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Rodenbach Grand Cru - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,822 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,822
Reviews: 980
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 209
Gots: 245 | FT: 16
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: 2,822 | Reviews: 980 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Burkbom23


4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

06-03-2014 02:15:09 | More by Burkbom23
Photo of taospowder

New Mexico

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

09-18-2013 13:47:37 | More by taospowder
Photo of nomad


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

Unknown Pre-Palm vintage, estimated as 1999

I recently had one of those lucky beer days that reward your hunting and attention. At a Sunday brunch at the Belgique Gourmande cafe in Occoquan, VA I perused their beer menu for something amber or dark in sorts to pair with my Flemish beef carbonade. What's this Rodenbach, and Grand Cru to boot? No longer imported, and since I wasn't picking up the check does the price matter? Had to try.

One of those beers you don't need to take notes to review, at least for me its flavor, scents, and appearance is tough to forget. Poured in to the correct Rodenbach flute-type glass, it comes an intriguing color: red in general but hazy near its center with brown hues lightly shading it. The head is soft and soapy and does not stay up well, though the lacing is more than sufficient on each and every tip to my lips.

Smell is just the definition of a wonderfully conditioned Flemish Red, as the oak and sour scents are toned and rounded, wrapped up in a gorgeous fruity scents. Strawberry juice, sour cherries, hints of vanilla (don't understant where that comes from), caramelized brown sugar, and lacto-bacillus yeast pepper the body as well. Beyond the exotic and extravagant smells is an actual sense of malt, reminding you that this elixir is made with barley and not just the magic of oak, yeast cultures, and Belgian magic.

Taste was amazing, truly the king of the style since the oak, sour, and fruity accents are rounded and impeccably integrated, flashing each without overpowering each other or the palate. The fruity flavors are the most awe inspiring, as this Flemish red goes beyond the sour cherry flavor into changing sides of raspberries, strawberries, and pomegranate. To make it more than a sweet beer was the earthiness of oak and hints of roasty and caramelized sugars. Minty Continental hops bring on the smoothest and quietest dry finish, impeccably cleaning off the full flavor of the beer. Mouthfeel was fairly moderate with just enough carbonation, evading the prickliness of a young Flemish Red.

Wow. Just one of those beers you remember like yesterday and informs every opinion of the Flemish Red style you've ever had. Gets the balance of sourness, fruitiness, sweet and cinnamon spice, and oak conditioning perfect for what the beer style requires. The bottle I enjoyed was past its "best by" date, and such aging was happily enjoyed. What an experience, who knows when and if I'll ever catch another one - only a trip to Belgium would make it possible.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2004 01:20:27 | More by nomad
Photo of rapidsequence


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

750 ml bottle bought at Whole Foods in Raleigh. It was less than $10.

Appearance: Beautifully clear dark ruby. Thick off white that leaves excellent sticky lacing.

Smell: Very fruity and vinous. Pretty sharp oaky notes, especially after swirling. Sour with lactic and less acetic smells.

Taste: Intense flavors with lots of sweet and sour. Mixed berries with lots of cherry. Again lactic and acetic with more of the former, but in a great proportion. Oaky right at the beginning and right as it finishes-- a little vanilla from the oak. Dry and pretty clean at the end.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is soft, but lively. Finishes with a clean flavor, but leaves a nice tannic coating inside the mouth that if you poke with your tongue will bring out an almost puckering sourness. I like it a lot.

Overall: I really like this beer. Excellent complexity of flavor and a great value.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 02:21:20 | More by rapidsequence
Photo of sukwonee


4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

02-14-2013 09:44:56 | More by sukwonee
Photo of beveragecaptain

New Jersey

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

750 ml corked bottle. The beer pours out a dark red color with a small head. Aroma of wood, vinegar, and funk. Flavor starts off sweet and sour, with some cherry flavor. Not overly sweet. There's a bit of a strange metal taste in the finish. This beer is pretty tart, but not cheek puckering. Medium bodied with a spritzy carbonation. Good drinkability. I never had the old version, but I liked this one a lot.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2005 21:32:55 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of jsurfs82


4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

06-09-2014 23:07:26 | More by jsurfs82
Photo of kaseydad


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

Cellared almost a year to the date. Flute glass pour and I am met with a nice dark brown colored ale with accompanying brown/beige foaming head that lingers. The smell has nice oak and different dark fruits in the mix. Just a touch of the vinegar in the aroma. Very pleasant. Amazing taste. Sweet and sour are blended perfectly. You get the fruitiness up front followed by a slight acetic dose of sourness on the swallow. Very dry finish and the salivation keeps me coming back for another sip. Carbonation is there but that's to be expected. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. Not overly sour or harsh like some sours. Just a great blend as the Rodenbach crew knows exactly what they are doing. Great stuff!

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2011 17:34:18 | More by kaseydad
Photo of dsauter


4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

03-29-2014 20:07:32 | More by dsauter
Photo of ypsifly


4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Painted 750 that has gold foil over a cork and cage. For some reason the best before date of July '09 is jetted on the bottom of the bottle. Poured into a Maudite tulip.

Dark copper over a tall head of light tan that shows good retention and layered rings of lace.

Dark ripe apples, cherries and grapes that have gone sour in an oaken barrel. Sharp yet fruity and almost sweet. Mouthwatering.

A taste of the cherries and aplle juice upfront before the sourness sweeps my tongue. A pinch of powdered sugar with dehydrated lemon zest and grape juice into a bone dry finish. Very dry and tart but at no point does it make my tongue shrivel. The sweet is the Yin to the sour Yang. So perfectly balanced.

Nice puckery mouth that works very well with the carbonation. The interesting character of this beer adds to its good drinkablity.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2006 05:49:42 | More by ypsifly
Photo of bluemoonswoon


4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle foiled corked and caged, poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark and woody looking ruby brown topped with a one inch mildy rocky cherry tinged beige head. Head fades to a ring which is what I suppose I was expecting but still leaves some mild lacing down the side of the glass, this beer looks sexy.

S: Tart cherries and oak hit the nose and dont let go.

T/MF: Oak cherry wonderfully tart mouthfeel, raspberries, cherry pie, unripe blueberries but grounded by a woody earthiness, a fantastic quencher for a hot day, or any dayjust the right amount of carbonation to smoothness ratio. Not at all silky and I am damn thankful its not, there is a wonderful texture to this beer and attaches to the back of your mouth like champagne. Wonderful wonderful.

D: I don't know what people are griping about here, compared to some other beers this one is sweet in comparison. A little drying on the back end by thats the point really. All I want it another sip! I'm sad I let this beer hide on me for so long.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2008 01:59:19 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of 510a


4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

02-19-2014 07:02:21 | More by 510a
Photo of ithinkimasofa


4/5  rDev -6.8%

01-06-2012 05:22:54 | More by ithinkimasofa
Photo of nanobrew


4/5  rDev -6.8%

11-14-2011 20:34:54 | More by nanobrew
Photo of Beer21


4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

12-11-2012 04:03:00 | More by Beer21
Photo of JustinMatthew


4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

12-17-2012 20:59:15 | More by JustinMatthew
Photo of Quackus

New York

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

06-21-2013 00:27:13 | More by Quackus
Photo of seaoflament


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

Picked up a bottle from South Bay Drugs and Liquor.

Pours a dark rosy color with about half inch of foam that quickly reduces to a thin ring. After it warms up I get about two inches of head when I pour, and some lacing as well.

Smells of tart cherries, cherry fruit roll-up, vinegar, apples, dark grapes and oak wood. The aroma reminds me of a fresh Lost Abbey- Red Poppy, which was great, but this one is still distinctly different. There is a good amount of malt presence, some lightly toasted bread and hints of caramel and vanilla.

On the first sip I get flavors of green apples, various grapes, and then followed by sweet and tart cherries. It finishes semi-dry with a vinous and vinegary after-taste. On the second taste I can identify the flavors provided by the oak aging, wood and vanilla. When it warms up it develops a lemon flavor at the beginning and the middle of the palate.

Very good mouth-feel, thin yet crisp and refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2008 03:58:40 | More by seaoflament
Photo of jakea


4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

05-11-2014 07:08:24 | More by jakea
Photo of Boston_Steve


4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

02-22-2014 17:40:59 | More by Boston_Steve
Photo of BKotch


4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

04-19-2013 04:51:21 | More by BKotch
Photo of VaTechHopHead

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

05-31-2013 23:10:07 | More by VaTechHopHead
Photo of RMoeNay


4/5  rDev -6.8%

07-01-2013 17:26:51 | More by RMoeNay
Photo of karst


4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Complex black cherry/red currant fruitiness with complementary malt. Mild vanilla and oak from 18 months in barrel. Sour, acidic wine like aromas arise from the reddish brown (from an extended less than rolling boil) clear half filled 0.4 L rastal sniffer a moderate head well supported by fine beading. Aromatics abound from the falling off white head with average retention.

Medium body with medium carbonation to links with tanic mow astringency to off set the slightly dextrinous "fat" body for this style. Little need for hops as Brett, Lacto and acetobacter and their elevated T. A. easily overcome the round malt mouthfeel. This was a pleasant surprise (adding to the drinkability) and demonstrates the brewers skill with this unblended masterpiece.

Rodenbach brewery, established in 1820, ages the Grand Cru in huge oaken barrels for up to two years. The staves host a wonderful microbiota that along with their expertise provide a Rlanders Red reminescent of a well aged red wine from start to finish.

Not as oaked as New Belgium La Folie, more drinkable that Duchesse de Bourgogne and more wine like than Petrus Oud Bruin.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2007 12:24:27 | More by karst
Photo of tzieser


3.58/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

valentines day review...2 year old bottle of Rodenbach....i'm really excited for this one

aquired in a trade from youbrewidrink. thanks!

a: pours a nice signature red/burgundy color....very clear with a one finger head that slowly dissipates.

s: ahhhh, i love that flanders red aroma...great sour malt notes...subtle hints of oakiness. good, and fitting of the style.

t: very tart and sour. borderline vinegar in flavor. i was hoping for a bit more sweetness, but i guess the age took care of that. nice oaky flavor, but overall, this is just too far on the sour side. and i really love sours, mind you.

m&d: smooth mouthfeel, but the tartness makes your tongue tingle, which i find unpleasant.

unfortunately, i had bigger expectations for this brew. i really love flemish red ales, but i think this one could do without 2 years of cellaring, because this was very vinegar-y. i would certainly try it again and see if it's better balanced than this time around.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2010 00:22:33 | More by tzieser
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 2,822 ratings.