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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

1,164 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,164
Reviews: 558
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 16.1%
Wants: 67
Gots: 288 | 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: 1,164 | Reviews: 558 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of rye726
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'05 vintage poured at 50F into a snifter.

Clear amber color with a thick tan head. Settles to a thin cover and displays very good retention for a brew this big.

The nose presents lots of cherry and and ripe berry aromas. The alcohol is definately present and surrounded by caramel, molasses and carmelized sugars.

The flavor also present a wide bouquet of ripe and dried fruits. Dates, raisins, plums, honey and toffee. Big malts, a variety of hops and a big alcohol flavor as well.

Thick and slightly syrupy. A decent amount of carbonation keeps it in balance.

A very unique and enjoyable beer. However, I feel that some of the complexities are overpowered by the alcohol. Still very hot after 3 years of aging. Best enjoyed at cellar temp in 4oz servings

Photo of dickieb
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottled in 2005. Pours a dark and cloudy amber with almost no head whatsoever. The smell is very rich and sweet with dark fruits and some rather apparent alcohol. The flavor is overly sweet with candied sugars, but very complex with raisins and molasses flavors. The alcohol is somewhat subdued (i dont want t know what it was like 2 years ago) and some belgian spices round out the complex flavors. The mouthfeel is very syrupy and the extreme sweetness makes this a sipper. I would rather have someone to split this one with, an interesting brew, but finishing even 12oz is going to be tough

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

Batch 4 2006 (sampled 9/06)

Whoa momma. First off this puppy has a 14.9% ABV in it, but it is masked by a complex and thorough palate. For some it might be a bit too syrupy or sweet, although I think right now that might have to do with it’s age. It pours a reddish hue with massive bubbles that I could almost stick a pencil through. Okay, maybe they are not THAT big.

I wish I could lay this one down, but I am in a wandering stage right now in life, so it would only be able to sit for a few months instead of a few years.

I think that the thick flavor is necessary to hide that nasty alcohol flavor that too many brewers leave in high ABV brews. This is a beer drinkers beer and not for the faint hearted, though we all know it would probably be best after it is allowed to mature.

Photo of cjgator3
2.8/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2007 edition - 16.42% ABV

A- 12oz bottle poured into a chalice. Pours a dark brown color with a small fizzy light tan head.

S- The aroma is very heavily on the malty side with some sweet malt, caramel, dark alcohol soaked fruits.

T- The taste is malt, dark fruits, some spices and a good dose of alcohol that produces a long warming effect within the stomach. The taste is good and complex but I find it to be overly boozy, which isn't too much of a surprise considering the high ABV..

M- The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

D- The drinkability is hindered by the high ABV and the boozy taste. I definitely couldn't drink more than one of these in a single sitting.

Overall, I was disappointed with this offering. This is really the one beer from Avery that I do not particularly care for.

Photo of jwc215
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle - bottled in 2006 - poured into a glass chalice:

Pours hazy orange/amber with a thin tan head that becomes patchy.

The smell is of raisins, dates, molasses, caramel, toffee, honey, earthy notes, peppery alcohol. Very complex - almost sensory overload. Aromas blend nicely.

The taste is just as complex - if not moreso - caramel, honey, molasses, dark sugar candy, raisins and honey. Honey becomes more noticeable as it progresses. Wheat maltiness gives it a tang. Brandyish with enough wheat malt and carbonation to keep it a beer, rather than a liqueur (which the flavors make it lean towards). Carbonation present, but soft. Full-bodied, syrupy and silky. Alcohol is still sharp and hot. Very complex taste and feel. Very warming finish. A slow-sipping night-cap brew, to be sure. Almost too much going on but everything comes together wonderfully.

Wow - strong, almost overbearing but awesomely delicious.

Thanks to Wasatch for the recommendation.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a Snifter

A - Poured a very deep and dark hazy caramel colored brown with a small maybe a half an inch high head of off white lace. Lots of sediment pour into the glass at the end. A very cloudy look and kinda flat looking.

S - The aroma was full of bourbon like alcohol. Very strong and pungent you could tell right away that this one was going to mean business. Once you could make your way past all the hot alcohol it came up with a nice caramel like aroma that was lying underneath.

T - The flavor was very big. It was very hot with alcohol, which at almost 15% you could expect it to be there. If you work past this you come up on a very nice sugary treat. Nice deep flavors of wood and maple with a touch of a grainy like back to it. Some dark fruits were also apparent with hints at prunes and plums and figs making their presence known.

M - The feel was intresting. While this was defintly not very well carbonated, it was nonetheless not very flat either. A decent smooth creamy medium body was about what I would expect. The finish was long and drawn out.

D - This was not something you are going to hav more then one of in a night. This was definitly a hge beer and it was easy to see how it could get you in trouble.

Overall I really did not know what to expect ofut of this but was pleasantly suprised. The alcohol was there but it was understated for the volume and I had ni issue finishing this despite being so strong. I would pick up another if I saw it.

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

this is a very cool brew. 2007 vintage, at 16.5%. Pours a transparent dark glowing amber. Nice head that is retained unusually well for high abv's brewed in america. The nose is of date, raisin, and sugar, with only a slight bit of alcohol. At first taste it is the dark fruits that make themselves known. The sugary taste comes in after that. The alcohol rears its ugly head just for a moment in the finish and the aftertaste brings out the six kinds of hops in this Grand Cru. A good shot by avery, much better than the samaels. The texture is nice and chewy and the sugar sticks on your lips. The dark fruits are intense, as is the candi sugar. The alcohol and hops are not overwhelming at all but do show up in the finish. suprisingly smooth for the abv, and worth a try. Im sure this beer will cellar quite well over the course of many years.

Photo of rajendra82
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up at Brawley's in early 2006 during my trip to Charlotte, this 2005 batch of beast at 14.9% was a little too strong to pass the Georgia ABV cap. I chose an EKU goblet to pour it into, and there it sat deep red, with a small head. The smell was honey, orange marmalade, and fruit punch, but amazingly not boozy at all. The taste was very sweet indeed, as if someone had blended a jar of apple and grape jelly with beer. Molasses and maple syrup appeared in the taste well. There was a hint of spice and a touch of citrus, but sweetness was far too strong to call them any kind of a counterbalance. No hops anywhere. Very warming in the finish as anticipated. Sticky in the mouth, but the aftertaste was a simple fading sweetness. Worth a try if you are a fan of big beers, and don't mind a malt bomb.

Photo of UnionMade
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, 2007 bottling. ABV is listed at 16.4% Whew! Sipped this one from a tulip glass.
Pours a beautifully rich ruby color. Just a light topping of beige head, diminishing quickly to a weak collar after a sip of two. What you'd expect with all the heat this one's packing. No sediment in the bottom of the bottle, which is somewhat disappointing.
This one's got the distinct odor of boozenberry. That is, booze 'n' berries. Like a Westy 12 frankenstein in a 'roid rage. Some belgiany caramel and nuts, but mostly hot, hot booze. Smells menacing.
The flavor opens with heaps and heaps, and more heaps of heap big caramel malt. Nutty and muddy in that belgian way. Invariably deep and complex, it might be impossible not to be with this ingredient list. Every sip explodes cataclysmically with sugar. Lumbering, fusel alcohol dominates with estery berry/grape fruit. I'm picturing some giant, metal golem hammering everything in sight with huge, ponderous fists. Lots of unfermented sugars, coating the tongue with sticky, oily sweetness. Sits on my tongue like motor oil, stoic carbonation heroically trying to hold the line. No detectable hops, which is wild considering they used multiple varieties. The booze and mellow spicy phenols keep things from completely disintegrating into a liqueur. Finishes like jet fuel, with a lingering fruity, malty sweetness and traces of nuttiness. Rum and coke comes to mind. The heat in the throat sustains longer than a Les Paul guitar. I feel like I'm sipping whisky.
I'm well buzzed after a bottle of this. I recall some friends breaking this one out several years ago at a beer tasting in the 22oz form, and being taken aback by the heat. I believe it was a measly 14% at the time. This time's no different. Not exactly tough to drink, but hard to get through the sweetness. Very slow sips through the evening will get you through.

Photo of Stoneman78
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass
A- Pours a super clear mercurial red hue, head is a small amount of white frothy bubble that dissipate to a thin layer, lacing is thin throughout
S- Aroma is mostly sweet sugars and fruits, some syrupy molasses and brown sugar, cherries and figs, caramel malts, a tinge of citrus
T- Initial taste is dark fruit and warming alcohol, soon followed by thick molasses and a touch of hops, this is one cloyingly sweet beer that is very high on cherries and ethanol, finishes with rich chocolate sweetness
M- Medium-bodied, smooth and watery texture, lively, bordering on over-, carbonation
D- This is one stiff drinking Grand Cru that doesn't let you forget, there isn't a lot of innovation going on here that would motivate me to bust through the heavy abv, interesting but not particularly exciting, there are better Grand Cru's and better Avery's out there that warrant your attention
Buy again? Probably not
Personal score- 76/100

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

12 oz bottle (2007) poured almost a cranberry red (its still close to thanksgiving) small white head that goes quicky to lace . Aromas of fruit ,raisins, yeast,and malts wonderfuly full body with a light carbonation .Flavors of sweet caramel ,malts, honey whith a nice lite bitter hops finish. It has a light alcohol warmth to it as well
a great sipper for this winter

Photo of montageman
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2004 bottle. 18.1% ABV. Poured into a tulip.

A: Cloudy brown - reminds me of iced tea, Decent head, maybe 1 finger, but it doesn't stick around long and there is very little lacing.

S: Sweet and fruity. There's some chocolate here as well. The alcohol is also fairly evident.

T: Dark chocolate and roasted flavors. There is some dark fruit here as well. The alcohol is totally present and there is a slight burn.

M: Chewy with slight carbonation. Good for this style.

D: It's 18%. I mean how much can you take? It's good, but man, a bomber is a lot for 1 night. Recommended.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, 2007 edition, listed as 16.42% alcohol/vol, with a picture of a menacing canid on the label,

A: Pours a very dark amber, with a thick, light ochre head, with great retention.

S: Heavy smell of sugar, raisins, maple syrup, molasses, and a hint of orange.

T: Very fruity, heavy raisin and prune, the alcohol definitely has an effect, especially as the beer warms, it almost comes out like a spirit. Huge amounts of residual sugar make their presence felt, mixed with the alcohol makes for a very complex brew.

M: Solventy, warming, spiritous, phenolic, full-bodied, a very big beer.

D: The alcohol content doesn't hurt the drinkability as much as I thought it would, though this beer definitely is a sipper. A complex, big beer, very interesting, on par with the infamous Dogfish Head 120.

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

12 oz bottle, 2005, cellared until tonight.
It pours a murky, dense dark brown, "rusted" looking brew, with very little head, obviously due to its ridiculously high ABV.
The aroma is, how can I say, "boozey". Heavily "boozey", that is, but also fruity, malty and sugary. Think a glass of bourbon, with some dark fruits and burnt sugar; you're close.
Full bodied, warm, alcoholic but not as much as I expected, hence "dangerous". Its malty sweetness allows you to sip it a bit faster than you normally would anything this strong, and the fruitiness and breadiness, with some spiciness round it up, finishing warm and somewhat dry.
Please note that if other reviews are correct, and I am assuming they are, this is not the same "beast"; the different ABV and bottle size hint to a step down in alcohol that contributes to its drinkability. It is still quite heavy, a "sipper", and a good "winter warmer".

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

Is this really a summer release?! Can't be. This is a winter warmer if you ever wanted a warmer winter. Sheeminy... Great ruby to amber color & champagne bubbles. Head is decent, retention, ehh... Smell is sweet, candylike, and burning with alcohol. This beer warms very well... I didn't care much for it at first, but it's growing on me. Doesn't taste much like a Belgian Strong Dark to me, at all, actually. More of a barley wine. Too hoppy, and at a complete loss for the fruity esters expected from a BSD. Nice, but won't go out of my way to track down again...

Photo of stumac
1.8/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottled in 2006. I let it age for about 10 months before trying it. I sat down in front of the projection screen at my house, ready to watch a movie and enjoy this "supposedly" delicious beer. So I crack the Beast open.

Appearance: Nice half inch off-white head stuck with it for a bit. Nice dark amberish color.

Smell: Very sugary and alcoholy

Taste: Horrible! Nothing but sugar. Nothing but sugar. I let my roommate try it just to be safe, and he said the same thing.

Body: Nice and full but the sugar was way too overbearing.

I want to say that my bottle was just an oddity but at $7 a bottle, I guess I won't know for a long time.

Photo of t0rin0
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I bought this a couple months back in a 12 oz bottle and have been saving it for number 666 on my beer sampling list. Let me note that this was bottled in 2007 and it says 16.42% abv.

It poured a nice redish color and was crystal clear, no yeast or anything. The foam died quickly like with all belgian beers. The foam also had a bit of a brownish tint to it. The beer smelled a bit of syrup and alcohol, somewhat inviting but the alcohol is quite noticeable both in smell as well as taste. As far as what else this tastes like: sweet molases/syrup which could also be interepreted as oak flavoring, and there is a pretty intense aftertaste. The beer kinda burns going into my stomach. Its also pretty thin in body, due to the alcohol content no doubt.

I didn't see any yeast at the bottom of the bottle so I really don't know how this beer would age, but if there is in fact still live yeast in this beer, I wouldn't mind laying one down for a couple of years to see what happens. But for now, its a bit too strong to drink any more than half a bottle or so at a time.

Photo of BeerBelcher
2.9/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

My bottle was dated as being produced Nov 2006, and was of the 14.6% ABV variety. I was grateful to have the oportunity to sample this very unique beer. But I found it to be a bit punishing to drink, although its pleasures slowly revealed itself to me as I sipped away at a 12 oz bottle (poured into a Michelob Celebrate glass which has never [and will never] contain Michelob Celebrate [thanks Michelob!]).

This beer pours an intense ruby-red with a light white head which had good staying power. This beer succeeds at its intended mission (as I understand it), which is to compete with liquors like cognac and brandy. The aroma is intensely malty, cerealy, and boozy. True to its origins as a beer, flavor was also very malty, but with an alcohol astringency and malt-ball flavor that was difficult to adjust to. As the nearly 15% ABV warmed my mouth, throat, and belly (which took only a few sips), I warmed to the beer, but have trouble calling the flavor superior or the beer drinkable. Mouthfeel was difficult to discern due to the intensity of this beer. But, it was not especially viscous, nor thin.

I thought this beer was very unique, but a bit difficult to drink. Its appeal was certainly not immediately apparent, but for an acquired taste I thought it pleasant, as evidenced by the fact I'm looking forward to Samael's and Mephistopheles waiting for me in my fridge (for another night...not tonight).


Photo of Hemi
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours to a 3 finger head. Ruby transparent in appearance with sporadic lacing with very slow moving bubbles. Tropical fruit aroma with hints of caramel, coconut, banana, and pineapple nose. Rich caramel base with lingering bitterness from malts and hops. A bit of raisin taste that almost reminds me of Dogfish Head. The consistency is relative to a stout with some residual sweetness and a low to medium co2 burn. I don't think its possible to enjoy more then a few of these as it is definitely rich and can overpower the palate.

Overall I think this is a good beer. I enjoy the fact that the alcohol can be disguised with the great characteristics of this beer. I do think in fact it may have put my reviewing to a stand still as I'm not sure I will be able to accurately review any future beers ;). A-

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

Batch 4 (2006). I waited a year to try this and it did not disappoint. Strong alcohol flavor but it mixes well with the rest of the product. Not too thick but a little sweet and sugary.
I also just opened a bottle (couldn’t wait to age it) of the 2007 and actually find it even better than last years. This is a bit higher in abv at 16.42%.

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

Poured into a Duvel tulip. A 1 finger head that holds fairly well for a 16.4 % beer. A deep deep golden/amber color with a creamy tan yellowish head. Smell is pretty darn sweet of candy sugar. The pungent sweetness. Its a bit bitter on the taste but silky smooth syrupy mouthfeel. The taste is sweet, apricots, biscuit and finishes bitter and slightly dry given the sweetness. I love it, but I'm partial to monster beers. I'm not sure I'd give it great marks against the BJCP style guidelines for a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but its a hell of a lot of fun to drink. The name of the beer is all too fitting. Good stuff.

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

Poured into a pint glass. This beer was a 2007 vintage, poured into a pint glass. The smell was very hoppish. and the Color was a brown, with a tint of red, and a white head that went away quickly with no laceing. The taste of the beer was strong, but more hop strong and a little bit ot malt aftertaste. It's a ver complex beer. Hard to really review it. Overall, i could probably drink one of these agian.

Photo of biggmike
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch number three. Poured a reddish brown color that was lighter in color than I had anticipated. Aroma was sweet and dominated by the smell of dark fruit (rasins, dates?). Taste is of dark fruit, caramel, and molasses. Strong, so this must be drank slow. Very good, but not outstanding, to me

The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,164 ratings.