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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: 667 | Ratings: 1,731
Photo of JamieDuncan
4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To be fair, I think this was my 6th beer of the evening so not sure how that will factor into my opinion. Picked up this beer as part of a mixed 6 because I love the Grand Cru. Good looking beer with an excellent smell. Smells clean, sweet, and tasty. Taste is great, not as sweet as grand cru but very good and clean, nothing to complain about. This beer surprised me, not sure what I was expecting but somehow did not expect it to be this good. Not a great value but I would revisit if I could find it as a decent price. Definitely worth trying, excellent beer, and one I plan to revisit.

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Photo of Paisan
4.57/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A sour and a Belgian red.
It pours with a nice head, but this disappears almost immediately.
The smell is... complex; there is a lot going on there. There's plenty of dark and red fuits: cherries, plums, berries, also some vanilla, caramel, grapes. You can't help but make a comparison with wine, and it holds up really well; I'm inclined to agree this is a wine among the beers.
The taste is sour, but not overly, it has enough sweetness to make this most drinkable. If you're thirsty, get yourself a Rodenbach, it is most refreshing.

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Photo of ccrida
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle (best before 28/05/08) poured into my Delirium snifter, Rodenbach is a dark ruby with a medium sized off white head, leaving scattered foam. Pretty impressive pop of the cork after all these years..

Smell is acidic, red wine vinegar

Taste is tart and sweet, cherries, not overly sour though, a tinge, nice balance, depth, damn good. A classic that I haven't had in a few years, and have been hoarding my last two bottles until they start importing it again. Overall, it's striking similar to cherry sweet tarts, which is a candy I love! Still, I prefer the extra pucker of the Grand Cru for sure.

Mouthfeel is very smooth, slick, medium light body.

Drinkability is high, there's a reason this is a world classic and benchmark example of the style. Also, due to it's light overall sourness, it's really a great introduction to sour ales. The low ABV also means that if you'd be able to session this if it wasn't expensive (and now rare, at least in the US, until import resumes).

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Photo of oggg
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL champagne-style corked bottle

brown color, nice fizzy off white head that subsides quickly

aroma is mild, with just a touch of sourness

taste starts slightly sweet, with fine bubbled carbonation, then layers of cherry tartness that level off to a dry finish. hiccups of sourness remain. Barely detectable hop bitterness. Light to medium body.

Overall: can I say that this is a beautiful session flemish red? It doesn't knock you around to extremes, it just gives you a quaffable ale with an irresistable tartness.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had the immense pleasure of having this on-tap at Tria in Philly.

Rodenbach makes some of the most refreshing beers in the world. This will be my lawnmower beer.

Pours a ruby color with thick head. Was cloudy at least at first. I think I saw some brown in there.

Fruit (I believe cherries) in the smell and up front in the taste. Ends with some tartness. Not overwhelming Cantillon-esque tartness. But a tartness which makes this incredibly drinkable.

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Photo of Cresant
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this 750 mL brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip. The semi-opaque body was a dull brown/red leather color. The modest head faded quickly, falling to a ring and island of foam. The beer cleared some and subsequent pours darkened some. The head was the color of old tanned newspaper.

Smell was vinegar up front. Complex and changing throughout the drink. Sweet grape kool-aid (citric acid?), fresh currants. More vinous toward the end of the bottle.

Taste was stone-fruits. Cherry, peaches. A pleasant tart bit and an acidic dry finish. Richer toward the end of the bottle. Refreshing and interesting. Flavors reflected the aroma.

Mouthfeel was very zesty at the beginning and smoothed way out toward the end as it warmed. Medium to light bodied. I would love to drink this one again in the future.

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Photo of 4000qtrap
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Source/Serving: 750mL bottle, served chilled. Best By March 2011.

Smell: Primarily sour plums like you get from an asian market, pleasant vinegar, a little woodiness and a hint of brett. Cherries emerge as the beer warms up.

Taste: Highly carbonated that leads to a bitter bite at first that morphs into tart, ripe fruits. Very fruity and reminiscent of wine, slight taste of vinegar. The sourness is mild and is quickly balanced by maltiness. The sourness doesn't last long and is well balanced. I get very little aged or oaky taste.

Notes: A classic! Certainly not an over the top sour beer. An excellent introduction to sour beer and an amazingly refreshing beer and amazingly drinkable for a sour beer.

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Photo of Oxymoron
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Some how I told you so just isn't enough. Pours a somewhat clear ruby brown color with red highlights through out. Great soft head and limited retention and limited lacing.

The nose is complex with a nice blend of malts, sweeter fruits and a light tart finish. To start the malt is complex with come rich toffee and caramel notes. A nice cherry fruity notes that is blended nicely. Minor prunes and wine/grape notes as well. The finish has a tart that hints of sourness but blended well.

The taste is just as complex. The fruity notes come out a bit more but are still balance well. There is a nice cherry meets apple flavor to start. Some malt flavors come out with a mixture of caramel sweetness and tart plum and cherry mix. The finish leaves a tart almost sour taste with a almost woody, almost earth finish. Some lighter yeast notes but very clean throughout.

The body is moderate, a bit fuller than what I'm looking for but still good. Carbonation is present but not over powering. Overall a great beer for sure.

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

I had this on tap at 3rd and Spruce Cafe in West Reading. 16oz. pint glass for $3!! (Happy hour)

Arrives a pretty darn clear deep dark red with hints of brown. A one finger light tan head of different sized bubbles. Drops to islands and a ring. Minimal lacing.

Smell is Belgian funky, sour cherries or raspberries, no discernable hop aroma which is appropriate for style.

The taste is dominated by intense sour fruit, more like cherries than raspberries. Really thirst quenching and refreshing tanginess on the tongue. Acidic but pleasant. There is no detectable bitterness, but with the sour, it doesn't matter. This is a sour beer, but not too sour, just delicious. Aftertaste is sour cherries.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin, effervescent, and yes, sour. No real sweetness until the finish.

This beer is highly recommended. It's probably not for everyone, but what a great representation of the style!

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

A: Pours a deep red, nearly burgundy shade with a small off white head
S: Smells of sour cherries and other berries with a slight sweetness
T: sourness up front with a slight maltiness. Huge sour cherry toward the middle to end with a sort of funky and oaky sour aftertaste.
M: fairly light bodied with soft carbonation
O: A fantastic beer, sour yet balanced and very finely crafted. I'm very happy that I picked up a bottle.

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Photo of nlmartin
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer several times at Eulogy in Philly. This beer was served in a chalice.

Appearance: The beer has a nearly crimson coloration. The head was a pink foam on the beer. The head had almost no retention.

Smell: The beer has a very dominate and pleasing sour cherry smell. The beer has a bit of spicyness funkyness splashing about the beer.

Taste: The beer has a lead in of tart cherry fruityness. The beer has a bit of funky spicyness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer has a light body. The beer has a very crisp and refreshing mouthfeel. This beer is a definate thirst quencher. I will definately be partaking of Rodenbach again. This is just a very solid sessionable beer.

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Photo of Ego
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

$5.99 @ Buy Rite in Edison, NJ for a 750ml.. they got about 15 cases in of this and the grand cru about 3 weeks ago... yum, glad to have a classic like this available a quarter mile down the street...

minimal head but great lacing, red as an irish girl's.. never mind, it's a beautiful amber almost purple at times hue, consistent glass to glass, solid

cherry flavored bubble yum bubble gum with a dark licorce edge, this smells like what the style says.. period, to me this is the standard of the style, call me biased...

pleasant sourness, like the smell the taste encompasses the style, there is enough to chew on, it is easy drinking and not super sour (like say a cantillon lambic). Considering this is beer, this is a friggin excellent brew imo, the sourness is just enough to want you have more (salivate a little) and the carbonation finishes the sip "wet"... tasty as hell, definite session beer for the right time of year. It is light enough to drink year round but as a meal starter or finisher when not in the mood for something intense.. go rodey ! The taste to me is spot on. Dead perfect. The mouthfeel is great paired with the right carbonation. Fantastic.

I love this beer, period. Is it worth an arm and a leg.. no. but if it is around at a reasonable price this is something to have out often. So well rounded it is mind boggling. This is one to enjoy rather than break out the science kit and analyze all night. A simple plate of mild cheeses like jack or even a nice cabot would go great with this.

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Photo of josefnewsong
4.49/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - pours a brownish red like the color of old brick, with a bit of off-white head that reduces to a ring, albeit a substantial one, and leaves the slightest touches of lace that struggle to cling to the walls of the glass
S - a vinous, slightly vinegary nose permeates the air as soon as the bottle is opened, followed by sour grapes
T - tastes just like it smells, and like what I've come to expect from the style but a bit more subtle than some which is enjoyable. There is a great balance between sweet and sour going on: sweet hits up front, followed by a nice wash of sour - neither flavor is overbearing. A slight oakiness opens up as it warms and adds another layer of complexity to the taste, and now I'm getting some cherries as well. Grows more tart as it warms.
M - light in body, great tingly mouthfeel - almost feels like a gourmet soda or something of the sort, but not too much carbonation
D - extremely quaffable. I find this style to be extremely enjoyable but most I've had are overly sour (which I sometimes like). This one however is very well balanced, and complex enough to where I could see myself having 2 more - and wishing I had at least one more in the fridge.

I'm a fan

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Photo of ppoitras
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

250ml bottle obtained via trade with Jetsbeer. Date 03/08/05 on back of bottle. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/4" over the clear bright reddish amber brew. Lacing is is good, even though the head has faded to a bubbly film. Aroma is malty, yet funky and has sour tinges as well. Taste is pleasantly tart, with a reasonable malty body, and minimal funk, for better or worse. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth even considering it's tartness, and as such, drinkability for the styleis superb.

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Photo of AndySR15
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a dark redish brown with a decent head and a nice frothy swirl of foam remains on top.

S - Great aroma. Nice mellow cherry notes with the expected vinegery aromas as well. It also has a great earthy/woody aroma in the back.

T - Starts out moderately tart but not as much as I was expecting. After swallowed a nice earthiness comes foreward.

M - Light but with a bit of a prickly feel.

D - Awesome, I enjoyed this much more than the Duchesse. I will be getting another for sure.

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Photo of dwarbi
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely looking beer - a nice dark brown. Murky. Almost didn't catch the head. Very thin and fleeting. No lacing at all. Smells of sour apples. Tasty. Very clean and very light. Hardly any aftertaste at all. A perfectly neat, clean finish. This beer is turning me on to the sour types!

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Photo of mep3222
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer and could drink it all night. Sometimes it seems a bit light to me (possibly the differing meals I'm drinkng it with), but the complexity of flavors and oveall balance is fantastic. I like the level of sourness for an "everyday" beer, but wouldn't mind more sourness on occasion, possibly the Rodenbach Grand Cru will accomplish that but I've not been able to hunt that down yet. While looking I won't mind drinking this one.. possibly even daily after Ironman Lake Placid.

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Photo of jwhancher
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Starting to get into sours now so I picked up a bottle of this.

Pours a murky brownish red with tan head that fades yet reappears with some swirling of the glass. Smells of balsamic vinegar with some brown sugar notes. Maybe a little fig or slight raisin notes. Tastes sour yet has a sweet brown sugar like quality. I also get flashes of cocoa and maybe some vanilla notes likely from the barrel aging. A fine beer. A great beginner sour For those just getting in to 'em. This one has a light to medium mouthfeel wiith bitter and lighter sour notes. Glad I picked this one up!

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Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

75 cl bottle, caged and corked.

Clear burgundy/brown in color with a small tan froth that laces.

Very heady nose with this beer: oak, vanilla, stinky cheese, barnyard, sugary note, vinegar, bubble gum.

Medium-light body with lively carbonation. Sour acidity is bracing, initially like unripe cherry, then more acidic like a Spanish olive. A slightly roasty malt flavor fades to an oaken sweetness. Vanilla and pipe tobacco notes. Tartness becomes lemony as the beer warms. A sweetness covers the top of the tongue.

I'm glad Palm started importing. Super complex, refreshing, and fun.

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Photo of cbl2
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$5.79 750 mL 5.10% Best by 9/06.


Pours a brilliant deep red with thin tight carbonation that yields a minimal white head.


Acidic and tart with sour mashed cherries and a sweet raspberry aroma.


Like a lambic with no fruit added! This is fantastic, and refreshing with a palate cleansing acidic tartness that is imbued with a fresh cherry flavor that lingers as this one goes down. The low ABV makes this one easy to enjoy, and its overall uniqueness makes it a glory to behold.

Grab this one if you can get your hands on it, it is an excellent value. 75% fresh ale, 25% aged in oak.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, plummy red color, poured into my Duvel glass, with a brief, perfunctory white head, soon gone.
Aroma is in a realm of it's own, bold sour cherries, slight suggestion of cocoa and nuts, a brown ale emboldened with brazen fruit, and atingle with spices.
floods the mouth with flavor, brisk, fruity, distinctive, tangy, just a touch sour, with a trickle of sweet. Very tasty, very lively on the tongue.
Medium to full in body, brimming with great taste, medium length, slightly sour/slightly sweet fruity finish.
Excellent. Utterly delectable.

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Photo of twaddlac
4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Smaller head but hangs around for a while. Multiple points of nucleation, similar to that of champagne, very impressive. Burnt orange/ blood red color with uniform color distribution throughout.

S- Merlot. Raspberries and currants, with a sweet undertone. Strong oak notes.

T- Almost like a sour cherry sucker (or cherry concentrate), very unique; something that is not negative at all. Leaves you interested in the next sip you're about to take.

M- Smooth, wheat ale carbonation, medium body with a very smooth finish, nothing that you would expect from a sour ale.

D- Not as sour as some people make it out to be, though it is sour. It is not unbearable won't have you reaching for a handful of jellybeans to negate the bitterness. Very smooth and unique and I definitely would drink this with a nice roast, maybe even for leisure. I recommend this beer to everyone!!

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Photo of Efay
4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this from Chris Quinn of the Beer Temple. I went to his new store based in Chicago and was asking for recommended sours for newbies, and this was his pick for me.

A- Poured into a pint glass, and it seems like there is lots of carbonation and lots of foam. That foam recedes to about 2 fingers worth of head, where there was a great retention rate. Beautiful dark amber color with extremely small foam bubbles from the head, which were cappuccino colored.

S- Cherries dominate, with hints of raspberry as well. Very acidic smelling and sweet, which to me was a great combination.

T- Initial dark malty taste, with a tad amount of oak. Tastes of tart cherry are welcoming to my palate.

M- Moderate to high carbonation, with moderate weight which goes down surprisingly smooth. Ends with a tart dryness.

O- Wow. I was very skeptical about trying sours but this thing was just unbelievable. This was highly drinkable and very enjoyable, and I am excited for future sours if they're anything like this.

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

A masterpiece, red and brown appearance, with the rich smell of a good wine and cherry. Sour cherry and sweet fruit simultaneously. A tad of other spice and is it the oak that brings this all together? A full mouth experience. Sure liked it a lot more than their Grand Cru. Just as good on-tap at Eulogy In May 2005.

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Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.01 out of 5 based on 1,731 ratings.
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