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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge

Educational use only; do not reuse.

153 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 153
Hads: 1,135
Avg: 4.43
pDev: 19.41%
Wants: 270
Gots: 312 | FT: 47
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
Reviews: 153 | Hads: 1,135
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.

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

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

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Photo of 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

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Photo of tillmac62
4.61/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Normal head volume, weak retention and minimal lacing - which is normal for the style. Pours a beautiful clear medium copper and garnet.

Complex nose of tart and sour with notes of vinegar, hints of raspberry and cherry over a subtle fruit like sweetness. As it warms, oak notes are present.

Light medium body with a smooth texture that approaches creamy and has an oily characteristic as well. Above normal carbonation with a bit of effervescence in the middle and a nice burst in the finish. In short, World Class.

The flavor profile is World Class and serves as the standard against which others should be judged. It is intense, quite complex and a brewer's masterpiece of balance. It begins with a burst of tart fruit, raspberries and cherries, over a slightly sweet background. In the middle, tartness gives a slight pucker with only the slightest hint of sour vinegar. The raspberry and cherry fruit flavors slowly subside and cranberry comes to the forefront over a caramel like sweetness. As the finish approaches, dryness comes to the forefront coupled still with a nice tart pucker and flavor. In the finish, oak notes come to the forefront coupled with a slow fade of tartness and slight sourness. A dry pucker lingers.

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

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

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750 ml caged and corked bottle, no date on the bottle that I could find so I have no idea how old or what batch number this is. I'm pretty sure I've had this bottle for about a year if not longer, so it does have some age on it. Served in a Prairie Teku, the beer pours a slightly hazy ruby red/brown color with about a half inch light tan head. The head fizzled away quickly, and there isn't much lacing. Aroma is nice and fruity (sweet and tart), the brew smells like raspberries, cherries, oak, vinegar, lemon and a bit of cranberry. The taste overall is a bit sweeter than I expected it to be. It tastes like raspberries, cherries (both sweet and tart ones), cranberries, oak, grape skins, caramel, vinegar and a bit of apple and lemon peel. The tart flavors were subtle at first, but then got stronger as I finished the bottle. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy with a good amount of soft carbonation. I think this is a pretty good overall brew. Definitely worth buying if you see it anywhere! $21.99 a bottle.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into tulip 3/12/15, gotta thank kumatmebrew for the major want

A sits reddish brown in the glass with a ruby glow when held to the light, not much for head or lace but not far off the style

S its like smelling juice, cranberry, strawberry, raspberries, black current, cherries, a little apple, massive fruity notes, some brown sugar, a hint of vinegar, and faint wet wood, just brilliant I'd change nothing

T fruits more sour then sweet unlike the nose, more vinegar, still some brown sugar, not as intense as the nose but still very tasty

M tart, a little sweet and sour going on, medium bodied, more bubbles then I could see in the glass, slippery with liquids in your mouth, long earthy, fruity finish

O I'm almost done the bottle at this point so that says something, smells perfect and solid everywhere else

I can see why this beer has such a great reputation, I might just sit here smelling the empty bottle all night

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Photo of beerhan
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A-pours a ruby red with a pink hue and a one finger pinkish white head

S-smells very acidic, vinegar, apples and a little lemon

T-delicious raspberry hits your tongue first followed by a slightly tart cherry and a little melon in the finish

M-very smooth for being a sour but not quite as smooth as traditional rodenbach or the grand cru. Medium carbonation makes this incredibly drinkable but this is just a hair on the tart side.

O-this is pretty phenomenal overall. If it wasn't for the price I would keep this stocked always. Highly recommend.

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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.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter, beautiful red brown with a whispy reddish head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: sweet and sour combination of cherries and cranberries, hints of raspberry, balsamic vinegar

T: WOW, this beer plays back and forth between sweet and sour, acetic acid of malt and balsamic vinegar at first quickly swings into sweet cherry, tangy raspberry follows and plays off of sour cranberry, flavors of fruit abound in this beer

M: medium bodied, nice carbonation

O: and excellent fruity Flanders Red, well worth purchasing

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Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Poured from a 750ml bottle no date. Cellared for about 6 months.

A: slightly translucent but muddy red. Nice foamy head for a sour. Really pleasant looking.

S: amazing. One of the best smells from a sour. Rich cranberries with a cherry soda component. Like candy.

T: clean. Not ultra sour but pleasant. A buttery sourness lighter in vinegar character than say rodenbach grand cru. Everything here works really well and the light carbonation brings it together.

M: great acid feel very smooth. Lingering sourness not overbearing. Real clean all around.

O: a great find. $25 well spent. Enjoyed much more than the vintage of many different years. Love sours and a great change up on the kriek with cranberries. Bomb.

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Photo of TimZebGir
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Oh my god,
Oh my god,
When can I get more?
Oh my god.

A: Glorious pink with a touch of brown and bubbly thin head that recedes quickly (3/3)
S: Very earthy acidic with notes of fruits added but most strongly cranberry (10/12)
T: Aged oak sour dominates with raspberry and cranberry tartness n front cherry sweetness on finish (18/20)
M: Surprisingly bubbly for a sour and a very nice astringent dryness on finish (5/5)
O: Very refreshing a great beer for warm weather or a good counter to fatty meats (9/10)

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Photo of Jack_Malts
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Beautiful hazy auburn pour. Smells like sour cherry syrup. Big juicy fruit flavors, tart cherry, slight acetic presence, bright cranberry and freshly picked raspberries. A bit expensive, but a must try for any fans of Flanders reds, or anybody who likes mouth-wateringly delicious beer.

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

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

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Photo of Chico1985
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My third time having this. Shared with "The Crew" for Scott's birthday.

Nice deep red color with a small pinkish white head.

Great fruit flavors all around. Cranberries especially coming through really nicely and maybe are the most prevalent, followed by raspberry and sour cherries. Craisins come to mind. It has slight tartness but far from the sourness and vinegar expected in a flanders red, intense fruit flavors definitely takeover here. Slightly funky Belgian yeast, bready dessert malts, caramel and oak make for a nice base. The body is light, highly carbonated, gets more tart as it warms, and finishes nice and dry. Drinks very easy.

This is basically New Glarus-quality fruit beer with an easygoing Belgian Flanders base, which is very nice. The fruit is allowed to shine through excellently, especially enjoyed the cranberry aspect. Easy-going, complex and excellent.

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

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

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish-brown color. The head is two fingers high, and slightly pink in shade. The texture is horrible - it looks like soda, and retention is average at best. Almost no lacing is left on the glass. (3)

Smell: Holy fruits. There are an incredible amount of cherries and raspberries, and I'm incredibly impressed with how natural they smell. This is the fruitiest beer I've ever encountered, in fact. Only complaint is that the sourness I like in Rodenbach Grand Cru is a bit concealed. Otherwise... (4.5)

Taste: It's Rodenbach Grand Cru with a far more vibrant fruit flavor - mainly. The sourness comes through in the back end, but remains beautifully subtle. Its aftertaste reveals a bit of cranberry, too. Letting it warm up reveals a gentle woodiness. It's not too sweet, and it's not too tart (though as Oude Tart revealed earlier, that's not exactly a bad thing), it's just right. Not to mention, it's complexity is just right, too. (4.5)

Mouthfeel: Despite having a rich initial sweetness, it somehow manages to be rather dry. It feels like a great wine with the powerful tannins and carbonation cleansing the palate. Because of the flavor intensity, it's not super drinkable - but who cares? This is a fantastic sipper. (4.25)

Overall: Honestly, it's closer to a fruit beer than a sour. So? That just makes it the best fruit beer I've ever had. This not only brings a fruity richness others in the style lack, but its sourness cleanses the sweetness beautifully. Shame it's so expensive...no, wait, I don't care, I'd definitely buy a bottle of this again. (4.5)

4.4/5: Wowee, this is a jaw-dropping fruited sour

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Photo of Budinetz
5/5  rDev +12.9%

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Roguer
4.48/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful reddish/pink/brown ale, with a light, pink creme head. Retention is poor (expected for the style). Brew is pulpy and translucent.

Absolutely delectable aroma, featuring Rodenbach's yeasty funk; significant oak, tartness, and vanilla; and a ton of tart fruits. Raspberries and cranberries stand out, with a hint of tart cherry behind. A floral bouquet appears as it warms. The sourness of this beer is neither hidden nor overpowering.

Flavor is much more fruit-forward than the aroma implies, but otherwise hits on everything you might expect. Funk and oak up front; immediately followed by fruit and tannins; and washed over on the back-end by a tumultuous mixture of cherries, raspberries, cranberries, vanilla, and apples. Very sweet, and less subtle than other Rodenbach beers, but no less complex. Quite sour, but with plenty of balancing sweetness from the fruit. Divine.

Tart and puckering, with a sticky, lively mouthfeel. Long finish; you'll be smacking your lips and gums long after the brew has been swallowed.

Another fantastic, fantastic Flanders by Rodenbach, and finally a fruit-forward version. This easily can step up and compete with the best fruit lambics of the rest of Belgium, and of New Glarus.

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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.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.67/5  rDev +5.4%

Bottle from the Dogz place near Pittsburgh. Pricey. Pours dark red with some brownish hues and a bit of light showing through, along with a nice two finger off white head with some pink tones to it. Awesome aroma of cherries and raspberries, lots if sweet fruit here, light tartness, a bit of oak. Flavor is plenty of sourness but not overbearing acidity on the tongue, some oak here but dominated by fruit, sweet raspberries, lots of cherries, and I assume the cranberries add a bit of the tart tones here. Medium bodied with nearly spritzy carbonation that mingles perfectly with the sourness to balance out all the sweet berries here. World class brew.

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

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

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

A-burgundy brown color with a decent light pink head and a little lacing

S-sour cherries, oak, light vinegar, hints of sweetness and cranberry

T-sour cherries, cranberry, raspberry, little yeast, oaky, nice dry tart finish

F-medium body with lively carbonation, crisp and a little astringent

O-great blend of flavors and one of the best Flanders reds I have ever had, look forward to trying this one with a little age

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.46/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750lm poured into pint glass (not my choice, but I'll take it"

A- Nice reddish brown
S- White oak, dark fruits. Salivation begins immediatately
T- Very sour, but the oak, cranberry and tart cherrys come through. Very well balanced for such a complex beer.
M- I little sour burning
O - This one is very sour, but the bright, clean oak and fruit distract. Great sour!

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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
97 out of 100 based on 153 ratings.