Grand Cru | Upstream Brewing Company - Old Market

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Grand CruGrand Cru
Very Good
28 Ratings
Grand CruGrand Cru

Brewed by:
Upstream Brewing Company - Old Market
Nebraska, United States

Style: American Wild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This beer exemplifies the best Upstream has to offer. It is the same beer as the Tripel, but the special Belgian yeast (the same yeast responsible for the unique character found in Burgundy wines) added during maturation lends a distinct earthy character to the beer. The aroma displays a strong earthy character, and the flavor shows off the complex blend of citrus, honey and oak.

Added by RedHaze on 07-12-2007

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 19
Reviews by bigolwilly:
Photo of bigolwilly
4/5  rDev +1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of elinash
4.56/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my second Upstream beer, the first being a delicious barleywine that would benefit from ageing.

The aroma on this one is great earthy yeast with honey and fruit, some citrus and overripe banana. Appearance was a deep pale with minimal head that disappears.

Taste is great, unusually drinkable. The funky yeast comes out all the way with supple warming fruits. It has a mildly dry quality to it, with maltiness on the back palate. Oak is apparent, but for me it was integrated.

Mouthfeel deteriorates a bit as long as the bottle is open. It starts out with more carbonation than it ended with.

Overall drinkability is high and I hope I can get my hands on some more.

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Photo of dbossman
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Apricot hue with minimal bubbles and head--actually quite still; looks like peach tea

S: Lots of tart fruits: granny smith apples--quite cidery, pears, apricots, with some slight vinegar and oak qualities; so tart and delicious smelling

T: Very tart and fruity--man, this is delicious: apples, cider, pears, a slight vinous quality, oaky, slightly boozy up front

F: It is a bit under-carbonated but that works well with this beer--pretty good stickiness

O: A delicious and well-aged sour; great work, Upstream

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Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Jeff for sharing this, and letting us do some cellar raiding!
Review from written notes, served in a small flared tulip glass.

Pours placidly into the glass, some larger surface bubbles and a ring of white foam around the edges. Bright clarity, fossilized amber color.

Vinous white wine aromas, tart apple and underripe pears, some light subdued barrel woodiness. Flavors are similar, tart and fruity, mainly apple, grape, peach pit, and pear, crisply sour and dry, medium bodied with low carbonation (as advertised). The vinous qualities work well, and it reminds me a little of a Chenin Blanc I had recently.

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Photo of Bornski
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of pperez38
4/5  rDev +1%

Photo of TMoore
1/5  rDev -74.7%

Photo of MisterKilderkin
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of crusian
2.61/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle from awesome girlfriend from the brewery.
537 of 1126, bottled Aug 2008 brewed july 2007.
pours a golden amber color with no head, ah crap. she had one at the brewery and thought it was awesome, well carbed, great taste... so she grabbed one for me. Pours with nothing on the head, so damn I am disappointed. Upon further investigation the cork is actually flat, it is not flared at the bottom... You know it is bad when you pull the cork out, get no pop, and can then just easily shove it back it may have just leaked all the carbonation out due to a faulty cork. Little card calls this an american sour, so not sure why it is categorized under Belgian Strong Pale Ale.
The nose is acidic, so much so that I can smell it as I pour, this is going to be sour!
taste is... sour. actually decent. carbonation would definitely kick this up, and would be quite amazing, but it falls flat... bad pun. nice cherry flavor, but man this is hard to drink without the carbonation. I have had my fair share of lower than expected carbonation, and this seems like it would be really really good with it... but it is hard to palate without. sorry to say this might be $20 or whatever it was down the drain. From the looks of the other reviews, I lucked out and got the only one with carbonation problems.
I am going back in a couple months and want to give this another try, and will re-review, but at this time...

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Photo of womencantsail
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jake for sharing this beer.

A: The beer pours a pale golden color with a bit of yeasty haze to it.

S: A light tartness to the nose in the form of lemon and apples. A nice oak note to it and some sweet vanilla, too. A hint of citrus peel and just the most mild funk.

T: The flavor is very much the same (not surprisingly). Oak and mild funk notes (mostly grassy) with some sweet citrus and a bit of citrus peel. Lightly sweet with a mild lemony tartness.

M: Medium in body with a medium carbonation.

O: I liked this beer but it didn't really blow me away. Sort of just a lightly tart Belgian Strong Ale.

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Photo of BMoney575
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 3-16-12
Bottled in July 2007

Appearance: a very cool orange/red color with a few white bubbles and as much lacing. A few chunks of brown yeast sink to the bottom.

Smell: pungently sour, very floral and nicely complex. Strong notes of fermented grape, giving a big white wine character.

Taste: right where the smell sets you up, with a mouth-puckering huge hit of sourness. Very acidic, adding even more wine quality. Does not taste as aged as I expected, with a still strong alcohol character.

Mouthfeel: rather thin and mostly flat, probably due to the age. Surprisingly this suits the sour flavors.

Overall: a very tasty and interesting beer, and a good example from a brewery I've not had before.

Thanks to david131 for half a bomber.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.49/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Big thanks to Ben aka beersack for bringing this one back from Nebraska. 2006 bottling.

A - The beer pours an orange-y honey-ish color, with very little carbonation, scant head, no lace. It looks quite rustic.

S - Huge tart-dry nose; tons of oak and Chardonnay-white grape are immediately apparent. Earthy horseblanket as well. As it airs out a bit, red apple skin, lemon juice and vague floral notes appear.

T - It tastes really a lot like chardonnay. I mean a lot. Better, of course, because it is beer. The flavor is big-time oak, lemon zest, vanilla, and white grape tartness. Beer turned into wine. As I drink more, the vinous sweet acidity increases, which only serves to sharpen my oft-stated beer-wine link. The malt is radically transformed, I don't get the breadiness that surely once was; for its part it shows flavors pale-sweet, tart and oaky. Hop? No. Yeast? I guess it is Belgian-esque on the golden-fruity side of things, but flavors from oak and barrel tend to overrun. Very unusual, albeit exceptionally delicious.

M - Beer turned into wine. Low carbonation. Works well, strangely, in this instance.

D - This is one of the more unusual brews in memory. Let me obliterate the slain equine once more: it is like beer turned into wine. It is intriguing, delicious, pair-able, refreshing, and highly unusual.

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Photo of Moe55
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 750ml bottle into a Belgian glass.

A - hardly any head, honey orange color

S - fruity with hints of sour

T - tart, honey, kind of like a cider, oak

M - medium to low carbonation

D - another great beer from the Upstream Brewing Company. worthy of the grand cru name.

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Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed in '07, bottled in '08 - consumed 11/7/10.

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a small, white head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace.

S - It smelled slightly sour and funky. There were some caramel notes, too.

T - Good Belgian yeast presence with some sour fruit flavors like grape. Mild caramel notes and a even milder bitterness.

M - It was crisp with a slightly puckering bite. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a delicious ale from Upstream. I think the age on the bottle made it exceptionally unique.

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Photo of gordavidson
4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased in Omaha on my road trip from Michigan to California in 2010.
Bottled August 2008
Brewed July 2007
Bottle 249/1126

A- Pours a slightly hazy orange with no visible carbonation. There is no real head to speak of.

S- Very pungent sour green apple, must, and lemon. Smells very funky and acidic. A bit simple but very appealing.

T- Jesus Christ. Super funky and sour. Loads of green apple, vinegar, lemon, and must. Very tart and tasty. Unique and surprising to say the least.

M- Definitely on the flat side, but for the first time I can recall, it actually works for this beer. Very tart, acidic, dry, and clean on the finish.

O- Very tart and sour. The alcohol is well hidden and the lack of any carbonation doesn't detract from the experience. Very interesting. I am glad I made the purchase, which was around $20 if I recall correctly.

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Photo of RedHaze
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Brewed august 2005, bottled July 2006 and enjoyed July 2007.

Pours a slightly hazy honey color with a thin quarter inch head that fades quickly to a thin ring and a few floating bubbles. There's really no lacing to speak of.

Smell; honey and oak are by far the dominant aromas going on in this one. But there's a mild undercurrent of orangey cirtus in here, with just a little bit of an of a yeasty presence.

Taste; orange peel and lemons upfront, that fades into a oak and vanilla flavor. The sweet honey someout in the middle, with a bit of a mustiness that must come from the oak barrels, and finishes with a bit of a tarness that helps to offset the sweet honey flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and a little on the sticky side, but seems to fit the profile of this beer just fine with me, and the drinkability is pretty darn good.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 790/1126 - Brewed July 2007 - Bottled August 2008

Brought back from Nebraska by my girlfriend, thanks! The beer appears hazed golden with a one finger white crown.

The aroma is fruity, with notes of ripe apples, peaches, apricots, oak, and earth. Is that Brett? Interesting. The malt is lightly bready and there's a dash of mustiness accompanying stone fruit. Great aroma.

The flavor is lightly tart apples and apricots with oak and sugary bready malt. The beer is lightly sour (lactic) with a dry mouthfeel.

The carbonation is soft. The mouthfeel is sticky. This was surprisingly delicious and complex. Immensely enjoyable.

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Photo of canjeeps
5/5  rDev +26.3%

Photo of wisrarebeer
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought back by Ron H. Cost was $20.
Brewed on July 07.
Bottled Aug 08.
Bottle 305 or 1191.

A: clear amber color, very little head but some lacing, bottles states there is very little CO2
S: tart, malt, pronounced, very good
T: I really liked this beer, tart, fruity, with a good malt backbone, well-done
M: thirst quenching, very lively on the tongue
O: well-made, very true to type

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to fugazme for this one.

750 ml bottled in July 2006.

A - Pours a hazy honey coloered golden orange with no head.

S - Honey and oak with citrus and over ripe melon.

T - Honey and musty, wet oak, over ripe melon, citrus and lemon. Somewhat funky with white wine notes.

M - Medium body and slightly sticky. Low carbonation.

D - Very interesting beer.

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Photo of rye726
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one at GABF. It was one of the few stand out of the nights. Pours anice golden color with a white head. Nose is sour with soem oak, funk and candy malts. Taste is also quite dry an dtart, but well balanced. Clean, crisp body. Nice finish. Who would have though a little Ohamaha, Nebraska brewery could make such tasty sours.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kan for sharing. Served in a Lost Abbey Rastal Teku.

A - Pours with a thin foam that settles to a thick ring, and some light filmy haze on top, leaving behind minimal lace. Hazy orange body.

S - This is more along the lines of Splinter Gold, with a strong Belgian-style base beer that has been funked and oaked up. There's some sweet fruity tripel notes, as well as some perfume notes.

T - Tart finish, light vinous notes, more sour and tangy than the nose. I liked this more than the nose (although not enough to justify the massive score increase from going to 4.5), as it had more richness and complexity, adding more sour and tart notes to a sweeter base beer.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, dry tannic finish. Very pleasant and refreshing.

D - This was a nice start for the evening. Not mind-blowing or anything, but a well-crafted surprise from a state not particularly well-known for beer. I wish there had been more left when I got to Kan's place.

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Photo of mentor
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a tan head over a coppered light brown liquid. Mildy clouody. Smells soured, acetic, not brettanomyces. Mild oak, cani-like, watermelon. Sweet, yet tart. Salty. Cherry without the sour of cherry.

Tastes soured and some brett horseblanket. Some acetic and green grape. End hangs sweet with clean malt character. Light mouthfeel. Sour and alcohol pull the malt off the tongue. Some creamy slik-like character. decent drinkability. More fruity thatn I'd like.

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Photo of Crosling
3.72/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Red gold color with a small, quickly diminishing foam. Really complex nose, with hints of brett funk, barrel (vanilla, white wine soaked wood, coconut), as well as some hints of fruit. Flavor also has a lot of complexity. A lot of oak character and funkiness. Vanilla, white wine, funk and it even finishes well. I have had this beer a couple times this batch. The original offering was much less funky and I liked it more. This sample is quite funky, almost approaching sour ale, but it is still of very high quality.

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Grand Cru from Upstream Brewing Company - Old Market
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 28 ratings