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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

1,562 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,562
Reviews: 644
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.53%
Wants: 68
Gots: 141 | 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: 1,562 | Reviews: 644
Photo of Overlord
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brownish red. Small off-white head. Hey, that rhymes.

Smells like vinegar and tart fruits. Taste does have a nice vinegary zest, but it's offset by some fruit sweetness and ... is that malt? I actually strongly dislike the sweet undertone to this brew, although it's sour tartness is quite good. I don't know, I guess I don't like sweet and sour beers, as this was slightly offputting after a while.

Still, a good effort.

Photo of cvstrickland
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml cork-in-cage bottle opened with a wimpy pfft!, poured into a goblet yields a clear iced-tea brown body with a tinge of crimson at the edges and a small pinkish-tan cap of fine-bubbled foam.The head recedes quickly to a bubbly ring and leaves sparse lacing on the glass.

The smell of the drink is tart and fruity with a fine oaky backbone. I honestly expected more funky yeast products, but the smell is quite good nonetheless.

The taste is fruity with a pleasant tartness with the finish a bit funkier than the nose indicated. Notes of cherry and sweet oak contribute to the sweet-tart profile.

Light, crisp, and refreshing with superb drinkability.

Photo of generallee
4.23/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 8.45oz or 250ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: It had a deep reddish brown color with some visible carbonation. Its head was small and slightly pinkish tan color. The head slowly recedes, leaving some nice lace behind on the glass.

Smell: The aroma has sweet and sour fruity notes with some sharp acidic cider vinegar notes.

Taste/Mouth feel: Wow very interesting! The range of flavor is amazing. It starts off with sour apple cider vinegar notes over a light malty flavor. This quickly turns to a more sweet/tart fruity flavor with cherry notes and some hints of musty oak. Next up is a slightly dry, mild earthy bitterness. For the finish it turns back to a semi-dry, tart/sour flavor that slowly fades off the tongue. It's about medium bodied and the carbonation feels light and a bit fizzy.

Notes: This is a very complex and interesting beer. It is a slow sipper that is very enjoyable small amounts.

Photo of shirfan
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crimson/copper with a quickly vanishing head.

Aroma of cider vinegar and black cherries.

Flavor: Intensely sour with some vinegar-like acidity. Black cherry, oak, and a hint of anise round out a softly carbonated profile that sweetens slightly in the finish.

Drinkability: Excellent, I could sip a couple of these all night. I will definitely have to try more Flanders Reds.

Photo of SargeC
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown colored brew with a light tan head.

Smell: Sharp acidic, vinegar like smell. Hints of fruit beneath it.

Taste: Good sour tartness. After the initial sour wave, the flavors start to peek through. Apple and cherry flavors and hints of malt are most evident.

Mouthfeel: Light body. Very refreshing quality.

Drinkablity: Very drinkable. A bit cheaper than Grand Cru so it is great for a session.

Photo of changeup45
3.05/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

3/21/08. I wanted to try a new style, read good things about Flemish Sour beers so gave this a try based on a recommendation. I was however quite skeptical after reading reviews. Vinegar? That doesn't sound appealing at all. So the beer pours a murky brown color with a small head. It does indeed smell and taste quite a bit like vinegar. The flavor is dark fruits with some cherry and vinegar. It is a little sour but not as sour as I was expecting. There is a winey presence about it. The finish and aftertaste is a bit weird and bland. Overall it's not horrible and easier drinking than I feared but I don't really like it. The first sip I had was a little gross but it grew a little on me. Still, I would have been perfectly happy with a small 12 ounce sample. As is I had a big bottle and halfway through I didn't even want to finish it. Of course I did finish it and honestly it was better as it warmed a bit. If I ever have it again I'll note to let it warm a little.

Photo of pweis909
4.11/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-brownish red with sizeable head that politely recedes to enable me to sip some beer, leaving foam laces on the glass.

S - not much, really. Maybe my sniffer was not up to the task today.

T - Tart, I said tart up front, with some secondary caramel sweetness followed by a lightly oaken finish.

M - Pucker at the front (tart!) and at the finish (oak) with a pleasant smoothness in the middle.

D-Tartness takes some adjustment, but ultimately it is refreshing, with that subtle sweetness pulling me back for the next sip.

Photo of PatrickJR
4.44/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Deep, clear, reddish copper. A head tries to form upon pouring but leaves only a thin collar with a hint of lacing.

S - A piquant cabernet comes to mind immediately. The vinous, slightly sour and mineral-like aroma make this smell nothing like a beer. An interesting sweet smell pulls through as well.

T - There's a lot going on here, mostly because I'm very unfamiliar with these tastes. Big lemony sourness is most prevalent. Like the nose, this brew tastes like a sharp red wine. A caramel-like sweetness tries to break through and helps balance the sourness, until the finish where an intense but brief burst of sourness shines through along with an earthy bitterness. There is an interesting undertone of phenols as well. At times this beer almost tasted like a Merlot with a healthy dose of lemon juice.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Would be interested to taste this with a lower level of carbonation as to allow more of the fruity aspects to pull through.

D - For such a "different" taste and noticable sourness, its still quite drinkable. Low ABV and crispness make for an easy drinking beer.

This is my first Flanders Sour, and it's quite good. Very different, but not unapproachable. Would love to find more of this stuff.

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

Another one bites the tart...an heir to the Flemish king, Grand Cru. Cola stripped of its sugar; replaced with dry lemon peel and yogurt zest. The sour squeeze is irresistable, never overstepping its boundaries. Kiwi burn and Cabernet alliance to create one of the most grandly mysterious, and overly erotic ales to bless the human race. Rodenbach sets a standard as well as an example to follow. Bravo!

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

The Rodenbach Flemish Sour ale is a treat to drink. This beer marches to the beat of its own drum. The deep reddish abyss of color is unlike any beer I have ever seen; a category of its own. A sour smell that stings the nostrils makes you question if this is a beer at all. Now for the drink, thick, lightly carbonated with a smooth mouthfeel that slides right down. A sour aftershock hits the palate with a vigor reminiscent of wine. This is the beer of the gods; let us drink and pray.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Super deep brown color with minimal white head.

S: Nice sour/tart with a little hint of funk smell. Cherries, vinegar. Little bit sweet in the back as well.

T: Nice blend of sweetness and sour. Finishes more tart than sour. In between that there was a nice hint of cherries than melded everything together and gave it some balance.

M: Smooth medium body.

D: This is like the training wheels of sour beers. Very good beer. The low ABV makes this a nice pseudo session beer. My lust for funky and or sour beers was sated for one evening. The hunger grows now...

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got this brew as an 'extra' with a LiF win (Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster) that was hosted by csmiley, Thanks Chris!

L - hazy, reddish/brown color with a beige head that stayed as a ring around my tulip glass.

S - sour cherries is what I smell the most.

T - very good sour taste through and through, so sour it's sweet!

F - medium bodied with a pleasant carbonation feel.

D - I haven't had many sour beers, but to date this is the best one of the bunch that I have had. I actually finished off the entire glass.

Photo of ClavisAurea
3.22/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a 750ml bottle consumed from a plain tulip glass.

Appearance: deep garnet, Merlot, no head

Smell: under ripe cherries, raspberries, cinnamon, red wine

Taste/Mouthfeel: tart cherries, sour raspberries, under ripe fruit, plums, very dry and more like a wine than a beer. I think it is the style though.

From the start I knew I wouldn't like this one very much. It was way too much like a wine than a beer. The thing that turned me off the most was how tart this beer was. I'm used to the more sweet and complex abbey ales so this was a real shock.

Photo of morimech
4.31/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle. It has a dark reddish/brown color covered with a thin cap of tiny bubbles. A small amount of lacing is left on the glass.

Has a vinous aroma. I detect tart cherries, grass, and vinegar.

I would describe the flavor as tart cherries, cranberries with a vinegar like acidity. It is sour but not pucker your lips sour. Sour without being funky.

Medium to light body with a low carbonation. Leaves a lingering fruity tartness.

Approachable yet still an interesting Flanders Red. Low ABV helps drinkability. I could not drink this everyday but it would be a nice change of pace every once in awhile.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 250ml bottle into a flute glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of tart dark fruits (cherries & raspberries), light malts and some Belgian yeast.

T: The taste starts out very sour with flavors of cherries, raspberries and apples up front. The sourness quickly fades a bit and some light maltiness provides a decent balance. There's a mild hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sour.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and very dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this isn't usually the kind of beer that I drink a lot of, but this one was pretty decent.

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark but clear auburn color with 3 fingers of tan foam. Head retention is outstanding, though it curiously leaves no lace.

Smell: Slightly musty. Fruity sourness is nicely balanced by a hint of sweetness. Cherries and a touch of caramel.

Taste & mouthfeel: Subtle fruity sweetness leads into flavors of tart cherries, red wine and balsamic vinegar. Light on the tongue, very refreshing and drinkable. Significantly less complex than the Grand Cru, but this is still an excellent brew. Good for a hot Summer day or paired with food.

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

I've had the Grand Cru on many occasions, and it's one of my favourite beers. I saw the original today and decided to give it a go.

Pours a deep, luscious cherry red, like some dark, mysterious gemstone. Head is a thin film of almost white tiny bubbles. Lacing is excellent, cascading in concentric rings around the glass. Looks great.

Mmm, that wonderful sour Rodenbach character is ever present on the nose. Hints of straw, cut grass, crushed cherry and wet leather. Maybe not quite as robust and extravagant as the Grand Cru, but not far off.

Taste is light and pleasant, although not particularly sour. There's certainly less mouth-puckering acidity than in the Grand Cru. There's a toasty, roasted note which is more prominent in this one, and even a dry yeasty character on the back palate. It's a bit more earthy and organic, a bit more roasted, and the feel is a little thinner. There's less development in the palate too, despite the fact that it has less of the dominating sour character of the GC.

This is still a very drinkable beer, but it is noticeably the lesser of the magnificent Rodenbach Grand Cru.

Photo of Jwale73
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in my Delirium Tremens tulip. Poured an opaque purplish-brown with a 1.5 inch off-white head with copious ringlets. Head subsided to a half-inch cap within about a minute before eventually dissipating into a thin skim of foam that coalesced around the shoulders. Some spotty streaks of lacing with good retention. Nose had a vinous quality with sour cherries and a mild vinegar-like character detected towards the back. Tasted of sour grape juice and again, a mild vinegar quality, but not overpoweringly so, with a mild oakiness in the background. Mouthfeel was medium-bodied and left a light tingle on the tongue and a pleasant dry, tart finish. I liked this much more than I anticipated, but this is definitely not for daily consumption in my opinion.

Photo of dacrza1
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dense purplish brown body with a pencil-thin white head; intimidating yet beguiling... SOUR--but not sour patch--fresh and flowery... intense... light-bodied but the presence is apparent; clean (no tracing on the glass is proof), so much that the mouth could forget the experience seconds after... WOW: a tartness early, with sugary sweetness throughout--and yet a mellow, fizzy finish! The beer's as fun as it gets, pleasantly poppy and refreshing, especially on a humid evening such as this...

Photo of hustlesworth
4.82/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml crowned and corked, no date on cork.

A- very nicely colored hazy bing cherry/red plum with amber highs, ruby mids, and burgundy lows. rich creamy khaki colored head doesn't get too big, but doesn't go away either. thick curtains of lace cover the inner walls with only a few port holes open, gets very crusty as it dries.

S- no wonder they call this a flemish sour ale. smell is of sour cherries and fruity malt vinegar. my mouth gets that funny puckering feeling just by smelling it. i can also appreciate the deep sweet richness of dark malt and port wine barrels. whatever these special yeasts are, they are sour and buttery, like a butter cheese with plums, cherries and tart red berries.

T- damn what an interesting beer. initial taste is clean mineral water, as a very fruity sourness sits on my tongue waiting to be noticed. i don't know how to describe it except for a long list of every tart non-citrus fruit i can think of. diluted apple cider vinegar it first, changing regular apple cider, then cherries, gooseberries, unripe blackberries, red plum, wild strawberry, cranberry, crabapple, rhubarb, absolutely ridiculous. as the tartness fades, the mellow oak aged flavors set in with a very clean raw wood taste and refined cereal grains, pale and toasty barley, and a natural earthiness of organic soil.

MF- somewhat juicy, light but not watery, acidic yet alkaline, low carbonation, no residual astringency or anything for that matter left on the cheeks, just the pleasant lingering flavor of fruit stems, oak, and granola.

D- this is a style i could get used to. i expected something good, but this was almost mind-bending. thoroughly complex and sophisticated, like a lambic crossed with an english pale ale. not something i'd want to gulp down without noticing the subtleties, but i easily could. worth the money for me, and i will surely have several of these on hand at all times.

Photo of punkindrublic50
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice crisp refreshing Flemish red. Smell is sour cherries and funk, taste again the sour fruit with a significant presence of cider vinegar. Not as sweet as some of the Flemish Reds, but that helps the drinkability considerably. I would consider this the perfect beer to match to some seafood (mussels, clams, ...) for lunch on a hot day. If at all possible I would recommend getting the 6 pack over the 750ml as this is the perfect afternoon beer to have one or two of on a nice day.

Photo of mwilbur
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a cloudy red with thin white head.
S: Sour raspberry. Honey and soft malt notes. Hint of salt around the edges.
T: Much less sour than the aroma suggested (perhaps due to age?). Fruit (raspberry) and wood. Taste is definitely softened by the wood.
M: Quite smooth and light. Was expecting more of a sour bite. Salty undercurrent.
D: Refreshing and not one of the usual summer beer styles (wheat beers, etc.). Very drinkable and would imagine it would pair well with certain desserts (plain cheesecake for example). A different style than I am used to and certainly one I will return to in the future!

Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This review from old notes written in early June, 2005.

In a bottle in a bar in the Midi Train Station in Brussels, Belgium, waiting to board the Eurostar for a trip through the Channel Tunnel. Had another bottle on board the train, at about 325 kph (i.e. just over 200 mph).

Pour into a chalice yields a dark red-brown, hazy body under a medium short-lived off-white head. Looks nice enough. I like the reddishness.

Smell is yeasty and tart up front, with some prunes and cherries. This smells "red."

Taste is certainly sour, but not puckeringly so. Sour cherries dominate the scene, with support from other berries. Nice funky yeastiness.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly rich for a 5% beer.

Drinkability? Three words: all . . . day . . . long.

Photo of vtfan77
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Very dark red that is only identifiable as such when held to a light. About an inch of bone-colored head forms upon pouring and quickly dissipates into an attractive ring of lace.

S- Has the familiar tart, vinegary aroma typical of the style, with a nice cranberry and cherry fruitiness.

T- As I have come to expect from this style of beer, the taste is much less sour than the nose would have had me believe. Actually a bit sweet up front with a nice, bready malt. This malt sweetness blends with the vinegary tartness throughout to produce a nice, mild sweet and sour flavor. Finishes with a light bitterness.

M- Light and fizzy and kind of slick.

D- Pretty high in this category. It's light and low in alcohol. This is one of the small, 250 ml bottles, but I know I could put down a 750 with ease.

A fine example of a Flanders Red. It's got all the familiar characteristics that lovers of the style will enjoy, but it's mild enough that novices should not be put off. Perhaps not as complex as the Duchesse, but still very good. I can't wait to try the Grand Cru. Recommended.

Photo of joepais
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a sniffer produced a good finger worth of head that quickly changed to a ring of lace around the glass .The body was a brownish red color almost mahogany

Aromas of funk, sour cherries and other fruits

Flavors are very complex cherries sourness and light malts sweetness quite enjoyable on a hot day nice light mouthfeel with just the right amount of pucker to it

I love to drink the sours on a hot day. It is very refreshing and I finished the bottle with no problem at all.

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Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
89 out of 100 based on 1,562 ratings.