Case (299) - GERMANY - APR 23, 2009
4.8 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
A mix of 1/3 fresh Rodenbach and 2/3 two-year old Rodenbach aged in oak casks. This is the benchmark oak-aged Sour Ale of Belgium. The ratebeer description above is rather misleading since there is nothing gentle about this beer, it is all about the achieving the perfectly balanced sharp sourness.
Pours a dark-red body (thus the name of this style - Flanders Red Ale) with a small off-white head that fades away, leaving a bit of fine lacing behind. Tart aroma of oak wood and cherries. The taste is strong bold sour, sour cherries, vinegar, tannins, acidic and just a very light subtle sweetness to balance the extremes. For 6.5% alcohol this is a very powerful beer full of complex flavours. For the longest time after first tasting Rodenbach I just could not believe there were no cherries used in making the beer - that’s how potent the taste is. Unlike the funky sourness of a Geuze, the sourness of a Flemish Red is vinegary and oaky from the aging in oak casks. For me it is a more refined, elegant kind of sourness whereas Geuze is more fresh and direct.
It is all a matter of taste though; some people might find this to be like drinking pure vinegar. For a beginner I therefore strongly recommend acclimatizing yourself to the sourness with a few of the milder Rodenbach Classics first before trying the Grand Cru. Also, as has often been said, this is a great beer to convince a wine connoisseur that there is some merit to beer as well.
A most refreshing, strong and complex beer. Be careful - once you develop a taste for sour ales you are very likely to become addicted!
twitcher (298) - framingham, Massachusetts, USA - JUL 13, 2008
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
smaller bottle. Pours a deep dull mahogany color with some amber highlights. Little to no head, though what is there leaves a decent ring throughout. Aromas of heavy syrupy sweetness and sour acidic cherry notes. Flavor starts with a big smack of fruity tartness- cherries stand out. The tart notes are very heavy, but not as aggressive as lambic sourness. Underlying sweetness works well, ensuring the brew isn’t overpowering on the tart notes. Very full bodied and full flavored on the palate, with a suprisingly clean finish given the body and tartness. A good summertime sipping beer, ideal for those mid afternoon times when one wants a brew but needs to continue with household chores.
Stuedmaster (298) - San Marcos, California, USA - AUG 15, 2010
3.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I really liked this one better than the regular Rodenbach sour ale. It is more complex with a more pronounced oak flavor. Pours dark red with a small head that doesn’t stay. The nose is vinegar, sour cherry, and oak. It is medium sour with a light, refreshing finish. This is one of the top sours that I’ve had, highly recommended.
Ulysse (298) - Brussels, BELGIUM - DEC 15, 2014
3.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Fruity and roasted malt aroma. Light sourness. A special aftertaste comes long after the sip. It reminds of oven dried olive in the pizza.
Scouser (297) - Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 26, 2009
3.3 AROMA 3/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
vinegar aroma. its brown, that it. easy to drink i love the sour flavor though! i cant decide about this one
clingman71 (297) - Centerville, Ohio, USA - JAN 30, 2006
4.8 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2007 Rodenbach Grand Cru is like a great movie that you see, hear, or learn something new each time you watch it. Each time I have this beer I smell or taste something new and wonderful. It pours deep amber in color with nice head, although not as much as some Belgians. This is crisp and tart, flavorful and most definitely sour. The initial sour blast blends into a dryness, but there is a slight sweetness that comes out at the finish, very complex. It is indeed an acquired taste, but oh so worth it once acquired. I enjoy this beer more each time that I have it.
RomanW70 (296) - Providence, Rhode Island, USA - FEB 18, 2008
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours Reddish borwn with a light head that disappears quickly. Aroma of sour cherries with a hint of chocolate. Taste is sour throughout and lasts. Strong and consistent from begining to end. Has med-high carbonation and a full mouth feel. Can detect some aromatic hops in the finish.
KennethArd (296) - Odense, DENMARK - JAN 21, 2014
3.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Vinous fruity. Red to brown, clear with persistent head. Sour taste. Light body, sticky texture & soft carbonation.
Davinci (295) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 29, 2008
4.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
On tap. Deep garnet colored with nice thick head. Nose is somewhat harsh, chemically sour, notes of epoxy with cherry aromas building as it warms and sweet tobacco coming through at the very end. Flavor is tart and acidic. Grape soda, sour cherries, malt vinegar. Quite a dry finish with some sweetness remaining on the palate. Very enjoyable.
DewBrewer (295) - Austin, Texas, USA - AUG 22, 2009
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bought this bottle in Belgium, probably in 2004. Still delicious! Go figure. Wonderful cherry aroma and flavor. The sourness has developed and it is not oxidized. It is similar to La Folie in certain years. Great beer.