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

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Rodenbach Classic (Red)Rodenbach Classic (Red)

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,511 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

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Ratings: 1,511
Reviews: 633
rAvg: 4
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 68
Gots: 108 | 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: 1,511 | Reviews: 633 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of samie85
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a murky ruddy brown color with a few fingers of off white head.

S-Smells of heavy balsamic notes with some sour cherry notes.

T-Tart, acidic cherry and slight vinegar notes with a bit of leather.

M-Medium bodied with low but prickly carbonation and crisp, light feel.

D-Highly drinkable; drinks more like a mildly carbonated, yet complex, juice cocktail.

Photo of speedvagen
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of csustar001
2.5/5  rDev -37.5%

Photo of CWhite
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of marburg
4.95/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Addendum) After having this fresh at the brewery in Belgium, sampling some bottles I brought back, and talking with some friends, I've come to the conclusion that either this beer's changed or, more likely, every sample I've ever loved has been aged. Drink this beer after it's a couple years old and it'll go from decent to spectacular. I'm knocking a tiny bit off the mouthfeel score because I'm unwilling to ignore my past experiences that indicate it's a prefect 5 -- but the current product lacks the living, breathing, lively sensation this beer can and should produce.

(Original Review: 11/02/2003) Rodenbach can simply do no wrong -- or if they can, they sure as hell keep it to themselves. Because their beers are simply exercises in perfection.

Poured from a 1.5L bottle and shared with some Detroit-area BAs and a buddy at Kuhnhenn's. There's something about these larger bottle sizes too, be it mental or physical, that makes for a more impressive brew. Impeccible character.

Mildly acerbic character underlies the entire aroma. Tart cherries blend in perfect harmony with chocolatey malts, very subtle raw herbal mint, and mild oaky vanilla. Earthy, deep, complex. As fantastic an aroma as one could hope to find on anything.

The acidity carries through to the palate. Refreshingly crisp despite the obvious estery fruit qualities. Woody and loaded with cherries and sweetness.

And let's be honest here: Do these beers, including this one, have any rival in terms of balance? A tasteful and elegant sweetness balanced perfectly with a light sour flavor. It's natural and carries a perfect understanding of flavor.

Drink one. Drink two. Drink three. Drink all night. This is a perfect beverage.

Photo of DavidHume
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Can_has_beer
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%

Photo of stevoj
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%
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!

Photo of brandonld23
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Stimack
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am not sure why I have not tried this brew before since i really do like the Flander brews and the sour aspect of them. This brew poured to a color that has a red tone to a brown profile. had a nice light tan colored head that holds for a bit. The aroma shows of its tart/sour side from the get go with a nice fruit mix. I know that this is a blend of brew that was in Oak but I am not sure if I am or am not picking up the oak notes. While I like the aroma, to me it seems to be more one dimensional than I would like. The flavor of course highlights the fruit and sour profile but to me seems to be a little more harsh with a stronger acidic note than I would like to see. Again just like with the Aroma I am not picking up the properties that I would expect from a being aged (part of it) in oak. To me this is a solid brew, like this type of brew but in my book it is not in the same book as Mestreechs Aajit, Monks or Duchesse. I would get this brew again but would reach for these others before this one, just mu opinion.

Photo of elricorico
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of geexploitation
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
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?

Photo of jsurfs82
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of MisterClean
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

8.45 oz from Manderes in Folsom

A - Nutty brown root beer color with nice legs and minimal head if any.

S - Peanuts, malts, and grassy hops.

T - Grass, light ester, pine, and brewer's sugar.

M - Very sweet w/ notes of carbo. Very syrupy as well.

D - Have to be careful with this one. Very drinkable, kinda reminds me of the cough medicine dimetapp, but sweeter.

Photo of Reaper16
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours a fairly translucent amber color. It's dark, but there's evident clarity to the body. It looks like whiskey, actually. Except, you know, with 1.25 fingers of eggshell colored head sitting on it.

Vinegar tartness is the dominant aroma here. It's sort of in-between Balsamic vinegar and, like, the malt vinegar packets from Long John Silver's or something. There's some cherry aroma as well. I pick up on a gingersnap cookie component. Some barrel astringency. Maybe a tiny bit of cinnamon. It's tartness and cookie sweetness and little else.

It's not strongly tart on the palate, however. There's a light amount of malt vinegar tartness here, but the fruity sweet flavors really cover up the tartness. Fruit snacks meets Luden's cough drops -- we're talking candy sweet, not actual fruit sweet. This lacks depth, but not tastiness.

It's remarkably drinkable because of how those flavors mesh with the beer's light body and smooth texture. The bottle goes down in a flash because of the balance between sweet and tart.

Overall, this is a good Flanders Red. A benchmark for the style in a lot of ways. It's crazy-drinkable, but don't expect a depth of flavor (or a significant sourness).

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

A-pours a deep mahogany that reveals hints of red when held to the light. A two finger head is very creamy and reluctant to fade. the creamy whisps of lace cling to the sides of the tulip.

S-Slightly musty, slightly sour with a caramel malt. Maybe some red cherries.

T-tart and sweet not unlike a nice lemonade. This is my first Flanders red and I am digging it. Dark rich fruit work very well with the tart apple like qualities. Very dry followthrough. Hop character is barely there, the sourness wins the day. Not puckeringly so as the sweetness from the malt takes care of it. Slight mineral quality as well.

M-medium bodied with a slightly effervescent carbonation.

D-This is tasty indeed.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried a Flanders red ale at a tasting and thought I should check out a few, starting with this one.

This beer pours out a dark, hazy, reddish brown color. It has a nice head and a fruity nose (chewing gum), that's slightly yeasty.

Very tart, fruity, and dry flavor. I get a brief malty sweet cookie flavor followed by tart cherries, sour apples, and a not-so-subtle hop kiss. I noted that the flavors developed a bit as the beer warmed slightly.

Very tasty and refreshing. I have tried the Grand Cru before, but will have to bring a bottle home and try it in a more controlled environment.

Photo of stealth
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of therica
1.53/5  rDev -61.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I'm transferring in my review which had accidentally been done on the unfortunately now-retired Alexander Rodenbach, which apparently was a far better beer than this mass-produced Classic Red version.

5Jan2006 Leuven Belgium, on-tap (and regretting it since!)

I had this in a bar in Leuven Belgium, on-tap. The bartendress warned me that "you either love it or you hate it."

I noted that the head dissipated quickly and disappointingly as she drafted it, and was nearly gone after she sat it in front of me.

Appearance-- like lemon juice.

Nose-- phew-- like apple-cider vinegar.

First taste-- like slightly fermented apple-cider vinegar.

Next taste was a good-sized healthy gulp. My guts instantly warned me. I continued through the mug, laughing that I was drinking cold slightly-carbonated not overly pleasant lemon-apple-vinegar.

My opinion never changed. Well, actually after about 10 minutes when I became severely nauseated and spent half an hour throwing up (which I hadn't done in 10 years), then watching the ceiling spin for another 6 hours, my opinion was modestly worsened, regarding this concoction.

Note that their advertising slogan states (as did the bartendress), "You either love it or you hate it."

I would also note, the barmistress stated firmly that the alcohol content was 4.8 percent, and not 5.0 percent as advertised. She knew her stuff.

Photo of cbl2
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Appearance:

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

Aroma:

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

Taste/Mouthfeel:

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

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

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, poured in a logoed glass, at Café Vlissinghe, 08.14.09.

Nose is softly sour and vinous with grape-like fruit and dark malt with a soft malty sweet-smell. Smells good.

Pours clear translucent deep copper with mild head. Looks good.

Flavor follows nose with soft sourness and mild tartness. Soft bitterness. Soft malt attack and dark grape-like fruit, some notes of bubblegum and artificial grape flavor. Midpalate of spicy yeast and mild alcohol, some peppery zest. Mouthwatering quench. Small burst of malic tartness. More dark malt to finish. Tastes good. Feels good. Pretty good drinkability.

Sour, dark, kind of sweet, and softly alcoholic.

Photo of yamar68
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Murky ruby brown, slight clarity, a light khaki head that laces nicely.

Earthy woods, faint vinegar, fainter tart qualities, not as pungent as I expected.

Acidic vinegar bits, subtle barnyard twang, apple cider, subtle paper notes.

Very drinkable. I wish this had a bit more funk as it's a tad papery for me. Still good stuff though.

Photo of swgwilt
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of comfortablynirm
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 1,511 ratings.