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Atomium Grand Cru - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Atomium Grand CruAtomium Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

79 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 79
Hads: 151
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 17.71%
Wants: 9
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAngel on 03-14-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (92) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 79 | Hads: 151
Photo of azdback
2.21/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass. Hyper carbonation, it took quite a few minutes to mellow enough to even have a chance to drink. Clear yellow, orange. Head is over sized and bright white in color. As the freaked out head laid down it actually left a decent lace.

Smell is musty and sour. Not my style!! But I was given this as a sample by Bill at my local bottle shop so I must forge forward!!

Taste is really sour. Belgian yeast is super prevalent. I could concede to the beer Savant's that tell me this style is good. But I would be lying. I can't stand or don't ever see me saying this is a good style of beer. Josssmith, my tasting partner describes the taste as a sweaty gym sock stuffed down his throat! I tend to agree!

Mouth is uhmmmm... I am done with this beer and don't want to spend any more of my energy describing it to you.

Overall, this brew might be great to the Belgian and Sour lovers of the world. I thought it was terrible.

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Photo of tapman
3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

What is a grand cru? I need to do some research, but soldiering on...

light orange and yeast-textured. Giant white, foamy head (mine was kinda cold in the beginning).

Bananas with a sweet alcohol aroma up front. Hint of apple juicy sweetness. The bitter, heavy yeast aroma is also quite strong.

Moderately bitter with an alcoholic grainy body. A sour, dry finish plants. Interesting with this brew, as it warms it becomes more bitter which overpowers the sweeter notes and takes away from the complexity of the brew.

The mouthfeel begins well enough, but with the previously mentioned giant head the lack of carbonation brings out the bitter which isn't so good as we remember from the taste portion of this review.

Overall its not too bad and you really can't taste the alcohol, well not true. You do taste it but since its from multiple grains and reflects that in the taste which becomes a part of the beer and is flatter than the taste of most alcohol. Still, there are many strong Belgium ales that do this better and actually improve with warming opposed to losing flavor. Meh.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.03/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer was difficult to review, as it's nowhere near my favorite style, and it's hard to keep in mind that I'm reviewing it versus others of the style.

On the pour into my pint glass, this beer produced a prodigious, six finger head, nearly filling the glass with foam. As it subsided, it got somewhat rocky, and it was a while before I was able to get the whole 11.2 bottle into my pint glass. The body was a deep yellow, with a slight haze.

Aroma was primarily doughy and yeasty, with a bit of spiciness prominent as well. As it warmed, I was able to pick up notes of fresh white bread.

Taste was spicy and peppery at first, with hints of esteriness. The yeast was profoundly noticeable.

Mouthfeel was highly carbonated, with an average body to it. However, the flavors sort of faded quickly on the aftertaste, which left me with an impression of it having been thin, even though I know it was not.

Drinkability is staggeringly average. I was not impressed enough to have it again, and I agree with the impression some people gave that this is a watered down tripel. Not quite sweet enough for that, in my opinion, but the other qualities were right in line. Didn't give me the slightest hint of a buzz, either, and I drank it rather quickly. I do believe that my next beer tonight will have to be a darker one to make up for it. That leaves Fruli and Cerise out of the running.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.04/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

On tap at Maduro. $3 for a massive Chalice. I hear there are 6 grains in here….interesting…

I immediately notice how fast the head dissipates and that the beer appears to be flat. This is somewhat misleading as there are plenty of minute, champagne like bubbles in there. They are just difficult to see. Unfortunately this will play out later giving the mouthfeel a deceptively flattish and overly light body. It’s not flat really just dead feeling. Head is initially two fingers thick but it disperses and shrinks to nothing quickly, no lace, no clinging, nada. The aroma is spicy and confused: fruity esters, bananas, coriander, pepper, powdery yeast, and honey. The flavor is dominated by yeast and booze. Very dry feel from the yeast. Granny smith apples and grapes, peaches and pineapple in the flavor. Muddled. Drinkability is low. I don’t find this beer cohesive and remember it being much better in the bottle.

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Photo of tigg924
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: hazy, golden, with a medium head/medium carbonation

Smell: bread, yeast, belgian spices

Taste: It mimics the smell.

Mouthfeel: highly carbonated, although it is smooth..slightly sour

Drinkability: This was probably my least favorite offering at the bar that I was tasting. To me this tasted like a slightly more complex and carbonated Blue Moon...I have had better and will not be trying this one again.

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Photo of Biffster
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a stubby, the beer is cloudy (even after a few weeks in a fridge upright) and deep straw gold, with amber highlights. The head is big and coarse and just off white, and very persistent. Swirl it, and you will get a big head over and over.

The aroma is fresh and fruity, with big banana, and apple and strawberry in support. There is vanilla, and fresh white bread with just a touch of toast. The hop aroma is barely perceptible. It is sweet with a honey like floral impression.

It starts with a low maltiness that passes to a low to moderate bitterness. It is very spicy and warming, maybe even hot, at the swallow. It is very dry all the way through, but there is a low to moderate malty sweetness that lingers with the spicy dryness. The swallow is, as I said, warm and fairly dry, but there is a lingering bitterness and maltiness that gives it a fuller, more moderate impression.

The carbonation is big - both fluffy and spritzy. Along with the moderate body, the result is a fluffy round mouthfeel that is relatively full for a strong belgian, but by no means coating or lingering. It is, however, somewhat hot and even solventy at the swallow.

I feel like this is a perfect recipe - I love the clean malt and bittering. But the fermentation is questionable. I will give it the benefit of the doubt and question its trip from Belgium to my door as the culprit, but I note a distinct lack of Belgian phenolic aromas, and a distinct harshness at the swallow. This is total speculation, but, with that, combined with the cloudiness despite cold conditioning, I feel like it seems familiar. I have had an experience or two like this as a brewer. This seems like a beer that aged too long before bottling, and then was bottle conditioned at a too warm temperature to compensate for tired yeast. (Sorry for the shameless speculation).

I would give it another try, but this sample was not that exciting.

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Photo of maek228
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Looks good....a hazy gold with a brown hue. Good cling and a beautiful 4 finger head when a poured it

It smelled spicy with some hints of wheat and bread. Tasted spicy, with a sour apple/sour hop aftertaste that befits a strong belgian pale ale....one thing that bugs me is that the taste is kinda thin. this beer would benefit from a more full flavor. It feels kinda dull and flat.

This beer overall was a bit dissapointing. A medicore stab at a belgian

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Photo of jsisko01
3.16/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a dark honey/amber color with 4 inches of fluffy foam.. I had to keep stopping and waiting to get the whole beer in the glass. Takes at least a good 5 minutes to dissipate. Lacing is great though.

Smell - Coriander is the most dominant aroma here.. followed by some clove, honey, pale malts, and yeast.

Taste - Strong flavor of honey, along with coriander, clove, white peppercorns, yeast, and a mild alcohol bite at the end. Way too sweet of a beer, with just minimum bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Heavy body with medium carbonation.

Overall - If you don't mind how sweet it is then you have yourself a pretty good beer. It's almost like drinking honey. Tastes very similar to Beerhive Tripel by New Holland Brewing Company.

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Photo of brentk56
3.21/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a big, rocky head that is most impressive and leaves plenty of lace

Smell: Bready and yeasty, with undertones of pear and fusel alcohol

Taste: Interesting malt flavors throughout, with the bready wheat and banana joined by a sweet, candi sugar aspect that turns a bit spicy, by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweetness and the alcohol overwhelm the profile

Mouthfeel: Medium body with high carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: Ultimately, just a bit too sweet and alcoholic for my palate

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Photo of klewis
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Best by: 09/20/08

A: A mountain of spongy and porous froth fills the glass with a fizz. A clear, bright golden hue. It's gonna take a while before I can drink this. Tons of sustain and lacing.

S: Smells sweet with aromas of honey, tropical fruits, and a slight Belgian spiciness.

T: Sweet and malty with a prominent hop character. The flavor is fleet and is replaced with a soapy character that is a bit unpleasant.

M: Light in body with tons of carbonation. Dry and soapy texture.

D: My initial impression of this beer was very good, but the harshness of the finish and mouthfeel make this one a bit hard to drink. I'll pass next time.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served at cellar temp from a 12 oz amber stubby into a 10 oz pilsner glass.

First attempt at a pour was all foam. 100% head, no beer.

Let it stand five minutes and tried again. Excellent pour of slightly cloudy (or heavily hazy) bright straw yellow. Erupting from the bottom of the glass--an undersea volcano of bubbles twisting into a reverse whirlpool, forming a slowly growing billowy, rock hard head of stark white foam.

Spicy aroma subdued because of the humongous head.

Slightly sour and spicy flavor; slightly bready, complex.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, very low bitterness, effervescent from the extreme carbonation.

Technically a good beer when grading it piecewise, but not really refreshing or enjoyable overall, hence the surprisingly low drinkability. I had a second, but wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of botham
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz squat bottle poured into a tulip. pours a crystal clear, golden amber color with a sizable off white head that remains for a few mintures and leaves rocky lacings.

aroma is fruity and yeasty, with notes of citrus, grape, apple, and a subtle yeasty base, imparting a bready character to the overall profile.

taste is more of the same, with a lightly sweet quality, and an un-foreshadowed bitterness upon finishing. the fruit flavors dominate, but there are mild undertones of bready yeast and a bit of citrusy hops that loom in the background.

mouthfeel is a bit thin for the alcohol and flavors present. the brew is tart in texture, with a light body and an effervescent quality.

drinkability is decent. this brew is little more than a watered down tripel, which allows the brew to pack in 8% APV, while remaining light bodied. that being said, this one is easily passed up.

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Photo of kmeves
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy straw color with a HUGE hite head. Aroma is medium sweet, orange, light apple, bread and clove. Flavoris lemon, orange, grainy and light clove. Light alcohol presence which is understandable for a Belgian Strong. Medium to full body, sticky texture.

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Photo of TheBigLebrewski
3.34/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is oddly dark - very much the color of honey. Large bubbled head that's pretty thick, and maintains at a 1/4 inch. Decent lacing.

I do not enjoy the smell. Certainly the scent of malt; also of corn.

Surprisingly considering the scent, i did enjoy the taste. A very gentle sourness, but appreciable none-the-less. Pretty par though flavor overall.

Mouthfeel is definitely the beer's strong point. Crisp and tart additions to the flavor.

Overall, this was better than I expected, but nothing too special. Certainly an odd mix of some detrimental attributes, alongside some surprisingly good ones.

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Photo of TheSupremeAJ
3.37/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

32cl stubby bottle from Abe's of Bethlehem, PA.

Appearance - Very full white head. Laces and fades

Smell - Full of citrus and belgian yeast notes.

Taste - Sweet malts with bitter hop bill. Spices.

Mouthfeel - Medium and almost cloying sweetness.

Overall - A decent beer, not worth going out seeking.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a pale golden color with a couple fingers of soapy head.

S - Stone fruits and some phenolic belgian yeast on top of pale malts. Not bad for the style.

T - Taste is what you would expect from the nose, with phenolic yeast and sweet pale malts/stone fruits being most of what you can pick out.

M - Medium bodied, a little syrupy, lower carbonation, dry finish.

O - It's alright, but nothing special. Little too yeasty for me, would pass on this in the future.

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Photo of albern
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The appearance of this beer is pretty amazing. What a light, frothy, soapy head that retains, retains, retains. The beer laces quite prodigiously and the thick, puff pastry head reminds me of egg whites battered up. The soapy lacing is pretty impressive as well. The smell is musty malt, some candied sugar banana, typical of a Belgian, and some yeasty unpleasantness as well. The consistency is medium bodied, yeasty, carbonated, and slightly dry. This is not your typical syrupy sweet, candied sugar Belgian ale with a banana/coriander backbone. This is slightly different. The good news is that the 8% ABV is very well masked, leaving none of that throaty burn very common with the style. The taste is not too terribly complex. What I'm getting is a slightly dryish, malty, straw tasting ale. There is a bit of a spicy bite, maybe a slight pepperish snap, some very subtle background fruitiness, a good deal of carbonated and yeasty efforvescence, and not much more. There is hardly an aftertaste. I'm not overly impressed, but I'm not disappointed either. There is a slight heaviness to the taste as the beer settles that leaves a musty pucker in the mouth. Not a bad beer but not one I'm returning to anytime soon.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a chalice at Hopleaf.

Appearance: My pour is a hazy copper color with a few flashes of amber. A medium sea foam rocky head rests on top, fading over the course of a few minutes while still leaving a bit of lace behind.

Smell: The aroma is dominated by the aromatic Belgian yeast, sweet bready malts, and some cherry and grape fruitiness.

Taste: The flavor starts out with sweet bready pale malt with a hint of honey. Pears, cherries, and white grapes provide a fairly strong fruit presence that blend with an aggressively spicy Belgian yeast strain. The end has a bit of ethyl alcohol and some light grassy hops. The finish has a lingering sweetness to it.

Mouthfeel: Unfortunately, the feel is a bit syrupy. The carbonation feels like it should be up to the task of washing away any sticky residue, but it doesn't quite do that. This also creates a bit of a heavy sensation, pushing the body to the full side of medium.

Overall: This is a beer I have had a few times, and it just never really impressed me. With all of the great Belgian beers out there, it is tough to justify giving this one another look.

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Photo of marcobrau
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a huge, white rocky, meringue-like head that's very slow to settle down. This effervescent, blonde ale has a delicate orange zest aroma. Despite the high carbonation, this beer is smooth and rather full-bodied. The bottle states that this ale is brewed with sixtypes of grain. If so, it's rather hard to detect them. I would guess that at least one of these malts is wheat, along some type dextrin malt and maybe some flaked or puffed grains of some sort, contributing to the head retention and body. This ale seems to lack complexity, despite the advertised use of six different grains, but what it lacks in complexity it makes for up for (at least somewhat) in it's aroma and smooth character. The taste is of sweet malt with bready, wheat overtones and a flurry of sweet fruit flavors towards the finish. The finish is short, sweet and fruity with some orange showing up (as advertised), but lacking any appreciable bitterness. Not a bad brew and similar to Leffe, just a bit sweeter. A little too sweet in the finish for me. Overall, a pretty drinkable Belgian strong ale, but there are other examples of the style that I find more interesting.

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Photo of match1112
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a hazy amber with a thin white bubbly head. aromas of grass, banannas, clove, corriander. taste is pretty sweet. alochol is present. has a medium body feel to it, makes it easy to drink. carbonation is good and a crisp dry finish make this beer very enjoyable.

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Photo of ferrari29
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Tulip shaped glass

A - 2-finger foam formed; plenty of lacing on the sides of glass; vibrant carbonation; orange color body

S - Sweetness and fruit scents first come to mind (pear & grapefruit scents) followed up with a clean lager aroma; yeasts used in beer create a nice flowery aroma

T - Fruit tones; very pleasant and soothing feel over the palate; crisp and refreshing taste

M - Carbonated with thin viscosity

D - Crisp and refreshing; tastes like many of the quality Belgium beers out there, though I recommend this over some of the other beers I've had; kind of feels heavy, almost like a meal in a glass but enjoyable; I can have a few in a sitting

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Photo of Nipitato
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Moderate gold hue. Slightly opaque. Pours with a huge light fluffy white head that drops down to 1/4" inch. Visible effervescence.

S: Light perfumy/floral aroma with strong orange and lemon esters. Alcohol aroma. Grainy malt aroma underscores. Sweet sugary character is also present. No pepper.

T: Not nearly as complex as the style should be or the nose would suggest. Flat flavor overall. A grainy malt flavor is quite prominent. Buttery. Slight peppery notes. Maybe complexity isn't the issue rather this is just an interesting Belgian that does not fit a style. A touch of citrus and some alcohol round out flavor.

MF: Highly carbonated and dry. Light mouthfeel. Some alcohol warming.

D,notes: This beer warmed on me once I got away from style characteristics and upon further reflection I find it quite complex. The beer hides its alcohol well. Lightness and high carbonation add to drinkability.

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Photo of WankelEngine
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a tulip glass

A: Pours a very hazy, tan/dark golden color with a big off-white head that slowly fades, leaving a lot of lacing.

S: The most notable scent is sweet, floral hops. There is also the typical bready yeast smell and flavor of a Belgian ale. Light caramel malts impart a certain sweetness to the smell.

T: Again, the taste is dominated by hops. They give the beer an herbal, floral taste with the accompanying bitterness. There is a light malt flavor which helps mask this bitterness. I think I can detect light citrus flavors, but they are faint. The aftertaste is short and yeasty.

M: Light. There is a lot of small carbonation which complements the warming effects of the alcohol.

O: A refreshing Belgian ale, surprisingly drinkable for the alcohol content.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- golden in color with a head that just wont quit. it took quite a while to get all of this one into my chalice.

S- yeasty and very much like a wheat. banana and bubblegum in here also.

T- very much like it smells. not bad at all. faint bit of alcohol at the end.

M- the carbonation is out of control in this one! very thin as well.

D- easy enough to finish, i doubt ill reach for another anytime soon.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a hazy murky dark orange body with a thick creamy off-white head that last and last. It actually sticks to the sides of the glass as the head sinks in the middle of the glass. There is a good bit of lacing throughout the glass. There is no sign of carbonation in the dense body.

S- The smell of perfume and yeast has a faint apple hint to it. The smell is light and faint rather than mysterious.

T- The light spice note is dry with a faint apple finish. There are notes of green peppercorns and bitterness from hops in the finish. The taste is also light but there is not much depth. There are some faint hints of wheat and bread notes that have a slight earthiness as it warms.

M- This beer has a medium full mouthfeel with a high tight fizz that adds more body very nicely. It has the mouthfeel of a Hefe Weizen.

D- This beer reminds me of a wheat beer in appearance and mouthfeel but the taste and smell are much lighter and there is no banana, clove or coriander spices noted. Interesting but not the complexity I had hoped for with all the grains.

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Atomium Grand Cru from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.