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13th Century Grut Bier | Professor Fritz Briem

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13th Century Grut Bier13th Century Grut Bier
BA SCORE
3.84/5
Very Good
301 Ratings
13th Century Grut Bier13th Century Grut Bier
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Professor Fritz Briem
Germany

Style: Scottish Gruit / Ancient Herbed Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Created by Dr. Fritz Briem of Doemens Institute ( http://www.doemens.org ), brewed by Weihenstephan & Doemens.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#19,338
Reviews:
167
Ratings:
301
pDev:
15.89%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
15
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 301 |  Reviews: 167
Reviews by RandyKemka:
Photo of RandyKemka
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

More User Reviews:
Photo of seedyone
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle at Rattle n Hum, NYC. You think you know beer? Nah ha! This will open your eyes. Nose says lemon-ish, Bay leaves? Yesiree, Bob. Not only are all those ancients present they exist within harmoniously. I`m left with a feeling of want & deprivation because there are no more in the cellar & I want.

I`ll stop here because I'm afraid my praise will distance me from my next bottle.

I've said too much.

 412 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a bright hazy looking yellow color with a big fizzy white head with lots of chunky sediment. The head fades but the carbonation spits from the top of the beer similar to how soda does. The smell of the beer is lemony with some herbal qualities to it. It smells refreshing. The taste of the beer is herbal with some citrus hints in the distance. The mouthfeel of the beer is light, very carbonated and a little on the watery side. Overall I enjoyed trying the beer, I can't say I'd buy it again but it was nice to have once.

 542 characters

Photo of smithj4
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of ausonius
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Photo of taospowder
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of cadaugherty
3.29/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky light orange with a 1/2 inch foamy bone colored head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of grain, herbs, spices, and some interesting sour/tart aromas. Taste is of grain, leafs/herbs, spices, and a sourness on the finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with an interesting history behind it but it's definitely weird in a good way.

 506 characters

Photo of teromous
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: It pours a very pale straw color with copious head and carbonation. It is very hazy with lots of yeast sediment.

S: It has a ginger smell, very similar to a real ginger beer. There's a slightly musty and muted earthy scent...or even a cedar smell. Like opening an old cedar chest.

T: It's not extremely spicy like I would have expected from the smell. There is a light ginger taste, and a tartness to the flavor. I honestly have no experience with a beer quite like this. Most beers I've had only experimented with one or two flavors but this one has a huge list of ingredients. I can't pick out too many of the individual ingredients but I do taste what might be the bay leaves. I don't pick up some of the others like rosemary and anise. The flavor intensifies a bit as I reach the bottom of the glass (most likely because of the sediment) and it becomes a little more tart and spicy.

M: The mouthfeel is a little thin. Again I have no experience in ancient beers, so I'm not sure how it's supposed to be exactly. For my preference, it could use a little more body or even some bitterness. The carbonation level is good to me, and it's nice with the ginger. I'll just score it an average because I'm not quite sure how this is supposed to be, but for me it doesn't strike the mark.

O: Overall I think this is a really cool beer. I like that I got a chance to drink an old recipe. However, it seems a little too much like a basic ginger beer, and I'm not completely sold on the inclusion of the other ingredients listed because I didn't pick them up. Maybe a different palate would. I enjoyed the beer so I'm going to rate it good overall.

 1,647 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
2.67/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Review from notes. Thanks to Shane for splitting this one with me.

A: Pours a pale yellow with a decent sized white head that had decent retention and left behind spotty lacing. There was a ton of carbonation bubbles released form the bottom for the entire time drinking. There were also massive chunks in the beer, normally they would be floaties, but the chunks were so big that they sank.

S: Strong spice aromas of spruce, spearmint, rosemary, and other herbs.

T: Tastes almost like I was having a Halls cough drop. Spicy and minty, and a bit overwhelming. The rosemary and spruce are present as well. Not a fan at all.

M: Medium bodied with very high carbonation. Sticky/dry finish.

O: The medicinal quality of the beer just threw me for a loop. I understand that spices are a part of what makes a gruit a gruit, but this beer was so hard to drink. Hopefully it was only this beer and not the style that I just don't like. Will try to get another gruit in the future.

 981 characters

Photo of foogerd
3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- cloudy sickly colored yellow with a white head which quickly died out
S- smells very interesting like herbal tea with lemon light pepper notes dried leaves ginger, a nice malt backbone at the end, definitely original
T- lemony in an herbal kind of way with lots of peppery spice balanced by a slightly sweet malt foundation a bit of a tangy finish in the slightest way.
M- fine for this beer
D- only 4.6 very drinkable but i dont know how much of this you would wanna quaff
To be tried at least once, cant say ill buy this again but didnt regret it.

 554 characters

Photo of gtermi
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Naugros
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had to give this a try to experience a beer that was made the old way, before hops became the norm...before the Reinheitsgebot. Grut (or gruit) was all that was available before someone had the bright idea to bitter beer with it in the 11th century, maybe prior. So let's taste a little history.

The color is unimpressive and now we know why the popularity of pilsners coincided with glassware. Prior to that, you never really saw the beer. Pilsners are pretty, this ale is not. Cloudy, pale yellowish orange with bits and pieces floating around in the carbonation.

The smell is interesting, not good or bad, though. My first impression was tonic water mixed with lemonade, but then some of the individual herbs came out. Ginger, anise and rosemary were pretty obvious, but I had to read the label to pick out the rest.

Well here goes...hmm, tastes a little like ginger beer with herbs. It's odd not having any hops to tickle the back of the throat, There's no real bitterness, but a light astringency, almost medicinal, like lemon-eucalyptus cough drops.

Pretty thin in body with an appropriate amount of carbonation. Luckily, the aftertaste leaves behind some of the ginger and not so much of the medicinal feeling. If you like the taste, you could probably drink this all day, but I imagine that it would be an acquired taste...not one that I plan on acquiring though. I'm also ashamed to admit that I passed on drinking the lees for a change.

 1,454 characters

Photo of superspak
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle into pint glass, no bottle dating. Pours hazy golden straw color with a small 1 finger foamy white head with decent retention, that reduces to nearly nothing. Minimal lacing clinging to the glass. Aromas of lemon, apple, wheat, pepper, clove, herbal, floral, earth, anise, and steak sauce; seriously, steak sauce. Some very interesting aromas with good strength and decent balance. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, rosemary, basil, ginger, pepper, clove, anise, and herbal spiciness. Very slight tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of light fruit, spices, herbs, wheat, and pepper on the finish for a very short bit. Nice flavor balance and complexity; quite dry on the finish. Medium carbonation and light-medium body; with a very crisp and clean mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with no warming present on the finish at all as expected. Extremely easy to drink. Overall this is a nice Gruit style ale. The aromas were certainly interesting; but the taste was nicely balanced and very smooth. This was quite enjoyable.

 1,059 characters

Photo of zaphodchak
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sparkly, foamy white head, about 1 finger, which fizzes away. Unusually light, taux blond body, like champagne.

Powerful herbal nose, vegetal with plenty of basil plus some kind of sweetness, maybe berry.

Rosemary in the taste. Very light, but not watery. Rich with herbal flavor and would probably pair with food amazingly. Consider creamier cheeses. Faint, delightful tartness that is in no way overpowering. Light, very balanced.

Mouthfeel is bright, champagne-like carbonation, but not unpleasantly fizzy.

Quite refined, nice for toasting or as an apertif. Again, this begs to be paired. I was nervous it wouldn't justify the price. I'm still not sure it does, but I'm nonetheless impressed.

 699 characters

Photo of sommersb
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted On: 09-05-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 500ml brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Balloon glass
Purchased: Single from Liquor Express, Huntsville AL

Appearance is cloudy and yellow, capped by a foamy white head. I see lots of floating particles in my glass which is unusual. I guess this is part of the grut/gruit spices. Head retention is good but lacing is very sparse.

Aromas are very fragrant, with lots of spices I can't identify plus a lemon citrus fruit character.

Taste is tart and fruity, with green apple, lemon and orange peel. Also has some grape/wine like flavors. As noted in the aromas, there are a lot of spices in the beer, but I can't pick them apart to identify them. The label lists many of these.

Mouthfeel has a medium-level body and a high amount of carbonation. The finish is dry and somewhat tart.

Overall a very unique and interesting beer. I'd like to try some other examples of the style, but would probably not seek out this one again. I'm glad to have tried it, but once is enough for me.

 1,038 characters

Photo of Premo88
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz. bottle poured into nonic

L: cloudy yellow, almost pineapple juice-like, pushes up a bit of a head, maybe 1/4-inch of white foam; lots of sediment and hard to keep in the bottle and out of the glass; relatively clear considering the amount of sediment, perhaps 70/30 clear/cloudy-misty; the yellow color has just the slightest hint of orange in it, almost peach

S: minty ... and sweet, like spearmint gum ... and it must be coming from a mix of things with ginger -- the ginger/minty aroma is so strong you can smell it as you pour; basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme with basil and rosemary being the most prominent; about as interesting as anything you could put your nose to, as many as 10-15 different notes at different times

T: ginger root ... very bitter, earthy, no sweetness whatsoever; a slight lemon tart note peeks in, offering a bit of a break from the bitter root taste, almost like chewing the bark of what we called "medicine trees" growing up; wow, the palette seems to be adjusting quickly, because some of the mint is showing, offering a bit more of a break from the bitter root, just a hint of sweetness; the aftertaste is still full-on bitter bland tree root; as it warms, the herbs begin to show up much more, rosemary and basil with the lemon/mint sweet/tart notes still in there

F: all-around solid, lightly carbonated but a good midweight heft ... comes off much like a standard lower ABV farmhouse ale and definitely feels like a beer

O: what an experience ... it's not for the light of heart, because that first sip tastes like liquified tree root, very dirty bitter and I don't mean English fuggle hops -- I mean stick your tongue in a dirtpile dirt; but as it warms and your palate adjusts, a slight lemony sweetness and mint help balance the strong ginger root presence and make it very drinkable; a truly herbal drink

 1,863 characters

Photo of megahurts4
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Professor Fritz Briem 13th Century Grut Bier

Appearance: Hazy yellow, small head, and some lacing.

Smell: Flowery, lemon zesty, yeast, and spices.

Taste: Very subtle lemon, even less yeast, and spices galore.

Mouthfeel: Light.

Overall:
A very odd beer. Tastes like a spice garden with a little lemon on top. The tastes are faint, yet the beer is not watery. The flavors are due to the grut style of brewing. There are no hops used.

 436 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of bierdeflanders
2.99/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

S: fruity, biscuit, with some spice

A: golden color

T: spicy, bitter, floral ( lavender) on finish leaves a lingering sharpness.

O: interesting beverage from the 13th century. A little bread note with hints of spice. bitterness lingers on the back of the palate.

 265 characters

Photo of Prospero
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of THECPJ
3.47/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: golden yellow with a lot of floaties with a 1 finger white head

smell: spruce, spices, herbs,

taste: lots of spruce, citrus, herb / spices

mouthfeel; mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: not a bad beer at all. you just need to understand the style of the beer to respect the flavors.

Cheers,
The CPJ

 342 characters

Photo of cdwil
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super excited to try this after reading the herbs that went into it.

The beer is a pale, dull yellow with a thin white head and huge chunks of yeast. This beer is obviously a living organism and smells incredible. There are strong herbal notes without anything distinct in particular along with a sour tartness that screams zesty lemons. Absolutely divine drinking with a thin watery, but zingy mouthfeel...which is rather unexpected. It's highly drinkable and reminds me of a mild ginger beer that would cool off the hottest of summer days. I would definitely recommend giving this beer a shot if you've never tried a gruit before, it puts DFH's ta hen ket to shame (and yes I know THK isn't technically a gruit...but it's full of funky herbs from the egyptian market nonetheless).

 783 characters

Photo of jALEson
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

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13th Century Grut Bier from Professor Fritz Briem
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 301 ratings