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Alexander - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

69 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 69
Hads: 99
Avg: 4.47
pDev: 10.07%
Wants: 164
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 69 | Hads: 99
Photo of marburg
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had one bottle of this beer sitting in a sealed box in my closet waiting for a special day; but then I happened across 2 more bottles at a local store that had recently remodelled and temporarily hidden their Belgian beers. I broke one out this evening to re-sample one of my all-time favorite brews.

The color is of a rich, lacquered piece of mahogony -- deep brown with hints of red when even the thinnest light hits it. The reddish tint is unique, as I understand it, to Rodenbach among the oud bruin beers. This particular sour ale is exceptional as it's blended with cherries, as it states on the bottle. The dance of the light is just such a treat compared to the cloudier, more opaque visual presented by beers like Goudenband. Anyhow, there's little to no head on this beer as the bubbly, soda-like head disappears quickly. A *very* thin lace sticks to the sides of the glass with each sip, however.

Obvious aromas of some sort of cherry vinegarette salad dressing -- slightly tart but very richly sweet like Michigan black cherries. This has most potpourris beat, hands down.

The taste is of dried cherries -- lightly sour with an intensely sweet cherry flavor. It begins with a heavy sweetness and finishes with a crisp acidity similar to that of other Flemish browns/reds or lambics. The body is fairly thin, but the beer is nonetheless powerful and the flavors intense.

I could drink this beer all night. It's exceptional.

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Photo of francisweizen
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled at the Kulminator in Antwerp, BE. This was a 1995 (?) vintage, as this beer is no longer produced. The aromas are that of the familiar regular Rodenbach or Grand Cru, except that this version of good ole' Rodenbach is filled with cherry essence. The taste is like Rodenback with cherries added, and that's exactly what this beer is. The mouthfeel is perfect and the drinkability is excellent!

I recently had a 1997 vintage at the Beer Circus. Damn this shit is good. Rodenbach with a cherry explosion on top. Try some! Now!

Pre-palm vintage is almost opaque brown in colour. Small off-white head that leaves nice lacing. Aromas are more funky, and less cherry-ish, but excellent, none-the-less. The taste is very lactic, sour, acidic, and beautiful. Mouthfeel is sharp and vinous and drinkability is awesome. I'd guess that this is a 93 bottle...still extremely complex and imminenlty drinkable after a good long nap. To bad these run like $25 around here if you can find them these days!

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Photo of jaasen64
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

33cl bottle poured into a Alexander flute glass. This bottle is from the first bottling produced in 1986 to commemorate the breweries 150th anniversary by naming the beer after one of it's founders. Stored in a cool wine cellar in Belgium since being purchased in the 1980s. Has a consume by date that isn't visibly marked but only goes up to 1988, now it's about 26 years old.

A- Pours a fairly translucent reddish brown with about two fingers worth of white frothy head that has excellent retention (not even considering it's age) leaving spotty white lacing along the sides of the glass and receding to a thin layer. After all these years there is still perfect carbonation with excellent consistency, even after 10 minutes sitting in the glass it hasn't died down. This beer has held up remarkably well, by appearance it doesn't even look like it's more then two years old nevermind 28 years.

S- After taking the cap off a burst of intense fruity sour cherries escapes from the bottle. Once letting it settle the cherries die down a bit but still remain very present along with some vinegar, hint of must, and very light (almost undetectable behind the cherries) cardboard oxidation in the back.

T- Very fruity tart cherries, light balanced vinegar, touch of oak and some very light cardboard oxidation that balances out the cherry sweetness, finishes with smooth balanced sweet cherry syrup flavor. The amount of cherry presence in this is absolutely insane, tastes like it was brewed a year ago nevermind 30 years ago.

M- Medium bodied, slightly syrupy, fairly minimal carbonation, very easy drinking.

O- This beer completely blew me away, I've never given a beer all 5s but this deserves that and more. The fact that this was brewed 30 years ago (aged two years in barrels before being bottled in '86) is almost unbelievable. This beer still has more of a cherry presence then most cherry fruited beers brewed only a year ago. It's a shame this isn't made anymore, however the bottles that do exist seem like they could hold up forever. Definitely seek this out if you can!

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Photo of Samichlaus82
5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Medium burgundy. Single (khakis) fingernail head on gentle pour. Smell is mix of dark cherry, tannins, and oak. Not much else here, but very deep. Nose is quite inviting. WOW - this beer tastes absolutely beautiful! Combination of cherry and oak. Touch of apple with hidden notes of faint vanilla too. Balance of sweet and sour is well executed and this beer is holding up quite well for being well older than a decade. Soft, smooth, and refreshing. Superb! A thoroughly enjoyable beer! Very well-rounded and has withstood the age of time. A beautiful beer that I would highly recommend to anyone. Simply amazing! Wish I could drink this more often.

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Photo of dgfair
4.97/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

33 cL bottle poured into duchesse de Bourgogne goblet.

Beer pours a beautiful ruddy, amber brown color with a small, but adequate, layer of white lace. The nose is amazing....sweet and sour cherries, dry oak, a slight bit of musty funk, a touch of sweet apple. The smell is absolutely sublime and very complex. The taste is sweet dark cherry with a slight bit of vinegary sourness to balance it. I also get just the right amount of barrel character, very smoothing. Everything about this beer is in perfect balance. Still perfectly carbonated for being 14 years old. This beer has held up incredibly well, and this is one of the masterpieces of brewing. This is an absolutely phenomenal sour that I wish was still in production.

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Photo of aracauna
4.95/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is an excellent beer. If the news I heard about its impending lack of availability in the US is true, I'm really glad that one of my friends picked up a bottle on our last trip to Tennesse (couldn't buy the stuff in Georgia anyway since it's over 6%). The sad part was that I didn't buy any for my self. It's got a dark ruby color. Both the smell and taste are sweet, sour and very cherry. It reminds me of a fruit lambic with the tartness, actually. A very, very good beer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.94/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have had this one several occasions now. Each time it seems to get even better. Top 10 all time beer for me. Most recently served in a Rodenbach goblet.

Pours a nice garnet color with an off white head. Nose is really, really nice with cherry, sherry, balsamic vinegar, and a bit of oaky earth. Taste is definite sour cherry, acetic acid, balsamic, oak, and some light fruitiness. Mouthfeel is quite creamy with good acidity. Drinks quite well. Never thought I would get to try this, and I'm very thrilled that I did.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.94/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

bottle i have says 6%, thanks eda

pours a murky dark brown with tight, luxurious ring of satiny bubbles crowning the brew. murky and muddy, but intriguing. tiny bubbles lace the glass. aroma is woody, rich with port wine and other brisk vinous notes. aged. mild hints of apricot, apple and pear evolve with warming in the nose... perhaps different variations on what my mind thinks is 'cherry'. raw vanilla and clove spice things up a bit along with underripe tannins. expecting a blast of sweet stille nachtness, i am surprised by a crisp, hearty tang. loads and loads of sour cherry and even some dark corn syrup flavors here. finishes with leathery resin that carries the tartness and puckers the cheeks causing intense salivation. yeasty. perfectly smooth body of medium heft and just enough carbonation to kick some life into it and balance the sourness. intense and desserty without being anywhere close to overbearingly sweet, dry, or funky. absolutely a world class beer and one that i will have at any given opportunity. don't think a flanders red can get any better than this particular example. cheers, good luck finding this beer.

fly to belgium and you just might score a bottle.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

huge thanks to dave for opening this with me a while back, review from notes

dark red in color with a light tan head that came up to a height of around two inches before settling back down and leaving tons of lace all over the sides and bottom of the glass while never really falling much below the one inch level. The aroma was lightly tart, sour cherries, hints of earthy and spicy notes and even a touch of what seemed like brown sugar or something along those lines. Really very well done and quite complex. The flavor was a little less tart then what I would have liked but I have to admit was still done very well.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice reddish color to light but more mahogany or burgundy. Full beige head with very active carbonation but no lace and low head retention. Full cherry aroma with a light tartness or sourness. Tastes full of fruit -- Very Cherry with a light sourness / very much like some krieks in fruitiness. Light airy body (champagne-like) with a tart fruity finish.

Aged - had this bottle for quite a while (2 years maybe) -- I really hope it is not extinct or comes back. ;-(

Bottle states "Belgian Red Ale"

Per M.J. - G.B.B.: R. Grand Cru with Cherry Essence

(11.2 oz. / 33 cl)

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Photo of spdyfire83
4.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

245th Review
25cl bottle poured into namesake snifter
Vintage: 1998

Enjoyed at DHvL in early June 2012.

A: Medium burgundy. Single (khakis) fingernail head on gentle pour.

S: Mix of dark cherry, tannins, and oak. Not much else here, but very deep. Nose is quite inviting.

T: WOW - this beer is absolutely beautiful! Combination of cherry and oak. Touch of apple with hidden notes of faint vanilla too. Balance of sweet and sour is well executed and this beer is holding up quite well for being well older than a decade. Soft, smooth, and refreshing. Superb!

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation.

O: A thoroughly enjoyable beer! Very well-rounded and has withstood the age of time. A beautiful beer that I would highly recommend to anyone. Simply amazing! Wish I could drink this more often.

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Photo of koopa
4.89/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1988? Vintage bottle that lists 6.5% ABV and has a gold best buy bar at the bottom of the label front notched 91'

I heard a carbonation pop when I opened it! I'm very happy about that!

Appearance: Pours a transparent garnet brown with honey folds. The head is off white but minimal and it recedes quickly leaving no lace. Still more lively and vibrant than I was expecting on a 24 year old beer!

Smell: Amazing bouquet consisting of a perfect blending of malt and cherries, a hint of lightly charred barrel, and the faintest vinous note.

Taste: Oh my god this is so incredibly sublime! Cherry sweetness, malt sweetness, with underlying charred barrel and a hint of salt coupled with a whisper of oxidation. The lactic quality presents itself in the finish. This is just amazingly balanced. The sweetness and the sourness are so melded.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the heavy side of light with an enjoyable but spritzy carbonation.

Drinkability: I'm about to drink this bottle in less than 10 minutes. It is incredibly drinkable.

Probably the best aged beer I've ever had....even better than the ones I sampled at de Kulminator in Antwerp.

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Photo of dfernandez77
4.87/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Transferring my tasting notes from 15 years ago so they don't get lost:

Medium carbonation creates a nice warm beige head. Rich deep garnet color with a tiny bit of haziness.

A complex aroma like dark red cherries, red delicious apples, red clay earth and a coppery metallic tang.

Medium body and slightly slick mouthfeel.

Lots of cherries and lactic tangyness in the flavor. A sourness like quinine (tonic water) and coppery metallic notes haunt the background flavors. The character of the Flemish Red Ale base stands out in the finish with an astringent dryness.

Overall impression. Bloody awesomely BIG, and good. The cherry essence is full, like those big fat ripe red ones that stain your fingers when you eat them. Combine bigtime cherries with the huge flavors and complexity of a Flemish red ale, this beer will make you take notice. This is like the roller coaster of fruited ales, where a Liefmans or Mort Subite would be the carousel.

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Photo of Jason
4.84/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: 11.2 oz brown bottle with a white foiled top, no freshness date though a tart beer like this will stay for months if not years.

Appearance: Bright mahogany colour with a light tan lace to boot, sediment in the bottle stayed well packed even when the bottle was totally poured out.

Smell: Sweet aroma of bing and black cherries, big fruity tart back ground with an odd yet light tobacco smell.

Taste: Smooth on the palate with a huge puckering tartness, not sour bit tart because as soon as it comes in it leaves to let a flipside of flavours in. Tartness holds the fruit, the fruit of sweet then quickly to sour cherries that bring on the tartness. Hops are belittled and are nearly non-existent but this is par for the style. As soon as the tartness subsides a sweet vanilla flavour sneaks in with a quick flash of malt also within the undertones of earth and wood. Dry without a doubt, especially the finish and the finish is pretty clean.

Notes: This is the in comparison to what wine drinkers would want in a complex top notch wine, guess what it’s a beer. Complex is not the word for this beer, better than wine is bold and fitting.

After an eight day trip to Belgium this beer makes me feel all fuzzy and warm. Then I realize that I am in America and have to pay two to three times the $$$ for the same beer just to drink it at home and not in a warm and inviting cafe or beer bar in Brugge. :-(

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Photo of ggaughan
4.82/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up this bottle in a trade about a year back. I loved the old Rodenbach and then when it came back a few years ago I was glad to see it. I had been waiting to try the Alexander for awhile and felt like last night was the time.

The beer poured a cloudy, deep brown/amber color with no head but some nice bubbles running through the body. There was a slight white island in the middle of the glass that ran away rather quickly.

The nose was a nice mix of funk and tartness, almost brandy like. The taste seemed very fresh although the bottle was a few years old. There was a nice tart and somewhat sweet mix to this beer that was excellent. The body had a bit of carbonation to it so it was not flat but not overly carbonated, seemed to be the right amount. The body was medium and the taste this beer leaves in the mouth is truely enjoyable. I wish this beer was still readily available as I would scoop up more if I could. I was expecting alot for this one and was not let down at all.

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Photo of shaunt0000
4.8/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Sam of Stuffed Sandwich for allowing for the opportunity...

The beer poured a clear ruby-brown color without much of a head. Beer remains fizzy with bubbles running through the body of the beer. For a 15 year old bottle, there was quite a bit of carbination in the bottle. Though it's my first time trying it, those sharing the bottle with me claimed that it's "exactly the same as what it was ten years ago.."
It smells of cherries with a vineous quality. Aroma is mostly of cherries and some woody oak. Tastes almost like it smells--tart with explosive sweet cherry flavor with some apple cider vinegar... a great balance of sweet and sour. At 6.5% ABV astringency is quite low. It's very different from Rodenbach's current offerings. Texture is rich and creamy. Extremely satisfying and refreshing. Some of the best beer I've ever had.

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Photo of drowland
4.78/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sample handed to me at RBWG by Dakine (wow that guy was looking out for me!). I believe I was told it was vintage 1998. HOLY CRAP this is awesome. Really nice red pour with a fading off-white head. Amazing sweet and sour cherries and so much more going on. Awesome.

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Photo of Floydster
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Sam for giving me one of these, 1996 vintage, poured into my Chimay goblet, bottle says 6% ABV, color is cloudy deep orangish red, big one inch off white head that is rather foamy, had good retention that stayed around almost five minutes, nice lacing at times too, aroma is full of fruit, cherries, raspberries, faint sourness, plums, dates, sherry, sweet malt, oak, caramel, vanilla, and mild citrus, flavor profile was amazing with all the fruits packed into one punch, starts off rather sweet with malt and berries, middle is somewhat citrusy and tart, then the finish is both sweet and sour with a variety of fruits, cherry tastes were great, mouthfeel was slightly tart, sweet, and even dry at times, medium bodied, high level of carbonation even after twelve years in the bottle, taste lingers for quite some time, liked the fullness of its flavor, could drink numerous bottles of this, not filling at all, alcohol is hidden well and is low to begin with, great drinkability, this beer had to have improved with age or it was perfect before, everything a Flanders should be, the maturation in oak casks did wonders on the fruity flavors, hope I will get to drink this again but not many bottles seem to be around anymore, highly recommended

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Photo of kscaldef
4.73/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at DHL on 6/7/2012. Listed as 1998 vintage (I'm not sure if this beer was made multiple times).

A: A very beautiful dark cherry wood color with a slight, irregular head.

S: Cherry, honey, dates, leather. Like a rich and smooth cherry syrup. Minimal sourness.

M: Nearly still, but retains some liveliness. Slight astringency on a long, long finish.

O: Best beer of the day, which is saying a lot given the company at DHL.

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Photo of Gavage
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I felt it was time to open my last remaining bottle from the early 90's. It pours a reddish / copper color with a thick off white head. The aroma is extremely noticeable before the nose even approaches the glass. A unique sour cherry and mild maltiness sends the nose sensors into overdrive.

The flavor is tough to describe. A slightly tart and sour cherry flavor hits the tongue immediately, but fades to a soft malty finish. The beer seems to put a protective coating on the tongue that last for a few seconds.

The mouthfeel is tingling at the start but smooths out during the finish. The tartness / sourness lingers very softly. This was one of the best aged beers I have ever had. Truely an incredible beer.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.72/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cloudy burgundy in color with a thin head of light beige.

Aroma is a mouthwatering mix of sweet fruit, tart cherry, oak-aged red wine, and earth.

Flavor is outstanding. A sweet and sour blend of cherry and oak, with vineous yeast and light earthy funkiness. Incredibly smooth and well-rounded with age, this is utterly delicious. The oak aged character of toasty vanilla and leather comes out as the elixer warms.

Mouthfeel is slick and creamy, with light carbonation and a slickery tart mouthfeel. Impossibly drinkable, my sample disappeared in no time. I really wish the brewery would revive this legendary beer.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in the 330 mL bottle, into a goblet. The color is a dark amber, with a wispy head. The smell is a subdued tartness. The taste is very cherry sweet, with a more mellow tartness than other Flemish Reds (remarkable aging, though I haven't had this one young), and a remarkable complexity. Mouthfeel is very smooth and velvety. As for drinkability, though I won't be able to find another bottle, if I could, I would love to have tons of these.

Thank you to the Sharp Edge for putting these dandies out for sale, and as a great bargain at only $20! Though I don't know if I'll ever have another Rodenbach Alexander, I'm just thrilled that I got the chance to have this one.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.69/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: A bottle that was “blindly” purchased at the Stuffed Sandwich, San Gabriel, California for $7.50 during the Stone Brewing Event on the 25th July 2003. It had the new gold edged style white label which the Alexander sported in its latter years of existence.

Appearance: Dark brown copper color that poured with a good inherent carbonation. Full of life. Off-white colored head that was large & rocky in places. Has good staying power. Tremendous levels of dissolved carbon dioxide add vitality to the beer when swirled.

Nose: The odors tell you this beer should be cherry red - such is the fruitiness that the cherry essence adds to this beer.

Taste: Gorgeous cherries drowned in sour red ale that complement each other like sweet and sour, dark & light, up & down. They are opposites, yet this synergistic beer is so much more than the sum of its component parts. Tartness spikes here & there, it comes & goes like the sweetness. A real mish-mash of extreme flavors that just works so well.

Mouthfeel: Above average feel, complicated by the battle between the sweet & sour aspects. Sweet, yet dry & tartly sour at times. A bit of a roller coaster at times. It improves no end with additional aging I find.

Drinkability: Every time I have a bottle of this wonder, I always tipped it upside-down, at least twice to make absolutely sure that I never leave any beer in the bottle. Suffice it to say, I find this Ale extremely drinkable & mourn its passing every time.

Overall: A totally unique blend of cherry essence & sour red ale that just simply works for me. Hard to describe & often loathed by some, hell even ridiculed by some so-called Belgium Beer Experts, but I enjoy it for what it is (was!) – a truly unique beer. The Alexander is the Rodenbach Grand Cru with just cherry essence added. Simply that, a Cherry 'flavored' Flemish Red Ale. It definitely worked well in its time, & many of my drinking friends from England dearly loved this beer, so often we would all order a round whenever we found it on our Easter Trips to Belgium. Alexander Rodenbach only ever represented a low single figure percentage of the Breweries overall production. Whether it was truly an inconvenience to produce, or simply never given the support it so dearly deserved and never properly marketed – whatever the reason; this marvelous one of a kind beer, is so dearly missed by this Belgium beer fan. I so wish I had stashed away a few bottles of this when I had the chance to do so.

Alexander Rodenbach - RIP.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.67/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2 bottles consumed for our bachelor party whale tasting. My bottle was imported and Sean's was straight from Belgium. No year listed on either, but they were clearly different. I am reviewing my bottle as I favored it. Sean's bottle had a slightly better nose but my bottle was more balanced in taste...A dark brown with amber accents, semi clear. The head is light tan, light, looks oily, like an spoil on the surface of the beer...A strong aroma with a nice super strong cherry base, malty vinegar comes through but a little lighter than I was hoping. The cherries have held up great, strong, complex, full of depth...The taste is a great balance, a continuation of the sweet and flavorful cherries with a great vinegar tartness, almost 50/50 split. Take a Rodenbach Grand Cru, add cherries, age it and you have this wonderful beer.

A rare treat I would recommend anyone trying who can get ahold of. No clue why they stopped making this.

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Photo of Fux
4.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1998 vintage from de Heeren van Liedekercke

A: Dark red / brown with ruby glints. Off-white head which leaves a thin lingering collar. Very appetizing!

S: Powerful fruited scent, with cherries (tons of!), soaked red fruits, dark fruits, and also sherry, walnut wine.

T: Sour palate, red fruits (cherries, raspberries), woody, round, sweet with hints of chocolate. Delightful!

M: Mellow, smooth mouthfeel.

O: A sipper, a true gourmet, dessert bier!

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Alexander from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
97 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.