Atomium Grand Cru - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Atomium Grand CruAtomium Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

79 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 79
Hads: 150
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 8.03%
Wants: 8
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website
Belgium

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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 79 | Hads: 150
Photo of pmcadamis
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A massive four-finger honeycomb head rises above a cloudy honey-hued brew turbid with chunks of yeast. The head sticks around for quite a while, and then settles at a thick cap. Loads of off-white lace are left on the sides of the glass.

S - Honey, clover, heather, and confectioner's sugar. Yeasty honey-drizzled warm home-made bread. Some banana, caramel apple, and peach are noticeable behind the yeasty goodness. Smells outdoorsy and fresh like laundry dried outside on a line....but also honeyed, bready, and yeasty.

T - Fresh warm homemade bread yeasty malt with baked apples drizzled in honey. Extremely fruity and honey-sweet. Banana and peach add a spritz of slightly tart balancing vibrancy to a very yeasty and sweet brew.

M - Ridiculously full bodied and thick with sugar. The thick syrupy viscosity of this brew is a continuation of the honey themed appearance, nose, and flavor. Chewy and solid with a bit of alcohol heat.

D - This is outstanding beer, but it's hindered a bit by the overwhelming sweetness. More of a dessert beer than something you would have two or three of. (1,110 characters)

Photo of albern
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
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. (1,219 characters)

Photo of jwinship83
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (408 characters)

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.04/5  rDev -21.2%
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. (925 characters)

Photo of BeerBelcher
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I ordered this out of curiousity and was very pleasantly surprised by what I got...quite a bit lighter than other "Grand Cru" I've had, but not entirely inconsistent with other Beglian Strong Ales (like Duvel) I've enjoyed in the past.

It poured a light yellow color, with an impressive amount of effervescence. Tons of cumulus head that towered over the rim of my glass. Aroma was very light and sweet, with plenty of very zesty lemon flavor. You could sense the alcohol presence, although the beer tasted smooth and in no way astringent. Mouthfeel was extremely smooth.

Highly recommended.

I had a bottle of this at the Palm Tavern in Milwaukee. The bartender said they just got it, so I would assume my bottle was rather fresh (I forgot to check for a date code). (769 characters)

Photo of ocelot2500
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with a tight, white head that fizzes quickly leaving chunks of lacing.

Smells of bready malt and light fruits.

Tastes of a good dose of pale malt with some yeast coming through as well. Notes of pears and apples along with some bread. Sweetness is at a good level, not too much. Some yeasty spice notes show up in the end and add some pepper to the mix.

Mouthfeel is medium with a fizzy amount of carbonation.

Overall, a solid example of the style, but some things could be amped up and the mouthfeel could be tweaked. (548 characters)

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
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. (1,388 characters)

Photo of match1112
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (266 characters)

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.13/5  rDev +7%
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 (710 characters)

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
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. (1,132 characters)

Photo of stevoj
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Really pleasant and smooth Belgian ale. Copper/orange in color with high fluffy head, which fades to small creamy head with lots of lacing. Aroma is malt, with lots of bread, flowers, spice, fruit and barnyard smells. Taste is more of the same, smooth and buttery. Slick mouthfeel, long finish. (294 characters)

Photo of sprucetip
4.13/5  rDev +7%
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. (929 characters)

Photo of Gehrig
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (954 characters)

Photo of ybnorml
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
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. (418 characters)

Photo of botham
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
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. (884 characters)

Photo of martyl1000
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I like this better than its much more famous compatriot Delirium Tremens (the fact that Atomium comes at half the price might play a part in that).

Bright and bubbly, even a careful pour producing a billowy, rocky, white head.

Big, complex. Digging the Belgian yeast w/ its delicate tropical fruit. Malt character dominates, though a hoppy thread is strung throughout (except maybe in the aroma).

The malt sweetness and yeasty funk might have been overwrought, were it not for the zippy carbonation and white-pepper on the tongue.

This is 8% alcohol? You'd never know. (575 characters)

Photo of azdback
2.21/5  rDev -42.7%
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. (941 characters)

Photo of klewis
3.28/5  rDev -15%
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. (641 characters)

Photo of StevieW
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stubby 33cl brown belgian bottle. Pale golden color. Dense, creamy off white head. Lots of lacing. Sticks to the glass. Freshly spiced aroma, lots of cinnamon, fresh honey and whiffs of citrus. Taste was sweet, almost syrupy for a few tastes. Subdued citrus flavors. Hints of honey goes by again. Lots of snappy hops to finish. Sticky sweet finish, but late hop presence with good bitterness cleans out the palate. No trouble with the alcohol, 8% abv. A very good belgian beer. Worth a try. Compliments of the BelgianBum. (521 characters)

Photo of ferrari29
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
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 (685 characters)

Photo of dstc
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
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. (358 characters)

Photo of EPICAC
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
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. (653 characters)

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
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% (703 characters)

Photo of GreenWBush
4.31/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A six-malt beer? Interesting. You probably won't hear beer geeks bitching about the corn in this one if they taste it first and find out about the ingredients later.

Atomium pours into my brandy snifter a cloudy, darkened auburn. I picked this beer up out of town and during a sharp-stop on the drive home, the cap came partially opened, spilling a few drops out onto my backseat. Fortunately, this puncture-wound did not affect the flavor or appearance of this beer. Phenomenally powered head-presence that meringues way over the top of the glass like a hat. Patience is required before the first sip.

Initially, I get a strong yeast character; proofed yeast starter. Following that is an infinite underlayer of fruit that leans most strongly towards pear and apple-cider. Clove-like phenols. Orange, Curaçao, coriander, rose hips, and cracked pepper.

Fruit impressions carry over strongly to the taste as embodied by pears and peppered citrus. Earthen hop-zing synergizes with near-tart yeast twangs. Blend of malt-bill makes malt indistinguishable from flurry of spices and phenols, but maintains ephemeral and downright refreshing girth. Clean and compact.

Sits incredibly light on the tongue. Finishes spry, acidic, and addictive. Quenching.

Not exactly the most complex Belgian out there but entertaining enough and oh so drinkable for an 8% beer. (1,371 characters)

Photo of marcobrau
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
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. (1,159 characters)

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