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Grand Cru | Brooklyn Brewery

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53 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brooklyn Brewery
New York, United States

Style: Belgian Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Described by Garrett Oliver as being "essentially a strong Witbier" and brewed with ...

Malt/grains: Canadian two row barley malt, Madsen white winter wheat (unmalted)

Hops: German Hallertauer Perle

Additional sugars: Tremblay Farms Wildflower Honey (Chemung County, NY), white corn sugar.

Spices: Bitter Curacao orange peel, sweet orange peel, lemon peel, chamomile flowers, Indian coriander.

Yeast: Belgian witbier yeast

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 53 |  Reviews: 48
Reviews by Douglas14:
Photo of Douglas14
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, golden color with a nice fluffy head that leaves pretty good lace. The nose is of candy, sugar, and possibly a bit of hops. The taste follows the smell but it is way more complex...spicier and possibly with hints of vanilla and definitely orange peel. It is silky in the mouth. Awesome beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerFan
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Previous draft-only Brewmaster Reserve beer that was on tap in my basement. I used my old Blanche de Brooklyn tumbler for this one. Poured a cloudy yellowish color with a nice, white fluffy head. Nice lacing down the entire glass. I could smell the orange and lemon peels. Taste starts out on the sweet side. Picking up notes of honey and coriander. The Hallertauer Perle hops then move in on the back end micely so it's not too sweet. Very easy drinking for a 8.4% beer. Brooklyn's website describes this as a Strong Spiced Ale. A witbier is spiced and this is on the strong side, but I prefer to call this a Double Wit with some Tripel characteristics. Excellent carbonation for this medium-bodied beer.

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Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's...
Appears a hazy light gold with a small white head that slowly fades into a nice collar and tiny cap. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of tropical fruit, spices, vanilla, and bananas...very enticing.
Taste is pretty damn good with pineapple and vanilla standing out.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, fruity, spicy, with smooth, semi-dryness in the finish.

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

Apparently this beer is pretty scarce, though I've seen it at a couple of different places here in Baltimore (Max's and Mahaffey's).

On tap at Max's the other night.

The beer pours a hazy honey color with good head retention and lacing. On the nose one gets some interesting aromas of honey, cherry, vanilla, and even some clove and banana. Honestly, this beer smells terrific. Flavors on the palate completely replicate the nose, with some moderate sweetness. The beer is almost viscuous it's so rich. It's also delicious. The mouthfeel is rich, plush and long. Very impressive. Abv. is pretty well disguised, but given the richness of this beer, hard to imagine drinking more then one. Nevertheless, this is very impressive, one of the better beers I've had from Brooklyn brewing in some time.

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Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Funky aroma with a nice yeast. Orange with a white head and big lacing. A little aggressive carbonation. Taste is yeasty, orangey,corriander, cloves, and the mouthfeel of honey and wheatish - it rolls off the tongue.
A great Belgian, lovely.Cole's with Mike.

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Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always nice to try a new creation from Good ole Brooklyn Brewery. On tap at Barcade in Brooklyn (within a mile of the brewery) Poured cloudy light yellowy amber, off white head, spritzy nose of clove, banana, lemon/lime and a hint of ginned up alcohol. Flavorful, bold, com0lex and truly tasty stuff. More of all the flavors picked up by the nose. Citrus, pepper, tart apple, Belgian yeasty goodness carry the freight. Love the style, nice job here by the Brooklyn brewing crew. Bottle this one please.

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Photo of Viggo
3.89/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Goblet on tap at Cole's in Buffalo.

Pours a cloudy light amber, almost banana yellow, very thin white head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring, then disappears completely, few spots, looks alright. Smell is neat, bananas, oranges, lots of spice, vanilla, bubblegum, apples, alcohol, yeasty bread, pretty neat, spice is just right. Taste is banana and clove, bubblegum, wheat, honey, yeast, alcohol, oranges, spices, oats, dry bready finish. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with high carbonation, a little rough on the palate but generally pretty well done. I wouldn't turn this one down.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.77/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a small pokal)

A- This beer pours a hazy golden straw yellow with a gentle carbonation and a thin ring of white head.

S- The perfumed smell of yeast is dry with a bubble gum hint to it and a green herbal note at the finish

T- This beer starts with a dry spice note and a bigger bubblegum taste to follow then a slight sweet white bread flavor. There is a yeasty flavor followed by a clove note and a green finish.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight chewy texture

D-This was a nice interesting beer but I didn't taste any of the big alcohol at all. The flavor was interesting but not as much depth as I would have expected from a grand cru.

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

On tap.

Poured a medium and hazy golden color with a smaler sized white head. Aromas of fruitiness (bananas), citrus, and some spiciness. Tastes of same fruitiness (applies, pears, and bananas), citrus, and spices. Lively body. Reminded me of a Tripel.

Notes from: 7/30/08

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Photo of Biggness
4.73/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer on tap last night @ DEKS and wow was I amazed. This beer might have been the prettiest beer I have ever been served, it was a light amber, so cloudy it was opaque with a 2 finger head. The smell was very nice of begian spices and wonderful malts. The taste knocked my socks off and I was not the only one! So smooth, so flavorful and perfectly balanced. This is the best belgian style beer I have tasted to date, well either this or west 8 BUT this was amazing. The malts and spices mesh perfectly. The mouthfeel was very creamy with a mild dry feeling. I had two pints of this beer last night and I wanted more, but I don't think I could drink it all night! YUM a must try to everyone

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Photo of blackie
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: the beer is a very hazy golden-white in color with a decently retained off-white head

s: lots of doughy yeast and soft spices on the nose...orange, clove, and coriander, herbal hops, very aromatic

m: light-medium body with a delicate medium carbonation

t: soft yeast flavors and a wide range of wit spices dominate with coriander and then sweet orange peel at the front, plenty of flavor but with enough restraint that everything is in balance, wheat malts provide a light-moderately sweet backdrop, papery hops add a light flavor and bitterness

d: a breeze, alcohol nowhere to be found...another winner from this limited series

imperial pint at Raleigh Times, sipped outside over the course of an hour on a fabulous night after a huge thunderstorm

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Photo of pershan
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

Let me just say that the very first keg I ever had on tap at home on my CO2 system was a keg of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout (15.5 gallons of heaven, IMHO). I have always been a fan of their beers, and their Grand Cru is no exception:

A: A slightly cloudy straw-yellow with a thin white head poured into a pint glass - so far, so good.

S: Maybe it was because I had just had a Flying Dog Woody Creek White, but I didn't discern much of anything in the aroma - maybe just a bit of malt sweetness.

T: A big malt and hop presence, with alcoholic esters, caramel, and hop bitterness dominating - this is a big beer to be sure.

M: A slight bit of fizziness, with some bitterness and astringency on the sides of the tongue and back of the mouth, but not cloying or overdone.

D: A nice addition to Brooklyn's stable of beers, well worth the price - good job to Garrett Oliver and the rest of the crew at Brooklyn.

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Photo of tempest
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Empire Brewing Co. as a guest tap. Served in a pint glass for $5.

A double wit, eh? I was wondering what exactly to call this. The body was fairly thick, thicker than your average strong Belgian, and more heavily spiced. The coriander and orange peel were very obivous and the spice flavors lay over strong and sweet wheat and pale barley. While this beer was pretty tasty, it was a bit of a chore to drink. Thicker than I'd like, at least, for a Belgian.

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Photo of cs45977
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another fine example of what brewers can do to challenge our perceptions of beer. I have heard Garret Oliver (Brewmaster at Brooklyn) say that every beer should tell a story. This Beer could win a pulitzer Prize for the story it tells.

A - Golden with a lot of haze. Small white head that laces very well.

S - One of the most interesting aspects of this beer, the camomile (yes as in the tea) adds a very different contrast and note aginst the spice and malt.

T - Outstanding! this beer is an adventure. There is a pronounced sweetness upfront that dissipates with the flavor of the camomile. A pronounced Belgian influenced wit flavor is found in the middle. The end is clean and dry . The guys at brooklyn (Garret an co.) have found a cross between a Belgian wit and good cup of tea...In a really exciting way.

M - sold. This beer coats the mouth and is very smooth. The carbination seemed spot on in the mouth.

D - This beer is a night-cap type of beer. High Alcohol (a sedative), clean hops (a sedative), and camomile (a sedative) combine to make this a beer before bed. But you will be dreaming of really great beer.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Raleigh Times bar.

I'm poured a generous, 20 oz pint of crisp yellow, goldenrod-colored brew. Slightly hazy & well-carbnated, the head of Grand Cru is nicely retained, off-white, and leaves satisfactory spackels of lacing along the insides of the glass. Lots of spice prevalent in the aroma: coriander, citrus peel, pepper, and more. The yeast brings light, fruity notes of lemon, banana, and a hint of pineapple. The hops (and apparently chamomile flowers) add a floral finish.

The flavor is could easily qualify as a "Double Wit", with its intense presence of cloves, coriander spice, banana bread, and yeasty deliciousness. A lasting kiss of honey, more spice, and some hops seals the deal. Body is a bit thicker than I'd like, which doesn't really detract from the mouthfeel, but it does limit the drinkability. Overall, though, this was a tasty brew that I'd definitely recommend to others.

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Photo of waltonc
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Blind Tiger. Apparently this is a witbier, but it was definitely much different than any witbier I have had before. The first flavor that jumped out at me when sipping this was, surprisingly, corn! Maybe my tongue was just thrown off from drinking stout beforehand, but I was definitely tasting corn in this. Floral, slightly sweet, and very well balanced. Mouthfeel was medium with fairly generous carbonation. A very good brew overall.

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

From notes on tap late summer at Mahar's in Albany.

Aroma profile was outstanding, light perfume like flower and spice, a touch a munich like maltiness as well as subtle peppery spice.

Flavor was much the same leaning toward a little more peppery spice from the yeast in the finish, extraordinarily drinkable and another great beer from the Reserve series.

Hopefully this is one that gets made at least once a year.

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

So... interesting to find this here as a retired offering, since it was served at (and, apparently, brewed for) the GABS Festival in Melbourne, May 2013. At least, the one served at GABS has the same specs (incl. ABV) as this. So I'm guessing it was just a one-off revival.

Pours a straw colour, only slightly cloudy, when more would be OK for the style. White foamy head, retaining pretty well. Looksnice.

Smells like a wit. Loads of coriander with plenty of tangy orange as well. Some notes of cinnamon, star anise, clove and green pepper around the edges. Good witbier smell.

Taste is similar. Lots of candied orange particularly upfront before spice takes over midway and onto the back. Cinnamon and coriander that gets slightly astringent and leaves a slight bitter hang. Again, to style, and pretty decent.

Mouthfeel is slightly too fizzy, bit of carbonation shining through and I would have expected a bit more presence from the sediment.

Really surprising to find out it's 8.4% as it tastes and feels like a to-style wit. I guess, points for hiding the alcohol but at the same time I feel it should be bigger and more exciting for all of that. The main difference between this and a 5% wit is simply that this will get you drunk quicker.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Aerozeppl for this growler. Sent for Growling at the Moon.

This one pours out a fairly clear golden color. Thin white head leaves very minimal lacing. Lots of bubbles in this one.

The aroma consists of yeast, honey, coriander, orange peel, and some herbal hops. This one smells pretty darn good and only gets better as it warms.

The flavor is sweet and yeasty up front with some nice spice following up. There's a nice hint of sour fruit right at the swallow. Tasty brew.

Thinner medium body with very active carbonation. Slightly drying aftertaste with just a touch of bitterness. No sign of the alcohol in this one. Very easy drinking and highly enjoyable. Thanks for the chance to try this tasty brew!

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brooklyn Grand Cru came to the table a cloudy golden body with a bone white head.

This beer is bready and spicy in the nose.

Taste is similar to the smell with an alcohol presence that pleasing rather than hot and sharp.

Overall, a good spicy beer with plenty of character.

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

A - A small white head on top of a slightly hazy golden body.

S - An earthy herbal aroma with some wheat and mild yeast spice.

T - Spicy notes of coriander and orange up front with black pepper and noble, peppery hops in the middle. A yeasty and malty finish.

M - Thick and chewy body, with moderately high carbonation and a moderately dry finish.

D - An enjoyably spicy beer; easily drinkable. Reminecent of a good wit beer.

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Photo of Pinto21
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Boxer's here in H-dun. Got a pitcher for my two associates and I.

Nice white lacing and head. Copper cloudy gold color that just looks great.

Smelled of orange, banana, and some clove. It was a bit overpowering though

Taste was a bit more calmed down and was the same as the smell. Really a tasty and complex beer. The alcohol was a bit present but just added to the complexity of flavors.

Best Witbier I've had so far

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Photo of bonbini26
3.57/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On Tap @ the cloverleaf tavern 09-09-08

a: the beer is a very hazy golden-white in color with a decently retained off-white head

s: lots ofyeast and soft spices on the nose...orange, coriander, herbal hops, very aromatic

m: sweet and yeast flavors coat the mouth

t: soft yeast flavors and a wide range of wit spices dominate with coriander and then sweet orange peel at the front, plenty of flavor but with enough restraint that everything is in balance, wheat malts provide a light-moderately sweet backdrop, papery hops add a light flavor and bitterness

d: at little too much on the sweet side for me for this style, but the ABV is very well hidden in this beer

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Photo of atsprings
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Raleigh Times. Served a hazy golden yellow with a thin head that diminished to a ring. Aroma was some sweet malt and spice. The taste was a nice blend of sweet malts, crisp Earthy hops and corriander and orange peel spice. The beer is on the light side of medium with decent carbonation and well hidden alcohol. This is another great beer in this series, one they should consider bottling.

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

On tap at Mahar's

A: Poured with a hazy golden color. A finger of white head.

S: Sweet up front. Tons of yeast as well. Tons of spice and sweetness. Hints of honey.

T: Really complex. Very sweet up front but the yeast brings it back. The yeast gives so much to this beer. Really curious at to what they used. Little bit fruity little bit spicy and you can pick up hints of the hops.

M: Very dry mouthfeel probably from the tons of sugar they used to get this here.

D: Super easy drinking. Really curious about the ABV on this one. Nice example of the style. Little bit on the dry side but still excellent. The latest brewmaster's reserves have been excellent and this continues that trend.

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Grand Cru from Brooklyn Brewery
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 53 ratings