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 metter98
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%

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.

metter98, May 01, 2010
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev +5%

A - Pours a brown reddish color that looks like Dr. Pepper. There is very little head and what does appear fades almost instantly. No lacing whatsoever.

S - Smells like balsalmic/red wine vinegar, sour unripe cherries, and a funky aroma.

T - Taste isn't as sour as I was expecting. A very subdued vinegar, sour cherry taste. Very good.

M - This beer has very good carbonation. The beer leaves a sticky soda like thick spit feel in the mouth.

D - Very good. This seems like a it would be a good introduction to this style of beer. I will be seeking out the other beers that Rodenbach makes very soon.

UCLABrewN84, May 01, 2010
Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev 0%

Appearance: cloudy, minimal head, reddish brown in color, high carbonation

Smell: vinegar, oak, and dark fruit

Taste: sweet and tart cherries with vinegar

Mouthfeel: slightly sweet but very tart, light bodied, high carbonation, dry

Drinkability: Another nice intro sour from Rodenbach. I could certainly put down a couple glasses of this. I would get this again.

tigg924, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of armock
4/5  rDev 0%

A - Poured a murky brown color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is wonderful has a sour fruit and oak nose

T - Follows the nose sour dark fruit some oak flavor

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - This is truly a wonderful beer that's a classic example of the style if you see a bottle do yourself a favor and buy it

armock, Apr 28, 2010
Photo of thepeter
3.28/5  rDev -18%

A - Murky brown with a hint of red, nice creamy head that thins but remains a film and leaves nice lacing.

S - Wood, lactic funk cherries and some metal

T - Tart Cherry, lots of wood and some metallic sourness

M - Very nice and smooth, medium bodied with a fine carbonation.

D - Enjoyed this but there are many others of the style I would rather have.

Not sure how much having this from a can made a difference. I drank from my Duvel Tulip but am curious and will try the bottle version before I drink the other can I bought.

thepeter, Apr 17, 2010
Photo of Onibubba
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%

2006 vintage. Beautiful mahagony brown, amber tinted pour. Nice creamy beige head that resettles to about a half inch with a swirl of the glass. Yummy balsamic and port aromas. Taste is less than what the Grand Cru has to offer, but still nice. The balsamic notes and Sweet Tarts are all firing, but are more muted than the GC. Mouthfeel is slightly watery, but still very smooth. Drinkability is great. Definately a sessionable beer. While this is still a shadow of Rodenbach Grand Cru, it remains enjoyable and I am pleased to have a ready supply of this outstanding beer once again.

Onibubba, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of SShelly
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%

Pours a dark reddish cloudy color with a low offwhite head.

Aroma is lightly sour, slightly acedic, some sweetness exists in there as well.

Flavor follows the arom pretty close, light and tart with some malt sweetness behind, kinda boring actually.

medium mouth and carb make it feel decent in teh mouth.

kinda a yawn for me, just not that interesting.

SShelly, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of dirtylou
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%

750ml bottle, split/consumed during march madness

celly notes

appearance: served in kasteel chalice, murky amber body, light tan foam

smell: highly acidic - vinegar, light caramel, tart fruit, sour cherry

taste: rodenbach is often heralded as the champion of the flanders red style, but i just cant get past the acidity. sourness is minimal as this beer is dominated by a cloying vinegar presence. muddy fruit punch, traces of oak and caramel

mouthfeel: high acidity, balsamic-y

drinkability: ok - not my favorite

dirtylou, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of Phelps
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%

Had from the glass at Papago the other night. I told one of the girls there that I was in the mood for a sour, and this is what she poured me, saying the bartenders "were looking for a reason to open this one anyway" as she poured the deep dark-chocolate brown liquid into a tulip glass.

Hues of light amber and cranberry highlights become visible when held to light. A buttercream head flitters away without much notice, leaving a ring.

In the nose, I get some dry red wine along with some sweeter grape juice. The sourness of green apples is there as well, along with some light caramel malt and cola.

The taste is less red winey and more grape juicy. It's sweet, almost like a dessert wine. Some nutty maltiness. I actually would've like just a tad more sourness, but the mild funk that's there is nice, and balanced nicely by some caramel sweetness. This has the complexity of Dr Pepper.

Medium-light body, high carbonation. Slippery.

As far as Flanders reds go, this one is passable. It certainly sated my sour cravings -- at least for one night.

Phelps, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of bret27
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%

S: Oaky, tart, brett

A: Very dark ruby brown, thick creamy dark head

T: Sweet and tart cherries, touch of vanilla and woodiness. Tart, vinegar, dry finish.

M/D: Medium, slick, and dry. Very delicious and drinkable.

Overall: Can't beat a good classic Flander's Red.

bret27, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of crossovert
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%

8.45 oz bottle, best before 1.07.08.

Pours a purplelish/reddish brown with a big foamy slightly off-white head that leaves a bit of lacing.

The smell is heavy on the vinegar along with sour cherry and a bit of oak.

The taste is pretty sweet with an overlying cherry tartness. Light vinegar in the taste but not as profound as in the smell. The oak is there but not overpowering.

The mouthfeel is a bit off, it is too watery for my liking.

I prefer the Grand Cru, this is an average Flanders Red, but It is cheap and easily available.

crossovert, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of JBogan
4/5  rDev 0%

Pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights. A one finger off white foam head leaves a medium amount of lacing.

The smell is slightly acidic with tart cherry and oak being the main aromas. Quite nice.

The taste is much like the smell, with no other traits I could pick up other than the ones in the aroma. It was slightly weaker than the smell suggested, but still nice.

The mouthfeel was slippery at first but ended with a dry finish. There was minimal carbonation, but it seemed to fit this beer fairly well.

Overall this is a classic Flanders red ale. If you like this style beer this is certainly worth a try.

JBogan, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%

You know you're in luck when you walk into a pizzeria and see they have this beer and the Ommegang Witte on tap, and a part of their $5 slice-and-a-pint special. I then found out that it was $7 for a slice and a 9oz pour, but oh well, that still is a great deal.

The pour is solid, mildly hazy deep red with a thin beige head that vanishes quite rapidly. The nose is quite excellent, a beautiful blend of vanilla, brown sugar, cherries, red wine and a little vinegar. Tannin character is quite low, this is fruity, tart and quite vinous. These flavors are replicated on the palate, opening vinous along with vanilla, cherries, brown sugar, and drying on the finish with a some vinegar. Medium-light in body with a moderate level of carbonation, this beer is just very very enjoyable and very refreshing. I've had aged bottles of this, and I have to admit, I like this better fresh.

DefenCorps, Feb 12, 2010
Photo of DmanGTR
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%

Review from notes (10/15/09) from Belga Cafe in DC.

A - very clear, garnet red with 1" off-white head. Dimished to a thin bubbly cap after a few minutes. 4.0

S - lots of red wine aroma. Tart and acidic, with a touch of funk. Hint of oak and relatively clean. 4.0

T - Not as pronounced as the aroma and the red wine/grape taste is prominent. Well balanced but is quite subdued in this department. 3.5

M - mildly watery. Not as full bodied as the aged version in the bottle. Smooth carbonation. 3.5

D - quite good. 4.0

DmanGTR, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of olympuszymurgus
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%

Lionel! I need a sour beer, something sweet and sour and tart and perfect.

Rodenbach my man, its the beer of the times.

A childlike crack of the cork, the hazy red pour, the well rounded sour smell. This beer presents royally.

The cataracts of beer pulse into my life, paste a delighted tongue and into my soul. The sour nature is bulbous, no sharp edges but fully present, hints of fresh fruit, fine wine, early apples and old love. This beer is truly a delight, candy for the soul.

olympuszymurgus, Feb 06, 2010
Photo of atigerlife
4.2/5  rDev +5%

Pours red with a small head that dissipates rather quickly.

Aroma is cherries, nectarine and rather sweet.

Quite of bit of flavors, all on the light side. There's hay, cherries and wood. Slightly tart. Interesting.

Mouthfeel is very dry and cleansing. Medium-light body. A little flat on the tongue.

Overall, this is very drinkable. Wish I had some more.

atigerlife, Jan 31, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
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.

womencantsail, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of mtnbikerpa
3.48/5  rDev -13%

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle that was caged and corked, into a pint glass. No freshness date on the bottle. About an inch of thin head that quickly disappeared. A small amount of carbonation. Color is a redish brown. Smells of malts and grapes. Sort of a sour grape like flavor. Mouthfeel is pretty watery. Does not have a very high drinkability to me. All and all I am glad I tried it, but would probably not reach for it again. Probably a brew a wine lover would enjoy more than me.

mtnbikerpa, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of westweasel
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Weyerbacher tulip glass.

Appearance - A very dark almost opaque dark brown liquid with a thin slightly off-white head. When held up to the light in this tulip glass, the beer is a dark, clear ruby red.
A very cool looking beer.

Aroma - A mixture of sour cherries, toffee, leather, and charred oak.

Taste - Tart cherries, a bit of toffee, a bit of horse blanket, followed by a tart, dry finish.

MF - Medium / thin with high carbonation.

Drinkability - This is a very enjoyable sour beer. Sour enough to accentuate the fruit flavors, but probably not sour enough to turn off people who aren't sour fans.

westweasel, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of twaddlac
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%

A- Smaller head but hangs around for a while. Multiple points of nucleation, similar to that of champagne, very impressive. Burnt orange/ blood red color with uniform color distribution throughout.

S- Merlot. Raspberries and currants, with a sweet undertone. Strong oak notes.

T- Almost like a sour cherry sucker (or cherry concentrate), very unique; something that is not negative at all. Leaves you interested in the next sip you're about to take.

M- Smooth, wheat ale carbonation, medium body with a very smooth finish, nothing that you would expect from a sour ale.

D- Not as sour as some people make it out to be, though it is sour. It is not unbearable won't have you reaching for a handful of jellybeans to negate the bitterness. Very smooth and unique and I definitely would drink this with a nice roast, maybe even for leisure. I recommend this beer to everyone!!

twaddlac, Jan 04, 2010
Photo of ThaCreep
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%

The nose is strongly reminiscent of balsamic vinegar and flavorings are also found in taste. This is certainly a little acid following the fruity side but there is light. It collects woody notes. There is also this beer a little winey flavor that gives this side bittersweet highly characteristic. The finish, meanwhile, is quite sour but still very sweet. A beer with a nice balance and a unique taste but can easily divide the beer lovers. If the old logo mark was "Hate it or love it", it was not for nothing.

ThaCreep, Jan 02, 2010
Photo of mikey711
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%

A: Pretty dark brown with some light able to get through at the bottom of the glass. Only a little bit of head sits on top but quickly leaves only one ring around the top of the beer.

S: Nice aromas of tart fruit, raspberry and a little bit of cherry, and a tiny hint of wood and earthiness.

T: Very mild funkiness with nice hints of fruit and wood in the background.

M: Like and refreshing. No vinegar or off flavors.

D: Pretty easy to drink for a sour. Could definitely have a couple of these if need be

mikey711, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of k3n
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%

750ml bottle, corked/caged.

Pours a ruddy brown with an impressive 3-finger head of lightly tan-colored bubbles. The head dies down pretty quickly, leaving spotty lacing. Reddish highlights on the edges when held to the light.

The nose isn't that much. Even into the 2nd glass, it's fairly one-dimensional, just tartness (fruity and vinegar).

Taste is tart, sour cherries and light vinegar, with a background of raisin-y sweetness to balance. Carbonation is good, and keeps the beer feeling very light in the mouth. VERY drinkable, you could just keep tossing this one back. The finish has good length, with faint wine-like viscosity.

k3n, Dec 13, 2009
Photo of Gmann
4.2/5  rDev +5%

Out of a 750ml corked and caged bottle. Pours a murky chocolate brown color with some reddish highlights. The aroma is of tart lemon and strong oak, which gives the aroma a wine like character. A touch of an raw sugar sweetness. Overall the aroma is not overly strong. The brew starts off tart and dry with lemon, grapefruit and oak flavors. These flavors melt away to a smooth and sweet malt, with some brown sugar and raisin. The transition of flavors is quite unique. The sour plays very nicely with the malt producing a strangely balanced beer. The feel is on the lighter side with soft carbonation, starts sour and ends sweet. The flavors work on you and by the end, this is quite the drinkable brew. Not a big fan of sour beers but I enjoy the balance in this one.

Gmann, Dec 10, 2009
Photo of nanchen
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%

Got it at a restaurant in Beijing, one of the few, that has belgian beers.

The room was dark, so the color may be off, but it poured a nice, almost syrupy dark brown. The smell was of dark fruits, plums, molasses maybe. The taste was slightly tart, but not overbearingly so, with a bit of umami/soysauciness to it, I got the plums again with a bit of caramel, or some kind of sugar to offset the tartness of the plums. Too much more of the tart fruits and it would have been too much for me, so nicely balanced. Mouthfeel was great, just the right bit of thickness to make it seem like a substantial beer. Heavier than an ipa or pilsner, not quite as thick as the quintessential stout.

Conclusion, this was a great beer, and I'd love to have it again.

nanchen, Dec 04, 2009
Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,401 ratings.