1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

The Beast Grand Cru - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,200 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,200
Reviews: 569
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 15.8%
Wants: 69
Gots: 314 | FT: 18
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

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
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,200 | Reviews: 569 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jules11788
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of FEUO
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of Peternmi
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
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)

Photo of harpus
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Jamesthebrit
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Photo of DavidST
3.21/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

Photo of CEDAMA
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of RandyKemka
4.75/5  rDev +23.1%

Photo of Jusse
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of PlasteredRogue2
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of BigLittleHokis
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of cleonile2000
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Photo of gtermi
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of HopSlap72
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of WritersBlock
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of JSchock7
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of WanderingFool
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of 6demonbag
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of jrenihan
3.37/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

Photo of zeledonia
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,200 ratings.