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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: 1,333
Photo of Damian
4.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 750 ml/1 pint 9.4 fl. oz. corked and caged bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
Served in a tulip

Gorgeous appearance. The near crystal clear, ruby color liquid was topped by a billowing, light pink, sea foam crown. Super fluffy and finely beaded. The head faded to a thick cap and deposited odd shaped patches of lacing along the glass.

Intense fruity notes dominated the nose. Tons of cranberry, sour cherry, raspberry and strawberry. Slightly funky and tart. Crisp and yeasty. Somewhat candy-like. As the beer sat, more tart qualities came forth. Lemon notes were apparent. Overall, really pleasant, albeit rather one-dimensional.

The flavor profile was fairly similar to the aroma, except perhaps even sweeter. Super fruity with sour cherry and ripe raspberry notes dominating. Some strawberry as well. The fruit additions really overshadowed the qualities of the base Flemish sour ale and lent the beer a slightly medical quality. This reminded me in some ways of cherry cough syrup. Crisp, yeasty notes were detectible. Touch of lemony tartness on the finish. As the beer warmed, some of the base beer's qualities became more apparent. Brown sugar and hints of balsamic and acetic acid appeared. Some oak and tannins came through as well.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied and contained a crisp, lively effervescence. Smooth and frothy on the palate. Slightly foamy.

I love fruit-forward beers, but the fruit additions in this offering completely overwhelmed the base beer and resulted in something that was overtly sweet and rather one-dimensional. If this were merely a fruited ale, I probably would have given it much better scores. However, knowing how terrific the base beer is, and paying $28 for this "enhanced" version, gives me reason to knock it in some aspects. Although most fruit beers are best consumed fresh, this one might actually benefit from some age.

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Photo of qchic
4.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The name tells you what it looks like. Lots of oak and cherries like a fine balsamic vinegar. So bright and lively with moderate sourness. Some will want more, but few would want less. A nice treat for sure!

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Photo of wedge
4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Glowing ruby color with a purple tinge and a small bubbly head that quickly fades away. Oak wood, cherries, cranberries, and raspberry vinaigrette aromas - caramel and acetic notes in the back. Juicy berry tartness, a much tamer woody spice, subtle vanilla, red wine, cherry pie, balsamic vinegar, light oxidation. Slick, creamy medium body with a sourness that adheres to the tongue and gums. Delicious.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very hazy dark garnet red in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and moderate purplish/wine + amber highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall fizzy foamy beige head that reduces to a couple of small patches of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of tart cherries, cranberries, and tart raspberries with moderate aromas of oak + vanilla. Light notes of vinegar-like acidity.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to slightly stronger flavor of fruit - cranberries, raspberries, and cherries which are moderately tart with a light amount of sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of oak + vanilla from the barrel aging and a moderate amount of tartness/sourness. Hints of vinegar-like acidity.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: Very enjoyable with a nice amount of complexity to the flavor and aroma - slightly more fruit forward than others in the style and the barrel flavors really come through. Definitely one to grab and I'm glad I got to try this one. Alcohol is very well hidden and the flavors are quite approachable.

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Photo of kodt
4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Murky dark red beer. Lots of sweet fruit, on top of oak and funk. Not too sour or funky. Fruit overpowers some of that Rodenbach funk. But this is pretty nice to sip on.

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Photo of jakewatt135
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much lighter beer than the grand cru, which is still my favorite they make. Great fruit flavors but I wasn't a fan of the cranberry. I think it gave the beer a dry cranberry bitterness in the finish. Still a great beer.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark rich garnet/amber. Head is pale pink and bubbly. Very slight lacing. Nice effervescent carbonation on the pour. Super pink.

Smell: Hyper fruity. Raspberries and cranberries jump out. A touch of jammy fruit coupled with some juicy fresh fruit. Tart cherries add a nice counter to what could be a very sweet beer. A touch of oak running through the back with a mildly acetic edge to the whole thing. Some sweet malts thrown in for good measure. Slight earthiness as well. It's all about the fruit and it's rather delightful. Some hint of damp house yeast.

Taste: Raspberries and then some. Tart cherry adds a nice counter to the sweet push from the raspberries. A touch of jam sweetness. Cranberry melds in giving it a bit of depth, helping to split the difference between the other two fruits. Oak barrel adds a nice earthy woody element. Some soft earth. Damp and wet basement. Some grass and hay mixed in for good measure. Carries the distinct Rodenbach acetic/balsamic vinegar. Slight yeast presence. a touch floral. Very fruity, but nicely balanced between tart and sweet.

Mouthfeel: Wet and juicy on the sip. Nice and smooth with a medium body and moderate carbonation. Drinks a bit juicier than is the norm for the style, but given the amount of fruit, it's not really surprising.

Overall: Jax Teller's side business is lucrative.

Has the base of Rodenbach and then enhances it with delicious fruit infusions. A nice balance of tart and sweet.

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Photo of FFreak
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased at the Bevie in Winooski a few months back, can't remember the cost, but in the $10 range. Poured into a tall tulip glass and enjoyed with a pesto and fresh tomato pasta. Pours a slightly hazy raspberry pink with a tinge of brown and capped by a thin and quickly dissipating white head that leaves no lace, but maintains a continuous ring. Smell is very fruity with mostly raspberry and cherry and a hint of oak. Taste is a nice balance of tart, sourness and fruity sweetness, finishing with the complexity of the oak barrel aging. Very little bitterness. Mouth is medium-thin and lively, dry, tart and refreshing. Overall, this is an excellent fruit sour that would go great with a lot of different foods.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice crystal clear ruby hue with a thin white head that fades to leave a thin halo.

S - Aromas of loads of lactose, raspberries, cranberries. Very nice jammy berry notes, lightly funky, nice.

T - Taste is lactose, lots of it, nice tart cranberry, good raspberry notes. Tart, pleasant, jammy, very flemmy but in a good way.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely, good lactose. Flemmy.

O - Overall this beer was quite tasty, great berry notes with a pleasant flemmy quality. Great addition to the base beer.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.37/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of metter98
4.37/5  rDev -1.6%
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

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Photo of DeFaz
4.37/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured an attractive light auburn color, the head is quite short and the lacing is minimal.

Smells like sour cherries. Really inviting.

Taste consists of cherries and berries, and it's sour, but not overly so. As another reviewer remarked, it is a lot like a sour version of a New Glarus fruit beer. I'm not picking up on the oak or vanilla, although I know those are flavors are in there. Anyway, this tastes really balanced.

Beer goes down easy for a Flanders and is nice and crisp.

Overall, I have to deduct some points for the expensive price of this, and because of the price I doubt I'll ever have it again. But if you're into sours, this is one absolutely worth trying once.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.37/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2013-11-24 in Columbia, PA

A - Mahogany/amber with a short-lived, tan head and moderate lacing.

S - Characteristic Rodenbach Grand Cru aroma but with added raspberry and cranberry. I always get oak, cherry and hard apple cider out of the normal Grand Cru. Very pleasant enhancements.

T - Tart cranberry with some cherry and a little raspberry, light malt, hard cider, oak. Moderately sour with a typical Grand Cru finish but with some added lingering cranberry. Perhaps a bit less tart than normal Grand Cru with more of an emphasis on the fruit in this one. Very, very nice.

M - High carbonation and a light body. Dries quickly.

O - A well-done step up from the already-great Grand Cru. Too bad it is so expensive.

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Photo of schwemjw
4.39/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very jam like, blackberries with very tart cranberries.
A slight balsamic vinegar bite at the end was very pleasant.
Sour cherries in the nose with very deep dark sour cherries on the palate.
Dry but not overbearingly so with a very crisp acidic character.
Hints of dirty blankets but not overbearing.
Wonderfully complex and a real pleaser in every way. If i had any criticism at all it'd be that i wanted a tad more of a tart cranberry character. /93

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Photo of brianmandell
4.39/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the 750ml bottle into a wine glass, caractere rouge is in character with a reddish brown pour. An actively fizzy head reduces to a fine ring of lacing on the glass.

The nose speaks of fruit, leather and oak.There is a strong cranberry presence layered with raspberry and strawberry. There is an underlying oaky, leathery smell. There is some medicinal quality to the elixir and a measure of funkiness.

The flavor is much more rounded and softer than the nose suggested. It's really delicious. There is only a mild amount of tartness - really a perfect amount for it to be refreshing. There is a ton of juicy fruit in the flavor - slightly sweet and mostly cranberry and raspberry but also cherry and even strawberry. It's a little medicinal on the mid-palate but dries out and does not overpower. There is also a soft oakiness that helps carry the large amount of fruit and make it interesting. There is definitely influence from the flanders red that makes Grand Cru such a nice beer but the effect here is a little lighter, more subtle and more distinct. I think you would have to like cranberries to really like this beer.

The mouthfeel is driven by active, creamy carbonation. Very nice.

I didn't expect this beer to be so easy to drink. But it is. It's very well done. If not for the nitpick of a slight medicinal smell and flavor - as well as the high cost - this would be a homerun.

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Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
4.39/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep ruby red with fizzy white head that dissipates to about a centimeter cap. When held away from your nose it has a very vinuous quality like a red wine. Held to the nose there are abundant and vibrant raspberries, rock candy, a bit of the cherries, and the cranberries are the most subtle. Slight hint of vanilla oak. Taste has a lot of raspberry up front with a bit of vanilla and cranberry. Finish is astringent and oaky. Very pleasantly tart. Light and bubbly mouthfeel with tingle and pucker on the sides of the tongue. Excellent beer.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.39/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish-brown color. The head is two fingers high, and slightly pink in shade. The texture is horrible - it looks like soda, and retention is average at best. Almost no lacing is left on the glass. (3)

Smell: Holy fruits. There are an incredible amount of cherries and raspberries, and I'm incredibly impressed with how natural they smell. This is the fruitiest beer I've ever encountered, in fact. Only complaint is that the sourness I like in Rodenbach Grand Cru is a bit concealed. Otherwise... (4.5)

Taste: It's Rodenbach Grand Cru with a far more vibrant fruit flavor - mainly. The sourness comes through in the back end, but remains beautifully subtle. Its aftertaste reveals a bit of cranberry, too. Letting it warm up reveals a gentle woodiness. It's not too sweet, and it's not too tart (though as Oude Tart revealed earlier, that's not exactly a bad thing), it's just right. Not to mention, it's complexity is just right, too. (4.5)

Mouthfeel: Despite having a rich initial sweetness, it somehow manages to be rather dry. It feels like a great wine with the powerful tannins and carbonation cleansing the palate. Because of the flavor intensity, it's not super drinkable - but who cares? This is a fantastic sipper. (4.25)

Overall: Honestly, it's closer to a fruit beer than a sour. So? That just makes it the best fruit beer I've ever had. This not only brings a fruity richness others in the style lack, but its sourness cleanses the sweetness beautifully. Shame it's so expensive...no, wait, I don't care, I'd definitely buy a bottle of this again. (4.5)

4.4/5: Wowee, this is a jaw-dropping fruited sour

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Photo of flagmantho
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL corked & caged bottle into a tulip. Three weeks of travel, sickness and holidays has left me review-less; I am looking forward to returning to the fold with this brew.

Appearance: nice amber-orange hue with a light haze and moderate effervescence. Head is a finger of creamy ivory foam with great retention. Quite good.

Smell: the rich fruitiness and tart Flanders element bring me straight to a holiday meal. Cranberry sauce aside, there's almost a vinous quality here that really works well. This is a fruit beer that cannot be denied.

Taste: very much like the aroma. There's a tartness here which is alluring but not overdone, as well as a grape, cranberry and cherry fruitiness which combine together flawlessly. A really great beer.

Mouthfeel: lightish body with a good level of carbonation. I think it might be a bit overattenuated to be truly creamy, but it is nice.

Overall: I could drink tons of this stuff. Wonderful!

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Photo of mdfb79
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From 01/30/15 notes. Picked a bottle of this up off the shelf in Naples, Florida at the Total Wine & More. Expensive but awesome. 750ml bottle poured into a wine glass.

Pours a deep, murky reddish-brown color with one finger of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Smells and tastes of vanilla, tannic, loads of cherries, cranberries, tart raspberries, oak, strawberries, and mixed berries. Light vinegar but way more on the fruity sour side, which works great. Medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall i thought this was awesome. It was quite expensive but if you love fruity sours definitely try this out at least once. If I saw it again I'd pick up the occasional bottle.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a hard to see through red body. Not much of an slightly pink tinged white head sits around well for a sour beer. The Duvel glass is probably helping.

The sour cherries are popping out here in the nose. Lots of big red fruitiness. Some sweetness with vanilla and caramel. Slight musty funk. It is kind of red wine like.

Nice complimentary levels of sour and sweet. Cherry, raspberry and cranberry all pop in the flavor. Some oakiness to it. Not as acetic as some Flanders reds come off as. Very fruit forward.

Body seems a tad thin but overall it feels good on the tongue. Finishes dry.

Such a good idea by these guys to throw some fruit in this beer.

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Photo of neurobot01
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml c&c 2015 bottle into a Teku at fridge temp, allowed to warm.

Look: darker, browner, and less translucent than expected. Basically no head despite vigorous pour.

Smell: cranberries, oak, strawberries, confectioners sugar, magic.

Taste: whoa! I get a fresh, bright note up front that I can best describe as minty, with cranberry (totally devoid of tartness/bitterness) and strawberry quickly following behind. The fruit is about as close to eating fresh fruit as I've ever gotten in a beer—it's so clean and clear.

Feel: light but somehow a bit syrupy, and very juicy and slick. Disappears without a trace.

Overall: damn tasty beer. A notch below Vintage in my estimation, just because the latter has more complexity and richness, but this is still a spectacle of craftsmanship.

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.41/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really glad I sent away for this one! Not a lot of hype surrounding it but it was in my style and reviews were solid. Pours a nice pink and had tons of berry on the nose and palate along with just the right amount of tartness! Beautiful beer!!

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Photo of FosterJM
4.41/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

1791st Review on BA
Bottle to Rodenbach cervoise
750ml c/c

Purchased from Toronado SD on 5/16 for my Bday.

App- The color of this beer was a deep garnet mixed with more of a burgundy color. I didn't see this one as being overtly deep. Nice color mix with some lighter mixed colors. A bit dense in the center. More head than I would've thought. A solid 1-1/2 inch head. A small amount of cling.

Smell- So when I first poured this it smelled like someone had boiled down some fresh fruit and it was cooling on the stove. More of the raspberries dominated with some of the cherry. I truly was on fruit overload vs. getting the oak or the booze on this one.

Taste- For a flanders to be this smooth I was surprised. The oak was very subtle in the back and made way for all the fruits to be a well done compliment to the aging of this beer. The again component of the raspberries dominated IMO. I liked how easy drinking this way. A style subset that is equated to a sour. Wasn't very sorry and allowed to be savored.

Mouth- A good and creamy medium body with the matching carbonation to it. Was very fruit dominant in the residual flavor, however more of the oak and sour came out when it warmed and lingered on the palate for a bit.

Drink- So I had just finished a PNC for my bday and colored me pink when I saw this in the case. Thank god for a caring and understanding GF. Who said its on me. Happy Birthday. Was well worth the review. Great fruits, small oak and just a very good beer.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.41/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beer is a pinkish-red colour, with a moderately sized off-white head, also with a pinkish hue. Fair retention.

Nose is a nice mix of the fruits involved. The cranberry sticks out most strongly for me, but the raspberry and cherry are also evident. Some oak, and a little bit of a vinegary scent that suggests some tartness.

The beer is surprisingly subdued in terms of tartness. Slightly sour, not strongly so. The fruit flavours are very nice. Cranberry, raspberry and some cherry all taste very real and juicy, and blended very well together. The oak is present but, like the tartness, fairly mild, comes out more strongly in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied, moderate carbonation level. Quite refreshing. Slightly astringent.

Overall, really good. Surprising, as the focus is more fruit and less tart, but it works tremendously.

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Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
4.44 out of 5 based on 1,333 ratings.
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