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The Beast Grand Cru 2004 - Avery Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Beast Grand Cru 2004The Beast Grand Cru 2004

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

50 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 50
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 22.29%
Wants: 6
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  18.10% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: clvand0 on 10-27-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 50 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by WesWes:
Photo of WesWes
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich malty scent that is quite warm and toastey. It boasts of pale and crystal malts along with some roasted malts for that nice toasted aroma. The taste is decent. It has an intense malt flavor that goes down slow and easy with a very warm finish. It has a fairly simple malt bill, but it has good flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a decent strong ale, although I'm not seeing the Belgian style characteristics. It is a brew for those cold winter days when you need a good warming up. It drinks well, but it's a beer you want to put away slow.

More User Reviews:
Photo of merlin48
3.03/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Hmm. No reviews of this in over a month. I should preface this review by saying that I rated the previous incarnation of the Beast at a 4.25. According to the label, this new high octane version contains a similar variety of exotic hops, malts, and specialty sugars. Appearance is impressive, with a clear copper body, some apparent bubbly carbonation, and an impressive offwhite head that retains for a few minutes at about two centimeters in height. After a few minutes, the head vanishes along with the initial patch lace. Aroma: Some dark fruits of raisins and prunes, lots of pepper notes from the alcohol(suggestive of some hablaneros), coriander, cheap bourbon whiskey, clover honey, and some suggestions of caramel maltiness.
Mouthfeel: Whew! Burning alcohol is alarming. Somewhat syrupy, with a medium body and subdued carbonation.
Taste: Extreme alcohol burns away most of the nuances that I appreciated in the old version of the Beast. With some patience, you can pick up some grassy hops bitterness and hints of dark fruity rum soaked prunes, but the high alcohol dumbs and numbs the senses here. Finishes with a stomach and throat burning alcohol presence. Quite medicinal. This might cure what ails you, but it reminds of the taste of a poultice that my grandmother might have made out of moonshine, herbs, and honey to cure any variety of maladies.
Drinkability: One bottle of this will get you intoxicated, no doubt. This version of the Beast is way over the top, and overdone with the big abv. The alcohol smothers all the quality malts and hops into a stifling and painful death. This tastes better toward the finish, but by then it has intoxicated you to the point that you would probably be reviewing aftershave lotion favorably. This version of the Beast is suitable for a tasting on April 1st, or for fraternity pranks and/or hazing for younger folks. I cellar Avery 10 and 11, with passion, and still like the earlier version of the Beast. This one is just too bizarre for normal tastes.

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +21.4%

Photo of cokes
2.48/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Is this thing on?

Um, Hi Avery. Yeah, um, in case you missed out on, oh, say the last year's worth of discussion, your first version of the Beast was largely reviled as an unecessary and misguided attempt at a high-test "big" beer.

So let me get this straight, you upped the ABV 2%?
What a great idea!
It's assuring to see that you've got your finger on the pulse of your audience.

So now, is this version created out of
a): sheer ignorance?,
b).an attempt to simply brew a headline making high octane brew in the wake of Dogfish Head and others?, or
c.) an audacious rebuttal and reformulation of all the things that didn't quite work in Beast's smaller form, with an added middle finger to the naysayers?

Pitches out amber with a bleached grey head that sprints away leaving no lace, no anything.
Captain Morgan's nose traced with tangerines and molasses.
Begins titanically sweet. Brown sugar, kiwi, burnt honey, molasses, and blueberry. Bread develops then is rendered feeble by the hornet's nest of stinging alcohol fury. Vodka and rum, and lots of them. Cheap seeming too, full of heat and short on depth.
Syrupy mixed-drink in build, battled up front with a rushing fizz, then resigned into the booze-driven abyss.

What are you doing Avery? I never participated in that large and vocal Beast-hater camp. In fact, I thought the old Beast was passable, and probably the best Belgian-inspired brew you offered, even if it was outright flawed and did suffer from being over-strong. The old Beast was all plums and dark fruits and candy and cognac. This is Red Bull and shitty rail vodka, sprinkled with brown sugar.

Count me in with those that rally against this particular creation.

Did you guys even taste this before releasing it? And be honest here.

Shame on you Avery.

Listen next time.
---
(the correct answers are: a & b)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle that reads "Bottled in 2004" and lists the alcohol as 18.1% from an original gravity of 1.138 (34.5 degrees plato). Wow! It's superbly malty and fruity, but with a harsh, brash, raspy slap of alcohol.... the beast lives up to its name! Enticing... seductive.... mind-numbing... killer !!!
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 one of 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!

Photo of Photekut
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +42.9%

Photo of nbohn13
3.76/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of Beertracker
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Photo of vrbulldog22
4/5  rDev +14.3%

Photo of santoslhalper
4.08/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearence: Poured a deep copper with a thin, bubby off-white head that actually has some retention to it.

Smell: The smell is malt focused with caramal, sweet, and syrupy notes. The alcohol is not as strong as I had expected.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Based on the reviews on here, this isn't half bad at all. The flavor is ridiculously powerful and complex, but it maintains a delicte balance. Sweet and caramel notes are the focused, but the alcohol isn't as strong as I'd thought it'd be. Really not a bad tasting beer at all. There is a nice amount of hop bitterness at the end as well. The mouthfeel is thick and slick and slippery.

Drinkability and Overall: C'mon now. This is a very good beer. I'm quite impressed at the balance it has for such and ENORMOUS beer. Obviously the dirnkability isn't the highest seeing as how it's 18.1%. It definitly lets you know it's potentcy after a few sips. Well this is an interesting brew, and a damn good one at that.

Photo of Gusler
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer disembogues the 22-ounce brown bottle a luminous ruby brown with a dinosauric frothy light tan head that settles rather quickly and the residual lace a tight sheet upon the glass. Oh my, is that alcohol I smell, sweet malt, caramel, over ripe pineapple, fresh, crisp, clean and a damn fine treat for my old schnozzle, start is all alcohol with a monsterous sweetness and a fair grain profile, the top is moderate to full in feel. Finish is submissive in its acidity with the hops burned out of existence by the 18.1 percent ABV and the specialty sugars leave a thick sweetness on the palate, big tummy warmer that is also quite dry, a monster of a beer, but one I do not think will appeal too many.

Photo of weeare138
4.33/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch # 2, at 18.1% abv.
Appears a cloudy, dense amber with a small off white head that slowly fades out into a collar. Small spots of lace are left around the glass but washed away by the oily looking concoction upon the sips.
Smell is of rich caramel, yeasty bread, cherries, tropical fruit, raisins, and dough.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a warm, fruity, and doughy taste that is full of rich, sugary malt and plenty of fruity Belgian yeast that's been made happy by the sugar and temperature.
Moutfheel is full and warming, much to the effect of a barleywine but what do you expect at over 18% abv? She's definitely a sipper, much like the other monsters of ale brews that Avery made. I'm glad I split the 22 ouncer with egajdzis and my bro-in-law. Potent and yummy but look out.

Photo of Stoffel
3/5  rDev -14.3%

Photo of mntlover
4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brownish red with a small one finger tannish head that does not lace but who expected lace at 18%

Aroma is big on malt with lots of caramel, toffee lots of dark rum soaked fruit plums and raisins mixed with a definate alcohol presence but actually smells pretty inviting.

Taste is big on malt lots of caramel toffee mixed with rum soaked fruits big on flavor also lots of alcohol that warms the body but in my opinion not to obtrusive. Hell it is 18% abv and the malt flavors more then outway the alcohol felt or tasted. Finish is caramel malt with a lingering aclohol presence light hops in there but can't over come the malt or alcohol.

Mouthfeel is almost full a big ale that seems lighter, due to the alcohol probably.

Drinkability is tricky it is good considering the 18% and would hate myself if I had more then one probably. Also would and in fact will buy again if I find some bottles hiding somewhere. That being the case would say drinkability is good, know I am going against the grain but actually enjoyed this Beast and wouldn't mind seeing him again in my dreams.

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of kmo1030
4.08/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a deep red brown with very little tan head that doesn't stick around for very long.
very complex nose that is a little overwhelming at first. very fruity with black cherry, berries, citrus, raisin, and plum. there is also a notable alcohol aroma with some of the malty grainy aromas underneath. Honey and caramel stand out. all the smells are tinged with a slight vanilla bourbon aroma that sort of works to draw everything together. a graininess shows itself as the beer warms
very wine like character to the taste. much of the fruity flavors described in the aroma show up here as well. mainly peppery raisin, cherry, fig. there is a smokey character in hear as well that seems connected to the bourbon qualities, but was not apparent in the smell. vanilla and honey seem to come and go throughout the course of the beer. there is also a sweet candied fruit flavor that shows up especially as it warms. the is also an ambiguous hop bitterness at the back of the mouth that could best be described as herbal, but i'm not sure that's what it is. once in a while there is a fairly strong sinus clearing blast of alcohol, but strangley for the most part it remains subdued for such a high abv.
full bodied with delicate carbonation that is pleasing to the palate. drinkability is very good for how huge of a beer this is, and get s a 4.0 overall.
a sipping beer for sure, this is one huge ass beer, that while i would not classify this as a favorite, i have to give it pretty good marks because i was fairly blown away by what it had to offer in terms of complexity i would like to see this in maybe a 4 pack of 12 oz bottles. it would be interesting to drink these in 2 year intervals for the next 8 years or so to see what happens, but i don't know where i can get anymore at this point, and it is a bit too pricey.

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

Appearing as a dusty crimson hellhammer, this Beast of 2004 looks ill intentioned. In a good way. A fair amount of sticky looking foam billowed up and then vaporized in the turbulent alcoholic atmophere. Slim curtains of lace avalanche back into the oblivion below each time I relinquish my hold of the vessel after sipping. There is not a great deal of carbonation activity taking place.

The nose holds a degree of spice and pepper once the initial alcohol diffuses off enough. Alcohol and dark fruits and sticky caramel make up a few of the more distinct aspects of the diverse aroma of the thing. A bit of a wine scent. Strongly malted.

The taste is much more agreeable than I had expected. It is quite surely a raging alcohol fueled inferno. It does have some complexity to it though. I cannot rightly say if I smell or taste a hop presence in this brew, but the alcohol adds a great dryness to the scene. It has a slick sweetness of malt body and the sourness that I normally pick up when Belgian yeasties are utilized. It comes off sort of wild tasting. There are nice vine fruit qualities to this beverage as well as some sour apple. All the while a faintly spicy ambiance. Really pleasant for something so brutally powerful in the abv realm. After half a glass the warmth is setting in while more flavors emerge into the picture. Whiskey cherries and caramel. Black cherry and port. Nice.

The mouthfeel holds the heaviness of the buzz. It is fairly thick and slick, going down smoothely and unoffensively.

The drinkability is good with all things considered. This is heavy stuff. Lots of flavors. It is not at all laborious to consume this stuff. Therefore, there is a degree of danger with this one. Solid.

Photo of kegerator
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

poured out a amber/ruby brown with a decent 1/2 inch head that dwindled quickly.
Aroma was big malts, fruit and brown sugar, hints of molasses and some slight hops in the back and alcohol. Brandy like alcohol.

taste was a huge hit of malt when it hits the mouth with some slight fuitiness and then the alcohol burn wallaops you. very warming with a slight burning at the back of the throat.
all in all i liked this brew but its not very drinkable with that alcohol burn it gives. definitely one to sip delicately. I think lightening up on the abv would send this beer to the top. I really enjoyed the flavors and character just too much alcohol burn for me. I have other big beers with 20% and 18% abvs that you knew the alcohol was there and tasted it but it was melded in much better.
I probably wouldn't pay the 9 bucks to buy another one.

Photo of nlmartin
2.03/5  rDev -42%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This was an appropriate beer to review as this is my 666th beer review. The first time I had this beer in 2004 it was a sink pour. Just too dammed much to handle. I was curious what 5 years of cellaring would do to this beast. The beer started out chilled and was allowed to warm to room temperature. The beer was served in a wide mouthed wine goblet.

Appearance: The body of the beer poured a hazy reddish brown coloration. The head was short lived but expected to live a short time due to 18%.

Smell: The smell of the beer was the best part of this experience: The beers aroma was of booze fueled apple cider, mixed berries, honey, butterscotch, caramel, vanilla, grapes, raisins soaked in rum, a bit nutty, slieghtly toasted character and very spicey alcohol. I was pretty psyched up by the aroma.

Taste: Someone put fucking Popov Vodka in my beer! What the fuck? I really wish this tasted more like the aroma. Its not even close. I am tasting a bit of sweet vanilla and butterscotch at the begining. This fades immediately into an astringent alcohol burn. Gak!... Looking for some cheap booze to get the taste out of my mouth. I allowed the beer to warm all the way to room temperature and even then the experience wasnt good.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: Astringent, boozey in a bad way. Alcohol is still hot as hell after 5 years of cellaring!... Very little in terms of flavor. This beer upset my stomach. I would have prefered drinking Nyquil Schnapps. Sadly I have another bottle left. I will give it another 5 years + in my basement.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I guess from time to time, a brewer has to go here just because they can. I appreciate the attempt and creativity, just not the finish product. I can imagine antifreeze tasting much like this. The beer pours nicely copper to deep golden, holds a loose knit head that lingered well. Had low level lacing, but showed good legging. Aromas are of obvious alcohols, but also of deep ripened fruits: peaches, cherries, plumbs, and a little nuttiness. Flavors show more. Begins nicely sweet (brandy-like) with good hop flavors. The body is sticky sweet, but the finish is where it hurts. The fusal alcohols are so rough and dominant, that all other flavors and character becomes void and easily forgotten. I beleive that I'll set a bottle or two back for my grandchildren to sample. It may smoothen out to drinkable in about a hundred years.

Photo of emmasdad
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ratman brought this one over to my house for my birthday last friday, and after splitting a bomber of batch 1 (along with a few others) with him a couple months back, and regretting it until about 5 pm the following night, I was glad we had a few more tasters for this one. Nonetheless, this was a very formidable beer. Pours a dark, hazy amber color with a smallish white head. Huge alcohol in this one, both on the nose and on the palate, along with dark brown sugar, dark fruits, caramel and alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol. This one is still pretty hot, even 6 years later. This one hasn't calmed down like batch 1 has. Still, it is very enjoyable.

Photo of BeerHunter76
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of GClarkage
4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10/12/08- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, vintage 2004, 18.1 abv at $9.99. Poured into my Alesmith tulip.

Appearance- Deep chestnut in color. 1/4 inch head on pour. Light bubbly rim of a head reamins for a few minutes. Leaves very light lace markings...expected from such a high octane beer.

Smell- Lots of woody age notes...not sure if it's oak or not. Alcohol obviously and a handful of dark fruits, roasted caramel malt and some hoppy notes as well. Very nice nose, especially as it warms to room temp.

Taste- At first sip, it really didn't seem like 18%...maybe 13 or 14 or so, but then the alcohol burn set it. As it warmed to room temp, the alcohol burn wore off, but you could now tell the 18% was no lie. Many dark fruits including plums and definite raisins. Caramel malt flavors and a still rather strong hoppy aspect. Bourbon like flavor with some oak and touches of vanilla.

Mouthfeel- Lower carbonation level, extremely warming and full mouthfeel that felt like cough syrup on the first sip. Mild hoppy and alcohol aftertaste.

Drinkability- I'm sure gald they make these in 12oz botles now. I have to admit though, the 18% would have been nice if they would have kept it. Shared this bottle with my friend and it took a good half of football to drink my 11 oz or so. Has many hard alcohol aspects, but you can definitely tell this is beer rather than liquor unlike Utopia's. An extreme sipper that is a perfect candidate for a winter night by the fire.
Really enjoyed it and will try the new 12oz format if I find it.

Photo of JISurfer
2.53/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Wow, this beer was a rollercoaster. It looked good and smelled good, but that was about it. I think they tried to put waaay to much alcohol in this, and that's what ruined it for me. At least in other high alcohol brews, the alcohol is a bit more subtle. This one was loud and in your face. After the alcohol hit the tounge, not much other taste was detectable. I think this beer would definately benefit from a lower alcohol level. What were they thinking?

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The Beast Grand Cru 2004 from Avery Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 50 ratings.