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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: 73
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 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)

Photo of bruachan
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

mmm. on tap at the winking lizard. it's a tour beer too

reddish amber color, with a foamy collar. nice color but the head isn't super. it's got a sour fruity aroma. i'd say cranberry is the fruit i detect most strongly. the sour character is even more distinct than the aroma. the fruit is less distinct than in the grand cru, which i prefer, but this is nice too (366 characters)

Photo of BadBadger
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A very nice example of a Flanders Red Ale. Pours from the growler as a very dark brown, verging on red, color. There is a brief white foamy head. The smell is sour (thinking apples here), and plesantly so. The taste grows on you with each sip, being rather sour. The carbonation brings the sour taste up to the palate very nicely. A good brew worth giving a try, if the opportunity presents. This would go very nicely with a big Thanksgiving meal revolving around Turkey. Find it and enjoy! (490 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This Red Ale is really more brown, but it’s a reddish kind of brown, if that’s not pushing it too much. The head was modest and didn’t stay around long, which is typical of the style so I won’t hold that against this fella’.

Smell – The nose is a moderate combination of sour, almost mashy kind of malts like from a sour mash whisky and some nice, sweet, sour fruits. I know I just used the word “sour” a few times but really it’s not that soury.

Taste – The sourness is laid back and not the kind that hurts your teeth. I’m actually drinking this from a 750 ml and will have no problem draining this on my own. The fruits are mostly cherry and white grape and the malts are bigger than you usually find with the style. It’s a nice combination conducive to a good sour session, helped along by the mixture of an oak-aged blend..

Mouthfeel – This falls short of medium-bodied by quite a bit. The carbonation is modest and a nice relief from other samples of the style. I mean, with the sourness of a FRA going on in your mouth a carb bomb is just a little much.

Drinkability – One of the more sessionable sour ales that I’ve had. The obvious high quality of the ingredients makes this a pleasure to drink, and the “25% ale aged in oak” infusion makes this a smooth drinker. (1,315 characters)

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

Sampled on-tap at Redbones.

This ale poured a deep, red-brown color with creamy, tan foam that settled but clung to the glass and left a bit of lacing. The smell was tart and a little wild with some lactic overtones. The aroma faded as the glass sat. The taste was tart and lactic with flavors of sour cherries and a hint of sweetness. There was mild maltiness beneath the tartness, and a faint hint of cinnamon or spices. The mouthfeel was tart and fruity with medium body and good carbonation. This was a very nice beer: not too tart and leaving you wanting more. (568 characters)

Photo of sabrills70
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml brown bottle with best before date of 3/6/06. Pours a medium dark brown with some red hues. 2 finger head, OK longevity and prety good lace. Smells fruity, sour and wine like. Tasty. Sour and fruity again with some wine like qualities, but definate malt presence. Dry and crisp. Not as "big" as the Grand Cru and easier drinking. Carbonation is fairly high. Not as flavorful, rich or smooth as its big brother but those lesser qaulities make it easier drinking and still a tasty beer. (491 characters)

Photo of VoodooBrew
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The tame version of its big brother, the Grand Cru, this golden-brown beer starts off with a distinctly tart aroma that includes crabapple. Big-time sweet/sour acidity takes hold of the palate. It's like drinking sour candy. Wow. This tartness, while intense, stays just on the safe side of mouth-puckering. I think this was my first Flanders Red Ale. As such, it was a unique and eye-opening experience. (404 characters)

Photo of dogfooddog
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml of this beer, served around 50F. Very large 50% head in glass. Odor is mildly sour, with just a hint of the green woodiness I have found in the 750ml bottlings of the rodenbach products as well as duchesse de borgoune.

This beer is a great thrist-quencher. The sourness at this age and blend is fairly subtle and understated. The alcohol is not really visible and you could almost drink this like a lemonade. I prefer the more complex grand cru to this but it is a very refreshing beer.

Aftertaste is mildly sour with some woody notes - stays in the nose for minutes afterwards. This beer is probably mild enough for npeople not accustomed to flemish reds to easily drink it. (688 characters)

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

Ah, Rodenbach. It's been about 8 years since I last got a hold of any of this. 750ml bottle, served into a tall chalice. Lovely reddish-brown color with a solid finger of foam atop it. Aroma is particular appetizing: sharp, coppery scent with sweet malt and a lot of fruitiness. Complex mix of flavors: tangy fruit (unripe grape, or green apple), smooth very very lightly caramel malt, a little spicy, slightly metallic taste at the back of the tongue. Finish is particularly tart and vinous. Beautifully smooth texture with unusual amount of tannic mouthfeel.

This is definitely a "Desert Island" beer, one of the very great beers one should always have around. Yet it's so hard to find in parts of the US. (711 characters)

Photo of JMD71
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This had a nice winey aroma with a good solid head when poured. It had a wonderful sour flavor in the Flemish style with hints of black cherries. I also taste some metallic hints, but did not detract from the flavor at all. This was very crisp & clean in the finish. Good carbonation led this to be very drinkable & quenching. I would definitely get this again, but the price makes it slightly prohibitive. (406 characters)

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

Although it's not quite what I remember it to be in the early 80's (I'd imagine that I might be bolstering its memory as it was then one of the special beers of my youth), it's still a remarkable beer! And since I consider the Flander's red style to be my favorite style, that's nothing to sneeze at.

It pours a clear deep-mahogany red body with a full head of pillowy tan foam that holds remarkably well and leaves very nice lace about the glass.

The nose is woody, mildly fruity and subtly candyish-sweet with notes of red fruit and a flicker of tartness (red raspberry, sweet cherry, passion fruit, lemon zest). There's some wet straw and wool in there as well, but it's restrained and actually helps to enhance the other aromas.

In the mouth it's surprisingly supple and airy, leaving it unsurpassingly smooth across the palate with a delicate caress.

The tartness that's expected is clearly present, but not nearly in the same range that one might expect of a lambic... No, this is far more refined. And it's soft, dull caramel-accented maltiness has just enough sweetness to act as a swaddling blanket against it. Fruitiness then enters and adds great depth; all the while balancing it out with a low-key earthiness of wood and subtle "barnyard"/"horseblanket"/"wool".

It finishes dry with a note of woody/earthy/mustiness, some iron, and some residual dark fruit skins.

Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful!

It pairs well with a wide range of soft, buttery and/or earthy Brie-type cheeses; and alongside a crusty loaf of whole wheat bread it makes a wonderful small meal. Some red grapes on the side only help to delineate it's character. Seafood is another choice to consider, as it's acidity clearly cuts through, and mussels in red sauce is a classic. Finally, it also works well at the very start of a meal as an apertif, or with salad (think vinaigrette and soft cheese); and at the end of the meal as a palate cleanser. (1,951 characters)

Photo of klewis
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

250 ml bottle
8/11/06 freshness date

A: Pours copper with a small off-white head that subsides to a frothy ring around the glass.

S: Aromas of malt, cherries, and Belgian yeast. This also had a sour vinegar odor at first that was pretty repulsive, but within twenty seconds or so it subsided leaving only a slight sour smell.

T: Simultaneous sweet and sour sensations. Flavors of cherry and citrus give way to a finish with a lingering tartness. There's a slight oak flavor if you search for it, but admittedly, I wouldn't have noticed had the bottle not said that it was aged in oak.

M: Medium-light in body with less carbonation than most Belgian ales. The tartness of this beer explodes as it hits your tongue, creating a very lively mouthfeel.

D: This is my first time having this style, and it is very interesting. The tartness is very intense, making me glad that I tried the 250 ml bottles instead of the 750's, as I think a 750 would be difficult to finish in one sitting. Definitely not an everyday brew, but definitely one that I'll add to my repertoire. (1,081 characters)

Photo of sloejams
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

sampler at the Lucky Baldwins Belgian Beer Festival, listed on the menu as Rodenbach Flemish Red

This had a darkish, red murky color with a slight pink head. The aroma is wonderful - very tart with cherry and oak. The taste is crisp - green apple, cherry and malt, subtle with a sour kick. It has a medium body with a fizzy pop of carbonation. Finishes smooth and clean.

I think a few of these would be welcome, but certainly not a session beer. (452 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at McNulty Bier Market in Cleveland. Pours a dark red, ruby color with a very thin white head that disappeared in an instant. Slight sour cherry and vinegar aroma. Tart flavor of sour berries. Flavor ends quickly. No bitterness. Quite differnet from the Grand Cru, I was expecting it to be more sour. Light to medium body. Refreshing, and pretty drinkable. (363 characters)

Photo of geexploitation
4.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this years ago and didn't care for it. Maybe my palate's expanded since then, because my appreciation of this has grown considerably. From a 750 mL cork finish bottle, this pours a pink-tinged amber with a considerable head that leaves lacing on my Duvel glass. Held up to the light, this beer looks like a stage lighting gel. The nose is huge, with a base of vinegar overlaid with fruit notes like Juicyfruit gum and some low barnyard smells. The taste is initally a blast of fruity sweetness. This is follwed by a blast of sourness and carbonation at the back of the tongue, then a metallic aftertaste. Mouthfeel is quite effervescent. Drinkability is a bit low when consumed by itself, but imagine that this would be divine paired with the right food.

Overall I'm really impressed. This is one of those unique beer gems that isn't "normal" and is all the more amazing for it. We wouldn't want everything to taste the same, would we? (944 characters)

Photo of ggaughan
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked 750 ml bottle into a Rodenbach glass. Picked up a case a few months back at the Beeryard and have been trying them little by little ever since. Just has this one tonight. The beer pours a deep redish brown color with a slight tan head with some good lacing. The aroma gives a big kick of cheeries with some earthy notes in the background. The taste is a cluster of cherry tartness with a good balance of carbonation and more of the earthy notes I got in the aroma. I find this beer very drinkable and although not my favorite flemish red, it is very near the top of my list of favorites. (608 characters)

Photo of blitz134
4.22/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear mohogany body. Light tan, khaki colored 1.25" head that hangs around. Not much else to say, super nice looking, just what I would expect from this style.

Tart cherry and grape mainly. A bit of granny smith apple as well. Some cellar mustyness comes in as well. Taste is again tart and a bit sour, but not quite as tart as others I've had. Taste is tart cherries again. Some raspberries work their way in. Finishes with a bit of earthy flavors and some woody notes as well. Many of the secondary flavors after the tart fruit don't come out very well.

Seems to be a medium bodied brew. Tartness is only initial and then subsides. A bit of carbonation adds a refreshing edge to this. Very drinkable for the style. (722 characters)

Photo of BillyB
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with ruby red highlights. Thin tan head.

Aroma is sour and vinegary. Woody, barnyard scent.

Taste is tart and very sour. Tastes like a red wine with some cranberry, orange and green apple flavors.

Mouthfeel is very sharp, tart, acidic and fizzy.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. Good drinkabilty if you can handle the intense sweet and sour tastes. Gets a little too tart to have too many. (422 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip)

A- This beer has a warm deep brown with slight copper colored body with a good carbonation of tiny bubbles that can only be seen at the narrowest part of the glass. The head is a smooth creamy light tan that last and last.

S- Even during the pour the smell of sour tart cherries with a hint of wood comes through. The sourness does have some tart qualities with hints of brown malt.

T- The fizz greets you at the beginning with a sour cherry flavor popping up to take over. There is a grapefruit note that follows and then a very soft earth hop note. As it warms the notes of soft lightly toasted malt come into the background but the tartness and a currant tartness get stronger aswell. In the background there is also notes of oak and aged wood that really add to the fruit flavors and give them more depth and notes of aged big red wines.

M- There is a medium mouthfeel with a fizz texture. On the first sip my jaws locked with the tartness but so the astringency became a nice finish.

D- I can really see how this style is nicknamed the "red wine of beers", but this beer is more than that. The complexity of fruit, malt, and wood are really nice together and this is a good beer to be sipped slowly and not quaffed. (1,258 characters)

Photo of TheEclecticGent
2.94/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this beer from the 750ml bottle into my Konings hoeven goblet. It is a dark red-brown with a quickly fading tan head. It has some light lacing and high carbonation. The smell is a musty cellared smell. It has a very clean taste for a Flemish red ale. An initial sour berries flavor peaks in a sour mid-note and fades to an oak sour finish that lasts. It gets better as you sip it and become familiar with it. Not my favorite Flemish Red by far. The flavor isn’t near as complex as my favorite beer Duchesse de Bourgogne or its sister Vichtenaar. However, I like this beer far better than Rodenback Gran Cru. (615 characters)

Photo of taez555
3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark reddish body with off-white/tan head.

Nose has a sharp fruit smell. Dark cherries, plums or other tart fruits come to mind. Some mild woody tones as well.

Taste is light to medium bodied. Very watery and light to the tongue yet tart and very sour. Tart cherries, some raisin, plums and raspberries. There this mild touch of powdered cocoa in the back blending well with the tart fruit. The carbonation in this beer is very strange. It starts large, overwhelming in an almost foamy carbonation and yet as it continues it almost disappears into the weak taste. It ends with a mild yet still tooth rotting sour and tart taste.

Maybe I've been ruined since the the flanders red's I've had the most are la folie and rodenbach grand cru, but I'm not overly crazy about this. 3/4 lambic, 1/16 belgian strong ale and the rest water, well.... I can understand it, I'm just not a big fan. (910 characters)

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

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a complex scent that boasts of Belgian crystal and roasted malts along with a tart yeast aroma; very nice. There is a slight oak essence in the background. The taste is great. It has an intensely tart flavor that goes down easy and finishes dry and sour. It has a nice mix of crystal and roasted malts along with some oak notes. I can't get enough of this tart taste; damn it's refreshing. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a damn good beer. I'm relatively new to this style, but I really enjoyed it. I'll be seeking this out again soon. (700 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.64/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a deep amber to red color with a 2 finger head that falls to a solid coat over top. Nose is so very nice and sweet with tartness to balance it very well. Good notes of cherry and acetone sweetness (I always liked the smell of acetone) with a sharp tartness that is so nice. Flavor is very well balanced, with the sweet cherry hitting first followed by a moderate sharp sourness that turns to a light residual sweetness on the finish. Very clean and incredibly tasty. Feel is on the light end of moderate with a full moderate carbonation. Very light and clean, keeping it disappearing from my glass at a high clip. A very tasty and drinkable beer. I like the balance of flavors and I think the nose is even better. A wonderful brew. (737 characters)

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