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Allagash Grand Cru | Allagash Brewing Company

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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 aracauna
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Deep, clear red. Heavy carbonation builds strong, lasting head. Not sure what the dominant spice here is but it's something they use in Sweetwater Festive Ale. Maple, molasses is a bit heavy. The strong carbonation makes for cottony mouthfeel I dislike. It gets a little too sweet as it warms, so this may be a better beer at a little cooler than cellar temp. The sweetness and the mouthfeel hurt drinkability a bit.

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Photo of Citadel82
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Corked and Caged - Labled as Batch Four. I was expecting a "big" malty beer. It was a good beer but not the one I was expecting. Poured into a Westmalle Goblet, a big rocky head that receded slowly leaving some nice lacing. Aroma was slightly fruity, slightly sweet, not at all over-powering. Same goes for the taste, very drinkable but not overly complex. Attractive copper color was however very pleasing to the eye.

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Photo of sleazo
3.45/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

A_Pours a cloudy medium copper/amber hue. The head is minimal from the start and somewhat dissapointing.

S_The aroma is mild. Tropical fruit plays with a sweetish malt to give the inital scent while a doughy yeasty presence rounds it out.

T_The taste mimics the smell. The inital sip and dominating flavour is mango and pineapple with a nice big caramel malt touch. After that, a warming note is felt from a hint of alcohol. The aftertaste brings some hop bitterness to play. The spice notes are somewhat muted but gives a touch of coriander, white pepper and possibly some ginger.

M_Medium body, a tad low on the carbonation.

D_A good decent brew with some depth to it but one that does not quite wow me in any way. While not as offensive as some American versions of Belgian brews it really doesn't make me want to have another when the real thing makes it over here.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.46/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

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Photo of saintwarrick
3.48/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange with a big white head that laces the glass. A bit of sediment left over in glass make this a lightly hazy brew. Aroma is yeasty with a heavy citrus character and also some malty aspect there with a sweet backbone. Taste is slightly sweet, lightly citrus. Not much bitterness to speak of, a little at the tail end. A bit of grapefruit in there, but there is not as much spice or fruitiness to this brew as in other Belgians - it's sort of restrained. A solid brew, but I wish it stood out a little more.

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Photo of fromage
3.48/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice take on the belgian pale ale style. Use it as a replacement for SA to make your meals fancier! Amber pour with a nice frothy head, lacing that lasts. Smell is spicy and grassy hops. A nice hoppy bite, mostly grassy, but some citrus. Taste is quite mellow, with few discernable fruits. I mostly get molasses and caramel. A little weak for me. Slightly metallic aftertaste, but otherwise clean. Not too carbonated. Scrubbing bubbles for your palate!

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Photo of Dithyramb
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: The latest selection from BIF18. (Again, mad props to goodbyeohio for the brews). I’ve since figured out that Allagash is distributed here in MD, with a few different selections in the local places. This one was presented in a brown 12 oz bottle, but I recycled it before I wrote down which batch it was from. Nice labeling, with a bit of description on the top label.

Appearance: Poured into an imperial pint glass, it appears like a hazy spring sunset (ok, a yellow, tinged amber) with a tan head. Rolling carbonation feeds the rocky head. Had great retention and lacing.

Smell: Oranges and allspice mixed with a bit of yeast

Taste/mouthfeel: Spicy mixture of cloves, allspice and a little pepper. There was a nice malt profile that was very biscuity in nature. There were virtually no hops mixed in. The tingly mouthfeel was nicely mixed with the light alcohol burn.

Drinkable: This is no session brew or one I would rush out for, but yes, worth another. Cracked this one open just after ordering the first local crabs of the season. This was a nice segue to that spicy seafood mix.

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Photo of mwa423
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of the botte, it is a hazy copper color that is very hazy and clears up a good bit in the first couple minutes.

The smell is belgian spice, alcohol, nutmeg, and malt.

The taste is not what I usually expect out of the style, there is some belgian spice, and some sour cherry notes that really hit on the aftertaste. The malt is exceptionally strong, and there is very little yeast flavor.

M/D - The mouthfeel is a bit rich. Right now I am in the mood for all of the malt but it doesn't fit the style well. I would liken this as closer to a barleywine but I think this will be a big winner or a big loser person to person

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Photo of deejaydan
3.51/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch #2. Recieved from, um, Santa...

Nice burnt orange color, small head, some lacing is noted. I get some phenolics and alcohol notes in the aroma. Taste takes a bit to grow on me. It is a nice marrige of a little bit of sour, then a bit of sweet to balance it. It also starts kinda heavy but finishs clean on the mouthfeel. Perhaps I just don't *get* belgian style beers. I think this is a decent beer, but just not all that, so figure that into my review.

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Photo of HossMcGraw
3.51/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Miles better than their Double offering. This has hints in the flavor that are comparable with the Double, but it seems like they got it right with this one. Huge white head, Deep golden/burgundy color, Taste is complex. Dark fruit, Belgian yeast, pine, and actually, pretty hoppy which is an interesting twist. Mouthfeel is good, (very carbonated), but I wouldn't really want to drink more than one of these in a sitting, and it's definitely something I'd need to be in the mood for.

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Photo of Troy518
3.52/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Beer is reddish, brown, and gold. The beer is too hazy to see through. I try to not read the bottle when drinking a beer to avoid being pursuaded by the sneaky marketing gurus however this beer is dead on with it's description. There is definitely a full malt palete with a subtle fruitiness and spice. I am unable to pick out any of the spices which is the way it should be. As the beer warms up it becomes more syrupy and less refreshing however the bitterness from the hops makes the finish slightly more palatable. I would not purchase this again but would be willing to try the other offerings from Allagash.

($3.45, 12oz, Oliver's Bev., Albany, NY)

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Photo of scott
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Unknown Vintage, not this or last year though

A rich & murky burnished orange with no head produced. Somewhat viscous and the carbonation is minimal, while struggling to make it to the top.
Nice aroma of butterscotch, port and alcohol.
Flavorful for a belgian stong pale that has sat for a couple of years. Spices have mellowed while the alcohol my nose detected is lost on the tongue. Thin body and forgettable finish, but this is still pleasant enough to drink. I like Allagash products. This is still very nice.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at the Comet.
Pours a hazy light gold in color. Very nice two inches of head on top of the beer. Smell is citrus fruits, yeast and a bit of spice. Taste is even more of the citrusy and light fruits. Very smooth and easy drinking. Well balanced and enjoyable.

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Photo of Viking
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear copper, with a thick bubbly head. Moderate amount of CO2 in the body. Thick clinging lace on the glass. Sweet and malty smell with a healty dose of licorice and other spices. Malty caramel flavor with fruit and spicy notes - again, licorice is most notable. Rather thin body. Dry finish, with a slight lingering fruit taste. Overall, it's a good brew, but it doesn't stand out as particularly special.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Pours a cloudy, deep honey-gold, hints of orange, with a fairly fizzy off-white head.

Nose is yeasty, with some apricot and maybe a bit of honey, coriander comes through clearly, some fruity esters.

Taste is really nice - pears, apples, apricots, honey sweetness, dry, cinnamon and nutmeg and some orange zest, a bit metallic.

Finish is yeasty, a bit peppery, dry. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, with a light, spritzy carbonation. Really nice beer, though the odd metallic taste does drop a point or two.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.56/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into the tulip

A - Huge white head, murky caramel. Aggressive sudsy lacing.

S - citrus and banana.

T- Taste is close to smell. Yeast, citrus, banana.

M - Medium to full body and carbonation.

D - Not a session. Not my favorite style, but a nice beer.

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Photo of akorsak
3.57/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I am drinking a 750 mL C&C bottle (Batch 12), served slightly below room temperature in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Appearance: The ale has a nice bright orange color. When held to light, lighter reds appear. It pours with a big head that dissapates and leaves no trace of any lace. The ale does not have any visible sediment.

Smell: Pepper and spices jump out in the nose. The spices leave a floral scent (not hop flowers, mind you). It raises expectations for the taste.

Taste: The taste does not live up to the expectation in the smell. It tastes a little flat, as though the spices don't quite come through. The pepper carries through into the taste, providing a nice counterpunch to the relatively smooth malt character. There is not much hop presence here either, definitely a let down coming from the smell.

Mouthfeel: The ale sits well on the mouth, the spices are fairly muted preventing an overpowering of the tastebuds. If only there was a little more character...

Drinkability: A very drinkable ale, it comes SOOO close to being excellent. Instead, it has to settle for being pretty good.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden/amber/orange color with a sizable head with a slight tan color, fades fast and doesn't leave any lacing along the glass.

Smell is mostly candied sugar and malt, slight banana presence.

Taste is surprisingly disappointing, the flavor just isn't there, at times it just seems downright watery, the carbonation is solid for the style, very slight banana taste, the rest is just candied sugar that is way too muted, the strength on the other hand is very well hidden.

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Photo of ballewblake
3.59/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into my Duvel tulip.

Huge thick bone white head. Very tight bubbles in the foam, along with lots of carbonation bubbles in the body. Body is dark, mahogany, translucent. Not much of a 'Belgian Strong Pale', from apperance and taste alone I was thinking more of a Belgian Strong Dark. Lacing is thick on the glass, spreads out into spaced bubbles. Nose is of apples, sour, pear maybe. Sweet flavors, but nothing stands out. Great mouth feel, good balance. An okay brew, not the most inspirational Allagash. I'd think someone just getting into beer would find more interest in this one. Gate-way belgian-style?

After looking at some of the other reviews, I'm wondering if I got a different brew in the bottle, this is a dark beer... Batch reads #20.

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Photo of nick76
3.6/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The aroma has a tremendous amount of esters giving it a fruity character along with floral hops and brown sugar. The appearance is medium brown with haze. The flavor is sweet and fruity with some spice. The palate is a little thin for a Belgian but not bad. Overall I like it.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.61/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a slightly cloudy copper brown color ale with a huge off-white foamy head with perfect retention. Aroma is quite the spice mix with some Belgian yeast and caramel malt. Taste is also very interesting at first with some spices and caramel crating a huge full body beer (which seems to be more then 7.5%) with a slight bitter finish with some great medium funky yeast. I found the aftertaste was a bit thin and watery which would be my only complaint. Great Belgian…

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Photo of 0tt0
3.62/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a quite clingy, small-bubbled head with some fantastic lace. Kinda grapefruit in color thanks to a somewhat over vigorous pour on my behalf that lent a little yeast to the glass. Oh well.

Scent is sweet yeasty, bread with some apricot, clove, and banana. The slightest bit of cinnamon in there, yes? Brew features a lively carbonation, a nice medium and slick mouthfeel. Witbier-like flavors dominate up front but there is a nice malty cinamon and clove finish. Tingly. Nice.

Overall, the snowflakes on the bottle led me to belive this is more of a warmer, which it is not. Recalls any number of Unibroue beers, in my opinion. Nothing overly exciting, but I find little to fault. It's quality, but unremarkable.

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Photo of
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle.

Hazy, orange-gold color. Modest, off-white head, very rocky. Head subsided quickly, but was easily stirred up again.

Very malty aroma. Fruity and floral. Some spices. A bit of Belgian character (yeasty), but not earthy or barnyard. Less than I expected.

Sweet taste. Caramel and honey. Lingers into aftertaste. Flowery and phenolic in the middle. Hoppy (citrus) at finish - just a bit. Spices struck me as coriander and clove.

Light to medium bodied, with pretty significant carbonation. A bit drying. A lighter winter offering.

Overall, quite good. Sessionable. Almost Saison like, just not as much citrus character. For me, almost too sweet and light.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the new Winking Lizard's in Columbus, poured into a pint glass (I'd have preferred a chalice for this). There was very little head, and the color was burgandy.

The main component of the flavor seemed to be alcohol. Maybe aging would mellow out the booziness of the flavor. It was just too agressive. Other flavors included sweet fruits. There was no hops presence at all, which I think is fine for this style of beer.

I plan on trying this again in the future with an older sample.

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Photo of katan
3.65/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 Ml bottle - undated

A - Dark golden color - very light amount of carbonation that did not retain. Light bubbling.

S - Starts with floral notes, then backs down to a mix of hops and alcohol. Does linger with a sweet smell.

T - The initial flavor is almost indistinguishable. I think it has some bitter taste via the light amount of hops. Finishes with a set of malt flavors. Its a sort of sweet flavor that is hard to describe. Perhaps a sweet flavor from belgian candi.

M - Very smooth mouthfeel. Not much carbonation here. Doesn't remotely sting.

D - I can drink these without it filling me up - although the ABV would probably hold me to one at a time.

A good quality beer - not sure I'd seek this one out over others though.

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