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Grand Cru - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Grand CruGrand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

374 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 374
Reviews: 138
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 18.18%
Wants: 15
Gots: 73 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  12.90% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: nbree00 on 07-22-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 374 | Reviews: 138 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Kinsman:
Photo of Kinsman
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pop goes the cork and a soft pour fills the glass with a clear golden color and a dense white head filling the upper half of the tulip.

Sweetness in the aroma may just be too much of an understatement. Fruity nectar alongside a good does of vanilla makes for über sweet aroma. Just a hint of alcohol in the background breaks through the sweetness.

Fortunately on the palate a bit more of the beer came through, with a strong malty bready backbone upon which the sweetness of the agave build off of. Some woodiness from the oak comes along as well just before a decent bourbon kick right at the end.

Mouthfeel was full bodied and a bit warm. Overall, I wasn't sure what to expect from this beer. Certainly not a disappointment but far from the best for a barrel aged beer.

Kinsman, Oct 24, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a large tulip glass a clear medium golden with a tinge of orange,a thinner but well defined white head atop.Sweet agave nectar,candied citrus,and as the beer warms vanilla-bourbon aromas,just smells sweet.Sweet and hot on the palate,alcohol plays a huge role in this beer...too big.Candied citrus and light phenols in the finish,the boubon barrel doesnt play much of a role on the palate.A sweet boozy bomb here,I expected better from a kick ass brewery,dissapointed.

oberon, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of sabitu
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

sabitu, Feb 28, 2014
Photo of EastBay_Nick
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

EastBay_Nick, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of NWer
4/5  rDev +10.2%

NWer, Oct 20, 2012
Photo of GreenMountainBoy
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

GreenMountainBoy, Feb 04, 2013
Photo of BigE90
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

BigE90, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of 1Adam12
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

1Adam12, Mar 01, 2012
Photo of Janeinma
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Janeinma, Jul 12, 2013
Photo of ehammond1
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On Tap

Blue Palms 3rd Anniversary Party
Blue Palms BrewHouse
Los Angeles, CA

Clear gold and yellow with a thin white head. Spotted, messy lacing down the glass.

Exceptionally sweet aroma: apple juice, pears, lemon, and alcohol.

Flavor follows the aroma, and it's not particularly pleasant. The beer is exceptionally sweet: lots of candied, sugary apples, pears, some lemon, some Belgian yeast tartness, perhaps some vanilla--and then more alcohol. Fairly unpleasant. Though those flavors don't sound terrible when listed, as a beer it just becomes a syrupy, sweet, boozy error.

Medium mouthfeel with relatively low carbonation.

A sweet, boozy, syrupy mess.

ehammond1, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.25/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Didn't expect this beer to come out looking like Coors, but it had a dark golden color. Just don't see that too often when something is labeled as bourbon barrel aged, but hey, something new. Aroma was all over the place. Mostly it was just the smell of alcohol. Throw in some roundabout fruit and wood, and there it is.

Taste, wow, even bigger disappointment. More alcohol heat, no distinguishable direction, seems like a grand cru where everything, including the kitchen sink is dumped together, slap it in a spirits barrel and a few months later, you have a beer that retailers can ask $20 a pop for. The bourbon aspect is paltry compared to the alcohol heat and belgian steroid yeast. Where the agave was, I have no idea. It was like a mix of raisin and pear, with wet oak, and rubbing alcohol with a boilermaker shot of whiskey added for 'bad' measure.

North Coast frequently gets it right with their affordable beers. Their barrel Rasputin was never in my opinion better than the regular, and this stuff is just downright disappointing on a whole nuther level.

Avoid unless the price comes down to like, $1 a bottle.

Beerandraiderfan, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of williamjbauer
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled served in a pint glass

A - Clear amber with a 1 finger cream head with moderate lacing and min to mod head retention.

S - Agave aka tequila, crisp apples, grapes, honey, lemon, pear, banana esters, malt, wheat. It is kind of weird, but really engaging.

T - So as fair as the typical reviews are going I am way off as I think this beer tastes pretty stellar. I don't want to compare it with most other Belgian Pale Ales because frankly this one is just weird. But weird doesn't mean bad, this is damn good. This is a full palate journey with sweet at first then sour and a little bitter at the end. Agave and honey hit me first then some citrus sourness and finally a slight wheat body and hint of back palate bitterness.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation.

O - I like Belgium ales and I thought this one deviated from the norm but that is a good thing. I really enjoyed it and would recommend this to other for a try.

williamjbauer, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of chinchill
3.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark bottle with cork and wire served in a Belgian snifter.

Both the aroma and the flavor are quite fruity.
The lightly sweet flavor suggests golden raisins and ripe apricots but has a good bit of tartness too. There's an unusual component in the taste that may be the agave.
Pronounced BBL influence on the aroma, with more moderate BBL effects on he flavor.

Feel: Medium-full body and carbonation. Notable warming

O: a fine, refreshing sipper. A suitable anniversary beer, albeit not as wonderful as their Old Rasputin.

chinchill, Mar 25, 2014
Photo of valkyre65
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

valkyre65, Apr 03, 2013
Photo of Beer21
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Beer21, Oct 14, 2013
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

(Served in a chalice)
A- This beer pours a crystal clear golden yellow hue with a thin white cream and a champagne carbonation trailing to the surface.

S- The clean soft honey notes are dry with an agave nectar note and some malty cardboard notes to finish that are more abbey yeast and not really oxidation.

T- The slight sweetness has a dry hop note and some carbonic acid notes that finish with a slightly sweet boozy agave hint. The yeast character comes through with some pale malt and a touch of peach as the beer opens up. The finish takes on a vinous white wine and estery hint aswell.

M- The light mouthfeel has a gentle fizz to it and an alcohol spice in this finish.

O- There is some nice yeast character that is a bit hard to describe but blends with a hint of agave and some champagne characteristics except it is not really dry. There are some triple qualities but I don't get any barrel character. It becomes a bit one-dimensional and doesn't have a real character that makes it interesting enough to want to finish the whole bottle.

rhoadsrage, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of LucienDeRubempre
4/5  rDev +10.2%

LucienDeRubempre, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of ste5venla
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

ste5venla, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of roostor07
3/5  rDev -17.4%

roostor07, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of weonfire
2.66/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A - Golden. one finger of white head that fades quickly. As is sits- looks flat. Not inspired to sip this.

S - High amount of alcohol. Agave is also potent. smells like old cheap rum.

T - sweet agave at first. alcohol takes over and is not hidden whats so ever. Makes me cringe at every sip.

M - while it didn't quite 'burn the nostrils', straight booze coats the mouth and throat. not a pleasant taste.

O- I was looking forward to aged nectar in bourbon barrels. Greatly disappointed. $15 for this bottle? I expected far better from North Coast. I would not recommend this to anybody.

weonfire, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of hansenme
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

hansenme, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of DruC4
4.5/5  rDev +24%

DruC4, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

North Coast Grand Cru

It looks like what you might expect of a Belgian "grand cru". It's got a slight haze while cold (how can that be faulted?) and its orange-gold body is quite nice. The head retention is pretty good (white, and fairly small bubbled, BTW), but the lacing could have been a bit better - still, there are no real faults with the appearance at all.

The aroma is bready and gently sweetish with a hint of wet oak. It even gives me hints of coconut here and there. There's a touch of sharp yet dull fruit, perhaps like a handful of dried apricots topped by a single slice of freshly cut pear. And a light bit of spice... or is that alcohol? With everything combined there's a bit of a tropical fruit thing happening.

In the mouth it's got a nice, gently bristling carbonation within a medium, gently dextrinous body. It reminds me of sparkling wine. Nice.

The flavor is what makes it a bit odd. I couldn't pinpoint exactly what it was at first, but when I read that it was brewed with agave nectar it all made sense. I was originally thinking tequila, which seemed bizarre and completely out of left field, but I guess I was actually on the right track. As it warms and becomes a bit 'softer', however, it smooths a bit and more of the fruit and oak come forward. You're also getting used to the taste of it at that point, and it doesn't seem so odd anymore at all, but those first few sips can raise an eyebrow. It's rich, but the flavors remain very concentrated; they don't separate to the point that you'd say "Oh, there's the fruit, and there's the malt... oh, and there's a bit of alcohol". And to be honest, on that note, I didn't really get any hop character until the finish, unless it was citrusy and I was just confusing it with yeasty fruitiness. (I actually found it a bit like papaya). But the hop I get in the finish is more leafy and grassy - or perhaps it just appears that way when combined with the delicate note of vanilla that appears with the oak.

So what to make of this odd bird? I don't think I can judge it against any "style", so it's got to be done hedonistically. Would I drink it again? - sure! Do I want to buy it? - no, not really, but I am a cheapskate. Could it have been brewed better? - probably yes, but I still can't fault it as is. So how about this, did I want to have a second glass out of the bottle? - yes, so OK. Everything told it's pretty decent. I wish its components were a little more balanced overall, and played their parts with just a little more flair, contributing to the betterment of the whole, but it is what it is. Time in the bottle may help, but I doubt it as I didn't find a lot of yeast to help it along. Drink now; one thumb up.

NeroFiddled, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of nbree00
2.98/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Pours a golden honey color, really a lot lighter in color than I expected. Looks more like an imperial pilsner than a grand cru.

S: Aromas are some what promising with notes of citrus, melon, bubble gum, banana, and a hint of yellow cake.

T: This is where the beer losses me. A little bit apple cidery for me with nowhere near enough complexity and a very thin texture. Flavors of green apples, bubble gum, agave nectar, and fennel. Has an off flavor in the finish.

M: Gotta say for an oak aged beer the texture is virtually non-existant, very thin and just not memorable.

O: Overall I'm disappointed in this beer, it's definitely not bad or undrinkable, just very simple and not the least bit compelling.

nbree00, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of Adavar
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

Adavar, Apr 09, 2014
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Grand Cru from North Coast Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 374 ratings.