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
Reviews by Dantes:
Photo of Dantes
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Package: 750ml caged & corked bottle, labeled 9% ABV, Cork stamped 2003, label marked “May 15 03.” Bottle-conditioned. Garish orange and yellow label.

Cost: $6.99 at Bottle King

Presentation: tulip glass at ~50º. Cork was very tight, requiring some real negotiation to remove.

Appearance: Tons of gunsmoke after the cork practically leaped into my hand. Glowing, burnished pale auburn color. Carbonation was furious, untamed by a year of age. Formed a mountainous, rocky medium-grained head, that was slightly off-white in color, with only moderate retention and surprisingly light lacing. Swirling quickly mounted a new, large head.

Smell: This possesses an extremely volatile nose, with a lot of phenolic, fusel elements. Wading through this, one finds some spice and sweetness, along with some crisp fruitiness: crisp apple and tart red currant. Fruity esters mostly overcome by hot alcohol.

Taste: As expected, this was very hot on the palate, making it difficult to pick out the more subtle flavors. There’s definitely some fruitiness, mostly crisply tart Granny Smith apple, red currant, and partially ripe pineapple. There’s also a good deal of candy sugar sweetness, which is partially offset by the good level of acidity. There is some spiciness, but it’s hard to differentiate much beyond the expected clove and some indeterminate hoppiness. The finish is hotly long on the palate, but short on flavor. Not very Grand Cru-like.

Mouthfeel: Very hot in the mouth, but surprisingly thin and harshly carbonated. The sweetness ameliorates this a bit, but not enough to balance this out. Repeated swirling de-fanged this a bit as well, helping the flavor some.

Drinkability: I have to mark this category down quite a bit. The texture of this beer hurts it tremendously, impeding any real enjoyment of the flavors.

Backwash: I bought quite a few of these when it first came out; partly because I like Victory, especially the V-series, and I really like the Grand Cru style. I’ve been drinking them over the past year, hoping they would improve with age, but cellaring has barely made a dent in the carbonation or improved the complexity of this beer. Maybe I’m being harsh because I like Grand Crus so much, but this doesn’t really compete well against things like my benchmark Abbaye des Rocs Grand Cru.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of merlin48
2.88/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 oz, bottled on May 15, 2003. Corked and caged. Served chilled into my trusty St Bernardus goblet. Pours a hazed, peach colored body, with a skimpy half finger head that is ivory in color. Sheet lacing adorns the goblet. Very nice appearance.

Aroma is sour, with initial notes of pineapple and tangerine. Musty barnyard yeast and fusel alcohol, quickly eclipse the Belgian aromas that were, probably intended.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

The taste is dominated by an acrid and bitter yeastiness. Fusel alcohol adds to the yucky flavor profile. Caramel malt, Belgian spices, and tropical fruits keep trying to emerge, but are rolled over by the astringent and vinegar offnotes. Finishes with an unpleasantly, bitter off-taste that is like cheap vinegar.

I've rated three of Victory's brews in the 4.5 range. I've concluded that I don't care for the yeast they use in their Belgian styles. This Grand Cru was difficult to finish, and was not very pleasant.

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Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

shared a 2003 vintage bottle of this nectar at the Blind Tiger on Victory night 3-9-05. After we wrestled with the caged and corked bottle and finaly extracted the cork, with the help of a corkscrew, this lovely liquid poured golden, slightly cloudy and tiny bubble efvervescent. strong nose of fruits, yeast and alcohol. Large and lovely brew, oozes Belgian, yeast, spice and tasty phelonlics. Smooth, complex and strong. This 2 year old sample was just great and thoroughly enjoyable. Put some of this stuff away for a year of two, well worth the cost and wait.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 5-15-03, very young for a date of a Belgium style Grand Cru, but this beer pours a deep dark ruby tint with an off white cream hued pretty massive head that doesn't last very long, nor does it leave any eye candy in the form of lacing around my 20 ounce Gulden Draak bulbously huge glass. I must also add that a volcanic stream of carbonation shot up from the center of the bottom of the glass that was very intriguing. However nothing lives up to anything until you smell this beer, aroma is filled with with pine cone scented hops, peppery aromatic spices, and coriander just an amazing mixture that just needs to mature in my cellar for about a year or so. Taste contains deep layers of alcohol infused spices with a considerate amount of hop bitterness and moonshine soaked fruit giving this beer quite the alcoholic finish to it all topped off by bready malt characteristics wow is this beer going to be a treat someday. Mouthfeel is full and syrupy so full almost chewy in texture a huge beer that is still fresh in the realm of big beers. Drinkability well still very quaffable huge and complex and maybe a bit ovebearing soon to be a masterpiece full of character and drinkability even at 9% alcohol.

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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 beerluvr
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 vintage. Pours with a nice tan head that settles on top of clear, deep golden liquid. The nose gives hints of deep maltiness, candi sugar sweetness and rich tropical fruits. Wonderful to just inhale that goodness! The taste is some peppery bite usurped by a manly hop rate, then a wash of sweet candy goodness dried a bit by ample hop bitterness. Finishes up sweet and alcoholic at first, then a great drying on the palate that lasts a good long time. Another in a long line of kick-ass "V" brews from the boys at Downingtown...ya gotta get some!

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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 hotstuff
3.22/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dayton, OH AleFest:A little too bitter for my taste.The appearance was a small sized creamy ivory head with fiine-small bubbles that mostly diminished.The body was cloudy with very little carbonation and the hue was amber.The nose was malty, hoppy, fruity, spicy.It had an alcohol flavor to it and it was bitter from start to finish along with a lingering aftertaste.The palate was smooth and light-medium bodied.

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

Pours with an orange and light amber color. Thin but well carbonated whtie head is produced from the pour but fades immediately.
Aroma of citrus orange, coriander, some plae malt and candi sugar.
Flavors noted were darker citrus fruits (darker than color would indicate), orange peel, pale malt, candi sugar and spicy coriander with almost a hint of cinnamon.
Mouthfeel is incredibly lush, full and alive. Hard for me describe a Grand Cru's mouthfeel but when its there as it is here you just know it. Varied sweets, spice and hint of bittering.
Drinkability is high. Smooth and enjoyble. high ABV is completely hidden with great flavoring and transitions.

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

Another very good beer from Victory. The Grand Crus poured abrownish color with hints of amber/gold. The head was large, but dissipated quickly. The aroma was one primarily of malt and fruit.

The beer was well balanced throughout with a sweetness and spiciness throughout the drink. It has a slight kick of alcohol at the end and feels very clean and crisp in the mouth. It is a relatively thick beer but one that is good to the very end. This is a sipping beer given its complex nature.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light coppor color with a huge head. Very fizzy looking. Smells fruity and powerful, and quite robust. A very nice sniffer indeed. Tastes amazing. Fruity, yet powerful. Mellow, yet spicy. So many words can describe the taste of this brew, but only one comes to mind. Quality. This is a straight up, high-class, solid-ass brew which doesn't quite. Yet another fabulous beer from Victory. This weekend was a Victory weekend for me, and this was always in my glass. This is a beer that must be tried.

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

Pours light copper, with a bubbly/rocky beige head, mostly recedes, leaves a bit of lace - body has much bubbles swimming around in it. Aroma is yeasty, spicy, fruity (apple, grape), and hoppy. Flavor is fruity and sweet, middle is a bit spicy, end is bitter and hoppy. Medium body, quite tasty.

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Photo of Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer as it evacuates the 750ml bottle pours a luminous orange color, the head preposterous in size, frothy in texture and a toothsome light tan in color, the lace a glutinous and thick sheet to smother the glass. The aroma of fusel alcohol greets you along with ripe pineapple, sweet malt and a slight acidic crispness at the back, start is ambrosial, thick in malt, top is moderate to full in its feel to the palate. Finish is prickly in its acidity, the hops dynamic in their spicy presence, and a sure fire belly warmer, and a fine drinking beer, another winner from Victory, but that’s nothing new is it?

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Photo of iokals
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown with reddish-gold hues, slightly cloudy with a thick, quickly dissipating white head

Aroma: Fruity and spicy.

Taste: Sweet, balance well with some spiciness. Warm finish. Has that taste standard to most Belgians that those who don't like them call the "horse blanket flavor", but it's fairly understated.

Mouthfeel: Thick, making it a very pleasurable drink for most of the beer, getting a little harder toward the bottom.

Overall: Another great entry from Victory, this is an excellent beer for enjoying slowly to savor the complexity.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10 celsius in Leffe glass: Body is orange with medium carbonation forming a generous head, slowly diminishing off-white head consisting of rather large fizzy bubbles. Aroma is malty up front, juicy peaches and oranges complemented by a solid hoppiness close to an APA matched with the complexity of flowery belgian yeast. Taste is bready, malty with notes of banana, peaches and light clove spiciness. Dry mouthfeel, medium-full, medium-high carbonation. This stands around a hoppy tripel or Maudite, very pleasant and well-structured, but unexceptional. Thanks to Mike The_Beer_God!

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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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Photo of jcalabre
3.67/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: This brew is hazy burnt orange color with a quickly disappearing white head.
Aroma: The nose is yeasty and spicy. It has a very pleasant aroma.
Palate: The mouthfeel is surprisingly thin. The flavors are subdued but sweet.
Overall, this beer is pretty nice, but not as special as I would expect from a "limited edition"

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Photo of marc77
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottled 5/15/2003. Lightly hazed ruddy amber hue. Fluffy, ivory white head yields loose, frothy lace. Gentle notions of wildflower honey, lime zest and white grape upfront in aroma. Pecan wood and doughy biscuit hints present a warmer, bready contrast. Trace clove phenol tinge. Very enticing aromawise. In flavor, incipient is a tart combination of key lime and carbonic acid. Softens promptly, with notes of ginger snaps and undersweetened toffee presenting a mellow candyish tone. Dulcet esters of a date and golden raisin nature arise mid palate, lending understated dried fruit character. Butterscotch hints surface as the beer warms, but remain mellow and complementary. Lightly bodied and rather brisk, but this serves to faciliate ominous drinkability. An immaculately clean hop presence arrives late, bringing both drying bitterness and a mild herbaceous quality. Finishes mostly dry, with hints of vanilla and orange peel fleeting. A superbly crafted brew and a rather eclectic Dark Strong. Complex, yet not at all challenging. Perhaps time has served V-Grand Cru well.

Earnest gratitude goes out to WVbeergeek for the delivery.

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

Reviewed from a 2003 750ml corked bottled. Well after a bit to pull the cork out I ended up wearing a bit of this and sharing with my dog what ended up on the floor. From the way he went at cleaning it up I knew this would be a pretty good beer. Appearance was a clear orange amber color with a tall white fluffy head that never really seemed to die. Some sticky lave was left around the glass as this was consumed. Fruits of all kinds rose from the glass (and my floor) when taking in the scent of this banana and apple were the main ones I identified. There was a good bit of spiciness to it as well to balance out the sweetness. Sweet fruit also dominated the flavor with a strong showing by the spiciness in this brew. Coriander and a lemony bite were most detectable in the lingering spicy aftertaste. The body was about medium with a rich creamy mouthfeel. Drinkability was good as I did finish the whole bottle without growing tired of it though it did take me a bit longer than usual. Maybe cleaning up the kitchen floor had something to do with that. Either way this is another good offering from Victory that I suggest you try if you ever come across it.

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

Clear dark copper color with champagne like carbonation head dissipated to lace rather quickly. Smelled sweet like citric fruit and little fizzy. Taste has some citric notes to it with a spice flavor I cant quite make out a little wallop of hops, alcohol kick and just a slight lingering smokiness overall very pleasing

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Photo of ppoitras
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle obtained via trade with Pisskynights. Thanks for the opportunity... Corked and caged, as illustrated. A tough opening cork, for sure.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed 1 1/2" of beige head over the dark amber brew. Head is resilient, long-lasting, and laces quite well. Aroma is sweetly of fruits, with malts and yeast to fill out the nasal orchestra. Taste follows Belgian-style strong dark to a T, with maltiness upfront, with fruitiness apparent, and the quiet undercurrent of 9% ABV. Mouthfeel is great, and drinkability is enhanced by the complexities that keep you coming back to make sure you didn't miss anything...

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Photo of aracauna
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is probably one of Victory's better attempts at Belgian styles. They rock with lagers and Americanized styles like IPA and Imperial Stout, but they've been a little weak on the Belgian side. Not bad, just not great. This is a dark brown with a good malt sweetness and nice yeasty fruit flavors. I keep picking up flashes of dried apricot. I wish I'd had more to drink to see if I could have picked up more.

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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 sulldaddy
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

SPlit a 750 bottle with Stopper the other nite. Slightly chilled sample in a snifter.
Pours a clear mahogany color with some garnet tints. Large fluffy head foams up easily and fades to a substantial surface layer. Aroma is fruity with some lemon, orange and some sour cherry too. A little bit funkiness too. Average bodied brew with small tingly and gently rolling carbonation. Flavor is similar to the nose, but isnot as well developed. I get some fruitiness and some spices too, but overall a little mild, especially on the finish.
The beer does go down very smoothly with no hint of alcohol. A good beer just no great in my book.

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