Grand Cru
Dick's Brewing Company

Grand CruGrand Cru
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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #347
Ranked #36,930
3.65 | pDev: 14.79%
Dick's Brewing Company
Washington, United States
Grand CruGrand Cru
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Reviews: 44 | Ratings: 62
Photo of erikm25
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
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 +2.2%
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 +9.6%
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 -14.8%
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 +8.2%
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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Photo of SickBrew
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from By the Bottle in Vancouver, WA in a 12 oz bottle. This brew pours a nice copper color with a fair head. Nose is high on the esters, sweet with some caramel tones and fairly rich. Flavor was better than expected for $2.19 - a bargain for this style, especially considering it's from a small podunk town. Flavor is complex yet balanced, some sour cherries and banana in there. This is one drinkable beer for any Belgian fan or otherwise. Props for a town, just emerging from floods last winter.

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Photo of froghop
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a semi-hazy light copper with a medium cream colored head that goes away quickly, good lacing.

smell of nuts, prunes, raisins, grape, and roasted caramel.

taste is thick and oily, tart, fruits of pears and prunes, some caramel, some nuts, and some spice.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark amber body with a thin, off-white head.

Smell: Fruity nose smelling of cherries and plums seasoned with cinnamon and other various spices. Some toasted caramel, too.

Taste: Dark carmelly maltiness with some toastiness to it. A smidgen of candi sugar. Oh, and the spices. Oh, and that fruitiness. Slight doughy yeastiness. Some mild hop bitterness. Sticky, fruity, semi-dry finish.

Mouthfeel: A bit beyond medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Fairly tasty and rather easy to drink given the alleged ABV. Not bad at all!

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Photo of IdleAaron
3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber with a nice ruby hue, very nice head.

Smell: Very sour, kind of reminds me of malt vinegar. Not too promising.

Taste: Tastes of limbic mixed with beer. Nice balance of sour and sweet with hints of raspberry. I like this beer.

Mouth Feel: Good mouth feel. It coats my mouth nicely.

Drinkability: Very drinkable but not a chugger. I'd like another...

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Photo of markgugs
2.43/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

from a trade with a RB bud, 12oz. bottle poured into a tulip snifter glass

A: I will allow that it was very slightly possibly my glass, but this beer did NOT pour well, very fizzy and 100s of tiny, carbonated bubbles clung to the walls of the snifter. It's just not a good look for the beer. A 1-finger head from a hard pour didn't last long at all, either. Fizzy & bubbly are the words I would use to describe.

S: Initial thoughts are that the beer smells like a bowl of overripe cherries, perhaps fermenting in a glass of grain alcohol. LOL! I've smelled superbly-crafted Belgian strong dark ales before, and this is not one.

T/M: Okay, while there ARE some initial too-sour flavors (mostly like uber-fermented cherries, as the nose would indicate), the beer tastes better than it smells. Though not by all that much. It's amazingly boozy, there is no mistaking the 10% that lies within; it's almost to the point of distraction, very hot. I will also allow that this beer perhaps might settle with aging, but I'm not entirely positive the base is there to build off.

D: Not very drinkable at all, and not just for the obvious high-ABV reasons; I don't think I could drink a 2nd of these, it's not particularly enjoyable.

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Photo of weeare138
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hopdog for this aged bottle...
Appears a hazy light gold with a small white head that slowly fades out. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of Belgian citrus, light caramel, cream, and doughy bread.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with orange candy and that doughy Belgian yeast.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fruity presence that washes along the tongue and palate.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2004 vintage

Extremely difficult plastic cork removed with a slight pop, followed by a spritzy pour with zero head.
No bubbles come out of solution after the pour and the beer is close to flat.
Light amber, clear, and no trace of lace.
Hugely fruity nose. Massive grape jam profile with sour cherries and Grand Marnier.
Mega-Belgian character and over the top with the phenolics and a light twang.
Rum soaked raisins and caramel in the finish.
Thick side of medium bodied, slick and chewy. Sticky and flatish.
Pallet starts off fruity and lightly tart.
Moderate bitterness with spiked grape juice with fresh bitter orange peel.
Alcohol warms the back of the throat as a lactic puckering sets up on the back tongue.
Finishes long, sticky, and sweetish, with jowel-watering tarts.

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Photo of deeplennon
4.11/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow... I love Dick, I do.. I've tried all his beers. Some of them are not bad, though most are extremely average. This is the last of his three Belgians that I've tried and it's my favorite of the trio by far. A fact which is not surprising to me after trying Dick's other two Belgians, after which I was pretty sure the man knew squat about the land of godly beers. While his triple is fairly faithful in flavor profile (but not very good and woefully under carbonated), the Silk Lady isn't a beer that would be brewed by any Belgian in the history of man - the only thing I could note that was Belgian about it was the yeast.

Unsurprisingly based on the weird characterics of Dick's other two Belgian offerings, this beer is grossly mis-classified on both this site and on it's own label. No "Grand Cru/Belgian Abbey Ale" (dick) or "Belgian Strong Dark Ale" (beer advocate) has ever tasted or looked anything like this. It's closest in style to a Flanders Red (though stronger in alcohol) in both color and flavor profile, and in fact probably the best American example of a Flanders Red I've ever had, whether it was intentionally brewed as such or not. (Do people really like La Folie THAT much?)

Being that I love a good Flanders Red and all of that style's sweetart goodness, I quite like this one and I'll pick it up whenever I see it. It's the best beer in Dick's entire line for me.


Update.. the 07 version of this is very very different from my initial review, now gone are all sour characteristics and what is left is a pretty standard american interpretation of a belgian strong dark. The redness of the color in the 06 was also gone.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burnt orange with coppery amber accents and rapidly disappearing carbonation. While I was nearly able to empty the entire bottle into the glass on the first pour, I've still been treated to a two finger cap of creamy, pale orange foam. The lack of animation is a negative, but the head and lace combination is attractive.

The nose is more fruity and less spicy than the noses on most Belgian strong dark ales. If Dick's Brewing is going for authenticity, a new yeast strain is in order. Sweet orange peel is paramount, with a restrained, nonspecific, musky spiciness and hints of noble hops. There's no hint of alcohol; amazing since the ABV clocks in at double digits.

It's difficult, if not impossible, to think of Grand Cru as a BSDA. It's fairly sticky-sweet, reminding me of triple sec (orange liqueur) to some extent. Orange peel or orange oil has to have been added to get it to taste like this. Peach nectar and/or apricot nectar is another comparison that comes to mind. Hop flavor and bitterness tries to fight through the sweet, tangy fruitiness, but ultimately fails.

Alcohol is noticeable only as a slight warming in the stomach. If I didn't know the ABV, I'd have guessed several percentage points lower. The finish is as simple as the beginning and the middle. Grand Cru has a stunning lack of complexity, which I think of as one of the hallmarks of this style. The mouthfeel is medium-full in the slick, syrupy sense and isn't all that wonderful. This is one case where bigger isn't necessarily better.

Dick's Grand Cru isn't the best beer that Dick's Brewing Company produces. I'd have to give the nod to their excellent Double Diamond Winter. If you're looking for a good, American BSDA, or even a good, high-ABV sipper, look elsewhere.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber, orange tinted color with a wispy pale ring for a head. When roused the head forms a thin pale tan layer. The aroma is quite malty with bready caramel notes with some definite spicy notes of coriander, clove, slight phenolics and a light herbal note. The beer is fairly sweet up front with an fruity orange like character that is accented by a bit of acidity. The finish definitely has a linger fresh squeezed orange juice character to it. This beer has an earthy spiciness to it (sort of a Chimay flavor profile type thing) up front, which I had assumed from the aroma would dominate the flavor profile, thankfully it does not. I really like the mix of flavors in this beer; the earthy spiciness (hints of clove, coriander, ginger, pepper), the fruity acidity and the accentuating sweetness. This really makes for quite the quaffable beer.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber color with a very small head, but leaves some lacing. Scents of cherries, hops, and a little soury. This a unique taste of soury/sweet with some good carbonation. Medium body. For 10% ABV brew it's very drinkable. Never had a Grand Cru before so I cannot compare to others, but I do like it.

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Photo of WesWes
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours an amber color with a thin offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a light, malty scent that boasts of pale and light crystal malts along with a dry, tart Belgian yeast aroma. The taste is good. It has a sweet and rich malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes tart and fruity. It has an excellent flavor that isn't really very dry, but has a good yeasty finish to compliment the malt bill. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a highly drinkable Belgian ale. I love the taste. It has a rich flavor that is not that complex, but very tastey.

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Photo of clvand0
2.5/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I had high hopes for this beer. Usually a grand cru is the best offering. Had a nice bottle and label. All for naught. Pours a dark amber color with a small head that doesn't stick around and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma is of raisins and very sweet. The flavor has a fruit presence, but there is a tart/sour sweetness to it that just seems completely wrong. Not enjoyable at all. I would hope that we didn't get an infected bottle because that would mean there are probably a lot more infected. I actually had to pour this one out. Couldn't take it.

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Photo of kmpitz2
2.85/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a nice dark amber color wtih a finger of head that falls to ring the beer. The nose is a lot of raisin and bready tones. Smells okay to me. The flavor is way too sweet. The raisin and bready tones are there, but there is an over-riding sweetness that just kills this beer in my opinion. The flavor is actually kind of offensive and I don't think I can finish this one. The feel is moderate, and drinkability is not good on this one. I know you need to hide the alcohol, but at least hide it with something that tastes good. Eh. I would stay away from this one.

My wife tried it and she said it smelled like sawdust and tasted even worse. Works for me.

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Photo of Crosling
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Pre-GABF babblefest.

Light Brown.

Pleasant aroma of dark fruits, mainly cherries and plums, along with a buttery and caramelly malt presense.

Tons of deep maltiness, mainly chocolate, along with a fairly unique Belgian candy sugar taste and a nice fruitiness of cherries and plums.

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Photo of beerceller99
4.14/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Pours a pale copper color with a slight head. Sweet smells of toasted caramels and brown sugar. Taste is massive fruity sweetness; plums, raisons, cherries, with a strong alcohol kick and a syrupy mouthfeel. As the brew warmed to room temperature the flavors and alcohol tang mellowed nicely. A tasty brew for sure.

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Photo of goindownsouth
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very surprising find, this Abbey Ale poured a deep golden color, to be sure. The aroma was of candy sugar and spice, yet not as domineering as some I have tried in the past. The flavor was relatively smooth, and cleansed the palate surprisingly well, with a little spicey sweetness remaining thereafter. A good find, and a solid brew.

Zum wohl!

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Photo of RedDiamond
2.73/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I spent ten full minutes trying to open this bottle of Dick’s Grand Cru. I used an assortment of household utensils and tools but was repeatedly repelled in my efforts. In the end I drew blood. I wasn't pleased. Certainly the carbonation of the Grand Cru does not require the fortification of a champagne magnum. There is no carbonation.

This honey-toned Belgian-style ale possesses complex, acidic properties. The aroma has a broad palette of apple and burnt cherry blended with the peculiar fragrance of sour butter. The butter notes are especially compelling. The result is a thick bouquet of sour fruit.

Dick’s Grand Cru is intense and clouded. The color is carnelian. It begins with an exceptionally high original gravity of 1.100. The result is an ale brewed to profound densities. It is thick, almost unwieldy and sits like a rock in a glass. The few bubbles that do rise upwards must fight their way through a thick cloud of heavy ale.

The taste can be likened to a sweet sherry. There is a candied citrus at play that somehow meets an abrasive bitterness before drawing to a tart finish. It’s the aftertaste of the Dick’s Grand Cru that’s most disappointing. I can only liken it to some sort of congenital deformity, or, one might say it is a car wreck of an aftertaste. The cumbersome body does add a mellowing property that I’m tempted to define as “slow ale.” On the whole though, there is something here that tastes nearly toxic; perhaps like that cough syrup and rum mix I drank as a teenager. This is the one beer in this world I am tempted to pour on ice. I won't be going back for more.

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Photo of RoyalT
2.88/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance – Florescent orange body with a small head that went down quickly.

Smell – The light malt aroma gives way to the traditional super-sugared orange.

Taste – The sugar comes out in force in the taste. The table, brown, and powdered sugars make your lips sticky. The malt base though fades a bit at the tongue.

Mouthfeel – I know Grand Cru isn’t a highly-carbonated style, but this was a little thin and boring for me in the mouth.

Drinkability – Not bad, but not one I’d buy again.

Comments – I’m a HUGE Grand Cru fan and very open-minded to different interpretations of the style (I rated the New Belgium, Abbaye des Rocs, & Cantillon all about the same), but this one left me cold.

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Grand Cru from Dick's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 62 ratings