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

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

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,401 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,401
Reviews: 621
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 64
Gots: 89 | 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: 1,401 | Reviews: 621 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of laintringulis
4.68/5  rDev +17%

Served in a wide mouth goblet from Eulogy's in Philadelphia. Pours a dark cranberry color with thick foamy head that thins out quickly but laces nicely. Light body, medium carbonation.

Smells strongly of apple cider, with a sweet caramel smell and some spiciness.

Has an initial sour/tart apple taste with a pleasant dryness that turns more sweet with a caramel maltiness in the middle. It finished with a tart cherry like back taste and moderate dryness.

Very crisp and refreshing. For a light bodied beer this has an exceptional fullness to the mouthfeel without being oily or filmy. Easily sessionable. I could drink this stuff all day long. It has a really nice tie between the mouthfeel, complexity of tastes, and drinkability.

laintringulis, Jul 31, 2006
Photo of cbl2
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%

$5.79 750 mL 5.10% Best by 9/06.

Appearance:

Pours a brilliant deep red with thin tight carbonation that yields a minimal white head.

Aroma:

Acidic and tart with sour mashed cherries and a sweet raspberry aroma.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Like a lambic with no fruit added! This is fantastic, and refreshing with a palate cleansing acidic tartness that is imbued with a fresh cherry flavor that lingers as this one goes down. The low ABV makes this one easy to enjoy, and its overall uniqueness makes it a glory to behold.

Grab this one if you can get your hands on it, it is an excellent value. 75% fresh ale, 25% aged in oak.

cbl2, Jul 30, 2006
Photo of doppelmeup
4/5  rDev 0%

This was my first experience with a sour ale, so I wasn't sure how I would like it..

Cloudy, reddish brown color with a small head and minimal lacing served in a tulip glass.

Aromas of tart cherries, vinegar, pickles. Not overly strong and intriguing aromas.

This beer was more tart than sour tasting, similar to tart pie cherries. It was a little strange at first, but as I got accustomed to it, the flavor really grew on me. I shared the 750ml bottle with a friend, and he really liked the flavor, as did I.

(Edit: In pondering the flavor of this beer, I now know what the flavor reminded me of. It was similar to eating a piece of rhubarb pie, both tart and fruity at once.)

Clean crisp mouthfeel. Much lighter than expected. Not overly carbonated.

Easy to drink, but the flavor did take a bit of getting used to. I'd drink this again.

doppelmeup, Jul 23, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.72/5  rDev +18%

750 ML bottle screen printed and corked bottle with a new logo from the displayed above.

I have only had 3 Flanders Reds but I have decided it is my current favorite style and I am going to seek out as many of these as I can find. I love the teeter-totting from sweet to tart and the berry bite in the end wow. I did enjoy this beer more than the Grand Cru but not quite as much as the Duchess De Bourgogne.

Suggestion: Let this warm signifcants on the counter before opening. It really mellows. Also take your time; start before it has reached room temp and re-cork (if you have a 750 ML) and try a small flute again and again as it warms. Absolutly *fasinating* the flavors that continue to come out, especially the coco.

Appearance: Pours a dark raspberry brown/copper color that does not let the light through the body but looks lighter around the edges. It had a small light brown head that fades to a spotty frothy cap and descent lacing.

Smell: Raspberries, cherry, brown sugar a hint of smoked barrel wood fill the nose and send my taste buds in a frenzy of anticipation i.e. salivation.

Taste: Sour, with wine like attributes it is cherry with a hint of coco and a flood of brown sugar it slides smoothly and is somewhat nonchalant the way sneaks through the fist part of palate without causing much ruckus; then, all of the sudden it erupts with flavors of berries and spices that that are simply exceptional. As it warms there are hint of coca and nuts and oak along with the sour cherries. It is similar to the Lambics that I have had in acidity and bite. The aftertaste lingers forever! mmm.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is very nice. I do not have much within the style to compare it to yet but it is extremely active and poking and prodding the palate while dancing around with great energy on the taste buds. That said the carbonation is not as crazy as the Grand Cru was, which I personally prefer. It was a little rough on the swallow sometimes with the acidity but overall, very nice in the mouth.

Drinkability: I hardly know what to say. Typically I would not consider a sour beer sessionable but maybe I am converting to a new way of thinking; this beer was so east to drink it was hard to believe. I won’t quite give it a 5.0 but it’s a really close call wow. I think it’s that amazing aftertaste that just keeps this beer cruising down the hatch =)

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Phatz, Jul 16, 2006
Photo of MSchae1017
4.4/5  rDev +10%

This beer was tasted from the 750mL Bottle in a tulip glass.

This beer pours deep mahogany with a fluffy off white head, nice lacing and retention. The smell is woody and sour/tart vinous fruits. The taste reminds me first of a gueze or a lambic but not quite as sour/tart. There is also a slightly preceptable flavor of woodiness. The mouthfeel has a strong body without being overwhelming. The carbonation is also nice. There is also a nice amount of dryness. Overall, highly drinkable, a lovely beer. A great one to mix it up with for something a little different.

MSchae1017, Jul 13, 2006
Photo of Imstillthegman
2.68/5  rDev -33%

My first dive into "sour" ales. Poured a dark reddish-brown with a tan head that left some lacing behind. The smell is unlike any other beer I have had. Sour vinegar with some dark fruits and a sweeter bubble gum like scent. The taste is ... wow ... sour! I know I should have expected it but it hit me hard. It's like someone stuffed some cherries into a bottle of apple cider vinegar. This may be true to style but it's not for me. I gave it a 3 because I am assuming that is how it should taste. Well...it was an interesting experience for sure, but I had to feed this one to the sink.

Imstillthegman, Jun 25, 2006
Photo of nlmartin
4.53/5  rDev +13.3%

I had this beer several times at Eulogy in Philly. This beer was served in a chalice.

Appearance: The beer has a nearly crimson coloration. The head was a pink foam on the beer. The head had almost no retention.

Smell: The beer has a very dominate and pleasing sour cherry smell. The beer has a bit of spicyness funkyness splashing about the beer.

Taste: The beer has a lead in of tart cherry fruityness. The beer has a bit of funky spicyness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a light body. The beer has a very crisp and refreshing mouthfeel. This beer is a definate thirst quencher. I will definately be partaking of Rodenbach again. This is just a very solid sessionable beer.

nlmartin, Jun 23, 2006
Photo of cjgator3
4.68/5  rDev +17%

Pours a very dark red color with a tan head. Smell is tart and sour cherries. Taste is surprisingly crisp and refreshing! Sour and tart fruit dominate the taste that finishes incredibly dry and crisp. This brew has an extremely high drinkability. Even though I recommend the Rodenbach Grand Cru slightly higher, this is an absolutely wonderful brew.

cjgator3, Jun 23, 2006
Photo of Bierschenker
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

The colour is brownish red with a lot of carbonation running through. The grey brown head is very firm. It is thick and creamy. It doesn’t disappear, but forms a nice cover.
The odour is very strong and unique. A wood like odour, barrel like. And an overpowering sour odour, finishing with rich hops.
Taste combines a subtle sourness with hops and a wood/nut taste.
Aftertaste is more bitter sour. Hop and malt linger in the mouth. Dry sticky feel in the back of the mouth.

This is a great beer, one of my favourite ones. Very strong taste and rich in aroma.

Ut Vivat, Crescat, Floreat!

Bierschenker, Jun 08, 2006
Photo of EPICAC
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%

I purchased a 750 mL bottle of Rodenbach several months ago. It's been sitting in my "cellar" ever since (note: my cellar is a cabinet in the living room). After having the Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek at The Belgian Room in NY this weekend I was in the mood for another sour beer. I lightly chilled this and served it in one of my New Belgium snifters.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy dark ruby, with a very persistent foamy beige head that leaves patchy lace around the glass.

Smell: Aroma is fruity and sharp. Notes of sour cherries are evident above a sharp vinegary base. Upon swirling the sharp aromas give way to sweeter fruity aromas.

Taste: A sharp sour flavor greets the taste buds, which mellows to an acidic fruitiness in the center. The finish is sour with light residual sweetness poking through, along with a light bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation, light-bodied with a refreshing dryness.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable for the style, the dryness is very refreshing.

Overall: My only complaint is that this beer could be a little more sour.

EPICAC, May 31, 2006
Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.48/5  rDev +12%

75 cl bottle, caged and corked.

Clear burgundy/brown in color with a small tan froth that laces.

Very heady nose with this beer: oak, vanilla, stinky cheese, barnyard, sugary note, vinegar, bubble gum.

Medium-light body with lively carbonation. Sour acidity is bracing, initially like unripe cherry, then more acidic like a Spanish olive. A slightly roasty malt flavor fades to an oaken sweetness. Vanilla and pipe tobacco notes. Tartness becomes lemony as the beer warms. A sweetness covers the top of the tongue.

I'm glad Palm started importing. Super complex, refreshing, and fun.

Shultzerdugen, May 22, 2006
Photo of k75
4.83/5  rDev +20.8%

amazing garnet red color, nice tight bubbles, off white head

big nose of tart, vinuous, acidic - like a vintage balsamic

smooth mouthfeel, medium body , big big flavors that get much better as it warms up

complex flavors of balsamic and tart fruit

not more than one glass, but very impressive

k75, May 12, 2006
Photo of Budlum
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%

Poured from a 750 mL bottle in to a goblet. A somewhat firm, tan head that dissipates in about two minutes leaving nice lacing throughout the drink. Colors are light brown, almost cloudy with plenty of red hues. A goblet with a smaller diameter would show more of the red characteristics.

The aromas are immediately floral. Sour apples, fresh raspberries, hints of passion fruits and a slight hefeweiss yeast smell. Hyacynthe in the mix as well?

The flavors are noticeably tart, as expected. However, the tartness never becomes overwhelming. Fresh sour fruits, hints of juniper and sweet raisins as it warms. Light in body yet powerful in flavor. A slight saltiness as well as vanilla tones can be found in the finish. There is no presence of alcohol as epected from the low ABV.

Incredible mouthfeel with plenty of effervesence. A great balance of complexity and a classic representation of the style.

I've had this on draft a few times and noticed that tartness was much more apparent. I should also note that the bottle reviewed has been maturing for about four months. Earlier samples from the case had increased tartness but the same characteristics elsewhere.

For muggy summer evenings, forget the IPA's and wheat beers. This is the one! Very refreshing and ridiculously drinkable.

Budlum, May 07, 2006
Photo of Sycodrummer
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%

Poured from the 750ml corked and caged bottle into a tulip glass the beer was a dark ruby color with two-fingers of head and a high degree of bubbly carbonation.

The smell is soft fruit, spice, malt, berry, and orange.

The innitial taste is a sharp acidic sourness that puckers in the inside of the mouth. Tartness and citrus flavors flow free and a slight raspberry (and just berry ) in general taste. Cherries and a mild malty background tatse are all there. Very crisp in the finish and sour the whole way.

Medium-light body with a high amount of carbonation.

I am beginning to love these sour and tart beers especially in the warmer weather. This one is super drinkable, quenching, and enjoyable. I will be back to this throughout the summer.

Sycodrummer, May 04, 2006
Photo of Boilermaker88
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

I finally managed to get my hands on what seems to be widely regarded as the premiere Flanders Red Ale, at least based on what I've gleaned from BA. I spotted this (and the Grand Cru, which I also bought) at Harry's Wine & Liquor in Fairfield, CT. Glassware used was a flute.
Appearance: has a dried, or drying, blood color - rather brownish-red - and had a generous amount of carbonation that produced a thick, long-lasting light tan head. Thick rings of lace marked each pull and the downward progression of the beer in the glass.
Smell: immediate sweet/tart aroma and sour cherry note, though not as strong as anticipated. Yeasty funkiness. Light oaken woodiness. Vague notion of vinegar adds a sharpness. Nice.
Taste: *shudder* ohh boy, that's good! Softly acidic and lushly creamy, sweet/sour cherry flavor. Hints of cocoa and caramel smooth out what could otherwise be a near-lambic tartness. Oak tannins and the musty, dusty, yeasty leathery flavor adds a breadth of complexity that's simply exquisite.
Feel: light yet round and creamy with a dry finish that sucks all the moisture from the tongue.
Drinkability: unbelieveably drinkable; you just want to keep going back to the well with this one. Undeniably a stunning example of the style. Worth every penny and a beer I will constantly be on the lookout for from now on.

Boilermaker88, Apr 24, 2006
Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.88/5  rDev -3%

I had the opportunity to taste this the other day. I started exploring the Rodenbach offerings with the grand cru and finally this beer. I think I prefer this one more than the grand cru.
A - Ruby red with a base brown body. I think the beer was served to warm, it was very foamy!!
S - Sour cherries. No surprises in the smell.
T - Tart sourness balanced by a good malt base. Hints of cherry underly but really this beer is about the tart / sour experience. Not as malty as the grand cru which I think makes for a better experience.
M - very involving, medium bodied brew.
D - a nice beer, probably best shared at the 750ml level with friends.

A nice example of the style and worth trying if you would like to sample a Flanders Red Ale.

barleywinebrewer, Apr 21, 2006
Photo of bruachan
4.28/5  rDev +7%

mmm. on tap at the winking lizard. it's a tour beer too

reddish amber color, with a foamy collar. nice color but the head isn't super. it's got a sour fruity aroma. i'd say cranberry is the fruit i detect most strongly. the sour character is even more distinct than the aroma. the fruit is less distinct than in the grand cru, which i prefer, but this is nice too

bruachan, Apr 08, 2006
Photo of BadBadger
4.28/5  rDev +7%

A very nice example of a Flanders Red Ale. Pours from the growler as a very dark brown, verging on red, color. There is a brief white foamy head. The smell is sour (thinking apples here), and plesantly so. The taste grows on you with each sip, being rather sour. The carbonation brings the sour taste up to the palate very nicely. A good brew worth giving a try, if the opportunity presents. This would go very nicely with a big Thanksgiving meal revolving around Turkey. Find it and enjoy!

BadBadger, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of RoyalT
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%

Appearance – This Red Ale is really more brown, but it’s a reddish kind of brown, if that’s not pushing it too much. The head was modest and didn’t stay around long, which is typical of the style so I won’t hold that against this fella’.

Smell – The nose is a moderate combination of sour, almost mashy kind of malts like from a sour mash whisky and some nice, sweet, sour fruits. I know I just used the word “sour” a few times but really it’s not that soury.

Taste – The sourness is laid back and not the kind that hurts your teeth. I’m actually drinking this from a 750 ml and will have no problem draining this on my own. The fruits are mostly cherry and white grape and the malts are bigger than you usually find with the style. It’s a nice combination conducive to a good sour session, helped along by the mixture of an oak-aged blend..

Mouthfeel – This falls short of medium-bodied by quite a bit. The carbonation is modest and a nice relief from other samples of the style. I mean, with the sourness of a FRA going on in your mouth a carb bomb is just a little much.

Drinkability – One of the more sessionable sour ales that I’ve had. The obvious high quality of the ingredients makes this a pleasure to drink, and the “25% ale aged in oak” infusion makes this a smooth drinker.

RoyalT, Mar 29, 2006
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%

Sampled on-tap at Redbones.

This ale poured a deep, red-brown color with creamy, tan foam that settled but clung to the glass and left a bit of lacing. The smell was tart and a little wild with some lactic overtones. The aroma faded as the glass sat. The taste was tart and lactic with flavors of sour cherries and a hint of sweetness. There was mild maltiness beneath the tartness, and a faint hint of cinnamon or spices. The mouthfeel was tart and fruity with medium body and good carbonation. This was a very nice beer: not too tart and leaving you wanting more.

UncleJimbo, Mar 20, 2006
Photo of sabrills70
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%

750 ml brown bottle with best before date of 3/6/06. Pours a medium dark brown with some red hues. 2 finger head, OK longevity and prety good lace. Smells fruity, sour and wine like. Tasty. Sour and fruity again with some wine like qualities, but definate malt presence. Dry and crisp. Not as "big" as the Grand Cru and easier drinking. Carbonation is fairly high. Not as flavorful, rich or smooth as its big brother but those lesser qaulities make it easier drinking and still a tasty beer.

sabrills70, Mar 20, 2006
Photo of VoodooBrew
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%

The tame version of its big brother, the Grand Cru, this golden-brown beer starts off with a distinctly tart aroma that includes crabapple. Big-time sweet/sour acidity takes hold of the palate. It's like drinking sour candy. Wow. This tartness, while intense, stays just on the safe side of mouth-puckering. I think this was my first Flanders Red Ale. As such, it was a unique and eye-opening experience.

VoodooBrew, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of dogfooddog
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%

750ml of this beer, served around 50F. Very large 50% head in glass. Odor is mildly sour, with just a hint of the green woodiness I have found in the 750ml bottlings of the rodenbach products as well as duchesse de borgoune.

This beer is a great thrist-quencher. The sourness at this age and blend is fairly subtle and understated. The alcohol is not really visible and you could almost drink this like a lemonade. I prefer the more complex grand cru to this but it is a very refreshing beer.

Aftertaste is mildly sour with some woody notes - stays in the nose for minutes afterwards. This beer is probably mild enough for npeople not accustomed to flemish reds to easily drink it.

dogfooddog, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of allengarvin
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%

Ah, Rodenbach. It's been about 8 years since I last got a hold of any of this. 750ml bottle, served into a tall chalice. Lovely reddish-brown color with a solid finger of foam atop it. Aroma is particular appetizing: sharp, coppery scent with sweet malt and a lot of fruitiness. Complex mix of flavors: tangy fruit (unripe grape, or green apple), smooth very very lightly caramel malt, a little spicy, slightly metallic taste at the back of the tongue. Finish is particularly tart and vinous. Beautifully smooth texture with unusual amount of tannic mouthfeel.

This is definitely a "Desert Island" beer, one of the very great beers one should always have around. Yet it's so hard to find in parts of the US.

allengarvin, Mar 10, 2006
Photo of JMD71
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%

This had a nice winey aroma with a good solid head when poured. It had a wonderful sour flavor in the Flemish style with hints of black cherries. I also taste some metallic hints, but did not detract from the flavor at all. This was very crisp & clean in the finish. Good carbonation led this to be very drinkable & quenching. I would definitely get this again, but the price makes it slightly prohibitive.

JMD71, Mar 06, 2006
Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,401 ratings.