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

the appearance is very deep dark brown, with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves lots of lacing. Hazy when held to the light.

the smell has a strong presence of figs, dark fruits, malt, brown sugar and alcohol.

the taste is the same with a more sweet fruity presence, between cherries and grapes, as well as a more metallic alcohol flavor.

slightly thin and a bit dry, but with a certain creamy texture and a lot of prickly carbonation. sweet residuals though.

the drinkability is pretty good but its a particularly heavy beer. though i might be able to slip another one in my belly.

overall its a damn good beer, though a bit complex, not a session beer by any means. but it is a damn good beer.

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

650mL bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Bottle reads January 12, 2011.

A- Pours a deep copper that is almost red with good clarity. A one and a half finger head is light tan color and hangs around for a good while. Nice head retention. Leaves a soapy looking lacing as it drinks.

S- Bready malt with a little note of yeast and alcohol. Has an earthy hop aroma and a hint of Belgian spiciness.

T- Taste is sweet, creamy and fruity. The malt imparts a bit of roasted goodness and the hops are subdued. The taste is like dried fruit, dates or prunes. The after taste lingers on the palate with malt bitterness dancing with Belgian yeast spice.

M- Like I said, creamy. Kind of tart finish makes you snap your tongue like drinking white grape juice. The boozy smell on the nose is not tasted but the alcohol warmth is felt on the swallow.

O- A decent offering from Great Divide. Nice and strong, but not overpowering. I am halfway through this bottle and I am already feeling a little buzzed. Complex flavors, well balanced though could use more hops IMO, though its probably in this style of beer to be overly hopped.

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Photo of HaysAmerica
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've been sitting on this for more than four months in my beer fridge. Poured from the 650ml bottle into a small snifter. Label indicates that this was bottled on Jan 13, 2011. Pours a nice amber red mixed w/ some dark wood. Decent head that quickly dissapates. Hazy. What head there was appeared to be off white or eggshell in color. Lacing is ok.

Smell is alcoholic mixed w/ dark fruit. Burnt sugars, plum/raisin mix. I can tell this'll be sweet from the malt profile just by whiffing this one. Almost a licorice to this one.

Tastes like prunes. Not prune juice due to the thick body but pruny. Has a little tartness to it too. That I didn't expect. Has a decently complex mixture of dark fruit taste. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. Not much of a burn to it. Pretty well has a moist & nice finish to it. Pretty typical to style but I have to say that the tartness is a little off. I was expecting more alcohol burn but I'm not getting that...nice.

Mouthfeel & body are medium. Not too thick. As the beer warms up the alcohol comes out more & more. The nose is deceptive as it almost makes me whince & hesitate to take a sip. The alcohol is there but not overpowering or distracting. I probably could've sat on this for another year & it would be wonderful.

I should've waited till late October or December to crack this one open. This would be great w/ snow on the ground; not in the beginning of summer. Not as in your face as most of the BSDA's that I've had but a decent middle of the road interpretation.

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

Ruby/garnet in color with what starts out as a nice almost two finger tan head, quickly recedes to nothing. Very little bubbling. Good color though.

Very caramelized fruit aroma. Yeasty cherries and plums with some candi sugar syrup drizzled over them. An lets not forget a warming sniff of caramel fruity booze.

The taste starts with warm caramel, from the high abv. The middle showcases the fruity, sugary sweetness of teh malt and yeast. The finish is a syrupy, sweet alcoholic liquid taht has a nice lasting warmth that lingers.

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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 CanuckRover
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice mohogany, on the red side. Nice big dense head off the pour. Good chunky lacings to the finish.

Very sweet nose. Lots of dark sugar. Can't say I get alot of roastiness off the aroma.

Big sweet malt up front. Loads of sugar, dates. Can certainly pick up roasted character now, but it seems pretty subdued, might be an age thing (says bb March 2011, but I don't see a bottled date).

Pretty full body. Nice restrained carbonation.

Good, not great.

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Photo of t420o
3.51/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Semi aggressive pour produced a 1 finger off white/very light brown head that sticks around for a few sips. Leaves a nice creamy head like it came from a nitro tap or something. Beer is dark brown with hints of crimson. Looks pretty good.

S- Ripe dark fruits like dates and pruins, candided brown sugar, some yeast. Not too m uch here. Average

T- Same as the nose. Candied sugar, ripe dark fruits, cherries, some yeast, slight hint of alcohol. Not much complexity but it is tasty

M- Too Overcarbonated. Slightly light mouthfeel.

O- A good tasting beer but not on par with any of the great strong dark ales. Decent drinkability.

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

Pours a mostly clear ruby with two fingers of creamy khaki colored foam that settles to a thin cap. Sheet of lace left down the glass. Smell: sweet, bready, and dark fruit - kind of a fig and plum skin combo, peppery and pear notes. Taste: brown sugar, raisin, pumpernickel doused in caramel. It's sugary and with a healthy touch of booze. Full bodied and syrupy. Certainly sweet, but pretty decent. Bottled Jan 14, 2011.

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Photo of Kromes
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Deep, dark amber with orange highlights and a thick orange-white colored head. Nice sheets of lacing down the glass.

S: Molasses, brown sugar, Belgian yeast, fig.

T: Sweet molasses, brown sugar, caramel, bready flavor. The finish is warm with alcohol and very sweet. A slight metallic tang.

M: High carbonation and heavy body. Super sweet and you can't get that sugary syrup out of your mouth. But then again, some may like that.

O: It's good. The flavors and aroma are nice, but the sweetness in the beer is a little much.

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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 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 Krakistophales
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark purple with a finger's worth of cream colored head that recedes into a film.

S: Candied fruit, caramel, booze

T: Slightly tart fruit, like cherries, a boozy ether, and a a bit of a hop aftertaste. Rather simple, but enjoyable, flavor.

M: Great carbonation, nice booze warming, goes down surprisingly easily.

O: I've had much better quads and belgian darks than this, but this one isn't bad. If the great options are missing at a store, I would get this one again.

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Photo of Phelps
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed from the tap in a tulip glass at Papago.

A frothy one-finger head the color of beach sand sits for a long while atop a dark yet astonishingly clear maroon brew. Thin strips of lace decorate the glass as I drink.

Smells figgy. The very sweet nose reveals notes of dark fruits and cinnamon, perhaps some pear and banana, and subtle dark bread.

Lots and lots of raisins in the flavor, with hints of cinnamon and candy sugar as well as bit of pumpernickle. Odd and mildly offensive burnt bread sneaks in after the swallow, but this flavor goes away after the beers warms. Notes of burnt toast cling at the edges of the mouth. Mostly sweet, though some dryness wipes flavor away at the finish. A bit of alcohol, but not too much.

A gentle mouthfeel. Peppery medium carbonation amidst a nicely velvety medium body. Quite a bit of booze in the nostrils, though the warmth isn't too bad. Soft fizziness as it moves about expands the feel.

If you’re looking for complex Belgian character, you won’t find it in Great Divide Grand Cru. If, however, you’re looking for a dark, high-ABV brew that’s dangerously easy to sip, this is one.

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Photo of zeledonia
2.98/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep brown with strong reddish tones. One-finger light tan head with more reddish hues. Fades fairly quickly but leaves decent lacing.

Smells of good strong sweet caramel malts, and some Belgian yeast providing a bit of clove spice. The smell is pleasant, but it doesn't have a whole lot of dimension to it. I get a bit of port wine, some nice bready notes from the malts.

Whoa. Tastes uber-sweet and very rounded. The sweetness fills up the mouth and settles on the back of the tongue. The sugars are so powerful that I can't pick up much else in the flavor. It's like drinking a sweet dessert. I get the sort of yeasty bready flavor I normally get from doppelbocks. Some dark fruit like plums and raisins come through. But mostly, it's just overpoweringly sweet, with not a whole lot else to it. I get a touch of spice and a bit of alcohol pinch in the finish.

Medium-bodied, low carbonation. Sticky and syrupy. A light alcohol burn builds throughout. With a beer this heavy and sweet, I need more carbonation to move things around and bring out other flavors.

This is a serious malt-bomb. What's there is decently tasty. But unfortunately, it doesn't have much depth or complexity. To me, it comes across as sweet, sweet, and more sweet.

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

A: Dark red-brown, hazy liquid. Sand-coloured thin foam, sinks away quickly. Some lacings.

S: Dried fruit, strawberries, some tobacco, hints of sherry and port wine. Subtle notes of beef broth and soy sauce.

T: Sweet, some chocolate, raisins and plums, notable alcohol. Sherry and red wine. Malt, oat and white chocolate in the aftertaste. Hints of date. Alcohol is present through it all. Lacks notable hop aroma, and bitterness is low.

M: Rather thick, oily liquid. Very sweet, a little bit like syrup.

O: Quite complex, but a little bit too sweet. a 65 cl bottle is a little bit too much for one person, because of both
the high alcohol and the great sweetness. It is really a little bit too sweet. A good brew, though.

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Photo of claytong
3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I give such a low rating due to the fact of the cost for a bomber and for the style (for which I'm a big fan). This in the state of Colorado as well.
not much head on a controlled pour. get bubbles in my nose the first sips. warm alcohol hits the tongue with a subtleness that also controls most other flavors. a bit of malt finishes along with a bit of metal.
was going to store this one, but had a bad day so i thought this would be nice, a let down. shouldve kept storing i guess.

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Photo of adamette
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live Review. Poured from the growler that I had filled at World Wines & Liquor in Mentor, Ohio for $14.99 yesterday into my Brewery Ommegang Westvleteren style gold rimmed goblet. It was only 6 to 8 months ago that World Wines started to offer this growler fill option at their store and I have to say that it is quite nice. I went yesterday to try to fill a growler of Bell’s Oberon (for $8.99!) but it was gone. This was my second choice. I think that I will be going back to get more like these. I really appreciate the service and the concept of taking beer home and enjoying it there.

A A nice release of air welcomed the loosening of the cap of the growler, a sign of a well poured and prepared growler. Head is light to moderate brown over a mahogany but translucent body. Above average look. 3.5

S Certainly sweet malt hits my nose first. Then I realize that the smell is a bit more distant than some beers in the style. That is not a bad thing, just something that sets it apart. 4.0

T Very nice sweet malt in a Belgian Strong Dark Ale that delivers on the style suggestions but also offers a nice almost barrel aged “woody” taste of muted organic taste that I really like. It makes it quite drinkable and cuts down on the overly sweet aspect of some beers in this style. It reminds me very much of Great Lakes Grand Cru which I recall really liking as well. 4.5

M Full sweet and reasonably thick but not with too much of a sticky, syrupy feel like other beers within the style. That quality certainly drives up the drinkability. 4.0

D Good for the style which is not particularly drinkable due to the ABV, the usual sweetness and the usual syrupy, thick mouthfeel. 4.0

Notes: A treat to find this on tap at World Wines & Liquor in Mentor. I will certainly be back to sample other beers via the growler fill system that they have. I would certainly recommend this beer to anyone.

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Photo of claspada
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass with a nice alcohol lacing and a 1 1/2-2 finger head.
Aromas are fairly muted to be honest. I'm getting sweet caramel and slight ethanol booziness. As I really dig deeper I get some really subtle notes of dark cherry and plum. As it warms you get a little more vinous red grape characteristics.
Thankfully the taste is a huge improvement over the nose. Fruity delicious dark fruits begin and end with this beer. Cherries, pear, figs and plums are the initial flavors. Yeast does not play a big role here in the flavor which some would but upset about, but I hate yeast bombs so I love this. As it warms there is a little more dark subtle chocolate maltiness which accompanies the fruits.
Mouthfeel is medium with a nice medium drying carbonation. Fuller than most of the style which I once again enjoy. Malt over yeast always wins in my book. Overall I can understand why "purists" would dock this beer because it is maltier than most Dark Strong Belgian ales, but to be honest I enjoy it thoroughly. The initial alcohol which I could detect in the appearance and aroma are undetectable in the taste so that is once again a plus. This beer is getting way too much flack in my opinion. I think all beers should so what Deschutes does and say do not drink this beer until X-date or they should let the beer sit in a warehouse somewhere until the initial harshness of fresh high ABV beer wares off and the beer reaches it's peak or an acceptable level. Anyway, this beer is good, period.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
2.95/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a large Duvel snifter

Pours a dark chocolatey brown with a nice solid tan head with fair head retention. Dark brown with hints of caramel and red when held to the light.

Chocolate, caramel and nice pear notes on the nose.

Sweet raisin, dark plum, chocolate and rich malt flavors.

A heavy sweetness that becomes fairly unpleasant if drunken too fast with a flat sweet aftertaste.

Overall I had high hopes for this beer. It started great by the looks and smell. After I took a few sips I began to get turned of by the sweet heaviness. I am pretty disappointed by it and not sure if I actually want to finish it now. I feel like I just a brick of dark sugar.

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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 LeeryLeprechaun
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was rather surprised by the lack of carbonation as I poured this beer into my snifter. A few bubbles rose to the surface and a little bit of lace settled around the edge of the glass.

The aroma was of dark fruits, raisins, maybe some dates, and just a tiny hint of banana.

The beer was a wonderful and deep dark ruby red.

The beer tasted okay with some dark fruits and a lot of malt, but was lacking in depth.

Overall the beer was okay, it was pretty underattenuated and not all that drinkable.

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Photo of rarbring
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beverage is dark dark brown, an off-white to tan head that leaves little lacing. Heavy curtains.

The smell has dark dried fruits, figs, dates, some vinous tones, roasted malt, toast, coffee and chocolate.

Tasting very sweet upfront, raisins, dates, sherry notes, some sweet licorice.

Medium low carbonation, tiny foamy bubbles, soft slightly sticky and oily, a warm finish.

As many American Belgian styles it has a tendency to be too sweet.

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Photo of output01x
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle (no date) into a snifter glass.

A strong pour yields a 2-finger tan-colored head that recedes in a few minutes to a thin coating and thick foam ring. The body is a dark crimson mahogany. Slight lacing can be noticed throughout consumption.

Sweet malts and belgian yeast aromas create a dark and delicious nose. Notes of caramel, dark fruits, brown sugar, sour apples, and spices add great complexity.

Sweet, dark malts with strong dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavors ascend upon the taste buds with notes of plums and raisins. A spicy yeast flavor stings the back of the tongue at the end of each sip.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer coats your mouth well without getting too sticky. Despite the decent carbonation, it is still a slow sipper.

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