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Vichtenaar - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

371 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 371
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.56%
Wants: 31
Gots: 20 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe visit their website

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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 371 | Reviews: 218 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dherling
4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out a dark cherry brown with a thin off white head. Has a nice sour Flemish nose, leathery sweaty horse saddle, dehydrated cherries, wet socks, and prune. The taste was tart and refreshing. It offered sourness, cherry, sloe gin, and woody resin. Nice. The mouthfeel was thin, with medium carbonation. This style is not for everyone, but if you like the style, this is an excellent example and a great beer. Very drinkable within the confines of the style.

Photo of albern
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a delightful beer. A very fine Flemish Red ale of the sour variety. Vichtenaar holds a third candle to Duchesse and Rodenbach in the running, but this truly is an enjoyable beer. The smell is a little much, even for someone like me who really enjoys the style. It may be a little too vinegary, a little too tart in the nose, but it is fine nevertheless. The pour is the right combination of dark chestnut, carbonation and head for this style. Basically, there isn't much head at all, and very little lacing. The taste is a nice, complex blend of aged and newer ales, giving this ale a very nice balance of sweet, sour, chartreuse, citrus, and vinegar to stir the palate. The Flemish reds are truly a chewy digestive that complement meats and cheeses. Not quite as good as Duchesse and Rodenbach, but I really enjoyed this one nevertheless, and if I want a slight change of pace for a Flemish Red, I would go back to it again and again. There is an iron-like feel and taste on the back end, a bit more than should be, but this should not deter the adventurous. L'Chaim!

Photo of malcontent
3.51/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chesnut brown with an even layer of head. Lacing lacks the even quality that the head displayed but it's there nonetheless.

Strong vinegar with faint brown sugar and dark fruit. Nothing special, smells about right for the style.

Slightly sour but more sweet than anything. There's a little bit of cherry but mostly an artificial sugary quality. A touch of dark bread shines through at the end.

Very thin for my taste although there's a redeeming creaminess to the finish. An OK sour but I'd take a Rodenbach or Duchesse any day of the week over this.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured an 11.2 oz. bottle to a snifter. The "Best before:" area is blank, so I have no idea about the age. Bottle purchased in late 2006 at Beaumont Market in Portland.

A: Gorgeous ruby/auburn, seemingly brown at first glance, but glowing and warm when held to light. Quite clear & capped with almost 2-fingers of fizzy head, dwindling to a spotty thin film. Great splotches of uneven tan lace stick to the glass.

S: Sour, crushed cherries meld with sugar and a stinging oaky vinegar.

T: Tartness of green apples, dry sourness of lemony tea, sweeter candi sugar in the finish. Earthy, musty yeastiness. Tartness is predominant, but reamins pretty well balance and never overwhelms.

M: Refreshing, smooth, with a moderate level of carbonation in the mouth (even moreso in the gut). Acidic and mildly pucker-inducing...

D: Very nice example of the Flanders Red Ale...I look forward to having this again and give it a solid recommendation.

Photo of Bierman9
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from an 11.2 oz bottle, best-by date on the label of 07.07.07. Procured from the 2006 Belgian Beer Fest.

Poured into a small Delerium Tremens tulip, Vicht has a deep, clear, ruby color. Lovely when backlit! The deep hue hides the carbo within, if any. Head is a scant array of fine, light tan bubbles, most of which congregate around the rim, leaving a thin layer on the bier. Left behind are some traces of lace here and there. Aroma is pronounced and striking. Tart fruit notes abound, mingling with hints of sweetness. Quite appealing, and very similar to Rodenbach Grand Cru, with a bit of a vinegary lean! Body is middle of the road, but carbo does lighten the feel on the tongue, giving Vicht an airy, bubbly sensation.

Flavor is solidly fruity, coming forth moreso with cherry than anything else, and leans much more towards the sweet side than the tart and sour. There are ever-so-slight intimations of oak present, though I pick it up a tad more in the nose. Nary a hint of hops to be found, in my estimation. Finish is smooth and sweet, lingering nicely with fruitiness. Not my every day style of bier of choice, but a nice diversion now and then. Sit me in an outdoor cafe in Brugges, and I just might have a few more of these....


overall: 4.05
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 4


Photo of emerge077
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
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...

Photo of DrainBamage
4.49/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours very dark brownish-red color. There is a very thin layer of head that mostly clings to the side. Hard to see the carbonation as it is so dark. The aroma is very strong and is that of whiskey, but with a little fruit. The flavor is extremely complex and is hard to distinguish all the flavors, but has a little whiskey that is a little fruity and tart too. Mouthfeel is smooth and it is lightly carbonated. Drinkability is very high, because you'll have to drink several of these before you can figure out all the aromas and tastes.

Photo of eheff
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque, dark brown in the glass, but is almost a caramel brownish-reddish when held up to the light--with about a half-pinky sized head on it that has not dissipated. It smells half sour/half sweet and the taste matches perfectly--it starts out sour with a sweet and somewhat fruity (cherries? apples?) aftertaste (without being too sweet). I would say that the sweet and sour flavors are very well balanced--which also increases the drinkability.

Photo of cypressbob
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

250ml bottle, poured into a t I'j brewery tulip glass

Pours with a dark amber rich toffee coloured body. Off white bubbly tight head with good retention forming about half and inch thick or so. A fair bit of sticky white lacing up and down the glass

Smell, a dry oaky mustiness initially, sour maderia soaked cherries and a few hints of other fresh ripe fruit. A few slight fruity esters coerced up by a whiff of syrupy sugary alcohol. Some sweet caramel on the nose along with a slight nose warming acidity, along with a slight dose of cough medicine

Taste, tart cherries soaking in red wine vinegar, some slight phenolic medicinal character too. Estery sugary sweetness around the middle of the flavour backed up by oak and tart fruit once again. The finish is dominated by tonnes of sweet honey flavours topped off by a tart acidic winey twang again. Some lasting oak on the finish also along with more cherry and a hint of marzipan

From the same people who brought you Duchesse de Bougogne, this flanders shares some of the same traits that you either loved or loathed over its more popular sibling. I personally love both, tart yet very drinkable and overall very tasty indeed. I would still push for something a bit less sweet like Rodenbach Grand Cru in the long run but this makes a welcome change and is definatly something worth trying.

Photo of KarlHungus
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a dark ruby red, almost brown color. The head is two inches in height, and red in color. The aroma is sour with hints of cherry and a touch of sweetness. The taste is quite sweet for a flemish red; there really isn't much sourness at all. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this beer isn't nearly as sour as I expect a flemish red to be. However, it is still a drinkable beer if you aren't looking for something extremely sour.

Photo of Lnedrive14
4.84/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thank the beer gods (and Bauer Wines) for this one.

It's color is chameleonic. It goes from red, to brown, to darker brown, depending on the light. Whatever it is, it is opaque - relatively thick looking for the style. 1/10" head that remains throughout.

I don't know that this the most complext Flanders out there, but in my opinion, I can't imagine one tasting better than this. Huge vanilla cherry sweetness up front with a strong malt character that keeps the sweetness in check. The oak and vanilla mix amazingly well. The back of the palate is the usual vinegar and wine astringence/tartness that you expect from the style. In that sense, it is no different than others, but it is that up front taste that really impressed me.

Thick, chewy, fluffly. Tough to nail it down, but it seems like a bigger beer than others of the style. Alcohol content is of course low, but this beer quickly penetrates every corner of your mouth and resonates there. The sensation remains for a while as you progress through the various tastes proferred by this sensational brew.

As much as I loved this beer, I don't think I would want more than 2 of them. It is that astringence that would just make it too difficult to drink too much of it.

Only the 3rd beer I have given a 5 in taste to. This one is near perfect once if hits your mouth and I can't imagine finding one i liked better. Sometimes, taste is everything.

Photo of alexgash
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rusty amber with caramel brown highlights. Spritzy, rocky, light dirty sand head. Nose explodes with malt vinegar, dates, leather, rotten fruit, and molasses. Is it weird that I like the vinegar and the rotten fruit? Light caramelly sweetness on the periphery; fruity sweet, sorbet-like palate soon turns sour and acidic. Finish is fruity again, with accents of oak and vanilla. The vinegary, sour tang stays a long time though. Light-bodied, highly carbonated/spritzy feel. Very good beer. Thanks to my Boston pals for recommending this one to me!

Photo of nortmand
4.92/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours solid brown and clear with a lace forming white head.

Dominant smell is acetic vinegar. Also very vinuous. Chianti dark berry smells. Red wine smells.

Red wine vinegar flavors up front. Turns into a very pleasant tart berry flavor midtongue. Sweet young beer flavors on top of everything. Leaves a sharp pickle sour aftertaste. Funky!

Medium body is accented by the slippery acidity on the tongue. Very lightly tart and very refreshing, worth seeking out.

Photo of dgallina
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml slim brown bottle dated best-before 1/18/2007.

Pours into the Duchesse ee Bourgogne glass transparent dark red & brown with small film of head, thin lace. Fragrant nose full of oak, sweet and sour balsamic vinegar. Flavor follows the smell. Sour-edged tannic balsamic vinegar coats the mouth. Thick and chewy body with decent balancing carbonation.. Quenching dry toasted malts at the finish. Enjoyable but somewhat overly sweet and straightforward.

Photo of Malted
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

I recently acquired a small treasure chest of Belgian beers and have become somewhat tired of them after being overexposed to sours and Belgians the last couple of weeks. I opened this one up expecting more of the same… I was happily surprised with this beer.

Appearance- Dark brown with cherry red/brown hi-lights. Thin head that dissipates quickly and leaves little trace it existed down the sides of the glass.

Aroma- Rich with a pungent sour overtone. Smell of fruit and a bit of farm like qualities.

Taste- Surprisingly complex and tasty. The sourness dominates, but it is a mellowed longer acting sourness than some. It hits you over the head lightly with its sourness and you love every second of it. There are also complex finishing notes of oak, spices, and fruit (cherries?).

Mouth feel- Creamy and full.

Drinkability/Overall- A very happy surprise. I could drink a couple of these easy. Overall a very well crafted and balanced beer. The way everything comes together in this beer to give your taste buds a roller coaster of an experience is a work of art. I am hoping I find another Flemish ale in my treasure chest. To keep with the treasure analogy: this was a gem.

Photo of cbl2
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10/29/2006 $3.99 11.2 oz. 5.10% Best by 07-07-07 marked on back.


Pours into my Orval goblet, a clear, dark (bordering on black) brown with hints of orange that is topped by a quarter inch of tightly packed dense tan foam with excellent retention.


Sharp and bitingly tart with hints of ripe cherries and plums.


A perfect blend of sweet and tart, this beer is nicely smooth with flavorful bursts of cherry. This beer finds itself somewhere between Rodenbach and Redbach. This is fantastic, easy to drink with low enough alcohol to make this a session beer, though the price puts it out of that range. Seek this one out, it is worth it!

Photo of Iguana
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lately I have been loving flander's reds, so its no surprise I picked this one up. It poured a beautiful deep ruby color with a medium sized dense head that never really went away. Smell is malty with hints of tart cherries and a faint hint of oak, kinda lacking overall, but not a bad smell by any means. Taste is oaky, peppery, with hints of cherries. Nice tart/sweet balance. Really well made example of the style I think. The pepperyness really plays well off the tartness. Mouthfeel is a bit bitter, and sticky sweet. Drinkability on this is pretty darn good, this is my 2nd time having the beer, the first time I must admit I couldnt finish it, but that was before my tastes had adapted to like belgian style ales. If you like belgians, and particularly flanders red ales dont miss this one, its pretty tasty.

Photo of Budlum
3.56/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with two inches of foamy, off-white head slowly diminishing to a thin, frothy layer. Deep ruby red body with loads of purple. A very clear body when compared to other Flanders Red beers.

Tart and sour on the nose. Sour cherries, cranberries and tart raspberries providue a fruity sensation. Strong funk from the yeast likening to the aroma of sherry vinegar. A little more sour smelling than the typical tartness of the style.

Immediate sherry vinegar flavors with a tannin and oak twang. Fruity and sweet midway through with the flavors of very sweet plums. Some tartness but not quite as much as expected. Long, sweet finish with a caramelized sugar sweetness and vanilla.

Slightly carbonated and very creamy. Leaves a slick coating on the tongue for a few seconds after each sip.

Drinkability is good for a Flanders Red. This would be a great candidate for someone new to the style. However, the flavors are little bland for a fan of Flemish beers.

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The head isn't thick, but it doesn't go away completely. The lacing is beautiful and sticks really well. The color is dark to reddish brown. Smell is fruity and sour, very enjoyable. Taste is slightly sweet and less sour. It's almost like sour fruit juice. Mouthfeel is soft and well carbonated. Overall this was very drinkable and nice to have. I will enjoy more of these.

Photo of Prufrock
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle into a pilsner.

nice amber tone that shows some red and orange against the light. half an inch of tan head that leaves little lace.

quite a variety of aromas: sweet malts, dark sweet cherries and prunes, and a vinegary sour character.

same complexity in the flavor, but with an additional metallic character. clean, sweet flavors with dark fruits, white grapes and a touch of ruby red grapefruit.

refreshing, clean feel with a fruity sweetness. sweet malts, cherries, and grapes with a faint hint of grapefruity sour. fairly sweet but not excessive or cloying. very flavorful and exceedingly drinkable.

Photo of shroompod
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle , poured cold , minimal head. Dark brown color.

Smell , is woodsy , slightly fruity .

Taste is tart& sweet with some soy sauce coming through

Mouthfeel is light considering the sweetness. Good carbonation.

Drinkabitly is alright , a little sweet for my taste. I suspect its style isn't my type but I'll try a few more.

Photo of Jredner
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very vinegar and oak dominated aroma that both play off each other to effect a sharp spiciness. Body is a mild brown and holds a diminishing pinky thin tan head. Fore is suprinsgly malty sweet with just a hint of sourness. Has a hearty maltiness to it I did not expect. Sorta like a standard English brown Ale with some funk added. even has a very mild nuttiness to it...though sweeter than a normal brown. The finish is almost bread puddingesque being sweet yet hearty and midly toasty. Big suprise and I rather enjoy this one. Faint hints of vanilla in the far aftertaste.

Photo of asabreed
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip. My last bottle of the 4-pack and I realized a bit ago that I hadn't reviewed it, so here goes.

Appearance: An off white and foamy head that quickly dissipates but stays at about 1/2" due to the crazy amount of bubbles floating up toward the top. The body is an extremely dark and attractive amber, and there are certain concentrated spots of huge and clunky lacing residing on the glass.

Smell: Sour apples, apple skin, cherries, and of course yes there's a lot of sourness. And I love the fact that the aroma's almost over overripe or rotting fruit, something powerful and sweet without being to the point of sickly sweet. There's a healthy dose of sweet malt in their too, also some woodiness.

Taste: What this is lacking is the puckering sweet and sour long finish. There is indeed a finish, but it comes and goes unfortunately. All the flavor, and it's up there, comes in the middle, and then it kind of fades. But it's powerful enough that with sipping and holding out a while until you finish the brew, it's lip smacking for sure. The malt and sweetness isn't too much, and it's pretty balanced with the sourness and ripe fruit factors. A long finish would boost this rating up for sure.

Mouthfeel: Lots of carbonation and effervescence to make it, by the finish, feel fairly full without it being too crazy or harsh on the palate with the carbonation. One of the things I love about a good version of the style indeed.

Drinkability: I love this style for probably too many reasons I can't explain. This is a more than solid version of it I'd say, even though I certainly need to have more in the future without a doubt.

Photo of VoodooBrew
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cl bottle. Best Before date of 04/23/06. Looks like I just missed it!

Dark chestnut in color, with ruby highlights and some opacity. When kept away from direct light this beer looks almost black. Bubbles form a column in the center of the glass. Aroma profile offers the familiar spice, muted funkiness, and tart fruit. On the palate, flavors of partly sour fruit combine with hints of cherry cola and a fleeting chalky note, reminiscent of Alka Seltzer. The body is fairly light, the carbonation lively but not abrasive, and the tartness well in check. Pretty easy drinking actually.

I'd like some more SOUR in this beer, because without it Vichtenaar takes a hit on dimensionality. Still, this is certainly solid and well-made.

Photo of Crosling
3.12/5  rDev -20%
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.

Vichtenaar from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
87 out of 100 based on 371 ratings.