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Ichtegem's Grand Cru - Brouwerij Strubbe

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

485 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 485
Reviews: 240
rAvg: 3.77
pDev: 11.94%
Wants: 22
Gots: 33 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Strubbe visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 485 | Reviews: 240 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brenden
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of chefkevlar
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a beautiful deep garnet color with a 1/4 inch or so of tan colored head.

S: Very complex aroma with a mix of cherry, vinegar, raspberry, and a little bit of a funky backgroud

T: Complex just like the smell. I was told this was a sour beer and there is a hit of sour at first, but it fades quickly. Other than that I can taste cherry and raspberry, along with a bit of vinegar. It finishes with a little bit of a mineral taste.

M: Medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation. The carbonation is made of tiny bubbles which reminds me of champagne

D: This is not a beer that could be pounded down in large amounts, but it is very enjoyable to sip on a bottle or two at a time.

Photo of ILessThan3Brett
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

Photo of joshstevens87
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a chestnut red with a half inch light tan head
S-a bit of sharpness and fruits with a fresh woody tone
T-a nice bite offruit a bit of vinegar and very smooth
M-medium body with a low carbonation a very smooth feel
D-overall a great beer that may not be as strong as other beers but is extremely drinkable

Photo of brdc
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Small capped bottle, thanks to stousnipas.
This is an Oud Bruin, according to both taste and the bottle.
Beautiful burgundy, with shiny amber overtones, and a fluffy tan head that dissipates leaving an ever-lasting lace that coats the sides of the glass and the top of the beer all the way down.
Aroma is vinegary, sour, mildly malted and slightly smoked.
Light bodied, easy to drink, it has the expected taste, vinegary, malted, acidic and mildly bitter, with some minimal "roasted" notes.
Not spectacular, but quite interesting.

Photo of OnTheRoadAgain
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This flanders brown has healthy sweetness that unites a pretty complex mix of sour lactic acidity with muscadine tartness finished by considerable minerality.

Bottle from Lizardville, Cleveland had no date.

Will definitely be drinking this one again!

Photo of macher0
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%

Pours thick head of fine bubble. Looks like a ton of carbonation. Dark ruby color. Merky. The nose is certainly sour. Notes of apple cider vinegar, apples, cherries, and dusty oak. The taste is also quite sour and slightly sweet. The taste follows the nose. A little syrupy. Smooth, a little tacky, and medium body.

This is a good Flanders. It's a little too sweet but the tart level is very nice.
A little too syrupy.It's similar to Rodenbach.

Photo of Afroman
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of TimoP
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of let8it8grow
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of jmccraney
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of zonker17
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of JohnQBeer
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of dgeebs07
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Neffbeer
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of CaptainNomihodai
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of shuckit
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Jay864SC
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Marshall_ofmcap
4/5  rDev +6.1%

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

Opaque dark red with a thin white head. Lovely wine-like smell with a strong vinegar essence. Delicious sour flavor that does indeed taste like cherries. Nothing like cough syrup or fake cherry flavor. A little too sweet, but still very good. Medium carbonation that was highly drinkable which really surprised me. This is the first beer of this type that I've had and I am really impressed. My belly warmed with each swig I took.

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Ichtegem's Grand Cru from Brouwerij Strubbe
85 out of 100 based on 485 ratings.