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 Paige
2/5  rDev -49.9%

Photo of benito
2.46/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Glancing at the other reviews, I realize that I'm going to be the lone dissenter amongst the crowd that recommends this beer; I know full well that my taste buds may (must?) be out there on this one. A second caveat: for whatever reason, dubbels (and Belgian darks) are a style that I struggle with. My fun tickets ran out quickly on this one...

A: Light brown with low carbonation and little head.

S: Caramel and flesh. Not exactly appetizing, but it's not that different from the slight repulsion I detect at most dubbels.

T: Most of the fruitiness I like in the regular NB Abbey is absent, though there is a nice banana and fig presence. Nonetheless, for a 'grand cru' this is like a quad that forgot half of its malts! It's very peppery and light on the finish.

M: Too thin overall. I would have liked something with more length and strength to back up some of the flavors.

D: The lack of body detracts from overall quality. To my palate, there was just too funky a mix of strong fruits and spritzy tonic.

Take a pass on this, and try one of NB's other fantastic brews.

 1,092 characters

Photo of schwee
2.5/5  rDev -37.3%

Photo of jsanford
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of Stoutsman
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of Achoo_Bacca
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of harrymel
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of Rosiex7
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of irishgreensoda
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of cosmicslop
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of drummermattie02
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of hawkmage
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of nanobrew
3/5  rDev -24.8%

Photo of craytonic
3.08/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Amber pour with a small off-white head

Smell: Sweet and fruity, some caramel and toffee

Taste: A bit milder than I expected and somewhat muddled, weird mix of citrus, toffee, malt and oak

Mouthfeel: Perhaps a bit thin

Overall: Unimpressive, I was tickled with Terroir but this and Clutch have been major disappointments.

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Photo of chocosushi
3.1/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

6oz Pour->Duvel Tulip
A ~ Pours a Very Grapey red. Almost akin to Burgundy. 1/2 head.

S ~ Grape Juice, Crystal Malt, Noble Hops, Grass, Caramel Syrup...very Saccharine

T ~ Dates, Pears & Red Apples make up the body with Lots of malt (pale & crystal is my first guess) lending caramel/sweet roll notes. Phenolic in a strange way...Cinnamon, Clove, Anise & Fennel. Mild Banana.

M ~ Didn't cohere like I expected with the ABV very loosely hidden. Sticky & Flabby.

D ~ Didn't care for this one too much. Not very balanced, making it not very drinkable. I poured out my last 2oz to make room for better things. My first disappointment in the LoF series.

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Photo of claspada
3.12/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, dark mahogany-hued body with a small, scant, white head from a generous pour. Quite tame for a Belgian ale; usually much more fluffy head is expected for the style

Aromas begin particularly sweet-scented and almost unforgivably phenolic and estery. As it warms you get a ton more yeasty spice and a splash of booze.

The tastes begin with malty, hard-hitting sweetness and considerably fruity esters. Simple syrup, biscuity bready maltiness. Then some yeasty clove, overripe banana and the poignant fruitiness of plum juice and a few ripe pear slices. No hops or bitterness to provide any balancing relief to the caramelized sugariness, but it is clipped a bit by the alcohol.

The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is malty sweet and yeasty, a bit overly so of both.

The sweetness and in your face Belgian phenols and esters leave this one a slow, laborious sipper for me. I prefer my Belgian Dark strong ales with much more dark fruit malt complexity and much less banana and clove forward. Alcohol is a bit too overstated as well. Not a top notch American-made Belgian style ale and not worth seeking out.

 1,156 characters

Photo of Soonami
3.17/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

LoF Abbey Grand Cru, shared by ThoreauLikeAGirl

The beer was a reddish brown with fairly thin head. Bruised apple and cherry in the nose complemented by Belgian yeast esters. Fruity with a slightly sticky sweet, light spicy finish. An easy drinker that doesn't have the darker fruit flavors, spice and deep complexity that the better SDA's have.

 346 characters

Photo of beertunes
3.18/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in tulip. Poured a clean, clear brown, with just a hint of red, color and had just a thin cap of off-white head that low retention and lacing.

The aroma was good, but had that grape scent I get from some of NB's brews (maybe the yeast?). There was nice grain in the nose and some spiciness. On the tongue, the story was pretty similar, base grain, spice and some fruit.

The body was crisp and clean, but thinner than I like for the style. Drinkability was good, I'd have a couple. Overall, a nice little beer that's worth trying when you see it.

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Photo of Philousa
3.23/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Imbibed at Harry's Hofbrau for their Lips of Faith Tap Takeover in 8/29/12

Very clear ruby with no head, but is coaxed out with a swirl. Tan and clings to the glass. Lots of sweet candied sugar, confectionary sugar, like a red vine. A little cedar and some berries; strawberry and cherries, all this is faint though. Tastes like a double. Pungent and bordering on too sugary as it warms. Light body and dry finish. Very good cold to middle, dies a little warm. This one was hinting towards interesting but ultimately isn't something special.

 542 characters

Photo of beerbrains
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of bluehende
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of mikereaser
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Abby Grand Cru 2008
Poured 7/3/11

A - pours a dirty brown with 2 inches of off white foam that quickly faded leaving some decent lacing on the glass
S - Smells of caramel and malty sweetness, this is definitely showing its age
T - super sweet maltiness, just caramel, just a bit of spice left
M - medium bodied, with light carbonation, there is a bit of syrupiness to it.
D - I would recommend not aging this one. well i guess i can just say, not this long.


Time for a fresh bottle
Purchased after the BA Sexual Chocolate release and consumed 8/3/11
A - Pours a clear chestnut brown with an inch of off-white foam that slowly faded.
S - roasty malts, brown sugar, some earthy hops, plums
T - dark fruit, cherries and plums, roasted malts and brown sugar, a bit sweet
M - medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation
D - pretty easy to drink, a bit too sweet to be more than a once in a while beer.

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Photo of Plastikdust
3.25/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of abrand
3.28/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into snifter.

This pours deep copper almost brown color with not much of a head. No lacing on the glass. Smells of nuts, malts, and alcohol. Smell is not doing much for me. Taste is mediocre. Lots of malts and a syrupy texture. Some raisins and figs are also present. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty well carbonated. Overall this just isn't doing that much for me. Some many amazing belgian darks out there that it needs to stand out to be remembered.

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