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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.

653 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 653
Hads: 1,659
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 18.45%
Wants: 81
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
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Reviews: 653 | Hads: 1,659
Photo of BillyB
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of TheEclecticGent
2.94/5  rDev -26.7%
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.

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Photo of taez555
3.18/5  rDev -20.7%
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.

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Photo of WesWes
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.64/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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Photo of CDBeerDisappear
1.98/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I should have read the label more carefully. This is a Flemish SOUR ale. I like to try new things and I never drank sour ale before but I did not anticipate how sour, sour could be. To me it tasted like vinegar. I spent half an hour trying to drink the blasted stuff hoping that I would "develope a taste" for it. But that never happened.It tasted like vineagar from the first sip to the last. The bottle cost me $7 (750ml) and I consider it money well spent since I now know that sour ale is NOT for me. There are many good reveiws of this ale, apparently there are those who like sour tasting beer, but it is not for everybody. When I drink Belgian, I will stick to the classic Belgium Stong Ales frm now on.

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Photo of Hhawk06
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was very much looking forward to popping the top on this world renowned brew, especially since I've had very few in the style. It poured with a largely beaded, off-white, and bit inconsistent head. It has a gorgeous pure mahogany color that is incredibly inviting. Wow, the smell is very vinous, almost like a merlot. Among the odors include; sweet malt, cherry, oak, and sour grape. Its surprisingly medium-bodied and very liquid in mouthfeel. I immediately notice that this is a very different and complex beer. The sour character is evident from the first sip. I'm sensing sour cherries/grapes, prickly fruit notes that engage in a serious tug of war with the sharp sour notes that result in a highly acidic character. It finishes more tartly as the sour notes fade, also somewhat dry with a touch of grit. Wonderful oaken fruit notes remain. The complexity is amazing. Even if you're not into the style, its something you have to try once.

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Photo of Citadel82
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml Cork and Caged Bottle purchased at spirits unlimited in Red Bank.

I think I prefer the Classic to the Grand Cru at least from a pure drinkability standpoint. I found this refreshingly tart though not as vinegar like as the Grand Cru. Poured deep ruby with a thin head and persistent light carbonation. Aroma was sour cherries, and some other funky aromas that I could not put into words. Taste is delightfully sour and refreshing. Tingly mouth feel is heightend by a mouth puckering sourness and persistent light carbonation. Mouthfeel is light and overall this is a very drinkable brew.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

250 mL nip bottle, best by 10/20/05 - ah well - probably still good. Pours a ruddy red/brown into the flute with a 1 finger tan head that sticks fairly well and has a hint of red. It has scents of earthy malts and a musty sour/farmy character. The taste is the same with an acidic sourness and fruits (cherry? raspberry?). The body is medium, initially tingly, and fairly drying. An interesting style - maybe not the best, but good enough and I've got another kind (Monk's) to compare it against.

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Photo of carln26
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Mellow Mushroom in Charlotte. It was poured into a tulip glass a deep brown with ruby highlights topped by a light fluffy white head. Fruity aroma. Some cranberry, a little sour apple. Taste is tart. More cranberry, a little orange, some fresh bread. More citrus on the finish. Slick dry mouth feel nice drinkability. It was great to finally get a chance to try this classic. I can’t wait to compare it to a bottle

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Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice find on tap at the soon to be no more Blind Tiger ale house. This little lovely poured cloudy reddish amber, with a tiny bubble slight head, leaving fine, wispy lacing. Nose of semi sour cherries. Flavorful, complex brew with notes of sour fruit, moderate but not overpowering in intensity. More drinkable then other "reds" I've tried. Tasty, fruity, intense. A fine experience in drinking.

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Photo of waughbrew
3.57/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy deep chestnut with a medium beige head which laces well but should have stuck around for a while longer. Smells halfway between a wood fire and vinegar. Tastes like toasted apple cider vinegar. Smoky, oaky, and old, a little sharp, but not fresh. Feels slick for one second, then makes a 180 to sizzly. The sourness has a nice finish to it, but overall the flavor just doesn't do much for me. It does not have enough complexity or drinkability to make me really want it again. This may have been the old standard, but it has been far surpassed by now.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this from a 750ml bottle at a poker game. Dark red or brown color, not too much head on top.

The flavor takes some getting used to. Very sour, kind of bitter. I liked it, but I don't think anyone else at the table liked it too much. I've tried La Folie and Monk's Red in the past, and I'd have a hard time telling the difference from this.

If you've never tried Flanders Reds before, I recommend getting a smaller bottle or trying one on tap somewhere first. Not a style that everyone will like.

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Photo of HogHill
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I purchased a 750 of the Rodenbach classic while in Buffalo, NY (at Premier Gourmet) over Thanksgiving. Poured this sour beauty into a Rapscallion snifter, the body was a lovely burgundy brown combination. A one finger light tan head topped it off.

While doing my best Paul Giamatti impersonation, I detect a distinct sour cherry aroma along with a spiciness. Some phenols too, just like most belgians. No doubt it's a sour ale!

To drink this Rodenbach is a great experience in beer drinking, an absolute genuine craft brew. Here is a brilliant combination of soured fruits (mostly cherry) backed by a mildy sweet maltiness with a spicy phenolic finish along for the ride. Feels medium bodied with a reduced carbonation.

I would have no problem polishing off mutliple 750s. I can taste why this brew has been around for centuries. Looking forward to see how the Rodenbach Grand Cru stacks up to the Classic.

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Photo of Foxman
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It came to me a fairly cloudy ruddy ruby. Remnants of a pinkish pithy head swirled on the surface. Light lacing slid down the inside of the glass.

The aroma wafted a pointed but comforting tartness, rife with cherries, earth, hard wood, a tinge of sweetness and a draft of vinous essence.

Upon tasting, there came a wash of varied fruit tartness, along with signs of cherries and grapes, and partnered with the complimentary sweetness of malt and wheat. The fruity sourness continued through the middle ground, rounded off by light oak and dough undertones. The finish is a fading tart memory carrying a quenching, fruity overall impression. It’s a smooth blend of crafted character.

Between light and medium bodied, it’s carbonated and lively on the palate, and it fades creamily.

Carrying an almost legendary air about it, when Eulogy had it, I decided, I had to as well. And I’m certainly glad I did, as it is a nice example of well-crafted blended complexity. Not to say it’s the most complicated offering out there, but it does hit on various levels. And it’s surprisingly crisp and quenching, driving the drinkability skyward. And yes, I did indulge that asset, what with a DD in tow. There’s a certain mystique about this beer, and I’ll be more than happy to revisit it the next time it comes around. I just hope I don’t have to wait too long.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear deep amber brown, almost ruby, with a tan and frothy head which rose tall and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was nice with a fruity acidit tartness that was coupled with a nice cherry character. The aroma was enticing and interestingly complex.

The flavor was light with a bready flavor of malt and wheat. The beer had a thirst quenching tartness that was not overdone but contained a light graham and caramel character that quickly dried when coupled with the light tartness of the acidity. As the beer warmed a DMS component of cooked corn emerged which did detract from the flavor.

The finish was dry with a lasting light tartness and fruity character long and pleasantly into the afteraste. The body was medium and the carbonation level made the mouthfeel creamy. This bottle was head and shoulders above my previous review. I'd suggest to seek out newer bottles and drink without further aging.

750 ml bottle. $9 in NC. Says 5.1% ABV and 75% fresh/25% aged in oak silk screened on bottle.

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Photo of dgallina
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle with best-before 09/08/2005 date.

Poured a minimally cloudy dark ruby with big, but rapidly diminishing white head and excellent lace retention. A pleasant blend of juicy fruits, oak, and wine-like sourness in the nose. Very rounded and exceptionally well-balanced flavors. Ripe red fruits intermingle with woody oak and finish in a moderately drying yeasty flourish. Moderately light in body, with the expected big carbonation. Stunningly drinkable and poised.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed a glass of this with my wife and fellow BA's FitzIPAtrick and growler at The Publick House...thanks to Liefman for the heads up on this one.
Arrived in a oversized Rodenbach flute glass...leave it up to TPH to match the beer w/ the perfect glassware. Red rust in color with less than a half finger of off-white head...no lacing detected.
Faint aromas of cherries and some earthy tones...
Taste is very enjoyable...mainly tart cherries with a subtle sour characteristic that was very complementary to the brunch.
Mouthfeel was a tad thin and the carbonation was high, but most likely average for the style (I lack experience in this one).
I could enjoy a few glasses of this one, but at $7 a glass, this would be a one and done for me.

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

A nice and unique brew. Bright vibrant red color, no head on this one. Smells woodsy, with hints of cherries and other bits of sweetness. Taste is much the same, but more complex. It's a tad sour, but not nearly the sourness I was expecting. Definately wild and woodsy though, I love that freshness. Mildly sweet and fruity as well, with a solid dust taste. Really interesting. I'd like to try the bottle conditioned version sooner or later. A complex, refreshing, well made beer.

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Photo of kaimcm
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

An interesting and unique brew. However to me, one youve got to be in the mood for and/or have an appropriate pairing. Clean, bright nose with hints of cherry. Taste is strong cherry, noticeable lime, a hint of sugar, and a nice tart dry finish. A nice balance of the tart/sweet that really makes the brew refreshing. Mouthfeel is weak. Too light, too craft soda like for me. Very reminiscent of a Stewarts Black Cherry soda. If in the mood, warm day, etc...a very nice beer, but not for all occasions by any means. That being said, well crafted no doubt.

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Photo of qcitydarkstar
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Upon pouring this beer into my Unibroue Tulip glass, a slightly tan creamy head swelled up about 2 fingers in depth. The head on this beer was absolutely remarkable with a certain frothy texture popping with blue and red micro bubbles. The beer poured a dark brown with a hint of deep burgundy when held up to a lamp. The smell was of pungent sour cherries, vinegar and grass. The initial taste was that of a malty brown ale that immediately transformed into a tart cherry and grape and finished clean with a ginger-like flavor. I sipped from this glass for about an hour and then re-poured from the 750ml bottle with remarkably similar results. This is a fantastic beverage to sip throughout an evening with company. While I am an amateur in the realm of Belgian/Flemish sour ales and lambics, I highly recommend this brew to anyone interested in the style as it has certainly turned me on to exploring other varieties.

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Photo of ski271
3.44/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

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Photo of sacfly
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

On Tap at McGraths in Harrisburg

Presented a muddy reddish brown, light white head. Smells of sour funk… Balsamic vinaigrette. Light cherries. Interesting.

First sip is a blend of sourness soy sauce, vinaigrette… Tastes like a marinade my wife and I make for salmon that is a mix of honey, balsamic vinaigrette, and soy sauce. Erie. Very light body. A bit watery, but was nice for drinking with food.

Surprisingly refreshing. A perfect counter to the salty foods (wings, burger, fries) I was eating at the time. If I read my own description, I would probably not want to try this. But it actually tastes really good. A great beer to drink with a salty dinner.

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Photo of Ego
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$5.99 @ Buy Rite in Edison, NJ for a 750ml.. they got about 15 cases in of this and the grand cru about 3 weeks ago... yum, glad to have a classic like this available a quarter mile down the street...

minimal head but great lacing, red as an irish girl's.. never mind, it's a beautiful amber almost purple at times hue, consistent glass to glass, solid

cherry flavored bubble yum bubble gum with a dark licorce edge, this smells like what the style says.. period, to me this is the standard of the style, call me biased...

pleasant sourness, like the smell the taste encompasses the style, there is enough to chew on, it is easy drinking and not super sour (like say a cantillon lambic). Considering this is beer, this is a friggin excellent brew imo, the sourness is just enough to want you have more (salivate a little) and the carbonation finishes the sip "wet"... tasty as hell, definite session beer for the right time of year. It is light enough to drink year round but as a meal starter or finisher when not in the mood for something intense.. go rodey ! The taste to me is spot on. Dead perfect. The mouthfeel is great paired with the right carbonation. Fantastic.

I love this beer, period. Is it worth an arm and a leg.. no. but if it is around at a reasonable price this is something to have out often. So well rounded it is mind boggling. This is one to enjoy rather than break out the science kit and analyze all night. A simple plate of mild cheeses like jack or even a nice cabot would go great with this.

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