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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
83
good

402 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 402
Reviews: 142
rAvg: 3.67
pDev: 17.98%
Wants: 16
Gots: 82 | FT: 3
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: nbree00 on 07-22-2011)
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Ratings: 402 | Reviews: 142 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ithinkimasofa
1/5  rDev -72.8%

Photo of Arbitrator
1.43/5  rDev -61%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

On tap at the Bistro barrel-aged fest. One of the reasons I need to get a smartphone is that I can't check what crappy beers I've already had before. This is one I mistakenly purchased at an (average) cost of $3 a pour.

A: Pours a clear, pale gold body with a short-lived finger of off-white head.

S: Yeast. Lemon, floral hops, a touch of pepper in the finish. This reminds me of a tripel.

T: Lots of yeast. It's like they made some wort, tossed in some yeast, and killed the fermentation a day later. Ta-da! Yeast soup. Not much spice or Belgian flavor on the tongue, but it's nice and sweet, which is good.

M: Full-bodied with low carbonation.

O: Bah. I'm beginning to think North Coast is a one-trick pony, and that trick is Old Rasputin.

Photo of harrymel
1.48/5  rDev -59.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Bottled: unk

A: pale golden with little head production. No lace. Etched mirror surface. Excellent clarity.
S: pear juice, some floral notes, belgian yeast. Kinda like a tripel with a sharp edge.
T: Really sweet and cloying. Wow, this is like syrup and tripel yeast. Wow, seriously sweet. So much yeast flavor too.
M: Thick and sticky with moderate on low carb. Semi dry finish.
O: This beer is an embarrassment.

Photo of bobhits
1.58/5  rDev -56.9%
look: 1 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1

A big beer at 12.9% the carbonation hardly lasts long at all. The body is crystal clear orange/yellow color. I'm not sure how a beer this big can be clear nor do I know why one would want it to be. Maybe they wanted this one aged a year or ten?

Sugary sweet, with Belgian style yeast aromas. There is a LOT of sugar aromas in here. Fruit aromas of bananas and pears come out. We went from sugars to fake sugars...I'm not sure why Agave was added...maybe someone was fooled into thinking it was healthy? Either way while crystal clear there is a clear weight and density to this beer.

Where is the bourbon barrel effects? This is ungodly sweet, overly sugary, and just frankly awful. Alcohol heat mixed with maybe some kind of oak, sugar, aspartame, sucralose, maybe molasses, and maybe some other sugars I can't place.

Clean taste but the alcohol heat is overwhelming. No carbonation in the mouth should cause problems, but the clean finish seems ok.

A grand cru should be the best a brewer makes. It should stand for something. Instead this is one of the worst efforts a rather good brewery has made. Bottom line drain pour.

Photo of Reagan1984
1.63/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Good looking beer, that’s for sure. A fluffy bright white head builds quickly and then fades quickly on the beer. The beer is a very bright brass/gold color with perfect clarity and nicely spaced escaping strands of carbonation. No lace to speak of.

Aroma is very fruity with pear and light apple notes. Definitely a sweetness noted here.

Oh My, this is a sweet beer. Pear flavor and specifically like the syrup from canned pears. Really over powers everything else. Some candied sugar.

Cloying does come to mind.

Wow, this is a decidedly bad beer. Have no interest in finishing the glass. Not coming back for more here.

Photo of sweemzander
1.75/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

500mL corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a golden apricot color. Produced a giant 4+ finger fluffy head with surprisingly good retention and lace despite it being 12.9%.

(S)- A little strange. Lots of pear and that sweet agave nectar fruit profile. Bits of a sweaty gym sock yeast. On the background finish is an oaky bourbon character. All together, it almost smells like marinara sauce somehow as it warms up.

(T)- Just like the smell. A sickly sweet fruit note in front of some kind of marinara sauce meets an oaky muddy yeast. This is borderline gross; drain pour.

(M)- A good carbonation level, though thats the only good thing I can see. Very sweet and has lots of vegetable notes and a bizarre yeast. Finishes boozy.

(D)- This looked great, though quickly turned to an abomination in my opinion. It tastes like vegetables and a very strange muddled yeast. This needs to go back to the drawing board unless my bottle is completely off or an infection of some kind.

Photo of Thullin187
1.75/5  rDev -52.3%

Photo of largadeer
2/5  rDev -45.5%

Photo of brywhite
2/5  rDev -45.5%

Photo of chrispoint
2/5  rDev -45.5%

Photo of Marti403
2/5  rDev -45.5%

Photo of drummermattie02
2/5  rDev -45.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2/5  rDev -45.5%

Photo of flannelman808
2.2/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Straw colored and extremely bright though its head is very fleeting wait, wait. Now its gone. It used to be white and didn't leave much of a trace behind it.

S: Agave honey is there for sure as is the oak. I'm not sure that I like my tequila in my bourbon ... Also I'm getting honey and buttered popcorn.

T: Diacetyl has splooged all over the freaking place. Buttered mothafukin popcorn son. I'm talking buttered popcorn flavored jelly bellys. Sickening. This is like drinking a concentrated tin of Christmas popcorn after the cheddar cheese has been eaten (leaving only buttered and caramel popcorn and were talking mostly buttered). Agave honey notes find their way in as an afterthought as well as some orchard fruit. If this was aged for any length of time in bourbon barrels the barrels must have been used for something other than bourbon before this beer was aged in them because it is devoid of a bourbon barrels memory.

M: butter baby

O: This was less expensive then I thought it was going to be and with good reason. It is still too much money. They should bottle this in clear bottles and stock it next to Mickeys fine malt liquor. A horrible follow up to bourbon barrel aged old stock. This is a massive fail.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.25/5  rDev -38.7%
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.

Photo of JMBSH
2.25/5  rDev -38.7%

Photo of scottfrie
2.28/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

500ml caged and corked bottle into Portsmouth snifter.

A: Pours a dark golden with a couple fingers of foamy white head that quickly faded into a thin film leaving a couple streaks of lacing down the glass.
S: Light smelling. All I really get is some barrel-esque wood and a touch of stone fruits. There is something faintly sour as well. The nose isn’t bad, but it’s barely there.
T: Big syrupy flavor of sweet fruits, toffee and candied sugar. This is one syrupy sweet beer. I’ve never really described a beer as “cloying” before, but I think that fits nicely. I guess it's the agave. The finish has a pretty good dose of warm alcohol that doesn’t go well with all the syrupy toffee sweetness. I get some bready yeast and pepper in the aftertaste.
M: Bubbly, tingly carbonation that froths up on my palate. The body is full and the mouthfeel is definitely thick, heavy and syrupy. The high alcohol adds to the high viscosity and creates a very slick mouthfeel as well.
O: Another miss *coughtwentiethanniversarycough* from a brewery that I really do love. Even the great breweries make mistakes. I’m just glad I found this bottle for only $12 as even this is asking too much.

Photo of JackieTH
2.3/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

From notes, ABR 2011.

Pours yellow-golden color, sparkling, with white head. Good retention and lacing.

Smells sweet and lactic, with clear notes of the agave nectar. Taste is agave sweet nectar up front, many white wine characteristics, or perhaps cider, its sweet, and a bit oaky.

Mouthfeel is light with lively carbonation.

Overall I didn't enjoy this. Way too sweet and quite frankly not sure this is beer or a Riesling.

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
2.38/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours out a deep gold, almost apple juice colored. Heavy carbonation, small head, no lace.

The smell is nectar heavy, but with the whisky barrel smell it ends up a bit like fruit punch. Some light malts show up in the background.

Wow, too sweet. Barrel and sweet nectar throw down right away, some malt and yeast, but not much going for it in terms of complexity (at least not at this age). Alcohol burn gets pretty noticeable by the end.

I'd put this in the flavored beer category. Too much like a boozy fruit punch for my taste. Oh well, next time tone it down a bit.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
2.43/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

North Coast Grand Cru has an extremely thin, off-white head, an opaque, brilliant orange appearance, few bubble streams, and no lacing left behind. The aroma is of an intense mix of bourbon, sweetness, coconut, alcohol, and fruit juice. Taste is harsh- shaved coconut, alcohol, juice, sweet, lightly-roasted malt, and a vanilla background. Mouthfeel is heavy, chewy, and cloying, and North Coast Grand Cru finishes rich and overly sweet and alcohilic. After sipping on it for about an hour, I did notice that the coconut faded and more of a caramel aspect presented itself. The beer is complex, but not particularly enjoyable. Just too harsh.

RJT

Photo of kojevergas
2.43/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

500ml brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork served into a Guinness goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Acquired at Red Carpet Wines in Glendale, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given the brewery.

In light of the ABV, I'd prefer a smaller cheaper bottle size, but this will do. At least it's not a 750.

Served refrigerator cold and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Gave a satisfying pop as I uncorked it. Didn't overflow.

A: Pours a two finger head - disappointingly thin, with no real cream at all, but of damn good retention given the high ABV. Colour is a vibrant yellow-gold. Carbonation bubbles are visible in abundance rising towards the head. I have to say the retention is impressive, but the rest of the appearance is lackluster.

Sm: Yeast, honey, lemon, boozey alcohol, hints of lime, agave when I look for it, nectary sugary sweet notes, and clean malts. A touch floral. Very sweet. I'd say nectar is dominant. A strong, very forward aroma.

T: Nectary and sweet, with strong honey tones. Lemon and lime come through. Agave is present, though not in a tequila type of way. Heavy unfermented sugars. Too sweet, especially in the finish, heavily affecting the balance. Layered clean malts. No yeast. Alcohol warms the stomach, but doesn't come through in the taste. I wouldn't call it fruity. No real cream. Not complex or subtle. A simple, strange beer with a poor build. The nectar taints the rest of it. Too lemony. Severely imbalanced: sugar sugar sugar.

Mf: Somewhat coarse and tingly from the sugar. Wet. Too thick. Adequately carbonated. The sugar just gives it too much heaviness on the palate, calling attention to itself. No real cream.

Dr: I can feel my teeth rotting as I drink it because of its heavy sugar content. I expect better from a brewery like North Coast. I could easily see this as an obscure experiment from an off-the wall brewery, but North Coast should no better. Hides its ABV well taste-wise, but you feel it in the stomach. It's far from dangerous. Hard to drink on account of its abundance of sugar. You couldn't quaff this, nor would you want to. Very pricey for its limited quality. I wouldn't have this again, and I'd caution friends from purchasing it. A major disappointment, but every beer gets a chance.

D+

Photo of WynnO
2.45/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

The beer is decent in every category except taste. It evokes confusion to my palette, unable to decide what it wants to be. I sense a dry, in your face bitterness---bitter as in an immature old ale.

Rather than regret throwing my money away on this $19 snow job of advertising and squirrely one-liner quotes on North Coast's website, I actually wish I had bought two, putting bottle #2 away in a cool dark place for a year, maybe two. It might turn into something to brag about by then. If you want it to drink now though, spend your money on something else.

Photo of BigE90
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of ehammond1
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%
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.

Photo of GRG1313
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

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Grand Cru from North Coast Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 402 ratings.