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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

386 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 386
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 18.13%
Wants: 16
Gots: 74 | 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: 386 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
2.73/5  rDev -25%
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.

coreyfmcdonald, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of Nightrain87
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Nightrain87, Jun 02, 2012
Photo of OPBrewCrew
4/5  rDev +9.9%

OPBrewCrew, May 15, 2012
Photo of Rollzroyce21
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Rollzroyce21, May 10, 2012
Photo of JohnBender
4/5  rDev +9.9%

JohnBender, Apr 29, 2012
Photo of notalumberjack
4/5  rDev +9.9%

notalumberjack, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of smi
3/5  rDev -17.6%

smi, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of fehrminator
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

fehrminator, Apr 13, 2012
Photo of kojevergas
2.43/5  rDev -33.2%
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+

kojevergas, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of Zorro
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Zorro, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of n00blar
3.75/5  rDev +3%

n00blar, Apr 08, 2012
Photo of matttttYCE
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.

matttttYCE, Apr 02, 2012
Photo of billab914
3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
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 +23.6%

creez, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of rbmjr1
4/5  rDev +9.9%

rbmjr1, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
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 -3.8%

1Adam12, Mar 01, 2012
Photo of weeare138
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
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 +9.9%

John11486, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of Joshgonzales79
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Joshgonzales79, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of elec
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

elec, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of GrindFatherBob
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

GrindFatherBob, Feb 17, 2012
Photo of nickfl
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
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 +10.7%
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 -3.8%

imperialking, Feb 16, 2012
Grand Cru from North Coast Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 386 ratings.