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

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

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BA SCORE
89
very good

1,606 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,606
Reviews: 653
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 11.53%
Wants: 70
Gots: 154 | 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
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,606 | Reviews: 653
Photo of soulgrowl
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Leathery red-brown body with a luxurious burgundy aura, dark and about 75% opaque with bright peachy red highlights. Head is smooth and milky tan, sticky but not very long-lasting.

Smell: Ripe cherries, raisins, plum, and loads of sweet red wine. Extremely fruity with a touch of rice wine vinegar acetic tartness and a slightly earthy quality reminiscent of oak or pipe tobacco. Hops lend a very subtle leafy aroma that enhances the underlying earthiness perfectly.

Taste: Lovely. Not quite as lovely as the Grand Cru, but just about. Balanced and robust, a good mix of fruity sweetness and funky tartness, like apple cider combined with a bit of apple cider vinegar. Hints of tobacco appear early on and reappear in the finish, which after a flash of sourness, is earthy and vaguely hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and bright, medium bodied, and far from throat-scorchingly acidic (as sour beers sometimes tend to be).

Drinkability: So refreshing. So tasty and unique. Highly drinkable.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Rodenbach glass a very deep amber, with a very nice white lacing on the glass. It has a sweet aroma and the taste is all about tartness and dark fuits, even so small. This is one of those special occasion beers, not an everyday kind of thing, even though it is fantastic.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of atsprings
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights when held to light. The aroma is dominated by cherries with a candy sense to it. The taste is almost like a sweet wine with some malt characteristics. An interesting blend of cherry and grape flavor with a slight sweet malt presence. The beer is somewhat heavy due to the fruit bitterness. The bitterness definitely makes this one a sipper. This is a very unique brew, but nothing I'd seek out that often.

Photo of ezpott
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Being my first venture with this style wasn't really prepared for what I got when I poured it into the glass. Poured a slightly reddish brown color. Light head with plenty of lacing. Smelled of Cherry and Raspberry with a back note of vinegar.Taste comes on first with a sour vinegary note that is not overpowering but definitely let's you know it's there. Smooths out after initial taste to reveal fruits of cherry and wood tones. Nice pleasant aftertaste that has more of a malt characteristic. Some nice carbonation and silky mouth feel. As I said first time trying this style but won't be the last. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Photo of dfried
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color with a lot of light brown and reddish hues, and some almost yellow at the bottom. 3cm off white head formed and lasted as a film thoughout the entire bottle. The aroma is sweet and candy-like, but bathed in sour. Plenty of fruity notes too, plums, dates, red grapes, even a vineous feel to it.

The taste again has plenty of sour up front, but a balanced, unoffensive amout. The tart, acidic sour combines with fruity notes to bring to mind raspberries and other brambles, and sour cherries. As the aftertaste settles in, a brown sugar and molasses malty body shows up. Fruity notes of plums and apple skins linger. Mouthfeel is sour and tingly, but not overly carbonated and fizzy. Light to medium bodied.

Overall: this was one of my first ventures into the style, and I loved it. I have had a few of the New Glarus beers made with souring yeasts, and this was atleast as good as them. I liked how the sourness remained balanced and let the other flavors shine when they were suposed to.

Photo of penguinjive7
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a bit of a white head. Good amount of lacing. Smell is of sour fruit and a bit vinous. Taste is tart to begin with but fades into sweetness leaving the slight vinegar taste behind. The finish is much smoother than the front and leaves a nice taste in the mouth. The carbonation is done well and complements the taste nicely.
Overall this is a very unique brew. The several stages in flavor lead to a nice complexity. I would not go out of my way to get this again, but it is definitely worth a try and I will again soon, I'm sure.

Photo of mdagnew
3.82/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to cypressbob for this bottle... 250ml...

Poured a deep burgundy red colour with some rusty brown tinges... Creamy tan head poured pretty small then faded quickly to light ring around the edge... Decent amount of carbonation fizzes to the surface... Light lacing..

Aroma - Pretty strong sweet and sour notes, red wine / balsamic vinegar notes, soy sauce, salty, dried sour fruits (red grapes, raisins, cherries. oranges) some leathery / musty notes, light caramel / toffee malts, oaky, bready notes underneath, no real hops, light pepperiness...

Taste – Quite sour vinegariness, some rum notes, definite soy sauce hints, good oakiness, wine hints, light nuttiness, some sweet dark fruits underneath the sourness (prunes, cherries), some spicy / peppery traces, earthy, light toffee malts, some treacle notes..

Feel - Pretty smooth and creamy but with a little sharp bite underneath. Medium / full body... Pretty drinkable but could see this being too sickly after a while to drink too many in one sitting..

Overall - A pretty good Flanders Red.. Not quite up there with the Duchess de Bourgogne but certainly recommended...

Photo of Rudgers73
3.59/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice homogeneous shade of mahogany. Decent 1/2 inch fizzy head that disperses into a very thin ring. This appears to be light and crisp with a very wine-like oak aroma. Beyond the sour tones up front you can smell a light sweetness in the background. Sour cherries, raisins, and grapes. The taste is tart up front with a flood of unripened cherries and a slight tweak of malt. It then drops off slightly into a very mild pure carbonated water taste. Very strange flavor profile. Not quite sure what to make of it yet. I'm relatively sure that this isn't my kind of thing. I have tried Duchesse De Bourgogne a while back not knowing that it was a Flanders Red Ale and I remember it having a more full flavor and more continuously rich flavor profile. This one sort of drops off in such an abrupt manor. Not enough alcohol for the oak aging to really do much for IMHO. Overall, I was glad I tried more than one of this style for relativity if nothing else. Quite an interesting style, maybe I'll try the Grand Cru in a couple of weeks to see if the extra alcohol brings something better to the table.

Photo of merlin48
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle pours a clear garnet chestnut body with a thin beige head. Sheets of lacing are left on the chalice.

Aroma of old musty oak, cherries, and horse blanket.

Light medium body with a clean earthy feel.

Taste is sour cherries, woody wet oak, and wool sweater. More sour than sweet.

Beautiful example of an exceptional style.

Photo of cabsandking
4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown color with a beige cap thats pretty slim. Dominant vinous nose with some oak and a slight molasses sweetness. Dry, bitter canvas for its bold flavor of fermented berry tartness, burnt grains. Displays some yeastiness but one sided, could have used more depth here. As is warms fig and prune notes come out and all the flavors start to blend together for a smoother, balanced flavor. Finishes dry with a light fruitiness and slight tartness. Full body and an even mouthfeel. Carbonation is low but exerts just enough crispness to make it quite enjoyable.

Photo of cproioi
3.17/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark red body with an off white head that leaves a little lacing. The aroma and taste go hand in hand with a sharp sour fruit notes that are quite pleasant. The carbonation dances on the touch with a slight cheek puckering sour tartness. The beer is a pleasure to drink and very refreshing.

Photo of icemonkey908
4.42/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a new style for me, so the flavor profile was a little unexpected, but it was definitely a good surprise. The appearance is a very dark red brownish color and there was very little head with a gentle pour from the bottle. A very good looking beer. The beer smells fruity with hints of apples and grapes. The apple and grape smells follows in the taste which is fruity with the hint of sour for which this style is named. The sour flavor is present although not overpowering or unpleasant in any way. This lends well to the drinkability. I could have a few of these.

Photo of Mitchster
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

5.1% ABV. 8.45 oz bottle@$2.79 from Merchant's. I picked up a 6'er never having had it before. Pours to a clear deep mahogany, forming a soft light tan head with pancake batter head at the margins of the glass. Retention is good and lacing is good. Carbonation is moderately strong, ~3 carbs. The aroma is very enticing...lots of tart cherry, basement, dust, and when swirled, some nice sour B-funk appears. Mouthfeel is soft, clean, and crisp with a refreshingly light body and piquant acidity and astringency of oak. The taste is a well-balanced mix of tartness, wood, and sparse malts. Bitterness is nill. This comes across much more drinkable than the Grand-Cru which I find to be of such unrestrained sourness that it offers no complexity. The finish has a touch of metal that lingers on the tongue. Highly sessionable. I could put away a 6'er of this without batting an eyelash. I really enjoyed this.
L=4.5, A=4.5, T=4.5, MF=4.5, O=4.5

re-review 1/24/13-11.2 oz bottle, 5.2% ABV. Apparently filtered. 75% young, 25% 2 year. I've found that the flavor now is quite restrained compared to my prior review, and the metal flavor is quite strong, interfering with the enjoyability of the beer. Now, I much prefer the grand cru. The mouthfeel and body are quite light. I'd have a hard time drinking more than 3 of these, which would give me a pretty bad case of heartburn. The current rating is what I think of this beer as of this review.

Photo of techdiver
4.73/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear, deep, reddish brown with a solid head that dissipates slowly.

Aroma is sour with cherry predominating.

Taste is spectacular, so refreshing. It's hard to pick between the Grand Cru and the Classic. If it weren't for the fact that the Classic has a slightly better appearance, and the Grand Cru has a slightly better smell; I'd probably rate them all 5's.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are both exceptional. Previous problem with Grand Cru aleviated with acquisition of a case. Now I need a case of this too.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a very dark reddish brown, really clear into grandmas crystal chalice for Easter. Nice thin tan head did not hold up very long, but left a small amount of lace in its wake. Nice visible streams of carbonation present.

S - Smell is very strong and the sour feel just rolls right out. Lots of flavors of sours grapes, apples, and some plums. Very nice bitter wine like aroma. Very complex and robust.

M & T - Very smooth and and really nice carbonation gave it a light frothy feel. Very big taste, this one needed to be heard! Extremely sour profile and lots of fruity flavors. Apples. grapes, pears. Slighthint at bread like flavors.

D - Overall I would have to say this was not bad at all. My first taste of a sour ale was not really to my liking but this has intriqued me a bit more. This was much much better. I actually really enjoyed sipping on this while I was easting dinner and has opened me up to some more of the style. Definalty a sipper due to the strongness.

Photo of Illinick
3.35/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a deep reddish brown with a medium sized off white, thick head that dissipates and sticks around as a thin layer. Decent lacing.
S: Tart, sour fruit-mainly cherry, some oaky and earthy scents as well. Sour cherry oak about sums it up.
T: You know one would think I would expect some sour notes but upon first sip I was hit in the face with some intense sour and over the top tart cherry and fruit flavors. It's like a sour patch kid beer. Once you recover from the sour shock you can pick up some earthy and oaked fruit flavors as well as some slight hoppiness.
MF: Light and finishes tart, almost tannic.
Overall: Definitely an interesting brew. Huge sour and tart notes, so expect over the top. Worth a shot if for nothing but curiousity's sake.

Photo of GPHarris
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - poured a two fingers thick head into a tulip glass. the head was a light tan color, fizzy and bubbly which left a thick lace. the body was a deep red.
s - tart and sour cherries.
t - cherries with a little dried grapes thrown in. i know it's about to be passover...am i drinking a manishevitz?
m - bubbly and thin.
d - the more i drink this beer the more i am liking it. not very familiar with the style but this is starting to become one i'll look for every now and then.

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.65/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle. Leaves a one finger head that has excellent retention, and very good spotty lacing. Body is garnet with red highlights.

Smell - horseblanket, sour cherries, plums, vinegar.

Taste - very sour. Horsebalanket, less plums and sour cherries than nose suggests, and an aftertaste of vinegar.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, somewhat fizzy, semi-dry.

Drinkability - this is good, but not great.

Photo of jwc215
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark caramel with a thick head that descends to a thin, lasting head. Some vanishing lace sticks to glass.

The smell is sour and fruity.

The taste is sour, tart passion fruitiness. Oak, and a touch of iron come through. The sour is sharp at first, but becomes mellow and smooth in the finish.

The body is medium, but with a touch of thinness.

This is a beer that is put together pretty well. It's worth having for its unique character, and fairly easy to drink.

Photo of DaveFL1976
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The cage is untied and.... POP!
The cork rockets out of the bottle, cage in tow, and slams to my kitchen ceiling, slightly cracking the plastic diffuser of my kitchen's light bulb. This beer's off to an interesting start.
I reach down to pick up the cork and catch of waft of funkyness. Oh, this is a really interesting start.

Pour the beer into my chimay goblet and take note of a crysta lclear deep cherry red body topped with a fluffy tan head.

The nose has a bit of sharpness to it, and tart fruity tones, like cherries. Really nice and crisp smell.

But the taste was a bit of a letdown. It's sour at the start, and it's nice. Then a wave of cherries fill the palate, but what's left is a metallic aftertaste that tastes a bit like I've sucked on a penny.

Mouthfeel is deceptively light due to the high carbonation, and drinkability is..ehh.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Reddish with a brown tint. Large head with impressive retention. Not really any lacing there.

S - A bit of yeasty fruit - cherries mostly. Slight maltiness, but it is dwarfed by the cherries.

T - Cherries, very sour cherries. The aftertaste is a lingering sour cherry . . . not a touch of sweetness. A faint slightly fruity bitterness in the aftertaste. Quite good.

M - Smooth, thin, very refreshing.

D - Great. I actually ordered two of these in a row because they were so good. I won't hesitate to have this again.

Photo of alexskovan
4.03/5  rDev +1%
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. . . )

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.94/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was really looking forward to cracking open this classic, and was not disappointed. If you like sour (as I do!), then this is the beer for you!

Appearance was reddish with fairly little white head, and appealing.

Aroma is sour, sour, sour, as is the flavor. Taste was a bit like good vinegar, and distinctly sour. As it warmed, it was very wine-y, like a chardonnay.

Mouthfeel and drinkability were both good. Thus far, the highlight of my beer drinking day.

Photo of tempest
4.03/5  rDev +1%
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.

Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
89 out of 100 based on 1,606 ratings.