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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.

427 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 427
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.74%
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: 427 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dstc


4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2011 15:45:56 | More by dstc
Photo of CuriousMonk


3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2011 18:11:44 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of jsanford


3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2011 00:31:21 | More by jsanford
Photo of Pencible


3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a hazy gold with some white head.
S: It smelled like Belgian yeast with some citrus zest and bready malt, and a bit of candi sugar. Pretty standard for the style.
T: It tasted like citrus zest and grassy hops, with sour Belgian yeast and a little salt and candi sugar. It had a bitter and somewhat sour aftertaste. Also pretty standard.
M: It was oily and slick, with moderate carbonation. Pretty good body.
D: This was a decent BSPA, but nothing special. While Exit 4 was totally off-style, this was almost too "by the book" with nothing unique about it. It was clean and easy to drink, with well hidden alcohol, but it wasn't very complex or interesting. Good but not great.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 17:22:57 | More by Pencible
Photo of Samp01

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt cloudy orange with virtualy no head. Aroma of malt, fruitiness light hints of vanilla spices. Taste is sweet caramel some fruitiness sweet spices and some light hops. Palate is medium body, nice carbonation. Finish is sweet maltiness, some dark fruits ending with a dry alcohol sweet caramel vanilla bitterness. Overall a nice drinkable belgian ale for the holiday season.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2011 20:52:35 | More by Samp01
Photo of BeerForMuscle

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Hop Angel Brauhaus in Fox Chase.

A - Nice golden body, not completely clear. Patchy swirls of carbonation sitting atop the beer.

S - Smells fresh and inviting. This beer smelled of some citrus.

T - Most of the taste is refreshing citrus, some hops, and an underlying Plant like crispness. I can only assimilate this note to the kind of sweet taste a super fresh vegetable would have, much like that of a sweet pea. Some yeast tanginess was also present.

M - The mouthfeel was clean and fresh. The beer had a slippery feel, possible diacetyl additon. It was well carbonated and lighter bodied.

D - Very drinkable. Good beer for any time of the year, ont he lighter side, yet crisp clean flavors to be enjoyed anytime.

Notes - Very pleasant glass of beer. I like Flying Fish and this was a well balanced refreshing brew from them.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2011 17:28:38 | More by BeerForMuscle
Photo of timobkg

New Jersey

2.65/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

It pours a nice golden color, but with very little head, and what head there was faded quickly. I would have liked to see more head, with better retention.

The aroma is faintly fruity, with hints of clove and other spices. The right smells are there, but they're faint.

It tastes watered down. I can tell that there's a strong belgian ale in there somewhere, but it's far too faint. There's nothing Grand to this beer, and the spices that Winter Reserve calls to mind are barely present. It really tastes like someone took a good belgian ale and mixed it 1:2 or 1:1 with water. Very disappointing.

It's very easy to drink, as the alcohol is completely masked. Unfortunately, the flavour is also masked, and thus there's no desire to finish your glass, let alone reach for another.

Overall, I had high expectations for this beer, since I liked their Dubbel, and this came recommended, but I was completely let down. It tasted bland for what it should have been. After a second bottle to confirm that it wasn't a fluke, the rest were reserved for cooking.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 17:54:58 | More by timobkg
Photo of Nerudamann


3.9/5  rDev +7.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2011 06:13:07 | More by Nerudamann
Photo of tigg924


4/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 14:25:35 | More by tigg924
Photo of mattgreger


3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a deep golden color. with very thin white head.Though this brew had a small head, it took quite some time for this head to fade. It also left very thick lacing on the glass.

The aroma on this brew has a bit of fruit to it. I can detect a bit of apples and some citrus. There is a nice touch of light malts present as well. I can detect a nice grouping of spices and hops as well, and in the finish in the end aroma is a touch of yeasty breadiness.

The taste is very much like the aroma as well. There is a nice mild belgian yeast profile to this brew. Its not overpowering, and blends well with the fruits that I detected in the aroma. This brew has a beautiful malty and fruit presense that gives this brew a great flavor. There is also mild hops presense in there as well, which gives this brew a nice balance.

The mouthful on this brew is nice and crisp and oh so smooth. It has a nice medium body, with a nice medim carbonation and a nice, crisp, clean finish. The after-taste on this brew is nice and sweet.

Drinkability on this brew is quite decent. Its goes down pretty easily, which is impressive this with this style of brew. If you never drank belgian style brews, this is a great brew to begin with. Its a great representation of the brew, without being overpowering like many other brews in the style. A great brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 02:11:51 | More by mattgreger
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden with a light head and some scattered lacing. Nice Belgian yeasty smell, but light. Notes of clove, apple, and some herbal hops. The taste is similar, but with some nice lingering bitterness, almost tannic. Very dry, with more apple notes, and yeasty. A delightful beer, and priced well.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 00:58:54 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of rapidsequence


3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Six pack was $7 something from a Total Wine in Northern Virginia.

Appearance: Almost totally clear golden orange color. A pretty hard pour yields a subpar headwith very poor retention. It does lace nicely though.

Smell: Fruity with grape, apple, and apricot. More hoppy smelling than many Belgians with a floral, almost perfumey, and herbal smell. Some clove and a tiny hint of sulfur. I wonder if they use Duvel yeast.

Taste: Sweet and clovey. Quite clovey. There's some bitterness from the hops, and a little alcohol, but this thing is a little out of whack. If I tasted as much hops as I smell, it would round out better, but no.

Mouthfeel: I think its somewhat undercarbonated, leaving it too sticky and keeping it from a dry enough finish.

Drinkability: Doesn't come close to the better beers in this style. A good beer to drink, but it falls apart if you drink it critically.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2010 01:53:52 | More by rapidsequence
Photo of is11amtooearly

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been working my way through a 6 pack, trading off between Raison d'Etre from Dogfish. Currently drinking out of a tall pilsner glass, this beer is easy to drink. With your eyes closed, it smells like Delerium Tremens and has a similar taste (with less of the boozy smack in the face). Nice carbonation, almost no head. Looking forward to working through more Flying Fish.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2010 18:10:27 | More by is11amtooearly
Photo of jeddsp


4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flying Fish is new to GA, so I have been working my way through the lineup. Must say...I really enjoyed this beer. Drank from a tulip glass, poured clear golden with little head that of which disappeared very quickly. Taste was spot on with the smell, citrus flavors with mild hops, and very pleasant mouthfeel. Drank with a fresh slice of pizza...you would have thought the two came together. I could definitely put a few of these down.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2010 00:15:02 | More by jeddsp
Photo of weizenbob


4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2010 18:40:45 | More by weizenbob
Photo of Shaw


4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Flying Fish is a new arrival in Florida.

Pours a nice gold in color with a short white head and plenty of bubbles.

Classic Belgian aroma of yeast, fruit and bread.

Flavor is lightly sweet mostly dry, with notes of spices like coriander. Very nice.

Soft body with nice carbonation.

Overall this is a fine beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 04:34:33 | More by Shaw
Photo of BigMike


3.18/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale yellow with lots of carbonation streaming off the bottom. The head is eggshell and soapy. Fades quickly.

S: Banana, clove. A touch of some citrus. Maybe lemon peel.

T: lots of spicey yeast. Definitely a Belgian influence. The banana comes thru also a small touch of cinnamon,pepper and nutmeg.

M: Light bodied and refreshing. Lots of carbonation.

Overall: Not a bad beer from Flying Fish. I wouldn't cross the street to buy any but it's drinkable and inoffensive.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 19:08:25 | More by BigMike
Photo of mrgrinch

New Jersey

2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Golden yellow, mild carbonation, no notable head but a vibrant surface. Cloudy.

Smell - The malts not really making themselves known. Spicy perhaps even mildly citrusy hops is in the forefront.

Taste - Cinnamon? Coriander? The spices dominate. Perhaps this is what a winter brew is supposed to be built like. I am new at the seasonal beer thing. It is a nice flavor, though spicy like some off the weissbiers I had in the summer.

Mouthfeel - I do like the texture. This beer has a nice body, and the carbonation leaves a little zing on the tongue at the finish.

Drinkability - This beer is refreshing. The flavor is not too overpowering, though it may be too spicy for me to have more than one or two.

I poured this from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2010 01:22:27 | More by mrgrinch
Photo of Thorpe429


2.45/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Picked up at Total Wine in Alexandria. Poured into a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Color is a light golden with a single-finger head that recedes very quickly without really leaving any lacing behind. Not nearly what I would expect from a Belgian Strong Pale. The nose brings quite a bit of yeast and fruity character with some pear, apricot, and a bit of melon. Some light floral notes as well. It's a bit plain, as I had to work fairly hard to pick out many of the characteristics of this beer.

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. The body is a bit thin and watery and not what I would expect from the style. Not a terrible effort, but when judging by the style, this just really does not stack up.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2010 02:17:15 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of tone77


3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2010 18:10:28 | More by tone77
Photo of BeerLover48Fan

New Jersey

4.9/5  rDev +34.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Buy this every year and it is easily one of my favorite all time beers . Smell is wonderful and the after taste has a hint of cinnamon or nutmeg to it but I'm sure that comes from the hops . Easily one of the best beers from one of the finest breweries on the east coast. Pours nice a tad cloudy but that didnt bother me . Nice lacy head and a great mouthfeel, all in all a great beer I would certainly buy yearly

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2010 00:50:28 | More by BeerLover48Fan
Photo of CampusCrew


4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: golden and huge

smell: lots of fruit and spice aromas

taste: wow. probably one of their best offerings, great belgian pale with lots of spice

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: this woul dbe a good thanksgiving beer with light body and tons of fruit and spice

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 01:55:59 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of aubuc1


3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to a goblet.

Pours a clear yellow with a thinning white head and a steady stream of carbonation.

Smell is a slightly chalky, fruity (grape, banana).

Taste is very pleasant with really good balance. Light spiciness and yeast with some fruitiness.

Mouthfeel is very good and drinkability is too.

I was hoping for a little more stand out flavor. This a very nice beer, but nothing too distinctive.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 23:48:37 | More by aubuc1
Photo of kkipple

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

One from the vaults - thanks Nerofiddled for this 'un, got it back in May of 2009 (yikes!) so who knows how old it is... but at least 1.5 years. :)

A. Pours a watery tangerine-yellow, even an aggressive pour doesn't scare up more than a finger of head, and that does itself in pretty quick, leaving some around the edges and specks of lace here and there. Bottled conditioned, but if any yeast made it into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip (the big one), I missed it.

S. Well this is a welcome surprise - I dunno what's gone on in the bottle over the last 500 days or so, but it's turned out NICE. The nose is first and foremost sweet, a fine, smooth Belgian candy-sugar rush, but expertly dosed with a plethora (whatever that means) of fruity esters and a pinch of phenols for the bonus. There's green apple, candy orange peel, white pepper, tangerine, and even a lovely Belgian yeast sharpness that keep the nose on its toes. (Ok, that was bad.) This smells, frankly, better than many actual Belgians I've had. Nicely done, Flying Fish.

T. Sadly the flavor doesn't measure up - this is a slightly thin BSPA that, due to who knows what, is a little muddled. It's sweet (candi sugar in abundance) and has a nice golden raisin thing going for it, as well as the aforementioned B. yeast... but the carbonation is low now and the esters seem a bit beat down and sullen. Still, I think this could be pretty good fresh, and want to seek one out as such.

M / D. Medium-thin body, but low carbonation (due to age?) hurts this one. A prickly carbonation level would do wonders here. Finish is sweet orange and peppery, with just a touch of sour lemon.

I think Grand Cru Winter Reserve was a better beer out of the gate, and look forward to trying it again when it lands on our fair shores of South Carolina. The nose, right now, is by far the best thing going - curious to revisit this, soon!

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2010 02:51:56 | More by kkipple
Photo of Bouleboubier


4.13/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm telling ya - it's a toss up between their Abbey Dubbel and this, but I'm beginning to think this might be Flying Fish's best beer in their regular/seasonal lineup. This is not counting their line of Exit beers, which just about trump anything in their core offerings. Flying Fish brews predominantly (or solely) English or Belgian style ales. I'd offer that their Belgian styles are much better than their English interpretations, and also that perhaps some Belgian characteristics can be found in their English styles as well (but not vice versa). With that said...

The Cru shines solid gold, pouring with a bubbly head that poofs out into a ring in no time. No kidding, the aroma is jello shot - a mix between orange and cherry. Vaguely cinnamon spicy. Actually, I could also take the angle that it smells like a bubblegummy malt liquor. And it's all lusciously appealing. A firm spicy bite tickles the tongue before a warming wave of fruit, bubblegum, and not-so-dry champagne wash through. Feels soft and cheaply silky, again, like the best $3 champagne around. I'm a bit stunned - I really enjoy this beer. Tasty and soothing. Likely the best domestic Grand Cru label I've come across in memory.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2010 03:45:35 | More by Bouleboubier
Grand Cru Winter Reserve from Flying Fish Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 427 ratings.