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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: 310 | 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
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Reviews: 152 | Hads: 1,126
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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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.21/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a ruddy tone, a little hazed, a little murky with a thin, off-white, pink-tinged head.

Smell: A tangy-scented, sweet-n-sour aroma with an earthy, slightly woody undercurrent. You get your raspberries and cherries, thankfully without that occasional medicinal vibe you encounter.

Taste: A nice, inviting, juicy berry melange stirred up with a goodly splash of lemonade with a thin vein of twangy balsamic vinegar and very subtle oak accents. Tart, semi-dry, cranberry cocktail finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: Easily approachable, refreshing fare.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml c&c 2015 bottle into a Teku at fridge temp, allowed to warm.

Look: darker, browner, and less translucent than expected. Basically no head despite vigorous pour.

Smell: cranberries, oak, strawberries, confectioners sugar, magic.

Taste: whoa! I get a fresh, bright note up front that I can best describe as minty, with cranberry (totally devoid of tartness/bitterness) and strawberry quickly following behind. The fruit is about as close to eating fresh fruit as I've ever gotten in a beer—it's so clean and clear.

Feel: light but somehow a bit syrupy, and very juicy and slick. Disappears without a trace.

Overall: damn tasty beer. A notch below Vintage in my estimation, just because the latter has more complexity and richness, but this is still a spectacle of craftsmanship.

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Photo of minterro
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bought this beer at Argonuts in Denver, CO. I really enjoy this company's stuff so I figured I would give this one a try. The price was about 20$ for 750 ml bottle.

A&S: very pungent raspberry aroma upfront, really quite overpowering. The next strongest aroma is cranberries, however I'm not getting much if any cherries. Smells pretty sour as well, but more tart than puckering.

T&M: Cherries in the end of the taste. A little malty in the finish as well (something you don't pick up in the aroma), but similar of their other beer's finishes. Very smooth almost velvety even with a bite of carbonation. Medium-low body, medium-high carbonation.

Overall: really fantastic beer. Probably will not buy again, but just because of the price tag. I would say it is much better than their classic, and better than Grand Cru, but just not by enough to make me shell out 9 more dollars. Still a phenomenal beer and worth a try if only once.

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Photo of qchic
4.34/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The name tells you what it looks like. Lots of oak and cherries like a fine balsamic vinegar. So bright and lively with moderate sourness. Some will want more, but few would want less. A nice treat for sure!

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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 khmel
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A wonderfully balanced flemish red. Cloudy strawberry color. Small head with almost no retention, as is par for the style. The nose is lots of macerated strawberry, with hints of candy sugar and some grape notes. The taste is perfectly balanced for the style. Plenty of vinous sourness but not overwhelmingly so. Enough fruity sweetness to balance it out and not weary the palate. The mouth is smooth up front, but light and dry at the end. A wonderful and complex beer!

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Photo of FFreak
4.36/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at the Bevie in Winooski a few months back, can't remember the cost, but in the $10 range. Poured into a tall tulip glass and enjoyed with a pesto and fresh tomato pasta. Pours a slightly hazy raspberry pink with a tinge of brown and capped by a thin and quickly dissipating white head that leaves no lace, but maintains a continuous ring. Smell is very fruity with mostly raspberry and cherry and a hint of oak. Taste is a nice balance of tart, sourness and fruity sweetness, finishing with the complexity of the oak barrel aging. Very little bitterness. Mouth is medium-thin and lively, dry, tart and refreshing. Overall, this is an excellent fruit sour that would go great with a lot of different foods.

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Photo of larryarms847
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a gorgeous crystal clear ruby red with a lively body and little lacing.

Cherry, raspberry, and cranberry nose with subtle hint of oak and vanilla.

Tart raspberry and cranberry explode at first sip, followed by a sweeter vanilla, cherry, and oak palate cleanser.

Light-bodied, high carbonation, mildly tart, extremely refreshing.

Overall, while the $25 price point is hard to swallow, this brew does not disappoint.

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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 BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep ruby red with fizzy white head that dissipates to about a centimeter cap. When held away from your nose it has a very vinuous quality like a red wine. Held to the nose there are abundant and vibrant raspberries, rock candy, a bit of the cherries, and the cranberries are the most subtle. Slight hint of vanilla oak. Taste has a lot of raspberry up front with a bit of vanilla and cranberry. Finish is astringent and oaky. Very pleasantly tart. Light and bubbly mouthfeel with tingle and pucker on the sides of the tongue. Excellent beer.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.41/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really glad I sent away for this one! Not a lot of hype surrounding it but it was in my style and reviews were solid. Pours a nice pink and had tons of berry on the nose and palate along with just the right amount of tartness! Beautiful beer!!

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

Murky dark red beer. Lots of sweet fruit, on top of oak and funk. Not too sour or funky. Fruit overpowers some of that Rodenbach funk. But this is pretty nice to sip on.

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Photo of Jsnyd05
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I rarely post beer reviews, but this is a beer that needs to be discussed from the mountain tops.

It's not often that a "shelf turd" commands this much respect, but every once in awhile a beer that most pay lip service to but not many new people to the scene have actually had, needs to be resurrected so to speak.

We all know that European beers have been in decline for at least 20 years and have accelerated to the downside given the exponential increase in American breweries since 2011.

However, when things become too crazy, at a minimum, we need to get back to first principles - thus the review of Rodenbach.

It's almost redundant to even mention this beer, especially if you've listened and/or attended the SAVOR Salon with Peter Bouckaert from NB discussing his time spent at Rodenbach, but this beer, despite it's "shelf turd" status at MO BEV should be the Benchmark of what we seek in an oak aged Belgian beer.

We can use over priced $9 wine glass pours all day, but at the end of it, we should be left with wanting more and knowing that hundreds of years of brewing tradition led us to this wonderfully dark and tart yet slightly sweet masterpiece.

This is that beer.

No need to for aromas and glasses, "quaffability" scores and the like. Just a brilliant beer from a brilliant brewery that we can all grab almost every day.

Cheers to the much needed revitalization of a dying European craft.

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Photo of cbutova
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottled 6 days after the classic I just opened. Pure coincidence and really fun to try them at a similar age. Only 2nd or 3rd time for this one for me.

A- 750ml reveals a somewhat cloudy and murky rouge brew into our three glasses. Foamy and thick off white crown atop with decent retention becoming a medium ring. Several sheets of lace.

S- In the realm of both Flanders Red and Brown with a bucketload of dark fruits and sour lactic and vinegar notes. Red wine vinegar, fresh raspberries, cherry, spiced raisin, wet oak and hints of deep sugars.

T- All three of the added fruits shine here. The cranberry is noticed instantly with raspberries next and cherries following in the finish. Even at 2.5 years old the fruit notes are fresh like picked right off the plant. Tartness is medium to high being a blend of acetic and lactic acid for me. Sour lemons, medium toast woody oak, funky pie cherries, brown sugar, raisin, yeast spices, slight nuts and caramel.

MF- Creamy and substantial frothy texture with any agitation on the palate. Very high spritzy carbonation allows the flavors to truly come out and it all concludes fairly sour.

Summing this up by saying I could sip in this for hours and hours. An amazing base brew is given a whole new identity with fresh cranberry, raspberry and sour cherry all somehow shining. The base melds the fruit together brilliantly and its a match made in Belgium heaven. Closest thing to New Glarus outside of WI but with a classic Flanders feel.

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

If you're put off at the idea of a "sour" beer, consider it more tart than truly sour. Thoughts: "Vinous" for sure. Just the right amount of vinegary taste intermixed with fruity flavors. An easy beer to drink, quaffable. A very accessible beverage, no more challenging flavor-wise than a good dry apple cider. (In fact I think in a blind tasting you could pass this off as a cider.) The main argument against buying this beer again is that it is so much more expensive than the garden variety Rochefort Classic (Red), yet not a substantially different drinking experience.

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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 eifster82
4.64/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - light red. Low viscosity.

Smell - cranberry and raspberry notes are all there. Really abundant.

Taste - Sour, but not overly aggressive. Flavorful with notes smelled.

Feel - Fizzy, almost like a champagne.

Overall - Deliscious. Would love to find and have more of it.

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