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The Beast Grand Cru - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,220 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,220
Reviews: 578
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 15.8%
Wants: 70
Gots: 326 | FT: 22
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
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Ratings: 1,220 | Reviews: 578 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zackinthebox
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is an interesting beer that I will drink on occasion. There is no hiding the alcohol content in this one. The first sip was surprisingly more thick than I thought it would be. It has a lot going on as far as the flavor goes. I can enjoy one and move on to the next.

Photo of atorres600
2.77/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

ok can you say HARSH .. there is a reason the alcohol content is WAY up on this brew and you taste it IMMEDIATLY !! I did not care for it though i bought 3 of these and still have 2 in the fridge. If you dont mind drinking nyquil chilled then this is for you !

Photo of UTCengOwl
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bottle in my Great Divide balloon glass. Unleash The Beast.

This beer poured with a few fingers of head that died down pretty quickly, but left some lace and lingered on top of the fluid. Not bad for 16%. The beer is a clear lighter brown that appears red from the side and orange when looking down through it. I would have scored it higher, but there's something slightly off about the way the colors blend.

The nose is hot. Whoa Nellie! Alcohol is clearly present, but there is some sweetness behind it.

The beer itself has a nice balance for the alcohol. There's a sweetness and heaviness that balance the booze. The carbonation keeps everyone in check. However, it's not quite there yet. Probably needs some age (and I need some patience). Things just haven't come together yet and it's clear in the aftertaste. The Belgian yeast has a small presence, but it's not out of control.

It's quite drinkable for what it is, but that's not enough to make me love it. Not a bad idea, but it needs a bit more age on it to make things work.

Photo of Rifugium
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at ?

Hazy, and dark golden color. Minimal head and not much in the way of lacing, as would be expected. Nose of dark, dried fruits, molasses, and alcohol. Taste was similar to the smell, pleasant dark fruits...and alcohol. Pretty smooth and somewhat thick in the mouth, with some heat.

Ranges between 14-18% ABV depending on the batch. I've had the 2008 (16.3%) and the 2011 (16.2%). Good, but it loses drinkability due to the high ABV, though for a high ABV it isn't as harsh as you'd imagine. Just not as tasty as say, a DFH World Wide Stout.

Photo of jsh420
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

bottled 2010

pours clear ruby copper with a 1/2 finger head that left no lacing

smells of boozy candy apples

taste - holy %&#$ this beer needs some time to sit -- booze hot burning candi fruit booze

mouthfeel is medium body very hot with alcohol

drinkability is not good - best bet is buy one and wait i dont know years before you open one up - pricey and extremely hot - true def. of a sipper beer

Photo of kingcrowing
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from 2008 poured Ito a Duvel tulip.

Pours a a clear reddish color with a decent light brown to almost red head. Nose is a bit like grease, and sweet booze.

Alcohol comes first, it's there and it's strong. Taste is quite sweet and malty, lots of raisons and sweet fruit. Mouthfeel is pretty light but sweet without being sticky. Fairly drinkable given the abv.

Photo of SPThirtyThree
3.05/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The Beast, like all Avery brews, comes with Avery's signature elegant foil crowning the bottle. According to the label, this was bottled sometime in 2010, and holy wow, 16.21% ABV. $7.49 for 12 oz. Served on the cold side, around 40°F.

No yeast.

A: This Grand Cru is a hazy mahogany, dirty enough that the middle of the beer is barely visible. Were the Beast any cloudier, it wouldn't allow you to see how vigorously it boils off the etching at the bottom of the goblet. A one-finger ecru cap sits atop, leaving sticky lace and legs. Globs of cream deposit themselves onto the sides of the glass as the head falls.

S: The nose is big: esters first, raisins and plums, followed by strong west-coast hops. Other flavors present include grapefruit, pineapple, cherry, vanilla, toffee, caramel, pears, pine and a touch of espresso.

T: A barrage of dank hops hit heavy on the tongue, masking loads of flavors, both harsh and pleasant. It's sweet and sugary, but monstrously hot, and it's clear that a tremendous amount of fusels are hidden by the pineapple hops. Closer to room temperature, this beer smells and tastes and smells just like fingernail polish remover.

M: The mouthfeel is thick, super sticky, and a little creamy, with an astringency that glues the tongue to the back of mouth. The Beast delivers warmth from within.

D: Not that desirable, as it's too hot and sticky. At this ABV, I should probably expect extremely low drinkability, but either way, it's not a friendly brew.

Approaching the bottom of the bottle, I suddenly remembered trying this at the brewery on a trip through Colorado back before I was a connoisseur. I didn't like it then - it was too hoppy and hot. Looks like nothing has changed. Several years of aging would likely greatly improve every aspect of the Beast.

Photo of impending
2.75/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

12oz into a tulip. Pours ruddy dirty dishwater copper. Meager head didn't last. Gorgeous clear burning copper when two inches remain.

First expectation of the aroma is of alcohol and surprised to find its not dominant. Smells of a typical strong dark but perhaps a bit less of dark fruits about to rot.

Taste vastly exceeds the aroma in aggression. This is a huge strong dark, too much perhaps. Parts of this are delicious. Others, while passing, are not very pleasant. This would ruin any food pairing if you had intended to enjoy the food.
This does not exceed beyond novelty.

Photo of claybeer
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

A rich, rich caramel reddish color. The head doesn't pour very tall but appears to be very thick. The nose is full of a dough and Fig Newton's. A lot of dried fruit and sweet! The taste is extremely sweet with plums and raisins jumping out on the first sip. The sweetness just kind of hangs out until some alcohol heat finishes this big beer out. The mouth feel is the richest and thickest I have ever tasted in a beer! Difficult to drink with the over abundance of sweet fruit and alcohol. Still it's a fun drink to sip on. It might take a while to drink this one.

Photo of Lauthaha
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a small glass. Bottle says 16.31% abv, and this is Batch 6, Bottled in 2008.

Appearance: Pours very similar to Sprite in terms of carbonation and head retention. Color is mahogany, not as dark as I imagined. Active carbonation, and the beer is quite cloudy. Looks good, but not *that* good.

Smell: Sweet and spicy. Raisin and/or prune, molasses and bitter hops jump out at me. Just a touchy bready. The alcohol content is not as well-hidden as some previous posters seemed to imply. I can definitely tell it's there.

Taste/Mouthfeel: It burns on the tongue, there's a tremendous kick to this. Instantly warms the stomach. In this manner, I suppose it lives up to its name. The turbinado and candy sugar are a welcome addition in this instance; though they can't do much to stop the blitzkrieg of body that this beer brings. The aftertaste is surprisingly pleasant, as most of the alcohol evaporates off your tongue (hyperbole here). Raisin bread. Just a touch of molasses.

Drinkability: I could do one of these once a week...but probably no more than that. I can already feel the heartburn coming on. :-P

I bought this based on the abv to share with a friend. It definitely did the trick, and while it was a touch disappointing considering the price, it wasn't a bad brew, and I may in fact try it again in the future.

Photo of ManVersusBeer
4.29/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2006. 14.6% ABV. Poured into my long stemmed Pretty Things Goblet.

It is a dark cloudy brown with some orange and caramel highlights. There is a light line of off-white head which at 14+% is impressive, but no lacing.
Raisins and chestnuts, brown sugar, malt, sweet honeyed molasses, dried plums, mild alcohol, and orange juice are the range of smells coming from this brew.
Similar to the smell is the taste with raisins, dates, plums, figs, and dark dried fruits, but also balanced with golden raisins, apricots, and other stone fruits. A nice sweetness with a sugary touch of honey drop malts, big molasses feel, and vanilla/butter-pecan ice cream.
For its alcohol content, this is ridiculously smooth and dangerous. The four years of age must have definitely eased the alcohol making it way too drinkable at refrigerator temperature and beyond. Luckily there is a bit of bite and the sweetness makes it sippable, though still fantastically soft and velvety.

Photo of thagr81us
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Split a bottle into a New Belgium wine glass. Poured deep dark red with very minimal white head. There was no lacing evident throughout. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, alcohol, and a subtle sour note. The flavor was of sweet malt, sugar, and massive alcohol upon swallowing. It had a medium feel on the palate with zero carbonation. Overall this thing was boozy as a mo-fo... Big malt up-front that tries to mask the alcohol, but ends up being beaten into submission by the alcohol in the end. This one is harsh to get down at first but mellows out slightly upon sitting. Wish the alcohol was masked better, but at this precent, that is kind of hard to do. Worth trying at least once though...

Photo of ykncornelius
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When a beer boasts 16.31% ABV on the label, I need to try it. Thus it is with The Beast, and the addition of "Grand Cru" piqued my fancy further; "Here is a beer that intends to distinguish itself," I says to myself.

And distinguish it does; it's a glorious dark honey-colored half inch-headed no-lacing boozy-smelling son of a bitch. That's prior to even the first taste...

Which is more like sipping dessert wine than beer. Soak a bushel of raisins and plums and dates in strong rum, sprinkle in a hint of bitterness (mine's a Batch 6 bottle with only two year's aging behind it, and retains an interesting hop bite) and you have the flavor of The Beast.

Swirl it around your mouth and chomp on it like a vintage wine and the mouthfeel truly comes alive, with a creamy and very alcohol-hot finish. Y'know how some well-aged 12 percenters hit you more like a low 7%? It's the exact opposite with this: I'm not sure 5 years in the cellar would fully temper this beast's bite (sorry, I had to).

I started drinkability out at a 3.5...but I was wrong. It goes down smooth and every sip makes me want more. It's not too dry or sweet on the finish, but it's absolutely a sipping beer. One bottle over the course of a couple hours' reading/writing is a perfect way to cap a night.

Photo of BMoney575
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 10-7-10
Batch 6
Bottled in 2008
16.31% ABV

Pours a completely cloudy golden brown color, with no head at all and a thin ring of off-white lacing around the edge. Very viscous and ominous.

Smell is super sweet malt, tons of alcohol and buttery esters. The end is bready, with even more boozy sweetness.

Taste is big caramel and burnt sugar maltiness, followed by a surprising hop kick. The bitterness quickly gives way to big time alcohol, sweet and hot. The finish is more caramel, and slick with booze.

Mouthfeel is thick and stick, goes perfect with the huge malt and alcohol.

Drinkability is amazingly good, the taste and mouthfeel offset the abv very nicely.

Overall, better than I expected, and extremely well suited to aging. I'll have to pick up a couple more.

Photo of JoeAmerican77
4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a small chalice from the Avery Brew Pub. (Beast '09)

a- Beautiful dark amber with semi-white head that retained for about a minute.

s- Sweet like honey with fruit and alcohol in the nose. Vanilla figs, and toffee maybe. Nothing off-putting, it makes my stomach and tongue quiver out of joyous anticipation.

t- Unbelievable. Best beer I've had in maybe ever. Sweet and syruppy, with notes of hazlenut and barleywine accents. Nothing bitter, like drinking adult candy, warming figs, raisins, light cinnamon and earthy sugar.

m- Thick and wet. full bodied to the point you think all beer should be like this, light carbonation does a tango with syrup and not too hot.

d- I would have to say "very" but I know the alc content is rediculous at 15% so I will say, sip and enjoy.

extra- I had this on tap from '09. Bottled is a different and sad story, I might rank the '09 bottle as a B- at best as the sweetness disappears and the alcohol dominates. I don't think one can really have the experience i've had unless they get it on tap.

The '10 on tap I've had as well, it is a little less sweet more hop and alc dominant as well.

Photo of womencantsail
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The pour is a cloudy amber/copper color with a finger or two worth of white head that has some pretty good retention.

S: A pleasantly sweet nose that is quite reminiscent of an aged barleywine. Sweet caramel and vanilla as well as plenty of brown sugar. Not much in the way of hops or anything else.

T: Very similar on the tongue as it opens up with a big caramel sweetness. Some brown sugar and toffee follow along with a fair amount of vanilla notes. A very subtle bitterness is present on the finish.

M: The body is definitely full, but not syrupy due to a rather lively carbonation which is impressive for such a high alcohol beer.

D: This beer is surprisingly easy to drink while it's nice and cool. Normally for a beer like this, I like to let it come up to temperature a little bit, but I do not advise that with this particular beer (things get a little rough).

Photo of hardy008
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Caramel color with a two finger beige head with good retention. The aroma has caramel, figs, raisins, dates, brown sugar, and alcohol.

The taste is just like the aroma. Caramel, figs, raisins, dates, brown sugar, and alcohol. Very sweet, and the alcohol has a warming effect, but surprisingly is not hot as I expected it to be.

Full bodied, proper carbonation, and syrupy. A nice Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but I am glad it is in a 12 ounce bottle. Any more than this would have been too much to handle.

Photo of codewarrior
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz Singleton poured into a chalice.

A: Red, but filtered looking. I want more murkiness here (like a Rochefort 8).

S: Strong! Sweet!

T: Hops and iron up front, fades into a nice sweet finish. Lingers.

F: Sticky, mouth-coating goodness.

D: Burns going down, and warms the belly.

This is probably my second-favorite of the demon series out of avery. All-in-all this is a tasty beer, but doesn't stand up to some of the other things Avery has done.

Photo of xaulzan
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I expected this beer to be a blitzkrieg of face punches made of awesome. Perhaps it was "The Beast" from The Sandlot that got my hopes up. I had much anticipation for chasing children through alleys only to get crushed by a fence in my own backyard. That was literally my plan for the night after I drank this.

Instead what I got was the feeling of putting Icy Hot on your balls. Too much burn, not enough pleasure, but still a complexity of sensations that I could appreciate.

Appearance - Pours with a half-finger sized head. Thickness, not length. Dumbass. Has a slight ruby color to it. That means it's sort of red. Geez, I have to explain everything to you.

Smell - Sweet dried fruits at first, then a sharp aroma of alcohol that kills off your hopes, dreams and inhibitions for the night

Taste - Very sweet at first. Warms the throat and finishes off with the taste of alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Get out two shot glasses. Fill one with half vodka, half water. Fill the second with Aunt Jemima. Shoot the one of Aunt Jemima! Quickly pour the watered down vodka in your eyes.

Drinkability - I had about 3/4 of the bottle before I decided to switch to something else. Split it with a friend. It's good, but not chasing-innocent-child-baseball-players-down-alleys good.

Photo of nataku00
3.11/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle of batch 6, bottled in 2008, into a tulip glass. A ruddy, hazy dark brown with hints of a dark red at the edge of the glass. Maybe half a finger of head consisting of small bubbles, but the head is constantly fed by streams of carbonation visible at the edge of the glass of beer.

Aroma of the beer is very strong after opening the bottle and especially after pouring. A very sweet smelling beer, with dried fruits, cherries, figs, apricots dominating the nose. A little biscuit malt sweetness as well. Not a whole lot of balance here, as the nose is almost cloyingly sweet, and I haven't taken a sip yet.

A really sweet beer, with the fruits from the nose, especially dried sweet cherries, dominating the tongue initially. As you drink, the alcohol burn follows you from the tongue into your throat. Need to take small sips as the beer is full of flavor.

After two years, the beer still has a very syrupy mouthfeel, and combined with the high alcohol content, makes this beer a sipper. I think it could use more time to mellow out, but I don't know if more time will make it less sweet.

Photo of sisuspeed
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JAHMUR for this extra!

Bottled in 2006
14.6 % ABV

Poured into a Duck-Rabbit snifter. Burnt red brown in color with a slightly off-white head on top. Head is a nice thin layer of creaminess. Good waves of silky lacing from swirling the glass.

Figs, cherries and caramel dance on the nose. Other candied fruits and some vinous notes. A touch of honeyed alcohol. Plums, raisins and oak. This smells like an exceptional dessert. Very well done. Almost reminds me a bit of the nose on the J.W. Lees Harvest Ale.

Tipping back the glass reveals a sweet wave of sugared figs and cherries. A nice extension of the nose. Creamy caramel malts and a touch of wine and oak character. Almost like liquid sugar cookies mixed with honey glazed fruits. Some warming alcohol, but surprisingly smooth for almost 15%. Age has done good things.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with low carbonation. Feels much like a well done English Barleywine. Warming alcohol is about perfect. It's hard to believe this is 14.6%. Thick, smooth, Belgian sweetness.

Drinkability is very good. It's very rare that I give a beer above 10% ABV a score above 4 in this section, but this beer is dangerously drinkable with 4 years on it. The flavor is great. Lots of complexity and a smooth body. This is an excellent option for dessert. I will definitely be picking up a few for the cellar and I'd like to see where this beer goes with 5-10 years on it. Nice work Avery.

Photo of abuliarose
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage, poured into a snifter, revealing rich brown body under a decently dense short yellowed head. The smell is serious. Lots of alcohol warmth with fresh fig, vanilla, dates, oatmeal, quinoa, slight molasses and a touch of hay. I love the smell.

Tastes hot and very, very sweet. A sipper for sure, more like a cordial, but a delicious dessert beer at that. Nice soft malt finishes an initially honey-sweet fruitiness evoking fig nectar. Slightly tingly and small carbonation accents the sweetness initially, but fades into the gentle clean grain background. Man is this sweet. Some of the flavors are more like English barleywine-style in their caramel sweetness... in fact, can't say I've had a Belgian strong dark quite like this. The Belgian character is there, though, with a slightly spicy background from the yeast. Medium-bodied with a light and sometimes dry mouthfeel. For what it is, I find it nicely drinkable.

I wish I had more of these already aged. They will be great in the cold winter months by the fire.

Photo of djmichaelk
3.14/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into a snifter. 2009 vintage.

A - Cloudy amber, with very little head, which is to be expected with the ridiculously high ABV. Maybe a thin ring around the edges.

S - If I didn't know better, I'd think this was a glass of Double Bastard. Lots of toffee and caramelized sugar, and maybe a hint of hops. Some nuttiness, enough to remind me of peanut brittle.

T - Not nearly as pleasant as the nose. Alcohol dominates, the esters making it hard to detect much of anything else. All I can get is brown sugar and toffee, along with a little biscuity breadiness. But it's just got too much heat. It's a mix of good and bad, which kind of cancel each other out.

M - Good carbonation, nice and silky. Medium body, and the finish is just long enough.

D - Hell, ~16% kills the drinkability for any almost beer. The flavors are nice enough but this is definitely one and done. No question.

O - I'd love to have this with a few years on it to lower the heat. I can imagine it'd be really good in 2012.

Photo of stonelis
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 4 2006. Poured a dark dark red. Nice initial 3 finger tan head which quickly subsided. smells of belgian yeast and burnt sugar. Initial taste, I was suprised by how sweet it was. Alcohol is present. Definately a sipper. Taste of Candied figs, Raisins, dark brown sugar, I like this alot. I'll definately pick up another bottle just to cellar for a few more years.

Photo of keith712
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a deep cloudy amber, with a small, thin head. Beautiful color in my opinion. Darker and somewhat cloudier than a typical Belgian ale.

Smell: WHOA, the alcohol is hot and heavy, and sweet right off the bat. Warmed my nose quite easily! Sweet dark honey, roasted molasses, sweet dates and raisins that come out as it warms.

Taste: BIG sweetness followed by the HEAT. This stuff has a kick that wakes you up and warms the throat. Very strong dates/dark fruits, again followed by heat from the high abv. Not for sissy beer drinkers, it is fairly complex but the high alcohol kind of beats down the flavors.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy, clings to the inner cheeks, and WARMS the mouth completely. The flavor sticks with me a bit in between sips, and you don't want to waste this one by taking large gulps!

Drinkability: Medium at best, this is a sipping brew best shared with a pal (or two even). Definitely a "man beer". One of these in a night is enough. I will drink again.

Overall I would rate this as a novelty beer, something enjoyed with friends. It has big character and is quite a good discussion beer. It's BIG on alcohol but I quite enjoyed it. Final score, 8 out of 10 based on the WOW factor.

The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,220 ratings.