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Allagash Grand Cru | Allagash Brewing Company

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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
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Ratings: 651 |  Reviews: 458
Photo of blitz134
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Caramel colored body, cherry colored highlights. Lots of floaties. White head that reduced to only a thin layer.

Aroma is fruity, with hints of pear, grape, and apple. Not overly spicy in the nose. Has some malt and some yeast bread notes as well. The yeast flavors remind me of the summer wit. A little light in the aroma

Taste is definately spicy with lots of carbonation. Sharp and tangy on the tongue. Taste has some tartness, with some sugary apple and pears. A good dose of spices, quite a blend. A good taste overall, but this is way too sharp on the tongue. Mouthfeel is a bit thin as well. Drinkability is okay. The sharpness really is hard to get past for too many. It makes your tongue work overtime. A guess a benefit to this is the reasonable alcohol level. Usually with Belgians I have to set time aside to enjoy them when I'm not going anywhere for a while.

Overall a good Belgian Pale, but way too crisp. A solid offering though.

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

750 ml, Batch #12,
A: Caged and corked, semi-dark(er) golden yellow with a fluffy, slightly off-white head that dissipates slightly but stays pretty big and fluffy. Foamy lacing.
S: A lot of spice up front-a hodgepodge of spice with coriander as the driving scent, some yeast, spiced fruit-pear and apple and some pineapple as it warms. Also a good amount of candy with faint scents of fig and some exotic fruit. Spice is real winner.
T: Spicy up front and throughout with good malt presence closer to the ending. There was a slight metallic taste at first also. Candy and yeast present as are flavors of fig and fruit rinds. Spiced fruit present-pear, apple, and a slight hint of pineapple as it warms. Good alcohol presence that is noticeable, but not overbearing. Good, true Stong Pale flavors.
MF: Medium MF with good carbonation.
Overall: Yet another solid offering from Allagash. I note "solid" because while this is a worthy brew nothing stands out to set it above and beyond. A quality brew nonetheless that deserves a find every winter!

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Photo of AlexJ
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazed rusty amber pour produces a mighty, eggshell white head of dense froth that never really falls below a 1/4 inch cap, leaving scores of lace as it goes. Beautiful in the glass.

Aroma is fruity and spicey, with plenty of musty yeast, coriander, citrus peel, with delightfully dry minerality offset by musty over-ripe fruit. Complex and addictive nose.

Flavor is unique and delicious; sweet dried fruit, farmhouse yeast funk, tart rotton green apple, musty grape, coriander spice, yeast, crushed rock minerality, and a bite of floral hops in the finish. Quite complex and very drinkable. Great with pungent cheeses

Body is a hair below medium with playfull carbonation and a airey, bubbly mouthfeel and slick, smooth texture. Creamy.

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Photo of Naes
3.31/5  rDev -18.9%
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 gosurfobx
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden honey color with a small head that soon disappears. Served in a glass chalice. Smells of wheat and coriandor. Taste is as expected from the smell and very good. Spices are noticealbe and well done. Mouthfeel is good and drinkability is good. I will look for this again.

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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.

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Photo of Mitchel
2.63/5  rDev -35.5%
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 soup35
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

The appearance was a deep golden color, almost amber, not as dark as I expected. It had that typical great Belgian foamy head and hazy pour.

It was definitely malty on the palate. Strong hints of black pepper right away with other spices to follow and subtle hints of orange and banana on the finish.

It has a nice, smooth mouth feel with not too much carbonation.

All in all I thought it was a very good Belgian with some unique flavors from beginning to end.

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

750 mL magnum, Batch #9.

Cloudy amber in color with a small bur firm off-white head. Aroma of coriander, yeast, and some fruit and alcohol esters.

Flavor mirrors the nose, with a nice, bready biscuit element andsome fruity sweetness, nice crispness, and luscious round mouthfeel. Lots of spices in this one - coriander, clove, allspice, and more.

Another excellent offering from Allagash.

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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.

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Photo of jaluria
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a murky brown color with a soft head that didn't move for a few minutes, leaving behind some nice lacing. Aromas of roasted malts, alcohol, and dried plums seemed to dominate; a bit more sour to the nose than was expected, hence the reduction in points.
The taste was excellent with a variety of fruity flavors slowly overtaking the dominant malt flavor. Each sip evolved into another experience; just great for this style. A bit too sour in the aftertaste with a rush of flavors. I think this beer needs to be aged for a few months to mellow out the 'sharp' edges, very powerful flavors. Still a very good beer and can be enjoyed again and again.

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Photo of numenor1
4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 11

Pours a hazy dull orange with a fluffy, rocky head that never fully reduces. The nose reveals much spiciness, coriander white pepper and some fruit. Terrifically flavored. At first theres quite a strong hop bitterness, drying, then buttery, mellow malts smooth it all away before a nice whack of spice through the finish. A myriad of of constantly evolving flavors, apricot, pear, apple, slight citrus pith, faint banana and spices--coriander and white pepper, strong through the finish. Quite complex. Mouthfeel is medium full, just right, with soft fluffy carbonation. Extremely drinkable. This is the first of the allagash lineup i've tried, not sure why i've put it off so long. This is tremendous.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.81/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner.

this is a pretty beer. hazy bright amber, orange in the middle with lighter tones on the edges. look at it in the light and it's got a touch of pink. looks like freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. slight tan head that leaves a touch of lacing.

aroma is nice and complex. some tartness, belgian yeast, definitely pepper and spices. floral scents as well, but not hoppy floral scents; just smells like flowers. a touch of citrusy sweetness.

musty belgian flavor with a candy-like sweetness. spicy notes on the tongue with some carbonation and a clean finish that leaves a bit of sweet and a bit of sour. could be a bit bolder; relatively little presence.

good drinkability; i definitely wanted another. another nice belgian style from a good domestic brewery.

 805 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.57/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

 1,111 characters

Photo of bennetj17
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper brown in color, it pours looking very clear at first until more of the bottom sediment mixes in to add cloudiness. Has a decent head of foam that dissipates fairly quickly. Active carbonation present. Smells of fruits like apple and citrus peel, it is slightly alcoholic and has that distinct aroma of Belgian yeasts. Has a fruity malt flavor, mildly phenolic and subtly spicy, and with a delicate bitter finish. Very smooth in character, somewhat bubbly. The overall enjoyment is quite good to start, but it diminishes some over time.

 542 characters

Photo of macpapi
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Allagash Grand Cru, poured out of a 750 ml bottle, is a nice light amber/orange colored liquid. It has a pretty good-sized, fluffy white head with very good retention.

Smells yeasty and malty. Also has quite a bit of citrus--mainly orange--presence, and a hint of floral aroma.

Tastes yeasty with a bit of bitterness to complement a nice fruity, citrus flavor. There is also a decent peppery spice at the end of the swallow. Good balance.

In the mouth A.G.C. is full, sharp and bitter as well as pretty highly carbonated.

Overall, I think this is another more than respectable offering from this fine Maine brewery. It is tasty, but not overwhelmingly strong. Very drinkable, while packing a substantial punch at the same time.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A - A dark golden color with a nice red tint and a smallish white head that has a lot of staying power.

S - Lots of orange peel and a spicey kick. A big yeast aroma with some fruit/sugar smell as well.

T - A big sweet malt kick with some fruits on the initial sip. A nice bready character shortly thereafter. A bit of spice is in there with the yeasty taste as well. The alcohol is there, especially on the finish.

M- Goes down nice and smooth, rolls around the tongue with a nice amount of carbonation.

D - Another highly drinkable offering from Allagash. A unique flavor that really makes you want more.

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Photo of DrJay
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From Batch #9. Hazy, deep orange/caramel colour with a short, dense, off-white head. Nice retention and fine lacing. Fruity aroma of fresh apple and pear, mixed with a light spice. Mellow fruity flavour, apple skins but no cidery character. Light spice and slight tartness balanced by caramel throughout. Some breadiness at the end with a peppery tingle in the finish. Low carbonation, but still with a little life to it. The texture was on the creamy side too. Great balance of flavours and highly drinkable. Thanks Viggo!

 523 characters

Photo of cubedbee
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip, this is a dark glowing copper/mahogony with two fingers ofoff-white head, decent retention, moderate lacing. Nose is yeasty and spicey, with notes of orange peels, coriander, clove, and a musty earthy smell. Taste is a light fruity malt with a good deal of spices, apple, pear, orange, mango followed with pepper, cloves, coriander, some slight hops. Nicely flavorful and well balanced, medium/full mouthfeel with a nice refreshing carbonation, this is a really easy drinker. This is the first time I've tried this beer, and I must say it's one of the better offerings I've tried from Allagash.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Allagash Grand Cru pours a hazy mahogeny color with a creamy off white head on top. The foam dissolves slowly to a thick ring around the surface leaving a fair amout of lace behind.

A faint spicy aroma of orange peel and clove with a hint of caramel malt hovers over the beer. Each sip of this smooth full bodied brew is well balanced and very tasty. I first thought I tasted chocolate, but as the beer warmed I noticed sweet caramel malt, orange peel, clove, and some apple flavor. It finishes mildly bitter with a few spicy notes.

This is a well balanced very tasty beer full bodied beer. It's not overly spicy like other Belgian style ales and is easy to drink.

 670 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Nice orange/gold color with a good head.Smells a little malty to me. The taste is spicy and fruity; I think mostly orange. It feels great in my mouth, and is a wonderfully drinkable beer. Good taste on it,s own, and great with foods. One of the first seasonals I ever tried, and still one of my favorites.

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Photo of walleye
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from the bottle. poured amber brown, with a big off white head, that left some lacing. aroma like the description says got smoke, licorice, orange, yeast a whiff of alcohol and spices. the flavor,got he same as the aroma but the alcohol came out stronger as it warmed, a good beer

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky golden amber, with a thick beige head that retains well and leaves nice lacing. The aroma is authentically belgian, with a big spiced character (corriander, clove, curacao, anise), as well as light candied sugar, fruity yeast, biscuit, and some earthy, grassy hops. The taste starts out quite spicy (curacao, clove, corriander, anise), followed by some toasted bread and biscuit malt character, white grape, orange, candied sugar, grassy hops, and a light alcohol presence. The mouthfeel is medium, with crisp carbonation, and drinkability is good. This beer improves dramamtically as it warms, so dont drink it too cold. An excellent belgian style offering from allagash, somewhat similar to la fin du monde but easier drinking...definately something to look for in the winter season.

 799 characters

Photo of Goldorak
3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch number 7, aged at least a year.

Appearance: A pleasing, chill-hazed amber, with a thick cake of head that whizzed back from the dead with only half a swirl.

Smell: Just a little bit corky, but nothing too overpowering, which gives it a nice, woody touch. It mingled well with the generous hops. Then followed subdued alcohol, and sour orange peels.

Taste: Mid to low carbonation, the yeasty spices shine a bit more in the palate. Again some orange zest, and firm malt sweetness comparable to peach and papaya sugars. Decent hop finish gives the aftertaste a feeling of unripe fruits, apples mostly.

 613 characters

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Squat 12oz. bottle courtesy of Chadbrew and the BIF 24.

Pours a pumpkin cider-like color with a fantastic, boisterous head. Thick sheets of lace cling to the sides of my glass. Aromas are spicy. Coriander, pepper, allspice, candied fruit rinds, and honey. Flavor is wonderful. Mix of spcies, honey, doughy sweetness, sweet citrus fruit. Mildly medicinal alcohol flavor at the end. Drier in the finish than expected, but it allows some more of the spicy zing to sit on the palate. Bubbly and thick at the same time. Extremely drinkable. Thanks Chadbrew for this gem from Allagash!

 582 characters

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