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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

Brewed by:
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

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.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 50
Photo of santoslhalper
4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearence: Poured a deep copper with a thin, bubby off-white head that actually has some retention to it.

Smell: The smell is malt focused with caramal, sweet, and syrupy notes. The alcohol is not as strong as I had expected.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Based on the reviews on here, this isn't half bad at all. The flavor is ridiculously powerful and complex, but it maintains a delicte balance. Sweet and caramel notes are the focused, but the alcohol isn't as strong as I'd thought it'd be. Really not a bad tasting beer at all. There is a nice amount of hop bitterness at the end as well. The mouthfeel is thick and slick and slippery.

Drinkability and Overall: C'mon now. This is a very good beer. I'm quite impressed at the balance it has for such and ENORMOUS beer. Obviously the dirnkability isn't the highest seeing as how it's 18.1%. It definitly lets you know it's potentcy after a few sips. Well this is an interesting brew, and a damn good one at that.

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Photo of mgdeth
2.33/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance - Copper color. Good head, but it does not last too long.

Smell - Distinct alcohol in the nose. There is also some malt, but no hops that I can detect.

Taste - Distinct alcohol in the taste. This one is too hot and solvent like. This has the makings of a good beer, but I think it was probably released a few years too early. When sipped in small doses, I can taste sweet malt in the fore- to mid-taste.

Mouthfeel - Huge body, with medium carbonation. The alcohol burns my mouth, which is not too pleasant.

Drinkability - Too alcoholic. This one needs to be cellared for a (long) while to mellow out.

Comments - The low marks I gave this beer represent what I think are qualities that will improve with age. I'm not giving up on this beer until it has at least one more year to age. It does not have contamination-type flaws. I'm hoping for the best.

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Photo of beercollector
3.31/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I'm a fan of Avery's big beers. This one is one that needs to sit in the cellar to mellow.

It pours a deep orange with big lasting head. Good lacing.

It has a slight malt aroma and very light hop.

The alcohol does not really come out in the flavor. It is moderately sweet, has a bit of hop flavor, and the malt just isn't present, over powered I think by the 18.1 alcohol.

It soed have a thick full body and soft carbonation that has an astringent after taste.

This is a single bottle per night beer and basically an alcohol delivery system right now. It could be much better balanced and perhaps next year or so it might meld together to be a nice to spend an evening with.

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Photo of merlin48
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

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Photo of kegerator
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

poured out a amber/ruby brown with a decent 1/2 inch head that dwindled quickly.
Aroma was big malts, fruit and brown sugar, hints of molasses and some slight hops in the back and alcohol. Brandy like alcohol.

taste was a huge hit of malt when it hits the mouth with some slight fuitiness and then the alcohol burn wallaops you. very warming with a slight burning at the back of the throat.
all in all i liked this brew but its not very drinkable with that alcohol burn it gives. definitely one to sip delicately. I think lightening up on the abv would send this beer to the top. I really enjoyed the flavors and character just too much alcohol burn for me. I have other big beers with 20% and 18% abvs that you knew the alcohol was there and tasted it but it was melded in much better.
I probably wouldn't pay the 9 bucks to buy another one.

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Photo of cokes
2.5/5  rDev -28.4%
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 beergeek279
2.36/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served in the 22 oz. bomber into a goblet. The color is ruby red, with a decent head for the superalcohol. The smell is a plumish sweetness mixed with a LOT of alcohol. The taste is just a slightly sweet plum/spicy flavor, but it's mixed with a very strong and less than pleasant alcohol, with an alcohol burn that seems like an 80 proof liquor. Mouthfeel gives a VERY strong esophogeal burn and numbs the tongue. As for drinkability, not really something that I'd call for again.

I consider the Beast nickname people a good group of friends, but I still tried to give this one a fair shake. Well, at first it didn't seem as bad as I was expecting (mostly because I was drinking it like it was a brandy, not realizing that a brandy is 40% ABV), but doesn't mean that it's necessarily good either. I've had all the DFH super-beers (120 Min, Raison D'Extra and the 23% WWS) and none of them were this alcohol-tasting! The sad thing that underneath this seems like this could have been an awesome beer, and if they cut a few percent off then it would be enjoyable, but for now I won't have this one again.

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Photo of JISurfer
2.58/5  rDev -26.1%
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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4.4/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells of booze, cherry, booze, maple, booze, rye, and a faintly detectable note of booze.
This beer has a thin head with little retention and a vibrant amber color with hints of purple and pink.
This stuff is quite lively on the tongue. Much more so than anticipated. Lighter feel than expected as well. Somewhat confusing to the palate at first.
There is a huge and complex malt presence to this beer. There are a variety of distractions from this. Some characters that pop their heads in include green wood, fig, apricot, and other dried fruits, rhubarb, and a host of various tart berries. Inside of my mouth, a deranged malt monster has a wrestling match with a shitload of assorted dried, tart fruits. After much screaming and bloodshed, the malt monster wins via submission. Have fun in my stomach, motherfucker. As this beer warms, things get even crazier than already described. To the point where my attempts at description become futile. But the booze factor gets hotter, especially through the finish and exhale.
Big thanks to BA MoeSizlak for splitting this bomber with me.
If you're flying solo, popping the top off The Beast is ill advised. The Beast really grabs ya by the boo-boo.

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Photo of ABV
5/5  rDev +43.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Folks, a brew that clocks in at more than 18% abv should not be this drinkable. But the Beast is, and packaged in 22oz. bombers, it's as dangerous as its name suggests. Nose is perfumey sweet with alcohol evident. Tastes of candied sugar, sweet but not cloying, dates, raisons figs, grapefruiy pine nuts, the hint of citrussy hops, burnt molasses. An absolutely wonderful brew for which I suggest moderation. After a half bottle I feel a glow of mild euphoria, and rising, am unsteady on my feet, as if they have been fitted with soft pillows. Another exceptional seasonal from Avery.

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Photo of sacfly
1.81/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Pours red with a white head that dies off almost instantly. Smells sweet and of alcohol. Taste is.. ugh. Alcohol.

I used to think Ralph Wiggam on the Simpson’s comment “Tastes like burning” was a funny line. Not anymore. I know exactly what he was talking about now. Nothing pleasant about the taste.

The impressive ingredients list on the bottle seemed interesting, but it is a struggle to get past the alcohol burn in the mouth, throat and stomach. If you buy this, let it age for a long time. Years. Very unpleasant right now.

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Photo of clvand0
2.79/5  rDev -20.1%
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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The Beast Grand Cru 2004 from Avery Brewing Company
3.49 out of 5 based on 50 ratings.
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