Vichtenaar | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

very good
223 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: 223 | Ratings: 424
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 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 RTJakarta
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
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 +8.1%
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 -7.1%
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%
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 +8.7%
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 -9.7%
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 -16.3%
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 +9.4%
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 -19.1%
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 +0.5%
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 +6.9%
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 +8.1%
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.

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Photo of pweis909
4.72/5  rDev +20.1%
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 +5.6%
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 kbutler1
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle. $3.99 for a 11.2oz bottle. Best before: 19-09-10. Pours a nice looking dark reddish brown color with a fluffy tan head. The aroma is of sweet, sour fruit, cherries and raisins. Very sweet me thinks upon the first sip. Mildly sour and tart and ends rather sugary. Minimal aftertaste of alcohol, like cough syrup. Medium mouthfeel, thought it would be a little lighter. Not a bad beer but not very sour nor did it have a very strong oak taste for being lagered for 8 months.

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Photo of rudzud
3.44/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice Ruby red with half a fingers worth of foam. That being said it just hung around throughout the drinking experience.

S - Sour vinegar. Not getting much other than some sour fruit

T - Like a drinking a carbonated glass of balsamic vinegar. Was really all I could taste was well, balsamic.

M - Really nice on the mouth with medium carbonation

D - If vinegar is your thing then this bottle was for you. Pretty sure I just got a bad bottle as I have had this style before and none were nearly as vinegary.

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

ahh its sour day at the old homestead:

Poured into a tulip/triple glass at 45f Nice dark ruddy brown, and about 1/4 head that did not last very long , its oak aged and that is what its supposed to do.

Tart and wine like sour blackberry's. Sharp malt and yeast bite. as it warms i get a sour apple note

taste like a oaked aged red wine but more sour. Love the apple/cheery/currents like blend very nice and complex, with the yeast and malt it balances out perfectly in the STYLE. its like a duchesse but more sour.Buttery blend.

low carb, as its Oak aged, medium to thin body

easy to drink paired, with some cheese, we choose a triple cheese brie, its just heaven in a bottle.

One has to have the taste buds for the style of beer. NOT a beer for the non belgain yeast and oak aged, red wine lover.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased at State Line Liquors in Elkton. I pick up this about twice a year but usually at The Foodery which is the only place in Philly I know has singles to go.

Vicky pours a pretty dark reddish brown color with some ruby tinge to it. With a stealth pour I get a dark tan loose bubbled head that that stuck around for a few and left a cap but no lace.

Smells of alot of dark fruit and some vinegar. I get alot of berries and cherry with a almost vinious scent that's not quite there. The oak surprisingly does not reach my nostrils. It does not smell like it's going to be tart or sour.

But there is a slight twang to this that I would not call sour/tart or whatever, just a tinge. This is very dark fruit forward with a backing of vinegar and just a bit of wood. More vinegar than wood, not a good look. A small amount of dark cranberry mixed with your normal FRA flavors, some malty brown ale appeal. This needs more wood dammit.

The feel is surprisingly light and uneventful. It looks carbed and is but it does not show up in the mouth. Pretty smooth and vinegary, some sweetness, a touch of sour twang (a touch) and a malty finish. A small step below medium with ample but weak carb.

There will always be a sweet spot in my heart for this beer as it's one that I cracked my tooth on in the world of better beer. With that said there is better out there style wise. It's low abv but the taste does not make me want top grab a bottle any time soon.

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Photo of Onibubba
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cannot believe I am just getting around to reviewing this...Beautiful tawny pour with a nice beige head. Beutiful presentation in my chouffe tulip. Malty sweet sour smell, with a subdued balsamic. Taste is of butterscotch, with just enough of that tart balsamic to prevent it getting too sweet. Light carbonation, very smooth, very drinkable. Possibly my favorite from this brewery.

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

pours a very nice dark red/brown chestnut color with a great 2 finger beige head with solid clinging lacing... smell is of a kriek tart cherries and some musty oak with some sour patch vinegar its funky and musty..taste is the same tart sweet cherries hit the side of the tongue then some sour patch and musty oak in the back of the mouth.. its very good..mouth feel is full and hits the palette all over the taste buds from sweet to sour to murky and musty then to an oak finish..i find this to be a delicious flanders with just the right amount of sour to enjoy... its a sipper that gets better as it warms

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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.

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Photo of snogglethorpe
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decently sour, if not outstandingly so, and a mainly sweet blackberry taste. The taste of wood-aging is there but not prominent. A decent foamy head, and a color that pretty much matches the taste.

This is a decent and drinkable flemish red ale, and seems a reasonable example of the type, but I think it's a little too sweet and lacks complexity and intensity compared to something like Rodenbach.

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Photo of champ103
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark ruby/brown color. A two finger beige head forms with good retention. As the foam recedes some sticky lace is left behind.
S: A sweet, sour, and vinegar aroma at first. Grape tannins and really dry wood lingers after the sweetness fades away.
T: Farly sour and vinegary. Sweet malt with dark fruits. Mostly grape tannins. Again, really incredibly dry.
M/D: A medium to full body. Low on the carbonation. Creamy and smooth. The dryness lingers throughout, and is more than just part of the mouthfeel. Easy to drink. I am not going to drink more than one in a sitting, but an excellent beer to sip on throughout the night.

Similar to Duchesse De Bourgogne, as I would expect being the same style and brewery. Though this is obviously much dryer. Excellent throughout. I am going to have to get a bottle of Duchesse to try side by side with this. Highly recommend.

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Vichtenaar from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
3.93 out of 5 based on 424 ratings.
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