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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

398 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 398
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 18.03%
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: 398 | Reviews: 139 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LtCracker20
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear golden yellow body wit ha 2-finger white head that shows OK retention before falling to a thin cap. Little lace.

S- Slight tart apples, but more of a slight sourness and funk to it. The smell is pretty subtle, but it's there.

T- Sweet apples and pears, slight funk, a little sourness, but very different from the aroma.

MF- Medium bodied with the right amount of carbonation. Flavors don't seem to linger too long, but the meld on the palate well.

Photo of oberon
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a large tulip glass a clear medium golden with a tinge of orange,a thinner but well defined white head atop.Sweet agave nectar,candied citrus,and as the beer warms vanilla-bourbon aromas,just smells sweet.Sweet and hot on the palate,alcohol plays a huge role in this beer...too big.Candied citrus and light phenols in the finish,the boubon barrel doesnt play much of a role on the palate.A sweet boozy bomb here,I expected better from a kick ass brewery,dissapointed.

Photo of gford217
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle.

Pours crystal clear golden amber with a big pillowy white head that shows excellent retention and lacing.

Aroma is very sweet with lots of candi sugar and all kinds of overripe fruits like pears and apricots. Tons of booze, especially tequila, and some spiciness from the wood.

Taste is hot up front - definitely no hiding the alcohol in this one. That initial boozy spiciness gives way to the sugary fruit notes with some bananas and fruity esters.

The mouthfeel is full bodied, really sticky and crazy boozy.

This is a decent beer but pretty extreme on the both the sweetness and alcohol scale. Little bit of this goes a long way...

Photo of jdhilt
4.58/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a two finger, white head that fades quickly and leaving no lace. Clear light amber color. Good carbonation, medium bodied. Fruity yeast nose. Flavor is sweet, spicy fruit and yeast, high ABV is hidden, smooth finish. Pricey, but worth trying at $14.20 for a caged & corked 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer and Wine Wells, Me.

Photo of BillHilly
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Lacing dissipated fast, color is a slightly amber, much lighter than most GC.

S: Slightly funky, don't have words for it. Pull my finger on a cold day?

T: More like a hybrid grand cru and golden ale IMO.

M: Comes up short on MF, under carbonated.

O: Well, in my humble but short opinion, not worth the price, but I would say, give this a good cellar for 3 years minimum.

Photo of jmunsters
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a snifter.

A - Blonde and copper with a half finger head that dissipates quickly. A little lacing.

S - Belgian yeast. Fruit and citrus. Lemons and sugar.

T - A mix grouping of fruits. Apples and bananas at first give way to a bit more of a citrus and tequila at the end. A little bit of spice and prevalent Belgian yeast. A tad sour at the end. Oh and booze.

M - Quite dry with a mild carbonation. I was hoping for a bit more carbonation, but that would have made it quite refreshing and drinkable. Dangerous if at 13%.

O - I went to three of my favorite stores in the area and everyone of them recommended this highly. I think it's exceptionally overrated, especially at $16.50 for a pint. It's good, but it's definitely over priced, and probably over-hyped due to the price.

Photo of Bendurgin
3.08/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tulilp. This one pours a slightly hazy golden color with a creamy finger of white head that settles down quickly.

Apples in the aroma with bits of caramel with some vanilla and a rich cheese like aroma in the background. Interesting to say the least. Kind of a granny smith apple flavor with caramel and hints of bourbon and some vanilla on the pallet. The tartness doesn't seem to work with the more prominant sweet flavors.

Medium sticky body with good carbonation. Not bad here, but I'll pass in the future and stick with some of the less expensive alternatives.

Photo of mothman
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a half finger of white head. Color is a clear golden orange. Good head retention and lace.

Aroma: Sweet, sour, and a little bit of tartness. Very fruity. Some lemon. Oak with a hint of bourbon. Vanilla.

Taste: The bourbon shows more here, but it is more oaky with vanilla. Bananas and cloves. Big time Belgian flavors. Yeasty. Sweetness. Spices.

Mouthfeel: Dry. Medium to full bodied. Medium amount of carbonation. Ends with some stickiness and a bit of sourness.

Overall, it is not bad and I am glad I got to try it. Odd aroma however. Not to much bourbon flavors. I wouldn't pay $15 for this beer.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

North Coast Grand Cru, 500 ml, Alc./Vol. 12.9% Ale brewed with agave nectar and aged in bourbon barrels.

Hazed, golden/amber-hued, skinny ring of snowy white forage.

Nose: alcohol is smelled first, then tequila…mmm, hmmm. Some oak effects, but not much from bourbon. Beneath, I don't get a whole lot. Some fruity ale esters.

Taste: Hell of a lot going on. Apple. Cider-y. White wine. Citrus zest. Bright lemons and limes. Lean, crisp, and swimming with flavor. Flavors of cactus fruit, definitely.

What's the base beer on this? No word on the label. A new invention, or was another NC brew used? These questions need answers.

Tasty, tasty stuff. Feels like a lighter quadruple, with the extra agave kick. The bourbon barrel aging? Didn't pick much up on that. Maybe the oak helped balance the agave. Not quite as sharp as you'd expect, rather smooth and mellow.
I'm not even feeling the 13% ABV…yet…(famous last words).

This high alcohol brew may doom my night, but it's muy deliciouos, that much cannot be denied. Actually…almost done, and I'm doing fine. Wait, here it comes…

Photo of Alieniloquium
2.73/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

500 mL bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance - Clear copper body with a fleeting white head. After that, it's got nary a hint of life to it.

Smell - Belgian aroma, but really dominated by various fruit sweetnesses. I think I get the agave, but it's tough to tell with this smell. It's big.

Taste - Estery fruit flavors up front. Apples and a hint of banana. It's somewhat sweet, but not as much as I'd expect at 12.9%. The finish is harsh. Really harsh. I'm not even sure what aspect makes it harsh, but it's bad.

Mouthfeel - I guess it's not awful, but it's close. Low carbonation and dry in the finish, so it doesn't feel huge, but the alcohol burn is like drinking whiskey. The astringent flavor left is really terrible.

Overall - I couldn't finish the bottle. It was too much. The flavor was ok, but it's undrinkable. By the way, where's the bourbon in this?

Photo of mikereaser
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a light golden copper color with 2 inches of foam that quickly faded to a ring of bubbles around the glass
S - The aroma is reminding me of some pear, maybe some lemon, honey and maybe some agave. It just has an overly sweet aroma but not overpowering
T - Wow, the taste is very overpowering, lots of pear, lemon and fresh fruit hits you hard with just a touch of a malt backbone. Its very fruit orientated but not overpowering and not completely easy to pick out whats going on.
M - good carbonation, medium bodied with still a residual sweetness creaping in and keeping this a guessing game.
D - again, too sweet for me, enjoyable, but a 750ml bottle seems to much for me to be able to keep up with.

Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours gold and clear into my snifter with about two fingers of head that doesn't stick around too long but leaves some splotchy lacing.

S - Smells very sweet and malty, the agave is very present as well, tropical fruit, peppery spice and oak.

T - Sweet and tangy right up front, agave, pear, banana and other tropical fruits, caramel/toffee malts, peppery on the palate from mid taste through the finish and then comes the best part, the lingering buttery oak on the palate making you want to keep sipping.

M - Medium/full body with really bright carbonation, feel is unbalanced and too prickly on my tongue.

O - This is a pretty unique beer that has qualities I really enjoy and other qualities I really do not enjoy. Very hard to rate a beer like this because it is indeed good, but could be far better.

Photo of imasloth
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a golden yellow with a large white head that quickly subsides with minimal lacing. Light carbonation once settled.

S- Fermented fruit (sweet), some alcohol. Some agave (tequila?) after warming a bit.

T- Initial sweetness, followed by the taste of agave, finishing dry.

M- Smooth and fairly light. Some dryness after swallowing.

O- Certainly not a beer you'd want for any old occasion, and not one you'd want to drink all night, but a nice innovative brew worth the occasional tasting.

Photo of SFLpunk
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

500mL brown glass cork and caged bottle. Split with coworkers last night.

Pours really clear and is a medium golden yellow with crackly white head that dissipates quickly. The nose is rather odd and unusual, with notes of pear, sticky wet flowers, prickly pear cactus/nopales, maybe some stone fruit like peaches, honey and of course one would say you can smell the agave nectar. The palate takes all of the aromas and wraps them in a slightly creamy vanilla flavor for a resulting cactus creamsicle taste. No woodiness to speak of here. Does not taste like almost 13%.

Notes: This is a seriously unusual and unique beer right here. Never had anything like it, so points overall to NC for originality. That being said, I didn't really want to drink more than 3 ounces, so I think the mouthfeel score will be a bit low. My advice is to keep experimenting! I think it may have been better without the barrel-aging. Just a thought.

Photo of shawnsmith1
3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear gold color into tulip. 1/2" white head fed by vigorous carbonation, disappears quickly.

S: Vinous and cidery. Pear, apple and spice. Buttery oak. Reminiscent of a California Chardonnay.

T: Follows nose. Spicy and sweet.

M: Medium body; Starts with a high level of palate cleansing carbonation, which quickly dissipates, leaving it quite cloying. Finishes with turbinado and spice.

O: I like the idea of this beer, but it just didn't do it for me. Glad I experienced it, but no interest in having it again.

Photo of DovaliHops
2.73/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours an almost-clear, golden orange color with small white head that disappears quickly. Scent is spicy with some faint alcohol aromas and sweet fruit. Lemon and grassy aromas. A hint of butter as well. Taste is VERY buttery. Initially I get boozy fruit flavors, possibly the agave nectar, quickly followed by butterscotch and extremely minimal oak barrel flavors. Not really detecting any bourbon flavors, which is very disappointing. Okay, I lie...maybe a bit as the beer warms up. Mouthfeel is thick and a bit syrupy. Drinkability is fair...Overall, this beer was rather disappointing. Kinda a mess.

Photo of JackieTH
2.3/5  rDev -37.2%
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 notchucknorris
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Bruery Provisions

A: Clear golden color with a lot of rising bubbles in the glass.

S: Butterscotch, brown sugar and a lot of oak.

T: The mouthfeel definitely weighs this one down a bit, but the flavors hold up to it. Honey, belgian yeast, butter and a bit of agave in here. An interesting grand cru.

Photo of AmericanGothic
4.22/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a Unibroue tulip.

A: Pours a translucent, golden color with 1/2 finger of off-white head. Good retention and lace, vigorous carbonation.

S: Tart apple and a bit of lactic funk.

T: Sweet nectar up front, with more of the agave coming through in the middle, then finishing with white wine and oak. Strong vinous character overall. Alcohol pretty well hidden. After a few sips, the malt starts to join in. Little if any hop flavor. A little later, some cider notes come forth. Still later, hints of watermelon?!?

M: Fairly light and quite smooth. Velvety carbonation.

O: This is an interesting beer. I would not categorize this as a BSPA, but then again, not sure what I would call it-- perhaps closer to a saison. It is very sweet and honestly pushes the boundaries of beer altogether. I wouldn't mind having another if I could find it within 100 miles. Yum!

Photo of FightingEntropy
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light golden ale that's effervescent bubbles floating to the top, but the head disappeared immediately. Nose has a very light spice, clean and pleasant, with light apple, pepper and yeast. Bubbly appears with a carbonic bite before a spicey with light pepper before a sweet finish. Slightly hot with a clear taste of alcohol. Mouthfeel is a light for the beer. Seems a bit out of balance, but a nice beer for the night. Not a fan of the beer, but enjoying it at the moment.

Photo of mattboyer182
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - light golden color with almost no head. Nothing to brag about.

S - smell is fruity. Kind of nectarine and tangerine and citrusy and what not.

T - the taste is interesting. It's very sweet and juicy up front and falls off in the end and gets a little stale but has a major juice consistency to it.

M - mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied and light carbonation.

O - the weirdest grand cru I've ever had. I don't see why a beer this light and minor could even be considered a grand cru.

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
2.38/5  rDev -35%
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 ChainGangGuy
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle - $12.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep golden body with an initially high, foaming, near white head.

Smell: Rather sweet-scented aroma evocative of sugared tequila, but with additional notes of twangy pils malt, sliced tropical fruits spilling their precious juices, and buttery oak.

Taste: Tangy pilsner malts hinting of syrup-drenched French bread, with a strong sweetness upfront and throughout of toffee and agave nectar. Fruity touches of sugar-cooked pears, banana juice, and even papaya. Low spiciness. Buttery oakiness trying to emerge from underneath the sweetness. Noted tongue-singing ethanol on the continued sweet, but mercifully crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-high carbonation cutting through what otherwise you can just sense would be truly cloying. However, it seems the carbonation leaves this one quick which it so desperately needs, so, as much as I hate to say this: drink it fast. Have plenty of water and a DD on hand, though!

Overall: Starts to take on a taste of Prosecco blended with honey and agave syrup for added thickness and sweetness. Notably warm from the ABV, but not painfully hot, though not my best choice to down before going in to work, perhaps. It's not the grandest of crus, so, how about Interesting Cru?

Photo of DCon
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared a 500 ML 1 PT 0.9 FL. OZ. bottle of this brew w/ GeoffTheAleMan from Schnucks in Frontenac, MO for $13.99. Poured from the Golden Bottle that weighs over 5 lbs into a Groupon Pint Glass and does not have a freshness date on the bottle.

Aroma- Has a ton of strength in the aroma. Starts with a huge grape juice and light sour aroma. Not much spice and not much fruit except this fake, Juicy Juice aroma meaning its very sweet and malty.

Appearance- Pours a 3 finger, frothy and dense head that stays for a long time! Has a golden body with good clarity. Leaves good lacing.

Flavor- The tastes going on in this one are very complexed! Can tell there was a strong citrus flavor and then aged in bourbon barrels (slightly). Very fruity and has a nice belgian style finish (Light-Medium). Only a hint of alcohol in here (even though its a close to 13% brew).

Mouthfeel- Medium-Full Bodied, Medium Carbonation, Effervescent, and has a slight alcohol taste on the tongue.

Overall Impression- This was a strong and nicely complexed Grand Cru! I was very excited to buy when it came out but now seeing it in a grocery store, I had to buy. Better than the reviews it got on BeerAdvocate also. I would suggest you getting a 500-750 mL bottle of this but sharing it with a friend. Very intense, strong, and could give you a nice buzz if your first brew of the evening.

Photo of scottfrie
2.28/5  rDev -37.7%
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.

Grand Cru from North Coast Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 398 ratings.