Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru
BA SCORE
4.29/5
Outstanding
4,109 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
Ranking:
#598
Reviews:
1,169
Ratings:
4,109
pDev:
11.19%
Bros Score:
4.61
 
 
Wants:
339
Gots:
727
Trade:
21
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,109 |  Reviews: 1,169
Photo of Thorpe429
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark crimson with an off-white head. Good deal of lacing as it goes down. Smell is vinegar and lactic acid with some dark fruits, cherries, and currants. Taste is quite similar, with the acetic acid coming through. Also a sort of cream-soda-type taste. Mouthfeel is very nice between the sourness and the creamy body. Good drinkability. Not the best Flanders Red, but up there, especially considering its availability.

 426 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Poured into a tulip glass, an opaque reddish brown with a small, beige head that receded to a thin film. Aroma of sour cherries, and vinegar. Very kriek-like in the taste, with sweet, light sugar up front, followed almost immediately by tart cherries. Light spice, yeast, and maybe a touch of grapes finish things off smooth, but a little bitter. Medium mouthfeel, and pretty drinkable. My sister-in-law doesn't like beer, but she liked this one a lot.

 494 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of REVZEB
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Kegatron
3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of jgunther71
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and caged bottle poured into a chalice. Nice reddish brown and very murky appearance with a large bubbly light-tan head which fades slowly. Nose is lemon and citrus zest with oak and sour cherries. Some vinegar in there too. Taste is really nice with a mild sour/tart combined with a sweet and deep tannin bite. Noticed a cherry and red grape skin combo with a crisp oak finish. Prickly carbonation makes this really drinkable. Overall, a great "sweet-tart" sour blend. A favorite for sure.

 497 characters

Photo of atrocity
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of russpowell
3.81/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cheers to Ding for this one! Date/batch code of 404237

Pours an effervescent garnet hued chestnut with 2 fingers of brown head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Tartness & vinegar & a bit of vanilla

T: Tartness & vinegar, a bit of cherry & raspberry up front. Oaky dryness really hits you along with more berry tarttness/vanilla, & musty notes as this warms. Acidic notes really open on the finish along with some caramel sweetness, cherries & tannic notes

MF: Spritzy with some creamy notes once warm & medium bodied, much puckery dryness & tartness, with some acidic notes in the finish

Drinks a bit too slow. I remember this being an easier beer, maybe my tastes are changing? Or maybe I'd try this one after my taste buds were whacked in the past! Not as harsh as the laFollie though

 795 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This 11.2 Fluid Ounce bottle lost its labeling at some point and it was only the cap that allowed me to identify it. My cellar has been out of control for some time and this summer seems like the perfect opportunity to clear it out.

I used a very gentle pour so as not to stir up any lees that may have been in the bottom of the bottle, resulting in just a little bit of light-tan head that quickly fell to wisps. Color was a gorgeous mahogany with NE-quality clarity. Nose was both wood-like (oak?) and vinegar, causing my mouth to pucker. Mouthfeel was medium and my initial reaction was TART! on the tongue. Once I recovered, I tasted what reminded me of my uncle's sour cherry wine, along with the vinegar/wood combination I had noted on the nose. Each successive sip became more palatable and as it warmed, I really got the oakiness more prevalently. Finish was tart and dry, perfect for this sweltering afternoon in my A/C-less house. I am celebrating just having hung a mesh curtain across the back doorway that is allowing a nice breeze to blow through without giving access to flies and other pests. One Beer Pest in the house is enough!

 1,147 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4.9/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of krome
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of BEER88
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle - $9.49 at Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georiga.

Appearance: Escapes the bottle an opaque, dark brown-red body with a thinnish, scant, khaki-colored head.

Smell: Easy breezy aroma of moist, ripe cherries leisurely soaking in first-class vinegar and dusted with vanilla sugar.

Taste: Flavorful blend of both sweet and tart cherries with a lesser hint of black raspberry and an overall robust acetic quality. Subtle, subdued oakiness with a kiss of vanilla. Pinch of pickling spices. Cracklingly tart, puckering finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-high carbonation. Mouthfeel is has a tad oiliness to it but is also lightly spritzy.

Drinkability: An all-around admirable brew that's surprisingly refreshing. As my astonished roommate said of it, "How dey do dat??" Some things are best left unsaid, man.

 838 characters

Photo of atlbravsrno1
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of dfhhead25
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of duceswild
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was excited and surprised to find this at a Walmart in Cancun, Mexico.

A: Pours a dark ruby/brown color with a one finger off-white head. Spotty lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: Light tart cherries, vanilla, a little bit of brown sugar. Slightly vinegary, and overall not as sour as expected. There is a subtle sweetness.

T: Nice sour cherries, vanilla and oak. There is some plum, raspberry, and a little bit of apple. On the acetic side, but not overly sour.

M: Medium bodied with lots of carbonation, really spot on in both regards.

O: A great beer, fits style pretty much spot on. Great flavor profile and mouthfeel. Look forward to picking this up when I get back to the states.

 699 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Coffee District. Served in a Rodenbach flute.

Appearance - Deep murky red. No real head, but a thick white collar.

Smell - Malty. Lots of caramel. Oak and vanilla. Acetic acid, but not a lot.

Taste - More sour, but still not the centerpiece. Lots of oak and vanilla. Malt is strong, like the nose. Acetic sourness builds into an oaky finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Slick. Well carbonated.

Overall - Quality all around. Nothing that stands out but a great all around Flanders Red.

 497 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vivid blood orange with bright tangerine trim. The cork colored cap is two fingers immediately after the pour and isn't strinking very quickly. It becomes nicely creamy as it melts and leaves a surprising amount of thick lace on the upper reaches of the glass. What a warm, inviting looking ale.

The nose is reminiscent of sweet and sour fruit (cherries mostly) soaked in gourmet vinegar. There's also a lovely woodiness born of 18 months in Brouwerij Rodenbach's massive oak tuns. I love the way I smell something slightly different each time I put my nose over the glass. I haven't had a huge number of Flanders reds yet, but this nose has to be a classic of the style.

No version that I've had thus far prepared me for what just splashed over my taste buds. Most of them seem to be sour for sour's sake. I like sour, but I need more. Rodenbach Grand Cru delivers more... and more... and more. I'm amazed at the stunning amount of depth and complexity in each mouthful.

I have to believe that oak is the key to Grand Cru's success. I'm sure the chemical reactions that occur as the beer seeps into the wood and is then breathed back out again change the original ale in untold ways. I have no idea if more time together would improve things to an even greater extent, but I do know that less time wouldn't be advisable.

Impressively tart and tangy are the order of the day. Having said that, I don't know that I've had a Flanders red with as much underlying sweetness. The utilization of multiple sets of taste buds (sweet at the tip, sour along the sides), and the contrast between the two, is what sets this world-class ale apart.

The finish has a perfect acidic bite. It's easy to see why Michael Jackson considers this the most refreshing beer in all the world. I'd probably choose something else for that honor, but I can damn sure see what he means. As much as I'm enjoying it solo, I can also see how it would complement a wide variety of foods extremely well.

I wouldn't change a single thing about the mouthfeel. Given the style, it's pretty close to perfect. It's light, yet has a undeniable strength; like a heavy strand of silk thread. A light stickiness promotes flavor linger and a gentle sizzle of carbonation keeps the tongue's attention. Not that it was in danger of wandering given the remarkable flavor profile.

This is fantastically delicious beer. I'd advise anyone who is interested in Flanders reds to start here before proclaiming their love, like or dislike for this unique style. Put me solidly in the 'love' camp. It's hard to imagine that La Folie is superior since there's so little room between Rodenbach Grand Cru and perfection.

 2,683 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Beer rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 4,109 ratings