The Beast Grand Cru
Avery Brewing Company

The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
3.94 | pDev: 14.72%
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
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: 624 | Ratings: 1,451 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by weeare138:
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

4.77/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2006 vintage...
Appears a dark mahogany toned amber with a small, off white cap that retains nicely considering the abv of 14.6%. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is hugely complex mimicking a fine cognac, or port wine. Lots of malty brown sugar, molasses, raisins, prunes, dates, honey, doughy bread, tropical fruit. I could smell this stuff all night long.
Taste is of the enticing aromas. Great mix of raisins, dark sugar, molasses, honey, and date sugar. I mean...there's nothing I could say that's bad about it. It's just one to be savored and enjoyed as a digestif.
Mouthfeel is sugary, doughy, chewy, boozy, and warming. Despite the high abv, it's actually quite delightful and enjoyable. I could see how some would be turned off due to the amount of residual sweetness but I'm perfectly fine with it. To me, it's not cloying. It's just a sipper that's been smoothed out with a countering of hops and age. Lay it down for 3+ years and you'll be glad you did.

Jul 20, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of kamoosekazi

4.77/5  rDev +21.1%
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.

Apr 19, 2015
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josephandbrown from Oregon

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.

Jan 19, 2017
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Czequershuus from Minnesota

4.74/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

Aug 24, 2016
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Auraan from Arizona

4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Nov 01, 2015
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Wildman from Ohio

4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Feb 13, 2004
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RoyalT from Ohio

4.82/5  rDev +22.3%
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.

Feb 19, 2004
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Gueuzedude from Arizona

3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Mar 08, 2004
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rhoadsrage from Illinois

4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)
Aug 2011 Batch 9 Case 649

A- This beer pours a dense brown body with a faint glow of garnet at the base. There is a bubbly thin yellowish beige cream that sticks to the glass in a meniscus.

S- The bright raisin and light molasses blends with alcohol heat rum ball light notes and treacle syrup aromas. There is a nice complex sweetness in the finish.

T- The slightly sweet graham malt flavor has dark raisins, treacle and molasses notes with some candy sugar notes in the finish. There is a bitter hop bite in the finish that balances all the sweetness very well.

M- The light mouthfeel is thinned out from the alcohol burn that lingers but there is a creamy texture in there somewhere.

O- This is a big sugary but not cloying sweet, bright beer with big alcohol heat that is a bit to hot but welcome in these arctic conditions. Age would do this wonders but it has a very nice complexity now.

Jan 30, 2012
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skeetermoses from Oklahoma

3.03/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This was one deceptive beer, I tried it originally with an herbal chicken dinner and cous cous. Cracked it open and WOW the taste was amazing, for about the first half of the beer, after that I could really taste the alchohol and it started to taste a little too strong and had way too much of an alchohol taste to it. Impressed at first but I later became dissapointed. I may have to try it again just to be double sure.

Jun 22, 2009
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wattershed from California

4/5  rDev +1.5%

Nov 16, 2011
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StevenSpringer from California

4/5  rDev +1.5%

Dec 07, 2011
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Sgbrown78 from Connecticut

4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Apr 27, 2015
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Trentt2 from Alaska

3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jul 23, 2017
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qchic from Maryland

3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appears a murky brown, much like an iced tea (and a sugary one at that). Little head after an aggressive pour leaving an ivory ring around the edges. Aroma has plenty going on, evoking thoughts of wine and spirits, let alone beer. Certainly boozy, but that's stating the obvious after reading the abv on this one. Smells tangy with caramel, tropical fruits including pineapple, bread, dried fruits, and bubble gum. More caramel and toffee in the flavor along with bitter orange, prunes, and raisins. Has an immediate warming effect, and the syrupy mouthfeel with low carbonation can only be sipped. Not as beastly as anticipated, but this one probably mellowed since being brewed in '05. Fresh, it could have been a different story. Not sure if it's worth the money as I don't think it would leave a lasting impression, but it did make for a relaxing evening.

Edit 08-13-15: opened another '05 and this one has mellowed into liquid Christmas pudding. Not sensing the ABV, and I'm impressed the carbonation is still prickly. Scores higher at age 10.

Nov 14, 2009
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StraightNoChaser from Georgia

4.72/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Avery The Beast Grand Cru 2006 purchased from Liquid Solutions.
appearance - Burgundy, pretty fat head for a 14.6'er that fades quickly. This is a pretty brew.
smell - Oh man. This has the promise of an aged Tawny Port. Honey and molasses with some citrus hiding behind.
taste - this is why I got into big beers. Decadent. Almost overwhelming. Some spice in there too. According to the Avery site, nutmeg.
This bad boy is a sipper. Probably best shared with a friend.

Nov 22, 2009
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ktrillionaire from Florida

4.72/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at the extremely awesome Dunedin Brewery green (beer-snob) room.

G – Snifter

A – Brown-chestnut in hue, slightly hazy, with a viscous shine to it; very little ring of head that clings to the edges of the glass, save for the random breakaway .

S – Sweet malt, with a roasted peat element, like a Wee Heavy. Also present are notes of wood, Cognac, and vanilla.

T – This beer is ridiculous! Very boozy; Cognac and Grand Marnier impressions are immediate and exceptionally powerful, but that is the point of this beer; there is an understated raisin, currant, dark fruit element in the palate as well. It certainly doesn't drink ‘hot’, by any means, actually very smooth. There is also a huge amount of malt in this beer and little or no discernible hop impact, but the malt is tempered by the vinous alcohol, and it all is balanced quite nice. Best not to warm it, as the sweet malty Beast within it swells like the Incredible Hulk; so keep it cold. And despite an extremely boozy flavor, it actually has a well-hidden ABV, drinking more like an 8% Barleywine than a 16%+ skullcrusher!

M – This is lightly carbonated, somewhat viscous and slick, but it works very well for the style.

D – This is a rare treat. But I will order it on-tap anytime I see it. So, very drinkable.

Feb 15, 2010
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BierJager89 from California

4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Murky orange with a small brown ring of head.

S: Lots of dark and red fruits, plum, maybe some basic (as in, non acid) citrus, particularly orange, some grape, red wine, and a touch of alcohol in the nose.

T: Grapes, spices, plum, raisin, a whisky-like harshness, floral hops, amazing that any hop character comes through after so many years of aging.

M: Full bodied, harsh from alcohol and a touch flat.

O: Pretty good. The alcohol was a bit harsh, and the flatness as unplesant. I'd take Samael or Mephistopheles over this any time, but I'd still recommend this. Perhaps it's better fresh.

Note: Brewed in 2009 (batch 7), Imbibed Fall, 2012.

Feb 06, 2014
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nlfrenette from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Mar 16, 2013
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breadman73 from Arkansas

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

Jun 02, 2015
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texashammer from Texas

3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep amber red color, very clear. Very little head, but an attractive color. Smells incredible- I can't wait to get it in my mouth. I smell pineapple and honey. Smell is very sweet. Upon my first sip, the sweet smell disappears into pretty impressive bitter hops and assertive alcohol. Finishes bitter for a split second and then goes sweet again. Very interesting. Mouthfeel is interesting; the hops and alcohol together kind of burn my mouth. I would put drinkability not so high at all, even though I like it. A little has been enough for me.

Oct 13, 2004
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Brew33 from Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Jun 17, 2013
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DosBeerigos from Florida

3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 Bottle Review

C: Slightly Cloudy
H: Burgundy-ish
N: Tons of Sweet Malt, Dark Fruit (Figs, Plums, Etc), Still has some Booze to the nose too

Wow well the dark bottle pulled me in, and the red foil top closed the deal for me.
This Grand Cru is really a “beast” of a beer. While I have had this beer from draft before, it was just wayy tooo boozey to truly appreciate the effort put in from the fine brewers from Avery Brewing Company.
The 2006 bottle allowed for the booze to calm down and the complex malt notes to shine. There was a hint of oxidation to the bottle, but for the most part the super sweet,almost syrup textured beer was very good. Lots of dark candy sugar notes, dark fruit, and even a bite of bitterness on the tail-end.

Apr 29, 2011
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Jamstone714 from Florida

3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Dec 30, 2011
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benjamincarter from Minnesota

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

Jan 31, 2015
The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 1451 ratings