Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,496 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,496
Reviews: 1,056
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.19%
Wants: 270
Gots: 464 | FT: 24
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,496 | Reviews: 1,056
Photo of ncfranklin
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml into a Duvel Tulip

750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Very deep reddish, copper, brown. Small tan head that recedes to a ring very quickly.

S: Strong pungent sour vinegar nose, with big cherry notes in it. Light hint of caramel.

T: Very, very sour. Strong on the fruit notes of cherry, apple, raspberry, with a vinegary sting in the back. With some warming, it mellows a little and the oak comes through lightly in in the finish.

M: A medium mouthfeel with strong, dry tartness. Makes you want to sip again and again to refresh the mouth.

D: The best of the style I've had, a real treat. The don't make them like this often.

Photo of hardy008
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown color with a 2 finger tan foamy head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has tart cherries, vinegar, and oak.

The flavor has tart cherries, green apples, vanilla, and oak. I do not taste the vinegar which showed up in the aroma. There is a nice combination of sweetness and tartness, with the tartness being dominant. Very complex, and good.

Light to medium bodied, above average carbonation. Finishes somewhat dry and tart. The mouthfeel is luxurious, and could not be better. This is an excellent Flanders Red Ale. I recommend it highly.

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep cherry with a 1/4 inch tan head. Smells of sour cherry, vanilla, oak, hints of port.

Taste is quite sour and cherry tart. The fruity tartness overpowers most of the other flavors. Lots of cherry flavors in here. Hints of oak and vanilla way back there. My only complaint is that with the sour aftertaste there is also a strong coppery aftertaste which I don't find appeaing. Don't know if that is indicative of the style or this bottle is past its prime. Full bodied and flavorful beer. This was the flavor explosion I was expecting from the Rodenbach Red. Not nearly as balanced but still amazing.

Photo of Jemonster
4.56/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: This beer is the same shade as root beer, but a bit lighter. It has a dense foamy tan colored head.

S: Sour yeasty smell, strong with fermentation. Believe it or not, similar to a soy sauce odor.

T: Immediately sour and reminiscent of green apples and cranberry.

M: Small bubbles like Champagne. Dries the palate slightly from the acidity.

D: Like many of the other sour style beers, this one is difficult to drink a lot of because it is so flavorful. The tartness starts to get to me after about 12 oz. It is still very delicious and at 6% alcohol, I could drink a lot before feeling the effects.

Photo of Mikus
4.56/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I really fell for this beer... even read some notes on the style prior to trying it. Looked awesome in the glass, with the deep reddish, brown hue... little to no head going on here. Amazing nose, including the vinegar note (which I loved for some reason), and some crazy dark fruit medley as well. The taste was unique, and amazing with all of the aroma notes joining the party. Pucker up! The mouthfeel was very dry, and left me wanting more. Super clean and original. Damn, just damn.

Photo of Zach136
4.56/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting around to a proper review. Best before 01 28 2017. Enjoyed 06 11 2015.

Appearance: Pours hazy deep ruby with a persistent beige collar.

Aroma: Sour cherry, oak, assorted dark fruits. Swirling in the glass gives a big burst of nostril burning acetic acid. The nose alone makes my mouth water.

Flavor: Big burst of cherry sour patch kid, rich malts back it up to create depth beyond a kriek. Notes of toffee and blueberry pie. High, bracing acidity. Mostly softer lactic, but acetic definitely peeks through. Physical reactions: More salivation, and now slight sweat accumulation.

Mouthfeel: Medium light bodied, slight acid linger.

Overall: The world class score is a perfect descriptor. This beer is an archetype and I've yet to have any American brewed interpretations that exceed this level of complexity, and drinkability, while remaining so acidic. Truly an art what the blender(s) do over there.

Photo of Kuaff
4.56/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Cellar temperature in my tulip. I think this my first time with a sour.

The head is nothing but a thin ring of fine tan bubbles . No foam whatsoever. The color is a kind of a slightly hazy mahogany-ruby-red.

An interesting aroma. I pick up on some acetic acid for sure, but for some reason the smell doesn't bother me in this context like it usually does. There are also various red fruits in here, like red apples, cherries, cranberries, plus a grape-like vinous quality. Maybe a touch of honey. Also, it has a unique musty herbal note. Distinctive!

Well. They don't call them sours for nothing! Sour and tart it is, similar in taste to many different sour fruits. It's weird. It has a pretty intense sour grape and cranberry thing going on, but somehow it's restrained just enough by a mellow, drying herbal bitterness that buffers the sourness, much like a properly prepared buffer system neutralizes a strong acid. The more familiar-to-beer bread and yeast show up in the finish. Really a harmonious flavor profile.

Love the feel. Calm carbonation.

My palate is pretty intrigued by this Flanders red ale. It has excellent complexity, as well as focused and controlled intensity. Much in the same way there's an art to integrating the alcohol of high strength beers into their flavor seamlessly, I think this ale artfully integrates sourness in a way that keeps it intense yet doesn't overwhelm.

Photo of magictacosinus
4.56/5  rDev +6.3%
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!

Photo of tectactoe
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had a surprising amount of trouble finding this beer in my area, so when I finally was able to find it, I made sure to grab a few bottles. I've heard great things about this beer, and I'm excited to finally give it a go. It pours a deep, murky brown-ish color with some red and ruby hints when light is allowed to pass through it. Translucent with a bit of haze, topped off with a slightly beige head; big-bubbled and quick to fade away.

The aroma is simply fantastic - one whiff and I already know this is going to be a winner for me. Incredibly layered and complex, each successive sniff brings about new aromas that I wasn't getting before; cherry skins, berries, balsamic vinegar, vinous grapes, heavy oak, tannic dryness, faint lemon... Just so much to take in. As a whole, the combination proves to be exceedingly tart and sour and I can feel my saliva glands starting to sweat just a bit.

The marriage of the fruit and barrel aromas are exquisitely done here, and the level of sourness that my nose is picking up is great. The finishing dryness from the oak is enough to blunt the acidic characters just enough to keep you from tiring of the smell too quickly. Every once in a while, a beer comes along that will have you sitting and smelling it for minutes before you even bother to take a sip, and Rodenbach Grand Cru has done just that.

When I finally bring the beer to my lips, my palate is met with a wonderful display of ripe fruits, straight out of the gate; cherries, grape skins, and more berries, all with insane, yet manageable levels of tartness. Each sip has me puckering my lips as the beer traverses to every corner of my mouth, injecting a solidifying sourness that's putting a smile on my face. I was hoping for sour, and the Grand Cru delivered.

But it's not just the copious tartness of the beer that makes it enjoyable, as anyone can dump lactic acid into a beer and make it sour as hell. It's the crafted execution of how the sourness developed that must be appreciated, and the layered complexity of the flavor profile can speak to those methods. The tart cherries, the heavy grape skins, the dry oak, the mild vanilla, the heavy balsamic-like vinegar, the sharp yet delicate acidity, the delicate tannin, and the superbly integrated vinous feel make this beer almost as much of an art form as it is a drink.

The mouth feel is nice for the style; thin, bordering on medium; my only complaint is that the carbonation in my bottle could have been higher. There isn't much more that I can say about this beer, other than the fact that it exceeded any and all expectations I had. I'm a big fan of sour beers, and I sure do love my American Wild Ales that stretch the palate towards unobtainable levels of tartness, but this beer proves that you can be both sour AND complex, and when done properly, it's a wonderful thing to behold. The fact that it's fairly readily available may be the biggest wonder of them all.

Photo of SanDNigel
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cork top bottle
A- Barely cloudy burgundy with a light tan head.
S- Sweet dark grape, fig, raisin with plenty of alcohol. Fruity without too much pucker
T- Tangy, grape, apple, delicious. Tart palate wrecking sensation. Really awesome and easy to drink.
M- 5/10 bubble size with an almost metallic after taste
This is a great beer. A perfect introduction to sours for most anyone.

Photo of tigg924
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: cloudy, dark brown in color, 1/4 inch head, high carbonation

Smell: sour dark cherries

Taste: dark cherries, some vinegar, and a touch of oak

Mouthfeel: a sweetish start with a sour ending and a lingering slightly bitter aftertaste, dry, high carbonation

Drinkability: I loved this beer. A nice sour end without being too sour. I love the cherry taste and could have several of this beer.

Photo of cjgator3
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Ran across this at the store and figured I would give it a try. I have never had a beer of this style so I did not know what I was getting into when I first bought this bottle. Pours out of it's 750mL bottle deep red in appearance with a sharp sour fruity smell, almost vinegar like. The taste sour but surprisingly pleasant. As the bottle warms up a bit, you can pick up some oak in the taste as well. Delicious! This was a pleasant surprise and is easily one of my favorite beers. It is not one that you can drink all night, but it sure is a unique beer that is a nice change in style every once in a while.

Photo of redneckchugger
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a flute, dark amber bolor, some head, no lacing, beautiful color tho.
smells acidic, vingary.
Tastes of cherries soaked in a reall good balsamic vinegar. tart, acidic, refreshing
thin mouthfeel but it realy works for this beer.
One of the most drinkable beers i have ever had. I love this beer.

Photo of kmo1030
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a nice looking deep dark red, with a thin not quite white head.
vinous vinegar-y aroma, with some dark, let me see... sort of rotten, mineral filled swamp mud. brings some hideous images to mind i know, but this works out very well somehow. some hay-like horse blanket mixed in with the swampiness too, followed by some plasticy oak.
the taste is fan-freaking-tastic. it's like drinking the most tasty vinegar you can imagine. a mild sweet apple cider vinegar flavor, with a little bit of oak and maybe vanilla here and there. a lot of cherry seems to come out as it warms. absolutely awesome and must be tasted to be believed.
medium body with mild moderate carbonation. mouth puckeringly sour and very drying.
excellent drinkability for something that is such an assault on the senses, but in the grand scheme of things probably only ranks at "good" for drinkability.
i've had this beer a few times now, and it gets better every time. seek this out and alter your definition of beer forever.

Photo of jmatthew
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark rusty red from the 750ml bottle with a large sticky tan head that subdues to a thin layer and leaves decent lacing on the glass. The smell alone warns of what lies below; mostly vinegar on the nose (evoking thoughts of ketchup and soy sauce), but with hints of fermented fruit and yeast. Upon tasting, the vinegar aroma reveals itself as an intriguing blend dominated by sour cherries up front and tart green apples with a lemon citrus dryness at the finish, all wrapped up neatly with a bit of oak. Sweetish, very full-flavored and lively, but well balanced as it finishes quite cleanly. Certainly not a taste for everyone, but an outstanding example of the style.

Photo of Zeisloft
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pouring from a big bottle, came out deep deep red. I couldnt wait to get into it. Smell gave many thoughts, superfruity, vinegar, sour. Hit the sourness I was looking for in the taste, and then that sweetness that comes out of no where. I knew what I was getting into and couldnt wait. very smooth and light in the mouth, carbination pushes the beer through. Very Drinkable, but wouldn't be on it an entire night.

Photo of sommersb
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted On: 06-17-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 750ml brown bottle
Glassware: Cervoise glass
Purchased: Single from Whole Foods, Nashville

Pours with 4 fingers of a light tan head on a clear, dark red-brown beer with ruby highlights when held to the light. Head retention and lacing are both very good.

Aromas are very sour, with cherry fruit characteristics. Other smells include oak wood and vinegar. Very strong red wine aromas on this one.

Taste is both sour and sweet, featuring a wine-like acidity. The Grand Cru is more puckering and sour than the classic red version. Flavors include tart fruits, with a little citrus, plus wood and tannin notes.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, with medium to high carbonation and a medium body. The finish is mainly sour with a slight sweetness.

Overall, this is a ramped-up version of the Classic Red Rodenbach, showing stronger sour and tart fruitiness. Very enjoyable and easy to drink.

Photo of sonicdescent
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky brown with a bubbly head leaving a crown.

Smells fantastic. Sweet grapes, cherries, other fruity esters as well as a sour bite.

Taste is similar to smell with cherries and grapes heading up front. Not incredibly sour like a Cantillion but not sweet like a Lindemans. Somewhere in the balanced and kind of wine like middle and excellent.

Mouth is thin with pretty high carbonation.

Drinkability? I won't have any trouble polishing of this bottle. Price is fantastic. A really great all around sour.

Photo of ckeegan04
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep mahogany with nice ruby highlights when held up to light. Thin bubbly light brwon head slowly fades. Leaves great lacing.

S - Deep aroma of sour grapes and cherries. Smells alot like a good port wine. Faint hint of oak as well.

T - Tart fruitiness with lots of dark fruit flavors coming through. Finishes a little sweet. Very complex flavors but not at all overwhelming.

M/D - Full bodied and excellent feel. Incredibly drinkable. Wow, I was about to give up on the crazy Belgian sours, but this one has me hooked.

Photo of Onibubba
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cracked open this 750 in celebration of St Pat - In your face Guinness! Beautiful ruby pour with a rich beige head. The expected aromas of port, vinegar, and sweet tarts assail my nose aggressively. You don't have to work to smell this beer - It smells you. Very heady, very nice. Taste is awesome. Very reminescent of The Duchesse, but this is more tart. Balsamic and tart cherries and port. Mouthfeel is not as smooth as the aforementioned lady, but is nice. A bit more highly carbonated.

Drinkability is great. Killed thi in no time and reached for the Duchesse to finish the night off. I think this style could take a bit more alcohol. I'd love to try a 9% version.

Photo of tillmac62
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear brown with a dark ruby cast. Above normal head volume, good lacing and retention for the style. Excellent nose of slightly sour tart raspberries (most prevalent) and cherries over a light caramel sweetness with notes of oak. Almost light medium bodied with a nice smooth texture that has bursts of creaminess in the finish. Well carbonated with effervescence from the middle on. The flavor profile is World Class and hits the marks on intensity, complexity and balance. It begins with a slightly sweet burst of raspberry with cherry undertones. These flavors effervesce into a nice tartness in the middle with just a touch of sourness underneath. Coupled with these are notes of oak over a balancing caramel sweetness. As these progress towards the finish, tartness becomes prevalent and a mildly sour puckering effect sets in. The somewhat dry finish is a fade of fruit flavor remnants over a lingering mildly tart sourness.

Photo of jmhart
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served a bottle at Cambrinus Pub in Bruges, and it was so good, I brought a 4 pack home and served it with a pepper encrusted porterhouse steak and asparagus.

A- Pours a thick creamy reddish-brown, forming a heavy off white head that rescinds quickly and leaves an intricate lace all over the beer. The lace eventually disappears.

S- Heavy acetic acid with some tart fruits like plums and dark cherries. Hard to pick out any flavors over the acetic acid.

T- Straight up sweet and sour. Deliciously sour with strong acetic notes, dark cherries, plums, and some really nice oak and bready, like a piece of bread soaked in red wine vinegar and buried in a pot for 3 years.

M- Really wonderful. Chewy and sour, with some nice oils, and impressively moist. Something this sour usually dries you out, but it's really refreshing.

D- Easily one of my favorite beers. So tasty and refreshing. I can't say enough about this beer. I'd never had it before my trip to Europe, and I was so happy to see it in nearly all of the beer stores I frequent back home.

Overall, I love this beer and drink it FREQUENTLY. Great with dinner. A nice steak or delicious pot roast. If it wouldn't be such a waste of good (and expensive) beer, I'd love to cover a good roast in this and slow cook it for 8 or 10 hours...mmm

Photo of mwcullnane
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ map room with cellartime.

A: Dark red with 3/4 finger head. Good lacing.

S: Not too acetic but still some sour notes.

T: Sour and sweet. Great balance unlike the 2010 la folie we drain poured the night before. I'm pretty sure that balance comes from pasteurization so take it for what it's worth.

M: awesome session beer, medium body, med-high carbonation

O: favorite Flanders red so far

Photo of Patrickbrusil
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Obviously this beer needs not much of an intro. It is one of the most widely recognized flander red ales around the world.

The nose has hints of mashed cherries and oak. The taste is utterly refreshing. This could be consumed all day long. For days on end.

It has notes of dried cherries, slight vanilla, and a wonderful woody sour taste that just dances across the tongue and begs one to take another sip.

A wonderful mouthfeel from the champagne like bubbles.

Drink it up. What a brew.

Photo of chocosushi
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

C&C->Duvel Tulip

A ~ Pours a rich dark red/mahogany with a nice head.

S ~ Red Wine grapes & Vinegar Barrel with some dried cherry & lemon rind.
Great complexity here. Twinge of clean metal & cellar. Plums as well.

T ~ Dried cherry & grapes follow through in full effect with hints
of homemade caramel/spun sugar with Bragg's apple cider vinegar & finishing
with crisp granny smiths & cranberry. Wow. There's just deep pockets of flavor that I simply cannot describe.

M ~ Top notch feel with the smoothest carb & cleanest tart bite that excites yer palette I have ever experienced in a red.

O ~ Incredible. This was a birthday present & I was not disappointed. Seek this out.

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,496 ratings.