Grand Cru Abbey Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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Grand Cru Abbey AleGrand Cru Abbey Ale
Very Good
334 Ratings
Grand Cru Abbey AleGrand Cru Abbey Ale

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-11-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 334 |  Reviews: 173
Photo of WillyMac
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of cgrz
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of long4hops
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of Josiah2729
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of bob727
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of PlinytheFarter
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of KayteeKobold
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of tbeq00
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of JohnPhillippi
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of jarheadduk
5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Working off old notes. Will update with more details if/when I have another.

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Photo of jcdgoad
4.82/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I absolutely loved this beer. I had it on tap at the flying saucer in Little Rock, AR. All I can say is wow. I could taste bourbon and the funky Belgium flavor and all I can say is wow. The beer was dark like a porter or a stout, and it was very drinkable. This is a must try beer.

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Photo of CWhite
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of DaveRinn
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of JCanarecci
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of munky35
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Photo of homebrew311
4.64/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Map Room.

Since moving to Chicago, the one beer that I have missed the most is the New Belgium Abbey. When I saw the Grand Cru version on tap, I jumped on it... and I was not dissappointed.

A- dark, reddish, slightly cloudy, thick white soapy head

S- I smell grapes, belgian candi sugar, sweet malts and other fruity notes

T- This is delicious. Very well hidden alcohol for a 9.4 ABV, tastes very similar to the normal Abbey Ale from NB. Initial grain sweetness followed by a nice dryness from the alcohol. Very well balanced.

M- thin to medium body, very bubbly, reminiscent of some of the better belgians (st. bernardus)

D- Abbey Ale is one of my favorite go to brews, and if I could find this in the bottle in Chicagoland, this would fall under the same category. For its ABV, this is dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of phishsihq
4.62/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Abbey Grand Cru pours a dark ruby-brown with a dense off-white head that leaves tons of lace. Fruity aromas of banana and clove are off-set by caramel malt, dark fruit, alcohol, and even some bubble gum. Malty sweetness dominates the pallet, with spice, clove, banana, bubble gum, alcohol, and a hint of citrus noticeable. A dry finish is met with medium amounts of carbonation in this medium-light bodied ale. Very complex and delicious, this brew supposedly comes around every 1000 barrels, and we cannot wait for more!

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Photo of jeffboo
4.61/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

# 3 in a tasting of 4 Cru's. But this one was the looker. A beautiful deep red color with tannish head. A very spicy aroma of dark fruits (raisins and plums) and yeast. Full body on the tongue, heavy concentrate of dark candy sugar, raisins, cherries which are still present in the long finish. Very smooth considering the heft, still highly recommended.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.59/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A vigorous pour generated a modest airy froth on top of this dark brown beer... it didn't bring out much of a head, but it generated a wondefully fruity aroma of ripe, dry raisins, caramelized apples & pears, figs... in other words, extremely fruity. The flavor is dead-on for the style, sweet but not too sweet, with a nice caramel malt, all the fruits in the aroma, plus lightly spicy phenols: a truly wonderful mix. Easily the equal of Chimay Grand Reserve or Benardus 12, and possibly the best NB beer yet.

I love New Belgium most of the time... they take the time to craft their specialty beers right, and their profit margin gives them ability to tweak recipes to the maximum effectiveness. In this case, they landed at the pinnacle.

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Photo of beerguy101
4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Medium copper color, large creamy head. Very rich malt taste. Very full rich flavor, expansive and fruity. Mouthfeel is very round, full and smooth. Good hop balance. Re-fermented in the bottle with Belgian yeasts, there is a near vinous like quality to this beer. Reminiscent of a Belgian Red. Very complex flavor, somewhat thick. High Alcoholl is really not that evident. Finish is very smooth. Aftertaste is malty and sweet. VERY NICE beer.

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Photo of uwmgdman
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter this ale pours a brilliantly clear deep ruby red with a long lasting off-white head, a beautiful beer. The aroma is rather malty and loaded with yeast character. The nose brings about dark fruit, especially cherries, a bit earthy, and lots of peppery, spicy esters, quite nice. The flavor is quite malty, rather toasty, lots of caramel, and some sweetness. The malts are balanced by medium-low hop bitterness and spicy/peppery yeast character. The beer finishes with just a prick from the carbonation, a subtle warming glow in my belly, and pleasant lingering bittersweet malt presence. The carbonation is medium-high and body, smooth and medium-full. Overall this beer is wonderful. A sight to be had, with great aroma and flavor to back it up. My one mistake was picking up only one bomber. Highly recommend.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Nice deep brown color with good head that left a little lacing.

Smell – Big, sweet malt on the nose of this one. The huge date and raisin aroma jumps right out of the glass along with a sense of alcohol. This one reeks of grand cru and means business.

Taste – This is a good representation of the style. The sweet flavors come out in force here. Big, ripe fruits like peaches, dates, and figs along with a lot of raw cane, melted toffee, rich caramel, and wet, sticky brown sugar. There’s some yeast in there as well, but mostly sweetness in accordance with the style.

Mouthfeel – Very little carbonation, but the sugary flavors are pleasing to the cheeks.

Drinkability – Definitely a “sipper.” The 9.4 ABV commands respect, and the sugary nature precludes guzzling. This is a good dessert or end-of-night beer to open and split between friends (good friends).

Comments – True, this brewery has put out some duds. But, mostly, they are innovative and strive to hit the style dead on. This was a bull’s eye.

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Photo of Kylemif
4.52/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Opened a bottle of this last night that I had cellared. Bottled on 3/21/2011 and it was phenomenal. Was dinner-partying and a few buddies tried with me, enjoyed thoroughly by all.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Bryant Lake Bowl L: Clear amber to chestnut, not much head. S: Light fruit and spice, some Belgian yeast. T: Yeast driven with a little caramel, hints of chocolate, light fruit. Moderately sweet. F: Medium body and slightly above average carbonation. O: A well made easy to drink Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

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Photo of MelJ
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

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Grand Cru Abbey Ale from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 334 ratings