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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: 80
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 jeremy13586
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. 750ml bottle poured in to Palm glass.

Incredibly dark and murky amber color. Very muddy hue. Very limited tan head that settled out very quickly.

Looks aside, the beer had an awesome nose. Apple, tart cherry and oak. A light funk and apple-cider vinegar twang at the end.

Sour and a little oaky. Green apple and a bit of yeast. Nice sweet backbone that nose it's role and isn't overly sweet. A bit of a musty and funky finish that finishes very clean.

Medium bodied with a mild carbonation. Dry and tannic, but is kind of slick and oily in the finish.

Plenty of flavors to keep you busy. Very well balance and incredibly drinkable. I'll definitely be having this one more in the future.

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Photo of Cmack15
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Having not explored this style too much I am not sure how confident I can speak upon this beer. The sour and sweetness of this beer seem well balanced and with the low abv I would call this a session beer. The more I drink this beer the more I like it. Great entryway beer for this style.

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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 skizziks
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle. 1" tan head falls quickly to a thin sheet over a clear, deep mahogany brown beer.

Aroma is complex with cherries, vinegar, restaurant mop, and a carnival of phenolics with some cheesy bits attached. Reads terrible, but actually smells really nice. An experience for sure.

taste also gives some cherry with pomegranate and some sweet-tart flavors. Very dry tannic finish.

Light body with sharp prickly carbonation. Very dry. Refreshing. I haven't had a lot of sour beers and I don't generally think they are all that, but they can be nice when I'm in the mood. Rodenbach is the first I've had that I could imagine myself really getting into.

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Photo of ggilman
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Sebago Brewing Company tulip glass.

A murky red grape brown color, with a thin layer of tightly carbonated creamy foam head. Nicely laces the glass.

Agitation puts forth musty yeast, and sour grape skin nose.

Immediately tastes sweet up front, but quickly fades to a funky sour doughy bready flavor, that finishes much dryer than it begins. Apple cider vinegar mixed with red wine tannins. Slightly bitter finish, like chewing on a grape stem. Sadly, I don't pick up any oak or barrel notes.

Champagne-like crisp bubbly mouthfeel. Very nice.

I'm new to Flanders Red Ales, and this is a little sweeter than I prefer, but a very good overall.

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Photo of snogglethorpe
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice, sour and tart, not overly sweet, a bit rough-edged (in a good way)... less dry than the Grand Cru (I like this better than the Grand Cru actually). There's a lovely and lingering aftertaste of fruit-wood and cherry-pits as the beer comes off the back of your tongue. The vivid distinction between the "two tastes" of each mouthful is one of my favorite things about this beer.

Not heavily carbonated, but extremely refreshing.

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Photo of LaCoursiere
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a snifter. Poured a murky brown raisin color with a one finger khaki head. Lots of thin lacing.

S - Great nose here; smells of rose hips, tart cherries, sour grape and slight brett funk.

T - A punch of sour and faint brett up front that fades to granny smith apple with subtle sweetness. It has a nice dry finish with tart cherry and apple lingering until the next sip

M - Medium bodied with very active moutfeel. The beer has a very flat appearance but comes alive on the tongue. Very nice.

D - This one was great for taking a break from the IPAs, DIPAs and stouts I have been drinking lately. The flavor is unique with a good balance of sweet and sour. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will drink again.

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Photo of penguinjive7
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a bit of a white head. Good amount of lacing. Smell is of sour fruit and a bit vinous. Taste is tart to begin with but fades into sweetness leaving the slight vinegar taste behind. The finish is much smoother than the front and leaves a nice taste in the mouth. The carbonation is done well and complements the taste nicely.
Overall this is a very unique brew. The several stages in flavor lead to a nice complexity. I would not go out of my way to get this again, but it is definitely worth a try and I will again soon, I'm sure.

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Photo of Iguana
4.95/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been wanting to try the Rodenbach beer's for quite awhile now but been unable to find em. Yesterday I was in Eugene, OR at the Bier Stein and ran across some much to my delight. 275 ml bottle poured into my New Belgium Globe glass a dark amber color with a small head that laced up fairly quick. Looks great. Smell is of tart cherries, oak, and just hint of vinegar sour twang. Smells awesome. Taste was not a let down, cherries, oak, rich malts, hint of wheat towards the end with a pleasently refreshing sour finish. Mouthfeel was smooth, a bit sticky, and tart. Really pleasent. Man if I could get this stuff in town I would drink it all the time. I absolutely love it. This is a brew that can be enjoyed on a hot afternoon to refresh you, or as a dessert for after dinner.

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Photo of cjoc83
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby color, bordering on brown, with a fingers worth of soapy off-white head that dissipates quickly to a ring. Leaves a patch of lace here and there.

Smell is sweet malt, tart cherries, apple, a touch of vinegar.

Initial taste is sour cherries, apple, mixing with some sweet, sugary malts. Tartness is just right; not overpowering and not underwhelming. I also get some molasses, touches of brown sugar, and some subtle oak and vinegar, especially in the finish. Really enjoyable.

Decent amount of carbonation, on the lighter side of medium-bodied. Crisp and leaves me wanting more with each sip. Finishes clean and slightly dry.

I don't have much experience with this style of beer, but from what I'm getting from this, I certainly will seek out more in the future. Really enjoyed this.

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Photo of JMD71
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This had a nice winey aroma with a good solid head when poured. It had a wonderful sour flavor in the Flemish style with hints of black cherries. I also taste some metallic hints, but did not detract from the flavor at all. This was very crisp & clean in the finish. Good carbonation led this to be very drinkable & quenching. I would definitely get this again, but the price makes it slightly prohibitive.

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Photo of HogHill
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I purchased a 750 of the Rodenbach classic while in Buffalo, NY (at Premier Gourmet) over Thanksgiving. Poured this sour beauty into a Rapscallion snifter, the body was a lovely burgundy brown combination. A one finger light tan head topped it off.

While doing my best Paul Giamatti impersonation, I detect a distinct sour cherry aroma along with a spiciness. Some phenols too, just like most belgians. No doubt it's a sour ale!

To drink this Rodenbach is a great experience in beer drinking, an absolute genuine craft brew. Here is a brilliant combination of soured fruits (mostly cherry) backed by a mildy sweet maltiness with a spicy phenolic finish along for the ride. Feels medium bodied with a reduced carbonation.

I would have no problem polishing off mutliple 750s. I can taste why this brew has been around for centuries. Looking forward to see how the Rodenbach Grand Cru stacks up to the Classic.

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

poured from a 250 ml bottle into a glass . i`ve had this beer a few times now so it`s time for a review.

appearance:it`s dark not transparent at all, a deep reddish brown hue with a thin tan foam head that reduces leave a coating. i can`t see any carbonation ,or lace.

smell: dry sour fruits like grapes and cherries,the aroma is alluring i get some malt but not much else.

taste:this is more on the sour grape side with a hint of cherries.the sour flavor is not as strong as the scent,it`s smooth like grape juice.

mouthfeel:of course besides the sour grape feel on the palate its got a slight bitterness and sweet cherry,sugar after taste .

drinkability:i like this beer ,its tasty and smooth the smell is bigger then the bite but don`t be turn of from this brew try it for yourself .

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Photo of wogreen
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured much darker than i expected. a deep reddish brown
S - floral, not an overly vinegar smell that you get with many sour ales
T - a calmer albeit still sour version of the flandish red ale
O - very drinkable sour, though not my favorite. however it may be good for those who dont like an overly sour beer

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Photo of RedSpecial1
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear brown with a small bit of frothy white head with pearlescent quality.

S: I first notice an acetic note with a very vinous quality. Underneath that is a malty sweetness with a raisin-like quality.

T: Starts with a raisin or date-like character with the acetic and vinous tastes coming through in the finish, but much softer than in the aroma.

M: Almost a softness or roundness to the feeling of this beer with a slight sting from the acetic notes.

O: A very rich and flavorful beer with a complex flavor profile. The flavors seem much more integrated than many other examples of this style, probably due to the strong blending experience at the brewery.

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Photo of SiepJones
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle into a Snifter

A: Pours a deep dark chestnut color with not visibility from one side of the glass through to the other. A slightly brownish white head sits on top of the beer, but dissipates to some swirling cloudy bubbles on top.
S: Flavors of acidity and vinegar touch the nose on the first sniff. Deeper whiffs yield some cherry and oak flavors with some more funk.
T: A fruity tang of funk rolls across your tongue on each sip, with a slight lactic finish once the last drop reaches your throat. After a few sips the cherries and oak become very prevalent while my mouth puckers less and less.
M: The mouth on this beer starts out very thin but with a nice sharp carbonation. Otherwise the body on this beer is very thin, but in no way does that detract from the overall experience of the beer.
D: This is a very drinkable beer for someone who is interested in trying out a "sour". The experience was not overwhelming for a novice to the category such as myself. I could see drinking two or three of these, but definitely taking my time, sipping and enjoying the flavors. If you like a really sour beer, this one maybe a little too tame for you.

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Photo of Nutleybeer
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Unique tasting beer...for those who want to broaden their beer tasting horizons.

Can't say I loved it...but clearly this is a quality beer. It is like drinking a cherry sour ball candy beer. The taste was interesting...sour, but not too sour...just a bit, but with a rich fruity flavor...yet, not too sweet.

I would have been satisfied with a single glass, but I polished off the entire 22 oz bottle anyway. A reddish/mahogony like color, with a mild head. A nice smell. Not hoppy at all. As I said, a slightly sour cherry taste, but not sour enough to make your lips pucker...

Try if you want to experiment. Not for all tastes. Drinkable, don't get me wrong, but in limited quantities.

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Photo of kaimcm
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

An interesting and unique brew. However to me, one youve got to be in the mood for and/or have an appropriate pairing. Clean, bright nose with hints of cherry. Taste is strong cherry, noticeable lime, a hint of sugar, and a nice tart dry finish. A nice balance of the tart/sweet that really makes the brew refreshing. Mouthfeel is weak. Too light, too craft soda like for me. Very reminiscent of a Stewarts Black Cherry soda. If in the mood, warm day, etc...a very nice beer, but not for all occasions by any means. That being said, well crafted no doubt.

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Photo of WOTO97
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy copper body with a thin off-white head and very nominal lacing. Aroma is some nominal tartness with big earthy qualities and faint berry notes. Wood comes through faintly on the finish, earth on the forefront with a pleasant immediate vinegar and lingering tartness on the finish. Very drinkable thin mouthfeel with very clean finish.

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Photo of scottyg354
4.79/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a brownish red color. Cloudiness is lightly preveilant. Head that lingers with nice lacing.

S: Slight Vineger and sour berries. Farmhouse funkiness.

T: Sour Cherries and grapefrui, slight brett notes. Sweet and Sour. Very Nice.

M: Crisp with a medium carbonation. Goes down very smoothly.

O:Great beer. One of my favorite styles.

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Photo of Goldfish19
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

~ Purchased this 750 ml bottle from Big Z Beverage in Huntington NY. This beer is dark amber in color with a decent head. Smell is complex, funky, and sour. Taste is the same. Absolutely refreshing! I could drink this all day long. Rodenbach is an intriguing brew and one that is definitely worth a try. ~

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Photo of davedahl
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fantastic stuff.

My sample was a 250ml bottle dated 24/04/08 (April 24, 2008).

Appearance - A medium pour down the middle of the glass produced a fluffy 3-finger head that was a very light peach color. The beer itself has a very clean/clear appearance which is only noticeable when you hold it up to the light. Since the deep mahogany color makes it difficult to notice the clarity. Beautiful.

The initial smell, even before it got close to my snoot, was a big sour red. Sour, fruity, and a slight musty note.

Mouthfeel was very clean and fresh.

Tasting was complex and amazing. Lots of cherry up front and plenty of tartness too. Sourness comes through middle-to-back. Finishes semi-clean with a bit of residual citrus.

I had two bottles in my stash and it took every ounce of my being to resist quaffing down the second bottle as soon as the first was finished.

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Photo of TimZebGir
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%

A: (3/3) Caramel brown with very slight haze and medium carbonation--thin bubbly head but well-retained
S: (9/12) Earthy sour with light raisin tones
T: (16/20) Light flavor with cidery sour and very clean finish
M: (4/5) Light-bodied, light bubbliness, light dry finish
O: (7/10) Basically a light cidery beer. Far more sessionable than most sours I’ve had, but that simplicity has its obvious drawbacks.

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

Presentation: Slim brown bottle with a picture of casks, "Mixed Fermented Beer" written in German and in French. 25 cl, best if consumed by 1/12/05. Though there's some kind of bottling code, no bottled on date.

Appearance: Pours a bright mahogany with a very weak head, almost no retention. Small trail of lacing laps at the side of the glass. Tons of bubbles from the carbonation, bubbles continue until near the end of the beer.

Smell: Warm, smoky aroma of roasted malt mixed with sour, tart fruits — cherrys, prunes. Tobacco/smoky aroma reminiscent of peat.

Taste: Rodenbach is different from any other beer I've tried. Initial flavors of tart cherry mixed with almost syrupy roasted malts. More difficult to describe the fruits, but in addition to cherry some sour apple, raspberries. Hops? Nope. The smokiness in the smell manifests itself in the taste as some kind of hard to describe charcoal/meat flavor. Influence of the casks is also apparent, similar to some French red wines. The effect of the initial malt flavor followed by the sour (almost vinegar) fruit is initially off-putting, but soon becomes an enjoyable contrast. The tart fruit also contributes to the try finish, leaving behind an aftertaste of sweeter apples and a dry, sour flavor.

Mouthfeel: Not much to say here, slightly above average mouthfeel improved by a little bit of creaminess.

Drinkability: While I think Rodenbach is an interesting, complex beer, the vinegar component combined with the sour, tart flavors really hurts the drinkability.

This one changed my idea of the normal "beer" flavors. Rodenbach packs a very complex flavor different from other sweet fruit beers or Belgian ales, and I'm glad I tried it. While I respect the flavor, it's definitely not something I'd come back to — not really my thing — and the high cost in the U.S. means I'll have to stick with other Belgians I like better.

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Photo of strangefate
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle.

Pours a dark red-brown with a nice head that dissipates quickly. The smell is very fruity. Taste is similar - very fruity with a sweet taste up front and then a nice sour bite that's not overwhelming. The sourness and carbonation provides a great mouthfeel and feeling on your tongue. The fruitiness of this beer makes it almost like a sour carbonated wine.

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