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Grand Cru Winter Reserve - Flying Fish Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Grand Cru Winter ReserveGrand Cru Winter Reserve

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

435 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 435
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.77%
Wants: 4
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Flying Fish Brewing Company visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 09-14-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 435 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SixpointJMH
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this solid bottle-conditioned brew pours a slightly cloudy yellow/orange colour. it is much lighter than anticipated. there is a slight bubbliness here as well, which fades (not completely though) as the beer sits. tastes of citrus fruit with hints of alcohol ending. another solid brew from the folks at flying fish. a bit unexpected for a winter beer but enjoyable all the same.

SixpointJMH, May 07, 2003
Photo of donniecuffs
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a filtered golden hue, with one finger of white head, average retention, and good lacing. Smelled of sweet candied pears, apple, and sugar, and not as much spice as I was led to expect. The taste yielded a nice fruity/sweet blend, which progressed to a slightly spicy (and sweet) finish. Spritzier than expected, blending nicely with the medium body. Good session Belgian, but would benefit tremendously from a little more spiciness, and a little less sweetness.

donniecuffs, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of Wasatch
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks again to NeroFiddled for this brew.

Pours a clear/clean golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy white head, some sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is of bread yeast, malts, spicies, and bannana's. The taste is slightly sweet/bitter, malty, yeasty, with some cloves/banana flavor. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a nice BSPA, would recommend, thanks Jim.

Wasatch, May 02, 2007
Photo of Hypersomnia
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle.

Golden color, 1 finger frothy head dissipates to a thin ring. Decent amount of carbonation is visible. Visually this beer is quite appealing.

Aroma is Belgian yeast spiceness, a bit of clove, maybe some kind of citrus. Sort of reminds me of Apple pie or some kind of strudel or something. Bit of banana.

Taste is more or less like the aroma. Lots of spicy complexity, bit of sweetness.

Finish is light almost pilsneresque with a a bit of the same spiceness.

Pretty easy to drink a number of these and they are tasty enough to want to do so.

Hypersomnia, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lightly hazy, orangish-gold color. It is pretty well carbonated and creates a fluffy, three-finger thick, pale head. The aroma has a characteristically earthy spiciness to it that I associate with the Chimay strain of yeast, underneath this though is a light fruit character that reminds me of apples and pears. Sharp and lightly phenolic the yeast derived aromatics help to balance the fruit and sweet grain notes. All in all a pretty nice aroma is on this beer. While this beer has a great mix of aromatic notes it does seem to fade a bit over time; it just does not have the staying aromatic power that I expect from a great beer.

The taste is sweet throughout with a light tartness that when coupled help to accentuate some green-grape, pear and apple notes. The finish has a touch of alcohol as well as some spicy notes of higher alcohols. The beer has a nice spiciness to it that, when combined with the solid carbonation, gives this beer a certain zippiness. Notes of pepper, spicy ginger notes, some definite clove and a certain amount of lemon zest are just a few of the spice notes that I can pick out of the flavors. This is definitely the tastiest brew I have had from these guys. It captures the complexity of a good Belgian brewed strong ale quite well.

Gueuzedude, May 11, 2006
Photo of vette2006c5r
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grand Cru pours a darker cooper color with a small lacing head. There is a yeasty aroma, with a lot of pepper flavors. The taste had yeast flavors, a lot of pepper and a mild sweet pear like flavor. Good body, but overall light. Overall its a nice spicy beer.

vette2006c5r, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of Nerudamann
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a sifter glass.

Look - dense but still pale amber color, murky, with about 2 fingers of off-white foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell - good mix of malty and hoppy. Maybe some very subtle fruits. Very yeasty, like a Weizen.

Taste - a little bit musky in the taste, especially the beginning, lending itself to being a little more malty in balance. Also very yeasty in taste, but at the same time more refined than a typical Weizen. Texture is very well-balanced!

Drinkabiliy - very tasty and well-done brew! I think it fits the style very well. Complex enough for reviewing and critiquing, but at the same time tasty enough to just relax and enjoy!

Nerudamann, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of stingo
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance was a nice dark gold, with a small but nice head when poured. Lacing was nearly non-existent. and the nose was small but malty, and indication of the beer's taste. Very agreeable malts up front with no discernible hops at the back. I am liking this beer a lot - not too heavy or thick, not too filling - would definitely be a good session beer.

stingo, Dec 05, 2004
Photo of YesFest
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden crisp-and-clear (like an American macro lager, but with a bigger head).

The nose is a somewhat fruity bouquet, with a faint hint of walnut. Medium mouth-feel, not quite as heavy as the aroma foreshadowed. Still heavy for Flying Fish, but then again, not too thick for a winter ale; medium mouth-coating.

Similar to their Abby-style dubbel, it's a tad wine-esque, but in a rare way that works for me. You can taste the alcohol up front, in an un-aggressive way. Speaking of which, you'd never guess that this registers 7.2% abv. Probably the smoothest 7+ ale I've ever tried, which earns it additional points on that alone!

Malty, smoky, I'm guessing toasted malts? Pretty clean finish, I could use more souvenir in the front of the mouth after the swallow. Sorry, hop-heads, I don't honestly detect a single hop until the throat. But hey, nobody's perfect!

For food pairing, hork down some shepherd's pie, a Reuben sandwich, or save the beer for the main desert.

YesFest, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of John_M
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Institute the other day.

The beer pours a solid gold color with very good head retention and lacing. On the nose I get quite a bit of bubblegum and honey, along with pepper. The combination is intriguing and pretty nice actually. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, albeit in a fairly sweet manner. The beer has a medium bodied mouthfeel, with the alcohol fairly well disguised. Still, the sweetness and noticeable alcohol do detract just a bit from the beer's drinkability. Otherwise, this is another pretty solid beer from Flying Fish.

John_M, Mar 10, 2009
Photo of kmpitz2
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks NeroFiddled

Pours a nice golden color with a light coating of head that is maintained by the bubbles from the bottom of the glass. The nose is nice, almost wit-like, with hints of coriander, some light banana and slight lemoney twinges coming together to a very nice aroma. The flavor is okay. I get some creamy orange and banana with a light spiceyness and a distant hint of alcohol. The feel is moderate with a fairly active carbonation. This is a solid brew, but not what I would call a Belgian Pale. More like a wit-hefe hybrid.

kmpitz2, Jun 05, 2005
Photo of DunkelFester
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, bright golden straw color. Clarity is good, but not exceptional. Frothy head dissipates quickly. Nice lacing on the way down.

Smells of fresh hay, peppery spice, hints of weizen-like banana and cloves (though the latter is occasionally overcome by the 'hay'). Very pleasant, never harsh on the nose.

Dry. Slightly bitter hop character, citrusy. Lime rind? Interesting, anyway. A bit lacking in malt complexity, but this makes for an easier drinking brew.

Light in the mouth. The spicyness and soft aromatics keep me going back for more. This is an easy-drinking beer, just complex enough to give you something to ponder (should you choose to), but light enough that it goes down well and works with a variety of foods.

Overall, I think this is my favorite beer from Flying Fish. I grab a case every year and have never been disappointed. That said, I'd love to see them make the malt character a bit less one-dimensional and bring this one up to 7 - 8% abv to lend just a bit more warmth.

Definitely worth a try.

DunkelFester, Nov 23, 2005
Photo of LordChesterfield
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Interesting flat pale color with thin but strong head retention. It tastes very fruity obvious spicy tasting hops that really jive with the fruity malt. Thin and clean body and mouthfeel yet very complex. It seemed so fresh and refreshing that I downed 4. I'm proud to call this beer local, as local as you can get, brewed one town over from mine.

LordChesterfield, Jan 05, 2006
Photo of IronLover
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark orange in color with yellowish hues on the edge of glass and a viscous, murky appearance. Poured with a thick, billowy, belgian-like foam with good retention that left sheets of sticky lacings on the glass. Bready, grainy and yeasty aromas with peppery spice and a hints of banana, candy sugar and bubblegum. On the lighter spectrum of medium bodied with a smooth creamy feel. Strong peppery flavor with sweet banana, grainy bread and yeast from beginning to end. Floral hop flavors from the middle toward the end. Finishes with a spicy, yeasty aftertaste.

IronLover, Mar 21, 2013
Photo of weeare138
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draft at The Fitzwater Station...
Appears a hazy golden bronze with a fluffy white head that slowly settles into a half inch head. Nice, solid specs of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of a bold, bold fresh hop boil with a spicey Westmalle-ish yeast in the background. Smells like I've got my nose in either a bag of Styrian Golding hops, or I am right over the kettle during the addition. They either put a ton in at the end of the boil, or dry hopped this bad boy...either way, I enjoy the aroma. Nice citrusy hops with a touch or orange candy and white pepper.
Taste is of the aforementioned aromas. Nice play on the Belgian yeast giving it a good blend of aromatics and spiceyness to mix with a good dose of hops along with some wheat, Carapils malt and biscuity malt being exposed.
Mouthfeel is how you would expect it to be with this yeast. Crisp & dry with a medium bodied feel and decent carbonation levels.

weeare138, Apr 15, 2006
Photo of LordHammer
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on draft at The Office Lounge in Toms River, NJ.

A: A bright, golden pint, poured with about 1/4 inch of white head.

S: Malts, a bit of alcohol, and some bright citrus and tropical fruit notes.

T: Seemed like a giant, filtered witbeer to me. Tasted like some wheat malt, a bit of coriander, a moderate amount of alcohol, and some notes of citrus (oranges in vodka) and a tropical fruit note. Any hop character largely indistinguishable.

M: A dry, crisp, finish to this one, which was fairly thin but not unpleasant.

D: While good, I stopped at one with this beer, mostly due to my drive home later.

In all, a solid brew, although maybe better as a early spring offering.

LordHammer, Nov 20, 2008
Photo of tone77
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of fruits and spices. Taste is good, yeast, fruit, spices, lots of flavor. Feels full bodied and tasty in the mouth and is very drinkable. Overall this is a fine selection.

tone77, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of spinrsx
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from Total Wine Las Vegas for 0.99$ on sale

Appearance - Slightly hazy amber colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an above average amount of carbonation and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Lemon/oranges, grains, yeast, coriander/cloves

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste lemons/oranges, banana, grains and a bit of yeast. There is also a bit of a clove/coriander spiciness and a bit of vinegar/rust/funk. It ends with a corn syrup and coriander/clove slightly tart aftertaste.

Overall - Pretty good stuff. The scent was nice and the taste had a little bit of a funk that made it interesting. Glad I picked this up and I'd drink it again anytime.

spinrsx, Apr 20, 2012
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From winter brew tasting notes (2010): A clear straw colored pour with a thick off-white head. A pleasantly sweet aroma of bananas, pineapples, tangerines, Golden Delicious apples, vanilla, caramel, cloves, and a pretty standard Belgian golden ale yeastiness. Medium body. The taste starts off pretty sweet with plenty of caramel and Golden Delicious apples. Kinda creamy in the middle with a little vanilla, chai tea, and some breadiness. Juicy pineapples, tangerines, and citrus rinds finish things off. A bit spicy at the end. Some alcohol warmth is evident and only adds to this brew's complexity.

CuriousMonk, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of jhu1995
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear pale gold color with minimal head. Smell was yeasty and bready with some spice to it. Also very earthy and grassy. Taste was slightly spicy and earthy, reminded me of a saison with a bit of a wild side to it. This was a full-bodied beer but was easy to drink and smooth. A solid brew and worth seeking out.

jhu1995, Dec 21, 2007
Photo of lackenhauser
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale golden color-almost borders on being a BUD "dark". Not a lot of aroma-sulfury and yeasty. Great flavor-deep malt taste with an earthy, somewhat funky undercurrent. Very slightly spiced. Somewhat sweet. Good body-very full, somewhat slick. Very, very drinkable and enjoyable. The heavy sweetness and slick body might get to be too much after while. Very enjoyable none the less. Nice for a cold winters night.

lackenhauser, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside De Ranke Père Noël.

A: Clear yellow with one-finger, white, fizzy head that lasted a minute or two. Okay lacing.

S: Belgian yeast and earthy spice.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Toasted biscuit and a tiny bit of spice. Belgian yeast.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Not very smooth, but crisp, not dry, and no trace of alcohol.

O: The head and lacing were lacking, but everything else about this ale was pretty good. I liked this slighly better than the Père Noël.

SolipsismalCat, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of Seanibus
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A really interesting beer, with a weirdly tropical character, as if a bunch of Belgian monks took up brewing on Maui.

Pours sunny straw yellow and very clear with a short-lived head. Aroma is perfumy and sweet, with some jasmine and pineapple. Flavor is very sweet and tropical, with pineapple, jasmine, a little rose, apricot jam, with just enough phenolic character to remind you this is a Belgian style. There are notes of baked apple, a little mace or nutmeg, with some sunny pale malt character. Mouthfeel is thin and slightly carbonated.

Seanibus, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of magine
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this brew into a Duvel glass.

Beer pours a darker golden yellow brew, with a small white head that fades quickly some minimal lacing.

Smells of yeast, sweet smell; fruity and floral.

The taste is of yeast and fruits. Some nice balance of fruits, yeasts and malts. Very nice taste.

This beer is very drinkable - I could enjoy a case of this one, and enjoy all night. They did a great job hiding the alcohol. Very nice. Yet another great brew from Flying Fish.

magine, Apr 04, 2009
Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: minimal head, hazy, caution light yellow in color, light carbonation

Smell: orange, lemon, honey, and grass

Taste: Like the smell, but with a bit of sugar--orange, lemon, honey, and grass

Mouthfeel: sweet with an earthy backbone, medium bodied with low carbonation

Drinkability: A very good Belgian beer that hides the alcohol way too well. A nice holiday treat that I wish I could find around here. I would get a six without hesitation.

tigg924, Jan 05, 2011
Grand Cru Winter Reserve from Flying Fish Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 435 ratings.