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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.

1,346 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,346
Reviews: 617
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 60
Gots: 77 | FT: 2
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)
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Ratings: 1,346 | Reviews: 617 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MisterClean


4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

8.45 oz from Manderes in Folsom

A - Nutty brown root beer color with nice legs and minimal head if any.

S - Peanuts, malts, and grassy hops.

T - Grass, light ester, pine, and brewer's sugar.

M - Very sweet w/ notes of carbo. Very syrupy as well.

D - Have to be careful with this one. Very drinkable, kinda reminds me of the cough medicine dimetapp, but sweeter.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2008 19:33:56 | More by MisterClean
Photo of skizziks


4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle. 1" tan head falls quickly to a thin sheet over a clear, deep mahogany brown beer.

Aroma is complex with cherries, vinegar, restaurant mop, and a carnival of phenolics with some cheesy bits attached. Reads terrible, but actually smells really nice. An experience for sure.

taste also gives some cherry with pomegranate and some sweet-tart flavors. Very dry tannic finish.

Light body with sharp prickly carbonation. Very dry. Refreshing. I haven't had a lot of sour beers and I don't generally think they are all that, but they can be nice when I'm in the mood. Rodenbach is the first I've had that I could imagine myself really getting into.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2007 18:55:56 | More by skizziks
Photo of Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


dark reddish brown with a mild head. big sour cherry smell on the nose. taste is extremely tart, with a big kick of very sour cherries at the end. quite good...medium bodied with low carbonation.

overall a good flemish red that is very cheap and available. like this one a lot.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 23:11:46 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of ThePorterSorter


4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle best before 10-06-2010
Being served 03-20-2011...not sure whether the beer's integrity is compromised, we shall see.

The beer pours a rich brown but glows ruby red in the light. A thin tan head forms and quickly falls to the outskirts of my tulip. Fine bubbles lace down the sides of my glass, a thin blanketing remains on top throughout drinking.
The beer appears to be an even mix between watery and dense.

A strong, biting, sour acetic acid carries light notes of cherry (from the yeast) and liquor. There is also a subtle caramel/oak wood sugar sweetness.
Although the vinegar was potent at first, it does mellow out to let some of the other aromas come through.
Personally, I think they should adjust their young:matured ratio to bring the oak forward.

Predominantly sour, but competing more with the beer's sweet fruitiness and barrel-contributed oak and vanilla. There is very little grain or bitterness. Truly a sweet-sour beer as expected and described on the bottle. Lots of think about while drinking this beer, it's definitely open to different interpretations and will likely suit many tastes.

The acid leaves a very dry finish that has me salivating for my next sip. My palate is bombarded by both sweetness and sourness, but I notice the sourness lingering for far longer. The aftertaste is complex, most of the beer's caramel and vanilla (barrel characteristics) come out here, but they compete strongly over the inherent, mouth-puckering sourness.
Mouthfeel is probably this beer's best attribute.

Overall (Drinkability):
This was a pleasant surprise, but still cost $4 for a 12oz bottle. I would absolutely try this beer on tap and hopefully also test it's ability to pair with a meal (which I think it would do exceptionally well). The beer sips like a dry wine and is equally complex and invigorating, but $4 is still steep.


Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 00:36:02 | More by ThePorterSorter
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2006 20:54:50 | More by strangefate
Photo of DrinkSlurm


4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into crooked stave tulip. Best before 7/25/14.
Pour is much darker than anticipated. ..deep ruby brown with slight white lacing. Smell is so complex. Lots of sweet toffee english malts and oak but a huge cherry tartness is dominant. Taste is nicely tart cherry but so balanced with the sweet toffee malt and oak. Its super dry as expected and easy to drink. Its a great is example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 01:33:46 | More by DrinkSlurm
Photo of jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beer Bistro.

Beer is ruby red, with a moderately-sized light tan head. Decent retention.

Nose is quite nice. Cherry and other dark fruits/berries. Oak. Tart.

Taste is similar to the nose; contains oak, balsamic vinegar, cherry. Fairly tart and quite dry.

Medium bodied, a bit syrupy. Strongly carbonated. Dries the mouth a bit.

Overall, quite good, but the Grand Cru is much better.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2013 01:36:20 | More by jrenihan
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle poured into tulip 6/9/13

A hazed brownish maroon, enough clarity to see streams of bubbles floating up the side that feed a thumbs width of tan foam that leaves a single ring of lace

S raspberries, cherry, strawberry jam, brown sugar, faint wood and earthy notes, ju jubes, and hard grape candy, slightly sour with faint vinous notes

T just a hint of vinegar on top of what I smell, more sour notes then the nose but far from turning your mouth inside out, has a nice sweet and sour balance

M light bodied, a little sticky on the lips, almost creamy from the bubbles, earthy fruit lingers on the finish

O well rounded and very easy to drink, I know its odd having the highest score in the overall but I felt this one needed a boost

well priced and something I could session, a nice beginner Flanders and I can see this making a great gateway brew

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2013 01:08:44 | More by wordemupg
Photo of kingcrowing


4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 02:08:59 | More by kingcrowing
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2007 22:51:51 | More by tempest
Photo of Kegatron


4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml corked & caged bottle into a couple of tulip glasses.

Pours a deep clear ruby, topped with a ½ finger of fizzy off-white head. This retains with just a light foamy ring around the edges of the glass, leaving back a gentle smattering of lace. The aroma smells of cherry tartness with a vinegar edge to it and some light notes of earthy wood. Some light sugary sweetness hangs in the background a bit.

The taste is similar, with more tart cherries and a balancing sugary sweetness. Oak occupies the edges of the profile while this finish with a sour bite at the end that then leaves the finish on this dry, tannic and burnt. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with some sharpness on the tongue and then more of a creamier feel on top that helps keep those flavors moving. I’m digging the feel here, as its equal part lively and slick in the mouth.

This was good, packing in some good cherry flavor but then also having a nice acidic bite to it. The body on this really did a solid job of keeping those flavors accessible as well. This is well worth picking up. It’s very drinkable for what’s involved.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 16:13:59 | More by Kegatron
Photo of ocelot2500


4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, chocolate brown with a tight light brown head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of sour cherries and some spice.

Tastes of the tart fruit followed by some sweetness. Cherries and raspberries along with some lemon come through. Has a citrus tartness to it. A bit of brown sugar sweetness adds to the mix. Some oak notes can be found along with a touch of some earth tones.

Mouthfeel is medium-light with a crisp amount of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 02:17:40 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of Sensaray


4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle, best before 8.22.12

Pours an audibly fizzly red brown color with a small light tan head.

Has a tartness in the nose backed up my some malty dark fruit sweetness most notably cherry.

Again has a sweet tart complex but the sweet overtakes the tartness in the taste, as opposed to the smell where the tart is prominent. The sweetness is darker fruits.

Great carbonation level and a smooth, drinkable light medium body.

Overall this is really good and surprisingly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 03:38:30 | More by Sensaray
Photo of SiepJones


4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle into a Snifter

A: Pours a deep dark chestnut color with not visibility from one side of the glass through to the other. A slightly brownish white head sits on top of the beer, but dissipates to some swirling cloudy bubbles on top.
S: Flavors of acidity and vinegar touch the nose on the first sniff. Deeper whiffs yield some cherry and oak flavors with some more funk.
T: A fruity tang of funk rolls across your tongue on each sip, with a slight lactic finish once the last drop reaches your throat. After a few sips the cherries and oak become very prevalent while my mouth puckers less and less.
M: The mouth on this beer starts out very thin but with a nice sharp carbonation. Otherwise the body on this beer is very thin, but in no way does that detract from the overall experience of the beer.
D: This is a very drinkable beer for someone who is interested in trying out a "sour". The experience was not overwhelming for a novice to the category such as myself. I could see drinking two or three of these, but definitely taking my time, sipping and enjoying the flavors. If you like a really sour beer, this one maybe a little too tame for you.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2010 18:55:48 | More by SiepJones
Photo of ggilman


4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Sebago Brewing Company tulip glass.

A murky red grape brown color, with a thin layer of tightly carbonated creamy foam head. Nicely laces the glass.

Agitation puts forth musty yeast, and sour grape skin nose.

Immediately tastes sweet up front, but quickly fades to a funky sour doughy bready flavor, that finishes much dryer than it begins. Apple cider vinegar mixed with red wine tannins. Slightly bitter finish, like chewing on a grape stem. Sadly, I don't pick up any oak or barrel notes.

Champagne-like crisp bubbly mouthfeel. Very nice.

I'm new to Flanders Red Ales, and this is a little sweeter than I prefer, but a very good overall.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2011 00:02:32 | More by ggilman
Photo of thecarster1


4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- 11.2oz bottle poured into a fluted stange kinda glass, murky walnut brown color, two plus fingers of head fade to a quarter inch and stay there.

s- sour, tart, acidic, light berry notes, brown funk rounds it out.

t- tart, funky, 'brown ale gone wrong', some sweetness in here as well, some wild funky flavors.

m- light to medium body, prickly.

d- smooth, easy drinking. this is a top notch classic sour that i would drink again.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2010 20:00:06 | More by thecarster1
Photo of alexskovan

New York

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. . . )

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2007 21:59:04 | More by alexskovan
Photo of TurdFurgison


4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this from a 750ml bottle at a poker game. Dark red or brown color, not too much head on top.

The flavor takes some getting used to. Very sour, kind of bitter. I liked it, but I don't think anyone else at the table liked it too much. I've tried La Folie and Monk's Red in the past, and I'd have a hard time telling the difference from this.

If you've never tried Flanders Reds before, I recommend getting a smaller bottle or trying one on tap somewhere first. Not a style that everyone will like.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2005 14:28:49 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of falloutsnow


4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: '04-04-13' stamped on label (probably best by?)
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

For its price and availability, Rodenbach's Classic may just be the perfect Flanders Red ale. The signature tartness and fruit flavors are here, alongside a pleasing sweetness from the initial brown malt base. Solid overall, and very hard to go wrong with this ale.

Pours a 1.5cm head, light tan in color, with bubbles ranging from small to large in size (small on the bottom), giving a frothy look. Retention is above average, slowly fading to a thin cap of foam atop the body with thicker ring around the perimeter. Lacing is substantial, leaving many various shapes and splotches on the sides of the glass. Body is a brownish color with only slight traces of red; holding to light only brings out a lighter shade of brown. From the Flemish Reds that I've seen, they don't look any better than this.

Aroma of oak, cinnamon, mild tart cherries and raspberries, cherry syrup, and slight black pepper. Slightly cherry yogurt-like as beer warms. Not particularly tart or sour, but those components are still present enough to be noticeable.

Noticeably tart, yet still somewhat mild, a mixture of tart fruit and lacto and pedio-coccus sourness with a subdued brown malt base. Opens with well-balanced sweet-sour cherries and malt base. Mid-palate is of a tart brown malt base with enjoyable tart cherry and raspberry flavors. Back of palate finds increased tartness and cherry syrup flavors. Aftertaste is primarily sweet, slightly caramel-like with just a hint of cherry and raspberry flavors and associated tartness.

Beer is medium-bodied throughout, with a moderate carbonation that leads to a subtle foaming on the palate. The result is a slightly creamy, yet crisp and satisfying beer. Finish is very dry, as expected, with little stickiness on palate.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2012 02:50:10 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of StoutHunter


4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Rodenbach's Rodenbach Classic last month for $2.69 at The Lager Mill. Flanders Red Ale is one style I have never had before, I've been making an effort to check out some new styles of this beer, so I decided to take a chance on this one, so let see how it goes. Best before 3-20-2014. Poured from a brown 330ml bottle into a tulip.

A- The label is ok, it's pretty simple but it had a clean look to it. It poured a nice brown/dark red color that took on a nice and dark ruby color when held to the light with a fingers worth of light tan head that died down to a thin ring that eventually disappeared and left hardly any lacing behind. This was an ok looking beer, the color was pretty nice but the head and lacing were lacking a little.

S- The aroma starts off with loads of tart and sour smelling fruit, there's some cherry's, plums, and some raspberry's along with a higher amount of sweetness. Next comes a little bit of oak and a slight funky aroma. This beer had a good aroma is was very fruity with some nice sour and funky notes to it, I like it.

T- The taste doesn't seem to be too similar to the aroma, it starts off with some malts and a light amount of medium tartness followed by some of the fruits that I got in the aroma, they aren't nearly as intense as they were in the aroma and the cherry's seem to stick out the most. On the finish i get a slight bit of Belgian yeast followed by a slight oak flavor and hardly any bitterness just some lingering tartness that is slightly sour. There's also a high amount of sweetness with a sweet, cherry, and tart aftertaste. This was a good tasting beer, I wish the fruits showed up a little more but other than that it was pretty enjoyable.

M- Pretty smooth, crisp, slightly puckering, medium bodied, with a nice amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was good and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and from what I can tell it's a good example of the style, but this is my first of the style, so I don't have much experience with this style at all but it seems to be close to the description BA provides for the style. This beer had decent drinkability, it was smooth, and the flavors kept me interested, but the high amount of sweetness would prevent from having another, one of these small bottles is the perfect amount. What I liked the most about this beer was the aroma it was pretty nice with lots of tart fruit aromas. What I liked the least about this beer was the appearance, a little more head and lacing would make this beer look pretty good. I would buy this again when in the mood for a nice and tart beer, it's not too expensive, especially for a beer from Belgium, I recommend this to anyone who want something with a little bit of tartness to it. All in all I was pretty happy with this beer, it had just the right amount of tartness to it, and the cherry aspect was pretty nice. This beer made for a good first impression for this brewery and it has made me want to try more of the style, good job guys, this is a pretty tasty and unique brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 04:46:40 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of mactrail


4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The color is that distinctive red-amber in the narrow Saxo tulip. A pile of foam, coarse bubbles, and lots of lacing. Aroma is woody, nutty, fruity. A touch of sweetness on the lips and a pleasant sudsy mouthfeel. And at 5.2%, a great quaff! The slight acidity is more like ripe cherries. It's actually less sharp than most IPAs. No hint of hops, apparently. Warm malt and that unique fruity mix.

Why are so many sours so vinegary? What's so wrong about the modest malty sweetness in this stuff? The Rodenbach mix of older and younger beers is so much more drinkable. Anyone curious about the sour styles of the Belgian tradition should try a couple of these.

From the 12 oz bottle in a six-pack bought at Liticker's Liquor & Deli in San Diego for a quite reasonable price. Interesting to discover this brewery is now owned by Palm of Belgium, which makes some hack beers of no distinction at all.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 05:15:48 | More by mactrail
Photo of fdig23


4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 12oz bottle.

Appearance: deep, deep ruby red with a small white head.

Nose: Really can't get much off the nose. A bit of sour cherries and some bready malts.

Taste: Bright, fresh sour black cherry tartness up front followed by nice sweet caramel-y malts. It's very simple and very easy-drinking. This would make a great easy-drinker on a colder night.

Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation, just enough body to give it some substance without being overbearing.

Overall: A nicely tart very cherry forward easier drinking Flemish red. Nothing like the super complex and sour ones with more old beer in the blend. The young beer gives it a nice a malty base while the small percentage of old beer in there provides just enough funk and sourness.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2013 20:54:52 | More by fdig23
Photo of DanGeo


4/5  rDev 0%

04-26-2014 11:07:51 | More by DanGeo
Photo of dimitrov


4/5  rDev 0%

06-01-2013 03:13:06 | More by dimitrov
Photo of heddar33


4/5  rDev 0%

09-06-2012 21:51:47 | More by heddar33
Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,346 ratings.