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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.

1,407 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,407
Reviews: 622
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 64
Gots: 89 | 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: 1,407 | Reviews: 622 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tony223366
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep burgandy brown color with a tan head. Pretty dark, not much light escapes. Nice head that decreased to about 1 finger and sticks around. Tan color and fairly creamy.

S: Very tart and oaky. Lots of grape. Smells great but I was expecting a bit more.

T: Really rich fruity flavor. Nice tartness in the middle followed by slightly bready after taste. Very subtle barnyard flavors throughout.

M: Great carbonation on a medium body. Light to medium body.

O: This is about as sessionable as sour beers come. Not huge with flavors but really well balanced between the sweet malts and sour flavors. It's extremely refreshing.

tony223366, Oct 20, 2011
Photo of shirfan
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

shirfan, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of msubulldog25
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm surprised that I've not reviewed this beer before, which I've had on several occasions (most memorably at 't Oud Arsenaal in Antwerp). This time was a $4 small goblet-full at Stumptown on SW 3rd, Portland.

A: Not much to look at initially, a murky, chestnut brown pour without carbonation. Paper-thin wisps of head spiral around the glass, collecting in a thin ring around the edges. As the pour settles, this beer becomes more and more clear, eventually settling as a relatively clear amber with ruby-colored highlights.

S: Lightly sour cherry smell, some aged balsamic vinegar and a generous dash of sugar.

T: Sweet and sour at once. Dry cola/caramel syrup wrapped in a lightly sour/tartness. Cherry seems to dominate, with a little lemon tea and something like raw oak. It's pretty good, though lacks complexity in my opinion - I am reminded a bit too much of a Cherry Coke.

M: Nicely carbonated, clean and crisp without being fizzy. Body is light-medium.

D: Quite easy to drink, light in body, ABV, etc. Has a fresh, clean sweet/sour quality that makes it as good to drink on a warm day as a cool one. A nice apertif/digestif, too.

msubulldog25, May 31, 2007
Photo of elNopalero
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time trying this one. From the bottle into an Almanac tasting glass. Thin bubbles, mildly ruddy amber color. Wonderful tartness on the nose. The choice of glassware really makes a difference with this one. Tapered, like the one I drank from, and you get a concentrated blast of aroma coming from the beer. Flayed out and I can imagine that would be lost. Completely different sensory experience.

Definitely pick up the Balsamic vinegar from the aroma and the flavor. Flavor holds up as it warms. It’s tart and sweet, sharp and sour. The finish runs out quickly, quicker than I want it to, but it’s tasty nonetheless.

In reflection I wish for a little more complexity. But I’ve been spoiled thanks to the goodness that comes out of Russian River.

elNopalero, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of BlastTyrant
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was excited to finally find this and the Grand Cru in my area. This didn’t disappoint. Pours red-brown with a thick, luscious off-white head. Sour aroma full of sour cherries, grapes, cider, a touch of cider vinegar, and some barnyard funk. Perfect amount of tartness is tempered by a slight raisin sweetness. Some spiciness in the finish. I loved this beer, can’t wait for to try the Cru.

BlastTyrant, Sep 24, 2005
Photo of drabmuh
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Never had this on tap before. Beer is dark red and mostly clear with no head, no lacing and minimal carbonation. Looks fine.

Aroma is a little sweet and mildly acetic. I was hoping for more acid but its the young one so I guess I don't get that.

Beer is light in body and mildly acetic, sweet on the front end and slightly tart on the back. Its highly drinkable and really nice. The other is considerably more sour but this is a perfectly serviceable beer.

drabmuh, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of EPICAC
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 vtfan77
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

vtfan77, Jun 08, 2008
Photo of jdense
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle purloined from gout-ridden buddy's cellar, 2008 vintage, shared with neighborhood beer homey, poured into wine glasses, 7.6.11.

Dark purplish red clear body, several small trails of rising carbonation, minimal head with quick dissipation resulted in thin broken layer on top of body. Nose is pretty funky, musty horseblanket balanced by fruit esters, cherry, plums, lemon, minimal hop presence, a bit flowery. Taste is more sour than tart though in nice balance, rich oakiness from the tuns. Mouthfeel is medium-light, lip smacking tart, dry finish. Relatively good drinkability for the style. Superlative, wonder how this improved in the bottle with several years of aging. Hope I have the patience to repeat this experiment.

jdense, Jul 07, 2011
Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rodenbach Flanders Red Ale 75% young ale, 25% ale matured for 2 years aged in oak vats. 5.2% alcohol. Corked and caged bottle poured into a Ommegagang snifter.

A- Pours a brilliant dark brown fluid that shows firey red on the edges where light pass though it. Light off white head falls to a quarter inch froth on the top of the beer, random patchy lacing is noted.

S- Freshly tarted grapes, apples, and cherries upfront followed by rich sweet malts that come off as almost soapy and leathery in scents.

T-M- Taste is similar the smell in the aspect of the tarted fruit is now met with a sweeter light candied sugar mix up. Most notible is the Granny Smith apple flavors upfront with a quick bite of tartness followed by a sweet dry note of cherry. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated but I wouldn't have it any other way as it allows the beer to dance over the taste buts with ease.

Overall this is a winner as it is exceptionally drinkable and not overpowering but allows the avid beer drinker the enjoyment of a Flanders style at a session feel... CHEERS!!

wesbrownyeah, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of dbossman
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark mahogany color with a huge and dense and beautiful light brown head--so creamy and the lacing is subsequently intricate and beautiful

S: Tart apples, cherries, pears with a touch of cider vinegar; this smells fruity and tart and slightly sweet and earthy and musty and grainy; let's go

T: Not near as tart as aromas indicated but still plenty of tart fruits--actually a bit woody and bready too; some slight banana and bubble gum in the finish

F: Creamy with light carbonation but a touch thin

O: A very drinkable and accessible sour; obviously not as sour as the Grand Cru--though the aroma hinted like it might be--but still a nice, balanced example of the style

dbossman, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of Cmschiavi
4.08/5  rDev +2%

Cmschiavi, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of endincolorado
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this about a year ago (because I thought the brewery was done for) and have kept it in my basement since. Luckily, it still tastes as fresh and delicious than i remember (if not a bit more complex).

Pours a deep red-amber with a bubbly cream-white heads that settles fairly quickly. Lacing is decent.

Aroma is fruity and tart, with some oak and some acidity.

Flavor is crisp and tart like a green apple with some oakiness and a bit of astringency. Really quite delicious. Tartness lingers on the palate.

Mouthfeel is medium body with a good amount of carbonation.

Though this might not appeal to everyone, it'd be great with dessert or pork. I'll pick up another bottle or two if I find any.

endincolorado, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of oline73
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at the Frisco Taphouse, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a mahogany color, not cloudy at all, there is some light coming through. There is just a trace of head.

Smell: Sour fruity vinegar along with some malt sweetness.

Taste: The sourness dominates the taste a lot less than the smell, but it remains on the tongue throughout the whole sip. There is a tart fruit note, think raspberry or cranberry. The finish also has some sweetness from the malt. The flavor of this beer is quite smooth.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and mild carbonation. The carbonation feels quite appropriate for this beer. The finish has a mild dryness to it.

Overall: This is a very balanced anad smooth beer. I could have a few of these in a session, the sourness isn't too overpowering. I'm definitely open to having this one again.

oline73, Mar 24, 2011
Photo of DreamInOrange
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown but still somewhat clear and lets some light through with a good thick lingering head. Has an aroma of balsamic vinegar and a bit of wine. Complex flavor that is somewhat reminiscent of an old bruin style in addition to the wine, vinegar and some raisin tastes. Slick mouthfeel.

Good version of this style and a bit more accessible than their vintage version of this. Have not yet had the chance to try the grand cru.

DreamInOrange, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of Portertime
4.08/5  rDev +2%
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!

Portertime, May 06, 2008
Photo of Tballz420
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Darker-than-copper brown, pretty hazy, los of rising carbination bubbles. Bubbly, cream colored head. Scent is kind of barny, sour, dark fruits. Pretty sour taste, kind of has an "old" taste as well. Taste becomes bigger as it warms, this beer should be served above the temp in your fridge. Different fruits-apples and grapes come to mind. Mouth is pretty active.

Tballz420, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of OtherShoe2
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours brownish red with a decent bit of off-white head and slight lacing.

Sour cherry and some toasted malt in the nose.

Not as complex as some of the other offerings from this brewer, but tasty just the same. Great sour fruit and acidic edge. Smooth transition to the malt which has a little toasted note. Sour notes take over again, to fruit and light bitterness. Clean flavors that make this an easy intro to the style.

Appropriate carbonation and body, and an easy drinker. Worth your time to try this one.

OtherShoe2, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of kleffman
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Some of this finally made its way to SD and I was fortunate enough to get a pour of it at O'Briens. Poured a very reddish brown with very little head and a light carbonation. Only a slight lacing. The aroma immediately hit me with cherries, both sour and fresh. There is a definite vinegar presence but not overpowering like some examples of the style. Possible hints of oak as well. The taste is incredible. Dominated by tart cherries, some vanilla and minimal vinegar that only helps the balance. Also some ripe apple. The mouthfeel is nice and coating, allowing even the smallest sip to linger. It's actually a very refreshing example of this style and the more I get to know it the Flanders Red is becoming more of a friend than an acquaintance. Really want to try the Grand Cru now as I heard it's much better.

kleffman, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of homebrewhawk
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked bottle served in a chalice. Bottle conditioned. Poured a dark copper with a quickly dissipating off white head. Lots of fruit in the aroma, mainly sour cherries. Not very carbonated, fairly light body. A little sweetness up front. Nice tart flavor with more fruit. Very drinkable. If you are new to the style, this would be a good starting point.

homebrewhawk, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of Furlinator
4.06/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 02/10/14.

Pours murky brown with a thin khaki head that quickly disappears completely and leaves faint spotty lace.

The smell begins with faint vinegar and is followed by dark cherry, plums and grapes. There is some slight funk from Belgian yeast and a hint of burnt sugar on the finish.

The taste is a subtle mixture of plum, cherry and grape up front with dark malt on the finish. Sweet and lightly sour.

The texture is medium bodied with high carbonation.

As stated in previous reviews, this would make for an ideal introduction to sour beers. Sweet and tasty without being overwhelmingly sour. Smooth and sessionable.

Furlinator, Apr 06, 2014
Photo of mjtiernan
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a flute. Best before 10.23.2013

A: Looks great. Reddish-brown body and two-fingers of tan head. Nice lacing on its way down.

S: Very acetic. Strong vinegar aroma. If I hadn’t had this beer already, I’d be in serious doubt at this point. Some dark fruit and woody notes as well.

T: Sweet and sour. The vinegar is there but it is cut by wonderful cherry, raspberry, plum, lemon, biscuit, some tartness a touch of spice...maybe clove and cinnamon? Almost forgot my favorite part...the slight oak flavors.

M: Super easy to drink once you are accustomed to the style. Body is light-to-medium and carb is lively.

O: Complex, yet refreshing. The first time I had this beer a couple of years ago I thought it had turned bad. Now it’s a beer that I return to over and over.

mjtiernan, Nov 05, 2012
Photo of wedge
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best Before: 10.23.2013

Pours a very dark mahogany color with only a small, fleeting bubbly head. Deep, acidic aromas of vinegar, black cherry, berries, red wine, and wood alongside a nice, rich creaminess and a touch of vanilla. Tart, fruity flavor with some oak, and a balancing malt sweetness. Medium bodied, acidic, and crisp. Very drinkable and refreshing.

wedge, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of Yellolab2010
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%

Yellolab2010, Thursday at 09:00 PM
Photo of psuKinger
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at 6-and-Save, poured into a classic gold-rimmed tulip.

A: pours a cloudy shade of ruby red with a thin white head that dissipated quickly. 4.0

S: immediate "funk" of a Belgian, with sweet tones behind it. 4.0

T: dry, astringent, sour flavors are moderately strong. I pick up flavors of cherry sweetness in the background. Pleasant and easy-drinkin'. 4.0

M: thick and astringent, this thing leaves your mouth dry and finishes semi-sweet. 4.5

D: high. Easy drinkin'. Very repeatable. 4.0

psuKinger, Apr 29, 2011
Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,407 ratings.