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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.

627 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 627
Reviews: 458
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 9.78%
Wants: 74
Gots: 15 | 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: 627 | Reviews: 458 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh


4.4/5  rDev +7.6%

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!

12-13-2005 23:54:10 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of gotbeer


3.98/5  rDev -2.7%

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.

12-10-2005 22:11:57 | More by gotbeer
Photo of clvand0


4.35/5  rDev +6.4%

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.

12-10-2005 17:57:43 | More by clvand0
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

12-04-2005 21:35:59 | More by Viggo
Photo of germaniac


4.35/5  rDev +6.4%

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.

12-03-2005 06:53:00 | More by germaniac
Photo of mmmbeer


4.47/5  rDev +9.3%

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.

12-03-2005 02:35:52 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of WetCoaster


4.6/5  rDev +12.5%

*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.

12-02-2005 06:57:17 | More by WetCoaster
Photo of Px2GrafX


4.18/5  rDev +2.2%

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.

11-30-2005 04:03:00 | More by Px2GrafX
Photo of Blakaeris


4.3/5  rDev +5.1%

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.

11-29-2005 00:40:47 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

4.43/5  rDev +8.3%

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.

11-19-2005 04:21:29 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of palma

New York

4.68/5  rDev +14.4%

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.

11-17-2005 07:08:00 | More by palma
Photo of orfeu

New Mexico

4.72/5  rDev +15.4%

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.

11-17-2005 04:41:20 | More by orfeu
Photo of matchz


4.5/5  rDev +10%

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!!

11-17-2005 01:34:06 | More by matchz
Photo of nlmartin


4.22/5  rDev +3.2%

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.

11-11-2005 18:07:25 | More by nlmartin
Photo of BeerManDan


4.22/5  rDev +3.2%

When poured it was deep brown in color with some tight tan foam. The smell was sort of complex. It seem to have all kinds of aroma's that is hard to define. But the taste told the story. I could taste fruit, spices and roasted malts. Fruit like orange and spice like cloves. Well balanced and very exciting Belgium Style Ale!

11-07-2005 06:08:03 | More by BeerManDan
Photo of Hagbard


4.33/5  rDev +5.9%

Served from a corked and caged 750ml bottle, batch number 4. It sits in my orval chalice a medium brown with very clear red highlights around the edges. Much darker than I think of Belgian Strong Pale Ales as this is classified on BA. A medium sized white head forms and quickly fades leaving a filmy coating that remains the whole time. It has a very complex nose filled with a wide variety of aromas that intertwine nicely. A yeast presence dominates, but there is also some spice (pepper), some fruit (plums), some candy (licorice), and a nice malt backbone. The taste is equally complex. The belgian yeastiness dominates in the beginning, but is quickly overtaken by a dark fruity taste....think plums...think candied plums. After the fruit there is a spiciness element caused both by the alcohol and yeast, plus the bottle says it is brewed with spices. I can't pick out the individual spices, but it seems peppery. It finishes with a surprisingly strong hit of alcohol considering it's only 7.2%. A sweetness emerges in the aftertaste, most likely a remnant of the dark fruits noticed earlier and the nice malt base. All of these various flavors meld into a very complex, interesting, and great tasting beer. The mouthfeel is creamier than most Belgian-styles I've tried and it has a typically strong carbonation level. The drinkability must be high because I had no problem finishing the 750ml by myself. I just recently discovered Allagash, but I'm already realizing what a great brewery they are. It's great that there are two breweries making world class Belgian-style beer in the Northeast.

10-22-2005 17:20:40 | More by Hagbard
Photo of TurdFurgison


3.63/5  rDev -11.2%

Had this at the new Winking Lizard's in Columbus, poured into a pint glass (I'd have preferred a chalice for this). There was very little head, and the color was burgandy.

The main component of the flavor seemed to be alcohol. Maybe aging would mellow out the booziness of the flavor. It was just too agressive. Other flavors included sweet fruits. There was no hops presence at all, which I think is fine for this style of beer.

I plan on trying this again in the future with an older sample.

10-22-2005 12:39:45 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of gmcfarre


4.28/5  rDev +4.6%

Poured from a 750mL magnum into Chimay chalice. Bottle indicated "Batch #6".

A - Deep ruby brown with a thick, light tan head. Not cloudy at all. Stream of carbo bubbles constant.

S - Mmmm... great mix of spices, orange, touch of the hops. Interesting light fruit smells for a darker colored beer. Slight hint of alcohol when opened, but disapeared when poured.

T - Clove, allspice, orange. Slightly sweet and tasting hints of darker fruits as well. Very deceiving. Not as complex as smell indicated though. I might even be getting a touch of coffee at the end of my sip...

M - Nicely carbonated, no bitter bite, smooth and dry

D - Divinely drinkable. Seems darker in A and T than other Belgian Strong Pale Ales, but who cares? Its great

10-19-2005 03:57:32 | More by gmcfarre
Photo of Higravity


4.5/5  rDev +10%

Well this is one fine beer.

Nice browned amber with a white-tan head that isn't going anywhere. Large smell of carmel malt mixed with candi sugar laced through with a smell of orange and corriander. The taste explodes and then lingers. Starting with a large malt that gives up its sweetness and fades back to the citrus tones. The body is very solid and holds up well. Great beer, give me more, winter spring or fall.

09-26-2005 13:09:46 | More by Higravity
Photo of battlekow


4.72/5  rDev +15.4%

Batch #10

Allagash Grand Cru pours a cloudy bronze, capped with an immense, impossibly fine white head that lasts forever. Simply gorgeous. Its smell, malty and spiced, is very good in its own right, but simply does not prepare you for the deliciousness of the flavor. The maltiness, hoppiness, and spicedness complement each other in such a perfect fashion that I'm struggling to put words to it. The mouthfeel is the icing on the cake, light and frothy. The 7.2% ABV is imperceptible. Fucking sublime.

09-15-2005 00:16:12 | More by battlekow
Photo of EPseja

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +5.9%

12 oz. bottle served in a Duvel tulip glass at just above fridge temperature. Aargh! Damn twist off caps. Off to a bad start.

A - Pours a hazy burnt orange color with a modest, but solid half-inch head. This head is light tan in color, and the micro-bubbles along the rim seem to creep upward, forming a thick starting ring for some great lacing. Looks good. Starting to forget about the twist-off cap.

S - After a head-rejuvenating swirl around the glass, sweet notes of candied orange peel and lemon zest spring forth above a solid floral hoppiness. Maltiness is implicit and mellow. Very interesting indeed!

T - Sweet candied maltiness is the first taste out of the gate, followed closely by a citrusy-spiciness reminiscent of fruit-cake (in a good tasty way, not a "use cake as a doorstop" way). In the middle, the alcohol pops in to say a quick, quiet hello, and is shoved aside by a nice dose of spicy hops. The finish is toasty and flavorful with whispers of praline and date, leaving a fuzzy alcohol glow in the belly. Very well balanced. Very complex. Very, very delicious.

M - IMHO, this beer would not taste as good if the mouthfeel were not as amazing as it is. Slippery and boundless on the way in, the carbonation in this beer becomes a gentle cascade of tiny seafoam bubbles that comes together and slips down the throat with just a faint tingle. Superb.

D - This beer gets better and better with each sip, and the alcohol is so well suppressed that it wouldn't be hard to reach for and pour another - especially since it's got a twist-off cap. Heh heh. Seriously though, this beer is very easy to drink. But I still hate twist-offs.

09-02-2005 02:13:02 | More by EPseja
Photo of goodbyeohio


4.1/5  rDev +0.2%

about time i reviewed this.. been holding this bottle in the cellar for a year or so.

why dont they list the batch number on 12ozers? and why is there no bottling date? oh well..

pours a thin, iced-tea like reddish-orange. lots of big bubbles in the body with a thin ring of residual foam. minimal lacing. nose on this beer is amazing.. very clovey and spicy with plums and orange liqueur. some yeasty age as well. flavor introduces maltiness and plays off the orange nicely. a big belgian for 7+%, this is a nice sipper and competitively priced for such a successful belgian clone. heat is starting to mellow with a year on it, and the fruity development of the nose compliments the flavor beautifully. freshness indicated that this beer needs some time, and boy was i right. mouthfeel isn't as thin as it looks, and feels good going down. slight warming. drinkability suffers due to big flavor and a slight excess of alcoholiness for the abv.. otherwise a nice brew that all new englanders should be proud of.

08-24-2005 12:45:18 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of arizcards


4.35/5  rDev +6.4%

Picked up a 750ml bottle at Papago Brewing in early July for 6.27.

This golden-orange colored beer poured a big fluffy white head that is leaving a nice splotchy lace down my glass. Head retention is still strong after half a glass. Nose is full of peppery spices. Taste is a nice blend of malts, bittering hops, and peppery spices. Mouthfeel is nice, full and lively. Overall drinkability is very good. My first sampling of Allagash is very good!

08-21-2005 00:26:06 | More by arizcards
Photo of mntlover


4.38/5  rDev +7.1%

Pours a hazy darker amber color with a cream/tan colored head that falls to a ring and laces well.

Aroma is fruity pear, melons and apricot mixed with spice light pepper and nutmeg mixed with ginger.

Taste is full nice carbonation fruity mixed with spice very pleasant some earthy yeast flavors in the finish. Very nice example of a good Belgian Strong Pale Ale. Perfect balance nothing dominating.

Mouthfeel is medium little heavier maybe nice creamy carbonation make this one feel very nice.

Drinkability is great this is a wonderful brew or I was in the mood for it one.

08-19-2005 20:27:42 | More by mntlover
Photo of bashiba


4.5/5  rDev +10%

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!

07-17-2005 17:18:38 | More by bashiba
Allagash Grand Cru from Allagash Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 627 ratings.