The Beast Grand Cru
Avery Brewing Company

The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
ABV:
16.83%
Score:
88
Avg:
3.94 | pDev: 14.72%
Reviews:
622
Ratings:
1,448
From:
Avery Brewing Company
 
Colorado, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  83
Gots
  426
SCORE
88
Very Good
The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru
Notes: Hop Variety: Bravo, Bullion, Sterling, Hersbrucker, Columbus, Styrian Goldings
Malt Variety: Two-row barley, Honey malt, Dark Aromatic, Pale wheat, Roasted wheat, Special B
Sugars: Dates, Molasses, Dark Belgian Candy Sugar, Colorado Honey, Raisins, Turbinado
OG: 1.135 ABV: 15-17% IBUs: 63 Color: Burgundy

The Beast is a seducer – accomodating, complicated, powerful, dark and created to last the ages. With a deep burgundy color and aromas of honey, nutmeg, mandarin orange and pineapple, this massive and challenging brew has flavors akin to a beautiful Carribean rum. Dates, plums, raisins and molasses are dominant in a rich vinous texture. Cellarable for 10+ years.

The Beast is the first installment of “The Demons of Ale” series.

Food pairing: Pineapple upside down cake pairs nicely with the sweet, rum-like flavors found in our Beast Grand Cru.

Batch 1 (2004): 15.7% ABV
Batch 2 (2004): 18.1% ABV
Batch 3 (2005): 14.9% ABV
Batch 4 (2006): 14.6% ABV
Batch 5 (2007): 16.42% ABV
Batch 6 (2008): 16.31% ABV
Batch 7 (2009): 15.07% ABV
Batch 8 (2010): 16.21% ABV
Batch 9 (2011): 16.83% ABV
Batch 10 (2012): 16.00% ABV
Batch 11 (2013): 18:00% ABV
Batch 12 (2014): 16.1% ABV
Batch 12 (2015): 17.2% ABV
Batch 13 (2016): 16.8% ABV
Reviews: 622 | Ratings: 1,448 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jlindros
4.11/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2009 vintage, been sitting in the cellar for a while, but using the quarantine as an excuse to start drinking the cellar beers

Pours with no head, and no sound when opening the cap so prob flat, nice long legs, very dark molasses brown color no real light coming through

Nose super fruity, tons of brandy soaked raisins and candied figs, oxidized port wine but no cardboard, touch of chocolate and bread crust, very low alcohol, lots of molasses and candied caramel like sugar daddee candy, little candied cherry

Taste starts quite sweet, lots of candy everything, smooth rich candy malt, loads of caramel and candied burnt caramel, touch of dark malts and chocolate notes, toffee, caramel, molasses, thick rich molasses, fair oxidation characters as well with a little paper but also sherry and port notes adding to the fruit, again the layers of fruit, Turkish fig, candied date, some boozy raisin, little cookie dough, mild ashy notes probably from the oxidation, little bitterness, and very low alcohol, mild sticky finish, more cardboard oxidation notes

Mouth is fuller bod, rich velvety like chewing on caramel or molasses, no carbonation but also pretty much no alcohol burn

Overall this aged very well, great fruits and mostly good oxidation (aside from the paper and cardboard notes), but the fruits, and port/sherry was nice, loads of sweet characters and overall a bit too sweet, but lack of alcohol is crazy. Think I got a couple other bottles stashed away for a party.

 1,486 characters

jlindros from Massachusetts, May 13, 2020
Photo of Parmesan
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L:. Pours a muddy brown orange with a small tan brown head and no lacing on the glass.

S:. Lots of caramel and molasses, mix with a touch of pineapple, a strong note of booze.

T:. Lots of molasses and brown sugar, notes of caramel, a touch of pineapple, the alcohol is very noticeable in this beer.

F:. Very big body, slick carbonation.

O:. Solid beer that is very boozy.

 375 characters

Parmesan from Colorado, Apr 27, 2020
Photo of darktronica
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Batch 12, from 2015. Fair bit of oxidation at this point, despite decent cellaring conditions. Pours a bit hazy, brown/amber with minimal head. Some sediment at the bottom of the bottle to be avoided. Still rich and fruity, with complementary yeast and malt notes. Grilled pineapple is the closest fruit to the profile. Moderately strong ethyl alcohol notes from the high ABV.

 376 characters

Photo of DoctorZombies
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a deep amber/copper color at 57 degrees; ok cap retention which leaves an island of bubbles; good clarity; small spots of lace and heavy legs on swirl. Fruity, sweet caramel malt nose; alcohol on the retronasal exhale. Sweet caramel malt, boozy raisins, dates, dark fruit; honey as liquid warms. Medium body, moderate minus carbonation; slick feel with oaky dry finish; warming from 16.8% ABV. Overall, a tour de force; amazingly well balanced flavors take no back seat to the big alcohol presence; I like “big boozy beers” - if you do, and if you can still find it, buy it and enjoy!

 595 characters

Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.86/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy amber color with a thin foamy head. Half pour. Retention is mild and lacing is good. Malty, boozy, caramel aroma. Big time maltiness on the taste. A lot of brown sugar, sweet, caramel and dark fruits. Medium to heavy bodied with moderate carbonation.

 266 characters

Photo of Avitra
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Dates, honey, figs, red wine, and more dates. Great beer albeit a tad too sweet. An added hop in two would have created the world's greatest beer, as it is it's just very good

 175 characters

Avitra from Switzerland, Sep 01, 2018
Photo of Franziskaner
3.7/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark copper to brown with a lot of sediment and haze suspended within the body. There's a fingernail of beige on top. I smell Belgian malt and not much else. The flavor is packed with raisins, dates, dark malt, honey, and booze. The mouth is very thick, chewy, and warm with booziness.

 290 characters

Franziskaner from Missouri, Apr 29, 2018
Photo of woemad
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle of the 2016 vintage (16.8% abv

 1,726 characters

woemad from Washington, Mar 30, 2018
Photo of arizcards
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 12 oz bottle from TW Arrowhead 12-27-2014 for $8.99. Batch # 012 released in August 2014. Stored in the wine fridge for aging since purchase.

Beer poured dark brown with a small bubbly head that dissipated quickly.

Nose is brown sugar, plums, figs, alcohol.

Taste follows the nose with the dark fruits, booze, that is sweet with a prickly finish.

Mouthfeel is the best part of the beer, full bodied, smooth, very satisfying.

Overall a pretty solid brewing job, beer is a bit better than i expected. I have not had this fresh but would suspect it is tamer. Glad i gave this one a try!

 606 characters

arizcards from Arizona, Mar 24, 2018
Photo of neenerzig
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle of Batch # 12 from 2014 at 16.1% ABV that I've been aging in my cellar until tonight. Poured into one of my tulip glasses, this beer is a very dark/amber copper color with some deep ruby highlights when held up to the light. Has a tan head that's about 1/3 of an inch thick when first poured that settles to a solid 1/4 inch with excellent retention and nice lacing. Aromas of toasted bready malts with caramel notes along with some wheat and dark fruit notes of raisins and plums. Also some booze of course. What a complex flavor profile this beer has, with big roasted, bready caramel malt sweetness and dark fruit notes of plum, raisin, and fig. Also some brown sugar and and honey notes. Also some spice and peppery notes and also some boozy notes. Not really any hop presence here at this point. Has a crisp, slightly syrupy and chewy, also smooth, medium to full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Has a clean finish with a sweet, spicy aftertaste. An excellent beer.

Eric

 1,019 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the 2006 bottle in a snifter. This long held lurker in the doomsday beer closet
pours a dark murky brown with a light head of white foam that settles to a razor thin
ring. Nose of dark sweet rum, prunes, dates, booze, dark brown sugars, and subtle
orange zest. Flavors for this old brew...wow...aged well. Dark plum, rum raisin notes,
light chocolate, nutmeg and coriander, dark rich bread, and brandy flavors drenched in
a malt bomb of molasses. Nice mouth feel----full body, slick, sweet, low carbonation
although it did a good hiss with the pop of the top, and a rich warming boozy finish.
It mellowed out with age to be certain....less abrasive than when I had it many moons
ago.

A sleeping aid for insomniacs!

Heavy Duty Judy!

Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy!

Cheers

 790 characters

Photo of Harrison8
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Batch 12 (2015).

Pours an opaque burgundy with a finger of buttery-khaki foam. Head retention is okay with no lacing left behind. Aroma is dark and stone fruits, booze, oak, with roasted, and nutted malts. Flavor profile is stone and dark fruits, plum, oak, and roasted and nutted malts. There is a boozy presence, although it remains fairly well balanced and smooth. Mouth feel is medium-thick with a smooth texture. Overall, a hefty hitter, and despite the boozy characteristics, is well balanced for its 17%+ ABV. Booze and alcohol are certainly present though, which keeps it from sipping easy.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 12oz bottle.

 647 characters

Harrison8 from Missouri, Feb 06, 2018
Photo of Sabtos
2.22/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Beautifully shimmering dark copper with a large, dense, creamy khaki froth settling to a persistent, dense film and bubbly, creamy collar, leaving some sporadic arms of lace.

Smell is spicy and bourbony with a touch of burnt orange peel, brown sugar, Belgian candi and stale, woody weedy hops.

Taste continues that sort of stale hop that brings some scorched pine, but that's quickly overcome by burnt caramel and hot new bourbon oak that slashes through everything like a hot iron. Hard licorice becomes apparent just before the swallow, which turns into lozenges in no time flat.

A medium, round frothy body seems like it could be soft, but that scorching heat brings a finish that is really hot, semi-dry and tingly, yet not numbing enough to deaden the senses for this excessively harsh brew.

 799 characters

Sabtos from Ohio, Jan 14, 2018
Photo of jwilcox767
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a cloudy orangish/reddish color. Slightly translucent. Almost no head.
S - The nose smells of currant, and a lot of barrel ageing.
T - Taste is well blended. I get a cherry and currant flavor, and then a nice alcohol burn as the finish. Not harsh, but I sure expected it to be at 17%.
M - full bodied for sure, very filmy, and again a nice alcohol feel.
O - A fantastic beer, albeit a monster. It is retired now so maybe I'll never get to have it again, but I'm glad that I got to have this monster.

 516 characters

Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer lists the ABV at 16.8% ABV, which was released in July of 2016.

Pours a reddish color. Some clarity. Almost no head, but what was there was white. There were also a lot of floaties in the glass when poured.
The nose smells of cherries, and a hint of barrel ageing.
Taste is actually quite smooth up front. I do get a cherry flavor, and then a healthy alcohol burn on the backside, but not as harsh as expected.
Feel is full bodied, and a decent alcohol feel.
A delicious, and unique beer. I'm glad I got a bottle, since it is retired now.

 555 characters

Photo of akolb
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2015 bottle. Aroma is spicey and fruity, with dates, raisins, honey, molasses, alcohol. Taste is sweet and boozy. Rum, treacle, dates, molasses. Finishes very hot and boozy. An enjoyable desert beer.

 199 characters

akolb from Colorado, Aug 01, 2017
Photo of androidm
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2016 batch - aged 1 year

L: dark red with a decent amount of light coming through. poured a aggressive 1in head the quickly fell to nothing.
S: Booze dark fruit and caramel. strength in that order
T: Sweet candy sweet even some molasses. dark fruit undertones and full how boozy the nose the warmth and bite is surprisingly low.
F: coats the tongue for sure. the sweetness makes my lips sticky at the end. the warmth is there but in a minor minor way.
O: intense Belgian dark. nothing really nuanced here sweet powerful and an enjoyable dessert beer for me.

 562 characters

androidm from California, Jul 08, 2017
Photo of TX-Badger
3/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from 2014. Pours a cloudy/milky brownish color with little off-white head. Dark fruits, raisin, fig, nuts, and plenty of alcohol on the nose; follows onto the palate. Full bodied, thick, and sticky. Finishes very hot, even with age, this still had plenty of alcohol booziness on it, with dark fruits mixed in.

 316 characters

Photo of drdiesel9483
4.51/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2017 on tap served in a snifter, 16.8%
Look - dark amber color with some lacing and very slight head that went away
Smell - tons of dark fruit ( plum dates etc) molasses and honey... very rich
Taste - a little bit of booze but lots of honey date and molasses.
Feel - warm medium syrupy body with a slight crisp carbonation
Overall - what a great beer... taste a lot like a quad.

 382 characters

Photo of ajm5108
3.52/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Very deep tan pour, thin head which dissipates to a gossamer lacing. Enticing sweet esters on the nose with a definite nectarine / orange note upfront with underpinnings of fresh date, brandy and cardamom. Bold and sweet on the tongue with notes of carmelized sugar, maple syrup (like Aunt Jemima style), apricot, honey and other cloying flavors. For the style I was surprised how treacly it was. It definitely has a pronounced fusel spike in the mid and end palate which clashes with the rest of the beer's sweetness. Some spicey phenols peek through with some fig & raisin but not as much as you would expect from the style. Lot going on in this beer, some good but a lot of it is too notched to 11. A big in-your-face beer, and not without quality, but better if it were dialed-in.

 784 characters

ajm5108 from Pennsylvania, Feb 28, 2017
Photo of HenryPorter7777
4.46/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Caribbean Rum, malt forward, balanced in hops; barrel aged. This is expensive and a treat, but worth it. Clearly a sipper, but its excellence unfolds as it breathes. Deep copper pour that leaves a nice lacing upon drinking. Initial taste is strong, but gives way soon to an appreciation for what Avery has achieved in this beer. Excellent.
17.2 % ABV

 351 characters

Photo of josephandbrown
4.46/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

What a beer, this Beast. while not quite the highest ABV I've had from a beer, it is still intimidating at 17.2%. The beer hits like a freight train upon the first sip, and seems closer to a fortified wine than a beer.

The Beast was a deep amber color. While shining a light through it, an orange tint became obvious. While it did not pour with much head, it sustained throughout and left pleasing lacing on the glass.

The aroma was surprisingly light. I mostly detected sweetness, from malt and what smells like Belgian candied sugar. There was also some yeast smell noticeable as the beer warmed. It feels heavy and thick. The carbonation was very strong, making it hard to hold the beer in the mouth for very long. This isn't too much of a problem, as the flavors are strong and tend to linger in the mouth for some time.

I've heard The Beast's flavor described as "complex," and that seems like an understatement. It's almost a grab bag of flavors, and I noticed something different every time I took a sip. At first, it is reminiscent of a port, but as the flavors start to come through, I was hit with a menagerie of Belgian esters: figs, banana, clove, licorice, and toffee. Cocoa nibs seemed present as the beer warmed. Some hop bitterness is present, though it took about half the beer for me to notice it; the sweetness and other malt flavors are clearly dominant. I was surprised to see the IBU was 63, not far from the highest we can detect, about 85. It goes to show you how much those bittering hops are necessary as you get high in ABV.

 1,554 characters

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2005 vintage. Pours very hazy very dark reddish brown color with a thin spotty lace cap for a head that lingers. Slight spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of huge raisin, prune, fig, date, cherry, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, honey, brown bread, molasses, leather, and tobacco; with lighter notes of cinnamon, pepper, licorice, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruit/sugars, and fruity/earthy yeast notes; with great strength. Taste of huge raisin, prune, fig, date, cherry, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, honey, brown bread, molasses, leather, and tobacco; with lighter notes of cinnamon, pepper, licorice, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Minimal herbal bitterness and yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruit, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, honey, brown bread, molasses, leather, tobacco, light licorice/pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruit/sugars, and fruity/earthy yeast flavors; with a nice malt/spiciness balance, and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Minimal carbonation and very full bodied; with a very smooth, creamy, slick, and syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Zero warming or boozy alcohol for 14.9%. Overall this is an incredible Belgian strong dark ale. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruit/sugars, and fruity/earthy yeast flavors; very smooth and dangerously easy to sip on for the huge ABV. Feels more like an old ale or English barleywine at this point, due to the very subdued spicy Belgian yeast character; but this has aged amazingly. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,794 characters

superspak from Michigan, Jan 14, 2017
Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.46/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L- Pours a beautiful,murky, rustic, brown with a thin, off-white, creamy head.
S- Funky, boozy, toffee, carmel and hop.
T- Malt forward with the carmel and toffee taste showing up first along with slight hop funk. Transitions to slightly sweet candied fruit that is quitensmooth thanks.to the oak.
F- very slick, medium bodynwith nice warming from alcoholm.
O- very unique oak ale, malt forward with vreat sweetness balance. Avery is awesome.

 453 characters

Photo of Bier82
4.52/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is quite the "Beast".
The malt is the most forward aspect of this beer, its sweet and almost spicy.
Next is the oak, it comes through with vanilla notes and woody overtones.

The alcohol is the kicker for me, it comes through clean and harsh all at once.
This beer is an amazing combination of malt, oak, and alcohol.

 328 characters

Bier82 from New York, Nov 28, 2016
The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 1448 ratings