Brewed by Verhaeghe
Style: Sour/Wild Ale
Vichte, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Serve in Snifter, Tulip, Tumbler


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 769   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.47/5   EST. CALORIES: 204   ABV: 6.8%
"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 is the basic beer of the "real cherry beer" 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 is intented to have a a more constant taste of the "real cherry beer" over the years.

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3fourths (9358) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - FEB 7, 2006
Uh oh... could this be spoiled? That would really make my day... not like this little 33cl bottle didn’t cost almost $4. Let’s see... brown rust where the cap was held, tinny sour spoiled nose of foot sweat and tobasco sauce... oh man something here is wrong, but I can’t place it. There does seem to be a bit of a cherry presence in there, and being a sour ale an all I guess some weirdness is expected, but this thing could just as easily be interpreted as being massively spoiled or infected. When sour ales aren’t made well this is what happens... you just can’t tell. Has a massively burnt flavor of peanuts, chemicals and cherries, with a tinny rust flavored minerally body. Bleeeuuughhhh. Bad on so many levels. Someone said balsamic cherries, I think they’re right.

dwyerpg (6413) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - JAN 19, 2006
Doesn’t smell as god as thier Duchesse or Vichtenaar. Not the slightest bit similar either. The cherry flavoring is much more overt, but is really too much. The malt is too powerful in this as well.

csbosox (1229) - Prairie Village, Kansas, USA - JAN 18, 2006
0.33L bottle, bb 18-10-06. Served in my NB worthy glass right from the cellar at 52°. Dark red color, reddish tinted, white head, smallish but fluffy. The beer and foam coats the glass when swilred. The aroma is red wine, red wine vinegar, oak, vanilla, and a touch of sweetness. The cherries don’t assert themselves, in fact I cannot discern them from the rest of the aroma. Yup, this is a flemish sour, wasn’t sure when I bought it. The initial taste is sweet and sour cherries with a bit of oak and yeast? The mid-taste is vanilla, oak, and a bright cherry flavor and cider with a bit of mouthpuckering sourness, but not as much as a non-fruit Flemish sour. The finish is moderately sour with some oak and a touch of brett? or some other lambic-ish funkiness. The funkiness is far from overwelhming, but adds a bit of flair at the end. This is pretty tasty, I kinda dig the cherry with the flemish sour.

OldMrCrow (2446) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JAN 15, 2006
UPDATED: AUG 6, 2009 Original rating 1/15/06 From the bottle.

Pours a deep elegant red with a reasonablely long-lived pinkish head. The aroma is apple vinegar and black cherries; the flavor is the joy of sucking sour cherry juice out of old tannic oak -- a pleasant (if slightly too sweet) Flemish sour in the Vichtenaar vein, with decided cherry (which is integral, not a flavoring add-on) and hints of oak and vanilla, nice sour twist with a pleasant finish, well carbonated, and refreshing on the tongue in even small sips.

I’m really enjoying this one, though it didn’t last nearly long enough in my glass. I wish I had another waiting in the fridge. 7/4/8/4/16 = 3.9

Rerate 9/11/06. Again bottled.

The above rating was one of my first experiences (maybe the first? I don’t remember) with sour ales. It was a great gateway sour, because it got me thinking about and appreciating both the sour flavors and the fruit flavors that a good beer can offer. (Previous to this, my experience with fruit beer was limited to nasty American wine-cooler alternatives). But I feel that after getting accustomed to a number of the wonderful blended and fruit lambics out there, this one falls a bit short. It’s got some nice funky aroma and flavor in there, but on top is a syrupy cherry sweetness that verges too close to Lindemanns territory. 7/4/6/4/13=3.4 Rating is averaged.

Rerate 8/5/09 Naked City sour tasting. Lindemanns gets ahold of Duchess. 7/4/6/4/12=3.3. Pushing the rating hard in that direction.

ThomasE (5174) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JAN 12, 2006
Clear reddish colour with a small pink head. Tart fruity aroma with notes of some cherry and marzipan sweetness. Yeasty flavor with hints of almonds and some cherry sweetness.

fiulijn (21264) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 25, 2005
Ruby color; big head. Lovely aroma, with sweetness, sourness, cherry fruitness. Good sweet taste, but missing some more biting sourness; lightly vinous.

DonMagi (5593) - bantervile, Bedfordshire, ENGLAND - DEC 20, 2005
UPDATED: MAY 31, 2007 I like all of the beers iv tried from this brewery so far so another bash. Aroma is balsalmic cherrys with maybe a little aluminium too. Taste is Vichtenaar, from the same brewery, but maybe a little less blood and less sour too. There seems to be near no cherry taste at all in my beer, which i like, but im wondering where it comes from in the aroma? I’ll need to try it again. RERATE: Kulminator, 1999. Showing serious age, excellent.

Hooker (468) - Coquitlam, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 8, 2005
Clear reddish amber colour with thin off white head. Mild cherry nose. Tart cherry taste with dry cherry finish with slight warming alcohol hints.

Dorqui (2261) - Brescia, ITALY - NOV 30, 2005
Much compact and brittle head, little long-lasting. Red clearly color, lightly pinkish, much elegant and fizzy one. Complex and winy scent; notes of sour black cherry, must, red grape and cellar...very balsamic. Extremely stinging and racy taste. Pleasant must, tangy and cherry notes even if lightly top heavy and dry on the end. Little perceivable bitter.

luckygirl (1222) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - NOV 21, 2005
If beers were girls ... This beer is a startling deep, dark, clear ruby red with a large, short-lived pale rose-colored head and light lacing. The aroma is full of tasty things: sour cherries, pastry, sour apples, rose hips and maybe a hint of five-spice powder way in the back. The flavor is sweet with a lightly bitter, slightly coppery finish. The carbonation is lively and the body is light, bubbly and refreshing. A new sweet favorite!

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