Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

3,252 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,252
Reviews: 1,002
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.42%
Wants: 233
Gots: 347 | 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
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Ratings: 3,252 | Reviews: 1,002 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of modernartblues
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on Tap at Mikro in Hamden

Served in a Tulip

A: brownish-red with a dark head 1/2" head that recedes into nothing, not much lacing and no head retention

S: sour cherries, vinegar, touches of other fruit and funk....I like it, but not blown away.

T: cherries, tartness, sour with some funk, sweetness on the finish is not overbearing, this is a nice balance of acidity and vinegarness and fruity sweetness..impressive

M: light and smooth, pretty good for the flavor profile, I don't like these types of beers when they get super chewy.

D: really good for the style, I can see knocking off one of the 750 ml bottles in a night

I'm not as enraptured with this one as others I've talked to, but hey tastes are different right?

Photo of texashammer
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Red in color, very little head but creamy, with beautiful lacing. Smells pretty straightforwardly of sourness, like vinegar. I love the smell but know that many people would turn away. Mouth-puckering sourness with a superdry finish. Very acidic and dry. Boy that's good, and a great apertif. In my opinion, the most sour of the sour Flemish beers.

Photo of rawthar
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark cola brown with some burnt red tones where the light meanders through, some dusty grey head that simmers down to a nice film with a respectable collar.

S- Vinegar and prunes, intensely sour and intensely sharp.

T- Balsamic vinegar is the major player, extremely tart and sour, refreshing. Dark dried fruits behind the wall of vinegar. An intense beer for the hearty, and as thirst-quenching as unsweetened lemonade.

M- Light, thin, kind of watery. Stings the hell out of the mouth (in a good way) but that is more a function of the flavor than the feel.

D- Rating drinkability to this style is almost an oxymoron, and while this would be very difficult to session, its a great drink for the right time.

Photo of stakem
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split with friends. I decided to do a side by side tasting and open this along with the clasdic red and also the caractere rogue to analyze the differences in each. Poured into a cervoise, the brew appears a murky brown with a yellowish clarity around the edges and ruby through the body. A figner of tan head appears across the top and fades leaving spotty lace.

The smell is tangy with alcohol. Much more bright and less sweet smelling than the normal red rodenbach offering. It displays fruity esters, oak and vinegar in a more bright way. The barrel character impats some mild burnt sugar quality like caramel and toffee that does a good job contrasting the alcohol an tangy aspects of the nose. As it warms up, some vanilla comes through with lots of fruity tones.

The taste is fruity almost like raisins. Lotd of tart cherry and mild apple cidar vinegar. Some barrel presence like caramel/vanilla contrasts the mildly acidic nature. A touch of oxidation in the aftertaste has a bit of focus shifting towards the woody and almost cardboard quality mingled with earthy components.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. There is a light effervescence and it is overall very easy drinking with low alcohol impact. I really enjoy how well blended and flavorful this beer is without being face crushing/puckering sour. It has just a bit more tartness and is overall more dry than the base. Nicely done and even more enjoyable than the rodenbach red.

Photo of Wildman
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a very dark amber color and formed an off white foamy head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. An aroma of chocolate, caramel and cherries. The flavor was of cherries and some malt and the sourness of it is definately there in the finish of the beer.

Photo of donnebaby
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks similar to the Rodenbach Classic, but perhaps a little lighter in color and lighter in head. Looks like cherry juice, with a thin tan smattering of foam scum. Smell is sweet dark cherries, but light compared to the R. Classic.

Taste is an overpowering lemon cherry cough drop. Sour to the max, with a spicy grating of the throat. Lasting cherry taste in the throat, with notes of anise cookies and vanilla. Mouthfeel is creamy on the intake--but immediately changes to gripping lip-smacking sourness. It gets points for kicking my ass. Sort of the feeling when drinking vinegar, or eating something that has alot of vinegar. I love vinegar though, so it's all good fortunately.

This is an awesome taste and creation, but I don't think I really want to have more than one at a sitting. That said, I certainly want to finish the one I'm having.

I'm also reminded of eating too many salt-and-vinegar chips at once...definite parallels.

Photo of mithrascruor
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark crimson color with a tinge of brown, but looks black outside of the full light (or when the glass is low). Nice off-white/slightly tan 1/2-finger head turns to a film but with creamy bubbles still around the edges.

Smell: Initial aroma of cider vinegar, but with the hint of, perhaps, some apple and a bit of cherry.

Taste: Significant vinegar flavor here, both cider and balsamic. There's definitely some (crab?)apples in there too. However, there's only a hint of cherry in there, at least to me. A bit of sweetness come out in the aftertaste, but then it is back to mostly sour in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Has a great active yet not overly strong tingly carbonation, that goes well with the flavor. Light mouthfeel, and quite smooth.

Drinkability: As long as you're good with the taste, this is really quite drinkable. Perfect ABV.

While I enjoy these sour Belgian red beers, this one is definitely strong in the vinegar department. It might take more adjustment for some than other similar beers. For those unfamiliar with this style, be prepared to share it with a friend (as I've only seen 750 mL bottles), or grab a smaller bottle of Duchesse De Bourgogne.

Photo of blakesell
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Boston's Bistro 9/20/07 into a fluted Belgian glass (la fin du monde).

Appearance- Beer pours a deep dark red with a decent head. The head is an off pink that dissipates quickly.

Smell- Lots of cherries and raspberries with a hint of vinegar.

Taste- They may call this a grand cru, but I insist that this is a Kreik. Strong cherry with raspberry sourness. a nice kick of tartness in the finish.

Mouthfeel- Sticky and thick. I would like this over ice cream. An excellent dessert beer.

Drinkability- Very nice for a beer with this level of sweetness. Back to back I noticed very little difference between this and the regular Rodenbach.

Photo of Hop_head22
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of RenoZymurgist
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear chestnut red color with a thin white head that subdsided quickly.
The aroma has a lactic and acetic acid smells with a touch of brett. The aroma reminds me of fresh cut sour apples alongside a piece of stinky bleu cheese in that some of the funk dd a refreshing sharpness while other parts add complexity.
The taste begins with sharp sourness that quickly segues into a more balanced flavor as the malt come to the fore. The flavors then move to the dry side and the sour apple taste then blends with the horeblanket funk and the finish is surprisingly clean.
The mouthfeel is a bit thin though the carbonation makes up for it.
This is not a session beer but accompanied with the right foods this ale would make an amazing dinner companion. I liked this sour brown and would order it again.

Photo of Jaeson
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Higuerah3
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of falloutsnow
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From: Friar Tuck's, Savoy, IL
Date: "12/09/14 13:56" stamped on bottom of bottle
Glass: Tulip

Rodenbach's Grand Cru is a superb Flanders Red Ale, with complex malt, cherry, and wild yeast flavors and aromas. Overall, not as potently sour as Jacobins, but approaching that level; slightly less to equally complex. The price point and availability of this beer is phenomenal as well. I think I'd like to have one of these on hand at all times.

Pours a 1.5cm head with small to medium-sized bubbles, tan in color, that has average retention, fairly quickly receding to a thickish ring around the glass and a wispy island of foam isolated atop the body. Lacing is fairly substantial, small continents washed upon the sides of the glass. Body is an opaque dark brown with reddish tinge. Carbonation is visible only towards the top of the glass.

Aroma has elements of apple cider and balsamic vinegar, sauerkraut, oak barrel, fresh sweet cherries, and a bit of cherry candy.

Generally well-balanced between tartness and sweetness. Opens with some brown malt sweetness, mineral and iron nuances, and lush, ripe, red cherries with just a hit of tartness. Tart cherry becomes dominant in mid-palate, alongside lighter notes of vinegar and oak barrel. Back of palate is stronger on tartness than sweet cherries and brown malt base, but those are still there, too. Aftertaste of brown malts and lingering tartness on the sides of the palate.

Beer is medium-bodied, with higher-level carbonation that foams the beer substantially across the palate. Overall mouthfeel is at first fizzy, then smooth and creamy, suitable for the style. Closes dryly, with notable lingering tartness on sides of palate.

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of RoyalT
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This is a deep, deep red in color that's borderline brown. The head was moderate and went down rather quickly, which is typical of the style.

Smell – The tart cherry sweetness comes out way before the malt. The malt does eventually make itself known, but it’s quite wimpy here, much afraid of the big bad sour wolf. There’s an earthy character to this FRA as well, giving the bouquet some real substance.

Taste – Mother pucker! This is one sour, uh, Sour Ale. It’s not so much sour like a lemon as it is just super tart like an early-picked cherry. There are a lot of simple sugars here no doubt, but it’s the tartness that really sticks out. It’s not cheap-tasting though like a lot of pretenders of the style. This is the real deal.

Mouthfeel – This is a bit bigger than light-bodied with some saliva-activating mouth-puckering sourness that will send a shiver down your spine.

Drinkability – This is a very intense FRA that begs to be shared.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)
A- This beer is clear but a bit dense with a glow of reddish-brown at the base. There is a thin tan head supported by a soft carbonation.
S- This beer has a soft bright hint with an old wet wood note that has some hints of walnuts. There is a bright tart cherry hint in the finish. As the beer warms there are notes of caramel and roses with a stronger cola note in it.
T- This beer has a nice brown malt note with a bright tart finish and some chewy flavor and vinegar notes in the finish.
M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a soft astringency and no real alcohol heat.
D- This beer has a nice flavor with notes of old and young beer in good combination. It was a pleasant surprise of malt flavors coming through as the beer warmed.

Photo of jbonapar
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

See My prior review below review below. I was new to this style, and since then have realized this beer is fantastic. A perfect balance of sourness and malt. It truly grows on you. I now agree with many others who state this is a world class beer.

Purchased a bottle in QUebec. I was very excited to try this after the reviews on this site.

Smell - Yikes. Is this beer gone bad? Balsamic vinegar. Thats all i can smell. I'm not getting the same odor as many others describe.

Taste - Sour, very sour...Again, vinegar and funky. Some sweet red wine a tiny hint of malt. With each sip, i get used to the tartness, but its overpowering for sure. Interesting nonetheless.

Overall - I'm not as impressed as most are, perhaps i'm too new to the style.

Photo of Maction
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This is a nice medium brown with gold edges and some burgundy highlights. The frothy tan head dissolves almost immediately.

S: First my nose gets tangy vinegar, then sour cherries, with a little tobacco and leather in the background.

T: I taste sourness like cider gone hard, some oakiness, tangerine rind, some wet wool funkiness, and mineral notes on the finish.

M: This has a medium weight, light carbonation, and leaves a slick oily coating.

D: This is a strong flavored beer, but with a nice sweet to sour balance that makes it pretty easy to drink.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a deep burgundy with only a slight light beige head.

S: sour cherries, with a sharp tartness, oaky hints, and dark fruit (plums).

T: tart with some cherry/raspberry for flavor. The sourness was very smooth and refined with a good oaky alcohol complexity and slight astingent sour apples coming through as well dark fruit (plums).

M: medium, with moderate carbonation and a slight acidic bite on the swallow.

D: A nice drinking and smooth sour beer that is very polished flavor wise, clean and easy to drink.

Photo of Rutager
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a deep red-brown with a finger of creamy head with and orange-tan tint that fades pretty quickly to a skim that leaves some decent lacing.

Smell. Ripe cherries, red wine, some balsamic vinegar and cherries.

Taste. Sweet cherries, a dash of red wine vinegar, just a hint of caramel and malt with a light tartness.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with smooth, fairly lively and fine medium carbonation.

Overall. Easy drinking, nice medium-light sourness with some great fruit flavours. What's not to like?

Photo of RuudJH
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fine example of this style of beer: Dark red-brown colour, with a modest head, but nice lacing in my glass.

Fresh and fruity smell: red, and also dark, forest fruits like berries, cherries etc. Sweet and sour smell and taste: it's a very nice balance between malts and fruits.

Complex and flavourfull.
Refreshing mouthfeel.

Photo of tatterdash
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red, effervescent, with a bubbly pinkish-white head, my friend commented that it looked really good (she like red things). Aroma of wild yeasts, winey, very good. Taste was tart, with a cherry/cranberry flavour right off, with some malts creeping in at the finish. The ingredients list corn, but I (thankfully) didn't taste any. This has a light bubbly mouthfeel, akin to wine. This was tart if not downright sour, but if you like sour (which I do) 'tis a grand Grand Cru.

Photo of Immortale25
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Southern Tier tulip-style glass. Stamp on the bottom of the bottle says 07/03/14 which I take to mean drink by March 7, 2014.

A- Pours a dark brown that's almost opaque with a 1/2 inch head that's very fizzy as it quickly gasses away to just a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and almost no surface foam. Below average lacing.

S- Smells of rotten cherries and sour red grapes. Oh boy. Here we go.

T- Immediate lashing of the tongue with dry, puckering sourness but what's this? A soaring rescue as the sweetness follows and gives the tartness a purpose. As more sips are taken, the palate becomes acclimated to the wildness and things become more enjoyable. The aroma is still kind of off-putting but can be overlooked. Notes of cherry, raspberry and blackberry.

M- Not as dry or acidic as other Flanders Reds can be. Still plenty of pucker but the body keeps things balanced. Low carbonation.

O- This could definitely be intense for someone who's not used to sour beers but IMO it's one of the better beers in its class. I'm still not a fan of the aroma, but it tastes great.

Photo of spinrsx
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle

Appearance – Hazy reddish brown colour with a large size frothy off white coloured head. It’s hard to make out the carbonation level due to the haziness and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 5 minutes or so before it began to dissipate.

Smell – Malts, vinegar, dark fruits, caramel, citric acid

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, balsamic vinegar, and some dark fruits. (raisins, cherries) I can also taste an earthiness, some citric acid, and some notes of caramel. The beer finishes with a tart/sour vinegar and dark fruit aftertaste.

Overall – I've only had a handful of flanders red ales before, but this was by far the best one I've encountered. The taste is complex but too over the top. It's got a lot of flavour punch but it's still quite drinkable. I'd buy this beer again.

Photo of levifunk
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle from Bartrash. poured into a wine glass because i'm home for thanksgiving.

a - dark purple red. large pink head with high retention.

s - sweet grapes. light vinegar. very sweet smelling.

t - as the nose indicates, light tartness with a pretty sweet fruity body. green apples and grapes.

m - medium to light body with high carbonation.

Very good beer. I'd love to age a bottle of this and see if it dries out.

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 3,252 ratings.