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 Nesued
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml brown bottle. No label as shown in the picture, however all of the information is present via inked onto the bottle glass.

Appearance - A reviewer previously mentioned "iced tea", yep, that does indeed best describe the color. Very, very slight haze otherwise clear in color. Carbonation was present but did not last long at all. A bit of lacing after the fade, with a small ring head remaining. A very fine carbonation feeding the remaining head.

Smell - Acetic acid, plain and simple as the main aroma. Very fruity and traces of apple. Very fresh and inviting due to the crisp smell that captures your nose and won't let go.

Taste - Striking if unprepared, in a true Flemmish sour sense the sour taste comes shining through. Very dry, very sour, very good. Not a shred of bitterness, just a nice sour, tart taste. I do feel a bit of the smoothness of the oak, but not much.

Mouthfeel - Crisp and clean. The carbonation just runs this little number around your mouth filling you with an outstanding feel. I would highly recommend drinking this beer at room temp as it brings out a lot more of the basic tones and feel.

Drinkability - Wow. I want more of this. The suprising feature of this beer is the low alcohol content. This makes for a beer that would pair well with a nice steak to be savored over the meal. I would highly recommend this beer as an excellent representation of the style.

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Photo of moon0
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this as a gift, and clutched it tightly in my hands on a
rainy night, driving in the front seat of a dodgy Jamaican car service
Honda, whipping around the battered streets of Brooklyn, the windshield leaking all over me.

First off, the beer could use a proofreader as they tout "flour" hops
on their label. Pours a deep garnet color, abt for a jewel of a beer.
A wisp of fine bubbles settling together like floating islands seen
from the sky. It's tightly carbonated, evererscent like Champagne.
There's a tiny smattering of lace. It has an aroma of Spanish sherry with oak overtones. There's a nice depth of character throughout, balanced fruitiness, sourness and acidity. It finishes with the slightest hink of whiskey. The bottled version is very close to the fantastic tap version I was lucky enough to sample. A real classic.

Thanks to schoolteacher & biruchan.

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Photo of spointon
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one from a 750ml corked and caged brown bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

A= This ale poured a rather murky brownish red color with a thin 1/2" light tan head. The head retained very well and left a lot of lacy stickage down my glass.

S= Smelled like oak and pie cherry sourness. Lots of fruit also, including cherry and raspberry. Light alcohol way in the back of each sniff.

T= Started off with a fruity acidic bite reminiscent of red wine, with notes of raspberry and cherry. The tart sourness came next, but was far from overpowering (pretty restrained actually) and was balanced by a fair bit of sweetness. It finished with a flash of oakiness that led into a bone dry aftertaste.

MF= Thin bodied with a crisp acidic carbonation bite. Pretty wonderful actually.

D= This is a great beer and its wonderfully refreshing. The drinkability is extremely high as neither the sourness nor the sweetness get out of hand. Highly recommended.

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Photo of kwjd
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap somewhere in California. Reviewing this from my notes. Pours a dark brown colour with hints of amber. Thin off-white head, leaving nice lacing down the glass. Smells of sour cherry and sweet brown sugar. Flavour has a really nice tartness to it, complemented by the sweetness. This is insanely delicious.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Magnum purchased in 1998. A real treat to pop open and share with friends.
Foamed over upon opening, poured like champagne in the wine glass. Light pink tinge in the aggresive head that falls within a few minutes. Very light lacework that dissapeared partway through the glass. Great mahogany color with reddish highlights. A little murky.
Cherries, acid, some mustiness in the nose. Aromas develope as beer warmed and breathed. Slight nuttiness and vanilla. Winelike fruitiness.
Nice, mellow tartness on the pallet. Very crisp and refreshing. Medium to thin in the body, leans tword a sparkling red wine. Nice balance of cherries, light malt, acid. No hops present here. Challenging to find the oakiness, adds more complexity than flavor.
Drying and inviting, very drinkable. Great complexity and subdued Belgian funkiness. Light notes of sherry, vanilla, ever so slight almonds. A classic Belgian that dissapeared like a perfect spring day.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on-tap at Redbones.

This ale poured a deep, red-brown color with creamy, tan foam that settled but clung to the glass and left a bit of lacing. The smell was tart and a little wild with some lactic overtones. The aroma faded as the glass sat. The taste was tart and lactic with flavors of sour cherries and a hint of sweetness. There was mild maltiness beneath the tartness, and a faint hint of cinnamon or spices. The mouthfeel was tart and fruity with medium body and good carbonation. This was a very nice beer: not too tart and leaving you wanting more.

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Photo of edmundfitzoil
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 750 of Rodenbach poured into one of my trust snifters. I poured mind just a touch under cellar temperature, and I enjoyed it as it warmed in the glass.

The beer poured a lightly hazed deep red-brown. The head started out about an inch in height, but it dissipated pretty quickly like a glass of soda but left some spotty, wildly patterned fine lacing around the inside of the glass. The nose is complex and intensely - dare I say it - almost intimdating at first: fairly heavy oak tones with numerous fruits with a fairly heavy dose of a tart quality to it. The flavor itself initially is a subdued oaked-woodiness that is followed by the substantial lactic/sourness and pocedes to multiple layers of oakiness as the flavor itself feels like it spreads outward from the direct center of the tongue. The mouthfeel is full, but it's dangerously drinkable and enjoyable. I am quite surprised that something of this quality if fairly easy to come across here in town; although, don't allow my surprise to be anything to prevent someone from trying this. I will probably return soon enough.

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Photo of DIPA
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I would like to note that I am not a fan of sour beers.

A: nice light reddish/copper transparent color with a bright white head which drops quickly to a lace.

S: suprisingly fresh fruit smell with just some sourness actually pleasant

T: sourness takes a back seat to the fruit and malt which is a delight.

M: refreshingly smooth with a little dryness and not much lingering.

D: would recommend as an intro to sour beers from now on. Have always shy'd away from the funk but my now be a little more open for experimentation.

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Photo of nickfl
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The beer pours with one finger of light brown head, resting on top of a dark, reddish brown body with clear amber highlights. The foam dissipates fairly quickly and leaves moderate lace.

S - A tart aroma of acetic acid, cherries, caramel, and toasted malt.

T - Tart pie cherries and caramel up front. Some fruity, citric tartness comes out in the middle, where it develops a nice interplay with the darker malt notes. A complex and slightly funky sourness settles over the palate in the finish with a sweet/sour tug of war between the lingering caramel flavors and the moderate acidity.

M - Medium body, high carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish.

D - This is, of course, a classic example of the style where the acidity is assertive, but not as intense as in the Grand Cru. There is a lot of rich, dark and fruity malt that creates both balance and interest by contrasting the sharp acidity. Carbonation is another important point that is hit upon with great accuracy and it pushes the intense flavors aside in the finish, leaving only a light, dry and acidic fruitiness lingering on the palate. A beer that everyone interested in good beer must try and a perfect introduction to sour beer.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cherry red with a thin, light-tan head. Some light lacing evident. Smells of sour cherries. Other fruity aromas apparent. Caramel and port notes. Oak and rounded vanilla aromas with just a hint of sweet chocolate.

Taste is much like the smell. Sour cherry and vanilla in the body followed by musky chocolate, hints of oak. Lightly sour finish. Not nearly as full-flavored or sour as the smell would indicate but nicely balanced. A bit thin with a lingering sourness on the tongue. Very smooth and pretty drinkable for the style. Not nearly as sour when I last had it some 8 years ago but I will chalk that up to a maturing palate. A real treat and a classic.

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

Poured on tap into a snifter at ChurchKey DC.

A nice light brown head, gives way to a nice simple collar. Body is a reddish brown slightly opaque body. Real sticky pock marked lacing on the glass.

Smell is an apple cider crisp and malt chew, with tart orange and marmalade. Bretty sour and mild sort of... wine crushed grapes dregs or something, it smells almost like a winery.

Taste has a great apple chewyness and faint cider quality. Very light bodied it seems with dank must on the finish with just a hint of baked apple and bread.

Supper drinkable and a great feeling tasting beer. I am not a cider fan but this is almost a cider persons beer for someone who prefers beer more than cider, bringing in all the good qualities of cider into a beer right here, with just a touch of Saison brett and goodness.

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

8.45 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tulip.
Best before 06.03.08; Labeled 3-18 16:34.

Dark oak with ruby highlights. Very creamy, porous burnt white-head that slowly recedes. Some traces of thin and spotted lacing.

Bright, acidic fruity esters: cherry, raspberry, cranberry. Notes of vinegar. Soft cream, toffee, caramel. A nice balance of aromas.

Sharp, fresh tart fruit flavors with a nice dose of acidity; raspberry, cranberry, orange, cherry. Some floral hints with an earthen chocolate-like character that adds just a hint of sweetness. Touches of light vinegar and alcohol in the aftertaste.

A light, medium bodied; not as abrasively carbonated as you would expect. Actually creamy in spots.

Obviously a staple for the Flanders Red style. Pleasantly tart but not over the top; very well rounded.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml corked bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a ruddy brown color, with highlights of garnet and ruby when held up to the light. A thick, one inch off-white head unevenly pillows down, leaving little to no lacing down the sides of the glass.

Plenty of fruit in the aroma, with cherries and raspberries. A smokey oak smell is also present, wafting or lingering above the frut smell. There's also a tart aroma present, beyond the red fruit, mixed with a bit of beeswax.

Light, mildy tart and fruity, cherry, strawberry and green apple tastes all meld for a very pleasant flavor. The Granny Smith/green apple flavor becomes more prominent as you get further into this ale, balancing nicely with a delicate, almost floral sweetness. While slightly tart, this ale has no bitterness to it.

This has a light, soft mouthfeel, with a fair amount of carbonation that gives the impression that this ale evaporates as you sip it. Very pleasant and easy drinking!

This may be my first Flanders Red ale, and it is a beauty. Light, almost airy in feel, with a pleasantly tart flavor, this is supremely drinkable. Despite having such a light feel, the flavor is not lacking in the least. Letting it linger on the tongue amplifies the tartness to a point of over-stimulation; this ale lets you know that despite a delicate appearance, it will pack a punch if you let it. I definitely recommend, especially as a starter beer for the evening, or as a dessert beer after a meal.

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Photo of MSchae1017
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted from the 750mL Bottle in a tulip glass.

This beer pours deep mahogany with a fluffy off white head, nice lacing and retention. The smell is woody and sour/tart vinous fruits. The taste reminds me first of a gueze or a lambic but not quite as sour/tart. There is also a slightly preceptable flavor of woodiness. The mouthfeel has a strong body without being overwhelming. The carbonation is also nice. There is also a nice amount of dryness. Overall, highly drinkable, a lovely beer. A great one to mix it up with for something a little different.

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Photo of emerge077
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this many times in the 750mL bottles, but this is the first tiny 8.45 oz. bottle i've seen. Thanks Weibull for the extra hookup.

Served at 52º in a Rodenbach 8 oz. tumbler. Tawny crimson shade, carbonation visible in the light. Half inch cap of offwhite foam settles to a thin veil after awhile. Evaporating foam gives off an audible crackle.

Aroma of musty wet wood at first, segueing into dark cherries, pits and all. Light presence of fermenting apples too.

Flavor has the requisite sweet & sour elements, at moderate approachable levels. Juicy black cherry, and subtle oak flavors. It dries out in the end, but has a very quenching quality about it that is absolutely perfect for a hot day. Classic indeed...

I used to think that Rodenbach was more sharply sour that the Grand Cru, maybe that was only in years past. The two seem fairly similar, looks like a side-by-side tasting is an order.

Humboldt Fog made for an interesting pair with this. The low acidity seemed to cut the creamy richiness, with a lingering farmhouse aftertaste of the cheese.

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Photo of rayjay
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Found this one in Oregon. Best before 08-11-06, a little over a month ago, but then the next line reads 4-16 19:17, and the dates are notched 03 06. What the hell, when was this beer brewed? Maybe that's some code for the different blended barrels?

Pours thick and deep cherry red. Barely any carbonation is visibly present, but on the mouthfeel it is as lively as soda pop. Smells like cherry soda and vinegar. Firmly sour taste with a dry finish. Flavors: wood, cherry, citrus. No cloying sugar. Aftertaste goes for hard water with unsweetened cherry essence. Vinegar taste is not present.

Compared to Duchesse, it is much less sweet, less sticky, more tart, and more dry. I made the mistake of pairing it with ice cream, not recommened! Ice cream was way to dominating, I think something much less fatty like sorbet or a salad would be best.

The first time I had it was about '98, when the waitress brought me one when I had ordered a St. Rogue Red. I tried it just to be a good sport, but sent it back. I tried it again over the next few years and hated it every time. Funny, now it's one of my favorite styles, and I was excited about it after it had not been available in the US for some time. Now I can't wait to crack open my Grand Cru!

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This review from old notes written in early June, 2005.

In a bottle in a bar in the Midi Train Station in Brussels, Belgium, waiting to board the Eurostar for a trip through the Channel Tunnel. Had another bottle on board the train, at about 325 kph (i.e. just over 200 mph).

Pour into a chalice yields a dark red-brown, hazy body under a medium short-lived off-white head. Looks nice enough. I like the reddishness.

Smell is yeasty and tart up front, with some prunes and cherries. This smells "red."

Taste is certainly sour, but not puckeringly so. Sour cherries dominate the scene, with support from other berries. Nice funky yeastiness.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly rich for a 5% beer.

Drinkability? Three words: all . . . day . . . long.

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Photo of MaineBrewing
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz bottle poured into tulip, best buy 2010.

A - poured a murky brown, some orange/ruby highlights. Slight off white head that disappeared, leaving now lacing. The head remained as an ever present ring that left short lived lacing as I tipped my glass, helping the appearance greatly as after all these years it's still looks alive.

S - intense fruity aroma, dominated by raisin. Beyond the raisin is a nice sour character and a pleasant mild malt aroma.

T - taste is very mild but sweet. Candi sugar and caramel malt character with notes of fruit, specifically raisin and other dark fruits. Although the taste is mild, it is complex. There is a nice sour bite at the end that balances out the sweet taste. I cannot discern hop character in either the flavoring or bittering aspects.

M - medium with a slight syrupy viscosity. Ample carbonation keeps this balanced. Very drinkable.

O - Very delicious for the age and low abv. It strikes a great balance between very mild taste that is still very complex. I will certainly add more of these to my cellar, it is a great beer to just enjoy and not be overpowered with in your face sour.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the 750ml corked and caged bottle into a tulip glass the beer was a dark ruby color with two-fingers of head and a high degree of bubbly carbonation.

The smell is soft fruit, spice, malt, berry, and orange.

The innitial taste is a sharp acidic sourness that puckers in the inside of the mouth. Tartness and citrus flavors flow free and a slight raspberry (and just berry ) in general taste. Cherries and a mild malty background tatse are all there. Very crisp in the finish and sour the whole way.

Medium-light body with a high amount of carbonation.

I am beginning to love these sour and tart beers especially in the warmer weather. This one is super drinkable, quenching, and enjoyable. I will be back to this throughout the summer.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I got this brew as an 'extra' with a LiF win (Great Lakes Lake Erie Monster) that was hosted by csmiley, Thanks Chris!

L - hazy, reddish/brown color with a beige head that stayed as a ring around my tulip glass.

S - sour cherries is what I smell the most.

T - very good sour taste through and through, so sour it's sweet!

F - medium bodied with a pleasant carbonation feel.

D - I haven't had many sour beers, but to date this is the best one of the bunch that I have had. I actually finished off the entire glass.

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Photo of davewlfpckfan29
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is such a beautiful, drinkable beer. I was so happy to have this on draught.
We had two glasses at Moan and Dove in Amherst Mass.

Its a dark maroon, ruby color, poured into a tulip glass.

The smell is a pleasant tartness smell, maybe some cherry. The oak is faint.

And the taste, the wonderful taste. Its a great blend of sourness and tartness. A little bit of fruitiness, as well as malt. And the oak again is in the background.

A local package store has Rodenbach in 6-packs, and I want to GO BUY IT NOW!

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Photo of jdoolin
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: on tap at the Sharp Edge in Pittsburgh, poured into the proper Rodenbach glass.

Appearance: Dark brownish red with a fluffy light tan head. Nice lacing.

Aroma: Incredible. Ripe cherries, light caramel and the aceting sourness combine to create a wonderful aroma.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Tartness hits first, but it's not at all overbearing. Cherries, grapes and other fruits come along with a caramel like sweetness balancing the tartness. Finishes with a smooth malt flavor and bit more cherries. Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth. Very tasty.

I wouldn't want to have too many of these in one sitting, but it's still above average drinkability.

Notes: After being disappointed with a bad bottle of Grand Cru (tasted like carbonated vinegar), I was ever so pleased with this beer. Wonderful flavors with a great level of tartness. I will get this beer again without a doubt.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dense purplish brown body with a pencil-thin white head; intimidating yet beguiling... SOUR--but not sour patch--fresh and flowery... intense... light-bodied but the presence is apparent; clean (no tracing on the glass is proof), so much that the mouth could forget the experience seconds after... WOW: a tartness early, with sugary sweetness throughout--and yet a mellow, fizzy finish! The beer's as fun as it gets, pleasantly poppy and refreshing, especially on a humid evening such as this...

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Photo of phantomwyse
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Vivid mahogany red with soft garnet highlights. Thin, off-white, ring of carbonation forms, no head in the classic sense.

S: Sour cherries, grape, plum with an over sweet candy backlash.

T: Half tart fruits--cherry, plum with grape seltzer in the middle. Funky candy, tainted fun dip, rubberized bubble gum, and at the end a return to fruits, a chewy apple.

M: Diet soda.

D: If you're down with the taste, it slips down well. Red wine drinkers should appreciate these beers.

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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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