Grand Cru | Great Divide Brewing Company

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Grand CruGrand Cru
276 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 276 |  Reviews: 159
Photo of srandycarter
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark sun tea, small off white head, some cling lace. Extremely clear.

S - Very light malt and maybe some hop, but that is very light as well.

T - Very sweet malt, caramel, hops in very back but not balanced.

M - A bit cloying and one sided. Good carbonation.

D - Big beer and sticky sweet. One will do.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled Jan 12, 2011.

Served cold into a goblet, Grand Cru has a lot to live up to, based on the name alone, before I even take a sip. It has a dark redish brown color with good clarity. The head is short, creamy, and unfortunately brief. There is some nice lacing left behind, however.

Aroma is sweet and rich with dark fruits. Cherries and chocolate with a pleasant Belgian yeast strain.

Flavor is intense but smooth. Lots of character and depth of flavor. It's not up there with the best of the breed but it has a lot of similar qualities. The cherries, figs, raisins, and clove are all there but they aren't successfully integrated.

Mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied and nicely carbonated (not too strong) with the alcohol being fairly well-hidden.

Overall a solid beer but may do better with some age on it. This one being only 2 months old is surprisingly smooth and mellow. Give it another year and it could be great.

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Photo of 100floods
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

No bottle date. Beige head provides a roof to a ruby red hued liquid. Smells of juice, cherry, dark yeast. Sweet, a little warm, that juice aroma carries to the flavor. The warmth lingers after each sip. Tastes a little flat as if aged, for quite some time. Since there is no bottle date, I can only speculate the age of this beer (and judging by the fact that I bought this with the two previous Great Divide beers I reviewed I can assume this was made at least in September). Subtle hints of brown sugar blended with the more upfront presence of alcohol. This beer seems kind of limp. If I knew how old this beer was I may/not have a different view of it. Overall its a bit sweet, but at least the alcohol isn't too hot.

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

Grand Cru is an attractive collision of crimson and copper. It's very clear, and backlighting gives it a very strong deep red appearance. I like it. A tan colored head covers it. It stands about a finger tall, and recedes quickly. Lacing was sticky and moderate in volume. Looks good.

The nose is lacking strength. It starts out with a yeasty scent. It is somewhat Belgian-esque, but won't be confused for a true Belgian. More Belgian character is needed here. I know...not the easiest thing for an American brewer to pull off. There are definitely some sweet, malty notes present. Caramel is most notable, but cocoa is also there. Light dark fruit notes of raisin and fig are noted. Subtle spicy notes emerge late. Alcohol is blended pretty well. Not bad, but needs more muscle.

The flavor is above average. It's malty and a little sweet initially. Light caramel and cocoa-like chocolate malts make up the base. Yeast is easily noted. It does taste a little Belgian, but not as much as I'd like. Spicy yeast flavors are noted throughout. They come through loud and clear. It is fruitier than the nose suggests. Apple and pear are present, in addition to dark fruit flavors of raisin and fig. Secondary flavors of cherry, faint cinnamon, and sugar round it out. Alcohol is a little more pronounced here. It's not quite hot, but the flavor is definitely noted. Finishes spicy and sweet.

Grand Cru has a medium body that is nice and smooth. Carbonation is dialed down pretty nicely. Mouthfeel is probably its strong suit, though I still wouldn't confuse it with something truly Belgian. Drinkability is above average. The flavor's alright, but isn't on-par with a ton of other BSDAs. It's also quite big. A bomber is way more than enough.

I'm a big fan of Great Divide Brewing Company, but it seems like the last few of these "new" bomber releases don't quite live up to the lofty standards Great Divide has set for itself. Grand Cru is decent enough beer, but it doesn't distinguish itself among or add anything to the BSDA crowd. It's weak on Belgian yeast and strong on alcohol. It's pretty good, and is definitely worth a try. But, don't expect to be blown away.

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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 kbnooshay
2.93/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a dark red-brown with a short lived tan head. Aroma is a little weak and watery, but I detect green apple, dark fruit and Belgian yeast. Pretty dissapointing after the first sip. This just doesn't taste very Belgiany. The yeast i detected in the nose is so faint in the taste. Brown sugar, caramel and dark fruit sweetness dominates. There is no complexity, just sweet and dull. This could use some Belgian spices! Very weak and bland. Hint of cheap wood. Feel is smooth and slick but on the thin side.

Dissapointing from such a great brewery.

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Photo of Deadheadbill
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to snifter. Less than a finger of tan head which while it dissipated fairly quickly, left nice lacing on the glass. The aroma was not very strong but smelled of raisins and maybe a little tobacco. In the mouth it is very nice, medium bodied and slightly boozy with dark fruit flavors as well as some caramel. Overall I liked it quite a bit.

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

Clear body, reddish brown in color, with a shortish head that sticks well enough. Ring-on-the-glass by the end, though.

Sweet aromas, with an earthy hop-like character. Seems like macerated, overripe fruits. Medicinal and herbal. I'm a little confused.

Grand Cru is pretty sweet, but also quite understated. The usual malt suspects: raisin, fig, brown sugar, even prune juice. The alcohol is present but not overwhelming.

The body is medium, made slightly thicker by a syrupy sort of nature. Finishes quite long and wet, though quite smooth. Atypical for its style, though really nothing terribly interesting.

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Photo of keepersj12
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very solid beer. A nice aroma from a dark reddish brown pour. Mostly prunes, grapes and some caramel. the flavor has the above along with some hop presence to balance everything outwith a nice warming quality. The alcohol is very well hidden. Nice beer.

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

A: Pours a deep brown,two finger head that reduces and stays at a finger thickness throughout the brew

S: Belgian dark candy and fruits....very nice, sweet.

T: I get very sweet cherry with alcohol....I love it.

M: Full creamy nice !

D: This beer is a creeper...goes down way to easy for a 11%

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Photo of sweethome
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour...light tan head. Full mouthfeel on entry, dried cherries, cocoa, cola. Quite sweet midmouth - hint of coconut. A little cloying. Velvet mouthfeel - smooth and creamy.

The nose is tremendous - i wish the flavor profile followed - but still a flavorful beer, with some complexity.

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Photo of Seru1
3.21/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Very Dark beer with a rich ruby aura and thin white head.

Smell- Disappointing here. Not much to smell, watery aromas with hints of cherry and coffee.

Taste- Very Sweet Caramel with a slightly nutty and sour notes rounding out the beer.

Mouthfeel- The Body was big and rich with sweetness. Really filled your whole mouth.

Drinkability- It was a good beer, but it was so sweet without to much balance that I could not drink more than one.

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

22oz bomber split two ways $7.79 at SL in Colorado.

Very distinguished looking bottle, pours mahogany with garnet tinged highlights, clear with a quickly settling 1 1/2 finger white head.

Aroma is a little light but complex, spicy yeast with a variety of dark fruit and chocolate and bready malt. Figs, raisins some dark cherries. Would it be wrong to say this smells like a carmelized fig newton.

Flavor embodies the nose more of the same dark fruits with spice notes and burnt sugar and cola on the back end. Hops barely detectable, some alcoholic breathiness underlying.

This one is rather sweet and the fact that the carbonation isn't very evident doesn't help lighten it up, medium body. Alcoholic sweetness, a good stab at the dark Belgian ales sneaky ABV, a flavorful sipper.

I wonder if age would help this one in it's complexity, hopefully the carbonation and hop balance don't fully die out or it could be snow cone syrup in a year.

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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 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 flannelman808
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Ruby brown and clear with a light tan cap.

S: Spice and orange peels... perhaps burnt orange peels.

T: Pretty nice stuff. A little boozy in a dark spiced rhum sort of way, but thats ok. I absolutely get a burnt orange peel quality from this beer as well as a sort of herbal almost rose petal floral note. Spice balances with sweet to help keep things on an even keel. a nice and interesting change from the norm in the belgian strong dark range! worth a try.

M: nice carbonation at a foamy sort of pace

D: medium plus

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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 ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle $8. Dark ruby red, almost amber, clear. Smells fruity and yeasty. Taste is very strong and spicy, almost reminds me of boulevard sixth glass. Tasty but a little strong as far as the alcohol but it's decent. I probably wouldn't buy this again but that's due to the price and the fact that boulevard sixth glass is better for the same money.

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Photo of djmichaelk
3.07/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber into a couple of snifters. Bottled Jan 2011.

A - Pours a deep murky brown with auburn edges in the light. Maybe a finger of off-white head, little retention, and almost no lacing.

S - Standard dark fruits and spice, with raisins, figs, nutmeg and clove up front, and plenty of yeastiness to go around. Pleasant but not really superlative.

T - More spice than I'd imagined from the nose, and the flavors bring to mind allspice and some anise along with the aforementioned clove. The fruit is a little more muted, but the dominant note is raisins. It's less bready than I thought it'd be and it has a short alcohol burn in the finish. Good flavors but the burn costs a bit in the score.

M - Full in the mouth, with a long dry finish. Somewhat prickly carbonation gives it a harsh impression.

D - The abv is high-ish but no so much for the style. I could maybe have another but probably not today. I'd probably reach for something else next but I wouldn't turn one of these down by any means.

O - Another solid offering from Great Divide. Looking back on my scores, it almost seems like I don't think very much of it, which isn't quite true. It's not a bad beer at all, it's just an average beer in a style that happens to be packed with some very high-quality competitors.

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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 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 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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Grand Cru from Great Divide Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 276 ratings
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