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

Not Rated.
Black Diamond Brandy Barrel Grand CruBlack Diamond Brandy Barrel Grand Cru

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BA SCORE
81
good

48 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 3.55
pDev: 16.06%
Wants: 1
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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

(Beer added by: John_M on 08-05-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.2/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of oline73
2.28/5  rDev -35.8%
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.

Photo of mactrail
3.95/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Photo of mdfb79
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of kojevergas
3.31/5  rDev -6.8%
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-

Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.35/5  rDev -33.8%
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

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of DoubleJ
3.3/5  rDev -7%
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.

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of John_M
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of AngusOg
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of CoryR
4/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of brotherloco
3.35/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Photo of FreshHawk
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of bubseymour
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Cylinsier
3.13/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22 oz.

Pours a clear dark brown, light yellowish white head about a quarter inch thick, dissipates slowly.

Smells strongly of vanilla with some caramel, dark fruit sweetness, and bready malts.

Tastes of vanilla, figs, bready malt, and a hint of chocolate.

Full body with tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

This is cloyingly sweet and rich with very little if any hint of the brandy barrel it was aged in. It's not terrible, but it's got some off-putting characteristics that make it hard to enjoy. There are some good things in there too, but they are unfortunately outweighed. Might be worth a pickup if you get it for a good price and want to split it with someone, but it's a bit of a chore to drink.

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.39/5  rDev +23.7%
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.

Photo of thebouch01
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Wolberjs
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

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Black Diamond Brandy Barrel Grand Cru from Black Diamond Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.