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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

771 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 771
Reviews: 98
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 7.14%
Wants: 188
Gots: 212 | FT: 33
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: Jason on 11-02-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 771 | Reviews: 98 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by muskiesman:
Photo of muskiesman
4.75/5  rDev +6%

More User Reviews:
Photo of kojevergas
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%

BOTTLE: 750 ml. Brown glass. Appealing label design. Branded cap in a cage, set over a cork.

Expectations are sky high; I have massive respect for and love Rodenbach (even under Palm).

Served chilled into a Westvleteren goblet and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption. 7.0% ABV.

Cork pops hard and hits the ceiling upon removal (with pliers), but no beer surges out. It's well packaged for aging.

A fizzy cascading bubble show emerges as it's poured, and remains for some time - quite the spectacle when combined with the beer's vibrance.

HEAD: 3 fingers wide. Best described as a pinkish white; it's alluring and almost unique. Foamy but not too fizzy, with a soft cobwebby consistency and a decent spongey complexion. Its lightness is apt for the style, and its effervescence is teasing - between beer and champagne. It retains quite well (for ~10 minutes), but leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: A bright plump vibrant red. Not a solid red, but a weak one; grapeskin comes to mind. Light, translucent, and transparent. Clean, with no visible yeast particulate or hop sediment.

It's a lively inviting appearance, and has me curious.

AROMA: Powdered white sugar, fresh cherries, fresh rapberries, and touches of tart cranberries. Incredibly evocative; the fruitiness is just perfect. Soft and lush, with no off-notes, though some American drinkers may note a cherry-like medicinal note. I'm just blown away by how fresh and vivid this aroma is. Sourness is mild - maybe a 5 or 6 out of 10 in terms of intensity, but what really works are the cherry pie notes Rodenbach is known for. The pie crust married to the blunt oak tone is lovely, but I do find myself missing the damp acetic oak barrel character I love in regular Rodenbach. In any case, this easily approachable light powdery aroma has my mouth watering. Wow.

It boasts tricky subtlety in terms of its yeast & bacteria; I'd guess pedio and a bit of lactobacillus.

Aromatic intensity is average.

TASTE: The taste is every bit as fresh and evocative as the aroma, evoking notes of soft luscious raspberry, tart cherry, and sweetened cranberry. Powdered sugar comes to mind in taste as in texture. Rodenbach's signature cherry pie/pie crust notes emerge in the second act, lending even more depth to an already fascinatingly subtle and intricate brew. The oak is attuned to the flavour profile without being overbearing; it's present only as a guiding tone which ensures the flavour profile's cohesion - as if it wasn't a gestalt brew already.

Undeniably more than the sum of its parts, this flavour profile blows me away. Good duration of flavour and apt flavour intensity.

The pucker-lovers may crave still more sourness - this offers only a 5 out of 10 - but I have trouble imagining this impossibly careful balance disturbed. It's just immaculate. I do want more of the acetic character I go to Rodenbach for; they do it better than anyone.

In short, it's fucking incredible. A treat of a brew.

To nitpick, I do think it could use more tartness and cranberry, and I greedily want still more cherry pie and acetic character.

TEXTURE: Has a delicacy and fragility I've observed in extremely few beers, with an effortless lightness on the palate that really makes the flavours sing, and gives a quenching refreshing feel that's heaven with the tart berry notes. Soft and light-bodied without being weak or watery; I don't know how they do it. Naturally, it's soft and wet, and does have an above average acidity as well as a light puckery twang. Smacky and powdery in perfect fashion, with the perfect amount of creaminess as well. Carbonation is perfect.

It's almost flawless. Just a bit more body would help give the flavours a bit more support, and a bit more acidity and/or smackiness wouldn't hurt. But it's damn near perfect.

OVERALL: Effortlessly drinkable, an effect reached by an ideal harmony of texture and taste: the angelic lightness of the mouthfeel keeps the palate craving more and the incredible fresh berry notes are divine. An accomplishment in the style, and a beer whose quality forces me to savor each sip. Absolutely a paragon. Incredible work. I tip my hat to Rodenbach yet again. I imagine I will definitely be picking up more bottles of this, but it's hard to imagine it could improve with age - it's already so good. This is in the upper echelon of beers currently being brewed, and demands the discerning drinker's attention. A very welcome addition to my top beers of all time. Take note - this is how subtlety and balance are done.

High A

Pair with fresh raspberries.

Serve chilled, not cold.

Photo of Tucquan
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2013-11-24 in Columbia, PA

A - Mahogany/amber with a short-lived, tan head and moderate lacing.

S - Characteristic Rodenbach Grand Cru aroma but with added raspberry and cranberry. I always get oak, cherry and hard apple cider out of the normal Grand Cru. Very pleasant enhancements.

T - Tart cranberry with some cherry and a little raspberry, light malt, hard cider, oak. Moderately sour with a typical Grand Cru finish but with some added lingering cranberry. Perhaps a bit less tart than normal Grand Cru with more of an emphasis on the fruit in this one. Very, very nice.

M - High carbonation and a light body. Dries quickly.

O - A well-done step up from the already-great Grand Cru. Too bad it is so expensive.

Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.66/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter, beautiful red brown with a whispy reddish head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: sweet and sour combination of cherries and cranberries, hints of raspberry, balsamic vinegar

T: WOW, this beer plays back and forth between sweet and sour, acetic acid of malt and balsamic vinegar at first quickly swings into sweet cherry, tangy raspberry follows and plays off of sour cranberry, flavors of fruit abound in this beer

M: medium bodied, nice carbonation

O: and excellent fruity Flanders Red, well worth purchasing

Photo of Jack_Malts
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Beautiful hazy auburn pour. Smells like sour cherry syrup. Big juicy fruit flavors, tart cherry, slight acetic presence, bright cranberry and freshly picked raspberries. A bit expensive, but a must try for any fans of Flanders reds, or anybody who likes mouth-wateringly delicious beer.

Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Poured from a 750ml bottle no date. Cellared for about 6 months.

A: slightly translucent but muddy red. Nice foamy head for a sour. Really pleasant looking.

S: amazing. One of the best smells from a sour. Rich cranberries with a cherry soda component. Like candy.

T: clean. Not ultra sour but pleasant. A buttery sourness lighter in vinegar character than say rodenbach grand cru. Everything here works really well and the light carbonation brings it together.

M: great acid feel very smooth. Lingering sourness not overbearing. Real clean all around.

O: a great find. $25 well spent. Enjoyed much more than the vintage of many different years. Love sours and a great change up on the kriek with cranberries. Bomb.

Photo of tectactoe
4.75/5  rDev +6%

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5/5  rDev +11.6%

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4.75/5  rDev +6%

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4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

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4.85/5  rDev +8.3%

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4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of BillKuhnel
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Jason
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beertender at 't Brugs Beertje recommended it, 40 Euro for the bottle? Only around 900 bottles for sale from the batch.

Beautiful lacing, dark amber glow.

Perfume like fruit, some raspberry & cherry but the tartness of the cranberries and the house character come out more in the nose.

Tart pucker, soft malt, hint of caramel, bread, wood, bubble gum, cranberry tartness, faint raspberry & cherry, mint, pull of wood which leads to dryness.

Worth the try and the extremely higher price tag, by far one of the most interesting beers I have tasted this year. From the use of different fruits and the wood aging ... epic.

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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
99 out of 100 based on 771 ratings.