Professor Fritz Briem 13th Century Grut Bier - Professor Fritz Briem
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Ratings: 247 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
4.68/5 rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
I honestly had no idea what to expect from this, and I really *wanted* to like it -- so a certain trepidation factor entered in, and I was preparing myself for disappointment.
There was no need. This is the most surprising -- and surprisingly different -- brew I've had in quite a while. The closest thing I've had to this would be the offerings from Williams Brothers (makers of Heather Ale and such), but this one really picks up where they leave off.
In summary: I love it. The $7 price tag (ouch!) might keep me from having a steady supply on hand, but otherwise I'd make this a staple in my house.
Appearance: Yellow. Bold, sparkly, glowing, translucently-cloudy yellow. With a billowy white sea-foam top. In my Duvel goblet, it looks divinely perfect. For some reason (and ignoring the other posts on here) I was expecting a much darker brew (thanks to Williams Brothers). Lovely.
Aroma: Wow. This smell is incredible -- like the way I hope my kitchen smells on good days! Bay leaves, ginger, anise, cardamom, peppercorns, coriander, sour cherry, pear, and cinnamon.
Taste: Mulling spices meet Belgian farmhouse meet heather ale. This is absolutely out-of-this-world. My fear was that the "herbiness" would quickly become tiresome and over-the-top, but the opposite happened -- it becomes increasingly catchy and addictive the more I sip. Extremely thirst-quenching and unendingly intriguing. I could honestly stand it to be stronger in the malt, or overall-strength, department, but that's my only (slight) complaint.
Mouthfeel: Perfect. Juicy, piquant, scrubby-bubbles, off-dry. It would even work as a lawnmower beer for some days.
Drinkability: Again, the hefty price tag for a 16.9 fl oz bottle, but geezus this is delicious stuff. I'm going to have to show superhero restraint, put the rest of my unconsumed glass in the fridge, and cook up some vegetarian Indian food to go with this. It's begging for it. It would also be a winner with my "Chaucerian" spiced-Venison pie.
Holy cow I'm in love with this beer.
Serving type: bottle
10-01-2009 22:12:17 | More by drperm
4.55/5 rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75
A: really cloudy, yellow....bright white head, spongy - a nice amount, good rise, just doesn't want to stick around....it looks like a Berliner Weisse, or Absinthe
S: herbal - pasta sauce?! (but this goes away)...I'd like to think the rosemary and ginger comes out most predominantly....sniffed, for reference, all the herbs/spices listed on the label (with the exception of gentian, though I did have Angostura on hand...)....wasn't detecting any caraway and the anise was thankfully just enough to balance, bay leaves perhaps the same...with the green herbs and the ginger was a wonderful citrus blend of an aroma....the whole spice bill was so well balanced and edged toward accessibility
T: up front, a nasty, funky mystery (but this goes away)....the aftertaste very much mirrors the smell....I suppose that's the gentian that's prevalent here....fruity, mildly tart, some vague sweetness - herbs and spices are so well balanced and mellow enough....ginger/bay-leaf bite very late, but still fairly subdued....a sort of herbal/floral and certainly bright citrus flavors are the core here
M: sort of thinnish, a little dry....spritzy (or is that the citrusy/herbal bite?) - enhances the thinness....later, there's actually a pleasant, yet soft, filling sensation, yet it washes away somewhat clean, though a little residual stickiness remains on the palate....the lighter body works to its advantage here though
O: in my mind, this is the best of the more readily available gruit ales on the market....something that truly stands out, and it's so drinkable!...and only a German or (better) British yeast seems appropriate for this style (Belgian "gruit" is a waste/joke)...the yeast must have some hand in the flavor here, but it still allows the flavorings to come through....definitely try this if you haven't!
Serving type: bottle
04-13-2013 07:32:14 | More by Bouleboubier
4.5/5 rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #39 (Apr 2010):
This rare treat is part of the Historic Signature Series of forgotten styles brewed according to the historic recipes by Dr. Fritz Briem of the Doemens Institute. Gruits have their place in lore, with sources citing psychotropic properties and berserking effects. Not sure if we'll get our Viking on here, but this interpretation is brewed with bay leaves, ginger, caraway, anise, rosemary, gentian, wheat, barley and wild hops.
Pale, straw, cloudy, with a ton of carbonation that induces a massive foaming white head. This eventu- ally settles to a creamy lace that sticks to the end. Very fragrant in the nose. Sweet herbal with ginger, floral (lilac), soft rosemary, mint, menthol and wheat husks. Light bodied; flash of crispness, then smooth with an underlying creaminess. A bit tart with a nice wheat twang, mild grassy bitterness and pine sap. Ginger flavors dominate with a soft spiciness. Juniper. Sage. Cloves. Soft licorice. Touch of sweetness, but dry overall. Wheat tannins toward the end with a linger of mixed-bag of spices, grassiness and menthol.
For those looking to experience beer of yore, this is a must. There's a lot going on, but it's delicious, highly drinkable and refreshing; it works well, and gives you a glimpse into beer geek palates of the 13th century. And though examples of the style are quite rare (we currently list fewer than 50 on the website), this is quite possibly one of the best Gruits we've had to-date.
Serving type: bottle
01-11-2011 02:17:48 | More by BeerAdvocate
4.48/5 rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
P: Bright cloudy yellow lemonade body with a fast disappearing white head.
S: Crazy aroma. Caraway, rosemary, bay leaves, ginger, mustard seed, subtle fennel, tart citrus kissed wheat and spicy barley. Weird but amazing. Timid grapefruit in the back.
T/M: Taste comes off as a super spiced up summer wheat ale. The bay leaves really bring a bitter earthy profile along with the caraway and rosemary. Like drinking a brine solution mixed with wheat beer and tart yeast. Light zesty body that is nice and refreshing. Grapefruit in the finish.
O: I wasn't sure what to expect but I gotta say its superb. The spices really work as weird as they seem. A great easy drinking summer beer. I will definitely grab more of this. Cheers!
Serving type: bottle
06-11-2013 22:36:51 | More by Hopswagger
Professor Fritz Briem 13th Century Grut Bier from Professor Fritz Briem
86 out of 100 based on 247 ratings.