Kasteel Rouge | Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

very good
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Kasteel RougeKasteel Rouge

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Kasteel Rouge is a blend of Kasteel Donker and cherry liquor. The mix of these two excellent products creates an exceptional soft beer with references to the dark mother beer.

Added by KarlHungus on 09-25-2007

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Reviews: 388 | Ratings: 976
Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
2.37/5  rDev -37%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

A: Clear, medium-dark, reddish-brown color. Head is a thin layer of beige foam with a hint of purple; it fades fast with hardly any lacing.

S: Cherry cough syrup. That's it.

T: It tastes like cherry cough syrup, too. OK, not exactly -- There is a tart, fruity taste initially, but it doesn't last long before the cherry flavor takes over. And it isn't a good cherry flavor. It tastes exactly like cough syrup, down to the phenolic TCP flavor, the booziness, and the bitter medicinal taste in the finish. This is not good.

M: It took concentration to separate the mouthfeel from the taste. It was pretty well carbonated, although thin. Just a hint of dryness in the finish.

O: This is Zima with a double-shot of cherry cough syrup. I've had a really good sour beer with cherries before, so cherries aren't the problem. It's the fact that this is simply not a good beer. Pretty much a drain pour.

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Photo of FLima
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brown reddish color with a thin head with very short retention.
Strong aroma of sour cherries and caramels.
Predominant sweet flavor of cherries cough medicine, slightly sour with caramels on the background. Dry and acid aftertaste.
Medium body with good carbonation. One of the best examples of hiding such alcoholic content, at 8% abv.
Very assertive beer, it is all about cherries, cherries, and I almost forgot, cherries.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.18/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dug up my tasting notes from well over 2 years ago. Drank the night of John & Theresa's wedding in the hotel room right before the reception. Purchased a single bottle from Pinocchio's in Media. Poured into a plastic hotel cup when I did the review. From my notes on the Comfort Inn notepad:

A: cranberry-like color w/small head that fades quick. Good carbonation. (4.0)
S: wild cherry, almost dark like aromas. (3.5)
T: tastes cherry, maybe a little too syrup, almost like kid's cough syrup. (2.5)
M: slight funk, sour, but not overwhelming, bitter. (4.0)
O: good light sour, a little too syrup-like. (3.5)

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Photo of JayQue
4.04/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very enjoyable. Poured a brownish-red into a Dobbelen IPA Trippel flute. Great crimson highlights when held to a light. Medium size pink delicately bubbling head. The head is fast fading and lacing is minimal.

Aroma is strong, malty beer with slightly sweet cherry as the dominant aspect.

Taste is very good. Sweet cherry juice up front, somewhat muted by maltiness. Then the tart cherry flavor kicks in. very flavorful.

Mouthfeel is impressive. Nicely carbonated, Sweetness up front is muted by malts and the tart finish is very inviting. A rich beer with no hint of the alcohol.

Overall this is a very good beer. I had it with cheese and it makes a nice complement.

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Photo of sideshowrob
4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Rastel goblet. Excellent head with large bubbles. A bit of a champagne feel to the pour - very effervescent. In the glass the beer is a dark ruby/garnet color. Smell is good. Very sweet. A hint of jolly rancher in the nose. The mouthfeel is wonderful, very refreshing and tangy. Taste is sweet but balanced, definitely not a session beer but a good change-up or after dinner beer. Very enjoyable, but not one to have everyday.

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Photo of Boto
4.2/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Draught @ Sharpedge Creekhouse: Served in a great Kasteel Chalice. This one pours a dark ruby tinged brown color. There was a wisp of a tan head that left some lacing. It has a nice nose. Some cherries, and some sweet caramel malts. Some other fruits hiding down in there. The flavor is very nice. Cherries on top. A hint of tingling on the tongue. Good malt body, with some sweetness. A touch of chocolate also. I wouldn’t sit down and drink a lot of these, but I would definitely have it again!

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.82/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz bottle, bottled on 2011/02/09. Served in a Innis & Gunn stemmed glass.

Appearance: Dark ruby red with a tan head shaded with red. Head is thick at the edge, and thinner across the top, but persistent. Some sheets of lacing noted, but they tended to slide back down the glass.

Smell: Black cherry with a leafy mustiness in the back. With a swirl the cherry comes out more and is fruitier.

Taste: Tart cherry, balanced by the sweetness of the malt. Hint of some candi sugar with the sweetness. Sour cherry finish with a lingering tartness.

Mouthfeel: Juicy and sticky, but with an airy carbonation. Nice.

Overall / Drinkability: I feel that the beer is the vehicle that carries and showcases the cherries, and allows the cherry flavor to be the main highlight, but not be too much. Alcohol is very well hidden; I doubt I would ever know this was 8% ABV unless I had looked it up prior to drinking it. A very nice beer showcasing cherries. That being said, I cannot have more than one. It's good, but by the end of the glass my palate is tired and wants something else. If the Belgian ale underneath could come out more and play with the cherries, then you'd have something really amazing here. Glad I tried it, but at the price here in the US, doubt I would get it again.

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Photo of jonb5
3.47/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle, poured into La Chouffe tulip.

A: Dark purple, almost opaque, small pink head, moderate retention.

S: Cherry, candy sugar.

T: Exactly like cherry sweets I used to eat as a young child, oaky notes, molasses slight boozy burn but barely alcoholic.

M: Prickly carbonation which faded, thick texture, smooth.

O: Cherry, cherry and some more cherry, deceptive, wouldn’t want too many, could be ruinous.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.78/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours deep red with an aggresively-sounding beige, quickly-evading head that leaves no lacings what so ever.

S: Cherries, cherry-kernel-bitterness, raspberries - in short very red berries. Sweet malt and some nice yeast.

T: Follows the smell and the bitterness is even more obvious.

M: Long bitter cherry-like aftertaste. Body is on the fuller side, while the carbonation is mild.

O: This was, after the apperance, a nice surprise.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.22/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Stubby 330 ml bottle with a bottled on date which reads "091029". I'm set to take off. On to the beer:

The addition of cherries gives this beer a hue of dark crimson. It wants to be dark brown colored, but it ends up being more crimson than brown. Attractive enough body. No head was formed on the pour, just a little bit of lace hanging around the edges of the glass. The aroma is merely okay, being focused on a strong cough drop cherry aroma which is very sweet. There are vague hints of cherry skins and tartness, otherwise it's a sweet domination.

Thankfully the taste is not nearly as sweet as the aroma, though just a reminder it does have a sweet flavor. Sweet with a little tart note, some alcohol bringing a metallic note. It has a cider character to it. It's a full bodied beer with gentle carbonation hitting the palate.

Merely okay in the world of beers, certainly below the high standard which Belgium cranks out. Might be something to try if you're in the mood for a beer which tastes little like beer. If so, I prefer Quelque Chose.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.66/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a chalice.

A - Pours a murky, reddish-cola color. (Nothing I have ever seen before) Half-finger whiteish-pink head of tiny fizzy bubbles which disappeared almost instantly. No lacing to speak of.

S - Moderate strength aroma of sour cherries steeped in booze.

T - Wow. Rich cherry flavor. Sweetness balanced by a pleasant sour tartness. Slightly vegetal, with a hint of beet. A cola flavor reminiscent of Coca-cola in the mid-palate. But overall it's not very complex, with cherry, cherry, and more cherry.

M - Light bodied, with fizzy sparking carbonation. Finishes the exact opposite of "dry".

O - A very good fruit beer. Something I'd have to be in the mood for, and to be honest as good as it was, a bomber of this was just a little much. A 11.2 oz would be perfect.

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Photo of Libationguy
3.49/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ruby red with amber hues. Pink 1-finger head to medium- retention.

Cherry cough drops, kirsch, bubblegum, medicinal feel to the nose. Aromatics are very aggressive.

Tart cherry, cough drops, sweet tarts, candied and medicinal. Funky and disjointed in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied, synthetic candied mouthfeel. A little cloying on the finish.

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Photo of joedumond
2.7/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Everything about this beer is good from the start.
Then you start to drink it.
Ater a while with the bottle you begin to tire of it.
I offered some to well informed beer company and heard, "it tastes like 'Tussin."
The cherry flavored beer got me once before with the Russian River Supplication.
That was a little better but I'm not a fan of either.

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Photo of hackmann
3.05/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: dark cola body with a reddish tint; bridal blush one finger head; no lacing

Aroma: big time cherry, cola,

Flavors: big cherry cola flavor; light-moderate tart cherry; if there are any other flavors it is covered up by the big time cherry flavor; I like cherries but I like my ale to taste like an ale with some fruit

Mouthfeel: light-moderate tart cherry; cherry; and cherry on the aftertaste; light-moderate carbonation; but you don’t even think about the carbonation because of the cherry

To the Point: need I say it again … cherry; I think I am drinking a cherry cola; I don’t think I can finish even on bottle of this; half way thru and I am taking this glass to my wife; if you like cherry flavored colas this would be perfect for you;

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Photo of Ryan_Graham
3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark reddish ale with small head.

S: You get the cherries right away. Very pungent cherry smell with not much else coming through.

T: I had to check the label again to make sure this was beer. It tastes very close to wine. At least it burns your tongue the same way.

M: Tastes too much like wine. The cherry flavor is extreme and covers up any other tastes. Not easy to hold in your mouth for long. Little to no aftertaste.

O: Very different than anything I've ever had before. It's worth trying just for the experience but I wouldn't make this a go to beer.

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Photo of Vladimiriuz
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The view of this master beer of Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck 'Kasteel Rouge', is a very good and
a nice dark, red, velvet fluid of very nice pleasure...

The nose brings me back to the Garden of Red Fruits most of fresh dark cherries of the Spring Morning...delicate and sweetness of Nature...

The taste, My God,...in 1 word absolute enjoyment! a Perfect combination of strong dark beer with fruity cherry. My kind of good fruit beer! There are ufcourse cherries in the taste, a soft taste of aromas of beer but not over pounding. Fresh, lightly sweet and very good drinkable, a quite dangerous but a very, very great beer! About the dangerous part it is fresh and a fruity beer but with the alcohol of 8%, you will not recognize it in this fantastic beer. You will drink more and more....

For me one of the best beers ever!

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Photo of phishdaly
3.64/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle to a mug. Small ruby head receded quickly. No lacing. Strong cherry aroma. Taste is very sweet cherry upfront with a malty middle, mild bitter/sour cherry finish. High carbonated mouthfeel.

Overall strong cherry dominance hides the alcohol. Would serve well as a dessert/winter holiday beer.

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Photo of t420o
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Kasteel Rouge


A- pour yields a 1/2 finger fizy head receding quick leaving a rim of foam. Beer is a deep red with ruby highlights when held to light. 3.75

S- the cherry juice and fresh cherries are most present with a good malt backbone. Smells good. 3.75

T- very good cherry juice and tart cherry flavor hit first that's balanced very well with the malt. Quite good just a tad overly sweet as it warms. 3.75

M- lighter carbonation with a medium body. 3.75

O- good fruit beer. The drinkability is hindered by its' sweetness as it warms though. 3.75

B/low B+

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Photo of DIM
2.53/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.25

bottled in 2009.

a: Dark cherry pink color; poured with a medium sized off-white head.

s: Cherry cough drops basically. A little booze and a hint of appealing sour cherry.

t: Artificial cherries both sweet and sour, more sweet though. Strong saccharine mid-palate. There was a hint of vinegar that was kind of appealing. A Flanders' brown for a base beer perhaps?

m: Nicely viscous and gently carbonated.

o: Tastes a good bit better than it smells, but still not very good. Awesome cough syrup, but lousy beer.

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Photo of RyanLigeia
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark dark burgundy color, like a red wine. Semi clear when held to a light, yields a pinkish head that fizzles away quite quickly leaving nothing behind.

Smells like a cherry liquor. Slight hint of alcohol, but the cherries/cherry juice are what completely dominate here. Very faint, way underneath Im getting a hint of chocolate as well which is a nice touch. Smells very sweet and only slightly bitter. I only wish there was some belgian yeast in the nose.

The taste is dominated by a sour cherry flavor. That and some malts deep underneath. Both bitter/sour and sweet at the same time. You can tell this ones got a little kick to it as well but I wouldnt have guessed 8%.
Very very rich. I definitely enjoy it but Im glad it comes in small servings.

A little more carbonation than I would have normally liked but it balances out the syrupy sweetness. Very rich, slight warmth on the way down from the booze.

This is a great dessert beer. I couldnt drink more than one of these, or drink them very often but I really enjoyed it with some dark chocolates.

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Photo of gr0g
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep reddish-brown in color, capped with one finger of slightly pink foam. Sparse, spotty lacing. Cherry liqueur is prominent on the nose, and I'm not surprised to see the brewery's description stating that it was used. It's a bit artificial and syrupy, but I like it nonetheless. Ripe, sweet cherry aroma through and through.

Flavor is also very cherry-forward, but that doesn't play as well as it does on the aroma. Complexities that may be present in the base Belgian brown ale are masked. Pretty sweet overall but stops short of cloying, and becomes more tart and dry on the finish. As much of a one trick pony this is, I have to give it a slight flavor bump just because it works quite well as a cherry beer. Soda-like mouthfeel, though not nearly as sticky as a cola. It works well with the flavor profile.

Very straightforward cherry beer. Recommended if you're willing to accept that this is in no way close to a traditional Kriek and just want a cherry bomb.

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Photo of D_Unzicker
3.79/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was my first fruit lambic. I poured this out of a pint capped bottle into a pub tumbler with Kris Angel on it, which I got as a souvenir from a show in Las Vegas.

Appearance: It is very dark red, like a wine, but not transparent. The head is pink, almost burgundy. I was very impressed with the appearance.

Smell: Cherries,caramel, skotch, malt.

Taste:At first I really liked the maltiness and cherries, but I found it too rich to finish. I think an 8 ounce glass would be enough, Very sweet, Cherries, Alcohol (skotchy).

Overall: I may drink this beer again, but only in limited quantities. I would compare it to dessert wine, because it is good in small quantities, but too rich to drink it all.

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Photo of Shemmy
3.83/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

Before I get going here, I'd like to say at the outset that I am in no way a fruit beer head, so take my review as that, a review from someone with probably less than three bottles of any of it chalked up on my beer wall.

Upon opening, I was immediately impressed by both the color and smell. Nice rich red hue underpinning the overall brown, mostly clear brew. The color enticed me to immediately have a smell as soon as it was poured and it had quite a presence, undoubtedly the smell of real cherries . Lovely smell, not too candy-like, and beckoning the drinker to taste what will be a very real cherry experience and not sugared up and by no means artificial. After 15 minutes, I thought I'd love to have another whiff but the second time around the smell was hardly there. I don't know, maybe I was a bit over-excited at first and imagined the full blown aroma on the first go.

The taste, which admitedly I was a bit apprehensive about, was a real nice suprise. The aroma gives you a clear indication of the taste that is to follow. I think what I liked best is that there are several clear levels to the taste. The first is the quite sweet and flowery/fruity cherry juice flavor, the second being a very meaty, real cherry fruit taste, the kind you taste when you eat fresh cherries, and the the third seemed to be from the cherry skins and pits themselves, a very unique bitter, almost cologne like taste, very interesting.

The overall effect in the hot Thai climate in which I enjoyed this was quite refreshing, something that most Belgians are not able to do. There's a bit of fizz and a light feel to the beer overall which works for hot weather. I am not sure that this would be a good session drink, seemed to me this is great as a one off, but I am not inclined to write it off as such. I am intrigued and will be indulging again soon, for sure.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up an 11.2 oz. bottle of this a few weeks back at Top Hops, having never seen or tried this before. My experience with fruit and vegetable beers in the past wasn't the greatest but the one grew on me a bit as I made my way through the contents of my pint glass. While this may be labelled by many as a "sissy" beer, there was enough alcohol in this to remind me otherwise and keep this from going down too fast!

The pour to this was a deep garnet with a hint of brown thrown in for good measure with a nice head that sounded and settled like sea foam after I emptied the bottle out. Not a strong aroma to this and once I gave it a taste, I knew why. The cherry really strong here and on a thinner level, reminded me of a bottle of maraschino that we had in house for ice cream, when I was growing up. There's a lambic-like tartness under all of this too with a hint of dark chocolate and crystalline sugar thrown in for good measure. Thankfully, the "cough medicine" aspect of this beer is not as strong as I first thought, but it's certainly present as the mouthfeel is heavy and the carbonation is light.

Yes, this was strong but it needed the booze to give it some oomph. While not as sour as a Lambic or light as most other beers that fell under this category, this certainly was a fruit beer that was almost good enough to stand up as a dessert unto itself. It fell just a bit short because the artificial aspect was too pronounced here but even with that being said, this can be enjoyed just on its own and would pair nicely with something like a cheesecake that could add some depth and sweetness to this slightly-mild brew.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer was great after having a good meal. Opened a bottle of this as a dessert. The pour was a reddish brown color with a good looking head on it. The smell of the cherries were pretty impressive mixed with a little funk and some yeast. The taste of the beer is sweet and has just a bit of tartness to it from the cherries. The mouthfeel is light and pretty refreshing, has a good amount of lively carbonation. Overall I feel that this beer is quite good. Worthy of checking out.

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Kasteel Rouge from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
85 out of 100 based on 388 ratings.