Rodenbach Classic (Red) - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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Rodenbach Classic (Red)Rodenbach Classic (Red)

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1,506 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,506
Reviews: 631
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 68
Gots: 108 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
ABV varies 5.0-5.2% ABV

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-04-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,506 | Reviews: 631 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WillCarrera
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear, dark reddish brown color with a thin tan head.

S- Very tart, vinegar, some dark cherries and raspberry, mild yeast funk in the background.

T- Sour but not overpowering, cherry and oak flavors, some yeast and a bit of wine flavor on the end, it could have stood to be a bit more tart but still tastes great.

M- Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, crisp feel.

O- A solid Flemish Red, doesn't have as much going on as the Grand Cru, but still an great beer. Would probably be a good intro to sour beers before moving onto some more aggressive lambics.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz bottle into a Samuel Smith pint glass.

A: Pours a dark red color with nice clarity. Typical of a sour, there isn't much head, a one finger eggshell color that fades quickly.

S: I love how the cherries intermingle with the oak qualities the aroma provides. Sourness is subtle, enough to create a delicate interplay between the other aromatic notes. Not explosive, just wonderful to inhale.

T: A bit of a letdown from the nose, which isn't really saying much. Immediately, cherry flavors combine with a balanced lactic tartness. I love how cherry forward this comes across without going overly sweet. The finish is mostly grainy malts and some diacetyl; however, after a few sips some of the cherry qualities bleed past the midtaste to drown out the buttery notes - exactly what I want in a Flemish red. Keep in mind this is about 3/10 sour, so those looking for an enamel beatdown won't find it here.

M: Light and crisp. A very light tannic quality appears in the aftertaste, but this isn't particularly dry. It's well carbonated and refreshing, and goes down quickly.

O: One thing that deserves to be mentioned is how inexpensive this bottle was - about $1.75 for a single 11.2 oz bottle. It's not the greatest sour ever, but as a refreshing thirst quencher, I'd take this over many standard fruit beers any day. It's cheap (for a sour), it's well made, and it's a panty dropper. Enough said!

Photo of Dentist666
4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of RoyalT
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This Red Ale is really more brown, but it’s a reddish kind of brown, if that’s not pushing it too much. The head was modest and didn’t stay around long, which is typical of the style so I won’t hold that against this fella’.

Smell – The nose is a moderate combination of sour, almost mashy kind of malts like from a sour mash whisky and some nice, sweet, sour fruits. I know I just used the word “sour” a few times but really it’s not that soury.

Taste – The sourness is laid back and not the kind that hurts your teeth. I’m actually drinking this from a 750 ml and will have no problem draining this on my own. The fruits are mostly cherry and white grape and the malts are bigger than you usually find with the style. It’s a nice combination conducive to a good sour session, helped along by the mixture of an oak-aged blend..

Mouthfeel – This falls short of medium-bodied by quite a bit. The carbonation is modest and a nice relief from other samples of the style. I mean, with the sourness of a FRA going on in your mouth a carb bomb is just a little much.

Drinkability – One of the more sessionable sour ales that I’ve had. The obvious high quality of the ingredients makes this a pleasure to drink, and the “25% ale aged in oak” infusion makes this a smooth drinker.

Photo of BillyB
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with ruby red highlights. Thin tan head.

Aroma is sour and vinegary. Woody, barnyard scent.

Taste is tart and very sour. Tastes like a red wine with some cranberry, orange and green apple flavors.

Mouthfeel is very sharp, tart, acidic and fizzy.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. Good drinkabilty if you can handle the intense sweet and sour tastes. Gets a little too tart to have too many.

Photo of BeerZack
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty clear dark brown-amber color with a small ring of fine bubbles.

Smells mildly of funky sourness with some leather and earthiness.

Seems pretty low on the acetone characteristics compared to the few other Flanders Reds I have tried, a bit of sweet/sour (crabapple) fruitiness, but a fairly dry impression overall.

I'm not the biggest sour ale connoisseur, but this one seems pretty mild. Not overly sour or sweet, a bit lighter than expected.

Photo of norwichboy
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance more brown but with a red tinge. Good head and lacing. Utterly amazing aromas with sour cherries and chocolate (Cherry Ripe), some marzipan in there as well. To taste, very tart and sour. Mouthfeel is somewhat watery, but perfect tingly fine carbonation.

Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a flute glass.

A: Pours a deep garnet with a fading off-white head.

S: Smells of tart, dried fruits, cured meats, vinegar and funk. It is very savory and just bursting with aroma.

T: Taste is a tad subdued from the strong smell. Puckering tartness is mixed with citrus sweetness and the steal the show from the funk and sourness. Its actually pretty tame, as far as sours go.

D: I wouldn't want to drink this buy the pint, but this is great little aperitif and I could see this being excellent with a variety of foods.

Overall: Nice entry-level Flanders Red. Beers in this style really fall somewhere on a spectrum of of sweet to sour and the blending percentages of this one definitely push it towards sweet. Tasty stuff and I can't wait to try the Grand Cru.

Photo of jibbyvonjibb
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Muddy brown color. Head quickly disappeared

S: Vinegary sweet acidity, cherries

T: Sour cherry flavor; sweetness balanced with tartness; clean, dry finish.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation

Overall: Very drinkable and balanced. Not as sour as many other Flanders ales. Restrained funkiness, compared with others.

Photo of beerpirates
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a darkened red-brown body with a tall, beige head, though it soon dissipates to a thin, lasting coating.

S: Aroma of sweetish caramel, dark brown sugar, and oven-toasted rolls dunked in quality vinegar rounded out with a vibrant though not stinging acetic nature to it, decaying wood, and fruity accents of sweet, tart, and sour cherries.

T:For me, the cherry fruitiness and cutting acetic acid accompanying the balsamic vinegar rule the roost, but, underneath, there's the sweet caramel, toast, and earthy oaken tastes. Hint of vanilla as it warms.

M: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

D : very drinkable and refreshing

Photo of superdedooperboy
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2-ounce brown bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Dark muddled reddish-brown in color with a decent clarity. A creamy beige head makes an appearance but doesn't stick around for the party, leaving behind just a nice belt to wrap around the edges.

The nose is initially reminiscent of slightly burned toffee, but a sour, almost vinegary presence mingles shortly thereafter, with dark pit fruits hiding far in the background.

Medium-bodied with a mild carbonation and quite a slick mouthfeel. Sweet caramel and toffee play up front with a mild sourness edging in. The sour notes emerge in the middle as tart cherries with a hint of underlying burnt brown sugar. Sourness pulls into the lead again toward the rear, leaving behind a somewhat dry tart fruitiness as it fades away.

Quite a balance of sour/tartness and sweet maltiness, combined with the smooth mouthfeel this is one infinitely drinkable ale. Wonderfully well put together.

Photo of LaCoursiere
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a snifter. Poured a murky brown raisin color with a one finger khaki head. Lots of thin lacing.

S - Great nose here; smells of rose hips, tart cherries, sour grape and slight brett funk.

T - A punch of sour and faint brett up front that fades to granny smith apple with subtle sweetness. It has a nice dry finish with tart cherry and apple lingering until the next sip

M - Medium bodied with very active moutfeel. The beer has a very flat appearance but comes alive on the tongue. Very nice.

D - This one was great for taking a break from the IPAs, DIPAs and stouts I have been drinking lately. The flavor is unique with a good balance of sweet and sour. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will drink again.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

reviewed from notes taken on 6/21/12.

11.2 oz bottle poured into snifter.

Appearance: dark bloody crimson red that is opaque. Small and short lived white head that drops down to a ring around glass.

Smell: The smell has a nice balance to it. Its both sweet and sour.

Taste: Mild tart cherrys, currants, and green apples start the beer off; maybe even some pears. The beer is oaky, earthy, and has a little touch of vanilla mixed with a mellow fruity tart note in the finish.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with low to moderate carbonation.

Overall: Really solid beer. This one is all about robust and balanced flavors. Very nice beer!

Photo of WilliamD
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brownish red with no head. Very still in my snifter.
Smell is sour fruits and a definite oak presence. Earthy tones as well.
Taste is quite nice- this is my first flemish sour ale, and I didn't know what to expect. Definitely sour but slightly sweet as well. Again the earthy oak is present. Nice dry finish.
Mouthfeel is pleasant- despite its stillness, some carbonation can be detected. Crisp and refreshing.
Quite drinkable as well. I will be finishing this bottle.
Tasty beer- makes me want to check out more of this style.

Photo of cichief
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouredinto a nice tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

A- Pours a deep reddish-brown, with an ample brown head of foam.

S- Strong scent of ripe fruits, fig and apple, hints of spiciness.

T- Starts a bit sour but mellows to a subtle sweetness on the end, very faint oak woodiness.

M- Smooth, well carbonated, without too much foaminess, a great bottle conditioned beer.

O- Very refreshing, a good beer, but Iwould like a little more sourness.

Photo of flagmantho
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL corked & caged bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: deep, deep amber hue, bordering on brown. Body is clear and head is two thick fingers of creamy tan foam. Looks quite nice.

Smell: sweet caramel malt aroma with a bit of tartness around the edges. Hints of cherry and raspberry are present as well; quite nice indeed.

Taste: smooth, sweet malt right up front with a nice maltiness with caramel and bready qualities. Tartness is light but enticing, and there's a light toastiness at the end. Dynamic and appealing.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a well-integrated carbonation yielding a bursting creaminess. The cream is pretty low-density, but overall it's very nice.

Overall: on paper this is a good but not ground-breaking beer, but I feel like there are good intangibles here. This beer is a tad sweet, perhaps, but overall I like it very much.

Photo of GCBrewery
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of brdc
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large corked bottle.
Murky red, poured into my Rodenbach Grand Cru glass, it creates a nice white head, that dissipates rather quickly.
Aroma is sour, fruity, with some spices.
Taste is nice, sweetish and fruity, some sour and acidic hints, very nice. Refreshing, easy to go down, it lacks that puckering bite that some in the gender have, but is nonetheless quite nice.
On a direct comparison with other flanders reds, it goes down easier, but is less complex and clearly less acidic and sour.
Interestingly, contrary to what I expected, the on-tap version seemed a bit better.

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A ruby colored body with about a finger and a half of off-white head that has pretty good retention and leaves some lacing patterns on my glass.

Some malt in there, with a touch of oak, a touch of sourness and some cherries.

The flavor has lots of cherries with a little bit of a spiced character, but just a bit. The sweet malt in the backbone is quite noticeable, along with a fairly strong wood flavor. A nice tartness runs throughout, but it never becomes pronounced at any point.

Pretty light bodied, highly carbonated.

Overall, another good beer from Rodenbach. Considering the Grand Cru is a dollar more a bottle I might stick to that in the future.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Summits in Snellville, GA a while ago. Poured a ruby red tinted with dark brown. Slight head that faded to a ring. Quite acetic on the nose and with aromas of muscadine grapes, tart currants, and some muskiness as well as vinegar. Taste is similar, and and quite tart on the finish but slightly more mellow up front. There is a nice bitterness that helps temper the acetic qualities as well, and also some tart raspberry throughout. Mouthfeel is smooth and sour, leading this to be quite a refreshing beer. Not as complex as the Grand Cru, but simple and quenching.

Photo of cjoc83
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby color, bordering on brown, with a fingers worth of soapy off-white head that dissipates quickly to a ring. Leaves a patch of lace here and there.

Smell is sweet malt, tart cherries, apple, a touch of vinegar.

Initial taste is sour cherries, apple, mixing with some sweet, sugary malts. Tartness is just right; not overpowering and not underwhelming. I also get some molasses, touches of brown sugar, and some subtle oak and vinegar, especially in the finish. Really enjoyable.

Decent amount of carbonation, on the lighter side of medium-bodied. Crisp and leaves me wanting more with each sip. Finishes clean and slightly dry.

I don't have much experience with this style of beer, but from what I'm getting from this, I certainly will seek out more in the future. Really enjoyed this.

Photo of tony223366
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep burgandy brown color with a tan head. Pretty dark, not much light escapes. Nice head that decreased to about 1 finger and sticks around. Tan color and fairly creamy.

S: Very tart and oaky. Lots of grape. Smells great but I was expecting a bit more.

T: Really rich fruity flavor. Nice tartness in the middle followed by slightly bready after taste. Very subtle barnyard flavors throughout.

M: Great carbonation on a medium body. Light to medium body.

O: This is about as sessionable as sour beers come. Not huge with flavors but really well balanced between the sweet malts and sour flavors. It's extremely refreshing.

Photo of shirfan
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crimson/copper with a quickly vanishing head.

Aroma of cider vinegar and black cherries.

Flavor: Intensely sour with some vinegar-like acidity. Black cherry, oak, and a hint of anise round out a softly carbonated profile that sweetens slightly in the finish.

Drinkability: Excellent, I could sip a couple of these all night. I will definitely have to try more Flanders Reds.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm surprised that I've not reviewed this beer before, which I've had on several occasions (most memorably at 't Oud Arsenaal in Antwerp). This time was a $4 small goblet-full at Stumptown on SW 3rd, Portland.

A: Not much to look at initially, a murky, chestnut brown pour without carbonation. Paper-thin wisps of head spiral around the glass, collecting in a thin ring around the edges. As the pour settles, this beer becomes more and more clear, eventually settling as a relatively clear amber with ruby-colored highlights.

S: Lightly sour cherry smell, some aged balsamic vinegar and a generous dash of sugar.

T: Sweet and sour at once. Dry cola/caramel syrup wrapped in a lightly sour/tartness. Cherry seems to dominate, with a little lemon tea and something like raw oak. It's pretty good, though lacks complexity in my opinion - I am reminded a bit too much of a Cherry Coke.

M: Nicely carbonated, clean and crisp without being fizzy. Body is light-medium.

D: Quite easy to drink, light in body, ABV, etc. Has a fresh, clean sweet/sour quality that makes it as good to drink on a warm day as a cool one. A nice apertif/digestif, too.

Photo of elNopalero
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time trying this one. From the bottle into an Almanac tasting glass. Thin bubbles, mildly ruddy amber color. Wonderful tartness on the nose. The choice of glassware really makes a difference with this one. Tapered, like the one I drank from, and you get a concentrated blast of aroma coming from the beer. Flayed out and I can imagine that would be lost. Completely different sensory experience.

Definitely pick up the Balsamic vinegar from the aroma and the flavor. Flavor holds up as it warms. It’s tart and sweet, sharp and sour. The finish runs out quickly, quicker than I want it to, but it’s tasty nonetheless.

In reflection I wish for a little more complexity. But I’ve been spoiled thanks to the goodness that comes out of Russian River.

Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,506 ratings.