Grand Cru - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Grand CruGrand Cru

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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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 402 | Reviews: 142 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lupercmda
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of maximum12
4.33/5  rDev +18%
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?

Photo of JRod1969
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of beerFool28607
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Photo of Pahn
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of draheim
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of ediaz
2.75/5  rDev -25.1%

Photo of RicoFalcon
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Photo of ithinkimasofa
1/5  rDev -72.8%

Photo of KajII
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
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...

Photo of dgilks
3.2/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

Photo of GRG1313
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

Photo of wilkinswesley
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Photo of lazjuarez
3.25/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

Photo of OriolesFan1008
4.5/5  rDev +22.6%

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
2.73/5  rDev -25.6%
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.

Photo of Nightrain87
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of OPBrewCrew
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Rollzroyce21
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of JohnBender
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of smi
3/5  rDev -18.3%

Photo of fehrminator
2.5/5  rDev -31.9%

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+

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