Kasteel Rouge | Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

very good
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Kasteel RougeKasteel Rouge

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Kasteel Rouge is a blend of Kasteel Donker and cherry liquor. The mix of these two excellent products creates an exceptional soft beer with references to the dark mother beer.

Added by KarlHungus on 09-25-2007

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Reviews: 401 | Ratings: 1,021
Photo of tomordonez
5/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smell: lots of cherries dark, licorice, a hint of wood.

Tastes: Sweet but not as sweet as lambic, medium carbonation, tart finish, medium density not too watery not too sticky.

Looks: dark red with spots of brown, head becomes a thin layer

Personality: refreshing, you cannot tell the 8%. It’s a sneaky bastard. Get up and you will feel drunk.

Pour: Start pouring low, tilted glass. Finish pouring high to get a reasonable head, about 2 inches. Although the head becomes a thin layer on top and a little clings on the sides. It tastes better at the recommended serving temperature about 40F

Food pair: Drink as a dessert with vanilla ice cream or drink as aperitif. Drinking it will make you hungry.

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Photo of Brad007
5/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Color: Dark ruby red color with reddish one-finger head.

Aroma: Strong and tart, reminiscent of ripe sour cherries. Dominates the overall aroma. I like.

Taste: Sweet and tart at the same time. Strong and delicious. Not overly cloying though. Smooth. Similar to Lindemans Kriek except that it's stronger.

Mouthfeel: A great combination of sweet and tart. Lingers on the mouth.

Verdict: I'd be lying if I didn't say that I loved this beer. It would definitely make a good dessert beer, depending on the dessert entree. I've never rated anything in the category it's in that high but I have to give this high marks for what it is. Feel free to disagree.

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Photo of interzen
5/5  rDev +32.6%

Got two bottles of this as part of a mixed case and both disappeared in fairly short order.

I'll be honest - I'm a sucker for anything cherry flavoured, and put a good kriek (eg. Lindemanns, Timmermanns) in front of me and I'll drink it until my brain dissolves. Kasteel Rouge is a totally different animal - the smell of slightly tart cherries is utterly divine and, unlike a lot of beers, it tastes as good as it smells. Given that the Rouge weighs in at 8% ABV this may or may not be a bad thing.

The flavour seems to be a bit divisive - you either love it or loathe it. Me? I love it, and if you like cherry beers then you owe it to yourself to at least try this.

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Photo of Onslow
5/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

rating #1000 at Ratebeer... wow, this is wonderful stuff... delightfully fruity and clean, with loads of cherries!! .. light purple-red colour .. good lacing .. one of the nicest most enjoyable beers in existence!! .. bottle was Kasteel Rouge, same as Kasteel Kriek...

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Photo of curiamagna
4.95/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am lucky enough to live near a beer bar that has this on tap all the time. The manager told me it's a Belgian brown ale aged with cherries and cherry liqueur (the liquid in those chocolate-covered cherries).

To say that the cherry aroma and taste is "pronounced" would be an understatement - it's in-your-face. If you look hard enough, however, you will find the sour Belgian brown flavor and scent hiding underneath. This and the carbonation prevents it from being cloying and makes Kasteel Rouge a one-of-a-kind experience.

If you know someone who won't drink any beer, find Kasteel Rouge on tap and make them try it and see what happens. If you are a double IPA/RIS fan, give it a try. It may become your guilty pleasure, like it has become mine.

No idea what this like in a bottle. I have one waiting for the right moment.

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Photo of funkyaudio
4.92/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From the strong cherry nose, I was concerned this was going to be a complete bust of a beer. It ended up being a beer I probably won't purchase again, but I do appreciate it's craftsmanship and character. It could have come across like cherry cough syrup, but instead was more like a sour cherry soda with touches of beer. Be careful though...the higher alcohol is not that noticeable most of the time you are drinking it, so a few minutes after you finish the alcohol sneaks up and says hello!

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Photo of surlyseth
4.92/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Blue Nile.
A: Deep Purple color. dirty-light-reddish head.
S: Overwhelming black cherries, but not too sweet! Lovely!
T: Delicious! Sweet up front and a little tart on the sides and in the back to keep you coming back for more. Are you sure there's alcohol in this?!?
M: Reminiscient of a black cherry soda. Like a Clearly Canadian or something. Highly carbonated, but very pleasant. Not too syrupy either.
D: I can't wait to get back in there for another.

One of my all-time favorite beers on tap.

Note: Not nearly as good from a bottle!

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Photo of janubio
4.87/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Another bsolutely great Kasteel beer! I first tasted this one in some bar in Amsterdam a few months ago and I was absolutely impressed. I found a place to buy a bottle and have it home. Served in a Kasteel glass. Very beautiful cherry red colour, with wonderful ruby reflections when hold it to the light. Pinky creamy foam, like a cherrie ice cream, that last just for a second. Smells of cherries, marzipan, apple pie, bitter almonds or Amaretto. A like brandy flavor, tastes of cherries, vanilla, apricot, acid notes from the cherries, but is also sweet, nice balanced, and I find even some pepper. Really great, but of course, you can't drink many of them in the same night...

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Photo of amendt
4.85/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This fine beverage has a look that is not altogether inspiring. Upon reflection, its color seems closest to menstrual blood.

However, chilled to the right temperature and guzzled on a hot day, it is a massive restorative. It is a mind-stretching pick-me-up. You will see the world through new eyes, or rather, ruby-tinted lenses.

This sweet beer (?) is a true discovery. It tastes nothing like you'd expect. Its main theme is that of sour cherries. For those who despise sweet beers -- since sweetness to them represents something emasculated, feminine, and pathetic -- this will surely fall victim to their prejudice. But for those who don't mind sweetness per se, there is a breathtaking transparency to its sweetness: it is not sickly or cloying. With the sour cherries it is bracing and utterly unique.

One overlooked aspect to this drink is that it is a MASSIVE HIT WITH THE LADIES. Again, this might disqualify it from consideration for beer graybeards-in-training. But if you want to rock your girl with a deceptive alcohol content and give her a drink that she will crave, and keep asking for more, then look no further than Kasteel Rouge. How well it masks the taste of rufies I don't know yet. But there is a significant chance that with Kasteel Rouge you won't need them at all.

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Photo of Libeertarian
4.84/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

From notes taken 02/04/17:

Bottled April 23rd 2014 (though I purchased it Summer 2016). Didn’t realize that until I cracked it open, so now I wish I had waited the full three years before opening. Oh well, close enough.

Very dark red at thinnest point of glass, approaching black everywhere else, copper around the edges. Clear, though, looking down at the right angle I can see the bottom of the glass. Pinkish-creamy brown head, all creamy foam. It sinks from its initial finger down into a long-lasting filmy foam around the sides of glass. All cherry, all the way, on nose, very strong and extractive. Think of cherry licorice, if any food equivalent. Can’t wait. First thing I notice is a generic strong tartness but in the back of the mouth, the strongest cherry sensation I have every been hit with just explodes and gushes forth. Like the label says, cherry juice with cherries in it. On the one hand, I suspect dark cherries, but this is way more tart than those usually are, so could be lighter cherries with dark fruit character from the beer itself, which otherwise takes a back seat to what was added. If I had to name at least one other flavor, it would be raspberry in the background or dark chocolate lingering retro-olfaction. I still have yet to try a Cherry Lambic, but now I wonder how similar this is to one of those, at least concerning flavor. Full-bodied, slick, works its way up to a fine velvet. Warming, highly acidic, a tiny bit astringent.

This is my highest rated beer to date, out of over 500. I am almost ashamed of that fact given it isn't even within much of a style. I had someone tell me the base for this was Kasteel's Quad. That is rated at 100 by the Bros, so maybe, given how cherries are just about my favorite fruit, my rating isn't too much of a stretch after all.

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Photo of fearbeer0506
4.78/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This was a birthday gift from by brother in law. He knew I liked fruit beers and said I would love this one. He was right.

The poor is pretty good. A light tan head on the beer is kind of underwhelming for the sweet cherry aroma that is there. The beer itself is a dark maroon color. The taste is glorious! It's as if God picked cherries and placed them in your mouth. This is how a fruit beer should taste. It has a long finish; the goodness stays with you for the night.

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Photo of Trillessa
4.74/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I am new at reviewing beers, so I am not the most familiar with all the standard categories, but I loved this beer. It was the perfect blend of tart and sweetness for my tastes. It makes me think of IBC Black Cherry soda, which I love!!
If you like fruity beers and are not in to hoppy beers, you might find this very yummy.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.72/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a ruby red color with a thin reddish head. The head fades fast, leaving a small amount of lace.

This beer has a black cherry aroma. It smells very nice and sweet. It has a slight tart aroma. The fruit aroma dominates.

This beer tastes very much like it smells. Black cherries mostly. It smells slightly tart, and sweet. Really nothing else.

This beer leaves a black cherry aftertaste. It is low on carbonation.

This beer would probably make a decent session beer. The flavor, while different, is not bad, or overwhelming. The ABV might be a little high.

Overall: I love this beer. What more can I say?

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Photo of Tolnik
4.72/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this deep, rich cherry colored beer into a pint glass. It gave off a pinkish foam as it first was poured and kept a lingerance of lacing. The smell of the beer was that of cherries and malts. The taste followed with the aroma yet with notes of spices. Overall an excellent beer that just has a nice palate of flavors to enjoy while sitting down and sipping a beer.

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Photo of psuKinger
4.72/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into my New Belgium snifter glass.

A: Pours a deep shade of red, I've heard that this beer is a Brown ale at it's base, and at first glance it sure looks like that. Brown Ale with a strong presence of (red) cherries added. The head bubbles up with a light red tint to it, but doesn't stick around for long.

S: Cherry dominates the nose, but there are hints of dates and even maybe a touch of chocolate underneath.

The cherry scent here smells quite natural.

T: Spicy, tart, sweet-and sour cherries dominate. But this beer does have some intracasies working underneath. Definitely can detect a touch of chocolate and even the presense of a bit of "dark fruits". A hint of belgian spiciness as well.

Very little, if any, bitterness on the back end. Just sweet, tart, cherry goodness.

M: This beer has a great thickness and viscosity to it. A thick, full, heavy, full-flavored brew. Properly carbonated here is also much appreciated.

D/O: This is "dessert beer" in every sense of the word. For those that say it's "too sweet", I agree with you... if I was trying to have this with a steak. Or trying to sit down and have 3-4 of these with friends. But that's not what this beer is for. It's for dessert. It's to close out a night of moderate drinking on a sweet note. And for what it is? I think it's exceptional. My favorite fruit beer, with no close second to be found.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.66/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful dark red with lots of carbonation and one finger bubbly head.
Smell- Cherries! Belgian ale smell as well.
T- I'm not big on the fruit beers, but this is awesome! It manages to blend the cherries and beer to a great balance.
Feel- Not too tart.
O- Right there with New Glarus fruit beers, and that is saying something!

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Photo of MisterClean
4.65/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml from Manderes in Folsom

A - Dark cherry in color, little to no head present in pour.

S - Dark cherry with light alcohol and light maltiness.

T - Dark cherries, light malt, light ester, which helps provide balance to this beer.

M - Delightful, excellent, almost like a cordial. Very light carbonation.

D - I believe Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. tried to make black cherry soda into a beer. Great success! Very drinkable and refreshing!

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Photo of RunawayJim
4.6/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beer was served in an Allagash tall tulip style glass. Poured a dark reddish purple color with a thick foamy light purple head. Smells immediately of cherry and perhaps some other berries.

Tastes like sweet and tart cherries and maybe a little raspberry and blackberry. It's a very fruity flavor. There's a nice mix of sweet and tart/sour flavors. Neither is overpowering of the other, but both are very present.

Ample carbonation and a nice smooth mouthfeel make this beer very drinkable. I had no idea what the ABV was when I tried it. I didn't notice the alcohol until long after the beer was gone. It was very good and very drinkable. I could have easily spent the night drinking nothing but this beer.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.6/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-dark brown, almost black with a pink head

S-wow smells like a handfull of fresh picked cherries!....but not in an overly fruity way...but in a way that would perfectly complement a beer.

T-mmm comes and goes with a very decent cherry flavor. it tastes more refined than a lambic or other fruit/vegetable beers that i've had...in fact i think this is what those types should inspire to be like. there's a slight hint of alcohol tanginess to the end.

M-good amount of carbonation with a dry finish

D-mmm the taste does stay all the way through. i love the cherries so much. i could drink this one all night long!

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Photo of Gehrig
4.6/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Blackberry body with light cherry red highlights topped with a thick finger of pinkish-red foam; rings of pink lace around the Ommegang glass--quite unique appearance, like carbonated cough syrup. Rich, sweet cherry nose, slightly boozy. I expected the taste to border on cloying, but that isn't so. It's undeniably sweet, but also more than a little tart, like cherry blended with an ample amount of cranberry. Sweet, but also more complex than expected; really delicious. Ample carbonation make the mouthfeel nearly ideal, boozy black cherry soda-like beer that is all-too easy to consume.

One of the more distinct and impressive beers I've had in some time, better than a straight-up Lambic, while nearly as sweet and more complex. Excellent.

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Photo of guthrie
4.58/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ooooh! I love this beer.
Once again, dear hubby has stocked the fridge nicely while I was at work.
I had a bottle poured into a big Hennepin goblet. Such a beautiful beer - a deep ruby red. Not too much of a pinkish head. Not a lot of lacing.
Someone jokingly referred to this as a "manly" lambic. It does have a strong fruit flavor and smell, but none of the brett funk or tartness. It does have some tartness in the finish, but in a different way. And it hides the alcohol (8%) very well - definitely a creeper beer.
The smell is all cherry.
The strong cherry flavor hits you first and then there's that tartness and a little bit of tingle after the swallow. I didn't notice too much carbonation, but then again I've been nursing this one for an hour or so. Man, that's good...

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Photo of keoki182
4.55/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Madison WI's Malt House. Bold and rich cherry red body with pinkish head. Tons of cherry in the aroma and flavor. My first impression of the taste was artificial cherry, lending almost a medicinal tinge. A second sip (and each subsequent) proved just how wrong my first impression was. Full-on cherry enveloped my taste buds and at 8.00%, provided a dangerous beer to session. If not for the sweetness, I could drink this all night. I love the bitter, burnt flavors in many other styles, but this is just such a unique experience for any beer lover. Superb fruit beer.

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Photo of NODAK
4.53/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant dark red in my appropriate Belgian glassware at an awesome beer bar here....really not much of a head to speak of, however.

Aroma? Cherries. I was actually somewhat blown away by just how much this smelled like sweet cherries. Wow. You can say dessert beer here.

The taste isn't far behind the aroma. It's quite sweet at first with the taste of bing cherries....really quite lovely to be honest, because it's not overwhelming and cloying but VERY delicious....but then some tartness comes across to help balance but not nearly to the level of the sweetness. Again, a dessert beer. You'd better love cherries here.

I saw the ABV was 8 percent just now. Didn't know that drinking it. I actually pondered while drinking it what the ABV likely was. I thought it was probably 5 percent. Pretty much imperceptible. This is 8 percent?? Good lord, it's covered well. Could have fooled me.

Absolutely delicious...I LOVE cherries and I loved this. Sweet, but not TOO sweet with just a hint of tart. Awesome.

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Photo of carp3tshark
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

I'd give it a 5 if it was up against any other cherry beer; it's best in it's class. This is a beer I can use as a gateway drug for wine drinkers. While other beers in the fruit/lambic arena are more akin to wine coolers, this has some of the deep richness of a sweet deep red wine. the cherry flavor mixing with the donker makes for an excellently, drinkable, enjoyable beer. The fact that I can drink more than one of these in a row , unlike many lambics or perrys where my palate needs a break, is a testimony to it's good balance and flavor. It is a great balance of the tart with the sweet. The malt and deep flavors of the beer seem to yield to the natural, great tasting flavor of dark red cherries.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Kasteel Rouge has a thin, crackly, pink head, a semi-clear, dark red appearance, and not a lot of lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of beer with strong cherries in it. Taste is the same, and the cherry note is acidic and seemingly natural. Mouthfeel is low medium, and Kasteel Rouge finishes semi-wet and highly drinkable for an 8% abv ale.


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Kasteel Rouge from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
3.77 out of 5 based on 1,021 ratings.
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