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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

982 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 982
Reviews: 535
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 16.41%

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: 982 | Reviews: 535 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TheTot


3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

2004 release

I have rated the 2011 release also so I will compare the two as well as rate this beer.

Pours a dark dark redish black color with absolutely no head to speak of. Starting off poorly. The beer is absolutely dead, no bubbles at all. The smell is similar to the un-aged version with a little more sweetness and a more well rounded smell, still harsh and not welcoming at all. Honestly I was really scared to try this beer but wow, well done Avery. The taste is nothing like the harsh smell, there is a nice vanilla/creamy taste to this beer that is unusual with a grand cru. Smooth taste throughout with a kick of the alcohol at the end, being a 15.7% it drinks so much easier than that. With trying both the 2011 release and now the 2004 I would recommend aging this beer for sure. The mouthfeel is about what you would expect from a beer with such high alcohol, you get an oily residue throughout the mouth after tasting, which is not a bad thing. Overall this beer surprised me 100%, I love Avery and am upset that they pulled out of Indiana but as far as this label is concerned I did not enjoy the 2011 release but am really enjoying the 2004 release. Age this beer if you have the means.

Serving type: growler

03-09-2012 07:30:20 | More by TheTot
Photo of rand


3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Monkey Paw, batch 11, poured into a Chimay glass

The aptly named Beast pours like oil, raisin-y in color, syrup-y in complexion. A huge bouquet of booze and caramel streams from the glass. It smells extremely sweet and boozy, like a liquor. But the taste doesn't follow - still strong and 'beastly', but there's nuance and subtlety. Raisin sweetness meets a buttery creaminess meets a touch of floral hop astringency. The alcohol warms, but for 17%? It's actually quite balanced and drinkable. It does have a sticky complexion...I think there's a bit still stuck between my teeth. But damn, surprisingly quaffable for such an extreme beverage.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2012 09:40:03 | More by rand
Photo of 57md


4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is light brown with an orange hue. There is a finger of head with little appreciable retention, but some nice lacing left behind. Pineapples and oranges in the nose make for a promising offering. The mouthfeel is thick with a flavor of sweet raisins and molasses dominating. There is a slight alcohol bitterness at the finish, but it is hardly noticeable considering the high ABV of this offering. There is a little pepper flavor at the end as well. This is a perfect beer for sipping by the fire with your sweetheart and a rich and sweet desert.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2012 04:41:04 | More by 57md
Photo of CuriousMonk


4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle (Batch #9 - August 2011 release). Only available in 619 cases. Pours a cloudy nut brown with almost no head. Aroma is mostly booze but also has some dried dark fruits, a little Belgian sugar and a little caramel. Taste is heavily sweet. Has a huge alcohol burn with a good bit of Belgian sugar, caramel, raisins, molasses, and dark fruit. Some bourbon barrel wood and a little vanilla in there too. Almost reminds me of a less sweet port wine. Full bodied with a thick texture. Soft carbonation and a long finish. Overall, an interesting beer that complements well with the Mephistopheles' Stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2012 22:31:23 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of russwbeck


3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 7 (2009) and 9 (2011) enjoyed on-tap side by side at Churchkey in DC

Batch 7

A: Lighter, more red than batch 9. It also has less head than batch 9, both are white. This has good lacing, but minimal retention. 4

S: Dark fruits, booze, very sweet, but balanced. 4

T: The taste is very malty, with dark fruits and booze. Very much walks the line between BSDA and a Quad. Belgian yeast, candied sugar, booze, and dark fruits all blended wonderfully to create a dangerously drinkable beer. 4.5

MF: Medium body, good carbonation, warming alcohol feeling. 4

O: Very tasty, but the alcohol was really noticeable. For a BSDA I thought this was great. It held up well with age. 4.5

Batch 9

A: Dark ruby pour with a small white head. No retention, but what does stick around laces well. 4.5

S: Licorice, dark fruits, very sweet. Like Mephistopheles, this seems a bit medicinal. Less booze than Batch 7, but more plastic...3.5

T: The taste has a lot more booze than Batch 7. The dark fruits are stronger and try to take over the drink, but fail. Pretty much all fruit and booze. Far too hot. 3.5

MF: Medium to heavy body. Below average carbonation and a warming alcohol feeling at the end. 3.5

O: This was the definition of the Avery tap takeover: The more age, the better. Too hot, too unbalanced, only OK. 3

As I always do, the ratings reflect the fresh version. Batch 7 was way better. I recommend aging this guy!


Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2012 15:44:45 | More by russwbeck
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)
Aug 2011 Batch 9 Case 649

A- This beer pours a dense brown body with a faint glow of garnet at the base. There is a bubbly thin yellowish beige cream that sticks to the glass in a meniscus.

S- The bright raisin and light molasses blends with alcohol heat rum ball light notes and treacle syrup aromas. There is a nice complex sweetness in the finish.

T- The slightly sweet graham malt flavor has dark raisins, treacle and molasses notes with some candy sugar notes in the finish. There is a bitter hop bite in the finish that balances all the sweetness very well.

M- The light mouthfeel is thinned out from the alcohol burn that lingers but there is a creamy texture in there somewhere.

O- This is a big sugary but not cloying sweet, bright beer with big alcohol heat that is a bit to hot but welcome in these arctic conditions. Age would do this wonders but it has a very nice complexity now.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 21:37:37 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of sjverla


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle into snifter

Nose: Super boozy. Cocoa nibs, raisins, and some vanilla. Nice complexity, but heavy on the alcohol.

Appearance: Thin, caramelly head that leaves quickly. Semi-hazy honey-ruby-amber. Deep and inviting.

Taste: Vanilla is prominent - like spiced rum. Sweet berries and caramel. Surprisingly rich and fairly dynamic. The alcohol is very hot. The finish is burnt and bitter and subtly herbal.

Overall: Very good. Rich and complex flavors, but the heat makes it tough. Thanks to my brother Ben for the Christmas gift.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 04:20:29 | More by sjverla
Photo of tdm168

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a reddish hue. There is a quarter inch of soft, off white head that quickly fades to a thin lacing. The nose is sweet and malty with notes of bread, barley malt, sugar, fruit, and alcohol esters. The flavor is very intricate and unique. There are notes of bread and barley up front followed a sugary, caramel sweetness and finishes with notes of raisins, dates, and a distinct honey note. I'm impressed that each ingredient has its own distinct contribution to the overall flavor. The alcohol is very noticeable. It's forward and warm and even burns the throat a little in the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied and very warm with just some faint carbonation.

This is a very flavorful beer with many intricacies and complexities. Ultimately, it loses some points for me because it's overly boozy. The flavors are great, but can't stand up to the overpowering alcohol. With that being said, I enjoyed it, and I look forward to more in the future.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 05:28:07 | More by tdm168
Photo of harrymel


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 9, 649 cases; 16.83% ABV; Aug, 2011

Pours a nice chocolate cherry hued brown with a finger of light latte foam. This falls to a solid sheet of the same. Smells of alcohol, wood, raisin, hints of toffee.

Taste is sweet with a metallic flavor mixed with a hazelnut, raisin, tofee and bread pudding flavor. Does kinda remind me of the flavor of an aged (5+ years) Chimay Grand Reserve, but on 'roids with the burn of alcohol coming through on the finish. There is a nice moderate body and low, smooth carb. Semi dry finish.

I've often wondered what aging would do to the demon series, maybe I will give it a go with the latest release.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2012 15:24:32 | More by harrymel
Photo of doppelmeup

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 8 from 2010. Thank you Mitch!

I've had this in the refrigerator for a year and half, and finally decided to open and taste.

Pours a pretty dark amber. For a beer of this magnitude, i was pleasantly surprised by the amount of lace and also it's staying power. While not a pillowy cloud, it retained bits of foam all the way down the sides of the glass. It also had legs like a glass of wine would have.

Aromas were of slightly sweet malt, some fruitiness and some brown sugar.

Taste was superb. The year+ of aging really helped to mellow this out - reminded me of a barleywine. Slightly sweet, fruity, alcohol present but not overpowering.

Mouthfeel was velvety. Still had some light carbonation. Warming from the alcohol.

Overall a very fine brew. Way to strong to drink a lot of - I am glad I shared the bottle with a friend. A very nice treat.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 14:17:06 | More by doppelmeup
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Label says bottled in 2009 so it must be Batch 7.

A- Pours a ruddy dark brown with a 1/4 inch head that is short-lived before it becomes a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass. Minimal surface foam and nice sheets of lacing.

S- Pungent wafts of malty booze and some wood. Astringent.

T- Much smoother flavor than the aroma leads on. Sweet raisin and caramel that has a faint cinnamon aftertaste. The booze characteristic is definitely there but has obviously mellowed out in the bottle during its 2+ year shelf life. Sweet and imparts notes of white grape juice.

M- Tangy with a bitter afterfeel that hangs on the tongue and forces the lips to smack. Medium-low carbonation.

O- More complex than Mephistopheles which is the only thing I have to compare it to in the series. Truly its own breed of beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2012 03:11:02 | More by Immortale25
Photo of pokesbeerdude


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from the 2009 batch (15.07% abv). Into an Epic snifter. Not sure where I bought this, but I know I bought it fresh in 09.

A: Slightly murky copper color with a light tan head that bubbles up to about 1/2 an inch and quickly disappears, leaving behind a few gobs of lacing. A small island of bubbles remains in the middle of the glass, a few bubbles meander lazily to the top.

S: Lots of malt here, big time dark breads and caramel. Brown sugar and even a touch of cinnamon finds its way in to the nose. A slight amount of booze in here, but surprisingly, not as strong as I had expected. Smells like a huge sweet beer.

T: Taste follows the nose, tons of caramel malts and dark bread, with an enormous amount of brown sugar and sweet breads, even some notes of molasses in here. A touch of roasted malt as well. A little bit of astringent alcohol. No real Belgian yeast notes in here, which I figured would be all over the place, but they're very subdued. Still for what the beer is, it's a really tasty example of a ridiculously strong ale.

M: Fairly thick with medium carbonation, and quite a bit of alcohol warmth, but it isn't out of place at all. Finish is fairly sweet, but again expected.

O: A nice every once in a while treat, because this is a huge ridiculous beer in every way, but it is very tasty. I wish I had a few more of the older vintages though to see how they continue to develop. Nicely done.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 03:42:07 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of BlurryVisi0n

New York

4.58/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured unto a snifter. Vintage bottle from 2006 served New Years Day night 2012.

Appearance: Light tan head is 3/4" on the initial pour but settled just before sipping. Light bubbles through out the body

Smell: Mmmm, this beer is f'n yum. Smells of fine wine no wait an aroma of bliss, I hate to hype it up this much but it smells that damn good.

Taste: Spicy, not like a hot sauce spicy more like a sweet spicy. Like caramel meets malts plus a touch of pepper.

Mouth: Light carbonation, easy texture and not hard to drink when factoring it's mouth alone.

Overall: Comes off sweet, but definitely a tough beer. Too bad this is a very limited beer so grab it when you see it. Incredible taste and beautiful aroma I have fallen in love and willing to share my lady. Cheers to you all!

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 06:18:07 | More by BlurryVisi0n
Photo of jayfro70


4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 3 - 2005
A - Little to no head. Pours thick, almost syrupy
S - Smells crazy sweet. Currants, brown sugar, and alcohol
T - Tastes just like it smells. Very sweet, alcohol is present but very smooth. Flavors of caramel and concentrated brown sugar.
M - Super smooth, mellow, creamy mouthfeel. Very nice.
O - 6 years of aging. 5.5 in the bottle shop and .5 in my cellar. I haven't had this beer without aging, so I don't have a good comparison, but for the high ABV, it is very smooth and I can only imagine the sweetness has increased as the alcohol has mellowed over the years.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2011 01:16:33 | More by jayfro70
Photo of TTAmod


4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Batch 9 (Aug 2011) bottle poured into chalice.

A: Dark, cloudy amber with a surprisingly thick tan head. Perfect, sticky lacing. Looking good.

S: Smells of strong dark fruits, caramel, candy, and alcohol.

T: Hints of dark fruit and caramel are buried beneath a strong, yeasty, malt and alcohol base. The end gives off a bit of bitterness from hops I presume? Hints of oak throughout. The alcohol, surprisingly, isn't overpowering.

M: Pretty darn thick and syrupy. Carbonation bites a little bit at the mouth, but nothing too bad.

O: Complex, big, and very nice. This one is definitely a sipper. The 17% alcohol isn't bad at all. Just had a fresh 120 Min IPA the other night and the alcohol with that one was a lot more overpowering. So, kudos to Avery for keeping the high alcohol in check.

This one is a great beer at a great price. This is probably a great candidate for aging.

A HUGE BSDA that is truly a demonic gift.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 05:07:56 | More by TTAmod
Photo of Osprey77


4.72/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is what amazing beer is meant to be. Bottle was from 2007 and enjoyed Dec 2011. Amazing mouthfeel. Shared with a person who is new to "good" beer and they almost fainted. Dark beautiful and thick, it pours without much head but with good carb. Strong notes of dark candy and malt. This is the kind of beer I want to curl up with in the end of days.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 03:08:39 | More by Osprey77
Photo of webmanspidey


3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter, this is a solid dark brown color with light head. The smell is incredibly sweet with some hints of caramel, brown sugar, raisins, and heavy alcohol.

The taste is dominated by the alcohol here, and really that's what you'd come to expect with something around 17%ABV. Beneath the alcohol, it is very sweet and there are some raisins and brown sugar.

This is a hard beer to drink, the definitive slow sipper, and I didn't find it to have many of the complex and interesting flavors other beers of this nature do. Still it is worth trying, especially if you like your beers sweet.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2011 00:05:47 | More by webmanspidey
Photo of jayhawk73


4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 9 (2011)

Review #400

Pours a dark brown color with crimson highlights. For 16.83% ABV, I was surprised that there was a one finger cocoa head, and good lacing. The nose is raisin, fig, molasses, some grain, and a whiff of alcohol. Very nice, and the alcohol doesn't overwhelm. The taste is good, but it's obviously a young beer that should be aged more than I have. The nose profile comes through with a little bit of honey sweetness added. Nice alcohol burn on the aftertaste, which sticks around for a while. Feel is full, with a malty backbone and an alcohol bite on the backside. Overall, this is a very enjoyable beer- definitely a sipper. I imagine the taste and feel score would go up with 3 or 4 years on it. Still, I would buy this again. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 01:16:40 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of ChrisPro


3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

review from 10/10/2009

2004 bottle of batch ONE. Direct from Adam Avery’s cellar to my friend, to my glass, to my mouth. 22 oz bomber pours Dark brown with light bubbly off white head. Incredible rich caramel aroma, hints of chocolate and bread. Full bodied, super sweet. Rich and well balanced with a deep molasses finish. Almost LIke a rich English barley wine with a belgian yeast underneath. This has aged incredibly well and it feels like it could hold up for a few more years at least. Definitely appreciative to have tried this batch one.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2011 03:59:41 | More by ChrisPro
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2011 19:14:52 | More by mdfb79
Photo of whatthehull


4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


A - a very lovely translucent blood red, 1/4 finger tan very thick head and some very sticky lacing

S - very sweet, tons of malt, wet boozey wood, lots of nice belgian yeast, candy sugar, red wine, lots of fruits, tons of spices, earth, rasins, dark fruit, lots of booze and a very fruit floral hop

T - not as boozey as the smell, but still a nice booze, so so sweet, tons of malts, a bit toasty, a very Belgian yeast, nice bitter to sweet ratio, dried sweetened fruit, oak, red wine barrel and soil

M - full bodied, decent balance, crazy complexity, low acidity and very long finish

D - this is a huge beer. If you aren't into giant beers do not try this at home! So much yeast, booze and malts it smacks you in the effing face. If you like epic beers and their adventures, get 'er done! I would drink this every day if it was way less expensive

Final thought - $8 a pop and 17% abv? What!?! Awesome!

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 00:49:52 | More by whatthehull
Photo of Retail1LO


3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on draft into a 9 oz. snifter at TJ's Anniversary event. Pours a beautiful ruby gold with a thin veil of a head. The nose is unsurprisingly boozy with loads of caramel, vanilla, and more booze. The taste is sweet. Way sweet. More caramel, toffee, and sweet whatever. The mouth is. Ery smooth with a touch of heat on the finish. Overall...very nice.

Serving type: on-tap

12-03-2011 17:45:30 | More by Retail1LO
Photo of diamondc


4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh batch, August 2011. $9.99 a 12 oz.

A: Chestnut colored hue, some moderate head and slight lacing. Dissipates fairly quickly though. Just a wisp of foam after a small pour. Even the wisp doesn't last.

S: Honey, raisins, mango, cherries, caramel, toffee, rubbing alcohol. The works.

T: Dark fruits, figs, coconut flakes, butterscotch candies, caramel, brown sugar. A surprising amount of bitterness at the end of the pine variety.

M: Despite the hefty abv, I'm not really getting much hotness.

O: Another big beer winner from Avery. Worthy of another purchase to drink now or cellar.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 06:28:52 | More by diamondc
Photo of edraven667


4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden reddish brown with heavy sediment settling down. Has a tan head with 2 fingers in length and leaves a fine lacing with good retention.

Smells like I was punched in the nose with malts and the high ABV is undoubtedly mixing in too. Caramel is also very prominent, and almost sickly sweet. Many scents intermingling.

Warm feel, mild carbonation with a very malty finish. I felt that the malts would be overpowering at first, but it actually makes for an excellent aftertaste. Very good sweet to bitter balance, which makes it very drinkable considering the high alcohol within.

Grand brew. Would definitely purchase again, especially if on tap. I am extremely curious how it would taste fresh. Hopefully I have more Belgian Strong Ales in the future.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 01:43:11 | More by edraven667
Photo of Cylinsier


4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aug 2011 Batch 9 12 oz., label says 16.83% abv.

Pours a deep reddish brown, hazy, two inch head dissipates slowly and leaves a film down the side of the glass.

Smells of pine resin hops, oak, and sweet apple caramel malts.

Tastes buttery and apple sweet with floral hop elements and a bit of woody bitterness. Booze flavor as well.

Feels syrupy with a light tingle of carbonation and a sting and warmth of alcohol.

Delicious monstrous brew, doesn't even try to hide the booze. Definite sipper, and flavor-wise much more like a barley wine than a Belgian dark. Definitely would have again, but slowly.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 20:06:40 | More by Cylinsier
The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 982 ratings.