Grand Cru
Great Divide Brewing Company

Grand CruGrand Cru
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #352
Ranked #36,274
3.73 | pDev: 15.01%
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Grand CruGrand Cru
Reviews: 160 | Ratings: 279 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.21/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Never shying away from a challenge, the brewers of Great Divide don't simply dip their toe into the world of Belgian beer making, but just in head first into the Belgian Dark Strong Ale.

Pouring a dark and rusty brown, the nearly opaque Grand Cru crowns with a sepia stained head froth. Popping with spicy aromas, an allspice medley balances with dark and stone fruit along with a fortified wine tingle of alcohol on the nose. Sweeter to taste, the early palate opens up with a brown sugar and light molasses character to suggest spice cake in its first impressions.

As the highly complex ale spreads across the middle palate, the sweetness relaxes to an almost cola-like character to allow the spices and fruit to elevate. Raisins, plum, date, fig and currant lead the way in their dehydrated and wine soaked character before being rivaled later with the spices of cinnamon, peppercorn, clove, ginger and nutmeg for that all around and general spiciness for a superior balance. The taste turns bitter, tart and boozy late on the palate as the hops seem to blend into a tannic brandy heat.

Full bodied in texture, the tandem of alcohol, hops and yeast spices word together to break up the malt and assist with a malty-dry finish and a medium long aftertaste of brandy, red wine and mulled spices.

Jan 01, 2020
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

2.72/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Mohaggany or however that is supposed to be spelled. Aroma was boozy, not much else.

Taste hit the dark fruits, bitterness, and massive f'n heat. Burnt brown sugar. Serious, this is hot beer. Woof. In like a 1oz pour, sure, but drinking 12oz of this is like drinking fireball with raisins all night.

Jan 28, 2016
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap at the Town hall Brewery and from a 22 oz. bottle poured into a chalice.
A: Brilliant chestnut under a 2” dark cream colored pillowy foam collar that produces this lace.
S: Winey, estery aromas with dark dried fruit.
T: Yeast driven dark dried fruit flavors supported by dark malt sugars, toffee and traces of cherry.
F: medium body to medium full, medium to medium high carbonation
O: A well made, drinkable Belgian strong dark ale.

Apr 20, 2015
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gillagorilla from Maryland

3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: A nice hazy dark brown that gets darker with depth. A decent finger width head with minimal lacing.

S: Spicy and sweet. Quite Belgian with what smells like some candi sugar.

T: Typical belgian spice and style that has a nice level of sweetness. Good flavors here, but it has this strange taste in there towards the end. Also, there is quite a bit of of raisins and dried fruit in here.

M: Overall quite smooth but you can feel a lot of bubbles in there that aren't too prickly. It is a bit thin, but still good.

O: Tasty and glad I was able to find it even though I wasn't looking for it specifically. It is much better than the new Peach Grand Cru. I feel like this is either on the cusp of going downhill or just passed it.

Opened this with some of my neighbors and they fully enjoyed it, but they are mainly wine people. Doing my part to share the goods.

Nov 17, 2013
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safaricook from Netherlands

3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

0.65 bottle bought at the Bierkoning in Amsterdam. Best before is March 2011 that is almost 2 years ago but should be alright for a beer with an ABV of 11. Served in my Croy Tulip.

Pours a beige two finger head that reduces over time to a rim. A clear ruby body and some carbonation.

very malty, sweet, candy, cherry smell

quite sweet, coffee bitterness, acidity of dark fruits

full body, little carbonation

This an OK take on a Belgian Strong Dark Ale or a Christmas special beer. It is very sweet and malty and makes a good winter beer. The 11 ABV are well hidden behind the sweetness. However, I don't like it too much as it is too sweet in my opinion.

Jan 12, 2013
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cvm4 from Mississippi

3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep amber or almost copper in color. Two finger head is off white and has good lacing.

S - Dark fruits that seems tart along with brown sugar and caramel malts.

T - Candied malts interact with dark fruits that bring on the tartness. Sweet & tart.

M - Light mouth & medium carbonation.

O - I like it because of the tartness aspect of this beer. It keeps the malts in check and melds well with the candied sugar.

Nov 10, 2012
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superspak from Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled 1/12/2011. Pours very hazy dark red color with a nice 2 finger fairly dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a good cap that lingers. Good soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big raisin, prune, caramel, toffee, biscuit, molasses, toast, nuttiness, tobacco, earth, clove, and yeast spiciness. Very nice aromas with very good balance and complexity. Taste of raisin, prune, molasses, caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, clove, tobacco, earth, and light yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of dark fruits, molasses, caramel, toffee, toast, biscuit, nuttiness, and light yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Great flavor balance and complexity; pretty much zero cloying sweetness. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Belgian strong dark ale! A ton of nice balance and complexity; very smooth to sip on. Highly enjoyed this one, very impressive.

Sep 01, 2012
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Jimmys from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bomber into flying dog tulip. bottled on jan. 12 2011.

A: very clear. very dark copper. pretty looking color. head is slightly off white and foamy. good retention and some lacing.

S: a little vinous. tobacco. lots of tobacco. little bit of cedar. brown sugar. the fruit is pretty strong as well. plum background.

T: starts sweet. not too sweet, but jumps at the tip of the tongue. theres a mild touch of alcohol heat, but really just a touch. reminds me of a glass of port. the finish is a blend of cocoa and ash w/ a sweet lingering brown sugar.

M: a mild amount of fizz works well on this big body.

D: a pretty solid belgian strong dark. i was able to buy this about a year old and it seemed to hold up pretty well in the store. held up fine in my fridge as well. not sure if its not as great super fresh, but this has aged pretty well.

Aug 15, 2012
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ngeunit1 from Massachusetts

4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy brown color with a finger of frothy khaki colored head. THe head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet dark caramel malts, raisin, prune, and other dark fruits, some Belgian yeast and spices, candi sugars, and some booze.

T - Starts off with a mix of sweet dark caramel malts with raisin, prune, date, and other dark fruit sweetness. Through the middle, the sweet candi sugars start to come through with some Belgian yeast flavors including some spices and esters. The finish is a mix of sweet dark fruits with some dark caramelized and candi sugars, some spice, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nice BSDA. Good malt flavors with the sweet sugars and yeast character balancing nicely with the body.

Jul 20, 2012
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TwelveOunces from Kentucky

4.2/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a snifter
Dated 01-12-11 so its almost 18 months old

A- A murky dark brown with orange accents. A one finger off white head with little retention. Nice alcohol legs that leave a film on the side of the glass.

S- Caramel is dominant here. I also get a good deal of dark fruits like figs and raisins. Very sugary. Theres a trace of the belgian yest strain as well as a peppery spiciness.

T- The first thing I get is a smooth caramel flavor. There is also a caramelized bunch of dark fruits like figs and plums. The belgian yest takes somewhat of a back seat here, this beer reminds me of a doppelbock. There is a faint spiciness here with some lemon zest. Very little alcohol taste

M- This beer is super thick and chewy and incredibly smooth. Warming of course at this high ABV. Gooey and syrupy, Awesome stuff.

O- This is a great brew. Honestly surprised at its BA rating being so low. However, mine is 18 months old and I see how it is a beer to be aged. Buy this beer, especially if its an old one.

Jun 29, 2012
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draheim from Washington

4.16/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz (bottled 1/12/2011) into a chalice. Pours a crystal-clear mahogany w/ a 2-finger khaki head that leaves sticky lacing. Vigorous carb w/ bubbles ranging from tiny to large. Looks like a classic quad/BSDA.

Aroma is dark fruit, bready malt, spice. A little muted though, even as it warms.

Taste is dark fruit, candi sugar, bready malt. 11% ABV well hidden. Finishes dry and clean.

Mouthfeel is smooth, dry, perfectly carbonated.

Overall a really solid BSDA. Tasty, drinkable, and gone before I know it. I'm very impressed w/ this one. Great Divide continues to surprise me.

Jun 28, 2012
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Dudeletter from Georgia

4.82/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

we shared was a Great Divide Grand Cru, served at around 50F. The color was a brilliant maroon red. The smell was perfect; sweet, caramel candy, syrupy. The flavor is fig, raisins, and perhaps cherry. The alcohol is sharp, but covered well in the sweetness of the beer. It is nearly cloying, but the complexity of the beer, if sipped more then covers this as well. The carbonation was appropriate and the flavor goes great with creamy cheeses. If you could pair it with a fruit jam, this beer would replace it well. This is a great American example of a Belgian Dark Strong, well balanced for the style and complex.

Jun 27, 2012
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kylehay2004 from Illinois

3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

two finger thick off white head with nice lacing on a murky brown with golden hues. Mostly dark fruit with banana, oak and vanilla notes to the flavor. The aroma is mostly dark fruit with some banana and spice notes. medium body, smooth and moderate carbonation. A nice reprsentation of the style but the belgian yeast contributes mildly and is otherwise not too memorable.

Apr 08, 2012
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mactrail from Washington

2.82/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The aroma makes me think of Japanese plum vinegar. Maybe the alcohol fumes transport the funkiest of the yeast factors. Quite a lovely dark amber color with a decent foam.

First impression is a trip down Candy Cane Lane. A Dr. Pepper flavor. Sugary taste with touches of vanilla, bran muffins, dates, and sulfury golden raisins. Lots of butter and a tang of acidity. The sweet and bitter taste with the sour touch is not my favorite. A few sips are interesting, but it wears the palate fast. Best in small doses.

From 22 oz bottle bought at Mega Liquor in Hemet, California. I don't believe I've ever seen it in Colorado.

Apr 06, 2012
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LiquidAmber from Washington

3.05/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review from 2/2011 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark muddy brown amber. Minimal head, but some lacing. Light and dark fruit aromas, but not very assertive. Sweet dark fruits, figs and plums mostly, syrupy. Light fruit and faint malt and hop finish. Tastes OK, but not that interesting. The flavors are not complex and do not make up for the high sweetness. A rare Great Divide miss.

Mar 31, 2012
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Immortale25 from North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Green Flash cask-style glass. Label says bottled on Jan 14 2011. It's ready.

A- Pours a dark brown color with a 3/4 inch off-white head that retains a bit before fading to an 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass and a thin sheet of surface foam. Cascade-like lacing.

S- Sweet, toasty malts with a medicinal sort of booziness that's like a cross between woody and smoky.

T- At first, there's dark fruit: old raisin, plum and spoiled red grapes. Next, the yeast breaks through with a sweetness and hint of banana. Also some vanilla and dark chocolate notes. More astringency, but not as strong as in the smell. Also a touch of glass taste, black pepper and some bitterness from the hops. Alcohol is excellently hidden as each sip becomes more inviting than the last.

M- Oily and a bit dry from the tannins. Medium carbonation and a robust body.

O- I don't dig the aroma all that much since there's a lot of astringency in it, but the taste, mouthfeel and drinkability more than make up for it.

Mar 20, 2012
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SLeffler27 from New York

3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, dark auburn in a with a decent head that leaves slight lacing and a viscous film on the Dogfish Head snifter.

This Grand Cru has the aroma of cherries with some cranberry juice, malt and some leather, which is common to the style. Warmth does allow it to open up.

The flavor is suggestive of dates, dried figs, oak, and raisins, with some vanilla as it warms. This is well balanced, though slightly more bitter than expected, with a mild, lingering finish.

A full body and syrupy texture are punctuated by strong alcohol. Carbonation is modest.

A fine sipping beer, even for a mild July afternoon.

Prior to this bottle, I had enjoyed the draught version several times and found it to be superior in all respects.

Mar 10, 2012
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rudzud from Massachusetts

3.33/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at Julio's last year, shared with bpk59. Reviewed from notes, poured into a tulip.

A - Poured a crystal clear deep dark hazel hue with a one finger head that fades to leave a nice halo and thin cloud.

S - This is rather boozy with nice dark fruits. Sweet carmel malts and light metallic finish.

T - Rather boozy with lots of dark fruits (figs) and sweet carmel malts. That being said there is a very offputting metallic finish.

M - Good, light feel. Makes the beer easier to drink. Still has that metallic aftertaste though.

O - Overall, yet again disappointed with a beer. Really put off by that metallic quality of this beer. Just not up to my Great Divide standards. No where close.

Mar 05, 2012
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle, bottled on January 12, 2011. Served in a DFH Signature Glass, the beer pours a reddish/mahogany brown color with an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. Aroma is fruity and sweet, it smells like dark fruit (raisins, plums), caramel, cola, brown sugar, and some sweet spices. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like dark fruit (cherries, raisins, red grapes), brown sugar, peppery spice, molasses, and some cinnamon. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's syrupy and sticky with moderate carbonation. I think it's a good overall brew, I enjoyed drinking it.

Feb 25, 2012
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jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.42/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle, with label indicating bottled on Jan 11, 2011. so about a year old.

appears brown, with ruby highlights when held to light. decent cream colored head. good retention. nice rich aroma of caramel, figs, spiced rum. very nice.

great complex malt flavors in the taste - raisins, brown sugar, toffee. sweet, but not cloying. smooth carbonation, medium body.

overall - wow, very pleasantly surprised. not hint of the abv, and very complex.

Feb 04, 2012
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elNopalero from California

4.62/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on January 13, 2011

Tasted this one after a year and change. Miracle of miracle I managed to hold on to it.

This pours a ruddy dark ruby-brown color with a generous amount of foam releasing all sorts of goodness: bold aromas of stone fruits and dark cherries, worn leather and drying tobacco, and some figgy sweetness rounding it out.

It has a great flavor, with a noticeable mellowness (from the aging, I suspect) on what I imagine could easily have run hot when fresh. There’s a thick molasses maltiness with notes of dark cherry, dark tobacco and the leather that I picked up in the aromas, as well as some raisins and other dried fruits (figs, dates?). Its alcohol percentage of 11% becomes more present as it warms, lending the flavor a touch of astringency as it finishes. A real sipper, it holds up to warming.

Jan 27, 2012
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TheSarge from Virginia

4.56/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours quite well with a pillowy light tan head, and has a cleanly filtered ruby red colored body.

The aroma is of cola, cherries, vanilla, and metallic qualities.

The taste is woody, figgy, cherry cola, l o l a Lola, with a slight smokiness.

Feels full in body, lightly carbonated and warming in the end.

Overall a very complex beer, and a good sipper.

Jan 27, 2012
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jtierney89 from New Jersey

5/5  rDev +34%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Now that looks like beer. Poured into muadite chalice, pours a nice hazy deep auburn with a rocky off-white head. Nose is subtle but complex with notes of caramel, chocolate covered figs, dark fruits, fig jam, tootsie roll, and a hint of booze.

Lots of visible carbonation. Beer must be pretty hazy since it's color stays the same when I hold it up to the light.

btw, this beer has exactly a year of age on it.

Wow. This beer is quite exquisite. On the first sip I noticed bright and dark fruits; plums, pears, pineapples, mango. Chocolate sweetness up front followed by fruit bowl flavors. Caramel like stickiness. Huge body. What is this? Some sort of beer wet dream? Dark ripe cherries on the finish cover up all of the big 11% abv. I'm literally in awe at these flavors.

Some spicy phenolic notes only add to the complexity. Grape jam like sweetness only adds to the mystery. Spicy hop presence along with alcohol add to incredible balance.

The body holds up so incredibly well.

One of the most complex beers I've ever had, makes sense that it came from great divide. This beer is pure magic. If you have it, let it age to a year after the born on date. This is the nectar of the creators.

Jan 26, 2012
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XicanoBeerRun from Texas

4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

El Nopalero brought this one back from his cellar in the Bay Area. It has been aged for a year, almost to the day. Poured into a snifter. Brownish red color. Light carbonation with brown bubbles. Redolent of sweet dates. When it warmed up the aftertaste was like the iron in molasses. The conversation was good: weddings, jobs, cats, and cable TV shows we can only afford to check out from the library.

I’ll have another.

Jan 25, 2012
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beerismysavior from Virginia

3.84/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Fat juicy raisin, smell is fantastic. Some notable phenols, hint of pepper, aged wood through the middle. I could smell this beer all day long.

Appearance: Very bright (for the style) cheery wood brown with the matching ruby hue. Egg cream colored head with quickly dissipating bubbles, but significant lacing against the side of the glass.

Taste: Warm booze right up front, toastiness in the middle, smell is somewhat misleading for flavor cues, not much raisin noticeable in the taste.

Mouthfeel: Carbonic bite right up front, medium bodied with a healthy dose of residual sugar and a warm alcoholic burn at the end.

Overall: Wish I didn't have to drink this at 9:30 AM to setup for a tasting tonight, but such is life. An enjoyable beer, likely better suited for evening purposes.

Jan 19, 2012
Grand Cru from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 279 ratings