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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,053 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,053
Hads: 3,604
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.38%
Wants: 288
Gots: 497 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,053 | Hads: 3,604
Photo of rajendra82
3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This green bomber was adorned with a silk-screened label, dull gold neck foil, wire cage, and cork, all combining to give the appearance of a package meant for a special occasion. The beer came out deep amber red in color, and had a slightly hazy appearance. The persistent head was one finger thick and the carbonation was light. The aroma of sour cherries and oak combined to form a wood glue like smell, which was quite mouthwatering (and no I don’t usually sniff glue). The taste was balsamic vinegar sour and somewhat spicy as well. Both of these tastes made for a very dry beer that demanded to be gently sipped and be paired with some food, so I pulled out some Irish cheddar cheese from the refrigerator to accompany it. The earthy sharp cheese cut out the peppery spiciness, but the sour flavor became even more accentuated. The oak aged notes were never quite detectable under the evident acidity. I found this to be quite drinkable, despite being very different than the hop bombs I always seem gravitate towards. The mouthfeel was naturally dry and the body was on the thin side due to a near absence of residual sugar. Not one I would order very often, although that being a deficiency in my character rather than that of this beer. (1,246 characters)

Photo of beertooth
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle today.

Poured into a Bell's tulip glass.

Dark, deep ruby red with a finger of somewhat fluffy head

Smell is dusty oak, cherries, dirty fruit, apple and white grapes.

Taste is tart apple and cherries, musty oak, earth, balsamic vinegar. There's a sweet and sour mix in the middle that's quite pleasant.

Mouthfeel is prickly and medium bodied.

An extremely tasty beer. I've never had this before, somehow and I could easily finish this bottle by myself even if it's not as sour as I thought it would be. (530 characters)

Photo of Giggy
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a beautiful beer and am glad I tried it even though I don't think I would buy it again.

A: Redish brown hue with a tan head. Great head retention.

S: Cherries, balsamic vinegar, fresh cut wood, red wine, and green apples.

T: Was so glad the bartender told me that it was sour so I knew what I was getting into. Found it to be very sour with aspects of grapes, tart fruits, and wine.

M: Creamy, medium bodied.

O: Not a fan of anything sour but glad I tried it. (473 characters)

Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Drunk from the Rodenbach glass.

A: Clear reddish brown.

S: Cidery and vinegary.

T: Wow, tastes like a sour English cider. Fizzy, sour and vinegary with a soft aftertaste of bread and cherries. That's really it.

O: Refreshing but boring. I doubt I'll ever have it again. (273 characters)

Photo of DrunkenMaster
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks and smells like a dirty, sour pond. Or like a sour apple and stinky cheese plate. Tastes fruity with strawberries and cherries. The taste is really different from the aroma but everything works pretty good. I definitely enjoyed this the most out of all the Belgian reds we tried. (285 characters)

Photo of JustinOSU99
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark orange-red color with a large head that fades away rather quickly.
S: Very tart and fruity with hints of alcohol behind it.Apple, raspberries, strawberries, oranges and fig dominate the smells.
T: Wow. Very different. I'm not even sure how to really describe it at first. Extremely tart and sour, followed by sweetness and alcohol. A very good flavor consisting of heavy apple tastes.Really a crazy tasting beer, but one to enjoy as a desert.
M: Heavily carbonated, light and refreshing though.
D: I would never drink more than one of these, but as a desert beer or with appetizers on a hot summer day it would be wonderful. (636 characters)

Photo of maddogruss
3.67/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My friend invited me over to help him out with a growler of this he got from the bar.

A: Pours a reddish, amber body with no head to note, only a light ring around the top of the beer. There was no significnat lacing to note.

S: A bitter, cherry smell. Reminded me of like a bitter, Robitussin smell.

T: A very sour, slightly cherry, Robitussin, taste with a sour, mildewy kind of aftertaste that sits on the back of the throat during the whole beer.

M: A fairly light and pretty thin beer. Seemed almost like drinking cold wort - that is how low the carbonation was in the beer.

D: For the style, it was a pretty drinkable beer with a pretty good mouthfeel and taste combination. However, this style is a pretty acquired taste, like sushi. If another style was available, I might have went for that beer over this one. (824 characters)

Photo of crnipeter
3.67/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogany reddish brown. The first pouring produced tan head dissipating into a crescent-shaped bubbly sheet, while second one resulted in a ring of delicate lace.

Rum soaked sweet cherries, vinegar. Excellent

Very sour - prevalent sharp acidic vinegar flavor + tart berries. Apparently no hops in here. Maybe some tannins raising from below, but the acidity is so overpowering that kills all delicate flavors that might be hidden within.
This beer needs something to balance the sourness - some additional sweetness would made it much better.

Pleasantly carbonated, light to medium bodied and smooth.

This beer requires some time to be appreciated. My first bottle went down the sink after 3 sips, but those that followed were the most refreshing thing one could desire on a hot summer day. However, due to high level of acidity one at a time is enough. (862 characters)

Photo of froghop
3.67/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a cloudy brown with a thin dark tan head, and some lacing.

smell is of sour malt, wine, caramel, and dark fruits.

taste is of sour malt, grapes, some caramel, some fruits, and wood, ends on the tart side and slightly dry.

overall a well done red ale. (259 characters)

Photo of samie85
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes; originally 4/4/11.

A-Pours a very ruddy, cherry juice-like color with a few fingers of pink foam.

S-Soft notes of vinegar with oak and some cherry.

T-Quite a bit of cider-like vinegar with some cherry.

M-Not as carbonated or light bodied as a lot of other Flanders Reds I've had.

D-Very easy drinking but I was definitely hoping for more tart, acetic, vinegar notes. (392 characters)

Photo of Cascadia
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very complex beer. Beautiful to look at, a very nice dark brown, until the light hits it from behind and brings out the ruby red corners. Nice. Smells of cider and fresh cracked black peper. Tastes unlike any beer I've had. Sour, oaky, more like a fruit cider to me than a beer, but tasty nonetheless. Not a beer that I've grown a taste for yet, but worth the purchase. Flanders reds are going to take me some time to appreciate.

Cheers! (440 characters)

Photo of kajerm
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first Flanders Red, and outside of a few lambics (of varying degrees of autheticity), my first adventure with sour beer. 750mL bottle with foil, cork, and cage. My girlfriend thought it was going to taste like champagne-- man, was she in for a shock.

Pours a rich, gorgeous amber with a foamy head of fine carbonation that puts up a hell of a fight before dying down. The head did not fade entirely throughout the entire drink, thanks to the constant stream of tiny bubbles. Very nice.

Smells exactly like I imagined. Mountains of horsey brettanomyces, layered with a cidery note that I couldn't pin down exactly. There is an underlying aroma of acetic acid.

Holy living fuck. This is a sour beer. Tastes exactly like it smells, only stronger in every conceivable way. The vinegar taste is overpowering on the first few sips, but as my taste buds adapt the barnyardy brett flavor, the apple cider note (does beer have malic acid in it?), and other sour notes become more dominant, and thank God, Zeus, and Thor for that.

Mouthfeel is sharp and thin, a deadly combo of high carbonation and a really, really acidic beer.

Drinkability? This is interesting, but one is more than enough. I was very very very very glad I didn't have to kill that 750 alone.

RERATE: I like it this time. I'm jacking up drinkability-- this is actually very subdued. I'm guessing it was warm or oxidized last time; in any case, this is a fine sour beer. Fortunately I overrated last time, so the numbers will stay more or less the same. (1,540 characters)

Photo of readbaron
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark reddish brown with a bit of white lace.

Smells highly acetic - unpleasantly so. A hint of funk and fruit underneath. As you get used to it, it improves, but overall is a bit less than ideal.

A lot like the nose - initially a lot of vinegar, then some fruity sugar - initially tastes rough - not as well blended as would be ideal. As you make your way through the bottle, it improves.

Mouthfeel is nice - light, a bit sticky, decent carbonation. (460 characters)

Photo of pmccallum86
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kbutler1 for busting this beer out.

Pours a dark cherry color with a bubbly small head.

Smell is is sweet, and a little off. It almost smells like grape cough syrup.

Taste is very sweet and sugary with lots of grape. Light tart funk also comes through. This beer is decent, but not good, I am trying to figure out why so many people seem to love it.

Mouthfeel is light, bubbly and sweet. Actually pretty good in this department.

Drinkability is pretty good, but would be better with less sugary sweetness. I would imaging some age could do this beer well. (570 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)

Photo of theo692
3.69/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served chilled, though not terribly cold. Aroma is wonderfully full, carmel-ish, and not sour. Refreshing initial taste, though perhaps too sweet for some. Flavor really opens up after the first sip -- cherries, I think, though certainly some citrus taste, as well. Finish is clean and even tart. Very easy to drink, not heavy at all. (334 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 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 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 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)

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