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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,417 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,417
Reviews: 626
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 64
Gots: 90 | 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
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Ratings: 1,417 | Reviews: 626 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DoubleJ
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been sick the last few days, but I'm feeling better tonight and I have some catching up to do, one bottle at a time. I'm going to start small in quanitity by opening the 8.45 ounce (250 ml) bottle of Rodenbach I purchased last week. On to the beer:

The only red in the beer is found in the hues of this tawny brown creation. Sour funk in the smell, and a smell that's tamed. The flavor seemed a little muted by the carbonation that hits the tongue, but the balance is good. The sour and tart taste is pleasant, no question about that. It's the low amount of overall flavor though, that's reflected in the taste score I'm giving it, that keeps it from being a highly recommended pick. Nonetheless an interesting beer in an interesting style.

DoubleJ, Mar 22, 2008
Photo of emerge077
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this many times in the 750mL bottles, but this is the first tiny 8.45 oz. bottle i've seen. Thanks Weibull for the extra hookup.

Served at 52º in a Rodenbach 8 oz. tumbler. Tawny crimson shade, carbonation visible in the light. Half inch cap of offwhite foam settles to a thin veil after awhile. Evaporating foam gives off an audible crackle.

Aroma of musty wet wood at first, segueing into dark cherries, pits and all. Light presence of fermenting apples too.

Flavor has the requisite sweet & sour elements, at moderate approachable levels. Juicy black cherry, and subtle oak flavors. It dries out in the end, but has a very quenching quality about it that is absolutely perfect for a hot day. Classic indeed...

I used to think that Rodenbach was more sharply sour that the Grand Cru, maybe that was only in years past. The two seem fairly similar, looks like a side-by-side tasting is an order.

Humboldt Fog made for an interesting pair with this. The low acidity seemed to cut the creamy richiness, with a lingering farmhouse aftertaste of the cheese.

emerge077, Mar 20, 2008
Photo of dalion037
4.78/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been slowingly getting into sour beer and this was a very good mildly sour and sweet beer. It poured out with no head and a beautiful reddish brown color. You could feel the carbonation tingling your mouth and the taste was very good. This is a must try for people trying to get into more complex beer.

dalion037, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby hued brown that has no head. Nose is a pretty smooth mix of wood and fruit. Flavor has that sour tone to it and definite fruit and wood as well. Smooth feel with a low but biting carbonation. Nice to drink, but you'd have to be able to appreciate the style to really enjoy this one.

RblWthACoz, Mar 18, 2008
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.

mithrascruor, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of Dukeofearl
4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle from the recent Duvel import program to the US. $8.99 (?) at Hi Time Wine in Costa Mesa, CA in February 2008. I have had this lovely beer many times before, mostly in Belgium and the UK, this is my first time when I can actually review it.

Pours a reddish brown, with nice red highlights and a thin creamy tan head. Aroma is where this one really starts- oak, sour cherries (but some sweetness too) and an indescribable tone- the one that makes it a Flanders Red Ale. Sorry, words elude me.

Flavor is a sharp cherry woven with woody and earthy notes, but even so, cleaner than I remember in the tastings a few years back. A solid creaminess offsets sharp fruit notes. Wow, a lot going on here.

I have read many reviews/posts/forums/etc. about how this isn't the beer it once was. That may be true, but I never had that version. All I can say is, holy cow, I love this beer!

Dukeofearl, Feb 26, 2008
Photo of illidurit
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into the ol' Duvel tulip. Body is dark brown and is penetrable only by a strong light source. Head is 2 fingers tall and tan, leaving strings of lacing.

Aroma is fermenting grapes with some raspberry/cherry sweetness. Quite tart and vinegary.

Taste is actually less sour than I expected. It still has enough tartness to make the corners of the mouth twinge, but it's not as puckering as gueuze. Malty base with a bit of cherry cola. The vinous acetic character is still there from the aroma.

Mouthfeel is smooth and appropriately carbonated, but the finish is too sticky and unclean. Pretty drinkable nonetheless.

illidurit, Feb 26, 2008
Photo of GJ40
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from a 750 ml bottle in a chalice.

A - Deep brown color with a reddish tint. Small to moderate head.

S - Sour aroma with a hint of cherries.

T - Very complex flavor with an sourness that increases as it passes your tongue and lingers for several seconds.

M - Thin to moderate mouthfeel.

D - I'm not sure this is for everyone but I can drink glass after glass of this one. I find I take my time and savor the taste with this even more than other beers. And at 5.1%, it's doesn't hit you hard.

I enjoy the Rodenbach Grand Cru much more but this is still one of my favorites.

GJ40, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ML bottle>20 oz. Stella glass

This is a brown and burgundy color with a one-finger tan colored head, foamy, bubbly and pretty sticky. Large clumps of intricate lacing forms whenthe liquid recedes, which is done slowly.

Very sour apples scent, tangy red fruits and a nice tangy-sour yeast underneath.

This is a very tangy and sour flavor, sour apples juice but also ripe-dark berries, sour fruit yeast dominates with a mild but slightly sweet pale malt. Decent depth for the style.

Medium feel, slick going down but very lively on the pallette.

I really enjoy this style and find it really easy to drink and enjoy.

GratefulBeerGuy, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of MiScusi
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena for their 9th annual Belgian beer festival.

Poured a dark reddish brown. The smell is mildly tart. The taste is also tart with some red grape fruitiness. The mouthfeel is smoother and less spritzy than their Grand Cru. This beer is not as intense as the Grand Cru and is a fine sour beer.

MiScusi, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of saztheorybook
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one poured ruby, with a beautiful color and cloudiness from all angles, but there was absolutely no head in any way, shape, or form. The smell was yeasty, with both grapes and vinegar showing up strong. The taste was extremely tart and extremely fruity and in a lot of ways reminded me more of Strongbow than any other Flanders Red I've had. It had a more severe bite than I personally prefer, but it was still pretty smooth going down. Frankly, I think this one was okay, but if another Flanders Red was available, I'd take that instead.

saztheorybook, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 750 mL bottle that my brother brought as a Christmas present.

A: The ale pours with an amber color that shows off brilliant copper colors when light shines through the base of the glass. A fluffy head near 2 fingers looks like it will retain and lace.

S: The nose is, without a doubt, unique. Tartness with a barnyard undertone, lots of fruit with a kriek-like aroma.

T: The kriek-like flavor evident in the nose returns en force in the taste. The cherry flavors are dry and slightly sour, not syrupy and sweet. Underlying the fruit flavors is a subtle funky tartness. That tartness is not quite pucker-up level but it is noticeable. Cherry and berry sweetness see the ale away.

M: The mouthfeel is slightly funky, sweet with lots of fruitiness. This is not as sour and offputting as, say, the Duchesse de Bourgogne (my mortal enemy in the world of beer).

D: The alcohol is nice and low, eluding detection throughout the glass. The slight tartness is welcome and the fruitiness from the spontaneous fermentation and aging is quite enjoyable.

akorsak, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of rye726
4.6/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep brown color with some amber hues. Silky tan head with good lace.

Lots of tart cherries and raspberries with sweet candy malts. A faint woody aroma as well.

Again a nice sweetness up front with a tart finish. Sour pitted fruits with caramel malts and a soft earthy flavor.

Start bery full and tappers well to a fairly dry finish. Good amount of carbonation adds to the flavor profile.

This is a wonerfull example of the style. Quite complex, yet well balanced and pairs well with many dishes. Best with some strong cheese, nuts and fresh fruit. Also a nice palate cleanser between courses for any fine meal.

rye726, Jan 31, 2008
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.

MisterClean, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of MrMcGibblets
2.7/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

ok, before i get panned for the low scores, let me just say that either the rest of you are lemmings scoring it high because you think you should, or you just enjoy this really unique, challenging style of beer. i wanted to like this beer. i tried to like this beer. i didn't like this beer. it poured beautifully: on-tap at 3F's pub, a deep reddish amber, mostly clear, with a super-thick, rocky, creamy, big-ass lasting pinkish head and lacing. nose was of cherries/berries and acetic sourness along with some musty barnyardy aromas. taste was sweet upfront dominated by sourness. kinda like drinking turned/old juice. light bodied, spritzy, with a drying, sour finish. tastes more like a sparkling rose wine that beer. no hop presence per the style. this might go well with a cherry pie.

MrMcGibblets, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of watchnerd
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle. I picked up two bottles of this and two of the Grand Cru from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco. I've had the Cru before, but I should drink them back to back for real fun. In any case, while this isn't quite as good as the Grand Cru, the 'regular' Rodenbach is reasonably close, giving you about 70% of the Grand Cru experience. A because it has a bit lower ABV, the Rodenbach makes it a better session beer. Like the Cru, this is a defining example of the Flemish Red style.

watchnerd, Jan 25, 2008
Photo of sfoley333
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 250ml bottle from PP bottle shop into a new belgium snifter. Poured a brownish red color with a thin head that faded like a soda pop head. Smell is a faint sour cherry smellwith hints of wild yeast sourness. Taste is a little more foward but still not very powerful with cherry, raspberries, a slight oak vanilla flavor, and of course a slight tartness. The mouthfeel is medium body with a moderate carbonation. This is a very drinkable sour red ale which makes it a classic but with some many extreme and well crafted sour reds out their I would say just above average and not the very best of the style.

sfoley333, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of kleffman
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Some of this finally made its way to SD and I was fortunate enough to get a pour of it at O'Briens. Poured a very reddish brown with very little head and a light carbonation. Only a slight lacing. The aroma immediately hit me with cherries, both sour and fresh. There is a definite vinegar presence but not overpowering like some examples of the style. Possible hints of oak as well. The taste is incredible. Dominated by tart cherries, some vanilla and minimal vinegar that only helps the balance. Also some ripe apple. The mouthfeel is nice and coating, allowing even the smallest sip to linger. It's actually a very refreshing example of this style and the more I get to know it the Flanders Red is becoming more of a friend than an acquaintance. Really want to try the Grand Cru now as I heard it's much better.

kleffman, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark ruby red color with a slight light beige head that had light reddish hues. The head was sticky and left behind a nice film lacing behind.

S: The nose bursts with fresh marachino cherries and is very fruity.

T: The flavor like wise is dominant cherries, alcohol, apples with a tangy sweet sourness. Tart and very smooth with a very quick clean finish.

M: a little thin, light and smooth.

D: A very smooth and silky drink with a great gentle sourness makes for a good desert beer.

beerthulhu, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of dfillius
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chimay goblet at O'Brien's Pub.

A: Dark reddish brown. Onlythe tiniest hint of a ring of lace.
S: Fruit - cherry and apple. Tart - is that even a smell? Mint gum?
T: Tart - fruity and dry like a geueze but not that tart. Kind of like New Glarus Sour Brown mixed with their Belgian Red. It finishes bready around the sides of my tongue.
M: Tingly! Finishes thick in my throat like milk or Sunny D. A bit numbing for my tongue like cloves.
D: Delicious, I could have another, but it isn't really a session beer, especially not at $7 a glass.

dfillius, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of Floydster
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

250 ml bottle purchased from Liquid Solutions in Oregon for about three dollars

Poured into my Ballast Point glass with a deep mahogany color that had a pinkish red tint when held up to the light, small 1/2 inch slightly off white head that surprisingly stuck around for five to ten minutes, great retention and lacing

Smell was full of raspberries and cherries, also some vinegar hints, lots of oak, caramel, and lots of tarty aromas

Taste was fruity to say the least, very sweet overall with some nice sourness as well, reminded me a lot of Duchesse, cherry pretty much dominated this one, after hearing about Red Poppy recently, I want to do a side by side with this and compare the two, a guy that has had both said they are similar in many ways, once this beer warmed it got noticeably sweeter and the raspberry candy flavor took over leaving the tart behind mostly, nice bite to this beer overall

Body was pretty nice and the carbonation seemed just right, wish the taste lasted a little longer, sweet and sour mouthfeel that kept me coming back for more

Could drink another bottle or two of this no problem, sweetness would eventually catch up to me, alcohol is hidden well but the ABV is really low anyways, not filling like other Flanders I have had in the past

Had heard a lot of great things about this beer and the people at O'Briens were ranting and raving about it a few days ago, so I had to see how it was for myself, very good for the price, would drink again in the future, want to try their Grand Cru because I have heard that is even better

Floydster, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of czfreeman
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first Flanders Red. poured out into a flute, billowy head, lacy retention. Nice dark-tea color. Big aromas of raspberries,cherry, fruits,wood aromas. Flavor is exactly what what I was hoping for. Tart, apple-like. Crisp, dry finish. A little vinegary, but thats what I expected. This beer would make a great apertitif as opposed to the common glass of champagne. will definatly buy again. I really enjoyed this beer, makes a great start to a round of reviews.

czfreeman, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA, this is the first time I have ever seen this for sale in CA, so I jumped at the chance to try it,

A: Pours a dark, maroon red, with a small white/off-white head.

S: Sour funk, though not as funky as a lambic, more of a lactic acidity, with some cherry and strawberry, and oak.

T: Taste is a fascinating blend of oak and fruit mixed with lactic acid. It can get a little to vinegary at times but overall, I was enthralled with its upfront sour character which evolved into a malty sweet berry flavour, definitely worth the wait.

M: Sour obviously, lactic, vineagry, acetic, but very refreshing.

D: I really dug this beer, would like to have it again, but it was $7 for about 8 oz. so it will have to be a rare treat.

Halcyondays, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of doubleipa
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The aroma is right on style-wise. Very similar to Duchese. Horse blamket and very sour aroma. Next to zero head and gone in 60 seconds. Dark puple-brown color. Initial flavor is heavy sweet as is the finish, which iis a good thing. I would buy more of this, but it's not as readily available as the Duchese.

doubleipa, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of KarlHungus
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark ruby color. The head is small, and recedes quickly into sparse lacing. The aroma is of sweet and sour cherries, oak, and hints of vinegar. The taste is sweet with a tart sourness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lively carbonation, and a silky texture. Overall, this is a fine Flemish Red. I will certainly drink this again.

KarlHungus, Jan 08, 2008
Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,417 ratings.