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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: 1,046
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 6.77%
Wants: 263
Gots: 289 | 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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Reviews: 135 | Hads: 1,046
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.36/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at drewone's place.

Pours a hazy dark red with a foamy reddish-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is sour and tart with some raspberry, cherry, cranberry, and raspberry vinaigrette. Taste is much the same with a nice fruity finish and a slight acidic quality on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is really tasty and easy to drink. (563 characters)

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. (474 characters)

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! (1,913 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With the personal feeling that Rodenbach's beers have always been undermined as a Sour Ale, they've put themselves back on the sour map with Caractere Rouge!

Starting with the same ruby-mauve hue that sparkles in the glass; its dark red hue is largely clear until the yeast cake in the bottle rises in suspension. As a dainty semi-fizzy creme swirls from the calderon beneath, its head character is soon compromised by the beer's acidity and dry body. A quick swirl brings the head back to life to share its high aromatics and then folds back into the glass with minimal lacing power.

Sweetness, tartness, and ooh-so savory aromas align in the nose with a sense of brightness and vibrancy. The fruity threads that pull the beer together are plump and just verbose enough to distinguish its cherry, raspberry and cranberry notes from each other. An overcast of malt is candied with mild confectioner's sweetness and then tempered with balsamic-type acidity. Toasted grain brings out a taste of toast and meek chocolate in order to reinforce its beery-scent.

Crisp, refreshing and savory at the onset, the beer's sweetness and sourness align on the early palate much like "Sweetheart" candy. Its fruit-forward flavor further reinforce that attitude until the middle of vinous red wine, slim balsamic and drier fruit notes bring about the natural earthiness in the beer. Light brine, musty wine soaked wood, dried limes and crab-apples hark to Lambic- but the fruit and light sweetness that accompanies it really bring out those Roeselare characteristics.

Though light bodied but not abhorrently dry, there's ample sweetness and and carbonation to give the early palate sensations a creamy fruit texture. But that's all short-lived as the carbonation bounces off the tongue and carries away with it the fruit and malt sweetness. What's left is vinous acidity that pangs sharply on the mouth in order to refresh it and finish pleasantly dry and warm.

Caractere Rouge is a less vinegary example of Flanders Red Ales but is slightly more fruit forward. I love it that the fruits are sweet enough to discern them from another and not so dry that they all begin to taste alike. That sweet-sour-savory medley shows a balance that's rarely found in Sour Ales. (2,254 characters)

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. (394 characters)

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

Blind BIF Beer #1

Cascadeish smell and taste with some excellent blueberry strawberry taste/smell.

Smooth mouthfeel. Good carbonation. Simple yet very pleasant tart taste. Mild funk.

Guess some Upland rare beer like Blackberry Lambic. I had had most of the bottled Cascades recently and didn't think it could be any of those.

Very surprised by the reveal. (359 characters)

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 (690 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (630 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.49/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A Flanders Red Ale, eh? I'm always down for that, but of course there just aren't enough of them being put out to try.

Great even tone to this one. Raspberries are definitely there. Cherries are also there bringing some sour fruit character also. After that, it's kind of hard to tell if I pick up cranberries here with all the typical stuff that comes with the style. Anyways. This beer is awesome. Find me a keg of it, or a river, if you please. (449 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Opens with a gentle pop & much effervescence with an orange/pink color had a finger of cream colored head that falls off rapidly; Zero head retention & lacing, murks up a bit as the bottle drains. Stays effervescent throughout, nice viscious look to this

S: Sourness, berries & cherries, Balsamic vinegar, dates

T: A little sweet up front, cherries & raspberry, plus faint dryness up front. Tartness picks up as this warms, some acidity as well, plenty of lovely cherry & raspberry. Finishes tart, acidic, with cherry juice, raspberry, & leather dryness

MF: Medium bodied, a little dryness & delicate carbonation that firms up a bit once warm, a swear I can feel the enamel getting stripped off my teeth!

Super variation on the style, this was pricey but worth it, as good or better than the flagship beer (819 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%

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. (4,662 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by me at MvM's pre-Toronado showdown. Served in a taster glass.

A - White foam settles to a thin collar, leaving a few stray splotches of lace. Transparent red body.

S - The aroma is a ridiculously intense blast of cherries and other red fruits - perhaps some cranberry in the periphery? There's also some wet oak with a slightly leafy flavor to it, overripe fruit funk, and a sweet malt backdrop. Still, this is all about the fruit.

T - The taste isn't quite on par with the aroma, but it's still quite enjoyable. Lots of jammy fruits and cherry pie, complete with graham cracker crust and a dollop of vanilla. Some mild oak character and acidity in the finish.

M - Super dry and surprisingly light body. Very easy to drink, with refreshing, pleasant carbonation. Didn't realize this was 7% and would have guessed closer to 5%.

D - Awesome stuff - I probably should have ordered more. I crushed my glass and filled it up again before sharing the rest with the SF/Chicago hags. Nice to see Rodenbach stepping up and not merely resting on their laurels. (1,071 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From 01/30/15 notes. Picked a bottle of this up off the shelf in Naples, Florida at the Total Wine & More. Expensive but awesome. 750ml bottle poured into a wine glass.

Pours a deep, murky reddish-brown color with one finger of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Smells and tastes of vanilla, tannic, loads of cherries, cranberries, tart raspberries, oak, strawberries, and mixed berries. Light vinegar but way more on the fruity sour side, which works great. Medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall i thought this was awesome. It was quite expensive but if you love fruity sours definitely try this out at least once. If I saw it again I'd pick up the occasional bottle. (693 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 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. (664 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 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. (1,790 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.48/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by thorpe429. Woohoo!

The beer is a gorgeous, radiant, dark ruby color, like a gem. A thin pink head rests atop the beer, leaving sparse lacing on the tulip. The aroma is wild and funky, like a fruit lambic. Smells very sweet. Huge raspberry presence, similar to a framboise. Sweet and teeming with berry flavor, balanced by a bit of tartness and wild yeast character. A great candidate for sharing, as the sweetness is a bit much after a small serving. Overall, very tasty, albeit a bit too sweet for me personally. While not my absolute favorite offering from Rodenbach, I enjoyed this. Recommended. (616 characters)

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. (1,384 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.49/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Récolte 2010, though I'm unclear if that's when it was brewed, barreled, or bottled. This is apparently batch 1. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Light red body. Slight gusher of a bottle. Small, off-white head. Murky.

Smell - Bright fruit aroma. Cranberry is distinguishable. Cherry in the form of sour. Raspberry sweetens the nose bakc up. Great fruit acidity and a light malt.

Taste - Maybe a little less fruity than the smell. Still a wonderful fruit flavor. Quality over quantity with the acidity. Just a touch of vinegar, which I can accept in this style. Dry caramel maltiness at the end.

Mouthfeel - The fruit balances the acidity perfectly. Not overly sour, which I prefer in reds. Sufficiently soured, though, as the malt has dried out leaving a medium body and no residual sweetness.

Overall - Impressive all around, but especially the fruit character. Beautifully crafted beer. Don't expect a beat-you-over-the-head sourness. (981 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Pours a light red color with a short lived white head that recedes to a lace. Active carbonation rises up the edges of the glass.

The aroma is complexly fruity with big berry notes sticking out. Just a bit of wheat and wine elements come out in the aroma which is exceptional.

In the taste, tart fruits, dry cranberry, slight sourness, raspberry and cherry come through more in the finish with plenty of fruit and sour to go around. Finishes dry, with a slight bitter edge to the fruit.

Full bodied, yet quite dry and well carbonated ale. Overall, an exceptional fruited Belgian sour. Worthy of much praise and discussion. For special occasions. (660 characters)

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! (431 characters)

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. (587 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

10/06/2012

Bottle shared by Tim a couple weeks ago and again tonight by Cameron. Thanks!

A: Deep maroon with a big pinkish white head that lingers for some time.

S: A ridiculous amount of fruit. There's a really strong cranberry presence (skin and flesh) with some raspberry and a little cherry. Nice vanilla aroma with notes of cherry pie, crust and all. Restrained leather profile with a light mustiness and some oak. Smells like Ocean Spray. Lots of brown sugar. Moderately lactic with some vinegar.

T: A fruit explosion: lots of cranberry with an even blend of cherry and raspberry. Lower moderate acetic acidity with restrained vinegar flavor. Light vanilla with brown sugar and a little oak. The beer is quite sweet with a low level of tartness and a firm lactic presence. The beer finishes with a mild acetic burn

M: Medium body with upper medium carbonation. Sticky, dry, and creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: A nice fruited Flanders-style beer. Too sweet for me to drink a lot of but there isn't a lot to drink so I guess that's not a problem. Reminds me a lot of Ocean Spray or Cran-apple Cider. (1,104 characters)

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! (1,444 characters)

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