Verhaeghe Echte Kriek / Echte Kriekenbier | Brouwerij Verhaeghe

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Verhaeghe Echte Kriek / Echte KriekenbierVerhaeghe Echte Kriek / Echte Kriekenbier

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Verhaeghe

Style: Flanders Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAngel on 11-18-2002

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Reviews: 216 | Ratings: 412
Photo of Knapp85
2.07/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I'm surprised to see this is a Flemish Red, I thought for sure that it was a Wild Ale or Lambic. Either way this brew has a wonderful Red color and that's the only thing I really liked about this beer. The aromas and taste are similar to each other, acidic and tart. Reminded me of vinegar a little. A little bit of funk to it as well. This is a beer for those who like this style, I for one am not that much of a fan of them. I'll give them all a try but I can't say I'll like them.

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Photo of JDV
2.26/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cranberry color with little head and a sour cherry funky, guaze smell as to be expected. Taste is sweeter than most sour ales, but still relatively mild in that department, and a moderately long lasting flavor in the finish. Still, did nothing for me with it's vinegary qualities.

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Photo of Jamesthebrit
2.56/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a dirty pinkish brown. The brown color is a little offputting. Head is pinkish and dissipates quickly.

S: Some fruit notes but really smells a little but like rotten fruit which is just no good. I was hoping for fresh fruit. Some hints of cherry. Yeah it's pretty bad.

T: Surprisingly little flavor. Definitely fruit. Lingering bitterness that hits a little stale.

M: Sits super light and leaves a bitter stale fruit.

Overall I am surprised.. so many people liked this beer but I did not. I'm a huge fan of fruit beers but this one really misses the mark. The fruit flavor isn't pleasing and the mouthfeel is way too light.

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Photo of Sammy
2.71/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Room temperature Musty and leather smell. Very cherry, light head. Opaque red. Sugar and vinegar acidic, not finishable, doesn't work altogether, the taste the fizzy carbonation. Too dry too thin, maybe with some spicy meat. This is a fruit beer, right? Modiale 2005.

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Photo of squaremile
2.77/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a decent looking ruby color with some sour cherry notes on the nose. Small white head that dissipates quickly. Taste is 2/10 on the pucker-meter and moves into cough syrup territory for me as it warms. Seems a bit one note, and it is overall pleasant at first, but just wears me down.

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Photo of samie85
2.81/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes; originally 5/30/11.

A-Pours a brilliant ruby color with two and a half fingers of light pink head.

S-Smells of tart cherries and a bit of balsamic vinegar.

T-Pretty sweet cherries on the forefront with a bit of oak.

M-A little under-carbonated for the style; medium-bodied and a little sticky.

D-A little sweet and the carbonation level being a little low hurts the drinkability on this one for me.

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Photo of stouty1
2.82/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I could see how people could like this, but too darn sweet for me.

Pours a deep red with red foamy head. Very tart with a sweet finish and a cherry everything. Highly carbonated which seemed to present a good head. Not much for th eoverwhelming fruitiness. My wife liked it though!

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Photo of Dukeofearl
2.89/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: The label is very different than shown on the accompanying photo: first off, it's now "Echt Kriekenbier" rather than "Eckte", the black label shows two large cherries on their stems above two golden lions holding a crown-covered shield (very European, not sure of the significance of this particular heraldry). The shield is like the one on the upper label in the picture shown. The very American back label has alll the legal mumbo jumbo and a best-before with some printing that is completely illegible (like the computer dot-matrix printer got confused, or kind of like my typing of beer reviews before I check them for typos a few days later....). My guess is that it says 06/11/05, or best by November 6, 2005.

Pours a very red, thin port-colored, translucent, with a moderate, slightly pink (mostly white) head that drops to a thin cover in 2 minutes, leaving no lace.

Aroma is cherry. Not unpleasant, not overpowering, not strong. Not natural either. Somewhat artifical. But there is the slight sour notes between the sweet that make me happy.

Flavor. What is this? Sour cherry cough drop-like notes, not beer-like at all. More like cherry soda, and artifical in flavor. Just not right. After the aroma, I really wanted to like this, but just can't.

Mouthfeel is thin, according to my girlfriend- I can't disagree, but I don't think it's watery like some. Just ok. Drinkability- I just don't get it.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
2.95/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Note - My bottle is a little different than the one pictured. It says Echt Kriekenbier and it is the 6.8% ABV beer.

The beer poured crystal clear deep ruby. The head was pink...yep, pink and the pink stuff lasted to lace the glass. Ok, perhaps it was ruby, but a ruby head is still a little unsettling.

The aroma was sour with fruity barnyard aromas.

The flavor was cherry and fruits that immediately became dry and sour. The sourness was not overpowering, but it was very one dimensional and not interesting. With the beer drying out so fast it was difficult to find much to say.

The finish was dry and had a slight cherry flavor that was not well done that lasted much longer than you wanted it to. The body was medium light and watery.

I say skip it. Regular Vichtenaar is a much better beer.

11.2 ounce bottle. Best before 31-10-05. Purchased at Kroger in Blacksburg, VA.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
2.98/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Had a pizzaria paradiso, Dupont Circle a while back. Was not a fan of this.

A: Dark Cherry red-deep pick with thin head and good lacing.

S: Powerful aroma I can smell from a foot away. Vinegary, oaky sweet and savory cherry.

T: Really sweet. Lots of cherry fruit and some oak, way too sweet overall and also a medicinal edge to it I did not care for. Some malt backbone, but this is like drinking cherry lollipops in cherry dimetap in some ways.

M: Medium and bitter on the palate.

D: Not for me.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Well bless my little cotton socks if I didn’t come across an old favorite from yesteryear this weekend. Having visited the Brouwerij Verhaege in 1995 for a Brewery Tour, whence I sampled this for the first time [as with most of their regular range] I am quite familiar with the products of this rather eclectic brewery and looked forward to a return visit.

Time has changed the old label completely, as in fact it has the name too. My sample has a similar label to that shown in the BA Database except that my bottle is called Kriekenbier; usually this is a more appropriate way to promote a Cherry laced brew that is not really a traditional lambic, so the longer named is used appropriately here as this is a blended Kriek with a West Flanders Red/Brown Ale, so the blurb says anyway. Best Before 06/11/05 writ big on the back label.

Appearance: Deep cherry red body with a flamingo pink soft and cuddly feathered head which soon breaks down to a thin sheer pink panty covering. High levels of dissolved pin sized carbonation assist the reformation of the head once swirled.

Nose: Deep whiffs of sour tart cherries, bitter skins and a dry fruity feel. Tinned Fruit like odors.

Taste: Starts with a nice bitter cherry feel which slowly fades, I struggled to get the Flanders Brown Ale here I’m afraid. I concentrated hard but the cherries tend to be dominant, mixed in with the foamy effervescent feel that the high carbonation imparts, the cherries run riot. Only towards the end of the bottle did I start to get anything but the merest hint of Brown Ale, the sourness is purely from the Cherries, little if anything in the way of the fantastic sharp biting funky wood laden Brown that I stood waiting for and expected – but like the #9 bus, it never arrived. Mildy tart with a very feint hint of Brett, so incredibly feint to have me think that I could be imagining it, hoping that it was there.

Mouthfeel: A tad watery and thin, it’s missing the balls it had when I first drank it, maybe there is less Flanders Brown in this version, or just way more cherries, though considering the strength is higher than my old notes suggest I find this quiet strange.

Drinkability: Pretty average. The thin body really struggles to handle the sourness in my opinion, this is my biggest "beef" here, this is simply way too thin, I remember this having much more of a Brune character which bodes well and assists the sour cherry flavors as they work well together, but this is lacking that synergy. I suspect that this is a little dumbed down from past years, it needs more “Brune” to carry this on off, without that Flanders Brown character it is just a sour Cherryade Soda for me.

Overall: OK, first sampled in 1995, a great astringently dry and puckering cherry laden Flanders Brown, yet I have it listed at just 6% then for some reason. This “version” is 6.8%, or labeled as such anyway, and yet it is not quite as sour as I remember and with a much heavier cherry character. It also has a more metallic feel to it, overall rather disappointing; it looses much of its Brune character and swamps it in a heavy sour and fizzy cherry base.

Nevertheless, something different, I was expecting more Flanders RoodBruine and a little less on the Cherryade Soda tastes. Still, I may keep some of this in my fridge…..just for when the hot Girlies come round mindst you…..

Boy do I miss the master of this style Zottegems Oud Kriekenbier - Echt Kriekenbier has the chance to replace this, but fails miserably to do so. I guess I shall have to keep waiting until the day that Brouwerij Bavik decide to add some Cherries to their excellent Petrus Aged Pale Ale….one day we shall have a replacement for the Zottegems…I keep hoping…..

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Photo of magictrokini
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tap @ Blind Lady. Poured clear red-pink with pink head. Good retention. Cherry Robitussin nose doesn't do this any favors. Acidic mouthfeel wtih too much carbonation. Felt like it was corroding my tongue towards the finish, similar to the feeling after eating too many Sweet Tarts. Sour cherry flavor that leans towards Sweet Tarts, again. At least it wasn't Robitussin. Wished there was more of the oak flavor. Oh well, they can't all be Cuvee de Tomme.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


A light red hue, with some pink bubbles. Not much in the lines of a head, retention, or lace. The nose is of lightly tart dark cherries, lactic sweetness, and some balsamic notes. On the palate, balsamic notes hit first with dark cherries through the middle. The finish starts with a wave of tartness and then ends with a lactic sugar sweetness. Medium body with low carbonation for the style. One of the more fruit forward flanders I have had, and almost to a fault. The fruit is sugary sweet, masking any true tartness that might be present.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

on tap at Maduro during happy hour

appearance: served in a St Louis pilsner-esque glass...clear bright rose body with a light beige head.

smell: hmm, kind of a cheap whine characteristic, big tart cherry sourness, lightly earthy, light woodyness

taste: Just not really my thing...tart and sour cherry, a touch woody, one sided and tough to drink

mouthfeel: tart and sour

drinkability: not for me

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Photo of Derek
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Purchased from Spinnakers Spirit Merchants.

A: Ruby red, pink head, nice lace.

S: Sour cherries, a little bready malt.

T: Overwhelmingly tarte.

M: Light body, moderate to high carbonation, acidic and prickly.

D: Overly tarte. Really needs more sweetness.

I expected the cherries to make it a little drier, but they should have added some sweetness too! A kriek (or a flanders/flemish red ale) shouldn't be as tart as a lambic!

The Vichtenaar was an excellent brew. The cherries have really ruined it.

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Photo of illidurit
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruddy mahogany orange, not really the brilliant ruby of true kriek. Leaves some nice pinkish-tan-ecru lacing on the glass. Aroma is overripe cherries with a lactic black cherry yogurt note and also some sort of salty, lightly smokey note. Flavor is just about the same, although the smokey note proves to be slightly meaty, as if in a rauchbier. Very odd. Cherries and ham isn't really my thing. Mouthfeel is coarse from overcarbonation, but otherwise it's alright.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.22/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.2 ounce bottle. Pours out clear red with a pink head. Carbonation is very fizzy. The smell hits you the second you open the bottle. Some cherry in the aroma, but mostly the kind of aroma you would get from a strong dark Belgian ale. I expected this beer to taste very malty and high in alcohol. Taking a sip is a big suprise. The taste is not like the smell. The cherry flavor is nice, not too artificial or sweet. There are some nice malt flavors too. However, the fruit and the malt flavors do not complement each other well. In addition, the mouthfeel is too thin. This beer is all over the place without a focus.

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.24/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearence: Pours a deep red with a thin, bubble head. Tons of carbonation.

Smell: The smell is a pleasent cherry aroma mixed with a nice, oak cask feel to it.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is mostly of sweet cherries mixed with oak and nuts. The complexity of a normal Flanders Red is missing, and the carbonation is a bit much. Also, I'd like to see more sourness for this style. But still, it's an enjoyable taste. The mouthfeel is thin and slick.

Drinkability and Overall: Not a bad beer, but definitly room for improvement. For the style, this one falls way short of some of the others. Would I have another? Probably. Would I prefer it? Probably not.

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Photo of mlazzaro
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

best before 19/5/2013 - 11.2 oz. bottle
Decent carbonation with a deep cherry color. Clear as a bell with no head. No yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle.? I think this is force carbonated with compressed co2.
Smell is nice. Pleasant oak character, wild yeast - acidic aroma. It does have a disconcerting sweet aspect to the cherry aroma.
Taste is for me disappointingly sweet. It does have all the other exciting tart/souring agents, yeasty, and oaked characteristics. But sweetness comes off as distracting and syrupy for me.
Less acidic than a typical kriek beer. It's very drinkable beer - surprisingly smooth. I would normally say age this one for a good while to dry up the flavor, but I don't think that cellaring would change the beer with no yeast sediment.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On Tap

The Linkery
San Diego, CA

Clear, ruby red and dark pink with a frothy, light pink head. Regular lacing down the glass with each sip.

Sweet aroma of cherries and a faint amount of tart yeast--pleasant, but not biting, sharp, pungent, or powerful.

A very sweet Flanders red with lots of cherry flavor--not nearly as tart, acidic, and sour as others I've tried within the style. This one is very sweet and drinks similar to cherry juice with just a mild sourness.

Light to medium bodied. I would have preferred much higher carbonation--this seems too close to juice.

A sweet, somewhat undercarbonated, Flanders red--lacks the biting, stinging, wonderful sourness I've come to expect within the style.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.27/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a three finger, fizzy red/brown head that fades to a thin layer leaving no lace. Deep red/amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Sour cherry nose. Starts and finishes as sour cherries, there is some sweetness part way through. You have to like krieks to really appreciate this. Pricey at $3.49 for a 330ml bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, IA. Best by Feb 15, 2007.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours into a long stemmed white wine glass at Maduro for $3 during happy hour.

Appearance: Bloodied cherry red with an almost lavender off white head.

Aroma: Sweet cherries and tart cherries, fruit syrup, earthy sourness. Very strong and aromatic.

Taste/MF: Cherries completely dominate until the beer hits room temperature. At that point the slightest hint of sharp wood and funky earth shines through. Nicely balanced fruit flavor though. It’s not overly sweet at any point and there us actually quite a bit of pleasant tartness and sourness.

Drinkabilty: One is enough.

This might work as a nice intro to the style for some but for me it's just a little bastard sister of a substitute to the Duchess or La Folie.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Now this is some pretty high end stuff, considering what I threw down for a 4-pack of it. But I'd rather spend that money on Belgians than expensive and disappointing imported lagers from Mexico and S. America. Anyways, a best before date of 24-08-07 on the back label.

A very attractive ale, a rich chestnut until held to the light, where it becomes a brilliant oaken cherry red hue, albeit a touch chill hazed. The porous beige head eventually settles to a thin frothy cap, that then takes on more of a pinkish tone. Or salmon. That's a tough fish!

The aroma shoots immediately up the olefactory pipeline, and straight to the brain. Sour and tart, I detect the sour cherries, but it has a bit of a vinegar edge to it as well. Intense though, a very intense nose on this beer, it's not shy.

A very intense tartness in the flavour, almost more remeniscent of cranberries than of sour cherries. Something of a balsamic-like character as well. Earthy and woody. The more I sip it the more rounded it all becomes, and starts to grow on me.

The mouthfeel is limp, nothing holding it up, although this isn't a very beefy style to begin with.

Not without its charm, but I don't see myself craving many more of these. A curious style, and one that I can fathom would be best enjoyed while paired with something, rather than on its own.

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Photo of BigBry
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

4 pack of this, brown 330ml bottles, BB date on back label. (As per label) It is a "refreshing cherry ale matured in oaken casks with adition of 150 gram per liter of only whole cherries."
A very interesting color, depending on the angle and light, it seems to change from oak brown, to deep cherry red, to pinkish around the edges. First impression is that this is a fizzy cherry soda, streams of carbonation that actually pop on the surface. You can smell the cherries right away, not sweet and sugary, but more of a tart and sour. More tartness in the flavor. You can taste the fruitiness, but also the sourness as expected from the style. The mouthfeel is kind of thin, again more like a 7-Up or carbonated water. Probably not the best example, but now I have a benchmark to compare other Flanders's to.

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Photo of Shaw
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a cherry-red beer with a massive carbonation explosion upon pouring. Reminds me of soda with all its bubbles. Its pink head reduces quickly.

It has a tart smell with a bit of musty odor as well. Perhaps barrel aging gives it this aroma?

It tastes like one expects a lambic to taste: tart. I think I can detect the cherry flavor, but I probably wouldn't be able to find the flavor if I wasn't searching for it. The sourness lingers long after swallowing. The taste is less complex than its sister brew, Duchesse de Bourgogne. Echte Kriek's mouthfeel is good, neither too watery nor too heavy.

I must admit I'm not too versed in lambics, but from the few I've had Echte Kriek fits in nicely. Good to try.

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Verhaeghe Echte Kriek / Echte Kriekenbier from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
3.85 out of 5 based on 412 ratings.
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