Black Diamond Brandy Barrel Grand Cru | Black Diamond Brewing Co.

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Black Diamond Brandy Barrel Grand CruBlack Diamond Brandy Barrel Grand Cru
52 Ratings
Black Diamond Brandy Barrel Grand CruBlack Diamond Brandy Barrel Grand Cru

Brewed by:
Black Diamond Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Belgian-style dark ale has been taken to the next level by careful blending and aging techniques.

Added by John_M on 08-05-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 |  Reviews: 20
Photo of robear
3.51/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.04/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

2011 bottle bought at State Line in Elkton, Maryland, marked down at $7.99. "75% ale brewed with fruit with vanilla beans added-25% ale aged in brandy barrels".

Sounds amazing but it is not. There is barely any barrel presence here. Unpleasant oxidation all around- I guess four years in the bottle didn't do it too good. Artificial raisin flavor, sweetness galore. If a homebrewer attempted to make his first quad and got this, I'd give it a pass. But for a commercial brewery... no thanks. I used most of the bottle for cooking.

 532 characters

Photo of ben_giff
4.64/5  rDev +30%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my absolute favorites. Very sippable. The flavor is mellow and somewhat sweet. Notes of dark chocolate and coffee. Pours beautifully as well.

 156 characters

Photo of tommy5
3.96/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Edgarallenpoor
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of Cylinsier
3.17/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

22 oz.

Pours a clear dark brown, light yellowish white head about a quarter inch thick, dissipates slowly.

Smells strongly of vanilla with some caramel, dark fruit sweetness, and bready malts.

Tastes of vanilla, figs, bready malt, and a hint of chocolate.

Full body with tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

This is cloyingly sweet and rich with very little if any hint of the brandy barrel it was aged in. It's not terrible, but it's got some off-putting characteristics that make it hard to enjoy. There are some good things in there too, but they are unfortunately outweighed. Might be worth a pickup if you get it for a good price and want to split it with someone, but it's a bit of a chore to drink.

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Photo of bigeyedfish89
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of jrein0254
3.82/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very interested in trying this as I always love bourbon barrel-aged beers. I thought the aroma would be more intense, like brandy. It smells more of flowers and vanilla. I'm actually having a hard time getting any brandy in the aroma or the taste. The vanilla flavor is almost too much. I'm almost imagining a brandy alexander. Like it, but I think I would love it with less vanilla and more brandyness.

 403 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of bubseymour
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of Wolberjs
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.43/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up because local store was doing a special. Marked down to $5 for a 22. Low expectations due to store seemingly clearing it out. Great looking beer, dark, rich with a good head and the smell jumps up and grabs you. Excellent and very strong, just sat and sniffed for a few. Taste is also excellent and it is very easy to drink with 9% ABV. Bonus points overall for alcohol content and value, although if at regular cost it would lose those points. Will swing back by and see if it is still on sale and will also get the Bourbon variety if available.

 561 characters

Photo of DaveRinn
4.5/5  rDev +26.1%

Photo of TruePerception
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.25/5  rDev -9%

Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of AngusOg
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of bconsidine
3.5/5  rDev -2%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of kluless59
4/5  rDev +12%

Photo of ohiobeer29
2.25/5  rDev -37%

Photo of kojevergas
3.33/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap acquired at a local bottle shop; 2011 vintage. I'm excited to try this one because I love a good Belgian dark ale and I really enjoyed Black Diamond's Jagged Edge IPA, although the beers I've had from them since have largely been disappointing. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

9.0% ABV according to my bottle (not 8.0% as currently listed). It's also currently listed as a dubbel, but the label clearly states "Our Belgian-style dark ale has been taken to the next level by careful blending and aging techniques." **After completing my review, it's very clear this is a Belgian dark ale and not a Dubbel; much more Chimay blue than Westvleteren 8. I'll put in an update.

A: Pours a one finger very light khaki colour head - quite thin - without much cream, and of above average retention considering the high ABV (~3 minutes). Body colour is - true to the label - a dark deep mahogany (although that diction comes off pretentious; it's a caramel-red). Barely translucent. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Dark fruit, oak, light subtle brandy, raisin, fermented fruit, grape/stonefruit, dark malts, and caramalt. A rather light aroma, actually, but it has some nice subtlety. Nice quite as evocative of dark fruit as I'd like in a good Belgian dark ale, but it's complex and appealing. Little yeasty character. I'm excited to try it.

T/Mf: Lovely brandy notes, stonefruit, raisin, cream, and vanilla bean up front, giving way to a dark malt body with lingering notes from that open. Fig and a bit of grape, but not as fermented or dark as I'd like. Little wood comes through; it's mainly as an underlying guiding tone in the background. The vanilla is subtle; Victory at Sea this is not. Fruity sweetness throughout is complemented by the creamy smooth feel. Still, it's coarse enough to allow the flavours to come through. It might be a bit too thick, coming off slightly vinous; I'd stop short of calling it syrupy, but it is a bit too viscous. Overall, the flavours come off strangely muted; I'm hoping this changes as it warms but I doubt it will. For all its complexity, it's shockingly timid. I search for the banana and bubblegum mentioned on the label but find none. Hopping is minimal and hop character is floral/generic. No real yeasty notes. A touch of alcohol heat, but it's hardly noticeable. All around a well balanced Belgian dark ale, but one that lacks depth of flavour and evocative quality.

Dr: Very drinkable, especially considering the 9% ABV. It's not a fantastic blow-your-socks-off Belgian dark ale, but it did surpass my modest expectations. This helps restore my faith in Black Diamond, and I'd happily try the Bourbon version of this beer; Black Diamond seems to have a firm handle on barrel aging. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, but it's a nice little Belgian dark ale for what it is, and I like the brandy barrel exprimentation.

Low B-

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Photo of BWH999
3.75/5  rDev +5%

Photo of uziangis
3.5/5  rDev -2%

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Black Diamond Brandy Barrel Grand Cru from Black Diamond Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.57 out of 5 with 52 ratings