Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

1,133 Reviews
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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

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Reviews: 1,133 | Ratings: 3,973
Photo of tavernjef
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Beautifully bold and shiny dark brown color with a fine, bright ruby glow within and around the edges when strongly back lit. Much like if it were an interchangeable stage light. Starchy topping of parchment paper colored foam builds up gracefully after the pour to about a finger high and slowly fades to a light skim and a few light specks and strings of lacing.

Aroma is sweet and mostly sour with vineous grapes and cherry vinegar and a whole lot of earthly woodish notes that are very high ended and nose hair pullingly sour.

Taste is a towering inferno of souring stuff that is quite complex and uniquely snappy on the palate. Instant tongue cleansing and cheek parching with super sweet, tart cherries, souring vinegar, and vineous quailties that scream dry wine. Lots of superb surroundings to earth, wood, and leaves. Dare I say raisin seems to drift around with some currant skins and a bit of plum too. The texture of sourness is incredibly complex. Acidicly sublime and balanced with just enough sweet to help keep it a bit more in check then it probably could be. The oak aging has done wonders here with all sorts of unique notes that remind me of being in a deeply wooded forest on a hot day as the heat rises from the forest floor and sifts through the thick tree foilage. Wonderful in that regards.

Mouthfeel is like a swig of vinegar balanced with souring fruits and sweetened fruity malt. Crisp, tangy, full on oaky tinged heat and character, vineous dryness, and tones of well-handled sour is the beast of each sip. If sour patch candies were oak aged and pulled from the ground this would be the liquid form of that.

Now as much as I enjoy these types of beers, I have always had a tremendously hard time drinking them with any ease. The sourness is beyond me and my capacity to handle them like a pro Lambic drinker is not something I can keep up with. So on that note I unfortunately have a hard time attributing a nubmer to the drinkability of such a beer. So since this took me a very, very long time to finish, I guess its my average? Damn good stuff though.

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

This is good lookin' stuff even before you pour. The stuff in the bottle is prettier than the container.
The scent is striking; what one would expect for a flanders red ale. Sharp, sour fermented fruit smells.
Raspberry vinegrette? Tangy and tart to say the least. Reminds one a bit of sour patch kids candy or some such. A hint of soy sauce lives in the flavor but I definately get berries on the palate.
This seems pretty spot on for the style though my experience with it is limited. Certainly not for everyone; it's pretty much a love it or hate it flavor profile.

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

Translucent ruby brown, tiny bubbled head, persistant ring and some lacing. Gobs of carbonation. The smell has a little aspirinish odor connoting a sour taste is coming. There is also a malty aroma, albeit twisted by the sourness. Tart starts it all off, but never puckering. The malt base washes through in the middle. Balance is not bad at all. Mouthfeel is thin to medium with a light body and carbonic finish. There are lots of bubbles in this one, plenty of sour burps. Not overpowering, actually pleasant for a Flanders and paired very well with grilled porkchops. Spouse really liked it, too, a first for a sour brew.

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

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Brand flute glass. Pours a deep dark amber with a generous inch of off white, fluffy head. Aromas of sour cherries are most apparent followed by spicy yeast. Tastes of tart and sour dried fruits such as plum, prune, and cherry. The sourness lasts through the dry finish and then some. medium body and moderate carbonation. I did not think I would like this after my first few sips, but as I made my way to the bottom of the bottle, it sure did grow on me. Very well made.

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

Pours a dark ruby red with brownish highlights. Very small cap of head tops the beer. Smell is musty and vinegary. Smells of a German Cherry Vinegar i used once. Taste is similar, sour cherries, wine vinegar, pucker the cheeks. A note of horsey funkiness also creeps into the taste. Mouthfeel is nice, low carbonation. No real hops to speak of which probably wouldnt be to style any how. A nice beer with dinner or a salad. Definately not a session beer, but one that I would definately pick up again.

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Photo of stevoj
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really well done sour, smooth and not too tart. Brown/ruby with spare beige/pink head. Aroma of sour cherries, peat, wood barrel. Taste is sort of cider-like, light bodied, tingly palate. Sweet, but not too much.

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

A: Pours clear ruby red with a medium-large off-white creamy head. Dissipation is slow and leaves rich lacings.

S: Oak, a bit sour and some cherries. Dry, some malt, dark syrup, bready. Faint bitterness.

T: Cherries and brett. Sour. Rich cherryflavour. Well balanced and well matured. Oranges.

M: Long sour bitter aftertaste. Body is medium and carbonation is very mild.

O: Nice sour Flanders red.

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Photo of jera1350
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby hued amber with an everlasting tan colored head that appears very soft. Some noticeable lacing on the glass.

Smells both sweet and sour. A lactic sour in fact. Apple cider vinegar lightly present.

The taste is a mix of sweet and sour as well, with the sour having a slight edge. A tart apple like sourness. I would call this a little beyond moderately sour. About as sour as I would really want to have. There is a little bit of noticeable woody oak notes as well in the background.

As expected, this one is very tongue suckingly puckering and dry. Light-medium body with lots of carbonation. Can't say I've burped from a beer as much as this one.

Nicely drinking for a sour. Well done and decently priced for the category. This is a good intro/evolving into sours beer. Not too sour, but plenty there to showcase the style.

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

Dark reddish-amber color with a medium thick eggshell white head that lasts fairly long. Thick sheets of lacing. Aroma of sour cherry and grape, with a touch of sweet malt too. Medium-bodied and super tart and vinous and first, but smoother as it warms. Sour fruit is the name of the game here, with cherry and apple being dominant. Some light spices and malts are there as well. The finish is dry and fruity. Admittedly I usually struggle with this style but this is a complex and well-crafted beer.

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Photo of fields336
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into my SN Snifter
best by 1/09/13 printed on the bottom of the bottle

A: Dark brown reddish color with 1/2 finger of khaki/mocha colored head. lingers on the side with slight carbonation, alcohol legs present. lacing is nice and leaves different patterns on my glass as I drink it.

S: first smell is of vinegar, then opens up to a bouquet of cherries and grapes. with the funkiness/sourness it is almost like a red wine. some coffee or dark chocolate is latent. definitely smells acidic.

T: Red wine vinegar mixed in with dark fruits. the sourness washes away to a nice mix of fruity and earthy undertones. Definitely wine-like. Pretty nice. The mix of sweet and sour is nice and neither one overpowers the other. Definitely getting some tannins and oak late in the taste as it sweetens and lingers on my tongue. nice balance and the different waves of flavors are welcome.

M: light-bodied and carbonated, not a whole lot lingers but a bit on the sides of my tongue. hangs around for a while.

O: My palate was not ready for this style, so I will definitely mark this as one to have to re-review, but I think sour beers could become something I like.

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Photo of Sechavar
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Did I mention that I love cherries? I know it's not "made" with cherries, but the critters in this stuff make it taste like tart dark fruit. Delicious! It's got a light red-brown color going on, and a really lace head. Like some lingerie. Sexay. Sour. Tart. Lip smacking. Tonguing the inside of your mouth for residual flavor. Good.

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Photo of jwolfie70
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of JustinQ
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: 2 finger head, Off white. dark red/mahagony hue. Nice Lacing

S: strong fruity, boozy character, cherries, currants, maybe even beets. has that true belgian type aroma

T: Instant fruity/sour/sweet . true to its blend description, little funky, acidic

M: thick full bodied. dry. wine like

O: great beer, not at all what i expected when i purchased this brew. amazed

Im a new fan of sour beers and im sure this was a major contributor

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Photo of number1bum
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of NEPA BC split #14.

This is my first Flanders Red, and I have little familiarity with tart and sour beers at all, so here goes nothin.

Pours a reddish brown color that is significantly redder when held to the light. Pretty good clarity and about one finger of off-white head. Maintains a thin lace and doesn't leave too much stick.

Smell is tart and fruity, with sour cherry aromas in particular. Also bready with yeasty notes, and there is some vinegar and a musty sort of aroma, too. It's very complex even if I can't pick out exactly what I'm smelling.

Taste immediately puckers the mouth with a big splash of tart, sour cherries. Bit of sweetness hits the palate to balance the sour through the finish. There is some vanilla, maybe some green apple, and a bit of alcohol, too. I found the first few sips to be a shock to the senses but after that the sourness started to become quite enjoyable. There is a bit too much of a vinegar flavor, though, which detracts a bit. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and crisp.

This was a very interesting ride for my tastebuds, and I expect that I will need to try more of this style before I can fully appreciate this beer. Nevertheless, even to my inexperienced palate I can tell that this is a fine brew, although the vinegar qualities are somewhat of a detractor.

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Photo of Apellonious
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pt 9.6 fl oz bottle from FMcDs poured into a tulip.

A - Dark brown with faint amber highlights. Two finger head that moves quickly to a thin lace. Great lace retention through the drink.

S - Cider, vinegar, plums and cherries.

T - Follows the nose, with the addition of some pear and cola. Sour level is moderate.

M - Carbonation is on the moderate/low side, with some mid swig to the finish sharpness to finish semi dry.

O - A pleasant sour. Highly drinkable and recommended. Well made.

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Photo of Floydster
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

8 ounce glass at Naja's Place for $7.50, too bad their prices went up but oh well, first time I have seen this other than O'Briens, my buddy who had one as well loved it

A-Medium deep brown with some red highlights, one inch bubbly off white head that did stay around long, not much retention or lacing

S-Cherries, oak, various berries, Belgian yeast, tart, funkiness, sweet malt aromas, sugar, apples, and vinegar

T-Started off with a mild tart, some sweet malt and fruit in the middle, finish was slightly sour, taste just got sweeter as it warmed and no new flavors really came to the surface, could have used some bite, this one seemed rather subtle for all the hype I have heard about in the past, mellow Flanders but still did not taste bad

M-Tart and dry mouthfeel, could have used more tartiness though, lots of carbonation, medium body, taste did not linger very long

D-Could have drank a few glasses of this, smooth and light on the stomach, pretty low ABV, alcohol is hidden, crisp and refreshing, just a little sweet

Liked the Rodenbach and was curious to try this one, thought it was slightly better than the classic red, not many complaints here but lacked some complexity and sourness in my opinion, would drink again, recommended

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Photo of cooch69
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer came in a 750ml. labeled 33% young and 67% matured. I had originally thought that this beer was completely aged maybe I'm wrong or maybe they changed it when they switched owners. Or maybe I'll never know.

but anyways this pours a deep brown with some red highlights.

Nose of candied sour apples, vinegar, bready caramelly malts, and a barn in the spring time.

Taste is Sour and becomes pretty acidic when it goes down the throat. Lot's of phenols includung sour apples, and a bit of orange tartness. Bready malts come through in the finish.

A nice full bodied Flanders Red that I'm surprised took me this long to try cause i've had it's sister beer many times before.

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Photo of sabrills70
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml cork and caged bottle with best before date of 6/07. Pours a slightly cloudy ruby red/brown with a good 2 finger head and very pretty lace. Aroma is awesome. Sour cherry, nutmeg, oak, vanilla.
Sour cherry taste with oak and vanilla. High carbonation. Refreshing but not super high carbonation due to the sourness. A very unique and tasty beer. Truely amazing since there is no fruit added to this beer.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Victoire in Rochester, NY.

Pours a reddish hazy brown, with a fizzy head, and no lacing.

Smells include cherry, vinegar, and some funk.

The taste is the same. The sourness is definitely there, but not overpowering at all. Some cherry, with some lactic acid, and mild musty funkiness. Some oaky vanilla type character is also noticeable.

Medium bodied, syrupy mouthfeel, pretty drinkable.

This is one of the beers that showed me I might end up liking some sours. It's quite tasty.

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Photo of Osiris9588
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an apple cider color with a reddish tint from a 750ml bottle, caged and corked, wrapped in gold foil. Frothy two-finger head with decent retention and a fair amount of lacing. It is very effervescent, bubbles cascading to the top for the duration of the first tulip-ful. Besides appearance, the sound should be noted--it crackles and sizzles when first poured.

The smell is that of a gentle apple cider vinegar, intercut with strawberries, cherries, and other fresh fruit. This is my first go at a Flanders Red, and I must admit, the first sour sip is quite shocking, though really shouldn't be based upon the smell. The barmaid at the Burgundy Room warned me that it tasted "weird" and "like vingegar."

As my palate grows accustomed, I begin to enjoy the complex flavors of cider, grape juice, berries, sugary fruit, and sparkling wine--it also seems to share some characteristics with meads I have sampled. The mouth is complex, tart and bitter at first, then smoothing out into a jammy finish.

I find the drinkablity rather low, though I am quite enjoying it. The amount of tartness and sugar overwhelms my palate a bit. I think I might appreciate it in small doses, as a desert wine, but not at 750ml a shot. But in small doses it is wonderfully complex and dense and highly satisfying.

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Photo of alex667gbg
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have tried both the 750ml bottle and the 33ml bottle (the 33ml bottle is now a part of the Systembolaget standard assortment, here in Sweden).

Used my favorite "Leffe" Goblet for this. A lovely red, oak-like liquid with a small light light brown foam head.

Sour smell with a semi-sweet undertone. Maybe cherry?

Tasting... Oh, a fizzy sour and tart sensation that really pulls your tongue together. Wild green apples and some cherry oak like aftertaste. Really well done.

I would love to recommend this beer. I would take this beer to show someone the great spectrum that the beer world consist of.

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Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, at Beer Bistro in suit-heavy downtown Toronto.

This beer pours a clear, very dark, yet bright ruby amber hue, with one skinny finger of low-key foamy, and mostly soapy beige head, which leaves a small ring of lace in its slow retreat.

It smells of tart, fruity funk - cherry, apple, and red grape, mostly - a softly oaken woodiness, bready, pastry-like malt, a twitch of likewise malt-borne vinegar, a bit of earthy yeast, and soft leafy, weedy hops. The taste is sour, acidic orchard fruit - cherry, apples, dry white wine, some sweeter Lifesavers-like analogue, a hint of dry yeast, and a bit of earthen woodiness.

The carbonation is actually quite average, and quotidian in its support duties, the body a bit south of medium weight, and generally smooth. It finishes fruity, dry, and receding in its tartness, the cherry tendencies most likely to come out and make a day of it.

A well-balanced sour ale, if that's even a thing, though not quite the sort to knock one over the head, like some of its brethren. Easy to drink, fruity, and a tad funky - good stuff.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is dark amber with beige head.Aroma is like a lighter version of balsamic vinegar, fruity and tart. Taste starts with some fruit sweetness, like a sour cherry and gets tart and acidic to the finish. Mouthfeel is medium and carbonation is also not too high. Definitely on the sour and acidic side but not difficult to drink.

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Photo of HalfFull
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served into a small tulip glass and shared from a 750 ml. bottle. A firm pour yields one finger of bubbly off white foam atop a light brown body, clear and crimson in the light. Offers some artsy lacing after settling to a light film.

Tart cherry and some and light plum on the nose after a light hop presence dissipates with the foam. Some vinous grape notes initially, though lessening with air and exposing a bit of light wood and spice. Black currant adds some depth, along with a subtle hint of vanilla and carob, then more dark cherry. Nicely tart yet not really sour.

Mostly tart cherry in flavor and with a firm bite of carbonation that tingles the palate. A bit of smoke and wood appear briefly then a moderate fruit sense returns. Just a bit rich in viscosity through the finish to truly grab my attention. Carbonation holds up well over an hour yet drink is kept in check as the tartness numbs the palate somewhat, though paired with food this would surely not be a concern..

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Photo of hopsbreath
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Never having heard of this beer, and being VERY unfamiliar with the style, I gave this a shot on the recommendation from my beer guy. Apparently Rodenbach just returned to Georgia for the first time in a while so I decided to expand my palate a little bit.

Into a snifter I poured the chilled bottle and enjoyed over the span of an hour. The pour looked quite inviting. The body was crystal clear dark brown with ruby red highlights at the edges. The light tan head formed 4 fingers peaking out over the lip of the glass. No lacing was evident but I don't think, based on a little research, that lacing is typical of the style. I'm going to leave a little room for improvement so I'll give it a 4 for appearance.

The smell was unlike any beer I had ever had. Initially I thought it reminded me of red wine. Admittedly I don't drink wine often but that was the impression. The sourness quickly made itself apparent and hit me with strong lemon citrus and some of the acetic vinegar. I was a little leery of vinegar flavor in beer but have to admit, the subtlety of it worked well here.

The taste was great! I'm becoming more-and-more interested in sour beers and this one is no exception. Big sour tartness seems to over-whelm at the front end of the drink but quickly steps aside to let the other characteristics come out. Sour-cherry does a brief cameo as does some of the wood and vinegar. Once again the vinegar is not a detriment but seems to be a nice compliment. Wine drinkers refer to "tannins" as a characteristic in red wines, and while I don't entirely understand what that is, I think this has a little bit of it going on. Those little sensory taste buds at the side of my cheeks that pucker when encountering sour flavors did some real clenching here. I can't do justice everything that I tasted because of my in-experience in the style, but the take away here is that this is a complex/thought provoking drink. I consider myself a hop-head but was more than satisfied with this under-hopped example of what beer can taste like.

Mouthfeel was a little thin with soft carbonation. The carbonation was adequate enough that I think this would be a good "food beer". It really does a good job of scrubbing the taste buds with each sip allowing for a fresher palate between each bite of food.

While this is thirst quenching and refreshing, I think the sourness might be a little much to continue enjoying in a larger quantity. It's definitely nice and easy to sip over a longer period of time, but you probably don't want to be reaching for a third glass.

This is an interesting style. I will be trying out other one's when I get the chance and hope to re-visit RGC again in the future when I have developed a better taste for it. Recommended for anyone interested in expanding their horizons.

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.26 out of 5 based on 3,973 ratings.
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