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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

3,194 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,194
Reviews: 998
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.42%
Wants: 224
Gots: 326 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website
Belgium

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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rodenbach Grand Cru Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,194 | Reviews: 998 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jera1350
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby hued amber with an everlasting tan colored head that appears very soft. Some noticeable lacing on the glass.

Smells both sweet and sour. A lactic sour in fact. Apple cider vinegar lightly present.

The taste is a mix of sweet and sour as well, with the sour having a slight edge. A tart apple like sourness. I would call this a little beyond moderately sour. About as sour as I would really want to have. There is a little bit of noticeable woody oak notes as well in the background.

As expected, this one is very tongue suckingly puckering and dry. Light-medium body with lots of carbonation. Can't say I've burped from a beer as much as this one.

Nicely drinking for a sour. Well done and decently priced for the category. This is a good intro/evolving into sours beer. Not too sour, but plenty there to showcase the style.

jera1350, May 09, 2011
Photo of Dogbrick
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark reddish-amber color with a medium thick eggshell white head that lasts fairly long. Thick sheets of lacing. Aroma of sour cherry and grape, with a touch of sweet malt too. Medium-bodied and super tart and vinous and first, but smoother as it warms. Sour fruit is the name of the game here, with cherry and apple being dominant. Some light spices and malts are there as well. The finish is dry and fruity. Admittedly I usually struggle with this style but this is a complex and well-crafted beer.

Dogbrick, Jan 20, 2006
Photo of fields336
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into my SN Snifter
best by 1/09/13 printed on the bottom of the bottle

A: Dark brown reddish color with 1/2 finger of khaki/mocha colored head. lingers on the side with slight carbonation, alcohol legs present. lacing is nice and leaves different patterns on my glass as I drink it.

S: first smell is of vinegar, then opens up to a bouquet of cherries and grapes. with the funkiness/sourness it is almost like a red wine. some coffee or dark chocolate is latent. definitely smells acidic.

T: Red wine vinegar mixed in with dark fruits. the sourness washes away to a nice mix of fruity and earthy undertones. Definitely wine-like. Pretty nice. The mix of sweet and sour is nice and neither one overpowers the other. Definitely getting some tannins and oak late in the taste as it sweetens and lingers on my tongue. nice balance and the different waves of flavors are welcome.

M: light-bodied and carbonated, not a whole lot lingers but a bit on the sides of my tongue. hangs around for a while.

O: My palate was not ready for this style, so I will definitely mark this as one to have to re-review, but I think sour beers could become something I like.

fields336, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of amsguitarist
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%

amsguitarist, Nov 02, 2014
Photo of ckollias
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%

ckollias, Friday at 01:42 AM
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

AP: ruby tinted amber with a slow but plentiful carbonation creating a formidable tan colored head that becomes a fizzy 1/4" cap.

nose: sour and tart raspberrie fruity malt, sour dill pickles, overripe apples, sweaty feat-cheese, herbal hop and fermented grapes. pretty dang complex and odd.

flavor: This is an extremely tart raspberry flavored belgian yeast effect at first, mildly sweet malt, sour apples and a light white-wine taste that takes a back seat to the dominant sour yeatieness.

Feel: Medium body, light and fluffy feel with a dry finish. goes down pretty smooth.

DA: not bad at 6% ABV.

GratefulBeerGuy, Jul 25, 2007
Photo of jsanford
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Distillery in Savannah, GA. I was surprised to see this on tap, it was quite an unexpected treat.

A - Dark, cola-brown with reddish tints and a wispy rose-colored head. Solid retention, looks very inviting.
S - Quite sour smelling. Red wine vinegar dominates with a bit of tart cherry, sweet-smelling hay and oak.
T - Again, I'm getting a ton of pleasantly sour red wine vinegar. Some sweet malt and dark cherry balances the tart a bit, while the straw and oak help smooth the whole thing out. Quite tasty.
M - Thin-bodied with a slightly syrupy consistency. Carbonation is crisp and sharp.
D - Got a bit intense toward the end of the glass, so one should be good for me. Also, I need to pop a TUMS. Worth it though.

jsanford, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of geexploitation
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Wow. The Rodenbach Grand Cru is everything the regular Rodenbach is and more more more. Pours a bright ruby brown with a big head. Massive sour cherry nose with underlying vanilla notes. Taste is initally sweet, but upon starting to swallow the sourness takes over, and by "over" I mean "overpowering". Swig some of this and the sourness explodes in the back of the palate; even after swallowing, the sourness sticks around in the back of the throat. Mouthfeel is bright with that sour flavor. Drinkability, alas, is pretty low. The sourness is just a bit too much for me (and I like the regular Rodenbach, this is just dialed up so much), which reduces the drinkability.

Perhaps this could be excellent with the proper food pairing, and served in a smaller vessel (I'm working on 2/3 of a 750 at this point). Lots of extra points for rather rare flavors to encounter in a beer. Overall this is a great beer that I can appreciate but not, perhaps, love.

geexploitation, Feb 20, 2006
Photo of soupyman10
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one on-tap into the snifter. Actually had a friend order it who couldn't end up handling it, so I gave it a shot. Color is reddish-brown with a fairly small to medium amount of white head; looks alright, but nothing to write home about. Smell is biting, lots of cherries and grapes. Taste is remarkably strange; I've never anything remotely like it. It's mostly acidic; lots of sourness that really knocks you on your ass. There's also a good amount of cherry and grape, but not much in the way of hops. Other flavors in there as well (which other reviews hint might be oak). Again, body is medium overall, with fairly high carbonation (maybe a touch too high for me). It's a pretty good beer, and extremely unique; it's just not something I'd go out of my way to drink that often. So not bad, but not necessarily fantastic either.

soupyman10, Feb 28, 2007
Photo of sulldaddy
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another brew split with fish113d. Big thanks to Manekineko for the hookup!
I am sampling @ room temp in a tulip glass. the beer pours a clear cranberry color with minimal off white head that fades to an edge layer quickly. Aroma is tart, sour cherries, merlot wine, and some light oak scents mixed with a bit of vanilla. The first sip reveals a lighter body and fine yet prickly carbonation.
Flavor is as advertised by the nose, tart and sour cherries mix with a hint of oak but mostly puckering sour. I dig it!
the finish is very light with a lingering tartness and wine flavors in the burp. QUite an experience, I really enjoy this style.

sulldaddy, Dec 28, 2004
Photo of cakirkl
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown, looks like a quad nearly. The two finger head doesn't stick around for long.

S - I can smell sour notes right as I pour it. But that's all I smell, just sour. Little disappointed on the nose factor of this one. As I let it warm up, I'm getting more wood'ish notes. As it warms the sour wears a bit, and gains a bit of complexity.

T - Hey, that's pretty good. This isn't as good as previous ones I've had. I was blown away by the first one of these I had. This one might be light struck or something. The taste is good, but not amazing. I'm going to let this warm up for a few minutes and see what happens.

M - Pretty solid on this count.

D - Feels pretty darn good, but leaves the mouth a bit dry, that's my only compaint.

cakirkl, May 13, 2010
Photo of GreenCard
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle best by date: 5/16/05

Appearance: dark amber color, a thick rocky later of ever-present tannish head, great clarity, some lace

Aroma: lactic, almondy, oaky, minerally, strawberries, a hint of Brett horsiness, very interesting and hard to nail down

Flavor: a syrupy sweetness pervades but is slightly countered by a firm lactic tang and some lambic character (musty, horsey, earthy); a bit oaky and seemingly corky, vinous; finish is somewhat sweet but a pleasant sourness lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, zesty carbonation, slightly slimy residue feel

Overall Impression: Having finally acquired a taste for geuze (and the like), I can definitely see the appeal of this beer. And why it's a "hallmark" of its style. Would be great to cook with in place of wine, too.

GreenCard, Sep 30, 2003
Photo of TMoney2591
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Things are just as burgundy here as in Classic world, though a touch darker and a whole degree of magnitude more brackish. The khaki cap is now more baseball than beret, ‘cause it has to appeal to a wider audience, and who doesn’t love America’s pastime, eh? No one, that’s who!

Whatever subtlety lived in the classic nose is mostly gone here, replaced by an even sharper contingent of berries, the elite sniper brigade of the bush/bog/wherever the hell else berries happen to come from. Luckily for the sanity of the nose hairs, these sumbitches are constantly hounded (and likely annoyed) by a loudmouthed, yappy little toffee bastard. Now the berries know how Spike felt all those years ago with that pest Chester always tagging along, makin’ a comedic mess o’ things for the big lug. The traces of red wine on the edges are more blatant now, in the vein of a rich, earthy Pinot Noir. A short field of dark ivy crawls beneath it all, ensuring the tartness and the sweetness don’t battle in a vacuum, that it’s not just a young buck taking on a crowd of comers one at a time (I’m lookin’ at you, any extra that’s ever been in an action movie before). Finally, swinging along the edge of the canopy with the last vestiges of the wine is a twinge of apple vinegar, young, lithe, and carefree, but still with a chip on its shoulder. Be wary of this little fireball, as it probably won’t take much to set it off in an adolescent rage. I blame the parents. It’s always the parents. Usually. Sometimes.

Similar layers stratify themselves atop the tongue. First comes a basal sediment of sweet, buttery toffee. On top of this rolls a tide of berry-laced wine, this time verging closer to a Malbec. Then comes a thin-ish wash and veneer of straight white vinegar, quick and effervescent as a misty ninja, yet effective as the blade of a veteran samurai. Once this silent wind of puckering doom whooshes away, the wine and toffee helically battle through the air, a Torch and Sub-Mariner for these Modern Age times (clearly I’m not counting their appearance in Marvels as anything new, more a rerun of the past in stunning Alex Ross HD). Depending on the curvature of your tongue at the right instant, you may be left with a dry, tannic scar or a mildly-nutty sweetness. Either way, the feeling doesn’t last long, but a crater is indeed left behind, laden with remnants of everything that once dwelt on that craggy little asteroid. Shit, geologists are gonna have field days for years to come with this nonsense.

As hearty as everything comes and as thoroughly as things express themselves, there is a very bearable lightness in their collective being. An evanescence somehow pervades, even in spite of the lack of that dark beauty, Amy Lee. Dammit, this shit just turns out to be so drinkable because of this. There are worse burdens, I s’pose.

TMoney2591, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of cookedw
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I was shocked to discover that Jupiter (Berkeley) had this beer on tap, but then I remembered they were doing a sour special for beer week.

A - This is a gorgeous looking beer, a beautiful deep red.

S - Very red wine in character from the oak+fruit notes, a little vinegary but not a ton. Not really very aromatic, honestly.

T - Immediately, I tasted cranberry and sour cherries, and then this subsided into grapes. This beer is not particularly sour, which I appreciate, but it was almost too fruity. As the flavor accumulated on my tongue over time, I tasted a lingering tobacco-like note.

M - Lightly carbonated, this was pleasurable, with enough robustness to let the flavors linger and enough pucker to make the mouth water without blistering it.

D - As far as the style goes, it's really light and not super sour, so I consider it pretty drinkable.

O - This beer is good, but I kept on wanting something more from it. Maybe 'cause it's relatively low in alcohol content and so fruit-centric, I just didn't really yearn for each sip. I'm glad I had it, and it was tasty, but this is not one for the "absolutely seek out", IMO.

cookedw, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of OnThenIn
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Beautiful beer with a slightly off white head that was tiny and died down quickly. The beer was a magnificent dark ruby color with some amber hues.

Smell: This is one pungent beer. It smells a bit like apple vinegar with some cherry elements and a bit of backing sweetness.

Taste: A sour cider with a massive sour taste which included a finish that just kept going. There was a sweet backing flavor and a tiny bit of oakyness. Cherry and a vinous character were clearly present. It is complex as all get out.

Mouthfeel: The sourness is so strong that there is an carbonation like prickle, which goes fantastically with the lighter, thinner body.

Drinkability: The thin body and huge complexity would be a wonderful combination leading to a massively drinkable beer, but the super sourness makes it a serious sipper. It was rather enjoyable and a good introduction to sours.

OnThenIn, Jan 01, 2010
Photo of beersabound
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

When we first opened this one it had a strong vinegar aroma and flavor. This was beyond sour and unpleasant. However, after it warmed up, the vinegar subisided substantially allowng the fruity tones and sourness to come through. This beer has a hazy amber hue with a fizzy head that forms nicely and then snap, crackle, pops away. The aroma is predominantly sour with cherry and other fruits. The mouthfeel is puckering, quite lively and dries the mouth. the carbonation is high and it has a little body. Good Sour! Let it warm before you dive in.

beersabound, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of mltobin
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at The Half Door in Hartford, CT.
Poured into a goblit, the appearance is a light red color with a one finger head. The smell is tart, cherry, faint sugar. With a taste sour like the normal Rodenbach, but the Grand Cru to me seemed not to be as sour, but still interesting to say the least. With a tart, sweet taste, but not overpowering in my humble opinion. Mouthfeel is full and flavorful like most Flanders. Drinkability is pretty good for such an interesting and unique beer. Not a beer for someone who has only been exposed to bud light. But if you have tried some other styles and wish to expand your palate, start with the regular Rodenbach and then try this Rodenbach Grand Cru, it is worth your efforts.

mltobin, May 10, 2009
Photo of davesway10
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So this is the first time I've had this style of beer. Words such as "sour" usually send me packing. That said, I really enjoyed this beer. Nice Hazy brown, a little red, with a tan head the quickly recedes. Taste has some nice tart fruitiness to it, I get the apples more than the cherry that others have noticed, and thats fine. My palate isn't as "refined", one day though. Anyway, this wont be a regular staple for me but I'll certainly pick it up again, and look forward to trying others of the style.

davesway10, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of tavernjef
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beautifully bold and shiny dark brown color with a fine, bright ruby glow within and around the edges when strongly back lit. Much like if it were an interchangeable stage light. Starchy topping of parchment paper colored foam builds up gracefully after the pour to about a finger high and slowly fades to a light skim and a few light specks and strings of lacing.

Aroma is sweet and mostly sour with vineous grapes and cherry vinegar and a whole lot of earthly woodish notes that are very high ended and nose hair pullingly sour.

Taste is a towering inferno of souring stuff that is quite complex and uniquely snappy on the palate. Instant tongue cleansing and cheek parching with super sweet, tart cherries, souring vinegar, and vineous quailties that scream dry wine. Lots of superb surroundings to earth, wood, and leaves. Dare I say raisin seems to drift around with some currant skins and a bit of plum too. The texture of sourness is incredibly complex. Acidicly sublime and balanced with just enough sweet to help keep it a bit more in check then it probably could be. The oak aging has done wonders here with all sorts of unique notes that remind me of being in a deeply wooded forest on a hot day as the heat rises from the forest floor and sifts through the thick tree foilage. Wonderful in that regards.

Mouthfeel is like a swig of vinegar balanced with souring fruits and sweetened fruity malt. Crisp, tangy, full on oaky tinged heat and character, vineous dryness, and tones of well-handled sour is the beast of each sip. If sour patch candies were oak aged and pulled from the ground this would be the liquid form of that.

Now as much as I enjoy these types of beers, I have always had a tremendously hard time drinking them with any ease. The sourness is beyond me and my capacity to handle them like a pro Lambic drinker is not something I can keep up with. So on that note I unfortunately have a hard time attributing a nubmer to the drinkability of such a beer. So since this took me a very, very long time to finish, I guess its my average? Damn good stuff though.

tavernjef, Jun 25, 2007
Photo of Fish113d
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my tulip glass at room temperature, it left a 1/4" head w/ some sediment floating. Cranberry in color w/ definite clinging lacy head on the sides of my glass. To me it smelled much like a red wine would smell with some vinegar undertones. However, some vanilla and grapes come through as well and even a slight scent of sandlewood (barrels).

The taste is a tart cranberry-chocolate malt (mostly cran), w/ soem oak wood flavors but not really dry (maybe like a Merlot Wine) w/ a mild aftertaste. The feel is a tart and bitey feel w/ tickling carbonation and a mild aftertaste. This was a "new" beer for me to try, so i was quite suprised and interested in this style now.

Fish113d, Dec 27, 2004
Photo of spdyfire83
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

303rd Review
33cl bottle poured into Westy 12 chalice

A: Burgundy. ½ (mocha) fingernail head on brisk pour.

S: Candied brown sugar, vanilla, vinegar, and touch of caramel.

T: Sweet red fruit, soft caramel, and rounded tartness. Very enjoyable.

M: Medium body with soft carbonation.

O: I've never enjoyed a capped bottle of the Grand Cru previously (only draft and C&C bottles), but this was quite good. Very young and "fresh" for a Rodenbach, but quite tasty nonetheless.

spdyfire83, Dec 04, 2012
Photo of Bendurgin
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap in a goblet at Pepperland. The appearance is a dark mahogany with a hint of red. A centimeter of off white head sits on top with very thing lacing. At first whiff all I got was a nose full of red wine vinegar. It really reminded me of a fresh garden salad with a vinaigrette on top. At my second go towards a smell tart cherries and raspberries penetrate through a big vinegar nose. The fruit is very welcome company to this one. The taste seems a little more balanced. Nice and sour with a forefront of tart cherries followed by a vinegary aftertaste. Oak notes underlie fruit and sourness. The finish is rather a little sweet, making this a very ranged beer on the pallet. Nice to drink and it went very well with my corn chowder. I thought the carbonation was a little much but overall, this one drank nicely.

Bendurgin, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of tiger88
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My first Flanders Ale...
Pours a reddish brown in the glass that creates a nice, fluffy white head. The head slowly goes away to leave light lacing on the glass. Smells sweet and fruity but I can;t place the fruit immediately. The taste is very distinct and very sour upon first touch. The sour gives way nicely to a sweet almost wine taste as it rolls back on the tongue. It as a very light and crisp mouthfeel that goes down smothly. I would not be able to drink more than one, but that;s just my opinion. As I become better versed in this style, that may change.

tiger88, May 30, 2008
Photo of woosterbill
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Delaney's into a Rodenbach goblet - cheers to proper glassware, even if it is only 25cl.

A: Clear, deep ruby body with a half-inch of fine white foam; pretty quick dissipation and next to no lace. Great color, but disappointing otherwise.

S: Red wine/balsamic vinegar is overwhelming at first, but then opens up slightly into tart cherries and a bit of oaky vanilla. A little off-putting off the bat, but becomes intriguing.

T: Pleasant tartness throughout, with vinegar up front and delectable ripe cherries toward the end, as well as some dry oak. Clean, sour finish. Beautifully complex and balanced - perfect level of sourness.

M: Hugely effervescent medium body, the high carbonation of which is crucial for cutting through the tartness. Very nice.

D: Simply too much vinegar in the smell to be fully appealing, but on the other hand the tart finish keeps me thirsty for more.

Notes: Far more intense and complex than the regular Rodenbach - if the vinegar were even slightly less pronounced, this would be my ideal Flanders Red.

Cheers!

woosterbill, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of dasenebler
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl, best by 3/8/12, purchased in Belgium.

Pours a deep, opaque brown with plum highlights. The beige head is compact and laces well. Retention is average.

Aroma is fantastic, with a big sour component, sharp woodiness and an interestingly leathery character.

The flavor is very lactic-tart with a long, fruity finish. This stuff is pretty damn sour actually. There are notes of molasses, oak, leather, and dark fruits. The mouthfeel is smooth, with lightly prickly carbonation, but the beer lost it very quickly.

If you like sours, Rodenbach Grand Cru is a very enjoyable beer.

dasenebler, Jul 30, 2011
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
96 out of 100 based on 3,194 ratings.