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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.

1,345 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,345
Reviews: 616
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 59
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)
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Ratings: 1,345 | Reviews: 616 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rudgers73

New York

3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice homogeneous shade of mahogany. Decent 1/2 inch fizzy head that disperses into a very thin ring. This appears to be light and crisp with a very wine-like oak aroma. Beyond the sour tones up front you can smell a light sweetness in the background. Sour cherries, raisins, and grapes. The taste is tart up front with a flood of unripened cherries and a slight tweak of malt. It then drops off slightly into a very mild pure carbonated water taste. Very strange flavor profile. Not quite sure what to make of it yet. I'm relatively sure that this isn't my kind of thing. I have tried Duchesse De Bourgogne a while back not knowing that it was a Flanders Red Ale and I remember it having a more full flavor and more continuously rich flavor profile. This one sort of drops off in such an abrupt manor. Not enough alcohol for the oak aging to really do much for IMHO. Overall, I was glad I tried more than one of this style for relativity if nothing else. Quite an interesting style, maybe I'll try the Grand Cru in a couple of weeks to see if the extra alcohol brings something better to the table.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2007 23:37:51 | More by Rudgers73
Photo of merlin48


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

750 ml corked and caged bottle pours a clear garnet chestnut body with a thin beige head. Sheets of lacing are left on the chalice.

Aroma of old musty oak, cherries, and horse blanket.

Light medium body with a clean earthy feel.

Taste is sour cherries, woody wet oak, and wool sweater. More sour than sweet.

Beautiful example of an exceptional style.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2007 19:35:57 | More by merlin48
Photo of cabsandking


4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown color with a beige cap thats pretty slim. Dominant vinous nose with some oak and a slight molasses sweetness. Dry, bitter canvas for its bold flavor of fermented berry tartness, burnt grains. Displays some yeastiness but one sided, could have used more depth here. As is warms fig and prune notes come out and all the flavors start to blend together for a smoother, balanced flavor. Finishes dry with a light fruitiness and slight tartness. Full body and an even mouthfeel. Carbonation is low but exerts just enough crispness to make it quite enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

05-09-2007 23:51:07 | More by cabsandking
Photo of cproioi


3.15/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark red body with an off white head that leaves a little lacing. The aroma and taste go hand in hand with a sharp sour fruit notes that are quite pleasant. The carbonation dances on the touch with a slight cheek puckering sour tartness. The beer is a pleasure to drink and very refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2007 18:46:56 | More by cproioi
Photo of icemonkey908


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

This is a new style for me, so the flavor profile was a little unexpected, but it was definitely a good surprise. The appearance is a very dark red brownish color and there was very little head with a gentle pour from the bottle. A very good looking beer. The beer smells fruity with hints of apples and grapes. The apple and grape smells follows in the taste which is fruity with the hint of sour for which this style is named. The sour flavor is present although not overpowering or unpleasant in any way. This lends well to the drinkability. I could have a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2007 00:33:10 | More by icemonkey908
Photo of Mitchster


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

5.1% ABV. 8.45 oz bottle@$2.79 from Merchant's. I picked up a 6'er never having had it before. Pours to a clear deep mahogany, forming a soft light tan head with pancake batter head at the margins of the glass. Retention is good and lacing is good. Carbonation is moderately strong, ~3 carbs. The aroma is very enticing...lots of tart cherry, basement, dust, and when swirled, some nice sour B-funk appears. Mouthfeel is soft, clean, and crisp with a refreshingly light body and piquant acidity and astringency of oak. The taste is a well-balanced mix of tartness, wood, and sparse malts. Bitterness is nill. This comes across much more drinkable than the Grand-Cru which I find to be of such unrestrained sourness that it offers no complexity. The finish has a touch of metal that lingers on the tongue. Highly sessionable. I could put away a 6'er of this without batting an eyelash. I really enjoyed this.
L=4.5, A=4.5, T=4.5, MF=4.5, O=4.5

re-review 1/24/13-11.2 oz bottle, 5.2% ABV. Apparently filtered. 75% young, 25% 2 year. I've found that the flavor now is quite restrained compared to my prior review, and the metal flavor is quite strong, interfering with the enjoyability of the beer. Now, I much prefer the grand cru. The mouthfeel and body are quite light. I'd have a hard time drinking more than 3 of these, which would give me a pretty bad case of heartburn. The current rating is what I think of this beer as of this review.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2007 20:14:04 | More by Mitchster
Photo of techdiver


4.78/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear, deep, reddish brown with a solid head that dissipates slowly.

Aroma is sour with cherry predominating.

Taste is spectacular, so refreshing. It's hard to pick between the Grand Cru and the Classic. If it weren't for the fact that the Classic has a slightly better appearance, and the Grand Cru has a slightly better smell; I'd probably rate them all 5's.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are both exceptional. Previous problem with Grand Cru aleviated with acquisition of a case. Now I need a case of this too.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2007 03:29:45 | More by techdiver
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a very dark reddish brown, really clear into grandmas crystal chalice for Easter. Nice thin tan head did not hold up very long, but left a small amount of lace in its wake. Nice visible streams of carbonation present.

S - Smell is very strong and the sour feel just rolls right out. Lots of flavors of sours grapes, apples, and some plums. Very nice bitter wine like aroma. Very complex and robust.

M & T - Very smooth and and really nice carbonation gave it a light frothy feel. Very big taste, this one needed to be heard! Extremely sour profile and lots of fruity flavors. Apples. grapes, pears. Slighthint at bread like flavors.

D - Overall I would have to say this was not bad at all. My first taste of a sour ale was not really to my liking but this has intriqued me a bit more. This was much much better. I actually really enjoyed sipping on this while I was easting dinner and has opened me up to some more of the style. Definalty a sipper due to the strongness.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2007 23:25:10 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Illinick


3.35/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a deep reddish brown with a medium sized off white, thick head that dissipates and sticks around as a thin layer. Decent lacing.
S: Tart, sour fruit-mainly cherry, some oaky and earthy scents as well. Sour cherry oak about sums it up.
T: You know one would think I would expect some sour notes but upon first sip I was hit in the face with some intense sour and over the top tart cherry and fruit flavors. It's like a sour patch kid beer. Once you recover from the sour shock you can pick up some earthy and oaked fruit flavors as well as some slight hoppiness.
MF: Light and finishes tart, almost tannic.
Overall: Definitely an interesting brew. Huge sour and tart notes, so expect over the top. Worth a shot if for nothing but curiousity's sake.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2007 18:51:07 | More by Illinick
Photo of GPHarris


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

a - poured a two fingers thick head into a tulip glass. the head was a light tan color, fizzy and bubbly which left a thick lace. the body was a deep red.
s - tart and sour cherries.
t - cherries with a little dried grapes thrown in. i know it's about to be passover...am i drinking a manishevitz?
m - bubbly and thin.
d - the more i drink this beer the more i am liking it. not very familiar with the style but this is starting to become one i'll look for every now and then.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2007 14:02:46 | More by GPHarris
Photo of ultralarry2006


3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle. Leaves a one finger head that has excellent retention, and very good spotty lacing. Body is garnet with red highlights.

Smell - horseblanket, sour cherries, plums, vinegar.

Taste - very sour. Horsebalanket, less plums and sour cherries than nose suggests, and an aftertaste of vinegar.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, somewhat fizzy, semi-dry.

Drinkability - this is good, but not great.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2007 13:22:08 | More by ultralarry2006
Photo of jwc215


3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark caramel with a thick head that descends to a thin, lasting head. Some vanishing lace sticks to glass.

The smell is sour and fruity.

The taste is sour, tart passion fruitiness. Oak, and a touch of iron come through. The sour is sharp at first, but becomes mellow and smooth in the finish.

The body is medium, but with a touch of thinness.

This is a beer that is put together pretty well. It's worth having for its unique character, and fairly easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2007 00:41:15 | More by jwc215
Photo of DaveFL1976


3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The cage is untied and.... POP!
The cork rockets out of the bottle, cage in tow, and slams to my kitchen ceiling, slightly cracking the plastic diffuser of my kitchen's light bulb. This beer's off to an interesting start.
I reach down to pick up the cork and catch of waft of funkyness. Oh, this is a really interesting start.

Pour the beer into my chimay goblet and take note of a crysta lclear deep cherry red body topped with a fluffy tan head.

The nose has a bit of sharpness to it, and tart fruity tones, like cherries. Really nice and crisp smell.

But the taste was a bit of a letdown. It's sour at the start, and it's nice. Then a wave of cherries fill the palate, but what's left is a metallic aftertaste that tastes a bit like I've sucked on a penny.

Mouthfeel is deceptively light due to the high carbonation, and drinkability is..ehh.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2007 23:24:19 | More by DaveFL1976
Photo of mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

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

A - Reddish with a brown tint. Large head with impressive retention. Not really any lacing there.

S - A bit of yeasty fruit - cherries mostly. Slight maltiness, but it is dwarfed by the cherries.

T - Cherries, very sour cherries. The aftertaste is a lingering sour cherry . . . not a touch of sweetness. A faint slightly fruity bitterness in the aftertaste. Quite good.

M - Smooth, thin, very refreshing.

D - Great. I actually ordered two of these in a row because they were so good. I won't hesitate to have this again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2007 02:50:35 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of alexskovan

New York

4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy red amber with a light tan head that slowly dropped to a half-inch and stayed. Aroma was crisply sour, sour milk and cherry, pungent but clean. Taste is acidic fruit with malty undertones and a chewy finish. Tastes like another! (If only it wasn't so damn expensive. . . )

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2007 21:59:04 | More by alexskovan
Photo of BeerBelcher


3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was really looking forward to cracking open this classic, and was not disappointed. If you like sour (as I do!), then this is the beer for you!

Appearance was reddish with fairly little white head, and appealing.

Aroma is sour, sour, sour, as is the flavor. Taste was a bit like good vinegar, and distinctly sour. As it warmed, it was very wine-y, like a chardonnay.

Mouthfeel and drinkability were both good. Thus far, the highlight of my beer drinking day.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2007 01:27:24 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of tempest


4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the BXL Cafe in NYC.

Funk, yet refined this was a great beer to try. Not overwhelming like a few lambics I've tried, but still nothing a great example of the style. The wood character was evident along with very tart cherries, grapes and apples. Flavor was subdued at first until the beer warmed up. Reminds me of La Folie with a bit more fruit but not as rich in flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2007 22:51:51 | More by tempest
Photo of Cresant


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

Poured this 750 mL brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip. The semi-opaque body was a dull brown/red leather color. The modest head faded quickly, falling to a ring and island of foam. The beer cleared some and subsequent pours darkened some. The head was the color of old tanned newspaper.

Smell was vinegar up front. Complex and changing throughout the drink. Sweet grape kool-aid (citric acid?), fresh currants. More vinous toward the end of the bottle.

Taste was stone-fruits. Cherry, peaches. A pleasant tart bit and an acidic dry finish. Richer toward the end of the bottle. Refreshing and interesting. Flavors reflected the aroma.

Mouthfeel was very zesty at the beginning and smoothed way out toward the end as it warmed. Medium to light bodied. I would love to drink this one again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2006 16:15:43 | More by Cresant
Photo of norwichboy


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

Appearance more brown but with a red tinge. Good head and lacing. Utterly amazing aromas with sour cherries and chocolate (Cherry Ripe), some marzipan in there as well. To taste, very tart and sour. Mouthfeel is somewhat watery, but perfect tingly fine carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2006 05:03:54 | More by norwichboy
Photo of strangefate


4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2006 20:54:50 | More by strangefate
Photo of plaztikjezuz


3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i'm not that big on sour beers but this one was pretty good.
it poured a deep coppery with hints of reddish flecks when the light shown through the glass, not much of a head but it was present the entire time i consumed the brew.
the aroma is soury, bit of apple cider vinager, maybe a has the pleasent properties of a good steak marenade.
the flaovr is pretty rich and complex, malty yet not to heavy, just enough sweetness to off set the sour, fruity and applilish, sour and sharp but not over the edge. i think this beer would go well with a good beligian mussles.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2006 03:19:05 | More by plaztikjezuz
Photo of Damian


3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank from an 8.45 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Liquor World, Somerville, MA

Poured a glowing orangey, amber-brown with a two-finger, fizzy, light tan head. The head faded to swirls of lace with a thick ring along the edge of the glass. Initially, there were many drippy patches of lacing.

Aroma was bold and sharp. Yeasty, sour (sour cherries) and dry like a champagne, with some woodiness in the background.

Taste was similar to a champagne if it were made from cherries. Fruity and a bit sweet on the front end. Apples were noticeable. As the beer moved along the palate, the sourness became more apparent. Very tart and somewhat fruity on the back end (sour cherries and raspberries) with a noticeable oakiness. Absolutely no aftertaste (or hops for that matter).

Mouthfeel was light, crisp, spritzy and a touch creamy.

While this beer might be somewhat harsh on its own, it is a nice appetizing beer that would go well with rich, creamy cheeses and sourdough bread.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2006 01:31:10 | More by Damian
Photo of jokelahoma


3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a cheap stemmed wine glass in a Residence Inn in Ft. Myers, Florida.

Pours a murky, semi-cloudy deep copper-brown, with just the slightest hint of head forming a tiny little foam cap.

The aroma is quite sour and fruity. Sort of like Sweet/Tarts soaked in red wine. There is a hint of malt sweetness here, and the subtle underlying Belgian bready, "horse blanket funk" that I've come to love. Mostly, though, you get the sour apple, sour cherry, sour grape, even sour watermelon scent.

Taste is a little disappointing at first, but perhaps I'm drinking this too cold (it's only been out of the fridge in this hotel room for about 10 minutes). The initial impression is that the sourness is almost all there is. There's no "bite" other than the sour nature of the beer itself. Not terribly acidic, in my opinion, not sweet, not hoppy... just sour, with a faint vinegar-like flavor. I know my words make it sound bad, or spoiled, but it isn't. This really isn't a bad beer. Just not what I was hoping to find within the bottle. I'll let it rest a few minutes, warm up a bit, then try it again.

After another 10 minutes or so, it's not changed much. It's good, quite good, but not what the smell leads you to believe it will be. The malt just runs and hides, leaving the sourness and a faint hint of fruit to keep you company. It really does take on a wine-like character, since it's missing the balancing grainy sweetness I'd so hoped to find.

The mouthfeel is pretty thin, which for the style is perfectly acceptable.

Overall, this is very, very easy to drink, especially if you like the sour styles. Me, I'm a big fan of Flanders Red, Berliner Weiss, etc. This drinkability, however, comes at the expense of character. After all, water is pretty high on the drinkability list too. This one isn't devoid of character by any means, but it could be so much more. Many other examples of intentionally sour beers are out there, and many are better than this. This is mild enough, in fact, that I'd say it would be a great beer to introduce others to the style, before moving on to sour brews with more "oomph". Good, and recommended, but could have been so much more.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2006 00:12:56 | More by jokelahoma
Photo of Grundle20


3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Looks just like a coke when poured in to a snifter, same color, same soda like head.

There's a lot of sour fruit smell. There's underlying Belgian funk and earthiness but that is dominated by the tart fruit notes.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
A plethora of fermented or sour fruit notes build this beer. I taste fermented apple, sour cherries, and sour grapes for the most part. The beer lies flat on my pallette and drinks smooth with minor tart bites throughout the taste. There's a funky Belgian aftertaste but it was to be expected.

It tastes good enough given it's style, but that's just the thing. I don't know many people who just sit around drinking flanders red. A good beer for occassions and the off craving, but hardly a beer I would want more than a few times a year.

Bottom Line:
A good showing for a flanders red and if you're in to the style you would probably love it. Avoid if you aren't in to the whole sour fruit beer scene.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2006 01:37:06 | More by Grundle20
Photo of dherling

New Jersey

4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a dark cranberry color with thick foamy head that thins out quickly but laces nicely. The nose smells strongly of cider, with caramel and spiciness. The taste has an initial sour apple flavor with a dryness that turns into sweet caramel maltiness in the middle. It finished with a sour cherry like taste and moderate dryness. The mouthfeel is very crisp and refreshing. Light body, medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2006 05:46:56 | More by dherling
Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,345 ratings.