Grand Cru | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Grand CruGrand Cru

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mebuzzard on 01-08-2011

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Reviews: 159 | Ratings: 276
Photo of jtierney89
5/5  rDev +35.1%
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.

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Photo of DenverLogan
4.85/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A beauty...smooth, strong but not alcoholic, great aroma and equally wonderful mouthfeel and overall taste. Super brew all around comparable to a fine Belgian (e.g. des Rocs) or Californian (Alesmith) using the same style name. While the term/style Grand Cru in the U.S. means less than in the wine industry, it does signify a finer production from a brewery. This brew has superior flavor, balance, and body...a wonderful brew.

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Photo of Dudeletter
4.82/5  rDev +30.3%
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.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.62/5  rDev +24.9%
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.

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Photo of TheSarge
4.56/5  rDev +23.2%
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.

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Photo of Glibber
4.55/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been on Belgian kick the last 5 months after I went down to my beer store and purchased and subsequently drank a Rochefort 10. I have been consistently dissapointed- although truthfully it may be more the style I was searching for. The Grand Cru is the closest thing I have found to the Rochefort 10.
A very dark pour with minimal head, not much of a smell, but the taste bursts with dark fruit- especially raison and some plum. Not much carbination, but a complex flavorful drink. I am shocked that the ABV is 11%. I had no idea. I loved this beer and wish I could find it in Idaho.

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Photo of gnemesis
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured half of a 22oz bottle into a snifter on 04/11/11. It was bottled on 01/14/11.
Brown body with a thick and creamy big-ass head. Good retention and significant lacing. This grand cru smells of caramel, dark fruit, loads of sweet, and some fruity eaters present. The taste follows but adds some notes of Belgian candy sugar and a touch of booze. Medium body and medium carbonation. I loved this beer! I must find more and age a few before Avery stops Michigan distro

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
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.

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Photo of nickthetick
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

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Photo of Mdog
4.3/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Brown with purple highlights, good head but not very "Belgian"-like.

Smell: Tart cherry, hint of toffee.

Taste: Sweet but not cloying, raisins, cherry, a little tartness. As it warms up more caramel sweetness comes through.

Drinkability: Tasty, not too expensive (got the bomber for $7), nice for a big Belgian-style beer.

I picked up a bomber of this mostly because the price was right. I've enjoyed Great Divide's beer in the past, but haven't had much from them in a while. This one was quite tasty, I liked the sweetness along with the bit of tartness. Recommended!

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Photo of Immortale25
4.28/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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Photo of rye726
4.28/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Way fairly impressed with this. Especially after the mess they had own their triple.

Pours a dark mahogany with a nice silky head, excellent lace.
Nose has ripe pitted fruits, caramel, toffee, nuts, peppery Belgian yeast and bready malts.

Taste is sweet and malts forward. But very bready and nutty with some spicey and herbal flavors from the yeast.

Medium to full body has a nice soft carbonation and respectable finish. Great balance and drinkability.

One of the better non-trappist brewed versions of the style I've had. Also one of Great Divide's more quality offerings.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into my pint snifter a enchanting deep purple and red with light piercing the darkness, to fingers of head spoken cream melts to under one in a matter of 60 seconds no residual to speak of...

Dances under my nose with enticing chocolate and whiffs of alcohol, raisin, date pie and heady belgian yeast

The flavor is a mouthful, sweet pit fruits, raison, date, prunes dominate and pine nuts in hop to the side, also predominant is the belgian candy and yeast. I have needed a taste like this for some time, this could be the best colorado Amero-Belgian i've had in some time, if ever, the best great divide I've ever tasted for certain

Strong, chewy full body with warming alcohol and medium carbonation champagning with small bubbles

I would recommend this to all, I wonder if they do it on tap?

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark syrup colored brew, mostly clear, minimal carb, large sticky tan head. Sweet dark malt scent, candy, certainly alcohol. Very big brew, medium mouthed but very sticky. Chewy. Taste is largely dark malts, lots of candy, lots of alcohol, this beer would blow up if your smoking product fell into it. Some mild bittering hops. Pretty much what you would expect from GDs take on this style. Its potent.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

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Photo of Fulkrum78
4.23/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this in Asheville, NC at the Thirsty Monk. Served correctly. Dark as night, light lacing and light colored head. Aroma was fruity and malty. Alcohol aroma present but not overwhelming. Flavor was great. Definitely a beer I'd pick up again given a chance.

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Photo of brewdenver
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grand Cru is quickly becoming one of my favorite styles. 22oz bomber poured into a New Belgium Tulip.

A: The beer is lovely dark cherry wood brown. Slighlty dark cream colored head that didn't hold together very well even with a strong pour. Fingers and lacing struggle a little bit to hold on to the glass. I have not had many Grand Crus but the ones I have had seem to have a stronger head and finger/lacing around glass.

S: 11%?!?!?!. The aroma wouldn't ever let you know. Wonderful to smell. Caramel, raisins, honey all hit the olfactory lobe. A beer I truly enjoying sniffing.

T: The smell can be a bit misleading with this beer. Its not real sweet or fruity in flavor at first. It comes out a bit plain. What I do like is the middle. It sneaks up on you with the sweetness of the candy, grain and yeast strain. At first you almost feel disappointed but the middle quickly makes up for it. Giving you all those wonderful smells. It finishes kind of the same with the same pleasant sugars, fruits in your mouth keeping you constantly reaching for another sip.

M: Again going back to other Grand Crus. This beer is lacking in carbonation possibly giving it that sort of bland first taste. A tad thin in the mouth indicating differences in the malt profile. I personally like it. Its a Grand Cru alright but some subtle differences from the Belgium's I've had make it unique.

O: A really good belgian strong ale made in the US. I've had quite a few other CO breweries versions of belgian strong, saison, triple and this is one of the few I've had that really keeps up with the style that is hard to replicate. At 9.99 a bottle I will probably still grab a Val-Dieu Grand Cru for the same price. But when looking for the same style with some slight but good differences I will be looking for this.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this one poured from a growler earlier this week. Poured a medium to dark brown color, with a bit of ecru foam on top. Aromas of Belgian candi sugar, raisins and caramel. Somewhat lighter bodied than I expected, with alcohol, candi sugar, dark brown sugar and raisins.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap at the brewery.

Pours a dark brown body with ruby highlights and a thin tan head.

Sweet aroma with figs, dates, toffee, and light yeasty spice phenols.

The palate is rich, sweet, and fruity. Toffee, raisins, caramel, dates, prunes, brown sugar, molassas, and a spicy yeast finish that balances everything out.

The mouthfeel is full and slightly syrupy.

Overall a very good BSDA that I'm very excited to try with 6-12 months of age on it. A better Belgian style ale than some of the Belgian beers I've tried. Well done.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

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Photo of broken22
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am slowly making my way through the Great Divide section at my beer store. I fell in love with their Oak aged espresso stout. I have had this before on Draft and remember it being good. I didn't want to review this beer based on memory so it gave me a good excuse to buy a bottle.

Popping this bad boy open a nice dark amber beer comes flowing out. A cream head forms that is not too thick. The beer smells malty and spicy which for me is very characteristic of Belgian style beers. Taking a big sip I am surprised at how the beer is actually quite mellow and not like it smelled. The malt really comes though and really calms that spiciness I was smelling. I also think its a little fruity on the back end but not much. This beer has a has a nice full body to it which is very much what I would expect from a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

Well another good beer from a cool brewery. I think the people up there in Colorado are brewing some really killer beers. My local beer store is selling 22oz bottle for $7.99. Now go and pick one up.

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Photo of capeannbass36
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 22 oounce bomber dated Jan 31 2011

A- Pours a clear dark brown, with reddish highlights. Barely a one quarter inch off white head that dissapates rapidly. O.K. lacing considering the insignificant head.

S- Sweet malt with dark fruits. A touch of spice.

T- Malt, dark fruits. Caramel.

M- Quite oily. Creamy and smooth. Medium to light carbonation. Definitely warm on the swallow.

O- Sat on this one for 6-7 months, Looks like that was a very good thing. Love this beer! Wish I had purchased more than one!! Only wish this one was slightly more carbonated. Taste is excellent. Mouthfeel and appearance could be a little better. Then it would be borderline awesome.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

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Grand Cru from Great Divide Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 276 ratings.
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