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

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Rodenbach Classic (Red)Rodenbach Classic (Red)

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

644 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 644
Hads: 1,612
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 6.72%
Wants: 71
Gots: 156 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 644 | Hads: 1,612
Photo of jdoolin
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: on tap at the Sharp Edge in Pittsburgh, poured into the proper Rodenbach glass.

Appearance: Dark brownish red with a fluffy light tan head. Nice lacing.

Aroma: Incredible. Ripe cherries, light caramel and the aceting sourness combine to create a wonderful aroma.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Tartness hits first, but it's not at all overbearing. Cherries, grapes and other fruits come along with a caramel like sweetness balancing the tartness. Finishes with a smooth malt flavor and bit more cherries. Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth. Very tasty.

I wouldn't want to have too many of these in one sitting, but it's still above average drinkability.

Notes: After being disappointed with a bad bottle of Grand Cru (tasted like carbonated vinegar), I was ever so pleased with this beer. Wonderful flavors with a great level of tartness. I will get this beer again without a doubt. (897 characters)

Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle

Pours a semi-hazed reddish brown with a dense tan head that thins. Thick lacing on the glass.

Aroma is both sour and tart with a slight fruitiness.

The flavor is very tangy. It has sour and tart notes with a light fruitiness and just the slightest hint of malt.

Light body, creamy texture.

This is a fine sour ale. I consumed the 750 with no effort. Need to pick up another one of these.... (420 characters)

Photo of Iguana
4.95/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been wanting to try the Rodenbach beer's for quite awhile now but been unable to find em. Yesterday I was in Eugene, OR at the Bier Stein and ran across some much to my delight. 275 ml bottle poured into my New Belgium Globe glass a dark amber color with a small head that laced up fairly quick. Looks great. Smell is of tart cherries, oak, and just hint of vinegar sour twang. Smells awesome. Taste was not a let down, cherries, oak, rich malts, hint of wheat towards the end with a pleasently refreshing sour finish. Mouthfeel was smooth, a bit sticky, and tart. Really pleasent. Man if I could get this stuff in town I would drink it all the time. I absolutely love it. This is a brew that can be enjoyed on a hot afternoon to refresh you, or as a dessert for after dinner. (781 characters)

Photo of unklesyd
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My last in the line of Rodenbach tastings. After Redbach, this is a welcome back to beer territory.

Nice, tart flavor, slight hint of past-prime strawberries. Sourness is present, but not overly twangy. Blend of tart and sweet is nice, without making the beer undrinkably sour or sweet. No hint of "funk". Very clean, with a dry mouthfeel and slightly "savory" aftertaste.

Big downfall is appearance, which is a murky, not very attrative brown. However, it does pour with a nice head which maintains as a purplish ring throughout. A good aperitif. (555 characters)

Photo of timtheenchanta
4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep ruby color that may as well be brown topped by a light tan one finger head that laces delicately down the glass. A thin layer of foam stays on top for the duration of the drink.

Gorgeous nose that smells like ripe cherries, muscadine grapes, expected tart smell with some moldy oranges. There's a slight moldy hay/wet straw aroma followed by a subtle woody character.

Lively flavor tingles the tongue with sweet fruitiness (grapes, cherries, lemons) balanced out by a beautiful sour/vinegar profile with some horseblanket/hay smell.

This one has a very crisp light feel that delights and brings me back for more. The taste is strong and hangs with you so I'm not sure that I could have more than one in an evening despite the low alcohol level which would otherwise leave it very drinkable.

A wonderful beer and a great example of the style. It doesn't have the slightly metallic taste that some others in the style show. (938 characters)

Photo of edmundfitzoil
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 750 of Rodenbach poured into one of my trust snifters. I poured mind just a touch under cellar temperature, and I enjoyed it as it warmed in the glass.

The beer poured a lightly hazed deep red-brown. The head started out about an inch in height, but it dissipated pretty quickly like a glass of soda but left some spotty, wildly patterned fine lacing around the inside of the glass. The nose is complex and intensely - dare I say it - almost intimdating at first: fairly heavy oak tones with numerous fruits with a fairly heavy dose of a tart quality to it. The flavor itself initially is a subdued oaked-woodiness that is followed by the substantial lactic/sourness and pocedes to multiple layers of oakiness as the flavor itself feels like it spreads outward from the direct center of the tongue. The mouthfeel is full, but it's dangerously drinkable and enjoyable. I am quite surprised that something of this quality if fairly easy to come across here in town; although, don't allow my surprise to be anything to prevent someone from trying this. I will probably return soon enough. (1,090 characters)

Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky orangish-brown with a hazed clarity. One finger of dense, pale tan foam holds well and leaves spotty lacing. A complex aroma of cidery farmhouse yeast , some background peach/apricot fruitiness, and a musty french oak with toasted malt overlapping. Caramel taste briefly sweetens the flavor, followed by a malt vinegar bite. Aftertaste is tart and dry, with a funky belgian yeast flavor, and lingering sourness. No hops to speak of, but this balances fine without. A crisp, medium-high carbonation and medium body accentuate the acidic kick, and produces a very lively mouthfeel. Finishes pleasently tart and highly drinkable. If you're you're into the brett. thing, this is for you. (697 characters)

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer came a cola color with prominent cherry highlights and a wide creamy tan collar.

Smelled very sour and dry with a touch of vinegar and under-ripe cherries. There’s also a slight pie crust sweetness.

Tastes of musky sour and dry cherries, with a smooth creamy caramel that’s pasted on my tongue. The malty sweetness was a nice change of pace for the style.

The mouth feel was medium boded with a full mouth of unobtrusive bubbles.

The caramel sweetness took a lot of the edge off this one and made it very easy to drink. (544 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pops out a cork with ease, leading to a russet, brown, offering hazy cloudy in depth topped with a densely packed frothy sandy coating leaving a pillowy lace stuck to the glass.

Piquant scents of mouth watering sour apple. Light lemonade meets a light red apple with a leafy crispness.

First swigs: Bright red apple sharpness immediately starts off the palate with soft rose petal Earthiness. A touch of medicinal copper penny and lemon meringue pie filling follow through to a razor sharp finish of Sweet-Tart candy. A delicate linger of fluffy candy.

Restrained body and refined flavor makes a drinkable beer in my book. Clean finish helps.

Last swigs: Tart red apple sour sipper. A true classic. (712 characters)

Photo of laintringulis
4.68/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a wide mouth goblet from Eulogy's in Philadelphia. Pours a dark cranberry color with thick foamy head that thins out quickly but laces nicely. Light body, medium carbonation.

Smells strongly of apple cider, with a sweet caramel smell and some spiciness.

Has an initial sour/tart apple taste with a pleasant dryness that turns more sweet with a caramel maltiness in the middle. It finished with a tart cherry like back taste and moderate dryness.

Very crisp and refreshing. For a light bodied beer this has an exceptional fullness to the mouthfeel without being oily or filmy. Easily sessionable. I could drink this stuff all day long. It has a really nice tie between the mouthfeel, complexity of tastes, and drinkability. (741 characters)

Photo of cbl2
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$5.79 750 mL 5.10% Best by 9/06.

Appearance:

Pours a brilliant deep red with thin tight carbonation that yields a minimal white head.

Aroma:

Acidic and tart with sour mashed cherries and a sweet raspberry aroma.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

Like a lambic with no fruit added! This is fantastic, and refreshing with a palate cleansing acidic tartness that is imbued with a fresh cherry flavor that lingers as this one goes down. The low ABV makes this one easy to enjoy, and its overall uniqueness makes it a glory to behold.

Grab this one if you can get your hands on it, it is an excellent value. 75% fresh ale, 25% aged in oak. (641 characters)

Photo of doppelmeup
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first experience with a sour ale, so I wasn't sure how I would like it..

Cloudy, reddish brown color with a small head and minimal lacing served in a tulip glass.

Aromas of tart cherries, vinegar, pickles. Not overly strong and intriguing aromas.

This beer was more tart than sour tasting, similar to tart pie cherries. It was a little strange at first, but as I got accustomed to it, the flavor really grew on me. I shared the 750ml bottle with a friend, and he really liked the flavor, as did I.

(Edit: In pondering the flavor of this beer, I now know what the flavor reminded me of. It was similar to eating a piece of rhubarb pie, both tart and fruity at once.)

Clean crisp mouthfeel. Much lighter than expected. Not overly carbonated.

Easy to drink, but the flavor did take a bit of getting used to. I'd drink this again. (856 characters)

Photo of Phatz
4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ML bottle screen printed and corked bottle with a new logo from the displayed above.

I have only had 3 Flanders Reds but I have decided it is my current favorite style and I am going to seek out as many of these as I can find. I love the teeter-totting from sweet to tart and the berry bite in the end wow. I did enjoy this beer more than the Grand Cru but not quite as much as the Duchess De Bourgogne.

Suggestion: Let this warm signifcants on the counter before opening. It really mellows. Also take your time; start before it has reached room temp and re-cork (if you have a 750 ML) and try a small flute again and again as it warms. Absolutly *fasinating* the flavors that continue to come out, especially the coco.

Appearance: Pours a dark raspberry brown/copper color that does not let the light through the body but looks lighter around the edges. It had a small light brown head that fades to a spotty frothy cap and descent lacing.

Smell: Raspberries, cherry, brown sugar a hint of smoked barrel wood fill the nose and send my taste buds in a frenzy of anticipation i.e. salivation.

Taste: Sour, with wine like attributes it is cherry with a hint of coco and a flood of brown sugar it slides smoothly and is somewhat nonchalant the way sneaks through the fist part of palate without causing much ruckus; then, all of the sudden it erupts with flavors of berries and spices that that are simply exceptional. As it warms there are hint of coca and nuts and oak along with the sour cherries. It is similar to the Lambics that I have had in acidity and bite. The aftertaste lingers forever! mmm.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is very nice. I do not have much within the style to compare it to yet but it is extremely active and poking and prodding the palate while dancing around with great energy on the taste buds. That said the carbonation is not as crazy as the Grand Cru was, which I personally prefer. It was a little rough on the swallow sometimes with the acidity but overall, very nice in the mouth.

Drinkability: I hardly know what to say. Typically I would not consider a sour beer sessionable but maybe I am converting to a new way of thinking; this beer was so east to drink it was hard to believe. I won’t quite give it a 5.0 but it’s a really close call wow. I think it’s that amazing aftertaste that just keeps this beer cruising down the hatch =)

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (2,425 characters)

Photo of MSchae1017
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted from the 750mL Bottle in a tulip glass.

This beer pours deep mahogany with a fluffy off white head, nice lacing and retention. The smell is woody and sour/tart vinous fruits. The taste reminds me first of a gueze or a lambic but not quite as sour/tart. There is also a slightly preceptable flavor of woodiness. The mouthfeel has a strong body without being overwhelming. The carbonation is also nice. There is also a nice amount of dryness. Overall, highly drinkable, a lovely beer. A great one to mix it up with for something a little different. (570 characters)

Photo of Imstillthegman
2.68/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

My first dive into "sour" ales. Poured a dark reddish-brown with a tan head that left some lacing behind. The smell is unlike any other beer I have had. Sour vinegar with some dark fruits and a sweeter bubble gum like scent. The taste is ... wow ... sour! I know I should have expected it but it hit me hard. It's like someone stuffed some cherries into a bottle of apple cider vinegar. This may be true to style but it's not for me. I gave it a 3 because I am assuming that is how it should taste. Well...it was an interesting experience for sure, but I had to feed this one to the sink. (588 characters)

Photo of nlmartin
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer several times at Eulogy in Philly. This beer was served in a chalice.

Appearance: The beer has a nearly crimson coloration. The head was a pink foam on the beer. The head had almost no retention.

Smell: The beer has a very dominate and pleasing sour cherry smell. The beer has a bit of spicyness funkyness splashing about the beer.

Taste: The beer has a lead in of tart cherry fruityness. The beer has a bit of funky spicyness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a light body. The beer has a very crisp and refreshing mouthfeel. This beer is a definate thirst quencher. I will definately be partaking of Rodenbach again. This is just a very solid sessionable beer. (698 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
4.69/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark red color with a tan head. Smell is tart and sour cherries. Taste is surprisingly crisp and refreshing! Sour and tart fruit dominate the taste that finishes incredibly dry and crisp. This brew has an extremely high drinkability. Even though I recommend the Rodenbach Grand Cru slightly higher, this is an absolutely wonderful brew. (349 characters)

Photo of Bierschenker
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The colour is brownish red with a lot of carbonation running through. The grey brown head is very firm. It is thick and creamy. It doesn’t disappear, but forms a nice cover.
The odour is very strong and unique. A wood like odour, barrel like. And an overpowering sour odour, finishing with rich hops.
Taste combines a subtle sourness with hops and a wood/nut taste.
Aftertaste is more bitter sour. Hop and malt linger in the mouth. Dry sticky feel in the back of the mouth.

This is a great beer, one of my favourite ones. Very strong taste and rich in aroma.

Ut Vivat, Crescat, Floreat! (596 characters)

Photo of EPICAC
4.1/5  rDev +2%
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. (1,085 characters)

Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

75 cl bottle, caged and corked.

Clear burgundy/brown in color with a small tan froth that laces.

Very heady nose with this beer: oak, vanilla, stinky cheese, barnyard, sugary note, vinegar, bubble gum.

Medium-light body with lively carbonation. Sour acidity is bracing, initially like unripe cherry, then more acidic like a Spanish olive. A slightly roasty malt flavor fades to an oaken sweetness. Vanilla and pipe tobacco notes. Tartness becomes lemony as the beer warms. A sweetness covers the top of the tongue.

I'm glad Palm started importing. Super complex, refreshing, and fun. (587 characters)

Photo of k75
4.8/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

amazing garnet red color, nice tight bubbles, off white head

big nose of tart, vinuous, acidic - like a vintage balsamic

smooth mouthfeel, medium body , big big flavors that get much better as it warms up

complex flavors of balsamic and tart fruit

not more than one glass, but very impressive (305 characters)

Photo of Budlum
4.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 mL bottle in to a goblet. A somewhat firm, tan head that dissipates in about two minutes leaving nice lacing throughout the drink. Colors are light brown, almost cloudy with plenty of red hues. A goblet with a smaller diameter would show more of the red characteristics.

The aromas are immediately floral. Sour apples, fresh raspberries, hints of passion fruits and a slight hefeweiss yeast smell. Hyacynthe in the mix as well?

The flavors are noticeably tart, as expected. However, the tartness never becomes overwhelming. Fresh sour fruits, hints of juniper and sweet raisins as it warms. Light in body yet powerful in flavor. A slight saltiness as well as vanilla tones can be found in the finish. There is no presence of alcohol as epected from the low ABV.

Incredible mouthfeel with plenty of effervesence. A great balance of complexity and a classic representation of the style.

I've had this on draft a few times and noticed that tartness was much more apparent. I should also note that the bottle reviewed has been maturing for about four months. Earlier samples from the case had increased tartness but the same characteristics elsewhere.

For muggy summer evenings, forget the IPA's and wheat beers. This is the one! Very refreshing and ridiculously drinkable. (1,306 characters)

Photo of Sycodrummer
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the 750ml corked and caged bottle into a tulip glass the beer was a dark ruby color with two-fingers of head and a high degree of bubbly carbonation.

The smell is soft fruit, spice, malt, berry, and orange.

The innitial taste is a sharp acidic sourness that puckers in the inside of the mouth. Tartness and citrus flavors flow free and a slight raspberry (and just berry ) in general taste. Cherries and a mild malty background tatse are all there. Very crisp in the finish and sour the whole way.

Medium-light body with a high amount of carbonation.

I am beginning to love these sour and tart beers especially in the warmer weather. This one is super drinkable, quenching, and enjoyable. I will be back to this throughout the summer. (758 characters)

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.71/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I finally managed to get my hands on what seems to be widely regarded as the premiere Flanders Red Ale, at least based on what I've gleaned from BA. I spotted this (and the Grand Cru, which I also bought) at Harry's Wine & Liquor in Fairfield, CT. Glassware used was a flute.
Appearance: has a dried, or drying, blood color - rather brownish-red - and had a generous amount of carbonation that produced a thick, long-lasting light tan head. Thick rings of lace marked each pull and the downward progression of the beer in the glass.
Smell: immediate sweet/tart aroma and sour cherry note, though not as strong as anticipated. Yeasty funkiness. Light oaken woodiness. Vague notion of vinegar adds a sharpness. Nice.
Taste: *shudder* ohh boy, that's good! Softly acidic and lushly creamy, sweet/sour cherry flavor. Hints of cocoa and caramel smooth out what could otherwise be a near-lambic tartness. Oak tannins and the musty, dusty, yeasty leathery flavor adds a breadth of complexity that's simply exquisite.
Feel: light yet round and creamy with a dry finish that sucks all the moisture from the tongue.
Drinkability: unbelieveably drinkable; you just want to keep going back to the well with this one. Undeniably a stunning example of the style. Worth every penny and a beer I will constantly be on the lookout for from now on. (1,335 characters)

Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had the opportunity to taste this the other day. I started exploring the Rodenbach offerings with the grand cru and finally this beer. I think I prefer this one more than the grand cru.
A - Ruby red with a base brown body. I think the beer was served to warm, it was very foamy!!
S - Sour cherries. No surprises in the smell.
T - Tart sourness balanced by a good malt base. Hints of cherry underly but really this beer is about the tart / sour experience. Not as malty as the grand cru which I think makes for a better experience.
M - very involving, medium bodied brew.
D - a nice beer, probably best shared at the 750ml level with friends.

A nice example of the style and worth trying if you would like to sample a Flanders Red Ale. (748 characters)

Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 644 ratings.