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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: 1,133
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
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Reviews: 152 | Hads: 1,133
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 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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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 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.

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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 StoutHunter
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of Rodenbach's Cartactere Rouge a few days ago for $22.99 at The Lager Mill. I was looking for something a little special for my birthday and I thought I would take a chance on this one, I think the Rodenbach Classic is a pretty nice beer and i'm interested to see how this one turns out, so lets see how it goes. 2013 Vintage. Poured from a brown corked and caged 750ml Bottle into a Belgian tulip.

A- The label is pretty simple and not too eye catching, but I think it has a nice classy look to it. It poured a nice and hazy darker red color that took on a great ruby red color when held to the light with a finger and a half worth of off white head that died down to a thin ring that eventually disappears and it left a little bit of spotty lacing behind. This was a very good looking beer, I really liked the color and I have no complaints at all.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness that's followed by a huge berry aroma, the raspberrys, cranberrys, and tart cherrys all come through and I think the cranberrys add a unique aspect to the berry aroma that sets it apart and it has a nice tart/sour aroma to it. Up next comes a light funky farmhouse like aroma with a lighter musty aroma mixed in and there's also some light oaky aromas that show up just enough to notice them. Towards the end there's a pretty light vinegar aroma that works well with this beer. I thought this beer had very good aroma, it was very fruity with the berrys and cherrys being highlighted with just enough funky and oaky aromas.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness followed by all those berry and cherry aspects that I got in the aroma with the cranberrys still adding an extra unique aspect that makes for an aroma that isn't the typical berry aroma. Up next comes some of that funky yeast and it imparts a lighter funky flavors with a slight musty flavor in the background that shows up just enough. On the finish comes the oak with a slight bit of vanilla and there's higher amount of medium tartness that is at just the right level and it had a tart berry like aftertaste. This is a very good tasting beer, I loved the balance between the tart berrys and the funky yeast.

M- Pretty smooth, refreshing, clean, fairly dry on the finish, medium bodied with a good amount of higher medium carbonation that was at just the right level. This beer had a very good mouthfeel, it really worked well with this beer and I have no complaints.

Overall I thought this was a very good beer and I don't have any experience with this style, but I'm pretty sure this is a very good example of a Flanders Red Ale and it reminded me of some of the better funky fruit beers I have had. This beer had nice drinkability, it wasn't overly sour, a little acidic, pretty smooth, clean, refreshing and the taste did a good job at holding my attention, I think a full bottle would be a little too acidic for me so I think splitting the bottle with someone is the perfect amount and I could see how this would be a great beer to enjoy in the summer. What I liked the most about this beer was everything, this beer didn't have any weak points in my opinion and there's nothing I can think that would improve this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was how expensive it is, I know it's not cheap to import these Belgian beers, but if the price was lower it wouldn't be just a special occasion beer. I would get this beer again if it saw it, it's very expensive, but I think it's worth it and it makes for a great special occasion beer and I would love to see how it changes over time. I would recommend this to anyone who loves those Funky fruit beers. All in all I was pretty impressed with this beer, I was hoping this was going to be good for how much I paid for it, but it ended up exceeding my expectations and it made for a very enjoyable beer. Good job guys, this was a great and special beer, thanks for sending some to the USA, keep up the awesome work.

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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 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 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 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.

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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 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.

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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 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 angrybabboon
4.48/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this beer

Consumed 12/11/13

Appearance: Deep purple - medium brown with a ton of red, pink, and copper - hazy, cloudy - pours with a medium-sized, off-white head, leads some nice lacing

Smell: An abundance of berries - cherries, raspberries, and cranberries are all present here, creates a very rich, bright berry aroma - berry skins, with some fruity sweetness - some rich funk, sourness, musty notes, and wood - some rich amber and caramel malts as well - a touch of vinegar, but mostly this is a blast of fruits

Taste: Berries, berries everywhere - brilliantly tart, with a ton of berry skin - tart cherries, ripe cranberries, fleshy raspberries - fruity and juicy without being really sweet - sweetness is brilliantly minimal - lightly sour, but more tart - funky, with some lactic, musty funk - some nice caramel and amber malts as a base - some nice acidity in a surprisingly clean finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body, very smooth, nice carbonation, very clean for the style

Overall: I don't care if I can't pronounce the name of this beer, it's still awesome

This is an excellent Flanders Red. It's absurdly fruity, and inexplicably clean. I'm honestly surprised at how good this is. Buy it if you see it.

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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.

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

A huge thank you to Jeffo for this and many more amazing brews.

Appearance. Pours a hazy, very nice looking deep red with a touch of brown. Topped with a thin pinkish off-white head.

Smell. Tart cherries and raspberries, barrel wood and just a light hint of caramel. Very fruity and delicious smelling.

Taste. Tart raspberries with just a little sweetness, barrel wood (on the fresh side) ...not a whole lot else but what is there is very nice. Tastes like a ton of raspberries went in to this. Really nice.

Mouthfeel. Medium body, medium + carbonation.

Overall. Elegant simplicity (perfect description from Kathleen). So much fruit flavour for the style which was a bit surprising considering the other rodenbach offerings that are heavier on the sweetness and caramel flavours. Awesome stuff. Thanks again Jeff!

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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.

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