Augustijn Grand Cru
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Augustijn Grand CruAugustijn Grand Cru
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Style:
Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Ranked #75
ABV:
9%
Score:
87
Ranked #13,348
Avg:
3.91 | pDev: 12.02%
Reviews:
121
Ratings:
282
From:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
 
Belgium
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  13
Gots
  37
SCORE
87
Very Good
Augustijn Grand CruAugustijn Grand Cru
Notes:
View: Beers
Reviews: 121 | Ratings: 282 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by magictacosinus:
Photo of magictacosinus
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out of a 11.2 stubbed bottle into a Duvel tulip. Accidentally aged in my cellar after purchasing the Van Steenberge gift pack last December. This may be nearly a year old, if not older.

Pours a golden amber color that resembles a darker pilsner or Belgian blonde ale, especially without the yeast initially poured in the glass. You'd have to be blind to not immediately guess that this is ridiculous in terms of its carbonation and yeastiness, though. Pours 4 fingers worth of foam by the time half the bottle is poured in - in a 45 degree angle, no less. For hilarity I kept pouring the liquid in until it was producing a boiling vat-like appearance at the top of the glass, one palm tall, with thick bubbles and soap-like foaminess. Leaves behind a generous amount of thick lacing. Head retention lasts a good long while. Looks very bubbly and sparking throughout consumption. No complaints at all here.

At first there's apparent phenols from oxidization, ranging from a green apple funkiness to slight acetone, nail polish remover notes, but it does get better the more this warms up. White grapes, ripe raisins, honeysuckle, white pepper, herbs of sorts (maybe a bit of mint), wet grass, candi sugar, caramel, and butterscotch. Pretty sweet at the finish, with a sugary character that hides the alcohol well, although not completely. Stings slightly. Fantastically overwhelming for a tripel, but not bad by any means. For what it's worth, this is probably the worst part of the whole beer.

The flavor reveals its true colors, however, and in the same realm of the other Augustijn offerings, age has done significant work to the beer at hand. At first, there notes of white grapes and raisins, as well as a heavy, caramel-forward candi sugar notes. Then, it suddenly goes down amazingly creamy and juicy, becoming quite buttery on the palate and revealing notes of vanilla, nutmeg, and other barrel-like spices. While I haven't found any information that this was fermented in oak barrels, it sure tastes like it - reminds me of a cross between an aged tripel (with little to no hop profile) and a Chardonnay that's gone through semi-heavy malolactic fermentation. A little bit of a burn at the back of the throat, but otherwise, the white nectarine, white grape buttery flavor works with me. Very carbonated and juicy. A pleasure to drink.

I'm impressed how the flavor is miles ahead of the aroma, and I'm happy for it being that way. This is quite different than other tripels/Belgian strong pale ales I've had - the buttery, vanilla, stone fruit flavor makes everything far merrier. Not sure how it was fresh, but hey, this was without a doubt the best one of the series with age on it, flavor-wise!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of stephens101
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

An always welcomed light phenol phunk floats in the air upon pouring this murky orange brew. Head is thick and resilient with the last of the foam out of the glass slowly flowing at it's own glacial pace.

An array of light fruits play into a world sweet bubble gum, cotton candy and Belgian yeast. A second whiff scores some faint medicinals and barnyard.

Piquant light fruits and spices fill the palate. Butterscotch, a touch of grain, and a simple but lingering hop bitterness makes for a pleasing finale.

Medium bodied with a delectable creaminess and just enough spicy alcohol heat to let you know despite it's calm demeanor, this is a big beer that holds its own in any arena.

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Photo of CRObighit2
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of newbeeraday
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Beershack
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of rojavaga
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of dandelin
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Jtee
3.17/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a 330ml bottle served straight from the fridge at 8 degrees Celsius into a white wine glass. Best before date: 06/07/19.

Look: The beer pours a clear gold with 6cm of dense, rocky, white head that dissipates into a solid cap within 4+ minutes. Exceptional lacing and persistent head. Effervescent. Beer doesn't look much better than this.

Smell: Medium-light strength and balanced. The aroma is very Belgian with fruity esters and spicy phenols along with grainy pale malts. The yeast dominates with little to no hop aroma. I wish the nose packed a bit more punch.

Taste: Moderate strength and leaning towards bitter. Fruity and spicy with some ethanol (especially as the beer warms). Pale malts provide a platform for the other ingredients which fail to come together as a delicious combination. The finish is pretty short (dry) and faint with moderate bitterness.

Feel: Medium body with high carbonation. Prickly and sharp with restrained alcohol warmth. Effervescent with moderate astringency (which counts as a negative). The mouthfeel is not bad but it's a bit unpleasant.

Overall: Augustijn Grand Cru falls short of my expectations for a Belgian brew. It looks absolutely stunning but the rest of the journey is downhill. It's not simple per se but it certainly lacks complexity and punch for the beer that it is. Finding specific descriptors was a challenge so I kept most of my terms general. Something's off and I'm not sure if it's just lack of craftsmanship. I'd be curious to try it fresh on draught to see how it adds up. Having said that, it's not all bad and it could be worth a try. However, there are plenty of more delicious examples of the style. This is the first beer I've tried from this brewery and I'm left unimpressed.

 1,753 characters

Photo of lmaduells
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Erwin_Sakkers
4.54/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Saint342
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Stubby brown 330 ml bottle with a “consume before date” on the back label.

Appearance: Pale golden hue with a champagne like carbonation that shows the bubbles keeping up the sticky white lace.

Smell: Such a faint mustiness in the aroma, fresh cut apple and an earthy grain in the aroma show that simple can be great.

Taste: Close to spritzy with the lively carbonation, moderate body that is quite effervescent. Fruitiness bursts here and there with a light and dry malt palate. Herbal and earthy with soft yet over sized medicinal phenols, the dryness takes care of them any way. Faint refined honey like flavour. The finish is dry in stature with a leafy presence. Dry and fruity throughout, spiciness and a puckering yeast character control the rest.

Notes: Drawn more to its drinkability than lack of sweetness the 9.0% abv gets lost in the mix and seems like it is a brew of 5% abv but the twang tells it otherwise. One of the driest grand cru beers to come my way. Damn did some one say dry?

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Photo of RMentair
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cokes
4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The body is pale straw topped with a stack of never-ending white froth.
A tart cider nose greets the senses while chilled. It becomes much more tropical, more citric, and deeper when it gains temperature. Fully floral as it approaches room temp, with lilac blossoms and rose petals.

A pale malt dam is quickly breeched by swells of orange juice and pureed lime rinds. A veritable flood of juiciness and pleasing sourness. Fruity and tart with pools of underripe pineapple and eddies of apple cider. Cane sugar and cookie dough debris float along the surface. A surge of alcoholic heat is quelled by the following spicy clean-up crew. Hopping adds grassy, dried stalks and yeast adds dough and white pepper. The disaster relief squad works with a quickness, as the finish is bone dry.

The body is that of champagne filtered through fleece. Effervescent, yet fuzzy and soft. Nearly seems nitrogenated, with its tiny bubbles crashing to the surface.
Fabulous beer. A 750mL would be more appreciated. The smaller bottle was merely a tease.

 1,044 characters

Photo of Sathanas
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of Sigmund
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330 ml stubby bottle, from Voldby Købmandsgård, Denmark. ABV is 9%. Golden colour, huge and lasting white head. Very nice initial fruity and spicy aroma, loses some its impact after a couple minutes in the glass. The flavour is sweet and spicy with noticeable hops, but the alcohol is not too well hidden. Could have been better, could have been worse.

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Photo of PlutonowyManiek
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Gold color with orange reflections, slightly hazy. Head white, made of fine bubbles, creamy in consistency, sizable, but not for long remains on the surface of beer.
Aroma: yeast, wine, slightly floral, slightly sour.
The taste very clearly noticeable white grapes, yeast, again delicate floral note and characteristic of Belgium. Each sip reminds me of wine, maybe even champagne.
Gentian properly shortage, high saturation characteristic of sparkling wines. Alcohol although nice warms up the esophagus, it is perfectly stowed away.

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Photo of zerk
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden with a persistent 1 finger white head. Aroma is heavy on coriander with some herbal notes mixed in. Flavor begins slightly sweet with notes of passion fruit, then becomes fairly bitter with notes of coriander, grassy hops, and an acidic finish. Notes of alcohol sneak through in the finish as well. Has a medium body with a very high carbonation... feels almost champagne like. This is a very interesting and complex beer... I don't know if I'd make it something I drink often, but it's a very nice change of pace.

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Photo of StormAles
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of yemenmocha
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous pour with luminous golden color and enormous white head. Delightful. Nose has some soft fruits, maybe tropical, apples, and some light herbal funk. Palate offers a magnanimous carbonation level that tickles the palate oh so nicely, and brings in soft malt flavors with the delicious dry but fruity qualities. Herbal quality comes up and carries through to the finish.

New bottle design, new to market here, so certainly not an aged example.

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Photo of OlaB
3.62/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy golden color with a big top of white creamy head that dissolves in a slow pace and leaves some nice sticky lacings. The aroma is of citrus,apples, light malts,some spices and floral hops but it kind of weak. The flavour start off sweet and dry with notes of fruits and herbs and with some light malt notes in the back. The finish is medium bitter and has a decent lenght but I miss more in the flavours to make it more exiting. Medium carbonation with a medium body and clean mouthfeel.
All in all is a decent enough beer, but you find better examples of this style out there.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from the Tap at Lucky Baldwin’s during their August 20-28 Belgium Beer Festival.
Number #59 on the List.
$3 for a Taster in a small Chimay Goblet Glass.

This is allegedly the same brew as Bornem Trippel….I am not so sure, but with Van Steenberge’s monstrous line up who knows, at the very least it could well be a “tweaked” version of the Bornem Trippel.

Appearance: Gorgeous shimmering golden body has the power to reflect even the minimal low key lighting at Lucky Baldwins. Massive streaming carbonation and lots of fizzing as the flour white head seems to writhe with energy. Nice lacing, even in the Sampler.

Nose: A mixture of young and old. Young freshly peeled apple cores mix with the unwelcome smells from a damp and musty old malt sack. Light grain blends with some organic earthy tones. Recently toiled soil has some floral character. Juicy aromas.

Taste: The nose really does set the scene nicely here; the tastes follow the directions from nose perfectly. Whilst the front end and middle are fruity the finish is dry and parched. Doesn’t come across as 9% until the swallow when a little kick gets you right in the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel: Probably the weakest part of this brew. It has an over-carbonated presence that is way too powerful for the thin body…..

Drinkability: …..this makes it hard to stomach too many of these high alcohol brews in the long run as the fizzy soda like body overwhelms. One is more than enough.

Overall: A decent Belgian Strong Pale Ale which could be more appropriately referred to as a Strong Belgian Golden Ale. Yet it drinks way below its gravity though, but I’m sure a few of these will creep up on you and kick your ass if you underestimate it.

Well worth trying if seen.

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Photo of Rukeli76
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of MAB
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bit disappointing, really.

It looked good in a Rochefort chalice- straw yellow with nice head retention; good carbonation.
It smelled decent, slight hop presence very welcome.
It tasted a bit sour, however. The hops were detectable and eventually the sourness subsided into a slight bitterness followed by a bittersweet finish.
It was a nice beer overall but lacking somehow. I think I would have preferred more sweetness. For a 9% alcohol brew, it was well disguised- no burn; very smooth.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Augustijn Grand Cru from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 282 ratings