Grand Cru | Dick's Brewing Company

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Grand CruGrand Cru

Brewed by:
Dick's Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by pezoids on 06-06-2003

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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 60
Photo of artoolemomo
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours up very little head which has equally bad retention. The head is light beige/khaki while the body is a muddy, dark amber with hints of chestnut and looks a hazy, medium to dark amber in the light. Some spots of lacing.

Nose- Dominated by fruit esters. Starts off with lots of apple which tends toward applesauce. Mix in a little brown sugar. Some light notes of darker fruits, maybe plum. Hints of citrus, mostly lemon. Some peach. An undercurrent of bananas and rounded cloves. Some molasses. Seems somewhat in between a Dubble and a Tripel at this point.

Taste- Fairly reflective of the s but just not as complex. The apple seems to dominate and seems somewhat generic. I would also agree with other reviewers that it is a little too sweet on the front. At least for the moment. Some banana that seems to be in the wrong place on the palate followed by ashy clove that mixes with a bit of woodiness on the finish which makes me think of slight earwax. Some brown sugar and molasses. Certainly messy with some presence, perhaps too much. Pretty much what one should expect for a beer of this style that costs 2.29 a bottle. Not bad and the flaws are minor but it seems flabby. Banana seems to find itself closer to its proper spot but becomes more generic. Doesn't show any of its 10 percent. Has some aspects of a BDSA but seems more like a cross between a Dubbel and a Trippel, not that either of those are strictly defined. I like the effort but this is pretty much above average for me. Too much sugar. A little bit of cinnamon that hits me the wrong way at the moment. This will work for the right person.

Mouthfeel- More than medium bodied with a good amount of syrup to the texture. Mild carbonation. Pretty smooth but seems a little to heavy for the style- I think I would prefer it cleaner and more effervescent.

Drinkability- Pretty easygoing despite the sweetness. Shows no real alcohol and the price is right at 2.29 a bottle. I'm very particular about Belgians so this will probably not be a repurchase.

Overall- Above average. Not exactly sure what style they were shooting for but it seems closer to one interpretation of the Dubbel (the interpretation that I like the least). A fairly good attempt and worth a try. It's good for the price.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Review from 5/2011 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip.
Pours a dark orange amber with nice carbonation. Half finger white head and light lacing. Faint sweet malt, light fruit and Belgian spicing aroma. Sweet malt, dark and light fruit up front with a strong orange rind component. Quite sweet and almost syrupy. Finish is surprisingly dry with a bit of a hop bite. An odd metallic flavor in the finish possibly due to spicing. Pleasant enough start, but the finish is not well done. Not well integrated. A miss.

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Photo of doughanson78
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Dark murky amber with some sediment floating. A half finger off white head that fades to some larger bubbles remaining on top. Leaves a decent lace.

S: Sweet caramel and dark fruits. A light Belgian yeast aroma. Not much else going on.

T: Big sweet caramel up front. Sweet dark cherries and other dark fruits in the middle. Big Belgian yeast with a caramel sweetness in the finish.

M: Medium body. Lower carbonation. Slight creaminess.

O: It's decent. Nothing special. A bit sweet but drinkable.

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Photo of BeerTwins
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice dark amber with a medium creamy head. Alcohol very evident in the smell. Mouth feel was smooth and whiskey-like. Flavor was very sweet and somewhat fruity but sort of overpowered by the alcohol heat. Defininately an ale to be savored. Would be very nice on a cool evening.

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Photo of loren01
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark orange color, nice sized head with good lacing
S: Belgian yeast, sweet fruity scents also ETOH scent
T: Sweet...maybe too much sweetness. Apple/pear and dark fruit flavors. Also nice spice flavor in there
M: Medium bodied beer, carbonation seems maybe a tad low
O: Pretty good beer, maybe a bit too sweet but overall i'm glad I picked this beer up.

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Photo of notchucknorris
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber/copper color with barely any head at all. What little head there is goes away pretty quickly.

S: Big and boozy on the nose with some hints of raisin, brown sugar, plum, belgian yeast and alcohol.

T: Lots of sweetness upfront with some heavy malt sweetness, brown sugar, something that tastes like a syrup made from fig, oak, nutmeg and a slight nuttiness on the finish. A little too sweet and syrupy for me.

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Photo of Kuromaru
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance--Pours a completely opaque orange pekoe tea-ish brown, with very little head, although there was good retention in the head that was there. This beer has a very different and appealing look.

Smell--Orange zest, dried apricot, caramel, sugar and alcohol straight away. After that I got a host of earthy notes, from pepper to yeast to bitters. The alcohol presence kind of flits in and out of the complex nose, but shows up most prominently at the end.

Mouthfeel--Here's where this beer fell a bit short for me. Very little carbonation. Overly full in the body--impossibly heavy and sticky, with a tad too much alcohol in the finish. This beer really lingers on the palate.

Taste--Sweet and malty characteristics dominate. Orange candy, dried, sugared apricot, sweet bread. Lusty earth notes of pepper and mild bitters pop in shortly before the alcohol finish.

Overall--This beer certainly is complex, but is lacking in balance. Muddy. Just a bit too sweet, and the slightest detection of bitters and spice left me wanting more. Worth a try, though, for sure.

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Photo of NWer
4.35/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aggressive pour into my 21st Amendment chalice.
Nice head. Retains well. Golden color. clinging layered lace. Looks good.
Sweet smell with nice undefinable flavors filling the glass.
Taste is mildly sweet. Very pleasant. Very enjoyable.
A Belgian Strong Ale or a Tripel? Maybe it's just me but I can't tell the difference.
Mouthfeel is wonderful. Very enjoyable with absolutely no cloy start to finish.
A worthy effort that deserves more respect in my opinion.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage

A: Poured a dark amber/gold color with good carbonation and a very small head.

S: Nose is sweet, booze, spice, fruits and belgian yeast.

T: Taste of sweetness, some honey perhaps, tart fruits, booze. The 10% ABV is well hidden here. It has a syrupy feel and texture on the end.

M:There is alot of taste and it is balanced which helps the drinkability tremendously.

D: Cant go wrong with this beer.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a tulp style Delirium glass:

A - Murky dark amber with a decent soapy off-white head that quickly faded to a nice foam. You're able to pour this one quickly with little risk of over flow... Unusual for this style. There's also a nice bubble stream flowing from the bottom of the glass. Zero lacing remains

S - Very fruity (orange) scented, smells like an abbey... Lots of honey scents with a wood undertone. Great use of yeast

T - Very good, a great extra pickup. Much better than the label implies... A little alcohol sits on the back of your throat, but for 10% I can't complain. This one could handle sitting for sometime

M - Very smooth and creamy. Elegantly carbonated with great yeast esters

D - Very good, it's strong, and it brings you back quickly for another sip. YUM

A very good brew, surprisingly good! Thanks for the extra addition to a great trade!

Cheers Steve!

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Photo of trevorjn06
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper/amber color with a thin head that recedes quickly and leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet with malt, caramel, some dark fruits and a bit of spicy yeast character. Overall it has a lot of Belgian character but it is a bit muted and not quite what I look for.

Taste is sweet malt, caramels, some dark fruits, hot alcohol and a mildly solventy character. Overall the tastes I would like to be up-front (rich caramel, dark fruits, molasses and fruity yeast character) are thin and take a back seat to the alcohol and slight cidery flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium/full bodied with below average carbonation. It leaves a sticky feeling in the mouth.

Overall I really did not enjoy this beer, it reminds me of some of my early homebrews and the hot/cidery flavors are off putting.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours without a great deal of head, doesn't seem to be very carbonated. Coppery in color. Smell is raisiny and spicy.

Taste is very sweet, hay and raisins. Spices, maybe nutmeg. Too sweet.

Mouthfeel is medium, sticky, too sweet to be very drinkable. I've had this on tap before, and it was much better, the sweetness was less up front. But I'm not in love with the bottle.

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Photo of Flightoficarus
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a somewhat clear, amber hue, with a nice two finger off-white head, with fair retention, but good lacing.

S - Smell is of yeast, belgian candi, lots of various fruits (plum, apple, pear, apricot, molasses, and spices.

T - Taste is of thick, sweet belgian candi and yeast, spices (coriandier is prevalent), and dark fruits. Alcohol is present, but just enough to let you know it's there. Pretty standard Belgian fare here!

M - This is a full-bodied beer for sure. Carbonation is modest, and overall, this is one smooth beer.

D - Like almost any Belgian SDA I've had, way too drinkable for 10%.

Overall - This was a very nice little find. Amazingly good for how inexpensive it is (I got a 12 oz for $2.50). It's nice to see more Belgian style beers from local breweries, and this is one I will definitely find myself coming back to.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: rich mahogany brown with a slight haze and a nice effervescence. Head pours one finger of creamy ivory foam. A pretty good looking beer.

Smell: musty, slightly fruity aroma with a solid malt component. There's a hint of that band-aid aroma that you get with some darker Belgians, and it works to good effect here. Unfortunately, the aroma on this beer is pretty light, even after letting the beer warm; I would like to get more of it.

Taste: rich malty flavor with a lot more of the musty fruit. It's got just the right amount of dankness for me, which I quite like. The alcohol is a bit in-your-face, but this is still a darn tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: just a super silky texture; body is quite thick with a good level of well-integrated carbonation. If only more beer felt this good.

Drinkability: highly drinkable for its huge ABV. If this beer could achieve in the aroma what it achieves in its other dimensions, it could be among my favorite dark Belgian-style ales.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a healthy white creamy head. Smell of sourdough bread, belgian yeast, raisins

Taste of thick sweet candy sugars, belgian yeast, spices of coriander, cloves and caramel. This is a pretty thick BSDA. Pear and caramel mix together nicely to make this not boozy at all, and extremely smooth. Very low carbonation which do the style justice with a pretty thick mouthfeel. This is a good BSDA, definitely worth a try

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as a single 12 ouncer at Ardsley, N.Y.'s DeCicco market. Pours hazed/cloudy honey amber, under a nice tight medium tan head, that stays and stays, leaving thick sheeting and ample strands and smaller bits of lacing. Fruity nose infused with melon and honey.

Sweet, melon, tropical fruit life savers, honey, with a faint hint of smoke. Seems the more recent reviews are more positive, older ones tend to dismiss this one as way overly sweet. I'd say its just too sweet, not way too sweet. I dont find it cloying. I find it to be enjoyable and tasty, h/e does lack the complexity and depth of flavors of the heavy weights of the style.
Final pours adds a load of yeast to the glass, offering a nutty, yeasty, yummy final bonus

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In honor of Dick's passing I'm enjoying some of his brews.

A- Caramel Red color with a tight frothy head, very nice lacing.

S- Good dark fruit smells with spices. There is a slight alcohol sting to it, but it isn't overpowering. Caramel and malt smells coming though after a while.

T- The taste is great. Fruity, sweet, caramel, with a luscious juicy fruity finish. I bet this will age very nicely. Great sort of apple or pare taste mixed in there as well.

M- Good mouthfeel, nothing too strange.

D- Super drinkable, this one could sneak up on a person.

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Photo of GJ40
3.61/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on tap at The Stumbling Monk in Seattle, WA.

A - Reddish in color with good clarity, a thick beige head and loads of lacing.

S - Cherries and cane sugar.

T - Sweet, fruity and a bit sour. The flavor is very rich and the 10% alcohol is well hidden. The flavors were interesting but they didn't seem to fit together. The sourness seemed to want to break loose but the sweetness dominated in a way it shouldn't have.

M - Thick and creamy with a low carbonation of very fine bubbles.

D - A little sweet for my taste but decent. Not as complex and balanced as a true Belgian but a nice try.

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Photo of jdense
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 12 oz. bottle purchased at Belmont Station into Kapittel Watou chalice.

Mahogany/Amber Red body under 1/2 finger very quickly dissipating head, no lacing to speak of. Huckleberries, clove and a bit of citrus in the nose. A bit sweet citrus and a slight coriander taste. Mouth feel dominated by effusive carbonation, with a nice warming alcohol finish. More of a Dubbel than a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but quite tasty as an aperitif with 3-year old Gouda. Worth a try, as are all brews from Dick's one of Washington's best kept secrets. I prefer this a bit to their Tripel, but that' just one man's opinion.

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Photo of dukew456
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Duvel tulip.

Dark orange/amber, with a nice 1 finger head. Unfortunately the head isn't as dense as I expected, nor does it stick around very long. Lacing is good though.

An almost berry-like fruitiness is in the nose, backed up by the more traditional belgian odors of sweet candi sugar and that yeasty goodness we know and love.

This is a strange tasting interpretation of "Belgian Abbey Ale." Cloying sweetness up front, but with a weak sourness. These two fight it out throughout the experience, and the taste benefits from it. This is a little bit overcarbonated, but that kind of complements the identity crisis going on here.

I think it's a stretch to call this a "Belgian Strong Dark Ale," and maybe I should note that on the bottle this beer is just a generic "Belgian-Style Abbey Ale." That being said, this beer is kind of in the midst of an identity crisis. There's a belgian sour aspect vying with a belgian pale ale throughout. Maybe this will be better with age.

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Photo of erikm25
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a burnt orange with hazy strawberry sunlit tints. The head was two plus fingers of pillowing mass. Retention was strong with Saturn like rings of lacing around the glass. Sits in the glass very similar to the jar of honey in my cupboard.

S: Aromas are raspberries, cloves, and earthy undertones. Strong sweet malt smells. Like fresh oranges and cane sugar. Coriander and black pepper spiced backbone with buttery caramel spinal fluids. Despite the high ABV I could only detect hints of alcohol as this warmed.

T: Strong tangy citrus and intensely sweet candies. I enjoyed the taste even though it is quite strong with respects to pure sweetness. Has a little bit of tart and cherry fruitiness that becomes more present as it warms. Raisins and brown sugar with a thick biscuit roundness.

M: Solid medium body with moderate carbonation.

D: Well it is difficult for me to rate this against the style as I am admittedly a little wet behind the ears. I still enjoyed even though one was enough. For the price I would recommend giving this a try during the middle of the week.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 10/15/08. Bottle courtesy of scrizzz. Pours a cloudy mahogany with a small white ring of head. Aroma of yeast, clove, light spices, and candi sugar. Flavor of candi sugar, a light sourness, and some Belgian yeast. Quite tasty actually. The alcohol is well-hidden. Nice beer!
7/4/8/4/15 (3.8/5)

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Photo of ccrida
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle that I've cellared for a few months, poured into my large St. Feuillien goblet, Dick's Grand Cru is a lightly hazed oranish brown with an eggshell head that is pretty quick to settle down to a long lasting skim, leaving a few sheets of foamy lace.

Smell is pretty sweet, but there's a touch of sourness, hinting at cider vinegar, but mostly just cured fruits, prunes.

Taste is only semi-sweet, sugary and spicy, but otherwise pretty smooth and rounded out. With the hint of vinegar, I thought it might be soured by aectic acid, but it pretty drinks clean, with just the slight tang on back sides of the tongue. Good, a bit different, but nothing to write home about.

Mouthfeel is smooth, with creamy carbonation and a malty finish, medium-light bodied.

Drinkability is ok, this wasn't the most exciting BSDA, the alcohol was well hidden and it was overall pretty smooth. What it lacks in complexity it makes up for in value, this is priced by the 6-pack at pretty much the same any other micro sixer IIRC, no major mark-up or big bottle just b/c it's a strong ale, which I always appreciate about Dick's. For the people!

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3.11/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The Grand Cru from poured a light brown with a aggressive 3 finger foam head that left some nice all around lacing. Head retention was minimal.

The aroma was sour yeasty. The taste was sweet and sour at the same time and finished a brown sugar flavor on the tongue. It was highly carbonated and kept the abv pretty well hidden. I thought the taste was a little off compared to some of the other BSDA's I have had in the past. I would rate it average or middle of the road for this style. The nice thing is that it came in a 12oz bottle which is hard to find for the Belgian Strong Darks.

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Photo of westsidemiller
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dick's Grand Cru served in a chalice from a bottle.

The appearance was copper with a long lasting head. Really a beautiful color, very pleasing to the eye. Lots of esters in the smell, also a slight scent of alcohol. This brew rolls in at 10%. The taste was pleasant, complex, and sweet. Really devilishly drinkable. Lots of sour cherries and fruity tones. Overall this was a quality brew and for the price it really can't be beat.

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Grand Cru from Dick's Brewing Company
3.62 out of 5 based on 60 ratings.
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