Grand Cru | Allagash Brewing Company

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Grand CruGrand Cru
650 Ratings
Grand CruGrand Cru

Brewed by:
Allagash Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-23-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 650 |  Reviews: 458
Photo of Britton
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of ROGUE16
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of MareInfinitus
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of Gurrett
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of Majikchord
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of daryk77
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of Rocketman8911
5/5  rDev +22.5%

Photo of StevieW
4.92/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big 750ml brown bottle. Cork and cage. Batch # 5. Opened with a loud sharp "pop". Murky deep carmel brown color. Glowing with hints of light gold around the edges. Beautiful, pillowly soft and creamy tan head. Covers the body of the beer perfectly and clings to the glass. Visually stunning.
Aromas that are matched by no other beer, that I have experienced. Smooth soft spices, pepper, cinnamon, earthy nutmeg and tart fresh brabdy soaked orange peels to finish.
The first taste was striking. Soft, subtle combinations of the above mentioned flavors all sitting perfectly on a sweet carmel malt backbone. The end is a softly presented shot of moderate hops. Candied apples, rum soaked raisans just whisper by. Hop stickyness lingers. Again the taste and smell of this one, is clearly stunning. Nothing like it. Perfection, IMO.
Smooth, so smooth creamy medium bodied feel. Perfectly balanced. Yeasty sediment settles into the bottom of the glass. Earthy full flavors explode. A great winter belgian made by the good people of Maine. One of the best I have had in any category. Seek this out, please.

P.S. I need to go to confession after reading the LongBeachBum's review. Wow !

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.82/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Allagash Grand Cru batch no. 7, Appearance: Cloudy orange amber brown tone with a nice sized tan caramel colored head leaves behind belgian style lacing in specks spread randomly. Aroma: Christmas is in the air piney hops rich but soft malts coat the senses this is one great smelling beer almost like a pine air freshener but in a good way, just too good. Taste: A wave of piney spiced flavor bringing the pale malts out in the sweetness excellent candy like tasting brew puts an instant smile on your face. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied fluffy carbonatin very nice feeling . Drinkability: Very nice easy as all hell to put down simply amazing Christmas ale I have had this on tap but this is by far one of the best beers I have tasted this holiday season.

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Photo of inebrius
4.82/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mmmm! What a fantastic nose of bubblegum, juicy watermelon, freshly tapped maple sap, crushed coriander seeds, banana cupcakes with orange buttercreme icing and hay. I'm almost content to sniff this beer only, but no, that would be silly. Starts maple--the real stuff, no corn syrup with maple flavoring garbage--and is quickly awash in an alcoholic whitecap that morphs into a mild bitterness riding a magic spice carpet that flutters across the buds in an exuberant fashion fit for analogies of hot tubs or backyard hosedowns. As warm as Nana's quilt on a snow-day.

Those Mainards can make some brew, eh?

Thanks Venom!

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Photo of DogFood11
4.8/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle corked and caged. Poured into a chalice it formed an easily managed two finger off white head that leaves coats of lace. Orange, cloudy body. Fine carbonation.

Very belgian like in the nose with some yeast and cloves. Translates very well to the taste. Large amounts of citrus rind and ORANGES are everywhere. Tap into the belgian yeast and clovey backside and Allagash is on to something here. Pretty dry towards the finish. This avoids being overly sweet, in fact its one of the more balanced and dry belgian pale's I've had. Really a compliment in my book. Spices seem to kick in at the same time as the crisp dryness wich multiplies the effect nicely.

Notes: Very well done interpretation of the style while still achieving a unique offering. Incredibly easy to consume and interesting down to the last drop. Highly reccomended.

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Photo of GreenWBush
4.78/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

After a less than spectacular bottle of Allagash Tripel, I have to say this brew blew me away.

Amazing presentation; in the bar they gave me the mega-chalice so the brown-ruby color and rocky, immortal head are perfectly magnified.

The nose is full of spicy phenols; major fruitiness, candy apple, tart vinous and earthy clove.

The flavor is truly explosive - alcohol, malt, and sugar blend effortlessly into an amazingly gulpable brew. A brisk glimpse of tart hoppiness intermingles perfectly with the other crisp aspects of this beer.

The mouthfeel seems almost surrealistically perfect; you swish this beer around in your mouth to pin down how graceful it is. Rich without being gooey, crisp without being astringent. This one is a "overdid it" headache in the making.

I wanted another 750 by the end of this.

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Photo of BlindPig
4.77/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Off white thing head on a cloudy darker orange body.
S- Light fruits, light floral and grass hops, slight off/ sour aroma, light pale malts, and hint of spices.
T- Wow, first sip of this beer and I was pulled into the complex flavor. Light citrus and grass hops break on to the tongue first. They leave a decent bitterness on the tongue. Some spices make their way through but in a nonchalant manor. Light cloves and some herbs? A light malt is in the back ground to support everything. A very nice blend of fruits I would say is the main part of this brew. All the fruits are light but make up a great team of flavors. I can't really pinpoint to many of them but I will see which ones I can make out. Banana, slight orange?, pineapple?, grapefruit? Just some random fruits.
M- Medium body with low carbonation.
D- This is a great beer. Wish I would of got the 750ml bottle of this. This was my first Allagash beer and I am very excited to taste some of the others.

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Photo of bosoxfanme1966
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of frank12
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of Budinetz
4.75/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of Loki
4.72/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled in a 12 oz. bottle

Poured a dark honey orange color with a good 1 1/2 inch head that fades to a 1/8 inch covering. Left good lacing throughout the session.

Spices dominate this nose of coriander, white pepper, anise, orange peel, and subtle honey.

Taste was much the same with the spice immediately upfront, then coriander, orange cream, and an honey and wheat finish.

Great brew and a benchmark Grand Cru IMHO.

 431 characters

Photo of tyboxr
4.72/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: beautiful blood orange, uniform cloudiness. Nice head with great leg on the glass

S: ohhh so nice, fruity front tones relinguish to a hearty finish

T: delicious!! great dark apricot-like front tone with great bready dinish, raisens,

M: great carbonation, stays to the fron of the mouth and lingers nicely

D:get this when you can, drink some now and then put some away for the first snow of next year, the aging will effect it nicely!

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Photo of freed
4.72/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Batch #5 and have been sitting on it. Thanksgiving with some of my wine snob family seemed like a good time to break it out. The pop of the cork got their attention.

The pour was somewhat wild, and a turbulent pour left a big dollop of foam on top. As it settled, the foam left nice lacing, and some spots so big that dust would have settled on them.

The aroma is wonderfully offensive. Pungent old farm, livestock, and wet blanket finishing with a hint of ripe apples. When I exclaimed about the smell, people were surprised.

The taste is amazing. I feel no shame in sharing it will family. Rich, sweet, malty, and deep. Its a pleasant mixture of orchard sweetness, malt sweetness, and malt dryness. The yeast offers its own additions to the mix, a nice funky bready.

Though this is a stellar beer, you can't, and don't want to drink that much of it. Splitting the 22 was ample for 3 people, though I could have probably done with one myself over the course of a meal.

Happy thanksgiving indeed!

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Photo of ChrisBowers
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I recently had the privilage to share a 750ml of this with a friend from Batch #1. Yep, #1, so it's about 5-6 years old. Neither of us knew yet what to expect but the bottle opened with a nice pop and the beer poured out with a very nice fluffy head and almost no sediment. Smell was rich, malty, spicy. Taste... wow so different than a fresh example. It developed a very smokey characteristic that was great with the spicy yet smooth texture of the beer. Somewhat sweet. I always felt that this beer could use a little time in the cellar. Its nice to see that such an old bottle has held up so well. It was my friend's last bottle of the Batch 1, so sadly I'll probably never have it again. Now to find a bottle from batch 2....

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had heard about her, but we never met. However, after having been introduced to me by BA Murph, my confidence grew & after an introduction of only a few days, I had lured her back to Long Beach, all the way from Maine as well.

Running my hands up & down her reflective brown dress, I cuddled her, then fondled & lightly teased her zipper-cork. But she was having none of it. I had to grip & tug harder, she liked that, but still fought against my advances. Eventually as I worked her more, she gave in with an orgasmic expulsion of air that burst forth from her mouth as her unzipped cork gave me access to the flesh of her gorgeous body. But it was still partially hidden. I was so desperate to see her naked.

She moaned as her heartbeat raised. I carefully & slowly slipped her out of her brown dress with ease, she offered no resistance whatsoever as I disrobed her. Now she was mine. Her body writhed with uninhibited freedom as her brown dress was removed. She could no longer tease me from behind her camisole & she showed me all she had. She is stunning.

She revealed her smooth maple syrup colored body, it had no blemishes & her tulip hour glass curves just made her look better. Her head was upright at first, displaying her fine head of dirty blonde hair that sat high atop her head. As I brought her closer to my lips her head fell back, slowly releasing her hair down her back. I had to smell her hair, I always do – it had remnants of the spicy clove shampoo she used, but it also had a natural pheromonic fruity odor.

She tasted good. Damn Good. She sighed constantly as I tasted her body. Her malty stiff backbone twisted & turned as she offered me her hoppy chest sprinkled with black pepper. Her fruity middle begged to be savored. I work my way down to a slightly, but not unpleasant, yeasty third quarter. Her dark fruity back end just made me tingle all over. I'm loosing control.

Her mouth is so soft, slightly sweet, yet decadent & inviting. She feels good on your lips. She swells with delight as you work her body in your mouth. She has it all; Looks, Beauty & Class. Her Pedigree is obvious in the way she moves & handles herself.

Batch #4: My lust was at last fulfilled, I had expunged my deepest desires & had her. The deed was done.

I lay back & reflect on the whole satisfying incident. The catch is SO much better than the chase. A very mature Grand Cru, I always had a soft spot for attractive older women.

And I fancy having her again. Well, in a few minutes anyway.

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Photo of Hautacam
4.7/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very impressed with this one. Batch # 15 on label.
Very good looking hazy dark amber with a foamy tan head, which drops down to about 1/8 " and lingers and laces in our chalices.
The smell is fruity and spicy.
Taste is fantastic as it warms..very complex.Bready malt. Multiple fresh and dried fruits ..all subtle and well, pear. banana(hint), oranges, currants , apricot(hint),prunes....sweet , but not too sweet. Yeasty.
A little twang of gentle hop bitter balances the sweet fruity combo.
There's also a complex layer of well balance that I can't really identify them singly; but this one, to me really tastes like a Belgian....not an Americanized Belgian. So well crafted.
The mouthfeel was lighter than expected, but not at all watery...just right , with velvety soft microcarbonation.
My girlfriend and I shared a 750, and we both wanted more....every few sips one of us would comment on how freaking good it was and how it was just getting better and better right up to the final sip.
GET this if you enjoy Belgians....but leave some for me.

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Photo of palma
4.69/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had high expectations for this beer and when I finally tried it, I was not disappointed. That says a lot about a brew.

Nose: Exceptional. prune, cherry, honey, sweet malt, all backed by a delicate clove spice. Maybe a hint of vanilla. Kind of an English old ale aromatic character as well.

Taste: Not too sweet, which is a good thing. A lot of these grand crus hit you with too much cloying sweetness, but this one here does it right. Not to worry though - the mild front only leads into a stronger, complex flavor, which is the main event of this brew. Lemon peels, dried fruit, light malt, and some pepper. A slight grassiness and a little musky too. The best part is the unbelievable orange peel-like hop bitterness showing up in the end, which really just sneaks up on you. It's pretty bitter! Rounds out the beer very nicely.

Though the beer poured with a minimal initial head, I have to say that the lace really kept up throughout the long session.

This is a world-class brew. Truly the best of Allagash. They call it the grand cru for a reason.

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Photo of cokes
4.68/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch #5
A murky golden amber body topped with a hazelnut gelato. Massive cloudbanks of head initially, before receding to reveal a archipelago of foaming islands.

A Wit on acid, perhaps?
This one swallows the caramel pill and ventures through a land of multi-colored toasted biscuits dripping honeyed sticks of coarse grain. Dancing elfs throw about candi sugar. The checkerboard corridor then leads through a melting door with grinning horses holding coriander and orange peel. A pulsating sphere materializes of vinous, grape qualities. Menacing specters threaten with flashing alcohol notes, but never intrude on the pleasantness of this voyage inward. Spiraling flowers of hops provide closure to this trip.

Set and setting are important. And this lays the foundation with an impervious mouthfeel and a comsumablity factor that is rarely equalled.

One of the best American bastardizations of Belgian styles. Delightfully bizarre.

Big ups to the Notorious B.I.G.H.U.G.E.

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Grand Cru from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 650 ratings