Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Allagash Grand Cru | Allagash Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Allagash Grand CruAllagash Grand Cru
651 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 651 |  Reviews: 458
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of nvsblman
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich mahogony color with about a couple of fingers of fluffy head. Interesting aroma, there is the spicy yeast and some citrus, but also chocolate and toffee. A nutty flavor with some toffee, cloves, and maybe a little black pepper. Nice citrusy background. Medium bodied and well carbonated. This is a really solid offering from Allagash, I'm excited to try more of their line.

 378 characters

Photo of allboutbierge
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from the 750 bottle. Since Ive only ever had Hoegaarden Grand Cru before I can't stack this up against much but without a doubt its a damn good beer.

Color is a spicy looking red heud orange with a glob of a white head. Aroma truly is explosive (as a past BA reported) and numerous fruit and floral notes bombard the senses. Flavors match the tastes. If you smell, you taste it. Its all there--the general spicy flavors mixed with the fruity ones. Might I add that its damn quenching too.

 499 characters

Photo of JuliusCaesar
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of Sparky44
4/5  rDev -2%

Photo of deereless
4/5  rDev -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

 362 characters

Photo of kingjohnh
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of crookedhalo
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, glden orange color with a thick light-tan colored head that last for a bit. Aromas of blood orange rind, malt, and a mixture of light spices, I picked up on the obvious of some of them; coriander. Malty sweet with smooth spices rounding out a quality Grand Cru replication. Nicely effervescent and drinkable (to the extent that one likes spiced beers.).

 359 characters

Photo of mltobin
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of skivtjerry
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful orange color, very clear if carefully poured. Moderately high carbonation with a big initial burst of foam quickly shrinking to a small persistent bead. Aroma is clean with hints of malt and (I think) coriander. Feels light on the tongue with pleasant malt and alcohol, slightly spicy. Hops are there but don't stand out. Very nice coriander flavor upon swallowing. Overall, very good. Not at all cloying as some beers in this style can be. Grows on my palate very quickly. Doesn't make me scream with joy but does make me smile.

 547 characters

Photo of WaltTrombone
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, for my milestone 50th review, I went with the consensus on the forum, and decided to review the Allagash Grand Cru. Batch #4 (Also a blatant attempt to suck up to JohnnyP and bennybrew!) It poured with a dark red/ coppery body, and a fluffy tan head. The aroma was mild, with malt, mild hops, cloves and a hint of coriander. The taste was complex, with malt, raisin, clove, ginger, caramel, burgundy wine, nutmeg, and mayhaps a hint of ginger. All this was overlaid with a mild hoppiness. The mouthfeel was smooth, with a slight oiliness. It finished with hops, grapefruit, and a hint of malty sweetness. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions, this was a beer worthy of milestone status!!!!

 699 characters

Photo of IrishRedRock
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been saving this short stubby bottle as the last beer I drink from the mixed case the most generous NeroFiddled bestowed upon me.

It pours out, heavily carbonated, a thin white head atop ruby amber liquid. Smells of dried herbs, spices, alcohol, and cherries. Flavors of dark fruits, yeast, bread are present, with a mild hop bite and a touch of alcohol in the finish. A very tasty ale indeed, though I wanted a fuller mouthfeel. It seemed a tad thin, but that was its only downfall. Another great beer from Allagash.

 526 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep orange color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma has a lot going on; Belgian yeast, caramelized malts, spices, citrus, apples and some hops.

T: The taste is bready and spicy with flavors of Belgian yeast, caramel, nutmeg, clove and some fruit. There's a pretty hearty malt character and there's a decent hops presence that provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, nice representation of style, due to its complexity, this is a nice beer to drink for a while. I'm not sure I could pound it for a whole evening, but I could certainly enjoy a 750ml if I'm in the right mood.

 859 characters

Photo of hellsing3
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This one pours a dull cloudy orange color with about a 1/2 inch white head.

S: It smells like ther is alot going on in here. I can smell a bit of clove and coriander in the nose. There is also a citrus smell i think maybe orange. A nice spiced smell with a bit of sweet malt smell towards the end.

T: Initially there is a slight taste of sweetness from the malts which transitions into a brief bitterness and then comes the smooth spiced finish.

M: A light to medium bodied brew with the right amount of carbonation making it pass through the mouth easliy.

D: This is a very drinkable beer. I found myself wanting to drink more but i only bought this one single. A nice winter beer that you will find yourself drinking many of these Grand Cru's.

 764 characters

Photo of petemoss14
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked bottle.

Pours a dark copper, burnt orange color with a large, loosely structured cream-colored head.

Smells strongly of candied fruit, orange peel, some roasted malt, spice, and a bit of green apple tartness.

Lots of candied fruit upfront in the taste. The roasted malt (toffee?)shows itself in a rounded center. A bit of citrus and spice. Finishes with some bitter resiny hopiness. This, along with liberal carbonation (almost too much so?), keep the beer from becoming cloying. Even so, one 750 ml bottle of this was more than enough for me -- next time I'll share it...

I agree with previous comments on this beer that it could benefit from some time in the cellar to refine the (slightly rough)carbonation and mellow out the finish.

 762 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Tulip glass:

Poured a dull, opaque burnt orange/red red color with a thin white head that dissipated quickly leaving a transparent white film on the top of the brew. Very light lacing with minimal adherence throughout the tasting. Smell and flavors of malt, yeast and dark fruit. Pleasant and full mouthfeel with minimal carbonation and a tangy finish. Very enjoyable seasonal; another quality beer from Allagash.

 442 characters

Photo of bigdeuce
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice beer here. Not much head on the pour or lacing. Pours an off copper color, smells of burnt peaches. Has an almost peachy, apricot and caramel sweet taste to it. Very crisp, clean and smooth. Easy to drink and doesn't seem to carry the 7.2% abv, but it does hit you. I like this one and it is reasonably priced so I will be revisiting it.

 342 characters

Photo of gotbeer
3.97/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one into an oversized snifter, and I wasn't immediately blown away by the way it looked. It was a nice orange amber, but not too much of a head. The head faded fairly quickly. The smell was nice enough though, with a spicy, orange aroma.

The taste was of bread, honey, orange, and spice. Great complexity, and a nice dry mouthfeel. The alcohol is a little evident. It's a great easy drinking brew with enough complexity to keep you interested. The drinkablity is pretty good as well. I could have had another after all 12oz were gone.

Another great Allagash product.

 586 characters

Photo of scottoale
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 15, 750ml. brown bottle with cage and cork. It pours a radiant amber-orange with some haze and an off-white frothy, one finger foam cap. Good carbonation, head settles leaving bits of lace behind.

Semi-sweet and earthy malt, with a somewhat pissy horseblanket mustiness followed by a grassy hop note. Slight twang to the nose, but for the most part...subtle.

The taste on the other hand, nice and complex that starts out sweet. Ripe and fruity, banana, peach, mango that turns to bubblegum, then tobacco into hops with a tangy and bitter finish. A nice balance with a candi-sugar, very Belgian essence and a medium-plus body that lends a velvety and fluffy smooth mouthfeel.

Highly drinkable with a low-lying, creeps up on you, warming alcohol effect, very well done! I've been fortunate lately, in that I have tasted six of the very Belgian inspired, Allagash brews within the past two weeks here on the left-coast...some good stuff!

 949 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.96/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch #5, Sampled February 2004
A rich aroma of port, rum, and raisin escapes from my glass as pour this brilliantly clear, amber-copper beer. It is topped by a prodigious tan head that is fueled by a highly active carbonation (I am having difficulty getting to the beer in my tulip glass because of the carbonation) There are some soft spicy notes in the aroma, but it is dominated by the fruity, port, rum notes that where mentioned earlier. It smells quite sweet and reminds me of fresh grapes. The taste fulfills the promise that was given in the nose. The beer is sweet, fruity, and has a hint of spice notes. This is a light bodied brew. The alcohol is evident in the finish, though this is in no way distracting. The beer reminds me of fresh sweet succulent grapes. I am not sure why, but it does. This is pretty good, thoug my attraction to this beer dimineshes with time. At first it is awesome, but the taste fades with time a bit; the beer lack staying power.

 971 characters

Photo of MEsquandoles
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch# 20. Winter Release 2008/2009. Corked 750 into my Great Divide glass, which is the same as the one Allagash brands.

In short, like mix between a Saison and a Dubbel.

Thick and bubbly. Some ceramy sweetness like a Dubbel or
Tripel. Wonderful dry and spicy finish, which helps make it very drinkable.

I predict a Saison yeast.

Recommended. I'd like to try it on tap.

 375 characters

Photo of pinotboy007
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel glass and enjoyed its rich color, aromas of dates, bread, and spices; decent foamy head that settled after a few minutes but easily sprang back to life with a few swirls of the glass. Purchased at Whole Foods in the Fair Oaks, VA area. Go get one.

 267 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

 974 characters

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

Batch #4... this beer was somewhat cloudy and copper / brown with a thick but quickly disappating head. Aroma of malt, cloves, figs, and vanilla. Flavor was sweet... malt upfront, some dried fruit notes, and vanilla, followed by some spicy bitterness... with a bit of alcohol lingering on the tongue. Body was medium... gave a crisp impression... well carbonated. This is a very solid Belgian dark ale.

 402 characters

Allagash Grand Cru from Allagash Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.08 out of 5 with 651 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.