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Vichtenaar - Brouwerij Verhaeghe


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very good

311 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 311
Reviews: 207
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.28%

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website

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)
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Ratings: 311 | Reviews: 207 | Show All Ratings:
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2014 03:48:03 | More by SoupKitchenBeerSnob
Photo of Pero1974

United Kingdom (England)

4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful burgundy red colour with alost no foam at all. Nice balance between the sourness of a flemish red and a sweet fruitiness (cherry, strawberry ??). Almost tastes like a lambic beer, it is much fruitier than other flemish red I have drank so far. First time I drank this one, but I love it !!

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2014 06:43:36 | More by Pero1974
Photo of eric5bellies


3.28/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Drank from my De Struise tulip

A - Pours a clear red mahogany colour with an off white head that retains well.

S - Malt, wood and grape

T - Up front some nice balanced tartness. The finish is slightly sweet.

M - Medium body and carbonation

O - This wont wow you, but its a session able FOB

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2013 11:55:59 | More by eric5bellies
Photo of BMMillsy


4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours super dark red with a small head. Hints of tart black cherry and vinegar on the nose. Beautiful flavor of black cherries, nice tartness and clean finish. Very easy drinking and quite yummy. Carbonation makes it feel light on the palate. My second from Verhaeghe and have been impressed by both, but this one is better than the Kriek for me.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2013 01:50:13 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear deep reddish brown in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and some cola brown highlights. The beer has a three finger tall foamy/sudsy dark tan head that slowly reduces to a large two finger tall cap in the center of the glass surrounded by a finger thick layer covering the remainder of the surface of the beer. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of tart cherries and some hints of vinegar.

T: Moderate flavors of tart cherries along with lighter flavors of vinegar and oak.

M: Just a hint heavier than light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light to moderate amounts of acidic prickliness.

O: Very well balanced - not too sweet and not overly tart/sour. Relatively easy to drink and a good beer for novices to the Flanders Red Ale style to try out.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2013 18:55:01 | More by dbrauneis
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2013 21:35:23 | More by GuzzLah
Photo of Liquoric3


3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown colour with a 2 finger white head, which lasts quite for a long time. Nice lacing in the class and medium carbonation.
Smell is tart cherries, sugar and a wine like sourness.
Less fruity than the nose might indicate. Some sweet cherry flavor at the beginning, which transforms into a sour finish. Light cinammon flavor and again wine taste, Body is light to medium. Overall an nice refreshing beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2012 13:39:49 | More by Liquoric3
Photo of TubaManJack


4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours with a nice amber red with a tan light bubbly head and not much real lacing.

Smell - There isn't much of a sour nose. There are cherry notes of tartness and a bit of horse blanket.

Taste- Tartness overpowering with bits of tannins and a slight bit of sweetness.

Mouthfeel- Nice tartness and bubbles on the mouth to add complexity.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2012 04:39:41 | More by TubaManJack
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

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2012 03:24:36 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of deadonhisfeet


3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel snifter. The pour is dark brown with reddish hues, clear, and sports a nice 2-fingers of light tan head. On the nose I get the acidity that is characteristic of this style. Nice sour fruit and red wine grapiness. There is also a hint of oaky vanilla.

The beer has a medium body and a lively mouthfeel from a nice, high level of carbonation. Like Duchesse De Bourgogne, this beer has a flavor that is very balanced between sweet and sour. There are flavors of tart cherries, sweet fruit juice, and red wine notes that are best described as tasting like Beaujolais. The acidity is not intense and does not survive past mid-palate, leaving a very drinkable beer, but one that finishes a bit on the sweet side and does not leave an appetizing, lingering, tannic-like notes that the best of these beers are capable of.

Overall, a nice example of the style. I prefer these beers with a little more acidity, especially on the finish. This one exits down your throat on more of a sweet note. Still, it is very pleasant to drink.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2012 20:34:26 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of StonedTrippin


4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a very interesting beer. it pours a clear medium shade of brown, with a one inch off white head comprised of pretty large bubbles. it smells a lot darker than it looks, plenty of roast on the malts, a lot of sweetness, and some definite sour vibes. the flavor is exactly that, sweet at first, sour in the finish. the sweet is complex, brown sugar or molasses, with something a little floral, maybe honey. the sour is more vinegar than brett, but isnt offputting at all. the mouthfeel is good, lighter than it looks this time, with only about a medium body and effervescent carbonation. overall a nice flanders style brew, but probably wont pay 6 bucks for a bottle again.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2012 20:55:14 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Flounder57


3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a one finger reddish white head that is still there. It is a crimson red color with some clarity and good signs of carbonation coming up through the glass.

Smell: tart, bready, some funkiness, and some sweetness from the cherries.

Taste: All of the above, but finish is really sweet compared to other reds and there is a little oakiness to the beer too.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied, low to medium carbonation, and easy to drink.

Overall: pretty solid Flanders red. A bit on the sweet side, but still good.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2012 07:26:26 | More by Flounder57
Photo of axeman9182

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2012 05:47:26 | More by axeman9182
Photo of DaftCaskBC

British Columbia (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed at Elizabeth Station in Bellingham, Washington.

A: 1/4" tan head over dark cherry coloured liquid.

S: Yeast, sugar and sour cherry.

T: Sweet cherries, pears, figs, yeast and some sourness in the finish. A metallic taste was also present, but that could've been due to a bad yeast pour by the server.

M: Medium viscosity and carbonation.

O: Definitely on the sweet side of sour, dark fruit and pears dominate the flavour profile, which makes it quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2012 21:15:57 | More by DaftCaskBC
Photo of Brenden


4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At first I'm thinking more along the lines of an Oud Bruin, but it turns out to be exactly what the back of the bottle claims: a [West-Flemish] red-brown ale. It's first evidenced in the color, being a dark brown but with a red tint. It forms a creamy, not rocky but plenty dense tan head that just sits there after rising to one finger in height. Lacing is patchy and gets sparse, though not very.
One has to know what to expect going into this one; it distinguishes itself with a sharper, more prominent vinegar presence than many I've had. The impression is very much apple cider vinegar with a red wine element and a bit of "oaky" dryness. A sturdy malt backbone keeps it together as well as adding balance to the sourness and the bite. While there are others more complex, this one does have complexity and really holds together well.
Carbonation is lively and nippy while not biting, but does make it both crisp and smooth.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2012 20:51:28 | More by Brenden
Photo of Evan_Duncan

3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown, ruby color when held to light. Thick off-white head with large bubbles. Some lacing with a head that stays around for a while.

S - Acetobacter sourness, slight vinegar, some funk (wet hay?), stone fruits

T - Cherries, that wet hay type funk is present, and an acetobacter type sourness.

M - Medium mouthfeel, sharp on the lips from the carbonation (which seemed to dissipate as the tasting went on). It is surprisingly creamy but has a nice crisp finish

O - I liked this one quite a bit. There are better ones out there in my opinion, but I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. Will drink again

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2012 14:04:52 | More by Evan_Duncan
Photo of smakawhat


3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A real impressive dark brown/red hue. Slightly clear with a caramel soapy brown head that seems to keep a collar but not much retention. Real nice ruby hues on this, quite impressive.

Nose is odd. Dense malt, mixes with faint juicy over-ripe cherry, and dare I say bile. It's very strange character, and feels incredibly juicy, but there's an after whaff of something VERY off putting on this. Some strange acid mix it's hard to describe. I hope this tastes better than it smells.

Oh juice juice carbonation all over my palate. There it is, the rich cherry juice hitting with a big cannon with a controlled feel. Crisp carbonation with a spritzy feel giving to some dense malt and nice controlled fruit sweetness. Hot candied cinammon red hots just ever so slightly on the palate for the aftertaste.

Overall this is a total ambush beer, and I am really enjoying it.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2012 23:48:41 | More by smakawhat
Photo of thecheapies


3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vichtenaar Flemish Ale. 11.2oz bottle purchased for $5 locally. Best before '19-01-09', whatever that means. Tasted side-by-side Duchesse de Bourgogne. Served in Duchesse goblets.

Same color (very slightly a darker red-brown) and head as Duchesse, only with serious sediment that I didn't expect out of a Flanders Red. Doesn't lace as well. 3.5

Smells sour (vinegar) and a bit funky (flooded basement). Alcohol is apparent in the nose. Some alkaline metal and a tart and infected cherry/molded raspberry fruit note. 3.5

Soft fruity flavors of cherry, currant, and even peach or other stone fruits. Less acetic acidity than expected where it's more on the front half, and the finish is tinny malts, funky yeast, and light alcohol burn. The oak is a stale char woody character that's its own separate entity. Not as fruity as Duchesse, nor as balanced. Probably tainted from the nuttiness of the bottle yeast. 4.0

Feels alright. Not as soft and smooth as Duchesse. A little thinner with light, but satisfiable, carbonation. 4.0

Wanted to have tasted this Flanders Red for awhile. I'll know to decant next time. A tasty and almost fulfilling example. Certainly worth a revisit. 4.0

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2012 02:23:17 | More by thecheapies
Photo of SLeffler27

New York

3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fills a Brasseurs DeGarde flute with clear burnished copper, red highlights and ample carbonation. A big, rocky, off-white head quickly drops to half an inch, leaving patches of sticky lace. The remaining creamy head lasts for the duration.

Tart with fermented berries and not much else.

Nicely balanced between sweetness and tartness. Fresh berries are prominent in this simple, but well done, Flanders Red. The tartness is much more pronounced in the finish. With warmth, notes of wine vinegar are revealed.

This has vigorous carbonation and a light body with no real alcohol. Overall it is somewhat fresh and cleansing.

A fine casual beer, though I suspect it would be better during warm-weather gatherings or as a dessert beer. While not at all similar to Vichtenaar, would likely be a fine substitute for mimosas.

Enjoyed by wine friends.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 19:54:54 | More by SLeffler27
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2012 09:31:26 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of rockyfire

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a ruby color. Smell is a little like vinegar but with some sweetness. Taste is like a red vinegar but with sweetness and malt, really wonder how they get it that close to vinegar but does not go over the top. The mouthfeel is exceptional. It has become a new favorite when I am eating spicy foods. I am a fan and I really do not like sour beers.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 19:10:26 | More by rockyfire
Photo of DCon


4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 11.2 FL. OZ. bottle of this from The Publican in Chicago, IL for $9. Poured from the Black Labeled bottle w/ Lions & a Crest on the front into a 12oz Tulip Glass. Has Best before 09/03/2013 on the back.

Aroma- Very nice and complexed! The cherries I found in this one were very distant and then had a huge tart punch on the nose. Perfect acidity it seems so far!

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger head that dies fairly quickly. Has a deep and dark reddish/brown colored body with good clarity. Leaves light suds but no lacing.

Flavor- The cherries stayed very distant in the taste as well. Light vanilla flavor and then a ton of tartness on the finish. Bitterness was light and had a extremely dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium Bodied, Light Carbonation, Prickles the tongue with acidity but never a sour punch (great characteristic to have in other Sours but not in a Flanders Red). Cherries were left lightly on the palate.

Overall Impression- A very nice Flanders Red! There was never too much sourness or cherry flavor and so this one was easy drinking and I could definitely present this one to anyone of my friends. I could have had another one to see if there was any difference in complexity or flavors. Go for it if in stores! I would like to see how much this one really costs at the retail price.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 15:46:37 | More by DCon
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2011 18:08:15 | More by AdamBear
Photo of matjack85


4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried a bottle of this stuff at Quencher's Saloon in Chicago on the advice of the bartender there. 11.2oz brown bottle with no freshness date, but the bartender assured me this bottle was part of a just arrived shipment.

The beer poured a crystal clear cherry red color, but only made a half finger of ott-white head that dissipated quickly and left very little lacing.

This has a big sour cherry smell. Very nice.

Taste is pretty much split between sweet and sour. Not picking up much else besides cherries and that unique Belgian yeast, but I really liked it.

Light, crisp, and refreshing mouthfeel with plenty of puckering sourness and high carbonation that works well with this style.

Delicious as a treat by itself. Not sure I'd serve it with any food other than a sweet dessert. A little steep at $8 a bottle, but then again I ordered it at a bar and did not get it off a store shelf.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2011 08:03:29 | More by matjack85
Photo of musicforairports

New York

4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours as the best looking Flanders beer I've ever had--the head sticks around forever and leaves some great lacing.

Smell is tart cherries and acetic sourness.

Taste is a lot of tart cherries and little else, a bit restrained, but well-done. Finishes tart but not sour. A bit sweet, but not nearly as much as some of the style. Not a mouth-puckering sour at all, but not an overly sweet one either. A nice in-between. I like it.

Light at first and then a bit creamy on the mouth; it suits the flavors well.

This is really about as drinkable as one of these beers gets. It has all the right qualities and, while it could use more of a sour bite, the way it is makes it tasty and really easy to drink for the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 03:21:46 | More by musicforairports
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Vichtenaar from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
88 out of 100 based on 311 ratings.