Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,120 Reviews
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Belgium | website

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:
1,120
Ratings:
3,905
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
20.89%
 
 
Wants:
320
Gots:
645
For Trade:
26
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,120 | Ratings: 3,905
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.

 409 characters

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.

 494 characters

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.

 1,307 characters

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.

 1,083 characters

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

Appearance – Pours into a tulip with a dark mahogany/brown hue. Barely any head is achieved with a relatively vigorous pour.

Smell – Red wine vinegar, oak, cherries, sweet malts, and slight barnyard funk.

Taste – Quite close to the aroma. Up front red vinegar, slight tart cherries, more vinegar, and dark malts. Honestly, the vinegar is relatively overpowering.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, lower carbonation, finishes a hint tart/dry.

Overall – I have heard about this beer and have never picked it up until now. From what I can tell, this is about a 2-3 year old bottle. That said, I’m not sure what I was expecting. The red vinegar flavor was a bit too much. I understand the style, but it was just a bit too much for me. May give it another try with a fresher bottle.

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

Straight out of a bottle at tha hipster joint - Haven, in the Plaza in Orange, CA.

Like a Tiger Woods drive: fouuur! All across the board, fours all across the board. Pretty decent brew for Raul. Solid like a prescription of Cilias. Sour, tart, spunky and funky (like Raul's first girl - I still think of you, ma).

Yep!

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

Consumed 9/16/12

Appearance: On the darker side of amber with some purple highlights - pours with a little, bubbly off-white head, fades quickly, leaves a few nice streaks of lacing

Smell: Vinegar, sugar, and acidity - light musty, wet Belgian basement - funky wood, dark fruits, and some red wine characteristics - some other light spices

Taste: Follows the smell, with tons of sweet, acidic vinegar - sweet Balsamic vinegar to the degree that I would consider cooking with this - Belgian funkiness, tart and lightly sour - cooked and caramel malts underneath - malty sweetness and some straight-up sugar - some oak and some vanilla

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium, smooth in an oily, slick way - light carbonation, with a mild tart aftertaste

Overall: Would you like some beer with your vinegar?

Flanders Reds are weird. This is no exception. On the spectrum of a "dank sponge in a basement" to "straight-up vinegar," this is on the vinegar side. Nicely complex, but a little too sweet for me.

 1,008 characters

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

Came in a small brown 330 ml Euro bottle, best before date on back label is 10/03/08.

Appearance is a deep nutty still somewhat transluscent brown, with deep garnet highlights. Short spongy beige head on the pour that recedes quickly to a broken creamy cap.

The aroma is assertive, tart and a bit acidic, a mild sour cherry character, raisins, and bready malt like sourdough.

Immediate tartness up front in the flavour, but with a curious effervescent texture as well, like mixing a couple of fizzy candies in your mouth. I taste vinuous purple grape more than the sour cherry that the aroma advertised. The flavour profile isn't very complex, but it is compelling, I'm really enjoying this.

A fantastic and quite accessible grand cru, it does a great service to the style.

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

Had this on tap togheter with urbain in à pub in Diksmuide

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of vinegary & tart apples and dark fruits, some Belgian yeast, some malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sour with strong flavors of apples , wood and cherries. There's a little bit of sweetness that comes in along with a hearty but not too heavy malt character. The hops presence is mild. The after-taste is sour.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Flavorful, goes down easily, good representation of style, it's a decent beer to drink for a while if you're in the mood for a sour beer.

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

330ml bottle from AKSmokedPorter as part of Secret Santa 2005. Label, I think, says best by 1/3/06. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/2" light tan head above the somewhat clear burgundy brew. Head quickly fades down to an uneven layer of bubbles, with ample delicate lacing. Aroma is piecing sour musty funk. Cool. Taste is slightly chalky cherry tartness, which fades on through to the aftertaste. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both nice for the style as well. A standard to which others should aspire and hope to supercede.

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

A- Pours a nice dark ruby/brown with about a finger and half's worth of head that recedes pretty quick but leaves a nice little bit of lacing on the glass. The beer is a little murky and only a little light can pass through.

S- Smells of a red wine. A nice touch of oakiness in there also. There even seems to be a bit of a cherry/cranberry scent in there as well.

T- A bit of dark, tart cherries to go along with a little bit of maltiness and an oaky finish that seems to linger on the tongue. Pretty good balance between the flavors.

M- A nice, crisp beer that has an excellent dry finish. A good amount of carbonation makes this beer medium bodied but is a little on the lighter side.

D- A pretty good beer but I think it is a little sweet for me to have more than the bottle. I think this would make for a good dessert beer. Different than most beers out there.

 869 characters

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

210907 1017; not quite sure what to make of the dating system, but I've had this bottle for about 3 months. Very interesting beer, almost no detectable sweetness. Intense sour ale characteristics, such as sourness, vinegar, pepper, metal, oak. It reminds me very much of Jamaican roots drinks. Spicy carbonation. Medium dryness. Very enjoyable overall, but not for the faint of heart or the uninitiated. Pair with a musty cheese. Cheers!

 437 characters

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

750ml Gold Foiled

Caged/Corked

Poured into a chalice a nice ruby red color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy off-white head, traces of sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is malty, good dose of cherries, raspberries, and caramel. The taste is sweet, tangy, lots of cheeries/raspberries. Nice little tingle of carbonation at first. Slightly dry finish. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a nice Flanders Red.

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

From bottle purchased at the Stuffed Sandwich.

A- dark brown leather color like stained wood with deep mohogany hues when held up to the light. Had a thin tooth white head that didnt last too long.
S- basalmic vinegar, sour cherries and a burnt fireworks smell that i cant place.
T- Hmmm, well the tartness hits your mouth like you had a basalmic vinegar reduction sauce with sour cherry brine and unripe apple peels. Ended on a burnt sulfer like note with faint sweetness, then back to the vinous character... cant place it.
M&Dr - had a wine like mouthfeel to it with carbonation befitting the style. Good sipping brew.

 627 characters

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

Poured a deep dark red into a Leffe chalice. Fading tan head.

Aromas of wood, cherry/blackcurrent, winey. Some cool herbaciousness, touch of cider.

Flavour reminds me of sparkling burgundy, but sour... Leathery woody aftertaste, cherry, touch of acetone.

Better balanced than the Classic. The sourness is a little less angular.

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Photo of jeranbrews
4/5  rDev -6.1%

A - murky soda brown lots of carbonation clings to glass. Low heads with lacing that glides down fast. 4

S - sweet dates figs and a pinch of green tomato also cloves 3.75

T - sour almost wine-like. Not unpleasant. Notes of yeasty esters and citrus salads. 3.75

M - more watery and sleek that I'd prefer but acceptable for the style. 4

D - an interesting unique tomato-y wine-y beer. 4

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a snifter glass

Appearance – Served a deep ruby color with a small off white head. The head faded relatively fast to leave only a very light level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was of a heavy sour grape and cherry aroma with some green apple and vinegar smells.

Taste – The taste begins of a fruity sourness. A puckering cherry and grape are most noticeable in the beginning. As the taste advances however a apple cider vinegar taste comes to the tongue and blasts the taste buds with a sour flavor. These take the taste to the end where a light yeasty flavor comes to the tongue along with a lighter dark fruit sweetness which ever so lightly mellow out the very vinegary taste.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is light and a little prickly with the carbonation level being above average. Both do a wonderful job with the very sour nature of the beer and make it quite drinkable.

Overall – While not really my favorite beer style, this is a nice and sour Flemish with a good flavor profile. It is classic for a reason.

 1,051 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a mahogany ambber color with one inch of white head.

s - Smells of sweet and sour fruits,

t - Tastes of sour fruits, sour grapes,

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A decent flanders with some decent sour fruits. Would try again.

 279 characters

Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark reddish brown with a small wispy white head. No real retention or lace.

S: Lots of tart cherry, vinegar, and oak.

T: Flavor matches the aroma. Nice and tart dark berries. Sour acidic vinegar with a nice dose of wood.

M: Medium in body, bubbly carbonation, good.

D: Pretty good, a solid sour. Tough one to drink all alone though.

 353 characters

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

See Thread:
http://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/rodenbach-pasteurization.287218/

This rating is for the draft version. Kegs of Grand Cru are unpasteurized. I notice that the bottled beer is far inferior.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft into a champagne glass at San Diego Brewing Co. on Aug. 17, 2012 (for $6.50), in San Diego. Poured a caramel honey with two fingers (when I got it) of white head. Good retention on the top and the sides on the way down.

Smelled sweet, tart, candy and sugar. Reminded me of Smarties or Sweet Tarts at first. Some spices as well. Surprisingly seemed like a good amount of citrus hops.

Tasted those citrus hops first. Then sweet, slightly sour, tart, grape and cherry. Slight white wine (champagne?).

Light-to-medium body. Thin, acidic texture. Average carbonation. Long, bitter finish.

A pretty good sour beer. Not anywhere as good as Russian River’s Supplication that I had recently, but good overall. My slight cold may have hurt or helped this rating as well.

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 1,120 ratings.
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