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 | website

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:
1,723
Avg:
4.01
pDev:
18.7%
 
 
Wants:
83
Gots:
192
For Trade:
1
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Reviews: 667 | Ratings: 1,723
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.

 537 characters

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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Photo of hobbes2112
3.69/5  rDev -8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got a 750mL bottle and shared with some friends. Deep red in color, small head that rapidly dissipated. Aroma was tart and sweet at the same time. Serious cherry notes in the aroma and taste. The sour start to the beer put me off a little at the start, but near the end of my half (shared the bottle) I was warming to it. I guess it was also literally warming so maybe that was part of it.

Overall a pretty good beer. I'm not very familiar with the style but I would say this lives up to the expectations from what I had read.

I might drink this again, but it is unlikely I will buy it again.

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Photo of AxesandAnchors
3.47/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very little head, maybe a half a fingers worth (dissipated almost immediately). Very murky looking. More of a brow with a red hue, than a typical red. Lets hope this tastes better than it looks.

S: Smells slightly skunky...this is starting to worry me. Raspberries, cherries, a touch of wood, apple cider, plum, zest, candy sugar, a bit tart.

T: Nice first wave of a mellow tartness. Definitely a raspberry/cherry mix. Hey, with a bit of malt. A really faint oak flavor in the background. The funkiness that was in the nose is much better in the taste.

M: Smooth and dry on the tongue. Just the right amount of carbonation.

O: I was a little worried in the beginning, but where this beer lacks in first impressions it more than makes up for in the end. Not all that complex but it is a solid brew none the less.

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Photo of kaips1
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this is a 120z bottle into a brandy snifter, its dated 10-06-2010

this isnt the first time with a flanders so i was kinda hoping it would have that cost efficient sour taste im looking for, it wasnt to far off. this poured a solid murky dark red brown, with little head if there was one its just a ring of little bubbles now. the nose on this came off with some vinegar but not overpowering and then led into a solid sour fruit wave. the taste is similar to the nose except not as strong and the flavors had a slight apple juice taste to it and definitely has a cherry ending, not overly fruity but its all you taste. the feel of this beer is good though, lots of jumpy carbonation in it and a very nice dry finish. overall its a decent beer, if it had more sour fruit and a little less vinegar i think i would score it hire.

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

I was lucky enough to try this beer at a tasting with a Duvel representative, so I got a taste of both the beer and the history. The beer itself was like nothing I've had before. A crisp dark red color with a red-tinted, creamy head. The smell was sour and fruity, letting you know that you're in for something different. Hated it at first taste. Got used to it by the second. Loved it by the third. A unique, pwoerful sour, acidic taste, with cherries and grapes as the dominant taste that goes with the malt. It was almost more like a wine than a beer. Full, delicious, and unique. As far as the making of the beer, I learned that: 75% of each bottle is freshly made, while 25% is front a pervious batch; there are 20 types of yeast in the beer; it is aged 2-3 years in oak barrels. Not your typical "beery" kind of a beer, but definately worth adding to your repertoire.

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Photo of jeremy13586
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. 750ml bottle poured in to Palm glass.

Incredibly dark and murky amber color. Very muddy hue. Very limited tan head that settled out very quickly.

Looks aside, the beer had an awesome nose. Apple, tart cherry and oak. A light funk and apple-cider vinegar twang at the end.

Sour and a little oaky. Green apple and a bit of yeast. Nice sweet backbone that nose it's role and isn't overly sweet. A bit of a musty and funky finish that finishes very clean.

Medium bodied with a mild carbonation. Dry and tannic, but is kind of slick and oily in the finish.

Plenty of flavors to keep you busy. Very well balance and incredibly drinkable. I'll definitely be having this one more in the future.

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Photo of Cmack15
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Having not explored this style too much I am not sure how confident I can speak upon this beer. The sour and sweetness of this beer seem well balanced and with the low abv I would call this a session beer. The more I drink this beer the more I like it. Great entryway beer for this style.
Cheers!

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Photo of Efay
4.46/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this from Chris Quinn of the Beer Temple. I went to his new store based in Chicago and was asking for recommended sours for newbies, and this was his pick for me.

A- Poured into a pint glass, and it seems like there is lots of carbonation and lots of foam. That foam recedes to about 2 fingers worth of head, where there was a great retention rate. Beautiful dark amber color with extremely small foam bubbles from the head, which were cappuccino colored.

S- Cherries dominate, with hints of raspberry as well. Very acidic smelling and sweet, which to me was a great combination.

T- Initial dark malty taste, with a tad amount of oak. Tastes of tart cherry are welcoming to my palate.

M- Moderate to high carbonation, with moderate weight which goes down surprisingly smooth. Ends with a tart dryness.

O- Wow. I was very skeptical about trying sours but this thing was just unbelievable. This was highly drinkable and very enjoyable, and I am excited for future sours if they're anything like this.

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Photo of skizziks
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle. 1" tan head falls quickly to a thin sheet over a clear, deep mahogany brown beer.

Aroma is complex with cherries, vinegar, restaurant mop, and a carnival of phenolics with some cheesy bits attached. Reads terrible, but actually smells really nice. An experience for sure.

taste also gives some cherry with pomegranate and some sweet-tart flavors. Very dry tannic finish.

Light body with sharp prickly carbonation. Very dry. Refreshing. I haven't had a lot of sour beers and I don't generally think they are all that, but they can be nice when I'm in the mood. Rodenbach is the first I've had that I could imagine myself really getting into.

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

750ml bottle poured into a Sebago Brewing Company tulip glass.

A murky red grape brown color, with a thin layer of tightly carbonated creamy foam head. Nicely laces the glass.

Agitation puts forth musty yeast, and sour grape skin nose.

Immediately tastes sweet up front, but quickly fades to a funky sour doughy bready flavor, that finishes much dryer than it begins. Apple cider vinegar mixed with red wine tannins. Slightly bitter finish, like chewing on a grape stem. Sadly, I don't pick up any oak or barrel notes.

Champagne-like crisp bubbly mouthfeel. Very nice.

I'm new to Flanders Red Ales, and this is a little sweeter than I prefer, but a very good overall.

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Photo of snogglethorpe
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice, sour and tart, not overly sweet, a bit rough-edged (in a good way)... less dry than the Grand Cru (I like this better than the Grand Cru actually). There's a lovely and lingering aftertaste of fruit-wood and cherry-pits as the beer comes off the back of your tongue. The vivid distinction between the "two tastes" of each mouthful is one of my favorite things about this beer.

Not heavily carbonated, but extremely refreshing.

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

A - Poured into a snifter. Poured a murky brown raisin color with a one finger khaki head. Lots of thin lacing.

S - Great nose here; smells of rose hips, tart cherries, sour grape and slight brett funk.

T - A punch of sour and faint brett up front that fades to granny smith apple with subtle sweetness. It has a nice dry finish with tart cherry and apple lingering until the next sip

M - Medium bodied with very active moutfeel. The beer has a very flat appearance but comes alive on the tongue. Very nice.

D - This one was great for taking a break from the IPAs, DIPAs and stouts I have been drinking lately. The flavor is unique with a good balance of sweet and sour. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will drink again.

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Photo of penguinjive7
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a bit of a white head. Good amount of lacing. Smell is of sour fruit and a bit vinous. Taste is tart to begin with but fades into sweetness leaving the slight vinegar taste behind. The finish is much smoother than the front and leaves a nice taste in the mouth. The carbonation is done well and complements the taste nicely.
Overall this is a very unique brew. The several stages in flavor lead to a nice complexity. I would not go out of my way to get this again, but it is definitely worth a try and I will again soon, I'm sure.

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Photo of cjoc83
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby color, bordering on brown, with a fingers worth of soapy off-white head that dissipates quickly to a ring. Leaves a patch of lace here and there.

Smell is sweet malt, tart cherries, apple, a touch of vinegar.

Initial taste is sour cherries, apple, mixing with some sweet, sugary malts. Tartness is just right; not overpowering and not underwhelming. I also get some molasses, touches of brown sugar, and some subtle oak and vinegar, especially in the finish. Really enjoyable.

Decent amount of carbonation, on the lighter side of medium-bodied. Crisp and leaves me wanting more with each sip. Finishes clean and slightly dry.

I don't have much experience with this style of beer, but from what I'm getting from this, I certainly will seek out more in the future. Really enjoyed this.

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Photo of Iguana
4.95/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been wanting to try the Rodenbach beer's for quite awhile now but been unable to find em. Yesterday I was in Eugene, OR at the Bier Stein and ran across some much to my delight. 275 ml bottle poured into my New Belgium Globe glass a dark amber color with a small head that laced up fairly quick. Looks great. Smell is of tart cherries, oak, and just hint of vinegar sour twang. Smells awesome. Taste was not a let down, cherries, oak, rich malts, hint of wheat towards the end with a pleasently refreshing sour finish. Mouthfeel was smooth, a bit sticky, and tart. Really pleasent. Man if I could get this stuff in town I would drink it all the time. I absolutely love it. This is a brew that can be enjoyed on a hot afternoon to refresh you, or as a dessert for after dinner.

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Photo of JMD71
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This had a nice winey aroma with a good solid head when poured. It had a wonderful sour flavor in the Flemish style with hints of black cherries. I also taste some metallic hints, but did not detract from the flavor at all. This was very crisp & clean in the finish. Good carbonation led this to be very drinkable & quenching. I would definitely get this again, but the price makes it slightly prohibitive.

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

I purchased a 750 of the Rodenbach classic while in Buffalo, NY (at Premier Gourmet) over Thanksgiving. Poured this sour beauty into a Rapscallion snifter, the body was a lovely burgundy brown combination. A one finger light tan head topped it off.

While doing my best Paul Giamatti impersonation, I detect a distinct sour cherry aroma along with a spiciness. Some phenols too, just like most belgians. No doubt it's a sour ale!

To drink this Rodenbach is a great experience in beer drinking, an absolute genuine craft brew. Here is a brilliant combination of soured fruits (mostly cherry) backed by a mildy sweet maltiness with a spicy phenolic finish along for the ride. Feels medium bodied with a reduced carbonation.

I would have no problem polishing off mutliple 750s. I can taste why this brew has been around for centuries. Looking forward to see how the Rodenbach Grand Cru stacks up to the Classic.

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Rodenbach Classic (Red) from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
90 out of 100 based on 667 ratings.
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