13th Century Grut Bier | Professor Fritz Briem

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13th Century Grut Bier13th Century Grut Bier
Very Good
301 Ratings
13th Century Grut Bier13th Century Grut Bier

Brewed by:
Professor Fritz Briem

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.

Added by Slatetank on 07-29-2008

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 301 |  Reviews: 166
Photo of amalburg
1/5  rDev -74%

Photo of rspauldi
1/5  rDev -74%

Photo of mportnoy
1.25/5  rDev -67.4%

Photo of harpus
1.5/5  rDev -60.9%

Photo of rangerred
1.74/5  rDev -54.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass out of a 500ml bottle.

Pours a hazy straw yellow with a one finger white head. While there is no lacing at all the head retention is quite nice.

The aroma immediately reminds me of a cough drop. Absolutely loaded with menthol along with perfume and cleaner. While it is definitely spicy it sure isn't something that appeals to me.

Unfortunately, the taste is no better. It's like someone dissolved a cough drop in old lady's perfume and mixed it with lemon juice. Nearly gag-inducing for me. To top it all off the overwhelming astringency pretty much makes this undrinkable. I'm trying to appreciate the style and history but I just can't drink this. Down the drain it goes.

Overall, I really can't get past the medicinal taste and extreme astringency. I like to think I have a pretty expansive palate and there are very few beers I just cannot drink but this is one. This might just take the cake as the worst beer I have ever tried.

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Photo of Ragingbull
1.76/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Cloudy gold with a dot of lace and a rim of foam. Spicy and light nose that seems more like a health and beauty aid than a beer. I sampled some of this during a tasting I put on for my wife and my in-laws and they were utterly umimpressed. I was left wanting. At first it was novel and I even wrote "curious." Those drinking with me said it tasted like medicine and also, very specifically, Gilchrist and Soames soap. It just had a "pure cleaner" type of flavor in my opinion. The anise pops out at me with some ginger coming through as well. The attack is actually mild compared to the smells. In the mouth it acts like Ben-Gay. Actually Sucrets is an accurate comparison as I have never eaten Ben-Gay. It numbs my mouth like Sucrets. I do feel as if I ate muscle rub however. The flavors and spices are fairly mild and would maybe garner a higher rating if not for a horrendhous mouthfeel and drinkability. Its tought to be generous with the numbers for this. I was pretty excited about it and I am all about "buying in" to new styles, old styles, and innovative styles. Its probably going to hurt their business that I was able to buy a single of this. Sell it by the case or at least six pack if you want to make money. I won't buy it again unless I have someone who can't resist looking at the train wreck.

I really am trying to be productive here. The spices working together in place of "normal" ingredients is a nice try, but I really think they ought to try again. I have been hesitant to review things I don't like on here in the past, but a B+ rating on BA for this beer is calling into question the integrity of the site in my opinion so I have "sounded off." People who use this site to find good beer as I do on occasion would be upset to go by this review in my opinion. Some stores even print "BA shelf talkers" and I want to have my opinion averaged in here. . . especially since I have three other beer lovers who thought I was being nice.

 1,959 characters

Photo of chinabeergeek
1.96/5  rDev -49%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

no date found. from notes, tasted in june 2009.

pale yellow, almost clear (decant 1cm). 1-finger bright white head, soon fades to fizzy wisps and ring. no lace.

aroma: menthol. smells like cough drops. that's it.

taste: like a cheap sparkling white wine, flavored with mint. touch of acidity, faint trace of bitterness. just very herbal and minty.

light and a bit on the thin side. crisp, fizzy carbonation and light acidity. a weird, smooth/slippery texture - from the minty herbs?


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Photo of BrownNut
2.24/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I can't fathom how other reviewers are giving this beer praise. It's awful. Well, I take that back. It's awful unless you like the taste of a lady's bathroom. It smelled strongly of powder and some kind of pungent flower, like one of those seashell-shaped compressed powder things that your mom or grandma would crumble up in the bath back before "bath salts" meant drugs. My dining companions agreed. Four sips was too many.

I looked at its ingredient list and everything in there except one thing checked out just fine - flavors you've had in other applications and have liked just fine (bay leaves, ginger, caraway, anise, rosemary). But gentian flower seems to be the culprit that grandma-izes it. It's the only one I'd never knowingly smelled and has to be the reason this is awful. There's nothing wrong with the smell of powder or perfumey flowers or bath products, but they don't belong in my beer. The powder and flower smells dominated anything else that may have been happening in the background.

It looked fine in the glass and felt fine in the mouth, I'll give it that.

I am excited by the concept of gruits and the wild flexibility and variability they offer - the ability to flavor beer with just about anything and to get away from hops as the main character note. But this one went to a bad place. I'm a little discouraged because the Bros said in their review that this was one of the very best gruits they'd ever tried.

 1,441 characters

Photo of cowboy83
2.25/5  rDev -41.4%

Photo of jrallen34
2.43/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Bottle into my Rochefort glass.

Pours a light murky honey gold, not head or lacing, not much here...Aroma is strong and varied, lots of fresh herbs bursting through, rosemary, thyme, aloe mixed together. Together its quite pungent almost to strong and not in a good way. Very medicinal...The taste is an instant gagger, way to medicinal, chalky taste and texture...The feel is good, not at all drinkable.

This might be worth trying to get a good idea of what beer was like 400 years ago. But its not at all drinkable. More gimmick than anything else.

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Photo of SSGCujo
2.45/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of chrispoint
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of Soneast
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

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.

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Photo of drabmuh
2.83/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a fizzy yellow beer, and that's not a bad thing, I think. Poured from a bottle into a glass, there is absolutely no head, hte carbonation is a bunch of large bubbles and its steady. It is light yellow, the lightest i've ever seen a beer, and completely clear. The smell is of spice only, almost like Chai Tea. Interesting. Taste is sour and dry. Almost like lemon soda. Cloves, anise, rosemary, its hard to drink. Not feeling this beer. Too spicy, its overwhelming. Sorry Grut Bier, not a repeat.

 504 characters

Photo of mguesstx
2.96/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of laituegonflable
2.97/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy granny smith apple-juice colour, very opaque with whispy sunken head of large bubbles. Some sediment floaties and not much lace. Looks curious, but undeniably weird.

Smell traverses the undeniably weird line into fucking bizarre territory. Huge sour fruit with apple juice and some blackcurrant, and a massive spice hit - cinnamon, clove and licorice root and a good belt of hickory smoke as well on the back. Nutty and gingery and just apple-esque as well. I'd like to love something this bizarre but I can only really give it some cred for originality.

Having expected the taste to be overblown and bizarre, I'm disappointed that it's ultimately quite bland. Has that weak apple juice character up front that descends into a slightly tart mid with a touch of wood, then finish emerges with no lustre, slightly tart and drying with a hint of ginger and star anise, but mostly an insipid tartness. The flavours might - actually, make that, would - have been interesting, but there's just not enough of them. Weird, but also just a bit dull, sadly.

A bit thin on the body, but a decent enough texture. Maybe a bit sizzly though, yeah not a huge fan.

An odd beer for sure, but not really strong enough to be offensive. Can I drink it? Yes. Would I reach for one from my friend's ice bath at a party? No. What would it even be doing at my friend's party?

 1,370 characters

Photo of OneDropSoup
2.99/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Really intrigued by this one, which I picked up at my last haul from Vintage Estate.

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Kind of weird-looking: cloudy, translucent pale orange/yellow body. Half inch of nice collar & dusting. Dunno, a sort of sickly color.

Smell is herbal & seasoned, reminding me at first of the pizza beer with an oregano-like nose (which fades, thankfully). Menthol smell that builds & really dominates after a while. An acidity not unlike tomatoes. Approaching a saison spiciness, but stranger. Some citrus peel.

Medicinal, menthol taste that my wife likened to Vick's VapoRub. Light lemon tea, tobacco-like dry leaves, wheat tartness, mild pepper. Complex & interesting, if not exactly the most enjoyable. Ends dry with a lingering coolness, again like menthol.

Thin-bodied, very little carbonation. Sticks to my mouth in a strange way, because it's not a sugar stickiness.

Really different & hard to grade because it was fascinating if not actually a great pleasure to drink. The closest beer I can liken it to is Orval, though Orval is much more enjoyable to me. Glad I had it, can't say I'd have it again. A concept beer.

 1,144 characters

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.

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Photo of jpajpajeff
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of R259
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of nathanmiller
3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a tulip glass. Pours a blonde haze with a fizzy white head. Aroma is unique of some ginger, peppery notes, herbs, and spices. Taste is more sweet than spicy. The ginger comes forth but not as prominently. The herbs are there but lean heavier on the rosemary. The peppery spices seem tamed as well. Sweet malt and wheat come through towards the back end. Body is light and refreshing with the carbonation being creamier than expected. Ends with more ginger and peppery flavors, light rosemary, sweet malt and grains. Definitely an unique beer from old Germany!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer pours a thick soapy white head that sits on a glowing pale lemon yellow body with a slight bit of haze. With the second pour this beer becomes completely hazy. There is a very strong carbonation of tiny bubbles racing through this beer.

S- The smell of fancy designer soap has a bright floral perfume quality with some lemony citrus notes and some medicinal herb fragrances.

T- The flavor of ginger and bay really pop at the first sip with the brightness of rosemary and lavender following behind. The finish is a soft soapy anise and ginger heat that lingers for a moment.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a fizzy finish and no alcohol heat or astringency at all.

D- This beer has strong medicinal herb and soapy flavors that make it a hot mess. The herbs and spices all taste like they are competing against each other and just make for a strange cough drop in a glass experience.

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