Grand Cru Winter Reserve | Flying Fish Brewing Company

232 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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 pezoids on 09-14-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 232 | Ratings: 568
Photo of IronLover
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark orange in color with yellowish hues on the edge of glass and a viscous, murky appearance. Poured with a thick, billowy, belgian-like foam with good retention that left sheets of sticky lacings on the glass. Bready, grainy and yeasty aromas with peppery spice and a hints of banana, candy sugar and bubblegum. On the lighter spectrum of medium bodied with a smooth creamy feel. Strong peppery flavor with sweet banana, grainy bread and yeast from beginning to end. Floral hop flavors from the middle toward the end. Finishes with a spicy, yeasty aftertaste.

 561 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.59/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Best by 4/5/13. 6.9% ABV per the label.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, yeast, spices, and some fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a yeast and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some nice aromas but the flavors are more earthy without any real fruity aspects that I get from the smell.

 641 characters

Photo of templar316
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a rich burnished copper with a quickly receeding off white head. It cling's nicely to the side of my Duval tulip. A soft nose of cotton candy, crisp apples and honeyed pears. It coats the mouth with tart apple and champagne brightness. All in all leaves me alert but wanting more. A solid offering!

 304 characters

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

P: Hazy golden apricot with a thin layer of off white head.

S: Belgian yeast, candy sugar malt, apricots, peaches, golden apples, pears, dusty grains and sourdough.

T/M: Spicy Belgian yeast, powdery essence, smoldered grain, orchard and stone fruit. Moderate body with subtle prickly carbonation. Finishes powdery and dry with lingering apple peels and spice.

O: A decent BSPA that delivers great yeast, spice and fruit. This is a great go to beer that doesn't break the bank.

 482 characters

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

Served on-tap at Texas Arizona in Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours a hazy medium apricot to peach in color with some orange and golden yellow highlights as well as some light amounts of visible carbonation and just a touch of visible sediment in suspension. The beer has a finger tall sudsy off-white head that quickly reduces to a very thin film covering about half of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate amounts of golden fruits (apricot and pear/golden delicious apple) and spices (pepper and coriander), likely from the Belgian yeasts. Additionally there is a light amount of citrus/grapefruit hops.

T: Upfront there are pale malts with some light to moderate amounts of pear, golden delicious apple and apricot fruit sweetness followed by moderate amounts of spices (pepper and coriander) from the yeast. Just a touch of grapefruit/citrus hops and alcohol. Very light bitterness in the finish which fades rather quickly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy and coats the inside of your mouth with just a touch of dryness in the finish.

O: This is an enjoyable brew with some Belgian characteristics but not in the same category as the great Belgian beers of the style - the alcohol is a little more present than I would enjoy.

 1,361 characters

Photo of pkalix
2.09/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

my first flying fish....
pours a bland gold with no head.
the aroma has got me prejudiced- i dont like it. tinny, rusty, not like a belgian ale at all in my book. one more sniff... cant define it. a fishery, maybe??
taste...? yeah, the candied sugar is there. yeah, the 'belgian' undertones are there... but i dont think i like it.
my bottle is purple and doesnt look anything like the one on the BA site. also the label says 6.9% but BA says 7.2%
i found the website; the brew is just very new. not on BA yet. i still dont like it. it could be great, but there is just a nasty little smell/taste that is giving me much hesitation. i'm trying to be fair with each drink/taste. and the weird thing is, it is a FISHY taste/smell. i dont know what more to say. i have 2/3 down and i'm going to toss the rest. i dont know how to rate this one. i get the distinct style and taste of a brewer and i appreciate that, but i dont like this at all. can i give it a 2 for the abv??? and for what i percieve to be a nice attempt? i like the write up on the website. i get the description. there is just a funky little taste (spice?) that ruins it for me. and maybe this review belongs in a new format as i interpret it to be a 'new' brew rather than the one pictured. but look how much i described in fairness to the brew- i tried to be fair. somebody send me a line if you disagree, please...

 1,382 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.81/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle served in a glass chalice.

L - clear golden color with a white head that thinned to a ring.

S - candied sugar, yeast and some spice.

T - nice blend of sweetness, yeast and some peppery spice finishing somewhat dry.

F - medium bodied with a smooth, easy drinking feel.

O - a fine example of the style.

 317 characters

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

Had this at the Somerset Hills Tap Room in New Jersey. It's a clear
yellow amber color with a healthy white head and decent lacing. The aroma offers
a very pleasant banana-clove blended with sweet nuttiness and biscuit/cereal
grain goodness. Very inviting. The flavor brings a bit milder, fruitier theme
with light grass and subtle spice/nutmeg notes. Pretty delicate and quite
drinkable for the style. It's medium-light bodied with a frothy, smooth feel and
a fine but full carbonation. A very easy to like winter option.

 528 characters

Photo of ranger60
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Had a 5 oz sample on draft at Tap Room in Warren, NJ.

Appearance: light golden color, long lasting very white head with tight bubbles.

Smell: fruity and spicy

Taste: I was surprised and picked up some bitterness right away. was not expecting that...? but really good blend of hops and spiciness.

Mouthfeel: smooth at first, but then a quick carbonation it.

Overall: a pretty good representation of a Belgian style ale.

 436 characters

Photo of fmccormi
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Straight pour from a 12oz pry-off bottle to a 25cl Duvel Single tulip; freshness date of April 5, 2013 printed in white ink near the bottom-left corner of the label (“04-05-13”). Not sure when this was bottled, then, but the Flying Fish website lists this as a seasonal available from November to February, so my guess is this was bottled in early November or December, making it about one or more likely two months old on the date of consumption.

Appearance (3.5): A full two fingers of very fine-grained, bone-white foam comes off the pour, capping a glowing orange-amber body that’s evenly hazy throughout. Moderate retention and very modest lacing, leaving some scattered suds on one side of the glass and no real lacing. Body’s pretty, head’s a bit lacking but not unexpectedly so.

Smell (4.0): Prominent clove and fruit character (pear and kind of a sweet, red candy apple) with a bit of coriander underneath, no pepper to speak of but still spicy. Despite the relatively low ABV, there’s something like a boozy character in there, too. A very pleasant nose.

Taste (3.5): The booziness in the nose melds well with the fruity esters from the yeast in this beer, turning the pear and apple notes into something almost lemony with a tart edge. The malt is plain, blonde, and moderately sweet, as would be expected of a typical BSPA: biscuity with a candi sugar sweetness underneath. There’s a somewhat floral, modestly bitter hop character in the finish. Nothing too surprising, but it’s pleasant. Surprisingly boozy for the size of the beer.

Mouthfeel (4.0): The carbonation is nice and smooth, neither prickly nor particularly tingly but active and filling with a nice, full, foaming action on the way down. The booziness on the palate helps dry out the finish, which without it would be a bit syrupy from the candi sweetness in the malt profile.

Overall (3.5): This is a decent beer, don’t get me wrong. It’s doing everything more or less right, but it’s not really bringing anything new or notable to the table, either. It’s also surprisingly boozy for the size, which doesn’t particularly bother me but it’s a little unexpected. All in all, it’s a decent Belgian Pale that’s not quite BSPA but a little strong, in character and content, for a BPA.

 2,297 characters

Photo of mooseisloose
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Popping the top I get a very fresh wheaty smell. Some candy, spice and zesty. Pours into the perfect pint with a nice thick foamy head and a slightly cloudy golden color. Taste is sweet upfront with a zesty hoppiness. The taste gets drier in the middle then finishes with a flat sweet bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is spot on. THis is a great holiday winter warmer with lots of zest and fresh flavor.

 423 characters

Photo of caulfield
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In a 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Light golden appearance with a white head

Smell - citrus, yeast, spices

Taste-There is a slightly citrusy taste with a top note of spices (coriander). However, the taste is somewhat light.

Mouth -Light mouth feel. Feels almost like a dubbel. They've nailed the Belgium style.

Overall - I have to be honest, I wanted to like this more than I did. The taste is subtle, but I'd like a Belgium-style with a more substantial flavor. Overall, its not bad, but it just didn't live up to my expectations.

 558 characters

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

The beer poured a clear medium to light gold and produced a half an inch of bubbly white head. It dissipates fast leaving good lacing.
The smell tells of malt, banana, lemon and spice.
Tasting the beer the front is a refreshing fruity hop character, very mild, but present. The banana favor mingles with the winery spices like nutmeg, coriander and spice. The malty backbone is present throughout the tasting. The finish is a warming tingle that is very pleasant.
I am positively surprised by this beer. It was better than expected. Very drinkable medium to light winter warmer. Great job!

 589 characters

Photo of KTCamm
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at the Publick House in Chester NJ, in a Sam Adams octoberfest glass.

Pale yellow color with good head of white foam. Lots of lacing. Cloudy. Nose is light fruit, with some hints of spices. Taste is a moth mellow blend, fruitiness blended with a sugary malt. Light hop holds throughout.

Tasty blend, good lunchtime brew.

 338 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.97/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

 790 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 2 finger thick head on a murky golden with crimson hue body. Excellent head retention and some lacing.

S: Strong belgian yeast, candy, banana and pineapple aroma.

T: caramel, banana, belgian yeast/esters and green apple mostly. bubblegum and corriander notes in the background.

M: light to medium body and moderate carbonation. semi-dry finish as expected.

Overall: This genre seems to vary quite a bit with some more on the saison side, some on the tripel side and others on the belgian strong ale side. This one is more in the tripel realm by my tastes.

 562 characters

Photo of KAP1356
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received a mixed 6 pack fr Christmas and this was one of the beers. Poured into a Russian River cervoise...

A - Pours a slightly cloudy gold-yellow color with a one finger off-white head that left some nice lacing. The head receded pretty quickly.

S - The aroma is the classic estery notes I've gotten used to in Belgium ales; banana, some green apple and that classic bubblegum aromas. Some slight spice comes through as well with a really solid malty backbone.

T - The flavors are fruity banana, green apple and some more bubblegum. Yeasty with a pale malt backbone. Nothing really outstanding, but nothing terrible either.

M - Lighter bodied beer that has a low carbonation. Slightly dry finish that makes the mouthfeel my favorite part of the beer.

O - Not bad and not great. Was nice to get to try, but I wouldn't rush back to try it again.

 850 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - slightly cloudy honey orange with nice initial amount of head.. head quickly disappeared and formed a foamy rim around the glass

S - bready/yeast, citrus, sweet malts, slight smoke tones

T - sweet, wheat, citrus, bready, spices.. there is something really unique about this beer's taste that i really really like i just can't put my tongue on it (pun intended)

M - perfectly carbonated, crisp and refreshing with a sweet yet dry finish

O - not quite sure why this is a winter reserve, i can picture having this beer year round. i like this more than their other belgian style ales.. lots more distinct flavors.

 618 characters

Photo of Arithmeticus
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured slightly chilled in flared glass

A: clear, dark yellow; frothy, high head; good carbonation; good lacing
S: yeasty aroma, all Belgian
T: not sweet; strawlike overtones; peach and apple tones dominate; heavy on the yeast and bottle conditioning
M: a bit watery

overall, not bad, quite good actually

 306 characters

Photo of jayhawk73
2.78/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a bright orange color with a thin off white head on my snifter glass. Smell is grass, hops, fruit. Not bad, but not nearly as good as the best in the style category. The taste is just not right for this style to me. Yeast, alcohol are added to the nose profile.. but, it's WAY too sweet. Not a fan of the taste. The feel is thin, syrupy, with a little bit of an undercarbonated vibe. Overall, this is fairly mediocre. Probably won't look for this again. Cheers.

 467 characters

Photo of rwrk42
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour: A golden yellow color with a nice foam head that doesn't last too long
Smell: Sweet caramel with a wonderful malty smell. Slight dark fruit aroma
Taste: Very smooth and malty. Nice mouthfeel. Sweet malt flavor and caramel undertones with some dark fruit & spice
Very good....would recommend.

 297 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Recent bottle from New Jersey drive through. Pours an opaque peachy colour with tiny retained head. Belgian yeast aroma, with malt and fruitiness. Average mouthfeel, tingling mouthfeel. More complex flavour profile as it warmed. Satisfying and drinkable.

 254 characters

Photo of keanex
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice from a fresh 2011 12 ounce bottle.

A: Clear amber with a thin white head that quickly dissipates.

S: Light slight fruits with a faint smell of spices.

T: Light notes of ripe fruit and light sweetness from the malts, very simple and easy to drink.

M: Full bodied with light fizzy carbonation.

O: Decent seasonal at a decent price ($7.99 a 6 pack). Worth trying once at least.

 403 characters

Photo of KyleVick4
3.11/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pint glass

A: Cloudy with no particulate. Thick head that quickly dissipates and leaves sub-par lacing. Murky honey color is less than appetizing.

S: Spicy smell of coriander/anise. Yeasties in there also but not as strong as the spice.

T: Nothing special here, spiciness hinted by in the nose is present but pretty bland through and through. A very subtle sourness in the aftertaste reduces its drinkability. No hint of the high ABV.

M: Well carbonated and thick, fairly heavy. Fits the style.

O: Meh, I'm not disappointed I bought it, but I'm not thrilled either. Nothing special here.

 592 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.93/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Sam Smith pint glass. Served chilled.

A: Pours a cloudy golden yellow color along with a somewhat dinky half-finger eggshell color head with poor retention, but decent lacing.

S: Has an interesting cross between a phenolic, yeasty, smell of fruity ale esters (bubblegum, apple, banana), spices, and a noble hop aroma. Works decently enough.

T: Opens nicely with a subdued hit of apple, bubblegum, coriander, and banana. The finish, though, falls flat on its face with a withering, murky bitter aftertaste. ABV is hidden well, at least.

M: Somewhat low carbonation for this type of beer. The body is surprisingly light and has a slightly dry finish.

O: Not bad at all, but it doesn't really impress me. Having said that, I'd be willing to give it a second chance if it were served at room temperature. Otherwise, this isn't something I'll purchase in the future.

 880 characters

Grand Cru Winter Reserve from Flying Fish Brewing Company
3.68 out of 5 based on 568 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.