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Ichtegem's Grand Cru | Brouwerij Strubbe

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Ichtegem's Grand CruIchtegem's Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Strubbe

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by audiojon on 05-07-2006

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Reviews: 249 | Ratings: 557
Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this on-tap from BSP in Atlanta.

Pours a clear dark ruby color with a one-finger white head that seems to have an orange tint. The head recedes into a thin layer of bubbles on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. There's not much lacing.

Smells good. There's a good fruity aroma, lots of berries. There are also slight tart and earthy smells.

Tastes good as well. Lots of sweet fruit flavors up front that are followed by a good amount of sourness and a dry finish. There's a mild oak flavor that pokes through every now and then as well.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a good thickness to go with lively carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I had no problem finishing this glass and would've gladly had another.

Overall I was impressed. I'm just now getting into sours, but I was a fan of the way none of the flavors were too overpowering in this beer. Certainly worth a shot.

 896 characters

Photo of Goliath
2.83/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown with some ruby hues in the light. A one inch light tan head forms on the pour. Decent retention and some whispy lacing.

The aroma is nice. Definitely some familiar qualities that indicate tartness. Some fruits, cherry and apples. A little bit of oak as well.

The taste is disappointing. Some figs and a very mild "tartness". Slighty vinegar like. This doesn't touch any other Flanders I've had. There is virtually no sour component and probably shouldn't even be considered a sour.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with gentle carbonation.

Drinkability is moderate. It's not a bad beer, but for the style it's inaccurate and boring.

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Photo of Cresant
3.17/5  rDev -15%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this 11.2 oz. brown bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass. No date, it's oud. Dark brown/chestnut body, not a lot of red.Nearly opaque. The filmy head remained.

Smell was sour and a little syrupy. Not as tart or vinegary as expected. Earthy yet "clean".

Taste was also not as tart as expected/hoped for. Woody. Raisins. Sweetness up front with a tart finish. Light dryness.

Mouthfeel was mild in the beginning with a zesty swallow.

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Photo of 7ways
4.07/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

9/21/08 11.5 oz bottle in a tulip.

Looks dirty dark brown until held to the light, when it becomes a gorgeous bright red, with a fleeting off white head. Smells like ripe fruit, oak, and...cheddar? Smoked gouda? Interesting.
Taste: Lovely mild sourness; tart red fruit and muted lactose sweetness. Not much oak, but that's OK. Definitely smoked gouda on the finish, which is my favorite component of this brew. Lively carbonation, but could use a bit more. Not as dry or sour as others I've had of the style.
My local bar keeps this stocked, and I sometimes order 2 or 3 in a session. I ask for the gouda beer. Very good stuff.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Super-dark, brown with red tints if you hold it up to the light. It smells pretty good, like sour vinegar and then sweet. The taste is slightly sour, very easy to drink. This is not nearly as intense as some of the other flemish red's like La folie or La Roja. Thanks to RBlWthaCoz for this interesting brew.

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Photo of bditty187
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Somewhat murky ruddy brown in hue, while the description of the color sounds unappealing it actually seems fitting. Small off-white head, at the apex the foam was only a fourth of a finger tall. No subsequent lacing. Overall, the appearance is respectable.

Fresh bread, very doughy with lovely vanilla notes as well dominates the nose. I love these aromas. Notes of oak and dark fruit, not very funky or acidic... I could call it tame but that would be disrespectful as this beer does have great depth. Moderate potency, somewhat simple, not very chatty but the nose is nice. For a Flanders Red it is nowhere near as robust as La Folie or Rodenbach. Still, the bouquet is pleasant. Nice.

The palate shows more acidity, more vinegar notes, and more tart fruitiness but, unique to this beer, it falls behind the vanilla, oak and dough. Yogurt, cherries, lemon zest, sherry, and a kiss of buttery-toffee finishes the palate. I like this beer. Flanders Red lovers might find this tame. I do. But I respect it. I dig it. I have not had a Flanders Red that tastes quite like this one. It is very nicely balanced. Tasty. Oddly, if I take a big sip I get a really good blast of sourness but if I sip it the dough and vanilla shine. Weird.

Medium-light in body, low carbonation, the mouthfeel is a bit watery but I am not too distracted by it. I think more fizz would benefit this beer.

Easy drinking, for the style and yet this is a sipping beer because there is plenty going on. I don't remember what I paid for my 330ml bottle. I know I purchased it in Council Bluffs, IA. If it is priced reasonably I'd buy more of this. While not the best of the style it is unique and that is good enough for me. Worth a try.

 1,710 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, clear brown with a ruby hue and a thin creme head. Nose is mildly funky, fruity, and sour. Flavor is smooth but almost mild in a way. There's some cherry to it and some wood, but overall it doesn't really go crazy with anything. Feel is smooth on liquid and the carbonation is a bit lower. Overall an easier drinking Flanders.

 340 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6.5% On my 33cl bottle label, along with a health warning from the US. So what? I hear you say. Well I drank this bottle only a few miles from the brewery in Ostend.

Really red hue to this beer, as you would expect from an Flanders Red Ale, although the label claimed it was an Old Brown.

The sweet and sour aroma carried on into the taste, the Oak Barrels used to age this beer adds a cherry and almonds hint to everything. Easy to drink and pleasing in every way. This is an interesting beer and well worth finding.

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Photo of Absumaster
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark brown beer with a red teint and a head with the finest of bubbles.

Smell is tart, like lactic acid layered with dark malt which give the beer a light roasted impression. There is oak and wood in general. A light spiciness which probably comes from the yeast.

Taste is tart, but in a mild way. It does dominate the whole beer, but is not toothaching sour. The wood aging is oaky and dark. Again a nice spiciness coming from the yeast which reminds me of coriander and lemongrass. Body is medium. Although I am not a fan of sour beers, this beer is very well drinkable and once you get through the initial sourness of the first sip, it is a great thirstquencher.

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Photo of bark
4.23/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The colour is deep wine-red with a tint of brown. The very high foam is pale brown with a paler edge. It sinks slowly into a two finger firm compact uneven head, leaving some lacing.

The smell is tart with lots of red wine-like flavours. Some vinegar, some dried fruits. Hints of raisins, yeast and a fragile touch of oak wood.

The taste is first a bit fruity and sweet, but those notes are quickly replaced with cask matured tart flavours of cherries, sweet fruit candy, hints of red vinegar and minerals. The aftertaste got very mild earthy/yeasty flavours, some quickly passing alcohol and a long lasting dry taste of fresh cherries.

The carbonation is strong, but a the same time light and highly refreshing; lots of large bubbles. The liquid is smooth and light to the tongue.

This beer might not be the most complex in its style, but it is a very refreshing and highly drinkable beer. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of ruckzuck
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at BSP last week.

A - dark brown opaque body, cherry red hints at the edges when held up to light, and a thick beige head

S - fruity, funky, yeasty goodness with hints of spice

T - sour fruit with a whole lot of tart going on. The funk is present and there are still hints of spice. Delicious!

M - medium bodied with nice carbonation

D - I've been on a sour kick when I can get them on tap lately (started by Allagash Rosa) and this beer did not disappoint. Massively sour and funky. I really enjoyed it. I can see how this would not be for some, but I'd love to try more of these. Obviously drinking too many of these would probably have the same effect as drinking too many hop bombs (blown tastebuds), but I would've gladly had another.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.8/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Flemish red ale matured in oak barrels.

A: Poured a dark cola color with a thin dirty beige head.

S: On the nose was sour fruit (plums, apples) and a funky sour yeastiness.

T: The initial flavor was sour cherries, plums, grapes, with a big sour vinous palate and acidic bite. There was a noticeable alcohol presence with a sour grape juice notes and a slight underlying presence of maltiness as well. The beer finishes with a sour grape juice bite. The oakiness is hard to detect due to the sourness of this beer. Overall a good beer by style, the aroma is pungent with sour fruit (plums) but drinks much better then it smells

M: thin and light with a juice like texture and very soft carbonation.

D: Drinks much bigger then its advertised 6.5%. A good desert beer that would make for an ample substitution of red wine at any meal.

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Photo of dmamiano
3.05/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Where to start with this one. After drinking, i realized it may not be a style that I will covet in the future, but I will rate it for what it it.
Poured a rather cloudy, dark reddish brown with a nice head and lacing.
Smell was rather fruity and sour..hints of maybe pear and plums with a strong bite of sourness.
Taste was in a word....sour! More sour than any beer I have ever had. But thats what its supposed to be. Kind of reminded me of hard cider..with some oak melding through the sourness.
Mouthfeel was ok...not a beer I will buy again.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Solid pour, brown color with amber highlights along the glass's edges. Off-white creamy head, one finger that slowly dissolves down to a quarter inch film and then holds. Nose only starts to come through once the beer warms up. Mildly sour, with salty malt. Light toffee sweetness, and lightly vinous. Not bad, but certainly not overpowering nor overly complex. Flavor is nice. Dry swarthy spiced sour malt up front. That sourness heats up as the beer goes on. Dirty, lightly roasted feel shows up as well. Light toffee sweetness. Mostly sour overall. Body is solid, appropriate to the style, and the carbonation works well with the sourness. Overall, I was in the mood for a sour brew, and this one hit the spot. It's not really blowing my mind- and I could do with some more complexity - but its a solid beer, if it fits what you're looking for.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle picked up at the Coop today for about $4.50.. poured into my New Belgium snifter... I was very stoked to have Matt show me this one... big thanks.

2 finger lite tan head drops leaving nice sticky lacing.. the brew is a hazy dark brown with nice ruby highlites.

aroma is sweet and mildy vinous .. subtle acetic notes but they are understated when compared to many in this style... wood is there.. smells tannic.. sorta like a wine and vinegar soaked fresh oak sawdust.

Flavor is surprising.. not nearly as sweet as the nose... also no where near as sour as the aroma would lead. Palate is very understated, which actually adds years to the immediate drinkablity.. for the most part it is mainly pale malts with a little bit of toastiness that moves quickly into the sour portion that finishes with an oaky dryness... a tying cherry fruitiness binds everything together from front to back... no oxidation that I can detect.. lite/medium body makes me really want another sip.

This is a perfect Flanders Red for the person who has never tried one and still wants to expand their horizons.

I applaud the COOP and Matt and Ashton for honestly getting in some truly unique beers into the market recently and especially in the last year.. Cheers to expanding Boise's palate.

 1,286 characters

Photo of morimech
3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish brown with a very small head after a gentle pour. The head settles to a ring very quickly. Not much for lacing.

Smells of ripe fruit such as cherries, plums, and red grapes. Also some oak and vanilla is detected.

The taste is only slightly sour and most of the tartness comes on the finish. Very fruity which is countered by the vanilla flavor. Finishes dry and sour with an aftertaste that doesn't linger around.

Feels medium bodied with ample carbonation. An interesting beer that is worth a try.

 518 characters

Photo of John_M
4.3/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah yes, another beer that has been retired that is anything but...

Hmmmm.... just now realized that this yet another red flanders beer.

The beer pours a chocolate brown color with hints of red. There is fair head retention and lacing. Yep, jeeze louizze, this definitely smells like a red flanders. I get the typical sweet and sour nose, with a notable ginger ale component. The beer actually smells pretty good. On the palate I'm surprised. This beer is quite delicious, with complex flavors of red wine, vanilla, chocolate and sour funk. The funk blends well with the moderate sweetness and the oak barrel aging has really toned down the sour component IMO. Hence, I'm liking this beer quite a bit. The beer is medium bodied and not the least bit heavy. The beer is remarkably drinkable for a red flanders with the 6.5% well disguised.

A very nice beer. Didn't recognize it on the beer list here at Max's and thought I'd give it a shot. Glad I did.

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Photo of ATPete
3.97/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz capped bottle

the white cap reads 03-09 L10

Ichtegem's Grand Cru pours a ruby reddish brown color with a thin spider-web like red head that vanished rather quickly only leaving behind a ring around the surface.

As soon as i popped the bottle i smell cherry, and malt. Upon shoving my nose in my Chimay glass i get some more cherry, smoke, rum, and oak.

The taste is slightly tart and acidic with alot of the wood coming through mid way. The ale is fantastic, very refreshing and a definite treat. A bit funky, but balanced. A salty bitter note upon the finish. Some spice i cant quite put my finger on.

Ichtegem's Grand Cru tingles and pops. The very light carbonation really allows all the flavors and subtleties to be easily detected. Medium bodied, with a coating finish. I wish i could drink this rather often, but this one hurts the wallet. At 6.99 a bottle for a beer that is no longer produced i guess it is still a great deal none the less.

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Photo of alexgash
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cl bottle with no date. Served at cellar temperature in a tulip glass.

Muddy cherry cola brown body with ruby highlights. Frothy, rocky, lacy, dirty khaki head. Tart cherry leads the nose with balsamic vinegar, currants, licorice, shoe leather, and sugary cherry juice behind.

Earthy, mushy fruit malt up front. Metallic cherry tartness cuts in. Slightly sugary fruit malt in the background. Some oak and vanilla before tartness and balsamic vinegar take over. Lingering cherry tartness and faint sweetness. Fruit skins in the finish. Nice. Different. I need to start drinking more Flanders Red Ales!

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a subtle sourness that yields to the oak barrel aroma. It's well rounded with crystal and roasted malts; very nice. The taste is good. It has a subdued sour flavor that really works well with the oak aging. It's mellowed out and thus increases the drinkability. The malt content consists of some pale and roasted malts. It's doesn't appear to be too sweet. On the contrary, it's dry and quite light in the mouthfeel. It's a medium bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a very enjoyable beer. I love the oak contribution. It tames the sourness to a level that most would enjoy.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an 11.2 oz. bottle into a tulip. A deep ruby brown color with a nice fluffy tan head. About a finger's worth of head, tight bubbled and clinging nicely to the glass.

Aroma is a sour oakiness with sweet toasted malt in the background. A very pleasant blend of sweet and sour, with the sour owning my olfactory glands at first and the sweetness just slithering through quietly. The oak aging is very evident here, and adds another aspect to the mix. Yes I've been smelling this for about ten minutes so far and have not taken a sip.

The taste is all about the sour funk. Sour fruitiness, with some sweetness as well and no bitterness in the end just a long dry sour finish. Did I mention this is sour? Some of the toasted oak is coming through at times and it adds a nice complexity, but I do not get the same balance and complexity that the aroma promises.

This is my first formal review of this style and only my second tasting of it. I am learning a great deal and enjoying every bit of it.

This Flanders Red is not heavy at all, and it does leave the mouth dry. A nice sipper though with some wine like qualities that one would not expect in a relatively low ABV beer.

 1,182 characters

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.28/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a murky reddish brown with a thin head. Sweet fruity aromas followed by a dose of lightly acetic sourness. More sweeet than sour, but only slightly. There is also a slight vegetal aroma and some dusty smelling fruit. The taste is a little light, and once again more on the sweet than the sour side. Still, none of the unpleasant vegetal odors manifest in th taste at all. Mouthfeel is very fizzy, a little too much so. Overall, this beer is a little too sweet for the style for my taste and a bit out of balance. Not bad, but there are a number of better options.

 570 characters

Photo of khiasmus
3.45/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Clear, dark brown with a minimal amount of soapy head.

S- A bit sour, some yeast, bread, fermented cherries, a hint of alcohol, and oak.

T- Fermented oak, vinegar, metal. The metal tends to override the finish: The whole thing is much less complex, or even flavorful, than I expected.

M- A bit thin, watery, medium carbonation, with a long, sour, dry finish.

D- Easy to drink, but sadly nothing special. disappointing.

 425 characters

Photo of shadow1961
3.66/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I dunno why it says this thing is retired- it's brand new
to me and just showed up in the past couple of weeks
at Westside Liquor. Oh well.

Ichtegem's Grand Cru, a Flemish Red Ale, pours a couple
fingers of dense foam over what is, held up to the light, a
clear deep ruby brew. Carbonation is steady, and the nose
is fruity, vinous, and a bit funky. The flavor is malty and fruity-
a little like apple, with a bit of herbal hop in the finish. Mouthfeel
is tart and crisp, with a dry vanilla finish. Not as nearly as sour as I've
been given the style can be, this one is still quite drinkable and
complex. Worth a try.

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Photo of tempest
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

To the uninitiated, this can be a pretty funky beer. Having tried many Flanders Reds, however, I can say this is a nice, mellower than usual version of the style. In that sense it allows you to enjoy the flavors of crisp tang, mild oak, and light caramel barley instead of being overwhelmed by the sour funk.

Maybe it's just a sour ale for beginners, but I liked it.

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Ichtegem's Grand Cru from Brouwerij Strubbe
3.73 out of 5 based on 557 ratings.
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