Vichtenaar | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

very good
425 Ratings
no score
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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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Ratings: 425 |  Reviews: 223
Photo of drpimento
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

ooo this is good. Like exotic. Sweet, tart, earthy and supremely delicious. Poured with a nice light tan head and a little lace. Color is a clear mahoganey. Aroma is sour with floral, spicey, and caramel highlights. Flavor is even better: tart at first, immediately thereafter sweet with a shroud of earthiness. Body is very good with carbonation likewise. Finsih is a bit sweet tart and not too heavy. Not exactly a session beer, but very easy to reorder after the first.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz single from Wilburs in Ft. Collins, around $6. 24-07-09 best before date...still tastes fine to me.

A: Dark red, verging on brown, almost purple in color when held to the light. Huge cream colored head, two inches worth, really dense, and rocky as well. Excellent retention.

S: Funky, medicinal, slight barnyard, smells quite acidic. Sour sour cherries, also has some definite red wine hints, I don't know my wine very well, but smells like something my parents used to drink, but better.

T: Slightly tart, funky cherries and sweet malt all play together nicely. Not as over the top sour as I had expected. Caramel and fruits blend really nice, and balance this one out. Slightly metallic though, and that hurts the overall score. Hint of bitter noble hops way in the back, not very present. Slightly woody too from the barrels, not really a vanilla, just more of a sawdust in the mouth kind of taste, not really dominating but is there. Nice beer.

M: Thin, crisp, extremely carbonated, dry, and goes down quite easily. Hits all the notes it should.

D: Easy to drink, while not the best sour beer I've ever had, I can definitely trace the roots of beers like La Folie to this. Excellent beer, I will definitely seek this out again, as well as try the Kriek version.

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Photo of Nick3
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous burgundy colored beer forms a 2 cm head in my Chimay chalice. Nice lacing blankets the glass. Nose is fruity, ripe with cherries and notes of vinegar and malt. Taste is a bit tart with mild sourness. Very smooth and light bodied, perfect carbonation. Mellow maltiness balances the beer throughout. Easy to drink and refreshing beer that vanishes quickly and leaves you wanting more.

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Photo of mtrentm
4.67/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

A: This flanders red pours a nice coffee brown with hints of red tones to it when held to the light. The head disipates leaving a nice tannish white thin layer of foam with great lacing.

S: The aroma on this beer is amazing! I get a hint of burnt sugar, tones of sour cherries, a little hint of vinegar, & a bit of musky woodiness in the background.

T: This is probably the most flavorful beer I've had in awhile. A very complex beer with flavors of granny smith apples, raspberries, sour cherries, with a nice spicy, woody finish.

M: The mouthfeel on this beer is almost like a champagne...nicely carbonated leaving your palate dry and clean.

D: This is a very drinkable flanders red, if you're into these styles of beer. I like the fact that there isn't a whle lot of vinegar flavors, just a hint in the nose.

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Photo of alovesupreme
3.82/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer has a best by 07 date on back of bottle.
Poured into a Lindemans flute, this beer has great lacing and fantastic head retentiuon. A dark reddish brown color dominates. The beer has lots of sediment floating in which is not ideal.
Smells sour and acidic. Beer also smells of cherry.
A tart cherry character dominates along with some sour acidic characters. Initial taste is very pleasant but aftertaste is of vinegar and hints at Ketchup.
Full mouthfeel with great carbonation.
A good beer. I would really enjoy this beer if it did not have the vinegar aftertaste.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I have no clue as to how long you can age these, but I found a bottle dated best by 05. So I guess that means this thing is about 5 or so years old. Since aging is okay for this style, I thik I'll add my review.

Vichtenaar pours a deep reddish brown that is clear with an off white head that dissipates to a thin white head of somewhat large sized bubbles.

The aromas is the strongest sour, vinous, acidic thing I have ever smelled.

The flavor is a complex sweetness up front. Sweet Fruit. Very sweet. Tart Cherries come in late with a sour cherry flavor that pounds the palate. There is an acidic burning on the back of my throat that makes me want to clean with another sip. No sign of hops to be found.
As far as flavor goes, this is the most flavor I think I have ever tasted in a beer. Is this extreme beer?
The wood character comes out as it warms a bit imparting a vanillin oakiness on the tongue. I can only pick up on it after all the tart sour qualities slide off their relentless barage on my tongue.
The complexity of this could fool someone into thinking they were drinking a sparkling wine that weighs in around 13%.

The body is light with light carbonation as well. The mouthfeel is also on the lighter crisp side.

This was probably hands down, the most interesting tasting beer I have had in a long time. It is different. I could imagine this would taste great blended with a triple. Your average beer drinking would probably spit this out and cry foul. Those that don't spit it out and like it would probably seek this out the rest of their life. I am probably one of the few that enjoys and appreciates, but I honestly do not not love this beer.

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Photo of wl0307
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

BB 04/07/09, served lightly-chilled in Rodenbach's slim goblet.

A: dark copper-red with a little purple-ish hues, coming with very mild carbonation and a thin light beige creamy head that settles fast to a thin layer.
S: pungent lactic sourness of delicious dark prune juice as well as sour cherries+strawberries are underlined by rich dark-sugary malts (with a touch of burned sugar). A fine aroma of woodiness stays religiously in the background. Nice and rich.
T: the foretaste is not at all sour as the aroma suggests, pretty smooth in terms of sour-sweet berry jam, rum-soaked raisins, smoked prunes, etc., laced with but a faintly metallic edge, a fast-expanding tinge of dry-ish pale malts, faint suggestion of hops, mild aroma of root licorice, and moderate but ever-lasting brown-malt aroma. The aftertaste, in continuation with what's described above, is remarkable, lightly chewy-tannic and scattered with woody aroma, while in the end it finishes equally clean.
M&D: the restrained, delicate even, level of dry-ish hops and woody, lactic sourness makes this ale a very drinkable and approachable one. The carbonation is mild, the body retains its integrity without going thin at all throughout the drink... this is a very balanced and delicious example of Flemish Oud Bruin to me.

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

Had a bottle at Liberty St. Tavern for a little something different. Appeared a hazy red-brown. Everyone is right, this beer is a lot like the Duchesse. In fact I'm not even sure how it varies. It's sweet and smooth at first, followed by a sharp, vinegar/sour tang. The malts have subtle berry fruit flavors and the beer finishes on a tangy note. Worth a try if you're into the style.

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Photo of tigg924
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: reddish/brown, small head, small carbonation, clear

Smell: little oak, big sour fruits, granny smith apple

Taste: I think it matches the smell

Mouthfeel: this one plays nice on the palatte--going between a little sour and a little sweet--can feel the carbonation on the tongue

Drinkability:coming off of Duchesse and Echte Kriek this one does not touch the same sour tones--although I do like it..A fine example of the style, I will look for it again

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Photo of birchstick
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - pours a dark reddish/brown color with a very fluffy, cloud-like head.

S - smelled very sweet and malty. After multiple smells, vinegar dominated and there were hints of some sweet oak.

T - Wow is all I have to say. This is my first Flemish ale and I was pretty surprised. Starts off very sweet, almost like balsamic vinegar. There is also noticeable sweetness to it-tastes kind of like grape but the balsamic vinegar taste dominates it. There is also a light oak finish to it.

M - pretty thin mouthfeel to it, and very smooth

D - I couldn't finish this beer--the vinegar got to me after a while. That's not to say that this beer isn't worth drinking, it was just too much for me.

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Photo of drseamus
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful garnet body with a nice tan head. Nice steady stream of bubbles rises off the top but ultimately can't sustain the large head and it falls leaving tiny hills around the center and some stuck to the sides.

S: Wow. This smells amazing. Vinegar coupled with cherries and other ripe to over-ripe fruits. The balance between vinegar and sweet is dead on.

T: The vinegar which was present in the aroma is almost imperceptible in the flavor. The cherries are right up front though providing some nice tartness on top of some underlying sweetness. Finishes with a deep tart and bitter note.

M: Surprisingly this is not a super light bodied beer. It is somewhere between light and medium and very smooth. The carbonation doesn't really play a part in the mouthfeel.

D: This is a great Flanders red. It could use some more sour/tart/vinegar in the flavor but it still tastes great.

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Photo of roadhouse
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a Duvel glass.

Appears a dark mahogany color with a massive cream colored head that eventually settles to one inch. Some big sheets of lace were left on the glass.

Aroma is of ripe fruits, tart cherries and plums come to mind. There's a moderate vinegary component.

Taste is sweet at first with the tart cherry flavor entering afterward along with some green apple tartness. Vinegar is not as noticaeable in the flavor profile, it's more in the background.

Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied, and comes across very smooth and creamy.

I just can't get enough of the Flanders Red style. This was another excellent example, though not quite up to part with Duchesse or Rodenbach.

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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.

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Photo of Floydster
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 ounce bottle purchased from Liquid Solutions in Oregon for four dollars, consumed 1/10/09, reviewed from notes, poured into my New Belgium snifter, color is a ruby red and medium brown mix, one inch foamy off white head that lasts a good amount of time, leaves some lacing at first, aroma is made up of vinegar, vanilla, oak, sour apples, cherries, and , flavor is rather wine-like but with more vanilla, starts off with sweet berries, sweet malt in the middle, finish is slightly acidic with apples and dry with some lingering oak, sweet, slightly tart, and dry mouthfeel, medium bodied, moderate level of carbonation, could drink a few bottles of this, on the sweeter side for a Flanders and took away from its drinkability a bit, did not really know what this was before ordering it, just saw that it was an intepretation of this style I had not tried and that was enough, might drink again in the future, worth trying

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Photo of Beaver13
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle, best by 12/27/08. Pours a dark reddish brown with a creamy off white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sour tart fruits and wood with some bready/biscuity malt in the background and maybe a little oxidization.

The flavor is tart and sour fruits that are offset by some chocolate malt, wood, sweet sugar and dates. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a little watery.

Overall, an OK sour, that's a bit pricey. There's some sourness but I don't think it blends really well with the other flavors.

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Photo of csmiley
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SiriusAth for sending this want my way.

A - Pours on the dark side of brown with just a hint of cloudiness that is present. In the light there is some transparency. A very gentle pour got about half inch of tan head. It is able to stick around for a couple minutes before it disappears. Lacing is all around the glass.

S - Aroma is pungent and musty at first. Sour fruit comes through pretty quickly - green apple and cherry. A healthy dose of malt brings up the tail end. Mostly granola and dark bread is what I'm getting but they are mild compared to the other aromas.

T - Tart with hints of young green apple. Very tart. Maybe some cherry and raisin in there to back it up. Some dark malt flavors come and go - sweet dark bread. This is what I would imagine a rum / brandy flavored fruit cake would taste like. It is actually very appealing. Some yeast and alcohol are barely noticeable towards the end.

M - Medium to light bodied with a lively carbonation level that works well with this beer. Finish is nice and tart. It sticks around for just the right amount of time.

D - Drinkability is very good for this beer. The aroma could use some work and that is the only real flaw that I can find. The flavor is where this brew lets you know what it's all about. Not enough can be said for this category. Very pleasant and surprising. This is an easily recommended brew for the style.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle sampled on 09/26/08 at Night of the Funk. Pours a dark brown with a tan head. Aroma of raisins and fig. Flavor of raisin bread with a sour finish. Wow, this beer is quite tasty! I love its breadiness. I wish I could get some more of it.
7/4/8/4/15 (3.8/5)

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Photo of kkipple
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank a bottle of this at the world-famous Brick Store in Atlanta. From notes:

A. Very clear ruby red with dark brown highlights... or is it the other way around? A tiny off white head clings to the edges of my glass, while bubbles rise to the surface and die immediately. Pretty.

S. Now we're talking! Tart cherry sweetness with a touch of vinegar, oak, and lactic acid. Strangely "cool" smelling, not minty but... hard to describe. Earthy and woodsy oak shines through. Good, but not great...

T. But zounds! A sip reveals a most superb brew. Sweet, smooth sour-tart dried cherries, fresh oak, (positively gnaw-able!) and soothing, bold, dry sour finish that avoids being acidic or harsh. Vichtenaar is actually easy to drink, and the finish is long, sweet and very well put together. Superb.

M. Thin, low carbonation, enormous sweet-cherry oak aftertaste that lingers long and fades just as you are craving more.

D. Very high for the style. This is the beer I'd hand to someone who had never had a Flanders Red.. If only we could acquire this brew in my home state...

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

pours a deep dark brown with cherry wood undertones, creamy, bubbly white head

rich, sour, pungent malty aroma with definite sour notes, slight woodiness as well as slight almond notes

tart apples with slight oakiness, smooth malt, slight brown sugary notes, touch of cinnamon spice

light bodied, not as over the top sour as I prefer, but very smooth and with a solid malty body, a very balanced flemish ale

smooth, sour, malty, oaky, its a very crisp and refreshing ale that reminds me why I love this style. better with every sip and just unlike any other, I look forward to every new sip

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Photo of corby112
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark brown with burgundy edges and a thin head. Aroma is a bit funky/ sour with lots of oak, wood and vanilla. This is an extremely well balanced beer that is very smooth. The againg in oak gives the roasted malts a perfect balance of sour and sweet. Flavor also consists of oak, vanilla, cherry and berries. Slightly dry refreshing finish.

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Photo of rye726
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is an interesting ale. It pours a rich brown with a lacy tan head. The nose has sweet malts, sour fruit and a unique barnyard funkyness. Taste has a big rotting wood presence with the sweet malts. Not too much tartness. Crisp body drinks well. A nice beer.

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Photo of woemad
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle purchased about a month ago at Jim's Homebrew in Spokane for $3.78. My first "sour" beer, and I freely admit, I don't have any frame of reference here. "Best before 27-11-05." Kind of wish I'd noted this before I bought it.

Poured (into a St.Bernardus goblet) a dark brown color that took on a strong rubyish hue when held up to the light. Thin, tight tan head that dropped quickly, but was easily re-agitated to life.

My first impression upon sniffing this from the bottle was,"Great. A bottle of vinegar." Fortunately, once poured into the glass, it became more promising. A tart, cherry-like fruitiness was detected, along with the previously noted vinegar tones, which were thankfully dialed back further than I initially feared they would be.

Starts off with a mildly tart apple flavor, which is then quickly matched up with a tart, sour cherry taste. In the background is a razzy vinegar flavor, but it's not too intrusive. There's more sweetness than I expected, but it's nowhere near cloying, and actually seems to complement the tart, sour aspects. Sharply dry at the swallow.

Softly carbonated, with a coating yet acidic mouthfeel.

I like it. I have no clue whether this is right for the style, but I enjoyed it. Not really sure what I would pare this with, but it's working well as an apertif. I'm not even sure there's another beer of this style available around here, but if I come across one, I'll check it out to compare it to this.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.38/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

It takes different strokes to make the world go around, and contrary to the good reviews here and the recommendation of Nasser at Beer Mania to give this a try, I didn't really care for it. I love sour, and this beer had sour in spades, but it also had a kind of cloying sweetness that I found unpleasant and difficult to drink.

It poured black with a fine sticky head. Aroma was sour but also offered a pungent vinegar smell which I found unpleasant. Flavor was sour cherry with a very sweet aftertaste that clung to the tip of my tongue. Too sweet and sticky for tastes. Sour = good. Too sweet = bad. Adjudication of the two = not so good.

I would not recommend this beer. I had this bottle at Beer Mania in Brussels.

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Photo of Goliath
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with amber edges that glows crimson in the light. A one inch light tan head forms and quickly dissipates. Poor retention and some bubbley lacing.

The aroma is nice. Certainly the familiar Flanders Red "tart" type aroma arises. This one seems maltier than most. Kind of grainy and hay like with some caramel. Slightly vinegary with some raisins.

The taste is good. Some raisin plays a role, as well as notes of caramel and grain. This one is slightly vinegary, sweet, and tart. On first sip I got some metallic notes, kind of earthy.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated with fine, soft bubbles.

Drinkability is fairly high. This is tasty, and certainly easy to drink.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured in to a goblet.

pours a clear brown/ruby with a thin sticky head.

Smell is jumps out. Grapes, vinegar, and malt are there.

Sharp and sweet with a very sour finish.

The dryness keeps it from being too sour, and makes it very drinkable.

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