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Vichtenaar | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Very Good
432 Ratings

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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 432 |  Reviews: 225
Photo of musicforairports
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours as the best looking Flanders beer I've ever had--the head sticks around forever and leaves some great lacing.

Smell is tart cherries and acetic sourness.

Taste is a lot of tart cherries and little else, a bit restrained, but well-done. Finishes tart but not sour. A bit sweet, but not nearly as much as some of the style. Not a mouth-puckering sour at all, but not an overly sweet one either. A nice in-between. I like it.

Light at first and then a bit creamy on the mouth; it suits the flavors well.

This is really about as drinkable as one of these beers gets. It has all the right qualities and, while it could use more of a sour bite, the way it is makes it tasty and really easy to drink for the style.

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Photo of diablo14
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I approached this beer with some trepidation as i'm not a fan of Rodenbach Grand Cru and I expected this to be of like nature. While it is in many ways as you'd expect, I found this beer to be much more to my liking.

I love the dark ruby color and bursts of CO2 of this beer, not so enarmoured with the distinct lack of head. Style points lost as a result.

My knock on RGC is that it's too vinegary and tart. This beer had hints of the same. The vinegar like tones were especially present on the nose (a slight drawback) but the flavour was balanced with a sweetness that showed elements of morello cherries and apple. It's reminiscent of Turkish sour cherry juice, but with a delicious dry and bitter finish of great length. It is all underpinned by a subtle earthy yeasts.

It is very light and crisp in the mouth, showing characters of frizzante, which acts as a perfect counterpoint between the sweet and the tart.

It's very refreshing, complex yet approachable for the style, and is excellent with a range of soft cheeses.

Vichtenaar may not be the best interpretation going around, but it's certainly the most enjoyable FRA i've had the pleasure of drinking.

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Photo of WillCarrera
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best before date of 5/8/11 on the back of the bottle, so this particular bottle is maybe a couple weeks past its prime, but it's been in my fridge since then, so we'll see. Poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a dark, almost cola reddish-brown. Only a bit of light makes it through when held up, revealing deep ruby hues. Vigorous carbonation produces a bubbly tan head that quickly dimishes down to a thin layer.

S- Definitely has a bit of a sour, wild yeast funk to it. Also picking up on some sweet fruits, cherry and maybe apple.

T- Has considerable sourness but finishes on more of a sweet, cherry fruit side. Oaky flavors lend it a more alcoholic, wine character, it tastes surprisingly alcoholic for being only 5.10% ABV. Some light, bready, sugary malts are also there. The sweetness on the end becomes almost cloying as you progress through the bottle, the oak aging doesn't help, it ends up producing a sort of sherry dessert wine aftertaste that lingers on your palate for longer than it should.

M- Medium bodied, good carbonation, crisp and refreshing.

O- A mediocre beer, although I can't fairly say if this is because of the brew itself or because it's past expiration. A bit too sweet for my liking, I would have liked to see the sour notes picked up in the nose more developed in the taste. Next time I'm craving a Flemish Red I'll probably go with Rodenbach Grand Cru or Duchesse de Bourgogne instead.

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Photo of Erish
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 11.2 oz. bottle into a Belgian tulip glass. Best by 19-10-08... which I assume means this beer is way, way past it's peak. I will review again if/when I get a fresher example.

A: clear, dark reddish brown color, very thin head falls into a decent cap with decent Belgian lace.

S: overripe fruit, funk, some spice.

T: overripe fruit, funk, some spice.

M: medium-bodied, viscous texture, low carbonation.

O: I was disappointed to discover just how old this beer was. Hopefully a fresher example will show better than this did.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
2.53/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer is ruby and brown hued, with a thin, wispy head that leaves virtually no lacing. The aroma sends off alarm signals upon the initial whiff. Sweet cherries, alcohol, and an acetone-like off scent. The flavor is equally disappointing. No lactic, sour, barrel, funk notes, or anything pleasant for that matter. The beer was too sweet, and basically a mess. Not a good example of a Flanders red ale, a style of which I am particularly fond.

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Photo of Avagadro
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Vichtenaar boasts a cedar color topped with a cream colored head. Lacing is minimal, and retention could be a tad stronger.

S: Bouquet is reminiscent of fortified wine, with deep notes of raisins, prunes, and black cherries.

T: Flavor is perfectly balanced between sweet and sour, without any clashing. Sweet marsala, Pedro Ximenez, and black cherries are merried with toffee and vanilla. very impressive.

M: Creamy, light, and ever so slightly sticky on the finish.

O: One of the better Flanders brews I've come across yet. Unlike the Duchess, this brew exhibits a harmonious interaction between sweet and sour, with each complementing the other's characteristics. Great brew!

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Photo of mdfb79
2.68/5  rDev -31.6%
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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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 mL bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Pours a dark brown with a hint of orange color. Large off-white head despite a careful pour. Substantial surface foam even an half hour after pouring.

Smell - Sour cherry smell. A bit of a vinegar smell behind it and maybe some sweetness.

Taste - A tart flavor with cherries. Not an overpowering sourness at all. A bit of lingering sweetness, but not cloying at all.

Mouthfeel - Doesn't feel as light as 5.1% at all. Only slightly thin in the finish. Medium carbonation helps keep it from feeling too heavy, though.

Overall - I'm not the best judge of this style, but it's certainly better than other versions I have had. The sweetness is just barely enough without becoming overpowering. Not overly sour, just tart.

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a Porterhouse flute. Bottles says "best before 22-09-05". Five+ years old? Let's see how it's held up...

A: Pours a deep rusty red with a spritzy soda-like head.

S: Vinous and sour. Notes of vinegar and funk.

T: Much sweeter than the nose implies. Not cloying, but contains a fine wine-like sweetness. Finishes dry and tart.

D: Much more complex than the 5.1 ABV implies and very interesting.

Overall: This is a very tasty Flander's Red that held up to the age beautifully. It's a bit on the sweet side for the style, but still very tart and a bit sour. Tasty stuff!

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.71/5  rDev -30.9%
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.

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Photo of Knapp85
2.78/5  rDev -29.1%
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 RTJakarta
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice amber red with not much of a head, and no real lacing either.

Smell doesn't give much sour off of it. A nice ripe cherry tartness is the main scent to me. Perhaps some notes of vinegar.

Taste isn't much different. Tartness overpowering, with a semblance of vinegar. Smooth and pretty tasty, but no sourness to speak of.

Lively carbonation going on. Feels kinda good, man.

Overall, it's pretty average. A nice tartness, but a lack of any real sour elements that you should be looking for in a FRA IMO. Worth a try, anyways.

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Photo of cooch69
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours a glowing deep amber red with some rich mahogany brown. Pretty small head only about a finger high however it sticks to the sides like a champion.

Nose is vinegary sourish candied apples and sweet malt.

Taste comes through first with vinegar and sour character. Sour candy apples and cherries come through finally ending with a bready maltiness. Overall pretty sweet from start to finish. Slightly syrupy mouthfeel.

Pretty easy to drink, very inricate.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a dark amber with ruby highlights and a finger of sudsy tan head.

Smell -- Red wine vinegar and cherries are most prominent with some malt sweetness.

Taste -- Really fruity and malty-sweet up front, but then tempered with red wine vinegar and tart cherry. Not too much oak detected.

Mouthfeel -- Light-bodied with lively carbonation.

Drinkability -- Pretty good. Definitely worth choosing over Duchesse De Bourgogne, the brewery's better known Flanders Red.

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Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Murky brown with pretty crimson highlights. Loose, foamy collar with very little head, just a large island of bubbles surrounded by some wisps. A swirl leaves some skinny tendrils of lacing.

Familiar notes of tart cherry, green apple, very slight vinegar, with a strong, distinct sweetness like maple sugar that really binds everything & curls up nicely.

Sweet & sour cherry up front, that maple sweetness but much more subtle, a little oaky dryness, ending with rich cherry candy. A little bit of sweet vinaigreete in the aftertaste.

Smooth, tart mouthfeel but not puckering or too acidic at all. For so little head, this feels nice & velvety.

Not the most complex example of the style I've had, but very enjoyable. A good "every-day" Flanders red, easy drinker.

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Photo of drewba
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A - Rusty ruby with a small cream colored head - small bubbles ftw!

S -Sweet, sugary and funky vinegar.

T - Quite sweet but not cloying or overwhelming. A touch tart and sour with high apple and cherry fruityness. Most flavors were muddled by the oak - everything but the fruit sweetness seemed muted.

M - medium bodied with lowish carbonation.

D - The highly sweet aftertaste is keeping me from wanting more. The vinegar has an unusual tinge to it, which will also keep me from reaching for more.

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Photo of harrymel
3.29/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes on 07/11/10.
$4.50 for 12oz @ Jim's Homebrew in Spokane, WA.
Poured from bottle to Sam Adams sig glass.

A: Good burnt tan appearance with 1/4" head which is loosely packed and consistently replenished by the constant ribbons rising from the glass. Ale color is a light ruby.

S: Slightly sweet and sour apple skins. Light olive scent. Citrus, fruits and Sweet grains.

T: Toasty, nutty, spice, fruit. Medium sweetness with notes of raisin, oats, sour cherries. Pleasant.

M: Medium-light body with creamy yet drying feel. Good burn from carbonation with a feel that glides over tongue.

D: I found this a hair mellow for a flemish, but enjoyed nonetheless. Need to pick up a couple more bottles and age 'em to see if the tart grows on me. Worth a go ahead.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into a Duvel tulip. Poured reddish-brown (similar to tea) with a minimal off-white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt and sour funk. The flavor was of sweet malt, tart, sour, and subtle fruit. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this brew was quite excellent. Really glad that Ed at The Community Tap suggested that I give this one a little while back. Very nicely balanced flavor and good aroma without doubt. Actually mine and my buddies second favorite brew out of all the sours we had this past weekend. A must try for any sour fan out there without a doubt.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle purchased in Boston 2 weeks ago. The back label says "Vichtenaar is West Flemish red-brown ale matured in oak casks, has a fruity palate, pleasant sour flavor and refreshing finish." Best by 22/04/2012 so everything's cool.

It pours dark ruby brown color, very clear, with a light tan sticky foam and lots of lace. The aroma is a cherry/vinegar mix, not as much cherry as I'd like. Same in the flavor, tart and cidery, flavors I normally like but for some reason they're not working in this one. A little sweet in the aftertaste.

Decent carbonation and body. Overall this is OK but not worth the $5+ for an 11.2oz bottle.

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Photo of megahurts4
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Verhaeghe Vichtenaar

Appearance: Light brown, medium head, and some good lacing.

Smell: Vinegar and a bitter sourness.

Taste: Sweet tart start, slight malt, and cherries.

Mouthfeel: Medium and sour.

This brew reminds me of Russian River Consecration, but in a much, much milder form.

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Photo of Parrotshake
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into it's own glass, it presents a medium, slightly cloudy brown with red highlights. Thin tan cap does not linger.

Malty smell under all the vinegar and hints of cherries. A bit of green apple peel. The kind of thing that makes you want to quit smelling it and sip it now.

Malt-forward for a Flanders Red. Big flavors of balsamic vinegar and green apples with a little salt sprinkled on them. Not especially sour - crisp, savory. Great malt backbone - very round and soft. Wow. Oaky notes, but not a lot of them. Less complex than any other beers of the style I have had, but so straightforward and to the point - not the assault on the senses that Rodenbach Grand Cru is, not as sweet-sour as Ducchesse - it is what it is, and you will almost certainly be OK with that.

Mouthfeel on the lighter side of medium, carbonation is medium-to-high. Gentle on the palate and refreshing but still full-flavored. I could drink this any time of the day. Probably a great breakfast beer with omelette and sausage or something. Need more.

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Photo of mwagner1018
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep amber brown maple syrup color, with a nice scarlet hue. Solid 2 fingers of frothy off white head into a goblet. Light scattered foamy lacing.

S- Cherry notes with deep vanilla, and significant very nice caramelized tart cider apple notes.

T- Tart crisp apple, sour cherry, clean vanilla and oak. Light deep fruit sweetness present as blended berries, blueberry, raspberry, cherry, and grape. Amazing depth with the light sweet note up front, followed by the vanilla and followed by a clean tart finish.

M- Light body, with clean carbonation that tingles and delivers the flavors perfectly.

D- Great clean depth, fresh and fruity, crisp with a tart drying finish, fantastic beer.

 699 characters

Photo of pweis909
4.72/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appears brown, translucent enough to see my fingers grasped around my glass. Thin foam disappears rapidly.

Aroma is initially acetic, vinegar, giving way to malic, apple cider.

Taste is sour up front, sweet in the middle, and sour gain in the finish. The sour notes are definitely reminiscent of cider, only a bit sharper, especially in the finish. The fleeting nature of the sweetness makes it difficult to nail down. It is caramel, almost seems very rich, except for that sour finish.

Mouthfeel seems perfect for this beer, and seems to change in the mouth, thin initially, than begins to feel like it coats the mouth, only to be cleansed by the sour finish, that creates a lingering burn on the tongue.

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Photo of smcolw
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
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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Vichtenaar from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 432 ratings
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