The Beast Grand Cru | Avery Brewing Company

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The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States | website

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

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Reviews: 592 | Ratings: 1,351
Photo of BEERchitect
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
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!

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Photo of mattpetti
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2005

*caution drink this beer slowly*

Pours a hazed dark amber inot my wine glass with very little head that quickly turns to film in my glass. This beer pours heavy. The smell is of sweet, dried, sugary, raisins, honey, and a decent wiff of alcohol and a subtle hop bitterness. The hops is the only thing that would deter me from thinking this was a dessert wine with my eyes closed. The taste is the same way. The initial hit is of sweetness which is followed by a sharp alcohol hit. Next the flavors progress and separate into raisin, caramel, maybe a overripe apple, and finally some bitternign hops. Finally alcohol hits. This beer is very warming. This is a chewey beer. It is thick and rich and very coating. There is a very long lingering alcohol astringency that makes drinking this beer alittle harder. I dont know if i'd call this as a belgian strong dark ale, but i think i'm learning that belgian strong dark ales have a large variety of flavors. Great for a winter night and especially great as an after dinner drink this beer is def worth a try.

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Photo of jabocu
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a med-dark copper with burnt orange hues. Almost no cap at all... very light lacings on the surface right after pour. Pours very thick and syrupy. Aroma is lots of molasses, plum and raisin esters. Touch of bubblegum. Flavor is... hang on still chewing... very syrupy sweet. They have boiled a little too much water out of this one. Very strong sweet honey and molasses right up front, followed closely by vinous and raisiny fruit. There is some bitterness from hops and a bite from the alcohol, but not enough to balance the sweetness. Very dry finish from the high alcohol content and warmth that hangs in the back of the throat. Carbonation is med but hidden from the thickness. Overall a decent beer to get relaxed on a cold night... and for a dessert.

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Photo of acrawf6
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dark murky brown with a decent dense tan head.

Smell. Dark smelling aged(?) plum and raisons that give this beer a fruitiness. There is an interesting peppery spiciness to it with a bit of a yeast character. There is also a sweetness that i think isnt too far off from a plum wine. alcohol is present.

Taste. There is a thick yeast flavor that i see as characteristic to this style, but much more potent.. Warm and sweet tastes of the fruit. This beer is quite sweet! Alcohol is definitely leaving its presence on my palate. Aftertaste is still warming with a sweetness as well, but there is also a small bit of roasted malts that i would expect from a porter or stout, but not this beer. quite nice

Mouthfeel is interesting. the carbonation is lower than others, but appropriate (with the alcohol). Body is full with a bit of a syrupy texture that leaves my lips sticky.

Overall, an excellent one to try. A very unique beer that i think many would enjoy trying. But as a beer, i see it as a novelty beer for me. I wouldnt mind getting it again, but i wouldnt be in the mood much... i'd pretty much only buy it to let others try it. But still a nice beer to have.

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Photo of briman
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a dark reddish amber, with a slight haze. Smallish tan head, dissipates rather quickly. Some, but not much lacing.

Smell is sweet, malty...with molasses, and dark fruity characteristics. Some alcohol comes through in the nose as well.

Taste is sweet, lots of dark fruits, black cherries, & molasses. Sweet pretty much all the way through. Alcohol bite comes through in the finish.

Medium-full body, low carbonation. Thick, rich, & chewy mouthfeel.
Alcohol warmth is pretty noticeable right away. Balance is ok, leaning towards malty...alcohol finish could be a little smoother. Definately not a session for a repeat performance, I wouldn't mind having another, but I wouldn't go out of my way for one.

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Photo of EvilKeith
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lightly hazed, seemingly reddish brown in color. Garnet to plum highlights when held to the light. There is a suprising amount of biege head considering the higher ABV. Head fades to a cap, which fades to a halo, with initial thick lacing.
Smell is bubblegum, molasses, freshly picked tart black cherries, spicy alcohol, and a subtle nuttiness.
Taste is black cherries dripping with alcohol, molasses and more alcohol. Whew! I never realized I was such a big fan of cherries dripping with alcohol, but apparently I am.
Wine-like mouthfeel. Lightly carbonated. Medium-heavy body, leaning to the heavy side.
Suprisingly drinkable for this high of an ABV.

As it warms the clarity improves greatly and the mouthfeel becomes more syrupy.

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Photo of doubleipa
3.12/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is an '04 bottle that has beenproperly cellared. I had been looking forward to drinking after letting it mellow for two years. Unfortuanately, I don't think it has gotten anybetter. About all I could smell was dark cherry, almost like cough syrup. Virtually zero, light-brown head with a fair amount of lacing. The body was a bit hazy. Flavor was incredibly sweet that stayed a long time. I could definitely feel the alcohol as it went down. I was not impressed with this. It was tough to drink the whole bottle. I have a few more in the cellar, but I'm not sure what to do with them.

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Photo of ThirdCoast
4.52/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Nice redish brown, with very little head at all.

S: Fruits, citrus odors. Great aroma, do they make this in an aftershave?

T: Slightly sweet at first, then has a tart finish.

M: Syurp. Smooth. Easy to drink dispite the 14.9%.

D: I would order this again, but one would set me right.

Note: Whoa, this will sneak up on you...make sure you have a DD.

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Photo of maniac
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance was a clear dark amber color with a thin fully diminishing white head.
Aroma had dark malt, caramel and a hint of molassas.
Flavor was sweet, noticable fruit, with hints of caramel and light molassas.
A fairly syrupy consistency and some alcohol kick.

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Photo of xymyl
4.57/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Note: The version of The Beast I'm reviewing is 18.1% Alc. Vol.

Color: Sparkling red

Nose: Spices, toast and smoke, bourbon, port, and vegetable notes.

Flavor: Huge, spicy, everything, too much to mention, hyper-sweet but balanced by the other intense flavors including alcohol and hop bitterness.

Body: Full, rich, syrupy with appropriate carbonation, not too little.

This was amazing with an old crusty chunk of stilton. The hop flavors actually combined with the ugly moldy dark brown rind to create a little miracle inside my face. Too much alcohol to drink it alone though.

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Photo of WonderWoman
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light mahogany with a fine film of head around the rim.
Smells of sweet teriyaki mixed with drops of honey. Few hints of blueberry are also noted.
Tastes of sweet barley and fruit, which eventually sours while being swallowed. There is a bit of hazelnut with an oaky finish also.
The mouth feel is thick and slightly bubbly. It reminds me of a syrupy soda in texture.
Over all, I think of a nice barley wine when drinking this.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a beautiful dark cherry with a thin ring of slightly tan head.

Smells of gooey sweet barley with just a dash of hoisin sauce, accompanied by a dry, oaky alcohol.

Tastes of the same barley with a touch of blueberries and a great dry snap of coriander and juniper. Finishes fortunately clean and oaky.

The mouth feel is medium bodied with only a trace of carbonation.

The dynamic between sweet and coriander oak makes this beer a superb sipper. Also, this beer does a phenomenal job of masking its sizable ABV.

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Photo of bigman147
2.93/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Dark Amber/copper in color, with a small, sticky, persistent off-white head, and good lacing. No/Slight carbonation was noted. Minimal head retention. Very syrupy in the glass

Aroma: Incredibly rich dark fruit (prune, raisin) aroma, similar to Sam Adams's Triple Bock. The aroma also has a fermented bean/soy note. Alcohol notes are overly present

Taste: Opens with prominent notes of prune and raisin, and a rather sweet vinous note.. Soon after the start of the taste, a rich earthy molasses note appears, then a sweet, warming alcohol note. The finish is fairly dry. Considering the ABV of 14.9% ABV, the alcohol notes are quite gracefully presented. However, the sweet notes are way too pronounced to balance the high alcohol and I had a hard time finishing it.

Mouth feel: Rich, smooth, syrupy. Overall mouthcoating, Cloying.

Drinkability/notes: For $7.95 per bottle, I would say I am mildly disappointed. They tried to hard to hide the alcohol or they really had problems with the yeast not fully attenuating. My guess is the RDF was very low and that the intention was for this to ferment to approx. 16-18 ABV%. Although, it is an interesting style and beer, I wouldn't go out of my way to try this again. I am sure that this beer would be excellent if cellared properly for 4-6 years.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass long neck bottle with a pop-off crown. Crown is red foil wrapped.

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Photo of MrSeth
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ap: Deep copper body, ruby highlights. Very little foam.

Sm: Apples, leather and alcohol. A good wiff reminds my of a Highland scotch with a healthy sherry finish.

Ta/Mf: Caramel apple with an alcoholic punch. Alot like Gale's Prize Old, or one of those awesome classic big ales. Well carbonated, but a little syrupy despite the fact. Sticky finish with bitter-sweet apple skin bite.

Da: Medium. If you are getting mixed signals about this ale - join the club. It has a mix of really good, and some less so, points. Well worth a try if you are into the big ales.

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Photo of cheers2beers
3.22/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served into a snifter and aged about a year:

Appearance: Produces a dull blood red to vague brownish tint with a head that stacked up quite nicely and disapated at about the same pace. As I look through this beer I see many floating particles suspended within. This beer has a sticky laceing with some monsterous legs.

Smell: Ohh my god, Wheres the beef? This smells like a backyard barbeque smoked with mesquite and hickory. Has spices galore and a sweetness that is in a word, "nausiating." An alcohol aroma is also present.

Taste: The flavors are actually much better than I had anticipated, but not lagging far from the aromas. A sweet alcoholic and even cloying maltiness with a over abundance of smoke and wood. As I try more and more new beers, I seem to be getting the ability to foresee a cloying beer as it warms, and this one of them. So with that being said I recommend that this beer be served cold to cool unless you preferr this mouthfeel/flavor.

Mouthfeel: The feel is syrupy thick with a sugary assault that seems to be as said before, cloying. Thick body with a medium level of carbonation. Not bad just seems to be way too sweet for my taste buds.

Drinkability: Most likely this beer is a one hit quit type of beer. Meaning after one beer you will not be compelled to have another but you will enjoy the time you had with it,in it's short life span.Overall: I would definitely have this again ,but not too often.


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Photo of russpowell
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper to ruddy red with effervesnce & a 2 fingers deep tan head. Head falls off to healthy film & had good lacing

Smell: Leather and fruitcake

Taste: Alcohol up frunt, leather, cherry & sherry cask (oak) notes. Christmas pudding like flavor. finishes sweet & dry. I'm sure the profile changes immensly with time. Dry & sweet finish

MF: Syruppy with light carbonation

A little to much alcohol up front for the kid! But a very nice beer that would hold its own in Belgium, just doubt it would sell to well @$6,25 ,er 5 euro a bottle. My only real gripe, the price! Having said that, i wish more brewers would go this route versus the $20-30 bomber or 750ML bottles

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear deep amber with an tan and low head which lasted enough to lace the glass.

The aroma was deeply fruity and malty which could be detected from a mile away. The aroma contained a strong spicy alcoholic presence coupled with a dark caramel and candy character. The aroma was biscuity and bready.

The flavor was deeply malty with a strong caramel, make that dark caramel aspect and a very deep bready and biscuity malt flavor. The flavor was not sweet as had been the case with the 18% incantation, but was mightily alcoholic. The beer contained a strong dark fruit character of raisins and prunes and a ton of candy character.

The finish was nowhere near dry, but not overly sweet either. The dark caramel and fruit characters lasted long and pleasantly into the aftertaste. The body was full and viscous. This beer was a beast (hey, a pun) to drink due to the alcohol presence. It was hot in the aroma, the flavor and in the warming that happened post consumption. Tread lightly, this one will bite ya in the bum!

12 ounce bottle. 14.9% ABV version.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle that was bottled in 2005 with 14.9% abv.

Appearance- Pours a hazy, deep copper color. Looks like apple syrup. Only a ring of foam is left after my hard pour into my Leffe goblet.

Smell- Thick, sugary malt aroma of lightly cooked, dark fruits.

Taste- Strat out with sugary mlats mixed with or helping to incarnate the flavor of ice wine, but not as overbearingly swet as that. Very concentrated sugar flavor with raisins and cooked peaches.

Mouthfeel- Very port like with a syrupy mouthfeel. The sugars really hit the sides of the tongue hard. Might be a little cloying, but a great nightcap beer.

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Photo of ddarity
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer truly is over the top.. and I am really likin it. I have not had many Grand Cru style beers so I do not have much to referrence it to, but I do like it.

Nice thick garnett color, almost syrup.

Not much to notice in the nose other than a little malt and a little alcohol.

What I really do like is the taste of this wonderful brew, nice heavy malt sweetness with a hint of prunes.

Mouthfeel - Pretty thick but well balanced by the dry finish.

This is a very drinkable beer, but only modest amount at a time.

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Photo of neonbrown82
2.78/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I can now say I know the meaning of excess. This beer is so friggin' over the top that it's disgusting. Thanks to ColoradoBobs for killing my tongue.

The beer pours to a dark prune color. Fairly cloudy from the bottle conditioning. Nice huge off-white head with a nice lacing. Looks good.

The smell is where the words "over the top" start to come to mind. Raisins, dates, molasses, candi sugar, and so on. Sounds complex... certainly is, but it's so in-you-face that it almost makes me sneeze.

The taste is massively sweet. Same flavors as in the nose, but with a very subtle hoppiness (tainted by all the residual sugars). Almost vomit inducingly sugary.

The body is very thick and syrupy. Coats like pepto bismol. Also puckeringly sweet. Very, very undrinkable. I knew what I was getting into, but fuckin' eh, this is too much.

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Photo of Crosling
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

18.1% Version, rereview. Bottle bought last night and consumed with a friend. The Beast still has a lovely color and shows good head retention considering its size. I also think that the aroma is still pretty appealing with a nice sugary, fruity, malty (butter toffee, dough), raisins smell. But the taste is horrible. An eventual drainpour and I even tried this with a few friends. Just way too hot and the alcohol takes over everything. Disgusting to me. The 15.7% version which I rated fairly high, but it was over 10 months ago, tasted much better than this. Perhaps my palate has changed since then and I don’t automatically give high alcoholic beers high scores.

Batch # 3. Wow, a huge improvement. I would provide some notes, but its getting me to drunk to think.

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.27/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle from Liquor Max in Loveland, CO. $6.99, minus the 10% discount for mixed sixers.

Served at about 45 degrees. Pours a clear red under a large off-white head that settles and firms into a solid ring with thick lacing -- no, call it "sheeting." Aroma of cherry brandy, burned sugar, graham flour, and some piney hopnotes. Really thick sweet taste and BURNING burning hot alcohol. Is this brandy, or just something like it? Finish is bitter, hard bitter, hot bitter. Fascinating, but harsh. I don't know whether to rate the taste a 2.5 or a 4.5. I guess I'll go with the 2.5. The alcohol is certainly there. This is the strongest beer I've ever had, both in ABV and taste. Overtly, intensely sweet and bitter. Amazingly, the mouthfeel is decent and round, with a softness from the carbonation.

This is definitely a hard-kicking sipper. However, what it is IS "THE BEAST"! Extreme in every way.

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Photo of Truh
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nearly got lost in the Northern Kingdom while trapping with this one on 3/15/2006. 12-oz. bottle pour in a Spirithaus shaker glass.

Trip-line of starting, just off-white head that dissipates to a thin halo with just a touch of stick, but really just a bit of wash. Murky orange hue, though medium, not too light but also not too dense to make the pour illegible. Some very light action happening within. Quite vinous and raisiny on the nose, with the alcohol, sugary sweetness invading after the initial spiciness noted. Some bits of white pepper and a touch of weird echinacea seems to be floating around too. On the mouth, the sugar and plums almost overwhelm everything else in there, which includes a well apportioned malt bill, chewed leather ties from my baseball glove, and some light citrus notes, mostly orange. The alcohol is very forceful, but managable.

Fairly drinkable, though I feel it would do well with more time in the bottle. Back in the day, this may have overwhelmed the typical palate, but with the explosion of big beers over the past few years, some might see this as the grandfather of the current wave of extreme contenders.

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Photo of BeerRun13
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to kbub6f.
Cool looking bottle. The pic on the label might suggest what you're in for.
Pours a clear dark amber with almost no head head at all.
Smells like what you would expect from a beer with 15.7% ABV... alcoholic. Raisin and date aromas are there too.
That'll wake you up. The alcohol is noticeable immediately... duh. Complex flavors. Raisins and dates set the tone for this Beast. Honey and specialty sugars are there too. Some hops and maltiness in there. The hop bitterness becomes more evident as the beer warms. Truly a complex onslaught of flavors.
Syrupy mouthfeel. Goes down easy enough for this big of a beer.
I'd recomend sipping on this one over a nice dinner. Just smile knowing that you're drinking something far more sophisticated than your dates wine.

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Photo of TastyTaste
2.29/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

So The Beast, finally. 12 oz. brown bottle, red foil around the neck. Head is small, body is clear brown/red, visible carbonation. I have smelled something like this beer before. Very sweet and malty, but has a rounded, somewhat mellow character to it. It is Samichlaus that I am remembering. Taste is waaaay over the top, sweet, strong malt, raisin, but overdone. Slightly fruity quality to it, but it is hard to get through the brash and obvious alcohol presence. Hard to drink, I like the thought, not the final product.

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The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 1,351 ratings.
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