Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Allagash Grand Cru - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash Grand CruAllagash Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.

458 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 458
Hads: 647
Avg: 4.09
pDev: 9.54%
Wants: 86
Gots: 26 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Allagash Grand Cru Alström Bros
Reviews: 458 | Hads: 647
Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a 1.5-finger white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of crisp light malts with good amounts of ripe pears. Also present are moderate amounts of candied citrus and lighter amounts of clove and floral hops.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Light malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by syrupy pear flavors. The flavor profile dries out a bit midway through the sip with mild amounts of orange peel. Finally, light earthy hops and clove come into play before fading out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a smooth thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this was one of Allagash's offerings that was slightly underwhelming to me, and it is still a fine beer. Not Allagash's best effort but a solid beer that's worth a shot.

 970 characters

Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cellared for some time now, enjoyed from a Maredsous glass. One finger beige head has some viscosity, sits atop a murky, dull orange brew with large bubbles suspended on top and smaller bubbles below the surface slowly and steadily demonstrating moderate carbonation. The head eventually shrunk to a large centre cloud with a solid ring.

Smell is of yeast, sweet malt, spicy thyme or nutmeg. Taste of over ripe fruit, slight sourness with sweet flashes of pitted fruit, caramel, malt, passion fruit. There is a sweet yet cleansing peachy mouthfeel with nice balance and a pleasant aftertaste that lingers. Heck, I could drink several of these ... a very pleasant experience, too bad it looks like this beer is retired, it belongs in your refrigerator and mine!

 761 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

119th review on BA
C/C 750 ML Batch 19
Bottle to tulip

App- A hazy orange with sunset looks to it. With soft golden and yellow highlights. A nice 2 finger head that lasts quite a long time.

Smell- I get some citrusy fruit with some yeast and some wet bread scents.

Taste- I'm actually suprised by the flatness here. It's a bubbly brew for sure but it has such a flat taste. This had to be better fresh.

Mouth- Its a tad bit thin for me, I really don't see how this could be a Quad at all and I am sure it's not.

Drink- I'll give it 3.5 because it's tasty. Not too bad but fresh probably would've been better and this didn't deserve and A.

 643 characters

Photo of jibbyvonjibb
3.74/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch #21

A: cloudy, amber color, yeast sediment settles to bottom

S: herbal phenols, apple cider, raisins

T: candy sugar, biscuity malt, spicy phenols, apple cider, raisins

M: medium-bodied, high carbonation, creamy

D: intriguing multi-dimensional flavors. The silky texture really improves drinkability. Sweetness not overbearing, but might seem cloying if not the first beer of the evening. Would try again, but not a favorite.

 435 characters

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle marked "Batch 19" into a Thomas Hooker pint glass.

A: Deep, golden honey color with some suspended yeast and a great, big, three-finger head of dense, white foam thick enough to hold the bottle cork's wire cage. Left great sheets of lace.

S: Complex, fruity ale esters, yest and wheat aromas and a bit of allspice, coriander, nutmeg and liquid smoke.

T: Powerful bouquet of fruity malts lending flavors of pear, apple and berry to the caramel malt sweetness. Spicy, slightly alcoholic malt flavors lead into a creamy, bitter and warming finish which taps back with a nice, slightly spicy and minty, dry hop finish.

M: Full-bodied, clean, creamy yet dry mouthfeel with minimal wheat malt and yeast chewiness.

D: A very good, complex, Belgian winter sipper. Aside from the spices noted in the nose and a bit supplementing the hop profile, I don't get why Grand Cru is a winter seasonal, as its dry, floral and honey qualities would endear it to the spring as well. At any rate, the 7.2% ABV Belgian dark ale is a nice brew to have on hand for the impending winter months, if you can still find some on closeout in your area.

 1,155 characters

Photo of beancounter
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pored beer into a glass. Bottle was in the fridge. About an inch or so at the top was frozen. Not sure why, as other beers in the fridge did not contain ice. When i open the beer (very carefully, a bunch of it gushed out as foam.

A- Golden amber with a substantial head. Slow, small bubles.

S-Light caramel, otherwise no distinctive smell

T-camel and smoke flavors.

M-Medium body

D- Very drinkable. There is a good balance between alcohol and (only 7.2 ABV) and the malty flavor. It goes down easily

 504 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden/amber/orange color with a sizable head with a slight tan color, fades fast and doesn't leave any lacing along the glass.

Smell is mostly candied sugar and malt, slight banana presence.

Taste is surprisingly disappointing, the flavor just isn't there, at times it just seems downright watery, the carbonation is solid for the style, very slight banana taste, the rest is just candied sugar that is way too muted, the strength on the other hand is very well hidden.

 480 characters

Photo of biga7346
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(reviewing from old notes)

A - Rich, auburn, slightly turbid but clear pour supports a thick, two-finger, rocky head that laces well.

S - Spritzy, live, floral, bursts of clove, fig, candied fruit and moss.

M - Warming, wanders in the mouth and stays around for a while. The heaviness of a quad coupled with saison-like barnyard mossiness. Very awesome.

T - Again with candied fruit, brown sugar, hazelnut coffee up front compliments the nose well. Oakiness, dryness and grassy moss in the finish. Just a very well put together beer makes for an experience. Enjoyed with pickles, salami and salty crackers.

 611 characters

Photo of charlesbyrd
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle, batch #21, into an oversized wine glass.

A: The color ranges from raspberry to honey amber, with an almost opaque brown core. The head is thick and frothy with great retention, and even when poured carefully it stayed at about two fingers. The lacing on this is very sticky.

S: The aroma reminds me of Chimay Blue at first: lots of dark fruit and brown sugar. There is also some spicy cinnamon, and the dark, sweet malt itself is very noticeable. The aroma is actually a little strong for me, I had trouble trying to pick apart the individual notes.

T: The taste follows the smell, but the order of notes is turned around. It's very sweet and grainy at first, with bold, fruity esters following close behind. I don't really get the citrus notes that most others do. Most noticeable to me were raisins and stewed pears. The aftertaste is a combo of chalky yeast at the front and sourdough bread at the back.

M: The mouthfeel is very interesting, especially if you leave it in the glass for a while. It's very heavy on the palate with a thick, syrupy texture and minimal carbonation. What's more, once you pour the beer, it immediately starts to go flat in the glass. I let the first glass sit for about 10 minutes and there was almost no trace of carbonation.

D: This one's really too heavy for me. I had trouble finishing the bottle on my own. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it; on the contrary, I found it to have just the right complexity and a great mix of flavors that work well in hot or cold weather. Still, it's simply too rich to enjoy a large amount of.

 1,614 characters

Photo of mexikrainian
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Petrus stem chalice.

Aroma: honey with citrus fruit and spicy notes. acidic and

Appearance: clear, golden copper with short-lived white head

Taste: crisp, dry and fruity

Mouthfeel: medium body with white lace and medium carbonation. dry finish.

Overall impression: average drinkability, although too dry and sweet for me.

 340 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer review from BA Mag Dec 2007.

You've probably seen the term "grand cru" in the wine world to denote wines from favorable terroir. Although the same concept of terroir can also be applied to beer, in the beer world the term is loosely applied to special release Belgian-style ales--it's not a specific beer style.

Pours turbid, dark and dirty amber, with a slightly off-white foamy head--nice stickage. Very aromatic with soft and powdery spices--cardamom and nutmeg come to mind--and a splash of orange and fresh grainy malts. Smooth, medium-bodied and creamy on the palate--thanks to a lively carbonation. Zesty smacking of hops. Fruity and sweet with a solid malty base, suggestions of citrus fruits (more orange), bready malts and hint of smoke. Spicy with a dusting of black pepper, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and yeast. Apple and pear flavors hand in the back with some alcohol and mild esters, with some green banana towards the finish. Biscuity and a bit doughy with a coarse, somewhat dry finish that's tannic and yeasty.

Though it's a bit rough around the edges due to bottle-conditioning and spices, it's delicious, full of character and a nice change of scenery from the typical winter seasonal releases. For a cleaner experience, we recommend that you store this beer cool for several days, allowing things to settle, and decant slowly in order to leave as much of the sediment in the bottle as possible--if you want a spicier experience, decant the sediment.

 1,475 characters

Photo of BMoney575
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 4-17-10
Batch #20

Pours an extremely cloudy light brown color, with a bubbly white head that quickly settles to a nice layer. Lacing clings all the way around, and slowly settles.

Smell is malty and fruity, with a kick of Belgian. Very sweet and floral, slightly buttery with a hint of alcohol. Very complex, and very good.

Taste isn't as complex of the smell, with flavors of coriander and lemon, followed by a sharp bitterness. The finish is very bready and Belgian, and the aftertaste is all hops.

Mouthfeel is decent, but the carbonation is way too pronounced, Very fizzy and bubbly.

Drinkability is good, big flavors with a reasonable abv.

Overall, a good beer that is well worth picking up.

 713 characters

Photo of Brent
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bland and not too interesting. Poured a dark chestnut with moderate head. Some sweetness to the malt, but no complexity to that aspect. Moderate bittering, but again fairly one dimensional. Not much going on with the yeast flavors. I would have pegged this as a basic, no frills winter warmer had I been blindfolded.

 316 characters

Photo of SLeffler27
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear honey copper with a tan moderate creamy head of three fingers. The head takes its time settling, leaving behind a patchwork of lace, and a big pillow for the session. The second pour drops a light haze and fine yeasty particles into the mix.

Fruity citrus leaning towards orange, hops out front, with apricots clove and some pine sap following. Earthiness and nuts pile on with warmth, with honey bringing up the end. Alcohol fumes also come out with warmth.

This has a good deal of hop flavors, while the bitterness is displaced by spicy pepper and coriander. Caramel is also a forward player in this well balanced stroll from hops to honey-green tea and yeast nuances. The closing showcase the malt profile in a long subtle finish. A perfect example of how the tulip glass can enhance the experience.

Grand Cru is medium bodied with a smooth texture and light carbonation, with a trace of alcohol for cleansing.

While a great beer for any occasion, I think this will compliment a meal, without altering the dish. Because it blossoms with warmth, pour this with conversation, but perhaps it is best suited for a cold lazy afternoon.

 1,151 characters

Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into my Corsedonk snifter. Pours a hazy orange-copperish color with a creamy off-white head. Head is huge and lasts for quite some time. Very creamy thick...and sticky lacing.

Aroma is great! Lot's of apples, maybe pears. Picking up cinnamon too...or some kind of spice. Very warming and welcoming!

Very good. Complex...with great carbonation. Malty and fruity...like your typical grand cru's. Very sweet to start, finishes a little dryer with a mild bitterness. Very tasty beer overall and another great beer for the Allagash line-up!

 581 characters

Photo of coldmeat23
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees

This one is a hazy, amber/brown color. One-finger of light beige foam makes the head. The retention is great and the lacing is thick and very sticky.

Smells of belgian yeast. Tons of orchard fruits, especially apples and pears. Light traces of sweet maltiness. Spices come forth in a cinnamon graham cracker sort of way.

Good presence of cinnamon and some cloves and corriander. Alot of orchard fruits are still here in the flavor. It's big on fermented apples, white grapes, pears and under-ripe peaches. Yeast comes across in a bready way. Very light hints of caramel. All of this is done in a very balanced way. I feel as if this one is almost too balanced to pick out all of the intricacies of such a complex beer.
This comes across like a malted, spiced cider, sort of. I mean that in a very positive way.

This one is medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. The little bubbles give it a hint of creaminess. It's quite nice.

This is a good year-round beer, to me. It is 'big' enough to be suitable in the colder months, yet crisp enough that I think I'd really enjoy it on a summer day also.
Yet another good offering from Allagash.

EDIT: Looking through reviews after posting mine, I see that this is labeled as a quad. I'd disagree with that, myself. It's more of a Belgian Strong Ale. A touch too dark to be a pale though and a little light to be a dark. A hybrid, perhaps? Just doesn't seem anything like my definition of a quad though.

 1,520 characters

Photo of jeffjeff1
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a christmas present from my fiance.

Appearance- amber color, very nice head

Smell- fruit, spices, malt

Taste- balanced, fruit, spices later on

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, creamy, smooth

Drinkability- very nice, Allagash did a really good job with this one.

 268 characters

Photo of theghost3
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 19 poured into a Goblet.

Appearance is transparent, light copper with a ridiculously thick, 4-finger, frothy beige head that leaves lots of lacing.

The smell is mainly yeast, spices, citrusy fruit, raisins, and grainy malts. The taste is dried fruits, spices (allspice, nutmeg, ginger), biscuity malts and caramel. Mouthfeel is crisp, clean, not very thick.

This is a drinkable beer, but watch out, that 7.2 percent ABV is very deceptive. Although this is labeled as a quad, it seems as though it's sort of a Belgian Strong Dark-Belgian Strong Pale Ale hybrid with spices.

 584 characters

Photo of berley31
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: "Batch 19". Poured with a large, off-white, frothy, rocky head that was lasting... and I mean LASTING. Nice, sticky lacing. Body is a dark copper color, and hazy.

S: Nice aroma that is yeasty and bready, with clove and pepper coming through. Some fruitiness is present as well.

T: The yeast and fruitiness is what hits you first, then the spices attack. Luckily, they're not overwhelming at all, but provide a nice balance to the other flavors.

M: Medium-bodied, very creamy, with average-to-lively carbonation.

D: This is a very nice beer, which is no surprise coming from Maine's best brewery. A fantastic sipping beer.

 629 characters

Photo of flannelman808
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This one pours a semi opaque copper color and has white pancake batter like head. Fairly large bubbles on the head but its billowy.

S: Smells like cinnamon graham cracker crust and maybe a little nutmeg. I feel like I can sense the carbonation coming of the beer into my nose, feels very carbonated.

T: This beer is extremely balanced and leaves the mouth dry. I get the cinnamon graham cracker on the palate but its not all that's going on. There is a ton of complexity its difficult to distinguish any one flavor (reminds me of la fin du monde only with pie spices).

M: very carbonated and mouthfilling.

D: extremely drinkable... its very well balanced and finishes perfectly dry.

 689 characters

Photo of Mistofminn
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle recieved in a trade with rrheisler. Thanks Ryan for the chance.

Poured into a tulip glass. It pours a golden amber color with a thick and creamy tan head. Two fingers of the creamiest head you can imagine (on second thought that doesn't sound right....but I'll roll with it) and it leaves tons of lacing. Excellent retention on the head as well.

The nose is yeasty and malty, dark fruits and spices. Very complex and it all comes together very nicely.

The taste is spot on the aroma. Spices and dark fruit, Belgian yeast and malts, very sweet yet spicey and acidic, but smooth and dry. Very complex and easy drinking. No off flavors and no alcohol.

Mouthfeel is about the creamiest I've ever had a beer feel. It's incredible, really. The creamy head only adds to the enjoyment. Goes dowm smooth. Drinkability is great too.

Overall, another solid offering from Allagash. This beer just re-iterates my love for this brewery. Great stuff.

Whoa...I just saw this is categorized as a Quad? Whats up with that? I find this much more Belgian Strong Pale Ale than Quad. In fact, I find this much more Belgian Strong Pale Ale than Belgian Strong Dark Ale...but thats just me.

 1,179 characters

Photo of Anthony1
4.04/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Copper-bronze with a slight haze, fluffy off-white head, good retention, excellent lacing.

S: Big yeasty aroma, spicy, tropical and dark fruit, caramel, toffee, brown sugar.

T: Yeasty (slight earthyness), modest spicing (I thought it was just from the yeast), pleasant fruityness, biscuity grain, light caramel, slightly tart, light bitterness.

M: Light to moderate body is very well-attenuated and smooth, with a dry finish. Moderate carbonation.

D: Very drinkable.

 473 characters

Photo of froghop
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a hazy dark orange with a medium size light tan head, and good lacing.

smell is of malt, dark fruit, and some caramel.

taste is creamy, dark fruit, caramel, peanuts, malt in the back, and some hops, end is a little dry.

overall a very nice strong belgian ale.

 268 characters

Photo of rapidsequence
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 750.

Appearance: Slightly cloudy/hazy orange. Lots of bubbles and a nice creamy head. Not much lacing.

Smell: Very fruity and sweet. Orange, peach, apricot maybe. A hint of Belgian yeastiness and spice.

Taste: Wow. Its quite sweet. Lots of candy sugar. I generally dislike this amount of sweetness, but in this style, I really enjoy it. The fruity taste is more peach/apricot than citrus. Its very spicy and a little peppery. Long sweet, spicy, and finally slightly bready finish.

Mouthfeel: Bubbly, smooth, a little creamy.

Drinkability: I really love this stuff. Delicious spicy BSPA. Thank you Allagash.

 628 characters

Photo of PerroGrande
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours to a hazy reddish gold/light brown with a moderate amount of head that fades quickly.

Smell: This is one of those cases where my below-average sense of smell is not going to do this beer justice. I can pick up all sorts of interesting aromatics from this beer, but cannot discern what all of them are. Certainly some hops are in the works here, but I also pick up an apple (or, more accurately, cider) hint as well. Spices are surely present, but the blend is too complicated for me to separate.

Taste: A very interesting beer. It opens lightly with a hint of the "apple" taste/aroma I mentioned above. A little bitterness and hops moves in after the initial taste. The spice mix is present and noticeable, but so perfectly balanced I can't detect precisely what is going on. Perhaps a gentle hit of nutmeg and cinnamon. The finish is a nice, warm fade.

Mouthfeel: Not watery at all. Smooth, with a hint of carbonation hanging around.

Drinkability: I managed to sample this beer on what has turned out to be a fall-like evening in August (which, to me, is a very nice thing). For whatever reason - perhaps the spices - sings of fall to me. That said, it would be an enjoyable selection at virtually any time.

I just couldn't pass this beer up at Whole Foods in Dublin, Ohio, and I'm glad that it made it into my cart. A very interesting beer, full of character and enjoyment.

 1,401 characters

Allagash Grand Cru from Allagash Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 458 ratings.