Vichtenaar | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

very good
222 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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

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Reviews: 222 | Ratings: 419
Photo of santoslhalper
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

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Photo of pentathlete
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.93/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of bnuttz
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
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

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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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.

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Photo of maltydog
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

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Photo of granger10
3.93/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of Andreji
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is quite a decent brew. The pour is quite dark, brownish and rather red when placed onto a light source, with a thin light tan head that leaves a slight lacing and fades leaving a single layer above the fluid.

The smell is quite fruity and sweet, coming at it from sour cherry flavours hiding a slight alcohol feel at the nose.

The taste, quite sweet also reflecting a sour red fruit sensation and barely bitter, if at all. There is also an apple-ish feel, similar to a lambic and a very discrete alcohol perception. At the sides of the tongue there is a slight fruit cola taste. As for the mouthfeel, this certainly utilizes a wide range of your tastebuds as you combine the flavours. There is not too much carbonation and is mainly perceptible at the very beginning. The discrete alcohol undeniably allows you much drinkability, but the considerable sweetness may not be so generous.

Either way, a very tasty brew.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Burgundy brown in color with a very nice, retentive off-white head that went down cleanly.

Smell – The sourness here is very light and the malts are strong for the style. I can pick up a good black cherry aroma, some non-acidic orange juice, and very light lemonade.

Taste – The black cherries come out nicely at the taste. Again, it is not overly sour. The malts from the nose virtually disappear.

Mouthfeel – This one isn’t quite medium-bodied. It has a nice, high-quality carbonation to it and the mild sourness brings it all together.

Drinkability – This can be a harsh style to drink, but the Vichtenaar was mellow and easy going. I’m partial to black cherries so really enjoyed this offering from Verhaeghe.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a bottle at Beer Circus in Croydon.

This Flanders Red Ale poured a clear, almost opaque, red-brown color with creamy, tall, slightly pink foam that persisted and clung to the glass. The smell was lightly sweet and fruity. The taste was very sweet and sugary with a flavor of sour cherries. The mouthfeel was tangy and smooth with medium body and strong carbonation. The sourness and sugar lingered. This was an OK ale, though a bit too sweet for my likes.

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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

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Photo of cerevisiaephilus
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very pretty beer. Really nice deep red/mahogany color. The head is made up of fairly large bubbles, indicative of a light body??, but still leaves a touch of lace on my glass.

The nose is straight up balsamic vinegar. I get a touch of sweet kind of laid back fruity smell too. Not sure what it is. Maybe just a sweet smell if that's possible. Don't get any Brett character at all.

Very strong vinegar flavor, but not overwhelming. Balanced by a sweet finish, maybe a little too sweet for my taste. I'm actually starting to think this is a bit cloying. Actually reminds me a bit of some sweet and sour soup I had at a Chinese restaurant in DC once...not a good memory. Picking up a bit of oak in the finish.

Mouthfeel is hefty. I could use it toned down a notch.

All in all I think its a bit sweet to drink too many of. I'd like to see it dried out a bit.

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Photo of merlin48
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz brown bottle purchased for $2.85 at Wines of Distinction, Abingdon, Virginia. Pours into a tulip glass a clear, dark, ruby/brown body with a 3cm beige head that is long lasting. Exquisite, sheets of lace adorn the glass.

Aroma reveals a tart and fruity nose, with white grapes and cherries up front. Oak wood tones are also prominent.

Very satiny in the mouth, even with the fizzy carbonation. Tartly sour, with some sherry like character, as well.

The taste is tart and sour, with a fruity sweetness that seems to be white grapes and green apples. The oak wood is very noticable here, as well. Finish is slightly dry, with a clean, tart aftertaste.

A very nice Flemish ale. Not overly sweet, and a most enjoyable sipper. Reminiscent of a fine sherry in texture, at times, but more like a Lambic fruit ale in taste.

 835 characters

Photo of marburg
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I must admit; I was surprised I liked this as much as I did, even though this is my favorite style of beer. Oak and vinegar dominate the aroma with hints of cherry and the lobby of a florist. Sweeter, much like Dutchess versus young Rodenbach or something else in that style. More cherry and oak; damn, thats good. Finishes with a mild sour zip and a mild rind-like bitterness when warm. Drinking more reveals hints of brown sugar laced throughout. I could sip on this all evening; I could make a marinade and reduction out of this for a steak; I could put an IV straight in to my arm. I dig it.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured a clear deep, dark, amber brown. The off-white head had a ruby hue and the head lasted to lace the glass and remained fairly effervescent.

The aroma was mainly sour and slightly fruity. A strong oak presence was in the aroma as well.

The flavor was subdued with only slight sourness, not the over the top impression of the aroma. The beer begins just ever so slightly sweet with the sourness when it first hits the palate and then dries out as the sourness increases, but it never overpowers the beer. The flavor is also fruity and has just a hint of chocolate.

The finish was just barely off-dry with a fruity chocolate impression which lasts long into the aftertaste. The body was medium light, probably due to the carbonation.

Very easy drinking. I thought I might ding it for taste and missing complexity, but the longer I savored the beer the more complex the impression became.

11.2 ounce bottle, best before 22-09-05. Purchased in Kroger, Blacksburg, VA.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark reddish-brown with solid 1" head that drops to a thin cover then finally a ring.
Smell is sour, malty, oakey with a hint of sweetness.
Taste follows on with what the smell promises. Nicely sweet & sour (never works in Chinese food but does here), malty, a light cherry taste in the middle contrinuing thru to the end. Well balanced and very drinkable, a medium body, with a medium effervescence all over the tongue, a little like champagne. Pleasant aftertaste that fades evenly, no surprise flavors or bitterness. A very good, drinkable beer in my favorite style.

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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.

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Photo of BierReise
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2oz Bottle Best Before 16/06/05 Poured a clear reddish brown with lots of active carbonation yet leaving no head. Aroma starts off with vinegar followed by a sweet malt and a bit of fruit. Mouthfeel is a high carbonation and very lively. The flavor is a vingary sweet malt blend that I can't decide whether I like or not. The style is relatively new to me so I could be off on my judgement. Overall an interesting ale with maybe a tad too much vinegar for my liking.

 469 characters

Photo of the42ndtourist
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle, in matching glass, at 'T Bruges Beertje ( Bruges, of course).

Pours dark, very dark and thick. Brown highlights, with a tad of red. Head is there to start, kind of a thick foam, but it does fade fairly quickly.

Where to start? everything about this beer is thick. The taste is oud bruin, with an extra bucket of thick and heavy malts added. Sour, cherries, blackberries. Drinkable? Yes, very much so, but just as you wouldn't spend a night drinking Rochefort 10, you won't spend a night drinking this. Fantastic, though. This is right up my alley, to coin a phrase.

 589 characters

Photo of rastaman
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Balsamic, red meat. blood, butter menthol. Intersting, sour cherries, chocolate malt, vineagr. the only thing i don't like about it, is the unpleasant butter menthol undertones, which is found in their Noel, some minerally notes aswell. All round, a pretty nice beer.

 267 characters

Photo of stcules
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

The smell is vinous, with cherry, and a sweet base; some notes of wood. Dark vinous colour, brown foam, persistent.
The taste is sour-vinous, with -berry fruits (raspberry, strawberry).
The body is medium-light, perfect for a very drinkable and refreshing beer like this. Aftertaste strong, fruity an wood.

 308 characters

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Vichtenaar from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
3.93 out of 5 based on 419 ratings.
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