The Beast Grand Cru - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

572 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 572
Hads: 1,252
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 10.82%
Wants: 72
Gots: 347 | FT: 24
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
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 572 | Hads: 1,252
Photo of Crosling
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
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 -13.7%
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 +2.9%
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 +1.8%
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 -39.6%
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 -44.6%
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%
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 -22.2%
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 +21.9%
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 +4.7%
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 -12.9%
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 -10.3%
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 -6.6%
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 -11.1%
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 +10.6%
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 -27.7%
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 +1.6%
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 -29.6%
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 -26.9%
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)

Photo of amicar
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Hmm... pours a reddish/ copper color with the minimal head expected from high ABV brews. What the heck is that smell? Kind of a pleasant solvent smell with cantelope, strawberries, deck sealant... singes the nose a bit. A bit harsh on the first sip, with different waves of flavor... a bit of pine resin, toffee, roasty notes, and again, a solvent/ oily feel. This is pretty syrupy, and if it weren't for the coarse slap in the face bitterness and intense alcohol burn, I would be able to tell that it's sweet. As for drinkability... well, we'll see if I can finish this. It's not that it's bad, it's just... challenging. It reminds me of the first time I tried grappa. (669 characters)

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 12/13/2005

Pours a dark brown-reddish color, slightly off-white head, with a complex aroma: flowery, hops, alcohol, molasses, syrupy. Has a sweet bitter taste-molasses, thick & syrupy, spices, cloves, lightly acidic, soft carbonation. A little too sweet/thick for drinking on its own. Update: letting it warm up clears the thickness, but it's still very sweet. A lesson: temperature matters a lot. This might be more palatable after cellaring. (453 characters)

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown in color with a not so large creamy head that was slightly stained khaki. Not clear because of the shade of brown but there were not little floaties going on in the glass. Nose is very deep in tone--grapes, raisins and prunes. Sweetish too.

Flavor is very sweet and fruity--even more of the raisins and prunes. The alcohol is admirably (and impressively) hidden. Very vinuous and sticky. The fruity raisin flavors really kind of stick to the cheeks, gums and teeth. Strong caramel--very rich--tones. The alcohol becomes more noticeable in the burn as the beer warms. Kind of warming actually. I like this beer a lot, but one bottle and I am done. (655 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2005 edition. 12 oz bottle. 14.9%ABV.

Pours a light amber with a light head that falls to patchy coating over top. Very good clarity too. Nose is sweet...sweet with almost a smokeyness and dark fruityness coated in brown sugar and rum. Awesome. Flavor is thick, but not big or alcoholic at all. I get a super concentrated brown sugar infused with a very light smoke. I'm impressed with this one, as the 03 version I had a while back was really hot and not good. Feel is uber-thick, lightly syrupy. I am really impressed with this brew. Avery has done good with this recipe. I am enjoying it a lot. (601 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

My first encounter with the beast its been a long time comin,poured a very nice deep ruby red with a fluffy 2 finger pinkish colored head that leaves nice sheets of lace behind as it settles.Alcohol dipped cherries really jump out at me in the aroma along with some raisin and maybe a touch of spice perhaps cinnamon,thick mouthfeel that coates the mouth but is very smooth on the way down,whoo this baby packs a wallop like the aroma the alcohol infused cherry is predomenant in the flavors as well with more alcohol and candied figs.One thing I did notice is a light herbal hop underneath all that massive malt and alcohol wich was nice.The Beast left its mark on me no doubt whoo it was damn good but definent one and done for me. (733 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear rusted red color. Surpisingly, a rather full tan-colored head bloomed leaving a thick rings of lacing with each sip. Bottled in 2005, btw.

Smell: Honey, tawny port, and with an alcohol waft that bristles the nose. There's some fruit to be found in the aromatics as well, for me it was orange (zest) and cherries (the ones from the jar, swimming in sugary juices).

Taste: Again, sharply honey-flavored initially, which then transitions into an intense malt profile sided with the super-sweet Belgian sugars. Of course there's the mark of the dark fruits prevalent in so many of these types of beers. Hops provide a slight bitterness, but for me it can be hard to find at times amidst the stronger alcohol and sweetened components. Remarkably though, the taste of alcohol is rather "gentle" for the high ABV.

Mouthfeel: Finishes like a velvety port wine, but there's a noted astringency to it. Massive in body, almost obscenely (though lusciously) syrupy. There's also, to absolutely noone's surprise, a tingly alcohol finish.

Drinkability: It's delish - just keep it to one, and a 12-ouncer at that. If you enjoy succulent sweetness and higher ABVs, then I'd recommend this one. However, if you have an aversion to either of those, than I'd steer clear.


All I really got to say about it is: whoopeee! (1,342 characters)

The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 572 ratings.