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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: 165 | 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: 1,659
Photo of barczar
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque deep brown with ruby highlights and a frothy tan head that lingers as a thick layer of foam around the edges.

Molasses, vinegar, tart cherries, and vinous notes form the initial aroma. Subtle undertones of raisins and plums add complexity. There's substantial sweet malt character to balance the lactic and acetic acid.

Vinegar dominates the initial flavor, giving way to fairly sweet, toasted malt. The finish is slightly dry. Notes of brown sugar are evident. Further sips allow the tart character to unfold. Tart cherries, wine-like notes, and raspberries emerge.

Body is fairly light, with moderate carbonation and a sharp acidic bite.

Very nice sour beer. Fairly complex, easily drinkable. There's enough sweetness and malt character to not allow the sourness to overwhelm.

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

Picked up a sixer of this classic beer for a scant $11 USD at a beer store near my work. "75% Young Ale, 25% Ale matured for two years." 5.2% ABV confirmed. "Aged in oak bats." Love the label art and presentation; even the branding on the cap is attractive. Best before 07/25/2014. Self identifies as a "Flemish Red-Brown"; reviewed as such. 330ml brown glass bottle with branded pry-off cap served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I've had this before and really liked it.

Served cold, straight from the fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a lovely healthy khaki colour head of two finger width. Attractive soft smooth complexion. Excellent creaminess for the style. Good thickness. Fluffy. Supple. Little lacing as the head recedes. Head retention is superb - about 9-10+ minutes.

Body colour is a murky dark glowing ruby-brown. Quasitranslucent but nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Overall, it's a spot-on appearance for the style. I mean, this is an off-shoot of the father of the style anyway; you have to qualify taking issue with it.

Sm: Lovely tart fruit; raspberries, cherries. Heavy cherry pie crust; I love that. Toasty and acetic. Acidicity is palpable. Biscuit malt. As subtle oak as is possible in a beer; wow. Some appleskin. Very timid yet somehow still evocative sourness. As approachable a sour as you'll find. Overall, it's a subtle enchanting aroma of mild to moderate strength. Gains depth as it warms. I can't wait to try it.

T: Cherry pie crust and tart cherry. Love the acetic character. Biscuit malt, brown malts. Extremely subtle oak. Sourness is subtle, beautifully integrated, and very approachable. This would be an excellent beer to give newcomers to sours. Excellent balance, but it does lack the complexity of better beers in the style (especially better beers from this brewery). It's got a nice sweetness that might turn some off, but to my tastes it just adds balance. And I imagine it would improve with age to boot. Caramalts. Not getting any yeast or hop character, nor does any alcohol come through.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Perfect presence on the palate. Teasing. Near ideal carbonation. Soft yet assertive. Refreshing. Good body. Complements the flavour profile wonderfully. Excellent execution. Feels custom-tailored to the flavours. I'm impressed. Constructively, it lacks the delicacy and fragility a perfect beer in the style would possess.

Dr: Extremely drinkable for a sour. Hides its ABV well. I could easily kill a 6 pack of this in a session; in fact I have before. I smuggle bottles of this into movies. A definite classic every beer fanatic owes it to him/herself to sample. That said, there is room for complexity and I'm sure this drank better prior to the Palm buyout. A treat from Rodenbach.

Lowish B+

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


dark reddish brown with a mild head. big sour cherry smell on the nose. taste is extremely tart, with a big kick of very sour cherries at the end. quite good...medium bodied with low carbonation.

overall a good flemish red that is very cheap and available. like this one a lot.

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Photo of EternalCask
3.69/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Was making a stop for the lady at a package store in somers,ct. I happened upon a shelf of craft offerings and picked this on no authourity, other than my love for most Belgians and a desire to experiment with Flanders Red.

A- a rusty, coppery red. It glows a bit. Half an inch of mother of pearl colored froth. Looks like a lit cigar.

S-green and gala apples.. A hint of sherry wood. There is a wiff of youthful frivolity, followed by a nose of a wise old sage.

T- more apples, grape must, sherry, sweet and tart play a game of one on one. Right now sweet is up by two. Figs, quince, dark stuff.

M- dissipates quickly, but leaves a great woodsy finish flavor-wise. Not heavy.

O-fun! Glad I tried this. It could be too sweet for some, but I find a nice balance with sour notes throughout. The sherry notes make me happy. Give me portobello mushrooms, chicken marsala with egg noodles, a Danish blue cheese burger. BBQ??
Go Belgium, go Belgium....

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Photo of taylor714914
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- poured from a bottle with minimum head. Very thin cap and nothing more. Ruby red, slightly maroon in color.

S- smells of cherry pie, malts, and a hint of tartness

T- Taste is solid. The sweetness a d tartness play well with each other. Cherry pie, lacto, pie crust, a hint of prune, and some hop bitterness.

M- solid body with nice carbonation that carries the sweetness and tartness across the palate.

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Photo of TastyAdventure
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - muddy brown, with tints of red. 2 finger off white head.

S - Crisp apple. light tartness.

T - Very tart & crisp with a touch of sourness. apple, light cherries. Stronger sour flavor comes after. Mild Puckering aftertaste.

M - one of the lightest bodied beers I've ever had. Complex flavor yet with a refreshingly light body, that's rare. medium high carb.

My first Sour beer. I am definitely open to further exploration!

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Photo of Doogermeister
3.47/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- maroon color with little to write home about.

S- classic sour beer smell.

T- taste is smooth but unremarkable. Modaerate sour and its perfect for beginners to the sour style of beer. Compared to the grand cru, or the vintage it's no where close. But the flavor profile is very similar just slightly dirtier than the previously recommended beers.

M- mouthfeel is also decent but nothing too crazy here. Enjoyable, drinkable, not too thick, not too thin with mild carbonation.

O- wonderful sour at a great price, great everyday sour as its affordable and easy to obtain. No seasonal, or limited run status here. 1/4 oak aged, 3/4 young beer. If you enjoy sour beers, vinegar, pickles, or anything tart give this one a shot.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

300 ml

Pours a dark, opaque brown. White lacing.

Smells of tart apples, vinegar, and candi sugar.

Tastes of tart apple, candi sugar and bretty yeast.

Medium body with light carbonation.

A very well balanced sour ale, good flavor but not to overwhelming. A great sour to introduce yourself to the style, but one to come back to for fans of sours as well.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours out a nice dark red/amber color with a slightly hazy body and filled with carbonation. The head is thin and dissipates rather quickly, but forms a nice thin ring of lace. There are plenty a fruit aromas coming through, apple, grape, lemon and figs too, but I also pick up a very faint vinegar scent. It’s sour and sweetens up as it hits the corners of your mouth, light bodied and very refreshing. The woody flavors do come out as you swallow, but the very faintly and the sourness does linger. It goes down quit smooth.

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Photo of MaineBrewing
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz bottle poured into tulip, best buy 2010.

A - poured a murky brown, some orange/ruby highlights. Slight off white head that disappeared, leaving now lacing. The head remained as an ever present ring that left short lived lacing as I tipped my glass, helping the appearance greatly as after all these years it's still looks alive.

S - intense fruity aroma, dominated by raisin. Beyond the raisin is a nice sour character and a pleasant mild malt aroma.

T - taste is very mild but sweet. Candi sugar and caramel malt character with notes of fruit, specifically raisin and other dark fruits. Although the taste is mild, it is complex. There is a nice sour bite at the end that balances out the sweet taste. I cannot discern hop character in either the flavoring or bittering aspects.

M - medium with a slight syrupy viscosity. Ample carbonation keeps this balanced. Very drinkable.

O - Very delicious for the age and low abv. It strikes a great balance between very mild taste that is still very complex. I will certainly add more of these to my cellar, it is a great beer to just enjoy and not be overpowered with in your face sour.

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark maroon/mahogany & cloudy. Good amount of carbination towards the top of the glass.

S- Funky Belgian beer smell, but in a good way! Sour and malty, with deep dark fruits. Kind of like a dark red wine. There is a sweet element as well. That sour yest and dark fruit is the main smell.

T- Sour and sweet, with a dark fruit tartness. Finish is surprisingly dry. The sour lingers in your mouth, but it's not really bitter. I can even detect a woody presence as well towards the finish. Finish is pretty fast. Moderate carbonation. As far as Belgian beers go, this is excellent!

M- It's not the easiest thing to drink in the world, but it's certainly not extremely heavy. I like how the beer coats your mouth for a few seconds after you take a sip with all of it's delicious flavor, and then quickly dries. You do get that sourish, fruity taste that sticks around faintly after the finish.

*Overall, this is a really special beer. It's got everything a great sour Belgian beer should have. And to boot, it's not that alcoholic or hard to drink like some Belgian beers can be. I will diffidently be picking this up again for sure!

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Photo of beeragent
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a bottle.

A - Pours a deep ruby brown with a small off-white head. No lacing visible.

S - Dark fruit, light vinegar, and tartness that tickles the nose.

T - Oak and cherry flavor up front with a light vinegary taste throughout. Not as tart as expected but still present. Flavor does not stay on the palate long after the swallow.

M - Light mouthfeel with light body and medium carbonation. Almost has a soda pop mouthfeel to it.

O - Easy drinker overall. Not what I would go for if I was craving a sour ale, but it has a nice tartness and smoothness common to the style. Makes for a great beer for the summer time.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle at Stubbies in Gaineville poured in Rodenbach tulip. Not what I was expecting after having their Vintage 2010. Really more of a quad, dubbel, or Belgian dark. Pours dark brownish res with a thin fluffy head on top. Aroma of plums and cherry, with verry littke sourness. Flavor follows, with some additional strong malt flavor and a bit of molasses, black cherry and a hint of funk. A very good and flavorful beer but not on style here. Medium to heavy slick mouthfeel, soft and smooth on the palate.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – Pours a deep ruby red color with a small white foam on the top of the brew. The thin foam fades rather rapidly leaving only a trace level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The aroma is a mix of cherry and plum with a strong sour aroma of a candy like nature as well as some notes of a yeasty like smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a raspberry and cherry sweetness mixed with a rather mellow tartness. As the flavor advances the fruit flavors remain constant and are joined by some light oaky flavors as well as an increase in the tart and sour flavors due to an advent of a tart apple and lactic acid taste. As the taste advances further to the end a yeasty like taste joins the mix producing a slightly funky and sour taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the thinner side with a carbonation level that is rather average as well. Both are rather fitting for the style and help keep the brew an easier drinker even in light of its more tart nature.

Overall – A rather enjoyable brew with a nice blend of sweet and tart.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beer Bistro.

Beer is ruby red, with a moderately-sized light tan head. Decent retention.

Nose is quite nice. Cherry and other dark fruits/berries. Oak. Tart.

Taste is similar to the nose; contains oak, balsamic vinegar, cherry. Fairly tart and quite dry.

Medium bodied, a bit syrupy. Strongly carbonated. Dries the mouth a bit.

Overall, quite good, but the Grand Cru is much better.

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Photo of wogreen
4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured much darker than i expected. a deep reddish brown
S - floral, not an overly vinegar smell that you get with many sour ales
T - a calmer albeit still sour version of the flandish red ale
O - very drinkable sour, though not my favorite. however it may be good for those who dont like an overly sour beer

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 750 mL bottle into a CCB snifter.

A: Crimson brown, hazy, with a thin off-white head and medium visible carbonation.

S: Vinegar, acetic, dark cherry, and moderately sour and tart.

T: Follows the nose, but grape and a light cherry are the fruity flavors I get, and it's not as sour as expected. There is a mild oak and vanilla in the background. Has some dry tartness in the finish.

M: Lighter body than expected, good carbonation sensation, and minimal alcohol presence.

O: Tasty, but doesn't rise above the crowd of sours. Still, it's a good one to grab off the shelf.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark brownish amber with ruby edges; big cap of thick, soft, off white, brownish head that fades to a thin lacing

S - tart cherries, a bit sour, some lactic aromas

T - tart, fruity, a lactic creaminess, some caramel malt

M - medium bodied, crisp, well carbonated, a bit dry

This is a decent beer. It has all of the hallmarks of what I expect a Flanders Red Ale to be. It's highly drinkable and refreshing while being a bit tart. I prefer the Grand Cru to this, but this is definitely worth checking out.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I am not sure how this is supposed to taste. I have had others of this style and I've had others that had similar characteristics.

As soon as I opened it I knew I had something interesting. The wild yeasty sour taste was in the air. As you start to drink it that sour subsides quickly. Too quickly - it made me long for a good Flemish sour. This is kind of like that only milder.

Based on the way this is made (25% 2 years matured and 75% young) I think it is ready to drink immediately. This is a good example of beer/food as culture.

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Photo of mactrail
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The color is that distinctive red-amber in the narrow Saxo tulip. A pile of foam, coarse bubbles, and lots of lacing. Aroma is woody, nutty, fruity. A touch of sweetness on the lips and a pleasant sudsy mouthfeel. And at 5.2%, a great quaff! The slight acidity is more like ripe cherries. It's actually less sharp than most IPAs. No hint of hops, apparently. Warm malt and that unique fruity mix.

Why are so many sours so vinegary? What's so wrong about the modest malty sweetness in this stuff? The Rodenbach mix of older and younger beers is so much more drinkable. Anyone curious about the sour styles of the Belgian tradition should try a couple of these.

From the 12 oz bottle in a six-pack bought at Liticker's Liquor & Deli in San Diego for a quite reasonable price. Interesting to discover this brewery is now owned by Palm of Belgium, which makes some hack beers of no distinction at all.

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Photo of fdig23
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From a 12oz bottle.

Appearance: deep, deep ruby red with a small white head.

Nose: Really can't get much off the nose. A bit of sour cherries and some bready malts.

Taste: Bright, fresh sour black cherry tartness up front followed by nice sweet caramel-y malts. It's very simple and very easy-drinking. This would make a great easy-drinker on a colder night.

Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation, just enough body to give it some substance without being overbearing.

Overall: A nicely tart very cherry forward easier drinking Flemish red. Nothing like the super complex and sour ones with more old beer in the blend. The young beer gives it a nice a malty base while the small percentage of old beer in there provides just enough funk and sourness.

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Photo of wedge
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best Before: 10.23.2013

Pours a very dark mahogany color with only a small, fleeting bubbly head. Deep, acidic aromas of vinegar, black cherry, berries, red wine, and wood alongside a nice, rich creaminess and a touch of vanilla. Tart, fruity flavor with some oak, and a balancing malt sweetness. Medium bodied, acidic, and crisp. Very drinkable and refreshing.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.29/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Server in a pint glass.

Appearance: ridiculously dark amber, very light bubbles on the body. Off white head maybe 1/10", I'm not crazy over the way it looks but it's still attractive.

Smell: strong woody taste, you can inhale the malts and cellaring.

Taste: This taste is not for everybody, strong sourness to it that makes the rest of the beer very hard to enjoy. Wood, almost cedar like...but a notch sweet. I don't hate it but keep my words in mind before sipping and judging.

Mouth: an easy medium to full, strong after taste of rye sticks to you like black to the night.

Overall: good beer but the hype it definitely does not live up to. Honestly this is probably my first flander's red ale, and I want to try more before I put them on the "beware" list. Salud!

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Photo of BrewMaven
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Sal for this donation!

First time trying a Flanders Red Ale.

Pour a deep , clear red and has an off white head that dropped quickly leaving a ring and partial cover. Lace is abundant but also recedes after each sip.

Smells a lot like wine..cherries without the awful sulfer stink that most wine has.

Taste is of tart cherries. thin mouthfeel and mild yet biting carbonation. Dry finish.

Interesting style..I may have to hunt down a few other examples of this.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into crooked stave tulip. Best before 7/25/14.
Pour is much darker than anticipated. ..deep ruby brown with slight white lacing. Smell is so complex. Lots of sweet toffee english malts and oak but a huge cherry tartness is dominant. Taste is nicely tart cherry but so balanced with the sweet toffee malt and oak. Its super dry as expected and easy to drink. Its a great is example of the style.

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