Rodenbach Caractère Rouge
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge
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Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Sour - Flanders Red Ale
Ranked #1
Ranked #289
4.46 | pDev: 7.17%
Mar 27, 2022
Nov 02, 2011
Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge
Notes: Flanders Red Ale- two-year ale matured in oak foeders, that is aged for an additional six months with cherries, raspberries and cranberries. Vinous and very complex with notes of wood and caramel.

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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4.19 by wisegreensoul from Idaho on Mar 27, 2022
Photo of mwilbur
4.68/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by mwilbur from Minnesota

Poured from 750 mL bottle into tulip.
A: Pours a clear red amber hue with essentially no head.
S: Loads of fresh cherries, raspberries, and cranberries. Sour and sweet with a hint of earthy spice and soft oak. Lovely!
T: Closely follows aroma. Sour/sweet cherries, fresh raspberries, and cranberries. Earthy spice, soft oak, and subtle Belgian yeast.
M: Light-medium body. Nice balance of sweet and sour. Soft oak. Dry throughout. Lingers nicely on the palate.
D: A superb brew and example of style.

Feb 23, 2022
4.04 by DruC4 from Michigan on Feb 14, 2022
Photo of VABA
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by VABA from Virginia

Pours a nice reddish color with a slight head and lacing
Aroma has generous cherry, raspberry and cranberry hints
The taste follows the nose with a wonderful complex cherry, raspberry and cranberry flavor
A light bodied well carbonated beer
A great Flanders red

Jan 16, 2022
4.17 by wisrarebeer from Wisconsin on Jan 06, 2022
4.12 by Oleg85 from Russian Federation on Jan 01, 2022
4 by atlbravsrno1 from New Hampshire on Nov 23, 2021
4.57 by arzt from Russian Federation on Sep 24, 2021
4.92 by santig0nzalez from Paraguay on Aug 12, 2021
Photo of brentk56
4.27/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
by brentk56 from North Carolina

Appearance: Pours a tawny amber color with a thin cap that quickly fades to a ringlet; dotty lacing

Smell: Oaky, with cranberry and cherry tones most prominent; hints of vanilla, graham cracker and caramel

Taste: Cranberry and tart cherry blend with caramel and graham cracker flavors, at the outset, with the vanilla and raspberry softening the intial impact; oaky and moderately sour through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very low carbonation

Overall: This is a older bottle and, while full of flavor, may have lost some carbonation in cellar; terrific flavors, however

Jun 21, 2021
4.43 by paresis from Massachusetts on Jun 03, 2021
Photo of Hop_2_It
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
by Hop_2_It from Spain

Poured from a 750ml bottle in to a tulip glass.

Look: Has a nice clear red color with a short lasting white head

Smell: Smells of berries and slightly sweet, also with an acidic touch

Taste: Tastes closely with how it smells, although with very little sweetness overall, which is a good thing to me for this type of beer.

Feel: Slightly fizzy, not a heavy beer

Overall: Usually with size of beer I'm a believer in sharing with someone else to then move on to another, but I am always tempted to hog this one. Will drink it whenever I find available.

May 02, 2021
5 by Ziosa from Missouri on Apr 20, 2021
Photo of BGDrock
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by BGDrock from Canada (ON)

Dull ruby body, hazy, head like himalyan salt forms well, but with low retention.
On the nose, loads of raspberry, sour cherry, red currant, cranberry - like fruit candy; hint of oak.
Taste is sweet & sour red fruit, a medley of those in the aroma, with raspberry and cranberry dominant; nicely complimented by oak and light yeast funk & umami; pleasant acidity; tart flavour lingers in the dry finish; medium body and fine, light carbonation; feel is puckering, light, easy drinking, with no residual sugars; has an earthiness to it.

Beautifully balanced, fantastic fruitiness without juiciness, it's sophisticated; superbly crafted, keeps you intrigued and discovering.

Apr 03, 2021
Photo of Rug
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Rug from Massachusetts

Bottled 5/7/18

Here we are, beer #600!! I got this bottle a while back and figured it was best to practice some restraint and save it for a "special" occasion, assuming you wanna call 600 beers a special occasion. Fuck it, I'm gonna call it a special occasion. I'm really excited to try this, the highest rated Flanders red and #209 of all time here on BA. Let's dive in

Pours a cloudy ruby brown with a finger of white head that quickly fades to a thin ring and leaves no lacing

This is surprisingly sweet in the nose, but I suppose the additional fruits and 3 years since bottling has that effect. I'm picking up on aromas of tart black cherry, jammy raspberry, red wine vinegar, vanilla, smooth oak, strawberry, and caramel malt

While it offers a nice tart bite it in taste, this is still relatively sweet, but it only adds to the complexity. On the front end of the sip I'm tasting juicy raspberry, tart cherry, caramel malt, and red apple. The swallow brings notes of sharp oak, cranberry, black cherry, smooth vanilla, and a touch of lemon peel

A medium body pairs with moderate carbonation, resulting in a rich and smooth beer that is also lightly tart to keep it alive. Finishes mostly dry and tart

This beer is great, but nothing mindblowing. Still, I'm happy to have another style topper under my belt, and another 100 beers

Mar 28, 2021
Photo of Sigmund
3.94/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Sigmund from Norway

750 ml "champagne" bottle, Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 7%. Red colour, large pink head. Strong sourish-fruity aroma of ripe red berries (= cherries, raspberries and cranberries), also notes of oak and farmhouse. Lovely clean sour & fruity flavour with a strong presence of said berries, some sweetness but not too much. Refined and interesting, but still refreshing and easy drinking for its strength and age.

Mar 22, 2021
5 by WCKDVBZ from South Carolina on Feb 20, 2021
Photo of Beginner2
4.51/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
by Beginner2 from Illinois

This style requires a lot of work for me to like. But Caractere Rouge, I like.
Note that only 2 of the 12 that I've had among the Top 100 Flanders Reds did I rate above each's BA average. As a malt-head, tart is OK. In the hands of a master, the style is better. In the hands of the masters of the masters that produce the style's finest, I have to agree with the high accolades awarded Caractere Rouge.

Weakening my resistances to tart, Caractere uses more than cherries for its 6 month sit in fruit. I detect raspberries. Thus, Caractere is more of a fruit cocktail that how other brewers merely use malt to impart fun and bacteria to impart nature's art and barrels to impart complex flavors.

If I were a sour-phile, I'd put Rodenbach on my BBBL list (Belgian Brewers Bucket List.) The tour of their brew-room and barrel-room seems to have few rivals in the world. But, I think I'd like to have a nearby restaurant also because Rodenbach seems to know what the kitchen needs. I've just had Caractere with a simple meal of soup and potatoes. My simple meal was vastly improved by Caractere, a masterpiece.

Jan 23, 2021
Photo of ChefKev
4.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
by ChefKev from Pennsylvania

Poured from 750ml bottle into Ommegang tulip at 52 degrees f.
Color of deep red lollipop
Smell of red berries, vinegar, barrel, mild funk
Flavor is highly balanced fruit with mild vinegar. No single fruit stands above the other two for me. Not at all sweet or cloying as some fruited sours can be. I’m a huge fan of this style and Rodenbach does it better than most. This particular brew exercises subtle and experienced blending to deliver a balance above all others in its class. No beer can ever be perfect in my eyes but this comes close.

Dec 28, 2020
Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.81/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by Falcon91Wolvrn03 from California

Wow! This is really good Flanders Ale.

Appearance – Pours a beautiful clear amber red with a nice head that doesn't last long..

Smell – A really wonderful smell, which smelled great before I even had a chance to think about what was in it. Cherry, raspberry, cranberry, oak, and Flanders' funk, that's not overly sour. Wow, this smells really good!

Taste – The taste is similar to the smell. I really like it because it's not too sour, it's got just the right sweetness and tartness to it for me. Very good.

Mouthfeel – A very nice carbonation. Super easy to drink because it tastes so good.

Drinkability – This beer really took me by surprise. I'm not a huge fan of the style because it's usually too sour for my taste, but this is perfect. It's SO easy to drink.

Dec 19, 2020
3.96 by Phoodcritic from Michigan on Dec 01, 2020
4.37 by BartS from California on Nov 09, 2020
Photo of jheimbigner
4.37/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by jheimbigner from Washington

Pours a reddish brown. Head dissipates. Nose of flowers, followed by strong candied cherry, raspberry. Taste of jammy cherry notes, do get minimal raspberry, cranberry in flavor leading the beer to be dry, oak on the end. Light to medium carb and body. Overall, another excellent flanders red from rodenbach

Nov 08, 2020
4.6 by Insomniac from Canada (ON) on Nov 07, 2020
4.44 by yuno from New York on Oct 18, 2020
4.37 by Dazka from Italy on Sep 26, 2020
Photo of DokiDokiLitFam
4.26/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by DokiDokiLitFam from New Jersey

Pours a nice translucent ruby red. A finger of rocky head appears and quickly fades.

Nose is strong flowery fragrances with tart raspberry and cherry underneath. Like a garden of flowers and fruit.

Taste is definitely more complex. Getting cranberry now, almost overshadowing both raspberry and cherry. The tart and funk strong initially but quickly fades to a savory note almost. Reminds me of the aftertaste of olives. Very interesting. Getting very mild notes of oak. The finish is smooth and graceful. No flavors lingering and overstaying their welcome.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

A really good sour. Don't think I've had a Flanders Red, so I'm a little out of my element with this one. This one would be great with a nice meal. Perhaps a steak dinner or chicken marsala or chicken cordon bleu. A nice treat.

Sep 03, 2020
Photo of Brugesman
4.92/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
by Brugesman from Oregon

A collaboration review with my brother.

750 ml bottle. Date on the bottle is 5/7/18, which we assume is the bottling date.

Appearance: ruddy brown like apple cider, cloudy, initially effervescent but the bit of foam dissipated immediately.

Smell: Fruit dominant, sour cherries, raspberries. Earthy.

Taste: Whole lotta berry, tart, vinous/acetic notes. Lingering red berry aftertaste. The blending produces a profound complexity. Hints of sherry and caramel.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium body, low carbonation, slightly astringent

Overall: A master class in Flemish Red Ale production with the added bonus of aging with sour cherries, raspberries, and cranberries. This style, famously called the "Burgundy of Belgium" by Michael Jackson, sets a high bar for beer blending and complexity. Bursting with flavor, a towering brewing achievement.

Jul 29, 2020
4.5 by TallGuyCM from California on Jun 23, 2020
4.23 by rightcoast7 from Maine on Jun 11, 2020
4.48 by Hopelessly0 from California on Jun 08, 2020
4.5 by moltch from Massachusetts on May 28, 2020
4.21 by Dharms from Pennsylvania on May 18, 2020
4.5 by GoHabsGo from Canada (ON) on May 02, 2020
Photo of zeff80
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by zeff80 from Missouri

750ml bottle. Poured out a reddish-amber color with a small, khaki-colored head of foam. It smelled of cherry, other berries and toffee. Tart berry taste with oak, toffee and hints of vanilla.

Mar 25, 2020
4.55 by jstern from California on Mar 10, 2020
Photo of thebeers
4.21/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by thebeers from Pennsylvania

Pours a hazed red with a brownish hue. The fat finger of raspberry-tinted, light tan head quickly fizzes away to a wisp and a crown.

The big, fruity aroma smells “pink,” with fresh, juicy berries, cherry, some solvent and light oak.

More of the lovely vinegar acidity characteristic of Grand Cru shows up front in the taste, pairing nicely with the juicy cranberry, raspberry and cherry. The oak touch is refined, smoothing out both the juice and acidity in the finish. The aftertaste is only lightly puckering — a mixture of sweet and tart.

Medium bodied at most with a slight oily slickness and light carbonation fizz.

Almost shockingly juicy, while maintaining Rodenbach’s classic character. Makes for a delicious special-occasion treat.

Feb 22, 2020
4 by rare_bird from Michigan on Feb 15, 2020
Photo of stortore
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by stortore from Illinois

750 ml bottle into a tulip snifter. Best by 2/19/18, had 11/21/18. Shame on me for missing by that much.

Pours a purplish amber, cloudy, with a one inch foamy head and some foamy lacing. Aromas of cherries, raspberries, some cranberries, malt, some vanilla. The flavor is similar- cherries, raspberries, malt, some cranberries, light vanilla. Not picking up the oak or caramel. Lightly tart and sour, fairly sweet. Smooth, a solid medium body, well carbonated.

It’s all about the fruit and it’s very well executed. The tartness of the cranberries is a nice balance to the sweetness of the cherries and raspberries. Undoubtedly, missing the best by date by 9 months has had some effect here. Very enjoyable and well worth a purchase.

Feb 14, 2020
Photo of EMV
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by EMV from Pennsylvania

2013 vintage. Poured from a bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Nearly clear maroon pour with 1 finger of off-white head. Nice lacing. Sediment at the end of the pour.

S: Tart and funky. Fruity.. cherry and raspberry mingled with oak.

T.F: Just like it smells. Tart without being sour. Big time fruit... baking cherry, raspberry, and cranberry. Some fruit sweetness to go with the tartness... oak and a bit of funk. Modest acidity... with some apple cider vinegar and tannins. Medium bodied... nice carbonation. More fruit and cherry to finish.

O: Absolutely outstanding. Wish I had a case of this... and it made for a great 'end of the week' treat. Super complex and delicious and worthy of the high rating.

Feb 01, 2020
Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 1594 ratings