1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,401 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,401
Reviews: 621
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 64
Gots: 89 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,401 | Reviews: 621 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thecarster1
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%

a- 11.2oz bottle poured into a fluted stange kinda glass, murky walnut brown color, two plus fingers of head fade to a quarter inch and stay there.

s- sour, tart, acidic, light berry notes, brown funk rounds it out.

t- tart, funky, 'brown ale gone wrong', some sweetness in here as well, some wild funky flavors.

m- light to medium body, prickly.

d- smooth, easy drinking. this is a top notch classic sour that i would drink again.

thecarster1, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of nas5755
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%

Reddish in color with brown tones, light tan head with a little lacing. The nose has notes of pears, vinous qualities blended with acetic qualities that kick with a pungent finish of green apples. Very refreshing. A thin beer with a pungent finish. An extremely drinkable beer that begs to be drunk quickly.

nas5755, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of BARFLYB
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%

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.

BARFLYB, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of Gobzilla
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%

A: poured a dark murky brown with pale yellow highlights but with a thin head and it left very little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: vinegar oakiness pop out first on the nose with some slight acidic citrus notes and faint apple aromas. it also had a little leather like notes to it as well.

T: on the taste it was also vinegar acidic notes, slight citrus, and oak accents that brought out the flavor but had mild tart character. on the back end I was able to detect slight booze and apple notes.

M: the brew was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, tart, acidic, and dry finish.

D: it drank quite well and was a little dissapointed on the overall tart bite it had. Don't get me wrong, it was still a pretty tasty beer. I think i'm just spoiled after having their alexander.

Gobzilla, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of johncampbell
5/5  rDev +25%

This beer changed my life, or at least my drinking habits. It is my favorite beer (and brewery) in the world. I gave this beer all 5's because, in my opinion, it can't get any better than this. "Classic" is an understatement, this is the epitome of a Flemish Sour.

Beautiful dark amber-brown color with a nice cream-colored head and elegant lacing.

Aroma of tart fruit, wine vinegar, funk, and faint oak with flavors much the same:

puckering sour funkiness like tart cherry, sour apple, toasted wood, sweet malt, and horse blanket blended together in a dirty bucket. Delicious! Bites you right behind the ears.

It's very effervescent, but medium-bodied with a rich, creamy mouthfeel.

The most drinkable beer I know. I never get tired of it and I can never get enough.

The only place I've ever had it on tap was at the New Albanian Brewing Company Public House (formerly known as Rich O's Public House)

johncampbell, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of ocelot2500
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%

Pours a hazy, chocolate brown with a tight light brown head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of sour cherries and some spice.

Tastes of the tart fruit followed by some sweetness. Cherries and raspberries along with some lemon come through. Has a citrus tartness to it. A bit of brown sugar sweetness adds to the mix. Some oak notes can be found along with a touch of some earth tones.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with a crisp amount of carbonation.

ocelot2500, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.28/5  rDev +7%

Poured from a large bottle into a small wine glass. A reddish brown in color with a tightly beaded, fizzy head.

Smells of apple cider, vinegar and malt sweetness.

Flavor follows the nose, nice tart acidic twang to start things off. Leans toward the sour edge of its tartness. Some oak and funk help make this brew a memorable one.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fizzy carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability rates fairly high. I will be buying this beer again, a great example of the style.

Stinkypuss, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of benfons
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

A: Nice reddish brown colour, beige head that drops fast but leaves enough lacing.

S: citrus, cherrys and a bit of wood, a bit winelike actually

T: sour cherries, woods coming through, granny smith

M/D: Perfect carbonation, perfect alcohol level, easy to drink

The perfect beer for a warm summer night

benfons, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of Tucquan
4/5  rDev 0%

Had this on 2010-08-07 in Columbia, PA

A - Mahogany with champagne bubbles and a short tan head.

S - Smells like cherries are laying on the ground and fermenting. Little bit of an acidic, vinegar smell too.

T - Initial sharp, sour taste with a burst of cherries, then tannin and oak with a sweet finish and sour finish. A complex taste

M - Light body, medium carbonation but it kind of coats and fills you mouth with every swallow. Rich and buttery.

D - Goes down easy with lots of complex tastes. Very nice. More sessionable than the Grand Cru but not as much of a heavyweight.

Tucquan, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of bundy462
1.95/5  rDev -51.3%

A: Dark brown and cloudy, frothy tan head.

S: Vinegar, yeast, oak, cherry. Sour.

T: Very sour, like rotted cherries. My first and last of this style, not very good.

M: Average bodied, smooth.

O: I just didn't like it very much. Not very beer like, somewhat cider like.

bundy462, Aug 06, 2010
Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev 0%

On-tap at the Porter in Atlanta.

Pours a clear brownish-amber color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of mild vinegar and good amounts of tart cherry flavors. Very light hints of oak aromas waft out every now and then.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Mild dark malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by tart cherry flavors. Midway through the sip very light hints of oak work their way into things, carrying through to a mildly tart ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall I remember this one being more tart than it was here, it's a bit too subdued for the style. Still, it's a well made beer that's worth a shot, especially for those just getting into sours.

glid02, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of WOTO97
4/5  rDev 0%

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.

WOTO97, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
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.

TMoney2591, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of SiepJones
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%

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.

SiepJones, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of GeezLynn
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%

A: Dark, dull mahogany shade with a fine collar of white foam that is well-retained.

S: Heavy acetic sour aroma you would expect for the style. Beyond the vinegar, there's a little oak and some musty yeast.

T: Slightly sweet brown malt, blanketed by a nice tartness that rolls through the palate and is complemented by a slight breadyness. Just a touch of oak on the finish.

M: Medium bodied, well-carbonated to the degree that it's almost frothy, and a slight dryness.

Very nice drinking beer that has the tart characteristics that a Flanders Red should have, but is not overly sour (sorry sourheads). Well-balanced and easy to have 2 or 3. Glad this beer is readily accessible in so many places.

GeezLynn, Jul 18, 2010
Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%

Had this at Brauhaus Schmitz in Philadelphia.

A - Dark deep ruby red body with an off-white head. Looked great with the candle behind it illuminating it.

S - Smelled sweet, tangy and dry. Some fruit nose here.

T - Delicious on the palate with plenty of tart and tangy notes. Sweet/tangy fruit is present and some subtle wood. Love the dry cherry undertones. Finishes crisp and dry.

M - Nicely carbonated and smooth. This beer is very well balanced and crisply concocted. A very happy palate and a smooth ride down the throat.

D - I could drink this one like water. Its very flavorful and refreshing.

Notes - Im a fan of the sour/tangy/dry beers and this one is right there. Great taste, easy to drink. Well done.

BeerForMuscle, Jul 18, 2010
Photo of ktrillionaire
4.85/5  rDev +21.3%

This is a paradigm of the style and it is always fucking fantastic!

A - Brown-ruby hued, replete with a persistent khaki crown, leaving occasional glaciers of lace.

S - Sweet and sour and absolutely delectable. Concord grape and a sort of Polynesian-tart sauciness marks the nose.

T - The nose is extrapolated in the flavor, but that doesn't even begin to give the taste credit due... both the flavor and aroma are so well-apportioned to the point of being absolutely sublime. The concord grape, the wood, the masterful balance of blending; this brew is clearly a work of fine art, beyond mere solid craftsmanship.

M - Just as beautiful and dynamically balanced as it gets

D - I have enjoyed this brew for so long... Though this version is less sour than the Grand Cru, it is more consistently excellent; really every bit of the brew is perfection and archetype.

ktrillionaire, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of Tballz420
4.08/5  rDev +2%

Darker-than-copper brown, pretty hazy, los of rising carbination bubbles. Bubbly, cream colored head. Scent is kind of barny, sour, dark fruits. Pretty sour taste, kind of has an "old" taste as well. Taste becomes bigger as it warms, this beer should be served above the temp in your fridge. Different fruits-apples and grapes come to mind. Mouth is pretty active.

Tballz420, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%

Never had this on tap before. Beer is dark red and mostly clear with no head, no lacing and minimal carbonation. Looks fine.

Aroma is a little sweet and mildly acetic. I was hoping for more acid but its the young one so I guess I don't get that.

Beer is light in body and mildly acetic, sweet on the front end and slightly tart on the back. Its highly drinkable and really nice. The other is considerably more sour but this is a perfectly serviceable beer.

drabmuh, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev 0%

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a hazy brown-red color with a white head. The aroma is vinegar with some sweetness and some oaked notes. The flavor is a great mix of sweet and sour with some oak and vanilla notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very nice Flanders Red.

Mora2000, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of cpetrone84
3.68/5  rDev -8%

A-pours a clear ruby red with orange edges and a tan dense head.

S-tons of cherry, light notes of balsamic with a hint of cherry tartness in the back.

T-balsamic vinegar light up front, notes of very slightly tart cherries, a dark chocolate maltiness lies underneath. light herbal tea notes in the back.

M-smooth on the palate with a good carbonation, medium body and a good crisp dry finish.

D-easy drinker right here, good sweetness balanced with a light note of vinegar, tartness and dark malt.

cpetrone84, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of dgilks
4.2/5  rDev +5%

Mild lactic and acetic character with a hint of barnyard Brett. Very mild cherry pie. Good but not as intense as I like.

Dark brown with moderate haze. Small, very short lasting head.

Good flavour with a moderate lactic tartness, plenty of cherry flavour, a good touch of Brett funk and an interesting clean sweetness. Good balance and very tasty.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Solid.

This is the kind of sour that I could easily drink a few of. Lots of really good flavour but with a solid backing of refreshing tartness.

dgilks, Jun 02, 2010
Photo of snogglethorpe
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%

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.

snogglethorpe, May 23, 2010
Photo of superdedooperboy
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%

11.2-ounce brown bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Dark muddled reddish-brown in color with a decent clarity. A creamy beige head makes an appearance but doesn't stick around for the party, leaving behind just a nice belt to wrap around the edges.

The nose is initially reminiscent of slightly burned toffee, but a sour, almost vinegary presence mingles shortly thereafter, with dark pit fruits hiding far in the background.

Medium-bodied with a mild carbonation and quite a slick mouthfeel. Sweet caramel and toffee play up front with a mild sourness edging in. The sour notes emerge in the middle as tart cherries with a hint of underlying burnt brown sugar. Sourness pulls into the lead again toward the rear, leaving behind a somewhat dry tart fruitiness as it fades away.

Quite a balance of sour/tartness and sweet maltiness, combined with the smooth mouthfeel this is one infinitely drinkable ale. Wonderfully well put together.

superdedooperboy, May 18, 2010
Photo of ChainGangGuy
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?

ChainGangGuy, May 11, 2010
Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,401 ratings.