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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,058 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,058
Hads: 3,632
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 20.89%
Wants: 291
Gots: 511 | FT: 28
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: 1,058 | Hads: 3,632
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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Photo of secondtooth
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby with tan head. Slight, single-finger lace in my Hacker-Pschorr stein. Little to no lace.

Aroma is tart berries. Fruity and yeasty. Nice.

Taste is smooth, with plenty of tartness and sweet notes, quite wine-like in tone. Definitely plenty of berries in there, cherries maybe, and a touch of lactic acid and wild yeast are also detectable. This one's like a melding of a saison and a sour ale. Very good, and very complex here. Enjoyed this one for sure.

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Photo of Mongrel
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Looks elegant and creamy; thicker than it actually feels on the palate. Very good head retention for a sour.

S - The nose is much more mellow than the taste spectacular that follows. It's mildly barnyard-y, with some lemon and lime.

T - Didn't initially strike me as sour. Bracingly tart, yes; sour, no. Somewhat lighter in body than I expected and very bright and refreshing. I'm getting tart berries and cherries, lemon, lime, and yes... It's getting more sour. Sweet Tarts come to mind. Leather and bitter orange rind come through too.

M - Soft, creamy, semi-dry finish that doesn't leave anything cloying behind.

O - really great all around, but I wasn't prepared to tackle the bomber myself. The sweet/tartness just gets to be too much for me with this style. Ideal serving size is probably about 10 oz.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky red-tinted brown. The thin tan head quickly disappears completely and leaves very faint spots of lace.

The smell is of sour cherry and faint vinegar tartness.

The taste is of unripe cherries, white grape skins and faint molasses sweetness.

The texture is medium bodied and effervescent with high carbonation.

A delicious sour cherry beer that is bubbly and refreshing.

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Photo of deschutes_fan
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

- Pours a deep ruby with nice inch of airy foam.

- Smells of oak and tart cherries.

- Taste is bursting sour cherry and rich oak with a wonderful tart pucker. Finish is dry and flavors linger nicely. Flavors are perfectly balanced with good complexity

- Amazing beer that is simply vibrant with flavor.. Really sets a standard that is hard to compete with when considering quality and price. This beer introduced me to sours about 7 years ago and took me awhile to find anything comparable. That being said, american sours have made leaps and bounds since then.

Rodenbach has obviously has been doing this for a while with such consistent quality and the price/volume is incomparable for a sour of this level.


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Photo of SavvyStudent
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber compared to some other FR I have tried. little lacing and little carbonation.
S: More sour cherries on the nose than anything. You get the musty wood too which is nice but not too much outside of that for me.
T: Nothing too crazy outside of what to expect within the style but they nailed this to a tee. The sour cherry profile is balanced nicely with a clean sensation.
M: Surprisingly just a medium-light mouthfeel with little carbonation. One of the more drinkable FR I have tried.
O: This beer has an odd palate-cleansing sensation that amazed me. Not too sour nor a fruit punch with is refreshing in its' own right.

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

See Thread:

This rating is for the draft version. Kegs of Grand Cru are unpasteurized. I notice that the bottled beer is far inferior.

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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.

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Photo of dar482
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer comes in a rusty brown and dark maroon.

The aroma has overly ripe sweet plums, a big dark candy sugar sweetness, some red wine character, and sour berries.

The flavor explodes on the palate, a rush fruit complexities. Red cherries, black cherries, cranberries, tart raspberries, red grape peel, figs with a strong tartness that engages the back of the throat. It has lots of red wine vinegar sourness balanced with a big fruity and dark sugary candy sweetness. A good amount of oak character and alcohol that hints at red wine.

The finish cleans up quite well with that tartness still lingering on the back of the throat.

A creamy mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation, super refreshing.

Again Cuvee de Jacobin, the complexity of this beer wins it out for, but both are world class.

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Photo of Dope
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No date spied on this one.

A: Pours a dark reddish brown. Tall, effervescent light brown head. Head fades slowly but leaves absolutely zero lacing. Decent retention.

S: Sweet and sour berries. Sugary, perhaps belgian candi sugar?

T: Much more tart than the aroma gives away. Tart cherries and a vague berry-ish flavor to go with it. A touch leathery at times. Tartness is at its strongest in the finish. Minor acidic character here too. Lingering sour cherries in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, surprisingly full for 6% in fact. Smooth. Super drinkable.

O: Mildly tart, nicely balanced. One of the better sours I've ever had. Very drinkable. Nice berry and stonefruit fruitiness. Simple but balanced and very tasty.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

i have to thank my friend paul for sharing this with us. what a legend, thanks man. killer beer of fame here, not sure i would ever find one, but sure enough. not quite a flanders red to me, not quite an oud bruin, but some dynamic synergy of both, greater than either, and about as complex as beer can get, just so much going on in this one. hazy very dark amber color, as much brown as red, with an inch of tan head that doesnt fade at all. it smells like nutty grain on the front end, but carries with it a palate watering acidity and tartness thats short of fully sour, but lactic and enticing. the first part of the sip is malt heavy, its sweet, brown sugar and candied red grain, but it moves swiftly into a whole mouth experience that draws unusual connections between acidity, oak, and earthy grain. the sweetness doesnt last at all, and the tartness that replaces it is both surprising and welcomed. even after the swallow i taste this for miles, some preserved lemon vinegar as it dies out, but i am amazed by all the layers here. massive body, but i like that the alcohol is so manageable. so many of these get too enormous for much drinking, but this stays right in the comfortable range. as much flavor as ive seen in a beer at 6% abv. enough carbonation, i wouldnt call it lively, but its not flat either. somewhere in the upper medium range, which is a nice compliment to the complexity. i wish this came to colorado. thanks again paul for sharing such a high end and unique beverage.

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 1,058 ratings.