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

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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

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Reviews: 675 | Ratings: 1,793
Photo of adodds
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a soft, medium-dark honey-amber color with just enough haunt of red to make you squint and ask, "Is that red I see?" Small head. If this beer had a personality I would guess that it is sleepy or mellow, based on first glance.

S - The expected acidic, fruity smell is actually quite muted. It is as if somebody tossed the scent on the ground and shoveled some brown sugar- or molasses-laced dirt on top. This is the kind of dirt that mushrooms grow in in dark forests.

T - Sour acidity and carbonation pierce the tongue at first, but this acid does not soar as high as one would expect from other sours. Sweet cherry and raisin dominate, sprinkled with a pinch of light brown sugar on top.

M - Although the carbonation does bite the tongue at first, it feels very soft and fuzzy. The beer seems to take its time as rolls around the mouth softly and sleepily.

O - This beer is a good choice for somebody just looking to get into sours. It does not scream loudly nor stab your tongue with thousands of tiny lances. Perhaps a bit sweet, even cloying for my tastes. I would consider it the equivalent of a dessert wine. If you like lively, vivacious sours then this beer probably is not for you.

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Photo of LAp
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A beautiful beer on the whole, sour mixed with a hint of balsalmic vinegar. Had in a 3-way tasting with Classic, Grand Cru, and Vintage. Having this beer in immediate comparison to its older brothers definitely points out benefit that aging gives this already excellent base beer.

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Photo of Cyrano41
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was gifted this on Christmas from my sister-in-law. She asked the staff at Total Wine to help with selecting beers for someone who "likes weird beer." And in 13 years, this is the best gift yet. This was the first beer from the six pack I've tried and I really like it!
Poured a reddish brown into a standard pint glass, a quarter inch of head with not much lacing.
Smell carried a bit of A bit of acidity on the nose hinted at the tartness to come.
Medium bodied, not insubstantial.
I've never wrapped my head around the appeal of sours, once at Tapped the barkeeper described the Italian sour they had as "kinda like drinking malt-vinegar." Needless to say that didn't convince me to overcome my reluctance to imbibe. Rodenbach has a tart bite, but off-sets it with a slight sweetness. The beer uses the tart to enhance flavor rather than overpower it. I will look for this again.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown, becoming almost garnet when held to the light, producing 2+ fingers of tan, shortlived, frothy head that leaves only a few motes of lace. Aroma is sour, toasted malt, vinous, grape must, green apple & something a little ginger ale like. Taste is similar with more sour & vinous grape, lightly acetic, as in the nose some spice like ginger or perhaps cinnamon. Finishes sour, very peppery & acetic producing a similar but astringent aftertaste. I did not pick up any wood notes from the barrel aging. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with high carbonation, prickly with peppery spice, astringent aftertaste.

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

Ruby brown, murky, with a short-lived head. Smells like red grapes, or like a rose wine, with a hint of vinegar and caramel. Tastes like watered-down wine must. Light body with a nice acidic and refreshing mouthfeel.

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Photo of JayQue
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyable sour!! Pours a clear reddish brown color with a lot of carbonation. Medium size tan head with good retention. Keeps a covering of the flute glass throughout. Wide bands of filmy lacing. Aroma is malty with a strong but not overpowering vinegar presence. Flavor is more of the same. The oak is fairly faint but the maltiness and mild vinegary sourness are more than enough to keep this beer interesting. Mouthfeel is crisp with just the right amount of carbonation. This sour is about the level I can enjoy. Grand Cru is a bit much for me.

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Photo of lastmango
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a dark ruby brown with a thin tan fizzy head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing. Nose of apple and mixed fruit. Moderate malt flavor that is overshadowed by sour cherry flavor. As I first approached this beer, the tartness was like lemonade. But, within a few sips, the sourness became more balanced with the malt. This beer is thin and fizzy. This is my first Flanders red ale and I am finding it enjoyable as a departure from my norm.

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Photo of kitch
4.44/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 330ml bottle with a best before date of 3rd October 2015 and poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Poured a dark reddish brown colour with a thin tanned head (although on my second bottle, an extremely aggressive pour gave me a one finger head) that leaves plenty of stringy lacing.

Aroma: Nice strong tart cherry and grape aromas with hints of vinegar and oak.

Taste: Tart cherry with hints of vinegar and grape bubblegum.

Mouthfeel: Dry, light to medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall: The most basic of the Rodenbach line, this was very good. It was very refreshing, nice on the palate and easy to drink.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the 11.2 oz bottle in a snifter. Pours a dark muddy brownish red with a light head of off white foam that dissipates to a thin ring and light lacing. Nose of tart berries---cranberry, blackberry, and tart pie chery that blend with subtle oak and light sweet candy sugar. Flavors exceed the nose with tart berries on all sides that commingle nicely with sweet candy malts and a touch of earthy yeast to make for a pleasant ale with a lightly tart aftertaste. Nice mouth feel with good carbonation finishes moderately dry. Very nice for the style.


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

Reddish brown color with a small head fizzing away in a second. Aroma has a lot of fruits like cherries, grapes, red apples and berries. Doesn't have the vinegar like character of the Grand Cru. Taste is also just slightly tart, letting the fruity character shine along with the slightly caramelized malts. Very easy to drink but complex at the same time.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From elcervecero. In Duvel glass. After dinner. Nice aroma and taste to cherries and barrel. Remembers red wine. Long and tasty aftertaste. A bit sour but nothing bothering

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Photo of hophugger
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark reddish brown. Aromas of bing cherry and raw sugar. Head is almost non-existent and lacing is sparse and spotty. Taste is of dark, ripe cherries, raw sugar and a touch of barnyard funk. Overall, feels good on the palate and balances well, without the cherries being too tart. Great, clean finish...

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Photo of BigBry
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another huge suprise when I saw this on-tap at Craft Beer Market - alway check the menu, the chalkboard, the table toppers...never know where a jewel is hiding.
Red and brown color, tan head. Good retention and lacy lines.
Smell of sour cherries, a bit boozy but not off putting, musty yeast.
Tatse has some malt and fruit sweetness to start, then sour comes out. Not overly puckering but enough to feel it. Some spiciness, and a hint oak the oak aging at the end.
Body and mouth feel are more on the full side.
I enjoyed it, but it scared off a couple of colleagues and they didn't like it.

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Photo of cbutova
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been a long time coming for this review. Have enjoyed this at least 5 if not 10 times.

A- 750ml emptied into three glasses with a mostly clear ruby red body. A wispy light tan cap forms with a creamy thick appearance. Good retention dying out to a large belt. Lacing is somewhat rare.

S- Very easy to tell this is not the Grand Cru version as it delivers less acidity in the aroma with more malts coming through. Toasty barley, nuttiness, hinting at caramel, light bit of balsamic acetic acid and a hint of cherries.

T- Sweet and sour indeed (well more like tart). The blend is immediately apparent for anyone familiar with the Rodenbach line of beers. Sweets from the base malts like pale caramel, toasted bread and nuts and dark brown sugar. The red aspect gives hints of balsamic, raspberry, vinous grapes, wet toast oak, vinegar and raisin spice. Minimally tart.

MF- Crisp and smooth light to moderate thickness. Texture is just a bit frothy and slick with high end bubbles. Sweet tart ending.

The intro to a classic brewery lineup. The most approachable of the Rodenbachs that I have had. The juxtaposition and balance in the blend is borderline genius and reminds you why this is so highly respected. Sweet with a hint of tarts and so much more.

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Photo of Dave1999
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark red/brown.

The smell is sour, raspberries, apples, cherries, vinegar.

The taste is much like the smell, fruits, lots of tart cherry and apple cider vinegar. There also some oak from the barrel.

The mouthfeel is light and well carbonated.

Overall a very good sour beer, fruity and sour.

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Photo of beergoot
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Ruddy, mahogany red body; lasting yet thin bone-white head. Strong fruity aroma; sour cherries; green apple; strawberry. Tart, fruity flavor; brown sugar sweetness. Medium body; faintly fizzy; sweet, tangy finish with a slight dry edge.

I'm sure I've tried a Flanders red ale before, but this appears to be my first review of the style. With that said, I find this to be a very approachable, nicely complex beer. It's not too sour or tart, has a nice malt sugar sweetness to complement the sourness, and just plain goes down easy. A nice, soft warmth that develops at the finish of each sip also adds to the appeal of this brew. A nice find and pleasant discovery that will probably have me exploring more examples of this young/old beer European blend.

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Photo of Cannybrew
2.13/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Sorry guys but I'm not able to offer a positive review for this beer. I know I'm in the minority but this beer was a challenge for me to drink. Loads of tart cherry in smell and taste. But way too much cider vinegar!! Guess I'm not a sour fan after all. If you like sours, try. If you don't, stay clear.

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Photo of sjones5045
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Natirar 5/9/15

Pour ruby red and the smell of a sour tart cherry gets you first. The taste is good, rather simple, sour tart fruit, mostly cherry. Maybe a little spoiled with the sours lately but felt like I wanted more out if this. Still nice and simple and refreshing though. Good beer.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

You know that funny feeling you get when you know you’re about to crack open a world class beer and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up? I’m getting that feeling with this Rodenbach Classic Flanders Red Ale, and it could be because their Grand Cru was a spectacular introduction to the style... or it could be that beer is like crack cocaine for me and I have a really, really bad addiction problem... I’m going with the former [yes indeed, good choice me] thanks me [you’re welcome me] you’re welcome yourself me... aaand so forth.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip - here’s a top tip: if you’re ever in doubt as to which glass to use with any given beer go with a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy red-tinged brown body with a tan head that soon reduces to a thin lace ring. Looks borderline Flanders Oud Bruin, but we’ll forgive it this one appearance transgression, not the poor head though; at 5.2% ABV there should be a head. 6/10.

S: Quite forward with a tart cherry/grape aroma. There are hints of wood from the oak and a light caramel malt base with some bread yeast, but overall the pervading sense is one of dry astringent tartness [I’m puckering my face in anticipation]. 8/10.

T: Once again Rodenbach did well to keep the tartness in check with this brew taking on more of a vinegary slant than the Grand Cru (which was more grape-aid). Notes of burnt caramel, wood and cherry are hinted to in the background... actually the burnt caramel is a bit more noticeable than the other background notes, you get the idea. Finishes quite dry and moreish like the Grand Cru, hmmm. 8/10.

M: Almost identical to the Grand Cru: mid to light body, hmm, slightly watery, with a nicely dense carbonation. 7/10.

D: Well there isn’t a great deal of separation between the Grand Cru and Classic bar that the Grand Cru is much more interesting and flavoursome. Don’t get me wrong [get me right!] Rodenbach Classic is a tasty Flanders Red, however one will instinctively draw comparison between Classic and Grand Cru and the latter nails it whilst the former is decent enough but not nearly as great. I will say one thing: Rodenbach Classic goes down very easy, but with the slightest challenge from the astringent aspects that you feel like you’ve glimpsed into the eyes of greatness, found a tart granny smith apple in a golden chalice, with some angels standing around it, and licked the juices dripping forth from the sacred receptacle... or something quasi-mystical along those lines. 9/10.

Food match: A selection of cheeses arranged on a platter would suffice.

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Photo of Topdollar
4.64/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Cherries...almost a sherry on the nose. Very light and refreshing on the tongue. Not bitter or heavy. Appealing red apperence...clouded as if unfiltered. An excellent overall beer.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very cloudy reddish brown color with a thin foamy head that quickly dissipates. There is mild lacing on the sides of the glass. Thick sediment on the bottom of the glass as well. There is a slight sourness to the aroma. Grapes predominate, though. Smells more like a wine. There is a good amount of tartness up from that quickly waters down to more of a fruity wine like taste. There is some sourness to the aftertaste. Overall very freshing beer.

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Photo of Mikus
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reddish brown with a ring of off-white head. Well carbonated. Light vinegar and dark fruit on the nose. Plums and raisins make their way from the aromas to the flavors. Nice and tart. Seems a 'lighter' version of the Grand Cru, and appropriately so. Definitely more of a regular treat than the granddaddy. Delicious.

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Photo of PlutonowyManiek
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Foam um, I do not remember, appeared and disappeared.
The aroma of wine, but also cherries, and even cork (beer aged in oak barrels). The aroma suggests that the taste is dry.
Yes, taste dry, sour, dominated by dark and red fruits, grapes.
Rodenbach is pleasantly tart and very stimulating taste buds, sometimes it is astringent. Somewhere far away in the background, you can find some notes cork (association of wine) or another tree.
Medium saturated with well hidden alcohol. Perfect wines for lunch sated. This beer is another Belgian classic and although there are other, perhaps better variations of this style, I know that Rodenbach is one.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A creamy, beige, half-inch head quickly turns rocky above a clear, brown beer with ruby highlights. (SRM 20). Spotty lace forms on a Rodenbach snifter.

As expected, this one is quite sour and dominated by balsamic vinegar with sour cherries. Notes of oak and leather come and go from the background.

As with the other Rodenbach beers, this one is tart from bottom to top. Cherry is most prominent, particularly as the sweetness comes out in the middle of the finish. The finish is modest and long lasting, while the acidity is less than expected.

A light to medium body with fine effervescence and a silky texture.

This is a good option to enjoy while decompressing, as it is refreshing and cleansing.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the Pig & Fiddle on tap. The nose is big fruit, citrus, plum and cherry with tartness and traces of funk. It pours brilliant deep cherry red with a thin film of a cap. The palate is tart, lemony, fruit, plum and cherry. The texture is exquisite and rich with a good balance between sweet and sour.

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Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.01 out of 5 based on 1,793 ratings.
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