Green Flash Grand Cru | Green Flash Brewing Co.

very good
176 Reviews
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Green Flash Grand CruGreen Flash Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Green Flash Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.10%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kleffman on 03-03-2008

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Reviews: 176 | Ratings: 449
Photo of descobar
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

vintage 2012
Smell: figs and plums and dark candy sugar that spells lots of sweetness up front. some bold vinous notes and yeast derived spicy notes.
Look: pours brown with a 1/2 " thick tan head with minimal retention. the ale is hazy, almost muddy. no lacing was observed in my snifter.
Taste: toffee, dark fruits and candy sugar is all over this giving it more than medium sweetness. the attempt at balance comes from significant bitterness that produces very assertive astringency. I begin to detect some stale malt notes to show a bit of negative aging.
Feel: this is a full bodied ale, with rich, sticky, almost chewy texture. the carbonation is moderate to high and the astringency that blasts the palate could almost be called intense.
Overall: starting to show signs that its had its better days (maybe a year or year and a half ago). although, I could see lots of people still enjoying this if they are craving for a high abv, complex and full flavored Belgian styled ale that is on the intense side.

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Photo of imonhiatus
3.41/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

vintage bottle, 2013? watery purple, fairly oxidized. not a great brew. not bad, just not great. lacks the body and vibe of the authentic Belgian classics. didn't age that gracefully.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz from 2013

Pours a cloudy reddish brown, light tan head retains as a film.

Smells of apple, pecan, walnut, fig, cherry, and brown sugar malt.

Tastes of bready malts, apples, toffee, pecan and brown sugar.

Full body with tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

Fantastic brew, lots of flavor and aroma. Very rich and chewy. Definitely worth a try, lots to like here.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.36/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dark reddish-brown pour with thin tan head. Smells of raisins, toast, and alcohol. Heavy fruit flavor with some alcohol, but finishes pretty clean. What’s left is a nice malty lingering aftertaste.

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Photo of Budinetz
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a goblet. No bottle date, but was purchased over 18 months ago.

Pours a deep amber color with minimal head. Very poor head retention and no visible lacing detected. Smells of raisins, caramel malt, fig, candied sugar. Not the most amazing nose for a Grand Cru. Tastes of rich, sweet malts, figs, with a bitter hop finish that takes a while to present itself. Once you lick your lips you can taste the malty, figgy, raisony,'s pretty awesome. Mouthfeel is pretty decent. Slick on the palate and not overly carbonated. Good feel for the style. Overall a solid brew that represents the style. Not really my favorite though, as there are better Geand Cru beers out there, but a good American representation of the style. Worth trying once.


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Photo of KFBR392
4.11/5  rDev +8.4%

Bottled 10/30/12

Appearance: pours with a finger of khaki tan head which quickly and loudly dissipated to the edges of the glass. The color is dark brown. Low carbonation at this point.

Smell: Plums, figs, and huge waves of dark fruits wash over the front of the nose. Buttery yeast, rye bread, vanilla, toffee, and some sweet muscat grape aromas shine on the body. Spices continue to dance into the finish and really win out in the end.

Taste: Bouquet of dark fruits hits the drinker first, quickly being replaced but toffee and vanilla sweetness. Plums, spices, and oak open up on the body with accents of sweet malts really pop. A light sting of alcohol on the finish followed by lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Really easy drinking for a bigger beer. Love the lingering sweetness throughout from the fruits and malt. Carbonation being on the lower side really allows all the flavors to shine through on the palate.

Overall: This is drinking like a dream. Toffee, vanilla, dark fruits, and rye bread all come together to create a heck of a drinking experience. Well done Green Flash.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

A 12oz bottle picked up at Brusin Ales in Asheville, NC Sep, 2014. Bottled on date of October 30, 2013

A - Deep amber with no clarity, 2 fingers of full head that never recede, and lace all over the glass. Perfect appearance

A - Sticky belgian candy yeast and raisins, prunes and grapes.

T - Sweet with toffee, belgian candy, brown sugar. Tasty as hell. Nice malt backbone to balance it out. Some citrus hops towards the end pack a nice punch too. Well done!

M - Highly carbonated and full bodied. Slick and oily aftertaste and well hidden ABV.

O - An awesome Grand Cru. Green Flash always impresses. Glad to finally find this one. They don't ship it to GA for reasons unknown.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Green Flash's Grand Cru pours a dark brown with tan head that forms into a tight beaded foam that seems to not go away with little lacing on the glass. Smell of brown sugar, dates, apples, and a hint of black licorice. Taste is nice with brown sugar and candy malts up front, a light licorice taste on the back, light herbal spice and mild hop bitterness on the aftertaste. All in all a good beer, but as a Grand Cru the hops are a bit too pronounced. Better on tap from recollections. Cheers.

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Photo of SCbrewpubfan
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A - Pours the color of brown sugar with a small head that dissipates quickly. Keeps a light body of bubbles on top, but little to no lacing.
S - Super sweet up front with a lot of Belgian rock candy present. Hints of white raisin and Fuji apples in the background.
T - Sugary sweetness is balanced with piney hops, but the overall beer is lacking complexity. Apple and pineapple flavors up front are finished with resiny bitterness. Alcohol is present in the aftertaste.
M - Medium to light body, with little carbonation. A fuller body would help with the abv.
O - Green Flash seems to be at the top of their game when producing west coast IPA's and PA's. This beer is fairly well balanced, but just forgettable.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My brother in law brought this one over and I decided to give it a go, I had no idea what to expect as I did not really know what it was, but the two Green Flash beer I have had I enjoyed so I figured here we go. I was very pleasantly surprised, the look and smell of this beer had me very optimistic. Definitely rocking the Belgian which had me look closer and realized that it was 9.1%. The flavor was also outstanding and it hides the ABV very well. Overall a very good beer that I hope to have again.

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Photo of FLima
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Hazy dark brown copper color with a one finger head with low retention, but keeping a constant plate.
Initially nice aroma of hop citrusy, American yeast, pine, licorice, candied sugar and molasses.
Bold flavor of peppery yeast, earthy, herbal and citrus hops, pine, caramels, ashes, dark and dry fruits, tobacco, mild cocoa and roasted nuts. Dry and bitter aftertaste. This is definitely over 40 IBUs.
Bordering medium body with appropriate carbonation and lightly astringent. Alcohol of 9.1% abv is well hidden.
Malty and spiced yeasty Dark Strong Ale. Interesting that it feels like it I poured a Belgian and American brew to the same glass. A bit cloying though, given its sweetness, this is in theory appropriate to the style.

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Photo of 57md
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a reddish brown with more than two fingers of beige head that dissipated at a slow but steady pace. The nose is bready with the hint of dark fruits. The flavor profile is malty, but the entire offering is on the thin side. The finish is pleasantly dry.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Deep ruby and brown this had a luscious rich hue. The head was thick and creamy but had little retention.

Soft dried fruits with some candied sweetness on the nose. Dried cherry, date and raisin mix with an anise and malt.

The flavors are sweet and sprite with cherry fruitiness, crabapple, fig and plum. Chocolate malt flavor ends with alcohol tang.

The feel is full but carbonated, tangy and lightly astringent.

This is very good and my opinion is that each bottle is vastly different, especially with age.

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Photo of JAFoley
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Dark clear amber body with thin white head. Not much retention but good lacing.

S - Smokey, sugary, caramel, and cherries

T - Nice citrus and piney hops upfront, followed by the sugary, malt, then finishes with cherry and that orange and banana Belgian yeast flavor. Also, the alcohol is fairly strong and obvious and leaves a lot of heat in the aftertaste.

M - Full body with medium/high carbonation but slightly fine bubbles so it drinks smooth. Sticky and resinous.

O - Another reason Green Flash has become a regular for me. This has a lot of great flavors that I find well balanced. To some it might be cloyingly sweet, but for me, the hops were enough to cut it.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

drank bottles of 2010 and 2012 side by side. I preferred the fresher bottle, mostly because the 2010 was almost flat. So that's what the score is based on.

appears dark chocolate brown in color, cream colored head. aroma is dark fruit, raisins, Belgian spicy yeast, pipe tobacco. taste is earthy, nutty, herbal. malt forward as expected. low carbonation, medium body, slick.

overall - even though this style typically benefits from aging, I'd advise to drink yours fresh.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint. It's all I had on hand at the time.

A: Hazy mahogany color. Creamy tan head retains well. Thin veil of lacing coats the glass.

S: Crust and cocoa. Very fruity. Aromas of blackberry jam, concord grape, and black currant. Dark candi sugar. Black pepper. Earthy and dusty yeast undertones.

T: Earthy and dusty yeast. Black pepper and spices. Dark candi sugar. Concord grape and blackberry, and a hint of tart raspberry. Malty tastes of toasted crust, roasted nuts, and cocoa. More black pepper. Subtle grassy hops. Peppery and yeast finish.

M: Medium thick body. Creamy. Stiff scrubbing carbonation gives a lot of lift and lightens the feel.

O: Yeast character is pleasant. Candi sugar comes through a lot. Not a bad offering, bit the flavors are very distinct and separate. It really doesn't come together as I'd like it to.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mahogany brown in color with a light head that does not cover the whole top of the beer. I get some raisins and figs in the aroma along with some caramel tones. It's a bit thick in the mouth and you can tell there's alcohol. You get some serious sweetness in the flavor with hints of raisins,caramel,and molasses.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

this comes in four packs now, a rich malty brown ale type, with maybe a little more malt complexity, but rather straightforward for a grand cru, a meaningless word in beer. chocolate brown on the pour with a rising tide of tan foam with little volcanic geothermal sort of bubbling on the surface of the head. the nose is alcoholic and sweet, with just a hint of Belgian yeast in there. immediately I notice its not as hoppy as all green flash beers usually are, but it is indeed well hopped. the yeast does a good job limiting the sweetness in the flavor, but the grains themselves don't provide a ton of flavor. its rather muted, and the roast and chocolate malt flavors are barely there. instead I get yeast and booze, two things I really like, but this beer is kind of missing its middle. the finish is bitter from the hops, and it cleans up the palate well. nice feel though, well carbonated and smooth and rich medium body. its simple as they go, maybe not as enjoyable as some other green flash beers, but not a bad beer. overpriced at 12 or 13 bucks a four pack though.

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Photo of superspak
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 10/30/2012. Pours lightly cloudy dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of raisin, fig, plum, pear, caramel, toast, chocolate, clove, pepper, dark candi sugar, dark bread, light roast, light banana, floral, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark malt and fruity/spicy yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of raisin, fig, plum, pear, caramel, chocolate, clove, pepper, toast, dark candi sugar, dark bread, light roast, light banana, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, caramel, toast, chocolate, clove, pepper, dark bread, dark candi sugar, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity/balance and solid robustness of dark malt and fruity/spicy yeast flavors; with a nice malt/spiciness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very good Belgian dark ale. Good balance and complexity of malt and yeast ester flavors; and smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle split between two big snifters. No bottle code that I can find. Little cake of yeast left in the bottom of the bottle.

Pours brown, small head, slightly cloudy, nearly opaque, lots of slow ongoing carbonation. Smell is sweet, Belgian yeasty, chocolate and nuts, something spicy like maybe cloves.

Taste is...odd. Nutty, chocolatey, lacking in sweetness with having much bitterness. Something darkly sweet about it, maybe a little date flavor.

Mouthfeel is thickish and slightly sticky. Overall, this is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1 pt 6 fl oz bomber from Lil Roberts Place. The bottled made a "pop" when I opened it.

A - Cloudy, deep brown. Pours with little head, the lacing hangs around the side and in the middle of the glass.

S - Plums , dark fruit, heavy malt, nougat

T - I cant believe I just used the word nougat in a review. First sip was awe inspiring, but not in a good way. Like drinking a fruity ash tray. So, yes, smokey. You get some of plum and malts at first and then overpowering smoke and ash tray, into the finish.

M - Mouthfeel seems ok. Carbonation is medium.

O - Having a hard time with this. Perhaps a bad bottle. Even for a whiskey the ash tray taste and finish would be barely tolerable.

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Photo of alaimoa
2.96/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from bottle with a reddish color, limited head.
Smells of coffee, citrus (orange, lemon)
Tastes like a beer you would want after dinner, dark, heavy and almost a barley wine. Definitely has the upfront alcohol that lingers in somewhat of a bad way
Overall Its ok but probably wouldn't buy again

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Photo of sjones5045
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, much like a brown ale. The smell is decent, I'm prepared for some dried fruit, maybe prunes and dates. The taste is pretty smooth with a good blend of fruit. Definitely some plum or prunes of some sort but not overpowering. It's a nice drink with a good finish. Not something I'd want a lot of but for what it is its pretty good. I'd definitely like to try again.

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Photo of zac16125
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a chalice
no born on date

A:Pours a very dark brown with reddish hues, especially when held to light. 1.5 fingers width of light tan head builds and then quickly fades. Leaves a few small patches of lacing.

S: Dark fruits, spice, banana esters, white pepper, clove, and a hint of orange. A touch of booze. I really dig this.

T: After that nose, the first thing I get in the flavor is the last thing I'd expect, hops. The hops, coupled with a burnt sugar bitterness, give this beer the profile of an American Barleywine, IMO. Once I get past those two characters, some more traditional Belgian flavors come out like dark fruits and a yeast character. However, throughout the entirety of the drink these take a back seat to the ABW flavors.

M/D: Medium body, a touch syrupy, carbonation is moderate, ABV is very well masked, drinkablity is average.

O: This really drinks like an American Barleywine in both taste and mouthfeel. I actually like it quite a bit, but am deducting for style. From now on, Ill stick to Belgian for my Belgium's. Certainly worth a try, but dont expect a BSDA.

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Photo of wbason
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

22oz bottle served in duvel glass. Bottled on 11/06/12.

A Fairly aggressive pour leaves over a finger of off-white head that dissipates in a few minutes. Color is dark brown/ ruby red and clear.

S Smell is subdued for the style. Notes of raisin, brown sugar, caramel malt. Unable to detect much else.

T Hints of raisin, dark fruit, and brown sugar are quickly overwhelmed by an overpowering and unexpected hop presence. The hop bitterness is super high for the style. I love my hops but not when I crack open a bottle of "Belgian-style Dark Ale." This is not a bad beer, however it's way too hop-forward for the style... in my opinion.

M For me the mouthfeel is almost spot-on. Just the right viscosity and carbonation. Slightly drier finish than desired.

O This is a hard style to attempt given the hundreds of years of collective experience that you're up against. The beer itself is pretty good, but it is not what one expects given the brewery's description. A very hop-forward interpretation of the style.

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Green Flash Grand Cru from Green Flash Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 449 ratings.
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