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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,405 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,405
Reviews: 622
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 64
Gots: 89 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
ABV varies 5.0-5.2% ABV

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-04-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,405 | Reviews: 622 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Halcyondays
4.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA, this is the first time I have ever seen this for sale in CA, so I jumped at the chance to try it,

A: Pours a dark, maroon red, with a small white/off-white head.

S: Sour funk, though not as funky as a lambic, more of a lactic acidity, with some cherry and strawberry, and oak.

T: Taste is a fascinating blend of oak and fruit mixed with lactic acid. It can get a little to vinegary at times but overall, I was enthralled with its upfront sour character which evolved into a malty sweet berry flavour, definitely worth the wait.

M: Sour obviously, lactic, vineagry, acetic, but very refreshing.

D: I really dug this beer, would like to have it again, but it was $7 for about 8 oz. so it will have to be a rare treat.

Halcyondays, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.1/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Normal brown 25cl bottle most have reviewed from, this one was best before 29th April 2009 and drank on a cold, dry afternoon in December 2008.

Poured into a Palm tulip glass.

Teak wood red in colour, with a good firm tan head on top. Looks a little mirky, but there is no light here today, so we'll go with a slightly hazey complexion.

Old cherries, sour cherries, almonds and rotting undergrowth are the smells I got.

The old and sour cherries win the taste race, no sign of the almonds and rotting veg (thank goodness).

Can't pretent to love this style or this beer, but it is different and if that 'floats your boat' then all well and good, but I like beer to taste like beer.

Body isn't heavy, but it has a presence, the aftertaste is fine, no nasty metallic feel or cardboard dryness here. Just those cherries.

BlackHaddock, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of GClarkage
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

04/21/08- Purchased at Draeger's in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, both caged and corked. Poured into my Duchesse goblet. No freshness date noted.

Appearance- Pretty murky pureed raspberry color. Light lace sheeting upon finish with a off white 1/4 inch quickly fading head.

Smell- Smell like a very vinous cherry laden zinfandel....gone the bit of the sour way that is. Definite cherries in the nose and definitely tart.

Taste- Tart, but was exprecting a bit more of a sour bite. Cherries are predominant with a mild malty backing. Really a one flavor brew.

Mouthfeel- Very mild, but somewhat sharp prickly carbonation. Very clean and short lasting aftertaste. Quenching.

Drinkability- Very to be brutally honest. Tart, but doesn't pucker your mouth. Leaves you wanting more with a short lived aftertatse and has a nice low abv for drinkability...plus the added fact that it's to the point with it's cherry flavor.

GClarkage, Apr 23, 2008
Photo of kojevergas
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
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+

kojevergas, Jul 24, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

oriolesfan4, Apr 23, 2014
Photo of corby112
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark cherry red/ mahognay browncolor with thin, foamy off-white, slightly pink head. Sour aroma of cherries, oak and other dark fruit. A nice balance of sour and sweet with neiher to overpowering. Very tasty and refreshing with hints of sour cherry.

corby112, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of weeare138
3.63/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on draft at Monk's Cafe...
Appears a reddish brown with an ivory head and lots of retention. Tiny lacing speckles are left behind.
Smell is of the trademark Rodenbach funk yeast smelling almost like a fresh cut steak with some sour notes of vinegar and cherry mixed with a ton of sugar.
Taste is almost equal to the aroma, which truley defines this beer.
Mouthfeel is slightly watery with sweets and sours resounding.
I actually remember Rodenbach being a bit better the last go 'round in the States but maybe it's just me.

weeare138, Oct 02, 2005
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had the Grand Cru on many occasions, and it's one of my favourite beers. I saw the original today and decided to give it a go.

Pours a deep, luscious cherry red, like some dark, mysterious gemstone. Head is a thin film of almost white tiny bubbles. Lacing is excellent, cascading in concentric rings around the glass. Looks great.

Mmm, that wonderful sour Rodenbach character is ever present on the nose. Hints of straw, cut grass, crushed cherry and wet leather. Maybe not quite as robust and extravagant as the Grand Cru, but not far off.

Taste is light and pleasant, although not particularly sour. There's certainly less mouth-puckering acidity than in the Grand Cru. There's a toasty, roasted note which is more prominent in this one, and even a dry yeasty character on the back palate. It's a bit more earthy and organic, a bit more roasted, and the feel is a little thinner. There's less development in the palate too, despite the fact that it has less of the dominating sour character of the GC.

This is still a very drinkable beer, but it is noticeably the lesser of the magnificent Rodenbach Grand Cru.

lacqueredmouse, Jul 06, 2008
Photo of tempest
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the BXL Cafe in NYC.

Funk, yet refined this was a great beer to try. Not overwhelming like a few lambics I've tried, but still nothing a great example of the style. The wood character was evident along with very tart cherries, grapes and apples. Flavor was subdued at first until the beer warmed up. Reminds me of La Folie with a bit more fruit but not as rich in flavor.

tempest, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of stakem
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split with friends. I decided to do a side by side tasting and open this along with the grand cru and also the caractere rogue to analyze the differences in each. Poured into a cervoise, the brew appears an amber with ruby clarity through the middle. A tan finger of head forms atop and slowly fades leaving patchy lace sticking to the glass.

The smell includes mild notes of vinegar and dark fruits like cherry mixed almost with a kiss of something like dark belgian candy sugar. It gives a hint of sweetness to the nose like caramel/vanilla. More dark fruity apple and cherry quality emerge as the glass is swirled.

The taste includes some of the previously described caramel malt, toffee, brown sugar and vanilla. Tart cherry and soft hints of apple cidar vinegar. A very mild tartness brings out fruit that increases in focus as it warms. This is a pleasant integration of caramelized sugar, barrel presence and soft tartness.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is very drinkable that is light and refreshing. It would be a very mild and approachable offering for someone who might have had anything similar to this style before. A classic, I couldnt help but think anout the endless array of foods this could be paired with. I'll be picking this up again.

stakem, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of wl0307
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Revisiting the Classic 2.5 years since the last bottle which was not very impressive; at 5.2%abv., BB 13/10/09, served lightly-chilled in Rodenbach's own branded slim goblet.

A: pours a dark russet brown hue (certainly NOT red!), coming with a thin, fluffy beige foam that breaks up fast on top of relatively moderate carbonation.
S: a refreshing, stimulating note mixed of cherry- & strawberry-vinegar, prune juice, and brown-sugary liquid malts floats on top of a deeper layer of pleasant woody aroma presumably as a result of oak-ageing. All's well, fruity sweet yet refreshing, exactly like what I was left with from my last bottle as far as the aroma is concerned.
T: a semi-sharp, effervescent swallow of lightly-flavoured malts, herb soup and tart-savoury prunes quickly leads towards a marvellous aftertaste full of brown-malts' aroma with a touch of toastiness, while a dry & bitter edge as if from both hops and barrel-ageing makes a kickback here to contrast the malty undertone, then all's wrapped up and ends in a harmonious finish that demonstrates more light aromatic malts, lingering tart fruitiness, and a soothingly dry & savoury edge of a well-aged ale in wood barrels.
M&D: despite a slightly overly fizzy texture, I suppose this is what it means to provide in support of a refreshing fruity theme. Overall, this bottle is way less metallic than my previous encounter, and the refreshingly dry-ish theme lasting up until the very end of each sip makes this ale clean, thirst-quenching, and absolutely quffable!

* Tasting Date: 03/07/2006
It's been a long long time since I tasted this beer years ago in Belgium. But since I've been having the Grand Cru every now and then, I really wonder if I'm prejudiced against this "ordinary" one?? I shouldn't be, I thought. That's way I purchased this bottle a week ago to prove that I'm being fair to both of them~~
BB 26/07/2006, served lightly chilled in a slim goblet.

4.5 A: very dark russet hue with brownish hints; poured with a huge and creamy cappuccino-like, off-white frothy head with superb retention (to which the shape of the glass contributes a lot, I reckon)... very lively fizziness full of micro-scopic bubbles floating.
4 S: complex, tartly-sweet fruity note (raspberry, prune, strawberry...) dominates the aroma, very creamy at the same time, almost like cranberry-flavoured ice-cream... A sour-woody edge of oak-barrels complements the fruity theme, and the sweetness of malts is very restrained. Overall the aroma is much milder than the Grand Cru with its less sharp and less vinegary edge. Pleasant and refreshing!
3 T: a slightly metallic edge (from ____?) accompanies the rather "focused" sour berry-fruity, slightly salty-sour prune-ish, and brown-malt flavour; the metallic edge is not unpleasant as such, but degrading the overall fruitiness a bit... The sour fruitiness fades out surprisingly fast in intensity, leaving a faintly tangy and dryish-bitter edge of wood barrels and Rodenbach's hallmark--a clashing feel b/w the teeth--in the end, where a welcomed raspberry-sorbet like aftertaste stays for a short while.
3 M&3 D: to my surprise, the body and flavour are both much lighter than I expected; while this little brother retains a reasonably refreshing and crisp texture, it's outshined by the Grand Cru by a large margin in complexity and depth. If I've tried this beer more often than the Grand Cru rather than the other way round, I might've felt more at ease drinking this. But now that my palate is tamed by the sharper but much richer Grand Cru, I really find it hard to adjust to the milder version... not saying that it's not a decent and distinctive brew, though.

wl0307, Mar 28, 2009
Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Billolick, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of dbrauneis
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

dbrauneis, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Summits in Snellville, GA a while ago. Poured a ruby red tinted with dark brown. Slight head that faded to a ring. Quite acetic on the nose and with aromas of muscadine grapes, tart currants, and some muskiness as well as vinegar. Taste is similar, and and quite tart on the finish but slightly more mellow up front. There is a nice bitterness that helps temper the acetic qualities as well, and also some tart raspberry throughout. Mouthfeel is smooth and sour, leading this to be quite a refreshing beer. Not as complex as the Grand Cru, but simple and quenching.

Georgiabeer, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 750 mL bottle that my brother brought as a Christmas present.

A: The ale pours with an amber color that shows off brilliant copper colors when light shines through the base of the glass. A fluffy head near 2 fingers looks like it will retain and lace.

S: The nose is, without a doubt, unique. Tartness with a barnyard undertone, lots of fruit with a kriek-like aroma.

T: The kriek-like flavor evident in the nose returns en force in the taste. The cherry flavors are dry and slightly sour, not syrupy and sweet. Underlying the fruit flavors is a subtle funky tartness. That tartness is not quite pucker-up level but it is noticeable. Cherry and berry sweetness see the ale away.

M: The mouthfeel is slightly funky, sweet with lots of fruitiness. This is not as sour and offputting as, say, the Duchesse de Bourgogne (my mortal enemy in the world of beer).

D: The alcohol is nice and low, eluding detection throughout the glass. The slight tartness is welcome and the fruitiness from the spontaneous fermentation and aging is quite enjoyable.

akorsak, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

rhoadsrage, Feb 04, 2006
Photo of DoubleJ
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been sick the last few days, but I'm feeling better tonight and I have some catching up to do, one bottle at a time. I'm going to start small in quanitity by opening the 8.45 ounce (250 ml) bottle of Rodenbach I purchased last week. On to the beer:

The only red in the beer is found in the hues of this tawny brown creation. Sour funk in the smell, and a smell that's tamed. The flavor seemed a little muted by the carbonation that hits the tongue, but the balance is good. The sour and tart taste is pleasant, no question about that. It's the low amount of overall flavor though, that's reflected in the taste score I'm giving it, that keeps it from being a highly recommended pick. Nonetheless an interesting beer in an interesting style.

DoubleJ, Mar 22, 2008
Photo of BARFLYB
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An old staple of mine, one of the first Belgiums that opened up my palate. Found this in dirty jersey for $2.00 beans, sweet deal, but it is nearing the expiration date, let's see what some time has done to this.

Opens with a light red almost maroon look in color and a very thin topping of off white close to tan colored head with small spots of streaking on the glass.

Smells like that Rodenbach but this one is all about the wood and tart fruits. I don't get alot of Vinegar in the nose which Im thankful for, time may have played a factor here. Alot of granny smith apples with wood and some sweetness from the oak, a touch of vanilla. Vinious and pungent.

This is still a standout in the style and the pinnacle as far as im concerned. I think I like it better than the grand cru for the lower amount of sweetness and vinegar which kills it for me. Those are still there but under alot of fruit with apple and pear, wood and vanilla. This is more to my liking.

Feel is pretty much thin, it may have lost some luster since it's been sitting for so long, but I think time has done this alot of good. A great balance of tart and sweet in that order. Comes off as a tart vinious treat that does not resemble beer but we do know that this is indeed great beer. A nice rush of carb as well, this is certainly not dead.

I like the red aged before a fresh bottle, and I like the red before the grand cru. This is one I could have a field day with. Now if they would only un retire Redbach, than i'll be sitting pretty.

BARFLYB, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into oversized wine glass, best by 11-28-07. Pours crystal clear red color with a small off white head with decent retention that reduces to a thin lacing cap that lasts. Small bits of lacing cling to the glass as well. Aromas of cherry, vinegar, oak, and some spiciness. Decent aromas here, a tad bit more muted than I was expecting. Taste of big cherry, oak, vinegar, and apples. Nice sweet taste with a slight bit of apple and cherry tartness on the finish. The finish is surprisingly dry, with only some light sweetness and tartness on the finish. Medium carbonation and body. Very smooth drinking with no alcohol in the taste or finish. This is quite a refreshing and easy going beer due to the light amount of sourness present in this. Overall, a very nice Flanders red, I would like to try a younger bottle of this sometime.

superspak, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of Wasatch
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

8.45 oz. bottle

Pours a dark mahogany color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy head, tiny islands left behind. The nose is sour, tangy, cherry/raspberry, and some malts. The taste is sour/tangy, lots of cherry/raspberry, there's some funk going on in there. Medium body. Drinkable, not that impressed with this one, I've had way way way better Flanders in the past.

Wasatch, Oct 21, 2007
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a large bottle into a small wine glass. A reddish brown in color with a tightly beaded, fizzy head.

Smells of apple cider, vinegar and malt sweetness.

Flavor follows the nose, nice tart acidic twang to start things off. Leans toward the sour edge of its tartness. Some oak and funk help make this brew a memorable one.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fizzy carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability rates fairly high. I will be buying this beer again, a great example of the style.

Stinkypuss, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of ppoitras
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

250ml bottle obtained via trade with Jetsbeer. Date 03/08/05 on back of bottle. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/4" over the clear bright reddish amber brew. Lacing is is good, even though the head has faded to a bubbly film. Aroma is malty, yet funky and has sour tinges as well. Taste is pleasantly tart, with a reasonable malty body, and minimal funk, for better or worse. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth even considering it's tartness, and as such, drinkability for the styleis superb.

ppoitras, Apr 15, 2005
Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev 0%

BillRoth, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Pickled Pig Pub in Rehoboth Beach, DE.

A: The beer was a deep red/brown with a one finger tan head on top. Not much head retention and some spotty lacing that forms and is gone rather quickly.

S: Slightly tart dark fruit, some cherries, raspberries, and bruised apples. There is a bit of oak as well. Slightly acetic.

T: Nice sour cherry flavor, very nice level of acidity, with just a touch of vinegar. There is some sweet malt to balance things out. There is a bit of a nutty component as well.

M: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Very smooth and incredibly easy drinking.

O: A great beer, very nice flavor profile with a perfect level of tartness. Would have certainly ordered another if not for the price. Something I will probably grab some bottles of.

mdaschaf, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

brandoman63, Nov 30, 2011
Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,405 ratings.