Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
4,043 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
Ratings:
4,043
Reviews:
1,149
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
11.27%
 
 
Wants:
336
Gots:
696
For Trade:
21
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,043 |  Reviews: 1,149
Photo of Sazz9
1.75/5  rDev -58.9%

Photo of kkipple
1.9/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Well, this was a surprise. Pop the cork and immediately a sour, yeasty smell emanates menacingly from the bottle. Hm, what's this...? Poured a clear amber into my goblet, with a huge fluffy head that faded fast, leaving little sign it was ever around.

The smell is... bold. It's a VERY intense sour fruit aroma with tons of funky yeast and gives a vinegary punch to the nose. Subtle this isn’t. I've never smelled a beer remotely close to this... smelled like cherry vinegar... I'm going to give it rather high marks on uniqueness of smell alone.

Taste is unbelievably sour. This ale smacks you right in the face with mouth-puckering sour fruit (chiefly cherries), citrus, and a raging tartness. It’s advertised as "aged 18 months in oak", but I couldn't tell. Second sip is just as horrid. I couldn't taste anything else past the mind-bending sourness. Just destroyed my palate. Ever drink pickle brine? Yeah, it's that harsh. Didn't enjoy this at all.

Finishes rather wet and with a lingering sourness. This is one bizarre beer.

I ended up dumping most of this one. My friend who shared the bottle with me (and took one in the wallet for us!) did the same.

I can possibly, maybe, see this beer paired with food and improving, but... it's a stretch. I'm actually a bit curious to sample this again (in the distant future) and see if I enjoy it the second time around. I actually wouldn't rule out the possibility that we got a bad bottle, but as it stands, this is the least drinkable beer I've ever had.. That said, it's certainly different.

 1,561 characters

Photo of mikerems
2/5  rDev -53.1%

Photo of d_brommer_nh
2/5  rDev -53.1%

Photo of 11millsown113
2/5  rDev -53.1%

Photo of MypSE
2/5  rDev -53.1%

Photo of 6string
2/5  rDev -53.1%

Photo of McLaughlin5350
2/5  rDev -53.1%

Photo of Gilyano91
2.14/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

It's not for me,but not bad

27 characters

Photo of GrindFatherBob
2.25/5  rDev -47.2%

Photo of tomordonez
2.3/5  rDev -46%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I prefer the regular Rodenbach. It’s in the middle between bitter and sour, slightly sweet. Although this one has a great color. It smells like wood, like it has been in a casket for a long time. It has an aged aroma. High carbonation. The sour wall hits you in the face. There is not much flavor other than sour. No wood flavor. Not really beer flavor. This should be classified as a spirit. Hard lemonade.

 409 characters

Photo of DerBayer
2.3/5  rDev -46%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

Now this is one sickly brew although it pours a decent colour with head. However the taste was getting so appaling after a while that i could not even finish a half pint. The smell is kind of telling it has slightly sickly hop notes and off malted with some sour grapes and apple. The mouthfeel again is kind of good but hard to segregate from the taste. I hope this was a bad sample

 383 characters

Photo of bellebouche
2.31/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

No two ways about it. A very, very challenging beer.

I'm perplexed at the consistently stellar reviews for this beer. It's so highly rated yet deserves to be far more polarised. If you like this kind of thing - you're going to love it - but you really have to like it.

I'm not quite the the polar opposite in terms if actually disliking it but I have to say - if you're at all new to funk/sour/oxidised beers then step lightly.

So, down to business. I paid €3.15 for a 33cl bottle of Grand Cru, bought from a Belgian beer emporium in Thouars, France.

Bottle was marked up as BBE July 2010 and I'm tasting it in April 2010 so it's fairly close to the end of its stated bottle life.

I know 'fresh' is a misnomer but the bottle age might have had an impact on the beer I'm tasting here.

A. Spectacular deep ruby/garnet colour, impressive clarity and sparkle. Poured a huge thin cream coloured head which sank to cola-like rim of bubbles after a minute or two. After 4 mins, flat as a pancake with NO head at all. Some light brown edges at the periphery of the glass,

S. Sour cherry, treacle toffee, slight hints of an espresso coffee bitterness. Long backnotes of acetic vinegar harshness. Off smelling, some woody oak but very subtle

T. Cloying, full acid profile. Vinegar. No malt, no hops. Harsh black pepper minus the heat at the back of the palette.

M. Despite the acidic sharpness it's not at all thin as you might expect. Some mousse which disappears quickly. Persistent acid Zing at the edge of the jaws. Whatever the acid profile is that is so dominant actually flashes off if I hold a mouthful and starts to seer the back of the nose/sinus.

D. Very hard to approach this one - the kind of thing you're going to have to man-up for. It's actually hard to drink. I do wonder what percentage of bottles actually get finished. I can't easily think of a natural food pairing for this drink as it would overwhelm anything with a much simpler flavour profile. Maybe a very mature vintage English cheddar?

So. Will I drink it again? YES! If only to satisfy a small morbid curiosity that I didn't have a ropey bottle or that the rest of the world wasn't barking up the wrong tree.

 2,190 characters

Photo of gregb13
2.33/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Cracked this one open after Thanksgiving dinner. Looks nice in the glass, but that's where the compliments end. Smell isn't bad necessarily, just lopsidedly sour with nothing else to balance. Taste is like drinking balsamic vinegar straight up. Bottle said it's supposed to have a "sweet-sour" taste and it absolutely did not. It's also so dry in the mouth that a couple sips totally ruin the palate. Very disappointing.

 420 characters

Photo of InfernoBoss
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of draftpunk
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of jaidenjb
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of Durb777
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of Saksis
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of Cramshawbar
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Less sour than the others in this style, but still a style I just can't like. Nice nose and very dry finish.
In the end though, as much as I respect the work that went into making it, this is still just a more tolerable sauerkraut juice to me.

 243 characters

Photo of rspauldi
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of biercycle
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of fosters9
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of Brushkanna
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%

Photo of LeftHanded666
2.56/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.26 out of 5 based on 4,043 ratings.
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