Grand Cru - Great Divide Brewing Company

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Grand CruGrand Cru

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271 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 271
Reviews: 159
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 15.14%
Wants: 15
Gots: 28 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mebuzzard on 01-08-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 271 | Reviews: 159
Reviews by JohnnyS17:
Photo of JohnnyS17
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tasted from a snifter

A - Moderately dark, but still some transparency. It has a unique ruby red tint. Very light to no head.

S - Faint alcohol with a fruity smell like cherries.

T - Alcohol taste with a hint of fruitiness. Malty with a hint of bitterness.

M - Medium body with a smooth, lasting finish.

D - Not my style of beer, but could be paired nicely with a good dinner. I wouldn't drink more than a glass in a sitting.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
2.96/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Great Divide is one of my favorite breweries,I always look for new wares from them to snap up,I wish I wouldnt have grabbed this today though.Poured into a chalice a mahogany with a tinge of amber,a rather thin beige head atop.No aromas....really no aromas after a riveted pour into a chalice!Okay light phenols,that is it!Not much better flavor wise to be honest,light spiced phenols and some cake but its just to light in any flavor component.I had higher expectations,just another reason to check reviews before going out and buying anything.Damn!

I hate to give such a bad review to such a great American brewery, but I got to do what I got do do.

Photo of RoyalT
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - This is exceptionally dark, closer to black than brown, with a nice head that left foam pits on top of the liquid that would have stayed there all night if I had the patience.

Smell - The malt is very sweet here with lots of candied sugar. The fruits are dark like figs and dates but overly sugared, not like natural fruit. There's a light smokiness to this one as well.

Taste - The malt is all sugar and heavy on the figs, again very candied. The roasty smoke is bigger here as well. It's not smoked like a rauchbier or anything like that. It's more artificial I'd say like added smoke.

This is a terrific flavor profile but everything seems a little unnatural and the malt character is gone. The Grand Crus are always sweeter OK but I think this one lacks structure.

Mouthfeel - This is full-bodied with a lightly roasted smoke aftertaste and little carbonation.

Drinkability - This is a nice one but not on par with other American efforts such as Alesmith, Avery, and Southhampton. I'm a great fan of the brewery but this one reminded me of their smoke porter that simply missed the mark.

Photo of generallee
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: It was poured from a (foiled and capped) brown 650ml bottle into a tulip glass. The label has a nice description of the beer, the abv (11%) and a freshness/born on date. ("BOTTLED ON JAN 31 2011")

Appearance: The body has a deep ruby color with great clarity when held up to light. From the vigorous pour I got a small one finger cap that fades quickly. This sets up a wispy thin off white film with a ring of lace at the edge of the glass.

Smell: The first sniff is a bit odd and muddled. As it warms a bit, it opens up and I can start to pick up its many layers of sweetness. First up I get the fruit with notes of raisins, prune, blackberries and black currants. Next up, honey and spicy peppery notes mixed with herbal liquor like boozy sweetness. This is all very interesting and deep.

Taste/Palate: Just like the aroma, my first sip was overwhelming and cloying. As it warms up dark fruit notes begin to pop out of a cloyingly sweet maltiness with notes of maple syrup, black currants, raisins covered in honey and prunes. A peppery alcoholic warmth wraps around the palate and it finishes with a touch of spicy clove, mild herbal hops and tons of residual sweetness. The palate is full thick and sticky with light carbonation.

Notes: As it warms it opens up many layers of complexity. However all of it is super sweet, unbalanced and boozy to the point of it becoming hard to finish. I am a big fan of Great Divide brewery but this one needs some work.

Photo of bsp77
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: poured from bottle into Snifter. Bottled on January 12, 2011.

Appearance: Beautiful ruby with nice sustained head and great lacing rings.

Smell: Cherry, plum, banana and some almost metallic hops.

Taste: Very fruity and sweet, with plum, raisin and cherry predominately. A touch of banana. Very light clove and hops at the finish.

Feel: Moderately low carbonation with a thick and chewy body. A little cloying. Fairly warming after each sip.

Overall: Strong flavor profile but just too sweet. Needs more earthiness, hops, spice or yeast characteristics - just something to balance the sweetness. Still a good sipper that I am enjoying quite a bit at the moment.

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap at the Town hall Brewery and from a 22 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.
A: Brilliant chestnut under a 2” dark cream colored pillowy foam collar that produces this lace.
S: Winey, estery aromas with dark dried fruit.
T: Yeast driven dark dried fruit flavors supported by dark malt sugars, toffee and traces of cherry.
F: medium body to medium full, medium to medium high carbonation
O: A well made, drinkable Belgian strong dark ale.

Photo of Dudeletter
4.82/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

we shared was a Great Divide Grand Cru, served at around 50F. The color was a brilliant maroon red. The smell was perfect; sweet, caramel candy, syrupy. The flavor is fig, raisins, and perhaps cherry. The alcohol is sharp, but covered well in the sweetness of the beer. It is nearly cloying, but the complexity of the beer, if sipped more then covers this as well. The carbonation was appropriate and the flavor goes great with creamy cheeses. If you could pair it with a fruit jam, this beer would replace it well. This is a great American example of a Belgian Dark Strong, well balanced for the style and complex.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.91/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown and red, pretty good clarity for a beer this dark. Aroma of alcohol and syrup.

Usual dark fruit descriptions, fig, raisin, plum, with brown sugar. Too much alcohol and sweetness for my palate to appreciate it. A little more roasty bitterness, but it actually kind of help I'd say, aside from the massive alcohol mouthfeel it left.

Glad I got to try this at the SD international beer fest, would have never bought it without trying it, not a style I'm usually down wit.

Photo of Fulkrum78
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this in Asheville, NC at the Thirsty Monk. Served correctly. Dark as night, light lacing and light colored head. Aroma was fruity and malty. Alcohol aroma present but not overwhelming. Flavor was great. Definitely a beer I'd pick up again given a chance.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a tulip glass)
bottled on Jan 12 2011
A- This beer pours a crystal clear deep dense garnet body with a thick creamy light tan head that last a few sips before fading to a thin ring. There is a strand of microbubbles trailing up from the base of the glass.

S- The clean soft nutty malt aroma has some nougat note and a yeasty hint that finishes with a soft peppery cinnamon phenolic that grows as the beer warms.

T- The full cloying sweetness has some dark fruity notes in the finish and a bit of a spicy pepper hint but not as much as in the nose.

M- This beer has a full mouthfeel with a thick body and a faint alcohol heat that can't stand up to the sweetness but does take on some fusel qualities as the beer warms.

D- This beer has a big sweetness with not much else to support it or balance it. The faint yeast characteristics and alcohol offer some attempt but it is just not enough.

Photo of quirkzoo
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a nice deep rich brown with a reddish tinge and good thick light brown head which slowly dissipates to a thin layer.

Smell is very malty and a touch boozy with some sweet fruit behind it. As I continue to sniff I get some figs and dates with a sugary almost molasses aroma.

Taste is much of the same sweet, malty, boozy fruit. The fruit opens up a little more and gets more complex and is accented with a touch of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is still sweet and just a touch cloying with medium carbonation.

Overall it is a very good beer with some interesting sweet fruit flavors. For me it could be in better balance and leaned a bit too much on the sweet, fruit, booze end of the spectrum.

Bottled: 1/12/2011
de-Bottled: 8/21/2011

Photo of MrVonzipper
2.95/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a large Duvel snifter

Pours a dark chocolatey brown with a nice solid tan head with fair head retention. Dark brown with hints of caramel and red when held to the light.

Chocolate, caramel and nice pear notes on the nose.

Sweet raisin, dark plum, chocolate and rich malt flavors.

A heavy sweetness that becomes fairly unpleasant if drunken too fast with a flat sweet aftertaste.

Overall I had high hopes for this beer. It started great by the looks and smell. After I took a few sips I began to get turned of by the sweet heaviness. I am pretty disappointed by it and not sure if I actually want to finish it now. I feel like I just a brick of dark sugar.

Photo of GilGarp
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Jan 12, 2011.

Served cold into a goblet, Grand Cru has a lot to live up to, based on the name alone, before I even take a sip. It has a dark redish brown color with good clarity. The head is short, creamy, and unfortunately brief. There is some nice lacing left behind, however.

Aroma is sweet and rich with dark fruits. Cherries and chocolate with a pleasant Belgian yeast strain.

Flavor is intense but smooth. Lots of character and depth of flavor. It's not up there with the best of the breed but it has a lot of similar qualities. The cherries, figs, raisins, and clove are all there but they aren't successfully integrated.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied and nicely carbonated (not too strong) with the alcohol being fairly well-hidden.

Overall a solid beer but may do better with some age on it. This one being only 2 months old is surprisingly smooth and mellow. Give it another year and it could be great.

Photo of CanuckRover
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice mohogany, on the red side. Nice big dense head off the pour. Good chunky lacings to the finish.

Very sweet nose. Lots of dark sugar. Can't say I get alot of roastiness off the aroma.

Big sweet malt up front. Loads of sugar, dates. Can certainly pick up roasted character now, but it seems pretty subdued, might be an age thing (says bb March 2011, but I don't see a bottled date).

Pretty full body. Nice restrained carbonation.

Good, not great.

Photo of JoeAmerican77
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into my pint snifter a enchanting deep purple and red with light piercing the darkness, to fingers of head spoken cream melts to under one in a matter of 60 seconds no residual to speak of...

Dances under my nose with enticing chocolate and whiffs of alcohol, raisin, date pie and heady belgian yeast

The flavor is a mouthful, sweet pit fruits, raison, date, prunes dominate and pine nuts in hop to the side, also predominant is the belgian candy and yeast. I have needed a taste like this for some time, this could be the best colorado Amero-Belgian i've had in some time, if ever, the best great divide I've ever tasted for certain

Strong, chewy full body with warming alcohol and medium carbonation champagning with small bubbles

I would recommend this to all, I wonder if they do it on tap?

Photo of cjgator3
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle

A- Poured into a chalice. Pours a dark reddish brown color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is malts, dark fruits, spices, some Belgian yeast and alcohol. The aroma is a little fainter than expected.

T- The taste like the aroma is sweet and malty up front with dark fruits and spices with a lot of warmth from the alcohol in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, Great Divide Grand Cru is a decent beer that is worth a try, but it lacks complexity and the alcohol takes over a little much.

Photo of prototypic
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Grand Cru is an attractive collision of crimson and copper. It's very clear, and backlighting gives it a very strong deep red appearance. I like it. A tan colored head covers it. It stands about a finger tall, and recedes quickly. Lacing was sticky and moderate in volume. Looks good.

The nose is lacking strength. It starts out with a yeasty scent. It is somewhat Belgian-esque, but won't be confused for a true Belgian. More Belgian character is needed here. I know...not the easiest thing for an American brewer to pull off. There are definitely some sweet, malty notes present. Caramel is most notable, but cocoa is also there. Light dark fruit notes of raisin and fig are noted. Subtle spicy notes emerge late. Alcohol is blended pretty well. Not bad, but needs more muscle.

The flavor is above average. It's malty and a little sweet initially. Light caramel and cocoa-like chocolate malts make up the base. Yeast is easily noted. It does taste a little Belgian, but not as much as I'd like. Spicy yeast flavors are noted throughout. They come through loud and clear. It is fruitier than the nose suggests. Apple and pear are present, in addition to dark fruit flavors of raisin and fig. Secondary flavors of cherry, faint cinnamon, and sugar round it out. Alcohol is a little more pronounced here. It's not quite hot, but the flavor is definitely noted. Finishes spicy and sweet.

Grand Cru has a medium body that is nice and smooth. Carbonation is dialed down pretty nicely. Mouthfeel is probably its strong suit, though I still wouldn't confuse it with something truly Belgian. Drinkability is above average. The flavor's alright, but isn't on-par with a ton of other BSDAs. It's also quite big. A bomber is way more than enough.

I'm a big fan of Great Divide Brewing Company, but it seems like the last few of these "new" bomber releases don't quite live up to the lofty standards Great Divide has set for itself. Grand Cru is decent enough beer, but it doesn't distinguish itself among or add anything to the BSDA crowd. It's weak on Belgian yeast and strong on alcohol. It's pretty good, and is definitely worth a try. But, don't expect to be blown away.

Photo of russpowell
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the Biergarten in Jenks; bottled on Jan 12/11. Might set a bottle aside to see how this badboy ages....

Pours a ruddy chestnut with 2 fingers of cream colored head into my Vondel snifter. Average head retention & lacing

S: Slight oaky sourness/tartness mixes with dark fruit

T; Plums, slight sourness, pears, burnt candi-sugar & persimmons up front, a touch of boozey warmth too. Pruney/candi sugar sweetness once warm, slight oakyness, much dark fruit, slight cola sweetness, more persimmons. Finishes caramel sweet with slight figgyness, & a slight oaky tartness, almost pulled a 4.0

MF: Medium bodied, slightly prickly carbonation. Nice warming boozeyness, but thinning out a bit as well once warmer

Drinks pretty easy, I'm liking this but do believe this beer has long term cellaring potential for best results. This a step in the right direction for GD as far as their Belgian offerings go

Photo of Glibber
4.55/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been on Belgian kick the last 5 months after I went down to my beer store and purchased and subsequently drank a Rochefort 10. I have been consistently dissapointed- although truthfully it may be more the style I was searching for. The Grand Cru is the closest thing I have found to the Rochefort 10.
A very dark pour with minimal head, not much of a smell, but the taste bursts with dark fruit- especially raison and some plum. Not much carbination, but a complex flavorful drink. I am shocked that the ABV is 11%. I had no idea. I loved this beer and wish I could find it in Idaho.

Photo of nickthetick
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a dark clear ruby red with a finger of khaki head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: a lot of dark belgian sugars, dates and figs. Sweet malty goodness.

T: belgian sugars followed in by dates, plums and figs. Fruity sweetness. Toasty biscuit and a backbone of alcohol. A sweet smoky flavor lingers in the back.

MF: full body and a bit chewy. Warm and very effervescent.

D: first from Great Divide because its impossible to find around here. But defiantly worth looking for.

Photo of output01x
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle (no date) into a snifter glass.

A strong pour yields a 2-finger tan-colored head that recedes in a few minutes to a thin coating and thick foam ring. The body is a dark crimson mahogany. Slight lacing can be noticed throughout consumption.

Sweet malts and belgian yeast aromas create a dark and delicious nose. Notes of caramel, dark fruits, brown sugar, sour apples, and spices add great complexity.

Sweet, dark malts with strong dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavors ascend upon the taste buds with notes of plums and raisins. A spicy yeast flavor stings the back of the tongue at the end of each sip.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer coats your mouth well without getting too sticky. Despite the decent carbonation, it is still a slow sipper.

Photo of jtierney89
5/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Now that looks like beer. Poured into muadite chalice, pours a nice hazy deep auburn with a rocky off-white head. Nose is subtle but complex with notes of caramel, chocolate covered figs, dark fruits, fig jam, tootsie roll, and a hint of booze.

Lots of visible carbonation. Beer must be pretty hazy since it's color stays the same when I hold it up to the light.

btw, this beer has exactly a year of age on it.

Wow. This beer is quite exquisite. On the first sip I noticed bright and dark fruits; plums, pears, pineapples, mango. Chocolate sweetness up front followed by fruit bowl flavors. Caramel like stickiness. Huge body. What is this? Some sort of beer wet dream? Dark ripe cherries on the finish cover up all of the big 11% abv. I'm literally in awe at these flavors.

Some spicy phenolic notes only add to the complexity. Grape jam like sweetness only adds to the mystery. Spicy hop presence along with alcohol add to incredible balance.

The body holds up so incredibly well.

One of the most complex beers I've ever had, makes sense that it came from great divide. This beer is pure magic. If you have it, let it age to a year after the born on date. This is the nectar of the creators.

Photo of trappistlover
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(650ml bottle). Pours clear mahogany with fluffy khaki head. My first thought is why is it filtered? Aroma has some hard candy, strawberry?, and some light caramel. Taste is sweet malt with a slight-very slight-metallic note and some dried berry fruit. Medium bodied with a sticky texture. Finish is smooth as the alcohol becomes noticeable as it warms the throat and chest. I have to admit this is better than I expected. In fact, I like this beer quite a bit. I only wonder if it would have been better with SOME yeast sediment. Nice job though.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.26/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber at 48 degrees into a St. Bernardus chalice. Bottled: 01/31/2011.

A: It pours a glowing dark red color with pretty much no head and it does not lace very well. The carbontion seems to be very low which is not a good sign.

S: Lots of sweet dark fruit, candi sugar, and some sweet lighter fruits as well.

T: Prunes, figs, candi sugar, cinammon, and a little lurking booziness.

M: It is thick and syrupy with low carbonation.

O: It isn't very complex, yet the alcohol strength does not really come through. This is still a big miss overall.

Photo of gillagorilla
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: A nice hazy dark brown that gets darker with depth. A decent finger width head with minimal lacing.

S: Spicy and sweet. Quite Belgian with what smells like some candi sugar.

T: Typical belgian spice and style that has a nice level of sweetness. Good flavors here, but it has this strange taste in there towards the end. Also, there is quite a bit of of raisins and dried fruit in here.

M: Overall quite smooth but you can feel a lot of bubbles in there that aren't too prickly. It is a bit thin, but still good.

O: Tasty and glad I was able to find it even though I wasn't looking for it specifically. It is much better than the new Peach Grand Cru. I feel like this is either on the cusp of going downhill or just passed it.

Opened this with some of my neighbors and they fully enjoyed it, but they are mainly wine people. Doing my part to share the goods.

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Grand Cru from Great Divide Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 271 ratings.