Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

1,134 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: 1,134 | Ratings: 3,975
Photo of woosterbill
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Delaney's into a Rodenbach goblet - cheers to proper glassware, even if it is only 25cl.

A: Clear, deep ruby body with a half-inch of fine white foam; pretty quick dissipation and next to no lace. Great color, but disappointing otherwise.

S: Red wine/balsamic vinegar is overwhelming at first, but then opens up slightly into tart cherries and a bit of oaky vanilla. A little off-putting off the bat, but becomes intriguing.

T: Pleasant tartness throughout, with vinegar up front and delectable ripe cherries toward the end, as well as some dry oak. Clean, sour finish. Beautifully complex and balanced - perfect level of sourness.

M: Hugely effervescent medium body, the high carbonation of which is crucial for cutting through the tartness. Very nice.

D: Simply too much vinegar in the smell to be fully appealing, but on the other hand the tart finish keeps me thirsty for more.

Notes: Far more intense and complex than the regular Rodenbach - if the vinegar were even slightly less pronounced, this would be my ideal Flanders Red.


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Photo of Reagan1984
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was lucky enough to enjoy this on draft at the Armsby Abbey. I have been told that seeing this on draft is very rare. Had to give it a try.

The beer came with a creamy thick head that topped a deep reddish mahogany colored beer. The head slowly fades back into the beer and doesn't really leave much lacing.

Aroma was very sharp, tart and led me to believe this was going to be very sour. Did remind me a bit of red wine vinegar. Tart cherries.

Flavor was very surprising. Not nearly as sour as the aroma led on. I actually enjoyed this. Tart cherries, had a touch of a wine quality to it. Lots of tart fruit bit not overly sour. (o.k., fairly sour)

Medium/light body, smooth mouth feel, very low carbonation.

While I'm not a fan of sours, I actually enjoyed this and it was a pleasure to drink. Perhaps this will be a gateway beer for me.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a wine glass.

Pours a very dark brown with some red notes, small light brown head. Nose is like vinegar, tart and sour.

Taste is sweet and super tart. Some earthy malty flavor as well. Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Overall quite good.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep ruby with tan head. Slight, single-finger lace in my Hacker-Pschorr stein. Little to no lace.

Aroma is tart berries. Fruity and yeasty. Nice.

Taste is smooth, with plenty of tartness and sweet notes, quite wine-like in tone. Definitely plenty of berries in there, cherries maybe, and a touch of lactic acid and wild yeast are also detectable. This one's like a melding of a saison and a sour ale. Very good, and very complex here. Enjoyed this one for sure.

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Photo of socon67
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Reddish brown with a slight head and small bubbles of carbonation.

S - Strong scent of sour cherries. I also smell some dry sherry and vanilla. Really pleasant and the sour smell isn't too overbearing.

T - Tartness of sour cherries, with a bit of vanilla. Finish has a bit of diacetyl.

M - Surprised that the sourness doesn't detract from the drinkability. Makes this a great sour beer to have a couple of.

O - Glad to have tried. A good example of the style, and one that is easy to acquire.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, corked and caged into a tulip glass...

A - Dark mahogany brown with some defined reddish hues. Off white head, quick dissipation with a nice cap left throughout the glass.

S - Complex tart fruits: cherry, strawberry, gooseberry and sour lemon. Some caramel sneaks in the end and helps wrangle in some medium-dry red wine qualities with a dry finish.

T - The nose echoes the palate quite perfectly. A rush of tart and sour qualities erupt all over the palate due to the higher carbonation: cherry and lemon. Some spice finishes off with a wild yeast note and some grainy/bready dry esters.

M - Effervescent, thinner on the body but the carbonation gives it a good feel.

D - If you like Flanders-style beers, this is a great treat. I can enjoy a bottle myself though it's better to split as the tart and sour qualities become redundant after a while.

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Photo of ryantaussig
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not the most beautiful beer on the planet, but it carries a nice balance of sour notes in the nose. Cherries especially come through, with a slight note of under-ripe plum or blueberry. Same notes come through in the flavor, but with an added malt sweetness and even some slight vanilla. Smooth beer with nonaggressive carbonation.

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Photo of OSUBeerStudent
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 into a tulip.

A - nice but nothing that stands out. Fizzy head when pouring that dissipates almost immediately to a tiny white ring that sticks around. Deep red-brown color.

S - bit darker fruit up front, darker sour cherries perhaps. Also some apple with a vinegar sourness. Fruity but not on the citrus side.

T - tart and fruity. A little sweet up front and fizzy. Definitely cherry and apple (Granny Smith) fruits. A bit of plum at the back end. The tartness is primarily vinegar but there is some lactic mixed in there. This is a "sour" - basically no funk/Brett. Just a hint of oak at the very end as it warms some.

M - pretty fizzy. The sweetness in the taste doesn't come through in the mouthfeel at all, this is actually fairly dry. My big knock on this is that it's fizzier than I prefer, otherwise it's pretty good.

Overall this is a tasty beer. A good basic sour that's very drinkable. Not the most complex, funky, or sour of beers, but that's ok too. The sourness is well-incorporated into the beer and it has some definite winelike characteristics. And at $10 a 750 you really can't beat the price for a decent sour.

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Photo of MattRiggs
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: mahogany w/purple hue. not much of a head or retention.

Smell: sweet grapes, slight alcohol, barrel

Taste: carbonic and fairly thin, but works very nicely to sweep the sweetness off your tongue. dark malt/candy sugar sweetness that pairs nicely with a fair amount of oak, finishes very clean

Notes: A fantastic beer that would be a great alternative to champagne due to the carbonic bite and sweetness. You can definitely smell the barrel in this beer. I’d like to try it directly from the finishing tank.

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Photo of oakbluff
3.97/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky reddish brown with quickly dissipating off white head. Nose is tart cherries, and some funk. Taste- pretty straight forward sour cherry. Slightly acidic but nothing crazy. Citrusy finish to it. Carbonation is high which suits the style. Very good beer, but not mind blowing. Some woodiness comes through as it warms. Definitely an approachable beer for the style.

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Photo of doucmehu
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL shared with myself throughout the day. Been wanting to try this accessible, affordable sour for a while and finally cracked one since it was a trade extra.

A: Pours a deep garnet tinted brown, tan head is about one finger and sticks around for quite some time.

S: Red wine vinegar, unripe cherry and cranberry, candy sweetness and tartness. A hint of buttery oak.

T: Great balance of sweetness up front and dry tartness on the back of the tongue. Plenty of fermented berry flavor underneath the classic vinegar-like acidic sourness.

M: Solid carbonation, moderately acidic and astringent, finishes dry and slightly tannic like a good red wine. Leaves a nice tartness in the back corners of the mouth. However, unlike a Cabernet, this one makes my mouth water after each sip.

O: A very solid, approachable and drinkable sour. I hate to compare to Duchesse, but at the same price and availability, it's hard not to. I much prefer this beer, due to the less vinegar and more oak presence.

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured to an oversized wine glass.

A: The body is coppery to black having no head, existing only to the sides of the glass. Minor to non existent lacing.
S: The aroma is very sweet of Belgian Candi, much like a Faro aroma. There's already some acidity, vinegar-like, in the aroma. And it appears to have some spices like cinnamon.
T: The taste has a very sweet touch of Belgian candi just like a Faro styled beer, but with a less rounded sugary tone, as this Grand Cru from Rodenbach turns then to a mild acidity and a also prominent bitterness, blending in in a very well balanced manner.
M: The body is medium. Carbonation is high and a bit harsh. Acidity is medium. Bitterness is mild. Alcohol unnoticed.
O: It's my first Red Flanders beer. Liked it!

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from Cold Spring Beverage in Yardley, PA...who always seems to have in stock! Poured from a cork and caged 750ml bottle into my Delirium Tremens large snifter. Pours light pink from the bottle but fills the glass a super dark brownish red. A small frothy toffee colored head forms, but quickly dissapates into a frothy ring around the outside of the glass. Not much lacing to speak of...what's present slides relatively quickly.

Wow...what a potent aroma! Big vinegar wave up front...tons of funky and tart fruit. Earthy and oak notes throughout. The vinegar aroma in this Flanders Red is huge!

There's so much going on with this beer! Big vinegar tang up front, followed immidiately by a semi sweet and tart fruit flavor, followed again almost immediately by a massive funk! Big oak and wood flavors throughout. Mouthfeel is medium body, semi complex, high carbonation. This is one interesting beer. I have a feeling this would do well with age as it would most likely mellow out. The vinegar is almost repulsive...but the rest of the beer is outstanding and so inviting. I love it and hate it at the same time! With that said, I'd have to conclude this is definitely a top class beer!

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Photo of thagr81us
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip. Poured a deep dark ruby red with a one finger off-white head that subsided to half a finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, wood, vinegar, and sour. The flavor was of sweet malt, vinegar, fruit, wood, and tart. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. I have had this one before out of the bottle and I have to say that It carries over quite well on-tap as well. The vinegar touch on this brew is what keeps me coming back to it over and over. This also includes the various Vintage versions that I have had in the past as well. Really enjoyable and definitely brings the pucker along for the ride to keep you on your toes. An absolute must try as Rodenbach is doing good things with this one.

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Photo of Brabander
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is an unexpected pleasure. I bought this beer last week when i was at the beerloods in Poppel, Belgium.

Pouyred in my Struise glass this beer looks very nice. Fluid is like very dark tea with a very noce head, three fingers which stays a while and then leaves a ring in the glass.

A slightly sour smell. Hmmm, i am not really into sours. Ah well, i opened it so i will drink it.

Very refreshing taste, do i taste cherries? Body is a bit too thin, could use a bit more ABV.

Very well made and very drinkable, even for a non lover of this style.

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Photo of DovaliHops
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark, murky brown with beautiful dark red glow when held to light. Medium off-white, almost hazel colored head. Scent is lots of vinegar, cherries, and sweet fruits. I also get slight oak scents with some great funk. The taste is very interesting. Upon first sip, the sweetness comes first, followed by a cherry tartness. The vinegar taste is present but not overwhelming. Not as sour as I was inspecting. The oak and wood flavors follow through in the aftertaste along with hints of vanilla. The mouthfeel is like nothing I've tasted before...kinda an awkward feel. Very airy and somewhat "fluffy." Not necessarily bad, but just very different and weird feeling. The drinkability is somewhat high as long as this mouthfeel becomes more inviting.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This Belgian classic has finally made it to Indiana, and I’m very happy it did. Cheers.

A: Deep ruby in color with a whispy off-white head that ends up as a little more than a thin ring along the glass’s interior, even after a moderately aggressive pour.

S: Strikingly acidic, yet grounded in a base of barrel wood aromas: tart white wine vinegar scents accented by black cherry and berry stand in bright contrast to a mellow vanilla beneath. A great blend of the two characters.

T: Sour yet savory, much like balsamic vinegar. Ripe fruit meets a subdued acid profile upfront, quelling most of the edge the acetic had and leading to a rounded flavor of maraschino cherry, sweet red wine, and faint vinaigrette. Barrel wood is less prominent here than in the nose, but each sip is endowed with a dense undertone of dark candi syrup that’s augmented by the unmistakable vanilla of oak. Finishes lightly dry and herbal, like sweet vermouth.

M: Fizzy carbonation and a light body, reminding me of a soda fountain Sprite. Very refreshing when you take into account the fruit tastes of the body.

O: Meaty sours are hard to come by (Duchesse de Bourgogne is the only one that comes to mind) so this is something of a treat for sour lovers. Though not exactly my favorite take on the Flanders red style, this beer is unforgettably unique and would make for a great dinner beer; I could see it pairing with countless dishes.

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Photo of tjd25
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A totally opaque red-brwon color. The very fine head fades quickly but doesn't die. The smell is of vinegar. Sourness and tart, but with some fruity and sweet aspects. The taste is what the smell makes you expect. The tart and sour aspects are so strong that they're almost not unpleasing. I got an impression of baked cookies after a while (butter and eggs). The sourness fades as I got used to the brew. The mouthfeel is aggressive and thick. It overwhelms the palate and takes time to fade. I'll try to taste this brew again in a few months, to see if the evolution of my palate makes it more easy to drink for me. As of now, drinkable is not a word I could use for that beer, although I can appreciate its disturbing complexity.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capones a while ago

A - pours a deep chestnut brown with a layer of fine bubbles resting on the surface

S - faint aroma of cherries, oak & leather

T - strong cherries and woodiness up front followed by the vinegar, tart with a little bit of vanilla

M/D - good flavor, smooth in the mouth, not overly puckery, nicely balanced brew

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

No BB. From Platinum.

Pours a deep mahogany red - the one finger off white head dies to film. Large spots of lace.

Aromas of lemon citrus, cherries, sherbert, vinegar. A tart explosion.

Taste is in the same vein. Dry crisp, refreshing, without being overpoweringly sour. More cherry on palate than on nose.

Mouthfeel is zesty and well carbonated, light bodied.

Overall, good drinking, prefer this to their Classic.

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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 JordanlikesAles
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deep orange-brown pour with sour, tart fruit and some caramel aromas & taste. The flavor is Gose like, though more on the cranberry side than lemon. Very refreshing & different.

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

750ml caged and corked bottle poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours dark red/brown, 1 finger bubbly brown head that quickly recedes.

S: Tart dark fruits, cherries, lots of vinegar, funk

T/M: Very tart dark fruits (sour apple, cherry, etc), a little vinous, slight vinegar, bready malt, a little funk, a little oak. Fruit esters are off the chart. The vinegar isn't as pronounced as the nose suggests. Fairly high carbonation, medium to full bodied, very sticky and chewy, dry. Finish is dry and puckering.

D: While this is refreshing and pretty tasty, it's too sour to be a real easy drinker. I definitely need to take my time.

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

Went into this thinking I was trying a Belgian dark… man was I surprised. After the smoke cleared:

Cork pops out with a nice report. Pours into the cervoise a beautiful, crystal-clear deep red cranberry color with a small number of tiny bubbles. Head is smallish, brown to tan, and fades slowly leaving a pretty good cap. Lacing is moderate. Damn nice looking beer. Nose of heavy yeast, alcohol, and some dark fermented fruit, maybe plums? Yeast smell reminds me of when I was making my own wine. A hint of sour vinegar on the nose. Taste: now here’s where it gets interesting. First impressing: surprisingly sweet. Like a lambic. And then OH YEAH, sour, like a lambic. A very sweet/sour cherry taste, very bitter on the swallow, almost wincingly so. Yet the finish is surprisingly clean, and there’s absolutely no bitter aftertaste, or really any aftertaste at all. What’s even more amazing is that there is NO FRUIT in this beer. It’s all specialty yeasts. Yet it tastes like a cherry lambic! There's a bit of alcohol evident, no real malt or hops flavor. Mouth is semi-creamy, lightly carbonated, and satisfying. Drinkability… OK, I know I’m going to struggle through the 750ml bottle. As a sipping beer, it’s good; to chug, not happening.

Overall: I suppose one man’s Flander’s Red Ale is another’s cherry lambic, though of course the Flander’s doesn’t have any actual cherries in it. That fact seems academic, and I would say that Rodenbach Grand Cru is a great lambic –style- brew, if you like that sort of thing.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle, says best before 11/16/07. I hope a month doesn't affect it that much! It pours a brown/red color with no head at all. No lacing either. The aroma is cherries, oak and booze. It smells much stronger than the 6% ABV. Taste is similar to the aroma, although the alcohol isn't strong in the taste at all. Sour cherries is the strongest thing I can taste, along with some other berries. There's definitely an acidic tart taste, but there's also a good bit of sweetness there too. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, with moderate carbonation. It's a bit thin, but not watery. Drinkability is good, it's not something I think I could drink more than a bottle or 2 at a time, but it's pretty good for when I'm in the mood for this style of beer. It's definitely worth a try, not a bad choice.

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.26 out of 5 based on 3,975 ratings.
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