Rodenbach Grand Cru | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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1,120 Reviews
Rodenbach Grand CruRodenbach Grand Cru

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

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Reviews: 1,120 | Ratings: 3,902
Photo of joshstevens87
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a dark red/rusty brownwith a minimal dirty tan head
S-a big bouquet of fruit mixed with a sharp vinegar
T-a sharp vinegary mustyness and a good dose of darkerfruits and apples with a slight smooth woodness
M-a full boddy with a modest carbonation very smooth and complex
D-a delicious beer that is amazingly complex and vcan easily be enjoyed all night

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Photo of OttoPeeWee
3.48/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I hate to do this because I know this is a very well respected beer, but I'm not that much into it.

The flavors are good, but too much vinegar to be very drinkable. Smells good, definately cherry and sour apple. And there's proof of fine craftsmenship.

I just think it would be fantastic with more of "young" beer and just some of the aged to balance it out and give it the complex elements. It would probably be one of my favorite beers, just not as balanced as I would like for it to be.

Interesting, a must try if you have not had one.

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Photo of foamer
3.78/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep red with a frothy light tan head which diminishes to a layer of bubbles on the surface. No lacing down the glass. Sour aroma, some fruits too. Strong sour flavour which lasts and lasts. Not too overpowering though. Nice, like lemonade. That's the closest thing I can match it to - lemonade, with some malt. A taste until what I've normally tried in a beer. I've only ever tried one gueuze before, and now this. Nice mouthfeel. This is an intriguing style. Tasty for certain, but I'm not sure how many I could drink. I do like the sour taste, but I'm not sure I could have many of them. Still, a nice enjoyable beer.

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

Thanks to Huhzubendah for the bottle!

A: Head fizzes away leaving a slightly hazy dark brown liquid.

S: Oak, with some fruity sour notes

T: Sour, slight funkiness. Oak gives a mouth-puckering effect and dries the palate. Nice, pleasant tartness reminiscent of sour cherries and apples. Vinegar-ish in the throat with a cherry soda finish.

M: Very nice balance of sweet/tart. Good carbonation and overall a joy to drink.

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Photo of Martin2D
2.87/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A - Brown with a large tan carbonated type head

S - Smells awesome. Hints of fruits and tartness dance in my nose. Can't wait to taste this one.

T - Well, I can't say the nose matches the flavor. There are hints of light malts and fruits, but there is an overwhelming acetic finish which is completely off putting. It's almost like drinking vinegar.

M - Light in body with a medium-heavy carbonation.

D - The cork was stuck in this beer so it took me a while to open this beer. It was fate telling me not to crack this beer by myself. It's far too tart to drink a bottle by itself. Any more than one glass is going to be a challenge.

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Photo of TMB0424
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml corked bottle. poured into flute

Appearance is a light ruby/maroon body with a light, loose head that dissipates pretty quickly. Sticky lacing.

Aroma of sour apples and cherries. Bready, funky yeast as well - with a splash of oak. Nothing overly complex here, but certainly smells interesting to say the least.

Taste is basically like the smell. Sour, sweet cherries. Sour green apples. Sour patch kid-like. Fairly tart, but not overboard. The sourness is what grabs you first, but then there's a hint of sweetness in the finish that is pretty pleasant. I don't detect any alcohol at all really.

The mouthfeel is crisp and light. Carbonation is a little high but it fits very well. Extremely drinkable, as this is probably one of the more refreshing beers I've had of late. I didn't get tired of the tartness or sourness at all, even after a few glasses. I'm definitely going to try this on a hot summer's day. Highly recommended.

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Photo of hefevice
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle.! Poured deep garnet with a reasonable head. Aroma just blew me away. Huge, sour acetic, lactic, medicinal (acetone almost) and funky. Taste was as per the aroma, reminded me of linctus phocodeine (cough medicine) that I used to take when I was a kid but with a little more funk and sophistication. What an amazing beer!

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Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Well the other of the two beers I had at the only café the other day. I had this one ages ago when the LCBO brought it in for a seasonal but this was long before my enlightened reviewing days, so time for another sample.

Well now the pour was a nice cherry red with next to no head on it, but the colour was damn appealing none the less.
On to the smell, now this is a whole other ballpark. Smells of sour cherry, watermelon, lime and cantaloupe all hit me like a fruit fight in the grocery store produce section. Wow what a bouquet, other notes I sniffed included bubble gum, candy sugar, apple esters, ripe pear, some chocolaty malt and finally cider vinegar. This is definitely one of the most robust noses I've smelled in a long time.

On to the taste which proved no less impressive. A peppery fruitiness initially too hold, like the bite of cayenne pepper. Followed this, very astringent sourness, balanced by a chalky sensation in the mouth attacked my tongue. The bite of mustard and an overwhelming sensation of balsamic vinegar coated my mouth, the viscous liquor leaving the piquant nip of the latter mentioned flavours. Star anise ,apples and pear soaked in meandered throughout the flavor spectrum completing one of the most complex palettes I've had the privilege of tasting.

Alas I did not get to see the freshness date on the bottle. I have the feeling that this beer was a little aged after reading some of the reviews. This is possibly why I feel this beers drinkability and appearance are a little slacking compared to what others have rated. It was just a bit too rough with the vinegary sensation to be supremely quaffable, though twas still quite quenching. My suspicions about the age might also be the reason why this beer had next to no head upon pour which was also a slight downer. Regardless this is a magnificent beer which I'd love to try on tap or at least a fresher bottle.

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Photo of rustymoore
3.49/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is my first review of a Belgian Red Ale but here goes...pours with a light head and good lacing. The color is a dark, reddish amber that is fairly uniform. The ale smells of sour fruits and wine with a slight nutty hint. It smells amazing! The taste is where this ale declines in my opinion...sour grapes and cranberries are the primary flavor while the tartness tends to take away from this red ale for me. A little more sweetness to balance out the tartness could help. This ale is however very fruity in taste (however sour) and the acidic mouthfeel is somewhat unpleasent as well. Not something one could drink consistently I wouldn't think.

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Photo of BillyBoysPie
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Sergio's World Beers in Louisville, KY.

In an appropriate tulip. A dark reddish-amber with off-white head.

Smells of sour cherry, alcohol, and some grains.

Flavors of raspberry, sour cherry, clean hop flavors, and minimal toffee malt.

Very clean beer, refreshing and well carbonated to offset the sour flavors.

One of the finest examples of the Flanders Red Ale/Sour style. Don't miss a chance.

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Photo of mmapes
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had a bottle earlier in the day that was fresh. Reviewing a roughly five year old bottle from Beer Mania.

Poured into wine glasses. Head was there briefly but dissipated quickly. Color is cola-reddish-brown.

Smell is sour up front, carmel, maybe a hint of slight vinegar... we hope it's okay. I think the fresh bottle earlier had a more appealing scent -- the sour note seemed more fruity.

Very interesting first sip: Sweet, a little sour, very complex. Some cherry up front, but quickly turns less fruity than the fresh bottle earlier had been. The age makes it smoother than the fresh bottle. The sour component is preceded by a dark brown sugary malt that is quite sweet, and just the right offset for the sour. The long finish makes it easy to sip. I'm not the biggest fan of sour beers, but this is delicious.

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Photo of Iguana
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked/caged bottle

A: Poured a reddish amber into my tulip glass, with a 1cm frothy head that didnt go down.

S: Smells like cherry smarties candy, tart and sweet, smells great.

T: Wow, tart cherries, some barnyard funk, dry finish. Hints of oak in there. Man thats tasty.

M: Acidic, tingly on the tongue, tartness that gives a little cringe and settles into sweetness. I am diggin it.

D: I can see this being hard for some, but for me, this stuff is great, refreshing, and I plan on getting some more. A bit harsher than the classic, but a great beer.

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Photo of thirtysixbelow
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - red brown color with tan 2 finger creamy bubbly head on an aggressive pour.

s - holy crap! grape, cherry, tart berries, sour yeast, slight alcohol... I feel like there is so much going on that I can't grasp it all. This is the kind of experience I save the 5 rating for :)

t - tart, cherry, sour, berries, and wood all hit you at once when the beer touches your tongue. Not much hops to speak of, but a little bit of alcohol warmth is noticable in the aftertaste.

m - smooth oily character with barely any carbonation.

d - Man, this was an eye opening experience for what beer can be. This is out there in terms of aroma and taste. It's an amazing experience, but it's so extreme that I don't think a drop more than this 11.2oz bottle would be appropriate or palatable. It's a must try, but the price and intensity are going to keep it from being a regular.

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Photo of gregb13
2.33/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Cracked this one open after Thanksgiving dinner. Looks nice in the glass, but that's where the compliments end. Smell isn't bad necessarily, just lopsidedly sour with nothing else to balance. Taste is like drinking balsamic vinegar straight up. Bottle said it's supposed to have a "sweet-sour" taste and it absolutely did not. It's also so dry in the mouth that a couple sips totally ruin the palate. Very disappointing.

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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 CraigS119
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

No idea how to describe this. I would say it's sweet(er) than most sours. Some woody/musty notes that add complexity. Idk. Indescribable. 9/10

What she said: "Smells... smells like something familiar.. smells like communion wine." 7.5/10

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

Poured this Flanders red ale into a chalice. A small light tan head formed and quickly retreated to the walls of my chalice. The body of the beer is a mahogany brown, it has some clarity and red tones against light.

Aroma is largely vinegar at first, and then the sourness kicks in. Reminds me of sour cherries.

Taste is a little bit vinagrette, which transforms into a sourness. With the main sour flavor being that of cherries. Like a blend of a young red wine with some sparkling white perhaps. I can say that I cannot taste any hops here, but they are probably very well disguised and/or diminished from the oak aging process for this beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with above average amount of carbonation which lends to the mouth puckering and thirst quenching ability of this brew.

Drinkablilty - For some the sourness gets old or becomes too much, but I would have no trouble drinking a 750 or two by myself, especially with the humble ABV in this beer. It's a complex beer that is interesting time after time.

Would like to do a side by side tasting with Rodenbach Classic, Duchess, Monks and La Folie.

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

Poured into a Founder's Brewing snifter.

A: Pours a reddish brown, more red though, with a half-inch of brownish foam that recedes quickly.

S: Sour tartness, coming from cherries specifically, with oak and vanilla hints, and a little vinegar.

T: Very sour in the beginning, but not off putting at all. The tartness of cherries is most prevalent. The oak, vanilla and vinegar come through near the back end of this beer.

M/D: A medium amount of carbonation that balance out the beer. Very refreshing, a clean and dry finish, which makes this beer highly drinkable.

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Photo of Trappissed
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'll start off by saying I enjoyed this much more than the Rodenbach Classic Red, although that one was still plenty good. This has nice reddish brown color with decent head and lacing. A pleasant sweet-n-sour smell and a little funky with a touch of vinegar. In the taste, it starts off sour and fades into a mellow caramel flavor. Then the sourness comes back for the aftertaste. Also getting some tart cherries and oak.

I can see why they describe this as a Flemish Red Brown Ale on the bottle. The different elements keep each other in check and produce a very balanced beer. Although sour, its definitely not overpowering by any means. A great and lively mouthfeel, with prickly carbonation keeps things interesting. I'm glad I finally found a place that carries this and I'll be getting more in the future.

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Photo of goblet
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

the bottle is a 330 ml /12.2 fl oz that says "flemish sour ale aged in oak for 18 months "on the label and a grand cru R on the crown which i popped and poured into my goblet.

Apeareance: after the pour i got a small rocky, frothy head with very little retention time.the color is a deep russet hue on the reddish brown side no carbonation ,lite lace.

Smell:oh yes this is good ,sour vingery heaven.It`s like sour cherries and grapes with lemon and sugar ,red vinger a bit of malt in the back ground,no hops .its magic ! you could get a lot more out of this .

Taste:like the smell a lot of sharp sour flavors like an green apple cidar ,sour grape juice and fresh lemon ,yep acidity and even a bit of a woodsy taste that must be from the magic wand that they used to make this brew.

Mouthfeel:meduim to lite body with all this sour ness my mouth just wants to pucker up like i just ate a lemon wedge but not to much ,its got great balance .

Drinkability: this is a fantastic brew one of the best beers of this style out there ,i like sour brews tremendously,(to give you an idea of my taste) .over all great beer.

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Photo of SirChugsAlot
3.53/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out rather dark when held up to a light revealed a redish hint with a nice cream colored head that faded quickly. Smell reminds me of vinegar and fruit with the sour yet sweet taste to follow and a hint of citrus. Tingled the taste buds with the carbonation and left me wanting another

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Photo of frozyn
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L -- Pours a ruby brown that shows clear ruby when held up to the light. Slightly tan head that bloomed when pouring and took a while to die down before becoming a ring around the edge.

S -- Sour cherries, oak, and a definite red wine-like quality.

T -- Very close to the nose, although my first taste involved plenty of plum and a little vanilla. The plum becomes more pronounced over time. Tart is a great way to describe the flavor, almost like eating a not-quite-ripe plum...and some cherries.

F -- Medium body, but very crisp. The sour puckers/prickles the tongue a little.

O -- One of my first "sour" beers and it took a little bit to get into it tonight. By the end, however, I was thoroughly enjoying the fruit flavors and sourness of it. A great beer to break up any staid patterns you may have fallen into (unless, of course, you only have a taste for sour-tasting beers).

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

Rodenbach Grand Cru, ABV: 6.0%.
330 ml bottle, 21.90 SEK at Systembolaget.

A: Dark, red liquid and a beige, bubbly head that leaves a nice ring of retention in the glass.

S: Big aromas of red wine, cloves, ginger, oranges, berries, juniper and liquorice. Like a mix of glögg (mulled wine) and julmust (a Swedish type of soda, drunk at Christmas).

T: Rich, sour flavours of red wine, cranberries, apples, oranges, cloves, juniper, liquorice, brown sugar and black pepper. Not much bitterness. It's unusual to me (but I like it).

M: Medium-sized body, and some carbonation. I don't know what to say - it's the sourness that does the job for my tongue.

O: A new and happy experience for me. While I'm all alone in the dark, the aromas and flavours bring a lot of memories and other stuff to my mind - I think I'm going to enjoy more of beers like this in the future.

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Photo of Sharkophile
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this beer sitting untouched on a shelf in a supermarket chain of all places. I had never had Flanders Red before so this was my introduction into the world of Belgian Sours, and what an introduction it was.

A: Poured from a 750ml bottle into a goblet. Pours a deep, opaque reddish color with a huge off-white head.

S: Smells very fruity and slightly tart, with some funky and spicy smells as well. Almost wine-like.

T: Sour at first, with a sour cherry and slightly vinegary flavor. The more I sip, the more I taste dark fruit flavors (date and fig-like) beneath the tartness, in addition to vanilla and spice. Finishes very dry.

M: Pretty light bodied, with a prickly carbonation, alot of bubbles hitting the tongue, which amplifies the dryness.

O: Mother of God, this beer is unlike anything I've ever tasted. Tart, complex and simply amazing. I feel the need to drink more sours other than fruit lambics after drinking this beer.

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Photo of dill
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured on draught into a snifter.

A - a deep mahogany color with a thin white head.

S - fruitcake.

T - reminiscent of cherry syrup. there's definitely some spices in here too, but the fruit is dominant without being too sour. perhaps i would have enjoyed a touch more sourness in fact.

M - tight carbonation, almost champagne-like.

D - a nice beer to sip although I wouldn't look to have more than one at a time.

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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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