Celis Grand Cru
Michigan Brewing Company

Celis Grand CruCelis Grand Cru
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Belgian Strong Pale Ale
3.72 | pDev: 12.9%
Michigan Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Celis Grand CruCelis Grand Cru
Reviews: 183 | Ratings: 218 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by acrawf6:
Photo of acrawf6
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear dark straw with a very white head that drops to a thin but consistent layer of small bubbles on top.

Smell. The first thing i get is a grape aroma that is sweet. Reminds me a little of grape big league chew, or if talking about beer, a red stripe, as that gives a similar aroma to me.

Taste. A mild flavor for a bspa. Initial thought is a pilsner malt flavor. Alcohol warmness hits me quick, but is not overpowering. Has a small sweetness, but does not have much fruit flavors, and a spiciness flavor is more dominant. The lower carbonation and the lack of a strong sweet flavor really reminds me euro strong lager. But as it warms up, there is a stronger sweetness that comes out. And the aftertaste does bring out a sweetness that is close to a simple syrup flavor, but certainly on the milder side.

Mouthfeel. Body is medium. Carbonation has its presence, but is not as bubbly as others of its style. Has a nice balance though as i think it's hop character comes out a little more than other bspa.

Overall, i can't completely pinpoint this beer. I overall do like it, but i don't consider it a great example of the style. Nonetheless, I do think it has a nice drinkablility to it. I can't pick it out, but it really reminds me of another beer i have had in the past that is totally not in this style. I say it's a real good beer for its price (paid under $2/bottle), easy drinking, and very suitable in many occasions, but if looking for a great belgian strong pale ale specifically, look elsewhere.

I checked my score, which i will not change, but i do find it misleading. I think it is better than many other beers that i have scored at this level, but when comparing to the style and so many other great beers that fall under this style, I had to give it this score.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Todd
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle. Pours a very pale, hazy straw beer with a thin white lace. Moderate retention and stick.

Soft aroma, light herbal, lemon rind, zest and phenols. Faint medicinal and soft soapy and bubblegum notes.

Creamy at first, with a grainy/coarse feel underneath. The overall character is a bit bland, at first, but allow the beer to warm-up a bit to unlock the nuances. You'll find a light bready malt character of, orange sweetness, some lemon rind and splash of zest smacks the palate, followed by notes of herbal, clove and coriander. Hint of grass. Alcohol spice and warmth, especially as the beer warms-up. Finish is dry, with notes of grain and a yeasty character that coats the palate in a rougher dry feel.

A decent example of what is really a "Double Wit." Could use a bit more depth of overall character, but it's still rather refreshing ... and powerful.

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Photo of marc77
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Brilliantly clear auric hue. Topped by a rocky, lofty, porcelain white head with respectable retention. Tattered lace remains. Lemon zest and honey sweetness upfront in aroma. Subtle banana esters, yeast must and vague herbal hints follow. Becomes more floral as it warms, with both nectar and perfume hints surfacing. Enticingly aromatic. Snap of orange peel bitterness incipient in flavor cedes to a rounded impression of honey drizzled white, lightly grainy cracker. Clove esters in flavor are more prominent than the aroma suggests, while banana is more subdued. Alcohol presence is well controlled, and exists only as a slightly minty and peppery undertone. Moderate in body, with a dextrinous, but slightly sugary and coating mouthfeel. Finishes with brusque hint of medicinal phenol, but otherwise with lingering hints of marzipan and candied lemon. I've never had the original so I can't compare, but this is a fine, albeit prosaic strong Belgian. Akin to a saison / tripel hybrid in overall character. Quite tasty and superbly drinkable.

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Photo of stoutman
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a transparent gold with a small white head. Has an apple orange citrus aroma. Flavor is sweet up front with a somewhat unpleasant sourness that overpowers a light bitter finish. Leaves a mild honey aftertaste. As the beer warms, and airs, the sourness decreases and bitterness increases in the finish.

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Photo of ZAP
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Has wit characteristics on the nose...corriander...orange peel.. not real assertive on the aroma but nice.

Carbonation is about right....relatively high...body leans big...again about right.

Taste seems like a blend between an Imperial Wit and a Belgian Strong Pale Ale....definitely some alcohol on the buds, along with the spicing of a whit beer (corriander, orange peel)...the booze feels like a shot of vodka was added to the mix...

This has some redeeming qualities but overall the flavors are too subdued and the booze taste present is too high..particularly for just an 8% ABV.

A decent stab at the style but overall a beer that could use some tweaks.

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Photo of Bighuge
2.88/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear golden with adequate amounts of carbonation in the body. Pure white froth caps the top of the beer and sticks around for a while. Lacing is more than adequate with white, web-like patterns. Fresh aroma of lemon zest, wheat tang, orange spicing and corriander. The flavor really doesn't do much for me. An odd combination of bittering hops and spices and yeast. And there's some heat in this beer as well that really isn't integrated that nicely. Whatever this beer is (Grand Cru, witbier, Imperial Wit), I'm glad I only bought a single.

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Photo of proc
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really liked this beer. It poured out to a dirty gold in the glass with a thin head. The aroma reminded me of toffee. The afforementioned toffee was present in the taste too, along with caramel and liquer. A soft, almost buttery taste was there on the finish. This beer really masks the ABV. This wasn't as complex as others I've had in the style, yet was remarkably more drinkable in comparison. To be 8% and drinkable says alot.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear shiny yellow gold body. Soft white fluffyhead. Lazy rambling carbonation streams.

Extremely spicey nose, plentyof pepper. Fruity too - lemons, tangerines, and apricots.

Taste is a well mixed blend of fruity and spicey. Lemon pepper comes to mind. Spices are near-perfectly integrated, contributing without dominating. Its a fine golden ale with a bit of zip, not a glass of spices and herbs which comes off as dusty. Dry finish. This is refreshing.

Mouthfeel is light-plus. Fine for summer drinking.

As I said, refreshing, not chewey. Goes down well with a sunset.

The move from Texas to Michigan has not harmed this beer.

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Photo of Chaz
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very nearly brilliant gold in color, topped with an off-white head of minimal duration and moderate lacing. Nose is spicy, with pungent yeast and fruity esters – no hop presence that I could easily detect. On the first sip bubblegum, clove, nutmeg, and sweet malt are prominent, as is the rather full mouthfeel.. There is no real hop presence in the aromatics, but there is a lingering bitterness here, which could be the spices themselves. Despite this bitterness, this brew is almost too sweet for me and really seems to lack balance. Sure there's a touch of tangy acidity, but I thought for a moment I was drinking a spiced mead! Banana is all over this, and I do appreciate it, as it reminds me favorably of a weizenbock – I wouldn’t mind (just for kicks) putting this up against Don De Dieu (Unibroue) for comparison. Pale malt notes are in here too, but they are buried. Boozy, medium-full bodies and leaning toward a smooth and creamy mouthfeel, and along with the sweetness factor has limited drinkability (or at least session-worthiness). Of course, I recognize this as an apertif or desert beer rather than as something you'd want to drink more than one glass or bottle of in a single sitting. Quite spicy and juicy, with somewhat indistinct fruitiness (the spices aid in this indistinct flavor profile.) Although I haven't had this recipe in over ten years, the new brewery (Michigan Brewing Co.) has done an excellent job in recreating this brand and the Celis line in general, and it was worth trying this one again, even though it's not a personal favorite.
Served chilled, in a chalice.
(Purchased as a single, somewhere in the Twin Cities)

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Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazed light gold with a real orange hue with a thinner but well retained white head,very concentrated aromas quite spicey with big notes of tropical fruits with a noticable alcohol zing.The word concentrated can be used flavor wise as well somewhat spicey/clovey but those intense fruity notes and alcohol to me almost became wine like in character pretty acidic in nature and almost became to much.The big flavors are there but can it be to much?It was one and done for me I really didnt think it would go well with a Pizza Plant chicken parm stuffed pizza.

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Photo of BrewAskew
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours to a thin white head and minimal lace and pale straw-gold color. Aroma is sweet, fruity, spicy, reminiscent of pears and bananas. Flavor is a sweet and fruity experience with some alcohol sweetness, bubblegum and vinous notes. Mouthfeel is medium and slightly slick and syrupy from all the residual sugar and high alcohol. Overall, I like this Belgian strong, although it lacks some of the depth and complexity of beers such as Duvel.

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Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy, light pale golden in color, with a large, dense white head, which retains superbly. The carbonation is slight and slow-rising; the lacing arrays itself on the glass walls in a superb Belgian pattern.

Aroma: Opens with a strong note of of spicy alcohol, coriander and orange peel. There is also an understated note of earthy hops.

Taste: Opens with coriander and orange peel, and sweet alcohol as well. There is a solid pale malt presence throughout the taste, and a mildly sweet undercurrent of candy sugar and some clove as well. Finishes with a lingering, mild earthy hop flavor, and a brief burst of sweet alcohol.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, and velvety, quite pleasant.

Drinkability/notes: Quite wonderful, very drinkable and pleasant. Would be excellent for a holiday dinner.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass long neck bottle with a pop-off crown, served in a standard Pilsener glass.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sample at AleFest Dayton: This brew pours a light yellow/gold color with a medium and foamy white head with good retention. Thin rings of lacing. The aroma is lightly spiced with some citrus. Light-bodied with a zesty spice and citrus character. Some yeast in the background as well. The finish is a little peppery, among other spices. Not bad overall.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.19/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear. Golden. Somewhat effervescent. Short but creamy bright white head. Average retention. Decent lacing. Coriander is obvious in the nose, backed by yeasty phenolics and a hint of orange peel. Medium bodied. Gently crisp. Full flavored. Sweetish, wheaty malt with a candyish side is brought to life by yeasty phenolics (clove, bubblegum) and spice. Coriander helps to dry it, as does a spritz of alcohol. Orange peel becomes apparent at the swallow, and it finishes spicy and dry. Very nicely done! Almost exactly as I remember it used to be.

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Photo of stirgy
3.59/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a cloudy, light yellowy straw color. Low carbonation and topped with a small filmy head of foam. The aroma has light and lemony grains, sweetly spiced and candied malts. Light, fruity with a touch of sweet licorice spice. The taste is light and spicy with a bitter tang citrus finish. Light in body and a bit sticky. Overall, drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of putnam
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light, very clear gold with white soap on top. Fruity, grape bubblegum aromas intrude on a nice base of toasted grain, organic toiletries and cream notes. It is creamy-textured with a subtle surge of bittersweet alcohol on the finish. The overall effect is rather dry, with serious fruit flavors of banana and candied yams kept tight with a measured presence of bitterness. Savory, buttery biscuit-flavors provide character. More simple than complex a beer.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Having no prior experience drinking a wit grand cru, this one appears a fizzy yellow deep golden with a fizzy white head carbonation seems high. Aroma has upfront banana, pear, and other tropical fruit notes with alcohol infused with apple tones and finishes with a nice grassy hop finish. Taste has a syrupy malty touch of honey with all of those fruit tones shining through, in addition a flowery grassy hop mix. Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonation a bit high the head dwindled quickly a bit sticky on the palate. Drinkability very tasty treat quite an experience I hope to try more of this style, a solid version in my unexperienced opinion...I liked it.

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Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer after its release from the 12 ounce brown bottle sets in the glass a hazy gold with a smallish head that is bubbly in texture and an off white color, the lace is quite thin and patchy. Nose is malt, citrus crisp, light hints of wheat; start is somewhat sweet, nice grain profile. Finish is strict in its acidity, the hops meek and pleasant, and the aftertaste vinous and quite dry, noticeable alcohol warming in the tummy, just wonder if this 8 percent ABV is a bit much for this style, a drinkable brew none-the-less.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of mschofield
4.01/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a sparkling well carbonated orange-gold, topped with just a thin white film, no lacing.
Dominant orange note to the aroma, coriander and other spices, some grassyness, floral, peach. Strong and full aroma.
Robustly flavored, peach, honey, strongly orange again, coriander, herbs, spicy taste. Give a bit of a tingle to the lips.
Medium-full, somewhat syrupy.

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Photo of Truh
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Strolled down Bourbon Street with this one on 11/3/2004. 12-oz. bottle poured in a shaker glass.

Light film of starting head. Golden yellow hue, crystal clear with some lively action throughout. Lager nose up front with coriander, basil, licorice, anis, and lime juice. Strong licorice on taste, with core of jumping spice and a slight buttery coconut lining the mouth. This was one of the first fine ales I had while making my conversion, a gateway ale if you will.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ultra-clear, pale pear appearance, huge snowy head.

Lovely nose, fresh and zesty, big spice and lemon zest. Quite lively and alluring.

Sweet and creamy taste up front, spicy and citric, unique deliciousness. Clean, smooth, light-bodied, and beautiful.

Just a little tart and sharp, though...and the strength (8%) sticks out a bit, too.

So classy, and full of character. Nice one, Pierre!

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Off white head atop a clear, pale golden brew. No yeast evident at the bottom of the bottle.
Aroma is yeasty and spicey. Bready malt, alcohol, and a bit vinous.

Taste shows a bready malt backbone. Yeast, spice, and alcohol have plenty to say. Bit fruity. Some dryness and crispness, but sweet overall. Reminded me of a tripel in many ways, but I liked this better than most tripels I've had.

Good mouthfeel and drinkability, although a bit sweet for my liking.
Overall, a good beer. Big thanks to AKSmokedPorter for the bottle!

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Photo of Mitchster
4.62/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first bottled batch, not available on tap at the time of review. Shared a bottle with Sakaroo at MBC.

Clear, golden brew without a head or lacing, receding into a thin scum of bubbles. Aroma is of cloves, cheddar cheese, wheat, and bananas. Taste is sweet and phenolic with a smooth mouthfeel and a somewhat ruddy finish with lingering phenols, cookie sweetness, and a cloying mouthfeel. Vanilla and distant citrus fruits are noted in the finish. Alcohol is barely perceptable in taste or aroma, a mark of quality at 8.0% ABV. Enjoyable.

Update 6-5-04:
Having enjoyed this several times on tap at Michigan BC, I decided to pick up a bottle of this at MBC, as it's hard to find up here in TC. Pours out to a sparkingly clear beautiful orange-golden with peach accents, forming a modest white head with good retention and nice sheets of sticky lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Aroma is tasty, with a delicious nose up front of that unique Celis Funk, like distant smoked sharp cheddar cheese, cloves, orange peel, rose petals, peach, coriander, bananas, and brisk water with a clean ferment . Mouthfeel is lively with a medium-dense body and smooth finish with a phenolic aridness in the finish. The taste is an exact echo of the aroma...emphasis on cloves, Celis smoked cheese funk, rose petals, tons of sticky pale malts, black marker and burnt rubber. There is a suggestion of alcohol in a peppery flourish towards the finish. The mouthfeel in the finish is a bit flat and ruddy (due to the abundant coriander, methinks) and semi-dry. Alcohol is evident in mentation, but only slightly so in taste and mouthfeel.

Rich and beautiful, semi-dry, woody and spicy, reminding me of a Gewürztraminer brewed by Unibroue. Ah...this is like falling in love all over again. Just a wonderful, wonderful brew in the Double-Wit style. Highly recommended!

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Photo of Marty
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was so surprised by this beer! Bought it on a whim, mostly because it was cheaper ($1.50) than most of the bottles at the store. The name "Celis" registered vaguely somewhere in the recesses of my brain, but it wasn't until I logged on to BA that I remembered: this is the brewery that used to make a great white beer, then was either bought or actually moved to Austin, TX. Now it's being brewed in Michigan? Whatever.

This beer was great! Slightly hazy, golden yellow with a big head of crispy bubbles. And by crispy, I mean that the bubbles were popping pretty loudly... like Rice Crispies. Yeah, there, I did it. I just compared a beer to Rice Crispies. What I mean is that the bubbles were slightly larger than normal, and the head dissipated fairly quickly and loudly.

Anyway, moving on. I was first impressed with this beer's taste. What a great, spicy beer! It smells great, too. Reminds me of other, more expensive, Belgians.

I don't know how strong this beer is, but I'd guess it's over 7%. The alcohol is not the overriding characteristic of this beer, though. Overall, very balanced, VERY drinkable. Highly recommended.

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Celis Grand Cru from Michigan Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 218 ratings