dark fruits, cherries.

T: Tastes of balsamic vinegar, raspberry, and cider. Bananas also present, some floral tone which comes and goes once. Slight twinge of bitterness which hits high on the tongue, but lingers only a short time before fading. Predominately a cider/balsamic vinegar flavour to this one.

M: Thick, acidic, little carbonation.

O: Expensive and rated high. Certainly unique, my first of this type. Not sure what to pair it with- some lighter cheeses, perhaps even blue cheese would go well, sharp cheeses like cheddar, sour fruits like cherries or raspberries, medium to light body with medium to light carbonation. Actually good at room temperature. It’s a VERY aquired taste and needs to be considered when to drink this beer. Black chunky floaties near the bottom.

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Photo of JulioH
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


Nice Red Flanders beer, yet a bit weak.

Pours a nice red beer, able to see through. Not many bubbles forming. Aroma is good, like lambics or gueuzes, and you can smell the sour nature of the beer. Taste is good, sour, yet sweet. It is not a straightforward sour, it is more of a cherry lambic, but very light. Mouth feel is also light.

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Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Glad I'm coming around to sours. Maybe in a year, I'll like this even more. Poured from the bottle into a champagne flute. Why not be fancy? Deep red body like mashed cherries. A finger of off-white head.

Smell is like sour cherry candy. Kind of reminds me of Warheads. Remember those SOBs?

Taste is rather delicious. A bit of cherry, something like red wine, a woodiness. Not as sour as some sours I've had. This strikes me as the perfect gateway.

If you're afraid of sours...as I am...treat yourself to this. You'll probably like it more than you imagine.

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Photo of jellikit
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: brown with a red hue. Small bubbles forming a small head. Clear.

S: Vinegar.

T: slight cola taste. Vinegar. Oak.

M: highly carbonated. Mouth puckering sourness. Medium-light body.

O: great sour. Not over the top. But good. Will buy again.

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Photo of tomordonez
2.3/5  rDev -46%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I prefer the regular Rodenbach. It’s in the middle between bitter and sour, slightly sweet. Although this one has a great color. It smells like wood, like it has been in a casket for a long time. It has an aged aroma. High carbonation. The sour wall hits you in the face. There is not much flavor other than sour. No wood flavor. Not really beer flavor. This should be classified as a spirit. Hard lemonade.

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Photo of ryannosaurus
4.89/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750 poured to tulip

A: dark red-brown and clear. Lovely 2 finger head that takes it's time laying down

S: a lot of cherry, some red wine, little mustiness. Light sassy phenolic herb note and a touch of malt vinegar

T: nicely sour, well balanced. Tart cherries and plum, a hotter alcohol taste then most at 8%. Discreet touch of oak becomes more noticeable as it warms.

mf: good carbonation, moderately high abv and sour bite make this surprisingly light bodied and very refreshing

o: for fans of the sour that gravitate to the sweet and sour side of things, this is a pretty amazing example of the Flanders style. Not too tart, not too sweet... right on the mark.

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with shades of deep amber red. Half finger head with slight lacing. Aroma of cooked apples and grapes. Taste picks up with brown sugar, plums, sour cherry, apple, and some more grapes. Mouth feel is incredibly smooth with a nice efervesence.

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Photo of scvance
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ordered on tap, served in a tulip glass.

Poured a deep copper/brown color with a small white head, disappears quickly but leaves solid lacing as its drunk. Smell is fruity sweet, like sour apples and grapes, slightly spicy. Taste starts out with a strong sourness that tastes ciderlike but quickly fades after the initial pucker to a nice fruity/malty sweetness. Definitely oak flavor throughout, strongest in the finish. Mouthfeel is rather thin, very crisp, moderate carbonation.

Excellent beer overall, I definitely recommend trying it on tap if you can find it, although bottled is also very good. One of the easiest beers to get someone started in sours if they've never had one before moving on to some really funky stuff. Will have again.

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Photo of RichardMNixon
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've enjoyed this many times but put off reviewing it as I've somehow always felt unworthy. This is review 300 and I figured it's probably time.

Pours with a jacuzzi's worth of bubbles covering the inside of the glass, ultimately fading to a permanent and complete cover of fizz on top. Chestnut/mahogany body that shows ruby-red with a light behind it. Smells of tart cherries and oak and the taste follows. It's exactly the right amount of sour: unmistakably tart but not overwhelming or exhausting like some sours that will leave your tongue in knots. Drinks smooth and finishes with a dry pucker like cranberry juice. Funk, tannins, and lemon get more apparent as it warms but stay backseat to cherries and oak.

I had planned to add a disclaimer that a 4.9 or something here should not be construed to mean I like RGC any less than those I've "had" at 5. Turned out not to matter, I can find no nits to pick. This is a perfect beer.

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Photo of itsscience
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark reddish brown color with a finger of tight white bubbles on top and impressive lacing. I get young grapes straight away on the nose, followed by apple pulp, a bready character, and a bit of oak from the barrels. This one starts out really sour with a lemon taste, but soon becomes much sweeter with a big red grape presence. There are slight notes of bread and vanilla, but the grape taste dominates. It gets a more puckering again on the finish with a green apple skin tanginess. The whole thing is pretty well carbonated and it's as light, dry, and easy-drinking as champagne.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Rodenbach Grand Cru pours a brownish color with a small lacing head. There is a a pronounced sour aroma, with wine like notes, and subtle oak notes. The taste has a nice noticeable sour flavor, with a sweeter aftertaste, with hints of a earthy oak. Great feel, and very easy to drink. Overall its a very tasty, and easy to drink sour.

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 1,069 ratings.