Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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BA SCORE
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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,120 | Ratings: 3,905
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 Beginner2
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

You're looking at the Grand Champion of its style.
Do you like the style ? (My second largest challenge as a beer drinker is to have Belgian Reds more than once a month.)
Despite having to force this style on myself, I find this Grand Cru is beyond good and a totally refreshing ale.

MJ gives Rodenbach 10 pages in his "Great Beers of Belgium". Without rivals for MJ ink... I suspect it is because Rodenbach revived the flagging style so well. If you are a devotee of Belgian Reds, read that chapter.
MJ's 1999 "Guide" gave it 4 of 4 stars (really, really rare.)
The Grand Cru is listed in the "1001" and deserves to be there.
It also is reviewed in Roger Protz' CAMRA classic "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"

 715 characters

Photo of Weixiaobao
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Ruby colored. Very light head. Thin layer head almost has pinkish hue. Bubbles swirling in four separate quadrants of the glass.
S: Not as sharp as the taste. A wider spectrum than expected.
T: Quintessential sour Belgian ale. Not puckering levels of sourness, but quite high, even compared to other Flanders reds.
F: Acidity doesn't push things towards vinegar-y territory, which is a good thing. Balanced.
O: A fantastic brew. This is about as good as it gets when it comes to Flanders reds. Look forward to the day when these are more available on the shelves in my local liquor stores.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - The beer wads brownish red color with soft off-white bubbles.

Smell - Sour cherry comes through in the nose with a slight oakiness.

Taste - Sweet cherry comes to the front with a slight oakiness. The sweetness is well balanced with the sour. The taste is not overly acidic. The sweetness fades in the aftertaste, with the oak coming to the front.

Mouthfeel - I found myself wishing the beer had more staying power.

Overall - I like this beer a lot. It is a well balanced sour.

 497 characters

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 rodbeermunch
3.34/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Rocks the ruddy brown and dark red color scheme, poured wicked but not enough going on to make much of a head. Disappointing. Doesn't look world class. Aroma was heavy on the acetic vinegar like acid. That really is a make or break aspect of this brewery, you gotta be down with that old style sour vibe here.

This one is maltier than the regular flanders they make. Smoother. Hides the alcohol decently. I got one or two of these aging at the 5+ year mark, I'll revisit as I get the chance, but again, the traditional flanders brown malt and vinegar sour thing is well represented here.

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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".

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a taster glass. Thanks, Chris.

A: Plum colored with an off-white half finger head that settled down to a ring. Thready lacing.

S: Cherries, vinegar, peat, grape and some light oak barrelness.

T: So downright tart and refreshing. Cherries dominate with some red wine and cranberries floating in. A bit vinegar-y, but in a good way. Sweet/sour tastiness.

M: Low to medium with medium, dry carbonation.

O: This was a nice taste surprise. Don't have this style everyday. The best Flanders Red I've had. Great to pass among friends at a St. Paddy's parade.

 582 characters

Photo of stevoj
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really well done sour, smooth and not too tart. Brown/ruby with spare beige/pink head. Aroma of sour cherries, peat, wood barrel. Taste is sort of cider-like, light bodied, tingly palate. Sweet, but not too much.

 212 characters

Photo of kitch
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A corked and caged 750ml bottle with a best before date of 18th March 2016. Poured into a Cantillon ballon glass.

Appearance: It poured a clear dark amber brown colour with a thin tanned head that dissipated quickly but left nice stringy lacing.

Aroma: Tart, cherry, grape, green apple and vinegar.

Taste: Tart cherry, grape soda, grape, oak with some light caramel.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with medium to high carbonation.

Overall: A wonderfully tart and fruity beer that is well balanced.

 505 characters

Photo of Dravin
4.84/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Duvel tulip. Best bey date on the bottom of 04/05/2018.

Look -- A finger of slightly beige head atop a amber brown body with a lovely noticeable red tinge.

Smell -- Acetic tartness, cherry, green apple, and a vinous quality.

Taste -- Apple cider vinegar, cherry, red wine, some nuttiness hiding in there. There is some mild sweetness to counterbalance the tartness that lingers for a handful of second after the swallow.

Feel -- The acid and carbonation tickle the tongue and scrub away the medium body. It's fairly dry and aside from the tartness lingering a little is fairly crisp.

Overall -- Tart, fruity, winey, refreshing, complex. It's a fantastic beer and I can't think of anything I'd change. It's an amazing beer and if tartness doesn't scare you or repulse you I'd recommend it in a heartbeat.

 845 characters

Photo of Cramshawbar
2.5/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Less sour than the others in this style, but still a style I just can't like. Nice nose and very dry finish.
In the end though, as much as I respect the work that went into making it, this is still just a more tolerable sauerkraut juice to me.

 243 characters

Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Poured a minimal white head and red-brown body.

Smell: Red wine, sour green apples, cranberries.

Taste: Same as the above, but also includes hints of cinnamon and apple cider vinegar.

Feel: Medium body, medium carbonation, mild tartness, and slightly tannic. A bit of a vinegar astringency.

 300 characters

Photo of joshleo
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tasted this after finishing a bottle of the 2013 vintage. Compared to that, the grand cru was less red in color, had less complex aroma, and was a little less tart. I felt like the grand cru is more mellowed. It is like the 2013 vintage is young and energetic, ready to show off all the fun of sours- complex and showy with the variety of smells and flavors and the grand cru is a little more mature, it isn't trying to punch you in the face with anything but is happy with what it is and what it has to offer.

 510 characters

Photo of JackieKu
3.99/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. Best before 2017-04-23.

A: Hazy brown. Thin head.
S: Plum. Green apple. Quite fruity.
T: Raisin. Balsamic. Moderate caramel. Medium sourness. Dry. Short finish.
M: Moderate body. Moderate carbonation.
O: Smooth and fruity.

 237 characters

Photo of DevWand
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow...

Just getting into the whole sour beer style and I have to admit, that the few I've had so far have not impressed me much. Thanks to this beer I'll continue drinking the style. The cherry tartness from the beer blends perfectly with the oak aging. Mouthfeel finds the best balance; not too light and bubbly, not too thick and heavy.

Completely blown away! Definitely a must try.

 387 characters

Photo of mkh012
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hard to give detailed tasting notes here because I'm so unfamiliar with sours. Got this one on a whim after seeing the high reviews. Couldnt pass up something like this on tap. A deep red brown with very little head. Smells like sweet sparkling wine and cherries, and the taste largely follows. Although certainly sweet and sour, there is a nice bready balance to it that keeps it from being cloying. No detectable alcohol, no bitterness. This has made me curious to try other sours. Much more restrained/well-crafted than the few American Sours I've tried. Very smooth and well-balanced. If you already like sours, this should be right up your alley. Craving more already...

 675 characters

Photo of Andrewharemza
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle, pours clear reddish brown when held to the sun with a cream colored headshot disapates to a small ring. Aroma is quite tart with some fruity notes, cherry, vinegar. Taste is a nice tart sour cherry.

 212 characters

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.

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Photo of Viaduck
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smells like wine, tastes like wine. This was my first sour beer, so id isn't know what to expect. The cork popped open with a moderate pop. It's a pretty red/orange color & a small, short lived head. Grapes, I smell grapes. It tastes like a sparkling wine, slighty tart & very delicious. There is a hint of grain but overall it tastes more like wine than beer. I thoroughly enjoyed this & will have to explore more sour beers. Grand Cru is truly the the Champagne of beers. Excellent!

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Photo of fscottkey
3.27/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: [3.25] Pours out a dark brown leather color. It looks like brown and dark red mixed and is pretty inviting. The beer has very minimal to no head. The bottle has the ABV (6.0%) but no date info at all. I find the no date info ironic since the bottle says "Character Ripens with Age" (Well great, except I have no idea how old it is...)

S: [3.00] Red wine, brown sugar,brown bread.

T: [3.50] Sparkling apple juice, lemon, tangy citrus, a hint of Belgian yeast on the finish.

M: [3.00] This has the feel of Sprite, very tingly and carbonated. Sparkling water in feel. Finish is sort of bitter, but not hop bitter, citrus bitter.

O: [3.25] I have read that this beer has been a gateway, to this style, for many beer drinkers. I think it is just not a style that I like. I can appreciate what the brewer has crafted - it is just not for me. The taste, to me, is like Zima (there I said it). I'd much rather have many other styles.

 942 characters

Photo of tkdchampxi
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a great, classic beer that tastes delicious. However, it is kind of an ugly beer. It looks a bit like mud.

Flavor is sour and winey with some nice fruit and belgian character.

Carbonation is spot on.

 211 characters

Photo of Bfarr
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Dark mahogany and thin brown head with ok retention. Sour cherries and light oak aroma. Sour cherry flavor and vanilla with oak finish. Biscuit undertones and semi dry finish and linger. Light smooth carbonation with a twinge of sour.

Sweet and sour with a very pleasant, refreshing feel. Wonderful flavors are balanced and mingle nicely throughout. It tips slightly to the sweet but is brought back with the acidic linger to make you salivate for more.

 454 characters

Photo of Xibion
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I am new to the sour beers but I am very impressed by this one. This is what I would use to introduce people to sour beers. The hue of the beer is a pleasant amber with a tinge of red in it. Smell is a sweet scent accompanied by tartiness. It goes down very smooth and sits lite in the stomach which is impressive for the ABV. The taste is a great balance of sweet fruitiness, with a sour bite and still maintaining the beer body. This one has easily escalated to one of my go-to beers when available.

 501 characters

Photo of Sacrilege
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

An amazing red ale, which is very carbonated and acidic, but is so full of flavour when you let the beer roll over the behind and sides of your tongue.

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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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