Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,069 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,069
Hads: 3,671
Avg: 4.26
pDev: 20.89%
Wants: 298
Gots: 537 | FT: 27
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (7) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rodenbach Grand Cru Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,069 | Hads: 3,671
Photo of Flashsp2
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rodenbach Grand Cru 750mL into 11oz wine glass

Deep clear blood red with golden highlights around the edges. A one and a half finger tan colored head which leaves some light lacing and dissipates relatively quickly, leaving a thin layer that is fed by a steady and champagne-like carbonation.

Sour cherry candies on the nose. Apple cider vinegar, old oak, a bit of funk, tangy white wine, and a soft underlying sweetness.

I remember this being more abundantly sour the last time I had it. The flavors are still there, but it seems a bit muted, dumbed down a bit for a wider consumer base. The original formula was all 'old' ale, now it's a blend of 1/3 'new' and 2/3 'old' ales. There is the cider vinegar, sweet and under ripe tart cherries, There is a nice acidity that sits at the back of the tongue and spikes the saliva glands. There is a nice sweet/sour balance though, it's just toned down a bit from the last time I sampled. The oak creates a nice dryness on the finish, which seems to battle with the acidity in a dry/drool bout. There is just a wee-bit of funkyness in there, but not super present as it is in other Brett-powered brews.

Mouthfeel is soft and plush, with a surprisingly low carbonation level given the activity from the glass. A bit heavy, but not too hefty, just a solid and luxurious liquid.

This is easy to drink, as it is quite refreshing and well balanced between sweet and sour.

A- (A for the original formula)

 1,450 characters

Photo of bskrtz
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ML bottle, poured cold into tullip shaped glass beer snifter at Revolution Brewery (Chicago)

A) Dr. Pepper comes to mind -- brownish rusty red cola with frothy brown head that dissipates quickly

S) Sour dough bread, sweet cherries, musty with mild pepper spice

T) Classic version of the Flanders Red Ale. Sweet and Sour, an acquired taste. Dark fruits, pastry, tart apples

M) Sticky but smooth with ample carbonation. Alcohol is mild, the tart/sour is dominant

O) An excellent example of this category

 511 characters

Photo of arkanu
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a reddish brown with almost no head at all. Little amount of bubbles go away soon. Maybe it was a tad too cold when poured into the glass. Not impressed.

S - Sweet and sour fruits with a lot of cherries. Very refreshing, some vinegar and fermented wine notes. Really interesting.

T - Very crisp, with strong sweet and sour cheery notes. Aftertaste is sour and leaves hints of oak and

M - Lots of burn from the bubbles, medium body. Fabulously refreshing, you can almost imagine a late summer fading into the sunset.

O - Remarkable beer overall - it's an outstanding performance to have such clear cherry notes without even one drop of cherry juice in it. Alcohol is also properly masked, even though the oak notes and the wine like body make sure they don't transform this beer into a juice.

 808 characters

Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle Belgium Beer Factory - Pours hazy dark brown with a large tan head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Smell - dark fruits, cherry, fermented apples Taste - tart, tannic/red wine lightly dry finish. Nice change for me, very drinkable sour beer.

 256 characters

Photo of walshclimb
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly cloudy and reddish brown with 1/4 inch bubbly head and active carbonation. Smells sour with wet cardboard and green apple. The initial flavor is sweet and salty that transitions quickly into a sour aftertaste that picks up the green apples noted in the aroma. That apple flavor is relatively long lived, especially on the tip of the toungue. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a lightly oily texture and fizzy carbonation. This beer is interesting and complex but definitely not something I would drink very often.

 538 characters

Photo of Lukie
4.85/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured out a deep red brown with a thick fluffy foam head which cascaded down into nothing. Slight lacing on the side as the glass is tilted. Hints of orange when held up to the light. The colour is bizarre, but fantastic.

Really strong sour cherry, acidic, sour blackberry and raspberry. Almost like a strong liquer or port.

Tart! Tart cherry, raspberry, berry fruits. Fantastic flavours which quench a thirst. I find this better then a lambic. Just the fruity flavours and the sour and tart are just amazing.

Unlike a lambic, I could drink this all day. It is so refreshingly amazing. The acidity is not over powering, while the tartness is great. The mouthfeel is sparkling and keeps the mouth sour puckered, hehehe.

 722 characters

Photo of Filosoof
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From some beers you will never forget where and when you drank your first. Rodenbach is such beer.

My first impression was (like the colour): Ice-tea-beer. My second impression was Ice-tea-beer (because of the sourness). My third impression is: there's nothing like Rodenbach.

L: the foam won't win be world champion;
S: not too powerful, but elegant, nuts, vanilla, milky sours;
T & M: absolutely great; starting round and fresh, with a nice sour finish, a very tine tartness.
O: classic!

 491 characters

Photo of JimmyTango
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Rusty brown with a very rosy hue. Crystal clear with a creamy head that starts big and falls to a thin layer that just won't dissipate. The reddish color is so pretty when held up to light...

S: My favorite part of this beer is the smell. Sour, wet, pungent and TASTY. I smell dried cranberries, a touch of dew sweetness, and some bread dough. It hits in the back of the throat when you sniff it too hard. As it warms I'm getting some wood and balsamic.

T: Juicy and puckering with some bitterness thrown in with the sour. Almost a hint of fruity pears, like in a BPA but they are quickly wiped away by the sourness and a hint of cranberry juice. As it warms I'm noticing much more bittering hops than when I started the bottle, and I'm not stoked. It may be a reaction to the cheese I'm eating with it, but I think I could do without.

M: Light and viscous like apple juice with fine carbonation. Finishes dry as a bone.

O: Was on its way to a rave review until the bittering hops started to bug me. Excellent in every way otherwise though, and like I said it may have been a food thing and not really the beer's problem at all.

 1,137 characters

Photo of jbonapar
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

 751 characters

Photo of berpwillie
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

almost opaque ruby brown color with spare off white head, spare lacing, and average carbonation. strong balsamic vinegar like smell that followed through in the taste but wasn't nearly as potent. very sweet sour and tart with some fruity like hints. the blend of the sweet and sour was almost perfect. light body and a thin slick texture. long flavor duration with a very tart finish. very different and unusual flavors that were very pleasing. definitely worth a try.

 468 characters

Photo of shambeano
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a tulip.

A- Pours a very dark brown, bordering on cola. with about an inch of slightly off-white head that slowly subsides, some lacing. looks pretty good to me.

S- Straight up theres some fruity flavours, plum is predominant, as well as some dark dried fruit. Following that there is a vinagery sourness that finishes everything off. smells really good.

T- straight up there is a heap of fruity flavour, i get the plum that was on the nose, but theres a lot more, sour fruit comes through, cherry, slightly underripe grape, some acidity as well. the sourness finishes, but its vinigary sourness, not over the top, but really damn nice. super flavourful. amazing.

M- on the lighter side, yet still mouth filling. the tartness really gets the saliva flowing. really good length of flavour as well.

O- wow, this beer is really tasty, so much flavour. really, really like it.

 912 characters

Photo of redneckchugger
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a flute, dark amber bolor, some head, no lacing, beautiful color tho.
smells acidic, vingary.
Tastes of cherries soaked in a reall good balsamic vinegar. tart, acidic, refreshing
thin mouthfeel but it realy works for this beer.
One of the most drinkable beers i have ever had. I love this beer.

 307 characters

Photo of 0110x011
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml corked, caged, & foiled bottle. Pretty. Pours a clear, deep, coppery red into a tulip glass. Bubbly two-finger off-white head subsides quickly, with little lacing to speak of. Nose is sweet fruits, caramel, some oaky woodiness, & sour cherries. The sourness hits the tongue with a bang, but eventually gives way to sweet fruits, caramel, oak, and quite a few other flavors I can't quite put my finger on. Champagne-like effervescence makes for a dry, crisp finish.

The complexity of the Grand Cru definately makes it superior to the more one-dimentional Rodenbach. A thoroughly enjoyable brew.

 600 characters

Photo of barknee
2.67/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

RGC pours a deep red-cognac color with generous carbonation and a settling tan head. Quickly dispersing industrial vinegar nose, leading to repressed malty-apple cider vinegar nose. Taste of moderate tart laden cherries and an inhaled fresh black pepper attack upon the tonsil area of the throat. Medium bodied and strangely refreshing, there is some desensitizing to the overly assertive acids that are omnipresent within. I tried this version after it was recommended to me that the Grand Cru was "much better" than the standard version. This version of the style is commercial, squeaky clean and aromatically void of any discernable bret or wild yeast elements available to the taster.
I still continue to find it impossible to grasp what it is that turns beer enthusiasts on when consuming the Rodenbach line, as there is nothing hedonistic about it. Lacking true Flanders red authenticity; and as much as I try to convince myself that this is an enjoyable product; ingestion is a definite struggle.

 1,005 characters

Photo of ejquin
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Beatiful ruby/brown with thin white head. Some lacing.

S: Very nice candy sweetness. Cherries and raspberry pie, with some hop prescence. Smells exactly like cherry laffy taffy.
T: Very nicely balanced. Very sweet but held in check by the smokiness. Effervesces with sour cherries, fades to hop spiciness and smokiness from the oak and an alcohol tinge.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D: Good, but limited slightly by sourness.

 442 characters

Photo of Chambic
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

01.14.10 at City Beer Store, courtesy of Aaron

A: dark copper, very similar to the 2007

S: a nice brett bouquet

T: tastes a bit sharper, less sweet, than the 2007, with a coconut-y flavor

M: nice, soft fizz

D: I'd love to see what a magnum of these tastes like.

Had this side-by-side with a Rodenbach 2007, a limited-release vintage. BEAUTIFUL

 349 characters

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

From bottle purchased at the Stuffed Sandwich.

A- dark brown leather color like stained wood with deep mohogany hues when held up to the light. Had a thin tooth white head that didnt last too long.
S- basalmic vinegar, sour cherries and a burnt fireworks smell that i cant place.
T- Hmmm, well the tartness hits your mouth like you had a basalmic vinegar reduction sauce with sour cherry brine and unripe apple peels. Ended on a burnt sulfer like note with faint sweetness, then back to the vinous character... cant place it.
M&Dr - had a wine like mouthfeel to it with carbonation befitting the style. Good sipping brew.

 627 characters

Photo of CPeterson
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A -- A beautiful, deep crimson / brown pours with a vigorous head that settles at a mellow pace and leaves nice lacing.

S -- Sour cherry and apple, fig and other dark fruit are followed by oak and acid.

T -- Cherry and sweet - tart apple, acid and sweetness play to no end and contest to see which will win. You get both with this flavorful monster. Dark fruits come through later on the tongue with a great residual taste.

M -- A nice crisp bite from the acid and a nice pucker.

D -- Buy it, drink it, be amazed.

 517 characters

Photo of caskstrength
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour is a gourgeous dark red. nice frothy white head. great looking beer.

sour apple, sour cherry, oak on the nose. vinegar mixing in. Interesting and fairly complex.

Tastes are sour fruits as above, but sweetness balances them more than the nose would suggest. Oak aging obvious, but complements the sweet/sour fruits instead of dominating. vinegar there mixing with everything.
Just complex enough, while being straightforward. Make sense?

Mouthfeel is just right. Carbonation is perfect, keeps the flavors bouncing without being a distraction.

Always happy to drink this. Classic stuff.

 595 characters

Photo of Parrotshake
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours more brown than red, with a thin tan head that slowly dissapears in patches. Tiny bubbles all over the inside of the glass. You could pretty easily fool me into thinking this is Coca-cola....

... until I smell it. Medicinal-metallic-iodine, balsamic vinegar and wood. Wild stuff.

Even as a fan of other sours/lambics and regular Rodenbach, the first sip of this one is still quite a shock. A hell of a lot going on.
Big tart sour fruit candy (cherry, lemon), prune juice, oak, red wine and smoke. Starts tart, finishes tart, with a glue-y kind of thing toward the end.

Complex in the way that it makes you want another sip just so you can sort it out in your head. Dry-finishing and crisply carbonated enough to totally refresh the palate and keep you going once you're used to it.

Awesome stuff. With the right food partner - (something that don't mind a bit of acid - salads, seafood, fried fish etc) - you could drink it forever.

 945 characters

Photo of mudbug
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a large wine snifter produces a small foamy reddish head, the body has the appearance of cola, if you wait there is a slight amount of clearing on the bottom with continuos small bubbles, no lacing at all.
The smell is sharp vinegar with ripe cherries, not overwhelming, got to get right down there for the aroma.
Taste is the winner, sourness up front with a mouthwatering sour cherry then quickly fading into a sweetness that flows along with the incredible creaminess, just stupendous!
You can take large quaffs of this one, unlike other sours it's easier to drink fast.
The price was more than reasonable considering it's near Consecration in taste and quality, but costs half as much.

 705 characters

Photo of sk8man121
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
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.


 855 characters

Photo of nomomentwasted
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at O'Briens today. Been wanting to try it for a while, happy to finally have the chance to sit down and enjoy one. 25cl pour into a Chimay Goblet.

Appearance: Brownish-red hue of a lightly carbonated and ultimately poor lacing brew, but still very beep in the color radius and retains that reddish hue around the edges.

Smell: Whew, here it comes. Big sour notes of a wine-like nature, with sour green apple notes, red and white grapes, and a sprucy / oaky nature to it as well. You can tell from the smell the different yeast strands working for the same sugars, all yielding just slightly different breadiness. Pucker inducing as well in the profile, just the smell gets my mouth watering.

Taste: More wine-like, almost straight red grape flavor with a very oaky profile and just a hint of green apple to it. Sourness is prominent and unrelenting, but not earth-shattering. Pucker is definite, but fades as the brew wamrs up and progresses. It almost rotates from sweet to sour and then back to sweet, finishing again with the sour. I was impressed, for not being mind-bendingly sour, it sure had a huge profile of complexity. Bit of vinegar on the back end adds a little astringency, but not enough to kill the profile by any means.

Mouthfeel: A little dry, almost champagne-like texture, but man, today was another scorcher here in Southern California, and damn it was delicious, refreshing, and thirst-quenching. My glass was empty much faster than my table-mates with other brews.

Drinkability: While being refreshing, I don't think I'd want too much more of it than I had just due to nature of it. But as a sour, it's great and enjoyable, a bit heavier than expected, but tasty and enjoyable. Not quite as tasty as Duck Duck Gooze though, which immediately followed this, but then again, not a whole lot else is.

 1,842 characters

Photo of BMoldy
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an extremely dark red with a large light-brown head that takes its time coming back down. Good clarity despite the color. Spotty lacing.

S: Smells very tart, with a hefty acidic bite. A mild cranberry aroma mixes with a mellow oakiness to provide further depth. No hop aroma to speak of, as is to be expected.

T: Tartness and sweetness build rapidly on the front of the tongue, climaxing in the middle of the sip and fading much more slowly afterwards. Though the tartness is certainly prominent, it is far from harsh –being much less acidic than the aroma suggests– and well-supported by the rest of the body. Finish ends a bit abruptly, leaving only a faintly malty/woody aftertaste.

M: Very smooth, with a medium-heavy body and barely noticeable carbonation. Mildly acidic.

O: This is a personal favorite. Maybe all the lambic I've been drinking lately has messed with my palate, but I feel like this used to be more tart/acidic. Still, all it takes is a tiny sip of this super concentrated brew to fully appreciate all of its flavors. Often overlooked in my opinion.

 1,088 characters

Photo of JulioH
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


Nice Red Flanders beer, yet a bit weak.

Pours a nice red beer, able to see through. Not many bubbles forming. Aroma is good, like lambics or gueuzes, and you can smell the sour nature of the beer. Taste is good, sour, yet sweet. It is not a straightforward sour, it is more of a cherry lambic, but very light. Mouth feel is also light.

 349 characters

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 1,069 ratings.