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

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

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,501 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,501
Reviews: 631
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 68
Gots: 107 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website
Belgium

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: 1,501 | Reviews: 631 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It poured rather dark brown with just a few bubbles covering the surface. A light to moderate level of carbonation is visible.
S: There is a distinct sour aroma in the nose, although it's not that strong.
T: With sweetness in the intial taste and sourness in the finish, the taste is incredibly complex. There are also hints of cherries, grapes and oak barrel aging in the flavors.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and rather smooth.
D: The low alcohol content makes this beer highly drinkable.

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -25%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

AppearanceL: Pours a murky rust color with garnet highlights and an ecru head that leaves quite a few sheets of lace

Smell: Sweet and sour cherry, with undertones of oak and a hint of leather

Taste: Opens with a sweet cherry and tart passion fruit flavor, that is joined, mid-palate, by some depth from the oak; after the swallow, the tartness and oak flavors dominate but don't obliterate the sweetness

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with crisp carbonation

Drinkability: While I would like more tartness and oaky complexity, this is very easy to drink

Photo of BEERchitect
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Flanders red ale has stolen my heart. When they project a drier and more pungent sour character, they are among the best of all beer of the sour family. But its the cherry, kettle caramelization and barrel that work in tandem with the resident microflora to give these beers such distinctive charm.

Tantalizing sourness tethers through a more robust taste and balancing sweetness to place the nose and early palate completely under its spell. Its candied cherry upstart is wrapped in a blanket of caramelized sugars, cellar-like must and berry wine.

But its the wild display that blossoms across the middle that really takes back the senses with oddly compelling tastes that boarder on cider and oak, tobacco and leather, merlot and balsamic, brine and copper... the complex descriptors seem to go forever; playing out on a semi-sweet but intensely acidic palate.

Its tangy wine finish, carries an inherent honey balance that seems of confectioner's delight, yet pierced by its earthen variety for an effortless close with lingering vinous, lightly powdered astringency and surprisingly refreshing vinegar dryness.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle drank at le Cirio in Brussels: Poured a light red/brown colored beer with a nice head with better then average retention. Aroma is mostly dominated by the oak/cherry smell but not as strong as for the Grand Cru. Taste is surprisingly more refreshing then expected with again the oak/cherry taste and some light sweetness. The end is a bit sour and watery. This is not on par with the Grand Cru but it would wonderful to drink this during a hot summer days beside the pool.

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half finger head on a murky brown with golden hued body. No lacing really. Aroma is very fruity with syrup, caramel and sour cherry. Flavor is similar creamy with sour cherry, caramel and syrups. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Nice flavor. Interesting brew, not sure if I have had any from this style before. Complex and more drinkable than you would expect.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky raspberry iced tea. The beer was clear initially, but since the bottle is so small, I was able to get the entire contents into the glass with one pour, including the sentiment. Atop the liquid is a splendid looking crown of almond colored foam that sports a rough hewn surface and is substantial enough to hang around for a bit. Thick bands of pocked lace are a bonus. I'm impressed so far and I haven't even smelled it yet.

The nose is solid, even if it fails to 'wow' me as much as the appearance. It's tart and fruity and acetic acid-like and oaky and all the things that Flanders red ales are known for. It's a perfect example of the style, if not quite the standard bearer. If I was to nitpick, I'd ask for more intensity and more complexity.

My first impression is that I'm not quite as impressed as I was with the much less-heralded Mestreechs Aajt and Monk's Flemish Sour Red. Rodenbach is intense, but it's more intensely acidic than it is intensely flavorful or intensely sour. The flavor profile is another step down from the nose in terms of (a lack of) complexity.

According to the label, the beer is 75% fresh and 25% aged in oak. Even though I can appreciate the wood, more would nice. This beer needs more of quite a few things in fact. Again, it's a faithful version, just not a stellar one according to my taste buds. I had originally thought that the 250 ml bottle would be way too small, but it's turning out to be just about about right.

There's very little wrong with the mouthfeel from where I sit. By the same token, it doesn't distinguish itself either. It's on the thin side with the exception of a nod toward lightly viscous on the finish. A generous amount of fine-bubbled carbonation adds some amount of mouth interest.

Rodenbach Classic is a disappointment. I've come to enjoy this style and was expecting an explosion of tart, funky, oak-accented fruit... and didn't get it. I don't remember where I finally located a bottle, but from now on, whenever I get the urge to drink a beer of this style, I'll be content with the Monk's Flemish Sour Red that I can get mere minutes from my front door. Here's hoping that Rodenbach Grand Cru blows the roof off the joint.

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a very dark reddish brown, really clear into grandmas crystal chalice for Easter. Nice thin tan head did not hold up very long, but left a small amount of lace in its wake. Nice visible streams of carbonation present.

S - Smell is very strong and the sour feel just rolls right out. Lots of flavors of sours grapes, apples, and some plums. Very nice bitter wine like aroma. Very complex and robust.

M & T - Very smooth and and really nice carbonation gave it a light frothy feel. Very big taste, this one needed to be heard! Extremely sour profile and lots of fruity flavors. Apples. grapes, pears. Slighthint at bread like flavors.

D - Overall I would have to say this was not bad at all. My first taste of a sour ale was not really to my liking but this has intriqued me a bit more. This was much much better. I actually really enjoyed sipping on this while I was easting dinner and has opened me up to some more of the style. Definalty a sipper due to the strongness.

Photo of womencantsail
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a muddy brown color with very little to no head.

S: The nose is the classic Flanders Red ale. A pleasantly acidic and mildly acetic, sour cherries, and a bit of oak.

T: A lot of sour cherry flavor mixed with sweet malt. The acidity is pleasant and refreshing without too much vinegar character.

M: Medium in body with an initially high level of carbonation that seems to die down a fair amount throughout the pour.

D: A very refreshing and mildly acidic Flanders Red. While the appearance might not be the most appealing, this is still a nice beer.

Photo of Knapp85
3.23/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Smell: 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.

Taste: 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.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Delectably drinkable and nicely quaffable. Good interplay between the sweetness and the sourness throughout. Works well as an apéritif as now I'm hungry. Sandwich anyone?

Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amazingly my first try of this beer its not a style I seek out much but this is a classic,poured into a large tulip glass a mix of brown a cherry red a light fluffy sticky light brownish colored head atop settling into a creamy-like mass leaving spotty lace.Big tart cherry in the nose with underlying vanilla and oak a iron not is present as well but its somewhat faint,somewhat spritzy mouthfeel light and drinkable.Starts out with a big tartness that wakes you up after that some toastiness and oak shows thru into the finish the puckering tartness is always there it never really totally leaves.A nice complex but refreshing beer it is a classic for a reason.

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark but clear auburn color with 3 fingers of tan foam. Head retention is outstanding, though it curiously leaves no lace.

Smell: Slightly musty. Fruity sourness is nicely balanced by a hint of sweetness. Cherries and a touch of caramel.

Taste & mouthfeel: Subtle fruity sweetness leads into flavors of tart cherries, red wine and balsamic vinegar. Light on the tongue, very refreshing and drinkable. Significantly less complex than the Grand Cru, but this is still an excellent brew. Good for a hot Summer day or paired with food.

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

330ml bottle. A quiet little world-beater of a brewer arrives in our fair province, and to little to no fanfare. Sigh. The stylized 'R' on the cap and label sure looks like it was ripped off by a certain 'craft' brew line of Canada's largest and most storied corporate beer maker.

This beer pours a clear, dark ruby amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, somewhat foamy, and rather creamy ecru head, which leaves a few instances of island atoll lace around the glass as it gently subsides.

It smells of sour black cherries, a middling crackery caramel malt, a soft grainy woodiness, some mild funk, and a further apple cider fruitiness. The taste is a mite bit sweeter - the cherries rounding out, and joined by some raspberry and strawberry fruitiness, at that - the funk keeping it tight, the oak shedding the wood in favour of a vanilla pod earthiness, and the sideshow apples gaining a commensurate uptick in their sugar quotient.

The carbonation is nice and light and fluffy, the body a decent medium weight, and rather smooth for all the funk and acid (we be clubbin' now!) inherent in this offering. It finishes off-dry, the fruitiness staying more sweet than sour, while the musty funk and wood start to take it easy.

A lovely, balanced Flanders Red ale - sour, yes, but sweet, fruity, and nicely tempered by the musty, woody factor. Enjoyably quenching - not something I thought I'd reason about a sour ale, but there it is.

Photo of emerge077
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this many times in the 750mL bottles, but this is the first tiny 8.45 oz. bottle i've seen. Thanks Weibull for the extra hookup.

Served at 52º in a Rodenbach 8 oz. tumbler. Tawny crimson shade, carbonation visible in the light. Half inch cap of offwhite foam settles to a thin veil after awhile. Evaporating foam gives off an audible crackle.

Aroma of musty wet wood at first, segueing into dark cherries, pits and all. Light presence of fermenting apples too.

Flavor has the requisite sweet & sour elements, at moderate approachable levels. Juicy black cherry, and subtle oak flavors. It dries out in the end, but has a very quenching quality about it that is absolutely perfect for a hot day. Classic indeed...

I used to think that Rodenbach was more sharply sour that the Grand Cru, maybe that was only in years past. The two seem fairly similar, looks like a side-by-side tasting is an order.

Humboldt Fog made for an interesting pair with this. The low acidity seemed to cut the creamy richiness, with a lingering farmhouse aftertaste of the cheese.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tumbler at ChurchKey.

Finally, a place that has this on tap so that I don't have to buy a bottle (I'm cheap). You rock, CK! It pours a seemingly clear, though rather dark, ruby topped by over a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises light vinegar, mandarin oranges, pineapple, maple syrup, sour grapes, and raspberries. The taste begins with some o' those sour grapes and vinegar notes, followed by some wheat, lightly roasted malts, and nutmeg. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sticky finish. Overall, a tasty Flemish offering, but not necessarily something I see myself drinking too often.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

refreshing and tangy, with a fluctuating (im pretty sure), but well hidden abv. one of the original examples of the style in my opinion, one of the best. dark red color to it and a lively tan head with excellent lace and retention. it smells puckery but more on the vinegar side of lacto than the citric side, which is fine in this instance because its balanced by sweeter amber malt and a nice buttery nutty front end that only eventually and reluctantly gives way to the acidity. clean and bright in feel though, shaking its weighty start and finishing really quite expressive and delicate for what it is. way more drinkable than the grand cru, with notes of dried fruit and molasses still in this one, but its so much more approachable, especially for the uninitiated. top quality stuff, but everything from rodenbach is.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.68/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Although it's not quite what I remember it to be in the early 80's (I'd imagine that I might be bolstering its memory as it was then one of the special beers of my youth), it's still a remarkable beer! And since I consider the Flander's red style to be my favorite style, that's nothing to sneeze at.

It pours a clear deep-mahogany red body with a full head of pillowy tan foam that holds remarkably well and leaves very nice lace about the glass.

The nose is woody, mildly fruity and subtly candyish-sweet with notes of red fruit and a flicker of tartness (red raspberry, sweet cherry, passion fruit, lemon zest). There's some wet straw and wool in there as well, but it's restrained and actually helps to enhance the other aromas.

In the mouth it's surprisingly supple and airy, leaving it unsurpassingly smooth across the palate with a delicate caress.

The tartness that's expected is clearly present, but not nearly in the same range that one might expect of a lambic... No, this is far more refined. And it's soft, dull caramel-accented maltiness has just enough sweetness to act as a swaddling blanket against it. Fruitiness then enters and adds great depth; all the while balancing it out with a low-key earthiness of wood and subtle "barnyard"/"horseblanket"/"wool".

It finishes dry with a note of woody/earthy/mustiness, some iron, and some residual dark fruit skins.

Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful!

It pairs well with a wide range of soft, buttery and/or earthy Brie-type cheeses; and alongside a crusty loaf of whole wheat bread it makes a wonderful small meal. Some red grapes on the side only help to delineate it's character. Seafood is another choice to consider, as it's acidity clearly cuts through, and mussels in red sauce is a classic. Finally, it also works well at the very start of a meal as an apertif, or with salad (think vinaigrette and soft cheese); and at the end of the meal as a palate cleanser.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 250ml bottle into a flute glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of tart dark fruits (cherries & raspberries), light malts and some Belgian yeast.

T: The taste starts out very sour with flavors of cherries, raspberries and apples up front. The sourness quickly fades a bit and some light maltiness provides a decent balance. There's a mild hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sour.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and very dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this isn't usually the kind of beer that I drink a lot of, but this one was pretty decent.

Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,501 ratings.