Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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95
world-class
1,120 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:
1,120
Ratings:
3,905
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
20.89%
 
 
Wants:
320
Gots:
645
For Trade:
26
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Reviews: 1,120 | Ratings: 3,905
Photo of aflamang
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in Schott Zwiesel bordeaux glasses from 750 mL bottle, which we got from the Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont, MA.

Appearance is deep brown. I found it to have almost no burgundy coloring. The head was lighter than tan, and had a lot of big bubbles.

Nose is sour berries and oak with a wonderful slight whiff of vinegar. Very complex nose even for a sour.

Taste is not overwhelmingly sour. The flavors really develop through each sip and between sips as the temperature rises. The major notes I picked up were cherry, grape, lemon, oak, and a surprising amount of yeasty flavor at the tail.

Mouthfeel is thinner than I expected, and more carbonated than other great sours.

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Photo of Dzu
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Dark brown with a little foam head.
S: Smell soar, cherry.
T: Sweet-soar, smoother thaen Rodenbach Caractère Rouge.
F: Soar grapes.
O:Good balnced ale.

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

AP: ruby tinted amber with a slow but plentiful carbonation creating a formidable tan colored head that becomes a fizzy 1/4" cap.

nose: sour and tart raspberrie fruity malt, sour dill pickles, overripe apples, sweaty feat-cheese, herbal hop and fermented grapes. pretty dang complex and odd.

flavor: This is an extremely tart raspberry flavored belgian yeast effect at first, mildly sweet malt, sour apples and a light white-wine taste that takes a back seat to the dominant sour yeatieness.

Feel: Medium body, light and fluffy feel with a dry finish. goes down pretty smooth.

DA: not bad at 6% ABV.

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

See My prior review below review below. I was new to this style, and since then have realized this beer is fantastic. A perfect balance of sourness and malt. It truly grows on you. I now agree with many others who state this is a world class beer.

Purchased a bottle in QUebec. I was very excited to try this after the reviews on this site.

Smell - Yikes. Is this beer gone bad? Balsamic vinegar. Thats all i can smell. I'm not getting the same odor as many others describe.

Taste - Sour, very sour...Again, vinegar and funky. Some sweet red wine a tiny hint of malt. With each sip, i get used to the tartness, but its overpowering for sure. Interesting nonetheless.

Overall - I'm not as impressed as most are, perhaps i'm too new to the style.

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

On tap at Capone's- served in a 9 oz Brandy Snifter

A- Deep, dark, ruby-brown color. No head at all- a thin ring of lace only right up against the glass.

S- Wow! Sweet, yet....sour? Hint of tart vinegar, but not in a bad way. Slight hint of ripe cherry.

T- Good! Sweet, cherry, cassis.

M- Fizzy, medium body- but the tartness makes it feel on the lighter side.

D- Here is where I will not be at a loss for words. I enjoyed this ale with a piece of Reese's Peanut Butter cake (this was the last course)- and it was a perfect pairing. At the end of a night of sampling IPAs, DIPAs, and Belgian Dark Ales with appetizer foods (wings, poppers, nachos), this ale was the perfect match with dessert.

A suprising change of pace.

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

Bottle best by date: 5/16/05

Appearance: dark amber color, a thick rocky later of ever-present tannish head, great clarity, some lace

Aroma: lactic, almondy, oaky, minerally, strawberries, a hint of Brett horsiness, very interesting and hard to nail down

Flavor: a syrupy sweetness pervades but is slightly countered by a firm lactic tang and some lambic character (musty, horsey, earthy); a bit oaky and seemingly corky, vinous; finish is somewhat sweet but a pleasant sourness lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, zesty carbonation, slightly slimy residue feel

Overall Impression: Having finally acquired a taste for geuze (and the like), I can definitely see the appeal of this beer. And why it's a "hallmark" of its style. Would be great to cook with in place of wine, too.

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

Enjoyed on Tap at Mikro in Hamden

Served in a Tulip

A: brownish-red with a dark head 1/2" head that recedes into nothing, not much lacing and no head retention

S: sour cherries, vinegar, touches of other fruit and funk....I like it, but not blown away.

T: cherries, tartness, sour with some funk, sweetness on the finish is not overbearing, this is a nice balance of acidity and vinegarness and fruity sweetness..impressive

M: light and smooth, pretty good for the flavor profile, I don't like these types of beers when they get super chewy.

D: really good for the style, I can see knocking off one of the 750 ml bottles in a night

I'm not as enraptured with this one as others I've talked to, but hey tastes are different right?

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Photo of texashammer
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
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 rawthar
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Dark cola brown with some burnt red tones where the light meanders through, some dusty grey head that simmers down to a nice film with a respectable collar.

S- Vinegar and prunes, intensely sour and intensely sharp.

T- Balsamic vinegar is the major player, extremely tart and sour, refreshing. Dark dried fruits behind the wall of vinegar. An intense beer for the hearty, and as thirst-quenching as unsweetened lemonade.

M- Light, thin, kind of watery. Stings the hell out of the mouth (in a good way) but that is more a function of the flavor than the feel.

D- Rating drinkability to this style is almost an oxymoron, and while this would be very difficult to session, its a great drink for the right time.

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

Pours a leather red brown with mauve highlights and no head to speak of. Nose is fruit, funky barrel and earthy spice - like mulled wine or Balsamic vinegar. Bright unripe pear and white grape up front, with a sour burst of mustiness in the middle and maybe a hint of nettle tea hops. Surprising hint of chocolate-covered cherry at the end. Vanilla as it warms. Light, clean, dry with a bit of burn.

Not so much my thing, but *way* complex.

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Photo of Fish113d
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my tulip glass at room temperature, it left a 1/4" head w/ some sediment floating. Cranberry in color w/ definite clinging lacy head on the sides of my glass. To me it smelled much like a red wine would smell with some vinegar undertones. However, some vanilla and grapes come through as well and even a slight scent of sandlewood (barrels).

The taste is a tart cranberry-chocolate malt (mostly cran), w/ soem oak wood flavors but not really dry (maybe like a Merlot Wine) w/ a mild aftertaste. The feel is a tart and bitey feel w/ tickling carbonation and a mild aftertaste. This was a "new" beer for me to try, so i was quite suprised and interested in this style now.

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Photo of spdyfire83
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

303rd Review
33cl bottle poured into Westy 12 chalice

A: Burgundy. ½ (mocha) fingernail head on brisk pour.

S: Candied brown sugar, vanilla, vinegar, and touch of caramel.

T: Sweet red fruit, soft caramel, and rounded tartness. Very enjoyable.

M: Medium body with soft carbonation.

O: I've never enjoyed a capped bottle of the Grand Cru previously (only draft and C&C bottles), but this was quite good. Very young and "fresh" for a Rodenbach, but quite tasty nonetheless.

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

Poured on tap at Boston's Bistro 9/20/07 into a fluted Belgian glass (la fin du monde).

Appearance- Beer pours a deep dark red with a decent head. The head is an off pink that dissipates quickly.

Smell- Lots of cherries and raspberries with a hint of vinegar.

Taste- They may call this a grand cru, but I insist that this is a Kreik. Strong cherry with raspberry sourness. a nice kick of tartness in the finish.

Mouthfeel- Sticky and thick. I would like this over ice cream. An excellent dessert beer.

Drinkability- Very nice for a beer with this level of sweetness. Back to back I noticed very little difference between this and the regular Rodenbach.

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Photo of tiger88
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My first Flanders Ale...
Pours a reddish brown in the glass that creates a nice, fluffy white head. The head slowly goes away to leave light lacing on the glass. Smells sweet and fruity but I can;t place the fruit immediately. The taste is very distinct and very sour upon first touch. The sour gives way nicely to a sweet almost wine taste as it rolls back on the tongue. It as a very light and crisp mouthfeel that goes down smothly. I would not be able to drink more than one, but that;s just my opinion. As I become better versed in this style, that may change.

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Photo of Jonada
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Best before October 22nd 2016. Served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark red brown color with a finger of a light tan head which settles into a thin cap and thick collar and leaves some spotty lacing. Body is very murky (nearly opaque).

Smell: Acidic sour notes, stone fruit, sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, dark bread .

Taste: Green apple, red grape, light oakiness, slight breadiness and a faint red berry character. Sourness is on the lower end of medium.

Mouthfeel: Light/medium bodied with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Really well balanced and complex. This is a such a unique style and this is a great example of it. This one is a classic for a reason.

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

33cl, best by 3/8/12, purchased in Belgium.

Pours a deep, opaque brown with plum highlights. The beige head is compact and laces well. Retention is average.

Aroma is fantastic, with a big sour component, sharp woodiness and an interestingly leathery character.

The flavor is very lactic-tart with a long, fruity finish. This stuff is pretty damn sour actually. There are notes of molasses, oak, leather, and dark fruits. The mouthfeel is smooth, with lightly prickly carbonation, but the beer lost it very quickly.

If you like sours, Rodenbach Grand Cru is a very enjoyable beer.

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

Poured a clear chestnut red color with a thin white head that subdsided quickly.
The aroma has a lactic and acetic acid smells with a touch of brett. The aroma reminds me of fresh cut sour apples alongside a piece of stinky bleu cheese in that some of the funk dd a refreshing sharpness while other parts add complexity.
The taste begins with sharp sourness that quickly segues into a more balanced flavor as the malt come to the fore. The flavors then move to the dry side and the sour apple taste then blends with the horeblanket funk and the finish is surprisingly clean.
The mouthfeel is a bit thin though the carbonation makes up for it.
This is not a session beer but accompanied with the right foods this ale would make an amazing dinner companion. I liked this sour brown and would order it again.

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

From: Friar Tuck's, Savoy, IL
Date: "12/09/14 13:56" stamped on bottom of bottle
Glass: Tulip

Rodenbach's Grand Cru is a superb Flanders Red Ale, with complex malt, cherry, and wild yeast flavors and aromas. Overall, not as potently sour as Jacobins, but approaching that level; slightly less to equally complex. The price point and availability of this beer is phenomenal as well. I think I'd like to have one of these on hand at all times.

Pours a 1.5cm head with small to medium-sized bubbles, tan in color, that has average retention, fairly quickly receding to a thickish ring around the glass and a wispy island of foam isolated atop the body. Lacing is fairly substantial, small continents washed upon the sides of the glass. Body is an opaque dark brown with reddish tinge. Carbonation is visible only towards the top of the glass.

Aroma has elements of apple cider and balsamic vinegar, sauerkraut, oak barrel, fresh sweet cherries, and a bit of cherry candy.

Generally well-balanced between tartness and sweetness. Opens with some brown malt sweetness, mineral and iron nuances, and lush, ripe, red cherries with just a hit of tartness. Tart cherry becomes dominant in mid-palate, alongside lighter notes of vinegar and oak barrel. Back of palate is stronger on tartness than sweet cherries and brown malt base, but those are still there, too. Aftertaste of brown malts and lingering tartness on the sides of the palate.

Beer is medium-bodied, with higher-level carbonation that foams the beer substantially across the palate. Overall mouthfeel is at first fizzy, then smooth and creamy, suitable for the style. Closes dryly, with notable lingering tartness on sides of palate.

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle Belgium Beer Factory - Pours hazy dark brown with a large tan head. Medium carbonation. Nice lacing. Smell - dark fruits, cherry, fermented apples Taste - tart, tannic/red wine lightly dry finish. Nice change for me, very drinkable sour beer.

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Photo of Caml
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Glassware: 4oz de Molen goblet

A: Gorgeous mahogany red-brown, dark but with a good deal of clarity. Short, tan head followed by strong lacing.

S: Nice and sour, maybe even a touch astringent, somewhere between good vinegar and really sour cherries.

T: Amazingly dry and crisp. There's a mite of malt sweetness swimming around in there somewhere, but the dry sourness is the primary feature.

M: Lightly carbonated and rather astringent.

Drinkability: Not terribly high for me, despite its excellent taste and reasonable ABV. Two would easily do it and send me on my way to something else.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Things are just as burgundy here as in Classic world, though a touch darker and a whole degree of magnitude more brackish. The khaki cap is now more baseball than beret, ‘cause it has to appeal to a wider audience, and who doesn’t love America’s pastime, eh? No one, that’s who!

Whatever subtlety lived in the classic nose is mostly gone here, replaced by an even sharper contingent of berries, the elite sniper brigade of the bush/bog/wherever the hell else berries happen to come from. Luckily for the sanity of the nose hairs, these sumbitches are constantly hounded (and likely annoyed) by a loudmouthed, yappy little toffee bastard. Now the berries know how Spike felt all those years ago with that pest Chester always tagging along, makin’ a comedic mess o’ things for the big lug. The traces of red wine on the edges are more blatant now, in the vein of a rich, earthy Pinot Noir. A short field of dark ivy crawls beneath it all, ensuring the tartness and the sweetness don’t battle in a vacuum, that it’s not just a young buck taking on a crowd of comers one at a time (I’m lookin’ at you, any extra that’s ever been in an action movie before). Finally, swinging along the edge of the canopy with the last vestiges of the wine is a twinge of apple vinegar, young, lithe, and carefree, but still with a chip on its shoulder. Be wary of this little fireball, as it probably won’t take much to set it off in an adolescent rage. I blame the parents. It’s always the parents. Usually. Sometimes.

Similar layers stratify themselves atop the tongue. First comes a basal sediment of sweet, buttery toffee. On top of this rolls a tide of berry-laced wine, this time verging closer to a Malbec. Then comes a thin-ish wash and veneer of straight white vinegar, quick and effervescent as a misty ninja, yet effective as the blade of a veteran samurai. Once this silent wind of puckering doom whooshes away, the wine and toffee helically battle through the air, a Torch and Sub-Mariner for these Modern Age times (clearly I’m not counting their appearance in Marvels as anything new, more a rerun of the past in stunning Alex Ross HD). Depending on the curvature of your tongue at the right instant, you may be left with a dry, tannic scar or a mildly-nutty sweetness. Either way, the feeling doesn’t last long, but a crater is indeed left behind, laden with remnants of everything that once dwelt on that craggy little asteroid. Shit, geologists are gonna have field days for years to come with this nonsense.

As hearty as everything comes and as thoroughly as things express themselves, there is a very bearable lightness in their collective being. An evanescence somehow pervades, even in spite of the lack of that dark beauty, Amy Lee. Dammit, this shit just turns out to be so drinkable because of this. There are worse burdens, I s’pose.

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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 jsanford
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Distillery in Savannah, GA. I was surprised to see this on tap, it was quite an unexpected treat.

A - Dark, cola-brown with reddish tints and a wispy rose-colored head. Solid retention, looks very inviting.
S - Quite sour smelling. Red wine vinegar dominates with a bit of tart cherry, sweet-smelling hay and oak.
T - Again, I'm getting a ton of pleasantly sour red wine vinegar. Some sweet malt and dark cherry balances the tart a bit, while the straw and oak help smooth the whole thing out. Quite tasty.
M - Thin-bodied with a slightly syrupy consistency. Carbonation is crisp and sharp.
D - Got a bit intense toward the end of the glass, so one should be good for me. Also, I need to pop a TUMS. Worth it though.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Southern Tier tulip-style glass. Stamp on the bottom of the bottle says 07/03/14 which I take to mean drink by March 7, 2014.

A- Pours a dark brown that's almost opaque with a 1/2 inch head that's very fizzy as it quickly gasses away to just a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and almost no surface foam. Below average lacing.

S- Smells of rotten cherries and sour red grapes. Oh boy. Here we go.

T- Immediate lashing of the tongue with dry, puckering sourness but what's this? A soaring rescue as the sweetness follows and gives the tartness a purpose. As more sips are taken, the palate becomes acclimated to the wildness and things become more enjoyable. The aroma is still kind of off-putting but can be overlooked. Notes of cherry, raspberry and blackberry.

M- Not as dry or acidic as other Flanders Reds can be. Still plenty of pucker but the body keeps things balanced. Low carbonation.

O- This could definitely be intense for someone who's not used to sour beers but IMO it's one of the better beers in its class. I'm still not a fan of the aroma, but it tastes great.

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Photo of geexploitation
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Wow. The Rodenbach Grand Cru is everything the regular Rodenbach is and more more more. Pours a bright ruby brown with a big head. Massive sour cherry nose with underlying vanilla notes. Taste is initally sweet, but upon starting to swallow the sourness takes over, and by "over" I mean "overpowering". Swig some of this and the sourness explodes in the back of the palate; even after swallowing, the sourness sticks around in the back of the throat. Mouthfeel is bright with that sour flavor. Drinkability, alas, is pretty low. The sourness is just a bit too much for me (and I like the regular Rodenbach, this is just dialed up so much), which reduces the drinkability.

Perhaps this could be excellent with the proper food pairing, and served in a smaller vessel (I'm working on 2/3 of a 750 at this point). Lots of extra points for rather rare flavors to encounter in a beer. Overall this is a great beer that I can appreciate but not, perhaps, love.

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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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