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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:
Photo of billab914
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

billab914, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of creez
4.5/5  rDev +24%

creez, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of rbmjr1
4/5  rDev +10.2%

rbmjr1, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

zeff80, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of 1Adam12
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

1Adam12, Mar 01, 2012
Photo of weeare138
4.28/5  rDev +17.9%
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.

weeare138, Feb 22, 2012
Photo of John11486
4/5  rDev +10.2%

John11486, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of Joshgonzales79
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Joshgonzales79, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of elec
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

elec, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of GrindFatherBob
4.5/5  rDev +24%

GrindFatherBob, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of nickfl
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
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%.

nickfl, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have only had this beer for a couple months now. I kinda wish that I could let it sit for a couple years before trying it, but I want to know if I should buy some more since it is still pretty available right now. Let's give it a shot, but I am expecting it to be a bit "hot" like the Old Stock normally is when it is this green.

Appearance: Pours a mildly hazy yellow golden color with a solid 1/2" head of fluffy white bubbles after a very slow pour. There are lots of bubbles rising and since the beer isn't too cloudy, you can see that there is a vortex of bubbles rising. The head was >1/2 its height over a minute after the pour. Though the head hangs on forever (unusual for such a strong beer) there isn't a whole lot of lace left after drinking.

Aroma: The initial aroma was rather dry and woody like it was wood aged in a young barrel. There is also already a lot of spiciness present. Dry wood and some wheat notes seem to make their way to the top as the beer sits for a bit. Some mildly floral and herbal hops are starting to come out as the beer warms. The aroma is interesting, but a little weird for a "Grand Cru" whether I am going to judge it from American or Euro standards. It actually smells like it was aged in young American Oak barrels. I am going to have to read up on this one.

Taste: The flavor is bold with a mild medicinal component stemming from the alcohol. It is warming from the begging to the end, no doubt, so it doesn't hide the fact that it is a strong beer. In the finish there are some apricot flavors that I assume are mostly hop derived and rather nice. The flavor is an interesting ride, and every time I go back to it I am getting something different. There is definitely a fruity aspect that is coming out late, which is a little unusual. The beginning of the profile is led by the sweet and mildly toasty malt, but then the spice form the alcohol sets in and leads into the hops in the finish. Strangely, the hops come across more in the flavoring than bittering in the finish, so I guess this indicates how strong this beer actually is. The carbonation is adequate. It may be a bit high, but I think that will serve this beer well as it ages.

Opinion: As I suspected, I am pretty happy with this beer. It has a lot of character and has "age me" written all over it. I need to see if I can get a half-dozen more of these to set back for at least two years to come back and re-visit. Old Stock is one of my favorite beers to cellar, so I am sure that I can make some room for a few bottles of this one beside the OS vertical I am collecting. I would recommend this beer. Now, it is pretty good, but I am pretty confident that it will be outstanding in about 3 years...maybe 5.

SkeeterHawk, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

imperialking, Feb 16, 2012
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 bonkers
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a tasting snifter. It pours golden yellow, 2 inch white head, good lacing. The aroma is sweet, lots of fruit notes(especially green apples and pears. The beer is sweet, lots of candi sugar, lots of green apple, hint of oak, realy sweet finish. The body is medium, alcohol is noticeable, good carbonation. The beer is too sweet, but I still liked it. I knocked down the scores because the bourbon ageing had no effect on the beer. Maybe it tempered the sweetness, but the bottle is a bit pricey, and no bourbon notes.

bonkers, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of M27
4/5  rDev +10.2%

M27, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of barbellsNbeers
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

barbellsNbeers, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of JustinQ
4.5/5  rDev +24%

JustinQ, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of ClimbStuff
4.5/5  rDev +24%

ClimbStuff, Feb 02, 2012
Photo of Pencible
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured a hazy gold with moderate white head.
S: It smelled like vanilla and biscuit and wild honey, with some toasted coconut and lemon meringue and crisp apples.
T: It tasted like sweet orange and tart lemon meringue, with metallic hops and wild honey, and a little vanilla and toasted coconut and crisp apple. It had a sweet and tart aftertaste that was fairly hot but clean.
M: It was oily and smooth with fine natural carbonation. Very nice slick body.
D: This was not what I expected, but nevertheless a delicate and unique brew with good scent and taste. Body was excellent, but the finish had quite noticeable alcohol, so it must be sipped. Could probably stand some age, but not super long. A nice brew to try fresh, but not an instant classic (and probably not worth the cost).

Pencible, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of chrispoint
2/5  rDev -44.9%

chrispoint, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of jskennedy
3/5  rDev -17.4%

jskennedy, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of BigE90
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

BigE90, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of PhineasGage
3/5  rDev -17.4%

PhineasGage, Jan 24, 2012
Photo of JayAre46
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a very transpartent golden color with a 1 finger spotty head that sits on top falls to a thin cancerous layer with a thin ring around the edges. im not going to lie im afraid after the big red 77 score popped up, the 12.9 abv and the fact that ive never heard of it, im afraid. the nose is of a clean hot alcohol, very yeasty and fruity. the taste. ah the taste, whats the problem guys? burst of pears comes through immediately, green grapes and more light fruits not much spice, lack of bubble gum bullshit which is great. it finishes very clean and the alcohol is very warming as is goes down the throat. big time white wine influence, it says it was bourbon barrel aged, which you have to really search for and its in the finish for a split section as the brewer just texted me they aged it for a whole week. yeah all seven days! i can't believe it either! the mouth feel is medium the carbonation is there but not prickly at all, its pretty smooth and easy to drink to me. overall this is not a bad brew at all, its not great and i will never drink it again but ill have no problem drinking all 50cl of it. if i would have had it a bit cooler i think i would have enjoyed it even more and it needs more hops to balance the sweetness. probably around 60 degrees because my girlfriend is in my fu#%ING EAR right now as it sits on the table. facepalm, go away. drink it, its good for the heart.

JayAre46, Jan 22, 2012
Grand Cru from North Coast Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 374 ratings.