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

BA SCORE
80
good
52 Ratings
THE BROS
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Black Diamond Brandy Barrel Grand CruBlack Diamond Brandy Barrel Grand Cru
BEER INFO

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

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
52
Reviews:
20
Avg:
3.39
pDev:
17.7%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
7
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 52 |  Reviews: 20
Photo of HerdNo1
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a wine glass since I'm in a hotel room and that's the only glass available.

Appearance - Pours a dark brown with a creamy white head that leaves incredible lacing that lasts.

Smell - Initial smell of dark fruits. I get figs and maybe some dark cherry. Vanilla beans have been added but I don't get that on the nose. I don't get any bourbon either.

Taste - A distinctly unpleasant metallic taste at first. I have no idea where that comes from but I tasted it with all three glasses from the bottle. For whatever reason, it faded after the first taste. Weird. Anyway, dark fruits dominate at first and then the vanilla comes through. Alcohol is nicely hidden even though this beer has a 9% a.b.v. I can't find any alcohol on the nose or the palate. Rich malt with a dryish finish and just a bit of hops but they are very much in a supporting role.

Mouthfeel - Easy, creamy, dry finish that doesn't overwhelm.

Overall - Not a great beer but not bad. I would really have liked a bit less vanilla and a bit more bourbon but perhaps that's just personal preference. Would I buy it again? Sure. Would I drive an hour for it? No.

 1,161 characters

Photo of matttttYCE
3.24/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a murky brown color and a purple tint. The head is maybe a figer high, creamy, and off-white in color. Retention/lace is low. The aroma is decently complex.

Plenty of rich malts and dark fruits, like figs, dates, raisins, and black cherries, as well as vanilla (though a bit light) and cream at first. After that notes of sweet molasses and brown sugar, sherry and brandy, cocoa powder. Bringing up the rear are hints of bubblegum, vinous notes, and nutty hints. Not getting any of the clove, banana, and belgian yeast that the bottle mentioned.

Taste is a bit of a let down compared to the aroma. Brandy, dark fruits, malty sweetness, light vanilla (lighter than the nose) and cream, hints of cola and cocoa powder, and chocolate covered cherries, light brown sugar, hints of bubblegum, and vinous notes on the finish.

Carbonation is light-medium, consistency is thin and filmy with the touch of carbonation to help it, light-medium body, with a finish that's, again, light and a tad dry.

Overall this is an interesting beer. The best description I can give it is that it's not necessarily a beer I would seek out again, but certainly not one that I'm having any qualms about finishing and certainly not one I have any thought of drain-pouring by any means.

 1,273 characters

Photo of nmann08
3.75/5  rDev +10.6%

Photo of hattingc
4/5  rDev +18%

Photo of Rickythejeweler
4/5  rDev +18%

Photo of thebouch01
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of dtx00
2.75/5  rDev -18.9%

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.69/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Ruby red brown with a 1/2" camel cream head that stays put.

S: Faint. Some dry cocoa powder, nuts, nutmeg, vanilla, vanilla cream.

T: Just extremely subtly smooth and refreshing. Light profile through and through. Vanilla cream, with the slightest essence of walnuts, frosted bran, maple sugar. No brandy noticeable. The back end is bouqueted up a bit with a mild lull of carbonation.

M: Very fine carbonation that tickles, gives a light whispy air, and doesn't impart anything that takes away from the flavor or sustainability of drinking.

O: I do like it a lot, but it surprisingly seems very different from the bourbon barrel version. It's much lighter in color, taste, and feel with more vanilla. I'm currious if figs and currants are used in this one as well.

 772 characters

Photo of AApparel
4/5  rDev +18%

Photo of harrisjohnson
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of mdfb79
3.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 03/16/12 notes. Thanks to nimbleprop for sharing this one. 22 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a clear amber-brown color with one inch of medium tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of brandy, dark fruits, sweet raisins, figs, molasses, and alcohol. Decent but a bit sweet.

t - Tastes of brandy, alcohol, sweet dark fruits and fruity malts, oak, figs, plums. Even sweeter than the nose; too sweet for me and a step down.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a pretty average beer. Quite boozy and very very sweet. Probably not something I'd seek out again.

 602 characters

Photo of youradhere
3.5/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.42/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Poured a cola color with good carbonation leaving a small dirty white cap and some lacing

S: Whifss of brandy, chocolate and dark fruits

T: Well the taste followed the ose but presented a big letdown with cheap brandy, some Hersheys like chocolate, my moms bakers powder cocoa and some dark fruits, some weird phenols hittin on this with an odd finish.

M: Well carbonated but the mouthfeel was simple and poor tasting

O:Pretty much avoid

 445 characters

Photo of brotherloco
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber. 2011 edition. 9% ABV. Served in a snifter.

I tried the Bourbon Barrel version last week, so I'm basing this review to that one.

Pours a deep root-beer brown with ruby-red highlights. A small yellow head forms and then dissipates fairly quickly. A spot or two of lacing.

Very similar aroma to the Bourbon Barrel version. A lot of vanilla, brown sugar, raisins, plums, some peppermint sharpness, Belgian yeast, and sweet malt.

Not surprisingly, very similar flavor to the Bourbon Barrel version. Flavor hits you with an initial fruit-soda sweetness, although maybe tempered a bit in this version. Things get tart in the middle (again, a little tempered) and the finish dries up and introduces some wood character (oak and vanilla). I'm tasting more vanilla in the finish of this version. Not sure what the Brandy in contributing, perhaps a sweet fruit note. Alcohol is really nicely hidden.

Body feels a little thin. The carbonation is relatively high and sharp. Feel is kind of harsh and burns the tongue.

Not very different from the Bourbon version, but not surprising since that's only 25% of the beer.

 1,122 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Brad for sharing this bottle. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours a moderately-dark brown color with a nice light tan head and a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose carries a good bit of brandy plus some dark fruits and a bit of brown sugar. Faint caramel. Flavor hits the brandy notes pretty well with some dark fruit in the background. Medium body and good carbonation. Pretty decent.

 398 characters

Photo of RyanCoonan
3/5  rDev -11.5%

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.88/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark red amber. One finger fine light tan head with good retention. Unusual aroma of dark fruit, malt with a strong vanilla element, somewhat vinous. Flavor also unusual, sweet malt, a mixture of light and dark/dried fruit with faint vanilla. Light brandy and wood in the middle and finish, which has some vinous elements. Flavor is somewhat subdued, but fairly complex and well integrated. The finish is a bit dry due to the the other flavor elements fading out at the end. Although the flavor is more mild than I'd expect, the 9% alcohol is well covered. Medium bodied with some creaminess. This was an interesting beer and I'm glad I tried it. I would have classified it as a Belgian strong dark rather than a dubbel.

 762 characters

Photo of IHyphySF
1.53/5  rDev -54.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Was excited to crack this one open but quickly got disappointed and poured into a Chimay goblet. This was the first drain pour of the year. This is surprising to me because the bourbon barrel version tasted so delicious.

A - Poured into a goblet and it had no apparent foam or head and it looked like a 2 liter bottle of coco cola that has been half drank and been sitting in your fridge for a week. There were small amounts of bubbles forming on the bottom of the glass.

S - The beer had a plastic artificial vanilla smell to it and smelled more like a subdued root beer aged in brandy.

T - Disappointment is the first thing that came to my thought process because it tasted like cheap brandy mixed with burning plastic. Tasted the vanilla but it tasted artificial and way to sweet for a beer.

M - Was flat and the very few bubbles i saw did not reflect on what i felt in my mouth.

O - Would not buy this again it was a trainwreck in my mouth and when i described the brandy it was not hot or extremely boozy i think it was just a bad pairing with this type of brew. I am not sure if time will help this one out but maybe it is what it needs.

 1,149 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.35/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Weighing in at 9% ABV with a combination of fruit, vanilla beans, and brandy barrels, this Black Diamond beer somehow found its way on the shelves of Palm Springs Liquor. You know what time it is:

It looks just right. A head that's thick and rocky, shiny obsidian color with a tint of brown, and good smacks of lacing around the glass. The nose takes a little time to "air out". You can find the distincy vanilla bean addition. Extra time allows assorted "sharp" dark fruits to breathe with the vanilla, providing a pleasant duet of aromas.

The aroma got my hopes high, but ultimately I will have to settle for the taste to be merely adequate. Now we're getting the brandy barrel to show itself, and ironically, it seems to be the taste's biggest influence. The fruit and vanilla will have to settle for second billing. A little mediciney at times though, with occasions occuring more often as more of the bottle is consunmed. The body is almost medium, quite light for a 9% ABV beer, with a spike of bittering alcohol and brandy in the finish.

In terms of quality, it is about where I expected it to land. Its process of fabrication were interesting and begged a purchase, and while it show the added ingredients/processes, is nice enough and won't turn your head.

 1,270 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.95/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lovely dark amber in the tall chalice. Very nice foam and lacing. Fragrant with booze and vanilla. Long nose of honeysuckle and peanut brittle. A buttery flavor with lots of malty sweetness. Reminds me of Bailey's Irish Cream liqueur, only better. Lots of caramel and butterscotch with just enough hoppy bitterness to give it an edge. Slight sharpness and a winey touch.

One of the better vanilla-flavored beers I've had. 22 oz bottle from Beer Revolution in Oakland. The label says 9.0% ABV.

 493 characters

Photo of sponch51
4/5  rDev +18%

Photo of CoryR
4/5  rDev +18%

Photo of FreshHawk
3.58/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Murky amber color with an average sized, foamy, whispy, off white head. Average retention and little to no lace left.

S - Quite sweet. Brandy along with fig, date and prune aromas are strong. Also strong is a molasses, brown sugar, cotton candy sweetness.

T - Similar to the nose. Very sweet beer with dark fruit, molasses/brown sugar and cotton candy. Brandy comes out a bit, more as the beer warmed and toward the finish of the sip. Slight vinous taste but it brings out the sweet dark fruit more as well.

M - Medium body with average carbonation. Sticky and slightly syurpy.

D - It made a decent dessert beer but it is a little too sweet and really has those 2 notes of dark fruit (and brandy) and molasses/brown sugar/cotton candy.

Notes: On tap at Beer Revolution. Wasn't a bad beer, but I wasn't tempted to get it again. Pretty sweet.

 849 characters

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Black Diamond Brandy Barrel Grand Cru from Black Diamond Brewing Co.
3.39 out of 5 based on 52 ratings.
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