The Beast Grand Cru - Avery Brewing Company

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The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,249 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,249
Reviews: 586
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 15.54%
Wants: 73
Gots: 344 | FT: 26
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  16.83% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Crosling on 01-29-2004

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
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,249 | Reviews: 586
Photo of BWood
4.39/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Whole lot of bite with the beast. Very boozy. The raisin taste is nice. Definitely warms you as you drink. Good Belgian strong.

Photo of jpro
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 2012... I think 3 years helped smooth the edges... Molasses, raisins, brown sugar in aroma and taste - slightly rummy. Big feel and extra sticky on the palate. Almost a dessert beer.

Photo of kamoosekazi
4.77/5  rDev +23.6%
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.

Photo of castelli1981
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best smell ever. The taste is phenomenal. You have one flavor hit your tongue after another.

Photo of rden4654
2.46/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Even the high alcohol content couldn't hide the awful after taste of this one!!

Photo of zac16125
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a tulip
Batch #12, Aug 2014

Thanks to themadnanner for sending this extra over in a trade!

A: Dark mahogany, opaque, 1 plus fingers width of tan head, decent retention but only a very small amount of lacing. 4.25

S: Lots of old ale notes like caramel, candied sugar, and toffee. Lots of booze as well. Vinous dark fruits round things out. 4.25

T: Theres a big sweetness, that I very much enjoy. Dark fruits, toffee/caramel, candied sugar, semi-sweet cocoa. The sweetness is balanced nicely by a big, but not dominating, boozy character, and some bitterness. 4.25

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation appropriate low, ABV is noticeable but for 16% plus its quite impressively restrained, and all rings considered drinkability is very good. 4.25

O: I really dig this beer. Big, bold, boozy, flavorful. Very well done. 4.25

Photo of anon
4.34/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thick, oily and murky brew. Looks like swamp water with a sheen from the alcohol. Small head with very little lacing hanging around.

Smells sweet and sugary, caramely and fruity. This brew lives up to its name as a beast. Lots of stuff going on here, and in the taste as well. Dark caramel, candy and fruits mainly; the raisin and molasses shine through. Delicious.

This one is thick in the mouth feel and goes down oh so smooth. The 16% ABV is blanketed nicely, better than lower alcohol strong ales I've had. It is definitely noticeable, but not as much as one would expect for the % being so high.

I think I'll definitely be getting another of these in the future. Throuroughly enjoyed.

Photo of kevdemers
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2007 bottle. Thanks to changdulla!

Look: Surprising head given the age. Ruby/brown color.

Smell: Raisins, plums, brandy.

Taste: Sweet start with plum and honey, then boozy/tart finish. Minor unpleasant cough medicine on the aftertaste, but not a deal breaker.

Mouthfeel: Nice and full, obviously carbonation was not high given the vintage.

Overall: Not a style I usually partake of, but this was a pretty nice experience. Probably would not purchase on my own but glad I tried it.

Photo of Maverickdp
4.68/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

it tastes like I’m drinking a big ball of cinnamon pancake batter dipped in whiskey; that is all...

Photo of Beejay
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014 bottle.

A: Brown mud, with no head.

S: Burnt bread and sweet caramel.

T: Rich caramel, burnt brown sugar and booze. A decent bit of bitterness in the finish as well as some grapefruit notes.

M: Thick with medium carbonation.

O: A big beer for sure. Tasty, but a little hot.

Photo of Chitex78
2.96/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

Photo of SierraFlight
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear dark amber with nice head. Aromas are raisin, alcohol heat, molasses, red fruit. Flavors are similar with the heat dissipating with time.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 bottle shared tonight by Todd, thanks for the opportunity!
Very sweet and still has a bit of alcohol to it. Very fruity. Probably past but nice to try.

Photo of BeerAllYouCanBe
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Batch 9. 2011. February 2015. Four years in the bottle, and still feels new. Had only one bottle and wish I had kept it longer. The hops has begun to drop out, allowing a ton of stuff to go on with the many sugars in this witches' brew. Molasses in the nose and entrance, candy sugar and raisin sugar are prominent, and black strap is strong on the long finish. Pretty sure I'm growing new chest hair as I write this. Reminiscent of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot after a few years, but oh so much bigger than even that. Passes the Big Beer smell test with flying colors.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.99/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased at Total Wine in Jacksonville, FL. Another one of Avery's big old sugary ABV bombs.

Pours a clear garnet brown, with basically no head or lacing.

Smells really strongly of sugary booze and sugary malt, and not much else.

Another exceedingly sugary and strong Avery creation. To it's credit, the booze is not that powerful- it doesn't feel "hot," but the alcohol is definitely quite present. It's warming, and slightly spicy. The boozy sugar levels in this one are insanely high, and it drowns out any Belgian dark complexity there may be.

This is thick, and exceedingly syrupy, making it a bit of a chore to drink. The carbonation level is pretty low.

Not one of Avery's best, it just seems extreme for the sake of being extreme.

Photo of thatoneguymike
4.66/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's good, I liked this

Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2014 Vintage. Very strong brew. I feel it might be necessary to grab another bottle, age it for two or three years, and enjoy it then. Despite the strength, I sat with this beer for a good hour and a half and enjoyed each small sip I took. No rush. Why rush with a good beer?

Photo of Dbenitez
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer,crew is great for the price

Photo of Mikus
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had a generous sample of this at my local taphouse. $15 a pint kept me from going all in. It was a very interesting brew. Do I have to tell you that it is really big? Notes of a high-octane Flanders Red on the nose... big warm alcohol bite on the back red of the palate. Bravo to Avery for aiming high. In this style, prefer the lower ABV fare as they are more delicately balanced. This is worth a try, by far, but I don't think it would become a regular fridge stocker (as if I could find it).

Photo of DirtyPedro
4.82/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

I received a bottle from the 2013 batch. It was delicious to my taste but a little hard in the bite for my wife.

Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 Edition: Poured a seethru light brown body with one finger head and lace ring . Aroma is dark fruit filled with raisins, figs, even plums, and I do get a bit of the honey (thanks, label) and chocolate...and some booze, natch. Thick bodied, slow drinker thanks to stickiness and this beer will give off a little booze with a hot finish. Dark fruits make up most of taste as I get raisins, prunes, figs in the beer and there is a bready, cracker like dryness to the beer that adds balance as well as touches of caramel and toffee sweetness. I like this beer but there are not hops for more balance and I think the alcohol mutes a little bit of the fruit and sweet tastes so not my one of my favorites (the price doesn't help).

Photo of Go4aBrew
4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Excellent and worth trying again. Avery has never let me down.

Photo of Radome
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, dated Aug 2014, into a goblet.

L - Color is a beautiful dark ruby, but clear when held up to the light. Tan head is not very high, but a thin sheet and plenty of lacing are persistent.

S - Aromas are centered on malt. I get graham crackers, molasses, prunes, and raisins. There is are spices in the background, but I can't identify any individual spices. Possible oak? Hops are not distinct, but they may make up part of the spicy note. There is an aged, slightly oxidized note.

T - Flavors are similar to the aromas. Malt is there in pumpernickle, graham cracker and molasses flavors. Prune, plum and raisin re there, along witht he same oxidized, aged impression from the aroma. There is a solid hops bitterness and earthy flavor. No yeast character. Some sweet alcohol flavor.

F - Medium body. Strong alcohol presence, but not burning. Low, smooth carbonation. Medium to high hops bitterness. Everything is in balance.

O - This is a great beer. Although it hits extremes in alcohol level, hops and oxidation, altogether the impression is of a balanced and enjoyable beer.

Photo of Beer-Revelry
2.53/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1.5

Poured into a Chimay beer chalice.

A - 5 - Poured a very rich, dark rust color. Forms a half finger of quickly dissipating, medium tan head. Weak head potential, retention and lacing, forgivable due to the massive ABV.
S - 5 - Spot on. Dark cooked fruits such as prunes, plums, figs, raisins, dates and black cherry all harmoniously blending into a black cherry wine and molasses finish.
T - 1 - What an absolute disaster. Upfront there is a STRONG, extremely cloying sweet sweet alcohol which ends on a chemically bitter finish, likened to spraying Windex on your tongue. Any of those lovely flavors I described in the aroma that might be present in the taste are overpowered and lost entirely.
F - 3.25 - Gave a middle of the road score because it is entirely irrelevant to me. My senses were too overwhelmed by the taste to notice a mouthfeel.
O - 1.5 - I've, so far at least, noticed a trend with the Avery "Demons of Ale" series. THEY NEED TO TONE IT DOWN A LITTLE! I understand these are supposed to be these MASSIVE, monstrous beers that have huge ABVs and flavors. I LOVE when brewerys do this kind of thing, I'm REALLY into massive and experimental brews. But even with massive beers, you HAVE to have BALANCE. Balance is the theme of the lesson here. You can talk a pretty game and have awesome curb appeal with your label art, described flavors and massive ABV, but if you aren't properly balancing your two MAIN aspects of flavor, the salt and pepper of beer, sweetness and bitterness, then you've done your entire effort a massive disservice. This could be an absolutely astounding brew, and perhaps its somewhat my fault for not aging it long enough, but I can't imagine, even with multiple years that this amount of cloying sweetness could be toned down. If you see this brew and you are compelled to grab it, let it age for many a year!

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2013 vintage 12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, deep, dark, mahogany color, with a quarter of a finger of oatmeal-colored head that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Not much in the aroma department, which is disappointing. There are some faint notes of toasted malt and candied sugar, but that’s all, and those notes are extremely faint. What’s odd is that I don’t even get any aromas of alcohol, which I thought I would get, as this beer has an ABV of a whopping 18.0%. Maybe the beer is too cold.

Taste: What the Beast lacks in aroma, it more, much more, makes up for in flavor!! Massive flavors of toasted malt up front, followed immediately by massive amounts of candied sugar-like sweetness, dried stone fruit, such as dates, figs and sour cherries, Belgian yeast, and some nicely balanced hoppy bitterness. Absolutely, amazingly, spectacularly, awesome!

Mouthfeel: Chewy, creamy, yet slightly viscous, and smooth as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 18%, there is quite a bit of pleasant alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: Jesus, what a spectacular, amazing, exceptionally, awesome beer! Avery has knocked it out of the park with this one!

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The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,249 ratings.