Hoegaarden Grand Cru | Brouwerij van Hoegaarden

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Hoegaarden Grand CruHoegaarden Grand Cru
Hoegaarden Grand CruHoegaarden Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Brouwerij van Hoegaarden

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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Reviews: 197 | Ratings: 382
Photo of Refloosh
4.99/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was hesitant at first due to the stigma of knowing hoegaarden wit was just an average beer but this truly is a wonderful beer. It has banana and lemon notes associated with a weizenbock but has a spice characteristic that creates a great balance and smooth finish. A true classic and go to beer

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Photo of shigg85
4.87/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

How do you explain perfection? How do I explain to my wife that I found something in a bottle that does for me what she can never do? I wish I had synesthesia that operated by taste somehow instead of sounds or words. This is the closest I have found to it. Bought a bottle at the Seibu department store in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. At Seibu, Hoegaarden is ranked as the top-selling beer. However, I noticed this Grand Cru standing on the shelf above it neglected yet inviting. I took it home, ripped its clothes off, and drank it with a passion. It poured into a pilsner glass wonderfully, creating a nice thick white head. The aromas dancing off this brew were out of this world -- fruity and hoppy and like how I imagine pixies smell. The taste was how I imagine pixies taste. Fully of earthy tones that have been doing The Bump with fruits from enchanted forests. I couldn't put this brew down. I couldn't stop, and I won't stop. Try this beer out, and you will find yourself partying with Puck in a flowery meadow in no time.

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Photo of bodhisagan
4.87/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Wow. I love this beer. I have long enjoyed Belgian white beers. This one is definitely the best in the class that I have tasted. I would put this just above Allagash White. Both are amazing. If you like Belgian white beers or Hefeweizen, you can't go wrong with this one. It's also quite high in alcohol, yet it doesn't have the burn of a dubbel or tripel. I agree with the Bros, this is world class.

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Photo of bustinwheels
4.85/5  rDev +20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has always been one of my all time favorite beers. The orange corriander gives it a unique flavor and sometimes I forget that I'm drinking beer. For me, it's the Champagne of Beers! I like it so much I recycled the bottle so I will never forget it!

Check it out, copy and paste this in your address bar:

Cheers my friends!


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Photo of shakercuda
4.82/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I bought this beer a Mejestic Liquors #50 at 7560 Greenville Ave, Dallas, TX 75231 Phone: 214-363-0201

It looks pretty average, but leaves you feel warm and happy, very drinkable, a real treat. i would recomend to people that like wheat beer of german.

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Photo of zee3are0
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Visible witbeir "stuff" floating around, which is always a good thing. Light head, pours smoothly into a snifter.

S - Coriander, and hints of the yeast that contributed so much to the high ABV. Faint traces of citrus that are accentuated by a slice of orange atypically served with a Belgian white.

T - Stronger than it's little brother, it tastes like a slightly fruitier version of a special brew made specifically for Oktoberfest. It's almost like a mixture of a German hefe with a Belgian white, with the ABV of a tripel. The alcohol is masked by the dominate spice flavors. Very yeasty in flavor, but no bitter aftertaste as would be expected.

M - Light and tasty. Definitely masks the ABV.

D - Worthy of both special occasions and everyday consumption (if you can find this retired gem). The high ABV isn't overpowering, and the quick and brief bitterness as it passes by the throat is immediately overshadowed by the sweetness all the way down.

This beer, like many great Belgian wheatbeers is either perfect or close to it in all of it's facets.

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Photo of gosurfobx
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice hazy straw color with a columptious head. Smells very wheaty, yeasty with some spicyness and citrus. Taste is amazing. Wheat complexes well with spices and lemony zest. As the beer goes down the warming effect of the alcohol becomes more evident. Great mouthfeel with nice carbination. Very drinkable.

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Photo of jbonapar
4.57/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lucky to Try this beer at a small Pub in Quebec, Canada.

Smell - Butter. Butter and Toffee with hints of subtle spice. I was very impressed with the smell....

Taste - Just like i thought, again, Butter and Butter Toffee. With each sip, i found the taste developing a bit, more spice with each taste and less butter. There was also a hint of pineapple in the mix. I had no idea this was 8.5% as you couldnt taste the alcohol over the flavor. Exceptional.

I dont want to get too into mouthfeel and drinkability as this beer was just exceptional. I ended up ordering another to finish the night, as did the other 3 at my table.

I wish this beer was available in all of Canada as this beer would be a hit for beer Drinkers who enjoy a Belgian style wheat beer.

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Photo of Skidz
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330mL bottle, brought back from France by my roomate. Best Before 21/09/06.

Pours out pale straw and sits a foggy golden amber in the glass, achieving an enormous, soapy white head with little effort. Fizzles down in size, but grows in thickness leaving nearly a half inch of foam on at all times. Turns creamy, ripe for leaving boatloads of lacings all around the glass.

Smells crisp and refreshing with loads of orange and coriander floating around. Wheaty, with a light sour-ish lemon character. Dry, yeasty background coats the enitre aroma. Fresh and grassy, yet old and vinous with dusty air floating around.

Tastes immediately fruity with oranges, lemon and fresh grapeskins all over. Thick yeastiness coats the tongue and leaves with a full, doughy flavor, borderline crackery. Warming glow of alcohol is present but interferes little with overall flavor, add just an extra touch of dryness at the end, complimenting the yeast. Mildly spicy hop flavor provides, brown grassy flavors. Finish is dry and well bittered, fruit still lingering.

Smooth, creamy, soft and delicate in the mouth with an initial jolt of crisp carbonation. Medium bodied, slightly chewy, this beer really opens up after it has warmed a bit, and really shines in the mouth.

Tasty all the way. I've always been a fan of Hoegaarden, and this really is the icing on the cake. Not entirely the same, but offers some similar qualities. Similar to a Belgian Strong Pale than a witbier, but it's still a winner in my book. I fear that I may never taste this beer again...

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Photo of dwren89
4.51/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: hazy, orangey amber gold. Foamy white head

Aroma: wheat aroma with banana and clove,

Taste: rich, thick Belgian wit taste with notes of banana and clove,

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium carbonation, medium body

Overall Impression: a richer and fuller version of the classic wit style. Using darker malt, and fuller and more satisfying taste and mouthfeel is achieved.

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Photo of scootny
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge off white head erupts in my glass as I quickly bring it to the foaming bottle. Off white with tan specks it sits for a good five minutes before beginning to recede. Not as much lacing as the head would lead you to expect. The brew itself is dark and cloudy with floaties. Not much carbonation evident.

Smell is sweet malts with honey and A hint of alcohol. Coriander and orange peel are nicely tucked in. A fruity, yeasty banana aspect. Spicy and peppery notes as well.

Taste is a well balanced, bigger, tangier version of the original. Wheat malt and sour apples combine to set the table for the soft spicing. Coriander from the nose as well as banana and yeast esters. A touch of lemon. Alcohol peeks out as I swallow. Finish is mild and dry with a quenching soft bitterness. Feel is light and mildly effervescent.

Drinkability is excellent and the abv never calls itself out and the taste and feel beg you to keep going.

My thanks to ggaughan for this great brew!

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Photo of Todd
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Similar to its commercial counterpart, but twice as tasty, a bit darker and strong. Had this bought for me at Kaffee De Hopduvel in Ghent, Belgium by a gentleman named Vincent (and family). He mentioned that the Grand Cru is more like the original Hoegaarden prior to its becoming commercialized. Wonderful estery aromas with banana and spice notes. Very malty sweet with loads of esters and a slight bitter finish. Wow, what a beer!

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Photo of Bisho
4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the beer that Hoegaarden should be exporting around the globe. It's like the standard brew on steroids!
It is a cross btween a Wit and a Strong Pale with bag loads of flavour. It is a true classic Belgian and a fantastic session brew.

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Photo of Crittervision
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Listed as 1985 at Kulminator but the bottle indicates 86 by a hair. Who care. Into a Hoegaarden chalice at Kulminator on 19 August 2011. 

Carbonation! A full finger of off-white bubbles that quickly dissipate to a full cap that lasts until the end. Transparent copper body. 

Smells like dark fruit and alcohol. Not unlike an English Barleywine. Mmm! 

Taste consists of conservative pepper spicing, apples, pears, chocolate, and then alcohol at full warmth. Mmm!

Mouthfeel is quite incredible. The thin head kisses the lips, sparkling but gentle. This goodness fades towards the end but is still good. 

Twenty-six years old and magnificent. Damn. 

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Photo of Beeronious07
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bought it at the local Beer shop in 0.33 liter bottle and served it at a temperature of 6 Celsius in a 0.33 liters Skopsko mug.

A - tons and tons of carbonation and at the first pour a huge head that stayed of for quite some time and dispersed evenly witch i totally love.i like the amber color and the cloudiness of the beer and the creemee head.

S - the smell is not so "in your face", its a mild one and like nothing i have ever smelled before but still u can feel the alcohol and the sweetness in it.

T - at the very begging you can fell the sweetness of the beer and the alcohol that this time it is not even a bit hidden somewhere among the nuts and the fruts that i could taste.

M - the carbonation does its job. u get that ticklish feeling from it and if u keep it even for a short period of time in your mouth u get an explosion of taste and aroma inside. it wasn't a bit watery which i LOVED and it is quite smooth.

i really loved this beer and i am really happy that i chose this one for my 1st review. the aroma is something to die for and i would never even imagine that the ABV is 8,7% until i got a bit of dizziness after i got my last sip from it.
come to think of it I WANT MOREEE

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Photo of Loki
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally found my notes from my honeymoon in France.

Sampled on draft from a 500mL Hoegaarden Grand Cru tulip glass at the Café Leffe in Lille, France on August 6, 2003.

Appearance: Cloudy, almost glowing pale yellow with a big, white, sponge-like head. Good head retention and some nice lacing to boot.

Smell: Like the version we get in the US on steroids. Some similar notes of bananas, cloves, wheat, and honey, but with much more. Scents of more tropical fruits and additional white pepper and spices. Some added esters and medicinal scents, most likely due to the higher ABV.

Taste: Malt with citrus sweetness mingle with bananas, cloves, white pepper, and other spices. The wheat taste dances throughout the middle and out the back leaving a light dryness. Medium bodied, yet almost chewy with nice carbonation that plays well on the tongue. The finish is a nice balance of spices like coriander, citrus peel, white pepper, and a myrid of other spices. Very complex flavor profile.

This is a truly wonderful beer, and incredibly easy to drink. But beware for as easy as it is to drink, it packs a punch and is not as friendly the next morning.

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Photo of nouseforotacon
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Grand Cru is widely available around Japan, bottle is best before May 30, 2007. Truly pleasantly surprised me!

The bottom was a lovely golden yellow, hint of pale orange, transparent, with noticeable carbonation. Small, creamy head at the top that fades gradually, visible sediments and cloudy at the very bottom.

Aromy is malty and earthy. Straw and grass, medium spiciness, and a definite orange presence. My nose is also picking up some diacetyl. Unclean, the way it should be.

Bold hops initially in the taste with a strong lemon tartness dominating. The mouthfeel completely numbs my tongue, but contains a light body that goes down incredibly smooth. Diacetyl also present in the mouthfeel, resurfaces itself and leaves the mouth feeling sticky. Spice presence lingers in the background.

Incredibly drinkable considering the ABV, and still a solid entry in the witibier style. This one is fantastic, highly recommended.

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Photo of haz77
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy gold with an inch of pillowy white head. A ton of carbonation keeps the head well retained.

S - Banana, clove, some citrus, a little honey, coriander, some phenols.

T - Sweet estery yeast at first which develops into bready malts. Spiciness and phenols then come through leading to a glimpse of bitterness at the end. Aftertaste is dry and estery with noticeable alcohol presence.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Smooth.

D - Considering the ABV, this is very easy to drink. This is a really good beer that I will be visiting again soon.

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Photo of ccrida
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle from the oldest bar in Bruges. Poured into my Supra tumbler, Hoegaarden Grand Cru is a murky dark gold with a quickly settling, loud spritzy white head, leaving very light lace.

Smell is strong banana esters, sweet and pure.

Taste is similarly strong banana, and while it's obviously strong, it's very clean and smooth, quite tasty and well made. Like the nose, it's one-dimensional, but so well expressed I don't mind at all.

Mouthfeel is dry, with a medium-body.

Drinkability is dangerously high for lovers of big estery Belgian blondes, such as myself. Awesome beer!

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Photo of chilidog
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The Grand Cru is yet another very fine brew brought from a friend, while in England. Wow, what a pleasant beer. It pours a hazy thick orange with an explosive carbonated white head that maintains itself to an eighth inch all glass long, while a trail of lace is left behind. The aroma is floral, with stong citric notes of lemon zest and orange peel. The taste follows the citric path while bringing out more zest with tastes of tropical banana, a sweet malt and soft hop. A soft foamy mouthfeel swirls the taste giving no hint of the 8.7 abv that provides a slight gentle warming. An excellent, non-intrusive must try brew. Not to be rushed, but take the time to enjoy!!

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Photo of chogm54
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle into a tulip glass. BB date of Oct 2014.

A - cloudy amber colour, pours a thick white creamy head than slowly fades into a nice lacing. Some fine sediment that settles quickly.

S - fruity (peach) aroma on a yeasty base, with a sting of clove and pepper. As the beer is emptied, the yeast flavours start overpowering (probably to be expected given the amount of sediment left).

T - first sip is amazingly neutral, before a big yeasty malt (which a huge wheat tinge, like a witbeer) surge. The fruitness comes through towards the end, and linges for a while. And what flavours - orange, peach and banana are all there, with a hint of grape. Bitterness comes in and out, but is noticeable in the aftertaste as is a touch of clove and coriander. Interesting

M - thick body, slightly oily texture, alcohol is well hidden with a long aftertaste. Very low carbonation - a bit too low.

O - much better than the standard Hoegaarden, but there are touches of witbeer in here. The fruity and spice taste and variability kept me back at this for more sips, the only (very slightly) negative comment is the very low carbonation.

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Photo of beerprovedwright
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful head from the pour. Three fingers of light yellow compact foam. Lacing is excellent with good body and cling. Color is a hazy medium amber relating to a 8 on the SRM beer color chart. First smell that I detect is banana and passion fruit. There is also some other tropical fruit smells there, pineapple and mango. Taste is a rush of banana, guava, passion fruit, and a hint of mango and pineapple. There is also some sweet bread and citrus flavors blended in there. There is a good full feeling in my mouth, much like light cream or buttermilk. I like the flavor of this brew a lot but I feel too much of a good thing might not be the best path on this one. I will look for and share, and drink this fine brew again if I have the chance.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I'm in France right now, so I'm glad I could finally get my hands on one of these. Poured into a tulip glass out of a 11oz bottle. Freshness date is 06/06/13.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, amber straw color with a filtered appearance, but to my surprise, not really that carbonated. Looks a lot like Belgian strong pale ales, in my opinion. The head remains for the most part, with plenty of lovely looking lacing.

Smell: A big whiff of coriander unlike anything else, and wouldn't be surprised if THIS original recipe serves as the inspiration for great non-Belgian witbiers such as Allagash White. There are fruity esters for sure, but I'm getting more spicy and wheat notes here instead. Cinnamon and pumpkin spice, for instance. Some gingery notes. Herbs. A very generous whiff for sure.

Taste: Delicious! If I could that's all I'd write. I'm instantly spoiled with recipe from Hoegaarden and really wish it was available in America. The booziness of this beer immediately hits you, and the spices follow in a smooth, tasty way. They have a slight bite, but are not intimidating - instead, they are sweet and fruity.

Mouthfeel: Not watery at all like Hoegaarden White is - in fact, this beer is the opposite experience. Creamy in nature, slightly boozy in character, yet this beer is all about the spices. After every sip, you get a sweet, creamy nature on the tongue, and after every swallow the throat gets slight alcohol burn that proceeds to warm up the face. When it comes to drinkability, this beer rules. I could order these all night and not get tired of them at all.

Overall: A great beer - too bad it's not readily available in many other parts of the world. I think it's great that more people are becoming acquainted with Belgian style beer from Belgium with Hoegaarden White, but this is a much larger, angrier brother of that beer. If the Grand Cru is more what the original recipe was more like, cheers! It's wonderful.

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Photo of SmashPants
4.41/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Format: a standard 330mL brown bottle with a stylish macro label.

Appearance: poured into a weizen glass - a strong, cloudy deep yellow with fine carbonation. A fantastic white head pops up to an inch before slowly dropping to a creamy half-finger. great lacing down the glass.

Aroma: funnily enough, this is similar to the standard Hoegaarden but somehow better. The citrus is heavier and stronger, with citrus zest and heavier wheat aroma. Very nice.

Taste: citrus fruit zest and heavy wheat again, with orchard fruits and spices. A very nice wheat beer.

Aftertaste: some bitterness comes through, with spices and more of those orchard fruits. A lovely beer that hides its ABV quite well.

Mouth feel: moderate- to-fuller in feel with a moderate carbonation. Quite mouth-filling, and easy to put away.

Overall: one of the better wheat beers I have had to date. A great combination of heavy flavours, and a very drinkable beer. It's a bit dangerous as it disguises its 8.5% ABV quite well. Approximately AU$120 for a case of 24 x 330mL - I'll have to have a 4-pack every now and then, as I am but a pauper.

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Photo of redmagik99
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a murky golden-brown, big frothy head that never completely leaves. Smells sweet. you can recognize the wheat pretty in the scent - kind of like a hefeweizen with belgian yeast. Taste is big and spicy, pepper, banana, coriander come to mind, maybe a bit of lemon? i might be making that up becuase its not bitter at all, but it hass a lip-smacking zest to it. Mouthfeel is exceedingly smooth. you can tell the alcohol is there as it comes in at the end, but its almost welcome with its sweet yeast mix. Goes down so easy for its strength. A beer to be savored yet I find it hard to do so with such a pleasant flavor in my command.

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Hoegaarden Grand Cru from Brouwerij van Hoegaarden
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 382 ratings