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Alexander - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
AlexanderAlexander

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

87 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 87
Reviews: 66
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 8.46%
Wants: 162
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 66 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of craytonic
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Quite well carbonated, I wasn't expecting this from such an old bottle. Nice amber-red-orange color.

Smell & taste: sweet and tart with some oak notes and faint balsamic vinegar. I expected this to show some age but it does not, no funk or must. I am clueless as to how it tastes so young, being such an old bottle.

Mouthfeel: - slightly thin, carbonation perhaps depleted slightly with age.

Drinkability: Goes down very easily, although I prefer the 2007 vintage label bottle slightly. Not sure why they stopped making this!

Photo of shaunt0000
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of MasterSki
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of Gobzilla
4.58/5  rDev +2%
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.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.4/5  rDev -2%
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.

3.5/4.5/4.5/4/4.5

Photo of koopa
4.9/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Very thin head atop a clear amber body. Red-shaded, but only a little.

Aroma was of berries and cherries, and quite vinous. This was actually one of the first beers I had that had a vinous character, so unfortunately I did not get too much of the character down.

Aroma was sweet and fruity, mostly cherries but some berry character as well. Light and vinous. A touch of sourness. Overall, quite good.

Mouthfeel was light and crisp, and it gave me a little bit of a pucker. Nice.

Drinkability - I wish I had gotten several of these to lay down and try over time. Alas, at that time, I was only cellaring a few things (1994 Triple Bock, some Thomas Hardy's.)

Photo of Floydster
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
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

Photo of AlexJ
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of thierrynantes
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl), tasted in 1999.

Appearance : Very similar to the "grand cru" of the same name.
Smell : Addition of cherry juice.
Taste and mouthfeel :
Drinkability : Very good brown fruity to discover. The Rodenbach is the archetype of beer brown lactic acidity of its kind oud bruin bier '

Review added 10-25-2007, translated from french 1-12-2008

Photo of Crosling
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enchanting ruby in color with a firm, well-densed head of light mocha that shows spotty lacing. Very fruity and strongly vinous aroma with a huge dose of cherry puree, along with a light hint of wood. Flavor is absolutely bursting with cherry goodness, while remaining lightly vinous, lightly acidic and extremely complex. Beautiful intermixing of sweet and sour flavors, with an underlying hint of red apple. Just a beautiful beer.

Photo of ggaughan
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed November 23, 2006. Crisp saltine aroma, heavy on raspberry champagne vinegar. Very refined and tawny, edges of sherry. Many dripping cherry notes, with sweet crisp juices and dry pits. Very elegant and silky, but seems a little reserved and almost too straightforward (keeping it down 0.2 in the aroma). Flavor is damn near insanity. It’s pure lubricious delight of all kinds of cherries, schaarsbeekse, montmortenci, rainier and Door County. All sweet, bright and lucious and right in front of me. So unique and rich. A truly original coalescence of creative flourish and tangy delight. The sharpy sour notes are incredibly enlightening, with blending notes of astringent fire. The palate and finish could have had a little more moment, except that ti’s sweetness paris with the crisp cutting acidit to create nice balance and increasingly dry finish. Distant hop cone thoughts. The oak really brings some nice touches of vanilla cherry sugars. Overall, a true masterpiece and a crying shame that it’s no longer produced.

Photo of GreenWBush
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, what a find. I forgot that I put this one in my parents' fridge one of the first years of college, then discovered it recently when I moved back home. It had already been refrigerated for 5 or 6 years before I got ahold of it way back then.

1996 Vintage.

Pours out of the bottle a dullish brown, much less red in color than I had expected. A surprising and flourishing head is produced, but leaves absolutely no lace or cling.

Nose is full of tart, acidic cherries.

Taste is much more of the same. This is one of those beers that I can't really add much to what the label's description offers, "tart, vinous, fruity, and with a tang".

Mouthfeel is predictably tart, and oddly refreshing for a beer of this sort. My dad said it tasted like an aged wine cooler.

Completely untouched by age. Might have held out another decade!

Photo of brewandbbq
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 1998

Pours clear ruby, with brown tinting, and an off- white head.
Retention is momentary at best, leaving only dots of foam, settling to 360 degree crescent, with an oasis of thin froth dead center.
Auditorily effervescent, prickly to the ear.
Cherry juice and cider vinegar up front in the nose.
Musty boards follow quickly, and cracked pepper.
Aromatics finish warm, zesty, and acidic.
Slickish mouthfeel, puckering and a bit syrupy.
Bitter and salty start the pallet, with a surge of crushed sour cherries becoming dominant.
A warming spiceyness comes forward, alongside some drying tannins. Hints of asian spice and cedar planks.
Vineousity takes main stage as the puckering acids and sweet juice fade.
Doesn't truly "finish" in any sense, as the brew has made an indelible mark on the back of the tongue.
I could not even guess how many years Alexander will continue to improve.

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.95/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Photo of vladtheimpaler
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle (as if I needed to say). Brown, semi-clear, thin head. Sour juicy cherry aroma, slight acidity, and pleasant sweetness. Explosive juicy cherry flavors, pleasant sourness. A bit like a sour candy. Sweetness lingers over a layer of sourness. Medium body, but the acidity adds a dimention. Extremely well balanced and drinkable. Too bad this one is gone...

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
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

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of beergeek279
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Photo of Rastacouere
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Immense thanks to Barry for sharing one of the rarer that I'd like to believe bottles still around Clear light brown, maybe a slight haze. Small sticky off-white head. Aroma is very vinous, sweet cherries in abundance, well defined with obvious oak aged character that I love. Downright excellence in here, makes you wish you could bathe in one of Rodenbach's legendary oak casks. Nose also deploys light tartness and a bit of brown sugar. Great taste, very refreshing, full-flavoured cherries, very sweet and tart at the same time. You actually feel the seeds and branches a bit which is surprising considering that they used a cherry extract to my knowledge. Tons of oak, just lovely. This is a glorious meeting, but I must confess it could be a bit drier to fit my tastes perfectly, they've already done that with the grand cru though! Great tart aftertaste with more barrel character being revealed, this seems to support age wonderfully and shows no signs of fatigue for those still holding on some bottles, wonderfully lactic still. Thin-medium body, just appropriate and supported by medium carbonation. There is no way any good reason exists and is sufficient to end the production of this fine beer. RIP Alex.

Photo of Gavage
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of SheepNutz
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a light reddish-brown color with half a finger of large bubble foam. There is only a little lace left on the glass. The smell is full of sour cherries and apple, very fruity. A good malty aroma as well. The taste has just a slight mustiness to it at first, then tart cherries and a hint of alcohol. The finish is very mellow. The mouthfeel is just a tad oily. The drinkability is fairly nice. A good Belgian red!

Photo of Popsinc
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a 1985 vintage bottle sampled at La Bier Circus in Brussells, Oct 2003.

Appearance: Served in a large wine glass this beer had a deep mohagany pour with almost no head whatsoever.

Smell: The nose is just bursting with dark, ripe cherries but it seems the highlight here might be the heavy dose of dark & rich sour plums that counter-balance the cherry sweetness nicely.

Taste: A huge fruit sweetness up front highlighted again by cherry and plum. The fruity sweetness is nicely balanced by an oaky tartness and a nice acidity level.

Mouthfeel: the sweet n sour smooth mouthfeel leaves a satified palate.

Drinkability: A great beer. Like many aged beers there are similarities with fine port...dark, rich fruit. woddy notes. sweetness & tartness all at once. But to know a beer can change over time and increase in complexity is an exciting feeling.

Photo of francisweizen
5/5  rDev +11.4%
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!

Alexander from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
98 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.