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

1,801 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Rodenbach Classic (Red)Rodenbach Classic (Red)

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
ABV varies 5.0-5.2% ABV

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-04-2002

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,801 |  Reviews: 680
Photo of TheBeerdedCharmer
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of sleazo
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

 697 characters

Photo of tjcamm
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of roblowther
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a head that dissapears faster than my dogs at bath time. Smells of sour cherries, wood, and pepper. Has that distinctive worscestire smell of a Flanders red. Taste is tart, malty, and very, very smooth. Not too much of anything. Outstanding! Mouthfeel is slick but a touch thin. Drinkability is phenomenal. It goes down quickly. It's my new friend.

 364 characters

Photo of IrishColonial
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jaasen64
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

25cl bottle from I believe 1984. Has a paper label over a painted label with a drink by date of what looks like November 1985 (definitely sometime in the mid 80s). Bottle is in good condition and was supposedly stored in a wine cellar since it's purchase from the brewery in the 80s. Cap definitely shows it's age a bit with a tiny bit of rust present. This bottle is way before Palm took over the brewery.

A- Cap comes off with a very slight hiss (impressive considering it's almost 30 years old), poured somewhat aggressively to get out the head. Pours a dark purplish red with a very bubbly just over a finger's worth of head that has decent retention but slowly fizzles down to a bubbly top. For it's age this still has very good carbonation. Not much in terms of lacing.

S- Right after pouring there was an awesome aroma very fragrant aroma of tart cherries, a little bit of vinegar, and perfectly balanced malts. The aroma however died pretty fast, I'd say about a minute after being opened. I assume this is due to it's age. After letting it sit there is still a faint presence of tart cherries and malts however it is very subdued and a hint of oxidation comes through.

T- Faint presence of cherries that have a little bit of tartness, some slight vinegar, definite presence of slight oxidation with tastes of wet cardboard, finishes slightly watery with a bit more oxidation coming through. Overall this wasn't bad considering it's age, there was definitely some oxidation coming through but overall it didn't detract from the beer too much. The original flavors were definitely still there but fairly subdued.

M- A bit on the thin side, slightly watery but very drinkable, carbonation fairly low but not surprising due to the age.

O- This beer held up a lot better then I thought it would for being a ~30 year old bottle. The aroma when I first cracked the bottle was actually one of the best aromas I've experienced in a beer with the perfect balance of tart cherries, vinegar, and malts. It's a shame it couldn't have lasted a little bit longer. Overall the bottle definitely showed it's age put was without a doubt a pleasure to drink.

 2,153 characters

Photo of meehandennis
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Casey3236
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice find on tap at the soon to be no more Blind Tiger ale house. This little lovely poured cloudy reddish amber, with a tiny bubble slight head, leaving fine, wispy lacing. Nose of semi sour cherries. Flavorful, complex brew with notes of sour fruit, moderate but not overpowering in intensity. More drinkable then other "reds" I've tried. Tasty, fruity, intense. A fine experience in drinking.

 397 characters

Photo of MiScusi
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena for their 9th annual Belgian beer festival.

Poured a dark reddish brown. The smell is mildly tart. The taste is also tart with some red grape fruitiness. The mouthfeel is smoother and less spritzy than their Grand Cru. This beer is not as intense as the Grand Cru and is a fine sour beer.

 327 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark ruby red color with a slight light beige head that had light reddish hues. The head was sticky and left behind a nice film lacing behind.

S: The nose bursts with fresh marachino cherries and is very fruity.

T: The flavor like wise is dominant cherries, alcohol, apples with a tangy sweet sourness. Tart and very smooth with a very quick clean finish.

M: a little thin, light and smooth.

D: A very smooth and silky drink with a great gentle sourness makes for a good desert beer.

 502 characters

Photo of shanny_koenig
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Squelch
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: ruby red. No head. Crystal clear

Smell: wonderful candy apple aroma. Very enticing

Taste: beautifully balances sour sweet malty flavors. Love this beer

Mouthfeel: puckering. Sour. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: I love this beer. I want more!

 256 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a dark brown color with ruby tints and a slightly cloudy consistency. There was an inch and a half of creamy, off white, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A big fruity aroma of cherries, apples and other fruits. Also some malt and yeast.

T: Tasted like it smelled: Lots of fruit, apples, cherries, a bit of malt and yeast. Not quite as robust as I would have guessed, but still a very vibrant flavor.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: On the whole, this is an extremely drinkable, flavorful, likable beer.

 583 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours a brown reddish color that looks like Dr. Pepper. There is very little head and what does appear fades almost instantly. No lacing whatsoever.

S - Smells like balsalmic/red wine vinegar, sour unripe cherries, and a funky aroma.

T - Taste isn't as sour as I was expecting. A very subdued vinegar, sour cherry taste. Very good.

M - This beer has very good carbonation. The beer leaves a sticky soda like thick spit feel in the mouth.

D - Very good. This seems like a it would be a good introduction to this style of beer. I will be seeking out the other beers that Rodenbach makes very soon.

 603 characters

Photo of speter
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark hazy amber brown with ample fluffy white foam that leaves some lacing.

S: Sour dark cherries floating over a Belgian malty sea.

T: Tart and sour up front (albeit moderate in sourness), this beer gains in complexity as it hits the center and the oak kicks in around the same time as the hops. The wood gives it a very balancing complexity, with more vanilla notes than red-wine tannins. The finish is at first dry, while a refreshing vanilla blossoms immediately afterwards.

M: Sharp, spicy, and refreshing, with a prickling carbonation to match.

D: This is one amazing beer. I must seek it out again.

 621 characters

Photo of donnebaby
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark burgundy brown color and a dark tan tightly foamy head. Smells of breezy fresh black cherries. Fleshy and sweet. As it warms, the cherries seem to ripen a bit more, intensifying.

The taste off the bat brings those cherries down to bear in an almost lambic fashion. Black cherries take on a sweet and sour lemon, with balsamic edge, which is both mouth-puckering and refreshing. This tiny bottle went far too fast. Hard to locate the hops until well after the cherries have left the building. Notes of mint and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Carbonation comes out as creamy in the forefront, with a medium blast in the throat, all at the same moment. Then returns to being creamy and rolls down the throat. Pleasing.

 729 characters

Photo of Bruno74200
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Balsamic and sour in the smell but mostly on the grain in the taste. Less complex than the grand cru but it has definitely its own character. It's not too sour and is certainly underrated on this site. It's very refreshing and worked very well with some Abondance cheese. I'm sure it would be great with some foie gras with its light sweetness, fine fruity and hay notes and vinous body

 387 characters

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is really assertive from the very beginning. There is a dry impression with some noticeable roast that helps accent this dryness. There seems to be a bit of oxidation in this example that I am not sure is from actual oxidation from age, or from the aging in the barrels that breath. There is a very subtle dryness to this beer that makes it seem very well attenuated. There is a whole bunch of fruit in this beer and you can pick out the cherries in particular. The cherries are such a big player that it almost gives the beer an impression of the Black Cherry Kool-Aid.

As the beer warms a bit, there is a much more earthy flavor coming out. It really gets woody after it sits for a while. After you have been sipping this beer for a little while, there is a noticeable acidity that lingers on the back of the throat much like a Stout beer, but without the coffee like aftertaste. It leaves a cherry-like impression to linger for some time. This is a nice beer. It is nice to have a beer that is this light on the alcohol, yet still this big on flavor.

 1,066 characters

Photo of Citadel82
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml Cork and Caged Bottle purchased at spirits unlimited in Red Bank.

I think I prefer the Classic to the Grand Cru at least from a pure drinkability standpoint. I found this refreshingly tart though not as vinegar like as the Grand Cru. Poured deep ruby with a thin head and persistent light carbonation. Aroma was sour cherries, and some other funky aromas that I could not put into words. Taste is delightfully sour and refreshing. Tingly mouth feel is heightend by a mouth puckering sourness and persistent light carbonation. Mouthfeel is light and overall this is a very drinkable brew.

 598 characters

Photo of yemenmocha
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an off-amber to cola brown color. Head doesn't retain long.

Nose has musty dark fruits, vinegar.

Palate is right up there with Duchesse du Bourgogne - hard to distinguish. Passion fruits, pleasant vinegary sour note, and a slight soapy component on the finish (yes, my glass is clean).

 293 characters

Photo of dannyboygaga
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of oglmcdgl
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A bottle after work with sourbatchkid.

A- two big fingers of tan head from a hard pour that held for a bit then slowly settled leaving only a thin ring around the glass. Muddy dark brown red in color.

S- sweet and tart cherries with some musty yeast and earth.

T- opens up with a good tartness and a light sweetness. Some cherry and other tart fruits. Some oaky funk and a bit of toasted dark bread. A bit artificaily sweet tasting as it warms, like aspartame.

M- on the lighter side of body with a bigger carb that really does work son. Solid pucker going with this one, gets the juices going for sure.

D- its about as easy a drinker as they come. I do enjoy the grand cru a bit more but if seen on draft it would be a hard pass up.

 743 characters

Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.01 out of 5 based on 1,801 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.