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

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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
Reviews:
667
Ratings:
1,731
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
11.72%
 
 
Wants:
85
Gots:
195
For Trade:
1
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Reviews: 667 | Ratings: 1,731
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
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 mactrail
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The color is that distinctive red-amber in the narrow Saxo tulip. A pile of foam, coarse bubbles, and lots of lacing. Aroma is woody, nutty, fruity. A touch of sweetness on the lips and a pleasant sudsy mouthfeel. And at 5.2%, a great quaff! The slight acidity is more like ripe cherries. It's actually less sharp than most IPAs. No hint of hops, apparently. Warm malt and that unique fruity mix.

Why are so many sours so vinegary? What's so wrong about the modest malty sweetness in this stuff? The Rodenbach mix of older and younger beers is so much more drinkable. Anyone curious about the sour styles of the Belgian tradition should try a couple of these.

From the 12 oz bottle in a six-pack bought at Liticker's Liquor & Deli in San Diego for a quite reasonable price. Interesting to discover this brewery is now owned by Palm of Belgium, which makes some hack beers of no distinction at all.

 900 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
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

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a darkened red-brown body with a tall, beige head, though it soon dissipates to a thin, lasting coating.

Smell: Aroma of sweetish caramel, dark brown sugar, and oven-toasted rolls dunked in quality vinegar rounded out with a vibrant though not stinging acetic nature to it, decaying wood, and fruity accents of sweet, tart, and sour cherries.

Taste: For me, the cherry fruitiness and cutting acetic acid accompanying the balsamic vinegar rule the roost, but, underneath, there's the sweet caramel, toast, and earthy oaken tastes. Hint of vanilla as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Delectably drinkable and nicely quaffable. Good interplay between the sweetness and the sourness throughout. Works well as an apéritif as now I'm hungry. Sandwich anyone?

 817 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky raspberry iced tea. The beer was clear initially, but since the bottle is so small, I was able to get the entire contents into the glass with one pour, including the sentiment. Atop the liquid is a splendid looking crown of almond colored foam that sports a rough hewn surface and is substantial enough to hang around for a bit. Thick bands of pocked lace are a bonus. I'm impressed so far and I haven't even smelled it yet.

The nose is solid, even if it fails to 'wow' me as much as the appearance. It's tart and fruity and acetic acid-like and oaky and all the things that Flanders red ales are known for. It's a perfect example of the style, if not quite the standard bearer. If I was to nitpick, I'd ask for more intensity and more complexity.

My first impression is that I'm not quite as impressed as I was with the much less-heralded Mestreechs Aajt and Monk's Flemish Sour Red. Rodenbach is intense, but it's more intensely acidic than it is intensely flavorful or intensely sour. The flavor profile is another step down from the nose in terms of (a lack of) complexity.

According to the label, the beer is 75% fresh and 25% aged in oak. Even though I can appreciate the wood, more would nice. This beer needs more of quite a few things in fact. Again, it's a faithful version, just not a stellar one according to my taste buds. I had originally thought that the 250 ml bottle would be way too small, but it's turning out to be just about about right.

There's very little wrong with the mouthfeel from where I sit. By the same token, it doesn't distinguish itself either. It's on the thin side with the exception of a nod toward lightly viscous on the finish. A generous amount of fine-bubbled carbonation adds some amount of mouth interest.

Rodenbach Classic is a disappointment. I've come to enjoy this style and was expecting an explosion of tart, funky, oak-accented fruit... and didn't get it. I don't remember where I finally located a bottle, but from now on, whenever I get the urge to drink a beer of this style, I'll be content with the Monk's Flemish Sour Red that I can get mere minutes from my front door. Here's hoping that Rodenbach Grand Cru blows the roof off the joint.

 2,216 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a very dark reddish brown, really clear into grandmas crystal chalice for Easter. Nice thin tan head did not hold up very long, but left a small amount of lace in its wake. Nice visible streams of carbonation present.

S - Smell is very strong and the sour feel just rolls right out. Lots of flavors of sours grapes, apples, and some plums. Very nice bitter wine like aroma. Very complex and robust.

M & T - Very smooth and and really nice carbonation gave it a light frothy feel. Very big taste, this one needed to be heard! Extremely sour profile and lots of fruity flavors. Apples. grapes, pears. Slighthint at bread like flavors.

D - Overall I would have to say this was not bad at all. My first taste of a sour ale was not really to my liking but this has intriqued me a bit more. This was much much better. I actually really enjoyed sipping on this while I was easting dinner and has opened me up to some more of the style. Definalty a sipper due to the strongness.

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

I enjoyed this with a dinner of firecracker shrimp and diver scallops enjoyed from a goblet chilled.

The color is ruddy caramel brown, slightly murky appearance with a head that comes and goes, the lace sticks ok and bead is fine. The smell is like a cross between cherry and vanilla with the wood providing a nice vanilla scent and yeast giving a nice tart cherry odor. There is some sourness, really more like tart tanginess from the yeast in the feel but the wood adds a nice level of dimension here too. The moderate carbonation is alright with a slight fruit tinged finish.

Rodenbach is tasty in many ways, it is tart which makes it almost refreshing based on the relatively low abv-5.2% and the slight yeasty smoothness in the flavor combined with vanilla oakiness which is fantastic alongside the subtle cherry tastes in the malt and yeast combination. The fruit elements are so dominant which says a lot for a beer that doesn't contain fruit. This was probably too much for the meal I paired it with -succotash and scallops with a chili rub, but I enjoyed how the fruit sour elements combined with my wife'c coconut curry basmati rice and firecracker shrimp. I could enjoy this red about any time it doesn't stand up to the high level of drinkability and flavor quotient of the Grand Cru, but hey for what it is Rodenbach is a decent all around beer.

 1,362 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is a muddy brown color with very little to no head.

S: The nose is the classic Flanders Red ale. A pleasantly acidic and mildly acetic, sour cherries, and a bit of oak.

T: A lot of sour cherry flavor mixed with sweet malt. The acidity is pleasant and refreshing without too much vinegar character.

M: Medium in body with an initially high level of carbonation that seems to die down a fair amount throughout the pour.

D: A very refreshing and mildly acidic Flanders Red. While the appearance might not be the most appealing, this is still a nice beer.

 567 characters

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 TMoney2591
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tumbler at ChurchKey.

Finally, a place that has this on tap so that I don't have to buy a bottle (I'm cheap). You rock, CK! It pours a seemingly clear, though rather dark, ruby topped by over a finger of tan foam. The nose comprises light vinegar, mandarin oranges, pineapple, maple syrup, sour grapes, and raspberries. The taste begins with some o' those sour grapes and vinegar notes, followed by some wheat, lightly roasted malts, and nutmeg. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sticky finish. Overall, a tasty Flemish offering, but not necessarily something I see myself drinking too often.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Pickled Pig Pub in Rehoboth Beach, DE.

A: The beer was a deep red/brown with a one finger tan head on top. Not much head retention and some spotty lacing that forms and is gone rather quickly.

S: Slightly tart dark fruit, some cherries, raspberries, and bruised apples. There is a bit of oak as well. Slightly acetic.

T: Nice sour cherry flavor, very nice level of acidity, with just a touch of vinegar. There is some sweet malt to balance things out. There is a bit of a nutty component as well.

M: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Very smooth and incredibly easy drinking.

O: A great beer, very nice flavor profile with a perfect level of tartness. Would have certainly ordered another if not for the price. Something I will probably grab some bottles of.

 798 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12/05/11 notes. Had this on tap at St. Arnolds on Jefferson Place in Washington, DC last night. Poured into a Rodenbach tulip.

a - Pours a reddish brown color with one to two inches of ruby reddish white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sour fruits, cherries, balsamic vinegar, and bready malts. Not insanely sour but it's there, and pretty nice.

t - Tastes a bit tannic, of bready malts, light sour cherries, vanilla, toasted malts. Not as sour as the nose as all (which wasn't overly sour to begin with), and not a fruity. A bit of a step down for me.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Easy to drink but a little more carbonation would have been nice.

o - Overall a pretty good, readily available flanders. Not too sour so could be good for someone looking to just get into sours. Would have it again.

 836 characters

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

Reddish brown color with a small head fizzing away in a second. Aroma has a lot of fruits like cherries, grapes, red apples and berries. Doesn't have the vinegar like character of the Grand Cru. Taste is also just slightly tart, letting the fruity character shine along with the slightly caramelized malts. Very easy to drink but complex at the same time.

 355 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.83/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

25 cL bottle poured into a snifter. Totally irresponsible rate. Best by date is 84, 85, or 86.

Appearance - Flat deep reddish brown. No bubbles.

Smell - Cardboard. Caramel. Cream sherry aroma.

Taste - Some tartness reminiscent of fresher Rodenbach. Faint cherry. Lots of caramel. And equal quantities of cardboard in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Flat. Medium body.

Overall - Way too old. I'll have to re-review this when I have it fresher.

 440 characters

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

Pours a dark ruby hued brown that has no head. Nose is a pretty smooth mix of wood and fruit. Flavor has that sour tone to it and definite fruit and wood as well. Smooth feel with a low but biting carbonation. Nice to drink, but you'd have to be able to appreciate the style to really enjoy this one.

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Photo of stakem
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split with friends. I decided to do a side by side tasting and open this along with the grand cru and also the caractere rogue to analyze the differences in each. Poured into a cervoise, the brew appears an amber with ruby clarity through the middle. A tan finger of head forms atop and slowly fades leaving patchy lace sticking to the glass.

The smell includes mild notes of vinegar and dark fruits like cherry mixed almost with a kiss of something like dark belgian candy sugar. It gives a hint of sweetness to the nose like caramel/vanilla. More dark fruity apple and cherry quality emerge as the glass is swirled.

The taste includes some of the previously described caramel malt, toffee, brown sugar and vanilla. Tart cherry and soft hints of apple cidar vinegar. A very mild tartness brings out fruit that increases in focus as it warms. This is a pleasant integration of caramelized sugar, barrel presence and soft tartness.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. It is very drinkable that is light and refreshing. It would be a very mild and approachable offering for someone who might have had anything similar to this style before. A classic, I couldnt help but think anout the endless array of foods this could be paired with. I'll be picking this up again.

 1,311 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful deep brownish red color with a massive fluffy beige head that impairs my ability to pour a full glass. Smells of cider and vinegar as soon as I pop the cork. Sweet fruity tartness fills my nostrils; cherries, vanilla, and hints of oak round out the nose. Luckily the vinegar is not as present as when I first opened her up. Taste is more fruity than tart. Slightly tart cherries strained over a sweet malty base. Bits of oak and acetic acid in there, really not what I was expecting. Lots of bubbles, medium to thin body, chalky sugary fruity mouthfeel. Decent easy to drink beer but a lot sweeter than I was expecting. Maybe I've totally wrecked my palette with American sour ales, but I thought this beer is a bit too subtle.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark brownish amber with ruby edges; big cap of thick, soft, off white, brownish head that fades to a thin lacing

S - tart cherries, a bit sour, some lactic aromas

T - tart, fruity, a lactic creaminess, some caramel malt

M - medium bodied, crisp, well carbonated, a bit dry

This is a decent beer. It has all of the hallmarks of what I expect a Flanders Red Ale to be. It's highly drinkable and refreshing while being a bit tart. I prefer the Grand Cru to this, but this is definitely worth checking out.

 511 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark caramel with a thick head that descends to a thin, lasting head. Some vanishing lace sticks to glass.

The smell is sour and fruity.

The taste is sour, tart passion fruitiness. Oak, and a touch of iron come through. The sour is sharp at first, but becomes mellow and smooth in the finish.

The body is medium, but with a touch of thinness.

This is a beer that is put together pretty well. It's worth having for its unique character, and fairly easy to drink.

 479 characters

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.

 813 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.74/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A - Ruby milk chocolate. Zero head to speak of.

S - Sherry character. Light vanilla. Touch of bourbon.

T - Oak, sherry and sour cherries. Tart, slightly-unripe plums. Some cranberry. Tough of pear deep in the backend.

M - Pleasantly dry finish. Nice effervesces, and a tart finish.

D - A slow and savory drink. Not something you're going to throw back.

 356 characters

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.

 550 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this at Brauhaus Schmitz in Philadelphia.

A - Dark deep ruby red body with an off-white head. Looked great with the candle behind it illuminating it.

S - Smelled sweet, tangy and dry. Some fruit nose here.

T - Delicious on the palate with plenty of tart and tangy notes. Sweet/tangy fruit is present and some subtle wood. Love the dry cherry undertones. Finishes crisp and dry.

M - Nicely carbonated and smooth. This beer is very well balanced and crisply concocted. A very happy palate and a smooth ride down the throat.

D - I could drink this one like water. Its very flavorful and refreshing.

Notes - Im a fan of the sour/tangy/dry beers and this one is right there. Great taste, easy to drink. Well done.

 718 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
2.94/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

WHAAAATTTT!! Surprise Surprise Surprise….a Belgium that is pretty dog gone good. Cloudy Brown, big cider/vinegar smell, but the taste is very light and refreshing…..crazy! I would not go crazy and would shy away from doing a session…just too sweet and tart.

 263 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice find on tap at the soon to be no more Blind Tiger ale house. This little lovely poured cloudy reddish amber, with a tiny bubble slight head, leaving fine, wispy lacing. Nose of semi sour cherries. Flavorful, complex brew with notes of sour fruit, moderate but not overpowering in intensity. More drinkable then other "reds" I've tried. Tasty, fruity, intense. A fine experience in drinking.

 397 characters

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