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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
91
outstanding

746 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 746
Reviews: 358
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 99
Gots: 132 | 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: 746 | Reviews: 358 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -50.6%

Photo of craftbeerasian
2/5  rDev -50.6%

Photo of Lnedrive14
2.03/5  rDev -49.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

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.

Photo of hawkmage
2.5/5  rDev -38.3%

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.63/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.7/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 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.

Photo of ccrida
2.73/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Photo of BDerosia
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

Photo of Caudalie
2.75/5  rDev -32.1%

Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.81/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of toeknee
2.88/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of msquared36
2.96/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

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.

Photo of kevwcamp
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of Drew26
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of fragilemacabre
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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)

Photo of djaeon
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of akttr
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of smi
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of ejw127
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of johnhenryconway
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of xnicknj
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of zbooks
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of drpimento
3.03/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok, but not great. Poured with a nice light tan, foamy, frothy, head that lasts a long time and a little lace. Color is a cloudy amber brown. Aroma is solvents, malt, caramel, yeast. Flavor's much like nose, with sweetness standing out but a little confusing to me as it matches sweet solvents. Body and carbonation are ok. Finish is like flavor, of average length and no hint of booze.

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AleSmith Grand Cru Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 746 ratings.