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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

135 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 135
Hads: 1,045
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 6.77%
Wants: 261
Gots: 288 | FT: 46
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 11-02-2011

The brewer allow the beer to macerate with fresh cherries, raspberries and cranberries. After this maceration in oak, the beer re-ferments in the bottle. The result is RODENBACH Caractère Rouge, an exceptional RODENBACH with fruit maceration and a 7% alcohol volume. The brew is more than unique and extremely exclusive, as only 900 75-cl bottles were produced (first batch). Geunes serves this wilful beer as part of his other unique range of beer varieties in his restaurant, ’t Zilte, at the Antwerp MAS museum.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 135 | Hads: 1,045
Photo of DrunkAl
3.5/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. No date that I saw. Acquired as part of the Belgian in a box framboos pack. Murky Crimson color. Aromas of Raspberry and cranberry. Oak, leathery Brett. Taste has some fruit and a very mild tartness. Was expecting more sourness from this, possibly a young bottle and needed some more time. (304 characters)

Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep ruby red with fizzy white head that dissipates to about a centimeter cap. When held away from your nose it has a very vinuous quality like a red wine. Held to the nose there are abundant and vibrant raspberries, rock candy, a bit of the cherries, and the cranberries are the most subtle. Slight hint of vanilla oak. Taste has a lot of raspberry up front with a bit of vanilla and cranberry. Finish is astringent and oaky. Very pleasantly tart. Light and bubbly mouthfeel with tingle and pucker on the sides of the tongue. Excellent beer. (556 characters)

Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.41/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really glad I sent away for this one! Not a lot of hype surrounding it but it was in my style and reviews were solid. Pours a nice pink and had tons of berry on the nose and palate along with just the right amount of tartness! Beautiful beer!! (246 characters)

Photo of kodt
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Murky dark red beer. Lots of sweet fruit, on top of oak and funk. Not too sour or funky. Fruit overpowers some of that Rodenbach funk. But this is pretty nice to sip on. (169 characters)

Photo of Jsnyd05
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I rarely post beer reviews, but this is a beer that needs to be discussed from the mountain tops.

It's not often that a "shelf turd" commands this much respect, but every once in awhile a beer that most pay lip service to but not many new people to the scene have actually had, needs to be resurrected so to speak.

We all know that European beers have been in decline for at least 20 years and have accelerated to the downside given the exponential increase in American breweries since 2011.

However, when things become too crazy, at a minimum, we need to get back to first principles - thus the review of Rodenbach.

It's almost redundant to even mention this beer, especially if you've listened and/or attended the SAVOR Salon with Peter Bouckaert from NB discussing his time spent at Rodenbach, but this beer, despite it's "shelf turd" status at MO BEV should be the Benchmark of what we seek in an oak aged Belgian beer.

We can use over priced $9 wine glass pours all day, but at the end of it, we should be left with wanting more and knowing that hundreds of years of brewing tradition led us to this wonderfully dark and tart yet slightly sweet masterpiece.

This is that beer.

No need to for aromas and glasses, "quaffability" scores and the like. Just a brilliant beer from a brilliant brewery that we can all grab almost every day.

Cheers to the much needed revitalization of a dying European craft. (1,432 characters)

Photo of cbutova
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottled 6 days after the classic I just opened. Pure coincidence and really fun to try them at a similar age. Only 2nd or 3rd time for this one for me.

A- 750ml reveals a somewhat cloudy and murky rouge brew into our three glasses. Foamy and thick off white crown atop with decent retention becoming a medium ring. Several sheets of lace.

S- In the realm of both Flanders Red and Brown with a bucketload of dark fruits and sour lactic and vinegar notes. Red wine vinegar, fresh raspberries, cherry, spiced raisin, wet oak and hints of deep sugars.

T- All three of the added fruits shine here. The cranberry is noticed instantly with raspberries next and cherries following in the finish. Even at 2.5 years old the fruit notes are fresh like picked right off the plant. Tartness is medium to high being a blend of acetic and lactic acid for me. Sour lemons, medium toast woody oak, funky pie cherries, brown sugar, raisin, yeast spices, slight nuts and caramel.

MF- Creamy and substantial frothy texture with any agitation on the palate. Very high spritzy carbonation allows the flavors to truly come out and it all concludes fairly sour.

Summing this up by saying I could sip in this for hours and hours. An amazing base brew is given a whole new identity with fresh cranberry, raspberry and sour cherry all somehow shining. The base melds the fruit together brilliantly and its a match made in Belgium heaven. Closest thing to New Glarus outside of WI but with a classic Flanders feel. (1,496 characters)

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

If you're put off at the idea of a "sour" beer, consider it more tart than truly sour. Thoughts: "Vinous" for sure. Just the right amount of vinegary taste intermixed with fruity flavors. An easy beer to drink, quaffable. A very accessible beverage, no more challenging flavor-wise than a good dry apple cider. (In fact I think in a blind tasting you could pass this off as a cider.) The main argument against buying this beer again is that it is so much more expensive than the garden variety Rochefort Classic (Red), yet not a substantially different drinking experience. (576 characters)

Photo of sullyb
4.73/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Im in love with the rodenbach grand cru and when i saw this i had to try even though it was more than twice the price ($27). i don't really do beer reviews but this is was too amazing not to.

looks crimson red in the glass, smells funky fruity. tastes a little bit sour at first then i get strawberry hints and finishes with raspberries. feels light and fizzy (for a lack of a better term, like champagne) (407 characters)

Photo of eifster82
4.64/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - light red. Low viscosity.

Smell - cranberry and raspberry notes are all there. Really abundant.

Taste - Sour, but not overly aggressive. Flavorful with notes smelled.

Feel - Fizzy, almost like a champagne.

Overall - Deliscious. Would love to find and have more of it. (284 characters)

Photo of James_Michaud91
3.42/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I may have had an 'off' bottle of this. The aromas of raspberries and cherries jump out immediately and smell quite delicious but they are joined by a melting plastic/band-aid note as the aroma continues. The taste follows suit with nice acidity and fruit character but still finishing with the off-putting plastic note. Would like to try this one again at some point as other co-workers said the first bottle opened was delicious. (431 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.14/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Ruby Amber in color. Lots of fruit flavors. Raspberries, blackberries, and cherries. Light sour. Light acidic. Light tartness. Easy drinking but ends kind of bland. Some brown sugar and spice flavors. (200 characters)

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

This is full of of delicious raspberry, dark cherry, vanilla cream, cranberries and touches of oak wood. Only lightly tangy and sour this is so full and amazing. (161 characters)

Photo of von_kaiser
4.74/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Speechless. Walked by this stuff many times. Price was always a turnoff. Went to a tasting recently..tried a random sour (not this) and was sold. This one in particular came up in the conversation. Needless to say everyone said, u find u buy. I will clean the isles out next time it's out. (295 characters)

Photo of aleigator
3.78/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Rodenbach rouge '14 release

Pours a lighter, ruby-red color, with a white, fizzy head.

Has fruity aromas of cherries and raspberries, together with a lemon peel infusion, among a tart, essig foundation and older cheese. Its funky sourness seemingly evolves foremost from the fruits, with a noteable vinegary acidity.

Has a high carbonation with a refreshing, but thin body, hiding its 7 abv almost too well.

Tastes of a moldy malt foundation and a mix of acetic acid and vinous tartness, together with a gentle fruitiness of unripe cherries and riper raspberries. Its tartness has a dough mouthfeel to it, wrapped up by fresh fermented wine, still seemingly evoked by the fruits, as for the beer's sour aspect. Turns a bit maltier during the finish, with a rich fruitiness staying on the palate, while producing a gentle sweetness.

Offers a truly harmonious blend of red fruits and vinegar, young wine and a pleasant, fitting sweetness. Both, tartness and sweetness seem to evolve from the fruits, giving the beer a very natural and tasty characteristic. Its vinuous aspect doesnt define the beers overall taste, it is on par with the fruits and creates a pleasant complexity, which leaves the palate soon though. (1,219 characters)

Photo of Catracho5
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a Belgian tulip

A: Pours mahogany with a reddish head, cloudy, lots of carbonation, no lacing.

A: Cherry, raspberry, cranberry, lots of berry aromas, smell berry good. Picking up some oak, sweet, smells sweeter than it does tart, smells great.

T: Cherries, tartness, cranberries, raspberries, some oak, finishes dry, alcohol is not even noticeable, this beer has lots of flavor.

M: Medium mouthfeel, dry finish, lots of carbonation.

O: World-class, lots of berries flavors, slight oak, great balance with the carbonation, very tasty. I hope I can pick up another. (594 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 2/19/2018. Pours clear ruby red/copper color with a 2 finger fairly dense off white head with solid retention, that reduces to a ring of lacing. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big tart cherry, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry, green apple, lemon, red grape, light cider vinegar, caramel, toast, hay, straw, grass, oak, light pepper, light musty funk, and yeast/oak earthiness. Fantastic aromas with awesome complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, berries, dark malt, and oak barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big tart cherry, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry, green apple, lemon, red grape, light cider vinegar, caramel, toast, hay, straw, grass, oak, light pepper, light musty funk, and yeast/oak earthiness. Fair amount of fruit tartness and light yeast spice on the finish; with lingering notes of cherry, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry, apple, red grape, caramel, toast, oak, light pepper, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, berries, dark malt, and oak barrel flavors; with an awesome sweetness/tartness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly creamy/acidic mouthfeel that is amazing. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a world class fruited Flanders red ale. All around amazing complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, berries, dark malt, and oak barrel flavors; and very smooth to drink with the low amount of acidity. An insanely amazing offering. (1,737 characters)

Photo of papat444
3.95/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The aroma is spot on, can almost taste the cranberries and overripe raspberries. The flavor is similar but way more mellow than expected. The oak presence is negligible and overall lacks tartness. I still enjoyed it as the flavors are consistent with the aroma. Glad to have tried it but I think I prefer the Grand Cru. (319 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.68/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark mahogany color with a couple of fingers of light brown head. A few wispy streaks of soapy lace were left down the glass along with a lasting collar.
S: Subtly complex notes of sweet fruit puree mixed with musty oak and a clean, bright, tartness. The nose is sweet, and each of the fruits in noticeable, with raspberry and cranberry sticking out the most to me.
T: Follows the nose with sweet and fruity red berry flavors. Sour cherries and oak are lightly tannic, but there is a ton of balancing sugary sweetness. Raspberries puree is sweet up front, with hints of tart cranberries and earthy, slightly spicy yeast and oak barrel. The finish is nice and tart, with a lingering sugary sweetness in the aftertaste. Yeast flavors are complex and add depth that other sweet fruit beers do not have.
M: Full body, sweet and heavy but not cloying, with a slick, chewy mouthfeel and frothy yet soft carbonation.
O: Another great beer from the masters of the style. Complex super sweet and fruity flavors mixed with subtle oak and spices. (1,092 characters)

Photo of brianmandell
4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 750ml bottle into a wine glass, caractere rouge is in character with a reddish brown pour. An actively fizzy head reduces to a fine ring of lacing on the glass.

The nose speaks of fruit, leather and oak.There is a strong cranberry presence layered with raspberry and strawberry. There is an underlying oaky, leathery smell. There is some medicinal quality to the elixir and a measure of funkiness.

The flavor is much more rounded and softer than the nose suggested. It's really delicious. There is only a mild amount of tartness - really a perfect amount for it to be refreshing. There is a ton of juicy fruit in the flavor - slightly sweet and mostly cranberry and raspberry but also cherry and even strawberry. It's a little medicinal on the mid-palate but dries out and does not overpower. There is also a soft oakiness that helps carry the large amount of fruit and make it interesting. There is definitely influence from the flanders red that makes Grand Cru such a nice beer but the effect here is a little lighter, more subtle and more distinct. I think you would have to like cranberries to really like this beer.

The mouthfeel is driven by active, creamy carbonation. Very nice.

I didn't expect this beer to be so easy to drink. But it is. It's very well done. If not for the nitpick of a slight medicinal smell and flavor - as well as the high cost - this would be a homerun. (1,405 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
4.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle:
Pours rose side of burgundy. Decent white head grows on pour, fades to the edges but lasts. Beer seems translucent to clear, but deep color essentially block most light. Nose is almost spoiled wine-like: some fruit notes, but with a vinegar note to it. I get the raspberry, maybe a hint of cranberry, but none of it is very strong (though it does seem more evident a little later in the drink).

Taste has the fruitiness from the nose, but more evident: raspberry and cranberry. The cherry might provide some tartness, which is there and blends nicely with other fruit flavors. I also do get a bit of cider vinegar taste behind the tartness. The carbonation tickles the tongue nicely, and the beer is quite smooth or even silly in its own way.

Another hit by Rodenbach. I think having one of their beers every so often should be a plan of mine. The lightness of the sour or the vinegar tartness that is a part of their beers just isn't my ideal, so I can't go world class level myself, although I appreciate the balance of flavors. (1,049 characters)

Photo of sjones5045
4.66/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4/25/15 home

750 bottle

Pours ruby red with a thin head. The smell is a sour fruit concoction with oak pouring through. The taste is just a tad sour and tart but you really can taste the raspberry and cranberry with an oak finish. Excellent beer and one that is a great example of a craft beer that is put together extremely well. (335 characters)

Photo of Gasc0igne
4.28/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A gorgeous coloured pour; hazy dark red (almost a mahogany) with two fingers of pinkish-brown soapy head that becomes a light film after a short time. Average lacing.

Raspberry dominates the nose, big supporting cherry, a touch of cranberry. Amazingly fruity. Something like an over-sweetened jam to the nose, definite sugar presence. Balsamic backing throughout. I get a big hit of toasted wood (think: light char from saw) every so often. Sadly I do get an unwelcome medicinal note that detracts from the experience.

A bit of a change from the nose, cranberry clearly dominates, cherry close behind. Big and tart upfront. Raspberry pops in halfway through carrying some sour funkiness with it. Fruit-sweet, as opposed to sugar-sweet. No proper barrel presence (apart from funkiness), and no noticeable medicinal qualities like the nose had. Balsamic still backs everything up. Tart through-and-through and ridiculously juicy.

Light bodied. Smooth with a very dry finish. Highly carbonated.

A vastly different beer to the base. The bold and clear fruits are a joy, and it is oh so drinkable! (1,111 characters)

Photo of M_chav
3.87/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is probably much better than my rating suggests. Lots of deep fruits, I normally really like the Flanders Red style, but I just can't get over the children's medicine smell/flavor. Reminds me of bad times haha (216 characters)

Photo of cvm4
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure on vintage.

L - Pours a deep cherry red with a one finger pinkish head that fades quickly.

S - The nose seems really jammy to me with a slightly medicinal quality. The cranberries, raspberries and cherries really mesh well together. Definitely some oak mixed in.

T - So much tart cranberries, cherries and raspberries! The sour is mild at first then builds to where you can taste in the back of your jaws. Lacto and oak all throughout. I can definitely see some jam quality.

F - Medium body and medium carbonation. Smooth body, creamy.

O - This is a special beer to be enjoyed slowly. I think having this on the regular would ruin me. (648 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.36/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice crystal clear ruby hue with a thin white head that fades to leave a thin halo.

S - Aromas of loads of lactose, raspberries, cranberries. Very nice jammy berry notes, lightly funky, nice.

T - Taste is lactose, lots of it, nice tart cranberry, good raspberry notes. Tart, pleasant, jammy, very flemmy but in a good way.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely, good lactose. Flemmy.

O - Overall this beer was quite tasty, great berry notes with a pleasant flemmy quality. Great addition to the base beer.

Serving type: bottle (559 characters)

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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
97 out of 100 based on 135 ratings.