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Alexander | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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76 Reviews

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 148
Photo of azurel
4.66/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice red with a off white head.

Aroma is tart, slight vinegar, sweet cherry.

Taste follows aroma....
Sweet cherries are at the forefront that gets cut by the tartness...not overtly sour clean dry finish.. It all really blends well into a fabulous beer.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.81/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle purchased at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.

This one pours a mostly clear dark red, with a small head, and no lacing.

Smells like sour cherry, Maraschino cherry syrup, red wine vinegar, hibiscus, vanilla, oak, and slight lactic sourness.

This is absolutely fantastic, exceptional in basically every way. There's a nice soft cherry flavor, that's equally mixed between sweet and sour. I get sour cherry for sure, dark red in taste, and full, with some additional sweet cherry flavor that reminds me of Maraschino. There's some toasted oak, light red wine vinegar, a little bit of floral sweet thing that kinda reminds me of hibiscus, and some vanilla. This is really wonderful, and just insanely drinkable.

This has an awesome soft and creamy mouthfeel, with a good level of carbonation.

This is up there with the best sours I've ever had- just amazing stuff.

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Photo of stakem
4.09/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle shared with friends. Poured into a snifter, the brew appears a hazy cherry color with light khaki head that fades quick leaving spotty lace.

This smells acidic with plenty of cherry that gets slightly medicinal and then lemony lactic.

It is sweet cherry syrup uofront and then gets acidic with oak and vanilla with a mild lemony lactic aftertaste.

This is light bodied and moderately carbonated. Some pretty nice stuff but honestly for as much of a hassel it is to get, id rather drink the grand cru that sits on shelves year round.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.56/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. "Alexander"
750 ml brown glass bottle, corked and caged; "01-02-2019" sampled on 07-04-2016
$15.04 @ Beverage Warehouse, Winooski, VT

I used to be able to get Alexander years ago, and at a reasonable price, but they unfortunately stopped making it in 2000. Now it's back as part of their "Limited Edition Sour Series"! Years ago during the roll out of Duvel Green I ran into the head of the Palm brewery at Toronado in San Diego and he said that they'd had many requests for Alexander and that they were considering bringing it back. Hopefully this limited edition release is just the start.

Appearance: Clear ruby tinted light-chestnut body beneath a creamy pinkish head.

Aroma: Vinous with clear notes of cherry backed by a mild, but almost vinegary acidic twang.

Flavor: As the nose suggests with the addition of some wood and a hint of almond. Fruity with sour cherry, and zippy with acidity, the malt appears lightly sweet with a drop of caramel across the middle, and then the wood steps in to add character and help bring it to a clean dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light in body with a moderate, fine bubbled carbonation.

Overall: Not a sugary-sweet sour, and not overdone with cherry either - but certainly not lacking. Fantastic balance due to the vinegar-like acidity and oaky dryness. One of the best sour beers in the world, and one of the best fruit beers as well. Absolutely classic!

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Photo of Viaduck
4.56/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A very nice pop & plenty of carbonation. Prettiest head on a beer I've ever seen, cherry colored & plenty of very fine long lasting bubbles. The body is ruby red. It's beautiful to look at! First sniff reveals vinegar, this going to be sour. Also detected cherries & oak barrel notes. Tastewise the vinegar is subdued but more sour than Grand Cru, otherwise same as the aroma. Sweet & sour & delicious. And silky smooth mouthfeel. One of the best beers I've had.

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Photo of Summerteeth
4.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Color: a red-tinged copper. Smell: sourly sweet, pleasing. Taste: are you kidding?!!!! One of the best beers I have had. Nice sour cherry that strengthens as it warms. Not astringent. This could be drunk all day on a hot summer day.

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Photo of Kgoldsbe
4.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Back after a 17 year hiatus, this is a great beer. Starts smooth and ends tart. Macerated w/ sour cherries it has a perfect amount of cherry flavor. It is not too sweet or overbearing. There is a hint of almond probably from aging with the cherry pits. Try it if you get a chance.

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Photo of jlindros
4.21/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks to Francois for this rare treat.

No head, clear auburn brown.

Nose tart brown malts, sweet candy and toffee, syrup, candied raisin etc.

Taste sweet, syrupy candy, sweet candy fruit and raisin, juice, mild sour funky brown malt thing, candy and mild bitter candy. Hint oxidation.

Mouth syrupy sticky, candy, etc.

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Photo of rudzud
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Francois for sharing this bottle. Over ten years old.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice crystal clear chestnut hue with a thin head.

S - Aromas of candy, sugar, cherry cordial chocolate, very sweet. Like a cherry candy.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, lots of sugar, cherry syrup, chocolate, light malts. Little bit of cardboard. Age shows, really syrupy but tasty.

M - Mouthfeel is barely carbonated, sweet, little sticky.

O - Overall this beer was really awesome to try. Never thought I'd get to try it, tasty, though clearly past it's prime. Still, awesome.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of GRG1313
4.3/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Decided that my 6,000th beer on BA would be a full review and it would be a wonderful old beer tasted today. I tasted this beer several years ago, before I was keeping track of my beers and before rating and reviewing. I suspect that I would have graded this beer a strong 5 "back in the day." I'm not sure it's fair to the beer to give it a score at this point. However, it showed so well that I don't feel bad doing so.

Poured a red brick color with no head. The nose is full rich cherry sherry. Yes, one can still get some fruit in the nose which seems impossible but it's more than wishful thinking - it's there. Really nice nose, really nice tart, citric body with a brightness in the mouth that all good beer should have.

Flavors are still appealing and inviting with brown sugar cherry notes and a finish of cherry and bright lime. (Yep, for those of you from Los Angeles there was once a drink called a "cherry lime rickey" at a Beverly Hills hamburger drive-in. The finish on this beer takes one back there with the cherry/lime finish.

All in all, and while showing some signs of oxidation, this one is still a treat to try and inviting to drink. Thanks to Jeremy for giving me a good beer about which to write for my 6,000th on this site.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.86/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

25 cL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep reddish brown. Some large chunks of bubbles. A few wisps on the surface.

Smell - Cherries are still quite apparent. Deep caramel. It is a little bit medicinal, but just a little.

Taste - Surprisingly good. Bright cherries. Nice tartness. Caramel malt. Clean finish. Lingering cherry flavor.

Mouthfeel - Low carbonation, if any. Medium body.

Overall - Remarkably good, especially for its age.
Overall -

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Photo of jaasen64
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

33cl bottle poured into a Alexander flute glass. This bottle is from the first bottling produced in 1986 to commemorate the breweries 150th anniversary by naming the beer after one of it's founders. Stored in a cool wine cellar in Belgium since being purchased in the 1980s. Has a consume by date that isn't visibly marked but only goes up to 1988, now it's about 26 years old.

A- Pours a fairly translucent reddish brown with about two fingers worth of white frothy head that has excellent retention (not even considering it's age) leaving spotty white lacing along the sides of the glass and receding to a thin layer. After all these years there is still perfect carbonation with excellent consistency, even after 10 minutes sitting in the glass it hasn't died down. This beer has held up remarkably well, by appearance it doesn't even look like it's more then two years old nevermind 28 years.

S- After taking the cap off a burst of intense fruity sour cherries escapes from the bottle. Once letting it settle the cherries die down a bit but still remain very present along with some vinegar, hint of must, and very light (almost undetectable behind the cherries) cardboard oxidation in the back.

T- Very fruity tart cherries, light balanced vinegar, touch of oak and some very light cardboard oxidation that balances out the cherry sweetness, finishes with smooth balanced sweet cherry syrup flavor. The amount of cherry presence in this is absolutely insane, tastes like it was brewed a year ago nevermind 30 years ago.

M- Medium bodied, slightly syrupy, fairly minimal carbonation, very easy drinking.

O- This beer completely blew me away, I've never given a beer all 5s but this deserves that and more. The fact that this was brewed 30 years ago (aged two years in barrels before being bottled in '86) is almost unbelievable. This beer still has more of a cherry presence then most cherry fruited beers brewed only a year ago. It's a shame this isn't made anymore, however the bottles that do exist seem like they could hold up forever. Definitely seek this out if you can!

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Huge thank you to Andrew MacWilliams for sharing the small 33cl bottle with myself and two others. Not sure if its the 96' or 2000 bottling.

The beer pours a nice lighter brown color tinged red with a great golden core, and a good ring of bubbly head around the glass. Nice clean look.

The smell reminds me of an apple cider farm near my parents house in north Connecticut, it has that earthy apple rind with a nice tinge of sour cherry and hints of vinegar. A very nice smell that shows no signs of oxidation or age surprisingly.

The taste has a very warming and supple flavor, almost like a hot mulled cider with some light spice and definite apple cherry fruit notes, a nice light vanilla oak overtone presides over all. A nice touch of tartness and vinegar too that is not overpowering but compliments the fruit and malt very well. The age has actually added a very composed roundness as opposed to a mustyness which I found really pleasant. A very refined beer, it almost drinks like a fine aged red wine.

The feel is very nice, enough carbonation and enough body for the style, it's elegant and silky on the palate.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised how composed and settled this beer was, if only there was more to drink!

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Photo of dgfair
4.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

33 cL bottle poured into duchesse de Bourgogne goblet.

Beer pours a beautiful ruddy, amber brown color with a small, but adequate, layer of white lace. The nose is amazing....sweet and sour cherries, dry oak, a slight bit of musty funk, a touch of sweet apple. The smell is absolutely sublime and very complex. The taste is sweet dark cherry with a slight bit of vinegary sourness to balance it. I also get just the right amount of barrel character, very smoothing. Everything about this beer is in perfect balance. Still perfectly carbonated for being 14 years old. This beer has held up incredibly well, and this is one of the masterpieces of brewing. This is an absolutely phenomenal sour that I wish was still in production.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks be unto Thorpe for this long time whale want of mine, finally slayed. Served in a snifter. Beer is amber and mostly clear with almost no head, no retention, low carbonation, no lacing.

Aroma is nice, mildly musky, mildly malty.

Beer is nice and musky with a good tartness on the finish, a great cherry experience and I would have loved to try this fresher but I assume that this beer has held up well over time. I'd have it again for sure.

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Photo of Samichlaus82
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Medium burgundy. Single (khakis) fingernail head on gentle pour. Smell is mix of dark cherry, tannins, and oak. Not much else here, but very deep. Nose is quite inviting. WOW - this beer tastes absolutely beautiful! Combination of cherry and oak. Touch of apple with hidden notes of faint vanilla too. Balance of sweet and sour is well executed and this beer is holding up quite well for being well older than a decade. Soft, smooth, and refreshing. Superb! A thoroughly enjoyable beer! Very well-rounded and has withstood the age of time. A beautiful beer that I would highly recommend to anyone. Simply amazing! Wish I could drink this more often.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared by Thorpe429. Thanks a lot Mike! A top want of mine.

The beer is chestnut brown with a touch of crimson, sporting a thin beige collar that leaves some random lacing on the tulip.

The aroma offers a healthy dose of cherries, cherry juice, a bit of oak. Definitely smells like a Rodenbach.

The flavor is a lovely mix of sweet and tart, with cherries shining through beautifully. Age has served this beer well. Mild on the palate and silky smooth. Like drinking fresh cherry juice. It's hard to believe the beer is as old as it is, as it tastes fresh and fruit forward.

Light in body with moderately lo carbonation.

Overall, a delicious treat. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to try this.

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Photo of spdyfire83
4.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

245th Review
25cl bottle poured into namesake snifter
Vintage: 1998

Enjoyed at DHvL in early June 2012.

A: Medium burgundy. Single (khakis) fingernail head on gentle pour.

S: Mix of dark cherry, tannins, and oak. Not much else here, but very deep. Nose is quite inviting.

T: WOW - this beer is absolutely beautiful! Combination of cherry and oak. Touch of apple with hidden notes of faint vanilla too. Balance of sweet and sour is well executed and this beer is holding up quite well for being well older than a decade. Soft, smooth, and refreshing. Superb!

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation.

O: A thoroughly enjoyable beer! Very well-rounded and has withstood the age of time. A beautiful beer that I would highly recommend to anyone. Simply amazing! Wish I could drink this more often.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy dark amber color with a small off-white head. Much sweeter than I had expected. Lots of caramel and maple syrup. Heavy on the cherries, a bit of Maraschino cherry note to them. Oak and oxidation are also well represented. A moderate tartness, both lactic and acetic, with an almost cherry candy (Lifesavers) flavor. Fairly substantial caramel and maple sweetness on the palate as well. Nice, especially considering the beer is 16 years old.

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Photo of Fux
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1998 vintage from de Heeren van Liedekercke

A: Dark red / brown with ruby glints. Off-white head which leaves a thin lingering collar. Very appetizing!

S: Powerful fruited scent, with cherries (tons of!), soaked red fruits, dark fruits, and also sherry, walnut wine.

T: Sour palate, red fruits (cherries, raspberries), woody, round, sweet with hints of chocolate. Delightful!

M: Mellow, smooth mouthfeel.

O: A sipper, a true gourmet, dessert bier!

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Photo of kscaldef
4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at DHL on 6/7/2012. Listed as 1998 vintage (I'm not sure if this beer was made multiple times).

A: A very beautiful dark cherry wood color with a slight, irregular head.

S: Cherry, honey, dates, leather. Like a rich and smooth cherry syrup. Minimal sourness.

M: Nearly still, but retains some liveliness. Slight astringency on a long, long finish.

O: Best beer of the day, which is saying a lot given the company at DHL.

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Photo of metalgdog
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at De Heeren poured into original Rodenbach Alexander glass

Pours a full one inch head that dissipates to an uneven frothiness. Has a nice dark amber color.

Smells of dense, dark pitted cherries that aromatically is beautiful on the nose.

Wow, the flavor is again a rich dark cherry that melds wonderfully with the red, malty ale background. This has held up incredibly well as I do not detect any oxidation.

A little thin on the mouth and not quite enough carbonation to hold it well while drinking but this is to be expected considering it is about 15 years old.

Overall this is a great beer that has aged gracefully. Would love to have tried it fresh but still definitely worth seeking out, or another great reason to go to De Heeren and trying it there.

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Photo of oline73
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this at de heren van liedekerke during our Europe trip. Poured from the bottle into an Alexander Rodenbach goblet. It made me laugh when I saw this bottle said best by 2000

Appearance: Pours a clear mahogany color with a half finger of fluffy off white carbonation that fades to a layer on top of the pour and leaves some lacing. Very good looking beer.

Smell: There is a slight tartness to this beer along with the sweet malt. I'm getting sour cherries.

Taste: This is a really smooth beer. There is a wonderful, natural cherry flavor throughout each sip. Sweet malt with a mild tartness. This beer is so smooth, still wonderful after all these years.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very smooth carbonation and a finish that is just a bit dry.

Overall: This beer was wonderful. The cherry and the tartness were perfect together. Still holding up after all of this time, I would absolutely have another given the chance.

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Photo of drowland
4.78/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sample handed to me at RBWG by Dakine (wow that guy was looking out for me!). I believe I was told it was vintage 1998. HOLY CRAP this is awesome. Really nice red pour with a fading off-white head. Amazing sweet and sour cherries and so much more going on. Awesome.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's time to crack open this bottle instead of keeping it in the cellar.

A: pours with a slight head that eventually dissipated, deep copper, clear color
S: aged quality, almost sherry like without the EtOH, mild nose, aged oak and cherry
T: a very nice beer, well-balanced between tartness and cherry, good malt backbone, slight oxidation but for a beer of this ABV it held up remarkably well
M: very rounded and highly drinkable with nice balance of sweetness and sour, very quenching

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Alexander from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.48 out of 5 based on 148 ratings.
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