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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: 325 | FT: 22
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 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.

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

The Beast poured a mean dark brown with a soft pillow single finger foam head with some tight bubble lacing that amoeba like goes back to the source. Head retention was minimal. The bottle had a frightening label and said it was brewed in 2006.

The smell was blackstrap in nature. Definitely spicy. Brown sugar. Dark fruity prunes. I got a slight hop profile in the nose but barely noticeable to me.

Really smooth in the first drink and potent. The abv makes its presence known pretty quickly. It was really sweet after the first few drinks.

In the mouth you are left with some buzzing alcohol burn on the back of the throat. It is very viscous like a oil slick.

The beer really has some depth to it. The alcohol gets smoothed out half way through the trip. It seems to mellow quite a bit once it warms. It was very enjoyable journey. I think Avery does a wicked solid job. It reminded me of a dessert wine.

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

It pours a hazy, rambunctiously carbonated ruby amber. Three fingers of beige/tan head sustain fluffily. Padded rolls of lacing pillow the inside of the glass.

In the aroma, toasted malt joins molasses, candy sugar, and malt. Raisins and prunes are lightly nudged by vague esters. And my is the alcohol hot and noisy.

Upon sipping, and quite cautiously, I might add, an intimation of malt is promptly stomped upon by a dense, cloying sugar sweetness, fruity with raisins but ultimately all molasses and candy. A vague and distant spice note is torched by an arsonous flame of alcohol. The finish is more of the same, with sweetness and more sweetness. Oh, and it's sweet, too.

Full bodied, it's thick like treacle, globby and coating and sticking to the lips and gums.

With the earthy fruit and the mack-daddy sugar content, about the only thing keeping this from tasting like sloe gin is the teaser of malt. I just can't use the word sweet enough. And the hot and heavy ABV is no friend, almost daring you to have the guts to take another sip. I'll take the dare, but when this is gone, I'm done.

Photo of PHENSO
2.5/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

It's a deep amber...this is a 2005 that a friend of mine found in the back room of his Binny's.

I poured this into a big 'ol root beer glass from A&W when I was a little kid.

It's a deep amber, and my vigorous pour created a nice 1/2" head with gorgeous lacing on the very top of my glass after the first sip!

It's intensely sweet. But not so much so that I'm disgusted. It's immediately followed up with a sharp alcohol tang. I guess my Ashton cigar might be adding oak flavors.

What a warm, inhalation of relaxation. This is a fireplace beer. Maybe in front of a campfire, when you can just zone out on the flames for awhile. Stretch out and let it consume you. This beer is a bit harsh, yet mind mellow.

Photo of armock
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle that was bottled in 2006

A - Poured a ruby brown color with a light brown head that leaves all sorts of lacing

S - Is of dark fruits thats a little sweet finishes with some alcohol scents

T - For a strong ale the taste is pretty good I think the dark fruits come out with their sweetness and for the abv the alcohol taste is pretty minimal

M - This is one full bodied beer with almost no carbonation to it

D - You need to take your time with this beer its a good beer that you have to enjoy slowly worth trying sometime

Photo of Drewcifer
2.25/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours out a muddy, murky orange-brown, very apple cider-like. Capped off with a finger of tan head. Slight bit of lacing.

A heavy nose of sour cherries, musty apple, raisins, plums, toasted malts, a sweet tang to it, but finishes with a nosefull of alcohol.

Disgustingly sweet. Raisins, orange peel, sugar, black cherry, and plenty of alcohol. Really no detectable malt or hop notes.

Full body, syrupy, warming alcohol, a little too much carbonation.

Not very drinkable. They seem to have sacrificed taste for brutal alcohol content. Just way too syrupy sweet. Would not try this again.

Edit - An hour+ later, the remaining 3/4 of the bottle got the drain treatment. I just couldn't stomach it. Unfortunate, and a waste of 5 bucks I could've spent on something I would've enjoy. C'est la vie.

Photo of rxdrewthejew
2.8/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I've had this beer sitting for quite a while-picked it up at Wally's back in December. Finally figured it had been long enough to give it a shot. Poured from the 12 oz bottle into my snifter.

A: Not as dark as I had expected. This is a deep but clear burgundy with a fluffy 2 finger tan head. Most of the head is supported by tiny bubbles coming from the bottom, but the top bit looks pretty stable.

S: Huge fruity/sugary smell that is notable even with the beer no where near the nose. Closer inspection reveals a number of different flavors. Raisins and molasses are quite notable, but I get a good whiff of turbinado and candi sugar as well. Not much hop balance in the smell, but we'll see how it tastes.

T: Holy crap, talk about a malt bomb. Massive sweetness here. Again, raisins and molasses, and huge candi sugar. Deep down there's a bit of breadyness, but I don't note any hops at all.

MF: Full bodied, but not particulary syrupy. A bit of fizz but for the most part it goes down pretty smooth. Huge warming, even a few sips and you feel the alcohol. But the sweetness is pretty stunning, and it gives this a bit of an odd feel.

D: Nope, can't do this one. Kinda what I was expecting. This is just all sweetness. This makes a barleywine look like an amber ale. If you're into malt bombs, I suppose this is worth a try, but I need a little more balance than this. I couldn't finish it...I couldn't even begin to drink it. I took a few sips but the sweetness is just too much. Ah well...an expensive experiment.

Photo of morimech
3.12/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottled in 2007 with 16.42% ABV. Pours a clear ruby/brown color with a large head that hangs around forever. Heavy amounts of sticky lacing is left on the glass.

Has a vinous and alcohol aroma. It smells sweet of caramelized sugar.

I taste hot alcohol. But there are fruity undertones combined with a very sweet malt base. Hard to get a true sense on what flavors are there as the alcohol numbed my tongue almost immediately.

Full bodied with a nice carbonation.

Too much alcohol. If ageing will cut the heat down then this should of stayed on the shelf for 5 more years.

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