Alesmith Grand Cru Barrel Aged | AleSmith Brewing Company

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Alesmith Grand Cru Barrel AgedAlesmith Grand Cru Barrel Aged
Very Good
65 Ratings
Alesmith Grand Cru Barrel AgedAlesmith Grand Cru Barrel Aged

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This Belgian-Style Ale has been matured in American and French oak red wine barrels for a year to add layers of complexity to its rich flavor profile of dark fruit and Belgian caramel malts. The oak and red wine flavors imparted by the barrel-aging process blend seamlessly with subtle hints of raisin, plum, and bittersweet chocolate from the beer. Enjoy now or continue to age in a cool, dark place.

Added by ArrogantB on 05-07-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 65 |  Reviews: 11
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5/5  rDev +26.9%

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4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

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4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

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4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

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4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

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4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of DucksFan16
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of pmarlowe
4.31/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tulip glass.

A: Pours very dark amber, though with very good clarity, and a finger of cream colored head which recedes to a thick ring and swirls on the surface. Superb retention and a few dots and streaks of lacing.

S: Malt-forward with lots of sugar-coated dark dried fruit, with subtle oak, oak spices, slightly acidic red wine, tar. The base beer comes through in spades.

T: Juicy dark fruit (plum, blackcurrant), red wine, a little chocolate, slight acidity, finishing with a mild sweetness and fruitiness. The barrel characteristics are really muted here.

M: Medium body and carbonation, smooth and milky mouthfeel. AleSmith really nails the mouthfeel on most of their beers, and this is no exception.

O: The flavors are in balance and this is quite drinkable. It's an improvement on Grand Cru and adds a little complexity and nice flavors. That being said, the barrel characteristics are pretty muted and don't quite meld as well with the base as they could.

 970 characters

Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of spinrsx
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Morey
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of StoutSnob40
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of siege06nd
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Zaximus
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of Alesmither
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into a tulip.
10% ABV, Serve in a goblet at 50-55°, 2012 on bottle.

A - AleSmith's red wine barrel-aged Grand Cru pours a turbid-looking ruby-hued tawny brown in color with a fleeting, loose eggshell head that dots the tulip in little more than specks of lace.

S - Barrel-aging at it's finest, AleSmith's Grand Cru escapes the confines of a dark Belgian beer and breaks into the world of wine with a glorious aroma of distressed leather, oak vats, and dry, Merlot-like vinous red wine grapes. Subtle spicy yeast emerges through the deep and complex barrel-aging for a relaxed blend and smooth nose. Quite extraordinary.

T - Dark rock candy sweetness splashes the tongue, quickly followed by powerful dark malt and Belgian yeast-driven dark fruits. Moist fig newton, Crasins, and prune linger with a touch of peppery spice before finishing out with grape skin tannins and dry oak stave.

M - Sparkling carbonation prickles the lips and throat before descending to bloat the burp chamber otherwise known as the stomach. The beer's sweetness is thankfully cut by dry alcohol and an even more bone dry red wine finish that leaves the tongue feeling like sandpaper. Aside from the bothersome effervescent of this beer, the profile has a wonderful smoothness to it!

O - AleSmith's wine barrel-aged Grand Cru smells voluptuous and incredible; an early indicator that the $40 price tag was well worth it but, beyond that point it's worth seems to diminish. Like regular Grand Cru, the beer tastes heavily of dark fruit - great! - and dark, alcohol-boosting sugar - not so great. The Belgian character is there and, don't get me wrong, the beer is damn good but, it's red wine barrel influence seems to disappear rather quickly, only adding faint grape and oak flavor with a dry red wine finish in flavor. In a beer this sweet I was hoping for, and think there should be a little more barrel prominence, especially with the cost attached.

 1,955 characters

Photo of ZaxGhost
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HopHead84
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4


On tap at Alesmith.

A: Dark red bordering on brown with a frothy beige cap.

S: Strong vinous profile, redolent of grape and oak. Mild lactic character with evident tartness. Vanilla blends with caramel, honey, plum, prune, and raisin. I'm getting a little citrus that reminds me of orange.

T: The flavor is dark fruit forward, with notes of plum, prune, raisin, and grape. Grape seems to take over in that category. A surprisingly strong amount of vanilla from the barrel with some caramel as well. Oaky and tannic finish. Mildly tart with a gentle alcohol presence

M: Upper medium to lower full body with high carbonation. The mouthfeel is smooth and tannic with alcohol warming.

Overall: A nice beer and one I was happy to try, but I'm glad I didn't buy a bottle.

 782 characters

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4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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4/5  rDev +1.5%

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4/5  rDev +1.5%

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4/5  rDev +1.5%

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4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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4/5  rDev +1.5%

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4/5  rDev +1.5%

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Alesmith Grand Cru Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 65 ratings
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