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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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,528 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,528
Reviews: 635
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 69
Gots: 121 | FT: 2
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
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,528 | Reviews: 635 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sigmund
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

250 ml bottle, simply called "Rodenbach", courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 5.2%. Very dark reddish brown colour, moderate beige head. Nice aroma of red wine vinegar, sour cherries and farmhouse kitchen. The flavour is moderately sweet and sour, notes of musty fruit, funk and red wine vinegar. Some oak in the finish, minimal hops. Not nearly as complex, powerful and interesting as the Grand Cru, but okay.

Photo of csustar001
2.5/5  rDev -37.5%

Photo of Wobbly
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of mithrascruor
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

250 mL bottle poured into a chalice at O'Briens in San Diego.

Pours a nice red brown color. Bubly but very little head. Apple vinegar aroma, but not overwhelming and even a tad sweet. Very tingly but not too intense carbonation. Lightly sour taste with apples and cherries. One of the most drinkable sour ales I've tried. Not particularly exciting (it's missing the complexity and tart-ness of many of these beers), but still an enjoyable beer and probably a good introduction to this unusual (and, to some, shocking) style.

Photo of hustlesworth
4.82/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml crowned and corked, no date on cork.

A- very nicely colored hazy bing cherry/red plum with amber highs, ruby mids, and burgundy lows. rich creamy khaki colored head doesn't get too big, but doesn't go away either. thick curtains of lace cover the inner walls with only a few port holes open, gets very crusty as it dries.

S- no wonder they call this a flemish sour ale. smell is of sour cherries and fruity malt vinegar. my mouth gets that funny puckering feeling just by smelling it. i can also appreciate the deep sweet richness of dark malt and port wine barrels. whatever these special yeasts are, they are sour and buttery, like a butter cheese with plums, cherries and tart red berries.

T- damn what an interesting beer. initial taste is clean mineral water, as a very fruity sourness sits on my tongue waiting to be noticed. i don't know how to describe it except for a long list of every tart non-citrus fruit i can think of. diluted apple cider vinegar it first, changing regular apple cider, then cherries, gooseberries, unripe blackberries, red plum, wild strawberry, cranberry, crabapple, rhubarb, absolutely ridiculous. as the tartness fades, the mellow oak aged flavors set in with a very clean raw wood taste and refined cereal grains, pale and toasty barley, and a natural earthiness of organic soil.

MF- somewhat juicy, light but not watery, acidic yet alkaline, low carbonation, no residual astringency or anything for that matter left on the cheeks, just the pleasant lingering flavor of fruit stems, oak, and granola.

D- this is a style i could get used to. i expected something good, but this was almost mind-bending. thoroughly complex and sophisticated, like a lambic crossed with an english pale ale. not something i'd want to gulp down without noticing the subtleties, but i easily could. worth the money for me, and i will surely have several of these on hand at all times.

Photo of nzerbe
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Gosox8787
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750 mL corked and caged bottle poured into a Bruery snifter glass. Served at cellar temperature.

Appearance: Pours a nice thich, creamy, two finger beige head with a little retention. Amber and darker red in color.

Aroma: Light cherries, apple cider vinegar, and some slight oak from the barrel. Some definite funk in there as well.

Taste: Not overly tart at all. Some nice cherry and grape notes, with prevailing vinegar notes. Some charred oak and dough notes in there as well and a nice funkiness throughout.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with ample carbonation. Goes down very easily.

Overall, a really nice flemish sour I was glad to try. Nothing is overly complex or sour, but everything is pleasant, enjoyable, and well done for the most part. I would get this again.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried a Flanders red ale at a tasting and thought I should check out a few, starting with this one.

This beer pours out a dark, hazy, reddish brown color. It has a nice head and a fruity nose (chewing gum), that's slightly yeasty.

Very tart, fruity, and dry flavor. I get a brief malty sweet cookie flavor followed by tart cherries, sour apples, and a not-so-subtle hop kiss. I noted that the flavors developed a bit as the beer warmed slightly.

Very tasty and refreshing. I have tried the Grand Cru before, but will have to bring a bottle home and try it in a more controlled environment.

Photo of WoostaBia
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.29/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Server in a pint glass.

Appearance: ridiculously dark amber, very light bubbles on the body. Off white head maybe 1/10", I'm not crazy over the way it looks but it's still attractive.

Smell: strong woody taste, you can inhale the malts and cellaring.

Taste: This taste is not for everybody, strong sourness to it that makes the rest of the beer very hard to enjoy. Wood, almost cedar like...but a notch sweet. I don't hate it but keep my words in mind before sipping and judging.

Mouth: an easy medium to full, strong after taste of rye sticks to you like black to the night.

Overall: good beer but the hype it definitely does not live up to. Honestly this is probably my first flander's red ale, and I want to try more before I put them on the "beware" list. Salud!

Photo of jsurfs82
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of samie85
3.97/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a murky ruddy brown color with a few fingers of off white head.

S-Smells of heavy balsamic notes with some sour cherry notes.

T-Tart, acidic cherry and slight vinegar notes with a bit of leather.

M-Medium bodied with low but prickly carbonation and crisp, light feel.

D-Highly drinkable; drinks more like a mildly carbonated, yet complex, juice cocktail.

Photo of CWhite
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of brandonld23
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of marburg
4.95/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Addendum) After having this fresh at the brewery in Belgium, sampling some bottles I brought back, and talking with some friends, I've come to the conclusion that either this beer's changed or, more likely, every sample I've ever loved has been aged. Drink this beer after it's a couple years old and it'll go from decent to spectacular. I'm knocking a tiny bit off the mouthfeel score because I'm unwilling to ignore my past experiences that indicate it's a prefect 5 -- but the current product lacks the living, breathing, lively sensation this beer can and should produce.

(Original Review: 11/02/2003) Rodenbach can simply do no wrong -- or if they can, they sure as hell keep it to themselves. Because their beers are simply exercises in perfection.

Poured from a 1.5L bottle and shared with some Detroit-area BAs and a buddy at Kuhnhenn's. There's something about these larger bottle sizes too, be it mental or physical, that makes for a more impressive brew. Impeccible character.

Mildly acerbic character underlies the entire aroma. Tart cherries blend in perfect harmony with chocolatey malts, very subtle raw herbal mint, and mild oaky vanilla. Earthy, deep, complex. As fantastic an aroma as one could hope to find on anything.

The acidity carries through to the palate. Refreshingly crisp despite the obvious estery fruit qualities. Woody and loaded with cherries and sweetness.

And let's be honest here: Do these beers, including this one, have any rival in terms of balance? A tasteful and elegant sweetness balanced perfectly with a light sour flavor. It's natural and carries a perfect understanding of flavor.

Drink one. Drink two. Drink three. Drink all night. This is a perfect beverage.

Photo of swgwilt
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of stevoj
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Stimack
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am not sure why I have not tried this brew before since i really do like the Flander brews and the sour aspect of them. This brew poured to a color that has a red tone to a brown profile. had a nice light tan colored head that holds for a bit. The aroma shows of its tart/sour side from the get go with a nice fruit mix. I know that this is a blend of brew that was in Oak but I am not sure if I am or am not picking up the oak notes. While I like the aroma, to me it seems to be more one dimensional than I would like. The flavor of course highlights the fruit and sour profile but to me seems to be a little more harsh with a stronger acidic note than I would like to see. Again just like with the Aroma I am not picking up the properties that I would expect from a being aged (part of it) in oak. To me this is a solid brew, like this type of brew but in my book it is not in the same book as Mestreechs Aajit, Monks or Duchesse. I would get this brew again but would reach for these others before this one, just mu opinion.

Photo of Devman171
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of elricorico
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of geexploitation
4.62/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this years ago and didn't care for it. Maybe my palate's expanded since then, because my appreciation of this has grown considerably. From a 750 mL cork finish bottle, this pours a pink-tinged amber with a considerable head that leaves lacing on my Duvel glass. Held up to the light, this beer looks like a stage lighting gel. The nose is huge, with a base of vinegar overlaid with fruit notes like Juicyfruit gum and some low barnyard smells. The taste is initally a blast of fruity sweetness. This is follwed by a blast of sourness and carbonation at the back of the tongue, then a metallic aftertaste. Mouthfeel is quite effervescent. Drinkability is a bit low when consumed by itself, but imagine that this would be divine paired with the right food.

Overall I'm really impressed. This is one of those unique beer gems that isn't "normal" and is all the more amazing for it. We wouldn't want everything to taste the same, would we?

Photo of Denzo
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of MisterClean
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

8.45 oz from Manderes in Folsom

A - Nutty brown root beer color with nice legs and minimal head if any.

S - Peanuts, malts, and grassy hops.

T - Grass, light ester, pine, and brewer's sugar.

M - Very sweet w/ notes of carbo. Very syrupy as well.

D - Have to be careful with this one. Very drinkable, kinda reminds me of the cough medicine dimetapp, but sweeter.

Photo of Reaper16
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours a fairly translucent amber color. It's dark, but there's evident clarity to the body. It looks like whiskey, actually. Except, you know, with 1.25 fingers of eggshell colored head sitting on it.

Vinegar tartness is the dominant aroma here. It's sort of in-between Balsamic vinegar and, like, the malt vinegar packets from Long John Silver's or something. There's some cherry aroma as well. I pick up on a gingersnap cookie component. Some barrel astringency. Maybe a tiny bit of cinnamon. It's tartness and cookie sweetness and little else.

It's not strongly tart on the palate, however. There's a light amount of malt vinegar tartness here, but the fruity sweet flavors really cover up the tartness. Fruit snacks meets Luden's cough drops -- we're talking candy sweet, not actual fruit sweet. This lacks depth, but not tastiness.

It's remarkably drinkable because of how those flavors mesh with the beer's light body and smooth texture. The bottle goes down in a flash because of the balance between sweet and tart.

Overall, this is a good Flanders Red. A benchmark for the style in a lot of ways. It's crazy-drinkable, but don't expect a depth of flavor (or a significant sourness).

Photo of tclipse
4/5  rDev 0%

Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,528 ratings.