Grand Cru Winter Reserve | Flying Fish Brewing Company

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Grand Cru Winter ReserveGrand Cru Winter Reserve

Brewed by:
Flying Fish Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by stirgy on 09-14-2002

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Reviews: 232 | Ratings: 571
Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a very clear amber with a surprisingly small head for a Belgian-style beer. Not much lacing. The smell is very spicy from the Belgian yeast. The flavor is also dominated by the yeasty aromas and a sweet background. Lots of spice. Not the most drinkable of beers but very appropriate for the style.

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Photo of Whey2Hoppy
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dull shade of amber gold with a head that dissipates fairly quickly. Aroma is fairly lively with big hits of banana, tropical fruits, and candied Belgian sugar. Taste follows the nose, but amplifies it to an awesome degree. Body is medium, or just right for the style, with just enough carbonation to bring it together in the end. Overall, an affordable beer that tastes much better than it may appear at first whiff.

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Photo of Act25
3.74/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jersey guy says:
A: So clear I can see the fingerprints on a Duvel tulip. Sports a 1 finger thick head on a golden body with modest retention and lacing.

S: Attractive Belgian yeast, candy store shelves, banana and pineapple like salt water taffy.

T: Follows smell. Caramel, banana, Belgian yeast, and green apple mostly. Clove, esters, and coriander notes.

M: Light body, moderate carbonation. semi-dry finish. Drying. Alcohol well masked.

O: Nice attractive take on the style, pretty much a Tripel, good value, would recommend. Try 6.

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Photo of DrMullet
3.49/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden yellow color.
Smell is sweet fruit with some apple.
Taste is fruit and banana up front. A little tart with some peppery spice at the end.

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle dated 03-21-16 into pint glass. Pours a clear light amber with an eggshell-white head. Initial impression is Belgian yeast, fruits, spice, not much hops. Quite sweet. Medium mouthfeel. Smooth. I'm not a fan of Belgians, but this wasn't too bad.

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Photo of AnalogReigns
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great tasting beer, particularly for the sale price ($3.95 for a sixer at Total! in 2016, no less!) Really quite an authentic, mature tasting Belgian. Lacks enough head, imho, though, that's not essential for this style. Faint aroma, nice light, clear yellow color. Medium hopped, without much aroma, with a fruity spicy delicious taste. Good, medium mouth feel, not too thick or thin, great for this style. Lacing is lacking on the glass--but that just means they need a little more wheat to help with a jolly head, I think.

Definitely well worth much more than the price I paid. Even at $8 or 10 a 6er, this would be worth it. Wonderful to see beers as elegant as this, brewed with pride in the USA. Compares well to Duvel or Allegash.

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Photo of Lilbeck23
4.23/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Smell is a little absent. It has warm winter spice taste. A hop kind of bubble kick with it. Overall a delightful drink to have while chilling (no pun intended) by the fire!!

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Photo of scotorum
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Another from the selection delivered on the new beer club membership gifted from my daughters.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into an Innis & Gunn stemmed flute

a: Clear gold with a finger thick white head which receded to patchy surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Overipe light fruit such as apricots

t: Follows the nose with some sourness over the rest of the usual Belgian yeast flavor. Mild overripe fruit notes on the finish.

m: Medium good body and carbonation tingle, smooth.

o: This is what I had hoped from Rodenbach Grand Cru, which is one of the highest rated of the style, but which was my first drain pour when attempted two years ago. This one is flavorful and drinkable, luring you to have more.

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Photo of Girouxsalem
4.26/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A subtle, easy drinking, sweet brew that can be picked up for cheap. Really helps hit my "Belgian" quota without breaking the bank.

Look: finger or so of head, clear, but not crystal clear. Medium carbonation, Medium lacing.

Smell: candy. Lots of sugary sweets, a little bit yeasts.

Taste. Candied Phenols. Yeasts. Sweet and light on the tongue, very inviting for someone who's unfamiliar with Belgian brews.

Feel. goes down medium-smooth.

Overall: Simple, sweet, one of the two best bangs for your buck from Flying Fish. Worth buying again.

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Photo of stevoj
3.09/5  rDev -16%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Beer Heaven. Hazy golden with spare head. All the elements of a true Belgian, but diminished. Malty but subdued, sort of bland. Minimal finish.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.54/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sweet Aroma, Nice Amber Color, Taste is Slight Sourness, but good malty flavor. spicy finish On Tap at McGillans, Philadelphia ** update, 2.11.16, side by side With ff abbey dubbel. Slightly. Superior. Golden color . white head. Nose is banana, orange, lemon, ester, yeast. Taste is Wangy, but refreshing. Lots of citrus, fruity flavor with the Yeast. Esters. Feel is very alive, bubbley.

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Photo of Milt2112
1.63/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Not sure if I got a bad batch of this, but this was a very disappointing offering from Flying Fish. Look of the beer is very clear - very amber - with almost no head. Not a good sign. Smell is off - like it is a bit past it's drink by date (it wasn't). Taste was terrible - definitely not what I expected from a belgian style pale. I seriously would rather drink Miller Lite than this. I bought a sixer of this, and was so disenchanted with it that I drain-poured the last 2 - just to get rid of it so I didn't have to dread the moment when I opened it and had that first dreadful taste.
I love Flying Fish - I'm from South NJ - but do yourself a favor - steer clear of this one. Flying Fish - please - get rid of this, or figure out how to brew a Belgian Strong Pale.
I definitely won't be coming near this one ever again.

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Photo of BeerAndGasMasks
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle, it pours a golden amber with a small head - and I poured it cellar temp (about 60 degrees). Interesting beer, it is drinkable, but not outstanding.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

DATE TASTED: December 13, 2014... GLASSWARE: Chimay goblet... OCCASION: prepping for The Battle of the Five Armies--with An Unexpected Journey... APPEARANCE: cheery, translucent golden body that streams bubbles up its center; whitish head sizzles to a half-finger-thin finish; ... AROMA: a clean clove profile front and center, with apple, pear and melon fragrantly mingling; lemon follows, then sits upon a light bready trail--alluring ... PALATE: dry, front-facing, and medium-bodied; easily drinkable yet warming with every sip; some effervescence invigorates the mouthfeel....TASTE: dry pear and clove, faint vanilla (olive?) and bready biscuit make this a complex yet light offering ... OVERALL: at 7.2% ABV, this ale satisfies with a flavorful sustenance--for the price, more than worth its weight, and one of the finer Flying Fish offers...

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Photo of Slatetank
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I purchased this at Giant, enjoyed chilled from the 12oz in a tulip.

The color is golden with good clarity and thin white cap with fine bead and spots of lace stick. There is a strong yeast ester with sweet candy sugar-like smell and mild phenolic accent with subtle alcohol aroma. The feel is strong with spice and light vegetal smoothness gentle alcohol and moderately carbonated with dry finish.

The taste has a good amount of Belgian yeast and slight phenolic quality with mild candy sweetness compared to the aroma with subtle fruit like ripe banana and hints of citrus with a mild alcohol flavor and subtle bitterness in the background with vegetal element as it finishes. Overall I think this is a pretty good pale with some Belgian yeast flavor not bad but not great - kind of middling -worth a try I suppose.

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Photo of Roser
3/5  rDev -18.5%

A- clear honey gold. A not too big bone white head. Minimal lacing.

S- Belgian yeast. Floral. Sweet.

T- spices and clove. Sweet (butterscotch?). Maybe a little nutty.

M- medium body. Not much going on here.

O- not bad (but not great). An interesting offering for a winter seasonal. A nice Belgian style brew from an American brewery. I'd have again but wouldn't go out of my way, especially if better Belgian beers are an option. Seems like a beer that could please/disappoint depending on the palate, so I recommend trying.


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Photo of metter98
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that quickly died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of Belgian and fruity yeast as well as candi sugars are present in the nose.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and starts out a little fruity from the yeast and transitions to flavors of pale malts and candi sugars. Slight bits of spices are also perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes a little sweeter compared to other beers in the style as it doesn't have any associated dryness. It seems to taste like a hybrid between a Belgian Strong a Pale Ale and a Dubbel.

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Photo of 57md
3.35/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours an orangey straw color with a finger of head that dissipated quickly. The nose has the classic Belgian funk to it along with a perfumed scent that adds to the funkiness. The flavor profile has Belgian yeast merged with a touch of brown sugar sweetness.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.19/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured bottle into glass. 6.9 % abv. The label on the bottle and alcohol content have changed for this offering since it has been listed on beeradvocate.

Appearance- Pours a transparent golden yellow with a thin head that dissipates with large bubbles.

Smell- Sweet with hints of malt. Has a grainy aroma as well. Almost like that of a dry cider.

Taste- Hints of sweet dough at first with a prominent malt finish. Slight undertones of apples.

Mouthfeel- On the thin side and dry as well. Low carbonation as well.

Overall- Mildly complex and easy drinking. Thinner in body than I would have thought. Still the story of this beer is how malty it is, like that of bread.

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Photo of JeffBrenner
2.94/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle to a pint glass. Next to no head or carbonation on this one. A dark gold color as would be expected for the style. Next to no lacing. Medium light penetration. Perhaps it was just my bottle, but I got next to no aromas on mine. I get notes of honey (almost like a green tea) and lemon. Possibly some coriander or cinnamon. Goes down okay at first, but with the spices, has a bit of a bite at the end. Overall, this beer was okay. I remember having it years ago and it tasting much better. Maybe I had an off bottle, but if this is the consensus of most people (I have not read other reviews), I can not say I would be running out to get more of this. Personally, I got this in a 6-pack sampler from a friend for Christmas.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
3.04/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, mason jar, best by 3/23/14.

Straw gold, dark, like honey. A small but frothy, tight knit white head.

Classic fruity, spicy yeast. Sweet. Goodly amount of clove.

Tastes as it smells. Not as sweet. Absolutely yeast oriented with lots of clove. Good, but ho-hum.

Pretty full, approaching syrupy actually. Small fizzy bubbles.

It's very blah. It's OK or less. Grand Cru conjures up grand thoughts of a sparkling, effervescent Belgian pale ale. This is just not it. Too heavy and too singular.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.89/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Grand Cru pours a darker cooper color with a small lacing head. There is a yeasty aroma, with a lot of pepper flavors. The taste had yeast flavors, a lot of pepper and a mild sweet pear like flavor. Good body, but overall light. Overall its a nice spicy beer.

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Photo of JohnFatAss
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Grand Cru Winter Reserve came in a brown bottle with a distinctive purple label.

It poured a hazy golden color. Small white head and a little bit of lacing.

Sweet and fruity smell.

The taste is not as sweet or fruity as the smell would lead you to believe.

Water up front. Clove and banana favors come through. A little bit of yeast.
Some hop spice and finishes up dry.

An interesting beer, not your typical winter seasonal.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-golden amber color with a smallish white head and a little lacing

S-fruit, honey, spices, light malt

T-apricots, apples, cloying sweetness, coriander, hint of pepper, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth and slightly viscous

O-too sweet for my taste, the other flavors while decent, were overwhelmed in my opinion

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Photo of chinchill
3.71/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz., undated bottle served in a Belgina snifter. Complete pour but a thin coat of sediment remained on the bottom. The body is a hazy apricot-amber color with a short-lived, off-white head that quickly reduces to some thin film and a thin ring, leaving some small patches of sticky lacing.

S: Very fruity aroma with a strong suggestions of canned mandarin orange and cardamon, moderate yeastiness, and hints of pear, citrus and apple. Moderately spicy and peppery.

T: Lightly tart with a faint bitterness. Biscuits with fruit, with the fruits from the nose repeating here, along with a touch of ripe banana. Moderate amounts of spices and yeast.

M: Near medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: An enjoyable ale with definite Belgian characteristics but not quite the quality (or price range) as the best Belgian counterparts.

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Grand Cru Winter Reserve from Flying Fish Brewing Company
3.68 out of 5 based on 571 ratings.
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