Green Flash Grand Cru | Green Flash Brewing Co.

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Green Flash Grand CruGreen Flash Grand Cru
Very Good
450 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 450 |  Reviews: 176
Photo of Gehrig
3.31/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A finger of chestnut brown body rests under a finger of off-white foam; decent lacing. Some berry smell, a bit of caramel, but for a 'big beer" this does not deliver the appropriate aroma. In fact, it's hard to detect much aromatically from this, unfortunately.

Some berry, a sour funky taste, and modest caramel emerge in the taste, but this is nothing special. The more I consume of this, the more I realize how far short of a "big beer" this Grand Cru falls. One can taste the heat from the alcohol, but it's tougher to discern the distinct flavors of the beer.

Sour, farmhouse taste and mouthfeel--not bad, but far from a traditional BSDA taste. It's more subdued that bold for a BSDA and, when it stands out, it is more for its oddities than its attributes that I acknowledge this.

Green Flash has brewed some real gems over the years. This is not one of them. In fact, it's rather a disappointment, and not one I'll grab again.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
2.91/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The basics: $7.99/bomber and a generous 9.1% ABV...

Pours a rustic mahogany. A nice cream colored head covers it like snow in Valhalla. Never really dissipates and leaves nice, sticky lacing. Hard to tell how well carbonated, or not, this is...Looks good.

Muted aromas. I get some sour apple, a Belgian style yeast component, but very faint. I also get leather boot in there. Also a hint of must.

Flavor is wack-a-doodle. It's Brown-ish, and yeasty...The yeast components are dominant here. A very odd sourness - kind of sweet and not altogether sour - hits you early middle...Then it collapses into a slightly weird bitterness that's not entirely to my liking, and this finishes off the ale. Strange and not altogether pleasant. The beginning and middle are excellent, but this off bitterness is cloying...Alcohol gets hot in your throat, but isn't huge in the flavor profile. Probably too expensive to call good beer.

What I like most: The ABV and beginning of the drink.

What I like least: The unique, yet slightly unpleasant, finish.

Verdict: Not good enough to justify the high price tag.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.81/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a fresh (late 2010 or early 2011) 22oz capped bottle drank from my chimay chalice. no freshness information or really any information about the beer other than a strong dark ale with american yeast.

A- this one pours out of the bottle a very dark brown colored body with only a little bit of light coming through around the edges. there is a small head on top that is made of khaki colored bubbles. the head has below average retention and leaves behind little to no lacing. not off to a great start yet.

S- the first thing i can pick up wafting from my glass are ripe dark fruits (raisins, figs, plums, cherries, and dates) along with some brown sugar and sweet caramel malt. i get just a touch of dark roasted malts and a hint of smoke. there is no detectable alcohol at this point.

T- the taste starts out with a distinct brown sugar and molasses like sweetness. after that i get an assortment of ripe dark fruits. cherries, raisins, plums, figs, and dates. the roasted malt i could smell sneaks through a little. there is no trace of alcohol or the smoke i picked up in the nose.

M- medium bodied with a highish level of carbonation. the body is actually a little larger than what i was expecting. the alcohol is wonderfully hidden.

D- not the most exciting example of one of my favorite styles, but nothing offensive either. the cost is also a little cheaper than most at $7.99. ill try this one again with some time on it.

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Photo of PBoegel
3.33/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Was seeking this beer out and was glad to find the 2010 batch to sample fresh.

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a Chimay Chalice. The pour shows a dark brown to slightly black beer with deep red and even purple highlights going into the glass. In the glass it becomes deep black, dense and stout like with a thin mocha foam head.

There are aromas of espresso, plum, tart dark cherries, and a completely surprising smokiness. At this point it is fair to say I was not prepared for that at all. I don't necessarily always look to see what to expect from a beer in terms of ingredients but I had never come across a note that this beer had smoked malt in it. It is subtle, to add character, but not what I was prepared for at all. Did not pick up too much Belgian spiciness its there but not a dominate player at all in the nose. Bottle says mix of Belgian and American yeast so that explains the subdued nature of the yeast profile.

The taste profile really threw me off with the smokiness being upfront and finishing on the palate. Again it was not dominant but it played a completely unanticipated role in the presentation of this beer. Flavors are a mix of subtle french roast coffee, dark cherries, touch of ripe banana and cooked pear. Some bitterness and alcohol warmth in the finish.

Mouthfeel was medium light bodied, finish is semi-dry, lingering roast and smokiness on the tongue.

Being totally honest, I could not wrap my head around this brew, I have had their Tripel and American Tripel and enjoyed both (have not reviewed yet on BA) I struggled with the smokiness. To the point of wondering was I picking up rauch malt, or was something amiss with the beer. I default to the former, but being fair was disappointed and not into this particular offering. I like Rauch beers, but the smoke just did not work for me in this one.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz poured into cervoise

This beer pours a deep brown with some purplish edging against the light. Very minor head formation, even with slightly vigorous pour. Smells of belgian yeast funk, candy sugar, plums and currants. Taste is much the same, very good balance between the candy sugar sweetness and the dark fruits. I did pick up some vanilla notes as well as a smoky, almost woody aftertaste. Mouthfeel was decent, tacky from the sugars. A medium bodied beer that is easily drank and enjoyed. Solid beer.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sipped the 09 & then decided to give the 2010 a shot on tap while at rattle n hum's green flash takes over the taps night. Brew arrived in a tall glass. In the dar bar the beer appeared to be a deep purple filled to the top with no head. Smelled of dark fruit. Camze alive on flavor. Dark fuits but very sweet. Ezremrly drinkable and after tasting the 09, glad I got a full pour of the 2010.

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour reveals a very rich, deep brown body with mocha hues beneath a thin tan head that quickly disappears with only faint lacing as proof of its existence.

Aromas of sweet fruit, dark malts, and yeast waft from the glass. Raisins, plums, and even faint spices appear to be present.

The flavor provides pronounced dark fruits such as the same raisins and plum from the nose with sweet molasses and the yeast coming forward as it warms.

Medium in body with lighter carbonation unlike some other examples of the style.

Altogether this is a good beer. Perhaps a bit different from its Belgian counterparts, it certainly has a lot to offer and is unique in its own way.

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Photo of klikger
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bomber pour in a Duvel tulip

A - Dark brown in color, not much head, decent lacing

S - Molasses, raisins, and prunes

T - Dark chocolate, dried dark fruits --> toffee & molasses --> some piny hops and caramel sweetness

M - Medium-bodied - nice for a beer with this much flavor, a bit undercarbonated

D - It's a sipper, but good for the style

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Photo of xnicknj
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle poured into tulip glass

Pours a dark black with an almost purple tint. A thick tinted head retains nicely, leaving plenty of streaky lacing around the glass.

Heavy roasted malts, dark candied fruit, and a bit of hop flair in the nose.

Begins rich and complex in flavor with plenty of roasty caramel malt which gives way to dark fruit including dates and licorice. Molasses like cocoa and chocolate swirl into hop bitterness. Finishes with lasting biting hops and some sweetness.

Heavy body, sticky, and lingering feel. Definitely a slower drinking beer, despite the quality flavors. The viscous consistency is pretty capable of slowing you down, but this is still more solid beer from Green Flash.

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Photo of mexikrainian
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz poured into a Gulden Draak tulip.

Appearance: chocolate amber with off-white head and minimal lacing.

Aroma: roasted malts, nutty, prunes and licorice.

Flavor: malty, molasses, spices and cocoa.

Mouthfeel: smooth medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall impression: nothing remarkable about this Belgian strong. interesting and worth a try.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle. Pours brown with a small off white head that quickly diminishes to a thin collar that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is sugary malts, molasses, dark fruits and some alcohol. As it warms, sharp alcohol starts to dominate.

The flavor is roasted nutty malts, molasses, dark fruits and some alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, I didn't really care for this - it seemed like a pretty simple Belgian strong. I thought is was overly sweet and alcoholic.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up on a shopping trip, a few dollars more than the standard Green Flash bombers. That said: This one poured a medium to dark brown color, with a small, yet substantial, light tan head. Aromas of light caramel, spicy yeast, dark fruit and a bit of hoppiness. On the palate, this one was nicely balanced, spicy, a little hoppy, sweet with a subtle kick of alcohol on the finish. A nice beer.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Green Flash making a Grand Cru? Bold statement.
Deep, dark and opaque with light having a very hard time getting through.
The scent is potent, perhaps even punchy. It hits the nose from quite a distance away. Sugary sweet dark fruit, colas and dark brown sugar come to mind.
Flavors were foreshadowed in the smell. Kind of a typical take that an American brewery makes with Belgian strong dark ales. Makes me think more along the lines of a porter or a stout than a Belgian ale. It needs more funk, more yeast. This bottle has been sitting around my apartment for several months; perhaps it needed even longer for flavor to properly develop.
I'm enjoying the flavors that are there and the overall drinking experience. I suppose my expectations were a bit high.
What I find here does make me interested in trying a vintage model at some point.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased somewhere local in MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" beige head over the clear burgundy brew. Head is promptly down to an uneven layer of froth, with leggy, slow-falling lace. Aroma is dominated by spicy yeast character.

Taste starts sweet, spices again in the middle, and then comes on with a gradually hops bitterness, but controlled. Mouthfeel is very smooth, and drinkability is way too easy for the style. Good stuff.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with a tight tan head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of dark fruits and some spice.

Tastes of the caramel and dark fruits. Dark fruits are characterized by fig and raisin. A good amount of sweetness. Needs to be more forward. Some roasted notes come through and give a cocoa flavor. Spice comes through with clove and some pepper. Anise is prevalent as well. Alcohol comes through, but complements everything.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber pours a very dark brown color with a few ruby highlights showing through. Foam is light brown and creamy, but the retention is just ok and lacing is mild.

Nose is dark fruits galore, with cherries, plums and figs all coming out to play. Malts smell slightly oxidized already even though I just picked this bottle up a month ago. Cereal, nutty and chocolate aromas coming from the malt.

Chocolate and marshmallow sweetness is offset by a pretty hefty dose of hoppy bitterness. Alcohol also makes a strong appearance and dries things out on the finish. Maybe even borders on solvent-ishly harsh. Yeast is fruity...actually, I wouldnt mind a bit more of a fuller, bready flavor from it. Good flavor package going on here but turns a bit near the finish and leaves you wanting a silky smooth ending. Might be a fun experiment to throw one of these in the cellar to see if things smooth out after a year or so, but I wouldnt get my hopes up too high.

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Photo of perrymarcus
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bomber served in oversized wineglass.

pours a muddy dark brown color; small head with no real retention to speak of but plenty of lacing. sort of odd. nose is of dark fruits, yeast, and malts. pretty typical for the style. taste backs it up, though maybe more hoppy than what i noticed in the nose. alcohol is not as well hidden as i would prefer. still, quite tasty, and becomes more complex as it warms. mouthfeel is borderline decadent: rich, full, and creamy. well done there. i'm enjoying this, i would definitely have it again.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a dark brown, translucent black. A tan, semi thick head provides a nice looking brew. Head dwindles to a collar. Lacing is thin and sheety.

This bottle has been in my beer fridge for about 7 months. The alcohol is noticeable in the nose, but not too strong. Rich malt. Dark fruit, molasses and some twang.Yup...twang.

Flavor is thin at first. A quick brush of fruit, some sweetness. Alcohol. Then the fruit and some sourness. Fairly dry, quick bite. Caramel and chocolate linger on the finish.

Pretty nice drinker, but alcohol can be too warming

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Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark brown in color and cloudy. It poured with a one finger tan head that quickly faded into lacy patterns of bubbles.
S: The aroma is rather hoppy and has hints of dark fruits.
T: Flavors of dark, roasted malts stand out in the taste, which also has notes of candi sugar and dark fruits.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and there is a moderate amount of dryness, particularly in the finish.
D: This is a beer that definitely needs to be sipped or the alcohol will quickly catch up with you.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle from Peace Street in Raleigh. $9.99.

Appearance: Dark brown in the snifter and a deep dark, clear ruby when held to bright light. Two fingers of creamy head with decent retention for most beers, but not for a Belgian Grand Cru. Lacing is fair.

Smell: Richly yeasty and malty with a surprising amount of floral hops aroma. Sweet dark fruits including raisins and dates. There's a hint of tobacco and wood. A little whiff of alcohol too.

Taste: Tastes as I would expect from the smell, but maybe not as rich. It is very flavorful and complex. More dark fruits and some hops bitterness. Again, I get a little wood or oak even though this isnt barrel aged. The alcohol isnt hidden at all, but the flavor belongs here and it is welcome. Slightly bready and a sweet malty finish.

Mouthfeel: I think its appropriately carbonated with a nice smoothness that is slightly sticky on the finish.

Drinkability: A slightly different kind of BSDA with a hoppy edge. I really like it quite a lot.

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Photo of arizcards
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber from Total Wine at the end of May for $6.99.

Beer poured a dark brown with garnet undertones, little head on the pour. Nose is sweet suggesting dark ripened fruits are to come. Taste is interesting, sweet brown sugar, some roasted malts, and dark ripened fruits. I picked up chocolate with the first sips. Dry hops are in the finish. Mouthfeel is good, medium bodied, low carbonation, belgian yeast smoothness is there. Drinkability is good. The style is tough to peg. Basically it is a strong dark belgian but not in the traditional sense. An interesting beer to try.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured straight down the center of a Chimay goblet. This type of pour forms a big, luxurious tan head that leaves intense lacing. The beer is a pretty dark one. Some purple and red highlights but mostly nearly black.

S- Sort of one dimensional. This dimension being dark fruits, namely figs. There are some earthy Belgian yeast notes that are perceivable.

T- Lots more dark fruits, again dominantly figs. This beer has lots of hops, not a surprise from Green Flash. This beer is straight out of the West Coast. The finish is full of citrus rinds that is slightly buried under some coffee and figs. Its really makes for a nicely balanced beer, but it might be out of place for the style. That isnt to say that it is not enjoyable.

M- Light carbonation, medium to almost full body. This beer finishes nearly dry and pretty clean.

D- A decent beer. This merges Belgian darks with West coast hops.

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Photo of biegaman
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Green Flash really took the 'dark' in 'Belgian Strong Dark Ale' seriously; although a deep crimson persists against the light, this beer largely just looks black. Staunchly black, in fact, it is undoubtedly opaque, seemingly hell bent on eliminating everything sunny or radiant in its path. Its head dissipates quickly, but a few bold bubbles fill in for it.

The smell just comes right out and says it: this will be a seriously sweet beer. A boat load of brown sugar is noted, as are darker more molasses-like features as well as a bourbony brand of vanilla. A precipitation of herbs and spices (anise, clove) have been deposited atop the fruity (raisins, prunes) malts like drops of morning dew on blades of grass.

The taste is an encyclopedia of all the various flavours listed in the Belgian Strong Dark Ale catalog. You can certainly tick-off the typical dark, sugary fruits (not fresh fruit by any stretch, more like dried, even stale, blueberries, cherries and/or raisin). The profile also chronicles a number of liqueurs, nuances of Jägermeister, Anisette and Kahlua.

While alcohol and sweetness are the predominant threads that link this beer with the aforementioned, there is also a distinguished herbal character that registers a great deal of black licorice and other grassy, spicy herbals very much like those found in Jägermeister. Roasty, coffee-ish malts double for the Kahlua, a flavour surprisingly well suited.

And there is no shortage of more classic flavours either; I didn't even mention the red wine-like grapiness, the bourbony wood spice or the inkling of a quality balsamic. But how does it drink? The body seems a tad thin, a statement made mostly on the grounds that both the alcohol and yeast spice have burned a hole through my tongue.

The scores for mouthfeel and drinkability fluctuated like something on the stock market; my impression from the 330ml point depreciated substantially by the time I hit the 500ml mark, and then bounced back a bit by the time all was said and done at 650ml. At times I sensed toothsome clumps of brown sugar, at other points baleful spice and booze.

Was this a beer worthy of being crowned the brewery's 'grand cru', a term traditionally used to indicate the potential of the quality typical of the producer or their unique brand of terroir? Well, this is good beer, no doubt, and is fairly representative of the brewery's usual standard of quality. But if you want to truly taste San Diego terroir, stick to a hoppy IPA - dark strong ales like this are better left to the monks in Belgium.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.19/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A dark shade of amber with brown hues inside. The active, tan colored head...gone fast?

Sweetness in the nose, caramel and brown sugar, belgian candy, red grapes, raisins, Zinfindel wine aroma in many ways from the tingly heat buzz. Jammy, yeastie---good for an American yeast, slight sour grapes.

A very earthy flavor, bitter dry earth at first. Major tangy fruits, metallic heat, peppery and dry hops, acidic feel on the tongue and a good heat with dank juicy flavor's makes one thin Zinfindel. Grapefruit with sugar...the copmlexity is really good but the flavor's must meld together a bit better. Theyeast is actually pretty damn complex, this is usually the deciding factor to see if this American-belgo style is pulled off or not.

The feel is crispy, full-smooth ending, dry finish which is right on. I really enjoy the zin-like aspects to this one, dry-leafy and some dark wheat in a subtle way. dry-fruits estery with raisins.

complex, intersting and unique, not exactly then poster brew for the style, but i'm enjoing it totally.

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Photo of deanhead
3.51/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice voluminous head that reduced to a thin lace around the glass. Brown to almost garnet in color.

Aroma is sour and grassy with hints of hard candy, and a barnyard with hints of raisin.

Taste is hints of raisins, dates and tobacco. Slightly malty with some nuttiness to it. Some rummy notes at the end.
Dry and crisp, very light tasting for a beer boasting an abv of 9.1%

Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, lacking body that one would expect with this style.

Decent beer, worth a try if you like the style.

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Green Flash Grand Cru from Green Flash Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 450 ratings