Grand Cru
Great Divide Brewing Company

Grand CruGrand Cru
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Style:
Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #348
ABV:
11%
Score:
84
Ranked #35,188
Avg:
3.73 | pDev: 15.01%
Reviews:
160
Ratings:
279
From:
Great Divide Brewing Company
 
Colorado, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  20
Gots
  29
SCORE
84
Good
Grand CruGrand Cru
Notes:
Reviews: 160 | Ratings: 279 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheSarge:
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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
More User Reviews:
Photo of walteez
walteez from Missouri

3.09/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: It pours exceptionally beautiful. Without the aid of light it seems to be a dark brown but when held to a lamp it really glows. A nice cherry, burgundy hue appears with the light shining through it.

S: Typical - fruity and sweet aromas.

T: I get a nice taste of sweet fruits up front but then I'm bombarded with a spicy, bitterness mid palate that seems rather off in this style (not so much the spiciness but definitely the bitterness). It finishes with a bit of a raisiny sweetness.

M: Nothing astounding, a nice medium bodied brew.

D: While I love Belgians, this one seems a bit off. The bitterness mid taste wasn't enough to ruin it for me but when I can buy Rochefort & St. Bernardus all day long at the local store I don't foresee myself getting this again. One thing to note is that I've never had a Belgian this fresh from bottling - with some time in the bottle it might mellow and get a bit better.

Feb 24, 2011
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ystazi from Illinois

4/5  rDev +7.2%

Dec 23, 2013
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bucklemyshoe from Georgia

3.26/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber at 48 degrees into a St. Bernardus chalice. Bottled: 01/31/2011.

A: It pours a glowing dark red color with pretty much no head and it does not lace very well. The carbontion seems to be very low which is not a good sign.

S: Lots of sweet dark fruit, candi sugar, and some sweet lighter fruits as well.

T: Prunes, figs, candi sugar, cinammon, and a little lurking booziness.

M: It is thick and syrupy with low carbonation.

O: It isn't very complex, yet the alcohol strength does not really come through. This is still a big miss overall.

Apr 11, 2011
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jayhawk73 from Maryland

3.08/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark crimson/brown, not as dark as I would think. Nice two finger caramel head that quickly disappears. The smell is mainly fruit, but I'm strangely having a hard time distinguishing smells on this one... A little on the weak side for such a big beer. The taste is nice- liquorice, plums, raisins, dates, pears, and alcohol. The plum taste is a little overpowering for me, I'd like to see a little more balance. Strong plum aftertaste, not sure I'll be able to finish this bomber myself in one sitting- the taste is really heavy. This beer got bottled 1 month ago, and would probably do well w/ some aging. I'll have to try and pick another up and let it sit for a couple years. Nice beer though....

An edit: I had to drainpour about half this beer (in a bomber) after I wrote the review, and have adjusted the numbers to reflect that. The plum taste was SO overwhelming, I just couldn't finish this one, and didn't want to. I believe this beer probably should be aged for seveal years, and that would help smooth it out. My bottle was only 2 months old.... Just my 2 cents.

Feb 15, 2011
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carteravebrew from Colorado

3/5  rDev -19.6%

Jun 15, 2012
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herman77 from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%

Apr 29, 2012
Photo of aasher
aasher from Indiana

2/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer pours a raisin brown in color with a one finger beige colored head. It's very, very light in body for the style. It smells of a variety of dark fruits, namely raisins, figs, and plums. It is VERY, VERY sweet. The flavors...oh man....they're a little much. It's cloyingly sweet and in the worst way. Dark fruits, molasses, maple syrup, and soda syrup combine to make this a malt bomb that you should avoid at all costs. This beer is also very light bodied for the style and a little watery. It would be one thing if BA had to call this a BSDA on a whim, but it says it right on the front of the bottle. For the style, it's one of the worst I've seen or tried. This beer doesn't need to waste your time. It's also surprising that this is 11%. You don't get ANY alcohol at all. If only they could've hidden the flavors that well...

Apr 15, 2011
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hiphopj5 from Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +20.6%

Jun 20, 2012
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nickthetick from Maryland

4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a dark clear ruby red with a finger of khaki head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: a lot of dark belgian sugars, dates and figs. Sweet malty goodness.

T: belgian sugars followed in by dates, plums and figs. Fruity sweetness. Toasty biscuit and a backbone of alcohol. A sweet smoky flavor lingers in the back.

MF: full body and a bit chewy. Warm and very effervescent.

D: first from Great Divide because its impossible to find around here. But defiantly worth looking for.

Feb 15, 2011
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mychalg9 from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +13.9%

Dec 13, 2012
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OldTime from Georgia

4/5  rDev +7.2%

Jan 28, 2012
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Gobzilla from California

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

A: poured an amber brown in color with reddish brown highlights and had a thin head leaving very little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the dark fruits definitely pop out on the aroma with caramel, malty sweetness, mild vinegar, and some hints of cherries as well. not really any belgian yeast character but had some grains notes.

T: the dark fruits were more prominent on the taste with vinegar, caramel, mild vinous, accents some belgian yeast coming through and a touch of underlying cherries.

M: the brew was medium to full in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, mild fruity, yeasty, and slight boozy finish.

D: pretty tasty BSDA that drank above average and was a good interpretation of a belgian style brew.

Feb 18, 2011
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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
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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GrindFatherBob from New York

4/5  rDev +7.2%

Dec 24, 2011
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ahijevyc from Colorado

3.31/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from 28th and Iris liquor store in Boulder, CO. First time I ever wrote a review, but there's a first time for everything. I have enjoyed 100's of different beers, and I like the Belgians in particular. I do like this beer's maltiness and sweetness and high alchol content, but I do like having a little bit of head in the beer. Now I know some beers are supposed to be that way, but this one's lack of a head was noteworthy. That's why I gave the "appearance" criteria a low mark. Otherwise it is good. I think Great Divide's other big beers like the Yeti and Hercules are more enjoyable.

Jan 25, 2011
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grittybrews from Washington

3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy ruby-amber into a tulip with a small off-white head. Very nice aroma of bready Belgian spice, dark fruit, and sugar cookie.

Moderate carbonation and a thick, slightly syrupy mouthfeel. Malty toffee cookie backbone with clove and spice, dark fruit, and more peppery spice on the finish.

Pretty darn solid and quite drinkable, although the sweetness got to be a little cloying by the end. There's a nice boozy warmth but it's nowhere near indicative of the 11 percent!

Jul 11, 2011
Photo of superspak
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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AlCaponeJunior from Texas

3.31/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Amber and mostly clear, good two finger head and lace.

Heavy malts, plenty of caramel and some bready, almost dough like. Sweet. Plenty of yeast too. A little alcohol. Something about the smell is a little off-putting and cardboard like.

The sweet comes through as heavy fruitiness when you sip. Dark fruits are prominent with a touch of light ones, I detect plums, red grapes, raisins, a smidge of fig, with a little pear. Malts are heavy and bready with some caramel and a little roasty components. Spice is pretty notable.

Body is fairly heavy and very creamy, full with mid carbonation qualities. Aftertaste is heavily sweet with maltiness finishing it off.

Honestly I'm not all that fond of this one, but if you like really sweet grand cru, then you should probably try this beer.

Nov 07, 2011
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George2744 from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -6.2%

May 12, 2013
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Arithmeticus from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark, decent head
S: carmelized barley; sweet dark cherry; alcohol prominently on the nose
T: Whew! Very rich, alcohol-heavy. Plan to go slowly. Dark cherries predominate as secondary flavors on a Belgian style beer. Very nice bottle conditioning.

This is a hammer slammer, and a beer to brood by.

Feb 27, 2011
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey from Texas

3.75/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jan 28, 2016
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hawkmage from California

3/5  rDev -19.6%

Dec 31, 2011
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cwcolby74 from Indiana

3.93/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber - date stampted 1/12/11
Purchased in February at Payless Liquors on 96th Street in Fishers. Drank it out of a Boulder Beer pint glass.

A - This one looks a tad darker than some of the Belgian Strong Darks I've ever seen. It looks malty and dark. It has about 3/4" of head.

S - Not pungent, more understated than I'd expect. It doesn't smell boozy or strong (or medicine-ish) like some Belgians do.

T - It has a strong maltiness that's up front but doesn't know you over. It has a good yeast taste in the background and a very mild spicy quality to it. The taste is much more malty and rich than bitter.

M - It has a very rich, smooth flabor that doesn't linger but gives just the right amount of aftertaste.

O - This is really very good. I like it a lot. It's the first Great Divide beer I've ever had. I may need to try more. This oen is about 11% ABV but it's really hard to tell, you can't taste it at all.

May 07, 2011
Grand Cru from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 279 ratings