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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 tempest
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Farmhouse in Emmaus, PA. Served in a red wine glass, it appears slighty hazy and amber with a tall, fluffy white head. It's funny, I'm used to finding beers that have great flavor but are a little dull in the aroma department. This was the opposite. It was bursting with coriander, cinnamon, and peppermint (unusual, but interesting). The flavor follows the coriander with a hint of orange peel - sort of like a wit, but without wheat character - and then a subtle but delicious candied apple malt flavor slides in before the beer finishes. Still, the beer's taste is too mild for a beer of this strength. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised to find a fresh take on this style.

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Photo of dstc
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, honey color with an amazingly huge, foamy white head. Head falls very slow. Big, sticky lace.

Nice malt and grain aroma with a sweet and tinny smell.

Rather complex malt & grain taste. Earthy with a lot of flavor. Big, sticky sweet finish.

Medium bodied mouthfeel with relatively low carbonation.

Nice, easy drinking brew. Quite pleasant.

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Photo of zeff80
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, deep burgundy color with a large, pillowy, white head of thick, long-lasting foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of dried fruit - mostly plum and apple. There was a bready caramel aroma with some citrusy notes.

T - It tasted of sweet breads, caramel malt and dried plum and apple. It had a tart citrus kick.

M - It was crisp and fairly sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - This surprised me. I was at a French restaurant in Milwaukee with a limited beer list. I had never heard of this and really enjoyed it...twice.

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Photo of matjack85
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this squatty 11.2oz brown bottle at Sal's Beverage World in Addison, IL for $2.19. Bottled on date of 3/20/08 is stamped on the back label, so I hope this beer isn't past its prime yet.

It doesn't matter whether you pour this beer slow, fast, with a tilted glass, or straight down the middle; it's going to gfive you a gigantic fluffy white head that will take up 90% of the glass. It takes awhile to settle down, and when it does, it leaves behind a cloudy pear yellow liquid with lots of spotty lacing.

This beer has a multitude of aromas. The most noticeable is a musty barnyard smell, but if you give it a good swirl you can also pick up wheat, yeast, tropical fruit, and even some coriander spice.

This is really tasty. Everything in the smell is also in the taste. Nice wheat bread flavor is sweetened with malt and a pineapple citrus fruit flavor, balanced with spicy coriander, a dose of hops, and a touch of alcohol.

Medium bodied mouthfeel with a smooth texture, but then a hefty enough dose of carbonation keeps it refreshing. Dry finish.

For an 8.0% alcohol beer, the alcohol flavor is not totally hidden, but nothing like you might expect, making this a very drinkable beer. In my opinion I recommend drinking this beer cold. I liked the taste better right from the fridge over what it tasted like as it warmed.

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Photo of Gavage
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: light orange with a 1" head that lasts a while.

Smell: caramel sweetness, earthy tones, and a hint of alcohol are pleasant on the nose.

Taste: nice lightly grainy malt profile here. Caramel, ripe plums, yeast, soft earthy tones, mild alcohol, and a moderate bitterenss provides a great flavored beer.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finish. Medium-heavy bodied beer. Long aftertaste as the flavors last in the mouth a while.

Drinkability: for the style this went down quickly. I enjoyed two of these in a session, and if the alcohol level wasn't so high I would have had some more. Nice beer.

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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 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 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 RedBeerchetta
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the Monk's Cell at The Publick House. Nice copper color with not much of a head. Nothing noteworthy about the nose. Served in a goblet (off brand). But the taste was something unusual for a Belgian strong. There's an earthiness about it that I really enjoyed. It's much more complex than, say, Tremens, and stands out from something like Duvel without being odd or out of style. It's "discretely unique", I guess is how I'd put it. One of my favorite Belgian Strong Ales.

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Photo of sprucetip
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into snifter.

Enormous foamy white head. Mildly hazy and golden. Leaves large patches of lacing for the duration of the sample.

Smells spicy and of Belgian yeast. Bready with fruity esters. Has legs. Very nice

A bit like the nose in some respects. Spicy and yeasty at first, then some fruity, hoppy bitterness in the middle mixing with a subdued malty sweetness. A bit of lingering hop bitterness and citrus in the slightly dry finish.

Effervescent, tingling sensation at first, recedes, a pleasant texture follows before finishing slightly dry. Medium body. Not as full feeling as I expected.

I seem to say this alot, but pretty easy drinking for a fairly big guy. The Belgian yeast character is modest and balanced nicely by the restrained pale ale hoppiness. This one might work for some folks who are not wild about the "Belgian taste" associated with the yeast strains that is often more bold than it is here.

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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 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 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 RixBeer
4.39/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly hazy pee colored yellow. The coloration reminds me of a bud light. This beer exploded with foam. More than 6" of head. YIKES....as it settled it did stick to every inch of the side of my glass. EVERY INCH!

Definite smell of coriander and some kind of wheat and various spices sort of flowing awkwardly together. Very interesting smell with a hint of pear or apple. Great smell. Very pleasing!

Yup, coriander and lots of it along with some a sort of earthy graininess that a balances the spice quiet well.

The carbonation dies to a pretty balanced point where the beer not only becomes drinkable but also requires you to sip and sip again and again. Surprisingly good!

This beer is very drinkable as it hides it's 8% ABV insanely well! I'm shocked at how delicious this beer is on a nice hot day!

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Deep Ellum. It was served in a big goblet shaped like some other Belgian goblets (I have an identical one from St Bernardus), with the Atomium logo. The beer was copper color with a thick foam leaving lots of lacing on the glass. The nose is pretty complex, maybe due to the 6 grains they brew it from (barley, rye, wheat, buckwheat, spelt, maize). The overall effect is a sweet aroma similar to Tripel Karmeliet. The taste is also very similar to Tripel Karmeliet, but maybe a little stronger or richer (maybe). Definitely a sipper due to all the flavors but it was hard for me to sip too slowly. An awesome beer, as are several others from this prolific brewery.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Bukowskis in Cambridge, served in a goblet. Fluffy white head, pillowy. Bright pale golden and clear. Lots of litttle bubbles zipping skyward.

Big yeast aroma. Farmhouse(horseblanket) and bandaide are there, but theres good purfume and spicy malt too.

Big yeast taste too. Tad bit of rubberband and bandaid again. Sour apple and some other flavors that remind me of a flemish red/wild ale. Fizzy carbonated mouthfeel. Surprisingly full body. Alcohol is present as a spicy bitterness.

I really enjoyed this and my goblet disspeared faster than I wanted it too. It makes me want to take big gulps to get the explosion of flavors...its hrad to sip, even though its meant to be a sipper at 8%

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Photo of BDIMike
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber, golden color with a huge white head that actually grows as the beer sits. Lots of carbonation as well.
Good smell to this beer as well. Smell is very grainy with a bit of hops smell as well.
Very nice taste to this beer. Very grainy taste with a lot of things going on here. Every sip of this seems to have a slightly different taste to it. A bit of wheat, grain, biscuit, cereal, and others are all working in here.
Mouthfeel is a bit to thin. But a good crisp taste that isn't too sharp.
Drinkability is great. This beer is incredibly refreshing and hard to put down. Great beer for a warm summer day.

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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 Newsman
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this with a vegan meal at Horizon's in Philadelphia. (This place, BTW, had the best beer list I've ever seen in a vegan joint. And even if you're an avowed carnivore like myself, it's good food, too.)

Sorry...on to the beer. Had the 11.2 oz. bottle brought to me with the appropriate Atomium goblet -- nice touch.

Pours a slightly hazy orange with a massive head that took a while to subside, leaving lacing all the way down. Smelled of citrus, a bit of yeast, a bit of bread.

The taste was impressive -- a good mix of light malts and a bit more hop than I expected, but nothing overwhelming. A very good blend of flavor, with some notes of honey and baked bread lurking behind the initial rush. The alcohol is very well masked.

The mouthfeel reminded me of champagne -- well carbonated. I wonder if the folks who had this on tap may have suffered from a lack of carbonation in the keg, because in the bottle, it wasn't a problem.

Overall, this is a very drinkable beer. It may feel like a session beer, but I felt this one by the end of the first, so beware of that subtle alcohol.

I would absolutely have this again.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Publick House. I don't remember what type of glass this was served in, probably a tulip glass or a snifter style glass. It poured a golden-copper with a thin, white, filmy head. Sheets of lace clung to the side of the glass. There's a malty, honey sweetness in the aroma, a bit of sharp fruitiness, and a hint of spiciness. There's a clean, malty, fruity sweetness upfront, a light, medicinal quality through the center, and subtly spicy and bitter finish. Medium-bodied, but the high carbonation leaves you with a light sensation on the tongue. The spicy and medicinal flavors do a lot to balance the sweetness and add a bit of character.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear golden orange colr with a light white head.

S: The nose has a great malting complexity with a touch of zesty spiciness from the hops and 6 different grains.

T: For flavor the 6 different grains blend well together combining for a well balanced malt palate with some different grain characteristics coming through producing a beautiful and crisp nature with a touch of toasted honey malt sweetness. There is a slight yeasty bite and lemongrass notes along with some herbal hopping. Also there is some fresh fruit, dried apples and a slight sourness along with warm baked bread notes upon warming of the tongue. Some Belgian spicing as well, coriander, sweet orange peel is detected.

M: full, complex.

D: very nice drinkability.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I snagged Atomium Grand Cru at the sterling Sun Singer. Great presentation, with three fluffed-up fingers of white head topped a slightly cloudy orange body. The nose is fine but understated. Lots of fruit--orange, banana, and berry--and bready malt. The taste is fruity and smooth, though not as bold as top-of-the-line Belgians such as many of the trappists, or Delirium. It's good, to be clear, just not outstanding.

What differentiates this, and not necessarily in a positive way, is the mouthfeel. It isn't as though rich carbonation is a prerequisite of Belgian beer. Yet authentic Belgians usually have more carbonation than Atomium does, and it does much to enhance flavor and complement the rich texture. This could certainly use fuller carbonation.

This is a good beer worth having, definitely not one to reject by any means. It's good, not great and, given the numerous examples of lush Belgian beers, there are many better BSPAs available.

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Photo of ybnorml
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A clean golden amber beer. Has a huge foamy white head with a little bit of lace.. The aroma has an overlying funky musty character with notes of honey, flowers and sweet candy wandering around. In typical Belgian fashion it is hard to nail down all of the flavors swirling thru your mouth. Honey, a soft malty note, hints of citrus, belgian candy sugar. All finishing with a smooth but prickly hop note on the finish.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was served this ale at the abbey bar @ ABC's brewpub in Harrisburg. Poured cold from the 11.2oz w/ freshness date of 20/03/08 into two tulips.

A - The golden liquid has a faint haze of yeast and the white cap appears as whip cream on top and is airy w/ large gaps in the bubbles w/ a tight bead at the base. The beer took a long time to settle down to 3 fingers worth of head in one glass. As my bartender said it was quite volatile, but it was worth waiting for. The stickage is moderate w/ relaxed webbing of lace.

S - Like green apple and kumquat, heck the whole fruit bowl! w/ a light funk, gentle spice and ginger aroma w/ a peppery coriander and citrus rind odor.

M - Light and fruity on the tongue w/ a slightly oily and prickly feel from the major effervescent nature w/ spiced dry texture and a light metallic note. The grand cru finishes w/ a light sweet quality.

T - Nice spice and fruity flavors as in the aroma w/ a slight boozy and sour tinge w/ nutty wheat qualities. There is a nice herbal sweetness w/ the refreshment of of some lighter belgians and the abv is 8% so you have a 'cake and eat it too' situation since it is boozy but refreshing too.

D - Very nice, a grand cru makes me want to have more like this, I would be able to knock back a few w/ no problem since the abv is very well disguised in the taste.

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Photo of tai4ji2x
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on-tap at deep ellum, allston, ma, served in branded chalice.

golden straw color with slight haze. lots of head that barely fades, and plenty of great, bubbly lace.

buttery and fruity (ripe pear?) aromas and slight herbal/grassy note. whiff of mint (?!)

you can definitely get a sense of the "multigrain" profile in the taste. deep ellum's tap menu said it had: barley, rye, wheat, buckwheat, spelt and maize. again, buttery with pears. mild and evenly distributed bitterness. finish is a bit empty however - almost watery, as if the taste crescendos right before and abruptly cuts off...

smooth, but slight watery feel as well. gentle carbonation.

very drinkable. watch out with the hardly noticeable ABV

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