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Black Diamond Brandy Barrel Grand Cru - Black Diamond Brewing Co.

Black Diamond Brandy Barrel Grand CruBlack Diamond Brandy Barrel Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

42 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 42
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 16.81%


Brewed by:
Black Diamond Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
Our Belgian-style dark ale has been taken to the next level by careful blending and aging techniques.

(Beer added by: johnmichaelsen on 08-05-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 42 | Reviews: 16 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Brad for sharing this bottle. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours a moderately-dark brown color with a nice light tan head and a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose carries a good bit of brandy plus some dark fruits and a bit of brown sugar. Faint caramel. Flavor hits the brandy notes pretty well with some dark fruit in the background. Medium body and good carbonation. Pretty decent.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2012 01:43:45 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lovely dark amber in the tall chalice. Very nice foam and lacing. Fragrant with booze and vanilla. Long nose of honeysuckle and peanut brittle. A buttery flavor with lots of malty sweetness. Reminds me of Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur, only better. Lots of caramel and butterscotch with just enough hoppy bitterness to give it an edge. Slight sharpness and a winey touch.

One of the better vanilla-flavored beers I've had. 22 oz bottle from Beer Revolution in Oakland. The label says 9.0% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2012 05:35:00 | More by mactrail
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

2.35/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Poured a cola color with good carbonation leaving a small dirty white cap and some lacing

S: Whifss of brandy, chocolate and dark fruits

T: Well the taste followed the ose but presented a big letdown with cheap brandy, some Hersheys like chocolate, my moms bakers powder cocoa and some dark fruits, some weird phenols hittin on this with an odd finish.

M: Well carbonated but the mouthfeel was simple and poor tasting

O:Pretty much avoid

Serving type: on-tap

03-20-2012 11:46:15 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.25/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 03/16/12 notes. Thanks to nimbleprop for sharing this one. 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a clear amber-brown color with one inch of medium tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of brandy, dark fruits, sweet raisins, figs, molasses, and alcohol. Decent but a bit sweet.

t - Tastes of brandy, alcohol, sweet dark fruits and fruity malts, oak, figs, plums. Even sweeter than the nose; too sweet for me and a step down.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a pretty average beer. Quite boozy and very very sweet. Probably not something I'd seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2012 19:48:03 | More by mdfb79
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.31/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at a local bottle shop; 2011 vintage. I'm excited to try this one because I love a good Belgian dark ale and I really enjoyed Black Diamond's Jagged Edge IPA, although the beers I've had from them since have largely been disappointing. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

9.0% ABV according to my bottle (not 8.0% as currently listed). It's also currently listed as a dubbel, but the label clearly states "Our Belgian-style dark ale has been taken to the next level by careful blending and aging techniques." **After completing my review, it's very clear this is a Belgian dark ale and not a Dubbel; much more Chimay blue than Westvleteren 8. I'll put in an update.

A: Pours a one finger very light khaki colour head - quite thin - without much cream, and of above average retention considering the high ABV (~3 minutes). Body colour is - true to the label - a dark deep mahogany (although that diction comes off pretentious; it's a caramel-red). Barely translucent. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Dark fruit, oak, light subtle brandy, raisin, fermented fruit, grape/stonefruit, dark malts, and caramalt. A rather light aroma, actually, but it has some nice subtlety. Nice quite as evocative of dark fruit as I'd like in a good Belgian dark ale, but it's complex and appealing. Little yeasty character. I'm excited to try it.

T/Mf: Lovely brandy notes, stonefruit, raisin, cream, and vanilla bean up front, giving way to a dark malt body with lingering notes from that open. Fig and a bit of grape, but not as fermented or dark as I'd like. Little wood comes through; it's mainly as an underlying guiding tone in the background. The vanilla is subtle; Victory at Sea this is not. Fruity sweetness throughout is complemented by the creamy smooth feel. Still, it's coarse enough to allow the flavours to come through. It might be a bit too thick, coming off slightly vinous; I'd stop short of calling it syrupy, but it is a bit too viscous. Overall, the flavours come off strangely muted; I'm hoping this changes as it warms but I doubt it will. For all its complexity, it's shockingly timid. I search for the banana and bubblegum mentioned on the label but find none. Hopping is minimal and hop character is floral/generic. No real yeasty notes. A touch of alcohol heat, but it's hardly noticeable. All around a well balanced Belgian dark ale, but one that lacks depth of flavour and evocative quality.

Dr: Very drinkable, especially considering the 9% ABV. It's not a fantastic blow-your-socks-off Belgian dark ale, but it did surpass my modest expectations. This helps restore my faith in Black Diamond, and I'd happily try the Bourbon version of this beer; Black Diamond seems to have a firm handle on barrel aging. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but it's a nice little Belgian dark ale for what it is, and I like the brandy barrel exprimentation.

Low B-

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2013 05:24:52 | More by kojevergas
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

3.3/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Weighing in at 9% ABV with a combination of fruit, vanilla beans, and brandy barrels, this Black Diamond beer somehow found its way on the shelves of Palm Springs Liquor. You know what time it is:

It looks just right. A head that's thick and rocky, shiny obsidian color with a tint of brown, and good smacks of lacing around the glass. The nose takes a little time to "air out". You can find the distincy vanilla bean addition. Extra time allows assorted "sharp" dark fruits to breathe with the vanilla, providing a pleasant duet of aromas.

The aroma got my hopes high, but ultimately I will have to settle for the taste to be merely adequate. Now we're getting the brandy barrel to show itself, and ironically, it seems to be the taste's biggest influence. The fruit and vanilla will have to settle for second billing. A little mediciney at times though, with occasions occuring more often as more of the bottle is consunmed. The body is almost medium, quite light for a 9% ABV beer, with a spike of bittering alcohol and brandy in the finish.

In terms of quality, it is about where I expected it to land. Its process of fabrication were interesting and begged a purchase, and while it show the added ingredients/processes, is nice enough and won't turn your head.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 06:56:48 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Liked the bourbon barrel version at Max's, so figured I give the brandy barrel a try.

The brandy barrel version looks pretty much the same as the bourbon barrel version. The beer is a brownish amber, with good head retention and lacing. Pretty similar nose as well, except that instead of bourbon, I get brandy, brown sugar and some underlying spice... maybe a hint of vanilla as well. The flavor profile is similar to the bourbon version, but not as pronounced. Still, I get considerable bourbon, brown sugar, cherry liquer and vanilla. It's pretty nice, though not as good as the bourbon version (IMHO). Mouthfeel is fairly full and long, with smooth, moderately sweet, brandy flavored finish.

Maybe not as impressive as the bourbon version, but a solid beer nonetheless.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2011 20:33:14 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark red amber. One finger fine light tan head with good retention. Unusual aroma of dark fruit, malt with a strong vanilla element, somewhat vinous. Flavor also unusual, sweet malt, a mixture of light and dark/dried fruit with faint vanilla. Light brandy and wood in the middle and finish, which has some vinous elements. Flavor is somewhat subdued, but fairly complex and well integrated. The finish is a bit dry due to the the other flavor elements fading out at the end. Although the flavor is more mild than I'd expect, the 9% alcohol is well covered. Medium bodied with some creaminess. This was an interesting beer and I'm glad I tried it. I would have classified it as a Belgian strong dark rather than a dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 04:54:36 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

2.28/5  rDev -35%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

I had this on-tap at Max's. Served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, very red dark amber color with a half finger of off white head.

Smell: Very mild. Sweet malt, but that's about it. This was the point where I started to worry.

Taste: The taste is way to small. Not enough flavor at all. There is a hint of brandy and malt, but it seems to be a bit watery.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation. The finish is dry.

Overall: Not enough flavor or smell. Definitely wouldn't have this one again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-08-2011 01:31:02 | More by oline73
Photo of FreshHawk
FreshHawk

Illinois

3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Murky amber color with an average sized, foamy, whispy, off white head. Average retention and little to no lace left.

S - Quite sweet. Brandy along with fig, date and prune aromas are strong. Also strong is a molasses, brown sugar, cotton candy sweetness.

T - Similar to the nose. Very sweet beer with dark fruit, molasses/brown sugar and cotton candy. Brandy comes out a bit, more as the beer warmed and toward the finish of the sip. Slight vinous taste but it brings out the sweet dark fruit more as well.

M - Medium body with average carbonation. Sticky and slightly syurpy.

D - It made a decent dessert beer but it is a little too sweet and really has those 2 notes of dark fruit (and brandy) and molasses/brown sugar/cotton candy.

Notes: On tap at Beer Revolution. Wasn't a bad beer, but I wasn't tempted to get it again. Pretty sweet.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2011 18:32:08 | More by FreshHawk
Photo of brotherloco
brotherloco

California

3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber. 2011 edition. 9% ABV. Served in a snifter.

I tried the Bourbon Barrel version last week, so I'm basing this review to that one.

Pours a deep root-beer brown with ruby-red highlights. A small yellow head forms and then dissipates fairly quickly. A spot or two of lacing.

Very similar aroma to the Bourbon Barrel version. A lot of vanilla, brown sugar, raisins, plums, some peppermint sharpness, Belgian yeast, and sweet malt.

Not surprisingly, very similar flavor to the Bourbon Barrel version. Flavor hits you with an initial fruit-soda sweetness, although maybe tempered a bit in this version. Things get tart in the middle (again, a little tempered) and the finish dries up and introduces some wood character (oak and vanilla). I'm tasting more vanilla in the finish of this version. Not sure what the Brandy in contributing, perhaps a sweet fruit note. Alcohol is really nicely hidden.

Body feels a little thin. The carbonation is relatively high and sharp. Feel is kind of harsh and burns the tongue.

Not very different from the Bourbon version, but not surprising since that's only 25% of the beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2012 03:50:52 | More by brotherloco
Photo of matttttYCE
matttttYCE

Arizona

3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a murky brown color and a purple tint. The head is maybe a figer high, creamy, and off-white in color. Retention/lace is low. The aroma is decently complex.

Plenty of rich malts and dark fruits, like figs, dates, raisins, and black cherries, as well as vanilla (though a bit light) and cream at first. After that notes of sweet molasses and brown sugar, sherry and brandy, cocoa powder. Bringing up the rear are hints of bubblegum, vinous notes, and nutty hints. Not getting any of the clove, banana, and belgian yeast that the bottle mentioned.

Taste is a bit of a let down compared to the aroma. Brandy, dark fruits, malty sweetness, light vanilla (lighter than the nose) and cream, hints of cola and cocoa powder, and chocolate covered cherries, light brown sugar, hints of bubblegum, and vinous notes on the finish.

Carbonation is light-medium, consistency is thin and filmy with the touch of carbonation to help it, light-medium body, with a finish that's, again, light and a tad dry.

Overall this is an interesting beer. The best description I can give it is that it's not necessarily a beer I would seek out again, but certainly not one that I'm having any qualms about finishing and certainly not one I have any thought of drain-pouring by any means.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2012 04:51:08 | More by matttttYCE
Photo of CharlieMurphy
CharlieMurphy

New York

3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Ruby red brown with a 1/2" camel cream head that stays put.

S: Faint. Some dry cocoa powder, nuts, nutmeg, vanilla, vanilla cream.

T: Just extremely subtly smooth and refreshing. Light profile through and through. Vanilla cream, with the slightest essence of walnuts, frosted bran, maple sugar. No brandy noticeable. The back end is bouqueted up a bit with a mild lull of carbonation.

M: Very fine carbonation that tickles, gives a light whispy air, and doesn't impart anything that takes away from the flavor or sustainability of drinking.

O: I do like it a lot, but it surprisingly seems very different from the bourbon barrel version. It's much lighter in color, taste, and feel with more vanilla. I'm currious if figs and currants are used in this one as well.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2012 03:51:55 | More by CharlieMurphy
Photo of JamieDuncan
JamieDuncan

Maryland

4.39/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up because local store was doing a special. Marked down to $5 for a 22. Low expectations due to store seemingly clearing it out. Great looking beer, dark, rich with a good head and the smell jumps up and grabs you. Excellent and very strong, just sat and sniffed for a few. Taste is also excellent and it is very easy to drink with 9% ABV. Bonus points overall for alcohol content and value, although if at regular cost it would lose those points. Will swing back by and see if it is still on sale and will also get the Bourbon variety if available.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2014 02:33:06 | More by JamieDuncan
Photo of IHyphySF
IHyphySF

California

1.53/5  rDev -56.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Was excited to crack this one open but quickly got disappointed and poured into a Chimay goblet. This was the first drain pour of the year. This is surprising to me because the bourbon barrel version tasted so delicious.

A - Poured into a goblet and it had no apparent foam or head and it looked like a 2 liter bottle of coco cola that has been half drank and been sitting in your fridge for a week. There were small amounts of bubbles forming on the bottom of the glass.

S - The beer had a plastic artificial vanilla smell to it and smelled more like a subdued root beer aged in brandy.

T - Disappointment is the first thing that came to my thought process because it tasted like cheap brandy mixed with burning plastic. Tasted the vanilla but it tasted artificial and way to sweet for a beer.

M - Was flat and the very few bubbles i saw did not reflect on what i felt in my mouth.

O - Would not buy this again it was a trainwreck in my mouth and when i described the brandy it was not hot or extremely boozy i think it was just a bad pairing with this type of brew. I am not sure if time will help this one out but maybe it is what it needs.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 06:41:04 | More by IHyphySF
Photo of HerdNo1
HerdNo1

West Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a wine glass since I'm in a hotel room and that's the only glass available.

Appearance - Pours a dark brown with a creamy white head that leaves incredible lacing that lasts.

Smell - Initial smell of dark fruits. I get figs and maybe some dark cherry. Vanilla beans have been added but I don't get that on the nose. I don't get any bourbon either.

Taste - A distinctly unpleasant metallic taste at first. I have no idea where that comes from but I tasted it with all three glasses from the bottle. For whatever reason, it faded after the first taste. Weird. Anyway, dark fruits dominate at first and then the vanilla comes through. Alcohol is nicely hidden even though this beer has a 9% a.b.v. I can't find any alcohol on the nose or the palate. Rich malt with a dryish finish and just a bit of hops but they are very much in a supporting role.

Mouthfeel - Easy, creamy, dry finish that doesn't overwhelm.

Overall - Not a great beer but not bad. I would really have liked a bit less vanilla and a bit more bourbon but perhaps that's just personal preference. Would I buy it again? Sure. Would I drive an hour for it? No.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2012 03:23:08 | More by HerdNo1
Black Diamond Brandy Barrel Grand Cru from Black Diamond Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.