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The Beast Grand Cru | Avery Brewing Company

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The Beast Grand CruThe Beast Grand Cru
Very Good
1,418 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,418 |  Reviews: 607
Photo of redfacedshooter
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of jsnoek
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of ScottyC54
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Mudawg
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of strongaf
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of canadianghetto
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of UltimateLivewire
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of TheTot
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

2004 release

I have rated the 2011 release also so I will compare the two as well as rate this beer.

Pours a dark dark redish black color with absolutely no head to speak of. Starting off poorly. The beer is absolutely dead, no bubbles at all. The smell is similar to the un-aged version with a little more sweetness and a more well rounded smell, still harsh and not welcoming at all. Honestly I was really scared to try this beer but wow, well done Avery. The taste is nothing like the harsh smell, there is a nice vanilla/creamy taste to this beer that is unusual with a grand cru. Smooth taste throughout with a kick of the alcohol at the end, being a 15.7% it drinks so much easier than that. With trying both the 2011 release and now the 2004 I would recommend aging this beer for sure. The mouthfeel is about what you would expect from a beer with such high alcohol, you get an oily residue throughout the mouth after tasting, which is not a bad thing. Overall this beer surprised me 100%, I love Avery and am upset that they pulled out of Indiana but as far as this label is concerned I did not enjoy the 2011 release but am really enjoying the 2004 release. Age this beer if you have the means.

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Photo of xipho
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of budguy1978
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of rand
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Monkey Paw, batch 11, poured into a Chimay glass

The aptly named Beast pours like oil, raisin-y in color, syrup-y in complexion. A huge bouquet of booze and caramel streams from the glass. It smells extremely sweet and boozy, like a liquor. But the taste doesn't follow - still strong and 'beastly', but there's nuance and subtlety. Raisin sweetness meets a buttery creaminess meets a touch of floral hop astringency. The alcohol warms, but for 17%? It's actually quite balanced and drinkable. It does have a sticky complexion...I think there's a bit still stuck between my teeth. But damn, surprisingly quaffable for such an extreme beverage.

 658 characters

Photo of 57md
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance is light brown with an orange hue. There is a finger of head with little appreciable retention, but some nice lacing left behind. Pineapples and oranges in the nose make for a promising offering. The mouthfeel is thick with a flavor of sweet raisins and molasses dominating. There is a slight alcohol bitterness at the finish, but it is hardly noticeable considering the high ABV of this offering. There is a little pepper flavor at the end as well. This is a perfect beer for sipping by the fire with your sweetheart and a rich and sweet desert.

July 2017 Update: Sampled the final vintage (2016) with almost exactly a year of age on it. The age really mellowed the alcohol bite and also brought out a stronger essence of the oak barrel.

Even though this gem was retired, I am going to search for a straggler bottle or two with an eye on aging it 2-3 years.

 872 characters

Photo of mcallister
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of seanballs
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of jwmarcum
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of TexPederson
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of DanInTheCan
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of jfcaa193
2/5  rDev -48.6%

Photo of jwat
5/5  rDev +28.5%

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

Poured from 12oz bottle (Batch #9 - August 2011 release). Only available in 619 cases. Pours a cloudy nut brown with almost no head. Aroma is mostly booze but also has some dried dark fruits, a little Belgian sugar and a little caramel. Taste is heavily sweet. Has a huge alcohol burn with a good bit of Belgian sugar, caramel, raisins, molasses, and dark fruit. Some bourbon barrel wood and a little vanilla in there too. Almost reminds me of a less sweet port wine. Full bodied with a thick texture. Soft carbonation and a long finish. Overall, an interesting beer that complements well with the Mephistopheles' Stout.

 620 characters

Photo of Kopfschuss
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of russwbeck
3.46/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 7 (2009) and 9 (2011) enjoyed on-tap side by side at Churchkey in DC

Batch 7

A: Lighter, more red than batch 9. It also has less head than batch 9, both are white. This has good lacing, but minimal retention. 4

S: Dark fruits, booze, very sweet, but balanced. 4

T: The taste is very malty, with dark fruits and booze. Very much walks the line between BSDA and a Quad. Belgian yeast, candied sugar, booze, and dark fruits all blended wonderfully to create a dangerously drinkable beer. 4.5

MF: Medium body, good carbonation, warming alcohol feeling. 4

O: Very tasty, but the alcohol was really noticeable. For a BSDA I thought this was great. It held up well with age. 4.5

Batch 9

A: Dark ruby pour with a small white head. No retention, but what does stick around laces well. 4.5

S: Licorice, dark fruits, very sweet. Like Mephistopheles, this seems a bit medicinal. Less booze than Batch 7, but more plastic...3.5

T: The taste has a lot more booze than Batch 7. The dark fruits are stronger and try to take over the drink, but fail. Pretty much all fruit and booze. Far too hot. 3.5

MF: Medium to heavy body. Below average carbonation and a warming alcohol feeling at the end. 3.5

O: This was the definition of the Avery tap takeover: The more age, the better. Too hot, too unbalanced, only OK. 3

As I always do, the ratings reflect the fresh version. Batch 7 was way better. I recommend aging this guy!


 1,427 characters

Photo of OoReFLuXoO
2/5  rDev -48.6%

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a snifter)
Aug 2011 Batch 9 Case 649

A- This beer pours a dense brown body with a faint glow of garnet at the base. There is a bubbly thin yellowish beige cream that sticks to the glass in a meniscus.

S- The bright raisin and light molasses blends with alcohol heat rum ball light notes and treacle syrup aromas. There is a nice complex sweetness in the finish.

T- The slightly sweet graham malt flavor has dark raisins, treacle and molasses notes with some candy sugar notes in the finish. There is a bitter hop bite in the finish that balances all the sweetness very well.

M- The light mouthfeel is thinned out from the alcohol burn that lingers but there is a creamy texture in there somewhere.

O- This is a big sugary but not cloying sweet, bright beer with big alcohol heat that is a bit to hot but welcome in these arctic conditions. Age would do this wonders but it has a very nice complexity now.

 924 characters

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

2010 bottle into snifter

Nose: Super boozy. Cocoa nibs, raisins, and some vanilla. Nice complexity, but heavy on the alcohol.

Appearance: Thin, caramelly head that leaves quickly. Semi-hazy honey-ruby-amber. Deep and inviting.

Taste: Vanilla is prominent - like spiced rum. Sweet berries and caramel. Surprisingly rich and fairly dynamic. The alcohol is very hot. The finish is burnt and bitter and subtly herbal.

Overall: Very good. Rich and complex flavors, but the heat makes it tough. Thanks to my brother Ben for the Christmas gift.

 541 characters

The Beast Grand Cru from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 1,418 ratings
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