Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

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

(Read More)
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.
View: Beers (95) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Augustijn Grand Cru Alström Bros
Reviews: 109 | Hads: 244
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 rrski198
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Color is a pale yellow/orange. Massive white head with two textures of foam. The foam sitting on the beer has a bunch of little bubbles that transition to the center of the glass where a huge meringue like head sits. I poured the beer 10 minutes ago and it is still quite visible.

S: Earthy, funky, lemon. Almost sour or DMS like corn adjunct scent. Sort of like a pilsner with Belgian yeast. Very odd.

T: Sour, funky Belgian yeast. Flavor profile of a tripel and a saison. Can't get over the sour....it's good, but unexpected. It coats the mouth and finishes with the heat of the alcohol, mild bitterness and malted grain and corn.

M: High carbonation which leads to a spicy, full mouthfeel. The heat form the alcohol lingers and burns the gums.

O: So this beer just didn't smell right. Bizarre. The flavor however was awesome. I really enjoyed it and thought that for a 9% it was easily drinkable and all the flavors were great. (940 characters)

Photo of mwilbur
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 33 cL bottle into snifter.
A: Pours a clear yellow (slightly golden) with high carbonation producing a 2-3 inch frothy white head. Good retention.
S: Citrus, belgian yeast, and some candi sugar. There is something here that also makes me think pilsner...which is odd.
T: Pretty much follows aroma. I think it's the hop character that is making me think pilsner.
M: Light body. Slightly oily feel. ABV is well hidden.
D: Fairly average offering here. I bet it was a hell of a beer back in 1295 though... (514 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 stephens101
4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

An always welcomed light phenol phunk floats in the air upon pouring this murky orange brew. Head is thick and resilient with the last of the foam out of the glass slowly flowing at it's own glacial pace.

An array of light fruits play into a world sweet bubble gum, cotton candy and Belgian yeast. A second whiff scores some faint medicinals and barnyard.

Piquant light fruits and spices fill the palate. Butterscotch, a touch of grain, and a simple but lingering hop bitterness makes for a pleasing finale.

Medium bodied with a delectable creaminess and just enough spicy alcohol heat to let you know despite it's calm demeanor, this is a big beer that holds its own in any arena. (687 characters)

Photo of Hunter
4.52/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Lovely pale gold/yellow color, minimal carbonation. Thick pillowy head of white foam, minimal lacing pattern.

Smell: Unfortunately, poured into a glass with it's own distinct smell. So I'm having to go by the bottle itself to get any fair assessment. Light notes of citrus, spice, grass, honey.

Taste: Taste reinforces the aroma. Very light on the palate, despite the high alcohol content. Candi sugars, subtle spice, lemon notes, light hops. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: The alcohol comes out here more than the taste. Scouring, bracing, but not overbearing.

Overall: I'm pleased with this one. sometimes I think the Belgians can do no wrong when it comes to beer, and this is no exception. I will be coming back to this one. (737 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a semi-cloudy pale yellow with a white, pillowy 3-finger head. Great retention. Lace clings in thick bunches around the side with great stick.

Smell - Sugared banana. Faint clove. A touch of lemon.

Taste - Sugary, fruity esters upfront. Less banana on the tongue than in the aroma. Moderate character of green apple and mellow lemon. Hits on clove spice near the finish, then turns somewhat metallic in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Close to full body, with ample and lively but soft carbonation. Smooth.

Overall - A pretty mellow Belgian strong. I really enjoyed this one. Probably not something I'd want to session, but I'd surely buy it again in the future. (682 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 dickieb
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy straw in color with a pretty big foamy white head, nice lacing. The smell has a signature belgian yeast funk to it but most of what hops out at me is bananas. The taste still has the banana but also hints of lemon spice and yeast. The alcohol is well hidden and the beer finishes very dry. The mouthfeel is a tad thick, probably from the high carbonation but it still drinks easy. Overall not bad, not something I would seek out again though (463 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 TempeBeerMan
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Part of a Van Steenberge variety sampler pack.

A - Pours golden yellow with a three-finger white head that looks simultaneously fizzy and foamy. Nice retention and lacing.

S - Nice strong aroma of tropical fruits, Belgian yeasts, and sweetbread like malts. Inviting. Hint of clean booze in the nose as well.

T - Complex blend of banana/papaya frutiness, slightly sweet malts, and spicy pilsner-esque hops. A definitive honey character to the malts. Some lemon peel in the finish. The whole thing is awash in a general booziness.

M - Pretty thin for it's abv, and very fizzy. The feel does work well with the other elements. Drying finish.

O - I really enjoyed this. A flavorful, complex Belgian with depth and richness. Nicely presented. Would definately buy again. (815 characters)

Photo of DavidST
3.3/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a goblet glass, coded bottle date. This pours a clear light orange / yellow color with a massive white head which has okay retention and leaves a lacing. The smells are of a lemon grass, belgian yeast esters, a little funk. The feel is medium. The taste leaves something to be desired, a considerable amount of alcohol, hardly masked at all, extremely dry, but missing the nice peppery taste of something like a duvell. (450 characters)

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

A – Appearance is just tip-top. It’s translucent wheat colored with a tall white/clear head that just will not quit. Huge and beautiful looking. Just gorgeous.

S – Has a nice yeasty smell to it, a slight light fruitiness, and a healthy helping of funk to it as well. I quite like the nose though I can see how some would find it to be a bit over the top in the funk department.

T – Apple in the forefront, perhaps slight pear, a little bit hoppy, rather tart, the funk is definitely on the palate as well but it’s very nice really, a slight sugary element to it and a little bit of bread there as well. All in all this tastes good. Damn good in fact! I would go so far as to enthusiastically call this rather delightful. It has received mixed reviews and try as I might I still let that influence my judgment a little bit every time, but this beer is good. Now I’ve waited about 5 months to try this one so some of the flavors might have mellowed out a little bit but at the same time this is just crisp, fresh, and simultaneously refined and a little bit musky. It all comes together and compliments one another and it tastes just wonderful.

M – The mouthfeel is medium in body with heaps of carbonation, actually it is slightly over carbonated if you ask me. But this is ever so slight and entirely forgivable. That’s my one real critique actually, is to dial back the carbonation slightly. Otherwise this is wonderful.

O – Great beer! Vundaba! I didn’t expect this to be nearly as good as it is. But I blame myself for that. I love this brewery, I love Belgian beers, and I love BSPAs and this is a fine example of the style. Kudos to all involved in brewing this. The only thing keeping this back from being completely perfect is that it is a little bit overboard on the funk, and the carbonation is just a touch off. Otherwise, it is exceptional. (1,875 characters)

Photo of Giggy
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: golden yellow with an off-white head. Good retention on the head. Was expecting it to be darker. Heavy carbonation.

S: alcohol, hard to hide 9%; yeast, sugar, slightly soapy, and a faint orange zest.

T: lots of carbonation covers some of the taste. Reminded me of champagne. I expected it to be more sweet. It is slightly bitter and dry.

M: very sharp

O: not one of my favorites and I am a big fan of the Belgians. I am finding the Belgian varieties are a bit more vast in differences than I first thought. (513 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 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 PHSCAPT
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay chalice, upper 50'sF product temperatue.
A - Clear gold liquid with an absolutely magnificient, thick, persistent three finger head one would get from root beer poured over vanilla ice cream. Beautiful lacing.
S - smell similar to other Belgian ales - slight fruity-ness
T- most surprising; similar to BSDAs, but not as intense. Hateful language, but almost a BSDA light.
M- nice carbonation, not overpowering but not absent.
O- Very surpised for a BSPA - much better than I expected. Don't much like pale ales until I had this one. (556 characters)

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 Kooz
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours to a dark yellow. Not much head, no lacing. Much lighter than I expected. Looks good though.

Smells clean. It's a little bit sweet and I get a hint of lemons. Not bad.

Tastes really nice. Slightly lemony aftertaste, somewhat floral up front.

Mouthfeel. Is interesting on this one. Very creamy, very full bodied, and you get the alcohol in the mouth feel. After sipping, the alcohol fills your mouth with warmth.

Overall, like every other beer from this brewery, this is a good selection. I hope to try this again. (526 characters)

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

11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- This beer was lighter then expected. It is a hazy straw yellow with a hug billowing white head. Good lacing.

S- Wheat, lager like aromas, Spices, some dark fruit. More sweet then bitter. A fruitiness, like lemons.

T- Big in carbonation. It really delievers the flavor around the palate. There is a lot of wheat and lemongrass. Spicy earthy notes. Belgian yeast, kind of funkyness in this beer. The flavors blend well and really work nicely with the carbonation.

M- High carbonation and high alcohol. The alcohol comes through in feel more then taste. Beer is a pretty good size but stays drinkable.

O- Nice stuff, I was expecting a dark beer so this was not quite it. But regardless, I enjoyed this one quite a bit. (761 characters)

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

the petrus dubbel and trippel left a terrible taste in my mouth which i cannot get out, but i'm trying with this 'other' sampler. for 9%, it's a really good product and compare to my last 2 brews, it's spectacular.

A: beautiful, semi-cloudy pear color with very nice lacing.

S: some alcohol, some fruit.

T: again, some alcohol, some fruit, but more yeast(?).

M: some carbonation, medium body

O: liked it better last time i did this sampler. i think i just have too much of the 'last' sampler pack on my tastebuds and i need to cleanse my palate before i continue on. (571 characters)

Photo of Humulus85
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 330mL bottle into my Darkness. No freshness date.

Pours a crystal clear straw yellow. Produced the expected large, three-finger, white fluffy head. Really solid retention and lacing, especially for 9% ABV.

Tons of Belgian yeast esters in the nose. Spice, flowers, a bit of banana. A hint of grassy hops and pale malt. No perceived alcohol.

This is a very Belgian tasting brew (duh, I know). A showcase for Belgian yeast. It hits all the classic flavors: cloves, very floral, a hint of banana and lemon zest. This is all backed up by subtle but present bready malt and some earthy/grassy hops. A definite whiff of clean alcohol off the tongue.

Light and highly carbonated with little bubbles. Smooth and drinkable even with the perceptible alcohol. Finishes very clean.

Overall this is very good Belgian Strong Pale. It doesn't quite reach Duvel's level, but it is right up there, and definitely one of the better ones I've had. There really isn't anything bad I can say about it, but it wasn't mind-blowing either. Great Belgian yeast profile. Recommended to any fan of Belgian ales and to any one looking to get into them. Cheers! (1,145 characters)

Photo of Mosmo
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Bubbly Golden. Very lively, big headed Brew. The frothy white head dissipates fairly quickly and leaves a nice lace.

S: Belgian Yeast... floral, bitter orange peel, citrus.

T: Light, almost white wine taste. Little bitter, spice towards the end.

M: Very carbonated, refreshing, throat warming.

O: Overall this is a pretty nice beer. Intentionally carbonated. I would drink this beer again on occasion, share with a friend.
poured into a Mug and from a 33cl bottle. (475 characters)

Photo of jerryusc
3.29/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Cloudy golden color with a two to three finger bubbly head. A good looking brew.

Smell - A lot of yeast in the aroma, some citrus, but almost vinegary.

Taste - Plenty of citrus taste in this beer. The taste is a bit sour, but more pleasant than the smell. If you have spent time in Europe, you might think this one was brewed with the goal of the mixed juice/soda combinations that are staple drinks, especially in Germany.

Mouthfeel - A lot of carbonation, so much so that it had to be intentional, and actually helps bring some higher quality to the taste. Again, this reminds me of the juice/soda combos in Europe. This beer is working to be a champagne-like beer.

Overall - This is an okay beer, though I can't say I would seek it out like so many other Belgians. That said, it is interesting and complex, and might stand out as a good sharing brew during a tasting party. (896 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)

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