Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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BA SCORE
95
world-class
1,123 Reviews
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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,123
Ratings:
3,918
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
20.89%
 
 
Wants:
322
Gots:
649
For Trade:
26
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Reviews: 1,123 | Ratings: 3,918
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.7/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of vinegary & tart apples and dark fruits, some Belgian yeast, some malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sour with strong flavors of apples and cherries. There's a little bit of sweetness that comes in along with a hearty but not too heavy malt character. The hops presence is mild. The after-taste is sour.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Flavorful, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it's a decent beer to drink for a while if you're in the mood for a sour beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a very interesting choice for me to make this evening after everyone went to bed, a really am just trying to get through my backlog, but wow, what an unexpected result

Rich red in color and cloudy with a ruby/garnet look to it. nice light head that hung around for a nice little bit. Then I go in for the smell and I am knocked back. Sour, apple vinegar with hints of citrus bouncing around it as well. tart cherries all over. So amazingly complex. Grapes, and plums, lots of fruit notes and a granny smith apple or two all coming up into the air. Carried over very well in to the first sip, as it was biting tart through and through. Really lip puckering sour that took a second to get used to, but once you did, look out. Bright lemon and orange notes then lit it up. Very light, very bright flavor that was soo complex and wonderfully done. Smooth, gentle, not overly carbonated, but amazingly drinkable.

overall just what i needed and really set me back where i needed to be

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Poured into a tulip glass, an opaque reddish brown with a small, beige head that receded to a thin film. Aroma of sour cherries, and vinegar. Very kriek-like in the taste, with sweet, light sugar up front, followed almost immediately by tart cherries. Light spice, yeast, and maybe a touch of grapes finish things off smooth, but a little bitter. Medium mouthfeel, and pretty drinkable. My sister-in-law doesn't like beer, but she liked this one a lot.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I realized I haven't review this one yet. Bottle shared with some family after Thanksgiving dinner.

A: Grand Cru pours a dark brown color with reddish tint and an off-white head. The beer leaves some spotty lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is very acetic, vinous, and tart. There is also a substantial malt aroma which provides a bit of balance to the nose.

T: This is what I think of when I hear "Flanders Red Ale". The taste is incredibly acetic and vinous. There are also great sour cherry and wood flavors, lending the beer a tannic quality.

M: The beer is rather full bodied with abundant carbonation and an astringency that can be a bit strong if you're not really expecting it.

D: As previously mentioned, this beer is pretty much *the* example of a Flanders Red. It's a really solid beer and a great one for wine drinkers like my cousin that I shared the bottle with.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I picked this bottle up at Brass Rail, enjoyed chilled in a teku and sampled until about cellar temp toward the end.

The color is very deep crimson with translucent clarity with thick sand colored head that dissipates and recedes to nothing with fine bead and visible carbonation. The smell is very fruity, lots of tart cherry scents with mild wood ester. The feel is great, very tart, but not overwhelming, a mild sweetness is there with moderately high carbonation and dry finish with low alcohol but a slight acidic bite in the finish.

This taste is pretty incredible, lots of fruit presence as in the nose with some dark cherry and slightly tangy cherry flesh flavor with a nice amount of malt and yeast adds that lactic tang with a nice wood flavor rounding out this fine flemish red. Overall I have had this on a few occassions and it really is a treat. I was glad I could enjoy a 750ml myself but the acid was a little strong as it warmed for me- a highly drinkable Belgian, well worth having multiples of.

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Photo of russpowell
3.81/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Cheers to Ding for this one! Date/batch code of 404237

Pours an effervescent garnet hued chestnut with 2 fingers of brown head. Average lacing & head retention

S: Tartness & vinegar & a bit of vanilla

T: Tartness & vinegar, a bit of cherry & raspberry up front. Oaky dryness really hits you along with more berry tarttness/vanilla, & musty notes as this warms. Acidic notes really open on the finish along with some caramel sweetness, cherries & tannic notes

MF: Spritzy with some creamy notes once warm & medium bodied, much puckery dryness & tartness, with some acidic notes in the finish

Drinks a bit too slow. I remember this being an easier beer, maybe my tastes are changing? Or maybe I'd try this one after my taste buds were whacked in the past! Not as harsh as the laFollie though

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Photo of Jason
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 33 cl bottle with a “consume before” date on the back label.

Appearance: Quick to foam though retains a healthy looking lace, deep reddish brown lets little light through.

Smell: Sour fruit; cherries, grapes and lemon. Hints of vanilla and malt husk.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Mild viscous smoothness, lots of tartness with fruity suggestions of cherries and plum. Mild flare of alcohol with a hollow vanilla flavor. Not much for hops though any kind of hop flavor would not be expected any way.

Drinkablity & Notes: A pretty exceptional brew, I have had better from this brewery in the past though this one still stands up to be a quality brew for sure.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Things are just as burgundy here as in Classic world, though a touch darker and a whole degree of magnitude more brackish. The khaki cap is now more baseball than beret, ‘cause it has to appeal to a wider audience, and who doesn’t love America’s pastime, eh? No one, that’s who!

Whatever subtlety lived in the classic nose is mostly gone here, replaced by an even sharper contingent of berries, the elite sniper brigade of the bush/bog/wherever the hell else berries happen to come from. Luckily for the sanity of the nose hairs, these sumbitches are constantly hounded (and likely annoyed) by a loudmouthed, yappy little toffee bastard. Now the berries know how Spike felt all those years ago with that pest Chester always tagging along, makin’ a comedic mess o’ things for the big lug. The traces of red wine on the edges are more blatant now, in the vein of a rich, earthy Pinot Noir. A short field of dark ivy crawls beneath it all, ensuring the tartness and the sweetness don’t battle in a vacuum, that it’s not just a young buck taking on a crowd of comers one at a time (I’m lookin’ at you, any extra that’s ever been in an action movie before). Finally, swinging along the edge of the canopy with the last vestiges of the wine is a twinge of apple vinegar, young, lithe, and carefree, but still with a chip on its shoulder. Be wary of this little fireball, as it probably won’t take much to set it off in an adolescent rage. I blame the parents. It’s always the parents. Usually. Sometimes.

Similar layers stratify themselves atop the tongue. First comes a basal sediment of sweet, buttery toffee. On top of this rolls a tide of berry-laced wine, this time verging closer to a Malbec. Then comes a thin-ish wash and veneer of straight white vinegar, quick and effervescent as a misty ninja, yet effective as the blade of a veteran samurai. Once this silent wind of puckering doom whooshes away, the wine and toffee helically battle through the air, a Torch and Sub-Mariner for these Modern Age times (clearly I’m not counting their appearance in Marvels as anything new, more a rerun of the past in stunning Alex Ross HD). Depending on the curvature of your tongue at the right instant, you may be left with a dry, tannic scar or a mildly-nutty sweetness. Either way, the feeling doesn’t last long, but a crater is indeed left behind, laden with remnants of everything that once dwelt on that craggy little asteroid. Shit, geologists are gonna have field days for years to come with this nonsense.

As hearty as everything comes and as thoroughly as things express themselves, there is a very bearable lightness in their collective being. An evanescence somehow pervades, even in spite of the lack of that dark beauty, Amy Lee. Dammit, this shit just turns out to be so drinkable because of this. There are worse burdens, I s’pose.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a clear dark reddish brown (almost mahogany) in color with garnet red highlights and moderate to heavy amounts of fine visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall thin off-white to light beige head that quickly reduces to a small patch of extremely thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Overall there is a moderate amount of sourness to the nose of this beer with some moderate to strong aromas of vinegar, cherries, oak, and just a hint of vinous/wine notes.

T: There is a light to moderate amount of tartness/sourness that is fairly well balanced with the sweeter notes from the cherries. Moderate notes of oak, vinegar, and wine. Very little bitterness but a lingering acidity that can be appreciated.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with just a touch heavier than light amounts of carbonation. Extremely acidic and prickly on the tongue.

O: Overall this beer is not quite as tart/sour as one might think from an initial sniff, making a little more approachable for people that are new to the style. The beer is fairly easy to drink with a lighter mouthfeel, lower ABV, and not too intense flavors.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Was excited and surprised to find this at a Walmart in Cancun, Mexico.

A: Pours a dark ruby/brown color with a one finger off-white head. Spotty lacing down the sides of the glass.

S: Light tart cherries, vanilla, a little bit of brown sugar. Slightly vinegary, and overall not as sour as expected. There is a subtle sweetness.

T: Nice sour cherries, vanilla and oak. There is some plum, raspberry, and a little bit of apple. On the acetic side, but not overly sour.

M: Medium bodied with lots of carbonation, really spot on in both regards.

O: A great beer, fits style pretty much spot on. Great flavor profile and mouthfeel. Look forward to picking this up when I get back to the states.

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Photo of billab914
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into my Southern Tier tulip. It poured dark brown in color with a frothy, off-white colored head leaving it's mark all over the glass.

The aroma shows a lot of tart, sour cherry flavors to it. A sweet, malty presence really helps give it some balance. It has a lot of real nice funky, fruity, malty flavors to it.

The taste has some sharp sour and tart flavors to it up front. The finish is where I get more of the dark fruits, tart cherries and sweet caramel malts. Again, nice balance of the sweetness and tartness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being a little above average. Overall it's very good beer and a classic version of the style. It has a very good range of flavors but manages to bring them together very well. Very nice overall.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a mahogany ambber color with one inch of white head.

s - Smells of sweet and sour fruits,

t - Tastes of sour fruits, sour grapes,

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A decent flanders with some decent sour fruits. Would try again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep ruby brown color with a tan head leaves behind webbed fine belgian style lacing. Aroma: Vinous and effervescent some tart cherry or raspberry tones to it leaves a woody almost cedar like finish to it an Oud Bruin in all of it's glory. Taste: Whopping array of tart tones but it's multilayered a tartness forms on the back of the tongue then sweet fruit grapes again the wine like tone very vinous and mild chocolate tones soften the mouthfeel by applying some sweetness to the overall profile of the flavor. Mouthfeel: High carbonation in that it's spritzy on the back of the throat but it still tends to be smooth going down a medium bodied masterpiece, a step above Petrus Oud Bruin in my opinion. Drinkability: The tartness does a lot to the palate and I believe this one should be enjoyed slowly in small portions there's alot going on relax and explore this beer there's no rush.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hoooie. Gotta love you some Flanders ales. If only they were more readily available and more people were making them.

This ale carries all of the hallmark characteristics of the style. Woody, mostly cherry tartness. Makes the back of your mouth pucker a little and do funny things. I'm really building this up quite nicely, aren't I? This is closer to the wild tones of a lambic or wild ale, so you better know what you're getting into. Bottom line: this is a grand cru that deserves the title. Gotta love it.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by matt9875. Thanks Matt!

A: This Flanders brew is reddish brown in color and appears slightly hazy. The head is about an eighth inch thick, and leaves a fair amount of lacing.

S: The aroma is fruity, funky, slightly musty...very enticing scents.

T: A fabulous tasting brew. Rodenbach Grand Cru exhibits the ideal marriage or relationship between sweet and sour flavors. The beer has a nice funky, musty aspect about it. Cherries are the dominant fruit flavor. Wonderfully balanced and delicious.

M: Medium bodied, nice feel, good carbonation level, lingering aftertaste of cherries and funk.

D: A terrific example of the style, I definitely recommend this beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This 11.2 Fluid Ounce bottle lost its labeling at some point and it was only the cap that allowed me to identify it. My cellar has been out of control for some time and this summer seems like the perfect opportunity to clear it out.

I used a very gentle pour so as not to stir up any lees that may have been in the bottom of the bottle, resulting in just a little bit of light-tan head that quickly fell to wisps. Color was a gorgeous mahogany with NE-quality clarity. Nose was both wood-like (oak?) and vinegar, causing my mouth to pucker. Mouthfeel was medium and my initial reaction was TART! on the tongue. Once I recovered, I tasted what reminded me of my uncle's sour cherry wine, along with the vinegar/wood combination I had noted on the nose. Each successive sip became more palatable and as it warmed, I really got the oakiness more prevalently. Finish was tart and dry, perfect for this sweltering afternoon in my A/C-less house. I am celebrating just having hung a mesh curtain across the back doorway that is allowing a nice breeze to blow through without giving access to flies and other pests. One Beer Pest in the house is enough!

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Photo of stakem
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split with friends. I decided to do a side by side tasting and open this along with the clasdic red and also the caractere rogue to analyze the differences in each. Poured into a cervoise, the brew appears a murky brown with a yellowish clarity around the edges and ruby through the body. A figner of tan head appears across the top and fades leaving spotty lace.

The smell is tangy with alcohol. Much more bright and less sweet smelling than the normal red rodenbach offering. It displays fruity esters, oak and vinegar in a more bright way. The barrel character impats some mild burnt sugar quality like caramel and toffee that does a good job contrasting the alcohol an tangy aspects of the nose. As it warms up, some vanilla comes through with lots of fruity tones.

The taste is fruity almost like raisins. Lotd of tart cherry and mild apple cidar vinegar. Some barrel presence like caramel/vanilla contrasts the mildly acidic nature. A touch of oxidation in the aftertaste has a bit of focus shifting towards the woody and almost cardboard quality mingled with earthy components.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. There is a light effervescence and it is overall very easy drinking with low alcohol impact. I really enjoy how well blended and flavorful this beer is without being face crushing/puckering sour. It has just a bit more tartness and is overall more dry than the base. Nicely done and even more enjoyable than the rodenbach red.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Coffee District. Served in a Rodenbach flute.

Appearance - Deep murky red. No real head, but a thick white collar.

Smell - Malty. Lots of caramel. Oak and vanilla. Acetic acid, but not a lot.

Taste - More sour, but still not the centerpiece. Lots of oak and vanilla. Malt is strong, like the nose. Acetic sourness builds into an oaky finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Slick. Well carbonated.

Overall - Quality all around. Nothing that stands out but a great all around Flanders Red.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is dark amber with beige head.Aroma is like a lighter version of balsamic vinegar, fruity and tart. Taste starts with some fruit sweetness, like a sour cherry and gets tart and acidic to the finish. Mouthfeel is medium and carbonation is also not too high. Definitely on the sour and acidic side but not difficult to drink.

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Photo of jwc215
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. Best before 27/06/07 (indicated on bottom).

Pours mahogany with a tall, bubbly head that quickly f,izzled to a one finger head, than slowly descended to a thin cover.

The smell is of sourness - almost vinegary. Subtle hints of vanilla and oak give it a nice aroma.

The taste is sour with a tart fruitiness. Hints of oak and vanilla mix in. Finishes with a clean, sharp, acidity
Spritzy but smooth, full-body. Flavors linger. Drying, but not puckering.

This would be a wonderful accompaniment to a vinegary, acidic dish.

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Photo of tdm168
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Bottlemixx.

A - dark reddish amber with a large, dense, off white head that has great retention

S - tart, cherries

T - tart cherries, sour, lactic, oaky, winey, mild malt presence

M - medium bodied, well carbonated

This was delicious. I was excited to have found it on tap. It has a tremendous flavor that is complex yet drinkable. The tartness isn't overpowering either which helps the drinkability. This is not a style I typically go for, but when I saw the chance to try this one I jumped at it. I would definitely have this again. It was very enjoyable.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sourness from the start, as my nose merely glides over the open bottle neck. Once poured into a tall, slender glass, the aroma pervades the atmosphere, sour cherries, rich and pungent, with a nice side-saddle dose of fruity sweetness A deeper sniff offers melodious complexities that dance freely in the caverns of the senses, a resonant aura of unearthly delights.

Color is a light leather-brown, but cloaked with cherry-red tinges, at side, bottom, and trickling in from behind.

First sip...AMAZING! I stop, pause, seep in the immediate pleasure of this initial sampling. Tasty tart texture...low hops, just-perfect malt ballast...long, luxuriant finish, grips the tongue, lips, even teeth, senses and brew caught up in amorous embrace, locked up too tight to untwist....sip after sip, sweetness and sour, a recurring, relaxing joy!

A mellowing effect is applied to the body and the soul, for this is that plush armchair ale, to swish in a snifter in the dark of night, leafing through the works of Voltaire, Old Dog Blue at your feet, while all is well with the world, and the mind can slip from serious matters and perambulate the corridors of less than lofty philosophy, epicurean ambitions, and bacchanalian designs.
This is that beer.

Sadly, the drink left the glass too soon...can I get a magnum, please?

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Photo of smakawhat
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip glass.

A nice thick foam of light creamy brown is created off the pour, sitting on a solid dark Indian red brown body. Minimal sticking, but what is gives some nice sheets.

Salty sour, and hint of sweet cherry on the last whiff. Real wonderful, extremely balanced even a hint of creamy vanilla. Really like this mix

Taste is a wonderful rush of flavors. A great mix of sweet and sour cherries in the mid palate. Carbonated small but tight tingles on the swallow, creamy afterfinsh bringing some of the vanilla hints, maybe even some pepper strangely, and hot cinnamon. Chewy, sour viscous and a perfect almost raspberry tartness. Just loving it.

I could drink this all day. This is pure magic in a bottle, and much tastier than the classic. Complete total beer enjoyment.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep reddish, ruby-brown body with a nice foamy head. Took a little time to settle.

S - Refreshing fruit aromas hit the nose. Some wafts of alcohol and tart tangy dryness are present.

T - Full bodied and packed with tons of dry natural fruit flavor. The beer has some oak flavor and mild spice. The cherry stands throuhg most Id say, but ideas of other red fruits are present as well. This beer finishes super clean and semi dry. Very very refreshing and flavorful.

M - The mouthfeel is very clean. The beer is well balanced and perfectly carbonated. Super smooth and enjoyable.

D - Highly drinkable being so well aged and cleana nd crisp. If you like beer that is refreshing and feels clean to your mouth and warms your plate and stomach with love, this is a great choice.

Notes - I love reds, sours, lambics etc so this beer ranks up there with me. A must try if you enjoy any of those types. Rodenbach original is a common beer in my usual arsenal but the Grand Cru returns now and again for a special treat.

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Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, caged and corked, with a foil enclosure to boot. Best before date stamped on the bottle of the bottle. (There's a good place to put vital info...) Pours an interesting chestnut shade of amber, with a slight dark cherry hue. Well developed lacing emerges from a light tan puffy head, which exhibited moderate retention. Nose also, I would characterize as interesting, sweet, nutty and fruity. This brew is a classic of the style, sour, sweet,smoky,acidic, complex. Not for everybody, this style takes awhile for most to warm up to and appreciate. It goes well with food, particularily "fish with lemon" as noted on the label. Tasty, mysterious, interesting and thirst quenching. Get some, taste it, taste it again, come to love it

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.26 out of 5 based on 3,918 ratings.
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