Vichtenaar | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

very good
426 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: 426 |  Reviews: 223
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.

 260 characters

Photo of gonzo46and2
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this bottle at world of beer on linebaugh in westchase tampa bay.

Pours a burgundy brown with a small head.

Aroma is vinegar, dark malt, apple, smoke, apple and more.

Taste is a cherry sour with apple.

Mouthfeel is sour but soft. Not too overpowering. Carbonation is tickling and soft. Easy to drink

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Photo of Antilochus
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Had this at Delirium Cafe in Brussel. Best before 4/7/2009. Served in a branded cylindrical glass. Really, really red body, foamy white head. Really funky nose, rotten fruit. Palate is less sour than expected, sweet malt, candy sugar, very grainy, mildly acetic, sugary finish.

 293 characters

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

Picked up a bottle recently, labeled best before Drinking it anyway.

Nice red color and great nose that pops out during the pour. Nice mild sour with a nice smoothness. It's not tear your face off sour. It is a nice mellow sour that I'd love to be enjoying some BBQ while drinking.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown/ deep red color with a tannish head. In the aroma, sour dark cherries. In the taste, huge cherries and a big tartness. A sour bite and a medium mouthfeel, with a dry sour cherry aftertaste. Big sour, big cherry, and a good mouthfeel, very nice flemmish red.

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Photo of DrunkenMaster
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Red/Brown color with an tan head that won't go away. This has less balsamic notes than the Duchesse but I can still smell it. Tart cherries and other dark fruits. Taste is vinegar with some sweetness. It starts to get flat and lose some of the tartness towards the end.

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

Let me start out by saying I'm a big fan of Flemish Sour Ales and make an effort to try every one I come across. Poured this sample into a Chimay Goblet which contributed to the quicker evaporation of the lightly tan one finger head. The beer is an attractive brown w/ a red hue to it. The smell is classic cider vinegar but not as strong as Monks Cafe Flemish Sour and nowhere near as strong as Rodenbach Grand Cru. As previously stated by other reviewers, this beer is an impressive juxtaposition btw a classic Flemish Red and an Oud Bruin. Its not as lactic as most serious Flemish Reds but its much more tart than Oud Bruins. I get more of an apple tartness than a cherry tartness with this one. Simply Delicious.

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Photo of kevinglin
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First for me in this style - definitely an acquired taste. Poured clear deep ruby/garnet with an off-white to tan head that stayed around for quite awhile. Very pretty beer.

Funky aroma - I got sour vinegar and fruity, maybe apples, no hops. Taste like nothing I've had, definitely sour as expected, but also got fruit flavors and even some sweet bubblegum. Vinous qualities to the mouthfeel.

Overall, I believe this is a style that needs to grow on you. More like wine than beer. Not easy-drinking or for sessions, but probably a good example of the style, just not a personal favorite for me.

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Photo of punkindrublic50
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Monks, in a side by side comparison to Monks Flemish Red Ale. Extremely tall head after the pour, which quickly dissipated leaving only the sweet/sour very slightly vinegary smell of a good Flemish Red. Taste is fairly similar to the Monks beer, but not quite as sweet and with less of a presence of fruit. In my opinion probably the best sweet/tart ratio of any of the sour beers. Doesn't have as strong of a vinegar taste as say a Rodenbach gives off, but does have some cider vinegar present. As previous reviewers have mentioned it could stand to be more sour, and is definitely lacking in intensity compared to a Rodenbach or some of the lambics. Still, a very tasty beer and definitely recommended to anyone who cares for Flemish Reds.

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

Verhaeghe Vichtenaar! Say that 10 times fast!

As I've said before, Flanders Reds are one of my favorite styles. Love em! This ones not exactly to-style in my opinion. It's a bit sweeter, darker, and richer than I usually like my Flandereseses.

Poured it a wee hard and ended up with a good half a glass of froth. Oh well, it dissolves down fast. Dark mahogony with red highlights.

Sour aroma, but not as much as I would enjoy (or could handle). Brown sugar/molassas and dark fruits.

Bit of cidery vinegar in there, not really turning me off, but its there. No alcohol to speak of. Really a good beer, but with all the sweet and dark sugar notes, it's not what I was expecting when my previous brew was a Rodenbach.

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Photo of Slynger
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The color is murky brown with the barest tinge of orange to it. A very slim, light brown head attempts to rise very slowly.

Sweet caramel smells mixed with sour cherry, red wine, and apple cider vinegar.

Light medium body and very smooth with a moderate carbonation that is unexpected considering the head, and is very soft. Flavor is lighter than I hoped, but still nice. Sugary caramel with a hint of oak in it along with lightly sour red wine fruitiness and apple cider vinegar flavors (though the beer itself is not really acidic or vinegary).

Vichtenaar is a good, but not great, flanders red . . . or brown. I'm not really sure.

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

11.2 oz bottle, best before date 31-07-08. Served in a big wine glass at 57 F/ 14 C.

Attractive deep red-brown color, small light beige head, substantial rings and splatter of lace.

Smells mainly of ripe apples, with some caramel. Some nutty sherrylike oxidization emerges after a few minutes, along with a bit of cured meat. Fairly mild and simple, but the combination of fresh fruity and savory notes is appealing.

Tastes mainly of sweet ripe apple and nutty sherrylike oxidization, with some pronounced bloodlike iron, some mild acidity, and mild leafy bitterness. Tasty and refreshing, although some more acidity would be welcome. Fairly long finish of sweet oxidized apple and iron.

Fine smooth texture and good drinkability. Refreshing.

Good interesting beer. The iron flavor is oddly enjoyable.

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Photo of dreadnatty08
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by 1/19/09, jeez this thing can age!
Pours a dark ruby red color, borderline mahogany with a nice quarter inch of tan head. Aromas start out richly acetic, lots of vinegar, candy sweetness, vanilla, chocolate, oak, cherries, it's gorgeous. On the palate, things continue to develop. The sourness starts out rich and oaky, fruity, spicy phenols, finishing dry and mellow without being overly tart. Enough sweetness there that the tannic astringency in the end is buffered. Overall its an excellent beer, but I think it still falls short of my other favorites in this style.

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Photo of ybnorml
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A clean dark brown ale with deep ruby highlights. Has a small off white head with alittle bit of lace. The aroma has a strong sour malt character with almost a apple cider ( not hard apple cider, but that unfiltered kind you get from orchards) backbone and hints of spices. The taste starts with a sweet and tarts snap on the tongue pushed ahead quickly nice prickly carbonation. The sourness, with hints of apple, grabs at the back of the tongue. Just before the clean and refreshing finish. This one goes down nice and easy.

 526 characters

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

Poured from a bottle at the Brick Store Pub. Pours redddish brown with a ggood initial head that fades to a ring that sticks around. Sour acetic aromas, red wine vinegar like with sweet and somewhat spicy overtones of cinnamon and brown sugar. The taste is sweet and sour with a bitter finish. Quite soft and not all that complex. Soft, gentle mouthfeel. This is a Flanders red with training wheels from the makers of Duchesse de Bourgogne.

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Photo of BiereBlanche
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first introduction to sour ales.
The cap pops with a high-pitched hiss and the carbonation seems lively from the pour. A clear, nice red-chestnut with a bubbly tan head drops to an attractive, light and lacey cover. The nose is pretty clean and mild, but offers a hint of sour and fruitiness. Malts and hops take back seat. It seems to fall somewhere between a Flanders red and brun (as the bottle describes), with more restrained sour than the former and lacking the maltiness of the latter. The flavors are balanced between sweet and sour from start to finish. The complexity falls within a range of sweet and sour fruits - cherry, apricots, peach - as well as some winey flavors. The finish is refreshing with a pleasant impression of the sour flavors. The carbonation that was evident at first is a bit less lively in the mouth and would have added a bit to the medium mouthfeel. A very enjoyable drink, not too complex, but never unbalanced.

 949 characters

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

best before 13-10-06.
I know not all countries list dates the same so I'm not really sure how to interpret this.

a: Body and carbonation resemble a coca-cola. The body is mahogany that turns to ruby when held to the light. Head is cream colored and fizzes out quickly.

s: sweet malt, oak and cherries.

t: Cola-like malt sweetness, cherries, maybe raisins. The sourness is average to low. Good balance, not overly sweet.

m: Carbonation is in line with other flanders ales.

d: Drinkability is good. Its well balanced, though my personal preference is for the more over the top sour versions.
A good beer, recommended.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear but very dark ruby with a light tan head off an aggressive pour. The head falls fast. Nose is a beautiful combination of wood and cherries. Flavor is a great sweetness combined with firm cherry tones. The wood character really meshes with everything else so well that it provides the perfect punctuation. Feel is great. The bubble still kicks me in the back of my mouth after it’s lingered in my mouth for a while. Overall a great drinking experience. Elegant and smooth and well made. Very well worth trying out and having more beyond.

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Photo of letsgopens
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Flemish Red Ale pours a cloudy cedar with a light tan head that holds a good long while. The lace left behind is thick but scattered.

Heavily fermented fruit is evident in the aroma along with some booze. There is definitely a nice funky 'barnyard' character there as well. Dark fruit and some ester-like vinous notes.

Initially the flavor is very crisp and sweet with honey, cherry, and citrus. The sweet fruit fades in to a lingering mellow bitterness. Really well balanced and not nearly as funky as the nose implies.

High carbonation with just a little warmth and a nice juicy vinous quality on the tongue. Surprisingly the booze is detectable despite the low abv. Interesting and appealing.

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Photo of thierrynantes
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sorry but this following comment is in french :

Bière (25 cl) de fermentation haute
Appearance : bière brune, la mousse forme un beau faux col dense
Smell :
Taste and mouthfeel : bière douce, avec des notes de vanille, une bonne acidité en finale
Drinkability : très bonne bière dans le style ale rouge flamande

 319 characters

Photo of kimcgolf
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was not as good as its sister beer, Duchesse De Bourgogne, but was very enjoyable nonetheless. Poured to a reddish orange with decent off white head and good carbonation bubbles. Nose was a strong sour fruit, and the mouthfeel was tangy and tingly, which, like the Duchesse, quickly turned sweet. The finish was the same bittersweet found in the Flemish Sour Duchesse, though not as pronounced.

All and all, a good beer, with many of the same qualities of the Duchesse Flemish Sour, just a little muted in eacah category.

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Photo of Doomcifer
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - clear, reddish amber color with a decent off-white head that sticks around, leaving nice lacing along the glassware after each successive sip.

Smell - Balsemic Vinegarrete, green apples, vinegar, tartness, yet sweet, grapes, ...very complex.

Taste - More balsemic vinegarette, and a wide array of fruits from cherries to tart green apples, to raspberries. Sweet and tart but nothing overpowering. I love the Duchesse but this beer is definitely a tad bit better and a lot more easy drinking than it's cousin.

Mouthfeel - Dry finish, tart, not overly carbonated, medium bodied.

Drinkability - Such a delicious and complex beer and @ only 5.1% abv, I could enjoy a few of these very easily. This beer surprised me because I thought the Duchesse was the cream of the crop when it came to Sour Red Flemish Ales, but I actually enjoy this one more. SUPERB.

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Photo of brdc
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Small capped bottle.

Poured into my Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip, it is clear, dark red, shiny when held against the light, with a nice tan creamy head with great lacing.
Aroma is fruity, yeasty, sugary malts and caramel, and suggests a lot more sourness than you will find.
Perhaps the best balance in all Flanders reds, this one is neither sour and puckering as La Folie, nor sweet as the Duchesse.
Starts fruity and sweet, evolving into caramel, and then some tartness and acidity, as mentioned balancing it quite well but not puckering.
Goes incredibly easy, pleasant and quiet along with the sun coming down; picture perfect!

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - this Flanders Red Ale pours a typical but promising deep red/mahogany with a thick bubbly tan head that laces around the glass quickly

S - the bouquet is of sour cherry notes like that of pie filling, notes of a subtle woodiness harkening to its oak cask maturation, also slight notes of sweetened soy sauce were mentioned in a previous review, skeptical at first, i understand where they were coming from

T - sweet up front, my first thought was that this was sweeter than i expected, then the sour hit for a delightful balance, theres a slight vanilla/oakiness behind the sweet/sour cherry main course, i swear theres even a chocolatey note at the very end, maybe im crazy

M&D - quite easy to down for a sour ale, effervescent on the palate and rather flavorful, one of the more drinkable Flanders Ale, above La Folie, but below the Duchesse (on drinkability that is, not overall quality)

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Photo of Wasatch
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been sitting on this one for over a year.

Best before 07-07-07

Pours a nice dark amber/mahgoney color, nice carbonation, nice little foamy off-white head, some nice sticky lacing to follow. The nose is malty, tangy/sour, some dark fruits (plums,cheeries), and a touch of caramel. The taste is mostly malty, and tangy/sour. The finish is bitter/tangy/dry. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is an awesome little brew, recommended for sure.

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Vichtenaar from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
3.93 out of 5 based on 426 ratings.
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