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Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru
BA SCORE
4.29/5
Outstanding
4,066 Ratings
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:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#563
Reviews:
1,159
Ratings:
4,066
pDev:
11.19%
Bros Score:
4.61
 
 
Wants:
336
Gots:
706
Trade:
21
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,066 |  Reviews: 1,159
Photo of utahgiebs
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mcrawford
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish-brown. Smell is cherries and vinegar. The vinegar doesn't really show up on the palate. I get a lot of sour/sweet cherry and white grape that are brought together by the oak. Very easy drinking and a good place to begin in the world of sours. This is a much more complete beer than the classic and I'm happy to see that it's in 11.2oz bottles now.

 363 characters

Photo of MalibuKenny
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of FLima
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful dark ruby color. Poured 2 fingers of consistent beige head with a medium retention.
Nice aroma of sweet malt with red or black fruits, mostly grapes, and a clear noticeable hint of Port Wine or Jerez, result from aging it for 2 years in oak barrels.
Similarly, very complex taste, sweet cherries, currants, citric, grapes, wood and touches of plum with peel on a malty base. All in a perfect balance, mildly acid, and sweet and sour. Aftertaste is a bit astringent.
Medium body with a good carbonation with small bubbles. Alcohol is well hidden, almost like drinking a carbonated grape juice.
In my opinion it tastes better than any good champagne. Close to perfection, awesome beer.

 693 characters

Photo of Refloosh
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Merl77
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Rockjocknroll
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of tectactoe
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had a surprising amount of trouble finding this beer in my area, so when I finally was able to find it, I made sure to grab a few bottles. I've heard great things about this beer, and I'm excited to finally give it a go. It pours a deep, murky brown-ish color with some red and ruby hints when light is allowed to pass through it. Translucent with a bit of haze, topped off with a slightly beige head; big-bubbled and quick to fade away.

The aroma is simply fantastic - one whiff and I already know this is going to be a winner for me. Incredibly layered and complex, each successive sniff brings about new aromas that I wasn't getting before; cherry skins, berries, balsamic vinegar, vinous grapes, heavy oak, tannic dryness, faint lemon... Just so much to take in. As a whole, the combination proves to be exceedingly tart and sour and I can feel my saliva glands starting to sweat just a bit.

The marriage of the fruit and barrel aromas are exquisitely done here, and the level of sourness that my nose is picking up is great. The finishing dryness from the oak is enough to blunt the acidic characters just enough to keep you from tiring of the smell too quickly. Every once in a while, a beer comes along that will have you sitting and smelling it for minutes before you even bother to take a sip, and Rodenbach Grand Cru has done just that.

When I finally bring the beer to my lips, my palate is met with a wonderful display of ripe fruits, straight out of the gate; cherries, grape skins, and more berries, all with insane, yet manageable levels of tartness. Each sip has me puckering my lips as the beer traverses to every corner of my mouth, injecting a solidifying sourness that's putting a smile on my face. I was hoping for sour, and the Grand Cru delivered.

But it's not just the copious tartness of the beer that makes it enjoyable, as anyone can dump lactic acid into a beer and make it sour as hell. It's the crafted execution of how the sourness developed that must be appreciated, and the layered complexity of the flavor profile can speak to those methods. The tart cherries, the heavy grape skins, the dry oak, the mild vanilla, the heavy balsamic-like vinegar, the sharp yet delicate acidity, the delicate tannin, and the superbly integrated vinous feel make this beer almost as much of an art form as it is a drink.

The mouth feel is nice for the style; thin, bordering on medium; my only complaint is that the carbonation in my bottle could have been higher. There isn't much more that I can say about this beer, other than the fact that it exceeded any and all expectations I had. I'm a big fan of sour beers, and I sure do love my American Wild Ales that stretch the palate towards unobtainable levels of tartness, but this beer proves that you can be both sour AND complex, and when done properly, it's a wonderful thing to behold. The fact that it's fairly readily available may be the biggest wonder of them all.

 2,950 characters

Photo of SanDNigel
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cork top bottle
A- Barely cloudy burgundy with a light tan head.
S- Sweet dark grape, fig, raisin with plenty of alcohol. Fruity without too much pucker
T- Tangy, grape, apple, delicious. Tart palate wrecking sensation. Really awesome and easy to drink.
M- 5/10 bubble size with an almost metallic after taste
This is a great beer. A perfect introduction to sours for most anyone.

 381 characters

Photo of tigg924
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: cloudy, dark brown in color, 1/4 inch head, high carbonation

Smell: sour dark cherries

Taste: dark cherries, some vinegar, and a touch of oak

Mouthfeel: a sweetish start with a sour ending and a lingering slightly bitter aftertaste, dry, high carbonation

Drinkability: I loved this beer. A nice sour end without being too sour. I love the cherry taste and could have several of this beer.

 404 characters

Photo of cjgator3
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Ran across this at the store and figured I would give it a try. I have never had a beer of this style so I did not know what I was getting into when I first bought this bottle. Pours out of it's 750mL bottle deep red in appearance with a sharp sour fruity smell, almost vinegar like. The taste sour but surprisingly pleasant. As the bottle warms up a bit, you can pick up some oak in the taste as well. Delicious! This was a pleasant surprise and is easily one of my favorite beers. It is not one that you can drink all night, but it sure is a unique beer that is a nice change in style every once in a while.

 609 characters

Photo of redneckchugger
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a flute, dark amber bolor, some head, no lacing, beautiful color tho.
smells acidic, vingary.
Tastes of cherries soaked in a reall good balsamic vinegar. tart, acidic, refreshing
thin mouthfeel but it realy works for this beer.
One of the most drinkable beers i have ever had. I love this beer.

 307 characters

Photo of kmo1030
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a nice looking deep dark red, with a thin not quite white head.
vinous vinegar-y aroma, with some dark, let me see... sort of rotten, mineral filled swamp mud. brings some hideous images to mind i know, but this works out very well somehow. some hay-like horse blanket mixed in with the swampiness too, followed by some plasticy oak.
the taste is fan-freaking-tastic. it's like drinking the most tasty vinegar you can imagine. a mild sweet apple cider vinegar flavor, with a little bit of oak and maybe vanilla here and there. a lot of cherry seems to come out as it warms. absolutely awesome and must be tasted to be believed.
medium body with mild moderate carbonation. mouth puckeringly sour and very drying.
excellent drinkability for something that is such an assault on the senses, but in the grand scheme of things probably only ranks at "good" for drinkability.
i've had this beer a few times now, and it gets better every time. seek this out and alter your definition of beer forever.

 998 characters

Photo of jmatthew
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark rusty red from the 750ml bottle with a large sticky tan head that subdues to a thin layer and leaves decent lacing on the glass. The smell alone warns of what lies below; mostly vinegar on the nose (evoking thoughts of ketchup and soy sauce), but with hints of fermented fruit and yeast. Upon tasting, the vinegar aroma reveals itself as an intriguing blend dominated by sour cherries up front and tart green apples with a lemon citrus dryness at the finish, all wrapped up neatly with a bit of oak. Sweetish, very full-flavored and lively, but well balanced as it finishes quite cleanly. Certainly not a taste for everyone, but an outstanding example of the style.

 676 characters

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

11.2 oz. bottle

Pours maroon ruby red with a creamy frothy light khaki colored foam head. Smells like balsamic vinegar, tart funky cherries, oak, with earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like balsamic vinegar, tart funky cherries, oak, with earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, thick and creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice Flanders red ale.

 375 characters

Photo of Zeisloft
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pouring from a big bottle, came out deep deep red. I couldnt wait to get into it. Smell gave many thoughts, superfruity, vinegar, sour. Hit the sourness I was looking for in the taste, and then that sweetness that comes out of no where. I knew what I was getting into and couldnt wait. very smooth and light in the mouth, carbination pushes the beer through. Very Drinkable, but wouldn't be on it an entire night.

 413 characters

Photo of sommersb
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted On: 06-17-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 750ml brown bottle
Glassware: Cervoise glass
Purchased: Single from Whole Foods, Nashville

Pours with 4 fingers of a light tan head on a clear, dark red-brown beer with ruby highlights when held to the light. Head retention and lacing are both very good.

Aromas are very sour, with cherry fruit characteristics. Other smells include oak wood and vinegar. Very strong red wine aromas on this one.

Taste is both sour and sweet, featuring a wine-like acidity. The Grand Cru is more puckering and sour than the classic red version. Flavors include tart fruits, with a little citrus, plus wood and tannin notes.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, with medium to high carbonation and a medium body. The finish is mainly sour with a slight sweetness.

Overall, this is a ramped-up version of the Classic Red Rodenbach, showing stronger sour and tart fruitiness. Very enjoyable and easy to drink.

 945 characters

Photo of Maciej
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sonicdescent
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky brown with a bubbly head leaving a crown.

Smells fantastic. Sweet grapes, cherries, other fruity esters as well as a sour bite.

Taste is similar to smell with cherries and grapes heading up front. Not incredibly sour like a Cantillion but not sweet like a Lindemans. Somewhere in the balanced and kind of wine like middle and excellent.

Mouth is thin with pretty high carbonation.

Drinkability? I won't have any trouble polishing of this bottle. Price is fantastic. A really great all around sour.

 519 characters

Photo of ckeegan04
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep mahogany with nice ruby highlights when held up to light. Thin bubbly light brwon head slowly fades. Leaves great lacing.

S - Deep aroma of sour grapes and cherries. Smells alot like a good port wine. Faint hint of oak as well.

T - Tart fruitiness with lots of dark fruit flavors coming through. Finishes a little sweet. Very complex flavors but not at all overwhelming.

M/D - Full bodied and excellent feel. Incredibly drinkable. Wow, I was about to give up on the crazy Belgian sours, but this one has me hooked.

 526 characters

Photo of Onibubba
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cracked open this 750 in celebration of St Pat - In your face Guinness! Beautiful ruby pour with a rich beige head. The expected aromas of port, vinegar, and sweet tarts assail my nose aggressively. You don't have to work to smell this beer - It smells you. Very heady, very nice. Taste is awesome. Very reminescent of The Duchesse, but this is more tart. Balsamic and tart cherries and port. Mouthfeel is not as smooth as the aforementioned lady, but is nice. A bit more highly carbonated.

Drinkability is great. Killed thi in no time and reached for the Duchesse to finish the night off. I think this style could take a bit more alcohol. I'd love to try a 9% version.

 672 characters

Photo of tillmac62
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear brown with a dark ruby cast. Above normal head volume, good lacing and retention for the style. Excellent nose of slightly sour tart raspberries (most prevalent) and cherries over a light caramel sweetness with notes of oak. Almost light medium bodied with a nice smooth texture that has bursts of creaminess in the finish. Well carbonated with effervescence from the middle on. The flavor profile is World Class and hits the marks on intensity, complexity and balance. It begins with a slightly sweet burst of raspberry with cherry undertones. These flavors effervesce into a nice tartness in the middle with just a touch of sourness underneath. Coupled with these are notes of oak over a balancing caramel sweetness. As these progress towards the finish, tartness becomes prevalent and a mildly sour puckering effect sets in. The somewhat dry finish is a fade of fruit flavor remnants over a lingering mildly tart sourness.

 949 characters

Photo of Extol
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - dark in color, brown with a slight dark purple hue. Smell - smells of cherries for sure, slightly boozy. Taste - tart on the back end. Very well blended, mostly cherry in flavor, borderline Lambic territory. Overall - good beer. Good dinner beer. Just good all around. Mouth feel is a bit flat.

 308 characters

Photo of bisonfort
4.56/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of beemerbike
4.56/5  rDev +6.3%

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Beer rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 4,066 ratings
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