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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 tronester
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear mahogany with a medium tan head with impressive lacing. Aromas of vinegar, and super ripe fruit. Taste begins with some super tart cherry, followed by a hint of grain, then some woody, mouth puckering sour finish. Mouthfeel is rich. Overall a nice sour beer.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.15/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into a pint glass. best by 12/17/17.

pours a dark brown/red with no head. moderate amount of bubbles. the smell is of sour cherries, quite pronounced and strong. taste is about the same, with an added flavor of grapes as well. enjoyable and true to style. medium bodied with medium carbonation.

overall a solid example of a flemish red. very tasty and enjoyable.

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

It's true that I need more experience with the style, but I think I know the guidelines, at least.

It's sort of a thick and hazy beer, and the color isn't so much a red-brown as brown-red. A big, fluffy off-qhite head stands for a good, long time, barely diminishing below two fingers for quite a while and remaining even as the beer is being drunk. It sticks around like a creamy pillow before eventually settling to a layer that deposits patchy lacing that continues to spread out in legging as it goes.
Tart and sour on the nose, this is a solid standard-setter as I understand it. Just a touch of vinegar-like funk is unoffensive and deep. Light alcohol notes just sneak out.
Plenty tart and sour, it's short of puckering but plenty flavorful. It's got lots of it, giving the impression of underripe fruits that have somehow full developed their flavor. A creamy sort of vanilla sweetness underlies it and balances very nicely. An easy sipper that's not too sour but doesn't stray, I could have several of these easily.
The body is light a fairly robust red wine with a light fizz to it. It's got a solid depth to it and flows very nicely. It has a pretty easy finish.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.91/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

We pop the top and foam exploded from bottle in waves. Infected?! We’ll see. We pour a brew the color of an old penny. It holds a two and a half finger head of foamy, spidery bubbles, leaving thickly patterned lacing down the sides of the glass. Retention is nice. Carbonation appears quite high, and a thick haze is noted, with flecks of large white sediment suspended throughout. The nose is funky, with tart, but softly floral, Brettiness. The malts are rich, toasty, and sweet of caramels and toffees, with accentuation by warm oakiness, big musk, balsamic vinegar acidity, booze, and freshly cooked soap. With warmth comes lightening sweetness of juicy bubblegum esters, green grassiness, and more of that typical pefumy funk. Our first impression is that the flavoring is very sharp and tart at first, but this quickly falls away by the end. As we sip, the taste opens with fusel chemical bite, booze, synthetic lavender perfume, light grapefruit zestiness, big funk of yeast, tart berry fruit juiciness, and green banana meatiness. Coming to the peak is spoiled fruit bitterness, German lager malts and lighter pales, cane sugar, vinegar, and more of that juicy bite of puckering, yeasty funkiness.
The finish comes with wax, chapstick, mild diacetyls, faint oak, that big aromatic muskiness, lemony twang, and more of that continued yeast and puckered fruitiness. The aftertaste breathes of vegetal fermentation, mineral, mud, musk, lemon peel bitterness, cranberry tartness, black cherry sugars, major funk, and distant barreling. The body is medium, and the carbonation is lighter. There is great slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop. The mouth is softly coated and cooled, with eventual warmth of the oak, and only mild dryness or pucker. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks nicely.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the aroma and the mouthfeel. There is big perfume, funk, and sweetness from the aroma, hitting most of the necessary notes quite nicely. The taste, however, was a bit curious as none of the tartness (or substantial oak) lingers through the sip. It hits hard at the front of your teeth, but is all but indiscernible through the end and aftertaste, where basic cooked brown maltiness predominates. This is partially rectified by the soft, creamy slurp of the feel. In conclusions we did not feel that our bottle was infected. This beer marks a good representation of the style, but lacked enough jazz or cohesion to pull it to the next level.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.78/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel tulip. The pour is a nice dark burgundy, a little hazy, and sports about a finger of off-white head that quickly dissipates. On the nose I get red wine notes, some vinegar, and dark cherries.

Light body with a nicely balanced sweet and sour flavor. Lots of fruity sourness up front with flavors of cherries, lemons, and oranges. At mid-palate a slight hint of vanilla creeps in, sweetening the flavor and softening the feel in the mouth. A faint lactic sourness hits on the finish that seems to clash a little with the fruit and wine-like acidity.

This is one of my favorite styles and I was happy to find another example I had never tried before. Not a bad beer, but the lactic notes kind of spoil it for me. There are far better examples out there.

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Photo of GuzzLah
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a clear, red-brown with a short head, some lace and no bubbles.

S - Sour cherry, green apple, soft vinegar and some bubble gum. No lacto or barnyard.

T - like the aroma with a pleasant finish. Nice flavor, but not extreme.

M - medium body with moderate carbonation. Mildly sour and acetic for the style.

O - not an outstanding Flanders, but I enjoyed drinking it. Conservative without being weak and probably a good gateway to more extreme examples of the style.

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Photo of confer
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had the 11.2 oz bottle. The beer pours dark brown with a rim of foam around the glass. The smell is tart cherries and very near a vinegar smell.
Taste isn't as tart as expected with a dull cherry juice like finish.
Not a bad sour, but I believe I'd reach for others first.

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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 Suds
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown color with reddish highlights, this beer has a thick, tan, small bubbled head. Lots of carbonation. The smell is of candy apple and earth. Musty, mixed with a tangy sweet scent. Lots of yeast scent as well. The taste is both sweet and sour, with a little slant to the tangy side. Not quite mouth puckering, but rather cleansing. Fuller in body than I expected. This is a nice beer, on style, and very approachable.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the 330 ml. bottle with a bottle cap stamped 15:20/1703-25APRIL17. Sampled on December 19, 2012 and served at about 50 degrees.

It pours a very heady, dark amber with some ruby red hues when held to the light.

The aroma is sour, no question about it. But in more detail there are esters of wood, pale malts, cherry, and butter.

The body falls into the medium range with some astringency.

As far as the taste goes this is definitely a sour ale with notes of cherry and a low but lingering bitterness. I will admit that sours are not top on my list of styles but this one was not bad.

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Photo of Seanniek91
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into an Affligem Goblet

Appearance- Beautiful amber/brown with very short lasting bubbly white head. Head left some nice lacing.

Smell- Apple cider vinegar. Brett. Some cherry, vanilla, and oaky notes, but all very mild.

Taste- Funky earthy taste (the exact flavors I'm getting are baffling me. I can't figure them out.) Some cherry and vinegar. Minimal oak (vanilla) notes. Tart, but not face changing.

Mouthfeel- Very very carbonated. Tartness makes me salivate.

Overall- This has been a confusing beer to me. Not the best Oude Bruin, but a decent one.

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Photo of spoony
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From an 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip. Best by date on the cap says 25 April 2017.

A-The brew is a dark cola color with only the slightest hint of ruby colors. There is a healthy, pillowy, tan head (two-fingers, at least) that really sticks around. Visible carbonation keeps a cap of head on the beer and leaves quite a bit of lace on the glass.

S-The smell is typical oud bruin...sour, funky cherries with a pretty big whiff of sweet vinegar and candied lemon. Just a bit of oak to be found.

T-The taste is tart, but not mouth-puckering. You get a little oak, but the predominant flavor is a sweet, slightly malty, light cherry flavor. There is just a bit of funk as the beer warms up.

M-Carbonation is pretty fine, but noticeable on the palate. The brew is medium bodied.

O-This is not the best oud bruin I've had, it lacked complexity and punch on the tongue, and it was a touch over-carbonated for the style; but a little more sour-power and this thing might move up a few notches. That being said, the appearance and aroma were pleasing.

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter. 15 April 17 on the bottle cap.

A: Pours a cloudy/hazy brownish ruby with a 1.5 finger off white head. Too hazy to see any carbonation. Leaves just a little lace.

S: Very funky and tart aroma. Vinegar in there as well. Can tell this one is gonna have a sour taste. Sweet malty aroma as well as oak.

T: Hits you at first with a funky tart taste that transforms into a sweet malty beer with an oak backing. There is plenty of a candied sugar. Ends with almost a wheat malt taste.

M: Fairly light body that feels heavier than it is. A good amount of carbonation. The sour aspect makes it fairly crisp.

Overall a beer I could really get into. Has the full fledge wild fermentation aspect along with a very realistic beer body. Perhaps a little sweet but that compliments the tartness.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

this one's a dead ringer for Duchesse - that's what I tell my customers, and most of the them agree it's close enough....not that it doesn't have its subtle differences...

I'd say it just about looks the same as DdB, perhaps a touch darker. The aromas are more or less the same, however, one can detect a darker fruit profile. And when sipping, a more black-grape-vinous quality comes across....a noticeable malt-grainy flavor is tucked in the background, while a fairly prominent pear flavor fights for supremacy against the vinous notes....perhaps a little vanilla as well.... What's also clear is that this drinks a little drier and more bitter than DdB, lacking quite the fruity/malty-sweet intensity that DdB packs...

Tough to avoid the comparison here but, try it, and you may agree. It's a great beer, all the same.

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Photo of Jfriz25
3.22/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours a murky reddish brown. If you've ever donated plasma it's like a darker version of that.

Smell- Read some reviews after purchasing and wasn't thrilled but my first thought when I poured the glass was "maybe they are wrong.". Smells tart and funky wih some green apple coming out.

Taste- Starts fairly tart but it is overtaken by a artifcial rotten apple note. Not sure if this is an old bottle because it just tastes kind of stale.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with a decent amout of carbonation on the finish. Probably the highlight of this beer. If only I could drink it without tasting it. (ok that's an exaggeration but still)

Overall- I had never seen this on the shelf before and I'll never pass up the chance to try a new Flanders. I think I paid $6 for this bottle and it definetly wasn't worth that. If you literally had no other sour options fine but it is the definition of mediocre.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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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 Darkmagus82
3.2/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a dark brown color some tints of red and almost no head. Upon swirling there was very little lacing..

Smell – Sour notes of cherry and some notes of other dark fruit aromas of red grape and fig. Mixed with these aromas were some lighter notes of a light oaky note.

Taste – The taste starts out sour and gets even more sour as the taste advances. It begins with cherry and some other sweeter fruit flavors of prune and apple. These flavors bitter and sour more as the taste advances with a more vinegary flavor that enters the profile. In the end some oak flavor meets the bitter and sour flavors to leave a somewhat unpleasant burn on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is on the light to medium side with the carbonation level rather average.

Overall – While it has some nice aromas and fruit flavors upfront, the very vinegary flavors sort of turn me off (this is not really my style of beer; so if you like sours it has some nice characteristics, but if you don’t like sours then….)

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Photo of Beelzebeer
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle, best before April 5/16. This bottle is a year and half old, if not mistaken. Maybe a little less.

A - Dark, dark brown with 1-inch head, some lacing.

S - Dark cherry, sour

T - Medium-high carbonation off the top, gives way to cherries, sour, raisin, a little plum. Alcohol comes in at the end.

M - Carbonation doesn't last too long in the mouth. It dissipates a little too quick. A little astringent too.

O - Pretty nice. Definitely an oud bruin, not a flanders. Would recommend.

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Photo of soulfly1492
3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Bold cherries and grape. Moderately sour. Some darker fruits, plums and figs. Mild spicy phenols. Low hop aroma. Moderate sweetness from dark malts.

Appearance: Pours a tall light brown head whcih fizzes loudly and dissipates in 30 seconds. A tiny bit of foam remains around the edges. Pale dirty brown with some red.

Taste: Bold dark fruity esters. Plum and raisins. Molasses. Mild pepper. Some alcohol at the aftertaste. No vinegar. Some black cherry, which turns a bit harsh at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium stinging carbonation. Quite dry. Finishes very dry. Light to medium body.

Overall: Moderately malty, fruity, aged oakiness, slightly sour. Not the best, but certainly good stuff.

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

Bottle at Josie Bones. From notes.

A - Poured murky brown with a red tint. One finger of beige head. Nice drapes of lace and a film of retention.

S - Nice woody notes. Rich fruits and spirits. Cherry, dark fruit and sweet fruits.

T - Less dark fruit, more tart woodiness. Mellowed later with a sweetness. Woody, tart, and sweet all at once.

M - Good carbonation, medium body, frothy in the mouth, tart finish.

O/D - Nice. Enjoyed it as it captured the flavours I was expecting properly and fit the style. Balanced accordingly. Nice stuff.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into a pair of snifters

Pours dingy reddish brown with a dirty dishwater head that fades quickly. Smell is nice, sour, and fruity.

Taste sweet and fruity and moderately sour, a little nondescript.

Mouthfeel is slightly dry, fairly light. Overall, it's not bad, but it's no Rodenbach Grand Cru.

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Photo of mltobin
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle at Jimmy`s in NYC.

Appearance is a burgundy color with fluffy looking white head. On the nose, there is cherry, wood and sourness. This one looks like it is going to be fairly sour. Upon sipping, sure enough that aspect was there, along with more of those cherries. Some Belgian candy and yeast was also part of the flavor. Mouthfeel on this one was dry, nice carbonation. Some of that tart quality sits on your palate for a bit. Certainly one, to have some water and/ crackers afterwords.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.34/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

330 mL bottle poured into an RR -tion glass. Best by 2015, I think, but it's smudged.

Appearance - Dark ruby brown body with an ample two-finger head of off-white foam. Excellent lacing. Really nice lacing.

Smell - Sweet malts and oak are most predominant. Hardly any tart aromas. Cherry, I suppose, but it's not a sour cherry.

Taste - Much more acidic than the aroma implies. Harsh acidic red wine vinegar. Oak all over, too. Finishes just a touch sweet.

Mouthfeel - Harsh on the palate. The flavors aren't bad, but the mouthfeel is unpleasant. Very acidic and vinegary. Highly carbonated.

Overall - It's harsh and too oaky. The flavors aren't inherently bad, but the feel just cancels out all benefits.

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