Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Rodenbach Classic (Red) - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Classic (Red)Rodenbach Classic (Red)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

653 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 653
Hads: 1,658
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 18.45%
Wants: 80
Gots: 164 | 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
View: Beers (7) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 653 | Hads: 1,658
Photo of kjyost
3.06/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Did a blind side by side with Half Pints' Old Red Barn. Half Pint's was far and away the winner. Rodenbach was cloudy with a distinctly artificial cherry note and not much sourness. Muddled compared to their modern local contemporary...

 237 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.83/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

25 cL bottle poured into a snifter. Totally irresponsible rate. Best by date is 84, 85, or 86.

Appearance - Flat deep reddish brown. No bubbles.

Smell - Cardboard. Caramel. Cream sherry aroma.

Taste - Some tartness reminiscent of fresher Rodenbach. Faint cherry. Lots of caramel. And equal quantities of cardboard in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Flat. Medium body.

Overall - Way too old. I'll have to re-review this when I have it fresher.

 440 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, with no apparent bottled on or vintage date present. My first encounter with a bottle of Rodenbach, my first encounter with a Flanders Red Ale, and I figure this is as good a place as any to start. "75% young ale, 25% ale matured for two years". Bottle lists a 5.20% abv.

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - It pours a dark bloody ruby body with some slight hues of brown. Around two fingers of frothy khaki head with good retention, and leaves behind some nice scattered lacing. Looks good.

S - Initially earthy, woodsy, musty, and with a distinct barrel / wet cork type smell to it, but I mean that in a pleasant way. Notes of cherries & raspberries, with a slight chalkiness.

T - Taste follows the nose - woodsy, earthy, and with just the right amount of sour / tart. Fruity cherry / raspberry esque tartness. Good woody barrel notes, and a slight hint of vanilla imparted. Very nice.

M - The feel is crisp & easy-drinking. A moderate sour / tartness that fades to a clean finish. Lightly dry / vinous.

Overall, a nice introduction to the style for me. Certainly interested in trying more from Rodenbach.

Rodenbach Classic Red -----4/5.

 1,167 characters

Photo of TimZebGir
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%

A: (3/3) Caramel brown with very slight haze and medium carbonation--thin bubbly head but well-retained
S: (9/12) Earthy sour with light raisin tones
T: (16/20) Light flavor with cidery sour and very clean finish
M: (4/5) Light-bodied, light bubbliness, light dry finish
O: (7/10) Basically a light cidery beer. Far more sessionable than most sours I’ve had, but that simplicity has its obvious drawbacks.

 414 characters

Photo of Wanne
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice balance between sweet and sour, with hints of cherries and red wine. The aroma also reveals subtle caramel flavours. A fine example of an underrated beerstyle.

 164 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

refreshing and tangy, with a fluctuating (im pretty sure), but well hidden abv. one of the original examples of the style in my opinion, one of the best. dark red color to it and a lively tan head with excellent lace and retention. it smells puckery but more on the vinegar side of lacto than the citric side, which is fine in this instance because its balanced by sweeter amber malt and a nice buttery nutty front end that only eventually and reluctantly gives way to the acidity. clean and bright in feel though, shaking its weighty start and finishing really quite expressive and delicate for what it is. way more drinkable than the grand cru, with notes of dried fruit and molasses still in this one, but its so much more approachable, especially for the uninitiated. top quality stuff, but everything from rodenbach is.

 824 characters

Photo of bubseymour
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

I'm really crazy about the Grand Cru so thought to give the Red classic a try. Some barnyard/earthy scents. Also a touch of sulfur scents. Flavor is tart yet malty. Kinda simple and not much complexity. Not the most flavorful of the Flanders Red style but still an ok option for reasonable price. Not really interested in buying again.

 341 characters

Photo of kkleu357
3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Bought this on clearance for $1. Thinking it is pretty old. Poured dark like a Coke. Aroma is slightly boozy with some apple fruitiness. Mild flavor. It has a sharp bite on the tip of the tongue, followed by some apple flavors. Actually taste pretty good. Not sure what it would taste fresh, but not bad old.

 308 characters

Photo of Theheroguy
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Deliciously fruity

Almost like a fruit soda pop. Smell like sweet malts taste like esters from the yeast. The hop presence for me was non existent. There is a slight acidic twang. Very enjoyable and very different from what I expected. The beer is complex and highly drinkable.

 278 characters

Photo of babaracas
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark but mostly clear dark red/plum color, with thin khaki colored head, rings of lace halfway down the glass. Smell: cherry, balsamic reduction, herbal and vanilla oak, sweet. Taste: caramel, cherry, blackberry, tart grape, herbal and mildly acetic. Finish is sweet with mild vanilla and tannic flavors.

 317 characters

Photo of doucmehu
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours a mineral copper, like a filled pit mine. Appropriate khaki head, looks inviting.

Smells of cherry, grape, red wine vinegar.

Slightly tart at the corners of the mouth, unripe grapes, plum, yeast, tart cherry, balsamic vinegar.

Carbonation is lively but not overpowering, compliments a solid body. Smooth.

Very clean, lightly tart and acidic. Wine-like. Solid and easy drinking for the style.

 404 characters

Photo of titty_mcbitty
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Murky brick brown. Not much of a head. Poured it into a wine glass.

S: Estery. Some cherries and tea.

T: Cherries, black tea, acidic fruit, half and half, raisins, yeast, and some oak. Not bad but the flavors aren't as sharp as I'd like them to be. I'm getting a bit of a watered down version of a really good beer.

M: Creamy and not much carb. Not heavy but buttery and light.

O: Not too impressed since I expected the taste to jump out more like the Grand Cru did. Still an excellent beer and worth buying if you can get it in the little singles like I did.

 569 characters

Photo of jsausley
3.53/5  rDev -12%
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 sweemzander
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a murky reddish mahogany color. Some off-white froth and lacing.

(S)- Bright aromas of cherry and raspberry and strawberry with the slightest dry oaky funk to it.

(T)- Slight oaky funk combined with a great dryness throughout. Great slightly tart vinegar and fruit kick and the end.

(M)- A nice carbonation level and balance. A very easy drinking/milder flanders.

(O)- This is a drinking Flanders. One of those you would always have a bottle on hand when you are in the mood for one. Milder, but shows more fruit than sour acidity. While I will say I prefer the grand cru, this is still quite good.

 665 characters

Photo of dar482
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer comes in a murky copper brown.

The aroma is quite tart of unripen apples, cherries, cranberries, fig, red grape, a hint of oak, and sweet bready malt.

In the front, there’s a combination of apple and cranberry juice with hints of tartness, but that quickly subsides onto musty and funky red grapes. A gentle caramel and malt sweetness in the middle, then it dries off leaving that lingering funk and wood.

The front of the palate impresses, but that quickly goes away. A decent step behind the Grand Cru.

 519 characters

Photo of Phocion
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle dated best before 10/14/2015. Pours into a Lindemans flute a dark ruby color, reminiscent of cranberry juice. Barely off-white head with just the slightest tan hue. Head quickly drops into a thin crown, but that sticks around. Moderate but consistent lacing.

Aroma is very fruity and tart. Sour cherry and plum mostly, but a nice touch of candied sweet cherry as well. Passion fruit. Oak. A ton of fruit flavors going on, but little malt or hops. Slight spicy phenols.

Flavor is similar to the aroma in that it is a complex assortment of fruit. A tart red wine/cherry fruitiness blends well with caramelized sugar flavors, sweet cherries, and a touch of vanilla from the oak. Sweet up front with a tart finish, with just a little bit of spice thrown in at the very end.

Tart, refreshing, crisp mouthfeel. Light-medium body with moderate carbonation. No astringency and moderately sour, but acidic.

Rodenbach is a wonderful beer. I really love Flanders Reds, but I've only had a few in the past, so it's hard for me to evaluate this to style. Nonetheless, it is absolutely delicious.

 1,102 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Flanders red ale has stolen my heart. When they project a drier and more pungent sour character, they are among the best of all beer of the sour family. But its the cherry, kettle caramelization and barrel that work in tandem with the resident microflora to give these beers such distinctive charm.

Tantalizing sourness tethers through a more robust taste and balancing sweetness to place the nose and early palate completely under its spell. Its candied cherry upstart is wrapped in a blanket of caramelized sugars, cellar-like must and berry wine.

But its the wild display that blossoms across the middle that really takes back the senses with oddly compelling tastes that boarder on cider and oak, tobacco and leather, merlot and balsamic, brine and copper... the complex descriptors seem to go forever; playing out on a semi-sweet but intensely acidic palate.

Its tangy wine finish, carries an inherent honey balance that seems of confectioner's delight, yet pierced by its earthen variety for an effortless close with lingering vinous, lightly powdered astringency and surprisingly refreshing vinegar dryness.

 1,117 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a clear, dark, crimson hue. Head is a thin, unfinished, off white clump of froth. Not much lacing but it almost seems to leave legs along the glass.

S-Tart cherry with an underlying fruity sweetness. Oaky as well. Some caramel sweetness, too. Some vinegar. A bit of apple juice.

T-Flavor starts off with a moderately intense tartness that fades into a sweeter cherry flavor. Oak comes in after the tartness, too. Some brown sugar and a mushy, overripe fruit medley.

M-Medium bodied. Finishes surprisingly a bit dry. Fairly refreshing. Moderate carbonation.

O-I found this to be pretty tasty. Nice balance of sweet and sour. Nothing too overwhelming, which makes his beer a good go-to when your having a sour craving.

 728 characters

Photo of IPAlpha
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is nice. Brownish red color. I like the smell a lot. Hard to describe. The taste is excellent. This is my first sour beer. Buying it I didn't know it was a sour beer. The initial taste is good. A cider lite oak taste. I like the aftertaste a lot. I would drink this beer again.

 288 characters

Photo of EveningCordial
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pured into tulip glass.

A- Dark maroon and brown color, somewhat opaque. Short finger sized head that dissipates quickly. Not much lacing. Lots of noticeable carbonation.

S- Tart cherries and dark fruits. Currant berries and a little vinegar. Decent amount of sourness in the smell and a little oak. Small amount of alcohol detectable.

T- Not as tart or sour as smell would suggest. The sourness is actually quite subtle and a Belgian ale taste is present along with it. Small hints of a table wine turning to vinegar, but in a good way.

M- Light to medium bodied. Lots of epervescence. I prefer to pour these hard and let the carbonation settle for a bit.

O- Fine example of a balanced Flanders Red. I prefer a little more sourness, but this is certainly a top quality version of the style and one Id definitely recommend to others, especially those just getting into sours.

 888 characters

Photo of Paincane
3.29/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Opaque mahogany hued body with a thin tan head that is short-lived.
S: Sweet malt and sour yeasty aromas.
T: Begins sweet at the outset and progresses to a sour finish. Quite flavorful.
M: Well-blended and smooth. A good Flemish Red-Brown ale.

 250 characters

Photo of tomordonez
2.88/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

"The Flemish Red Brown Ale, 75% young 25% matured for 2 years".

What could go wrong about that?


It pours nicely although barely any head. Smells a little like dark cherries. Medium carbonation. Fruity but not as much as a lambic. Refreshing. I could have it for brunch, lunch or snack. Not something to taste in detail.

 330 characters

Photo of T6PP
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark red/brown with a very small head that disappears quickly

For smell it has a very tart smell to it

Taste is tart with a touch of fruit taste to it

It is very lightly carbonated

Overall it's a good beer and a good way to be broken in with sours

 259 characters

Photo of Apellonious
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip from CM.

A - pours a dark, murky brown with red highlights

S - faint tart, cider, pear

T - In line with the nose, mild back end sourness.

M - carbonation is medium low.

O - still getting a handle on the style,but this seems to be a solid drinkable offering.

 297 characters

Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a murky reddish-brown with a thin off-white head. The head dissapates quickly leaving some light lacing.

S - Aromas of tart cherries, green apple, and light balsamic vinegar.

T - Taste of sour cherries and green apples upfront. The finish is balanced out with some oak flavors and vinegar aftertaste.

M - Light bodied with high carbonation. Very smooth mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - One of the best introductory sours out there. Sweet and sour without being overbearing. Very refreshing.

 504 characters

Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 653 ratings.