Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

1,133 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: 1,133 | Ratings: 3,973
Photo of Jumbo_James
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very interesting nose. This beer smells of red fruit and acetic acid though they are very well balanced. This is my first sour and although it was a bit intense at first I quickly warmed up to it. Beautiful color, somewhere between mahogany and dark red.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a tiny bit hazy, deep reddish brown. No real head forms on the pour, and there's but a wisp of a bit o'f foam at the rim. No real lacing to speak of. Very lightly carbonated also. Nose is huge with sour fruit notes. Probably some Brett also. Enormous sour apple, cherry and grapefruit notes in the nose speak of a nice sour ale to come. You can smell this all the way across the room. Wow on the flavor. It's super tart, very robust and very good. This is like a less-sweet version of the Duchesse. The carbonation is very spritzy, giving this a real champagne-like quality which cuts through the sweetness. Did I mention sour??!! Well, just to be sure - this is a Flemish Sour for sure. No mistaking it. Some lactose like qualities in the mouthfeel, though I'm unsure where they come from. This is really delicious. I'm finding these Flemish-style sours to be rapidly becoming my favorite beer style. The flavort evolves into a more leathery, Lambic style with the yeast taking center stage for a brief solo, then rocking out into a nice long, tangy, bitter in a good way finish. Strikingly expensive at $11.99/750ml bottle, that is probably it's only real flaw. Fantastic and must find.

What I like most: The entire flavor profile along with the robust aroma.

What I like least: The hefty price tag.

Verdict: Fantastic but expensive ale that is a must find.

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Photo of raynmoon
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Its deep ruby red. I love it.

Smells nice. Tannins, astringent, acidic, red wine, funk from the yeast. Very much identical to a dirty, earthy red wine. The smell lacks strength however.

So smooth. I get a perfect amount of tartness coating my mouth and a nice cherry/ mixed fruit and then it goes down smooth and sweet. Not too acidic or cloying like the Duchesse, and the price is way too great. $9 for a 750ml may be the best beer deal next to Old Rasputin 4 packs.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a caged-and-corked 750mL bottle into my White Birch flute/tulip.

A resounding sonorous pop greets me as I ease the cork out. Aromas surge forth before I can even pour any liquid.

Dark auburn-tinged burgundy liquid with crimson/cerise highlights and an active light tan head that recedes to a thin layer of cream. Thick even sandy lacing coats the sides. Very thin oily legs.

Dark cherries, lemon and strawberries from afar - when you bring the liquid closer to your nose, the acidity picks up considerably. Tangy red-wine vinegar, light oaky wood notes, and a mild intermingling of young port with toasted malt round out the boquet.

Complex flavors - a wide range of acidity suggesting a variety of light vinegars (champagne, aged balsamic, rice wine), plum wine, and citrus and a bit of pit fruit. Brown sugar, malt syrup, and cola notes add sweetness, while the finish adds in bitterness and a wave of tannins. Perfectly blended.

Well carbonated, nearly medium-bodied, and moderately astringent.

Perfect with food, really nice on its own - similarly enjoyable to a good (if not a great) wine, but with much less alcohol.

While it's been a while since I've tried the original, I believe this is sweeter and more nuanced than the standard Rodenbach. Well worth seeking out if you enjoy the style as this is among the very best I've tried.

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Photo of emerge077
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Into a Liefman's tulip, the Grand Cru pours a deep scarlet tone, capped with several fingers of off-white foam. There's a good level of clarity in this one, without pouring the yeast sediment the first time around.

Smell is perfect, and one of my favorite aspects of Belgian farmhouse styles. The yeast has a distinct funky wildness about it. The aroma first conjures up a wet field in the late morning, as the sun starts to warm up the soil. Damp earth, overripe berries, and a ripened cheese note. A citric sharpness cuts through all the romantic notions, alluding to it's intensity.

Taste is citrusy tart at first, spritzy on the palate. Midway through, it has a rounder mouthfeel, with oak and sour berry lasting on the tongue. There is a Balsamic sweetness, but toned down and not vinegary. Aftertaste is a little dry, but balanced by the mouth-watering sweet/sour element.

I can finish a 750 in a sitting, but it's definitely one to pair with food (and share). The label recommends pairing with seafood or dishes with lemon garnish.

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Photo of Cheesemoose
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Glass: Flute

Pours a deep brown/red, very rich coming from the bottle. Nice whimsical head comes to rest on the top, effervescent in character that leaves a nice film. Lacing is spotty at best, following the beer on its downward journey.

Almost immediately following the pour, a tartness enters the air, though not crushing, it entices you forward for more. Cherries being the predominant smell to present itself, as you delve deeper you find the oak, providing a nice backbone on which the cherries seem to rest. Tartness is well balanced.

For a Flemish Red Sour, this is quite approachable. Tartness is almost a treat, as the cherries and oak notes play off each other coming together to form a very refreshing, mellowed, and cultured sour. Very enjoyable. Cherry is more dominant cool, but as it warms, the oak starts to join in.

Crisp mouth feel, leaving your mouth in wanting. Definitely an experience best enjoyed slowly to bring out all the flavors. At 6%, the ABV does not come into play in a heavy sense, meaning you can enjoy this one solo or with a close group of friends.

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Photo of HellsBELLS24
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice flemish sour ale. Especially like the flavor from the oak aging process. Hard to get around here. Has a much better finish than the regular rodenbach.

ABV not very high in this ale at (6%) its a little low. I would have expected a higher ABV. Still an excellent brew though.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I looove Flanders Reds. There's only been like two ever that I wouldn't mind never having again, and it's because of an ungodly amount of cherries or fruit.

This, I am happy to say, is one of my favorites.

Woody brown with reddish trim. Hazy in my flute glass.

Great tart fruity funk. Sourness overwhelms at first, but mellows (or maybe my senses adjust) and I can't take my nose out of the glass.

Tart apple, unripe vineous grapes, and cherries. Tiny bit sweeter in the finish and aftertaste than I would have prefered it, perhaps aging it for longer may have helped with that. A tad bit of vinegar and lactic sourness, but not anywhere near offensive.

Mouthfeel is exceptional. The first sip is always a kicker, but then it settles in and I can't stop drinking it. I love this stuff!

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

It poured out of the 750 ml bottle a slightly cherry brown that faded to straw near the edges and it had very little head.

Smells of sour, tart cherries, raspberries, a musky sweet yeast, a slight hazelnut and pastry dough. Fantastic!

Tastes of a very dry tart cherry and raspberry with a slight peppery dryness that was somewhat buttery. This faded to a smooth creamy oak. This really accentuated the sweetness of this beer.

The mouth feel was light to medium bodied with a big, intense carbonation that was coupled to the tartness.

This is a tasty sipper for sure with some great dynamics I’d never before encountered in the style. I shared this with some friends whilst watching Gremlins and BA Doolar woke his girlfriend up to try some. Upon sipping she exclaimed, “Why would you do that to me?!” I guess this isn’t for everyone. More for me!

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Photo of aracauna
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Mostly brown body with some reddish characteristics. Head is cream colored with fairly large bubbles. Aroma is very sharp and wine-like. Fruity, but I don't know if it's cherries I'm smelling or just something about the beer that makes me think cherries. Even with that, the fruitiness is much more subtle than in the Alexander. The beer has stinging carbonation that gradually numbs the palate. There's a crisp tartness and again the flavor is very wine-like with some sweetness. The alcohol is pretty assertive in both the nose and in the flavor. I found it hard to believe that this beer was only around 6%. I could easily learn to enjoy this beer.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The attractive 750 ml bottle is sealed under a cork-in-cage with the bottleneck swaddled in gold foil. A soft pop! marks the lightly-chilled vessel's opening, and poured into my Maredsous goblet, Grand Cru is ruby-tinted burnt amber in color and very clear. A small sizzling cap of light tan foam recedes quickly to the edges of the drink, and leaves only token speckles and wisps of lacing that mostly slide back into solution rather than sticking onto the glass.

The smell is zesty and fruity-sweet with a lovely underpinning of oaky caramel and light toast. Sour cherries and a spritz of lemon-lime soda wrangle a cool, mellow woodiness into my olfactory range-- with the crisp, aggressive sourness almost snapping at my nose as I stick it into the glass for a bigger jolt of this exciting perfume.

The taste is crisp and tart with a cheek-slam of sour cherry soothed with mellow caramel and a touch of brown sugar candy. Notes of fermented apple provide mild, juicy sweetness and a cooling whiff of alcohol. The oakiness from the aroma profile is in the flavor-party, too, finding itself a dry, comfortable resting place on the palate, lingering deep into the aftertaste.

The drink is light in body with a touch of puckering that fades quickly and a near-perfect sizzle of carbonation. Positively quaffable.

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Photo of avalon07
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a bright ruby color and a somewhat hazy consistency. There was an inch and a half of foamy, long-lasting head. OK lacing.

S: A big, fruity aroma of cherries, citrus and a hint of malt. A bit sour, but definitely appealing.

T: Taste was dominated by the cherries (not a bad thing), with some citrus, malt and a sugary element as well. Not as sour as I would have thought, but definitely tart. A well balanced, extremely focused and quite tasty beer.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a silky smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a well made, easy drink and vibrant brew. Well worth a try.

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Photo of pschul4
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with my drinking buddy areich6 and my girlfriend (who loved it, thanks BA community)

A- Pours much darker than I was expecting but it is my first flanders red

S- Very nice mellow sour notes, some dark cherry and lemon scents which is definitely pleasing

T- Tasty sour notes with big cherry flavors and some sour lemon in the background. Can tell there is malt but in the mouthfeel moreso than the taste

M- Nice and light. Extra refreshing on this sweltering (79 in chicago in march is sweltering!) day

O- I love this beer and maybe I like sours more than I thought I did

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Photo of cypressbob
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, poured into a T'ij brewery tulip

Pours with a deep red slightly burgandy body. Some thick ruby highlights supplemented with a tight off white bubbly head with good retention. Some thick patches of lacing up and down the glass.

Smell, thick sweet estery cherries. Sweet caramel and toffee covered dried fruit, some astringent acid along with a huge whack of phenolic undertones. Slightly spicy on the nose, a hint of mixed chiinese spice and a bit of estery alcohol

Taste, thick dry estery soaked cherries. A nice harsh acidic note with a hint of brett character, prickly carbonation with a winey syrupy body and a thick rich sweet port character on the finish. Masses of deep acidic red fruit, cherries and redcurrants soaked in rum along with a heap of lemon juice and sulphuric acid. Deep red wine vinegar profile along with a lasting slightly sugary and syrupy mouthfeel. Thick crisp biscuity body lying behind the initial sour fruit, some lasting acidity on the finish

A legend in the realms of the flanders red. Some sweetness but generally overpowered and knocked into touch by a whack of acidic fresh fruit. The quintessential flanders red, sour, slightly sweet and fruity.... perfect

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Photo of mhatters
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at TND in Wayne on tap

A ruby color with a clean cream colored head

Great nose, tart cherry dominates at first, but then the oak comes through, and after one minute a variety of notes including spice, butterscotch(?)

Nice tart sour to this, the oak does not over power but fits right in, fruit notes but not fruity

Some acid to the taste, a big beer feel, but easy to drink, this is a classic

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Photo of Natural510
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, best-by date 10-07-09 (July 10th for we Americans). Just in time.

When I open the bottle the scent hits me right in the nose. Very powerful sweet & sour: funky yeast mixed with lemon & raspberry. Smells nearly like a lambic to me.

Pours an opaque amber; head not quite what I expected (possibly due to age) but ring of lacing still sticks nicely to the glass.

Sweet & sour flavor as well. Citrus twang puckers my mouth aided by the yeast to give a very dry finish. Berry flavor in full force, though not to the extent it tasted juicy. More fruit comes through as well: apple, orange, pear. After-effects mainly carry a yeast note reverberate throughout the mouth and tingle at the back of the throat.

Drinkability? Well, if it's Belgian sour you seek, this is apparently the blueprint. It's a sipper for sure; would pair well with cheese, or even a sweet dessert.

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Photo of Lakemonster
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at a wonderful new little bar / bistro in Stowe, VT called Crop. I am exploring the world of sours and when I saw this on tap I knew I had to get it, that and they just ran out of the Hill Farmstead Double Galaxy IPA, that was my first choice. The beer is light and refreshing with hints of cherries and a medium sourness. The flavor that is left in your mouth as you put your glass down is the part where this beer really shines. Nice to pair with a bland smooth cheese to reset your palate. I will most def. order this again.

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Photo of chelovek
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was fortunate to sample this beauty complements of the famous Sam. Poured into my westmalle glass, apearance was a nice reddish brown with a small head forming at the top. First taste was a bit surprising and definatley pleasing. A bit sour but in a very good way, countered by a slight sweetness a la cherries. Although it may seem odd when describing a beer it truely was sweet and sour. The first swill coated my mouth and delighted my pallet as the sweet and sour played a beautiful symphony on my tongue. I know it sounds cheesy but if you have tried this beer you will know the rosy crap is from the heart. Every sip brought on a new appreciation for this beer. I was crying for more when finished and will definiatley have another go at this one. I had previously tried a "sour" tasting beer but didn't get it. After this beer I finally do. Those that have the privilige of trying this beer must do so at once.

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Photo of jampics2
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at McNulty's Bier Market.

I was thrilled to see this was on tap and I had a few pours :)

Looks great - a reddish brown with a nice white ring.

Smells like cherries, leather, sour funk, Balsamic vinegar. Lots of Oak as well.

Taste can only be described as "WOW". My notes say "the beer, the myth, the legend". Sour cherry backed with tanins and vanilla from the oak. Sour but not decimating. Very wine like.

A lovely carbonation and body, this feels great in my mouth.

As for drinkability, the best ever. Hands down the standard for Flanders and perhaps all sours in general. Classic business here, thrilled to have had it on tap.

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Photo of kleffman
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at Hamilton's for only $4.25. That's a steal. Poured into a Val Dieu glass.

Pours a mild ruby/brown with a minimal thin head that didn't linger for a very long time.

For a flanders red the aroma is spot on. The oak and Brett qualities shine, and there is a very strong tart cherry and vanilla presence. A bit of vinegar but not too intense.

Taste is mostly sour fruit like apples and cherries which is not surprising. Some oak and a great sour character.

While this is a little puckering even my girlfriend enjoyed it, and she's rather skeptical of this entire style of beer. The mouthfeel is nothing crazy, but it's very drinkable for a flanders beer. I could've had more than one 12 oz easily. I would also say this is better than the Rodenbach classic but not by a ton, they're both fantastic. This just may be a little more mature.

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Photo of wl0307
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly 3 years since my last encounter, this bottle is enjoyed straight after its junior family member, Rodenbach Classic; BB 25/07/10, served lightly chilled in Tripel Karmeliet's branded long-stemmed, tulip-shaped glass.

A: given a force-pour, it lands in the glass a deeply dark brown hue with lively fizziness and a 1.5cm-thick creamy dark beige foamy head with good retention.
S: absolutely amazing... the nose has both metallic and lightly funky notes of yeasts intertwined with a deep-running but restrained aroma from oak-barrel-ageing; the classic aroma that I'd only refer to as "smoked-prune-flavoured sorbet" lingers in the background, showing random bits of old vinegar that is more fruity than sharply tart, but always with a refreshingly savoury edge of yeastiness to "complicate" the matter... Compared with the Classic that I've had ten minutes ago, the aroma is definitely drier, tarter, and cleaner, with a deeper impact of oak-ageing.
T: milder in carbonation but refreshing enough, the foretaste presents high quality vinegary made of sour dried-prunes (Chinese "Hua-Mei") that is both bold and slick, but never far away from a funky/yeasty edge and a dry-ish wheatiness as of a very smooth berry-lambic... The fruity theme stays deep down the tongue, accompanied by smooth, well-aged vinegary berry-fruits, an herbally-dry and lightly chewy undertone that shows brown-malt aroma as well as bitterness of old, dried hops, and an elegant, low-level oakiness that has been absorbed into the fruity theme. Clean, yet lightly dry in the finish, with a bit less aroma here than the aftertaste of the Classic, but the understated chewy palate still seems to outlast everything else.
M&D: the texture is impeccable, mildly spritzy yet slick enough to render an attractive palate to go with the thirst-quenching, medium-bodied flavour profile. Having tried this ale for many times now, each time I seem to find something different from the glass: this bottle is more mellow and less astringent than most of the previous encounters, which I suppose is attributable to the temp. (slightly warmer than chill) that I choose to serve this bottle. The only one thing that has not, and never will, changed is the profound complexity (in various forms) and quaffability this 6%abv. ale has to offer. This is a sheer bliss to me.

* Tasting Date: 05/05/2006
BB 29/04/07, served lightly chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.
4 A: deep and dark ruby hue, slightly hazy; the foamy off-white beer head dissipates slowly, on top of gently fizzy body.
4.5 S: sourness dominates the nose, as expected--new wood-barrels, profound prune-ish note, starfruit juice, wheat aroma, dark fruit vinegar, a faint touch of fruit esters... overall the aroma is intense and very focused, dragging all elements to a central point as far as my nose could sense.
4.5 T: slightly sharp-textured, vinegary-sour flavour upfront, cutting deep through the palate... gradually an almost lambic-like raw, dry wheat-ish and woody taste develops subtly underneath, turning softer and transforming into a slightly dryish, sour-sweet aftertaste. Crisp and tangy-fruity finish.
4 M&4 D: initially sharp on the texture but softens, while the soft fizziness sustains throughout the drink and provides a refreshing palate. A thirst-quenching, or thirst-provoking, beer with great complexity and depth. I can't pretend that I'm a great fan of this style, but this one surely is something really worth savouring once in a while--especially in summer.

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Photo of popery
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Toronado. Absolutely, positively delicious stuff. The beer is a blend of deep ruby and mahogany with a small head. The aroma is a fascinating blend of fruit flavors. There are cherries, peaches, grapes, cherries, apricots and cherries. It's also wrapped in one of the most refined vinegar aromas I've ever smelled. There's even further refinement in the oak and light barnyard notes. The flavor is moderately sour with lots of dry woodiness. Again, refinement marks this beer solidly in the flavor, as well. The mouthfeel is incredibly soft, a particular achievement given the acidity of the style. It's just incredible to find such velvety softness coating vinegary sour flavors. My tasting notes simply end with "excellent."

My score would be even higher, if it were not for newer, harder to find offerings that I have not yet reviewed. Rodenbach Grand Cru is a world class beer and I could see upping these scores once I figure out a way to round up a tasting of Flanders-style sours.

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Photo of stoutfiend27
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml caged & corked bottle

a-dark reddish brown color with little head but nice lingering lacing on top..

s-lactic acid and slight vinegar...almost like has a sour granny smith apple smell as well...sour jolly ranchers, and a sweet sugary smell

t-i really dont know how to describe it except it tastes like it smells....this is a great beer

m-light and refreshing..not to thick and not to watery i think the mouthfeel is perfect

d-i think i would have no problem drinking at least 2 or maybe even 3 of these 750 ml bottle and thats a bit much to me but these are so easy going

overall this is a fantastic beer...i want more of it...and plan on getting more...the sours are growing on me

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Photo of Netdigger2
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had in growler form thanks to the guys at Community Tap.

It pours a deep brown with hints of mahogany and chestnut with a thick tan head that leaves thin, sparse lacing.

The nose is sour funk masked with remnants of wild berries and sour candy.

There is a bruising, but welcoming, sour opening to this that reminds me of an unripened wild blackberry. It opens up to have a bit of malt shell coupled with a very pleasant helping of passion fruit, walnut, blackberry and almond.

The Mouthfeel and carbonation are second-to-none, very crisp and quaffable while staying refreshing all the way through. It has a heavy feel on the back of the palate without leaving overwhelming dryness.

Great beer. Better than La Folie and much cheaper at $15.00/ growler.

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Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

look - pours a dark brown/ruby red color. thick tan head. not so much retention or lacing

smell - raisns/grapes, malty, musty, sort of chocolaty, has that aged smell. overall a very strong, pleasant aroma.

taste - absolutely delicious. tastes like raspberries with some citrusy character and hints of raisins. the sour tickles the tongue. finishes sweet and savory

feel - creamy, smooth, tingly

overall - super delicious. am going to buy again and also try other versions of this style ale.

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.26 out of 5 based on 3,973 ratings.
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