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Ichtegem's Grand Cru - Brouwerij Strubbe

Ichtegem's Grand CruIchtegem's Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

406 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 406
Reviews: 226
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 12.23%


Brewed by:
Brouwerij Strubbe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: audiojon on 05-07-2006)
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Ratings: 406 | Reviews: 226 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of OtherShoe2
OtherShoe2

Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish brown with a decent cream colored head. No lace, just a ring of head retention.

Sour cherry and wet wood dominate the nose. Some toasted malt and acidity as well.

A bit muddled/muted in the flavors. Wish they were a bit more...bright. Sour notes, cherry, wood, some over-browned bittered bread crust. Sour turns to bitter fast, and I like the transition (nice mindplay, as your nose and tongue tell you 2 different things). Finish is long and mildly bitter, with the funky sour coming thru toward the end.

Acidic and medium bodied.

Not bad. A bit less sharp than I like -- flavors are there, but a bit soft. Still, a very worthy brew. I'd have this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2011 13:24:24 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to JAHMUR for this extra! Best by 04-05-2016.

(A)- Pours a dark mahogany color. Produced a large frothy/fluffy tan colored head. Great retention and tons of lace all over.

(S)- A deep bready yeast full with bits of cherry and a thick woody oak. Tiny hints at a barnyard-like funk/vinegar.

(T)- Mildly tart. Some vinegar notes with cherry, sharp oak, and a mildly yeasty but bitter finish. Thin.

(M)- A mellow carbonation level. A surprisingly thin mouthfeel overall despite the thick head and robust/complex aroma. Rather mild as well overall.

(D)- A solid flanders. The taste and feel were a bit of a letdown when the appearance and smell were great, but this is still quite and enjoyable beer nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 18:55:24 | More by sweemzander
Photo of bigdrewsmoove
bigdrewsmoove

South Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As if I needed another reason to drink beer, now I've discovered sours. This is fantastic.

A- Pours a deep brown with a really nice red hue when held up to the light.

S-Almost stings the nostrils! Vinegary, you can tell this one is going to have some bite.

T- I'm still working on learning to describe what I'm tasting, but I love this. The sourness jumps out at you first and foremost but not overpowering. This is offset by the vanillaesque flavors from the oak barrel.

M- Substantial, feels like more than 6.5.

Overall this is great. Something totally different than what I'm used to, but very enjoyable. Now I"m on a quest to find other Grand Cru's aged in bourbon barrels.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2011 20:56:04 | More by bigdrewsmoove
Photo of ZenAgnostic
ZenAgnostic

Texas

4.33/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Three Philosophers snifter. Cap stamped 05 April 2016.

Appearance - Cloudy brown body. Small white head.

Smell - Apple. Mild vinegar.

Taste - Very sour, sharp, and acidic; but those characters are balanced by the sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Acidic. Thin.

Overall Drinkability - Powerful but balanced. No off characters.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2011 18:27:48 | More by ZenAgnostic
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruddy brown and red colors comingling in a tulip glass, almost no head. Mild tartness in the aroma, toffee.

Good sour taste, impressed, sometimes flanders come off a little weak in that department, especially when they're relatively cheap and available like this one. Really a good introduction that isn't watered down or so pase its lame. Cherry is the most fruit specific flavor that exists in it. Gritty acidic tannin like qualities to it. Mild woody flavor. Enough sweetness to it to approach balance. Ultimately finishes dry.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2011 02:51:07 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

3.4/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2011 12:02:37 | More by harrymel
Photo of BeerForMuscle
BeerForMuscle

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Maple syrup brown, very foamy, choppy head and super sticky head/lacing. Rings left on the inside of the glass.

S - A tart, acidic, red vinegar nose with notes of the juice of dried cherries in oak casks.

T - Dry cherry, woody oak. Dried fruit skin and some tangy fruit acidity. Bitter hops add another component, with a nice dry champagne-like yeast.

M - Drying the mouth with a clean effervescent Flemish body. Fizzy, tingly carbonation.

O - Great sour/dry Flemish ale with a nice background of natural cherry.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2011 22:45:02 | More by BeerForMuscle
Photo of TheRealBigC
TheRealBigC

Nevada

3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at 775 Gastropub

Color is opaque brown. Solid head & lacing.

Smell not very strong, but there is a bit of cherry there.

Tastes of sour cherry with some oak on the back. It's quite tart, with medium carbonation, but it's rich in flavor and feels pretty smooth.

Overall, this is a neat beer and my first in this style. I'm definitely interested in trying more.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2011 19:14:52 | More by TheRealBigC
Photo of bceagles39
bceagles39

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Gastropub 775 in Reno, NV on July 26 2011.

Beer poured a light chestnut brown. It had a tan head with good lacing.

It smelled of sour cherries.

As one would expect, the first sip was bracingly acidic, sour and quenching.

The carbonation and beer were harsh on the tongue. The beer was very very smooth, likely due to the aging. No fake vanilla notes or anything like that.

Drinks like a Flemish Red with no lack of delicious, funky, Belgian action.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2011 00:25:25 | More by bceagles39
Photo of aasher
aasher

Indiana

3.08/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a red heavy amber in color, between light and medium in body with a white lacing around the glass. It smells of lightly sour milk and of a stale amber ale. It's really, really subtle for the style and doesn't offer very much. It tastes of a sweet and soured malt. There isn't much complexity, isn't any vinegar, but it does have a light Miracle Whip component. It drinks light and is equally between sweet and an actual sour. It's mediocre all around. I expected more from a Grand Cru, despite the ratings.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2011 17:17:14 | More by aasher
Photo of Cavery
Cavery

California

2.7/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

small bottle shared with SundaySour on a Saturday session

Poured into Duchesse de Bourgogne glass.

A: The beer pours a modest 1/2-1 finger head with fairly rapid dissipation. Fine sticky lacing sits atop a deep dark mass of maple syrup that's been kept too cold. Faint reds of manzanita, over ripe raspberries, and deep dark cherries appear in indirect light.

S: A strange mellow smell that I can only describe as water chestnut. The oakyness seems to dominate lesser notes of bread and blackberries. A somewhat difficult nose, that may qualify as being a bit too monotone. Some dust lingers in the background. A late note of wood mellowed soy sauce makes a modest cameo.

T: Very dry bitter wood chips. A sort of powdery acidity lingers in the mouth like a low-grade battery acid. A strange almost chemical bitterness dominates any fruit. if there was any fruit sweetness in here, it's been swallowed by strong oak. An awkward aftertaste of coconut that seems accidental. This really just drinks like overly rustic bread, hard tack even.

M: a medium body for the style, the carbonation is more of a sigh than a breath; there's not much to note. It's fought quite heavily by the acidic invasion of wood. It ends fairly dry that prevents any sensation of flatness.

O: This was a bit of an awkward one, I think the oak was either far too young, or the beer itself is too young. It's quite different in many ways, but the acidity is really the most dominant aspect of the flavor. Unfortunately this one drinks more like medicine than it does beer; and makes you feel like the small bottle is more than enough.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 02:26:55 | More by Cavery
Photo of SundaySour
SundaySour

California

3.03/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared with Cavery.

A: The lacing makes a crazy horror story spiderweb along the sides of the glass. The color is a murky brown-reddish, and sort of looks like a fishbowl for sea monsters.

S: True to the style, I get a big whiff of cherry pie, or those cherries you cook with booze until they flame up. I also get a little whiffers of almond. The smell is actually not very powerful; I found myself sniffing until I felt a little light-headed. Then, I gave up.

T: Not nearly as tart as some other Flanders Red Ales I've had, and therefore, sort of a bummer. Light and bread-y, like sourdough with like...some cherry jam on top. Like the smell, I keep smacking my mouth to get some flavor flav. Nope.

M: Lightly fizzy with a weird, bread crust aftertaste.

O: In the tearful words of Tyra Banks "I was rooting for you!" I really did want to enjoy this, but the light, funky flavor had me feeling ripped off. It's not an "offensive" beer, it just doesn't blow me off my swivel chair.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 02:26:00 | More by SundaySour
Photo of baakabak
baakabak

New York

3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice transparent brown with a sliver of fast settling, white head.

Scent i get is a little leathery, with good ripe cherry. Little vinegar, caramel.

Taste follows suit. Nice sour/vinegar cherry bite up front that's followed up with some caramel and toffee. A touch metallic.

Tight and effervescent in the mouth. Very nicely carbonated.

All in all a nice drinking, lighter alternative to some of the heavy hitting sours. Won't blow your mind but shouldn't disappoint either.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 20:08:07 | More by baakabak
Photo of OldIronLungs
OldIronLungs

Massachusetts

3.43/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Goose Island stemmed glass a deep mahogany/red with a finger of lightly laced head.

Lightly tart nose, cherries, apple vinegar, red wine?

A sip is sweeter cherry/grape to start, then turns to a sour vinegar, slightly grassy. Medium to lighter body with nice carbonation.

Pretty solid, nothing jumping out at me. Good level of sourness, though a little vegative mid sip.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 01:44:47 | More by OldIronLungs
Photo of juhl31
juhl31

California

3.38/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

-the color is a cloudy, deep brown with a reddish accent. a light tan head rises nicely during the pour and then settles out to a thin sheet

-there is definitely a vinegary smell to it, like a balsamic. there is a hint sour smell as well. a bit of a malt sniff in the back as well

-on the front of the sip there is sourness on the front of the tongue with the vinegar taste lingering in the back of the tongue. that taste melts into a fruity, sweet tart style candy taste (aka an artificial candy fruit taste). the finish leaves a weird, kind of rooty taste in my mouth. plus points for a nice transformation of flavors, neg. points for the finish

-there is a sharp carb bite which is weird because it also feels a bit flat somehow. it leaves kind of a burny back of the throat as well

-not necessarily a big fan of this beer. with that being said, the front end taste of the beer i didn't mind. glad i tried it, but that's probably it

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2011 03:36:50 | More by juhl31
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains tart fruit, Belgian yeast, brown sugar and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with a mild burst of tart fruits like cherries & grapes. The sourness is not as intense as some other beers in the style. Then a hearty but not too heavy malt character comes in along with some mild caramel and brown sugar sweetness. There’s Belgian yeast in the background as well a faint but complementary hops presence. The after-taste is slightly sour.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for a sour beer that isn’t too sour.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2011 02:55:50 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of yeahnatenelson
yeahnatenelson

Illinois

1.63/5  rDev -56.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Flanders Red on sale for $3, what can I lose?

Appearance -- Pours like...Cherry 7-up? Rust-colored in the glass with a slim sudsy beige head and wide bands of lace. it kind of looks like what would happen if you poured every kind of soft drink into your cup at a fast food joint. Aside from the hideous hue, really not bad.

Smell -- Strange. Candi sugar, rotten berries, red wine vinegar, canned tuna. Very sweet-smelling as if artificially sweetened (note: bottle label does not mention any sweeteners in its ingredients list). Instead of being vibrantly sour in the nose, it's just lactic enough to suggest rotting fruit.

Taste -- Woof. Candi sugar, lemon-lime soda, rotten cherries, wet cardboard, faint metallic flavor. Aside from some slight graininess, really no solid malt character to be had. What little sour character is there only serves to make the beer taste stranger

Mouthfeel -- Thin-bodied with ample bubbly carbonation. Too thin, which I will attribute to the rice addition. Who thought that was a good idea??? Also, the carbonation feels a little cheap

Overall -- I struggled to finish the glass. A menagerie of strange off-flavors with only a shadow of Flanders Red character. I was hoping for a cost-effective Flanders fix, but this ain't it. I'm glad I tried it only because I'm a big fan of the style. If you're considering tying your first Flanders Red, DO NOT start here!

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2011 02:54:43 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of LittleDon
LittleDon

Texas

3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz pour served in a tulip at the Blue Monk in Buffalo, NY 5/25/11.

A very sessionable Flanders Red. Not over the top like many I've had, but scaled back with enough to be typical of the style. Brown red and opaque, no head retention or lace. Sour fruit aroma and start. Not nearly as sour as many Flanders Reds I've had but still with the tartness and fermented apples taste reminiscent of the style. Very little bitterness in the finish. Light body and medium-high carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

05-27-2011 02:21:40 | More by LittleDon
Photo of zaphodchak
zaphodchak

Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy ruddy amber body, small, but fluffy off-white head. Laces quite well.

Vinous nose, with (mysteriously) seafood.

Taste is tart and magnificently balanced, sweetness to balance it out but not enough to cloy. Very faintly vegetal, possible beet.

Mouthfeel is nice, but not outstanding or unique in any way.

Quite a nice example of a Flemish sour... didn't know that aged sours existed, but this one is quite worthwhile, though there's no oak in the taste.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2011 03:30:33 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of ILessThan3Brett
ILessThan3Brett

California

4.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very difficult beer to review because I feel it differs an unusual amount from bottle to bottle. I've had about 8 or 10 of these over the past year, usually in a Rodenbach or Liefmans flute, and I feel that roughly half the time, the stuff that comes out of the bottle is definitely one of the best sour beers available. No observable pattern in bottle age or batch as to which bottles turn out great and which merely okay. I'm reviewing "the great half" and "the okay half" separately.

About half the time, I've gotten a superb beer with nicely balanced sweetness and tartness, predominantly vanilla flavors with a background of stone fruit, and maybe just a touch too much astringency. I think the most similar beer I've tried to this one is Jolly Pumpkin's La Roja, though I'm not sure I remember La Roja well enough to be confident about that comparison. I'd be tempted to give this verson of Ichtegem's Grand Cru a perfect rating.

The other half of the time, I've gotten something by no means awful, but certainly a bit odd, with the usual flaw being excessive sweetness accompanied by a bit more leather and astringency than usual. Leather undertones can be great in the right beer, but they clash with the sweetness here. On one occasion I got something a bit medicinal and acetone-like.

I do have a theory about the reason for the inconsistency and would love to have it confirmed or denied. I think that the beer as it is intended has pretty high diacetyl content, which comes off as contributing a vanilla-ish taste to this beer. However, diacetyls are unstable and can degrade (and then react with other beer components, degrading them in turn) if not treated gently. I think it's possible that this beer is just fragile and needs especially careful treatment to show its best. I know that it can also difficult to control diacetyl remetabolization (aka "diacetyl rest"). This must be especially difficult with a barrel-aged, bottle-conditioned ale like this one, so that could also be what's happening here.

EDIT: The distributors confirmed that this beer and Strubbe's Flemish Red Ale Grand Cru ( http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/2299/28420 ) are identical beers despite having different labels.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2011 11:53:03 | More by ILessThan3Brett
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ichtegems Grand Cru, Flemish Red Ale, matured in oak barrels, "oud bruin gerijpt in eiken vaten", 6.5% a.b.v., Brouwerij Strubbe, Ichtegem, Belgium.

I know next to nothing about this beer, except maybe that I've heard of it, and that now I'm going to drink one. So, here goes.

Perfectly plummy appearance, opaque, slightly clear at the bottom. Slim beige head rests atop.

Aroma: sour, fruity, & soft. Cherries abound, with a touch of raspberry, blackberry.
Sweetness is here, matched by tart. Caramel tones, vanilla notes, a pleasant complexity.

Taste: sweetness and sour, cherry and plum, caramel malt and oak edges all come together in the mouth, the promise of the nose fulfilled. Fresh and invigorating flavor, though mild and mellow in the whole. Beautifully textured, full bodied, many-layered marriage of sweet and sour.

One thing is for certain is that it's not a tongue slayer, nor a palate ripper, I's not going to punish with puckering. Perhaps "Flemish Red" on the front and "our bruin" on the back is a trifle misleading. If anyone's expecting Rodenbach or Jacobins, they'll be very disappointed. I've met some already who are…but not this guy.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2011 05:14:08 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Rassputtin
Rassputtin

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours transparent amber with average head that settles rather quickly. Only a light film remains around the edges.

I smell a woody sourness that makes me expect a tartness on my tongue. It smells.... Simple but not necessarily to a fault.

It seems to start bitter then settles into sour fruitiness. I initially think the flavor is lacking however as it lingers in my mouth I consider the feel on my tongue and initial bitter and think I want another sip.

The preceding sips are the same. It is not my favorite Flemish red, but it is a good beer. Definitely worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2011 02:41:02 | More by Rassputtin
Photo of rarbring
rarbring

Sweden

4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cuvée 2007. Slightly hazy red/brown/copper, a light high tan head, settles rather quickly leaving good lacing. Some curtains.

The smell is fresh and sour, sour creme, red fruits and some wood.

The taste starts sweet, fructose, then dried fruits, raisins, apples and raspberries, a touch of sour rhubarbs, some yeast and leather.

Little carbonation, a soft texture, a medium body, smooth and not dry.

A good, clean, solid, honest, original beer. Smooth temptation. Exquisite with cheese.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 17:26:56 | More by rarbring
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep reddish brown color with a small 1/2 inch light brown head that fades to a film. Small amounts of random lace on the glass on the drink down. Smells of red wine vinegar, sour berries, and funk/must. Taste is somewhat sweeter than I was expecting. Grape juice, slight vinegar, unripe berries are the tastes I am getting from this beer. Better than average carbonation but it feels a bit lacking. Overall, a good beer but nothing I would seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 06:48:33 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of TheSupremeAJ
TheSupremeAJ

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

6.5%ABV from a bottle.

A- Bright red body and white head... thick and fluffy to a thin layer. Leaves adequate lacing. When opening the bottle, a nice "pffft" sound.

S- Sour, funky melange of fruit.

T- Nice and sour... clear Brett and Lactose usage, mild caramel backbone to remind me that this is beer and not fruit cider. My wife enjoyed this beer and asked me if it was lambic (and she is usually a Lindeman's Framboise drinker.)

M- Strong carbonation, nice sourness, it could however use a tad bit more body and flavor aside from the Brett and Lactose notes.

O- Very good and reasonably priced all considering... 4.50 for the ~12? oz bottle.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 03:01:16 | More by TheSupremeAJ
Ichtegem's Grand Cru from Brouwerij Strubbe
85 out of 100 based on 406 ratings.