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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

1,162 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,162
Reviews: 558
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 16.1%
Wants: 67
Gots: 290 | FT: 15
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 10 (2012): 16.00% ABV
Batch 11 (2013): 18:00% ABV
Batch 12 (2014): 16.1% ABV

(Beer added by: Crosling on 01-29-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,162 | Reviews: 558 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Floydster
2.15/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

12 ounce bottle purchased at Wally's Wine in Los Angeles for eight dollars, I believe this was the 2006 vintage, I probably should have looked at the bottle, it did say 14.6% alcohol though, split with three friends last night, poured into a small wine glass

A-Color was closest to mahoghany, brown but orange at the same time, hazy and murky, surprised to see a 3/4 inch head that was pretty creamy, stuck around for close to ten minutes, great retention, no lacing

S-Tons of raisins, booze conisting of both brandy and cognac, dark fruits galore, vanilla, oak, piercing alcohol scent really affected me, chocolate, toffee, caramel, burned malts, sweet malts, candy, brown sugar, maple syrup, and honey

T-First sip just about knoecked me out of my chair, one of the booziest beers I have ever tasted, really overpowered a lot of the tastes but plums were present, the finish was full of caramel and milk chocolate, taste did not change much except for the fact that the alcohol tamed down just a little bit once it warmed, there was no balance whatsover and it seemed like somebody poured in a couple shots of liquor into the fermenting tank while this was being brewed, too much for me, I siimply could not handle the beast

M-Very boozy, sweet, and pungent mouthfeel, this was one in despeate need of carbonation, thick, taste lasted way too long, wow this was a serious sipper, body was close to being full which is odd for a beer of this style and age

D-Could not even finish my three ounces, sad but true, this is so strong and you taste every drop of alcohol in each sip, about as far from smooth as physically possible, the syrupy texture did not help it go down any easier

Not a huge fan of Avery's big beers and this was no exception, too strong for my palate and would never be able to finish a bottle of this by myself, have heard some people say they really enjoyed it, the four of us did not so much last night, would not drink again, might be worth trying maybe once

Photo of jayrod20
2.9/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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 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.

Photo of BigJTrucker
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Recieved this bottle in a recent trade with "Turbine2475"

Bottled in 2007

Pours a beautiful deep mahogany color with a bright head that settle fairly slowly. Aroma is a very malty, somewhat woodsy, with just faint hints of the alcohol to come. Taste is very sweet, hints of cane sugar, apricots, oak, and surprisingly, the alcohol is very well hidden behind the sweetness. Mouthfeel is very smooth and sticky, almost syrupy. A beer that seems to get stronger as it goes along. Great flavor. I'd love to try this again in the future, but it'd be hard to drink more than one in a sitting.

Photo of drperm
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Notes from 2006 release.
This beer is worth having once, just so you can brag that you've had it. It's hard to fork out that much moolah for a single 12 oz. bottle, though, when the Thomas Hardy's is sitting right across the way.
This beer isn't named and labeled with a nod towards Satan for nothing -- it is sinister and evil enough for the best of us, with the necessary amount of enticing temptation to make us waver.
This brew is definitely for sipping and respecting -- otherwise it's liable to knock you right onto the floor.
As can be expected from something with that many different brewing sugars (turbinado, raisin, dates, molasses, honey, and dark Belgian candi), there is a pervading sweetness that certainly isn't for everyone. I'm intrigued to cellear this one for the recommended 10 years and see how it matures/mellows. If I can convince myself to get past the sticker shock again.

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this one laying around for a while. I would give it a couple of looks and usually decided it was not the right time. Decided to crack this one for opening day baseball on a Sunday night. The Beast is truly an intimidating beer and a force to be reckoned with.

***Bottled in 2006***

12 oz. bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

A- A maroon, ruby, brown color. Decent sized cream colored head. Yeast and sediment remained a long the top lining of the beer for the duration of the drink.

S- EXTREMELY fruity and sugary with nothing else going on. All I can say is that the smell is actually "sticky" and quite thick.

T- Very candylike. Think candy apples, brown sugar, figs, caramel coated fruits, honey, molasses, maple syrup and a nice belgian yeast all rolled into one. With such a HIGH abv I was shocked at the lack of alcohol taste in each sip. Huge raison and prune finish totally dominating the tongue. Wow. Quite a whirlwind of flavors. This is the "candy" of extreme beer.

M- Mouthfeel was syrupy and thick. Totally sticky. Lips sticking together right now as I type. Sugar also leaving a thick layer of sweets a long my lips. Some burning in the throat.

D- This is a beer that is a strong force. I am baffled at this one. This one is way over the top. But I like it =) I am so glad I got to taste this one.


Photo of ccrida
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottle poured into my Delirium Tremens snifter, The Beast is a tawny amber with a creamy ivory head that is long lasting and leaves thick foam.

Smell is very strong and malty, with big fruity esters and spicy alcohol.

Taste is also very big and malty, sugary but not as thick as you might fear from a 14.6% ABV beer. Tons of belgian esters, rum soaked raisens, sherry, a prickly spice from the booze, but it's remarkably clean, devoid of fusels and phenols. This an excellant BSDA. The fact that they were able to make it so big without any off tastes is incredibly impressive.

Mouthfeel is a bit liquer like, but lighter then you might expect, and with an impressive amount of carbonation (it took a few pours to get the whole bottle into the snifter).

Drinkability is dangerously good for size of this 'beast' , the ABV is really well hidden, save for the tingle on the tongue. Obviously one for the cellar, pushing two years old right now, I'd say this bottle is still on the young side. This is the first bottle I've aged, but it will not be the last. The Beast is on my short list of beers that I'd like to try to age 20+ years.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From the 2007 batch, this is from a 12oz bottle that states 16.42% ABV. Holy Christ!!!

The pour is amber orange in color and its not cloudy but also not clear, with a quick to form tan head.

Smell is of caramel, malts and fruits. There is a light roasted sugar scent but not in a good way. It almost has a chemical or artificial sugar scent to it that could be the heavy alcohol content.

Taste is powerful. Very sweet and fruity (not citrus fruits, more apple or pear flavors.) Too sweet for my taste. I feel like they have over sweetened this beer to mask the alcohol flavors. The dark malts come through in the aftertaste but they are minimal as are the hops.

Update 07/14/11. Wow what an update, 4 years has totally changed this beer. Now the sweet taste has mellowed and blended with a symphonic blend of grain, chocolate, carmamel and candied fruits. Outstanding all around beer that is now in my top five all time. I wish I had more aged beast... this was well worth the wait!

This is almost to candylike to drink. I have some more in the cellar, I hope it mellows out. If it wasn't $6 a bottle I would pour it down the drain.

Photo of hustlemuscle
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish orange, tending toward the red side. thin head.

Smells oddly burnt, slightly fruity.

Apple, fruit, super sweet, big sugar, molasses and honey.

Starts nicely, but the sweetness is almost cloying, and definately coating.

This is a big big beer, and gets kind of brutal after a while. Almost becomes a bit of a chore to drink.

Photo of dogger6253
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There is a decent head - it's an orange-like color, slightly off-white. The body is a beautiful, bright ruby. Simply amazing.

The smell is heavily populated by raisins, plums and grapes. There are little wifts of alcohol that come in and out, bits of dates too. The aromas are very rich, but I'd say the alcohol overpowers them.

First thing that comes to mind when tasting this are ripe plums and fresh figs. The taste is of raisins and dates inside of a powerful malt character, like slightly roasted caramel. Very nice.

It's a little boozy, but sweet overall. The body is very heavy, but there is still a little carbonation. This is a sipper if I've ever had one. Delicious beer, but I don't think I'd have another one by myself. This is the sort of thing I'd like to share with a couple people.

Photo of JayQue
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very impressive experience. Pours a dark, clear reddish brown color with a medium size head. No lacing. Smell is incredible. You can open this beer, set it down and enjoy the aroma at arms length. Rich, dark fruit, port wine and astringent aroma.

Taste is more of the same. The alcohol is noticeable but not harsh like Mad Elf. The sweetness is cut down a bit by the alcohol. The flavors are strong: cherries, raisins, some maltiness and the typical astringency of a Belgian beer.

Mouthfeel is incredibly rich with a little alcohol "burn".

Drinkability is good for a beer of this size. I had a 12 oz bottle. Couldn't imagine drinking a bomber of this by myself!!! I would definitely have another at some other date though.

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: To call this beer dark would be the understatement of the year. It is nearly black in the glass. Unfortunately, I wonder if my bottle was flawed because even with an aggressive pour there was no head at all. So of course, there is no lacing either.

S: The smell of alcohol dominates the aroma of this brew. It smells as if it will be as strong as its color is dark. It makes you want to give it a try but it doesn't seem like anything extraordinary.

T: It starts off with a sugary sweet taste. It almost tastes like honey. Then a dark fruity taste takes over. It ends with a powerful warming effect. I cant say this matches my normal tastes, but it gets big points for complexity.

I'm not used to this level of alcohol in a brew. Partly due to the ABV limit in GA (picked this up on a trip to FL), and partly due to there not being many options out there in styles I like. With that said, I am surprised this one is not more dominated by the alcohol.

M: Unfortunately, this one once again loses points for having no carbonation. However, its viscosity is unmatched in any beers I have tried. I have to give it points for that. Even with the high ABV its enjoyable to roll around on the tongue.

D: The ABV keeps this one from being scored higher. The warming level is just too high to consider this one to be of high drinkability. However, the complex taste that seems to almost change with each sip makes you want to come back quickly for more.

Once again, Avery proved to me they really know what they are doing. Although not my favorite tasting brew, this one is a hell of an experience. I'm very glad I picked this one up. I'll have to try it again and hopefully get one that hasn't lost its carbonation.

Photo of charlzm
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 5 - 2007 bottle, consumed 01/09/08. 16.42% ABV.

Lovely clear caramel color with orange and gold highlights. Well carbonated: makes a nice head that reduces after a few minutes.

Aroma is BIG: I can catch whiffs of it from over a foot away as it sits on the table. A bit like solvent or glue , unfortunately, but that's just in the background. Sweet oranges or grapefruit and a honey/mead character are the strongest nose components.

Thick as it slides into the mouth. One sip and you know you're drinking something substantial.

There's more flavor here than in a whole 12 pack of macro swill. Hot spicy honey explodes in the mouth. Sharp sweet sugar appears. Alcohol vapors waft into the sinuses. Slight citrus bitterness appears and fades. The burn lasts a very long time after the beer has gone south, reminding you that it's going to do the same thing to your bloodstream.

Not an easy drinker by any means, but then it's not supposed to be a lawnmower beer, is it?

Photo of WesWes
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber/brown color with a 1/2" offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a kick ass burnt toffee and warm alcohol scent. It's sweet with some roasted malt aroma. You can really smell the raisins and molasses; not much yeast in yeast fruitiness, although the presence is noticeable. The taste is great also. This beer is so smooth and flavorful. It's sweet and sugary on the lips. It goes down slow and warm with a slight raisiny finish; very nice. The mouthfeel is awesome. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a truely great beer. I let it warm up before drinking. I'm glad I did. The complexity is off the charts.

Photo of Kidsmoke
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The intense flavor of this beer definitely needs to go with food, it's almost too much to handle all on its own. The flavors match pretty well with the laundry list of ingredients, this beer has a ton of the different sugar sources you'd put in a beer (explaining the crazy finish and the high alcohol content)

The body is about what I'd expect for the style, balanced but not terribly unusual. The finish is where this beer really takes off, when you would normally taste the alchohol you're barraged by flavors, candi sugar, molasses, dates, and other sugars all contribute to a genuine funk. It will take you off guard on the first sip.

After that first sip It became interesting until about halfway through the bottle, after that I began to wonder how I would ever finish. It was a battle that was won with great effort and eventually, drunkenness.

Photo of AMo
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Avery The Beast pours a dense, opaque, dark, amber peach. This appearance lightens over a period of around thirty seven minutes. The smell is thick of malts with a slight fruit back. The taste is strong of apricot, and malt beer. Mouthfeel is dense, and slightly to medium carbonated. Half glass: this has thinned, but if you consider the ABV, carbonation is medium to high. The finish of this Beast is fantastic, very similar to Harvest Ale. Overall, I would say this is what one needs to finish off a good night of beer drinking with a plaster. Goodnight.

Photo of flexabull
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2007 bottle - 16.42% ABV

Pours a bright clear dark amber color with a very nice off white head. Very nice looking beer.

Aromas are much more muted than I expected. Mostly notes of candied sugars and citrus.

Taste is alcohol fueled. This is very hot and prickly. Some sweet hard candy flavors, creamy dark fruits, citrus like notes, and some pine like hops. Beer is certainly boozy and warm going down. Finish is crisp and biting.

Mouthfeel is not bad, but this is just too hot and prickly, feels too strong in the mouth.

Drinkability is ok. But the alcohol is way too much. I've had other very strong beers that hid the high ABV well, this didn't. Still, it's a very tasty and interesting beer that is worth trying. If I decide to buy another bottle, it's going to sit in the cellar for a year or more...

Photo of BMan1113VR
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 5 (2007) 16.42% ABV. Wow, and now for something completely different. . . Aroma is complex. Caramel, resin, raisin, apple, banana, honey, dates and figs, as well as alcohol. Pours with a small off-white/to almost yellow head. Excellent Lacing. Body is clear and an amber red/brown. Really shocking taste. An explosion of flavor accompanied by an explosion of alcohol, it may be a bit too sweet. Starts off quite sweet and goes a bit acetic. Body is creamy smooth offset by lively carbonation and a strongly alcoholic and mildly astringent (not really in a bad way) finish. If you like your hard liquors then the palate is awsome but very much unlike any other beer that I have found so far.

Photo of 1fastz28
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

sweet looking bottle, the more cool bottles i have bought, the more i wish i would keep them, but thats another story. poors with absolutely no head, just a few bubbles from a tiny bit of carbonation, its like a dark cloudy opaque brown syrupy miracle of beer, the smell is fantastic, just wonderful sweet apples scents with a strong yeast and alcohol smell, which leads me to the taste, holy crap this is STRONG beer, its almost too strong, its like a thick alcohol beer syrup, each sip brings different flavors, from citrus, to malt flavors, the only reason it isn't an exceptional is because of the alcohol its just a bit too much for me. just way too much. if you can handle it, good luck

Photo of Oxymoron
4.65/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The beer has been aged for 2 years. Poured out a somewhat hazy midnight red color with lighter brown hues through out. A good white frothy head still that remains through out the tasting and good lacing.

The nose is big and intense. Complex malt aromas with noticeable alcoholic kick. Some Belgian like characteristics with tropical fruit esters and plum/raisin hints. Has some barleywine characteristic to it.

The taste is big. A complex malt taste with some sugary, syrupy flavors and a splash of caramel. Some honey flavors that mix with more of a fig-like flavor. Noticeable alcohol/solvent flavors. There is a touch of chocolate and licorice in the back end that finishes the beer nicely with the sweetness. I noticed some hop flavors as the beer warmed but subtle.

This one has a big body and then some. A huge profile leaving a creamy finish. Overall this is a fantastic beer that is best aged. Fantastic

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice big head with a adark amber color. Retention is amazing. The beer is clear and I can see my fingers through the glass.

Belgian candy sugar comes out strongly with some raisin. I smell grape fruit underneath.

Taste is sweet from candy sugar and the malts give a caramel flavor. Not cloying, but any sweet and it would approach cloying. It seems like a tad too much candy sugar to boost the alcohol, but this beer is not very boozy at all.

Not very much on the mouthfeel. It is fairly decent, but lacks any creaminess. Full, but I want more.

Not a bad beer considering a hell of a lot of candy sugar was added to boost the alcohol. Not as spiced as a lot of other belgians and I like that. Definetly would only have 2 of these maz before I passed out, but very easy to drink surprisingly.

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

Opened bottle labeled "bottled in 2005", poured into Snifter. 14.9 ABV.

Poured a nice head of 1" - very foamy and bubbly. Good dark mahogany brown color.

Smell is of malts. Very strong smell - almost a slight alcohol tinge to it, otherwise very nice.

Taste is sweet with hints of dark fruits. Is a tad bitter, but pleasant. Definitely a sipper to be enjoyed with a meal. Mouth feel is very filling with nice hints of sweetness on the finish. Bubbles do not attack the tongue - that is left to the full body of this brew. All in all, a nice one.

Photo of Traquairlover
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a chalice.

A = Murky dark purplish brown, tan head made up of very small bubbles, good lacing on the surface. Leaves light lacing on glass which slowly flows down into the beer.

S = Very thick, malty smell, like a strong English barleywine or Old Ale, but there is also a slight smell of the Belgian yeast asserting its pedigree. Alcohol is present but not unpleasant.

T = Very rich, sweet malt flavors reminiscent of maple syrup and molasses, sharp yeasty notes and a bitter kick towards the end melding into a long semisweet finish. As in the smell, alcohol is present but not unpleasant.

M = Medium to heavy body, rich creamy carbonation and very good mouthcoat.

D = A very drinkable beer but in moderation, the taste is strong and it packs a wallop.

Photo of dsa7783
2.38/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Yesterday, I sampled Avery's other big brew - Samael's, and the overbearing and overwhelming taste were too noticeable for me to actually enjoy a beer that I spent almost $10 for a typical 12oz bottle... much was the same with this one... an almost identical beer in appearance, taste, and aroma... Dark, ruby-red, grainy appearance with nice frothy head... Smell is very thick and powerful, with a caramel and malt aroma where the 14.9% ABV is very apparent... As with Samael's, the flavor was once again too thick, way too sweet, and too overwhelming to really be enjoyable... you can certainly split this 12 oz with one or two other people... a real sipper that you should try to enjoy over a space of at least an hour... Taste was ultra-rich and way too sweet... the alcohol flavor was surely noticeable, and the overall mouthfeel and drinkability suffered... I would consider the drinkability similar to drinking a batch of sugar bathed in gasoline oil... Not something I enjoyed, and for the ridiculous price, I would never purchase this one again...

Photo of warmstorage
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle ~$6.99 at Brown Jug Warehouse, Anchorage, AK. Label states: Bottled in 2007, 16.42% ABV, 1.137 OG.

Appearance: deep clear red with an orangey tint. A fairly vigorous pour into a wide-mouthed red wine glass gives a significant dense off-white/beige head, and leaves significant lacing. The head dissipates as it sits, but leaves a lot of lacing.

Aroma: fruit, spice, and deep warmth. The alcohol is noticeable, and almost seems to give a little burn.

Taste: deep and fruity sweet, with a big stonefruit body. Lots of honey, also figs and ripe plums. Big sugar and carmelized sugars, but well balanced by the heat, and a decent if indistinct hop back to keep it together.

Mouth: Big warming as it goes down, the alcohol is warm, but certainly not hot for such a huge beer. Thick and viscous, but I wouldn't say syrupy.

Overall: Delicious, warming, very drinkable, and amazingly well balanced for such a huge beer. It feels better balanced than the first time I had it in 2005, despite this batch apparently having reached a higher ABV. Delicious stuff -- I'll buy it again even with a single bottle costing close to many micro/craft six packs.

Photo of ntillemans
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2007 batch 16.42 poured into snifter.

A - A finger of head, red-orange, very clear...nice lace on the glass but no carbonation bubbling up from the bottom of the glass...low carbonation is to be expected with a drink with such a high abv, of course.

S - caramel, sweet, alcohol, a hint of hops

T - caramel, fruity, very bitter...the bitterness competes with the warmth and nearly covers up the warmth...save for the mouthfeel and body warmth.

M - full-bodied, starts creamy and bites with it's bitterness and warmth. The head coats the mouth and feels bubbly and warm. A little too warm though for my tastes.

D - It's a sipper. I think it's too warm though and the alcohol stands out too much. It would benefit from a spell in the cellar I expect.

The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,162 ratings.