Green Flash Grand Cru | Green Flash Brewing Co.

very good
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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: 175 | Ratings: 448
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice grand cru though on the sweet side. Pours dark and rich chocolate looking, with a thin bubbly head surrounding it. Malty aroma. A sipper with rich malt taste, above average mouthfeel. Satisfying and spicey,sugar, cardomon, not as yeasty as predicted.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
2.55/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'm still trying to warm to Green Flash's beer. A few times, I've had their beer and really enjoyed it. But too often, I just don't like it at all.

This one, a 22 ounce bomber, starts off well- a nice looking deep murky brew with a small head that is jsut right for the style. The aroma hits several of the BSDA notes- rich chocolate, hint of sweetness, hint of coffee. The flavor even starts out well- definite rich chocolate and chicory, pleasant mouthfeel, but then it goes south when I swallow. I would charitably call this an espresso bitterness, but no, it's way beyond that- it's harsh, medicinal, reminiscent of picking weeds as a kid and tasting them, only to find out that they taste horrible. Burnt grains, don't make me take that antibiotic pill again, please! I'm sorry, such promise, but there are so many great examples of this style- I just cannot drink this one.

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Photo of prototypic
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grand Cru pours a dark, nut brown. It's close to opaque, but not quite. A few burgundy highlights are visible around the edges. A foamy tan head sits on top. It's roughly two fingers. Retention was about average, but waves of thick lace line the glass as it descends. Not at all bad.

The nose is pretty complex and is impressive. Dark fruit is prominent is one focal points. Raisin and plum notes kick it off nicely. There's some light berry here, as well. Smells like raspberry and cranberry. They complement the dark fruit very well. Cinnamon and perhaps some other light spices are secondary, but effective. It's sweet and has a nice brown sugar aroma. There's definitely a nice yeast component to it. I like that. As it warms a little, there's a bit of an earthy hop aroma. This is a deep and complex beer. I like it. The only drawback is that alcohol is prominent and leaves it smelling a little boozy. A minor tweak there would probably propel it to the next level.

The flavor profile is no less deep or complex. Raisin and plum flavors are strong throughout and are obviously the focal point. Light raspberry and cranberry blend well and give it a deep fruit flavor. Cinnamon is the most notable spices, though there are trace amounts of clove and pepper. A nice brown sugar flavor gives it a sweet edge. A mix of spicy and floral hops is present and provides a nice bitter flavor. It's subtle, but effective. Belgian yeast is noted, but it's a little buried in the complexity. An acidic flavor emerges toward the end. I assume that's a product of the dark fruit. Certainly tastes that way. Overall, it's incredibly deep and has a lot of great flavor. Alcohol is strong and is a little distracting and warm. That really is the biggest drawback in the package. All in all, it's pretty satisfying and very enjoyable. A little less warmth would go quite a ways.

Grand Cru has a body that's on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is active and buzzy. It's smooth, but never quite gets to that next level. Drinkability is good, but is a little limited. At 9% abv, it's strong, a little boozy, and warm. I'm guessing a percentage or two less would remedy that problem.

Green Flash did a nice job with Grand Cru and came close to brewing an amazing beer. The flavor is very deep, complex, and impressive. At the end of the day, alcohol just seems to be too prominent and warm. I'm guessing that this would be better at 7% or 7.5%. Nonetheless, it is very good. It's not very competitive with some of the best BSDAs out there, but it's easily competitive with the second tier. Well worth picking up if you run across it.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this one.

Poured into a chalice a nice dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with some yeast, figs, raisins, plums. The taste is sweet, malty, yeasty, nice dark fruit notes. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew.

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Photo of tpd975
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jdub for this one.

A: Pours a nice brownish black hue with a creamy tan head. Spotty lace.

S: Lots of sweet caramel and brown sugar malt. This is back by an equal amount of rich dark fruit.

T: Very malty up front. Sweet toffee and brown sugar. Lots of raisins and dates make up the middle. A touch of floral hops to round things out.

M: Medium to full in body.

D: Okay, tasty but not my favorite style.

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

I don't know what I was expecting, but this beer surprised me at almost every turn.

Pours deep black with fluffy slightly off white head. Surprising aroma, more like a Belgian golden, spicy, fruity, phenolic and sprightly. Taste is surprising, roasty and sharp, with nutmeg and cinnamon, slight hoppiness, fruity esters. Mouthfeel is thin and carbonated. Very puzzling and surprising. Surprisingly dry finish

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Photo of srandycarter
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours extremely dark brown with .5 inch off white head, leaves to disk. Small sudsy lacing.

S - Roasty, some cocoa and banana/Belgian aroma. Like a Belgian porter.

T - Roasted malts, dark fruits, center balanced - no big swings. Nice.

M - Medium body. Solid feel. Good carb and coating.

D - Aftertaste not neutral enough for me as a session. Besides, 9%...

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle at 55 degrees.

Pours dark mahogany with a two inch beige head. Retention is fairly short-lived and theres some decent lacing throughout the glass and a partial skim coat on the surface of the brew.

Aromatics lead off with spice-laden figs, plums, and burnt sugar. Hints of coriander, cloves, crushed mint, and banannas work well with rummy malt with a chocolate accent.

Medium bodied with a slightly chewy mouthfeel. Carbonation low for the style.

Ripe fruit, lush malt, dark candy, and spice start the palate. Warming alcohol and more spice follow though. Plenty of figs, plums, and clovey phenols to go around.

Finishes with lingering warmth, peppery spice, and a hint of grape jam.

I was very surpised at how good this was. Definately a candidate for long-term cellaring. Nicely done.

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Photo of Nick3
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark, dary brown ale pours a tan one finger head into my Rochefort chalice. Nose is yeasty with fruity esthers, pear and apple, and some malt. Taste is sweet molasses and belgian yeast up-front with a warming alcohol finish accompanied with a mild bite from the hops. Beer has medium to heavy body. Nothing too impressive here compared to other BSDAs, but still a good beer that I'd prefer over many other ales outside this style.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown color with orange lights. Head is nice and full with a little espresso tan. The nose is bready and raisin-sweet. Smells very pleasant.

The flavor is definitely sweet, bringing dark fruit and malty flavors up front. Ends dry and toasty, with a hint of roasted barley and a pang of alcohol. Touch of hops plays of the astringent roast notes to add a little complexity; this might throw some, but I thought it a nice touch.

Body is decently sized, carbonation is pretty high to offset the otherwise large barley load. A little different for this style, but I like it quite a bit.

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Photo of blakesell
4.11/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a Belgian styled goblet.

Appearance- Beer pours porter black with red highlights when held to the light. There is a healthy two finger head of tan off white nearly gray foam. Lacing sticks sporadically to the sides of the glass.

Smell- An interesting and complex aroma, peppery with ample dark fruits but malts seem lighter than average. There is a hint of smoke and vague light hop aromas. Of course the yeasty esters are the most strong and give the most unique nose. Very close to a trappist in nature.

Taste- Sweet and pruney with a huge yeasty peppery flavor, a light smoke backbone almost like a Belgian strong dark rauchbier. Very tasty and smokey with again that light hop and a bit of an alcoholic phenol.

Mouthfeel- Medium light bodied, not sticky on the lips or warming, medium in carbonation. Creamy.

Drinkability- One of the most drinkable of the American made Belgians I have sampled. Very nice flavor and I would love to revisit it.

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Photo of NickMunford
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours dark brown with a three finger fizzy head. Medium retention. Good lacing.

S- Not a strong smell. Some hints of alcohol. It has some subtle aromas that I can't quite pick up.

T- This isn't going to be very descriptive, but it tastes like a dark ale with high, but not overpowering, alcohol. It has a bit of a bitter aftertaste.

M- Pretty smooth, with medium carbonation.

D- It's more drinkable than the AleSmith Grand Cru. Definitely not one you'd want to have more than 1 bomber of in a night, but pretty drinkable while you're on that one.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black to dark purple with good clarity and a well-retained brownish head. Sticky cobwebby lacing. Nose is roasted dates, prunes, with some dark chocolate and dark malts. Yeasty and earthy notes in there too. Fruity, dark roasted flavor. Biscuity quality, with chocolate, graham crackers, prunes, raisins, ethanol. Alcohol approaches an over-aggressive state, but barely manages to maintain a balance with the rest of the beer. Finish is sweet dates rolled in burnt breadcrumbs. Full bodied, approaching syrupy. Drinks well...its a brute if the whole bottle is taken on alone, i imagine. My wife was happy enough to help drink this one.

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Photo of hellbilly
3.74/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at papago...

poured a nearly black shade of brown with a soft tan head and moderate drippy lacing. the aroma is quite fruity... raisins, dried stone fruits, loads of smooth malt and a strange smell... or feel rather, of menthol or eucalyptus. it is definitely something which numbs the sinus... odd but not unpleasant.

that same character carries over as a profile in the flavor... it burns a bit and cleans off the palate. the flavor is full of malt and molasses but remains not overly sweet (at least for the style)... notes of herbs, flowers, grass and very mild pine on the finish along with some alcohol burn. the body is seemingly light and highly drinkable in quantity with prickly carbonation and mouth feel yet smooth...

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Photo of smcolw
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark brown color and clear; Light head that fades quickly and leaves no lace.

Dark malt aroma of what would seem to be a barley wine because this does not have the traditional Belgian yeast smell. I can note the alcohol.

Starts like a barley wine then a distinctive and spicy hop kicks. Both of these flavors are overwhelmed by a strong oily presence of alcohol...too much so. Thick mouthfeel with a decent level of carbonation.

Potent, almost port-like. Rich, bitter-sweet and spicy.

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Photo of ToddT
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Medium brown in color with a large cream colored head. Head has decent retention and leaves a nice lace pattern all the way down the glass.

S- Complex smell, fruit, vanilla, spice, roasted malt, brown sugar, and alcohol are all represented.

T- Fruit comes in at first then a burst of sweetness. The hop bitterness follows but the sweetness persists to the finish which is slightly bitter and dry with a warming effect of the alcohol. Other tastes come out as you continue to drink this. It gets a little more fruit, banana and raisin make an appearance, as well as cloves, nutmeg and caramel.

M- Medium bodied with lots of carbonation, kind of fizzy on the tongue.

D- The 9.0% ABV is well hidden, but the clash between the sweetness of the fruit and the bitterness of the hops cuts down on the drinkability.

Interesting beer, not one I'll seek out again but one worth trying.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Belmont Party.

Poured clear brown color with medium frothy brown head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Aroma was complex roasted sweet malty and citrus. Medium body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation. Medium bittersweet dark flavor with medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

Good brew.

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Photo of marvin213
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew appears light black--kind of black like a malty stout, but light in that you can see light make it thru if you tilt it just right. Both head and lacing were present throughout the drinking session. The smell is Belgian. Though the label says "mysterious," the smell is distinctive Belgian. I smell no malt, no chocolate, no vanilla, no oak, and--not saying there should be any of those flavors--all I smell is Belgian. I don't drink many (b/c I don't really like 'em all that much), and it took me a while to recognize the aroma. Eventually (and perhaps clued in by mention of Belgian yeasts on the bottle), I remembered this Belgian smell. The taste--what do you know--Belgian. That's all I can say--it tastes similar to every genuine Belgian I ever remember having. I'm sure it's a result of inexperience with the style, but that's all I can report in regards to taste. I really can't even call it malty or sweet; I just call it Belgian. The mouthfeel is good--I taste the alcohol and the carbonation allows the beer to sort of thinly coat my mouth. As I allow the beverage to just rest in my mouth, I can feel the taste disintegrate into layers...layers of Belgian taste. If you like Belgians, this has got to provide for you a drinkable brew. Since I don't really like but respect them, I'd call this a slightly better than average (Belgian) beer.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The cellar-cool 22-ounce bomber bottle pours a rich dark amber in my Maredsous goblet, and shows a tingle of golden at the periphery of the drink. A finger-thick cap of sticky beige foam recedes to a mottled sheet that leaves a virtually unbroken, but fast-fading sheen of fine lacing on the glass.

The smell is syrupy-sweet and malty with sugary waves of soft dark fruits. Chewy dates and dried plum mingle with juicy golden apples and a whiff of warm caramel candy, the menage presenting itself as soft, perfumey, and mellow.

The taste is sweet and crisply juicy with a fruity malt linger in the finish. Mild and chewy dark-toasted caramel forms the backbone of the drink, providing a solid stage for juicy plums and sweet apples and mild watermelon rind-like bitterness. By the end of the first serving from the bottle my belly is warming, my cheeks are flushed, and my lips are smiling. Yessiree! Once again, the word "mellow" rolls into mind, but to avoid redundancy and perhaps better characterize my feeling for the drink, I'll call Green Flash Brewing's Grand Cru "friendly", instead.

The drink is medium-bodied with perfect carbonation and is entirely quaffable if you're down with getting floor-knocked by the bomb-your-ass 9.1% ABV. An excellent and surprising offering from a brewer that has yet to fail me. Green Flash rocks, and Grand Cru in particular is a whipass brew.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a pretty nice head that leaves some lacing. Smells sweet with bubblegum as well as quite a prominent aroma of tangy Belgian yeast. Tastes quite complex with a lingering bitterness, more sweet bubblegum, and the usual panopoly of spicebox flavors derived from the Belgian yeast. Nicely balanced, and nicely done. A bit tannic in the mouth, but the lingering bitterness plays off well against any residual sweetness. Nice effort.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.3/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three-finger thick, lightly browned, dark tan colored head. The beer is quite dark, with a deeply burnt amber color that is approaching black, when held up to the light the beer shows a brilliantly clear, bright cranberry hue. A rich fruity aroma is noticeable as I pour this brew and reminds me of raisin. A deeper inspection of the nose confirms this but also adds a malty, sweet-bread like note that makes me think of brown sugar glazed pastries that have been lightly browned. This finishes with a cracker like, dry grain note and a meaty malt note. As the beer warms the fruit notes moves towards a prune / concentrated plum type aromatic.

Sweet with an ample carbonation that causes this to foam a bit excessively as it hits my tongue. The beer finishes with a toasted malt astringency and a noticeable hop bitterness as well as a touch of alcoholic warming. Flavors of brown sugar and lightly burnt bread crust mix with fruit flavors of prunes and some fig flavors. This has a really astringent malt character to it for some reason, though this does seem to be accentuated by both the hop bitterness and alcohol. Some dusty malt character and perhaps a touch of cocoa become noticeable as the beer warms up a bit. This beer is not overly sweet, and in fact is really just rich on malt character.

This just isn't my type of beer, it has too much astringency and dark malt character to it for my tastes (despite a Grand Cru being anything but a defined style). The beer is just a bit too un-integrated right now, but I could see this improving if laid down for a year or so.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3.91/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. no date found. poured into tulip.

dark, almost opaque brown. reddish brown under the light. decent head that slowly fades to thin layer. several thin rings of lace down the glass.

aromas of faint raisins and dates, and very gentle nutmeg-like spice. caramel and roast malt hint. grassy hops and trace of phenols at the end. all a bit subdued overall however.

roasty malt with acidic not upfront, with hint of fruit, all midly sweet, but slightly dominated by the bittering hops, which get grassy but resinous. some coffee notes in the finish and aftertaste. phenolic quality is spicy, and seems to accentuate the bitterness further, for better or worse.

smooth, medium body, slight resins and acidity or astringency in the finish. lively carbonation.

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

Clear chestnut colour with a reddish hue and a thin beige cap. Spotty lacing with good head retention. Nice aroma, banana, yeast, bready, nutty, and spicy. Quite sweet and malty, nuts and toffee, dark chocolate, fruity banana, and a bit of alcohol. Medium bodied with low carbonation, very smooth. Pretty good, tasty and easy drinking.

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Photo of IBUnit63
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a Duvel tulip...

Beautiful 1 1/2-finger white rye head topping a burnt raisin body with mild heft and slight carbonation. Head has good lacing and clunkiness with a few muffin tunnels.

Oooh, there's some creamy booze here. Slight yeast electricity with a hint of raisins and some silky malt. Hop pine makes an appearance, along with a little grass. Molasses are dry yet prevalent.

Y'know, this is a bit too dry for the style. There are the dark fruits you expect but they're somewhat obscured by a grassy and piney hoppiness, as well as slight astringency. With warmth it gets a little better and the raisin perfume emerges.

Again, definitely needs warmth to reveal the usual BSDA suspects...dates, raisins, other dark spices...but they eventually show up.

This deal takes a while to warm up to, but in the end, it's solid.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark ruby brown color with two fingers of off white head.

Scent of banana, yeast, candi sugar, dark fruits, caramel, and some clove. Great stuff, well balanced and pretty complex.

Taste of banana, candi sugar, tobacco, yeast, dark fruits, alcohol and clove. Finishes with earthy flavors and some yeast, damn good.

Mouthfeel is medium full and rich with a good amount of carbonation.

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Green Flash Grand Cru from Green Flash Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 448 ratings.
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