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The Beast Grand Cru - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,019 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,019
Reviews: 539
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 16.1%
Wants: 56
Gots: 231 | FT: 13
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:
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 11 (2013): 18:00% ABV

(Beer added by: Crosling on 01-29-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,019 | Reviews: 539 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2010 01:08:42 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2007 22:53:58 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2012 00:36:29 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -22.1%

11-24-2011 00:31:22 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.13/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2011 22:10:10 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2009 14:08:33 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2010 02:44:39 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2006 22:05:28 | More by brentk56
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 22:20:54 | More by mikesgroove
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nmann08

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

11-15-2011 17:13:53 | More by nmann08
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Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3/5  rDev -22.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2006 13:42:40 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2006 14:34:18 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
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).

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 23:43:36 | More by womencantsail
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

09-30-2012 05:16:16 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear rusted red color. Surpisingly, a rather full tan-colored head bloomed leaving a thick rings of lacing with each sip. Bottled in 2005, btw.

Smell: Honey, tawny port, and with an alcohol waft that bristles the nose. There's some fruit to be found in the aromatics as well, for me it was orange (zest) and cherries (the ones from the jar, swimming in sugary juices).

Taste: Again, sharply honey-flavored initially, which then transitions into an intense malt profile sided with the super-sweet Belgian sugars. Of course there's the mark of the dark fruits prevalent in so many of these types of beers. Hops provide a slight bitterness, but for me it can be hard to find at times amidst the stronger alcohol and sweetened components. Remarkably though, the taste of alcohol is rather "gentle" for the high ABV.

Mouthfeel: Finishes like a velvety port wine, but there's a noted astringency to it. Massive in body, almost obscenely (though lusciously) syrupy. There's also, to absolutely noone's surprise, a tingly alcohol finish.

Drinkability: It's delish - just keep it to one, and a 12-ouncer at that. If you enjoy succulent sweetness and higher ABVs, then I'd recommend this one. However, if you have an aversion to either of those, than I'd steer clear.


All I really got to say about it is: whoopeee!

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2005 10:17:02 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4/5  rDev +3.9%

10-05-2012 13:48:56 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of jaydoc
jaydoc

Kansas

4/5  rDev +3.9%

08-31-2013 03:16:49 | More by jaydoc
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

03-11-2013 05:23:00 | More by spycow
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2005 02:24:06 | More by oberon
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

05-25-2014 07:20:47 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2011 05:53:26 | More by Knapp85
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

3.29/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

I first tried this back in college, mostly for its then-ridiculous ABV. It was very hard to put down. Now, a few years later, I feel I can tame this Beast... It pours a deep auburn-ruby topped by a small sheeting of off-khaki foam. The nose comprises rich caramel, booze, a melange of dark and stone fruits, and an underlying strata of straight barley. It's all a bit much, with the booze really muddling things up, but it's not hard to deal with. The taste brings in more of the same, with the booze coming through stronger than expected and mixing with some candied orange peel for a strong, boozy, and bitter flavor; this leads the way for some grainy sweetness and a touch of toast. The body is fairly hefty, with a rather light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, this is indeed a beast, perhaps too much of one to really allow the flavors to coalesce without the undue influence of the booze. It's truly not bad, just not something I'd really wanna drink again.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 03:58:59 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.7/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 bottle

A - Poured out an opaque, deep, dark, brown with hints of ruby. It had a small, thin, tan head that left a soapy residue on the sides of the glass.

S - It smelled amazing. Raisin and other dried fruits like plum and apple. It had a strong dose of caramel aroma with some vanilla and oak notes.

T - This was a sweet tasting beer. Great dried fruit flavors (raisin and plum) with a sweet caramel taste. Alcohol flavor was quite evident with some vanilla and bourbon-like taste.

M - It was soft and chewy. A full-bodied beer that wasn't overly heavy.

D - This is a great tasting beer when it has aged properly. The '05 is far better than an '08.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2008 16:24:52 | More by zeff80
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JAHMUR

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +3.9%

11-20-2011 04:23:14 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, procured at this apparently back alley brewing concern, during Denver Beer Week (and BeerDiaries' road trip) celebrations. Batch 11, July 2013, 18% ABV - I guess the yeast is evolving, getting more hardy over time - or something.

This beer pours a clear, dark red-brick amber hue, with one finger of somewhat puffy, mostly bubbly pale beige head, which leaves little beyond a few remote specks of islet lace around the glass as things slowly sink into oblivion.

It smells of grainy, gritty caramel malt, earthy, weedy honey, mixed dried orchard fruit, brown sugar, musty figs, a bit of leafy, grassy noble hop bitterness, and a sherry-like, subdued yeasty booziness. The taste is big, bready caramel malt, concentrated syrupy demarara sugar, a further bit of spicy graininess, dusty, fruity raisins and dates, molasses, muddled roadside floral honey, a more bitter than aromatic Euro hoppiness, and a persistently befuddling understated alcohol warmth.

The bubbles are quite laid-back in their herculean, otherworldly support effort, the body an um, er, beastly medium-heavy weight, especially for the proscribed style here, and as smooth as one might expect, given the heady parameters of this offering. It finishes a tad on the sweet side, all that complex malt, even more complex sugar bill, and yet more sublimated booziness still unable to instill in me the remotest notion of scraping my tongue. Swuh?

Well, then - this seems like the ungodly stepchild of the biggest, baddest BSDA, and an even bigger, badder American Strong Ale, the kind of attractive urchin that lures you in, settles your nerves, and then BAM! - blood and weakly scripted chaos reign. Anyways, one hell of a strong ale, Belgian-influenced or otherwise, where the grandiosity of the kitchen sink approach is somehow more than enough to ward off the liqueur-esque ABV. Yeah.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2013 07:44:09 | More by biboergosum
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The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,019 ratings.