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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,545 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,545
Reviews: 640
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 68
Gots: 133 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-04-2002

ABV varies 5.0-5.2% ABV
View: Beers (7) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,545 | Reviews: 640 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ek0nomik
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured In: Tulip Glass
Had At: Brasserie V (Madison, WI)

Stopped at the Brasserie after work to grab a few appetizers and a beer. Ended up having two beers, so not a bad night.

Appearance: This beer pours nice dark red color with a finger of head. This wasn't poured carefully, but it still only produced a finger of head. I don't mind though, I only like a finger of two of head on my pour. The lacing is practically non-existent, as the little drops that remain on the side of the glass slide back down into the beer that's sitting on the bottom.

Smell: The aroma is surprisingly maltly. There's some slightly toasted malt in the background here, as well as some sweeter notes as well. A nice blend of fruits present themselves, although I think I'll need some help from my palate to pick them up.

Taste: The palate first picks up some sour and tart notes from the production of the yeast. I was told at the Brasserie that this would be quite the sour beer, but it's really not. The sourness on the beer is well rounded, a little tart and acidic, but nothing extreme. I also pick up notes of fruit during the tasting, including plums, cherries and raspberries.

Mouthfeel: A medium bodied beer, a little on the thin side. The carbonation isn't high, as once the pour is over the effervescence is nearly non-existent. This goes down incredibly easy.

Drinkability: An incredibly drinkable beer. Sitting at 5% alcohol, a medium to thin body, notes of sour and tart, fruit and a little oak... well crafted.

Photo of tpd975
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to matta for this one.

A: Pours a very dark ruby red. The head is one finger in height with a creamy tan color. Pretty good retention for the style no lace.

S: Lots of cherry in the nose. Hints of tannic red wine, and light oak.

T: Lots of berry up front with tart cherry leading the way. Subtle notes of grapes and red wine. Not overly earthy or tannic though. Light notes of oak from the barrel.

M: On the lighter side of medium, lite on carbonation somewhat dry finish.

D: Good, a tasty easy drinking sour.

Photo of redneckchugger
3.67/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark brown bordering on auburn. Fizzy head.
Weaker nose than i expected. I get some balsamic, and a bit of fruit. not much else , but its nice, i like the subtly.
The palate is a bit less, its thin in flavor. Very one dimensional, i get the balsamic and a bit of cheery, but not in any kind of nuanced or developed way. Very disappointing.

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A ruby colored body with about a finger and a half of off-white head that has pretty good retention and leaves some lacing patterns on my glass.

Some malt in there, with a touch of oak, a touch of sourness and some cherries.

The flavor has lots of cherries with a little bit of a spiced character, but just a bit. The sweet malt in the backbone is quite noticeable, along with a fairly strong wood flavor. A nice tartness runs throughout, but it never becomes pronounced at any point.

Pretty light bodied, highly carbonated.

Overall, another good beer from Rodenbach. Considering the Grand Cru is a dollar more a bottle I might stick to that in the future.

Photo of Paisan
4.57/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A sour and a Belgian red.
It pours with a nice head, but this disappears almost immediately.
The smell is... complex; there is a lot going on there. There's plenty of dark and red fuits: cherries, plums, berries, also some vanilla, caramel, grapes. You can't help but make a comparison with wine, and it holds up really well; I'm inclined to agree this is a wine among the beers.
The taste is sour, but not overly, it has enough sweetness to make this most drinkable. If you're thirsty, get yourself a Rodenbach, it is most refreshing.

Photo of ShogoKawada
2.77/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

OK, I will post this disclaimer: sours are not my forte. I think I've had 1 or 2 before this one. Keep that in mind.

A- A murky brown with a minimal- scratch that- zero head. Deeper than I would have expected for a 'red' ale, but what do I know.

S- Like vinegar. Not appealing in the least. Really really foul.

T- While mildly sour, there is an intense fruitiness that really brings this one home. Dark berry fruit, along with mild coriander and a tartness that suggests this beer is complex beyond my comprehension.

M- sour, tart, pleasant, but strange. Wine-like, mild drying towards the end.

D- Moderate. Goes down easy, although I had no problems drinking this one I would want to put a good chunk of time between this session and my next one. Still, a good beer.

I will re-review this one once I gain a bit more perspective on the style. This is a handicapped review, but it will be good for going back on when I gain a wider breadth of knowledge.

Photo of drumrboy22
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750mL bottle into a Liefmans chalice. Beer was a dark reddish brown color, with a very small, light brown head. Light carbonation and lacing.

Aroma was vinegar, tart cherries, dark fruit, some caramel and oak.

Taste was tart cherries, vinegar, sweet malt and caramel, along with some oak notes.

Very well balanced and easy drinking. Fairly mild flanders red.

Photo of bobsy
3.77/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this one in a Brussels square with some friends.

Pours a nice russet brown with strong ruby highlights and a compact off-white head, that diminishes to a film and leaves a few spots of lace. Sour fruit aroma, mixed in with sweet vinegar, oak and spice. Upfront sour cherries and apples hit first, but the sourness is restrained and kept in check by a light sweetness. Oak adds some spicy complexity to the middle of the brew before vinegar begins to assert itself in the finish. Well balanced, with increased drinkability for keeping the sourness in line. Light, thirst quenching mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. An interesting beer - highly drinkable without being exceptional. Grand Cru light?

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, poured in a logoed glass, at Café Vlissinghe, 08.14.09.

Nose is softly sour and vinous with grape-like fruit and dark malt with a soft malty sweet-smell. Smells good.

Pours clear translucent deep copper with mild head. Looks good.

Flavor follows nose with soft sourness and mild tartness. Soft bitterness. Soft malt attack and dark grape-like fruit, some notes of bubblegum and artificial grape flavor. Midpalate of spicy yeast and mild alcohol, some peppery zest. Mouthwatering quench. Small burst of malic tartness. More dark malt to finish. Tastes good. Feels good. Pretty good drinkability.

Sour, dark, kind of sweet, and softly alcoholic.

Photo of Arbitrator
3.2/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Chilled 750mL into a glass. Purchased at Monument in Concord for $9.

A: Pours a murky amber-ruby blend with a couple of fingers of lightly-red-tinted, creamy head. Retention is short, resulting in a donut that leaves the occasional trail of lacing down the glass.

S: Vinegar, oak, tart dark cherries, and a hint of green apple.

T: Follows the nose well. It's fairly acetic with strong cherry tartness. Some pepper and tannins in the finish, and a slightly sour green apple pucker to it. It seems like a competent flavor, if slightly too acetic for my tastes -- but I've had better Flanders Reds.

M: The flavor builds up significantly. Carbonation isn't high enough to cleanse the palate, and the beer starts to wear on me partway through the bottle, with at least a full pour left. Needs to tone down the vinegar as well.

D: Not excited by this one. I've heard better things about the Grand Cru, so I guess that's what I'll pick up next time.

Photo of ckeegan04
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Murky reddish brown, very dark. Head is rather thin and off-white in color. Quickly fades to a thin ring around the glass.

S - Sweet and sour in the nose. Dark fruits, especially cherry and a little plum. A touch of oak and spice both come through as the beer warms. A little touch of balsamic vinegar as well.

T - Tart and acidic initially with a quick balancing sweetness. Lots of dark fruit and spices. Hints of vinegar. A clean earthiness lies underneath providing excellent balance throughout.

M/D - Smooth and on the drier side of things. Medium body with excellent carbonation levels. All of the flavors play off each other very well making this a very drinkable beer.

Photo of jsh420
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours dark brown with a 1+finger head that left spotted lacing

smells of sour and tart fruit - reminds me of a sangria

taste is not as sour as i thought it would be - it is more sweet then sour - finish has a good malt flavor that lingers on the tastebuds

mouthfeel is very light and not much carbonation that makes it very smooth

drinkability is very good - even though i split this 750ml i could have drank the whole thing

Photo of triptens
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml tasted side by side with the Grand Cru
08 Vintage

Appearance: Dark reddish brown with a thick white head that laces nicely.

Smell: Sour cherry with a hint of balsamic vinegar and caramel.

Taste: Tart cherry follows through, followed by the balsamic vinegar and some nutty almond characters.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a nice creaminess.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, the 375ml is not big enough. This compared to the Grand Cru is better. I think I will like the Grand Cru more with age, it needs atleast 2 years in bottle.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.45/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown pour with ruby highlights. Big head, but lacking in persistence.
Aroma has lots of sour funk with sweet cherries and raspberries. Smells more like a lambic than a Flanders red. Nowhere near as sour/acidic as the Grand Cru.
Flavour reinforces the similarity to a lambic: quite musty, lots of sweet raspberries, some acidic bite. Quite a tangy finish. Very refreshing but too sweet.
Very light mouthfeel.

Photo of berkey
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Allagash glass as it was the closest in appearance to the Rodenbach glass as I had in the cabinet. Opens with a small pop of a stubby cork. Pours a dense body a little more brown than other flemish reds but shows some strong red tones when held to light. Tiny khaki colored head dies quickly. No real lacing.

Aromas include sour and tart fruit including cherries and apples, oak, yeast, and some underlying vinegar but altogether pretty mild.

The acidic vinegar bite that was mild on the aroma is a little more assertive on first sip but still pretty mellow. Tartness still here but in balance. As it warms some funk finally starts to peek through.

Mouthfeel is always a little thin on these beers but while this is by no means thick it isn't too watery. Highly drinkable with the low ABV and mellow for the style flavor profile. Had no problem getting through the 750ml in a sitting.

Overall this beer is a great intro into the flavors this style brings while remaining unoffensive and approachable even for the first timer. Unfortunatley I tried Rodenbach Grand Cru before I got around to this one and fair or not
this one lacks a little in comparison.

Photo of Greenfloyd
4.97/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Finding Flanders Reds to be one of my favorite styles, if not THE favorite style of beer, I might be a little biased towards this offering. That being said, this one is the best of the bunch for me. In fact I'm requesting my casket to be a replica of one of Rodenbach's giant oak aging barrels. No rush though...

When I poured this into a medium sized tulip glass, it gave the appearance of an Amontillado sherry, with a wonderful auburn tint. The nose was of fresh cut, slightly un ripened green apple, and hints of oak. When I put this Flanders offering into a large snifter, I got much stronger woody tones from the nose, including traces of vanilla.

The taste emulated the nose, with tart green apple showing itself right away. The hop presence, as is traditional with this style, is obsolete, yet the beer maintains a remarkable balance with its subtle malty background. Trailing off with faint oaky echoes, this beer has a quick, yet complex finish.

The mouth feel of this beer is lighter bodied, but you don't feel like you are getting cheated out of substance. Fairly decent carbonation rounded out the experience. This beer has incredible drinkability. It is unbelievably refreshing, and a 750 of this could go alarmingly quick.

Truly an outstanding Belgian treat, this beer could be just as much "session" worthy as it is gourmet. If you pair a Rodenbach Classic with some Alaskan king crab, clarified butter, and a loaf of fresh bread, Bill Gates would not be able to top that (yes of course he probably could, but surely by now you get the point). I love everything about this beer. Enjoy

Photo of jrallen34
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I drank this from a bottle into a chalice at Delirium Cafe in Brussels.

This beer is half the man of the Grand Cru, if you can find either don't waste your time on this inferior red.

It pours dark red with a light tan head.

It smells and tastes sour, but way to sour.

Photo of Orangevango
4.12/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

The reddish brown beer produces a creamy head that is a strange greyish brown color. The head does not stick around. A nice tartness dominates the nose, it smells refreshing. Surprisingly, the flavor is not that puckering, The sourness is balanced nicely by a touch of sweetness. The mouthfeel is a slight let down, a bit oily and I would like a bit more carbonation. Drinkability is, however, very high. Yummy, very yummy. The bottles are tiny, less than nine oz.

Photo of roblowther
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a head that dissapears faster than my dogs at bath time. Smells of sour cherries, wood, and pepper. Has that distinctive worscestire smell of a Flanders red. Taste is tart, malty, and very, very smooth. Not too much of anything. Outstanding! Mouthfeel is slick but a touch thin. Drinkability is phenomenal. It goes down quickly. It's my new friend.

Photo of homebrewhawk
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked bottle served in a chalice. Bottle conditioned. Poured a dark copper with a quickly dissipating off white head. Lots of fruit in the aroma, mainly sour cherries. Not very carbonated, fairly light body. A little sweetness up front. Nice tart flavor with more fruit. Very drinkable. If you are new to the style, this would be a good starting point.

Photo of Cs1987
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark brown, almost opaque. 2 fingers of creamy head with excellent retention.

Smell - Pretty strong, mostly sweet and sour cherries.

Taste - This tastes so much like a kriek it's not funny. I was surprised to discover after drinking this that cherries are not used in the brewing process, and the sourness and fruitiness is created entirely by the Belgian yeast and oak barrel aging. I would describe it as moderately sour.

Mouthfeel - A bit thin for a Belgian ale. Low carbonation.

Drinkability - Pretty drinkable, considering the sourness.

Overall - I wouldn't normally choose a sour ale over a hoppy or malty one, but this certainly worth a try just to experience how a beer can taste so much like a kriek without using cherries.

Photo of CampusCrew
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy crap... This is my first sour ale. I had no idea what I was missing. Unsure how to rate it because I have nothing to compare it to.

appearance: beutiful red copperish color and the head retention faded fast

smell: sour candy fruit, grapes and cherries

taste: not extemelely sour enough to be balanced with the fruit taste. work of art!

mouthfeel: high carbonation and light

drinkability: very easy... I could session this at a nice dinner

Photo of goblet
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 250 ml bottle into a glass . i`ve had this beer a few times now so it`s time for a review.

appearance:it`s dark not transparent at all, a deep reddish brown hue with a thin tan foam head that reduces leave a coating. i can`t see any carbonation ,or lace.

smell: dry sour fruits like grapes and cherries,the aroma is alluring i get some malt but not much else.

taste:this is more on the sour grape side with a hint of cherries.the sour flavor is not as strong as the scent,it`s smooth like grape juice.

mouthfeel:of course besides the sour grape feel on the palate its got a slight bitterness and sweet cherry,sugar after taste .

drinkability:i like this beer ,its tasty and smooth the smell is bigger then the bite but don`t be turn of from this brew try it for yourself .

Photo of vacax
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Corked and caged 750 mL bottle.

A: Rich reddish brown. Not a large head but a gorgeous light tan one that sparkles along the sides of the glass. Beautiful in a glass.

S: Sour red berries mixed with a robust musty oakiness to them.

T: Tart fruitiness throughout, reminiscent of red wine and berries. Tart but not exactly sour accompanied with a feint background of musty oak. This would be a great starter sour, as it has a delicious flavor but is 75% fresh ale so the sour or funk is kept to low but definitely detectable levels. No sense of vinegar that some might be prone to taste in the Grand Cru. Not the most thrilling Flemish Red, but an exemplary brew with no obvious flaws.

M: Light to medium body with airy and fine carbonation.

D: Exceptional here. Everything that is good about a Flemish Red, but nothing in excess that might turn you off or lead to palate fatigue. A sour fan can easily drink this 750 mL bottle. The only problem is this is the only time I have ever seen it on shelves. About $1 less than the Grand Cru, but I never see either of these on the shelves. I recommend buying any Rodenbach bottles you see in the wild.

This is an excellent beer and benchmark to the style. There are other more sour/funky versions, but this is just a classic ale.

Photo of BierFan
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml corked bottle into a flute.

Light tan head. The body of the beer is a dark red. Smell and taste is, of course, headlined by the sourness of the ale. The aroma of the oak comes across better than I thought it would. The taste has a certain fruity quality, like raspberries and raw rhubarb.

Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
89 out of 100 based on 1,545 ratings.