Grand Cru White (2016)
Almanac Beer Co.

Grand Cru White (2016) Grand Cru White (2016)
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Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States
Wild Ale
4.31 | pDev: 6.96%
Jan 21, 2022
Oct 28, 2016
An Imperial sour blonde ale brewed with muscat grapes and apricots, aged in white wine barrels.

Grand Cru White is an ode to our favorite aromatic white wines. We combined California Muscat Blanc grapes with an imperial version of our Farmer’s Reserve sour blonde base and fresh, locally-grown apricots before aging them for over a year in French oak barrels.

The result is a deeply fragrant hybrid that captures the Northern California terroir and seamlessly melds the complex tartness of a Belgian-inspired sour ale with the sun-ripened boldness of white wine grapes. Serve this very limited release alongside fresh raw oysters, steamed mussels and pair with decadent celebrations.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Rated: 4.25 by Ristaccia from Nebraska

Jan 21, 2022
Rated: 4.38 by Jsalz21 from New Jersey

Jan 05, 2019
Rated: 4.86 by BerryKumquat from California

Dec 11, 2018
Rated: 4.08 by BubbleBobble from New York

Jun 02, 2018
Rated: 3.97 by Prost76 from New Hampshire

May 17, 2018
Rated: 4.23 by BirdsandHops from Oregon

Feb 05, 2018
Rated: 4.35 by WickedBeer from Alabama

Dec 19, 2017
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Reviewed by Sabtos from Ohio

3.24/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25
Hazy yellow with minimal carbonation settling to a thin white ring.

Smell has an almond liqueur and warming buttery crust start, accented by acidic lemon, while taste amps that up with a super lemony acidity while dusty almond and oak are in the background, with a slick round feel, thin body and almost no carbonation.
Dec 11, 2017
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Reviewed by scottfrie from California

4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
750ml bottle into tulip. Bottled Fall 2016, consumed fall 2017.

A: Pours a light lemon/deep golden with a slight powdery haze beneath a thin and fleeting bubbly white head. A few streaks of wispy lace were left down the glass.
S: Musty oak-filled nose mixed with juicy and tart apricot scents, vinous white wine, and earthy spice. Perfumey apricot nearly dominates the grape. Musty and woody overall.
T: More grape than the nose let on, with semisweet and delicate white grape flavors and dry, vinous white wine notes. The apricot is right there too, with both tannic stone fruit flavors and sweet jammy preserves. There is earthy, musty, woody character throughout, with a touch of hay/straw funk. I get slightly bitter grapefruit/citrus pith in the finish, and the aftertaste has a hint of lemon, stone fruit, and tannic fruit skins.
M: Medium-full body, slick mouthfeel with a drying finish, soft carb, and a firm tartness. Acidity is bright but not overly harsh. This drinks like a beer with half of the alcohol as there isn’t a trace of warmth or booze.
O: Delicious and easy to sip with a great fruit flavor, dry musty funk, and pleasurable mouthfeel. The apricot and oak stand out the most, with the grape taking a backseat at this point. Delicious, but not necessarily worth the price of admission.
Oct 16, 2017
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Reviewed by DJ-Hophead from England

4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Tap @ Brewdog Bristol - Pours cloudy golden with a small thin white head which quickly disappears. Aroma - Vinous, white wine notes, slight acetic at the back. Taste - Light sweetness at the front, vinous- white wine feel, slight herbal feel, oaky notes, crisp tart finish. Lovely wild ale that would be ideal to convince wine drinkers of the beauty of ale.
Aug 26, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by PA-Michigander from Pennsylvania

Jul 23, 2017
Rated: 3.97 by liquorpig from Massachusetts

Jul 14, 2017
Rated: 4.27 by Dr_Fox from Utah

Jul 04, 2017
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Rated by Foundation56 from Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Absolutely heavenly.
Jun 29, 2017
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Reviewed by cjgiant from District of Columbia

4.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Pours a mostly clear white gold with a light haze. Head is okay initially, but does fade to a thinnish collar. Some nice, streaky lacing initially, but not much overall.

The nose is wonderful... a lightly acidic sour note with a bunch of oak and wine influence. I will clarify that "bunch" qualifier in that it's not smash you over the head, but very noticeable in the melange of notes I acquired. I'd argue there is a nice, deep, oaky white wine - grape, apricot, the lightest fruit vinegar, and a slightly herbal note (basil as a guess, maybe even w whiff of mint).

Flavor leans a little more vinegary - but with a certain level of residual sugar that keeps it from being too crazy. The wine notes (barrel included) are hidden by this general note. For a sour, that is okay, but is a slight disappointment from the nose. Wine grape does get added, the apricots might add to the tart, but are an afterthought in some senses.

I enjoyed the beer, and if the taste hit the nose's high standards, this would be a bit higher. Still a worthy beer. I would grab another if the price isn't outrageous in a heartbeat.
Jun 17, 2017
Rated: 4 by mklisz from New Hampshire

Jun 07, 2017
Rated: 4.08 by BEER88 from North Carolina

May 29, 2017
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Rated by grover37 from District of Columbia

4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
4oz pour at Brookland Pint during CBC 2017.
May 27, 2017
Rated: 4.53 by REVZEB from Illinois

May 22, 2017
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Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
i am really surprised to see folks not freaking out about this, its just so good! also really different for what it is, and something pretty well rounded and dynamic for almanac, who has gotten a little one dimensional with their wild stuff of late. lots of similar notes on the yeast side, less innovation than i originally liked in their work, but this is next level. the grapes are awesome, sweet and not quite cooked down to wine yet in the nose or taste, its more true to the fruit, sweet and bright and with a little champagne flavor to it, also super compatible with the apricots, which are fuzzy and ripe and juicy and there is a nice togetherness with the two fruits. its crazy to think this is as strong as it is too, it hides it really well, and it has some tannic nature to it, a little sourness, but a lot of rustic funk to it, comes it waves, very layered and special. way different from other almanac stuff, and the oak is heavy, which gives this a really gentle gradient around the perimeter, and the white wine, which obviously enhances the fruit, but is distinct in its own right too. fruity but not very sugary, i like that a lot, and the fusion of all the flavors is very dramatic, not like anything else. woody and smooth to finish, but some effervescence too, very complete beer, cool to have it on tap too. this has me insanely stoked about trying the red, and this is everything the grand cru moniker should represent. some of the very best almanac beer out there. wow!

edit: huge thanks to my homie for sharing a bottle of this summer 2023 now, so that puts this around seven years old! its held up great, and really there is no decay of either the grapes or the apricots, i get a little more of latter than the former here, but they marry up super well, wonderful integration. the sourness has picked up from what i remember but it still has a pleasing wild funkiness too among all the wood in this. notes of vanilla, butterscotch, and sweet golden raisin in here, light white wine vinegar, a little more grain than i remember from when it was fresh somehow, and vibrant acid at the end of each sip, its obviously old, but its not oxidized, not faded, and is nowhere near past its prime, we might be hitting it exactly right. the alcohol seems tamed, the fruitiness resounds unique, almond wafts up too, and this was a fun bottle to share around the table. been ages since i had anything from almanac, this was a treat, its been very well cellared!
May 10, 2017
Grand Cru White (2016) from Almanac Beer Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 43 ratings