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
Ratings:
1,806
Reviews:
682
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
11.47%
 
 
Wants:
87
Gots:
218
For Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,806 |  Reviews: 682
Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of zeff80
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 203 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
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 olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -25.2%

Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Connecticut Avenue in DC. Served in a Rodenbach tumbler.

Pours a fairly-clear mahogany color with a nice off-white head with pretty good retention and a nice bit of lacing. The nose brings some beautiful notes of cream with some cherry, oak, and light vanilla. Touch of acidity, balanced between lactic and acetic. Really nice.

The flavor brings a beautiful combo of cherry and oak with accompanying acidity. Body is nice and creamy with some perceived fruit sweetness. Dry finish after a somewhat-chewy body. Really a great example of the style.

 560 characters

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.

 1,200 characters

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.

 663 characters

Photo of chinchill
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
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 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 ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

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 dbrauneis
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Kegatron
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml corked & caged bottle into a couple of tulip glasses.

Pours a deep clear ruby, topped with a ½ finger of fizzy off-white head. This retains with just a light foamy ring around the edges of the glass, leaving back a gentle smattering of lace. The aroma smells of cherry tartness with a vinegar edge to it and some light notes of earthy wood. Some light sugary sweetness hangs in the background a bit.

The taste is similar, with more tart cherries and a balancing sugary sweetness. Oak occupies the edges of the profile while this finish with a sour bite at the end that then leaves the finish on this dry, tannic and burnt. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with some sharpness on the tongue and then more of a creamier feel on top that helps keep those flavors moving. I’m digging the feel here, as its equal part lively and slick in the mouth.

This was good, packing in some good cherry flavor but then also having a nice acidic bite to it. The body on this really did a solid job of keeping those flavors accessible as well. This is well worth picking up. It’s very drinkable for what’s involved.

 1,116 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev -0.2%

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 nathanmiller
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.25/5  rDev -19%

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of dcmchew
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 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

Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.01 out of 5 based on 1,806 ratings.
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