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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 Ego

New Jersey

4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$5.99 @ Buy Rite in Edison, NJ for a 750ml.. they got about 15 cases in of this and the grand cru about 3 weeks ago... yum, glad to have a classic like this available a quarter mile down the street...

minimal head but great lacing, red as an irish girl's.. never mind, it's a beautiful amber almost purple at times hue, consistent glass to glass, solid

cherry flavored bubble yum bubble gum with a dark licorce edge, this smells like what the style says.. period, to me this is the standard of the style, call me biased...

pleasant sourness, like the smell the taste encompasses the style, there is enough to chew on, it is easy drinking and not super sour (like say a cantillon lambic). Considering this is beer, this is a friggin excellent brew imo, the sourness is just enough to want you have more (salivate a little) and the carbonation finishes the sip "wet"... tasty as hell, definite session beer for the right time of year. It is light enough to drink year round but as a meal starter or finisher when not in the mood for something intense.. go rodey ! The taste to me is spot on. Dead perfect. The mouthfeel is great paired with the right carbonation. Fantastic.

I love this beer, period. Is it worth an arm and a leg.. no. but if it is around at a reasonable price this is something to have out often. So well rounded it is mind boggling. This is one to enjoy rather than break out the science kit and analyze all night. A simple plate of mild cheeses like jack or even a nice cabot would go great with this.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2005 04:45:00 | More by Ego
Photo of weeare138


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

on draft at Monk's Cafe...
Appears a reddish brown with an ivory head and lots of retention. Tiny lacing speckles are left behind.
Smell is of the trademark Rodenbach funk yeast smelling almost like a fresh cut steak with some sour notes of vinegar and cherry mixed with a ton of sugar.
Taste is almost equal to the aroma, which truley defines this beer.
Mouthfeel is slightly watery with sweets and sours resounding.
I actually remember Rodenbach being a bit better the last go 'round in the States but maybe it's just me.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2005 15:53:37 | More by weeare138
Photo of BlastTyrant

New York

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

I was excited to finally find this and the Grand Cru in my area. This didn’t disappoint. Pours red-brown with a thick, luscious off-white head. Sour aroma full of sour cherries, grapes, cider, a touch of cider vinegar, and some barnyard funk. Perfect amount of tartness is tempered by a slight raisin sweetness. Some spiciness in the finish. I loved this beer, can’t wait for to try the Cru.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2005 20:37:44 | More by BlastTyrant
Photo of Dithyramb


3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Ale Mary's here in Baltimore in a Rodenbach chalice. Beautiful amber brown with a tan head that had some retention values. Great lacing, though. Tart, sour cherries on the nose.

Slightly acidic with sour fruit flavor. Once my mouth became used to the funky sourness, it really didn't have much body to it. Came off more of a one-trick pony, with no real finish to it. Finished dry and clean, though

The drinkability was a notch above. This was my first overly drinkable funkadelic red.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2005 03:17:31 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of AlexJ

North Carolina

4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep red mahogany pour with a fluffy off-white head.

Aromas of grape must, sour cherries, fruit, and a tart, almost wine-like characteristic.

Flavor is initially tart, leading into a slight cherry sweetness with lots of funky musty cellared flavors. Similar to Mestreech's in terms of it's overall flavor. Far less sweet than Dutchess. Not nearly as acidic and tart as La Folie.

Fluffy, airey mouthfeel with a soft texture and surprisingly good drinkability.

Thanks for sharing Gabe!

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2005 19:08:17 | More by AlexJ
Photo of clicheusername


4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the beer that made me learn to appreciate beer. Served in a Rodenbach glass.

It pours a deep, dark maroon/brown color, something between maple syrup and a good red wine, perhaps. High translucency. 2"+ thick, foamy head. Leaves fantastic laces as it recedes to a constant 1/4" cap.

Smells spicy, fruity... cherries, a bit of cinammon, crushed leaves in autumn. Fabulous.

But, woe is me, the first taste is of iron, or glass! This is not at all what I expected, given the other half-dozen Rodenbachs I've enjoyed in the past few weeks. I'll give the glass a few minutes to warm just a bit. In the meanwhile, a few bites of tandoori kip met indiase rijst (reminds me of Cincinnati-style chili, for some reason). Alright, back to the beer; I've loved it before, and I'm not going to give up on this one, goddammit! Okay, initial taste is rich, spicy, a bit of a tangy bite, lots of fruit/earthy undertones. But there's still a disturbing iron aftertaste. It's almost like someone accidentally dropped a horseshoe into the vat during this beer's 2-year creation. Still, by the end of the glass, the taste has smoothed out a lot, is even fuller, and the odd taste has virtually disappeared (I think this bottle sat in my crappy fridge for just a bit too long).

Mouthfeel is effervescent, light-to-medium body, thoroughly enjoyable.

Drinkability is phenomenal. This beer is just flat out sexy, in my opinion. After a week of all Belgian Blondes, Dubbels, Tripels, and Wits (all of which, of course, have their own strengths), this is a fresh taste, and certainly a beer that I plan on continuing to drink as regularly as possible.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2005 09:01:01 | More by clicheusername
Photo of kmcnair


4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought this while in Brussels from Beer Mania. Sampled from a 25cl bottle into my nifty new Alesmith Decadence glass. Pours a dark redish brown, has a garnet likeness, tops off with a light offwhite-tan head, doesn't leave much lacing on my glass. Aroma is quite the funk, smells of a barnyard backed up by sweet thick figgy malt and a hint of vinegar. Flavor is like figs and sour cherries, the scales sway back and forth between sour and sweet, slightly bitter and peppery spice. Quite a complex flavor profile going on here. Mouthfeel is crisp with carbonation that dances on the palate, medium to light coating and finishes with an astringent dryness. I like the Rodenbach, this is my second time trying it and I will surely try it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2005 05:26:30 | More by kmcnair
Photo of thefireman


4.68/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Listen, what can I add to what has been said? On draft at Monk's in a classic glass from the brewer. Reddish brown, almost opaque. Tastes sweet of cherries and/or raisons. Then tart. Hints of oak, tannic acid. Tart is the finish that sets this apart from every other experience. A home run as it were. Maybe not a session beer, but one I always look forward to at Monk's. This stuff is terriffic. Truely one of my favorites.

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2005 03:08:11 | More by thefireman
Photo of horndecker

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep plum colored brew, not cloudy but clear. A tan head flares with fine and clumpy lace. Beautiful.

The nose is tart and sour, cranberries, prominent oak, dark old fruit and something floral. It smells lambic but different.

The taste is different as well. A mineral wash of sour fruit starts it off. Cherries, cranberries, then a musty, vaguely metallic center, oaky and acidic, leading to a dry, tart finish.

Light yet mouthfilling, persistent carbonation, very refreshing. The beer world's answer to the kir royale. The end of each sip strips away all that went before, leaving you ready for the next sip or bite of food. I can certainly see salad or seafood with this. I had it with brunch, a nice feta cheese omellete, and it was perfect. A great and distinctive beer, deserving of it's reputation.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2005 03:46:54 | More by horndecker
Photo of santoslhalper


4.97/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearence: Pours a wonderful, clear red with a thin head that stays for a bit.

Smell: The smell is a wonderful mix of sourness, cherries, fruits, and bread. Well balanced and supremely complex.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is unreal. It's enough to bring me to my knees. Perfect balance, high complexity. The sourness hits your tongue first, followed shortly by and incredibly wonderful fruit flavor. It finishes smoothly, and about 10 seconds after swallowing an amazing bread flavor hits your mouth and lingers until the next sip. The mouthfeel is smooth and slick.

Drinkability and Overall: This beer is devilishly smooth, delicious, and drinkable. This is one I wish I had available to me all the time. My choice for a session beer. Thank you D's for bringing in this marvelous creation.

Serving type: growler

08-21-2005 18:17:19 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of eclectic

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Monk's

Poured into a Rodenbach glass. Red/Black color with minimal head, aromas of lactic sour and cherry. Tastes incredible, even smoother than the bottled version. Smooth and creamy, more drinkable than almost anything I can think of. Once again I am amazed at the caliber of this brew.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2005 00:40:45 | More by eclectic
Photo of jakester


4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at 3rd and Spruce Cafe in West Reading. 16oz. pint glass for $3!! (Happy hour)

Arrives a pretty darn clear deep dark red with hints of brown. A one finger light tan head of different sized bubbles. Drops to islands and a ring. Minimal lacing.

Smell is Belgian funky, sour cherries or raspberries, no discernable hop aroma which is appropriate for style.

The taste is dominated by intense sour fruit, more like cherries than raspberries. Really thirst quenching and refreshing tanginess on the tongue. Acidic but pleasant. There is no detectable bitterness, but with the sour, it doesn't matter. This is a sour beer, but not too sour, just delicious. Aftertaste is sour cherries.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin, effervescent, and yes, sour. No real sweetness until the finish.

This beer is highly recommended. It's probably not for everyone, but what a great representation of the style!

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2005 11:33:58 | More by jakester
Photo of cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330ml bottle, in Cafe Gollem, Amsterdam

Pours with a deep shimmering red body, tannish head with great retention, stays round all day and lots of lacing

Smell, fresh ripe fruit, tart acidicity, thick winey grapes

Taste, tart acidic cherries, sour and some nice fresh fruit. Very fresh tasting, very refreshing. Drinkability is off the scale, this is thee most drinkable beer i think i've ever had

An amazing beer, i could drink this all day, the archetypal flanders red. Just bought a case, i cant see it lasting too long. Also, dont serve it too cold


I had had an old label in the 'dam', but the new stuff maybe aint quite as good. Still a damn good red ale


Just sipping another in 2006, not as good as I recall. Tasty still but the flavours somehow seem muted

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2005 17:31:25 | More by cypressbob
Photo of vladtheimpaler

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tap at Andy's. Three glasses full with Slander and Mkobes (and Tony Forder for that matter). Seductive looking tulip glass. Burnt orange hugh, nice head on top. Not really clear. Rich soured apple and cherry aromas. Flavors are tart and malty. You can pick out apples and cherries in that sweet and sour combination of fruit and malt. Decent mouth feel. Tart finish. Drinkable to the max. A session beer with all the trimmings.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2005 16:04:40 | More by vladtheimpaler
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

4.97/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When Tommy @ Andy's Corner in Bogota sent out the e-mail with one day's notice that this would be on tap, there was no mistaking my showing up for a taste. What follows are the results of this extraordinary experience, one that my taste buds shall remember 'til the end of days.

Served in a Libbey's tulip glass (model #3715 for anyone who cares) nice and cold fresh from the keg.

Appearance- A reddish-brown mostly clear color with a tight, foamy head. Large bubbles popped and hissed amongst the soapy remains of the initial pour. Retention was nice for a Flanders Red.

Smell- Clean, fresh, pungent sour cherries with a full, deep follow-through. This was one of those "I can't stop smelling this beer" events, because it is not often that we get to experience this style so fresh. Sour turns to sweet as the beer slowly approaches cellar temperature. Outstanding.

Taste- Total refreshment. Totally thirst-quenching. This is the ideal summertime answer to that special brew that wakes up your taste buds... not like an IPA or kicked-up pilsner... but it satisfies your complete tongue and begs you to drink more. Sour cherries dominate, and they fade to a background of granny smith apples.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Perfect in every regard... slick and moderate, smooth and inviting. Everything about this makes me want to try one more sip, one more glass. Totally thirst-quenching and a feast for the senses, I am so happy to have sampled what might be perfection for this style. At $7 a glass, I didn't care... four went down the gullet inside of 3 hours, and when I tell you that I enjoyed and savored each taste, I mean it.

Serving type: on-tap

07-07-2005 04:12:01 | More by yelterdow
Photo of 99bottles


3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Monks, this came in its own glass and looked delicious. The beer has a deep ruby color with hues of brown, a head of foamy tan lace and a moderate amount of carbonation. The smell didn't really impress me, with a bit of a sour note that felt drowned out by rather flat malt and some residual carmel sweetness. The first sip was surprisingly smooth, without the sharp acidic bite I'm used to from this style. This instead has a sweet brown sugar flavor, mixed with some sour cherry and fruity esteric malt. I really wasn't amazed, and yet I still liked this quite a bit. I think it's worth trying in a bottle just to see if the flavor is more defined. In any case, not a bad offering especially if the sourness of this style is a turn off. A nice, balanced version with plenty of malt and sweetness to smooth the edges.

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2005 04:07:25 | More by 99bottles
Photo of joecast


4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a reddiesh brown color with light carbonatoin. minimal tan head laves only lace at the edge of the glass.
very distinct, tart aroma. i probably would have been put off by this (and have, by orval) earlier in my BA career. though, it is somewhat inviting now. has a candy sweetness that lends some balance.

difficult to define the taste. has some of the tart character from the aroma, but more subdued, and less sweetness. to be fair, any more sweet and it would be cloying so thats a good thing. nice finishing bitterness.

well, im surprised by how much i liked this beer. ive seen it in the shop quite a few times but always passed it up for something else. very happy i finally gave up the $8 for this bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2005 06:58:11 | More by joecast
Photo of GeoffFromSJ

New Jersey

4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had the immense pleasure of having this on-tap at Tria in Philly.

Rodenbach makes some of the most refreshing beers in the world. This will be my lawnmower beer.

Pours a ruby color with thick head. Was cloudy at least at first. I think I saw some brown in there.

Fruit (I believe cherries) in the smell and up front in the taste. Ends with some tartness. Not overwhelming Cantillon-esque tartness. But a tartness which makes this incredibly drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2005 13:35:35 | More by GeoffFromSJ
Photo of ppoitras


4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

250ml bottle obtained via trade with Jetsbeer. Date 03/08/05 on back of bottle. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/4" over the clear bright reddish amber brew. Lacing is is good, even though the head has faded to a bubbly film. Aroma is malty, yet funky and has sour tinges as well. Taste is pleasantly tart, with a reasonable malty body, and minimal funk, for better or worse. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth even considering it's tartness, and as such, drinkability for the styleis superb.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2005 02:05:58 | More by ppoitras
Photo of meathookjones


4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from a 25cl bottled with a date of 20/10/05 on the back. Pours out a dark reddish brown with a light tan head. Some lace was left around the glass. Aroma is mild, but notes of tart fruits and a slight mustiness are most evident. Cherries seem to be the only fruit I could really pick out. Flavor starts off with a sweet and tart fruitiness with mainly a cherry component. Some other sweet flavors are mingling about like caramel. Pretty interesting stuff, it balances the tartness with sweetness quite nicely. Finished with a lightly tart note. Mouthfeel is a bit bubbly and crisp. Pretty refreshing stuff. Great drinkability as well.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2005 12:43:49 | More by meathookjones
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A masterpiece, red and brown appearance, with the rich smell of a good wine and cherry. Sour cherry and sweet fruit simultaneously. A tad of other spice and is it the oak that brings this all together? A full mouth experience. Sure liked it a lot more than their Grand Cru. Just as good on-tap at Eulogy In May 2005.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2005 02:28:29 | More by Sammy
Photo of paterlodie


4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After drinking the grand cru last night, i tried a regular one today. Colour looks to be less dark but a great autum colour; no great head but a spectacular nose. Litle sour but lots of cherryfruit and overal more then plesant. Taste is full, litle sour, cherry and oak. Great beer however I think it's not what it used to be.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2004 14:48:00 | More by paterlodie
Photo of marburg


4.95/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Addendum) After having this fresh at the brewery in Belgium, sampling some bottles I brought back, and talking with some friends, I've come to the conclusion that either this beer's changed or, more likely, every sample I've ever loved has been aged. Drink this beer after it's a couple years old and it'll go from decent to spectacular. I'm knocking a tiny bit off the mouthfeel score because I'm unwilling to ignore my past experiences that indicate it's a prefect 5 -- but the current product lacks the living, breathing, lively sensation this beer can and should produce.

(Original Review: 11/02/2003) Rodenbach can simply do no wrong -- or if they can, they sure as hell keep it to themselves. Because their beers are simply exercises in perfection.

Poured from a 1.5L bottle and shared with some Detroit-area BAs and a buddy at Kuhnhenn's. There's something about these larger bottle sizes too, be it mental or physical, that makes for a more impressive brew. Impeccible character.

Mildly acerbic character underlies the entire aroma. Tart cherries blend in perfect harmony with chocolatey malts, very subtle raw herbal mint, and mild oaky vanilla. Earthy, deep, complex. As fantastic an aroma as one could hope to find on anything.

The acidity carries through to the palate. Refreshingly crisp despite the obvious estery fruit qualities. Woody and loaded with cherries and sweetness.

And let's be honest here: Do these beers, including this one, have any rival in terms of balance? A tasteful and elegant sweetness balanced perfectly with a light sour flavor. It's natural and carries a perfect understanding of flavor.

Drink one. Drink two. Drink three. Drink all night. This is a perfect beverage.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2004 03:26:56 | More by marburg
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle drank at le Cirio in Brussels: Poured a light red/brown colored beer with a nice head with better then average retention. Aroma is mostly dominated by the oak/cherry smell but not as strong as for the Grand Cru. Taste is surprisingly more refreshing then expected with again the oak/cherry taste and some light sweetness. The end is a bit sour and watery. This is not on par with the Grand Cru but it would wonderful to drink this during a hot summer days beside the pool.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2004 15:07:25 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of connecticutpoet


3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one was brown and cloudy, with almost no head.

The aroma was slightly skunky, but mostly of strong musty malt. Hints of fruitiness.

The taste was very fruity, hints of cherries and apples, sweet, pronounced malt, and red wine notes as well. It did seem a little thin for the taste though.

An interesting beer, worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2004 04:27:18 | More by connecticutpoet
Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,345 ratings.