The Beast Grand Cru - Avery Brewing Company
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 1,034 | Reviews: 540 | Display Reviews Only:
2.15/5 rDev -44.2%
According to the label I'm drinking the 04 version at 18.1%. This stuff pours nice but it really gets weird from there. I can't describe the smell but it's funky and I don't mean that in a good way.
I think I taste soy sauce.There's a definite alcohol burn but I had prepared myself for much worse.
Honestly, I think I bought this because of the huge ABV. Maybe this is for someone, but not me.
02-19-2007 00:17:11 | More by phil7568
3.23/5 rDev -16.1%
Pours with quite a depth of color, brilliant gold around the edges, medium amber in the middle, and a deep ruby brown in the depths... almost like a tequila sunrise. One finger head has almost no retention, and leaves nothing behind in the glass. Not surprising considering the ABV.
Aroma has some malty notes, but is overwhelmed by alcohol.
The flavor here is much better, hugely malty, with flavors of honey, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, vanilla and pears. Pretty sweet from front to back, but only slightly cloying. Searing alcohol burn on the finish is harsh. Mouthfeel is incredibly heavy and thick, like drinking warm honey. You can tell that just by watching the bubbles struggling to surface in the incredibly viscous liquid. Drinkability is relatively low, this is a sipper for sure, especially considering the very prevalent alcohol.
I would have thought that after almost two years, the alcohol would have faded a bit more than this. The others in my cellar will be sitting for quite a while. But, despite the alcohol presence, and relative sweetness of this, and the low scores, I really like this beer. I think it has amazing potential in the cellar, and can be fantastic, given enough time. Also, don't expect this to be a belgian strong dark, it's not. I don't even know what to put this under, perhaps american strong ale... but I think a belgian SDA should be more yeast driven. Just my opinion.
Keep doing what you're doing Avery... I love it!
02-17-2007 01:11:53 | More by phisig137
3.43/5 rDev -10.9%
Mahogany body topped by a very long lasting sand colored head. The head is reinforced by a multitude of tiny carbonation streams. The beer almost sparkles, like a metallic red paint. Aromas are dominated by alcoholic bourbon notes. This stuff s about 1/3 the strength of bourbon, so not a huge surprise I guess. Also some nice dark plum scents. I take a sip and then 'WOW!' man does this stuff have an alcohol burn....sugary sweet as well. I think they forgot the hops on this batch. Is punishing, but I cant stop sipping it. Definitely a night-cap or dessert type beer. I also think it could use a couple years to mellow a bit. Mouthfeel is thick, but still has enough carbonation to lift the layer of sugar off the tongue. Drinkability - well, not a beer to power through, but still interesting enough to stick with it. Wish I had several more to stash away. Think it will only get better.
02-17-2007 01:11:44 | More by aaronh
4.13/5 rDev +7.3%
12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.
slightly murky medium brown that shows some deep orange against the light. an aggressive pour yields a three-quarter inch, off-white head that retains well and leaves thick webbings of lace.
thickly sweet, caramel and alcohol aroma. notes of liquor-soaked dark fruits, mostly cherries and raisins. reminiscent of sweeter fortified wines, but bordering on medicinal.
rummy-sweet dark fruits dominate the flavor. bordering on cloying, but balanced with a gentle carbonation and a slightly bitter hop presence in the finish. alcohol peeks through slightly, but not as much as you'd think given the 15%. warming, complex, and drinkable until the alcohol wears you down. a seriously well-crafted high gravity beer.
02-15-2007 06:12:44 | More by Prufrock
3.53/5 rDev -8.3%
This is one sweet, alcoholic beer. Thick, dark brown color. Smells sweet - almost candy sweet. Smells boozy too. Taste is similar. Lots of brown sugar, toffee, some chocolate. Brandy finish, with lots of alcohol burn. Dark fruits, some figs maybe. The flavors in this are good, they just don't really meld together. Mouthfeel is thick, rich and syrupy. Drinkability is low. Way too rich and thick to drink much of. Too much alcohol up front.
This beer could benefit from at least 5 years of aging. Fresh, it is too sweet and way too hot. Although, even in 5 years, this could still be too sweet. At least the alcohol would retreat some. This beer will knock you out. I don't know if I would recommend this - but it is interesting.
02-12-2007 09:41:44 | More by rallison
3.73/5 rDev -3.1%
Perhaps moreso than with any other brewery, my experiences with Avery have been hit or miss - either I enjoy their stuff, or I find it absolutely foul. I have yet to try the Beast in any form. My girlfriend tried it early on at the Stone 10th Anniversary fest and remembers to this day how horrible she found it to be, but my tastes are different, so I won't be convinced until I try it for myself.
At $7.29 for a 12 oz. bottle and 14.6% ABV, I expect this beer to make a statement, be it good or bad.
After entering my Stone IRS tulip glass, this brew's clear deep amber body and creamy off-white head reminded me of some IPA's I've tried recently. Nothing too intimidating here, although the head fought a long and desperate battle to hang on before eventually trickling down to a thick halo encircling a thin lace.
At first, the odor was a surprisingly soothing mix of malt, caramel, toffee, and cherries. However, after a second whiff, I could detect a sharpness to it. This is perhaps the first time I've thought I could actually smell the alcohol itself, and this is coming from someone whose sense of smell is the envy of no one.
High marks for odor despite the intimidation factor.
What have I gotten myself into? This is after drinking a bomber of Delirium Tremens, it's a weeknight, and it's already after midnight. I already have visions of calling in sick tomorrow.
[Edit] After rereading my review and realizing how uselessly massive it is, I've wiped out a lot of the original text from this point forward and am trimming it down to this:
Imagine the experience of taking down a spoonful of cherry cough syrup. If you're like me, it's all you can do to keep yourself from gagging. First you're hit with that cloyingly sweet artificial cherry flavor. Then the medicine kicks in and shocks your body with its horrendous potency. And the whole thing is thick and syrupy and coats your mouth and leaves behind a sweet medicine aftertaste that takes way too long to go away.
Subtract the medicine and replace it with a huge, burning alcohol presence. Add carbonation. Sneak in a pinch of caramel. That's more or less what drinking the Beast was like for me. Without the medicine, it doesn't make me wince the way cough syrup does, but the alcohol and the sweetness are both extreme and continuously battle for supremacy, making consumption a highly memorable experience that may not be worth repeating.
I wonder what aging would do. Hopefully it would make the alcohol quality less intense, but would that simply bring the sweetness to the forefront? I may have to find out...
02-08-2007 09:05:45 | More by instrumentality
3.48/5 rDev -9.6%
I feel bad that I'm not giving this beer a better rating, but it was simply a case of "too much of a good thing." Dark brown with no head - had to look closely to make sure it was carbonated. Sweet, with a first impression of maple syrup that deepened into molasses, brown sugar, raisin and prune. That is a lot to pack in there. The abv was not too harsh, but no question about the alcohol being there. Finished a sweet as the start, with some hops bitterness struggling to reach through. As good as all this sounds, it was just too dense and powerful to enjoy for more than a few sips.
02-05-2007 15:40:48 | More by Brent
3.7/5 rDev -3.9%
A - Almost no head and no amount of excitation will raise it more than a thin layer. Cloudy brown brew with visible small bubbles everywhere in the brew. A slight yellow tint. Tiny patches of these bubbles cling to the side.
S - Dark fruits, caramel malt, biscuits and alcohol. At higher temperatures alcohol is the only thing you can smell.
T - Slightly sweet with a strong caramel malt and fig flavor. A touch of orange as well. The aftertaste is a dull, dark fruity bitterness with a touch of citrus and a bit of lingering sweetness. A bit of alcohol, a lot more as it warms. Flavor is very good.
M - Smooth, medium bodied, the alcohol is way to strong for it to be very refreshing, although it is superficially. It is almost to the point of burning when it goes down at times. Worst area here.
D - Not that bad. It is waaaay too strong. It is always strange when you are hammered after one 12 oz beer. It is is tasty and goes down pretty easily though. I would say this is an old ale over a Belgian strong though. I will probably try this yearly from now on. Note: I cellared this one for about six months before consumption.
02-04-2007 04:44:06 | More by mrasskicktastic
4.33/5 rDev +12.5%
poured from a 12 oz, into a Small tulip glass. Got moderate head over a dark amber body. Smells very sweet, a little spicy, and of grainy malt. Tastes sweet. Very sweet. A little of that grainy malt, and maybe they hid some hops in there. Did I mention it's really sweet? 'Cause it's really sweet. Oh the alcohol comes through after some of your sweet taste buds have died off. It's really heavy on the tongue - not like you'd expect from a Stout, but syrupy Sweet. It has a huge sweet finish cut short by a bite of alcohol , then lingering sweetness. This is really good stuff, but too thick, sweet, and strong to have more than one.
01-29-2007 02:44:35 | More by jordanmills
4.47/5 rDev +16.1%
Holy crap, popped open a bottle and looked at the abv 14.9 ! Well, lets see what we have here;
Hmm, mahogany brown pour, minimal (of course) tan head and lacing. Big fruity and bourbon aroma, but the quaff was just top notch. Sweet, malty, port wine, bourbon, and fruits (mainly figs) all squished into this brew. Slick and oily, but still the high alcohol comes in and cleans out the palate. The drawback? Still just too much sweetness in this.
Only a 12 ounce bottle, Id luv to have more of these down the road. And I will, as I look forward to the next release
01-28-2007 23:12:33 | More by Vancer
3.35/5 rDev -13%
12oz bottle, no date. Pours a clear amber with a plum hue. The beige head recedes quickly, leaving some spotty lacing.
The smell is filled with yeast, sweet malt, and fruit--dates, figs, currants, plum, and raisin. The flavor is also very sweet and sugary, and the alcohol is right there flaming up the ribcage.
This beer is light bodied, but the sugar content renders it quite syrupy. With the alcohol burn and syrupy body, this one ain't all that drinkable. Overall it's not awful for a Grand Cru, but lacks the complexity and bouyant nature of say, the Rodenbach Grand Cru. It's not the best Avery has to offer.
01-20-2007 02:38:07 | More by Osiris9588
4.38/5 rDev +13.8%
12oz bottle into snifter. Bottles in 2006.
Clear deep ruby red hue with a light tan head. The head is comprised of very fine bubbles, which produces a smooth concave shape as the center recedes and the edges stick to the glass. Solid layered lacing.
As any other Belgian Strong Dark Ale, there are some dark fruit scents in the foreground, but in this version strong alcohol vapor blends in with the fruit, mimicking sweet perfume. The overall aroma is sugary and thick.
Almost a candy like sweetness arises first, quickly giving way to the strong warming alcohol. A creaminess in the background is complimented by the spicy alcohol. The alcohol is present, but it doesn't burn. Like in the smell, the base of this drink is the dark fruit flavors. The full body and the moderate combination create a syrupy and smooth feel in the mouth. The finish is sweet with lingering rasin like flavors and fading alcohol.
Compared to other beers of the same style, this one has a softer looking head, and a higher sweetness in both the smell and taste. Somehow, the alcohol blends in rather than taking over the palate. The feel is also thicker than others. Compared to Samael's Oak Aged Ale, this one is much easier to drink, as you can take large sips rather than small ones, and the alcohol doesn't dominate. The small bottle size allows you to finish this one on your own, rather than needing a drinking buddy or significant other to help you out. I find this one enjoyable, with the sweet flavors being inviting rather than repeling. Others may object, but either way it will probably wind up as a good experience.
01-19-2007 04:31:29 | More by BeerSox
3.55/5 rDev -7.8%
I have mixed feelings on this beer. On the one hand, it has a very pleasant aftertaste, kind of a spicy feeling in the back of the throat, a kind of ginger taste long after swallowing. But the first tastes are overwhelmed by the sweetness of the beer. There is little character and it is almost syrupy enough to be described as oily. On the other hand, it has a fantastic reddish color and thick, shaving cream density head and the smell is spicy and sweet (of course). I would humbly recommend the Mephistopheles stout to anyone over this beer.
01-19-2007 03:23:32 | More by nkurz129
3.7/5 rDev -3.9%
Bottled in 2006
[OG 1.147, Alcohol 14.6% by Volume]
Presentation: 12 fluid ounce brown glass bottle, sealed with silver backed thin red foil on the neck which has a large silver letter A set against a black circular brewery stamp. This foil covers the upper 2 of the neck, as well as the black and gold Avery logod crown cap. (Yet) another Avery dark black satanic label , this time with the red-eyed head of a snarling Big Cat like .erm, well, Beast. Cost $6.99. Not cheap.
Appearance: Pellucid dark chestnut brown with a Mohave red desert heat set into the background in and amongst a coppery body. Massive amounts of fine carbonation produce a fast rising beige head which fills my English handled Half Pint Mug with the merest pour. Smattered lacing at the top of the glass rim is speckled in nature, but as you work your way down it transmutes to a ring style rocky smattered affair. The craggy surface of the head is very attractive as it settles down. The conditioning is average in strength but the bubbles move slowly in the deep alcohol depths.
Smell & Taste: I merged these; for they are inextricably linked, one is seemingly indefinable from and interspersed with the other. Lots of brown sugar, prunes, sweet malts, sugared plums, molasses, rum & raisin ice cream, some vinous tones, toffee, caramel with an even stronger brown sugar in the finish. In fact the whole nose is of a thick rich caramel toffee infused with brown sugar with dark fruity plums and a sour wine angle that intrigues and carries straight through into the tastes and lingering palate. Soft finish raises some solvent based alcoholic aromas that rise quickly up the back of the throat and warm up the nostrils as it is exhaled.
Mouthfeel: Unlike some other Avery brews, this one does not suffer the slings and arrows of heat; moreover, immense brown sugar sweetness produces a thickness that has a molasses texture at its base. The alcohol breaks through in the back third but it is always tempered with a sugary roundness which keeps it all under control.
Drinkability: The sugary sweetness is too much for me, Im not that partial to the high sugar levels but it just rescues itself from being sickly with some balancing dark fruits and even the alcohol help to assist in keeping some attraction but this is a hard slog at times, good job they dropped the Bomber down to a 12 fluid ounce bottle.
Overall: Not bad, nice enough, but just too damned sugary sweet for my liking.
01-06-2007 06:59:43 | More by TheLongBeachBum
5/5 rDev +29.9%
This is one of my favorite beers. I'm honestly not a fan of Avery's normal line-up. They are a bit too hoppy for my taste. But these big beers like The Reverand, Samaels and The Beast are in my opinion, world class. The Beast pours a beautiful color and just the right amount of head. The nose is fruity and provides a solid hint at how stong this ale is. The taste is astounding. Sweet but not too sweet. Very well balanced. It's a good thing it's so expensive because these things go down way to easy. -And at 14.9% ABV, you could get yourself into a heap of trouble if you're not careful. I highly recommend The Beast.
12-29-2006 00:14:27 | More by sterstar1
3.9/5 rDev +1.3%
Poured into a Kwak Specialty glass, poured a nice brown with a minimal head that leaves a bit of lace, not much though. Smell is pretty amazing you can smell all types of different smells in there, I notice some sweet bread, molasses, raisons, olives and hay dates and whiskey. The flavor hits you like a ton on brickes it is heavy and the alcohol present can be a bit overwhelming to my likes, It is still pretty good and one that needs to be sipped to truly enjoy this remarkable addition. 2006 Edition.
12-25-2006 19:06:22 | More by gunnerman
3.9/5 rDev +1.3%
Avery The Beast - 2006
Bottled in 2006
Served in an oversized brandy snifter
My friend LB showed up with an amazing selection of beers including The Czar, Ellie's Brown Ale and The Beast. Happy Holidays!
On to the review...
Pours a crimson red with a tan colored lacing on top. Blazing dark-red and brown highlights appear.
Whoa...this nose is RIPE. Whiffs of raw grapes, sweet malts, orange citrus and rum.
Very syrupy and sweet. Almost too sweet with a pineapple & citrus twang bang. Major sugary-sweet with juicy caramel malts. This brew is hot with a hard liquor sharpness and respectable hop snap on the finish.
A fine sipper by the fire this holiday season. The 14.6% ABV is no joke. I may have had this one much to soon. I would like to have this beer two years after having some time to mellow out. I appreciate the excess nevertheless.
12-23-2006 23:29:53 | More by Hibernator
4.43/5 rDev +15.1%
All hail the Beast. =) This is my review number 666 it is Friday night, (if only it was the 13th but no it is the 15th), and I am drinking the Beast! What is this going to unleash upon me oooaaaawwwhahahaha.
All I can say is WOW! The beast is certainly powerful and hammers smashes and wrecks all in its path across your palate. 14.60 % alcohol and what ever the International Sweetness Unit number is on this one... It is a monster that broke through the roof!
Appearance: Pours a dark red hued brown with a thick tan head. After the beer settles it leaves very little lacing which is to be expected of a 15% beer.
Smell: Very strongly vinous. Grape, fusel alcohol, cinnamon spice, rum raisin, and loads and loads of brown sugar. Underneath round one comes more aromas, caramel, rock candy and peanut brittle, figs, apples, dates, pineapples and more sweet candied fruit, then a suggestion of citrus hops and a splash of lemon and a bit more alcohol like port or rum.
Taste: This is an absolute monster. A beast among beasts. Am I going to hell now? The flavors follow the nose to a T. It is partly like drinking Kings syrup straight from the bottle and partly like drinking port or dark spiced rum. Exceptionally sweet and certainly not for timid. Many beers I have described as friendly and approachable, ... this beer is *NOT!* It commands you bow. I actually think I may lock a few of the '06 beasts away in my dungeon for a year or two tame them a tad. The gargantuan flavors of rum-raisin, honey, plum, molasses, dates and pineapple are met with alcohol and hops and leave a very fruity sweet sugary aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Are we sure this is beer? Wow. The viscosity of the beer is so rich and enthralling I thought I was drinking a port or spiced honey for that matter.
Drinkability: It is hard not to point out that a beer this enormous has a lower limit that a beer much much smaller. It is more than a nightcap beer; it is dinner and the nightcap. No doubt one is enough but it is a very enjoyable one, so the drinkability is acceptable.
Hope this is helpful.
12-16-2006 09:35:25 | More by Phatz
4.18/5 rDev +8.6%
Lovely raw honey color, with a honey-tinted head that doesn't last long. No lacing in my glass, which isn't surprising.
Smells like one of the cult-classic Chardonnays from Napa, like Marcassin or Kistler circa 1991. Tons of sweet, ripe fruits: grapes, figs, melon. Raw sugar is there, as well.
Beer as Sauternes. Tastes of raisins, date bread, sweet honey, candy ribbon. Warm, wine-like finish. Feels like a dessert wine in the mouth.
A very fine end-of-the-meal beer. Enjoy it as dessert.
12-15-2006 03:53:19 | More by MVassar
3.05/5 rDev -20.8%
12 oz bottle w/ the same design as the bottle shown in the picture. This one is bottled in 2006. Poured into a chalice it formed a reputable off white head that slid with the alcohol providing little lace. Amazing clarity and a copper body.
The first thing I noticed was that it had some of the typical Belgian strong dark characteristics: Dark fruits front and center? yes thanks for asking but fairly popscicle'ish. Slightly clovey and a touch of Jolly rancher? you bet. There is a backdrop of thin light fruits as well, pineapple and oranges mixed comes to mind. Alcohol is a major player as it vaporizes the taste buds, mostly in the finish and aftertaste. With that being said the mouthfeel was surprisingly moderate, leaning not right or left.
Notes: This is a sipper for sure. It grew in complexity as a friend and I let it warm. Body was a bit light when comparing it to the thoroughbreds of the style. Alcohol was a bit harsh but far from annoying. Money to Value ratio comes up short for such an expensive brew. Try one for the curiosity factor at least.
12-09-2006 07:26:43 | More by DogFood11
4.28/5 rDev +11.2%
Bottle Inspection: Bottled in 2005 (aged at room temp until Dec. 2006), notes the use of Two-row malted barley, honey malt, imported Belgian specialty grains (aromatic, pale wheat, roasted wheat, Special B) hops (Magnum, Galena, Saaz, Hallertau, Tettnang, Hersberker) brewing sugars (raisins, dates, blackstrap molasses, alfalfa honey, turbinado, dark Belgian candy sugar), water, Belgian yeast, and another hellion of a yeast strain. Also lets you know it means business with an O.G. of 1.148 and an abv of 14.9%. Nice info!
Aroma: Heavy, dark, seductive, slightly scary, almost musky. Rum soaked raisins, whiff of alcohol (or is that brimstone?), dark malt extract, sugarplums, and burnt rubber.
Appearance: A translucent brown amber glass sports a few wisps of off white head that cling to the sides of the glass as if to escape the potent brew beneath it.
Flavor: Holy kick to the head Batman! The juicy dark fruit are in full force and backed with a heavy handed alcoholic syrup. Has a spice quality, like mace or some other Christmas spice. The molasses and dark fruit are prominent.
Mouthfeel: Heavy body triggers a good chew; thick viscous texture soaks into the chops and lingers there for about 20 minutes.
Overall Impression: Wow, reminiscent of Sam Adams Triple Bock in some ways, but not as harsh. This has some grace, powerful, terrible, efficient grace.
A fitting beer for my 666th review on BeerAdvocate.
12-09-2006 02:28:06 | More by HardTarget
3.63/5 rDev -5.7%
One of my roommates surprisingly brought this one out. Poured into a snifter. Tan head. Sweet florally and alcohol scent. Medium brown in color. Taste of sweet melon and alcohol.
I think this one is a little sweet for my tastes but my gf loves it. I think this one is pretty good...just a little sweet....
12-08-2006 06:07:29 | More by mnfinnkidd
4.45/5 rDev +15.6%
This beer pours a clear ruby-brownish color. The head is three fingers in height, rocky, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is enormous. Malt, honey, plums, grapes, figs, and caramel. The taste is sweet; this is probably the sweetest beer I have ever had. It is a complex sweetness though. All the fruit and honey from the aroma are present in the taste, yet none of them are too brash. Surprisingly, there is absolutely no indication of the 14.6% ABV in either the taste or the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied with nice carbonation. It is fairly silky now, but I suspect that it would smooth out more with age. Overall, this beer is really good. It seems to be beer like, wine like, and mead like all at the same time, and I like that.
12-06-2006 05:01:25 | More by KarlHungus
4.53/5 rDev +17.7%
12 oz, bottled 2006 and found at Sam's. Poured this guy into a chalice. About three centimeters of tannish off white head. The body is a deep mahogany with dark red highlights. Smells of raisons, sweet sticky plums, and molasses. Taste is a real kick in the mouth. Tons of sticky sweetness matched with some hop bitterness toward the end of the mid section and then some nice alcohol warm to finish. This beer is definitely different and I can completely understand why some people would be against it's intense mead like sweetness, but with an open mind I drink this to it's end. It smells like any decent BSDA and then tastes like a barely mead mix, which If you don't like mead then sorry. But from reading reviews I expected much less and got so much more. In my book this is a great winter sipper, even if I'm not sipping.
12-02-2006 06:00:45 | More by mmcave
2.05/5 rDev -46.8%
About all this beer had going for it was the appearnace, which was hazy reddish-orange with good brown head and excellent lacing. Unfortunately, looks aint everything. This was so incredibly sweet, in both the nose and taste, that it overwhelmed everything else. I kept sipping it slowly as it warmed, hoping that something else would pop through, even the alcohol, to tame the sweet, but to no avail. It was like drinking a bottle of Karo Syrup, without the corn flavor. This ended up being one of the 3 or 4 on my ratings list which I have drained-poured before finishing. Sorry, but this crap was really nasty.
11-26-2006 22:32:30 | More by kimcgolf
The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,034 ratings.