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 kylehay2004
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of metter98
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high beige head that quickly faded away, leaving delicate lacing on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are aromas of dark malts in the nose along with notes of raisins and hints of spices.
T: Like the smell, the overall taste is somewhat malty and has some initial sweetness. There are notes of dark fruits, which become stronger as the beer warms up. There are some hints of alcohol and spices in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, slightly smooth and a bit thin on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. There is a bit of alcohol warming in the finish.
O: The sweetness in the beer makes it a bit cloying yet it’s not that difficult to drink because the alcohol is for the most part well masked from the taste.

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Photo of brentk56
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 1/31/11; tasted 1/5/12

Appearance: Pours a clear tawny color with a very modest cap that becomes a ringlet in short order, though it leaves more than a few dots and dashes behind

Smell: Very fruity, with a Juicy Fruit character; considerable candi sugar, as well

Taste: Brown sugar and Juicy Fruit flavors predominate the front end, with a spicy clove and cinnamon character developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweet and fruity flavors linger

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: Not a bad stab at the style but lacks the depth and complexity of flavor displayed by the great Belgian examples of the style

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a one-finger tan head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of spices and dried fruits - some plum.

T - Good roasty malt with dried fruits (apple and plum). Some nice spicy yeasty notes.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a strong alcohol presence.

D - This was good but not great Grand Cru. Maybe it will improve with age.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Rick's in Alexandria. Bottled in January 2011. Served in a Mikasa goblet.

Pours a very clear copper-brown with a thin off-white head that recedes quickly with a few spots of lacing. The nose brings forward some dark fruits and hints of cherry along with light caramel. Flavor is pretty tame, though blends dark fruits and a bit of earthy spice. Nothing too complex. Medium body and light carbonation. Overall, everything comes together and hits home better than any individual aspect.

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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 oberon
2.96/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Great Divide is one of my favorite breweries,I always look for new wares from them to snap up,I wish I wouldnt have grabbed this today though.Poured into a chalice a mahogany with a tinge of amber,a rather thin beige head atop.No aromas....really no aromas after a riveted pour into a chalice!Okay light phenols,that is it!Not much better flavor wise to be honest,light spiced phenols and some cake but its just to light in any flavor component.I had higher expectations,just another reason to check reviews before going out and buying anything.Damn!

I hate to give such a bad review to such a great American brewery, but I got to do what I got do do.

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Photo of mactrail
2.82/5  rDev -23.8%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.21/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22 ounce bottle - $6.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, dark ruby-toned body with a goodly-sized, frothy, off-white head.

Smell: Straight sugar scent with some roast and a paltry touch of simple chocolate overlaying inebriated, alcohol-soaked notes of ripe berries and dark fruit and one turn of the pepper grinder.

Taste: Moderate taste of roasted malts with a portion of raspberry chocolate mousse sided with a small spoonful of fig jelly. Sweet additions of melted sugars and brown sugar. Alcohol provides some noted, though not quite caustic heat early on. Small pinch of dried bitter orange peel. Low hints of black pepper and clove. Mostly just a medley of sweetness, fruitiness, and booze -- at one point bringing to mind Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry, but maybe that's just the alcohol talkin'. Sweet, boozy finish with a lingering fruit-flavored liqueur taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation. There's some heft to the overall mouthfeel.

Overall: GDGC doesn't display the charming grace or seamless finesse of the Belgian-born ales, remaining a bit coarse and raw throughout, and somewhat undeserving of the 'Grand Cru' handle.

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Photo of russpowell
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the Biergarten in Jenks; bottled on Jan 12/11. Might set a bottle aside to see how this badboy ages....

Pours a ruddy chestnut with 2 fingers of cream colored head into my Vondel snifter. Average head retention & lacing

S: Slight oaky sourness/tartness mixes with dark fruit

T; Plums, slight sourness, pears, burnt candi-sugar & persimmons up front, a touch of boozey warmth too. Pruney/candi sugar sweetness once warm, slight oakyness, much dark fruit, slight cola sweetness, more persimmons. Finishes caramel sweet with slight figgyness, & a slight oaky tartness, almost pulled a 4.0

MF: Medium bodied, slightly prickly carbonation. Nice warming boozeyness, but thinning out a bit as well once warmer

Drinks pretty easy, I'm liking this but do believe this beer has long term cellaring potential for best results. This a step in the right direction for GD as far as their Belgian offerings go

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Photo of womencantsail
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours an almost mahogany color with a creamy off-white head on top.

S: Sweet malts start things off with a big toffee aroma and some molasses. Hints of leather and dark fruits along with some mild yeast. There is a strong roasted malt component that seems sort of out of place in this style of beer.

T: Dark chocolate and perhaps even some coffee? Mild vanilla and some definite booze. Toffee and molasses, maybe some brown sugar, give the sweetness, but there is a fairly strong roast character as well. A touch of metal is also there.

M: Medium to full in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Wasn't terribly impressed by this beer and I suspect the strong roastiness had something to do with it.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled on Jan 12th 2011 so we are good to go.

Pours a simple dark brown, giving a decent head that is sort of light brown off cream colored. Fairly good retention for the head. Body is a really nice dark cherry and fairly clear. Real nice colored body. However on the pour this makes a lot of noise and seems really fizzy. Some decent lacing too.

Strange peanut butter and simple soy bean paste and event yeast bouquet. Really BIZARRE nose on this beer, nothing offensive, but very odd for this style and not I would say... that I am very appreciative of the uniqueness of this nose. Before tasting I feel like I am going to be ambushed.

Ambushed, luckily not. Fairly sweet getting into raisin/dates territory, but kind of strangely malty and a nice body. Caramel finish but also kind of expansive outer heat searing in the palate but without a booming feel. For high abv I have to admit though this is very well hidden, however it does get into that sugary alcohol sweetness thing. No carbonation to detect.

Well, it's not bad, but nothing I am crazy for or would want to have again. Luckily this brewery makes some beers that are flat out fantastic, this unfortunately isn't one of them.

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Photo of aasher
2/5  rDev -45.9%
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...

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
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.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of Gavage
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a clear dark brown color with a short 1/4" head that breaks down to a ring around the glass.

Smell: fruit sweetness dominates the aroma.

Taste: malt sweetness, prunes, raisins, brown sugar, a nice balancing bitterness, and soft alcohol tones.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Light prickly start with a smooth finish. Aftertaste is long loved.

Drinkability: a slow sipping beer that is great on a cold evening in front of a fire. Bomber needs to be split with a friend.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The newest brew from GD. Always a treat to hit their tasting room. Tapped at 6:05pm, mine was the first out of the tap (I didn't go into the party room).

Pours a shiny, dark ruby body. Head is fluffy and just a touch off of white. Lacing seemed a bit slick.

Nose came to me as fruity and a bit spicy. Not that this is a fruit beer. Black plum, some lightly toasted malt and some sweets.

Flavors seem a bit raw. The plum is more tangy than the nose would indicate, the spice blends with sweet bread. A touch of clove. Kind of malty, but the spice on the end keeps it form being too much so.
Kind of just sits on the tongue. Tanginess is nice as it offers a bit of puckering. Would like to try this in the bottle as I probably wouldn't order this one again....just b/c GD has some damn fine options

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big bottle into two Duvel glasses split with oglmcdgl.

A big pour yielded a dark shade of red with some brown/marron in between resembling red wine to a tee. A beige shade of white on top, semi thick, lasting, but no sticky.

Smell is a nice whiff of caramel/toffee without being to much. Dark fruit, plum, slight apple with some time. A touch of vanilla and a hint of booze.

The Belgian yeast comes out more in taste giving off some darker bread, fruits such as apple and pear, hops don't really come into play, sweet malt that is not cloying. Some grape flavor with EXTREME warming. For being 11% and fresh the alcohol is tame.

Feel is a step above medium with very light carbonation, this sort of slides down a bit too easy. I drank my half a bottle, but it took some time. A good everyday BSDA for sharing and pairing with dank food.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled on tap at 1702; March 2011
The beer arrives with an amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a dark amber to brown color that shows a brilliantly clear, amber hue when held up to the light. The beer smells fruity smelling with a caramelized back note to it. Other aromatic notes add a hint of sweet spice, perhaps even a touch of tartness as well as a touch of meaty malt character becoming noticeable after a bit. It comes off as smelling a bit bland in the end though.

This is super fruity tasting and sweet; it reminds me of fake fruit flavoring with a mix of juicy fruit gum flavors, bubble yum, fake berry and medicinal fruit notes. The finish has some heat to it from the alcohol and there are higher-alcohol flavors here that make it seem like cough syrup. The fruitiness is definitely interesting, some of it may even come from the use of hops as there is a touch of herbal character here, but I am really not certain. This is definitely a weird beer, I am not quite sure what to think of it, or if I even really like it or not.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.81/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber,

A: Pours a deep mahogany with a medium white head, very good lace and retention.

S: Dark malt, molasses, cherries, raisin bread, mission fig.

T: Very sweet with caramel and dark fruit (dates in particular and prunes, some raisins). Sweet overall, very light hopping, good flavour.

M: Full-bodied, big viscosity, at tad cloying, but contains the sugar fairly well.

D: One of the better made American Belgians I've had in a while. The malt flavours are very attractive, but I'm beginning to feel American BSDAs are like the Bordeaux of beer, interesting and can be good out of the gate, but can always improve with some aging.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours deep deep red with a medium-large tan head that's really compact. The dissipation is slow and leaves great lacings.

S: Yeast and sweet doughy malt. Plums and figs are some of the dark dried fruits that's noticable.

T: Rich sweet malt, molasses, wtih lots of dark dried fruits; cherries, plums, figs and raisins. The yeast is a bit in the back. Faint chocolate. There's is a flavour that's kind of out of style, but nice: Oaky vanilla.

M: Long malty aftertaste. Body is full and carbonation is moderate. Alcohol is noticable in the syrupy liquid, but still it's smooth.

O: A typical example of the style. In my case this was the first America-produced Belgian Strong Dark Ale. I liked it.

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Photo of rudzud
3.33/5  rDev -10%
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.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours one-finger light tan head that fades quickly and leaving no lace. Nice crystal clear red/amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is light sweetness. Flavor is dark fruit and Belgian yeast, not cloying, finish is alcohol sweet, warming. Better as it warms. Bottled on 1/31/2011. $9.99 for a 22 oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bottle

A- Poured into a chalice. Pours a dark reddish brown color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is malts, dark fruits, spices, some Belgian yeast and alcohol. The aroma is a little fainter than expected.

T- The taste like the aroma is sweet and malty up front with dark fruits and spices with a lot of warmth from the alcohol in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, Great Divide Grand Cru is a decent beer that is worth a try, but it lacks complexity and the alcohol takes over a little much.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
2.45/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Poured a burgundy color with good carbonation and reddih hues with a small white cap

S: Candy sugar, fruits, booze

T: Warm, hints of dark fruits, plenty of sugary sweetness ont he back. This was a m uddy, confused beer which did not sit well with me and did not taste even remotely close to some the standard Grand Crus. I understand the "style' OR LACK THERE OF ON THE CRU BUT THIS WAS NOT TASTY.

M: Warm, sticky, sweet, medium to full body

D: Not impressed. I actually drain poured this Grand Cru.

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