The Beast Grand Cru | Avery Brewing Company

The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru
BA SCORE
71.3%
Liked This Beer
3.89 w/ 1,410 ratings
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
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
605
Ratings:
1,410
Liked:
1,006
Avg:
3.89/5
pDev:
14.91%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
83
Gots:
432
Trade:
26
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,410 |  Reviews: 605
Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Beer Bistro. 2008 edition at 16% plus. Spicy aroma, pours a dark orange colour with Belgian yeast style head. The taste is sweet and spicy. alcohol warming. Not very complex. European hops, altogether drinkable but not all that interesting.

 250 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of jaydoc
4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to AndresR for sharing this one at jmgrub’s tasting.

2005 vintage.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, and somewhat intense alcohol aromas. Taste is the same with some oxidized flavors and a fruity finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but it’s quite strong and oxidized at this point.

 529 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

batch 10. pours a caramel color without much carbonation and a very noticable density wel above normal brews. it smells like booze, very sweet, like molasses and brewing sugars. there is also some whiskey characteristics to it, charcoal and vanilla. the flavor is very very sweet, much more of a spirit than a beer i feel like. there is some definite spice to it behind the sweet, the alcohol is intense, and there is a sugary film left in the mouth after each sip. its really potent, but its not overwhelming until it warms up to room temp, then it can be pretty punishing. its a nice beer to share after dinner, but not something you drink several of to your head. avery has got these big beers pretty well dialed, but this is perhaps my least favorite of the bunch, just due to the crazy sugar levels.

 804 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out similar to the Samuel, the color was a dark brownish amber. With a small thin head on top. There isn't much lacing from the head but the beer itself is thick and coats the glass lightly with a swirl of the glass. The smell of the beer is also very boozy and sweet smelling. The taste of the beer has a oaky sweetness to it with a slight tart flavor in there too. The beer has a big amount of complexity to it. It goes through several changes from start to finish. The mouthfeel of this beer was pretty thick feeling and smooth. Oily and dry as well. Overall it's a pretty intense brew. Fits well in this series.

 632 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of t0rin0
3.19/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I bought this a couple months back in a 12 oz bottle and have been saving it for number 666 on my beer sampling list. Let me note that this was bottled in 2007 and it says 16.42% abv.

It poured a nice redish color and was crystal clear, no yeast or anything. The foam died quickly like with all belgian beers. The foam also had a bit of a brownish tint to it. The beer smelled a bit of syrup and alcohol, somewhat inviting but the alcohol is quite noticeable both in smell as well as taste. As far as what else this tastes like: sweet molases/syrup which could also be interepreted as oak flavoring, and there is a pretty intense aftertaste. The beer kinda burns going into my stomach. Its also pretty thin in body, due to the alcohol content no doubt.

I didn't see any yeast at the bottom of the bottle so I really don't know how this beer would age, but if there is in fact still live yeast in this beer, I wouldn't mind laying one down for a couple of years to see what happens. But for now, its a bit too strong to drink any more than half a bottle or so at a time.

 1,072 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: It poured cloudy dark brown in color into a snifter glass with a thin head that quickly faded into lacy patterns of bubbles. A light amount of carbonation is visible, along with many yeast particles floating in suspension.
S: The aroma is filled with smells of dark fruits such as cherries, prunes and raisins. The nose is also rather sweet and has notes of brown sugar and honey.
T: The taste has lots of malty sweetness and the flavors share a lot of similarities with the smell along with some added notes of butter, caramel, toffee and vanilla as well as some hints of alcohol.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and very smooth. The beer is very syrupy and coats your mouth; there are also warming sensations from the alcohol.
D: This beer is definitely a sipper given its alcohol content, but the sweetness does help in masking most of the alcohol from the smell and taste.

 896 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Interesting...the date on this bottle says 'bottled in 2004' just like the 18.10% version does. Doesn't really make it any easier to drink. It still comes across like Vicks 44, but with more knock-out power. A serious punch to the taste buds. So much going on with beautiful fruity, sweet, nutty, alcoholic aromas. But once it goes into the mouth, play-time is over. Seriously alcoholic for any style. Very hot and fusal, with timid counter-acting sweetness, hoppiness, and character. The emense alcohols thin the what-would-be thick brew. Add in the abundance of carbonation and this beer kicks my ass. Seductive sweet flavors, but with a difficult-to-drink attitude. The beer seems a bit darker and richer than the 18+%er, but it still needs a thousand years to mellow out. Kick me in the Jimmy!

 797 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, procured at this apparently back alley brewing concern, during Denver Beer Week (and BeerDiaries' road trip) celebrations. Batch 11, July 2013, 18% ABV - I guess the yeast is evolving, getting more hardy over time - or something.

This beer pours a clear, dark red-brick amber hue, with one finger of somewhat puffy, mostly bubbly pale beige head, which leaves little beyond a few remote specks of islet lace around the glass as things slowly sink into oblivion.

It smells of grainy, gritty caramel malt, earthy, weedy honey, mixed dried orchard fruit, brown sugar, musty figs, a bit of leafy, grassy noble hop bitterness, and a sherry-like, subdued yeasty booziness. The taste is big, bready caramel malt, concentrated syrupy demarara sugar, a further bit of spicy graininess, dusty, fruity raisins and dates, molasses, muddled roadside floral honey, a more bitter than aromatic Euro hoppiness, and a persistently befuddling understated alcohol warmth.

The bubbles are quite laid-back in their herculean, otherworldly support effort, the body an um, er, beastly medium-heavy weight, especially for the proscribed style here, and as smooth as one might expect, given the heady parameters of this offering. It finishes a tad on the sweet side, all that complex malt, even more complex sugar bill, and yet more sublimated booziness still unable to instill in me the remotest notion of scraping my tongue. Swuh?

Well, then - this seems like the ungodly stepchild of the biggest, baddest BSDA, and an even bigger, badder American Strong Ale, the kind of attractive urchin that lures you in, settles your nerves, and then BAM! - blood and weakly scripted chaos reign. Anyways, one hell of a strong ale, Belgian-influenced or otherwise, where the grandiosity of the kitchen sink approach is somehow more than enough to ward off the liqueur-esque ABV. Yeah.

 1,866 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.68/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Brief impressions below from a July 2015 vintage (batch #13 / 17.20% ABV).

TASTE: Unrefined/turbinado sugar is evident. Candi sugar sweetness. Crystal malt. Treacle. Candied fruit. Caramelized sugars. Definitely on the sweeter side, but relatively balanced - even if its monstrous 17.20% ABV is problematically noticeable. Fruitcake.

Belgian yeast isn't as committed to as would be ideal.

Sugarcane, rum, plantain banana, booze, warm pineapple sticky sweetness, raw sugars.

Many drinkers will find this cloyingly sweet; I guess that was a feeble attempt to cover up the booze (like high schoolers mixing Hawaiian punch with plastic bottle vodka).

TEXTURE: Overcarbonated, with a full body and a sticky feel. Smooth and wet. Somewhat soft. Not as thick as you might anticipate, and not chewy.

OVERALL: A boozy Belgian dark ale with attenuation issues, The Beast Grand Cru is a bit of a chore to drink and lacks the rich dark fruit notes found in the best expressions of the style. I'm not sure what the idea was here, apart from pushing the ABV as high as possible.

My initial impression was that this was merely average, but as I tried to work my way through the bottle the sticky sweetness just became deplorable. Difficult stuff to drink, but thank God Avery went with the small format bottles instead of money-grabbing via bombers like most breweries would.

C- (2.68) / BELOW AVERAGE

 1,394 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of brentk56
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel clear body with a tan head that drops to a ringlet and some islands and leaves a little lacing behind

Smell: Burnt caramel, dried dark fruits and fusel alcohol

Taste: Sweet caramel as you swirl it in the mouth, the beast roars back after the swallow with a gush of alcoholic warmth and hoppy bitterness; the warmth persists after a few dry swallows as well

Mouthfeel: Thick, astringent and warm; modest carbonation

Drinkability: Looks good, smells great, not drinkable yet; maybe in a few years after this beast settles down

 570 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of zeff80
4.57/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 bottle

A - Poured out an opaque, deep, dark, brown with hints of ruby. It had a small, thin, tan head that left a soapy residue on the sides of the glass.

S - It smelled amazing. Raisin and other dried fruits like plum and apple. It had a strong dose of caramel aroma with some vanilla and oak notes.

T - This was a sweet tasting beer. Great dried fruit flavors (raisin and plum) with a sweet caramel taste. Alcohol flavor was quite evident with some vanilla and bourbon-like taste.

M - It was soft and chewy. A full-bodied beer that wasn't overly heavy.

D - This is a great tasting beer when it has aged properly. The '05 is far better than an '08.

 659 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Brentfeesh: Poured a deep clear burgundy color ale with a small slightly-off white foamy head with average retention. Aroma of sweet cookie dough with some plums and dry fruits is quite pleasing. Taste is mostly dominated by the sweet (maybe too sweet) cookie dough malt and plums, which are quite pleasant, but also a strong shot of alcohol which I couldn’t cared for and kind of ruin it for me. This beer remind me of a 50/50 mix between a sweet barleywine and a strong Belgian ale but really lacking in balance. Body is too light and less filtration would have benefited this beer.

 604 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%

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The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 71.3% out of 100 with 1,410 ratings
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