1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Green Flash Grand Cru - Green Flash Brewing Co.

Green Flash Grand CruGreen Flash Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

366 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 366
Reviews: 165
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.43%

Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.10% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kleffman on 03-03-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 366 | Reviews: 165 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of 57md


3.69/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a reddish brown with more than two fingers of beige head that dissipated at a slow but steady pace. The nose is bready with the hint of dark fruits. The flavor profile is malty, but the entire offering is on the thin side. The finish is pleasantly dry.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 00:02:02 | More by 57md
Photo of KYGunner


3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep ruby and brown this had a luscious rich hue. The head was thick and creamy but had little retention.

Soft dried fruits with some candied sweetness on the nose. Dried cherry, date and raisin mix with an anise and malt.

The flavors are sweet and sprite with cherry fruitiness, crabapple, fig and plum. Chocolate malt flavor ends with alcohol tang.

The feel is full but carbonated, tangy and lightly astringent.

This is very good and my opinion is that each bottle is vastly different, especially with age.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 23:20:19 | More by KYGunner
Photo of JAFoley

New Hampshire

3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Dark clear amber body with thin white head. Not much retention but good lacing.

S - Smokey, sugary, caramel, and cherries

T - Nice citrus and piney hops upfront, followed by the sugary, malt, then finishes with cherry and that orange and banana Belgian yeast flavor. Also, the alcohol is fairly strong and obvious and leaves a lot of heat in the aftertaste.

M - Full body with medium/high carbonation but slightly fine bubbles so it drinks smooth. Sticky and resinous.

O - Another reason Green Flash has become a regular for me. This has a lot of great flavors that I find well balanced. To some it might be cloyingly sweet, but for me, the hops were enough to cut it.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 02:48:51 | More by JAFoley
Photo of jmdrpi


4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

drank bottles of 2010 and 2012 side by side. I preferred the fresher bottle, mostly because the 2010 was almost flat. So that's what the score is based on.

appears dark chocolate brown in color, cream colored head. aroma is dark fruit, raisins, Belgian spicy yeast, pipe tobacco. taste is earthy, nutty, herbal. malt forward as expected. low carbonation, medium body, slick.

overall - even though this style typically benefits from aging, I'd advise to drink yours fresh.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2013 03:55:17 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of ryan1788a5


3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint. It's all I had on hand at the time.

A: Hazy mahogany color. Creamy tan head retains well. Thin veil of lacing coats the glass.

S: Crust and cocoa. Very fruity. Aromas of blackberry jam, concord grape, and black currant. Dark candi sugar. Black pepper. Earthy and dusty yeast undertones.

T: Earthy and dusty yeast. Black pepper and spices. Dark candi sugar. Concord grape and blackberry, and a hint of tart raspberry. Malty tastes of toasted crust, roasted nuts, and cocoa. More black pepper. Subtle grassy hops. Peppery and yeast finish.

M: Medium thick body. Creamy. Stiff scrubbing carbonation gives a lot of lift and lightens the feel.

O: Yeast character is pleasant. Candi sugar comes through a lot. Not a bad offering, bit the flavors are very distinct and separate. It really doesn't come together as I'd like it to.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2013 18:49:10 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of Franziskaner


4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mahogany brown in color with a light head that does not cover the whole top of the beer. I get some raisins and figs in the aroma along with some caramel tones. It's a bit thick in the mouth and you can tell there's alcohol. You get some serious sweetness in the flavor with hints of raisins,caramel,and molasses.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2013 00:36:05 | More by Franziskaner
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

this comes in four packs now, a rich malty brown ale type, with maybe a little more malt complexity, but rather straightforward for a grand cru, a meaningless word in beer. chocolate brown on the pour with a rising tide of tan foam with little volcanic geothermal sort of bubbling on the surface of the head. the nose is alcoholic and sweet, with just a hint of Belgian yeast in there. immediately I notice its not as hoppy as all green flash beers usually are, but it is indeed well hopped. the yeast does a good job limiting the sweetness in the flavor, but the grains themselves don't provide a ton of flavor. its rather muted, and the roast and chocolate malt flavors are barely there. instead I get yeast and booze, two things I really like, but this beer is kind of missing its middle. the finish is bitter from the hops, and it cleans up the palate well. nice feel though, well carbonated and smooth and rich medium body. its simple as they go, maybe not as enjoyable as some other green flash beers, but not a bad beer. overpriced at 12 or 13 bucks a four pack though.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2013 15:56:07 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of superspak


3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 10/30/2012. Pours lightly cloudy dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of raisin, fig, plum, pear, caramel, toast, chocolate, clove, pepper, dark candi sugar, dark bread, light roast, light banana, floral, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark malt and fruity/spicy yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of raisin, fig, plum, pear, caramel, chocolate, clove, pepper, toast, dark candi sugar, dark bread, light roast, light banana, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, caramel, toast, chocolate, clove, pepper, dark bread, dark candi sugar, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity/balance and solid robustness of dark malt and fruity/spicy yeast flavors; with a nice malt/spiciness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good Belgian dark ale. Good balance and complexity of malt and yeast ester flavors; and smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2013 04:07:47 | More by superspak
Photo of snaotheus


3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle split between two big snifters. No bottle code that I can find. Little cake of yeast left in the bottom of the bottle.

Pours brown, small head, slightly cloudy, nearly opaque, lots of slow ongoing carbonation. Smell is sweet, Belgian yeasty, chocolate and nuts, something spicy like maybe cloves.

Taste is...odd. Nutty, chocolatey, lacking in sweetness with having much bitterness. Something darkly sweet about it, maybe a little date flavor.

Mouthfeel is thickish and slightly sticky. Overall, this is a pretty good beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 00:52:20 | More by snaotheus
Photo of Apellonious

North Carolina

3.11/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1 pt 6 fl oz bomber from Lil Roberts Place. The bottled made a "pop" when I opened it.

A - Cloudy, deep brown. Pours with little head, the lacing hangs around the side and in the middle of the glass.

S - Plums , dark fruit, heavy malt, nougat

T - I cant believe I just used the word nougat in a review. First sip was awe inspiring, but not in a good way. Like drinking a fruity ash tray. So, yes, smokey. You get some of plum and malts at first and then overpowering smoke and ash tray, into the finish.

M - Mouthfeel seems ok. Carbonation is medium.

O - Having a hard time with this. Perhaps a bad bottle. Even for a whiskey the ash tray taste and finish would be barely tolerable.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2013 01:01:21 | More by Apellonious
Photo of alaimoa


2.95/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from bottle with a reddish color, limited head.
Smells of coffee, citrus (orange, lemon)
Tastes like a beer you would want after dinner, dark, heavy and almost a barley wine. Definitely has the upfront alcohol that lingers in somewhat of a bad way
Overall Its ok but probably wouldn't buy again

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 13:14:06 | More by alaimoa
Photo of sjones5045

New Jersey

3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, much like a brown ale. The smell is decent, I'm prepared for some dried fruit, maybe prunes and dates. The taste is pretty smooth with a good blend of fruit. Definitely some plum or prunes of some sort but not overpowering. It's a nice drink with a good finish. Not something I'd want a lot of but for what it is its pretty good. I'd definitely like to try again.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2013 00:10:52 | More by sjones5045
Photo of zac16125

South Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a chalice
no born on date

A:Pours a very dark brown with reddish hues, especially when held to light. 1.5 fingers width of light tan head builds and then quickly fades. Leaves a few small patches of lacing.

S: Dark fruits, spice, banana esters, white pepper, clove, and a hint of orange. A touch of booze. I really dig this.

T: After that nose, the first thing I get in the flavor is the last thing I'd expect, hops. The hops, coupled with a burnt sugar bitterness, give this beer the profile of an American Barleywine, IMO. Once I get past those two characters, some more traditional Belgian flavors come out like dark fruits and a yeast character. However, throughout the entirety of the drink these take a back seat to the ABW flavors.

M/D: Medium body, a touch syrupy, carbonation is moderate, ABV is very well masked, drinkablity is average.

O: This really drinks like an American Barleywine in both taste and mouthfeel. I actually like it quite a bit, but am deducting for style. From now on, Ill stick to Belgian for my Belgium's. Certainly worth a try, but dont expect a BSDA.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2013 00:59:12 | More by zac16125
Photo of wbason

North Carolina

3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

22oz bottle served in duvel glass. Bottled on 11/06/12.

A Fairly aggressive pour leaves over a finger of off-white head that dissipates in a few minutes. Color is dark brown/ ruby red and clear.

S Smell is subdued for the style. Notes of raisin, brown sugar, caramel malt. Unable to detect much else.

T Hints of raisin, dark fruit, and brown sugar are quickly overwhelmed by an overpowering and unexpected hop presence. The hop bitterness is super high for the style. I love my hops but not when I crack open a bottle of "Belgian-style Dark Ale." This is not a bad beer, however it's way too hop-forward for the style... in my opinion.

M For me the mouthfeel is almost spot-on. Just the right viscosity and carbonation. Slightly drier finish than desired.

O This is a hard style to attempt given the hundreds of years of collective experience that you're up against. The beer itself is pretty good, but it is not what one expects given the brewery's description. A very hop-forward interpretation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2013 02:55:46 | More by wbason
Photo of CowsandBeer


3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I've been meaning to drink this one for awhile. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Bottled on 10/30/2012. Warmed up for about 10 minutes before drinking. Purchased from Beertopia in Omaha, NE.

Looks: Pours a one finger, dark brown head. Darker mahogany body that appears red when held up to the light. Some bubbles. Leaves some nice lacing on the sides of the glass. With no swirling the head receded to a thin ring and film.

Smell: Spiced malts, sweetness, cloves, that Belgian yeast, ripe banana, and a bit of booze.

Taste: Those spiced malts come through first and remain at the sides, spicy cloves and banana, chocolate covered cherries, an alcohol presence felt as a little bit of heat, candy sugar, finishes with a plum like aftertaste. Almost like fruit cake. No aging needed here.

Mouthfeel: Lower carbonation which I enjoy in this style. However, with a BSD I'd expect the mouthfeel to be heavier. Not cloying, but sweet.

Overall: More malts wouldn't be a bad thing. That's really the only thing holding it back. I went in not knowing what to expect and was pleasantly surprised. While this is not the best Green Flash beer I've had it's worth picking up a single to try. Paired really nicely with some English Seaside Cheddar.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2013 03:11:10 | More by CowsandBeer
Photo of BlurryVisi0n

New York

3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip.

Apeanrance: A cloudy brown slight orange tint to it, honestly looks inctedible. The head rose maybe 1/4", slightly off white with a little dab of orange to it.

Smell: Light yeast scent, too friggin light.

Taste: absolutely robust, yeasty, bready, sour and a hint of banana sweetness to it. Absolutely a hit, taste is rich enough you would think its from belgium itself.

Mouth: Medium a little light, lightly dry but no joke sticky icky afyer taste.

Overall: this brew might need a little tweaking but I will take it the way it is. Honestly for your buck it feels more like a steal....this brew plus a glass and you're good. Salud!

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2013 04:02:53 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of schoolboy


4.16/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Green Flash makes first rate stuff but I had not previously tried this one. It's a beautiful dark brew with a nice head and lace. Very clear. The aroma is a little weak, but not offensive in any way. The taste, though full and appropriate for the style, is understated. This is not an American version, it is true to the style. It doesn't seem to need aging. This bottle was from 10-30-2012, so about 5.5 months, and it is just fine - I would not want it to settle in as it might with age.

It's a decent Belgian that I would buy again, but a bit pricey.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 23:49:40 | More by schoolboy
Photo of mpedara429


3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured out brown with two fingers of light brown head. A small amount of lacing is visible and slides down into the beer with each sip.

S: Smells like bananas, spicy yeast, and booze.

T: A mild version of the smell. A surprising amount of hoppiness in this one.

M: Medium body with a typical heavy champagne-like carbonation for a Belgian style.

O: I'm a hophead and this is a cool beer for me. Unlike many other Belgian dark ales, this lacks some of the sweetness and throws in some hoppiness that is a bit unexpected. The taste could be a little bit more robust and sweet.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2013 02:08:40 | More by mpedara429
Photo of SHODriver


3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured into a snifter to a deep brown with slight red tint and a finger and a half of dense light tan head that fades to a small pool
S: smells of dark fruits, a little spice, plumb, candi syrup. hint of alcohol soaked cherries
T: tastes of caramel, sugary sweetness, dark fruits, and a bit of spice. swallow brings a bit of alcohol and a slight alcohol soaked cherry flavor
M: fairly full in the mouth with soft but slightly prickly carbonation
O: good but not the best I've had. there are others in the style that I prefer around the same price point. the nose is great and the flavors are good but it kind of falls off mid taste and never picks itself up again until the swallow.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2013 04:27:32 | More by SHODriver
Photo of rawfish


3.15/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours dark brown, ruby highlights and a quickly forming parchment colored head. Reaches two and a half fingers in height. Recedes fairly quickly leaving messy scatterings of lacing behind on the glass.

Sweet and earthy tones of molasses, toffee, chicory and heavy licorice. Notes of rhubarb and cherry. Alcohol mixed with the odd phenol finishes the aroma with husky grain, licorice and sharpie marker.

Bready but completely lacking in sweetness, spices hit the palate with clove, more licorice and powder. Earthy and medicinal hops add some balance and light earthy bitterness in the shadow of the drink. Grape-like tannins bring out an astringent flavor with lemony acidity and a twang of metal.

Soapy finish, despite the high indication of carbonation during the pour it is quite appropriate. Easy to drink body . Alcohol is nicely disguised.

This beer really hits the palate with soapy Belgian spices and earthy flavors, very phenol heavy. Really not for me flavor-wise, I've been really sensitive to metallic flavors in some beers lately. Quite a different take on a Belgian strong ale. Happy for the chance to try this one though.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2013 01:09:50 | More by rawfish
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A - very dark brown bordering on black; huge, thick, brownish, off white head that has great retention

S - raisins, clove, Belgian yeast, very funky

T - dark fruit, some faint chocolate, very mild spices, Belgian funk, mild bitter finish; spicy, warming alcohol in the finish

M - full bodied, a bit crisp

This isn't a bad beer at all. It has much of what I look for in this style; dark fruit notes balanced with funky, spicy Belgian yeast. If I were to have complaints it would be that this beer doesn't have a rich maltiness that I desire and I find it to be a bit crisp. Otherwise, I thought this was a nice take on the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2013 02:29:59 | More by tdm168
Photo of Rifugium


3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Dark brown pour with a half inch or so of foamy off-white head; moderate retention and lacing. Caramel malts in the nose, stone fruits and a bit of citrus. Sweet malts taste, dried fruits, candied citrus zest, some herbal hoppiness. Medium body. A pleasant drink overall.

Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2013 01:04:18 | More by Rifugium
Photo of BEERchitect


3.46/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Inspired by Belgium but brewed in San Diego, Green Flash springs to life with the grand daddy of them- the Belgian Strong Dark Ale, or as most Belgians put it- Grand Cru.

Green Flash's version pours with a dark brown base and ruby highlights with a lavender tinge. It's overall viscous aesthetics allow for a creamy dense off-white head to separate from the beer and cap the beer with confidence. But the head dissipates nearly midway through the session and leaves random lace clinging to the glass. Though formidable, its appearance doesn't carry the lightness or airness like those of Belgian fame.

Candied aromas of dark fruit come to life in the form of dates, figs, raisins, plumb, red grape, and prune. Apple like tartness weaves into a base of dessert breads and malt sweetness for a deep fruitcake-like aroma. Spicy with cinnamon, nutmeg, soft corriander and rummy alcohol- the beer's balance becomes evident.

Favoring sweet and fruit flavors, the beer's taste is dense, rich, and succulent. The strong savory character shines with dark, dried, pitted fruit with molasses overtones. Sweetness lingers deeply even as the balance from peppercorn, wine-like tannin, cinnamon, rum, and woodish hops grow to meet the malty lean. With its turn to semi-dry malt closure, the beer becomes a savory sipper rather than a palatable drinking ale.

And with a strong malty backbone, the beer resists the urge to dry out in mouthfeel as well. Rich, creamy, and weighted on the mouth, the beer lumbers somewhat in its attempt to finish. Strong alcohol warmth, semi-dryness, and spicy prickle signals closure similar to Belgian versions of Gulden Draak and Kasteel Donker- very dessert-like.

This Grand Cru's American-ized technique causes the beer to taste and feel slightly barleywine-ish but with the phenol-ester balance of Belgian versions. It's creamy and rich rather than racy and dry, making this type of taste and texture familiar with American-brewed Belgian-style ales.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2013 19:57:33 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.59/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bier Academy in Canyon Country, CA.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, spices, and dark fruits. Taste is much the same with a hoppy flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is pretty tasty but has a better smell in my opinion.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2013 23:55:04 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

[Suggested Glassware: Trappist Glass]

The pour was a murky dark brown with a purple hue and a small (less than 1 finger) light brown creamy head that reduced down to a large puddle and medium collar with excellent full sheets of layered lacing.

The aroma was of a roasted dark bread malt and a sweet doughy Belgian yeast with notes of caramel, cinnamon, coriander and dark fruit (figs, dates, berries and overripe plums).

The taste was a bold malty sweet with notes of caramel and dark fruit pretty much throughout, with the finish being a tad yeasty and having a mildly spicy alcohol ending. The flavor lasted and average duration following the swallow with a mild spicy fruity taste left lying on the taste buds along with a slow creeping alcohol warming sensation.

Mouthfeel was just a bit under medium in body with a nice smooth creamy texture and a medium carbonation.

Overall this was a brew with a nice bold fruitiness which melded nicely with the Belgian yeast and the mild spiciness, allowing for a smooth and easy drinkability that hid the high ABV almost totally, except for a slight warming sensation towards the end...


Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 16:51:30 | More by KajII
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Green Flash Grand Cru from Green Flash Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 366 ratings.