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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

1,544 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,544
Reviews: 639
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 68
Gots: 130 | 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
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,544 | Reviews: 639 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of ibbjamin
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Paid $7.99 for an Australian Longneck from Monument Liquor in Concord, CA. Poured into a snifter with a few pours. From bottom of bottle; Best before 27/07/08. 75% Fresh Ale, 25% Ale Aged in Oak.

One inch light beige head with smaller carbonation bubbles, but visible rising carbonation along the edge of the snifter. The head shrinks very slowly down to about a half finger. A deep, dark, opaque burgundy color. Lacing is thick and of a grainy appearance, but it slowly recedes.

I can smell the unique yeast along with tart cherries and alcohol.

Quite a complex ride in the mouth. Taste comes on strong and tart upon hitting the mouth, but then thins out for an almost watery finish and mildly tart cherry aftertaste. No flavor of hops present, but the malts show their presence somewhere in the middle of the ride.

Lighter bodied, heavily carbonated.

I must admit I did not like this at first, but the taste kind of grows on you as you drink more of it which I truly respect. Very drinkable and highly recommended if you are looking to try something new.

Photo of Oxymoron
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Some how I told you so just isn't enough. Pours a somewhat clear ruby brown color with red highlights through out. Great soft head and limited retention and limited lacing.

The nose is complex with a nice blend of malts, sweeter fruits and a light tart finish. To start the malt is complex with come rich toffee and caramel notes. A nice cherry fruity notes that is blended nicely. Minor prunes and wine/grape notes as well. The finish has a tart that hints of sourness but blended well.

The taste is just as complex. The fruity notes come out a bit more but are still balance well. There is a nice cherry meets apple flavor to start. Some malt flavors come out with a mixture of caramel sweetness and tart plum and cherry mix. The finish leaves a tart almost sour taste with a almost woody, almost earth finish. Some lighter yeast notes but very clean throughout.

The body is moderate, a bit fuller than what I'm looking for but still good. Carbonation is present but not over powering. Overall a great beer for sure.

Photo of pinotboy007
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first Rodenbach, purchased at Washington Street Purveyor, Lexington, VA.

Splendid red mahogany appearance and soft, modest head that slowly fades; minimal lacing.

Smell/nose is captivating - earthy, soury cherry, garden mulch. In my opinion, unique. Soft mouthfeel, modest carbonation.

Taste: almost like it smells with a mellow sourness backed with dark cherry and a tinge of alcohol and sweetness. In a word, "complex." Don't drink this too cold or you'll lose out on its nuanced silkiness. Not a fan of Lambic/fruity-styled beers, but this I liked.

Photo of AndySR15
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a dark redish brown with a decent head and a nice frothy swirl of foam remains on top.

S - Great aroma. Nice mellow cherry notes with the expected vinegery aromas as well. It also has a great earthy/woody aroma in the back.

T - Starts out moderately tart but not as much as I was expecting. After swallowed a nice earthiness comes foreward.

M - Light but with a bit of a prickly feel.

D - Awesome, I enjoyed this much more than the Duchesse. I will be getting another for sure.

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.61/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown with some real nice bright red highlights when holding up to the light. Good frothy tan head.

I love this style and jump at and Fladers Reds I can get ahold of.

Sourness in the aroma, but alas, there is also a candy sweetness and a woody earthiness. In more than one sniff I caught Sour Patch Kids.

Smooth dry mouthfeel and a great complex explosion of flavor. A mild malt presense balances it out nicely, and helps to draw the distinction between it and a lambic. Tart apple, cherries, crisp burnt sugar (without the real sweetness), and a really really clean finish. Aftertaste has the amazing ability of making itself even more desirous. I couldn't put my glass down. When I wasn't drinknig it, I had my nose burried in the top of my flute glass.

Wonderful brew!

Photo of Patrick999
4.29/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really hot day, PERFECT for a Flemish sour.

A - Pours into a goblet a ruddy brownish-red. Head not bad, retains OK, but nothing spectacular.

S - Popping the cork brings the funk immediately. Notes of cherries and vinegar, not surprisingly, very similar to Rodenbach's Grand Cru. It really does smell like an old wooden barrel, and I mean that in complimentary fashion!

T - Again, much like the Grand Cru, this manages to taste very sour and fruity, without being brewed with any fruit whatsoever. Not quite as vinegar-y as it smells. A little cinnamon. Also, this baby definitely brings the funk, especially with the last pour, does it ever. Some sweetness does a good job of balancing out the sour, giving this the desirable sweet-sour dynamic.

F - Lots of soft carbonation in the mouth. Feels good but leaves you kinda burpy.

D - Very good Flanders Red. Low alcohol means you can really do some damage. Want something funky and quenching? Drink a 750 of this.

Photo of yemenmocha
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an off-amber to cola brown color. Head doesn't retain long.

Nose has musty dark fruits, vinegar.

Palate is right up there with Duchesse du Bourgogne - hard to distinguish. Passion fruits, pleasant vinegary sour note, and a slight soapy component on the finish (yes, my glass is clean).

Photo of Portertime
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep ruby color, almost opaque with a nice big red tinged head at first but quickly dissapates. Smells like straight sour apple, some oak and black cherry, very intense. (This one may be turned, it is well out of date and I am only trying it to sell if it is still sellable at the ABC Liquors I work at.) According to the bottle though it says a "sharp bouquet." Taste is a bit bland (as I said it is out of date by a year!) but still has a sour apple and mild oak to it. Very metallic aftertaste and virtually no carbonation. Doesn't taste skunked so this may be its true taste. The sour taste isn't too overpowering and yeilds some sweetness on the palate. I believe this one is still salvagable!

Photo of 0110x011
3.74/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a murky red-brown from a 750ml corked & caged bottle, with a bubbly one finger head and minimal lace. Nose is cherries & raspberries, with a healthy dose of malt sweetness. Tart cherries predominate on the tongue, with a nice malt sweetness to back of up, and a nice sour punch. Not terribly complex. Almost soda-like carbonation, medium body, and a crisp dry finish.

This is my first experience with the style, and I have to say I like it very much. This would make a great alternative session beer, but its pretty one-dimentional, and lacks the complexity I normally look for.

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

Had this on tap at Summits in Snellville, GA a while ago. Poured a ruby red tinted with dark brown. Slight head that faded to a ring. Quite acetic on the nose and with aromas of muscadine grapes, tart currants, and some muskiness as well as vinegar. Taste is similar, and and quite tart on the finish but slightly more mellow up front. There is a nice bitterness that helps temper the acetic qualities as well, and also some tart raspberry throughout. Mouthfeel is smooth and sour, leading this to be quite a refreshing beer. Not as complex as the Grand Cru, but simple and quenching.

Photo of umtox
3.33/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Murky, like black cherry juice.

S: Sour cherry, tart, and a lot of malt.

T: Heavy malt, sour cherry, molasses, and a bit of vinegar in the aftertaste.

M: Viscous, slow to move across the palate

D: To enjoyed in small amounts, potent, would have guessed the ABV to be more than 5%.

I think this beer would nicely cut through a fruit laden cheesecake or any high fat dessert that also has fruit. I've never had anything like this beer before.

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

04/21/08- Purchased at Draeger's in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, both caged and corked. Poured into my Duchesse goblet. No freshness date noted.

Appearance- Pretty murky pureed raspberry color. Light lace sheeting upon finish with a off white 1/4 inch quickly fading head.

Smell- Smell like a very vinous cherry laden zinfandel....gone the bit of the sour way that is. Definite cherries in the nose and definitely tart.

Taste- Tart, but was exprecting a bit more of a sour bite. Cherries are predominant with a mild malty backing. Really a one flavor brew.

Mouthfeel- Very mild, but somewhat sharp prickly carbonation. Very clean and short lasting aftertaste. Quenching.

Drinkability- Very to be brutally honest. Tart, but doesn't pucker your mouth. Leaves you wanting more with a short lived aftertatse and has a nice low abv for drinkability...plus the added fact that it's to the point with it's cherry flavor.

Photo of BoitSansSoif
2.86/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Poured a reddish amber with thick, pink head and left very nice lacing on the way down.
S-Sour cherry, sour cherry, sour cherry, and light toasted malt w/vinegar.
T-Toasted malt and cherries. Flavor is weak and laced with a mineral sensation that dominates, not to mention a clearly-present vinegar character. I'm not sure if this is typical of the style, like a lambic, but I like to dip strawberries in a balsamic vinegar/sugar mix, and this reminds me of it a little bit too much.
M-Light in flavor and on the watery side.
D-It's drinkable, but I'll pass. I'm not too familiar with this style, and it's interesting, but it's not for me.

Photo of saintwarrick
4/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of Atron67
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
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

Photo of BretSikkink
3.56/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

Photo of drperm
4.9/5  rDev +22.8%
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.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev +0.3%
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

Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
89 out of 100 based on 1,544 ratings.