1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
82
good

432 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 432
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 432 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bbeane
bbeane

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -1.4%

A- Poured into a snifter... after an aggressive pour, almost no head, retention, or lacing. Beer is a light amber color with very little activity.

S- After I swirled the glass a sweet and fruity smell with a hint of honey... little boozy.

T- Starts with a weak belgian sweetness, and finishes somewhat dry. All in all, tastes watered down.

M- Watery. Light body with little carbonation.

D- Very easy to drink due to watered down taste/ lack of flavor. High ABV not easily detected.

CHEERS!

11-13-2009 01:40:34 | More by bbeane
Photo of irishking1977
irishking1977

New Jersey

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.

11-08-2009 04:09:27 | More by irishking1977
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev +2.8%

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a modest head that fades rather quickly but leaves a few shards behind

Smell: Sweet and doughy, with a menthol edge

Taste: Doughy, up front, with a growing candi sugar and tart stone fruit flavor that is supplemented by vanilla and bubblegum at mid-palate; after the swallow, the brew takes on a tea-like herbal aspect, though the finish remains rather sweet

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with less than effervescent carbonation

Drinkability: Interesting flavor profile and unique in many ways, but just not much to my liking due to the excessive sweet vanilla flavors

10-16-2009 01:06:19 | More by brentk56
Photo of bort11
bort11

Missouri

3.58/5  rDev -1.4%

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Thin white head and a dark straw yellow color. Clear with moderate carbonation.

Smell is pretty sweet, malt and grilled pears. Taste is caramelized fruit with a peppery yeast.

Mouthfeel is pretty thick and verges on syrupy. Seems a little heavy handed for a style that is known for being delicate.

06-15-2009 03:32:09 | More by bort11
Photo of ClockworkOrange
ClockworkOrange

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +10.2%

A 12 ounce bottle poured into my generic snifter glass. The ale appears a hazed bright golden color with about two fingers of pillowy bone white foam. The head leaves behind a nice lace on the glass with just about every sip. Nose and flavor are of sweet malt, maybe honey, spicy Belgian yeast, candi, chewing gum, fruity, a hint of black pepper. Nice satisfying body with ample carbonation. Good stuff that's certainly worth your time.

06-01-2009 18:12:52 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of mhatters
mhatters

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev +4.1%

Served in a Duvel glass at my house from a 12 oz bottle (well more than one)

Pours a golden yellow, some white head with a bit of lacing, well carbonated.

The nose is a bit confusing mix of yeast (Belgian?), maltiness, and floral hops.

The flavor is consistent with the nose, a pleasant mix of hops, light sweet malt, and yeast.

Well carbonated, very nicely - good mouthfeel

A fun beer, not a classic, but well worth having, and easy to have a lot, which, I am right now.

I have also run this on tap, and it is much different - on tap it comes across as a respectable Duvel knock-off, the bottle is different.

05-03-2009 00:26:36 | More by mhatters
Photo of magine
magine

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +9.6%

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.

04-04-2009 22:56:12 | More by magine
Photo of John_M
John_M

California

3.93/5  rDev +8.3%

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.

03-10-2009 16:52:42 | More by John_M
Photo of tzieser
tzieser

Arizona

3.85/5  rDev +6.1%

Poured an average looking golden color with a small head that simmered into a thin lacing. There's a pretty good amount of carbonation here

smells interesting. definitely smells like belgian yeast, but the malts smell much like a dubel...there's some hops lingering in the background somewhere

tastes much like it smells-- sweet and slightly fruity up front (from the belgian yeast probably) with a touch of hops in the back that keeps things crispy and dry. pretty refreshing.

mouthfeel is pretty carbonated-- maybe a little overly so.

drinkability is great-- i could have quite a few of these

overall-- this is certainly a different winter beer....i wouldn't call it belgian per se, but it's definitely worth the purchase-- especially if you're looking for an easy to drink winter seasonal...but if you're looking for an authentic style belgian look somewhere else.

02-10-2009 16:08:48 | More by tzieser
Photo of BirdFlu
BirdFlu

New Jersey

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.

02-07-2009 04:40:45 | More by BirdFlu
Photo of YesFest
YesFest

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +8.3%

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.

01-13-2009 18:33:54 | More by YesFest
Photo of smedley
smedley

Pennsylvania

3.48/5  rDev -4.1%

A - Golden color, about 1/2 inch of white head that disapeared rather quickly. Minimal lacing.

S - Slight smell of berries and pear. Not too aromatic. A bit underwhelming

T - Very light tasting, slight taste of apples, maybe just a hint of spices, finishes with some banana

M - Medium body, nicely balanced carbonation, crisp and dry

D - Very drinkable beer. I only had one bottle but could have easily enjoyed a few more.

12-22-2008 18:35:29 | More by smedley
Photo of BWH3
BWH3

Pennsylvania

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.

12-21-2008 01:28:21 | More by BWH3
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev +4.1%

Served at the Batdorf in Annville, PA.

A: The ale is a pale straw color. I did a triple take to ensure that I got my grand cru and not a BMC pint. Sure enough, this pale beast is the 7%+ monster.

S: The nose is fruity, lots of berries throughout, with a dry candi sugar finish.

T: The ale is a fruity devil of a beer. The berry flavors again are strong, with raspberry leading the way (this is not framboise hybrid, way too clear). Behind the fruit, additional spices (pepper, some cinnamon) appear along with the malty backbone. The finish gets a little dry with candi sugars adding some heft.

M: The mouthfeel is lush, if not slightly restrained. The fruitiness up front is unusual, out of place initially before everything comes together.

D: A moderate sipper, I'd limit myself to a bottle or two.

12-19-2008 14:17:11 | More by akorsak
Photo of CJfromPhilly
CJfromPhilly

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +10.2%

Pours from the 12 oz. bottle a pretty golden color with almost no head, just a modest collar. Light carbonation...several bubbles rising to the top, but it's far from fizzy. Aroma is sweet & friuty. First sip is sweet malt & citrus, with a spicy bitterness. There's a fizzy, champagne-like sparkle on the tongue. Aftertaste has a spicy finish with notes of citrus, alcohol, & mild hops. It's a very drinkable beer, maybe TOO drinkable with it's very well hidden 7.2% abv. Overall...quite a wonderful, tasty Belgian to warm you up on a cold winter's night!!! If you see it in the cooler, grab it!

12-18-2008 00:14:39 | More by CJfromPhilly
Photo of LordHammer
LordHammer

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +9.6%

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.

11-20-2008 00:14:37 | More by LordHammer
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.35/5  rDev -7.7%

A: Poured a clear golden orange color with a bright, thin white head.

S: some citrus, light oranges, coriander. The aroma was very soft and subdued.

T: The initial flavor was sweet and sugary with a light fruitiness (apples). There was some citrus hopping and some light spiciness. Overall was lightly hopped with a crisp nature.

M: very light, thin, watery and uneventful.

D: A tad disappointing per style, average at best.

07-11-2008 12:03:05 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of MaltyGoodness
MaltyGoodness

Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -2.8%

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear golden color with a creamy white head that thins. Nice lacing on the glass.

Malty aroma with nice bready and yeasty aromas. Has a bit of spiciness to it as well.

Nice malty flavors upfront with pleasant yeasty and bready tones. Rather mild bitterness and light hop flavor. Finishes quite clean and dry, but does become a bit boozy as it warms.

Medium-full body, good carbonation.

Overall, a solid brew and worthy choice if you're thristy for a Belgian style beer. I'd actually like to have another one.

03-25-2008 23:25:00 | More by MaltyGoodness
Photo of AltBock
AltBock

Ohio

2/5  rDev -44.9%

12 oz. bottle that was poured into a Flying Fish standard pint glass. What came out of the bottle was a clear and pale yellow colored beer that had a small and thin head of white foam. This thin head of foam quickly dissipated into some small white bubbly rings and a spot or two of lace. The beer had a light aroma of malted wheat, a small touch of cherry, apples, yeast, and a few lightly crispy floral hops toward the end. The taste for this beer was far too light and contained lightly dry and crispy floral hops, sour apples, and a small pinch of yeast at the end. As you can tell, there wasn't much of anything to the taste. It really didn't have anything going for it. The mouthfeel was really light and had a very faint aftertaste of crispy floral hops. There was not that much flavor in the mouthfeel either. There's no way I would touch this Flying Fish brew again. Back to the drawing board with this one.

03-18-2008 17:35:01 | More by AltBock
Photo of rallison
rallison

California

3.78/5  rDev +4.1%

Pours a very light golden color with a 1/2 finger white head that dies to almost nothing.

Smells of tropical fruits and some green apple. Not very impressive.

The taste is good but not great. Refreshing, but mostly light tropical fruits with no real complexity. Good, not great.

Mouthfeel is good. Drinkability is good, but I don't think I would come back to it.

Overall, decent.

03-17-2008 10:08:53 | More by rallison
Photo of nrpellegrini
nrpellegrini

Maryland

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.

02-21-2008 04:25:27 | More by nrpellegrini
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +6.1%

On-tap at the Devil's Alley in Philadelphia.

This reminds me of Allagash's Grand Cru right off the bat with its golden body and light, fruity flavors. The Flying Fish GC has a nice grassy and extra earthy element to it that make it not necessarily the better beer, but certainly more interesting. Worth a try if you like weird Belgians.

01-28-2008 16:37:38 | More by tempest
Photo of BeardedBoffin
BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

3.73/5  rDev +2.8%

The beer pours a dark golden to yellow color tinged with tad of orange. The aroma is malty with some citrus. The beer is medium bodied as the flavor of sweet malt presents itself. The beer signs off with a warming mix of spice and hops appropriate to a winter brew. The beer has a pleasant, enjoyable flavor, but for my tastes, the drinkability is reduced by the spiciness.

01-27-2008 02:54:10 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of jmalex
jmalex

Pennsylvania

3.28/5  rDev -9.6%

This one was among a mixed six of winter seasonals I grabbed last month. One of the last beers in the Flying Fish catalogue that I've never had.

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Hennepin chalice a mostly clear pale gold color with a small but fluffy white head. The head shrinks to a thick collar with many bubbly splotches across the surface. Odd that this beer is not bottle conditioned (despite the label saying so) giving it it's transparent appearance.

SMELL: A nicely balanced aroma of funky Belgian yeast, some citrus and peach, a mild balancing hop aroma, and a decent dose of alcohol. All come together nicely in a strong-smelling ale.

TASTE: Wow, given the aroma, I expected a bit more here. It drinks rather empty with the dominant flavor being orange and other citrus. Not a whole lot of yeast character is evident, and the finish lasts as mostly sweet. The good news is that alcohol is completely indetectable. Immediate edit: I'm reading other reviews that say the sweetness on the finish is reminiscent of banana, and I agree completely.

MOUTHFEEL: It's quite dry and has a lighter body as a result. Carbonation is effervescent but could be at a higher level.

DRINKABILITY: Drinkability is actually quite good given it's light body and no hint of obtrusive alcohol. I dare say that another would be in order, if one so desired.

Me though, I'll take a pass on a second one of these. I applaud the effort of Flying Fish, but this beer seriously lacks the flavor and complexity of many of the great Belgian ales.

01-19-2008 21:48:05 | More by jmalex
Photo of dsa7783
dsa7783

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -17.4%

This was my first-ever brew from Flying Fish Brewing Co., a brewery located in my home-state of New Jersey, and unfortunately, I really wasn't too impressed with this sample... mediocore and average in all respects, this beer failed to captivate me or grab my attention... very average appearance, applejuice-yellow with no head... very bland smell and watered-down, artificial juice-like taste that failed to impress... They are definitely trying to imitate a more bonafide Belgian style, and they failed to reproduce that with this beer... alcohol is not well-masked and is certainly detectable... wouldn't say this is a horrible beer, just not as impressive as I would have hoped... Copped singly from Total Wine and More in West Orange... this is not a brew I would buy again or recommend...Average...

01-06-2008 21:28:32 | More by dsa7783
Grand Cru Winter Reserve from Flying Fish Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 432 ratings.