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Green Flash Grand Cru - Green Flash Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Green Flash Grand CruGreen Flash Grand Cru

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

387 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 387
Reviews: 168
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.17%
Wants: 13
Gots: 20 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kleffman on 03-03-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 387 | Reviews: 168 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ppoitras


4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased somewhere local in MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" beige head over the clear burgundy brew. Head is promptly down to an uneven layer of froth, with leggy, slow-falling lace. Aroma is dominated by spicy yeast character.

Taste starts sweet, spices again in the middle, and then comes on with a gradually hops bitterness, but controlled. Mouthfeel is very smooth, and drinkability is way too easy for the style. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2010 00:01:50 | More by ppoitras
Photo of ocelot2500


3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with a tight tan head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of dark fruits and some spice.

Tastes of the caramel and dark fruits. Dark fruits are characterized by fig and raisin. A good amount of sweetness. Needs to be more forward. Some roasted notes come through and give a cocoa flavor. Spice comes through with clove and some pepper. Anise is prevalent as well. Alcohol comes through, but complements everything.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2010 00:57:04 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of twiggamortis420


3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber pours a very dark brown color with a few ruby highlights showing through. Foam is light brown and creamy, but the retention is just ok and lacing is mild.

Nose is dark fruits galore, with cherries, plums and figs all coming out to play. Malts smell slightly oxidized already even though I just picked this bottle up a month ago. Cereal, nutty and chocolate aromas coming from the malt.

Chocolate and marshmallow sweetness is offset by a pretty hefty dose of hoppy bitterness. Alcohol also makes a strong appearance and dries things out on the finish. Maybe even borders on solvent-ishly harsh. Yeast is fruity...actually, I wouldnt mind a bit more of a fuller, bready flavor from it. Good flavor package going on here but turns a bit near the finish and leaves you wanting a silky smooth ending. Might be a fun experiment to throw one of these in the cellar to see if things smooth out after a year or so, but I wouldnt get my hopes up too high.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2010 03:26:18 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of perrymarcus


4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bomber served in oversized wineglass.

pours a muddy dark brown color; small head with no real retention to speak of but plenty of lacing. sort of odd. nose is of dark fruits, yeast, and malts. pretty typical for the style. taste backs it up, though maybe more hoppy than what i noticed in the nose. alcohol is not as well hidden as i would prefer. still, quite tasty, and becomes more complex as it warms. mouthfeel is borderline decadent: rich, full, and creamy. well done there. i'm enjoying this, i would definitely have it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2010 04:20:46 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of Mebuzzard


3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
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

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2010 05:11:20 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of metter98

New York

3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 15:08:16 | More by metter98
Photo of rapidsequence


4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle from Peace Street in Raleigh. $9.99.

Appearance: Dark brown in the snifter and a deep dark, clear ruby when held to bright light. Two fingers of creamy head with decent retention for most beers, but not for a Belgian Grand Cru. Lacing is fair.

Smell: Richly yeasty and malty with a surprising amount of floral hops aroma. Sweet dark fruits including raisins and dates. There's a hint of tobacco and wood. A little whiff of alcohol too.

Taste: Tastes as I would expect from the smell, but maybe not as rich. It is very flavorful and complex. More dark fruits and some hops bitterness. Again, I get a little wood or oak even though this isnt barrel aged. The alcohol isnt hidden at all, but the flavor belongs here and it is welcome. Slightly bready and a sweet malty finish.

Mouthfeel: I think its appropriately carbonated with a nice smoothness that is slightly sticky on the finish.

Drinkability: A slightly different kind of BSDA with a hoppy edge. I really like it quite a lot.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2010 00:56:47 | More by rapidsequence
Photo of arizcards


3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from Total Wine at the end of May for $6.99.

Beer poured a dark brown with garnet undertones, little head on the pour. Nose is sweet suggesting dark ripened fruits are to come. Taste is interesting, sweet brown sugar, some roasted malts, and dark ripened fruits. I picked up chocolate with the first sips. Dry hops are in the finish. Mouthfeel is good, medium bodied, low carbonation, belgian yeast smoothness is there. Drinkability is good. The style is tough to peg. Basically it is a strong dark belgian but not in the traditional sense. An interesting beer to try.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2010 23:39:13 | More by arizcards
Photo of MbpBugeye


3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured straight down the center of a Chimay goblet. This type of pour forms a big, luxurious tan head that leaves intense lacing. The beer is a pretty dark one. Some purple and red highlights but mostly nearly black.

S- Sort of one dimensional. This dimension being dark fruits, namely figs. There are some earthy Belgian yeast notes that are perceivable.

T- Lots more dark fruits, again dominantly figs. This beer has lots of hops, not a surprise from Green Flash. This beer is straight out of the West Coast. The finish is full of citrus rinds that is slightly buried under some coffee and figs. Its really makes for a nicely balanced beer, but it might be out of place for the style. That isnt to say that it is not enjoyable.

M- Light carbonation, medium to almost full body. This beer finishes nearly dry and pretty clean.

D- A decent beer. This merges Belgian darks with West coast hops.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2010 07:07:47 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Green Flash really took the 'dark' in 'Belgian Strong Dark Ale' seriously; although a deep crimson persists against the light, this beer largely just looks black. Staunchly black, in fact, it is undoubtedly opaque, seemingly hell bent on eliminating everything sunny or radiant in its path. Its head dissipates quickly, but a few bold bubbles fill in for it.

The smell just comes right out and says it: this will be a seriously sweet beer. A boat load of brown sugar is noted, as are darker more molasses-like features as well as a bourbony brand of vanilla. A precipitation of herbs and spices (anise, clove) have been deposited atop the fruity (raisins, prunes) malts like drops of morning dew on blades of grass.

The taste is an encyclopedia of all the various flavours listed in the Belgian Strong Dark Ale catalog. You can certainly tick-off the typical dark, sugary fruits (not fresh fruit by any stretch, more like dried, even stale, blueberries, cherries and/or raisin). The profile also chronicles a number of liqueurs, nuances of Jägermeister, Anisette and Kahlua.

While alcohol and sweetness are the predominant threads that link this beer with the aforementioned, there is also a distinguished herbal character that registers a great deal of black licorice and other grassy, spicy herbals very much like those found in Jägermeister. Roasty, coffee-ish malts double for the Kahlua, a flavour surprisingly well suited.

And there is no shortage of more classic flavours either; I didn't even mention the red wine-like grapiness, the bourbony wood spice or the inkling of a quality balsamic. But how does it drink? The body seems a tad thin, a statement made mostly on the grounds that both the alcohol and yeast spice have burned a hole through my tongue.

The scores for mouthfeel and drinkability fluctuated like something on the stock market; my impression from the 330ml point depreciated substantially by the time I hit the 500ml mark, and then bounced back a bit by the time all was said and done at 650ml. At times I sensed toothsome clumps of brown sugar, at other points baleful spice and booze.

Was this a beer worthy of being crowned the brewery's 'grand cru', a term traditionally used to indicate the potential of the quality typical of the producer or their unique brand of terroir? Well, this is good beer, no doubt, and is fairly representative of the brewery's usual standard of quality. But if you want to truly taste San Diego terroir, stick to a hoppy IPA - dark strong ales like this are better left to the monks in Belgium.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2010 00:02:14 | More by biegaman
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2010 15:50:12 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of deanhead


3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 23:34:54 | More by deanhead
Photo of drpimento


3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good beer. Bit sweet as a whole and strong. Poured with a small fine cream colored foamy head that quickly subsides and some lace. Color is a very dark cherry wood. Aroma is sweet malty a bit yeasty and roasty. Flavor's mainly sweet with the other aroma qualities larger also. Good full round body and good carbonation. Finish is mainly sweet with some bitterness at the very end. Not really a session.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 02:34:21 | More by drpimento
Photo of champ103


3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark brown color with some ruby highlights around the edges. A small tan head forms with little retention. Light lace as well.
S: Spicy and funky yeast up front. Some roasted malt, chocolate, and dark fruits.
T: Yeast and spice overwhelm the flavor at first. Some burnt malt and some bitter chocolate. Sharp and astringent.
M/D: A medium body with some harsh carbonation. The alcohol is sharp, and makes this harder to drink than I would like.

Not bad, but does not compare to other Belgian dark ales. There are much better examples of the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2010 20:24:47 | More by champ103
Photo of biggred1


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

Rosewood with dark red highlights and a creamy peanut butter colored head that leaves sheets of lace on the glass. The nose is rich and fruity with some alcohol and belgian spice notes. Big and boozy..but darn tasty too! Cocoa powder and mascerated dark fruit with banana, coriander and enough Belgian tasting yeast to stay within the style guidelines. The flavor complexities grow as it warms up a bit. Fairly light bodied with milder carbonation. Not truly Belgian tasting to me, but a still a fine beer that is worth the price of admission.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2010 01:25:13 | More by biggred1
Photo of MrHungryMonkey


3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nose is dark fruity and malty, slightly wet-cardboardish and dank. Smells pretty good.

Pours very dark brown, clear, with mild to no head. Looks okay.

Surprising bit of hop flavor and bitterness as well as thrashy tannins. Dark sweet malt, kind of thick. Some bitter compounds suggesting dark roast. Alcohol notable and pleasant. Tastes pretty good. Feels pretty good. Good drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2010 01:33:56 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of jwillcourt


4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a cask into a half-pint glass.

A - Clear, deep chestnut brown color. There is a finger-sized tan head that disappears in a couple minutes, leaving a ring of foam and very little lacing.

S - Roasted malt and candied sugar.

T - Overall sweet flavor. Initially it is sweet malt and cherry, with a slight roasted flavor underneath. The finish tastes like cherry juice. There is a raisin flavor that starts to grow as it warms. The roasted malt flavor also grows in intensity as it warms. There is no hop flavor to remark on.

M - Full bodied with very soft carbonation. It is silky smooth. It feels a little grainy sometimes, but that is not unusual when drinking from a cask.

D - This is so delicious! It is on the sweeter side, though, so you wouldn't want to drink too much. I think a pint serving would be great. The bar has a policy of pouring beers over a certain ABV in half-pint servings.

Serving type: cask

03-07-2010 05:28:05 | More by jwillcourt
Photo of mentor


3.05/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a thin layer of tanned head over a very dark brown liquid. Brown with some ruby when held to light. Smells clovey, pumpkin pie spice, dry chocolate, mild roast, and underneath is a smell you'd get at a gasoline pump. Was expecting dark fruity esters, but get only canned pears.

Tastes chocolatey with some cream and a dash of smoke. Mild clove, some dark fruits. Nice brown ale character and toasted caramel malt note beneath the phenols. For me, the phenols are almost overbearing (probably correct for the style, my palate is *very* sensitive to phenols). Finishes with a spicy zing that could be alcohol sting mixed with spice (pumpkin pie). Dry mouth afterward with something I can only describe as 'strung-out caramel' that lingers.

While little carbonation when poured, and fizzy at that, the beer is quite full of carbonation when it hits the tongue. Md-thick, but a late dextrinous thickness helps the body. Overall, a flat presentation of what can be an engaging style.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2010 05:49:10 | More by mentor
Photo of hophead247


3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber to cola brown color with reddish highlights and a thin off-white head. Aroma is malty and sweet with notes of ripe fruit, caramel, honey, grains. Flavor is sweet and floral with notes of honey, spice, flowers, caramel, anise. Generally medium body with a sweet malty finish. Not a big fan of the style, but this one was drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2010 06:07:41 | More by hophead247
Photo of MisterClean


4.6/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 from total wine tustin

A - Poured a light brown with mahogany highlights. Left 2 fingers of capuccino head and dissipated moderately. Left little lacing.

S - Medium roast coffee, cherries, grapefruity hops, light alcohol, and funk from the yeast.

T - Medium roast coffee, cherries, grapefruit hops, and brown sugar. Shit blew my mind. Awesome!

M - Full-bodied, malt dominated, and smooth.

D - Great. Will seek out again, fantastic beer. Almost tastes like its made with a Belgian Abbey and California Ale yeast (cherry flavors).

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2010 02:46:35 | More by MisterClean
Photo of Mora2000


4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 19:38:05 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
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?

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2010 23:05:34 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of SLeffler27

New York

3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark walnut, almost black, with rich, dark brown highlights. A thick, creamy beige head leaves dense patches of lace.

Pungent aromas of dark fruits, spices, pumpernickel-bread-dough, are followed by sweet floral notes, oak, honey, and light mustiness. The olfactory will be delighted with this rich and heavily layered experience.

The flavors fail to follow through with the promise from the aromas. Harsh astringency and bitterness was unexpected and is unwelcome.

This is a medium bodied, dry ale with moderate carbonation. The sharp alcohol accentuates metallic notes.
This would probably be better with strong-flavored foods like fatty, creamy dishes. The astringency prevents this from being considered a sipping beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2010 12:47:51 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of ccrida


3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber that I've aged for about 8 months, poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet, Grand Cru is cola brown with a very creamy little tan head that leaves nice foamy lace.

Smell is sweet and estery, dark fruits, and spicy, herbal, anise.

Taste is also estery, but there's a dark malt taste that brings it into Belgian porter territry, which I really dig, and is reinforced by the anise. However, I'm not a fan of black licorice, and could do without it.

Mouthfeel is super creamy, medium bodied and dry.

Drinkability is ok, I like the Belgian porter style, but could do without the spices, namely anise. It is also a touch heavy for a BSDA.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2009 05:55:44 | More by ccrida
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2009 12:56:05 | More by Gavage
Green Flash Grand Cru from Green Flash Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 387 ratings.