Rodenbach Caractère Rouge | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge
BA SCORE
98.1%
Liked This Beer
4.47 w/ 1,443 ratings
Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Belgium
rodenbach.be

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Jason on 11-02-2011

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#157
Reviews:
214
Ratings:
1,443
Liked:
1,416
Avg:
4.47/5
pDev:
6.94%
Alströms:
4.59
 
 
Wants:
323
Gots:
367
Trade:
43
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Ratings: 1,443 |  Reviews: 214
Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of jaydoc
4.49/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.36/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Wowcoolman for sharing this one at drewone's place.

Pours a hazy dark red with a foamy reddish-white head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is sour and tart with some raspberry, cherry, cranberry, and raspberry vinaigrette. Taste is much the same with a nice fruity finish and a slight acidic quality on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is really tasty and easy to drink.

 563 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

just amazing, unique, incredibly special beer as good as any i can recall. i dont usually get too into the flanders red type, it always seems more vinegar and acidity than yeast character, and i find it off putting that its usually so sweet as well as sour, a textural and flavor contrast that doesnt often jive with me. this one though, is entirely different. the sour cherries, cranberries, and raspberries are huge contributors right from first splash into my glass. its almost neon red pink, clearish and heady, delicate looking, but really intensely colored. the nose presents the tartness of the fruit, cranberries leading the way, but all three are easy to pick out. there is less body and sweetness than i remember in the grand cru, and i like that a lot. there is a swedish fish aroma, mouthwatering and candy-like, but not all that sweet. the fruit is super authentic, and the beer seems very mature. there is a bit of oak on it too, but not heavy and sweet, and really now showing the usual vanilla much because of the intensity of the fruit. the fruit is right there up front in the taste, but i think i get more cherry first, more raspberry later, the best of both kriek and framboise here, but the finish is what makes this special i think. it has that malt vinegar flavor of the typical flemish red, but its more refined, its really sour, but it carries on forever without being shocking. the finish is the longest ever, super puckery, and not the least bit sweet, with the fruit tartness continuing to come in waves for ages after the swallow. this is one of the best fruit beers ever made in my opinion, extremely memorable and different, and a model for others to strive for in terms of quality. maybe one of my favorite beers ive ever had, which is crazy to me because as good as grand cru is, it wasnt a personal favorite at all. as good as it gets! huge thanks to my brother for sharing this!

 1,913 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4.59/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out as a very nice red color with a thin white head on top. The smell of the beer is more Fruity than funky. The taste of the beer is quite juicy with a subtle sourness in the finish. Overall it's a solid sour beer but the price makes it hard to buy.

 257 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.5/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of metter98
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is very hazy reddish purple in color. It poured with a short white head that died down, leaving lots of wispy lacing on the surface and a tight collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of cherries, cranberries, and oaky vanilla are present in the nose.
T: The taste follows the smell, starting off with a mix of flavors of cherries and raspberries and subtle bits of sweetness and vanilla from the oak barrel aging, but these are contrasted by a little bit of sourness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The sourness lends some tartness, but the oak barrels also round out the mouthfeel, making it also seem somewhat smooth.
O: I really enjoyed this Flanders Red Ale. It seemed to be fruitier and have more vanilla compared to some of the other beers I've had in the style,

Serving type; bottle

 892 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With the personal feeling that Rodenbach's beers have always been undermined as a Sour Ale, they've put themselves back on the sour map with Caractere Rouge!

Starting with the same ruby-mauve hue that sparkles in the glass; its dark red hue is largely clear until the yeast cake in the bottle rises in suspension. As a dainty semi-fizzy creme swirls from the calderon beneath, its head character is soon compromised by the beer's acidity and dry body. A quick swirl brings the head back to life to share its high aromatics and then folds back into the glass with minimal lacing power.

Sweetness, tartness, and ooh-so savory aromas align in the nose with a sense of brightness and vibrancy. The fruity threads that pull the beer together are plump and just verbose enough to distinguish its cherry, raspberry and cranberry notes from each other. An overcast of malt is candied with mild confectioner's sweetness and then tempered with balsamic-type acidity. Toasted grain brings out a taste of toast and meek chocolate in order to reinforce its beery-scent.

Crisp, refreshing and savory at the onset, the beer's sweetness and sourness align on the early palate much like "Sweetheart" candy. Its fruit-forward flavor further reinforce that attitude until the middle of vinous red wine, slim balsamic and drier fruit notes bring about the natural earthiness in the beer. Light brine, musty wine soaked wood, dried limes and crab-apples hark to Lambic- but the fruit and light sweetness that accompanies it really bring out those Roeselare characteristics.

Though light bodied but not abhorrently dry, there's ample sweetness and and carbonation to give the early palate sensations a creamy fruit texture. But that's all short-lived as the carbonation bounces off the tongue and carries away with it the fruit and malt sweetness. What's left is vinous acidity that pangs sharply on the mouth in order to refresh it and finish pleasantly dry and warm.

Caractere Rouge is a less vinegary example of Flanders Red Ales but is slightly more fruit forward. I love it that the fruits are sweet enough to discern them from another and not so dry that they all begin to taste alike. That sweet-sour-savory medley shows a balance that's rarely found in Sour Ales.

 2,254 characters

Photo of kojevergas
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%

BOTTLE: 750 ml. Brown glass. Appealing label design. Branded cap in a cage, set over a cork.

Expectations are sky high; I have massive respect for and love Rodenbach (even under Palm).

Served chilled into a Westvleteren goblet and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption. 7.0% ABV.

Cork pops hard and hits the ceiling upon removal (with pliers), but no beer surges out. It's well packaged for aging.

A fizzy cascading bubble show emerges as it's poured, and remains for some time - quite the spectacle when combined with the beer's vibrance.

HEAD: 3 fingers wide. Best described as a pinkish white; it's alluring and almost unique. Foamy but not too fizzy, with a soft cobwebby consistency and a decent spongey complexion. Its lightness is apt for the style, and its effervescence is teasing - between beer and champagne. It retains quite well (for ~10 minutes), but leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as it recedes.

BODY: A bright plump vibrant red. Not a solid red, but a weak one; grapeskin comes to mind. Light, translucent, and transparent. Clean, with no visible yeast particulate or hop sediment.

It's a lively inviting appearance, and has me curious.

AROMA: Powdered white sugar, fresh cherries, fresh rapberries, and touches of tart cranberries. Incredibly evocative; the fruitiness is just perfect. Soft and lush, with no off-notes, though some American drinkers may note a cherry-like medicinal note. I'm just blown away by how fresh and vivid this aroma is. Sourness is mild - maybe a 5 or 6 out of 10 in terms of intensity, but what really works are the cherry pie notes Rodenbach is known for. The pie crust married to the blunt oak tone is lovely, but I do find myself missing the damp acetic oak barrel character I love in regular Rodenbach. In any case, this easily approachable light powdery aroma has my mouth watering. Wow.

It boasts tricky subtlety in terms of its yeast & bacteria; I'd guess pedio and a bit of lactobacillus.

Aromatic intensity is average.

TASTE: The taste is every bit as fresh and evocative as the aroma, evoking notes of soft luscious raspberry, tart cherry, and sweetened cranberry. Powdered sugar comes to mind in taste as in texture. Rodenbach's signature cherry pie/pie crust notes emerge in the second act, lending even more depth to an already fascinatingly subtle and intricate brew. The oak is attuned to the flavour profile without being overbearing; it's present only as a guiding tone which ensures the flavour profile's cohesion - as if it wasn't a gestalt brew already.

Undeniably more than the sum of its parts, this flavour profile blows me away. Good duration of flavour and apt flavour intensity.

The pucker-lovers may crave still more sourness - this offers only a 5 out of 10 - but I have trouble imagining this impossibly careful balance disturbed. It's just immaculate. I do want more of the acetic character I go to Rodenbach for; they do it better than anyone.

In short, it's fucking incredible. A treat of a brew.

To nitpick, I do think it could use more tartness and cranberry, and I greedily want still more cherry pie and acetic character.

TEXTURE: Has a delicacy and fragility I've observed in extremely few beers, with an effortless lightness on the palate that really makes the flavours sing, and gives a quenching refreshing feel that's heaven with the tart berry notes. Soft and light-bodied without being weak or watery; I don't know how they do it. Naturally, it's soft and wet, and does have an above average acidity as well as a light puckery twang. Smacky and powdery in perfect fashion, with the perfect amount of creaminess as well. Carbonation is perfect.

It's almost flawless. Just a bit more body would help give the flavours a bit more support, and a bit more acidity and/or smackiness wouldn't hurt. But it's damn near perfect.

OVERALL: Effortlessly drinkable, an effect reached by an ideal harmony of texture and taste: the angelic lightness of the mouthfeel keeps the palate craving more and the incredible fresh berry notes are divine. An accomplishment in the style, and a beer whose quality forces me to savor each sip. Absolutely a paragon. Incredible work. I tip my hat to Rodenbach yet again. I imagine I will definitely be picking up more bottles of this, but it's hard to imagine it could improve with age - it's already so good. This is in the upper echelon of beers currently being brewed, and demands the discerning drinker's attention. A very welcome addition to my top beers of all time. Take note - this is how subtlety and balance are done.

High A

Pair with fresh raspberries.

Serve chilled, not cold.

 4,662 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.78/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of oline73
4.07/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark reddish amber color with a half finger of off white head that has a pink hue. The head faded away quickly until there was none remaining. The smell was fruity up front with some vinegar notes. I thought the fruity notes were very jam like. The taste followed the smell closely. There was some disagreement about what fruit was in this beer. I thought I was getting raspberries. The beer was tart but it was a smooth tartness. There was a slight sweetness in the finish which was also very dry. The carbonation level was aggressive. Overall I thought this was a very good sour beer, but I could have sworn it was a fruit lambic.

The reveal: Rodenbach Caractère Rouge

 690 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4.75/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.45/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.37/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: Poured a deep reddish color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of rich cherry notes with plenty of oak notes and some tart notes with some light residual sugar notes. Taste is a perfect mix of fresh cherry notes with some tart notes and oak with some residual sugar notes. Body is full with great carbonation.

 353 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -4.9%

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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Beer rating: 98.1% out of 100 with 1,443 ratings
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