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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

407 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 407
Reviews: 171
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 12.14%
Wants: 14
Gots: 23 | 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: 407 | Reviews: 171 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of yemenmocha
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown to neear black with tan head that is very generous. Nose is dessert-like with sweet bread aromas, brown bread, brown sugar, and at least one more brown something or other. Palate is malty sweet with a brown sugary, perhaps cocoa-y flavor that has the yeasty bready flavors as well. More candy sugar flavors midway through the finish, and it finishes lightly sweet.

yemenmocha, Aug 03, 2009
Photo of popery
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very good Belgian ale from a great West coast brewery. I aged this bottle for about 9 months in my makeshift cellar. I initially thought of Green Flash as another San Diego brewer of hop bombs. While I dearly love their various hoppy beers, Green Flash brews some big, complex styles that have much less to do with hops and they do it well (and, to be fair, all of the big SD area craft brewers do too once you get past the hop resin-covered surface). This beer pours a deep brown, only translucent at its edges, with very nice lacing. The aroma is rich and deep with good doughy malt character and lots of Belgian yeast. It reminds me a bit of Rochefort's quad without quite the heat or extreme complexity. The flavor doesn't quite live up to the nose. I'm not getting the sweetness that some people seem to report. It's very yeasty with dark stone fruits and a strong caramel malt flavor. The finish lingers pleasantly. The feel is rich and full. Drinkability is good, but how could that not be the case with a good Belgian-style ale.

popery, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of juhl31
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pretty dark Belgian which in turn really means Belgian with lots of alcohol really.

-pretty damn dark, you can catch some brown when held to a light

-Belgian right up in there. can definitely smell the alcohol as well

-the Belgium is really coming at me in all aspects. this is a Belgian and it is labeled as strong so it wasn't just a clever name. the alcohol taste really sits in at the back end. 9.1 will do that sometimes. for not being a big Belgian fan, it's not bad

-feels nice enough. i think as it should

-couldn't really reach for this all that often based on my distaste for Belgians for the most part. not to mention the fact that it is pretty strong

juhl31, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of EliottJW
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this is a solid dark belgian beer... along the lines of a quad. definitely stong enough... or at least tastes so... ooo.

looks solid enough. poured from a bomber into a bruery tulip. The head on this is strong... STRONG at first, but actually dies off pretty quickly. Retention leaves something to bedesired, but it doesn't disappear altogether. leaves a solid lace coming down the side of the glass and sits atop what one might perceive as an imperial stout if it were a bit more viscous.

smells... like a strong belgian beer (can you tell I'm not too well versed in belgians?). sweet, malty... sweet yeasts that just BARELY hint at being bready...

deep, dark malts that don't even think of coming off as toasted or roasted. sweet through and through... until the very end. a strong alcoholic bite shines through for JUST a moment... long enough to put you off a bit. it's deep, dark, sugary... and alcoholic.

feels not as heavy as one would expect from the color... nor the style... but I don't mind it.

drinkable to an extent. to be honest, I'd have a tough time putting down a whole bomber of this... but I'll admit again that I'm not the biggest belgian guy... literally or figuratively.

EliottJW, Jul 25, 2009
Photo of theopholis
2.6/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a deep, translucent brown with a slight reddish tint. Head is off-white head with decent retention and lacing.

Smell - Semi-complex aroma, but not nearly as complex as a Grand Cru should be. I pick up hints of dark fruits (raisins, cherries, fig) a bit of chocolate along with a hint of maltiness.

Taste - Not impressive. I hate to bag on Green Flash for trying something as impressive as a Grand Cru, but this ain't that great. Tastes like a homebrewers first attempt with extract and old yeast.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, appropriate carbonation.

Drinkability - It really isn't bad, but it ain't no grand cru.

theopholis, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of aubuc1
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle poured in to a goblet.

Pours a dark brown with a tan clingy head.

Smell is fruity, rich bready and slightly sour. Sort of plumy and tangy.

Taste is light tart with rich sweet bread and a sour finish. Great balance between sweet belgian, light sour, and some faint hops.

Full mouthfeel and very drinkable. I wasn't sure what to expect from this brewery(I assumed huge hop), but this is a very nice belgian style beer. I wish this was available locally.

aubuc1, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of vrazionale
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pt. 6 fl. oz bottle at refrigerator temperature poured into a snifter.

A - Deep, opaque brown with a very slight reddish tint and a off-white head with average retention.

S - Raisins, cherries, chocolate, caramelized bananas, vanilla, candied fruits, fresh and dried figs, gingerbread, and a candy smell that reminds me of my childhood but cannot place the exact candy.

T - Lots of dark fruit. The raisins come forward most prominently, and I get hints of prune, as well. There is a very full spice profile here. I also pick up hints of toffee, chocolate, and cinnamon. Nice long finish.

M - There is a good bite to this brew, coming mostly from the dark fruit flavors. This does mask the heat from the alcohol a bit - but after a few consecutive sips you feel the alcohol burn in the back of your throat.

D - Pretty intense nose and flavor profile. This is no session beer, but if you're in the mood for a spicy, fruity interpretation of a Belgian dark ale, then give this a try.

vrazionale, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  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.

Sammy, May 31, 2009
Photo of Dukeofearl
2.48/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'm still trying to warm to Green Flash's beer. A few times, I've had their beer and really enjoyed it. But too often, I just don't like it at all.

This one, a 22 ounce bomber, starts off well- a nice looking deep murky brew with a small head that is jsut right for the style. The aroma hits several of the BSDA notes- rich chocolate, hint of sweetness, hint of coffee. The flavor even starts out well- definite rich chocolate and chicory, pleasant mouthfeel, but then it goes south when I swallow. I would charitably call this an espresso bitterness, but no, it's way beyond that- it's harsh, medicinal, reminiscent of picking weeds as a kid and tasting them, only to find out that they taste horrible. Burnt grains, don't make me take that antibiotic pill again, please! I'm sorry, such promise, but there are so many great examples of this style- I just cannot drink this one.

Dukeofearl, May 30, 2009
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.

prototypic, May 19, 2009
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this one.

Poured into a chalice a nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with some yeast, figs, raisins, plums. The taste is sweet, malty, yeasty, nice dark fruit notes. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew.

Wasatch, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of tpd975
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jdub for this one.

A: Pours a nice brownish black hue with a creamy tan head. Spotty lace.

S: Lots of sweet caramel and brown sugar malt. This is back by an equal amount of rich dark fruit.

T: Very malty up front. Sweet toffee and brown sugar. Lots of raisins and dates make up the middle. A touch of floral hops to round things out.

M: Medium to full in body.

D: Okay, tasty but not my favorite style.

tpd975, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of Seanibus
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I don't know what I was expecting, but this beer surprised me at almost every turn.

Pours deep black with fluffy slightly off white head. Surprising aroma, more like a Belgian golden, spicy, fruity, phenolic and sprightly. Taste is surprising, roasty and sharp, with nutmeg and cinnamon, slight hoppiness, fruity esters. Mouthfeel is thin and carbonated. Very puzzling and surprising. Surprisingly dry finish

Seanibus, Apr 21, 2009
Photo of srandycarter
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours extremely dark brown with .5 inch off white head, leaves to disk. Small sudsy lacing.

S - Roasty, some cocoa and banana/Belgian aroma. Like a Belgian porter.

T - Roasted malts, dark fruits, center balanced - no big swings. Nice.

M - Medium body. Solid feel. Good carb and coating.

D - Aftertaste not neutral enough for me as a session. Besides, 9%...

srandycarter, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of brewandbbq
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle at 55 degrees.

Pours dark mahogany with a two inch beige head. Retention is fairly short-lived and theres some decent lacing throughout the glass and a partial skim coat on the surface of the brew.

Aromatics lead off with spice-laden figs, plums, and burnt sugar. Hints of coriander, cloves, crushed mint, and banannas work well with rummy malt with a chocolate accent.

Medium bodied with a slightly chewy mouthfeel. Carbonation low for the style.

Ripe fruit, lush malt, dark candy, and spice start the palate. Warming alcohol and more spice follow though. Plenty of figs, plums, and clovey phenols to go around.

Finishes with lingering warmth, peppery spice, and a hint of grape jam.

I was very surpised at how good this was. Definately a candidate for long-term cellaring. Nicely done.

brewandbbq, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of Nick3
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark, dary brown ale pours a tan one finger head into my Rochefort chalice. Nose is yeasty with fruity esthers, pear and apple, and some malt. Taste is sweet molasses and belgian yeast up-front with a warming alcohol finish accompanied with a mild bite from the hops. Beer has medium to heavy body. Nothing too impressive here compared to other BSDAs, but still a good beer that I'd prefer over many other ales outside this style.

Nick3, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of BretSikkink
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown color with orange lights. Head is nice and full with a little espresso tan. The nose is bready and raisin-sweet. Smells very pleasant.

The flavor is definitely sweet, bringing dark fruit and malty flavors up front. Ends dry and toasty, with a hint of roasted barley and a pang of alcohol. Touch of hops plays of the astringent roast notes to add a little complexity; this might throw some, but I thought it a nice touch.

Body is decently sized, carbonation is pretty high to offset the otherwise large barley load. A little different for this style, but I like it quite a bit.

BretSikkink, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of blakesell
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a Belgian styled goblet.

Appearance- Beer pours porter black with red highlights when held to the light. There is a healthy two finger head of tan off white nearly gray foam. Lacing sticks sporadically to the sides of the glass.

Smell- An interesting and complex aroma, peppery with ample dark fruits but malts seem lighter than average. There is a hint of smoke and vague light hop aromas. Of course the yeasty esters are the most strong and give the most unique nose. Very close to a trappist in nature.

Taste- Sweet and pruney with a huge yeasty peppery flavor, a light smoke backbone almost like a Belgian strong dark rauchbier. Very tasty and smokey with again that light hop and a bit of an alcoholic phenol.

Mouthfeel- Medium light bodied, not sticky on the lips or warming, medium in carbonation. Creamy.

Drinkability- One of the most drinkable of the American made Belgians I have sampled. Very nice flavor and I would love to revisit it.

blakesell, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of djaeon
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours dark brown with a three finger fizzy head. Medium retention. Good lacing.

S- Not a strong smell. Some hints of alcohol. It has some subtle aromas that I can't quite pick up.

T- This isn't going to be very descriptive, but it tastes like a dark ale with high, but not overpowering, alcohol. It has a bit of a bitter aftertaste.

M- Pretty smooth, with medium carbonation.

D- It's more drinkable than the AleSmith Grand Cru. Definitely not one you'd want to have more than 1 bomber of in a night, but pretty drinkable while you're on that one.

djaeon, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of aforbes10
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black to dark purple with good clarity and a well-retained brownish head. Sticky cobwebby lacing. Nose is roasted dates, prunes, with some dark chocolate and dark malts. Yeasty and earthy notes in there too. Fruity, dark roasted flavor. Biscuity quality, with chocolate, graham crackers, prunes, raisins, ethanol. Alcohol approaches an over-aggressive state, but barely manages to maintain a balance with the rest of the beer. Finish is sweet dates rolled in burnt breadcrumbs. Full bodied, approaching syrupy. Drinks well...its a brute if the whole bottle is taken on alone, i imagine. My wife was happy enough to help drink this one.

aforbes10, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of hellbilly
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at papago...

poured a nearly black shade of brown with a soft tan head and moderate drippy lacing. the aroma is quite fruity... raisins, dried stone fruits, loads of smooth malt and a strange smell... or feel rather, of menthol or eucalyptus. it is definitely something which numbs the sinus... odd but not unpleasant.

that same character carries over as a profile in the flavor... it burns a bit and cleans off the palate. the flavor is full of malt and molasses but remains not overly sweet (at least for the style)... notes of herbs, flowers, grass and very mild pine on the finish along with some alcohol burn. the body is seemingly light and highly drinkable in quantity with prickly carbonation and mouth feel yet smooth...

hellbilly, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of smcolw
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

smcolw, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of ToddT
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Medium brown in color with a large cream colored head. Head has decent retention and leaves a nice lace pattern all the way down the glass.

S- Complex smell, fruit, vanilla, spice, roasted malt, brown sugar, and alcohol are all represented.

T- Fruit comes in at first then a burst of sweetness. The hop bitterness follows but the sweetness persists to the finish which is slightly bitter and dry with a warming effect of the alcohol. Other tastes come out as you continue to drink this. It gets a little more fruit, banana and raisin make an appearance, as well as cloves, nutmeg and caramel.

M- Medium bodied with lots of carbonation, kind of fizzy on the tongue.

D- The 9.0% ABV is well hidden, but the clash between the sweetness of the fruit and the bitterness of the hops cuts down on the drinkability.

Interesting beer, not one I'll seek out again but one worth trying.

ToddT, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of tmoneyba
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Belmont Party.

Poured clear brown color with medium frothy brown head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Aroma was complex roasted sweet malty and citrus. Medium body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation. Medium bittersweet dark flavor with medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

Good brew.

tmoneyba, Feb 24, 2009
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.

marvin213, Feb 16, 2009
Green Flash Grand Cru from Green Flash Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 407 ratings.