KASTEEL ROUGE is not kriek. This is key. Despite being an effervescent Belgian ale with cherry flavors and an alarming red hue, Rouge is actually a blend of Van Honsebrouck’s well-regarded quadrupel, Donker, and a cherry liqueur. The combination sounds almost decadent, but the resulting beer is surprisingly light and slightly tart, showing none of its 8% ABV. Regrettably little of Rouge’s quad foundation shines through to the finish—instead it leaps out with synthetic cherry and somewhat phenolic, perfumy aroma. A syrupy body was expected to follow, but Rouge is thankfully still crisp with a slight (slight) amount of pucker to its finish. The sticky impression is what lasts, though, and so dominated by cherry this is little room for other flavors to shine through. Perhaps this would do well with sorbet desserts or brie and soft bread; in all other cases one is advised to take the quadrupel unadulterated.
Served: 750 ml bottle