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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.

1,384 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,384
Reviews: 619
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 64
Gots: 87 | FT: 3
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,384 | Reviews: 619 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of plfahey


3.98/5  rDev -0.5%

750 mL bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Brown, with garnet highlights. Relatively clear. Moderate light tan head with fair to poor retention.

Aroma-Grape aroma up front-smells very winey. Subtle notes of cherry and plum, with a light vinegary tartness. Light caramel and toasted notes from the malt are perceptible.

Flavor-Lightly tart, grapey flavors up first. Also hints of mustyness from the wilder yeasts employed. Some cherry and light plum on the back end. Relatively dry finish with a tinge of vinegar acidity.

Mouthfeel-Medium body, medium low carbonation. No alcohol warmth. Not overly sour.

While certainly a good beer, I think this one pales in comparison to the grand cru. It doesn't have the rich fruitiness, complex acidity, and barnyard funk of it's big brother. That said, it is just as refreshing and easy drinking. This would be a nice introduction to sour ales as it is less intense on the palate, and is still a wonderfully crafted beer.

02-12-2011 02:43:54 | More by plfahey
Photo of kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

4.35/5  rDev +8.7%

Had this on tap somewhere in California. Reviewing this from my notes. Pours a dark brown colour with hints of amber. Thin off-white head, leaving nice lacing down the glass. Smells of sour cherry and sweet brown sugar. Flavour has a really nice tartness to it, complemented by the sweetness. This is insanely delicious.

02-11-2011 20:38:54 | More by kwjd
Photo of vfgccp

New York

3.78/5  rDev -5.5%

A - Ruby milk chocolate. Zero head to speak of.

S - Sherry character. Light vanilla. Touch of bourbon.

T - Oak, sherry and sour cherries. Tart, slightly-unripe plums. Some cranberry. Tough of pear deep in the backend.

M - Pleasantly dry finish. Nice effervesces, and a tart finish.

D - A slow and savory drink. Not something you're going to throw back.

02-09-2011 04:44:11 | More by vfgccp
Photo of Squelch

United Kingdom (England)

4.22/5  rDev +5.5%

Appearance: ruby red. No head. Crystal clear

Smell: wonderful candy apple aroma. Very enticing

Taste: beautifully balances sour sweet malty flavors. Love this beer

Mouthfeel: puckering. Sour. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: I love this beer. I want more!

02-06-2011 18:53:35 | More by Squelch
Photo of jsanford


3.73/5  rDev -6.8%

On-tap at the Distiller in Savannah, GA on 1/27/11

A - Dark reddish-brown with a 2-inch fluffy white head. Very nice retention, leaves soapy lacing.
S - Smells of sweet cherry candy, brown sugar, and a slight whiff of red wine vinegar.
T - More sweet cherry with a grainy toasted cereal malt backbone and a touch of vanilla.
M - Slick, with a medium-thin body and low carbonation.
D - Very drinkable, almost like a cherry soda.

01-28-2011 01:51:46 | More by jsanford
Photo of oglmcdgl


4.2/5  rDev +5%

A bottle after work with sourbatchkid.

A- two big fingers of tan head from a hard pour that held for a bit then slowly settled leaving only a thin ring around the glass. Muddy dark brown red in color.

S- sweet and tart cherries with some musty yeast and earth.

T- opens up with a good tartness and a light sweetness. Some cherry and other tart fruits. Some oaky funk and a bit of toasted dark bread. A bit artificaily sweet tasting as it warms, like aspartame.

M- on the lighter side of body with a bigger carb that really does work son. Solid pucker going with this one, gets the juices going for sure.

D- its about as easy a drinker as they come. I do enjoy the grand cru a bit more but if seen on draft it would be a hard pass up.

01-19-2011 03:42:38 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of OneDropSoup


3.85/5  rDev -3.8%

Poured into a snifter: Translucent but deep russet with ruby highlights. Thick, tapioca collar (both color & texture), with just a few wisps of foam across the surface. Beautiful color.

Somewhat sharply sweet smell, like raspberries with some light maple sugar, lemon meringue, & semi-sweet red wine. Mild alcohol presence, even a little cocoa shows up. Very enticing.

The berry's there in the flavor, a little lemony jab, slight oak, but kind of thins out & gets watery. The flavors are diluted - not bad, but nowhere near the promise of the aroma.

A little citric jab in the mouthfeel, as well, but not much kick & on the thin side, as mentioned before. Kind of "stoney" feeling, too - mineral, if that makes sense.

Again, not bad, but a little disappointing given the rich smell. Not nearly enough follow-through, but easy-drinking nonetheless.

01-17-2011 01:55:43 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of spointon


4.38/5  rDev +9.5%

I poured this one from a 750ml corked and caged brown bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

A= This ale poured a rather murky brownish red color with a thin 1/2" light tan head. The head retained very well and left a lot of lacy stickage down my glass.

S= Smelled like oak and pie cherry sourness. Lots of fruit also, including cherry and raspberry. Light alcohol way in the back of each sniff.

T= Started off with a fruity acidic bite reminiscent of red wine, with notes of raspberry and cherry. The tart sourness came next, but was far from overpowering (pretty restrained actually) and was balanced by a fair bit of sweetness. It finished with a flash of oakiness that led into a bone dry aftertaste.

MF= Thin bodied with a crisp acidic carbonation bite. Pretty wonderful actually.

D= This is a great beer and its wonderfully refreshing. The drinkability is extremely high as neither the sourness nor the sweetness get out of hand. Highly recommended.

01-15-2011 04:45:35 | More by spointon
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.48/5  rDev -13%

From the 750 ml. bottle with no expiration or brewed date. Sampled on 1/11/11. The pour is a nice looking amber-brown with about an inch of silky but quickly fading head. Some ruby hues when held to the light. The aroma is a lot like vinegar which is a bit of a turnoff for me. I get a little hint of malts. The body is in the medium range with a fizzy carbonation. The taste is quitre sour and boozy.

01-11-2011 23:19:20 | More by puboflyons
Photo of JLeege


4/5  rDev 0%

C & C 750 mL. Best buy: 5/11. Into a tulip.

Appearance- Pours a muddy brown with a large 3 finger khaki colored head. Decent retention. A little lacing left behind as well.

Smell- Cherry, tart, earthy, wood and some vanilla from the oak vats. Faint vinegar.

Taste- Earthy/woody tones are the first thing on the palate. Then the cherry and vanilla make themselves more known. Not quite as tart as the aroma would suggest, but there is a slight accidic bite towards the end. Finishes somewhat dry.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and carbonation, fairly creamy till the dry finish.

Overall- Drinkability is very high. Though I was hoping for a bit more overall. This is a nice inexpensive Belgian.

01-08-2011 04:26:17 | More by JLeege
Photo of Thur123


4.65/5  rDev +16.3%

The only date on the bottle is 28-07-11
This brew pours a deep (well duh) brownish red color with at least two fingers of light khaki colored head. Fades slowly in large bursts. The smell is tart, and like vinegar. Red wine kicks up in the nose as well. Smells very spot on for the style.

Glug glug glug

The flavor is crisp and refreshing with the sweetness up front of juicy cherries and berries finishing with a dry brut like acidity. Very mellow as far as the sharpness of the tart side is concerned. There is a chance this is almost four years old now so maybe the age has mellowed the whole thing out a bit. Very juicy tasting up front with the dry tartness rounding out the end, but not in a way that overrides the sweetness. This brew ends more balanced than I remember other examples of the style ending. All and all this is simply amazing as far as texture and drinkability go. The mouthfeel is only slightly chalky and is far from thin or heavy or watery. The drinkability is like Powerade when you're really thirsty. (I can drink Powerade pretty damn fast hungover). Super tasty. Soda like fizziness as well as a bit of brown ale mellow malts too.

01-07-2011 00:52:02 | More by Thur123
Photo of jibbyvonjibb


4.1/5  rDev +2.5%

A: Muddy brown color. Head quickly disappeared

S: Vinegary sweet acidity, cherries

T: Sour cherry flavor; sweetness balanced with tartness; clean, dry finish.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation

Overall: Very drinkable and balanced. Not as sour as many other Flanders ales. Restrained funkiness, compared with others.

01-02-2011 04:34:52 | More by jibbyvonjibb
Photo of micromaniac129


4.33/5  rDev +8.3%

pours a chestnut colored brown with hints and highlights of ruby. When poured vigorously, a nice 1'' head was produced. Adense foamy head that fades quickly.
The aroma is that of tart and cidery withs hints of church pews.
Tastes tart and cidery. Hints of a good wine too. A touch of oak barrels.
Light lactic tartness is refreshing. Some fruity tones are evident.
A refreshing, thrist quenching beer.

01-01-2011 19:21:14 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of kingcrowing


4.03/5  rDev +0.8%

750ml bottle poured into a chalice.

Pours a nice dark brown to red with a small light brown head. Nose is light, tart and sweet.

Tate is really sharp an tart, sweet and fruity with a crisp finish. The mouthfeel is light and creamy. Really well done and drinkable.

01-01-2011 02:08:59 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of jeffthecheff


3.38/5  rDev -15.5%

Pours a murky brown and red color with a thin, soapy lace of murky brown fizz.

Aroma is heavily acetic with strong vinegar notes. Slight oak and sour cherry notes. Very robust aroma for this ale's strength.

Flavor is intensely sour with a strong oak presence as well as slight oxidation notes. Grape-like, wine flavor with a lot of vinegar.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin for such a robust and oaky flavor. Carbonation is gentle, adding just a fizz. Drinkability is about what you would expect. I wouldn't want more than a few ounces.

12-29-2010 00:59:08 | More by jeffthecheff
Photo of CPeterson


3.95/5  rDev -1.3%

A -- A murky, brownish crimson pours into a substantial head that settles very slowly.

S -- Not quite as pungent as most in the style, but there is still an odor of acid and sour berries.

T -- Again, not as explosive in the flavor department as most, more subdued. Mildly sour in the front, funk and sour cherry in the middle and an essence of dark fruit, oak and earth on the end.

M -- Well carbonated, a little sticky.

D -- Very nice, being as how this isn't as acidic as most of the Flanders I've had in the past, I can see where this might make a more palatable beer for some people.

12-25-2010 01:08:26 | More by CPeterson
Photo of Cmack15


4.05/5  rDev +1.3%

Having not explored this style too much I am not sure how confident I can speak upon this beer. The sour and sweetness of this beer seem well balanced and with the low abv I would call this a session beer. The more I drink this beer the more I like it. Great entryway beer for this style.

12-20-2010 01:50:58 | More by Cmack15
Photo of gfreed


4.72/5  rDev +18%

I could easily take a bath in this beer. What's not to like? Not as sour or tart as other Flemish reds, but enough sourness to make it clear you're drinking something exceptional. The healthy hit of Pez-like sugar in the nose is inviting, then the light body and the tightness of the taste-- without the balsamic twang of other beers of this style-- just keep raising the glass all by itself. Low alcohol means you can drink several at one sitting. I'm sorry I had only one bottle in the house at the time.

12-18-2010 22:31:35 | More by gfreed
Photo of speter

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +5.5%

A: Pours a dark hazy amber brown with ample fluffy white foam that leaves some lacing.

S: Sour dark cherries floating over a Belgian malty sea.

T: Tart and sour up front (albeit moderate in sourness), this beer gains in complexity as it hits the center and the oak kicks in around the same time as the hops. The wood gives it a very balancing complexity, with more vanilla notes than red-wine tannins. The finish is at first dry, while a refreshing vanilla blossoms immediately afterwards.

M: Sharp, spicy, and refreshing, with a prickling carbonation to match.

D: This is one amazing beer. I must seek it out again.

12-16-2010 03:37:38 | More by speter
Photo of Bouleboubier


3.85/5  rDev -3.8%

I've only had a handful of examples of this style and this ranks as the most understated in 'sour' and overall flavor. Sampled on Dec 14, 2010, best by Oct 6, 2010, been in my fridge since late Sept.

Poured it into a Corsendonk tulip and it pushed up a short half-inch head before collapsing into a thick collar with webbed lacing - quite nice. Really dank, dark mahogany hue. The aroma is subtle and clean - soft sour cherry, light sweet malt, and the faintest woody notes in the back. Not as potent or rich altogether as I would have expected or liked.

And the subtleties continued in the taste. Sourness is there at the start, but at such a relaxed degree that a newcomer to this style might not pucker, too much, though it does increase through to the finish, leaving a light tang on the tongue at first. The bottle suggests serving at 6-8 C, but I found a tiny burst of flavors opened up a little warmer than that

Coming back, there's an almost lactic tart on top, drying out the middle of the tongue in time, and a touch of sweetness curling around the sides of the tongue near the tip late. Really only some cherry as far as fruity tones as a whole with hints of raisin and/or weak phenols coming real late. Not a whole lot of depth to the malt either, but nice for what it offers. I'd try it again, preferably with some Belgian pub fare.

12-15-2010 05:25:49 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of bringonthehops


3.53/5  rDev -11.8%


-- tasted non-blind from a 750 mL bottle --

NOSE: sweet nose; oak; strawberry/raspberry aromas; balsamic vinaigrette; less complex than the Duchesse.

BODY: dark brown color; (forgot to note palate weight).

TASTE: sweet; sour; oaky; fruit leather; this is a blend of 75% young ale and 25% old ale, matured in oak casks. A bit more sweet than the Grand Cru bottling, and not quite as complex either.

12-10-2010 01:37:24 | More by bringonthehops
Photo of larryi86


4.22/5  rDev +5.5%

750 mL bottle poured into a Tulip glass

A- Reddish-brown/dark burgundy with a one finger head that fades to a thin lace quickly.

S- Sour cherries, grapes, yeast, red wine, and hint of oak.

T- Sweet and sour flavors work very well together. Tart and lemony upfront, sweet fruits and malts in the middle, with a sour cherry with hint of oak in the finish.

M- Light and crisp, high carbonated.

D- Very easy to drink and great complexity. Not sour to the point were drink a 750 mL by yourself is too much, but still sour enough for when you want a sour.

12-09-2010 01:04:22 | More by larryi86
Photo of John_M


4/5  rDev 0%

On tap at Max's tonight.

The beer pours a reddish brown color with good head retention and lacing. Don't get a whole lot on the nose, but what I get is attractive. I get considerable cherry and strawberry, along with some very light vinegar. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, though it's a bit more sweet and fruity than I expected (a good thing in my book). There's some light sour funk in the finish, but it's very light (thankfully), and helps to balance and counter the sweet fruit pretty nicely. Mouthfeel is no more than medium bodied, and the beer finishes very cleanly and well. Drinkability is quite good, with the alcohol no more than an afterthought.

Very easy to take...

12-08-2010 23:47:52 | More by John_M
Photo of RuudJH


4/5  rDev 0%

25 cl. bottle. Traditional red ale from belgium: full flavoured, refreshing, but with a robust character, obtained from the oak it's been aged in.
This is a great example of the style (or maybe they invented it?).

Red brown colour, thin head, modest lacing.
Smell and taste of sour red fruits, red wine, some oak. Malts (incl. corn) and hops in the background
Bitter, sour and sweet. A nice balance that lingers in the aftertaste.

12-08-2010 13:12:09 | More by RuudJH
Photo of djbreezy


4.13/5  rDev +3.3%

appearance - rich reddish-brown, good retention around edges of the glass

smell - yeast, sweet, sour, wood...good complexity

taste - tart dark fruits, sharp and fruity berries, some bold grape

mouthfeel - light/medium body, well carbonated, tingly on the tongue, medium dry finish

drinkability - has some refreshing qualities, great complexity, rich fruit and sour/tart/woody notes

12-01-2010 04:39:14 | More by djbreezy
Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,384 ratings.