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Alexander | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

70 Reviews
For Trade:

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 117
Photo of Kgoldsbe
4.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Back after a 17 year hiatus, this is a great beer. Starts smooth and ends tart. Macerated w/ sour cherries it has a perfect amount of cherry flavor. It is not too sweet or overbearing. There is a hint of almond probably from aging with the cherry pits. Try it if you get a chance.

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Photo of jlindros
4.21/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Francois for this rare treat.

No head, clear auburn brown.

Nose tart brown malts, sweet candy and toffee, syrup, candied raisin etc.

Taste sweet, syrupy candy, sweet candy fruit and raisin, juice, mild sour funky brown malt thing, candy and mild bitter candy. Hint oxidation.

Mouth syrupy sticky, candy, etc.

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Photo of rudzud
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Francois for sharing this bottle. Over ten years old.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice crystal clear chestnut hue with a thin head.

S - Aromas of candy, sugar, cherry cordial chocolate, very sweet. Like a cherry candy.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, lots of sugar, cherry syrup, chocolate, light malts. Little bit of cardboard. Age shows, really syrupy but tasty.

M - Mouthfeel is barely carbonated, sweet, little sticky.

O - Overall this beer was really awesome to try. Never thought I'd get to try it, tasty, though clearly past it's prime. Still, awesome.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of GRG1313
4.3/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Decided that my 6,000th beer on BA would be a full review and it would be a wonderful old beer tasted today. I tasted this beer several years ago, before I was keeping track of my beers and before rating and reviewing. I suspect that I would have graded this beer a strong 5 "back in the day." I'm not sure it's fair to the beer to give it a score at this point. However, it showed so well that I don't feel bad doing so.

Poured a red brick color with no head. The nose is full rich cherry sherry. Yes, one can still get some fruit in the nose which seems impossible but it's more than wishful thinking - it's there. Really nice nose, really nice tart, citric body with a brightness in the mouth that all good beer should have.

Flavors are still appealing and inviting with brown sugar cherry notes and a finish of cherry and bright lime. (Yep, for those of you from Los Angeles there was once a drink called a "cherry lime rickey" at a Beverly Hills hamburger drive-in. The finish on this beer takes one back there with the cherry/lime finish.

All in all, and while showing some signs of oxidation, this one is still a treat to try and inviting to drink. Thanks to Jeremy for giving me a good beer about which to write for my 6,000th on this site.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.86/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

25 cL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep reddish brown. Some large chunks of bubbles. A few wisps on the surface.

Smell - Cherries are still quite apparent. Deep caramel. It is a little bit medicinal, but just a little.

Taste - Surprisingly good. Bright cherries. Nice tartness. Caramel malt. Clean finish. Lingering cherry flavor.

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation, if any. Medium body.

Overall - Remarkably good, especially for its age.
Overall -

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Photo of jaasen64
5/5  rDev +11.6%
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 Dreadnaught33
4.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Huge thank you to Andrew MacWilliams for sharing the small 33cl bottle with myself and two others. Not sure if its the 96' or 2000 bottling.

The beer pours a nice lighter brown color tinged red with a great golden core, and a good ring of bubbly head around the glass. Nice clean look.

The smell reminds me of an apple cider farm near my parents house in north Connecticut, it has that earthy apple rind with a nice tinge of sour cherry and hints of vinegar. A very nice smell that shows no signs of oxidation or age surprisingly.

The taste has a very warming and supple flavor, almost like a hot mulled cider with some light spice and definite apple cherry fruit notes, a nice light vanilla oak overtone presides over all. A nice touch of tartness and vinegar too that is not overpowering but compliments the fruit and malt very well. The age has actually added a very composed roundness as opposed to a mustyness which I found really pleasant. A very refined beer, it almost drinks like a fine aged red wine.

The feel is very nice, enough carbonation and enough body for the style, it's elegant and silky on the palate.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised how composed and settled this beer was, if only there was more to drink!

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Photo of dgfair
4.97/5  rDev +10.9%
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 drabmuh
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks be unto Thorpe for this long time whale want of mine, finally slayed. Served in a snifter. Beer is amber and mostly clear with almost no head, no retention, low carbonation, no lacing.

Aroma is nice, mildly musky, mildly malty.

Beer is nice and musky with a good tartness on the finish, a great cherry experience and I would have loved to try this fresher but I assume that this beer has held up well over time. I'd have it again for sure.

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Photo of Samichlaus82
5/5  rDev +11.6%
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 Huhzubendah
4.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared by Thorpe429. Thanks a lot Mike! A top want of mine.

The beer is chestnut brown with a touch of crimson, sporting a thin beige collar that leaves some random lacing on the tulip.

The aroma offers a healthy dose of cherries, cherry juice, a bit of oak. Definitely smells like a Rodenbach.

The flavor is a lovely mix of sweet and tart, with cherries shining through beautifully. Age has served this beer well. Mild on the palate and silky smooth. Like drinking fresh cherry juice. It's hard to believe the beer is as old as it is, as it tastes fresh and fruit forward.

Light in body with moderately lo carbonation.

Overall, a delicious treat. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to try this.

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Photo of spdyfire83
4.92/5  rDev +9.8%
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 womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a small off-white head. Much sweeter than I had expected. Lots of caramel and maple syrup. Heavy on the cherries, a bit of Maraschino cherry note to them. Oak and oxidation are also well represented. A moderate tartness, both lactic and acetic, with an almost cherry candy (Lifesavers) flavor. Fairly substantial caramel and maple sweetness on the palate as well. Nice, especially considering the beer is 16 years old.

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Photo of Fux
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
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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Photo of kscaldef
4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
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 metalgdog
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at De Heeren poured into original Rodenbach Alexander glass

Pours a full one inch head that dissipates to an uneven frothiness. Has a nice dark amber color.

Smells of dense, dark pitted cherries that aromatically is beautiful on the nose.

Wow, the flavor is again a rich dark cherry that melds wonderfully with the red, malty ale background. This has held up incredibly well as I do not detect any oxidation.

A little thin on the mouth and not quite enough carbonation to hold it well while drinking but this is to be expected considering it is about 15 years old.

Overall this is a great beer that has aged gracefully. Would love to have tried it fresh but still definitely worth seeking out, or another great reason to go to De Heeren and trying it there.

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Photo of oline73
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this at de heren van liedekerke during our Europe trip. Poured from the bottle into an Alexander Rodenbach goblet. It made me laugh when I saw this bottle said best by 2000

Appearance: Pours a clear mahogany color with a half finger of fluffy off white carbonation that fades to a layer on top of the pour and leaves some lacing. Very good looking beer.

Smell: There is a slight tartness to this beer along with the sweet malt. I'm getting sour cherries.

Taste: This is a really smooth beer. There is a wonderful, natural cherry flavor throughout each sip. Sweet malt with a mild tartness. This beer is so smooth, still wonderful after all these years.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very smooth carbonation and a finish that is just a bit dry.

Overall: This beer was wonderful. The cherry and the tartness were perfect together. Still holding up after all of this time, I would absolutely have another given the chance.

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Photo of drowland
4.78/5  rDev +6.7%
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 wisrarebeer
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's time to crack open this bottle instead of keeping it in the cellar.

A: pours with a slight head that eventually dissipated, deep copper, clear color
S: aged quality, almost sherry like without the EtOH, mild nose, aged oak and cherry
T: a very nice beer, well-balanced between tartness and cherry, good malt backbone, slight oxidation but for a beer of this ABV it held up remarkably well
M: very rounded and highly drinkable with nice balance of sweetness and sour, very quenching

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Photo of largadeer
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for opening this long-time want, Jason. I don't recall the vintage of this one; was from the '90s I believe.

Appearance: Cloudy reddish brown with a tall head that settles to a collar after a moment.

Smell: Mild nose, malty and bready with a subtle cherry element. A little acetic sourness, but it's more on the malty side. A subtle aroma overall, but pleasant. This has held up surprisingly well, I'm surprised the acetic acid hasn't taken over.

Palate: A nice mix of cherries, toasted malt and mild balsamic vinegar. Grainy, nice fruitiness. Doesn't beat you over the head with cherries, it's nicely integrated. Finishes toasty, fruity, lightly sour. A really nice easy drinking Flanders red with a subtle fruit character.

It's difficult to accurately review a beer like this in the context of a tasting, because it's a rather subtle and mild beer. If not for the rarity, I could see myself putting back a few of these in an evening.

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Photo of dfernandez77
4.87/5  rDev +8.7%
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 mikesgroove
4.92/5  rDev +9.8%
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 HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Thanks to Jason for opening this long time want.

A: Reddish brown with a fizzy white head. 

S: Lightly tart with notes of plum and grape. Moderate acetic acidity. Dash of chocolate. The grape is really strong and there's notable vinegar.

T: Lightly tart with a lower level of lactic sourness. Light citrus sweetness. Notes of apricot and vinegar with a low acetic acidity in the finish.

M: Lower medium body with upper moderate carbonation. 

Overall: This has held up quite well. Recommended.

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Photo of davod23
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my Cantillon wine glass. A good beer for Review #100.

Pour is a deep brown-gold color, with slight hints of ruby. Virtually no head, as most of the bubbles that arise were due to the vigor of the pour. Good clarity.

Smell is pretty nice, I must say. Sour cherries, balsamic vinegar, a vague sweetness. Hints of random fruitiness in there too, perhaps strawberries.

Taste is better. Very nice. Perfect balance between sweet and sour, just like a good Flanders red should be. Sweet and sour cherries, raspberries, vinegar, sweet malt. Nice balance of acetic and lactic. There's a slight bit of oxidation here, but it doesn't detract much... just adds a layer of sherry complexity.

Mouthfeel - I'm going to dock it a little bit, but not too much because of the age of the bottle. It would have been better to have a few more bubbles, which would have lightened the load considerably. As it is, it's a bit heavy on the palate... but only just.

Overall - Really great experience, honestly. This bottle is about 14 years old, I think, and it's held up really well. It's a travesty that this isn't brewed anymore, because it's probably a better beer than any other Rodenbach offering around today. If this beer is as good as I think it is when it's fresh, I would have it on hand all the time.

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Photo of JAXSON
4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2009 rate.

This is called Rodenbach Alexander, in that order, not vice versa. Bottle, thanks Henrik! Pours a deep reddish brown with a nice soapy tan head. Cool color and look. Extremely vinegarish on the nose, so much so that it's difficult to pull out anything else. Some essence of wet wood and cherries floating about. Whoa, what a powerful, strange mix of flavors. Red wine vinegar, oak, deeply rich malt. Sweet cherries and oak unfold. Really strange, lovely progression. Endlessly complex. Deep, earthy, and a bit herbal. Almost hard to take the intensity of this. Perfectly bubbly, fine carbonation, sharp enough but soft enough. This is incredibly unique, much more complex and diverse than any Flanders Red, and more deep and rich than any sour I've had. Cherries and raspberries really start to come out as it warms. Killer stuff, absolutely blows everything else by Rodenbach out of the water.

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Alexander from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
97 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.