Rodenbach Alexander | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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Rodenbach AlexanderRodenbach Alexander
794 Ratings
Rodenbach AlexanderRodenbach Alexander

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Flanders Red Ale- a blend of 1/3 young and 2/3 two-year old ale matured in oak foeders, that is macerated with sour cherries.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001

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Ratings: 794 |  Reviews: 221
Reviews by stupac2:
Photo of stupac2
5/5  rDev +13.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of kojevergas
3.86/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been trying to drink this beer for 4 years. Easily my biggest want of all time. Snatched up a bottle in NYC for $19.99. Shared with Schlimenhaumer.

White label. Unbranded gold wire cap and cage over a cork. 750ml. Enjoy before: 01-02-2016.

5.60% ABV. "Foederbier with sour cherries." Limited edition sour series.

Served into a tulip. Allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption.

HEAD: ~2.5cm of foam. Off-white head colour with a faint pink hue. Nice consistency. Appears somewhat soft. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Not the red I expected. Kind of a faint ruby (or maybe a dark amber with ruby-brown tones). Translucent; nontransparent. Not the most vibrant body, to be honest. But I'm optimistic.

Appears naturally carbonated.

AROMA: Sour cherries? Yeah, but they aren't as tart as I might have expected. What this nails is the classic Rodenbach acetic character coupled with glorious notes of cherry pie filling. Malt profile is neutral, letting the bacterial notes and acetic acid do the talking. Gooey molten cherry, pie crust, downplayed backgrounded oak, perfect tartness. Cherry juice. Sourness is actually seemingly somewhat mild - maybe a 4-5/10 in terms of intensity. But the tartness really sells the brew, making me elated to try it.

Suggests a balanced brew with an ideal Flanders red flavour profile. Aromatic intensity is moderate.

No overt hops (to style). Belgian yeast is indicated by good attenuation, but there aren't too many fruity esters.

I considered a cinnamon or brown sugar vibe, but that's just me confusing the aroma given the cherry pie aromatics. In any case, it's damned appealing.

TASTE: Cherry pie comes to mind in classic Rodenbach fashion. Cherries are glorious here, striking a near ideal balance between tart and sour. Subtle acetic notes, ideal bacterial smackiness and sourness (though to be fair only a 5/10 in terms of perceived intensity), cherry pie filling, pie crust, expressive fruit. I don't get a lot of oak to be honest, but then it doesn't really need it. Balance is perfect. Build is great for a Flanders red, but I do think maybe one of the Rodenbach vintages exceeds this in terms of quality (or perhaps Caractere Rouge). Cherry juice.

Well layered, with superb depth of flavour. Sure, there's room for further complexity and subtlety in terms of execution, but it's lovely stuff.

Lacks any overt hop flavours, Belgian yeast, or off-flavours.

TEXTURE: Subtly smacky, refreshing, smooth, aptly medium-bodied, wet, and moderately filling with ideal weight and heft on the palate. There's a neat harmony of texture and taste.

Not oily, gushed, hot, astringent, harsh, scratchy, rough, or dragging.

OVERALL: The classic smacky cherry juice and pie filling notes make this beer for me, imbuing it with the classic Flanders red flavour profile that Rodenbach excels at delivering. I'm glad I picked this up even if it isn't the dazzling brew I hoped for, and I'd happily pick up another bottle even at its somewhat steep $19.99 price in Brooklyn. The smackiness really accentuates the tart cherry. I look forward to trying a 1990s vintage of Alexander (from the pre-Palm days), but this is lovely. I'd sooner buy another Rodenbach Vintage over this (which is around $14 in Manhattan), but I'd absolutely recommend this to others and I imagine it'll make my top 250.

B+ (3.86) / VERY GOOD

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Photo of GRG1313
4.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Decided that my 6,000th beer on BA would be a full review and it would be a wonderful old beer tasted today. I tasted this beer several years ago, before I was keeping track of my beers and before rating and reviewing. I suspect that I would have graded this beer a strong 5 "back in the day." I'm not sure it's fair to the beer to give it a score at this point. However, it showed so well that I don't feel bad doing so.

Poured a red brick color with no head. The nose is full rich cherry sherry. Yes, one can still get some fruit in the nose which seems impossible but it's more than wishful thinking - it's there. Really nice nose, really nice tart, citric body with a brightness in the mouth that all good beer should have.

Flavors are still appealing and inviting with brown sugar cherry notes and a finish of cherry and bright lime. (Yep, for those of you from Los Angeles there was once a drink called a "cherry lime rickey" at a Beverly Hills hamburger drive-in. The finish on this beer takes one back there with the cherry/lime finish.

All in all, and while showing some signs of oxidation, this one is still a treat to try and inviting to drink. Thanks to Jeremy for giving me a good beer about which to write for my 6,000th on this site.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. "Alexander"
750 ml brown glass bottle, corked and caged; "01-02-2019" sampled on 07-04-2016
$15.04 @ Beverage Warehouse, Winooski, VT

I used to be able to get Alexander years ago, and at a reasonable price, but they unfortunately stopped making it in 2000. Now it's back as part of their "Limited Edition Sour Series"! Years ago during the roll out of Duvel Green I ran into the head of the Palm brewery at Toronado in San Diego and he said that they'd had many requests for Alexander and that they were considering bringing it back. Hopefully this limited edition release is just the start.

Appearance: Clear ruby tinted light-chestnut body beneath a creamy pinkish head.

Aroma: Vinous with clear notes of cherry backed by a mild, but almost vinegary acidic twang.

Flavor: As the nose suggests with the addition of some wood and a hint of almond. Fruity with sour cherry, and zippy with acidity, the malt appears lightly sweet with a drop of caramel across the middle, and then the wood steps in to add character and help bring it to a clean dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light in body with a moderate, fine bubbled carbonation.

Overall: Not a sugary-sweet sour, and not overdone with cherry either - but certainly not lacking. Fantastic balance due to the vinegar-like acidity and oaky dryness. One of the best sour beers in the world, and one of the best fruit beers as well. Absolutely classic!

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Photo of superspak
4.75/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

6000th review! 750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 6/19/2017. Pours fairly crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy off white head with awesome retention, that reduces to a small cap that lasts. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of huge sweet/sour/tangy red/black cherries, raspberry, apricot, plum, lemon, green apple, red grapes, almond, fruit skin/pits, hay, straw, grass, oak, caramel, brown sugar, and toasted bread; with lighter notes of vanilla, leathery/musty funk, red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/light acidic yeast, cherries, dark/bready malt, and oak notes; with big strength. Taste of huge sweet/sour/tangy red/black cherries, raspberry, apricot, plum, lemon, green apple, red grapes, almond, fruit skin/pits, hay, straw, grass, oak, caramel, brown sugar, and toasted bread; with lighter notes of vanilla, leathery/musty funk, red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light fruity/lactic tartness, fruit tang, and yeast/oak spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of sweet/sour/tangy red/black cherries, raspberry, apricot, plum, lemon, green apple, red grapes, almond, fruit skin/pits, hay, straw, grass, oak, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, light funk/vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Insane complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/light acidic yeast, cherries, dark/bready malt, and oak flavors; with an amazing malt/tartness and tangy fruit balance; with zero puckering flavors after the finish. Lightly increasing dryness from fruit tang/tartness and oak spiciness. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, creamy/silky, and fairly acidic/tangy/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is insane. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 5.6%. Overall this is a mind blowing fruited Flanders red ale style. All around insane complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/light acidic yeast, cherries, dark/bready malt, and oak flavors; very smooth and amazingly easy to drink, with the mellowly lactic/tangy/tannic/drying finish. Extremely rich, jammy, ripe cherry flavors; with perfectly balanced malt, wild yeast, and oak foeder presence. Not overly lactic, with great well rounded Brett complexity. This a perfect example of the style in every way. One of the best beers I have ever had.

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Photo of breadwinner
3.59/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one broke my heart as a huge Rodenbach Grand Cru fan. Far too much sweetness, a la cherry hard candies, combine with a syrupy body to create something that lacks drinability and is, dare I use the overemployed term, rather cloying. That this is as highly rated as it is speaks to not only to its storied history but also to the current craft palate, which sure does love itself sweetness + fruit. As for me, I'm gonna need a pack of Grand Cru to wash away the disappointment.

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Photo of emerge077
3.96/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Owen & Engine, served in a small flute.
Deep ruby highlights, bright reddish orange tone, lasting creamy foam with ample lacing.

Aroma is lightly acidic with a sweet dark cherry note, natural and thankfully not artificial.

Taste is the best aspect, lightly tart with a deep satisfying cherry note that dominates. Vaguely musty with a slight cherry balsamic character. Smooth and somewhat light bodied with even carbonation. Made a nice apertif. Hard to pick up much oak character from the foeders though, it's a little one dimensional but certainly drinkable.

11/16: Bottle
A: 4.25 S: 3.75 T: 4 M:4 D: 4

Looks great, three fingers of pinkish soufflé foam and a brightly clear red crimson body. Minor sudsy lacing.
Aroma borders on medicinal at first unfortunately, with some light mustiness underneath. Not sweet though.
Taste is crisp and tart, cherries are front and center. Very slight notion of anything interpretable as funk or barrel presence.
Cherry juice, pie cherry, vague impression of oak in the bone dry finish.
Enjoyable enough, light bodied with enough fruit and effervescence to be quenching, though not especially complex.

After speaking with the brewmaster and hearing little beyond canned responses and wild unfounded claims, i'm a little underwhelmed by this iteration of Alexander and the majority of Rodenbach's line currently. The trend of backsweetening and blending away anything sour or complex is disheartening. Sanitizing, filtering, and pasteurizing away any traces of historical traditions... consumers savvy enough to know the difference won't buy the slick hype.

 1,612 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Consumed 4/23/16

A: Pours a deep ruby red with some burnt orange tones - mostly clear - medium-large head, fades to a wispy cap, medium collar, leaves some spots of lacing

S: Juicy, big cherries - cherries are really center stage, fleshy and juicy, lightly sour, lightly tart - some additional yeasty funk and barrel funk - woody, chewy oak - just a touch of vinegar - hint of phenols - medium fruity sweetness

T: Like lightly tart, lightly sour cherry juice - some general funk with tart and mild sourness - some light hints of phenols and vinegar - some lightly bready malts at the base, touch of caramel - nicely woody, with some oak barrel funk - some lightly fruity sweetness, but not too much - still tastes fairly young, is only going to get better with time

M: Medium body, smooth, touch of tart, lingering cherries

O: Worth reviving

This is quite lovely. Right now, it tastes young, and has so much cherry that it almost tastes like a fruit beer. This is nice to sip now and it's only going to get better.

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Photo of Damian
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pint 9.4 fl. oz. - 750 ml corked and caged bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
Best before: 01-02-2019
Served in a tulip

Beautiful appearance. The thinner bodied, crimson mahogany liquid was topped by a two-finger tall, super tight and creamy, light mauve crown. The head dropped to a thin, resilient film that eventually transformed into a lasting, frothy collar. No lacing whatsoever.

The nose was super yeasty and dry initially. Really powdery. Touch of cherry cough medicine. The yeasty notes really dominated, almost to an annoying degree. After the head died down, the cherry came forth. Bit of vinegar-like acidity. Hint of malty sweetness too. Touch oaky barrel. The nose turned even more interesting as the beer warmed. The cherry notes really intensified, and the medicinal quality subsided. There was a noticeable spiciness. Somewhet cola-like. Brown sugar was also detectible. Rich, complex and well balanced.

Flavor wise, the beer was also rather interesting. Nice sweet-tart balance. Malty and rich on the front end. Oaky and moderately sour. Cherry notes came through big time. Somewhat medicinal. Again, cherry cough medicine came to mind. Fairly syrupy and sweet. Loads of balsamic. Good dose of vanilla. Oaky and dry on the back end and the finish with a bit of lemon. Tart cherry notes lingered after the swallow. Like the aroma, the flavor profile got much better as the beer sat. The syrupy sweetness decreased and the oaky dryness and tartness intensified. The beer became more complex and reminded me of the original Rodenbach.

Terrific frothy, fluffy mouthfeel. Medium bodied for the style. The liquid contained a super fine, zippy effervescence that foamed up nicely on the palate. Really creamy, slick and smooth.

Rodenbach's Alexander started a bit sweet and slightly artificial tasting but finished up really strong. This reminded me a lot of the original Rodenbach, but with a bigger cherry presence. While I question older vintages of this beer's legendary status among beer geeks, I am definitely glad I tried it.

 2,079 characters

Photo of Dope
4.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2016 bottle, released a month or two ago.

A: Pours a dark red with a tall and very fizzy pink-ish head. Head fizzes away fairly quickly, leaving no lacing at all.

S: Sharp tart cherries, naturally. A little sweet cherry juice too. A touch of vinegar.

T: Huh, wow. Up front it's a sweet cherry juice that turns tart-ish in the middle. A hint of oak. A bit of acidity, vinegar-like in the middle and finish. Dry, crisp aftertaste with lightly tart cherries everywhere.

M: Lighter, smooth and crisp.

O: Excellent sweet and sour flanders red. A little of both, neither is overwhelming. Cherry flavor is absolutely fantastic. Easily the best sour beer I've ever had. Perfectly balanced, flavorful and easy drinking.

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Photo of Invinciblejets
4.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

L: Semi clear ruby pinkish red. Nice finger of very slightly pink head. Great lacing.

A: Sweet macerated cherries with oak. Some berry notes. Some dusty funk. Slight tartness.

T: Tart cherry upfront so much cherry but not in a fake way. Perfect balance of sweet and tart from the cherry. Nice bit of oaky barrel funk. Also some vinegar at the end.

F: A nice non carbed juice type feel. Coats your mouth with a film of cherry.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml cork and caged bottle. Served in a stemmed glass.

Pours a medium darker ruby red body, one finger thick white head that settles into a thick film, bits of lacing, overall very nice retention. Smells of cherry flesh, touch of tart cherry juice, moderate acetic acidity, touch of dark fruit, light caramel sweetness, touch of oak and funk. Flavour is even nicer; more cherry fruit presence, dark fruit, light caramel, moderate acetic acidity, light oak. Somewhat musty as well, but not dirty, per se. Very balanced, good complexity. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, about perfect for the style, great carbonation, silky yet slightly drying finish with light earthy cherries lingering. Good complexity. Overall- it hits all the high marks for a Flanders Red, and the cherries add quite a bit on top. I enjoyed this one very much, and hopefully it is released more often than it has been.

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Photo of larryi86
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a flute

A- A clear ruby red with a two finger pink head.

S- Sour cherries, berries, cherry skins, some vinegar, some oak, hints of leather.

T- Surprisingly sweet, sweet and sour cherries, hints of caramel malts, mild oak, touch of vinegar, good balance but feel it will get a better balance with age.

M- Smooth, light to medium body.

O- A nice Flanders Red, just sweeter than I expected. Taste lingers just enough to leave me wanting more. Tastes a little young, would love to see how this ages.

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Photo of beertunes
4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Cork & Caged 750 poured into 12oz tulip. Poured a lightly hazy dark red color, with a bit over a half-inch of reddish-khaki colored head that had moderate retention, and left light lacing.

The aroma had an immediate blast of cherries, with oak behind that, blended with a pleasant base tartness. On the tongue, it was all that and more. Lots of cherry flavor all across the palate, enough oak for a counter-point, and just enough sourness to intrigue, but not become tiresome.

The body was light and crisp, with a finish that started lightly sweet, but ended crisply dry. Drinkability was awesome, with it's low ABV, knocking back the 750 was no chore at all. Overall, a great beer, truly great. A must try, no matter your favorite style.

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Photo of Stevem68
4.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber red color with pure white head. Aroma is tart cherry with a hint of sweetness and some wild yeast funkiness. Flavor is tart up front with a smooth semi sweet cherry pie flavor in the finish. Has a smooth soft mouthfeel and overall is absolutely delicious.

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Photo of Popsinc
4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was a 1985 vintage bottle sampled at La Bier Circus in Brussells, Oct 2003.

Appearance: Served in a large wine glass this beer had a deep mohagany pour with almost no head whatsoever.

Smell: The nose is just bursting with dark, ripe cherries but it seems the highlight here might be the heavy dose of dark & rich sour plums that counter-balance the cherry sweetness nicely.

Taste: A huge fruit sweetness up front highlighted again by cherry and plum. The fruity sweetness is nicely balanced by an oaky tartness and a nice acidity level.

Mouthfeel: the sweet n sour smooth mouthfeel leaves a satified palate.

Drinkability: A great beer. Like many aged beers there are similarities with fine port...dark, rich fruit. woddy notes. sweetness & tartness all at once. But to know a beer can change over time and increase in complexity is an exciting feeling.

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Photo of t2grogan
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Andnkuhn
4.53/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Doomcifer
4.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Florida_Hop_Head
4.95/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Photo of JakerLou
4.49/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Hoppity1
4.21/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jason
4.84/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: 11.2 oz brown bottle with a white foiled top, no freshness date though a tart beer like this will stay for months if not years.

Appearance: Bright mahogany colour with a light tan lace to boot, sediment in the bottle stayed well packed even when the bottle was totally poured out.

Smell: Sweet aroma of bing and black cherries, big fruity tart back ground with an odd yet light tobacco smell.

Taste: Smooth on the palate with a huge puckering tartness, not sour bit tart because as soon as it comes in it leaves to let a flipside of flavours in. Tartness holds the fruit, the fruit of sweet then quickly to sour cherries that bring on the tartness. Hops are belittled and are nearly non-existent but this is par for the style. As soon as the tartness subsides a sweet vanilla flavour sneaks in with a quick flash of malt also within the undertones of earth and wood. Dry without a doubt, especially the finish and the finish is pretty clean.

Notes: This is the in comparison to what wine drinkers would want in a complex top notch wine, guess what it’s a beer. Complex is not the word for this beer, better than wine is bold and fitting.

After an eight day trip to Belgium this beer makes me feel all fuzzy and warm. Then I realize that I am in America and have to pay two to three times the $$$ for the same beer just to drink it at home and not in a warm and inviting cafe or beer bar in Brugge. :-(

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Rodenbach Alexander from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Beer rating: 4.42 out of 5 with 794 ratings