Grand Cru
North Coast Brewing Co.

Grand CruGrand Cru
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North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
Strong Ale - Belgian Pale
Ranked #167
Ranked #24,569
3.71 | pDev: 16.98%
Oct 17, 2021
Jul 22, 2011
Grand CruGrand Cru
Notes: None
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
3.87 by Dave2234 from Minnesota on Oct 17, 2021
4.33 by Curt3 from New Jersey on Aug 22, 2021
Photo of neenerzig
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by neenerzig from Ohio

This beer is classified as a Belgian Pale Ale style beer in this website's data base. This beer is pretty dark amber/medium brown color. And it isn't very pale at all. Rather cloudy/hazy actually. I think this beer's style is listed in BA's data base incorrectly. Doesn't have much head at all when poured out pf the 16.9 oz. bottle, but a medium sized white ring surrounding the inside of the glass along with some very small spots of surface foam. Aromas of some bready malts with definite caramel sweetness, Belgian candi sugar, and some plum and date notes, also dark red apples and a hint of apricot. And I think a bit of nectar as well along with some yeasty esters. Rounded out with a bit of bourbon oak. The flavors are very similar, with caramel sweet and bready malts, Belgian candi sugar sweetness, some fruity notes of plum, dates, and hints of apple and apricot. Also, a definite bready, and just slightly funky yeasty note, a bit of nectar, that's all rounded out with some bourbon oak. Not really any discernible hops. Has a smooth, just slightly oily and just slightly chewy, medium bodied mouthfeel with light carbonation. Has a slightly grainy finish. The various flavors really linger on my palate for a long time nicely after each sip. A very interesting beer here. I've had this bottle in my cellar for about 4-5 years until I drank it tonight.


Mar 15, 2020
Photo of VABA
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by VABA from Virginia

A-Pours a hazy amber color with a nice head and lacing
A-Aroma has fruit and spice hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a fruit and spice flavor
M-A medium bodied well carbonated beer
O-A good Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Oct 10, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
3.59/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by GuyFawkes from Illinois

Murky light orange hue.

White head; minimal lace.

Grapefruit & cranberry nose; hint of booze.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Oak, bourbon, tequila & grapefruit.

Too bold for me!

Apr 01, 2019
2.88 by BeardedWalrus from North Carolina on Mar 11, 2019
Photo of bl00
3.96/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by bl00 from Pennsylvania

Pours murky copper, thin head of large bubble dissipate quickly.
Smell is apricots, cherry, grape, corn.
Taste is orange, grape, barrel, some alcohol though smooth.
Some notes of oxidation though they blend well. Lingering finish of whiskey and orange.
Mouthfeel is medium, smooth, no carb. Some tingles on the tongue like neat whiskey.
I'm interested to try more of this. After this bottle I got a 4 pack of 2018, curious to see if I can keep the carb and if so, how it fares with less oxidation.

Oct 29, 2018
Photo of bushbeer75
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by bushbeer75 from Michigan

poured from a 1pt. 0.9 fl. oz. caged and corked brown bottle

North Coast Grand Cru poured a hazy dirty gold color - almost peach like. No head or lacing to speak of was produced. The nose was sweet, some yeast and light fruit were present. The taste follows the nose with the flavors of peach, pear and apples detected. Mouth feel is a little syrupy and sticky. High-medium bodied with lower carbonation than expected. The alcohol was present, however. well hidden for its 12.9 abv.

Overall, a flavorful Grand Cru that its drinkability is limited by that high abv.

Aug 01, 2018
Photo of Mitzvahman72
4.58/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
by Mitzvahman72 from California

With an opaque amber straw color, the flavor is balanced with sweet apricot and dried fruits, along with delicious dark caramels, brandy overtones and a slight yeast undertone. The aroma is yeasty phenols and brandy, with an aftertaste of a more yeasty plum cake. Despite the lack of carbonation from not opening the bottle for a long time, it has a enjoyably munchy mouthfeel that act as a pleasant digestif. For a barrel-aged offering, I really like how it has the actual flavors one would expect from bourbon barrel aging without getting too boozy. Don’t forget to try out other great barrel aged options, mainly the Barrel Aged Numbskull and Olde Ale/Special Reserve from Alesmith Brewing Company, Rye-on-Rye from Boulevard Brewing Company, Chanukah in Kentucky from Shmaltz Brewing Company, the Bourbon Barrel Aged Brown Ale from New English Brewing Company and the Vanilla Bean Stout from Avery Brewing.

Feb 25, 2018
Photo of Sabtos
3.84/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Sabtos from Ohio

The body has a gradient of dark amber to sunset red, with a minimal bubbly collar.

Cherry, oak, yellow apple, caramel and agave.

Carbonation is crisp, body medium, finishing semi-dry.

Dec 11, 2017
4.61 by Bajdog from Maryland on Nov 29, 2017
4.5 by Shawnspl from Rhode Island on Nov 04, 2017
3.7 by M_chav from New Mexico on Aug 23, 2017
Photo of Hackattack
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Hackattack from Indiana

"Goof"...... or.... I mean "Good" ?????? Come on BA.... this is at the very least a "very good" !

Jun 05, 2017
4 by paulish from New York on May 21, 2017
Photo of bshefftz
4.75/5  rDev +28%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by bshefftz from California

February 2019 review update: grabbed my last of a handful of bottles of this (bought a whole bunch at Costco however many years ago...) and thought I'd revisit and revise - upwards! - my rating.

First off, this is heck of a beer. Opaque brownish-orange, thick mouthfeel, about as sweet as a sweet & strong beer should be, thick mouthfeel, strong alcohol heat and minimal carbonation. An enjoyable winter sipper. Tastes like Old Stock's lighter, brighter, sweeter cousin. Reminiscent of some sweeter English barleywines I've enjoyed. I'm glad I stocked up on this and saved some and if they brew it again, I'll buy it again.

Second off, what this beer is not: It ain't a Belgian Strong Pale Ale! Should be categorized as an Old Ale, American Strong Ale, etc. I don't know how to change this but it sure isn't right.

Finally: The rating here is criminally low. But maybe my rating is too high since enthusiasm and 13% ABV may have the better of me. So maybe split the difference. But if you come across a bottle of this and enjoy old ales, strong ales, British Barleywines, etc., you're going to love this stuff.

Apr 27, 2017
3.93 by Rootscipio from Texas on Apr 01, 2017
4 by MonkeyPilates from Minnesota on Feb 07, 2017
3.93 by WastingFreetime from Wisconsin on Nov 19, 2016
3.41 by glinnebur from Arizona on Nov 13, 2016
4.1 by MooseBoose from Wisconsin on Aug 19, 2016
Photo of Specules
4.58/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by Specules from California

500 ml into a pint glass.

Saw this at Ojai Bev Co. and had to try it out of my love for North Coast. Slightly dark honey colored brew with a small effervescence to it.
Im nearly recovered from a cold right now so my nose is not as strong today, but even so I definitely smell the bourbon with some sweet honeycomb aromas from the agave nectar. Also maybe some nutty peanut brittle.

The taste is phenomenal with bourbon and sweetness (from the nectar), slight dark fruit, malty with a striking old ale/barleywine reminder on the back end.

Good mouthfeel, some syrupyness and good thickness going on as the alcohol warms my tongue.

I hope I can find this again! I live in Santa Barbara and the only place that would possibly have this is Keg n bottle in isla vista.

Jul 24, 2016
3.76 by Richter525 from Michigan on May 03, 2016
4.1 by dsm45 from Massachusetts on Apr 21, 2016
3.77 by Angerhaus from Rhode Island on Apr 19, 2016
3.76 by Sammy from Canada (ON) on Mar 24, 2016
3.58 by Desimoaj from Michigan on Mar 14, 2016
Photo of CoreyC
4.41/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by CoreyC from Wisconsin

A - Color of honey
S - Sweet green apple
T - Very nice. Smooth, no bite, sweet malt flavors cut with a light tartness,
M - thick but not too heavy
O - Very good malt forward beer. Another great beer from NC, highly recommended

Feb 27, 2016
3.69 by SadMachine from New Jersey on Feb 27, 2016
3.87 by Bilco from Pennsylvania on Feb 22, 2016
4.5 by archero from Texas on Feb 20, 2016
Photo of rodbeermunch
2.2/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25
by rodbeermunch from Nevada

Golden dark color on it, minimal head 1/6". There and gone. Reeked of pruno like alcohol.

Taste was even more rubbing alcohol like heat, nothing else exists, all obscured. Finally the belgian yeast and spice rack comes through, and that sucks too. Maybe some raisin.

This is a terrible deal and price. Not a good beer. Not everything is meant to be blended together.

Feb 03, 2016
3.62 by lurfMalderFulder from Indiana on Jan 23, 2016
4.15 by VictorsValiant from Oregon on Jan 13, 2016
Photo of Brolo75
3.77/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by Brolo75 from California

500 ml bottle poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours a dark orange, with a white head, head was full of tiny bubbles, no head retention, just a soapy film, good amount of carbonation streaming up the side, decent amount of lacing as well, looks pretty good.

A: Not getting any bourbon barrel presence but the agave nectar comes through pretty strong giving the beer a honey like aroma, Belgian yeast, spice, cloves, overall, smells really sweet with a hint of spice.

T: Bourbon, agave nectar, Belgian yeast, hint of spice and cloves, finish is sweet as the agave nectar reemerges imparting a honey like flavor to the beer, aftertaste is of agave, honey, hint of spice and clove, very complexity with some depth.

M: Medium bodied, low carbonation, looked highly carbonated on the pour, but it’s not.

O: A little too sweet for me, I was expecting more spice and clove with a touch of agave but with the addition of bourbon the beer is really sweet, too much for me. It’s a quality beer but the combination of bourbon, agave, and Belgian yeast just doesn’t mix for me.

Jan 06, 2016
Photo of Dwreck
3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
by Dwreck from Texas

I think I got a bad bottle. It was flat, no head retention, no lacing, tasted as if it went sour.

Jan 01, 2016
3.7 by Farral from Wisconsin on Dec 17, 2015
4.13 by bigmanlavos from Washington on Dec 13, 2015
Photo of MLoxxer
3.26/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
by MLoxxer from Nebraska

This beer was sold to me in a 500ml bottle. During the first pour into a 330ml chalice I noticed that there was almost no head. What little carbonation there was disappeared very quickly. The liquid does have a very hazy appearance and is quite translucent. The aroma is pleasingly strong and complex giving the impression of a well conditioned bottle of ale. The flavor, as one might expect is quite alcoholic yet mild and pleasant. My first impressions were reminders of the old Samiclaus Brown and Samuel Adams' Triple Bock. The flavor is pretty sweet, malty, and reminds me a bit of a sweet dessert wine. This offering is good, but not great, I would still rather have a well aged bottle of Gulden Draak 9000 or Piraat, but for the price this will do.

Dec 12, 2015
4.01 by Briken from Washington on Nov 30, 2015
Grand Cru from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 486 ratings