Cru D'etat | Ska Brewing Co.

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Cru D'etatCru D'etat
38 Ratings
Cru D'etatCru D'etat

Brewed by:
Ska Brewing Co.
Colorado, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This "wild in the streets" ale was aged for nearly two years in oak foeders.

Added by nmann08 on 10-13-2013

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 38 |  Reviews: 7
Reviews by mattabts:
Photo of mattabts
4.68/5  rDev +17%

More User Reviews:
Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500 mL swingtop bottle poured into an oversized Belgian tulip.

It has a creamy, chewy, off-white head with plentiful lacing scattered around the upper regions of the glass. The body is a dark brown color with amber hues and suggests good clarity despite being pretty dark. Trickles of carbonation are visible. Looks great. 5

Aroma first suggest dark cherries and brown sugar or burnt caramel. Certain some caramel malt characteristics but followed by a blast of tart/sourness. I'm thinking this beer is an oud bruin from the aroma but I haven't even bothered to check what Ska is calling this beer. There's a light floral quality that suggests a Belgian yeast and a lemon quality to the sour aroma. 4.25

Interesting first sip. It started off tasting like a rich port wine, think heavy raisins and brown sugar, but then veers into a more tart flavor and finishes with a lingering red wine flavor. There's a touch of vinegar here that I don't care for but mostly I'm enjoying the contrast of flavors here. 4

Feel and taste kind of become one with a beer like this; I've already mentioned the tart/sourness on the flavor. It's not overdone though and that's good and the caramel and brown sugar sweetness really work well here. The vinous quality does too. Maybe this was aged in wine barrels, I'll have to look. Finishes dry like wine though. 4.25

Quite surprised. I hardly drink Ska but I'd buy this often if more readily available.

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Photo of Todd
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Port Wine, Dark Fruits, Tart, Oak

This "wild in the streets ale" was aged in oak foeders for nearly two years. Out of the bottle there's a push from the left and a shove from the right with a tawny copper hue and a snappy beige foam head. Vinous, oak, plums and soft spices in the nose. It’s smooth and full-bodied with a soft foundation of caramelized sugars. Layers of bold dark fruitiness reminiscent of a port wine fall on top with suggestions of prunes, charred raisin and ripe black cherries. Just enough tartness with a long vinous linger and dry oaky notes. The Circle Jerks nod is only bested by the awesomeness of the beer itself, which is indeed a coup d'état on many levels.

As reviewed in BeerAdvocate magazine #102 (July 2015).

 746 characters

Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of riotontheroad
4.41/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mbmiche
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of GRG1313
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Taperwookie
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%

Photo of enelson
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of The_Beer_Shark
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%

It is great that Ska is doing some cool stuff now, but I found this beer to be overwhelmingly sour. I think it needs some time to sit or something.

148 characters

Photo of elkinbrown
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JGlitz87
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ChewbaccaSD
3.84/5  rDev -4%

Photo of ucsbmullet
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of sweemzander
3.24/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of 510a
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Keananmichael5
3.89/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Kahlerbock
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kojevergas
2.35/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

BOTTLE: Has an odd cap which warrants some explanation: there's a white pry-off crown cap on the bottle when purchased, but also a swing-top cap hanging by the neck - seemingly for use in case one can't finish the beer. Knowing Ska Brewing, that's not an impossibility... Brown glass. 500ml. Uninteresting label art/design. 2014 vintage.

Served cold into a snifter/tulip hybrid glass and allowed to come to temperature over the course of consumption. Expectations are average on account of the brewery. Reviewed live as a Belgian style ale per the label.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 1cm wide. Off-white/pale khaki colour. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass. Retention is poor - maybe 20 seconds at best.

BODY: Deep translucent transparent amber of average vibrance. No yeast can be seen within.

Appears undercarbonated. It's a decent appearance for a Belgian ale, but is far from unique or special.

AROMA: Has a tartness which is rather off-putting, especially given also the absence of any concomitant overt fruit. Stale malts, dampened oak barrel, wet cardboard...I'm not quick to cry infection, but this isn't a good aroma. I know Ska says this beer has "a repressed tartness," but I'm beginning to suspect the unlikely possibility that they may have set out to brew a traditional Belgian ale and are now spinning infection as deliberate wild characteristics. Sweetness is off.

Aromatic intensity is mild to moderate. Suggests an imbalanced untraditional ale with off-putting barrel notes and potentially even bacterial/wild yeast infection.

TASTE: The barrel character is all over the place, and of all things emphasizes rich vanilla above all else; if there's anything NOT to emphasize in a Belgian ale, that's it. Vanilla notes are best left to bourbon barrel aged stouts and the like, and here it'd be nice to have a rounded white oak presence if anything, but that isn't provided. Messy barrel sugars smash unartfully into the similarly messy malt backbone, which offers scattershot notes of sticky amber malts and syrupy malt extract. Red wine vinegar. Off-putting acetic notes. Treace, raisin, boozy prune, lychee...what am I drinking?

It's boozy, alright, and the yeast profile is lackluster. There's no vitamin-y or biscuity Belgian yeast character here at all; indeed, it seems bacteria is in control, not yeast. Off-notes of wet cardboard (indicative perhaps of oxidation) and completely unwelcome tartness run rampant. There's no real sourness here.

This is such a chaotic mess of a Belgian ale build I don't even know where to begin. There's no cohesion at all, and the barrel has nothing to do with the base. I'm not sure what happened, but nothing about this seems focused or deliberate. I'm unconvinced the brewers had basic control of this beer.

TEXTURE: Fatigues the palate with a rough dragging coarseness and a disgusting damp feel. Well-carbonated, I guess. Medium-bodied. Gushed, maybe even a bit astringent. Actually, this should be the sample in the BJCP study kit for the "gushed" descriptor. And it's definitely boozy.

As much a mess as the taste, this mouthfeel is just flat-out badly executed. Nevermind the delicate fragile feel of the best examples of the style, this doesn't even hit fundamental style conventions.

OVERALL: When it comes to questions of drinkability, I understand now why the swingtop was provided...this is so problematic a beer, I can't imagine anyone would want to down the whole bottle in one sitting. I'm not going to cry infection, but isn't it actually worse if Ska's brewers *intended* this? It's not undrinkable and I'm violently opposed to drain-pouring, but it's certainly boozy - and tough to get through. Something surely went wrong here, and I'm honestly surprised this ever made it to market.

D+ (2.35)

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Photo of jgunther71
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of sheenisgod
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BDeibs
3.46/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Stillmakingnoise
4.04/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of shoegueuze
4.64/5  rDev +16%

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Cru D'etat from Ska Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4 out of 5 with 38 ratings