Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

1,133 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: 1,133 | Ratings: 3,973
Photo of GClarkage
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10/11/05- Purchased at Bottleworks in Seattle, WA.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with a best by date imprinted on the back label. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Murky plum, almost brown color. Medium 1/2 inch head which fades soon here after. Above average lacing.

Smell- Lots of sour and vinous like funk. About the only way I can describe it. Doesn't really smell "good", but fits the style perfect.

Taste- Not even as sour as it smells. Was looking for something more sour than La Folie, but what I got was a mildly tart and kinda sweet at the same time, brew. Maybe even some cherry and darker fruit flavors as well.

Mouthfeel- Low carbonation and pretty smooth. Easy drinker for a Flanders.

Drinkability- One of the better Flanders for sure. Super easy to drink. Great sweet and sour combo.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a distinct looking dark red and a steady lace. Aroma and taste predominated by sour cherries, tart but also quite sweet at the same time. There is even a more prominent malt backbone that I usually do not detect in sours. Simple and complex at the same time; Light body and full mouthfeel. Dry finish leaves you wanting more. A world class sour.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice muddy brown color but has a brightness to it. Some good red hues running thru it. Big head that dies right away. Good aroma-sour cherries and a trace of oak. Sour smelling. Incredible flavor-perfect blend of sourness and fruit. Just a hint of oakiness. The sourness is just right and balanced with a nice sweet finish. Nice fruit in the backround. Good mouthfeel-very full though quite refreshing and light at the same time. Very, very drinkable and enjoyable. I will be buying this again and again.

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Photo of breardon1776
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wanted to try a sour and local beer store recommended. My first sour so I can't compare but I loved this beer. Maroon/dark red color. Smell is more tart then the taste. Not overkill on the bite and went down smooth. Can't wait to try my next.

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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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Photo of DoubleJ
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5 was a magnum of this for $7.99 or a bomber of La Folie for $10.99. Deal done! 750 ml bottle split with my friend this afternoon, and consumed outdoors, on to the beer:

There's plenty to like, and nothing to hate. The color is brilliant and bold, a dark red...almost brown, with a persistent head. That aroma of freshly prepeared caramel and sour berries is drawing my interest...and the taste is kickass too! This beer's flavor has a medium, but tamed tartness that doesn't kill your palate. Is this wine? Fresh caramel is dominate. Citrus peel, maple, liquified brown is sweet, but also sour. A little acidic, like vinegar, and it melds well into the overall flavor.

Simply great! That's all folks!

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

750mL bottle into a Tulip

A: Nice 1-1.5 finger Khaki head that receded quickly. Beautiful clear deep burgundy body.

S: Vinegar, slight funky barnyard but very minimal. No hops, no malt.

T: Sweet fruity flavors with strong acidic tartness. some lingering malt flavor as an aftertaste

M: Thin and highly carbonated

O: I love this style and this beer. A wonderfully refreshing sour that is reasonably priced. I will always welcome a chance to enjoy this beer.

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

This was truly exceptional and unexpected. I had tasted the Rodenbach before and had not particularly loved it. This Grand Cru is a different ball game. I poured it in a Duvel glass. It poured a nice reddish color with a good solid head that collapsed quickly. I loved it at first sip. First there was the tartness. Just perfect. I love kriek beer but always found it a bit too sweet. This tasted like a kriek that was not overly sweet. Then the taste lingered and left a long lasting pleasure that truly pleased my palate. I will seek it again. This was great.

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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 kevinlater
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

14oz pour on-tap at bier markt mississauga

a: a very gorgeous clear ruby red with about a finger of off-white frothy head

s: really sour vinegar up front, but underneath that is a blend of woody notes and tart fruits, mainly cherries

t: follows the nose. tart to begin with, but leads quickly into fruity notes -- cherries, slight tart apples, berries, even some vinous qualities. the oak flavours add a dimension of complexity, working really well with the fruit tastes. no alcohol whatsoever. dry finish

m: medium-bodied with medium-to-high prickly carbonation, but it's kind of creamy. i love this mouthfeel

o: what an absolute delight of a beer. it's sour, fruity, tasty, and refreshing. i'm glad to have had the opportunity to taste this, and i'll definitely have this again in the future if i ever see it

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Photo of clvand0
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

25.4oz bottle. New version. This one pours a dark red color with a tall head that falls moderately and leaves some lacing on the glass. Very attractive. The aroma is full of cherry notes with sourness lingering in the back. Slight funkiness as well. The flavor is very much the same - very tasty - great mixture of the sour and the cherries. Extremely smooth. The body is moderate and the drinkability is good.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

750 ml bottle in tulip glass (duvel glass)

I've been wanting to try this beer ever since I heard michael jackson talk about it in one of the beer hunter episodes and and additional interview, it does not disappoint, to me, this is beers answer to wine, it's very vinous and tart, tastes of dark fruits and cherry (only a bit) it is delicious and it is definitely worth your time, hint (as with most beer, have it colder rather than warmer)

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Photo of TVolt1
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: nice dark red color with finger width of white head.

S: great sour cherry smell with a small amount of wine smell to it.

T: love this taste. Very crisp, sour, somewhat dry with a finish of an Oakley small.

M: good dry crisp light mouth feel. Bubbly

O: overall, a delicious beer. Unique finish for a Flanders as well. Would get it again

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Photo of RyanSoFla
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Rodenbach Grand Cru is my go-to Flander's red. It is sour, funky deliciousness in a bottle. The beer is also an unbelievable bargain and can be found for $10-12.

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

An unbelievably, incredibly, awesome beer. Had alongside Classic and Vintage 2011. The thing that most struck me about this beer was that it actually held its own against the Vintage. Something about the blend of the younger and aged beers gave this brew a more balsalmic, and less port-like sweetness, than its older cousin. An absolute must try.

Sampled again in a second Flanders Red tasting event. Even up against some other heavy hitters (e.g. Sossusvlei, Oude Tarte, etc, this beer easily holds its own).

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

a: This was a beautiful, clear coppery amber color with bright orange edges. It poured with a medium sized off-white head. It sticky with decent retention.

s: This smells acidic and sour, but lacks the mustiness I've found in other sour beers. This has vinegary fruit aromas of aplles and to a lesser extent, cherries.

t: This has a stronger sweet side than any other sour I've tried. Mild vanilla and faint oak help blunt the vinegary tartness a bit. This is bursting with fruit flavors of apples and berries. I found this to be dry, but not obnoxiously so. Tart and acidic without being abrasive. Damn near perfect.

m: Thick body without being syrupy. The carbonation was gentle and foamy.

d: Refreshinglt tart and superbly drinkable. This could become a regular in my rotation.

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Photo of Stoutfan23DJ
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ML Bottle, 6% abv, Best before date of 12/09/2014 on the bottom of the bottle.
Poured into a Duvel Tulip glass at 50 degrees.

Appearance: Poured it right down the center of the glass and received a 2 finger off white head that resided down to a nice lacing on the top. Dark, dank brown & red body with a medium carbonation and a nice looking lacing on the sides after each swirl.

Aroma: An assortment of dried fruit like sweet apple, grape, plum, prune, and some cherry. I’m getting some other interesting characteristics like vinegar, candied sugar, tart fruit, and aged oak. This is complex and I’m in for a real treat.

Taste: The flavors that hit you first are the dry, sweet and sour fruits. Apple and apple cider, grape, cherry, prune, plum, pear, raisin and citrus in the background. Much sweeter than I expected, and is the sweetest Flanders Red that I’ve had so far. There is a nice sourness here but it is very mild compared most other red sours. The other characteristics like the breaded malts, sweet sugar candy, old leather, tobacco, old wood, vanilla, and a slight astringent funkiness come through just as prominent as the fruit characteristics. The sweet and dry fruit and all of the other interesting characteristics really come together at the same wavelength. This is a very well-crafted and well-blended beer that simply has everything you want in a Flanders Red Ale. Very complex, robust yet very smooth, very well balanced, and very well-crafted!

Mouth feel: Medium carbonation that is right where I wanted it and really helped move the flavors along through each sip. The drink ability on this is moderate. As it warms up, all of the characteristics really unfold and it really makes you want to take your time and sip on it little by little.

Overall: I am really impressed with this and I definitely will be buying this again when it’s available around me and when I’m feeling a top shelf Flanders Red again. This sits on top of the list of Belgian Red Ales so far for me. I definitely recommend this to anybody who hasn’t had this and already enjoys this style of beer and to anybody that wants to start somewhere in the range of Flanders Red Style Ales.

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

Champagne style bottle, cork, and wire cage. BevMo in San Mateo. Served in a Unibroue goblet

Out of the fridge, this pours a little hazy with a big bubbled head that fades to lace around the edges. On warming, the beer becomes clear. It is a gorgeous "brune" brown color. Deep reddish brown with yellowish tints at the edges. Looks like still Coca Cola from the top but has reddish tints from the side.

The aroma is quite a bit funky with some oxidized notes. It really hints at what is to follow.

On the tongue it starts sweet and fizzy. As it passes the sides to the back of the tongue, I get a crescendo of tartness. I get surges of two distinctly different sournesses. Tart cherry and something more funky. The sourness lasts quite a while and seems to interchange with some good tight sweetness. There is just a tiny bit of bitterness that coincides with the tart surge in the beginning. Finish is impossibly clean.

Medium to full bodied. Tastes obviously bigger than the classic Rodenbach, even though it's just a little more ABV.

Overall: I loved the classic sour, and I love Monk's sour, and now I love this Grand Cru version. It's not for everyone. It's a bit more out there than the classic, but if you like the classic and you're up for a special treat, this is great.

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

bottle states best before: 13/09/08. suppose about six months passed due?

pour is a light murky reddish brown with a decent head. beautiful nose. tart, cherry, wood, vanilla with a bit of dough. palate is actually quite nice. mellowed out tart in comparison to some bottles. predominantly cherry, but plum and blackberry fruit also. the skunky nature comes through in the food wood interaction like in a traditional lambic. a wonderful vanilla. with a wood that sits in the light doughy quality like a headboard. a 'german' apple malt finish with a light sense of smokiness even. some grape. very gentle but in the wood grain giving it a earthy acid similar to coffee. never really notice it before but i can say they this is one of the best bottle i've had. a mild earth that gives way to meaty seasoning herbs. a blend of thyme and rosemary mostly. quite a successful earth though. wonderful. one of the best.

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

Appearance: It looks like murky prune juice.
Smell: Vinegar and sweet raisins.
Taste: Sweet and sour
Mouthfeel: Carbonated and light.
Drinkability: Refreshing and surprisingly good, considering I described it as tasting like vinegar and raisins. I really like this beer!

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

Vivid blood orange with bright tangerine trim. The cork colored cap is two fingers immediately after the pour and isn't strinking very quickly. It becomes nicely creamy as it melts and leaves a surprising amount of thick lace on the upper reaches of the glass. What a warm, inviting looking ale.

The nose is reminiscent of sweet and sour fruit (cherries mostly) soaked in gourmet vinegar. There's also a lovely woodiness born of 18 months in Brouwerij Rodenbach's massive oak tuns. I love the way I smell something slightly different each time I put my nose over the glass. I haven't had a huge number of Flanders reds yet, but this nose has to be a classic of the style.

No version that I've had thus far prepared me for what just splashed over my taste buds. Most of them seem to be sour for sour's sake. I like sour, but I need more. Rodenbach Grand Cru delivers more... and more... and more. I'm amazed at the stunning amount of depth and complexity in each mouthful.

I have to believe that oak is the key to Grand Cru's success. I'm sure the chemical reactions that occur as the beer seeps into the wood and is then breathed back out again change the original ale in untold ways. I have no idea if more time together would improve things to an even greater extent, but I do know that less time wouldn't be advisable.

Impressively tart and tangy are the order of the day. Having said that, I don't know that I've had a Flanders red with as much underlying sweetness. The utilization of multiple sets of taste buds (sweet at the tip, sour along the sides), and the contrast between the two, is what sets this world-class ale apart.

The finish has a perfect acidic bite. It's easy to see why Michael Jackson considers this the most refreshing beer in all the world. I'd probably choose something else for that honor, but I can damn sure see what he means. As much as I'm enjoying it solo, I can also see how it would complement a wide variety of foods extremely well.

I wouldn't change a single thing about the mouthfeel. Given the style, it's pretty close to perfect. It's light, yet has a undeniable strength; like a heavy strand of silk thread. A light stickiness promotes flavor linger and a gentle sizzle of carbonation keeps the tongue's attention. Not that it was in danger of wandering given the remarkable flavor profile.

This is fantastically delicious beer. I'd advise anyone who is interested in Flanders reds to start here before proclaiming their love, like or dislike for this unique style. Put me solidly in the 'love' camp. It's hard to imagine that La Folie is superior since there's so little room between Rodenbach Grand Cru and perfection.

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Photo of SargeC
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark brown colored brew with a frothy tan head.

Smell: Vinegar, cherries, berries and yeast with hints of malt and alcohol.

Taste: The initial sour blast gives way to fruit flavors that highlight cherry and wildberry. Has an acidic finish that strangely comes across as sweet.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body. The slightly oily quality of this brew allows the flavors to really stick around.

Drinkablity: Very tasty and consumable. A challenge at first, but worth getting used to.

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

750 ml bottle poured into a Chimay chalice. Although it looks red as it poured, it is darker in the glass: deep brown with red highlights around the edges. One finger tan head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma starts with cherry, tart apple, and vinegar. It definitely sets up very well for a sour tasting. As I stir the glass and as it warms, I get some light woody oak and also a bit of caramel malt.

Delicious flavor. The tartness is very tolerable and enjoyable. Definite flavors of cherry, raspberry, and green apple on the fruity side. The vinegar flavor is present but much less pronounced than the aroma would suggest. Only the slightest note of oak, but the flavors blend so well, it's just goes down easy.

The mouthfeel is fairly light overall as it does not taste "heavy" at all. It finishes crisply with no notice of the alcohol. A superb brew. Highly recommend this one.

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Photo of blackc5
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deeper brown then expected. Reddish tint shines through when held up to the light. Slightly hazy. No real head or lacing to speak of.

S - Immensely tart fruit - cherry and sour apple are most forward. Some oak in the background and perhaps a bit of vanilla as well. Vinegary, but not overly so.

T - Outstanding - exceptionally fruity and the tartness is just right. Not too sour, and not too vinegary, and balanced with some sweetness. Just right for a wonderfully drinkable beer. Main fruit elements are cherries, apple, grape must and tamarind. The oak aging adds a nice level of complexity and vanilla. All balanced with some bready grain and just a hint of leather.

M - Mild carbonation that leaves just a bit of fizz on the tongue. Light and smooth body with a dry finish.

D - No complaits here - this one lives up to its reputation, and goes on my list to have again. Held up well to food also.

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Photo of Whiteweasel
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into wine glasses from a 750ml bottle with expiration date 28/11/2017.

Appearance: Thick, rich, reddish brown. Aggressive pour yielded a nice head that dissipated too quickly. Large bubbles linger on the sides.

Smell: Dark pinot noir and muscat grape, plus rich fermented fig. Raisin and a slight hint of tangerine. Chocolate covered raspberry and cherry. Sour muscat vinegar with sweet malt. Absolutely delicious.

Taste: Sour, like verjus, champagne vinegar and old opened red wine. Fruity with apricot, sour cherry, woodchips.

Mouthfeel: Semi-dry finish, with a thick and syrupy body, yet still stubbornly effervescent. Alcohol is not noticeable. Stays quite sharp in the throat afterwards.

Overall: Sour, thick bodied, effervescent, with an incredible nose, powerful concentrated fruit and a complexity that can stand up to most Belgian strong ales, yet somehow done on a stingy ABV budget of 6%.

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.26 out of 5 based on 3,973 ratings.
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