1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,833 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,833
Reviews: 981
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 210
Gots: 247 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000)
View: Beers (7) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rodenbach Grand Cru Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,833 | Reviews: 981 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of patre_tim


4.11/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2014 22:12:21 | More by patre_tim
Photo of charlzm


4.11/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 2009/11/25.

Pours deep brown into a glass with deep red highlights. Fine white head that provides a modicum of lacing.

There's no nice way to say it; I couldn't distinguish the aroma of this beer from that of vinegar. There was also a nice apple cider note and grape note to offset it, however.

The flavor is quite sharp: tart, sweet berries and a vinous character that dances right on the edge of vinegar. Some fleeting wood character. Despite this, it didn't strike me as especially complex.

Finish is notably dry and slightly acidic.

This one pulls off an amazing feat: successfully walking a tightrope over undrinkable sourness. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2009 01:12:04 | More by charlzm
Photo of CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

4.11/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The king of the Flanders reds perhaps, there could very well be better tasting examples of the style out there but this one is widely available and a relatively recent arrival to Alberta. A russet reddish to brown color with around three inches of tan head comprised of noticeably small bubbles. Aroma is that of red wine vinegar, grape candy, tart cherry juice, red berries, and lemon. Very sour and makes the nose tingle (in a good way). I also get some light earthy malt beneath the sour assault. Taste is dry, sour, woody, fruity, carbolic, and sour. Complex and somehow manages to juggle a bright, intense fruitiness with a strong sourness such that neither component gets trumped or dominated by the other. Tastes like dilute balsamic vinegar, sour pie cherries, lemon, tamarind, raspberry, nectarine, and tea leaf, but there are also some light sultana raisin and brown sugar notes in the background. Pucker-inducing to my palate. The ABV does put in a brief appearance here and there. Body quite thin with a moderate to high degree of carbonation. Reminds me a bit of the chokecherries you could snack on in the Northern Saskatchewan bush if you were so inclined, albeit much, much tastier. I am tempted to introduce this beer to a few wine snobs I know.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 16:40:02 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of Lnedrive14


4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Totally biased because of my love of the style...

Pours a light brown with a red delicious apple hue. Big white head and nice lacing. strong sour smell immediately overwhelms the room. Wonderful sour tartness is the dominant taste, but it is well rounded with cherry/apple sweetness. Lingering flavors. Perfect amount of carbonation to mesh with the tartness. Strong wood/barrel aged sensation. Highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2006 02:44:56 | More by Lnedrive14
Photo of Philabeerphia


4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been very excited for this one. The appearance is a deep amber rust. Smell is a little sharp but very fresh (not warm or spicy)- orchard, ahhhh, apples, and acerbic. The very first smell is the oak followed quickly by the sour fruit. Slight undertone of malt. Taste- tart up front, like sour apples, slightly sharp on the tongue, some carbonation. Soft sweetness on the back end to balance the taste. More balance than other red ales. Overall, extremely pleasing and above average drinkability. No head, no lace. Resembles the body of a wine. Direct relative of the orchard. Warms the stomach. It's been a treat. I would love to try it on tap.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2008 04:04:42 | More by Philabeerphia
Photo of tboom29


4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a deep red brown when poured. A lot of head at first, but it quickly subsides.

Lots of cherry and red fruits in the nose. Smells great.

Very crisp and has a dry, almost tanniny finish, which is probably from the oak. Tart cherry comes through, as well as other dark fruits and some of the oak as well. Medium mouthfeel, with a nice sharp bite throughout. Despite the bite, surpisingly smooth. Although I didn't do this, I would recommend eating with some cheese, as it can get a bit sweet. I'm not a huge fan of sour beers, but this was really great and would be great to sip in the summer.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2007 01:32:29 | More by tboom29
Photo of JohnGalt1


4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I received this in the beat down Czoch75 gave me in the 2nd Round of the Fight Club.... Clint put a hurtin' on my wants list... seriously.

Edit.. this is an '06!! Thanks again Clint!!

Shared this with inflatablechair.. Sam brought over some doozies.. so I had to reciprocate..

Poured into my New Belgium goblet.. reddish orange.. a little cloudy and a lite foamy head.

Nose is acetic with a bunch of fruity notes... sour cherries with a lite apple butter element.

Palate is much sweeter than the nose... a sweet apple cider vinegar combines with a bit of peachy fruitiness.. red wine vinegar is drying on the finish... A bunch more tannic oak arrives at room temperature.

the body is lite/medium with a lighter than expected carbonation.. very complex...

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2009 08:44:12 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of TheSarge


4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Produces a good amount of light tan head. The body is nearly pure black, but has a deep ruby red tint to it, and also seems to be well filtered.

Aroma has sour notes. Somewhat like red wine. Cherry traits are also easily detectable.

The taste is very sour of course. Cherry and very tart. Cranberry is another fruit very detectable in this brew.

MF is crisp with the body being medium. It's very refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2009 19:53:57 | More by TheSarge
Photo of sethmeister

New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 corked and caged bottle into flute

Attractive caramel brown body with a creamy light tan head and a touch of streaky lace.

The scent is quite amazing. A blast of pungent and acidic sourness, vinous grapes, yeast, spice, toasty notes.

The taste is just as overwhelming as the scent. Sour, salty, wine grapes, yeast, oaky and toasted flavors. My unlettered palate can't help but taste apple cider vinegar.

Mouthfeel is intensely astringent and puckering. The back of my throat tingles and itches.

Drinkability is, at least for me, not high. I suspect that finding just the right food to accompany it might make it easier to drink.

This is the James Joyce of beers. Its not for the casual quaffer and may leave you confused and upset at times but the experience makes you a richer human being. Well, perhaps that's stretching it but if you want a beer that is both shocking and enriching Rodenbach Grand Cru is a good choice.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2007 16:34:26 | More by sethmeister
Photo of adam42381


4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes at World of Beer - Fort Myers on 9/17/11.

Poured on draft into a St. Bernardus goblet.

Appearance: Pours a very dark caramel brown with a 1-2 finger creamy light tan head. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Vinegar and wine grape hulls. Quite sour aroma.

Taste: Vinegar and sour grapes with light woody notes. Aftertaste is light and dry with sour notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Pretty good drinkability. Despite the relatively low ABV%, it seems fairly heavy. I wouldn't drink more than a couple in one sitting.

Overall: Very good beer overall. If you're a fan of sour beers, this one is definitely worth trying.

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2011 15:56:13 | More by adam42381
Photo of OWSLEY069


4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color with a nice light tan head. It has the aromas of sweet dark cherries. In the taste, sour cherries, a nice malt and a tad yeasty. It is a smooth beer, well the sourness leaves a small sweetness behind. It has a great body nice and complex.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2007 20:36:55 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of beveragecaptain

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml corked bottle. The beer pours out a dark red color with a small head. Aroma of wood, vinegar, and funk. Flavor starts off sweet and sour, with some cherry flavor. Not overly sweet. There's a bit of a strange metal taste in the finish. This beer is pretty tart, but not cheek puckering. Medium bodied with a spritzy carbonation. Good drinkability. I never had the old version, but I liked this one a lot.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2005 21:32:55 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of joepais


4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured in to my tulip produced a good finger worth of tan head that drops of to a thin lace. The body was ruby red in color

Aromas of sour cherries and fruity vinegar filled my nose and I liked it. Isn't summer the best time for a sour?

I really loved the sour cherries and fruit flavors. This it wasn't overly sour either. The oak aging seemed to bring out some of the sweetness of the malts to keep it balanced flavor wise. Good medium mouthfeel on this with great carbonation

I will place another recommendation for this brew. If you are into sours at all it's a must try. The drinkability was great I easily finished the bomber myself while sitting in the yard enjoying the last of our New England summer

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2008 01:25:31 | More by joepais
Photo of jed


4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Comes in a brown, 33 cl bottle. The front of the label has a picture of casks and text boasting of "2 year muturation in oak casks" in four languages. The back of the label has a longer description of the beer, a series of numbers that appear to be a bottling code, and a best before date of 11/19/05.

Appearance: Pours a very dark, ruby color that lets through only a small amount of light. The head is very small, with average head retention and a small ring of lacing. Solid color, but nothing amazing.

Smell: A more refined version of the Rodenbach classic, with a similar but deeper smell. Wine-like acidic fruit aromas, followed by a hint of sweetness. As the beer warms, more pronounced wood aromas and a small amount of mustiness.

Taste: Again, a much better version of the Rodenbach classic; similar flavors but they taste more developed. Toasted malt nose followed by a wave of what seem to be sour fruit flavors, mainly cherry — I'm shocked to learn that this beer doesn't actually have any fruit in it. If the flavors come from the oak, it shows the pour of the long maturation process. A hint of malt vinegar. Aftertaste of smokiness, oak flavor from the casks. Very dry finish due to the oak and tart "fruit" flavors. I tried tried paring this with from sharp cheese and a pear, which really drew out the oak flavors.

Mouthfeel: Noticeably smoother than the Rodenbach classic, very nice.

Drinkability: The sour "fruit" and the high carbonation hurt the drinkability of this one. An excellent flavor, but not something you'd want to have a lot of.

Rodenbach Grand Cru has a vasty different flavor from what most people imagine when they think of beer. This isn't something I'm going to start drinking daily, even if I could afford to, but it's a still a very interesting and challenging beer I'm glad to have tried.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2004 09:52:46 | More by jed
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle served in a Spiegelau tulip. Best before 09/04/13 printed on the base of the bottle. Pours a brownish-plum hue with a murky clarity and a loose half inch, off-white head that immediately disperses into a cluster of bubbles and ringlets around the edges with a residual soapy slick across the surface. Not much in terms of lacing; just a few spots and a thin slash here and there. Great nose - tart cherries, toasted oak and a buttery quality. Taste follows nose with the addition of citric acid a suggestion of cork and a light saltiness. Mouthfeel is medium-light and perfectly carbonated for the style - not too lively, but also not still. Acidity lightly stimulates the salivary glands and leaves a residual presence on the back of the tongue. What can I say that probably already hasn't been said - this beer is an archetype for the style. There are definitely some distinctive variations on the theme out there but this is a great place to start if you are looking to gain an understanding of the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2011 01:15:03 | More by Jwale73
Photo of aleyeast

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me preface by saying, I think this could have used a little more time in the cellar, not a usual problem with me as I have quite a backed up cellar.

poured into a rodenbach tulip from 75cl corked bottle

color is auburn-amber, head is orangy with mixed bubble size
aroma is slight sour, earth
taste is sour, fruity, very effervescent
mouthfeel probably could us 6 months to mellow and have the flavors blend, almost unripe, still easy drinking for a sour ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2006 18:48:24 | More by aleyeast
Photo of Shaw


4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After literally spending 10 minutes struggling with the crown cork, I poured this beer from its 750 mL bottle into my glass. Phew!

It's a beautiful red color with an off-white head.

It smells sour with notes of cherries, citrus and earth. The cherry smell is quite strong, actually. Nice.

The taste is tart and acidic with fruit notes. I don't taste malt or bitter flavors at all. Very clean.

The light body compliments the tart flavors very well.

This is a very nice Flanders Red Ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2006 06:04:31 | More by Shaw
Photo of Azurescens


4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL corked and caged bottle best by date 05/04/14 printed on label, poured into Hair of the Dog tulip, reviewed on 6/30/11.

A: Pours dark red brown with with light reddish hues and a fluffy tan head that leave some light lacing around glass.

S: Tart cherries with dark fruit, sweet malt, caramel and some mild vinegar notes.

T: Starts out tart with cherries, other fruit notes and some sweet malts. The tartness fades to reveal smooth and mellow cherry and caramel followed by a wave of mild tartness. Leaves a lingering taste of cherries and other fruit.

M: Really smooth light-medium body with moderate carbonation, finishes dry.

O: Awesome Flanders Red, one of my favorites yet. Really drinkable and delicious with great fruit notes and tartness.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 03:08:03 | More by Azurescens
Photo of BamaBeerBuff

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A beautiful dark crimson-brown color with a thin, wispy head. Almost no retention, but that's the style.

S: Very sour at first, with some grape and cherry notes emerging. Some woodiness is detectable--no doubt from the aging. A faint sweet caramel malt, also. This stuff smells almost like a wine.

T&M: Tart and sour fruit with much acidity in the finish. Less distinctive, specific fruit notes in the taste than the nose--just a generally acidic fruitiness. With slight warming, some nuttiness and earthiness emerges towards the back of the palate and in the finish. Finish itself is smooth, dry, and acidic. The beer really beckons you to another sip quickly. Medium-bodied, with a substantial amount of carbonation that really enhances the sour flavors of the beer. Obviously, the acidity and tartness detracts from overall smoothness, but the beer nonetheless goes down smoothly relative to its taste.

D: The beer has great flavor, but I can't see myself drinking more than 1 or 2 of these in one sitting. The sourness and tartness is wonderful, but definitely not something that could be enjoyed all night long.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2008 22:45:06 | More by BamaBeerBuff
Photo of Stevedore


4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750ml C&C opened up and poured into CCB snifters to share with 3 friends yesterday, 5/25/2013.

Aroma: Tart and sweet up front. Not like dark fruits like cherries but something more like apple cider but less sweet and more tart. A good bit of vinegar and oak. Not super complex but you can't miss the fact that its a sour beer! You can smell the underlying sweet fruit which boded well for the malt contribution. (4)

Colour: Ugly-looking bubbly reddish brown body that comes with a 2cm tan head that dissipates quickly into the body. Leaves a small sized collar. Lacing is solid but nothing to write home about. As with some of these Flanders reds, the appearance is definitely not the strong suit. (3.5)

Flavour: Very nice! Lots of earthy tartness rolled up into green apples, a bit of raisin, a little cherry and a good bit of oak on the back end. It's not a vinegar bomb by any means. Lots of acidity but it doesn't burn as it goes down, not at all. A well balanced sour'n'sweet beer. (4.25)

Mouthfeel: A bit on the thin side, fairly typical for the style I'd say. Well-carbonated with a nice fizziness to it. The aftertaste is basically drying earthy oak flavour. Refreshing but not something you'd want to throw down. (4)

Overall: Excellent sour, very tasty and refreshing. Its not too sweet, not too sour but everything is put together just right to make it a nice sipper on a summer or winter evening, whatever season it is. It's a versatile sour beer that would be a good introduction to sours due to it being balanced and not too over the top.. and the price is right for a barrel-aged Belgian sour- $8-12 for a 750ml is a great deal. (4.25)

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2013 08:34:37 | More by Stevedore
Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack

New Jersey

4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2014 01:57:43 | More by MakeMineADoubleJack
Photo of clayrock81


4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2014 14:45:58 | More by clayrock81
Photo of vette2006c5r

South Dakota

4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2014 00:42:09 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of alex_hart


4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: A dark, chocolaty red with a thin, off-white head and good carbonation.

Smell: Fruit Fruit Fruit. A bit of sourness along with a good sweetness in the back.

Taste: This is just tasty. The tartness of the fruit really comes in, but not in an overpowering way at all. The sweetness balances is it our perfectly and keeps it enjoyable from start to finish. Plum, grape, and some others I cant quite put a finger on.

Mouthfeel: Great carbonation across the tongue. Extremely drinkable with little to no residue left in the mouth upon the swallow.

Overall: This is my first brew of the Sours category (Flanders Red in this case), and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I was very pleased with the outcome, and with this price tag it is a must get.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 23:58:19 | More by alex_hart
Photo of dill


4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured on draught into a snifter.

A - a deep mahogany color with a thin white head.

S - fruitcake.

T - reminiscent of cherry syrup. there's definitely some spices in here too, but the fruit is dominant without being too sour. perhaps i would have enjoyed a touch more sourness in fact.

M - tight carbonation, almost champagne-like.

D - a nice beer to sip although I wouldn't look to have more than one at a time.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2008 16:24:08 | More by dill
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 2,833 ratings.