Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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1,120 Reviews
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

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

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Reviews: 1,120 | Ratings: 3,902
Photo of dnichols
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
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 and satisfyingly. I'll go there again but I doubt this could be a session beer for me.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of csmiley
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of jwolfie70
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

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Photo of NolateM
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
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!

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep red pour, sporting a massive reddish-amber head that foamed right up the tulip wonderfully.

S: Sour fruits - cherry, for the most half. A very champagne-like quality to it. Slight vinegar-like aroma in there.

T + M: Pucker up... a round, sweet + sour fruit. Very similar to the smell for the most half, with a little more body to it. Something I can't quite place... sour cherry + almost a cranberry-like taste, I think it is. The little bit of a vinegar flavour is there, as well, but certainly not offensive. Quite intense, tart all around, though it calms a little for quite a smooth finish. Almost like it glides over the tongue like a painter's brush, then cleans up nicely and finishes quite crisp.

D: The bottle suggests pairing it with seafood and 'dishes garnished with lemon,' which could be a nice choice. I'd think it would work well with a nice cheese plate, too. A spectacular drink. I've gotta get more of this.

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Photo of rye726
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark cheery wood color. Silky tan head with good lacing.

Sour fruits, caramel malts and an oaky aroma that grows as it warms. Has some complex similarities to good wine.

The taste starts off with big tart cherries. Then a subtle malt background and earty oak flavors emerge. The sour fruit flavors are powerfull from start to finish.

Full body, but crisp and dry throughout. Just the right amount of carbonation.

Delicous Flander's Red. So powerfull yet one of the most drinkable brews in the world. Pairs better with most dishes than many fine wines.

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Photo of scottoale
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 750ml. green bottle with gold foil covered cork and a best before date of 06/06/09 on the concave bottom. It pours a deep, dark mahogany with almost an inch of bubbly egg-shell foam that settles to a creamy thick head with lace.

Sour aroma of grape, cherry and plum rise up to greet the nose.

This brew goes in sweet like candy and quickly become tart on the tongue, then finally winds down to a pleasant, mildly sweet finish. Nice and fruity with an amazing delightful sourness. A wee bit of alcohol peeks through as it warms...very nice.

Plenty of body with a slight astringency. High drinkability and a Flanders to be reckoned with.

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Photo of lpayette
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well I have to admit, I was little misled by the label of Grand Cru when I picked this up, but I guess it's a Grand Cru that has been flemish sourized.

I was pleasantly surprised at the drinkability of this beer. Sour beers really push my personal boundaries in the beer arena. There is plenty of sourness to go around, but it is somehow tamed down- perhaps from the 18 months of aging this beer undergoes. There's a definite sour grape taste going on that for me takes on the main characteristic of this beer.

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Photo of kleffman
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at Hamilton's for only $4.25. That's a steal. Poured into a Val Dieu glass.

Pours a mild ruby/brown with a minimal thin head that didn't linger for a very long time.

For a flanders red the aroma is spot on. The oak and Brett qualities shine, and there is a very strong tart cherry and vanilla presence. A bit of vinegar but not too intense.

Taste is mostly sour fruit like apples and cherries which is not surprising. Some oak and a great sour character.

While this is a little puckering even my girlfriend enjoyed it, and she's rather skeptical of this entire style of beer. The mouthfeel is nothing crazy, but it's very drinkable for a flanders beer. I could've had more than one 12 oz easily. I would also say this is better than the Rodenbach classic but not by a ton, they're both fantastic. This just may be a little more mature.

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottled shared among our table of BAs/RBs at O'Brien's Pub 14th Anniversary Barrel-Aged beer night 1/15.
A- Pours a clear dark orange/brown hue, minimal white lacing dissipates, very little lacing
S- Sour green apples, vinegar and salt (like the potato chips of the same name), grass and oak
T- Initial taste is a wonderful range of sour fruits dominated by cherries and apples, some light fruit syrup and grass flavors, finishes quickly and sourly
M- Medium-bodied, watery texture, moderate carbonation
D- Wonderful balance of sour acidity and sweet fruit, truly a stand out sour ale that I would highly recommend, this was much-beloved among even the grizzliest of raters at our table

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a burgundy red, with a small tan/pink head, which fizzes away pretty quickly, though the residual colour of this beer is quite beautiful.

S: Tart cherries and oak, syrup, wildberries.

T: Sweet cherries and strawberries and mild malts start the beer, which ends in an oaky, winey sour/cranberry tart finish with a hint of vanilla, very complex, a more mellow and richer beer than the regular Red, IMO.

M: Tart and dry on the finish, with a residual sugar/maple syrup sweetness as a good contrast.

D: An exceptional beer from Rodenbach, would be a great thirst quencher, would drink a lot of this if it wasn't $4 a bottle, glad it finally came to Orange County.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a dark ruby color. The head is large, pink, and fluffy. Lacing is thorough with thick chunks of foam sticking to the sides of the glass. The aroma is of passion fruit, bretta, oak, honey, and lavender. The taste is of cherries with a harsh tartness, followed by a stinging sourness, and ending in a balance of sweet and sour. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation. Overall, there is a lot going on in this beer. It seem I find something new with each sip. I will certainly drink this many, many more times.

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Photo of bark
3.38/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The colour is pale wine red; the finger thick head is beige. No lacing. The liquid is clear.

The smell is powerful. Sour-sweet notes of red wine vinegar and lightly roasted nuts.

The taste is complex with notes of sweet red berries, fruit syrup and vinegar. The aftertaste is a bit dry with lots of long lasting sour notes, some hints of sweet almonds.

The carbonation is strong; the liquid is smooth.

Although the flavours are strong, the beer is very drinkable.

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Photo of tmitch75
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany color, darker than expected, with thick head that dissipates quickly.

Smells oaky and cork-like with some cherries and sour apples in the background.

Taste is tart - sour apples again - followed by oaky notes with a little sweetness. Very wine-like.

Mouthfeel is rich and medium-bodied. Carbonation stays strong well after the head fades away.

Overall a very drinkable beer. One of my first experiences with the style but I'll start searching out more of these after this one!

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Photo of Philabeerphia
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been very excited for this one. The appearance is a deep amber rust. Smell is a little sharp but very fresh (not warm or spicy)- orchard, ahhhh, apples, and acerbic. The very first smell is the oak followed quickly by the sour fruit. Slight undertone of malt. Taste- tart up front, like sour apples, slightly sharp on the tongue, some carbonation. Soft sweetness on the back end to balance the taste. More balance than other red ales. Overall, extremely pleasing and above average drinkability. No head, no lace. Resembles the body of a wine. Direct relative of the orchard. Warms the stomach. It's been a treat. I would love to try it on tap.

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Photo of ryane
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Great beer!

got a bit of a funky smell, but to be expected from a flanders red

wonderful wine like taste, sour cherry dominates and a very pleasant tartness, hard to believe there is no fruit in this beer

really good with cheese, my gf loved this beer

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

Poured from 12oz. bottle to a tulip glass at Monk's in Philly.

Pours a deep ruby, not as much head as I would have expected, less than a finger maybe. Not very much lace along the sides of the glass, and the head pretty much dissipates to nothing. Aroma is fruity, some plum and tart raspberry scent. Some underlying malt tones in the nose as well. Lots of wild yeast. Very tart/sour bite in the taste, mimics the aroma, sweet plum and cherry flavors, some orange as well. Some malt sweetness to balance out the sour. Couldn’t detect any hops at all. Mouthfeel gives loads of carbonation, medium body, making this pretty tart beer very palatable. Refreshing and invigorating, extremely drinkable. Flemish sours aren’t usually the first beer I’d order, but this was very good.

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Photo of watchnerd
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle. Apparently nearly impossible to get through normal retail channels in California. Had to order mine through Liquid Solutions.THE definitive Flemish red. Sour, fruity, yeast, with just a hint of citric acidity. Wonderful. If I could find a source in the Bay Area, I'd buy a case, or perhaps a bottle a week.

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Photo of Boppar
4.76/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap in a tulip glass at Map Room.

A: Dark brownish black, with subtle ruby tones. Two fingers of fluffy, creamy off-white head. Excellent lacing.

S: Enticingly sour and vinegary notes with an underlying sweetness.

T: Absolutely exquisite. Rich and sour and horsey and sweet all at once. Sour on the nose, segueing into a a rich mid-palate maltiness with subtle barnyardy notes and finally, an acidic lingering finish.

M: Slick, fluffy, and chewy.

D: Truly remarkable drinkability. I would not have ever considered sessioning this style, but I could drink this beer all night.

Everyone should try this.

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Photo of allergictomacros
4.71/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was very excited to get this one, so I might be overrating it to some degree.

Pours a hazy copper with a bit of a loose head. Not really a strong point of this beer.

The aromas OTOH are much more enticing - funky, raisins, earth, sour apples, musty horseblanket, soy sauce. Sour of course including some vinegariness.

Flavour is big, big concord grapes and aged red wine. Sour edge is well controlled. Not at all boozy, and refreshing clean fruitiness.

Light bodied, very spritzy and dry. Extremely drinkable. My impression is a fairly clean fruity flavour combined with quite a funky, complex aroma. I doubt either would work on its own, but the combination is fantastic.

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

Tried this in a side by side tasting paired with La Folie. It was a flavorful tasting indeed.

Poured part of a 750ml bottle into a flute glass.

Appearance - It produced a 1/2 finger head, which had a pink hue. The beer itself was a hazy ruby burgundy color - it was translucent, only a hint of light could pass through the brew. The head retention was relatively low. It would produce a head when the glass was swished, but would quickly dissipate.

Smell - I can mostly smell tart fruit. I get a large green apple presence, but I also get a sweet red apple scent as well. Sour cherry notes make an appearance as well. There is also a sweet scent present - it reminds me of caramel covered apples. There is a heavy wild yeast scent, which I could only assume would be Brettanomyces.

Taste - The flavor of this beer is extremely close to its nose. There is a heavy tart fruit flavor, with a heavy bit of sweetness. Fruit like red apple, green apple and sour cherry dominate the flavor, while a sweet caramel essence rounds out the taste of the brew.

Mouthfeel - Light/medium bodied. It is very easy drinking for being a sour brew. It is incredibly smooth as it washes over the tongue. For it not having much head retention, there is a great level of carbonation in the mouthfeel, which helps to cut through the sour/sweetness.

Drinkability - I love sour brews. If you enjoy sours, the drinkability of this beer is pretty much perfect. Although I shared this bottle, but I don't think I would have a problem finishing this one off. It is a damn shame this isn't sold in my area, otherwise I would drink this all the time.

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Photo of budducci
3.55/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a nice dark amber color with a very slight head on it. As a new comer to sour ales I was surprised. It was very tasty, but I wish I had someone to share the bottle with. It was almost too much to have much more than a glass of.

I didn't have any food with this, but that would probably make this beer more enjoyable.

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Photo of Brad007
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mild ruby/brown ale with a one-finger head. Aroma is a decent sourness upfront that is reminiscent of cherries. Very tart, much more than Rodenbach Classic. Taste is very tart and nice with the mouthfeel taking on the essence of cherries. Not too sour at the back of the throat. A second sip brings about that wonderful tartness that I'm starting to develop an affinity for. Excellent! Drinkable as well.

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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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