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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge

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140 Reviews

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Reviews: 140
Hads: 1,084
Avg: 4.43
pDev: 19.86%
Wants: 264
Gots: 300 | FT: 49
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website

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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Reviews: 140 | Hads: 1,084
Photo of Wobbly
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

To my mind, one of the most remarkable beers in the world and probably the best example of a Flemish Red that I have tried. While I have enjoyed numerous varieties (the classic red, the grand cru, the barrel aged vintage varieties) from this brewery, this has been the most consistently satisfying. If I had to choose one beer to drink the rest of my life, this would be it (as of now). That is why this is the only beer I give a perfect 5.

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Photo of Reggae4203
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Red with a a tint of beige, mild lacing no head

S: Heavenly, a sour funk but, balence with fruity over-tone

T: Cherry and Berries with Wild Ale finish

M: Like dry wine, but not over powering

O: One of the best Flander Red that I have had; the rating by is correct and does this beer justice...

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Photo of Budinetz
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Purchased in a bottle at Monk's cafe in Philadelphia, Pa. Poured by Eddy the bartender. Great guy! Make sure you ask for him if you're there. Very knoledgeable.

Pours a ruby red color with a 1/2 inch head that dissipates rather quickly. No lacing present at as I imbibe.

Smells of tart raspberry, sweet cherries, and sugary goodness.

Tastes of amazing raspberry notes with subtle cherries and a tartness that is not too overwhelming.

Overall an awesome beer that I was lucky to
Come across thanks to Eddy the bartender. Would definitely seek this out again!

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Photo of hotsudge
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - a beautiful deep amber colour with ruby undertones. A medium sized dark head that fades at a medium rate.

S - Malty, sweet, sour (a hint of vinegar), hints of citrus. Warm yet fresh and inviting

T - complex, sweet with acidity. The best of its class by far.

M - smooth with that slight hint of acidity.

O - an exceptional beer!

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Photo of stumac
4.94/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Chuk at Central Market for the last bottle in Austin. Pours up a beautiful ruby, smells of insane amounts of the red fruits as labeled, flavors of the same fruits, very intense, nice and tart, very smooth carbo, medium bodied, slight sweet finish, I think I'm about to mate with Amanda after this beaute.

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Photo of GJ40
4.9/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Sampled from a 750ml bottle purchased at the Carrboro Bottle Shop.

A - A vibrant red with a hazy finish and a small white head.

S - A rich, complex mix of sweet and tart berries. Wow!!! So many layers.

T - A moderate tartness with rich, complex berry flavors. The raspberries seem to stand out the most with the cherries second and the cranberries last. Perfect and satisfying.

M - A moderate consistency and carbonation with a huge pucker factor.

O - Pricey but well worth it. This is one of the best sours I've had.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.9/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Best before 2016.
Pours clear ruby red, tiny foamy head at first, rapidly faded to a thin not very sticky lacing.
You can smell the sour cherries right after popping the cork, along with balsamic vinegar. Very very strong. Lots of forest berries also, some lime zest, green barnyard funk. Very intense and perfumey.
Wow, ok.. Taking the first sip you get a short extremely sour flash, just for a second, quickly balanced by a nice fruity sweetness afterwards. Really complex. At first lime zest, sour cherries and sour acidic forest berries, like cranberry and aronia berry, followed by sweeter raspberry and wild strawberry. Not a lot of vinegar tartness, red fruit overwhelm it all. A nice funky feel from the live yeasts and the oak barrels, bringing the green hay, floorboard, barnyard funk, some hints of vanilla and some floral-herbal notes, like ribwort and wild thyme. Hard to say if hops are strongly present, but there's a little extra dryness (aside from the sourness' aftermath and the dry white wine feel) and bitter note that point to some nice green leafiness.
Very clean mouthfeel, rather fizzy/prickly, but it works. Dry in the finish, but the aftertaste is as complex as this whole beer. I read on the label that it has corn, and expected a bit of syrupy malts, but it was all perfectly hidden under the fruitiness.
The mother of all Flemish beers, incredible chemistry, a must try for any beer lover. Best sour i've ever had!

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Photo of sb3000
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Wow...where to start...

Nice cork and cage that is typical of Rodenbach.

Pours with a reddish hue and one finger of slightly off-white head that dissipates quickly. Very nice lacing.

Aroma of berries and grapes, almost wine-like. A tartness is present that almost says, hey...check this out!

Mouthfeel is thin but spot on for a Flanders red. Very enjoyable. Dry and puckering.

Taste is slightly dry and fruity. Very wine-like. Slightly sweet but predominantly sour. Every sip is enjoyable. Some faint oak notes but maybe because of the mention in the label.

Final thoughts...another home run for Rodenbach. A perfect marriage of sour cherries, cranberries, raspberries and bacteria. The Lacto is present, but there is most certainly a malt presence on the back of the tongu. Nose is perfumy and enjoyable. I will definitely buy a few more bottles. One of my favorite beers to date!

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Photo of ccrida
4.84/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Caractère Rouge is ruddy pinkish brown with a small foamy off-white head.

Smell is lightly sweet malt, a little woody, spritzy acidity tinges the nose. Brightness.

Taste is amazing. Soft acidity, cherries and lime, a little sweet-tarts, cider vinegar. More depth then the nose, complex, yet integrated, and outright delicious.

Mouthfeel is acidic, dry, light bodied.

Drinkability is excellent. Extremely delicious, and impressively elegant. Lots of flavor, but neither the sour, the sugar, or the fruit are exaggerated or out of balance. Outstanding beer, one of the best.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.84/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours lovely red - looks almost like cherries... The tall thick head is kind of beige/pink. Only some lacings.

S: Sour, yeasty, spicey, oaky, fruity - of course, that's what you could expect, but here's also a nice sweetness and red forest berries - mostly raspberries, but also some cranberries and lingonberries. Cherries.

T: The exact same thing as in the smell, but the sourness is way heavier, and lovelier. The balance is awesome!

M: Long sour aftertaste with a raspberry-twist - I guess it still gonna be there tomorrow when I wake up. Body is full and carbonation very mild. This is so very smooth!

O: The strong red berries really made the difference. I love this one!

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Photo of Jonada
4.83/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle served in a tulip glass

Appearance: Ruby red color. A finger and a half of a light pinkish head which dissipated to a thin collar. Slight haze.

Smell: Lots of red berries. Cranberry, raspberry, cherry, vinegar, green apple skin.

Taste: Tart cranberries, oak, some vinegar acidity, hints of vanilla and funk. Finish is tart and dry.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied. Crisp. Slightly creamy mouthfeel. Medium/high carbonation. Zero alcohol presence whatsoever. Incredibly refreshing

Overall: I had high expectations going into this beer and wasn't disappointed. The elements of the fruit and base beer work perfectly together without one overshadowing the other. I had to force myself to sip this, as I easily could have killed the whole bottle in no time. I will definitely be seeking out more.

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Photo of nataku00
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a light brown with a scarlet red tinge, hazy, with finger and a half of tan color head. Head dissipates quickly but leaves a decent amount of lacing when swirled.

Nose is so fruity, raspberry, cherry and cranberry for sure, sweet and tart, with a touch of acetic vinegar, brown sugar, and oak. Very fragrant even when cold right out of the fridge.

Taste is sweet raspberry and cherry before tart cherry and cranberry flavors along with a balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar. A touch of old oak on the finish, with lingering berry skin astringency and sweet fruit.

Lighter side of medium with some nice refreshing carbonation that lightly pricks at your tongue before scrubbing it dry. Very easy to drink and tasty.

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Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours a beautiful crimson, ruby red with 1/2 finger of fizzy white head. Sexy.

Smell: Tart cherry, that sour cranberry dankness, and sweet raspberry tartness to offset the cherries; it's all there. This is REALLY potent smelling, like freshly juiced berries. Amazing.

Taste: Tart cherry sweetness up-front, with a more bold cranberry sourness in the middle that gives way to a clean and dry, right on the money, sour raspberry finish. It's pretty sour, but not in the realm of Tart Of Darkness sour. Outstanding.

Mouthfeel: Ample carbonation, with a light feel that lends to drinkin' easy.

Overall: Had high hopes for this one, and I wasn't disappointed. I don't like to bring up other beers in my reviews too much, but this reminds me of a certain "intense" beer, but improves upon it everywhere that I'd have liked to see it. I guess that when a company does something for 200 years, they do it better than most.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle served in a Duvel tulip glass.

A: Pours a cloudy amber color with some notes of pink. Forms a aired, big bubbled and fluffy pinkish head. Medium to low retention and only few spotty lacings left in the glass

S: Very fruity, as expected. Strong notes of red fruits: cherries, raspberries and cranberries (as described in its label). Notes of sweet grains. Tart with a slightly metallic end

T: Mild sweet upfront. Again, very fruity. A juicy of red fruits: Cherries, raspberries and cranberries. Mild tartness. Smooth and extremely balanced: Not too sweet and not too tart either. Some notes of sweet malts. A little bit metallic sensation in the end. No alcohol notes

M: Light and smooth body. Good carbonation. Fruity with some tart notes in the aftertaste

O: Perfect drinkability. Very fruity, even for a Flanders Red. Extremely balanced and pleasant. Another masterpiece from Rodenbach

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

750ml, corked and caged. And my night is looking up. It pours reddish brown with a light pink dense, almost creamy if it weren't so active, head. Smell. Wow! Cherries, wood, grass, lemons, and something almost cinnamon. The taste is woody, with a cherry aftertaste. Somewhere along the way sugared oranges show up, but it's not sweet, if that makes any sense at all. It's not sour at all, but just delightfully dry. It has some vanilla in the mix and just is really interesting. Every time I try to get a hand on it, something else wells up. Mouthfeel is terrific, slick and slightly tingly. Overall, this is one hell of a beer! I'm not sure what to make of it, but it doesn't care, it has far too much going on to care about my opinion.

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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.

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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)

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Photo of gtermi
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is glorious! This beer is very sweet and fruity in the smell. The cherries and cranberries are the most dominant in the flavor with a bit of raspberries in the taste. There is a nice bit of tartness with a dry mouthfeel.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass at Smoke & Barrel DC as part of the bottle share. Much thanks to jacewg for the bottle, been wanting this for ages. From notes.

A nice faint pink body, slightly clear, and makes a fizzy head picking up the red body color with a pink and tan sort of hue. Some bit of fizz sound when pouring just a "tad".

Oh that nose.. That bouquet is just magic. Wonderful sense of rushing cherry and red fruit bliss with a controlled warming sweet penny candy. It smells like humbugs candy in a glass, exactly like humbugs. Warming tartness but with great yeasty almost champagne/sparkling effervescence which creates a great minty menthol airy aroma. Truly a shove it up your nose brew.

It seems like after that it would be hard to get better. In a way it does, but it is by no means all downhill on first sip. An interesting light almost milky texture, but with classic Rodenbach fruity mid palate and explosive taste. Good sour and tart mix with a nice acidic edge. Carbonation is a bit fizzy but luckily doesn't distract.

Overall, just a pure joy to drink. The irony was I was going to buy a bottle of this overseas and pay for the nose, but thought after I had it I wouldn't have to. Now that I've already done it, I want the dam thing even more, and just may buy it just so I can have it again. Can't stop thinking about it, it's truly a winner.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Red/amber and clear. Nice fat pinkish head. A beauty.
smell: Tart up front though smack full of a gamut of smells. A bit of sweetness and loads of fruity. A little malty beef to support all that tart and slight funk. Damn, this smells great.
taste: Fully lives up to the nose. all that goodness in a nice, tart, fruity balance.
overall: Bad ass.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

just amazing, unique, incredibly special beer as good as any i can recall. i dont usually get too into the flanders red type, it always seems more vinegar and acidity than yeast character, and i find it off putting that its usually so sweet as well as sour, a textural and flavor contrast that doesnt often jive with me. this one though, is entirely different. the sour cherries, cranberries, and raspberries are huge contributors right from first splash into my glass. its almost neon red pink, clearish and heady, delicate looking, but really intensely colored. the nose presents the tartness of the fruit, cranberries leading the way, but all three are easy to pick out. there is less body and sweetness than i remember in the grand cru, and i like that a lot. there is a swedish fish aroma, mouthwatering and candy-like, but not all that sweet. the fruit is super authentic, and the beer seems very mature. there is a bit of oak on it too, but not heavy and sweet, and really now showing the usual vanilla much because of the intensity of the fruit. the fruit is right there up front in the taste, but i think i get more cherry first, more raspberry later, the best of both kriek and framboise here, but the finish is what makes this special i think. it has that malt vinegar flavor of the typical flemish red, but its more refined, its really sour, but it carries on forever without being shocking. the finish is the longest ever, super puckery, and not the least bit sweet, with the fruit tartness continuing to come in waves for ages after the swallow. this is one of the best fruit beers ever made in my opinion, extremely memorable and different, and a model for others to strive for in terms of quality. maybe one of my favorite beers ive ever had, which is crazy to me because as good as grand cru is, it wasnt a personal favorite at all. as good as it gets! huge thanks to my brother for sharing this!

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.69/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Damn near perfect, and I think an improvement over the other Rodenbachs (which I love). This one has the same sharp bite, slightly softened and made more complex by pronounced, but elegant wood, and a winter spice note, probably from the oak and the older beer that plays up a slight sweet note that contrasts beautifully with the red fruit in the sourness and the vinous notes. I absolutely loved this version of a classic. Great!

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Photo of Resuin
4.69/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into an enlarged snifter. I believe this is the 2012 version from what I have read.

Appearance: Pours a delightful black cherry/raspberry dark red/maroon color and leaves a finger of off-white head which fades slowly to a layer atop the beer.

Smell: Big juicy raspberry jam upfront, cranberries, black sour cherries all blended together wonderfully. Not overly sweet, but I detect more sweet scents than sour. Big sweet and sour mixed berries. Hints of vinegar.

Taste: Big raspberries up front followed by black cherries and a hint of cranberries. A twist of lime in there (like a raspberry lime rickey!) Nice tart finish, just a tad dry, but overall this is quite juicy/jammy. Some woodiness to it towards that latter half of the flavor - definitely has some red wine flavors.. The taste is a bit more tart than sweet, but still really well balanced between the two. Really lovely.

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation with a medium body. Very interesting combination of juicy and dry in the mouth. The finish is a tad dry as well. Nice mouth-feel.

Overall: This is a really nice beer. Extremely well balanced with big sweet and tart berry flavors that balance each other out. Really a delight to sip on, this is very drinkable as well.

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


My favorite of the Rodenbach family. It is the most tart of all and resembles more a sour beer than a red Flanders.

Pouring reveals a dark red color. Unable to see through. There is little carbonation, but bubbles are very tiny and pleasant. A tiny head forms but dissipates quickly. Aroma reveals all sorts of berries, and lambics. Taste is great. It is tart, fruity, a bit sweet, and closes with a dryness in your mouth.

Mouth feel is light. This is a light bodied beer. Great beer.

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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.

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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
97 out of 100 based on 140 ratings.