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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

1,441 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,441
Reviews: 627
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 67
Gots: 95 | 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: 1,441 | Reviews: 627 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of icemonkey908
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

icemonkey908, May 02, 2007
Photo of Mitchster
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Mitchster, Apr 28, 2007
Photo of techdiver
4.78/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 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.

techdiver, Apr 25, 2007
Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

mikesgroove, Apr 10, 2007
Photo of Illinick
3.35/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 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.

Illinick, Apr 07, 2007
Photo of GPHarris
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

GPHarris, Mar 30, 2007
Photo of ultralarry2006
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

ultralarry2006, Mar 19, 2007
Photo of jwc215
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark caramel with a thick head that descends to a thin, lasting head. Some vanishing lace sticks to glass.

The smell is sour and fruity.

The taste is sour, tart passion fruitiness. Oak, and a touch of iron come through. The sour is sharp at first, but becomes mellow and smooth in the finish.

The body is medium, but with a touch of thinness.

This is a beer that is put together pretty well. It's worth having for its unique character, and fairly easy to drink.

jwc215, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of DaveFL1976
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The cage is untied and.... POP!
The cork rockets out of the bottle, cage in tow, and slams to my kitchen ceiling, slightly cracking the plastic diffuser of my kitchen's light bulb. This beer's off to an interesting start.
I reach down to pick up the cork and catch of waft of funkyness. Oh, this is a really interesting start.

Pour the beer into my chimay goblet and take note of a crysta lclear deep cherry red body topped with a fluffy tan head.

The nose has a bit of sharpness to it, and tart fruity tones, like cherries. Really nice and crisp smell.

But the taste was a bit of a letdown. It's sour at the start, and it's nice. Then a wave of cherries fill the palate, but what's left is a metallic aftertaste that tastes a bit like I've sucked on a penny.

Mouthfeel is deceptively light due to the high carbonation, and drinkability is..ehh.

DaveFL1976, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Reddish with a brown tint. Large head with impressive retention. Not really any lacing there.

S - A bit of yeasty fruit - cherries mostly. Slight maltiness, but it is dwarfed by the cherries.

T - Cherries, very sour cherries. The aftertaste is a lingering sour cherry . . . not a touch of sweetness. A faint slightly fruity bitterness in the aftertaste. Quite good.

M - Smooth, thin, very refreshing.

D - Great. I actually ordered two of these in a row because they were so good. I won't hesitate to have this again.

mrasskicktastic, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of alexskovan
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy red amber with a light tan head that slowly dropped to a half-inch and stayed. Aroma was crisply sour, sour milk and cherry, pungent but clean. Taste is acidic fruit with malty undertones and a chewy finish. Tastes like another! (If only it wasn't so damn expensive. . . )

alexskovan, Jan 23, 2007
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was really looking forward to cracking open this classic, and was not disappointed. If you like sour (as I do!), then this is the beer for you!

Appearance was reddish with fairly little white head, and appealing.

Aroma is sour, sour, sour, as is the flavor. Taste was a bit like good vinegar, and distinctly sour. As it warmed, it was very wine-y, like a chardonnay.

Mouthfeel and drinkability were both good. Thus far, the highlight of my beer drinking day.

BeerBelcher, Jan 20, 2007
Photo of tempest
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the BXL Cafe in NYC.

Funk, yet refined this was a great beer to try. Not overwhelming like a few lambics I've tried, but still nothing a great example of the style. The wood character was evident along with very tart cherries, grapes and apples. Flavor was subdued at first until the beer warmed up. Reminds me of La Folie with a bit more fruit but not as rich in flavor.

tempest, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of Cresant
4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this 750 mL brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip. The semi-opaque body was a dull brown/red leather color. The modest head faded quickly, falling to a ring and island of foam. The beer cleared some and subsequent pours darkened some. The head was the color of old tanned newspaper.

Smell was vinegar up front. Complex and changing throughout the drink. Sweet grape kool-aid (citric acid?), fresh currants. More vinous toward the end of the bottle.

Taste was stone-fruits. Cherry, peaches. A pleasant tart bit and an acidic dry finish. Richer toward the end of the bottle. Refreshing and interesting. Flavors reflected the aroma.

Mouthfeel was very zesty at the beginning and smoothed way out toward the end as it warmed. Medium to light bodied. I would love to drink this one again in the future.

Cresant, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of norwichboy
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance more brown but with a red tinge. Good head and lacing. Utterly amazing aromas with sour cherries and chocolate (Cherry Ripe), some marzipan in there as well. To taste, very tart and sour. Mouthfeel is somewhat watery, but perfect tingly fine carbonation.

norwichboy, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of strangefate
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle.

Pours a dark red-brown with a nice head that dissipates quickly. The smell is very fruity. Taste is similar - very fruity with a sweet taste up front and then a nice sour bite that's not overwhelming. The sourness and carbonation provides a great mouthfeel and feeling on your tongue. The fruitiness of this beer makes it almost like a sour carbonated wine.

strangefate, Dec 26, 2006
Photo of plaztikjezuz
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i'm not that big on sour beers but this one was pretty good.
it poured a deep coppery with hints of reddish flecks when the light shown through the glass, not much of a head but it was present the entire time i consumed the brew.
the aroma is soury, bit of apple cider vinager, maybe a has the pleasent properties of a good steak marenade.
the flaovr is pretty rich and complex, malty yet not to heavy, just enough sweetness to off set the sour, fruity and applilish, sour and sharp but not over the edge. i think this beer would go well with a good beligian mussles.

plaztikjezuz, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of Damian
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank from an 8.45 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Liquor World, Somerville, MA

Poured a glowing orangey, amber-brown with a two-finger, fizzy, light tan head. The head faded to swirls of lace with a thick ring along the edge of the glass. Initially, there were many drippy patches of lacing.

Aroma was bold and sharp. Yeasty, sour (sour cherries) and dry like a champagne, with some woodiness in the background.

Taste was similar to a champagne if it were made from cherries. Fruity and a bit sweet on the front end. Apples were noticeable. As the beer moved along the palate, the sourness became more apparent. Very tart and somewhat fruity on the back end (sour cherries and raspberries) with a noticeable oakiness. Absolutely no aftertaste (or hops for that matter).

Mouthfeel was light, crisp, spritzy and a touch creamy.

While this beer might be somewhat harsh on its own, it is a nice appetizing beer that would go well with rich, creamy cheeses and sourdough bread.

Damian, Dec 07, 2006
Photo of jokelahoma
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a cheap stemmed wine glass in a Residence Inn in Ft. Myers, Florida.

Pours a murky, semi-cloudy deep copper-brown, with just the slightest hint of head forming a tiny little foam cap.

The aroma is quite sour and fruity. Sort of like Sweet/Tarts soaked in red wine. There is a hint of malt sweetness here, and the subtle underlying Belgian bready, "horse blanket funk" that I've come to love. Mostly, though, you get the sour apple, sour cherry, sour grape, even sour watermelon scent.

Taste is a little disappointing at first, but perhaps I'm drinking this too cold (it's only been out of the fridge in this hotel room for about 10 minutes). The initial impression is that the sourness is almost all there is. There's no "bite" other than the sour nature of the beer itself. Not terribly acidic, in my opinion, not sweet, not hoppy... just sour, with a faint vinegar-like flavor. I know my words make it sound bad, or spoiled, but it isn't. This really isn't a bad beer. Just not what I was hoping to find within the bottle. I'll let it rest a few minutes, warm up a bit, then try it again.

After another 10 minutes or so, it's not changed much. It's good, quite good, but not what the smell leads you to believe it will be. The malt just runs and hides, leaving the sourness and a faint hint of fruit to keep you company. It really does take on a wine-like character, since it's missing the balancing grainy sweetness I'd so hoped to find.

The mouthfeel is pretty thin, which for the style is perfectly acceptable.

Overall, this is very, very easy to drink, especially if you like the sour styles. Me, I'm a big fan of Flanders Red, Berliner Weiss, etc. This drinkability, however, comes at the expense of character. After all, water is pretty high on the drinkability list too. This one isn't devoid of character by any means, but it could be so much more. Many other examples of intentionally sour beers are out there, and many are better than this. This is mild enough, in fact, that I'd say it would be a great beer to introduce others to the style, before moving on to sour brews with more "oomph". Good, and recommended, but could have been so much more.

jokelahoma, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of Grundle20
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance:
Looks just like a coke when poured in to a snifter, same color, same soda like head.

Smell:
There's a lot of sour fruit smell. There's underlying Belgian funk and earthiness but that is dominated by the tart fruit notes.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
A plethora of fermented or sour fruit notes build this beer. I taste fermented apple, sour cherries, and sour grapes for the most part. The beer lies flat on my pallette and drinks smooth with minor tart bites throughout the taste. There's a funky Belgian aftertaste but it was to be expected.

Drinkability:
It tastes good enough given it's style, but that's just the thing. I don't know many people who just sit around drinking flanders red. A good beer for occassions and the off craving, but hardly a beer I would want more than a few times a year.

Bottom Line:
A good showing for a flanders red and if you're in to the style you would probably love it. Avoid if you aren't in to the whole sour fruit beer scene.

Grundle20, Nov 28, 2006
Photo of dherling
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a dark cranberry color with thick foamy head that thins out quickly but laces nicely. The nose smells strongly of cider, with caramel and spiciness. The taste has an initial sour apple flavor with a dryness that turns into sweet caramel maltiness in the middle. It finished with a sour cherry like taste and moderate dryness. The mouthfeel is very crisp and refreshing. Light body, medium carbonation.

dherling, Nov 27, 2006
Photo of Nesued
4.38/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml brown bottle. No label as shown in the picture, however all of the information is present via inked onto the bottle glass.

Appearance - A reviewer previously mentioned "iced tea", yep, that does indeed best describe the color. Very, very slight haze otherwise clear in color. Carbonation was present but did not last long at all. A bit of lacing after the fade, with a small ring head remaining. A very fine carbonation feeding the remaining head.

Smell - Acetic acid, plain and simple as the main aroma. Very fruity and traces of apple. Very fresh and inviting due to the crisp smell that captures your nose and won't let go.

Taste - Striking if unprepared, in a true Flemmish sour sense the sour taste comes shining through. Very dry, very sour, very good. Not a shred of bitterness, just a nice sour, tart taste. I do feel a bit of the smoothness of the oak, but not much.

Mouthfeel - Crisp and clean. The carbonation just runs this little number around your mouth filling you with an outstanding feel. I would highly recommend drinking this beer at room temp as it brings out a lot more of the basic tones and feel.

Drinkability - Wow. I want more of this. The suprising feature of this beer is the low alcohol content. This makes for a beer that would pair well with a nice steak to be savored over the meal. I would highly recommend this beer as an excellent representation of the style.

Nesued, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky raspberry iced tea. The beer was clear initially, but since the bottle is so small, I was able to get the entire contents into the glass with one pour, including the sentiment. Atop the liquid is a splendid looking crown of almond colored foam that sports a rough hewn surface and is substantial enough to hang around for a bit. Thick bands of pocked lace are a bonus. I'm impressed so far and I haven't even smelled it yet.

The nose is solid, even if it fails to 'wow' me as much as the appearance. It's tart and fruity and acetic acid-like and oaky and all the things that Flanders red ales are known for. It's a perfect example of the style, if not quite the standard bearer. If I was to nitpick, I'd ask for more intensity and more complexity.

My first impression is that I'm not quite as impressed as I was with the much less-heralded Mestreechs Aajt and Monk's Flemish Sour Red. Rodenbach is intense, but it's more intensely acidic than it is intensely flavorful or intensely sour. The flavor profile is another step down from the nose in terms of (a lack of) complexity.

According to the label, the beer is 75% fresh and 25% aged in oak. Even though I can appreciate the wood, more would nice. This beer needs more of quite a few things in fact. Again, it's a faithful version, just not a stellar one according to my taste buds. I had originally thought that the 250 ml bottle would be way too small, but it's turning out to be just about about right.

There's very little wrong with the mouthfeel from where I sit. By the same token, it doesn't distinguish itself either. It's on the thin side with the exception of a nod toward lightly viscous on the finish. A generous amount of fine-bubbled carbonation adds some amount of mouth interest.

Rodenbach Classic is a disappointment. I've come to enjoy this style and was expecting an explosion of tart, funky, oak-accented fruit... and didn't get it. I don't remember where I finally located a bottle, but from now on, whenever I get the urge to drink a beer of this style, I'll be content with the Monk's Flemish Sour Red that I can get mere minutes from my front door. Here's hoping that Rodenbach Grand Cru blows the roof off the joint.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 02, 2006
Photo of BeerNutta
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rodenbach

A = Poured out of the bottle dark mahogany. There was little to no head.

S = Smells of plentiful dark cherries. There is a slight slight hint of vinegar. A very inviting smell.

T = Initial cherry sweetness gives way for a dry bitterness and red vinegar like taste that lingers giving a slight tartness characteristic to the beer.

M = Low carbonation makes rodenbach easy to drink and enjoy. The tartness coupled with the dry finish leaves the mouth wanting more.

D = Very drinkable.

BeerNutta, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of vancurly
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish brown, with a thin tan head.

Aromas of cherry, oak wood, and slight sour rotten vegetables.

Tastes a variety of sour flavours: sour cherry, buttermilk, cider vinegar. As it warms, there's some leather, chinese plum sauce, and even some grapefruit.

The effervescence explodes in the mouth. The mouthfeel is not puckeringly sour, but it is still quite light & thin. There is no bitterness that I can discern.

Quite a remarkable drink. I would drink one glass as an aperitif. I couldn't have it as a session beer.

vancurly, Oct 19, 2006
Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,441 ratings.