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Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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1,126 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: 1,126 | Ratings: 3,935
Photo of filmlabrat
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Exceptionally delightful. The tartness provided a perfect balance to all the other intricate flavor characteristics. A little like an extremely drinkable dry sherry, with fruit and nut notes playing on each other. Not much to report in the oak flavor department, I guess those huge oak casks that have been used for decades are well beyond adding oak flavor characteristics. My wife, who only likes the finest of beers, raved about this one.

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Photo of kiya
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark reddish brown with a head that quickly dissipates and leaves no noticeable lacing.
Smells of overripe Granny Smith apples with a hidden note of oak seeping through, scents aren't overpowering, almost hidden.
Strong front end with a heavy fresh cider flavor giving way to a lime tanginess combined with a bitter (almost Gueuze-like) flavor that lingers for a few moments. The tart bitterness in this brew works very well, and for me they've hit the balance perfectly between subtle ripe fruit and the sour stone fruit ending.
The feel is great, with great balance from beginning to end.
I can drink an entire bottle of this, and might even want seconds, which is rare for a 750ml serving of any beer, regardless of how much i enjoyed it.

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Photo of CanuckRover
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ruby red, cappacino-like creamy off-white head. Looks fantastic. Carbonation bubbles floating to the top.

Incredibly fruity on the nose, almost kriek-like. Sour cherries, apple juice, oak lingers in the background.

Sour cherries up front. Champagne-like grapes, very crisp, refreshing acidity. Quite tart in the finish. Oakiness is certainly evident, giving it a bit of a warming quality.

Great mouthfeel. Red ales really require a perfect amount of carbonation, otherwise I find they taste like stale cola.

This is a fantastic example of the style. Very complex, very well done.

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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 roblowther
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

It shows up black-red with a thin head but not much lace. There's something in the color that promises a lot somehow. The smell is cooked cherries, dark chocolate and a sour note that is just mouthwatering. The taste is surprisingly sweet, with a sour note thrown in for good measure. It has a very dry finish, reminding me of cherries and leather. Just wonderful, really. The mouthfeel is too thin, which is surprising given the depth of this offering. The drinkability is great, with the dry finish not dry enough to offset the good flavor, leaving a very, very drinkable beer indeed. Get some of this and horde it!

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Photo of dill
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured on draught into a snifter.

A - a deep mahogany color with a thin white head.

S - fruitcake.

T - reminiscent of cherry syrup. there's definitely some spices in here too, but the fruit is dominant without being too sour. perhaps i would have enjoyed a touch more sourness in fact.

M - tight carbonation, almost champagne-like.

D - a nice beer to sip although I wouldn't look to have more than one at a time.

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Photo of dennarb
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The first thing you notice is the huge head. The bartender at Monk's had to top up twice to get about an 80% liquid to head ratio. The color is a beautiful translucent reddish brown. The first taste has crisp Granny Smith apple tartness, but nice roundness in the mouth and just a little malty sweetness going down. This is a really fine beer. It doesn't really taste like sherry but if you can imagine the depth of a good dry sherry reborn as a Belgian ale you'll come close to the Rodenbach Grand Cru.

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Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A beautiful dark crimson-brown color with a thin, wispy head. Almost no retention, but that's the style.

S: Very sour at first, with some grape and cherry notes emerging. Some woodiness is detectable--no doubt from the aging. A faint sweet caramel malt, also. This stuff smells almost like a wine.

T&M: Tart and sour fruit with much acidity in the finish. Less distinctive, specific fruit notes in the taste than the nose--just a generally acidic fruitiness. With slight warming, some nuttiness and earthiness emerges towards the back of the palate and in the finish. Finish itself is smooth, dry, and acidic. The beer really beckons you to another sip quickly. Medium-bodied, with a substantial amount of carbonation that really enhances the sour flavors of the beer. Obviously, the acidity and tartness detracts from overall smoothness, but the beer nonetheless goes down smoothly relative to its taste.

D: The beer has great flavor, but I can't see myself drinking more than 1 or 2 of these in one sitting. The sourness and tartness is wonderful, but definitely not something that could be enjoyed all night long.

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Photo of Atron67
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- poured a dark brown clear body, which built up a light brown head that fell quickly, non-surprizingly due to its sour nature..

S- sour, barnyard almost, pretty damn good, much better than the normal flemish sour they have.

T- strong onset of acetic sour charachter which is really nice. big burst of it which slowly fades down to a not sweet, but close (like the sourness should) lingering on the tongue for a long while. i dont really taste the oak charachter from the aging, but its delicious

M- light body, high carbonation, sticky on the tongue

D- this goes down quick and makes me want more and more

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Photo of gory4d
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a small bottle into a tulip glass, it presents a thick, off-white head that dissipates quickly, leaving only traces of lacing down the glass. The color is dark -- a deep reddish brown. Smell is sharp, like vinegar, with lots of fruit. Taste is tangy but rich, with some figgy notes and plenty of citrus -- tangerine, more than anything else. It feels thin to the palate but fills up the mouth very well -- a tad viscous, but not too much. It's a sipping beer, for sure, but goes down easy.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, best before date 06/06/09 on the bottom of the bottle. Served in a big wine glass at 59 F/ 15 C.

Rusty orange-red-brown color, small beige head, plenty of mottled lace.

Smells like tart fruit - apple, grape, cherry -with raw beef and some caramel, wood, and vanilla. Some mild nutty oxidization develops. Complex and very nice.

Taste has plenty of crisp acidity. Tart sweet fresh fruit - apple, grape, cherry, lime - with underlying savory beefiness, musty earth, and wood. A touch of nutty oxidization. Dries out and becomes woodier and more acidic. Great flavor and great balance. Long almost dry savory woody tart finish.

Texture is grippy yet smooth. Astringency like fruit skin, and prickly acidity. Quite drinkable and refreshing.

Great beer, thoroughly enjoyable. It wants food, and the last glass paired well with some Dubliner cheese.

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Photo of dfillius
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a snifter
A: A thin ring of bubbles around the top. Color was a clear reddish-brown (oh so rich looking!)
S: Dry crisp smell, lemon, oaky, vanilla, bourbon, coriander.
T: Tart start moves into a sweet finish. Fruity - citurs, cherry, raisin, pears. Wowzers, yum!
M: Very champagne like in it's fizzy bubbly nature. True to style, but a little too fizzy for me.
D: Not a session beer only because of the tartness and complexity. What a shame that I must mark it down for these delightful characteristics. The drinkability of a single bottle is high, but two bottles would be too much. This beer is SO tasty.

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Photo of illidurit
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of thirtysixbelow
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of Floydster
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
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

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.69/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of papat444
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of SargeC
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of russpowell
3.81/5  rDev -10.6%
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

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Photo of cokes
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of Overlord
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
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.


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Photo of Slynger
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

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Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of joeack
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.26 out of 5 based on 3,935 ratings.
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