Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,114 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:
1,114
Ratings:
3,883
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
11.29%
 
 
Wants:
316
Gots:
641
For Trade:
26
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,114 | Ratings: 3,883
Photo of illidurit
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Deep red-brown with a pinkish beige head of about 2 fingers. The suds is very creamy and dense, leaving sheets of lacing on the snifter.

Aroma is sharp and vinegar-like. Red fruits oozing with acetic acid. Oak and funk come out just a little.

Flavor is throat-burningly sour but not in a bad way. Cherry and grape provide only a hint of sweetness that's immediately obliterated by acerbic acidic acetic tartness.

Medium body and perfect carbonation. The only knock here is the puckering of the mouth and the charring of the throat. Drinkability is also affected by this, but if you love sour beer, you can drink this all night.

 663 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a deep burgundy with only a slight light beige head.

S: sour cherries, with a sharp tartness, oaky hints, and dark fruit (plums).

T: tart with some cherry/raspberry for flavor. The sourness was very smooth and refined with a good oaky alcohol complexity and slight astingent sour apples coming through as well dark fruit (plums).

M: medium, with moderate carbonation and a slight acidic bite on the swallow.

D: A nice drinking and smooth sour beer that is very polished flavor wise, clean and easy to drink.

 525 characters

Photo of thirtysixbelow
4.34/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - red brown color with tan 2 finger creamy bubbly head on an aggressive pour.

s - holy crap! grape, cherry, tart berries, sour yeast, slight alcohol... I feel like there is so much going on that I can't grasp it all. This is the kind of experience I save the 5 rating for :)

t - tart, cherry, sour, berries, and wood all hit you at once when the beer touches your tongue. Not much hops to speak of, but a little bit of alcohol warmth is noticable in the aftertaste.

m - smooth oily character with barely any carbonation.

d - Man, this was an eye opening experience for what beer can be. This is out there in terms of aroma and taste. It's an amazing experience, but it's so extreme that I don't think a drop more than this 11.2oz bottle would be appropriate or palatable. It's a must try, but the price and intensity are going to keep it from being a regular.

 868 characters

Photo of Floydster
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

8 ounce glass at Naja's Place for $7.50, too bad their prices went up but oh well, first time I have seen this other than O'Briens, my buddy who had one as well loved it

A-Medium deep brown with some red highlights, one inch bubbly off white head that did stay around long, not much retention or lacing

S-Cherries, oak, various berries, Belgian yeast, tart, funkiness, sweet malt aromas, sugar, apples, and vinegar

T-Started off with a mild tart, some sweet malt and fruit in the middle, finish was slightly sour, taste just got sweeter as it warmed and no new flavors really came to the surface, could have used some bite, this one seemed rather subtle for all the hype I have heard about in the past, mellow Flanders but still did not taste bad

M-Tart and dry mouthfeel, could have used more tartiness though, lots of carbonation, medium body, taste did not linger very long

D-Could have drank a few glasses of this, smooth and light on the stomach, pretty low ABV, alcohol is hidden, crisp and refreshing, just a little sweet

Liked the Rodenbach and was curious to try this one, thought it was slightly better than the classic red, not many complaints here but lacked some complexity and sourness in my opinion, would drink again, recommended

 1,252 characters

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.69/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle from Hi Time Wine in Costa Mesa, Ca. in February, 2008; tasted in March of the same year. Price not recorded.

Pours a root beer/cola with a very effervescent head that is full of sound as it pops and crackles- quite unusual. After a few minutes, it settles, but the cola analogy continues for a while.

Aroma- what can I say? WOW! Sharp sour woody dark fruits- dark cherries past their prime turned slightly alcoholic, an organic funk, and wood. Great stuff to just sit and smell.

Flavor is richer and more complex that the regular Rodenbach, both more tart and more sweet at the same time. Dark fruits, real sourness with some acid, set off by a a hurt-your-teeth sweetness at the end. I just love this stuff.

Honestly, drinking a lot of this may be too much for the palate and for the stomach, but while it's good, it's fantastic.

 849 characters

Photo of papat444
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought this back in December at the Winooski Beverage Warehouse in Vermont.

Poured from a 330ml. bottle, best before 24/08/2008

Appearance: Deep red-brown body with a generous 3 finger head.

Smell: No mistaking sour notes, acidity & also a wine-like aroma. Wonderful aromas here.

Taste: Subdued sourness to start, slight tartness with an oak-like character & finishes a bit dry.

Mouthfeel: Effervescent & alive in the palate, fruit-like mouthfeel manages to be lightly sweet and have an overall sour character with being mouth-puckering. Tart bite at the end.

Drinkability: Sourness manages to be present with hindering drinkability. Though a sipping beer. i knew before i was half finished that i would have this again for sure.

Overall: A wonderful beer with an engaging aroma, great taste, a nice win-like finish & brings just enough sourness. Love it & would definitely buy again. I think this would be a great beer to introduce a wine lover to beers.

 962 characters

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

Appearance: Dark brown colored brew with a frothy tan head.

Smell: Vinegar, cherries, berries and yeast with hints of malt and alcohol.

Taste: The initial sour blast gives way to fruit flavors that highlight cherry and wildberry. Has an acidic finish that strangely comes across as sweet.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body. The slightly oily quality of this brew allows the flavors to really stick around.

Drinkablity: Very tasty and consumable. A challenge at first, but worth getting used to.

 495 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.81/5  rDev -10.4%
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 cokes
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this bottle for quite some time. I'm not sure when it was produced, but the bottom has a best before date of: 09 08 07.

Pours a shimmering and lightly hazy auburn-brown body with a firm rise of tan suds.
The nose is heavy on balsamic vinegar, and backed with oak, old sneakers, mentholated cherry coughdrops, and mildew.
It begins with lightly sugared brown raisin fruitiness, as it morphs towards cherry, and then begins an exponentially sour descent. From this sour cherry, it turns towards cider. From the cider, it turns towards lime juice. From lime juice, it becomes a well aged balsamic vinegar with the requisite oaky nuances. It stay bracingly tart as it hits the back of the mouth and explodes into splinters of cinnamon.
The tartness is generally autocratic, but some funkier yeast flourishes pop up from time to time, mostly via pungent cheese and wet basement impressions.
It carries a medium body, with a small amount of sweettart tackiness, but a fluffy carbonation keeps it from gumming up too much.
In some ways, the tartness makes this a bit of a one trick pony. It's not refreshing like a gueuze; more like liquid heartburn.
That said, this still has plenty of charm, and I like it quite a bit more than their Classic.

 1,252 characters

Photo of Overlord
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think I was expecting something more along the lines of a gueuze ... or maybe Lost Abbey's Red Poppy. Still, this was a nice sour brew and a good change of pace.

Pours an effervescent orangey brown. Lots of small champagn-esque bubbles. Smells like vinegary, apply, and plummy.

Taste is definitely more balanced than the tart smell, with a gigantic grape/vinous backbone, tart cherries and plums, and some other fruits I can't put a name to. Very mouth puckery.

Good.

 472 characters

Photo of Slynger
3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one pours a deep, clear orangey-brown. A big, fuzzy, cherry tinted cap accompanies.

Powerful and pungent nose. Sweet and sour fruit, vinous and vinegary, with woody oak.

The flavor is subtly sweet and fruity on the front of the tongue. Red grapes and plum with some vanilla. Sourness quickly takes over with a puckering punch. Tart cherries and apple cider vinegar deliver the blow while light oakiness brings it back around.

Medium-full body with good carbonation but slightly too acidic on the way down.

I really wanted to love this brew but it wasn't quite what I expected. The vinegar and acidic qualities of it put me off a bit. It was my first of the style and a very, very interesting brew so I will definitely give it another shot down the line.

 762 characters

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad to see this at Beverage Warehouse in LA.

Appearance: Pours with a half-finger white head that lasts for a good while. Lacing is consistent and long-lasting, mountainous in formation. Really solid lacing presentation, overall. Body is a very unique extremely dark ruby red, which only reveals its "redness" upon light. A great looking beer.

Smell: Wow. A candy-sugar like front end which leads into lemons, pomegranate, and a whole boat load of cherries. Cherry hard candy. Pitted cherries. Cherries flambee. Barrel wood, yeast strains - perfume like scents. An extremely powerful nose, with seemingly unending complexity. Great.

Taste: Sourness is on the tongue, but not in the way, say, a Gueuze hits you. Pomegranate again, with all of the cherries found in the nose. A touch of vanilla makes its way in there which I didn't find in the nose, however. Vinousity, also, that I didn't find in the nose. Overall, the mouth is a bit more harsh and less nuanced than the nose, but still something else.

Mouthfeel: Light but velvety.

Drinkability: Amazingly drinkable. A wonderful beer.

 1,093 characters

Photo of joeack
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a restaurant with a nice hearty steak and potato dinner. Poured ruby red with a slight head. Smell was sweet with some cherry notes. Taste was tart and refreshing not cloying at all and very easy to drink. I enjoyed this beer and would like to try it on a nice summer day. Overall and excellent brew.

 312 characters

Photo of swizzlenuts
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: A dark dark red beer, with an inch high head. The head dissipates rather quickly. Looks like a bit carbonation.

S: It smells very sweet with a bit of tartness.
T: The beer is really sweet with a tart, sour flavour. It tastes like sweets tarts. This is incredibly sweet with a sour taste in the background.

M: This mouthful is slightly watery, but with a decent amount of carbonation.

D: It's not that drinkable because the flavour is so strong.

 450 characters

Photo of Magpie14
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: deep, robust rudy red color with a touch of crimson. No head retention and was foamy at best. Little bit of lacing as it goes down.

Smell: not picking up to much but heavy malts, caramel sweetness and slight fruit tart

Taste: wow! this is the first flanders red ale/flemish sour that I have had. Mild to heavy tartness that I found incredibly drinkable that pairs well with slight maltiness. Sweet candied/caramel flavor soothes the tongue. Very interesting!

Mouthfeel: surprisingly smooth and nice medium bodied brew. Tartness comes around at the end and leaves a slight acidic bitterness.

Drinkability: I'll have this one around on special occasions or when I need to treat myself. Good brew! But a few of these would be a little to much for me to handle...but a great break from the ordinary.

 811 characters

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

I love this beer! I have had it bottled before and can still get bottles of it a few blocks from my apt. I just had it on tap two weeks ago at Town Hall Brewery in Minneapolis, MN. I also just had a bottle of it that had been aged in a friends cellar for an extra year. If you like sour, aging it an extra year made my mouth almost cringe! The pour is a ruby or deep rich red in color with a very slight hazyness to it. Aromas of cherry and plum as well as a tartness on the nose. Taste is complex. You get the dark fruits of cherry and plum as well as vinegar and mustard seed. A nice champagne feel in the mouth. Great beer!

 626 characters

Photo of czfreeman
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had the Flanders Classic some time back and have been craving the Grand Cru, so here goes. I score this one so highly not because it is the worlds greates beer, but a flawless examplle of this style.Pours out a dark brown-reddish color. has a foamy head retains for ashort while. tart cherry, cranberrry,vanilla,oak aromas,slight alcohol phenols detectectable after a few whiffs. Taste is what I was hoping for, tart,
astringent, biting palate cleansing, appetizing. Cherris, vanilla, smokieness for the oak, slightly sugary cranberry-juice like finish. This beer is a little sweeter than the Rodenbach classic red, due to the sweetness of the vanilla notes from the oak aging. hugely drinkable, very refreshing. Could be consumed anytime, maybe try pairing with a turkey, wild rice and cranberry sauce.

 810 characters

Photo of MiScusi
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's Pasadena location for their 9th annual Belgian fest.

Poured into a tall tulip glass, it was a dark brownish red, with the head fading really fast. The smell was very tart and fruity but not dominated by a specific type. The taste was sour, one of the more sour beers I've had though not as intense as RR Supplication. The main backdrop to the sourness is cherry, and that's pretty much all I get. Very spritzy mouthfeel, very nice for the style.

A really good sour beer that is very easy to drink. Not so acidic that it's hard to drink. I liked this one very much, one of the better (though I've like many of them) sour beers I've had.

 663 characters

Photo of dalion037
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was an excellent oak aged Belgian red ale. It had a pungent aroma and grape-like undertones. The mouthfeel is slightly sweet, extremely acidic and fruity, and deliciously sour. This is definately one fto stock up on when available. It was great from the beginning to the finish. This is a complex beer and not your typical Grand Cru.

 338 characters

Photo of dnichols
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured a 330 ml capped bottle into a chalice.

A: It poured a deep husky red that wanted to fool me into thinking it was born to be brown. The head was minimal despite an aggressive pour. What remained of the head quickly collected into a ring around the collar that did not support lacing.

S: There was a strong aroma of cherries that blended well with malts and an undertone of oak and vanilla.

T: Wow....this is a tart fruity bomb. It reminded me of cherries picked to early in the season. It is a sweet tart with a oaky and malty flavor.

M: Light bodied with a dry rich tart flavor that puckers the mouth but finishes clean and warm.

D: Not my style...but I could learn to love this if this were the norm rather than the exception. Reminds me of a fine dry red wine...rich and satisfyingly. I'll go there again but I doubt this could be a session beer for me.

 872 characters

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours without much head. Cloudy semi-transparent reddish-brown. Smells of sour fruits--cherries, grapes, and pineapple--along with the sweet scent of brown sugar. An intriguing sour taste, like a mildly carbonated fruit punch with pineapple and cherry cider notes as well as a bit of a vinegar streak, but the flavors hold together to make it quite drinkable. The mouthfeel is light and the tartness--like a cider--is crisply refreshing. This is a beer with a presence and a unique complexity that makes one ponder as it is consumed.

 533 characters

Photo of csmiley
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours mostly brown with hints of red. With effort I got about a one half inch head. Retention was average lacing was good.

S - Sour smells abound. Sour cherries, sour cranberries, and maybe even some sour grapes. There is also a distinct sweet aroma profile in the background. I picked up caramel and toffee.

T - More sour friut in the flavor. Grapes show up more dominant. Followed by cherries. The background keeps the caramel and toffee in there but adds a great yeast flavor to go along with it.

M - Medium bodied. Carbonation was good for this style. Mouth-puckering.

D - Very good red ale. Does not really go down very smooth but that is what I look for in the style. When I'm looking for a sour red ale, this is one I would pick up. Recommemded.

 760 characters

Photo of jwolfie70
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was very interesting. Drank out of a corked and cage champagne bottle. It opened with a champagne like pop, but was not very carbonated. It poured a reddish, amber brown. The initial smell was very champagne like, with a good amount of funky spoiled fruit, mixed with a sour, sweet cherry smell. The taste was incredibly complex, with funky spoiled fruit again with a malty sweet and sour tang. The beer definitely had a sweetness to it, but the sourness of beer made it dry and crisp. Was unable to detect any hops in the flavor.

Sour beers are not my favorite style, but this beer was very enjoyable, and will be what I compare all Flander's Red Ales against.

 673 characters

Photo of NolateM
4.29/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I believe this bottle is a year or two old, but I have no exact number. Poured STRAIGHT DOWN into a Maudite tulip glass, with a perfect 2-finger head. Brownish-crimson red.

Smells sour and kriek-ish. This is a good thing, if you're anything like me. It's the kind of sour/sweet funky aroma that almost makes me start to salivate before I even take a sip. But I will anyway...

Wow. That is different than regular Rodenbach, that's for sure. Definitely just as sour, if not moreso, but there's definitely more than just funky sour cherry-ish wild-yeast flavor in there. Pretty prominent malt kick too, and I think I can taste a very small hint of roasted barley. Some earthiness and even faint remnants of hops, which do give it a little bit of clash in tastes ("flavor dissonance," so to speak), but it's not overpowering. Very vinous in the finish, almost like olive brine, which could put some people off... but not me.

Fairly lively carbonation, doesn't leave the mouth too dry, and seems relatively drinkable. Maybe not quite as 'refreshing' as regular Rodenbach (which to some may sound like an odd description, but I tend to agree with that sentiment), but a fantastically funky brew nonetheless. I will say it's not for everyone though.

If you can find it for ten bucks a four-pack like I somehow did, go for it!

 1,322 characters

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark ruby brown in color with no head to speak of. Smell is very tart and sour on the nose with just a hint of vinegar if you really are looking for it.
Taste is much the same as the smell but much more enjoyable. A very good amount of tart taste. Lots of dark fruits in the taste as well. Grapes, plums and raspberry. Very crisp, tart and lively on the mouthfeel. This is a good brew.

 398 characters

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
95 out of 100 based on 1,114 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe