Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,259 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,259
Reviews: 1,002
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.42%
Wants: 233
Gots: 350 | 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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rodenbach Grand Cru Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,259 | Reviews: 1,002 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Apellonious
4.01/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt 9.6 fl oz bottle from FMcDs poured into a tulip.

A - Dark brown with faint amber highlights. Two finger head that moves quickly to a thin lace. Great lace retention through the drink.

S - Cider, vinegar, plums and cherries.

T - Follows the nose, with the addition of some pear and cola. Sour level is moderate.

M - Carbonation is on the moderate/low side, with some mid swig to the finish sharpness to finish semi dry.

O - A pleasant sour. Highly drinkable and recommended. Well made.

Photo of Osiris9588
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an apple cider color with a reddish tint from a 750ml bottle, caged and corked, wrapped in gold foil. Frothy two-finger head with decent retention and a fair amount of lacing. It is very effervescent, bubbles cascading to the top for the duration of the first tulip-ful. Besides appearance, the sound should be noted--it crackles and sizzles when first poured.

The smell is that of a gentle apple cider vinegar, intercut with strawberries, cherries, and other fresh fruit. This is my first go at a Flanders Red, and I must admit, the first sour sip is quite shocking, though really shouldn't be based upon the smell. The barmaid at the Burgundy Room warned me that it tasted "weird" and "like vingegar."

As my palate grows accustomed, I begin to enjoy the complex flavors of cider, grape juice, berries, sugary fruit, and sparkling wine--it also seems to share some characteristics with meads I have sampled. The mouth is complex, tart and bitter at first, then smoothing out into a jammy finish.

I find the drinkablity rather low, though I am quite enjoying it. The amount of tartness and sugar overwhelms my palate a bit. I think I might appreciate it in small doses, as a desert wine, but not at 750ml a shot. But in small doses it is wonderfully complex and dense and highly satisfying.

Photo of cokes
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this bottle for quite some time. I'm not sure when it was produced, but the bottom has a best before date of: 09 08 07.

Pours a shimmering and lightly hazy auburn-brown body with a firm rise of tan suds.
The nose is heavy on balsamic vinegar, and backed with oak, old sneakers, mentholated cherry coughdrops, and mildew.
It begins with lightly sugared brown raisin fruitiness, as it morphs towards cherry, and then begins an exponentially sour descent. From this sour cherry, it turns towards cider. From the cider, it turns towards lime juice. From lime juice, it becomes a well aged balsamic vinegar with the requisite oaky nuances. It stay bracingly tart as it hits the back of the mouth and explodes into splinters of cinnamon.
The tartness is generally autocratic, but some funkier yeast flourishes pop up from time to time, mostly via pungent cheese and wet basement impressions.
It carries a medium body, with a small amount of sweettart tackiness, but a fluffy carbonation keeps it from gumming up too much.
In some ways, the tartness makes this a bit of a one trick pony. It's not refreshing like a gueuze; more like liquid heartburn.
That said, this still has plenty of charm, and I like it quite a bit more than their Classic.

Photo of brewerburgundy
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4oz bottle, Boulevard tulip, "27/05/13" on bottom of bottle.

The pop of the cork was not so big, but the beer looks wonderful. The cork is definitely shorter than normal. A deep tawny head forms at a measured pace on a minimally chill-hazed brown-red, burgundy body that is just restricting light through its center. Minimal lacing occurs, but it's has a beautiful bit of foam.

My brother immediately channelled red wine upon smelling Grand Cru, and it's a valid point of reference. Woody, even oaky vanilla overtones show on mild acid. I'm reminded of sherry more than red wine and sherry vinegar at that.

Oak aging has had a large impact here; this is primarily a melange of oak's vanilla and tannic qualities and sour berries. Not much acid, a pleasant tartness suggesting some berry ciders and tart plums.

Carbonation is in a very comfortable sweet spot, distributing flavor, allowing the tannin's full impact. They're mouth coating but not overwhelming.

I haven't found this as sour as some sources make it sound. This is a good beer and seems perfect for a sort of warm up to the Russian River sours I've got in the fridge. I put put it around Duchesse's level, very good but possibly just below, as a possible introductory red sour ale.

Photo of hopsbreath
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Never having heard of this beer, and being VERY unfamiliar with the style, I gave this a shot on the recommendation from my beer guy. Apparently Rodenbach just returned to Georgia for the first time in a while so I decided to expand my palate a little bit.

Into a snifter I poured the chilled bottle and enjoyed over the span of an hour. The pour looked quite inviting. The body was crystal clear dark brown with ruby red highlights at the edges. The light tan head formed 4 fingers peaking out over the lip of the glass. No lacing was evident but I don't think, based on a little research, that lacing is typical of the style. I'm going to leave a little room for improvement so I'll give it a 4 for appearance.

The smell was unlike any beer I had ever had. Initially I thought it reminded me of red wine. Admittedly I don't drink wine often but that was the impression. The sourness quickly made itself apparent and hit me with strong lemon citrus and some of the acetic vinegar. I was a little leery of vinegar flavor in beer but have to admit, the subtlety of it worked well here.

The taste was great! I'm becoming more-and-more interested in sour beers and this one is no exception. Big sour tartness seems to over-whelm at the front end of the drink but quickly steps aside to let the other characteristics come out. Sour-cherry does a brief cameo as does some of the wood and vinegar. Once again the vinegar is not a detriment but seems to be a nice compliment. Wine drinkers refer to "tannins" as a characteristic in red wines, and while I don't entirely understand what that is, I think this has a little bit of it going on. Those little sensory taste buds at the side of my cheeks that pucker when encountering sour flavors did some real clenching here. I can't do justice everything that I tasted because of my in-experience in the style, but the take away here is that this is a complex/thought provoking drink. I consider myself a hop-head but was more than satisfied with this under-hopped example of what beer can taste like.

Mouthfeel was a little thin with soft carbonation. The carbonation was adequate enough that I think this would be a good "food beer". It really does a good job of scrubbing the taste buds with each sip allowing for a fresher palate between each bite of food.

While this is thirst quenching and refreshing, I think the sourness might be a little much to continue enjoying in a larger quantity. It's definitely nice and easy to sip over a longer period of time, but you probably don't want to be reaching for a third glass.

This is an interesting style. I will be trying out other one's when I get the chance and hope to re-visit RGC again in the future when I have developed a better taste for it. Recommended for anyone interested in expanding their horizons.

Photo of KYGunner
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This sets the bar very high with a near sculpturesque body. The head is tight, thick and resembles a cream like froth. The color is a deep ruby with highlights of mahogany at the edge.

The scent is sour with a sweet cheery tartness, some dried fruit lingers at the back.

The cherry tartness stands out on the tongue. I'm catching some date and prune but the sour washes it away. Dry malts also make an appearance but for the most part the cherry really rides on through.

The feel is very dry and smooth. The carbonation is not too noticeable but it still has a sprite air to it.

This is very good, very tasty, and nice all around. My only complaint is that it seems to be holding out the real strength that lies within.

Photo of VoodooBrew
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Redish golden-brown in color. The sharp aroma of apple cider vinegar leaps up into the nostrils upon sniffing this beer. You might normally consider "vinegar" to be a flaw in a beer's character, but in this context I rather like it. The nose continues tart and fruity with a flash of coconut cream.

On the palate this beer is SOUR! Incredibly so-- it's sour before you taste it, during, and after! Wow. There is a brief window of opportunity to explore sour tart citrus fruit and then the overriding tartness reenters the fore. Sharply sour on the finish, all the way down into the throat. Mouthpuckering.

This beer is, at least by my experience, completely unique. Certainly worth seeking out.

Photo of roscoehnj
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red with little head. Very interesting looking.

More interesting to taste and smell however. One whiff tells you this is going to be sour and one taste blows you away. I was not sure that this was how it was supposed to taste until I read some of the reviews here but this is by multiples the most sour beer I have ever had. The cherry like sour taste grabs hold of your tounge and does not let go. Right amount of carbonation for this type of beer makes it easier to drink than one might think. I'm not sure I could drink this on a regular basis but it is one hell of an interesting beer.

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is good lookin' stuff even before you pour. The stuff in the bottle is prettier than the container.
The scent is striking; what one would expect for a flanders red ale. Sharp, sour fermented fruit smells.
Raspberry vinegrette? Tangy and tart to say the least. Reminds one a bit of sour patch kids candy or some such. A hint of soy sauce lives in the flavor but I definately get berries on the palate.
This seems pretty spot on for the style though my experience with it is limited. Certainly not for everyone; it's pretty much a love it or hate it flavor profile.

Photo of pentathlete
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Translucent ruby brown, tiny bubbled head, persistant ring and some lacing. Gobs of carbonation. The smell has a little aspirinish odor connoting a sour taste is coming. There is also a malty aroma, albeit twisted by the sourness. Tart starts it all off, but never puckering. The malt base washes through in the middle. Balance is not bad at all. Mouthfeel is thin to medium with a light body and carbonic finish. There are lots of bubbles in this one, plenty of sour burps. Not overpowering, actually pleasant for a Flanders and paired very well with grilled porkchops. Spouse really liked it, too, a first for a sour brew.

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Brand flute glass. Pours a deep dark amber with a generous inch of off white, fluffy head. Aromas of sour cherries are most apparent followed by spicy yeast. Tastes of tart and sour dried fruits such as plum, prune, and cherry. The sourness lasts through the dry finish and then some. medium body and moderate carbonation. I did not think I would like this after my first few sips, but as I made my way to the bottom of the bottle, it sure did grow on me. Very well made.

Photo of TinusTime
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby red with brownish highlights. Very small cap of head tops the beer. Smell is musty and vinegary. Smells of a German Cherry Vinegar i used once. Taste is similar, sour cherries, wine vinegar, pucker the cheeks. A note of horsey funkiness also creeps into the taste. Mouthfeel is nice, low carbonation. No real hops to speak of which probably wouldnt be to style any how. A nice beer with dinner or a salad. Definately not a session beer, but one that I would definately pick up again.

Photo of MattRiggs
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: mahogany w/purple hue. not much of a head or retention.

Smell: sweet grapes, slight alcohol, barrel

Taste: carbonic and fairly thin, but works very nicely to sweep the sweetness off your tongue. dark malt/candy sugar sweetness that pairs nicely with a fair amount of oak, finishes very clean

Notes: A fantastic beer that would be a great alternative to champagne due to the carbonic bite and sweetness. You can definitely smell the barrel in this beer. I’d like to try it directly from the finishing tank.

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours clear ruby red with a medium-large off-white creamy head. Dissipation is slow and leaves rich lacings.

S: Oak, a bit sour and some cherries. Dry, some malt, dark syrup, bready. Faint bitterness.

T: Cherries and brett. Sour. Rich cherryflavour. Well balanced and well matured. Oranges.

M: Long sour bitter aftertaste. Body is medium and carbonation is very mild.

O: Nice sour Flanders red.

Photo of fuzzcherry
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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.

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.

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.

Photo of amsguitarist
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of ckollias
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,259 ratings.