Single Batch Series - 2011 Grand Crüe | Sebago Brewing Company

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18 Ratings

Brewed by:
Sebago Brewing Company
United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
A unique blend of Bourbon Barrel Aged Full Throttle Double IPA, Barleywine, and fresh Frye's Leap IPA. This beer is complex from both the malty backbone of the Full Throttle and Barleywine and the assertive hoppiness of Frye's Leap. This is a one time blend.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 14
Reviews by Casey10:
Photo of Casey10
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a limited one with a non discript knuckle label(well best way to describe it anyway.)

This pours a nice yellow kind of golden body foamy head.

Smell is a stong presence of almost apple, perhaps a mixture of oragnge.

The taste is really nice and is worth it alone. Tart grapfruit with mango this is what makes it good.

M - Nice and smooth

O - A must have this is realy one of those beers not worth missing.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A seriously nice beer. In a snifter the beer was a cherry amber color, very pretty, with a small tan head.

Lots going on in the aroma. I thought the dominant aroma was from the bourbon barrel. There was some caramel malt that was on the sweet side, and a little bit of citrus.

Taste mimicked aroma really well. The different varieties of beer went very well together.

On the assertive side, this was a great beer, one to savor and have again.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a Hill Farmstead glass.

From my Father, and drinking in memoriam to his Father - a man who lived in Maine for his whole life and passed away today after a short battle with prostate cancer.

Pours a very pretty deep amber, a bit brown but orange once the light hits it right. There is a thin ring of light lacing and a center crown of bubbles. The nose is almost a barleywine, it has sweet caramel notes, a bit of bourbon/oak notes and some sweet vanilla as well. It's a bit earthy but not much in the way of hop aroma.

Wow. First off the mouthfeel is phenomenal, it's very thick and viscous without being syrupy or too sweet. The flavor reminds me of oak aged unearthly - the oak, vanilla, and caramel from the nose are certainly present. There is a bit of astringency on the finish but the well restrained hop bite really finishes the beer off nicely.

Overall this is a fantastic beer, and I'm drinking it with memories of an even more fantastic man. Cheers Grandpy.

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Photo of asabreed
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Brooklyn tulip.

Appearance: A nice and slightly hazy amber color. Nice lacing and good retention.

Smell: Much hops balanced by nice bourbon and vanilla overall. As it warms, huge grapefruit hops come into play, but the former lets it know what's going on and are the dominant characteristics throughout.

Taste: Balanced hops and citrus by the vanilla and bourbon characteristics, finished by rind-like grapefruit and vanilla, along with the lingering wood and vinous characteristics. Beyond that: lingering vanilla and mild orange marmalade.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy-bodied, with a good, sap-like initial carbonation fading into a compound and more compact and bubble-concentrated feel.

Drinkability: This bottle was around $9, but they were limited, and for what they did with this, I was happy to pay it. And it turns out, it was worth the dimes. Not sure how long this is going to be around, but if you see it, or can have it on tap, make a point to. I have a feeling many more breweries, when they have this, are going to want to make their own bourbon-barrel aged concoction with more than one IPA.

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Photo of SickGnar
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Medium to light amber, quite orangey – especially when held to light, bit of haze, lots of bubbles sedately rising to a one finger light-golden, off-white cap of foam. It slowly settles to a solid skim that retain very well & leaves some okay lace.

S: Pleasant vanilla with a bourbon hint. Muted citrus / NW hops. A bit of gentle spice that could be hops or perhaps alcohol. Light sweetness with some caramel & toffee, and a hint of toasty grain/malt. Overall it gives an impression of fruit cake with lots of candied oranges. Coconut emerges and grows as it warms. Nice, but a bit faint. No woody oak noticed. Nor any alcohol really. Compared to other reviews, the nose seems to have faded a bit (expected for age).

T: Very nice, Lots of complexity that is blended & blurring around. Though nearly half bourbon barrel aged, I do not get any distinct bourbon or oak flavor. However, component flavors are there in a merged and mingled way. Vanilla, sweetness, caramel, a touch of toffee, and some background malt provide a nicely desert/cake-like base. Coconut & toasty grain provide an appealing accent to the base. Spice starts out broad & earthy & slightly herbal and hop derived, but quickly takes a piqued sharpness & a more alcohol tone. Citrus hops provide good, almost firm, bitterness that grows through the end and finish. Character and flavor is mostly rind, but it also has an earthy & softly woody element that could be from hops or maybe a bit from oak. Burps are bourbony fruitcake.

M: Fairly full body, but not sweet or thick. Instead it has tons of chew – from dextrins and of course from tannins galore from hops and oak. Carbonation is balanced enough to provide just a bit of support to the feel. Briefly sweet at the start with a hint of sticky sugars on the lips. Middle sees a farily noticeable spicy / alcohol zing. End and finish are profoundly tannin drying with some linger sweetness re-emerging. A hint of warming grows at the back of the throat and on the exhale.

D: Ah . . . blended big beer! Make more please. This has lost much of the hops that seem to have played a key role when fresher, but it is till super nice. At this point if is leaning more toaward an interesting it lighter barleywine. Tons of character & complexity. Wonderfully melded components. Great sipping. Find it if you still can.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An interesting combination, not sure if this bottle would age too well since 2 of the 3 parts are IPA based, but if there's Sebago Barleywine in it, it certainly has a chance to hold up.

Pours a light amber color with a tinge of orange, hardly any head and no lacing.

Smell has a strong caramel malt backbone, picking up a citrus aroma which is likely from the hops even though it most certainly has faded since it first came out, pretty impressive that any hop aroma is still present, a touch of toffee adds more sweetness to the nose.

Taste is similar to the aroma in that the caramel malt takes the cake with a toffee sweetness, light citrus, not much bitterness in the aftertaste, 48% is supposedly aged in bourbon barrels although any bourbon flavor is too muted other than a subtle vanilla hint, still has some alcohol heat even after some decent age on it, carbonation is moderate and soft feeling.

Overall, a nice mix, sort of a consolation prize for not having their Barleywine always available.

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Photo of MaineMike
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of nathanjohnson
2/5  rDev -51.1%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.69/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sebago Grand Crue on tap at Pony Bar, Hell's Kitchen, NYC

Appearance: Served in their 8-oz glass, the Crue comes with two fingers of super foamy-soapy head topped by lots of shiny bubbles. Color is a non-spectacular clear orange/amber/straw.

Smell: Comes across as an old attic, with rust, termite-eaten wood and moth balls. Some sour funk, lactic acid, barnyard and fields after the rain. Bourbon at the end, cask, coconut rum. Sweetness, butter, toffee and fruit cake. Yeah!

Taste: Bourbon/alcohol all over, burns good! A strange sweetness, sort of like a bubblegum cake/vanilla cheesecake, plus a tad of floral, tangy hops that smack the roof of the mouth. Toastiness, bread and butter. Spicy boozy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and carbonation, full flavor. A bit too alcohol-y, but super tasty. Sweet, chevy.

Overall: Wow! Unique and oh-so-tasty. Drinkable, but it will hit you. What is it? Bourbon-barreled Double IPA? Strong Ale? Barleywine? All of them... and something entirely different. I could drink this all day. It's pretty much all I want in a beer.

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Photo of ggilman
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft eleven months ago to the day. Tonight I cracked the large format bottle that had been sitting in my fridge.

Thanks to Joe Moran of Sebago for the bottle!

Looks the same as it did before, a deep tangerine IPA. Smells like a campfire. Toasted marshmallows, burnt caramel, and brulee. Smoky oak vanilla notes. The hops have all but faded in the nose, but a faint grapefruit bitterness lingers toward the back of the palate. A little heat and alcohol sting, and the ABV is front and center. Otherwise smooth, and cognac-like, if I drank cognac and knew what it tasted like. The mouthfeel is initially syrupy but gets greasy and slick as it warms. Curb your hop expectation, and this will age nicely!

The best way that I can summarize this beer is by admitting that upon completion I "hip-hop" danced to Vanilla Ice with my daughter.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.39/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to BlessedBeBeer (gary) who is always hooking it up! can't wait to try this one!

a - opened the bottle and filled my FW mini snifter. somewhat clear honey orange with virtually no head...what was there fizzed out pretty quickly, but could be rebuilt with some glass swirls.

s - wow...that's interesting and really nice smelling. at first nutmeg jumps out at me. it then turns to a strong caramel with a touch of vanilla. creamy....rootbeer even. toffee. somewhat like an english barleywine. the alc is a nice tingle in my nostril.

t - again, quite english barleywine-like. there is a lot going on in there between toffee, hops, caramel, vanilla, crisp alcohol. finishes bitter. bourbon isn't really there, more of a butterscotch.

m - not too heavy...little alc tingle.

o - overall quite impressive. barleywine, DIPA, strong ale...whatever you call them, i dig em and this one is pretty solid. thanks gary!

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Photo of goalie33
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 5.18.11
52% ale, 48% ale aged in bourbon barrels

A: Pours a copper/amber/orange color with about half an inch of head that sticks around for a good while

S: Some malty sweetness from the barleywine, some big vanilla and bourbon notes from the barrels, and a slight hoppiness in there as well way in the back behind everything else

T: Extremely complex! I honestly don't even know where to start... vanilla opens up very nicely with what is almost like a vanilla cakebatter-like sweetness, along with the bourbon. Some big malty flavors follow. Finishes with a nice hop bitterness to round out the sweetness from everything else

M: Medium-full bodied with light-moderate carbonation

O: I love blended beers where you can differentiate the different beers, yet they still blend extremely well and create a mixed masterpiece. This is one of those beers. It's not too high in alcohol either, especially for a beer that is 48% aged in bourbon barrels. Well done Sebago!!

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Photo of N8DAGR8
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of Bendurgin
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip on tap at the brew pub. This one pours a muddy somewhat brownish golden color with a finger of fluffy white head.

The aroma is full of fruity hops. Strong aroma full of strawberries and sweet caramel malts. The flavor is piney and bitter up front. When it sits a bit the flavor becomes sweet and malty in the finish with a sweet toffee and caramel profile. A little bit of fruitiness in the end.

The body is medium with sharp carbonation. Overall an impressive blend of their IPAs. Glad to grab this on tap.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Someone shared this at Goose Island, but I don't remember whom. Served in a taster glass.

A - Thin off-white foam, partial cap, thicker collar, spotty lace, and a transparent orange body.

S - Absolutely massive barrel aroma, even though the label states only 48% was barrel-aged. Dill, celery salt, oak, vanilla, bourbon, butterscotch. I have no idea what the base beer(s) tasted like, but this smells quite good.

T - Taste is unfortunately a step down and lacks the sizzle and clarity of the aroma. A slightly muddled caramel sweetness with traces of oak and earthy hops. Finishes is astringent and mildly unpleasant.

M - Low carbonation, medium-full body, smooth texture, a bit of warmth, and a dry tannic finish. Seems about right for a barrel-aged beer.

D - Smells good, tastes OK, finishes bad. Actually reminds me of a mildly more successful Hellshire I - the feel is much better here. Probably the best Sebago offering I've ever had, but that isn't saying a lot.

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Photo of Satchboogie
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Sebago's "end of era" party. 12oz pour

A: Reddish light brown, nearly an inch of off-white head. Good lacing.

S: A little bourbon and oak, floral and citrus hops, caramel, big toasted malt base.

T: Lots of bourbon and oak first hit the palate, but then quickly give way to a healthy dose of hops, mainly floral with pine in the background. The middle is a big base of toasted malt and caramel sweetness, to the extent of almost a barleywine. Finish is a somewhat sweet with a more floral hops and a little kick of alcohol. This definitely walks the line between DIPA and barleywine, it's not quite hoppy enough to be called a DIPA.

M: Fairly thick with moderate carbonation, resinous and a little sticky while having a bit of smoothness thanks to the big malt base.

O: This is probably my favorite offering from Sebago so far, mainly because it seems like the most balanced of their "big" beers. The bourbon isn't overpowering, has a big malt base with a great ratio of sweetness to hops. The hop flavors also seemed more pleasant than their other straight IPAs.

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Photo of NuclearRich
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at sebago brewing co, served in a Sebago snifter. In portland maine. Awesome road trip, btw.
A. Honey tinted amber. Fluffy, white head that eventually fades to a silkscreen cap and almost equally dominant lace.
S. Pacific NW hops, strong malty backbone.
T,M. A slap right in the face, full of awesome. Immediately takes me to a chocolate milkshake. Weird but amazing. The heavy malt from the barleywine mixed with the heavy hops of the IPA are outstandingly strong and balanced. Just thick enough to coat the tongue with resounding tastyness without being chewy.
O. Overall, I am so very impressed and happy to have tried this single batch series offering. It made my 4 hour drive to a New England beer holy land well worthwhile (in addition to all others). Taste it if you can!

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Single Batch Series - 2011 Grand Crüe from Sebago Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 18 ratings