Flemish Red Ale Grand Cru
Brouwerij Strubbe

Flemish Red Ale Grand CruFlemish Red Ale Grand Cru
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Style:
Sour - Flanders Red Ale
ABV:
6.5%
Score:
85
Avg:
3.8 | pDev: 15%
Reviews:
66
Ratings:
186
From:
Brouwerij Strubbe
 
Belgium
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  15
Gots
  22
SCORE
85
Very Good
Flemish Red Ale Grand CruFlemish Red Ale Grand Cru
Notes:
View: Beers
Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 186 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero from California

4.29/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Update:
No date stamp on cap, and I’ve forgotten how long I’ve had this. Opens without erupting, however, which is a good sign.
This pours a ruddy ruby-brown with thin foaming. I get some dark cherries on the nose, and a lightly tart cherry kick with each sip. Unknown age meant this could have been paint thinner or vinegar, but it’s held up nicely.


Grand cru
Bottle code 030 2017, so Jan 2017?
Enjoyed October 2019
There’s still a lot of life in this, with a creamy cap of foam atop the ruddy amber crimson ale.
Tart sour cherry notes on the nose, with some leather on the back. Flatly tart, with a cherry character dominating the palate. Flavor drops off quickly. Thin body for style.

May 18, 2020
Photo of MrBoz21
MrBoz21 from Colorado

3.07/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

L - Gorgeous. Ruby Red, nice effervescence, creamy head that quickly dissipates.
A: - something going on here. Strong phenolics (rubber), cherry, oak/wood.
T: Yep, phenolics. Bandaid, tobacco, cherry. Starts sweet but smooths out a bit and finishes crisp. No hops, barely tart.
F: Light, decent carbonation, no astringency.
O: Meh. Medicinal/bandaid notes were hard to get past.

Jan 09, 2020
Photo of BIGPOPPAS
BIGPOPPAS from New Jersey

4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First time I've tried this Flemish sour red and I am most definitely impressed :)
Beautiful color, nice head with plenty of lacing , wonderful smell of oak aged cherry red ale. Cuvée 2012

Can't wait to buy some more next time I'm at this particular store as I haven't seen this anywhere else .
Highly recommended if this is your style ;)

Dec 05, 2016
Photo of Mantooth
Mantooth from North Carolina

3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I think a lot of folks would like this brew, nice entry into the style. Problem is, for folks familiar with the style, there's not much tartness to be had, the cherries are barely present, and it's noticeably malty. Like I say, enjoyable brew but not quite to style. Cheers!

Jun 26, 2016
Photo of Radome
Radome from Florida

4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a goblet.

L - Medium brown with strong red highlights; lightly cloudy. Light tan head is not overly active or persistent, but strong sheets of lacing stay on the glass along with a few wisps on the surface of the beer.

S - Deep aromas of oak, brown sugar, dark berries, graham crackers. There is a low vinegar note that blends deliciously with the other aromas. No hops or obvious yeast notes.

T - The vinegar-like sour note is more prominent in flavor than it was in aroma. Fruit is the next most prominent, with cherries and blackberries. Malt is represented by graham cracker and molasses. Oak is in the background along with a low spice note that reminds me of a gingersnap cookie.

F - Medium body. Low to moderate carbonation. Just enough bitterness to break up the sweet malt. No alcohol presence.

O - This is a delicious Flemish red that is restrained and clean but very complex.

Sep 12, 2015
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan from Pennsylvania

3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2015-06-24 in Reno, NV from a 750ml bottle

Nice Flemish red aroma. Taste is cracker malt, moderate sour cherry, wine barrel and earthy/medicinal spice. Dry. Decent aroma and flavor but not mind blowing.

Jun 25, 2015
Photo of NWFLyer
NWFLyer from Arizona

4.6/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

This is what a Flemish Sour should be. Its darn near perfection in a glass; it pours a brilliant, ruby-red color with minimal head and little lacing. The tart smell, reminiscent of a natural, crisp, hard apple cider, is a delight to the olfactory buds. The flavor is also crisp, modestly sour and has a very clean finish. If you enjoy sour beers, you should give Strubbe's a try. I believe it will be your gold-standard on which to compare other beers of this style.

Dec 24, 2014
Photo of Beerswag
Beerswag from California

3.92/5  rDev +3.2%

On draft, @ morgan's, in sac, Ca...
Pours a dark brown color with hints of some hints of copper and mahogany. Ltos of head, which goes down quick, the smell is of red wine, cranberries, lots of fruit. Taste is purple grape, not too sour, less acidity than a sour, and the sweetness is mellow.. Carboation a yeast taste like champagne. Serve with black-berry pie, cream-cheese dishes, stuffed calzones/pizza.

Dec 09, 2014
Photo of goochpunch
goochpunch from Texas

4.78/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours out a reddish brown with a thick off-white head. This has one of the strongest noses of any Flemish sour I've ever had. Loads of berries, vanilla, caramel malts. A whiff of vinegar. Flavor is very sour with an excellent dryness in the finish. Vinegar isn't overwhelming as in some other Flemish sours. Very fruity with a mild toastiness from the malts. Mouthfeel is light and effervescent. This is easily one of the greatest of the style that I've had.

Sep 30, 2014
Photo of MisterGone
MisterGone from California

2.96/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330ml into tulip.

The pour looked promising, a reddish brew with a brown cast. Light brown head that held. But the aroma had a muted sour with a sweet component. The taste followed the aroma. Some sour, but not much. Some cherry, but not much. This gave way to a malty sweet on the finish. Yeast present, but subtle.

Aug 12, 2014
Photo of Tony49er
Tony49er from California

3.44/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type- From a 11.5oz bottle poured into a tulip glass

Appearance- Light reddish color with hints of brown, big thick foamy off white head, some soft lacing but not much, lively carbonation

Smell- Pretty solid for the style, some vinegar notes, light funk, sour/ tart smell, dry, cherries and dark fruits on the nose as well

Taste- Classic Flemish red ale, slightly sour, tart, dark dried cherries, dark fruits, vinegar sourness, dry notes as well, lively carbonation

Mouthfeel- Light to Medium bodied

Ovearll- A solid Flemish Red Ale I would recommend this as a starter for people just getting into the style, if you have never had a Flemish Red Ale or a sour try this...CHEERS

May 23, 2014
Photo of MikeSL
MikeSL from California

3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from cold 11.2 oz bottle into pint glass.
Appearance - Thin head, deep amber red color. Very clear.
Smell - Not very strong. Somewhat fruity and sour.
Taste - Sweet and acidic.
Mouthfeel - Medium thickness and above average carbonation.
Overall - Very tasty. An above-average Flemmish Red Ale, but not the best either.

May 06, 2014
Photo of brentk56
brentk56 from North Carolina

3.81/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours an auburn color (not what I was expecting for a Flanders Red) with a thick head that leaves an impressive amount of lacing

Smell: Cherry pie, oak and must

Taste: A sweet encounter on the front of the tongue with the cherry pie flavors; as the liquid passes over the sour receptors, the tartness and oak flavors build but in the finish, it is the sweetness that lingers

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation and a somewhat puckery factor

Overall: An easy drinker but lacks funk and tartness when compared to some of the better examples of the style

Apr 13, 2014
Photo of Auraan
Auraan from Arizona

4.49/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice, dark, deep reddish brown with red tinting at the edges of the glass and a thin off-white head. Quite nice, very appealing and pleasant to look at. Scents of Balsamic vinegar, sour cherries, overripe fruit, sour funk and faint caramel malt. A good sour aroma, quite appealing. Flavor begins with sour and funky notes alongside sweet, moscato-like white grape, moving into some indeterminate fruity flavors, sour apple, caramel and earthy mustiness. The finish is tart, with some sweetness. An excellent flavor profile that blends sour and sweet into a lovely whole. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a slightly sticky, semi-drying feel. Quite nice. Overall this was a great Flanders Red that has an excellent aroma, flavor and mouthfeel. Highly recommended.

Mar 06, 2014
Photo of ISmith87
ISmith87 from Arizona

3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - 4 - The beer itself is a nice dark mahogany color with a thick off white head that sticks forever and leaves nice lacing on the glass.
S - 3.75 - Nice tart smell to it. sour cherries, lemon. Lacto.
T - 4 - Gotta give it this one. It's a great sour ale. Sour candy flavor, cherries, lemon.
M - 3.75 - Light - medium mouthfeel. Sour. Alc completely covered at 6.5% ABV. Great dry aftertaste.
O - 3.75 - Great sour beer. Would have it again. Belgium is pretty good at this stuff.

Dec 09, 2013
Photo of mwilbur
mwilbur from Minnesota

4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 mL bottle into tulip.
A: Pours a dark brown with hint of red at the edges with backlighting. Low carbonation produces 1/4 inch tan head that quickly recedes.
S: Mild sour-sweet note, red fruit (especially berries), tart cherries, sweet caramel malt.
T: More sweet than sour...due to the 2 year barrel aging...and it serves this beer very well. Blackberries, sweet cherries, pear, caramel malt, soft honey, and a hint of wood and cider. Delightful!
M: Velvety smooth, softly sweet, enveloping fruit notes. Lingers and matures on the palate superbly.
D: A wonderfully reserved sour. Waves of varying fruits (again, reserved, not over the top). I'm starting to really appreciate blended beers like this one (50% young beer blended with 50% beer aged in Bordeaux wine barrels). The aging softens this brew and adds a nuanced extra layer of complexity. This is one you'll want to take your time to enjoy even though the ABV is a very agreeable 6.5%.

Dec 04, 2013
Photo of beepill
beepill from Hawaii

3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had a bottle at 15 Romolo in SF. Poured into a tulip glass. Reviewed from notes.

A - The room was quite dark, but when held up to cellphone light it had a deep dark red-brown opaque body and a thin off-white color head. Very little lacing.

S - Very fruity - cherries, stone fruit, slight citrus. Deep malty tones with herbal notes that I could not quite pin down. Subtle earthiness.

T - Very sweet to sweet-tart. Cheery, peach, raspberry, orange. Subtle earthy and woody malts, and less herbally than it smelled at first. I have no idea where people are getting vinegar and strong sourness from (bad batch? bad storage?). This is one of the sweetest (yet not overpowering) real Flanders red ales I've had.

M - Perfect carbonation for a Flanders. Medium. Enough carbonation so as to not mask any flavors, yet still give it an airiness to stimulate the tongue. Goes down easy and probably very drinkable for those who aren't that into sour beer. Dry finish.

O - It isnt the greatest Flanders red ale I've had, but far from the worst. It is quite sweet and slightly tart, but not really that sour for me (I love sours). I probably wouldn't buy it again for $12 a bottle at a bar, but if I saw it on the shelf at a beer store for cheaper, I might consider it.

Oct 13, 2013
Photo of TruePerception
TruePerception from California

3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

Strubbe's Grand Cru Flemish Red Ale: Appearance: darker red, red against the light; Smell: sour grapes/tart cherry; Taste/Mouthfeel: semi-sweet red wine, tart cherry finish, mellow, slight oak, soft bubbles; good.

Poured into a pint glass.

Sep 01, 2013
Photo of Libationguy
Libationguy from Nevada

3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish-light brown color with yellow-brown hues that has a slightly hazy appearance. Light tan head with moderate- retention. Moderate lacing in the glass.

Citrus, cheese rind, red wine vinegar, saddle leather, over-ripe peach, chocolate malt and charcoal.

Nice tart palate, with brown bread, red grapefruit, dog hair, warm saddle leather, ginger snaps and caramel hard candies.

Medium bodied with a nice balance in the carbonation. The sourness is nicely on display but is moderated in the beer to make it approachable as a sour.

Funky, but not out of control. Nice balance makes for an interesting and enjoyable beer.

Jul 05, 2013
Photo of nsnd
nsnd from California

2.37/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

This was not a beer for me.

Served this beer in a chilled pint glass.

Appearance (4) - Beer had a lot of head and a dark red color.

Smell (2.5) - Smell of citrus mostly, but had an off smell for me like vinegar.

Taste (2) - The citrus tones in the beer were good, but the vinegar taste did not agree with me. Unfortunately, I had to choke this beer down. Too sour for my liking.

Mouthfeel (3.25) - Good feel, but nothing spectacular. Gave me a feeling like dry white wine.

Overall (2) - The sourness of the beer didn't agree with me, but the citrus flavors were good.

Mar 12, 2013
Photo of dertyd
dertyd from California

3.42/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pourd from a 11.2 oz bottle to a chimay challice

First off this is my verry first sour and I love sour stuff so I been looking for the sour style for a wile

A: pours a dark brown readish color almost looks like mister pibb soda verry minn head that kinda lingers and lilttle laceing that sticks around nice apperance

S:smells fruity and acidic.I smell cherries the most with a little vinager smell

T:wow!!! This is my first sour and damn is it sour and some people say it is not that sour. I taste sweet wine,vinager,cherries, and the more I drink the more it mellows out
And I start tasting an oaky flavor frm the ageing

M:verry dry like a cab wine

Overall: well for being my first sour I am surprized about how sour it is and I thought I would of liked it more but its overly sweet the more I drink the better it gets far frm a bad beer but I think I need to get more acquainted with the sour type of beers

Live life drink beer!!!:-)

Feb 16, 2013
Photo of pkalix
pkalix from California

4.39/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured a dark brown with minimal head.... smell seems a tad vinegar-y but i dont know what to expect from this. it says sour is a characteristic of the flanders red ale so . . . . . . let's see!
oh yeah. that was definitely a vinegar i smelled... i like these 'tarts'. they dont always mix with the others i try in an evening, but i like 'em. fruity, vinegar-y, tart as in an over-ripened cherry.... but delicious!
overall... not much lacing on the glass- seems a bit thin, but flavor is there. i like the sourness of it and i like the general style of these brews. often wonder why no american brewer attempts a 'sour' . . . . do americans just not 'get into' these types of beers? i love 'em!

Feb 16, 2013
Photo of Seanniek91
Seanniek91 from Rhode Island

4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance- Quite brownish/grey with very little bubbly head that left quickly leaving some nice lacing behind. Quite dark, can't see through it.

Smell- Rich dark fruits. Light vinegary notes. Yeasty earthyness.

Taste- Some cherry and raspberry. Slight boozeyness. Light tartness. Oaky notes. Nice. Sweet.

Mouthfeel- Good carbonation. Medium bodied. Smooth.

Overall- This is a good Flanders with a sweeter approach. I like my Flanders to be a little more tart, but this is solid.

Jan 30, 2013
Photo of DonDirkA
DonDirkA from Arizona

3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep reddish brown with a light brown/off white head. Nose is vinegar, cherry, grape, caramel, apple cider and a sharp citrus hidden way in the back. The taste is much less vinegary (thankfully). Cherry, sour apples, grapes, berries, slight vinegar in the background and a little lemon. The body is light and the carbonation is a little lower than I thought it'd be. The sour level on this is way lower than expected. Just a slight tartness. Not the best flemish red/sour etc but pretty good nonetheless. It says best before 2017, so maybe the vinegar would mellow out and it'd move a lot up the ladder.

Oct 06, 2012
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow from Illinois

3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From: Wally's Wine in LA, CA
Date: Best by October 2016 on bottle cap
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

Strubbe's Flemish Red features a recipe that is darker, heavier, and somehow more tepid than those lighter and less alcoholic in character. Subdued in tartness and most fruit character, this is an interesting beer to try solely due to its heavier nature, relative to the rest of the style's spectrum. A beer that was interesting to try, but not one that I'd seek out again.

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 fairly rich in darker malt components for the style, bringing out slight cocoa powder and sugar syrup alongside very faint cherry or strawberry-like fruit esters. This would make the combined scents very good, but they're generally overly subtle and mediocre.

Taste opens with some mild strawberry-like fruit esters that are also very "chemical" in nature. Slight acetone throughout, but nothing too distracting. Mid-palate brings in continued strawberry esters with a faint bit of tartness. This continues into the back of the palate, where some slight ethanol is also detectable. Generally, a darker sweetness and slightly more alcoholic Flemish Red, with significantly less tartness than others in the style.

Beer is medium-bodied with low levels of carbonation. A bit undercarbonated for the weight of the body, leaving the mouthfeel to be smooth, but turgid. Finish is dry, as expected, but little sourness can be felt on the palate.

Aug 28, 2012
Flemish Red Ale Grand Cru from Brouwerij Strubbe
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 186 ratings