Augustijn Grand Cru - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Augustijn Grand CruAugustijn Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

109 Reviews
THE BROS
92
outstanding

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Reviews: 109
Hads: 244
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 6.19%
Wants: 11
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: zerk on 04-27-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 109 | Hads: 244
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly murky honey yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thick foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, fruits, honey, yeast, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with a slight spice finish and an alcohol kick with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but pretty strong. (439 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a Hollywood head - picture perfect and doesn't drop a whit

Smell: Bready and yeasty, with white pepper and tart apple esters; too much barnyard funk, however

Taste: Hoppy and tart, with a growing green apple character by mid-palate; underneath, there are bready malt and candi sugar elements; after the swallow, the sweeter malts linger and, fortunately, overpower some of the funk though both elements are present in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body but a bit overcarbonated

Overall: There are a lot of interesting elements but overall this is in the second tier of the style (623 characters)

Photo of LXIXME
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big white to slightly off white head settles into a decent lacing above a well carbonated farm honey golden colored beer that is in no way clear but doesn't have any sediment hanging throughout either, looks more like farm grown golden honey the more I look at it.

Bold cooking spices and lemon pepper on a bready grain malt aroma.

Lemon pepper along with other spices, darker pepper like spices mix very well with a bready grain malt taste.

A dryer aftertaste without much if any tastes hanging around, just a slight hankering for another drink of this medium bodied beer.

A first look this beer looks quite a bit like there blonde, but a closer look and you realize that you can not see through it and the aroma is quite a bit bigger and bolder and darker and the taste follows that. A very worthy beer, I would generally expect these tastes from a darker colored beer, so was quite happy having tried this one. (917 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Stubby brown 330 ml bottle with a “consume before date” on the back label.

Appearance: Pale golden hue with a champagne like carbonation that shows the bubbles keeping up the sticky white lace.

Smell: Such a faint mustiness in the aroma, fresh cut apple and an earthy grain in the aroma show that simple can be great.

Taste: Close to spritzy with the lively carbonation, moderate body that is quite effervescent. Fruitiness bursts here and there with a light and dry malt palate. Herbal and earthy with soft yet over sized medicinal phenols, the dryness takes care of them any way. Faint refined honey like flavour. The finish is dry in stature with a leafy presence. Dry and fruity throughout, spiciness and a puckering yeast character control the rest.

Notes: Drawn more to its drinkability than lack of sweetness the 9.0% abv gets lost in the mix and seems like it is a brew of 5% abv but the twang tells it otherwise. One of the driest grand cru beers to come my way. Damn did some one say dry? (1,036 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just added on draught at the Sharp Edge a nice switch up from the classic Augustijn Ale, this beer appears a vibrant amber gold with a nice frothy white head. Aroma is very flowery and full of malty sweetness. Overall the taste has a bit more kick at nine percent alcohol, and this Belgium isn't overly sweet making it really a drinkable beer. The mouthfeel is highly carbonated but fluffy at the same time nice mouthfeel to it. Can't drink too many at 9% abv, but wow what a great beer after work. (498 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 7/20/2011. Pours slightly cloudy golden amber color with a nice 2 finger foamy and fluffy white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big apple, lemon, pear, grape, banana, floral, clove, pepper, honey, candi sugar, bread, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Excellent aromas with great balance, strength, and complexity of fruity/spicy ester notes with moderate malt balance. Taste of big apple, lemon, pear, grape, banana, clove, honey, floral, candi sugar, light bubblegum, bread, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, banana, clove, pepper, honey, candi sugar, bread, light bubblegum and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance and complexity of fruity/spicy ester flavors; with a moderate malt balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a slick and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Belgian strong pale ale! All around great complexity and balance of fruity/spicy esters with moderate malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering. (1,359 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Curvy and stubby brown 330 ml bottle served in a De Koninck goblet.

Appearance: Pale gold-amber color with like loads of tiny carbonation bubbles like a champagne. A creamy, durable bone-colored head that thoroughly coats the glass with sticky, whitish lace.

Smell: It is a bit faint and slightly musty, but overall appealing, with a fairly solid earthy grain base and nice fruitiness.

Taste: Fruitiness initially dominates and lasts into the aftertaste, but a nice light baked bread quality is as obvious by the finish. Hints of herbs, light honey, pears, and faint spices. A slightly metallic quality noticed early on seem to disappear with warming (and more tasting).

Feel: This beer has a remarkable lively yet soft feel, and is creamy smooth with a body that is nicely full for style.

Overall: High drinkability and exceptionally pleasant, thanks in part to the very well hidden 9.0% ABV, a slightly bitter/tart balance, and a truly great mouthfeel. (963 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yet another beer I reviewed while in The Red Rose, Brugge. Although this isn’t a Trappist beer the bars motto/logo ‘Trappist beer, taste the silence@ Rose Red’ certainly is true: this is a lovely place to review a few beers in.

This 33 cl bottle was poured for me into an Augustijn tulip glass: hazy golden body a white bubbly crown on top, although cloudy you can clearly see rows of bubbles rising through the beer trying to replenish the crown above, so plenty of carbonisation.

Mixed bag of smells: yeast, citrusy hops, cereals and maybe some baked biscuits as well, just to add a little sweetness trying to even out a mostly sour nose.

The taste was also a mixture of flavours bundled together: hoppy spices, citrusy hops, Belgian yeasts, alcohol, mildly toasted malts and some pepper for good measure!

Easy to drink, the alcohol being half hidden and surrounded by the aforementioned goodies: glad I noticed it on the beer menu. (944 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Served on tap in a chalice. Very light pale yellow with a soapy retentive head and nice lace.

S. Very sweet and candy like. A bit of noble hop in the nose, lots of malt sweetness and trappist yeast.

T. A very delicate brew here with alot of complexities. Sweetness due to the trappist yeast and malts is very pleasing, some notes of apple and citrus too, from the hop. Alcohol is not so noticable. This is a fantastic beer.

M. Light and crisp, with a dry finish.

D. This is a fine belgian pale. I think the Grand Cru should get its own category. Worth seeking out. (571 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle in a small town outside Ghent, Belgium, it was a Van Steenberge house. Like most of the Van Steenberge beers, this beer was good, tasty, and drinkable, but not great. There's a sweet candi sugar fruitiness with white bread malty notes. A pretty typical grand cru. I have no complaints, this hit the spot. (317 characters)

Photo of wl0307
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Coming in a 330ml short brown bottle, BB 26/11/10, served lightly-chilled in a bulb-shaped broad-rimmed Burgundy goblet.

A: coming in a dark golden hue with blood-orangey glows, good clarity, lively carbonation mixed of tiny and medium-sized bubbles, and a 2cm thick off-white foamy head slowly retreating to a cap, leaving tight lacing on the way.
S: the aroma is quite "settled" upfront, featuring semi-sweet pale malts, sweet herbs, earthiness, light honey, pale candy sugar, and a mildly sour touch of lactose drink. A swirl gives rise to a mixed exotic fruitiness as of unripe mangoes and some green bananas, while the alc. is also underlined as a result. Alright, not very estery and complex, but bizarrely refreshing.
T: quite alcoholic and semi-thin bodied from the beginning, the taste is dominated by semi-sour orangey fruit-esters with an additional touch of salty-sweet pale prunes, but closely a more welcomed aftertaste of chewy hop bitterness, spiciness, earthiness, and a belated dry-ish palate follow, lingering for a while. The lightly sour and tannic yeasty undertones as of lactose drink and also Orval's yeastiness (as of old, dried citrus-fruit peels), and light traces of pale candy sugar outlast the chewy bitterness, making the finishing touch somewhat more sour than necessary.
M&D: the carbonation is light and the body is moderate vis-à-vis the rather restrained flavour profile. However, the higher-than-desirable presence of alc. doesn't help on the palate and in the aftertaste. I find the performance of this bottle quite different than what I remembered from my previous encounters with this ale, that it's now more one-dimensional yeasty and lacks some key flavour elements indispensable to make it a complex, dry yet also aromatically estery golden ale. Plus, the malt backbone is not quite pronounced and hence an unbalance overall. (1,870 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.32/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's hard to tell what there's more of: foam or liquid. I'd say about 50/50. And mind you that's from a slow, cautious pour! The chalice becomes a snow globe and its sides look like a water fall in reverse; with an infinite supply of bubbles this head may never stop growing. The liquid itself is pristinely clear and blindingly bright golden.

The esters and phenols we're accustomed to smelling in this style are quite muted. I blame that damn mound of head - I'm not sure a bullet could even make it through that thing! Seriously though, soft, rose-like alcohol vapors and a damp, almost musty cereal graininess are the only things noted. All in all, the bouquet is insignificant.

The taste offers up a little more but still leaves much to be desired. The previously mentioned alcohol esters and cereal graininess are both more concrete, while flavors of orchard fruit and banana bread become 'maybes'. Still a definite 'no', however, are any spicy phenols or hop character. It barely surpasses Wonderbread for flavor.

Overlooking the yeast, this drinks like a cheap and/or heavily watered down Viognier or Gewürztraminer. They share the sweet and drying profile, with notes of mowed hay, honey and green grape. Similar alcohol presence too. This, however, has a mouthfeel of bready malt rather than minerals and acidic bite. A 5oz pour would have sufficed.

The brewery claims this as perhaps their finest beer. That may be true, but most this brand's offerings are similarly mediocre. To be frank, I'm not sure which is less exciting: Augustijn Grand Cru or waiting in the dentist's office. You'll probably find more interesting things in a back issue of Time magazine than you will this plain, misguided ale. (1,719 characters)

Photo of liamt07
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the LCBO, from the Belgo giftpack. 330ml bottle into a tulip, best before June 6, 2012.

Poured a lightly hazy golden orange, with a fairly dense white head which becomes a bit creamier in appearance as it subsides. Nose has some underripe banana, light fruitiness and lots of yeast influence. A hint of spice pinches the nostrils near the end. Some general sugary sweetness as well. Taste has some peach and general fruitiness, with a more-than-apparent alcoholic and sugary sweetness. Spice in the finish. Kind of has a spirit-like alcoholic sweetness which dominates. A hint of some frosting sugar, with some crackery and pale malts. Mouthfeel is a heavier medium, and a curious carbonation - flat on the palate initially, but ramps up at the end. Dry finish. Certainly a lesser golden strong, but not completely unpleasant. (840 characters)

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.41/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours straw-colored with an enormous white airy head. Slow dissipation leaves fantastic lacings. Perfection!

S: Sour smell, citric and green apples. Yeast and spices. Some wheat in the back.

T: Wheat - ripe bananas. A mellow sweetness from the malt. Kind of full taste. Spices, yeast, green apples and citric notes - just like Strong Belgian Pale Ale should be.

M: Long warming aftertaste, sweet and bitter. Body is syrupy full while carbonation is held, way back.

O: Surprisingly complex and well crafted. Me like! (523 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 11.2 fl. oz. bottle stamped: 04FL-16:07. Sampled on December 29, 2012.

The pour is golden yellow with a humongous white puffy head that sits around on top of the beer for the whole session. Slightly cloudy too.

The aroma is tart with a grapefruit-like tickle and carbonation. Yeast and pale malts play second fiddle.

The body is light and summer-like with carbonation that makes you burp.

The taste is quite tart and reminds me more of a Tripel rather than a Belgian Strong Ale. In that regard it is a letdown. It feels like I am drinking champagne. I would be better off popping this on New Year's Eve. This is my least favorite beer from the Van Steenburge mixed 6-pack. (685 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a slightly hazy amber colour with a fairly large white fizzy head. There is an average amount of carbonation, and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for about 6 minutes before it was gone. There are also lots of yeast chunks floating around.

Smell - Bread, grains, lemon, apples, malts, funk

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste bread/grains mixed with lemon and apples. There are also some fruit esters and a yeast flavour mixed with some funk. It ends with a fruity slightly sour aftertaste.

Drink - A great that I'm happy I had the chance to try. It seems to have a mixed bag of flavours and it was interesting throughout the glass. The alcohol was well hidden and I'd definitely pick this one up again. (809 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.63/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a magnificent beer, with just enough sourness (wild yeast in secondary/bottle fermentation?) to balance out the alcohol. It is a brilliant golden color, clear and sparkley, although poured minimum head leaving little lace. I prefer my ale's a bit cloudy however, hence the 4.5 rating for appearance. Nevertheless, when freshly poured in it's official glass (a standard Belgian chalice), the Grand Cru's very inviting! Still, I'm not sure why this is referred to as a Grand Cru, as it lacks the spiciness, dark color and fuller body that I normally associate with Belgian Grand Cru's. But if you like strong blondes this is a must try, particularly if you can find it fresh on draft. It's drier than most strong Belgium ales, which tend to be on the sweet side, although there is not a noticeable hop nose. This beer if very drinkable, particularly with spicy foods or on a hot day, and easily passes the Belgian test of digestibility. (942 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of a six-pack Belgian beer medley. Pours a light, murky shade of yellow and gold, looks a bit cloudy. Plenty of carbonation and a thick, foamy white head that was on part with many Belgian style ales. The smell isn't as strong as I was hoping - a bit fruity and wheat-like with a mild sweetness to it, devoid really of any hops or floral scents. Some banana and yeast smells really start to come out as it warms up - common to this style of beer. This beer tastes like a classic Belgian style ale with some mild cooking spices, hints of banana and mango, cloves, biscuits, and plenty of yeast and malt. Very pleasant and simple - pleasing to the palate. The body is pretty thin, a bit sticky, and packed with carbonation. The alcohol in this beer is noticeable but not overpowering, once again, expected for this type of brew.

Overall, a simple, yet solid Belgian ale that delivers, although it doesn't necessarily stand out from the rest. This one kind of plays it safe, but it does so very well - definitely worth a try. (1,041 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy dark golden colour with one finger of fluffy white head. No retention, but a nice cap of half finger of head.

S - Banana, zesty citrus, sweet spice, yeast, booze. The citrus zest is very different and interesting, like nothing I've smelled before. My friend says it smells like sunlight dish soap.

T - Yeast, orange and zesty citrus. Sweet spice, a slight booze note.

M - Full body with gentle carbonation and a sweet finish.

O/D - A nice pale. The typical yeasty, citrus notes. A little boozy. Tasty but not a great example of the style. (561 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
3.24/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz. bottle served in my DT tulip. Pours a translucent golden-orange, with a dense, three inch, cream-colored head that eventually settles into a solid, quarter inch cap. Nose expresses a slightly metallic quality upfront followed by light fruity esters hidden in the background. Taste consistent with nose; however, there's also a mild, toasted malt quality in the flavor profile and the light fruit quality present in the nose manifests itself as pear, but it is very subdued. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with a lively carbonation. Overall, a nice looking beer, but the metallic quality in the nose and flavor profile is a bit too assertive. Hopefully this is just a bad bottle, but this beer is a big letdown. (721 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This starts with a small tartness that was not expected with a dry end. Very bubbly, chapangy (sp?) even. It hides its 9.5% content very well. I have heard some people tag it liquid stupidity. You can drink a few and then just be tanked without even realizing. (260 characters)

Photo of mrfrancis
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a bright, hazy gold with a rocky white head. Carbonation is very active in the glass.

S: The nose is subtle, with aromas of spicy yeast, biscuits, and citrus most noticeable. Nothing out of the ordinary for this style.

T: Notes of lemon, grass, straw, biscuits, kumquat, bitter orange, and alcohol wash across the palate. The finish is robust and cleansing with notes of tart citrus and fiery alcohol.

M: Medium bodied, dryish, and prickly. Carbonation is very active. Alcohol presence is fairly pronounced.

O: This is a solid Belgian strong pale ale, though it does not stand out from the pack all that much. In my opinion, it is too reminiscent of ales like Duvel and Lucifer. (691 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This one came out of the tap a hazy yellow in color with a huge white foamy head that had a yellowish tinge to it.

Smell - The light Belgian malts were very pale. The Belgian hops and white pepper gave away the style.

Taste - The spices were dusty and pleasant with more white pepper. The pale malts were lighter than expected but rich with candied sugar.

Mouthfeel - This was shy of medium-bodied but not by a lot. The kegged version here was incredibly smooth which set it apart from other Grand Crus that I've had.

Drinkability - You wouldn't want to age this for any length of time, but the day that I drank it this was just right. (660 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from the Tap at Lucky Baldwin’s during their August 20-28 Belgium Beer Festival.
Number #59 on the List.
$3 for a Taster in a small Chimay Goblet Glass.

This is allegedly the same brew as Bornem Trippel….I am not so sure, but with Van Steenberge’s monstrous line up who knows, at the very least it could well be a “tweaked” version of the Bornem Trippel.

Appearance: Gorgeous shimmering golden body has the power to reflect even the minimal low key lighting at Lucky Baldwins. Massive streaming carbonation and lots of fizzing as the flour white head seems to writhe with energy. Nice lacing, even in the Sampler.

Nose: A mixture of young and old. Young freshly peeled apple cores mix with the unwelcome smells from a damp and musty old malt sack. Light grain blends with some organic earthy tones. Recently toiled soil has some floral character. Juicy aromas.

Taste: The nose really does set the scene nicely here; the tastes follow the directions from nose perfectly. Whilst the front end and middle are fruity the finish is dry and parched. Doesn’t come across as 9% until the swallow when a little kick gets you right in the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel: Probably the weakest part of this brew. It has an over-carbonated presence that is way too powerful for the thin body…..

Drinkability: …..this makes it hard to stomach too many of these high alcohol brews in the long run as the fizzy soda like body overwhelms. One is more than enough.

Overall: A decent Belgian Strong Pale Ale which could be more appropriately referred to as a Strong Belgian Golden Ale. Yet it drinks way below its gravity though, but I’m sure a few of these will creep up on you and kick your ass if you underestimate it.

Well worth trying if seen. (1,773 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The body is pale straw topped with a stack of never-ending white froth.
A tart cider nose greets the senses while chilled. It becomes much more tropical, more citric, and deeper when it gains temperature. Fully floral as it approaches room temp, with lilac blossoms and rose petals.

A pale malt dam is quickly breeched by swells of orange juice and pureed lime rinds. A veritable flood of juiciness and pleasing sourness. Fruity and tart with pools of underripe pineapple and eddies of apple cider. Cane sugar and cookie dough debris float along the surface. A surge of alcoholic heat is quelled by the following spicy clean-up crew. Hopping adds grassy, dried stalks and yeast adds dough and white pepper. The disaster relief squad works with a quickness, as the finish is bone dry.

The body is that of champagne filtered through fleece. Effervescent, yet fuzzy and soft. Nearly seems nitrogenated, with its tiny bubbles crashing to the surface.
Fabulous beer. A 750mL would be more appreciated. The smaller bottle was merely a tease. (1,044 characters)

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Augustijn Grand Cru from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 109 ratings.