AleSmith Grand Cru Ale | AleSmith Brewing Company

914 Ratings
AleSmith Grand Cru AleAleSmith Grand Cru Ale

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 914 |  Reviews: 385
Photo of jedk
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of DRouth
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of AndrewMichael
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 mL capped bottle, wrapped in foil, poured into a stemmed, tulip style glass.
Very dark brown color, and nice head. Enjoyed this beer fresh, instead of aging.
Complex, Belgian Strong Dark Ale, that was very smooth at over 10% abv. The Belgian spices are subtle, which I prefer, and then you get the plums and dark cherries. Another outstanding beer from AleSmith, and excited we get more of their beers in Virginia Beach now.

 433 characters

Photo of Honeybourne
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Kenai4
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of KarlHungus
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of byronic
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of polloenfuego
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at When Pigs Fly.
The beer poured a medium brown color with no head.
Aroma of caramel, dark fruit.
The taste expanded on the aroma. Caramel and toffee, coffee, some dark fruit, some banana.
Smooth and easy drinking for 10% ABV

 233 characters

Photo of sirhc3034
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dougwillhike
5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of corby112
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark golden brown color with tangerine edges and a two finger off-white head that slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Sweet, slightly spicy aroma with prominent dark fruit esters and dark malt sweetness. Slightly herbal and medicinal with a touch of cough syrup, pepper and clove. Vinous fruit sweetness with grape, fig and raisin. Some Belgian candi sugar in there with caramel malt sweetness, toffee and toast.

Fuller end of medium body with a more complex flavor profile than the nose hinted at. Soft carbonation with a nice balance of peppery spice, herbal/syrupy flavor, vinous fruit and dark malt sweetness. Peppery with some clove and faint piney hops. Very sweet and vinous with prominent fruity esters, notably grape, fig, raisin and other dark berries. Also, there's some dark malt sweetness with hints of chocolate, caramel and toffee. Nicely balanced and the high ABV is excellently masked making beer a bit too easy to drink. Would never have guessed it was 10%.

 1,039 characters

Photo of MattMorin
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of teromous
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: The body is a dark mahogany red-brown with a very good clarity. The head is a short foamy white cap that fades shortly to a ring. Some lacing.

Aroma: Banana and clove that smell nice but have a mellow presence that doesn't extend past the rim of the glass.

Taste: Very nice flavors here. It's a wonderful bouquet of flavors consisting of clove, light toasted bread, brown sugar, a bit of earthiness at the end. No strong alcohol character here.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is great. It's fairly full bodied with a nice smoothness to it. No alcohol burn.

Overall: It is an outstanding beer that I would recommend. It is a pleasant beer to drink that delivers the Belgian yeast character that drinkers of this style have come to expect. I would buy it again.

 770 characters

Photo of MickeyHops
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bnes09
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Iced tea appearing ale. Light tan head goes flat very quickly.

Chocolate, dark fruit, pepper and funky yeast aroma.

Nice, complex, dark fruit, subtle caramel, mild chocolate and yeast flavor. Minimal hop flavor.

Full body. Not sticky. Minimal malt texture. Clean. Descent carbonation.

A solid Belgian style ale. Quite enjoyable.

 333 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of VeganUndead
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cjgiant
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, no apparent date:
Initial thoughts were on a cold beer (below suggested temps on bottle of 50-55°), changes noted as the beer warmed.

Nice ruby-brown with a billowing head of light reddish tan. Significant condensation with the cold beer, but fighting through the lasting head, the beer seems to have a fair amount of clarity of substance (color being the blocker of light).

Nose seems strong on banana Belgian yeast notes. I think I got some spiciness early, but really not as much as the beer warmed, oddly. Warming beer and deep sniffs added a little alcohol and definitely some tart cherry to the party. A more normal sniff yielded some apple and strawberry.

Beer starts with toffee and fruity taste. Mildly sweet pop backed by some strawberry-banana notes. Some amber ale characteristics come to play mid taste before a dull woody unsweetened cocoa nib note comes forth. This taste is somewhat unique, and as the flavor fades I almost get a real coconut impression (meaning not very sweet at all). A very interesting ending that I see as bland apple in some dips, and raw coffee-bean notes in others (or what I would assume this tastes like).

Carbonation is a bit higher than I'd like for this beer, and there's a light sting of alcohol.

Very interesting beer, and pretty different than most beers out there. Strangeness has me perplexed as to how much I really like this beer.

 1,405 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of flyersfan900
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of argock
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml brown bottle into a glass snifter. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville,VA).

A: dark brown-Amber with minimal off-white head with minimal retention and no lacing.

S: boozy fig and raisin with woody herbal tones on huge yeast esters of peach, pear, and apricot layered with caramel. Big delicious aroma.

T: pretty boozy and alcoholic but hugely estery with the same slightly phenolic peach and pear esters dripping with fig, toffee and caramel. Woody leather bitterness. Big bad sweet BSDA. Could use a little roastiness to offset the sweetness.

M: very smooth but slightly tacky with low-medium carbonation and full body.

O: good beer and a great display of yeast esters. A little too sweet and alcoholic but I could see this improving with 2-3 years of cellaring.

 801 characters

Photo of dextermcgurk
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of briancathy
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Sludgeman
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

AleSmith Grand Cru Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.06 out of 5 based on 914 ratings.
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