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Grand Cru Winter Reserve - Flying Fish Brewing Company

Grand Cru Winter ReserveGrand Cru Winter Reserve

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

418 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 418
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 14.05%

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: 418 | Reviews: 216 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of metter98

New York

3.61/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that quickly died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of Belgian and fruity yeast as well as candi sugars are present in the nose.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and starts out a little fruity from the yeast and transitions to flavors of pale malts and candi sugars. Slight bits of spices are also perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes a little sweeter compared to other beers in the style as it doesn't have any associated dryness. It seems to taste like a hybrid between a Belgian Strong a Pale Ale and a Dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2014 01:00:35 | More by metter98
Photo of 57md


3.39/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours an orangey straw color with a finger of head that dissipated quickly. The nose has the classic Belgian funk to it along with a perfumed scent that adds to the funkiness. The flavor profile has Belgian yeast merged with a touch of brown sugar sweetness.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2014 03:57:22 | More by 57md
Photo of PA-hunter


3.19/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured bottle into glass. 6.9 % abv. The label on the bottle and alcohol content have changed for this offering since it has been listed on beeradvocate.

Appearance- Pours a transparent golden yellow with a thin head that dissipates with large bubbles.

Smell- Sweet with hints of malt. Has a grainy aroma as well. Almost like that of a dry cider.

Taste- Hints of sweet dough at first with a prominent malt finish. Slight undertones of apples.

Mouthfeel- On the thin side and dry as well. Low carbonation as well.

Overall- Mildly complex and easy drinking. Thinner in body than I would have thought. Still the story of this beer is how malty it is, like that of bread.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 04:22:25 | More by PA-hunter
Photo of JeffBrenner


2.95/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle to a pint glass. Next to no head or carbonation on this one. A dark gold color as would be expected for the style. Next to no lacing. Medium light penetration. Perhaps it was just my bottle, but I got next to no aromas on mine. I get notes of honey (almost like a green tea) and lemon. Possibly some coriander or cinnamon. Goes down okay at first, but with the spices, has a bit of a bite at the end. Overall, this beer was okay. I remember having it years ago and it tasting much better. Maybe I had an off bottle, but if this is the consensus of most people (I have not read other reviews), I can not say I would be running out to get more of this. Personally, I got this in a 6-pack sampler from a friend for Christmas.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2014 16:39:45 | More by JeffBrenner
Photo of brewerburgundy


3.04/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, mason jar, best by 3/23/14.

Straw gold, dark, like honey. A small but frothy, tight knit white head.

Classic fruity, spicy yeast. Sweet. Goodly amount of clove.

Tastes as it smells. Not as sweet. Absolutely yeast oriented with lots of clove. Good, but ho-hum.

Pretty full, approaching syrupy actually. Small fizzy bubbles.

It's very blah. It's OK or less. Grand Cru conjures up grand thoughts of a sparkling, effervescent Belgian pale ale. This is just not it. Too heavy and too singular.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 19:57:40 | More by brewerburgundy
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-01-2014 01:21:18 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of JohnFatAss

New Jersey

3.76/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2013 03:51:48 | More by JohnFatAss
Photo of MDDMD


3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-golden amber color with a smallish white head and a little lacing

S-fruit, honey, spices, light malt

T-apricots, apples, cloying sweetness, coriander, hint of pepper, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth and slightly viscous

O-too sweet for my taste, the other flavors while decent, were overwhelmed in my opinion

Serving type: on-tap

12-05-2013 03:25:39 | More by MDDMD
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz., undated bottle served in a Belgina snifter. Complete pour but a thin coat of sediment remained on the bottom. The body is a hazy apricot-amber color with a short-lived, off-white head that quickly reduces to some thin film and a thin ring, leaving some small patches of sticky lacing.

S: Very fruity aroma with a strong suggestions of canned mandarin orange and cardamon, moderate yeastiness, and hints of pear, citrus and apple. Moderately spicy and peppery.

T: Lightly tart with a faint bitterness. Biscuits with fruit, with the fruits from the nose repeating here, along with a touch of ripe banana. Moderate amounts of spices and yeast.

M: Near medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: An enjoyable ale with definite Belgian characteristics but not quite the quality (or price range) as the best Belgian counterparts.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2013 22:51:13 | More by chinchill
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2013 00:27:47 | More by IronLover
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Best by 4/5/13. 6.9% ABV per the label.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, yeast, spices, and some fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a yeast and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some nice aromas but the flavors are more earthy without any real fruity aspects that I get from the smell.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2013 02:55:36 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of templar316


3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a rich burnished copper with a quickly receeding off white head. It cling's nicely to the side of my Duval tulip. A soft nose of cotton candy, crisp apples and honeyed pears. It coats the mouth with tart apple and champagne brightness. All in all leaves me alert but wanting more. A solid offering!

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2013 04:37:09 | More by templar316
Photo of Hopswagger

South Carolina

3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P: Hazy golden apricot with a thin layer of off white head.

S: Belgian yeast, candy sugar malt, apricots, peaches, golden apples, pears, dusty grains and sourdough.

T/M: Spicy Belgian yeast, powdery essence, smoldered grain, orchard and stone fruit. Moderate body with subtle prickly carbonation. Finishes powdery and dry with lingering apple peels and spice.

O: A decent BSPA that delivers great yeast, spice and fruit. This is a great go to beer that doesn't break the bank.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2013 23:39:33 | More by Hopswagger
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on-tap at Texas Arizona in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a hazy medium apricot to peach in color with some orange and golden yellow highlights as well as some light amounts of visible carbonation and just a touch of visible sediment in suspension. The beer has a finger tall sudsy off-white head that quickly reduces to a very thin film covering about half of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate amounts of golden fruits (apricot and pear/golden delicious apple) and spices (pepper and coriander), likely from the Belgian yeasts. Additionally there is a light amount of citrus/grapefruit hops.

T: Upfront there are pale malts with some light to moderate amounts of pear, golden delicious apple and apricot fruit sweetness followed by moderate amounts of spices (pepper and coriander) from the yeast. Just a touch of grapefruit/citrus hops and alcohol. Very light bitterness in the finish which fades rather quickly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy and coats the inside of your mouth with just a touch of dryness in the finish.

O: This is an enjoyable brew with some Belgian characteristics but not in the same category as the great Belgian beers of the style - the alcohol is a little more present than I would enjoy.

Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2013 02:41:48 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of pkalix


2.08/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

my first flying fish....
pours a bland gold with no head.
the aroma has got me prejudiced- i dont like it. tinny, rusty, not like a belgian ale at all in my book. one more sniff... cant define it. a fishery, maybe??
taste...? yeah, the candied sugar is there. yeah, the 'belgian' undertones are there... but i dont think i like it.
my bottle is purple and doesnt look anything like the one on the BA site. also the label says 6.9% but BA says 7.2%
i found the website; the brew is just very new. not on BA yet. i still dont like it. it could be great, but there is just a nasty little smell/taste that is giving me much hesitation. i'm trying to be fair with each drink/taste. and the weird thing is, it is a FISHY taste/smell. i dont know what more to say. i have 2/3 down and i'm going to toss the rest. i dont know how to rate this one. i get the distinct style and taste of a brewer and i appreciate that, but i dont like this at all. can i give it a 2 for the abv??? and for what i percieve to be a nice attempt? i like the write up on the website. i get the description. there is just a funky little taste (spice?) that ruins it for me. and maybe this review belongs in a new format as i interpret it to be a 'new' brew rather than the one pictured. but look how much i described in fairness to the brew- i tried to be fair. somebody send me a line if you disagree, please...

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 00:51:26 | More by pkalix
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle served in a glass chalice.

L - clear golden color with a white head that thinned to a ring.

S - candied sugar, yeast and some spice.

T - nice blend of sweetness, yeast and some peppery spice finishing somewhat dry.

F - medium bodied with a smooth, easy drinking feel.

O - a fine example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 22:52:23 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of Durge


3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this at the Somerset Hills Tap Room in New Jersey. It's a clear
yellow amber color with a healthy white head and decent lacing. The aroma offers
a very pleasant banana-clove blended with sweet nuttiness and biscuit/cereal
grain goodness. Very inviting. The flavor brings a bit milder, fruitier theme
with light grass and subtle spice/nutmeg notes. Pretty delicate and quite
drinkable for the style. It's medium-light bodied with a frothy, smooth feel and
a fine but full carbonation. A very easy to like winter option.

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2013 22:54:52 | More by Durge
Photo of ranger60

New Jersey

3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had a 5 oz sample on draft at Tap Room in Warren, NJ.

Appearance: light golden color, long lasting very white head with tight bubbles.

Smell: fruity and spicy

Taste: I was surprised and picked up some bitterness right away. was not expecting that...? but really good blend of hops and spiciness.

Mouthfeel: smooth at first, but then a quick carbonation flash...love it.

Overall: a pretty good representation of a Belgian style ale.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2013 17:42:41 | More by ranger60
Photo of fmccormi

New York

3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Straight pour from a 12oz pry-off bottle to a 25cl Duvel Single tulip; freshness date of April 5, 2013 printed in white ink near the bottom-left corner of the label (“04-05-13”). Not sure when this was bottled, then, but the Flying Fish website lists this as a seasonal available from November to February, so my guess is this was bottled in early November or December, making it about one or more likely two months old on the date of consumption.

Appearance (3.5): A full two fingers of very fine-grained, bone-white foam comes off the pour, capping a glowing orange-amber body that’s evenly hazy throughout. Moderate retention and very modest lacing, leaving some scattered suds on one side of the glass and no real lacing. Body’s pretty, head’s a bit lacking but not unexpectedly so.

Smell (4.0): Prominent clove and fruit character (pear and kind of a sweet, red candy apple) with a bit of coriander underneath, no pepper to speak of but still spicy. Despite the relatively low ABV, there’s something like a boozy character in there, too. A very pleasant nose.

Taste (3.5): The booziness in the nose melds well with the fruity esters from the yeast in this beer, turning the pear and apple notes into something almost lemony with a tart edge. The malt is plain, blonde, and moderately sweet, as would be expected of a typical BSPA: biscuity with a candi sugar sweetness underneath. There’s a somewhat floral, modestly bitter hop character in the finish. Nothing too surprising, but it’s pleasant. Surprisingly boozy for the size of the beer.

Mouthfeel (4.0): The carbonation is nice and smooth, neither prickly nor particularly tingly but active and filling with a nice, full, foaming action on the way down. The booziness on the palate helps dry out the finish, which without it would be a bit syrupy from the candi sweetness in the malt profile.

Overall (3.5): This is a decent beer, don’t get me wrong. It’s doing everything more or less right, but it’s not really bringing anything new or notable to the table, either. It’s also surprisingly boozy for the size, which doesn’t particularly bother me but it’s a little unexpected. All in all, it’s a decent Belgian Pale that’s not quite BSPA but a little strong, in character and content, for a BPA.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 22:54:49 | More by fmccormi
Photo of mooseisloose


3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Popping the top I get a very fresh wheaty smell. Some candy, spice and zesty. Pours into the perfect pint with a nice thick foamy head and a slightly cloudy golden color. Taste is sweet upfront with a zesty hoppiness. The taste gets drier in the middle then finishes with a flat sweet bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is spot on. THis is a great holiday winter warmer with lots of zest and fresh flavor.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2012 19:45:30 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of caulfield


3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In a 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Light golden appearance with a white head

Smell - citrus, yeast, spices

Taste-There is a slightly citrusy taste with a top note of spices (coriander). However, the taste is somewhat light.

Mouth -Light mouth feel. Feels almost like a dubbel. They've nailed the Belgium style.

Overall - I have to be honest, I wanted to like this more than I did. The taste is subtle, but I'd like a Belgium-style with a more substantial flavor. Overall, its not bad, but it just didn't live up to my expectations.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2012 18:58:16 | More by caulfield
Photo of Hopfenpeter


3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured a clear medium to light gold and produced a half an inch of bubbly white head. It dissipates fast leaving good lacing.
The smell tells of malt, banana, lemon and spice.
Tasting the beer the front is a refreshing fruity hop character, very mild, but present. The banana favor mingles with the winery spices like nutmeg, coriander and spice. The malty backbone is present throughout the tasting. The finish is a warming tingle that is very pleasant.
I am positively surprised by this beer. It was better than expected. Very drinkable medium to light winter warmer. Great job!

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2012 01:52:27 | More by Hopfenpeter
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the Publick House in Chester NJ, in a Sam Adams octoberfest glass.

Pale yellow color with good head of white foam. Lots of lacing. Cloudy. Nose is light fruit, with some hints of spices. Taste is a moth mellow blend, fruitiness blended with a sugary malt. Light hop holds throughout.

Tasty blend, good lunchtime brew.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2012 01:44:18 | More by KTCamm
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2012 00:31:52 | More by spinrsx
Photo of kylehay2004


3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 2 finger thick head on a murky golden with crimson hue body. Excellent head retention and some lacing.

S: Strong belgian yeast, candy, banana and pineapple aroma.

T: caramel, banana, belgian yeast/esters and green apple mostly. bubblegum and corriander notes in the background.

M: light to medium body and moderate carbonation. semi-dry finish as expected.

Overall: This genre seems to vary quite a bit with some more on the saison side, some on the tripel side and others on the belgian strong ale side. This one is more in the tripel realm by my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2012 22:36:57 | More by kylehay2004
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Grand Cru Winter Reserve from Flying Fish Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 418 ratings.