Vichtenaar - Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Not Rated.

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very good

364 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 364
Reviews: 215
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 12.56%
Wants: 31
Gots: 19 | 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
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Ratings: 364 | Reviews: 215 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of goochpunch
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of WesWes
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Photo of TheEclecticGent
4.68/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of texashammer
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Sephiroth
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of mntlover
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Derek
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Bighuge
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of AlexJ
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Photo of Brent
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burgundy red. Sweet/tart, apple cider vinegar, a touch of musty funkyness, both sweet and sour cherries, fuzzy carbonation and a little cane sugar all swirling together in a riot. For all the flavors going on, this still seemed to have a bit less depth than others of the style I've had.

Photo of TastyTaste
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

350 mL bottle best by November 27, 2005. Dark maroon body, shows off a lot of red shades in the darkness, creamy off white head, leaves good lace. Smell is very sour, funky and tart. This being my first Flanders Red, I have nothing to go against except what I have seen from the Oud Bruins. It does have a lot of the same characteristics of that style. Tase is funky and intense, but does have a fruitier aspect than the Oud Bruins. A very tart and interesting beer, I would like to have tried this up against another Red, but there aren't that many available here.

Photo of Goldorak
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark red with brunette highlights, with a diminutive ring of lace.

Smell: A little less balsamic that duchesse de bourgogne, the oaky, vanilla vapors come through nicely in the nose, followed by a sweetness that reminded me of white chocolate.

Taste: Less acidic than most flemish sours I've had before, but with a stronger bite in the end. Sounds a little contradictory, but that how it tasted to me...The oak comes through nicely in the aftertaste. Like a good quality aged balsamic vinegar. I almost like it as much as Rodenbach grand cru.

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of tjd25
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pillowy smooth head, lasting on a pretty brown mahogany color body. The smell immediately shows the typical Flemish character, sour and wooden. The taste shows more roundness, with the tart citric aspect being balanced by sweet fruity notes and a wooden and very slightly chocolaty character. The mouthfeel is clean, very round and creamy, quite enjoyable, with the carbonation that nicely brings fresh lemony notes. Quite drinkable.

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

From Notes: Dark/light ruby red depending on the light of the day. Small fizzy head is not too impressive and does not provide nice lacing. Aromas are all balsamic vinegar, dark raspberries, cherries, and some lactic sour funk as well. Taste follows suit with some very sour acidic notes and some lactic chalkiness as well. Totally suitable to a Flemish red or bruin, and I happen to love it. Not the most complex in this style but certainly nice enough and totally comparable to the other 3 or so flemish reds from this Belgian brewery. Mouthfeel is slick and acrid, but somehow likeable and drinkability remains good.

Photo of ypsifly
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz poured into a tulip. The best before date on the back label is smudged, but I know its sometime this year.

Tarnished copper that is slightly hazed with a big head that is light tan and is supported by lots of champagne like bubbles. Very sticky with great retention. Good lookin' brew!

Smells funky and tart. Cherries mixed with crab apples that were dehydrated and then left out in a dank basement. As it warms a bit, the apple aromas become more pronounced while the tangy notes go up a notch. Complex and mouthwatering.

The taste starts off juicy with the above mentioned fruits making a good showing. The tartness builds up, but yields at the midpoint, then its back to the juice. Very thirst quenching.

The mouthfeel is on the light side which I feel is appropriate given the fruity nature of this brew. Anything more would give it an unwanted syrup texture. I could session this beer easily. Especially if I had a nice platter of cheeses and tangy fruits in front of me.

I don't normally like beers that are tangy or have any fruit nuances. This is my first Flanders Red, and I'm going back to the store this week to pick up other examples from this style.

Photo of santoslhalper
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearence: Pours an incredibly attractive red-brown hue with a nice bubbly beige head that sticks around for a bit.

Smell: The smell is a pleasently sour one, with strong fruity notes that lend a hand to the overall complexity.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Sweet and sour cherry and peach flavors blend with oak, creating a light, but complex, thirst quenching flavor. The aftertaste really showcases the oak, but has a tiny astringent taste to it. The mouthfeel is thin and bubbly, without any real texture.

Drinkability and Overall: Out of the 3 beers I've had from this brewery, this one is in the middle. Better than the Echte Kriekenbier, but definitly not close to the Duchesse. This an enjoyable beer I'd reccomend trying once, but not buying a whole case of.

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

Pours a dark ruby brown with little to no head. No lacing. Smell of cherries, but not too much and not much else going on in the nose. Taste is an unexpected sweet. Shouldn't this style be sour? Sure there is a hint of the sourness, but taste is dominated by a carbonated cherry juice flavor. Not unpleasant, but this is more like a fruit lambic. The sweetness tends to make this feel fuller than some Flanders reds. However, the complexity isn't there. Easy to drink. The spouse thought it was sour, but she had just had strawberries. I'll stick with the Goundenband on-tap at CAH.

Photo of Mitchster
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$2.99 for a 11.2 oz bottle. 5.1% ABV. Best by 16/06/05.

Pours out to a lightly cloudy deep burgandy, forming a large soapy khaki head with very good retention and gorgeous sheets of lacing. Carbonation is moderately strong. The aroma is pungent from an arm's length, pungent with the nauseating smeel of malt vinegar...this is not just a pleasant subtlety but an overwhelming stench, like dirty gym shoes doused in vinegar. Sweet candied fruits and darker fruits appear with swirling but is overpowered by the vinegar....this is really a mixed bag of aromas. Taste starts with a cola-like syrupy sweetness and mouthfeel followed by pungent vinegar flavor, although it is not bitter or overly acidic. Candi sugar is noticeable and adds a simple yet pervasively strong syrupy sweetness. The bitterness is minimal and the finish is of sweet and sour plum sauce (which I don't care for). Very odd characteristics and it tastes better if you plug your nose at first. This beers opens up like no other...the taste changes completely as it warms and nearly becomes enjoyable. As it is, this one is a challenge to the senses.

This is a mixed bag...I love Flemish Ales and Oud Bruins but this is like a mishmash of vinegar and's too diametric and the flavors aren't cohesive. I'd pass on this one again.

Photo of bnuttz
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a burgundy red color with a very small and fizzy head. The smell is initially acidic and sharp. Some sweetness from the malts follows afterwards. Its a nice caramel sweetness. Taste is initially sweet upfront, but then the tartness kicks in. It is a vinegar like acidness. Some raspberry like tartness is definitely there. Not much of the cherry flavor and aroma that I picked up on the tap version of this. A lot more caramel flavor here too. Mouthfeel is nice for the style. Quite tart. I could drink a couple of these from the bottle but many more from the tap.

On Tap differences: Not nearly as sweet, more tart, but not like vinegar, more cherry flavor, Very drinkable, remeniscent of a wine. The tap version would get a rating of at least a half point higher

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep nut brown with hints of ruby, 1/4 inch khaki head with lots of fine lacing. Smell is fruity and sour. Tart cherrry and vinegar.

Puckering and sweet. Lightly oaky with hints of vanilla. More sweet than sour. Could use a bit more sour to balance the sweet but lots of flavor. Full bodied with a lightly sour aftertaste. A pretty good Flanders red.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Photo of maltydog
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at Monk's in Philly - only my second visit and it just keeps getting better! 11.2 oz. bottle. 5.1% abv. Appearance - dark brown w/ little head. Aroma - balsamic vinegar w/ a distinctly malt background. I must say this one took me by total surprise. I was expecting a tart, sour aroma, but vinegar? Taste - malty sweetness up front balanced out by the aforementioned balsmic vinegar quality. Mouthfeel - very thin, but drinkable. I know my review sounds somewhat negative to this point, but it's more from my incredulity than from my lack of enjoyment of this beer. I have to say this was the most unusual, yet enjoyable, beer I have ever tasted. A drinking quality balsamic vinegar is produced and used as an digestif. I have never tried this, but I have to assume that it would be similar to Vichtenaar. Try this unique taste experience if you get the chance.

Photo of granger10
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I haven't had many flanders red ales so I don't really know how to compare this to style, I might change the rating after trying a few more out.

Appearance: Deep, dark red that looks purple when not held to light. Sticky, light tan head that fades to a small layer above the liquid. A few bubbles come to the top.

Smell: Reminds me instantly of communion wine and its hard to get past that. Very, very winey. Somewhat grape juicey as well and some yeast notes but the communion wine aroma is mainly what I'm getting.

Taste: Begins sour but the sourness is almost immediately offset by a sweetness thats akin to light chocolate. Lots of fruits settle in after that. The dark cherries become really flavorful here then some red grapes and tarty apples. Tannins loom large. Finish has a yeast tart/dryness and lingers. Not really acidic though which I thought it might be considering the sourness.

Mouthfeel: I really liked the combination of sweet and sour and how they played off each other here. I know that some would like their Flanders Reds more sour but I like the balance presented here.

Drinkability: I was satisfied after having one but it was still an easy one to drink.

I liked this beer, I liked this style, I'm definitely going to try to get more into it once I can find more examples. Unfortunately west mich is lacking in options. I bet this one would go really well with some flavorful Italian food.

Vichtenaar from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
87 out of 100 based on 364 ratings.