Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,134 Reviews
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Belgium
rodenbach.be

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,134
Ratings:
3,975
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
11.27%
 
 
Wants:
327
Gots:
670
For Trade:
23
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Reviews: 1,134 | Ratings: 3,975
Photo of Jonada
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Best before October 22nd 2016. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark red brown color with a finger of a light tan head which settles into a thin cap and thick collar and leaves some spotty lacing. Body is very murky (nearly opaque).

Smell: Acidic sour notes, stone fruit, sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, dark bread .

Taste: Green apple, red grape, light oakiness, slight breadiness and a faint red berry character. Sourness is on the lower end of medium.

Mouthfeel: Light/medium bodied with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Really well balanced and complex. This is a such a unique style and this is a great example of it. This one is a classic for a reason.

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

33cl, best by 3/8/12, purchased in Belgium.

Pours a deep, opaque brown with plum highlights. The beige head is compact and laces well. Retention is average.

Aroma is fantastic, with a big sour component, sharp woodiness and an interestingly leathery character.

The flavor is very lactic-tart with a long, fruity finish. This stuff is pretty damn sour actually. There are notes of molasses, oak, leather, and dark fruits. The mouthfeel is smooth, with lightly prickly carbonation, but the beer lost it very quickly.

If you like sours, Rodenbach Grand Cru is a very enjoyable beer.

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

Poured a clear chestnut red color with a thin white head that subdsided quickly.
The aroma has a lactic and acetic acid smells with a touch of brett. The aroma reminds me of fresh cut sour apples alongside a piece of stinky bleu cheese in that some of the funk dd a refreshing sharpness while other parts add complexity.
The taste begins with sharp sourness that quickly segues into a more balanced flavor as the malt come to the fore. The flavors then move to the dry side and the sour apple taste then blends with the horeblanket funk and the finish is surprisingly clean.
The mouthfeel is a bit thin though the carbonation makes up for it.
This is not a session beer but accompanied with the right foods this ale would make an amazing dinner companion. I liked this sour brown and would order it again.

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

From: Friar Tuck's, Savoy, IL
Date: "12/09/14 13:56" stamped on bottom of bottle
Glass: Tulip

Rodenbach's Grand Cru is a superb Flanders Red Ale, with complex malt, cherry, and wild yeast flavors and aromas. Overall, not as potently sour as Jacobins, but approaching that level; slightly less to equally complex. The price point and availability of this beer is phenomenal as well. I think I'd like to have one of these on hand at all times.

Pours a 1.5cm head with small to medium-sized bubbles, tan in color, that has average retention, fairly quickly receding to a thickish ring around the glass and a wispy island of foam isolated atop the body. Lacing is fairly substantial, small continents washed upon the sides of the glass. Body is an opaque dark brown with reddish tinge. Carbonation is visible only towards the top of the glass.

Aroma has elements of apple cider and balsamic vinegar, sauerkraut, oak barrel, fresh sweet cherries, and a bit of cherry candy.

Generally well-balanced between tartness and sweetness. Opens with some brown malt sweetness, mineral and iron nuances, and lush, ripe, red cherries with just a hit of tartness. Tart cherry becomes dominant in mid-palate, alongside lighter notes of vinegar and oak barrel. Back of palate is stronger on tartness than sweet cherries and brown malt base, but those are still there, too. Aftertaste of brown malts and lingering tartness on the sides of the palate.

Beer is medium-bodied, with higher-level carbonation that foams the beer substantially across the palate. Overall mouthfeel is at first fizzy, then smooth and creamy, suitable for the style. Closes dryly, with notable lingering tartness on sides of palate.

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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.

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Photo of Caml
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Glassware: 4oz de Molen goblet

A: Gorgeous mahogany red-brown, dark but with a good deal of clarity. Short, tan head followed by strong lacing.

S: Nice and sour, maybe even a touch astringent, somewhere between good vinegar and really sour cherries.

T: Amazingly dry and crisp. There's a mite of malt sweetness swimming around in there somewhere, but the dry sourness is the primary feature.

M: Lightly carbonated and rather astringent.

Drinkability: Not terribly high for me, despite its excellent taste and reasonable ABV. Two would easily do it and send me on my way to something else.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Things are just as burgundy here as in Classic world, though a touch darker and a whole degree of magnitude more brackish. The khaki cap is now more baseball than beret, ‘cause it has to appeal to a wider audience, and who doesn’t love America’s pastime, eh? No one, that’s who!

Whatever subtlety lived in the classic nose is mostly gone here, replaced by an even sharper contingent of berries, the elite sniper brigade of the bush/bog/wherever the hell else berries happen to come from. Luckily for the sanity of the nose hairs, these sumbitches are constantly hounded (and likely annoyed) by a loudmouthed, yappy little toffee bastard. Now the berries know how Spike felt all those years ago with that pest Chester always tagging along, makin’ a comedic mess o’ things for the big lug. The traces of red wine on the edges are more blatant now, in the vein of a rich, earthy Pinot Noir. A short field of dark ivy crawls beneath it all, ensuring the tartness and the sweetness don’t battle in a vacuum, that it’s not just a young buck taking on a crowd of comers one at a time (I’m lookin’ at you, any extra that’s ever been in an action movie before). Finally, swinging along the edge of the canopy with the last vestiges of the wine is a twinge of apple vinegar, young, lithe, and carefree, but still with a chip on its shoulder. Be wary of this little fireball, as it probably won’t take much to set it off in an adolescent rage. I blame the parents. It’s always the parents. Usually. Sometimes.

Similar layers stratify themselves atop the tongue. First comes a basal sediment of sweet, buttery toffee. On top of this rolls a tide of berry-laced wine, this time verging closer to a Malbec. Then comes a thin-ish wash and veneer of straight white vinegar, quick and effervescent as a misty ninja, yet effective as the blade of a veteran samurai. Once this silent wind of puckering doom whooshes away, the wine and toffee helically battle through the air, a Torch and Sub-Mariner for these Modern Age times (clearly I’m not counting their appearance in Marvels as anything new, more a rerun of the past in stunning Alex Ross HD). Depending on the curvature of your tongue at the right instant, you may be left with a dry, tannic scar or a mildly-nutty sweetness. Either way, the feeling doesn’t last long, but a crater is indeed left behind, laden with remnants of everything that once dwelt on that craggy little asteroid. Shit, geologists are gonna have field days for years to come with this nonsense.

As hearty as everything comes and as thoroughly as things express themselves, there is a very bearable lightness in their collective being. An evanescence somehow pervades, even in spite of the lack of that dark beauty, Amy Lee. Dammit, this shit just turns out to be so drinkable because of this. There are worse burdens, I s’pose.

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Photo of cokes
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this bottle for quite some time. I'm not sure when it was produced, but the bottom has a best before date of: 09 08 07.

Pours a shimmering and lightly hazy auburn-brown body with a firm rise of tan suds.
The nose is heavy on balsamic vinegar, and backed with oak, old sneakers, mentholated cherry coughdrops, and mildew.
It begins with lightly sugared brown raisin fruitiness, as it morphs towards cherry, and then begins an exponentially sour descent. From this sour cherry, it turns towards cider. From the cider, it turns towards lime juice. From lime juice, it becomes a well aged balsamic vinegar with the requisite oaky nuances. It stay bracingly tart as it hits the back of the mouth and explodes into splinters of cinnamon.
The tartness is generally autocratic, but some funkier yeast flourishes pop up from time to time, mostly via pungent cheese and wet basement impressions.
It carries a medium body, with a small amount of sweettart tackiness, but a fluffy carbonation keeps it from gumming up too much.
In some ways, the tartness makes this a bit of a one trick pony. It's not refreshing like a gueuze; more like liquid heartburn.
That said, this still has plenty of charm, and I like it quite a bit more than their Classic.

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Photo of jsanford
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Distillery in Savannah, GA. I was surprised to see this on tap, it was quite an unexpected treat.

A - Dark, cola-brown with reddish tints and a wispy rose-colored head. Solid retention, looks very inviting.
S - Quite sour smelling. Red wine vinegar dominates with a bit of tart cherry, sweet-smelling hay and oak.
T - Again, I'm getting a ton of pleasantly sour red wine vinegar. Some sweet malt and dark cherry balances the tart a bit, while the straw and oak help smooth the whole thing out. Quite tasty.
M - Thin-bodied with a slightly syrupy consistency. Carbonation is crisp and sharp.
D - Got a bit intense toward the end of the glass, so one should be good for me. Also, I need to pop a TUMS. Worth it though.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Southern Tier tulip-style glass. Stamp on the bottom of the bottle says 07/03/14 which I take to mean drink by March 7, 2014.

A- Pours a dark brown that's almost opaque with a 1/2 inch head that's very fizzy as it quickly gasses away to just a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and almost no surface foam. Below average lacing.

S- Smells of rotten cherries and sour red grapes. Oh boy. Here we go.

T- Immediate lashing of the tongue with dry, puckering sourness but what's this? A soaring rescue as the sweetness follows and gives the tartness a purpose. As more sips are taken, the palate becomes acclimated to the wildness and things become more enjoyable. The aroma is still kind of off-putting but can be overlooked. Notes of cherry, raspberry and blackberry.

M- Not as dry or acidic as other Flanders Reds can be. Still plenty of pucker but the body keeps things balanced. Low carbonation.

O- This could definitely be intense for someone who's not used to sour beers but IMO it's one of the better beers in its class. I'm still not a fan of the aroma, but it tastes great.

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Photo of geexploitation
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Wow. The Rodenbach Grand Cru is everything the regular Rodenbach is and more more more. Pours a bright ruby brown with a big head. Massive sour cherry nose with underlying vanilla notes. Taste is initally sweet, but upon starting to swallow the sourness takes over, and by "over" I mean "overpowering". Swig some of this and the sourness explodes in the back of the palate; even after swallowing, the sourness sticks around in the back of the throat. Mouthfeel is bright with that sour flavor. Drinkability, alas, is pretty low. The sourness is just a bit too much for me (and I like the regular Rodenbach, this is just dialed up so much), which reduces the drinkability.

Perhaps this could be excellent with the proper food pairing, and served in a smaller vessel (I'm working on 2/3 of a 750 at this point). Lots of extra points for rather rare flavors to encounter in a beer. Overall this is a great beer that I can appreciate but not, perhaps, love.

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Photo of mmapes
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had a bottle earlier in the day that was fresh. Reviewing a roughly five year old bottle from Beer Mania.

Poured into wine glasses. Head was there briefly but dissipated quickly. Color is cola-reddish-brown.

Smell is sour up front, carmel, maybe a hint of slight vinegar... we hope it's okay. I think the fresh bottle earlier had a more appealing scent -- the sour note seemed more fruity.

Very interesting first sip: Sweet, a little sour, very complex. Some cherry up front, but quickly turns less fruity than the fresh bottle earlier had been. The age makes it smoother than the fresh bottle. The sour component is preceded by a dark brown sugary malt that is quite sweet, and just the right offset for the sour. The long finish makes it easy to sip. I'm not the biggest fan of sour beers, but this is delicious.

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Photo of beersabound
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of mltobin
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at The Half Door in Hartford, CT.
Poured into a goblit, the appearance is a light red color with a one finger head. The smell is tart, cherry, faint sugar. With a taste sour like the normal Rodenbach, but the Grand Cru to me seemed not to be as sour, but still interesting to say the least. With a tart, sweet taste, but not overpowering in my humble opinion. Mouthfeel is full and flavorful like most Flanders. Drinkability is pretty good for such an interesting and unique beer. Not a beer for someone who has only been exposed to bud light. But if you have tried some other styles and wish to expand your palate, start with the regular Rodenbach and then try this Rodenbach Grand Cru, it is worth your efforts.

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Photo of davesway10
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So this is the first time I've had this style of beer. Words such as "sour" usually send me packing. That said, I really enjoyed this beer. Nice Hazy brown, a little red, with a tan head the quickly recedes. Taste has some nice tart fruitiness to it, I get the apples more than the cherry that others have noticed, and thats fine. My palate isn't as "refined", one day though. Anyway, this wont be a regular staple for me but I'll certainly pick it up again, and look forward to trying others of the style.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another brew split with fish113d. Big thanks to Manekineko for the hookup!
I am sampling @ room temp in a tulip glass. the beer pours a clear cranberry color with minimal off white head that fades to an edge layer quickly. Aroma is tart, sour cherries, merlot wine, and some light oak scents mixed with a bit of vanilla. The first sip reveals a lighter body and fine yet prickly carbonation.
Flavor is as advertised by the nose, tart and sour cherries mix with a hint of oak but mostly puckering sour. I dig it!
the finish is very light with a lingering tartness and wine flavors in the burp. QUite an experience, I really enjoy this style.

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Photo of cookedw
4.04/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I was shocked to discover that Jupiter (Berkeley) had this beer on tap, but then I remembered they were doing a sour special for beer week.

A - This is a gorgeous looking beer, a beautiful deep red.

S - Very red wine in character from the oak+fruit notes, a little vinegary but not a ton. Not really very aromatic, honestly.

T - Immediately, I tasted cranberry and sour cherries, and then this subsided into grapes. This beer is not particularly sour, which I appreciate, but it was almost too fruity. As the flavor accumulated on my tongue over time, I tasted a lingering tobacco-like note.

M - Lightly carbonated, this was pleasurable, with enough robustness to let the flavors linger and enough pucker to make the mouth water without blistering it.

D - As far as the style goes, it's really light and not super sour, so I consider it pretty drinkable.

O - This beer is good, but I kept on wanting something more from it. Maybe 'cause it's relatively low in alcohol content and so fruit-centric, I just didn't really yearn for each sip. I'm glad I had it, and it was tasty, but this is not one for the "absolutely seek out", IMO.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.4oz bottle, Boulevard tulip, "27/05/13" on bottom of bottle.

The pop of the cork was not so big, but the beer looks wonderful. The cork is definitely shorter than normal. A deep tawny head forms at a measured pace on a minimally chill-hazed brown-red, burgundy body that is just restricting light through its center. Minimal lacing occurs, but it's has a beautiful bit of foam.

My brother immediately channelled red wine upon smelling Grand Cru, and it's a valid point of reference. Woody, even oaky vanilla overtones show on mild acid. I'm reminded of sherry more than red wine and sherry vinegar at that.

Oak aging has had a large impact here; this is primarily a melange of oak's vanilla and tannic qualities and sour berries. Not much acid, a pleasant tartness suggesting some berry ciders and tart plums.

Carbonation is in a very comfortable sweet spot, distributing flavor, allowing the tannin's full impact. They're mouth coating but not overwhelming.

I haven't found this as sour as some sources make it sound. This is a good beer and seems perfect for a sort of warm up to the Russian River sours I've got in the fridge. I put put it around Duchesse's level, very good but possibly just below, as a possible introductory red sour ale.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This sets the bar very high with a near sculpturesque body. The head is tight, thick and resembles a cream like froth. The color is a deep ruby with highlights of mahogany at the edge.

The scent is sour with a sweet cheery tartness, some dried fruit lingers at the back.

The cherry tartness stands out on the tongue. I'm catching some date and prune but the sour washes it away. Dry malts also make an appearance but for the most part the cherry really rides on through.

The feel is very dry and smooth. The carbonation is not too noticeable but it still has a sprite air to it.

This is very good, very tasty, and nice all around. My only complaint is that it seems to be holding out the real strength that lies within.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Redish golden-brown in color. The sharp aroma of apple cider vinegar leaps up into the nostrils upon sniffing this beer. You might normally consider "vinegar" to be a flaw in a beer's character, but in this context I rather like it. The nose continues tart and fruity with a flash of coconut cream.

On the palate this beer is SOUR! Incredibly so-- it's sour before you taste it, during, and after! Wow. There is a brief window of opportunity to explore sour tart citrus fruit and then the overriding tartness reenters the fore. Sharply sour on the finish, all the way down into the throat. Mouthpuckering.

This beer is, at least by my experience, completely unique. Certainly worth seeking out.

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Photo of cakirkl
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark brown, looks like a quad nearly. The two finger head doesn't stick around for long.

S - I can smell sour notes right as I pour it. But that's all I smell, just sour. Little disappointed on the nose factor of this one. As I let it warm up, I'm getting more wood'ish notes. As it warms the sour wears a bit, and gains a bit of complexity.

T - Hey, that's pretty good. This isn't as good as previous ones I've had. I was blown away by the first one of these I had. This one might be light struck or something. The taste is good, but not amazing. I'm going to let this warm up for a few minutes and see what happens.

M - Pretty solid on this count.

D - Feels pretty darn good, but leaves the mouth a bit dry, that's my only compaint.

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Photo of OnThenIn
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Beautiful beer with a slightly off white head that was tiny and died down quickly. The beer was a magnificent dark ruby color with some amber hues.

Smell: This is one pungent beer. It smells a bit like apple vinegar with some cherry elements and a bit of backing sweetness.

Taste: A sour cider with a massive sour taste which included a finish that just kept going. There was a sweet backing flavor and a tiny bit of oakyness. Cherry and a vinous character were clearly present. It is complex as all get out.

Mouthfeel: The sourness is so strong that there is an carbonation like prickle, which goes fantastically with the lighter, thinner body.

Drinkability: The thin body and huge complexity would be a wonderful combination leading to a massively drinkable beer, but the super sourness makes it a serious sipper. It was rather enjoyable and a good introduction to sours.

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Photo of roscoehnj
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red with little head. Very interesting looking.

More interesting to taste and smell however. One whiff tells you this is going to be sour and one taste blows you away. I was not sure that this was how it was supposed to taste until I read some of the reviews here but this is by multiples the most sour beer I have ever had. The cherry like sour taste grabs hold of your tounge and does not let go. Right amount of carbonation for this type of beer makes it easier to drink than one might think. I'm not sure I could drink this on a regular basis but it is one hell of an interesting beer.

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Photo of donnebaby
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks similar to the Rodenbach Classic, but perhaps a little lighter in color and lighter in head. Looks like cherry juice, with a thin tan smattering of foam scum. Smell is sweet dark cherries, but light compared to the R. Classic.

Taste is an overpowering lemon cherry cough drop. Sour to the max, with a spicy grating of the throat. Lasting cherry taste in the throat, with notes of anise cookies and vanilla. Mouthfeel is creamy on the intake--but immediately changes to gripping lip-smacking sourness. It gets points for kicking my ass. Sort of the feeling when drinking vinegar, or eating something that has alot of vinegar. I love vinegar though, so it's all good fortunately.

This is an awesome taste and creation, but I don't think I really want to have more than one at a sitting. That said, I certainly want to finish the one I'm having.

I'm also reminded of eating too many salt-and-vinegar chips at once...definite parallels.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nearly clear garnet brown, when held to the light, with widely distributed effervesce streaming up from the bottom of the goblet. The pour produces slightly more than a finger of tan, very shortlived, champagne foam head that leaves a thin collar ring & no hint of lace on the sides of glass. Aroma is acidic & lightly acetic with hints of wood, vinous grape, berry & cherry. Taste is similar but more robust with sour, vinegar acetic sharp edges backed by hints vinous grape, cherry, wood & spice. Finishes sour, very peppery, dry & acetic producing a similar but mildly astringent aftertaste. The wood notes from the barrel aging are more reserved than I suspected. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation, prickly with peppery spice, dry & faintly astringent in the aftertaste.

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.26 out of 5 based on 3,975 ratings.
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