Grand Cru | North Coast Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
81
good
473 Ratings
THE BROS
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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
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 473 |  Reviews: 153
Photo of templar316
3.59/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a bright resiny amber with thin white head. Light lacing and moderate working. Nose; bright sour apple, citrus resin, candy sugar. Chardonay. The taste is bright and ready for the party. The agave is beautiful and flows over the tongue as the beer coates and clings. The effort is readily apparent although the vanilla has totally faded. Those who love sour will enjoy the finish. The king of cups is ready for a party; but today is not his brithday!

 456 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of jsteele
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of n2185
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Peyton5410
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of shick1
4.5/5  rDev +25.7%

Photo of JMBSH
2.25/5  rDev -37.2%

Photo of Thullin187
1.75/5  rDev -51.1%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of jklecko2
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of NWer
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of fmccormi
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Straight pour from 500ml cage-and-cork bottle to a 25cl Duvel Single tulip; no freshness date visible, but this was bought shortly after its release this year.

Appearance (3.5): The head is white and a bit fizzy, making a crackling sound as it dies down. Not a lot of lace as it recedes, either, just a couple of sudsy spots. The body is a brilliant orange-golden color though, and crystal clear. The lack of head and lacing is understandable, given the strength and barrel aging of the beer, but it’s kind of a letdown regardless. Great body, though.

Smell (3.5): Very strong oak scent here with a mild vanilla tone, definitely from the bourbon barrel aging. Definitely a bit of alcohol heat underneath, but it’s surprisingly subdued. Beyond that, the beer has almost a sugary sweet scent, which combined with the oaky vanilla tones comes off almost like cream soda.

Taste (3.5): At the front, the beer has more of that vanilla character, and moves into an interesting, estery fruit flavor, like apple juice, that must be coming from the yeast / malt combination. Wow . . . finishes with quite a bit of alcohol vapor, but it unfolds slowly, only coming out at the end. The bourbon character is definitely pronounced but not overbearing, because it mixes well with the fruity yeast and the already over the top alcohol tone.

Mouthfeel (3.0): The fizzy head lends a similar impression on the mouthfeel, sharply crackling before giving way to quite a bit of alcohol vapor, leaving my tongue slightly numbed.

Overall (3.5): Overall, this beer is something of an oddball. It’s not unenjoyable, but it’s challenging in some ways; it doesn’t fit the category perfectly, but there’s no category it would fit better, either. It tastes like a mildly carbonated apple juice with a strong oak character and a hell of a lot of alcohol vapor. It’s a decent beer and very interesting, but definitely best in small doses.

 1,930 characters

Photo of jar66su
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Wamba
2.5/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of hawkmage
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of JohnnieQuest
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of tziggy
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of BelgiumBill
3.52/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Corked and caged 500ml bottle has me a little intimidated as I see it is 12.9%ABV yet intrigued by the addition of agave nectar. It has me thinking this will be sweet.

Uncorking the snugly fitting cork did not produce any sort of pop.

Served it up in a nonic glass at about 45 degrees - a bit colder than the 50 degrees recommended.

Poured cloudy and the color of orange blossom honey crowned with an off white dense head about a 1/2 inch thick which rather quickly yielded to a thin layer.

Fragrance was potent and sweet. If I was blindfolded, I would swear you put a bowl of peach cobbler in front of me. Searching for other scents give ripe tropical fruits. No oak on the nose that I could discern.

First sip impression was, wow, this is sweet and surprisingly carbonated with lots of tingling bubbles cleaning up.

Flavors are sweet and ripened fruits. It has some white wine qualities - more along the lines of a sweet muscat - and the oak peeks through but not overpowering. The flavors are moderately complex but consistent. There are no waves of evolving flavors, rather consistent from start to finish.

It has a viscous, lightly syrupy feel in the mouth that is cut by the vibrant carbonation. The 12.9% alcohol is hidden well in the mouth but I was feeling it produce a slight burn down the esophagus.

Overall, this is more of a desert sipping beer. I'm not sure I'll finish the whole 500ml on my own and it would be better to share between 2, even 3 people. It is good, not great. High marks for appearance and smell. I really enjoyed the fragrances it put off.

 1,580 characters

Photo of ThomasG19
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of ginemesis
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Light straw, very cloudy.

S-Overtones of ripe pineapple juice. Malty aroma, wet cardboard.

T-Overly sweet, pineapple, coconut, and caramel. Definite Twix bar.

M-Medium body.

O-Complex with a diverse mixture of elements. However, the overall effect has a cloyingly sweet, almost syrupy effect that makes the beer a one-sip wonder.

 337 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a clean amber color with a ½ inch head that soon dissipates to an 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass and a healthy amount of surface foam. Somewhat resilient lacing.

S- Strong white wine immediately comes to mind with very similar effervescent fumes. Alcohol is certainly apparent and bears notes of vinegar.

T- There’s a Belgian character at first followed by the white wine notes. Kind of like a tripel on steroids. Booze makes itself known from beginning to end but doesn’t have an excessive sting or bite. As the palate begins to accommodate, tropical fruit flavors like pineapple and, naturally, white grapes arise.

M- Certainly has a punch to it from the alcohol but, as mentioned above, is easily bearable with slow sips. Medium-high carbonation and a relatively light body.

O- Complex while still not being all over the place. Definitely one that can stand the test of time, but make sure to cellar it properly due to its paleness.

 1,034 characters

Photo of lupercmda
2.5/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of maximum12
4.3/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wanted to try this when it came out, but being a happy home-dad, decided I shouldn't drop the money on a little 500ML bottle. After relucatantly heading back to the salt mines, saw one languishing on a random shelf & liberated it. Time to try it. Split with my wife.

Cork is tough to budge, & when it moves, it dances a good half-inch. Lack of carbonation is no worry. The pour is an overcast yellow. The nose is, well, I don't know what agave smells like, but this beast smells like the Southwest - pears & cactus & dry heat. Distinct sharpness. Bourbon is so faint I have to try to pick it out. Nice.

North Coast Grand Cru has all sorts of tastes clamoring for attention. A sharp fruitiness - agave, I presume - mingles with a bite that toes, but doesn't quite cross, into sour. There's a surge of sweetness in the middle that gives way to a touch of barrel. An herbal pie completes the odd picture. No alcohol maybe, what, 4.5%? Nice sipper.

Original & strange if nothing else. With brewers desperately trying to find a Tibetan winter root that only grows on dead tiger carcasses to spice up their latest beer...what was I saying? Oh, the agave is a new touch, & a fine one at that. Great twist on the style & an excellent beer. Better have been for the price, eh?

 1,273 characters

Photo of JRod1969
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of beerFool28607
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%

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