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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
98
world-class
185 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
185
Ratings:
1,278
Avg:
4.44
pDev:
18.47%
 
 
Wants:
311
Gots:
345
For Trade:
47
Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Belgium | website

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Jason on 11-02-2011

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 185 | Ratings: 1,278
Photo of Chico1985
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Nice deep red color with a small pinkish white head.

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

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

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Photo of thecheapies
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A little rosy in color with a red plummy tone. The head summited at a solid inch before fizzing away to a remaining ring of translucent white.

Tart red cranberries, refined oakiness, sour raspberries and stems, cheesy funk, pie cherries, currant, lemon pith, and white vinegar. Sour, even for a Rodenbach.

Cranberry, first, with tart cherry and old Flemish ale malt coming next. Nice and tart. Oak and hints of vanilla trickle in, but without the weight of typical malty Rodenbach construction. Raspberry and lemon peel. Awesome fruitiness. Acetic qualities are sharp, but not overly vinegary.

Smooth feel. A little light in the body. Tartness isn't unsettling. Spritzy carbonation blends in the mouth.

Big-time want, knocked down right now. Slam! Awesome brew. Have another in the fridge. Thanks for the bottle share, Bryan!

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Photo of fourstringer
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a caged & corked 750 mL bottle into a Brewer's Art goblet. Moderate hand. Date on the bottom of the bottle reads 18-04-16.

A: Hazy, reddish-brown body with 1/2 finger of off-white head. Ok retention. Minimal lacing.

S: Lactic/citric acid tartness. Cherry features most predominantly, with lesser berry, grape. Lemon. Traces of mint, herb. Wood. The overall character is both familiar and unique.

T: Moderate sweet & sour with a stone fruit tang. Hint of chocolate. Minimal bitterness and a semi-dry finish. Lingering tartness in the aftertaste. Degrees of herbal earthiness, oak. Minimal alcohol.

M: Moderately robust carbonation with a certain zing. Moderate body. Nicely effervescent and palate-coating.

O: Excellent Flanders red with some interesting woody, herbal notes. Drinks very well. Very balanced. Surprisingly, I didn't find it any more fruity than Rodenbach's typical offering. Great brew.

Prost!

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Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Perfect carbonation with a beautiful maroon color. Nice clean white head with fizzy carb that dissipates quickly. Tons of fruity notes with cherries and berries with mild tartness. Drinks a lot like a sour version of a New Glarus fruit.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had an 8 oz serving of this last night up at the Cloverleaf since this was left on tap from Rodenbach's takeover. I love the Duchesse De Bourgogne and this was even better than it, because of the fruit flavor and the subtle nuances of the wood and yeast notes!

Nice red pour to this, which had the appearance of the fruits that were macerated in the making of this. Not a lot of head and whatever lacing was left slid down the side of the tulip glass that I drank this out of. Tons of tart raspberry in the nose, with even more in the taste. Nothing artificial here - this had a juicy mouthfeel to it but not syrup to be found and the barrels that this was aged in really came through in the taste, without any harsh smoke getting in the way. Felt like champagne and was just as light in it in the aftertaste, but the other fruits came through in a nice way by rounding out the initial "pucker" that I felt.

Not a session beer but really, would you even notice or care? I would have had more had I not gone up right before last call and it's a beer like this that made me fall in love with Flanders Red Ales all over again. Amazing on tap and so easy to drink - hopefully, someone here in the states will get on the ball with this style and give it a go. Something like this deserves an answer that can attempt to measure up to it. Wonderful stuff!

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Photo of TruePerception
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rodenbach's Caractère Rouge, Flanders Red Ale aged with cranberries, raspberries, and sour cherries in oak vats. 7% ABV.

Huge pop!

A: Nice plum red, with some slight showing of sediment. A finger of slightly rosy head. Slightly dull yellow in the dimple, which shows of a steady stream of tiny bubbles. Lacing forms, but does not hold. Barely any sheeting.

S: Fruits coming through very well on the nose. Cranberry is more subdued, but definitely there, and blends well with the raspberry. Sour cherry stands out slightly from the others. Nice acidity, as is to be expected.

T/MF: Oh, yeah! Just a touch of sweetness. Some cranberry dryness. Raspberry seed, raspberry. Morello cherry. Plenty of acidity, but it shows more as crispness than tartness. It also seems to affect a slight chill on the tongue. Nicely balanced carbonation; not too heavy, but not at all flat.

Very nice. Sort of a cross breed between a Flanders Red and a Lambic. Just a great beer!

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml into a snifter, the beer is a hazy, ruby-tinted caramel coloring, with a low profile, off-white head. Nose of tart cherry, red wine notes, and a solid sour characteristic. Flavors are sweet cherry and raspberry, subtle sour notes, hints of earth, tannins, and solid wine-like characteristics. The body is smooth, light, and dry. The aftertaste is fruity and sour, with solid wine-like notes lingering on through the smooth, dry finish.

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Photo of yumbeer
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll start off by saying I expected a little more due to the hype I guess. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I thought I would have.

It wasn't as sour as I expected, but on the positive side the acidity was low and the lecto wasn't crazy high (could be good or bad depending on what you're looking for). In my mind, I expected a bit more funk from the bugs and because of that, my rating is a bit lower than some others.

Fruits were very nice, deep reddish/purple hue is nice and the finish is pretty clean.

Overall, a solid hot Florida day sour that will quench your thirst due to it being very crisp with a small funk to keep it interesting.

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Photo of draheim
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750mL into a tulip. Pours a clear reddish amber w/ a thin beige head, minimal lacing.

Aroma is big sour oaky tartness, berries, and fruit. Smells great.

Taste is likewise tart and oaky, super dry, and fruity without being sweet. Great balance of elements.

Mouthfeel is crisp and light, dry, almost vinous. Really nice.

Overall a truly outstanding, world-class barrel-aged beer. Thirst-quenching, delicious.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, blank with the tag. Generously sent over as a wedding gift from Eduardo in Switzerland. Thanks a lot man! Poured into Cantillon degustation glasses and shared with my wife today, 2/6/2014 as a week-early Valentine's day drink.

Review #434.

App- Dark pink-red body, light pink head, good retention, nice lacing

Smell- Sweet raspberries, tart cherry, oak, a nice bit of rubbery funk, a lot of vinegar mixed in with a bit of brown malt sweetness. Very interesting nose indeed.

Flavour- Delicious. Oak tannins, tart cherries, rubbery funk, vinegar making this a 5/10 sour, some sweet brown malts, and faint raspberry fruitiness. Not overly sweet, but quite dry and tart. Complex and interesting.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, well carbonated, good body and easily drinkable despite the acidity. I am sure my teeth are still there after this one.

Overall- Very interesting and delicious Belgian sour. After finishing the bottle, I saw that this is a Flanders Red on BA and that really threw me off. This tastes more like a fruit lambic in a lot of ways, although the brown malts do come across more than say, Rosé de Gambrinus. My wife and I certainly enjoyed trying this one! Thank you Eduardo, for the lovely wedding gift.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: deep amber with orange-red highlights and an ivory head big-as-ya-want-it; slight bits of clinging lace slipped away shortly

S: dark sour fruits and tart yeasts - as advertised, cranberry, raspberry, sour cherry; lighter notes of oak/wood

T: right off the nose, the tart fruits follow, transforming cranberries and raspberries and dark cherries into an exquisite drinking experience; the oak vats lighten any too sweet or too fruity flavors, and weave elegant airs throughout the drink

M: light, tart, slightly fuzzy, slightly tingly, subtle carbonation; refreshing and quenching

O: I tried to be moderate in my review, as this is not a style I have frequented often, but there is no doubt that this is a superior ale, and something worth getting your hands on should the opportunity present itself.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of spdyfire83
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

246th Review
75cl (corked and caged) bottle poured into long-stemmed wine glass
Vintage: Batch 1 - produced/bottled sometime in 2011, I think

Enjoyed at DHvL in early June 2012. Somewhat unfair to drink/rate this immediately following the Alexander, but that's how it goes.

A: Medium amber. Half (off-white) fingernail head on vigorous pour.

S: Sour, tart cherry/cranberry, and some funk/must. Oak and raspberry sweetness. Classic Rodenbach nose that is very inviting and rich.

T: Bold sourness up-front with cherry and oak. Vinegar overtones along with tannins/leather as well as raspberry and cranberry punch (soft sweetness)! At times, the acidity was somewhat overpowering (I think it will age extremely well), but all in all a tasty beer.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation.

O: Overall a very good beer, but it needs some time to age/mellow a bit (so the tart acidity can work itself out). I think the long-term potential for this beer to be wonderful is very high. I'll be curious to see how Batch 2 (approx. 10k bottle production) drinks compared to this (Batch 1, 900 bottles).

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Photo of khmel
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A wonderfully balanced flemish red. Cloudy strawberry color. Small head with almost no retention, as is par for the style. The nose is lots of macerated strawberry, with hints of candy sugar and some grape notes. The taste is perfectly balanced for the style. Plenty of vinous sourness but not overwhelmingly so. Enough fruity sweetness to balance it out and not weary the palate. The mouth is smooth up front, but light and dry at the end. A wonderful and complex beer!

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Photo of Dactrius
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bottle was probably at least a few years old at this point. Lots of head and lacing. Smell and taste are both wonderfully integrated fruit with the cherries coming out stronger than the rest but it's pretty much the perfect amount of fruit (not overpowering) on top of a great base Flanders. Probably the best Flanders I've ever had.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks seblp for offering up 2 bottles of this

The beer pours a dark, slightly dull rusty brown that shines crimson in the light and provides a fizzling pink head. Although the head fades quickly with minimal lacing, it leaves a thin blanketing/halo throughout drinking. The nose is potently fruity with prominent notes of strawberry and cherry (and celery?) followed by a very refined oak acetone. The taste is Flanders red to the max with huge amounts of description-promised strawb/cherry fruitiness, a touch of caramel and wood. Its medium bodied, effervescent, modestly dry and acidic, fruity, bold, and downright drinkable as hell. I highly recommend this brew for those that enjoy a good Flanders and have had the Rodenbach predecessors. It's an excellent beer, one of the best I've had in a long time actually.

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Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.46/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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Photo of beerhan
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
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 +0.7%
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 +0.7%
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 +0.7%
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 +0.7%
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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Photo of Jwale73
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to jedwards for breaking this one out. Pours a beautiful raspberry hue with no head. Nose expresses raspberries and tart cherries. Taste consistent with nose - bold and fruity with a slight tart quality. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a mild, even carbonation, a slight acidity and easy easy astringency. This is a top notch beer, although not sure I would classify it as a Belgian Strong Dark. Not overly sour, very approachable to various taste and there's some definite cellaring potential here. I'd like to score a bottle to sit on for a couple years.

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Photo of Roguer
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%
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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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
98 out of 100 based on 185 ratings.