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

777 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 777
Reviews: 99
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 7.14%
Wants: 188
Gots: 211 | FT: 32
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  7.00% ABV

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.

(Beer added by: Jason on 11-02-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 777 | Reviews: 99 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oline73
4.06/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark reddish amber color with a half finger of off white head that has a pink hue. The head faded away quickly until there was none remaining. The smell was fruity up front with some vinegar notes. I thought the fruity notes were very jam like. The taste followed the smell closely. There was some disagreement about what fruit was in this beer. I thought I was getting raspberries. The beer was tart but it was a smooth tartness. There was a slight sweetness in the finish which was also very dry. The carbonation level was aggressive. Overall I thought this was a very good sour beer, but I could have sworn it was a fruit lambic.

The reveal: Rodenbach Caractère Rouge

Photo of MasterSki
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
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 mendvicdog
4.48/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of drabmuh
3.95/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was far far fruitier than I was expecting but my expectations might have been off, or rather were considerably off. Still a decent beer overall.

Beer is ruby red, clear with a thin head, small bubbles, no lacing, low carbonation. Really bright red.

Aroma is all fruit all the time, very sweet, cherry almost too much cherry, some other stuff sneaks through.

Beer is medium in body and sweet, lots of cherries, lots of fruit, lots of fruit, seriously this is a cherry bomb. Other flavors fight to get through but ultimately fail. I liked this beer but it would have been better if it wasn't just a one note beer. Not as sweet as the redbach thankfully.

Photo of beernads
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of kojevergas
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%

BOTTLE: 750 ml. Brown glass. Appealing label design. Branded cap in a cage, set over a cork.

Expectations are sky high; I have massive respect for and love Rodenbach (even under Palm).

Served chilled into a Westvleteren goblet and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption. 7.0% ABV.

Cork pops hard and hits the ceiling upon removal (with pliers), but no beer surges out. It's well packaged for aging.

A fizzy cascading bubble show emerges as it's poured, and remains for some time - quite the spectacle when combined with the beer's vibrance.

HEAD: 3 fingers wide. Best described as a pinkish white; it's alluring and almost unique. Foamy but not too fizzy, with a soft cobwebby consistency and a decent spongey complexion. Its lightness is apt for the style, and its effervescence is teasing - between beer and champagne. It retains quite well (for ~10 minutes), but leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: A bright plump vibrant red. Not a solid red, but a weak one; grapeskin comes to mind. Light, translucent, and transparent. Clean, with no visible yeast particulate or hop sediment.

It's a lively inviting appearance, and has me curious.

AROMA: Powdered white sugar, fresh cherries, fresh rapberries, and touches of tart cranberries. Incredibly evocative; the fruitiness is just perfect. Soft and lush, with no off-notes, though some American drinkers may note a cherry-like medicinal note. I'm just blown away by how fresh and vivid this aroma is. Sourness is mild - maybe a 5 or 6 out of 10 in terms of intensity, but what really works are the cherry pie notes Rodenbach is known for. The pie crust married to the blunt oak tone is lovely, but I do find myself missing the damp acetic oak barrel character I love in regular Rodenbach. In any case, this easily approachable light powdery aroma has my mouth watering. Wow.

It boasts tricky subtlety in terms of its yeast & bacteria; I'd guess pedio and a bit of lactobacillus.

Aromatic intensity is average.

TASTE: The taste is every bit as fresh and evocative as the aroma, evoking notes of soft luscious raspberry, tart cherry, and sweetened cranberry. Powdered sugar comes to mind in taste as in texture. Rodenbach's signature cherry pie/pie crust notes emerge in the second act, lending even more depth to an already fascinatingly subtle and intricate brew. The oak is attuned to the flavour profile without being overbearing; it's present only as a guiding tone which ensures the flavour profile's cohesion - as if it wasn't a gestalt brew already.

Undeniably more than the sum of its parts, this flavour profile blows me away. Good duration of flavour and apt flavour intensity.

The pucker-lovers may crave still more sourness - this offers only a 5 out of 10 - but I have trouble imagining this impossibly careful balance disturbed. It's just immaculate. I do want more of the acetic character I go to Rodenbach for; they do it better than anyone.

In short, it's fucking incredible. A treat of a brew.

To nitpick, I do think it could use more tartness and cranberry, and I greedily want still more cherry pie and acetic character.

TEXTURE: Has a delicacy and fragility I've observed in extremely few beers, with an effortless lightness on the palate that really makes the flavours sing, and gives a quenching refreshing feel that's heaven with the tart berry notes. Soft and light-bodied without being weak or watery; I don't know how they do it. Naturally, it's soft and wet, and does have an above average acidity as well as a light puckery twang. Smacky and powdery in perfect fashion, with the perfect amount of creaminess as well. Carbonation is perfect.

It's almost flawless. Just a bit more body would help give the flavours a bit more support, and a bit more acidity and/or smackiness wouldn't hurt. But it's damn near perfect.

OVERALL: Effortlessly drinkable, an effect reached by an ideal harmony of texture and taste: the angelic lightness of the mouthfeel keeps the palate craving more and the incredible fresh berry notes are divine. An accomplishment in the style, and a beer whose quality forces me to savor each sip. Absolutely a paragon. Incredible work. I tip my hat to Rodenbach yet again. I imagine I will definitely be picking up more bottles of this, but it's hard to imagine it could improve with age - it's already so good. This is in the upper echelon of beers currently being brewed, and demands the discerning drinker's attention. A very welcome addition to my top beers of all time. Take note - this is how subtlety and balance are done.

High A

Pair with fresh raspberries.

Serve chilled, not cold.

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of yourefragile
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of duceswild
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of stakem
4.05/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split with friends. I decided to do a side by side tasting and open this along with the classic red and the grand cru to analyze the differences in each. Poured into a cervoise, the brew appears pink to a ruby clear color. It displays a polished clarity with orangeish tints around the edges. A finger of pink head sits atop composrf of big bubnly effervescence. A light swirl revives a finger that is quick to dissolve that leaves spots of lace on the glass.

The smell opens big with a fruit quality immediately reminescent of cranberry. Other fruity scents mingle forming a scent that is mildly medicinal and goes right back to fruit especially cranberry with some earth. The aromatics are bright fruits that fills the nose with something almost citrus-like and mixed with orange. A bit of vanilla essence and barrel aging is an afterthought.

The taste is tart with a solid fruit inclusion. Raspberry comes to mind when focusing on the tartness and mild citrus conponents. Lots of funky earth, wet wood/cork keep the fruit in check. A little bit of medicinal quality carries over with acidity. The aftertaselte has more citrus almost like lemon.

This is a medium bodied and modestly carbonated offering. The alcohol is well hidden but the hints of medicinal aspect keeps it from being stellar. I am really taken back by how fruity this is and how much it has altered the base beer. Straight from the pour, it looks fruited and it captures a fruity aromatic quality that filled the room we were sitting in while enjoying this. It was nice to try it and say I had it, but i think i give the nod to the gramd cru as being what I would rather spend my money on. Maybe with some age, as the fruit mellows out my opinion might change but as-is this is a fruity medicinal bugger.

Photo of corby112
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
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!

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.48/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

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.

Photo of smakawhat
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass at Smoke & Barrel DC as part of the bottle share. Much thanks to jacewg for the bottle, been wanting this for ages. From notes.

A nice faint pink body, slightly clear, and makes a fizzy head picking up the red body color with a pink and tan sort of hue. Some bit of fizz sound when pouring just a "tad".

Oh that nose.. That bouquet is just magic. Wonderful sense of rushing cherry and red fruit bliss with a controlled warming sweet penny candy. It smells like humbugs candy in a glass, exactly like humbugs. Warming tartness but with great yeasty almost champagne/sparkling effervescence which creates a great minty menthol airy aroma. Truly a shove it up your nose brew.

It seems like after that it would be hard to get better. In a way it does, but it is by no means all downhill on first sip. An interesting light almost milky texture, but with classic Rodenbach fruity mid palate and explosive taste. Good sour and tart mix with a nice acidic edge. Carbonation is a bit fizzy but luckily doesn't distract.

Overall, just a pure joy to drink. The irony was I was going to buy a bottle of this overseas and pay for the nose, but thought after I had it I wouldn't have to. Now that I've already done it, I want the dam thing even more, and just may buy it just so I can have it again. Can't stop thinking about it, it's truly a winner.

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of Kelp
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of billab914
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
99 out of 100 based on 777 ratings.