1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

The Beast Grand Cru - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,220 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,220
Reviews: 578
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 15.8%
Wants: 70
Gots: 325 | FT: 22
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

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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,220 | Reviews: 578 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Beer Bistro. 2008 edition at 16% plus. Spicy aroma, pours a dark orange colour with Belgian yeast style head. The taste is sweet and spicy. alcohol warming. Not very complex. European hops, altogether drinkable but not all that interesting.

Photo of t0rin0
3.19/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I bought this a couple months back in a 12 oz bottle and have been saving it for number 666 on my beer sampling list. Let me note that this was bottled in 2007 and it says 16.42% abv.

It poured a nice redish color and was crystal clear, no yeast or anything. The foam died quickly like with all belgian beers. The foam also had a bit of a brownish tint to it. The beer smelled a bit of syrup and alcohol, somewhat inviting but the alcohol is quite noticeable both in smell as well as taste. As far as what else this tastes like: sweet molases/syrup which could also be interepreted as oak flavoring, and there is a pretty intense aftertaste. The beer kinda burns going into my stomach. Its also pretty thin in body, due to the alcohol content no doubt.

I didn't see any yeast at the bottom of the bottle so I really don't know how this beer would age, but if there is in fact still live yeast in this beer, I wouldn't mind laying one down for a couple of years to see what happens. But for now, its a bit too strong to drink any more than half a bottle or so at a time.

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to AndresR for sharing this one at jmgrub’s tasting.

2005 vintage.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, and somewhat intense alcohol aromas. Taste is the same with some oxidized flavors and a fruity finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but it’s quite strong and oxidized at this point.

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 vintage courtesy of kingcrowing a ways back. Served in a Mikasa goblet and split with Amyliz4.

Pours a muddy garnet-brown with a thin off-white head that falls quickly, leaving a few spots of lacing, a thin collar, and a nice galaxy swirl. Nose brings forward all sorts of dark fruits plus a strong coat of brown sugar and caramel sweetness. Slight cherry and beautiful oxidation. Flavor is so mellow and smooth. Quite complex and incredibly delicious. Thick, chewy body. My only complaint is that there really isn't much yeast presence here. However, the booze is nearly non-existent and the malt has done wonders. Oxidation has done its duty on this beer. Well done.

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: It poured cloudy dark brown in color into a snifter glass with a thin head that quickly faded into lacy patterns of bubbles. A light amount of carbonation is visible, along with many yeast particles floating in suspension.
S: The aroma is filled with smells of dark fruits such as cherries, prunes and raisins. The nose is also rather sweet and has notes of brown sugar and honey.
T: The taste has lots of malty sweetness and the flavors share a lot of similarities with the smell along with some added notes of butter, caramel, toffee and vanilla as well as some hints of alcohol.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and very smooth. The beer is very syrupy and coats your mouth; there are also warming sensations from the alcohol.
D: This beer is definitely a sipper given its alcohol content, but the sweetness does help in masking most of the alcohol from the smell and taste.

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of brentk56
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel clear body with a tan head that drops to a ringlet and some islands and leaves a little lacing behind

Smell: Burnt caramel, dried dark fruits and fusel alcohol

Taste: Sweet caramel as you swirl it in the mouth, the beast roars back after the swallow with a gush of alcoholic warmth and hoppy bitterness; the warmth persists after a few dry swallows as well

Mouthfeel: Thick, astringent and warm; modest carbonation

Drinkability: Looks good, smells great, not drinkable yet; maybe in a few years after this beast settles down

Photo of BEERchitect
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Interesting...the date on this bottle says 'bottled in 2004' just like the 18.10% version does. Doesn't really make it any easier to drink. It still comes across like Vicks 44, but with more knock-out power. A serious punch to the taste buds. So much going on with beautiful fruity, sweet, nutty, alcoholic aromas. But once it goes into the mouth, play-time is over. Seriously alcoholic for any style. Very hot and fusal, with timid counter-acting sweetness, hoppiness, and character. The emense alcohols thin the what-would-be thick brew. Add in the abundance of carbonation and this beer kicks my ass. Seductive sweet flavors, but with a difficult-to-drink attitude. The beer seems a bit darker and richer than the 18+%er, but it still needs a thousand years to mellow out. Kick me in the Jimmy!

Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Brentfeesh: Poured a deep clear burgundy color ale with a small slightly-off white foamy head with average retention. Aroma of sweet cookie dough with some plums and dry fruits is quite pleasing. Taste is mostly dominated by the sweet (maybe too sweet) cookie dough malt and plums, which are quite pleasant, but also a strong shot of alcohol which I couldn’t cared for and kind of ruin it for me. This beer remind me of a 50/50 mix between a sweet barleywine and a strong Belgian ale but really lacking in balance. Body is too light and less filtration would have benefited this beer.

Photo of jaydoc
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SocalKicks
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"What for centuries raised man above the beast is not the cudgel, but the irresistible power of unarmed truth."

--Boris Pasternak

Bottled in 2005. Murky caramel gradually fading to murky orange and honeycomb amber along the bottom edge of the snifter. In spite of an appropriate escape of CO2 on crown cracking, the ecru colored lid is miniscule and is no longer completely covering the surface. Nor is it leaving much lace. That's really no surprise given the ABV.

The nose is reminiscent of a BSDA on steroids, with a less than aggressively estery Belgian yeast strain. Dominant aromas include figs and raisins macerated in blackstrap molasses and Sambuca. Some of those are actual ingredients (see below).

The Beast Grand Cru isn't much of a Belgian strong dark ale, but it is damn good beer if you like them sweet and strong. More than 4 years in the bottle has almost certainly tamed this brute. It has also made it compulsively drinkable. Gotta stick with sippin' since this sucker is pushing 30-proof.

Sugar sources include raisins, dates, blackstrap molasses, alfalfa honey, turbinado sugar and Belgian dark candi sugar. The first three are easily appreciated; especially the first. This is unquestionably one of the three most raisiny beers that I've ever consumed. It's also almost as sweet as liqueur.

At this late date, hop flavor and hop bitterness are at an extremely low ebb. I'll list them anyway: Magnum, Galena, Saaz, Hallertau and Tettnang. A mild ground clove and black pepper spiciness is probably due to 'Belgian yeast and another hellion of a yeast strain'. This may not be the most complex beer on the planet, but it's incredibly deep and rich.

The body/mouthfeel is on the big side despite a lack of creamy voluminousness. Credit the sugars and the underachieving carbonation for that. On the other hand, I'm not sure that more bubbles would have been more better.

In late 2009, this 2005 Beast Grand Cru isn't much of a beast. Instead, it's a curiously delicious big beer that is keeping me enthralled all the way to the bottom of the bottle. When sips equals smiles, a purchase price of $7.99 for 12 ounces is well worth it.

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out similar to the Samuel, the color was a dark brownish amber. With a small thin head on top. There isn't much lacing from the head but the beer itself is thick and coats the glass lightly with a swirl of the glass. The smell of the beer is also very boozy and sweet smelling. The taste of the beer has a oaky sweetness to it with a slight tart flavor in there too. The beer has a big amount of complexity to it. It goes through several changes from start to finish. The mouthfeel of this beer was pretty thick feeling and smooth. Oily and dry as well. Overall it's a pretty intense brew. Fits well in this series.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a Snifter

A - Poured a very deep and dark hazy caramel colored brown with a small maybe a half an inch high head of off white lace. Lots of sediment pour into the glass at the end. A very cloudy look and kinda flat looking.

S - The aroma was full of bourbon like alcohol. Very strong and pungent you could tell right away that this one was going to mean business. Once you could make your way past all the hot alcohol it came up with a nice caramel like aroma that was lying underneath.

T - The flavor was very big. It was very hot with alcohol, which at almost 15% you could expect it to be there. If you work past this you come up on a very nice sugary treat. Nice deep flavors of wood and maple with a touch of a grainy like back to it. Some dark fruits were also apparent with hints at prunes and plums and figs making their presence known.

M - The feel was intresting. While this was defintly not very well carbonated, it was nonetheless not very flat either. A decent smooth creamy medium body was about what I would expect. The finish was long and drawn out.

D - This was not something you are going to hav more then one of in a night. This was definitly a hge beer and it was easy to see how it could get you in trouble.

Overall I really did not know what to expect ofut of this but was pleasantly suprised. The alcohol was there but it was understated for the volume and I had ni issue finishing this despite being so strong. I would pick up another if I saw it.

Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a cloudy amber/copper color with a finger or two worth of white head that has some pretty good retention.

S: A pleasantly sweet nose that is quite reminiscent of an aged barleywine. Sweet caramel and vanilla as well as plenty of brown sugar. Not much in the way of hops or anything else.

T: Very similar on the tongue as it opens up with a big caramel sweetness. Some brown sugar and toffee follow along with a fair amount of vanilla notes. A very subtle bitterness is present on the finish.

M: The body is definitely full, but not syrupy due to a rather lively carbonation which is impressive for such a high alcohol beer.

D: This beer is surprisingly easy to drink while it's nice and cool. Normally for a beer like this, I like to let it come up to temperature a little bit, but I do not advise that with this particular beer (things get a little rough).

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

batch 10. pours a caramel color without much carbonation and a very noticable density wel above normal brews. it smells like booze, very sweet, like molasses and brewing sugars. there is also some whiskey characteristics to it, charcoal and vanilla. the flavor is very very sweet, much more of a spirit than a beer i feel like. there is some definite spice to it behind the sweet, the alcohol is intense, and there is a sugary film left in the mouth after each sip. its really potent, but its not overwhelming until it warms up to room temp, then it can be pretty punishing. its a nice beer to share after dinner, but not something you drink several of to your head. avery has got these big beers pretty well dialed, but this is perhaps my least favorite of the bunch, just due to the crazy sugar levels.

Photo of largadeer
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%

« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,220 ratings.