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Allagash Grand Cru - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash Grand CruAllagash Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

630 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 630
Reviews: 458
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 9.78%
Wants: 75
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Grand Cru is brewed with a touch of peated malt and spiced with coriander, sweet orange peel and a hint of anise. It is deep golden in color, full bodied and has hints of smoke and licorice in the taste and aroma. The malty, warming finish is perfect for colder weather.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-23-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 630 | Reviews: 458 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dsa7783
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ML bottle, copped caged and corked from Wine and Beverage Depot in Totowa... Batch # 18... As the brewery's Winter selection, this was an absolutely amazing beer and a dead-on depiction of the style, bursting with flavor, quality, and character, this has to be one of Allagash's best... Pours a nectarine, copper-hue with minimal frothy head that soon dissipated, leaving sufficient lacing behind... Smell was good, filled with oranges, coriander, spices, candy sugars...
Exceptional, top-notch taste, bursting with spices, lemons, citrus, Belgian candied sugars, caramel, vanilla, and pralines with apparent fresh, sweet fruits and ripe florals- this beer was extremely well-balanced and complex, filled with intricate and distinct flavors... Mouthfeel was rich and thick, great tasting...
Drinkability was equally exceptional, as the alcohol perecentage really struggled to be noticed, and the refreshing and crisp taste had you wanting more and more - I could easily drink this one all night long... Excellent stuff... Definitely recommended...

dsa7783, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of tyboxr
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: beautiful blood orange, uniform cloudiness. Nice head with great leg on the glass

S: ohhh so nice, fruity front tones relinguish to a hearty finish

T: delicious!! great dark apricot-like front tone with great bready dinish, raisens,

M: great carbonation, stays to the fron of the mouth and lingers nicely

D:get this when you can, drink some now and then put some away for the first snow of next year, the aging will effect it nicely!

tyboxr, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of cokes
4.68/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch #5
A murky golden amber body topped with a hazelnut gelato. Massive cloudbanks of head initially, before receding to reveal a archipelago of foaming islands.

A Wit on acid, perhaps?
This one swallows the caramel pill and ventures through a land of multi-colored toasted biscuits dripping honeyed sticks of coarse grain. Dancing elfs throw about candi sugar. The checkerboard corridor then leads through a melting door with grinning horses holding coriander and orange peel. A pulsating sphere materializes of vinous, grape qualities. Menacing specters threaten with flashing alcohol notes, but never intrude on the pleasantness of this voyage inward. Spiraling flowers of hops provide closure to this trip.

Set and setting are important. And this lays the foundation with an impervious mouthfeel and a comsumablity factor that is rarely equalled.

One of the best American bastardizations of Belgian styles. Delightfully bizarre.

Big ups to the Notorious B.I.G.H.U.G.E.

cokes, Jan 13, 2003
Photo of palma
4.68/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had high expectations for this beer and when I finally tried it, I was not disappointed. That says a lot about a brew.

Nose: Exceptional. prune, cherry, honey, sweet malt, all backed by a delicate clove spice. Maybe a hint of vanilla. Kind of an English old ale aromatic character as well.

Taste: Not too sweet, which is a good thing. A lot of these grand crus hit you with too much cloying sweetness, but this one here does it right. Not to worry though - the mild front only leads into a stronger, complex flavor, which is the main event of this brew. Lemon peels, dried fruit, light malt, and some pepper. A slight grassiness and a little musky too. The best part is the unbelievable orange peel-like hop bitterness showing up in the end, which really just sneaks up on you. It's pretty bitter! Rounds out the beer very nicely.

Though the beer poured with a minimal initial head, I have to say that the lace really kept up throughout the long session.

This is a world-class brew. Truly the best of Allagash. They call it the grand cru for a reason.

palma, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of Morris729
4.68/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch #4
Pours deep copper in color with a huge creamy and pillowy white head that eventually fades into a nice thick and heavy lace. Nose is fruity with notes of clove, allspice, and fresh citrus. Nice crisp mouth feel with lots of carbonation. Taste is spicy up front with flavors of clove and allspice blended with some candied fruit. Middle is more of a malty yeastiness with some raisin notes. Finish is dry with a kick of spicy pepper. No hop bitterness is present. Any fan of Belgian-style ales will surely love this brew. A very big thanks to paceyourself for sending me this brew!

Morris729, Jan 30, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.68/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A solid, bright crimson, color, an enormous, full, fluffy, lacey head, loaded with bubbles..looks good so far...
Aroma: oooo, very nice! Light, airy, loaded with citrus, yeast and spice...an uplifting thing in the nose, very lively and enticing. You just want to keep it up to your nose, knowing this happy occasion should not be interurrupted...feels darker, fruitier later on, and that's very nice as well. Mmmm, a constant happiness abides in this aroma, and it never wanes.
Taste: hops grab the palate at first, then fade, and the palate is washed with a complex, incredible melange of flavors. A lush fruit factor is at the heart, incredibly integrated, a magnificent cocktail, with a tasty spicy kick riding on top. Somehow this is mellow, and terrifically full-flavored all at the same time. Full-bodied, but not a tiny bit thick, with a long, luxurious finish that resides softly on the plate, but never ends the delivery of joy.
As I close in on draining this bottle, I'm still reaching for proper words to encapture it's utter sublimity. And, still, more thoughts arise, as more flavors jut out, for I swear I'm tasting a touch of chocolate now. Is this a tripel mixed with a wit, and doused in a touch of tripel? Whatever it is, it's fan-diddly-tastic!

This is a re-review, a year and a couple days after my first scribblings, which I now refute. And perhaps the aging of this sample, from Batch #5, did something to enhance it's overpowering appeal.

feloniousmonk, Jan 01, 2004
Photo of santoslhalper
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearence: Pours a wonderful dark orange fading to copper at the top, with a bubbly off-white head.

Smell: The smell is of wonderful fruits and lucious sweet notes of caramel and almost chocolate.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is not as complex as excpected, but it's beauty is in it's simplicity. Pure, raw, wonderful tasting beer that is truly thirst-quenching, delightful, and incredibly satisfying. It goes down great, with a rich, creamy smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability and Overall: Stunning. One of Allagash's best. I'm thoroughly impressed with this beer. It's simple serenity keeps you drinking the entire 750ml bottle. I'm very happy with this, and plan on getting more in the near future. Enjoy it.

santoslhalper, Mar 14, 2005
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer deserves to be in the top 50 hands down. It was a wonderful buy! The pour was rich with a white head and a beautiful foggy, dark, amber body. The only complaint I had was with the smell which revealed the increased alcohol conten. However, there was also a good spicy/fruity smell, which was very pleasing to the nose. The taste was great with some serious hops and fruits and subtle notes of honey and maple. It left a great, bitter taste in the back of my throat. Even though I had even warmed it up a bit it still felt like I was drinking water straight from the top of Khatadin. It was incredible!

GreatPondBrewer, Jan 28, 2003
Photo of wailingwench
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Mildly hazed sunset amber with a big and fast frothing light tan head, rocky and dense the head sticks in large clumps.

Eye Candy: Deep translucent hazy copper with sediment dispersed throughout. Thick off white pillowy head.

The Nose Knows: Way to complex for me, I would guess cloves, bitter orange, candied fruit,deep bready yeast, and alcohol at end.

Tongueland: Fruity in the beginning, buttery/ biscuty middle, that finishes peppery and strong alcohol. Thick, rich m/f.

Bender Factor: The alcohol is there, you can taste it, but somehow it is still decieving.

wailingwench, Nov 20, 2004
Photo of mzwolinski
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

What else could it be for #250 but a tribute to the two greatest brewing countries on earth – an American interpretation of a Belgian style. I’d heard good things about Allagash, but this was the first beer of theirs I’d had the chance to try. Lovely 750ml bottle with a wire-wrapped cork that explodes with the pent-up carbonation. The beer itself is a hazy amber, with a moderately sized, fairly creamy head. Ah, that Grand Cru aroma. Toasty malt, some nice cinnamon and coriander spices, yeast, and some very mild fruit. The beer is decadently creamy in the mouth, very smooth. Flavor starts of candi-sugar sweet, with the toasted malts developing mid-palate along with something like passionfruit. More cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness toward the end, enough so to make up for the lack of much in the way of noticeable hops. The beer leaves an aftertaste which is very husky and surprisingly pleasant. Seamlessly blended and very tasty.

mzwolinski, May 03, 2003
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle. Murky orange brown color with an off-white head. Lots of spices in the aroma, including coriandor. Yeast smell as well. Very malty with yeast flavors, sugar, fruits (reminds me of pineapple orange juice), and spices (coriander again). Full mouthfeel. High carbonation masks the alcohol. This is one of those beers that is hard to put down because it’s so tasty and drinkable, and I have to continually remind myself to slow down. Anyone who says that the U.S. can’t make Belgian style beers hasn’t tried this one.

beveragecaptain, Dec 13, 2004
Photo of MisterClean
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 from Total Wine batch #16

A - Bottle opens with a nice pop. Deep orange and auburn in color, fairly hazy. Lots of slightly off-white head, whch dissipates very slow. Bits of protein chunks in the head too.

S - Plums, golden raisins, belgian candi sugar, piny hops, and slight alcohol.

T - Plums, nectar, honey, belgian sugars, piny hops, and slight alcohol.

M - Very rich and very sweet. Full bodied and very satisfying.

D - Excellent. Something that should be enjoyed durng the winter months like the bottle indicates. Very impressed with this beer.

MisterClean, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.63/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked this up for dinner, had chicken and rosemary and the spices in the beer seemed to compliment the rosemary quite nicely.

750ml bottle with no freshness date only batch 15 printed on the label, poured slowly (as it says to on the side of the bottle) into an oversized wine glass.

A: This is a great looking beer. Period. When properly decanted it pours a rich and clear amber and copper with a two to three inch thick and creamy head. Tight and coarse bubbles stick around for about half the glass then fade into a thin swirling cap. Great lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Smells almost as good as it looks. A nice heathly yeast character comes as soon as you start pouring. In the glass the beer takes on a much fruitier character with hints of lemony spice, apricots, plums and a thick bready crust. I think I'm in heaven.

T/MF: I know I'm in heaven. This stuff is great. Hits the mouth smooth and creamy and doesn't relent. The beer slides across the tongue and comes buzzing forth with rich fruit flavors, lemon and plum with a decent hop juicyness then as it warms further the yeast comes in and ties everthing together with a perfectly sized clove spiciness. A terrfically balanced beer that tastes as good as it smeels and looks fantastic. Not overly bubbly so all the flavors come through but has just enough to spread flavor all over the place. Just a soild beer all around.

D: Tastes great and not too heavy for a Belgian Pale Ale that is made for American pallates. Like other reviews have said before "a great starter Belgian styled beer" as this one I'd say relies more on the hop juicyness than on the yeast that traditional Belgians use. Still to taste is hard to beat and the abv is low enough to make this a highly drinkable beer. I had nearly the entire bottle myself and was begging for more at the end.

bluemoonswoon, Jul 30, 2007
Photo of doho95fu
4.63/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the second brew I have had from Allagash, and I think this brewery is doing it right. Something about the beers just make me feel that they are fresh. The Grand Cru was a deep copper beer with a creamy medium-thick head. The smell was of fruit, yeast and honey and the taste was not too far afield which the same flavors represented. There were some currant hints which left a port-like aftertaste as well. The taste was just "smooth". Very drinkable and interesting brew.

doho95fu, Feb 01, 2003
Photo of MaineBeerMan
4.63/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice amber brown color clouded by yeast, with a big head of beige foam that shrinks quite a bit, but leaves lots of lace.
The smell of this beer is full of spices and some orangey citrus with some grassiness in the background.
Great flavor with good amount of malt sweetness, spicy cloves and some orange fruitiness with a little yeastiness. Zippy mouthfeel with a good bit of carbonation, yet has a kind of creaminess after the initial bubbly sting. Warming alcohol noticeable after a few sips, this is another gret Belgian from Allagash. I'll be saving a few of these while they are available to try later and see how they age.

MaineBeerMan, Oct 25, 2002
Photo of TexIndy
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #14. Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into my Delirium Tremens glass. Poured slowly as bottle advised but still got a pretty good head and carbonation. Was a nice rich cooper color - clear. The aroma was heavenly with yeast, citrus and lots of spice. Definitely gets you excited to try. The taste was also exceptional. Has a incredible well balanced mix of malt, spices and alcohol. It's 7.2% ABV and a Strong Pale Ale but you never taste the alcohol like some other BSPA's - I'm looking at you Delirium. The mouthfeel was also nice and solid with a creamy texture. Highly, highly recommend - you must try this one. It's a winter seasonal so get at least 2 now. One to drink right away and another to age till fall. (4.5, HR, T, Y)

TexIndy, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of frank4sail
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A twist off brown bottle. Fresh clean hop yeasty sweet bread nose. Hazy cloudy dark golden color with a beautiful thick dense white head. Malty rich corriander spice taste with a touch of cinnamon and walnut in the finish. Smooth rich dense mouth. The toung is lift stinging with spice and malt. There is also a layer of grassy peat hop flavor that comes out more as the beer warms. A wonderfully complex treat. Before you know it, it is gone. A comfort beer... nice!

frank4sail, Nov 19, 2003
Photo of BrewMaster
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Labled as "Batch # 10."

Appearance: Dark, cloudy orange to red with an off-white head. Very creamy head with excellent retention.

Smell: Malty sweet, fruity aroma. Light candy sugar aroma with a hint of strawberry.

Taste: Rich maltiness with a fruity overtone. This beer is mostly malty. The malt profile is strong and very well defined. Rich, slightly biscuity and bready malt flavor. A bit of light sea spray flavor along with sea weed and moss. Citrusy with a sour note to it along with some floral notes on the end of the flavor. Lightly hopped with floral notes and a clean sandy ending. Subtle and hardly noticeable spiciness in the middle to end. A bit of cinnamon and allspice along with apple.

Mouthfeel: Very clean and malty makes it soft on the palate. Wonderfully smooth and agreeable. No offensive flavors biting at the mouth. Well carbonated but not overly carbonated.

Drinkability: This beer is beautiful and complex. I will gladly buy another bottle of it. No harsh or offensive flavors, just good beer. I really like the spicines balances with the big malty base. Compliments to the brewer.

BrewMaster, May 15, 2005
Photo of WetCoaster
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

*Batch #10

Appearance: Glowing chill-hazed orange gold with a super dense, massive, slightly off-white head. Nice carbonation. Nice period.

Smell: Very saison-like rainwater/barnyard yeast spice. Honeyed vanilla, candied fruit, fresh melon, floral gardenias, cakebread. Sounds like a circus, but it's all very subtle and seamless. Very soft, but quite tasty.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Mild yeast spice? From Allagash? There is a god! Mildly tangy, sweet citrus, honeydew and cantalope, vanilla wafer, with a touch of bittering hops at the finish. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, very soft and full.

Drinkability: Awesome. The label describes this as gentle, and it really is; the beer's a cool breeze. Very Fantome-like spicing and spirit -- that's good. Tremendous balance, favor and subtlety. My favorite Allagash beer by leaps and bounds. Truely wonderful beer.

WetCoaster, Dec 02, 2005
Photo of raoulduke37
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Reddish-brown mahogany, beautiful highlights in the brighter part of the room. Great head retention with a hell of a lot of lacing.

S - Caramel and something stronger, like bacon. Smell really hard, it's in there.

T - Really good - Ripe fruit on the way in, goes back to your throat and gets very citrusy, with a really smooth finish.

M - Great carbonation balanced off by creamy after-finish.

D - I would most definitely order another.

raoulduke37, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer poured into the chalice clear deep amber with an off-white and tall head which lasted to coat the glass.

The aroma was malty with deep complexity of spices, coriander and orange peels most notably. The malt portion of the aroma contained caramel and toffee and a slight diacetyl which did not detract.

The flavor was well achieved with maltiness in check with bittering. The most prominent flavor was a hint of chocolate and the other flavors were restrained and well blended from aging. The citrus peel was also present in the flavor, but the coriander was muted. The beer had a sweetness that was well balanced by the peels and hop bittering.

The finish was just dry with lasting malty fruit impression and dry cirtus flavors lasting long into the aftertaste. The body was just above medium and well done. This beer was easily consumed and well executed. No alcohol presence emerged and the spices and citrus flavors were extremely well executed. Wish I had another bottle.

750 ml corked and bailed bottle. Batch 3, 7.2% ABV. This one must have came out in 2002 and I need to clean out the fridge.

GCBrewingCo, Mar 29, 2005
Photo of BeerAngel
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours slightly hazed amber orange with a 2 finger off-white head that sticks around. A whiff reveals very nice fruit and spices with light yeast. Smells very nice! The taste consists of more spices that are very pronounced and also has a fruity, yeasty, and light alcohol flavors that taper into a slightly dry tail. Again, very nice! A highly complex Belgian Style Ale that is light to medium bodied and it leaves you wanting more. Wonderful! Thanks again Beerluvr for this experience! Cheers!

BeerAngel, Jan 08, 2003
Photo of maxpower
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle pours cloudy orange-amber with a nice bubbly off white head that lasts, leaves a sticky lacing in my glass. Spicy clove and fruity aromas, sweet pear, melon and spicy pepper flavors, medium body with a crisp, carbonated mouthfeel, spicy finish, wow this is phenomenal.

maxpower, Dec 04, 2004
Photo of BenZ
4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We just opened a bottle of batch #4. Cellared since at least mid '06, unsure when it was purchased.

At first glance and smell, doesn't seem all that unique. Almost like an older English BW in color, aroma and carbonation level.

The early observations leave one expecting a simple, overly sweet beer. The aroma does hint at some kind of fruitiness.

The first sip starts out pleasant; thinner than expected. The lack of syrupiness really helps the drinkability. There is a tiny amount of bitterness which helps balance the sweetness. The first (and most obvious) flavor that then comes out is grapes. This is a very unique flavor. There is a slight tartness, as well. Finally, there is a taste I'm not sure how to describe. I remember it from older geuezes, but it't not the funk or the sourness; maybe it's just the taste of age.

Anyways, saw reviews on batch #4 from 2002, so this beer is probably at least 6 years old. It has held up GREAT!!

BenZ, Jun 19, 2008
Photo of Bighuge
4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch #5.

Aroma is wit-reminiscent for me. Malted wheat, curacao and corriander. Maybe nutmeg or cinamon. Very nice. Slightly turbid brown tone. A tightly packed beige head sits on top. It becomes a rimming in a minute, except for a thin filmy island in the middle that remains for the duration. The tastes are so subtle and intricate it will be hard for me to nail them all down. The spicing seems to be orange curacao and cinamon. I think I get some wheat tones (like a wit, not like a weizen). A subdued bitterness comes from either the hops or possibly a bitter orange element. Some slight bready, yeasty tones add another layer of complexity. The body is light. The carbonation is fairly low. This is so damn drinkable. I can't believe it's close to 8% a/v. No signs of alcohol whatsoever. I need to be careful not to can this 750 in 10 minutes. Lovely belgian. My favorite Allagash product so far. (I've also had White, Double and Dubbel Reserve.) The Trippel Reserve is set to fall soon.

I'd love to try this side by side with the Allagash White to try and decipher the differences.

Bighuge, Dec 02, 2002
Allagash Grand Cru from Allagash Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 630 ratings.