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

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

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1,384 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,384
Reviews: 619
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 63
Gots: 87 | 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: 1,384 | Reviews: 619 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of homohabilis


4/5  rDev 0%

rodenbach red. i actually had the grand cru before i had the original rodenbach and had mixed feelings about it, but i am an incredible advocate of duchesse de bourgogne, so i figured i would finally give its closest rival, the standard rodenbach, a turn on the tastebuds.

A: poured from a 750mL bottle - vigorously - it developed a moderate off-white head which quickly subsided to a thin layer of lasting foam. color is quite nice, being fully ruddy.

S: smell is delicate, consisting mostly of sour fruits, especially raspberry, with a faint vinegar smell in the background.

T: taste is quite pleasant. first glass, well chilled (i couldn't wait) was full of predominant iron flavors, almost like blood, with more sour berries. now that i'm on to a warmer, second glass, the fruity notes have more fully expressed themselves with an almost salmonberry-like tang. the iron flavor has moved to an afterthought at the back of the tongue.

M: mouthfeel is smooth and refreshing. it does not cling or mask, only lingering in the palate in much the same way a sharp-flavored fruit or berry would.

D: drinkability is, again, quite good. this beer goes down easily, is very refreshing, and its alcohol is barely noticeable. drinking a 750 of this single-handedly is no trial.

very fine example of a flemish sour ale and i can understand why it is the standard. i thoroughly enjoyed it, but i still prefer the duchesse.

12-06-2007 09:03:11 | More by homohabilis
Photo of NEhophead


4.38/5  rDev +9.5%

8.45 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tulip.
Best before 06.03.08; Labeled 3-18 16:34.

Dark oak with ruby highlights. Very creamy, porous burnt white-head that slowly recedes. Some traces of thin and spotted lacing.

Bright, acidic fruity esters: cherry, raspberry, cranberry. Notes of vinegar. Soft cream, toffee, caramel. A nice balance of aromas.

Sharp, fresh tart fruit flavors with a nice dose of acidity; raspberry, cranberry, orange, cherry. Some floral hints with an earthen chocolate-like character that adds just a hint of sweetness. Touches of light vinegar and alcohol in the aftertaste.

A light, medium bodied; not as abrasively carbonated as you would expect. Actually creamy in spots.

Obviously a staple for the Flanders Red style. Pleasantly tart but not over the top; very well rounded.

12-03-2007 15:31:01 | More by NEhophead
Photo of peabody


3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Pours out a slightly cloudy reddish brown with very little suds.
Smell is sour tarts and dark sour cherries with wooden wet oak aromas. There is a flowery odor with some sugary hints as well.
Taste is sour dark cherries and granny smith apples with an orange peel thrown in for good measure. Some sugar is present so it makes the offering pleasant to the tongue.
Mouthfeel is fine here but not as good as other flemmish ales I have had. Still for the price, it's a good buy.

11-17-2007 23:13:57 | More by peabody
Photo of MiguelMandingo


3.98/5  rDev -0.5%

Sampled this the other night at the November Austin BA meeting. This is my third Flanders Red Ale with the first being La Folie and the second being Duchesse. I guess I kinda worked my way backwards...

Poured part of a 750ml into a tulip glass.

Appearance - It is a transparent deep caramel brown, almost burgundy color. It produced a small 1/2 finger head tannish head and then it slowly dissipated into a thin crown.

Smell - Smells good. I detect a funky citrus lemon-grapefruity note, along with a sour note of green apples and tart cherries. There is a sweet characteristic to the scent as well.

Taste - Tart and funky. Green apple and caramel. Slightly sweet but mostly sour. There is a slight spice in the flavor as well.

Mouthfeel - Great carbonation level. It helps to cut through the sour nature of the beer. Medium bodied.

Drinkability - Really good for a beer of this character. It is definitely not a beer that everyone would like, but if you are into this type of brew it is really easy drinking, really tasty and goes down very smooth.

11-14-2007 02:10:32 | More by MiguelMandingo
Photo of RunawayJim

Rhode Island

3.35/5  rDev -16.3%

I apologize for the 2 quick reviews, but I had these laying around. I had the bottle after draft, but put them in in opposite order.

Poured into a small snifter-like glass at the bar. Poured a reddish brown with an average tan head. Looked like lots of carbonation. Smells of cherry and perhaps tart apple in there.

Taste wasn't overly strong, again that cherry and apple taste with a mix of sweet and tart, but neither overpowering the other.

The beer seemed overly carbonated and felt that way. It was almost like drinking a less sweet cherry cola. I wasn't overly impressed, but it wasn't bad. It was easy drinking, but mainly because there weren't any overpowering flavors.

11-13-2007 00:48:16 | More by RunawayJim
Photo of BeerZack

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +2.5%

Pours a pretty clear dark brown-amber color with a small ring of fine bubbles.

Smells mildly of funky sourness with some leather and earthiness.

Seems pretty low on the acetone characteristics compared to the few other Flanders Reds I have tried, a bit of sweet/sour (crabapple) fruitiness, but a fairly dry impression overall.

I'm not the biggest sour ale connoisseur, but this one seems pretty mild. Not overly sour or sweet, a bit lighter than expected.

11-12-2007 17:09:01 | More by BeerZack
Photo of Deuane


4.33/5  rDev +8.3%

A - Rich, dark ruby brown. A thin creamy tan head that lasts. Held up to the light it is a very interesting looking liquid.

S - Musty, with hints of sour apples and cherries.

T - WOW! Sour and sweet but not overly so in either way.Cherries and sour apples flavors untie. Really nice.

M - Medium body with pleasant carbonation. Side of mouth bite and after numerous sips tounge starts to pucker...in a pleasant way.

D - Very tasty....one of my tops Flanders sours....maybe only second to The Duchess.

11-09-2007 12:40:15 | More by Deuane
Photo of thierrynantes


3.9/5  rDev -2.5%

Sorry but this following comment is in french :

Appearance : Une brune fraîche, savoureuse et désaltérante. Brune-rouge foncée, limpide, mousse serrée peu tenace, saturation moyenne.
Smell : Nez agréable et fruité
Taste and mouthfeel : saveur boisée, aigre-douce, bien fruitée (cerise) Légère astrigence, saveur assez sèche et fraîche.
Drinkability : Archétype des oud bruin

11-03-2007 17:50:00 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of brendan13


3.88/5  rDev -3%

A - Pours a deep, dark mahogony colour with a couple of centimetres of off white head that falls away immediately.
S - Tart cherry like fruit aroma dominates. Some apple vinegar notes. Spice phenols & some character from the oak finish it off.
T - All of the smell backed up by a slightly sweet malt presence.
M - Light to medium bodied with a middle of the road carbonation. Refreshingly tart.
D - Not something for every day drinking but a beer that I'll be drinking again for sure.

10-31-2007 11:55:48 | More by brendan13
Photo of lackenhauser


4/5  rDev 0%

Nice, low key sort of garnet color. Decent level of carbonation. Quite fruity and somewhat funky aroma-sour cherries. Fairly sour upfront but not offensivly so. Moderate fruit flavor. Slight woody taste. Good mouthfeel-tends to be a bit sweet in the finish. Very nice and enjoyable beer. I havnt had very many sour beers. Really liked this one overall.

10-22-2007 00:53:23 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of Wasatch


3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

8.45 oz. bottle

Pours a dark mahogany color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy head, tiny islands left behind. The nose is sour, tangy, cherry/raspberry, and some malts. The taste is sour/tangy, lots of cherry/raspberry, there's some funk going on in there. Medium body. Drinkable, not that impressed with this one, I've had way way way better Flanders in the past.

10-21-2007 20:39:09 | More by Wasatch
Photo of brdc


4.1/5  rDev +2.5%

Large corked bottle.
Murky red, poured into my Rodenbach Grand Cru glass, it creates a nice white head, that dissipates rather quickly.
Aroma is sour, fruity, with some spices.
Taste is nice, sweetish and fruity, some sour and acidic hints, very nice. Refreshing, easy to go down, it lacks that puckering bite that some in the gender have, but is nonetheless quite nice.
On a direct comparison with other flanders reds, it goes down easier, but is less complex and clearly less acidic and sour.
Interestingly, contrary to what I expected, the on-tap version seemed a bit better.

10-10-2007 23:40:21 | More by brdc
Photo of dogger6253


4.15/5  rDev +3.8%

Red body, hints of a more cherry oak color. The head is pretty thick, but only about 1/2 inch tall, off-white in color. I could smell this from across the room: huge raspberry, black currant and lemon scents. The taste is mostly lemon and hops, with raspberry and black currant coming through on top of it all. The carbonation kind of pops in your mouth, very tart and tangy, but the sweetness keeps it in check. This is a very refreshing and wonderful beer, but definitely not for everyone, or every night...

09-26-2007 04:59:03 | More by dogger6253
Photo of skizziks


4.05/5  rDev +1.3%

12oz. bottle. 1" tan head falls quickly to a thin sheet over a clear, deep mahogany brown beer.

Aroma is complex with cherries, vinegar, restaurant mop, and a carnival of phenolics with some cheesy bits attached. Reads terrible, but actually smells really nice. An experience for sure.

taste also gives some cherry with pomegranate and some sweet-tart flavors. Very dry tannic finish.

Light body with sharp prickly carbonation. Very dry. Refreshing. I haven't had a lot of sour beers and I don't generally think they are all that, but they can be nice when I'm in the mood. Rodenbach is the first I've had that I could imagine myself really getting into.

09-22-2007 18:55:56 | More by skizziks
Photo of botham

New York

4.33/5  rDev +8.3%

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. pours a deep garnet color, bordering on a brownish red, without much of a head. there is a soapy rim around the brew.

smell is very vinous, with notes of cherry and apple as well. there is a slight vinegar-esque base, with a sour character. a good example of an architype of the style.

taste is sour and of grapes and cherries up front, with a very vinous character. notes of apple and a touch of caramel as well. somewhat mild when compared to the aroma, this one goes down rather smooth. malts and hops are overpowered by the fruit, but this doesn't take away from the flavor. there is a finesse here in the profile that makes this an excellent brew.

aftertaswte is dry and of grapes and apples.

mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a bite from the vinous character and a bit of carbonation. despite this, the brew is smooth on the palate.

drinkability is great for wine-lovers. brew-lovers will also appreciate the smoothness and subtle flavors at work here. this is a great example of a flanders red and an excellent brew to try. cheers!

09-12-2007 02:09:45 | More by botham
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev +11.3%

33cl bottle enjoyed in the wonderful ambiance of 'Los Romanticos' in Brussels. Crowded in both numbers and passion, I sipped this delightfully complex ale while watching the tango dancers, remarking with awe how every motion, every expression was so full of sensuality.

The bartender asked if I wanted it served with grenadine. "Blasphemy!" I yelled at him, slapping the bottle from his hand and spitting on his shoes... no, not really.

No actual head would shape up. Rather than assemble together, amassing what could be a bulk of pristine white foam, each bubble stood on its own, spreading a thin, dotted sea of air pockets. The body is a tawny with mahogany highlights. A deepened, fiery complexion - glowing blood red to the light.

The oak has imparted a nearly overwhelming character. On par are port like notes of cherry and sour grapes. Quite a pleasant bouquet. While it shares notes of figs, dates, and raisins this in no way mimics a quad or Belgian Strong dark. It is fruity and much closer resembles a fine port.

The mouthfeel has a level of sweetness usually only found in artificial treats; it almost feels sticky, like caramel candy. Quite a sensation. While it is incredibly sweet it is in no way cloying. It might remind one of a lambic, but hardly shares the makeup. The oak again is quite apparent and dries out the aftertaste. The yeast introduces such unique character, although it steers far from the sour character of their Grand Cru.

The taste is full of ripened cherries. The flavour captures the taste of ripe cherries so well, leaving strong, luscious fruity notes on the palate. The oak is there too, and certainly compliments the taste, adding depth and enhancing the flavours. Slightly vineous flavours (again, lush cherries and sour grapes). It brings esters to an extreme - what a yeast!

I could see how others may not like it, myself personally however, I found it to be quite a lovely treat. I was quite amazed with it actually; it has such unique character. And even more to its credit, I doubt the one bottle I had was enough to really understand this beer, to fully experience its character. I must revisit.

09-11-2007 02:55:32 | More by biegaman
Photo of smcolw


2.98/5  rDev -25.5%

Starting with the summary: This is a very odd flavored beer--while I cannot put my finger on it, I can't say that I like it.

Reddish brown and clear; good head with nice lasting lace.

The smell is off for me--like pickles in a ham salad, really. ????

Sweet-sour flavors. Again, quite different from anything I've ever had, but not in a positive way. The body is the best part of the beer.

09-01-2007 02:57:00 | More by smcolw
Photo of irishkyle21

Ontario (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev +11.3%

With the passing of M.J it is a sad day. But I have good books and good beers thanks to him. So I will do what he would do. Have a beer and wright about it ( although I am not nearly as gifted as he is).

Rodenbach pours with a foamy light brown head. Leaves behind some traces amounts of lacing as it fades away. Has a lovely deep red color.

The nose is flowing with a sour fruitiness a faint oakiness.

The taste is sweet, tarty and sour. With hints of fruits and spice. The finish lets me know I am drinking something good, it grabs hold and does not let go.

08-31-2007 04:46:28 | More by irishkyle21
Photo of sleazo

New York

4.2/5  rDev +5%

A-pours a deep mahogany that reveals hints of red when held to the light. A two finger head is very creamy and reluctant to fade. the creamy whisps of lace cling to the sides of the tulip.

S-Slightly musty, slightly sour with a caramel malt. Maybe some red cherries.

T-tart and sweet not unlike a nice lemonade. This is my first Flanders red and I am digging it. Dark rich fruit work very well with the tart apple like qualities. Very dry followthrough. Hop character is barely there, the sourness wins the day. Not puckeringly so as the sweetness from the malt takes care of it. Slight mineral quality as well.

M-medium bodied with a slightly effervescent carbonation.

D-This is tasty indeed.

08-31-2007 04:23:49 | More by sleazo
Photo of micahgoldfus

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +8.3%

I was lucky enough to try this beer at a tasting with a Duvel representative, so I got a taste of both the beer and the history. The beer itself was like nothing I've had before. A crisp dark red color with a red-tinted, creamy head. The smell was sour and fruity, letting you know that you're in for something different. Hated it at first taste. Got used to it by the second. Loved it by the third. A unique, pwoerful sour, acidic taste, with cherries and grapes as the dominant taste that goes with the malt. It was almost more like a wine than a beer. Full, delicious, and unique. As far as the making of the beer, I learned that: 75% of each bottle is freshly made, while 25% is front a pervious batch; there are 20 types of yeast in the beer; it is aged 2-3 years in oak barrels. Not your typical "beery" kind of a beer, but definately worth adding to your repertoire.

08-17-2007 18:26:09 | More by micahgoldfus
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +5%

Amazingly my first try of this beer its not a style I seek out much but this is a classic,poured into a large tulip glass a mix of brown a cherry red a light fluffy sticky light brownish colored head atop settling into a creamy-like mass leaving spotty lace.Big tart cherry in the nose with underlying vanilla and oak a iron not is present as well but its somewhat faint,somewhat spritzy mouthfeel light and drinkable.Starts out with a big tartness that wakes you up after that some toastiness and oak shows thru into the finish the puckering tartness is always there it never really totally leaves.A nice complex but refreshing beer it is a classic for a reason.

08-16-2007 00:17:32 | More by oberon
Photo of wspscott


3.98/5  rDev -0.5%

750ml bottle in pint glass (split with Doug)

A: Clear, reddish color, no head or lace
S: Odd sweet smell, never smelled this in beer
T: The first sip was weird/shocking, very sour. After that it was not so surprising. Reminds me of a sweet tart. I get lots of green apples here.
M: Very crisp, the malts are in the background and provide mostly sweetness. It seems like this should be carbed a little more.
D: Never had this style before, this beer is definitely worth trying. I think it would be great for a hot summer day. Recommended.

08-08-2007 19:10:02 | More by wspscott
Photo of Flyer


4.38/5  rDev +9.5%

I'm a fan of this style, and this might be the best example I've had. It has a nice amber-cherry color and that classic aroma with a hint of barnyard (yes, that's a good thing) and some sourness. The initial flavor is sour cherry and some orange peel, with some floral qualities and a clean tartness that sparkles on the tongue. What pluses this for me is the finish, which had a faintly bitter crispness. Both complex and refreshing

08-08-2007 14:20:21 | More by Flyer
Photo of jettjon


3.85/5  rDev -3.8%

From the 750ml caged cork bottle dated best before 4/4/07, consumed on 7/21/07. Into a wine goblet, this one pours a deep mahogany color with small bubble streams. Thin cap of whitish foam quickly fades away to a ring and scattered lace. Nose pretty typical of a Flanders ale: sour cherry and wood. Taste follows nose, dominated by sweet and sour cherries with an underlying semi-sweet malt backbone. Mouth is middle viscous and semi-carbonated, light and smooth. Drinkability is middle-of-the road; this is definitely one of the more subtle Flanders ales I’ve had.

Overall: A good Flemish ale, a bit subtle, perhaps due to age? It was consumed fully 3 months beyond the “best by” date, though I’m not sure what affect if any that would have had. Not my favorite within style by a long shot; it was too mellow and undefined for my tastes.

08-02-2007 22:46:17 | More by jettjon
Photo of YonderWanderer


4.18/5  rDev +4.5%

A: Pours a dark brown with tones of red throughout. Decent head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving a nice ring of lacing.

S: Cherries are dominant, with very sour tones.

T: This is where this beer does it for me. A strong sour taste comes through with hints of cherry, a little bit of oak, almost similar to a wine in some regards.

M: Decent, low carbonation, tends to be a bit syrupy, but in a smooth manner.

D: This is a standard in my beer drinking repertoire. Everyone I meet who has never had a Flemish Sour is amazed that I drink it, as it turns off a lot of people. But I find it an excellent change of paste from other styles of beer.

07-23-2007 13:38:35 | More by YonderWanderer
Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,384 ratings.