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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.

2,812 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,812
Reviews: 979
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 209
Gots: 244 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,812 | Reviews: 979 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bohemiandonut


4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Having recently come into possession of some goat cheese Brie and a sourdough baguette, I found myself in dire need of another bottle of this classic.

This beer and I go way back, to what remains the single most traumatic and influential turning point of my beer-drinking career. I had come in search of Blondes, Belgian Blondes, and within the course of several easy-drinking fizzy wonders in strange glasses suddenly this is on my table.

"What the hell is this?" I drunkenly demanded. It tasted like balsamic spiked kombucha. Needless to say I had absolutely no appreciation for the style whatsoever. I wanted my money back and thanks to poor service and my somewhat belligerent disapproval with the beer, I took it to the limit, talking to managers and essentially kicking myself out of The Trappist in Oakland. Oh, what folly youth does bring!

Fast forward one year and I can hardly name a beer that does its thing more gracefully. To me now this is not even a challenge on the palate. Reddish brown whiffs of sour cherry, oak, and tamarind with a subtle coat of vinegar and funk.

A rapidly descending head loses marks and somewhat detracts from the experience, but as a world class "food beer" there is little one can say that detracts from the greatness that is Rodenbach. Compared to where some are taking the style this might be considered a rather simple offering, but like I said before, if you've got brie and bread what better pair is there? This beer is to wine what wine is to Capri Sun. Sold.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2010 00:44:54 | More by bohemiandonut
Photo of mattcrill


4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 750 ml bottle. Thanks go out to cmaruschak for the chance to sample this one.

Appearance: Pours a shoe leather brown with a foamy tan head. A cloudy and dense brown body is noted with little yeasties in there.

Smell: Sour oak, bubblegum, sour champagne. The sourness dominates but there is a delicate balance between the sourness and the bubblegum sweetness that keeps coming back.

Taste: A bubblegum taste first, very sour to follow, oak, and then a palate caving tart finish. Very complex and interesting. Hints of vinegar, apple juice, and cabarnet grapes pop up here and there. There is a little bit of a vinegar aftertaste but balanced with the bubblegum sweetness. I know it sounds like a mess but it was really quite enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and maybe a touch over carbonated.

Drinkability: I wouldn't want this all the time but it was quite tasty. Everyone should try it once.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2005 15:02:45 | More by mattcrill
Photo of billab914


4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into my Southern Tier tulip. It poured dark brown in color with a frothy, off-white colored head leaving it's mark all over the glass.

The aroma shows a lot of tart, sour cherry flavors to it. A sweet, malty presence really helps give it some balance. It has a lot of real nice funky, fruity, malty flavors to it.

The taste has some sharp sour and tart flavors to it up front. The finish is where I get more of the dark fruits, tart cherries and sweet caramel malts. Again, nice balance of the sweetness and tartness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being a little above average. Overall it's very good beer and a classic version of the style. It has a very good range of flavors but manages to bring them together very well. Very nice overall.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2012 23:00:43 | More by billab914
Photo of Slatetank


4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I picked this bottle up at Brass Rail, enjoyed chilled in a teku and sampled until about cellar temp toward the end.

The color is very deep crimson with translucent clarity with thick sand colored head that dissipates and recedes to nothing with fine bead and visible carbonation. The smell is very fruity, lots of tart cherry scents with mild wood ester. The feel is great, very tart, but not overwhelming, a mild sweetness is there with moderately high carbonation and dry finish with low alcohol but a slight acidic bite in the finish.

This taste is pretty incredible, lots of fruit presence as in the nose with some dark cherry and slightly tangy cherry flesh flavor with a nice amount of malt and yeast adds that lactic tang with a nice wood flavor rounding out this fine flemish red. Overall I have had this on a few occassions and it really is a treat. I was glad I could enjoy a 750ml myself but the acid was a little strong as it warmed for me- a highly drinkable Belgian, well worth having multiples of.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2013 13:04:53 | More by Slatetank
Photo of Furlinator


4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a murky red-tinted brown. The thin tan head quickly disappears completely and leaves very faint spots of lace.

The smell is of sour cherry and faint vinegar tartness.

The taste is of unripe cherries, white grape skins and faint molasses sweetness.

The texture is medium bodied and effervescent with high carbonation.

A delicious sour cherry beer that is bubbly and refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2014 02:16:05 | More by Furlinator
Photo of Mongrel


4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Looks elegant and creamy; thicker than it actually feels on the palate. Very good head retention for a sour.

S - The nose is much more mellow than the taste spectacular that follows. It's mildly barnyard-y, with some lemon and lime.

T - Didn't initially strike me as sour. Bracingly tart, yes; sour, no. Somewhat lighter in body than I expected and very bright and refreshing. I'm getting tart berries and cherries, lemon, lime, and yes... It's getting more sour. Sweet Tarts come to mind. Leather and bitter orange rind come through too.

M - Soft, creamy, semi-dry finish that doesn't leave anything cloying behind.

O - really great all around, but I wasn't prepared to tackle the bomber myself. The sweet/tartness just gets to be too much for me with this style. Ideal serving size is probably about 10 oz.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2014 02:27:22 | More by Mongrel
Photo of Ek0nomik


4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured In: Snifter
Purchased At: HyVee (Madison, WI)

Appearance: The pour produces half a finger of foamy head that runs away after just a few seconds. Looking through the whole glass the beer has a bistre color, but when just a fraction of the beer is held to light it has a burnt umber and Bulgarian rose color. It's hard to see through the beer, but judging by the top of the pour it doesn't look effervescent which I was expecting. Although, perhaps I shouldn't have expected it as I don't think any of the other flanders red ales that I have had have produced effervescence in the glass.

Smell: The nose has the obvious brown malt playing in the background, but on top of that sits a handful of sourness, tart cherries, vinegar, vanilla and oak.

Taste: Just like the nose, brown malt sits in the background while the exciting features both jump out, and slowly come out. The acidic sourness comes out immediately bringing along a tart cherry flavor with it. Notes of oak, vanilla and vinegar start to creep out, followed by plum juice. The aftertaste leaves me with more cherries, although now they are more sweet than tart.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with a medium amount of carbonation. The first few sips were aggressively carbonated, but as usual, after letting it sit for a few minutes it became more pleasant.

Drinkability: This will end up in my crate again for sure. I can't remember how much it was, but I think the price was pretty reasonable. Around $10 or so I do believe for the 750mL bottle. This has a really nice set of flavors, quite a bit of sourness (not as much as La Folie, but because of how sour La Folie is I think this is slightly more drinkable).

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2010 01:39:30 | More by Ek0nomik
Photo of goldbot

District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep, dark cherry to brown in color with thinnish tan head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving nice lacing. Aroma is vinous and fruity with apple, raspberry, cherry and grape notes. A touch of nutty or biscuity malts lurks in the background. The flavor brings out some stale malt with plenty more fruit flavors. A tad sweet but not nearly as much as what the aroma hinted at. Definite sour, earthy overtones, with a kick of moldy barnyard funk almost reminiscent of some strong blue cheeses toward the end. Medium bodied, fairly mouth-puckering feel. Nice and refreshing with just enough complexity and funk to make a lively, interesting beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2011 23:20:40 | More by goldbot
Photo of oline73


4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Poured hazy reddish brown color with one finger of off white head. Most of the head goes away almost right away leaving just a ring around the edge.

Smell: Quite sweet from the malt with a strong sourness. Hints of sour fruit, raspberry etc, some vinegar as well.

Taste: Initially sour, with hints of fruit, think sour raspberries. There is also some sweetness from the malt along with the sour fruit notes. There is some dry oak in there as well. All the flavors blend together very well and are very smooth.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with delicate mild carbonation. The finish is quite dry.

Overall: This beer is very smooth and good. I love the sweet and sour notes together. Overall I like this beer and would definitely have it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 23:52:26 | More by oline73
Photo of Sigmund


4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rerate: Drank it out of a proper glass this time, still a great beer! Original rating: 330 ml bottle, ABV 6%. Drank it out of a plastic "glass" (sacrilege, I know!) at cellar temperature. Cherry-like aroma with hints of cowshed and ensilage. Flavour is sour/acidic/red wine vinegar-like, with strong barnyard and ensilage elements (not that I normally eat ensilage, but still...). This was my first Flemish red ale, an exciting experience! It will not be my last beer of this style. (Okay, I know I wrote my rating of the Duchesse de Bourgogne a bit earlier today, but I actually drank the Rodenbach 4-5 days before the Duchesse).

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2004 22:06:44 | More by Sigmund
Photo of jlindros


4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wha! I've never reviewed this beer before. Well silly me.

Pours a nice fizzy almost 1 finger head that fades pretty quickly, just a touch of light getting through the dark reddish maroon burnt sienna brown colored beer.

Nose is definite Belgian flemish, sour malts, malt vinegar, light bready malts, sour fruit, a bit of tart cherry and apricot like fruits, hints of brown sugar and molasses, and a bit of lactic acid like aromas.

Taste is more of the same as expected, tart fruit and sour malts hit right off, again a malt vinegar but not quite Duchesse level, tart berry, sour peach and cherry like fruit, lactic acid, etc. Then a bready brown malt, hint of molasses, juicy tart fruits. Finish is bone dry, actually even more than bone dry, but slightly flemmy, with tons of sour and tart fruits and malt flavors lingering, and a bit of lactic acid.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb which I always thought it had more carbonation, and a little bite from the acidity.

Overall great, this is one of the staples for a flemish red style, great tart fruit, sour brown malts, light lactic acid, but smooth and juicy, and still somehow decently drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 23:39:10 | More by jlindros
Photo of RedHaze


4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle with a best by 13/09/08.

Pours a dak garnet tinged brown with a on finger head that fades fairly quickly to a thin soapy cap. The isn't very sticky, sliding down the sides of the glass when I set it down.

Smell; sour apples and tart cherries come out right up front, followed by a bit of vinegar and oak. There's a touch of some earthy funkiness floating around in the background as well.

Taste; the tart cherries a very evident on the first few sips, and then some of the sour apples start to show through a little bit. Vinegar and oak barrels mix with a bit of a woodsy earthiness, and just some faint hints of a barnyard funk, with a bit of an acidic bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of a carbonation tingle that adds a bit of bite to the tartness, and the drinkability is really good, but I really like this style of beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2007 01:32:28 | More by RedHaze
Photo of sk8man121


4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Great Lost Bear in Portland, ME.

A: Pours a mostly opaque cherry-cola brown with rust highlights. Beautiful, creamy 1-finger head settles into a perfect cap and leaves a unified layer of lacing around the glass. Gorgeous.

S: Sour cherry, vinegar, toffee sweetness.

T: Tart cherries are up front, with a sweet and malty follow through. Finish is of creamy vanilla with a malty caramel aftertaste. No noticeable alcohol at all.

M: I love the mouthfeel here. Low to no carbonation at first, but slowly carbs up and tingles the tongue. Finishes thick and creamy.

O: This is simply a great beer. Tart and sour but not to the point of being "too much," this would be my recommendation of the perfect Flanders Red for beginners. Even though it's a bit on the sweet side, it's terribly drinkable and could become an expensive habit.


Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2011 22:14:22 | More by sk8man121
Photo of AgentMunky


4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a brandy snifter.

A: Darkest brown that shines clear red in the light. One finger of off-white, creamy head.

S: Interesting and hard to describe. Tart and strong. Sour yeast is fruity and not unpleasant. Some oak.

T/M: A damn sight better than Duchesse De Bourgogne. This tastes like fruit and not like balsamic vinegar. The more I drink, the more I love it. This is really something special. A touch of vinegar, but lots more red fruit and mellow wood. A superlative aftertaste is lightly dry and lingers heavy on the tongue. A full, chewy, but delicate sort of beer. Light carbonation is key to my enjoyment. Tangy and sweet.

O: Contemplative and excellent. I will definitely be looking for more of this. My highest recommendation and my favourite Flemish Red. I am predisposed against this style, so that's really saying something.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2012 06:11:17 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of stjaernstoft


4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rodenbach Grand Cru, ABV: 6.0%.
330 ml bottle, 21.90 SEK at Systembolaget.

A: Dark, red liquid and a beige, bubbly head that leaves a nice ring of retention in the glass.

S: Big aromas of red wine, cloves, ginger, oranges, berries, juniper and liquorice. Like a mix of glögg (mulled wine) and julmust (a Swedish type of soda, drunk at Christmas).

T: Rich, sour flavours of red wine, cranberries, apples, oranges, cloves, juniper, liquorice, brown sugar and black pepper. Not much bitterness. It's unusual to me (but I like it).

M: Medium-sized body, and some carbonation. I don't know what to say - it's the sourness that does the job for my tongue.

O: A new and happy experience for me. While I'm all alone in the dark, the aromas and flavours bring a lot of memories and other stuff to my mind - I think I'm going to enjoy more of beers like this in the future.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2011 19:17:38 | More by stjaernstoft
Photo of UncleJimbo


4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled in Antwerp, Belgium. Listed as 6.5% ABV on the bottle.

This Grand Cru poured a cloudy, light coffee-brown color with creamy, tan foam that settled but clung to the glass in places. The smell was sour and tart with aromas of dried fruit: prunes, currants, and faint cherries. The taste was lightly sour with the flavor of dried fruit, including prunes, and with a lightly malty undertone beneath the tartness. Very nice flavor. The mouthfeel was sharp, crisp, and tart, with medium body and strong carbonation feel. The flavors lingered briefly on the palate before they were gone. This was a very nice beer, though it did not seem greatly different than the "regular" Rodenbach. Nicely drinkable and thirst quenching.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2006 18:43:31 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of markaberrant

Saskatchewan (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on June 30, 2006

A - pours very dark red, clear, small white cap recedes to nothing but a ring, no lacing,

S - vinegar, sweet cherries, some malt

T - slightly more sour than sweet, still very much a cherry flavour, with some vanilla notes underneath.

M - light body, but not watery, carbonation is medium which restrains the acidity

D - I really enjoy this beer, but it is still just a once in awhile treat.

This is one of my favourite sour beers. I'm glad to finally have a whole bottle to my self instead of the shared samples I've previously had. Thanks to Goldorak for the bottle!

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2007 00:45:14 | More by markaberrant
Photo of dnichols


4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured a 330 ml capped bottle into a chalice.

A: It poured a deep husky red that wanted to fool me into thinking it was born to be brown. The head was minimal despite an aggressive pour. What remained of the head quickly collected into a ring around the collar that did not support lacing.

S: There was a strong aroma of cherries that blended well with malts and an undertone of oak and vanilla.

T: Wow....this is a tart fruity bomb. It reminded me of cherries picked to early in the season. It is a sweet tart with a oaky and malty flavor.

M: Light bodied with a dry rich tart flavor that puckers the mouth but finishes clean and warm.

D: Not my style...but I could learn to love this if this were the norm rather than the exception. Reminds me of a fine dry red wine...rich and satisfyingly. I'll go there again but I doubt this could be a session beer for me.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2008 04:24:22 | More by dnichols
Photo of Atron67


4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- poured a dark brown clear body, which built up a light brown head that fell quickly, non-surprizingly due to its sour nature..

S- sour, barnyard almost, pretty damn good, much better than the normal flemish sour they have.

T- strong onset of acetic sour charachter which is really nice. big burst of it which slowly fades down to a not sweet, but close (like the sourness should) lingering on the tongue for a long while. i dont really taste the oak charachter from the aging, but its delicious

M- light body, high carbonation, sticky on the tongue

D- this goes down quick and makes me want more and more

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2008 02:47:28 | More by Atron67
Photo of Tschnab

New York

4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice ruby red color with a pinkish white head and little lace.

S- a lot of balsamic vinegar here, along with sour cherries, lemon, and a little bit of vanilla.

t- the taste starts out very sour with cherries and vinegar as the main flavor, but at the back of the palate there is a nice washing over of oak and vanilaa, carmel and malt at the end. It really can be broken down into two phases: very vinegary, and then toasty and oaky. Well-balanced.

O- really nice sour here and I'm glad that it is so available because it is truly an incredible representation of the style.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2012 16:25:19 | More by Tschnab
Photo of punkrkr27


4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Deep copper pour with a large frothy off-white head. Sour brett aroma with notes of apple, pear, cherry, sweet dark fruit and oak. Strong sour cherry flavor that makes you pucker on the first sip and finishes with a deep earthy oak flavor. Nice medium body with a very gentle carbonation and dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2011 20:42:24 | More by punkrkr27
Photo of craytonic

District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep cherry mahogany red with a little head and lacing.

Smell: Sweet and sour fruit or candy, like a spree or a tart cherry, with some vinegar (The grand cru has less vinegar than the plain vanilla version). Certainly some woodiness, but not as much as I would like. Definitely an earthy element.

Taste: Deliciously tart and tangy, like a sweet tart or spree. However, perhaps a bit too much sugar has been added, I would prefer the pure sour over the candy. I think I detected a little rhubarb and prune juice.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth! Almost like a merlot. Very well carbonated.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, although a bit too sweet.

The Grand Cru is certainly better than the plain vanilla version, but I am not sure it beats Dutchesse, and certainly Panil has surpassed it. I would like to age one and see how it goes.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 19:58:45 | More by craytonic
Photo of BierJager89


4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Dark purple tinted ruby red and dark enough to be opaque with a light mocha, almost gray, head.

S: Dark tart cherries, oak, dark fruit, red berries in the nose.

T: Sour cherries, oak, raspberry, mellow and very drinkable, especially for a sour.

M: Medium bodied and neither smooth nor harsh with carbonation.

O: An excellent tart beer. The oak flavor really plays well with the tart fruits.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 04:54:38 | More by BierJager89
Photo of magictrokini


4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, darker copper with a rocky off-white head. Oak, cherries, sour yeast, an ethyl. All the Flemish sour tastes are there: cherries, funky yeast, oak. Nice blend with a sweeter malt which gives off a bit of a graham-cracker taste. Kind of like a very, very tart cherry pie with some funk. Thought this was better than their classic.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 21:43:31 | More by magictrokini
Photo of Darkstashcrashes

New York

4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Founders snifter.

A - A very pretty brown, and red hue. Thin lacing.

S - Cherry, oak, wine grapes, very tart like smell.

T - A very complex taste. Cherry up front. The oakiness is very strong. Tartness gives way to a very mellow sour flavor.

M - Very carbonated. The tartness in the nose sticks with you throughout.

D - A very drinkable beer. I would not recommend this as a session, although the abv is fairly modest. A very good beer, i could see this going well cheese.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 21:02:02 | More by Darkstashcrashes
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 2,812 ratings.