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

150 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 150
Reviews: 80
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.83%
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 150 | Reviews: 80
Photo of marcobrau
3.56/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml stubby brown

-Supposedly the first beer made with 6 different grains

A-This beer has one of, if not the best, heads I have ever had the pleasure to see. I poured it into a Duvel tulip and there was barely enough room. This is the second bottle so I know it is consistant. The marshmellowy head seemed thick enough to stand on but light enough to be enjoyable. The lacing was unreal nd coated the glass. Body was light golden and clear (I left the yeast in bottle this time) with decent carbonation.

S-Definately heavy, raw Belgian yeast smell full of flowery and fruity esters.

T-Dry and crisp with a peppery spice. The corn used in this beer seems to be noticed in the semi-coarse finish. The bittering hops are noticable, especially in the foam, but very welcome. This seems like a nice dry Saison to me with hints of granny smith apples. Very nice if you are into the Farmhouse style.

M-Very light and refreshing with a full-flavored, but thin body. The spiciness of the yeast is a little sharp, but I personally like that characteristic. 8% abv is not even noticed until it warms its way to the belly.

D-Very nice change of pace and easy to drink. I have not had many like this and was very pleased with it. I would definately have this again and recommend it to others.

Photo of tapman
3/5  rDev -21.5%
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.

Photo of BeerAngel
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale golden orange and is very clear yet busy with a ton of carbonation with one massive off-white head that stays and stays and stays. The smell of sweet fruit and a tart yeasty smell combine to make your mouth water. The taste is a warming blend of more of the sweetened fruit, spices, tangy yeast, and a warming finish with a carb bite. This is very nice! This is a light bodied brew that finishes slightly sweet but is balanced out by the well-pronounced carbonation. It is a very solid and fairly complex beer and I would definitely have this again! Thanks to BelgianBum for this beverage! Op uw gezonheid!

Photo of BDIMike
4.05/5  rDev +6%
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.

Photo of ngandhi
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

In the style of Duvel, but considerably more interesting, the Atomium is a classic example of the Belgian tripel that comes at a time when many are being brewed too sharp, sweet, or bland. It's a compendium of Belgian brewing with shortbread and bitter--but green and herbal--hop flavors, medium body, consistently crisp aroma, and wonderful length. I stress that these hops are very fresh and maybe, outside of the yeast of trappist ales, the best indicator of what it means to be a Belgian beer. This is the type of stuff that's in your blood, and I imagine that when a Eurail passes through the country, this is what it smells like between the cars.

Relax, relaxx.
ng

Photo of Nipitato
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of jsisko01
3.16/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

Photo of flannelman808
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: hazy orange yellow pale amber with a thin white foam decent lacing.

S: green banana, corn husk, wet earthy suggestions

T: Almost a soft almond sweetness blending into sweet tree fruit and melon. All of this backed with a subtle tall grassy herbal bitter snap along with drying carbonation.

M: prickly

O: Just a bit of butterscotch makes this one a good, but underwhelming brew.

Photo of Parrotbeak
3.99/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Golden-orange, with a thin, white head that fades gradually, becoming patchy. Decent lacing.
Smell is heavily spiced malts with a little bit of citrus hops. Some banana, lemon peel, and pear, as well as some darker fruits. Light, peppery notes as well.
Taste is spiced malts, with some Belgian yeast and a trace of hops. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar notes. Raisin and fig.
Mouthfeel is crisp and slightly biting. Moderate to high level of carbonation. Dry on the finish. Medium-light body.
Drinkability is good.

Photo of Loki
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 330mL bottle a friend brought back from Belgium.

Appearance: golden orangish color with a quickly forming and dissipating head comprised of millions of tiny bubbles. Sticky cobwebs of lacing that cling just right above the liquid.

Smell: Aromas of honey and orange peel with hints of tangy yeast and some spices. A faint waft of white pepper and coriander perhaps.

Taste: Beautifully balanced sweet honey and orange zest with Belgian yeast spice dance together fluidly. Flavors are very balanced and flow smoothly. Subtle spices start to play a more dominate role with coriander coming out more fully and a slight wheat flavor as well.

Mouthfeel: Probably my only issue with the beer. The first part of the glass was an over carbonated almost alkaseltzer like carbonation that was not that pleasant, but in no way ruined the experience. Was the initial carbonation subsided after a few minutes the mouthfeel was more balanced and more enjoyable.

Drinkability: Wonderful, aside from the first carbonation, this is a wonderfully smooth and enjoyable beer that beguiles its 8% ABV.

Photo of WankelEngine
3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of ronniebruner
4.7/5  rDev +23%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

WOW! I was completely surprised with this beer. I bought it only because I had never seen it. This beer has an amazing aroma! It poured a beautiful golden yellow with a perfect amount of white head. It is enfused with honey and seet spices, something I was definitely not expecting, and leaves a wonderful taste on the tongue after it is swallowed. Definitely a unique brew and well worth the time! At $2.49 for an 11.2 oz bottle, get one!

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

Photo of TheSupremeAJ
3.37/5  rDev -11.8%
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.

Photo of kmeves
3.32/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

Photo of mariposafan
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours bright orange-gold with a huge, fluffy energizer bunny head. It keeps going, and going, and going.... Leaves lacing all down the glass as you drink out from under the head.

The aroma is bright and inviting. Yeast, bubblegum, spices, malts. Maybe some floral hops back there.

The flavor is reminiscent of the aroma but more muted. A little watery and a little more bitter than I was expecting, though not too bad. A little citrusy twang and mustiness add some character.

Feels nice. Medium bodied with creamy carbonation.

Drinks just fine. No noticeable alcohol and it's certainly pleasant enough. If the flavor were a little sweeter and with a little more yeastiness it would be a favorite Belgian style. As it stands, I'll be happy to have it again, but only if Duvel isn't available.

Photo of maek228
3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
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

Photo of RixBeer
4.39/5  rDev +14.9%
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!

Photo of jmc44
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Incredible crisp offwhite billowy head. Almost entire glass was head; for about 5 straight minutes until it subsided to a thick covering. Beer is a lightly hazy amber, quite effervescent.

Flowery, fruity smell that is a bit sweet and very yeasty. Theres some light hints of clove and spices in there, but fairly well hidden. Pleasant and not overwhelming.

A generally sweet taste, with clove, banana, and pepper; also some distinct apple-like tartness. Fairly well balanced, finishes somewhat smooth with a pronounced spicy hop characteristic.

Dry, crisp in mouthfeel, fairly light. The high carbonation makes it very crisp and easy-drinking.

Quite a good beer, a bit complex but easily drinkable on a warm summer day.

Photo of Biffster
3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
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.

Photo of TheBigLebrewski
3.34/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

Photo of FlatRabbitRed
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

If you like Belgian beers this one holds up pretty good, had three different ones tonight, and this one fits the bill.

Belgian beers have this fruity Honey twang to them followed by a slight bittering after taste. They are definitely in a class by themselves! I drank this one "Grand Cru" right after a Duval "Golden Ale" ...and you know what, they were pretty much the same thing ...to me anyway. I noticed a difference in the triple and that was that it had three times the flavor!

Photo of Newsman
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Photo of mfhlucky13
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Grand Cru was yellowish gold with a huge head. It had a light yeasty smell with hits of sweet fruit. It's flavor continued with sweet fruit and a wonderful dry finish. After my first sip I wasn't convinced but by the third I began to really enjoy this ale. I had expected something different but was pleasantly surprised.

Atomium Grand Cru from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 150 ratings.