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: 1,792
Photo of Swim424
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Ommegang chalice

A-dark red, almost brown. small head that fell quickly

S-Vinegar, very sour. Not much else to it.

T-Not as sour as I was expecting. Tastes alot like a champagne. The sour builds into the middle finishing with a maltiness.

MF-High carbonation, very light body. Nice aftertaste.

O-not as powerful as Grand Cru. this is only the second of the style I have had. But this is pretty good.

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Photo of lastmango
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a dark ruby brown with a thin tan fizzy head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing. Nose of apple and mixed fruit. Moderate malt flavor that is overshadowed by sour cherry flavor. As I first approached this beer, the tartness was like lemonade. But, within a few sips, the sourness became more balanced with the malt. This beer is thin and fizzy. This is my first Flanders red ale and I am finding it enjoyable as a departure from my norm.

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark maroon/mahogany & cloudy. Good amount of carbination towards the top of the glass.

S- Funky Belgian beer smell, but in a good way! Sour and malty, with deep dark fruits. Kind of like a dark red wine. There is a sweet element as well. That sour yest and dark fruit is the main smell.

T- Sour and sweet, with a dark fruit tartness. Finish is surprisingly dry. The sour lingers in your mouth, but it's not really bitter. I can even detect a woody presence as well towards the finish. Finish is pretty fast. Moderate carbonation. As far as Belgian beers go, this is excellent!

M- It's not the easiest thing to drink in the world, but it's certainly not extremely heavy. I like how the beer coats your mouth for a few seconds after you take a sip with all of it's delicious flavor, and then quickly dries. You do get that sourish, fruity taste that sticks around faintly after the finish.

*Overall, this is a really special beer. It's got everything a great sour Belgian beer should have. And to boot, it's not that alcoholic or hard to drink like some Belgian beers can be. I will diffidently be picking this up again for sure!

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Photo of itsscience
3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours murky brown with a finger of off-white head. The smell has sweet grapes, cherries, some wild yeast, and some vinegar, although the taste is not as sour as the nose suggests. A low level of sourness is met with a sweet red wine taste and a clean, effervescent, sparkling water finish. Carbonation is high and the body is light.

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Photo of Mosley1212
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(From notes I took over spring break)

Had on tap at Brick Store Pub in Decatur, GA. It was an '08 Vintage.

A--Poured a ruby amber red with a thick, rich vanilla colored head that beautifully foamed and lasted a good long while.

S--The smell was of a sweet vinegar up front with a hint of fruit on the back end.

T--My face instantly puckered when I took my first sip. This beer was described on the menu as "balsamic vinegar" and it did not disappoint. I absolutely loved the sourness of the beer.

M--Light bodied with a mild carbonated feel. It was a great feel in the mouth and it left me feeling refreshed.

O--Overall, this was one of the best beers I have ever tried. It was my first sour, and after trying this I am going to try many, many more.

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Photo of Hhawk06
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was very much looking forward to popping the top on this world renowned brew, especially since I've had very few in the style. It poured with a largely beaded, off-white, and bit inconsistent head. It has a gorgeous pure mahogany color that is incredibly inviting. Wow, the smell is very vinous, almost like a merlot. Among the odors include; sweet malt, cherry, oak, and sour grape. Its surprisingly medium-bodied and very liquid in mouthfeel. I immediately notice that this is a very different and complex beer. The sour character is evident from the first sip. I'm sensing sour cherries/grapes, prickly fruit notes that engage in a serious tug of war with the sharp sour notes that result in a highly acidic character. It finishes more tartly as the sour notes fade, also somewhat dry with a touch of grit. Wonderful oaken fruit notes remain. The complexity is amazing. Even if you're not into the style, its something you have to try once.

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Photo of Chelsea1905
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. Aggressive pour at the end brought about a largo bubbly tan head that disappeared and left a light ring and mild lacing. As the beer initially settled, some of it looked like swamp water and then faded ay to a nice dark reed brown with no apparent ability to see through it at all.

Smell initially had a load of funk and barnyard hay. Died down into berries and dark fruit with a toasted malt backbone.

Taste initially is almost watery, but then acidic, followed by a wash of berries and red wine, then the sweet malts take over at the end. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is lig and dry, very nice. Laves a little coating on the tongue too.

Overall a very nice beer, tastes a little like an aged wine, with the initial watery feeling, but fantastic over all

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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 sfoley333
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 250ml bottle from PP bottle shop into a new belgium snifter. Poured a brownish red color with a thin head that faded like a soda pop head. Smell is a faint sour cherry smellwith hints of wild yeast sourness. Taste is a little more foward but still not very powerful with cherry, raspberries, a slight oak vanilla flavor, and of course a slight tartness. The mouthfeel is medium body with a moderate carbonation. This is a very drinkable sour red ale which makes it a classic but with some many extreme and well crafted sour reds out their I would say just above average and not the very best of the style.

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

Another one bites the heir to the Flemish king, Grand Cru. Cola stripped of its sugar; replaced with dry lemon peel and yogurt zest. The sour squeeze is irresistable, never overstepping its boundaries. Kiwi burn and Cabernet alliance to create one of the most grandly mysterious, and overly erotic ales to bless the human race. Rodenbach sets a standard as well as an example to follow. Bravo!

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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 redneckchugger
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured dark brown bordering on auburn. Fizzy head.
Weaker nose than i expected. I get some balsamic, and a bit of fruit. not much else , but its nice, i like the subtly.
The palate is a bit less, its thin in flavor. Very one dimensional, i get the balsamic and a bit of cheery, but not in any kind of nuanced or developed way. Very disappointing.

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Photo of nickynick
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rodenbach poured a very dark reddish amber color. Not much head. The smell was of super sour cherries. Tart and crisp. Taste matched the smell, tart and sour cherries. Enough to make my lips pucker. Mouthfeel was ok, a bit sticky at time. Drinkability was good. Overall I enjoyed this beer a lot. I am really enjoying this style of beer as well. Hope to try more.

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Photo of 0110x011
3.74/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a murky red-brown from a 750ml corked & caged bottle, with a bubbly one finger head and minimal lace. Nose is cherries & raspberries, with a healthy dose of malt sweetness. Tart cherries predominate on the tongue, with a nice malt sweetness to back of up, and a nice sour punch. Not terribly complex. Almost soda-like carbonation, medium body, and a crisp dry finish.

This is my first experience with the style, and I have to say I like it very much. This would make a great alternative session beer, but its pretty one-dimentional, and lacks the complexity I normally look for.

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Photo of CDBeerDisappear
1.98/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I should have read the label more carefully. This is a Flemish SOUR ale. I like to try new things and I never drank sour ale before but I did not anticipate how sour, sour could be. To me it tasted like vinegar. I spent half an hour trying to drink the blasted stuff hoping that I would "develope a taste" for it. But that never happened.It tasted like vineagar from the first sip to the last. The bottle cost me $7 (750ml) and I consider it money well spent since I now know that sour ale is NOT for me. There are many good reveiws of this ale, apparently there are those who like sour tasting beer, but it is not for everybody. When I drink Belgian, I will stick to the classic Belgium Stong Ales frm now on.

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Photo of Illinick
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a deep reddish brown with a medium sized off white, thick head that dissipates and sticks around as a thin layer. Decent lacing.
S: Tart, sour fruit-mainly cherry, some oaky and earthy scents as well. Sour cherry oak about sums it up.
T: You know one would think I would expect some sour notes but upon first sip I was hit in the face with some intense sour and over the top tart cherry and fruit flavors. It's like a sour patch kid beer. Once you recover from the sour shock you can pick up some earthy and oaked fruit flavors as well as some slight hoppiness.
MF: Light and finishes tart, almost tannic.
Overall: Definitely an interesting brew. Huge sour and tart notes, so expect over the top. Worth a shot if for nothing but curiousity's sake.

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Photo of PhiloPsych
3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color is dark red and medium brown in the glass. Little aroma, but plenty of sour, sweet, lightly malty taste. No hops bitter to speak of—that’s not the style. This is brown malt and fruity, sour, sweet fruit on top and a touch of earthiness in the finish. The mouthfeel is clean, crisp, and rather light with some prickly carbonation and bright acidity. This isn’t the most sour sour beer; it isn’t the fruitiest fruity beer; it isn’t the maltiest brown beer. But it is a very nicely balanced sour, fruity, red-brown beer.

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Photo of CPeterson
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A -- A murky, brownish crimson pours into a substantial head that settles very slowly.

S -- Not quite as pungent as most in the style, but there is still an odor of acid and sour berries.

T -- Again, not as explosive in the flavor department as most, more subdued. Mildly sour in the front, funk and sour cherry in the middle and an essence of dark fruit, oak and earth on the end.

M -- Well carbonated, a little sticky.

D -- Very nice, being as how this isn't as acidic as most of the Flanders I've had in the past, I can see where this might make a more palatable beer for some people.

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Photo of sk8man121
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into Allagash chalice.

A: Pours a completely opaque brown with faint orange highlights. 2-finger head settles into a 1/2 finger cap, leaving no lacing on the glass.

S: Apple cider vinegar up front, with prominent cherry and stone fruit. Oak and caramel in the background.

T: Very "soft" and "round," if that makes any sense. Cherries are strong, with quite a bit of grape in there too. Nice, sweet malts that don't even come close to being "too much." This tastes much less offensive than it smells.

M: Mouthfeel is absolutely perfect for the beer it backs up. Nicely chewy without being thick. Carbonation is as light as a feather.

O: While I still prefer the Grand Cru, Rodenbach Classic is a phenomenal beer that I would never turn down if offered, and will surely purchase again in the future.

Classic for a reason.

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Photo of fsvan
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into New Belgium globe.

A- Pours a dark, murky copper with a hint of maroon. Big 3 fingers of thick, sticky reddish head which seems to have a life of its own.

S- Sour cherries up front with a bit of vinegar and oak notes following. A little funkiness. No bitter notes. No alcohol presence. Complex, yet nice and clean.

T- Nice tartness. Sour, but not incredibly so. A sour cherry note is first and foremost. As with the smell, a little oak on the end. Some pretty nice earthy yeast notes linger behind alongside a vinegar-like sourness.

M- Lightish. Well carbonated. With the yeast and oak notes, a little thicker (not much) would be to my liking, I think.

O- I've only had a a handful of Flanders reds, so my points of comparison are somewhat limited, but this is a pretty good beer. Would be a nice introductory sour for a wine lover, for sure.

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Photo of RandomExile
2.82/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

A: full thin head, spotty but persistent lacing. 70's brown.
S: sour apple
T: sour, musty, sweeter finish than first taste
M: thin, surprisingly insubstantial for a darkish beer, dry finish
O: Watery sour apple. Not unpleasant, per se, but not particularly laudable.

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Photo of unklesyd
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My last in the line of Rodenbach tastings. After Redbach, this is a welcome back to beer territory.

Nice, tart flavor, slight hint of past-prime strawberries. Sourness is present, but not overly twangy. Blend of tart and sweet is nice, without making the beer undrinkably sour or sweet. No hint of "funk". Very clean, with a dry mouthfeel and slightly "savory" aftertaste.

Big downfall is appearance, which is a murky, not very attrative brown. However, it does pour with a nice head which maintains as a purplish ring throughout. A good aperitif.

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Photo of laintringulis
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a wide mouth goblet from Eulogy's in Philadelphia. Pours a dark cranberry color with thick foamy head that thins out quickly but laces nicely. Light body, medium carbonation.

Smells strongly of apple cider, with a sweet caramel smell and some spiciness.

Has an initial sour/tart apple taste with a pleasant dryness that turns more sweet with a caramel maltiness in the middle. It finished with a tart cherry like back taste and moderate dryness.

Very crisp and refreshing. For a light bodied beer this has an exceptional fullness to the mouthfeel without being oily or filmy. Easily sessionable. I could drink this stuff all day long. It has a really nice tie between the mouthfeel, complexity of tastes, and drinkability.

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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 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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Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.01 out of 5 based on 1,792 ratings.
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