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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Ratings: 276 |  Reviews: 159
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 walteez
3.09/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

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Photo of imbibehour
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 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 JoeBloe
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

looks good on the pour with it's clear red/mahogany color and a 1 finger head - smells of dark fruits and molasses/sugars - taste puts up the dried cherry. prune, date flavors along with a little hoppy bitterness and a lot of syrupy sweetness that seems out of place -
a cloying sticky sweetness pervades the mouth - alcohol taste is pretty well hidden though - carbonation is a little weak for a belgian ale - ok, but I won't be looking for another.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bottle split with onix1agr and poured into two duvel snifters.

A- a steady pour yields a finger or so of tan head that settles rather quickly and leaves only a faint ring around the glass. A nice red orange brown in color with a good clarity.

S- predominantly sweet, caramel and toffee with a touch of spice and alcohol.

T- very sweet again the spice does a bit to balance it out. Some fruity esters float around. Not much else going on.

M- about medium in body with a light carb that gives a bit of oily slip to it. A touch of heat on the palate and in the belly.

D- its solid not all that special. Maybe with some time things might develop a bit more.

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

22oz. bottle served in a Blvd. Tank 7 tulip. Poured a clear dark copper with a finger of tan head. Dark fruit and sugar in the aroma with just a hint of spice. Medium bodied. Fairly sweet. Some more dark fruit in the flavor finish of carmelized sugar. Not a lot going on here, could use some yeast spice.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a garnet color with a tight, off-white head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smells of sweet, dark fruits.

Tastes of a good dose of sweet fruits followed by some bitterness. Fruits have notes of fig, raisins, and plum. Some bread notes and brown sugar come through. The sweetness is thick and lingers. Some earthy bitterness makes a presence. A touch of spice, but it could be more present. Alcohol is present, but pleasant.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

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Photo of StaveHooks
2.98/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this at Great Divide tap room.

A - pours a deep ruby/ garnet with 2 fingers of off white head that retains well.

S - Cherry malt, dark fruits, currant, alcohol vapors

T - Vineous grape malt, stingy alcohol burns the tongue a bit. Brown sugar, syrupy dark fruits along with golden raisins. Yeast is there but overcome by syrupy cloying malt. Faint hints of cocoa toward the end.

M - Great carbonation. Rich body, smooth at first but becomes slightly syrupy.

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Photo of ironbike1
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark amber color with a nice off white 1/2" head into my snifter. Smell is fruits and caramel maybe some smoke coming through. The taste is very bubbly with the fruit coming through strong then fades out to a metalic almost bourbon taste.
The drinkability is very high since you really can not taste the alcohol in this. It is over powered with fruits and sweetness with a slight backbone of bourbon.

Just another great brew fomr Great Divide. I bought 2 of these to try 1 and age another so maybe a yr down will work this beer into a smooth gem.

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

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled on January 12th 2011.

Nice sized khaki colored head. Very dark red/brown body. Almost black. Great lacing. Boozy aroma with very sweet dark fruit. Great taste, some cherry, spicy yeast, thick malty body.

Overall, good but not great. Less sweetness would be an improvement.

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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 ferrari29
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured from bottle into Tulip stemmed glass

A - Beer poured with a dark brown body; one and a half finger beige foam formed; the thick head held very well and left behind some lacing; some carbonation

S - Malt and yeast tones come up immediately; sour notes; biscuit and caramel smells

T - Sweet caramel taste coupled with some rye; I can't help but notice that the beer has a sugary taste to it which is very prevalent

M - Thin and slightly effervescent; flavor hits the palate with malt tones that leave my mouth with overwhelming sweet flavors

D - Good seasonal drink; I enjoyed the beer, but I was a little thrown off by how sweet it was; maybe take down the sweetness a little bit

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

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Photo of stephens101
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with deep crimson hues. A large and consistent tan head slides away slowly leaving a sheet of fine lace behind. Aroma involves sweet bread, a thin vein of sour funk, a mixture of light and dark fruits and a smack of butterscotch. Sweet malts, beer bread, cherries, and a fleeting hop undercurrent to the tongue initially. Taffy, grapes and plums rise from the depths as the brew warms. Creamy and smooth with a diminutive alchol heat and a slightly syrupy afterthought. A most dangerously quaffable and imminently enjoyable brew that does absolutely no disservice to the real thing.

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

Got this from Highland Package Store in Birmingham on-tap into a quart-sized container. Really pumped for this one.

A: Pours a slightly translucent deep brown/chestnut; beautiful, bubbly 1.5 finger head that reduces to sit at a 1/4 finger thickness throughout the brew

S: Belgian flavors all over; dark candy and fruits; a touch of alcohol

T: Same as aroma, but better; alcohol comes through in a good way; malty bittersweetness is very well balanced

M: creamy at first, but finishes crisp and light; very surprising, in a good way; not too thick

D: holy crap, I could drink this for a really long time...

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

Poured into a goblet.

A: Deep garnet with a hint of mahogany. A rocky ruby tinted cream cap slowly falls to a patchwork film of foam. Leaves bits of lace.

S: Very vinous. Dark dried fruits are most prevalent. They bring a healthy dose of grape, raisin, currant and prune to the table. Alcohol adds a tingle to the nose.

T: The flavor doesn't quite live up to the promise of the nose, but is still nice. Dark fruits continue to dominate, but become a bit one dimensional with a strong focus on raisins. The bitterness provides a light pepper bite and enough balance to offset the sweeter flavors. Alcohol adds a nice warmth, but is otherwise well masked. The dark fruits linger into a warm finish.

M: The medium-heavy body is slightly syrupy. The carbonation is soft, yet a little too vigorous.

D: This is a nice BSDA overall. It doesn't quite match up with the best examples of this style, but is a solid effort nonetheless. I'm glad I picked it up.

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

Grand Cru | 650 ml. | 11.0% ABV | Q1 2011

Brewer: Great Divide Brewing Company
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale (BSDA)
Glass: pint

A clear, muted garnet body with mahogany bubbles and a dusty brown fro. Subpar lacing and a rapidly diminishing head detract from the overall grandeur.

Fruity, with a bit of yeast and spice, though it's hard to pick out individual scents.

Tangy dark fruit and slippery hops oils have me at a loss. Then a dab of chocolate trips over my palate. What is this exactly? Belgian candi sugar and traditional spicing is there... barely. It is almost as if a BPA, chocolate stout, and BSDA were smashed into one. The finish leaves toasted grain and zesty yeast on the tongue

Syrupy in the mouth with lackluster carbonation. It's too heavy.

It's a very malty beverage, and stronger for it. But I can't help but think it lost its way. The Belgian spices and yeast don't play a large enough role for this to be rightly called a BSDA. However, I was impressed by how well the 11% ABV is translated into a pleasant warming sensation rather than a harsh bite of alcohol.

Would I get it again?:

Bottled: January 12, 2011
Served: February 7, 2011

Additional notes:
The bottle design is fantastic.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.11/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a goblet. The bottle bears a stamp indicating it was bottled on 1/14/11.

Pours a mahogany color, with plenty of ruby highlights. A thin tan head lingers on the surface, with the occasional bubble floating and popping. Decent retention as the glass is swirled to release aroma.

Has a tangy, fruity smell, with plenty of yeast and spice. Hints of candied sugar, dried figs and prunes are present.

Tastes better than it smells, sweeter, and not as tangy. Yeast is up front first, with a malty, almost bready taste. Warm sugar and dark fruit coat the tongue and throat, with plum, raisin, and date notes. A tender sweetness is woven throughout, like honey, or rosewater. Overall, a rather pleasant tasting beer.

Medium bodied, with little to no bitterness and only a slight tang that tickles the tongue as it dries.

While I'm not the biggest fan of BSDA's, I'm a big fan of Great Divide, and believe they've created another enjoyable brew I would happily drink again.

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Photo of JohnnyS17
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tasted from a snifter

A - Moderately dark, but still some transparency. It has a unique ruby red tint. Very light to no head.

S - Faint alcohol with a fruity smell like cherries.

T - Alcohol taste with a hint of fruitiness. Malty with a hint of bitterness.

M - Medium body with a smooth, lasting finish.

D - Not my style of beer, but could be paired nicely with a good dinner. I wouldn't drink more than a glass in a sitting.

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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 Domingo
3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Wynkoop. Had been meaning to try it for a few weeks, but just kept forgetting about it.
Came out of the tap a deep brown, almost black color. Looking at it through the light, it's almost purplish. Head was never more than a thin layer, but it has a lot of staying power and stuck to my snifter throughout.
Both the nose and flavor are pretty straight forward. Caramelized brown sugar sweetness is about 80% of the character. Dried fruits like dates, figs, raisins, and prunes show up here and there. Definite liqueur booziness, too, although at 11%, that's perfectly fine and acceptable. The yeasts don't really play as much of a role as I expected...or really all that much at all. Pretty simple, but no problems or off flavors.
Mouthfeel is thick and the beer is sticky and dense. At this level of potency, that's for the best, though.
I middle of the road strong dark brew that might be a stepping stone for someone just getting into Belgian beers. The lack of much yeast character and the single-mindedness of it can be a strength in that regard. However when compared to others, it's a bit of a one trick pony.
Worth a shot, and has been priced right when I've seen it.

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Photo of ahijevyc
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

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