Rodenbach Grand Cru
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru
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Style:
Sour - Flanders Red Ale
Ranked #5
ABV:
6%
Score:
96
Ranked #636
Avg:
4.33 | pDev: 11.09%
Reviews:
1,212
Ratings:
4,241
From:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
 
Belgium
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  352
Gots
  757
SCORE
96
World-Class
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru
Notes: Flanders Red Ale- a blend of 1/3 young beer and 2/3 aged beer matured for 2 years in oak foeders. The original sour ale.
View: Beers
Reviews: 1,212 | Ratings: 4,241 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BPVandenbroek
BPVandenbroek from Canada (AB)

4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Rodenbach Grand Cru is clear and a deep red color, with leathery highlights. Head is dense, packed, cream colored, and lasting.
On the nose, Rodenbach is tart and fruity up front, smelling pleasantly of sour, ripe cherries. I can practically picture the juiciness of those cherries as they fall from the tree straight into my beer. Oak and vanilla lend support while softening the beer’s overall sourness. This may be my imagination but I could swear I find hints of leather hiding behind the aromas of oak. Unbaked bread lends itself to the flavors, helping the oak in its bid to soften those flavors of ripe fruit tartness.
On the tongue, Rodenbach is smooth and medium bodied. CO2 provides a spritzy carbonation that dances across the tongue. Soft flavors of unbaked bread give a platform for up front tartness which combines deftly with flavors of ripe fruit. Flavors give me ripe cherry as well as red grape minus the tannins. The finish has a lot going on each in its own subtle fashion. Chiefly there’s an earthy quality. Earthiness blends nicely with fruit as well as leather tinted flavors of oak. All of which combines to provide a very gentle flavor profile.
Like previous Flanders Reds, this one has some great character and great balance. Tartness and flavors of ripe fruit dominate without overpowering. Oak aging and a general bready quality help prevent this beer from being too strong in its tartness. Rather, it’s a delicious, refreshing, and greatly accessible example of the style.

Jan 10, 2021
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Celtics76 from Rhode Island

4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'll keep this brief - wonderful classic beer. It's one of those beers that I've seen on the shelf for years without trying. Now I wonder what took so long.

Over the last several months, the Flanders Red style has emerged as on of my favorites. So much flavor to be had here!

Nov 16, 2020
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783 from New Jersey

5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Four-pack copped from Bottle King in Livingston. Pours a blood-orange, deep amber hue with minimal frothing. Assertive aroma replete with notes of sour pear and apricot. Full-bodied mouthfeel with a tart, sour finish. Burst-in-your mouth taste exploding with a cornucopia of wild ale flavors ranging from Granny Smith apples to plum wine. Awesome, authentic example of the style. High marks all around.

Sep 23, 2020
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puck1225 from Texas

4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich flavorful beer! Excellent. Celebrating a new car purchase!

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Deep, dark reddish brown color with excellent beige head and beautiful curtain lacing. Cherry and blackberry smell and taste. Some raspberries and lemon. Rich, smooth feel. Great beer!

Sep 06, 2020
Photo of rex_4539
rex_4539 from Greece

4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Deep red color, minimal head and lacing, no visible carbonation.

S: Sour, cherries.

T: Sour, cherries. Very good!

F: Medium bodied, tons of flavor.

O: Amazing Flanders Red Ale. More oxydiized than Alexander but equally excellent.

Jul 31, 2020
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Snagged a bottle for about five bucks into a pint glass. Smells of red wine vinegar and nice oak wood fodders. taste is very refined you do get the sour vinegar note but it is smooth out very well with a nice wine barrel Woody flavor. Body is snappy and crisp easy to finish overall I would recommend this beer it's well worth the price of admission.

Jul 29, 2020
Photo of CaptainHate
CaptainHate from Ohio

4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

8/31/2018 750 ml bottle poured into a DFH tulip. The cork released easily but without as much pressure as I expected. As a brief aside, I stored this at my cellar fridge temperature of 55 which is warmer than the recommended temperature of 6-8 celsius on the bottle; I put the bottle in the regular fridge to cool it down more for the following pour and will report any significant changes if any. A small quickly disappearing head over a reddish mahogany body. Smell is intriguingly sweetly sour with hints of berries. Taste is very tart with the sweetness not being as prominent as I was expecting; maybe I need a fresh bottle to experience that to the max. Not tasting much oak either; maybe further aging brings that out. Still the taste was quite appropriate after a hot summer day. Likewise the zesty feel. This was a good initial experience.

Edit: the second pour at the suggested serving temperature (or closer to it) muted the sourness and accentuated the sweetness more. I'm not going to change the ratings because while the experience is different the quality level stays constant.

Jul 26, 2020
Photo of KRug
KRug from Massachusetts

4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Having myself a nice little vertical with a 2014 and 2019, taking the best ratings of each

2014 pours a murky brown with a finger of tannish head, nice lacing
2019 has more of a red glow and is more translucent with the same head just glowing beautifully, not as much lacing

2014 has strong vinegar in the nose, some barrel presence, a mild malt with red berries and brett funk
2019 is pretty similar in aroma, though I get more fruit forward characters

2014 is a more mellow tart bite, has matured nicely, the vinegar is a bit stronger as the nose would suggest, but it offers a nice balance between oak and funk
2019 is a little less funky and has more sourness, more berries and citrus with still a nice sweet backbone of malt and wood, a real wine like note here

2014 doesn't have too much carbonation and finishes a bit slick with a light medium body
2019 has a bit more carbonation and thus is more drying, but not by much

An honor to try this one, and both vintages had their strong suits, but overall I prefer this fresh(ish)...It still has over a year on it. For $5 a bottle this was an absolute steal. Will definitely be revisiting this and breaking it out for special occasions, just incredible

Apr 18, 2020
Photo of Spike
Spike from England

4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330ml bottle.
L: Clear, russet colour with a thin head that reduces quickly but leaves lots of lacing.
S: Highest quality red wine vinegar.
T: Sour! but not sharp. Finish is smooth & semi-sweet.
F: Medium body. Tongue & mouth become increasingly dry. Feels rich & heavy by the end.
O: A finely balanced sour ale aged in oak. Impossible to avoid the (fine) red wine vinegar comparison.

Apr 10, 2020
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gr0g from New Jersey

4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Best by" date shown as "01/04/2021," and I can't read the production date on the bottom. Based on some light research, this was likely bottled two years before the best by date, so 01/04/2019. Reddish brown appearance, quickly dissipating head. Tart, fruity aroma with a faint hint of apple cider vinegar. A bit vinous even. Some lacto sourness hits the palate first, followed by bready malt. Suggestions of tart cherry and stonefruit. No vinegar notes to report. I found this to be not bracingly sour, and it had great depth of aroma.

Mar 15, 2020
Photo of LampertLand
LampertLand from Canada (BC)

4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Rodenbach 'Grand Cru' @ 6.0% , served from a 330 ml bottle
A-pour is amber from bottle to glass with a minimal off-white head leaving a lacing ring along the chalice
S-oak BA (foeder)
T-tart & smooth ,
MF-mild carbonation , big medium body
Ov-just another world class beer
prost LampertLand

Mar 15, 2020
Photo of Mugman8
Mugman8 from New York

3.65/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My tour of Belgians takes a wrong turn.....Sour and tart, no head and tastes like vinegar....is this a salad dressing? This is supposed to be world-class so I guess this beer style doesn't appeal to me.

Mar 01, 2020
Photo of Nugganooch
Nugganooch from California

4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the 330ml bottle with Lost Abbey stemware

Dark ruddy brown looking body with some burgundy like hues. A thin short lived tan head settles down into a few swirls in the glass. Aromas come off as a big red vinegar bomb! I get cherry, plum, grape, earthy and sweet vanilla with a mild stomach acid funk to it. Some underlying brown malt-bread like character there. The flavor is much more balanced with a very nice acidic vinegar-like quality. Apple cider and red wine mix with a touch of sour funkiness to it.
Flavor is great really. Very balanced bewteen the nice tart apple cider and not too much acidity or funk overall but has a good sour note to it. Lesser notes of brown malts, grape, cherry pie with a sugarycrust, light paint thinner - acetone. Not enough to detract here really. Good crisp carb and spritzy mouteel.
A very nice approachable sour ale

Jan 13, 2020
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Beejay from Virginia

4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: a murky brown color with a small white head, dissipating to a ring.

S: a little funk and vinegar. Earthy with a touch of sweetness in the finish. Lightly fruity in the finish.

T: tart with a touch of acid, and a lovely dark Berry flavor, with caramel sweetness and a hint earthy.

M: thin in feel with plenty of carbonation, a somewhat dry finish, and a touch of pucker.

O: overall just a damn fine brew. Interesting, complex, acidic, and sweet.

Jan 07, 2020
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle in a snifter. This excellent Flemish brew pours a ruby
tinged brown mahogany with a nice head of off white foam that
subsides to a thick ring, thin light dusty pool, and displays some
excellent lacing. Nose of tart cherry, light oak, subtle leather, and
Belgian candy malt. Flavors hit the wow factor with sweet candy
sugar and tart cherry notes amongst oak and tannic elements
in a perfectly balanced brew. Excellent mouth feel; medium
body, light carbonation, and a tart dry yet lightly sweet
finish.

Overall, excellence from Belgium.

Dec 21, 2019
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elnachooo from Spain

3.75/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cerveza de color marrón, con una cabeza cabeza espumosa. Aroma y cuerpo medio. Aromas frutales y a caramelo. En boca destaca su dulzura perfectamente equilibrada.

Nov 10, 2019
Photo of vinicole
vinicole from England

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep auburn with a thin, dense and tan head.
Immediate sour aroma. Dark earthy fruits and composting apples.
Tastes as it smells. Woodland berries. Light maraschino cherries noted. Tannic finish.
Light effervescent feel.
An excellent representation of the style but not to my taste.

Nov 02, 2019
Photo of marcbosch
marcbosch from Netherlands

4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Reddish-brown, mahogany. Fizzy, quickly disappearing head.
S: Vinous, fruity, with a bit of malt and wood as a background.
T: Following the nose. Wine, blackcurrant, a bit of vanilla and wood, some candi sugar, malty background.
F: Medium-high, prickly carbonation, medium body. Somewhat astringent/tannic.
O: Complex beer. Very, very enjoyable.

Nov 01, 2019
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.84/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 8/8/17; drank 7/31/19 @ the Yarchives.

Semi-opaque red/orange rust appearance.

An even pour yielded a small, noisy khaki head; minimal lace.

Tart cherry & mild vinegar notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Luden's cough drop & mild vinegar flavors up front; tart cherry notes on the finish.

An odd amalgam but mildly enjoyable. Not one I'll rush back too, however...

Aug 01, 2019
Photo of octortus
octortus from Canada (ON)

4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL Bottle. ABV 6%.
Appearance: Cherry red/brown, One finger of light beige creamy head, Great retention, Soft carbonation, Layers of lacing.
Aroma: Dark malt, Black cherry, Red wine vinegar, Apple, Red grape, Red berries, Yeast funk, Phenomenal complexity and balance.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, Soft carbonation.
Flavour: Tart, Black cherry, Red berries, Balsamic vinegar, Slight plum, Slight raisin, Slight caramel/toffee.
Overall: This was my first introduction to "sour beer" and I was floored. This was a generous gift from the staff at Brux House. Absolutely incredible from a legendary brewery.

Review: 49

Jul 30, 2019
Photo of C-Stockwell
C-Stockwell from Rhode Island

4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: similar to an oxidized wine like a bual or a verdelho Madeira, not much head
S: very rich red fruit, like real maraschino cherries, beef stew, vinegar, and strawberries. Reminds me of eating a rich steak dinner with a side of french fries covered in vinegar (mmm... vinegar on french fries...)
T: malt, cherries, strawberries, fruit cake, and dry finish
F: excellent carbonation and mouthfeel

This is a very rich and flavorful beer. I can see how the rich, brandied-cherry flavor can be an acquired taste. Would make a killer steak sauce or ingredient in a beef dish like a beef roast or beef stew.

Jul 29, 2019
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JonnoWillsteed from England

3.75/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L- Deep chestnut, some hints of ruby, very slight haze, pours with 2-3mm ultra-fine tan head.
S- Distinctive, I haven't read tasting notes but the smell is something like cherry/kirsch liquer (fruity/rich/pungent).
T- Wow! Bam, much zestier than I was expecting. Almost hints of sherbert/cherryade, reminds me of a Belgic cherry kriek beer. Yet their website suggests it's from maturation in oak casks rather than use of any fruit.
F- Quite dry and a touch sherbety for 6.0%. My wife who likes richer belgium tripels etc, and doesn't like sour tastes tried this > 'Oh.... it's sour!!'.
O- I like it, it's different. I accept/see now that it has a sour side and so probably couldn't session it, even if I could afford to. Different, and interesting to try.
Bought from Selfridges Oxford Street. £3.80/330ml as I recall. BB: 26/07/2021.

Jun 20, 2019
Photo of Wolvmar
Wolvmar from Michigan

3.94/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into a pint glass. Dated 4/4/17, so 2 years old.

Pour: deep red, brown. One to two finger tan head that ends with a thick ring, small clouds and nice bubble lacing.

Nose: cherry, sweet malt, dark fruits.

Taste: pretty strong tart cherry, grapefruit, oak. Fairly complex and well balanced. Sourness adds but doesn’t overwhelm.

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation. Malty feel; slight oiliness, costs the tongue a bit.

Overall: I’m not a big sour fan but this is one I like. It’s still probably a “one beer” drinker for me but I would buy again. Sour, tart, sweetness are well balanced.

Jun 01, 2019
Photo of ONUMello
ONUMello from Ohio

4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle poured into a flute
A: Light purple with a very thin head, light carbonation bubbles
S: Sour raspberry/cherry, fig, red wine & a bit of vinegar
T: Matches the nose, both the fruit/fig add a bit of sweetness that’s a bit stronger than the sour
M: Light bodied, somewhat sweet but with sour to balance and a pleasant carbonation
O: Very well balanced and quite tasty, a very well made and enjoyable beer

May 06, 2019
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Buck89 from Tennessee

4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2017 bottle poured into a hotel glass. A significantly hazy light brown color with a modest tan head. The aroma was bright tart cherries with oak, vanilla, and a gentle funk. This was fairly tart on the first sip, but complex. Cherries and sweet tarts led the way, followed by cola, wood, funk, and caramel. A dry but funky/sticky finish with lively carbonation. Overall a delicious and interesting beer deserving of its reputation.

Apr 11, 2019
Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 4241 ratings