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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge - Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Not Rated.
Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge

Educational use only; do not reuse.

152 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 152
Hads: 1,129
Avg: 4.43
pDev: 19.41%
Wants: 272
Gots: 311 | FT: 48
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.
View: Beers (7) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Rodenbach Caractère Rouge Alström Bros
Reviews: 152 | Hads: 1,129
Photo of gtermi
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is glorious! This beer is very sweet and fruity in the smell. The cherries and cranberries are the most dominant in the flavor with a bit of raspberries in the taste. There is a nice bit of tartness with a dry mouthfeel.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.16/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright cherry read with lacey pink-tinged head.
Cranberry sourness, tart raspberry, a bit of wood and hints of vanilla on the nose.
Lots of fruit up front, some white vinegar in the middle, and an herbal hit to end.
A flash of cream soda on the finish and a clean linger.
Light, dry, no heat.

Made with framboise, kriek, and cranberry.

Fresh and young-tasting, with layered fruit. Somehow has a creamy body even though it's quite lively and dry, and manages to be deep without any sharpness. And elegant an intricate beer.

Thanks to Simon for sharing the bottle.

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

750ml bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark mahogany color with a couple of fingers of light brown head. A few wispy streaks of soapy lace were left down the glass along with a lasting collar.
S: Subtly complex notes of sweet fruit puree mixed with musty oak and a clean, bright, tartness. The nose is sweet, and each of the fruits in noticeable, with raspberry and cranberry sticking out the most to me.
T: Follows the nose with sweet and fruity red berry flavors. Sour cherries and oak are lightly tannic, but there is a ton of balancing sugary sweetness. Raspberries puree is sweet up front, with hints of tart cranberries and earthy, slightly spicy yeast and oak barrel. The finish is nice and tart, with a lingering sugary sweetness in the aftertaste. Yeast flavors are complex and add depth that other sweet fruit beers do not have.
M: Full body, sweet and heavy but not cloying, with a slick, chewy mouthfeel and frothy yet soft carbonation.
O: Another great beer from the masters of the style. Complex super sweet and fruity flavors mixed with subtle oak and spices.

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Photo of papat444
3.95/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The aroma is spot on, can almost taste the cranberries and overripe raspberries. The flavor is similar but way more mellow than expected. The oak presence is negligible and overall lacks tartness. I still enjoyed it as the flavors are consistent with the aroma. Glad to have tried it but I think I prefer the Grand Cru.

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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 StoutHunter
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

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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 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 notchucknorris
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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

Beer is a pinkish-red colour, with a moderately sized off-white head, also with a pinkish hue. Fair retention.

Nose is a nice mix of the fruits involved. The cranberry sticks out most strongly for me, but the raspberry and cherry are also evident. Some oak, and a little bit of a vinegary scent that suggests some tartness.

The beer is surprisingly subdued in terms of tartness. Slightly sour, not strongly so. The fruit flavours are very nice. Cranberry, raspberry and some cherry all taste very real and juicy, and blended very well together. The oak is present but, like the tartness, fairly mild, comes out more strongly in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation level. Quite refreshing. Slightly astringent.

Overall, really good. Surprising, as the focus is more fruit and less tart, but it works tremendously.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish/brown color, light tan head, thin ring, spotty lace. Nose is fruit-forward with a nice mix of tartness and oak. Flavor is a bit more tartness with a nice sweet berry note that follows. Cherry, oak, and some light vinegar is what I pick out most from the flavor. Body is light to medium, good carbonation, dry tart finish.

A really nice beer from Rodenbach that I will have again, no doubt. I'm going to stock up on bottles, as I think this even has additional room for improvement. Good stuff!

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Photo of Jeffo
3.71/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle in trade with Dennoman and then subsequently shared with Dennoman at his sleazy, half-star hotel after the Borefts festival. This is livin' it up.

From a 750ml into a Borefts tasting glass.
Batch 2

APPEARANCE: Pours a small, loose, linen-white head with lousy retention. Maroon red body with almost no carbonation evident. Head fades to almost nothing and leaves no lacing down the glass. Looks half decent at best.

SMELL: Cherries, raspberries and some light funky notes on the nose. Bold enough with some nice citrus and lemon notes over the cranberries, cherries and nice raspberry aromas. Very fruity with a solid, tart-sour base.

TASTE: Some light funky notes with lots of raspberries, cherries and cranberries on the nose. Some light lemon citrus notes and floral bitterness through the middle into the swallow. A bolder and lingering finish of citrus flavors, lots of tart raspberries and cherries, as well as some light floral bitterness. Good stuff.

PALATE: A thinner and lighter body, and slightly airy on the palate. Creamy enough on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly sticky on the palate.

OVERALL: A good beer that we thoroughly enjoyed, especially in a hotel room after a 12 hr. beer festival. Lots of good fruit aroma and flavor on this one, though the look and feel could use some re-thinking. An enjoyable brew I'd love to have again. Trade me more so I can open it with you Dennoman. Cheers!

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Photo of Tucquan
4.37/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2013-11-24 in Columbia, PA

A - Mahogany/amber with a short-lived, tan head and moderate lacing.

S - Characteristic Rodenbach Grand Cru aroma but with added raspberry and cranberry. I always get oak, cherry and hard apple cider out of the normal Grand Cru. Very pleasant enhancements.

T - Tart cranberry with some cherry and a little raspberry, light malt, hard cider, oak. Moderately sour with a typical Grand Cru finish but with some added lingering cranberry. Perhaps a bit less tart than normal Grand Cru with more of an emphasis on the fruit in this one. Very, very nice.

M - High carbonation and a light body. Dries quickly.

O - A well-done step up from the already-great Grand Cru. Too bad it is so expensive.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is full of of delicious raspberry, dark cherry, vanilla cream, cranberries and touches of oak wood. Only lightly tangy and sour this is so full and amazing.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
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 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 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 Danny1217
4.66/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a large wine glass.
Nice presentation. Pours dark red with a white head that displays surprisingly good retention considering the acidity.
Smells musty, brett funk, fresh berries, cranberry, raspberry, and cherry dominate. Some dark fruit notes; plums and red grapes. A touch of oak. A nice, clean lactic aroma with a touch of vinegar. Much more funk than the other Rodenbachs I have had.
Taste follows similarly. Musty, earthy, juicy berry character. Lots of fruitiness and a touch of sweetness. Medium sourness that is mostly lactic, but with that touch of acetic acid that gives the signature Flemish flavor. Really enjoy the funk that is present here. Body is not quite as dry as a lambic, for example, and the residual sugars create a nice balance between sweet and sour.

Fantastic beer. I would rank it among the world class fruited lambics I have had. This is a top-tier sour and perhaps the greatest achievement of the Flemish Red style.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Happy and lucky to try this on tap at Memphis Taproom in Philadelphia. Looks like cranberry juice and bloodied urine; the smell is of pickled strawberry, cherry, bubblegum and SweeTarts candy. Taste follows nose, with a more pronounced sweetness that makes me like Grand Cru better. Mouthfeel is a little thin and drinkability is high. Great, unusual beer- if only the syrupy sweetness was tamed..

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Photo of cjgiant
4.26/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours rose side of burgundy. Decent white head grows on pour, fades to the edges but lasts. Beer seems translucent to clear, but deep color essentially block most light. Nose is almost spoiled wine-like: some fruit notes, but with a vinegar note to it. I get the raspberry, maybe a hint of cranberry, but none of it is very strong (though it does seem more evident a little later in the drink).

Taste has the fruitiness from the nose, but more evident: raspberry and cranberry. The cherry might provide some tartness, which is there and blends nicely with other fruit flavors. I also do get a bit of cider vinegar taste behind the tartness. The carbonation tickles the tongue nicely, and the beer is quite smooth or even silly in its own way.

Another hit by Rodenbach. I think having one of their beers every so often should be a plan of mine. The lightness of the sour or the vinegar tartness that is a part of their beers just isn't my ideal, so I can't go world class level myself, although I appreciate the balance of flavors.

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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 TheBrewo
4.24/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

We rip the cage and cork, pouring a brew of shimmering ruby reds into our Ommegang Game of Thrones snifters. It puts up a hearty three finger head of cotton candy colored foam that lies in a single tight unit, save for a soapy bubble mountain to one side of it. This retains decently, leaving wet drops of lacing that drip back into the main body within seconds. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be lightly active throughout. The nose is insanely tart, giving notes of simple syrup soaked cranberries, raspberries, and blueberries, with dried black cherry skins, heavy caramel and bourbon sweetness, dried oaky moldiness, dried papaya and mango flesh, spice of cinnamon and green cardamom pods, vinegar and soured lemon acidity, dried floral petals, red and dusty pale maltiness, chokecherries, and biting vinyl plastics. Our first impression is that this beer is impressively sour and puckering, and surprisingly, that the most forward fruity flavor is that of the cranberry. The flavoring takes off with juicy, fruity bubblegum sweetness, intense fermented cranberry and raspberry sourness, biting rubbers and phenolic plastics, tart oaky punch, red wine vinegar, dried and chipped red grape skins, mustard seed, and cotton candy fluffiness. The middle comes to a peak with blunted mallow sugars, rotten strawberry and raspberry fruit mash, soured cherry flesh, coppery and irony metallics, powdered cinnamon, thin plastic sheets, pencil lead, dried apricot, potpourri petals, and acidic sourness of that fermented fruit maceration. The end washes through with soured acidity of stomach juices, synthetic red grape flavoring, frozen raspberry puree, cranberry flesh and water, tonic water bitters, succulent pomegranate seeds, artificial plastic bite, thick waves of oaky heaviness, moss and green grassiness, confectioner’s sugar battered fresh cherries, and pale wheatiness. The aftertaste breathes with dampening maltiness of caramel, pale, and ruddy amber maltiness, hollow wheatiness, sunflower pollen, salted toffee, foamy plastics, dried cranberry and raspberry bite and crumble, moldy blue cheese funk, balsamic vinegar, burnt wheat breadiness, white pepper and garlic salts, continued cherry flesh sours, overripe strawberries, and dry burgundy red. The body is light but sticky and sweet on the lips, while carbonation is medium. Each sip affords wet cream and froth, which thins them a bit, but slurp, smack, pop, and glug are all intact and powerfully appropriate. The mouth is briefly coated with residual stickiness of sugars, with a quickly following puck and twinge of dryness. The muscles of the palate and cheeks contract and swoon like a teenage girl in the presence of a young Brad Pitt. It is glorious. The abv is handled easily, and the beer drinks way too easily.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its taste. This beer is able to destroy the stylistic guidelines with pinpoint accuracy while sending unique yet appropriate flavoring dancing over top of it. The fruit is wonderfully refreshing and authentic, matching the oak in all of its weird glory whole heartedly. The aroma is just as nice, but doesn’t quite set you up for the seriousness of the sip. The mouthfeel, on the other hand, is out of this world, with just the right amount of dryness to match the juiciness and puckering punch of the fruit, grain, and wood. We’ve been quite excited for this one for a while, and oddly enough this is our first taste of any Rodenbach product, despite the fact that we’ve been accruing a vintage vertical in our cellar for the past several years. This beer might be a bit esoteric for some, but for those that can appreciate it, it is downright delicious.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.52/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
97 out of 100 based on 152 ratings.