Grand Cru White (2016)
Almanac Beer Co.

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Style:
American Wild Ale
ABV:
10.6%
Score:
94
Avg:
4.33 | pDev: 7.16%
Reviews:
8
Ratings:
42
From:
Almanac Beer Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  3
Gots
  8
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 8 | Ratings: 42 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Sabtos
3.24/5  rDev -25.2%
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.

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Sabtos from Ohio, Dec 11, 2017
Photo of scottfrie
4.14/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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scottfrie from California, Oct 16, 2017
Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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DJ-Hophead from United Kingdom (England), Aug 26, 2017
Photo of cjgiant
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle:
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.

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cjgiant from District of Columbia, Jun 17, 2017
Photo of StonedTrippin
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
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!

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Photo of superspak
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 9/29/2016. Pours slightly hazy pale golden/straw color with a small dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big tart lemon, lime, apricot, peach, plum, cherry, white grape, green apple, toasted oak, hay, straw, grass, wheat, cracker, and bread; with light vanilla, leathery funk, pepper, white wine vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, fruit, wine barrel, and moderate pale malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big tart lemon, lime, apricot, peach, plum, cherry, white grape, green apple, toasted oak, hay, straw, grass, wheat, cracker, and bread; with light vanilla, leathery funk, pepper, white wine vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness. Light-moderate fruity/lactic tart/sourness and light yeast/tannic oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of sour lemon, lime, apricot, peach, plum, cherry, white grape, green apple, toasted oak, hay, straw, grass, wheat, cracker, bread, pepper, light funk/vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, fruit, wine barrel, and moderate pale malt flavors; with a great malt/tart/sourness balance; and no puckering/astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from tart/sourness, increasing through the glass. Light-medium carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/grainy/acidic, and lightly tannic balanced mouthfeel that is awesome. Minimal warming alcohol for 10.6%. Overall this is a fantastic wine barrel aged fruited sour ale. All around outstanding complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, fruit, wine barrel, and moderate pale malt flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the big ABV; thanks to the mellow/balanced lactic sourness and tannic wine barrel flavors. A lot of wine barrel presence without being too tannic/drying; with impressive sour ale complexity all around. A highly enjoyable offering.

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superspak from Michigan, Mar 04, 2017
Photo of MurphDog14
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer was golden and pretty cloudy. The beer also had no head whatsoever. The smell was light and was of sour apricot. It tastes like a great sour. Had a light sour grape and apricot taste. The beer had light carbonation and lingered. Overall this beer was surprisingly phenomenal!

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MurphDog14 from Illinois, Jan 28, 2017
Photo of Josholson666
4.78/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a golden tinted amber hue, with very minimal carbonation that shows a very small head which dissipates almost immediately. Aromas are strong Apricots, some funk in there of course, a little sweet grape from the wine barrel. Taste is similar, but the barrel presence is a little more forward, the sweetness from the muscats compliment the apricots so well, it truly tastes exemplary. Mouthfeel is almost sticky due to the low carbonation, which in this case compliments the other portions of this beer marvelously. Absolutely amazing sour, can't wait to try more of these.

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Josholson666 from Minnesota, Jan 04, 2017
Grand Cru White (2016) from Almanac Beer Co.
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 42 ratings