Gruut Belgian Amber Ale
Gentse Gruut Brouwerij

Gruut Belgian Amber AleGruut Belgian Amber Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Brown Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #98
Ranked #42,493
3.56 | pDev: 12.08%
Gentse Gruut Brouwerij
Gruut Belgian Amber AleGruut Belgian Amber Ale
Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 62 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
JonnoWillsteed from England

3.57/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've just realised this might be my first gruit-beer, where herbs and spices are used instead of hops. Seems gruit goes back c1000 years and pre-dates the use of hops as the prevailing form.
L- Dark ruby-chestnut, clear (zero sediment left in bottle either), pours with 1Cm ultra-fine bubble mid-tan head, that's holding extremely well (+ does right through for 20mins, impressive)
S- Mild, a subtle and very fleeting sour fruity smell, hmmm not sure.
T- There is a 'bouquet' of aromatic herbs in the taste, and they even seem to leave a light hop-like zing on my tongue. There is also a touch of sour-cherry. The interesting thing is I can't ID specific herbs or spices (and I will only read the lable *after* writing this), they blend in a very subtle way and the unexpected thing is if you did not know, well I'm thinking blind-tasted you might not even notice this beer contains zero hops!
F- Very much like beer (ie with hops) just with a touch more herb/spice than typical in a beer. It's subtle though, and yet has a hop-like bitterness. It also has some richness bringing balance.
O- Excellent beer to blind-taste on a friend or family member; it might be fascinating to hear their thoughts without them even knowing it's a gruit. I thoroughly enjoyed trying that. Another interesting thing, my wife enjoys good beer but has the common Asian 'bitter gene'; strong bitter tastes (like a Pilsener), over over-hopped 'hipster' beer really are unpalatable for her. But here she did not register the alt-hopping as like the bitterness of hops at all.
330ml bottle. 5.8% ABV (instead of the 6.6% in the Description^). BB: 07/08/2021.
Bought online from: BelgiumInABox for import/home delivery to the UK.
The main lable is entirely redesigned, now a lot more subtle and trad-style. A subtle 1/2-tone grey pen+ink sketch of a cathedral approach/forecourt, and restrained text description which curiously (for a direct personal import from Belgium) are ALL in English. Back lable is brief but multi-lingual and lists ingredients, and notably 'herbs' but not which ones.

Apr 10, 2020
Photo of josanguapo
josanguapo from Spain

3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From Belgiuminabox. In Teku glass. Playing Heaven Island. Usual profile of ambers I dont use to like combined with herbal notes that make it more affordable. i dont miss the hops

Sep 11, 2017

3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Commercial name in Spain: Gruit Amber
330ml bottle. Wine glass. Amber color & chill haze appearance. Yellowish foam creates a close crown showing fairly good retention. Crystal malt, candy & toffee aromas. Sweet malts, toffee & chocolate hues on the flavor profile. Light body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth palate. Spices & ripe fruit in the middle. Dry spicy finish rounded by sweet no-cloying aftertaste. Refreshing & easy drinkable. Smooth from the beginning & well balanced beer.

Aug 30, 2013
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Looks good for a Gruut a 1/2 inch of foamy opaque head. Clear deep amber brown in color.

S - Faint caramel and bready malts. Smells rather sweet.

T - Well it was sweet until it hits a block where the hops should be the spices can't seem to give it enough body to support a clean finish.

M - It's light and refreshing but eh...

Overall I guess I am not much of a fan of gruut beers. This one had promise but feel flat on the body and finish.

Jan 01, 2013
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock from England

3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl Bottle @ De Bierboom, Brugge on 4th July 2012.

Clear body with an amber hue: thin head of off-white bubbles.

Caramel and other malty aromas in the nose, some yeast hunts hidden at the back as well.

The taste was also malty caramel and on the semi-sweet side with the yeast esters not showing in the flavours within the mouth.

Medium bodied and rich enough to carry the sweetness without turning the beer into a sickly mess. My sweet tooth loved it (I even bought a bottle to bring home).

Aug 22, 2012
Photo of beerdrifter
beerdrifter from Germany

4.2/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Clear copper-amber pour with a half finger head that quickly fades with minimal lacing. The nose is somewhat subdued, but very unique, as expected. Very herbal and flowery with hints of honey, cinnamon, caramel and butterscotch. The taste follows suit with a similar unique herbal character. Hints of honey, butterscotch, caramel, nutmeg, and some other flavors that I just can't describe. I'm a hop head, but I'm not missing the hops at all here. The uniqueness makes up for it. Reminds me very much of a winter warmer or Christmas beer. Mouthfeel is slightly chewy and syrupy but really smooth and drinkable with just a touch of bitterness on the finish. I've visited the brewery in Ghent and this holds up to the draft version. I'll be in Ghent this weekend and will definitely be picking up more of this!

Feb 28, 2012
Photo of EkimGram
EkimGram from New York

2.88/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: 11.2oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip. Bottle started to foam and spill once I opened it. Colour is a hazy brown. Finger-thick head fades to a thin film leaving a nice even lacing.

Smell: Tart, yeasty, and some dark fruits.

Taste: An odd mix of flavours. I get some dark fruits, some bitter hops, a touch of yeast, and a bit of spice. None of these flavours are very bold so the end result is a confused mash of weak, need-to-be-sought-after tastes.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied with a generous amount of carbonation. Sticky.

Overall: Far from the best of this style. It is seriously lacking in flavour - not a particular taste per-say but a boldness or strength that one normally finds in a Belgian beer.

Jan 03, 2012
Photo of skypup
skypup from Germany

4.18/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased 2 each Blonde, Bruin, and Amber ale at Beer and Gin House, Ghent, Belgium.
.33L bottle served in a Gruut glass.
Note about the Gruut glass with an oblong mirror at the bottom of the glass; When served with two triangular Gruut Beer Deckels (coasters), place your glass on the center of the circle and the mirror and deckles create a figure of art on your glass.
A- Clear burnt-sienna color a lot of carbonation and a thin head that dissipated quickly.

S- slightly maltyness with a whiff of herbs and spice

T- Somewhat grainy with an complex spiciness at the beginning of the tongue. It mellows out into a worty bitterness.

M: A lot of carbonation but a light bodied beer.

D: I prefer the amber ale over the blonde and bruin for drinkability. A little high in carbonation, but a pretty good beer.

Sep 15, 2011
Photo of RuudJH
RuudJH from Netherlands

4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Checking all the brews from the Gentse (who, btw, have such a great mix of herbs they use, I was surprized to learn they don't use hops).
Amber classically brewed the english way: without sugar.. stated on the website (also claiming it's an english pale ale style).
With herbs.

Amber colour, beige head, nice carbonation.
Smell is roasty malts, some dark fruit, a bit of candy.
Taste is full flavoured bitterness. Spicy, herbal notes.
Dry finish.
Very interesting experience. Well balanced bitterness and malt, and it does have the characteristics of some english ales I've tried.

Good beer. Enjoyable.

Jun 01, 2011
Photo of redsonja
redsonja from Netherlands

3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A; light brown the head is gone quik.

S; spices,caramel,candy suger.

T; hopbitter,spicy.

M; the taste is good but gone quik to bad.

O; for beers made with spices i dont taste it in al the beers. gruut was not only to spice the beers but to conserve it to but the spices are in all the beers not in the taste.

May 06, 2011
Photo of rinhaak
rinhaak from Massachusetts

3.97/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a light copper color with a full head. The head faded much faster than expected, and within a minute it was gone.

The nose has sweet malts, breadiness, and light hints of overripe plums.

Because of the complete absence of hops, the malts take control in the mouth. The beer is well balanced, though, in that I would never describe this as an overly "malty" beer. There is an almost caramely sweetness on the edge of the pallet that pairs with a slight bitterness (the gruut). It has a very nice malty finish, and is very drinkable.

Gent's only brewery, this is a rather unique spot: the brewer uses gruut instead of hops as the bittering agent, and the lack of hops is immediately noticeable. Though not off-putting, it can be a shocking absence for "hopheads."

This brewery is definitely worth visiting if you're in Gent, but not necessarily worth taking some home.

Feb 24, 2011
Photo of crossovert
crossovert from Illinois

3.97/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle. It is a gusher so beware.

It pours a dark brownish amber with a small off-white head.

The smell is fo dark fruits and dark bread. It is simple but nice.

The flavor is pretty typical. It is mostly comprised of dark fruits, some amber malt, and a hint of caramel.

I did not like the fact that it gushed, but it is a pretty solid brew otherwise.

Feb 13, 2011
Photo of psuKinger
psuKinger from Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A rather expensive bottle purchased at my local bottle shop, the idea of an "American Amber/Red Ale" brewed in Belgium baffles me. I have no idea what to expect, here... I kind of like that.

Bottle poured into Petrus snifter glass, and clearly over-carbed, as carbonation immediately rose up out of the next within seconds of me popping the cap.

A: Hazy Orange color with lively carbonation and a large off-white 2-finger head that disippated quickly.

S: I pick up malt-sweetness and earth-tones in the nose, with a bit of yeasty presence as well.

T: Smooth mild bitterness at the start. Caramel sweetness on the back end dominates. Lively carbonation throughout. This beer starts smooth and a bit thin, and then the malts overwhelm on the finish with that caramel flavor I already mentioned.

Not an overly complex beer, but I have a feeling that I'm not going to grow tired of this as I work through the bottle.

M: Thin and bubbly initially, with a reasonable amount of malt-sweetness left behind after the swallow.

D: Drinks easily enough to merit a good score. If other options are available, I would choose to move on to something else after having one of these on any given night, but wouldn't hesitate to pick up another bottle next week if the price was right. A decent brew, for sure.

Dec 18, 2010
Photo of robbyc1
robbyc1 from Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very Odd Notion, this one, a Belgian amber, sweetish with apricot fruitiness, notes of burnt caramel and woody/herbal notes. Very complex with some off-putting from the herbal side, maintains a balance that keeps it from being poorly made, and it is quite good and interesting, but I wouldn't call this an American Amber by any means, Gruut is a category is it not? One of the few examples and not a bad one.

Jul 25, 2010
Photo of CHickman
CHickman from New York

3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a reddish amber color with a tan creamy head and a light smell of malt, yeast and fruit.

Tastes sweet and of roasted malt with a mix of wheat, hops, sugar, spices, some fruits and herbs(??); nice warm complex flavors with the yeast and malt being the strongest tastes, and a medium body and carbonation. Overall a good beer, just not anything exceptional in the flavor department, especially for a Belgian product. It was quite drinkable and I enjoyed it, but I've come to expect a lot from Belgian products and this beer just seemed average...and average by global standards, not just Belgium.

Jan 19, 2010
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
JoeyBeerBelly from New York

4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle served in a beer flute.

This beer gushed a bit when the bottle was opened but luckily I was quick with the pour which produced a hazed copper brew with a big beige head that thinned to a layer leaving trails of lacing.
The aroma is Belgian yeast and a sort of apricot/fig blend of fruit.
Taste is light and fruity with the yeast being subtle and a light bitterness on the finish.
Medium bodied with a crisp, refreshing feel.
Pretty darn easy to drink.

I got a single of this beer for $1.39 and it was well worth the price of admission.
I will be buying more.

Jan 11, 2010
Photo of benfons
benfons from Belgium

3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I rally had to try this one. I lived my entire life in one of the big Belgian cities, but for some strange reason it didn't have a brewery. But this has changed now.

A: I poured in a Gruut-glass. Slightly dark amber colour. Nice thick head. A lot of carbonation but the bubbles are small.

S: The smell is slightly different from the classic Belgian amber ales. It's a pleasnt but a pretty "light" smell. Some malts and a very subtle hints of sweet fruits.

T: Malt, a lot of spice I can't really recognises, and a hint of rock candy.

M/D: Carbonation is a bit thin to my taste.The alcohol is noticeable but doesn't bother.

Overall a descent beer, but not a great one. But certainly worth a try.

Jan 10, 2010
Photo of yelterdow
yelterdow from New Jersey

4.37/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

American Amber/Red Ale? From Belgium? Interesting... well I can't wait to get started with this review. My first and only bottle, there is a code lasered on the back label that reads 39518. Served at between fridge and cellar temperature in a wide mouthed Trappistes Rochefort chalice.

Appearance- Pours a deep amber with a surprising carbonation level... the beer immediately foams out of the neck of the bottle, forcing a pour right away. Its soapy, finger-thick head is light beige with some nice initial lacing. After a few minutes, an island of foam floats in the middle of the golden liquor.

Smell- More malt-driven than hoppy, the nose is rich with honey and herbs, with a blend of earth and flowers anchoring the firm malt backbone. It's a pleasure just to sink my nose into the glass and take in the aromas, which together create a unique and full spectrum.

Taste- The balance of hops, malt, and gentle herbs is stunning. All flavors are delicate and delicious, coming together so effortlessly and finishing with the mildest bittering that dries the palate with grace.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Just when I thought the perfect mouthfeel of a Belgian ale was locked up with Tripel Karmeliet, this beer dazzles with a sublime, gentle texture that lasts throughout the entire duration in the mouth. Absolute perfection, it further emphasizes the already impressive quality of the beer. A relatively elusive must-try for Belgian ale lovers.

Dec 16, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation from Iowa

3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bronzed orange rind with abundant bubbles scooting up to a mammoth cap of ecru colored froth. The crown is a gently rocky as it melts and does a pretty good job laying down lace. Looks like a Belgian amber ale ought to look.

When Belgian yeast enters the fray, it's often difficult to tell if any extra ingredients have been added. Since Gruut refers to the blend of herbs and spices that were used to flavor beer before hops were used, I'll say they have. The nose is toasted, woody, earthy and spicy. It's definitely amber rather than pale or dark... which is why Belgian amber ale needs to be a style on this site.

GBAA is interesting beer that doesn't quite hit me right. That's strictly personal preference due to a distinctive flavor profile created by the use of what is almost certainly a potpourri of herbs and spices. As in the nose, none of my guesses will be close to accurate... so no guesses will be made.

There's a respectable amount of malt for the style and there's a bit more sweetness than expected. At only 6.6%, it's doubtful that much, if any, candi sugar was added. Flavors include well-toasted bread, an apricot fruitiness, and a woodsy herbal quality that stays smack dab in the spotlight from start to finish.

The mouthfeel has some positives. It's more lightly creamy than full and falls short on the carbonation front. Belgian beer needs better bubbles and more mouthfilling volume than this.

Until today, when I gave the label a close look and saw hops listed among the ingredients, I thought this ale was a gruit. If it wasn't for a modest hop bitterness, it would be. Belgian ambers rarely impress me as much as Belgian pales and darks. Gruut Belgian Amber Ale does nothing to change that.

Nov 10, 2009
Photo of yesyouam
yesyouam from New York

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gruut Belgian Amber Ale is a hazy, well, amber ale, with a thin, dense, light beige head that leaves incredible sheets of lacing. It smells very raisiny, sweet, with possibly some dark fruit. There's a note of black pepper in the nose. It's medium bodied, reasonably smooth and quite bubbly. The finish is a bit ragged. It tastes pretty mellow. It starts off fruity, a little sweet and a little tart-- then it becomes phenolic and alcoholic. It leaves the mouth hot. The bitterness is present but low-key. It's good, but it's nothing stand-out. It tastes stronger than it is; a bit much for a session ale.

Jul 30, 2009
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu from New Jersey

3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a medium, hazy cranberry-amber with a firm 1 finger Styrofoam head that was beige in color, while displaying a fair retention rate before lapsing to a thin skim covering. A feverishly strong carbonation opens up, but soon drops after a minute or two to a moderate showing. The lacing was slight, and spongey in nature. Overall I really liked the coloring of this, which unfortunately was its only strong point.

S: extremely light and disappointing. Light musky fruit, plums and not much else to speak of.

T: The flavor was tart cranberries, very acidic with a touch of green apples. White grapes with a semi-sweet caramel backing are also noted. There is a soft touch of wildflowers with hints of fresh lemons. Overall I thought this was moderate but was expecting much more. Hints of curaco oranges rounds things out in an otherwise moderate flavor.

M: crisp from the vibrant carbonation with a slick texture with a light body. Acidic but ultimately only average.

D: Starts strong appearance wise but only goes down hill from there. Lackluster aroma, moderate flavor and disappointing mouthful makes this a one try only. Don't waste your money on a sixpack.

Mar 26, 2009
Photo of beermanbrian
beermanbrian from Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice amber color with a fine bubbled head that trails globs of lace. Yeasty smell with a solid caramel malt background. Taste is also very yeasty, some chalkyness. Heavy amount of carbonation on the toungue. Finishes yeasty. Overall an OK beer but it never really shows much flavor other than yeasty, but it never shows any fruityness that you would expect.

Mar 05, 2009
Photo of FtownThrowDown
FtownThrowDown from Ohio

2.71/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Rivers Bend W&S.
Pours a light reddish brown with no head at all. Lots of carbonation racing up the glass. Smell is surprising. This smells a lot like a lager. Not even remotely close to a belgian ale. A very bitter, lager like taste. Can't get over the taste. This is a major disappointment.
Definitely don't be expecting a belgian if you buy this beer.

Feb 28, 2009
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I purchased this ale at Shawan Liquors poured at cellar temp into my Ommegang goblet. It immediately started to spray all over the coffee table luckily not onto the laptop, but I lost about 1 oz before I poured unfortunately.

A - Bronze/medium amber hued w/ great clarity and a 3 finger whip cream head that rises out of the glass. The lace begins to cling immediately and the head falls to about 1/8th inch and is tightly beaded

S - A woody, green kind of hop aroma and a european yeast aroma not exactly classic belgian w/ a light malt aroma

M - The feel is almost dry, mildly hoppy med-high carbonation and spiced (yeast, hops)finish

T - The flavor starts sweet with gentle biscuit and pale malt flavor, the taste has a dry mineral crispness and the hops hav a noble hop herbal tinge and spicey note that blends well w/ the yeast and malt almost seemlessly. The alcohol hovers in the background and it finishes dry w/ a light bread crust note

D - A pretty tasty amber which was relatively easy to drink for a 6.6% ale. I give it a very good drinkability overall and it is simple which sometimes just hits the spot.

Jan 17, 2009
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor from Illinois

3.01/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger, pourous, spongey tan head. Not much stickage or retention, and no bubbling. Ok tarnished amber color. Toasted bread with a dash of cinnamon, cardomon, and nutmeg make up the spicey aroma. Toated sweet bread drizzled with a little caramel starts the taste off right. Then some chammomile and some fruit cake spices. The finish has a touch of tinny bandaids. Dry, malty, and spicey palate. But a little off on the finish and linger.

Jan 10, 2009
Gruut Belgian Amber Ale from Gentse Gruut Brouwerij
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 62 ratings