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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 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.

 391 characters

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.

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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 remover...wow. 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, well...it'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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Photo of msubulldog25
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm surprised that I've not reviewed this beer before, which I've had on several occasions (most memorably at 't Oud Arsenaal in Antwerp). This time was a $4 small goblet-full at Stumptown on SW 3rd, Portland.

A: Not much to look at initially, a murky, chestnut brown pour without carbonation. Paper-thin wisps of head spiral around the glass, collecting in a thin ring around the edges. As the pour settles, this beer becomes more and more clear, eventually settling as a relatively clear amber with ruby-colored highlights.

S: Lightly sour cherry smell, some aged balsamic vinegar and a generous dash of sugar.

T: Sweet and sour at once. Dry cola/caramel syrup wrapped in a lightly sour/tartness. Cherry seems to dominate, with a little lemon tea and something like raw oak. It's pretty good, though lacks complexity in my opinion - I am reminded a bit too much of a Cherry Coke.

M: Nicely carbonated, clean and crisp without being fizzy. Body is light-medium.

D: Quite easy to drink, light in body, ABV, etc. Has a fresh, clean sweet/sour quality that makes it as good to drink on a warm day as a cool one. A nice apertif/digestif, too.

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Photo of atsprings
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights when held to light. The aroma is dominated by cherries with a candy sense to it. The taste is almost like a sweet wine with some malt characteristics. An interesting blend of cherry and grape flavor with a slight sweet malt presence. The beer is somewhat heavy due to the fruit bitterness. The bitterness definitely makes this one a sipper. This is a very unique brew, but nothing I'd seek out that often.

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Photo of ezpott
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Being my first venture with this style wasn't really prepared for what I got when I poured it into the glass. Poured a slightly reddish brown color. Light head with plenty of lacing. Smelled of Cherry and Raspberry with a back note of vinegar.Taste comes on first with a sour vinegary note that is not overpowering but definitely let's you know it's there. Smooths out after initial taste to reveal fruits of cherry and wood tones. Nice pleasant aftertaste that has more of a malt characteristic. Some nice carbonation and silky mouth feel. As I said first time trying this style but won't be the last. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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

Dark brown in color with a lot of light brown and reddish hues, and some almost yellow at the bottom. 3cm off white head formed and lasted as a film thoughout the entire bottle. The aroma is sweet and candy-like, but bathed in sour. Plenty of fruity notes too, plums, dates, red grapes, even a vineous feel to it.

The taste again has plenty of sour up front, but a balanced, unoffensive amout. The tart, acidic sour combines with fruity notes to bring to mind raspberries and other brambles, and sour cherries. As the aftertaste settles in, a brown sugar and molasses malty body shows up. Fruity notes of plums and apple skins linger. Mouthfeel is sour and tingly, but not overly carbonated and fizzy. Light to medium bodied.

Overall: this was one of my first ventures into the style, and I loved it. I have had a few of the New Glarus beers made with souring yeasts, and this was atleast as good as them. I liked how the sourness remained balanced and let the other flavors shine when they were suposed to.

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Photo of penguinjive7
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a bit of a white head. Good amount of lacing. Smell is of sour fruit and a bit vinous. Taste is tart to begin with but fades into sweetness leaving the slight vinegar taste behind. The finish is much smoother than the front and leaves a nice taste in the mouth. The carbonation is done well and complements the taste nicely.
Overall this is a very unique brew. The several stages in flavor lead to a nice complexity. I would not go out of my way to get this again, but it is definitely worth a try and I will again soon, I'm sure.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to cypressbob for this bottle... 250ml...

Poured a deep burgundy red colour with some rusty brown tinges... Creamy tan head poured pretty small then faded quickly to light ring around the edge... Decent amount of carbonation fizzes to the surface... Light lacing..

Aroma - Pretty strong sweet and sour notes, red wine / balsamic vinegar notes, soy sauce, salty, dried sour fruits (red grapes, raisins, cherries. oranges) some leathery / musty notes, light caramel / toffee malts, oaky, bready notes underneath, no real hops, light pepperiness...

Taste – Quite sour vinegariness, some rum notes, definite soy sauce hints, good oakiness, wine hints, light nuttiness, some sweet dark fruits underneath the sourness (prunes, cherries), some spicy / peppery traces, earthy, light toffee malts, some treacle notes..

Feel - Pretty smooth and creamy but with a little sharp bite underneath. Medium / full body... Pretty drinkable but could see this being too sickly after a while to drink too many in one sitting..

Overall - A pretty good Flanders Red.. Not quite up there with the Duchess de Bourgogne but certainly recommended...

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Photo of Rudgers73
3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice homogeneous shade of mahogany. Decent 1/2 inch fizzy head that disperses into a very thin ring. This appears to be light and crisp with a very wine-like oak aroma. Beyond the sour tones up front you can smell a light sweetness in the background. Sour cherries, raisins, and grapes. The taste is tart up front with a flood of unripened cherries and a slight tweak of malt. It then drops off slightly into a very mild pure carbonated water taste. Very strange flavor profile. Not quite sure what to make of it yet. I'm relatively sure that this isn't my kind of thing. I have tried Duchesse De Bourgogne a while back not knowing that it was a Flanders Red Ale and I remember it having a more full flavor and more continuously rich flavor profile. This one sort of drops off in such an abrupt manor. Not enough alcohol for the oak aging to really do much for IMHO. Overall, I was glad I tried more than one of this style for relativity if nothing else. Quite an interesting style, maybe I'll try the Grand Cru in a couple of weeks to see if the extra alcohol brings something better to the table.

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Photo of merlin48
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml corked and caged bottle pours a clear garnet chestnut body with a thin beige head. Sheets of lacing are left on the chalice.

Aroma of old musty oak, cherries, and horse blanket.

Light medium body with a clean earthy feel.

Taste is sour cherries, woody wet oak, and wool sweater. More sour than sweet.

Beautiful example of an exceptional style.

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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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