Review of Ichtegem’s Grand Cru Flemish Red Ale

28 Aug
Today’s craft beer review comes to us from Brouwerij Strubbe located in Ichtegem, Belgium.  It’s the Ichtegem’s Grand Cru Flemish Red Ale (matured in oak barrels).

I can’t say that I know much about this beer or this brewery and the website,, had no description, so we are going to have to find out about this one on our own by tasting it.

I do know that it is categorized as a Sour/Wild Ale, so let’s get it poured.  

This brew came in an 11.2 oz. bottle and had an ABV of 6.5%.

The beer poured a burgundy to deep ruby red color with some orange highlights around the edges.  A very thick, frothy, fluffy, soft, creamy textured, light tan head was formed from an easy pour.  It had very nice size and retention, however the lacing was just “ok.”  The head eventually settled to a smooth film on top that lasted the duration of the drink. 

The aroma brought forth a distinct sourness combined with a little bit of “funk.”  A slight cherry note caught my attention as well as some nice “woody” and “oaky” undertones.  A light yeasty fragrance was noticed along with some astringent vinegar redolence.

In the taste, the sweet cherries were noticed first followed by a moderate sourness.  It became a touch tart the longer I let the beer wander my palate.  Deeper in the profile I detected some sugared yeast, some sour grapes and a tickle of bitterness.  The “woody” and “oaky” flavors were modest, but completely complimented the taste.  As the brew warmed it started to develop similarities comparable to a red wine.

The mouthfeel was a very solid medium.  It’s dry, a little sharp, but with good carbonation.  Leaves a ton of flavor behind on the palate.

I can’t say that I’ve had much experience with this style of brew in the past.  With that being said, I still enjoyed it and enjoyed myself.  I’m not so sure that I would want this on a regular basis, but it was a nice change of pace for me.  I’ll try to find some other brews similar to this in the future and see if I can learn to detect the different subtleties.  This beer is worth a try in my opinion and I would be interested to hear from others who have already tried it to hear their take.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  It’s most appreciated.


Score:  3.7 out of 5
Grade:  B 

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Posted by on August 28, 2011 in Country: Belgium, Strubbe


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