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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
80
good

48 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 22.7%
Wants: 6
Gots: 4 | 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: 48 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +43.7%

kkrez, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of ABV
5/5  rDev +43.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Folks, a brew that clocks in at more than 18% abv should not be this drinkable. But the Beast is, and packaged in 22oz. bombers, it's as dangerous as its name suggests. Nose is perfumey sweet with alcohol evident. Tastes of candied sugar, sweet but not cloying, dates, raisons figs, grapefruiy pine nuts, the hint of citrussy hops, burnt molasses. An absolutely wonderful brew for which I suggest moderation. After a half bottle I feel a glow of mild euphoria, and rising, am unsteady on my feet, as if they have been fitted with soft pillows. Another exceptional seasonal from Avery.

ABV, Dec 09, 2004
Photo of brentk56
4.65/5  rDev +33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color without much head or lacing

Smell: Alcoholic dark fruits and honey

Taste: Lots of dark fruits - dates, raisins and a honey mead taste

Mouthfeel: Very heavy body, like an after-dinner liqueur

Drinkability: Wonderful, port-like. This beer is starting to come together now; I tasted it about six months ago and it was way too alcoholic

brentk56, Apr 27, 2005
Photo of WOLFGANG
4.5/5  rDev +29.3%

WOLFGANG, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +28.4%
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!

NeroFiddled, Jul 25, 2005
Photo of GIVEMEBACKMYSON
4.45/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells of booze, cherry, booze, maple, booze, rye, and a faintly detectable note of booze.
This beer has a thin head with little retention and a vibrant amber color with hints of purple and pink.
This stuff is quite lively on the tongue. Much more so than anticipated. Lighter feel than expected as well. Somewhat confusing to the palate at first.
There is a huge and complex malt presence to this beer. There are a variety of distractions from this. Some characters that pop their heads in include green wood, fig, apricot, and other dried fruits, rhubarb, and a host of various tart berries. Inside of my mouth, a deranged malt monster has a wrestling match with a shitload of assorted dried, tart fruits. After much screaming and bloodshed, the malt monster wins via submission. Have fun in my stomach, motherfucker. As this beer warms, things get even crazier than already described. To the point where my attempts at description become futile. But the booze factor gets hotter, especially through the finish and exhale.
Big thanks to BA MoeSizlak for splitting this bomber with me.
If you're flying solo, popping the top off The Beast is ill advised. The Beast really grabs ya by the boo-boo.

GIVEMEBACKMYSON, Dec 17, 2004
Photo of weeare138
4.33/5  rDev +24.4%
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.

weeare138, Jun 29, 2006
Photo of BeerRun13
4.18/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kbub6f.

Allready tried the 2005... this is better, but much more dangerous!

Poured into an oversized wine glass a very clear reddish orange with a very small off-white head. The head thinned out but stayed leaving a slight lacing in the glass.
Smellls much like the first one I tried. Raisin and date aromas, but with a bit more of a spicy tone... not quite hoppy spice, but more like corriander. Although this Beast had a higher ABV (18.10%), the smell wasn't as noticable.
Strong raisins and dates. Not so much honey flavor as the 2005, but much more of a caramel backbone. The flavors are strong, but fairly well balanced. There is a coriander spice as well as hop spice and bitterness that strengthens as the beer warms. Again, a truly a complex onslaught of flavors.
Syrupy mouthfeel but a better carbonation level than the 2005. Much more crisp. Goes down quite easy, but heed warning... There's alot of alcohol in this bad boy. Sip it. Split a bomber with a friend. If you can find one, I recommend giving it a try.

BeerRun13, Mar 29, 2006
Photo of mntlover
4.1/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

mntlover, Jul 04, 2005
Photo of GClarkage
4.1/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

GClarkage, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of santoslhalper
4.08/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

santoslhalper, Apr 19, 2005
Photo of kmo1030
4.08/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

kmo1030, Aug 01, 2005
Photo of Beertracker
4/5  rDev +14.9%

Beertracker, Oct 04, 2012
Photo of vrbulldog22
4/5  rDev +14.9%

vrbulldog22, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of SupaCelt
4/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

SupaCelt, Aug 11, 2005
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to Vermonthiker for this brew.

22oz. Bomber
Red Foil

Poured into a tulip a nice brown/amber color, nice carbonation, very nice two-finger fizzy off-white head, which leaves some minimal sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, slightly spicy, some figs/plums/raisins, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, the dark fruits pop-in, and some caramel. Medium body, the alcohol is fairly present on this one, but drinkable. Drinkable, another tasty brew from Avery. Thanks Tom.

Wasatch, Jul 03, 2008
Photo of Bierman9
3.93/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 22oz bottle which, I think, I scored at the 2005 BA Extreme Beer Fest. 18.1% abv? Whoa!! Careful now....

Into the goblet it goes.... clear, garnet/ruby colored... beauteous!! Actually produced a bit of head to start, yet basically thins to a rim-job of bubbles around the edge of the gob. Has a few spots of carbonation rising slowly and steadily within. Not much lace to speak of, though. Took a whiff of this, and... ouch! Hot!! Is this bier, or a shot of liqueur? Does seem to be some dark fruit under there, somewhere.... Body? Oh yeah, body. Medium, as far as I can tell. And fairly smooth, for something this hot. Yeah, hot...

Did I say hot? Didn't take long for the warmth to hit the belly after passing over the palate. Could trace a path down the esophagus as it went south. Has a fruitiness present, though in a somewhat sour-ish manner. Raisins and grapes, perhaps? Really hard to detect what, if anything, the hopping adds to this Beast. Some sweetness, like burnt brown sugar, did show up, though the fruit aspect was much more evident. Except the alcohol. Did I say hot? Quite warm, to say the least... In general, I like the flavor... pleasurable yet understated fruitiness, though the abv dominates, imo. Ya know, the more I drink of this, the less I feel the heat, and more I get the flavor. That 18% abv is not really so bad... detracts more from the aroma than anything.

Prosit!!

overall: 4
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4

876

Bierman9, Jan 08, 2006
Photo of Photekut
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

Photekut, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of BeerHunter76
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

BeerHunter76, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of ajcormier
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

ajcormier, Oct 31, 2013
Photo of soulfly967
3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a reddish amber color, with a slight white head that quickly faded away. The smell was spectacular! Plums, cherries, lots of alcohol and some distant malts. The taste was of dark fruits and lots of sweetness at the beginning with a powerful alcohol warming on the back. The mouthfeel was full bodied, thick, with some mild carbonation. I'm not sure if anyone could drink more than one of these monsters in one night. But, overall I would have to say that this was a pretty good brew, I enjoyed it.

soulfly967, Jun 13, 2005
Photo of kegerator
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

kegerator, Jan 31, 2005
Photo of Gusler
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Gusler, Apr 21, 2005
Photo of WesWes
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

WesWes, Jul 16, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear amber with an off-white and persistent head which lasted well to lace the glass.

The aroma was strong with a malty and caramel impression coupled with fruity aromatics of raisins and plums. The fruit was circumvented by a highly spicy alcohol phenolic. The spice not attributed to alcohol was a nice but very low blend of coriander and cinnamon from Belgian yeast.

The flavor was strongly spicy with a graham cracker breadiness and a very strong fruit character of raisins and plums with prunes. The flavor was hot with alcohol and phenolics of spice that last and last in the flavor and really found no stopping point. The malt flavor was caramel coupled with a strong biscuit flavor. The beer was not overly sweet and bittering was present at a high level keeping the malt flavors in check enough so the flavor was not cloying. Nothing in the flavor was subtle and the flavors are never restrained.

The finish was eventually dry, but intially just off dry with a long lingering biscuit and spice well into the aftertaste and beyond. The body was full and viscous and the carbonation level moderate. The alcohol level in this one makes it difficult to consume. Very much a sipping beer with so high an ABV level and so much warming after consumption.

This one truly was a beast. Tread lightly, bring a friend for support so you don't get bit.

22 ounce bottle. $10 at Wine Warehouse about a year ago. Had this one at a Pop The Cap event and had to purchase a bottle for myself.

GCBrewingCo, Sep 13, 2005
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The Beast Grand Cru 2004 from Avery Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.