The Beast Grand Cru | Avery Brewing Company

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The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru
Very Good
1,437 Ratings
The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 16.83%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,437 |  Reviews: 616
Reviews by Lauthaha:
Photo of Lauthaha
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a small glass. Bottle says 16.31% abv, and this is Batch 6, Bottled in 2008.

Appearance: Pours very similar to Sprite in terms of carbonation and head retention. Color is mahogany, not as dark as I imagined. Active carbonation, and the beer is quite cloudy. Looks good, but not *that* good.

Smell: Sweet and spicy. Raisin and/or prune, molasses and bitter hops jump out at me. Just a touchy bready. The alcohol content is not as well-hidden as some previous posters seemed to imply. I can definitely tell it's there.

Taste/Mouthfeel: It burns on the tongue, there's a tremendous kick to this. Instantly warms the stomach. In this manner, I suppose it lives up to its name. The turbinado and candy sugar are a welcome addition in this instance; though they can't do much to stop the blitzkrieg of body that this beer brings. The aftertaste is surprisingly pleasant, as most of the alcohol evaporates off your tongue (hyperbole here). Raisin bread. Just a touch of molasses.

Drinkability: I could do one of these once a week...but probably no more than that. I can already feel the heartburn coming on. :-P

I bought this based on the abv to share with a friend. It definitely did the trick, and while it was a touch disappointing considering the price, it wasn't a bad brew, and I may in fact try it again in the future.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.82/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – The color is a deep, rich, brownish-orange that screams “Grand Cru.” The head was almost non-existent, probably due to the astronomical ABV, but it pitted beautifully and left a foamy ring around the glass.

I know that “appearance” doesn’t include the label, but next to The Ruination this is one of the coolest bottles that I’ve ever seen. There’s like a hologram of a beast (that won’t come out in a BA pic) with giant teeth that just seems to jump out at you.

Smell – This is an alcohol-soaked fruit-ridden darkish-ale paradise. As it is with many a Grand Cru, the fruits just jump out of the goblet.

Cherries, peaches, apricots, all overly ripe and squishy, falling off the trees. Browned bananas, with their sugary profile, and juicy melons ground together and plopped in a vodka martini. Royal grapes and dates, mixed with smashed raisins, covered in gin and flavored with tobacco leaves. All of this just begins the show.

Taste – Here come the fruits, as pleasing to the palate as The Ring of Mordor is to Golum. “They are juicy – must eats them raw,” or should I say, “The forbidden Cru, is nice and cool . . . AND JUICY SWEET!” Alcohol has never tasted so good as it baths the luscious flavors described in the aroma notes.

But, this is not an overly-aged broken down BSDA limping to Grand Crudome dilapidated and disturbed. No, this is the final iteration of an ale-child found in adulthood, fully developed and arriving at its course.

Some Grand Crus taste spent to me, but this one is just getting started. The malt base is still strong, and there’s even a hop balance to give this one complexity. The extra strong tobacco notes provide the finish here. This is no bullshit. The tobacco is strong at the end and makes a powerful statement – this one is serious.

Mouthfeel – Full-bodied and so filled with flavors that your cheeks and salivary glands will be going bonkers. Your mouth won’t know what to do with this Grand Cru, but the heart will swallow and thank later.

Drinkability – You’ve got to be kidding me. Liver concern is the only thing keeping me from drinking a bottle of this nightly.

Comments – I initially tasted this cold then let it set for an hour. The change in flavor is amazing. You have to drink this warm, warm, warm – literally at room temperature – to get the full effect of this ale.

PS: I think TheLongBeachBum is following my review with one of his own, and he is an excellent descriptor of Belgian Ales.

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Photo of Auraan
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a perfect cloudy reddish brown body with a ring of delicate white lace. Overall impression of appearance is of a fantastic example of a high ABV Belgian Strong Dark ale, magnificent. Scents of sweet, spicy alcohol upfront, imparting notes of rum-soaked dark fruit and fruitcake, strong malt presence is rich, with notes of caramel, rich bread and light amounts of chocolate, high levels of fruit esters imparting aromas of date, raisin, and a light dried cherry presence, notes of molasses and brown sugar sit at moderate levels in the background adding further depth and very light peppery phenols mingle with the spicy alcohol. Overall impression of aroma is of a very bold, forward Belgian Strong Dark, with a massive amount of different aromas derived from malt and yeast, bringing out fruit, spice and rich malt aromas and with a massive, though balanced alcohol presence. Unlike other Belgian Strong Darks in its boldness, but not overwhelming. Flavor begins rich, sweet and malty with notes of caramel and molasses blending with dark fruit flavors of raisin, date and dried cherry, notes of rum-soaked fruit cake are also imparted by the high level of warming alcohol. Middle continues these flavors though alcohol presence increases and a light presence of dark chocolate appears. Finish is sweet with pronounced notes of warm alcohol, moderate dark chocolate, molasses and fruity esters of dried cherry, raisin and date with a large amount of alcohol on the swallow. Aftertaste is dry with notes of peppery phenols mingling with warm alcohol and bitter dark chocolate and light coffee. Overall impression of flavor is interesting. This is a very intense, varied and rich flavor profile, yet I cannot tell if it is complex, or if it is overwhelmed by the alcohol. It is quite delicious however, and the myriad flavors blend together into a wonderful whole. Quite nice. Mouthfeel is full bodied, with a creamy feel and light carbonation prickle that is enhanced by a moderately high level of alcohol burn. Overall impression of mouthfeel is of a rich, boozy, strong ale. The strongest Belgian Strong Dark I have sampled. Quite nice in a cool night. Overall this is a fantastic beer. It has a wonderfully complex aroma and a possibly complex, but certainly delicious flavor and a wonderfully warming mouthfeel. It is varied, boozy and rich, the perfect sipping beer for a cool Halloween night. It may not be the finest Belgian Strong Dark, but it is one of the finest strong ales I have sampled. Avery nailed it.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.74/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours a cloudy rusty brown with a minimal head. The aroma is rich with banana, figs, and a strong grassy, almost dirty funk. There is also something which reminds me strongly of graham crackers. The flavor is sticky and fairly hot, with notes of brown sugar, bubblegum, clove, dates, figs, chocolate, and raisins. There is a lot of fruit and spice present, and the alcohol does not hide. The mouthfeel is very thick, and the heat is rather pleasantly stimulating. Overall this is a beautifully rich and decadent beer. If you love high ABV beauties that are not afraid to show it, you will dig this brew.

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Photo of Wildman
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer with the menacing beast to fit my wildman image. It poured a dark red amber color and formed a small medium tan bubbly head that receded leaving trace lace. A small amount of carbonation was present. An aroma of malt, chocolate and raisins was present with a hint of alcohol. The flavor was of malt, chocolate and raisin, with a heavy hint of the alcohol giving a warming background to the taste. It had a medium body with a sweet finish, but I somehow expected it to be a bit heavier than it was.

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Photo of josephandbrown
4.46/5  rDev +14.7%
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.

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Photo of kamoosekazi
4.77/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

You really need a good palette to enjoy the full flavor of "The Beast". There is a ton of ingredients that go into this strong ale, and at 16%, this 12oz monster is not for the faint of heart as it will be your only beer for the night.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep dark red-garnet color, it is very clear and is topped by a reasonably persistent amber-tan head. The aroma is strong, sweet, fruity, malty, hint of alcohol, and a hint of smokiness to it. The taste is thick and sweetish. The alcohol is still hot, but it should mellow with age. This beer is definitely fruit, there are notes of plum, banana, and raisin. There is some serious malty action going on here as well, almost approaches the soy-sauce factor. This is most certainly a sipping beer. How can one person finish a bottle, very slowly over the course of an evening, is my answer. This beer is interesting, but I am not sure if I really like it. The beast is certainly an apt description for this beer, perhaps this beer is just a bit too much.

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Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

My first encounter with the beast its been a long time comin,poured a very nice deep ruby red with a fluffy 2 finger pinkish colored head that leaves nice sheets of lace behind as it settles.Alcohol dipped cherries really jump out at me in the aroma along with some raisin and maybe a touch of spice perhaps cinnamon,thick mouthfeel that coates the mouth but is very smooth on the way down,whoo this baby packs a wallop like the aroma the alcohol infused cherry is predomenant in the flavors as well with more alcohol and candied figs.One thing I did notice is a light herbal hop underneath all that massive malt and alcohol wich was nice.The Beast left its mark on me no doubt whoo it was damn good but definent one and done for me.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
1.97/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Urine and syrup. Not good at all. This beer does not seem to be fully fermented. The aroma is dominated by a sickeningly sweet rotten corn husk, urine like odor. Flavors of candied fruits and snow cone syrups overpower anything interesting going on here. The alcohol burns the mouth, nose, and throat. It’s overwhelming. Finishes sticky like maple syrup left spilled on a counter on a hot July day. Rubbing alcohol flavors linger. Ick! This is one case where bigger is not better. I’d take Milwaukee’s Beast over this one any day. I suppose that in about a dozen years, this one might be drinkable. I’ll consider revisiting then.

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Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of MadScientist
3.34/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 6
Bottled in 2008

A: A deep copper good clarity. There is little carbonation producing very little head even with an agressive pour. What little of the light brown head is there is quick to fade to a thin film and slim ring around the glass.

S: A strong alcohol aroma with a bit of heat. Lots of caramel and rich malt complexity like an Barley Wine. There is no noticeable hops aroma. A light cocoa and slight spice notes with a little chewable vitamin.

T: Lots of alcohol and malt sweetness with a rich malt complexity having strong treacle and toffee like flavors. There is a moderate hop bitterness and pretty much no hops flavor. The balance to the malt done as much by the hops as the alcohol but even together the avalanche of malt sweetness just can't be stopped giving a balance that is fairly sweet. There is a medium amount of orange flavor and a light raisin and mollasses thing going on. A medium-low spiciness. The finish is medium sweet with a linger alcohol sweetness and a touch of spicy fruit flavors.

M. Heat and then a medium bodied beer that feels heavier and viscous from the low level of carbonation.

O: A boozy beer with some fruit and spice that has a high enough alcohol content that you'll want to share. It shows little signs of mellowing in the past few years. The flavors make more sense after reading the bottle that it was brewed with honey malt and actual honey.

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Photo of kaimcm
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz.- bottled in 2005 - 14.9 ABV - reviewed 9/06

bottle poured into a huge dogfish snifter.

A: deep deep body with a beautiful off white head. foamy goodness doesnt last long, lite splotches left. body color looks like blood and earth mixed up, fitting for the beast.

S: hits the nose syrupy sweet, malty, and hot. booze abounds, warming, but not harshly burning. loaded with fruit, which battles with the fusels for attention. apples, peaches, cream, molasses, honey, and raisons everywhere. even a light nut quality under the booze. nose is reminiscent of a meaty scotch, like lowlands or some of the isles. extremely busy but sometimes not that focused and a little tough to deal with under the alcohol.

M/T: Mouthfeel is damn near exceptional. so rich, so creamy, so chewy, so awesome. first waves are molasses, honey, and more sugary goodness. mid palate a more distinct malt character comes through followed by many of the fruits in the nose. apples, some orange and peach, very juicy, and more cream. raisons everywhere making this extremely port like. full bodied to say the least and decadent as all hell. finally some grainy nutty qualities arise which are quickly chased away by lingering sugaring and warming alcohol. teeth are coated with sugar, throat is tingling with vapor, head is struggling with booze, and belly is warm and impatient for more.

D: um...come on. this is the definition of an every once in a while sipper. i dont like the idea of reserving beers for "special occasions" so I wont say that. but not one most any one is likely to crack more than seldomly.

overall an incredible accomplishment considering the ingredients and strength of this beer. that being said, I think Avery should do us all a favor and put a few years of age on this beast before release. so complex it seems the beer is fighting itself to come together. not sure when in 2005 this was bottled but considering we are already into mid september of 2006 and its still a little chaotic, I would prefer another year or so on this. wish I had several of these to lay down myself. cheers to avery!

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Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Avery "The Beast" Grand Cru. Alcohol content stated 14.9%. I'm sure its a tad more with a bottle date of 2005. Panther-like face on front of bottle w/ red foil capper.

A- Has a "dark as night" color pour that doesn't even let one ray of light penetrate its heavily brown hued liquid. "Little to none" head that leaves behind a tight barely there ring around the glass.

S- Agh... Heavy amounts of alcohol esters, burnt caramel malt, and stale scents hops that are so "out of bloom" that it burns the nose. Hard-ass smell for a bold beer.

T- Damn... Starts off sweeter than a ripe red apple that turns to a brown sugar-alcohol estery of mean burnt malt mass that overwelms the strongest taste bud avalible. S***! Too much to list at once! Raisins, figs, dates, brown sugar, rotton citrus, fired oak, and alcohol... NICE! Barleywine like taste.

M- Flow of beer ruins my mouth with thick fruit like tang that only lingers on to make me pucker in fear of whats next. Flavor sits on the buds only asking you try again to test its wrath of feel.

D- Well... Dont drink alot. Great "Strange beer" But not one you have a drinkfest with. Dangerous and Over-bodied but a sipper with friends (12oz.) beer.

Notes: Almost has 120 essense but don't mistake very STRONG ALE!!

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Photo of tbryan5
4.31/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of joemetric
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Dmann
4.69/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a beer that truly knocked me on my ass! After a night out with xlperro and the gang, this was the final nail in the coffin. But what a good nail it was. This beer poured a dark amber color with a minimal head that did not last long at all. This is a beer that you could smell forever with it's great raison, plum and heavily sweet notes. The taste was so very complex, i'd have to really drink this one before drinking anything else next time to decipher all of the nuances in this brew. The abv is not even detectable due to the fact that the great fruit and hop taste along with the great dark sweetness of the malts cover it up so well. I will be on the lookout for this one again!

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Photo of bulldogg915
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of danthehopslamman
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of warnerry
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Afroman
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of WuAnquo1
2.5/5  rDev -35.7%

Photo of Beaver13
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The Beast poured copper with deep red highlights. It had a creamy, light brown head that quickly went to a thin layer and later disappeared completely.

The aroma was rather subdued. It smelled of figgy malt and molasses along with some sherry-like alcohol.

The taste was very complex. Initially it was malty with fig/raisin, bananas and cloves. Then came grassy hops with some acidic alcohol that warmed quite a bit as it went down. The alcohol became more pronounced as the beer warmed. It was a bit too treacly for me and had a somewhat unpleasant charcoal finish.

The mouthfeel was thick, creamy and sticky.

Overall, I can appreciate the Beast as quite the complex brew. It's just not my bag...too sweet, too much alcohol and I didn't personally care for some of the flavors. It kind of reminded me of a too far over the top version of New Belgium's Abbey. It would be interesting to see what aging does for this beer...I think it could mellow out nicely.

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Photo of Chitex78
2.96/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Harsh, chemical-like alcohol taste. Not sure what they were going for here.

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The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 1,437 ratings