1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Vichtenaar - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.

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

354 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 354
Reviews: 213
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.28%
Wants: 28
Gots: 14 | FT: 1
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 354 | Reviews: 213 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Budlum
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%

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.

Budlum, Sep 07, 2006
Photo of Erdinger2003
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%

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.

Erdinger2003, Aug 23, 2006
Photo of Prufrock
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%

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.

Prufrock, Aug 13, 2006
Photo of shroompod
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%

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.

shroompod, Jul 26, 2006
Photo of Jredner
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%

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.

Jredner, Jun 07, 2006
Photo of asabreed
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%

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.

asabreed, Jun 02, 2006
Photo of VoodooBrew
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

VoodooBrew, May 01, 2006
Photo of Crosling
3.08/5  rDev -21.2%

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 kaimcm
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%

amber/garnet/brown body, great color. rich aromas, smells of BBQ sauce, tart acidity. creamy and soft palate in the mouth. BBQ'ed meat comes through, lite acidity, nice balanced malt profile. tame wild yeast flavors/aromas. very approachable, very drinkable for a flanders red. great food beer.

kaimcm, Apr 14, 2006
Photo of babydoc
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%

Poured at 50 degrees from a bottle labeled best before 23-04-06. Pours dark, almost opaque ruby brown, with a buff-colored foamy head that doesn't stick around long. Only a bit of lace.
Nose is rhubarb tartness and acetic acid sourness, and sme cherry fruit sweetness, with a caramel touch that melds in as the brew warms. There is also a musty, oaky edge as the beer is swirled.
Finally the chance to taste: Moderate mouthfeel with a bit of velvety carbonation, tannins and some drying on the finish.
Taste is sweet, almost wine-like red grape off set by sour cherry, oak, and tannins, a bit of caramel rounding things out, all swirling about in a delightful balance.
Not as sour as others in the style, this one drinks like a table wine-

babydoc, Mar 27, 2006
Photo of Billolick
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

Billolick, Mar 26, 2006
Photo of ggaughan
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%

This beer was part of the Michael Jackson Flemish Sour beer dinner at Monk's Cafe this past Sunday. I believe this one was served on tap. This beer came in a wine glass with nice deep ruby body and good lacing down the glass. The nose of this beer is a very vital cherry smell with some other fruit notes. The taste is sour cheeries and good carbonation, crisp. I really enjoy this beer and with a medium body is a very drinkable red ale. I went back for seconds.

ggaughan, Mar 24, 2006
Photo of dogfooddog
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%

pours 20% head, nose immediately has overwhelming sourness and woodiness. very tempting odor

taste is a little weaker than the aroma but still nice sourness. surprising because i had two of these last night that was much sourer (drank in bar), oh well. maybe batch variation? pleasant aftertaste doesn't last too long. Hard to imagine my palate varies that much on something as distinct as this style. anyway the beer is not too sweet, and this bottle has no pucker-power. Further into the bottle some more taste opens up, but the sour oaky nose simply isn't translating into my taste buds.

this beer promises a lot in the nose and delivers some of it. A pleasant and far too drinkable flemish red ale. worth finding to try.

dogfooddog, Mar 10, 2006
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%

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.

Sammy, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of jdhilt
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%

Pours with a one-finger light tan head that fades slowly and leaves a ton of lace. Clear deep red color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is fruity. Starts sweet with a citrusy sour flavor in the background, finish is clean. $3.99 for a 330ml bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

jdhilt, Feb 27, 2006
Photo of goochpunch
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%

330 ml bottle: best before 23-04-06.

Pours out dark brown with a slight rust tinge. The head is not huge, but maintains a rather creamy looking centimeter or two. Smells sweet, vinegar-like, fruity, oaky. This smells exactly like this half-muscat/half-blueberry wine I've had some time ago. Tastes like ripe, juicy cherries and oak. Starts off sweet then finishes up tart. No bitterness to speak of. The mouthfeel is very light and lively on the tongue. It perfectly accentuates the sweet and tart characteristics.

goochpunch, Feb 25, 2006
Photo of WesWes
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%

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.

WesWes, Feb 12, 2006
Photo of TheEclecticGent
4.68/5  rDev +19.7%

I’ve had this beer many times in bottle at the Brick Store in Decatur, GA. This is my second favorite beer in the world, followed only by Duchesse de Bourgogne. It pours from the bottle into a tulip glass a dark medium brown with a quickly fading head that leaves a fairy ring and a bit of pattering on the top. It has moderate lacing for the first half of the session. The smell is a very sharp vinegar and musk. The smell, however, is much more sour than the flavor. The flavor is a very complex cascade of sweet, sour, carbonation, with brown sugar and dried fruit overtones. The mouthfeel is light to moderate with serious carbonation pricking. It isn’t as drinkable as Duchesse de Bourgogne but it’s a very close second. If Green’s package store would carry this beer I would stock it at my place.

TheEclecticGent, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of texashammer
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%

pours a dark brown, with some red, with a thicky, creamy head. really rich and so smooth in the mouth. smells of sour funk and chocolate. on the palate there is rich milk chocolate, dark chocolate, with sour red vinegar funk -- wow. a really unique beer.

texashammer, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of Sephiroth
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%

Bottle says best before 16-06-05: I smell the beer before pouring, and I smell vinegar. This lessens after pouring, and is noted in other reviews, so I'll assume its normal. Nice lace and foam. Body is amber-brown. Smells winey, oakey, a little sour, with a touch of sweetness.

Taste is well balanced for the style, I think. Fruity, winey, slightly sour, oak, and some sweetness for balance. A little buttery, not as acidic or sour as others of its ilk. The bubbles are very fine, and they are many. Drinkability is great, probably due to the mild nature of the beer. Complexity suffers as a result.

Sephiroth, Jan 31, 2006
Photo of mntlover
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%

Pours a brown with some beep red showing thru a nice tan head falls fast loos like lace forms but doesn't stick.

Aroma is vinegar upfront cherries next then light vanilla woody oak aromas underneath.

Taste is cherry flavor vinegar malt lightly sour with lingering dry oaky flavors. Overall not bad but not quite up to par with other Flanders I have enjoyed.

Mouthfeel is approaching medium a nice dry finish decent carbonation.

Drinkability is OK but wouldn't grab this one first if I was in a Flanders Red mood.

mntlover, Dec 28, 2005
Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%

A: Red-brown, fluffy off-white head, awesome retention and lace! Truly exceptional.

S: Sourness and fruit-bread.

T: Sweet'n sour, fruit bread, nice balance and depth.

M: Light to moderate body is creamy. Moderate to high carbonation is a little prickly.

D: Drinkability is quite good.

Derek, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of Bighuge
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%

Bottle says: "Best Before: 27-11-05"

Murky looking burgandy tone. Thin light brown head. Lace is stringy and sparse. Strong aroma of vinegar, brown sugar and blackberries. The acetic acid is dominating though. Smell reminds me of Easter Egg Coloring time. Now on the buds, I don't get the expected blast of acidity. Rather a nice blance of sweet and sour. Though the scale tips in favor of the sweet nuances. Sweet cherry juice. Brown sugar. Molasses. Tart black berries. A slight bit of rice vinegar. Quite enjoyable. The mouthfeel is more carbonated than most other Flanders styles I've enjoyed, but it's compatible with the beer. It's not overly so carbonated. Alcohol is absent in the flavor. There's really a nice little tug of war between sweet and sour in this beer that I like. Good stuff.

Bighuge, Dec 21, 2005
Photo of AlexJ
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%

I've dubbed this brew to be Dutchesse Light, which in many ways it is. Georgous garnet brown body puffs up a fantastic 3 finger head the color of oats, sticky lace honeycombs my tulip.

Aromas of funky tart cherries, vinegar, feet (yes I like drinking feet), dry oak, leather, decaying wood, and earth make this an unusual yet appealing brew to behold.

Flavor sweeter than expected with sweet/tart cherry, green apple, barnyard funk, watered down cider vinegar, bubblegum, dry wood, and prune.

Mouthfeel is light and airey in spite of the medium body. Very slick tecture and huge drinkability. The most sessionable and approachable beer I've had of this style.

AlexJ, Dec 14, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%

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.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 24, 2005
Vichtenaar from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
88 out of 100 based on 354 ratings.