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Alexander | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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75 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.

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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 147
Photo of Dogbrick
3.2/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Acquired a couple bottles of this from a trade. Pours a ruddy dark amber with a medium thin light tan head. Thin lacing. Aroma is just waiting to burst like a mob of Saturday morning shoppers waiting at the doors for a store to open during a big sale. Strong sherry, citrus, apple and grapes almost overwhelm. Unfortunately my first impression of the flavor reminded me of a cheap screw-top wine like Boone's. Sour and fruity with a light effervescent character. I am glad I got to try it as this is an interesting and complex beer, but honestly I don't think I would get it again if I had the chance.

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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 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 feloniousmonk
4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bubbly head, and deep, dark cherry red color. Aroma is loud and sweet, projecting a fierce cherry flavor far and wide. Sour cherries! Tantalizing, lively. Not a kriek lambic, but merely a "sour ale" flavored with "cherry essence." And that's just the thing. It's simple and consistent. You get sour, you get cherry. I like it, and I can imagine it as an excellent dessert treat, but it's not the sort of thing you can imagine drinking very often.

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Photo of kkipple
4.02/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big big thanks to Craytonic for cracking open this elusive bugger to start off a fine tasting. Unsure of the bottling date, but it was in super good shape. Looked new, in fact.

A. Really just looks like regular Rodenbach... nutty brown-red and not totally clear. A tiny bit of head, spotty lace. No surprises.

S. Big, open, sweet nose. Balsamic vinegar, soft cherry, oak. Very complimentary. No oxidization or off notes as far as I can tell - this simply smells fresh and good, if pretty similar to normal Rodenbach, oh well.

T. Hmm... fresh? Not sure how, but this really doesn't taste aged. No sherry notes, or old must, or flatness, or raging tartness. Everything is still well balanced twixt the cherry-oak-vinegar-sweet. Flavorful, enjoyable. I'm not sure what I was expecting... but aside from being a little richer and more blended, this is pretty much a standard... oh, you get the idea.

M / D. Low carbonation, but there. Dryish finish, sweet red cherry wine, quite nice. Nothing wrong here.

A fascinating beer, and one that I want to know the provenance of. I desperately want to know how this was stored, because as far as I can tell, age has simply left this one well alone. A fine Flanders Red, but not one that I'd go out of my way to acquire again, due to the scarcity.

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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.

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

Origianlly sampled 29 March 2002. Big Thanks to hoprus for this one! It pours a cloudy brown w/ a one finger head. Nicely balanced sour cherry & apple flavors lead to a crisp, dry finish. This beer, & Flemish Sour Ales in general, aren't for everyone, but Rodenbach Alexander is an excellent example of the style.

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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 JAXSON
4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2009 rate.

This is called Rodenbach Alexander, in that order, not vice versa. Bottle, thanks Henrik! Pours a deep reddish brown with a nice soapy tan head. Cool color and look. Extremely vinegarish on the nose, so much so that it's difficult to pull out anything else. Some essence of wet wood and cherries floating about. Whoa, what a powerful, strange mix of flavors. Red wine vinegar, oak, deeply rich malt. Sweet cherries and oak unfold. Really strange, lovely progression. Endlessly complex. Deep, earthy, and a bit herbal. Almost hard to take the intensity of this. Perfectly bubbly, fine carbonation, sharp enough but soft enough. This is incredibly unique, much more complex and diverse than any Flanders Red, and more deep and rich than any sour I've had. Cherries and raspberries really start to come out as it warms. Killer stuff, absolutely blows everything else by Rodenbach out of the water.

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Photo of GreenWBush
4.17/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, what a find. I forgot that I put this one in my parents' fridge one of the first years of college, then discovered it recently when I moved back home. It had already been refrigerated for 5 or 6 years before I got ahold of it way back then.

1996 Vintage.

Pours out of the bottle a dullish brown, much less red in color than I had expected. A surprising and flourishing head is produced, but leaves absolutely no lace or cling.

Nose is full of tart, acidic cherries.

Taste is much more of the same. This is one of those beers that I can't really add much to what the label's description offers, "tart, vinous, fruity, and with a tang".

Mouthfeel is predictably tart, and oddly refreshing for a beer of this sort. My dad said it tasted like an aged wine cooler.

Completely untouched by age. Might have held out another decade!

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Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Thanks to Jason for opening this long time want.

A: Reddish brown with a fizzy white head. 

S: Lightly tart with notes of plum and grape. Moderate acetic acidity. Dash of chocolate. The grape is really strong and there's notable vinegar.

T: Lightly tart with a lower level of lactic sourness. Light citrus sweetness. Notes of apricot and vinegar with a low acetic acidity in the finish.

M: Lower medium body with upper moderate carbonation. 

Overall: This has held up quite well. Recommended.

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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 thierrynantes
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 cl), tasted in 1999.

Appearance : Very similar to the "grand cru" of the same name.
Smell : Addition of cherry juice.
Taste and mouthfeel :
Drinkability : Very good brown fruity to discover. The Rodenbach is the archetype of beer brown lactic acidity of its kind oud bruin bier '

Review added 10-25-2007, translated from french 1-12-2008

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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 Rastacouere
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Immense thanks to Barry for sharing one of the rarer that I'd like to believe bottles still around Clear light brown, maybe a slight haze. Small sticky off-white head. Aroma is very vinous, sweet cherries in abundance, well defined with obvious oak aged character that I love. Downright excellence in here, makes you wish you could bathe in one of Rodenbach's legendary oak casks. Nose also deploys light tartness and a bit of brown sugar. Great taste, very refreshing, full-flavoured cherries, very sweet and tart at the same time. You actually feel the seeds and branches a bit which is surprising considering that they used a cherry extract to my knowledge. Tons of oak, just lovely. This is a glorious meeting, but I must confess it could be a bit drier to fit my tastes perfectly, they've already done that with the grand cru though! Great tart aftertaste with more barrel character being revealed, this seems to support age wonderfully and shows no signs of fatigue for those still holding on some bottles, wonderfully lactic still. Thin-medium body, just appropriate and supported by medium carbonation. There is no way any good reason exists and is sufficient to end the production of this fine beer. RIP Alex.

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Photo of craytonic
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Quite well carbonated, I wasn't expecting this from such an old bottle. Nice amber-red-orange color.

Smell & taste: sweet and tart with some oak notes and faint balsamic vinegar. I expected this to show some age but it does not, no funk or must. I am clueless as to how it tastes so young, being such an old bottle.

Mouthfeel: - slightly thin, carbonation perhaps depleted slightly with age.

Drinkability: Goes down very easily, although I prefer the 2007 vintage label bottle slightly. Not sure why they stopped making this!

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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.

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

Cheers to Sean and Jason for providing this at my Bachelor Weekend tasting.

A - Brown beer with some beautiful red notes. Small, off white head that receded quite quickly to a ring on the sides.

S - Big ripe cherry smell that is not overly sweet, and a distinct carmel sweetness that separates itself from the cherry smell. Little bit of vinegar if you look for it.

T - Carmel sugars, with a great cherry taste. It's a sweet beer, but it's not cherry sweet, which would make it seem artificial. A very candy-like taste that manages to not be cloying at all.

M - Smooth, a little syrupy, but I think it works well for this beer. Not a ton of carbonation, medium bodied, but feels very fleshed out.

D - This is a great sipper, I think some could down this quite easily, but the sweetness in it to me makes it one you should take time with. Very good beer.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a light reddish-brown color with half a finger of large bubble foam. There is only a little lace left on the glass. The smell is full of sour cherries and apple, very fruity. A good malty aroma as well. The taste has just a slight mustiness to it at first, then tart cherries and a hint of alcohol. The finish is very mellow. The mouthfeel is just a tad oily. The drinkability is fairly nice. A good Belgian red!

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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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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 connecticutpoet
4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

Very thin head atop a clear amber body. Red-shaded, but only a little.

Aroma was of berries and cherries, and quite vinous. This was actually one of the first beers I had that had a vinous character, so unfortunately I did not get too much of the character down.

Aroma was sweet and fruity, mostly cherries but some berry character as well. Light and vinous. A touch of sourness. Overall, quite good.

Mouthfeel was light and crisp, and it gave me a little bit of a pucker. Nice.

Drinkability - I wish I had gotten several of these to lay down and try over time. Alas, at that time, I was only cellaring a few things (1994 Triple Bock, some Thomas Hardy's.)

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Photo of Bighuge
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a beautiful deep scarlet red color. A slight tan head dwindles quickly and soon just rims the glass. A sour mash like smell is perceived on the nose. The tartness of this beer can be smelled. This beer has a very light body. Drinking this is almost like drinking a liquid version of the green apple taffy/candy. It's very unique and there are both sweet and sour characteristics. The sour properties seem to win in my mouth. Vinegar like presence is detected although balanced pretty effectively.

I definitely prefer the New Glarus Belgium Red over this brew. (I gave the Belgian Red from NG a 4.9.) I realize that they are a bit different beer styles, but as for the few beers I've tried with cherries in them, NG is outstanding and this one is pretty good.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.37/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, 1 of 2 to be opened tonight (courtesy of Sean9689 & jrallen34). Big appreciation, for a long time I didn't think I'd actually get to try this, and all at once 2 bottles show up.

It pours a reddish copper, with minimal foam after a vigorous pour. Spotty bits of wet foam on the glass.

The aroma is obscene, sweet and vinegary at the same time. Cherries, maybe other dark fruit, and sweet liqueur.

Excellent taste also, not quite like any Flanders Red I've had before. I heard they last made this in 1998, so maybe the age is slightly responsible for the difference. Nice sweet notes up front with lasting cherry and sherry in the aftertaste. I had a small pour from 2 bottles but I could have easily gone for much more.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Really excited to try this one. Pretty funny the $2.99 price tag is still on this one and now it is really hard to get. Wish I would have bought a lot of it back then! Pours a reddish clear color with a nice slight white head that is slow to settle. Lots of aromas in the nose, including cherry, caramel, vanilla, toffee, and vanilla. Actually smells quite sweet. The taste is really nice as well with a more sweet than sour overall flavor. Malty, grape, cherry, oak, and vanilla are all present in this one. Medium mouthfeel. Overall, I was really surprised how sweet this was for the age and also how well it has held up. Very easy drinking with no real presence of alcohol. This is a beer to try!

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Alexander from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.48 out of 5 based on 147 ratings.
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