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Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

1,114 Reviews
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

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

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Reviews: 1,114 | Ratings: 3,883
Photo of GPHarris
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a two-fingers thick tan head into a tulip glass. the body was a dense reddish-purple-brown color and it left a nice bubbly ring throughout that was easily agitated with a swirl of the glass.
s - dark fruits like grapes, cherries with a whiff of red wine.
t - tart cherries and a finish of black currant.
m - crisp and bubbly.
d - very refreshing and pleasant to drink.

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Photo of JackieKu
3.99/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. Best before 2017-04-23.

A: Hazy brown. Thin head.
S: Plum. Green apple. Quite fruity.
T: Raisin. Balsamic. Moderate caramel. Medium sourness. Dry. Short finish.
M: Moderate body. Moderate carbonation.
O: Smooth and fruity.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
3.99/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

While this is undoubtedly a finely crafted beer, it smells and tastes similar to a finely crafted sparkling apple wine. It pours a red tinted Oxford. A long-lasting, complex earthy aroma of malt, hops, green apples and a hint of alcohol are unusual for a beer. The medium malt body is thinner than it appears. There's a trace caramel flavor and a light sweetness to meekly counter the strong lemony citrus and acidic bitterness. Tart green apples, pear and oaky wood round out the flavors. A lemony dry clean finish leaves a slightly puckered mouthfeel.

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Photo of Phatz
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This beer pours a golden ruby color with a big head and lots of active carbonation bubbles.

Smell: The aroma is reserved in my limited experience with the style. However with a bit searching there was a little bit of tart cherries and grapes.

Taste: The taste is very sugary and yet tart. Much more tart than I had expected but I believe that was largely because of the carbonation that the tart seemed exaggerated. The bottle claimed that is was aged in oak for 18month. I had to use a lot of imagination to find an oak flavor. Overall it is good, but I believe I had too high of expectations. I was hoping for something that could compete with the Duchess.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is hard to describe. The tartness brought on a pucker and stung the taste buds a bit and yet underneath the big fluffy crisp carbonation the beer had a medium light smooth body.

Drinkability: Despite being a bit different than I had expected this is a tasty beer that drinks very easily.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of Maxwell
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a murky brown like melted brown sugar, and there is a nice light cream head on top that circles the glass but leaves the middle clear. The second pour produced a bigger head with some slight tanning to it. The beer is quite dark and very murky, but there are some light carbonation bubbles. There is also a nice dark rose tinge to the color. The beer smells big and sour with strong cherry leather wafting. The alcohol is also a little present at the back of the nose, leaving a slight spicy burn. The beer also smells richly caramelly, but this is over powered by the vinegar sour which stings at the nose, and the cherry leather which plays with the caramel. The beer tastes wonderfully cherry tart with terrific and strong esters coming off the yeast and suggesting green apples and slight pineapple accents. Of course this beer is mostly about the big sour taste, and it delivers beautifully, bringing big sweet fruit notes over the tongue while it puckers the sides of my mouth. The initial rush of flavor is big with sour cherry, but as the beer opens up it really highlights the esters beautifully. The aftertaste is very strong with the apple esters and the remnants of the sweet cherry. As the beer warms the apple esters also become more dominant. The mouthfeel is prickly and effervescent with carbonation, leaving it a little harsh on the tongue, but the beer is soft and chewy, leaving the palate wet with lots of dry patches and wanting more as it puckers with the sour after-shocks. Overall this is another tasty Flanders Red that is quite cheap and easily accessible making it a great introduction to the style. I liked Oude Tart a little more than this I think, as it was thicker and got a little more caramel into the sour, but this is a terrific sipper and is worth a try.

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Photo of dougdecinces
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at a wine bar in Findlay Market in Cincy. This was several hours ago, so notes will be vague. Poured an opaque reddish-brown. Very effervescent. Cherries, balsamic, umami flavors. Moderately tart with a dry finish. Much more pronounced oak flavor than I am used to with the Flanderses. Very good.

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Photo of Bendurgin
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap in a goblet at Pepperland. The appearance is a dark mahogany with a hint of red. A centimeter of off white head sits on top with very thing lacing. At first whiff all I got was a nose full of red wine vinegar. It really reminded me of a fresh garden salad with a vinaigrette on top. At my second go towards a smell tart cherries and raspberries penetrate through a big vinegar nose. The fruit is very welcome company to this one. The taste seems a little more balanced. Nice and sour with a forefront of tart cherries followed by a vinegary aftertaste. Oak notes underlie fruit and sourness. The finish is rather a little sweet, making this a very ranged beer on the pallet. Nice to drink and it went very well with my corn chowder. I thought the carbonation was a little much but overall, this one drank nicely.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Delaney's into a Rodenbach goblet - cheers to proper glassware, even if it is only 25cl.

A: Clear, deep ruby body with a half-inch of fine white foam; pretty quick dissipation and next to no lace. Great color, but disappointing otherwise.

S: Red wine/balsamic vinegar is overwhelming at first, but then opens up slightly into tart cherries and a bit of oaky vanilla. A little off-putting off the bat, but becomes intriguing.

T: Pleasant tartness throughout, with vinegar up front and delectable ripe cherries toward the end, as well as some dry oak. Clean, sour finish. Beautifully complex and balanced - perfect level of sourness.

M: Hugely effervescent medium body, the high carbonation of which is crucial for cutting through the tartness. Very nice.

D: Simply too much vinegar in the smell to be fully appealing, but on the other hand the tart finish keeps me thirsty for more.

Notes: Far more intense and complex than the regular Rodenbach - if the vinegar were even slightly less pronounced, this would be my ideal Flanders Red.


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Photo of Reagan1984
3.98/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to enjoy this on draft at the Armsby Abbey. I have been told that seeing this on draft is very rare. Had to give it a try.

The beer came with a creamy thick head that topped a deep reddish mahogany colored beer. The head slowly fades back into the beer and doesn't really leave much lacing.

Aroma was very sharp, tart and led me to believe this was going to be very sour. Did remind me a bit of red wine vinegar. Tart cherries.

Flavor was very surprising. Not nearly as sour as the aroma led on. I actually enjoyed this. Tart cherries, had a touch of a wine quality to it. Lots of tart fruit bit not overly sour. (o.k., fairly sour)

Medium/light body, smooth mouth feel, very low carbonation.

While I'm not a fan of sours, I actually enjoyed this and it was a pleasure to drink. Perhaps this will be a gateway beer for me.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a wine glass.

Pours a very dark brown with some red notes, small light brown head. Nose is like vinegar, tart and sour.

Taste is sweet and super tart. Some earthy malty flavor as well. Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Overall quite good.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby with tan head. Slight, single-finger lace in my Hacker-Pschorr stein. Little to no lace.

Aroma is tart berries. Fruity and yeasty. Nice.

Taste is smooth, with plenty of tartness and sweet notes, quite wine-like in tone. Definitely plenty of berries in there, cherries maybe, and a touch of lactic acid and wild yeast are also detectable. This one's like a melding of a saison and a sour ale. Very good, and very complex here. Enjoyed this one for sure.

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Photo of socon67
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Reddish brown with a slight head and small bubbles of carbonation.

S - Strong scent of sour cherries. I also smell some dry sherry and vanilla. Really pleasant and the sour smell isn't too overbearing.

T - Tartness of sour cherries, with a bit of vanilla. Finish has a bit of diacetyl.

M - Surprised that the sourness doesn't detract from the drinkability. Makes this a great sour beer to have a couple of.

O - Glad to have tried. A good example of the style, and one that is easy to acquire.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, corked and caged into a tulip glass...

A - Dark mahogany brown with some defined reddish hues. Off white head, quick dissipation with a nice cap left throughout the glass.

S - Complex tart fruits: cherry, strawberry, gooseberry and sour lemon. Some caramel sneaks in the end and helps wrangle in some medium-dry red wine qualities with a dry finish.

T - The nose echoes the palate quite perfectly. A rush of tart and sour qualities erupt all over the palate due to the higher carbonation: cherry and lemon. Some spice finishes off with a wild yeast note and some grainy/bready dry esters.

M - Effervescent, thinner on the body but the carbonation gives it a good feel.

D - If you like Flanders-style beers, this is a great treat. I can enjoy a bottle myself though it's better to split as the tart and sour qualities become redundant after a while.

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Photo of ryantaussig
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not the most beautiful beer on the planet, but it carries a nice balance of sour notes in the nose. Cherries especially come through, with a slight note of under-ripe plum or blueberry. Same notes come through in the flavor, but with an added malt sweetness and even some slight vanilla. Smooth beer with nonaggressive carbonation.

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Photo of OSUBeerStudent
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 into a tulip.

A - nice but nothing that stands out. Fizzy head when pouring that dissipates almost immediately to a tiny white ring that sticks around. Deep red-brown color.

S - bit darker fruit up front, darker sour cherries perhaps. Also some apple with a vinegar sourness. Fruity but not on the citrus side.

T - tart and fruity. A little sweet up front and fizzy. Definitely cherry and apple (Granny Smith) fruits. A bit of plum at the back end. The tartness is primarily vinegar but there is some lactic mixed in there. This is a "sour" - basically no funk/Brett. Just a hint of oak at the very end as it warms some.

M - pretty fizzy. The sweetness in the taste doesn't come through in the mouthfeel at all, this is actually fairly dry. My big knock on this is that it's fizzier than I prefer, otherwise it's pretty good.

Overall this is a tasty beer. A good basic sour that's very drinkable. Not the most complex, funky, or sour of beers, but that's ok too. The sourness is well-incorporated into the beer and it has some definite winelike characteristics. And at $10 a 750 you really can't beat the price for a decent sour.

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Photo of MattRiggs
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: mahogany w/purple hue. not much of a head or retention.

Smell: sweet grapes, slight alcohol, barrel

Taste: carbonic and fairly thin, but works very nicely to sweep the sweetness off your tongue. dark malt/candy sugar sweetness that pairs nicely with a fair amount of oak, finishes very clean

Notes: A fantastic beer that would be a great alternative to champagne due to the carbonic bite and sweetness. You can definitely smell the barrel in this beer. I’d like to try it directly from the finishing tank.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky reddish brown with quickly dissipating off white head. Nose is tart cherries, and some funk. Taste- pretty straight forward sour cherry. Slightly acidic but nothing crazy. Citrusy finish to it. Carbonation is high which suits the style. Very good beer, but not mind blowing. Some woodiness comes through as it warms. Definitely an approachable beer for the style.

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Photo of doucmehu
3.96/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL shared with myself throughout the day. Been wanting to try this accessible, affordable sour for a while and finally cracked one since it was a trade extra.

A: Pours a deep garnet tinted brown, tan head is about one finger and sticks around for quite some time.

S: Red wine vinegar, unripe cherry and cranberry, candy sweetness and tartness. A hint of buttery oak.

T: Great balance of sweetness up front and dry tartness on the back of the tongue. Plenty of fermented berry flavor underneath the classic vinegar-like acidic sourness.

M: Solid carbonation, moderately acidic and astringent, finishes dry and slightly tannic like a good red wine. Leaves a nice tartness in the back corners of the mouth. However, unlike a Cabernet, this one makes my mouth water after each sip.

O: A very solid, approachable and drinkable sour. I hate to compare to Duchesse, but at the same price and availability, it's hard not to. I much prefer this beer, due to the less vinegar and more oak presence.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.96/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Cold Spring Beverage in Yardley, PA...who always seems to have in stock! Poured from a cork and caged 750ml bottle into my Delirium Tremens large snifter. Pours light pink from the bottle but fills the glass a super dark brownish red. A small frothy toffee colored head forms, but quickly dissapates into a frothy ring around the outside of the glass. Not much lacing to speak of...what's present slides relatively quickly.

Wow...what a potent aroma! Big vinegar wave up front...tons of funky and tart fruit. Earthy and oak notes throughout. The vinegar aroma in this Flanders Red is huge!

There's so much going on with this beer! Big vinegar tang up front, followed immidiately by a semi sweet and tart fruit flavor, followed again almost immediately by a massive funk! Big oak and wood flavors throughout. Mouthfeel is medium body, semi complex, high carbonation. This is one interesting beer. I have a feeling this would do well with age as it would most likely mellow out. The vinegar is almost repulsive...but the rest of the beer is outstanding and so inviting. I love it and hate it at the same time! With that said, I'd have to conclude this is definitely a top class beer!

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Photo of thagr81us
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip. Poured a deep dark ruby red with a one finger off-white head that subsided to half a finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, wood, vinegar, and sour. The flavor was of sweet malt, vinegar, fruit, wood, and tart. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. I have had this one before out of the bottle and I have to say that It carries over quite well on-tap as well. The vinegar touch on this brew is what keeps me coming back to it over and over. This also includes the various Vintage versions that I have had in the past as well. Really enjoyable and definitely brings the pucker along for the ride to keep you on your toes. An absolute must try as Rodenbach is doing good things with this one.

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Photo of Brabander
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is an unexpected pleasure. I bought this beer last week when i was at the beerloods in Poppel, Belgium.

Pouyred in my Struise glass this beer looks very nice. Fluid is like very dark tea with a very noce head, three fingers which stays a while and then leaves a ring in the glass.

A slightly sour smell. Hmmm, i am not really into sours. Ah well, i opened it so i will drink it.

Very refreshing taste, do i taste cherries? Body is a bit too thin, could use a bit more ABV.

Very well made and very drinkable, even for a non lover of this style.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.95/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark, murky brown with beautiful dark red glow when held to light. Medium off-white, almost hazel colored head. Scent is lots of vinegar, cherries, and sweet fruits. I also get slight oak scents with some great funk. The taste is very interesting. Upon first sip, the sweetness comes first, followed by a cherry tartness. The vinegar taste is present but not overwhelming. Not as sour as I was inspecting. The oak and wood flavors follow through in the aftertaste along with hints of vanilla. The mouthfeel is like nothing I've tasted before...kinda an awkward feel. Very airy and somewhat "fluffy." Not necessarily bad, but just very different and weird feeling. The drinkability is somewhat high as long as this mouthfeel becomes more inviting.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.94/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This Belgian classic has finally made it to Indiana, and I’m very happy it did. Cheers.

A: Deep ruby in color with a whispy off-white head that ends up as a little more than a thin ring along the glass’s interior, even after a moderately aggressive pour.

S: Strikingly acidic, yet grounded in a base of barrel wood aromas: tart white wine vinegar scents accented by black cherry and berry stand in bright contrast to a mellow vanilla beneath. A great blend of the two characters.

T: Sour yet savory, much like balsamic vinegar. Ripe fruit meets a subdued acid profile upfront, quelling most of the edge the acetic had and leading to a rounded flavor of maraschino cherry, sweet red wine, and faint vinaigrette. Barrel wood is less prominent here than in the nose, but each sip is endowed with a dense undertone of dark candi syrup that’s augmented by the unmistakable vanilla of oak. Finishes lightly dry and herbal, like sweet vermouth.

M: Fizzy carbonation and a light body, reminding me of a soda fountain Sprite. Very refreshing when you take into account the fruit tastes of the body.

O: Meaty sours are hard to come by (Duchesse de Bourgogne is the only one that comes to mind) so this is something of a treat for sour lovers. Though not exactly my favorite take on the Flanders red style, this beer is unforgettably unique and would make for a great dinner beer; I could see it pairing with countless dishes.

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Photo of tjd25
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A totally opaque red-brwon color. The very fine head fades quickly but doesn't die. The smell is of vinegar. Sourness and tart, but with some fruity and sweet aspects. The taste is what the smell makes you expect. The tart and sour aspects are so strong that they're almost not unpleasing. I got an impression of baked cookies after a while (butter and eggs). The sourness fades as I got used to the brew. The mouthfeel is aggressive and thick. It overwhelms the palate and takes time to fade. I'll try to taste this brew again in a few months, to see if the evolution of my palate makes it more easy to drink for me. As of now, drinkable is not a word I could use for that beer, although I can appreciate its disturbing complexity.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capones a while ago

A - pours a deep chestnut brown with a layer of fine bubbles resting on the surface

S - faint aroma of cherries, oak & leather

T - strong cherries and woodiness up front followed by the vinegar, tart with a little bit of vanilla

M/D - good flavor, smooth in the mouth, not overly puckery, nicely balanced brew

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 1,114 ratings.
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