Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru
4,100 Ratings
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:
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

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Ratings: 4,100 |  Reviews: 1,166
Photo of Enola
2.88/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer shocked me. The color is an oak stain color. The head was unreal. I poured a small amout into a sampler glass and it turned into all head. No beer at all. It finally settled so here we go.

The smell is of wine. No question about it. Maybe some hidden caramel in there too. The taste will take you if you are not prepared. It tastes like wine as well. A very distinct flavor af soured grapes. The mouthfeel is active. The carbonation comes alive. The drinkability is affected by the alcohol. If the alcohol was not so up front this would be a much better beer. I could not drink this much but it would be ok time to time.

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Photo of Citadel82
3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ML Bottle purchased at Spirtis Unlimited in Red Bank. Poured this Flanders Red Ale into a large snifter. A thin tan head formed and quickly disspated to near nothigness. The body of the beer is a reddish mahogany, it has some red highlights when held up to light.

Aroma is sour vinegar, and then the cherries make an appearance.

Taste is a like a tart vinagrette, which morphs into a sourness. No evidence of hops in this brew just wave upon wave of acidic sourness. Any hop presence was lost or diminished from the oak aging process for this beer.

Light bodied with active carbonation which lends to the mouth puckering and thirst quenching qualities of this brew.

Drinkablilty - Very bracingly refreshing. A welcome treat when you have a thirst to slake. I found that the sourness while delightful at first becomes overwhelming at length.

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Photo of ikats
4.87/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep red, mahogany color. Large tan head dissipates quickly to a thin cover. Wonderful sour aroma. It's full of sour cherries and plums. Wood notes are there too (not surprisingly since it was aged in oak for 18 months). As I keep enjoying the aroma, it starts to remind me of sour candies. And with that thought it tastes like sour candies too. Such a wonderful taste, especially if it's not straight out of the fridge. The pleasure is the same I get out of eating sour cherries. Tartness is not overbearing as there is very sweet background to balance it. It all plays very nice on my tongue. I do enjoy sour beers and this one is the best so far. Grand Cru seems like a fitting name.

This was a 750 ml bottle that I saved for a few months for a special night. "Best before" date is stamped on the bottom of the bottle, but it's a bit hard to make out.

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Photo of SwillinBrew
4/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of HogHill
4.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this Flanders red ale into a chalice. A small light tan head formed and quickly retreated to the walls of my chalice. The body of the beer is a mahogany brown, it has some clarity and red tones against light.

Aroma is largely vinegar at first, and then the sourness kicks in. Reminds me of sour cherries.

Taste is a little bit vinagrette, which transforms into a sourness. With the main sour flavor being that of cherries. Like a blend of a young red wine with some sparkling white perhaps. I can say that I cannot taste any hops here, but they are probably very well disguised and/or diminished from the oak aging process for this beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with above average amount of carbonation which lends to the mouth puckering and thirst quenching ability of this brew.

Drinkablilty - For some the sourness gets old or becomes too much, but I would have no trouble drinking a 750 or two by myself, especially with the humble ABV in this beer. It's a complex beer that is interesting time after time.

Would like to do a side by side tasting with Rodenbach Classic, Duchess, Monks and La Folie.

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Photo of akorsak
3.48/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a 750 mL bottle, served slightly chilled in a snifter.

Appearance: With no light upon it, the beer appears to be quite dark. When held up to light, a deep ruby red color comes out. The beer pours a 1.5 finger head.

Smell: This smells unlike any other Flemish red that I've had (including Duchess and Rodenbach Red). The aroma is not pleasant. In fact, it reminds me of my dog have receiving a bath (heretofore known as a wet Domi odor). My dog does not smell great just after a bath, neither does this beer.

Taste: Very good pucker factor in this ale. The sour taste inherent to this style hits mid-sip. Up front, there is a nice fruity taste that transitions nicely into the sour aspect. This beer is so sour that one can't help but take another sip.

Mouthfeel: The interplay of sweet and sour is very nice and makes for an enjoyable drinking session.

Drinkability: While the flavors meld and transition nicely, I don't see this as an ale meant for pounding. It is, however, nice for sipping, especially as it warms.

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Photo of pentathlete
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Translucent ruby brown, tiny bubbled head, persistant ring and some lacing. Gobs of carbonation. The smell has a little aspirinish odor connoting a sour taste is coming. There is also a malty aroma, albeit twisted by the sourness. Tart starts it all off, but never puckering. The malt base washes through in the middle. Balance is not bad at all. Mouthfeel is thin to medium with a light body and carbonic finish. There are lots of bubbles in this one, plenty of sour burps. Not overpowering, actually pleasant for a Flanders and paired very well with grilled porkchops. Spouse really liked it, too, a first for a sour brew.

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Photo of Foxman
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a deep coppery amber, flashing orange, and softly cloudy. A finger of tight, light tan head fizzles soon to floating clouds of froth. Fingers of lacing tickle the glass.

The aroma is a vinegary, vinous sour wind, carrying green apples, dark cherries, toasted malt, sherry, and a hoe-down of funky wet barnyard glory. A rounded spiciness peeks through from a distance.

The first sip grants a tongue-twisting, cheek-puckering grapy apply sourness, along with the juicy tartness of cherry. the middle grows into a vinous, malty sweetness that's soon attenuated by a gentler oaken earthiness. As the close nears, a warm, moist blanket of horsey gaminess sprints in, then out, to allow a mellower sour redux and a touch of dry lingerance. It's a passionate progression of sourtartsweet presentations.

Between light and medium bodied, the palate puckering sourness and slip and slide of flavor deliver a splendid, gullet-bound experience.

From the sour start to the sweet center to the funky finish, it's a series of interesting personalities. It's a cider that's a wine that's a fine Flemish sour red. Granted, it's not for every taste, but if it is for yours, it would be easy to crave. It all comes together with a workable ABV to start and remain drinkable to the bottom of the bottle. It's the fun sassy taste of Belgium in a glass.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, corked and caged. Pours slightly cloudy, light ruby color. Thin off-white heawine like in the nose. Smells like port, slightly smoky, and some alcohol. What hits in the flavor off the bat is the sharp acidity. Very tart, fruity and sour. Hints of oak in the finish, but subtle. Medium body, with a good amount of carbonation. This is certainly one to savor. Some will be turned off by the sourness, but certainly a beer that you should try at least once to appreciate the differences.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
3.77/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle. Corked, caged and foiled in the style of a champagne bottle. First time I have seen this beer in the US. Didn't see any smaller bottles.

Pours out a reddish-brown with a small head that doesn't last. Smell is tart and sweet, which is what I expected. Kind of opens up your nostrils. Hints of cherries and something a bit cakey.

Taste is a suprise. Much more sour than I really expected. That quickly gives way to sweetness which seems fake in the middle. The ending hits me like vinegar with berries. The sourness is completely different than say Cantillion. This is more like vinegar than very tart candies. Too be honest, it's the vinegar that turns me off a bit. Doesn't seem to have great balance.

This bottle can't be very old as I don't believe they have been importing this for long. Cool silkscreened label.

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Photo of texashammer
4.07/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Red in color, very little head but creamy, with beautiful lacing. Smells pretty straightforwardly of sourness, like vinegar. I love the smell but know that many people would turn away. Mouth-puckering sourness with a superdry finish. Very acidic and dry. Boy that's good, and a great apertif. In my opinion, the most sour of the sour Flemish beers.

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Photo of dgallina
4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle, dated best-before 09-17-2007. Poured a clear ruby with a few quickly-dissipating fingers of foam and a nice sheen of lace. Alcohol-laden green apples and wood in the nose. Sweet initially, but explodes with sour apples in the middle, a touch of prickly alcohol, and a surprising melange of sweet and sour wood in the finish. Light-to-medium and nicely carbonated body.

Less evenly balanced, less sweet, more wood-toned than the classic variant. Very pleasing for lovers of the style, however.

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Photo of bruachan
4.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

from the hudson acme

cork pops and i get musty port aromas. in the glass these seem even more complex and add a bright cherry smell. a hint of the sourness to come

gorgeous seep cranberry color with a two-finger head that drops to a topographic coating with rings that effect an appearance of a coral reef from the air

super-carbonated spritz spreads the sourness around my palate; no nook of my mouth is safe from the prickly acidity. there's a noticeable, but only barely, bitterness, which just adds to the tactile experience

at the front a brief cherry sweetness that quickly gives way to a consuming sourness

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Photo of beveragecaptain
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml corked bottle. The beer pours out a dark red color with a small head. Aroma of wood, vinegar, and funk. Flavor starts off sweet and sour, with some cherry flavor. Not overly sweet. There's a bit of a strange metal taste in the finish. This beer is pretty tart, but not cheek puckering. Medium bodied with a spritzy carbonation. Good drinkability. I never had the old version, but I liked this one a lot.

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

10/11/05- Purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle, WA.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with a best by date imprinted on the back label. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Murky plum, almost brown color. Medium 1/2 inch head which fades soon here after. Above average lacing.

Smell- Lots of sour and vinous like funk. About the only way I can describe it. Doesn't really smell "good", but fits the style perfect.

Taste- Not even as sour as it smells. Was looking for something more sour than La Folie, but what I got was a mildly tart and kinda sweet at the same time, brew. Maybe even some cherry and darker fruit flavors as well.

Mouthfeel- Low carbonation and pretty smooth. Easy drinker for a Flanders.

Drinkability- One of the better Flanders for sure. Super easy to drink. Great sweet and sour combo.

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Photo of weeare138
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a red with a brown hue and a bubbly off white head. Nice amounts of lacing.
Smell is of sour cherries, funky yeast, pixie stix, and a touch of vinegar.
Taste is yeasty with the same aromas. Delicious though.
Mouthfeel is sugary, sour, and lingering with some lip smacking goodness.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 750 ml bottle. Thanks go out to cmaruschak for the chance to sample this one.

Appearance: Pours a shoe leather brown with a foamy tan head. A cloudy and dense brown body is noted with little yeasties in there.

Smell: Sour oak, bubblegum, sour champagne. The sourness dominates but there is a delicate balance between the sourness and the bubblegum sweetness that keeps coming back.

Taste: A bubblegum taste first, very sour to follow, oak, and then a palate caving tart finish. Very complex and interesting. Hints of vinegar, apple juice, and cabarnet grapes pop up here and there. There is a little bit of a vinegar aftertaste but balanced with the bubblegum sweetness. I know it sounds like a mess but it was really quite enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and maybe a touch over carbonated.

Drinkability: I wouldn't want this all the time but it was quite tasty. Everyone should try it once.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
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 brentk56
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy tawny color with garnet highlights and a fluffy head that leaves splashy lacing

Smell: Interesting - let it lie still and the odor is of sour cherries and pineapples; stir it up and the yeasty mustiness jumps to the forefront

Taste: Like a sweet tart - starts out with sweet cherry flavors and then all of a sudden, whammo, a sour tartness takes over the palate, leaving me puckering through the finish; then, seconds after I thought all flavors were done, an odd, minty flavor appears

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and fizzy, like a champagne

Drinkability: Wish it was bottled in a smaller bottle; while I enjoy the style for a change of pace, it is not something I can consume in quantity

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Photo of clvand0
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

25.4oz bottle. New version. This one pours a dark red color with a tall head that falls moderately and leaves some lacing on the glass. Very attractive. The aroma is full of cherry notes with sourness lingering in the back. Slight funkiness as well. The flavor is very much the same - very tasty - great mixture of the sour and the cherries. Extremely smooth. The body is moderate and the drinkability is good.

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Photo of mntlover
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a burgandy color with a tan finger sized head that falls slowly to ring and clumps of foam bubbles some lace left behind.

Aroma is tart fruity some cherries mingled with sweet malt underneath, hints of vinegar mingled woody earthy aromas. Them more it sits and the more I sniff I decided to raise smell to 4.5. Something familiar in there but can't put my nose on it.

Taste is wow sour cherries, then lip puckering vinegar, altoids anyone. Some sugary sweetness blends in as it mellows out finish is dry wood like and it sticks to the roof of your mouth. Only my second attempt at this style so still not sure what I am looking for but enjoyed this one.

Mouthfeel is light side of medium packed with all kinds of flavors and a nice dry finish.

Drinkability is good very tasty would enjoy more little pricey in TN 4.30 for the 33cl but already craving another.

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Photo of joecast
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

so after trying the "regular" rodenbach recently and being surprised by how much i liked it, i was pretty excited to see this sitting in the display fridge at my favorite bottleshop. best before 08/12/06

sort of a turbid reddish amber color. head is pretty small, just forming an even layer above the beer and has a light tan tinge. pretty unassuming really.
pouring in the rest of the bottle helps form a much nicer sized head which settles to about 1cm. dense with the tinyest of bubbles. and the color of the beer does grow on you.

sweet/tart aroma makes the mouth pucker slightly with each sniff. cant say much more about the smell. its good, but not really inspiring.

take a sip, and wow! i think i need a tissue to wipe away the tears. this stuff is making my eyes water.
oh yeah, this is a sipper. seems like smaller sips let the flavor come out more. really sharp tartness through the whole mouth. leaves a hot sensation in the mouth, not from the alcohol, but from the flavor.

wish i could give this more for drinkability, but i couldnt see having too many of these in one night. however, with two flanders reds under my belt, i can say i have discovered a style i can definitely enjoy on occassion. very satisfying.

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Photo of oberon
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my tulip glass a deep burgundy with a large blooming head,sour cherry to be expected dominate the aromas with a touch of iron and barnyard as well.This stuff can make you pucker sour cherry hits hard on the tastebuds but rounds nicely into a more sweet cherry-pie like flavor in the finish.It has an almost creamy mouthfeel to it as I drink more the more it grows on me once your palate gets used to the sour tinge this stuff goes down very easily,glad to try this classic.

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Photo of Boto
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Draught: I didn’t expect the aroma of this: It was a lot like a fine red wine. There were some notes of sour cherries in there, as well as some sweet malts. A dark reddish-brown/amber color. There was a bit of an off-white head with some lacing. Deliciously sour taste of cranberries/apples. Excellent!!!

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Photo of fisherman34
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is some complex stuff. Redish brown in colour. Not much of a head, but a fair amount of carbonation. The aroma falls somewhere between sour cherries and cranberries, with a hint of red wine vinegar. The taste is quite similar to the smell, with some malt and cola notes mixed in as well. The palate was surprisingly light and fizzy, which made this beer quite refreshing. Overall, this isn't the type of beer that I could drink ALL of the time, but it's still fantastic.

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Beer rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 4,100 ratings