Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

The Beast Grand Cru | Avery Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru
BA SCORE
3.89/5
Very Good
1,418 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:
607
Ratings:
1,418
pDev:
14.91%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
82
Gots:
433
Trade:
25
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1351-1375 | 1376-1400 | 1401-1425  | next → last
Ratings: 1,418 |  Reviews: 607
Photo of ppoitras
2.78/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

22oz bottle obtained via trade with Pisskynights. Thanks for the opportunity... Presentation included foiled cap.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a frothy 1" of beige head. Brew is a deeply red amber shade, and lacing is excellent. Aroma is deeply of fruits, with a slight alcohol tinge to it. mainly of hops, but the malt is also evident, just in the minority. Taste is WHOA. Burns my slightly chapped lips with all the alcohol floating around, similar what I would expect a mouthful of rubbing alcohol would be like. The malt and fruit flavors are present initially, but are quickly and completely run over by the alcohol. Disappointing to not even be able to appreciate some of the aspects of the brew, since other aspects are so overpowering. Mouthfeel rating isn't as low as the taste or drinkability, because eventually the mouth goes a bit numb to the alcohol taste. Drinkability is low, because you certainly wouldn't be drinking more than one at a sitting, and the presentation of a 22oz bottle of 15.7% beer is kind of dumb, in my opinion. It'll be lasting the rest fo the evening for me, and I do not foresee restocking another one for my fridge, unless it were for a tasting with visitors.

 1,215 characters

Photo of granger10
2.94/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I am glad to say I have encountered "The Beast" and survived, barely. This is the biggest beer I have ever had, by far! Bottle says brewed in 2004, so this is very young. I could tell it was young just upon the opening of it. Strong alcohol scent burned my nosehairs. The pour was very nice. It had a mohagany red color with a full light colored tan head. The aroma is alcohol solvent and maybe a little dark and dry fruit flavors. The taste was extremely complex. Too many flavors to mention. It really opened itself up the more it warmed and became much more drinkable. The initial flavor when cold was straight alcohol and red grapes. As it warmed more fruits like apples, pineapples, pears, and a little nectarine flavor emerged. Ester alcohol was there the whole time though and dominated my palate. I could taste the added Belgian candy sugars and brown sugars in it. Hops weren't strong enough IMO but were there towards the end. The finish was quite acidic and alcoholic flavored as well. Needless to say the mouthfeel was huge and thick and chewy. I had trouble drinking too much of this though and drinkability is definitely limited. Maybe it should be made in smaller bottles as well? This beer could age for many years and produce numerous different flavors. I applaud Avery for this attempt but it was not ready yet IMO. I don't think that this is a Belgian either, more of a strong ale. I need to get some and age them, just like the Czar.

 1,453 characters

Photo of merlin48
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber, foiled and capped, bottled in 2004. Served slightly chilled, in a St Bernardus goblet. Another very striking label from Avery, warns that this is, indeed, a Beast.

Appearance: Pours a strikingly clear, ruby mahogany body that is a sight to behold. Short, beige head is shortlived, but leaves massive Belgian sheet lacing all over the goblet.

Aroma: Powerful vinous alcohol presence introduces a cartload of fruit. Bananas, green apples, and oranges are up front. Rum soaked darker fruits, of raisin, prunes, dates, and figs, quickly follow. Candycane and rock candy sugar aromas chime in, soon after.

Mouthfeel features an explosion of sweet carbonation, reminiscent of a fine, Belgian strong pale ale. Moderate alcohol burn is impssible to ignore.

Taste: Wow! This is a big beer. Obvious high alcohol presence is a given. So many malts, hops, yeasts, and sugars, are present here as to give this an extreme complexity that makes the high abv an afterthought. Taste is mostly dark fruity and malty sweet. Plenty of dark fruit tastes going on here, as well as fresh apple, pear, and orange notes. Delicate hopping of several hops varieties, make this even more complex. Geeez! This one is a monster, not just a beast. Label says this is made with honey malt. Never heard of honey malt, but I'll take their word for it. Finish is slightly sweet, but never cloying. Clean aftertaste.

BEWARE THE BEAST! It's easy to ignore the high abv in this, due to all the malts, yeasts, hops, and Belgian sugars used in its construction. This is one helluva Belgian style strong dark ale, or whatever you choose to call it. Another excellent brew from Avery. I must admit, that having just one of these will render you useless for doing anything constructive for the rest of the evening.

 1,802 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the Blind Tiger NYC, Bomber bottle. Pours dark amber, tiny bubble head, leaving nice lace. Obviously strong stuff. Bold, complex and nicely spiced. On the sweet side. Alcohol present. Yeasty, malty, nice crunch of drying hops. Not a beeer for a newbie. Belgian lovers and big beer lovers rejoice. This beer has alot going on, wish it was more available in the east

 375 characters

Photo of halfpgl
3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark red hues almost wine like in the glass with minimal head. The nose hints of a barley wine but not as pungent. The alcohol grabs you with the first taste but then quickly subsides as the rich spices in the malt take over. The finish lingers on your tongue and gives your whole mouth a nice coating of caramel or butterscotch.

This is a big beer and seems like something you’d want to share at a tasting instead of drinking the whole thing. It’s good but the beer is in between worlds of Grand Cru and Barley wine…I think I’ll move on.

 546 characters

Photo of kbub6f
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I gave this thing a pretty violent pour and was rewarded with a small, tan/yellowy head that died fast to film. Oh well. The beer is a dark, dark red and clear. It almost looks like a red wine. Mondo Sucro in the nose. Also: grapes, spicy Belgianity, tangitude and ripe fruit. Alcohol interrupts the sweet, cloying, syrupy front. Middle turns thick. It's buttery, sweet malty, fruity. Alcohol reappears at the end, tying together overripe fruit, grapes, butter. And hops, to be sure. Some nice heat in that alco. This beer is very sweet. It's very strong. But there's some nice butter and malt in there too. I guess it's a little too sweet for me, but it's still a nice drink to sip over an evening.

 699 characters

Photo of palliko
2.18/5  rDev -44%
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 clvand0
3.05/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This came in a cool 22oz bomber. Pours a dark amber color with a red tint, nice full head and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma was very strong, with hints of alcohol, lots of malts, fruit. The taste is extremely strong. The strong malts are there as is the alcohol taste. At first I didn't like this at all, but then I looked again at the bottle and realized it was nearly 16% abv - allowing me to realize why alcohol was so strong in the taste. This is definately a beast of a beer, but I didn't like the flavor very much. Not very balanced in taste.

 565 characters

Photo of mzwolinski
4.64/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This was 15.7%??? No wonder my review notes sorta dropped off toward the end.

Light ruby in color, with a very thin, quickly dissipating head. Huge, complex malt nose -- syrupy and sugary, dark fruits and a bit of spice.

Molassess malt coats the tongue, developing a nutty, toasty character midway through. Figs and other dark fruits develop as the beer warms, and the flavor finishes with a nice, European style hop spiciness.

Is it necessary to say the mouthfeel is huge? This is a big beer, but one which bears its alcohol well -- I really would have never guessed the ABV is as high as it is. It contributes in all the way it should to the rich flavor profile of the beer, but is not overbearing at all. Lovely, lovely stuff. (And a sweet looking bottle, I might add!)

 787 characters

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.

 972 characters

Photo of Boto
4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. Bomber: WOW! Coppery dark amber color. There was about no head at all. The nose contains alcohol, clove, caramel, fruits, god knows what else: there is a lot in there. Sweet taste with smokiness, fruits, caramel, and a bit of alcohol. Very warming. I'm sure there a lot of hops in here, but their flavor is masked by everything else. This is really exceptional.

 367 characters

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.

 760 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(This is for the older version, not the new high octane 18% er)

Pours clear, beautiful ruby color with a large soap dish-like head with staying power and lots of lace.
Aromas of roasted malt, honey caramel, brown sugar and ripe dark fruits. Wonderfully complex !
Flavor of carmelized malt, brown sugar, prunes and a citrus profile to start then moves to a spicy yeast-filled finish with coriander and grain. Great complexity and really shines as it warms a bit.
Mouthfeel s unbelievably powerful. Dry spicy alcohol ester hit right up front followed by a moderately smooth malty finish. Very interesting progression and great warming feel.
Drinkability is relatviely high for such a powerful beer. Excellent representation of style.

 738 characters

Photo of aracauna
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There's a good ruby brown body with a fleeting head. It has a slightly medicial aroma and that's accentuated by the alcohol smell. There's butter and a good caramel malt. Not a lot of fruitiness. Actually, I was a bit surprised when I logged in to rate it and found out it was supposed to be a Belgian Strong Ale.

 313 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

OK, after Darrens tirade, i'll keep my review short and to the point. The beast comes in an imposing 22oz bomber bottle (complete with red foil around the neck), with a lovely "black on black" label that sort of imitates a basil relief. When the crown is pried off and the beer is poured into two chalices it is a dark red colour. The head is small, and loud, and quick to die as well. The aromas immediately remind me of Unibroues Trois Pistoles multiplied to the 10th degree. There is the lovely fresh belgian yeast, the luxuriously complex malt base, the six different types of hops, the raisin and date sugars, the belgian candi sugars, and more! The taste is quite harsh, yet excellently blended considering this brews potent ABV%. The first taste is sharp booze up front with a lovely snap of bitter hops and incredibly sweet, tongue coating malts. The second taste reveals a complex interplay of the many malts and hops used in this brew. This all ends in a fiery, boozy burst of sweet, hoppiness that lingers on the palate for hours, and creates strangely metallic "beast burps". The mouthfeel is suprisingly light, and airy for something called the beast. I really expected this to be syrup-like (ala triple bock), but it was not syrupy at all. The drinkability was great for such a strong ale, and i'd definately try this one again in a year or two...

 1,361 characters

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.

 2,512 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer disembogues the bottle a deep sanguineous color with the head Bunyanesque in size, creamy in texture and a toothsome light tan color, the lace a thick and glutinous sheet to conceal the glass. Nose is sweet malt; hints of pineapple, caramel, and the hops also make an appearance, also just a light whiff of fusel alcohol. What a treat for the schnozzle, and the start rich in malt, somewhat sweet, the top full in its feel to the palate. Finish has a stern acidity, the hops masterful in their spiciness, dry and lightly sweet the aftertaste, and just a modicum of alcohol bitterness but overall this monster hides it strength beneath a plethora of flavors to lull the palate and the drinker into to a state of euphoria, then “BLAM” the 15.7% ABV, knocks you on your butt, so beware of this “Beast”, but do give it a try, another winner from those “Masterful Brewers” at Avery, thanks your a “Hoot”!

 916 characters

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.

 507 characters

firstprev| 1351-1375 | 1376-1400 | 1401-1425  | next → last
The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 1,418 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.