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Grand Cru | Great Divide Brewing Company

159 Reviews
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Grand CruGrand Cru

Brewed by:
Great Divide Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 159 | Ratings: 275
Photo of katan
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz into a pint

A - Pours a deep amber to ruby color. Very clear, brilliant. Off white head forms and quickly disappears down to a film.

S - Very fruity, driven by the hefty belgian yeast - almost cherry like. A little bit of alcohol warmth.

T - Starts off with a potent malty flavor, very sweet. Hopping is very restrained. Mid-stream gets very sweet, caramel. Finishes with a little bit of bready yeast notes and a hefty alcohol note. Aftertaste is full of the cherry like notes.

M - Full bodied and sticky. The hefty sugars really coat the tongue. Carbonation is light - could be higher to lighten the body of this beer.

O/D - Interesting sipper - hefty in just about every regard. Should be consumed slowly. Alcohol is a little much for a bomber - would share this one.

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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 Beerandraiderfan
2.91/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown and red, pretty good clarity for a beer this dark. Aroma of alcohol and syrup.

Usual dark fruit descriptions, fig, raisin, plum, with brown sugar. Too much alcohol and sweetness for my palate to appreciate it. A little more roasty bitterness, but it actually kind of help I'd say, aside from the massive alcohol mouthfeel it left.

Glad I got to try this at the SD international beer fest, would have never bought it without trying it, not a style I'm usually down wit.

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Photo of Gehrig
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Two lush, durable fingers of slightly tan froth top a muddy mahogany body with burnt orange trim. Tremendous lacing and good head duration make this a great-looking beer. Cherry and raspberry in the smell, which is subtle in distinct aromas and strong in yeasty aromas. Some biscuit malt in the nose, too.

Good taste, nice flavors of dried fruit such as fig and date, with some maraschino cherry in the finish. Sweet and syrupy in the second half, with a prominent boozy heat capping Grand Cru. Strong and cloying, smooth, with a rather creamy end, Grand Cru is good; not overly complex, but nice, strong, and easy on the palate.

GDGC doesn't approach the quality of their other bombers such as the sublime Old Ruffian and Yeti, but it will do. Nice take on the style, and undoubtedly a big beer. Overall, worthy.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, bottled 1/31/11, so just under a year old. $8.49, from Beer Run I think.

Appearance: Pours a light-medium brown with a fair amount of chill haze. Thin light brown head and just some spots of lacing. Unimpressive overall.

Smell: Sweet, fruity, boozy, spicy. Booze soaked raisins, plums. A little orange peel. Brown sugar and some peppery spiciness.

Taste: Super syrupy sweet. Lots of alcohol, but it doesn't taste sharp, harsh, or fusel-y. Dark fruit and a pronounced pepperiness. Some alcohol bitterness in the long, sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy and sticky like a barleywine. A little low on carbonation maybe. Feels full on the finish.

Overall: Despite not appearing that great when broken into pieces, this one is growing on me some. I like it. I would try it again on draft, in a small bottle, or splitting it with someone, but I wouldnt buy another 22.

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Photo of riored4v
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 1/12/11 - Reviewed 11/24/11

Poured in to a tulip. Dark amber body with no signs of haziness. Dense, 2 finger off white head with good lacing.

Aroma had some dark candy sugar, dark fruit and light toffee. Hints of a mild hoppiness while a big sweetness and maltiness comes through. Belgian yeast comes through.

Taste was a great blend of flavors. Nicely balanced. Good amounts of burnt sugar and dark fruits. Light spicey finish and a very light bitterness to cut the sweetness. Belgian yeast adds some good fruity flavor. Nice sweetness with a good, smooth, maltiness throughout. Very light signs of ABV

Mouthfeel was pleasant. Medium body, medium carb and a mellow finish with a light, sugary, stickiness.

Overall I thought it was good. Good balance of flavors with nothing to overpowering or strong. A bit too strong and sweet to be any sort of multi-pint beer, but tasty for a special occasion.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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

There are some styles of beer that I don't know what glass to use. Does a Belgian style dark ale belong in a Belgian glass? I poured this bomber (dated Jan 2011) into a Stella Artois glass.

Color is similar to the brown bottle with some red. The beer is clear. Head is about one finger of very fine bubbles, which quickly disappear. Lacing is almost non-existent.

Aroma is alcohol, some fruit and roasted malt. Rather weak, especially for a Belgian.

Flavor is sweet. Dark fruits and roasted malt.

Mouthfeel is candy-like. Similar to having sucked on a root-beer lollipop all afternoon.

Overall this ale is good, but not great. Too sweet for my taste. Maybe next year's batch will be better.

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Photo of enzocc
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with a nice caramelly color head. Very consistent head almost two fingers of head that did last long. The smell introduce you to a sugary beer. A smell full of sugar, molases, bourbon, and hops. The taste is like a bomb... first very sugary, then alcohol, a little hoppy, then the molases and raisins take all the end flavor, that leaves you with a taste of sugary, caramel, toffee sense with nice alcohol included. The mouthfeel is not at all good. A little watery, but no thin. Sticky!!
I would recommend this beer, but its not my favorite. good work by Great DivideBrewing.

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Photo of bigaltemple
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on January 12, 2011

A - Deep mahogany color with ruby highlights at edges. Three finger head settles to a finger width that leaves some sticky lacing.

S - Rich, dark malts. Lots of banana and dark fruits.

T - Huge taste of sweet, dark malt. Raisins, bananas, plums, and sugar. Over the top sweetness is taken over by warming alcohol sensation. Sort of peppery aftertaste.

M - Medium-bodied with little carbonation. Almost too much like syrup. Would love to see sweetness mellowed.

O - While quite tasty, I think this could definitely benefit from a little more time. Looking forward to trying another one down the line.

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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 chickenflea
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber. This is one of my favorite styles, but I will try to be objective. The beer pours a clear mahogany color with a tall frothy tan head. Apart from the smell of the yeast and alcohol, the beer smells very much like a dark read wine. There is also a nutty smell and something like shoe polish. (I'm jus'sayin') Very sweet and as it warms, it gets incredibly sweet like the heavy syrup in canned peaches. Slightly tart like cherries. A leathery finish. Low carbonation. Heavy body and sticky texture. A very nice beer. Too sweet.

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

$7.99 for a 650ml. Bottled January 12, 2011.

A: deep, ruddy copper color, clear, very nice creamy/rocky head
S: medium nose, peppery spice with caramelized malt and spicy yeast
T: very malty, sweeter and cloying, has the grand cru sweetness and body but has a lot of treacle roasted malt, needs a bit more spiciness, EtOH noticeable but not overpowering (probably subdued from sweetish malt)
M: creamy, easy drinking beer

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

Cool with their Hercules and Yeti Imperial, then I spot a big bottle of this. The big Belgians are a hard style to dial in, but what the hell, maybe they can make it 3 for 3 on these megabrews.

Pours a dark yet translucent brown, two inch tan and creamy head, fizz clinging to the sides. Smells whiff off at random, starting with a strong (it comes up immediately on pouring) spicy damn near cinnamon scent, then nuts, honey, grape (seriously), even a bit of citrus. Chaotic, but welcome on balance. If the alcohol is anywhere, it's not in the nose, that's the only thing that didn't announce itself.

Flavor wraps up all the above with a butterscotch blanket, and still no alcoholic heat. Hops are all background character, this isn't bitter at all. Slightly oily go down says again in case you're not paying attention that there is a TON of malt here, meanwhile the 11% -- oh there it is, it just took the last exit on the Mouth-Brain expressway.

So rich & deceiving, Great Divide could've called this one Wall Street Ale. Heh...that's a sign how strong it is, lame jokes that normally would've been swallowed leak out. This will obliterate your mental filter and taste nice on the journey.

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

Appearance is a nice deep rich brown with a reddish tinge and good thick light brown head which slowly dissipates to a thin layer.

Smell is very malty and a touch boozy with some sweet fruit behind it. As I continue to sniff I get some figs and dates with a sugary almost molasses aroma.

Taste is much of the same sweet, malty, boozy fruit. The fruit opens up a little more and gets more complex and is accented with a touch of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is still sweet and just a touch cloying with medium carbonation.

Overall it is a very good beer with some interesting sweet fruit flavors. For me it could be in better balance and leaned a bit too much on the sweet, fruit, booze end of the spectrum.

Bottled: 1/12/2011
de-Bottled: 8/21/2011

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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 Nesued
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Lively frothy tan head formed, about a two-finger depth. Resolved to a moderate ring as I allowed the offering to "breathe" a bit. Nice lacing formed as the head receded. A dark amber/red color. Clear with no haze. Inviting.

Smell - A rich malty aroma hits you first, followed by some dark fruit notes (plum, raisin). Some sweetness (caramel) presence as well. Mild overall. Not a big "in your face" beer so far.

Taste - A big sweet malty taste takes your tongue for a ride right out of the gate. Some flavoring hops add a bit of a bite (not much) to the finish. The middle is almost has a "cake-like" taste (i.e. sweet, bready) with a fig presence as well. Not to to the point of cloyingly sweet, but pretty close. Some alcohol presence, but it is hidden well.

Mouthfeel - This offering dances with depth, but doesn't quite make it. I would classify this as a Medium body, but for a grand cru Belgian strong dark at over 10% ABV, I would expect to have a much greater complexity. It tries, but to my palette, I don't feel it making it.

Overall - In my opinion, if you are going to run with the big dogs in the Belgian Strong Darks (i.e. Chimay Blue, Rochefort 8, Gulden Draak, Duvee De Keizer) you need to bring your A+ game. I see a good effort here, hopefully to gain ground in the future.

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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 BMoney575
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 7-24-11
Bottled on 1-12-11

Pours a very cool dark red/brown color, with a thick tan head that quickly bubbles away, leaving a thin film. Lacing coats the sides, and slowly slides down.

Smell is thick, sweet, and boozy. Very syrupy, with an almost malt liquor quality. Still, some nice aromas of dark fruit and just a hint of Belgian yeast.

Taste is very sweet, almost sugary, with lots of fruity flavors. The alcohol comes in next, adding a slickness to the finish, and contributing to a very red wine-like finish and aftertaste. Not bad, but pretty intense.

Mouthfeel is slick and creamy, adding to the boozy character.

Drinkability is good, if you're in the mood for a thick, sweet, and fruity beer.

Overall, a good beer that I might age in the cellar before having again.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great Divide Grand Cru is a super clear, brownish red ale with a dense, light khaki head that has outstanding retention and lacing. It has an estery aroma with notes of dark fruit. It's a little faint, so it's hard to pick apart. It's full bodied and smooth. The finish is dry. It has a well blended flavor that's not sweet or dry. There are notes of prune and caramel. The finish has an herbal bitterness and a hint of cola. Alcohol warmth lingers. This is tasty stuff. Something about it seems more American than Belgian to me, but I enjoy the mix of those styles.

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Photo of grittybrews
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
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!

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Photo of CelticAleMan
2.9/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes:


A - Beautiful deep ruby-mahogany colored. 1 finger tan head. Good lacing.

S - Very sweet, fruity, candi sugar, bubblegum, cloves, spicy and even a little smoky. Pretty interesting.

T - Very sweet, candied dark fruits, caramel, mild spiciness, a little roasted malts, tons of dark fruits (raisins, dates, sweet cherries). Cloying in its sweetness. I cannot handle this sugary sweetness. There is a weird lingering bitterness in finish, but even then it is still too sweet. The sweetness covers and envelopes the palate.

M - On the lower end of the heavy bodied. Kinda syrupy, yet a little creamy.

O - Too sweet and syrupy to drink a serving of, let alone a bomber. If there wasn't so much residual sugars it might have been good.

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Grand Cru from Great Divide Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 159 ratings.
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