Allagash Grand Cru | Allagash Brewing Company

Allagash Grand CruAllagash Grand Cru
Liked This Beer
4.08 w/ 650 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 650 |  Reviews: 458
Photo of nickfl
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazy Orange, Caramel color. Fluffy white head that settles down pretty quickly and leaves behind a nice lace and a film of foam on the beer.

S - Yeasty aroma, notes of oranges, prunes, coriander, and other clovey phenolic smells.

T - Spicy, yeast, fruity. Some chocolate, hops in the finish.

M - Moderatly high carbonation, creamy and mouth coating, some astringency in the finish from the hops.

D - Reasonable drinkability, probobally better with food. Reminds me of a Saison or some kind of Witbier/ Witwine.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of smithj4
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Photo of russpowell
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle/batch 8

Pours a slightly hazy caramel/red with 2 fingers of sand colred head. Very good head retention& a little lacing, expected more

S: Apricot & caramel with hints of brown sugar& earthy notes

T: Apricot & dates follow, along with earthy notes & some currants & cherry hints, Some hints of vanilla & praline follow with oaky dryness. Breadyness & a slight alcohol warming are coming through as it warms. Finishes dry, warming & with cherry, oak & some musty yeat notes that detract from the taste

MF: Low carbonation & medium bodied & very dry

Drinks pretty easy despite the complexity. I think this ot really a Belgian Pale, but as it says a Grand Cru or brown to me, except for the yrast profile (way to clean tasting) , any way you look at it, yummy & fairly complex. Easily my favorite from this brewery (so far)

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Photo of smcolw
3.67/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy orange-amber color. Long lasting but mild head. Very good ring lace.

I cannot detect the spices in the smell of this brew. Instead, I find the classic Belgian smells--stale hay, strong dry malt, a generous amount of lace. Some darker malt aromas.

Creamy body with a high carbonation. The alcohol is really noticeable in this beer. Mostly malty with some prickly hop bitterness in the background.

This is a full flavored ale that comes very close to the traditional Belgians.

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Photo of PhineasMcClintock
3.25/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In the past, I've been fortunate enough to taste some aged samples of the Allagash Grand Cru. Yesterday, I eagerly purchased a 4-pack at Green's in Atlanta and am quite Crurious about the fresh bottle experience.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, orangey-amber body with a small, foamy white head. No amount of snifter swirling can seem to kill the gooey lacing.

Smell: Flowery, doughy aroma that's simply full of lush fruit notes, including bananas, oranges, and melons. Lots of spice character, too, with coriander and ginger.

Taste: Bready, caramel maltiness with a perky Belgian dark candi sweetness followed by a pleasant cinnamon spiciness and a hint of herbs. All of the fruit juiciness blends well in the flavor and imparts a bit of sourness which, along with the spice, helps to balance the initial sweetness. Further spice notes appear on the drying finish leading into a peppery aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation. Relatively smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A very lovely Belgian Strong, and one that I know ages fairly well. Grand Cruriosity: sated!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lightly gauzy, coppery pumpkin orange with electric amber highlights. The head is French vanilla in color, displays a cobbled surface and is sticky enough to deposit thin, soapy sheets and arching ribbons of lace as it ever so slowly recedes.

The nose is wonderfully aromatic and is reminiscent of oranges, peaches and apricots in heavy syrup with sprinklings of clove, ginger and tamed white pepper. It's a near perfect recreation of a world class Belgian pale ale without the funky yeastiness. I've grown to love the aroma of Belgian yeast, but this beer is plenty complex and nuanced without it.

Grand Cru is a fantastic version of the style. For starters, it isn't as viscous or as sweet as anticipated. It's more light in the mouth with an understated sweetness that, frankly, improves drinkability. The level of spiciness is just about perfect, merging with the ripe orchard fruitiness like hand in glove. The carbonation is nearly unnoticed and the alcohol is... what alcohol?

Given the seamless interplay of sweet-bitter, sweet-dry, fruity-spicy and the velvety (yet angelically light) mouthfeel, this is one well-crafted beer and is my favorite Allagash offering to date. If Grand Cru is less a specific style than an appellation to be bestowed upon a brewery's proudest achievement, then this beer is aptly named.

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Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Brown 750 ml magnum with “Batch #1” on the label. A blurb about the beer, pairing suggestions as directions on how to pour the beer on the side.

Appearance: Mildly hazed sunset amber with a big and fast frothing light tan head, rocky and dense the head sticks in large clumps.

Smell: Clovey allspice, anise, orange peel, herbal medicinal phenolic, slight alcoholic esters, candied fruit and a powdery yeast make up the aroma.

Taste: Aggressive carbonation, crisp and flowing with a well textured mouth feel. Dry toasted biscuity malt character, goes a touch husk in the finish. Spicy palate with lots of clovey allspice, orange peel, mild medicinal phenols and a peppery end. Hops are nearly negligible though would be in the way if they were too noticeable. Fruity with a candied fruit flavour, deceivingly mild alcoholic esters and a powdery almost musty yeast lingers in the after taste.

Notes: This one gets quite dry the longer it ages and the alcohol seems to mellow out a bit also which makes for a perfect summer time brew even though this is a winter seasonal. Next time it comes around or if you see it on the shelf buy a few and cellar them for a few or several months.

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Photo of ZEB89
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass

A - Poured a nice hazy pale yellow. Lots of carbonation apparent with the big white pillow like head. Good retention left behind lots of side glass lace.

S - Aroma was highly spiced with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of yeast. Some pears or apples sneaking in there as well.

T - Flavor was nice, nothing explosive for me, but still good. Lots of apple and pear flavors mixed in with a good amount of spice. A slightly dry finish and something bitter that wanted to come through but never actually made it.

M - Very smooth, medium bodied and well carbonated. Never slick and had a very nice finish.

D - Not bad, a little bit more then a sipper this could catch up to you. You could easily finish a 70 without trouble and it is deceptively smooth.

Overall not bad. Not my favorite from them, but in no way was this a bad brew. I would recommend giving it a shot it is a pretty good seasonal offering.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -2%

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 InspectorBob
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of rab53
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice puffy head, and calms down to a 1/8 inch foam. Nice orangy dark brown in color. Lovely and smooth mouthfeel. Cloves and nut meg nose. lots of fruit and spice in malty center.Belgian yeast esters and a bit of bubblegum in the finish. Plain and simple this is a well crafted and tasty Belgiain style concoction from Maine.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange brown with basically no head. Nose is a yeasty citrus thing with a minor spiced tone. Flavor is a bit tangy with a nice spiced kick to it. Feel is just slightly thin on the liquid and the carbonation is lower, but a bit biting it seems. A nice spicy BSPA. I bet this would be good to pair with food.

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Photo of jwc215
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a glass chalice:

Pours hazy orange-amber with a head that immediately descends to a patch, but leaves some lacing.

The smell is of ginger, a touch of cinnamon, some tea-leaf.

The taste is of light gingerbread, caramel/grainy, towards orange liqueur. Malty, but nor overly sweet.

Softly carbonated and very smooth, it has a velvety texture.

Wonderfully drinkable - Alcohol well-covered. I could drink this any time of the year and be happy!

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Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -26.5%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.65/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A solid, bright crimson, color, an enormous, full, fluffy, lacey head, loaded with bubbles..looks good so far...
Aroma: oooo, very nice! Light, airy, loaded with citrus, yeast and uplifting thing in the nose, very lively and enticing. You just want to keep it up to your nose, knowing this happy occasion should not be interurrupted...feels darker, fruitier later on, and that's very nice as well. Mmmm, a constant happiness abides in this aroma, and it never wanes.
Taste: hops grab the palate at first, then fade, and the palate is washed with a complex, incredible melange of flavors. A lush fruit factor is at the heart, incredibly integrated, a magnificent cocktail, with a tasty spicy kick riding on top. Somehow this is mellow, and terrifically full-flavored all at the same time. Full-bodied, but not a tiny bit thick, with a long, luxurious finish that resides softly on the plate, but never ends the delivery of joy.
As I close in on draining this bottle, I'm still reaching for proper words to encapture it's utter sublimity. And, still, more thoughts arise, as more flavors jut out, for I swear I'm tasting a touch of chocolate now. Is this a tripel mixed with a wit, and doused in a touch of tripel? Whatever it is, it's fan-diddly-tastic!

This is a re-review, a year and a couple days after my first scribblings, which I now refute. And perhaps the aging of this sample, from Batch #5, did something to enhance it's overpowering appeal.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

01/24/05- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 750ml bomber with a "batch #8" on the label. Poured into my Maredsous glass.

Appearance- Huge large bubbled foamy and chunky head. Better than average lacing and a golden-amber colored pour.

Smell- Lots of cloves, spices, sweet fruits and a licorice like scent.

Taste- Much sweeter than I thought it was going to be. I assumed more of a relaxed, even tasting brew considering it's only 7.2%. Alocohol comes out slightly, but not overwhelming. Cloves, cinnamon, dates and other sweet spices come out.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation. The bubbles are constantly coming up from the bottom. A bit of a fuller mouthfeel. A tad thick.

Drinkability- A very nice brew. As I said before, wasn't expecting this beer to be a sweet as it was. So, I guess that was a pleasant suprise. Was expecting it to be around 8-9% with the flavors and thickness it gave off. Good one to try though.

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Allagash Grand Cru from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86% out of 100 with 650 ratings
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