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Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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1,126 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: 1,126 | Ratings: 3,935
Photo of ahq514
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml into tulip glass.

Pours dark brown with an airy, off white head (roughly two fingers worth). Appears to have fairly high carbonation. Some light lacing.

Complex aroma which consists of multiple fruits (cherries, dark fruits, apples, etc.). Also a certain vinegar aspect of it because of the sourness. Behind the fruit and sour aspects of the aroma is a decent malt backbone, even giving it some light caramel/chocolate aromas.

Tastes similar to aroma. Starts off sour and a little puckering, which contains some of the fruits in the aroma, mostly cherries. Then comes some sweetness which brings out fruit flavors even more. The malt presence is there throughout making it more balanced than some other sours that I've had. A smooth presence of oak and vanilla wedged in there too.

Great balance of sweet and sour making it very drinkable and refreshing. Medium body and pretty carbonated.

While I haven't had many sours, this is awesome. Some of the others I've had, have just been all pucker and nothing else. This one allows you to taste the malt and some sweetness balancing out the sourness quite well. Will happily recommend this beer to others looking to have a well balanced sour.

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

Pours with a garnet hue and a white head. Aroma is mostly sour cherries. The taste is quite winelike with a cherry flavored tartness. This has to be the most under-rated style in the world. With beers like this out there I wonder why we don't see more flemish sour ales.

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Photo of abfraser
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at La Trappe in SF.

A: Dark hazy red with a nice-sized white head that lasts for almost the entire glass

S: Sour, fruity aromas. Some caramel malt

T/M: Crisp, dry and oh so tart. Sour cherries. Definitely up there on the sour scale. Very tasty tasty stuff.

D: Exceptionally drinkable being light, tart and lower in abv.

An amazing beer. Personally I prefer the regular Rodenbach over the Grand Cru as it's not quite as sour, but even still this is an awesome beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of trep
3.45/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750mL bottle, corked n caged.

Murky brown with a mocha head that fades to a thin ring around the glass. Some carbonation visible and some yeast sediment.

Smells like vinegar and wine. Very fruity but the alcohol is very overwhelming.

Very tart all the way through, appley and grapey. Alcohol isn't too prevalent in the taste as it was the aroma.

High carbonation and thin mouthfeel. Kind of tough to drink through the tartness. But overall its above average.

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


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.

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Photo of pdoran10
4.76/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

oh my! came into this beer with little expectation and a wait and see attitude.

From a magnum into a standard pint glass. shared with non craft beer enthusiast friends.

pours a beautiful dark red-brown with three fingers of white head that will not quit. good lacing. waited for it to settle with a standard pour for about 5 minutes.

my first glowing review in a while.

Smell is must and a hint at complex sour. not pungent.

Is there something higher than 5.0 for taste? cherries, brett funk awesomeness, smoothness coming through from barrel aging. Hey Rodenbach we get it, you win beer, well played.

Mouthfeel - Belgian angels dancing on your tounge while you consider buying more of this beer,

Drinkability, easy drinking sour Belgian at 6% abv? yes please!

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Photo of jmhart
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served a bottle at Cambrinus Pub in Bruges, and it was so good, I brought a 4 pack home and served it with a pepper encrusted porterhouse steak and asparagus.

A- Pours a thick creamy reddish-brown, forming a heavy off white head that rescinds quickly and leaves an intricate lace all over the beer. The lace eventually disappears.

S- Heavy acetic acid with some tart fruits like plums and dark cherries. Hard to pick out any flavors over the acetic acid.

T- Straight up sweet and sour. Deliciously sour with strong acetic notes, dark cherries, plums, and some really nice oak and bready, like a piece of bread soaked in red wine vinegar and buried in a pot for 3 years.

M- Really wonderful. Chewy and sour, with some nice oils, and impressively moist. Something this sour usually dries you out, but it's really refreshing.

D- Easily one of my favorite beers. So tasty and refreshing. I can't say enough about this beer. I'd never had it before my trip to Europe, and I was so happy to see it in nearly all of the beer stores I frequent back home.

Overall, I love this beer and drink it FREQUENTLY. Great with dinner. A nice steak or delicious pot roast. If it wouldn't be such a waste of good (and expensive) beer, I'd love to cover a good roast in this and slow cook it for 8 or 10 hours...mmm

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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 ryantupy
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a dark cloud ruby red with a nice creamy head that quickly reduces.

S - Tart at first but you also notice the beers sourness and oak. Then you notice cherries and spice.

T - Tart at first followed by hints of oak and cherries with mild spice. The tart smooths out into more of a sweet fruity beer.

M - Smooth medium bodied beer that goes down nicely.

D - This is a great beer that you can enjoy all night.

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Photo of mhatters
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at TND in Wayne on tap

A ruby color with a clean cream colored head

Great nose, tart cherry dominates at first, but then the oak comes through, and after one minute a variety of notes including spice, butterscotch(?)

Nice tart sour to this, the oak does not over power but fits right in, fruit notes but not fruity

Some acid to the taste, a big beer feel, but easy to drink, this is a classic

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

Poured from a bomber in small tasting glasses so everyone could get a taste.

A - Light burgandy in color, slight off white head that recedes quickly leaving a thin layer on top, no real lacing slides quickly down the glass.

S - Getting a slight chemical varnish like smell, weird.

T - Nice tight tartness, feel like I'm getting a Granny apple taste, maybe some grapes also some wood chips, nice long finish.

M - Medium bodied, mild carbonation, slight mouth puckering.

O - I like this beer, only my second Flemish ale, very nice.

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

A: my goodness this beers color is great its a red mahogany with a light tan head lace looks really good it kind of coats the glass

S: light vinegar dark fruit and a slightly sweet smell also detectable very good and complex smell here

T: taste is like the smell but not as sour as I would have thought if Duchesse is a 9 for sourness this is like a 5 I shared this beer with a friend but I could have drank the whole 750

M: med mouth feel med carbonation

D: yea I could have drank the whole 750 myself and I was not expecting that

overall: exceptional brew with a lot of history behind it. I was expecting this to be good but this blew me away fantastic brew

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Photo of joesc230
1.38/5  rDev -67.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Decided to try this out based on the reviews I saw on this site. To be honest, this was the first time I've tried a well-rated beer (based on this site's ratings) that I absolutely hated. I'm sure it's a great choice for some people, but both the smell and taste of this beer reminded me of a very sweet and sour vinegar. After trying it out and being suprised by its taste, I asked a friend to try it out and he totally agreed with me.

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Photo of Weizenmensch
1.41/5  rDev -66.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I tried this beer with no preconceptions, although it was a Belgian Grand Cru. It may be my first Flanders Red Ale, but I've had quite a few oak aged beers in the past. I didn't like the taste. Too sour, very unique and lacking in a real beer feel. Tasted like Shiraz, in that it was dry and peppery, although it also had a watery consistency. Generally it was unpleasant, I don't think I'll be having another one, and I'll be noting my aversion to the style (not many beers of this style are available in Australia). A real disappointment.

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Photo of Ek0nomik
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured In: Snifter
Purchased At: HyVee (Madison, WI)

Appearance: The pour produces half a finger of foamy head that runs away after just a few seconds. Looking through the whole glass the beer has a bistre color, but when just a fraction of the beer is held to light it has a burnt umber and Bulgarian rose color. It's hard to see through the beer, but judging by the top of the pour it doesn't look effervescent which I was expecting. Although, perhaps I shouldn't have expected it as I don't think any of the other flanders red ales that I have had have produced effervescence in the glass.

Smell: The nose has the obvious brown malt playing in the background, but on top of that sits a handful of sourness, tart cherries, vinegar, vanilla and oak.

Taste: Just like the nose, brown malt sits in the background while the exciting features both jump out, and slowly come out. The acidic sourness comes out immediately bringing along a tart cherry flavor with it. Notes of oak, vanilla and vinegar start to creep out, followed by plum juice. The aftertaste leaves me with more cherries, although now they are more sweet than tart.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with a medium amount of carbonation. The first few sips were aggressively carbonated, but as usual, after letting it sit for a few minutes it became more pleasant.

Drinkability: This will end up in my crate again for sure. I can't remember how much it was, but I think the price was pretty reasonable. Around $10 or so I do believe for the 750mL bottle. This has a really nice set of flavors, quite a bit of sourness (not as much as La Folie, but because of how sour La Folie is I think this is slightly more drinkable).

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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 titty_mcbitty
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep brown with ruby tones when held to the light. Not really any head on this one, but there's a thin tan film.

S: Tart raspberries with brown sugar, acid, and vinegar.

T: Oh yeah, this is good! First off: tart raspberries, brown sugar, citrus acid, vinegar, light oak, tangy raisins. There's some cherries and peach as well. Good stuff.

M: I think a lot of others said it well; damn near perfect. For this style, I don't think I'd have it any other way. Light, almost medium bodied and slightly creamy but dry finish.

O: Glad I found this one for such a cheap price. I wanted to buy it earlier but it costs over $20 at the local store- found it for $10. This is an awesome Flanders red ale and reminds me of Jacobins Rouge. It comes in a huge bottle as well so that you can enjoy it for a long period.

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Photo of ikats
4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep red, mahogany color. Large tan head dissipates quickly to a thin cover. Wonderful sour aroma. It's full of sour cherries and plums. Wood notes are there too (not surprisingly since it was aged in oak for 18 months). As I keep enjoying the aroma, it starts to remind me of sour candies. And with that thought it tastes like sour candies too. Such a wonderful taste, especially if it's not straight out of the fridge. The pleasure is the same I get out of eating sour cherries. Tartness is not overbearing as there is very sweet background to balance it. It all plays very nice on my tongue. I do enjoy sour beers and this one is the best so far. Grand Cru seems like a fitting name.

This was a 750 ml bottle that I saved for a few months for a special night. "Best before" date is stamped on the bottom of the bottle, but it's a bit hard to make out.

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Photo of zoso493
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into the infamous Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Pours a coco-cola color with a thin one-finger head. When held up to the light, some reddish tints come out. When you open the bottle, you get a huge whiff of cherry soda, so I was kind of expecting this to pour a bright red.

Smell: Huge smell of cherries up front with some oak, vanilla, vinegar with a general theme of sourness.

Taste: Follows the smell with some berry-like funk. Very, very sour and vinegary, with some malts, berries and dark fruit coming out.

Mouthfeel: Creamy but fairly carbonated. Pretty crisp and dry.

Drinkability: As interesting as this brew is, it's just too sour for me to drink a lot of. I think this one is going to be enough for now.

Overall, this is a hell of an intriguing and very sour brew. It's certainly worth sampling.

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Photo of Humulus85
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I've had this several times, but this is the first real sit down analysis for me. From the 750ml C&C bottle into my tasting glass. BB 11/06/15

Pours a murky garnet with a tight two finger light khaki head. Solid retention for the style with pretty good lacing.

Tart, but not sour. Picking up a bunch of funky apples, like really ripe apple skins. Characteristic balsamic vinegar. Dome vinous notes, and barrel juice. Bits of oak and even some vanilla. No hops, and no straightforward malts. Wonderfully complex, I could smell this all day.

Slightly tart on the front that quickly blossoms into an array of that funky apple, ripe cherry, and oak. More vanilla than I anticipated. All this with a very nice Belgian candy sweetness that keeps things in check. The sour side of this beer is subdued compared to some of the hardcore guezes and American wilds, but very well balanced between the lactic and acetic. Sourness builds ad this warms, but never overpowers. This is seriously tasty.

A solid medium, with ample carbonation. Finishes dry and clean, with just the right amount of pucker. Superior drinkability, and one of the most refreshing beers I've

Overall this is one of the best Flanders Reds I've had, right up there with Cuvee des Jacobins. This hits the perfect balance of sweet and sour. So layered and complex, I can hardly believe this is just water, barley, hops, and assorted bugs. There are just so many fruit flavors here, and the added vanilla/barrel character just brings it to that next level. The best part is its widely available and cheap relative to the style. I could drink this every day. If you are a fan of sours and haven't tried this one you need to. If you are wondering about trying a sour beer, this is a great place to start. Cheers!

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Photo of NCMatt
4.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First Flanders Red. Didn't really know what to expect. I had an idea how sour I thought it might be, but beyond that it was going to be a surprise. It was less tart than I imagined, but it still had a zing. You could really smell and taste the barrels, had almost a bourbon like quality. Dark, but not black. Overall, it was a very good and well balanced beer. There's a reason it's been produced as long as it has. It's good. Give it a try!

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Photo of joedon
2.95/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Nice tan head with lots of lace atop a dark brown-garnet beer.
Strong aroma of sour cherries plus earthy-dank notes.

Overpowering sourness with sour cherries, buttery-acetyl and alcohol bite. Very much of an acquired taste.

Decent mouthfeel for a strong flavored beer.

Not very drinkable to me. This beer might be right for someone really into lambics or lactobacillus flavors but it's not for me.

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Photo of camil1mj
4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle found on the shelf at my local bottle shop.

A: Reddish/brown. Foamy white 3 finger head that is slow to dissipate. Ring of head lingers around the edges while drinking.

S: Strong tart and sour smell.

T: Crisp, tart nose that gives way to a very fruity and refreshing cherry finish.

M: Heacy carbonation and light bodied.

O: Great Flanders. Glad I decided to give this a try. As good as many of the "rare" sours.

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Photo of TheWhiskerReview
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a reddish-brownish black with a 1-finger tan head. Mild retention and lace.

The silky nose offers up deep notes of rich cocoa powder, raisins, prunes and vanilla with touches of coffee and spiced apples. For a sour, the nose has little evidence of it. Perhaps a touch of sour cherry.

The palate has a massive, dominant but incredibly well-integrated sourness- lemony with other tones of black cherries and pears- balanced by a very rich malty structure. More notes of butterscotch, syrupy tobacco, creamy vanilla bean, a figgy sweetness and a good dusting of spices- pepper, clove, cinnamon. A faint bit of tannins in the middle of the tongue starts the finish, which is incredibly long with trailing, vineous notes of chocolate and spiced orange peel. The spectrum of flavors in this are astounding.

Out of all the sours I've had, this one has one of the most well-integrated sour characters I've ever come across. Ya it's a bit like those warheads candies, but it's tucked in such an incredible silky richness. The flavors are varied and complex and the delivery is impeccable. And for a sour, there's none of those rank, barnyardy tones either which would make this, I think, a good first sour for someone who needs their sour cherry popped.

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

Bought a bottle dated 6/19/2012. I have a feeling its been sitting here for quite some time.

A: poured into pilsner flute. Clear dark red color with light dull orange head. highly fizzy carbonation.

S: vinegar, apples, black cherry, wet wood.

T: tart cherries and apples. Smoothed out by bits of sugary sweetness and woody notes. Finishes crisp and a little dry.

M: medium bodied, almost syrupy at times, but loaded with fizzy carbonation. Insanely drinkable.

O: still expanding my horizons on sours, but DAMN this is good! Just the right amount of tartness. Will buy this again and again.

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Rodenbach Grand Cru from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.26 out of 5 based on 3,935 ratings.
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