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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: 1,327
Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.19/5  rDev -16.7%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
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!

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Photo of brentk56
3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
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

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -21.7%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
4.69/5  rDev +22.5%
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.

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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 BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
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!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a crystal-clear reddish-copper body beneath a creamy, yellow-tinged head that dwindles down to just a thin collar with nary a scant touch of lacing left on the glass. It just cannot hold, but that's to be expected in any beer that boasts 18.1% alcohol by volume!

The nose delivers bright, juicy, vinous and tropical fruits (apples, berries, prunes, red grapes, raisins, wine, melon, pineapple, and even a bit of cocoanut) over a honeyish, bready, and dough-like maltiness. (I'm guessing the yeast strain is White Labs Belgian Ale - WLP550, or the Wyeast equivalent. I think it may be derived from Chimay because I'm linking that fruit and spice characteristic to the Chimay Grande Reserve... just pumped up a notch! But I could be wrong, However, there has to be a Champagne yeast at work here to boost it to it's incredible alcohol level - unless it's a distiller's yeast).

The flavor is even fuller than the nose indicates, with a much wider fruitiness, more bready maltiness, and a whallop of palate-and brain-wrecking alcohol! It's like Samichlaus infused with fruit juice, wine, a handful of raisins, and a splash of vodka! It starts and finishes almost the same; but there's so much there in between! It finishes drying, mostly because of its alcohol, but there's a bold bitterness at work there as well.

Forgiving the heat of this bad boy, this is a remarkable Belgian strong ale, although I tend to think of it more as a barleywine fermented with Belgian yeast. Of course, it wouldn't be a barleywine then, would it?

It suffers in the "overall" drinkability category due to its intense alcoholic push, but if you have just a small 8 ounce glass you migh pine for another - which leads me to a 4.5 for drinkability.

This is probably Avery's best, and it's unusual at that, as they seem to try to hit the mark for the style on their other beers (and grand cru is not a style, it simply means "great vintage"), but this one is way out there. And, the alcohol is kind of a defect as well, yet all of their other beers are very well done. Let's just call this one a 'crazy-assed enigma'. But I do have one final note... why was this not put into the 12 oz bottles? 22 oz is enough for 4 to share!

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Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
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).

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Photo of Rifugium
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at ?

Hazy, and dark golden color. Minimal head and not much in the way of lacing, as would be expected. Nose of dark, dried fruits, molasses, and alcohol. Taste was similar to the smell, pleasant dark fruits...and alcohol. Pretty smooth and somewhat thick in the mouth, with some heat.

Ranges between 14-18% ABV depending on the batch. I've had the 2008 (16.3%) and the 2011 (16.2%). Good, but it loses drinkability due to the high ABV, though for a high ABV it isn't as harsh as you'd imagine. Just not as tasty as say, a DFH World Wide Stout.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.29/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

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Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2005 vintage. Pours a cloudy very dark reddish brown color with a small dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace that lingers. Slight spotty foamy lacing on the glass. Aromas of huge raisin, prune, fig, toast, toffee, chocolate, molasses, earth, licorice, tobacco, honey, dark bread, candi sugar, and light earthy yeast esters. Incredible and highly complex aromas with great balance and strength. Taste of big raisin, prune, fig, toffee, molasses, toast, dark bread, earth, tobacco, candi sugar, honey, light licorice, light hop spiciness, and light earthy yeast esters. Lingering notes of dark fruits, toffee, molasses, toast, dark bread, earth, tobacco, light licorice, candi sugar, honey, and earthy spiciness on the finish for a while. Damn nice malty flavor balance with big complexity; with a good balance of maltiness with light earthy spiciness; and slight lingering sweetness on the finish, that is minimally cloying. Light carbonation and very full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and syrupy mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is extremely well hidden at 15% with only a moderate warming noticed after the finish; definitely a sipper. Overall this is a highly excellent Belgian strong dark ale. Huge flavor complexity and balance of malty flavors; and very smooth to sip on slowly. A very enjoyable offering with this amount of age, though I have never tried it fresh.

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Photo of russpowell
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper to ruddy red with effervesnce & a 2 fingers deep tan head. Head falls off to healthy film & had good lacing

Smell: Leather and fruitcake

Taste: Alcohol up frunt, leather, cherry & sherry cask (oak) notes. Christmas pudding like flavor. finishes sweet & dry. I'm sure the profile changes immensly with time. Dry & sweet finish

MF: Syruppy with light carbonation

A little to much alcohol up front for the kid! But a very nice beer that would hold its own in Belgium, just doubt it would sell to well @$6,25 ,er 5 euro a bottle. My only real gripe, the price! Having said that, i wish more brewers would go this route versus the $20-30 bomber or 750ML bottles

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Photo of smcolw
3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Incredible six-finger head that is slow to settle. Lots of lace on the glass. Dark amber in color and clear enough to read print through the glass.

Initial smells: sour cherries, fermented honey, melon and candy sugar. The alcohol is powerful and somewhat antiseptic on the nose. I can tell that this a beer with a helluva punch.

One could almost describe this as a barley brandy. This is a sipping beer with a ton of alcohol warmth, a mild sweetness and a peppery feel on the tongue. The aftertaste has a touch hop in the background, but it is nearly all thick malt and alcohol. Rich mouthfeel with adequate carbonation to prevent the liquor from becoming syrupy.

I'm afraid that this is too much in so many ways. If I let myself drift into the thought of having a smoking jacket, a wingback chair and an English Setter by my slippered feet, then every sip is grand. Alas, I have none of those except for a weathered (and quite pedestrian) set of slippers.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 12/1/11 notes. Had on tap at Churchkey at the Avery tap takeover event. Batch 7 - 2009 vintage.

a - Pours a reddish amber color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells very sweet fruits, molasses, sugar, alcohol, raisins, and light burnt malts. Alcohol is present, and very sweet.

t - Tastes of very sweet fruits, roasted malts, alcohol, raisins, light toasted malts. Fruit is dominating and way too sweet. A step down from the nose.

m - Medium to thick full body, low carbonation. Somewhat smooth but some alcohol warmth.

o - Overall a decent beer, but way too sweet in the taste. Alcohol is there but not as bad as I expected; may be due to it being 2 years old. Worth trying and probably ages well, but a bit too sweet for me.

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

Batch 4 2006 (sampled 9/06)

Whoa momma. First off this puppy has a 14.9% ABV in it, but it is masked by a complex and thorough palate. For some it might be a bit too syrupy or sweet, although I think right now that might have to do with it’s age. It pours a reddish hue with massive bubbles that I could almost stick a pencil through. Okay, maybe they are not THAT big.

I wish I could lay this one down, but I am in a wandering stage right now in life, so it would only be able to sit for a few months instead of a few years.

I think that the thick flavor is necessary to hide that nasty alcohol flavor that too many brewers leave in high ABV brews. This is a beer drinkers beer and not for the faint hearted, though we all know it would probably be best after it is allowed to mature.

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