Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

The Beast Grand Cru - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

575 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 575
Hads: 1,263
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 16.09%
Wants: 73
Gots: 352 | FT: 23
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
Batch 12 (2015): 17.2% ABV
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 575 | Hads: 1,263
Photo of HattedClassic
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a very creamy off-white head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is an opaque plum purple with a bit of red notes. The beer smell has strong dark fruit notes such as plum with a bit of raisin and honey notes. The smell also has a slight hint of alcohol to it. The taste is very strong compared to the smell. The beer has strong dark fruit notes and raisins in addition to an alcohol note that gives a little burn and improves the sweet flavor from the other notes. The honey also makes an appearance in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth but still a little thick to the tongue. The carbonation is minimal, which allows the beer to be pretty smooth. Overall, the beer is pretty good and not too bad even though there are better strong dark ales. The flavors mix well enough to provide a fairly fruity and sweet beer that is worth getting again. (875 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

2010 vintage.

Pours a murky medium brown with copper tones and a foamy one inch khaki head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving minimal lacing.

Dark Belgian candi sugar, nutty toasted malt, alcohol, raisins, and dark cherries form the initial aroma. Very complex. There's a cola quality at the base, along with dates and lots of indescribable Belgian yeast esters.

Flavor is focused on dark fruit, with prunes, raisins, and dates dominating throughout, and dark cherry esters offering contrast. Lacks a bit of the umami quality promised in the aroma. Grassy hops, of all things, become noticeable mid palate. Decidedly sweet, there's significant caramel, brown sugar, and lightly toasted malt present.

Body is fairly thick, with moderate to light carbonation and significant alcohol warmth. Almost fusel.

Could use a few years to tame the alcohol. Definitely a sipper. Fairly complex, though more so in the aroma than flavor. (933 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Batch 10, from July of 2012.

Three fingers of head? That's absurd for 16%. Russet red color and impressive visible carbonation. Bonus points for lacing.

First, alcohol... then toffee, rum raisin, rhubarb, candi sugar, and prune. Very potent nose with some dehydrated fruit and dark malts.

Sweet candi sugar and dried fruit open things up; alcohol rushes in and flexes big all the way through the finish. Belgique, in the yeast and their esters. Black cherry, hard tack, phenolic-like cooked rhubarb, and a hint of clove. Hard to dissect with all of this alcohol.

Huge, sticky, a little rough. The fact that the carbonation brings it is the best aspect. Body is thick, but not so much creamy.

Mega big, but with personality. Too much to try again. And, too big for the style. Traded the delicate for the beastiness. (819 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

August 2011, Batch #9.
Poured in to tulip.

A - Medium copper with a slight orange glow around the edges. Opaque. A thin layer of dirty reddish brown head formed.

S - Sweet candy sugar, brown sugar, caramel and molasses with some bready notes and raisin and fig aromas.

T - A big sweetness hits the tongue right away and immediately gives way to a huge warming alcohol presence . Brown sugar, toffee, raisin, date, spice and some lighter yeast esters and clove flavours. The finish has a hint of sweet molasses. Drinks well for being almost 17% ABV.

M - Medium to full body. Creamy. Light carbonation. (606 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
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. (1,439 characters)

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz Batch 9 bottle poured into a wine glass at cellar temperature.

L – Amber-brown color with a 2-finger foamy cream-colored head. Pretty good retention but not much lacing. Clear with a moderate amount of bubbles. I understand that the head characteristics may not be so good because of the high ABV, but this is supposed to be a Belgian.

S – Wow, this beer smells crazy hot at first but more comes out the more that I smell it. I’m getting caramel malt, molasses, raisins, plums, dates, black cherries, Belgian dark candi sugar, a little bit of peppery yeast, and definitely a good bit of alcohol. Much more complex than I thought it was at first.

T – Sweet all the way through with caramel malt, dark candi sugar, molasses, plums, raisins, figs, dates, and honey. A bit of peppery yeast spice comes in toward the finish and then there is the awesome near-bitterness from the alcohol.

F – Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a sticky and hot (but not in a bad way) mouthfeel, and a sweet and dry finish. Sweet dark fruit and candi sugar flavors linger nicely. There is definitely a throat-and-palate-warming sensation from the alcohol that lingers almost as long as a liquor’s would.

O – This is a really nice beer and actually much better than I thought it was going to be. It has a very high ABV at 16.83%, but it ends up being very drinkable. It is decently complex, very sweet, and pretty tasty. Unfortunately for this beer score-wise, it happens to be a member of a style that holds some of the best, most complex beers in the world. So while the score may not reflect how good the beer is (I rate in reference to style always), this is definitely a very good beer. (1,694 characters)

Photo of Moss
4.55/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Release July 2012 Batch No 10. Cellaring another for review once aged 5-10 years.

A - One finger light tan head, reddish brown beer with somewhat of a haze to it. Leaves good lacing going down the glass.

S - Smells of slight alcohol with a smell of dates and molasses.

T - Wow. Strong with a very upfront alcohol taste and a very nice warming effect afterwards. Taste of dates, plums, honey, molasses, and goodness. Sweetness from the candi sugar. This may very well be one of my favorite tasting beers. May be hard to cellar the other one for a long time without temptations.

M - Medium - Heavy bodied.

Overall - Very impressed. This beer is great. I look forward to trying the other one in years to come. (711 characters)

Photo of mscudder
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes.

A - Milky beige, somewhat cloudy, hue with a 1" tan head.

S - Smooth, sweet booze. Lots of booze... Sticky molasses is clinging to my nostrils.

T - Sweet caramelized sugars with a heavy alcohol warmth.

M - Full bodied, as if I was sipping on a bottle of molasses. Large ABV opens the beer up after a few moments.

O - Great balance for a beer of this size. I would enjoy another of these in the future, granted I could never dream of throwing back a pair. (480 characters)

Photo of ElCommodoro
5/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is probably the best beer I've ever had. It's intensely sweet, but it makes up for it by having a malt character reminiscent of scotch and by tasting like many different dried fruits at once. The typical raisin/prune flavour still dominates, though. This is the ultimate sipping beer. I need to get another one to do a better review, but I needed to leave something here so I'd remember how amazing this was. (413 characters)

Photo of davey101
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 5, 2007, 16.42% abv. Foil topped 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a clear dark red/amber body with lots of rising carbonation. A small head forms but sizzles away leaving behind a beautiful edging of light tan foam. A swirl produces thin lacing and nice alcoholic legs. Certainly doesn't look like a big beer.

S - Huge alcohol presence. Once you get past that though its a rather complex and layered BSDA. Rich caramel and toffee malt, honey, expired dried prunes and raisins, Christmas spices, wet cardboard, soy sauce and some vanilla. Incredibly sweet with just a touch of savory, really unique aroma.

T - Toffee and caramel malt lead into gobs of raisins, vanilla, and spice. A bit savory towards the end with some soy sauce. Slight oxidation actually compliments the beer. Somewhat one dimensional but full of flavor. The alcohol is very warming but pleasant. Mouth feel is thin yet syrupy with medium carbonation. The alcohol seems to break up any mouth feel by numbing the tongue anyways.

O - This has held up surprisingly well. I can't say I feel inspired to buy any more of this, but I'm glad I finally caved in to try it. I feel like this beer is just over the hill. (1,194 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a teeny tiny brown head even with a relatively aggressive pour. Aroma of heavy bourbon and more vanilla than I have smelled in a barrel aged before. Small bit of roasted grain. Bourbon flavor explodes on the palate up front even more than I expected. Lasting vanilla & cocoa after swallowing that is pretty intense. As it fades there is an additional punch of chocolate and hint of espresso out of nowhere. Very complex. Heavy on the palate, very warming. Just the right level of sweetness. Want more... (524 characters)

Photo of SkeeterBoganski
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed the 2011 version at the brewery

Drinking from a 4-oz snifter; still, good head...half inch; still fizzing as it sits; dark cherry in color; says its made with 6 hops, 6 sugars, 6 malts; smells very malty, sweet; on a first sip, it's got serious punch; tastes ALOT like Samiclaus; very cherry sweet; has a bread flavor on the backend, oddly enough; I can't get over the malt taste in it; love the experimentation here, although there's a flavor profile that is a little bitter; this has to be the last beer I try here...it's a palate destroyer! (552 characters)

Photo of StoneTSR
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: The beer is much lighter in color than I remember it from my several taproom experiences with it. Unlike in the taproom, this one also has a little bit of head, maybe a quarter-inch or so that lasts for a couple minutes. A lighter shade of burgundy and clear, with no haze, the foam of the Beast tries to cling to the edges of the glass, but with each sip it slides down, leaving no lacing for more than a few seconds.

SMELL: There is a ton of malt in this beer and every ounce of it is present in the nose here. It smells remarkably like a Dogfish Head creation, with that slightly raisin-like smell that I get in World Wide Stout, it also has that boozy aroma.

TASTE: This is a complex beer to say the least. Orange came through the most for me and that was the first and most dominant flavor throughout. Some of the raisin from the nose pulled through along with a host of other dark fruits. Caramel, vanilla and a touch of oak also make appearances and the alcohol, while not as strong as it could be, is certainly present.

MOUTHFEEL: This is an enormous beer in terms of body and it is super sweet. The finsih dries up a little bit, but it is not enough to avoid a boozy and sugary mouthcoating aftertaste. At 16.83% this beer also can make you feel a little drunk. Even now after just 8 ounces, I am feeling it.

OVERALL: For a lot of breweries this would be their best effort by leaps and bounds. In Avery's case, it is not their best, but it is an excellent showcase of what they can do with malt. Of course, it still has 63 IBUs. Great celebration beer. Grab a couple bottles and save them for future Christmas gatherings, that would be the perfect time to break them out. (1,697 characters)

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Finally time to break this one out of the cellar! Batch 6, bottled 2008. Brewed with two-row, honey malt, aromatic, pale wheat, roasted wheat, and Special B, along with raisins, dates, alfalfa honey, turbinado, and dark Belgian candy sugar. Poured into a Chimay chalice. 16.31% abv? Let's get it on!

Appearance: Nearly opaque dark amber beer; very much like unfiltered, raw (i.e. the good stuff) apple cider like you'd get at an orchard. A bit different, for sure, but the lasting light tan cap of foam on top is quite nice, especially with 4 years on this bad boy.

Smell: Waves of caramel, dark/caramelized sugars, toasty Belgian malts (esp. biscuit). A hint of boozy dark fruit. Massive and pleasant; even with four years on it, this is borderline overpowering (in a good way). Sticky dark fruits (dates) as well as hints of hard candy

Taste: Tons of sweet sticky caramel, slightly burnt toast, toasty pale malt, sugared dates, and a mean hit of (clean, at least) alcohol on the finish. Rich, potent, and full, with a surprising bitterness on the finish (maybe a combination of hops and higher alcohols?) So, SO much better than several years ago when I had this (much fresher) on tap, and it tasted like cheap fruit brandy with nothing but burn. Complex and challenging.

Mouthfeel: Full, fairly smooth.

Conclusion: Challenging, rewarding, and (even at this age) ALMOST over-the-top. These used to go for around $5.99 for a 12oz. At that price, I might well get another one-or two to put down for 4-5 years, as my two experiences with this beer have taught me that age is DEFINITELY a component to enjoying it fully.

B+/A- (major points for subdued alcohol w/aging and nice melding of sweet date and caramel flavors, esp. since this was not cellared under anything like ideal conditions for 2 of its 4 years) (1,833 characters)

Photo of Jamesthebrit
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (724 characters)

Photo of DavidST
3.21/5  rDev -15.3%
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. (562 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (804 characters)

Photo of gtermi
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
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. (574 characters)

Photo of WanderingFool
3.87/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (643 characters)

Photo of jrenihan
3.37/5  rDev -11.1%
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. (821 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
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. (1,204 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (839 characters)

Photo of ummswimmin
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
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. (858 characters)

Photo of tobelerone
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (1,154 characters)

Photo of vbiliyar
4.48/5  rDev +18.2%
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. (703 characters)

The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 575 ratings.