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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: 165
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 GRG1313
4.3/5  rDev -3.8%
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 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 BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A terriffic Belgian Red. Look creamy and rich of maroon with a thicker than usual head, also light red. Smells tart and modestly sour with cherry and raspberry sweetness and tartness. Tastes little in the way of malty, but the richness and creaminess comes through. Cherry, raspberry, blackberry, cranberry and currant fruits, tartness, and acidity. Never get to astringent levels. Red wine flavors and alcohol comes into the body and finish. Sweetness comes from the same fruits, only fully ripened. Slight spiciness comes through in light hopping and other added spices. Texture is creamy and rich, never thick or cloying. A good beer for a single. Still a bit sour for regular consuming

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Photo of largadeer
4.08/5  rDev -8.7%
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 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 womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -12.8%
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 oline73
4.46/5  rDev -0.2%
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 jlindros
4.21/5  rDev -5.8%
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 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 feloniousmonk
4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bubbly head, and deep, dark cherry red color. Aroma is loud and sweet, projecting a fierce cherry flavor far and wide. Sour cherries! Tantalizing, lively. Not a kriek lambic, but merely a "sour ale" flavored with "cherry essence." And that's just the thing. It's simple and consistent. You get sour, you get cherry. I like it, and I can imagine it as an excellent dessert treat, but it's not the sort of thing you can imagine drinking very often.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ArthurPendragon for acquiring this under somewhat unusual circumstances. Served in a tumbler.

A - Pours with a thin wisp of foam that settles to a ring and haze. Only a few spots of lace are left behind. Transparent red-orange color.

S - More sweet and malt-forward than I expected after all these years. Somehow this still pops, with oaky vanilla, sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, and lactic sour notes. Very well balanced in all the flavor domains.

T - Taste is more tart, with sour and sweet flavors moving to the periphery. There's some tart apple in there as well. Wonderful integration, with no single element becoming overbearing or fatiguing. Some how there isn't any perceptible oxidation in this 12+-year old bottle.

M - Low carbonation, smooth medium body, and a lightly dry finish. Could have used a bit more spritz, but I won't be overly hard due to the age on this one.

D - Why did the stop making this? It's awesome. This would be a superb Belgian session sour if you could actually buy it.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
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 mothman
4.47/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color is a ruby amber. Pours a decent amount of white head. Nice appearance for something so old.

Aroma: Oaky, cherries, caramel, toffee, vanilla. The smell is awesome. It is a bit sweet, but sour. I am already enjoying this one. The cherries are awesome in this beer. The vanilla sticks out a lot as well.

Taste: Sweet cherries. Not really tart or sour, but in a good way. The vanilla shows a lot with oak showing nicely. The spices round things out nicely. It has some caramel malt with a light layer of toffee. A great beer. Reminds me a bit of NG sours, but better.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends pretty clean.

Overall, this one is awesome. Very drinkable and very enjoyable. I wish I had more of this around. I am very happy I had a chance to try this one. A very nice offering from Rodenbach.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
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 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 Gueuzedude
4.52/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled August 2005
Well thanks to some serious begging and pleading, I was given the opportunity to try this beer one more time. The beer pours a brilliantly clear ruby-cherry-red color with barely a wisp of a head. The sediment was so compacted in the bottle that I was able to pour the entire liquid contents out with nary a speck of sediment. The aroma smells strongly of enticing cherry with a mix of sweet cherry meat, tannic cherry skin, and a tart acetic note that melds so well with it all. My first impression, this has lost a lot of the sweetness up front, but quickly gains a rich meaty, malty cherry skin note to it. The finish is lightly tannic with a slightly puckering note to it that is a combination of wood and a tart-sour character.

This beer has held up far better than the Pre-Palm Rodenbach Grand Cru. The cherry, it seems, has acted as a preserving influence. This really grabs the palate towards the end, it is mouth coating and malty with a very nice interplay between rich malt and cherry notes. As it warms up a bit the acetic light vinegar note really starts to come forward. The cherry note almost gets bigger (though not in a cloying or expressive way) and sort of spreads itself throughout the beer. What an incredibly well balanced beer this has turned into. The finish is long and gripping with notes of tannic cherry skin, yet still satisfyingly fruity with lots of cherry meat and a bit of balsamic character. This is quite exquisite, I so would love to have more of this. I find it really hard to not give this beer a really high score, it was very enjoyable, and the sweet cloying cherry character has really dropped out, just the opportunity to try this beer is almost a perfect experience.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.86/5  rDev -13.6%
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 HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev -6.7%
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 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 JohnGalt1
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was the 2nd beer we cracked at Ditmier's weekend tasting.... Wow!! Never thought I would get a chance to try this one... Big Props Eric!!

Very clear Orange/red.... not much of a head.

Aroma is incredibly complex mix of very balanced sweet and sour... cherries come out in full force with some mild acetic character.

Flavor mirrors the nose with again a near perfect balance.... tons of cherries dominate from front to the back where a vinegar note shows and dries out... oak shows on later pours.. I wrote "red apple", but honestly don't remember that much now... maybe something to do with the sweetness and growing tannins as it really opened up.

Not alot of carbonation, but it was there and helped lean the mouthfeel toward a smoothness with just hints of bubbles that get zinged by the acids.

I could drink this stuff by the liter... there was sooo much going on, but my notes failed to get much more... thanks again Eric... Very impressive beer and impressed that you would share such a sought after wonder.


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Photo of Gobzilla
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

vintage 1996 bottle thanx to sam at the stuffed sandwich

A: pours a pinkish brown that has slight lacing and decent retention even though this beer is 14 years old

S: smell is of a original rodenbach grand cru but aged with cherries and hints of vinegar.

T: little vinegar up front with massive cherries sweetness and tartness to finish of this great long retired beer.

M: is medium body with good amount of carbonation that has held up throughout the years.

D: overall this beer is something special that makes beer geeks go crazy when pulled out to sample, so sad that rodenbach don't brew this anymore.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.35/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a beautiful deep scarlet red color. A slight tan head dwindles quickly and soon just rims the glass. A sour mash like smell is perceived on the nose. The tartness of this beer can be smelled. This beer has a very light body. Drinking this is almost like drinking a liquid version of the green apple taffy/candy. It's very unique and there are both sweet and sour characteristics. The sour properties seem to win in my mouth. Vinegar like presence is detected although balanced pretty effectively.

I definitely prefer the New Glarus Belgium Red over this brew. (I gave the Belgian Red from NG a 4.9.) I realize that they are a bit different beer styles, but as for the few beers I've tried with cherries in them, NG is outstanding and this one is pretty good.

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Photo of rudzud
4.2/5  rDev -6%
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 TurdFurgison
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 1 of 2 to be opened tonight (courtesy of Sean9689 & jrallen34). Big appreciation, for a long time I didn't think I'd actually get to try this, and all at once 2 bottles show up.

It pours a reddish copper, with minimal foam after a vigorous pour. Spotty bits of wet foam on the glass.

The aroma is obscene, sweet and vinegary at the same time. Cherries, maybe other dark fruit, and sweet liqueur.

Excellent taste also, not quite like any Flanders Red I've had before. I heard they last made this in 1998, so maybe the age is slightly responsible for the difference. Nice sweet notes up front with lasting cherry and sherry in the aftertaste. I had a small pour from 2 bottles but I could have easily gone for much more.

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