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The Beast Grand Cru | Avery Brewing Company

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The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 16.83%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Hop Variety: Bravo, Bullion, Sterling, Hersbrucker, Columbus, Styrian Goldings
Malt Variety: Two-row barley, Honey malt, Dark Aromatic, Pale wheat, Roasted wheat, Special B
Sugars: Dates, Molasses, Dark Belgian Candy Sugar, Colorado Honey, Raisins, Turbinado
OG: 1.135 ABV: 15-17% IBUs: 63 Color: Burgundy

The Beast is a seducer – accomodating, complicated, powerful, dark and created to last the ages. With a deep burgundy color and aromas of honey, nutmeg, mandarin orange and pineapple, this massive and challenging brew has flavors akin to a beautiful Carribean rum. Dates, plums, raisins and molasses are dominant in a rich vinous texture. Cellarable for 10+ years.

The Beast is the first installment of “The Demons of Ale” series.

Food pairing: Pineapple upside down cake pairs nicely with the sweet, rum-like flavors found in our Beast Grand Cru.

Batch 1 (2004): 15.7% ABV
Batch 2 (2004): 18.1% ABV
Batch 3 (2005): 14.9% ABV
Batch 4 (2006): 14.6% ABV
Batch 5 (2007): 16.42% ABV
Batch 6 (2008): 16.31% ABV
Batch 7 (2009): 15.07% ABV
Batch 8 (2010): 16.21% ABV
Batch 9 (2011): 16.83% ABV
Batch 10 (2012): 16.00% ABV
Batch 11 (2013): 18:00% ABV
Batch 12 (2014): 16.1% ABV
Batch 12 (2015): 17.2% ABV

Added by Crosling on 01-29-2004

User Reviews
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Reviews: 588 | Ratings: 1,326
Reviews by lifeboyq:
Photo of lifeboyq
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. A 1 finger head that holds fairly well for a 16.4 % beer. A deep deep golden/amber color with a creamy tan yellowish head. Smell is pretty darn sweet of candy sugar. The pungent sweetness. Its a bit bitter on the taste but silky smooth syrupy mouthfeel. The taste is sweet, apricots, biscuit and finishes bitter and slightly dry given the sweetness. I love it, but I'm partial to monster beers. I'm not sure I'd give it great marks against the BJCP style guidelines for a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but its a hell of a lot of fun to drink. The name of the beer is all too fitting. Good stuff.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of kamoosekazi
4.77/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

You really need a good palette to enjoy the full flavor of "The Beast". There is a ton of ingredients that go into this strong ale, and at 16%, this 12oz monster is not for the faint of heart as it will be your only beer for the night.

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Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

My first encounter with the beast its been a long time comin,poured a very nice deep ruby red with a fluffy 2 finger pinkish colored head that leaves nice sheets of lace behind as it settles.Alcohol dipped cherries really jump out at me in the aroma along with some raisin and maybe a touch of spice perhaps cinnamon,thick mouthfeel that coates the mouth but is very smooth on the way down,whoo this baby packs a wallop like the aroma the alcohol infused cherry is predomenant in the flavors as well with more alcohol and candied figs.One thing I did notice is a light herbal hop underneath all that massive malt and alcohol wich was nice.The Beast left its mark on me no doubt whoo it was damn good but definent one and done for me.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.82/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – The color is a deep, rich, brownish-orange that screams “Grand Cru.” The head was almost non-existent, probably due to the astronomical ABV, but it pitted beautifully and left a foamy ring around the glass.

I know that “appearance” doesn’t include the label, but next to The Ruination this is one of the coolest bottles that I’ve ever seen. There’s like a hologram of a beast (that won’t come out in a BA pic) with giant teeth that just seems to jump out at you.

Smell – This is an alcohol-soaked fruit-ridden darkish-ale paradise. As it is with many a Grand Cru, the fruits just jump out of the goblet.

Cherries, peaches, apricots, all overly ripe and squishy, falling off the trees. Browned bananas, with their sugary profile, and juicy melons ground together and plopped in a vodka martini. Royal grapes and dates, mixed with smashed raisins, covered in gin and flavored with tobacco leaves. All of this just begins the show.

Taste – Here come the fruits, as pleasing to the palate as The Ring of Mordor is to Golum. “They are juicy – must eats them raw,” or should I say, “The forbidden Cru, is nice and cool . . . AND JUICY SWEET!” Alcohol has never tasted so good as it baths the luscious flavors described in the aroma notes.

But, this is not an overly-aged broken down BSDA limping to Grand Crudome dilapidated and disturbed. No, this is the final iteration of an ale-child found in adulthood, fully developed and arriving at its course.

Some Grand Crus taste spent to me, but this one is just getting started. The malt base is still strong, and there’s even a hop balance to give this one complexity. The extra strong tobacco notes provide the finish here. This is no bullshit. The tobacco is strong at the end and makes a powerful statement – this one is serious.

Mouthfeel – Full-bodied and so filled with flavors that your cheeks and salivary glands will be going bonkers. Your mouth won’t know what to do with this Grand Cru, but the heart will swallow and thank later.

Drinkability – You’ve got to be kidding me. Liver concern is the only thing keeping me from drinking a bottle of this nightly.

Comments – I initially tasted this cold then let it set for an hour. The change in flavor is amazing. You have to drink this warm, warm, warm – literally at room temperature – to get the full effect of this ale.

PS: I think TheLongBeachBum is following my review with one of his own, and he is an excellent descriptor of Belgian Ales.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
1.97/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Urine and syrup. Not good at all. This beer does not seem to be fully fermented. The aroma is dominated by a sickeningly sweet rotten corn husk, urine like odor. Flavors of candied fruits and snow cone syrups overpower anything interesting going on here. The alcohol burns the mouth, nose, and throat. It’s overwhelming. Finishes sticky like maple syrup left spilled on a counter on a hot July day. Rubbing alcohol flavors linger. Ick! This is one case where bigger is not better. I’d take Milwaukee’s Beast over this one any day. I suppose that in about a dozen years, this one might be drinkable. I’ll consider revisiting then.

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Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of MadScientist
3.34/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 6
Bottled in 2008

A: A deep copper good clarity. There is little carbonation producing very little head even with an agressive pour. What little of the light brown head is there is quick to fade to a thin film and slim ring around the glass.

S: A strong alcohol aroma with a bit of heat. Lots of caramel and rich malt complexity like an Barley Wine. There is no noticeable hops aroma. A light cocoa and slight spice notes with a little chewable vitamin.

T: Lots of alcohol and malt sweetness with a rich malt complexity having strong treacle and toffee like flavors. There is a moderate hop bitterness and pretty much no hops flavor. The balance to the malt done as much by the hops as the alcohol but even together the avalanche of malt sweetness just can't be stopped giving a balance that is fairly sweet. There is a medium amount of orange flavor and a light raisin and mollasses thing going on. A medium-low spiciness. The finish is medium sweet with a linger alcohol sweetness and a touch of spicy fruit flavors.

M. Heat and then a medium bodied beer that feels heavier and viscous from the low level of carbonation.

O: A boozy beer with some fruit and spice that has a high enough alcohol content that you'll want to share. It shows little signs of mellowing in the past few years. The flavors make more sense after reading the bottle that it was brewed with honey malt and actual honey.

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Photo of kaimcm
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz.- bottled in 2005 - 14.9 ABV - reviewed 9/06

bottle poured into a huge dogfish snifter.

A: deep deep body with a beautiful off white head. foamy goodness doesnt last long, lite splotches left. body color looks like blood and earth mixed up, fitting for the beast.

S: hits the nose syrupy sweet, malty, and hot. booze abounds, warming, but not harshly burning. loaded with fruit, which battles with the fusels for attention. apples, peaches, cream, molasses, honey, and raisons everywhere. even a light nut quality under the booze. nose is reminiscent of a meaty scotch, like lowlands or some of the isles. extremely busy but sometimes not that focused and a little tough to deal with under the alcohol.

M/T: Mouthfeel is damn near exceptional. so rich, so creamy, so chewy, so awesome. first waves are molasses, honey, and more sugary goodness. mid palate a more distinct malt character comes through followed by many of the fruits in the nose. apples, some orange and peach, very juicy, and more cream. raisons everywhere making this extremely port like. full bodied to say the least and decadent as all hell. finally some grainy nutty qualities arise which are quickly chased away by lingering sugaring and warming alcohol. teeth are coated with sugar, throat is tingling with vapor, head is struggling with booze, and belly is warm and impatient for more.

D: um...come on. this is the definition of an every once in a while sipper. i dont like the idea of reserving beers for "special occasions" so I wont say that. but not one most any one is likely to crack more than seldomly.

overall an incredible accomplishment considering the ingredients and strength of this beer. that being said, I think Avery should do us all a favor and put a few years of age on this beast before release. so complex it seems the beer is fighting itself to come together. not sure when in 2005 this was bottled but considering we are already into mid september of 2006 and its still a little chaotic, I would prefer another year or so on this. wish I had several of these to lay down myself. cheers to avery!

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Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Avery "The Beast" Grand Cru. Alcohol content stated 14.9%. I'm sure its a tad more with a bottle date of 2005. Panther-like face on front of bottle w/ red foil capper.

A- Has a "dark as night" color pour that doesn't even let one ray of light penetrate its heavily brown hued liquid. "Little to none" head that leaves behind a tight barely there ring around the glass.

S- Agh... Heavy amounts of alcohol esters, burnt caramel malt, and stale scents hops that are so "out of bloom" that it burns the nose. Hard-ass smell for a bold beer.

T- Damn... Starts off sweeter than a ripe red apple that turns to a brown sugar-alcohol estery of mean burnt malt mass that overwelms the strongest taste bud avalible. S***! Too much to list at once! Raisins, figs, dates, brown sugar, rotton citrus, fired oak, and alcohol... NICE! Barleywine like taste.

M- Flow of beer ruins my mouth with thick fruit like tang that only lingers on to make me pucker in fear of whats next. Flavor sits on the buds only asking you try again to test its wrath of feel.

D- Well... Dont drink alot. Great "Strange beer" But not one you have a drinkfest with. Dangerous and Over-bodied but a sipper with friends (12oz.) beer.

Notes: Almost has 120 essense but don't mistake very STRONG ALE!!

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Photo of tbryan5
4.31/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of joemetric
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of Dmann
4.69/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a beer that truly knocked me on my ass! After a night out with xlperro and the gang, this was the final nail in the coffin. But what a good nail it was. This beer poured a dark amber color with a minimal head that did not last long at all. This is a beer that you could smell forever with it's great raison, plum and heavily sweet notes. The taste was so very complex, i'd have to really drink this one before drinking anything else next time to decipher all of the nuances in this brew. The abv is not even detectable due to the fact that the great fruit and hop taste along with the great dark sweetness of the malts cover it up so well. I will be on the lookout for this one again!

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Photo of bulldogg915
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of danthehopslamman
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of warnerry
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Afroman
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of WuAnquo1
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

Photo of Beaver13
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The Beast poured copper with deep red highlights. It had a creamy, light brown head that quickly went to a thin layer and later disappeared completely.

The aroma was rather subdued. It smelled of figgy malt and molasses along with some sherry-like alcohol.

The taste was very complex. Initially it was malty with fig/raisin, bananas and cloves. Then came grassy hops with some acidic alcohol that warmed quite a bit as it went down. The alcohol became more pronounced as the beer warmed. It was a bit too treacly for me and had a somewhat unpleasant charcoal finish.

The mouthfeel was thick, creamy and sticky.

Overall, I can appreciate the Beast as quite the complex brew. It's just not my bag...too sweet, too much alcohol and I didn't personally care for some of the flavors. It kind of reminded me of a too far over the top version of New Belgium's Abbey. It would be interesting to see what aging does for this beer...I think it could mellow out nicely.

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Photo of Chitex78
2.96/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Harsh, chemical-like alcohol taste. Not sure what they were going for here.

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Photo of iemailjack
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Photo of merlin48
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber, foiled and capped, bottled in 2004. Served slightly chilled, in a St Bernardus goblet. Another very striking label from Avery, warns that this is, indeed, a Beast.

Appearance: Pours a strikingly clear, ruby mahogany body that is a sight to behold. Short, beige head is shortlived, but leaves massive Belgian sheet lacing all over the goblet.

Aroma: Powerful vinous alcohol presence introduces a cartload of fruit. Bananas, green apples, and oranges are up front. Rum soaked darker fruits, of raisin, prunes, dates, and figs, quickly follow. Candycane and rock candy sugar aromas chime in, soon after.

Mouthfeel features an explosion of sweet carbonation, reminiscent of a fine, Belgian strong pale ale. Moderate alcohol burn is impssible to ignore.

Taste: Wow! This is a big beer. Obvious high alcohol presence is a given. So many malts, hops, yeasts, and sugars, are present here as to give this an extreme complexity that makes the high abv an afterthought. Taste is mostly dark fruity and malty sweet. Plenty of dark fruit tastes going on here, as well as fresh apple, pear, and orange notes. Delicate hopping of several hops varieties, make this even more complex. Geeez! This one is a monster, not just a beast. Label says this is made with honey malt. Never heard of honey malt, but I'll take their word for it. Finish is slightly sweet, but never cloying. Clean aftertaste.

BEWARE THE BEAST! It's easy to ignore the high abv in this, due to all the malts, yeasts, hops, and Belgian sugars used in its construction. This is one helluva Belgian style strong dark ale, or whatever you choose to call it. Another excellent brew from Avery. I must admit, that having just one of these will render you useless for doing anything constructive for the rest of the evening.

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Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the Blind Tiger NYC, Bomber bottle. Pours dark amber, tiny bubble head, leaving nice lace. Obviously strong stuff. Bold, complex and nicely spiced. On the sweet side. Alcohol present. Yeasty, malty, nice crunch of drying hops. Not a beeer for a newbie. Belgian lovers and big beer lovers rejoice. This beer has alot going on, wish it was more available in the east

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2009.

The beer pours a hazy red-amber color with a white head. The aroma is molasses, alcohol, dark fruit, caramel, toffee and some rum. Not sure where the rum notes come from, but they add a lot to the aroma.

The flavor is very heavy on the molasses and brown sugar. I also get some toffee and caramel notes as well as some alcohol.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev +4.4%

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The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 588 ratings.