Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

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1,040 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,040
Hads: 3,545
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 5.66%
Wants: 280
Gots: 481 | FT: 26
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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,040 | Hads: 3,545
Photo of stjaernstoft
4.24/5  rDev 0%
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. (869 characters)

Photo of Sharkophile
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this beer sitting untouched on a shelf in a supermarket chain of all places. I had never had Flanders Red before so this was my introduction into the world of Belgian Sours, and what an introduction it was.

A: Poured from a 750ml bottle into a goblet. Pours a deep, opaque reddish color with a huge off-white head.

S: Smells very fruity and slightly tart, with some funky and spicy smells as well. Almost wine-like.

T: Sour at first, with a sour cherry and slightly vinegary flavor. The more I sip, the more I taste dark fruit flavors (date and fig-like) beneath the tartness, in addition to vanilla and spice. Finishes very dry.

M: Pretty light bodied, with a prickly carbonation, alot of bubbles hitting the tongue, which amplifies the dryness.

O: Mother of God, this beer is unlike anything I've ever tasted. Tart, complex and simply amazing. I feel the need to drink more sours other than fruit lambics after drinking this beer. (943 characters)

Photo of ryannosaurus
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750 poured to tulip

A: dark red-brown and clear. Lovely 2 finger head that takes it's time laying down

S: a lot of cherry, some red wine, little mustiness. Light sassy phenolic herb note and a touch of malt vinegar

T: nicely sour, well balanced. Tart cherries and plum, a hotter alcohol taste then most at 8%. Discreet touch of oak becomes more noticeable as it warms.

mf: good carbonation, moderately high abv and sour bite make this surprisingly light bodied and very refreshing

o: for fans of the sour that gravitate to the sweet and sour side of things, this is a pretty amazing example of the Flanders style. Not too tart, not too sweet... right on the mark. (668 characters)

Photo of dill
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured on draught into a snifter.

A - a deep mahogany color with a thin white head.

S - fruitcake.

T - reminiscent of cherry syrup. there's definitely some spices in here too, but the fruit is dominant without being too sour. perhaps i would have enjoyed a touch more sourness in fact.

M - tight carbonation, almost champagne-like.

D - a nice beer to sip although I wouldn't look to have more than one at a time. (417 characters)

Photo of xraided81
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip galss.

A: Pours a deep reddish brown, with ruby highlight. One finger off white presisitent head, carbonation is almost champagne like, long lasting head.

S: An assertive acetic aroma is present, but not dominating the aroma. Ripe red apples, cherries, plums, and woody notes intertwine with the acetic aroma of this beer.

T: Moderate in acetic character, does not dominate the taste, as in more aggresive sour beers. the fruit character is present in the background of the flavor. It is a very refreshing beer that dries out the palate wanting more of this delicious elixir.

O: I am not a big fan of sour beers but i do enjoy this beer, and is always a treat when i want to drink something other than IPA, roasty stouts, or strong ales. A great beer and a textbook example of the flanders red ale (845 characters)

Photo of tiger88
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My first Flanders Ale...
Pours a reddish brown in the glass that creates a nice, fluffy white head. The head slowly goes away to leave light lacing on the glass. Smells sweet and fruity but I can;t place the fruit immediately. The taste is very distinct and very sour upon first touch. The sour gives way nicely to a sweet almost wine taste as it rolls back on the tongue. It as a very light and crisp mouthfeel that goes down smothly. I would not be able to drink more than one, but that;s just my opinion. As I become better versed in this style, that may change. (565 characters)

Photo of nerdrocker101
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a dark brown with a ruby hued edge and just under an inch of light brown head. Somewhat inconsistent lacing around the sides of the glass.

The aroma of tart, red fruit is dominant but not overwhelming.

Sour cherries come out first with a sharp bite. The tart notes are then followed up by softer flavors of red fruits, orange, lemon and wood.

Loads of carbonation. Medium body with a dry finish. Pretty refreshing overall. Each sip demands another. (486 characters)

Photo of boston2bburg
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks a million to Aaron for this freeby. Dark brown with streaks of auburn, a snap crackle pop head that settles along the edges of the glass. The aroma is light but complex. Oak and fruit with dark chocolate malts and a bit of dubbel-like raisin and yeast character.

Holy crap, there is no shortage of flavor here. Admittedly I'm still new to sours, but this is the best I've had so far. The fresh, clean, sweet wine taste finishes with a mouth-puckering tartness. Glorious.

Perfect carbonation matches the tartness, producing an acidic, crisp all-encompassing mouthfeel devoid of any slick or syrupy sensations.

Incredibly drinkable, I find it hard to savor for very long. At 6% you could drink them as long as you could afford them. (740 characters)

Photo of jwolfie70
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was very interesting. Drank out of a corked and cage champagne bottle. It opened with a champagne like pop, but was not very carbonated. It poured a reddish, amber brown. The initial smell was very champagne like, with a good amount of funky spoiled fruit, mixed with a sour, sweet cherry smell. The taste was incredibly complex, with funky spoiled fruit again with a malty sweet and sour tang. The beer definitely had a sweetness to it, but the sourness of beer made it dry and crisp. Was unable to detect any hops in the flavor.

Sour beers are not my favorite style, but this beer was very enjoyable, and will be what I compare all Flander's Red Ales against. (673 characters)

Photo of ryantaussig
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not the most beautiful beer on the planet, but it carries a nice balance of sour notes in the nose. Cherries especially come through, with a slight note of under-ripe plum or blueberry. Same notes come through in the flavor, but with an added malt sweetness and even some slight vanilla. Smooth beer with nonaggressive carbonation. (331 characters)

Photo of rawthar
4.07/5  rDev -4%
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. (714 characters)

Photo of biga7346
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark chocolate like, murky brown, cloudy, one-finger thick tannish foam on top which dissipates quickly.

N - Oak, baker's milk chocolate, powdered sugar, mineral water; there is tart I mean TART green apple aroma, sour patch candy, lemon peel, furniture polish; some sherry-like or maybe closer to champagne notes.

T/M - Slick and oily mouthfeel rolls around the palate, the sourness isn't jaw dropping but quietly assertive; balsamic vinegar up front, red wine, thirst quenching notes of granny smith apple; there is oakiness from the smell and it is slightly drying in the finish, and an unexpected aftertaste of like kiwi, or lime juice.

D - Probably the most drinkable deeply sour beer I've ever had, would be great with a nutty hard cheese. (761 characters)

Photo of CraftAleRookie
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capone's- served in a 9 oz Brandy Snifter

A- Deep, dark, ruby-brown color. No head at all- a thin ring of lace only right up against the glass.

S- Wow! Sweet, yet....sour? Hint of tart vinegar, but not in a bad way. Slight hint of ripe cherry.

T- Good! Sweet, cherry, cassis.

M- Fizzy, medium body- but the tartness makes it feel on the lighter side.

D- Here is where I will not be at a loss for words. I enjoyed this ale with a piece of Reese's Peanut Butter cake (this was the last course)- and it was a perfect pairing. At the end of a night of sampling IPAs, DIPAs, and Belgian Dark Ales with appetizer foods (wings, poppers, nachos), this ale was the perfect match with dessert.

A suprising change of pace. (727 characters)

Photo of BenHesk12
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (491 characters)

Photo of scvance
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ordered on tap, served in a tulip glass.

Poured a deep copper/brown color with a small white head, disappears quickly but leaves solid lacing as its drunk. Smell is fruity sweet, like sour apples and grapes, slightly spicy. Taste starts out with a strong sourness that tastes ciderlike but quickly fades after the initial pucker to a nice fruity/malty sweetness. Definitely oak flavor throughout, strongest in the finish. Mouthfeel is rather thin, very crisp, moderate carbonation.

Excellent beer overall, I definitely recommend trying it on tap if you can find it, although bottled is also very good. One of the easiest beers to get someone started in sours if they've never had one before moving on to some really funky stuff. Will have again. (748 characters)

Photo of IgnatiusReilly
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle to a tulip glass at Monk's in Philly.

Pours a deep ruby, not as much head as I would have expected, less than a finger maybe. Not very much lace along the sides of the glass, and the head pretty much dissipates to nothing. Aroma is fruity, some plum and tart raspberry scent. Some underlying malt tones in the nose as well. Lots of wild yeast. Very tart/sour bite in the taste, mimics the aroma, sweet plum and cherry flavors, some orange as well. Some malt sweetness to balance out the sour. Couldn’t detect any hops at all. Mouthfeel gives loads of carbonation, medium body, making this pretty tart beer very palatable. Refreshing and invigorating, extremely drinkable. Flemish sours aren’t usually the first beer I’d order, but this was very good. (779 characters)

Photo of jed
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Comes in a brown, 33 cl bottle. The front of the label has a picture of casks and text boasting of "2 year muturation in oak casks" in four languages. The back of the label has a longer description of the beer, a series of numbers that appear to be a bottling code, and a best before date of 11/19/05.

Appearance: Pours a very dark, ruby color that lets through only a small amount of light. The head is very small, with average head retention and a small ring of lacing. Solid color, but nothing amazing.

Smell: A more refined version of the Rodenbach classic, with a similar but deeper smell. Wine-like acidic fruit aromas, followed by a hint of sweetness. As the beer warms, more pronounced wood aromas and a small amount of mustiness.

Taste: Again, a much better version of the Rodenbach classic; similar flavors but they taste more developed. Toasted malt nose followed by a wave of what seem to be sour fruit flavors, mainly cherry — I'm shocked to learn that this beer doesn't actually have any fruit in it. If the flavors come from the oak, it shows the pour of the long maturation process. A hint of malt vinegar. Aftertaste of smokiness, oak flavor from the casks. Very dry finish due to the oak and tart "fruit" flavors. I tried tried paring this with from sharp cheese and a pear, which really drew out the oak flavors.

Mouthfeel: Noticeably smoother than the Rodenbach classic, very nice.

Drinkability: The sour "fruit" and the high carbonation hurt the drinkability of this one. An excellent flavor, but not something you'd want to have a lot of.

Rodenbach Grand Cru has a vasty different flavor from what most people imagine when they think of beer. This isn't something I'm going to start drinking daily, even if I could afford to, but it's a still a very interesting and challenging beer I'm glad to have tried. (1,862 characters)

Photo of ohitsbrad
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

7 September 2006, Best Before Dec 06

Clear red-tinged brown colour. Medium sized head. Aroma of sour cherries, oak, oxidised wine, complex fruit and sweet, rich malt. Flavour is sour, vinegary, winey with suggestions of fruit (orange, citrus, passionfruit, raspberries). It's rich, malty and has some sweetness - like sour lollies. It's also irony and there's a slight burn of acidity. Lingering aftertaste. The mouthfeel is prickly, medium bodied and astringent. Wonderful sour beer. Very well balanced and drinkable. (521 characters)

Photo of beersabound
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

When we first opened this one it had a strong vinegar aroma and flavor. This was beyond sour and unpleasant. However, after it warmed up, the vinegar subisided substantially allowng the fruity tones and sourness to come through. This beer has a hazy amber hue with a fizzy head that forms nicely and then snap, crackle, pops away. The aroma is predominantly sour with cherry and other fruits. The mouthfeel is puckering, quite lively and dries the mouth. the carbonation is high and it has a little body. Good Sour! Let it warm before you dive in. (547 characters)

Photo of mrkrispy
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big fan of the Flanders Reds, and have been a fan of the Rodenbach Grand Cru for a while. We finally got some new bottles in to San Diego so I finally reviewed one.

Poured in to a Duvel snifter. A very dark ruby color, looks like black cherry juice. Lace abounds. Nice fizzy head, sticks around for a bit.

Nice pungent cherry aroma, dark fruits, and sourness to the nose. Smells effervescent. Nice.

A wonderfully complex sourness. Slightly sweet, some tartness, a bit acidic. A dark fruit taste there. A real fruit juice taste in the middle as opposed to sweetened juice flavor. No funk, but a great sourness. Flavors all over. Some oak in the distance, not a big woody flavor.

Moderately thick mouthfeel, nice even carbonation. Lingering aftertaste of red grapes and dark cherrys. Tartness builds up though, might take a while to down a bottle solo.

A world class beer, firing on all cylinders. (901 characters)

Photo of bohemiandonut
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
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. (1,512 characters)

Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (594 characters)

Photo of lamarr04
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bought this beer on special because it is just past its best before date. from what I've read that means it's been about two years in a bottle. never had a fresher bottle but here goes:

750ml bottle poured into medium size wine glass (its the best option I had).

A: Pours a dark reddish brown with fizzy tan head

S: Wow. I've don't have much experience with any of the sour beer styles so that is probably why I was blown away by the smell and taste: Vinegar like sourness mixes with sweet cherry and vanilla. Some oak as well from the aging process.

T: Again this was a holy sh** experience. Tartness and sweetness that I can only describe as cherry like. some earthiness as well, oaky and maybe a bit from the yeast. There may be some malt and hops somewhere in this beer but they are hard to pick out.

M: Fizzy champaign like carbonation cuts the medium body and acts in opposition to the tongue coating quality of the beer. Finishes pretty clean.

D: Amazingly complex beer which makes it a pleasure to consume.

Notes: If I didn't know better, I would be sure that this was brewed with cherries. Its crazy that they achieve that level of fruitiness just through using various strains of yeast. (1,207 characters)

Photo of TheEremite
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the bistro in Hayward, CA.

Served dark burgundy with red highlights and a tan head. Looks brilliant in the glass. Smells of sour apples and apple cider vinegar. Very pungent and sharp aroma. Tastes very tart, almost striking for how malty the beer looks. It's not though. Drinks very dry with lactic and acetic pricks throughout the drink. There's some lingering oakiness in the aftertaste too. Outstanding beer. It's not as complex as other Flanders reds I've had before, but it's extremely straightforward and a remarkable beer. (548 characters)

Photo of tkarsies
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (954 characters)

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
94 out of 100 based on 1,040 ratings.