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.

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Ratings: 334 |  Reviews: 173
Photo of freed
3.52/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was surprised to see this on the bottom shelf of the fridge. Looks like a treat.

Pours surprisingly clear. Must be filtered. Nice clean head, thicker on the edges. Aroma is primarily malt. Yeast doesn't at much to the smell, excluding the hops. Taste nice and sweet, though not very full. Malt body is nearly full; fills towards the end, though isn't' full.

I'm not sure if this is filtered or not, but if it is, it shouldn't be. The lack of body and yeast flavors. Please bring them back.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice deep russet muddy brown color with a finger high head of frothy ivory colored creamyness. Fades fast, leaves very minimal whispy thin lace that appears from a fast fading sheet after each sip. Aroma is a whole lotta plum, malty sweet, alcoholic with some notes of dark cherry, raisin, and toffee with a yeasty spiced overlay. Taste is super mild, soft, and malty sweet, dulled dark fruityness of raisin and plum mostly upfront leading through and into the midway point with fruit skin dryness- raisin, pear, grape, apple skins and yeasty spiced dryness. A nice finish with this one that also gets a late easy dried hop bitterness that comes through. Feel is fairly creamy throughout and nearly full in alot of aspects and finishes with a variety of drying layers. Alcoholic hints barely show in this, but can be noted in some warming in the throat very late, and even later in the Ol' sensory factory. A nice Grand Cru, not as complexing or spiced as some but note worthy and respectable and a must try for any beer lover.

Thanks to Gusler for the bottle!

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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 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 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 jcalabre
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to herbjones for splitting this one with me.
Appearance: New Belgium's Grand Cru is a clear reddish brown color.
Aroma: The nose of this brew is floral & malty, with some some alcohol noted.,It is quite vinuous
Nice rich complex flavor that's smooth on the palate

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, very deep orangish-mahogany body that appears to have an almost burgundy cast in the full goblet; and displays some crimson/ruby highlights. Beautiful! Upon inspection, hundreds of tiny bubbles can be seen streaming to the surface, helping to support the short but creamy bone-white head. It holds fairly well, but eventually the circle cannot hold and it drops to a creamy collar and minor whispy surface foam. It leaves some transient spotty lace, but nothing of substance. The aroma, however, is much more noticeable and displays a softly toasted malt amidst sprinkles of peppery spice, dollops of dark fruit (prune, raisin, fig) and to a lesser degree some almost cake-like sugariness. It's firm body is rounded by the gently effervescent carbonation that caresses the tongue, and it's surprisingly smooth across the palate. The flavor is rich with maltiness that's at first lightly toasty with just a mild acidity; then soaked in ripe dark fruits; and finally followed by some peppery spice and alcohol in a long-lasting drying finish. It's really well-balanced and quite excellent! I'm immediately reminded of Chimay Premier, although this is softer; and the De Koninck Cuvee comes to mind as well. Wonderful. A real treat! The alcohol is extremely well-hidden; and it's drinkability is quite good! This is a beer that I will seek out to enjoy again and again!

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Photo of 49degrees
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nicknamed "Colorado Holy Water," New Belgium's Abbey Grand Cru (Belgian Style) is a hearty contender that has its sight clearly set on the traditional Dubbel style. Deep, dark, and full of suave characteristics, this one aims to please and hits it's mark.

I've long been a fan of New Belgium's Fat Tire (Amber Ale) which is relatively easy to find on draught throughout the Pacific Northwest and makes a great accompiament to a great meal. As for the Grand Cru, this review is based on their 650ml, gold foil capped bottle with a freshness date [best before] September 13, 2003).

Pours a deep, very dark brown with significant amber hues. Virtually no head whatsoever, no lacing, with a very very small bright white collar forming around the miniscus layer.

The Grand Cru is characterized by extensive malting with a nice mellow fruity aftertone, and that all too distinctive estery hint that follows most grand Belgian styles ales.

Taste wise, the heavy maltiness and fruity blends lends this brew to follow traditional after dinner drinks such as Brandy, Sherry, and Port. There is a slight sourness to the aftertaste, but in a considerably more refined state than what most 'slightly sour' brews could ever hope for.

Despite all the great characteristics to this brew, I was a little disappointed that there wasn't just a little more carbination in this one. Despite bottle fermentation, complete with a small amount of yeast particulate in the pour, it severely lacked in the spritz department. Not necessarily bad when taking the style into account, but definitely lacking all the same. It would be very interesting if they corked this one rather than capping it, and then letting it cellar for a couple of years to see the effects. It has great future potential but is still an enjoyable today just as it is.

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Photo of marc77
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish brown w/ a slight haze. The head settles quickly into a thin layer that leaves a respectable lace. Assertive bubblegum ester in aroma like New Belgium's normal strength dubbel. In this kicked up brew the bubblegum ester isn't overbearing & is accompanied by toffee, a bit of banana, raisiny Special B notes and phenol; heaty fusels are there as well if you inhale deeply. Quite complex in aroma-- I'm reminded of an overly phenolic & caramelly Dunkelweiss. The initial flavor is of sugary sweetness, but heavily caramelized sugar flavors from the Special B & dark candi sugar follow along w/ subtle chocolate notes. The hop bitterness is virtually nonexistant & lends a syrupy sweet but smooth quality to this brew. Banana flavors from the yeast persist from start to finish. Finishes sweet, caramelly, & with mild alcohol warmth. This brew could age for a while & will gain complexity through time. This would be great with a rich banana split topped with chocolate syrup.

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