Artevelde Grand Cru | Brouwerij Huyghe

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Artevelde Grand CruArtevelde Grand Cru
Artevelde Grand CruArtevelde Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Huyghe

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 82
Photo of titvs
2/5  rDev -44%

Review based on the BJCP2008 guidelines (style 18E). Bottle 33 cl - Batch LG8_13198. AROMA: leather and old aromas. no esters recognizable. APPEARANCE: deep amber color and clear. large ivory head with good retention. TASTE: leathery flavours mixed with some sweet and caramelly notes. low bitterness and a semi-dry finish. PALATE: medium-low body with high carbonation. OVERALL: a belgian strong ale with oxidated aromas and flavours.

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Photo of dcmchew
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark amber with two finger beige head, foamy and sticky.
Big smell of caramel, dark fruit, red wine, cherries and floral honey.
Really fruity from the first sip, with nice raisin and plum, really sour cherries, banana, acidic red apple, with oranges and lemon throughout (bitter grapefruit at the end). Some red grape mustiness also. Malts are lightly roasted, but sweetened with nice caramel notes and Belgian sugars. Very spicy, with peppercorn and anise, some hints of vanilla, and fainter licorice and maple. Yeasts are a bit sour and "dusty". Hops are green and spicy, mildly bitter.
The finish is somewhat earthy and bitter from the hops and the roast, but the big acidity/sourness balances things out (mostly). Alcohol is a bit too aggressive also. Somewhat fizzy also.
In the end, it's a decent refreshing BSDA, with some off notes though that keep it in the mediocre category.

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Photo of newton99
2.96/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a lightly hazy amber color and is topped by a light brown head that disappears after a bit. The aroma is a mix of spicy notes, chocolate, prunes, musty earth, and figs. Quite an interesting melange of aromatics actually. The taste is sweet up front, but then moves to a spicy note in the middle. I get notes of cinnamon, figs, prunes, raisons, and a certain woodiness. This beer finishes a tad on the week side, it quickly disappears losing the rich fruity maltiness surprisingly quickly. This beer has notes that are quite reminiscent of a lightly aged beer; hints of sherry and rich meaty malt notes. This beer is reasonably tasty, in fact all of the flavors and aromas I consider quite desirable, but it just seems to be lacking in some way that makes it a bit disappointing. The flavors do not meld enough into a synchronized whole.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was told this was rather tasty and discounted at 2 bucks it's worth a try.

A - Very little head maybe just a tiny lace ring. Color is a deep hazy chestnut brown. Mild sediment at the base so it might be as old as the other Belgiums I had tonight.

S - Strong caramel, plums and raisins, fruity yeasts, and a of rum and vinegar.

T - Despite the mild vinegar tone this beer is exceptionally good. Smooth ripe stone fruit with notes of dried sweet apricot and plums. Caramel malt sweetness throughout is also a plus.

M - Not drying at all this one drinks smooth maybe some chalky aftertaste but aged well.

Overall if it's still around I might pick up another couple. Quite a smooth easy drink Belgium strong ale.

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Photo of MsNitch
3.06/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Big, bright and airy, this robust brew forms a massive head on top a dark, stormy body. 4.0

S: Big malts, caramelized sweetness and light floral hops with belge yeast

T: Boots in with a strong caramelized malt as to be expected from the smell, then turns out a red fruit taste and delicate bitter herb script before finishing with rebound on the sweet side

M: Medium body with a mid level of carbonation, sits a little too long on the palate

O: Although a lovely brew the bittering agent isn't balanced with the sweetness the way that I was looking for after the first few sips. Great aesthetically and a fantastic back story, I feel that it holds more love for Grand Cru enthusiasts then with someone of my bitter loving tastes.

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Photo of beerpirates
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle at DELICE & CAPRICES , Brussels

Dark ambery brown colour with big beige foamy head, which leaves a lot of lacing. Aroma is caramel malts, some alcohol and mild fruity- and yeastyness. Pleasant. Flavour is raisins, caramel, sweet malts, some nectary and fruityness as well as mild hopping. Alcohol shows as a very slight glueish note being in the background. Biting carbonation.

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Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A massive Belgianesque head forms atop the dark amber colored liquid; several strands of foam stick to the sides of the tulip

Smell: Caramel, candi sugar and a Belgian yeast character that provides some stone fruit

Taste: Caramel, stone fruit and a bitter almost medicinal character provide the opening with a yeasty/nutty element that arrives by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweeter flavors re-emerge to produce a balanced finish

Mouthfeel; Medium to full body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: Not so crazy about the herbal/medicinal flavor but other than that, it is worth a try

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Photo of ManforallSaisons
4.26/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The serving is a bottle bought a few months ago from Beer Mania shop in Brussels, poured into a Belgian tulip-glass, which it nearly filled with huge head of sabayon-looking yellowy foam. The beer looked coffee-colored, or a deep ruby when held right up to a bright light. The smell was of a bakery -- yeast and caramelized sugar -- with some hop flower and grass or hay in the background. The taste is an explosion of toffee and caramel, allspice, nicely balanced by subdued hops with an anis character. I expected a good chew but it wasn't thick-tasting, more of a butteriness, and a tongue-numbing alcohol dose. As for drinkability, I didn't want a second, but then I am almost always content with the first, and this was especially quaffable for a beer of this character.

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Photo of Travlr
3.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nearly black with a thin tan head that doesn't last. Scant lacing.
S: Phenolic start. Aroma of sour grapes. No pun intended.
T: Roasted malts dominate, with some dark fruits in the background. Definite lacto here.
M: Thin body.
D: Not sure about this one. Would have to try it again before recommending.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.11/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I drank this from a bottle into a Rochefort chalice.

The beer pours a medium brown with a decent white head and ok lacing.

Immediately after uncapping I was hit with a smell of banana, but in a totally unpleasant way. That was the dominant smell with alcohol.

The taste is very plain and boring. A very poor effort here.

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Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tasted this brew on tap at In de Wildeman, Amsterdam, Netherlands in March 2009. It was guesting on tap and I had not heard of it, so went for it.

Served in appropriate glass, it looked nice; a very dark porter-like brew with a nice off-white head. No haze or cloudiness noted. Instant medicinal, soaked raisins aroma. The taste was alcoholic, phenolic, warming, robust and a bit metallic.

I would not describe this as easy drinking, certainly two were enough for me and I moved on to other brews.

I was glad to have had the chance to try this on tap. I would imagine the bottled version would be somewhat mellower?

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Photo of cabsandking
4.13/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nearly headless here but the dark opaque brown color looks descent. Big aroma for such a little head; bright fruits, dried fruits, plum, cherry, red grapes, slight caramel and a smooth yeasty character. Fruity malt character also displays some earthy, hearty grain notes and much of the same fruits as in the nose. Caramelized sugars are almost smokey. Nice medium yeasty twang marries well with the fruit notes. Mouthfeel is above average with a creamy carbonation and smooth, full body. Finishes with some light spice, maple, and vanilla notes. This was quite an unexpected treat and a turnaround from a lackluster poor.

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

Beer bottle (33cl), tasted in 2003.
Appearance : creamy and abundant foam, amber color (disturbed by yeasts)
Smell : Good aroma of malt and caramel light fragrance.
Taste and mouthfeel : slight bitterness
Drinkability : good beer in the style Belgian strong ale

Review added 11-14-2007, translated from french 1-15-2008.

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Photo of biegaman
4.27/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Artevelde Grand Cru - 1993 Vintage.
Sampled August 2007 at the Delirium Cafe in Brussels.

330ml bottle at 14 years of age. Pours with a fine level of tanned colour head. The appearance yields deep, deep mahogany highlights. A dark brown coloured body. A tilt towards the light will showcase some clarity.

The aroma is intense! A potent harmony of dark and saturated fruits, sweet chocolate, oak, rich liqueur, anise, caramel and burnt toffee. What really stands out most is this charred, burnt (not roasted - but burnt) toffee. The caramel also is extremely present. The whole production carries a teeth rotting sweetness. I thought the Gouden Carolus line was rich - but this brings it to the next level. It is (almost) too much!

The body hasn't held up incredibly, the backbone of malt has faded but fortunately the flavours still remain. Only a trace of carbonation is left (which is more than enough for a beer of this character). A silky texture. Aging so long this has mellowed into a daze. No hint as to the alcohol but at only seven some odd percent it does come across that much lighter than other Belgian strong ales. Equally, it has held up that much less.

The taste has quite evidently mellowed with time. There is a strong presence of raisins and dates. A soft, light roast imparts an ashy or sutty quality to the malts. The flavour is dominated by figs, oak, and ripe raisins with light butterscotch topping. The yeast on the bottom is so thick I couldn't see through it even up to the light. I don't believe I've ever seen such thickness on the bottom of a bottle.

A wonderful tipple that I can only imagine finding in Belgium! I ordered it in large part because it was the same age as my sister, 14 year old beers aren't easy to come across. But I was equally impressed with how rich and tasty it was. Enjoyed!

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Photo of janubio
3.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(33 cl bottle). Dark brown colour with red edges to the light. A good brownish head that fades too quickly. Massive aroma of fruits (raisins, prunes) and spices, but maybe too messy noteasy to discern. Vinous. In mouth is fruity, but I noticed more the kind of cherries, and some vanilla. Some acid notes and chocolate too. Not a bad beer at all, but there's something fails to convince me completely. Maybe flavour and palate are not as stronger as I expected, maybe it's because it only have two months left to expire. It deserves another try.

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Photo of nightcrawler
1.66/5  rDev -53.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I have a suspicion that I picked up a bad bottle of this beer. There were a few clues to this line of reasoning. The cork, which was labeled 2003, was a bit sticky and the foil over the cork was dusty.

As this beer has an alcohol content greater than 7%, I had hoped I might be in for a treat with a bottle aged 4 years. Alas, I was mistaken.

The pour foamed quickly and died to skim. Strangely, bubbles continued to rise from the sides of the glass where my fingers were holding it. The color was murky, dirt water brown, with a haze that appears to be suspended yeast. I suspected I was in trouble.

I was hit by nice malt scents followed with a slightly sulphury odor. There was no sweet or sour taste for me. It was very astringent.

I ended up pouring 2/3 of the bottle down the drain.

From reading the other reviews, I am more than willing to try this beer again. However, I will find a different source and hopefully a better beer.

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Photo of jwff
2.94/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Eased out the cork with a slight "sigh." I'm a little hesitant to even drink this beer in the first place because lord knows the conditions and extremes this beer has been through. Cork say 2003 (relax).

Pours out a dense brown but when held up to the light displays a huge ruby undertone. I was expecting something flat but the streams of carbonation are more than holding their own. Head settles to a white coating. Aroma is a bit watered down.. damp/humid might be a good descriptor too. Upfront is a weird sweet green apple scent. Raisins and brown sugar stand out a bit with minor hints of banana bread and nutmeg in the background.

Taste has a fruity tartness opening that is hard to ignore. It's somewhere between a knockoff brand flavored tootsie roll and a piece of Bubble Yum Grape. A little butterscotch and brown sugar in the finish. Honestly that's all I have to say about this one. Age/storage hasn't been a great helper to this one.

Great carbonation working in the mouth here, and a richness is still intact despite the factors working against this one. Drinkability isn't strong because the alcohol shows itself after it's already in your stomach , and the beer doesn't really settle once it gets there either.

Great Grains Presents: An Artevelde Grand Cru

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Photo of HardTarget
3.39/5  rDev -5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle Inspection: Cork was slightly askew under the cage, and there was a little stickiness to the neck of the bottle. A pliers assisted pull produced a very meek pop and showed 2003 on the cork. Label has 7.4% abv. and notched numbers at the bottom that MIGHT indicate a date, but I can’t read them.
I stored this bottle in my fridge from about 2004 just before the brewery pulled out of Texas.

Aroma: Plum and grape jam, some floral notes, and a light Belgian yeast note. Very grape, juicy even.

Appearance: Pour gave a good finger head (a relief given the bottle state) but dropped back to the scantest of covers. Goblet is dark brown with clear ruby edges.

Flavor: Again, grapes lead the way for me. Quickly following is a firm yeast note. The profile is much like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale (ok, BA agrees with me). I’m reminded of Terrible from Unibroue. Some other dried fruits come out and a light rum note as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Light Medium body, thin texture, low carbonation (possibly due to age).

Overall Impression: A nice beer. I half feared this would turn into a gnashing of teeth and rending of clothes for another gem robbed from Texas by the TABC, but while this is a fine beer, I don’t think I’ll crave another.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1993 vintage at Delirium Café in Brussels.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber brown with a beige head that thins to a film, leaving patchy lace.

Smell: Notes of cherry, caramel and medicinal phenols.

Taste: Very mellow. Light cherry and medicinal phenols, with graininess and bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, light-bodied, with a crisp, dry finish.

Drinkability: Easily drinkable, definitely mellowed.

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Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Underated tasty Belgian with good sweetness in there and spices. Very drinkable and reasonable ABV. Nice head, yeasty aroma.Caramel, and candi. WInter spices that worked great on a hot day.Good medium plus creamy mouthfeel. 2002 vintage that I picked up in back of the premier Gourmet shelf.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.12/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This has been at the back my fridge for at least 2 years. Cork date 2003, sampled July 2006. Pours out a dark ruby-tinted brown with a slight initial head that fades completely away quickly. Aroma is malty, vinous, with a slightly tart, spicy undertone. Very fruity up front, with tastes of plums and caramelized cherries, with a strong malt underpinning. Alcohol is peppery and quite apparent despite the relatively low strength. Finishes somewhat musty, with a lingering ghost of fruitiness. A little flat in carbonation, possibly lost over the time. Full-bodied otherwise.

A solid dark belgian, reasonably unique and quite drinkable.

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Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer after the removal of the basket & cork from the 750ml brown bottle resides in the glass a deep bruin, the head was creamy and huge, and the color a toasted grain tan after its demise, the lace forms a thick sheet to obscure the glass. Nose has a sweet toasted grain aroma, crisp, clean with hints of a home cooked cherry cobbler, doughy and mouth watering, start is sweet with a nice malted grain presence, top is light to moderate in feel. Finish is benignly acidic, the hops delectable, dry and long lasting aftertaste, a fine drinking brew to please your palate.

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Photo of cheers2beers
3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep mahogany and brown rust color. Descent head that untypically died down quick for a Belgian. The lack of head retention dissapoints me. There is a small amount of beading visable through the murkiness.

Smell: Plums, raisins, alcohol, bready Belgian malts and some candied sugar. Smells kind of old.

Taste: I get an intriguing woody flavor paired with all manner of overly ripened fruits and a very stale nutty malt character. For a beer that is 7.3 abv, I get alot of alcohol vapors in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation. Halfway down this beer loses some of its effervescence and becomes slightly slick in its body.

Drinkability: I would drink this again although I would not pay for it. There are much better Belgians out on the market. That being said, it was an easy quaff but not up to the standard I expect out of Belgian beers.


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Photo of JugglerPeter
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I just opened this beer while watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Why is that important? Becuase the color and sweetness paired very well with chocolate. My first impression was a very fruity sweetness in the smell and taste, both upfront and aftertaste. A very distinct toffe taste dominates this beer giving it a very nice flavor. The drinkability is my only concern. The alcohol taste is very strong for 7.3% abv, a little too much for my tastes. Overall it is very good, but i will pair it with food rather than drinking by itself next time.

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4.07/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

.750 Corked and caged with a date on the cork of 2003.

The beer is a hazy brown chocolate color with some amber at the bottom of the glass. 1" head dissipated quickly to a ring. Plenty of carbonation to keep the ring alive.

Smell of caramel, toffee, alcohol, malt, apple(sort of a wine character) rich almost malolactic aroma.

Taste is spice, toffee, some earthiness, rich dark fruit. Slight sweetness, brown sugar. Very nice and complex.

This BSDA has a long finish and a nice alcohol warming effect. Well carbonated for having some age on it. This is a great beer to sip and enjoy. I listened to some Floyd, ate some smoked cheese and loved every minute of this beer. I am very impressed by it.

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Artevelde Grand Cru from Brouwerij Huyghe
Beer rating: 3.57 out of 5 with 82 ratings