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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Ratings: 419 |  Reviews: 218
Photo of Cavery
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ML shared with SundaySour, cork says best before September 2011

Poured into Lost Abbey Tulip ~45F serving temp.

A: A really brightly stained wood with an ivory head. The color of the body bleeds into the base of the filmy head, but the bright whiteness of the bubbles are very noticeable. You can just look at this beer and know there are cherries in it, many cherries were harmed in the creation of this beer.

S: Woody cherries, really soft with a maple-sweet character. There's a lot of subtlety to the nose that keeps the cherries from going too deep into that syrupy/grenadine character. There certainly is the cherry aspect, but it's eloquently subdued in the wood. Red apples appear in the blending of cherries and wood.

T: Sweetened like a nice raspberry/cherry vinaigrette, really drying after the berries appear. Old woods with de-fanged alcohols; there's a gap where an experienced drinker might expect a boozy bite. The gape is glazed over by a deeply acidic flavor of red apple skins and seared salted watermelon. the acidity hurts the drinkability for me a fair amount. An after taste of gojji berries and craisins in blood orange juice. A nice depth of wood backed flavor that is really quite compromised by the strong acidity. This is the least spicy hot sauce you'll ever drink, that's for sure.

M: I'd say this is a pretty strong bodied beer for it's ABV; the carbonation is lower than one might expect, but it allows for more subtle wood derived flavors to arrive. I think I would like it more with a bit more fizz, but I'm not sure if that would counteract the acidity enough for me to give it higher marks.

O: this is a sophisticated Flanders's that doesn't quite blend in its additional ingredients. The oak and cherries lend a lot to the flavor, but also combine to create an unstable concoction. The tartness in the finish is really quite pleasant and refined; but the acid that comes with it is quite overwhelming. It may not be in the first few sips, but it gradually accumulates. After getting down to about half a glass I felt like I was ready to tap out. By no means a bad beer, but I feel like I just drank a gallon of pure lemon juice. Not even the solid flavors can save the drinkability of this brew. Sorry Verhaeghe, but I'm in love with the duchesse.

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Photo of SundaySour
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Shared with Cavery.

A: An autumn leaf red (reddish brown) with a thin cream colored head. Misty and mysterious like a witch brew on the kettle.

S: The smell honestly reminds me a bit of it's totally babealicious cousin, the Duchesse. Cherries, apple vinegar, sourdough dough, and the happy smell of Father Christmas delivering gingerbread cookies and happiness on a frosty winter eve. .. I smelled it.

T: Much less tart than the Duchesse, but still another tangy victory from this brewery I cannot pronounce. It tastes of cherry tartlets, fizzy apple cider, Granny Smith apples, and God's mercy. If you're just learning about the joys of Flanders Red Ale, but still are not quite in the mood for a fine glass of vinegar, I think this is a great alternative.

M: Fizzy and crisp, maybe even a little creamy. The taste does stick, as if I've just scarfed an apple.

O: While I don't this comes near to the body-snatching madness of the Duchesse, this is a deliciously complex red ale that does stay true to the brewery's signature taste. Yum yum yum. Even the sour-hating crazies in this household enjoyed it.

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Photo of Airyk12
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a deep cherry color, with a very small light pink head.

Smells of tart cherries, as well as a hint of vinegar and a few spices.

tastes like a sour cherry pie, with flavors of rich cherries, a few spices, and a yeast flavor that fades quickly. Sweetness is prevalent, but not too strong.

Smooth, but with a decent bite from the tartness. Low carbonation and a medium body make this quite a easy drinker.

A solid kriek from a true belgian brewery; hits all the right notes without being overwhelming on any count. Sweet, tart, fruity, with a hint of spice, this beer is a great sipper for dessert or to go with some good dark chocolate.

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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 snaotheus
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked bottle split into two big snifters

Pours clear ruby with a weak head. Smells sour and cherry, delicious in fact.

Taste is tart cherries, makes me think of sweet tarts (which is one of the things I love about this style). It's quite tasty.

Mouthfeel is dry, a little abrasive (what I'm familiar and comfortable with for the style).

Overall, this is exactly what I was hoping for from this beer. Very good.

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Photo of snogglethorpe
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beeeautiful ruby-red color, with a playful but short-lived head. Yeasty belgian smell that leaves a slight impression of "sparkly sweetness."

Taste is great. With the name "kriekenbier" I wasn't totally sure what to expect (and was a little afraid it would be a sticky sugar bomb), but it's basically true to its style (flanders red ale): quite tart/sour, very slightly sweet, with a rich dry musty yeastiness. On top of that, there's a definite cherry flavor; it's _very_ well done, refreshing and distinctive, but _not_ artificial, overpowering, or excessively sweet. Very, very, refreshing.

I couldn't taste the alcohol at all, and indeed was surprised to see afterwards how high the ABV was!

A really nice variant on an already delicious style of beer. Absolutely refreshing and a great treat on a summer evening...

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Photo of ImperialStoat
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Red, like a watermelon Jolly Rancher, with a quickly dissipating all-white head.
Smell: Extremely cider-like, with a heavy note of green apple and some slight alcohol too.
Taste: Similarly cider-like, to the point where I'd say this is basically cherry-soaked cider. For a Flanders Red there's also a noticable lack of any acetic-acid (vinegar) quality.

Really not much to say about this beer except that it's a perfectly pleasant Flanders Red, bordering on West Country (English) cider.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my 800th review, so I thought that I would go into the closet for something special. Well, this was the most special beer I could find readily available as this "anniversary" snuck up on me. I have had this beer for a little while now, and I can't really remember when I got it. It has been a year ago or let's see how it held up.

Appearance: Pours a clear deep red-brown with a small 1/4" head of light tan bubbles on top that fell to a solid layer to stand for some time. There is already some lace left on the glass just from swirling and all that.

Aroma: The aroma of cherries is definitely present, but the Flanders notes and dark caramel are a large player in the aroma as well. As the beer sits some, the malts are becoming an even bigger player in the aroma than initially. There is a woody note that almost seems tannic like cherry stems or something, but I guess it is from barrel aging, but I have never noticed that on any other Verhaeghe beers.

Taste: The flavor favors the cherries initially and gives you a solid malty backbone in the middle of the profile to finish a tad watery. Late after the sip there is an obvious medicinal thing going on on the back of the throat that is bordering on unpleasant. The beer itself is light to slightly medium bodied with ample carbonation. The alcohol is noticeable, but not hot really, but it is adding to the mouthfeel to dry it out even more, and then once the medicinal hits, the alcohol is a detriment to the whole finish.

Opinion: I was somewhat disappointed in this beer. I mean, don't get me wrong, I would be proud to have brewed a beer with this much complexity, but I expected a little better when you hold this beer up next to the Duchesse or Vichtenaar. The medicinal character is probably the element that rubs against me the most in this beer. Perhaps it is my fault because I didn't drink it right away. I will hold on to that and see if I can find a fresher example. If it is significantly different, I will update my review.

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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 mattdev
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a fairly clear, dark ruby with a thick wheat-like head that dissappears qutie fast. A bit light on the nose. Slightly vinegary, and faint cherry. Pleasant and fresh, but not ultra complex. Taste is very light. Sour and intense cherry flavor, heavy and an woody finish. Mouthfeel is light, fizzy and thin. Very astringent finish. A pleasant beer, especially in the spring or summer.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle-- $4.50 from Pints O'Plenty. Best by 15/04/2012.

Appearance: Pours perfectly clear dark red with a very short lived fizzy pink head and no lacing. Not even a little sediment in the bottle. None. Weird.

Smell: Sour, slightly medicinal cherry. Its little acetic. Oaky tannins like a big red wine burn the nose a little with deep whiffs.

Taste: Very fruity with sour cherry, apple cider, and more vinous fruitiness. Sour and bitter with tannins. Very slight malt flavor and sweetness. Fruity, oaky, and sour.

Mouthfeel: The body is very in light up front with ample carbonation, but becomes sticky and tannic in a nice way.

Drinkability: The cherries are a nice addition and complement rather than overpower the beer. The smell is slightly acetic, but there's little vinegar flavor, which can be too much for me.

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Photo of Offa
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a wonderful beer, with a nice sweet-sour yeasty ale character underneath the cherry.

Deep red, it has a medium-big pale pinkish-tan head that slowly shrinks to a foamy ring and leaves a little lace.

Aroma is earthy, lightly vinegary yeasty sour fruits and raspberry bread, and very nice.

Taste is similar, very nice fruity acitic raspberry with rich bread character, a hint of vinegar and soured fruits, some earthiness and yeast, sweet-sour. It has light sweetness and light tartness. Excellent, it is highly drinkable and has good depth of character with a nice, engaging feel.

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Photo of Dentist666
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

0.75l corked bottle "Echt Kriekenbier"
Excellent clear red beer with magnificient pink 3-finger head, crisp cherry nose. Cherry taste with "metallic" (not metallic exactly, but definitely, caused by yeast strains) aftertones, quite acidic. Light body, soft carbonation.

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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 SolomonGrundy
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful ruby red, massive head forms if you don't take care when you pour. Pinkish-off white foam that sits like meringue on a lemon pie. Well carbonated. Good thus far. Very soapy aromas - literally like a mixture of Irish Spring soap and Cherry soda, but more on the cherry side. A hint of sweetness in there, but not much. Kind of a spicy note way in back, too. Can't rightly place it, though. Flavor is excellent. First off is a quick rinse of cherry soda, but an unsweetened kind. Ok, maybe a hint of sugar, but only a touch. Then a tartness from the fruit and malt hits you, smack. This is followed by that spicy note I mentioned earlier - can't place it. Maybe nutmeg? Nice and unique flavors rolling around. Painfully expensive at $4.99/11.2oz. bottle. 6.8% ABV. Finish is really dry and has a slight barnyard quality to it, but overall a very nice beer.

What I like most: The beautiful ruby red color.

What I like least: Price and soapy characteristics in the aroma profile.

Verdict: Well made, but not quite elite. Worth trying as it is good and unique.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This one has a little age on it. It's been in my cellar for a number of years. Poured into a Rodnbach tulip. Still leaves some lacing.

Pours a deep red with only a wisp of foam for a head. Still lightly effervescent.

Aromas of sherry, cherries, and cherry stones. A hint of sweetness, no hop aromas.

First sip is of tart cherry juice, a slight sourness, not as tart as most flanders red ales. A bit drying. Finish is a drying sweetness that slowly fades. Light woodiness.

Mouthfeel is thin, a little watery, but with some fruit juice slickness.

Very drinkable beer, would be a nice thirst quencher in the summer time. Not quite up to most flander reds in tartness and woodiness.

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Photo of CanadaBlue
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At the Bier Garden in Portsmouth.
Poured into a genuine Kreikenbier glass.

Simply delicious. Starts with a thick head. Great aroma. A little tart, but not too much. Strong cherry flavor and aroma.
A great sipper. A wonderfully crafted beer.

Very drinkable. Worth seeking out again!

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Photo of Cheesemoose
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter, leaving the sediment in another glass.

A nice bleach white head froths up, though as it warms, it dissipates slowly leaving a nice film lade on top. The appearance can only be described as garnet, with a deep red hue that looks lovely with a fireplace behind.

Floral undertones with a non overpowering cherry essence. Not overly sweet in the nose, with a nice sour tinge letting you know it is indeed a sour.

First sip is always the introduction, though as you enjoy it longer the flavors come out to play more deeply. New to the style so just getting used to how to best enjoy a "sour" beer. Tickles as you start, followed by a nice cherry sweetness. For being "sour" it is very enjoyable, as the sour power usually found in say a Berliner Weisse are balanced against the sweetness of the cherries. Well balanced, as the sourness that you first taste are almost instantly taken away with the sweetness of the cherries, leaving you with a very refreshing finish.

ABV is a bit high, but treat this one as a dessert beer, best enjoyed with something caramelized and fruity. Like a nice fruit tart. Mouthfeel is syrupy, though it does not linger too long.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Brilliant red with amazing clarity, sweet and sour aroma.

Dry cherry taste, not similar to any cherry alcohol/beer flavor I can compare to. Elements of tobacco and mint jive with the red fruity aspect. Really was impressive for a guy not into this stuff, but I was ready to get outside my comfort realm at the Bistro barrel aged festival, and I'm glad I did with this one.

Wouldn't call much of it sour, took on more of the sweet components even more as the drink went on.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into tulip nov1 2010

A clear brownish ruby with a fast falling light pink head that leaves no lace but I'm loving the color

S earthy cherry with some vinegar

T very tart cherry with some mild funk and a red hard candy flavor I used to love as a little guy, quite acidic and the vinegar smell is still quite present in the mouth, slight vinous flavors add some complexity

M tingles a bit and the bubbles thicken it up a little, very tart and dry has quite the pucker too it

D this is a beer I would have one of and then move on, a little intense and well concealed booze could hurt you

worth a try but for the price here in Alberta I doubt it would make it into your regular rotation

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up this bottle for about $5 in Boston last week. The label states that it's aged in oak casks with natural flavor added (cherries). Also, the label lists the name as "Echt Kriekenbier".

It pours a dark red color, clear, with a thick and wet-looking layer of foam that laces in wet clumps onto the glass. From the aroma there's no mistaking this beer for anything but a kriek. Strong cherries and wild funkiness, this smells like it's gonna be good.

And it follows through with the flavor, more kriek-like than most Flanders Reds I've tried, loads of sweet and sour notes from the cherries. Well balanced in terms of those 2 attributes, with a mild oakiness in the back that matches nicely.

Good carbonation level for a barrel aged beer, it seems that barrel aging fits this style of beer well. I'm very happy overall with this bottle, and I think it's definitely worth the cost to buy more in the future.

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Photo of HURTemHIZZY
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice brew. Pours a clear red tone, with a light pink two finger head that dissipates in a couple minutes. Leaves decent lacing behind. Smell is very nice. Big sour notes, balanced by some cherry sweetness. I can smell some funk as well, and it's clea rthat brett was used in the brewing process.

Taste is good, but a bit disappointing following the aroma. Sweetness from the cherries is kicked up a notch, and sourness is kicked down a notch. Still a decent balance, but I liked the balance in the aroma a bit more. Nice and light to medium bodied, with a prickly carbonation that fits the style and flavor profile very well. Refreshing, although the sweetness is just a bit high which hurts the drinkability.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany with ruby red highlights. Pepto pink head fizzes like soda and quits just as quick. Lacey sheet left by thin collar retention.

Aroma is cherries and steely sour. Sweet cherry and fairly reserved sour blend well but this leans more to the sweet side. Sangria and bunt spice come to mind. Effervescent carbonation.

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Photo of scott451
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip. A clear brownish ruby red with a one finger pinkish head which soon diminished to a thin layer. Good lacing.

Sourish fruity smells. Cherry is immediately apparent. Sweetish sour finish. Not as sour as the smell would suggest. A lingering fruity aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is a light body well carbonated.. Not sweet but a lot of lingering fruit flavours. I can easily drink a couple. Interesting.

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Photo of sk8man121
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into Allagash fluted chalice.

A: Pours a very attractive purple/pink with a rapturous boysenberry (yes!) tinted head. I love writing beer reviews.

S: Cherry and blueberry notes up front; slightly tart. Slightly medicinal, but appealing overall.

T: Not as sour as I had expected; not sour at all, really. Tart, and acidic, but not sour. Kinda one dimensional; cherry, a little bit of oak, some vinegar. I was expecting this to be overly sweet, but it isn't, which is a nice surprise.

M: I think the mouthfeel works well for the style. Fairly thin, very well-carbonated; it's nice.

D: Since it isn't extremely sweet, I'd say this is pretty drinkable. I'm going to cook with 1/3 of the bottle and probably drink the other 2/3 myself, so...whatever that tells you.

Not a Kriek, not 100% a Flanders; it doesn't quite know what it is. All in all, there are other beers I'd choose over this (I'm looking at you, RGC) but it's a nice change of pace and I can't say I'd never pick it up again.

I say give it a shot if you've never tried it.

Edit: "A-" is a bit much. I had to knock this down a bit...

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Verhaeghe Echte Kriek / Echte Kriekenbier from Brouwerij Verhaeghe
3.85 out of 5 based on 419 ratings.
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