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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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

647 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 647
Hads: 1,623
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 75
Gots: 161 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website
Belgium

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 647 | Hads: 1,623
Photo of tbeckett
3.54/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from a shop in Melbourne. From notes.

A - Poured a deep mahogany colour. One finger of beige head and good carbonaiton. Spotty lace and no retention.

S - Tart, oak, some cherry-ish fruits. Good sweetness.

T - Sweet cherry candy. Quite sweet. A little tartness towards the end. Oak, dark fruit as well. Barny a bit. Lot's more sweetness than expected. Lacking balance of tart and oaky notes to balance sweetness.

M - Good carbonation, light to medium body and dry, short finish.

O/D - Not bad. Lacks depth of better examples of the style but otherwise a good intro to the style. (589 characters)

Photo of dmgeng
3.54/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Starting to sample some sours

A - Cloudy brownish-red. Coarse off-white head with light lacing. Not a very appetizing looking beer.

S - Red wine vinegar is the first smell. Red wine, tannins, fruity cherries, and some Belgian spice.

T - Red wine (soft Cabernet) character is the first flavor with some tannin, grape, light cherry, and some oak. It has a mild sour, vinegar character but is more crisp and tart rather than just sour but there is some sweetness. Much more complex than I had assumed but thin and more refreshing than a flavorful beer.

M - Light mouth-feel with moderate carbonation. The sourness and the low ABV make this beer more of a pairing beer than a drinking beer.

Overall, a decent beer and probably a perfect example of the style but not a style that I prefer. It really just reminds me of a cheap Cabernet wine with low alcohol and low body with some sourness. I would much rather have a DIPA or RIS but for a warm summer day with a sharp cheese I could see this beer winning out over a stout. I think this would be a good one to try if you are curious about sours since it isn't too sour but pretty complex.

Glass- Snifter (1,157 characters)

Photo of jsausley
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a small pilsner glass.

A: Dark brown with reds. Very pretty and deep color.

S: Smells of malty notes with hops and some yeast. A nice grape aroma.

T: Primarily a light malt body with a huge citrus and floral top. Prunes, grapes and raisin here. Spicy finish.

M: Smooth and crisp, not bitter and not boozy.

O: A fairly unique beer that is full of unique flavor. A bit too sour and sweet for me, but very different and I'm glad I tried it. (469 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours what looks at first glance to be a murky brown. Rather non descript with a finger and a half of loose bubbles that popped like soap bubbles pretty quickly and left a ring. Soapy lace as it drinks. Nose is half hearted. There is a light twang of vinegar that dissipates quickly, plenty of wood and earth and some very light cherry. Funky and has a scent deep in the nose that that smells like "sour." That vinegar twang comes back only lightly as ti warms

Taste is also very light. It has a tartness but it's not terrific. It has cherry but it's too light and not deeply sweet. There is some acidity but it's not lively and it doesn't create tension with a bright acidity. The sour and funk give it a bit of depth and there is a light cracker taste from the malt. It becomes more interesting as it warms and drinks easily with nothing to frighten anyone who is shy of sour beers. As you drink it achieves a wine like sweetness in the middle that is quite nice. Mouthfeel is bubbly and light without a malt presence except as a blank canvas.

I was a little disappointed in this one but it's not a bad beer. It lacks complexity. (1,134 characters)

Photo of bringonthehops
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

8/8/2010:

-- 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. (411 characters)

Photo of Act25
3.53/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The other Rodenbach styles are rated 100. However, this one not much for me.

A: I poured it several times to study the head because it seemed the bottle had flat off despite a 12/17/14 date. On 2nd pour, aggressively into a tulip, a nice dense foamy tan head appeared. But it failed to last and atfer that it leaves some dotty lacing, and again feels thing and flat.
Murky, muddy, red-brown body.

Smell: I get cider, decaying wood, vinegar, and prunes. I dont get enough malt and fruit. I dont get enough complexity or strength, but it betters as it warms.

Taste: Follows the smell dominated by cider and fruit balsamic vinegar. Some oak, and hard underneath. Hint of vanilla? Got to let it warm, but it never rises above prune cider for me.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Low carbonation. Slightly sticky mouth feel, but not cloying.

Drinkability: A half portion might be ideal aperitif. Otherwise, I put this aside to drink a more approachable beer profile and finish it at a warmer temperature. Definitely want to split it with some one, or maybe even save it to cook with tomorrow.

I prefer beers that I want to finish now. (1,130 characters)

Photo of illidurit
3.51/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into the ol' Duvel tulip. Body is dark brown and is penetrable only by a strong light source. Head is 2 fingers tall and tan, leaving strings of lacing.

Aroma is fermenting grapes with some raspberry/cherry sweetness. Quite tart and vinegary.

Taste is actually less sour than I expected. It still has enough tartness to make the corners of the mouth twinge, but it's not as puckering as gueuze. Malty base with a bit of cherry cola. The vinous acetic character is still there from the aroma.

Mouthfeel is smooth and appropriately carbonated, but the finish is too sticky and unclean. Pretty drinkable nonetheless. (623 characters)

Photo of Offa
3.51/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is an interesting beer, rather light, zesty, and fruity, and more tart than sour.

Dark red, almost black, it has a small-medium pale tan head steadily shrinking to a lasting thick foamy ring and wisps, with hints of foamy briefly clinging to the sides.

The aroma is quite pungent, perfumy sweet-sour, turned fruit, somewhat vinegary with elements of old, rusty metal pipes and a compost pile, plus a strong character of old berries, especially raspberries. The aroma is to me just a touch off-putting although I have mixed feelings about it as I do most aspects of this beer.

The taste is a little different and lighter, mostly lightly tart with a slight sweetness and only very light sourness, but with strong fermentd fruit - mostly a very strong character of turned raspberries - along with some toasty, very faintly buttery grain/cracker that peeks through in the aftertaste along with a hint of woody paper. The feel is light, zesty, and a bit fizzy. It's distinctve and holds up well with definite character, fairly refreshing and interesting, and fairly easy to drink but a bit one-dimensional, not really my style, and not something I would readily choose. (1,172 characters)

Photo of umustdrink
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

8.45 oz. bottle

A - Mahogany brown color with a very reddish hue. Head fades quickly to a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

S - Very funky and sour smelling, like vinegar, a little woody with sweet cherries and vanilla also detectable.

T - Mildly sour to start, then sweet with cherry flavors and still sour. Finish is slightly less sour, and still cherry flavored.

M - Thin to medium consistency with medium carbonation. A very faint acidic burn.

D - First Flanders Red I've tried, it's not bad I guess. Usually I find sour beers too sour but this one was okay. Probably wont have again though. (617 characters)

Photo of Andreji
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried this at the heart of Brussel's while celebrating the victory of the french over the english in rugby (well, I didn't really celebrate. just stood on the sidelines.)

Pour is dark caramel, completely opaque with a medium cream dark tan head, lasting for a bit. The smell is fruity as the taste, in terms of rather 'frutti di bosco' sorta fruits (red stuff I guess), very pleasing combination within a very dense body. (424 characters)

Photo of mtnbikerpa
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle that was caged and corked, into a pint glass. No freshness date on the bottle. About an inch of thin head that quickly disappeared. A small amount of carbonation. Color is a redish brown. Smells of malts and grapes. Sort of a sour grape like flavor. Mouthfeel is pretty watery. Does not have a very high drinkability to me. All and all I am glad I tried it, but would probably not reach for it again. Probably a brew a wine lover would enjoy more than me. (484 characters)

Photo of jonb5
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

250ml bottle, poured into Leffe chalice. Dark mahogany colour, a bit like red wine with a brown tint, small tanned head which disappeared fast, clear from the top but thick from the side. Smelled malts and red wine. Tasted grape, was like a light sour red wine, notes of oak, yeasty sour finish. Mouthfull smooth with deceptive carbonation. Overall I'd say the more I get used to the sourness the better I like it. (414 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

8.45 oz. bottle

Pours a dark mahogany color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy head, tiny islands left behind. The nose is sour, tangy, cherry/raspberry, and some malts. The taste is sour/tangy, lots of cherry/raspberry, there's some funk going on in there. Medium body. Drinkable, not that impressed with this one, I've had way way way better Flanders in the past. (361 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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. (401 characters)

Photo of Stimack
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am not sure why I have not tried this brew before since i really do like the Flander brews and the sour aspect of them. This brew poured to a color that has a red tone to a brown profile. had a nice light tan colored head that holds for a bit. The aroma shows of its tart/sour side from the get go with a nice fruit mix. I know that this is a blend of brew that was in Oak but I am not sure if I am or am not picking up the oak notes. While I like the aroma, to me it seems to be more one dimensional than I would like. The flavor of course highlights the fruit and sour profile but to me seems to be a little more harsh with a stronger acidic note than I would like to see. Again just like with the Aroma I am not picking up the properties that I would expect from a being aged (part of it) in oak. To me this is a solid brew, like this type of brew but in my book it is not in the same book as Mestreechs Aajit, Monks or Duchesse. I would get this brew again but would reach for these others before this one, just mu opinion. (1,029 characters)

Photo of AxesandAnchors
3.47/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very little head, maybe a half a fingers worth (dissipated almost immediately). Very murky looking. More of a brow with a red hue, than a typical red. Lets hope this tastes better than it looks.

S: Smells slightly skunky...this is starting to worry me. Raspberries, cherries, a touch of wood, apple cider, plum, zest, candy sugar, a bit tart.

T: Nice first wave of a mellow tartness. Definitely a raspberry/cherry mix. Hey, with a bit of malt. A really faint oak flavor in the background. The funkiness that was in the nose is much better in the taste.

M: Smooth and dry on the tongue. Just the right amount of carbonation.

O: I was a little worried in the beginning, but where this beer lacks in first impressions it more than makes up for in the end. Not all that complex but it is a solid brew none the less. (819 characters)

Photo of Doogermeister
3.47/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- maroon color with little to write home about.

S- classic sour beer smell.

T- taste is smooth but unremarkable. Modaerate sour and its perfect for beginners to the sour style of beer. Compared to the grand cru, or the vintage it's no where close. But the flavor profile is very similar just slightly dirtier than the previously recommended beers.

M- mouthfeel is also decent but nothing too crazy here. Enjoyable, drinkable, not too thick, not too thin with mild carbonation.

O- wonderful sour at a great price, great everyday sour as its affordable and easy to obtain. No seasonal, or limited run status here. 1/4 oak aged, 3/4 young beer. If you enjoy sour beers, vinegar, pickles, or anything tart give this one a shot. (732 characters)

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown pour with ruby highlights. Big head, but lacking in persistence.
Aroma has lots of sour funk with sweet cherries and raspberries. Smells more like a lambic than a Flanders red. Nowhere near as sour/acidic as the Grand Cru.
Flavour reinforces the similarity to a lambic: quite musty, lots of sweet raspberries, some acidic bite. Quite a tangy finish. Very refreshing but too sweet.
Very light mouthfeel. (414 characters)

Photo of ski271
3.44/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Zeno’s in State College, PA. Just got it because it was something I hadn’t ever heard of or tried before. Didn’t know it was a flanders until I tried it. Not one of my favorite styles of beer, but a good change of pace. Pours a hazy reddish-copperish-dark brown with a small, off-white, tight, creamy-looking head with good retention. Excellent, thick lacing. A bit sweet smelling but with a sour tinge to it as well as expected. Fruity (cherry and grape), bready and woodsy smelling with a hint of vinegar. The sour smell and taste instantly give away its style. Very typical aromas and flavors from the brets. The taste is mostly fruity with a light malt backbone. Kind of reminds me of some apple cider I recently had that I let get a few weeks old to where it has that nice ‘zing’ to it. The taste seems to be a little one-dimensional, but I haven’t had too many flanders ales to know if this is typical of the style or not. I mean, the taste was good, but there wasn’t all that much of it, nor did it last very long on the finish at all. Medium-light body, moderately astringent, and soft carbonation. An interesting ale, and good… but not great, though I blame a lot of that on the style. Not my cup of tea, but probably a little above average compared to other flanders I’ve had. I'm glad I tried it. (1,326 characters)

Photo of Sigmund
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

250 ml bottle, simply called "Rodenbach", courtesy of Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 5.2%. Very dark reddish brown colour, moderate beige head. Nice aroma of red wine vinegar, sour cherries and farmhouse kitchen. The flavour is moderately sweet and sour, notes of musty fruit, funk and red wine vinegar. Some oak in the finish, minimal hops. Not nearly as complex, powerful and interesting as the Grand Cru, but okay. (424 characters)

Photo of crossovert
3.42/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

8.45 oz bottle, best before 1.07.08.

Pours a purplelish/reddish brown with a big foamy slightly off-white head that leaves a bit of lacing.

The smell is heavy on the vinegar along with sour cherry and a bit of oak.

The taste is pretty sweet with an overlying cherry tartness. Light vinegar in the taste but not as profound as in the smell. The oak is there but not overpowering.

The mouthfeel is a bit off, it is too watery for my liking.

I prefer the Grand Cru, this is an average Flanders Red, but It is cheap and easily available. (538 characters)

Photo of magictacosinus
3.41/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Consumed at the sour tasting that I organized with friends. Split with many people. Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

Pours a rather brownish color, rather than red - I can't really fault it too much, however, as it is a relatively young ale and hasn't gone through the elaborate process that its vintage or Grand Cru offerings have. As a result, the sediment from the barrel isn't as refined or faded. There's a good amount of carbonation overall, bringing up about 2 fingers worth of frothy head. Not much lacing, or too much of an eye candy or wine-looking color that Flanders reds usually deliver. Very rustic and raw looking, but pretty wholly unremarkable overall.

Smells rather light, which completely through me off - not much of an oaky, funky, or acetic acid tone to this in any way you'd immediately assume. I thought Monk's Café was already light in certain respects, but this really does a disservice to the potential that this style is capable of providing. Now, rather than complain, I will say that it contains very nice, pungent earthy flavors, particularly of dried raisins, prunes, and ripe cherries. Some spice and must from the barrels as well, often seeming nutty and sweetened. However, it feels, already at this point, incomplete in certain respects, and knowing what Rodenbach is capable of, it's hard not to be somewhat disappointed.

Tastes about as even as it does - earthy, not too acidic, slightly tannic, and filled with dried fruits and nuts without too much complexity. Right at the front of the tongue you get notes of raisins, prunes, walnuts, and light cherries, and then you get a little bit of barrel spice resembling herbs of sorts, as well as cinnamon. Not too overpowering beyond that... Manages to be pretty subtle overall, with only a little bit of tart flavors at the finish, no doubt from the older batch that this was blended with. Carbonation is wholly decent, but the overly grainy, woody tannic mouthfeel gets a bit distracting in the long run without the complex, multifaceted flavor that this style tends to provide. It definitely is refreshing and flavorful in its own special way, but it's a little too simplified for what it is.

I was surprised to find myself not enjoy this as much as I wanted - I'm relatively familiar with Rodenbach's vintage releases, so I felt this would be simple and refreshing in its own realm. Nevertheless, it's a little too underwhelming overall for what it is, and lacks complexity and unique flavors that I love in the style, as well as in Rodenbach's capabilities. Not bad for a toned down Flanders red, but not something, given the price tag ($10) that I'd revisit any time soon. (2,682 characters)

Photo of haazer
3.39/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My first Flanders red, poured into a tulip.

A- The brew pours a lively cola looking head, very bubbly and dissipates pretty quickly. Lively carbonation is evident in the brown, maroonish looking brew. Pretty opaque, with a slight red hue.

S- Smells just like wine. Some grape, cherry, sour notes, and some oak. Just like a red wine.

T- Very much like a red wine, but the carbonation and feel make it beer. Grapes, sour cherry, a sweet Belgian yeast strain, some oak and a tart finish.

M- I'm bumping up the mouthfeel quite a bit because this is so drinkable. The carbonation is lively, yet the beer itself is so smooth and easy drinking. Light in body as well.

O- I don't know what to think about this. Personally I don't like wine, but this combination is interesting. I could see myself getting into the style. Once the beer sits for a bit this feels more like that. (875 characters)

Photo of jeffthecheff
3.39/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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. (530 characters)

Photo of treehugger02010
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought this 750 ml bottle from Michael's Deli in King of Prussia, Pa.
Appearance: Deep read body, edging on brown. A dark tan head that was large, having good retention but not leaving any lacing. I didn't notice much in the way of carbonation up front, but toward the end it really started bubbling. Is that normal?
Smell: When I popped the cork, the aroma was all of fermented grapes, but as time passed, everything mellowed and other sour fruit aromas came out.
Taste: I didn't get much in the way of the original grape flavoring, but I did get some green apples and cherries. Sour and tart but not as much as I wanted.
Mouthfeel: Very smooth, leaving you wondering if the carbonation was just an illusion.
Drinkabilty: Not awesome, but still rather tasty.
Don't drink and review. (785 characters)

Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 647 ratings.