Grand Cru Ale | AleSmith Brewing Company

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Grand Cru AleGrand Cru Ale
BA SCORE
4.05/5
Exceptional
944 Ratings
Grand Cru AleGrand Cru Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
alesmith.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Bottle conditioned.
AleSmith Grand Cru really needs to be tasted to be truly appreciated. Toasty, caramelly flavors, as well as flavors imparted by the Belgian yeast strain, predominate over a tapestry of subtle nuances. Winner of the blue ribbon at the 1999 California State Fair, it is a thing of beauty. It is available in 750 ml. champagne bottles.

Added by Jason on 04-27-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,246
Reviews:
395
Ratings:
944
pDev:
10.37%
Bros Score:
4.28
 
 
Wants:
113
Gots:
203
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 944 |  Reviews: 395
Photo of Duncian
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

$ 15.70 (Including shipping)/capped bomber ($ 0.618/oz) from Tavour, Seattle, WA.
Undated bottle. Stored at 42 degrees prior to consumption and served at 53 degrees in a hand-washed and hand-dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 4.
Body – Medium amber, hazy.
Head – Large (Maximum 5.4 cm, aggressive center pour), tan, medium density, average retention time, diminishing to a two to three mm ring and a complete thin layer with rocks.
Lacing – None.
First pour – Light brown, clear.
Aroma – 4 – Weak - caramel, malt, candi sugar, a trace of yeast.
Flavor – 3.5 - Begins slightly sweet with candi sugar and toasted malt. “Dark fruit” is vaguely present. Hops, alcohol, diacetyl, and dimethylsulfide are absent. A trace of yeast phenolics is detectable. Ends.
Palate – 3 – Medium, almost creamy, lively carbonation.
Impression and summation – 3.5 – This matches the low end of Belgian Dark Strong Ales. I would recommend serving this at a higher temperature than that listed on the bottle.

 1,026 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of KensWorld
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Gagnonsux
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Richie_C_Johnson
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Viaduck
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Chestnut brown with a nice off white white head that settle down rather quickly. Caramel is the dominant note with plum & raisin. Sweet but not excessively so with alcohol & malt, all nicely balanced. Oh, so good!

 213 characters

Photo of erk0607
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 1/8/14 and opened on 2/15/18.

Look: Lighter brown, somewhat opaque with a tan head of tiny bubbles that turns to a sheen and soft foam lacing.
Smell: Slight coffee, toffee notes, caramel, plum, some grain
Taste: Dark stone fruit, caramel, toffee, sugar (Belgian sugar), some very mild yeastiness
Feel: Slick but only medium body, moderate but smooth carbonation, not very foamy
Overall: Very good. Would not hesitate to have more. Definitely let it warm up.

 470 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice burgundy-brown with a tall grey head of 2 fingers.

Strong aroma of chocolate covered raisins, followed by bread pudding and rich caramel, and then some nice base grain aromas.

Flavor starts off with peppery yeast and plum, followed by caramel, raisin, some clove, ash, and a finish of bittersweet chocolate. What's missing is the rich caramel flavor I smelled earlier. Wish it were there.

Feel is sharp and very well carbonated, with a nice peppery dry finish.

Overall a pretty solid Grand Cru ale, though it would probably be better suited as an affordable $11 4 pack rather than a $13 bomber, even though it looks fancy the liquid inside isn't quite up to par.

 682 characters

Photo of jaydoc
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of n2185
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ScubaLeon
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of unclekeith
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Slightly hazy amber color with beige head. Aroma has really nice malts with crème brûlée and burnt sugar notes. Taste is malty and sugary but not really sweet. Really balanced with caramel flavor balanced by a background bitterness. Medium body and carbonation. Complex yet balanced with well integrated flavors.

 315 characters

Photo of farrago
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Modest head of deep tan color, struggles to reach one finger and after reaching the surface really barely covers half of it, no lacing to speak of, of course these aspects are not all that pertinent to this category of beer. Amber to brown hued liquid, would certainly have pleasant shine were it not for the vast amount of particulate floating inside which takes up as much space as liquid per se, extremely random fat bubbles laze up towards the surface. While the nose features German chocolate cake, toffee, butterscotch to cola bean elements, it can jab too with both meadow grassiness and a vinous quality which evokes green grapes next to the plum, cherry scents, mild doughiness, more compact when colder, more layered as it warms. Full-bodied although it does shed weight rapidly past the mid-palate. Carbonation is weak so the sugars accrue, albeit here too it displays spine. Not that boozy, no burn nor headiness. Banana, bubblegum, golden raisin, grapes and maraschino cherries abound. The yeastiness like unbaked pie crust. Molasses, brown sugar and a subtle coffee bean roast. Turns things around and finishes surprisingly dry. Tastes classic and unforced.

 1,171 characters

Photo of ArsMoriendiOU818
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of schopenhauerale
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of alphajackson3
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sanchezrox23
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of imbibehour
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass. Vintage can't be determined, date rubbed off.

Deep and rustic garnet body color, but has some nice clarity looking towards the head. Two finger and creamy head, slightly pink with a khaki like colored body, very neat looking brew.

Aroma is a giant unexpected shock. A very acidic and wild ale yeast sensing quality, that flirts with infection, but comes out like a real nice wine barrel, or red wine vinegar. Touches of burnt caramel a little, lots of classic plum and raisin character too. Fascinating.

Infection is nowhere to be found, but a delicious angle none the less. Caramel and soft taffy with Belgian brown sugar like qyalities. Large amounts of milky chocolate, with spicy clove like phenolic character as well. Slightly tannic, no sourness to taste that is hinted from the nose at all. Even a chewy black candy licorice quality comes with some warmth.

This is a really neat and delicious animal, I have shelved this for so long. No more, great memorable beer.

 1,028 characters

Photo of Tomesco
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Foley67
4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of brittanylicious
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Grand Cru Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 944 ratings