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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

1,227 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,227
Reviews: 581
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 15.8%
Wants: 71
Gots: 331 | 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: 1,227 | Reviews: 581
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.

Photo of jcdiflorio
1.91/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

12oz brown bottle with a red golden foil over the cap,served into a tulip glass. Bottled in 06 stated 14.6 by volume . Scanned through a few reviews this stuff sounds a bit scary. Really got my interest up for it,now back to my anticipated review.

Poured a very mirky reddish brown,remisent of cider,a generous light tan head about as tall as you can make it. Thick and creamy good retention leaving thick clinging webs of lace down the glass.

A strong blast of sweet booziness first off,with molasses and a honeyied sugaryness,some dark fruit like dates and figs,the nats are moving in quickly,better rinse this glass good when finished. There is also some nuttyness with heavly burnt carmell and some sight butter notes.

Now for the scary part the taste. Very,very sweet taste right from the start,too sweet for my taste. Very syrupy,not a boozy as expected,but it's definatly there.Dark fruitness throughout dates,figs,prunes.Has a lighter bodied feel then you would expect,yet it has lots of syrupiness. Already 2 years old don't know if aging more would help out or not. Not my kind of beer,very hard to finish. Not a beer i would want to try again.

Photo of bort11
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into my Boulevard Smokestack goblet. Mild light tan head that quickly recedes to a thin ring. No real lacing, though that is to be expected. Color is a dark garnet red with medium clarity.

Smell is very rich and sweet. Lots of bananas, some burnt raisins, and a little boozy. Taste is also quite sweet, but no cloyingly. Still quite a bit of bananas, a little bit or oranges, burnt raisins, and brown sugar.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. It coats the mouth as it goes down. Mild carbonation prickle and a moderate alcohol burn. For a higher ABV, the alcohol is kept in check nicely. A very slow sipper indeed.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

14.9% abv.

A: Poured a ruby-orange color with a thin light beige head that quickly dissipated.

S: a noticeable booziness, rum raisin, sweet toffee and a honey sweetness along with a fresh fruity aroma.

T: The initial flavor was sweet and syrupy with spicy honey, toffee and pancake (maple) syrup. There was some spicy ripe fruit (sugar plums) and fresh raisins as well. There was some sugary fruitiness and alcohol fusels with a thick viscose malt sweetness. The beer finishes with a moderate alcohol burn but not as bad considering its extremely high abv.

M: full bodied, very thick and viscose on the tongue with a light carbonation.

D: A big abv and overly sweet palate may limit this to low moderational sips and servings but otherwise is quite drinkable if respected.

Photo of DaveHS
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Re-reviewed 10/18/11

Vintage 2008. Didn't enjoy this much fresh. At 16.31%, I'm looking forward to seeing how 3 years in the cellar has affected the drinkability.

A-Pours clear ruby with a thin, fizzy tan head. No lacing.

S-I can smell it from across the table. Belgian candi sugar, stewed prunes, plums, honey. Dark fruity goodness all around. Musty earthiness accompanies the sweetness, something I don't remember from fresh bottles.

T/M-Still very big, hot and sharp on the palate, but showing signs of calming down. Once you get past the papery booziness, there's an interesting leathery sweetness, thin and concentrated. If only they would reduce the ABV on this slightly, it would be an excellent Grand Cru. The sweet, full finish is marred by phenolic booziness.

O-At 3 years, this is worth trying again. Doesn't measure up to Mephistopheles or Samaels, but worth trying. Will check it out again when it hits 5 years. I have a sneaking suspicion it will still be boozy as all hell.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle, listed at 16.42% ABV. My God, this isn't beer it's brandy. Or more realistically it tastes like VERY alcoholic tomato juice. My review follows:

The beer is crystal clear (like all Avery beers I've tried except Mephistopholes), tan copper color, extremely thin wispy head (my guess = too much alcohol). The smell is similar to Gulden Draak mixed with tomato juice, that's just what comes to mind. It's a barley wine in my opinion, very malty and sweet. In fact the taste is syrupy sweet, intensely alcoholic, almost like cough syrup. Thick body, the alcohol burn lasts a long time. I guess this will be appreciated by many drinkers, but not by me. This is a hot sweet barley wine, hard for me to drink.

Photo of Mauerhan
4.39/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

first off i learned not to carry a near full snifter of the beast to my room in the dark, plus side my dog loves this beer.

the remaining 3/4ths of this beer are great.

nice dark brown pour, very minimal head. kinda weak lacing. smells like figs, raisins, brown sugar, slight bit of honey and a slight bit of alcohol, not as much as i would expect mind you off of the huge abv.

taste is great. sweet start, i get the fruits and the sugar, a big hit of warmth from the alcohol. its amazing how smooth this is. i love the aftertaste on this beer. smooth lingering sweetness.

very little burn, light carbonation. i can drink this beer for hours...well i would probably get smashed after three of these but i love it. you should sipping this beer, not a gulp but a nice kickback beer.

this is probably not a good starter beer by any means. i would only toss the beast to a well seasoned vet.

Photo of athensbeermaster
4.34/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This dark red beast shows no mercy the head disapates very quickly with some patchy lacing.
The nose has a sweet candy apple scent that quickly turns to a powerful brandy and alcohol assault. The taste: Fresh apple pie sprinkled in brown sugar and a shot of brandy on the side.
The mouthfeel is fairly silky for having such high alcohol level. This beer is made for sipping. I really like how complex this beer is, the finish leaves a clove and menthol taste on your tongue for quite some time. Warning this brew is not for the weak hearted. Once again Avery shows why their the best brewery in Colorado.

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

Batch 6, bottled in 2008

A: Dark red amber with good-sized orange tinged head that dissipates quickly. Just a beautiful looking beer

S: Molasses, candi sugar, dark fruit

T: Holy sugary fruit. This tastes like sugar-soaked strawberries or figs. This would be wonderful as an after dinner drink with dessert goodies.

M: Creamy mouthfeel, good acidity, hint of hotness from the alcohol at the end (it is a ridiculous 16.31% abv)

D: See above. It's way too high an abv beer to drink regularly. This 12oz bottle is almost too. But a very delicious beer.

Photo of champ103
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This pours a deep amber red. A large beige head forms and takes a while to recede. Rings of sticky lace are left down my snifter.
S: Malty and fruity. Lots of figs, raisins, plumbs, apples, cherries, ect. Some brown sugar and yeast with a boozy finish.
T: Sweet malt, but not cloying. Dark fruits again with brown sugar. Bread/biscuit flavors. Follows the nose pretty closely. Plenty of rum like alcohol. An amazing rich malty taste.
M/D: Full body that is thick and syrupy. It is velvety smooth on the tongue. The almost insanely high ABV makes this a sipping beer for sure. Though, I am having no problem sipping on a 12 oz bottle. One is more than enough, but, that one bottle is very enjoyable.

This is a very nice beer. I am enjoying this as much as the Samael. A unique interpretation of the style, and recommended to the experimental beer lovers. I always enjoy this during the cooler months.

Photo of smcolw
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Incredible six-finger head that is slow to settle. Lots of lace on the glass. Dark amber in color and clear enough to read print through the glass.

Initial smells: sour cherries, fermented honey, melon and candy sugar. The alcohol is powerful and somewhat antiseptic on the nose. I can tell that this a beer with a helluva punch.

One could almost describe this as a barley brandy. This is a sipping beer with a ton of alcohol warmth, a mild sweetness and a peppery feel on the tongue. The aftertaste has a touch hop in the background, but it is nearly all thick malt and alcohol. Rich mouthfeel with adequate carbonation to prevent the liquor from becoming syrupy.

I'm afraid that this is too much in so many ways. If I let myself drift into the thought of having a smoking jacket, a wingback chair and an English Setter by my slippered feet, then every sip is grand. Alas, I have none of those except for a weathered (and quite pedestrian) set of slippers.

Photo of stephens101
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More big and evil goodness from Avery, the Kings of the beer underworld. Or something like that. High expectations for this one. Let's see what we got. Poured reddish amber into a snifter. Very slight head with quick dissipation in the retention department. Interesting aroma bringing forth raisins and candy. Tastes of slight hops. Syrupy and sticky like you've been sucking on some candy for awhile. There's a lasting alcohol burn which is not surprising considering the alcohol content, but the drinkability is not that bad considering the 16.42% ABV. While brews of this magnitude and gravity are not going to be a staple of a brew lovers diet, they are fun and interesting for something different and keep things moving forward in regards to experimentation. This is one of the most wicked labels I've ever seen.

Photo of thekevlarkid
2.76/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured out of the bottle a garnet color with an enormous cream colored head. Good retention of the sticky cap and it became rocky after a while. Aromas are very sweet, candy sugar, alcohol esters and caramel malts. The liquid is just as potent and much like drinking syrup. Overripe fruit, raisins and alcohol. Unfortunately, it's just too much. Genuinely cloying. Would be better with years of age and only with years. Good mouthfeel but just not drinkable.

Photo of slayer3604
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- The beast apears as a looming red and orange phenominon with swirling upwells of alcoholic rivers that are visable if you look for it. The head is a blanket about two fingers thick poured into a 1L hofbrau mug (so i can smell the sumbitch). The lacing is incredable and im not looking foreward to scrubbing this hag off of my mug!

S- Fresh pilsbury cookie dough, ALCOHOL, fresh brown sugar, honey, caramel, canteloupe, fig...im taking rips of this beer through a huge mug and its overwelming how much character this beer has. Literally the last ten minutes of my life have been the beer paying me my $8.49 back!!! such exceptional depth and the multitudes of malt character is blowing everything i know about beer, right out of the water.

T- Explosion of alcohol. This beer would have gotten a 4.5 if i had aged it, but seeing as though its not aged, how can i do that?!
-Heat, honey, raspberry, honeydew, spanish walnut cake, and the tanic pinch of fresh blueberry.

M- A chunky, fat blur of carbonation, and twenty realms of heat. hot hot hot beer. This needs to sit in my basement for a few hundred years and calm down. When you get past that, and some spice, its quite velvety. Nevermind the vulgar display of power that 16% delivers, you need to hold this thing i your mouth until you realize that Avery threw in a bunch of class ans sophistication.

D- I think its worth the $8.49 and that such complex beers are very hard to find these days. When i get a couple other bottles of beast, they will be aged and appreciated heartily.

Photo of Dodo2step
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Grape and Gourmet in Va Beach!

A- Very aromatic on the pour. I love the design on the bottle. Very cool! a deep mahogany amber color with a tint of brown on the lacing. it doesnt dissipate at all after 5 minutes.

S- woooeee i can smell the alcohol in this bad boy. Overrides the dark candied fruit, raisins and is that a prune-like smell i detect ( i am not sure). Some citrus as well.

T- This ought to be fun....blatant on the alcohol. Wow it is like brown sugary sweet with dark fruits thrown in. If you were to let fruit sit over night in alcohol and added brown sugar, this is what you would get. Raisin is strong as well.

M- loaded with alcohol. Warmth in the mouth and on the throat as i throw it back. Very cream soda like and powerful.

D- This is a sipper by all means. I struggle at somep oints just because of the alcohol potency. One of these and you are done for. Two your in a stew, three you cant see and four your on the floor.

Photo of vickersspitfire
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, it had nice light tan head about a finger and a half thick, bubbly and had some good lacing. The body is a beautiful deep amber color, a bit hazy and filled with carbonation. Its aroma is filled with lots of dark fruits, raisins, prunes, some mild citrus smells (grapefruit) and has some hints of alcohol and a semi dry bite to it. The taste is very smooth, a bit spicy on the edges and finishes dry; it's mildly sweet over all, and filled with dark fruit flavors. It definitely has a full body and leaves your mouth nice and warm and refreshing when you inhale. This is a good beer , but there are plenty of better Belgian strong dark ales out there.

Photo of elniko
4.24/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Stella glass

A: Rich deep amber, finger of head with large amount of lacing.

S: Smelled very strong, alcohol apparent. Got some hints of fruit, specifically pineapple.

T & M: Alcohol is slightly overwhelming. Mouthfeel is nearly tart. Some fruitiness apparent in the flavor, hints of grapefruit and pineapple.

D: For as high as the alcohol content highly drinkable. I would be curious what this tastes like after aging.

Photo of Pencible
2.23/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Two years aged, this poured a very hazy mahogany with tan head. Its smell was powerful, like sugary caramel malt and honey wheat, with citrus hops and alcohol. It tasted so sickeningly sweet it hurt my teeth. It had flavors of raw sugar, honey, caramel, raisin, and molasses all mixed together, with noticeable alcohol. I couldn't even tell if there were hops present, because the sweetness was so dominant. It was syrupy thick with no carbonation, and had the sweetest aftertaste ever (to a nauseating degree). Overall this beer was simply undrinkable. It was worse even than the 120 minute. The worst part is that it had a lot of potential, and could have been great like the Thomas Hardy's Ale if Avery used any moderation in its brewing at all.

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

Avery 15th Anniversary Vertical Tasting

A - Dark brown with ruby highlights. Dark head with good lacing.
S - Malty complexity with a spicy hop aroma, aromas reminiscent of plums, raisins, pear, etc.
T - Malty sweetness, with a complex spicy hop flavor, noticeable esters and phenolics. Dark fruit complexity.
M - Very full bodied, with an alcoholic warmth which is not offensive but not completely pleasant. Somewhat hot.

A - Same as 2008
S - Malt complexity is increasing and beginning to dominate. Slight hop aroma accompanied by some nice Belgian like esters and spice.
T - Sweet malt flavor accompanied by spicy earthy hops and a backing of bitterness that balances the flavor well.
M - Like the 2008 a very full body, but the heat from the alcohol has mellowed leaving a wonderful warmth without the harshness.

A - Same as other two beers.
S - Very malty, hops are subdued but noticeable, with a complex dark fruit, ester, spice aroma.
T - Very complex malt profile, slightly sour, with a good bitterness. Hop flavor is very low, but descent.
M - Full bodied with a pleasant warmth like that of 2005.

This beer is good new but just gets better as it ages.... The 2005 seemed to have the best balance, the 2004 was very malty and I prefer a bit more hop flavors.. Overall you can't go wrong with any of these.

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The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,227 ratings.