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Green Flash Grand Cru - Green Flash Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Green Flash Grand CruGreen Flash Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

173 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 173
Hads: 435
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 7.12%
Wants: 16
Gots: 33 | FT: 1
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 173 | Hads: 435
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. (260 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.6/5  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. (575 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark brown in color and cloudy. It poured with a one finger tan head that quickly faded into lacy patterns of bubbles.
S: The aroma is rather hoppy and has hints of dark fruits.
T: Flavors of dark, roasted malts stand out in the taste, which also has notes of candi sugar and dark fruits.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and there is a moderate amount of dryness, particularly in the finish.
D: This is a beer that definitely needs to be sipped or the alcohol will quickly catch up with you. (519 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (1,076 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
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. (1,977 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Roasted chestnut brown that becomes dusky garnet when backlit with afternoon sunshine. Generous carbonation has created three full fingers of butter toffee colored cream that is passably Belgian in appearance. Several sheer sheets of sea foam suds... sell shiny sea shells by the sea shore. Sorry, got carried away there.

Not that I can tell them apart in most cases, and they're pretty similar anyway, but I would have guessed dubbel if blinded. Steely caramel and medium-dark fruit leads the way, with just enough Belgian yeast spiciness to make it work. A lack of boldness is the only reason for the above score.

Green Flash Grand Cru, while a pretty good effort, doesn't get it done in the end. That is, if we're comparing it to the bona fide (read: Belgian) versions of the style. Which we are. For starters, there's too much unmasked alcohol. The result is a beer that has too much harshness and heat. Tastes like 26-proof, not 18-proof.

The brewers hit the malt bill nail on the head, and the yeast strain is pretty estery as well. This really isn't that far away from pretty damn good beer. Specifics include dark caramel, cocoa powder, raisins soaked in Absolut, anise seed and plenty of spicy ground clove.

There's a fair amount of bitterness, though no appreciable hop flavor. Warming smooths off some of Grand Cru's rougher edges. So much so that I'm going to bump the taste and drinkability scores. It helps if you like big, bold, aggressive beer.

The mouthfeel is not Belgianesque. Nor did I expect it to be. Slightly more heft and fewer bubbles would have been better. Not much viscosity allows rapid consumption. Watch it though, because this is a sneaky bastard that is beginning to numb the tips of my typing fingers. Time to slow down.

Le Freak is a rock-solid example of an American-brewed Belgian IPA. Grand Cru isn't quite as solid, but it does have a certain amount of Big Beer charm. As long as you don't go in expecting the moon and the stars, this brutish brew delivers just enough enjoyment to justify the purchase price. (2,056 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A pleasant big malty beer. A hint of the Belgian flavors, but more like a barley wine with less syrup. Nose has some red wine and roasted malt. A medium mouthfeel. Not too sweet but plenty of malt. Dark flavors with serious raisins and apple cider. Hops provide the backdrop for the roasted malt with a touch of burnt flavors.

While this navigates a moderate course through the big malt swamps, it lacks much spunk or funk either. Quite sippable but less interesting that lots of other big beers. (497 characters)

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! (682 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
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. (318 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark brown color and clear; Light head that fades quickly and leaves no lace.

Dark malt aroma of what would seem to be a barley wine because this does not have the traditional Belgian yeast smell. I can note the alcohol.

Starts like a barley wine then a distinctive and spicy hop kicks. Both of these flavors are overwhelmed by a strong oily presence of alcohol...too much so. Thick mouthfeel with a decent level of carbonation.

Potent, almost port-like. Rich, bitter-sweet and spicy. (488 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (1,382 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle, poured into a tulip glass:

Pours black with a thin tan head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of roasted dark malt, herbal earthiness, pumpernickel and a hint of anise/

The taste follows the smell with a bit more sweetness, a touch of bitter, very slight astringency and a slight acidic touch. A bit raw, but tasty - dark and earthy. Some warmth from the alcohol shows in the finish.

The feel is a bit oily. Strength makes it seemer fuller than the body is.

A nice, spicy, bready, dark sipper. An interesting brew - "Belgianesque", but "American" in character, as well. (589 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
2.29/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle shared by the other Matt. Thanks. Beer is dark ruby to brown, wispy head no real lacing, carbonation low.

Aroma is gross. Bubblegum. Sweetness. Bubblegum. Fermented too hot probably.

Beer is thin and really sweet with overwhelming yeast esters that dominate the mid and late palate. The esters are so overwhelming that I end up pouring it down the drain. (363 characters)

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. (360 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
2.39/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Let's start with the positive...The beer is dark chestnut brown with a light, tan head. The head displays excellent retention and leaves ample lacing throughout the glass.

Moving on...The aroma is not awful, but certainly arouses suspicion. Bubble gum and odd fruity esters, raisins, alcohol.

Hiya! mY nMAe is gREen fLaSh gRaND cRu!

Ya, something went seriously awry. Out of balance, off kilter, simply undrinkable. It doesn't taste like the beer is soured, unfresh, or oxidized. It tastes like this beer missed its target, and is just not up to par. Sickly sweet, very present alcohol, weird fruity flavors, no continuity.

Drain, beer. Beer, drain. No me gusta. (666 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

01/05/09- Purchased at Piazza's in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle with no freshness info. It is, however, a late 2008 release. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Very black in color, almost stout-like in nature. About a 2 fingered slightly off white head. Leaves some smaller streak and light patches of lace behind.

Smell- Pretty hefty nose of candied sugar, a touch of corriander, belgian yeast, dark sweet malts and some earth scents.

Taste- Wow, this is one of the hoppiest Strong Dark's I have ever had. From the first sip you get a nice bitterness along with some deep roasted caramel flavor...very deep in fact. Besides the hops, it's also a different taste sensation because of how deep the malt is roasted. Almost a light burnt charcoal flavor..bit it is held in check by the candied sugar and yeasty notes.

Mouthfeel- Mid-range to slightly higher carbonation level. Not really a lasting aftertaste hopwise considering.

Drinkability- Quite different in flavor than tradtion suggests. It has the spot on base of candied sugar and yeast, but gives it an added kick with the hops and deep malt. Interesting experience and quite tasty. Recommended to at least give it a try. (1,200 characters)

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. (655 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark borwn in color with a 1" head that sports some large bubbles and lasts a while. Spotty lace develops during the session.

Smell: caramel, some bitterenss, and some citrus is easy to detect.

Taste: big malt profile with raisins, prunes, brown sugar, a nicely warming alcohol, and a decent bitterness are most noticeable. There is a bit of earthiness to this beer that shows up late.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smooth at the finish.

Drinkability: nice overall flavors, but alcohol level knocks this down a notch. Slow sipping but more than one glass can be enjoyed here. (618 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three-finger thick, lightly browned, dark tan colored head. The beer is quite dark, with a deeply burnt amber color that is approaching black, when held up to the light the beer shows a brilliantly clear, bright cranberry hue. A rich fruity aroma is noticeable as I pour this brew and reminds me of raisin. A deeper inspection of the nose confirms this but also adds a malty, sweet-bread like note that makes me think of brown sugar glazed pastries that have been lightly browned. This finishes with a cracker like, dry grain note and a meaty malt note. As the beer warms the fruit notes moves towards a prune / concentrated plum type aromatic.

Sweet with an ample carbonation that causes this to foam a bit excessively as it hits my tongue. The beer finishes with a toasted malt astringency and a noticeable hop bitterness as well as a touch of alcoholic warming. Flavors of brown sugar and lightly burnt bread crust mix with fruit flavors of prunes and some fig flavors. This has a really astringent malt character to it for some reason, though this does seem to be accentuated by both the hop bitterness and alcohol. Some dusty malt character and perhaps a touch of cocoa become noticeable as the beer warms up a bit. This beer is not overly sweet, and in fact is really just rich on malt character.

This just isn't my type of beer, it has too much astringency and dark malt character to it for my tastes (despite a Grand Cru being anything but a defined style). The beer is just a bit too un-integrated right now, but I could see this improving if laid down for a year or so.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ (1,667 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 12oz snubby bottle poured into a CHIMAY chalice. This one was bottled sometime in October of 2012, so about a month and a half old. Been meaning to scope this after all the bombers dissapeared from the area.

A loud hiss when the cap was pryed open, sounds good, not a lot of bubbles forming in the bottle though. A pretty stealth pour yielded about a quarter inch of off tan/light brown foam that was thick looking but died rather quickly leaving nothing, no lace, ring around the collar.

Smell is very yeast forward and it travels up the nose. I get a lot of fresh baked dark bread action, some rye, pumpernickle. Some clove pops out with some dark fruit, cherry, a trace amount of banana. The 9 percent is fairly well hidden. No hops really in the mix. Blackberry and some underlining spice. An odd smell.

Possibly the freshness on the bottle, but I get a whole bready taste up front, fresh baked bread, rye biscuit, clove. A fruity middle, banana, cherry, plum, candied apple. Some alcohol creeps through with some caramel malt in the back with a hint of chocolate. An odd taste. Belgian with a twist of something.

Body on the grand cru is on the lighter side of full with a light carbonation for the countries style, I was expecting more bubbles, it kinda dulled the taste a bit, or perhaps this should lay down a bit, but what i tasted today, i would not risk aging any bottles. I struggled to get through the bottle and will be keeping my dollars with Rayon Vert (1,474 characters)

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 (612 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours brown with a full off-white head, excellent lacing.

S: Prune, molasses, lots of brown malt.

T: Tasted kind of smoky right off the bat not unlike a Scotch Ale. Then the Belgian yeast kicks in giving a much more estery brew, dark malt finish.

M: Rather soft carbonation, full body, smooth, creamy.

D: Another real good beer from Green Flash, it seems they can do no wrong. (409 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dark brown, translucent black. A tan, semi thick head provides a nice looking brew. Head dwindles to a collar. Lacing is thin and sheety.

This bottle has been in my beer fridge for about 7 months. The alcohol is noticeable in the nose, but not too strong. Rich malt. Dark fruit, molasses and some twang.Yup...twang.

Flavor is thin at first. A quick brush of fruit, some sweetness. Alcohol. Then the fruit and some sourness. Fairly dry, quick bite. Caramel and chocolate linger on the finish.

Pretty nice drinker, but alcohol can be too warming (561 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a pretty nice head that leaves some lacing. Smells sweet with bubblegum as well as quite a prominent aroma of tangy Belgian yeast. Tastes quite complex with a lingering bitterness, more sweet bubblegum, and the usual panopoly of spicebox flavors derived from the Belgian yeast. Nicely balanced, and nicely done. A bit tannic in the mouth, but the lingering bitterness plays off well against any residual sweetness. Nice effort. (449 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark toned crimson & mahogany amber with a tan head that slowly fades out. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of ripe dark fruit, raisins, molasses, brown sugar, caramel, sugar, and a touch of roast.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with some cocoa, and rum soaked raisins, & tropical fruit esters coming through in the flavors.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, lightly carbonated, with a creamy booziness in the finish. (440 characters)

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Green Flash Grand Cru from Green Flash Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 173 ratings.