Vichtenaar | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

BA SCORE
88
very good
425 Ratings
THE BROS
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VichtenaarVichtenaar
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Belgium
brouwerijverhaeghe.be

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Andreji on 06-25-2003

BEER STATS
Ratings:
425
Reviews:
223
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
12.21%
 
 
Wants:
35
Gots:
35
For Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 425 |  Reviews: 223
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 GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

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 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.

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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 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 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 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, an earthy iron/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 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 zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

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 nickfl
4/5  rDev +1.8%

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 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 Rifugium
1.94/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Overall really gross. Rough and vinegary, dark fruits, more vinegar. Bad off-flavors.

85 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
2.25/5  rDev -42.7%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of dcmchew
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark ruby, huge (more than 3 fingers, didn't manage to pour the whole beer in) bubbly beige head, looking like honeycomb as it pops off to a small cap and sticky lacing, tons of traces.
Smell of vinegar, touch of cherries and caramel, faint barnyard, foreboding a big acidity. Some alcoholic kind of vapors creep up the nostrils.
Sourness and acidity in the start, not extremely fruity (some cherries, apple, pear, lemon), but with a pronounced toasted maltiness with some brown sugar. Some damp wood notes and barnyard funk, not too strong, but delivering a dry grassy/green straw finish. Gets more fruity as you drink it. Aftertaste have some light woody notes, bit of sweetness and a bit of fruit.
Medium body, a bit too carbonated, but it fits nicely.
This was tasty, not one of the extremely sour Flanders reds, but a bit sweeter.

 841 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 Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev +1.8%

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.

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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 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.

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Vichtenaar from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
3.93 out of 5 based on 425 ratings.
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