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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge

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170 Reviews

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Reviews: 170
Hads: 1,202
Avg: 4.43
pDev: 7.22%
Wants: 282
Gots: 335 | FT: 47
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Belgium | 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: 170 | Hads: 1,202
Photo of charlzm
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Consumed on February 9th, 2016 from an undated corked and caged bottle that was at least a couple of years old. Poured into a tulip.

Beer is a thick and murky brown at first pour. A nice one-finger head rises up quickly and fades away nearly as fast, leaving nothing behind, not even a modest ring. Eventually, the beer cleared up in the glass and was a deep translucent shade of red-violet.

Aroma is tart and funky with berry notes and red wine vinegar base.

Flavor is sweeter and more subtle than nose, thank goodness! Delicious berry bouquet caresses the palate, mingling with restrained acidic sourness. Wood character floats in the background, providing a subtle touch of earthiness and bitterness. Just fantastic.

Mouthfeel is a but still and could have really benefited from higher levels of carbonation. Medium bodied and unremarkable otherwise.

This is a great beer and I love it, but a whole 750ml bottle to oneself is a monumental task.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.83/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look - A reddish purplish pink type color. Amazing looking in the glass
Smell - Fruity, berries, slight vinegar kick, cherries
Taste - Cherries, cranberries, raspberries, red wine type vinegar twang to it.

Overall - This beer blew my mind. Tastes like the fruit juice I give my kids just with a sour twist to it. An absolutely amazing beer.

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

Rodenbach Caractère Rouge
Flanders Red Ale – 7% - 750ml bottle – Best Before 09.09.17

Appearance: Red, oak colored, white head covering top of beer. Served in stemmed Rodenbach grand cru glass. Small, champagne style bubbles.

Aroma: Strawberry bon-bons, sherbert, just a hint of balsamic vinegar - faint compared to the grand cru. Also slightly acidic smell but mostly the red berries coming through in the aroma.

Taste: Sweets, red fruit and sherbert up front, funky in the middle and slightly sour - not as much as I would have thought, with a very long, dry finish. Absolutely wonderful. The three stages I describe above are very distinct and individual.

Mouth feel: The label says about the triangle of sweet, sour and dry, and that is exactly what you get here. Very interesting to feel it evolve from one phase to the next on the palate.

Overall: I love this! Not a beer that I could drink all the time but one that when you do fancy one, nothing else would do. Love the sherberty fruit mixed with sour funk and dry finish. A very unique example of a unique style. Looks very nice in the stemmed Rodenbach glass. 9.5 / 10.

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Photo of josanguapo
3.81/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

From cervezasespeciales. In Teku glass. Watching Sons of Anarchy 5x03-04. Nice fruity nose, without tartness. Fruity taste too, with sourness typical of its fruits. Wouldnt repeat however.

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

More tart than regular Rodenbach Grand Cru. I feel like it's the cranberries. Lingering sweeter raspberry in background. Drying chalky type mouthfeel. Less sweet and a little funkier than Grand Cru. Alcohol / medicinal floral aftertaste just a touch.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml into a snifter, the beer is a hazy, ruby-tinted caramel coloring, with a low profile, off-white head. Nose of tart cherry, red wine notes, and a solid sour characteristic. Flavors are sweet cherry and raspberry, subtle sour notes, hints of earth, tannins, and solid wine-like characteristics. The body is smooth, light, and dry. The aftertaste is fruity and sour, with solid wine-like notes lingering on through the smooth, dry finish.

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

Been sitting on this for a while, dug out of the back of the fridge.

Pours a mild fizzy pinkish smaller head that fades at a med to quicker pace, crystal clear ruby dark cherry red color.

Nose is nice, starting with lots of fruit, berry , various berries like black berry raspberry boisenberry thing, plenty of sour cherry as well and a bit of cherry cough syrup, nice sour funk little lacto pedio blend thing going on, some vanilla barrel notes, faint cranberry as well., a bit sweet and jammy.

taste comes on with tons more fruit again, fairly tart, and pretty sour, some lacto flemmy creamy sour, pedio funk sourness as well, fair acidity with acetic maybe also lactic acid. Plenty of fruit, sour cherry all over, mixed with more of that hodge podge berry but more of a dominant blackberry/raspberry combo, and even a touch of tart cranberry on the back end, a fleshy dry cranberry and not juice I mean like really chewing on the berry itself. Touch of vanilla oak barrel notes, with a sticky sweet candy malt character, jammy fruit and candy syrup like a nice tart fruit preserve. Finish is sticky and flemmy, a bit drier and a big cranberry flavor and dryness washing over, with a little sour cherry, and mild acidity.

Mouth is med bod, nice effervescent carbonation, little sticky, flemmy and sour.

Overall quite nice, great souring aspects, nice base sweet candy malt, tons of great jammy tart fruit, good acidity levels, very tasty and enjoyable.

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

Depth, balance, flavours out of this world. Just a phenomenal beer that is worth whatever you have to pay for it. Had this side by side the Rodenbach Vintage and it just didn't compare. Both amazing but this was just wow

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Photo of LAp
4.65/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bottle poured into small tulip-shaped stemmed glasses (not technically tulips, but close enough). Pours a deep ruby grapefruit red with a brownish tinge - a marginal head forms on pouring and dissipates almost immediately. The nose on this beer is mind-blowing, arguably the best on any beer I've tried to date. The sour cherry and cranberry come through strongly on the nose, but in a way that is accented with vinegar. The nose here is hard to describe adequately, it's beautifully complex in its layering of tart fruits and vinegar. The palate opens with sour cherry and balsalmic vinegar, and progresses to slightly sweeter, but nonetheless tart raspberry. Mouthfeel is medium to thin. Not quite as thick as Flanders reds like Duchesse (and a slightly thicker mouthfeel might have benefitted this beer) but good nonetheless. Overall, and exemplary tweaking of Rodenbach's tried and true formula - a exceptional beer.

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Photo of enrique_m
4.89/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

phenomenal sour beer, looks okay, its amber and no head and no lacing. the smell is of cherries, berries, molasses, brown sugar, Mexican piloncio, and strawberry preserves. the taste is a perfect balance of sweetness and sourness. you get taste of cherries and a nice sour/tartness that is more of a wine or liquor taste and similar to an aged 3 philosophers with the kriekness. overall this is an A+ sour... best ive had so far...

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Photo of DeFaz
4.37/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured an attractive light auburn color, the head is quite short and the lacing is minimal.

Smells like sour cherries. Really inviting.

Taste consists of cherries and berries, and it's sour, but not overly so. As another reviewer remarked, it is a lot like a sour version of a New Glarus fruit beer. I'm not picking up on the oak or vanilla, although I know those are flavors are in there. Anyway, this tastes really balanced.

Beer goes down easy for a Flanders and is nice and crisp.

Overall, I have to deduct some points for the expensive price of this, and because of the price I doubt I'll ever have it again. But if you're into sours, this is one absolutely worth trying once.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.31/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this ale on draught at a pub so it was served colder than I would drink it at home. The color is a very attractive reddish-purple with a thin, milk-white head and minimal lacing. I think there would have been a better head if it were poured from a bottle at a warmer temperature. It is very aromatic with cherries, cranberries, and vanilla. The taste starts out very sweet with abundant cherry, cranberry, and oaky vanilla but suddenly turns quite sour and acidic. It's two distinct tastes but they blend really well. This ale is medium-bodied and quite well carbonated. At 7% ABV, it is very easy to drink. Overall, it is a very tasty and enjoyable ale. It is very-well crafted and has a unique taste.

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Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
4.22/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L- Pours a reddish plum. The head is modest at a bout a centimeter which quickly reduces to thin ring with no lacing.
S-The smell is full of the sour cherries and a hint of cranberries.
T- Taste is very prominently lacto and sour cherries. The hint of cranberries comes in at the very end. This beer finishes very dry leaving you craving another sip. The tartness is strong, but not overpowering. Certainly not a gateway beer on that front.
F-the mouthfeel is fairly light. The carbonation is medium which along with the dry finish makes it a really nice brew.
O-A really enjoyable sour ale. Not a gateway to sours but one that can really be appreciated by those who are fans of the style. Well done Rodenbach.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very hazy dark garnet red in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and moderate purplish/wine + amber highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall fizzy foamy beige head that reduces to a couple of small patches of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of tart cherries, cranberries, and tart raspberries with moderate aromas of oak + vanilla. Light notes of vinegar-like acidity.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to slightly stronger flavor of fruit - cranberries, raspberries, and cherries which are moderately tart with a light amount of sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of oak + vanilla from the barrel aging and a moderate amount of tartness/sourness. Hints of vinegar-like acidity.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: Very enjoyable with a nice amount of complexity to the flavor and aroma - slightly more fruit forward than others in the style and the barrel flavors really come through. Definitely one to grab and I'm glad I got to try this one. Alcohol is very well hidden and the flavors are quite approachable.

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Photo of metter98
4.37/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very hazy reddish purple in color. It poured with a short white head that died down, leaving lots of wispy lacing on the surface and a tight collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of cherries, cranberries, and oaky vanilla are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell, starting off with a mix of flavors of cherries and raspberries and subtle bits of sweetness and vanilla from the oak barrel aging, but these are contrasted by a little bit of sourness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The sourness lends some tartness, but the oak barrels also round out the mouthfeel, making it also seem somewhat smooth.
O: I really enjoyed this Flanders Red Ale. It seemed to be fruitier and have more vanilla compared to some of the other beers I've had in the style,

Serving type; bottle

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Photo of aquazr1
4.51/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow! The fruit really shines in this beer. The nose invites you in and the taste does not disappoint. All the flavors come through in perfect harmony. The color is a brownish red and the mouthfeel is medium.

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Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Perfect carbonation with a beautiful maroon color. Nice clean white head with fizzy carb that dissipates quickly. Tons of fruity notes with cherries and berries with mild tartness. Drinks a lot like a sour version of a New Glarus fruit.

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Photo of corby112
4.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy dark ruby red color with copper/mahogany edges and a one finger pinkish, off-white head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Spotty lacing left behind. Beautiful color in this beer.

Sweet vinous aroma with luscious fruit, acetic acid and a strong barrel presence. Decent amount of oak but not overpowering with delicate char. No toothpick character which is surprising given it aged in oak for two years. Strong acetic acid but more of a vinaigrette sweetness, not harsh or solvent-like. Lots of luscious fruit juice. The cranberry and sour cherries really stand out countering the acid and barrel with a really pleasant juicy fruit presence. Smells incredible.

Tart and puckering with the perfect balance of sour acidity, earthy oak and vinous fruit sweetness. Subtle funk and acetic acid but again, it not solvent-like, providing mostly vinegary sweetness. Some dark malt flavors in there along with prominent vinous dark fruit. Tart cranberry and sour cherry really stand out along with other dark berries. Well balanced and surprisingly drinkable considering the complexity and sour acidity. Subtle mineral flavor and somewhat kriek like with dry fruit skins, jammy seeds and sweet fruit juice.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.49/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a mostly clear dark red, it looks like so much fruit was jammed into this one. There's a very small head and no lacing.

Smells like the pulpiest and juiciest fruit ever, with cherry and cranberry leading the way, with raspberry not quite as strong but still there. I don't get much in the aroma other than pure fruit, but that's ok, because it smells delicious. This is slightly briney, but definitely not in a bad way. There's a bit of damp wood, and a sourness of about 3/10. Not a whole lot of fun, just a really great and vibrant expression of fruit.

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Photo of dd43
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cherry and raspberry off the nose right away, that's what hit me first. Really wasn't much head on the pour I was given, and my efforts to rebuild it with swirls of the glass were unsuccessful. That said, mouthfeel was really nice and it balanced on a divide between creamy and prickly from the carbonation, which I found really appealing. Nice level of tartness, not overpowering or mouth puckering but definitely present enough to let you know you're drinking a sour. One thing I'd improve on, it was a bit sweet for my taste. Some residual tackiness on the palate and my lips made me wish for something just a touch more astringent.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had an 8 oz serving of this last night up at the Cloverleaf since this was left on tap from Rodenbach's takeover. I love the Duchesse De Bourgogne and this was even better than it, because of the fruit flavor and the subtle nuances of the wood and yeast notes!

Nice red pour to this, which had the appearance of the fruits that were macerated in the making of this. Not a lot of head and whatever lacing was left slid down the side of the tulip glass that I drank this out of. Tons of tart raspberry in the nose, with even more in the taste. Nothing artificial here - this had a juicy mouthfeel to it but not syrup to be found and the barrels that this was aged in really came through in the taste, without any harsh smoke getting in the way. Felt like champagne and was just as light in it in the aftertaste, but the other fruits came through in a nice way by rounding out the initial "pucker" that I felt.

Not a session beer but really, would you even notice or care? I would have had more had I not gone up right before last call and it's a beer like this that made me fall in love with Flanders Red Ales all over again. Amazing on tap and so easy to drink - hopefully, someone here in the states will get on the ball with this style and give it a go. Something like this deserves an answer that can attempt to measure up to it. Wonderful stuff!

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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 heygeebee
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very very complex beer on a number of fronts.
Very smashable up front and too easy to drink too fast.
Then the complexity hits and you are faced with a mix of cherries, raspberries, plums, and hint of vanilla.
Mouth feel light and zesty, not a hint it is 7%
Fabulous stuff, only downside is lack of true barrel character....

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4.51/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Body looks like raspberry purée. Head is almost non exentent. Nose is that same raspberry puree feel. With first taste it hits me like a ton of bricks "this is what Fraboise could be with a lot of refinment. This is a berry bomb, in all the right ways. Really dynamic and delicious.

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Photo of MaltLickyWithTheCandy
4.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge sour berry fruits aroma blended perfectly with this flanders red. This is definitely rodenbach's best. Easily one of the best sour beers out there.

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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
97 out of 100 based on 170 ratings.