Celis Grand Cru | Michigan Brewing Company

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Celis Grand CruCelis Grand Cru
217 Ratings
Celis Grand CruCelis Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Michigan Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 04-28-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 217 |  Reviews: 183
Photo of Donutos
5/5  rDev +35.5%

Photo of TurboChief
4.75/5  rDev +28.7%

Photo of nortmand
4.69/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I guess this is a witbeer, although rather strong.
Appears crystal clear. I gave it a 3.5, but only for the comedic effect of fooling your beer buddies into thinking that you are drinking piss water. Guess I would expect more cloudiness. Thin, white head.
Smells intensely spicy, the usual banana, clove, coriander and licorice?
Taste is similarly spicy, huge beer, deceptive appearance, and taste. I just absolutely adore the flavor of this beer. There's just something about it.
Slight astringency in the afterglow. Warming alcohol flavor as well.
Smooth, easy drinking mouthfeel, no complaints there.
Very drinkable, dangerously so. A strong brew that is deceptively light in color, and mouthfeel. Even the taste, in all it's spicy glory can fool the uninitiated. I suspect that this isn't actually a witbeer, but closer to Belgian style strong pale ale. But with Belgian and Belgian style brews, does it really matter?
It's pretty cheap in East Lansing, and Crunchy's has it on tap, so I've come back to this beer again and again, and plan on coming back to it in the future. Easily the best offering from MBC.

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Photo of BMoney575
4.66/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 6-4-07

Pours a surprisingly light and clear yellow, with a minimal head and decent lacing.

Smell is very good, a light Belgian sweetness dominates with little bits of spices and fruits.

Taste is also very good, wheaty backbone followed but a nice blend of light coriander and lemon peel. A tart bitterness rounds it out with no alcohol flavor, just a nice warming.

Mouthfeel is perfect, strong carbonation lightens everything up.

Drinkability is very good, you'd have to be very careful not to drink a sixer.

Overall, probably the most complex witbier I've ever had. Big flavors, big alcohol, and still spot-on for the style. Outstanding.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.62/5  rDev +25.2%
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 Gew├╝rztraminer 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 HardTarget
4.59/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A) Lemon yellow sun, pure clarity, wisps of cloudy foam slowly dissipate.

S) Belgian yeast, little orange peel and alcohol.

T) Belgian. Belgian Pils, Belgian Yeast, Belgian hop profile (leafy, earthy, Goldings maybe?), probably imported Belgian water. The style is close to a Trippel, but some Saison elements, a bit funky overripe peach with a bitter drying finish. Some fresh grain husky malt, bordering on astringent but with a cleansing almost defoliating quality.

M) Vermouth dry finish that leaves you smacking sticky residue from your lips.

D) Wow. Yeah, I want more, but this isn't a session beer at all. Half the bottle has me a bit heady. The alcohol is a little hot but matches the beer profile nicely. Think I want to cellar some.

I'll keep this brief: DAMN YOU MILLER. Just makes me pine for the days of Pierre Celis himself at the helm in his Austin Brewery, cranking out great beers like this. I boycott Miller Brewing for their role in this tragic loss.

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Photo of Nattyp
4.52/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful honey gold color into my Delirium Tremens goblet, smells like a nice champagne with strong hints of apple, almost cider like with a bit of funk on the end. It tastes really interesting..a perfect balance between sweet and dry, with a little fruit, and spice. Like a lighter version of a tripel, and the abv is slightly detected, but matches perfectly with the other characteristics. Lingers..very good

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Photo of amatuerbeerguy
4.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice large long lasting head, somewhat off white color, aroma of spice, coriander,cloves, wheat. Color golden, sweet,spicy, slight malt character some lemon, coriander, clove prevalent in flavor. Mouthfeel smooth, phenols in the finish, with some cloying inthe mouthfeel. Slight vanilla in the finish. Slightly higher than stated alcohol, guessing around 9.5% give or take but definitely higher than normal for Celis from Austin or Michigan. Well the first and second tasting at Michigan Brewing. Overall a nice drinkable, very drinkable beer. recommend for lawn mower beer, or every day sipping.

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Photo of karst
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Uncapped Belgian aromas reach my nose before I can set the cap and opener down. Light golden crystal clear with initially strong beading. Dense white head gives way to ring and lace. Aroma is all Belgian bringing flashbacks of the great ones ( Duval, Chimay, Rochefort, Westvleteren, Gulden Draak, . .)

Batches of Dubbels, Tripels and Golden Strong Ales wait for me in the celler but today Pierre Celis returns and the MaredsousO.3L RC glass will do the honors!

Alcohol is supurb - showing the brewers ( Michigan Brewing Co.) skills. My first experience with the Celis brand - I see why it is a favorite of many Mich. folk.

Spicing is also well done with some background of pepper supporting Corriander and a hint of orange peel as finishing note. Spices do not mask but add interest to a nice yeast contribution. Mouthfeel is excellent and holding this Grand Cru in you mouth is a pleasure a soft pear like sweetness supports and moderates the alcohol, phenolics and spices.

Needless to say highly drinkable.

Fresh six-pack from Friar Tucks - Springfield, IL

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Photo of allengarvin
4.39/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12-oz bottle into a duvel tulip glass. Pours out a very clear golden color with a modest initial head that quickly fades. Big aroma of coriander, extremely perfumy. Coriander is by far the dominant player in the taste, with an almost medicinal touch to it. Lots of yeasty fruit character, ripe citrus, vanilla, with sweet malt and discernable alcoholic pepperiness. Finishes spicy and heady.

This was one of my favorite beers in the mid-90s, when brewed down in Austin, and I've been missing it for about 8 years now (I got this bottle through mail-order). The appearance didn't live up to my memory; I recall it turbidly cloudy with an enormous head retention. Perhaps Michigan Brewing filters it. But otherwise, this is the coriander-lover's dream. Yum!

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearence: Pours a lovely gold with nice carbonation and a thing white head. Almost perfectly clear.

Smell: The smell is much like a tripel, with biscuity and bready notes.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Very rich and lively, with a seafood taste to it. I don't know what would cause that, but it tastes good mixed with the wheat flavors, banana, cloves, oranges and spiciness. Alcohol is only present in the finish. The mouthfeel is full-bodied and creamy.

Drinkability and Overall: I wouldn't particularly consider this a wit. In my opinion, it's much more like a tripel or a golden ale. No matter what it is, I like it. I know it's not the original, yada yada yada.... but either way it's good. Very good.

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Photo of BierFan
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tumbler glass.

The sweet smell hit my nose from a foot away as I was pouring it. Very spicy sweet and herbal tasting. Can't quite put my finger on all the particular flavors in the beer but it's definitely pleasant. Leaves nice lacing down the glass as it's drunk. Very nice beer and worth the money.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.32/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden, almost clear, with a fluffy 1/2 finger head that soon reduces to a collar and only a few bits of wet lace arcs.

S- Fresh and green with an outdoorsy barnyard scent. Yeast and loads of crisp spices. Green bananas and a whif of alcohol.

T- Very assertive and powerful taste. Rich banana and clove with other spices. I can feel the alcohol pleaseantly burning my throat. Very sugary at first, with a nice dry finish that conplements the alcohol warmth.

M - Full bodied and somewhat chewy. Feels like even higher than 8.0% ABV.

D - Despite the very present alcohol content, I could drink alot of these. This is sort of a poor man's Duvel, very similar but not quite as intriquing....but far cheaper.

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Photo of weeare138
4.29/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a hazy bright gold color with a small white head that sticks around for a moment before fading into a small film. Nice rings of sticky lacing are left on the walls of the goblet. Tiny amounts of bubbles make their way up to the top.
Smell is of rich wheat, orange peel, and coriander.
Taste is of bold, sugary wheat with an awesome blend of orange peel and coriander bouncing off the tastebuds and sides of the mouth. Friggin awesome!
Mouthfeel is spicy and fills out the palate with the beautiful flavor. Slightly crisp brew with a bit of an alcohol bite and semi-dry finish. Man, this "double white" is supreme! I'm not really sure why there's lack of love for this one. I've had 7 of the top ten rated witbiers on this site and I would personally rate it as high as, if not higher than most of them. I'm telling you that it's...

Finger licking good!

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Photo of mooseisloose
4.29/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A recent arrival of BOTMC. Popping the top this brew has a light fruit smell of grapes and sweet malts. Pouring into a goblet it is a non-threatening golden colored ale with a bunch of bubbles fizzing up but not much head. Taste is where it's at on this brew. The mouthfeel is silky smooth, this is one smooth brew. The taste starts sweet and fruity then transitions into very slight bitterness. The finish is like that of wine, sweet and dry, leaving one to anticipate the next sip. AC is evident but not really detectable over the fruitiness. This is probably one of the smoothest drinking beers I've ever had, at 8% that's scary. Another fine selection from MBC.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
4.29/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man, these guys at Michigan Brewing are crankin' out some real quality here. This is an amazing beer. Poured out to a medium yellow color with medium carbonation. Some notes of lace around the glass. Odors of biscuits and malt, mixed with raw yeast and fresh hops. Very nice. Taste was smooth and complex, with dry notes of hops, yeast and malt. Some aftertastes of spices and citrus. Finished dry, with some bite. Good drinkability, this could be a session beer if it wasn't for the 8% ABV. Nonetheless, this is a staple brew for the Michigan Brewing Co. Recommended.

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Photo of ken3c
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of Internatbrewlove
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This Belgian style ale has a clear, light golden color with a moderate sized, pale white head. The scent is a mixture of pear and banana and the taste is equally complex. There is a tingling on the tongue and palate that slowly fades. The flavor is a mixture of banana, pear and clove with a slightly sweet and hoppy background.

The most amazing aspect of the Celis Grand Cru is that despite its complex flavor, and relatively high alcohol content, it is a beer that can be consumed regularly without any concern of it becoming mundane or overwhelming. Good job!

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Photo of SIRIUS2
4.19/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

A: Clear medium gold color with an orange hue. Minimal head going quickly to a little ring of white bubbles. Very little lacing.

S: Great mix of spices like coriander mixing in well with light but fragrant floral hops. There's also a hint of caramel on the nose that I'm guessing comes from the malt.

T: First to the tongue is the light to medium maltiness but coming in right behind it is the unique combination of spices that make this beer special. Most Grand Cru styles that I've sampled have a mix of coriander & orange peel and this one is no different, although there does seem to be more focus toward the coriander. There is also a taste that I just can't pinpoint... it may well be the yeast or a flavor given off from the yeast in the brewing process. It gives it a unique flavor that is very light on the tongue but flavorful at the same time. Spices rule the palate on this one.

M&D: Light in the mouth but still full flavored; springy on the tongue with no real strong aftertastes. The finish is a touch on the dry side with the slight lingering of spice. Carbonation is well matched with small springy bubbles to enhance the mouthfeel. Very nice brew.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.19/5  rDev +13.6%
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 putnam
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
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 feloniousmonk
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
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 gordavidson
4.14/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Perfectly clear. Yellow with a small white head. Some nice rising carbonation.

S- A lot of Belgian yeast smell. Some light fruit and clove and banana.

T- Sweet with some warming alcohol. Light and fruity. Perfumey. Well done.

M- Dry. Some slightly warming alcohol presence. Crisp, clean, and light.

D- A little sweet, but the alcohol is really well hidden except for the warming presence. This beer could really get the job done.

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Photo of Pointman
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Really like this one. A nice Belgian. Very lingering. Nice color - straw. You really want to chew this one for a while. I like something like that. Wheat overtones, yet very sweet. Nice lingering finish. I really would like to taste this on tap. Guess I'll do it next time I am on the road.

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Celis Grand Cru from Michigan Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 217 ratings