Atomium Grand Cru | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

very good
83 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Atomium Grand CruAtomium Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAngel on 03-14-2003

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 157
Photo of Knapp85
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out as a golden yellow color, the head was fizzy and white. The lacing was minimal. The smell of the beer was spicy, there was some sweet aromas and a bit of yeast on the nose too. The taste of the beer has a really nice blend of honey and spice working together. The mouthfeel has a little bite from the carbonation but is still pretty smooth feeling. Overall this beer was pretty nice in general. I found the flavors to be good and the drinkability was very nice also. Worth trying for sure.

 500 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.21/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a big, rocky head that is most impressive and leaves plenty of lace

Smell: Bready and yeasty, with undertones of pear and fusel alcohol

Taste: Interesting malt flavors throughout, with the bready wheat and banana joined by a sweet, candi sugar aspect that turns a bit spicy, by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweetness and the alcohol overwhelm the profile

Mouthfeel: Medium body with high carbonation; some warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: Ultimately, just a bit too sweet and alcoholic for my palate

 555 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, deep burgundy color with a large, pillowy, white head of thick, long-lasting foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of dried fruit - mostly plum and apple. There was a bready caramel aroma with some citrusy notes.

T - It tasted of sweet breads, caramel malt and dried plum and apple. It had a tart citrus kick.

M - It was crisp and fairly sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - This surprised me. I was at a French restaurant in Milwaukee with a limited beer list. I had never heard of this and really enjoyed it...twice.

 593 characters

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

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, 11JL bottle code. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a 2-3 finger dense and fluffy white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big lemon zest, peach, pear, apple, pepper, straw, grass, herbal, honey, bread, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast ester and pale malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big lemon zest, peach, pear, apple, white grape, pepper, straw, grass, herbal, honey, bread, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon zest, peach, pear, apple, white grape, pepper, straw, grass, herbal, honey, bread, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast and pale malt flavors; with a crisp malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice Belgian strong pale ale. All around good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast and pale malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,402 characters

Photo of chinchill
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle in Oregon.

Large tan head over a hazy copper body.

Medium body and carbonation.

Fruity aroma suggests a multitude of both dark dried fruits and soft ripe fruits. plus some spices.

The nicely complex flavor largely follows but with lower spiciness. Date, fig and dried plums are all present.

 312 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful fine-grained foam on the the clear, golden brew. Poured into the tall Saxo tulip. Aroma of spicy fruit. Foam lasts to the very bottom of the glass.

Medium body. Malty with a fair amount of sweetness. a tang of lemons and honey. Yeasty with a slight drying sensation. Overall, this is rich and mellow, with that tart edge that keeps it from cloying.

Moderate alcohol taste with sweet pineapple. It's like a tropical mixed drink dosed up with bitters. So pleasantly aromatic with every mouthful. A great sipping beer that is yet another odd variation on Belgian themes. From the 12 oz bottle bought at AJ's Fine Foods in Phoenix.

 639 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA

Served in a tulip glass, a golden-amber color, slightly hazy, with a small bubbly white head. Aroma was dominated by honey sweetness and candi sugar, with notes of Belgian yeast and fruitcake. Honey sugar sweetness on the tongue right away, mellowing out to let in flavors of toasted bread, Belgian yeast, citrus zest, light spice, floral hops. Crisp and satisfying, light-medium body, appropriate alcohol content, tasty and easily drinkable.

 484 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

For the first five seconds after a gentle pour, there wasn't a drop of beer in the glass, only ivory colored foam. Gradually, the all-encompassing head is being replaced from the bottom up by sparkling, radiantly amber liquid. Each subsequent pour creates a meringue-like beast that threatens to escape its glass confines. Most impressive... eventually.

Atomium doesn't smell like the list of ingredients would suggest. Apparently, this is 'the only beer in the world that is brewed with six different grains: barley, spelt, rye, maize, wheat and buckwheat' (never mind that the last of those is a fruit). That isn't what I mean, though. One source that I found says that Curacao oranges and coriander seeds are used. I sure don't smell them, but I do smell an impressive amount of yeasty horse blanket.

This Brouwerij Van Steenberge offering reminds me of the Flemish Primitive Wild Ale series from De Proefbrouwerij. It's a BSPA that gets the majority of its personality from its funktastic yeast strain. My first several mouthfuls tell me that isn't quite as well-constructed as the De Proef beers, but it's still unquestionably good.

Sun-ripened grain is mixed with crisp, tangy pears and a modest grassy hoppiness. If candi sugar was added, it wasn't added with a very heavy hand. I might be able to buy a pinch of coriander, but I don't get orange at all. The finish is impressively arid and is keeping me parched between mouthfuls.

While the mouthfeel isn't up the standards of the very best Belgian ales, it's just lightly creamy enough and just carbonated enough to be pleasureable. Rather than energetic followed by subdued, I'd like to see a more consistent level of bubblicity.

The Atomium is a metal sculpture (depicting a unit cell of an iron crystal) that was built for the 1958 Brussels World's Fair. Atomium Grand Cru is a delicious BSDA with a wild ale flair. I've just noticed that the label shows a depiction of the sculture, but uses beer barrels instead of spheres. This is an interesting ale that's worth a look if you happen to run across it.

 2,082 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was served this ale at the abbey bar @ ABC's brewpub in Harrisburg. Poured cold from the 11.2oz w/ freshness date of 20/03/08 into two tulips.

A - The golden liquid has a faint haze of yeast and the white cap appears as whip cream on top and is airy w/ large gaps in the bubbles w/ a tight bead at the base. The beer took a long time to settle down to 3 fingers worth of head in one glass. As my bartender said it was quite volatile, but it was worth waiting for. The stickage is moderate w/ relaxed webbing of lace.

S - Like green apple and kumquat, heck the whole fruit bowl! w/ a light funk, gentle spice and ginger aroma w/ a peppery coriander and citrus rind odor.

M - Light and fruity on the tongue w/ a slightly oily and prickly feel from the major effervescent nature w/ spiced dry texture and a light metallic note. The grand cru finishes w/ a light sweet quality.

T - Nice spice and fruity flavors as in the aroma w/ a slight boozy and sour tinge w/ nutty wheat qualities. There is a nice herbal sweetness w/ the refreshment of of some lighter belgians and the abv is 8% so you have a 'cake and eat it too' situation since it is boozy but refreshing too.

D - Very nice, a grand cru makes me want to have more like this, I would be able to knock back a few w/ no problem since the abv is very well disguised in the taste.

 1,337 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazed medium golden with a tint of orange. A thin, wispy head leaves trailing spotted lace.

The smell is of melon, banana, clove, cotton candy, caramel and lemongrass. Pretty robust.

The taste is of clove honey, melon, banana, bubbelgum, and a touch of lemongrass. Some alcohol shows in a peppery, warming way.

Smooth medium body.

A well-made, enoyable, sweet-leaning Belgian Strong Pale Ale!

 402 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

clear, amber coloration, with fierce carbonation, under a soled, lacy, snow-white head.

Aroma: citrus and spice meets barnyard funk. ripe orange and lemon, coriander and clove, with a whiff of that special something only Belgian yeast brings.

Taste: full, rich, and sweet. soft, lush, and lovely. Beautiful mix of Belgian yeast, bright hops, and sweet, tasty malt. Mmm.

Crisp? Satisfying? Yeah…dang, I have to forget to read those things. Smooth. Mmm. Yes, And, yum, let's not forget that. Just downright enjoyable. 8% by Vol? Yeah, I can deal with that.

 561 characters

Photo of stevoj
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Really pleasant and smooth Belgian ale. Copper/orange in color with high fluffy head, which fades to small creamy head with lots of lacing. Aroma is malt, with lots of bread, flowers, spice, fruit and barnyard smells. Taste is more of the same, smooth and buttery. Slick mouthfeel, long finish.

 294 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: light orange with a 1" head that lasts a while.

Smell: caramel sweetness, earthy tones, and a hint of alcohol are pleasant on the nose.

Taste: nice lightly grainy malt profile here. Caramel, ripe plums, yeast, soft earthy tones, mild alcohol, and a moderate bitterenss provides a great flavored beer.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp to start, smoother at the finish. Medium-heavy bodied beer. Long aftertaste as the flavors last in the mouth a while.

Drinkability: for the style this went down quickly. I enjoyed two of these in a session, and if the alcohol level wasn't so high I would have had some more. Nice beer.

 628 characters

Photo of tempest
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Farmhouse in Emmaus, PA. Served in a red wine glass, it appears slighty hazy and amber with a tall, fluffy white head. It's funny, I'm used to finding beers that have great flavor but are a little dull in the aroma department. This was the opposite. It was bursting with coriander, cinnamon, and peppermint (unusual, but interesting). The flavor follows the coriander with a hint of orange peel - sort of like a wit, but without wheat character - and then a subtle but delicious candied apple malt flavor slides in before the beer finishes. Still, the beer's taste is too mild for a beer of this strength. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised to find a fresh take on this style.

 691 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear golden orange colr with a light white head.

S: The nose has a great malting complexity with a touch of zesty spiciness from the hops and 6 different grains.

T: For flavor the 6 different grains blend well together combining for a well balanced malt palate with some different grain characteristics coming through producing a beautiful and crisp nature with a touch of toasted honey malt sweetness. There is a slight yeasty bite and lemongrass notes along with some herbal hopping. Also there is some fresh fruit, dried apples and a slight sourness along with warm baked bread notes upon warming of the tongue. Some Belgian spicing as well, coriander, sweet orange peel is detected.

M: full, complex.

D: very nice drinkability.

 750 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a hazy murky dark orange body with a thick creamy off-white head that last and last. It actually sticks to the sides of the glass as the head sinks in the middle of the glass. There is a good bit of lacing throughout the glass. There is no sign of carbonation in the dense body.

S- The smell of perfume and yeast has a faint apple hint to it. The smell is light and faint rather than mysterious.

T- The light spice note is dry with a faint apple finish. There are notes of green peppercorns and bitterness from hops in the finish. The taste is also light but there is not much depth. There are some faint hints of wheat and bread notes that have a slight earthiness as it warms.

M- This beer has a medium full mouthfeel with a high tight fizz that adds more body very nicely. It has the mouthfeel of a Hefe Weizen.

D- This beer reminds me of a wheat beer in appearance and mouthfeel but the taste and smell are much lighter and there is no banana, clove or coriander spices noted. Interesting but not the complexity I had hoped for with all the grains.

 1,110 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: hazy, golden, with a medium head/medium carbonation

Smell: bread, yeast, belgian spices

Taste: It mimics the smell.

Mouthfeel: highly carbonated, although it is smooth..slightly sour

Drinkability: This was probably my least favorite offering at the bar that I was tasting. To me this tasted like a slightly more complex and carbonated Blue Moon...I have had better and will not be trying this one again.

 419 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Deep Ellum. It was served in a big goblet shaped like some other Belgian goblets (I have an identical one from St Bernardus), with the Atomium logo. The beer was copper color with a thick foam leaving lots of lacing on the glass. The nose is pretty complex, maybe due to the 6 grains they brew it from (barley, rye, wheat, buckwheat, spelt, maize). The overall effect is a sweet aroma similar to Tripel Karmeliet. The taste is also very similar to Tripel Karmeliet, but maybe a little stronger or richer (maybe). Definitely a sipper due to all the flavors but it was hard for me to sip too slowly. An awesome beer, as are several others from this prolific brewery.

 685 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer after its extraction from the 330ml stubby brown bottle sets in the glass a muzzy orange color with a Bunyanesque creamy light tan head, as it, slowly dissintagrates the lace forms a thick blanket to obfuscate the glass. Nose is over ripe fruit, lots of malt, fresh and crisp to the senses, start is ambrosial with a decent malt presence, the top light to moderate in feel. Finish is authoritarian in its acidity, the hops spicy and pleasing to the palate, quite dry and some somewhat tart aftertaste a nice drinking beer has a nice bit of tummy warming.

 563 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz single, Riley's $2.99. Purchased because it was new and had a unique bottle

appearance: poured into la chouffe tulip...huge white foam attack that ends up looking like a bubble bath...body underneath is a cloudy orange-blonde shade...interesting

smell: strongly spiced - especially clove, herbal yeast, banana, peach, pear...decent

taste: not the best of the style i have had but a good beer nonetheless...banana and clove combo is strong, big yeast presence...fruit cocktail, pineapple, peach, pear, grape

mouthfeel: active yeast, foamy and clinging

drinkability: fine

 592 characters

Photo of tectactoe
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light golden color with a bit of haziness, but overall nice clarity. The beer is incredibly volatile, it overflowed and went everywhere upon opening the bottle and created a gigantic head, even with a relatively modest pour. The initial smells are most fruity, mainly apple, banana, and some white grape. The taste follows through with the same fruit, banana being the most prominent, with slight grape and apple skins in the background. Lots of wheat and grain flavors come through as the beer warms up. Spices are there, as well, namely clove, although it's more laid back than it is in traditional Belgian beers. The alcohol is slightly warming but not invasive. Carbonation is huge, as it is with most of these styles. Medium body with a crisp overall feeling on the mouth.

Pretty good brew, it's hard to go wrong with a Grand Cru straight from Belgium. Nice addition of apple and grape to the traditional "banana & clove". Very drinkable at 8% ABV, also.

 968 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a pale golden color with a couple fingers of soapy head.

S - Stone fruits and some phenolic belgian yeast on top of pale malts. Not bad for the style.

T - Taste is what you would expect from the nose, with phenolic yeast and sweet pale malts/stone fruits being most of what you can pick out.

M - Medium bodied, a little syrupy, lower carbonation, dry finish.

O - It's alright, but nothing special. Little too yeasty for me, would pass on this in the future.

 471 characters

Photo of mdagnew
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from

Poured a light golden yellow / bronze colour... Slightly off white head poured big and foamy and settled to a thin layer...

Aroma - Strong honey / malty sweetness with spicy hops underneath, vanilla creaminess, fruity (oranges, apricots), floral...

Taste – Light orange sweetness, creamy, spicy hop hints, grass / hay notes, peppery...

Feel - Creamy and quite sharp dry. Medium body... Pretty drinkable...

Overall - A top notch pale ale.... a nice surprise as i didn't kow much about this beer.... Highly recommended...

 576 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Big rocky head invites. Aromatics got the fruits going mostly. But the taste delivers a bit of a wild ale full of flavors I didn't smell. The mouth subsides quickly and actually ends creamy and, for me, a bit spicy. But the overall effect is good: a ride, but I suspect this yeast can be different in different years. But that's OK: I look forward to finding it again.

 368 characters

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

Served in an Atomium goblet at Hopleaf 1/11/07.

A: Gold with orange tint. Pretty clear. Two finger head with sticky lace.

S: Aromas of sweet fruits and honey.

T: Flavors of bananas, clove, berries, honey, sweet grainy malt, and flower petals. Also detected flavors of tart apples in the lightly hoppy finish.

M: At first the mouthfeel is thin and dry. However, as it warms, it becomes full and creamy yet never quite loses that bitter, dry mouthfeel.

D: Very enjoyable balance between sweet and dry. I found this to be quite refreshing.

 553 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Atomium Grand Cru from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
3.85 out of 5 based on 157 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.