The Beast Grand Cru | Avery Brewing Company

very good
1,400 Ratings
no score
Send samples
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

Added by Crosling on 01-29-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,400 |  Reviews: 602
Photo of Eziel
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of AJmon13
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Dicers
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Farnswurth
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Jeffwise
4.39/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BrewskiBrandon
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Coorsy
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Raisingfable
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Rcaros
4.31/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

July 2016 batch
Dark amber-red in glass very opaque. . Little carbonation
Strong dark fruit on the nose and molasses sweetness. Slight woodyness
Taste follows the nose.. this enormously high abv is hidden well but shows its head a little on the back.
Medium plus mouth feel.. not full but its pretty heavy
Overall very well made beer

 335 characters

Photo of Mike1958
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Batch 14 (2016)

15 characters

Photo of nyrblue2
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Prost76
3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Cyning
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kojevergas
2.68/5  rDev -30.2%
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.


 1,394 characters

Photo of Czequershuus
4.74/5  rDev +23.4%
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.

 613 characters

Photo of DrAnnaNemis
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MJSFS
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jmg480
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of teromous
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
From the label: "Annual release August 2014 Batch No 12" so this is at two years old.

Appearance: Tawny brown hazy body that is completely opaque. The head is a short creamy tobacco stained yellow color and it quickly fades out to a mere off-white colored ring with a few bubbles in the glass that can be counted by hand. No retention but that is forgivable given that it is 16.1% ABV (from the label). At this age and alcohol volume I am impressed it even had a head. Surprisingly it actually forms lacing from the very limited ring.

Aroma: It has a very prominent caramel aroma with notes of brown sugar and dates. It has an aroma that also reminds me a bit of plum dumplings. There is a bit of a warm raisin bread aroma which is very nice.

Taste: It has this surprising chocolate flavor which is very robust. It just oozes with this decadent chocolate flavor that reminds me a lot of a chocolate truffle. There is an alcohol flavor but it has more of a liqueur presence than anything. There is also a woody flavor which is very nice. The aftertaste leaves a bit of a minty flavor behind which is refreshing and manages to cleanse the palate on its own in anticipation for the next sip of sweet malt. Very impressive.

Mouthfeel: It is a very thick, heavy, smooth beer. This is beyond the realm of a mere sipper. Even with a twelve ounce bottle this is likely to be something worth sharing given the massive presence the beer commands. It is very luxurious to drink.

Overall: I did not read the bottle until after I had written my review. I noticed that it mentioned in small text on the side of the label "ale with raisins, dates, molasses and honey." Kudos to the brewer because I actually picked up all of these in one way or another with the exception of the honey. It is a rare treat to have somebody deliver what they promise. You can literally taste decadence and dare I say it, the care that was put into this beer. It just tastes, smells, and feels well made. Aside from the high ABV the overall character of the beer is in that realm that lies between beer and fine alcohol. With beers like this that have different "vintages" it is hard to tell how it will turn out for everyone given the cellar time and the individual character of a beer each year. I can say that I was impressed by this beer and based on my experience I would recommend it. Even if it doesn't pan out given the variables it is worth taking the gamble. For me it was a two year old beer. I will probably buy another one or more if I have room to cellar again. It might even be worth trying it fresh just to see how it turns out.

 2,626 characters

Photo of Brob245
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2013 batch from the cellar. Strong dark Belgium style that starts very sweet. Boozy presence is not there from the cellaring. Complexity forms as it warms with a malty raisin flavor that has quite a bit of depth.

 217 characters

Photo of Sir_Goatman
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

Photo of kmoen
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DutchcdnTEXAN
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StoutAtTheDevil
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
3.84 out of 5 based on 1,400 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.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

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

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

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

    Learn More