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Alexander | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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BA SCORE
97
world-class
76 Reviews
AlexanderAlexander
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Belgium
rodenbach.be

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.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
76
Ratings:
148
Avg:
4.48
pDev:
7.81%
 
 
Wants:
185
Gots:
29
For Trade:
3
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 148
Reviews by dfernandez77:
Photo of dfernandez77
4.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Transferring my tasting notes from 15 years ago so they don't get lost:

Medium carbonation creates a nice warm beige head. Rich deep garnet color with a tiny bit of haziness.

A complex aroma like dark red cherries, red delicious apples, red clay earth and a coppery metallic tang.

Medium body and slightly slick mouthfeel.

Lots of cherries and lactic tangyness in the flavor. A sourness like quinine (tonic water) and coppery metallic notes haunt the background flavors. The character of the Flemish Red Ale base stands out in the finish with an astringent dryness.

Overall impression. Bloody awesomely BIG, and good. The cherry essence is full, like those big fat ripe red ones that stain your fingers when you eat them. Combine bigtime cherries with the huge flavors and complexity of a Flemish red ale, this beer will make you take notice. This is like the roller coaster of fruited ales, where a Liefmans or Mort Subite would be the carousel.

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More User Reviews:
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.

 1,261 characters

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!

 1,429 characters

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.

 702 characters

Photo of Popsinc
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a 1985 vintage bottle sampled at La Bier Circus in Brussells, Oct 2003.

Appearance: Served in a large wine glass this beer had a deep mohagany pour with almost no head whatsoever.

Smell: The nose is just bursting with dark, ripe cherries but it seems the highlight here might be the heavy dose of dark & rich sour plums that counter-balance the cherry sweetness nicely.

Taste: A huge fruit sweetness up front highlighted again by cherry and plum. The fruity sweetness is nicely balanced by an oaky tartness and a nice acidity level.

Mouthfeel: the sweet n sour smooth mouthfeel leaves a satified palate.

Drinkability: A great beer. Like many aged beers there are similarities with fine port...dark, rich fruit. woddy notes. sweetness & tartness all at once. But to know a beer can change over time and increase in complexity is an exciting feeling.

 872 characters

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JakerLou
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jason
4.84/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: 11.2 oz brown bottle with a white foiled top, no freshness date though a tart beer like this will stay for months if not years.

Appearance: Bright mahogany colour with a light tan lace to boot, sediment in the bottle stayed well packed even when the bottle was totally poured out.

Smell: Sweet aroma of bing and black cherries, big fruity tart back ground with an odd yet light tobacco smell.

Taste: Smooth on the palate with a huge puckering tartness, not sour bit tart because as soon as it comes in it leaves to let a flipside of flavours in. Tartness holds the fruit, the fruit of sweet then quickly to sour cherries that bring on the tartness. Hops are belittled and are nearly non-existent but this is par for the style. As soon as the tartness subsides a sweet vanilla flavour sneaks in with a quick flash of malt also within the undertones of earth and wood. Dry without a doubt, especially the finish and the finish is pretty clean.

Notes: This is the in comparison to what wine drinkers would want in a complex top notch wine, guess what it’s a beer. Complex is not the word for this beer, better than wine is bold and fitting.

After an eight day trip to Belgium this beer makes me feel all fuzzy and warm. Then I realize that I am in America and have to pay two to three times the $$$ for the same beer just to drink it at home and not in a warm and inviting cafe or beer bar in Brugge. :-(

 1,436 characters

Photo of acurtis
4.03/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ggaughan
4.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up this bottle in a trade about a year back. I loved the old Rodenbach and then when it came back a few years ago I was glad to see it. I had been waiting to try the Alexander for awhile and felt like last night was the time.

The beer poured a cloudy, deep brown/amber color with no head but some nice bubbles running through the body. There was a slight white island in the middle of the glass that ran away rather quickly.

The nose was a nice mix of funk and tartness, almost brandy like. The taste seemed very fresh although the bottle was a few years old. There was a nice tart and somewhat sweet mix to this beer that was excellent. The body had a bit of carbonation to it so it was not flat but not overly carbonated, seemed to be the right amount. The body was medium and the taste this beer leaves in the mouth is truely enjoyable. I wish this beer was still readily available as I would scoop up more if I could. I was expecting alot for this one and was not let down at all.

 1,000 characters

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of leschkie
3.25/5  rDev -27.5%

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 -

 462 characters

Photo of davod23
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my Cantillon wine glass. A good beer for Review #100.

Pour is a deep brown-gold color, with slight hints of ruby. Virtually no head, as most of the bubbles that arise were due to the vigor of the pour. Good clarity.

Smell is pretty nice, I must say. Sour cherries, balsamic vinegar, a vague sweetness. Hints of random fruitiness in there too, perhaps strawberries.

Taste is better. Very nice. Perfect balance between sweet and sour, just like a good Flanders red should be. Sweet and sour cherries, raspberries, vinegar, sweet malt. Nice balance of acetic and lactic. There's a slight bit of oxidation here, but it doesn't detract much... just adds a layer of sherry complexity.

Mouthfeel - I'm going to dock it a little bit, but not too much because of the age of the bottle. It would have been better to have a few more bubbles, which would have lightened the load considerably. As it is, it's a bit heavy on the palate... but only just.

Overall - Really great experience, honestly. This bottle is about 14 years old, I think, and it's held up really well. It's a travesty that this isn't brewed anymore, because it's probably a better beer than any other Rodenbach offering around today. If this beer is as good as I think it is when it's fresh, I would have it on hand all the time.

 1,320 characters

Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed November 23, 2006. Crisp saltine aroma, heavy on raspberry champagne vinegar. Very refined and tawny, edges of sherry. Many dripping cherry notes, with sweet crisp juices and dry pits. Very elegant and silky, but seems a little reserved and almost too straightforward (keeping it down 0.2 in the aroma). Flavor is damn near insanity. It’s pure lubricious delight of all kinds of cherries, schaarsbeekse, montmortenci, rainier and Door County. All sweet, bright and lucious and right in front of me. So unique and rich. A truly original coalescence of creative flourish and tangy delight. The sharpy sour notes are incredibly enlightening, with blending notes of astringent fire. The palate and finish could have had a little more moment, except that ti’s sweetness paris with the crisp cutting acidit to create nice balance and increasingly dry finish. Distant hop cone thoughts. The oak really brings some nice touches of vanilla cherry sugars. Overall, a true masterpiece and a crying shame that it’s no longer produced.

 1,045 characters

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.

 262 characters

Photo of Kevincredible
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 265 characters

Photo of waddellc2
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Ajlvt
4.9/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of stupac2
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was the 2nd beer we cracked at Ditmier's weekend tasting.... Wow!! Never thought I would get a chance to try this one... Big Props Eric!!

Very clear Orange/red.... not much of a head.

Aroma is incredibly complex mix of very balanced sweet and sour... cherries come out in full force with some mild acetic character.

Flavor mirrors the nose with again a near perfect balance.... tons of cherries dominate from front to the back where a vinegar note shows and dries out... oak shows on later pours.. I wrote "red apple", but honestly don't remember that much now... maybe something to do with the sweetness and growing tannins as it really opened up.

Not alot of carbonation, but it was there and helped lean the mouthfeel toward a smoothness with just hints of bubbles that get zinged by the acids.

I could drink this stuff by the liter... there was sooo much going on, but my notes failed to get much more... thanks again Eric... Very impressive beer and impressed that you would share such a sought after wonder.

3.5/4.5/4.5/4/4.5

 1,043 characters

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.

 872 characters

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

huge thanks to dave for opening this with me a while back, review from notes

dark red in color with a light tan head that came up to a height of around two inches before settling back down and leaving tons of lace all over the sides and bottom of the glass while never really falling much below the one inch level. The aroma was lightly tart, sour cherries, hints of earthy and spicy notes and even a touch of what seemed like brown sugar or something along those lines. Really very well done and quite complex. The flavor was a little less tart then what I would have liked but I have to admit was still done very well.

 621 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for opening this long-time want, Jason. I don't recall the vintage of this one; was from the '90s I believe.

Appearance: Cloudy reddish brown with a tall head that settles to a collar after a moment.

Smell: Mild nose, malty and bready with a subtle cherry element. A little acetic sourness, but it's more on the malty side. A subtle aroma overall, but pleasant. This has held up surprisingly well, I'm surprised the acetic acid hasn't taken over.

Palate: A nice mix of cherries, toasted malt and mild balsamic vinegar. Grainy, nice fruitiness. Doesn't beat you over the head with cherries, it's nicely integrated. Finishes toasty, fruity, lightly sour. A really nice easy drinking Flanders red with a subtle fruit character.

It's difficult to accurately review a beer like this in the context of a tasting, because it's a rather subtle and mild beer. If not for the rarity, I could see myself putting back a few of these in an evening.

 946 characters

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