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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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,449 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,449
Reviews: 626
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 67
Gots: 96 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website
Belgium

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: 1,449 | Reviews: 626 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of saintwarrick
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark blood red with a lacy white head. Aroma is lightly acidic with sour notes with some cherries and grapes in the mix. Taste lives up to the name as a very sour and tart, but fruity, taste overwhelms. Lots of wine-like taste in this brew without a sweet taste to offend the palate. Sour cherries are the first taste that comes to mind but the acidity and light fruitiness lends itself to more of a bitter orange with lip-smacking results.

Very tasty, an after dinner brew for me. This was my first try at a Flanders Red and it hit the expectations, but I need to expand my tastes in this variety so I can get a better grasp on this unique brew.

saintwarrick, Apr 17, 2008
Photo of Atron67
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

P- watch out for this when i undid the fastener to the cork, it immediately popped out due to the high carbonation.

A- pours a pretty dark brown with only light red hues through when held up to light, has a offwhite almost tan head,

S- soury smells throughout, light acetic but mainly sour. smells like what i was hopeing for

T- medium sour burst on the tongue, mixes well with the high carbonation, finishes with a light wheat flavor cleanly, more noticable acetic charachter

M- very light body, high carbonation, fades quickly on the tongue

D- pretty good, nice easy to get sour ale for a good fix

Atron67, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of BretSikkink
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color, but there are some light brown highlights, and a hint of a red color. I dropped the sentiment in without hesitation or remorse. Lots of almond foam and crunchy lacing. Yes.

Attractive but slightly pale aroma, tart and fruity as the style requires. Rather oaky, slightly sweet. More please.

The flavor I find tends to show me its acidic side rather than the focus on a chewy sour experience. There cherry-like flavor is there, the puckering is there, but not as strong or complex as in the standard-bearers of the style.

Certain amount of viscosity on the tongue that punches up the mouthfeel a hair, it's rather thin in the mouth, with a lot of carbonation, which both detracts from the flavor but adds something interesting to the mouthfeel.

I'm not in love. I much prefer the Grand Cru or a Duchesse. Still a tasty beer but if I'm going out of the way for the style, I'll look for others first.

BretSikkink, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of drperm
4.9/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle from the Hendersonville (NC) Food Co-Op....for $1.99/bottle!!

I'm stingy with my perfect 5's, so I opted for a 4.5 on Drinkability...after all, as another reviewer said, it's hard to drink more than one of these at a go, even with the 5.1% ABV.

It is, nevertheless, an absolutely glorious concoction. I have been a champion of the Duchesse de Bourgogne for some time, but after a head-to-head with Rodenbach, the Duchess has been dethroned.

Poured into an oversize Merlot goblet.

Appearance: The color of madeira (or, for you low-brow types, Dr. Pepper. :) ). Burnt russet-brown with a lovely light-tan lacing of head. Beautifully stunning in the glass.

Nose: An extensive bouquet -- wild grapes, sour cherries, vanilla, a hint of balsamic vinegar, cloves, cardamom, white pepper, deep, dark hops, sourdough yeast, fresh-cut hay, plums, and maple syrup.

Taste: Similar to the nose -- a yummy sweet and sour! Balsamic vinegar, apple, plum, scuppernong grapes, cherries, white pepper, maple syrup, cloves, and sourdough bread.

Mouth/palate: Sharp, dry, spritzy, smooth, and full-bodied.

This really puts the Duchesse to shame. Try with artisan cheese, grilled meats (duck), or even Chinese food.

drperm, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best By Date October 2006; Sampled March 2008
I am quite surprised by the best by date as I bought it newly distributed to AZ about a year ago. The beer pours with a frothy, initially two-finger thick, fairly quickly dissipating, darkish tan colored head. The beer is a deep, richly concentrated amber color, but shows a bright cranberry color when held up to the light. Faintly tart smelling as I visually inspect this beer, with a wisp of acetic acid to it. A deeper inspection of the aroma confirms the tartness, though there is lots of balancing caramelized malt notes to balance this out. Fruity aromatics of cherries and prunes are noticeable from time to time, though more in a supporting kind of role. Some drier malt notes contribute a light nuttiness as well as some biscuit like aromatics. Softer funk notes contribute a slight musty earth note, While not as powerful as its big brother, this beer's nose has a really nice complexity to it and the fruit character is can be quite rich if you spend an extended period smelling the nose.

Lightly tart, but with a balancing light sweetness that is matched up front. The sweetness dies a bit towards the finish (where the tartness takes over), but then picks up again to provide more balance to the light sourness in the long finish. Very light bodied, more so than I was expecting from this 5.1% abv beer; not watery, but it is darn near refreshing. A cherry like fruitiness is accented by a light acetic note that reminds me a bit of washed out balsamic vinegar. There seems to be a touch of woody tannins in the finish that coat the mouth a bit like black tea does. The malt / caramel character of this brew also adds some character; light toasty, bread flavors, a touch of sweet caramel and perhaps a hint of toffee.

As the beer warms up a bit and my palate gets used to it, the body picks up a touch more heft, though it is still down right quaffable. It also gets a bit more acetic, which is perfectly all right with me. The second pour of this was clear right up until the last drop, yet there was a dark, tightly compacted sediment layer on the bottom of the bottle of this pasteurized brew. I haven't had this for a long time, but this is much more interesting than I remember it being. I wonder if the fact that I have an out of date bottle has helped things. I need to try and get a fresh bottle of this to see if it is still this good. I really like how quaffable this brew is; finishing a 750ml bottle of this brew is just too easy.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Gueuzedude, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of callmemickey
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark maroon body... nice off white head which recedes to a nice film... good lacing..

D: MMM... cherries and apples oh my! Some nice oak like characteristics as well..

T: The sweet sour interplay really makes Flanders Red Ales work.. this beer has that going on well... dark cherries provide both elements and is balanced with the oak which was present in the nose...

M: Rich, medium bodied beer. Smooth on the tongue...

D: No matter how much i like the taste i can't get through more than one...

callmemickey, Mar 28, 2008
Photo of Beerzebub
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, served in a big wine glass at 55 F/ 13 C.

Red-brown with rusty orange highlights, small beige head, substantial lace in solid blotches.

Smells mainly of sweet ripe apple, with some sourness, a bit of vinegar, and a bit of wood. Something like pasta water, and something mineral like fresh shellfish. After several minutes, some oxidization is discernible.

Tastes medium sweet, medium sour, well balanced. Apple, pear, vinegar, minerals. The sourness builds a bit and becomes drying, but does not entirely swamp the sweetness. Some dry wood emerges, and finally, some mild oxidization like sherry and brown apples. Medium length finish of wood and oxidized brown apples, with minerals. The flavors are all a bit on the mild side, but the sum total is tasty and refreshing, and well balanced.

Smooth fine texture, and very drinkable.

Beerzebub, Mar 23, 2008
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
Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,449 ratings.