Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

BA SCORE
95
world-class
4,007 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-25-2000

BEER STATS
Ratings:
4,007
Reviews:
1,137
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
11.27%
 
 
Wants:
331
Gots:
681
For Trade:
22
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,007 |  Reviews: 1,137
Photo of dcmchew
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

 786 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle - $9.49 at Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georiga.

Appearance: Escapes the bottle an opaque, dark brown-red body with a thinnish, scant, khaki-colored head.

Smell: Easy breezy aroma of moist, ripe cherries leisurely soaking in first-class vinegar and dusted with vanilla sugar.

Taste: Flavorful blend of both sweet and tart cherries with a lesser hint of black raspberry and an overall robust acetic quality. Subtle, subdued oakiness with a kiss of vanilla. Pinch of pickling spices. Cracklingly tart, puckering finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-high carbonation. Mouthfeel is has a tad oiliness to it but is also lightly spritzy.

Drinkability: An all-around admirable brew that's surprisingly refreshing. As my astonished roommate said of it, "How dey do dat??" Some things are best left unsaid, man.

 838 characters

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

 795 characters

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.

 2,683 characters

Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -12%

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.

 699 characters

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.

 329 characters

Photo of duceswild
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

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

 981 characters

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.

 1,018 characters

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.

 676 characters

Photo of atrocity
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of smithj4
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

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.

 279 characters

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.

 881 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

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!

 1,147 characters

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.09/5  rDev -4%

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.

 2,905 characters

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

Photo of ZEB89
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of thatoneguymike
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

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.

 681 characters

Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.26 out of 5 based on 4,007 ratings.
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