The Beast Grand Cru - Avery Brewing Company
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Ratings: 968 | Reviews: 534 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by Pahn:
3.15/5 rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottled 2006, Batch 4, 14.6% ABV.
Appearance: Free pour yields a one and a half inch, frothy light tan head that dissipates slowly leaving sweeping peaks of lacing. Pours a beautiful, solid dark red brown. Leaves occasional islands of lacing.
Smell: Huge raisin/fig from the bottle. Same in the glass, with a bright Belgian yeast note, toffee, molasses, some cake. Strong aroma. Suggests a good quad. I'm pretty fond of the deep, cutting molasses smell and the lack (for the most part) of booziness.
Taste: Molasses and fat, chewy raisins. Smooth raisin aftertaste, finishing dry and a little sticky. Alcohol heat is felt in the chest but not right away in the taste. Interesting, sugary flavors, but more strong than complex. Definitely a beast... if the beer itself is St. Bernardus 12, it makes the water I'm drinking with it taste like St. Bernardus 8; the thick flavor really stays with you, for better or worse. Would love to cook with this beer.
There's a fair amount of interesting flavors happening, but as a BSDA the notes don't really sing together. Also starts to get a bit solvent-like and occasionally too sweet with warmth. Ultimately, it tastes mostly like an average quad, goes above with the more interesting notes, but goes below average with the clashing, off notes. The strength of the flavor does more to exacerbate its flaws than emphasize its virtues.
Mouthfeel: Light side of full bodied, but thick and sticky. A bit slick. More dryness in the finish than expected (or welcomed). The combination of thickness/stickyness plus dryness is rather unpleasant.
Drinkability: A decent sipper. I like its boldness, and while it took me 2 hours to drink the 12oz bottle, I wasn't forcing it down or anything. Still, in the end, no matter in what light I try to look at this beer, I've had a lot better and don't need to return to this one.
The Beast Grand Cru is definitely the worst of the three in the Demons of Ale series. Samael and Mephistopheles, both as bold and unique as The Beast, have a balance and palatability that the latter lacks. Still, it's the kind of adventurous, genre-bending beer that would make me want to try more Avery beers even if I wasn't already long sold on their greatness as a brewery.
I think my main issue with The Beast is that it tastes like pouring a bottle of 10 year old J.W. Lees into an average quad (both in how the flavors clash, and in that the feel is so off that it feels like randomly mixing 2 beers). It's not bad, but there's a lot of problems and the overall flavor doesn't really work.
As a sidenote, I'd be kind of interested in trying some of the more attenuated batches of this beer. Batch 4 is 14.6% ABV, the lowest of any batch, and I believe the original gravity was pretty much constant for all batches. Batch 2 was 18.1% ABV, and all the recent batches have been around 16%~ ABV. After sufficient aging, I'd like to try this beer with less residual sugar. I'm not positive, but I think it might fix at least some of its problems.
Serving type: bottle
02-18-2011 23:18:41 | More by Pahn
More User Reviews:
4/5 rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
A: Murky orange with a small brown ring of head.
S: Lots of dark and red fruits, plum, maybe some basic (as in, non acid) citrus, particularly orange, some grape, red wine, and a touch of alcohol in the nose.
T: Grapes, spices, plum, raisin, a whisky-like harshness, floral hops, amazing that any hop character comes through after so many years of aging.
M: Full bodied, harsh from alcohol and a touch flat.
O: Pretty good. The alcohol was a bit harsh, and the flatness as unplesant. I'd take Samael or Mephistopheles over this any time, but I'd still recommend this. Perhaps it's better fresh.
Note: Brewed in 2009 (batch 7), Imbibed Fall, 2012.
Serving type: bottle
02-06-2014 21:48:11 | More by BierJager89
The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 968 ratings.