V-Grand Cru | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

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V-Grand CruV-Grand Cru
81 Ratings
V-Grand CruV-Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by taez555 on 06-16-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 81 |  Reviews: 75
Photo of stakem
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750ml corked and caged almost 13 year old brew poured into a snifter. The brew appears a hazy dark golden copper color with light khaki head that fades leaving a webbing of lace.

Aroma is spicy with yeastiness like clove, pear, apple and some cork. Increasingly earthy smelling with each whiff.

Taste has everything you would expect of a belgian brew. Spicy yeastiness like clove, cracked black pepper, pears, apples and slight bubblegum note. Oxidation like cork in the finish with a slight herbal bitterness.

Full bodied and modestly carbonated. It is pretty much on par for what you would think a 13 year old belgian tastes like.

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4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of smithj4
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of jfcaa193
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of jophish17
2.5/5  rDev -39%

Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark amber with a slight head that faded rather quickly.

S: some mildy spicy and fruity notes from yeast, (pears) and pepper along with a warm malting and light muskiness.

T: For flavor there was some dry oranges, coriander and creamy banana notes. Also there were some slight underlying tropical fruitiness (pineapples) as well some tangy apricots that finished dry and tart.

M: medium bodied with adequate carbonation to bring out the spicy nature of the beer along with some alcohol warming.

D: Drinkability was nice, well balanced considering abv. and fairly well hidden though wouldn't recommend more then 2 at a time.

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Photo of Pencible
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a hazy orange with decent head, and had a strong scent of apricots and oranges. The texture was fairly watery, with a predominantly sweet citrus flavor. There was some malt and spices in the flavor as well, with a bit of hops in the aftertaste. It was fairly warming to drink, but it didn't have a strong alcohol flavor. It was easy to sip, but the sweetness built so quickly that it would be difficult to drink much of it.

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Photo of younger35
3.04/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled on 05/15/03

Received this brew from BeerBeing after winning it from the Secret Santa Sweepstakes thingy. Drank from my Widmer Hefeweizen mini weizen glass.

Appearance- Pours a light yellowish orange with a big one finger off white head that has chunks of yeast on it. The head recedes fairly quickly leaving almost zero cap and a super thin collar that doesn't leave any lacing.
Smell- Very caustic and sharp with loads of granny smith apples and raw yeast. The yeast is fairly musty dirty... And that's about it.
Taste- Starts with a deceivingly fruity kick that makes this brew seem like it should be quite a bit darker than it is. Light prunes and raisins are the bulk of the taste from the start. Lightly spicy with a pepper kick and a bit of yeast and maybe even some ginger or coriander. There is also a lightly sweet green apple sourness in the back of the mouth that is somewhat cloying. The alcohol is hidden really well but five years will probably do that to any brew.
Mouthfeel- Body is somewhere between medium and heavy with lots of sharp carbonation.
Drinkability- I'm really glad that my roommate is here sharing it with me because there is no way I'd be able to finish this off myself. Judging by the older reviews this beer probably peeked about a year to two years ago. It's just seemed to have lost something, what, I don't know. Big thanks for BeerBeing for the opportunity!

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Photo of mynie
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(From notes, forgive the terseness)
Cork sez 2004

Pours a dark gold amber honey. Looks like malt extract syrup, actually, wiht a wonderful white head and great lacing.

Smells maybe a bit too aged. Acidic, huge fruit, big alcohol. No real yeast or hop presence. Still, nice.

Tastes great, much better than it smells. The fruit nodes are huge. MegaHUGE actually and wonderfully overripe. Plums, raisins, spice, and big burny yeast.

Aged really well.

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Photo of RBorsato
2.58/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Murky dark orange color with a low light beige ringed head and nice active carbonation up the middle but leaves no lace. Overly sweet malt and fruit aromas ... orange and orange peel stand out. Similar flavors ... almost cloyingly sweet with a touch of alcohol and spice (yeasty phenols). Medium bodied with a sweet alcohol laden finish.

Wouldn't bother again ... an avoid for me, much like the V-12. I would have expected a Grand Cru to hold up much better (if it was better at one time).

Bottled: 05/15/03
Tasted: 11/24/06

($8.99 / 25.4 oz / 750 ml tall brown wine-like bottle, corked, and caged)

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Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Despite being three years old, the beer displayed a fluffy ecru head that quickly disappeared, but held its own as a ringlet and placed some lace around the glass; the color was hazy apricot - lighter than I would have expected from a Strong Dark

Smell: Fruit cake with caramel frosting and Belgian yeast

Taste: Start with a spicy fruit cake flavor profile that becomes dominated by the apricot, cherry and apple flavors mid-palate; after the swallow, an earthy, somewhat oxidized hop flavor presents and brings the sweet flavors to a complex finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: One fine beer to sip and savor; too bad we may not see it again

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(2003 Vintage)

Appearance: Pours an amber color with a grand billowing ivory head.

Smell: Very fragrant and sweet-smelling of apricots, candy sugar, and dark fruits.

Taste: Begins with the sweetness of caramel and candied fruits (notably tangerines and apricots). Evens out with biscuity, toasted malts and a woody hop flavor. Very dry, spicy finish. Distinctly, this beer isn't entirely dominated by yeast or spices as some Belgian beers are.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body, with a high, surging level of carbonation.

Drinkability: Fairly likable Belgian-style ale.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled May 15, 2003.

Opening this was a drama. Cork would NOT budge, as if it were glued in. I took a corkscrew to it, and after eventually getting it to pop, the thing gushed. I finally poured--slowly--into a Moinette goblet and things settled. Some lace appeared, but it wasn't abundant.

Love the color here, dark blood orange copper sunburst with plenty of carbonation, but oddly the head was minimal all the while.

Fruit aromas and flavors are featured, one set of sense characteristics inseparable from the other: peach, orange, mellow lemon and lots of dark fruit elements in both nose and mouth. Aroma also mirrors flavor in the peppery spice notes, with a wild yeast playfulness in the background. A hoppy, even sour bitterness prevails in the finish.

Holds extremely well in the mouth, creamy and sizzling at the same time, with the smoothness winning out.

It's a bit exotic, but I like. Found 7 bottles at a local store in May 2006 and will trade a few of them and savor the rest. Another Victory victory.

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Photo of Sephiroth
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Beerbeing for the bottle. Bottled on 5-15-03. Pours with an inch of head, initial lacing, body is orange. Aroma is spicy, maybe just a hint of pepper, some coriander, other smells I cannot name.

Taste is rich, malty, and well spiced. Coriander and something kinda spicy, I am at a loss to describe it further. Mouthfeel is full and coating. Highly drinkable.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on May 15, 2003. Label says best enjoyed within five years of bottling date.

Appearance- Poured a spritzy one and a half finger head with great retention, also left great foam film along the inside of my Hennepin tulip glass. Looked like a cloudy caramel, and burnt orange mix. The brussel's lace was only visible at the top of the brew while using my hand to cover the light from penetrating it. But the lace was consistant throughout the entire beer experience. Just awesome.

Smell- Fresh from the fidge to the glass gave earthy hints of granny smith apples, sugar, anise, and cadied malt. Once the second pour was unleashed from my 750ml bottle, the brew had warmed a little. This yielded a more candied apple aroma. A very nice aroma to behold chilled or 50 degrees.

Taste- Straight chilled was a more Jonathan apple flavor with an earthy malt character. Hardly any hop definition was noticed, but a little bitterness was detected regardless. Once the brew warmed up a little, a more carmalized character was released on to the senses.

Mouthfeel- Left a light fruit definition on the palate witrh a lettle dirt to remind you of this brews "grass roots."

This beer was excellent. I thought it was aged to perfection and the look, smell, and tase was just awesome. As long as Binny's or Sam's hasn't sold out of them by me, I will buy a bunch of these and I recommend you do the same.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 vintage sampled 8/05.. 750 corked/caged

rich dark golden orange color with a thin layer of bubbly foam. thin sticky lacing. smells sweet and pungent like a lemon drop. underlying candi sugar aromas clash with a vinous odor of age. intriguing.

taste continues to expand on fruitiness with big fig and plum notes, some apricot.. unexpected for such a light strong pale. hints of bready pumpkin and a sweet, appley ester and alcohol undercurrent. light mouthfeel and still somewhat crisp and bubbly. slight hop tinge and ETOH burn come through in the finish and continue to push this beer into a pseudo-wine arena. aging beautifully IMHO and ive got one more under wraps for.. say.. 2007!

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I like this.
Bottled May 15, 2003. I heart the Victory Brewing Company for how they date their bottles.
Looks... different.. from the norm of the style in my experience. Has a deep orange color as opposed to a deep brown. Looks more like an IPA than anything else.
Tastes a teensy bit different from your typical strong dark ale but I like the differences.
Similar flavor profile on the whole (as per style), but with accents on flavors other than dark fruits. I got more apricot than cherry out of this one, though cherry can be found. The smell speaks of this difference as well, though I'd expect a stronger dark fruit presence from the flavor judging by the smell.
The mouthfeel on this one is really, really pleasureable. There's a tangy, lingering, well, tang. It makes me want to have more. The carbonation is just right. There's also a softness to the mouthfeel as it warms.
The alcohol plays its roll just right in here.
Magic Hat #9 on steriods and belgian yeast, maybe?
Thus far, my favorite offering from the Victory Brewing Co.
and that speaks volumes of praise.

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Photo of horndecker
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow. Deep dark apricot, coppery murk. Tan head, fine and frothy. bit of sticky, lasts a bit. Looking forward to that first whiff, which is

A sharp tangerine tang, orange zest. Actually it's the smell of peeling an orange, that bitter thing you get from the inside of the rind...along with the occasional hint of lime. Behind all this orangeness lies a dark apricot and prune aroma. Not much in the way of hops and malt at first.

The taste starts with a bitter wash of stewed fruit, pepper, toasted malt, all once again overwhelmed by the fruit. A significant sweetness, but equal parts of herbal bitterness. Pretty decent balance and a lot of interesting things going on, but lacking a bit in the funk factor. That difficult to define earthiness/yeastiness which I love.

Very nice body, with a decent amount of residual carbonation. The alcohol prescence is well masked, but makes the solo consumption of a 750ml something of a commitment. (hic.)

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Photo of pentathlete
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy ruby orange.with a large medium bubble foamy head. Head dropped to a table, leaving lace, rather quickly. Nose is all candi and fruit, plums, raisins, nearly tropical, like a Hawaiian drink mixed in with the beer. Taste is rather bland considering the nose. Plenty of smooth maltiness, something with an edge near the finish, could be the hops attempting to assert themselves. This beer is medium creamy sweet. Light carbonation on the tongue. Silky smooth though, and the 9% is nowhere to be found. Pleasant drink.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear medium amber with a light off-white head which rose tall and then fell back to lace the glass.

The aroma was fruity from the second the corked popped out of the bottle. The fruitiness contained both dark fruits, raisins and prunes/plums, but also pineapple and sweeter fruits. The aroma had a nice dark caramel note and a well achieved Belgian yeast spiciness.

The flavor was dark caramel and biscuit most notably with a Belgian yeast spiciness not far behind. The dark fruits of the aroma were also present in the flavor but more muted and well blended. The biscuit malt/aromatic malt flavor was strong near the end of the flavor and lasting. Citrus flavors emerged as the beer warmed.

The finish was dry with lasting biscuit and fruity flavors long into the aftertaste. The body was medium full and well done. There was some alcohol in the nose, but only slight. The alcohol brought out spicy phenolics in the flavor and left a definite warming it the finish.

750 ml corked and bailed bottle. 2003 on cork, 05 15 03 on bottle.

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Photo of bditty187
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Orangey-amber in hue with a golden influence, the color is absolutely lovely. I was expecting darker but I am not disappointed at all, the liquid is beautiful. The head was slightly off-white in color; at the apex the foam was two-fingers in height but the bubbles rapidly faded to a thin cap. This cap had excellent staying power; it took a long while before it got really skinny and then naked. There was no subsequent lacing, which is disappointing. Overall the appearance is solid, lovely color but not much head qualities. The aromas that develop are wonderful, I just wish there was more of them. The malt shines, caramel and Munich it seems. In the middle it turns clearly Belgian, there is an airy peppery quality, candied fruit, citrus hints (some of this has to be a byproduct of hops). Tangerines, melons, banana, grapes, figs, and then comes the alcohol heat and spice. At the very back I detect wood and marshmallow. The nose is complex and very articulate but it is short on things to say, I need a couple more layers of aromas. Maybe I’m nitpicking; even if I am the nose is inviting. Moderate potency. It is nose-candy! The palate is lovely with big candied fruit flavors, mainly tangerines and some melons. There is also stand-alone fruitiness like pears, apples, and figs. The malt is less noticeable on the tongue, which is disappointing. At times the nose gave the impression of almost Barleywine-like maltiness; that is not the case (or is it? The more of this I drank the more the malt said, “Odell Curmudgeon's Nip.” Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think these two beers taste anything alike aside from their malt base). I get hints of caramel and some Munich-like qualities, subtle but very pleasant. The moment the beer enters my mouth there is a wonderful, deep but not to hot, spicy, mildly funky, marshmallow, and peppery twang that wraps everything up in a nice Belgian knot. The alcohol is moderately well hidden, I can taste it and I can feel the warmth in the belly plus I can feel the alcohol on the brain. Mmmm… warm. This is a very tasty beer; it is a wonderful drinker with a long aftertaste. My god do I need a block of cheese! Medium/medium-full in body, the carbonation is low, which is a bit of a shame, it could use a little more effervescence to lift away he residual sweetness. As this beer is currently it could use something to go with it, i.e., food. Either that or split the 750ml because after awhile the heaviness on the tongue gets tiresome. However, I am not down grading the beer for that. I mean, goddamn is this a tasty beast. Drinkability is absolutely perfect, no complaints (did I just contradict myself?). Give me more. If you don’t give me more I will steal more. I will do whatever it takes. This is yet another wonderful beer from Victory! My sample was bottled on May 15, 2003. I purchased in June of 2004 in Burnsville, MN. It has been in my cellar until March 16, 2005, the day I imbibed. Why did I wait so long? I must be stupid.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.74/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A two year-old 750 finally makes it's way out of my cellar to be shared amongst good company. The beer pours a slightly hazy golden-brown color, lighter than expected. A massive, ivory colored head rises from my Achel chalice, almost cascading over the top. Lacing is tight and abundant.

The nose is chok-full of Belgian complexity. Sweet fruits range from pear and melon, peachy apricot, and finally red berries and sour cherries. Yeasty spice, banana, and tropical fruits are also in the mix. The rush of alcohol reminds me of the strength here. I could smell this all night!

Mmm, this beer is the shit! A virtual fruit-salad of sweet flavors are balanced by oaky vanilla, clove, white pepper, and cinamon. Earthy mustiness resulting from proper cellaring are another reward on my palate. Quite sweet without being cloying. Almost like a Belgian-inspired barleywine.

Body is medium to full, carbonation is high, but still smooth. Thick on the tongue while remaining very drinkable. Finish is sweet, tropical fruits and earthy must.

A superb selection from Victory. Thank God my Dad bought a whole case and still has a few left. Will/did they ever brew this again???

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Photo of mntlover
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy copper color with a nice big fluffy cream colored head that laces but the lace doesn't last long.
Aroma is medium sweet malt honey dipped apples, melon, white grapes some spice underneath very relaxing pleasent smelling.
Taste is a medium malty with lots of fruit some mollasses added finish is very spicey very nice enjoyed this one found it half price wish I had picked up a couple more now.
Overall seemed more like a Belgian Strong Medium Ale then a Dark but was very tastey mouthfeel seemed little light for a dark but fit the flavor very well.
Drinkability was good hell very good really wishing I had bought more now held up very well for almost being two years old.

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V-Grand Cru from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 81 ratings