Grand Cru | BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse

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Grand CruGrand Cru

Brewed by:
BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
Arizona, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed with imported Belgian malts and a blend of exotic spices, BJ's Grand Cru has a malty character with a whirlwind of fruit and spice flavors. First brewed to celebrate the new millennium, BJ's Grand Cru has been a seasonal tradition ever since. This Belgian-stlye amber ale is bottle-conditioned and flavorful enough to age in the bottle for many years. Like a fine wine, the beer will change over time as some flavors mellow while others become more pronounced. For optimal aging, we recommend that you store BJ's Grand Cru for at least one year at between 55 and 65°F. Or enjoy it now!

Added by mickeymac on 06-26-2003

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Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 84
Photo of Thankin_Hank
4.51/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The 2016 batch I drank at the Hurst,TX restaurant was exceptional. Last year it had a banana flavor to it and was disappointing from previous years. They made up for it this year and my table got the last of it 30 Dec.
Finally. They have a Bourbon Barrel Aged and Peticola's Wintervention on draft. I couldn't quit the Gran Cru it was amazing this year! "ATTABOY'S" to the brewers!!

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Photo of MOB210SA
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BJ's Annual Grand Cru (ABV %10.0)
Wow, the first beer I ever reviewed on-tap, AND the first belgian Ive ever had on-tap.

Couldnt see from the pour but, arrived in a tulip with a 1 finger nice pale white fluffy head. The head maintained nicely the entire glass. Was medium gold in color, and looked overall great.

Nose is pretty fragrant, but usual belgian'y spices, perhaps its clove and some nice light fruity notes in there. The alcohol is hidden very well and couldnt detect any real alcohol booziness at all.

Its been a while since, but the taste reminds me of probably Chimay CC(white). I taste beligan yeasts, malt and again a light frutiness, to me is well balanced and a great effort for not being monks haha.

This beer was FRESH. Damn good. It had a very lively mouthfeel, large amount of carbonation. Smooth, bubbly mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Again, no alcohol burn or even real detection to lower drinkablilty. Hope to have this again while its still available. Also, They had a commemerative BJ's tulip to purchase for a only a mere $5.

*NOTE: This beer is also def. not a BSDA.

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Photo of BeerManDan
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color in my tulip glass was a hazy golden yellow with a fair amount of foam with plenty of lace on the side of the glass. The smell was of carbonated spices and fruit. The flavor was really pleasant, being 10% alcohol, mild, smooth, very flavorful with all kinds of surprise flavors. What a pleasant surprise. Had to have two glass before dinner!

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Photo of MisterClean
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at BJs in Sacramento, CA.

A - Nice golden color, off-white head, which was very resilient. Light notes of lacing.

S - Pear, Peaches, pineapples, and light tones of breadiness. Really dug the breadiness part as most 3Xs it is hard to get that breadiness despite tons of malts.

T - Pear, peaches, pineapples, ultra-light breadiness, and pear-ester.

M - Light carbonation, alcohol feel. Very drinkable overall. Moderate bitterness.

D - Would liked to have had another. May suggest reducing the hops as there was moderate bitterness.

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Photo of theboozecruise
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was beer #5 at a recent beer appreciation dinner at the BJ's in Baton Rouge, LA. I felt it was bold of BJ's to put one of theirs up against some highly rated Belgian and German beers, but I've gotta admit, they held their own.

This one was described by the beer host as a 10.5% alcohol belgian-style strong ale, and aside from the classification on here of 'dark ale' I think that's dead on. If anything it struck me more as a Strong Pale Ale. A bit lighter in color, golden really... and an aroma of fruits and spice. Very light on the tongue and super easy to knock back.

This one could be dangerous sitting up at the bar!

Kudos to BJ's for pulling this one off, well done indeed.

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Photo of watermelonman
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This arrived as a nice deep amber and red with a small head. There's only a few specks of lace.

The smell is very nice, with a ton of malt and candy sugar. The taste is a little plain, lacking much fruit or hop flavor, but the various malts and sugars are almost enough on their own. The mouthfeel is full and pleasing, while drinkability is pretty good.

Very sweet but well done; definitely one of their best offerings.

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Photo of RickS95
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the Daytona Beach location with my wife and some friends. It's an attractive looking beer. A faded orange color and slightly hazy. Not something like a wit, but a rich looking golden copper. I can't comment on the head because I have no idea how long the beer had been in the glass, but it was a bright white color that provided a bit of lacing.

I was impressed by the smell, particularly for a smallish brewhouse. The combination of fruits and Belgian yeast made a nice impression. The alcohol is high in this, but there's no hint of it in the nose. Nor do the hops present at all.

Really surprising for a restaurant and brewhouse to produce something a lot of the big boys can't pull off. The nose carries over to the taste. A sweet fruity combination of various fruits and Belgian yeast and candied sugar. Very well put together.

The mouthfeel brought out some of the spices from the yeast. As you might guess, a bit of white pepper. There was also finally a note of alcohol with a quick hit of heat near the swallow. Full bodied despite the light color. Never too sweet or too bitter or too hot. The proportions were just about right.

Overall, I was very impressed with this selection from BJs. It tasted like the real thing from another continent. Simple to drink and good tasting.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Came in a nice room temperature skinny tulip glass with plenty of frothy white head. Beer is a hazy deep yellow color.

Smells very wit-like. Orange peel, lemon, coriander and cloves. Nose is very zesty and fruity. It's a clean, fresh pleasant smelling brew.

Flavors are heavy on the coriander and cloves, while the fruity notes fade a bit toward the back. Alcohol is quite evident and a bit rough around the edges, but still does not feel like the 10% ABV that it boasts. A bit of spicy, floral hops are there on the finish, lending a puckering bitter finish. Overall a pretty damn good beer and one of the best I have had at BJs.

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Photo of ThirdLap
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at BJ's Vacaville in its own proper glassware complete with the name of the beer on the side. Alright, who are you and what have you done with the normal BJs?

A - Pours a cloudy translucent yellow with minimal head and lacing.

S - Whoa, Belgian funk at BJ's? Tons of fruits are present: bananas, spices, raisins, plums... there's a lot going on here. And yes, 'bubblegum' nails it . Quite sweet, but with an overall good malt balance. This has me wanting to meet their brewers.

T - Sweet, spicy, fruity, bready, funky. A good amount of cough syrup in there, which unfortunately seems to turn a lot of non-Belgian types off. Overall not bad at all... one of BJ's best efforts.

M - Minimal carbonation, light on the tongue, sweet then bitter finish. Alcohol is masked reasonably well.

D - One was enough for me, but it sure did disappear quickly. This one keeps you sipping.

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

had the 2008 10% version at Webster,TX location... served in its own special edition glass, very classy i must say ... amazingly smooth with a playful kick .... this is quite nice, full and sweet some heat in the background.. a winter beer that cuts through the 38 degree weather!

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Photo of magictrokini
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tap @ BJ's La Jolla. Poured clear copper with a short, off-white head (bar pour). Yeasty aroma with lots of bubblegum blended with cotton candy and caramel. Taste was more on the trippel side with the same sweet yeast. Bubblegum, clove, and holiday spice was prevalent throughout. Solid malt foundation with caramel and toffee enhancing the alcohol. Very easy to drink, had to pull the reigns in halfway through. Lighter, carbonated mouthfeel with some lingering stickiness. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of megahurts4
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BJ's Grand Cru
On tap at BJ's Brewhouse in Baton Rouge, LA

Appearance: hazy straw yellow, good lacing, and medium head.

Smell: yeasty wheat and a slight grain.

Taste: yeasty wheat, coriander, and some slight grain.

Mouthfeel: medium.

This is a good brew. Its full bodied and flavorful, while not being overly complex.

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Photo of mullenite
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BeerAdvocate has this listed as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale but it was really a Belgian Strong Pale Ale, it was good none the less.

Glassware - Tulip

Appearance - Cloudy, yellow in color and very hazy with a half finger white cap on the tap that faded in to a ring. Very nice sticky lacing down the glass as well.

Nose - Smell was primarily bananas, some alcohol and spices in there as well. Not very complex but pretty good. Reminded me a little bit of Weihenstephan Vitus but with a bit more banana.

Taste - Very similar to the smell, lots of bananas which faded to the spices (clove, vanilla) and then faded again to a very alcoholic finish. Again, not very complex but pretty good. No one flavor was too dominant or restrained.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with an okay amount of carbonation, I kind of wanted more carbonation but it was on tap so it may be the locations fault.

Overall - I would drink this again and would by it in bottles if it were bottle conditioned but probably won't get it on tap again.

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Photo of yemenmocha
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazy dark gold color with white head. Head doesn't retain well. Nose is pleasant with Belgian yeasty/estery components, bready, and lighter fruits such as white grapes. Palate is pleasantly sweet with Belgian candy sugar, syrupy malt, and light hop tang towards the end. Alcohol is very prominent, and perhaps it detracts a little from the drinkability.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stopped in for some lunch while running errands and enjoyed this on tap.
Pours a murky orangish/gold in color. No head at all on the beer. Smell is citrusy fruits, some coriander and some belgian yeast. More of the citrusy fruits and mostly coriander in the flavor. This is the best beer that I've had from this chain. Easy drinking and no sign of the ABV whatsoever while drinking. Enjoyable, but one glass was enough.

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Photo of mugglesandhops
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this gem ontap at the BJ's in Oklahoma City. I was feet suprised at the quality of there beer especially this one. It poured a hazy yellow/orange color with little head lacing was minimal lacing into a snifter. I didn't get too much out of the smell just some fruits like pear, bananna. The taste is what blew me away. It had some spice to it with a slight alchohol burn in the finsh but still very easy to drink.

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Photo of i4ourgot
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

I blame the bar but the beer got to me with no head at all. I feel like i missed out on the aroma of the beer, but the beer actually packed lots of flavor to it. On the sweet side very lite body low carbonation. Lots of plum raisin flavors, a lot better than i was expecting.

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Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is very hazy light golden yellow in color. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving lacy wisps of bubbles covering the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of Belgian yeast are present in the nose along with strong notes of underlying notes of candi sugars and slight hints of spices. It seems to become a little maltier as the beer warms up.
T: The taste very much follows the smell and is quite malty from the candi sugars, although no sweetness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer definitely tastes strong, although the alcohol is not that apparent in the taste. It seems to lack the complexity offered by some of the top beers in the style.

Note: 2013-2014 Annual

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Photo of Mora2000
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Plano, Texas location.

Served in a nice BJ's Grand Cru stemmed glass. The beer pours a hazy gold color with a large white head. The aroma has a lot of biscuit malt, as well as some Belgian yeast and orange citrus notes. The flavor is more of the same. The malt notes are accented nicely with the orange citrus, yeast and candy sugar notes. The alcohol is present but the beer is still easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of mickeymac
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this one on tap at BJ's in Woodland Hills, CA in June 2003. It pours a good looking reddish brown with a big off-white head that fades fairly quickly. The smell is perfume and spice, with nutmeg being the most noticeable spice. The taste is more of the same, but the spice rack effect is even more pronounced in the taste than in the smell. It's an interesting taste, but the novelty wears off before the first glass is gone. It's worth a try, but I'll try something else next time.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 1/22/2010 (Draft @ BJs Clear Lake, Houston, TX):

Pours an amber golden color, small white head. Clear body. Spicy dry aroma. Pale. Some fruitiness. Not super strong. Spicy creamy mouthfeel, bubbly. A little rough, slightly syrupy. Letting warm up a bit. Still a bit spicy and harshly carbonated. A little strong on the syrup. Okay.

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

Sample at the Brew Kettle in Strongsville. This brew pours a cloudy copper color with a medium and bubbly off-white head that dissipates slowly. Patches of lacing on the glass. Aroma of sweet spices, yeast and bananas. Medium-bodied with a spiced character. Flavors of spices, bread and hops with more banana in the background. Sweet spice finish with touches of hops in the aftertaste. Decent overall.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brewed at the Bjs Chandler location
A frothy, amber tinged, tan colored head sits atop a dark red colored beer that shows a brilliantly clear reddish amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma is strikingly of rich fruit and a touch of phenolics; a mix of raisins, sweet plums, a touch of fig, some notes of clove and perhaps a hint of bubble gum.

The taste is definitely sweet, though not sticky, and the finish has that characteristic earthy spicy note that I associated with a Chimay derived yeast strain. The fruit notes are in the flavor as well, found up front, I get notes of sweet plums, raisins and apples. The finish is dominated by that earthy spiciness, which leads into an astringent, slightly phenolic (a mix of smoke and plastic), lingering finish. The spice notes remind me of cloves, a touch of ginger, perhaps some coriander and perhaps even something like cardamom. I can see this beer really appealing to some, to me it seems a touch out of balance though; it is just a bit too phenolic in the finish.

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Photo of Floydster
3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Five ounce taster of the 2008 version at the San Bernardino location last night for two dollars

A-Murky golden yellow color, resembled lemon juice, 1/4 inch white pillowy head that settled quickly, no retention or lacing

S-Pineapple, apples, oranges, peaches, tangerines, dry pear, cough syrup, spices, strong bready malt aroma, and Belgian yeast

T-Too medicinal for me or this beer would have been a lot more enjoyable, initial taste is sweet and sugary with the variety of fruits mentioned in the smell, then some cloves and pepper, then booze and Robutussin in the finish, chewy and sweet with a biscuit-like feel, surprisngly some smokiness in the aftertaste, could have used more hops to balance this out because both the yeast and malt profiles were too strong

M-Spicy mouthfeel, especially once it had warmed, ton much carbonation, thick body, taste lingered for several minutes afterwards

D-At 10.4%, it is very strong and the alcohol is not hidden well, a bit heavy, not smooth, probably could not have finished a full glass by myself

Anxious to try being that it is only around for a few weeks out of the year, one of their popular seasonal offerings, first Grand Cru I have tried, also made cool commemorative glasses for this that were available for purchase, probably would not have agin because I enjoy their Nutty Brewnette so much, but is was fun to try, recommened if you are curious but do not expect too much

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Photo of nick76
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The aroma is right for the style with some band-aids, spices, malt, candy sugar, yeast, and fruit. The appearance is orange gold with a small had. The flavor is like the aroma with a touch of tartness. The palate is typical for the style. A decent attempt at the style but it's only an average beer.

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Grand Cru from BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
3.84 out of 5 based on 84 ratings.
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