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The Beast Grand Cru - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,020 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,020
Reviews: 540
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 16.1%
Wants: 56
Gots: 232 | FT: 13
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:
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 11 (2013): 18:00% ABV

(Beer added by: Crosling on 01-29-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,020 | Reviews: 540 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Truh

New Hampshire

3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2006 23:28:58 | More by Truh
Photo of BeerRun13


3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2006 23:34:45 | More by BeerRun13
Photo of TastyTaste


2.25/5  rDev -41.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2006 03:53:34 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of mortarit

North Carolina

2.08/5  rDev -46%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2006 03:05:34 | More by mortarit
Photo of DaPeculierDane


1.95/5  rDev -49.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2006 22:53:48 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of johnniemarg

New York

2.83/5  rDev -26.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2006 03:53:00 | More by johnniemarg
Photo of Pegasus


4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2006 02:48:16 | More by Pegasus
Photo of PorterLambic


3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2006 19:06:22 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of Bighuge


3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2006 04:36:49 | More by Bighuge
Photo of bitterdestroyer

New Jersey

3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2006 15:05:29 | More by bitterdestroyer
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
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

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2006 22:05:28 | More by brentk56
Photo of joeyels


3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2006 14:33:14 | More by joeyels
Photo of mentor


4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2006 05:51:03 | More by mentor
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


2.63/5  rDev -31.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2006 17:54:53 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of hero27


3.88/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2006 02:54:19 | More by hero27
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

2.63/5  rDev -31.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2006 14:10:31 | More by Gavage
Photo of JISurfer

South Carolina

2.7/5  rDev -29.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2006 05:37:53 | More by JISurfer
Photo of amicar


3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2005 05:58:24 | More by amicar
Photo of jujubeast6000


3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2005 05:15:18 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of MuddyFeet

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2005 21:13:14 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of kmpitz2


4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2005 03:13:54 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2005 02:24:06 | More by oberon
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2005 10:17:02 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of zjungleist


3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a goblet this beer has a nice ruby/amber color with a pretty light head. The head was short and now pretty much clings to the edges of the glass. The smell is very fruity and sweet. I'm getting mainly dates and molasses, but there is a little yeast and other sugars to detect as well. This is probably the sweetest beer I have ever had. It is so sweet I can hardly detect any malts or hops at all. Pretty much all I'm getting is sugars, molasses, some fruit, and a little sour twang at the end. The mouthfeel is pretty much pure syrup. There is little carbonation, and the mouthfeel is way off balance. The flavor is way off balance too, sickly sweet and verycloying. I was hoping for a little more charecter, or complexity, but whatever depth this might have is totally destroyed by the sweetness. I could maybe... maybe see this being good to cook with, or bake with, but otherwise... at $7+ per 12oz... a real disapointment. Very hard to drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2005 23:25:46 | More by zjungleist
Photo of SkeeterHawk


4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First, I feel it necessary to mention that this review is biased in the fact that it is lumping every year of the beast together. The same can be said for Sierra Nevada's Celebration and Bigfoot, so this is why I don't contest the method.

Appearance: Pours a deep reddish amber color that had a quarter inch head on it at first pour, but then disappeared very quickly. There is already lacing on the glass.

Aroma: A good bit of spicy alcohol along with a rich woody/earthy aroma that is noticeable at first. There are some cherry and solvent notes coming out as it warms a bit. As it warms further, there is a noticeable spicy alcohol along with some candy-like sweetness.

Taste: Now this beer is one rich muthah! It's hard to discern what actually happened after my first sip. There was rich and syrupy malt that washed over my palate just as the spiciness from the alcohol became noticeable. At this point my palate was ruined, so I can only speculate as to what this beer tastes like from now on. There is lots of plum and syrup available that would probably go well on pancakes if it weren't for the fire hazard.

Opinion: Oh my God, how do I describe this? Well...it is big...REAL big with some meaty malt and other flavors that make up this beers personality. It finishes with a warming liqueur like finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2005 05:21:08 | More by SkeeterHawk
The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,020 ratings.