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AleSmith Grand Cru Ale - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Grand Cru AleAleSmith Grand Cru Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

686 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 686
Reviews: 355
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 99
Gots: 125 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Bottle conditioned.
AleSmith Grand Cru really needs to be tasted to be truly appreciated. Toasty, caramelly flavors, as well as flavors imparted by the Belgian yeast strain, predominate over a tapestry of subtle nuances. Winner of the blue ribbon at the 1999 California State Fair, it is a thing of beauty. It is available in 750 ml. champagne bottles.

(Beer added by: RedDiamond on 12-16-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 686 | Reviews: 355 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MWilcox20
MWilcox20

South Carolina

1/5  rDev -75.2%

08-16-2014 23:28:47 | More by MWilcox20
Photo of BGsWo22
BGsWo22

New York

2/5  rDev -50.5%

03-23-2013 18:50:08 | More by BGsWo22
Photo of craftbeerasian
craftbeerasian

Florida

2/5  rDev -50.5%

10-01-2013 04:44:22 | More by craftbeerasian
Photo of Lnedrive14
Lnedrive14

Massachusetts

2.03/5  rDev -49.8%

Disclaimer: this beer was part of the shipment that came to Boston in the fall of 2005. I had heard that something had happened to these, and from my experience, that is true. So i am not entirely sure how accurate my review is of the beer, aside from my idiosyncratic experience was.

It was flat out undrinkable. Pours a reddish brown with a medium sized head. Very thin, almost watery appearance. The beer started off well on the palate - lots of citrus balanced with a touch of hops and some crystallized sugar sweetness. Then the back of that was just horrible. It was like drinking really gross medicine. It wasn't sweet, it was just stinging; piercing. I had to spill a portion of it out - i just couldn't get it down.

I hope that i just didnt have a good bottle and that if i get another chance to try this beer i will be able to change my review.

12-19-2006 17:45:19 | More by Lnedrive14
Photo of hawkmage
hawkmage

California

2.5/5  rDev -38.1%

12-31-2011 03:27:55 | More by hawkmage
Photo of DavoleBomb
DavoleBomb

Ohio

2.63/5  rDev -34.9%

Poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage. I reviewed a fresh bottle (which was lost in one of BA's "lost review" moments) and didn't care for it much. We'll see if this is any better with some time on it.

3.0 A: Opaque medium brown color. Two fingers of fizzy beige head. Retention is below average and no lacing is left.

3.0 S: Brown sugar, caramel, and a rum soaked raisin type booziness. Fig and prune fruitiness. Some toastiness in there as well. Peppery spiciness. Light bready maltiness. The flavor profile looks better on paper than how it actually smells. The aromas don't balance each other out that well. Still, not bad.

2.5 T: This has mellowed to the point of being boring. Brown sugar and caramel are the strongest flavors. Almost tart fruitiness featuring dates, figs, and raisins. Light peppery spiciness. Booze is in check though.

2.5 M: Medium body. Carbonation level is right, but it's a "passive" carbonation as opposed to the spritzy Belgain yeast carbonation that I like. Seems almost oily. Smooth though.

2.5 D: Didn't care for it fresh and I care for it even less with some age. It's not undrinkable, but it's boring with a subpar mouthfeel.

12-27-2011 05:11:45 | More by DavoleBomb
Photo of jujubeast6000
jujubeast6000

Texas

2.7/5  rDev -33.2%

Reviewed 1/31/2008 (bottle):

Pours a brownish red color body. Cloudy. Small head, off-white, quickly diminishing. Floral, dark fruit, sweet, some alcohol fumes when inhaling. Not too strong. Watery, woody, alcoholy. Warming up...Dark fruit, still some alcohol. Flattish. Might be another bad bottle from AZ.

10-30-2008 00:13:42 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

2.73/5  rDev -32.4%

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my large Gulden Draak tulip glass, The Grand Cru is a light muddy garnet with a big khaki head with large bubbles that quickly dissapates to a slight collar, leaving no lace. The label makes a few mentions of yearly vintages and aging potential, but there is no date that I can find, and only a blank crown cap and foil wrapper, no dated cork.

The smell is fairly rich, and is an interesting mix of BSDA dark fruit and barelywine malt, with a hint of booze. It can take you back a bit at first, but the fruit seems to take charge and it is ultimately pretty good, albeit funky.

The taste follows the smell, being an unusual mix of BSDA with a punch of barleywine. However, it's the inverse of the nose, in that the barleywine malt and diactly seem to take precedence over the BSPA fruit and spices. The finish is very vinous and a bit cloying as well, coating your mouth like red wine.

The mouthfeel is pretty thin, with very light carbonation at all. While I like my Belgians to have the light body that lends to the digestibility, this one comes off thin and watery and is not very satisfying.

Ultimately, this was not a very impressive brew. I'm not sure how old it was, but I've seen them at the store for a while, and this was the last bottle, which had been refrigerated. I love AleSmith's IPA, and with all the talk on the label about being the 1st place winner at the California state fair, I was disappointed.

08-02-2007 07:10:57 | More by ccrida
Photo of BDerosia
BDerosia

Colorado

2.75/5  rDev -31.9%

06-26-2014 02:51:45 | More by BDerosia
Photo of Caudalie
Caudalie

Quebec (Canada)

2.75/5  rDev -31.9%

03-12-2014 19:53:01 | More by Caudalie
Photo of SaCkErZ9
SaCkErZ9

Florida

2.81/5  rDev -30.4%

I completed an IRONMAN 70.3 in Haines City on April 13 and popped this beer open that afternoon to celebrate my accomplishment. I wish I would have opened something else :(

I received this in a trade about 7 or 8 years ago. Popped the cork and there wasn't a lot of fizzy sounds coming from the bottle, which usually portends a lack of carbonation. The beer emerges hazy and muddy and ruddy brown in color with not much head on the beer or carbonation. Looks very dull and rather unappealing.

Aroma was sweet and caramelly and oxidized. This bottle has not held up well. I have kept this one is a cellar since I received it. No real spark or anything to the aroma.

Flavor was dull and muted as well. Sweet and alcoholic, mostly flat with very little carbonation. Perhaps a fresh bottle of this is delicious, but one aged in perfect conditions for 7 years doesn't hold up well. Not sure what to say about this one except it was a huge disappointment. Belgian styles are supposed to stand the test of time; not this one.

04-17-2014 20:54:40 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of toeknee
toeknee

Georgia

2.88/5  rDev -28.7%

Purchased this bottle in LA area Summer, 2006. Carried back to Atlanta where it has been in my basement since.

Not much fizz when I popped the cap. Pours a very murky amber with surprisingly weak head.

Big, rich, malty aromas with almost candy-like sweet notes. Smells almost of creamy cotton candy. Big and sweet, but with little complexity.

Very sweet, malty flavor with not much carbonation at all. I find I'm having to search really hard on my palate for flavors and that should not be the case. Perhaps it's too cold. Regardless of temperature, the flavor starts slowly on the tongue, ramps up nicely, but then fades away before any sort of defining climax. All that's left on the tongue is the telltale vinuous coating of oxidation.

I've heard / read this beer can be hit or miss, but I wonder if it is a quality control issue or if people are cellaring improperly or what. I took pretty good care of this bottle and I can't imagine this is what the brewery intended for me to drink.

01-05-2008 04:08:47 | More by toeknee
Photo of msquared36
msquared36

Ohio

2.96/5  rDev -26.7%

Very dark with a deep red tint.

Aroma is roasted malt with a hint of smoke.

Malty and fruity - dark fruit like plum and cherry. Very sweet finish.

Very smooth and substantial.

A little too sweet for me. Seems to get sweeter as it warms. Lacks complexity, maybe it would be better aged. Tough to get through the whole bottle because it gets syrupy. First Alesmith I've tried that isn't great.

03-09-2014 22:35:51 | More by msquared36
Photo of kevwcamp
kevwcamp

Washington

3/5  rDev -25.7%

09-09-2013 06:23:31 | More by kevwcamp
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3/5  rDev -25.7%

Bottle courtesy of Black95tt: Poured an hazy dark amber color ale with a medium foamy head with good retention. Aroma of candi sugar, sweet malt and alcohol is pretty intense and reminiscent of Gouden Carolus Keizer. Taste is quite hot at first, which does not really suit my taste. The presence of candi sugar is quite evident as well as some dry figs characteristics. Yeast is totally overshadowed by the malt and the alcohol. Body is just above average but could be fuller and carbonation was appropriate. Overall, I really don’t see the big fuss over this beer and would prefer to taste a Gouden Carolus Keizer, which is similar, but more balance overall.

08-25-2006 18:21:46 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of Drew26
Drew26

Wisconsin

3/5  rDev -25.7%

08-16-2013 19:10:35 | More by Drew26
Photo of fragilemacabre
fragilemacabre

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -25.7%

While I'm pretty new to this style of beer, I don't like this incarnation. I really enjoy the dark smokiness of it, and it is rather pretty. Its smell is flat to me, almost like stale pumpernickel bread soaked in a stout overnight and left to try. The alcohol content is fairly apparent (read: you can tell there's a smidge, but not necessarily that it's a 10% smidge), and the carbonation seems to me to interfere with the taste. Considering that I don't like its taste as much as I was hoping (and that I want to try other beers in this style), it is still surprisingly drinkable... Doubtful on my chances of ordering it at a beer bar, but it hasn't convinced me to give up on the style (unlike 99% of pilsners)

03-12-2010 06:39:22 | More by fragilemacabre
Photo of djaeon
djaeon

California

3/5  rDev -25.7%

01-22-2012 20:51:37 | More by djaeon
Photo of akttr
akttr

Michigan

3/5  rDev -25.7%

09-29-2012 12:41:42 | More by akttr
Photo of smi
smi

New York

3/5  rDev -25.7%

04-14-2012 01:43:48 | More by smi
Photo of ejw127
ejw127

Nevada

3/5  rDev -25.7%

04-19-2012 03:30:20 | More by ejw127
Photo of johnhenryconway
johnhenryconway


3/5  rDev -25.7%

12-15-2011 13:00:03 | More by johnhenryconway
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -25.7%

01-22-2012 16:54:57 | More by xnicknj
Photo of jophish17
jophish17

Georgia

3/5  rDev -25.7%

12-09-2011 02:03:42 | More by jophish17
Photo of zbooks
zbooks

Texas

3/5  rDev -25.7%

02-14-2012 22:12:24 | More by zbooks
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AleSmith Grand Cru Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 686 ratings.