Rodenbach Caractère Rouge | Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.

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Rodenbach Caractère RougeRodenbach Caractère Rouge
BA SCORE
4.47/5
Outstanding
1,505 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:
#167
Reviews:
230
Ratings:
1,505
pDev:
6.94%
Bros Score:
4.59
 
 
Wants:
325
Gots:
378
Trade:
41
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,505 |  Reviews: 230
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

(corked 750 ml 2013 bottle, split between two tulip glasses)

L: reddish-tawny liquid, slight haze; active foam erupts on pour, falls away to stillness, bubbles rise up around glass

S: gummy candy, berry jam, bit of a vinegary note... softly fruity-perfumy, pleasant intensity

T: moderate sweetness that could be mind trick via the fruit flavors, notably dry finish; dense, tangible fruit - gummy fruit slice?, sour jelly bean? - someone in the room suggested black cherry Warhead... was hoping for a little more bite to its sour/tart element, but its balance with the other flavors does end up winning me over

F: mild oily residual viscosity, greasy-plush body... dry finish, but not as sharp as it could be - though there's some sizzle on the sides of the palate and a tiny firework burst at the back, its nectar prevails... it flattens out a little toward the end

O: fantastic flavors, no-brainer to buy again, though it'll probably be another impulse purchase due to its boku price tag

 993 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 Chico1985
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My third time having this. Shared with "The Crew" for Scott's birthday.

Nice deep red color with a small pinkish white head.

Great fruit flavors all around. Cranberries especially coming through really nicely and maybe are the most prevalent, followed by raspberry and sour cherries. Craisins come to mind. It has slight tartness but far from the sourness and vinegar expected in a flanders red, intense fruit flavors definitely takeover here. Slightly funky Belgian yeast, bready dessert malts, caramel and oak make for a nice base. The body is light, highly carbonated, gets more tart as it warms, and finishes nice and dry. Drinks very easy.

This is basically New Glarus-quality fruit beer with an easygoing Belgian Flanders base, which is very nice. The fruit is allowed to shine through excellently, especially enjoyed the cranberry aspect. Easy-going, complex and excellent.

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Photo of Brian29
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MisfitIK-9
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of intobenme
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of cp45
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Billy_Bars
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of thecheapies
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A little rosy in color with a red plummy tone. The head summited at a solid inch before fizzing away to a remaining ring of translucent white.

Tart red cranberries, refined oakiness, sour raspberries and stems, cheesy funk, pie cherries, currant, lemon pith, and white vinegar. Sour, even for a Rodenbach.

Cranberry, first, with tart cherry and old Flemish ale malt coming next. Nice and tart. Oak and hints of vanilla trickle in, but without the weight of typical malty Rodenbach construction. Raspberry and lemon peel. Awesome fruitiness. Acetic qualities are sharp, but not overly vinegary.

Smooth feel. A little light in the body. Tartness isn't unsettling. Spritzy carbonation blends in the mouth.

Big-time want, knocked down right now. Slam! Awesome brew. Have another in the fridge. Thanks for the bottle share, Bryan!

 829 characters

Photo of hopley
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jonj
4.42/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of fourstringer
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a caged & corked 750 mL bottle into a Brewer's Art goblet. Moderate hand. Date on the bottom of the bottle reads 18-04-16.

A: Hazy, reddish-brown body with 1/2 finger of off-white head. Ok retention. Minimal lacing.

S: Lactic/citric acid tartness. Cherry features most predominantly, with lesser berry, grape. Lemon. Traces of mint, herb. Wood. The overall character is both familiar and unique.

T: Moderate sweet & sour with a stone fruit tang. Hint of chocolate. Minimal bitterness and a semi-dry finish. Lingering tartness in the aftertaste. Degrees of herbal earthiness, oak. Minimal alcohol.

M: Moderately robust carbonation with a certain zing. Moderate body. Nicely effervescent and palate-coating.

O: Excellent Flanders red with some interesting woody, herbal notes. Drinks very well. Very balanced. Surprisingly, I didn't find it any more fruity than Rodenbach's typical offering. Great brew.

Prost!

 928 characters

Photo of senglish7
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this next to Alexander out of the bottle and actually liked it a little bit better. Raspberries come through with a sour/sweet taste. Neither was overpowering.

 165 characters

Photo of NHhomebrewguy
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Philcassella
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Erik-P
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BeerSamurai34
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Perfect carbonation with a beautiful maroon color. Nice clean white head with fizzy carb that dissipates quickly. Tons of fruity notes with cherries and berries with mild tartness. Drinks a lot like a sour version of a New Glarus fruit.

 236 characters

Photo of Josh012012
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of worldsworstextra
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of shelby415
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had an 8 oz serving of this last night up at the Cloverleaf since this was left on tap from Rodenbach's takeover. I love the Duchesse De Bourgogne and this was even better than it, because of the fruit flavor and the subtle nuances of the wood and yeast notes!

Nice red pour to this, which had the appearance of the fruits that were macerated in the making of this. Not a lot of head and whatever lacing was left slid down the side of the tulip glass that I drank this out of. Tons of tart raspberry in the nose, with even more in the taste. Nothing artificial here - this had a juicy mouthfeel to it but not syrup to be found and the barrels that this was aged in really came through in the taste, without any harsh smoke getting in the way. Felt like champagne and was just as light in it in the aftertaste, but the other fruits came through in a nice way by rounding out the initial "pucker" that I felt.

Not a session beer but really, would you even notice or care? I would have had more had I not gone up right before last call and it's a beer like this that made me fall in love with Flanders Red Ales all over again. Amazing on tap and so easy to drink - hopefully, someone here in the states will get on the ball with this style and give it a go. Something like this deserves an answer that can attempt to measure up to it. Wonderful stuff!

 1,350 characters

Photo of ragnar3
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jvillefan
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of siege06nd
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Rodenbach Caractère Rouge from Brouwerij Rodenbach N.V.
Beer rating: 4.47 out of 5 with 1,505 ratings