Grand Cru Winter Reserve
Flying Fish Brewing Company

Grand Cru Winter ReserveGrand Cru Winter Reserve
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Strong Ale - Belgian Pale
Ranked #361
Ranked #41,348
3.67 | pDev: 13.08%
Flying Fish Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States
Grand Cru Winter ReserveGrand Cru Winter Reserve
Reviews: 247 | Ratings: 603 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: A 12 fluid ounce amber-brown glass bottle. The front label is generic in design. For the Grand Cru Winter Reserve, the neck label has a large ‘G’ inside the brewery decal. The main label has a black background and is a rather colorful affair which has a twin-engine aircraft formed from a fish skeleton on a black colored background with the breweries name around the edge in a red circle. No freshness or strength indicated. I do note that the Breweries website lists this at 6.8%, as opposed to the 6.1% listed.

Appearance: A very thin head covering that comprises a uni-molecular central covering that increases at the edges of the glass to a ring white collar. A hazy golden body that looks quite deadly as well as hinting and reflecting at this beer’s Belgian influences

Nose: Spicy, hops, malts and a fruity aspect.

Taste: Starts with a strong mix of malts and hops that has a definitive stratum of spices throughout the drink. Smooth alcohols are powerful but restrained and balanced in the mix of malts and hops very nicely. The fruity aura of the beer intertwined with the mildly warming alcohol finish, lends a very Belgian nature to the beer. Excellent!

Mouthfeel: The alcohol helps the mouthfeel here for sure, lending an established feel about this beer, like an elder statesman, it demands respect and gets it.

Drinkability: The 6.8% is defined and not hidden, but it does not need to be. For the excellent balance of this beer allows the higher malt grain alcohol to exist in perfect harmony with the spicy hops, grainy malts and the fruity finish. This could be easily mistaken for a Belgian beer by many I believe.

Overall: I disagree that ‘Grand Cru’ is a style, for me it’s more of a statement that states that the Grand Cru is the best of any style that a Brewery has to offer. To sum up, I would say that this beer so reminded me of a weaker version of a Kasteelbier Blond. A very nice, soothing beer, with a light kick. A great beer to finish the night with. Thanks to NeroFiddled for the ability to materialize one of these in my Apartment.

Aug 10, 2003
More User Reviews:
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francisweizen from Alaska

3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a decent Belgian style ale from our friends in New Jersey. This brew was a light golden colour with a thick, meringue-like top of white foam. The aromas were all Belgian yeasts and spices as well as some floral hoppy notes. The taste was just as the aroma hinted it to be. The mouthfeel was a bit light int he mouth and the drinkability was not too good, because this beer just lacked a lot of complexity....

Dec 09, 2003
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Nerudamann from Oregon

3.88/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a sifter glass.

Look - dense but still pale amber color, murky, with about 2 fingers of off-white foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell - good mix of malty and hoppy. Maybe some very subtle fruits. Very yeasty, like a Weizen.

Taste - a little bit musky in the taste, especially the beginning, lending itself to being a little more malty in balance. Also very yeasty in taste, but at the same time more refined than a typical Weizen. Texture is very well-balanced!

Drinkabiliy - very tasty and well-done brew! I think it fits the style very well. Complex enough for reviewing and critiquing, but at the same time tasty enough to just relax and enjoy!

Jan 08, 2011
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BeccaH from Florida

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Sep 12, 2014
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BJC from New Jersey

3.69/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured yellow gold and clear (a bottle conditioned beer) into a Belgian balloon glass;
the head died quickly but bubbles continued to rise as the beer warmed;
a relatively thin body which allow the spices (I can't identify
them.) to come forth gently not agressively;
a lovely aromatic aroma;
not as bold as some tripels-the 6% abv and a 12oz bottle allows enjoyable drinking-you can drink more that one without feeling it;
good with fish or chicken;
reminds me of the much enjoyed Celis Grand Cru

Feb 02, 2003
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bconsidine from Maryland

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Feb 09, 2012
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Lambdon from Pennsylvania

3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 25, 2015
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cichief from Virginia

3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a keg at Friscoe's Grille, Columbia, MD, as part of their Christmas in July celebration.

A- Nice deep gold, slightly cloudy, with a nice white head.

S- Yeasty, hint of cardamom and spice.

T- Very spicy, cardamom and yeast. Slight hint of wheat.

M- Effervescent, but not overly carbonated, medium body.

D- A good example of the style, one you don't see often enough in the US.

Jul 13, 2007
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spinrsx from Canada (ON)

3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from Total Wine Las Vegas for 0.99$ on sale

Appearance - Slightly hazy amber colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an above average amount of carbonation and there is some faint lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Lemon/oranges, grains, yeast, coriander/cloves

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste lemons/oranges, banana, grains and a bit of yeast. There is also a bit of a clove/coriander spiciness and a bit of vinegar/rust/funk. It ends with a corn syrup and coriander/clove slightly tart aftertaste.

Overall - Pretty good stuff. The scent was nice and the taste had a little bit of a funk that made it interesting. Glad I picked this up and I'd drink it again anytime.

Apr 20, 2012
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Markbienvenu from Maryland

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

Nov 26, 2014
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lackenhauser from Maryland

3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale golden color-almost borders on being a BUD "dark". Not a lot of aroma-sulfury and yeasty. Great flavor-deep malt taste with an earthy, somewhat funky undercurrent. Very slightly spiced. Somewhat sweet. Good body-very full, somewhat slick. Very, very drinkable and enjoyable. The heavy sweetness and slick body might get to be too much after while. Very enjoyable none the less. Nice for a cold winters night.

Dec 09, 2007
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Samp01 from New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt cloudy orange with virtualy no head. Aroma of malt, fruitiness light hints of vanilla spices. Taste is sweet caramel some fruitiness sweet spices and some light hops. Palate is medium body, nice carbonation. Finish is sweet maltiness, some dark fruits ending with a dry alcohol sweet caramel vanilla bitterness. Overall a nice drinkable belgian ale for the holiday season.

Jan 29, 2011
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Stezz420 from Illinois

3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Feb 22, 2016
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bierman2000 from Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straw colored, nice body very hoppy in the nose but smooth beer that hits on all cylinders. The aroma sweetens as the ale warms and the taste is full of fruit and sweet malt. This is one of the better Grand Cru's on the market and the alcohol finishes nicely for this ale.

Jun 21, 2003
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mrgrinch from New Jersey

2.96/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Golden yellow, mild carbonation, no notable head but a vibrant surface. Cloudy.

Smell - The malts not really making themselves known. Spicy perhaps even mildly citrusy hops is in the forefront.

Taste - Cinnamon? Coriander? The spices dominate. Perhaps this is what a winter brew is supposed to be built like. I am new at the seasonal beer thing. It is a nice flavor, though spicy like some off the weissbiers I had in the summer.

Mouthfeel - I do like the texture. This beer has a nice body, and the carbonation leaves a little zing on the tongue at the finish.

Drinkability - This beer is refreshing. The flavor is not too overpowering, though it may be too spicy for me to have more than one or two.

I poured this from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Dec 04, 2010
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BigAl18 from Minnesota

3.19/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Jun 03, 2015
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weeare138 from Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draft at The Fitzwater Station...
Appears a hazy golden bronze with a fluffy white head that slowly settles into a half inch head. Nice, solid specs of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of a bold, bold fresh hop boil with a spicey Westmalle-ish yeast in the background. Smells like I've got my nose in either a bag of Styrian Golding hops, or I am right over the kettle during the addition. They either put a ton in at the end of the boil, or dry hopped this bad boy...either way, I enjoy the aroma. Nice citrusy hops with a touch or orange candy and white pepper.
Taste is of the aforementioned aromas. Nice play on the Belgian yeast giving it a good blend of aromatics and spiceyness to mix with a good dose of hops along with some wheat, Carapils malt and biscuity malt being exposed.
Mouthfeel is how you would expect it to be with this yeast. Crisp & dry with a medium bodied feel and decent carbonation levels.

Apr 15, 2006
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user785335 from Florida

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Mar 02, 2014
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gbw5009 from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dec 28, 2015
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Gavage from Nevada

3.61/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Arrived in a pint glass crystal clear gold in color and a 2" head. The head hung around for a bit. Some decent lacing developed. The aroma was of sweet candy.

The flavor was of strong malts, candy, light lemon citrus, soft alcohol, and some pepper spiciness. Bitterness was mild.

Mouthfeel was mostly smooth with a touch of crispness at the swallow. Medium bodied. Drinkability is decent. Better on tap than the bottled version.

Nov 05, 2005
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LehighAce06 from Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +9%

Jan 18, 2014
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3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dec 26, 2014
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clvand0 from Kentucky

3.72/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours a light amber color with a very small head that falls fast and leaves a little lacing on the glass. Slight corriander in the aroma, slight sweetness. Lots of orange citrus in there. The flavor has a nice mixture of the corriander for spice and the orange citrus. That's basically all that there is in the flavor, though. I want more from a grand cru. This is basically a slightly off-style Belgian Witbier. Very small for a grand cru as well. Moderate mouthfeel and decent drinkability, but I want a lot more from something that you call a grand cru. This is a tasty Belgian Wit, but not a grand cru. Change the name and style to a Witbier and I'll probably give it much higher marks.

Jun 05, 2005
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THECPJ from Delaware

4/5  rDev +9%

Nov 18, 2011
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strandm from Missouri

3.64/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dec 29, 2014
Grand Cru Winter Reserve from Flying Fish Brewing Company
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 603 ratings