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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,515 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2515
Reviews: 960
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.89%

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)
View: Beers (5) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 2,515 | Reviews: 960 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Titans77


4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Roasthouse Pub in Frederick MD.

A - Dark brown/red with a half finger of light brown head. Solid looking beer.

S - Sour cherry and dark fruits. Very strong and enticing.

T - Dark sour fruits. Cherry up front and fig in the back. Some lemon as well. Very good taste.

M - Smooth and medium bodied with a sour feel to it. Almost perfect for the style.

O - currently my favorite sour as of this review. Very solid brew.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2012 20:32:25 | More by Titans77
Photo of BucannonXC5


4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft into a champagne glass at San Diego Brewing Co. on Aug. 17, 2012 (for $6.50), in San Diego. Poured a caramel honey with two fingers (when I got it) of white head. Good retention on the top and the sides on the way down.

Smelled sweet, tart, candy and sugar. Reminded me of Smarties or Sweet Tarts at first. Some spices as well. Surprisingly seemed like a good amount of citrus hops.

Tasted those citrus hops first. Then sweet, slightly sour, tart, grape and cherry. Slight white wine (champagne?).

Light-to-medium body. Thin, acidic texture. Average carbonation. Long, bitter finish.

A pretty good sour beer. Not anywhere as good as Russian River’s Supplication that I had recently, but good overall. My slight cold may have hurt or helped this rating as well.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2012 07:11:02 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of Darkmagus82


4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a snifter glass

Appearance – Served a deep ruby color with a small off white head. The head faded relatively fast to leave only a very light level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was of a heavy sour grape and cherry aroma with some green apple and vinegar smells.

Taste – The taste begins of a fruity sourness. A puckering cherry and grape are most noticeable in the beginning. As the taste advances however a apple cider vinegar taste comes to the tongue and blasts the taste buds with a sour flavor. These take the taste to the end where a light yeasty flavor comes to the tongue along with a lighter dark fruit sweetness which ever so lightly mellow out the very vinegary taste.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is light and a little prickly with the carbonation level being above average. Both do a wonderful job with the very sour nature of the beer and make it quite drinkable.

Overall – While not really my favorite beer style, this is a nice and sour Flemish with a good flavor profile. It is classic for a reason.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2012 18:56:51 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of MicroBeerMan1980


4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber brown. Tan/white head with light retention. Ring of head retention remains around edge of beer.

S: Tart and sweet, candy and lemon meringue.

T: Wild and flavorful. Tart, Sharp and full bodied. The presence of earthy loam, funk and tannins are heavy. It's like drinking a good Chateauneuf du Pape combined with a dry Champagne.

M: Round, tart, acidic and lingering.

O: A wonderful beer! Wild yet tame. Drinkable and enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2012 01:10:50 | More by MicroBeerMan1980
Photo of Reaper16


4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

served on-tap @ Alcove, Tuscaloosa, AL, into a tulip glass

Pours a gorgeous dark ruby color. The body is pretty clear and contains within it many spectrum of red, but they skew darker. It looks vinous in this way, but the 1.5 fingers of head reveal this to be a beer. I can't imagine a Flanders Red looking any better, so I'm scoring this a 5.0.

The aroma is not all that different from regular Rodenbach. I find that beer's nose to be full of sour cherry, full of balsamic vinegar, full of red wine notes. I find the same with the Grand Cru. The only real difference for me is the elevated amount of astringent oak barrel aroma in the Grand Cru.

The taste, however, is significantly different than normal Rodenbach. Where that beer is lightly tart and quaffable, the Grand Cru does not shy away from being tart. This is a truly sour beer, in all of the good ways. Balsamic vinegar, sour cherries, blackcurrants, and woody, dry oak flavor (but not the vanillin you'd get in oak-aged stouts) -- Rodenbach Grand Cru has a lot going on for it. There's just enough sweet malty flavors and red fruit flavors to balance the sour character (the beer becomes more balanced as it warms, too). It's really delicious.

The mouthfeel is nice and dry. The aggressive tartness makes for a beer that isn't as easy to drink as it could be, but everything is just fine. Overall, this is about as great as you could ever expect a Flanders Red to be. In this day and age of scarce fruit lambics and overhyped American Wild Ales, this beer still exists as an affordable option for that sour fix.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2012 02:02:03 | More by Reaper16
Photo of VncentLIFE

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

at Sams. Pour is deep red. Thin tight white head. The smell is really sweet, but sour as hell. Lots of vinegar, sweet cherries as well. The taste is tart and sour as hell. Almost puckering. Loads of tart sour cherries dominate through the drinkable finish.

This is how to do a Flanders. Loads of tartness, sourness, yet subtly sweet and drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

07-17-2012 22:32:26 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of dougdecinces

4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at a wine bar in Findlay Market in Cincy. This was several hours ago, so notes will be vague. Poured an opaque reddish-brown. Very effervescent. Cherries, balsamic, umami flavors. Moderately tart with a dry finish. Much more pronounced oak flavor than I am used to with the Flanderses. Very good.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2012 01:52:46 | More by dougdecinces
Photo of jaasen64


4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-Tap at Deep Ellum. Served in a 12oz wine glass.

A- Dark cherry red almost black, about a half finger of head that doesn't leave too much lacing, about average carbonation.

S- Cherries, vinegar, malts, acidic notes, definitely a little bit above average aroma strength.

T- Tart cherries, some vanilla, malts, etc.. A decent amount of sourness, not as much as some beers that I've had though.

M- Medium bodied maybe a tiny bit thin, easy to drink, average carbonation (right amount for this beer, complements the sourness well), good overall feel for a sour, pretty much what you want it to feel like.

O- This was a great beer for it's style. I definitely liked the Lou Pepe Kriek I had last week a little bit more, but this beer was definitely enjoyable. It had a nice balance between cherries + sourness and a good mouthfeel- just the right amount of carbonation and body. At $9/glass I'll probably be trying other beers in the future, but I definitely don't regret trying it. I recommend it if you get the chance.

1985 Vintage:
25cl bottle poured into HF sherry glass. No date present on bottle however I was told this is from the mid-80s due to the bottle size and graphic on label.

A- Cap comes off with a slight hiss. Pours a dark cherry reddish brown that appears a fairly deep brownish purple in the glass. About two finger's worth of white bubbly head that recedes at a moderate pace to a thin white bubbly layer. 4.25

S- Tart cherries, raspberries, balanced malts, fades very fast after pouring due to age but still retains smell with an additional slight oxidation presence of cardboard but remains fairly pleasant. 4.5/5

T- Tart cherries, faint raspberries, hints of vinegar but doesn't dominate the beer, slight oxidation definitely present that gives of a hint of cardboard. Overall this beer was actually quite tasty and well balanced for being ~28 years old. 4.75/5

M- Medium bodied to a little bit on the light side. Slightly watery, fairly low carbed, but decent for it's age. 4/5

O- I drank this and a Rodenbach Classic from 1984 side by side. They both had similar smells with this having a little bit more raspberries coming out. The Grand Cru definitely tasted a lot better though having a lot more sour fruity presence and wasn't as watery. Overall this beer held up fantastic for having been brewed almost 30 years ago.

Serving type: on-tap

06-28-2012 01:24:34 | More by jaasen64
Photo of marlinsfan4


4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Max's. My first Flanders Red Ale (I think?) so I'm curious to try. Pours a nice ruby red color, nice tart aroma. Taste is a bit sour, with tons of cherry flavor, more balanced and drinkable than I thought it would be. Delicious beer with tons of flavor, finishes nice and clean. Count me in as a fan of this style, would definitely try this one again.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2012 21:39:20 | More by marlinsfan4
Photo of Giggy


3.63/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a beautiful beer and am glad I tried it even though I don't think I would buy it again.

A: Redish brown hue with a tan head. Great head retention.

S: Cherries, balsamic vinegar, fresh cut wood, red wine, and green apples.

T: Was so glad the bartender told me that it was sour so I knew what I was getting into. Found it to be very sour with aspects of grapes, tart fruits, and wine.

M: Creamy, medium bodied.

O: Not a fan of anything sour but glad I tried it.

Serving type: on-tap

06-21-2012 21:35:48 | More by Giggy
Photo of barleywinefiend


4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a nice deep red color but as it settled it was very much a deep red-borwnish color with a nice white cap

S: Dark fruits, fresh and ripened cherries with vinegar, wood and funk

T: Tart dark and red cherries on the tip of the tongue. It's delicious. Middle of the mouth you get that funkiness. Mid mouth pucker but not as much as a Kriek. And the a crisp refreshing finish. Booze tinge with a vinegar note from start to finsih

M: Light to medium. Tart, tasty and funky
with a nice lingering vinegar and tart funk

O: Very good

Serving type: on-tap

05-28-2012 21:52:27 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hoooie. Gotta love you some Flanders ales. If only they were more readily available and more people were making them.

This ale carries all of the hallmark characteristics of the style. Woody, mostly cherry tartness. Makes the back of your mouth pucker a little and do funny things. I'm really building this up quite nicely, aren't I? This is closer to the wild tones of a lambic or wild ale, so you better know what you're getting into. Bottom line: this is a grand cru that deserves the title. Gotta love it.

Serving type: on-tap

05-09-2012 05:17:50 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Hoptometrist


4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap into a snifter at 101 Bottles

A- Poured a beautiful burgundy/ruby red color, depending on how the light shines reddish/brown color. Nice frothy head that left no lace

S- Big astringent notes reminiscent of nail polish, some brett funk, sweet rapsberry, dark cherry, and raisin aromas

T- This beer has a huge astringent nail polish taste but not in a bad way, it is also the most oak forward tasting beer I have had, some sweet raspberry, dark cherry, and raisin flavors. Vinegar like notes are present as well. That brett funk is definitely there and it is quite sour.

M- Very dry, highly acidic, effervescent, big tingly carbonation

O- A truly unique beer, I really have not had anything like it. The astringent nail polish is a very unique taste, probably not everyone's cup of tea but I liked it. It is a sour and funky beer, I have had beers that are more sour, but this is definitely a sour beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2012 01:04:20 | More by Hoptometrist
Photo of KickbacksSteve


4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33cl into Rodenbach tulip. On draft at brewery. Off white head, fluffy, high retention. Much darker than classic, almost black. Aroma more pungent, this time puckering my entire face.  Tongue smacking. Balsamic in nature. An amazing and memorable experience drinking this surrounded by the oak tuns. Wow. 

Serving type: on-tap

02-29-2012 00:28:32 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of BenHesk12


4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at SourSunday in Berkeley, CA. When I think of Flanders red ales, this beer comes to mind. It is the epitome of the style. Pours a deep rusty red with a small enjoyable head. You can taste the sour more than you can smell it. Immediately sour, but balanced by it's complexity and yeasty smoothness. The mouth feel is sharp and crisp, but quaffable. The oak also comes into play here and gives the beer a recognizable oak flavor which melds well with the exotic tart and yeast esters.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2012 02:09:15 | More by BenHesk12
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 thecheapies


4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Garnet hues through a muddy red body. Antique white head with little lacing. Served in the appropriate stemware.

Balsamic vinegar, sour raspberry, musty funk, tart cherry, pomegranate juice, flooded basement, green apple. Amazing.

Cherry bark, acetic acid, sour apple, mossy earth. Fruitier than the original, with a vinous quality. Less vinegar, too. Nice wet acidity. Rich sour unripe berry. A standard that has been set very high.

Crisp and very palatable. Medium-bodied, or a tad thinner.

One of the all-time greatest beers in the world, hands down. An incredible drink. Highly reputable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2012 23:01:57 | More by thecheapies
Photo of dejrrma


4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served into a Rodenbach Tulip at Brick Store. $6.

A vibrant dark red with auburn tones. Half an inch of head that fades out into a ring around the glass, but leaves significant lacing throughout. It has a pleasant vinegary smell. Taste-wise, it has a crisp tartness. It's sharp and acidic at first but incredibly well balanced by a slight sweetness of dark fruits and berries. It's light bodied and has the perfect carbonation topped of with a dry finish. I haven't had many sours, but this is definitely one of my favorite beers regardless of the style. Nearly flawless. I hope to have it again very soon, and it's definitely worth the price.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2012 06:47:12 | More by dejrrma
Photo of djbreezy


4.97/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Saraveza in Portland. Served in a wine glass.

Appearance - dark ruby, excellent retention, medium lacing

Smell - sour and sweet fruits, oak

Taste - amazing sour notes coupled with an oak balance p, great complexity, some tart notes, berry flavors, sugars

Mouthfeel - medium body, excellent carbonation layer, medium dry finish

Overall - really enjoyed this, not a lot of room for criticism, just a great sour/Flanders, exemplary red ale

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2011 20:52:39 | More by djbreezy
Photo of pmsawyer


5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - dark red with little to no head

Smell - Sour cherry aroma.

Taste - Sour cherry juice fruitiness balanced by a background malt sweetness. No hops taste present Finishes tart.

Texture - Medium smooth

Overall - this inadequate review fails to do justice. More research will be required.

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2011 13:14:30 | More by pmsawyer
Photo of chorkpop

New York

4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was my first ever sour ale, and, dare I say, first beer love. It will forever hold a dear place in my heart.

A: Didn't get much of a head, but there was some gentle lacing. An entrancing, deep-brown.

S: Wonderfully complex on the nose, with the tartness definitely coming through.

T: In a word, inspiring. I'm by no means a well-seasoned beer-head, but holy cow did this floor me. Lovely caramel/brown sugar notes, with some lingering balsamic, though there are a whole host of flavors that I can't articulate. The dryness is so enthralling. I can't stop drinking this.

M: A good amount of body, but by no means heavy. The sour element is certainly pronounced, and does allow for some pucker, but I do love sour things generally so this was right up my alley.

If my breakdown didn't give you a good impression of my feelings on this beer, all I can say is that this is a show-stopper. I'm probably being too effusive in my praise, but I do think this beer warrants it.

Serving type: growler

12-03-2011 05:43:48 | More by chorkpop
Photo of BranfordBound


4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Prime 16 awhile back, from notes.

Pours into a chalice glass a deep brown color with rust colored highlights. Tan head of about a finger sticks around and leaves good lacing.

Really potent aroma, very sour with tart fruits and a wood-like dryness. Sometimes vinous.

Taste is similar to the aroma, but with varying levels of potency. The sourness is the main player here, mixed with a surprising flavor of vinegar, but it is not unwelcomed. Tart fruits like apples compose the middle and the finish is reminiscent of red wine being very vinous and tannic.

Finishes dry with a body that nears heavy.

Superb beer, but don't let the vinegar thing cause you to not try it, the flavor works really well in this instance and it is an exceptional beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2011 23:01:00 | More by BranfordBound
Photo of Gehrig


4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at The Independent in Tampa, FL.

Deep ruby red with dark orange trim, topped by a finger of white foam; nice lacing and and head duration, a very good-looking beer all around.

Good aromas, nicely sour with some maraschino cherry sweetness, but more raspberry.

The taste is excellent, really sour, almost puckeringly so, but with some sweet berry and cherry as well. Raspberry and blackberry are evident, with cherry in the finish. It reminds me of a delicious, sour version of Ommegang's Three Philosophers, no light comparison given my deep fondness for 3P.

The mouthfeel is just about ideal--very smooth, but with a nice creaminess, a velvety finish that brings a hint of tart in the end.

This really impressed me, so much so that ordering a second quickly on the heels of the first was in order. Fabulous beer, a very pleasant surprise. Highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

11-12-2011 16:47:54 | More by Gehrig
Photo of adam42381


4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes at World of Beer - Fort Myers on 9/17/11.

Poured on draft into a St. Bernardus goblet.

Appearance: Pours a very dark caramel brown with a 1-2 finger creamy light tan head. Excellent lacing.

Smell: Vinegar and wine grape hulls. Quite sour aroma.

Taste: Vinegar and sour grapes with light woody notes. Aftertaste is light and dry with sour notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Pretty good drinkability. Despite the relatively low ABV%, it seems fairly heavy. I wouldn't drink more than a couple in one sitting.

Overall: Very good beer overall. If you're a fan of sour beers, this one is definitely worth trying.

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2011 15:56:13 | More by adam42381
Photo of socon67

New York

3.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Reddish brown with a slight head and small bubbles of carbonation.

S - Strong scent of sour cherries. I also smell some dry sherry and vanilla. Really pleasant and the sour smell isn't too overbearing.

T - Tartness of sour cherries, with a bit of vanilla. Finish has a bit of diacetyl.

M - Surprised that the sourness doesn't detract from the drinkability. Makes this a great sour beer to have a couple of.

O - Glad to have tried. A good example of the style, and one that is easy to acquire.

Serving type: on-tap

09-24-2011 02:41:21 | More by socon67
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 2,515 ratings.