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

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Classic (Red)Rodenbach Classic (Red)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

651 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 651
Hads: 1,641
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 18.45%
Wants: 77
Gots: 163 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-04-2002

ABV varies 5.0-5.2% ABV
View: Beers (7) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 651 | Hads: 1,641
Photo of RandomExile
2.82/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

A: full thin head, spotty but persistent lacing. 70's brown.
S: sour apple
T: sour, musty, sweeter finish than first taste
M: thin, surprisingly insubstantial for a darkish beer, dry finish
O: Watery sour apple. Not unpleasant, per se, but not particularly laudable.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
2.83/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

25 cL bottle poured into a snifter. Totally irresponsible rate. Best by date is 84, 85, or 86.

Appearance - Flat deep reddish brown. No bubbles.

Smell - Cardboard. Caramel. Cream sherry aroma.

Taste - Some tartness reminiscent of fresher Rodenbach. Faint cherry. Lots of caramel. And equal quantities of cardboard in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Flat. Medium body.

Overall - Way too old. I'll have to re-review this when I have it fresher.

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Photo of BoitSansSoif
2.86/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Poured a reddish amber with thick, pink head and left very nice lacing on the way down.
S-Sour cherry, sour cherry, sour cherry, and light toasted malt w/vinegar.
T-Toasted malt and cherries. Flavor is weak and laced with a mineral sensation that dominates, not to mention a clearly-present vinegar character. I'm not sure if this is typical of the style, like a lambic, but I like to dip strawberries in a balsamic vinegar/sugar mix, and this reminds me of it a little bit too much.
M-Light in flavor and on the watery side.
D-It's drinkable, but I'll pass. I'm not too familiar with this style, and it's interesting, but it's not for me.

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Photo of tomordonez
2.88/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

"The Flemish Red Brown Ale, 75% young 25% matured for 2 years".

What could go wrong about that?


It pours nicely although barely any head. Smells a little like dark cherries. Medium carbonation. Fruity but not as much as a lambic. Refreshing. I could have it for brunch, lunch or snack. Not something to taste in detail.

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Photo of smcolw
2.92/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Starting with the summary: This is a very odd flavored beer--while I cannot put my finger on it, I can't say that I like it.

Reddish brown and clear; good head with nice lasting lace.

The smell is off for me--like pickles in a ham salad, really. ????

Sweet-sour flavors. Again, quite different from anything I've ever had, but not in a positive way. The body is the best part of the beer.

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Photo of WoodBrew
2.94/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

WHAAAATTTT!! Surprise Surprise Surprise….a Belgium that is pretty dog gone good. Cloudy Brown, big cider/vinegar smell, but the taste is very light and refreshing…..crazy! I would not go crazy and would shy away from doing a session…just too sweet and tart.

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Photo of TheEclecticGent
2.94/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this beer from the 750ml bottle into my Konings hoeven goblet. It is a dark red-brown with a quickly fading tan head. It has some light lacing and high carbonation. The smell is a musty cellared smell. It has a very clean taste for a Flemish red ale. An initial sour berries flavor peaks in a sour mid-note and fades to an oak sour finish that lasts. It gets better as you sip it and become familiar with it. Not my favorite Flemish Red by far. The flavor isn’t near as complex as my favorite beer Duchesse de Bourgogne or its sister Vichtenaar. However, I like this beer far better than Rodenback Gran Cru.

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.02/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On the nose I get a nice caramel background with a slight tart cherry hint in the tail end of the aroma.

Pours out a brown color, somewhat murky, with a light tan head that dissipates quickly into the beer.

Big sour fruits in the tasting of this beer. Cherries, apricots, peaches, all summer fruits. There is a slight sweetness in the finish, as the sourness doesn't last too long.

Highly carbonated with a medium body, this beer is quite drinkable as well.

Perhaps I shouldn't have drank it right out of the fridge, I think letting it sit would have opened it up a lot.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours out a nice dark red/amber color with a slightly hazy body and filled with carbonation. The head is thin and dissipates rather quickly, but forms a nice thin ring of lace. There are plenty a fruit aromas coming through, apple, grape, lemon and figs too, but I also pick up a very faint vinegar scent. It’s sour and sweetens up as it hits the corners of your mouth, light bodied and very refreshing. The woody flavors do come out as you swallow, but the very faintly and the sourness does linger. It goes down quit smooth.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Originally sampled on 19 April 2003. I am writing this review from my notes. This beer is a reddish brown color w/ a dirty white head. It has a slightly sour taste, but overall is well balanced. To me, sour ales are a bit of an acquired taste. This one is on the milder side. For this style, it's a middle of the road beer.

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Photo of changeup45
3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

3/21/08. I wanted to try a new style, read good things about Flemish Sour beers so gave this a try based on a recommendation. I was however quite skeptical after reading reviews. Vinegar? That doesn't sound appealing at all. So the beer pours a murky brown color with a small head. It does indeed smell and taste quite a bit like vinegar. The flavor is dark fruits with some cherry and vinegar. It is a little sour but not as sour as I was expecting. There is a winey presence about it. The finish and aftertaste is a bit weird and bland. Overall it's not horrible and easier drinking than I feared but I don't really like it. The first sip I had was a little gross but it grew a little on me. Still, I would have been perfectly happy with a small 12 ounce sample. As is I had a big bottle and halfway through I didn't even want to finish it. Of course I did finish it and honestly it was better as it warmed a bit. If I ever have it again I'll note to let it warm a little.

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Photo of aasher
3.06/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a light bodied, chestnut brown with ruby highlights and a one finger, creamy off white head. The nose features light sweet cherry with light vinegar. The flavors are both sweet and tart. It features a touch of sweet cherry with an acetic tartness but also has this odd, lager yeast and pale malt characteristic that is both stale and really strange. It's too light and that lager aspect is really distracting. It drinks light with a decent amount of residual sugar but the flavors don't all come together very well. I wouldn't buy this one. It is well below Duchesse let alone their Grand Cru.

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Photo of kjyost
3.06/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Did a blind side by side with Half Pints' Old Red Barn. Half Pint's was far and away the winner. Rodenbach was cloudy with a distinctly artificial cherry note and not much sourness. Muddled compared to their modern local contemporary...

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Photo of Alissa2579
3.09/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

It was ok but not my favorite. I had two others in similar style. I prefer the lighter colored Flemish ales. Birthday gift from garys in basking ridge

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.12/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Normal brown 25cl bottle most have reviewed from, this one was best before 29th April 2009 and drank on a cold, dry afternoon in December 2008.

Poured into a Palm tulip glass.

Teak wood red in colour, with a good firm tan head on top. Looks a little mirky, but there is no light here today, so we'll go with a slightly hazey complexion.

Old cherries, sour cherries, almonds and rotting undergrowth are the smells I got.

The old and sour cherries win the taste race, no sign of the almonds and rotting veg (thank goodness).

Can't pretent to love this style or this beer, but it is different and if that 'floats your boat' then all well and good, but I like beer to taste like beer.

Body isn't heavy, but it has a presence, the aftertaste is fine, no nasty metallic feel or cardboard dryness here. Just those cherries.

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Photo of harrymel
3.13/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From notes at bier baron in dc.

A: dark red, excellent clarity. Rim of beige foam spotty lacing.

S: wood, grapes, tartness, cherries. Not very strong or complex.

T: it's a standard Flanders red. A bit too sweet for my preferences. Wood. Cherry. Slightly tart.

M: medium bodied with low carb. A really nice creamy feel to this which matches the beer, not the style IMO. Nice though.

O: not a great Flanders red at all for me. Pretty standard and a little too sweet.

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Photo of cproioi
3.17/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark red body with an off white head that leaves a little lacing. The aroma and taste go hand in hand with a sharp sour fruit notes that are quite pleasant. The carbonation dances on the touch with a slight cheek puckering sour tartness. The beer is a pleasure to drink and very refreshing.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dull, rusty brown color. Ruby red when held to light. Tan-ish, eggshell colored head. Few splashes of lace left by a swirly skim retention that looks to be in the shape of a Fibonaccie series nautilus shell. 75% new ale and 25% old ale. A combination of something old and something new - like folk metal.

Tart aroma with a metallic twang. Autumn leaf earthiness.

Taste is again metallic tartness but with a slightly sweet maraschino cherry balance. Dark, German wheat bread.

Rodenbach Grand Cru it ain't.

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Photo of taez555
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark reddish body with off-white/tan head.

Nose has a sharp fruit smell. Dark cherries, plums or other tart fruits come to mind. Some mild woody tones as well.

Taste is light to medium bodied. Very watery and light to the tongue yet tart and very sour. Tart cherries, some raisin, plums and raspberries. There this mild touch of powdered cocoa in the back blending well with the tart fruit. The carbonation in this beer is very strange. It starts large, overwhelming in an almost foamy carbonation and yet as it continues it almost disappears into the weak taste. It ends with a mild yet still tooth rotting sour and tart taste.

Maybe I've been ruined since the the flanders red's I've had the most are la folie and rodenbach grand cru, but I'm not overly crazy about this. 3/4 lambic, 1/16 belgian strong ale and the rest water, well.... I can understand it, I'm just not a big fan.

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Photo of hardy008
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown with ruby highlights and a two finger foamy tan head with good retention and spotty lacing. Smells like sour and sweet cherries, vinegar, oak, and vanilla.

The taste for some reason is not as strong as the aroma. Tastes like sweet and sour cherries, oak, and vanilla, but it seems somewhat weaker than the aroma suggested. Still has a decent flavor, but it isn't tart enough.

Light bodied with modest carbonation. Almost watery. This is not as good as the Grand Cru, in fact it isn't even close. That's not to say that this is a bad beer, but it pales in comparison to the Grand Cru.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.2/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Chilled 750mL into a glass. Purchased at Monument in Concord for $9.

A: Pours a murky amber-ruby blend with a couple of fingers of lightly-red-tinted, creamy head. Retention is short, resulting in a donut that leaves the occasional trail of lacing down the glass.

S: Vinegar, oak, tart dark cherries, and a hint of green apple.

T: Follows the nose well. It's fairly acetic with strong cherry tartness. Some pepper and tannins in the finish, and a slightly sour green apple pucker to it. It seems like a competent flavor, if slightly too acetic for my tastes -- but I've had better Flanders Reds.

M: The flavor builds up significantly. Carbonation isn't high enough to cleanse the palate, and the beer starts to wear on me partway through the bottle, with at least a full pour left. Needs to tone down the vinegar as well.

D: Not excited by this one. I've heard better things about the Grand Cru, so I guess that's what I'll pick up next time.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
3.22/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a 750ml bottle consumed from a plain tulip glass.

Appearance: deep garnet, Merlot, no head

Smell: under ripe cherries, raspberries, cinnamon, red wine

Taste/Mouthfeel: tart cherries, sour raspberries, under ripe fruit, plums, very dry and more like a wine than a beer. I think it is the style though.

From the start I knew I wouldn't like this one very much. It was way too much like a wine than a beer. The thing that turned me off the most was how tart this beer was. I'm used to the more sweet and complex abbey ales so this was a real shock.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.24/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: clear, dark brown beer - beer poured with a 'hiss' in the glass and had a nice head that quickly dissipated
S: sour nose but somewhat offensive because it wasn't lactic but acetic in qualities, oakiness does come through a bit more as it warms up
T: that was nothing like nose, A LOT sweeter than I expected and actually too sweet for style, starts off sweet but not overly with a watery mid-tasted and final slight acidic bite that was very subdued, disappointing
M: decent enough but thin, watery and sweet
D: OK but thin and watery, not decent aftertaste, you have a sip and 30 seconds later there's no taste in your mouth, where's the Flanders red ale?, where's the oak?

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Photo of Knapp85
3.25/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out like a dark red wine. Not much carbonation here. The beer didn't leave much in way of lacing either. The smell of the beer was pungent on the nose giving it the sour aroma. The taste of the beer was tart and had a light sour cherry flavor to it. The mouthfeel was on the flatter side and not overly exciting. Overall it's a decent beer in my opinion. I'd like to give the Grand Cru a try sometime.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.25/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from a bottle into a chalice at Delirium Cafe in Brussels.

This beer is half the man of the Grand Cru, if you can find either don't waste your time on this inferior red.

It pours dark red with a light tan head.

It smells and tastes sour, but way to sour.

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Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 651 ratings.