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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,520 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2520
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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,520 | Reviews: 960 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of demitriustown


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

11.2 oz bottle:A wonderfully floral sour apple aroma, cherries, somewhat of a sugar note, and a tartness. Appearance is deep dark red with a medium sized tan head the diminishes into nothing. Taste is an upfront tartness with the carbonation bubbling on your tongue. Then falling off quite quickly and building back up again into a light sour apple taste. Palate is tart, very carbonated on the tongue and a surprisingly clean aftertaste. Overall, This is a really interesting beer in what it does inside your mouth with every sip. Wow, I am really enjoying this one. Worth the 12.99 a 4 pack.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2008 17:58:10 | More by demitriustown
Photo of abeeronthebeach


4.78/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle poured into a tulip. Drink before 16/09/16.

A - Deep ruddy brown with hints of garnet. The creamy foam on top is so fine that it looks like a nitro pour. Fluffiness of beaten egg whites. Gorgeous. The contrast between head and body gives this beer such an elegant aspect. The head has phenomenal retention.

S - Huge nose of sour red grapes, musty cherry, damson plum. Sweet berry crumble. Scent of red wine vinegar spilled on oak planks. Sour red fruits predominate with the musty and oaky flavours playing a supporting role.

T - The first sip provides a mild mouth-puckering before washing the palate with a richer and fruitier parallel to the nose. I got more sourness on the nose while the palate is treated to a symphony of dark red fruits, musty earth, soured malt and a sweetly vinegary, oaky flavour, finishing dry. Rodenbach Grand Cru is such a juicy and flavourful beer, it's hard to say enough good thing about it. I say this every time, but it amazes me this does not contain any actual fruit influence.

M - Effervescence abounds on the pour, rendering the sumptuously creamy mouthfeel that is in store all the more surprising. The prickliness from the carbonation peppers the tongue on first sip before the the tongue is enveloped by a blanket of russet decoction. Lovely balance.

O - I have not had this beer in about 9 months so I was a little anxious to see if it would be as impressive as I remember it being after drinking many new beers. It is. It's hard to say if I'd change anything about it. I'd perhaps opt for a darker vanilla head, accompanied by a little more funk and sweetness on the nose. Tastewise perhaps a little more funkiness and weirdness. I'd love to try this beer at 10-12% just to see what the additional viscosity could do for the mouthfeel, although it's already superb. A must try.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 20:20:25 | More by abeeronthebeach
Photo of flowerysong


4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Appearance: Reddish brown with a thin white head.

Smell: Black cherry fruitiness with mild acid character and hints of vanilla and oak.

Taste: Tart, acidic sourness in medium amounts on a background of sweet vanilla caramel. Intense cherry fruit, some oak character and yeast notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body, medium carbonation. Light and crisp, with a long smooth finish.

Drinkability: Nice, well-balanced and refreshing. Will not be to everyone's taste, but I quite enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2007 03:32:49 | More by flowerysong
Photo of DrewShal9


4.78/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: dark reddish brown with a creamy white head
S: cherries, vanilla, red wine, hint of sherry
T: straight cherry punch to the tongue that dries the tongue with tartness. The nose gives off the same flavors. Tastes almost like cherry vanilla coke.
M: like soda so that's maybe why I feel it tastes like cherry vanilla coke? Great carbonation
O: very good and definitely buying more as my girlfriend even enjoyed this! Very smooth and very refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2011 05:58:06 | More by DrewShal9
Photo of Aethien


4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is a murky, reddish brown. Not more than a circle around the glass as far as a head goes but it leaves some nice lacing.
The smell is all tartness and fruit, sour grapes and cherry with some lemon in there. It smells close to red wine at times.
There's more complexity in the taste although the sour still dominates the beer and completely overpowered it for me the first time I had this, it's an aquired taste alright.
Once aquired however, the beer is crisp and light with cherries, oak and just enough fruity sweetness to balance out the sour.

Not a very good looking beer but a really tasty one and a must try if you like sours.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2012 18:59:53 | More by Aethien
Photo of alex_hart


4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: A dark, chocolaty red with a thin, off-white head and good carbonation.

Smell: Fruit Fruit Fruit. A bit of sourness along with a good sweetness in the back.

Taste: This is just tasty. The tartness of the fruit really comes in, but not in an overpowering way at all. The sweetness balances is it our perfectly and keeps it enjoyable from start to finish. Plum, grape, and some others I cant quite put a finger on.

Mouthfeel: Great carbonation across the tongue. Extremely drinkable with little to no residue left in the mouth upon the swallow.

Overall: This is my first brew of the Sours category (Flanders Red in this case), and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I was very pleased with the outcome, and with this price tag it is a must get.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 23:58:19 | More by alex_hart
Photo of SirRuss


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

A: Deep conker red with a gradually declining, off white head true to the style. The result is a resilient halo crowning the perimeter, a skim of surface foam, and good lacing.

S: Sarson's and wood come forth with more weight than other reds of this ilk, resulting in an aroma almost indicative of TCA - although the sum is expressed with a subtlety that makes it intriguing rather than repulsive. Tart cherry plays throughout, and a certain herbaceous quality hides within - although can't quite place my finger on it - perhaps sage or rosemary.

T: The genius of this brew is the way in which the complexity of flavors present themselves. Sequential expectations are defenestrated as contrasting tastes spontaneously appear, namely sweet and sour. Reminiscent of chewing on a packet of Sour Patch, candy-coated sourness works hand-in-hand, and it's up to you to decide which aspect is worthy of the most attention. How ever you chose to perceive it, the flavors are undeniably fruit focussed, with recapitulations of cherry, along with unripe white grapes, key lime, and Granny Smith cooking apples, all of which offer a welcome malic cleanliness. The complexity continues with a bold woodiness - a kind of wet cork - manifesting itself on the mid -to -finish, and provides a classy, atmospheric weightiness. Also characteristic of the finish is a distinctive Cola impression owed to the earlier fruitiness.

M: The score here is owed to the way in which polarized aspects of the palate are balanced in perfect harmony with an exemplary carbonation. The precision of that carbonation aligns the contradictory elements of this brew to see the dry acidic spine, round sweetness, and warm alcohol all fall into a very desirable place.

D: A very versatile ale, which would be equally successful as an aperitif with its mouthwatering tartness, as it would a digestif thanks to its candied coating. However, despite the palate-cleansing dryness, that charismatic tartness imposes a stern limitation, which should only be breached with a preparatory arsenal of pepto-bismol.

O - solid flemish red/brown, great complexity, superb balance, although slightly on the acidic-side.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2011 07:04:26 | More by SirRuss
Photo of MrBen


3.58/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had high hopes for this, given my love for Duchesse De Bourgogne. Rodenbach Grand Cru didn't necessarily disappoint, but it didn't measure up to the Duchesse.

Rodenbach poured from the caged/corked bottle a rusty, reddish color and tossed up a big, rocky, off-white head that leaned a little toward the yellow. Excellent head retention. Smell is sour, slightly sharp, and hinting at some mildly metallic and acrid notes. I can also smell some traditional, malty beer in there.

Taste is full-on sour, with a palette-drying finish that really opens up the beer-like flavors in the aftertaste. They're otherwise (not surprisingly) buried in the overall profile of the beer. I'm not sure fruit is the right word to describe the complex stew of yeast byproduct we have here, but the beer is interesting. This is not something I would drink too often, instead spending my cash on Duchesse.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2007 15:54:37 | More by MrBen
Photo of GregoryVII


4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12 oz. bottle, poured into a snifter. The color could be aptly described as red, but there was brunette rivaling for for dominance in the color-scape. The head was a beautifully fluffy, candy coating that was enduring. The smell was deep and fruity, evoking plum and a hint of grape. Sour and sweet, there is sharp acidity, there is sugar, a dose of oak, a depth of fruit character akin to plum, raisin, and a splash of cherry. It is sour and it coats, almost like a good vinaigrette. This beer has as much charcter as can be fit into a bottle. Complex, earthy and lasting.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2010 14:38:58 | More by GregoryVII
Photo of dqderrick


4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served at 45F initially and allowed to warm to 50-55 during sampling.

Dark reddish brown with nicing lacing that sticks around. Surprising opaque.

Smells a little cherry sour. It took me a few whiffs to "get into" the smell but it grew on me and I quickly fell in love. The sour smell hits hard.

Tastes SOUR, fruit, a touch of vanilla. The barrel aging didn't immediately present itself but my lack of tasting barrel aged beers of this style may be the cause. The initial sour bite is such a great experience and ends with a light vinegar sour that I have to attribute to the barrel aging. I'm loving the fresh aftertaste.

Nicely carbonated and amazingly fun on my palate.

I had no problem finishing the large bottle by myself. I'd definitely like to grab another to keep in the fridge... but would definitely only have one a session.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2009 03:48:40 | More by dqderrick
Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul


4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Eulogy in Philly. 12oz into a Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip.

A: Pours a deep ruby reddish brown with a thin beige head.

S: Smells sour, fruity, cherries, maple syrup, flowers, slight cocoa.

T: Taste is dry, sweet, sour, cocoa, tart, citrus, cherries, strawberries, apples, peaches. Lots of fruit in there, but it's still not overly sweet. It's not as sweet as Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Red Ale. This has a great balance between the dryness, fruitiness and sour/tartness.

M: Mouthfeel is light, dry, only slightly astringent, little carbonation.

D: Very refreshing and easy drinking.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2010 22:49:18 | More by VoiceOfTheSoul
Photo of gregb13


2.28/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Cracked this one open after Thanksgiving dinner. Looks nice in the glass, but that's where the compliments end. Smell isn't bad necessarily, just lopsidedly sour with nothing else to balance. Taste is like drinking balsamic vinegar straight up. Bottle said it's supposed to have a "sweet-sour" taste and it absolutely did not. It's also so dry in the mouth that a couple sips totally ruin the palate. Very disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2011 01:41:49 | More by gregb13
Photo of wjimson


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

A beer with a very clean finish, though not the most drinkable. The aroma is very welcoming, suggestive of a dry sour cherry like flavour. A complex flavour indeed. The flavour starts with an intense vinegar sourness, followed by hints of dry hops aftertaste. The aged oak taste is quite addictive and very much defines the character of this beer. Maybe I will try this one again with fish and chips for just an experiment.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2005 02:38:29 | More by wjimson
Photo of tkarsies


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

Served from 750 mL bottle slightly chilled in wine goblet. Best by 9/21/07. Pours brown with reddish undertones. Tan head and some visible carbonation. Head
lasts throughout the glass. As soon as the bottle is opened, you can smell the sourness. There is a lactic/acetic acid smell as well as a fruity smell.
T-Wow. This is sour—but in a good way. I can taste fruit-apples, cherries, grapes. (All this comes from the yeast?! Amazing.) There is also slight barnyard funk. No significant malt presence or bitterness, yet the sweet and sour balance out nicely.Fairly light mouthfeel with just the right amount of carbonation.
The sweetness and sourness will keep me from drinking a whole bottle in an evening. The alcohol is not noticeable at all. It went well with the grilled steak that I had for dinner. It also amazed a wine snob who was at my house. This is my first Flanders Red and I was very impressed and definitely will visit this brew again.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2006 01:52:42 | More by tkarsies
Photo of DrunkenMaster


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

Looks and smells like a dirty, sour pond. Or like a sour apple and stinky cheese plate. Tastes fruity with strawberries and cherries. The taste is really different from the aroma but everything works pretty good. I definitely enjoyed this the most out of all the Belgian reds we tried.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2008 20:55:53 | More by DrunkenMaster
Photo of HabiMendes

Rhode Island

4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Grand Cru displays an elegant dark red body, with a slightly tanned head, and carries a well-balanced aroma with caramelized malts and discrete hops. The taste has a carbonated and refreshing acidity, well-harmonized with the hops. The aftertaste retains a little bit of the acidity, reminding you that you just had an excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 03:11:17 | More by HabiMendes
Photo of buyBinboaVodka

New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. The color is a dark amber with reddish brown highlights. A tall white head leaves sticky lacing around the edges all the way through the end of the glass.

S - Very tart cherries and pears. Has an acidic aroma like vinegar that cuts through the nose harshly. It is not unpleasant, but rather candy like sour.

T - Very tart cherries upfront that subside towards the end and leave a sweet dry sugar flavor at the end of a sip. As the beer warms up the bite from the sourness tends to back off a little.

M - High carbonation with a chsmpagne like dry finish that seems to evaporate off the toungue.

O - In keeping with styles, this is one of the very best.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2011 17:54:49 | More by buyBinboaVodka
Photo of BenZ


4.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Recent vintage 750 poured into flutes.

A: Clear, red-amber, fast-dissapating head. No lacing.

S: Vinegar, pinappley citrus, followed by cheesy funk. Funk is directly proportional to temperature.

T: Hits you right in the throat!! So sour! If you let it linger on your tongue there is a metallic aftertaste (an oozing from the side of your tongue which hits your cheek). There are so many flavors behind the obvious sour blast: cheesy, barny, exotic fruits, woody, etc.

M: Nice and fizzy, perhaps Panil has a better mouthfeel.

D: This is one of the best beers ever and we've bought it many times. But how can a beer that scrapes the skin off of the back of your throat score a 5?

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2006 02:19:47 | More by BenZ
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2009 19:55:57 | More by Maction
Photo of surfadelic23


3.4/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Holy guacamole is this sour! It's the equivalent of biting a lemon or sticking yout tongue on a nine volt battery! WOW! Don't get me wrong, these aren't negatives for the style and I went into this 750 ml. bottle knowing what to expect! I can't imagine what somebody who bought this thinking "Oh it's just another Belgian" would think after sip one!
This pourred a bright ruby brown with a nice head in my chalice.
There's a nice sourish fruity smell that's pleasant. Off the bat, the taste is sweet but then KABAM a wall of sourness hits! Boy does it hang around for a bit too.
The mouthfeel is right for the style but boy is it overpowering. Drinkability for me is on par or average. Because of the sourness I just can't see this as one that I'd make a session beer out of. I'm glad I tried it though as it's a very interesting style that I had trepidations about even drinking... Alas, nothing ventured nothing gained. I will definitely try others of the style

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2006 17:12:53 | More by surfadelic23
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 onewetpaw


4.9/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Tart cherry and red grape notes.

A- Nice creamy biege head. Deep reddish brown. Clear on the initial pour.

F- There's a strong tartness present, but its not unidimensional at all. The malt is still present and there's a subtleness to the sourness that surprises. I would guess the long aging time and the multiplicity of bugs make this happen.

M- Silky with a strong dry finish. The body is still there, but overall it's rather low. Nicely drinkable.

O- Wow. A tart beautiful beer that drinks so easily and reminds me of red wine, but still retains the underlying beer qualities. I'm glad I finally got my hands on this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2012 23:41:07 | More by onewetpaw
Photo of Lupin


3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Aged 40 months in the cellar. Cork comes off like panties on prom night. Pours smellier than usual. Looks exactly the same. Decent initial fizz, wears down quickly.

Tastes almost exactly the same. The acidity is slightly more prominent, really coats the whole tongue. Profound---but then again, so is one's first view of goatse.

I'm not sure how one can go about giving any sour-style ale a good rating for drinkability, I guess it has to be relative to to the style. I don't think this is better than the original, so I had to avoid anything over a 3.5 here.. As someone who has learned that you really can't let this style invade your entire mouth, I'm still not sure what to think of this. It's just.. meh.

Don't hold your breath waiting for this one to get better.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2009 04:07:55 | More by Lupin
Photo of fairdinkum2


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

Poured in to a tulip glass from a 750 ml bottle, this ale appears dark red brown and murky. One finger of foamy head that dissipates to a decent collar and lacing.

Quite an inviting sour green apple aroma with some background malt.

Tastes pretty damn good. Sour green apple and cherry flavors. The finish keeps going for a good 30 seconds. Yes there is sourness, but it's very well balanced, not overpowering. That pucker up quality really adds to the ale's drinkability which is further enhanced by the moderate carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2010 00:16:34 | More by fairdinkum2
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
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 2,520 ratings.