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Grand Cru - North Coast Brewing Co.

Grand CruGrand Cru

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

345 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 345
Reviews: 136
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 18.51%


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)
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Ratings: 345 | Reviews: 136 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of bobhits
bobhits

Kentucky

1.58/5  rDev -56.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 11:25:51 | More by bobhits
Photo of SlothB77
SlothB77

Virginia

4.6/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from 1 pint 9 ounce bottle into a snifter.

This is the champagne of beers. and by that i mean the beer tastes like champagne. Smell: floral aromas. Taste: like champagne. Very sweet. Mouthfeel: very acidic, very carbonated, light-bodied. As close as beer gets to champagne. $36 for a 1 pint 9 ounce bottle in NoVa,

Rave reviews.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

01-12-2013 04:17:39 | More by SlothB77
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

As an American brewery which has flirted with Belgian styles with much success, It's easy to become currious on which one that they think is the best and entitled with the moniker "Grand Cru".

The pop of the cork yields a mild spillover of foam that seeps from the bottle (have your sinks ready kids). But then I was surprised by the relatively light colored ale inside. Medium amber in color, the beer carries well the hues of honey and pine sap. Even the most gentle of pours cause the froth to separate from the beer beneath with an expansive and heady cap. Spotty lace takes the forms of broken rings and isolated pockets, but is surprisingly mild on both retention and lace.

Complex Belgian character slathers the olfactory senses with a ton of fruit, malt, and spice. Caramel, honey, and biscuit lay the foundation but its the fruity complements that come in the form of apple, apricot, cherry, spiced pear, banana and dates that quickly gain command. Its balanced scent is a crazy melange of pepper, cumin, taragon, chai tea-like spices, clove, and of course coriander. Along with the stronger alcohol components, the beer begins to seem lightly of cough syrups.

The fruit and spice balance also battles it out in taste. But first its the coat of malty sweetness that emerges first- honey, caramel, crusted bread, and confectioner's sugar all lay the ground work for the Belgian influences to play upon. Apricot meets coriander, cherry with taragon, mellon with chai tea, banana and clove, alcohol and cayenne, fenel and dates... it seems that the balance of fruit and spice is never ending. But with the immense taste of lingering malt sweetness, all that ester-phenol interplay is fully supported.

Supported so well that it interferes with the beer's overall drinkability. As the candyish malts penetrate the mouth, it buffers against the strong alcohols and spicy notes. But the left over sweetness makes the beer a slow sipping affair rather than a drinking ale. The reluctant recession of malt delays the beer's finish and reserves the beer's spicy dryness and alcohol warmth until very late.

Overall, I would classify the beer as a very complex yet unrefinned ale. It suffers much the same fate as many other American brewed, Belgian inspired ales that portray a half-hearted Belgian depth and lacking the raw rusticity and supple dryness that makes those from Belgium so great.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2013 06:30:15 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken

New York

4.48/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First things first: beers reviews always come from biased sources, right? Everyone's got their idea about what they like, and how this style should be done, etc.
Second, let's consider North Coast Brewing. They brew the classic RIS, Old Rasputin. They brew a barleywine-esque old ale, the Old Stock Ale. These two beers are top flight. Their other major beers, Pranqster and Brother Thelonius, are respectably good beers.
When I see North Coast on a label, I expect good things. When I see Grand Cru on a label, I expect the best of the best. It is, after all, a grand cru.

A: Deep gold/pale amber body with slight haze from a center-pour unto a tulip kicked up a slim finger of tan head; the beer leaves the glass clean as you drink

S: orchard fruits, apricots and peaches soaked in bourbon

T: luxurious sugars from the malts and aromas from the hops create a tapestry of the lush orchard fruits and booze - a very sultry, heady flavor. Fresh and juicy.

M: brisk carbonation creates a warm fuzz to the medium-to-full bodied feel

O: ignore the mundane (so far) reviews, and just get it already.

Buyer beware: it's just a pint-and-change bottle, so you're not gonna get much of a second pour!

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2012 17:26:53 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of CrazyDavros
CrazyDavros

Australia

3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a fading head.
Nose shows wine-like notes, fruity tequila, very soft bourbon, coconut. Pretty wierd and different. Not sure I like the fruity white wine character though.
More coconut as a flavour along with bourbon and booze. Some fruity wine notes are still there.
Boozy-feeling body, low carbonation. Some burn.
A bit too boozy and white wine-like in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2012 01:16:36 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of templar316
templar316

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a bright resiny amber with thin white head. Light lacing and moderate working. Nose; bright sour apple, citrus resin, candy sugar. Chardonay. The taste is bright and ready for the party. The agave is beautiful and flows over the tongue as the beer coates and clings. The effort is readily apparent although the vanilla has totally faded. Those who love sour will enjoy the finish. The king of cups is ready for a party; but today is not his brithday!

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 02:20:06 | More by templar316
Photo of fmccormi
fmccormi

New York

3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Straight pour from 500ml cage-and-cork bottle to a 25cl Duvel Single tulip; no freshness date visible, but this was bought shortly after its release this year.

Appearance (3.5): The head is white and a bit fizzy, making a crackling sound as it dies down. Not a lot of lace as it recedes, either, just a couple of sudsy spots. The body is a brilliant orange-golden color though, and crystal clear. The lack of head and lacing is understandable, given the strength and barrel aging of the beer, but it’s kind of a letdown regardless. Great body, though.

Smell (3.5): Very strong oak scent here with a mild vanilla tone, definitely from the bourbon barrel aging. Definitely a bit of alcohol heat underneath, but it’s surprisingly subdued. Beyond that, the beer has almost a sugary sweet scent, which combined with the oaky vanilla tones comes off almost like cream soda.

Taste (3.5): At the front, the beer has more of that vanilla character, and moves into an interesting, estery fruit flavor, like apple juice, that must be coming from the yeast / malt combination. Wow . . . finishes with quite a bit of alcohol vapor, but it unfolds slowly, only coming out at the end. The bourbon character is definitely pronounced but not overbearing, because it mixes well with the fruity yeast and the already over the top alcohol tone.

Mouthfeel (3.0): The fizzy head lends a similar impression on the mouthfeel, sharply crackling before giving way to quite a bit of alcohol vapor, leaving my tongue slightly numbed.

Overall (3.5): Overall, this beer is something of an oddball. It’s not unenjoyable, but it’s challenging in some ways; it doesn’t fit the category perfectly, but there’s no category it would fit better, either. It tastes like a mildly carbonated apple juice with a strong oak character and a hell of a lot of alcohol vapor. It’s a decent beer and very interesting, but definitely best in small doses.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2012 04:13:02 | More by fmccormi
Photo of BelgiumBill
BelgiumBill

Virginia

3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Corked and caged 500ml bottle has me a little intimidated as I see it is 12.9%ABV yet intrigued by the addition of agave nectar. It has me thinking this will be sweet.

Uncorking the snugly fitting cork did not produce any sort of pop.

Served it up in a nonic glass at about 45 degrees - a bit colder than the 50 degrees recommended.

Poured cloudy and the color of orange blossom honey crowned with an off white dense head about a 1/2 inch thick which rather quickly yielded to a thin layer.

Fragrance was potent and sweet. If I was blindfolded, I would swear you put a bowl of peach cobbler in front of me. Searching for other scents give ripe tropical fruits. No oak on the nose that I could discern.

First sip impression was, wow, this is sweet and surprisingly carbonated with lots of tingling bubbles cleaning up.

Flavors are sweet and ripened fruits. It has some white wine qualities - more along the lines of a sweet muscat - and the oak peeks through but not overpowering. The flavors are moderately complex but consistent. There are no waves of evolving flavors, rather consistent from start to finish.

It has a viscous, lightly syrupy feel in the mouth that is cut by the vibrant carbonation. The 12.9% alcohol is hidden well in the mouth but I was feeling it produce a slight burn down the esophagus.

Overall, this is more of a desert sipping beer. I'm not sure I'll finish the whole 500ml on my own and it would be better to share between 2, even 3 people. It is good, not great. High marks for appearance and smell. I really enjoyed the fragrances it put off.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2012 17:46:12 | More by BelgiumBill
Photo of ginemesis
ginemesis

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Light straw, very cloudy.

S-Overtones of ripe pineapple juice. Malty aroma, wet cardboard.

T-Overly sweet, pineapple, coconut, and caramel. Definite Twix bar.

M-Medium body.

O-Complex with a diverse mixture of elements. However, the overall effect has a cloyingly sweet, almost syrupy effect that makes the beer a one-sip wonder.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 03:07:08 | More by ginemesis
Photo of Immortale25
Immortale25

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a clean amber color with a ½ inch head that soon dissipates to an 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass and a healthy amount of surface foam. Somewhat resilient lacing.

S- Strong white wine immediately comes to mind with very similar effervescent fumes. Alcohol is certainly apparent and bears notes of vinegar.

T- There’s a Belgian character at first followed by the white wine notes. Kind of like a tripel on steroids. Booze makes itself known from beginning to end but doesn’t have an excessive sting or bite. As the palate begins to accommodate, tropical fruit flavors like pineapple and, naturally, white grapes arise.

M- Certainly has a punch to it from the alcohol but, as mentioned above, is easily bearable with slow sips. Medium-high carbonation and a relatively light body.

O- Complex while still not being all over the place. Definitely one that can stand the test of time, but make sure to cellar it properly due to its paleness.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2012 03:03:02 | More by Immortale25
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wanted to try this when it came out, but being a happy home-dad, decided I shouldn't drop the money on a little 500ML bottle. After relucatantly heading back to the salt mines, saw one languishing on a random shelf & liberated it. Time to try it. Split with my wife.

Cork is tough to budge, & when it moves, it dances a good half-inch. Lack of carbonation is no worry. The pour is an overcast yellow. The nose is, well, I don't know what agave smells like, but this beast smells like the Southwest - pears & cactus & dry heat. Distinct sharpness. Bourbon is so faint I have to try to pick it out. Nice.

North Coast Grand Cru has all sorts of tastes clamoring for attention. A sharp fruitiness - agave, I presume - mingles with a bite that toes, but doesn't quite cross, into sour. There's a surge of sweetness in the middle that gives way to a touch of barrel. An herbal pie completes the odd picture. No alcohol maybe, what, 4.5%? Nice sipper.

Original & strange if nothing else. With brewers desperately trying to find a Tibetan winter root that only grows on dead tiger carcasses to spice up their latest beer...what was I saying? Oh, the agave is a new touch, & a fine one at that. Great twist on the style & an excellent beer. Better have been for the price, eh?

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2012 02:49:04 | More by maximum12
Photo of Pahn
Pahn

New York

3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Free pour yields a 1 inch fizzy white head that dissipates steadily. Pours a clear yellowish orange and leaves a few stray arches of lacing.

Smell: Bourbon and oak, with some apple and banana Belgian yeast. Raisin. Not a lot going on, but smells good. Bit of floral vodka like booziness.

Taste: Sweet apple up front, then tons of oak and booze in back. Slow malty development in aftertaste (banana, raisin, underpinned by creamy vanilla oak). Very hot. Kind of musty mid palate.

I can see how one might find this blend jarring or unpleasant (very apple forward Belgian pale ale plus heavy booze and oak), or how one might find the overall beer too sweet, but it's working for me. It's a very straightforward Belgian golden ale, not top tier but pleasant as far as it goes, with a really nice barrel influence on top.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied. A little creamy, a little juicy. Moderate carbonation. Meh.

Overall: I'm a big fan of this beer. It's fallen a little bit over the course of a year, but it was never exactly a complex or subtly balanced affair. Great sipper, with pleasing, familiar flavors if you're a fan of BSPAs and barrel aged beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2012 00:35:55 | More by Pahn
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to Bruery tulip.

A - Bright yellow/orange colour. Translucent. One finger of off-white head.

S - Oak up front along with a big candy sweetness, Belgian yeast and some bready malts. Some light hopping is present in the background.

T - Massive oak flavour up front that gives way to big candy sugar and Belgian yeast flavours. Very light bourbon flavour is detectable with hints of cloves.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2012 14:59:44 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of draheim
draheim

Washington

3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500mL into a tulip. Pours a golden amber w/ a 1-finger white head, moderate carb, no real lacing to speak of.

Aroma is heavy bourbon, Belgian yeast, and lots of sugars. Sweetness is like dried apricots, lots of caramelized fruity sugars.

Taste follows nose. Fruity sugar-sweet, bourbon, Belgian yeast. Sweetness and bourbon converge as a rich boozy blend that overwhelms the pale malt. Reminiscent of Cuvée Van De Keizer Rood. As it warms, the oak lends an interesting dry tartness.

Mouthfeel is sticky, almost syrupy. Lingering aftertaste is aided by the heavy sweetness.

Overall I'm not so sure the combination of bourbon and agave nectar works so well. Maybe just a little too much. Glad I got to try it but, especially at this price point, I can say I'll be running out to buy more.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2012 03:57:30 | More by draheim
Photo of KajII
KajII

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

[Best served in a Snifter]

The pour was a murky medium golden orange with a large (2-3 finger) white fluffy head that lasted only a short while, reducing to a light film with a large collar and having some good streaky lacing.

The aroma was of a hay malt and a doughy yeast with notes of banana, apple, oak cask, white wine, apricot, agave nectar and a touch of alcohol.

The taste was sweet and a bit acidic with a hint of fruity esters early on and then became rather yeasty and a bit sour with a mild sweet wine undertone and a slight oak alcohol presence at the end. The flavor lingered for a good long while with a nice fruity sour sweet alcohol warming sensation left behind.

Mouthfeel was a little past light in body with a dry oily texture and a fizzy carbonation.

Overall this was a fantastic Strong Ale that had a great fruity presence, which along with the Belgian yeast hid the high ABV very nicely...

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2012 19:43:37 | More by KajII
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Cloudy golden colour. A small head dissipates quickly. Not bad but not all that inspiring.

Extremely fruity with pineapple and stonefruit being prominent. A little sweaty and tart. Just a little messy and confused really.

Sweet and slightly tart. Plenty of oak. More fruit with the pineapple dominating. Touches of bourbon. This is a really confused beer and I don't think the base beer was a good choice.

Medium body with high carbonation. Fine.

I really want to like this but the flavour profile is just weird. The bourbon and oak don't work with the base and the fruitiness of the base beer is quite unusual as well.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2012 10:32:10 | More by dgilks
Photo of lazjuarez
lazjuarez

Florida

3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500ml bottle, caged and corked. This ale is brewed with agave nectar and aged in bourbon barrels. Nice pop once uncorked and poured into a goblet.

A: Poured a bit vigorously, giving off 1 1/2 fingers worth of light foamy off-white head, which dissipates rather quickly leaving behind a small trace of lacing. Body is a golden amber with minimal carbonation coming off the bottom of the glass.

S: Nose is sweet, oaky, buttery caramel, and hints of al alcohol. The agave nectar helps to smooth over the bourbon notes, very interesting.

T: Taste is just as the nose indicated. Sweet upfront, hints of oak, bourbon as well. Middle of tongue is of burnt caramel, butterscotch, and finishes with a touch of booze.

M: Medium bodied; mouthfeel is a bit lackluster on this one. It doesn't really coat the mouth, but with a 12.9% ABV it does clean the palate. Carbonation, as expected was a bit low as well. I believe with some aging this brew will mature and be a more well rounded brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2012 04:30:38 | More by lazjuarez
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
coreyfmcdonald

Georgia

2.73/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I recently saw this for about 50% off from what I normally saw it, so I went for it.

500ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a finger of white foam that fairly quickly recedes to a film atop the beer. There is active carbonation throughout the beer.

S: Interesting to say the least. I smell strong guava up front, both sweet and sour, with accompanying sweet bourbon, caramel, and buttery oak in the background. Almost like a mix of bourbon, gueuze, and aged English Barleywine. There has got to be some sort of diacetyl infection, though, the buttery flavor is quite strong.

T: Somehow similar to the smell, but entirely in the wrong way. Strong butter up front with bourbon, spicy yeast, and light guava fruitiness. Really disappointing, very buttery.

M: Medium thickness with strong carbonation. Very good.

O: The aroma is extremely interesting and very inviting, but the flavor is a buttery mess. I mean this tastes like I put a stick of butter in my beer. I had to drain pour.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2012 01:32:35 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.43/5  rDev -32.9%
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+

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 06:59:49 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Chill hazed gold with a small white colored head.

Smell is Apple cider and honey. Two major scent profiles going on here, Apple, honey and a Whiskey aroma. Bourbon barrel smell, whiskey, oak, and cork.

Starts out sweet with a whiskey and apples flavor. This has the taste of salt water in it. Apple then salt then whiskey and it finishes with a little sour apple.

Mouthfeel is light.

Overall a funky beer. Not sure that apple goes with Bourbon.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2012 23:35:13 | More by Zorro
Photo of matttttYCE
matttttYCE

Arizona

3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very fizzy, off-white, 2 finger high head. Lace is minimal but the retention is quite good. The beer's color is a crisply clear golden yellow.

The aroma is sweet and budding with agave and prickly pear juice aromas. Beyond that is some citrus, floral notes, earthy spice and light pepper, Belgian yeast, candied sugars, clove and some nut bread combination. Smells better than I expected even though it's completely devoid of bourbon influence as far as I can tell.

The taste is comprised of sweet agave and prickly pear, candied sugars, light floral and earthy hops, pepper, Belgian yeast, maybe some hints of vanilla, clove and hints of banana bread. Again almost completely lacking of bourbon influence from what I can tell, which is disappointing.

The carbonation is medium-high, consistency is a bit prickly, body is medium, and the finish is quite quick.

Overall not nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be based on what I heard about it. The taste isn't quite as good as the nose builds it up to be, though not a bad beer by any means. The fact that I get essentially no hints of bourbon was a disappointment but still a decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2012 06:19:19 | More by matttttYCE
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500ml bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured orange in color with a thin, frothy, white head to it.

The aroma has a orange citrus mixing with some sweeter honey and vanilla like flavors. The Belgian yeast adds some earthy spice to it. There is a sweeter, malty, almost candied like presence to it that I assume is the agave. It feels overly sweet and boozy already.

The taste shows a little more of the sweeter, candied citrus fruits to it. The agave gives it a honey like quality, but it feels even more sugary, sweet and boozy. The pilsner malt shows through in the finish along with some of the belgian yeast spice.

The mouthfeel feels a little on the heavy side with carbonation being above average. Overall, I didn't think it was that good of a beer. I thought the agave gave it too much of a sweet, sugary quality that made it tough to drink. It just didn't come together well for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 01:52:20 | More by billab914
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a hazy, golden/orange color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left little to no lacing.

S - It smelled honey-like. I guess that's the agave. Sweet overall aroma.

T - It tasted somewhat spicy with a champagne-like fruitiness. Lots of caramel sweetness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a nice beer. It is unique and not what I expected. The "Grand Cru" name is misleading. It seems more like a Biere de Champagne.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2012 02:37:14 | More by zeff80
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a transparent light gold with a tight white cap. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of orange citrus, honey, vanilla, and bourbon. Perhaps some warmed peach, also.
Taste is of the aromas with a boozy, peach, apricots, poached pears, vanilla, delicious bourbon, and blast of citrus. Damn.
Mouthfeel is medium full bodied, boozy, up front, yet somehow enticing. A very, very interesting brew that I was glad to have enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2012 00:30:04 | More by weeare138
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nickfl

Florida

3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of white foam on top of a clear, golden copper body. The head settles rapidly and leaves only light lace.

S - Honey and pilsner malt with some herbal hops and musty notes of clove and pepper.

T - Sweet, thick malt up front with some clove. Peppery yeast in the middle with notes of pear and pineapple as well as some toffee. Finishes with clove, pepper, honey, and lingering herbal hops.

M - A medium-thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Reasonably complex and quite drinkable despite its high ABV. The finish is a bit sweet for my taste, but it is forgivable for a beer this strong. I enjoyed this beer, but I really feel like 13% is a bit too much for the style; I have a feeling I would have enjoyed it more if it was <10%.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2012 07:27:26 | More by nickfl
Grand Cru from North Coast Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 345 ratings.