Rodenbach Caractère Rouge - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

127 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 127
Hads: 1,016
rAvg: 4.43
pDev: 6.77%
Wants: 257
Gots: 273 | FT: 47
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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 127 | Hads: 1,016
Photo of jpmccann
4.67/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is an amazing beer. As with all of the Caractère Rouge bottled beer, it is 75-cl corked and caged.

When it is held to the light is a bright ruby red thanks to all of the cranberries, raspberries and cherries.

On the nose you get all of the fruits right at the beginning, followed by a bit of vinegar and general sourness, but overall, it is soft and it all comes together very well.

When you take your first sip, you get all of the fruit right away and that is washed over by the sourness and tartness. It is a perfect blend of fruit and sour and tart and it is all held together with the oak. Nothing is over powered. It is perfectly balanced for my taste.

While this beer comes with a significant tag, it is a great beer to have for that special occasion. (768 characters)

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. (656 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.66/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Privileged enough to have this twice while in Belgium - 1) split 3 ways at 't Brugs Beertje and 2) gifted and split 5 ways at De Kelk in Brugge

Really a gorgeous beer - bright pinkish read with a nice beige-pink lace. Unlike anything else I've had from Rodenbach which tends to be heavy on the balsamic/oak, this is much more similar to something New Glarus would brew. Extremely fruit forward - cranberry, raspberry, cherry dominate the nose and palate. A little tart, a little sweet, but a full on ambush of flavor. This was great. (534 characters)

Photo of sjones5045
4.66/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4/25/15 home

750 bottle

Pours ruby red with a thin head. The smell is a sour fruit concoction with oak pouring through. The taste is just a tad sour and tart but you really can taste the raspberry and cranberry with an oak finish. Excellent beer and one that is a great example of a craft beer that is put together extremely well. (335 characters)

Photo of Danny1217
4.66/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a large wine glass.
Nice presentation. Pours dark red with a white head that displays surprisingly good retention considering the acidity.
Smells musty, brett funk, fresh berries, cranberry, raspberry, and cherry dominate. Some dark fruit notes; plums and red grapes. A touch of oak. A nice, clean lactic aroma with a touch of vinegar. Much more funk than the other Rodenbachs I have had.
Taste follows similarly. Musty, earthy, juicy berry character. Lots of fruitiness and a touch of sweetness. Medium sourness that is mostly lactic, but with that touch of acetic acid that gives the signature Flemish flavor. Really enjoy the funk that is present here. Body is not quite as dry as a lambic, for example, and the residual sugars create a nice balance between sweet and sour.

Fantastic beer. I would rank it among the world class fruited lambics I have had. This is a top-tier sour and perhaps the greatest achievement of the Flemish Red style. (960 characters)

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. (284 characters)

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 (569 characters)

Photo of warnerry
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was afraid I had held onto this too long for the fruit to really come through. Luckily, that is not the case. Amazing fruit aroma, with raspberries leading the way and cherries not far behind. Taste is an absolute delight. Fruity, but still with the complexity of a good Flanders red. Maybe a bit more earthiness and funk would be beneficial, but this is a fantastic beer. (374 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 tendermorsel
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tried this twice on a recent Belgian trip. At 't Brugs Beertje and De Bistronoom. New rodenbach!

Rose colored with minimal head. Great looking beer.

A lot of funk on the nose intermingled with various fruit flavors.

You could taste the lactic fermentation from the Foder but it was by no means overwhelming. Tons of cherry rasberry and cranbery notes in the background. Awesome flavor.

I know little about this beer but I would assume that this a blended beer with at least a small portion consisting of 100% foder beer. Much more lactic than a regular Rodenbach but not as lactic as the grand cru.

Great stuff. I love the fact that they are experimenting at Rodenbach. Honestly I think that they should do more. Some of the wierd stuff that they have done over years the has been great (Vin De Cereale, Alexander) and I would include this one in that group. (868 characters)

Photo of brystmar
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Unlabeled bottle from batch 1 shared by Marcos last night, thanks!

Bright ruby red body, white ring of head on the surface. Aroma is loaded with ripe cherries and raspberries. Slightly oaky. Could smell this stuff all day.

Taste brings even more of the same. Liquified raspberry jam, a good amount of sweetness, intensely acetic too. Hits all of my sour buttons: fruited lambic, unrelenting sourness, flavors are highly concentrated & complex. So delicious!

I could drink an entire case of this stuff. Time to trade for my own bottle. (537 characters)

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. (1,246 characters)

Photo of Catracho5
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a Belgian tulip

A: Pours mahogany with a reddish head, cloudy, lots of carbonation, no lacing.

A: Cherry, raspberry, cranberry, lots of berry aromas, smell berry good. Picking up some oak, sweet, smells sweeter than it does tart, smells great.

T: Cherries, tartness, cranberries, raspberries, some oak, finishes dry, alcohol is not even noticeable, this beer has lots of flavor.

M: Medium mouthfeel, dry finish, lots of carbonation.

O: World-class, lots of berries flavors, slight oak, great balance with the carbonation, very tasty. I hope I can pick up another. (594 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a crimson tinted apple cider color with a good amount of haze. A nice one finger tightly bubbled cream colored head tops it.

S: From a distance, all you smell is some spicy oak. But as you get closer, huge amounts of ripe and jammy fruit notes pull you in. Overripe raspberry and tart cranberry notes lead the way, with just a touch of vinegar and some sweet syrup soaked cherry notes in the background. Vanilla and just a touch of spicy oak in the background. Amazing.

T: Opens on a sweet cranberry note with just a tug of tartness, slowly fading into pure raspberry jam. Ripe blueberry, cherry skin tannins and some silky smooth malt notes in the back. Finish is a touch dry with some oak and lingering dried cranberry and black cherry skin notes. There's a lot of sweetness here, but it's held in check perfectly by some on point carbonation and the nice drying finish. Could easily be the best Flanders red I've had. (931 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 PerHops
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- This beer pours a beautiful red orange with a a quarter inch head and whispy lacing into a wine glass.

S- Some vinegar, some funk, some sour cherries and raspberries.

T- A near perfect balance of sweetness from the fruit accompanying the vinegar and funk from the base beer and oak barrels.

M-Great carbonation. Medium high, to high, which works perfect for style! Really makes this beer brighter!

O- So much better than I anticipated. Well worth the 22 bucks. I would buy again, for sure! (497 characters)

Photo of samshaw
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Mostly opaque, dark amber with thick head of light pink and tan that dissipates quickly.

S: Moderate tart cherry, with light notes of cranberry and raspberry.

T: Medium sour cherry more pronounced on the tongue, complemented with the moderate flavor of other berries. Slightly more sour than tart with just a hint of sweetness.

M: Moderate carbonation and thickness, the sensations of which amount to a significant component of this ale.

O: Dark, brooding and sexy. Tartness of the cranberry and raspberry lend a vivid bite to the primary note of wild cherry, making this a drink to savor slowly. Enjoying it as such maintains an extremely pleasant aroma of red consistently in the mouth. (700 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 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 larryi86
4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a flute

A- A clear ruby red with a two finger pink head.

S- Sweet and sour, a lot of cranberries, cherries, some raspberries, oak.

T- Great balance between sweet and sour, cranberries have a nice sweetness up front and the cherries bring a great sour punch, some vinager, touch of lactic acid, some oak. Very well balance, wish I got more of the raspberry flavors.

M- Smooth, crisp, medium body, dry.

O- A very well done sour worth try and the $25 price tag. Definitely will pick this up again! (525 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 Justin_Cyr
4.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ordered it not knowing what to expect and was pleasantly surprised. Excellent fragrance, current and raisin with a balsamic notes near the end . Sour and oak sweetness, great balance! The appearance is unbelievable, would love to enjoy it again on a patio. (256 characters)

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

750ml corked/caged bottle split between two big goblets. If there's a best by, bottled on, or batch number on the bottle, I can't find it. The bottle doesn't look like the photo in this listing. The bottle has clear, plasticky, printed sticker labels.

Pours coppery golden, surprisingly clear, lots of carbonation which clings to the side of the glass but doesn't build into much of a head. Smell is delicious and rich and power, easily detectable at arm's length while pouring the glasses. Sour, sweet-tarty, fruit, just a hint of smokiness.

Taste is sour but not quite jaw clenching, has exactly the sweet-tarty character that I love in a Flanders Red (see Rodenbach Grand Cru). Without doing a side by side, I couldn't compare this with Grand Cru, but it seems like a beer of comparable quality. I think this beer is very fruity. I don't get much from the oak vats mentioned on the label, though. I think primarily I get sour cherry flavor, and lots of fruity sweetness.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth, slightly oily. Overall, this beer is excellent. (1,055 characters)

Photo of TrappistJohnMD
4.51/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary with this one. I was very excited to give it a try.

Served ruby-brown color with cream or off-white head in a Rodenbach glass.

Smell is tart and fruity. Lot of cherries anf cranberry.

Taste is mildly tart with cherries and cranberries. Nice green apple freshness lingers in the finish. No obvious bitterness.

Mouthfeel is prickly and nicely carbonated for the style.

Overall this was fantastic! The best example of the style that I have had. Very refreshing. (513 characters)

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

This is full of of delicious raspberry, dark cherry, vanilla cream, cranberries and touches of oak wood. Only lightly tangy and sour this is so full and amazing. (161 characters)

Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
97 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.