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Grand Cru - BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse

Not Rated.
Grand CruGrand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

47 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 0
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse visit their website
Arizona, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed with imported Belgian malts and a blend of exotic spices, BJ's Grand Cru has a malty character with a whirlwind of fruit and spice flavors. First brewed to celebrate the new millennium, BJ's Grand Cru has been a seasonal tradition ever since. This Belgian-stlye amber ale is bottle-conditioned and flavorful enough to age in the bottle for many years. Like a fine wine, the beer will change over time as some flavors mellow while others become more pronounced. For optimal aging, we recommend that you store BJ's Grand Cru for at least one year at between 55 and 65°F. Or enjoy it now!

(Beer added by: mickeymac on 06-26-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerBelcher
2.25/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I had this beer at the BJs in Columbus, OH, and it struck me as created by someone who just didn't understand beer. The server described it as a Belgian style-wheat beer, and went on to describe how it was about "10% alcohol" and a "Grand Cru" style. That description didn't leave me with high expectations, about this beer, as the description seemed like an odd mismatch of terms. And indeed, the result was pretty strange.

Appearance was of a flat, opaque, orange substance reminiscent to me of pulpy orange juice. Aroma was pretty weird - spicy but sort of dead. Flavor was also a bit weird - very sweet, strongly of alcohol at the finish, and a little spicy. Mouthfeel was quite thin. This beer struck me as if someone said to themselves, "Well Blue Moon is a very popular Belgian-style beer...let's make it bigger!" It doesn't really work for me. Too sweet, too alcohol-ish, too opaque, not carbonated enough, and seemingly a product of misunderstanding.

BeerBelcher, May 02, 2009
Photo of pknyc
2.5/5  rDev -34%

pknyc, Feb 21, 2014
Photo of polygman
2.63/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

BJ's in Oxnard. They were advertising this as a 10% belgian strong pale ale.

Served from tap in there commemorative grand cru style glass, basically a skinny tall tulip. Color was very dark for a Belgian strong pale, a strong orange color and not transparent to say the least. Quite cloudy appearance. Very little head, a wisp of lace but hardly any.

Smell was very faint, sweet malty smell if anything.

Taste was veryyyy sweet, pretty much too sweet. No balance whatsoever. Almost syrupy in flavor. It felt very heavy, sweet and alchy. Really needed some rethinking.

It almost seemed like they just wanted to brew a very strong belgian and in effect just created an overly sweet belgian style beer.

Would not get this again, too many better beers to choose from. Ordered a Green Flash after this to "cleanse" the palette.

polygman, Jan 08, 2010
Photo of mhaugo
3/5  rDev -20.8%

mhaugo, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of Sammy
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A showcase offering, Glendale location. Cloudy urine yellow, with white head and lace. You can see the carbonation bubbles. Yeasty aroma. Taste is rather too sweet, corriander and yeasty, a tad spicy. A Belgian lager. Not that drinkable as cloying. Not like a real Belgian.

Sammy, Feb 08, 2010
Photo of nick76
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The aroma is right for the style with some band-aids, spices, malt, candy sugar, yeast, and fruit. The appearance is orange gold with a small had. The flavor is like the aroma with a touch of tartness. The palate is typical for the style. A decent attempt at the style but it's only an average beer.

nick76, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of Floydster
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Five ounce taster of the 2008 version at the San Bernardino location last night for two dollars

A-Murky golden yellow color, resembled lemon juice, 1/4 inch white pillowy head that settled quickly, no retention or lacing

S-Pineapple, apples, oranges, peaches, tangerines, dry pear, cough syrup, spices, strong bready malt aroma, and Belgian yeast

T-Too medicinal for me or this beer would have been a lot more enjoyable, initial taste is sweet and sugary with the variety of fruits mentioned in the smell, then some cloves and pepper, then booze and Robutussin in the finish, chewy and sweet with a biscuit-like feel, surprisngly some smokiness in the aftertaste, could have used more hops to balance this out because both the yeast and malt profiles were too strong

M-Spicy mouthfeel, especially once it had warmed, ton much carbonation, thick body, taste lingered for several minutes afterwards

D-At 10.4%, it is very strong and the alcohol is not hidden well, a bit heavy, not smooth, probably could not have finished a full glass by myself

Anxious to try being that it is only around for a few weeks out of the year, one of their popular seasonal offerings, first Grand Cru I have tried, also made cool commemorative glasses for this that were available for purchase, probably would not have agin because I enjoy their Nutty Brewnette so much, but is was fun to try, recommened if you are curious but do not expect too much

Floydster, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of jujubeast6000
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 1/22/2010 (Draft @ BJs Clear Lake, Houston, TX):

Pours an amber golden color, small white head. Clear body. Spicy dry aroma. Pale. Some fruitiness. Not super strong. Spicy creamy mouthfeel, bubbly. A little rough, slightly syrupy. Letting warm up a bit. Still a bit spicy and harshly carbonated. A little strong on the syrup. Okay.

jujubeast6000, Feb 26, 2010
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brewed at the Bjs Chandler location
A frothy, amber tinged, tan colored head sits atop a dark red colored beer that shows a brilliantly clear reddish amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma is strikingly of rich fruit and a touch of phenolics; a mix of raisins, sweet plums, a touch of fig, some notes of clove and perhaps a hint of bubble gum.

The taste is definitely sweet, though not sticky, and the finish has that characteristic earthy spicy note that I associated with a Chimay derived yeast strain. The fruit notes are in the flavor as well, found up front, I get notes of sweet plums, raisins and apples. The finish is dominated by that earthy spiciness, which leads into an astringent, slightly phenolic (a mix of smoke and plastic), lingering finish. The spice notes remind me of cloves, a touch of ginger, perhaps some coriander and perhaps even something like cardamom. I can see this beer really appealing to some, to me it seems a touch out of balance though; it is just a bit too phenolic in the finish.

Gueuzedude, Jun 05, 2006
Photo of wilfonzo
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

wilfonzo, Jan 31, 2014
Photo of Big_Dave
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Big_Dave, Aug 06, 2014
Photo of Braz
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Braz, Apr 10, 2013
Photo of Porter
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Porter, Mar 30, 2014
Photo of Dogbrick
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sample at the Brew Kettle in Strongsville. This brew pours a cloudy copper color with a medium and bubbly off-white head that dissipates slowly. Patches of lacing on the glass. Aroma of sweet spices, yeast and bananas. Medium-bodied with a spiced character. Flavors of spices, bread and hops with more banana in the background. Sweet spice finish with touches of hops in the aftertaste. Decent overall.

Dogbrick, Jun 05, 2008
Photo of mickeymac
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this one on tap at BJ's in Woodland Hills, CA in June 2003. It pours a good looking reddish brown with a big off-white head that fades fairly quickly. The smell is perfume and spice, with nutmeg being the most noticeable spice. The taste is more of the same, but the spice rack effect is even more pronounced in the taste than in the smell. It's an interesting taste, but the novelty wears off before the first glass is gone. It's worth a try, but I'll try something else next time.

mickeymac, Jun 26, 2003
Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is very hazy light golden yellow in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving lacy wisps of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of Belgian yeast are present in the nose along with strong notes of underlying notes of candi sugars and slight hints of spices. It seems to become a little maltier as the beer warms up.
T: The taste very much follows the smell and is quite malty from the candi sugars, although no sweetness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer definitely tastes strong, although the alcohol is not that apparent in the taste. It seems to lack the complexity offered by some of the top beers in the style.

Note: 2013-2014 Annual

metter98, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of Mora2000
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Plano, Texas location.

Served in a nice BJ's Grand Cru stemmed glass. The beer pours a hazy gold color with a large white head. The aroma has a lot of biscuit malt, as well as some Belgian yeast and orange citrus notes. The flavor is more of the same. The malt notes are accented nicely with the orange citrus, yeast and candy sugar notes. The alcohol is present but the beer is still easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Dec 12, 2011
Photo of videofrog
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

videofrog, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Danobold
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

Danobold, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of ericchalifour
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

ericchalifour, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

djrn2, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of hayesjw
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

hayesjw, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of mugglesandhops
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this gem ontap at the BJ's in Oklahoma City. I was feet suprised at the quality of there beer especially this one. It poured a hazy yellow/orange color with little head lacing was minimal lacing into a snifter. I didn't get too much out of the smell just some fruits like pear, bananna. The taste is what blew me away. It had some spice to it with a slight alchohol burn in the finsh but still very easy to drink.

mugglesandhops, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stopped in for some lunch while running errands and enjoyed this on tap.
Pours a murky orangish/gold in color. No head at all on the beer. Smell is citrusy fruits, some coriander and some belgian yeast. More of the citrusy fruits and mostly coriander in the flavor. This is the best beer that I've had from this chain. Easy drinking and no sign of the ABV whatsoever while drinking. Enjoyable, but one glass was enough.

FtownThrowDown, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of mullenite
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BeerAdvocate has this listed as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale but it was really a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, it was good none the less.

Glassware - Tulip

Appearance - Cloudy, yellow in color and very hazy with a half finger white cap on the tap that faded in to a ring. Very nice sticky lacing down the glass as well.

Nose - Smell was primarily bananas, some alcohol and spices in there as well. Not very complex but pretty good. Reminded me a little bit of Weihenstephan Vitus but with a bit more banana.

Taste - Very similar to the smell, lots of bananas which faded to the spices (clove, vanilla) and then faded again to a very alcoholic finish. Again, not very complex but pretty good. No one flavor was too dominant or restrained.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with an okay amount of carbonation, I kind of wanted more carbonation but it was on tap so it may be the locations fault.

Overall - I would drink this again and would by it in bottles if it were bottle conditioned but probably won't get it on tap again.

mullenite, Jan 16, 2010
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Grand Cru from BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
85 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.