Hoegaarden Grand Cru - Brouwerij van Hoegaarden

Not Rated.
Hoegaarden Grand CruHoegaarden Grand Cru

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

324 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 324
Reviews: 185
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 84
Gots: 38 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij van Hoegaarden visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAngel on 10-14-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 324 | Reviews: 185
Reviews by supermeniscus:
More User Reviews:
Photo of Popsinc
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A cloudy golden pour with a white head that fast awfully fast.

Smell: Semi-sweet nose. Hints of raw ugar and honey w/ some roasted malts in there as well.

Taste: The sweetness of the nose is really toned down on the palate. More of an earthy flavour escapes here and notes of wheat and a full bready flavour pop up as well. A very warming and fullfulling finish.

Mouthfeel: Good body....a very lively and rich mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A solid beer. Not outstanding, nothing to rave about....but it's very good.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.46/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks just like the commercial export, perhaps a touch darker. Smells the very similar if not the same. Taste is all clementines, coriander, lemons, and wheat. Not too complex or interesting and really, seemingly too similar to regular Hoegaarden to deserve its own name. Alright for a euro or two.

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

Similar to its commercial counterpart, but twice as tasty, a bit darker and strong. Had this bought for me at Kaffee De Hopduvel in Ghent, Belgium by a gentleman named Vincent (and family). He mentioned that the Grand Cru is more like the original Hoegaarden prior to its becoming commercialized. Wonderful estery aromas with banana and spice notes. Very malty sweet with loads of esters and a slight bitter finish. Wow, what a beer!

Photo of Jason
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 33 cl brown slender Euro style bottle with a “Best Before End” date on the back label. Also states that this beer is bottled conditioned.

Appearance: Cloudy, yet vibrant, pale orange colour with a tiny bubbled creamy looking white lace that does a fine job of sticking around for a while. Preferably served in a tulip glass, this sample was served in a traditional Hoegaarden Grand Cru tulip glass.

Smell: Ripe topical fruit (plantain, pineapple and mango come to mind), alcohol esters with a faint ghost like solvent aroma. Medicinal phenols are laid back in the mildly vinous aroma.

Taste: Full mouth feel of a medium body with a carbonation and viscosity that swirls around in the mouth. Such smoothness only comes from bottle conditioned brews, this adds to the beer as well to keep the mouth feel natural and rounded. Yeast flavours floats on to the palate with a light dry nutty flavour, alcohol is quick to warm the body even before the flavour subside. Esters are flush and playful with light solvent and medicinal phenolic flavour rushing around. Fruitiness is explosive with hasten suggestions of pineapple, star fruit and papaya. Hops go to the back right away though are seen in a quick and small bitterness just to balance. Spiciness is not to be forgotten characteristic, not only bits of coriander and citric peel undertones are there but a complex mix of spice flavour are derived from the phenols and alcohol. Somewhat on the dry side and blatantly full of flavour even far into the finish.

Notes: Ouch, this beer is a gift from the gods and it shall smite thee and then make the drinker feel its ever holy wrath of esters and alcohol. Once the light is seen then the mortal shall be one with beer. Serious beer, a beer to respect and enjoy to the fullest of course.

Photo of ISkiSquallywood
3.22/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Light butterscotch color with a suspended cloudy sediment.

S: Predominant orange peel with a background of banana and baking spices and slight suggestions of tropical fruit.

T & M: Drinking this beer reminds me of eating a slice of freshly baked banana bread. There's a thick mouthfeel, with explosive, but soft carbonation, that gives me the impression that I'm eating a meal. Bananas are the major player in the flavor profile, but a little bit of caramel comes through on the finish.

O: I think they went overboard on the banananess, but in fairness I'm drinking this at a slightly higher temp (maybe around 50-55F). Perhaps a cooler serving temperature would show better. The carbonation style isn't up my alley - too foamy.

Photo of deebo
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A bottle with a BB date of July-15-13.

A-When poured fast this one gives lots of bubbly white head that quickly breaks down giving plenty of fluff leftover. Hazy and dark golden in color.

S-Plenty of that beautiful fruity yeast screams out. Lots of wheat in here too.

T-Wheat dominates, followed quickly with a lingering yeasty, bittering hoppy finish. Some orange notes and a hint of spice and clove.

M-Alcohol well hidden for a brew over 8% but it is still there. Lots of carbonation in this brew. Medium bodied. A bit of a lingering slightly bitter finish.

D-Pretty solid given the strength.

O-I remember liking this beer a lot more the first time I had it. I seem to recall thinking it tasted like a Hoegaarden on steroids. Then I found a bottle that had aged about a year in my cellar and it definitely wasn't as good as I remember, now that I'm drinking a fresher bottle it still does not taste as good as I remember. Perhaps my taste has changed or the beer has, I'd guess on the former. I won't be seeking this one out again-way too many better beers in Belgium.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 330ml bottle with a BB of June 2012. I saw this on a trip to Belgium last September and thought I'd give it a whirl. I like the regular Hoegaarden now and again, though it's rather cloying after more than one.

Poured into a Stella chalice. A very hazy golden colour with small specks of yeast floating around. I did pour a bit fast! Good carbonation with a column of fine bubbles rising from the centre of the glass. Large foamy off-white head that subsided after a minute or so. Big aroma of sweet golden malt, fruity esters, yeast, light spice and a distinctive whiff of alcohol.

A complex flavour that achieves a good balance between sweet and bitter. Light malt and fruitiness, some banana notes. A warming taste of alcohol and some bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth and slightly drying - coats the tongue and lingers....

An impressive Belgian white beer, almost like having a meal rather than a drink. Probably wouldn't want more than one per session - it sticks to the mouth. Well crafted, and worth seeking out.

Photo of dwren89
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: hazy, orangey amber gold. Foamy white head

Aroma: wheat aroma with banana and clove,

Taste: rich, thick Belgian wit taste with notes of banana and clove,

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium carbonation, medium body

Overall Impression: a richer and fuller version of the classic wit style. Using darker malt, and fuller and more satisfying taste and mouthfeel is achieved.

Photo of rastaman
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very nice beer, but maybe lacks a bit of complexity or something, and has certainly seemed to dropped off a bit lately, but still very nice.

Photo of JohnW
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium dark gold colour, with dense thick head, that sticks well to the glass. Heavy sweet aroma, reminiscent of a barley wine, but with a spicy hint. Taste reflects this, typical Belgium character, though very sweet and obvious alcohol content. Good after taste, not too cloying though a little too sweet for my liking, and surely one or two glasses enough to savour in an evening. Not a session beer, and should be served just very slightly chilled. Not one of the finest example's of the style but worth trying.

John W
Bham UK

Photo of Hammarby
4.39/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy golden/light amber with a white head.
S: Citrus, yeast, red berries, coriander.
T: Bitterness, fruity freshness, yeast, grapefruit, coriander, sting of alcohol. Sweet aftertaste. The taste of alcohol lingers.
M: About medium body, tiny bubbles of carboration.

Quite different from Hoegaarden Wit. More bitternes, more alcoholic sting. A bit sweeter. Definately drinkable.

Photo of anders36
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very nice cloudy orange colour with a big white head. Rich smell of citrus smells a little pepper too. The taste is very peppery with some hints of citrus. It is stong but you don't taste the alcohol you just feel the warmth of it. A beer for warm summer evenings.

Photo of ggaughan
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of Hoegaarden gift pack that had been sitting on my cellar for some time. The beer poured a bright golden color with a active carbonation body into a snifter and had a nice fluffy white head. The aroma had some very present hop nose with some good citrus tones. The taste was an enjoyable mix of citrus hops bite and a touch of sweetness to round things out, all lined by some spice from the present alcohol touch.

Photo of Mar02x
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I just bought this bottle from the supermarket. I just looked rather appealing to me so why not. I had the Hoegaarden White beer before and I never found it close to spectacular.

A - A real golden, hazy fluid with a white head that fizzles out quickly. A white thin layer remains on the surface, no carbonation visible.

S - Yeast with citrus and some clearly present orange as is the coriander. A rich inviting pallet is inviting you to take a gulp right away.

T - A beautiful mix of coriander and orange, its like the hops and yeast are only there to support it! The beer has a warm alcohol finish and is balanced really well.

M - The medium to soft carbonation goes very well with the flavors and the thickness. The body is full and slightly creamy. A very, very drinkable beer.

O - A good beer to enjoy on a sunny day. I think this is one of the best brews the Dutch supermarket has to offer. I will definitely buy this again.

Photo of Sammy
2.85/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

There is grand cru I have liked, but this is not one of them. Fresh from Belgium. It looked nice and fresh, beautiful head, and a whiff of cardemon and cloves. But it went down like medicine and i could not finish much at all. Tangerine and melon harshness, every flavour I avoid.

Photo of sfprint
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Exp 10/21/2012
A: Lots of small carbonation bubbles violently racing to the surface in tidal gusts, jetting bits of sediment around the chalice. Just under a finger of even and dense creamy foam. Mildly dark yellow on the edges and tangerine in the center. Poured without last bit.
S: Super yeasty, hefeweizen yeasty and less like the yeast I expect from witbiers. Light citrusy peach/apricot cream. Pretty good.
T: Better than I remember it being. Alcohol is quite masked, with only a slight heaviness from the alcohol. Oh, I see now that it's not a witbier, but kind of in that family. Bready with a bit of citrus.
M: Mild micro carbonation, on the soft side, implied tartness, but not tart.
O: Pretty much everything about it is good, or even great, but I'm not in love. It's like being able to appreciate how good a renaissance painting is, but wouldn't want to have it on your wall.

Photo of tempest
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle with my steak at Faites Diver in Ghent - delicious. Appearance is a hazy dark amber withMan, this is a big, spicy beer. It's not that thick, but compared to Hoegaarden wit, it feels a bit sludgy. There's a mix of fruity berry and coriander for the flavor. And while the taste doesn't deviate, it's rich enough to make for a tasty big beer.

Photo of jahsausage
2.92/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer had a lot of head, mainly because i'd poured it so shittely The smell was quite good but the taste was a bit of a let down. I found the taste of the alcohol very overpowering which tainted an otherwise tasty beer. Normally I find that the belgians are quite skilled at hiding the alcohol but not in this case.

Photo of jmhart
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared this with my wife at Herberg Vlissinghe in Bruges.

A- poured a light gold/eggshell color. Pretty hazy. A pretty giant head forms, 3 fingers thick, but then falls into a really decent lace covering the beer.

S- Nice yeasty bread aroma with hints of citrus. The aroma's a little mild. Maybe it was served too cold.

T- Much more impressive than the aroma. Yeast, biscuit, with hints of pineapple and white pepper, all followed up with a bit of nutty funk in the aftertaste. Really flavorful.

M- Light bodering on medium bodied with a nice oily, dry-you-out, finish.

D- Good beer, but not impressed enough to miss it.

Photo of thagr81us
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Massive thanks goes out to Jerriko for this bottle was an extra in a recent trade. Bottle from the Land of the Rising Sun and survived the earthquake, tsunami, and radiation while he made his way back to the United States! Best before 20/05/12. Served from bottle into a Grolsch Pilsner. Poured a hazy yellow-orange with a one and a half finger very slightly off-white head that subsided to half a finger quickly. Maintained minimal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, banana, and alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, wheat, mild banana, and alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall I was surprised by this one. It was a little harsh on the alcohol as compared to the regular version of this brew as you can imagine. The flavor profiles seem to be the same, but everything is stepped up a notch on this one to make it much more intense. I had this one on my Wants list since I joined BA (1 year ago today!) and finally got to tick it! Really glad I got the opportunity and really appreciate the effort Jerriko went through to get this to me.

Photo of Bisho
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the beer that Hoegaarden should be exporting around the globe. It's like the standard brew on steroids!
It is a cross btween a Wit and a Strong Pale with bag loads of flavour. It is a true classic Belgian and a fantastic session brew.
Outstanding!!!

Photo of jbonapar
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lucky to Try this beer at a small Pub in Quebec, Canada.

Smell - Butter. Butter and Toffee with hints of subtle spice. I was very impressed with the smell....

Taste - Just like i thought, again, Butter and Butter Toffee. With each sip, i found the taste developing a bit, more spice with each taste and less butter. There was also a hint of pineapple in the mix. I had no idea this was 8.5% as you couldnt taste the alcohol over the flavor. Exceptional.

I dont want to get too into mouthfeel and drinkability as this beer was just exceptional. I ended up ordering another to finish the night, as did the other 3 at my table.

I wish this beer was available in all of Canada as this beer would be a hit for beer Drinkers who enjoy a Belgian style wheat beer.

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

A huge off white head erupts in my glass as I quickly bring it to the foaming bottle. Off white with tan specks it sits for a good five minutes before beginning to recede. Not as much lacing as the head would lead you to expect. The brew itself is dark and cloudy with floaties. Not much carbonation evident.

Smell is sweet malts with honey and A hint of alcohol. Coriander and orange peel are nicely tucked in. A fruity, yeasty banana aspect. Spicy and peppery notes as well.

Taste is a well balanced, bigger, tangier version of the original. Wheat malt and sour apples combine to set the table for the soft spicing. Coriander from the nose as well as banana and yeast esters. A touch of lemon. Alcohol peeks out as I swallow. Finish is mild and dry with a quenching soft bitterness. Feel is light and mildly effervescent.

Drinkability is excellent and the abv never calls itself out and the taste and feel beg you to keep going.

My thanks to ggaughan for this great brew!

Photo of SpencerSauce
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A friend of mine was in St. Maartens and brought me back a bottle of this stuff. Along with a delirium tremens glass.

A- in the bright light of the house it appeared a cloudy orange color, slightly but not very thick with sediment. which i thought was strange for a beer that was shipped back through the heat of august!

S- strong, what seems sweet and awsome. we have alot of fruit here ladies and gents.

T- Less fruit than expected but lots of thick wheat taste.

M- very crisp and bubbly but lacks the drinkability of a hoegaarden. Then again if im looking for drinkability ill grab a bud light.

D- not so much just because i wouldnt have more than a few in a row. Thats sort of the way i rate drinkability of whether or not its sessionable.

Thanks to my buddy for the beer.

Photo of basica
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This review would totally debunk my earlier review on the Grand Cru. Firstly, after going
on my journey through an array of Belgian ales, I have concluded that Belgian Blond ales
aren't my stuff and I prefer the Strong Dark Ales with a strong, rich and complex taste to
excite my pellates. The Hoegaarden Grand Cru feels somewhat like an average belgian blond
except, perhaps, with the presence of a stronger taste and smell. The Hoegaarden Grand Cru
pours out hazy off-shade orange golden with a generour head and mild head retention. It
quickly dissipates to leave an average lacing. It smells mainly of yeast and some spices like
many Belgian Blond. The taste is also yeast and spicey with a very subtle dash of fruitiness
but generally typical of Belgian Blonds; the taste was strong but not very "tasty" so to
speak. The spices show up well in the taste making a pretty good point there. The mouth feel
is more of medium body and the carbonation was apt; it feels very smooth in the mouth.
Drinkability was evident in the smoothness not just in the mouth but as it goes down the
throat. The only issue about the taste I did not like was the finish; which feels a little
"incomplete" in some sense. The after taste was majorly yeasty and spicey again but after
letting it linger around for a bit, I could sense fruitiness analagous to peach or grapes.
This is a good beer but not something I would pine for; I am not exactly a fan of Belgian
blonds as I have earlier mentioned.

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Hoegaarden Grand Cru from Brouwerij van Hoegaarden
90 out of 100 based on 324 ratings.