1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

412 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 412
Reviews: 171
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.17%
Wants: 15
Gots: 22 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 412 | Reviews: 171 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hellbilly
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
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 -9.3%
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 +0.5%
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 +7.1%
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%
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
Photo of cvstrickland
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The cellar-cool 22-ounce bomber bottle pours a rich dark amber in my Maredsous goblet, and shows a tingle of golden at the periphery of the drink. A finger-thick cap of sticky beige foam recedes to a mottled sheet that leaves a virtually unbroken, but fast-fading sheen of fine lacing on the glass.

The smell is syrupy-sweet and malty with sugary waves of soft dark fruits. Chewy dates and dried plum mingle with juicy golden apples and a whiff of warm caramel candy, the menage presenting itself as soft, perfumey, and mellow.

The taste is sweet and crisply juicy with a fruity malt linger in the finish. Mild and chewy dark-toasted caramel forms the backbone of the drink, providing a solid stage for juicy plums and sweet apples and mild watermelon rind-like bitterness. By the end of the first serving from the bottle my belly is warming, my cheeks are flushed, and my lips are smiling. Yessiree! Once again, the word "mellow" rolls into mind, but to avoid redundancy and perhaps better characterize my feeling for the drink, I'll call Green Flash Brewing's Grand Cru "friendly", instead.

The drink is medium-bodied with perfect carbonation and is entirely quaffable if you're down with getting floor-knocked by the bomb-your-ass 9.1% ABV. An excellent and surprising offering from a brewer that has yet to fail me. Green Flash rocks, and Grand Cru in particular is a whipass brew.

cvstrickland, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

Georgiabeer, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.25/5  rDev -14%
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

Gueuzedude, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of tai4ji2x
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. no date found. poured into tulip.

dark, almost opaque brown. reddish brown under the light. decent head that slowly fades to thin layer. several thin rings of lace down the glass.

aromas of faint raisins and dates, and very gentle nutmeg-like spice. caramel and roast malt hint. grassy hops and trace of phenols at the end. all a bit subdued overall however.

roasty malt with acidic not upfront, with hint of fruit, all midly sweet, but slightly dominated by the bittering hops, which get grassy but resinous. some coffee notes in the finish and aftertaste. phenolic quality is spicy, and seems to accentuate the bitterness further, for better or worse.

smooth, medium body, slight resins and acidity or astringency in the finish. lively carbonation.

tai4ji2x, Feb 05, 2009
Photo of DrJay
3.78/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear chestnut colour with a reddish hue and a thin beige cap. Spotty lacing with good head retention. Nice aroma, banana, yeast, bready, nutty, and spicy. Quite sweet and malty, nuts and toffee, dark chocolate, fruity banana, and a bit of alcohol. Medium bodied with low carbonation, very smooth. Pretty good, tasty and easy drinking.

DrJay, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of IBUnit63
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a Duvel tulip...

Beautiful 1 1/2-finger white rye head topping a burnt raisin body with mild heft and slight carbonation. Head has good lacing and clunkiness with a few muffin tunnels.

Oooh, there's some creamy booze here. Slight yeast electricity with a hint of raisins and some silky malt. Hop pine makes an appearance, along with a little grass. Molasses are dry yet prevalent.

Y'know, this is a bit too dry for the style. There are the dark fruits you expect but they're somewhat obscured by a grassy and piney hoppiness, as well as slight astringency. With warmth it gets a little better and the raisin perfume emerges.

Again, definitely needs warmth to reveal the usual BSDA suspects...dates, raisins, other dark spices...but they eventually show up.

This deal takes a while to warm up to, but in the end, it's solid.

IBUnit63, Feb 02, 2009
Photo of paco1029384756
4.18/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark ruby brown color with two fingers of off white head.

Scent of banana, yeast, candi sugar, dark fruits, caramel, and some clove. Great stuff, well balanced and pretty complex.

Taste of banana, candi sugar, tobacco, yeast, dark fruits, alcohol and clove. Finishes with earthy flavors and some yeast, damn good.

Mouthfeel is medium full and rich with a good amount of carbonation.

paco1029384756, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of RoyalT
2.78/5  rDev -26.5%
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.

RoyalT, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a tulip glass for a thick, blackish body with one-finger head that receeded slowly. A good sweet malt and hop mix in the smell, but nothing stands out. Smooth and creamy, with a fuller-body that mixes the sweet and roasted malt tastes (I'd say caramel and maybe toffee for the sweet, no coffee malts though) and dry, citric hops. Finishes with a prickly, dry hoppy backbite after a sweet and not heavy (ABV hidden well here) beer passes the tongue. A very enjoyable beer.

clayrock81, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of jwc215
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

jwc215, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of bonbini26
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ the Blind Tiger 01-19-2008.

Appearance- Poured into a tulip glass, very dark dark ruby color. Nicely formed white head that leave patches of lacing. Very dark for a grand cru

Smell- Pretty hefty nose of candied sugar, some light banana & clove, belgian yeast, dark sweet malts and some earth scents.

Taste- Bitterness & hops from a grand cru, very nice. Must be those west coast hops along with roasted caramel flavor some deep roasted caramel flavor

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

Drinkability- a nice winter sipper, didn't than traditional Grand Cru'. recommended to try something a little different

bonbini26, Jan 19, 2009
Photo of shroompod
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a small head , some lacing. Dark in color.

Aroma of dark candied sugar , some alcohol.

The taste of dark caramel , some raisin sweetness. Alcohol is apparent but not objectionable.

Mouthfeel is medium/heavy with some residual sweetness.

Overall a very nice brew.

shroompod, Jan 10, 2009
Photo of TheDoorman
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at Jimmy's No. 43 in NYC.

Pours a deep brown, almost black, with a slight red hue. Slightly tannish one-inch of foam. Beauiful. Palate is filled with cherries, dark berries and red liquorice. More than a hint, but not overdone either. Interesting and tasty. A slight amount of carbonation makes the flavor pop. Could use a little more hop presence. Has a pleasant feel on the mouth, very light relative to its very dark color. Alcohol is extremely well hidden. Very round beer.

TheDoorman, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of GClarkage
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

GClarkage, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of Gmann
4.28/5  rDev +13.2%
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).

Gmann, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of weeare138
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

weeare138, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of Nickls
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From notes)

A - Poured with a very thin, slightly tan head. Deep dark brown color that comes close to black

S - Sweet dark fruit aroma...plum...red grapes and a touch of roasted/smokey malts

T - Plumy sweetness that gives way to a bittersweet chocolate finish. Fantastic...with just enough warming alcohol hints

M - Thinner MF, with nice snappy carbonation . Very much within my expectations

D - Really quaffable, and very warming. Definitely an easily enjoyable sample with the flavors and richness of taste.

Overall, great example of the style and very much above my expectations. Green Flash is definitely an underrated brewery IMO. Recommended.

Nickls, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of Zorro
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark for the beer style, dark brown beer that can't pass enough light to see the clarity with a good brown colored head.

Quite fruity and spicy smelling, ginger and clove on dried raisins and prunes. Brown sugar and raw apple with a bit of cake batter malt aroma but the spice tries to hide it.

The taste starts out sweetened prunes and coffee with the aftertaste of clove. Strong coffee flavors here as if this was 50% stout. Strong bitterness for the style, more than a little hop.

Mouthfeel is OK.

An OK beer but I didn't find this to be memorable.

Zorro, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of Wildman
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a very dark red, almost solid black color and formed a nice foamy light tan head that left latticed lace as it subsided. An aroma of malt, coffee, chocolate and dark fruit like plums, etc. The flavor was of malt, coffee, chocolate, Belgian yeasts, and some hops. The body is medium light and the finish slightly sweet yet astringent.

Wildman, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of Oxymoron
4.38/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grand Who? Pours a murky dark brown color with a darker red hue throughout. A soft, fizzy head off white head with good retention but limited lacing. Served a bit cold.

The nose has a good mix of malt and phenolics. The malt, to start, has a mostly sweet malt backing with some lighter kettle caramel aromas. Some notes of Special B and a touch of coco. Noticeable fruity notes, big plums and figs. Some minor pineapple, raisins and herbal notes. Some light peppery notes as well. Some noticeable alcohol and fusel notes.

The taste is similar. The malt comes out with some complexity. A good malt base with hints of sugary notes on the back end. The kettle/melanodian notes back off a bit but still noticeable caramel. Some astringent bite as well. The fruity notes come out a bit more with more of a tropical mix. Plums, cherries, figs and apricots. Leaves a nice mix into the finish. The fusel notes back off a bit compared to the nose, but some alcohol notes come out. Some yeasty notes, more of a US taste than Belgian. Very nice.

The body is closer to full than moderate. A lot going on here. Carbonation is a bit low. This could see some improvement with age, but overall a pretty tasty beer.

Oxymoron, Dec 19, 2008
Green Flash Grand Cru from Green Flash Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 412 ratings.