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 brendan13
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep, dark mahogony colour with a couple of centimetres of off white head that falls away immediately.
S - Tart cherry like fruit aroma dominates. Some apple vinegar notes. Spice phenols & some character from the oak finish it off.
T - All of the smell backed up by a slightly sweet malt presence.
M - Light to medium bodied with a middle of the road carbonation. Refreshingly tart.
D - Not something for every day drinking but a beer that I'll be drinking again for sure.

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

Nice, low key sort of garnet color. Decent level of carbonation. Quite fruity and somewhat funky aroma-sour cherries. Fairly sour upfront but not offensivly so. Moderate fruit flavor. Slight woody taste. Good mouthfeel-tends to be a bit sweet in the finish. Very nice and enjoyable beer. I havnt had very many sour beers. Really liked this one overall.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

8.45 oz. bottle

Pours a dark mahogany color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy head, tiny islands left behind. The nose is sour, tangy, cherry/raspberry, and some malts. The taste is sour/tangy, lots of cherry/raspberry, there's some funk going on in there. Medium body. Drinkable, not that impressed with this one, I've had way way way better Flanders in the past.

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Photo of brdc
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large corked bottle.
Murky red, poured into my Rodenbach Grand Cru glass, it creates a nice white head, that dissipates rather quickly.
Aroma is sour, fruity, with some spices.
Taste is nice, sweetish and fruity, some sour and acidic hints, very nice. Refreshing, easy to go down, it lacks that puckering bite that some in the gender have, but is nonetheless quite nice.
On a direct comparison with other flanders reds, it goes down easier, but is less complex and clearly less acidic and sour.
Interestingly, contrary to what I expected, the on-tap version seemed a bit better.

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Photo of dogger6253
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Red body, hints of a more cherry oak color. The head is pretty thick, but only about 1/2 inch tall, off-white in color. I could smell this from across the room: huge raspberry, black currant and lemon scents. The taste is mostly lemon and hops, with raspberry and black currant coming through on top of it all. The carbonation kind of pops in your mouth, very tart and tangy, but the sweetness keeps it in check. This is a very refreshing and wonderful beer, but definitely not for everyone, or every night...

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Photo of skizziks
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle. 1" tan head falls quickly to a thin sheet over a clear, deep mahogany brown beer.

Aroma is complex with cherries, vinegar, restaurant mop, and a carnival of phenolics with some cheesy bits attached. Reads terrible, but actually smells really nice. An experience for sure.

taste also gives some cherry with pomegranate and some sweet-tart flavors. Very dry tannic finish.

Light body with sharp prickly carbonation. Very dry. Refreshing. I haven't had a lot of sour beers and I don't generally think they are all that, but they can be nice when I'm in the mood. Rodenbach is the first I've had that I could imagine myself really getting into.

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Photo of botham
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. pours a deep garnet color, bordering on a brownish red, without much of a head. there is a soapy rim around the brew.

smell is very vinous, with notes of cherry and apple as well. there is a slight vinegar-esque base, with a sour character. a good example of an architype of the style.

taste is sour and of grapes and cherries up front, with a very vinous character. notes of apple and a touch of caramel as well. somewhat mild when compared to the aroma, this one goes down rather smooth. malts and hops are overpowered by the fruit, but this doesn't take away from the flavor. there is a finesse here in the profile that makes this an excellent brew.

aftertaswte is dry and of grapes and apples.

mouthfeel is medium-bodied, with a bite from the vinous character and a bit of carbonation. despite this, the brew is smooth on the palate.

drinkability is great for wine-lovers. brew-lovers will also appreciate the smoothness and subtle flavors at work here. this is a great example of a flanders red and an excellent brew to try. cheers!

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

33cl bottle enjoyed in the wonderful ambiance of 'Los Romanticos' in Brussels. Crowded in both numbers and passion, I sipped this delightfully complex ale while watching the tango dancers, remarking with awe how every motion, every expression was so full of sensuality.

The bartender asked if I wanted it served with grenadine. "Blasphemy!" I yelled at him, slapping the bottle from his hand and spitting on his shoes... no, not really.

No actual head would shape up. Rather than assemble together, amassing what could be a bulk of pristine white foam, each bubble stood on its own, spreading a thin, dotted sea of air pockets. The body is a tawny with mahogany highlights. A deepened, fiery complexion - glowing blood red to the light.

The oak has imparted a nearly overwhelming character. On par are port like notes of cherry and sour grapes. Quite a pleasant bouquet. While it shares notes of figs, dates, and raisins this in no way mimics a quad or Belgian Strong dark. It is fruity and much closer resembles a fine port.

The mouthfeel has a level of sweetness usually only found in artificial treats; it almost feels sticky, like caramel candy. Quite a sensation. While it is incredibly sweet it is in no way cloying. It might remind one of a lambic, but hardly shares the makeup. The oak again is quite apparent and dries out the aftertaste. The yeast introduces such unique character, although it steers far from the sour character of their Grand Cru.

The taste is full of ripened cherries. The flavour captures the taste of ripe cherries so well, leaving strong, luscious fruity notes on the palate. The oak is there too, and certainly compliments the taste, adding depth and enhancing the flavours. Slightly vineous flavours (again, lush cherries and sour grapes). It brings esters to an extreme - what a yeast!

I could see how others may not like it, myself personally however, I found it to be quite a lovely treat. I was quite amazed with it actually; it has such unique character. And even more to its credit, I doubt the one bottle I had was enough to really understand this beer, to fully experience its character. I must revisit.

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Photo of smcolw
2.92/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Starting with the summary: This is a very odd flavored beer--while I cannot put my finger on it, I can't say that I like it.

Reddish brown and clear; good head with nice lasting lace.

The smell is off for me--like pickles in a ham salad, really. ????

Sweet-sour flavors. Again, quite different from anything I've ever had, but not in a positive way. The body is the best part of the beer.

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With the passing of M.J it is a sad day. But I have good books and good beers thanks to him. So I will do what he would do. Have a beer and wright about it ( although I am not nearly as gifted as he is).

Rodenbach pours with a foamy light brown head. Leaves behind some traces amounts of lacing as it fades away. Has a lovely deep red color.

The nose is flowing with a sour fruitiness a faint oakiness.

The taste is sweet, tarty and sour. With hints of fruits and spice. The finish lets me know I am drinking something good, it grabs hold and does not let go.

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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.

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Photo of micahgoldfus
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was lucky enough to try this beer at a tasting with a Duvel representative, so I got a taste of both the beer and the history. The beer itself was like nothing I've had before. A crisp dark red color with a red-tinted, creamy head. The smell was sour and fruity, letting you know that you're in for something different. Hated it at first taste. Got used to it by the second. Loved it by the third. A unique, pwoerful sour, acidic taste, with cherries and grapes as the dominant taste that goes with the malt. It was almost more like a wine than a beer. Full, delicious, and unique. As far as the making of the beer, I learned that: 75% of each bottle is freshly made, while 25% is front a pervious batch; there are 20 types of yeast in the beer; it is aged 2-3 years in oak barrels. Not your typical "beery" kind of a beer, but definately worth adding to your repertoire.

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Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amazingly my first try of this beer its not a style I seek out much but this is a classic,poured into a large tulip glass a mix of brown a cherry red a light fluffy sticky light brownish colored head atop settling into a creamy-like mass leaving spotty lace.Big tart cherry in the nose with underlying vanilla and oak a iron not is present as well but its somewhat faint,somewhat spritzy mouthfeel light and drinkable.Starts out with a big tartness that wakes you up after that some toastiness and oak shows thru into the finish the puckering tartness is always there it never really totally leaves.A nice complex but refreshing beer it is a classic for a reason.

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Photo of wspscott
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle in pint glass (split with Doug)

A: Clear, reddish color, no head or lace
S: Odd sweet smell, never smelled this in beer
T: The first sip was weird/shocking, very sour. After that it was not so surprising. Reminds me of a sweet tart. I get lots of green apples here.
M: Very crisp, the malts are in the background and provide mostly sweetness. It seems like this should be carbed a little more.
D: Never had this style before, this beer is definitely worth trying. I think it would be great for a hot summer day. Recommended.

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Photo of Flyer
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm a fan of this style, and this might be the best example I've had. It has a nice amber-cherry color and that classic aroma with a hint of barnyard (yes, that's a good thing) and some sourness. The initial flavor is sour cherry and some orange peel, with some floral qualities and a clean tartness that sparkles on the tongue. What pluses this for me is the finish, which had a faintly bitter crispness. Both complex and refreshing

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Photo of jettjon
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 750ml caged cork bottle dated best before 4/4/07, consumed on 7/21/07. Into a wine goblet, this one pours a deep mahogany color with small bubble streams. Thin cap of whitish foam quickly fades away to a ring and scattered lace. Nose pretty typical of a Flanders ale: sour cherry and wood. Taste follows nose, dominated by sweet and sour cherries with an underlying semi-sweet malt backbone. Mouth is middle viscous and semi-carbonated, light and smooth. Drinkability is middle-of-the road; this is definitely one of the more subtle Flanders ales I’ve had.

Overall: A good Flemish ale, a bit subtle, perhaps due to age? It was consumed fully 3 months beyond the “best by” date, though I’m not sure what affect if any that would have had. Not my favorite within style by a long shot; it was too mellow and undefined for my tastes.

 845 characters

Photo of YonderWanderer
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown with tones of red throughout. Decent head that dissipates fairly quickly leaving a nice ring of lacing.

S: Cherries are dominant, with very sour tones.

T: This is where this beer does it for me. A strong sour taste comes through with hints of cherry, a little bit of oak, almost similar to a wine in some regards.

M: Decent, low carbonation, tends to be a bit syrupy, but in a smooth manner.

D: This is a standard in my beer drinking repertoire. Everyone I meet who has never had a Flemish Sour is amazed that I drink it, as it turns off a lot of people. But I find it an excellent change of paste from other styles of beer.

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Photo of umustdrink
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

8.45 oz. bottle

A - Mahogany brown color with a very reddish hue. Head fades quickly to a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

S - Very funky and sour smelling, like vinegar, a little woody with sweet cherries and vanilla also detectable.

T - Mildly sour to start, then sweet with cherry flavors and still sour. Finish is slightly less sour, and still cherry flavored.

M - Thin to medium consistency with medium carbonation. A very faint acidic burn.

D - First Flanders Red I've tried, it's not bad I guess. Usually I find sour beers too sour but this one was okay. Probably wont have again though.

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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 jakon
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

250ml. bottle purchased for $2.39 on 7-1-7 at Tanasbourne Haggen.

Pours a reddish brown with an adequate off-white head that dissipates quickly. The aroma reminds me of champagne and green apples. Cider vinegar. A little sour candy in there too. Very interesting brew. The taste is pleasantly sour, and contains hints of all the previously mentioned aromas along with the background malt. Slightly watery. Overall, it's good, but just doesn't quite flip my pancake.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark ruby red body with thin foamy off-white head that has great retention. No lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Strong acidic vinergar aroma with hints of sour cherries. Smell was somewhat unpleasant to me.

T- very complex. Tart sour cherries upfront with deep malt backbone. Then the acidity hits and is quite overwhelming. Finish is very plesent. Fruity cherry aftertaste that is both sweet and sour with some breadiness lingering.

M- very smooth with some light carbonation. Body is somewhat syrupy.

D- This was good and a unique brew. I will have it again. The smell kinda turned me away and one every once in awhile is probably good enough.

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Photo of pmcadamis
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Poured from a tiny bottle that says "75% fresh ale and 25% ale aged in oak" sounds good to me! Forms a nice one finger tan head over a uniquely hued brew that is red, brown, and purple depending on which angle you look at it from, and it's almost black when not held to the light. A quick swirl brings the head back to a finger and leaves lots of nice tan lace on the glass. After about five minutes, the head and lace disappear
and never return....even with vigorous swirling.

S - This is one of the most unique aromas I've ever smelled. I smell vinegar, grapes, turpentine, glue, sourdough bread, lemon butter, asparagus pee, fingernail polish There is a lot going on here. There seems to be two predominate aromas...vinous grape and sourdough bread, and a solvent-like chemical smell that actually smells pretty damn good. I smell fetta cheese and grape leaves too...reminds me of Greek food.

T - OK,'s assertive and unique. This actually startled me at first, and I made a sour face when I took the first sip. So, now that I know what to expect I'll sip again and re-evaluate. Strongly sour and tart with some musty elements. I taste vinegar, fetta cheese, salt water, sweet tart candy (minus the sweet, emphasis on the tart), and some sourdough bread in the finish (emphasis on the sour). The aftertaste is a pleasant mix of balsamic vinegar, fetta cheese, and grape leaves....very much like some good Greek food. This is a really unique flavor that I'm not sure if I really like, but I do respect it for it's complexity and uniqueness.

M - Pucker-tart and sour as hell, this wicks the moisture from your mouth and replaces it with battery acid tartness! Pretty much feels like drinking vinegar with some light carbonation.

D - Although I can respect where this is coming from, and I may actually buy it again for it's outstanding complexity and uniqeness, I would not care to drink this on a regular basis. Drinking more than one in a sitting is out of the question due to the tongue-scathing acidity.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

250 ml brown bottle.
Best before Sept. 9 07

Reddish brown with no real head to speak of, just a thin cap of tight bubbles.

Aroma is Balsamic vinegar and oak and sour cherries.

Flavor is sweet and sour cherries with a touch of balsamic acidity on the finish.

Body is a touch thin, but it is still a good beer.

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

Appearance: Leathery red-brown body with a luxurious burgundy aura, dark and about 75% opaque with bright peachy red highlights. Head is smooth and milky tan, sticky but not very long-lasting.

Smell: Ripe cherries, raisins, plum, and loads of sweet red wine. Extremely fruity with a touch of rice wine vinegar acetic tartness and a slightly earthy quality reminiscent of oak or pipe tobacco. Hops lend a very subtle leafy aroma that enhances the underlying earthiness perfectly.

Taste: Lovely. Not quite as lovely as the Grand Cru, but just about. Balanced and robust, a good mix of fruity sweetness and funky tartness, like apple cider combined with a bit of apple cider vinegar. Hints of tobacco appear early on and reappear in the finish, which after a flash of sourness, is earthy and vaguely hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and bright, medium bodied, and far from throat-scorchingly acidic (as sour beers sometimes tend to be).

Drinkability: So refreshing. So tasty and unique. Highly drinkable.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Rodenbach glass a very deep amber, with a very nice white lacing on the glass. It has a sweet aroma and the taste is all about tartness and dark fuits, even so small. This is one of those special occasion beers, not an everyday kind of thing, even though it is fantastic.

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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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