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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,022 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,022
Reviews: 540
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 16.1%
Wants: 57
Gots: 232 | FT: 13
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 11 (2013): 18:00% ABV

(Beer added by: Crosling on 01-29-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,022 | Reviews: 540 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zjungleist
zjungleist

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a goblet this beer has a nice ruby/amber color with a pretty light head. The head was short and now pretty much clings to the edges of the glass. The smell is very fruity and sweet. I'm getting mainly dates and molasses, but there is a little yeast and other sugars to detect as well. This is probably the sweetest beer I have ever had. It is so sweet I can hardly detect any malts or hops at all. Pretty much all I'm getting is sugars, molasses, some fruit, and a little sour twang at the end. The mouthfeel is pretty much pure syrup. There is little carbonation, and the mouthfeel is way off balance. The flavor is way off balance too, sickly sweet and verycloying. I was hoping for a little more charecter, or complexity, but whatever depth this might have is totally destroyed by the sweetness. I could maybe... maybe see this being good to cook with, or bake with, but otherwise... at $7+ per 12oz... a real disapointment. Very hard to drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2005 23:25:46 | More by zjungleist
Photo of SkeeterHawk
SkeeterHawk

Texas

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

First, I feel it necessary to mention that this review is biased in the fact that it is lumping every year of the beast together. The same can be said for Sierra Nevada's Celebration and Bigfoot, so this is why I don't contest the method.

Appearance: Pours a deep reddish amber color that had a quarter inch head on it at first pour, but then disappeared very quickly. There is already lacing on the glass.

Aroma: A good bit of spicy alcohol along with a rich woody/earthy aroma that is noticeable at first. There are some cherry and solvent notes coming out as it warms a bit. As it warms further, there is a noticeable spicy alcohol along with some candy-like sweetness.

Taste: Now this beer is one rich muthah! It's hard to discern what actually happened after my first sip. There was rich and syrupy malt that washed over my palate just as the spiciness from the alcohol became noticeable. At this point my palate was ruined, so I can only speculate as to what this beer tastes like from now on. There is lots of plum and syrup available that would probably go well on pancakes if it weren't for the fire hazard.

Opinion: Oh my God, how do I describe this? Well...it is big...REAL big with some meaty malt and other flavors that make up this beers personality. It finishes with a warming liqueur like finish.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2005 05:21:08 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of carln26
carln26

Missouri

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

Deep garnet color, mildly hazy and topped by a tan head of small tight bubbles that leave a nice sheet of lace on the side of the glass as it recedes. The nose has spice in the front with pepper, coriander, a little orange. The bread/yeast aroma follows next followed by fig from the malt. The flavor has a sweet orange flavor backed by coriander and all spice. The yeast adds a little mid flavor, and then the malt kicks in with the fig and a little toffee. A little alcohol heat on the finish. Nice full, rich mouth feel, decent drinakbility. Many people seem hot or cold on this beer. It seems like a nice beer to me.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2005 20:27:49 | More by carln26
Photo of Blakaeris
Blakaeris

Iowa

3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a beutiful copper color with a thin head. No lacing whatsoever. Smell is malt and dark fruits, however the smell of alcohol overwhelms what may be a complex aroma.

Taste is warm and fruity, unfortunately the alcohol flavor overwhelms what otherwise may be a truly exceptional beer.

Mouthfeel is thick and lingering. very nice.

Overall the drinkability is lessened by the extreme alcohol flavor. It is not a bad beer, but I won't be drinking this on a regular basis.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2005 00:04:59 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of bashiba
bashiba

Iowa

3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was a brand new 2004 bottle, 14.9 abv.

Poured a nice dark copper with a thin white head.

Smell was an incredibly strong sweet dark fruit odor mixing in with high alcohol smell.

Taste is a very sweet fruit flavor up front which is quickly taken over with a strong flavor of alcohol and slight bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is suprisingly thin and slightly oily with a very fuzzy warmingness of the huge abv.

Drinkability is very average, the flavors aren't bad, just so extreme this can only be enjoyed in small doses.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2005 23:54:33 | More by bashiba
Photo of Domingo
Domingo

Colorado

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

Bottled in 2005 - and it's now 14.9% ABV.
I was visiting the Avery Brewery and I mentioned that it was my fave, so I was given a bottle of the 2005 by Larry (thanks!)
Not as strong as last year's version, but now easier to drink. This was a 12oz bottled version so I think an average BA could drink this by themselves without having to split it!
A little sweeter than before - lots of fruit flavors. Reminds me of a barleywine to be honest.
The smell is similar to the 2004, but the alcohol smell has obviously been toned down a bit. There's a little bit of a cherry and wood smell that comes out and is very pleasant.
Appearance is terrific...a rich cedar color.

Still an excellent beer - I recommend trying, especially if the 18% scared you off! While not as strong as previous versions, I think the new version is the best yet.
One of those beers you either love or hate depending on your view of "bigger is better."

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2005 23:19:39 | More by Domingo
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a crystal-clear reddish-copper body beneath a creamy, yellow-tinged head that dwindles down to just a thin collar with nary a scant touch of lacing left on the glass. It just cannot hold, but that's to be expected in any beer that boasts 18.1% alcohol by volume!

The nose delivers bright, juicy, vinous and tropical fruits (apples, berries, prunes, red grapes, raisins, wine, melon, pineapple, and even a bit of cocoanut) over a honeyish, bready, and dough-like maltiness. (I'm guessing the yeast strain is White Labs Belgian Ale - WLP550, or the Wyeast equivalent. I think it may be derived from Chimay because I'm linking that fruit and spice characteristic to the Chimay Grande Reserve... just pumped up a notch! But I could be wrong, However, there has to be a Champagne yeast at work here to boost it to it's incredible alcohol level - unless it's a distiller's yeast).

The flavor is even fuller than the nose indicates, with a much wider fruitiness, more bready maltiness, and a whallop of palate-and brain-wrecking alcohol! It's like Samichlaus infused with fruit juice, wine, a handful of raisins, and a splash of vodka! It starts and finishes almost the same; but there's so much there in between! It finishes drying, mostly because of its alcohol, but there's a bold bitterness at work there as well.

Forgiving the heat of this bad boy, this is a remarkable Belgian strong ale, although I tend to think of it more as a barleywine fermented with Belgian yeast. Of course, it wouldn't be a barleywine then, would it?

It suffers in the "overall" drinkability category due to its intense alcoholic push, but if you have just a small 8 ounce glass you migh pine for another - which leads me to a 4.5 for drinkability.

This is probably Avery's best, and it's unusual at that, as they seem to try to hit the mark for the style on their other beers (and grand cru is not a style, it simply means "great vintage"), but this one is way out there. And, the alcohol is kind of a defect as well, yet all of their other beers are very well done. Let's just call this one a 'crazy-assed enigma'. But I do have one final note... why was this not put into the 12 oz bottles? 22 oz is enough for 4 to share!

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2005 01:15:57 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a chill hazed reddish brown brew with no head.

Smell is sweet and malty with a distinct Soy Sauce scent and a fair amount of dark fruit scents like candy apple and ginger and brown sugar. Standard Dark Belgian ale scents are present. Noticeable scent of alcohol that carries a rum scent.

Taste is sweet and fruity with a lot of molasses flavor. Noticeable alcohol flavor present. Extremely warming in the chest. Lots of brown sugar and plums in the taste with a moderate bitter bite in the finish. Not as complex as I would have expected.

Mouthfeel is syrupy like a Samiclaus.

Drinkability isn't so high. I get the idea drinking this that I am drinking Bourbon and prune juice. It is OK but I won't buy it a second time.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2005 04:23:07 | More by Zorro
Photo of coasterfreak75
coasterfreak75

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The pour was a dark copper/red with a great three finger choppy beige head. The head quickly dissapated and left a nice lace on the beer and glass throughout the drink.

The smell was very heavy in apricot like fruit mixed with a molasses sweetness and mixed spices.

The drink started with a kick of sweet fruit followed quickly by alchohol heat. The lingering taste was more alchohol.

All and all a pretty good barley wine. It was alot smoother and more drinkable than I expected. I would love to get another one of these and put it away for a few years to see what happened to it's flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2005 04:40:04 | More by coasterfreak75
Photo of ADR
ADR

Pennsylvania

3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Out of a bottle, Extreme Beer Fest 2005...

Coppery and clearish, head is greatly diminished and leaves only traces of faint dots on the glass. Impressive aroma, malty to the point of being almost organically vegetal -- a big sniff brings out celery leaves and a soil-like humus. Body past medium with very subdued carbonation, somewhat lighter than I figured. On the sip, there's an immediate prickling of the tongue and lips, like a thousand little paper cuts. Hugely alcoholic -- of the petroleum distillates, maybe closest to laquer thinner by the time the beer makes its way to the throat. Way too stinging, there are some sherry and vanilla tones but they are almost completely obliterated. I don't hate this beer but its too frying in character and its drinkable only to the point that a small glass is plenty.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2005 14:43:33 | More by ADR
Photo of winomark
winomark

Missouri

2.55/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a nice reddish amber with a tiny, fleeting light brown head. Aromas of DME and alcohol, along with some spice notes. Mild tropical tones. Alcohol controls everything in the palate. Malt, molasses, honey and ALCOHOL. Very hot on the palate. Did I mention the alcohol? Mouthfeel is astringent, syrupy and very warm. A very over-the-top beer. Part of me enjoyed this beer, but the rest of me realized it is way too much. The alcohol burns the throat. Clad to try it, but way too bold for my taste. If I wanted to drink brandy, I will buy brandy.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2005 18:09:05 | More by winomark
Photo of cerevisiaephilus
cerevisiaephilus

Michigan

4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

We really think its a beautiful beer. Very nice color. very deep deep red/orange copper almost color. But...the carbonation is a little low for a Belgian strong Dark ale.

Fruit-a-licious!!!! Definately some alcohol. Get dried fruit notes. Raisins, prunes...etc. Very very nice. Very complex.

Overwhelming. Again...veryvery complex. Lots of rich fruityness, big alcohol, big hop bitterness. Bittersweet finish. I get a little candy-ness. Kind of like the Dry Tortugan Christmas Candy fish. Drop me a beer mail if you to know the story. I think the bitterness is really too much for the style.

We like the body. Just right. If it was a bit thicker with a bit higher carbonation, i.e. 'if it was a woman running down the beach in a bikini...we wouldn't look away', we'd give it a 5.

This is a big big beer. Really....I think the alcohol and hop bitterness kind of wears on me. I couldn't do more than 1 or 2 small glasses. 'Its like a piece of dark German chocolate...its good...but you couldn't eat more than a piece or two."

This review was a joint effort between Sean, Mateo and Derren.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2004 04:05:25 | More by cerevisiaephilus
Photo of SeanChouffe
SeanChouffe

New Mexico

2.88/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottled 2004
The color is a maraschino/amber, a small tawny head with very low retention. Carbonation is plentiful, rising evenly throughout the beer, and the lacing is clear and wine like. Aroma is malty with rich fruity esters and dark fruits – rich and sweet with some light hop notes. Alcohol is noticeable, however it is relatively low considering the overall ABV. Flavor is intensely sweet and syrupy with a full, numbing, hop finish. There are many distinguishable tastes other than possibly cherries and some dark fruits. Palate is full bodied and syrupy/creamy with that full hop bite. Effervescence is overpowered by the intensity of flavors.
What can one say. This is an intense experience. However, it is far from well balanced. I found it to be crude in its presentation and the alcohol burn was like that of cheap vodka. Quite Beast like. Sampled too early?

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2004 00:05:37 | More by SeanChouffe
Photo of kmcnair
kmcnair

California

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

2003 vintage sampled at O’Briens from a 1.5L Chimay challace. A year of aging does wonders for this beer. Dark mahogany in color, creates a HUGE offwhite head. Aromatics are rich and sweet of carmelized bananas, cherries and yeast. Flavor is loaded with dark dried fruits... figs, raisins, dates, prunes and lots of caramel and a tinge of alcohol. Very full bodied on the palate, with a thick syrupy quality. Excellent dry finish with a very minor alcoholic burn. Top notch.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2004 20:01:55 | More by kmcnair
Photo of Skidz
Skidz

Wisconsin

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 edition. Was my July 4th celebration beer, and pretty much took care of me for most of the night.

Pours out brown and sits mahogony in the glass with a small off-white head, almost tan, and fades quickly to the sides.

Smells highly malty with good spicy character. Loaded with alcohol and burns the hairs on the inside of your nose.

Tastes sweet and malty with nice hop bitterness appearing up front. Warms the mouth quickly and stomach soon after. Caramel base, and blended with alcohol all the way through.

Smooth and creamy with a light tingling carbonation. The alcohol really brings it all together.

Easy to sip, this bottle was gone much sooner than expected, though peer-pressure might have had something to do with it. It proved to be both a good way to start and end the evening. Don't ever think you won't take a shot of tobasco sauce until you have the Beast egging you on.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2004 00:58:07 | More by Skidz
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

4.8/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brewed with 2-row malted barley, honey malt, imported Belgian specialty grains (aromatic, pale wheat, roasted wheat, and Special B), raisins, dates, blackstrap molasses, alfafa honey, turbinado sugar, and dark Belgian candy sugar, and two different yeast strains. Hopped with Magnum, Galena, Saaz, Hallertau, Tettnang, and Hersbrucker. 15.7% ABV on the bottle (18% on the website). Bottled in 2004.

Dubbed a Belgian Grand Cru, bottled with an attractive label of some snarling animal with red eyes. Red foil neck. 22oz, paid $10.59. Pours out to a brilliantly clear ruby, forming a sticky cinnamon-tinged yellow head. Excellent retention and clouds of lacing. Carbonation is moderate, barely able to escape the dense body. Aroma of fairly typical barley-wine with tons of piney, oily and resinous hops, lots of sticky malts with dark fruit sugar, clearly evident sugars including detectable molasses. Honestly, at 15.7% ABV, I'm not picking up on much alcohol. Reminds me in aroma of a Double Bastard. Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, coating the mouth with a very dense body. Taste is top-notch...starts with stinging pine resin and crushed pine needles, quickly offset by a rich syrupy amber malt sweetness...tons of raisins, figs, dates, prunes. A creeping warming sensation fills the gullet and alcohol is evident as a sensation, but it doesn't go beyond adding a very peppery spritz towards the finish. No fusels or isopropyl, which is to be applauded. The pine bitterness is rather mild, offset by the absurd amount of malt. Halfway through my New Belgium "Worthy" glass and I'm feeling it. Aftertaste of raisins, molasses, hot sawdust, freshly caramalized turbinado sugar, and Tipsy Cake. As it warms, the molasses becomes strongly evident and the alcohol opens up, but never becoming obtrusive, contrary to popular opinion (and this is coming from a guy who absolutely abhores spirits). 3/4 through my first glass and I'm sweating. Where am I, and how did I get in front of the computer? Now I finally understand the wisdom of Trek Haiku...(http://www.weaselbreweries.com/trek.html)

(The Corbomite Manuever)
After the midget bluff,
Chromatic trademark monster
Revealed in the end.

Definitely a love-it or hate-it brew, as any intense beer will do. I found this very enjoyable, and I would gladly purchase it again, if it wasn't so dang expensive in Michigan. Fortunately, I am leaving for a month of Estes Park in a week. Needless to say, my trunk will be jam-packed with cases upon cases of Avery and New Belgium's wares.

Throw a Stone silk-screen on this bad boy and all the BA's here would be eating it up, giving it 5's, and hording it in droves. Seriously.
/end rant

In my opinion, this sucker is an absolute treat, worthy of continuous sipping throughout the night. Absolutely yummy.

The beast numbs the vault
Locking this worm in solace,
Disciples beckon.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2004 22:50:46 | More by Mitchster
Photo of oldcrustacean
oldcrustacean

Connecticut

3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

2004 The Beast bomber, 18.1%

I like to seek out new beers at my local store two or three times a week, but almost missed this one. The Beast's red eyes lured me in ... I just couldn't resist the temptation to try something new. Avery's 10 and 11 were some of the best brews I've ever had, but I had a feeling that The Beast was something all together different.

The Beast, to say the least, was intimidating. I just didn't have it in me to drink it that first night. Now, after a long day of work, I poured her into my chalice and just gazed into its firey glow. Something about this beer made me hesitate; took me nearly 15 minutes to take a sip.

Above a thin lacey head this beer smells of trouble... a strong scent of fruit (specifically fig and grape) and fusel alcohol. As I pull the glass to my mouth, its as if I'm staring into the crimson eyes of the beast. I take my first sip. The taste: thick and fruity, strong...alcohol dominating... I'm scared.

I'm only half way through this beer and it's got me -- The Beast has dragged me into its lair and it's only time before I'm done. Surprisingly, this brew is very drinkable if you ignore the smell... which, while not awful, just lets you know that you're in for something.

Drinkability? Well, if you're smart, you'll stop at one.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2004 01:29:00 | More by oldcrustacean
Photo of texashammer
texashammer

Texas

3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep amber red color, very clear. Very little head, but an attractive color. Smells incredible- I can't wait to get it in my mouth. I smell pineapple and honey. Smell is very sweet. Upon my first sip, the sweet smell disappears into pretty impressive bitter hops and assertive alcohol. Finishes bitter for a split second and then goes sweet again. Very interesting. Mouthfeel is interesting; the hops and alcohol together kind of burn my mouth. I would put drinkability not so high at all, even though I like it. A little has been enough for me.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2004 20:23:28 | More by texashammer
Photo of TexIndy
TexIndy

Texas

2.53/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Re-review on 9/14/09. Original review on 10/12/04 (4.5,1.5,1.0,2.0,1.0)

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter. Bottled in 2009 on front label. Was a rich ruby color. Some carb streams but no lacing. It had an average sized beige head that settled into a collar and some center wisps.

Aroma was dark fruits, candi sugar and tons of alcohol. Not a big fan of BSDA aromas in general but this one had enough candi sugar to somewhat counter the dark fruits but not the alcohol. The alcohol dominated the taste with a sickly sweet kicking in after that and finishing with a way too sweet end. For me, the taste would be a 1.0 or 1.5 but giving a little higher to account for the style where some alcohol is expected in the taste. Even so, this one has much more alcohol taste than others and seems to be lacking a balance.

Overall, the alcohol is too dominant in aroma and taste for me. A miss from one of my favorite breweries. Rotation: one was enough originally and the re-sample didn't change that. [1x]

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2004 21:03:16 | More by TexIndy
Photo of icetrauma
icetrauma

Texas

1.4/5  rDev -63.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This beer poured a nice deep mahogney with a 1/2 finger off white head which quickly dissipated into fine lace on top of the beer and around the glass. Was pretty excited at first site. Had a really sweet nuance of molasses and suger. Mind started to wonder at this point. Took my first drink. I was expecting a whole lot more. Flavors of molasses, figs, and dark sweet fruit met my palate. The taste finished with extreme suger after taste. Mouth puckered and decided to wait another couple of minutes to let the beer warm up. Second taste was just like the first. Way to sweet and syrupy feeling in my mouth. Will never buy another Beast. Sticking with The Reverend and The IPA. IMO, Avery's top brews.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2004 02:30:00 | More by icetrauma
Photo of bditty187
bditty187

Nebraska

2.68/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Clear, coppery-ruby in hue with a bit of a golden-brown influence, I did not notice any bubbles replenishing the head, which was beige in color. The foamy mass reached a pinnacle of one finger in height before fading rapidly to a soapy collar with only pockets of froth in the middle. The beer looks appealing in my glass, the color is lovely and just dark enough to be mysterious. There was no subsequent lacing, which can be expected in a big-ass beer like this. The nose blasts off with a combination of medical fruit. This combination of smells is long; I’d say they are found from start to finish. In the middle, however, I noticed a trace of clove that disappeared quickly. Then came a whiff of chocolate, this was short-lived as a dash of brandy fines a home. The once nondescript fruitiness of the beginning starts to “name names” and I could detect raisins, plums, oranges, and green grapes. These aromas were faint; the strongest of the fruit aromas was banana. By the finish the nose becomes boozy. Warm. It is unsophisticated in one sense but intriguing yet I’m not sold on the nose. Yes, it has a good amount of aroma but it still smells, oddly, empty. I guess I’d still call it inviting. The first sip was EKU 28 laced with napalm. It burned my mouth and my throat and lit my belly on fire like no beer I’ve ever had. Yes there was flavor but why dwell on the details? Who would have ever thought rubbing alcohol mixed with children’s cough drops would be made into a beer? There is a good deal of sweetness here; I swear I’m drinking burn brown sugar mixed with some crazy rum cake soaked in molasses. Brandy. Candied sugar, indicative of a Belgian Ale. Figs, loads of plums and more alcohol, by the finish it is not “hidden” anymore nor does the alcohol take the form of Brandy or even Vodka (which I tasted moments of), no, the finish is hot and raw and completely unrefined. This beer lacks sophistication. It is insulting to every great Belgian brewery, “Grand Cru” my ass. This beer is uniquely American, it is hugely flavorful and, yes, there are moments of great taste. And, yes, part of me loves the pain and the massive flavors beating the shit out of my palate. And, yes, part of me loves the 15.7% abv smacking my brain around. But I don’t love this beer as a whole. IMVHO, it doesn’t take much talent to brew a beer like this. The alcohol kills the taste. This is a sipper, obviously, but after about half a glass I started not to like the heat. Why a beer like this is found in a bomber is beyond me. I am so conflicted with the beer. I will sum up the palate like this, “wow… no I mean whoa… no I mean wow… no I mean…” you get the point. I’m torn. Full bodied, I think. By the time I started to write about the moutfheel my brain was lubed and my tongue was fried. The carbonation was low but appropriate. Drinkable? No. Likeable? The jury is still out. Will I try this again? No… it is over the top for me, I couldn’t even finish 70% of the bomber. I got so bored with it; once my tongue was scalded I found it pointless to drink. I purchased a bomber in Loveland, CO. I’ve waited many months to try this; maybe I should have waited many years.


The next morning when I woke up I could still *feel* the beer inside me. It haunted my soul. I felt off, like I had internally soiled myself. Buyer beware.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2004 13:00:22 | More by bditty187
Photo of sideshowrob
sideshowrob

Maryland

4.72/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003/4 release Poured into a Stone AB 22 Oz glass. Beautiful orange-hazy color with good carbonation. Appeared to be a beer you could eat with a spoon.

Smell was nearly overpowering - so many sents shooting up at once - sweet molasas, hoppy aromas, candy sugars. Very harmonious and inviting.

Taste was out-of-this-world. A truly unique style. For me, the malts and candy sugars domminated the brew, but there was some balance from the hops. This is not a session beer, but one meant to be enjoyed slowly. The ABV was very well concealed within the taste, but still, this is a brew that punches you in the mouth and then kisses you on the lips to make up.

Great mouthfeel as well. I almost hated to swollow the brew it was so refreshing on the palate. Very remarkable drinkability as well, especially considering all of the complex flavors and high abv.

I had a chance to try the 04/05 release version at a beer tasting in RFD. the brew was young, and randalized, and fantastic. Adam refined the recepie for the 2nd batch, and I can't wait to try the mature version!

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2004 13:49:23 | More by sideshowrob
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Hefe

Maryland

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

Tasted on 7/15/04. Served plastic tasting cup at the DFH - Avery Brewing tasting at R.F.D.

Appearance: Brown/gold with crimson highlights, and a sticky bit o' lacing.

Smell: Prune, date, caramel, honey, sherry, spice, yeast, alcohol.

Taste: Big flavors, golden raisin, toffeeish malt, plum, chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Huge, sweet, alcoholic, but not quite overpowering.

Drinkability: I attended a bourbon tasting recently, this reminded me a bit of the Booker's bourbon. Adam stated that this had just been bottled 4 weeks prior, so I'll give the benefit of the doubt. 4 weeks down, 4 years to go.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2004 20:04:18 | More by Hefe
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Dogbrick

Ohio

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

Sampled at From The Vine beer tasting Jul 9th, 2004: Pours a ruby brown color with a medium thick and creamy beige head. Decent lacing. You know you are in trouble when you smell this one. Raisins, port wine, malt and chocolate abound. The body is very thick yet startlingly smooth, with flavors of dark fruit, malt, hops and dark chocolate. The alcohol is felt on the throat more than it is tasted. The finish is sweet with roasted malt and caramel. I was really suprised at how easy this beer is to drink, but taking on an entire bottle by myself might be a chore.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2004 04:36:24 | More by Dogbrick
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cokes

Wisconsin

3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spits out a crimson rust topped briefly with tan suds, which don't so much vanish as flee, as fast as they can, to the periphery of the glass.
For a beer that's supposedly so toothsome, the aroma is not as all-encompassing as I would suspect. It's all prune juice, coupled with dark berries, and traced by earthy Belgian-inspired yeastiness, then heavily fortified with the dryish, sweet grainy fumes of $5 jug Vodka. Really, though, it doesn't smell bad.
This is as vividly pruney as any beer can be. There's a secondary baked impression. Like prune bread. And also backings of caramel. Berries too, and more and more molasses as it heats. Throughout the later half, the grapey wranglings of middle-of-the-road Brandy hold sway. It's not the nasal-cavity searing heat of the really cheap shit, but it's lacking the finesse and cohesiveness of something with real quality. Bits of yeast-induced(?) lemony tartness poke through, along side with raisin bread. Then that swill vodka from the nose hits the throat with the subtlety of a forest fire. A bit of a sugared orange appears amidst the flames, especially as it warms. Any hops here are wasted.
Full bodied, thick, and initially semi-lively with carbonation. It leaves and the fluid becomes still, glossy and a touch sticky.
For all purposes, this is pushed to an ABV that it has no business reaching for, and it suffers as a result. It's fucking booze, not beer in any classic sense. There is not much for nuance. It's all prune juice, and port, and brandy, and vodka-heavy screwdrivers. It is absolutely ham-fisted and forced. But there are elements that work, even though it's more akin to a barleywine/eisbock cross.
Overall, this is notably flawed attempt that happened to stumble into something that suited my mood. While this review has been deliberated, the score has varied between a 3.1 and a 4.4. The final tally positions this somewhere down the middle. I can't say I truly enjoyed this as "beer", I guess I just desired a cocktail with some bite this evening. A less toothy evening, and I might find this unbearable.

As for you? I'll issue a big caveat emptor, and....

Some day, this might be exactly right....you know, those days when you're chompin' for some prune-and-molasses-augmented diesel. Other days, you'll likely prefer the unadulterated gas to this. And that's probably a cheaper way to go.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2004 07:34:48 | More by cokes
The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,022 ratings.