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Ichtegem's Grand Cru - Brouwerij Strubbe

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

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

474 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 474
Reviews: 236
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 12.2%
Wants: 20
Gots: 30 | FT: 1
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 474 | Reviews: 236 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of corby112
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown color, almost black with deep mahogany edges when held to a light source. Creamy .5 off-white head that quickly fades into the thinnest of rings leaving very small specks of lacing.

Tart funky aroma with a nice oak vanilla presence from the barrel aging. Also a bit of a vinegar and dark fruit notes.

Lighter end of medium bodied and a bit watered down. I was expecting a fuller mouthfeel. Tart and puckering but much more of a vinegary sourness than expected. Lots of oak and vanilla character with a pleasant dark fruit flavor. Dark cherries, plum and raisin notes with a dry finish.

Photo of meatyard
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of deapokid
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

Photo of treehugger02010
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I got a bottle of this at Rustico's in Alexandria, VA. And Caroline was there. And she had an awesome mocha and stout. It came in a tulip glass.
Appearance. The body is a deep purple, black color. The head is no existant, almost tan, medium sized bubbles, great retention but no lacing.
Smell: The aromas are dark fruit, cherrys and grapes.
Taste: The flavors are cherrys, tart and almost spicy.
Mouthfeel: The body is thin to medium but nice and crisp.
Drinkabily: This beet is damn fine.
Don't drink and review.

Photo of popery
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Photo of jwc215
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

Photo of drpimento
3.43/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served with very little head and no lace. Color is a dark, cloudy brown with some reddish highlights. Maybe a little light struck: some burnt rubber/skunk. Flavor's not quite as skunky as aroma and I get some of the nice tart malt with fruit in the background. Had another bottle of this here recently and it was much better - no skunk. Good mouth and carbonation. Skunk's gone at the end. Good finish. No sense of the alcohol at all. I'd try another

Photo of ToasterChef
4.18/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a Trappist Rochefort chalice. It pours very dark brown with a tan head of large soapy bubbles. There is a slightly earthy aroma, but I couldn't really smell much with this beer. The complex tastes is where this beer shines. It is mildly sweet, with molasses, gingerbread and winter spices. They all work together well, even though it seemed I couldn't always taste all the flavors with each sip (probably because the beer was warming as I drank it). It has a fuller mouthfeel; this isn't a watery beer. It fishes dry with a hint of toffee and perhaps some toasted malts. I like this beer. It probably isn't a great choice for a hot Memorial Day weekend (when I had it), but would work well in the colder, winter months.

Edit: after looking at some of the other reviews, I wonder if I was served the correct beer, as my review doesn't sound like any of the other ones. I am reviewing from my tasting notes, and I left no indication that this one tasted sour at all.

Photo of LaPeste
2.65/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

11.2oz bottle $4.69 from Vendome in North Hollywood

A: Pours opaque reddish brown with a two finger head. Looks to have particulates floating throughout, hard to tell because of the opacity.

S: Cherries, vinegar, ripe fruit

T: Grapes, like watered down wine. Other than that, hard to detect much, not very much complexity. Pretty flavorless. I was expecting this to be sour based on the fact that it is aged in oak barrels. I hardly get any sour though.

M: Thin. Doesn't do much for me. Doesn't feel terrible in the mouth. Just that the flavor is so lacking.

D: Easy to drink, but not very inspiring. So I don't see the point.

I was pretty disappointed here.

Photo of tedsox31
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on-tap at Hopleaf. It was served in a tulip glass.

The appearance is reddish-brown, and somewhere between translucent and opaque. Served to me with a very small head of foam, no lacing was left behind as I drank it.

The aroma that I got immediately was a nice fruity character, some yeast, and also a bit of a vinegar presence. There was also some oak and vanilla, but it was the fruit that dominated.

The taste is very nice. It is not as sour as some other sours that I have had, but there is a nice balance between fruitiness and acidity that appeals to me. Right off I can taste the fruit, cherry or perhaps raspberry. This is followed up by a nice acidity that does not overwhelm me. It finishes with a nice oak taste.

Mouthfeel is a little on the thin side but overall not to distracting. Some carbonation is there also, although it could probably benefit to have a bit more.

The drinkability is high on my scale. The sour taste is such that it cleans my palate and tells me to keep coming back for more, yet there are enough other things going on that it never becomes too much. This beer will not blow you out of your seat in terms of sourness like some Flanders, but I think that it is still a nice representation of the style.

Photo of lstokes
4.43/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

People are saying this is a tame beer for the style, and that might be true--I'm not sure I've ever had a Flanders red before--but it's so drinkable for a sour that I kind of fell in love with it.

I drank it on-tap in a tulip glass at Quotations in Media, and it was a dark deep ruby with a 1-finger beige head. The smell was very fruity and didn't give off much funk, and the taste was I suppose similar--fruity and sweet to start, then a nice clean sour cherry and raspberry, hints of oak and vinegar, didn't make you pucker or give you a funk buzz, relatively light mouthfeel, but kind of like drinking a deeper, darker, better lambic. That's what I thought to myself--"I'm glad I got this instead of the lambic, I get tired of the lambic sweetness quickly but I won't tire of this."

Would go out of my way to find again.

Photo of ThirdLap
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido on the way back from my wedding in San Diego. Bottle shows a best before date of 03-2013. Served at 45°F in engraved champagne flutes we received as a gift at our reception.

Pours a dark ruby brown with a finger-thick creamy light tan head. Lots and lots of chunky thick lacing remain as I sip this one down.

Nose is rather subdued... there's a lot going on, but nothing that really screams out for attention. Most apparent is tangy dark cherries and the expected notes of red wine vinegar. Hints of oak and caramel round things out. Alcohol is apparent, which leads me to believe ABV is on the higher end of the scale for Flanders reds.

First taste is promising, with tart cherries, red wine, and an oaky finish, but it quickly fizzles, proving to be a rather one-dimensional example of the style. Savor this one quickly, as any flavor the tongue picks up disappears quick. Mrs. ThirdLap (who is a fan of the style) could not finish her glass, complaining of an off-flavor that reminded her of beers that have been improperly stored... however I'm fairly certain that's not the case with this bottle.

Body is rather thin and watery, with carbonation on the medium-high end of the scale. Alcohol is more noticeable than expected.

I found myself losing interest after the first few sips, knocking a few points off drinkability. It's an easy-drinking beer, but you simply find yourself bored with it very quickly.

Photo of Florida9
4.35/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank @ hopleaf

Served in a tulip glass

A: Dark caramel color with very little head. Slightly translucent.

S: Very complex and highly aromatic. Sweet and sour. Notes of bubblegum, lemonheads candy, and wild yeasts.

T: Quite tangy and sour, but in a positive way. Reminiscent of a brash young red wine. Light maltiness on the front end with the acidic finish and taste of fruity red wine. As with the smell, the flavors demonstrated a good deal of complexity.

M: Clean, crisp, and acidic. Heavy carbonation.

D: I must admit, I am not familiar with this style of beer. I typically do not enjoy Belgian beers for their lactic sourness, but this beer was different. The sourness, and I use the word sour for lack of a better term, was akin to the sourness or acidity present in wine, was well balanced, and was in no ways distracting or offputting. This was a very good beer. It was a pleasure to drink and paired well with food. I could not see it being one I could drink repeatedly as the unique flavor profile could be fatiguing, but, otherwise, quite enjoyable.

Photo of organicbrewer
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2oz poured into an Oerbier glass

a-Brilliantly clear ruby with a two finger eggshell head. Pleasant to look at. Head thins but lingers.

s-Malt vinegar and cherries. Slightly metalic. Some wood.

t-Sweet carmelly malt. Wood chips. Not very sour. I know the oud bruin isn't puckering but the balance is tilted way towards the sweet. Not much sour here. Almost like a brown ale aged in wood.

m- medium dry bodied. Not a ton of carbonation, which might help cut the sweetness a little

d- If this was a little less sweet, and/or was a bit more sour this would be better. The sweetness lingers on the palate a bit too long.

Photo of nick76
2.48/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The aroma is sweet and sour with vinegar, fruit, and oak. The appearance is amber with a large head and floating particles. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is thin. The finish is sour. Overall it's sweeter than most of the style but this is probably likable for many that like the style. I have had better.

Photo of dqderrick
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle from Holiday Wine Cellar, Escondido, CA.

A - 4.0
Dark red. No visible particles... very clear but dar.

S - 4.5
Sour, oak barrels, some sour cherries.

T - 4.0
Sour cherries with oaky if slightly vinegar flavor. Woody, oaky after taste.

MF - 4.0
Bubbly on back of tongue. Good mouthfeel.

D - 5.0
Very drinkable. It reminds me of a good Quad Belgian Ale but is only 6.5%. Tastes much bigger than I expected.

This might have been aged a little... but I'm not sure.

Photo of brewcrew76
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11/2012 printed on cap

A - Deep reddish brown with little head.

S - Sour and slightly acidic, wet oak, cherry yogurt?, maybe a touch of spice.

T - Wet oak, vanilla, slightly spicy with tart cherry. The oaky tannins linger on the tongue.

M - Medium body leaving a slick, dry coating in the mouth. After several sips I feel as if I have been sucking on wet oak chips that have gone dry and are leaving a strange oaky film coating my mouth.

D - Slight promise in appearance and smell but all down hill from there.

Photo of ccrida
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in the Strubbe's tall Ichtegem tulip, Ichtegem's Grand Cru is a chill hazed dull brown head that leaves scattered foam. The featured brewery of the month at La Trappe in San Francisco, it's a brewery I've always wanted to try but have never been seen available in Oregon (or PA, where I used to live).

Smell is maltly, coconut, slightly acidic, vinous. Unmistakably Flanders Red. A little subdued, but it was very nice, and the more I savored the bottle, the more I appreciated the aroma.

Taste is pretty smooth for the style, with very little tartness. Oaky and vinous, some coconut and vanilla notes, light solvents, hints of red wine vinegar. Clean overall, a great crossover beer for red wine drinkers that would be turned off by increased sourness.

Mouthfeel is dry and slick, medium light body, there's a bit of a dry chalkiness as well.

Drinkability is pretty good, but frankly I prefer more acidity. Just had Rodenbach's Grand Cru last night so I've got a very fresh impression for comparison, and prefer that for sure. Still it's not bad, exceptionally smooth.

Photo of philipquarles
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown with dark cherry tinges and a medium beige head. The foam subsides after a short period to leave a thin film and some lacing. Smells fairly sour, with some fruit notes coming through. Sweet malt in the background, along with some woody earthiness. The taste echoes this, with a sharp, though not overpowering, sourness at first. As the palate gets accustomed to this, some vinous notes become evident and the crystal malt comes through. Finishes dry and oaky. Smooth feel thanks to the medium body and low carbonation. A pretty decent oud bruin.

Photo of PerzentRizen
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I think that people who drink Flemish Reds for the first time often are very hard on them. I happen to love them when I can get ahold of them. They are extremely flavorful and sour in a good way.

I poured mine into a sierra nevadad celebration ale glass circa 2001. The look of this one is dark with light head and no retention. You can tell this is extremely carbonated - as many are.

The aroma is of yeast, light funk, round malt, and no hop smell. The yeast is really prevailent.

The taste is tart, light but rich, and sweet. There is a slight oakiness - this one is aged in oak barrels. The finish is of raisins, bitter tartness, and of prunes with a sharp cheese end. This is a really long flemish red that gets bigger as it warms.

The mouthfeel is ligth, airy, and refreshing. Almost perfect for the style. Again, many people are looking for hop resin mouthfeel and since this beer style does not dictate that need it suffers in the average review (or so it seems).

This might be the most drinkable beer I've ever had. It is light, refreshing, and keeps begging for partners to follow. Great brew!

Photo of Halcyondays
3.18/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

33 cl bottle,

A: Pours a beautiful dark crimson into a flute glass with a colour that thins out to the bottom into more of mahogany. Long lasting off-white head with good lacing.

S: Definite wood character, cheesy funk, sugar syrup.

T: Quite sugary, it has good oak notes and barrel character. Funk is interesting, but too much at times, definitely has a ton of Brett in it. Very low in acidity for the style, more like a Belgian dark.

M: I miss the sourness of a more traditional Flanders Red, sweet finish, quite sugary. Relatively light-bodied.

D: Certainly a different take on the style than the more lactic character in something like Rodenbach. An interesting experience, I think any sour fan should try it out.

Photo of yeastsipper
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a light reddish, woody brown. Not much of a head.

The smell is very wine-like with some red wine vinegar smells. I note some cherry scents as well.

This beer is full bodied and well balanced, more so than other oud bruins I have had. It does not have the typical sour finish. While it is sour, it has more of a dry, woody finish to it. The oak barrels really influence the taste of this beer. Flavors of grapes and raisins linger on the palate.

I had not heard a lot about this beer, but it was very enjoyable. It was quite a bit different, earthier and full-bodied, though less complex, than the Duchesse. Pick a bottle of this up if you happen to see it.

Photo of lhaqq
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours with a light brown/ruby body and a generous thick tan head.
S: Sour grapes, yeast, green apples. Not as pungent as other sour ales but pleasant.
T: Sweeter than I was expecting. A lot of fruits. Grapes, cherries, and blueberries; kind of syrupy. Finishes with a hint of brown sugar and some bitterness.
M: Compact carbonation, not too strong. Doesn't have much of a sour pang.
D: At 6.5%, not one of the strongest of the style I've had. As such it is pretty drinkable and could probably have a couple.

Photo of DrJay
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly murky reddish brown with a thin cap of dark beige foam. The collar was a bit rocky with fine bubbles covering the beer. Light tartness in the aroma, berries and unripe fruits, a little earthy, very slightly acetic. Mild sourness with a bit of toffee amid the berry, cherry and red grape fruit flavours and the leafy earthiness. A bit more acidic in the finish as the other flavours faded. Medium to light bodied with lowish carbonation, a bit viscous. Easy drinking and probably a good introduction to the style for those not already into sour beers.

Photo of jojox
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a - brown, slightly red. Very clear. No sediment, this doens't seem to be bottle conditioned.

s - smells of toast and mild wild funk. Caramel malt in there too.

t - sweet malt with a hint of sour and tang. Winey, red wine but no tannins.

m - lots of CO2. Not much else to say.

d - easy, but not what I expected.

This seems like a very simple beer, only very slightly tart/tangy and not much complex sourness or funkyness. Very drinkable.

Ichtegem's Grand Cru from Brouwerij Strubbe
85 out of 100 based on 474 ratings.