Green Flash Grand Cru - Green Flash Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Green Flash Grand CruGreen Flash Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

430 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 430
Reviews: 173
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.87%
Wants: 15
Gots: 28 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: kleffman on 03-03-2008

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 430 | Reviews: 173
Reviews by deanhead:
Photo of deanhead
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice voluminous head that reduced to a thin lace around the glass. Brown to almost garnet in color.

Aroma is sour and grassy with hints of hard candy, and a barnyard with hints of raisin.

Taste is hints of raisins, dates and tobacco. Slightly malty with some nuttiness to it. Some rummy notes at the end.
Dry and crisp, very light tasting for a beer boasting an abv of 9.1%

Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, lacking body that one would expect with this style.

Decent beer, worth a try if you like the style.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
2.75/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - This was a rather unattractive mud-brown in color with a disappointingly modest head.

Smell - I like the playful yeast in the nose but the malts are too burnt, not a good burn like caramelized onions sticking on the bottom of your oven-roasted baby potatoes but more like that idiot at work who leaves his multi-grain bread in the toaster 30 seconds too long. Also conspicuously absent is any sort of fruity sweetness, a hallmark of the true Grand Cru.

Taste - Thankfully the burnt flavor is hardly noticeable at the taste, so that's definitely a plus. Again though the lack of a deep, dark fruit flavor leaves me wondering how they expect this effort to stand up to others readily available.

Mouthfeel - This was the low point of the ale for me. The overly-toasted malts contributed a harsh bitterness to the finish and this ale lacked the classic fluffy carbonation found in better efforts of the style.

Sinkability - It's not often I dump a 9% ale down the sink, but now that I think about it maybe that is why I did it. You can't down too many more beers after a strong bomber like this and I just didn't want to waste my alcohol intake on something so lacking in quality and appeal. Probably one of the worst Grand Crus that I've ever had.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with some ruby red highlights. Thin tan head.

Fairly malty aroma. Sweet fruit. A bit of spice.
Pleasant aroma.

Nice malty taste with a bit of yeast. Dark fruit. Some spice to it, seemed like clove.

Medium-boied. Alcohol well-hidden. Maybe a little more spicy than I wanted.

Good beer.

Photo of marvin213
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew appears light black--kind of black like a malty stout, but light in that you can see light make it thru if you tilt it just right. Both head and lacing were present throughout the drinking session. The smell is Belgian. Though the label says "mysterious," the smell is distinctive Belgian. I smell no malt, no chocolate, no vanilla, no oak, and--not saying there should be any of those flavors--all I smell is Belgian. I don't drink many (b/c I don't really like 'em all that much), and it took me a while to recognize the aroma. Eventually (and perhaps clued in by mention of Belgian yeasts on the bottle), I remembered this Belgian smell. The taste--what do you know--Belgian. That's all I can say--it tastes similar to every genuine Belgian I ever remember having. I'm sure it's a result of inexperience with the style, but that's all I can report in regards to taste. I really can't even call it malty or sweet; I just call it Belgian. The mouthfeel is good--I taste the alcohol and the carbonation allows the beer to sort of thinly coat my mouth. As I allow the beverage to just rest in my mouth, I can feel the taste disintegrate into layers...layers of Belgian taste. If you like Belgians, this has got to provide for you a drinkable brew. Since I don't really like but respect them, I'd call this a slightly better than average (Belgian) beer.

Photo of Beaver13
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Pours brown with a small off white head that quickly diminishes to a thin collar that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sugary malts, molasses, dark fruits and some alcohol. As it warms, sharp alcohol starts to dominate.

The flavor is roasted nutty malts, molasses, dark fruits and some alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, I didn't really care for this - it seemed like a pretty simple Belgian strong. I thought is was overly sweet and alcoholic.

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A delight several times on tap as part of the Belgium to Brooklyn fest at Muggs in Brooklyn, NY, last week and reviewed from notes. Poured dark mahogany, murky under a medium tan head, gobs of fine lace on the glass. Dark fruits in the nose. Full flavor, complex offering, dark dense malts, more dark ripe fruit, figs,rum drenched raisins. Buttery mouth feel, initially a bit sweet, but hops drop in late for a dry long finish. Simply yummy, big, bold strong and @ 9% quite heady stuff. Fine sipper/night cap. I don't recall seeing bottles of this one available in the my usual NY/Ct/Ma beer spots...what a shame

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to slasher007 for sharing this bottle.

Pours dark brown with a white head. The aroma is very sweet with dark fruit. The flavor is Belgian yeast and cand-sugar with some dark fruit mixed in. The alcohol is present and is warming. A pretty basic Belgian-inspired beer, but nothing special. Still, I don't think anyone will be disappointed if they try it.

Photo of magictrokini
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a squatty off-white head. No lacing to speak of. Deep, dark fruit aroma; prunes, plums, raisins, and concord grapes. Caramel candy, yeast, and musty malt as well. Sticky, yet carbonated mouthfeel. Compliments the sweetness of the beer, but gets to be a bit much towards the latter half of the bottle. Lots of sticky malt and dark fruits throughout the taste. Slight phenols pop up as it warms. Molasses, plums, and confectioner's sugar accompany the malt towards the back. A true Belgian, but leans into the dubbel category.

Photo of Franziskaner
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by jophish17 - much obliged!

Pours a cloudy brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of raisins and brown sugar with hints of herbal hops.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Rustic sweet malt flavors serve as a backdrop for dark fruits - mostly raisins - and brown sugar. Midway through the sip hints of slightly herbal hop flavors join in and carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this is one of my least favorite Green Flash beers I've had to date but it's still a solid effort. Try the DIPA and West Coast IPA first then give this a shot.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A dark shade of amber with brown hues inside. The active, tan colored head...gone fast?

Sweetness in the nose, caramel and brown sugar, belgian candy, red grapes, raisins, Zinfindel wine aroma in many ways from the tingly heat buzz. Jammy, yeastie---good for an American yeast, slight sour grapes.

A very earthy flavor, bitter dry earth at first. Major tangy fruits, metallic heat, peppery and dry hops, acidic feel on the tongue and a good heat with dank juicy flavor's makes one thin Zinfindel. Grapefruit with sugar...the copmlexity is really good but the flavor's must meld together a bit better. Theyeast is actually pretty damn complex, this is usually the deciding factor to see if this American-belgo style is pulled off or not.

The feel is crispy, full-smooth ending, dry finish which is right on. I really enjoy the zin-like aspects to this one, dry-leafy and some dark wheat in a subtle way. dry-fruits estery with raisins.

complex, intersting and unique, not exactly then poster brew for the style, but i'm enjoing it totally.

Photo of GilGarp
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours from a bomber into a globe glass. It has a very dark brown color with red highlights around the edges. A 1/2" of head wanes quickly and leaves little lacing behind.

Aroma is rich in malts and esters. Lots of nice fruit and spice in there.

Flavor is very good for an American version of the style. Like the aroma, lots of dark fruit and spice.

Full bodied mouthfeel and good level of carbonation.

Drinkability is good and hindered only by the alcohol, which isn't even that noticable while drinking it. Well hidden, it creeps up on you later.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A styrofoam-tight tan head, about a half-inch thick, sits firmly and tightly on top, taking quite some time to diminish to a thinner layer. Color is a deep dark brown, just a few minor shades from black. Lace strings stick to the sides of the glass.

Aroma is a big swirl of yeast, dark fruit (plum, raisin/grape, fig) and milk chocolate/chocolate milk. Has an herbal/spice thing happening in the background, which merges fully with the rest of the characteristics with warming.

Flavor touches on some of the aspects of the aroma, but mostly goes another way, somewhere pretty far off the beaten path of big dark Belgian ales. I get a fluffy marshmallow creme thing here, burnt popcorn too, with citrusy hops hovering underneath these bolder, more unusual flavors. Graham cracker comes on big time, as does cola, watery chocolate milk, anise and an overall vinous character. Alcohol lends a peppery nip.

Dry, with just a little tartness resulting in some pucker, and something reminding of wet creek stones (mineral) in the back. Slick, only medium carbonation and body. Almost airy, but never wimpy.

I understand this isn't a cherished Green Flash beer, but I think it's wonderful. Despite calling this "Grand Cru" (bad choice) and despite the use of Belgian yeast, it's unfair to judge this by Belgian dark ale standards. Just too much of a belligerent west coast vibe here; the label reads "mysterious dark ale," and that's exactly right. Seems obvious Green Flash attempted a hybrid of two different worlds here. I'd put it closest to whatever a Belgian Black IPA might taste like, which probably gives style-purists a heart attack. Is there nothing Green Flash does that is less than mighty?

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice grand cru though on the sweet side. Pours dark and rich chocolate looking, with a thin bubbly head surrounding it. Malty aroma. A sipper with rich malt taste, above average mouthfeel. Satisfying and spicey,sugar, cardomon, not as yeasty as predicted.

Photo of tdm168
4.01/5  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.

Photo of prototypic
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grand Cru pours a dark, nut brown. It's close to opaque, but not quite. A few burgundy highlights are visible around the edges. A foamy tan head sits on top. It's roughly two fingers. Retention was about average, but waves of thick lace line the glass as it descends. Not at all bad.

The nose is pretty complex and is impressive. Dark fruit is prominent is one focal points. Raisin and plum notes kick it off nicely. There's some light berry here, as well. Smells like raspberry and cranberry. They complement the dark fruit very well. Cinnamon and perhaps some other light spices are secondary, but effective. It's sweet and has a nice brown sugar aroma. There's definitely a nice yeast component to it. I like that. As it warms a little, there's a bit of an earthy hop aroma. This is a deep and complex beer. I like it. The only drawback is that alcohol is prominent and leaves it smelling a little boozy. A minor tweak there would probably propel it to the next level.

The flavor profile is no less deep or complex. Raisin and plum flavors are strong throughout and are obviously the focal point. Light raspberry and cranberry blend well and give it a deep fruit flavor. Cinnamon is the most notable spices, though there are trace amounts of clove and pepper. A nice brown sugar flavor gives it a sweet edge. A mix of spicy and floral hops is present and provides a nice bitter flavor. It's subtle, but effective. Belgian yeast is noted, but it's a little buried in the complexity. An acidic flavor emerges toward the end. I assume that's a product of the dark fruit. Certainly tastes that way. Overall, it's incredibly deep and has a lot of great flavor. Alcohol is strong and is a little distracting and warm. That really is the biggest drawback in the package. All in all, it's pretty satisfying and very enjoyable. A little less warmth would go quite a ways.

Grand Cru has a body that's on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is active and buzzy. It's smooth, but never quite gets to that next level. Drinkability is good, but is a little limited. At 9% abv, it's strong, a little boozy, and warm. I'm guessing a percentage or two less would remedy that problem.

Green Flash did a nice job with Grand Cru and came close to brewing an amazing beer. The flavor is very deep, complex, and impressive. At the end of the day, alcohol just seems to be too prominent and warm. I'm guessing that this would be better at 7% or 7.5%. Nonetheless, it is very good. It's not very competitive with some of the best BSDAs out there, but it's easily competitive with the second tier. Well worth picking up if you run across it.

Photo of russpowell
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a chestnut tinged mahogany with 2 + fingers of tan head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Dark fruit, slight smokeyness & juicy fruit, all fade just a little bit as this warms

T: Dark fruit, a bit of booze burn, some liquid smoke & rubber bands up front. A bit of wet charred grain, figs, cinnamon, plums, a kiss of molasses, persimmons & semi-oaky dryness as this warms. Finishes dry with much dark fruit, dryness, bananas & a bit of leafy hops; almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Medium bodied, low carbonation, a bit wet

Drinks pretty, good, this a good stab at the style that I bet will age nicely. I'm sure that booze warmth will mellow over time, well done Green Flash!

Photo of sjones5045
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of HalfFull
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby reddish brown color into a tulip glass with a half inch of cream colored head. Doesn't offer a lot of lacing but in the glass, the brew, it is a bit seductive.

Smells of light coffee, more cocoa actually with some fruit notes. Cherry, banana, light chocolate and figs/dates.

Taste is initially of the chocolate overtones of the nose but segue toward the muted and muddled dried fruits that present themselves a bit later on the nose. As it opens up you receive more of a Belgian yeasty nose and finish.

Not nearly as sweet as many syrupy iterations of the style, quite drinkable.

Photo of roopy40
3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter, no bottled on date or fresh if drank by date on the bottle

A - Very dark brown, with a half inch frothy white head. A hint of amber comes through when held up and room light passes through it

S - Rum soaked raisins, roasted malt, sugar babies?

T - More raisin, hint of warming alcohol (rum), bite of clove

M - Medium in body and the carbonation is right on IMO

D - Very drinkable beer - slowly that is. At 9.1%, it is strong and should be enjoyed at a slow pace.

I really enjoyed the beer and think it represents the style very nicely. I would recommend trying this to anyone who likes BSDA.

Photo of Gmann
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with ruby highlights, nice dense khaki colored head that settles into a solid cap. The aroma is sweet and spicy. Strong presence of candi sugar and banana/clove, candied cherries and floral hops complete the aroma. The taste is of candied cherries, raisins, honey, clove, hints of carob and a subtle bitter hop in the end. The feel thick and well carbonation. The carbonation keeps the brew from being slick. The BSDA is a bit harsh, the ABV is noticable. Could use a few months of cellaring to mellow out the booze. A very good American version of the BSDA; Green Flash can make a good Belgian style brew with an American twist (hops).

Photo of justiceavocado
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L – Dark brown, two fingers of latte colored head. Excellent retention, but no lacing in beer.

A – A little sour, a little fruit (strawberries and mango), mostly bread.

T – Better than it smells. A sweet nutty nose, followed by more sweetness in the malt middle. Hard to say there's any sour taste, but the yeasty bread flavor is evident in the finish.

M – Velvety carbonation and somewhere around the medium range of viscosity.

D – Nummy nummy! Would love to try on draft.

Photo of KYGunner
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Green Flash's Grand Cru pours a dark brown with tan head that forms into a tight beaded foam that seems to not go away with little lacing on the glass. Smell of brown sugar, dates, apples, and a hint of black licorice. Taste is nice with brown sugar and candy malts up front, a light licorice taste on the back, light herbal spice and mild hop bitterness on the aftertaste. All in all a good beer, but as a Grand Cru the hops are a bit too pronounced. Better on tap from recollections. Cheers.

Photo of puboflyons
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on January 18, 2013.

The pour is an attractive dark amber brown with a sort of purple hue when held to the light. The moderate off-white head lingers for a short while then becomes a silky ring.

The nose was mellower than I anticipated with modest esters of dark sweet malts and dark fruit and a sort of crispy-cleanliness that I don't relate to a dark ale like this.

The body is medium to bold.

Whereas the aroma is subtle and played down the taste erupts with dark sweet malts and yeast up front and then a biting but still low to moderate bitterness pulling up the rear. Mellow to bold in one motion. Kind of interesting and likable.

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Green Flash Grand Cru from Green Flash Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 430 ratings.