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

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Rodenbach Classic (Red)Rodenbach Classic (Red)

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

644 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 644
Hads: 1,613
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 71
Gots: 156 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website
Belgium

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
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 644 | Hads: 1,613
Photo of Halcyondays
4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
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. (768 characters)

Photo of Sammy
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
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. (316 characters)

Photo of Bierschenker
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
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! (596 characters)

Photo of irishkyle21
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
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. (564 characters)

Photo of utfiero
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
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). (498 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
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. (1,519 characters)

Photo of Phocion
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
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. (1,102 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
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. (2,157 characters)

Photo of ckeegan04
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
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. (683 characters)

Photo of 55bob
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
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 (366 characters)

Photo of twaddlac
4.46/5  rDev +10.9%
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!! (878 characters)

Photo of Efay
4.46/5  rDev +10.9%
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. (1,010 characters)

Photo of AndySR15
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
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. (492 characters)

Photo of dwarbi
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
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! (284 characters)

Photo of mep3222
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
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. (490 characters)

Photo of jwhancher
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
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! (578 characters)

Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

75 cl bottle, caged and corked.

Clear burgundy/brown in color with a small tan froth that laces.

Very heady nose with this beer: oak, vanilla, stinky cheese, barnyard, sugary note, vinegar, bubble gum.

Medium-light body with lively carbonation. Sour acidity is bracing, initially like unripe cherry, then more acidic like a Spanish olive. A slightly roasty malt flavor fades to an oaken sweetness. Vanilla and pipe tobacco notes. Tartness becomes lemony as the beer warms. A sweetness covers the top of the tongue.

I'm glad Palm started importing. Super complex, refreshing, and fun. (587 characters)

Photo of cbl2
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$5.79 750 mL 5.10% Best by 9/06.

Appearance:

Pours a brilliant deep red with thin tight carbonation that yields a minimal white head.

Aroma:

Acidic and tart with sour mashed cherries and a sweet raspberry aroma.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Like a lambic with no fruit added! This is fantastic, and refreshing with a palate cleansing acidic tartness that is imbued with a fresh cherry flavor that lingers as this one goes down. The low ABV makes this one easy to enjoy, and its overall uniqueness makes it a glory to behold.

Grab this one if you can get your hands on it, it is an excellent value. 75% fresh ale, 25% aged in oak. (641 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, plummy red color, poured into my Duvel glass, with a brief, perfunctory white head, soon gone.
Aroma is in a realm of it's own, bold sour cherries, slight suggestion of cocoa and nuts, a brown ale emboldened with brazen fruit, and atingle with spices.
floods the mouth with flavor, brisk, fruity, distinctive, tangy, just a touch sour, with a trickle of sweet. Very tasty, very lively on the tongue.
Medium to full in body, brimming with great taste, medium length, slightly sour/slightly sweet fruity finish.
Excellent. Utterly delectable. (550 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

250ml bottle obtained via trade with Jetsbeer. Date 03/08/05 on back of bottle. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/4" over the clear bright reddish amber brew. Lacing is is good, even though the head has faded to a bubbly film. Aroma is malty, yet funky and has sour tinges as well. Taste is pleasantly tart, with a reasonable malty body, and minimal funk, for better or worse. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth even considering it's tartness, and as such, drinkability for the styleis superb. (529 characters)

Photo of josefnewsong
4.49/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - pours a brownish red like the color of old brick, with a bit of off-white head that reduces to a ring, albeit a substantial one, and leaves the slightest touches of lace that struggle to cling to the walls of the glass
S - a vinous, slightly vinegary nose permeates the air as soon as the bottle is opened, followed by sour grapes
T - tastes just like it smells, and like what I've come to expect from the style but a bit more subtle than some which is enjoyable. There is a great balance between sweet and sour going on: sweet hits up front, followed by a nice wash of sour - neither flavor is overbearing. A slight oakiness opens up as it warms and adds another layer of complexity to the taste, and now I'm getting some cherries as well. Grows more tart as it warms.
M - light in body, great tingly mouthfeel - almost feels like a gourmet soda or something of the sort, but not too much carbonation
D - extremely quaffable. I find this style to be extremely enjoyable but most I've had are overly sour (which I sometimes like). This one however is very well balanced, and complex enough to where I could see myself having 2 more - and wishing I had at least one more in the fridge.

I'm a fan (1,199 characters)

Photo of jakester
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at 3rd and Spruce Cafe in West Reading. 16oz. pint glass for $3!! (Happy hour)

Arrives a pretty darn clear deep dark red with hints of brown. A one finger light tan head of different sized bubbles. Drops to islands and a ring. Minimal lacing.

Smell is Belgian funky, sour cherries or raspberries, no discernable hop aroma which is appropriate for style.

The taste is dominated by intense sour fruit, more like cherries than raspberries. Really thirst quenching and refreshing tanginess on the tongue. Acidic but pleasant. There is no detectable bitterness, but with the sour, it doesn't matter. This is a sour beer, but not too sour, just delicious. Aftertaste is sour cherries.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin, effervescent, and yes, sour. No real sweetness until the finish.

This beer is highly recommended. It's probably not for everyone, but what a great representation of the style! (916 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the Pig & Fiddle on tap. The nose is big fruit, citrus, plum and cherry with tartness and traces of funk. It pours brilliant deep cherry red with a thin film of a cap. The palate is tart, lemony, fruit, plum and cherry. The texture is exquisite and rich with a good balance between sweet and sour. (309 characters)

Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep red, nearly burgundy shade with a small off white head
S: Smells of sour cherries and other berries with a slight sweetness
T: sourness up front with a slight maltiness. Huge sour cherry toward the middle to end with a sort of funky and oaky sour aftertaste.
M: fairly light bodied with soft carbonation
O: A fantastic beer, sour yet balanced and very finely crafted. I'm very happy that I picked up a bottle. (425 characters)

Photo of nlmartin
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer several times at Eulogy in Philly. This beer was served in a chalice.

Appearance: The beer has a nearly crimson coloration. The head was a pink foam on the beer. The head had almost no retention.

Smell: The beer has a very dominate and pleasing sour cherry smell. The beer has a bit of spicyness funkyness splashing about the beer.

Taste: The beer has a lead in of tart cherry fruityness. The beer has a bit of funky spicyness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a light body. The beer has a very crisp and refreshing mouthfeel. This beer is a definate thirst quencher. I will definately be partaking of Rodenbach again. This is just a very solid sessionable beer. (698 characters)

Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 644 ratings.