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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.

636 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 636
Reviews: 458
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 79
Gots: 17 | 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: 636 | Reviews: 458 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of crookedhalo
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, glden orange color with a thick light-tan colored head that last for a bit. Aromas of blood orange rind, malt, and a mixture of light spices, I picked up on the obvious of some of them; coriander. Malty sweet with smooth spices rounding out a quality Grand Cru replication. Nicely effervescent and drinkable (to the extent that one likes spiced beers.).

crookedhalo, Nov 30, 2003
Photo of Jwale73
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Tulip glass:

Poured a dull, opaque burnt orange/red red color with a thin white head that dissipated quickly leaving a transparent white film on the top of the brew. Very light lacing with minimal adherence throughout the tasting. Smell and flavors of malt, yeast and dark fruit. Pleasant and full mouthfeel with minimal carbonation and a tangy finish. Very enjoyable seasonal; another quality beer from Allagash.

Jwale73, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of wagenvolks
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 13...1 pt 9.4 oz bottle, the cork popped off so hard it shot off the ceiling and landed across the room.

Uber-thick, cream colored head atop a burnt orange, golden-copper body. Great carbonation bubbling up around the edge of the glass. The aroma is complex, sweet floral boquet. Notes of vanilla, strong malt, and citrus (grapefruit and orange peel) and a surprisingly strong alcoholic aroma despite a 7.2% ABV.

Taste is good, not great. Some spice and a good bit of malt but overall it lacks the balance of hops in the taste (you can feel them though). A little citrus and organic barley/wheat present as well. Mouthfeel is nice and light with a great carbonation level across the tongue. No aftertaste. All except the taste works for me in this belgian pale, it's just lacking a little in complexity. I'm not saying not to try it, though.

wagenvolks, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of gotbeer
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one into an oversized snifter, and I wasn't immediately blown away by the way it looked. It was a nice orange amber, but not too much of a head. The head faded fairly quickly. The smell was nice enough though, with a spicy, orange aroma.

The taste was of bread, honey, orange, and spice. Great complexity, and a nice dry mouthfeel. The alcohol is a little evident. It's a great easy drinking brew with enough complexity to keep you interested. The drinkablity is pretty good as well. I could have had another after all 12oz were gone.

Another great Allagash product.

gotbeer, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of CRJMellor
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle
Batch #6

Pours copper with golden colors, medium head that dies quickly very little lace. Aroma of raisins, prunes, licorice, candy sugar, little coriander, some yeast and orange peel. Taste is malt front with a yeasty and spicy middle (coriander) a light sweetness on the finish. Very subtle and complex tastes that make you pay attention. Lively mouthfeel and warming glow upon finish. Little heavy-handed to be highly drinkable but very good

CRJMellor, Jan 10, 2004
Photo of cabsandking
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy peach/amber color and a slim head that vanishes to scant surface lace. Large fruit aromas, pineapple, nutty malt character, and some fusels. Heartier malt base than typical with notes of nuts, cashew, and cereal grains. Hops arrive in force midway through with some pine and floral character. Some spices come into play and is blended very well. Orange notes, yeasty twang, and spices in moderation for a finish. Good mouthfeel, a tad light on the carbonation. Overall very drinkable, I could throw back a few of this without notice.

cabsandking, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of albern
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice beer and well worth seeking out. It pours a cloudy orangy amber color, with just a bit of foam around the rim. No real lacing with this one. It is surprisingly lighter than expected. I would have tagged this for a full bodied, sweet, syrupy, candied sugar Belgian, but not so really. It is more medium bodied, less spicy, with less the candied sugar heaviness. It does have the clove, coriander, rind, fruitiness that one would expect, and plenty of spices in the allspice family. It lacks the peppery snap at the end, tends to be a bit more musty, a little less of the yeasty mouthfeel, and just more summery than I imagined. The finish and aftertaste is a bit sourish spicy, not peppery. This is very drinkable, the ABV is hidden quite nicely, and there is no lingering throaty aftertaste that is too common for the style. The aroma is the weakest link in that it is too subdued, a little more husky than I would have imagined as well. This is a good beer, enjoyable, and not as wintery a beer as the marketing leads one to believe. Have this anytime. L'Chaim.

albern, May 11, 2008
Photo of pinotboy007
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel glass and enjoyed its rich color, aromas of dates, bread, and spices; decent foamy head that settled after a few minutes but easily sprang back to life with a few swirls of the glass. Purchased at Whole Foods in the Fair Oaks, VA area. Go get one.

pinotboy007, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of petemoss14
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked bottle.

Pours a dark copper, burnt orange color with a large, loosely structured cream-colored head.

Smells strongly of candied fruit, orange peel, some roasted malt, spice, and a bit of green apple tartness.

Lots of candied fruit upfront in the taste. The roasted malt (toffee?)shows itself in a rounded center. A bit of citrus and spice. Finishes with some bitter resiny hopiness. This, along with liberal carbonation (almost too much so?), keep the beer from becoming cloying. Even so, one 750 ml bottle of this was more than enough for me -- next time I'll share it...

I agree with previous comments on this beer that it could benefit from some time in the cellar to refine the (slightly rough)carbonation and mellow out the finish.

petemoss14, Jan 21, 2006
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly cloudy orange amber colour, with a good frothy head of off-white bubbles. Little carbonation or lacing present. Looks pretty good.

Spicy citrus on the nose - rather reminiscent of Grand Marnier. There's a deep sweetness, like treacle or black caramel, but with light fruity characters over the top. Under this is a brandy/liqueur character which just deepens the aroma and adds an extra dimension. Nice.

Spicy on the palate too, hints of clove, pepper and allspice, but with an undeniable sweetness underlying it all. Finish is long and drawn out, with a lingering alcohol heat - it's a pleasant character, but means it takes some time to sip your way through it. Palate is quite dry by the end. Mouthfeel is slick and smooth. Just great.

Once again Allagash shows that they can knock swords with the Belgians, the fathers of these styles. This is a very tasty Belgian Strong, loaded with character, and an excellent approximation of the classic examples.

lacqueredmouse, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of mithrascruor
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper-ruby color. Nice creamy off-white head. Visible slow carbonation, but little movement on top.

Smell: Fruity aroma with dates, pears, apples, and maybe a bit of bananas. Nice yeast and malty tones too.

Taste: Nice malty taste with a bit of sweetness, but very little complexity. Just a tad bit of apple at the finish. Slightly bitter aftertaste (not the most pleasant, but not bad).

Mouthfeel: Really smooth with light tingly carbonation, especially towards the finish. Medium-bodied.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, no obvious hints of alcohol.

A nice beer, but it falls down in the taste. Granted, it isn't bad, but it is such a let-down after the nice aromas. Certainly worth giving a try if you enjoy Belgian styled beers, but I don't think it merits being a regular.

mithrascruor, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of zerk
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch #4... this beer was somewhat cloudy and copper / brown with a thick but quickly disappating head. Aroma of malt, cloves, figs, and vanilla. Flavor was sweet... malt upfront, some dried fruit notes, and vanilla, followed by some spicy bitterness... with a bit of alcohol lingering on the tongue. Body was medium... gave a crisp impression... well carbonated. This is a very solid Belgian dark ale.

zerk, Nov 28, 2002
Photo of ngandhi
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle

Cane and brown sugar on the nose, but much more. Grand cru is rich with spice, hop, malt, and yeast of the highest order. The taste is a bit thin, but only because the nose is so great. Suprisingly, it finishes with exceptional complexity climaxing in an opus of dried apricots and candied fruit. Most impressive is how this brew, for all its spicing, holds its own as beer. The spices manage to relate to the ingredients and operate symbiotically. It's as if the brewers added what had always been missing to belgian pales instead of taking the general style and trying to make it better.

Relax, relax.

ngandhi, Jan 22, 2004
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch #5, Sampled February 2004
A rich aroma of port, rum, and raisin escapes from my glass as pour this brilliantly clear, amber-copper beer. It is topped by a prodigious tan head that is fueled by a highly active carbonation (I am having difficulty getting to the beer in my tulip glass because of the carbonation) There are some soft spicy notes in the aroma, but it is dominated by the fruity, port, rum notes that where mentioned earlier. It smells quite sweet and reminds me of fresh grapes. The taste fulfills the promise that was given in the nose. The beer is sweet, fruity, and has a hint of spice notes. This is a light bodied brew. The alcohol is evident in the finish, though this is in no way distracting. The beer reminds me of fresh sweet succulent grapes. I am not sure why, but it does. This is pretty good, thoug my attraction to this beer dimineshes with time. At first it is awesome, but the taste fades with time a bit; the beer lack staying power.

Gueuzedude, Feb 12, 2004
Photo of mattcrill
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with golden edges. It has a thin, fuzzy white head that quickly dissapates.

Smell: Mildly sweet. Cloves, allspice, dark fruit, and malty goodness billow out of the glass.

Taste: Very spicy first. pepper and all-spice with a wheat bread-like finish. As it warms I pick up hints of raisins and orange peel.

Mouthfeel: medium but very complex.

Drinkability: I can't see this being a session beer but it had a complex character and a nice sipping beer. I'm sure it would be better in the winter with a nice soup.

mattcrill, Sep 28, 2004
Photo of rarevos
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Chimay goblet.

A: Pours an opaque light amber. Rather thin head that disappears immediately and becomes faint lacing. Very faint. I'd call it "eleven bubbles" before I'd call it lacing.

S: Whiff of Belgian yeast at first (I will NEVER get tired of that). Slight green tea aroma, and a good bit of orange zest. TINY hint of molasses at the very end.

T/M: Sweet malt up front with a bit of breadiness. Middle has the tea flavor and some caramel/molasses. Finish is dry and moderately bitter. Tail is spicy and long. This is a crisp beer with the right amount of dryness to counter its citrus quality. The spiciness is a bit indeterminate, and of a kind I'd like to call "spice cabinet." The flavors are subtle enough where you can't really pin any down. Peppery, for sure.

D: It feels like it's freaking freezing outside right now (it's only 63) but I felt like I needed something warming. This is definitely warming. Though the abv was a manageble 7.2%, a 12 ounce bottle was plenty for me. It's not that the alcohol wasn't hidden well, it's that it's a bit too bold for a session beer. I would get this again, for sure.

rarevos, Sep 12, 2006
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!

ChainGangGuy, Nov 16, 2007
Photo of kinger
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a nice change of pace, I am glad that I finally picked some of this up. Burnt orange in color, the beer is hazy in the glass. A moderate white head that swirled around like a distant galaxy leaving minimal lacing. I can actually see the beer sparkle in the glass when held to the light. The aroma is nice and mild with an earthy yeastiness. Scents of spices tickle the nose I detect the likes of nutmeg, cloves, and perhaps a touch of coriander. A smooth moderately complex flavor is present. I slowly sipped on a couple of these throughout my evening, real nice drink. A subtle presence of malts lend way to a calm spicy profile. Licorice is evident now along with the spices previously mentioned. Well behaved and not over the top in the least I really enjoy this flavor. Mouthfeel is a bit weak. I wouldn't call it thin but there is a lackluster feel to this one and the finish is somewhat odd, not unpleasant perhaps just not in line with the aroma and flavor. Overall a wonderful change of pace, I'm glad that the brewer didn't feel the need to over spice this one, well played.

kinger, Aug 05, 2008
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.

metter98, May 29, 2013
Photo of MEsquandoles
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch# 20. Winter Release 2008/2009. Corked 750 into my Great Divide glass, which is the same as the one Allagash brands.

In short, like mix between a Saison and a Dubbel.

Thick and bubbly. Some ceramy sweetness like a Dubbel or
Tripel. Wonderful dry and spicy finish, which helps make it very drinkable.

I predict a Saison yeast.

Recommended. I'd like to try it on tap.

MEsquandoles, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of AlephNull
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my tulip glass. I didn't see a batch number on the bottle.

A - A murky gold with faint brown deep in the glass when held up to the light. Despite a fairly vigorous pour, I got nearly no head out of it but what head it did have dissipated to a white rim quickly.

S - Smell's fantastic. Fruity. Despite the label mentioning spices, I smell fruits: apricots and apples. I do smell some alcohol which kind weakens the smell.

T - Opens with a fruity malty sweetness once again, dried apricots are probably the best way I can describe them. Underneath the fruit there's a caramel flavor. The taste finishes with a balanced, piney hoppy cleanness that really helps out the drinkability.

M - The mouthfeel's not killer. It tastes a bit watery for the style, but that's made up for by some heavy carbonation which works well with the late hoppy flavor.

D - Quite drinkable. Nothing too strong in any direction may make for a beer that's good and drinkable, but it doesn't stand out as a spectacular drink.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the purchase. It might be a good starter Belgian-style as it's not too alcoholic and it's not too heavy but good on the flavor.

AlephNull, Jul 17, 2007
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 26, 2012
Photo of tsmthrs
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. Light golden color with nice 1 inch head.
Smells of citris and fruits with hints of herbs.
Taste is of citris and apricots very sweet with a sharp bite of hops in the finish, nicely balanced though.
Mouthfeel is medium, light carbonation with small bubbles.
I could drink a couple of these after dinner anytime. I really enjoyed this beer.

tsmthrs, Jun 28, 2006
Photo of ultralarry2006
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle marked "Batch 12" . Left a big head that had good retention, with some good lacing. Body was a hazy orange amber.

Smell - bananas, plums, toasty malt, and a peppery spice.

Taste - mostly the same as the smell. Plums, overripe dark fruits, hint of toast washed with bananas and black pepper. Finishes with a slightly sour fruit taste.

Mouthfeel - full, smooth, moderate carbonation, semi-dry.

Drinkability - pretty good, but not great. I'd have somehting else after one 750 ml of these.

ultralarry2006, Aug 16, 2006
Photo of bennetj17
3.93/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper brown in color, it pours looking very clear at first until more of the bottom sediment mixes in to add cloudiness. Has a decent head of foam that dissipates fairly quickly. Active carbonation present. Smells of fruits like apple and citrus peel, it is slightly alcoholic and has that distinct aroma of Belgian yeasts. Has a fruity malt flavor, mildly phenolic and subtly spicy, and with a delicate bitter finish. Very smooth in character, somewhat bubbly. The overall enjoyment is quite good to start, but it diminishes some over time.

bennetj17, Jan 06, 2006
Allagash Grand Cru from Allagash Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 636 ratings.