Rodenbach Classic (Red) - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
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Ratings: 1,372 | Reviews: 619 | Display Reviews Only:
4.28/5 rDev +7%
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.
07-08-2014 17:28:13 | More by BEERchitect
3.73/5 rDev -6.8%
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.
06-30-2004 15:07:25 | More by Phyl21ca
4.05/5 rDev +1.3%
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.
01-23-2010 08:09:15 | More by womencantsail
4.18/5 rDev +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?
05-11-2010 01:01:29 | More by ChainGangGuy
4/5 rDev 0%
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.
08-23-2012 22:51:15 | More by kylehay2004
3.23/5 rDev -19.3%
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.
06-20-2011 14:03:48 | More by Knapp85
4.2/5 rDev +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.
08-16-2007 00:17:32 | More by oberon
3.68/5 rDev -8%
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.
07-28-2010 04:49:35 | More by TMoney2591
4.38/5 rDev +9.5%
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.
03-20-2008 00:49:45 | More by emerge077
4/5 rDev 0%
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.
07-06-2008 18:41:52 | More by largadeer
4.11/5 rDev +2.8%
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.
08-30-2013 03:29:28 | More by biboergosum
4.68/5 rDev +17%
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.
03-03-2006 04:57:55 | More by NeroFiddled
4/5 rDev 0%
Pours a dark ruby hued brown that has no head. Nose is a pretty smooth mix of wood and fruit. Flavor has that sour tone to it and definite fruit and wood as well. Smooth feel with a low but biting carbonation. Nice to drink, but you'd have to be able to appreciate the style to really enjoy this one.
03-18-2008 16:14:57 | More by RblWthACoz
3.78/5 rDev -5.5%
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.
07-10-2008 02:33:24 | More by TheManiacalOne
4.38/5 rDev +9.5%
A - The beer pours with one finger of light brown head, resting on top of a dark, reddish brown body with clear amber highlights. The foam dissipates fairly quickly and leaves moderate lace.
S - A tart aroma of acetic acid, cherries, caramel, and toasted malt.
T - Tart pie cherries and caramel up front. Some fruity, citric tartness comes out in the middle, where it develops a nice interplay with the darker malt notes. A complex and slightly funky sourness settles over the palate in the finish with a sweet/sour tug of war between the lingering caramel flavors and the moderate acidity.
M - Medium body, high carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish.
D - This is, of course, a classic example of the style where the acidity is assertive, but not as intense as in the Grand Cru. There is a lot of rich, dark and fruity malt that creates both balance and interest by contrasting the sharp acidity. Carbonation is another important point that is hit upon with great accuracy and it pushes the intense flavors aside in the finish, leaving only a light, dry and acidic fruitiness lingering on the palate. A beer that everyone interested in good beer must try and a perfect introduction to sour beer.
05-22-2011 05:48:44 | More by nickfl
4.03/5 rDev +0.8%
750 ml corked & caged bottle into a couple of tulip glasses.
Pours a deep clear ruby, topped with a ½ finger of fizzy off-white head. This retains with just a light foamy ring around the edges of the glass, leaving back a gentle smattering of lace. The aroma smells of cherry tartness with a vinegar edge to it and some light notes of earthy wood. Some light sugary sweetness hangs in the background a bit.
The taste is similar, with more tart cherries and a balancing sugary sweetness. Oak occupies the edges of the profile while this finish with a sour bite at the end that then leaves the finish on this dry, tannic and burnt. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with some sharpness on the tongue and then more of a creamier feel on top that helps keep those flavors moving. I’m digging the feel here, as its equal part lively and slick in the mouth.
This was good, packing in some good cherry flavor but then also having a nice acidic bite to it. The body on this really did a solid job of keeping those flavors accessible as well. This is well worth picking up. It’s very drinkable for what’s involved.
08-07-2012 16:13:59 | More by Kegatron
Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,372 ratings.