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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,053 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,053
Hads: 3,606
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 288
Gots: 498 | FT: 27
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website
Belgium

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: 1,053 | Hads: 3,606
Photo of JulioH
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

LIGHT SOUR

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. (349 characters)

Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (560 characters)

Photo of jellikit
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
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. (261 characters)

Photo of tomordonez
2.3/5  rDev -45.8%
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. (409 characters)

Photo of ryannosaurus
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
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. (668 characters)

Photo of Phigg1102
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
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.
(263 characters)

Photo of scvance
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (748 characters)

Photo of RichardMNixon
5/5  rDev +17.9%
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. (939 characters)

Photo of itsscience
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (591 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
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. (334 characters)

Photo of secondtooth
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
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. (472 characters)

Photo of Mongrel
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (817 characters)

Photo of Furlinator
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
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. (388 characters)

Photo of deschutes_fan
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

A TRUE CLASSIC (731 characters)

Photo of SavvyStudent
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (637 characters)

Photo of AugustusRex
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

See Thread:
http://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/rodenbach-pasteurization.287218/

This rating is for the draft version. Kegs of Grand Cru are unpasteurized. I notice that the bottled beer is far inferior. (214 characters)

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
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. (1,426 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
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. (805 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (724 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (1,499 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 magictacosinus
4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. This is year-round, but I purchased this about 3 months ago as soon as it started popping up everywhere in the Bay Area. Usually these have a best by date of 2-3 years, but, just like your Late Bottled Vintage or Dated Vintage port, they are best consumed fresh.

To this day, Rodenbach Grand Cru still stands as one of my favorite looking beers that's easy to find out of Belgium. Brownish, with an assertive garnet and reddish tinge that the style demands for. Great, sticky lacing and an off-white egg beaten head of foam. Carbonation is gentle and generous, but nothing too extreme or excessive. It truly looks like a wonderful, rustic Pinot Noir, but it retains its qualities as a unique looking beer.

Yeah, this is where it's at - tons of red fruit, vinegar notes, as well as light, proper oxidation from the additional wood aging. Cranberries, cherry pits, fleshy ripe currants, as well as a dried raisin finish. White pepper, violets, and some tea tannic consistency at the finish. Notes of green apple skins and an underlying yet balanced acetic acidity, especially one that resembles a light red wine vinaigrette. Some Sherry like notes are already here, with a light spicy and barrel spiced laden backbone - caramel, cashews, almonds, and light leather. Really great stuff - isn't as intense as other offerings, but is unbelievably restrained and graceful, even here.

This has got to be the most simultaneously refreshing and flavor packed year round Flanders red I've had to date. As much I love Cuvée des Jacobins for its physically demanding qualities, this is where it's at. A vibrant red fruit flavor pushes forward on the palate, delivering brown cherry skins, currants, as well as cranberries and raisins (often resembling Craisins) with a tart, vinegar forward finish and acidity that cleanses the palate fully. Slightly spicy, with peppery notes from the barrels and light oxidation that goes in the beer making process. Finishes fruity, ripe, and slightly nutty, with cashews being most predominant. A caramel malt finish allows the acidity to be more restrained and yet creamier and more balanced at the same time. The carbonation is wonderful here - the fruit flavors become more pronounced with sparkling wine-like effervescence, and the acidity is further cut by the 1/3rd addition of the younger Flanders in providing toasty malted notes at the back. A victory!

For $10 a 750ml bottle that is year-round, I daresay it doesn't get better than this. So many flavors, combined with a predominantly soft and creamy wood aged texture, as well as delightful fruit and wine-like notes, this is a world class Flanders red. It won't kick the crap out of you, but its profile to be extra flavorful and yet so easy to drink (as well as easily pair with food) should be noted. Want to turn wine-only drinkers on to beer? This is the one! (2,904 characters)

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.84/5  rDev -9.4%
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. (1,686 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Finally got to try this classic and it did not disappoint. Poured a reddish brown body with one finger a head on top of an aroma of a lot sour and funky fruits, mainly a tart cherry aroma, a touch of wood and/or wine-like qualities and a a touch of sweetness. Beer is light bodied and smooth and not as sour/funky as it smells. The sour/tart cherry aspect is aplenty but there is a great balance of sweetness (whether it be candi sugar or fruit derived) and the funk aspect is minimal so it's not a overpowering, puckering sourness or tartness but just hits the right spot. Great carbonation so beer is lively and finishes real crisp. Just a great beer to sip with after dinner. (678 characters)

Photo of msimone372
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer several times. The first time was on tap at Eulogy in Philadelphia. The second time was from a 750 mL bottle from Carriage House Fine Wines & Liquors in Wilmington, De. I am writing this review drinking from a 32 oz growler I had filled at Total Wine on Naamens Road in De.

A: Beer pours a very dark amber color. It is the color of a dark tree resin. It pours light and with low density. It doesn't create a large head; however, it does have a fair amount of carbonation. A small head appears then thins out, and it is created completely by the carbonation of the beer and not the pour.

S: Smell is subtle. Initial sent of white or cider vinegar. Later very subtle notes of oak and smoke emerge. At the end a faint traditional "ale smell" is detected.

T: Similar to the smell the taste begins with a sharp vinegar taste. I really enjoy the acidity in vinegar, so for me this taste is very welcoming. It definitely has an acidic taste on the tongue that lingers. Once the sip has been swallowed the flavor transitions to a traditional Flemish Red Ale taste. The complexity is easily discovered to be the blend of young and aged ales. the blend is flawless.

M: The ale keeps its carbonation. It has an upfront light and carbonated fell. Once falttened, the beer is light on the palate. Very acidic.

O: This is my favorite ale. I started drinking it in January 2014 and I haven't been able to stop. I really love the taste of vinegar, so I really enjoy that aspect of this beer. With that being said, I imagine that for some this taste could be overwhelming or even unpleasant. I really love this beer! (1,625 characters)

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,053 ratings.