Grail Ale Grand Crü | Thunderhead Brewing Company

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13 Ratings

Brewed by:
Thunderhead Brewing Company
Nebraska, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This deep golden wheat is spiced with hops, coriander, and bitter orange peel. Deep and rich.

Added by bditty187 on 01-17-2005

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13 |  Reviews: 5
Photo of Loki
2.65/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sampled fresh from the tap on 2/18/05

Appearance: My third sample of the day with little to no head at all. Bonze color and crystal clear, but nearly zero head. Just one or two faint, wispy white spots that were fading as the glass was place on my table.

Smell: Banana, orange, citrus and faint hints of cloves. Dominate cloying aroma, much too much for the style.

Taste: Overly sweet flavors of over rippened fruit. Bananas, oranges, and fructose. Too much Belgian Candy Sugar? Way to cloying for my tastes.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, syrupy, like fructose or corn sugar

Drinkability: Low, I think I know what they were trying for but it never quite got there.

Note: This reminded me of a homebrew I did with a good friend where against both of our better judgement we followed the recipe and mashed at 145 degrees. We got no where near the fermentables out of the grain we wanted and it came out too sweet. Either they under mashed or they need to switch yeast strains. And now having read bditty187's review I think they need to forget about trying to use the California Lager yeast and gone with a Belgian yeast. Then again others my like this a lot more than I did. Perhaps I had preconceived notions of what I thought it should be and judged from there. Either way, I don't think I'd try this one again when I could have their Espresso Stout.

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Photo of Deever2
3.2/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of LXIXME
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of Azeotrope
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

cool beer, pushing 9% abv according to the barkeeper. pours clear golden in color, shimmering in the light, with an inch of white head fading out slowly. the nose is holy corriander seed, tons and tons of lightly toasted corriander seeds, with a touch of bitter orange peel and a funky yeast that seems a little unfamiliar to me. taste is corriander all the way, almost to a fault if you dont like that taste. i personally thought it was neat to have it be so bold instead of as an accent, but i see where critics might get off saying it was overdone, because it is intense here. clean finish though, and the alcohol shows up too at the end. medium bodied, maybe a little syrupy without quite enough carbonation, but an enjoyable glass of beer for sure. i dont know what makes this a grand cru, a big booze limited release i guess. overall a solid pint for the spiceheads in our midst.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SD-Alefan
3.81/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BeerWithMike
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sampled as part of a flight of 5 while on vacation while on the way to Westminster, Colorado on 7/17/15. Stopped and had dinner and sampled 2 flights of 5. :) ABV 6.5%

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Photo of BlunderfulGuy
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of a77cj7
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of psmith161
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bditty187
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Modestly hazy, tawny in hue with a goldish-coppery influence. It was served with almost no head, only a small patch of white bubbles existed, they left quickly leaving the liquid naked. This beer was served in a Nonic pint glass; I wonder what could have been. There was no subsequent lacing. The appearance is disappointing, I mean the color is great but there was no head, no lace, and it was served in the wrong glass, IMO. The nose is clean and very orangey; Belgian ale yeast was not used, in its place is California lager yeast. It was brewed to be clean and thus easy for the spices and orange peel to shine. It does just that. After the orange comes the coriander. This is all the nose has to offer. I like what I smell but it is non-Belgian in nature so don’t let the name fool you. The aroma is very strong and it is inviting even though there isn’t much complexity. The palate is sweet and very tasty with a strong orangey-coriander backdrop. This is very much a sipping beer. The sweetness is not cloying but it is rich and textured. There is not much hops influence and the clean yeast doesn’t allow much funk or fruitiness (obviously). Maybe I should have never assumed this beer “should’ve been” Belgian. It is kind of like Baladin Nora, it is kind of like a fruit beer (I mean, damn the orange taste is pronounced), it is kind of wine-like. The maltiness is “there” but nondescript. The palate is healthy in flavor but shallow in complexity. There is some alcoholic warmth. Light citrus flavors. It is good and plenty likable. Around medium in body, low but natural carbonation, it is very fitting for this beer. The mouthfeel is pleasant, zesty but relaxing. Wow, this beer was easy to drink, amazingly so! This is a very tasty beer, it may lack complexity but it doesn’t lack flavor. Lovely. I enjoyed this beer in Kearney. Recommended.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy straw yellow with a good white head that leaves descent lacing.

Citrus aroma cuts the edge with bitter orange heart, tangerine and grapefruit with a biscuity background and coriander spice.

The taste follows with intense blood orange heart and tangerine, full of citrus and bitter hops. Carmael and biscuit underneath. Strong and intense.

Overall, a tart sipper, creamy body and enjoyable beer.

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Grail Ale Grand Crü from Thunderhead Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 13 ratings