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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge

Educational use only; do not reuse.

152 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 152
Hads: 1,126
Avg: 4.43
pDev: 7.22%
Wants: 272
Gots: 309 | FT: 48
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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rodenbach Caractère Rouge Alström Bros
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Reviews: 152 | Hads: 1,126
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.

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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.

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Photo of coriswrasse
3.61/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

bottle served in two snifters (re-purposed maple syrup glasses).
smells sweet like young gueze or lambic.
a very hidden tart on the nose as well.
color is dark amber.
head is just a thin layer.
very nicely carbonated.
taste is overly sweet berry flavor with some light tartness.
mouthfeel is sweet but leads to light funk and tart dryness.
probably would not purchase again at the price (23.99) but not a bad beer to have for dessert. seems very "one-notey" front to back and way to sweet for my liking. would age help?

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Photo of Jeffo
3.71/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle in trade with Dennoman and then subsequently shared with Dennoman at his sleazy, half-star hotel after the Borefts festival. This is livin' it up.

From a 750ml into a Borefts tasting glass.
Batch 2

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, loose, linen-white head with lousy retention. Maroon red body with almost no carbonation evident. Head fades to almost nothing and leaves no lacing down the glass. Looks half decent at best.

SMELL: Cherries, raspberries and some light funky notes on the nose. Bold enough with some nice citrus and lemon notes over the cranberries, cherries and nice raspberry aromas. Very fruity with a solid, tart-sour base.

TASTE: Some light funky notes with lots of raspberries, cherries and cranberries on the nose. Some light lemon citrus notes and floral bitterness through the middle into the swallow. A bolder and lingering finish of citrus flavors, lots of tart raspberries and cherries, as well as some light floral bitterness. Good stuff.

PALATE: A thinner and lighter body, and slightly airy on the palate. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly sticky on the palate.

OVERALL: A good beer that we thoroughly enjoyed, especially in a hotel room after a 12 hr. beer festival. Lots of good fruit aroma and flavor on this one, though the look and feel could use some re-thinking. An enjoyable brew I'd love to have again. Trade me more so I can open it with you Dennoman. Cheers!

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.71/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a lightly hazed reddish-brownish color with a rather thick and billowy pink tinted head. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading and leaving some nice levels of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is biggest of sweeter red fruit smells, with lots of raspberry, cherry and cranberry. While some of the aroma is sweet, there is also a good level of funk, oak, a bit of grass, and a rather potent sour vinegar smell creating a nice fruity tart smell for the brew.

Taste – While there is a sweetness in the nose, there is not so much in the taste. There is a little bit upfront with some lightly sweetened blackberry, cranberry, raspberry and cherry flavors. While a little sweet is there, the flavor is largely of a quite tart cranberry flavor. A rather funky and lightly yeasty flavor is present as well along with a rather apple cider vinegar taste. As the flavor advances the sweeter flavors fade while some oak and a bit of vanilla join the tongue. The tart flavors get even stronger more toward the end with the tart cranberry fruit flavor really taking control of the fruit flavors. In the end, with all the tart cranberry coming to the tongue and a bit of a woody and grassy taste joining the flavor, a dry, funky, somewhat unbalanced, and quite tart cranberry flavor is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thinner and lighter side with a carbonation level that is on the higher side. The lighter body and higher carbonation were quite appropriate for the style, helping keep the sour and fruity flavors of the brew from becoming too overwhelming and keeping it overall more drinkable.

Overall – It was OK, but I wasn't too fond of this one actually (at least in comparison the original Rodenbach). This was just a little too on the sour red fruit side for me. An interesting try, and if you are looking for a rather sour cranberry flavored beer then this is definitely one to go too.

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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.

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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

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.9/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

At Eb's
Pour a dark reddish brown color with a smallish off white head that quickly dissipates. Smells of tart cherries, funk, yeast, a bit of vinegar, some sweet fruits, some tart fruit. The flavor is pretty tart up front with some fruity tartness and a bit of acid. The fruit comes in midway to provide some sweet balance before a bit of funk, vinegar, and tannic oak step in. Medium body with a sharp level of carbonation that provides for a prickly mouthfeel. I rather enjoyed this one, its good now, but almost feels like a few years would do wonders to help meld the flavors a bit.

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Photo of Etan
3.92/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a Cantillon tulip.

A: Pours a very dark ruby body with a nice slightly pink head.

S: Very fruity aroma. Wafting notes of cherry, light brett and acetic acidity, raspberry, a bit lactic, some juicy and vinous tannins.

T: Sweet cherry flesh, light acetic tartness, a bit more nebulous red fruitiness, drying oak, slight vanilla, lactic and cherry sweetness in the finish.

M: Light-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Definitely drinkable and complex, but at this point the cherry sweetness is a bit out of proportion. Maybe with some age the fruit will fade and the bugs will do a little more work.

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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.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.95/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was far far fruitier than I was expecting but my expectations might have been off, or rather were considerably off. Still a decent beer overall.

Beer is ruby red, clear with a thin head, small bubbles, no lacing, low carbonation. Really bright red.

Aroma is all fruit all the time, very sweet, cherry almost too much cherry, some other stuff sneaks through.

Beer is medium in body and sweet, lots of cherries, lots of fruit, lots of fruit, seriously this is a cherry bomb. Other flavors fight to get through but ultimately fail. I liked this beer but it would have been better if it wasn't just a one note beer. Not as sweet as the redbach thankfully.

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Photo of kevanb
3.98/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle, European bottle with the hanging tag, poured into a Rodenbach Alexander snifter glass.

The beer pours a burgundy color, hazy and cloudy with light garnet and ruby hues with a thick finger of off-white head sitting atop the beer, good retention yielding a few spots of lace. The aroma is nice, tart cranberry, stone fruits, funk, oak, hearty grain and some really sharp sweetness here, like candi sugar overload. The flavors are nice, plenty of fruit, raspberry jam, tart cherry and cranberry, certainly sweet, but as aggressive as in the aroma, stone fruits, funk, chewy oak and dark grains, decently balanced though again, still quite sweet for me. The mouthfeel is very nice, lively but gentle carbonation, very smooth and soft, coats the mouth exceptionally well, light pucker at the finish that is mildly dry, spot on for the style.

Verdict: A nice Flanders Red Ale from Rodenbach, perhaps a bit too sweet for my palette, but the fruit flavors are very enjoyable, delicate and balanced. Another example of why Rodenbach is easily the best producer of Flander's beers in the world.

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Photo of crosenkrantz
4/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is a Rodenbach Grand Cru that has been shiftes away from the sweet/sour axis to a sweet/sour/fruity triangle. The red fruits are clearly in, while part of the sourness is gonne and the sweetness looks like artificial to my taste.
I would prefer more body, more sourness and less fruit, and I don't think this beer is an improvement over the GC.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Etre Gourmet. Served in a Rodenbach goblet. Pours a fairly-bright cherry-red color. Short pink-hued head that dissipats quickly. Heavy cherry with mild raspberry and cherry. More cranberry in flavor. Super fruity. Moderately tart. High carbonation and super dry. Too fruity at this point, though hopefully that calms down and brings out the base a bit more. Also didn’t have that nice yeast-driven acidity of most Rodenbach yet. Could also use a bit more body.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to cmrillo for sharing this one during the One Year Anniversary of My Wreck Tasting! Served from bottle into a Crooked Stave ‘Crooked Line’ tulip. Poured a deep ruby red-orange with a half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained nice lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, cherry, sour, tart, wood, and funk. The flavor was of sweet malt, tart, tart cherry, wood, subtle funk, and sugar. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. In typical Rodenbach fashion, they knocked this one out of the park. Really complex, tart, and sour all while be refreshing at the same time. While there wasn’t a huge amount of complexity going on here, it was just the right about in my opinion for the style. This made it quite easy to drink and extremely enjoyable. Definitely worth trying if you get the chance, you won’t regret it!

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Photo of stakem
4.05/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split with friends. I decided to do a side by side tasting and open this along with the classic red and the grand cru to analyze the differences in each. Poured into a cervoise, the brew appears pink to a ruby clear color. It displays a polished clarity with orangeish tints around the edges. A finger of pink head sits atop composrf of big bubnly effervescence. A light swirl revives a finger that is quick to dissolve that leaves spots of lace on the glass.

The smell opens big with a fruit quality immediately reminescent of cranberry. Other fruity scents mingle forming a scent that is mildly medicinal and goes right back to fruit especially cranberry with some earth. The aromatics are bright fruits that fills the nose with something almost citrus-like and mixed with orange. A bit of vanilla essence and barrel aging is an afterthought.

The taste is tart with a solid fruit inclusion. Raspberry comes to mind when focusing on the tartness and mild citrus conponents. Lots of funky earth, wet wood/cork keep the fruit in check. A little bit of medicinal quality carries over with acidity. The aftertaselte has more citrus almost like lemon.

This is a medium bodied and modestly carbonated offering. The alcohol is well hidden but the hints of medicinal aspect keeps it from being stellar. I am really taken back by how fruity this is and how much it has altered the base beer. Straight from the pour, it looks fruited and it captures a fruity aromatic quality that filled the room we were sitting in while enjoying this. It was nice to try it and say I had it, but i think i give the nod to the gramd cru as being what I would rather spend my money on. Maybe with some age, as the fruit mellows out my opinion might change but as-is this is a fruity medicinal bugger.

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Photo of oline73
4.07/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark reddish amber color with a half finger of off white head that has a pink hue. The head faded away quickly until there was none remaining. The smell was fruity up front with some vinegar notes. I thought the fruity notes were very jam like. The taste followed the smell closely. There was some disagreement about what fruit was in this beer. I thought I was getting raspberries. The beer was tart but it was a smooth tartness. There was a slight sweetness in the finish which was also very dry. The carbonation level was aggressive. Overall I thought this was a very good sour beer, but I could have sworn it was a fruit lambic.

The reveal: Rodenbach Caractère Rouge

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a bright ruby red in color with a very thin head and left virtually no lacing sticking to the glass.

S: A variety of berries were noticeable upfront in the nose such as cherries, blackberries and cranberries but with vinegary character, a little oakiness some acidic notes but honestly has a lot of juice qualities.

T: again plenty of berries like the nose suggest consisting more of cherries and cranberries but once again is more of juice quality more so than real fruit. It did have good oaky character, a little vinegar alongside hints of must.

M: the brew was light to medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, fruity, juicy, slightly oaky, vinegary and tart finish.

O: it was just a decent flanders. I honestly would prefer alexander better and have real fruit flavor than juice type taste.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks, Jer.

The pour is a lightly hazed ruby color with a pink head. Very nice nose of berries. Cranberry and raspberry are strong, but the cherries are not quite as pronounced. A mild sweetness, not all that vinegary. The flavor has a very strong raspberry note and a more subdued cherry and cranberry profile. Hint of red wine vinegar, a definite sweetness, light oak and must. Really nice.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Happy and lucky to try this on tap at Memphis Taproom in Philadelphia. Looks like cranberry juice and bloodied urine; the smell is of pickled strawberry, cherry, bubblegum and SweeTarts candy. Taste follows nose, with a more pronounced sweetness that makes me like Grand Cru better. Mouthfeel is a little thin and drinkability is high. Great, unusual beer- if only the syrupy sweetness was tamed..

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drank this at Matt's birthday tasting last night. Thanks for sharing this, Matt! Add this to the list of beers I never thought I'd drink this soon.

Reddish pink, crystal clear with no head, this looks nice (despite the lack of head). The nose is super fruity, with ripe red cherries along with the sour Rodenbach base. There is a little bit of acetone, but it does complement the rest of the nose. The cherries are super bright, reminding me in some ways of the Cable Car Kriek.

The palate opens clean and sour with a big, bright cherry character, super bright and refreshing. A little bit of a raspberry-like character is present too. There is a little bit of acetone, but it works on the palate too. Medium light in body, medium high in carbonation, this beer is just fantastic.

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Photo of claspada
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a super clear, deep ruby-hued color with a small rapidly dissipating, effervescent light pink head.

The aromas begin quite fruit forward with ample amounts of dark cherry, various berries and the largest amount of cranberries. The acidic vinegar, leather and earthy oak notes emerge more as it warms.

The tastes begin super fruit forward as well with a crap ton of cranberry and blackberry flavors, really reminds me of cran-raspberry juice to be honest. Intermingled amongst the sour cranberry fruits are some tart vinegar and acetone that lends to some woody oak and some caramel maltiness but it is all super overwhelmed by the cranberry tart flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with ample fizzy carbonation. The berries hang around well into the finish with a moderate dose of sourness.

Overall I was slighlty underwhelmed by the offering to be honest. I was super pumped for it but the sour profile and high effervescence made this seem like a carbonated fruit juice than a Flanders Red Ale. Base beer is really mitigated by the sweet fruity berry flavors with lower tartness than I was expecting/hoping for. Maybe with time this could develop into something but right now it is merely good and not elite as I was expecting.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Beautiful. A slightly hazed, pinkish hue. Like cranberry juice mixed with seltzer water. A big, bubbly, pink-tainted head grows and instead of fading off, it retains a rather creamy consistency and tall stature. Patchy lace.

S-A very inviting nose. A trifecta of earthy, tart and sweet. The berries are both tart and sweet at the same time. There is a genuine earthen note along with some light barrel influence. The cranberries, raspberries and cherries are all relevant in their on separate way.

T-The flavor is another pleasant mixture of tart and sweet. The berries just control and dominate the flavor. Would enjoy a bit more barrel-induced flavor here. The beer has more of a straightforward (albeit natural and complex) fruit flavor as opposed to a wacky funkiness that pairs with the fruit.

M-Full bodied in terms of the style; a full, round feel. Tickling bubbles Lingering sweetness and tartness. No booze.

O/D-Very tasty. It just stampedes with tasty berry flavor with a genuine mix of sweet and sour. A pricey 750 but in my opinion, well worth a try at least once.

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Photo of Dennoman
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75 cl bottle, batch 2, poured into a tulip glass.

A: Visually stunning. A sea of deep ruby red that gets darker as you go up into the glass. Semi-clear. A true work of art when light refracts through it. Absolutely beautiful.

S: The dominant aroma is freshly picked berries. Raspberry tartness, light sweetness and distinctive cranberry bitterness. This aroma is carried by the classic Rodenbach aroma: refreshing acidity with a touch of creaminess.

T: Beautiful raspberry tartness and puckering cranberry that clings to your tongue. Aftertaste is lactic acid, lingering long on the palate after the swallow. Sweetness goes away completely, making for a strangely sadomasochistic experience that has you yearning for more.

M: Relatively high carbonation, but this is necessary to neutralize the otherwise overly acidic quality of the berries. Though it is very light, it isn't anywhere close to watery and fits the style perfectly.

O: Although I usually don't go for this style, this was an absolute joy. Bags of flavor that keep delivering with every sip, and I would swear something new pops up every time you put this near your nose and lips. Exciting to the senses and perfectly balanced. Everything that's good about summer in a glass.


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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.

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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
97 out of 100 based on 152 ratings.