Rodenbach Caractère Rouge | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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BA SCORE
98
world-class
190 Reviews
Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Belgium | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
190
Ratings:
1,310
Avg:
4.44
pDev:
18.47%
 
 
Wants:
311
Gots:
350
For Trade:
47
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 190 | Ratings: 1,310
Photo of gtermi
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is glorious! This beer is very sweet and fruity in the smell. The cherries and cranberries are the most dominant in the flavor with a bit of raspberries in the taste. There is a nice bit of tartness with a dry mouthfeel.

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look - A reddish purplish pink type color. Amazing looking in the glass
Smell - Fruity, berries, slight vinegar kick, cherries
Taste - Cherries, cranberries, raspberries, red wine type vinegar twang to it.

Overall - This beer blew my mind. Tastes like the fruit juice I give my kids just with a sour twist to it. An absolutely amazing beer.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass at Smoke & Barrel DC as part of the bottle share. Much thanks to jacewg for the bottle, been wanting this for ages. From notes.

A nice faint pink body, slightly clear, and makes a fizzy head picking up the red body color with a pink and tan sort of hue. Some bit of fizz sound when pouring just a "tad".

Oh that nose.. That bouquet is just magic. Wonderful sense of rushing cherry and red fruit bliss with a controlled warming sweet penny candy. It smells like humbugs candy in a glass, exactly like humbugs. Warming tartness but with great yeasty almost champagne/sparkling effervescence which creates a great minty menthol airy aroma. Truly a shove it up your nose brew.

It seems like after that it would be hard to get better. In a way it does, but it is by no means all downhill on first sip. An interesting light almost milky texture, but with classic Rodenbach fruity mid palate and explosive taste. Good sour and tart mix with a nice acidic edge. Carbonation is a bit fizzy but luckily doesn't distract.

Overall, just a pure joy to drink. The irony was I was going to buy a bottle of this overseas and pay for the nose, but thought after I had it I wouldn't have to. Now that I've already done it, I want the dam thing even more, and just may buy it just so I can have it again. Can't stop thinking about it, it's truly a winner.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look: Red/amber and clear. Nice fat pinkish head. A beauty.
smell: Tart up front though smack full of a gamut of smells. A bit of sweetness and loads of fruity. A little malty beef to support all that tart and slight funk. Damn, this smells great.
taste: Fully lives up to the nose. all that goodness in a nice, tart, fruity balance.
overall: Bad ass.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
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!

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.69/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Damn near perfect, and I think an improvement over the other Rodenbachs (which I love). This one has the same sharp bite, slightly softened and made more complex by pronounced, but elegant wood, and a winter spice note, probably from the oak and the older beer that plays up a slight sweet note that contrasts beautifully with the red fruit in the sourness and the vinous notes. I absolutely loved this version of a classic. Great!

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Photo of Resuin
4.69/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into an enlarged snifter. I believe this is the 2012 version from what I have read.

Appearance: Pours a delightful black cherry/raspberry dark red/maroon color and leaves a finger of off-white head which fades slowly to a layer atop the beer.

Smell: Big juicy raspberry jam upfront, cranberries, black sour cherries all blended together wonderfully. Not overly sweet, but I detect more sweet scents than sour. Big sweet and sour mixed berries. Hints of vinegar.

Taste: Big raspberries up front followed by black cherries and a hint of cranberries. A twist of lime in there (like a raspberry lime rickey!) Nice tart finish, just a tad dry, but overall this is quite juicy/jammy. Some woodiness to it towards that latter half of the flavor - definitely has some red wine flavors.. The taste is a bit more tart than sweet, but still really well balanced between the two. Really lovely.

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation with a medium body. Very interesting combination of juicy and dry in the mouth. The finish is a tad dry as well. Nice mouth-feel.

Overall: This is a really nice beer. Extremely well balanced with big sweet and tart berry flavors that balance each other out. Really a delight to sip on, this is very drinkable as well.

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Photo of JulioH
4.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

SOUR.

My favorite of the Rodenbach family. It is the most tart of all and resembles more a sour beer than a red Flanders.

Pouring reveals a dark red color. Unable to see through. There is little carbonation, but bubbles are very tiny and pleasant. A tiny head forms but dissipates quickly. Aroma reveals all sorts of berries, and lambics. Taste is great. It is tart, fruity, a bit sweet, and closes with a dryness in your mouth.

Mouth feel is light. This is a light bodied beer. Great beer.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a slightly hazy dark mahogany color with a couple of fingers of light brown head. A few wispy streaks of soapy lace were left down the glass along with a lasting collar.
S: Subtly complex notes of sweet fruit puree mixed with musty oak and a clean, bright, tartness. The nose is sweet, and each of the fruits in noticeable, with raspberry and cranberry sticking out the most to me.
T: Follows the nose with sweet and fruity red berry flavors. Sour cherries and oak are lightly tannic, but there is a ton of balancing sugary sweetness. Raspberries puree is sweet up front, with hints of tart cranberries and earthy, slightly spicy yeast and oak barrel. The finish is nice and tart, with a lingering sugary sweetness in the aftertaste. Yeast flavors are complex and add depth that other sweet fruit beers do not have.
M: Full body, sweet and heavy but not cloying, with a slick, chewy mouthfeel and frothy yet soft carbonation.
O: Another great beer from the masters of the style. Complex super sweet and fruity flavors mixed with subtle oak and spices.

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Photo of GPHarris
4.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a one finger thick light tan head into a tulip glass that left good lacing throughout. the body was a bright reddish-brown color.
s - all three fruits come through but cranberries dominate. a woodiness also pokes through.
t - big cranberry, raspberry and cherry flavors. so pleasantly tart, my mouth is watering just thinking about this beer. the oak is well done.
m - dry finish.
o - just stupendous. so complex and flavorful.

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Photo of ajm5108
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a rich ruby red, very little head with the thinnest of lacing. Lots of sparkling carbonation. Aroma has lots of tart cherry & raspberry along with distant oak & earthy yeast. Undertones of grape must and strawberry. Tart upfront, but not a lactic / vinegar sourness, but prickly fruit tartness. Notes are primarily tart cherry with some of the other fruit notes lingering as well. Oak is very present as well, but it helps undercut some of the tartness which in turn compliments some of the earthier notes. Overall it is one of the best sour fruit beers you can find, bursting with interlacing flavors, and finishes clean & delicately.

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Photo of jpmccann
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is an amazing beer. As with all of the Caractère Rouge bottled beer, it is 75-cl corked and caged.

When it is held to the light is a bright ruby red thanks to all of the cranberries, raspberries and cherries.

On the nose you get all of the fruits right at the beginning, followed by a bit of vinegar and general sourness, but overall, it is soft and it all comes together very well.

When you take your first sip, you get all of the fruit right away and that is washed over by the sourness and tartness. It is a perfect blend of fruit and sour and tart and it is all held together with the oak. Nothing is over powered. It is perfectly balanced for my taste.

While this beer comes with a significant tag, it is a great beer to have for that special occasion.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%

Bottle from the Dogz place near Pittsburgh. Pricey. Pours dark red with some brownish hues and a bit of light showing through, along with a nice two finger off white head with some pink tones to it. Awesome aroma of cherries and raspberries, lots if sweet fruit here, light tartness, a bit of oak. Flavor is plenty of sourness but not overbearing acidity on the tongue, some oak here but dominated by fruit, sweet raspberries, lots of cherries, and I assume the cranberries add a bit of the tart tones here. Medium bodied with nearly spritzy carbonation that mingles perfectly with the sourness to balance out all the sweet berries here. World class brew.

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

Privileged enough to have this twice while in Belgium - 1) split 3 ways at 't Brugs Beertje and 2) gifted and split 5 ways at De Kelk in Brugge

Really a gorgeous beer - bright pinkish read with a nice beige-pink lace. Unlike anything else I've had from Rodenbach which tends to be heavy on the balsamic/oak, this is much more similar to something New Glarus would brew. Extremely fruit forward - cranberry, raspberry, cherry dominate the nose and palate. A little tart, a little sweet, but a full on ambush of flavor. This was great.

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Photo of sjones5045
4.66/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4/25/15 home

750 bottle

Pours ruby red with a thin head. The smell is a sour fruit concoction with oak pouring through. The taste is just a tad sour and tart but you really can taste the raspberry and cranberry with an oak finish. Excellent beer and one that is a great example of a craft beer that is put together extremely well.

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Photo of Danny1217
4.66/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a large wine glass.
Nice presentation. Pours dark red with a white head that displays surprisingly good retention considering the acidity.
Smells musty, brett funk, fresh berries, cranberry, raspberry, and cherry dominate. Some dark fruit notes; plums and red grapes. A touch of oak. A nice, clean lactic aroma with a touch of vinegar. Much more funk than the other Rodenbachs I have had.
Taste follows similarly. Musty, earthy, juicy berry character. Lots of fruitiness and a touch of sweetness. Medium sourness that is mostly lactic, but with that touch of acetic acid that gives the signature Flemish flavor. Really enjoy the funk that is present here. Body is not quite as dry as a lambic, for example, and the residual sugars create a nice balance between sweet and sour.

Fantastic beer. I would rank it among the world class fruited lambics I have had. This is a top-tier sour and perhaps the greatest achievement of the Flemish Red style.

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Photo of LAp
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bottle poured into small tulip-shaped stemmed glasses (not technically tulips, but close enough). Pours a deep ruby grapefruit red with a brownish tinge - a marginal head forms on pouring and dissipates almost immediately. The nose on this beer is mind-blowing, arguably the best on any beer I've tried to date. The sour cherry and cranberry come through strongly on the nose, but in a way that is accented with vinegar. The nose here is hard to describe adequately, it's beautifully complex in its layering of tart fruits and vinegar. The palate opens with sour cherry and balsalmic vinegar, and progresses to slightly sweeter, but nonetheless tart raspberry. Mouthfeel is medium to thin. Not quite as thick as Flanders reds like Duchesse (and a slightly thicker mouthfeel might have benefitted this beer) but good nonetheless. Overall, and exemplary tweaking of Rodenbach's tried and true formula - a exceptional beer.

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Photo of eifster82
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - light red. Low viscosity.

Smell - cranberry and raspberry notes are all there. Really abundant.

Taste - Sour, but not overly aggressive. Flavorful with notes smelled.

Feel - Fizzy, almost like a champagne.

Overall - Deliscious. Would love to find and have more of it.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: poured from a 750 mL bottle into a snifter, beautiful red brown with a whispy reddish head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: sweet and sour combination of cherries and cranberries, hints of raspberry, balsamic vinegar

T: WOW, this beer plays back and forth between sweet and sour, acetic acid of malt and balsamic vinegar at first quickly swings into sweet cherry, tangy raspberry follows and plays off of sour cranberry, flavors of fruit abound in this beer

M: medium bodied, nice carbonation

O: and excellent fruity Flanders Red, well worth purchasing

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Photo of heygeebee
4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very very complex beer on a number of fronts.
Very smashable up front and too easy to drink too fast.
Then the complexity hits and you are faced with a mix of cherries, raspberries, plums, and hint of vanilla.
Mouth feel light and zesty, not a hint it is 7%
Fabulous stuff, only downside is lack of true barrel character....

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Photo of warnerry
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was afraid I had held onto this too long for the fruit to really come through. Luckily, that is not the case. Amazing fruit aroma, with raspberries leading the way and cherries not far behind. Taste is an absolute delight. Fruity, but still with the complexity of a good Flanders red. Maybe a bit more earthiness and funk would be beneficial, but this is a fantastic beer.

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Photo of russpowell
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Opens with a gentle pop & much effervescence with an orange/pink color had a finger of cream colored head that falls off rapidly; Zero head retention & lacing, murks up a bit as the bottle drains. Stays effervescent throughout, nice viscious look to this

S: Sourness, berries & cherries, Balsamic vinegar, dates

T: A little sweet up front, cherries & raspberry, plus faint dryness up front. Tartness picks up as this warms, some acidity as well, plenty of lovely cherry & raspberry. Finishes tart, acidic, with cherry juice, raspberry, & leather dryness

MF: Medium bodied, a little dryness & delicate carbonation that firms up a bit once warm, a swear I can feel the enamel getting stripped off my teeth!

Super variation on the style, this was pricey but worth it, as good or better than the flagship beer

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Photo of tendermorsel
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tried this twice on a recent Belgian trip. At 't Brugs Beertje and De Bistronoom. New rodenbach!

Rose colored with minimal head. Great looking beer.

A lot of funk on the nose intermingled with various fruit flavors.

You could taste the lactic fermentation from the Foder but it was by no means overwhelming. Tons of cherry rasberry and cranbery notes in the background. Awesome flavor.

I know little about this beer but I would assume that this a blended beer with at least a small portion consisting of 100% foder beer. Much more lactic than a regular Rodenbach but not as lactic as the grand cru.

Great stuff. I love the fact that they are experimenting at Rodenbach. Honestly I think that they should do more. Some of the wierd stuff that they have done over years the has been great (Vin De Cereale, Alexander) and I would include this one in that group.

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Photo of brystmar
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Unlabeled bottle from batch 1 shared by Marcos last night, thanks!

Bright ruby red body, white ring of head on the surface. Aroma is loaded with ripe cherries and raspberries. Slightly oaky. Could smell this stuff all day.

Taste brings even more of the same. Liquified raspberry jam, a good amount of sweetness, intensely acetic too. Hits all of my sour buttons: fruited lambic, unrelenting sourness, flavors are highly concentrated & complex. So delicious!

I could drink an entire case of this stuff. Time to trade for my own bottle.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy reddish brown color with almost no head to speak of

S: Amazing bursts of tart cherries, raspberries, and cranberries with a light acetic acid touch. Very light vinegar, leathery tannins, and some oak come through as well. Quite dominated by the fruit, however

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the tart cherries and cranberries and slowly works its way into the raspberries. The light acetic tartness underlies everything, along with some oak and tannins. The sweetness of the fruits rounds out the tartness quite a bit, although it is slightly puckering at first. Finishes with lingering tart notes and fruitiness

M: Medium bodied with moderate, spritzy carbonation. Slightly drying

O: I'm surprised at how much this focuses on the fruit, but I'm not complaining one single bit because it's fucking great. The lactic notes aren't overwhelming in any sense, and still let the base and fruitiness shine through in full color. Well worth the coin

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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
98 out of 100 based on 190 ratings.
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