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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.

3,000 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,000
Reviews: 987
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 213
Gots: 290 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,000 | Reviews: 987 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OneDropSoup
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint: Dark reddish brown, barely translucent with deep ruby highlights -- the color of natural strawberry preserves. Finger of beige head.

Smell is tart cherry & strawberry, raspberry, mild vinegar (like a vinaigrette?). Subtle vanilla, little bit of roasting cocoa. Real good, kind of a floral tang to it, too.

Tastes of moderately tart berries, mild vinegar -- more acidic than the aroma suggests, but most of the same notes. Really dries out in the center, tannic & oaky, vinous.

Fairly sharp acidity that becomes tannic & dry, kicks in those drools glands.

Very good -- not my favorite for the style, not the most complex I've encountered, but still pretty awesome. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but one or two is enough for this rich brew.

OneDropSoup, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of hopdog
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

How have I not rated this one yet! Notes from tap at Capones.

Poured a deeper amberish/brown color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of woodiness, vinegar, and sour cherry. Tastes of vinegar and sour dark fruits. If you don't like vinegar, skip this one for sure.

hopdog, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of Damian
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from an 11.2 fl. oz. bottle at The Squealing Pig, Boston, MA

Poured a dark crimson/mahogany with no head but rather a tan layer of bubbly froth that faded to a lasting ring.

The aroma was oaky, funky and very intriguing. The eighteen months of barrel aging definitely came through in the nose. Sour cherries and a touch of fruity sweetness was noticeable as well.

The taste was a strong, yet well-balanced mix of sweet and tart flavors, along with a Brett and Lacto yeasty funk. Some rich, supple maltiness appeared up front before the sour, cherry-like flavor kicked in. As the beer moved along the palate, I picked up strong notes of dark fruity sweetness as well. The flavor profile switched between tart and sweet. At times the beer also took on a red wine-like quality. As the beer reached the back end, the sourness intensified. The beer finished sour and slightly tannic, but the aftertaste was an equal mix of sour and sweet. Needless to say, this beer definitely kept me on my toes. There was absolutely no indication of hops in this brew, as is typical for the style.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied with a fine, mild carbonation.

Overall, this was a terrific and interesting beer. My only complaint was that it was at times a bit too sweet. It was definitely much sweeter than Rodenbach Red but also much more complex.

I would suggest pairing this with a pot of freshly steamed mussels (and pouring another bottle in the pot if you are making them yourself).

Damian, Jul 21, 2007
Photo of tobelerone
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Can’t believe I am just getting around to reviewing this one now; sometimes my notes go missing for months at a time. This is one tasty beer though. Reddish brown, dark cherry soda appearance. Not much head or lacing although the cork popped nicely on the review bottle. Aroma is tantalizingly tart and sweet, with the faintest hint of vinegar in the background. Cherry in there, too. The flavors are the same; the vinegar note, while noticed, is small and muted enough that non sour aficionados can enjoy this one too. Very fruity, mostly cherry but maybe plum/raisin/cranberry as well? Super tart, crisp, clean, refreshing. Excellent carbonation. I had this one at the end of a very very long day of teaching, followed by a memorial service in a sweltering church, then cleaning the house till midnight to prepare for guests. Hit the spot in a big way.

tobelerone, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of mmapes
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had a bottle earlier in the day that was fresh. Reviewing a roughly five year old bottle from Beer Mania.

Poured into wine glasses. Head was there briefly but dissipated quickly. Color is cola-reddish-brown.

Smell is sour up front, carmel, maybe a hint of slight vinegar... we hope it's okay. I think the fresh bottle earlier had a more appealing scent -- the sour note seemed more fruity.

Very interesting first sip: Sweet, a little sour, very complex. Some cherry up front, but quickly turns less fruity than the fresh bottle earlier had been. The age makes it smoother than the fresh bottle. The sour component is preceded by a dark brown sugary malt that is quite sweet, and just the right offset for the sour. The long finish makes it easy to sip. I'm not the biggest fan of sour beers, but this is delicious.

mmapes, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of warmstorage
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just realized that as I'm about to keg several batches, I needed to free up some space in the beer fridge to use it as a keg fridge. Time to drink!

750ml bottle, 6%, says Best Before: see bottom, but no date discernable on the bottle of the bottle (or anywhere else.)

Pours a deep red with a moderate, fairly dense off-white head that dissipates rapidly and leaves just a little lacing.

Aroma is sour pungent funk, in a great way.

Taste is sour and lactic and slightly sweet, with a long sour finish. Notes of fresh, young granny smith apples? Slightly sugary sweet, more than I might expect to show through in a sour beer. Long lingering sweetness.

Mouth is relatively thin, with a prickle that is probably more from sour than carbonation.

A delicious beer, and it shows my love of sour beers that I don't find this particularly sour. It gets only a relatively minor response from my salivary glands, and finishes sweet more than sour. Still pretty tasty.

warmstorage, Mar 29, 2007
Photo of Viggo
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful reddish brown, pretty clear, with a big off white head that laces. Smell is sweet with a very sour cherry type aroma. Taste is all sour cherries, cranberry juice in the middle, then a very dry tart finish. Very strong sour aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel, nice and thick, low carbonation. Excellent ale.

Viggo, Jul 18, 2005
Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 750ml from Best Damn Beer Store in San Diego. $10. Poured into my sweet new Delerium Tremens goblet.

A: Pours a deep red brown color with a off colored tan head, great retention, nice spots of lacing. Pretty decent clarity. Not a bad looking beer.

S: This really reminds me of NB La Folie, maybe just a little bit more sweet, strong sour notes, sour cherries and lemons really stand out, oak aging is there, and caramel as well. Nicely complex nose. Great.

T: Not as sour as the nose leads on, based on the smells I was expecting a huge pucker factor, but instead there is a slight sour cherry flavor, slight lemony sourness and then a really deep complex malty profile. There are some excellent caramel notes and even maybe a bit of roast. Definitely a tasty beer.

M: Medium to medium thick body, light bubbly carbonation, slightly puckering sour, and dry as well. Nice here. Maybe a little on the thick side.

D: It won't be much to drink a whole 750 of this, however I think a little bit more sour would really make this beer top notch. Nice beer, glad to try it.

pokesbeerdude, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of StJamesGate
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a leather red brown with mauve highlights and no head to speak of. Nose is fruit, funky barrel and earthy spice - like mulled wine or Balsamic vinegar. Bright unripe pear and white grape up front, with a sour burst of mustiness in the middle and maybe a hint of nettle tea hops. Surprising hint of chocolate-covered cherry at the end. Vanilla as it warms. Light, clean, dry with a bit of burn.

Not so much my thing, but *way* complex.

StJamesGate, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of Can_has_beer
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%

Can_has_beer, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of BarrelO
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a goblet. Best-by date of 2/1/2012. I figure they're using the European dating system, so I guess that means January 2.

A: Dark reddish brown. Pretty much no head.

S: Whoa. Vinegar. I'd better keep this away from any ammonia. Fruity notes buried far far underneath.

T: Major tartness with a hint of sweetness. Kind of like a sour apple Jolly Rancher that has been dipped in vinegar. A few traces of woodiness.

M: Light yet syrupy.

D: This is definitely a love-it-or-hate-it beer. And even the most diehard Flemish sour fans would likely have trouble finishing more than a bottle at a time. Everyone should give this a try at least once simply because there's no other beer quite like it.

BarrelO, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of Gobzilla
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a reddish brown in color with brown highlights and a thin head leaving a little frothy lacing sticking to the glass.

S: upfront on the nose it was a mixture of plum and vinegar notes with a little aroma of acidity but had slight oaky character. I did however manage to sniff out some brown sugar and mild cherries.

T: the vinegar and acidic character was more prominent on the palate with the oak barrel giving it some complexity but had cherry accents and a touch of plum.

M: the brew was medium in body with a sweet, slight fruity, oaky, acidic, and tart finish.

D: definitely was drinking great and this brew has been one of my favorite flanders stlye brew for awhile. We'll see how this one holds up with a little time.

Gobzilla, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of mkobes
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Light brown and clear in color with a nice fluffy tan head. Candi sugar aroma. Sour tasting. Very tart cherry like . Tart cherries in the nose. Flavor is malty and sweet. Well balanced beer. Some oak in the finish. Finish is refreshing and tart. Drinkable and enjoyable.

mkobes, May 25, 2005
Photo of Holland
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: reddish brown pour with good head that stays as a large ring and some lacing.

S: malt vinegar, apple, fruity esters of yeast or something. I'm not that familiar with the style but it tastes delicious.

T: delicious, as I said. Sour, apple or pear flavor, good malt taste as well.

M: Highly carbonated does well for the style, medium-light body.

O: great beer, overall it's pretty good for the price of $9. Can't believe I found it where I live.

Holland, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of kbutler1
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours a really nice red/brown color with a surprisingly nice frothy head. The aroma is sourness followed by fruit and oak. The taste does not disappoint! The initial taste is of tart and sour fruit flavors followed by a a mild vinegar taste. Acidic. Light /medium mouthfeel. An excellent example of a Flanders Red Ale. Re-Rate: Having tasted this next to Amorosa, Temptation, and Consecration, I have since re-rated this beer to be below those. Grand Cru is very good and easily accessible but it is a little sweet.

kbutler1, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of maximum12
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared with friends the past weekend at a cabin in northern Minnesota, with the loons screaming outside & the smell of bass on my hands. Thus are summer weekends made.

This bottle was purchased two-plus years ago, & the right time just never seemed to arrive to open it until now. Pours a sparkling, fiery red that seems to smile a bit in the light. Smell is sharp cherries & fruit.

This bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru appeals to me more than I recall it doing. The taste is more tart, sharp, than sour. Raspberries & cherries come knocking, with an attendant dose of vinegar bitterness, but it seems subdued, perhaps due to the aging of the bottle. Drying, oaky, highly carbonated on the tongue, this is very pleasant. Mouthfeel is light, & I ended up drinking over half the bomber as it did not appeal to the friends we were visiting, & glad to have it!

Excellent brew. I will have to try this once more, fresh, to see if the taming of the colors is what led me to this pass.

maximum12, Jun 29, 2010
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter. Sharred with a fellow BA.

A- Pours a dark brown body with red hues, nice 2 finger beige head that dissipates slowly, nice lacing as well.
S- The smell was not a surprise, vinegar upfront, with a nice oakiness that lingers out, cherries as well as a slight barnyard funk aroma.
T- Wow the taste really surprised me, from the aroma I was expecting this one to be a little more sour, this beer is really sweet almost candy like, slight tartness, cherries, oak, vinegar, very surprising.
M- Well carbonated, smooth drinking, dry on the finish.
O- This beer surprised me, I heard fairly good feedback on this one, although I was expecting it to be a little more sour, the surprising sweetness was enjoyable, really easy drinkability, would definitely drink again.

Chriscrundwell12, Jul 04, 2011
Photo of PorterLambic
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice brown with red edges.
Smell is sour, dark fruits and wood. (I think my nose is drooling (Ewww! Sorry.)) :-{)
Taste is very sour with a wierd vinegar sweetness (not unlike balsamic in that regard), cherry and a wood note.
A medium body, medium effervescence, sour cherry/vinegary aftertaste fades fast. An extremely drinkable brew. I want more!

PorterLambic, Jul 30, 2007
Photo of ryanonline
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the beer appears very dark amber red brown. a unique mix of colors, but it still retains an off white thin and spritzy head, that does leave some nice sheet like lacing.

smells, sour and sweet simultaneously. cherrys and figs are very light with a strong vinegar taste overpowering them both. in the end of the nose it has a bit of dry woody and earthy aromas.

This flavor is more of the same, lots of cherry and vinegar. lots of dry woody flavor in the finish.

The mouthfeel is very dry, although somewhat thin bodied. A bit creamy, with some moderately foamy carbonation.

This beer is surprisingly drinkable despite having a fairly dominant flavor profile.

I had a rather poor experience with this beer before. I happened to have gotten a past dated bottle and it was not pretty. Im glad that it was only a single time incident and not a consistent problem. I am much more impressed this time so here's to ya, cheers.

ryanonline, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of Arithmeticus
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is the first time I have had a beer of this style, so comments are a bit unorthodox.

Poured chilled in ale glass.

A: very dark copper red; thin head
S: whew! Sour--vinegar. Is that good or bad for this style?
T: like smoking my first cigar; I'm coughing; incredibly flavorful and complex; very sweet and sour; would be ideal as an appetizer

Arithmeticus, May 11, 2012
Photo of TheDrunkMonk
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured it from a 750 ML bottle. Nice dark rusted reddish hue with a creamy 2 finger head that disapates slowly. Light lacing on the glass. Aroma is all dark cherries and toasted oak and vanilla notes. Smells tart and sour almost metallic. Taste is all sour cherries and raspberries. A little spice lingers on the palette. Mouthfeel is medium body with mouthwatering acidity and long finish. I like this as much as the Cuvee des Jacobins Rouge.

TheDrunkMonk, Oct 02, 2012
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.

patre_tim, Jun 23, 2014
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.

charlzm, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of CalgaryFMC
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.

CalgaryFMC, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of tfsimpkins
4.12/5  rDev -4%

tfsimpkins, Aug 16, 2014
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,000 ratings.