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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.

449 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 449
Reviews: 217
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 13.77%
Wants: 5
Gots: 21 | 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: 449 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of justintcoons
4/5  rDev +10.2%

justintcoons, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of mcb4538
2.7/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear golden color with very little head, which dissipates quickly. A lot of carbonation present. Smells mainly of cloves. Light in taste. The cloves are very faint on the palate. To be fair, it was a light mouthfeel for a semi-high ABV. Overall, nothing too offensive but also not too rememberable. 

mcb4538, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of yemenmocha
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy golden with smallish white head. Nose has bready-yeasty qualities, but somewhat light overall. Trying to see how his example fits he style. Some candyish flavors on palate with hops in balance. Complex & different. Some alcohol warmth is noted, and detracts from drinkability.

yemenmocha, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of ckollias
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Blonde-orange hazy ale with a frothy wheat one-finger head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace.

S: Belgian candies aromas fill the nostrils. Hints of citrus and yeast in the background.

T: The flavor brings forward a lot of yeast character with some spicy zest and a bit of pear, lemon, and melon. The yeast is definitely the dominant character here follow by the Belgian candy.

M: Light body and medium carbonation

O: Decent beer – nothing I will remember or grab for again.

ckollias, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of woodychandler
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My local trader, tone77, and I did another pick-up/drop-off the other day and this time our roles were reversed - I dropped off while he was at work. More bottles for me to keep the numbers aligned with The CANQuest (TM). So be it!

The label read: "Bottle Conditioned Belgian Style Ale" and so I went with a gentle pour to avoid stirring up the lees. This not only meant mere wisps in terms of the head, but the color was STILL a hazy orangish-yellow. Nose had a tropical fruit quality along with a general mustiness. Mouthfeel was effervescent and the alcohol was upfront and immediate, followed by a general fruitiness on the tongue. Finish was semi-dry with the yeasty mustiness really taking hold. I fail to understand why this is a "Winter" Reserve - it would be a reasonable beer any time of year, although one or two at time would be plenty.

woodychandler, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of oline73
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a golden color, the beer is slightly cloudy. There is a half finger of off white head that leaves just a ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Belgian spice and sweet malt. Mild fruity hints along with the spice.

Taste: A very mild sweetness from the malt. Belgian spices with a mild fruity hint. Perhaps mild banana, bubble gum, and clove notes. A bit spicy in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a good amount of light carbonation and a very dry finish.

Overall: A solid beer. The flavors are nice and fairly simple. Not a ton going on, but not bad at all.

oline73, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of bgildea
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a darkish yellow color almost a pale amber with a little bit of white head that faded quickly and left little lacing.

S: Nice strong rich aroma. Hints of spice, nuts, and other yeast smells. Very appetizing.

T: The taste follows the smell. The flavor starts with a sweet flavor then moves into the spicy notes found in the smell. The flavor comes back to the sweeter side before leaving a very slight bitter aftertaste.

M: Pretty thin beer, I was hoping for a little more chew to it.

O: Overall I found the beer to be enjoyable. The smell and flavor blended a sweet and spicy flavor very well. I'd definitely recommend any beer drinker try it.

bgildea, Jun 02, 2011
Photo of DefenCorps
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single that I grabbed at the Village Pump last night.

Clear light orange with a dense, white head that recedes to a thin ring leaving no lace. The nose is decent. A clean, bready pilsner malt base is present, mildly straw-like. Very rustic, though there seems to be a serious lack of yeast expression here. A little bit of stone fruit is present, along with some floral character. While I appreciate subtle beers, this is too mild for the ABV, allowing the alcohol to be noticed.

The palate is a step up, with the blend of floral and stone fruit character overcoming the stark simplicity of the malt character. A little spicy, even, with a touch of mace present. Again, the alcohol is noticeable, furthering the spicy aspect. Mildly sweet, sugary in nature, on the finish, this beer is medium-light in body with moderate carbonation. Ultimately, this is too simple to be a true grand cru, but is a solid effort. Closer in spirit to Duvel Green rather than the regular Duvel, if that helps.

DefenCorps, May 15, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Casey's, Newtown Square, PA

Poured orange-brown with a slight, white head that receded rather quickly. Spices and malts in the nose. Pretty dry and almost bland tasting, but somehow still good; I guess the complexity wins it over. Malts, yeast, some non-threatening spice and floral accents. Medium mouthfeel, and moderately drinkable, but probably not memorable enough for more than a glass.

Rifugium, May 05, 2011
Photo of JayQue
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad take on the style. A bit too mild tasting and weak in the aroma department bout overall this is fairly good.

Looks promising!! Hazy gold color with a delicate bubbly white head. Head retention is typical for the style. Fades fast and leaves a covering on the glass.

Smell is fairly weak! Aromas is a big part of the Belgian Strong Ale experience and this one does not measure up.

Taste is fairly good. The fruit (apples and pears), hint of alcohol and just the right amount of sweetness. A bit light on the Belgian yeast and the spices.

Mouthfeel is fairly rich...More so the more you drink. There is an alcohol presence but it does not detract from the beer.

Overall this is pretty good, not up to the best Belgian standards, but I would drink it again.

JayQue, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange with a one inch white head that settles quickly. It left behind a ring of foam and a little bit in the center. There was some spotty lacing and little floaties in this one.

S: Faint hops, with a little bit of grass and grapefruit. Some hints of spice, coming out more as it warms and some bready malt.

T: A good amount of light fruit on the flavor profile, some grapefruit, a little lemon, some orange rind, and apricot. There is a slightly grainy flavor on the back, and there really isn't much of a lingering taste.

M: Medium bodied, very smooth with good carbonation.

O: Didn't wow me, but was very solid. Easy drinking and at 7.2%, could be a little dangerous. Would drink it again.

mdaschaf, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of mikeg67
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours light amber hue with a small, short-lived white head and light lacing.
Nose is of sweet malt, honey, grapes and yeast. Body is medium, creamy and slightly crisp.
Taste is some bready malt, earthy hops, Belgium yeast, some fruit and alcohol. Short, dry finish.
On the whole quite complex, good brew.

mikeg67, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
2.05/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

What the heck is this stuff? I saw te word Grand Cru on the tap handle and I get something pale yellow? Maybe I've lost touch with reality here but I always thought that a style of beer like that has some form of complexity, and some blood sweat and tears put into it. The guy hands me my sample and I just gave him a look back like "WTF is this?!". It actually had me a little upset, I know flying fish is capable of making good brews (check out their Exit Series). I was just stunned by the lack of everything not put into this brew. I couldn't say much about this if I tried. The beer was yellow and light bodied... Seriously, a winter grand cru? Impossible.

Knapp85, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of FrozenJoe
2.25/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

In my opinion this beer sucks. It has a similar flavor profile to a Heineken, but sweeter and not as balanced. Not a pleasant drink. I'd choose a Budweiser or Coors over this any day. Not on par with quality micro brews.

Appearance: Not bad. Light color, but slightly cloudy. Good head. No lacing.

Smell: Has a sourdough bread aspect to it that is pleasant. But an unpleasant, off aroma predominates. That unpleasant, off aroma pretty much represents what this beer will taste like.

Taste: Sweet. Too sweet. Tastes like sugar or some other sweet adjunct has been added at some point in the brewing process. I cannot taste hops. A weird malty / burnt grain flavor is present, but it just doesn't work with the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: The best thing about this beer. Balanced level of carbonation. Not too thick or watery... really just right, except for the taste.

Drinkability: I don't like drinking this beer. I bought 2 cases of this stuff because it was on sale and the lady at the liquor store told me it was a really good beer. I am not looking forward to having to finish those 2 cases.

FrozenJoe, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of JamisonM
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: a Gold color fairly clear with a really white head that fades fast

S: coriander white pepper yeasty nose with a spiced smell

T: very sharp dryness wheat taste with coriander and white pepper notes

M: light mouth med carbonation

D: good drinkability

Overall: its a good beer but I never expected this in a grand cru

JamisonM, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of ktrillionaire
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - It pours an orangey hue, close to Orangina but just a bit more golden. The head is not more than a few wisps, but flecks of lacing hang spottily about the glass.

S - I love the nose: orange zest, pristine pale-pils bready maltiness, mild green hop, vanilla, clove; delectable.

T - I am hoping that the taste will be an extension of the aroma. It turns out that the nose is followed in terms of elements, but the taste is a bit too sweet, so I am let down. The flavor's basis is outstanding but the amplitude is too much. The subtlety that I was hoping for is naught. Still, it tastes pretty good.

M - Average, certainly nowhere near credibly Belgian-esque.

D - This is a good beer. It tastes/smells/looks good, drinks easy, etc. If only it didn't have the potential to be so much greater, I would have nothing to complain about. With a few tweaks, this brew could be phenomenal.

ktrillionaire, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of cjgator3
3.1/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden orange color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is pale malts, fruit (apple and pears), spices and Belgian yeast.

T- The taste has some malt up front with spices, citrus, yeast and some alcohol in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, not a bad brew but nothing all that special either. Worth a try if you are a fan of the style, but nothing I would purchase again.

cjgator3, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of xnicknj
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap at world cafe in philly during a charlie hunter show

Pours a clouded straw gold with some orange tones. A thinner white head fades out with plenty of lacing and a layer of film on top.

Scents of clove, spicy hops, and assorted fruits with some floral notes. A bit of heat and sweetness as well.

A dash of floral hops and spice up front. Hints of cracked pepper and banana. Plenty of doughy malt followed by more tropical fruit sweetness. Finishes with hops, pepper, and a splash of alcohol heat.

Thinner medium body, decent carbonation, pretty dry and lingering on the palate. Drinks nicely, definitely one of the better strong FF offerings.

xnicknj, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour was very nice. A rich dark amber color with a nice amount of clarity to it. A good two inches of white foam coming up over the top settled down nicely into a thin layer of white crown that capped it and brought down tons of side glass lacing.

The aroma was highly charged. Nice light hop profile was highlighted by hints of grapefruit and fresh grass. As it warmed it got tremendously more balanced, with a light bready malt character coming through and a light herbal like quality to it. Smooth flavor here, though the hops did seem a touch off to me. Light, with a grapefruit, peach, lemon like tartness coming through in the front and an almost green tea leave like flavor in the mid palate. Intresting mix of flavors here, some biscuit and a touch of light grain coming through now. Smooth, mellow, and consistent carbonation never failed and allowd this very sessionable lager to really be a smooth and easy drinker.

Overall yet another solid brew from them.

mikesgroove, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of droomyster
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy gold with almost no head to be seen. A few bubbles can be seen moving up through the body, but what little foam they produced lasted only a few seconds. Aromas are not unlike those of a witbier: cloves, yeast, oranges, banana peels; good stuff. Flavors are good and predominantly sweet: I get a lot of bubblegum and candy flavors from the Belgian yeast. The body is just a mess. The lack of carbonation makes it feel flat and sticky, and kills the drinkability of an otherwise good-tasting beer. Pity.

droomyster, Feb 24, 2011
Photo of cooch69
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 thagr81us
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into a Bell's stemmed tulip. Poured a light yellow-orange with a three finger slightly off-white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, banana, clove, and coriander. The flavor was of sweet malt, banana, fruit, and very slight alcohol. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall I really like this brew. The aroma coming off of this one was QUITE excellent to say the least for the style. Very good flavor, but it just seemed to lack in complexity for me. With that said, this was still very nice and a really good winter brew from Flying Fish.

thagr81us, Feb 21, 2011
Photo of dstc
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden color with a foamy off-white head. Head falls slow. Nice lacing.

Aroma is of mild spices, citrus, Belgian style yeast and of earthy hops.

Bold flavor. Belgian quality to it with the yeast flavors. Nice spice and a touch of alcohol.

Medium bodied mouthfeel with a nice bite on the tongue.

I like this one, very easy drinking and a decent beer for a reasonable price. Great budget beer.

dstc, Feb 21, 2011
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 jsanford
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Hazy orange-gold with a thin white head that dissipates to a thin ring and slight haze. Tiny bit of lacing.
S - Reminds me of a Tripel, lots of bready malt, cloves, Belgian yeast and some orange peel. Very crisp and fresh.
T - Very similar to the nose. Slightly spicy yeast, bready malts, cloves and more citrus with a fairly sweet finish.
M - Crisp and clean with a slick mouthfeel, medium body and medium-low carbonation.
D - Nicely drinkable, I'd likely pick this up again if I saw it.

jsanford, Feb 14, 2011
Grand Cru Winter Reserve from Flying Fish Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 449 ratings.