Grand Cru Winter Reserve
Flying Fish Brewing Company

Grand Cru Winter ReserveGrand Cru Winter Reserve
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Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Ranked #369
Ranked #38,968
3.67 | pDev: 13.08%
Flying Fish Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States
Grand Cru Winter ReserveGrand Cru Winter Reserve
Reviews: 246 | Ratings: 603 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of lastmango
3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear amber color with minimal bubbles and a one finger white head that dissipated immediately. Light lacing was present. Nose was sweet, slightly bready and a bit soapy. Taste is very sweet malt forward and a very mellow hops note with a bit of pepper. Light body and carbonation. No complexity. Much better BSPAs are out there.

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Photo of mpyle
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My bottle (expiration date May 2019) says 6.9% ABV and has a different looking label. Thanks to my friend Dave for providing.

Very pale golden color. Good clarity and a big white head, creamy and with good retention.

Subtle hop aroma, but generally quite clean. Slight phenolic peppery nose.

Some initial sweetness infused with a bit of Belgian yeast character and some pepper. An earthy hop flavor, but all pretty mellow on the flavor. Not strongly bitter, but does dry a bit in the finish.

Medium body and high carbonation. No astringency, very slight warming.

Honestly had no idea what to expect with this one. Found it to be a very clean and bright tasting beer. Nice Belgian character, and restrained hopping.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I tried this on tap at The Standard Tap in Philadelphia. It poured a clear golden with white head that is leaving some lace. The scent had hints of Belgian sweet malt and bitter hop notes. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with strong Belgian malt base and hop highlights. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall its a good beer.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.58/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

Pours clear golden, white lacing for a head.

Smells of honey, candi sugar and sweet bread malt.

Flavor is honey, candi sugar, banana, coriander, hint of bubblegum, and sweet roll.

Medium body, tingly carbonation on the tongue.

Decent rich ale, very malty sweet. Nothing really special about it but it's not bad. Pour is all wrong for a Belgian, no head.

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Photo of EMV
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Clear light golden pour with 2 fingers of fluffy white head. Solid rim of lacing.

S: Citrusy and light... Belgian yeast and toasty grains.

T.F: Sweet lightly toasted malts... not as complex as expected... light lemony citrus. Mild hopping but too sweet for the style. Lacking a lot of the Belgian yeast character I'd hope for... not much spice... slightly grassy and an off flavor at the finish. Buttery carbonation... relatively smooth.

O: A below average Belgian Strong Pale. Too sweet... lacking complexity... not one I'd seek out or pick up again.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.74/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a tall glass. Winter 2016/17 release, best by March 2017.

Careful pour shows a clear golden yellow body with nice foamy white head leaving good lacing.

Good whiff of Belgian spices on the nose.

Spices come through strong on the taste as well. Not much else can be detected.

Mouth is medium, finish spicy and just a little on the harsh side.

Overall, not sure how different this would be fresh, but it's a worthwhile drink now.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.29/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Copper colored with a faint haziness in the complexion. There's a fingernail of off white around most of the rim and just a trace elsewhere on top. I smell Belgian pale malt and light candy sugar, but the malt is a bit sweeter and honeylike smelling than usual. The taste is focused mainly on the Belgian pale malt, but the slightly sweet finish is missing. The body seems unusually light and a tad watery for the style. I will say that for the ABV the booze is well hidden and this can really sneak up on you.

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Photo of HoppingMadMonk
4.09/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clear amber color. Medium body, just above average carbonation. Aroma is yeast, sugar, malt, and a slight spice aroma. Taste is very identical, not sweet like the style sometimes can be. Spuce is very mild but still comes through. Slight bitter taste that balances out the malt and sugar really well. Reviews seem mixed on this beer but it was very solid and enjoyable to me

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Photo of pubscout
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One of The PubScout’s favorite winter offerings, Grand Cru Winter Reserve is beautifully balance between hops and malt. While there is no fruit nor spices in the beer, the Belgian Yeast yields the spicy note because it’s brewed at a higher temp than usual. FF has a well-deserved reputation for brewing quality beer, and this is no exception. It’s a great beer that pairs well with many foods, and it’s great by itself in a snifter by the hearth, too. Nicely carbonated, not boozy at all, and, at just 6.9%, it’s a nice substitute for those big Belgian tripels.

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Photo of Cnote_crafty_1
4.59/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Grand Cru Winter Reserve
Eye: golden with a slight haze, lots of carbonation, white head
Nose: wheat, citrus, sparklyness
Tongue: wheat, clove, but mainly banana to me and citrus
Feel: light, airy, good pop on the carbonation
Overall: I think this is a really good, well balanced beer. It's got all the characteristics of a good Belgian wheat ale. You really don't taste the alcohol and it doesn't taste really like a strong ale, just a nice wheat ale that is light and refreshing. It must be somewhat filtered though because it is pretty clear for a wheat ale.

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Photo of Vetbidder
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

To me this is a straw colored brew with a quickly receeding white head. I've noticed that other people mention amber as the color but I'm not seeing that at all. See through with hardly any color. Sweet Belgian yeasty scent from the nose of this brew. Maybe a little spiciness to the nose to boot. Belgian flavored And a bit sticky. I can't perceive the alcohol at all. Slight bitterness and spice to this flavor also. Less, but adequate carbonation and a thinner feel round out this brew. This is pretty decent.

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Photo of rudiecantfail
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Crystal clear, golden color. Clear with a very small head that disappeared quickly and left minimal lacing.

S---Yeasty. A little bit of spice & tropical fruit.

T---A bit of pepper. Yeast is prominent. Bunch of fruit tastes.

F---A bit sticky. Not very carbonated

O---Not Flying FIsh's best effort, but still a decent beer to have, just not one to look forward to.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
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 Beginner2
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A blond Grand Cru in winter! (An additional pleasure came from vacationing in Florida instead of enduring Chicago's February.) At any rate, this Grand Cru went well with appetizers. While malty and fruit-forward, the bubbles cleansed the palate for a variety of foods.

While I have had only two from Flying Fish, I was surprised to find that three of their top six BA-rated ales are Belgians. So they seem to be figuring out the Belgian yeast thing that stumps so many American brewers early in their careers. Glad that Flying Fish has found the yeast secret and I hope to find more of their beers.

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Photo of Whey2Hoppy
3.78/5  rDev +3%
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
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jersey guy says, "I upped my rating on grand cru as it's as good a winter seasonal as can be found anywhere."
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 -4.9%
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 -0.8%
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 +15%
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 +15.3%
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 +7.1%
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 +16.1%
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 -15.8%
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 -3.5%
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 Urk1127
3.55/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Gold in color. White head.
Smell is alcohol, banana. Subtle clove.
Taste is the same as the smell
Feel is frothy. Light. Almost effervescent.

Would drink again.

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Grand Cru Winter Reserve from Flying Fish Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 603 ratings