Rodenbach Caractère Rouge - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

990 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 990
Reviews: 134
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 6.92%
Wants: 252
Gots: 266 | FT: 46
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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Ratings: 990 | Reviews: 134
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of MDDMD
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
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

Photo of StoutHunter
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
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.

Photo of Jack_Malts
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

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.

Photo of putonyourwalkingshoes
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

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.

Photo of TimZebGir
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

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)
45/50

Photo of TrappistJohnMD
4.51/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of superspak
4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of Justin_Cyr
4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of snaotheus
4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of larryi86
4.54/5  rDev +1.3%
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!

Photo of BEERchitect
4.57/5  rDev +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.

Photo of MasterSki
4.57/5  rDev +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.

Photo of Jason
4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of PerHops
4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
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!

Photo of samshaw
4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of Catracho5
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of tillmac62
4.61/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of warnerry
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of russpowell
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
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

Photo of tendermorsel
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of brystmar
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.63/5  rDev +3.3%
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

Photo of dirtylou
4.66/5  rDev +4%
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.

Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
99 out of 100 based on 990 ratings.