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 pentathlete
3.42/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light gold with a tiny white head that leaves a ring and no lace. The nose is powdery grain and slight medicinal odor. It coats the tongue with a rather wet tangy wheat flavor. But the flavor and the mouthfeel lose substance and body leaving an average beer with a little alcohol bite at the end. It certainly tastes like a Belgian wit, but there are better examples of the style.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer tries hard to be like Duvel and other European Belgian Strong Ales, but falls just short in all categories. This pours to the expected golden color witrh white head, though it is not thick and pillowy like the classics. Aroma is spicy but muted, and while the flavor does in fact have the spicy clove and slightly sweet flavor, as well as a tingling mouthfeel, the finish does not linger well, but ends rather quickly.

Not a bad attempt by a U.S brewer, but by no means a true Belgian Strong Ale.

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Photo of Minkybut
2.4/5  rDev -35%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured this brew into a tumbler at 50 degrees. Beer was cloudy kind on golden toffee colored. Beer smelled like bread with kind of a wine like smell along for the ride. it also tasted very yeasty and way to fruity for my taste, also bitter. I will not purchase again.

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Photo of Grundle20
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's golden in color with very little head. What little head there is does manage to lace the glass with fine bubble deposits though.

The scent of mainly banana with hints of flowers and cilantro. It's not very strong but it's a pretty well balanced and enjoyable scent.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
The beer does a pretty good job of masking the 8% ABV that it boasts with a ripe banana taste and a crisp light malt body. There are hints of coriander and a fruit punch touch in the finish. The beer exits crisp and leaves a minor tropical fruit aftertaste.

ABV aside this is good enough tasting for extended drinking but ignoring the alcohol in this brew will leave you hurting.

Bottom Line:
I don't know if this really screams "Grand Cru" but it was pretty good. I've heard bad things about this beer and as far as I can tell they were unfounded.

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Photo of SMark
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served at 47 degrees. Pours a nice head that gives out quickly but leaves nice lace work. Bubbles come fast and furious and quit just as fast. A nice pale golden color.

Has a clean somewhat burnt malt aroma but is not an off odor. Makes it kind of interesting and invites you to try a sip

Same curious taste as smell which I cannot quite put my finger on. Not sure if it attributable to the malt. Little bit of apple and maybe citrus. Lacing is not as noted from the original pour.

Hangs with you for a little while but not overpowering considering the alcohol content.

A good beer which seems to be very well made considering the alcohol and this being a witbier. Polished off two tonight so would consider it a success.

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Photo of Rudgers73
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a short chalice.

A- Looks like champagne. Not much head and lots of bubbles rising through a pale yellow liquid.

S- Very much like a white wine. Grape skin, yeast, peppery and dry.

T- Reminds me a lot of de dolle ara bier, but more mild. Green grapes, apple peels, wheat, white wine. Spicy toward the end.

M- Sweet and dry. Again, a lot like white wine.

D- Strong, but not as much as a bottle of wine at dinner. I think that this would complement turkey or fish like a champ.

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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 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 kmpitz2
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. This one pours is dark straw/yellow color to light golden with brilliant clarity. A healthy carbonation is working to the surface of the brew, with a finger of head that falls to a solid coating over top of the liquid. This one really looks like it is glowing it is so clear. Obviously the brew is filtered. The aroma is full of wheat creamyness and light corriander spiceyness. Smells nice. The flavor brings a pretty strong spiceyness over top of a creamy wheat base. I'm not getting any of the herbs that are supposed to be in this one. There is a mild alcohol character to the flavor, but it is not hot or offensive. Mouthfeel on the beer is thick, with a mild to moderate carbonation. The only tell that this brew is 8% is the light alcohol I get on the flavor. It reminds me a little of a triple, without much character of candied sugar or spice. This brew is pretty nice. I might call it a double kristalweiss because of the flavors.

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Photo of arguemaniac
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was really surprised to learn that this is classified as a wit beer. Could that be right? I mean, it doesn’t have that classic whitish haze, it fact it’s pours a perfectly clear and rather brilliant golden color (though the heads nothing to rave about). Also, the alcohol, while not overbearing, tastes mighty strong for a wit. However, that’s not new, really, wit’s made in the States these days are getting stronger and stronger. What ever it is, it’s pretty good. It does have a lot of those nice wit flavors including some banana and lots of really sharp clovey spice. I really enjoyed this brew, but be warned, this one is way too drinkable at 8% ABV. Recommended.

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Photo of proc
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
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 bashiba
2.53/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a slightly hazed golden with alight soapy head.

Smell was sweet and citrusy.

Taste was all spices - cinnoman, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Not much beer flavor.

mouthfeel is light and dry.

To much spice without any substance for me. Will avoid in the future.

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Photo of Blakaeris
2.73/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours clear golden with a modest soapy head.

Smell is quite sweet with generous spices- notably nutmeg and corriander.

Taste is candy sweet as the nose suggested. Subtle citrus fruitiness and generous spices.

Mouthfeel is very light and watery.

This brew is far too cloyingly sweet for my taste. I wouldn't bother with this one. There are much better Wit's out there.

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Photo of ggaughan
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a hazy golden color into a pint glass. There was a medium thickness white head that listed for a little while. The nose is a bit of citrus and some wheat with a touch of alcohol at the end. The taste is very nice. There is a good blend of the citrus and spice notes. You get a good mouthfeel and wheat character that is impressive. The beer has medium body so I found it pretty drinkable.

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Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
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 Dogbrick
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
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 mmmbeer
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. served in a mug. The beer is a clear yellow/gold with medium to high carbonation and a fluffy 1 finger white head of small bubbles that recedes to 1/4" and leaves a few trails of lace. There is spicy yeast, coriander, and orange in the bouquet with ripe banana showing up toward the end. It tastes spicy with orange peel that starts tame but becomes more pronounced, and there are notes of coriander, maybe some pepper, lemon rind?, and a mild to medium bitterness. The body is prickly, almost numbing at first, but it becomes medium to thick and leaves a medium finish. Fairly good and definitely Belgian-influenced, but it seems too strong to call it a witbier, as I was thinking at times that it's more like a tripel.

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Photo of riversider76
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy pale golden. Thin fizzy head, no retention, and little lacing. Smell is sweet,and yeasty. Body is medium, silky, and carbonated. Taste is of spices fruits, and malts, with a bit of hops in the finish. The higher abv is very evident in the taste.The higher abv makes it not as refreshing as the usual whits. Still, a really good beer.

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Photo of Phatz
4.02/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What an interesting Tasty big Witbier. In South Hampton Double Whit style this beer is everything ‘Whit’ -- bigger. However, it falls a bit short of the "Double White Ale" in my opinion.

Appearance: Pours a clear yellow gold with a hazy body clouded with floating bits of sediment. The head fades fast into a frothy halo and moderate lacing.

Smell: The smell is reserved (competitively) but still full of sugars, doughy malt, wheat and lemon with hint of zesty yeast spiciness and barley-there hops.

Taste: A bit of smooth wheat and malty flavors lead into a well built collection of spicy and fruity flavors of pepper and cloves along with the apples, and a hint of orange peels. There is also a somewhat dextrinous flavor of candied sugars and pears. The finish is pleasantly dry and somewhat boozy; even though the alcohol is mostly hidden.

Mouthfeel: The beer is a medium body and more slick than the typical Witbier while maintaining a crisp solid level of carbonation.

Drinkability: I am conflicted on the drinkability. While this beer is smooth and easy to drink it is not quite as refreshing as it's lower ABV brothers and sisters in the style. I will say good, for a bottle, but not spectacularly drinkable like some other Whits.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of bruachan
3.32/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

an 8% wit? i guess we're competing with southampton's double white here

there's no sediment which isn't a good sign in my eyes. totally filtered, hence the crystal clear pilsner look

it does, without a doubt, smell like a wit, in that it has a big coriander nose, i guess. not as sweet tasting as it's weaker counterpart but much more bitter. not sweet but...bigger—tripel territory, it seems. yes, yesss...that's it...smells like a wit, feels like a tripel (and tastes likes something in the middle)

doesn't hold a candle to southampton's double wit (that's the precedent here for imperial wits) (kinda funny in light of the recent posts on the ludicrous use of "imperial"), though i can't say i didn't like it

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Photo of phisig137
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from an undated bottle a crystal clear 18 karat gold color, with almost no head. A slight ring forms around the glass, and leaves only minimal lacing. Kinda looks fizzy and yellow as Stone puts it....

Aroma is full of spice, both of the added spice, as well as spicy yeast esters. Breadyand slightly sweet, this is pleasant nose, but I personally would like to see a bit more orange peel.

Flavor is full and estery, with only a hint of wheat when you first take a sip. Fairly phenolic yeast, leading to a solvent-like flavor. Slightly wheaty finish, backed by a good amount of coriander, but again, very little citrus. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, while the drinkability is very high, as this hides it's 8% extremely well.

For being the "Grand Cru", I was actually a bit disappointed in this. I think it is a great beer in general, but there are a few things I'd change. For one, I expect my White ales to be cloudy, not filtered. Secondly, I think more citrus would help out a bit. Finally, a little more wheat flavor to match the huge yeast flavors would be nice. Overall though, a good beer from a man that I respect greatly. I will be buying this again, although I think I may by the Celis White before this...

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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 ccrida
2.5/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served on draft in a pint glass, there was nothing notable about the clear, bright yellow appearance of the gran cru, which could have easily been mistaken for a regular American lager, except for less carbonation and head. As it disappointingly turned out, the aroma and taste followed suit, to the point of blandness, with only a bit of iron, spice and creaminess, followed by an alcoholic bite on the finish, to leave any type of impression. In my case, it was not a very good one!

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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 rarevos
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet.

A: Really, really nice looking. Golden, not cloudy at all. Sparkling. A highlight of the experience, for sure. Very thin head that leaves light lacing on the glass. Head stuck around for maybe a minute.

S: Highly aromatic, moreso as the beer warmed (though I finished it before it got TOO warm). This is one reason I love witbiers in goblets--the widemouth gives you a noseful every time, and the stem prevents you from warming the beer with heat from your hand. OK, that's two reasons.

T: Citrusy, with a very slight hint of banana that builds as you roll the sip around your tongue, and intensifies right before you swallow. A fine, dry finish that loses some of its pleasantness by an almost vodka-like aftertaste.

M: Light, making for a good summer refresher.

D: A charming "porch beer." Looking forward to the rest of the six-pack, frankly.

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