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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge

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141 Reviews

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Reviews: 141
Hads: 1,088
Avg: 4.43
pDev: 7.22%
Wants: 266
Gots: 297 | 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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Reviews: 141 | Hads: 1,088
Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Sean9689
4.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish/brown color, light tan head, thin ring, spotty lace. Nose is fruit-forward with a nice mix of tartness and oak. Flavor is a bit more tartness with a nice sweet berry note that follows. Cherry, oak, and some light vinegar is what I pick out most from the flavor. Body is light to medium, good carbonation, dry tart finish.

A really nice beer from Rodenbach that I will have again, no doubt. I'm going to stock up on bottles, as I think this even has additional room for improvement. Good stuff!

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Photo of KornWallace
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Date: 5/6/14
Location: Port Chester Beer Distributor
Glassware: Red Wine Glass

Appearance: Rosy in color pouring with a pinkish carbonation. While the head doesn't last a small ring of carbonation does remain.
Aroma: As advertised cranberries and sour cherries come through on the nose. With nice notes of raspberry as well. The oak vat has a presence in a lovely wood smell with hints of oak.
Taste: The fruit has the major profile for this beer giving it a very tart flavor. The tartness is assisted by the wild yeast. Tart is very much the word as I pucker slightly with every sip.
Mouthfeel: Light to Medium in body. Light to medium in carbonation. The beer itself is very dry and leaves your mouth watering.

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Photo of dar482
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in copper reddish brown color.

The aroma has huge sweet fruits of cherry, raspberry along with a vinegary sourness.

the flavor follows with that sourness in the front of apple cider vinegar. The sourness is quite strong, but well balanced this a cherry, cranberry sweetness that pops out. The end finishes with some oak.

Not as exciting as some new age sours, but wonderfully fruity and balanced.

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Photo of kscaldef
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No bottle number I saw, but apparently one of only 900. Consumed at De Heeren on 6/7/2012.

A reddish copper color, poured into beautiful wine-style glasses. Cherry aroma dominates. The beer is quite tart with lot of cherry flavor and an immediate mouth-watering effect. Medium-low carbonation and a slightly sweet linger.

I gotta say, the Rodenbachs killed it on this particular day. #2 beer of the afternoon (after Alexander Rodenbach).

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.24/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

We rip the cage and cork, pouring a brew of shimmering ruby reds into our Ommegang Game of Thrones snifters. It puts up a hearty three finger head of cotton candy colored foam that lies in a single tight unit, save for a soapy bubble mountain to one side of it. This retains decently, leaving wet drops of lacing that drip back into the main body within seconds. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be lightly active throughout. The nose is insanely tart, giving notes of simple syrup soaked cranberries, raspberries, and blueberries, with dried black cherry skins, heavy caramel and bourbon sweetness, dried oaky moldiness, dried papaya and mango flesh, spice of cinnamon and green cardamom pods, vinegar and soured lemon acidity, dried floral petals, red and dusty pale maltiness, chokecherries, and biting vinyl plastics. Our first impression is that this beer is impressively sour and puckering, and surprisingly, that the most forward fruity flavor is that of the cranberry. The flavoring takes off with juicy, fruity bubblegum sweetness, intense fermented cranberry and raspberry sourness, biting rubbers and phenolic plastics, tart oaky punch, red wine vinegar, dried and chipped red grape skins, mustard seed, and cotton candy fluffiness. The middle comes to a peak with blunted mallow sugars, rotten strawberry and raspberry fruit mash, soured cherry flesh, coppery and irony metallics, powdered cinnamon, thin plastic sheets, pencil lead, dried apricot, potpourri petals, and acidic sourness of that fermented fruit maceration. The end washes through with soured acidity of stomach juices, synthetic red grape flavoring, frozen raspberry puree, cranberry flesh and water, tonic water bitters, succulent pomegranate seeds, artificial plastic bite, thick waves of oaky heaviness, moss and green grassiness, confectioner’s sugar battered fresh cherries, and pale wheatiness. The aftertaste breathes with dampening maltiness of caramel, pale, and ruddy amber maltiness, hollow wheatiness, sunflower pollen, salted toffee, foamy plastics, dried cranberry and raspberry bite and crumble, moldy blue cheese funk, balsamic vinegar, burnt wheat breadiness, white pepper and garlic salts, continued cherry flesh sours, overripe strawberries, and dry burgundy red. The body is light but sticky and sweet on the lips, while carbonation is medium. Each sip affords wet cream and froth, which thins them a bit, but slurp, smack, pop, and glug are all intact and powerfully appropriate. The mouth is briefly coated with residual stickiness of sugars, with a quickly following puck and twinge of dryness. The muscles of the palate and cheeks contract and swoon like a teenage girl in the presence of a young Brad Pitt. It is glorious. The abv is handled easily, and the beer drinks way too easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its taste. This beer is able to destroy the stylistic guidelines with pinpoint accuracy while sending unique yet appropriate flavoring dancing over top of it. The fruit is wonderfully refreshing and authentic, matching the oak in all of its weird glory whole heartedly. The aroma is just as nice, but doesn’t quite set you up for the seriousness of the sip. The mouthfeel, on the other hand, is out of this world, with just the right amount of dryness to match the juiciness and puckering punch of the fruit, grain, and wood. We’ve been quite excited for this one for a while, and oddly enough this is our first taste of any Rodenbach product, despite the fact that we’ve been accruing a vintage vertical in our cellar for the past several years. This beer might be a bit esoteric for some, but for those that can appreciate it, it is downright delicious.

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Photo of safaricook
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A fantastic vlaams rood. Unfortunately, mine was more than a year old therefore the fruitiness of the aroma as described by other was strongly reduced. Drink it as you get it!

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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 cjgiant
4.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours rose side of burgundy. Decent white head grows on pour, fades to the edges but lasts. Beer seems translucent to clear, but deep color essentially block most light. Nose is almost spoiled wine-like: some fruit notes, but with a vinegar note to it. I get the raspberry, maybe a hint of cranberry, but none of it is very strong (though it does seem more evident a little later in the drink).

Taste has the fruitiness from the nose, but more evident: raspberry and cranberry. The cherry might provide some tartness, which is there and blends nicely with other fruit flavors. I also do get a bit of cider vinegar taste behind the tartness. The carbonation tickles the tongue nicely, and the beer is quite smooth or even silly in its own way.

Another hit by Rodenbach. I think having one of their beers every so often should be a plan of mine. The lightness of the sour or the vinegar tartness that is a part of their beers just isn't my ideal, so I can't go world class level myself, although I appreciate the balance of flavors.

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Photo of Gasc0igne
4.28/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A gorgeous coloured pour; hazy dark red (almost a mahogany) with two fingers of pinkish-brown soapy head that becomes a light film after a short time. Average lacing.

Raspberry dominates the nose, big supporting cherry, a touch of cranberry. Amazingly fruity. Something like an over-sweetened jam to the nose, definite sugar presence. Balsamic backing throughout. I get a big hit of toasted wood (think: light char from saw) every so often. Sadly I do get an unwelcome medicinal note that detracts from the experience.

A bit of a change from the nose, cranberry clearly dominates, cherry close behind. Big and tart upfront. Raspberry pops in halfway through carrying some sour funkiness with it. Fruit-sweet, as opposed to sugar-sweet. No proper barrel presence (apart from funkiness), and no noticeable medicinal qualities like the nose had. Balsamic still backs everything up. Tart through-and-through and ridiculously juicy.

Light bodied. Smooth with a very dry finish. Highly carbonated.

A vastly different beer to the base. The bold and clear fruits are a joy, and it is oh so drinkable!

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Photo of cvm4
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure on vintage.

L - Pours a deep cherry red with a one finger pinkish head that fades quickly.

S - The nose seems really jammy to me with a slightly medicinal quality. The cranberries, raspberries and cherries really mesh well together. Definitely some oak mixed in.

T - So much tart cranberries, cherries and raspberries! The sour is mild at first then builds to where you can taste in the back of your jaws. Lacto and oak all throughout. I can definitely see some jam quality.

F - Medium body and medium carbonation. Smooth body, creamy.

O - This is a special beer to be enjoyed slowly. I think having this on the regular would ruin me.

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Photo of dgilks
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear red-mahogany colour with no head. Still good with great clarity.

Rich raspberry and strawberry aroma. Quite sweet. Some nice acetic acid and funk. Almost jammy. Interesting.

Tart and refreshing on the palate. Becomes a little sweeter later in the mouthful. Nice berry character and touches of funk. Really well balanced. Wonderful tartness.

Medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation. Good.

A fantastic beer really. I wish it could get some head retention but it is nonetheless a very tasty beer and exceptionally balanced.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL into an Altamont beer glass.

Reddish clear, with heavy berry notes on the nose and a light funk.

The beer itself is much sweeter than anticipated, with the only tartness being a sort of dried cranberry -- it's fruity-sour and not acidic-sour. Rich and full, the mouthfeel is great.

I don't think I like this as much as standard Grand Cru, but it's tasty!

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Photo of Damian
4.34/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 750 ml/1 pint 9.4 fl. oz. corked and caged bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
Served in a tulip

Gorgeous appearance. The near crystal clear, ruby color liquid was topped by a billowing, light pink, sea foam crown. Super fluffy and finely beaded. The head faded to a thick cap and deposited odd shaped patches of lacing along the glass.

Intense fruity notes dominated the nose. Tons of cranberry, sour cherry, raspberry and strawberry. Slightly funky and tart. Crisp and yeasty. Somewhat candy-like. As the beer sat, more tart qualities came forth. Lemon notes were apparent. Overall, really pleasant, albeit rather one-dimensional.

The flavor profile was fairly similar to the aroma, except perhaps even sweeter. Super fruity with sour cherry and ripe raspberry notes dominating. Some strawberry as well. The fruit additions really overshadowed the qualities of the base Flemish sour ale and lent the beer a slightly medical quality. This reminded me in some ways of cherry cough syrup. Crisp, yeasty notes were detectible. Touch of lemony tartness on the finish. As the beer warmed, some of the base beer's qualities became more apparent. Brown sugar and hints of balsamic and acetic acid appeared. Some oak and tannins came through as well.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied and contained a crisp, lively effervescence. Smooth and frothy on the palate. Slightly foamy.

I love fruit-forward beers, but the fruit additions in this offering completely overwhelmed the base beer and resulted in something that was overtly sweet and rather one-dimensional. If this were merely a fruited ale, I probably would have given it much better scores. However, knowing how terrific the base beer is, and paying $28 for this "enhanced" version, gives me reason to knock it in some aspects. Although most fruit beers are best consumed fresh, this one might actually benefit from some age.

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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 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 jakewatt135
4.36/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much lighter beer than the grand cru, which is still my favorite they make. Great fruit flavors but I wasn't a fan of the cranberry. I think it gave the beer a dry cranberry bitterness in the finish. Still a great beer.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.36/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark rich garnet/amber. Head is pale pink and bubbly. Very slight lacing. Nice effervescent carbonation on the pour. Super pink.

Smell: Hyper fruity. Raspberries and cranberries jump out. A touch of jammy fruit coupled with some juicy fresh fruit. Tart cherries add a nice counter to what could be a very sweet beer. A touch of oak running through the back with a mildly acetic edge to the whole thing. Some sweet malts thrown in for good measure. Slight earthiness as well. It's all about the fruit and it's rather delightful. Some hint of damp house yeast.

Taste: Raspberries and then some. Tart cherry adds a nice counter to the sweet push from the raspberries. A touch of jam sweetness. Cranberry melds in giving it a bit of depth, helping to split the difference between the other two fruits. Oak barrel adds a nice earthy woody element. Some soft earth. Damp and wet basement. Some grass and hay mixed in for good measure. Carries the distinct Rodenbach acetic/balsamic vinegar. Slight yeast presence. a touch floral. Very fruity, but nicely balanced between tart and sweet.

Mouthfeel: Wet and juicy on the sip. Nice and smooth with a medium body and moderate carbonation. Drinks a bit juicier than is the norm for the style, but given the amount of fruit, it's not really surprising.

Overall: Jax Teller's side business is lucrative.

Has the base of Rodenbach and then enhances it with delicious fruit infusions. A nice balance of tart and sweet.

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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 UCLABrewN84
4.36/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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Photo of rudzud
4.36/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice crystal clear ruby hue with a thin white head that fades to leave a thin halo.

S - Aromas of loads of lactose, raspberries, cranberries. Very nice jammy berry notes, lightly funky, nice.

T - Taste is lactose, lots of it, nice tart cranberry, good raspberry notes. Tart, pleasant, jammy, very flemmy but in a good way.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely, good lactose. Flemmy.

O - Overall this beer was quite tasty, great berry notes with a pleasant flemmy quality. Great addition to the base beer.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Tucquan
4.37/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2013-11-24 in Columbia, PA

A - Mahogany/amber with a short-lived, tan head and moderate lacing.

S - Characteristic Rodenbach Grand Cru aroma but with added raspberry and cranberry. I always get oak, cherry and hard apple cider out of the normal Grand Cru. Very pleasant enhancements.

T - Tart cranberry with some cherry and a little raspberry, light malt, hard cider, oak. Moderately sour with a typical Grand Cru finish but with some added lingering cranberry. Perhaps a bit less tart than normal Grand Cru with more of an emphasis on the fruit in this one. Very, very nice.

M - High carbonation and a light body. Dries quickly.

O - A well-done step up from the already-great Grand Cru. Too bad it is so expensive.

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

Very jam like, blackberries with very tart cranberries.
A slight balsamic vinegar bite at the end was very pleasant.
Sour cherries in the nose with very deep dark sour cherries on the palate.
Dry but not overbearingly so with a very crisp acidic character.
Hints of dirty blankets but not overbearing.
Wonderfully complex and a real pleaser in every way. If i had any criticism at all it'd be that i wanted a tad more of a tart cranberry character. /93

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Photo of brianmandell
4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 750ml bottle into a wine glass, caractere rouge is in character with a reddish brown pour. An actively fizzy head reduces to a fine ring of lacing on the glass.

The nose speaks of fruit, leather and oak.There is a strong cranberry presence layered with raspberry and strawberry. There is an underlying oaky, leathery smell. There is some medicinal quality to the elixir and a measure of funkiness.

The flavor is much more rounded and softer than the nose suggested. It's really delicious. There is only a mild amount of tartness - really a perfect amount for it to be refreshing. There is a ton of juicy fruit in the flavor - slightly sweet and mostly cranberry and raspberry but also cherry and even strawberry. It's a little medicinal on the mid-palate but dries out and does not overpower. There is also a soft oakiness that helps carry the large amount of fruit and make it interesting. There is definitely influence from the flanders red that makes Grand Cru such a nice beer but the effect here is a little lighter, more subtle and more distinct. I think you would have to like cranberries to really like this beer.

The mouthfeel is driven by active, creamy carbonation. Very nice.

I didn't expect this beer to be so easy to drink. But it is. It's very well done. If not for the nitpick of a slight medicinal smell and flavor - as well as the high cost - this would be a homerun.

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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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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
97 out of 100 based on 141 ratings.