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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,134 | Ratings: 3,975
Photo of joeseppy
3.59/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Ruddy pour with scant head. Maybe my olafactories are not in sync but all I can muster is red wine vinegar/cider and even that is scant. Not off putting in any way but just my take. More sour upfront and then lingering to fresh sweet cherry tart. Nice Italian fruit plum dancing in there. I don't get any oak influence. Barely any carbonation makes this an easy drinker. Matter a fact it goes down too fast. This would be a great introductory "sour".

 460 characters

Photo of shbobdb
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not a bad brew, I suppose. It is a little too sweet-sour for me, not a combination I've ever really been in love with.

The beer pours a deep red with a surprisingly short-lived head. The first time I had this beer, I assumed it was my glassware, but nope, it looks like this beer just has some head retention problems. Unusual for a Bug Beer.

The beer both tastes and smells like rotting sour cherries. It is pleasant, if a touch too acetic for my tastes. As the beer warms, the vinegar aspect really starts to predominate, as it takes on strong notes of balsamic and nail-polish remover.

The mouthfeel is slick and smooth, if a little vineous.

It is a good beer, but I guess after La Folie, I really had my hopes up. I am not sure how they manage to make it so sweet, but I do not like it. I can't call the beer dry, which is a pity. It really reminds me of sweet-sour sauce at a crappy chinese restaraunt, but good -- if that makes any sense.

I had high hopes for this beer, and it is good . . . don't get me wrong, but it isn't some transcendental experience either.

 1,087 characters

Photo of tzieser
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

valentines day review...2 year old bottle of Rodenbach....i'm really excited for this one

aquired in a trade from youbrewidrink. thanks!

a: pours a nice signature red/burgundy color....very clear with a one finger head that slowly dissipates.

s: ahhhh, i love that flanders red aroma...great sour malt notes...subtle hints of oakiness. good, and fitting of the style.

t: very tart and sour. borderline vinegar in flavor. i was hoping for a bit more sweetness, but i guess the age took care of that. nice oaky flavor, but overall, this is just too far on the sour side. and i really love sours, mind you.

m&d: smooth mouthfeel, but the tartness makes your tongue tingle, which i find unpleasant.

unfortunately, i had bigger expectations for this brew. i really love flemish red ales, but i think this one could do without 2 years of cellaring, because this was very vinegar-y. i would certainly try it again and see if it's better balanced than this time around.

 968 characters

Photo of CampusCrew
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Whoa... this is going to get some gettign used to.

appearance: beutiful red copperish color, looked liek a glass of red wine

smell: sour fruity, grapes and cherries

taste: extemelely sour and slightly sweet than. sourness was very balsamic like and too dominatting. I prefer the classic red

mouthfeel: high carbonation and light

drinkability: it was a rough ride but I thin I'l appreciate it later.

 406 characters

Photo of Auracom
3.62/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Put back a bomber of Grand Cru with my friend on May 23rd, 2011 in a Dogfish Head tulip glass.

Pours a dark, murky brown. Offwhite thin head dissipates quickly with little retention. Good lacing and some carbonation sticking to the sides of the glass.

The aroma is very tart with fruity undertones - granny smith apple, caramel, cherry, and slight yeast characters. Taste is hugely sour (like aggressively puckering), again slight yeast with some spices underlying that dominant tart and sour taste.

Lots of carbonation in the feel of the drink, with a medium body and very long and very dry finish (appropriate given the taste).

Drinkability really depends on your enjoyment of sours. It's hugely sour, to the point that I though it damaged the overall complexity of the beer.

 784 characters

Photo of Stephen63
3.62/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pleasant red/dark appearance, pretty short lived head.

S - Very complex lots of fruit and sour aromas.

T - Possibly too much going on here. Sourness is very apparent. Very sharply citrus.

M - Nippy!

D - Nice one to try once in a while but not looking for a second.

A decent beer though red beer not one of my favourite styles.

 345 characters

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep reddish brown. Some haze. Head is off-white and drops to a loosely carbonated collar rather quickly. Some deep oranges when held to the light.

Smell: Red apples and cider vinegar. Big malty sweetness as well. Some other dark fruits, cherry and plum. Acetic and sweet. Some caramel sweetness as well. Slightly phenolic and some apple flesh and skins.

Taste: Balsamic vinegar base with some cider vinegar thrown in for good measure. Apple flesh and tart cherry skin. Almost jelly-like sweetness. Grapes, flesh and juice. Vinegar builds as the beer warms. Incredibly sweet. Some malty sweetness. Some slight breadiness. So much vinegar. Apple balsamic vinegar.

Mouthfeel: Minimal carbonation. Tartly dry. Medium body.

Overall: Blended vinegar and cherry juIce. Decent cold, but warms close to jelly an that's just weird.

 840 characters

Photo of rajendra82
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This green bomber was adorned with a silk-screened label, dull gold neck foil, wire cage, and cork, all combining to give the appearance of a package meant for a special occasion. The beer came out deep amber red in color, and had a slightly hazy appearance. The persistent head was one finger thick and the carbonation was light. The aroma of sour cherries and oak combined to form a wood glue like smell, which was quite mouthwatering (and no I don’t usually sniff glue). The taste was balsamic vinegar sour and somewhat spicy as well. Both of these tastes made for a very dry beer that demanded to be gently sipped and be paired with some food, so I pulled out some Irish cheddar cheese from the refrigerator to accompany it. The earthy sharp cheese cut out the peppery spiciness, but the sour flavor became even more accentuated. The oak aged notes were never quite detectable under the evident acidity. I found this to be quite drinkable, despite being very different than the hop bombs I always seem gravitate towards. The mouthfeel was naturally dry and the body was on the thin side due to a near absence of residual sugar. Not one I would order very often, although that being a deficiency in my character rather than that of this beer.

 1,246 characters

Photo of beertooth
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle today.

Poured into a Bell's tulip glass.

Dark, deep ruby red with a finger of somewhat fluffy head

Smell is dusty oak, cherries, dirty fruit, apple and white grapes.

Taste is tart apple and cherries, musty oak, earth, balsamic vinegar. There's a sweet and sour mix in the middle that's quite pleasant.

Mouthfeel is prickly and medium bodied.

An extremely tasty beer. I've never had this before, somehow and I could easily finish this bottle by myself even if it's not as sour as I thought it would be.

 530 characters

Photo of Giggy
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a beautiful beer and am glad I tried it even though I don't think I would buy it again.

A: Redish brown hue with a tan head. Great head retention.

S: Cherries, balsamic vinegar, fresh cut wood, red wine, and green apples.

T: Was so glad the bartender told me that it was sour so I knew what I was getting into. Found it to be very sour with aspects of grapes, tart fruits, and wine.

M: Creamy, medium bodied.

O: Not a fan of anything sour but glad I tried it.

 473 characters

Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Drunk from the Rodenbach glass.

A: Clear reddish brown.

S: Cidery and vinegary.

T: Wow, tastes like a sour English cider. Fizzy, sour and vinegary with a soft aftertaste of bread and cherries. That's really it.

O: Refreshing but boring. I doubt I'll ever have it again.

 273 characters

Photo of DrunkenMaster
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks and smells like a dirty, sour pond. Or like a sour apple and stinky cheese plate. Tastes fruity with strawberries and cherries. The taste is really different from the aroma but everything works pretty good. I definitely enjoyed this the most out of all the Belgian reds we tried.

 285 characters

Photo of JustinOSU99
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark orange-red color with a large head that fades away rather quickly.
S: Very tart and fruity with hints of alcohol behind it.Apple, raspberries, strawberries, oranges and fig dominate the smells.
T: Wow. Very different. I'm not even sure how to really describe it at first. Extremely tart and sour, followed by sweetness and alcohol. A very good flavor consisting of heavy apple tastes.Really a crazy tasting beer, but one to enjoy as a desert.
M: Heavily carbonated, light and refreshing though.
D: I would never drink more than one of these, but as a desert beer or with appetizers on a hot summer day it would be wonderful.

 636 characters

Photo of maddogruss
3.67/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My friend invited me over to help him out with a growler of this he got from the bar.

A: Pours a reddish, amber body with no head to note, only a light ring around the top of the beer. There was no significnat lacing to note.

S: A bitter, cherry smell. Reminded me of like a bitter, Robitussin smell.

T: A very sour, slightly cherry, Robitussin, taste with a sour, mildewy kind of aftertaste that sits on the back of the throat during the whole beer.

M: A fairly light and pretty thin beer. Seemed almost like drinking cold wort - that is how low the carbonation was in the beer.

D: For the style, it was a pretty drinkable beer with a pretty good mouthfeel and taste combination. However, this style is a pretty acquired taste, like sushi. If another style was available, I might have went for that beer over this one.

 824 characters

Photo of crnipeter
3.67/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark mahogany reddish brown. The first pouring produced tan head dissipating into a crescent-shaped bubbly sheet, while second one resulted in a ring of delicate lace.

Rum soaked sweet cherries, vinegar. Excellent

Very sour - prevalent sharp acidic vinegar flavor + tart berries. Apparently no hops in here. Maybe some tannins raising from below, but the acidity is so overpowering that kills all delicate flavors that might be hidden within.
This beer needs something to balance the sourness - some additional sweetness would made it much better.

Pleasantly carbonated, light to medium bodied and smooth.

This beer requires some time to be appreciated. My first bottle went down the sink after 3 sips, but those that followed were the most refreshing thing one could desire on a hot summer day. However, due to high level of acidity one at a time is enough.

 862 characters

Photo of froghop
3.67/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a cloudy brown with a thin dark tan head, and some lacing.

smell is of sour malt, wine, caramel, and dark fruits.

taste is of sour malt, grapes, some caramel, some fruits, and wood, ends on the tart side and slightly dry.

overall a well done red ale.

 259 characters

Photo of samie85
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes; originally 4/4/11.

A-Pours a very ruddy, cherry juice-like color with a few fingers of pink foam.

S-Soft notes of vinegar with oak and some cherry.

T-Quite a bit of cider-like vinegar with some cherry.

M-Not as carbonated or light bodied as a lot of other Flanders Reds I've had.

D-Very easy drinking but I was definitely hoping for more tart, acetic, vinegar notes.

 392 characters

Photo of Cascadia
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very complex beer. Beautiful to look at, a very nice dark brown, until the light hits it from behind and brings out the ruby red corners. Nice. Smells of cider and fresh cracked black peper. Tastes unlike any beer I've had. Sour, oaky, more like a fruit cider to me than a beer, but tasty nonetheless. Not a beer that I've grown a taste for yet, but worth the purchase. Flanders reds are going to take me some time to appreciate.


 440 characters

Photo of kajerm
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my first Flanders Red, and outside of a few lambics (of varying degrees of autheticity), my first adventure with sour beer. 750mL bottle with foil, cork, and cage. My girlfriend thought it was going to taste like champagne-- man, was she in for a shock.

Pours a rich, gorgeous amber with a foamy head of fine carbonation that puts up a hell of a fight before dying down. The head did not fade entirely throughout the entire drink, thanks to the constant stream of tiny bubbles. Very nice.

Smells exactly like I imagined. Mountains of horsey brettanomyces, layered with a cidery note that I couldn't pin down exactly. There is an underlying aroma of acetic acid.

Holy living fuck. This is a sour beer. Tastes exactly like it smells, only stronger in every conceivable way. The vinegar taste is overpowering on the first few sips, but as my taste buds adapt the barnyardy brett flavor, the apple cider note (does beer have malic acid in it?), and other sour notes become more dominant, and thank God, Zeus, and Thor for that.

Mouthfeel is sharp and thin, a deadly combo of high carbonation and a really, really acidic beer.

Drinkability? This is interesting, but one is more than enough. I was very very very very glad I didn't have to kill that 750 alone.

RERATE: I like it this time. I'm jacking up drinkability-- this is actually very subdued. I'm guessing it was warm or oxidized last time; in any case, this is a fine sour beer. Fortunately I overrated last time, so the numbers will stay more or less the same.

 1,540 characters

Photo of readbaron
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark reddish brown with a bit of white lace.

Smells highly acetic - unpleasantly so. A hint of funk and fruit underneath. As you get used to it, it improves, but overall is a bit less than ideal.

A lot like the nose - initially a lot of vinegar, then some fruity sugar - initially tastes rough - not as well blended as would be ideal. As you make your way through the bottle, it improves.

Mouthfeel is nice - light, a bit sticky, decent carbonation.

 460 characters

Photo of pmccallum86
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to kbutler1 for busting this beer out.

Pours a dark cherry color with a bubbly small head.

Smell is is sweet, and a little off. It almost smells like grape cough syrup.

Taste is very sweet and sugary with lots of grape. Light tart funk also comes through. This beer is decent, but not good, I am trying to figure out why so many people seem to love it.

Mouthfeel is light, bubbly and sweet. Actually pretty good in this department.

Drinkability is pretty good, but would be better with less sugary sweetness. I would imaging some age could do this beer well.

 570 characters

Photo of slitherySOB
3.69/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A multi coloured brew. Depending on how the light hits the glass, the colour changes. Sometimes, it's almost purple. Other times, cola black. Sometimes, red. Considering the colour it most appears to be is red, I'll say it's red. Sort of a cherry red. Quickly foams up, only to die down with no head. Glass is clean, so I know that's not the reason. Still, little whisps of lace stick to the glass. First smell is sour. Lot's of citrus, cherries, and some raw malt. First taste. Whoa, hits you unexpectedly. Sour at first, then finishes with some malt and vanilla sweetness. Second taste, the sweetness becomes a bit stronger, but the sourness does not weaken. Aftertaste is a bit strong of cherries. Not to my liking, but a minor setback. Mouthfeel is a bit thin and smooth. Pretty good beer. But for me, the cherry aftertaste is too strong.

 842 characters

Photo of theo692
3.69/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served chilled, though not terribly cold. Aroma is wonderfully full, carmel-ish, and not sour. Refreshing initial taste, though perhaps too sweet for some. Flavor really opens up after the first sip -- cherries, I think, though certainly some citrus taste, as well. Finish is clean and even tart. Very easy to drink, not heavy at all.

 334 characters

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is my second flemish sour ale. I've heard this brew described or referenced so much I had to try it. that said, here's what I thought:

A - faint head that quickly disspiated. Steady rising bubbles from the the glass let you know it's not flat. The beer is ruby red when held up to the light. Very nice to look at in the glass.

S - sour cherries, sour mash. did not notice any hints of oak but hey, could be me.

T- Sourness straight up. undertones of cherry and faint sweet malt. No question this delivers on the style flemish sour ale.

M - served at approx 55 degrees. medium to full bodied. Lot of reviews describe the carbonation as strong, but I did not see that with my drink. carbonation was light and complimentary to the drink.

Drinkablilty - Not a beer that drinks easy or fast. This brew is a commitment in my mind. A stronger sour than I expected.

Tantalizing style, but it may be a while before I try the other bottle. this is definitely a beer you need to be ready for.

 1,005 characters

Photo of MrIncognito
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI. Poured into an oval chalice.

A - Deep purple, just like red wine, with a nice white and purply head. Lots of carbonation racing to the top.

S - A musty concord grapejuice smell. Almost has some red wine tanins. Actually smells a little sour and bitter.

T - Very dry grape juice taste. Sweet with a sour punch at the end, then very drying. The drying effect is key or this would be too sour for me. The dryness cuts it off. I swear I'm drinking carbonated concord grape juice, but with a tart, sour kick. Some musty horseblanket thrown in. Gets better as it warms.

M - Dry and a good amount of carbonation. Definitely a sipper.

This is my first Flanders red and I actually liked it. I was a little iffy at first but really enjoyed it in the end. Went great with a Greek salad... mixed well with the olives, feta, and vinagrette.

 874 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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