Vichtenaar – Brasserie Verhaeghe (Vichte, Belgium)

Vichtenaar – Brasserie Verhaeghe, 5.1% ABV, 33cl., (Vichte, Belgium)

info from

“‘Vichtenaar’ is a beer, brewed with roasted malts, spicey hops, fruity yeast and soft water, pumped up from a 172 m deep well, guaranteeing constant quality and pureness of the liquor. After primary and secondary lagering, “Vichtenaar” gets a ternary fermentation in oak vessels during 8 months. These oak pipes are big tuns with a capacity varying between 500 and 2500 hectolitres. “Vichtenaar” is a traditional and specific Western Flemish beer, from the northwest of Belgium. Its taste can be described as mild-sourish and suitably complex, thanks to the long lagering on oak. This tart flavour makes it eminently suitable for the hot summer months. “Vichtenaar” is one of the last Flemish “Oud bruins” that are really lagered in the oak tuns, and are as such appreciated by the connoisseur, looking for authenticity. As early as 1958 “Vichtenaar” was crowned as the top in an international concours in Gent.”

  • Style: Sour Red/Brown / Flemish Ale
  • Taste: Complex medium sour-tangy woody oak plum-prune red wine vinegar
  • Where I got it : Bottle Jockey / N.Bby
  • How much: $4.50 (after 12.5% off) – 33cl., November 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: good if you like sours

Visual: Pours dark cherry wood reddish-brown with small dissipating head, thick ringed retention, clusters of steady streams.

Nose: light pukey, oaked red wine sour (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: medium puckery-tart, thicker mouthfeel

Mid-palate: wet woody oak, plum-prune, (lvl-4-sweetness), big sour-tangy hit, subtle root beer spices, red wine vinegar

Finish: residual tangy acidity, lingering woody sour barley malt

Summary: A pretty complex sour ale with a woody element that is well worked into the mids. Good overall balance and interesting from start to finish.


Duchesse de Bourgogne – Brasserie Verhaeghe (Belgium)


  • My Rating: B+

Duchesse de Bourgogne – Brasserie Verhaeghe, 6.2% ABV – 330ml, (Belgium)


“Duchesee de Bourgogne is the traditional top fermented reddish-brown ale from the West-Flanders region of Belgium. This refined ale also known as “The Burgundies of Belgium” is a blend of 8 and 18 months old ales following careful maturation in oak casks. 100% natural and unpasteurized.”

  • Style: Flanders Red Ale/Flemish Red Ale
  • Listed in “1001 beers you must taste before you die” book
  • Taste Profile: sour pomegranate/cranberry/apple cider -> mild barnyard/balsamic vinegar/wood -> tart/sweet clean finish.
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores (no longer listed, 1/2013)
  • How much: ~$3.50, sometime 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: yes, it’s interesting

Tasting notes: first whiff and sip was a “wtf?! has this beer gone bad thought…” until I read up a bit on it. The yeast contains some sour bacteria and it’s aged in old wooden casks – so that’s where that funk comes from. Pours root beer brown a reddish hue, small head, thin layer of retention, some visible streams. Sour cherries/cranberries on the nose, a bit of barnyard pukishness. Initial taste of red fruit, something like pomegranate/cranberry/apple cider, 6/10-sweetness, 7/10-sweetness, fizzy/chilled mouthfeel, very mild dissipating acceptable barnyard, fruity balsamic vinegar, wood, transitions into medium tartness in the mids, finishing pleasantly gentle sweet and clean. Medium-high complexity, med depth, good transitions, very interesting drinkability. Give this one a go if you haven’t already.