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:
3,904
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
20.89%
 
 
Wants:
320
Gots:
645
For Trade:
26
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Reviews: 1,120 | Ratings: 3,904
Photo of sitbooboosit
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a mud red/brown
head is tight and dense, vanilla ice cream colour, nice lacing, doesn't stick for too long
aroma is of strong concord grape juice, welch's. strongly sour and wine-like. almost a grapelike bubblegum fragrance
sour grape, winey start, oak aging really comes through, rounds out with a sweet malt middle, either hoppy or sour bite to finish.

really enjoyed it. didn't expect it to be as sour as it was, but loved it. couldn't drink em all night, but fantastic with food or after dinner.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

33 cL bottle served chilled in a Brewer's Art chalice

Appearance: A clear brownish red liquid topped by a small tan head. Dissipates to a layer of foam after a minute or so. Small fingers of lace attempted to form, but ultimately stopped

Smell: Powerful aromas of funky brett, wood, vinegar, cherries, and raspberries. She's a harsh mistress and lets you know this upfront.

Taste: Mindblowingly tart cherries and raspberries with doses of balsamic vinegar, tannins, twigs, pits, seeds, oak, and heaps of funk. Hoo-yah! Aftertastes of funk.

Mouthfeel: Very light in body and quite puckering due to the high acidity.

Drinkability: If La Folie was using this as their model, they nailed it. High acidity = one a night for most peeps. I'll definitely try this one again. It's certainly an acquired taste, one I'm still working on. I hope my secret source still has some lying around

Other: I first tried this about 6 months ago without really knowing much about the style or the beer. An opportunity arose to try it again with slightly more experience under my belt, and I took it. Original review: 4.05

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Photo of Cavery
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by GoGators, a long time tick that has been on the backburner. I finally convinced SundaySour that it was time to give this thing a proper treatment. Two tulips were splashed with red soon after.

A: Dark tree bark with a light decaf coffee top. The foams are a bit coffee like, but the body looks more like an iced tea that's been served too cold. A very dark, almost black, gradient that begins at the bottom of the glass. This really looks nice. This is one of those beers you'd toast with after a job promotion, or the birth of that kid you meant to have. An academic fiesta beer.

S: Smells like a red wine spill in woodshop. Dusty old woods with some tart sun dried cherries. Potent dark savory cherries. Tartness is soothed by an incredibly clean vanilla. The vanilla notes really tame the present vinegar for an amazingly in check acidity.

T: This tastes of refinement. A beautiful blend of All of the flavors benefit from the creamy vanilla, and it makes this thing like a coulis. Cherry coulis mixed with creme anglaise with the cherries winning the battle only slightly. A wee bit of plum appears midst the clash. Nut butters on fruit cake, a bit of cranberry bite between the cherry and vinegar. This is not a vinegar bomb though, this is a refined flavor bomb, maybe not bomb -- but some sort of lighter munition.

M: The true maestro of this beer: so full for the style, and oh so creamy. The bubbles are fantastic, slow mild release, but there's never any doubt that this is well carbonated. The mouth is the puppeteer behind the show. A symphony in the mouth. One of those beers that feels significantly better than others.

O: Really truly I could never have expected to pour such a gem from this bottle. I had kept it in the back of my cellar with the intent of opening it when SundaySour was willing to drink it. She had been on champagne for many months now, but she finally caved in on this night. It was divine intervention, as this bottle was in its absolute prime. This beer is truly a magical blend of flavors. The young beer is vibrant, the old beer is wise, and the barrel is the time in between. After drinking this beer, I felt like I had watched a fine film. My mouth applauds. Truly though, this was exceptional in its balance, with an in check vinegar.

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Photo of areich6
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoying with my good friend pshul4

A: Very dark orange or brown. Pours with very little head and no lacing is left. Looks like apple cider.

S: Light sour notes, melons and dark cherries. Quite pleasant. The sour scent is somewhat analogous to the scent of a bourbon barrel aged beer.

T: Very nice. Cherries and lemons and green apples, similar to how it smelled but better. Tastes a little like apple cider with some lemon juice mixed in.

M: Really smooth, very little carbonation. Goes down like juice. Super easy drinking.

O: Really good beer. I honestly have not had very many sours so it is difficult for me to compare this to other beers of the like, but this is just downright tasty.

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Photo of TheEremite
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the bistro in Hayward, CA.

Served dark burgundy with red highlights and a tan head. Looks brilliant in the glass. Smells of sour apples and apple cider vinegar. Very pungent and sharp aroma. Tastes very tart, almost striking for how malty the beer looks. It's not though. Drinks very dry with lactic and acetic pricks throughout the drink. There's some lingering oakiness in the aftertaste too. Outstanding beer. It's not as complex as other Flanders reds I've had before, but it's extremely straightforward and a remarkable beer.

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Photo of Jordan
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So happy I picked this baby up from my Whole Foods Market. The beer pours easily, its looks a little flat out of the bottle, almost no head, but it is actually highly carbonated when agitated and when it hits the mouth.

Caramels, sour apples, oak on the nose.

Lot of fine particulates make it opaque. Deep red-brown. Gorgeous.

Sour grapes, vinegar, lemon peel. Lots of flavor. This one lingers for quite a while. It sticks with you.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From notes. Pours a deep deep ruby-hued amber color with a 2 finger head that fell to coat the beer. The nose was sweet and sour cherry, but not overbearing. Very clean and slightly crisp. Incredibly enjoyable. Right on where I expect things. Flavor was as good as the nose promised. Light sour cherry, creamy oak notes with moderate sourness. Just incredible. The beer left just a touch of sticky spit. It was moderate with a light carbonation. Overall, this was an incredible brew. Right what I want from the style. Incredible balance. Loved this beer.

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Photo of ncfranklin
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml into a Duvel Tulip

750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Very deep reddish, copper, brown. Small tan head that recedes to a ring very quickly.

S: Strong pungent sour vinegar nose, with big cherry notes in it. Light hint of caramel.

T: Very, very sour. Strong on the fruit notes of cherry, apple, raspberry, with a vinegary sting in the back. With some warming, it mellows a little and the oak comes through lightly in in the finish.

M: A medium mouthfeel with strong, dry tartness. Makes you want to sip again and again to refresh the mouth.

D: The best of the style I've had, a real treat. The don't make them like this often.

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Photo of hardy008
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish brown color with a 2 finger tan foamy head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has tart cherries, vinegar, and oak.

The flavor has tart cherries, green apples, vanilla, and oak. I do not taste the vinegar which showed up in the aroma. There is a nice combination of sweetness and tartness, with the tartness being dominant. Very complex, and good.

Light to medium bodied, above average carbonation. Finishes somewhat dry and tart. The mouthfeel is luxurious, and could not be better. This is an excellent Flanders Red Ale. I recommend it highly.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep cherry with a 1/4 inch tan head. Smells of sour cherry, vanilla, oak, hints of port.

Taste is quite sour and cherry tart. The fruity tartness overpowers most of the other flavors. Lots of cherry flavors in here. Hints of oak and vanilla way back there. My only complaint is that with the sour aftertaste there is also a strong coppery aftertaste which I don't find appeaing. Don't know if that is indicative of the style or this bottle is past its prime. Full bodied and flavorful beer. This was the flavor explosion I was expecting from the Rodenbach Red. Not nearly as balanced but still amazing.

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Photo of Jemonster
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: This beer is the same shade as root beer, but a bit lighter. It has a dense foamy tan colored head.

S: Sour yeasty smell, strong with fermentation. Believe it or not, similar to a soy sauce odor.

T: Immediately sour and reminiscent of green apples and cranberry.

M: Small bubbles like Champagne. Dries the palate slightly from the acidity.

D: Like many of the other sour style beers, this one is difficult to drink a lot of because it is so flavorful. The tartness starts to get to me after about 12 oz. It is still very delicious and at 6% alcohol, I could drink a lot before feeling the effects.

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Photo of Mikus
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I really fell for this beer... even read some notes on the style prior to trying it. Looked awesome in the glass, with the deep reddish, brown hue... little to no head going on here. Amazing nose, including the vinegar note (which I loved for some reason), and some crazy dark fruit medley as well. The taste was unique, and amazing with all of the aroma notes joining the party. Pucker up! The mouthfeel was very dry, and left me wanting more. Super clean and original. Damn, just damn.

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Photo of Zach136
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting around to a proper review. Best before 01 28 2017. Enjoyed 06 11 2015.

Appearance: Pours hazy deep ruby with a persistent beige collar.

Aroma: Sour cherry, oak, assorted dark fruits. Swirling in the glass gives a big burst of nostril burning acetic acid. The nose alone makes my mouth water.

Flavor: Big burst of cherry sour patch kid, rich malts back it up to create depth beyond a kriek. Notes of toffee and blueberry pie. High, bracing acidity. Mostly softer lactic, but acetic definitely peeks through. Physical reactions: More salivation, and now slight sweat accumulation.

Mouthfeel: Medium light bodied, slight acid linger.

Overall: The world class score is a perfect descriptor. This beer is an archetype and I've yet to have any American brewed interpretations that exceed this level of complexity, and drinkability, while remaining so acidic. Truly an art what the blender(s) do over there.

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Photo of Kuaff
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Cellar temperature in my tulip. I think this my first time with a sour.

The head is nothing but a thin ring of fine tan bubbles . No foam whatsoever. The color is a kind of a slightly hazy mahogany-ruby-red.

An interesting aroma. I pick up on some acetic acid for sure, but for some reason the smell doesn't bother me in this context like it usually does. There are also various red fruits in here, like red apples, cherries, cranberries, plus a grape-like vinous quality. Maybe a touch of honey. Also, it has a unique musty herbal note. Distinctive!

Well. They don't call them sours for nothing! Sour and tart it is, similar in taste to many different sour fruits. It's weird. It has a pretty intense sour grape and cranberry thing going on, but somehow it's restrained just enough by a mellow, drying herbal bitterness that buffers the sourness, much like a properly prepared buffer system neutralizes a strong acid. The more familiar-to-beer bread and yeast show up in the finish. Really a harmonious flavor profile.

Love the feel. Calm carbonation.

My palate is pretty intrigued by this Flanders red ale. It has excellent complexity, as well as focused and controlled intensity. Much in the same way there's an art to integrating the alcohol of high strength beers into their flavor seamlessly, I think this ale artfully integrates sourness in a way that keeps it intense yet doesn't overwhelm.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass. This is year-round, but I purchased this about 3 months ago as soon as it started popping up everywhere in the Bay Area. Usually these have a best by date of 2-3 years, but, just like your Late Bottled Vintage or Dated Vintage port, they are best consumed fresh.

To this day, Rodenbach Grand Cru still stands as one of my favorite looking beers that's easy to find out of Belgium. Brownish, with an assertive garnet and reddish tinge that the style demands for. Great, sticky lacing and an off-white egg beaten head of foam. Carbonation is gentle and generous, but nothing too extreme or excessive. It truly looks like a wonderful, rustic Pinot Noir, but it retains its qualities as a unique looking beer.

Yeah, this is where it's at - tons of red fruit, vinegar notes, as well as light, proper oxidation from the additional wood aging. Cranberries, cherry pits, fleshy ripe currants, as well as a dried raisin finish. White pepper, violets, and some tea tannic consistency at the finish. Notes of green apple skins and an underlying yet balanced acetic acidity, especially one that resembles a light red wine vinaigrette. Some Sherry like notes are already here, with a light spicy and barrel spiced laden backbone - caramel, cashews, almonds, and light leather. Really great stuff - isn't as intense as other offerings, but is unbelievably restrained and graceful, even here.

This has got to be the most simultaneously refreshing and flavor packed year round Flanders red I've had to date. As much I love Cuvée des Jacobins for its physically demanding qualities, this is where it's at. A vibrant red fruit flavor pushes forward on the palate, delivering brown cherry skins, currants, as well as cranberries and raisins (often resembling Craisins) with a tart, vinegar forward finish and acidity that cleanses the palate fully. Slightly spicy, with peppery notes from the barrels and light oxidation that goes in the beer making process. Finishes fruity, ripe, and slightly nutty, with cashews being most predominant. A caramel malt finish allows the acidity to be more restrained and yet creamier and more balanced at the same time. The carbonation is wonderful here - the fruit flavors become more pronounced with sparkling wine-like effervescence, and the acidity is further cut by the 1/3rd addition of the younger Flanders in providing toasty malted notes at the back. A victory!

For $10 a 750ml bottle that is year-round, I daresay it doesn't get better than this. So many flavors, combined with a predominantly soft and creamy wood aged texture, as well as delightful fruit and wine-like notes, this is a world class Flanders red. It won't kick the crap out of you, but its profile to be extra flavorful and yet so easy to drink (as well as easily pair with food) should be noted. Want to turn wine-only drinkers on to beer? This is the one!

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Photo of tectactoe
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had a surprising amount of trouble finding this beer in my area, so when I finally was able to find it, I made sure to grab a few bottles. I've heard great things about this beer, and I'm excited to finally give it a go. It pours a deep, murky brown-ish color with some red and ruby hints when light is allowed to pass through it. Translucent with a bit of haze, topped off with a slightly beige head; big-bubbled and quick to fade away.

The aroma is simply fantastic - one whiff and I already know this is going to be a winner for me. Incredibly layered and complex, each successive sniff brings about new aromas that I wasn't getting before; cherry skins, berries, balsamic vinegar, vinous grapes, heavy oak, tannic dryness, faint lemon... Just so much to take in. As a whole, the combination proves to be exceedingly tart and sour and I can feel my saliva glands starting to sweat just a bit.

The marriage of the fruit and barrel aromas are exquisitely done here, and the level of sourness that my nose is picking up is great. The finishing dryness from the oak is enough to blunt the acidic characters just enough to keep you from tiring of the smell too quickly. Every once in a while, a beer comes along that will have you sitting and smelling it for minutes before you even bother to take a sip, and Rodenbach Grand Cru has done just that.

When I finally bring the beer to my lips, my palate is met with a wonderful display of ripe fruits, straight out of the gate; cherries, grape skins, and more berries, all with insane, yet manageable levels of tartness. Each sip has me puckering my lips as the beer traverses to every corner of my mouth, injecting a solidifying sourness that's putting a smile on my face. I was hoping for sour, and the Grand Cru delivered.

But it's not just the copious tartness of the beer that makes it enjoyable, as anyone can dump lactic acid into a beer and make it sour as hell. It's the crafted execution of how the sourness developed that must be appreciated, and the layered complexity of the flavor profile can speak to those methods. The tart cherries, the heavy grape skins, the dry oak, the mild vanilla, the heavy balsamic-like vinegar, the sharp yet delicate acidity, the delicate tannin, and the superbly integrated vinous feel make this beer almost as much of an art form as it is a drink.

The mouth feel is nice for the style; thin, bordering on medium; my only complaint is that the carbonation in my bottle could have been higher. There isn't much more that I can say about this beer, other than the fact that it exceeded any and all expectations I had. I'm a big fan of sour beers, and I sure do love my American Wild Ales that stretch the palate towards unobtainable levels of tartness, but this beer proves that you can be both sour AND complex, and when done properly, it's a wonderful thing to behold. The fact that it's fairly readily available may be the biggest wonder of them all.

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Photo of SanDNigel
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cork top bottle
A- Barely cloudy burgundy with a light tan head.
S- Sweet dark grape, fig, raisin with plenty of alcohol. Fruity without too much pucker
T- Tangy, grape, apple, delicious. Tart palate wrecking sensation. Really awesome and easy to drink.
M- 5/10 bubble size with an almost metallic after taste
This is a great beer. A perfect introduction to sours for most anyone.

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Photo of tigg924
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: cloudy, dark brown in color, 1/4 inch head, high carbonation

Smell: sour dark cherries

Taste: dark cherries, some vinegar, and a touch of oak

Mouthfeel: a sweetish start with a sour ending and a lingering slightly bitter aftertaste, dry, high carbonation

Drinkability: I loved this beer. A nice sour end without being too sour. I love the cherry taste and could have several of this beer.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Ran across this at the store and figured I would give it a try. I have never had a beer of this style so I did not know what I was getting into when I first bought this bottle. Pours out of it's 750mL bottle deep red in appearance with a sharp sour fruity smell, almost vinegar like. The taste sour but surprisingly pleasant. As the bottle warms up a bit, you can pick up some oak in the taste as well. Delicious! This was a pleasant surprise and is easily one of my favorite beers. It is not one that you can drink all night, but it sure is a unique beer that is a nice change in style every once in a while.

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Photo of redneckchugger
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a flute, dark amber bolor, some head, no lacing, beautiful color tho.
smells acidic, vingary.
Tastes of cherries soaked in a reall good balsamic vinegar. tart, acidic, refreshing
thin mouthfeel but it realy works for this beer.
One of the most drinkable beers i have ever had. I love this beer.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a nice looking deep dark red, with a thin not quite white head.
vinous vinegar-y aroma, with some dark, let me see... sort of rotten, mineral filled swamp mud. brings some hideous images to mind i know, but this works out very well somehow. some hay-like horse blanket mixed in with the swampiness too, followed by some plasticy oak.
the taste is fan-freaking-tastic. it's like drinking the most tasty vinegar you can imagine. a mild sweet apple cider vinegar flavor, with a little bit of oak and maybe vanilla here and there. a lot of cherry seems to come out as it warms. absolutely awesome and must be tasted to be believed.
medium body with mild moderate carbonation. mouth puckeringly sour and very drying.
excellent drinkability for something that is such an assault on the senses, but in the grand scheme of things probably only ranks at "good" for drinkability.
i've had this beer a few times now, and it gets better every time. seek this out and alter your definition of beer forever.

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Photo of jmatthew
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark rusty red from the 750ml bottle with a large sticky tan head that subdues to a thin layer and leaves decent lacing on the glass. The smell alone warns of what lies below; mostly vinegar on the nose (evoking thoughts of ketchup and soy sauce), but with hints of fermented fruit and yeast. Upon tasting, the vinegar aroma reveals itself as an intriguing blend dominated by sour cherries up front and tart green apples with a lemon citrus dryness at the finish, all wrapped up neatly with a bit of oak. Sweetish, very full-flavored and lively, but well balanced as it finishes quite cleanly. Certainly not a taste for everyone, but an outstanding example of the style.

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Photo of Zeisloft
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pouring from a big bottle, came out deep deep red. I couldnt wait to get into it. Smell gave many thoughts, superfruity, vinegar, sour. Hit the sourness I was looking for in the taste, and then that sweetness that comes out of no where. I knew what I was getting into and couldnt wait. very smooth and light in the mouth, carbination pushes the beer through. Very Drinkable, but wouldn't be on it an entire night.

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Photo of sommersb
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted On: 06-17-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 750ml brown bottle
Glassware: Cervoise glass
Purchased: Single from Whole Foods, Nashville

Pours with 4 fingers of a light tan head on a clear, dark red-brown beer with ruby highlights when held to the light. Head retention and lacing are both very good.

Aromas are very sour, with cherry fruit characteristics. Other smells include oak wood and vinegar. Very strong red wine aromas on this one.

Taste is both sour and sweet, featuring a wine-like acidity. The Grand Cru is more puckering and sour than the classic red version. Flavors include tart fruits, with a little citrus, plus wood and tannin notes.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, with medium to high carbonation and a medium body. The finish is mainly sour with a slight sweetness.

Overall, this is a ramped-up version of the Classic Red Rodenbach, showing stronger sour and tart fruitiness. Very enjoyable and easy to drink.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky brown with a bubbly head leaving a crown.

Smells fantastic. Sweet grapes, cherries, other fruity esters as well as a sour bite.

Taste is similar to smell with cherries and grapes heading up front. Not incredibly sour like a Cantillion but not sweet like a Lindemans. Somewhere in the balanced and kind of wine like middle and excellent.

Mouth is thin with pretty high carbonation.

Drinkability? I won't have any trouble polishing of this bottle. Price is fantastic. A really great all around sour.

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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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