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Ichtegem's Grand Cru - Brouwerij Strubbe

Not Rated.
Ichtegem's Grand CruIchtegem's Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

245 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 245
Hads: 525
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 11.59%
Wants: 25
Gots: 43 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Strubbe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: audiojon on 05-07-2006

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 245 | Hads: 525
Photo of GusDom
3.42/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Poured with an inch worth of head, the color is of a darker ruby reddish/brown. Fine bubbles floating to the top. Pretty nice looking beer, not much lacing being left though. Head dissapeared after about a minute.

Aroma- Grape skin, slight green apple and vinegar. Smells like kombucha. Fresh tart cranberries, slight caramel, faint bitter-sweet chocolate. Has an oaky finish.

Taste- Caramel, prunes, slight vinegar, oak, smell and taste are actually pretty different. I also get a nutty taste, similar to an almond. The smell tends to be more pungent where as the taste is just slightly pungent with a slight sweetness added.

Verdict- I have mixed feelings about this beer. I definitely appreciate the aroma, the beer didn't seem too complex at first whiff but after about 4 more tries I started picking up the chocolate notes, it definitely surprised me how complex the aroma was. Still, the taste just didn't do it for me. I was expecting a little more sour and not so much sweetness. I'm not saying it was very sweet, but it did have that slight doppelbock caramel note I was not expecting in a flemish sour. I would try again if offered but Im not going to go out of my way to seek it out. I would rather recommend Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour for someone who is new to sours, it may not be as complex but it is definitely more enjoyable IMO. (1,358 characters)

Photo of dbossman
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Mahogoney with a thin but steady head; lacing is full and steady

S: Sour; woody with a touch of vinegar; subtle tart cherries

T: Sourness falls flat--a bit of tart apple and woodiness but most is lost in watery finish

F: A bit thin

D: While this is drinkable, this is not what I was expecting--thin and not nearly sour enough (332 characters)

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - It looks more brown than red, with a little eggshell-hued foam. Pretty straight-up for the style.

S - The smell is of a little wood, small traces of vinegar, and huge notes of sweet Concord grape.

T - The taste is fruity as hell, the flavor is almost all Concord grape juice, even on the finish a little sour-tart candy grape flavor lingers. I don't detect much else; the Concord grape sweetness is overpowering.

M - Feels thin and refreshingly light. It works well with the flavor.

D - Too sweet for me, and it just overwhelms all of the intricacies that I look for in Flemish Sour. (591 characters)

Photo of deapokid
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a Flemish Red I missed at Sour Fest, but luckily stumbled upon at Capone's:

Pours a winey, blood red with thin acidic head and champagne-size carbonation.

Scent is ripe, sour and fruity, like a very tart sangria. A woody forest character brought on by the oak barrels is ever present.

Taste is subtly dry, well-mixed with an oak character and the sweetness of cherry and raspberry flavors. Ending is musky like a wine cellar, but a little understated compared to Rodenbach and the Duchesse.

Acidity tingles in the back of the throat, with a dry ending that resonates after the sip for a few seconds. Flavors aren't sour enough to limit drinkability, which makes this one go down pretty easily, especially with that nice oakey ending.

Although not a masterpiece, this isn't a bad rendition and only suffers based on comparisons with other, more established brews. (875 characters)

Photo of Phatz
3.44/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

What a strange beer. A Flemish Red that is more creamy than sour. Odd.

Appearance: The look it terrific. It pours a dark garnet brown with absolutely loads of lacing plastering the walls of my glass like a curtain.

Smell: Sweet sugars, Belgian candy sugar, molasses toffee, and *browned butter*.

Taste: The most distracting flavor in the beer is this significant butteryness with a vinegar attribute as well and of course the wood flavors come though as expect in a barrel aged sour red. There is a dull cherry/sherry element and tasty touch of old fruit. Still the butterscotch is odd.

Mouthfeel: It is a rather smooth medium body with fine carbonation that slides across the palate. Average-ish.

Drinkability: I seemed to enjoy the opportunity to try this beer more than my friends did. It is not bad but certainly not something I am going to look for again either.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (903 characters)

Photo of jgasparine
3.44/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- Poured with a thin tan head, which quickly dissipated, leaving some traces of lacing behind. The body was a hazy red-brown, with no carbonation observed from the sides of the glass.

S- Smells of cherry cider (if I could conceive such a thing)... sour, acidic notes, combined with cherry, oaky, and candy sugar aromas on the nose. Anticipating a lot of nice infection...

T- Surprisingly moderate flavors- relatively low in acidity... slightly metallic with traces of lacto and adicobacter... all with a moderate caramel malt and candy sugar backbone. None of the anticipated cherry flavor on the palate, and not much oakiness either. The finish is lingering and dry, ultimately becoming slightly tart in the end.

M- Medium body with an appreciable amount of unattenuated sugar. Carbonation is abundant and somewhat harsh.

D- Drinkable enough, but not my favorite Flemish Red/Brown... not as sweet as I would have liked, and not as sour as I would have liked either. All in all, this was a weaker version of the style, which left a lot to be desired. (1,055 characters)

Photo of musicforairports
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours brown, with some ruby. Head gone pretty quick, minor lacing.

Smells of cherries and other fruits, some sweetness and tartness beneath, no real sourness.

Taste is sweet in a non-cloying way, rich with overripe cherries and other berries. A bit tart.

Mouthfeel is a bit thick and syrupy given the complexity of the sweet fruit flavors here.

This one is easy enough to drink, but it lacks that fantastic sour-like nose, and the flavor is thick, rich and sweet and opposed to more crisp and sour. (502 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by: 07NOV15

A: pours a treated dark rawhide color with a 1.5 finger peanut head which falls in a couple minutes to a capped sheet. Cobweb lace. Good border clarity.

S: Dark cherries, strawberries, lemon, leather, mineral hints, plenty of woody oak. A little bit of sweetness, pretty for the style.

T: much sweeter than I had imagined. A medicinal cherry flavor is dominant with oak, tannins and bitters bringing up the back end. On the finish I get a hint of band-aid mixed with nougat. The acetyl aspect of this beer is limited; so much so I with there was more vinegar in this one.

M: Medium on heavy with moderate and spritely carbonation. Semidry and smooth finish.

O: Not a bad beer, would be interested to see if it gets more sour with time. It's not a bad beer by any means, the flavor has some off-tones and that's my primary complaint - it's in the finish that I'm put off. (892 characters)

Photo of khiasmus
3.45/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Clear, dark brown with a minimal amount of soapy head.

S- A bit sour, some yeast, bread, fermented cherries, a hint of alcohol, and oak.

T- Fermented oak, vinegar, metal. The metal tends to override the finish: The whole thing is much less complex, or even flavorful, than I expected.

M- A bit thin, watery, medium carbonation, with a long, sour, dry finish.

D- Easy to drink, but sadly nothing special. disappointing. (425 characters)

Photo of suspect
3.46/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 375ml bottle into an Ithaca Excelsior Tulip. Best by date April 2016.

A: Brown color with some slight red around the edges. Aggressive pour leads to a 1 finger light khaki color. Lacing is thick, sticky and impressive.

S: Not a ton on the nose but what I do pick up is some earthy notes along with some standard malt and a very faint yeast smell.

T: Nice flavor, malt forward, nice dark fruit notes come through with dates and raisins being the most obvious. Some subtle molasses notes as well. Interestingly complex flavor. Really nicely done.

M: Amply carbonated, almost too much on the front end of the sip. Creamy mouth coating. Long lingering aftertaste leaves me reaching for more.

O: A good beer, not overly impressive but one I was glad to try. This one was a "pick a random Belgian beer and buy it" purchase and I'm not disappointed. I probably won't seek it out again though. (902 characters)

Photo of froghop
3.47/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark brown with a red tint, a small khaki head that dissipates quickly, above average carbonation, and some lacing.

smell is of malt, some fruit, cherry juice, and wild yeast.

taste is carbonation, dark fruits, sour, and wild yeast, ends smooth and tart. (264 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.47/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from notes taken 12/30/10. Shared with some friends.

Bottle had a best by date of 9/29/14. Poured into a sniffer, it appears ruby red in color with decent clarity. A finger of dark tan to brown head forms and holds around the glass. Swirls revive the cap and sticks with leggy lace about the glass.

The aroma of this brew is strikingly similar to apple cider vinegar. Tangy vinous quality with some oakiness that smells sweet and mildly vanilla. Quite fruity almost like currents to the back of the nose with a slight sulfur hint.

The taste is fruity with tangy caramel malt, apple skins, and a mild vanilla smoothness. A tangy amount of alcohol brings back the apple cider vinegar hints that are lightly sour. It finishes with fruity alcohol that is almost candy-like.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light amount of carbonation. A tingle of alcohol warmth is felt in the back of the throat. Easy drinking but a little bit of a mess. The cider verse sweetness didn't really do it for me. (1,003 characters)

Photo of meatyard
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/2012 freshness date

A hard pour yields a 1+finger off-white head that vanishes quickly down to a partial cover and has a very dark, reddish brown color.
The smell is sour, vinegar, as in the red wine type, and an interesting vanilla fruit like character.
The taste is a bit of cherry fruit, a tart, sour earthiness with a finish that is somewhat bitter (?), not hop bitter, maybe more acrid which isn't pleasant to me. The odd taste in the finish is the weak point in this beer for me.
Mouthfeel is not exactly thin or medium but a little syrupy and drying.
Drinkability is mostly good, it's the swallow that got me.

Not a bad beer but doesn't nearly measure up to the better versions of this style. (705 characters)

Photo of mep3222
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on tap. The sourness was very unique. I was not a huge fan of the sourness of this beer. Most times I find the sourness to be appealing, but this one I thought actually tasted metalic, but after drinking more I do not think it was a metalic taste but a weird aftertase from the sourness. I didn't think it was all that great as a flanders red, balance was not there and the complexity that I usually find in Flanders Reds was severly lacking. (451 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a mahogany color with ruby highlights and a very modest head that lays a film down atop the liquid; just a few dots of lace

Smell: A hint of tart cherry but rather non-descript

Taste: Cherry juice, up front, with slightly more sweetness than tartness; a bit of funk after the swallow but, like the aroma, rather non-descript

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Easy to drink but far from the top of the class for this style (481 characters)

Photo of BBP
3.51/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours ruby chestnut with a slightly thin head and some very nice lacing.

Mildly fruity in the aroma with a decent presence of tartness and sourness.

The taste is quite balanced, and while it's not too bright or sweet and appeals to me in that way, I almost wish it had more potency. It's very tastefully done, but it just seems a bit dull.

The body is medium in thickness and medium in weight. The finish is dry and slightly sticky.

Overall, this was a good drink, but it didn't set itself aside as something I'd pick up again. (535 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.52/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours, yep, a deep red colour with decent clarity. Head is a very fine bubbled number, white with a very slight pinkish or orange tinge to it. The head is lovely and fine, almost creamy. I've had fewer better heads out of a bottle, although it does dissipate to a film reasonably quickly, which is a shame.

Nose is pleasantly oaky, with a good acidic vinous character coming through, but balanced with a light vanilla sweetness, also possibly from the oak. Cherry kirsch and a pronounced woody note. Overall, damn, it's spot on for the style, and I love how tempered the potential acidity is.

Taste is a little thinner than the best examples, and not only does it not have the body, it lacks the potent acidity which goes along with that to cut through it. But overall, that just weakens the entire beer. Some lightly sweet almost candi sugar character throughout, with a very slight cherry note, and a whiff of oak that may well just be remaining from the nose. Vanilla character comes forward on the back, but it's more unpleasant on the palate without the acidity to balance it.

Feel is thin, and it matches with the lack of character on the palate.

It's a shame, because this beer promised a lot. But it eventually revealed itself as a pale imitation of the greats. It's not bad, and it's a tasty Belgian ale, but the style is so much better than this example would have you believe. (1,392 characters)

Photo of AllenJasper
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to Snifter
First 'sour' beer so i may just be rating the style, not the beer itself.

A: very dark red with a brownish tint. Sandy tan head, no lacing.

S: kinda smells like sparkling wine. Fruity and a strange vinegar hint.

T: it's got a raspberry/vinegar sourness that accommodates a dark red/brown ale flavor.

M: kinda sticky, with sharp carbonation... Sourness lingers

O: I like it. to my lips it's as simple as a sour brown ale, and I normally don't like brown ales. I can't imagine drinking more than 12 oz of this, it kinda baffles me that so many sours are served in 750mL bottles... I'll finish the bottle happy that I tried it though. (654 characters)

Photo of bskrtz
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served cold -- 11.2 ounce bottle to Abbey style open beer chalice

A) Belgian Dubbel clone, cloudy milk chocolate color ale. Very dense -- you cannot see through this stuff

S) Candy-sweet, fruity licorice, sour dough

T) Sour sweet malt, root beer, apple cider, tart

M) Bottle conditioned effervescent fizz. Holds carbonation well

D)This is not my favorite style, however Ichtegem is an excellent example of the style. Those who like Flemish Ale will surely enjoy this one. (477 characters)

Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad beer here, though not my favorite by far. Pours a nice ruby amber color with moderate sandy head. Smell is pretty normal for a Flanders Red Ale, though a but restrained. Lightly toasted malts with a hint of vinegar, some sweetness to it too. Taste follows, though the sour/vinegar flavors are really attenuated--I'm looking for a bit more out of this style of beer here. Drinks like a decent light brown ale, though I would have trouble picking it out as a Flanders. Dry on the finish, light and snappy. Decent drink, though I was looking for a bit more to this one. (576 characters)

Photo of popery
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A sweet, pleasing Flanders Red. This beer pours a brownish red color with a better than expected off-white head. The aroma is sweet and sour cherries with a touch of malt. The flavor is similar with a medium-light vinegar kick. My score is dropping as I go through my glass, which is never a good sign. There's a somewhat cloying syrupy character to the beer. I'm not good enough at beer tasting to tell if it's back-sweetened, but it tastes that way to me. If this beer was bone dry, I'd like it a whole lot more. As is, the sweet cherry flavor is growing acrid on my palate. It's not a bad beer, but I prefer a bit less sweet in my sours. (640 characters)

Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.53/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mahagony brown-red capped by a short lived tan head.

A scant nose of yest with a hint of the oak barrel.

Flavor is a somewhat light tart cranberry like affair-- not really cranberries but the tart,sour essence of cranberries-- hops flavor and malt is there as well. Yeast is also a noteable characteristic.

Mouthfeel is cordial with the beer's tart characteric flavor making for a long finish.

Overall I think this is an enjoyable beer.
I forogt what I paid for this one-- under a 12oz bottle-- so $$$ per bottle is always a part of the equasion. (558 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From: Friar Tuck's, Savoy, IL
Date: Best by 13-Nov-2016
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

Strubbe's Ichtegem Flemish Red comes across as a more intense version relative to their Flemish Red Ale Grand Cru, and by intensity, I mean the noticeable "funk" and acidity in the aroma and taste. There is a definite bile or acrid urine component to the scent and flavor of this beer, but it's integrated fairly well, and I suspect that others would view it as fruit-like flavors. Somewhat amusing, I found this more palatable than the Two Brothers' Moaten, mostly because this actually had a character, whereas that beer was abnormally bland. An interesting Flemish Red, one I'd try again if it were free for the taking, but when I'm paying, I'll stick with Rodenbach or Jacobins.

Pours a 1cm head of light tan bubbles, very small and dense in size, with average retention. As the head descends to a ring around the glass, it leaves some significant streaks of lacing on the sides. Body is a rather dark brown for the style with few hints of red. Beer is also transparent, with light bringing out reddish hues and making some modest carbonation visible.

Aroma is somewhat harsh, with a definite bile or concentrated uric-acid-like component to it. This gives an emphasis of smelling more sour than it is. The strange acidity takes front billing, but behind it there's some very sweet raspberry and cherry esters, though no real oak presence. Despite the apparent unpalatability, I don't find this particularly unappealing.

The taste follows scent, with minerals and concentrated uric-acid tartness on the front of the palate. Fruit esters appear predominantly in mid-palate, sweet cherries mingled with ripe blackberries, over a base of soured malt base. Back of palate picks up chemical-like tartness, a bit like red wine, but still having that bile or uric acid-like component, along with continued brown malt sweetness. Overall, not particularly unpleasant, if you're into weird sour ales, but not something I'd necessarily seek out again, either.

Beer is medium-bodied with mid-level carbonation that creates a fairly creamy, smooth mouthfeel. Finish is dry, with little residual stickiness on the palate. (2,203 characters)

Photo of infinitebruner
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

September 18, 2014

11.2 oz bottle, snifter

A – Dark, dark amber to brown, with a deep red tint. A couple centimeters of pink foam on top, dissipating quickly to pretty lacing on top. Looks a lot like grape juice.

S – Sweet cherries, tartness is big on the nose. Some sour acidity. Very low note of funk in the background.

T – Some puckering tartness mixed with candy sweetness, but not cloying. Wild cherries, some raspberries or blackberries. Sourness/tartness is very mild through the finish, which has some mild acidity.

M – Somewhat thin, but not to a fault. Low to moderate carbonation does not impact the palate. The sweetness, tart and acidity are balanced toward the sweetness. Moderate bite on the finish.

O – A flavorful beer, a little too heavily balanced toward the sweetness for me to love it. Good, but fairly unremarkable, especially for a style that tends toward complexity. (906 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.56/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

As the families of oude bruins and Flanders red ales share a similar geopgraphic region, the separate styles converge in this moderate strength Grand Cru delineated by the Strubbe Brewery.

The turbulent pour reveals a russet brown with garnet highlights. It's partially hazed appearance releases ample carbonation to fuel a fluffed and sprite foam stance. Somewhat champagne-like, the beer's carbonation has a fast turnover until the carbonation dispels deep into the session. Light random lacing gives the beer a little more structure than sour ales are typically given credit.

Sharp vinegary aromas shock the nose with the intensity of young lambic and cherry-infused Flemish ales. Mouth whetting sourness are draped in complementing scents of light toast and chocolate malts. Mild brine, lemons, sour white grapes, limes, and crab apples accompany the acidic balsamic notes for a complete and rounded scent- albeit abrupt for an Old Brown.

And the taste of the beer also heavily favors the vinegar sourness. Intense and puckering- the beer starts off with thin honey and toast but soon transitions sharply to dry toast, bread crust, and nuts before diving swiftly into the more acidic and palate-stripping sourness. Sour cherries, sour grapes, lemons, limes, and green apples propel the sourness toward a dry oak taste that finishes the flavor profile. As quick as the taste intensifies, it fades just as fast.

Sharpness extends from taste to texture as those acidic compounds pierce the taste buds and other soft tissues with pinpoint precision. The terse malt buffer is soon shed and the beer strips the mouth and refreshes it with a clean finish. Sharp astringency lingers in the sides of the tongue and jaws as an echo of cherry and balsamic last in memory.

Though brown in its color, I would better consider this beer to be a Flander's red ale rather than an Oude Bruin- It's much sharper and cherry-like that the must-friendly brown ales. (1,952 characters)

Ichtegem's Grand Cru from Brouwerij Strubbe
84 out of 100 based on 245 ratings.