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

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Rodenbach Classic (Red)Rodenbach Classic (Red)
BA SCORE
4/5
Exceptional
1,834 Ratings
Rodenbach Classic (Red)Rodenbach Classic (Red)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Belgium
rodenbach.be

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,726
Reviews:
688
Ratings:
1,834
pDev:
11.5%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
86
Gots:
228
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
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Ratings: 1,834 |  Reviews: 688
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Knapp85
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out like a dark red wine. Not much carbonation here. The beer didn't leave much in way of lacing either. The smell of the beer was pungent on the nose giving it the sour aroma. The taste of the beer was tart and had a light sour cherry flavor to it. The mouthfeel was on the flatter side and not overly exciting. Overall it's a decent beer in my opinion. I'd like to give the Grand Cru a try sometime.

 418 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It poured rather dark brown with just a few bubbles covering the surface. A light to moderate level of carbonation is visible.
S: There is a distinct sour aroma in the nose, although it's not that strong.
T: With sweetness in the intial taste and sourness in the finish, the taste is incredibly complex. There are also hints of cherries, grapes and oak barrel aging in the flavors.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and rather smooth.
D: The low alcohol content makes this beer highly drinkable.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Flanders red ale has stolen my heart. When they project a drier and more pungent sour character, they are among the best of all beer of the sour family. But its the cherry, kettle caramelization and barrel that work in tandem with the resident microflora to give these beers such distinctive charm.

Tantalizing sourness tethers through a more robust taste and balancing sweetness to place the nose and early palate completely under its spell. Its candied cherry upstart is wrapped in a blanket of caramelized sugars, cellar-like must and berry wine.

But its the wild display that blossoms across the middle that really takes back the senses with oddly compelling tastes that boarder on cider and oak, tobacco and leather, merlot and balsamic, brine and copper... the complex descriptors seem to go forever; playing out on a semi-sweet but intensely acidic palate.

Its tangy wine finish, carries an inherent honey balance that seems of confectioner's delight, yet pierced by its earthen variety for an effortless close with lingering vinous, lightly powdered astringency and surprisingly refreshing vinegar dryness.

 1,117 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. A quiet little world-beater of a brewer arrives in our fair province, and to little to no fanfare. Sigh. The stylized 'R' on the cap and label sure looks like it was ripped off by a certain 'craft' brew line of Canada's largest and most storied corporate beer maker.

This beer pours a clear, dark ruby amber colour, with three fingers of puffy, somewhat foamy, and rather creamy ecru head, which leaves a few instances of island atoll lace around the glass as it gently subsides.

It smells of sour black cherries, a middling crackery caramel malt, a soft grainy woodiness, some mild funk, and a further apple cider fruitiness. The taste is a mite bit sweeter - the cherries rounding out, and joined by some raspberry and strawberry fruitiness, at that - the funk keeping it tight, the oak shedding the wood in favour of a vanilla pod earthiness, and the sideshow apples gaining a commensurate uptick in their sugar quotient.

The carbonation is nice and light and fluffy, the body a decent medium weight, and rather smooth for all the funk and acid (we be clubbin' now!) inherent in this offering. It finishes off-dry, the fruitiness staying more sweet than sour, while the musty funk and wood start to take it easy.

A lovely, balanced Flanders Red ale - sour, yes, but sweet, fruity, and nicely tempered by the musty, woody factor. Enjoyably quenching - not something I thought I'd reason about a sour ale, but there it is.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a sixer of this classic beer for a scant $11 USD at a beer store near my work. "75% Young Ale, 25% Ale matured for two years." 5.2% ABV confirmed. "Aged in oak bats." Love the label art and presentation; even the branding on the cap is attractive. Best before 07/25/2014. Self identifies as a "Flemish Red-Brown"; reviewed as such. 330ml brown glass bottle with branded pry-off cap served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I've had this before and really liked it.

Served cold, straight from the fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a lovely healthy khaki colour head of two finger width. Attractive soft smooth complexion. Excellent creaminess for the style. Good thickness. Fluffy. Supple. Little lacing as the head recedes. Head retention is superb - about 9-10+ minutes.

Body colour is a murky dark glowing ruby-brown. Quasitranslucent but nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Overall, it's a spot-on appearance for the style. I mean, this is an off-shoot of the father of the style anyway; you have to qualify taking issue with it.

Sm: Lovely tart fruit; raspberries, cherries. Heavy cherry pie crust; I love that. Toasty and acetic. Acidicity is palpable. Biscuit malt. As subtle oak as is possible in a beer; wow. Some appleskin. Very timid yet somehow still evocative sourness. As approachable a sour as you'll find. Overall, it's a subtle enchanting aroma of mild to moderate strength. Gains depth as it warms. I can't wait to try it.

T: Cherry pie crust and tart cherry. Love the acetic character. Biscuit malt, brown malts. Extremely subtle oak. Sourness is subtle, beautifully integrated, and very approachable. This would be an excellent beer to give newcomers to sours. Excellent balance, but it does lack the complexity of better beers in the style (especially better beers from this brewery). It's got a nice sweetness that might turn some off, but to my tastes it just adds balance. And I imagine it would improve with age to boot. Caramalts. Not getting any yeast or hop character, nor does any alcohol come through.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Perfect presence on the palate. Teasing. Near ideal carbonation. Soft yet assertive. Refreshing. Good body. Complements the flavour profile wonderfully. Excellent execution. Feels custom-tailored to the flavours. I'm impressed. Constructively, it lacks the delicacy and fragility a perfect beer in the style would possess.

Dr: Extremely drinkable for a sour. Hides its ABV well. I could easily kill a 6 pack of this in a session; in fact I have before. I smuggle bottles of this into movies. A definite classic every beer fanatic owes it to him/herself to sample. That said, there is room for complexity and I'm sure this drank better prior to the Palm buyout. A treat from Rodenbach.

Lowish B+

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Photo of emerge077
4.4/5  rDev +10%
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.

 1,073 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

AppearanceL: Pours a murky rust color with garnet highlights and an ecru head that leaves quite a few sheets of lace

Smell: Sweet and sour cherry, with undertones of oak and a hint of leather

Taste: Opens with a sweet cherry and tart passion fruit flavor, that is joined, mid-palate, by some depth from the oak; after the swallow, the tartness and oak flavors dominate but don't obliterate the sweetness

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with crisp carbonation

Drinkability: While I would like more tartness and oaky complexity, this is very easy to drink

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Photo of oline73
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at the Frisco Taphouse, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a mahogany color, not cloudy at all, there is some light coming through. There is just a trace of head.

Smell: Sour fruity vinegar along with some malt sweetness.

Taste: The sourness dominates the taste a lot less than the smell, but it remains on the tongue throughout the whole sip. There is a tart fruit note, think raspberry or cranberry. The finish also has some sweetness from the malt. The flavor of this beer is quite smooth.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and mild carbonation. The carbonation feels quite appropriate for this beer. The finish has a mild dryness to it.

Overall: This is a very balanced anad smooth beer. I could have a few of these in a session, the sourness isn't too overpowering. I'm definitely open to having this one again.

 833 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle drank at le Cirio in Brussels: Poured a light red/brown colored beer with a nice head with better then average retention. Aroma is mostly dominated by the oak/cherry smell but not as strong as for the Grand Cru. Taste is surprisingly more refreshing then expected with again the oak/cherry taste and some light sweetness. The end is a bit sour and watery. This is not on par with the Grand Cru but it would wonderful to drink this during a hot summer days beside the pool.

 479 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear ruby color with a light pink head of fizzy foam. It smelled of sweet cherries and a little bready notes. Nice sour bite up front with a strong cherry flavor. Crisp and puckering mouthfeel.

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Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into oversized wine glass, best by 11-28-07. Pours crystal clear red color with a small off white head with decent retention that reduces to a thin lacing cap that lasts. Small bits of lacing cling to the glass as well. Aromas of cherry, vinegar, oak, and some spiciness. Decent aromas here, a tad bit more muted than I was expecting. Taste of big cherry, oak, vinegar, and apples. Nice sweet taste with a slight bit of apple and cherry tartness on the finish. The finish is surprisingly dry, with only some light sweetness and tartness on the finish. Medium carbonation and body. Very smooth drinking with no alcohol in the taste or finish. This is quite a refreshing and easy going beer due to the light amount of sourness present in this. Overall, a very nice Flanders red, I would like to try a younger bottle of this sometime.

 845 characters

Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark but clear auburn color with 3 fingers of tan foam. Head retention is outstanding, though it curiously leaves no lace.

Smell: Slightly musty. Fruity sourness is nicely balanced by a hint of sweetness. Cherries and a touch of caramel.

Taste & mouthfeel: Subtle fruity sweetness leads into flavors of tart cherries, red wine and balsamic vinegar. Light on the tongue, very refreshing and drinkable. Significantly less complex than the Grand Cru, but this is still an excellent brew. Good for a hot Summer day or paired with food.

 553 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.68/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Although it's not quite what I remember it to be in the early 80's (I'd imagine that I might be bolstering its memory as it was then one of the special beers of my youth), it's still a remarkable beer! And since I consider the Flander's red style to be my favorite style, that's nothing to sneeze at.

It pours a clear deep-mahogany red body with a full head of pillowy tan foam that holds remarkably well and leaves very nice lace about the glass.

The nose is woody, mildly fruity and subtly candyish-sweet with notes of red fruit and a flicker of tartness (red raspberry, sweet cherry, passion fruit, lemon zest). There's some wet straw and wool in there as well, but it's restrained and actually helps to enhance the other aromas.

In the mouth it's surprisingly supple and airy, leaving it unsurpassingly smooth across the palate with a delicate caress.

The tartness that's expected is clearly present, but not nearly in the same range that one might expect of a lambic... No, this is far more refined. And it's soft, dull caramel-accented maltiness has just enough sweetness to act as a swaddling blanket against it. Fruitiness then enters and adds great depth; all the while balancing it out with a low-key earthiness of wood and subtle "barnyard"/"horseblanket"/"wool".

It finishes dry with a note of woody/earthy/mustiness, some iron, and some residual dark fruit skins.

Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful!

It pairs well with a wide range of soft, buttery and/or earthy Brie-type cheeses; and alongside a crusty loaf of whole wheat bread it makes a wonderful small meal. Some red grapes on the side only help to delineate it's character. Seafood is another choice to consider, as it's acidity clearly cuts through, and mussels in red sauce is a classic. Finally, it also works well at the very start of a meal as an apertif, or with salad (think vinaigrette and soft cheese); and at the end of the meal as a palate cleanser.

 1,951 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of chinchill
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark red-brown color with a beige head.

Tremendous dark fruit aroma. Very fruity flavor as well, with dark raisins, cherries and figs. Slightly sweet but with a substantial tart note and subtle oak accents.

Near medium body; fine level of medium-high carbonation.

O - Very pleasurable and easy drinking yet an excellent sipper. With cork topped bottle and ample carbonation, this is a great choice as a beer for celebrations or Italian foods.

 453 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 250ml bottle into a flute glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of tart dark fruits (cherries & raspberries), light malts and some Belgian yeast.

T: The taste starts out very sour with flavors of cherries, raspberries and apples up front. The sourness quickly fades a bit and some light maltiness provides a decent balance. There's a mild hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sour.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and very dry.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this isn't usually the kind of beer that I drink a lot of, but this one was pretty decent.

 796 characters

Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 1,834 ratings
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