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.

1,351 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,351
Reviews: 618
rAvg: 4
pDev: 12%
Wants: 60
Gots: 77 | FT: 2
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)
View: Beers (7) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,351 | Reviews: 618 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got this brew as an 'extra' with a LiF win (Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster) that was hosted by csmiley, Thanks Chris!

L - hazy, reddish/brown color with a beige head that stayed as a ring around my tulip glass.

S - sour cherries is what I smell the most.

T - very good sour taste through and through, so sour it's sweet!

F - medium bodied with a pleasant carbonation feel.

D - I haven't had many sour beers, but to date this is the best one of the bunch that I have had. I actually finished off the entire glass.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2008 01:06:12 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of ClavisAurea

New York

3.2/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a 750ml bottle consumed from a plain tulip glass.

Appearance: deep garnet, Merlot, no head

Smell: under ripe cherries, raspberries, cinnamon, red wine

Taste/Mouthfeel: tart cherries, sour raspberries, under ripe fruit, plums, very dry and more like a wine than a beer. I think it is the style though.

From the start I knew I wouldn't like this one very much. It was way too much like a wine than a beer. The thing that turned me off the most was how tart this beer was. I'm used to the more sweet and complex abbey ales so this was a real shock.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2008 23:06:36 | More by ClavisAurea
Photo of morimech


4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle. It has a dark reddish/brown color covered with a thin cap of tiny bubbles. A small amount of lacing is left on the glass.

Has a vinous aroma. I detect tart cherries, grass, and vinegar.

I would describe the flavor as tart cherries, cranberries with a vinegar like acidity. It is sour but not pucker your lips sour. Sour without being funky.

Medium to light body with a low carbonation. Leaves a lingering fruity tartness.

Approachable yet still an interesting Flanders Red. Low ABV helps drinkability. I could not drink this everyday but it would be a nice change of pace every once in awhile.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2008 19:38:16 | More by morimech
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2008 02:33:24 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of largadeer


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

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2008 18:41:52 | More by largadeer
Photo of lacqueredmouse


3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had the Grand Cru on many occasions, and it's one of my favourite beers. I saw the original today and decided to give it a go.

Pours a deep, luscious cherry red, like some dark, mysterious gemstone. Head is a thin film of almost white tiny bubbles. Lacing is excellent, cascading in concentric rings around the glass. Looks great.

Mmm, that wonderful sour Rodenbach character is ever present on the nose. Hints of straw, cut grass, crushed cherry and wet leather. Maybe not quite as robust and extravagant as the Grand Cru, but not far off.

Taste is light and pleasant, although not particularly sour. There's certainly less mouth-puckering acidity than in the Grand Cru. There's a toasty, roasted note which is more prominent in this one, and even a dry yeasty character on the back palate. It's a bit more earthy and organic, a bit more roasted, and the feel is a little thinner. There's less development in the palate too, despite the fact that it has less of the dominating sour character of the GC.

This is still a very drinkable beer, but it is noticeably the lesser of the magnificent Rodenbach Grand Cru.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2008 00:57:55 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in my Delirium Tremens tulip. Poured an opaque purplish-brown with a 1.5 inch off-white head with copious ringlets. Head subsided to a half-inch cap within about a minute before eventually dissipating into a thin skim of foam that coalesced around the shoulders. Some spotty streaks of lacing with good retention. Nose had a vinous quality with sour cherries and a mild vinegar-like character detected towards the back. Tasted of sour grape juice and again, a mild vinegar quality, but not overpoweringly so, with a mild oakiness in the background. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied and left a light tingle on the tongue and a pleasant dry, tart finish. I liked this much more than I anticipated, but this is definitely not for daily consumption in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2008 00:00:09 | More by Jwale73
Photo of dacrza1

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dense purplish brown body with a pencil-thin white head; intimidating yet beguiling... SOUR--but not sour patch--fresh and flowery... intense... light-bodied but the presence is apparent; clean (no tracing on the glass is proof), so much that the mouth could forget the experience seconds after... WOW: a tartness early, with sugary sweetness throughout--and yet a mellow, fizzy finish! The beer's as fun as it gets, pleasantly poppy and refreshing, especially on a humid evening such as this...

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2008 03:59:54 | More by dacrza1
Photo of hustlesworth


4.85/5  rDev +21.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2008 03:50:45 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of punkindrublic50

New York

4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice crisp refreshing Flemish red. Smell is sour cherries and funk, taste again the sour fruit with a significant presence of cider vinegar. Not as sweet as some of the Flemish Reds, but that helps the drinkability considerably. I would consider this the perfect beer to match to some seafood (mussels, clams, ...) for lunch on a hot day. If at all possible I would recommend getting the 6 pack over the 750ml as this is the perfect afternoon beer to have one or two of on a nice day.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2008 04:27:43 | More by punkindrublic50
Photo of mwilbur


4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a cloudy red with thin white head.
S: Sour raspberry. Honey and soft malt notes. Hint of salt around the edges.
T: Much less sour than the aroma suggested (perhaps due to age?). Fruit (raspberry) and wood. Taste is definitely softened by the wood.
M: Quite smooth and light. Was expecting more of a sour bite. Salty undercurrent.
D: Refreshing and not one of the usual summer beer styles (wheat beers, etc.). Very drinkable and would imagine it would pair well with certain desserts (plain cheesecake for example). A different style than I am used to and certainly one I will return to in the future!

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2008 02:37:08 | More by mwilbur
Photo of ColoradoBobs


4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This review from old notes written in early June, 2005.

In a bottle in a bar in the Midi Train Station in Brussels, Belgium, waiting to board the Eurostar for a trip through the Channel Tunnel. Had another bottle on board the train, at about 325 kph (i.e. just over 200 mph).

Pour into a chalice yields a dark red-brown, hazy body under a medium short-lived off-white head. Looks nice enough. I like the reddishness.

Smell is yeasty and tart up front, with some prunes and cherries. This smells "red."

Taste is certainly sour, but not puckeringly so. Sour cherries dominate the scene, with support from other berries. Nice funky yeastiness.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly rich for a 5% beer.

Drinkability? Three words: all . . . day . . . long.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2008 04:53:51 | More by ColoradoBobs
Photo of vtfan77


4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Very dark red that is only identifiable as such when held to a light. About an inch of bone-colored head forms upon pouring and quickly dissipates into an attractive ring of lace.

S- Has the familiar tart, vinegary aroma typical of the style, with a nice cranberry and cherry fruitiness.

T- As I have come to expect from this style of beer, the taste is much less sour than the nose would have had me believe. Actually a bit sweet up front with a nice, bready malt. This malt sweetness blends with the vinegary tartness throughout to produce a nice, mild sweet and sour flavor. Finishes with a light bitterness.

M- Light and fizzy and kind of slick.

D- Pretty high in this category. It's light and low in alcohol. This is one of the small, 250 ml bottles, but I know I could put down a 750 with ease.

A fine example of a Flanders Red. It's got all the familiar characteristics that lovers of the style will enjoy, but it's mild enough that novices should not be put off. Perhaps not as complex as the Duchesse, but still very good. I can't wait to try the Grand Cru. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2008 19:36:01 | More by vtfan77
Photo of joepais


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

Bottle poured into a sniffer produced a good finger worth of head that quickly changed to a ring of lace around the glass .The body was a brownish red color almost mahogany

Aromas of funk, sour cherries and other fruits

Flavors are very complex cherries sourness and light malts sweetness quite enjoyable on a hot day nice light mouthfeel with just the right amount of pucker to it

I love to drink the sours on a hot day. It is very refreshing and I finished the bottle with no problem at all.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2008 17:41:39 | More by joepais
Photo of ibbjamin


3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Paid $7.99 for an Australian Longneck from Monument Liquor in Concord, CA. Poured into a snifter with a few pours. From bottom of bottle; Best before 27/07/08. 75% Fresh Ale, 25% Ale Aged in Oak.

One inch light beige head with smaller carbonation bubbles, but visible rising carbonation along the edge of the snifter. The head shrinks very slowly down to about a half finger. A deep, dark, opaque burgundy color. Lacing is thick and of a grainy appearance, but it slowly recedes.

I can smell the unique yeast along with tart cherries and alcohol.

Quite a complex ride in the mouth. Taste comes on strong and tart upon hitting the mouth, but then thins out for an almost watery finish and mildly tart cherry aftertaste. No flavor of hops present, but the malts show their presence somewhere in the middle of the ride.

Lighter bodied, heavily carbonated.

I must admit I did not like this at first, but the taste kind of grows on you as you drink more of it which I truly respect. Very drinkable and highly recommended if you are looking to try something new.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2008 01:29:08 | More by ibbjamin
Photo of Oxymoron


4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Some how I told you so just isn't enough. Pours a somewhat clear ruby brown color with red highlights through out. Great soft head and limited retention and limited lacing.

The nose is complex with a nice blend of malts, sweeter fruits and a light tart finish. To start the malt is complex with come rich toffee and caramel notes. A nice cherry fruity notes that is blended nicely. Minor prunes and wine/grape notes as well. The finish has a tart that hints of sourness but blended well.

The taste is just as complex. The fruity notes come out a bit more but are still balance well. There is a nice cherry meets apple flavor to start. Some malt flavors come out with a mixture of caramel sweetness and tart plum and cherry mix. The finish leaves a tart almost sour taste with a almost woody, almost earth finish. Some lighter yeast notes but very clean throughout.

The body is moderate, a bit fuller than what I'm looking for but still good. Carbonation is present but not over powering. Overall a great beer for sure.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2008 18:23:41 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of pinotboy007


3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first Rodenbach, purchased at Washington Street Purveyor, Lexington, VA.

Splendid red mahogany appearance and soft, modest head that slowly fades; minimal lacing.

Smell/nose is captivating - earthy, soury cherry, garden mulch. In my opinion, unique. Soft mouthfeel, modest carbonation.

Taste: almost like it smells with a mellow sourness backed with dark cherry and a tinge of alcohol and sweetness. In a word, "complex." Don't drink this too cold or you'll lose out on its nuanced silkiness. Not a fan of Lambic/fruity-styled beers, but this I liked.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2008 13:54:33 | More by pinotboy007
Photo of AndySR15


4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a dark redish brown with a decent head and a nice frothy swirl of foam remains on top.

S - Great aroma. Nice mellow cherry notes with the expected vinegery aromas as well. It also has a great earthy/woody aroma in the back.

T - Starts out moderately tart but not as much as I was expecting. After swallowed a nice earthiness comes foreward.

M - Light but with a bit of a prickly feel.

D - Awesome, I enjoyed this much more than the Duchesse. I will be getting another for sure.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2008 05:02:55 | More by AndySR15
Photo of SurlyDuff


4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown with some real nice bright red highlights when holding up to the light. Good frothy tan head.

I love this style and jump at and Fladers Reds I can get ahold of.

Sourness in the aroma, but alas, there is also a candy sweetness and a woody earthiness. In more than one sniff I caught Sour Patch Kids.

Smooth dry mouthfeel and a great complex explosion of flavor. A mild malt presense balances it out nicely, and helps to draw the distinction between it and a lambic. Tart apple, cherries, crisp burnt sugar (without the real sweetness), and a really really clean finish. Aftertaste has the amazing ability of making itself even more desirous. I couldn't put my glass down. When I wasn't drinknig it, I had my nose burried in the top of my flute glass.

Wonderful brew!

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2008 22:10:00 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of Patrick999


4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really hot day, PERFECT for a Flemish sour.

A - Pours into a goblet a ruddy brownish-red. Head not bad, retains OK, but nothing spectacular.

S - Popping the cork brings the funk immediately. Notes of cherries and vinegar, not surprisingly, very similar to Rodenbach's Grand Cru. It really does smell like an old wooden barrel, and I mean that in complimentary fashion!

T - Again, much like the Grand Cru, this manages to taste very sour and fruity, without being brewed with any fruit whatsoever. Not quite as vinegar-y as it smells. A little cinnamon. Also, this baby definitely brings the funk, especially with the last pour, does it ever. Some sweetness does a good job of balancing out the sour, giving this the desirable sweet-sour dynamic.

F - Lots of soft carbonation in the mouth. Feels good but leaves you kinda burpy.

D - Very good Flanders Red. Low alcohol means you can really do some damage. Want something funky and quenching? Drink a 750 of this.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2008 20:34:05 | More by Patrick999
Photo of yemenmocha


4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an off-amber to cola brown color. Head doesn't retain long.

Nose has musty dark fruits, vinegar.

Palate is right up there with Duchesse du Bourgogne - hard to distinguish. Passion fruits, pleasant vinegary sour note, and a slight soapy component on the finish (yes, my glass is clean).

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2008 05:28:21 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of Portertime


4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep ruby color, almost opaque with a nice big red tinged head at first but quickly dissapates. Smells like straight sour apple, some oak and black cherry, very intense. (This one may be turned, it is well out of date and I am only trying it to sell if it is still sellable at the ABC Liquors I work at.) According to the bottle though it says a "sharp bouquet." Taste is a bit bland (as I said it is out of date by a year!) but still has a sour apple and mild oak to it. Very metallic aftertaste and virtually no carbonation. Doesn't taste skunked so this may be its true taste. The sour taste isn't too overpowering and yeilds some sweetness on the palate. I believe this one is still salvagable!

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2008 19:07:22 | More by Portertime
Photo of 0110x011


3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a murky red-brown from a 750ml corked & caged bottle, with a bubbly one finger head and minimal lace. Nose is cherries & raspberries, with a healthy dose of malt sweetness. Tart cherries predominate on the tongue, with a nice malt sweetness to back of up, and a nice sour punch. Not terribly complex. Almost soda-like carbonation, medium body, and a crisp dry finish.

This is my first experience with the style, and I have to say I like it very much. This would make a great alternative session beer, but its pretty one-dimentional, and lacks the complexity I normally look for.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2008 00:56:36 | More by 0110x011
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Summits in Snellville, GA a while ago. Poured a ruby red tinted with dark brown. Slight head that faded to a ring. Quite acetic on the nose and with aromas of muscadine grapes, tart currants, and some muskiness as well as vinegar. Taste is similar, and and quite tart on the finish but slightly more mellow up front. There is a nice bitterness that helps temper the acetic qualities as well, and also some tart raspberry throughout. Mouthfeel is smooth and sour, leading this to be quite a refreshing beer. Not as complex as the Grand Cru, but simple and quenching.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2008 13:56:52 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of umtox


3.33/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Murky, like black cherry juice.

S: Sour cherry, tart, and a lot of malt.

T: Heavy malt, sour cherry, molasses, and a bit of vinegar in the aftertaste.

M: Viscous, slow to move across the palate

D: To enjoyed in small amounts, potent, would have guessed the ABV to be more than 5%.

I think this beer would nicely cut through a fruit laden cheesecake or any high fat dessert that also has fruit. I've never had anything like this beer before.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2008 11:29:43 | More by umtox
Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,351 ratings.