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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.

434 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 434
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: 434 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MerkurKing16
3/5  rDev -17.4%

MerkurKing16, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of msarver16
4.5/5  rDev +24%

msarver16, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of piconaut
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

piconaut, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of BirdFlu
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%

The pour is unremarkable. Looks sort of just like a macro, a bit extra orangish. Just average. Smells a bit fruity, like most Belgian tripels or such. Much more like a tripel or dubbel rather than a Belgian strong pale. Definitely not reminiscient of your duvels or deliriums and such. Taste is a bit fruity and certainly a bit peppery. Like black pepper, that is. Mouth is ok, light to moderate and easily drinkable. A bit refreshing.
Overall it's ok. Good but not great.

BirdFlu, Feb 07, 2009
Photo of abkayak
3.25/5  rDev -10.5%

abkayak, Apr 17, 2014
Photo of BeenTired
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

BeenTired, Dec 07, 2013
Photo of DrBass
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

DrBass, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of phantomwyse
4.08/5  rDev +12.4%

Picked this up as part of my mass winter beer buying spree. Liked the fact that it had the higher six pack walls, shows that the brewery wants its beer to be quality -- or at least appear that way.

A: Very light gold color. (Poetic license warning) Alot like what I'd imagine a wheat field at sunset would look like. Very clean looking, no turgidity. Turgid may be the wrong word, but it sounds good. Poured and left about an inch thick head which dissipated quickly.

S: Much like Chimay Cinq Cents in my opinion. Coriander? Orange peel? Sweet smelling.

T: Sweet, but not too sweet. Light citrus notes, orange. A little spice. Sort of a bizarre aftertaste. I can't quite place it right now, but it isn't bad. Rather enticing, maybe a little grassy.

M: Light and smooth, alcohol has a slight stinging bite. Carbonation was a little on the light side.

D: Very good -- like Chimay light. I wouldn't pound these down, but it's satisfying. It'd feel real good siting next to a fire on a cold winter's night, with the wind howling, snow blowing into the windows making sharp noises against the glass. I'm an English Lit major, what do you expect?

Overall, I'm very happy I bought this. And the fact that it's from my home state of NJ is very inwardly satisfying. It's not quite as good as Taylor Ham, egg and cheese on an everything bagel, but it's not too far from it.

Side note: I absolutely agree with a previous review that mentioned a white zin aspect to this beer, I just took a sip and would sense it. I was raised in a wine family, so this is a pleasant taste to come from a beer.

phantomwyse, Dec 17, 2007
Photo of bvlaminck
3/5  rDev -17.4%

bvlaminck, May 08, 2012
Photo of JackTheRipper
1.63/5  rDev -55.1%

A: Pale honey in color. Clear. Minimal head with no lacing
S: Sweet up front with a nasty skunky aroma. Sour smell covers the later improved fruity aromas that come through as this one warmed a bit.
T: Slightly bitter with a nice yeasty taste. Somewhat low malty flavors. Lingering bitter aftertaste.
M: Good levels of CO2 and alcohol. Nice medium body.
D&N: I hope I got a bad bottle, cause this beer was awful. As it stands, I wouldn't recommend this at all. A thoroughly yuk beer that was a chore to try and finish.

JackTheRipper, Apr 11, 2005
Photo of Ardeer
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Ardeer, Jul 26, 2014
Photo of tjd112
4.9/5  rDev +35%

Poured into my Chimay glass. Appearance is a translucent amber-gold colour with a fast dissipating white head and little lacing. A smell of honey and booziness comes out strong, but the taste is doughy with a hint of vanilla. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy with a somewhat dry finish. This is a beer that must be sipped to truly enjoy.

tjd112, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of nrpellegrini
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%

Bottle poured to pint glass.

A: clear yellow color, thick white head that stays a bit
S: hops, sweet, fruity, corn
T: full of flavor, little sweet, little bitter, spices, hop flavor at end, finishes clean
M: extremely smooth all the way through, no bite
D: great, easy to put back, wanted more

My first flying fish and I loved it.
Definitely want this beer again, a lot of flavor but I can't really put my finger on it.

nrpellegrini, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of bob3701
3.13/5  rDev -13.8%

Poured into a wheat type glass. Hazy gold yellow color with a big head that quickly disapates with minor lacing. Citrus and spice aroma. This is my first grand cru style beer so I have no reference point. Very tart and sour and might not have been bad alone but did not sit well with other beers I had during the session.

bob3701, Dec 28, 2009
Photo of fiedler84
2.5/5  rDev -31.1%

fiedler84, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of irishking1977
2.93/5  rDev -19.3%

Since Flying Fish's Grand Cru is a seasonal winter Belgian Ale, I always find myself grabbing at least one six pack during it's availability. I suppose I wonder if the recipe will change with time. I guess not.

A: Pours a clear gold in my Unibroue glass. The initial head maintains itself for a short time then dissipates to nothing. Moderate lacing left around the glass. Pretty good lookin' beer.

S: Biscuits, bread, yeast. A slight hint of vanilla along with candy sugar. Not bad, but the smell could reveal a slightly cloying taste of these descriptions.

T: More bread. Yeasty breadiness. Not a word, I know. But that's what came to mind. It's moderately cloying with a bread-like finish.

M: Not as carbonated as I would have liked. I think if it was more so, it might mask the syrupy feel of the beer. This is tantamount to the mouthfeel of a barley-wine. Needs more bubbles.

D: Not bad, but after a few of these, one might yearn for something with more direction. This one is sort of all over the place for a Belgian style ale. It makes me appreciate Duvel that much more.

irishking1977, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of rdrummer
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%

This is the best Flying Fish effort that I have tried. I usually do not like Flying Fish brews because of a significant metallic after-taste that I find particularly unpleasant. The Winter Ale doesn't have that. It pours a nice golden hue with a whitish head that is relatively long lasting in a pint. The lacing is very heavy throughout the pour. There are some really heavy spicy aromas and flavors here. There is a definite yeasty taste and some cinnamon and nutmeg flavor. The beer is full-bodied but not clinging. It has a very clean feeling in the mouth, and goes down really easily. I had finished four during a long lunch before I knew, and headed home for the day.

rdrummer, Nov 15, 2003
Photo of JohnFatAss
3.76/5  rDev +3.6%

Grand Cru Winter Reserve came in a brown bottle with a distinctive purple label.

It poured a hazy golden color. Small white head and a little bit of lacing.

Sweet and fruity smell.

The taste is not as sweet or fruity as the smell would lead you to believe.

Water up front. Clove and banana favors come through. A little bit of yeast.
Some hop spice and finishes up dry.

An interesting beer, not your typical winter seasonal.

JohnFatAss, Dec 21, 2013
Photo of ism
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%

On-tap at 22 West in Union, NJ. Served in a flute. Gold-wheat body, that nice yeasty cloudiness, with a small white head. Nose of mellow fruitiness and pepper-cinnamon spice, a bit of malty sweetness, and no discernible hoppage. Left excellent lacing all the way down. Hits the palate with no carbonation whatsoever which was disappointing, and a flows with a light-medium body. Flavors are full-on phenols and yeast, a mix of apricot and banana, with spices hinting and finally emerging as it goes down. Crisp finish. Very easy-going, hides the alcohol very well (actually a little too well for a winter brew); would make a great session. Easily the best Flying Fish offering I've tried so far. I'll have to pick up some bottles and compare.

12oz bottle: Wow, what a difference. The body is very clear. Light carbonation this time. There is a more pronounced ginger spiceyness. Still solid, but it's better on-tap.

ism, Jan 15, 2005
Photo of cooch69
4/5  rDev +10.2%

This beer pours a golden yellow with a two finger frothy white head.

Nose of Pineapple, orange, alcohol, yeast(cloves) bananas, and bubble gum.

Taste is of pale bready malts, cloves, oranges, pineapples, corriander, and bananas.

Semi-sweet with a nice carbonation and a sticky and medium-full body.

cooch69, Feb 22, 2011
Photo of njbusa
2.75/5  rDev -24.2%

njbusa, Apr 20, 2014
Photo of jodybrutal
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

jodybrutal, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of BWH3
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%

A: A golden champagne color. Very finely carbonated. Small white head with poor retention. Perfectly clear.

S: Light pear and banana fruits. A hint of candy/honey sweetness. The hops are floral in nature. Overall very light and fragrant.

T: Delightful taste. The delicate malt sweetness arrives combined with the mild overtones of pear and banana. The spicy phenols are present but are not overwhelming. A mild toasted grain note is detectable.

M: Thin and light. Well carbonated. Poor head retention.

D: Very enjoyable Christmas selection. Quite unique given very few BSPAs are made as seasonal brews.

BWH3, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of lockewoodfin
2.75/5  rDev -24.2%

lockewoodfin, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of weizenbob
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%

Received as an extra in a trade with cbriggz. Thanks Chris! 12 ounce bottle poured to a pint glass. This bottle claims a 6.9% ABV (in contrast to the 7.2% listed by Beer Advocate). An aggressive pour yields just a trace of head that quickly disappears. Some lacing is present. The brew is a dark golden shade with some translucence. There is a small amount of visible carbonation.

The nose is greeted by the scents of citrus, spice and wheat. The aroma is reminding me of a more pungent Hoegaarden. 'Nuff said.

The first sip is loaded with coriander which is clinging to a syrupy alcohol that is very pleasantly noticeable without appearing boozy. It's a wonderfully refined texture that is velvety smooth and doesn't burn at all. Yes, there is a faint notion of orange peel and a wheaty body, but not nearly what I expected from the aroma. The sum of the parts creates a perfectly sweet backbone and the flavors all compliment each other very well. Primarily though, I will remember this as a wonderful and flavorful balance of spice and alcohol.

The mouthfeel is really nice. There is a small amount of carbonation that keeps the brew crisp, which is an astounding feat given the alcoholic texture that is present. It's full and light at the same time. Great balance!

For 6.9% ABV, this is dangerously drinkable. That's not crazy-high on the alcohol scale, but as tasty as this is, and as easy as it drinks I know that I'm drinking this way too fast while I'm reviewing it. I could see myself putting a couple of these away after a long day and passing out in front of the fire. Awesome. Thanks again Chris!

weizenbob, Dec 10, 2010
Grand Cru Winter Reserve from Flying Fish Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 434 ratings.