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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 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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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.

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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 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 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 jrallen34
4.67/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2 bottles consumed for our bachelor party whale tasting. My bottle was imported and Sean's was straight from Belgium. No year listed on either, but they were clearly different. I am reviewing my bottle as I favored it. Sean's bottle had a slightly better nose but my bottle was more balanced in taste...A dark brown with amber accents, semi clear. The head is light tan, light, looks oily, like an spoil on the surface of the beer...A strong aroma with a nice super strong cherry base, malty vinegar comes through but a little lighter than I was hoping. The cherries have held up great, strong, complex, full of depth...The taste is a great balance, a continuation of the sweet and flavorful cherries with a great vinegar tartness, almost 50/50 split. Take a Rodenbach Grand Cru, add cherries, age it and you have this wonderful beer.

A rare treat I would recommend anyone trying who can get ahold of. No clue why they stopped making this.

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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 Sean9689
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, I think it's 1997, thanks to Jason and myself (we drank two bottles)!

A - Pours a light pink/reddish, nice thin cap, some good lacing along the sides of the glass, and some whisps on here and there.

S - Sweet cherries, caramel, slight tart/sour, some oak. The cherries are so awesome they really just take over the beer. So good!

T - Cherries, sugary sweetness, some oak, slight sour/tart notes. This is so good and I'm surely not going to be able to describe it in words. The cherry notes are just amazing.

M - Light, good carbonation, dry finish.

D - So so good. You have to be a fan of cherries to enjoy this.

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

Color is a ruby amber. Pours a decent amount of white head. Nice appearance for something so old.

Aroma: Oaky, cherries, caramel, toffee, vanilla. The smell is awesome. It is a bit sweet, but sour. I am already enjoying this one. The cherries are awesome in this beer. The vanilla sticks out a lot as well.

Taste: Sweet cherries. Not really tart or sour, but in a good way. The vanilla shows a lot with oak showing nicely. The spices round things out nicely. It has some caramel malt with a light layer of toffee. A great beer. Reminds me a bit of NG sours, but better.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends pretty clean.

Overall, this one is awesome. Very drinkable and very enjoyable. I wish I had more of this around. I am very happy I had a chance to try this one. A very nice offering from Rodenbach.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.94/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have had this one several occasions now. Each time it seems to get even better. Top 10 all time beer for me. Most recently served in a Rodenbach goblet.

Pours a nice garnet color with an off white head. Nose is really, really nice with cherry, sherry, balsamic vinegar, and a bit of oaky earth. Taste is definite sour cherry, acetic acid, balsamic, oak, and some light fruitiness. Mouthfeel is quite creamy with good acidity. Drinks quite well. Never thought I would get to try this, and I'm very thrilled that I did.

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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 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 shaunt0000
4.8/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Sam of Stuffed Sandwich for allowing for the opportunity...

The beer poured a clear ruby-brown color without much of a head. Beer remains fizzy with bubbles running through the body of the beer. For a 15 year old bottle, there was quite a bit of carbination in the bottle. Though it's my first time trying it, those sharing the bottle with me claimed that it's "exactly the same as what it was ten years ago.."
It smells of cherries with a vineous quality. Aroma is mostly of cherries and some woody oak. Tastes almost like it smells--tart with explosive sweet cherry flavor with some apple cider vinegar... a great balance of sweet and sour. At 6.5% ABV astringency is quite low. It's very different from Rodenbach's current offerings. Texture is rich and creamy. Extremely satisfying and refreshing. Some of the best beer I've ever had.

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

Thanks to ArthurPendragon for acquiring this under somewhat unusual circumstances. Served in a tumbler.

A - Pours with a thin wisp of foam that settles to a ring and haze. Only a few spots of lace are left behind. Transparent red-orange color.

S - More sweet and malt-forward than I expected after all these years. Somehow this still pops, with oaky vanilla, sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, and lactic sour notes. Very well balanced in all the flavor domains.

T - Taste is more tart, with sour and sweet flavors moving to the periphery. There's some tart apple in there as well. Wonderful integration, with no single element becoming overbearing or fatiguing. Some how there isn't any perceptible oxidation in this 12+-year old bottle.

M - Low carbonation, smooth medium body, and a lightly dry finish. Could have used a bit more spritz, but I won't be overly hard due to the age on this one.

D - Why did they stop making this? It's awesome. This would be a superb Belgian session sour if you could actually buy it.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

vintage 1996 bottle thanx to sam at the stuffed sandwich

A: pours a pinkish brown that has slight lacing and decent retention even though this beer is 14 years old

S: smell is of a original rodenbach grand cru but aged with cherries and hints of vinegar.

T: little vinegar up front with massive cherries sweetness and tartness to finish of this great long retired beer.

M: is medium body with good amount of carbonation that has held up throughout the years.

D: overall this beer is something special that makes beer geeks go crazy when pulled out to sample, so sad that rodenbach don't brew this anymore.

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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.


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Photo of koopa
4.89/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1988? Vintage bottle that lists 6.5% ABV and has a gold best buy bar at the bottom of the label front notched 91'

I heard a carbonation pop when I opened it! I'm very happy about that!

Appearance: Pours a transparent garnet brown with honey folds. The head is off white but minimal and it recedes quickly leaving no lace. Still more lively and vibrant than I was expecting on a 24 year old beer!

Smell: Amazing bouquet consisting of a perfect blending of malt and cherries, a hint of lightly charred barrel, and the faintest vinous note.

Taste: Oh my god this is so incredibly sublime! Cherry sweetness, malt sweetness, with underlying charred barrel and a hint of salt coupled with a whisper of oxidation. The lactic quality presents itself in the finish. This is just amazingly balanced. The sweetness and the sourness are so melded.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the heavy side of light with an enjoyable but spritzy carbonation.

Drinkability: I'm about to drink this bottle in less than 10 minutes. It is incredibly drinkable.

Probably the best aged beer I've ever had....even better than the ones I sampled at de Kulminator in Antwerp.

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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 Floydster
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Sam for giving me one of these, 1996 vintage, poured into my Chimay goblet, bottle says 6% ABV, color is cloudy deep orangish red, big one inch off white head that is rather foamy, had good retention that stayed around almost five minutes, nice lacing at times too, aroma is full of fruit, cherries, raspberries, faint sourness, plums, dates, sherry, sweet malt, oak, caramel, vanilla, and mild citrus, flavor profile was amazing with all the fruits packed into one punch, starts off rather sweet with malt and berries, middle is somewhat citrusy and tart, then the finish is both sweet and sour with a variety of fruits, cherry tastes were great, mouthfeel was slightly tart, sweet, and even dry at times, medium bodied, high level of carbonation even after twelve years in the bottle, taste lingers for quite some time, liked the fullness of its flavor, could drink numerous bottles of this, not filling at all, alcohol is hidden well and is low to begin with, great drinkability, this beer had to have improved with age or it was perfect before, everything a Flanders should be, the maturation in oak casks did wonders on the fruity flavors, hope I will get to drink this again but not many bottles seem to be around anymore, highly recommended

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Photo of AlexJ
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cloudy burgundy in color with a thin head of light beige.

Aroma is a mouthwatering mix of sweet fruit, tart cherry, oak-aged red wine, and earth.

Flavor is outstanding. A sweet and sour blend of cherry and oak, with vineous yeast and light earthy funkiness. Incredibly smooth and well-rounded with age, this is utterly delicious. The oak aged character of toasty vanilla and leather comes out as the elixer warms.

Mouthfeel is slick and creamy, with light carbonation and a slickery tart mouthfeel. Impossibly drinkable, my sample disappeared in no time. I really wish the brewery would revive this legendary beer.

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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 Crosling
4.56/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enchanting ruby in color with a firm, well-densed head of light mocha that shows spotty lacing. Very fruity and strongly vinous aroma with a huge dose of cherry puree, along with a light hint of wood. Flavor is absolutely bursting with cherry goodness, while remaining lightly vinous, lightly acidic and extremely complex. Beautiful intermixing of sweet and sour flavors, with an underlying hint of red apple. Just a beautiful beer.

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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.

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