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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: 23
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 CHSLBrew
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A-Poured a deep amber beer, hazy from being unfiltered. Tan head grew quickly but retained minimally. Sparse bubbles remained.

S-Intially I noticed a light chocolate with a slight toasty malt. Then my nose was bombarded by an onslaught of spices and fruits, thick and unrelenting.

T-Oh boy, where to start. Very fruity, with lots of dried fruits (raisins were in there), but also some ripening stemmed fruits. Toasted bread comes through, when its able. Spicy nuances fade in and out. There was clearly some alcohol flavor to it, but this was much smoother than I expected. Overall, this beer has much intensity and complexity in its flavor profile.

M-Minimal carbonation allows this full-bodied brew to stand on its own, while still providing a slight zing upon swallowing. Chewey body, and almost creamy at times. The alcohol is so well-hidden that it scares me, while still providing that pleasant warmth in my belly.

D-Great drinkability, in moderation :D very complex flavor and a smoothness that hides its high ABV.

Photo of Irie
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful clear body with a ruby red color. Little head but good lacing. Smells like a wonderful malty playground with little hoppy kids running around pushing each other into the sand.

Very light feel with sharp carbonation but not a lot of body. Taste is very strong; so much so it overpowers most of the flavor balance. In fact, there isn't much taste at all beyond the liquid holding the heavy alcohol.

As far as a strong dark ale goes I think it's low on flavor but high on strong. The aftertaste is bitter without much flavor with detracts from the enjoyment of it.

Not a bad drink, but I wouldn't get a sixer of it. Maybe on of those one time things.

Photo of WickedSluggy
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought this beer as a single. I have not tried it before tonight. The bottle tells you a somewhat what to expect. It has a high ABV of 16.31% (my bottle is different form ABV indicated here in BA); It has a high OG, 1.135 (though we don't know what the attenuation is -guess I could do the math.) It has tons of sugar constituents and 6 varieties of hops, I couldn't discern any of them; the hops character of this beer must have beed in the background.

A - Attractive garnet red with thin pale sticky head.

S - Malty sweet aroma molasses and prunes. No hops bouquet rose above the aroma.

F - Rich sweet complex flavor rolls in several waves. I open my eyes a bit stunned; then the heat envelopes my head. Oh boy, intense. Is it too sweet? Maybe, but it is already growing on me after three sips and a temperature increase. I still want to know where the 6 varieties of hops went.

M - High FG - feels thick and rich.

D - You won't fill cooler with this one prior to your next fishing trip, but, as I often say, "it fits its intended purpose" (my perception anyways). I'll probably find myself buying it again.

Photo of tmoneyba
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured reddish/brown hue with large light brown head that lasted with excellent lacing.

Aroma and flavor very complex of hops, citrus, caramel and alcohol.

Medium to full body with long finish and a bite of alcohol.

Very good brew.

12/30/07 Bottle Batch 2 from Dilly Delli. Much better balanced beer with a strong sweet flavor with a good burn. This is a now a stand out brew.

Photo of paco1029384756
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy ruby brown color with one and a half finger of off white head.

Scent of brown sugar, yeast, honey, spices, hints of chocolate, and some alcohol. The alcohol here is hidden surprisingly well considering the strength.

Taste of brown sugar, yeast, bready malts, dark fruits, cream, and some alcohol. Finishes dry with flavors of bready malts, brown sugar, and alcohol. Definitely the best of "The Demons of Ale" series Avery has to offer.

Mouthfeel is medium heavy bodied and creamy smooth.

Photo of craytonic
2.5/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2005 vintage

Appearance: Dark cherry cough-syrup, very little head that quickly fades, no lacing

Smell: A sweet, cheap rum drink - lots of cherries and tropical fruits.

Taste: Sickly-sweet, cheap thick rum drink and cough syrup or cheap port. The alcohol is hot, heavy, and sharp.

Mouthfeel: Sugar-thickness with a very odd soft-drink fizz. Too much like spiked sugar-punch.

Photo of BasementDweller
4.62/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a red-gold with a smallish head. Delicious aroma of caramel, bruised pears, dates/raisins, and very mild, earthy hops. Palate is sticky and mouth-coating. This beer pounds your tastebuds with sweetness, giving you all sorts of forbidden fruits to play with. These include apples, pears, figs, plums and dates with a healthy dose of caramel for good measure. Wonderfully complex, it warms as it goes down (2007 vintage listed at 16.42%, but you don't feel it much until afterwards) and leaves you wondering whether beer is the work of some god, or something more sinister. Will enjoy this again soon.

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.66/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A formidable 12oz bottle, foil wrapped with evil eyes glaring out of the darkness at me.

Dark stickly looking red copper. Velvety tan foam.

Huge alcohol malt bomb in the nose right away. But after a few more sniffs, able to pick up some good fruitiness and complexity.

Taste is alcohol forward, but then a wave of juicy sweetness kicks in. After the sip my mouth salivates quite a bit. Delicious vienous and overripe fruit, honey sweetness, and a spicing that accomplanies the barrage of alcohol.

This ones ABV is incredibly high, but it fits the style and direction they wanted to go and they executed it perfectly.
As a side note, this 12oz bottle was like $8.50, making it one of my pricier beer purchases.

Photo of jeffmonarch
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle in a snifter glass.

A - Orange brown in color with a little medium tan head.

S - Very strong smell of alcohol and wood. Good malt and yeast.

T - Oh that's so good! Nice and creamy sweet. Really sweet malt flavor.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - Great beer. I love Grand Cru style beers.

Photo of jasonbbnosaj
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber in color, pours with 1/2 inch head which had disappeared halfway through. Good lacing on the glass. Fruity aroma, almost pineapple, not unpleasant though quite complex. Beer is very drinkable for a big beer. Alcohol content was 16%, but the alcohol wasn't overpowering at all. Don't get me wrong, you will know after a drink that this isn't your standard Ale, but it's not as strong as big beers can often be. Flavor was very sweet, but different from the aroma, not as fruity. Not a session beer, but is very drinkable for a beer with high ABV. I'm guessing this would age quite well, as their web site says it can be aged 10+ years. May have to pick another up to age a while.
Served in tulip glass.

Photo of magictrokini
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber pour with a minimal tan head. Port, malt, spun sugar, and dark fruits make up the aroma. Heavy taste. Thick with sugar, yeast, and malts up front that glides into a sherry and finally ends with a hop bitterness. Sticky, lingering mouthfeel and aftertaste. Gets better as it warms. Very good, just wish it was not $8 for a 12 oz bottle.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, bottled in 2005, 14.9% ABV. Served in a chalice, the beer pours a reddish/brown color with a half inch off-white head. The head went away quick, but the lacing is good. The aroma is sweet, fruity and boozy, it smells like raisins, plums, caramel, candy sugar, port and brandy. The taste is the same as the aroma, but the sweetness shows up more and the brandy/port flavor is strong too. Very nice. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's syrupy and chewy. Drinkability is good, considering the ABV. It's a sipping beer, but it's pretty easy to drink. I like this beer a lot, I'll definitely buy this again in the future. And since this one was a 2005 bottle, it ages pretty well. Recommended.

Photo of nick76
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The aroma of this beer is so complex it's hard to describe. There is definitely a wood characteristic along with caramel, honey, malt, vinegar, fruity, and yeasty. The appearance is reddish brown with a medium foamy head. The flavor is equally complex. There is molasses, fruit, malt, alcohol, and astringent hops. The palate is thick and oily. The aftertaste is medicinal. This beer is like no other I have had. Sadly there is just too much here that is not pleasant to rate it higher.

Photo of ProfessorHops
2.96/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The beer is rare and expensive around these parts. I spent $6.00 for my one bottle. Oh well. It was fun.

I will admit the 14.9 alcohol volume was intriguing, and that was one of the roots of my purchase.

I poured the beer and was instantly amazed by the strength of of aroma. I mean the dam beer filled my room up with a maple kinda' thing. I've never quite experienced this abundance of scent from a brew.

I poured the cloudy dark ale into a pilsner glass. (my favorite glassware of choice, if it's proper etiquette or not.) Poured handsome and easy. Gave it two thumb nails head as to the traditional half thumb nail.

This was a 2005 brewing. I found the flavor decent. Maybe I'm a wimp, but I found the alcohol abundance very noticeable. Which is not a bad thing. I love the taste of alcohol in beer, but a lot of reviews of this brew say that it wasn't as present as they thought it would be.

Beer was tasty. Very dried fruit pallet. Also the sent of a freshly broken stalk of celery was there. Finished with a maple prune alcohol lingering.

Photo of JoeMayo
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark brown with lighter tan at the edges. Not much in terms of head, cosidering it is supposed to be a belgian-style grand cru.

S- Very sweet and alcoholic. Faint hints of belgian yeast and spice come through, but are masked greatly by the alcohol.

T- Very slight belgian influence. The alcohol is too much to let anything else to come through. Incredibly sweet with alcohol.

M- Kinda sticky, but slightly thin.

D- Given the alcohol content, this beer is very drinkable. It's not hot with alcohol, but the alcoholic flavor is a little too dominant.

Photo of zeff80
4.69/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 bottle

A - Poured out an opaque, deep, dark, brown with hints of ruby. It had a small, thin, tan head that left a soapy residue on the sides of the glass.

S - It smelled amazing. Raisin and other dried fruits like plum and apple. It had a strong dose of caramel aroma with some vanilla and oak notes.

T - This was a sweet tasting beer. Great dried fruit flavors (raisin and plum) with a sweet caramel taste. Alcohol flavor was quite evident with some vanilla and bourbon-like taste.

M - It was soft and chewy. A full-bodied beer that wasn't overly heavy.

D - This is a great tasting beer when it has aged properly. The '05 is far better than an '08.

Photo of DownDaHatch
3.32/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 6 -- 2008

I may not have been ready for this one. I tend to like most Avery products including the Barley Wines.

The smell of alcohol is evedent when this bottle is opened. But at 16+ABV it is expected. Like fine wine, I liked this beer a bit better once it opened and warmed a bit. This is a gigantic Malt bomb (Very brady and doughy). Thick and syrup like in the glass. Additionally, I tasted much of the raisins and honey/molasses. Seemed to be bitter upfront with the fruit and sweetness at the end which only became more evident as it warmed. It is quite a complex beer.

This beer kept my belly warm and put my mind in a pleasant place on a cold midwestern evening. I would definately drink this again, although I will plan to drink it next time.

Photo of jmbranum
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

2008, batch 6, 16.31% ABV

an interesting beer, so strong i tasted the bottle in two sittings

First tasting was so, so overwhelming. All I could taste was massive alcohol and insane amount of malt richness.

On second tasting, a day or two later, the rest of the bottle (which was recapped and colder this time) was much better. Very smooth. It reminds me of port wine, so incredibly intense. I can pick up raisins, dark roasted grain, and a nice bit of hops in the aftertaste.

I recommend gently sloshing the beer around in your mouth to let your palette pick up all of the nuances. To me, there was much more complexity when tasted it like this.

Overall, I would say it was too much. A great experiment in excess but for strong dark beers I prefer something around 8-9% alcohol. Above that, and the alcohol dominate too much for my taste.

Photo of Tolnik
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 6 - Bottled in 2008 - Alcohol 16.31% by volume.

When poured into a sample cup it has a nice rich coloration of red and brown. Light lacing is left after settling. Sweet flowera fruits with a light spiced cranberry aroma. Sweet at first but then the alcohol is definately there. Second smell greats as honey musturd sauce.

Great beer for a flavorful taste and aroma.

Photo of scottoale
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 6 - Bottled in 2008 - Alcohol 16.31% by volume. The 12fl.oz brown long-neck, pours a deep, rich copper with just less than 1/2" of ivory foam cap.

The smell is almost overwelming of sweet, deep down rich malt. A malt bliss that is faintly followed by vapors of alcohol.

The flavor is WOW...tastes like a wort concentrate, followed by the most warming alcohol i've ever tasted (felt) in a beer. It is just gigantic, malty and warming as hell. Good flavor with molassas, raisen, earthy malt and more fermentables sugars untold...this should age very well and I strongly suggest it.

Big body and plenty of carbonation enforces the fact that this brew can take on years of proper cellaring. It's nice to sip now, but it's just a bit much of an overload in the malt, balance wise. A BIG kick-ass malt bomb for sure!

Photo of BretSikkink
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sort of a tawny copper color; head is initially frothy and full but recedes basically to a collar and a little topcoat of bubbles. Lacing isn't too bad for a beer of this stature, although it will probably all be gone by the end of the glass.

The nose is In Your Face. Vinous and fairly oozing with fruit, albeit fruit that found its way into the brandy decanter for about a week. Tons of apple and raisin-like notes to me. The malt is bready and doughy.

These are some mighty yeasties at work here. This is a thick, syrupy ale that's almost chunky with malt. Very similar in character to an American barleywine brewed with a Belgian yeast strain. Or maybe an English barleywine with two tons of hops. Or maybe it's in a class all it's own.

The bitterness is striking and lends a certain balance to the overall malt bomb at hand. The mouthfeel is great; the drinkability is tough because it's so damn hot. I'll compromise and go with 4. Badass ale.

Photo of NEhophead
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 fl oz brown bottle; served in a goblet.
Bottled in 2007; 16.42% abv.

Burgundy, dark tea in color; barely developed head that dissolves to thin patches of film with noticeable carbonation. Spotted lacing randomly spattered around the goblet's sides.

Vanilla with a sweet, rounded yet intense bourbon whaffs. Aged, vinous fruit; cherry, grape, apple. Rich and creamy caramel and dulce de leche. Intense, yet balanced aromatics.

Aged fruit up-front; somewhat bitter. The dried fruit stiffness is engulfed by a rich & sweet malt character. Vanilla, milk chocolate, caramel, mild toffee. The alcohol is intense and unassuming creating a warming sensation with a somewhat dry finish. Notes of dried fruit, orange, caramel, and bourbon in the aftertaste.

Full in body; hot and remarkably creamy. Stings a bit, but otherwise well-rounded for such intense flavors.

Truly a 'beast' of a concoction. Great, intense flavors with a hefty, yet complex alcohol character. An immediate classic for the balancing of flavors alone.

Photo of biegaman
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 3 which is a 2005 Vintage - 14.9% ABV.

This is a strikingly gorgeous colour: blushing burgundy with a satiny blood red varnish. The scarlet tone is deep but warm. It suffocates clarity but highlights the little bits of suspended yeast. Remarkably, a string of bubbles and an amazingly strong collar seem to have survived both the aging and long fermentation.

My first thought was that three years in the cellar seems to have done little to tame the alcohol. First whiff would throw my head back and quite possibly singe my nostril hairs: there are a ton of red-hot spicy phenols.

But it's a sensation you can cozily settle into it. The aroma - something akin to a cognac or better yet a tawny-port because of its sweetness - carries with it a ton of ripe fruit flavors, foremost raisin and plum; good thing there's as many esters as there are phenols. Along the way you'll notice a good proportion of very peppery clove-like spice, too.

This spiciness, combined with the phenols, is simply too much for the rich but more subtle esters of raisin and bruised plum. Among ingredients listed: raisins, dates, molasses, alfalfa honey as well as turbinado and dark Belgian candy sugar. All blend to create something incredibly rich and sweet that tastes something like an oak aged or fruit infused honey.

Style guidelines say to 'look for lots of complexity within a delicate palate" which is what I'd expect from something brewed with two types of barley, honey malt, three types of wheat, six varieties of hops and two different yeast strains. Something this delicate, however, takes away from the overall sensation. It's lack of carbonation allows sweet sugary notes to linger and the body is too dry to do anything about it.

Avery insist: "The Beast is a seducer... Beyond this, it's futile to attempt to describe Him."
Well I've tried to and concluded that maybe they are right. Sure there's molasses, and dark fruit and honey, but foremost there is spicy, sugary warmth. Therefore as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale it's alright; but as a warming intoxicating seducer: it is truly a beast.

Photo of nrpellegrini
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a copper to brown color with a decent tan head. Smelled like rubbing alcohol. The first sip almost came across that way too, but it quickly smooths out. You can definitely taste the high ABV throughout but not too bad. I am certain this beer was enjoyed as much as it was because of the cold conditions I was in when I drank it, it is a winter beer for sure. I won't be getting this one again but I'm glad I could say I had it.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My eighth pour at the Avery 15th Anniversary Party.
"Holy shit, they have a Vintage Tent!!!"

'04 Vintage

The Beast pours a hazy orange with a yellow/light tan head resting on top. The aroma is sweet malt and medicinal booze. The flavor can best be described as a barleywine on crack. Even after 4 years it is still a boozy hooter of a beer. A little too much for me.

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