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Vichtenaar - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
VichtenaarVichtenaar

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

357 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 357
Reviews: 213
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.28%
Wants: 30
Gots: 15 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Andreji on 06-25-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 357 | Reviews: 213 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SoupKitchenBeerSnob
1.15/5  rDev -70.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Every once in a while you try a beer and you know you may have to try it again sometime to see if your first experience was a fluke. This beer was like that because I can't possibly imagine that it was intended to taste like this. It HAD to have been a beer that went bad during the bottling process, during shipping to the U.S., or some infernal combination of the aforementioned scenarios compounded by a disgruntled employee of the brewery taking a piss in the batch. First of all, I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to smell like sour vinegar and taste pretty much the same. Out of stubbornness, I continued to force it down and finally gave up at the half-way point before I poured it down the sink. It only got worse from there, because the next 24 hours can only be described as something akin to galloping dysentery. I'm not kidding or trying to be clever-- this beer truly made me sick. I don't know, maybe explosive diarrhea is some trendy new experience with imports and I'm just too much of an uncultured barbarian to appreciate the finer nuances of such a gift. Some day I may try another, but for the moment, this brewery and the vendor I bought it from owe me a serious apology.

SoupKitchenBeerSnob, Feb 19, 2014
Photo of HoboChangBa
1.71/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5

Vinegar. Sweet. Sweet vinegar. The smell of heinous strawberry and pear mixed into oak. The sweetness overrides the vinegar, but still this remains off. I would label the Vichtenaar the moscato of the flanders and the flemish. My taste tends towards the sour though, so if you like sweet, then try the Vichtenaar from Brouwerij Verhaeghe. The carbonation is decent, and as the flanders warms up the vinegar becomes slightly more present. This is the first Flanders Red Ale I have tasted that has been so predominately sweet; and the twinge of vinegar is strange with oak notes. Now that I am writing this and finishing the drink, it tastes like I am drinking a candy apple. Carbonation is key though, and it gives this beer something more even though the sweetness displeases my palate. But! I will be the first to say that maybe I need to get used to sweet & sour, though I don't find this Vichtenaar sour at all; this tasting is just something like sweet balsamic reserved. I will say that I have a hard time drinking sours that have a taste dominant in vinegar. This is the first beer I have tasted with these particular notes, and this is the first review I have ever given; but I intend to give more. Now as the beer has warmed and become a few more swigs from my glass, vinegar is the smell I get from this drink. Maybe I should have drank this faster, for maybe most sours—particularly gueuzes—tend to end smelling vinegary when they become warm and lesser within the glass.

—Hobo Chang Ba

"Strawwood claw rattlin' m' jaw
I can't call it usin'
It's just sumptin' soothin'
Feather times uh feather
Mornin' time t' thaw
Hobo chang ba"

HoboChangBa, May 06, 2014
Photo of XmnwildX12
2.25/5  rDev -42.5%

XmnwildX12, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of BeerBelcher
2.38/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

It takes different strokes to make the world go around, and contrary to the good reviews here and the recommendation of Nasser at Beer Mania to give this a try, I didn't really care for it. I love sour, and this beer had sour in spades, but it also had a kind of cloying sweetness that I found unpleasant and difficult to drink.

It poured black with a fine sticky head. Aroma was sour but also offered a pungent vinegar smell which I found unpleasant. Flavor was sour cherry with a very sweet aftertaste that clung to the tip of my tongue. Too sweet and sticky for tastes. Sour = good. Too sweet = bad. Adjudication of the two = not so good.

I would not recommend this beer. I had this bottle at Beer Mania in Brussels.

BeerBelcher, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of Huhzubendah
2.53/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer is ruby and brown hued, with a thin, wispy head that leaves virtually no lacing. The aroma sends off alarm signals upon the initial whiff. Sweet cherries, alcohol, and an acetone-like off scent. The flavor is equally disappointing. No lactic, sour, barrel, funk notes, or anything pleasant for that matter. The beer was too sweet, and basically a mess. Not a good example of a Flanders red ale, a style of which I am particularly fond.

Huhzubendah, May 31, 2011
Photo of XtalBlue3556
2.6/5  rDev -33.5%

XtalBlue3556, Sep 16, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
2.68/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle purchased at Rustico. Served in a stange-like glass.

Pours a murky reddish-brown color with a thin head that has a light bit of red tint to it. The nose is really strange. There's some acetic acid and oak, along with a really creamy character. While appropriate, it's too heavy and goes off in the wrong direction, reminding me a bit of a tequila creaminess. Flavor has the same issues. Oak and a bit of cherry, but then there's an off creamy character to it. No real malt or oak influence, and the sourness is kept very small. Medium body. Really a strange beer and not one that I particularly enjoyed.

Thorpe429, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of mdfb79
2.68/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

From 05/28/11 notes. Poured from a 12.7 oz. bottle into a flute at Monk's Cafe in Philly, PA. Recommended by the bar tender as a sour beer after the beer I tried to order was out of stock.

a - Pours a murky reddish dark brown color with no head at all and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sweet cherries, sweet fruit, sugar, oak, and a tiny amount of vinegar. Smell is a bit too sweet for me, and not very sour at all.

t - Tastes of sweet fruit, sugar, bready malts, sweet cherries, light oak. Again, not tart or sour at all really, and very very sweet. Too sweet for me.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

o - Overall not that great of a flanders red ale. The nose and taste are way too sweet, and neither have much sourness or tartness to it. Wouldn't seek out again.

mdfb79, May 30, 2011
Photo of Gonzoillini
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%

Gonzoillini, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of crobinso
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%

crobinso, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of Ogre
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%

Ogre, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

One of the first Flemish Red's I had ever tried. This beer was a very nice ruby red color which was very inviting. The flavor is on the sweeter side and not as sour as expected. The Oak aging really dominates the finish of the beer to me. I'd like to try this one again in the future.

Knapp85, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of AdamBear
2.93/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-dark ruby brown. lots of bubbles. light tan head.

S-vinegar and fruity caramels. buttercream? smells awful

T-comes in with a smooth taste of buttercream and cherries. it tastes a lot better than it smells, but it still doesn't taste great. the oak and dark fruits start to come through to make up the after-taste. the more i drink, the more okay it tastes.

M-dry low carbonation with a very dry finish

O-plug your nose and drink. its okay but not good enough to justify the price tag. the funny thing is, i chose this beer because it was the cheapest "sour" i could find at the bar i was at. taught me a lesson to not save money. it becomes more and more simple as i drink it. not enough sourness to it. not a pain to finish though.

AdamBear, Oct 24, 2011
Photo of GuzzLah
2.94/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

A - pours a clear deep red-brown with a short tan head and some lace. A few bubbles.

S - weak intensity. Some cherry. Faint vinegar. Not much going on here.

T - sweet with a little bit of acidity. Difficult flavor to describe, but it's definitely not what I look for in a Flanders. Barely tart, not sour. Not offensive, but far from interesting or enjoyable.

M - medium body with moderate carbonation.

O - this is my least favorite Flanders so far. Very dull and unimpressive for the style.

GuzzLah, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of IdrinkGas
3/5  rDev -23.3%

IdrinkGas, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of AleWatcher
3/5  rDev -23.3%

AleWatcher, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of ChuckS
3/5  rDev -23.3%

ChuckS, Oct 03, 2013
Photo of Soneast
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Soneast, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of ChadQuest
3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Body is a translucent reddish brown. Finger rests on top.
Nose is sweet cherries with a faint tartness implied.
Sweet cherries with a slight funky twang like oak and cherry tannins. More sweet then anything overall though. Some vinegar but little in the way of tartness.
Medium medium-full body.

3/c = average

ChadQuest, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of Crosling
3.08/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very pretty ruby/violet colored with a small, wispy and quickly diminishing head of white foam. Vibrant aroma, strange smelling, with hints of barbeque sauce, ranch, balsamic vinegar and grapes. Body is very thin and one dimensional and it can’t decide if it wants to be sweet or sour. A totally dull red, lacking complexity.

Crosling, Apr 24, 2006
Photo of axeman9182
3.1/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle with a "best by" date of 1/3/14. I received it for working Belgian Beer Fest this year, and after it was allowed to warm it was poured into my petite Duvel tulip.

Vichtenaarpours a deep, dark mahogany, with plentiful ruby highlights. About two fingers or so of off white foam crown the beer. Head retention is fairly solid, and a decent amount of lacing is left clinging to the side of the glass. The nose has a healthy proportion of sweet cherry/dark fruits, offset only by a little bit of a tart aroma. The flavor profile is again dominated by sweet cherries. There's a little bit of a sour presence as well, and a slight oaky note that's barely perceptible. All in all the taste somewhat reminds me of a cherry cola, which isn't necessarily what I'm looking for for this style. It's all fruit and artificial sweetness, with very little acidity or wood notes to balance things out. The body was a little bit full, and the carbonation a little bit dull, but neither were too far off the mark. I guess I was spoiled, with my first Flanders Red being from Rodenbach. In comparison, Vichtenaar tastes like it's been backsweetened, and it has none of the depth or complexity of the best versions of the style.

axeman9182, Sep 18, 2012
Photo of Erish
3.13/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 11.2 oz. bottle into a Belgian tulip glass. Best by 19-10-08... which I assume means this beer is way, way past it's peak. I will review again if/when I get a fresher example.

A: clear, dark reddish brown color, very thin head falls into a decent cap with decent Belgian lace.

S: overripe fruit, funk, some spice.

T: overripe fruit, funk, some spice.

M: medium-bodied, viscous texture, low carbonation.

O: I was disappointed to discover just how old this beer was. Hopefully a fresher example will show better than this did.

Erish, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Vichtenaar Flemish Ale, bottled and brewed by Brouwerij Verhaege-Vichte, Belgium. Vichtenaar is a West-Flemish red-brown ale matured in oak casks, has a fruity palate, pleasant sour flavor and refreshing finish. 5.1 % ABV, 11.2 oz. bottle.

Clear, reddish-brown color, off-white head, slim, but lasting.

Aroma: sour fruit, vinegar, cherries, oak. All well-integrated, nothing too forward.

Drink it, now. Mild approach on the palate. The mild fruity flavor is there, the mild oak notes, the mild, light, lean body.

(Read between the lines.)

Okay, I'll come right out and say it: if you're a big, "sour" fan, this will not be for you. If you are looking for a stepping stone, step right on this one. It's a gateway Flemish red/brown, but if you've already got the bug, you can skip this one.

feloniousmonk, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.18/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle purchased in Boston 2 weeks ago. The back label says "Vichtenaar is West Flemish red-brown ale matured in oak casks, has a fruity palate, pleasant sour flavor and refreshing finish." Best by 22/04/2012 so everything's cool.

It pours dark ruby brown color, very clear, with a light tan sticky foam and lots of lace. The aroma is a cherry/vinegar mix, not as much cherry as I'd like. Same in the flavor, tart and cidery, flavors I normally like but for some reason they're not working in this one. A little sweet in the aftertaste.

Decent carbonation and body. Overall this is OK but not worth the $5+ for an 11.2oz bottle.

TurdFurgison, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of patrick802
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

patrick802, May 04, 2014
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Vichtenaar from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
88 out of 100 based on 357 ratings.