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Allagash Grand Cru - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash Grand CruAllagash Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.

644 Ratings

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Ratings: 644
Reviews: 460
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.56%
Wants: 82
Gots: 19 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-23-2001

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 644 | Reviews: 460
Photo of Sammy
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spiced Belgian style, very similiar to Unibroue. Excellent aroma, nice white creamy foam and carbation. Cloudy orange brown color. Yeast with noticeable pieces. Moderate malt and citrus orange peel, pear, hint bannana very pleasant fruit and herbs. Coriander (which may reduce fertility). Bonus for complexity. Good competition for wine.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle I brought to share at AndrewK’s tasting.

Batch # 15.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, spices, and yeast. Taste is much the same with a slight honey flavor as well. There is a mild spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that has aged well in my opinion and is still quite tasty.

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of metter98
3.94/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Thirsty Monk, Asheville, NC

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellowish amber in color. It poured with a finger high frothy white head that died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderately strong aromas of Belgian yeast are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but also has some hints of oranges and spices.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer doesn't really taste like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale as it lacks the flavors of dark fruits and dark malts but it is a nice Belgian Ale.

Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy rust-imbued amber color with a frothy, but delicate head that leaves swathes of foam around the sides of the chalice

Smell: A melange of sweet and herbal aromatics - honey, cream, orange peel, cardamom, green banana, pear and grape

Taste: Opens like a fruit salad, with all of the flavors detected in the aroma dancing around on my tongue, the flavors become progressively sweeter after the swallow and they move in a sweet grape direction

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Despite the complexity of this beer, the flavors just don't cut it for me; after a glass I was ready to move on

Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Seriously complex with fruit, spice, and champagne-like effervescence, the beer washes the palate delivering new and exciting impressions of taste with each and every sip.

Allagash's Grand Cru pours with a rusty garnet color that receeds to honey-gold coloration toward the edge of the glass. A yeasty haze build and allows a soft glow outside, but a faint dullness toward the center. Capped by a rocky, sand-colored head, the foam is sprinkled with yeast and spices from the bottle. Superb retention and lacing patterns on the glass reinforce the quality that's inherently in any beer worthy of the Grand Cru moniker.

Richly aromatic with spiced and candied fruits that range from apples, dates, figs, and raisins to dried orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, and an herbal/flowery note. All this seems wrapped in a delicate caramel and honey scent from aromatic malts and candy sugar. Slight tartness of wine rounds out the scent with a very inviting cork-like wood earthiness.

Deliciously flavored as all of the taste of the beer attaches to the taste buds first delivering the sweet flavor of candied malt that's reminescent of light caramel, honey, and powdered sugar. The malts develop seamlessly into the sweet fruitiness of estery pears, apples, figs, dates, raisins, tropical, and citrus fruit. Balance comes from light winy acidity and an onslaught of spices either from yeast or brew kettle additions that give impressions of cinnamon, nutmeg, dried oranges, celery seed, peppercorn, and grape skin.

Full bodied throughout despite the authentic bubbly carbonation doing a good job of lifting the beer off the tongue and allowing the impression of prickly carbonation and lightness. Still, a sticky candyish feel is left on the tongue in a semi-sweet cola-like fashion. Aided with mild acidity and alcohol warmth, the finish is savory and long lasting making the beer a fine dessert-like session.

Where most Belgian versions are more subtle in their displayal of malt, fruit, and spice; there's no such finesse here. This beer is bold, vivid, and rich from sip to finish.

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.61/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a slightly cloudy copper brown color ale with a huge off-white foamy head with perfect retention. Aroma is quite the spice mix with some Belgian yeast and caramel malt. Taste is also very interesting at first with some spices and caramel crating a huge full body beer (which seems to be more then 7.5%) with a slight bitter finish with some great medium funky yeast. I found the aftertaste was a bit thin and watery which would be my only complaint. Great Belgian…

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lightly gauzy, coppery pumpkin orange with electric amber highlights. The head is French vanilla in color, displays a cobbled surface and is sticky enough to deposit thin, soapy sheets and arching ribbons of lace as it ever so slowly recedes.

The nose is wonderfully aromatic and is reminiscent of oranges, peaches and apricots in heavy syrup with sprinklings of clove, ginger and tamed white pepper. It's a near perfect recreation of a world class Belgian pale ale without the funky yeastiness. I've grown to love the aroma of Belgian yeast, but this beer is plenty complex and nuanced without it.

Grand Cru is a fantastic version of the style. For starters, it isn't as viscous or as sweet as anticipated. It's more light in the mouth with an understated sweetness that, frankly, improves drinkability. The level of spiciness is just about perfect, merging with the ripe orchard fruitiness like hand in glove. The carbonation is nearly unnoticed and the alcohol is... what alcohol?

Given the seamless interplay of sweet-bitter, sweet-dry, fruity-spicy and the velvety (yet angelically light) mouthfeel, this is one well-crafted beer and is my favorite Allagash offering to date. If Grand Cru is less a specific style than an appellation to be bestowed upon a brewery's proudest achievement, then this beer is aptly named.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass

A - Poured a nice hazy pale yellow. Lots of carbonation apparent with the big white pillow like head. Good retention left behind lots of side glass lace.

S - Aroma was highly spiced with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of yeast. Some pears or apples sneaking in there as well.

T - Flavor was nice, nothing explosive for me, but still good. Lots of apple and pear flavors mixed in with a good amount of spice. A slightly dry finish and something bitter that wanted to come through but never actually made it.

M - Very smooth, medium bodied and well carbonated. Never slick and had a very nice finish.

D - Not bad, a little bit more then a sipper this could catch up to you. You could easily finish a 70 without trouble and it is deceptively smooth.

Overall not bad. Not my favorite from them, but in no way was this a bad brew. I would recommend giving it a shot it is a pretty good seasonal offering.

Photo of largadeer
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark, almost opaque amber with a lot of haze. Right in between a dubbel and a tripel in appearance. The frothy off-white head retains for the entire bottle.

Smell - Spicy and sweet. Cinnamon and clove come to mind. Very yeasty, almost dough-like.

Taste - Sweet, earthy, estery and extremely spicy. A bit overly spicy and estery for me - while enjoyable, the spices really dominate the flavor. Esters and spices really linger in the finish, making this a slow drinker.

Mouthfeel - Highly carbonated but gentle. Medium-bodied. Slightly cloying.

Notes - A solid brew, but not my favorite from Allagash.

Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really nice beer,pours a deep murky burnt orange with alight head,aroma irony and clovey with light orange essence.Flavor is of 10x sugar and some nuttiness with a real nice orange liquore flavor.A nice late night sipping beer as good as some of the Belgians in my opinion.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In the past, I've been fortunate enough to taste some aged samples of the Allagash Grand Cru. Yesterday, I eagerly purchased a 4-pack at Green's in Atlanta and am quite Crurious about the fresh bottle experience.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, orangey-amber body with a small, foamy white head. No amount of snifter swirling can seem to kill the gooey lacing.

Smell: Flowery, doughy aroma that's simply full of lush fruit notes, including bananas, oranges, and melons. Lots of spice character, too, with coriander and ginger.

Taste: Bready, caramel maltiness with a perky Belgian dark candi sweetness followed by a pleasant cinnamon spiciness and a hint of herbs. All of the fruit juiciness blends well in the flavor and imparts a bit of sourness which, along with the spice, helps to balance the initial sweetness. Further spice notes appear on the drying finish leading into a peppery aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation. Relatively smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A very lovely Belgian Strong, and one that I know ages fairly well. Grand Cruriosity: sated!

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle; corked and caged. Batch # 5. Even a careful pour delivers a slightly hazy, copper colored body with bronze and gold highlights. It's full and foamy head of off-white froth wants to leap out of the glass initially, but eventually settles to a creamy 1/2" lid that holds throughout the goblet and leaves excellent lace. The nose is floral with some light citrus; a yeasty spiciness; a touch of mustiness from the cork; and a candyish, honey-like and gently caramelish malt. It's medium bodied, but light and crisp in the mouth due to its very fine, natural, and lightly effervescent carbonation. The flavor is richer than the aroma indicates with a sweet, softly caramelish malt that's accented by yeasty clove and subtle, dried fruit. Notes of white pepper and spice appear mid-palate, (the small bottles are much spicier) probably due to its alchol. The hop bitterness is restrained, allowing the spiciness to balance it; and it finishes with a note of sweet, candyish malt that displays a slight touch of caramelization. This is a really enjoyable, softly malty and not overly-sweet beer that can be sipped slowly or enjoyed with a meal; but the smaller bottles tend to be a bit more abrasive with increased pepperiness and alcohol to them. Regardless, it's a very nice beer in either form.

Photo of nickfl
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy Orange, Caramel color. Fluffy white head that settles down pretty quickly and leaves behind a nice lace and a film of foam on the beer.

S - Yeasty aroma, notes of oranges, prunes, coriander, and other clovey phenolic smells.

T - Spicy, yeast, fruity. Some chocolate, hops in the finish.

M - Moderatly high carbonation, creamy and mouth coating, some astringency in the finish from the hops.

D - Reasonable drinkability, probobally better with food. Reminds me of a Saison or some kind of Witbier/ Witwine.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep orange color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma has a lot going on; Belgian yeast, caramelized malts, spices, citrus, apples and some hops.

T: The taste is bready and spicy with flavors of Belgian yeast, caramel, nutmeg, clove and some fruit. There's a pretty hearty malt character and there's a decent hops presence that provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, nice representation of style, due to its complexity, this is a nice beer to drink for a while. I'm not sure I could pound it for a whole evening, but I could certainly enjoy a 750ml if I'm in the right mood.

Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Brown 750 ml magnum with “Batch #1” on the label. A blurb about the beer, pairing suggestions as directions on how to pour the beer on the side.

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

Smell: Clovey allspice, anise, orange peel, herbal medicinal phenolic, slight alcoholic esters, candied fruit and a powdery yeast make up the aroma.

Taste: Aggressive carbonation, crisp and flowing with a well textured mouth feel. Dry toasted biscuity malt character, goes a touch husk in the finish. Spicy palate with lots of clovey allspice, orange peel, mild medicinal phenols and a peppery end. Hops are nearly negligible though would be in the way if they were too noticeable. Fruity with a candied fruit flavour, deceivingly mild alcoholic esters and a powdery almost musty yeast lingers in the after taste.

Notes: This one gets quite dry the longer it ages and the alcohol seems to mellow out a bit also which makes for a perfect summer time brew even though this is a winter seasonal. Next time it comes around or if you see it on the shelf buy a few and cellar them for a few or several months.

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Allagash Grand Cru from Allagash Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 644 ratings.