Grand Cru
Allagash Brewing Company

Grand CruGrand Cru
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Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #26
Ranked #3,905
4.1 | pDev: 9.51%
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Grand CruGrand Cru
Notes: Grand Cru is brewed with a touch of peated malt and spiced with coriander, sweet orange peel and a hint of anise. It is deep golden in color, full bodied and has hints of smoke and licorice in the taste and aroma. The malty, warming finish is perfect for colder weather.
Reviews: 458 | Ratings: 656 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of founddrama
founddrama from Vermont

3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

LOOK: Burnished-gold color and a big dense frothy head.

SMELL: Coriander and anise, I'd say. A little perfumy? Festive.

TASTE: Citrusy-spicy. Those spice notes from the aromatics open up in the mouth. A little bit of caramel maltiness. Very little bitterness.

FEEL: Medium-to-full bodied. Good carbonation helps the flavor profile open up a bit.

Mar 24, 2015
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scootny from New York

4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This stuff is pretty light colored for a BSDA. Still a pretty beer to behold with a deep burnished gold and an dark off white head that leaves some nice lacing. In fairness I accidentally cracked this 32 oz bottle by accident as it was mislabeled by my vendor so it might have had a bit more carbonation and such had it remained at unopened and a bout an ounce or so fuller. Hardly flat it shows light carbonation as it sits and a leaves nice decoration as I drink. The nose is delicate and sophisticated. Lots going on. The peated malt is remarkable. A delicate smoke wrapped around sweet lightly breadiness. Hints of coriander honey and maybe a touch of citrus. Faint notes of bubblegum live in pods of anise. Taste is a great followup to the nose. Peaty malt abounds with a honey and spice cake center. Light fruits, apple and pear, maybe a touch of mellon. The anise shows itself a touch more and builds a great platform for the hops. herbal and spicy they nod back to the body of the brew while giving a clean dry finish. Notes of pepper linger along with cinnamon, graham and brown bread. Just a hint of alcohol but not enough to serve a warning. Feel is velvety with a light creaminess. Light enough to encourage sessioning with the aforementioned hidden alcohol. Just enough presence to lead you to sip and savor. This will compliment any food you find yourself near. From traditional winter to lighter fare with an artisnal flare. This is a beer that is sublime and superior. One of my new faves this year and so far my favorite from Allagash

Jan 15, 2014
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Dad_of_Rad from Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Darkish golden color with a very slight haze.

S: Yeasty, sweet apple and cherry, some vinegar. Slight grass or hay underlying but the fruit is dominant.

T: Biscuity and fruity, like drinking a cracker with an apple on it. This would be great with a medium cheddar cheese. Spicy hops at the finish.

M: Bubbly at the start but doesn't linger. Body is lighter side of medium. Very nice finish.

O: Very nice beer. Not eating with food but is definitely something to enjoy with a good cheddar.

Nov 24, 2013
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DrinkSlurm from New York

4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into snifter from tap at fireworks in Leesburg VA. Nice fluffy foamy head on a murky golden base. Really nice typical belgian aromas...
Taste is where it shine. Nice belgian base with a citrus flavor up front with a smokey backbone and a nice pepper finish. the smokeyness really takes this up a notch. Its so easy to drink and perfect for this cool fall evening. Great brew...highly reccomend this unique take.

Sep 18, 2013
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jrenihan from Canada (ON)

4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer is amber/golden in colour- much lighter than I expected. Moderately-sized white head. Decent retention. Some lacing.

Nose contains sweet malts, candy sugar and significant fruit scents. Also a touch of caramel.

Taste contains sweet bready malts, honey, strong fruit flavours which are hard for me to identify. Some lighter flavours, perhaps orange, but there also seem to be traces of fig or other darker flavours. Candy sugar, quire sweet. Some spicing.

Full bodied, highly carbonated but not irritatingly so. Chewy.

Overall, quite good. Unusual for the style.

Aug 22, 2013
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KickInTheChalice from Illinois

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

From notes. Poured from a 750 mL caged and corked bottle into a snifter. Batch 119.

My pour is a dirty, hazy amber color with a bubbly off-white head that leaves a bit of lace on the glass.

The aroma has a nice spiciness to it, I imagine from the Belgian yeast strain and the combination of spices added. Nutmeg, coriander, and a bit of cinnamon are all present, working nicely with a sweet, yeasty, and bready malt character. Some candied green apples, red apples, and plums are also noticeable.

The flavor starts on a fairly sweet note, with a nice caramel malt presence. Up front I am also reminded of baked bread, with a strong spicy yeast presence. Some dark orchard fruits, mainly red apple, plum, and cherries add a subdued fruit note. Toward the end the spices come through more fully, with nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon, and a bit of pepper all noticeable. As the sip finishes, it dries out a little bit, with a slightly tart green apple note.

At first the body feels full, with a bubbly carbonation and a sweet taste. As the taste progresses, however, it becomes more on the dry side, with the ghost remnants of whatever hops were here originally. The body lightens up, and the carbonation moves from bubbly (maybe overly so), to a bit more creamy.

I have been hanging onto this bottle for a while, so it is obviously lacking any hop presence whatsoever, but I found it to be rather enjoyable. I would definitely drink this again.

Jul 02, 2013
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metter98 from New York

3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Thirsty Monk, Asheville, NC

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellowish amber in color. It poured with a finger high frothy white head that died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Moderately strong aromas of Belgian yeast are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but also has some hints of oranges and spices.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer doesn't really taste like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale as it lacks the flavors of dark fruits and dark malts but it is a nice Belgian Ale.

May 29, 2013
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.33/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

on tap at Duckworths (NC)

Pour is a bit light for the style. The clear amber body is covered by a bone head that has great retention

Mouthfeel: near medium body with appropriate, medium carbonation.

Taste and Aroma: Plenty of alcohol esters and Belgian yeast. Also rather sweet. Wild yeast in the flavor that is not apparent in the nose.

O: unusual for style, this Belgian ale was disappointing but should appeal more to folks who like wild yeast in their beers more than I do.

Apr 20, 2013
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Mora2000 from Texas

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

Batch 20. I don't have a date, but I believe the bottle is at least approaching two years old.

The beer pours a hazy brownish-red color with a white head. The aroma has a ton of brown sugar and dark fruit, as well as some caramel and toffee. There is also a little spice and some alcohol. The flavor has a ton of toffee and caramel, as well as some cherries and grapes. There is a bit of pepper, as well as some alcohol and candy sugar. The carbonation is fairly light and the beer is soft on the palate. The age has definitely not hurt the beer, although I can't say if it improved it.

Jun 27, 2012
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle I brought to share at AndrewK’s tasting.

Batch # 15.

Pours a murky honey orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, spices, and yeast. Taste is much the same with a slight honey flavor as well. There is a mild spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that has aged well in my opinion and is still quite tasty.

Jun 26, 2012
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superspak from Ohio

4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into chalice, batch 19(probably a few years old). Pours a hazy reddish orange color with a nice foamy 1 finger off white head with great retention that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some spotty lacing on the glass, with nice carbonation streaming up. Aromas of big prune, golden raisin, pepper, coriander, clove, caramel, candi sugar, and spicy yeast. Nice and well balanced aromas with good strength. Taste of big caramel, prune, raisin, apple, pepper, molasses, biscuit, clove, roasted nut, candi sugar, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of caramel, dark fruit, molasses, biscuit, and yeast spices on the finish for a bit. Great balance of flavors with the spiciness. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a slightly creamy and slick mouthfeel. Drinks really smoothly despite the slightly prickly carbonation. Alcohol is nicely hidden with only a slight warming after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Quadrupel style offering from Allagash. Great balance of flavors with a high amount of complexity; and is super smooth to drink as well given the 7.2%.

Feb 06, 2012
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Chico1985 from Massachusetts

4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy light reddish color, small head sticks around for a bit before turning to a ring.

Nice scent, fresh fruit, yeast, spices, good strength.

Taste has lots of red grape, plum, berries, Belgian spice and yeast kick, toasty malts, a bit of funky twang to it. Good amount of sweetness and a bit tart.

Very smooth mouthfeel, no hint of the ABV, pretty easy drinking and interesting.

Glad to see this make a 'comeback', as always Allagash puts their own spin on an authentic Belgian ale.

Jan 10, 2012
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jondeelee from Massachusetts

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

Pleasant fruit and spice aroma, which continues into the palate. Peach/apricot flavors mix with spices, producing a nice, light beverage (but still full on flavor!) that nicely complements the colder fall days. Hops are kept to a minimum, so the bitterness is subtle, and grain flavors tend more towards lightly-toasted Grape Nuts. Drink this one while staring at the New England foliage in October, when the leaves turn red and golden-brown.

Aug 14, 2011
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rfgetz from New Jersey

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

Pours a dulled copper color, cap of frothy off-white to khaki colored head, decent sticky lacing. Smell is quite sweet and bready, followed by notes of fruit - both dark like plum and faint citrus, holiday like spicing, a light musty eathyness is present. Taste dominated by the sweetness - carmel apple, plum and citrus, bready and lightly toasted malts, holiday like spicing more muted then the nose, slight notes of booze. Quite hefty for the style, muted carbonation, lingering sweetness. A nice, full flavored quad.

Jun 13, 2011
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kawilliams81 from Illinois

2.94/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Finnegan's.

A- Light honey gold color. 1-finger foam with some lacing.

S- Some sweet malts with toasted malts

T- Sweet malts, roasted toast/biscuit with a slightly bitter finish.

M- Medium body, light carbonation, and a dry finish.

O- Nothing spectacular. Expected a little more from a "Grand Cru"

Jun 05, 2011
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ToasterChef from Maine

4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes.

A: Opaque peach w/ tan (nearly white) foam head. Lots of rising carbonation.

S: Nice Belgian sugar smell. Some peach fruit. It's malty and appealing.

T: It's a little sweet, but warming. Peach and plum flavors, with some mild spices. There's a kiss of bitterness in the finish. It's yummy.

M: Medium body and high carbonation. A touch sticky, but not much coat is left behind. Drinks well for 7.2% ABV.

O: I'm so glad this is being made again. I used to drink it when I first got into craft beer. This is a welcome return.

May 06, 2011
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Halcyondays from California

3.46/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at The Bruery Provisions,

A: Pours a deep amber colour with a full white head, leaving good lace.

S: Banana, sweet malt, not particularly aromatic though.

T: The banana esters come through in the flavour with a hint of pear and sugar cane. Sweet malt flavour overall, a tad cloying at times.

M: Medium-bodied, very smooth, soft carbonation.

O: A solid beer from Allagash. Very low ABV for the style, but still feels bigger. Worth a shot.

Apr 15, 2011
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brystmar from Texas

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

A: hazy amber-orange; off-white head and moderate lace -- our first hint that this isn't a quad. Tons of yeast at the bottom of the glass.

S: spicy in the nose with malts, earthy notes, hints of nutmeg / pumpkin pie, and plenty of booze. Reminds me of a winter ale.

T: sweet malts and fruit hit first. followed by spices, more complex malts, yeast, and alcoholic warmth. Definitely not a quad -- it's more of a super complex Belgian strong ale.

M/D: creamy and full-bodied; well-matched for the brew itself. This might be the first time I've ever been surprised to learn the ABV of my beer in hand was _lower_ than expected. It honestly smells / feels like a 10-11% brew, though it doesn't bite *too* hard.

O: another solid offering from a great brewery. This is what I've come to expect from Allagash.

Apr 10, 2011
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Armsby Abbey

Big fluffy head fades semi slowly with sticky lacing, hazy golden pale orange.

Nose nice Belgian malts, light fruits, light citrus, orange peel, light saison like spices, light sweet candi sugar.

Taste is semi sweet, lots of Belgian malts, fluffy, semi bitter orange peel, zest, citrus, light candi sugar, very light booze, light spices light spices coriander, etc. finishes a bit drier, somewhat bitter, light slices and Belgian fruity yeast.

Mouth is med to lightly heavier bodied with good carb.

Overall great, I think the bottles were better years ago but those are long gone, but a great beer

Apr 02, 2011
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Brez07 from Maine

4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer hasn't been sold/made for a while, but all of a sudden random kegs started popping up in the last week or so. Drank last night at Novare Res. 10oz pour in my chalice

A: Dark peach color. Very cloudy appearance. Initial pour left 2 finger white colored head. Look a few minutes to die down and left behind very limited lacing

S: Right off the bat, I'm reminded of that distinct aroma from Unibroue beers. Some belgian yeast, some spice. Not a huge nose

T: Starts with floral and fruit (light, like artificial peach) flavors before transitioning to a dry, almost saison-like beer. Some malt adds depth. Spice from the yeast in the finish. This beer seems more like a triple than anything else

M: Medium bodied. Pretty active carbonation, tingles the front of the tongue. Coats the mouth similar to a saison (soapy)

D: Glad to have tried this because Allagash stopped making it before I got into the beer scene. Certainly tasty, but I'm not sure what it's supposed to be. Try this before it disappears again

Mar 31, 2011
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BARFLYB from Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's been so long since i've had this and so glad to see it back, this was one of my first and I totally forgot about it.

Allagash Grand Cru looks like your average beer, brownish shades with mahagony hues and tree bark edges. Just a whiff of tan/white suds on top creating a loose cap, no stick. Smell is berries up front and not fake berry either, a pleasant whiff of toasted malts with bread, some caramel, and than with warming a disgusting scent that reminds me of a basement. Taste is nice though and not so in your face and sugary like alot of quads, more should be made in this vain IMO. Berry forward, plum over apple, caramel sweetner, fruity over sugar, my type of quad. No alcohol interference. Feel is superior and medium making for at least two goblets to go down the hatch, I can't say that with any other quad. Carb ios minimal, smooth is the word with the slightest bit of heat towards the end. This is a winner except for that awful smell with much warmth.

Mar 13, 2011
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jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

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

A - Pours a nice, ruby/gold color with beautiful, tight carbonation and a creamy, single layered head.

S - Some citrus, spices, herbs, spices, and bready malt.

T - Dominated by herbs, spices, and bread. The overall taste is somewhat tart and sour in flavor. Honey, apples, pears, and a grassy earth touch to add to the layers of flavor. Has a Belgian yeast presence as well.

M - Somewhat thick, and a heavier side of medium body.

D - A nice sipper and something that's different and welcoming for a change.

Mar 10, 2011
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sk8man121 from Maine

3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Great Lost Bear in Portland, ME. Out of retirement?

A: Golden orange with little head. Zero lacing on glass.

S: Belgian yeast, fruity esters, maybe a bit of mint and alcohol.

T: Typical quad but subdued. Raisins, dark fruit; nice but not exceptional.

M: A bit thin. Could benefit from more carbonation as well.

D: One is enough. Not a bad beer, but also not Allagash's best. There are better quads out there but this is a perfectly acceptable take on the style.

Mar 08, 2011
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carolinahophead from North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on Brewery Nite at Flying Saucer Charlotte (3/3/2011)
The beer has a golden color with a typical belgian cloud white head ...
Nice spice and licorice aromas almost anise like . Bouquet comes alive as it warms. One thinks of hard candy with white flowers.
This so called Grand Cru does have some interesting flavor. I do get the belgium style for sure and did like the finish. Can we say white spice with licorice. Its almost liquid candy sugar.
A medium mouthfeel with some good carbonation. Its well balanced and well made for sure .
Not a big belgium fan here but a different change from Chimay. Thanks Allagash for this winter brew and looking forward to springtime...

Mar 04, 2011
Photo of ehammond1

3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

A bright and clear pumpkin orange with a thick and luscious bubbly head that goes nowhere. A sight to behold, a truly beautiful beer, even if it doesn't look like any quad I've ever seen before.

A sweet nose of honey, berries, caramel, and spicy yeast. Interesting and evolving.

A sweet quad heavy in yeast and sugary fruits. A bit of peppery spice.

Medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. Relatively smooth.

An enjoyable and simple quad. Not nearly as layered or complex as others in its style, but a very good beer.

Feb 24, 2011
Grand Cru from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 656 ratings