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Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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1,125 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: 1,125 | Ratings: 3,926
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


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.

 407 characters

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.

 336 characters

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.

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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:

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

 214 characters

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.

 773 characters

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

Appearance is brown in color supporting a crisp dissipating head. Smell of prominant fruity sour with some wild yeast and oaky aromas. Taste has a very nice balance of sweet and sour with the yeast and woody oak. Mouthfeel is medium light with good carbonation. Not much on sours, but one of the better sours I've tried.

 320 characters

Photo of GPHarris
4/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

 383 characters

Photo of JackieKu
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

 237 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

 553 characters

Photo of Phatz
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

 1,030 characters

Photo of Maxwell
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

 1,806 characters

Photo of dougdecinces
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

 303 characters

Photo of Bendurgin
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

 828 characters

Photo of woosterbill
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
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.


 1,059 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

 845 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

 255 characters

Photo of secondtooth
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

 472 characters

Photo of socon67
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

 502 characters

Photo of ShanePB
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

 868 characters

Photo of ryantaussig
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
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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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.26 out of 5 based on 3,926 ratings.
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