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Vichtenaar - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.
VichtenaarVichtenaar

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BA SCORE
88
very good

219 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 219
Hads: 396
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 32
Gots: 25 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Red Ale |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Andreji on 06-25-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (13) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 219 | Hads: 396
Photo of Sammy
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely aroma, dark colour, lots of lace. Great tartness well-balanced, with lots of fruit, yummy cherry and dark fruit. For this level of alcohol, so much complex flavour. Sampled with the Atlanta B.A. crew at Brick Store Pub. Possibly my most enjoyed beer in the Atlanta two-day pubcrawl. (289 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear reddish brown in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head.
S: There are moderate aromas of sourness in the nose along with some notes of cherries.
T: The taste has a good balance between sweetness and sourness. There are also flavors of cherries and hints of oak.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The good balance of sweet and sour flavors in the taste makes this beer very easy to consume. (509 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
2.71/5  rDev -31%
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. (612 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (671 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy garnet color with a huge head and lots of lacing

Smell: Cherries and woody balsamic vinegar

Taste: Sweet and sour - a bit of sweet honey quickly overwhelmed by an earthy sour fruit and vinegar taste that persists quite a while

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body but a distinct amount of carbonation

Drinkability: Belgian sour ales are clearly an acquired taste and while the longer I savored this brew, the more I enjoyed it (450 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
2.78/5  rDev -29.3%
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. (284 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am really growing to love this style. However, this isn't the best example of Flanders Reds, albeit good. Aromas quickly surface that reminds me of red vinegar, merlot, apple cider, and accompanied by a mellow astringency. Amberish rust in color, quite high CO2, a dainty head that doen't impress. The high demands on barley, and other grains sweeten and up the body to balance out the sourness and tartness that is experienced in the nose. Finishes musty and with a dry tartness. A likable beer; one that I will enjoy on occasions, despite a few quirks. (556 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep hazy reddish color ale with a medium foamy head with OK retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet cherries and light sour and oaky notes. Taste is also dominated by tasty oak notes with a light lingering sour note with some sweet cherries. I thought the bit was slightly overly sweet but oak notes were just about perfect, carbonation might have been a bit low. Well done. (394 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BBD: 13-10-06

Looks: Burgundy-brown in the light, spotty, lacy foam. Good clarity in the light, with some sediment sinking to the bottom.

Aroma: A pile of sweet cherries, fermenting in a musty basement.

Taste: Mild tart cherry, slight balsamic tone, earthy copper note lingers. Not especially sour or funky, more approachable and middle of the road. Carbonation seems to slowly ebb away, leaving a thinner feel towards the end of the glass. One glass is easy and refreshing.

This would be the first step on the road of Flemish Sours, next Duchesse, leading up to Rodenbach Grand Cru. Cheers... (607 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ruddy chestnut. The upper half of the glass is occupied by an attractive, buff colored crown of sticky foam that deflated to a thick disk within minutes, while depositing a huge amount of tattered lace in the process.

The nose is full of sour fruitiness. So much so that my salivary glands give a little squeeze each time I put my nose over the glass. It's hard to say which fruit. Cherries comes closest, but that's not quite it. The yeast adds a funkiness that I love, as long as it isn't overdone on the palate.

Nope, it isn't overdone, not even close. I'm a little disappointed that Vichtenaar isn't more sour and more fruity. It tastes more like a sour brown ale than a Flanders red. Flanders oud bruin perhaps? The flavor is tremendous when beer first hits taste buds, but it's all downhill from there. Thankfully, it only falls so far.

The initial flavor burst of tangy fruit expands in the mouth, but then starts to lose momentum almost immediately and loses complexity as the mouthful progresses. In the end, it's akin to a stickysweet brown ale that can't hold a candle to what it promised on initial contact.

The mouthfeel is par for the style course and is slightly gummy on the finish. I blame the latter on a less than optimal amount of carbonation. More bubbles would at least add a little mouth interest if nothing else.

Vichtenaar is a decent Flanders red, although I have to believe that there are much better ones out there. Perhaps the cherriness of its brewery mate (Echte Kriekenbier) will be more to my liking and will provide what I found to be lacking in this bottle. (1,607 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first sour of the night hits the table. I was not expecting a few of these to show and to be quite honest ended up really rounding out the crowd quite nicely. Served in a nice little tasting glass and consumed on 06/09/10.

The pour was a nice dark ruby color with a small head of off white that sits on top of the glass just right. Settling down after a minute or so reveals a nice little bit of lacing and a well rounded coating of the glass.

Aroma is tart cherries, nice notes here. I love that aroma, not that huge horse funk, but the nice cherry and oak notes that still offer touches of sweetness in them. Really rounds it out nicely and makes for a tremendously pleasing aroma. Had this very close to consecration and the both of them really stood out from the our sours with the nice sweet notes tucked around inside of the deep tartness. Really nice light spices in here now. Currant maybe with touches of grape skins and a rich, subtle tone that is simply to die for. Really well done I have to say. Each sip became easier and easier to drink and I watched the bottle vanish in no time flat.

Overall a really solid ale here, really nicely done with a tremendous bouquet and also depth of flavor. I would love to have this one again any day. (1,256 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Pours a very deep crimson, with dark brown highlights making the proceedings even darker. The rich-looking head plumes to about a finger or so thick, but dissipates rather quickly, settling to a simmer on the surface. The nose is comprised of green apples, pears, cranberries, and cardamom: sour, yes, but with substance behind it, rather than sour for the sake of sour. The taste takes those sour fruit notes and adds a bit of complexity with the subtle body and sweetness of the malts. Unfortunately, though, there is an expectation of some bite, some climactic punch from the back and sides of the tongue, but this never comes. Luckily, though, the body remains in the medium range and the carbonation is just right, keeping this nice brew from sinking in terms of drinkability. (815 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Verhaeghe's Vichtenaar nestles nicely between some of the more sour and overly-sweet examples of the Flander's red style. It pours a clear, dark chestnut robe with orange-ruby highlights and a thin head of creamy tan foam. The head drops readily yet somehow manages to maintain a wide collar and whispy surface covering. A few splashes of sticky lace about the goblet add to its appearance. In the nose, a combination of delicate but somewhat sharp, vinous fruit and sweetish malt greets you. It's delicately effervescent on the tongue with a very fine bubbled, slightly elevated carbonation, and it becomes somewhat airy as it crosses the palate. Muted caramel and soft, subtly tart dark skinned fruit (figs, plums, raisins/dark grapes) combine in the flavor, leaving it quite sherry-like. It's fairly intense upfront before fading slowly and seamlessly away into a long-lasting aftertaste that is again, not unlike that of a glass of sherry or port. And that's the beauty of the Flander's red style, the push and pull between the tart and the sweet.. the way the sourness lingers on your lips but the sticky, dull malt lays on your teeth and at the back of the throat. It's quite nicely done and certainly worth trying, although it doesn't have quite the breadth of character that some other examples do. (1,306 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear but very dark ruby with a light tan head off an aggressive pour. The head falls fast. Nose is a beautiful combination of wood and cherries. Flavor is a great sweetness combined with firm cherry tones. The wood character really meshes with everything else so well that it provides the perfect punctuation. Feel is great. The bubble still kicks me in the back of my mouth after it’s lingered in my mouth for a while. Overall a great drinking experience. Elegant and smooth and well made. Very well worth trying out and having more beyond. (551 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ruby brown color where light shines through. Appears clear. Large bubbled head that settles to a single layer. Some spotty lace.

Sour berry aroma. Low yeast in the background.

Sweeter taste than I expected. It has some solid malty footing, but it also has elements of a framboise--great berry flavors with just enough sourness to make it interesting. Full mouthfeel with a corresponding level of carbonation.

This is an excellently flavored dessert beer. (457 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
2.68/5  rDev -31.8%
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. (787 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
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. (795 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.97/5  rDev +1%
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. (881 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a smooth, oakey scent that blends well with the sour aroma. It seems to have some maltiness to it. The taste is great also. It has a wonderful malt complexity that is complimented with a refreshing sourness as well as a slight woody finish. It goes down easy and finishes smooth. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This beer is a real treat. I love the flavor as well as the aroma. It has a subtle sourness that is very enjoyable, unlike some that are too sour to drink. (634 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
2.53/5  rDev -35.6%
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. (444 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Labeled as a Flemish Red-Brown, never seen anyone claim both of these. Pours a deep amber color with a fluffy tan head. It has a nice sour nose but does not quite deliver in the taste. Sour up front, with hints of balsamic, but this fades to a malty caramelized sweetness that is a bit out of balance. This beer definitely needs more sour character. Definitely not bad, just unbalanced. (386 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased at State Line Liquors in Elkton. I pick up this about twice a year but usually at The Foodery which is the only place in Philly I know has singles to go.

Vicky pours a pretty dark reddish brown color with some ruby tinge to it. With a stealth pour I get a dark tan loose bubbled head that that stuck around for a few and left a cap but no lace.

Smells of alot of dark fruit and some vinegar. I get alot of berries and cherry with a almost vinious scent that's not quite there. The oak surprisingly does not reach my nostrils. It does not smell like it's going to be tart or sour.

But there is a slight twang to this that I would not call sour/tart or whatever, just a tinge. This is very dark fruit forward with a backing of vinegar and just a bit of wood. More vinegar than wood, not a good look. A small amount of dark cranberry mixed with your normal FRA flavors, some malty brown ale appeal. This needs more wood dammit.

The feel is surprisingly light and uneventful. It looks carbed and is but it does not show up in the mouth. Pretty smooth and vinegary, some sweetness, a touch of sour twang (a touch) and a malty finish. A small step below medium with ample but weak carb.

There will always be a sweet spot in my heart for this beer as it's one that I cracked my tooth on in the world of better beer. With that said there is better out there style wise. It's low abv but the taste does not make me want top grab a bottle any time soon. (1,471 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another "volunteer's booty" bottle from ASN's big Belgian fest, 11.2 ouncer, with best before dating. Pours w/ next to no head and minimal lacing. Noisy pour, pretty clear, slightly reddish amber liquid, nose of light cola, cherries and other tart fruits. Tasty, tart Flemish ale. Crisp and tasty, fine example of the style. Woody sour cherry notes. Fruity and quite drinkable. Sophisticated, civilized and complex achievement in brewing. Well worth seeking out and enjoying with some stinky cheese, nuts and fruits. (516 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
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. (912 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Pours a dark brown with a hint of orange color. Large off-white head despite a careful pour. Substantial surface foam even an half hour after pouring.

Smell - Sour cherry smell. A bit of a vinegar smell behind it and maybe some sweetness.

Taste - A tart flavor with cherries. Not an overpowering sourness at all. A bit of lingering sweetness, but not cloying at all.

Mouthfeel - Doesn't feel as light as 5.1% at all. Only slightly thin in the finish. Medium carbonation helps keep it from feeling too heavy, though.

Overall - I'm not the best judge of this style, but it's certainly better than other versions I have had. The sweetness is just barely enough without becoming overpowering. Not overly sour, just tart. (770 characters)

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Vichtenaar from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
88 out of 100 based on 219 ratings.