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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 JackStraw22
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy golden orange body, a half inch of off-white head, but the head didn't stay around long.

Smell: Wow, incredibly spicy. A fruitier spice than I'm used to in most Belgians. A bit sour too, but pleasant. Yeasty and malty.

Taste/Feel: Damn, that's the stuff. Goes down like a champ, and very smooth. The strong pale ales are usually more dry than I like, but this is nice. Near perfect blend of malty sweetness, spiciness, and bitterness. I wish I had found this sooner and there was more left at the beer store!

Great brew, don't miss it.

JackStraw22, Jul 07, 2005
Photo of dnichols
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: It poured with a rich, frothy off white colored head that settled from two fingers to a light coating over the top of the beer within minutes. As I progressed into the bottle the head left a fine laced ring around the glass reminiscent of the delicate lace work found in tourist shops across Belgium. The beer resting in the glass was a vibrant copper hue with a deep burnt orange tint. This is a pretty beer that has an appearance that promises a rich flavor. Its slight opaqueness supports the impression that this is a beer to be reckoned with.

S: It has a complex aroma that includes light pale malts, a hint of spices, and a rich blend of fruits (including oranges, peaches, plums and Jonathan apples). There is a hint of candy and nutmeg that complements fruits and great the nose as it approaches the glass.

T: Awesome. I did not expect the smoothness and mellow blend of malts, yeast and hops. The sweetness of the malts is well balanced by the tang of bitterness influenced by the hops. Neither the malts nor the hops dominate and neither surrenders yielding a well balanced experience…my tongue was happy from the first to the last sip.

M: Low carbonation and medium body. Clean and crisp with no bitterness in the aftertaste.

D: This is a very refreshing drink that would complement a fine lightly grilled salmon served on a hot summer day. It is smooth and creamy without being too filling. The low ABV makes this a beer you can enjoy from early in the evening until well into the night.

Comment: This is a fun beer that is a pleasure to drink and joy to experience. For newbie’s to the Belgium Strong Ale school this is a good first experience that will leave anyone with a sense of discretion and a love a beer eager to try another and to experience other domestic and imports form this great class of beers.

dnichols, Aug 24, 2007
Photo of Skidz
4.58/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #10

Pours out golden amber and sits bright amber in the glass with a massive creamy off-white head. Fades to a thick skimming across the surface and abundant lacings to boot.

Smells of bright tropical fruits and citrus zest, toasty malts and caramel. Faint yeasty protrusions deliver hints of doughiness.

Tastes mildly sweet up front with vibrant fruitiness across the board, bringing in oranges, mangoes, starfruit, passion fruit and nectarines. Hops produce a firm bitterness to acompany the fruitiness and delivers a mild piney flavor as well. Caramel is found throughout the lightly toasted malty core. Finishes just as it began, with intense fruits and moderate hop bitterness.

Effervescent and wildly soft to the touch, airy carbonation and a medium-light body.

Highly drinkable and unexplainably delicious. Interesting cross-continental creation, delivering the desireable Belgian-Abbey style flavors with a spark of Pacific NW hops infusions. Game on.

Skidz, Mar 07, 2006
Photo of joezak5
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel sniffter; clear crisp coppery gold; three finger dusty white thick head with great retention and unreal sipping lacing.

Smell: Apples and festive spice... nutmeg, allspice, cloves, citrus peel... it's like a festive yeasty apple cider

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp with champagne-like carbonation.

Taste: Festive and complex... slightly yeasty and nicely cidery... appley at the start and citrusy at the finish, sweet in the mouth and nicely dry at the finish.

Drinkability: A party in a bottle... very drinkable and yet complex and one to savor. Bring a few when invited over...

joezak5, Oct 14, 2008
Photo of waughbrew
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A deep orange with a thin white head in an Allagash wide tulip glass. Very clear. (is it keg conditioned?) Nothing really leaps out in the aroma, just a myriad of subtleties. Orange peel, clove, some lightly toasted malts. Flavor is a similar balance of many things, nothing overpowering. A small amount of toffee flavor is snuck in there. Feel and drinkability are absolutely perfect - smooth and very slightly creamy, with small bubbles that caress your mouth. This is a polished beer, a real work of art that forgoes the trend of extreme flavors in favor of a complex mix of subtle ones.

waughbrew, Nov 21, 2003
Photo of Crosling
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yes! Yes! Yes! I have been craving this beer for the past few weeks and finally decided to pick one up. This ale is sitting in front of me right now looking so extravagent and so beautiful in a tulip glass. Pours with a golden hue and a monstrous perfect frothy belgian head. The head is not dense at all which seems perfect for the occasion. A impenetrable layer of lacing clings to the side of the glass. Could perhaps be the best lace I have ever seen on a beer. Looks like the inside of an erupting oceanic volcano when help up to the light. A feast for the eyes!

The nose on the ale definately improved as the ale warmed which was expected but this dramatically improved. Red licorice was the most apparent scent in the nose. A suddle smokiness, leather, honey, rich malts, alcohol, light fruits, sour fruits and spices also came streaming through my nostrils. The aroma was descent but definately the low point in this one.

Colossal flavor! Sour cherries, raspberries, caramel, cinnamon, ripe red apples, red licorice, yeast, wet blueberries dipped in sugar, plums, clove, and alcohol with a tart undertone that is hard to notice but apparent. Very smooth and heavy in the mouth. A nice hop bite on the back of the tongue with a lingering perfect plum finish. I feel like I am missing a lot of flavors here too. The flavors are so intricate and there are so many of them that it is hard to identify all of them.

A very well put together beer. I hope to see this in the top 50 someday.

Crosling, Dec 21, 2003
Photo of dannyvee
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

$4.50 on tap @ anam cara. served in the allagash goblet.
the appearance was a deep orange w/ a nice little white head. subtle aromas of orange and spice (by no means overpowering).
taste was very smooth, banana notes...gentle carbonation and pretty full body.
i generally shy away from "spiced" beers, but i loved this one. perfect for a cold, snowy boston night.

dannyvee, Dec 11, 2003
Photo of RBorsato
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper colored with a nice full tan head, nice active carbonation throughout, and decent clumpy lace. Wit-like coriander spice aroma is dominant with orange peel and light maltiness to round it out. Spice flavors and smooth malt flavors. It's almost like they mixed their Wit and Dubbel together - Yummy. Medium bodied and creamy with a light warming sensation.

Label states: "Beer brewed with spices" & 7.2 % ABV

Batch #4 (Cellared for a good while - maybe 2 years..?)
Tasted: 02/19/04

($5.49 / 25.4 oz / 750 ml Brown Champagne Style bottle - corked and caged)

RBorsato, Feb 20, 2004
Photo of ericj551
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Allagash Grand Cru pours hazy light copper with a thin but lasting head. The aroma is sweet and spicy with some sharp yeastiness. The flavor is sweet and malty upfront followed by bitterness with a slight astringent quality. The beer is nice and fruity with plenty of esters from the yeast. The spices are there but not dominant, maybe some corriander and orange peel or a bit of clove.

ericj551, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of tavernjef
4.53/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice rich reddish - light brown color with a super thick foamy head that was fun to watch grow in the glass. Nice floral hop and spice aroma with lots of good caramel malts. Smooth mix of hops, spice, sweet, caramel flavors that are full and rich. A little strong at first but gets better as it sits. A nice sweet spice goes well with the nice hop balance. Good smooth feel with good spiceyness and caramel soothness. One excellent Grand.

Way to go Maine, besides the scenery I have good reason to visit.

Very, very, exceptional stuff, recommendation is high.

tavernjef, Mar 14, 2003
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.

Jason, Jul 07, 2002
Photo of Bizoneill
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Bizoneill, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of DagFishHead
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle.
Appearance: Hazy, bright amber-orange pour. Fizzy, churning, off-white head recedes to a whispy, swirling and dollopy broken cap and edge ring. Constant champagne-like stream of bubble from the bottom of the glass.
Smell: Sweet caramel malt, bready/musty yeast, peppery clove, allspice, coriander, orange/lemon peel. Hints of candied dark fruits and a whiff of alcohol.
Taste & Mouthfeel: More full bodied than it would appear. Lush, sweet malt and tart/bready yeast at the start. Top is creamy, tight carbonation frothy/fluffy with peppery notes. Finish is dry with floral and citrus hops allowing dark fruit and spices to linger in the tangy aftertaste. Nice balance of texture and taste extremes.
Drinkability: Very drinkable. Light yet rich and warming.

DagFishHead, Jan 04, 2004
Photo of asabreed
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden hued brown and orange, nice sticky white lace rimming the edge and spotting my wine glass. Beautiful color all around

Smell: Lemon / orange zest, grass, yeast, spices -- one of the best amalgam's from a US Belgian-style as far as smell goes in my opinion, lots of stuff going on, dig deep

Taste: Wonderful. Spices are balanced with the citrus flavors, aftertaste is damn near perfect. Carbonation level is on the lighter side, but it's purposeful and balances the flavors nicely Make sure this isn't ice cold, though, of course. I let it sit out for about 20 minutes after it was in the fridge (I just picked a 6 pack up from a market; otherwise I would've had it in the cellar).

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, but lighter because this clearly isn't a heavy beer. If every beer had a mouthfeel like this I wouldn't complain.

Drinkability: This year's is 7.2% and not 7.8%, so I don't know what's going on with that. Either way, I think it'd be good for both summer and winter -- it just depends on your setting. Too fine a beer to make a session out of, though, in my opinion.

Allagash does it again. Please keep making more and trying new things -- this is a fine beer!

asabreed, Feb 23, 2005
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.

NeroFiddled, Dec 17, 2003
Photo of beer64nut
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

beer64nut, May 01, 2014
Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The label said "made with spices" but the spices were not overpowering. Poured a nice amber hue with good carbonation. Although it had a "light" ABV of 7.2, it did give me a nice glow as I drank the bottle. Great balance of hops, not gamey. An excellent beer.

bewareOFpenguin, Mar 10, 2003
Photo of EBeckett3
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

EBeckett3, Aug 16, 2013
Photo of bashiba
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy bright copper color with a creamy thick head that had great retention and good lacing.

Smell was dominated by the spices, nutmeg, cinnoman, and ginger all seemed present along with a bit of yeast odor coming through.

Taste was great, a mixture of tasty fruits and all those spices mixing together nicely, lots layers of flavors here, apricots, peaches, plums, ginger, and nutmeg to name a few. Still is not overly sweet and finishes with a nice mild bitter flavor.

Mouthfeel is rich and creamy with a very dry finish.

Drinkability is great on this excellent brew, it would seem more fitting around the holiday season with all those spices, but will gladly enjoy this one year round!

bashiba, Jul 17, 2005
Photo of goochpunch
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch #14

Pours a slightly hazed dried apricot with a 1/2" head that maintains well and leaves web-like lacing with each sip. Aroma is very bready and nutty with a hint of grain and some yeast spiciness. Taste again, is malty, almost chewy, with some coriander, stone fruits, and yeasty phenols. Finishes kind of dry. No taste of alcohol. I get some flowery flavors in there as well, along with some critrus hops. Mouthfeel is soft, fluffy, and with a nearly perfect carbonation. This is a quick one to go down and filled with flavor. I love it. Goes well with black-eye peas, turnip greens, and cornbread.

goochpunch, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of matjack85
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

matjack85, Feb 12, 2013
Photo of pknyc
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

pknyc, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of jmann40
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

jmann40, Mar 25, 2013
Photo of slowdaddy
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

slowdaddy, Aug 21, 2012
Photo of yossarian14
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

yossarian14, Sep 12, 2012
Allagash Grand Cru from Allagash Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 636 ratings.