Grand Cru | North Coast Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
81
good
473 Ratings
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no score
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Grand CruGrand Cru
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
northcoastbrewing.com

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.90%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by nbree00 on 07-22-2011

BEER STATS
Ratings:
473
Reviews:
153
Avg:
3.58
pDev:
17.88%
 
 
Wants:
18
Gots:
103
For Trade:
4
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 473 |  Reviews: 153
Photo of DmanGTR
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of artdob
4.68/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A 16 ounce bottle, topped with a cork kept in place with a wire cage. Surprised that the head was extremely minimal and disappeared entirely almost in a blink of an eye. That said, sure pours a very attractive, unique orange color.

This beer has a nose that hits you from a distance. Nice yeasty notes balanced with apricot esters. Can just about sense the agave that is noted as part of this brew on the bottle notes.

On the palate, oh wow. After seeing the pour, my expectations turned real low. But this is so unique. A very rich, fruity apricot, fruit compote in the glass. Warming and velvety on the mouthfeel.

This was a fairly pricy bottle, I think I paid about $14 bucks. Being a huge fan of North Coast, had to give this a try. Rare that I would do this would beers that are on this end of the price scale (per bottle), but tomorrow am going back to the store where I bought this to buy several more bottles. I could see laying this one down for awhile and popping open when feeling like indulging in something special.

Initial appearance disappointment was mire than made up with everything else that followed. Beer nectar baby. Kudos North Coast!

 1,163 characters

Photo of scott2269
4.5/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of C-Dog
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of MtOrion
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of OregonGrown7
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of DenverLogan
4.01/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From corked bottle...poured in chalice.
Pours a copper gold with significant head that melts down to little islands within a few minutes.
Aroma of amber malt, honey, white wine and alcohol.
Whoa...big mouthfeel and flavor. Modest carbonation. Flavor of bourbon, odd tropical fruit, sweet malt, light cocoa, lemongrass, white pepper, Chardonay, watermelon rind, candy sugar, oak, honey (agave nectar).
Overall assertively bold, complex and flavorful for the first ten minutes. After 20 minutes it's opened up nicely...less alcohol and punch, more sweetness and refined liquor smoothness...warming. That's the beauty of having this bottle solo...it's likely to last long enough so you can taste this beer at it's best. Like a good complex wine, it needs time to open up. I think many reviews would be higher if they let it sit 20 minutes or so.
With it's funky fruit, bourbon and spice notes,and given the alcohol (and price), this fits as a very tasty sipping beer.

 968 characters

Photo of emancomeith
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of bobhits
1.68/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 1 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1

A big beer at 12.9% the carbonation hardly lasts long at all. The body is crystal clear orange/yellow color. I'm not sure how a beer this big can be clear nor do I know why one would want it to be. Maybe they wanted this one aged a year or ten?

Sugary sweet, with Belgian style yeast aromas. There is a LOT of sugar aromas in here. Fruit aromas of bananas and pears come out. We went from sugars to fake sugars...I'm not sure why Agave was added...maybe someone was fooled into thinking it was healthy? Either way while crystal clear there is a clear weight and density to this beer.

Where is the bourbon barrel effects? This is ungodly sweet, overly sugary, and just frankly awful. Alcohol heat mixed with maybe some kind of oak, sugar, aspartame, sucralose, maybe molasses, and maybe some other sugars I can't place.

Clean taste but the alcohol heat is overwhelming. No carbonation in the mouth should cause problems, but the clean finish seems ok.

A grand cru should be the best a brewer makes. It should stand for something. Instead this is one of the worst efforts a rather good brewery has made. Bottom line drain pour.

 1,131 characters

Photo of SlothB77
4.46/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

poured from 1 pint 9 ounce bottle into a snifter.

This is the champagne of beers. and by that i mean the beer tastes like champagne. Smell: floral aromas. Taste: like champagne. Very sweet. Mouthfeel: very acidic, very carbonated, light-bodied. As close as beer gets to champagne. $36 for a 1 pint 9 ounce bottle in NoVa,

Rave reviews.

 337 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.51/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

As an American brewery which has flirted with Belgian styles with much success, It's easy to become currious on which one that they think is the best and entitled with the moniker "Grand Cru".

The pop of the cork yields a mild spillover of foam that seeps from the bottle (have your sinks ready kids). But then I was surprised by the relatively light colored ale inside. Medium amber in color, the beer carries well the hues of honey and pine sap. Even the most gentle of pours cause the froth to separate from the beer beneath with an expansive and heady cap. Spotty lace takes the forms of broken rings and isolated pockets, but is surprisingly mild on both retention and lace.

Complex Belgian character slathers the olfactory senses with a ton of fruit, malt, and spice. Caramel, honey, and biscuit lay the foundation but its the fruity complements that come in the form of apple, apricot, cherry, spiced pear, banana and dates that quickly gain command. Its balanced scent is a crazy melange of pepper, cumin, taragon, chai tea-like spices, clove, and of course coriander. Along with the stronger alcohol components, the beer begins to seem lightly of cough syrups.

The fruit and spice balance also battles it out in taste. But first its the coat of malty sweetness that emerges first- honey, caramel, crusted bread, and confectioner's sugar all lay the ground work for the Belgian influences to play upon. Apricot meets coriander, cherry with taragon, mellon with chai tea, banana and clove, alcohol and cayenne, fenel and dates... it seems that the balance of fruit and spice is never ending. But with the immense taste of lingering malt sweetness, all that ester-phenol interplay is fully supported.

Supported so well that it interferes with the beer's overall drinkability. As the candyish malts penetrate the mouth, it buffers against the strong alcohols and spicy notes. But the left over sweetness makes the beer a slow sipping affair rather than a drinking ale. The reluctant recession of malt delays the beer's finish and reserves the beer's spicy dryness and alcohol warmth until very late.

Overall, I would classify the beer as a very complex yet unrefinned ale. It suffers much the same fate as many other American brewed, Belgian inspired ales that portray a half-hearted Belgian depth and lacking the raw rusticity and supple dryness that makes those from Belgium so great.

 2,396 characters

Photo of AxesandAnchors
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of zadams1
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of dccombs
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of oldedog
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of bigbankhank
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of hansenme
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of rfbenavi80
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of jco3rd
4.5/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of Djsaturn1
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of Greywulfken
4.45/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First things first: beers reviews always come from biased sources, right? Everyone's got their idea about what they like, and how this style should be done, etc.
Second, let's consider North Coast Brewing. They brew the classic RIS, Old Rasputin. They brew a barleywine-esque old ale, the Old Stock Ale. These two beers are top flight. Their other major beers, Pranqster and Brother Thelonius, are respectably good beers.
When I see North Coast on a label, I expect good things. When I see Grand Cru on a label, I expect the best of the best. It is, after all, a grand cru.

A: Deep gold/pale amber body with slight haze from a center-pour unto a tulip kicked up a slim finger of tan head; the beer leaves the glass clean as you drink

S: orchard fruits, apricots and peaches soaked in bourbon

T: luxurious sugars from the malts and aromas from the hops create a tapestry of the lush orchard fruits and booze - a very sultry, heady flavor. Fresh and juicy.

M: brisk carbonation creates a warm fuzz to the medium-to-full bodied feel

O: ignore the mundane (so far) reviews, and just get it already.

Buyer beware: it's just a pint-and-change bottle, so you're not gonna get much of a second pour!

 1,198 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a fading head.
Nose shows wine-like notes, fruity tequila, very soft bourbon, coconut. Pretty wierd and different. Not sure I like the fruity white wine character though.
More coconut as a flavour along with bourbon and booze. Some fruity wine notes are still there.
Boozy-feeling body, low carbonation. Some burn.
A bit too boozy and white wine-like in my opinion.

 382 characters

Photo of rankandfile
4.75/5  rDev +32.7%

Photo of sendbeer
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of rolive
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Grand Cru from North Coast Brewing Co.
3.58 out of 5 based on 473 ratings.
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