Kasteel Rouge | Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.

very good
1,026 Ratings
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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: 402 | Ratings: 1,026
Photo of Squire123
4.14/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep garnet red color that shimmers in the sunlight.

Nice aroma. The scent is of dark cherry resting on a bready malt base.

Taste of cherry that manages to be light, rich, sweet and tart at the same time. Very complex and layered yet possessing an elegant simplicity. There is depth in the flavor that's more than cherry, dark Mission figs perhaps, yet cherry dominates like the string section in a Mozart composition.

Texture enters light but finishes medium with just enough carbonation to balance.

This is a cherry flavored brew that is far more elegant than that sounds.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Rose red pour with a bubblegum pink head.

Aromas of cherry juice, slight faint pleasant vinegar, and amaretto.

Flavor is of slight tart cherry vinegar, some almond, dark cherries, and a pleasant faint alcohol astringency. Very dangerous at 8%.

Flavor is puckering and heavily carbonated, slight hottness from the booze. Drying tart finish.

Overall, Kasteel Rouge is one of my favorite beers - always has been, just haven't had time to sit down and review it officially. If you've never had this on tap, it totally kills. Sipping the head is like cherry nut ice cream. It's a really fabulous beer.

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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 johnnnniee
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Bert's
Dark brown in color with garnet at the edges and a thin bubbly off white head that quickly dissipates. Huge tart cherry on the nose with faint bready toasty caramel underneath. The flavor is huge tart cherry syrup with faint tartness and light caramel maltiness. This shit is like liquid cherry candy, why did it take me so long to find this?

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Photo of Zet
2.89/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lovely ruby colour, but the foam is not worth mentioning (note the paradox). This beer is a mixture of Kasteel Donker (a quad basically) and cherry liquor. For some reason, that led me into expecting some sort of liquified cherry praline, with a plethora of flavour. How naive. Smells, tastes and feels like a cherry coke/dr. pepper. No complexity or balance whatsoever. Not my cup of tea. For health reasons, you're probably better off with the real thing, but not by much obviously.

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Photo of JakeScully
3.77/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This one came in a Christmas haul gift. Poured into a Chimay glass. Looks reddish, beautiful color. Taste like cherry liquor which might not be for everyone. A feel good brew, but nowhere as good as the Donker from the same brewery.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've passed this by for years on the shelf never realizing it contained my beloved (and impossible to find in NH thanks to distribution) Donker. After reading the description I was sold. Strangely, the fact that I love this has nothing to do with why I picked it up. I cannot discern more than the slightest background of malt and ripe fruits that makes Donker the bomb. However, this thing is the tastiest fruit beer I've yet encountered. I do love cherries so, and this has them to the brim. Nose is so cherry my mouth waters. Flavor is nearly as cherry-full, somewhat subdued by the aforementioned actual beer.

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Photo of Deanlee
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not bad for a malt beverage although I've had other more drinkable kreiks and cherry beers. I did have a lot cherry residue left in my glass. Great color and smell but it did have a bit of a bite. The stevia, which is an entirely natural sweetener, might be responsible for a slight chemical taste.

 298 characters

Photo of andylipp
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Label says both "Belgian ale with cherries and cherry juice added" and " alt beverage with natural flavors and Stevia."
Stevia? Really?
Looked great in the tulip, a brown translucent color with red highlights. A brown-pink head receded immediately. The smell was straight cherry cough medicine, but not in a bad way necessarily. A slight bit of spice detectable in the nose as well.
Taste was sweet black cherry liquor up front with a bit of medicinal tartness in the finish. I'm told that the base beer is their quad, but there's little indication of malt or. Maybe a hint of chocolate cherry candy. Still pleasant and not overly sweet, despite the addition of "artificial" sweetener.
Feel was substantial but not syrupy like some sweetened beers can be.
It is said that the cherry component of this beer is due to the addition of a cherry liqueur. Makes sense. Not one I am likely to return to but interesting none the less.

 931 characters

Photo of Hunter
3.59/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Large bottle, bottled in 2014.

Look - Poured very fizzy, almost like a soda. head of pink bubbles dissipates almost instantly. Ale is a beautifully deep ruby red color.

Smell - The fruit is immediately apparent. Cherry dominates the nose with little else coming through, but it's not unpleasant. Some fruit aleas smell almost like cough syrup; this is just fresh fruit.

Taste - More sour than I expected. Cherries, some measure of spice.

Feel - Sweet and sour at the front, evolving into a slightly bitter aftertaste. Clean on the tongue, not cloying or overpowering.

Overall - If fruit beers are to your liking you'd do worse than this. Manages to be fruity without being overpowering. there's a subtlety to it that other representatives of the style could learn to emulate.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Artwork: Very nice classic Kasteel design. This is the type of classy Belgian label that I can't get enough of.
Appearance: Deep ruby red with pink head. Not much retention or lacing but that could be because of my relatively slow pour (the brewery's recommendation is for a vigorous pour). Pretty clear with no traces of yeast or other floaties.
Nose: Lots of sweet cherries. Sugar and cherry juice.
Taste: More cherries upfront, some cinnamon warmth, and spices. A fairly bitter quinine-like aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Medium body. Light carbonation.
Overall: Not as complex as I was expecting but definitely a nice enough Kriek. This was my first beer from the Kasteel series and I'd love to try their Donker (which Rouge is based on) to see how it tastes without the added cherries.

 785 characters

Photo of NancyE
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I ordered this from a bar thinking I was getting a Killians type of flavor, so I was surprised by the sweetness. A good beer, I would have one for dessert. Not a sour, but extra fruity. 8% alcohol!

 197 characters

Photo of ajm5108
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I can understand why some might feel this beer is too sugary or syrupy. It certainly is very sweet, but for me it didn't cross that line. The aroma certainly skews towards pure cherry juice with undertones of german malt. Flavor is a tad less concentrated & more like a cherry liqueur with some bready backbone notes. A little raw alchohol / phenol undertone throws it off a bit, but it is still a good beer that is easy to drink.

 430 characters

Photo of sokol_1993
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Dark red, with a good amount of head.
Smell: A lot of cherry smell.
Taste: Sweet, very fruity, lots of cherry taste. Aa little bit similar to Vietnamese apricot and mulberry juice.
Feel: Medium body. Can't believe it packs 8% alcohol in it.

A nice offering, but a little bit too fruity for a beer.

 307 characters

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 10/09/2013. Pours crystal clear very dark reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger foamy light khaki head with solid retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big sweet/tart cherries, raisin, plum, fig, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, light chocolate, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of cherries, fruity/spicy yeast, and dark malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big sweet/tart cherries, raisin, plum, fig, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, light chocolate, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Light-moderate fruit tartness and light yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of cherries, raisin, plum, fig, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of cherries, fruity/spicy yeast, and dark malt flavors; with a great malt/tartness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light dryness from fruit tartness as well. Medium-high carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, and lightly syrupy/acidic balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent fruited Belgian strong dark ale. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of cherries, fruity/spicy yeast, and dark malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,633 characters

Photo of infinitebruner
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

April 9, 2016

11.2 oz bottle, tulip

A – Rich brown with ruby tinges where the light shines through. Off-white, pinkish bubbles bloom atop the beer, with moderate-short retention.

S – Just an absolute bomb of tart cherries, sweet and sour, almost candy-like. Raisins, light vinegar, a touch of chocolate hiding in the back. Zero hop aroma.

T – Tart cherry, tart cherry, tart cherry. No souring/vinegar notes here, tastes like it’s all from the fruit. Some light chocolate malt flavor, and a touch of bitterness on the back end, with lingering sweetness.

M – This is a very sweet beer, but high carbonation and dryness helps to offset that, along with light bitterness on the finish. Still, substantial residual sweetness.

O – I might actually mistake this for a gourmet cherry cola if I didn’t know it was beer. Only that touch of bitterness gives it away. If you like cherry cola, or Belgian dubbels, or both, this is probably in your wheelhouse.

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Photo of Dzu
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Dark ruby, with a no foam head.
S: Smells cherry, dark fruits.
T: Classical sweet -sour for cherry.
F: Don't feel alcohol. Very smooth!
O: Good belgian rouge.

 164 characters

Photo of podunko
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

25.4 bottle. I love sours, I love cherries. What's not too like? Well, I must say I like this beer a lot, if I have one minute issue, it is a tad sweet. Then I saw the note on the label, stevia! Really??? So very very not necessary, and most likely with a little less sweetness this beer would be perfect. Beautiful red/mahogany color, cherry, cherry, and more cherry, but more sweet than sour. If you like sweet and cherries, this is it!

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Photo of mothmanscott
2.94/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours dried blood, ruby red with small, pinkish head, no lacing. Aroma is sweet, cherry, maybe raspberry with a floral quality. Taste is medicinal (my son-in-law draws an analogy to "Robitusin"), very cherry & other red fruit. Tart, musty finish. No hop presence. I agree with a previous reviewer that it taste like cherry cola. To be truthful I'm disappointed.

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Photo of Benjo87
4.11/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look - hazy dark red to brown in a glass, very small reddish white head that dissipates quickly.

Smell - wow! Smells like cherry starburst lollies. Very tart, very candy like. Also has a red wine dark fruit character. Touch of that Belgian yeast coming through. Smells amazing.

Taste - follows the nose perfectly. Tart cherry. It's not as sour as a lambic. Highly carbonated. It does have a certain red wine character about it. Something different. I think it works well, and I'd definitely buy it again.

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Photo of Sathanas
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's like drinking melted cherry cordial... Chocolate, cherries and hints of fine dark Belgian ale! Beers to compare to? Impossible... fans of Samichlaus Classic would love this, I think

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Photo of schoolboy
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a bizarre brew, bottled on October 3, 2013. It opens a beautiful dark deep red with just a tiny bit of head.

The aroma is amazing. It smells like perfume - like a powder of cherries, and booze. Truly a unique beverage smell.

The taste is a big sweet and sour treat. I didn't have a lot of choices in my house this evening without going to the store - a few aged brews, including this, one great stout 12 oz, one nice cabernet, and the booze (which I really don't feel like). I did not expect this to taste so wine-like. It's really more like the sweet liquor coming through, but it is nicely balanced by the big sour of the brew.

This is definitely an interesting sipper. I hope I don't tire of it since the whole bottle is for me. How that sits will determine if I buy it again.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From Bottle. Poured a dark red-brown color with a light pink head. Aroma is a load of cherry notes, sweet malts. Light Belgian yeast. Taste is sweet cherry notes, cherry skins. Light booze. Little sour. Really like this.

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Photo of erk0607
3.99/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: A very dark amber, ever so slightly red, clear, minimal lacing just around the edges of the glass

Smell: This threw me off... this smells like cherry twizzlers. No surprise about the cherry, but it smells the exact same as opening up a bag of the candy.

Taste: Unique of all the reds I've tried... I wouldn't say it is super sour, but there are definitely sour notes. There's some fruity aspect to it, but I can't say that it is the dominant flavor that sticks out... the fruityness kind of blends in with the other beer attributes, maybe with the maltiness of the other beer that this is mixed with? You get a funky flavor that follows the sour as you taste more and more of it.

Feel: Interesting mouth feel too, it drinks as a liquid, but when you let it sit on your tongue, it gets lighter, almost foamier. Has an interesting tingle.

Overall: Definitely a beer to serve slightly chilled, but not fridge cold. I'd be willing to try it again in a month or two to see if my thoughts on it change but I don't need to get it every time I stop by the beer shop.

 1,080 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice deep cherry red color that's crystal clear, thick and frothy vanilla cherry lacing.

S - Sweet cherry aroma that's borderline sugary cloying, vanilla.

T - Cherry from start to finish - cherry, cherry, cherry. (Did I mention "Cherry"?) Dark cherry skins, faint sweet cherry malt, not cloying at all, but cherry juice sweet without being obnoxious. Tart cherry.

M - Big medium body, gentle and elegant carbonation on the tongue.

O - Sweet, but not cloying. ABV extremely well hidden.

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Kasteel Rouge from Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V.
3.77 out of 5 based on 1,026 ratings.
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