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The Beast Grand Cru - Avery Brewing Company

The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru

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

983 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 983
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 16.36%

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: 983 | Reviews: 535 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Jamesthebrit


3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Paired this with some nice bacon garlic steamed clams.

A: Hazy brown with more carbonation that I thought there would be.

S: Powerful... smooth... complex. Well balanced. A good sweetness. A little woody smell.

T: Pretty intense and the balance seems a little off. A dry sweetness dominates which I can only imagine if the alcohol. There is a nice oak note but it seems overpowered.

M: Very intense. A nice flavor development is quickly overpowered by the huge alcoholic body.

Overall this is not the beer for me. I thought I'd like it, having very much enjoyed JW Lees harvest ales but this beer seemed considerably less balanced. There are some great flavors but they just get overpowered by the body and alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2012 16:19:38 | More by Jamesthebrit
Photo of DavidST


3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter, July 2012 release. This pours a dark mahogany brown, with a surprisingly large (for the abv) tan head which has a longer than expected retention which leaves a lacing. Right away on the nose I get a big load of alcohol, the potency of this isn't hidden, there is a little vanilla and some caramel but its hard to smell past the alcohol. The feel is mostly thick. The taste is okay, the alcohol burn is very present and that's the dominate taste, beyond that you get some sweetness, but its all secondary to the alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2012 05:10:45 | More by DavidST
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2012 16:48:02 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of gtermi


3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours a nice dark amber with a thin tan head that quickly fades.

S: There is a strong amount of alcohol on the nose, with a decent amount of sweet grain and a sort of strong wine scent.

T: This beer is very boozy. There is a nice sweet caramel flavor that lingers forever and like the scent, a strong wine presence.

M: This beer is very crisp and leaves a weird coating in mouth. The beer also burns as it goes down.

O: This is a decent beer, but nothing crazy. I would for sure try it again if I had the chance, but I wont go out of my way to get it though.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2012 07:18:00 | More by gtermi
Photo of WanderingFool


3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 Beast

The beer pours a hazy mahogany color with a tiny head. The foam leaves a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is very malty with notes of oak, vanilla, dark fruit (raisin, cherry) and alcohol. It's sugary and musty. Very interesting.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is syrupy and smooth. Mild carbonation. The flavor is very sweet. Caramel, dark fruit (cherry, grapes, plum), candy sugar are followed by bread and alcohol. Finishes with some medicinal alcohol. Once gone the alcohol and dark fruit notes linger on the palate.

This is definitely a sipping beer. Let it age to mellow out the alcohol and share with friends.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2012 01:31:26 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Released August 2011.

Beer is a dark reddish brown colour with a small beige head. Head begins to dissipate right away.

Pretty big smell. Caramel, toffee, booze, dark fruit (raisin, date), molasses. Sweet.

The taste is quite boozy and hot. Perhaps a year wasn't long enough to sit on this bottle. Sweet caramel malt is strongly present. Dark fruit is there but not as much as expected. It really is not very Belgian to me at all. I agree with those who place it more in the English barleywine territory. Very sweet and very hot.

Alcohol burn is the defining trait of this beer, mouthfeel wise. Full bodied, moderate carbonation. Stings. Hard to drink.

Overall, just too strong. Perhaps I could appreciate the flavours more if the booze was tuned down, but as it is this is just not very enjoyable. Also too sweet.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2012 20:37:13 | More by jrenihan
Photo of zeledonia


4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 11 August 2009. 15.07% ABV, per the label. Thanks to BigTomZ for the bottle. Tasted 14 August 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a murky medium brown-amber. One finger of yellowish head, gone quickly, but leaves nice lacing.

Smell is delightfully sweet, deep, and fruity. Sugary, full of raisins and dates. I like sweet beers, and I really think I'm going to like this. No sign of the alcohol, which is shocking to me.

Taste is much like the smell, but better and fuller. Rich, complex, and very fruity. Hits of port, plums, and tobacco. A touch over-sweet, but my tastes can forgive that. Alcohol rears up at the end, but considering how strong this beer is, it's a very gentle beast.

Mouthfeel: slick, syrupy, sticky goodness. I can feel the residual sugars in this, and given how much sugar was converted to alcohol, the malt bill must have been absolutely massive. Carbonation is good, maybe a little low, but solid for a beer 3 years old.

I'll admit that I like sweet beers, and those who don't might find this one unpalatable. But there's so much to it, so much variety in those sugars, that I find it hard not to like. And I honestly cannot imagine a beer that better masks its alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2012 18:13:28 | More by zeledonia
Photo of AgentMunky


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a brandy snifter. Bottled in 2009 (Batch 7). 15.07% ABV. 1.134 OG.

A: Light head. Clear orange. Good lacing.

S: Big and boozy. Spicy grapes (brandy?). It reminds me of Angel's Share. A bit of a old ale.

T: Mmm. Immense, but (like my memory of Samael) a bit *too* big. On the strong (harsh?) side with a rich sweetness that comes from a myriad of sources -- raisins, dates, molasses, honey, brown sugar, *and* candy sugar. The dates and candy sugar seem the most prominent, but are balanced by the aforementioned alcohol and (can it be?) spicy European hops. Endtaste is cloyingly try.

M: A little flat and sweet, with a touch of spice at the end.

O: Pretty alright. Drinkable for the ABV. Recommended, but slightly inferior to Samael, if only because I've already sampled Avery's high-strength ales.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2012 05:31:46 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of ummswimmin

New Jersey

4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up this bottle for aging. Then I picked up another bottle, since I forgot about buying one already. This bottle is dated from 2010 (batch 8). I expect to open my 2011 bottle in three to five years.

This beer smells great. You immediately get the sour before the glass reaches your nose. There is also the pre-requisite dark fruit presence that comes with most Belgian Strong Dark beers. I think I might smell a touch of sour cherry, but I could be imagining it. There is also some tobacco in there.

The flavor is rich and luxurious. You get a ton of alcohol presence in the first sip. This would be perfect in a snifter... you could sip it by a fire. I have seen it paired with a cigar on the New Brew Thursday podcast. You get a ton of dark fruit.

This is a very full bodied beer. I commend Avery for this offering. This is an impressive beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2012 22:57:13 | More by ummswimmin
Photo of tobelerone


3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 6, 2008 bottling. I enjoyed this one a lot more than I expected based on the reviews I read here. Been sitting on this bottle for years and finally decided to give it a shot. Somewhat one-dimensional; big and sweet, but highly tasty nonetheless. More like an English barleywine than a Belgian-style strong ale.

Dark gold color, small and quickly falling head, minimal lace. Some dark chunky stuff at the bottom of the glass. Aroma of sweet malt, caramel, toffee, dark fruits (raisins, figs, dates), heady alcohol fumes.

Thankfully the boozy heat has been tamed somewhat in the flavor. It’s still there but isn’t tasted too assertively and is more felt in a pleasant warmth as you work your way through the glass. This beer is all about sweet and syrupy malts, dark fruits, brown sugar and caramel. Some spice detectable, but not much in the way of Belgian yeast character and no hops to speak of. Has a port-wine feel and taste.

Moderately thick and heavy in the mouth, syrupy and a little sticky, with modest levels of carbonation. Not something I’d want to drink a whole bottle of, but was perfect for sharing and getting 6 ounces each.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2012 17:25:47 | More by tobelerone
Photo of vbiliyar


4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle picked up off the shelf at Marty's a few days ago.

A: Looks fine. Still pours a good head.

S: Smell's extremely sweet, slightly of alcohol. My nose isn't great, but I like what I smell.

T: Sweet and syrupy with a slight tinge of bitterness at the end (very slight...). A lot more tasty than most BSDAs / Quads I've had (along with a lot more sugar). Huge fan.

M: Not noticing much of an alcohol bite, which I kind of miss. I think I would enjoy a fresher, boozier bottle honestly, but most will find this vintage really appealing I think.

O: Fantastic if you like letting the alcohol mellow out a bit. I'm a big fan of Avery's big beers fresh, but this one definitely did it for me too.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2012 22:12:23 | More by vbiliyar
Photo of BostonHops


4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a snifter.
2010 vintage. (16.21% ABV)

pours a translucent deep amber tone with a quickly dissipating finger of tan head (unsurprising given the heat of this one); patchy lacing.

nose is rife with caramel, toasted malt - sort of reminiscent of a barleywine. notable presence of dark fruits; very slightly astringent. alcohol is a player.

flavor profile follows the nose. sweet and malty with notes of dark fruit, candied sugar, and a touch of molasses. very boozy (north of 16% ABV, how could it not be), especially in the finish. to me this is more barleywine territory than BSDA, but tasty nonetheless. would like to try this beer with some age on it.

syrupy, medium-full mouthfeel with adequate carbonation. the quintessential sipper.

originally reviewed: 03-14-2011

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2012 04:14:47 | More by BostonHops
Photo of Spider889


2.33/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2011 batch served on draft at the brewpub on 9/24/11.

Served in a mini snifter. I drank this side by side (split the two with a friend) with Samael's. While we did decide that Samael's was better, the two frankly were much more similar than they were different.

The Beast has decent clarity to it as well as over abundant carbonation. The head had risen above the top of the glass post pour (like while the waitress was serving it to us, yikes). The head had a thick meringue texture and staying power, and leaves amazing rings of thick lace on the glass. More impressive appearance than Samael's, though the clarity is the main reason this doesn't get a "5" for appearance score.

The aroma is boozy right off the bat. You'd think that at these levels of alcohol Samael's and The Beast would seem equivelant on the alcohol impression, but at 1.5% higher, The Beast definitely makes its fusel properties known... in a big, beastly sort of way. Aromas of a thick, dense mixture of stone fruit and leather are present underneath the blanket of alcohol. The back end of the aroma is nearing solvent territory.

Tastes very sweet (but less so than Samael's) but has a hint of hop assertiveness. Bitter with a harsh biting alcohol bent. This Beast bites back.

The mouthfeel is what you'd expect from such a beer - heavy, with strong alcohol burning and extreme (EXTREME!) sweetness.

Overall this is just too much to drink more than a sample of. My friend and I were actually arguing over who had to finish the last of this and the Samael's. Then again, I'm not all that fond of shots or sipping on brandy/sherry.

The last of my notes proclaim this to be "He-Man's sperm." Yep. This is strong enough to put Chuck Norris to shame. Beast on my friends. Beast on...

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2012 09:40:10 | More by Spider889
Photo of thegodfather2701

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a reddish amber with an off-white head that dissipates slowly but leaves no real lacing or cascading.

S-Super malty and boozy. It smells very strong, which should be expected since it is 16.83%.

T-Very similar to the nose as malts and booze dominate the flavor profile. It is a strong and in your face beer with hints of dried fruits. It tastes more like an American Strong Ale or Barleywine.

M-Thick and creamy, which was really nice.

D-This is a sipper due to its high abv., booziness, and strong flavor.

Overall, this is a good beer but be careful with this one because it could sneak up on you.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2012 14:14:04 | More by thegodfather2701
Photo of billab914


3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage poured from a 12oz bottle. It poured a deep caramel color with a thin frothy head to it.

The aroma has candi sugar, dried fruits and some Belgian yeast spices to it. There are some pretty bold malty, caramel flavors to it as well. Not too bad on alcohol for how high the abv is. It comes together pretty well.

The taste shows more of the earthy yeast spices to it throughout. The finish is a little hot with the alcohol pretty noticeable. The nice malty, caramel and dried fruits that were in the nose seem overshadowed in the taste.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. Overall, it was a pretty decent beer but not a real outstanding one. The alcohol and the yeast spice dominated a little too much in the taste for me.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2012 00:54:12 | More by billab914
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle poured into tulip 2/5/12 batch 9 16.83% bottle sent out by Rutager

A clear dark amber with a few bubbles floating up to a loose beige finger of foam that's gone quickly and leaves no lace

S smells sweet with lots of dried fruit and some molasses with a big booze blast, dark toffee and some more booze

T as it smells really, sweet caramels and booze with dried fruit, I like it but I don't love it, pretty sweet and boozy

M thick and syrupy with a lots of booze, its hot but not ridiculous considering the strength, it could use more bubbles but not flat

O I could see this beer being brilliant if it wasn't for the boozy heat, needs age and lots of it, decades perhaps

I can see where there going with this one and perhaps I'm not doing it any justice drinking it "fresh" (6 months old), the booze is killing the good qualities but it's still a pretty decent beer today. Yet another big thank you to Rutager for killing another want from my list, I need to make a new want list after trading with him because he killed it

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2012 06:03:53 | More by wordemupg
Photo of jsisko01


3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I have the 2005 batch, and it is 4-28-12.. Hopefully this is still good. I don't know much about this beer style.

Appearance - Pours a VERY dark brown color with a thin light brown head. Has thin, creamy lacing.

Smell - Strong scent of whiskey and oak. Coffee is also present.

Taste - Very sweet and fruity, dark fruits. The alcohol is very present and quite bitter. There is also a strong honey flavor, along with brown sugar and maybe a nut character? It leaves a fruity flavor in your mouth for a long time after and on the lips too.

Mouthfeel - Thick body with very minimal carbonation. It is 7 years old after all..

Overall - I'm actually surprised it's not as bad as I anticipated. But I would never drink this again.. lol

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2012 04:09:33 | More by jsisko01
Photo of UCLABrewN84


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 JDizzle


3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a vintage from 2007. Picked up for $2.50 a bottle!!!! Got at least 8 of them along with a few Samael's. Lucky me

Pours really cloudy with tons of sediment. Almost no head and looks fairly flat with no bubbles. Color is somewhat of a brown copper.

Well...alcohol is very present in the aroma. Smells like ultra sweet dark fruits, like prunes and figs.

Taste like brown sugar concentrate with a little Belgian yeast in there. The dark fruits dominate as well as the booze. You get a nice warming feeling as it goes down.

No carbs at all-It is 5 years old though, so no fault here.

Glad I got to try a bunch of these, but at a huge discount. I would not pay retail-ever.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 01:37:12 | More by JDizzle
Photo of vandemonian


3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Avery Beast is sweet, malty and boozy. It's nice, but don't expect much else.

A: Red in colour with a big 12 mm head that lasts very well. 4.5

S: Malty with some oxidised aromas. 3.5

T: Malty and sweet with some noticeable alcohol in the finish. There are also some roasty, caramel flavours from the more toasted malts. 3.5

M: Thick and reasonably foamy. 4

O: 3.5

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2012 03:12:37 | More by vandemonian
Photo of SawDog505

New Hampshire

2.8/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a 20 oz Duvel tulip, bottled in 2009. Poured aggressively and got a large 2 inch off white, that leaves some lacing. The beer is a cloudy brownish red. Smell is strong brown sugar, fig, prunes, banana bread, and some booze. Taste is very pungent burnt brown sugar, dark fruits, banana bread, and warming alcohol. Body is large, good amount of carbonation for its massive ABV, a little dry, and a sipper for sure. This is a hybrid beer, quadish/english barleywine, not my favorite flavors. Love Mephistopheles, Meph Addict, Samael Ale, but not this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2012 00:29:59 | More by SawDog505
Photo of b3shine


3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 6. Bottle to tulip. Looks okay; brown and opaque with very little head. Smells pretty good; sweet and BOOZY! Tastes a little too strong for my liking. It's like a BB barleywine that is lacking balance. Mouthfeel is average, even for the high abv. Overall, I'm glad I got to try it, but I wouldn't seek it out again.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2012 20:14:46 | More by b3shine
Photo of crosborne


1.75/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Batch 9, 2011
Tasted like a bad Barley Wine where the goal to reach a high ABV overrides the goal to make a good flavorful beer. I suffered through 3/4 of this before I poured it out.
Overly harsh alcohol flavor.
The best thing about this beer is the cool looking bottle

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 12:47:23 | More by crosborne
Photo of BeerDawgs


4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 6, bottled in 2008. Picked up in downtown Nashville in December of 2011, $9.99 a bottle

A - Red and cloudy, slight head, a touch of lace on the glass. Cloudy cloudy!!!

S - Brown sugar, nectar, honey! Very sweet.

T - Sweet nectar of the gods! Belgian candy, and yeast very present. Lots of brown sugar and honey. Definitely a damn good Grand Cru.

M - Well, its aged 4 years, so not much carbonation. Warms towards the end, due to the alcohol.

O - As good as a Grand cru can get in my opinion. 16% ABV is well hidden, but it definitely hits your head by the end. I think aging this beer did alot for it. The sweet malts and belgian yeast dominate.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 02:04:28 | More by BeerDawgs
Photo of ptykozoon


1.85/5  rDev -51.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pretty ruby. Lacing on the rim.

Pungent sweets - grape, raisin. Mixed with smoke and oak, rounded out with alcohol.

Raisin, chocolate, lots of molasses, spice, burnt things. This is not working for me - these flavors just don't work in this beer.

Thick mouthfeel with a decent alcohol bite.

I see what this beer is going for and it fails. The problem is it is completely unrestrained and unrefined. Truly a beast.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2012 22:43:28 | More by ptykozoon
The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 983 ratings.