Verhaeghe Echte Kriek / Echte Kriekenbier
Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Verhaeghe Echte Kriek / Echte KriekenbierVerhaeghe Echte Kriek / Echte Kriekenbier
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Sour - Flanders Red Ale
Ranked #94
Ranked #17,088
3.9 | pDev: 12.31%
Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Very Good
Verhaeghe Echte Kriek / Echte KriekenbierVerhaeghe Echte Kriek / Echte Kriekenbier
Notes: Echt Kriekenbier, (real cherry beer)" is as the name suggests a cherry beer that is manufactured with only the real fruit of cherries instead of with flavor enhancers or extracts of cherries. The fruit is sourced from the region around Sint-Truiden in Limburg (Belgium).
Unlike the most famous fruit beers the basic beer of the "real cherry beer" is not a Lambic but a West-Flemish red-brown ale aged in oak wood. About mid-July at the picking, the Northern cherries are brought in at the brewery and laid in on the base beer.
Because the taste of the cherry fruit varies from year to year and this according to the number of hours of sunshine or rain, the kriekenbier at its final composition is blended with cherry beer from the year before and two-year old cherry beer. This with the intention of becoming a more constant taste of the "real cherry beer" over the years.
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Reviews: 227 | Ratings: 441 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of cardfan212
cardfan212 from Minnesota

4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a fluted glass.

Look - A lot browner than I expected. I thought it'd be a very vibrant red. Sandy colored fluffy head that sticks around for a bit. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell - Quite sour, decently woody, and sweet cherries. A decent blend of pleasant scents.

Taste - Like the smell but more intense. The sourness is tame enough and very enjoyable. A wonderful swirl of flavors.

Feel - Medium body with just the right amount of fizz to it.

Overall - I never thought I'd be able to fall in love with a sour beer, but this one might be close to it. Incredibly balanced and nuanced, and absolutely delicious.

Apr 17, 2020
Photo of russpowell
russpowell from Arkansas

4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a turbid brown with almost no head. Zero head retention

S: Cherries, a little barnyard once warm

T: Dryness, sweet & tart cherries, woodyness up front. Sweet & tart cherry, a little woody dryness & leafy hop as this warms, a touch of leather & vinegar. Finishes tart & puckery, faint fig notes, woodyness & cherry

MF: Medium body, minimal carbonation , puckery

A nice cherry infused take on the style

Nov 15, 2019
Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz brown bottle. Best before date is '2020-01-21'.
Dark brown with reddish tint colored body. No real head upon pouring, but does yield a medium ring and a bubble fed island. No lacing.
Aroma is a sweet cherry smell, with a corresponding sour green apple.
Taste initially expresses the tart cherry and then, towards the end, a sweeter cherry comes forth. Rather short taste profile, with very little aftertaste.
Medium plus mouth feel. Has a lower level of carbonation.
A somewhat refreshing Flanders Red, especially when the sweet cherry expresses.

Apr 12, 2019
Photo of Pray_For_Mojo
Pray_For_Mojo from Colorado

3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: much lighter in color than I expected for a Flemish red/brown. This beer is much more red than brown. The cherries’ contribution to the color is obvious. Dark ruby with only a hint of brown. Wonderfully bright. The head is spritzy, almost artificial in appearance, which fades quickly like a hot soda. The head is off-white with just a hint of pink.

Aroma: cherry sweetness, candy-like cherry aroma. Somewhat artificial. Mild lacto-sourness and oak.

Flavor: sweet! Too sweet even after the first sip. This is too sweet to finish in a sitting. The cherry comes through as cherry cough drops (more like Ludens than medicated drops). Then comes an awful metallic taste; as if this beer were stored in an old tin soup can. The sourness is mild, or at least mellowed by the sugar. The metallic taste is overbearing!

Mouthfeel: medium-medium.

Overall: between the excessive sweetness and the overwhelming metallic taste, this beer is marginal. Fortunately, it was relatively inexpensive for the style ($10-11 / 750ml). I wouldn’t buy this beer again, though. This beer has too many areas for improvement. I drained poured the remainder of the bottle following my tasting notes.

Sep 13, 2018
Photo of erk0607
erk0607 from Colorado

4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Raspberry brown and copperish with a slightly pink-white head that turns to lacing.
Smell: Cherries, apples, pear, a slight funk
Taste: Slightly grainy, oaky, cherry, bright fruit. Definitely NOT a derivative of cherry cough syrup. Nice yeasty funk.
Feel: Light, crisp, dry, soft carbonation
Overall: Good kriek - would get again. I'm a Duchess fan and this is a bit less vinegary

Apr 02, 2018
Photo of HoppyBastard
HoppyBastard from Nebraska

1.37/5  rDev -64.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured from a 1 pint 9.4 ounce corked and caged bottle into a Shaker pint glass, expiration date "06/2018".

APPEARANCE: pours a dark, redish-brown color with less than one finger tan head that quickly dissipated until a thin, broken layer of small bubbles remained, there is very little lacing on the glass, highly carbonated.

SMELL: vinegar, that is really all I got, in a word..... unpleasant.

TASTE: sadly, the taste follows the nose, vinegar and some cherry in the background, I have had cherry cough syrup better than this.

PALATE: medium body and carbonation.

OVERALL: two words: drain pour. I finished half of one glass and poured the rest down my kitchen sink. That is $12.00 I'll never get back.

Mar 20, 2018
Photo of OliverWilde
OliverWilde from Oklahoma

4.97/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is what low ABV bier should taste like. You know its old either from the nice yeasty-open fermentation flavor or the tartness. I've never had a kriek with this much farmhouse funk so I'm sold. A few points off for being so clear; I don't know much about beer so I don't know if some beers just clear up on their own or what but to me clear beer always seemed so superficial and commercial.

Feb 16, 2018
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Irishman_Scott from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Way back, Kasteel Rouge is what really turned me on to crafts and premium beers. It still knocks my socks off. This runs a pretty close second to it. Much like it, if you're familiar. This one's cherry is a bit more tart though. Very distinct cherry. Worth a try!

Nov 14, 2017
Photo of Starchildpsu33
Starchildpsu33 from Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

As soon as it hit my tongue my taste buds exploded. This may be my favorite beer now. Just the right amount of sour and cherry flavor. I even had my local beer distributor order a case to keep in stock. Love this beer!

Oct 27, 2017
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superspak from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 9/2019. Pours crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy light pink/cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of big lightly tart/tangy cherries, raspberry, strawberry, lemon, plum, green apple, red grape, oak, caramel, brown sugar, and toasted bread; with lighter notes of vanilla, hay, straw, leather, grass, funk, pepper, almond, slight red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/light funky yeast, cherries, oak barrel, and moderate dark/bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big lightly tart/tangy cherries, raspberry, strawberry, lemon, plum, green apple, red grape, oak, caramel, brown sugar, and toasted bread; with lighter notes of vanilla, hay, straw, leather, grass, funk, pepper, almond, slight red wine vinegar, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness. Light fruity/lactic tartness, yeast/tannic oak spiciness, and fruit tang on the finish. Lingering notes of tart/tangy cherries, raspberry, strawberry, lemon, plum, green apple, red grape, oak, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, hay, straw, leather, grass, funk, pepper, almond, and yeast/oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/light funky yeast, cherries, oak barrel, and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; with a nice malt/tart/tangy/spiciness balance, and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light dryness from carbonation and tart/tangy/spicy notes, increasing through the glass. Medium-high carbonation and medium body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/grainy, and lightly tangy/acidic/tannic balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol for 6.8%. Overall this is a great fruited Flanders red ale! All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/light funky yeast, cherries, oak barrel, and moderate dark/bready malt flavors; very smooth and refreshing to drink with the mildly tart/tangy/drying finish. Extremely well balanced for the style. Plenty of authentic cherry flavors, with solidly funky yeast complexity. Nice oak and malt presence. Never overly sweet or sour either way, with no slick/syrupy character from fruit or malts. A very enjoyable offering.

Jul 15, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Blackback Pub, Waterbury, VT. This was poured into a tulip. The appearance was a dark cherry red color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated at a nice pace leaving some light messy lacing sticking here and there. The smell started off with some sweet and tart cherries blending into a light malt base. The taste took all of those previously mentioned flavors and added a light acceptable acidity to it. Gentle on the sour, nice for the most part. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it, noting that the "sour" is tame enough to balance everything all out very nicely. Overall, this was a pretty good sour ale with the cherries really coming through authentically.

Jun 23, 2017
Photo of zeppedled
zeppedled from Wisconsin

4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ruby red color, little head, dry champagne like aroma, smooth fruity flavor with tart Cherry and raspberry hints. Aftertaste is a bit unusual with a unique metallic taste,, very lactic like but isn't bad. Oddly. Kind of like a Wisconsin door County fruit wine with carbonation and more complexity.

Jun 17, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pretty red, deep, but yet still has lots of clarity. The aroma drops both sweet and sour cherry notes, sweet probably winning.

Taste came off dry, a different kind of flanders, sweeter, but still earthy with something like mint leaves in a small way. Leather, tobacco, dirt too. Wasn't all that sour, maybe a 2 on a 1-10 scale. Still good, but wouldn't go looking for this when Oude Tart exists.

May 05, 2016
Photo of Taybeh
Taybeh from Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap into the brewery's really cool stemware. Beautiful deep dark red with a thin crown of eggshell head that slowly subsides over a couple lacing. Lots of vinegar on the nose, a hint of tart pie cherry underneath the vinegar...ok, but nothing too great. Taste is very cherry and sweeter than expected, but not in a bad way, with a nice very modest sour edge that grows on me and develops as I sip.

Mar 15, 2016
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

a tasty kriek, probably middle of the road in terms of overall quality if you put a beer like lou pepe kriek at the top. its deep ruby red in color with a short lived half inch of oddly brown foam for a fruit beer. the nose on it is nice, jammy sweet and just a touch tart, definitely not as lambic heavy and woody funky as so many of the best ones out there, but its well better than the syrupy cheap ones too. the fruit is very authentic in the taste, no denying that, but the residual sugar is a little higher than it needs to be, and it makes it feel a little heavy. there is also a strawberry flavor in here i cant overlook, not sure how you get that from cherry, but its there. i realize as it warms up that there is a lot of funk to this, not acidity and sourness, but yeasty wildness that i really like, even though its not sour in any real way. its lovely beer in the morning, and serves as a great middle mark on the kriek scale. if it was dried out a little more it would be phenomenal, but the sweetness slows it down for me just a bit. on tap at choice city in fort collins.

Jun 27, 2015
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PEDXING from North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Trappe Door in Greenville, SC. Beautiful looking beer. Not quite as tart as I expected it to be, but nice and refreshing on a hot day.

Jun 26, 2015
Photo of bnes09
bnes09 from Illinois

4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Fresh cherry aroma and flavor. Plenty on funk on the palate. Touch of wood and acetic acid. Medium body. Sticky with a slightly dry finish. Solid Kriek.

Jun 07, 2015
Photo of barczar
barczar from Kentucky

4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is very acetic, vinegary, with a tart cherry character underneath. There's a bit of a floral note.

Flavor echoes the aroma, with acetic sourness throughout, and a fairly strong cherry presence, with a lightly floral aftertaste. The vinegar is the star of the show, but cherry fruitiness provides substantial accompaniment.

May 31, 2015
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 5/24/2015 at Doherty’s Ale House, Warwick, RI served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with no head and no lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains sour cherries and grapes, some Belgian yeast and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with a quick burst of sweetness from flavors of cherries and grapes followed quickly by some tartness. The malt character is thin and there is no hops presence as you would expect, but there’s a good balance. The after-taste is slightly tart.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

May 24, 2015
Photo of MattyC
MattyC from California

4.89/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served on tap at Beer Baron in Livermore
Look: pours bright red with very little head
Taste: overwhelming cherry flavor, sweet and tart, classic brettanomyces yeast flavors popular in belgian beers
Feel: bubbly and tart, tastes and feels more like a sparkling cider than a beer. Very pleasant.

May 16, 2015
Photo of wrogers19971
wrogers19971 from Delaware

4.95/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beautiful beer!! Vibrant, full of character & flavor. Tart cherry with a underline flavor of vanilla, rhubarb, citrus & oak!!
A must try for sour-wild ale fans

Apr 29, 2015
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.41/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pulled a 2.5 year old bottle from the cellar and am drinking it one day before its best by date. Even after some age it still has a very big cherry nose with touches of sweet and tart and a hint of fresh compost. It is one of the most beautiful beers I have seen. It pours a lively brilliant cherry under a very rocky pure white 1” foam cap. Very rich cherry palate with herbal, black cherries, lemony tartness and over ripe fruit. While there is sweetness in the background, there is an overall dryness and a balancing tartness. The beer is effervescent with a fine bead. Midrange between sweet and sour, well balanced and put together.

Mar 18, 2015
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Immortale25 from North Carolina

4.59/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at Thirsty Monk Asheville. Served in a goblet.

A- Pours a ruby red color with a 1/4 inch white head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a half sheet of sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Vibrant, sweet cherry aroma that also has some wood tones.

T- The cherry flavor has a sweet, tangy and tart beauty to it that is so delectable. Oaked candy. Is that a thing?

M- With all this sweetness, there's still a very dry feel to it. Medium carbonation and a light body.

O- While I would liken this more to a straight up Kriek lambic due to the intense sweetness, the oak certainly comes through and merely makes for a less malty Flanders Red. Absolutely fantastic.

Oct 13, 2014
Photo of Tele
Tele from California

3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Serving Type: Bottle
Best By 11.22.16

A: 4.5 Ruby red with a one-inch, light pink head. This beer is very clear and quite pretty.

S: 4 On the nose, there are cherries, a bit of funk, lemon, vinegar, and a bit of vanilla. The aromas are fairly mild and there’s not too much going on. There’s also some sulfur at the end that is fairly subtle and a little off-putting.

T: 3.75 The beer starts off rather sweet with a light tartness following right behind. The cherries bring a nice medicinal flavor that pairs well with the oak, vanilla, and funk. It’s lack of sourness and oaky sweetness makes it taste surprisingly similar to a Flanders red ale.

M: 4.25 The beer coats the palate without feeling too thick or overpowering. The carbonation is also very nice, but I feel that a bit more effervescence might help compensate for the low tartness.

O: 4 This is a nice beer with good cherry flavor and a pleasant tartness. There could be more lactic sourness, but the vanilla and oak flavors make this seem like a Flanders red with cherries, which is still okay in my book.

Oct 04, 2014
Photo of Roguer
Roguer from Connecticut

3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a beautiful, radiant raspberry-color red, extremely active and hazily translucent. A nice, moderate pink cream head forms, with great retention.

Tart and funky aroma with notes of cherry pits; very promising. Slightly vinegary. Understated and complex.

Flavor is sweeter than the aroma, with a much more pronounced cherry presence (juice and pits). Very little funk; only slightly sour. There's a noticeable metallic flavor that definitely costs this beer; it is otherwise a very nice Kriek.

Nice puckering and sticky retention; lightly syrupy for an overall medium-light body. Long finish.

This is a very good Kriek, certainly not in the top tier, but very tasty. It could use a little more sweetness - and certainly more funk carrying over to the flavor - and the metallic hint in the flavor takes away from it a bit.

Sep 21, 2014
Verhaeghe Echte Kriek / Echte Kriekenbier from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 441 ratings