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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.

653 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 653
Hads: 1,658
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 11.47%
Wants: 81
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 653 | Hads: 1,658
Photo of bs870621345
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep ruby color with an off white head. A small amount of head rises from the beer and leaving minimal and spotty lacing.

Smells like wine, with a light oak characteristic. Slight funk is mixed in there.

Taste is tart and fruity up front, with a fruity middle, and a sourness on the end. Extremely wine like on the end.

Not so great on carbonation, very under-carbonated and leaves a film in the mouth.

Drinkability is great...very inviting but not the best beer I've ever had.

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Photo of JoeBCBC
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my first of the style that I've tried.

I love the aroma of sour cherries and malt sweetness. You can taste the base brown ale and almost seperate it form the sourness. After Trying numerous other sour beers, I can always come back to this one. Great for a refreshing experience in hot weather or for something special over dinner.

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Photo of icemonkey908
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a new style for me, so the flavor profile was a little unexpected, but it was definitely a good surprise. The appearance is a very dark red brownish color and there was very little head with a gentle pour from the bottle. A very good looking beer. The beer smells fruity with hints of apples and grapes. The apple and grape smells follows in the taste which is fruity with the hint of sour for which this style is named. The sour flavor is present although not overpowering or unpleasant in any way. This lends well to the drinkability. I could have a few of these.

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Photo of vacax
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Corked and caged 750 mL bottle.

A: Rich reddish brown. Not a large head but a gorgeous light tan one that sparkles along the sides of the glass. Beautiful in a glass.

S: Sour red berries mixed with a robust musty oakiness to them.

T: Tart fruitiness throughout, reminiscent of red wine and berries. Tart but not exactly sour accompanied with a feint background of musty oak. This would be a great starter sour, as it has a delicious flavor but is 75% fresh ale so the sour or funk is kept to low but definitely detectable levels. No sense of vinegar that some might be prone to taste in the Grand Cru. Not the most thrilling Flemish Red, but an exemplary brew with no obvious flaws.

M: Light to medium body with airy and fine carbonation.

D: Exceptional here. Everything that is good about a Flemish Red, but nothing in excess that might turn you off or lead to palate fatigue. A sour fan can easily drink this 750 mL bottle. The only problem is this is the only time I have ever seen it on shelves. About $1 less than the Grand Cru, but I never see either of these on the shelves. I recommend buying any Rodenbach bottles you see in the wild.

This is an excellent beer and benchmark to the style. There are other more sour/funky versions, but this is just a classic ale.

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Photo of PatrickJR
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Deep, clear, reddish copper. A head tries to form upon pouring but leaves only a thin collar with a hint of lacing.

S - A piquant cabernet comes to mind immediately. The vinous, slightly sour and mineral-like aroma make this smell nothing like a beer. An interesting sweet smell pulls through as well.

T - There's a lot going on here, mostly because I'm very unfamiliar with these tastes. Big lemony sourness is most prevalent. Like the nose, this brew tastes like a sharp red wine. A caramel-like sweetness tries to break through and helps balance the sourness, until the finish where an intense but brief burst of sourness shines through along with an earthy bitterness. There is an interesting undertone of phenols as well. At times this beer almost tasted like a Merlot with a healthy dose of lemon juice.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Would be interested to taste this with a lower level of carbonation as to allow more of the fruity aspects to pull through.

D - For such a "different" taste and noticable sourness, its still quite drinkable. Low ABV and crispness make for an easy drinking beer.

This is my first Flanders Sour, and it's quite good. Very different, but not unapproachable. Would love to find more of this stuff.

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Photo of UDbeernut
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle from half time pours are dark amber color, small off white head with fair retention reducing to a light lacing cap. scent is tart with cherry and plum. taste is a surge of sour and sweet dancing on the tounge. sweet prevails over the mighty sour army. dark fruits say hello. mouth is light to medium with nice belgiany mouth. alchohol is hidden. more please.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a Grimbergen 0.33l goblet.

Appearance- Very murky/cloudy copper with no head and no lacing around rim.

Smell- Beautiful cherry/raspberry smells. Some oak and a little alcohol. A little yeast and malt as well.

Taste- Same fruit as above. Sourness at the sides of the tongue. Oak. Floral flavors as well.

Mouthfeel- Nicely carbonated. The sourness makes the mouth salivate a little. Flavor lingers around the mouth for 30 seconds or so.

Overall- Very good Flemish Red. Not too sour and not too sweet. Very refreshing.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA, this is the first time I have ever seen this for sale in CA, so I jumped at the chance to try it,

A: Pours a dark, maroon red, with a small white/off-white head.

S: Sour funk, though not as funky as a lambic, more of a lactic acidity, with some cherry and strawberry, and oak.

T: Taste is a fascinating blend of oak and fruit mixed with lactic acid. It can get a little to vinegary at times but overall, I was enthralled with its upfront sour character which evolved into a malty sweet berry flavour, definitely worth the wait.

M: Sour obviously, lactic, vineagry, acetic, but very refreshing.

D: I really dug this beer, would like to have it again, but it was $7 for about 8 oz. so it will have to be a rare treat.

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Photo of kitch
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 330ml bottle with a best before date of 3rd October 2015 and poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Poured a dark reddish brown colour with a thin tanned head (although on my second bottle, an extremely aggressive pour gave me a one finger head) that leaves plenty of stringy lacing.

Aroma: Nice strong tart cherry and grape aromas with hints of vinegar and oak.

Taste: Tart cherry with hints of vinegar and grape bubblegum.

Mouthfeel: Dry, light to medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall: The most basic of the Rodenbach line, this was very good. It was very refreshing, nice on the palate and easy to drink.

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Photo of Sammy
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A masterpiece, red and brown appearance, with the rich smell of a good wine and cherry. Sour cherry and sweet fruit simultaneously. A tad of other spice and is it the oak that brings this all together? A full mouth experience. Sure liked it a lot more than their Grand Cru. Just as good on-tap at Eulogy In May 2005.

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Photo of Bierschenker
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The colour is brownish red with a lot of carbonation running through. The grey brown head is very firm. It is thick and creamy. It doesn’t disappear, but forms a nice cover.
The odour is very strong and unique. A wood like odour, barrel like. And an overpowering sour odour, finishing with rich hops.
Taste combines a subtle sourness with hops and a wood/nut taste.
Aftertaste is more bitter sour. Hop and malt linger in the mouth. Dry sticky feel in the back of the mouth.

This is a great beer, one of my favourite ones. Very strong taste and rich in aroma.

Ut Vivat, Crescat, Floreat!

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With the passing of M.J it is a sad day. But I have good books and good beers thanks to him. So I will do what he would do. Have a beer and wright about it ( although I am not nearly as gifted as he is).

Rodenbach pours with a foamy light brown head. Leaves behind some traces amounts of lacing as it fades away. Has a lovely deep red color.

The nose is flowing with a sour fruitiness a faint oakiness.

The taste is sweet, tarty and sour. With hints of fruits and spice. The finish lets me know I am drinking something good, it grabs hold and does not let go.

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Photo of utfiero
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Color- silty river brown. Full thick head.

Aroma- complex starting with a sharp lactic bite with hint of sour apple with earthy overtones.

Taste- A gentle giant of a brew. Starts with a hint of sour but sweet overall, gentle fruitiness in the middle (perhaps raisin?) finishing with a lingering oak, vanilla, and mild apple.

Tasted on 11-8-2013. This was a new bottle purchased locally. Poured from 750 ml bottle into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass).

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Photo of BigBry
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another huge suprise when I saw this on-tap at Craft Beer Market - alway check the menu, the chalkboard, the table toppers...never know where a jewel is hiding.
Red and brown color, tan head. Good retention and lacy lines.
Smell of sour cherries, a bit boozy but not off putting, musty yeast.
Tatse has some malt and fruit sweetness to start, then sour comes out. Not overly puckering but enough to feel it. Some spiciness, and a hint oak the oak aging at the end.
Body and mouth feel are more on the full side.
I enjoyed it, but it scared off a couple of colleagues and they didn't like it.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An old staple of mine, one of the first Belgiums that opened up my palate. Found this in dirty jersey for $2.00 beans, sweet deal, but it is nearing the expiration date, let's see what some time has done to this.

Opens with a light red almost maroon look in color and a very thin topping of off white close to tan colored head with small spots of streaking on the glass.

Smells like that Rodenbach but this one is all about the wood and tart fruits. I don't get alot of Vinegar in the nose which Im thankful for, time may have played a factor here. Alot of granny smith apples with wood and some sweetness from the oak, a touch of vanilla. Vinious and pungent.

This is still a standout in the style and the pinnacle as far as im concerned. I think I like it better than the grand cru for the lower amount of sweetness and vinegar which kills it for me. Those are still there but under alot of fruit with apple and pear, wood and vanilla. This is more to my liking.

Feel is pretty much thin, it may have lost some luster since it's been sitting for so long, but I think time has done this alot of good. A great balance of tart and sweet in that order. Comes off as a tart vinious treat that does not resemble beer but we do know that this is indeed great beer. A nice rush of carb as well, this is certainly not dead.

I like the red aged before a fresh bottle, and I like the red before the grand cru. This is one I could have a field day with. Now if they would only un retire Redbach, than i'll be sitting pretty.

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Photo of Phocion
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle dated best before 10/14/2015. Pours into a Lindemans flute a dark ruby color, reminiscent of cranberry juice. Barely off-white head with just the slightest tan hue. Head quickly drops into a thin crown, but that sticks around. Moderate but consistent lacing.

Aroma is very fruity and tart. Sour cherry and plum mostly, but a nice touch of candied sweet cherry as well. Passion fruit. Oak. A ton of fruit flavors going on, but little malt or hops. Slight spicy phenols.

Flavor is similar to the aroma in that it is a complex assortment of fruit. A tart red wine/cherry fruitiness blends well with caramelized sugar flavors, sweet cherries, and a touch of vanilla from the oak. Sweet up front with a tart finish, with just a little bit of spice thrown in at the very end.

Tart, refreshing, crisp mouthfeel. Light-medium body with moderate carbonation. No astringency and moderately sour, but acidic.

Rodenbach is a wonderful beer. I really love Flanders Reds, but I've only had a few in the past, so it's hard for me to evaluate this to style. Nonetheless, it is absolutely delicious.

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Photo of biegaman
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle enjoyed in the wonderful ambiance of 'Los Romanticos' in Brussels. Crowded in both numbers and passion, I sipped this delightfully complex ale while watching the tango dancers, remarking with awe how every motion, every expression was so full of sensuality.

The bartender asked if I wanted it served with grenadine. "Blasphemy!" I yelled at him, slapping the bottle from his hand and spitting on his shoes... no, not really.

No actual head would shape up. Rather than assemble together, amassing what could be a bulk of pristine white foam, each bubble stood on its own, spreading a thin, dotted sea of air pockets. The body is a tawny with mahogany highlights. A deepened, fiery complexion - glowing blood red to the light.

The oak has imparted a nearly overwhelming character. On par are port like notes of cherry and sour grapes. Quite a pleasant bouquet. While it shares notes of figs, dates, and raisins this in no way mimics a quad or Belgian Strong dark. It is fruity and much closer resembles a fine port.

The mouthfeel has a level of sweetness usually only found in artificial treats; it almost feels sticky, like caramel candy. Quite a sensation. While it is incredibly sweet it is in no way cloying. It might remind one of a lambic, but hardly shares the makeup. The oak again is quite apparent and dries out the aftertaste. The yeast introduces such unique character, although it steers far from the sour character of their Grand Cru.

The taste is full of ripened cherries. The flavour captures the taste of ripe cherries so well, leaving strong, luscious fruity notes on the palate. The oak is there too, and certainly compliments the taste, adding depth and enhancing the flavours. Slightly vineous flavours (again, lush cherries and sour grapes). It brings esters to an extreme - what a yeast!

I could see how others may not like it, myself personally however, I found it to be quite a lovely treat. I was quite amazed with it actually; it has such unique character. And even more to its credit, I doubt the one bottle I had was enough to really understand this beer, to fully experience its character. I must revisit.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Murky reddish brown, very dark. Head is rather thin and off-white in color. Quickly fades to a thin ring around the glass.

S - Sweet and sour in the nose. Dark fruits, especially cherry and a little plum. A touch of oak and spice both come through as the beer warms. A little touch of balsamic vinegar as well.

T - Tart and acidic initially with a quick balancing sweetness. Lots of dark fruit and spices. Hints of vinegar. A clean earthiness lies underneath providing excellent balance throughout.

M/D - Smooth and on the drier side of things. Medium body with excellent carbonation levels. All of the flavors play off each other very well making this a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of 55bob
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle.

Very nice creamy colored head that stayed about 10 minutes leaving lace on side of glass.

Medium dark red.

Nicely balanced with lots of refreshing cherry notes and medium maltiness.

Medium sour. Not overdone.

Mouthfeel is medium thick.

Hops is well balanced and not overly done as many beers today are.

Would I get this again? yes

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Photo of twaddlac
4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Smaller head but hangs around for a while. Multiple points of nucleation, similar to that of champagne, very impressive. Burnt orange/ blood red color with uniform color distribution throughout.

S- Merlot. Raspberries and currants, with a sweet undertone. Strong oak notes.

T- Almost like a sour cherry sucker (or cherry concentrate), very unique; something that is not negative at all. Leaves you interested in the next sip you're about to take.

M- Smooth, wheat ale carbonation, medium body with a very smooth finish, nothing that you would expect from a sour ale.

D- Not as sour as some people make it out to be, though it is sour. It is not unbearable won't have you reaching for a handful of jellybeans to negate the bitterness. Very smooth and unique and I definitely would drink this with a nice roast, maybe even for leisure. I recommend this beer to everyone!!

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Photo of Efay
4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this from Chris Quinn of the Beer Temple. I went to his new store based in Chicago and was asking for recommended sours for newbies, and this was his pick for me.

A- Poured into a pint glass, and it seems like there is lots of carbonation and lots of foam. That foam recedes to about 2 fingers worth of head, where there was a great retention rate. Beautiful dark amber color with extremely small foam bubbles from the head, which were cappuccino colored.

S- Cherries dominate, with hints of raspberry as well. Very acidic smelling and sweet, which to me was a great combination.

T- Initial dark malty taste, with a tad amount of oak. Tastes of tart cherry are welcoming to my palate.

M- Moderate to high carbonation, with moderate weight which goes down surprisingly smooth. Ends with a tart dryness.

O- Wow. I was very skeptical about trying sours but this thing was just unbelievable. This was highly drinkable and very enjoyable, and I am excited for future sours if they're anything like this.

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Photo of AndySR15
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a dark redish brown with a decent head and a nice frothy swirl of foam remains on top.

S - Great aroma. Nice mellow cherry notes with the expected vinegery aromas as well. It also has a great earthy/woody aroma in the back.

T - Starts out moderately tart but not as much as I was expecting. After swallowed a nice earthiness comes foreward.

M - Light but with a bit of a prickly feel.

D - Awesome, I enjoyed this much more than the Duchesse. I will be getting another for sure.

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Photo of dwarbi
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely looking beer - a nice dark brown. Murky. Almost didn't catch the head. Very thin and fleeting. No lacing at all. Smells of sour apples. Tasty. Very clean and very light. Hardly any aftertaste at all. A perfectly neat, clean finish. This beer is turning me on to the sour types!

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Photo of mep3222
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer and could drink it all night. Sometimes it seems a bit light to me (possibly the differing meals I'm drinkng it with), but the complexity of flavors and oveall balance is fantastic. I like the level of sourness for an "everyday" beer, but wouldn't mind more sourness on occasion, possibly the Rodenbach Grand Cru will accomplish that but I've not been able to hunt that down yet. While looking I won't mind drinking this one.. possibly even daily after Ironman Lake Placid.

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Photo of jwhancher
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Starting to get into sours now so I picked up a bottle of this.

Pours a murky brownish red with tan head that fades yet reappears with some swirling of the glass. Smells of balsamic vinegar with some brown sugar notes. Maybe a little fig or slight raisin notes. Tastes sour yet has a sweet brown sugar like quality. I also get flashes of cocoa and maybe some vanilla notes likely from the barrel aging. A fine beer. A great beginner sour For those just getting in to 'em. This one has a light to medium mouthfeel wiith bitter and lighter sour notes. Glad I picked this one up!

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Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 653 ratings.