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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.

245 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 245
Hads: 528
Avg: 3.73
pDev: 17.69%
Wants: 25
Gots: 43 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Strubbe visit their website

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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 245 | Hads: 528
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish with a little white head. Medium plus mouthfeel. Pleasant flemish red aroma. Easy drinking, to the last drop. Nice balance with a little vinegar and well done sweet offset.A moderate cherry. The mildest of oak. Tasty one.Understated carbonation.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  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.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.17/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark clear brown with a thin white head.

Nose is assertive aged oranges and a "sweet/sour" character. Nose has a "sweet fruit with brettanomyces" character. Pleasant.

Mouthfeel is just about perfect. Rich, creamy and full bodied but with a bright acidic character.

Flavors are bright but bold and big. Huge spiced citric orange with lime, citric malt and citric stone fruit.

All around deliscious flavors once it's in the glass or in an open bottle for a bit! Air really helps this one develope into something very nice, almost like having a wine breathe.

Nice citric limed malt finish. Hints of sour all around (and one almost wants it to be more sour) but very drinkable.

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Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear dark red in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that quickly faded away.
S: There is a light to moderate amount of sour aromas in the nose.
T: The taste is somewhat complex and has an interesting balance between sweetness and sourness. There are flavors of cherries and hints of oak.
M: It feels light-bodied and tart on the palate with a light to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is extremely easy to drink because the taste isn't overly sour. I would definitely try this again.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

a little steep i think at ten bucks a go, but pretty cool beer here. is a flanders red type through and through, with its vinegar sour profile and sweet malt middle. this is interesting to looks at, not much head, very syrupy texture, and a lot of haze, even for the style. it smells nice, rich and fruity, almost gummy on the malt body, red malt transcends the caramel realm for dark ripe fruit, apple, and bread pudding. the flavor matches the nose, with moderate acidity balanced out by dried fruity sweetness. cherry and raisin come to mind, brown sugar, lemon. the sweetness and the vinegar are weird, and i am glad i am sharing the bottle, but the beer does appear to be quite traditional. have not seen this in out market here until recently. more body than the style calls for makes it linger a little too long and lose some of its refreshing qualities, but its mature beer, far out, and tasty on the whole, especially if you like the traditional belgian sour red types. Lots and lots of barrel here, if that's your thing

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Photo of brentk56
3.5/5  rDev -6.2%
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

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Photo of Knapp85
2.44/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This brew was like a mix of sour cherries and apple cider vinegar. It was really tart and strong. This isn't something I'd ever drink an entire bottle of. I just can't get passed how sour it was. I love the red color that this brew has. Theres not much head at all. The mouthfeel is light and watery. I'm just not into the flavors this one has to offer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at Gourmet Haus Staudt.

Murky, yeasty brown with a ruby tint. Aggressively foamy, pouring this is a challenge, but the head is dense and lasting.

The nose is mineral, acetic, quite fruity. Metallic and vinegar aromas meet cherry-like fruitiness. There's some funk and earth, too, and just a touch toasted malt sweetness.

It's subdued on the tongue, not terribly sour but rounded. Very vinous, white wine vinegar flavors hit the palate first. Mild acetic acid, mineral and oak, bit of a metallic twang mid-palate. The body is thin, carbonation surprisingly not excessive; guess most of it went to the head. Finishes with a mild metallic twang, some balsamic-like acetic acid and light oak tannins. Pretty nice stuff, easy to quaff or sit down and ponder for a while.

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Photo of emerge077
3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours placidly into a fluted tulip glass, a finger of off-white foam appears when the glass is turned from 45º to 90º. In the candlelight, the bowl of the glass glows a deep ruby. Tiny carbonation is seen rising near the foam. Lacing is delicate and spindly, with a sticky edge where it meets the glass.

Musty hay aroma, very muted and bland at first. At room temperature when swirled vigorously, there was a hint of cherry yogurt.

Buttery taste (diacetyl?) leads into vanilla and light touches of oak. Low level tartness fights with the dry oak tannins, and ends up feeling muddled. Is it actually tart, or more of a bitter feel from the wood? Slight taste of cherry pit and skins as it warms up, but not well defined. With a bigger sip, the oak tannin seems more dominant. Nothing funky or wild about it.

Moderate level of carbonation, but it has a filmy slickness at the end that is distracting. Overall it's a little too dull to pique sustained interest. Worth trying but not a repeat buy. Rodenbach buries this by a landslide, Oud Bruin or not.

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, dark burgundy color with a small, tan head of foam. Okay retention and minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of cherries and unidentifiable berries. There was an overall sour aroma, too.

T - Good sour black cherry flavor with a mild caramel maltiness.

M - It was crisp and sharp without the overwhelming puckering mouthfeel that sometimes comes with the style.

D - This is a good Flanders Red Ale. I've had better but it was certainly worth the selection from the store.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml bottle poured into a Snifter

A – Poured a very nice and hazy ruby tinted medium brown with a decent enough two inch head of off white frothy foam at the top. This settled down gently to a nice thin layer across with adequate side glass lacing throughout.

S – The aroma was rich and full of sour tones. There was a nice earthy grain quality to the background which melded with lots of sour fruit like smells and a nice tight bouquet of light alcohol. Very classic aroma for the style.

T – A wonderful and very full flavor this one was definitely a crowd pleaser. The first wave to hit me was a nice rich bitter sour puckered grape flavor. This was very full with a good amount of bite to it and a really nice freshness. Once it started to warm, some very nice sugary notes began to meld into it and form a very nice dark fruit like flavor that continued on into a very nice long lasting bitter dry finish. There was almost a wine like flavor capping it off, very good.

M – Very smooth and delicate, this light to medium bodied ale displayed more then adequate carbonation and a rich velvet like texture that really helped to showcase and bring forward the delicate flavors that were inside.

D – Very nice sipper. The flavors were very big and intense at first, but as it warmed it really started to mellow some and became a fine sipping sour ale. There was very low ABV so you had no trouble in polishing it off.

Overall this was a fine example of the style and really nice sour ale; I had not had one in a good while so this was a nice treat. Very nice presentation and aroma, and the flavor more then backed it up. I would gladly have another one of these any day.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a dark brown color with some red notes when held up to the light. The head is a thin, but sturdy, layer of tan foam.

S: There is a very pleasant acidity to the nose along with some excellent notes of oak. There are also hints of vinegar and cherries.

T: The flavor is overwhelmingly woody, offering tons of oak. The initial onslaught is followed by a mild acidity and a sweet, candy-like finish.

M: The beer is quite dry (despite the sweetness in the flavor), which is probably due to the excessive carbonation.

D: As pleased as I was with the nose, I find the flavor to be a bit disappointing (to say the least). The fact that the beer is so heavily carbonated didn't do much for me either.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a dark, garnet-hued body with a thin, short-lived beige head.

Smell: Sharply acetic aroma with a vague, berry-like fruitiness. Hints of antique oak.

Taste: Flavor of sour cherries and red wine vinegar with subtle hints of wood and a pinch of salt. Very light yeastiness. Tart, fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Yes sir, Itchy Gems makes a pretty fine Flanders Sour Ale.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ichtegem's Grand Cru
11.2 fl.oz. bottle; cap dated 18 JAN 2016
The label reads "ingr: water, malt, caramalt, rice, hops, yeast"

Carefully poured to leave the lees behind it's a clear, ruby accented brown color beneath a pillowy head of tan. The head retention is good. It eventually falls to a wide collar that leaves short walls of lace with each sip.

The aroma suggests tart, dark, sugary fruit: cherries, raisins, figs. There's a bit of yeast to it, some malt, and a touch of mineral character as well.

The flavor follows the aroma, and it delivers a pleasant balance between gentle sweetness and light tartness. Along with the tartness and fruit there's some caramel maltiness, but it's not overly done, and it doesn't stick in the mouth. It's actually quite refreshing with the mild sharpness upfront, the light sweetness across the middle, and a bit of grassiness and mineral character in the oaky-dry finish.

In the mouth it's light bodied but with a dextinous edge; and a creamy-smooth fine-bubbled median carbonation - not much is needed as the tartness gives it character.

Overall it's basically flawless, and a pretty good example of the style.

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Photo of jlindros
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Another one of those bottles that's been sitting in my queue for a long time, and finally just decided to grab it. Best by April 05, 2016.

Pours a fizzy bubbly 1/2 finger tan colored head that fades at a med pace, little lacing, very dark molasses colored brown beer with hints of ruby light sneaking through the edges.

Nose brings that nice malt vinegar, tart cherry and acetic acid, soured malts, soured mash, quite sour and acidic, touch of caramel like malt and candi, and hint of barrel wood.

Taste is more of expected flavors, malt vinegar to boot, soured malts and mash flavors, acetic acid but not as much as I thought actually, little molasses and candi lead to a BBQ sauce like flavor, tangy and tart, with a little tart cherry and generic sour fruit, with a decent sweetness and little sticky feel. It has a little dusty oak flavor too. Finish is sticky and a little flemmy, with more acetic acid mild burn, plenty of malt vinegar, and a little bitterness somehow, bit more sweet molasses candy too.

Mouth is med bod, flemmy and little sticky, mild acid burn, decent carb.

Overall pretty good, there are better Flemish beers out there, but this is a pretty good representation of the beer in general, and cheap compared to some others.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, clear brown with a ruby hue and a thin creme head. Nose is mildly funky, fruity, and sour. Flavor is smooth but almost mild in a way. There's some cherry to it and some wood, but overall it doesn't really go crazy with anything. Feel is smooth on liquid and the carbonation is a bit lower. Overall an easier drinking Flanders.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Freshness date of 03-2013 on top of cap.

Pours hazed reddish brown with a thin tan bubbly head. Spots of lacing stick.

The smell is tart with some acidity, brown sugar, and vinuous notes - Oak is mild.

The taste is sour notes (grapey) with caramelish brown sugar sweetness. Not as sour as some other examples. The oak is mild, but there. It has a soft sweet and sour finish.

It is light-bodied with some effervescence. Very smooth.

A very drinkable example of the style. A malty complexity balances out the tart, though doesn't overwhelm it. Alcohol is very well hidden. It's not as strong as some others, but it has a nice uniqueness and is very drinkable.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best by November 2016

A: Pours a semi-opaque dark reddish brown in color with some very significant garnet red highlights when held up to the light. The beer has a finger tall creamy looking light tan head that reduces to a patch of very thin film with a much thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: There are light vinous notes as well as just a touch of sourness in the aroma.

T: This beer is both complex and well balanced, as well as delicious. There are flavors of sour black cherries, oak barrels, as well as some vinous notes. The flavors start out subtly sweet which then turns to light sourness.

M: Light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. The tartness makes this feel a little prickly on the tongue.

O: Very enjoyable and extremely easy to drink, this beer is not as tart/sour than some of the others in the style. This beer is very approachable and definitely one that I would like to enjoy again.

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Photo of stakem
3.47/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a subtle sourness that yields to the oak barrel aroma. It's well rounded with crystal and roasted malts; very nice. The taste is good. It has a subdued sour flavor that really works well with the oak aging. It's mellowed out and thus increases the drinkability. The malt content consists of some pale and roasted malts. It's doesn't appear to be too sweet. On the contrary, it's dry and quite light in the mouthfeel. It's a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a very enjoyable beer. I love the oak contribution. It tames the sourness to a level that most would enjoy.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled February 2010
A solid pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces an almost three-finger thick, lightly amber tinged, light tan colored head. The beer is a dark, almost burnt, amber color that shows a fairly clear, deep red hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells lightly tart, faintly of balsamic vinegar, has a touch of fermented plum sauce, a solid but subtle cherry like fruitiness, some rhubarb aromas and maybe even a hint of nail polish.

Quite a bit sweeter than I was expecting, though not as sweet as the Duchesse, and there is only a touch of tartness to the flavor. The sweetness definitely begs for more balancing sourness, at least for this particular sour beer lover. This tastes quite a bit like cherries up front, but finishes with a rich maltiness that is laden with rich oxidized malt notes, toasted-brown-sugar crusted whole-grain bread and light sherry or even port like notes. Actually come to think of it, this really tastes like Concord grape juice, which I must say I am not the biggest fan of. There is perhaps a hint of spiciness towards the finish that suggests oak, but there is a certain roundness to the texture that suggests oak-derived tannins. The mix of tart and sweet, combines with the medium'ish body to make this fairly drinkable.

I shouldn't have expected too much for this beer, but somehow I feel a bit disappointed and cheated. This is certainly not horrible, but to my preferences it is not sour or tart enough and it could use a bit more malt richness too, hell even some rustic funkiness would be welcome.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bottle split with oglmcdgl. I've had this a few times.

The liquid comes out looking dark reddish in hue with some brown strokes set within. A nice fuzzy coca cola like head skims up with some tightness and a off tan color to it. No stick on the glass. Smell is pretty much deep vinegar with some faint cherry scent and some grain. Trace amounts of caramel notes, but this one is all about the vinegar. Taste is sweet over sour and it's very apparent. Vinegar, cherry, cola, sweet malt, you get the picture. Very reminiscent of Duchesses. Feel is less than medium, a nice crisp carb and not acidic, not a pucker inducing beer, but pleasant, I just cant stand the vinegar. I could only drink 6oz of this before passing on it.

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