The Beast Grand Cru | Avery Brewing Company

BA SCORE
86
very good
1,405 Ratings
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The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
averybrewing.com

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

Added by Crosling on 01-29-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,405
Reviews:
603
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
15.36%
 
 
Wants:
83
Gots:
432
For Trade:
26
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,405 |  Reviews: 603
Photo of TheDudeAbides14
1/5  rDev -74%

Photo of AustinBrooks
1/5  rDev -74%

Photo of Nichols33
1/5  rDev -74%

Photo of Adam_Dawson93
1/5  rDev -74%

Photo of icetrauma
1.47/5  rDev -61.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This beer poured a nice deep mahogney with a 1/2 finger off white head which quickly dissipated into fine lace on top of the beer and around the glass. Was pretty excited at first site. Had a really sweet nuance of molasses and suger. Mind started to wonder at this point. Took my first drink. I was expecting a whole lot more. Flavors of molasses, figs, and dark sweet fruit met my palate. The taste finished with extreme suger after taste. Mouth puckered and decided to wait another couple of minutes to let the beer warm up. Second taste was just like the first. Way to sweet and syrupy feeling in my mouth. Will never buy another Beast. Sticking with The Reverend and The IPA. IMO, Avery's top brews.

 704 characters

Photo of Troville1990
1.5/5  rDev -60.9%

Photo of danman0125
1.56/5  rDev -59.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

I had this beer on tap last night at the Brass Rail deli in Campbelltown, Pennsylvania. It was served as a 10-oz in a snifter.

Appears Dark Brown in color (not quite as dark as you would usually expect from a typical Belgian strong dark ale.... looks more like a pale ale). Nice-sized ~1 inch head that has good retention while you are sipping the brew.

Smells like a barleywine in my opinion. I am not picking-up on much of a hop aroma.... it is subtle but certainly not in your face. What I smell predominantly is a rich malty sweetness similar to what one would expect from a barleywine with a similar ABV. Questionably some caramelized sugars and maybe some figs/raisins.

As far as taste goes, I think I would have liked this brew much more if the taste resembled the smell.
The beer has an extremely dry and pungent alcoholic taste. There is no hiding it. Any beer that has this kind of ABV you would expect to be a slow sipper but I could hardly even finish my glass. If it wasn't $10.95 for a 10 oz glass, I probably would have left the last few sips. It seriously tastes like taking a sip of vodka or some other hard liquor without much taste to it.
I guess what I am trying to say is that the alcohol seriously overpowers this brew (and I've drank plenty of 15%+ ABV beers which have left a much better impression on me taste-wise).

As far as mouthfeel goes, there is moderate carbonation. That + the impressive head retention for a beer with its ABV gives it a decent mouthfeel.

This beer gets a low-grade for drinkability from me. On the other hand, I don't think it was Avery Brewing Co's intention to make it very drinkable (it isn't a low-ABV American IPA or anything like that where you can bang down 5 or 6 of 'em in front of the pool on a hot summer day).
I'm sorry if my review might seem a little biased.... I very much enjoy Belgian-style strong beers and a good deal of high ABV beers, but this brew doesn't do anything for me but make me want to pass it to someone else.

 2,001 characters

Photo of JDW4195
1.8/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.25

Photo of crosborne
1.86/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Batch 9, 2011
Tasted like a bad Barley Wine where the goal to reach a high ABV overrides the goal to make a good flavorful beer. I suffered through 3/4 of this before I poured it out.
Overly harsh alcohol flavor.
The best thing about this beer is the cool looking bottle

 270 characters

Photo of stumac
1.89/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottled in 2006. I let it age for about 10 months before trying it. I sat down in front of the projection screen at my house, ready to watch a movie and enjoy this "supposedly" delicious beer. So I crack the Beast open.

Appearance: Nice half inch off-white head stuck with it for a bit. Nice dark amberish color.

Smell: Very sugary and alcoholy

Taste: Horrible! Nothing but sugar. Nothing but sugar. I let my roommate try it just to be safe, and he said the same thing.

Body: Nice and full but the sugar was way too overbearing.

I want to say that my bottle was just an oddity but at $7 a bottle, I guess I won't know for a long time.

 639 characters

Photo of jcdiflorio
1.91/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

12oz brown bottle with a red golden foil over the cap,served into a tulip glass. Bottled in 06 stated 14.6 by volume . Scanned through a few reviews this stuff sounds a bit scary. Really got my interest up for it,now back to my anticipated review.

Poured a very mirky reddish brown,remisent of cider,a generous light tan head about as tall as you can make it. Thick and creamy good retention leaving thick clinging webs of lace down the glass.

A strong blast of sweet booziness first off,with molasses and a honeyied sugaryness,some dark fruit like dates and figs,the nats are moving in quickly,better rinse this glass good when finished. There is also some nuttyness with heavly burnt carmell and some sight butter notes.

Now for the scary part the taste. Very,very sweet taste right from the start,too sweet for my taste. Very syrupy,not a boozy as expected,but it's definatly there.Dark fruitness throughout dates,figs,prunes.Has a lighter bodied feel then you would expect,yet it has lots of syrupiness. Already 2 years old don't know if aging more would help out or not. Not my kind of beer,very hard to finish. Not a beer i would want to try again.

 1,157 characters

Photo of ptykozoon
1.91/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

'09
Pretty ruby. Lacing on the rim.

Pungent sweets - grape, raisin. Mixed with smoke and oak, rounded out with alcohol.

Raisin, chocolate, lots of molasses, spice, burnt things. This is not working for me - these flavors just don't work in this beer.

Thick mouthfeel with a decent alcohol bite.

I see what this beer is going for and it fails. The problem is it is completely unrestrained and unrefined. Truly a beast.

 421 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
1.97/5  rDev -48.7%
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.

 633 characters

Photo of LJWalker
2/5  rDev -47.9%

Photo of crobinso
2/5  rDev -47.9%

Photo of SickNukes
2/5  rDev -47.9%

Photo of hawkmage
2/5  rDev -47.9%

Photo of jfcaa193
2/5  rDev -47.9%

Photo of OoReFLuXoO
2/5  rDev -47.9%

Photo of kimcgolf
2.06/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

About all this beer had going for it was the appearnace, which was hazy reddish-orange with good brown head and excellent lacing. Unfortunately, looks ain’t everything. This was so incredibly sweet, in both the nose and taste, that it overwhelmed everything else. I kept sipping it slowly as it warmed, hoping that something else would pop through, even the alcohol, to tame the sweet, but to no avail. It was like drinking a bottle of Karo Syrup, without the corn flavor. This ended up being one of the 3 or 4 on my ratings list which I have drained-poured before finishing. Sorry, but this crap was really nasty.

 615 characters

Photo of mortarit
2.1/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This bottle was brewed in 2005 with 14.9 % alcohol. Quite different from the above info.

First, Grand Cru Ale so no I really don't have the history behind this style. The pour ended with little head but I expected that sort of I think.

Taste: Well, it drank and harsh like a bad cough sryrup. The after taste seems to never leave. I hate that, must be the malts lingering.

The name describes the beer well , it is the beast.

 436 characters

Photo of phil7568
2.17/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Hmmm.
According to the label I'm drinking the 04 version at 18.1%. This stuff pours nice but it really gets weird from there. I can't describe the smell but it's funky and I don't mean that in a good way.
I think I taste soy sauce.There's a definite alcohol burn but I had prepared myself for much worse.
Honestly, I think I bought this because of the huge ABV. Maybe this is for someone, but not me.

 405 characters

Photo of Floydster
2.17/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

12 ounce bottle purchased at Wally's Wine in Los Angeles for eight dollars, I believe this was the 2006 vintage, I probably should have looked at the bottle, it did say 14.6% alcohol though, split with three friends last night, poured into a small wine glass

A-Color was closest to mahoghany, brown but orange at the same time, hazy and murky, surprised to see a 3/4 inch head that was pretty creamy, stuck around for close to ten minutes, great retention, no lacing

S-Tons of raisins, booze conisting of both brandy and cognac, dark fruits galore, vanilla, oak, piercing alcohol scent really affected me, chocolate, toffee, caramel, burned malts, sweet malts, candy, brown sugar, maple syrup, and honey

T-First sip just about knoecked me out of my chair, one of the booziest beers I have ever tasted, really overpowered a lot of the tastes but plums were present, the finish was full of caramel and milk chocolate, taste did not change much except for the fact that the alcohol tamed down just a little bit once it warmed, there was no balance whatsover and it seemed like somebody poured in a couple shots of liquor into the fermenting tank while this was being brewed, too much for me, I siimply could not handle the beast

M-Very boozy, sweet, and pungent mouthfeel, this was one in despeate need of carbonation, thick, taste lasted way too long, wow this was a serious sipper, body was close to being full which is odd for a beer of this style and age

D-Could not even finish my three ounces, sad but true, this is so strong and you taste every drop of alcohol in each sip, about as far from smooth as physically possible, the syrupy texture did not help it go down any easier

Not a huge fan of Avery's big beers and this was no exception, too strong for my palate and would never be able to finish a bottle of this by myself, have heard some people say they really enjoyed it, the four of us did not so much last night, would not drink again, might be worth trying maybe once

 1,986 characters

Photo of palliko
2.18/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A coppery red brown color in the glass, not much head, or lacing. Little carbonation. Okay. I cannot remember the last time I actually poured a beer down the drain. But I made an exception for this one - I drank about half of it, and then in a fit of disgust, dumped the other half. I know. I did wrong. I should have gagged the rest down - after all: 15% ABV... But PLEASE! What were the brewers thinking??? Dates and molasses and raisins are actually used in the beer. Not that it just TASTES like them, they are really there in your mouth!!! Good Lord!! Talk about yucky! AND harsh. I REALLY tried to like it. I LOVE Paulaner Salvator, a similar idea, but a hundred times better. Carob, alcohol and hot molasses burn your throat and stomach. Chewy texture. Ghastly aftertaste. Slightly clove-like Chimay Blau Belgian taste - kind of like drinking cough syrup!!!!

 865 characters

Photo of Pencible
2.23/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Two years aged, this poured a very hazy mahogany with tan head. Its smell was powerful, like sugary caramel malt and honey wheat, with citrus hops and alcohol. It tasted so sickeningly sweet it hurt my teeth. It had flavors of raw sugar, honey, caramel, raisin, and molasses all mixed together, with noticeable alcohol. I couldn't even tell if there were hops present, because the sweetness was so dominant. It was syrupy thick with no carbonation, and had the sweetest aftertaste ever (to a nauseating degree). Overall this beer was simply undrinkable. It was worse even than the 120 minute. The worst part is that it had a lot of potential, and could have been great like the Thomas Hardy's Ale if Avery used any moderation in its brewing at all.

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The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,405 ratings.
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