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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

170 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 170
Hads: 1,202
Avg: 4.43
pDev: 7.22%
Wants: 282
Gots: 335 | FT: 47
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Belgium | 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: 170 | Hads: 1,202
Photo of TruePerception
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
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 +0.2%
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 draheim
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
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 +0.2%
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 +0.5%
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 +0.5%
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 +0.5%
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 +0.5%
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 +0.5%
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 ThePorterSorter
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
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 +0.7%
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 +0.9%
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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Photo of Jwale73
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
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 +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 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 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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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
97 out of 100 based on 170 ratings.