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The Beast Grand Cru 2004 | Avery Brewing Company

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The Beast Grand Cru 2004The Beast Grand Cru 2004
BA SCORE
3.51/5
Good
50 Ratings
The Beast Grand Cru 2004The Beast Grand Cru 2004
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
averybrewing.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 18.10%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by clvand0 on 10-27-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
37
Ratings:
50
pDev:
21.65%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
6
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 50 |  Reviews: 37
Photo of BEERchitect
3.08/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I guess from time to time, a brewer has to go here just because they can. I appreciate the attempt and creativity, just not the finish product. I can imagine antifreeze tasting much like this. The beer pours nicely copper to deep golden, holds a loose knit head that lingered well. Had low level lacing, but showed good legging. Aromas are of obvious alcohols, but also of deep ripened fruits: peaches, cherries, plumbs, and a little nuttiness. Flavors show more. Begins nicely sweet (brandy-like) with good hop flavors. The body is sticky sweet, but the finish is where it hurts. The fusal alcohols are so rough and dominant, that all other flavors and character becomes void and easily forgotten. I beleive that I'll set a bottle or two back for my grandchildren to sample. It may smoothen out to drinkable in about a hundred years.

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Photo of brentk56
4.58/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber color without much head or lacing

Smell: Alcoholic dark fruits and honey

Taste: Lots of dark fruits - dates, raisins and a honey mead taste

Mouthfeel: Very heavy body, like an after-dinner liqueur

Drinkability: Wonderful, port-like. This beer is starting to come together now; I tasted it about six months ago and it was way too alcoholic

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle that reads "Bottled in 2004" and lists the alcohol as 18.1% from an original gravity of 1.138 (34.5 degrees plato). Wow! It's superbly malty and fruity, but with a harsh, brash, raspy slap of alcohol.... the beast lives up to its name! Enticing... seductive.... mind-numbing... killer !!!
It pours a crystal-clear reddish-copper body beneath a creamy, yellow-tinged head that dwindles down to just a thin collar with nary a scant touch of lacing left on the glass. It just cannot hold, but that's to be expected in any beer that boasts 18.1% alcohol by volume!
The nose delivers bright, juicy, vinous and tropical fruits (apples, berries, prunes, red grapes, raisins, wine, melon, pineapple, and even a bit of cocoanut) over a honeyish, bready, and dough-like maltiness. (I'm guessing the yeast strain is White Labs Belgian Ale - WLP550, or the Wyeast equivalent. I think it may be derived from Chimay because I'm linking that fruit and spice characteristic to the Chimay Grande Reserve... just pumped up a notch! But I could be wrong, However, there has to be a Champagne yeast at work here to boost it to it's incredible alcohol level - unless it's a distiller's yeast).
The flavor is even fuller than the nose indicates, with a much wider fruitiness, more bready maltiness, and a whallop of palate-and brain-wrecking alcohol! It's like Samichlaus infused with fruit juice, wine, a handful of raisins, and a splash of vodka! It starts and finishes almost the same; but there's so much there in between! It finishes drying, mostly because of its alcohol, but there's a bold bitterness at work there as well.
Forgiving the heat of this bad boy, this is a remarkable Belgian strong ale, although I tend to think of it more as a barleywine fermented with Belgian yeast. Of course, it wouldn't be a barleywine then, would it?
It suffers in the "overall" drinkability category due to its intense alcoholic push, but if you have just a small 8 ounce glass you migh pine for another - which leads me to a 4.5 for drinkability.
This is one of Avery's best, and it's unusual at that, as they seem to try to hit the mark for the style on their other beers (and grand cru is not a style, it simply means "great vintage"), but this one is way out there. And, the alcohol is kind of a defect as well, yet all of their other beers are very well done. Let's just call this one a 'crazy-assed enigma'. But I do have one final note... why was this not put into the 12 oz bottles? 22 oz is enough for 4 to share!

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Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of GClarkage
4.12/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10/12/08- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Mesa, AZ.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, vintage 2004, 18.1 abv at $9.99. Poured into my Alesmith tulip.

Appearance- Deep chestnut in color. 1/4 inch head on pour. Light bubbly rim of a head reamins for a few minutes. Leaves very light lace markings...expected from such a high octane beer.

Smell- Lots of woody age notes...not sure if it's oak or not. Alcohol obviously and a handful of dark fruits, roasted caramel malt and some hoppy notes as well. Very nice nose, especially as it warms to room temp.

Taste- At first sip, it really didn't seem like 18%...maybe 13 or 14 or so, but then the alcohol burn set it. As it warmed to room temp, the alcohol burn wore off, but you could now tell the 18% was no lie. Many dark fruits including plums and definite raisins. Caramel malt flavors and a still rather strong hoppy aspect. Bourbon like flavor with some oak and touches of vanilla.

Mouthfeel- Lower carbonation level, extremely warming and full mouthfeel that felt like cough syrup on the first sip. Mild hoppy and alcohol aftertaste.

Drinkability- I'm sure gald they make these in 12oz botles now. I have to admit though, the 18% would have been nice if they would have kept it. Shared this bottle with my friend and it took a good half of football to drink my 11 oz or so. Has many hard alcohol aspects, but you can definitely tell this is beer rather than liquor unlike Utopia's. An extreme sipper that is a perfect candidate for a winter night by the fire.
Really enjoyed it and will try the new 12oz format if I find it.

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to Vermonthiker for this brew.

22oz. Bomber
Red Foil

Poured into a tulip a nice brown/amber color, nice carbonation, very nice two-finger fizzy off-white head, which leaves some minimal sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, slightly spicy, some figs/plums/raisins, and caramel. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, the dark fruits pop-in, and some caramel. Medium body, the alcohol is fairly present on this one, but drinkable. Drinkable, another tasty brew from Avery. Thanks Tom.

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Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich malty scent that is quite warm and toastey. It boasts of pale and crystal malts along with some roasted malts for that nice toasted aroma. The taste is decent. It has an intense malt flavor that goes down slow and easy with a very warm finish. It has a fairly simple malt bill, but it has good flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a decent strong ale, although I'm not seeing the Belgian style characteristics. It is a brew for those cold winter days when you need a good warming up. It drinks well, but it's a beer you want to put away slow.

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Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch # 2, at 18.1% abv.
Appears a cloudy, dense amber with a small off white head that slowly fades out into a collar. Small spots of lace are left around the glass but washed away by the oily looking concoction upon the sips.
Smell is of rich caramel, yeasty bread, cherries, tropical fruit, raisins, and dough.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a warm, fruity, and doughy taste that is full of rich, sugary malt and plenty of fruity Belgian yeast that's been made happy by the sugar and temperature.
Moutfheel is full and warming, much to the effect of a barleywine but what do you expect at over 18% abv? She's definitely a sipper, much like the other monsters of ale brews that Avery made. I'm glad I split the 22 ouncer with egajdzis and my bro-in-law. Potent and yummy but look out.

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Photo of Gusler
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer disembogues the 22-ounce brown bottle a luminous ruby brown with a dinosauric frothy light tan head that settles rather quickly and the residual lace a tight sheet upon the glass. Oh my, is that alcohol I smell, sweet malt, caramel, over ripe pineapple, fresh, crisp, clean and a damn fine treat for my old schnozzle, start is all alcohol with a monsterous sweetness and a fair grain profile, the top is moderate to full in feel. Finish is submissive in its acidity with the hops burned out of existence by the 18.1 percent ABV and the specialty sugars leave a thick sweetness on the palate, big tummy warmer that is also quite dry, a monster of a beer, but one I do not think will appeal too many.

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Photo of WOLFGANG
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of Bierman9
3.91/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 22oz bottle which, I think, I scored at the 2005 BA Extreme Beer Fest. 18.1% abv? Whoa!! Careful now....

Into the goblet it goes.... clear, garnet/ruby colored... beauteous!! Actually produced a bit of head to start, yet basically thins to a rim-job of bubbles around the edge of the gob. Has a few spots of carbonation rising slowly and steadily within. Not much lace to speak of, though. Took a whiff of this, and... ouch! Hot!! Is this bier, or a shot of liqueur? Does seem to be some dark fruit under there, somewhere.... Body? Oh yeah, body. Medium, as far as I can tell. And fairly smooth, for something this hot. Yeah, hot...

Did I say hot? Didn't take long for the warmth to hit the belly after passing over the palate. Could trace a path down the esophagus as it went south. Has a fruitiness present, though in a somewhat sour-ish manner. Raisins and grapes, perhaps? Really hard to detect what, if anything, the hopping adds to this Beast. Some sweetness, like burnt brown sugar, did show up, though the fruit aspect was much more evident. Except the alcohol. Did I say hot? Quite warm, to say the least... In general, I like the flavor... pleasurable yet understated fruitiness, though the abv dominates, imo. Ya know, the more I drink of this, the less I feel the heat, and more I get the flavor. That 18% abv is not really so bad... detracts more from the aroma than anything.

Prosit!!

overall: 4
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 4

876

 1,502 characters

Photo of dleiner
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of cokes
2.5/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Is this thing on?

Um, Hi Avery. Yeah, um, in case you missed out on, oh, say the last year's worth of discussion, your first version of the Beast was largely reviled as an unecessary and misguided attempt at a high-test "big" beer.

So let me get this straight, you upped the ABV 2%?
What a great idea!
It's assuring to see that you've got your finger on the pulse of your audience.

So now, is this version created out of
a): sheer ignorance?,
b).an attempt to simply brew a headline making high octane brew in the wake of Dogfish Head and others?, or
c.) an audacious rebuttal and reformulation of all the things that didn't quite work in Beast's smaller form, with an added middle finger to the naysayers?

Pitches out amber with a bleached grey head that sprints away leaving no lace, no anything.
Captain Morgan's nose traced with tangerines and molasses.
Begins titanically sweet. Brown sugar, kiwi, burnt honey, molasses, and blueberry. Bread develops then is rendered feeble by the hornet's nest of stinging alcohol fury. Vodka and rum, and lots of them. Cheap seeming too, full of heat and short on depth.
Syrupy mixed-drink in build, battled up front with a rushing fizz, then resigned into the booze-driven abyss.

What are you doing Avery? I never participated in that large and vocal Beast-hater camp. In fact, I thought the old Beast was passable, and probably the best Belgian-inspired brew you offered, even if it was outright flawed and did suffer from being over-strong. The old Beast was all plums and dark fruits and candy and cognac. This is Red Bull and shitty rail vodka, sprinkled with brown sugar.

Count me in with those that rally against this particular creation.

Did you guys even taste this before releasing it? And be honest here.

Shame on you Avery.

Listen next time.
---
(the correct answers are: a & b)

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Photo of merlin48
3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Hmm. No reviews of this in over a month. I should preface this review by saying that I rated the previous incarnation of the Beast at a 4.25. According to the label, this new high octane version contains a similar variety of exotic hops, malts, and specialty sugars. Appearance is impressive, with a clear copper body, some apparent bubbly carbonation, and an impressive offwhite head that retains for a few minutes at about two centimeters in height. After a few minutes, the head vanishes along with the initial patch lace. Aroma: Some dark fruits of raisins and prunes, lots of pepper notes from the alcohol(suggestive of some hablaneros), coriander, cheap bourbon whiskey, clover honey, and some suggestions of caramel maltiness.
Mouthfeel: Whew! Burning alcohol is alarming. Somewhat syrupy, with a medium body and subdued carbonation.
Taste: Extreme alcohol burns away most of the nuances that I appreciated in the old version of the Beast. With some patience, you can pick up some grassy hops bitterness and hints of dark fruity rum soaked prunes, but the high alcohol dumbs and numbs the senses here. Finishes with a stomach and throat burning alcohol presence. Quite medicinal. This might cure what ails you, but it reminds of the taste of a poultice that my grandmother might have made out of moonshine, herbs, and honey to cure any variety of maladies.
Drinkability: One bottle of this will get you intoxicated, no doubt. This version of the Beast is way over the top, and overdone with the big abv. The alcohol smothers all the quality malts and hops into a stifling and painful death. This tastes better toward the finish, but by then it has intoxicated you to the point that you would probably be reviewing aftershave lotion favorably. This version of the Beast is suitable for a tasting on April 1st, or for fraternity pranks and/or hazing for younger folks. I cellar Avery 10 and 11, with passion, and still like the earlier version of the Beast. This one is just too bizarre for normal tastes.

 2,015 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.12/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

'Bottled in 2004'. I've had this sitting around for a while, decided to enjoy it tonight. It pours a rich mahogany color, mostly clear, with a moderate initial head that fades fairly quickly. It has a very rich fruity aroma, reminiscent of ripe sweet cherries, with a herbal hoppy nose underneath. Flavor is quite sweet, despite a huge bitterness... it depends upon where you roll the beer upon your tongue. No balance at all, plus the medicinal alcohols are quite apparent throughout. Body is thick, almost syrupy.

Bleagh, by no means a pleasant beer (it borders on disgusting), nor a very interesting (though it does smell nice!).

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Photo of schoolboy
3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had this beast sitting in my beer fridge aging for at least a year or two - let's call it two because it could be longer. I don't remember where I got it - either Indiana or under the table here in Ohio - it is too strong for regular Ohio sales.

It's kind of dark and cloudy, like the skies around here in the winter (lake effect). I am drinking it not very cold. The flavor is very strong, sweet, hoppy. Nasty.

It reminds me of Dogfish Head 120, which is a similar huge beer, but it is SO much better that this.

So now I see that this is no longer available. Good riddance. I wouldn't want to buy it again. I suppose I will get a serious buzz from this.

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Photo of DIPAFAN
3/5  rDev -14.5%

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear amber with an off-white and persistent head which lasted well to lace the glass.

The aroma was strong with a malty and caramel impression coupled with fruity aromatics of raisins and plums. The fruit was circumvented by a highly spicy alcohol phenolic. The spice not attributed to alcohol was a nice but very low blend of coriander and cinnamon from Belgian yeast.

The flavor was strongly spicy with a graham cracker breadiness and a very strong fruit character of raisins and plums with prunes. The flavor was hot with alcohol and phenolics of spice that last and last in the flavor and really found no stopping point. The malt flavor was caramel coupled with a strong biscuit flavor. The beer was not overly sweet and bittering was present at a high level keeping the malt flavors in check enough so the flavor was not cloying. Nothing in the flavor was subtle and the flavors are never restrained.

The finish was eventually dry, but intially just off dry with a long lingering biscuit and spice well into the aftertaste and beyond. The body was full and viscous and the carbonation level moderate. The alcohol level in this one makes it difficult to consume. Very much a sipping beer with so high an ABV level and so much warming after consumption.

This one truly was a beast. Tread lightly, bring a friend for support so you don't get bit.

22 ounce bottle. $10 at Wine Warehouse about a year ago. Had this one at a Pop The Cap event and had to purchase a bottle for myself.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ratman brought this one over to my house for my birthday last friday, and after splitting a bomber of batch 1 (along with a few others) with him a couple months back, and regretting it until about 5 pm the following night, I was glad we had a few more tasters for this one. Nonetheless, this was a very formidable beer. Pours a dark, hazy amber color with a smallish white head. Huge alcohol in this one, both on the nose and on the palate, along with dark brown sugar, dark fruits, caramel and alcohol. Lots and lots of alcohol. This one is still pretty hot, even 6 years later. This one hasn't calmed down like batch 1 has. Still, it is very enjoyable.

 654 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
2.31/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

2004 edition at 18.1%ABV. This beer poured an amber color with no head. The nose was alcohol with a bit of sweet cherry, along with more alcohol. The taste is a big kick of alcohol upfront, masking any real flavors that are going on. I can taste something sweet, but can't get through the alcohol to find out what it is. The feel was thick, but the alcohol is burningly apparent. I just can't get past the alcohol. This beer is not a very good one right now. Maybe in a few years, but not now.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.18/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very nice color-pale mahogany. Nice chestnut hues. Aroma of oak and sherry. Somewhat piney and vinuous. Flavor is a big malt blast upfront but is quickly replaced by the alcohol. Very resiny but the alcohol really dominates the whole experience. Good mouthfeel minus the burn in the backround. Just way too overwhelming in the long run. Call me a lite weight-hey I like a good Bigfoot after cutting the grass!!! This is just too much even the 2nd time around. I think they are on the right track but a better balance is needed. Stiil-try it and see for yourself. Its quite the ride.

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Photo of clvand0
2.79/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Came in a 22oz bottle. Very cool bottle - a little intimidating. I've been waiting to try this year's version of The Beast with its upped alcohol. Poured into a snifter. Red body with a small head that dies off quickly. The aroma had a little bit of sweet caramel malts and fruit, then an enormous alcohol kick. The flavor was a little sweet but the alcohol is enormous. It's hard to taste anything with the huge alcohol presence. This beer is hard to drink. I enjoyed it to an extent, just because it was something new, but man was it hard to finish.

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Photo of JISurfer
2.58/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Wow, this beer was a rollercoaster. It looked good and smelled good, but that was about it. I think they tried to put waaay to much alcohol in this, and that's what ruined it for me. At least in other high alcohol brews, the alcohol is a bit more subtle. This one was loud and in your face. After the alcohol hit the tounge, not much other taste was detectable. I think this beer would definately benefit from a lower alcohol level. What were they thinking?

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Photo of blitheringidiot
2.11/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Sure enough, the last bottle of 2004 Beast on the shelf! Here we go!

Cracked red foil opened with a *fwsk!* Pours with a clear sunset red with a single line of bubbles rising, to a non-existant headcap curled up as a corner grabbing tiny ring.

Fusel nose of gin, brown sugar and cotton candy. (I just invented a drink!)

First swigs: Two years in the hole and this still tastes like rocket fuel and isopropyl with cherry juice.

Feel is mocked by a ton of sugary residual linger.

Last swigs: Cherry and vodka. Here is a compliment: This is a sipper. Like a Fear Factor cocktail. With the high octane 18% ABV, this awl-kee-hawl boozer goes back like vodka with cherry soda. I heard the rumors and I guess they are true. Somebody give me something to chase this with...like tequila. I took one for the team here.

Beer is good. Is this beer? Happy bering.

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The Beast Grand Cru 2004 from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.51 out of 5 with 50 ratings
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