Grand Cru | North Coast Brewing Co.

Grand CruGrand Cru
474 Ratings
Grand CruGrand Cru

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

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

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 474 |  Reviews: 153
Photo of tbeq00
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
2.5/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of eric5bellies
3.07/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Drank from my Duvel tulip

A - Pours a clear Golden honey colour with a nice White head that retains well and laces a little.

S - Sweet sticky citrus like nose with a touch of green grapes and wood.

T - Up front some oak flavours that are followed by some apple and grren grape taste. Acidity is high and there is a little burn at the finish. There is also a lingering stick sweetness. Kind of all over the place.

M - Medium body and carbonation.

O - Has plenty to like about it, but also plenty not to like. The heat and sticky sweetness lets it down. I wouldn't have another.

 581 characters

Photo of badboyrsl84
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of mfrigon
2.5/5  rDev -32.4%

Photo of Mrpickles
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of mjmadsen21
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of yoyosarecool
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of TexAggie011
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml caged and corked bottle, given to me by @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a very effervescent, clear golden colour, with a champagne-like bead and fizzling sec head. Body is fluid, with just a touch of weight behind it. Lacing is patchy. The champagne appearance is quite pleasant and refined, but it could be a little big more persistent.

Nose is a very strange combination of nectar sweet and bone- and earthy-dry. Soft bourbon oak characters come through giving a round, smooth sensation to the aroma, while the carbonation gives crisp champagne acidity. Together, they blend in to an odd apple-cider and caramelized tarte tartin flavour. It's unusual, and not unpleasant, but also a bit haphazard.

Taste is similar, with the added disadvantage of having quite a prominent heat on the back palate. Bourbon barrel opens proceedings, with a smooth oaky sweetness that develops into a slightly crisp phenolic tartness mid palate. More apple skin characters accompany the roar of booze on the finish, leaving a seared, raw character.

Feel suffers substantially from the heat, especially on the back, where it just overwhelms everything.

This had some promise. I quite liked the odd juxtaposition of the bourbon sweetness with the Bière Brut dryness, combining to give a demi-sec complexity, but they haven't quite pulled that off. I think the Agave nectar probably ferments to nothing, leaving a much higher alcohol percentage than the beer can justify.

In the end, this is hot, boozy, unbalanced and slightly too thin for its aggression. It's a bit of a mess.

 1,562 characters

Photo of N8DAGR8
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of n2pux
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

There's something very exciting with a beer that comes in a large bottle with steel cage and natural cork...

A: Pours slightly hazy orange with a tall white head that sizzels into some lacings.

S: Belgian yeast (perhaps even some brett) and some spices, sourness and oak. Green apples and some citric notes. The high ABV is well hidden.

T: Sweetness. The sourness reminds me of that in a Flanders Red Ale. Some yeast (but NO brett). Vanilla and lots of fruit and berries. Apples and some faint banana (wheat?).

M: Sour medium full body, kind of strong carbonation for this style. Aftertaste is rather long for the style and holds a sweet dry sourness. The alcohol is very "shy"...

O: A nice try by North Coast, but not near the best Belgians. If you're curious - give it a try, but if you consider the price; avoid - this was way too expencive.

 850 characters

Photo of AleWatcher
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of drummermattie02
2/5  rDev -45.9%

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.11/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clean yellow to orange-ish color with a white head. In the aroma, buttery, a bit syrupy, and a dry alcohol smell. In the taste, alcohol, a light licorice taste, dry and somewhat buttery. Quite smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry alcohol and small licorice like aftertaste. Quite big and buttery, I wish I would have aged this for a year or three.

 371 characters

Photo of gigaknight
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours radiant gold with champagne-like carbonation, culminating in a finger of crisp white head which dissipates quickly. Little lacing is seen remaining on the glass. Plenty of good nucleation from the bottom of the chalice.

S- Light phenols and some tart Belgian yeast make up the bulk of the bouquet, supplemented by some toasted oak and vanilla sweetness. Some alcohol is also present.

T- Somewhat tinny malt sweetness opens the palate, followed by tart white wine grapes, ending with a very pleasant combination of farmhouse funk, clove, and musky agave sweetness. Bourbon flavors are hardly present, lending more toasted oak and vanilla notes as opposed to sour mash. Perhaps this is simply because the agave nectar possesses a similar character and thus masks some of the typical musk of bourbon. However, the warmth of the bourbon is noticed yet not unwelcome. There is no real "bite" to speak of, but a light alcoholic heat flashes in the back of the palate, highlighting the more carmelized notes of the barrel.

M- I found this to have just the right amount of carbonation, fizzy enough keep the alcohol and residual sugar from becoming cloying, though not at all lacking in substance. The sticky sweetness of the agave adds weight to the mouthfeel, and it seems that the oak helps to dry out the finish before the robust flavors linger for too long.

O- I got this beer for $3.99 a bottle on account of a pricing error, but I think I'd still gladly pay the $15.99 it was intended to cost. A very interesting beer from North Coast, and a superb counterpoint for the BA Old Rasputin which was equally graceful and bold.

 1,635 characters

Photo of rand
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From tap to tulip glass

A: Golden-yellow with an nice frothy, 2-inch head. Looks indistinguishable from a DIPA.

S: Boozy bouquet, strong. Notes of over-ripened fruit, plums, and candied malts. The combination almost reminds of Dole Banana-Pineapple juice, although I can't pick up any distinct pineapple or banana. Weird but interesting.

T: Notes of sweet ripened fruit roll in first, joined by strong notes of biting alcohol. I'm still getting that tropical-banana thing, but it's rolled up with a bunch of other flavors. A smattering of hoppy earthiness keeps the profile from tasting actually like juice, because it's close otherwise. Finishes sweet and boozy.

M: Medium to heavy bodied, but given all that's going on in this brew its a lot lighter in complexion than you'd think. Ample carbonation to wash the residue.

One of the more unique brews I've had. I wouldn't exactly call it drinkable, but compelling and I've just blown a half an hour trying to parse the flavors.

 987 characters

Photo of gregy55902
3.29/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 vintage poured into an oversized snifter.

A - Pours a nice, vibrant dark mango color. Minimal head which recedes quickly leaving bubbles around the rim of the glass.

S - This smell is not like any other beer, and I have to suspect the agave nectar made it smell like this. Bread, belgian yeast, funky earthen notes, and alcohol.

T - Sour dark fruits (almost cloying), a bit of bourbon, alcohol is present but not overpowering.

M - Medium bodied, good for a belgian style beer.

O - I had no idea what to expect with this one (or even what the style was, really). I prefer other styles (imperial stout/IPA) more, but this beer is ok and a good change of pace. Share this with friends because its a chore to drink the whole bottle. Not something I will seek out again but I'm glad to have tried it. I can't really recommend this to the average citizen, something just seems off and it's not a beer that I would call very enjoyable.

 938 characters

Photo of peacebone116
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured the 2011 vintage from 500-mL bottle into a snifter glass on 8-20-11.

A: Light, bright gold. Little head with wisps of lace at the sides and swirling in the middle. There is visible carbonation throughout.

N: Crisp belgian tartness mingles with a bready butterscotch flavor and a slight hint of booze.

T/M: Taste that follows the nose with defined apple tartness. A bit of oak flavor on the finish with a nice warming sensation. Not much of a bourbon flavor. Light carbonation but this seems appropriate for the style, with a light to medium body.

Overall, this is a very nice beer. Good flavors for a barrel-aged quad-style.

 637 characters

Photo of HOPPYKC
3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

No bottling date available on the bottle. Pours similar to apple juice. Crystal clear with a slight yellow hue to it. BAM Witt the citrus and fruit straight to the dome. Thiah has amazing finish and aroma, rivals some of the best I've had for grand cru. I will say this was sour to the taste. I've had much more well rounded brews that went down and tasted much better. Nice drink ability. Nice lacing. Expected a little more. Overall north coast laid down a good brew.

 469 characters

Photo of bhir
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%

Photo of gbbass16
3/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of kbutler1
2.74/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. C&C. Cork is a little tough to get out but finally gives way. Not sure why but I imagined this to be a darker color as it pours a clear apple juice golden color with a lively white head that settles to coaster in the glass. Fruity aroma mixed with some barrel notes. I also get a funky cheese note. Medium mouthfeel. Sweet fruit start with a boozy note. The agave throws this off for me I think. Overall, I’m not a huge fan of this.

 442 characters

Photo of jayhawk73
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium gold color w/ a thin off white head. Below average lacing on my CBS snifter. Completely clear to look through- strange for the color and strength. The smell is a little weird too... apricot, pear, spices, bourbon? It's very sweet, and very unique. I'm not crazy about the nose, though. The taste is like white wine, fruit juice and a shot of bourbon all mixed into one. Definitely on the light side taste-wise for the style. I see now that agave is listed on the bottle, and I definitely get some of that too. Feel is very light, syrupy, highly carbonated, with a bite in the aftertaste. Overall, this is an interesting beer that definitely needs a couple years on it. Very unique. I don't think I will seek this out again, but it's worth checking out. Cheers.

 775 characters

Grand Cru from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 474 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.