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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.

1,384 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 umustdrink


3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

8.45 oz. bottle

A - Mahogany brown color with a very reddish hue. Head fades quickly to a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

S - Very funky and sour smelling, like vinegar, a little woody with sweet cherries and vanilla also detectable.

T - Mildly sour to start, then sweet with cherry flavors and still sour. Finish is slightly less sour, and still cherry flavored.

M - Thin to medium consistency with medium carbonation. A very faint acidic burn.

D - First Flanders Red I've tried, it's not bad I guess. Usually I find sour beers too sour but this one was okay. Probably wont have again though.

07-08-2007 19:26:02 | More by umustdrink
Photo of mep3222

New York

4.47/5  rDev +11.8%

I love this beer and could drink it all night. Sometimes it seems a bit light to me (possibly the differing meals I'm drinkng it with), but the complexity of flavors and oveall balance is fantastic. I like the level of sourness for an "everyday" beer, but wouldn't mind more sourness on occasion, possibly the Rodenbach Grand Cru will accomplish that but I've not been able to hunt that down yet. While looking I won't mind drinking this one.. possibly even daily after Ironman Lake Placid.

07-08-2007 15:48:19 | More by mep3222
Photo of jakon


3.93/5  rDev -1.8%

250ml. bottle purchased for $2.39 on 7-1-7 at Tanasbourne Haggen.

Pours a reddish brown with an adequate off-white head that dissipates quickly. The aroma reminds me of champagne and green apples. Cider vinegar. A little sour candy in there too. Very interesting brew. The taste is pleasantly sour, and contains hints of all the previously mentioned aromas along with the background malt. Slightly watery. Overall, it's good, but just doesn't quite flip my pancake.

07-03-2007 04:44:04 | More by jakon
Photo of PittBeerGirl


3.68/5  rDev -8%

A- Dark ruby red body with thin foamy off-white head that has great retention. No lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Strong acidic vinergar aroma with hints of sour cherries. Smell was somewhat unpleasant to me.

T- very complex. Tart sour cherries upfront with deep malt backbone. Then the acidity hits and is quite overwhelming. Finish is very plesent. Fruity cherry aftertaste that is both sweet and sour with some breadiness lingering.

M- very smooth with some light carbonation. Body is somewhat syrupy.

D- This was good and a unique brew. I will have it again. The smell kinda turned me away and one every once in awhile is probably good enough.

07-02-2007 17:00:44 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of pmcadamis


3.9/5  rDev -2.5%

A - Poured from a tiny bottle that says "75% fresh ale and 25% ale aged in oak" sounds good to me! Forms a nice one finger tan head over a uniquely hued brew that is red, brown, and purple depending on which angle you look at it from, and it's almost black when not held to the light. A quick swirl brings the head back to a finger and leaves lots of nice tan lace on the glass. After about five minutes, the head and lace disappear
and never return....even with vigorous swirling.

S - This is one of the most unique aromas I've ever smelled. I smell vinegar, grapes, turpentine, glue, sourdough bread, lemon butter, asparagus pee, fingernail polish remover...wow. There is a lot going on here. There seems to be two predominate aromas...vinous grape and sourdough bread, and a solvent-like chemical smell that actually smells pretty damn good. I smell fetta cheese and grape leaves too...reminds me of Greek food.

T - OK, well...it's assertive and unique. This actually startled me at first, and I made a sour face when I took the first sip. So, now that I know what to expect I'll sip again and re-evaluate. Strongly sour and tart with some musty elements. I taste vinegar, fetta cheese, salt water, sweet tart candy (minus the sweet, emphasis on the tart), and some sourdough bread in the finish (emphasis on the sour). The aftertaste is a pleasant mix of balsamic vinegar, fetta cheese, and grape leaves....very much like some good Greek food. This is a really unique flavor that I'm not sure if I really like, but I do respect it for it's complexity and uniqueness.

M - Pucker-tart and sour as hell, this wicks the moisture from your mouth and replaces it with battery acid tartness! Pretty much feels like drinking vinegar with some light carbonation.

D - Although I can respect where this is coming from, and I may actually buy it again for it's outstanding complexity and uniqeness, I would not care to drink this on a regular basis. Drinking more than one in a sitting is out of the question due to the tongue-scathing acidity.

06-28-2007 17:36:43 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of Padron4KM


3.73/5  rDev -6.8%

250 ml brown bottle.
Best before Sept. 9 07

Reddish brown with no real head to speak of, just a thin cap of tight bubbles.

Aroma is Balsamic vinegar and oak and sour cherries.

Flavor is sweet and sour cherries with a touch of balsamic acidity on the finish.

Body is a touch thin, but it is still a good beer.

06-10-2007 07:27:07 | More by Padron4KM
Photo of soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Appearance: Leathery red-brown body with a luxurious burgundy aura, dark and about 75% opaque with bright peachy red highlights. Head is smooth and milky tan, sticky but not very long-lasting.

Smell: Ripe cherries, raisins, plum, and loads of sweet red wine. Extremely fruity with a touch of rice wine vinegar acetic tartness and a slightly earthy quality reminiscent of oak or pipe tobacco. Hops lend a very subtle leafy aroma that enhances the underlying earthiness perfectly.

Taste: Lovely. Not quite as lovely as the Grand Cru, but just about. Balanced and robust, a good mix of fruity sweetness and funky tartness, like apple cider combined with a bit of apple cider vinegar. Hints of tobacco appear early on and reappear in the finish, which after a flash of sourness, is earthy and vaguely hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and bright, medium bodied, and far from throat-scorchingly acidic (as sour beers sometimes tend to be).

Drinkability: So refreshing. So tasty and unique. Highly drinkable.

06-07-2007 12:20:42 | More by soulgrowl
Photo of OWSLEY069


4.33/5  rDev +8.3%

Poured into a Rodenbach glass a very deep amber, with a very nice white lacing on the glass. It has a sweet aroma and the taste is all about tartness and dark fuits, even so small. This is one of those special occasion beers, not an everyday kind of thing, even though it is fantastic.

06-01-2007 02:40:52 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of msubulldog25


4.1/5  rDev +2.5%

I'm surprised that I've not reviewed this beer before, which I've had on several occasions (most memorably at 't Oud Arsenaal in Antwerp). This time was a $4 small goblet-full at Stumptown on SW 3rd, Portland.

A: Not much to look at initially, a murky, chestnut brown pour without carbonation. Paper-thin wisps of head spiral around the glass, collecting in a thin ring around the edges. As the pour settles, this beer becomes more and more clear, eventually settling as a relatively clear amber with ruby-colored highlights.

S: Lightly sour cherry smell, some aged balsamic vinegar and a generous dash of sugar.

T: Sweet and sour at once. Dry cola/caramel syrup wrapped in a lightly sour/tartness. Cherry seems to dominate, with a little lemon tea and something like raw oak. It's pretty good, though lacks complexity in my opinion - I am reminded a bit too much of a Cherry Coke.

M: Nicely carbonated, clean and crisp without being fizzy. Body is light-medium.

D: Quite easy to drink, light in body, ABV, etc. Has a fresh, clean sweet/sour quality that makes it as good to drink on a warm day as a cool one. A nice apertif/digestif, too.

05-31-2007 00:48:24 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -1.3%

Pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights when held to light. The aroma is dominated by cherries with a candy sense to it. The taste is almost like a sweet wine with some malt characteristics. An interesting blend of cherry and grape flavor with a slight sweet malt presence. The beer is somewhat heavy due to the fruit bitterness. The bitterness definitely makes this one a sipper. This is a very unique brew, but nothing I'd seek out that often.

05-29-2007 01:18:04 | More by atsprings
Photo of ezpott


4.28/5  rDev +7%

Being my first venture with this style wasn't really prepared for what I got when I poured it into the glass. Poured a slightly reddish brown color. Light head with plenty of lacing. Smelled of Cherry and Raspberry with a back note of vinegar.Taste comes on first with a sour vinegary note that is not overpowering but definitely let's you know it's there. Smooths out after initial taste to reveal fruits of cherry and wood tones. Nice pleasant aftertaste that has more of a malt characteristic. Some nice carbonation and silky mouth feel. As I said first time trying this style but won't be the last. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

05-25-2007 00:47:25 | More by ezpott
Photo of dfried


4.33/5  rDev +8.3%

Dark brown in color with a lot of light brown and reddish hues, and some almost yellow at the bottom. 3cm off white head formed and lasted as a film thoughout the entire bottle. The aroma is sweet and candy-like, but bathed in sour. Plenty of fruity notes too, plums, dates, red grapes, even a vineous feel to it.

The taste again has plenty of sour up front, but a balanced, unoffensive amout. The tart, acidic sour combines with fruity notes to bring to mind raspberries and other brambles, and sour cherries. As the aftertaste settles in, a brown sugar and molasses malty body shows up. Fruity notes of plums and apple skins linger. Mouthfeel is sour and tingly, but not overly carbonated and fizzy. Light to medium bodied.

Overall: this was one of my first ventures into the style, and I loved it. I have had a few of the New Glarus beers made with souring yeasts, and this was atleast as good as them. I liked how the sourness remained balanced and let the other flavors shine when they were suposed to.

05-24-2007 19:33:25 | More by dfried
Photo of penguinjive7

New York

4.28/5  rDev +7%

Pours a dark amber with a bit of a white head. Good amount of lacing. Smell is of sour fruit and a bit vinous. Taste is tart to begin with but fades into sweetness leaving the slight vinegar taste behind. The finish is much smoother than the front and leaves a nice taste in the mouth. The carbonation is done well and complements the taste nicely.
Overall this is a very unique brew. The several stages in flavor lead to a nice complexity. I would not go out of my way to get this again, but it is definitely worth a try and I will again soon, I'm sure.

05-23-2007 06:50:22 | More by penguinjive7
Photo of mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

3.78/5  rDev -5.5%

Many thanks to cypressbob for this bottle... 250ml...

Poured a deep burgundy red colour with some rusty brown tinges... Creamy tan head poured pretty small then faded quickly to light ring around the edge... Decent amount of carbonation fizzes to the surface... Light lacing..

Aroma - Pretty strong sweet and sour notes, red wine / balsamic vinegar notes, soy sauce, salty, dried sour fruits (red grapes, raisins, cherries. oranges) some leathery / musty notes, light caramel / toffee malts, oaky, bready notes underneath, no real hops, light pepperiness...

Taste – Quite sour vinegariness, some rum notes, definite soy sauce hints, good oakiness, wine hints, light nuttiness, some sweet dark fruits underneath the sourness (prunes, cherries), some spicy / peppery traces, earthy, light toffee malts, some treacle notes..

Feel - Pretty smooth and creamy but with a little sharp bite underneath. Medium / full body... Pretty drinkable but could see this being too sickly after a while to drink too many in one sitting..

Overall - A pretty good Flanders Red.. Not quite up there with the Duchess de Bourgogne but certainly recommended...

05-22-2007 14:57:55 | More by mdagnew
Photo of Rudgers73

New York

3.53/5  rDev -11.8%

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.

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


4.33/5  rDev +8.3%

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.

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


4.15/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

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


3.15/5  rDev -21.3%

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.

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


4.43/5  rDev +10.8%

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.

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


3.9/5  rDev -2.5%

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.

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


4.78/5  rDev +19.5%

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.

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

South Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -3%

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.

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


3.35/5  rDev -16.3%

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.

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


3.78/5  rDev -5.5%

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.

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


3.63/5  rDev -9.3%

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.

03-19-2007 13:22:08 | More by ultralarry2006
Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,384 ratings.