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 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 bigkahunas4
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into my oversized snifter. Poured a rich honey orangebody, with a finger of white honeycomb head. The aromas exploded out of the bottle, big clove and citrus punch. Also getting notes of pure lemon, sour bread, and some white pepper. A beaut!

The brew is incredibly creamy, and really coats your entire mouth. It's fluffy to the point that it feels exotic. Some serious viscosity on the tongue. Big yeast flavor, moving to a bready malts, and finally a mild, nutty hop finish. Quite spicy and floral in flavors.

While maybe not my favorite in taste, this really is a joy to the other senses. A definite must pick-up that comes a relatively low price for the Allagash line.

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Photo of JasonA
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 14. I think this is a bit old, maybe over a year. Some lacing. Relatively thick head.

Pours a transparent light copper. Easy finger plus of head. Looks very clear.

Smells light, sweet, maybe citrus? No alcohol present.

Sweet, floral. Very light malt. Might be some metallic cloying, hard to tell. Overall light.

ABV seems non-existent. Is this really 7+? Fresh, clean, yet basic, though subtle.

Not sure of the winter season, feels more fall.

Worried my brew has hit an age barrier. Hasnt aged improved thats for sure.

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Photo of TheMistler
3.78/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy orange or dark gold. Millety but creamy, barely-off-white head, poured to a couple pinkies' width. Decent retention, settling to a nice puffy film. Great lacing.

Yeast, candied light and citrus fruits. Clove and cinammon. Fruit juice seems to evidence itself in a lull of aroma. Some slight alcohol spice at the end.

A sharper taste than anticipated, but not necessarily spicier. A sturdy malty, doughy brew with some light fruit characteristics and many flavors layered on top. White pepper. Lemon zest. Spices lead into a dry and slightly bitter, hoppy finish. A slightly astringent alcohol flavor seems to linger on the palate a bit.

Medium bodied, creamy, but with a crisp carbonation. A dusty yeast feeling throughout. I must admit that this brew hit me harder than I anticipated, given the reasonable 7.2% ABV. Well hidden, but I have knock some off the drinkability due to that fact.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange-gold pour with some haze and a big white head. Aroma of spice, clove, and yeast. Taste is corriander, clove, and sugar, with a lot of apricot. Good malt and yeast backbone. Great balance Very light mouthfeel, but compliments the variety of flavors.

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Photo of SummitVA
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 served in a DFH snifter. Batch #19. Dark amber pour with a thick head that produces a decent amount of lacing.

Light, fruity aroma. Spices somewhat heavy in the nose with a bit of plum.

Sweet, malty beer, with an almost creamy mouthfeel.

Crisp finish with a bit of clove that becomes more pronounced as the glass warms.

Spices a bit too forward, but I must admit that I'm not a huge fan of spiced Belgian-style beers.

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Photo of tmoneyba
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Poured a hazy deep amber with a large creamy off-white head that was lasting with good lacing. Heavy spicy citrus aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation. Good complex balanced flavor with an average duration finish.

Another good Allagash brew

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Photo of dippy
4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

DRank at Coda in boston

Beautiful beer. Nice cloudy brown/copper with a rocky head. Light carbonation.

Not a ton of aroma. Sweet and malty. Some graininess.

Has a sweetness to it. Not as hoppy as I thought it would be as it is a pale ale. It was more belgian than pale. It was dark stone fruit mostly.

This is a great brew. I plan on drinking it more.

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Photo of hopdog
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this one from a 750ml bottle.

Poured a medium mahogony color with a very small sized off-white head. Aromas of spices, fruity, sugary and malty. Spicy tasting with some sweetness and fruitiness. I found this one easy to drink.

Notes from 05/31/04.

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Photo of Hokies
4.18/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz twist off from last year's batch. Pours a huge frothy white head that leaves clumps on top of the beer with a decent lace. The color is a golden amber color and some haze clouds the glass.

The aroma is filled with fruity esters and some phenolic notes. Their is also a nice aroma of spice and pepper.

Spice, pepper, fruit and cloves are all present right away. Their is a warming phenolic taste and the traditional Belgian yeast taste.

A light beer and one that is easy to drink, probably not the most ideal winter beer but an excellent beer none the less. I would recommend buying this then cellaring it until the spring time.

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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 MisterClean
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 from Total Wine batch #16

A - Bottle opens with a nice pop. Deep orange and auburn in color, fairly hazy. Lots of slightly off-white head, whch dissipates very slow. Bits of protein chunks in the head too.

S - Plums, golden raisins, belgian candi sugar, piny hops, and slight alcohol.

T - Plums, nectar, honey, belgian sugars, piny hops, and slight alcohol.

M - Very rich and very sweet. Full bodied and very satisfying.

D - Excellent. Something that should be enjoyed durng the winter months like the bottle indicates. Very impressed with this beer.

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Photo of gciccarelli
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into Chimay glass.

Appearance - Pours a medium, almost bright orange, more vibrant than the typical pale ale color. Creates small head that goes away quickly, typical to others of the style. Leaves heavy lacing.

Smell - Citrus, spice, small alcohol backdrop. Also a slight hint of malt at the end. Excellent.

Taste - Very, very tasty. Get a faint citrus taste with a lot of spice. Malts catch up at the end. Also a bit of hops. Very good "wintery" taste...

Mouthfeel - Very similar to other Belgians, like Chimay. Very carbonated.

Drinkability - Could easily drink a ton of this. Very, very refreshing and tasty.

An excellent beer from Allagash. Is great in the cold winter months but I could see it being refreshing during the summer as well. Highly reccomended.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
4.16/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 1/14/2007 (750mL bottle):

Pours a cloudy brownish/dark tannish color, light brown medium sized head. Small bubbles, quickly diminishing. Very floral aroma, spices of coriander, some mild malts, pretty strong aroma. Malty spicy taste, taste of flowers, same spice as aroma (coriander?) Aftertaste of some spices, but milder, not overpowering. Nice spiced beer. Even better as it warms up.

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Photo of bloberglawp
4.38/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours medium orange, pale ale color, far more orange than I've encountered with belgian pales that tend to be more blond. Huge white head, wonderful lacing, medium carbonation.

Aroma of coriander and tangy orange, faint spicy hop aroma and a note of APA like malt. Flavor is a smash of spice, cristalised malts and a definite american hop presence.

This stuff is great. Its like a american belgian. I need more!

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Photo of joezak5
4.57/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured into a Duvel sniffter; clear crisp coppery gold; three finger dusty white thick head with great retention and unreal sipping lacing.

Smell: Apples and festive spice... nutmeg, allspice, cloves, citrus peel... it's like a festive yeasty apple cider

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp with champagne-like carbonation.

Taste: Festive and complex... slightly yeasty and nicely cidery... appley at the start and citrusy at the finish, sweet in the mouth and nicely dry at the finish.

Drinkability: A party in a bottle... very drinkable and yet complex and one to savor. Bring a few when invited over...

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Photo of bort11
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #10, 750 ml bottle courtesy of jtrockchalk

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Tall fluffy white head, slow to recede. Sticky rings around the edges, but not a lot of lacing on the glass. Color is a murky caramel brown.

Smell is very bready, with green apple esters. Taste hs a fresh baked bread quality, mixed with a lot of fresh fruit. Apples, pears, and bananas mix together.

Mouthfeel is very filling, even with a crisp carbonation. Slightly chewy. This a is a pleasant and relaxing beer to sip.

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Photo of PatronWizard
3.92/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Awesome extra in a trade with umfskibum.

Absolute caramel in color. Not so much head.

Light fruit aroma. Some unknown spices in here too. Alluring.

Taste is ... different, yet pleasing. Something clove like, though not as strong. Mandarin. Don't know why I said that. Malts a'plenty. Sweetness, in a bready way.

Not super smooth. Carbonation is harsh at first, then lightens up. Very nice.

Overall: I'm very thankful for the opportunity

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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 plaid75
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a murky medium copper hue with a one and a half finger creamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured aromas of coriander, raisins and apricot together with a touch of candy sugar.

The taste was upfront spicy with both citrusy and dark fruit and some yeast esthers.

The mouthfeel was full and moderately chewy.

Overall a complex and authentic Belgian. Well done.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly cloudy orange amber colour, with a good frothy head of off-white bubbles. Little carbonation or lacing present. Looks pretty good.

Spicy citrus on the nose - rather reminiscent of Grand Marnier. There's a deep sweetness, like treacle or black caramel, but with light fruity characters over the top. Under this is a brandy/liqueur character which just deepens the aroma and adds an extra dimension. Nice.

Spicy on the palate too, hints of clove, pepper and allspice, but with an undeniable sweetness underlying it all. Finish is long and drawn out, with a lingering alcohol heat - it's a pleasant character, but means it takes some time to sip your way through it. Palate is quite dry by the end. Mouthfeel is slick and smooth. Just great.

Once again Allagash shows that they can knock swords with the Belgians, the fathers of these styles. This is a very tasty Belgian Strong, loaded with character, and an excellent approximation of the classic examples.

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Photo of deereless
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Slightly opaque, orange tea, cottony foam lining the edge - 4.00, S: Subtly fruity and spicy, signs of orange, Belgian yeast - 3.75, T: Spicy all around, borderlines on not being a beer, what I presume is coriander, a soft marshmallowy sweetness - 4.00, M: Wet cotton, smooth - 3.75, D: Likely a crowd pleaser among the non-beer drinkers, quite Belgian - 4.00

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Photo of thekevlarkid
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled out of a good old fashioned 12 fl oz. Poured a very deep, burnt orange color into my glass. Slightly hazy appearance. Beige head laced well throughout the whole sampling though the retention was a little lacking. Very pleasant and complex aromas of ripened fruits, allspice, orange peel and cloves. The taste was equally enjoyable, spices first, then caramel malts, more citrus and the a dry spicy finish. Nutmeg, cloves, allspice again. For a higher alcohol beer the percentage was well blended in (perhaps the aging, I sampled this winter brew in the middle of the summer). Very good in general and well worth picking up.

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Photo of kinger
3.95/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What a nice change of pace, I am glad that I finally picked some of this up. Burnt orange in color, the beer is hazy in the glass. A moderate white head that swirled around like a distant galaxy leaving minimal lacing. I can actually see the beer sparkle in the glass when held to the light. The aroma is nice and mild with an earthy yeastiness. Scents of spices tickle the nose I detect the likes of nutmeg, cloves, and perhaps a touch of coriander. A smooth moderately complex flavor is present. I slowly sipped on a couple of these throughout my evening, real nice drink. A subtle presence of malts lend way to a calm spicy profile. Licorice is evident now along with the spices previously mentioned. Well behaved and not over the top in the least I really enjoy this flavor. Mouthfeel is a bit weak. I wouldn't call it thin but there is a lackluster feel to this one and the finish is somewhat odd, not unpleasant perhaps just not in line with the aroma and flavor. Overall a wonderful change of pace, I'm glad that the brewer didn't feel the need to over spice this one, well played.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from Total Wine in Chantilly, VA, poured into an Ommegang chalice.

Appearance: A vibrant hazy amber body, with a bright white head that leaves sticky, streaky lacing as it recedes, which it does rather quickly.

Aroma: Sweet fruits and Belgian yeasty spices - allspice, nutmeg, cloves. Hints of citrus as well.

Taste: Both spicy and sweet, with tropical fruits (kiwi, peach, and mango all come to mind individually) and citrus, clove and nutmeg on the spicy side. Very dry in the finish. Very interesting.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied but full and very even.

Drinkability: Very nice. This is a tasty, fruity brew with plenty of complexities and good balances. It's not ridiculously high in abv%, and what's there is hidden well, so pick it up if you see it.

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