Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
4,032 Ratings
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Belgium
rodenbach.be

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Flanders Red Ale- a blend of 1/3 young beer and 2/3 aged beer matured for 2 years in oak casts.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

BEER STATS
Ratings:
4,032
Reviews:
1,147
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
11.27%
 
 
Wants:
334
Gots:
692
For Trade:
22
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,032 |  Reviews: 1,147
Photo of Mosstrooper
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL bottle into 330mL St.Bernardus branded chalice.

Appearance: Pours a very dark reddish-blackish-brown color with a medium tanned head that dissipates fairly quickly yielding to a thick ring of lace and leaving behind a good amount of foam floating on the beer.

Smell: Sour cherry and lemon are predominant, with a slightly woody backing and hints of grain, yeast, and caramel.

Taste: Begins sweetish and mildly tart and spicy, rounding out to a sour flavor somewhere between cherry and lemon. The finish is bittersweet with a solid funky note. There's also a woody and mildly musty noted that makes its way through the back of the palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with lighter, natural carbonation and a sticky, acidic finish.

Drinkability: A great sour beer that will satisfy a craving for funk without being overpoweringly sour. Complex, without being something that requires too much though. A thoroughly enjoyable brew.

 945 characters

Photo of Oleg85
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BSUNyikos31
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of matias-
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JackRWatkins
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours with an off-white, quickly dissipating, ring of foam, with a muddy, red to brown color
S: immediate oak and funk, followed by cherry and malt, a wonderfully woody nose
T: wine, cherry and oak right off the bat, with a subtle suggestion of malt/red wine vinegar, quite sour, but with enough sweetness to balance the beer
M: dry and decently effervescent
O: It's phenomenal, what else is there to say other than that? Every beer has a season, and this beer is no exception, I couldn't have it all the time, but it is truly a magnificent ale

 547 characters

Photo of mmhannon
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dheldman
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

look - pours a dark brown/ruby red color. thick tan head. not so much retention or lacing

smell - raisns/grapes, malty, musty, sort of chocolaty, has that aged smell. overall a very strong, pleasant aroma.

taste - absolutely delicious. tastes like raspberries with some citrusy character and hints of raisins. the sour tickles the tongue. finishes sweet and savory

feel - creamy, smooth, tingly

overall - super delicious. am going to buy again and also try other versions of this style ale.

 494 characters

Photo of vacax
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle for $10. This classic Flanders Red Ale has been selected for review #100.

This Grand Cru pours a blended red and brown with a slight haze. Initial head is an oaky cream color that is generous. Retention is solid and graceful lacing is among the finest of the sour world.

Nose is acetic with tannins, grapes, and sour cherry. Quite floral, perking up a musty oakiness that accompanies the sourness. Well rounded between oak, fruit, sour, and acetic qualities. Taste upfront has a smooth sweet red fruit quality that quickly takes a backseat a smooth yet thorough tart. This is a moderately sour beer, but at the same time its robust complexity makes it easy to handle. This is not just a one-note beer, it is sour then the acetic quality expands, coating the entire palate. A real treat. Medium bodied and silky with a medium champagne like carbonation. Excellent mouthfeel.

Rodenbach Grand Cru is the classic Flemish Red Ale. Rich in its oak and fruit characteristics, along with a rich complex acetic quality. The luscious mouthfeel, and attractive visuals are all icing on a cake. I am happy that this beer is available once again, and for only $10 it is a relative bargain. This is a beer worthy of sharing at on any happy occasion, or enjoying by oneself on a fine evening. Outstanding.

 1,307 characters

Photo of miguellunarusso
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of camil1mj
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle found on the shelf at my local bottle shop.

A: Reddish/brown. Foamy white 3 finger head that is slow to dissipate. Ring of head lingers around the edges while drinking.

S: Strong tart and sour smell.

T: Crisp, tart nose that gives way to a very fruity and refreshing cherry finish.

M: Heacy carbonation and light bodied.

O: Great Flanders. Glad I decided to give this a try. As good as many of the "rare" sours.

 430 characters

Photo of chrismattlin
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of ssam
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this one in the Belgian bar Herman in Berlin last week. I was with my family and my dad who thinks he doesn't like beer. This whole trip he was tolerating my beer geekiness and tid bits and trying all the local fare. But I hadn't converted him until he tried this one. Poured a dark ruby red with a very thin head. The smell is minimal but the flavor is great. It's lightly carbonated and perfectly sour without being too tart. It tastes kinda like wine, but more beery and way better. Loved this and so glad I got to try it!

 529 characters

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of chalenge
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sirdillon
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-Clear brownish red with beautiful ruby highlights on the edges, slightly off white head that doesn't stick around too much but leaves a ring of foam around the glass. Great looking beer.

Smell- A lot of tartness, cherry, fruitcake, and cinnamon. Maybe a bit of funkiness, but generally a very well-behaved smell.

Taste- Really excellent, taste begins with a lot of sour cherry and strawberry flavors, and ends with that very familiar juicy sweet/honey taste. This is great.

Mouthfeel- Not much to say here. It's acidic and medium bodied. not a ton of carbonation, but it's just fine.

Overall- This is not my favorite style of beer, but I found this to be exceptional. Not too sour, but also not god awfully sweet and juicy like a lot of these flemish reds. Real easy and pleasant drinking, highly recommended.

 827 characters

Photo of GregSemenza
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Eddiehop
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of 1100
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is delicious. It really doesn't taste like any other beer I have had. But it is the only one of it's style I have had. It has a distinct apple cider vinegar taste... sour and tart . But the taste will definitely grow on you. Pours with a nice reddish color and a thick head. Sour, creamy full mouth feel leave you ready to take another slash. I've only seen it in bombers or on tap. Excellent beer for special occasions. Try it, you'll like it!

 454 characters

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

Poured from a caged-and-corked 750mL bottle into my White Birch flute/tulip.

A resounding sonorous pop greets me as I ease the cork out. Aromas surge forth before I can even pour any liquid.

Dark auburn-tinged burgundy liquid with crimson/cerise highlights and an active light tan head that recedes to a thin layer of cream. Thick even sandy lacing coats the sides. Very thin oily legs.

Dark cherries, lemon and strawberries from afar - when you bring the liquid closer to your nose, the acidity picks up considerably. Tangy red-wine vinegar, light oaky wood notes, and a mild intermingling of young port with toasted malt round out the boquet.

Complex flavors - a wide range of acidity suggesting a variety of light vinegars (champagne, aged balsamic, rice wine), plum wine, and citrus and a bit of pit fruit. Brown sugar, malt syrup, and cola notes add sweetness, while the finish adds in bitterness and a wave of tannins. Perfectly blended.

Well carbonated, nearly medium-bodied, and moderately astringent.

Perfect with food, really nice on its own - similarly enjoyable to a good (if not a great) wine, but with much less alcohol.

While it's been a while since I've tried the original, I believe this is sweeter and more nuanced than the standard Rodenbach. Well worth seeking out if you enjoy the style as this is among the very best I've tried.

 1,360 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Into a Liefman's tulip, the Grand Cru pours a deep scarlet tone, capped with several fingers of off-white foam. There's a good level of clarity in this one, without pouring the yeast sediment the first time around.

Smell is perfect, and one of my favorite aspects of Belgian farmhouse styles. The yeast has a distinct funky wildness about it. The aroma first conjures up a wet field in the late morning, as the sun starts to warm up the soil. Damp earth, overripe berries, and a ripened cheese note. A citric sharpness cuts through all the romantic notions, alluding to it's intensity.

Taste is citrusy tart at first, spritzy on the palate. Midway through, it has a rounder mouthfeel, with oak and sour berry lasting on the tongue. There is a Balsamic sweetness, but toned down and not vinegary. Aftertaste is a little dry, but balanced by the mouth-watering sweet/sour element.

I can finish a 750 in a sitting, but it's definitely one to pair with food (and share). The label recommends pairing with seafood or dishes with lemon garnish.

 1,042 characters

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

Glass: Flute

Pours a deep brown/red, very rich coming from the bottle. Nice whimsical head comes to rest on the top, effervescent in character that leaves a nice film. Lacing is spotty at best, following the beer on its downward journey.

Almost immediately following the pour, a tartness enters the air, though not crushing, it entices you forward for more. Cherries being the predominant smell to present itself, as you delve deeper you find the oak, providing a nice backbone on which the cherries seem to rest. Tartness is well balanced.

For a Flemish Red Sour, this is quite approachable. Tartness is almost a treat, as the cherries and oak notes play off each other coming together to form a very refreshing, mellowed, and cultured sour. Very enjoyable. Cherry is more dominant cool, but as it warms, the oak starts to join in.

Crisp mouth feel, leaving your mouth in wanting. Definitely an experience best enjoyed slowly to bring out all the flavors. At 6%, the ABV does not come into play in a heavy sense, meaning you can enjoy this one solo or with a close group of friends.

 1,088 characters

Photo of Thankin_Hank
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of HellsBELLS24
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice flemish sour ale. Especially like the flavor from the oak aging process. Hard to get around here. Has a much better finish than the regular rodenbach.

ABV not very high in this ale at (6%) its a little low. I would have expected a higher ABV. Still an excellent brew though.

 283 characters

Photo of WI-Beer-Man
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.26 out of 5 based on 4,032 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.