Allagash Grand Cru | Allagash Brewing Company

458 Reviews
Allagash Grand CruAllagash Grand 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

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Reviews: 458 | Ratings: 647
Photo of jrallen34
2.23/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It darks dark clay red with a big creamy, long lasting light tan head and great lacing.

It smells sour like tea, and hints of hops and citrus.

Things were off to a good start and I had high hopes, then I drank it. Horrible.

There is light tea taste, overall its a very simple soft taste with lots of taste. There are hints of nutmeg and cinammon as well.

A very poor effort.

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Photo of shbobdb
2.4/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

It pours like a homebrew. It ought be light, pale and beautiful, but instead it is a murky, hazy beer that is seriously overcarbonated. That said, the head resulting from a gentle pour is truly a wonder to behold. Look at it!

The appearance I can forgive, but the taste? The wheat malt plays with the (light munich?) and there is a definate presence from the Belgian Biscuit . . . all of that tastes great, it's just the extras. It tastes like lemon zest with a touch of soap and noble hop. The smell is similar to the taste, malt and lemon zest. The mouthfeel alone stands out. The bubbles push through the thinnish body to carass the tongue. Beautiful!

I can't say I'm sad that I only have a half bottle to share. I can say that I regret paying for said bottle.

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Photo of Mitchel
2.63/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Allagash Grand Cru pours a hazy copper with a lumpy, manila head. The head quickly dissipates to leave little lacing. It has spicy smells of clove, coriander and orange peel with hints of fruit…like apple and melon.

It tastes malty and the carbonation is high, a little too high for my tastes. It is spicy and fruity and leaves a medicinal phenol-y taste. It definitely makes me think of a Belgian.
Aftertaste of white pepper. Hmm.

This is an honorable beer, just not something that I would drink all of the time. I am anxious to cellar the rest of these and see how they turn out. I guess for what it is, it is a good example. Again, just not a style for me I guess.

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Photo of twelvsies
2.75/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was really excited to try this beer, and since Allagash is such a solid brewery I was really surprised that I... I won't say hate, but I heartily dislike this beer. There's no freshness date on the 12oz bottle, so I guess it could be bad but it didn't taste particularly spoiled, I just didn't like it. Anyway, on to the review.
Pours a murky brown amber color, kind of drab with a bit of fizzly head. Smells like yeast and spices, and also sort of like iced tea or something. Taste just isn't working with me here. Oily and spicy and unrefreshing. Just not what a beer should be in my opinion. Tastes like tea. A little sour tasting too. Yuk. Not particularly impressive in the mouthfeel and the drinkability was horrible, I could taste the alcohol and it wasn't a good mix with the oily spicy herby tastes that were happening. I think I owe it to Allagash to try this one again sometime if I can bring myself to do it, because it seemed to get high marks from everyone else and Allagash is such a strong brewery I was surprised to see such a weak beer from them. Oh well. Live and learn.

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Photo of kawilliams81
2.94/5  rDev -28.1%
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"

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Photo of AndoBrew
3.02/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

*did not like would not buy*

app: copper orange type color, like hot apple cider. nice tight lil head

smell: bread biscuit malty booze. neat floral thing is also looming about.

taste: metal, banana yeast, not very spiced, not real malty, not real good. metal went away after the first sip. nothing really growing on me. kinda bland and bad. needs more malt flavor in it, more depth.

mf: the feel is neat, kinda frothy feeling but a zing as well, feels a touch silky or oily, wich is actually kinda neat.

drinkable??: for what it is it is suprisingly a bit drinkable.

it is almost like a part belgium part hefe pale ale.


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Photo of Pencible
3.07/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This looked about the same as Victory's Grand Cru, but it had a fresher scent that had more hops in it. However, the taste was more bland. It was mostly cistrussy sweet with a bit of hops in the aftertaste. There was really no malt to the flavor, or any complexity at all. The texture was watery, with some soapiness to it. This was easier to drink than the Victory because it was so bland (not as sickeningly sweet), but it wasn't rewarding to drink at all.

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Photo of jim102864
3.08/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A cloudy amber, hazy gold pour into a 1/2 pint glass at E at the Allagash tasting on Tuesday night. Two finger, foamy white head that left a modicum of webbing with each pull

The nose was phenolic with heavy bananna and clove and esters due to it's slightly citrusy fragrence. Fairly on target for the style. Not bad.

Taste was citrusy, bananas and clove.

Mouthfeel was modest yet malty bringing a citrusy tang to the finish.

It's a drinkable brew but not a session beer. A good effort of this company which makes only Belgian style ales. Keep working on it guys.

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Photo of ccrida
3.12/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch #14, poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Allagash's Grand Cru is a burnt gold with a creamy off-white head that lasts through the last drop, leaving very light lace.

Aroma is very spicy, citrus and floral, very much like a saison, with a slight hint of graininess as it warms.

Taste is also very spicy, and again, is pretty much saison to me, although maybe not as dry, plenty floral. Perhaps it's the spices, but there's a sharpness to it I can do without.

Mouthfeel is creamy, medium body.

Drinkability is moderate. Alcohol is well hidden, but the spices are a bit to robust. Overall, this was very average, for the style.

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Photo of joepais
3.13/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The 750 ml bottle from batch 16 poured a cloudy ruby orange with a white billowy head. Aromas of Bananas and Belgium yeast along with a complement of spices filled my nose. This ale had a nice clean mouth feel with a dry finish. The flavors of this one was surely a surprise for a grand cru it was a lot more bitter than I expected for the style. The hops and citrus flavors were very pronounced with a sweetness lightly coming thru towards the finish. This is really interesting brew but I have had much better grand cru’s especially in this price range .I’ll finish this one but won’t be looking for more.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.13/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The beer arrives looking a slightly hazy reddish orange color. A thick white head tops it, diminishing into a thin, frothy haze coating the beer. Good retention, lasting all the way through the glass, leaving some large blobs of lace.
Aroma is very sweet, big and phenolic. Big belgian maltiness, with plenty of candi sugar and esters. Hints of fig, plum, apple, pear, and peach. A very sweet caramel aroma to the malt. No hops to speak of, just sweet and malty as hell. The alcohol is completely hidden.
The flavor starts with a rich caramel maltiness. Medium to full bodied, with a sparkly, bouncy carbonation, carrying the flavor across your tongue. Tons of candi sugar and estery sweetness take up the middle, with huge estery pear, apple, fig, raisin and kiwi flavors. Almost overwhelming on the first sip or two. A light sourness in the finish, with a bit of alcohol as you swallow. A lingering candi sugar aftertaste, kind of saccharine and a bit cloying.
A big, complex beer. A little too sweet for my tastes, and not quite up to par with an authentic belgian grand cru. A great beer, but something seems to be missing.

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Photo of ojiikun
3.14/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a champagne bottle into my favourite oversized wineglass. Powerful carbonation gives a fast head that burns out within moments to a nice even froth. Smooth even lace at first, but that, too, falls quickly. The colour is a beautiful orange, neither too dark nor at all weak. Murky but not clumpy, with nice little champagne bubbles.

Smell is immediately of sour melon, then overwhelming cooked green peas. With a bit of breathing, the mustiness relents to a much more subtle white-wine yeast smell with citrus hints - like a sauvignon blanc or fume blanc. Near the end when temps hit their high, there's a faint smell of vodka-like booze and licorice.

Taste is all dry, belgian funk, brown rice, asian spice, and sour, tart wine. If you at all like dry brut champagne, you might just love this beer. If you don't, it will be a bumpier road.

Leaves the back of the throat just slightly on fire from alcohol and carbonation. The extreme effervescence even tends to wash out the palate at times.

This beer is an excellent expression of yeast character and carbonation, though not a whole lot else. The tart, crisp, yeasty nature makes it drink like a witbier, but the booze can go to your head. The most disapponting bit is the smell - I can't shake the conception that this smells like overcooked high-protein grains. Most of all, though, if you do pop this bottle, do it at about 55-60 degrees - any colder or warmer and the character is lost.

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Photo of badbeer
3.18/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice amber color with a soft white head leaving some lacing and lasted with the glass. Smell of some coriander and very breadlike, but not real exciting. Taste is bread-y, with some spices coming into play as well. Seemed a bit simple, I seem to have missed out on some of the fruit flavors others have described; different batch? Mouthfeel felt like too much carbonation and lighter side of medium bodied. This was probably worth a try, but I don't think I'll be seeking this one out again.

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Photo of Kwak
3.2/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice frothy head didn't hang around for to long, light tan color. You can smell the fruit mixed with the spices very appetizing. Good body not to thick a nice orange/amber color. It has a nice fruit taste that is raging with spices. nice hints of alcohol that gives a really good warming effect in the end. Goes down nice and easy for it's high alcohol content. Good beer would not recommend having a sixer of this one it's a good night cap!

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Photo of rastaman
3.23/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orange peel amd canola oil coupled with a medicinal flavour, a bit band-aidy aswell as having the sweet start, but a relatively dry finish, with some pepper. A bit "surgical" (thanks Fil for that analysis). Still, another very flavourful beer, relatively soft mouthfeel, with some late sharpness.

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Photo of auntfloyd
3.23/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served from a 750ml corked bottle (Batch 11) into a St. Bernadus goblet.

Pours a bright, clear, orange color, with about one finger of white head, which quickly dissipated.

The smell was kind of bready and malty, faintly sweet, with some traces of spice.

The taste is pleasantly sweet and spicy, with flavors of clove, allspice, cinnamon, pepper, and corriander, amidst a lingering hops presence.

The mouthfeel is slightly slick, and drinkability is hurt a bit as a result. Definitely a sharing ale.

Overall, I'm not as impressed with this as I thought I would be. It's good, but not as good as the competition. I should note that this is my first brew from Allagash.

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Photo of Brent
3.25/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bland and not too interesting. Poured a dark chestnut with moderate head. Some sweetness to the malt, but no complexity to that aspect. Moderate bittering, but again fairly one dimensional. Not much going on with the yeast flavors. I would have pegged this as a basic, no frills winter warmer had I been blindfolded.

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Photo of jwff
3.3/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a burnt orange with brown leanings and a little haze. Not much carbonation and a thin layer of white froth for the head. Smell is where it gets interesting.. I'm getting apricots, peaches, yeast, clove, and a pinch of penuche. Slight notes of grain alcohol.

Brown sugary malt is the center stage of this one. A little apricot flavoring in the nose, and some dried fruit sugars are in the mix. Finishes dry with some tobacco notes.

The carbonation is a little harsh and not at all what I expected. I figured when I uncaged the cork and it immediately hit the ceiling the carbonation would be kind of chill, but this is still pretty biting.

I'd probably split one with a friend, but I don't see myself getting this again. Not my style, but I'm glad I tried it.

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Photo of Naes
3.31/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one is an orangish brown/copper color with a tall white head that disappears quickly. There is a lot of carbonation visible.
The aroma is mild, but has a bit of yeast and citrus.
The flavor is a bit fruity with a malt base. There is also a yeasty flavor with a mild bitterness near the finish.
Mouth feel is medium bodied and actively carbonated.

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Photo of CReilly
3.32/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Allagash Grand Cru:

App: Thick off white head dissipated over time over a Glowing orange body.

Aroma: Funky yeast with subtle sweet malt and nice citrus notes. low hop aroma. Additionally i picked up a pleasant tart cherry aroma.

Taste: Bitey Hops roll off the palate blend with subtle alcohol presence, some slight yeasty flavor and a peppery/spicey background with no discernable character. Bitterness lingers near the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a somewhat misleading dryness near the end.

Overall pretty taste

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Photo of chinchill
3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
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.

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Photo of Jwaks
3.33/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An impressive billowing frothy tower rises high above a hazy dark orange sea full of lively natural carbonation. Tons of thin, sticky lacing are the only evidence left by the frothy tower as it settles into a half finger thick dense, creamy cap.

Spice aromas including anise, allspice and corriander are well represented in the nose along with a healthy dose of orange, apricot, hop bitters, yeast, pale malt and white pepper. Overall the nose is a tad muted yet still complex and interesting.

Sweet citrus zest, orange corriander a bit of hop and pale malt flavor strike the palate upon entry evolving into a bigger spicy, citrus, malty and lightly hoppy mid palate finishing with a bit of anise, white pepper and bitter yeast. Is it just me or does this beer have an artificial, dull, somewhat flat sweet and sour flavor overlayed with spices? There is a bit to much sweet orange and spice drowing out the real underlying beer. This isn't as sharp and pungeant as other true belgian beers in the style, this one is a surprising let down.

A slick and creamy body helps this brew stand up to food, and the slightly sour citrus grip is laudable. Overwhelming flavors from additives and a slightly off flavor on ths finish lower drinkability a bit. Overall an enjoyable brew but it doesn't stand up to true belgian grand crus.


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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.35/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle- purchase info not retained. Batch 13.

I am a big fan of Allagash, and was pleased to find this Grand Cru for my appreciation. But I have to admit I'm disappointed. It's not a bad beer, but it is just too yeasty and spicy to be something to enjoy. Cloves and coriander are a good thing, but this beer seems to be all about that flavor profile, and nothing more. I'm sure there are other good spices used here too, but it just is too strong to make me interested in trying to figure anything else out.

I'll give this one a pass in the future.

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Photo of Ricochet
3.35/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A dry, fruity smell, like champaign started this and a deep inhale appetized in the same way, but told of malt stronger than all. Cloudy amber brown appearance, little head and lace from the pour. I can't get over the smell, even when bringing this to the mouth, champaign. Mouth is thick, smooth and left a slightly bitter but mostly malt aftertaste with a fruity note on top, Not bad at all for mouth. Taste started with malt, but the taste of the spice, a little cinnamon, a little fig, a little grapefruit made this beverage. Nicely balanced.

This was a special beer, but it wasn't a really special beer to me. It was okay, but had this odd note in the maltiness that just seemed off.

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Photo of Maestro
3.42/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a cloudy, amber color. The head was thick and lasting. The nose was great. Losts of fruity and spicey notes. A nutty, spicey taste contols this beer. The spices are a little overwhelming and give this beer a bizarre taste. The mouthfeel is just plain awkward. As far as drinkability goes, its not great but strong enough to have another.

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Allagash Grand Cru from Allagash Brewing Company
4.09 out of 5 based on 647 ratings.
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