Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe 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

578 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 578
Hads: 1,273
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 23.56%
Wants: 72
Gots: 361 | 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: 578 | Hads: 1,273
Photo of cheers2beers
3.22/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served into a snifter and aged about a year:

Appearance: Produces a dull blood red to vague brownish tint with a head that stacked up quite nicely and disapated at about the same pace. As I look through this beer I see many floating particles suspended within. This beer has a sticky laceing with some monsterous legs.

Smell: Ohh my god, Wheres the beef? This smells like a backyard barbeque smoked with mesquite and hickory. Has spices galore and a sweetness that is in a word, "nausiating." An alcohol aroma is also present.

Taste: The flavors are actually much better than I had anticipated, but not lagging far from the aromas. A sweet alcoholic and even cloying maltiness with a over abundance of smoke and wood. As I try more and more new beers, I seem to be getting the ability to foresee a cloying beer as it warms, and this one of them. So with that being said I recommend that this beer be served cold to cool unless you preferr this mouthfeel/flavor.

Mouthfeel: The feel is syrupy thick with a sugary assault that seems to be as said before, cloying. Thick body with a medium level of carbonation. Not bad just seems to be way too sweet for my taste buds.

Drinkability: Most likely this beer is a one hit quit type of beer. Meaning after one beer you will not be compelled to have another but you will enjoy the time you had with it,in it's short life span.Overall: I would definitely have this again ,but not too often.


 1,465 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
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

 681 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear deep amber with an tan and low head which lasted enough to lace the glass.

The aroma was deeply fruity and malty which could be detected from a mile away. The aroma contained a strong spicy alcoholic presence coupled with a dark caramel and candy character. The aroma was biscuity and bready.

The flavor was deeply malty with a strong caramel, make that dark caramel aspect and a very deep bready and biscuity malt flavor. The flavor was not sweet as had been the case with the 18% incantation, but was mightily alcoholic. The beer contained a strong dark fruit character of raisins and prunes and a ton of candy character.

The finish was nowhere near dry, but not overly sweet either. The dark caramel and fruit characters lasted long and pleasantly into the aftertaste. The body was full and viscous. This beer was a beast (hey, a pun) to drink due to the alcohol presence. It was hot in the aroma, the flavor and in the warming that happened post consumption. Tread lightly, this one will bite ya in the bum!

12 ounce bottle. 14.9% ABV version.

 1,104 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle that was bottled in 2005 with 14.9% abv.

Appearance- Pours a hazy, deep copper color. Looks like apple syrup. Only a ring of foam is left after my hard pour into my Leffe goblet.

Smell- Thick, sugary malt aroma of lightly cooked, dark fruits.

Taste- Strat out with sugary mlats mixed with or helping to incarnate the flavor of ice wine, but not as overbearingly swet as that. Very concentrated sugar flavor with raisins and cooked peaches.

Mouthfeel- Very port like with a syrupy mouthfeel. The sugars really hit the sides of the tongue hard. Might be a little cloying, but a great nightcap beer.

 636 characters

Photo of ddarity
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer truly is over the top.. and I am really likin it. I have not had many Grand Cru style beers so I do not have much to referrence it to, but I do like it.

Nice thick garnett color, almost syrup.

Not much to notice in the nose other than a little malt and a little alcohol.

What I really do like is the taste of this wonderful brew, nice heavy malt sweetness with a hint of prunes.

Mouthfeel - Pretty thick but well balanced by the dry finish.

This is a very drinkable beer, but only modest amount at a time.

 531 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
2.78/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I can now say I know the meaning of excess. This beer is so friggin' over the top that it's disgusting. Thanks to ColoradoBobs for killing my tongue.

The beer pours to a dark prune color. Fairly cloudy from the bottle conditioning. Nice huge off-white head with a nice lacing. Looks good.

The smell is where the words "over the top" start to come to mind. Raisins, dates, molasses, candi sugar, and so on. Sounds complex... certainly is, but it's so in-you-face that it almost makes me sneeze.

The taste is massively sweet. Same flavors as in the nose, but with a very subtle hoppiness (tainted by all the residual sugars). Almost vomit inducingly sugary.

The body is very thick and syrupy. Coats like pepto bismol. Also puckeringly sweet. Very, very undrinkable. I knew what I was getting into, but fuckin' eh, this is too much.

 841 characters

Photo of Crosling
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

18.1% Version, rereview. Bottle bought last night and consumed with a friend. The Beast still has a lovely color and shows good head retention considering its size. I also think that the aroma is still pretty appealing with a nice sugary, fruity, malty (butter toffee, dough), raisins smell. But the taste is horrible. An eventual drainpour and I even tried this with a few friends. Just way too hot and the alcohol takes over everything. Disgusting to me. The 15.7% version which I rated fairly high, but it was over 10 months ago, tasted much better than this. Perhaps my palate has changed since then and I don’t automatically give high alcoholic beers high scores.

Batch # 3. Wow, a huge improvement. I would provide some notes, but its getting me to drunk to think.

 775 characters

Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.27/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle from Liquor Max in Loveland, CO. $6.99, minus the 10% discount for mixed sixers.

Served at about 45 degrees. Pours a clear red under a large off-white head that settles and firms into a solid ring with thick lacing -- no, call it "sheeting." Aroma of cherry brandy, burned sugar, graham flour, and some piney hopnotes. Really thick sweet taste and BURNING burning hot alcohol. Is this brandy, or just something like it? Finish is bitter, hard bitter, hot bitter. Fascinating, but harsh. I don't know whether to rate the taste a 2.5 or a 4.5. I guess I'll go with the 2.5. The alcohol is certainly there. This is the strongest beer I've ever had, both in ABV and taste. Overtly, intensely sweet and bitter. Amazingly, the mouthfeel is decent and round, with a softness from the carbonation.

This is definitely a hard-kicking sipper. However, what it is IS "THE BEAST"! Extreme in every way.

 911 characters

Photo of Truh
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nearly got lost in the Northern Kingdom while trapping with this one on 3/15/2006. 12-oz. bottle pour in a Spirithaus shaker glass.

Trip-line of starting, just off-white head that dissipates to a thin halo with just a touch of stick, but really just a bit of wash. Murky orange hue, though medium, not too light but also not too dense to make the pour illegible. Some very light action happening within. Quite vinous and raisiny on the nose, with the alcohol, sugary sweetness invading after the initial spiciness noted. Some bits of white pepper and a touch of weird echinacea seems to be floating around too. On the mouth, the sugar and plums almost overwhelm everything else in there, which includes a well apportioned malt bill, chewed leather ties from my baseball glove, and some light citrus notes, mostly orange. The alcohol is very forceful, but managable.

Fairly drinkable, though I feel it would do well with more time in the bottle. Back in the day, this may have overwhelmed the typical palate, but with the explosion of big beers over the past few years, some might see this as the grandfather of the current wave of extreme contenders.

 1,156 characters

Photo of BeerRun13
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to kbub6f.
Cool looking bottle. The pic on the label might suggest what you're in for.
Pours a clear dark amber with almost no head head at all.
Smells like what you would expect from a beer with 15.7% ABV... alcoholic. Raisin and date aromas are there too.
That'll wake you up. The alcohol is noticeable immediately... duh. Complex flavors. Raisins and dates set the tone for this Beast. Honey and specialty sugars are there too. Some hops and maltiness in there. The hop bitterness becomes more evident as the beer warms. Truly a complex onslaught of flavors.
Syrupy mouthfeel. Goes down easy enough for this big of a beer.
I'd recomend sipping on this one over a nice dinner. Just smile knowing that you're drinking something far more sophisticated than your dates wine.

 786 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
2.29/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

So The Beast, finally. 12 oz. brown bottle, red foil around the neck. Head is small, body is clear brown/red, visible carbonation. I have smelled something like this beer before. Very sweet and malty, but has a rounded, somewhat mellow character to it. It is Samichlaus that I am remembering. Taste is waaaay over the top, sweet, strong malt, raisin, but overdone. Slightly fruity quality to it, but it is hard to get through the brash and obvious alcohol presence. Hard to drink, I like the thought, not the final product.

 523 characters

Photo of mortarit
2.1/5  rDev -45%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This bottle was brewed in 2005 with 14.9 % alcohol. Quite different from the above info.

First, Grand Cru Ale so no I really don't have the history behind this style. The pour ended with little head but I expected that sort of I think.

Taste: Well, it drank and harsh like a bad cough sryrup. The after taste seems to never leave. I hate that, must be the malts lingering.

The name describes the beer well , it is the beast.

 436 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
1.97/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Urine and syrup. Not good at all. This beer does not seem to be fully fermented. The aroma is dominated by a sickeningly sweet rotten corn husk, urine like odor. Flavors of candied fruits and snow cone syrups overpower anything interesting going on here. The alcohol burns the mouth, nose, and throat. It’s overwhelming. Finishes sticky like maple syrup left spilled on a counter on a hot July day. Rubbing alcohol flavors linger. Ick! This is one case where bigger is not better. I’d take Milwaukee’s Beast over this one any day. I suppose that in about a dozen years, this one might be drinkable. I’ll consider revisiting then.

 633 characters

Photo of johnniemarg
2.95/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip. Lacing coats just about the entire glass.

This stuff is visibly thick when poured. Very little head but when finished pouring the carbonation at first looks like it's about to explode into a nice head but slows down and can't get through the thick brew. Muddy amber in color. Very slowly moving bubbles up the side of the glass.

Smell is fantastic. Very sweet cotton candy, bubble gum and raisins and some spiciness that I'm wondering if it's coming from alcohol or hops...not sure. Is this thing oaked? Sorta smells like it.

The alcohol taste is too overbearing for me to give a high mark on. Sweetness and raisins and a lot of spiciness. The alcohol is not well balanced and sticks aound way too long in the finish and the aftertaste. Feels like I'm breathing fire for a minute after tasting.

Mouthfeel is fuller and creamier than anything I've had before. Maybe too full though.

The alcohol flavor (and 15% abv) makes this difficult to drink. I usually love the high octane stuff, bot not this one.

 1,050 characters

Photo of Pegasus
4.62/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Brilliantly clear toned copper color, with a small, sticky, persistent off-white head, and thick, glass-coating lace. No carbonation was noted. The head retention is superb in the light of the extremely high ABV.

Aroma: Incredibly rich dark fruit aroma, with vinous alcohol, apple peel, and a mild earthy scent.

Taste: Opens with prominent notes of grape, plum, and prunes, and a rather sweet vinous note, more than a little like Port wine. Soon after the start of the taste, a rich earthy molasses note appears, then a sweet, warming alcohol note. At the close of the taste there is a lingering coffee and bitter chocolate note. The finish is fairly dry. Considering the ABV of 14.9%, the alcohol notes are quite gracefully presented.

Mouth feel: Rich, smooth, syrupy in its fullness, simply excellent.

Drinkability/notes: Utterly superb, a stunningly well-crafted, elegant beer, certainly numbers among the finest I have ever had the pleasure of trying. While I blanched a bit at the price of $6.99 for a single twelve ounce bottle, having tried this beer, I judge it to be an excellent value.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass long neck bottle with a pop-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

Acknowledgments: Warm thanks to my friend and fellow BeerAdvocate, HardTarget, for suggesting this beer for my six-hundredth-sixty-sixth review. I hope that the following quotation will prove apropos to his excellent choice:

"Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred three score and six."

Revelation 13:18, KJV

 1,671 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a good, hazy brown with a 1" head and good lace as well.
Smell is rich, malty, with maple & oak notes as well as caramel, dark fruits (fruitcake like, and I like fruitcake) and smoke.
Taste is all of the same, like drinking a rum-soaked fruitcake.
Smooth, rich and creamy, a very good beer with great complexity and good balance. Having said that, Avery's Samael is better with about 1% less ABV.

 405 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled in 2005. 14.9% a/v.

A surprisingly solid light brown head forms on the pour. Wasn't expecting it with such a high octane brew. The body of the brew is burgandy tone. Lace is sparse, but there nonetheless. Very sweet nose. Raisins and figs and port and molasses and dark fruits...oh, and a little diesel fuel in there as well. The beer is full bodied. Talk about some viscosity. Tends to be syrupy in the mouth as well. Carbonation is minimal. Sweet sensations strike the tongue first. Malty sweet, but also sugary sweet. More sugary sweet. The alcohol really lingers on the tongue after the sip. Leaves a spicy bitterness in the mouth. Decent enough concoction, but it's got a little too much of that "spiked punch" feel to it to really enjoy it much.

 762 characters

Photo of bitterdestroyer
3.4/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: deep and dark. almost stout-like in appearance.

Smell: sweet with a nice bouquet of fruit and booze, customary to a belgian style brew.

Taste: ah the sweet sweet whallop of sugar, and fruit, with booze showing up in the finish.

Mouthfeel: clean and dry with a nice warm booze finisher.

Drinkability: hardly... too much alcohol to really enjoy more than one.

 383 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.54/5  rDev -7.3%
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

 570 characters

Photo of joeyels
3.37/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a thick burnt brown color, with little head that fades very quickly to nothing. Smell is a heavy, sweet smokey fruit, a raisin or prune quality. Taste is sweet fruits and a light syrupy flavor, finishes with warming alcohol that tingles the throat on the way down. Feels very thick on the palate and is very filling, definitely a sipping beer. Decent at best for this style, I would be curious to see how it ages but probably won't go out of my way to do so.

 468 characters

Photo of mentor
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2005 release aged properly for about 6 months in my cellar. Pours super-thick to leave a half-finger light brown head over a very cloudy dull orange-brown liquid. Many particulates floating in the beer. Smells sweetly of brandy, a hint of funk, caramel. Has a fruity sweet ester that isn't quite oranges. Some darker character I find in the St. Bernardus series of beers. Molasses and raisins? I love the smell. There is an enticing aroma I can't place. Sweet, yet edgy. Familiar, but fleeting. Almost biscuit or munich malty. Taste starts with an alcoholic umph that is not a nice introduction. Dry, somewhat phenolic. Just overall rather edgy. It has some sweet caramel character but is way over-played by by the alcohol. The thick body allows a rich dark sweet to persist in a manner similar to a barleywine. A hint of darker grain flavor and bourbon smothness. Superthick mouthfeel with modest carbonation. The carb rises through this syrup like the carb in some meads. Definitely an intriguing and challenging beer. Not quite to style or to my flavor preferences.

 1,068 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.74/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1

Appearance - thick, glass-coating pour of orange/purple ale. brief head leaves only a trace ring of bubbles around the edge.

Aroma - very sweet and fruity, settles into an aroma much like chocolate malt or malted milk balls. Definite alcohol presence, works well with the aroma.

Taste - a shock of sugar on the first sip. *Man* that's sweet. And very boozy, too. There's too much intensity here to pick out anything subtle. Hot on the swallow, I believe there's some hop action in there, but it's not easy to be sure. The finish is sweet with a very warm feeling in the belly. No development in the flavors at all. A most basic 31 proof firewater brew.

Mouthfeel - thick, heavy, draping, all that you'd expect from such a huge beer. Subdued carbonation is good for the style.

Drinkability - criminy, no way. This would be the thing you want tied around a St. Bernard's neck if you're rescued in the tundra, but that's it. I think 'The Beast' would never truly approve of something this sugary.

 997 characters

Photo of hero27
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Listed at 14.9% ABV on the label. Bottled in 2005.

Clear reddish-brown. Plenty of fine Belgian yeast sediment floating around and slowly settling to the bottom. Says on the bottle it uses six different varieties of hops, but the hops are so blanketed by thick sugary malts that you can't pick them up very well in the taste or aroma. Hands-down one of the sweetest beers I've ever had. The character is unlike any Grand Cru I've ever had..more like a super-sweet barleywine with a Belgian flair. The brown sugar character is laid on so thick that you'd swear it's liquified sugar you're drinking. Mouthfeel is as thick as cough syrup. Surprisingly, as strong as this baby is, I didn't have any problem putting down the entire 12-ouncer. Would love to cellar this for a decade or so and see how it turns out.. An interesting, ominous brew from Avery.

 867 characters

Photo of Gavage
2.67/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: clear brown in color with burgandy highlights along the edge of the glass. Very thin 1/8" tan colored head that quickly evaporates to a surface spot.

Smell: dominated by alcohol, some over ripe fruit hides in the background.

Taste: only word that can be used is harsh and that was with it sitting at room temperature for a half hour. When this brew sat for an 1.5 hours to really get to room temperature, it was a bit more drinkable. Roasted malts, raisins, prunes, molasses, honey, and alcohol made up a overly sweet concoction. Bitterness was masked by alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel: syrupy at the start and finish.

Drinkability: I had a very hard time finishing the glass. I like some of Avery's over the top beers, but this one just doesn't work for me.

 778 characters

Photo of JISurfer
2.77/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Talk about in your face! This one was way too strong for my buds and I normally like the higher alcohol beers. I think this one's alcohol was just a bit too much "out there" and not hidden enough, or balanced enough with everything else. Very malty, with some hints of darker fruits, faint hops, and strong smell/taste of alcohol. This one went down more like a whiskey than a beer. I honestly couldn't finish it, so I gave it a bad rating on the D scale. Sorry, this one was just too much over the top for me. I think they could do better.

 540 characters

The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 578 ratings.