Rodenbach Caractère Rouge | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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193 Reviews
Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

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.

Added by Jason on 11-02-2011

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Reviews: 193 | Ratings: 1,331
Photo of VelvetExtract
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Beautiful. A slightly hazed, pinkish hue. Like cranberry juice mixed with seltzer water. A big, bubbly, pink-tainted head grows and instead of fading off, it retains a rather creamy consistency and tall stature. Patchy lace.

S-A very inviting nose. A trifecta of earthy, tart and sweet. The berries are both tart and sweet at the same time. There is a genuine earthen note along with some light barrel influence. The cranberries, raspberries and cherries are all relevant in their on separate way.

T-The flavor is another pleasant mixture of tart and sweet. The berries just control and dominate the flavor. Would enjoy a bit more barrel-induced flavor here. The beer has more of a straightforward (albeit natural and complex) fruit flavor as opposed to a wacky funkiness that pairs with the fruit.

M-Full bodied in terms of the style; a full, round feel. Tickling bubbles Lingering sweetness and tartness. No booze.

O/D-Very tasty. It just stampedes with tasty berry flavor with a genuine mix of sweet and sour. A pricey 750 but in my opinion, well worth a try at least once.

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Photo of Dennoman
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75 cl bottle, batch 2, poured into a tulip glass.

A: Visually stunning. A sea of deep ruby red that gets darker as you go up into the glass. Semi-clear. A true work of art when light refracts through it. Absolutely beautiful.

S: The dominant aroma is freshly picked berries. Raspberry tartness, light sweetness and distinctive cranberry bitterness. This aroma is carried by the classic Rodenbach aroma: refreshing acidity with a touch of creaminess.

T: Beautiful raspberry tartness and puckering cranberry that clings to your tongue. Aftertaste is lactic acid, lingering long on the palate after the swallow. Sweetness goes away completely, making for a strangely sadomasochistic experience that has you yearning for more.

M: Relatively high carbonation, but this is necessary to neutralize the otherwise overly acidic quality of the berries. Though it is very light, it isn't anywhere close to watery and fits the style perfectly.

O: Although I usually don't go for this style, this was an absolute joy. Bags of flavor that keep delivering with every sip, and I would swear something new pops up every time you put this near your nose and lips. Exciting to the senses and perfectly balanced. Everything that's good about summer in a glass.


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Photo of mothman
4.14/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Ruby Amber in color. Lots of fruit flavors. Raspberries, blackberries, and cherries. Light sour. Light acidic. Light tartness. Easy drinking but ends kind of bland. Some brown sugar and spice flavors.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.16/5  rDev -6.3%
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 HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


Bottle shared by Tim a couple weeks ago and again tonight by Cameron. Thanks!

A: Deep maroon with a big pinkish white head that lingers for some time.

S: A ridiculous amount of fruit. There's a really strong cranberry presence (skin and flesh) with some raspberry and a little cherry. Nice vanilla aroma with notes of cherry pie, crust and all. Restrained leather profile with a light mustiness and some oak. Smells like Ocean Spray. Lots of brown sugar. Moderately lactic with some vinegar.

T: A fruit explosion: lots of cranberry with an even blend of cherry and raspberry. Lower moderate acetic acidity with restrained vinegar flavor. Light vanilla with brown sugar and a little oak. The beer is quite sweet with a low level of tartness and a firm lactic presence. The beer finishes with a mild acetic burn

M: Medium body with upper medium carbonation. Sticky, dry, and creamy mouthfeel.

Overall: A nice fruited Flanders-style beer. Too sweet for me to drink a lot of but there isn't a lot to drink so I guess that's not a problem. Reminds me a lot of Ocean Spray or Cran-apple Cider.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
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 KornWallace
4.19/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Date: 5/6/14
Location: Port Chester Beer Distributor
Glassware: Red Wine Glass

Appearance: Rosy in color pouring with a pinkish carbonation. While the head doesn't last a small ring of carbonation does remain.
Aroma: As advertised cranberries and sour cherries come through on the nose. With nice notes of raspberry as well. The oak vat has a presence in a lovely wood smell with hints of oak.
Taste: The fruit has the major profile for this beer giving it a very tart flavor. The tartness is assisted by the wild yeast. Tart is very much the word as I pucker slightly with every sip.
Mouthfeel: Light to Medium in body. Light to medium in carbonation. The beer itself is very dry and leaves your mouth watering.

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Photo of dar482
4.19/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in copper reddish brown color.

The aroma has huge sweet fruits of cherry, raspberry along with a vinegary sourness.

the flavor follows with that sourness in the front of apple cider vinegar. The sourness is quite strong, but well balanced this a cherry, cranberry sweetness that pops out. The end finishes with some oak.

Not as exciting as some new age sours, but wonderfully fruity and balanced.

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Photo of dd43
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cherry and raspberry off the nose right away, that's what hit me first. Really wasn't much head on the pour I was given, and my efforts to rebuild it with swirls of the glass were unsuccessful. That said, mouthfeel was really nice and it balanced on a divide between creamy and prickly from the carbonation, which I found really appealing. Nice level of tartness, not overpowering or mouth puckering but definitely present enough to let you know you're drinking a sour. One thing I'd improve on, it was a bit sweet for my taste. Some residual tackiness on the palate and my lips made me wish for something just a touch more astringent.

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Photo of kscaldef
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No bottle number I saw, but apparently one of only 900. Consumed at De Heeren on 6/7/2012.

A reddish copper color, poured into beautiful wine-style glasses. Cherry aroma dominates. The beer is quite tart with lot of cherry flavor and an immediate mouth-watering effect. Medium-low carbonation and a slightly sweet linger.

I gotta say, the Rodenbachs killed it on this particular day. #2 beer of the afternoon (after Alexander Rodenbach).

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.21/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a ruddy tone, a little hazed, a little murky with a thin, off-white, pink-tinged head.

Smell: A tangy-scented, sweet-n-sour aroma with an earthy, slightly woody undercurrent. You get your raspberries and cherries, thankfully without that occasional medicinal vibe you encounter.

Taste: A nice, inviting, juicy berry melange stirred up with a goodly splash of lemonade with a thin vein of twangy balsamic vinegar and very subtle oak accents. Tart, semi-dry, cranberry cocktail finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Overall: Easily approachable, refreshing fare.

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Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
4.22/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L- Pours a reddish plum. The head is modest at a bout a centimeter which quickly reduces to thin ring with no lacing.
S-The smell is full of the sour cherries and a hint of cranberries.
T- Taste is very prominently lacto and sour cherries. The hint of cranberries comes in at the very end. This beer finishes very dry leaving you craving another sip. The tartness is strong, but not overpowering. Certainly not a gateway beer on that front.
F-the mouthfeel is fairly light. The carbonation is medium which along with the dry finish makes it a really nice brew.
O-A really enjoyable sour ale. Not a gateway to sours but one that can really be appreciated by those who are fans of the style. Well done Rodenbach.

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Photo of WI-Beer-Man
4.24/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very solid offering. Fruit forward (nice mix of cranberry, raspberry and sour cherry), but a slight medicinal flavor and smell that knocked it down in the rating for me. Not a great looking beer. All that said. I like this quite a bit and would definitely hit it again

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Photo of TheBrewo
4.24/5  rDev -4.5%
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 Stinkypuss
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

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.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.26/5  rDev -4.1%
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 Gasc0igne
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A gorgeous coloured pour; hazy dark red (almost a mahogany) with two fingers of pinkish-brown soapy head that becomes a light film after a short time. Average lacing.

Raspberry dominates the nose, big supporting cherry, a touch of cranberry. Amazingly fruity. Something like an over-sweetened jam to the nose, definite sugar presence. Balsamic backing throughout. I get a big hit of toasted wood (think: light char from saw) every so often. Sadly I do get an unwelcome medicinal note that detracts from the experience.

A bit of a change from the nose, cranberry clearly dominates, cherry close behind. Big and tart upfront. Raspberry pops in halfway through carrying some sour funkiness with it. Fruit-sweet, as opposed to sugar-sweet. No proper barrel presence (apart from funkiness), and no noticeable medicinal qualities like the nose had. Balsamic still backs everything up. Tart through-and-through and ridiculously juicy.

Light bodied. Smooth with a very dry finish. Highly carbonated.

A vastly different beer to the base. The bold and clear fruits are a joy, and it is oh so drinkable!

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Photo of RickyS
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Orange/brown beer with little head that vanished almost right away. The aroma is dominated by cherries, a sweet tea tartness with vanilla notes in the background. The taste is more lemony and acidic where all the flower notes dissipate, leaving room for a well balanced finish between sour and bitter. Pleasant carbonation. Incredibly refreshing, probably the most refreshing beer I've had so far! Very well made. Maybe I expected a bit more.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.31/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Brown and very murky in appearance. There's fingernail of off white around half of the rim and half of the middle. Aroma is comprised of cherries, cranberries, and woodsy oak. I taste tart cherries, cranberries, and raspberries along with woody, dry oak. The mouth is moderately carbonated and dry.

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Photo of safaricook
4.31/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A fantastic vlaams rood. Unfortunately, mine was more than a year old therefore the fruitiness of the aroma as described by other was strongly reduced. Drink it as you get it!
Edit: followed my own advice and drank it fresh and didn't miss out on the great red fruit aromas and flavors

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Photo of MacMalt
4.31/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this ale on draught at a pub so it was served colder than I would drink it at home. The color is a very attractive reddish-purple with a thin, milk-white head and minimal lacing. I think there would have been a better head if it were poured from a bottle at a warmer temperature. It is very aromatic with cherries, cranberries, and vanilla. The taste starts out very sweet with abundant cherry, cranberry, and oaky vanilla but suddenly turns quite sour and acidic. It's two distinct tastes but they blend really well. This ale is medium-bodied and quite well carbonated. At 7% ABV, it is very easy to drink. Overall, it is a very tasty and enjoyable ale. It is very-well crafted and has a unique taste.

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Photo of Dzu
4.31/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Dark amber with a no foam head.
S: Smells raspberry.
T: Sweet-soar, raspberry, cherry, cranberry.
F: Hoppy, not as smooth as wanted.
O: Not kind of my ale, but very good.

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Photo of cvm4
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure on vintage.

L - Pours a deep cherry red with a one finger pinkish head that fades quickly.

S - The nose seems really jammy to me with a slightly medicinal quality. The cranberries, raspberries and cherries really mesh well together. Definitely some oak mixed in.

T - So much tart cranberries, cherries and raspberries! The sour is mild at first then builds to where you can taste in the back of your jaws. Lacto and oak all throughout. I can definitely see some jam quality.

F - Medium body and medium carbonation. Smooth body, creamy.

O - This is a special beer to be enjoyed slowly. I think having this on the regular would ruin me.

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Photo of dgilks
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear red-mahogany colour with no head. Still good with great clarity.

Rich raspberry and strawberry aroma. Quite sweet. Some nice acetic acid and funk. Almost jammy. Interesting.

Tart and refreshing on the palate. Becomes a little sweeter later in the mouthful. Nice berry character and touches of funk. Really well balanced. Wonderful tartness.

Medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation. Good.

A fantastic beer really. I wish it could get some head retention but it is nonetheless a very tasty beer and exceptionally balanced.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL into an Altamont beer glass.

Reddish clear, with heavy berry notes on the nose and a light funk.

The beer itself is much sweeter than anticipated, with the only tartness being a sort of dried cranberry -- it's fruity-sour and not acidic-sour. Rich and full, the mouthfeel is great.

I don't think I like this as much as standard Grand Cru, but it's tasty!

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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.44 out of 5 based on 1,331 ratings.
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