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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge

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141 Reviews

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Reviews: 141
Hads: 1,089
Avg: 4.43
pDev: 7%
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: 1,089
Photo of Jack_Malts
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Beautiful hazy auburn pour. Smells like sour cherry syrup. Big juicy fruit flavors, tart cherry, slight acetic presence, bright cranberry and freshly picked raspberries. A bit expensive, but a must try for any fans of Flanders reds, or anybody who likes mouth-wateringly delicious beer.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Red/amber and clear. Nice fat pinkish head. A beauty.
smell: Tart up front though smack full of a gamut of smells. A bit of sweetness and loads of fruity. A little malty beef to support all that tart and slight funk. Damn, this smells great.
taste: Fully lives up to the nose. all that goodness in a nice, tart, fruity balance.
overall: Bad ass.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
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 StonedTrippin
4.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

just amazing, unique, incredibly special beer as good as any i can recall. i dont usually get too into the flanders red type, it always seems more vinegar and acidity than yeast character, and i find it off putting that its usually so sweet as well as sour, a textural and flavor contrast that doesnt often jive with me. this one though, is entirely different. the sour cherries, cranberries, and raspberries are huge contributors right from first splash into my glass. its almost neon red pink, clearish and heady, delicate looking, but really intensely colored. the nose presents the tartness of the fruit, cranberries leading the way, but all three are easy to pick out. there is less body and sweetness than i remember in the grand cru, and i like that a lot. there is a swedish fish aroma, mouthwatering and candy-like, but not all that sweet. the fruit is super authentic, and the beer seems very mature. there is a bit of oak on it too, but not heavy and sweet, and really now showing the usual vanilla much because of the intensity of the fruit. the fruit is right there up front in the taste, but i think i get more cherry first, more raspberry later, the best of both kriek and framboise here, but the finish is what makes this special i think. it has that malt vinegar flavor of the typical flemish red, but its more refined, its really sour, but it carries on forever without being shocking. the finish is the longest ever, super puckery, and not the least bit sweet, with the fruit tartness continuing to come in waves for ages after the swallow. this is one of the best fruit beers ever made in my opinion, extremely memorable and different, and a model for others to strive for in terms of quality. maybe one of my favorite beers ive ever had, which is crazy to me because as good as grand cru is, it wasnt a personal favorite at all. as good as it gets! huge thanks to my brother for sharing this!

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish-brown color. The head is two fingers high, and slightly pink in shade. The texture is horrible - it looks like soda, and retention is average at best. Almost no lacing is left on the glass. (3)

Smell: Holy fruits. There are an incredible amount of cherries and raspberries, and I'm incredibly impressed with how natural they smell. This is the fruitiest beer I've ever encountered, in fact. Only complaint is that the sourness I like in Rodenbach Grand Cru is a bit concealed. Otherwise... (4.5)

Taste: It's Rodenbach Grand Cru with a far more vibrant fruit flavor - mainly. The sourness comes through in the back end, but remains beautifully subtle. Its aftertaste reveals a bit of cranberry, too. Letting it warm up reveals a gentle woodiness. It's not too sweet, and it's not too tart (though as Oude Tart revealed earlier, that's not exactly a bad thing), it's just right. Not to mention, it's complexity is just right, too. (4.5)

Mouthfeel: Despite having a rich initial sweetness, it somehow manages to be rather dry. It feels like a great wine with the powerful tannins and carbonation cleansing the palate. Because of the flavor intensity, it's not super drinkable - but who cares? This is a fantastic sipper. (4.25)

Overall: Honestly, it's closer to a fruit beer than a sour. So? That just makes it the best fruit beer I've ever had. This not only brings a fruity richness others in the style lack, but its sourness cleanses the sweetness beautifully. Shame it's so expensive...no, wait, I don't care, I'd definitely buy a bottle of this again. (4.5)

4.4/5: Wowee, this is a jaw-dropping fruited sour

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Photo of Budinetz
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Purchased in a bottle at Monk's cafe in Philadelphia, Pa. Poured by Eddy the bartender. Great guy! Make sure you ask for him if you're there. Very knoledgeable.

Pours a ruby red color with a 1/2 inch head that dissipates rather quickly. No lacing present at as I imbibe.

Smells of tart raspberry, sweet cherries, and sugary goodness.

Tastes of amazing raspberry notes with subtle cherries and a tartness that is not too overwhelming.

Overall an awesome beer that I was lucky to
Come across thanks to Eddy the bartender. Would definitely seek this out again!

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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 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 BMMillsy
4.67/5  rDev +5.4%

Bottle from the Dogz place near Pittsburgh. Pricey. Pours dark red with some brownish hues and a bit of light showing through, along with a nice two finger off white head with some pink tones to it. Awesome aroma of cherries and raspberries, lots if sweet fruit here, light tartness, a bit of oak. Flavor is plenty of sourness but not overbearing acidity on the tongue, some oak here but dominated by fruit, sweet raspberries, lots of cherries, and I assume the cranberries add a bit of the tart tones here. Medium bodied with nearly spritzy carbonation that mingles perfectly with the sourness to balance out all the sweet berries here. World class brew.

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Photo of Wobbly
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

To my mind, one of the most remarkable beers in the world and probably the best example of a Flemish Red that I have tried. While I have enjoyed numerous varieties (the classic red, the grand cru, the barrel aged vintage varieties) from this brewery, this has been the most consistently satisfying. If I had to choose one beer to drink the rest of my life, this would be it (as of now). That is why this is the only beer I give a perfect 5.

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Photo of coriswrasse
3.61/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

bottle served in two snifters (re-purposed maple syrup glasses).
smells sweet like young gueze or lambic.
a very hidden tart on the nose as well.
color is dark amber.
head is just a thin layer.
very nicely carbonated.
taste is overly sweet berry flavor with some light tartness.
mouthfeel is sweet but leads to light funk and tart dryness.
probably would not purchase again at the price (23.99) but not a bad beer to have for dessert. seems very "one-notey" front to back and way to sweet for my liking. would age help?

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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 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 FosterJM
4.41/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1791st Review on BA
Bottle to Rodenbach cervoise
750ml c/c

Purchased from Toronado SD on 5/16 for my Bday.

App- The color of this beer was a deep garnet mixed with more of a burgundy color. I didn't see this one as being overtly deep. Nice color mix with some lighter mixed colors. A bit dense in the center. More head than I would've thought. A solid 1-1/2 inch head. A small amount of cling.

Smell- So when I first poured this it smelled like someone had boiled down some fresh fruit and it was cooling on the stove. More of the raspberries dominated with some of the cherry. I truly was on fruit overload vs. getting the oak or the booze on this one.

Taste- For a flanders to be this smooth I was surprised. The oak was very subtle in the back and made way for all the fruits to be a well done compliment to the aging of this beer. The again component of the raspberries dominated IMO. I liked how easy drinking this way. A style subset that is equated to a sour. Wasn't very sorry and allowed to be savored.

Mouth- A good and creamy medium body with the matching carbonation to it. Was very fruit dominant in the residual flavor, however more of the oak and sour came out when it warmed and lingered on the palate for a bit.

Drink- So I had just finished a PNC for my bday and colored me pink when I saw this in the case. Thank god for a caring and understanding GF. Who said its on me. Happy Birthday. Was well worth the review. Great fruits, small oak and just a very good beer.

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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 JulioH
4.68/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75


My favorite of the Rodenbach family. It is the most tart of all and resembles more a sour beer than a red Flanders.

Pouring reveals a dark red color. Unable to see through. There is little carbonation, but bubbles are very tiny and pleasant. A tiny head forms but dissipates quickly. Aroma reveals all sorts of berries, and lambics. Taste is great. It is tart, fruity, a bit sweet, and closes with a dryness in your mouth.

Mouth feel is light. This is a light bodied beer. Great beer.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.69/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Damn near perfect, and I think an improvement over the other Rodenbachs (which I love). This one has the same sharp bite, slightly softened and made more complex by pronounced, but elegant wood, and a winter spice note, probably from the oak and the older beer that plays up a slight sweet note that contrasts beautifully with the red fruit in the sourness and the vinous notes. I absolutely loved this version of a classic. Great!

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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 Resuin
4.69/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into an enlarged snifter. I believe this is the 2012 version from what I have read.

Appearance: Pours a delightful black cherry/raspberry dark red/maroon color and leaves a finger of off-white head which fades slowly to a layer atop the beer.

Smell: Big juicy raspberry jam upfront, cranberries, black sour cherries all blended together wonderfully. Not overly sweet, but I detect more sweet scents than sour. Big sweet and sour mixed berries. Hints of vinegar.

Taste: Big raspberries up front followed by black cherries and a hint of cranberries. A twist of lime in there (like a raspberry lime rickey!) Nice tart finish, just a tad dry, but overall this is quite juicy/jammy. Some woodiness to it towards that latter half of the flavor - definitely has some red wine flavors.. The taste is a bit more tart than sweet, but still really well balanced between the two. Really lovely.

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation with a medium body. Very interesting combination of juicy and dry in the mouth. The finish is a tad dry as well. Nice mouth-feel.

Overall: This is a really nice beer. Extremely well balanced with big sweet and tart berry flavors that balance each other out. Really a delight to sip on, this is very drinkable as well.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.9/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Best before 2016.
Pours clear ruby red, tiny foamy head at first, rapidly faded to a thin not very sticky lacing.
You can smell the sour cherries right after popping the cork, along with balsamic vinegar. Very very strong. Lots of forest berries also, some lime zest, green barnyard funk. Very intense and perfumey.
Wow, ok.. Taking the first sip you get a short extremely sour flash, just for a second, quickly balanced by a nice fruity sweetness afterwards. Really complex. At first lime zest, sour cherries and sour acidic forest berries, like cranberry and aronia berry, followed by sweeter raspberry and wild strawberry. Not a lot of vinegar tartness, red fruit overwhelm it all. A nice funky feel from the live yeasts and the oak barrels, bringing the green hay, floorboard, barnyard funk, some hints of vanilla and some floral-herbal notes, like ribwort and wild thyme. Hard to say if hops are strongly present, but there's a little extra dryness (aside from the sourness' aftermath and the dry white wine feel) and bitter note that point to some nice green leafiness.
Very clean mouthfeel, rather fizzy/prickly, but it works. Dry in the finish, but the aftertaste is as complex as this whole beer. I read on the label that it has corn, and expected a bit of syrupy malts, but it was all perfectly hidden under the fruitiness.
The mother of all Flemish beers, incredible chemistry, a must try for any beer lover. Best sour i've ever had!

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Photo of fourstringer
4.43/5  rDev 0%
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.


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Photo of Justin_Cyr
4.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ordered it not knowing what to expect and was pleasantly surprised. Excellent fragrance, current and raisin with a balsamic notes near the end . Sour and oak sweetness, great balance! The appearance is unbelievable, would love to enjoy it again on a patio.

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Photo of PerHops
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
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!

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Photo of ccrida
4.84/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Caractère Rouge is ruddy pinkish brown with a small foamy off-white head.

Smell is lightly sweet malt, a little woody, spritzy acidity tinges the nose. Brightness.

Taste is amazing. Soft acidity, cherries and lime, a little sweet-tarts, cider vinegar. More depth then the nose, complex, yet integrated, and outright delicious.

Mouthfeel is acidic, dry, light bodied.

Drinkability is excellent. Extremely delicious, and impressively elegant. Lots of flavor, but neither the sour, the sugar, or the fruit are exaggerated or out of balance. Outstanding beer, one of the best.

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Photo of roblowther
4.74/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750ml, corked and caged. And my night is looking up. It pours reddish brown with a light pink dense, almost creamy if it weren't so active, head. Smell. Wow! Cherries, wood, grass, lemons, and something almost cinnamon. The taste is woody, with a cherry aftertaste. Somewhere along the way sugared oranges show up, but it's not sweet, if that makes any sense at all. It's not sour at all, but just delightfully dry. It has some vanilla in the mix and just is really interesting. Every time I try to get a hand on it, something else wells up. Mouthfeel is terrific, slick and slightly tingly. Overall, this is one hell of a beer! I'm not sure what to make of it, but it doesn't care, it has far too much going on to care about my opinion.

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