Allagash Grand Cru - Allagash Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Allagash Grand CruAllagash Grand Cru

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638 Ratings

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Ratings: 638
Reviews: 458
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 9.78%
Wants: 80
Gots: 18 | 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: 638 | Reviews: 458 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akorsak
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am drinking a 750 mL C&C bottle (Batch 12), served slightly below room temperature in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Appearance: The ale has a nice bright orange color. When held to light, lighter reds appear. It pours with a big head that dissapates and leaves no trace of any lace. The ale does not have any visible sediment.

Smell: Pepper and spices jump out in the nose. The spices leave a floral scent (not hop flowers, mind you). It raises expectations for the taste.

Taste: The taste does not live up to the expectation in the smell. It tastes a little flat, as though the spices don't quite come through. The pepper carries through into the taste, providing a nice counterpunch to the relatively smooth malt character. There is not much hop presence here either, definitely a let down coming from the smell.

Mouthfeel: The ale sits well on the mouth, the spices are fairly muted preventing an overpowering of the tastebuds. If only there was a little more character...

Drinkability: A very drinkable ale, it comes SOOO close to being excellent. Instead, it has to settle for being pretty good.

Photo of bennetj17
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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

Allagash Grand Cru, poured out of a 750 ml bottle, is a nice light amber/orange colored liquid. It has a pretty good-sized, fluffy white head with very good retention.

Smells yeasty and malty. Also has quite a bit of citrus--mainly orange--presence, and a hint of floral aroma.

Tastes yeasty with a bit of bitterness to complement a nice fruity, citrus flavor. There is also a decent peppery spice at the end of the swallow. Good balance.

In the mouth A.G.C. is full, sharp and bitter as well as pretty highly carbonated.

Overall, I think this is another more than respectable offering from this fine Maine brewery. It is tasty, but not overwhelmingly strong. Very drinkable, while packing a substantial punch at the same time.

Photo of EStreet20
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - A dark golden color with a nice red tint and a smallish white head that has a lot of staying power.

S - Lots of orange peel and a spicey kick. A big yeast aroma with some fruit/sugar smell as well.

T - A big sweet malt kick with some fruits on the initial sip. A nice bready character shortly thereafter. A bit of spice is in there with the yeasty taste as well. The alcohol is there, especially on the finish.

M- Goes down nice and smooth, rolls around the tongue with a nice amount of carbonation.

D - Another highly drinkable offering from Allagash. A unique flavor that really makes you want more.

Photo of DrJay
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From Batch #9. Hazy, deep orange/caramel colour with a short, dense, off-white head. Nice retention and fine lacing. Fruity aroma of fresh apple and pear, mixed with a light spice. Mellow fruity flavour, apple skins but no cidery character. Light spice and slight tartness balanced by caramel throughout. Some breadiness at the end with a peppery tingle in the finish. Low carbonation, but still with a little life to it. The texture was on the creamy side too. Great balance of flavours and highly drinkable. Thanks Viggo!

Photo of cubedbee
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip, this is a dark glowing copper/mahogony with two fingers ofoff-white head, decent retention, moderate lacing. Nose is yeasty and spicey, with notes of orange peels, coriander, clove, and a musty earthy smell. Taste is a light fruity malt with a good deal of spices, apple, pear, orange, mango followed with pepper, cloves, coriander, some slight hops. Nicely flavorful and well balanced, medium/full mouthfeel with a nice refreshing carbonation, this is a really easy drinker. This is the first time I've tried this beer, and I must say it's one of the better offerings I've tried from Allagash.

Photo of WanderingFool
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Allagash Grand Cru pours a hazy mahogeny color with a creamy off white head on top. The foam dissolves slowly to a thick ring around the surface leaving a fair amout of lace behind.

A faint spicy aroma of orange peel and clove with a hint of caramel malt hovers over the beer. Each sip of this smooth full bodied brew is well balanced and very tasty. I first thought I tasted chocolate, but as the beer warmed I noticed sweet caramel malt, orange peel, clove, and some apple flavor. It finishes mildly bitter with a few spicy notes.

This is a well balanced very tasty beer full bodied beer. It's not overly spicy like other Belgian style ales and is easy to drink.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Nice orange/gold color with a good head.Smells a little malty to me. The taste is spicy and fruity; I think mostly orange. It feels great in my mouth, and is a wonderfully drinkable beer. Good taste on it,s own, and great with foods. One of the first seasonals I ever tried, and still one of my favorites.

Photo of walleye
3.68/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from the bottle. poured amber brown, with a big off white head, that left some lacing. aroma like the description says got smoke, licorice, orange, yeast a whiff of alcohol and spices. the flavor,got he same as the aroma but the alcohol came out stronger as it warmed, a good beer

Photo of silver0rlead
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky golden amber, with a thick beige head that retains well and leaves nice lacing. The aroma is authentically belgian, with a big spiced character (corriander, clove, curacao, anise), as well as light candied sugar, fruity yeast, biscuit, and some earthy, grassy hops. The taste starts out quite spicy (curacao, clove, corriander, anise), followed by some toasted bread and biscuit malt character, white grape, orange, candied sugar, grassy hops, and a light alcohol presence. The mouthfeel is medium, with crisp carbonation, and drinkability is good. This beer improves dramamtically as it warms, so dont drink it too cold. An excellent belgian style offering from allagash, somewhat similar to la fin du monde but easier drinking...definately something to look for in the winter season.

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

Batch number 7, aged at least a year.

Appearance: A pleasing, chill-hazed amber, with a thick cake of head that whizzed back from the dead with only half a swirl.

Smell: Just a little bit corky, but nothing too overpowering, which gives it a nice, woody touch. It mingled well with the generous hops. Then followed subdued alcohol, and sour orange peels.

Taste: Mid to low carbonation, the yeasty spices shine a bit more in the palate. Again some orange zest, and firm malt sweetness comparable to peach and papaya sugars. Decent hop finish gives the aftertaste a feeling of unripe fruits, apples mostly.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Squat 12oz. bottle courtesy of Chadbrew and the BIF 24.

Pours a pumpkin cider-like color with a fantastic, boisterous head. Thick sheets of lace cling to the sides of my glass. Aromas are spicy. Coriander, pepper, allspice, candied fruit rinds, and honey. Flavor is wonderful. Mix of spcies, honey, doughy sweetness, sweet citrus fruit. Mildly medicinal alcohol flavor at the end. Drier in the finish than expected, but it allows some more of the spicy zing to sit on the palate. Bubbly and thick at the same time. Extremely drinkable. Thanks Chadbrew for this gem from Allagash!

Photo of gotbeer
3.98/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of clvand0
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found one of these in my cellar last night and figured it was a good time for it. Pours a cloudy light brown color with a large head that has good retention and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma is malty with some spice and citrus. Nice. The flavor has a lot of orange as well as a strong bready malt character. The alcohol makes itself known as well. The mouthfeel is moderate and the drinkability is very good. Nice brew.

Photo of Viggo
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy brown/orange, medium thick white head, nice lacing all over. Smell is apples, sweet orange, spice, alcohol, caramel and honey. Taste is apples. orange, spice, yeast, vanilla, butterscotch, and some banana. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, butter smooth carbonation. Excellent beer.

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

Pours a little more reddish than I figured it would, like wild honey.

Smells of malt and citrus zest, with a bit of spiciness.

The taste combines honey and lemon zest, tossing in a slight sugary sweetness and a peppery bite. Very nice, aging would make this even better.

With the low alcohol content, this beer really winds up being a super easy drinker. Enough flavor to keep anyone interested, I think. It's listed as a winter seasonal, but this is a total year-round brew.

Photo of mmmbeer
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. served in a snifter. Pours a golden orange with a half-inch head that leaves some lacing. Smells like pepper, coriander, oranges, hops, and some alcohol. The body is smooth right off the bat, thick and malty with spices, pepper, fruitiness, and a low hop presence. The spices meld with the beer flavors wonderfully. It's like a beefed-up version of their witbier - very tasty and quite drinkable. Hard to put down.

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.

Photo of Px2GrafX
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2004 vintage, batch number 9. pours a hazy, muddy, caramel-colored brown with orange highlights in a chalice. head is a tight yellow-white 1 inch. initial aroma is lightly spicy with some corriander and a touch of clove. fruity with some phenolic alcohol as well. first taste is corriander and cloves with some pepper. not overly bitter, as this is a well balanced beer at this time. i imagine a fresh bottle will be more hoppy. feels a little like champagne in your mouth. good carbonation and creamy mouthfeel and swallow. nice warming effect as well. alcohol becomes apparent by the end of the first chalice making known that this is a sipper. some caramalized orange and other fruit as this brew warms. somewhat dry, yeasty finish. overall, a nice belgian strong pale ale. a mild, calm, chilled out version. i'm excited to compare a fresh bottle with tonight's experience.

Photo of Blakaeris
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy amber orange color with a thin head and little lacing.

The aroma is of malts, spices, apricot, and tangerine.

The flavor is an amazingly well balanced brew. The citrus and peppery spice flavors make excellent complements. The maltiness of this beer matches well with the crisp hops. Nothing is overpowering.

Mouthfeel is creamy and medium bodied. Very nice.

I think this is a great beer. My advice is don't let this brew pass you by.

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.43/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A tough call when picking between this and their tripel... though I find the tripel more often.
A really nice, spicy Belgian strong pale ale. The flavor profile is right up my alley; coriander, tarragon, maybe even some cinnamon and nutmeg. Alcohol is nonexistent in the flavor... this could probably handle a little bit more and still be deceptive. Looks good, smells lovely...
Generally, I prefer darker Belgian styles than lighter ones, but with Allagash, so far, it's the other way around.
This is an excellent strong pale ale.

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.

Photo of orfeu
4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle, poured into my Brewery Ommegang flute/chalice thang. Hazy amber with a short-lived fizzy head that settles to a thin cap. Nose is fruity, yeasty, almost smells like a white wine. Deliciously spicy (coriander? Orange peel?), some bittering hops, Saaz maybe, and a wonderful dry finish. There’s definitely some alcohol spice running down the throat, too. Slightly minerally aftertaste – not unpleasant at all. Lingering dull-bitter medicine taste. Intriguing. Mouthfeel is full, bready almost. Increasingly complex as it warms. Drinkability is quite high, because I want to continue trying to figure this one out. A fascinating beer – I’ll definitely pick up more of this next time I hit Beers of the World. I’d love to sample this from a 750 mL bottle to see if it’s any different from the shorties.

Photo of matchz
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky, deep caramel color with orange highlights, a nice thick head that clings to the glass, this beer is visually stimulating. Pine, spice and fruit aromas lead you into the taste which hints at maple, malts and citrus.

I eagerly await this beers arrival every winter and have for the past 7 years. One of my favorites!!

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

Poured from a bottle into a 20 ounce wine gobblet.

Appearance: This beer pours a great looking hazy copper amber coloration. The head is honey colored blonde nearly and inch and a half high. Tight bubbling carbonation rises to the top.

Smell: This beer has a strong citrus clove herbal combination. Some woodyness is noted in the background

Taste: This beer has a combination of herbal citrus goodness dancing about in my mouth. It tends to be kind of dry without alot of hop play. The herbal contents maybe, coriander, cumin, cardamon. Oh hell I dont know, very tasty spicy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: A nice medium bodied ale. Very crisp taste and clean mouthfeel.

Allagash Grand Cru from Allagash Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 638 ratings.