2011 Bourbon Barrel Aged Grand Cru by Black Diamond

12970836_10103190864074780_7477775824459977104_o 12928205_10103190865192540_5928422493362163486_nRating: 5.5/6

2011 Bourbon Barrel Aged Grand Cru by Black Diamond is a 9% ABV Belgian Dark Strong Ale which 75% is brewed with Fruit with Vanilla Beans Added and 25% Ale is aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Label:
The designation of “Grand Cru” originates from the Burgundy region of France. Brewers have taken the term and applied to it more elaborate, aged and reserved versions of their beers. Our Belgian-style Dark Ale has been taken to the next level by the careful blending and aging techniques.

After much tinkering -with a number of unique ingredients combined with wood barrel aging- we arrived at this wonderful juxtaposition of fruitiness and maltiness which harmonized magically to produce this delicious winter warmer.

When poured, the beer has a deep mahogany hue. In the aroma, figs and dark fruit intermingle with notes from the wood barrel used, as well as subtle notes of banana and bubblegum from the fermentation process. Aging for twelve months on oak brings forth flavor of the barrel, as well as vanillin from the wood that is complemented by vanilla beans which provide a velvety smoothness and richness . The taste starts with the rich sweetness of the fruit, carries through with a rich mellow center and finishes dry, allowing for another glass as you sit by a cozy fire.

==Introduction==

I first had this beer back in 2012 for my birthday. Back then it was a beer that my brother got me as a gift. Back then I remember this one for being one for being memorable. Not only in its deliciousness but also the sentimental value since it was a gift from my brother. During a trip over to my friend Julio’s house in La Mirada California, I had visited Sammy’s VIII Liquor and they had a bottle of this aging. While the price was right, I couldn’t help but just bring it back to the site, years later after I first tried it. The artwork was really cool as well. So if it is true that the original bottle was from 2011, then I hope 5 years aged has given way to a very delicious brew. Let’s find out. Cheers!

Aromas:
Wine grapes, oak, bourbon, dark fruit berry jam on toasted rye bread, bananas, clove spice, cinnamon, Dark fruit raisins, prunes plums, figs, dark cherries, raspberries, pomegranates, currants, cranberries, Dark fruit yogurt hints, pecan pie, brown sugar, stone fruit apricots, peaches, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, milk chocolate raisins and chocolate cherry cordials.

Flavors:
Rich Dark fruit raisins, prunes plums, figs, dark cherries, raspberries, pomegranates, currants, cranberries, Wine grapes, oak, bourbon, marshmallow smore hints, stone fruit apricots, peaches, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, milk chocolate raisins, chocolate cherry cordials, port wine, raspberry chambord, dark fruit berry jam on toasted rye bread, bananas, clove spice, cinnamon, Dark fruit yogurt hints, pecan pie, flan hints and crème brulee hints.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with rich dark fruits, oak, stone fruit, mild bourbon notes, vanilla, dulce de leche caramel, marshmllow and cinnamon hints. No alcohol in the taste, crimson dark murky body, smooth, velvety and mildly creamy mouthfeel with a sipping drinkability.

Overall:
An exceptional brew with lots of dark fruit forward flavors with notes of bourbon. This brew reminds me a lot of the Deschutes Anniversary ales except where those are stouts this one is a Belgian Strong Dark Ale/grandcru. Essentially, the Belgian Dark Strong version. Ofcourse, while that is leagues away from this one, I still like this one as it was a gift from my brother a long time ago. I would highly recommend it if you love fruit forward beers with notes of oak and bourbon. Especially if you can find the aged one. Cheers!

Anime Corner:
Janne D’Arc from SNK’s World Heroes was used in this brew pairing since I used her for the pairing long ago. The castle in the label of the brew reminds me of Nockmaar castle from the movie and NES game Willow. In the movie, it had a strong swordswoman named Sorsha which wore armor similar to that of Janne. While there is no anime version of Sorsha, Janne from SNK was the closest I could find. The brew colors, label and Janne bring me back to the nostalgia of the old school Willow series I loved as a child.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/7FyFsFu.jpg
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/jJAQbI0nirg/maxresdefault.jpg

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La Gran Conquista De La Emperatriz Carmesí Grand Cru by Nubis Sanctum Ales

12646876_10103058676844050_7406568229014262347_o 12697381_10103058677832070_8314741706470977588_o 12698646_10103058678780170_3076556128561450236_o 12710859_10103058679658410_7613070802157787347_oRating: 4.85/5

La Gran Conquista De La Emperatriz Carmesí Grand Cru by Nubis Sanctum Ales is a 9% ABV Belgian Dark Strong Ale brewed with Sweet Orange Peels, Anise Seeds and Crystal Candi Sugar.

Label:
Legend tells a story about an Empress in the earlier parts of the Millennium that would unravel the mysteries of the universe by her dabbling in the arts of alchemy science and the supernatural. They called her the Crimson Empress since she enjoyed the color of blood. Not much is known about her or how she got into power in the first place. All that is known is that she had many advisers who would tend to her kingdom while she freely dabbled into the light and the darkness.

Her fascination with the unknown eventually lead to the discovery of a magic potion which allowed her to travel into other realms of existence and travel to the future subconsciously. Not much is known as to why this happened or even how this potion was made. People do know that it did cause her speak in other tongues and create her own apparel that seemed out of place for it’s time. While other powers could not overthrow her, as she was able to conquer many lands due to innovations and secrets that came as a result of the magic in the potion, she was eventually consumed by it. Many have come close to replicate the potion but none have come closest…until now!

Ingredients: Water, Malts, Hops Anise Seeds, Sweet Orange Peels, Crystal Candi Sugar & Belgian Wit Ale Yeast

==Introduction==
12238206_10102915291853720_4680843308171018648_o
Behold! The magnificence of her grace, The Carmesi Crand Cru, or in this case, Crimson Grand Cru. Project #14 came to fruition with my need to create a Grand Cru like the ones by Alesmith, North Coast brewing and even the ones from Belgium. Essentially, the special kind of Dark Belgian Strong ales that are velvety, sweet but also clear and in some cases. The need to make a nectar like that was what inspired the brew. After looking around for different things that make the consistency of the brew I finally had it figured out. Surprisingly, it did not take long to make this one since it only sat in the fermenter for 1 month before I bottled it. The other thing is that it uses a Belgian Wit strain. So in terms of the style, stuff was definitely coming together as to why the Grand Crus taste the way they do. Anyways, time for the Cru Brew, Cheers!

Aromas:
Oranges, vanilla, Dulce de leche caramel, Anise forward, stone fruit peach notes, pears, apples, dark fruit raisins, figs, cherries, citrus, oranges, strawberries, stone fruit peach notes, pears, apples, mango hints, marshmallows, graham crackers, wafflecone, piloncillo sugar cone, rye bread and licorice.

Flavors:
Belgian Candi sugar, dark fruit raisins, figs, cherries, citrus, oranges, strawberries, leathery notes, bananas, clove spice, anise, licorice, molasses, tangerine hints, rye bread, biscuit bread, rock candy, stone fruit peach notes, pears, apples, vanilla, caramel, ginger bread, fruit cake hints, wine grape hints, guava preserves/membrillo, mango hints, marshmallows, graham crackers, wafflecone, honey combs and piloncillo sugar cone.

Aftertaste:
Finishing with some earthy hop notes, anise, coriander, candi sugar, oranges, vanilla, caramel and ginger spice. Slight alcohol in the taste, Dark Sunny Orangey Crimson medium body, creamy, smooth and refreshing mouthfeel with a moderate drinkability.

Overall:
A very delicious brew I made here! Originally, even for a 9% ABV, the alcohol levels were high until I was able to let this sit for another month and damn it, it’s just about right to me. One thing I did notices on this one, it was extra spicy. Not in the way of heat but spicy in the sense that I would typically get from some different Belgian beers. It is not a bad thing but I think it is a bit much. I think next time I do this one, I will use less of the anise. Regardless, the best temp to drink it is warmer. That’s when all the rich sweet Belgian goodness started to appear. I was super pleased with the way this came out and glad I made the label for it.
12661860_10103058680132460_3579364841906273659_n
Anime Corner:
Asuka Langley Shikinami Soryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion was my pairing that I used to make this brew since I wanted to pair with the Strong Red of her colors and the whole aspect of the brew being red in color but also orange under certain lightings. When I think of Grand Crus, I think of Royalty or something in relation to a beverage that is highly regarded. When I found the picture of Asuka as a Queen holding and spilling her drink, that’s when it hit me to make the label with her. In the description I mentioned that she was doing time travel and this fit the reason she is wearing the red plugsuit as it is not an apparel of the time period in the story of the description. All and all, I love how it came out and the butt pic? Well she’s royalty so bow down!

Sources:
http://static.tumblr.com/a7ff925dc64b9b5d566f6f9345d88825/mqkyq0i/bDKnlp4s1/tumblr_static_9cw0s1vj01kwg4kk0sksc0wo0.jpg
https://brewerianimelogs.files.wordpress.com/2016/02/09da1-asuka.jpg

2011 Grand Cru by North Coast brewing

10830643_10102408486121470_8192745512367485774_o 10959873_10102408486495720_6415657939344975375_oRating: 6/5

2011 Grand Cru by North Coast brewing is a 12.9% ABV American Strong Ale brewed with Agave Nectar and aged in Bourbon Barrels.

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
67% ale brewed with agave nectar and aged in oak barrels, 33% ale brewed with agave nectar. (Released in 500ml cork/cage bottles at brewpub, on May 10, 2009, later rebranded as Grand Cru

==Introduction==
This is one of those beers I had back in 2011 that was technically the strongest ale I have had at the time. I was able to hold on to another for the last 4 years and now I bring out to see how it has matured. The grand cru here is something that my friend Julio told me about so long ago about a 12% ABV beer that totally blew his mind. At the time, 12% ABV was an amazing feat and it was in a realm of beer that I really had not seen before back in 2011. So to me it was a moment where I really had to try it out. Today 12%ABV is amazing as always but there are many different beers that can reach this and higher into the 20% ABV category even. Anyway, I really wanted to try this again and bring it to the site as an amazing beer as this was so damn long ago.

Aromas:
Bourbon, rich stone fruits like mango, peaches, apricots, dark fruits raisins, plums, figs, cherries, raspberries, caramel, vanilla, hazelnut nectar, pecan pie, rye bread, old oranges, brown sugar, white raisins, passion fruit, marshmallows, guava preserves/membrillo, mezcal hints, tequila notes, butterscotch, danish cookies, dragon fruit and oak.

Flavors:
A punch of fruits like apples, stone fruit peaches, apricots, dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, agave nectar, raspberries, cherries, cranberries, strawberries, leather, rye bread, old oranges, mango, lychee fruit, guava preserves/membrillo, vanilla, hazelnut nectar, dulce de leche caramel, butterscotch, bourbon, whiskey, marshmallow, graham crackers, oak, mezcal hints, tequila hints, toffee, biscuit bread, honey, dragon fruit, passion fruit hints, white raisins, flan, sweetened condensed milk, danish cookies, cookie dough ice cream and brown sugar.

Aftertaste:
Agave nectar, stone fruits, dark fruits, vanilla, caramel, oak, bourbon, leather, raspberries, cherries, biscuit bread and rye notes, and sugary hints. Hints of alcohol in the taste but mainly sugary, medium crimson gold body, sipping drinkability and creamy and syrupy mouthfeel.

Overall:
What can I say but the maturity of this beer speak is many tremendous ways to me. This is a lot more delicious than when I last tried it years ago. Grand Cru beers are some of my favorite kinds of beers but when you have one that is actually bourbon barrel aged or for any matter or liquor barrel aged, it just brings about something very important about that beer that cannot be compared to many. This is quite the unique beer and many have forgotten about it being left in the underrated section of the beer self. Well, do yourself a favor and pic this amazing beer up. It is awesome!

Anime Corner:
Jo from Burst Angel was used in this beer pairing long ago to represent the colors of the beer, the label and the bad assery of this beer. Her crimson eyes tell the story of many shared and cold hardships that represent her strength and complexity, just like the complexity of this beer. This beer was something I had never seen before, a Grand Cru that was barrel aged. A Belgian style with agave and aged in bourbon. Really brings about that old western side with the whole gunslinger and holsters she wears. Jo maybe gold but the more you try this beer, you take a peek into how sweet this cowgirl can really be. There is much that can be said about this beer and how it can relate to Jo but I can only leave it up to you to make your own decisions about this one.

Sources:
http://www.freewallpapersbase.com/anime/wallpapers1/anime-wallpaper200963020454951577803.jpg
http://www.wallcoo.net/anime/Artbook_Flamboyant/wallpapers/1024×768/Artbook_Flamboyant_Burst_Angel_16_19.jpg

2012 Barrel Aged Grand Cru by Alesmith

1780896_10101691111371220_926055113_n 1911609_10101691110507950_886143519_n 10001516_10101691105972040_729515033_nRating: 5.75/5

2012 Barrel Aged Grand Cru by Alesmith is a 10% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale aged in Red Wine Barrels.

Label:
This Belgian-Style Ale has been matured in American and French Oak Barrels for a year to add layers of complexity to its rich flavor profile of dark fruit and Belgian caramel malts. The oak and red wine flavors by the barrel-aging process blend seamlessly with subtle hints of raisin, plum, and bitter-sweet chocolate from the beer. Enjoy now or continue to age in a cool, dark place. Serve in a goblet at 50-55%
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Obtained this one through a donation to the site. This is the 3rd Barrel-aged beer I try from Alesmith, being that the best one was the Kopi Luwak Bourbon Speedway Stout. A chance to try one of my favorite beers from them in barrel aged form and bring it forth to you guys is an honor. Hopefully it is good enough for a recommendation, although I can already tell you, it will be since I loved the regular grand cru.

Aromas:
Very rich red wine grapes, chardonnay, port wine, merlot, oak, dark fruits like figs, raisins, prunes, plums, currants, cherries, raspberries, cranberries, Dulce de leche caramel, dates, leather notes, vanilla, bourbon hints, milk chocolate, coconut, pecan and hazelnut pie, cloves, bananas in caramel, toffee, butterscotch, candi sugars, brown sugar, peaches, apples and apricots.

Flavors:
Lots of dark fruits like figs, prunes, raisins, plums, currants, raspberries, cherries, cranberries, dulce de leche caramel, flan, brown sugar, port wine, red wine, merlot, leather, milk chocolate hints, bananas, clove spice, vanilla, bourbon like notes, coconut, oak , pecan pie, hazelnut cream, butterscotch, rye bread, rock candy, candi sugar, peaches, pears, apples, apricots, good wine and cheese party and lychee.

Aftertaste:
Dark fruits, caramel, wine notes, oak, tart fruits and slight buttery rye. No alcohol in the taste yet has a smooth character which is kind of dangerous as I can easily try to finish such a good thing in one sittings. Savor her as much as you, she will love you for it or feel the full wrath.

Overall:
Exceeding the expectations of its predecessor, the Alesmith Grand Cru, providing even richer fruitier flavors along with more caramel and candi sugars. I already loved their Grand Cru, but this is taking it to a whole new level with the oak wine characteristics that already bring something very interesting to the table. Especially since most Grand Crus already have an aspect of wine aging. This is not sour in any way and really is an incredible beer.

Anime Corner:
Milla Maxwell is back from the original review to show case the power of the beer in a form of complex flavor and strength animated by her ultimate powers. The fire, earth, water and air elements are a way to artistically show the improvement in the variety of flavors that this beer has. Especially after it aged for 2 years. In the picture where the guy tries to break her out shows that the beer has matured well and is ready to take on. Either that or he just wants to get her now. Regardless, she is damn stronger, maybe not ABV wise, but flavor wise for sure. Any other pairing ideas you can see in these pictures?

Flemish Red Ale Grand Cru by Brouwerij Strubbe

1477572_10101538898382270_343257248_nRating: 4.85/5

Flemish Red Ale Grand Cru by Brouwerij Strubbe is a 6.5% ABV Flanders Red Ale aged in oak barrels

Label: 
A “Sour reddish brown ale” with a light sweet tint. Aged for two years in Bordeaux oak barrels and blended.
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Ever since the Rodenbach Grand Cru, there was something special about actual Belgian Red ales which I did not expect. Taken the fact that some of the other Flemish Red ales I have tried may have been way tarter to close to sour kind of beers. That is really not a problem for me as I like sours especially Flanders sours like La Roja from Jolly Pumpkin. Never the less, I still enjoy more sweet beers and have a palate for enjoying a wide variety of flavors. I got this one because I wanted to try another example of a Grand Cru, seeing as how I have yet to try one that hasn’t let me down 

Aromas:
Lots or cherry, grape, caramel, apricots, pear, oak, wine notes, sweet biscuit bread, raspberry preserves, cherry pie, brown sugar, strawberries, honey, peppery spices and a bit of cinnamon

Flavors:
Rich in Cherry, toffee, caramel, moderately tart cranberry, strawberry notes, sweet bread, wine grape notes, oak, apricots, plums, earthy notes, cherry pie, dates, figs, honey, peppercorns, brown sugar, pears, peaches and apricots.

Aftertaste:
The beer finishes close to dry leaving some sweet oak., cherry, caramel and biscuit bread notes. No alcohol in the taste and easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
I found this one to be very good. More along the lines of moderately tart than sour. It seems more like that Window Sill beer from the Bruery but sweeter. It is actually fruitier and oakier than it is sour. Belgian and Flanders Red Ale lovers will like this one

Anime Corner:
Rias Gremory from High School DXD is used as the pairing to showcase the label colors. Her personality is very sweet like this beer but if anyone messes with the person she loves, she becomes sour. The reason she is not very sour is due to the fact that she is more accepted in the Human world than seen as a Devil, which her family to a clan of Devils. Therefore, this beer is not completely evil and is with the Belgian beers and abbeys, it is blessed as a Grand Cru which makes Rias a good person… hopefully

Grand Cru by Rodenbach of Steenhuffel Belgium

992999_10101358398191100_635887340_n 1185481_10101358398121240_606586928_nRating: 5.09/5

Grand Cru by Rodenbach of Steenhuffel Belgium is a 6% ABV World Class Flanders Red Ale aged in oak vats. Composed of 33% “young” ale and 67% ale matured for two years

Label: 
Rodenbach Grand Cru is an exceptional Belgian ale known as Flemish Red Brown Ale. It enjoys a special status in Belgium as a “Traditional Regional” product. A mixed fermentation ale, Rodenbach is matured in oak vats, giving this ale a signature sweet-sour taste and intense bouquet with a very long after taste like a Grand Cru wine. Rodenbach Grand Cru is a blend of “young” ale (33%) and ale that has matured for two years (67%).
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While looking for the old Lips of Faith New Belgium Grand Cru, I was recommended to get this one instead as it was highly recommended by one of the personnel at the store. I have had may experiences with Grand Crus and those have become a progressing favorite style of mine as I try more. When I read this was a Flanders ale or Flemish Red brown I was was kind of surprised. At first I thought, well, most grand crus are red or brown in color but a lot of Belgian Strong Dark Ales or even Quadruples. At that point I realized, this I had to see. To my surprise, this was not a sour beer at all, it was more delightful

Aromas are of wine grapes close to funky beer, but then I got a rush of greater dark cherry yogurt fragrances as well as dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, toffee, apples, pears, buttery biscuit, butterscotch, raspberries, cherry cobbler, cherry pie, figs, raisins and brown sugar.

The flavors was definitely not what I has presumed. You don’t get much sour notes, but instead more tangy cherry notes and more fruit driven flavors like apples, apricots, raisins, figs, wine grapes, raspberries, tart cranberries, currants and black berries. You also get dulce de caramel, vanilla, cherry cobbler, cherry pie notes, oak wood, light lemon dash, earthy spices, and Black cherry yogurt.

The aftertaste is caramel sweet and cherry tart with some nice light acidic and bready notes. Not your typical sour at all. Dark crimson blood body yet pleasing to drink.

Over all, I was highly impressed. This is the first time I try a Flanders that was not more tart to sour flavored. This is the sour noted beer that many of those people that love fruity beers but don’t like sours would absolutely love. Now I see why its simply amazing. Leave it to Belgium to create the best beers in the world. If they can take a lighty funky beer and make it compete with the quads and dark strongs as “Grand Crus”, that has got to be Godly.

Grand Gru by Abbaye-Abbey du Val-Dieu

1239642_10101353312512840_1852664825_n 1234101_10101353312562740_447530807_n 1011629_10101353309933010_684180145_nRating: 5.15/5

Grand Gru by Abbaye-Abbey du Val-Dieu is a 10.5% Belgian Strong Dark Ale/Quadruple

Label: 
This authentic Abbey ale is based on the recipe perfected centuries ago by the monks of Abbey du Val-Dieu.

Anno 1216
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While browsing for grand crews at the store near my house, I was looking for a grand cru beer to try as this type of beer has become a favorite of mine (like Belgian quad or strong dark weren’t already lol) The person at the tells me to try this one as it is lower in prices than even Alesmith Grand Cru. So I go with it as it is authentic Belgian stuff. Hell yeah!! Now the interesting thing is, many site cannot compare this as a quad or a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, I’ll say it is both. Grand cru is already kind of borderline anyway in terms of beer styles.

Aromas were rich in dark fruits like plums, raisins, figs, dulce de leche caramel, chocolate notes, grapes, pears, oak, earthy spices and blackberry preserves

The flavors are much better than the aroma. Very rich raisins covered in dulce de leche caramel, raisin bread pudding, plums, pears, dates, figs, sweet bread, butterscotch, flan, cinnamon, grapes, cherries, blackberry preserves, peppery notes, loads of candi sugar, pilloncillo sugar cone, brown sugar and rye bread. As the beer warms up, you get more complex flavors of pecan pie, hazelnut and banana which is definitely awesome.

The aftertaste continues with raisin and caramel sweetness and leaves an nice dark fruit and pecan taste in the palate. Full to medium body yet, the flavors cover up the alcohol a lot to the point where it is quite drinkable. I almost want to finish the whole bottle as it is is damn good. 

Over all, to me knowing it is an Abbey Ale (I love authentic Abbey and Trappist ales) and the fact that it hits it home with the caramel and the raisins, it is a phenomenal beer. May not be to the Alesmith in terms of complexity or even as buttery raspberry preserve on toast as the Avery beast, but it still hits those Belgian lover spots in my heart reminding me of the St. Bernardus. In fact, I may actually get this over other grand crus. Especially since it is cheaper in price and easier to find. The best part is that it is a complex Belgian so this actually starts to transform in flavors as it warms up, this is why I gave it a higher rating.

The Beast Grand Cru (Batch 10, 2012 edition) by Avery Brewing

1009815_10101302556208880_567324772_nRating: 5/5

The Beast Grand Cru (Batch 10, 2012 edition) by Avery Brewing is a 16% ABV Belgian Strong Dark ale

Label: 
The Beast is a seducer – accommodating, complicated, powerful, dark and created to last the ages. Beyond this, it’s futile to attempt to describe Him. He will unveil Himself differently to each of His followers. The mark is in His constitution. Brewed with two-row malted barley, honey malt, and imported Belgian specialty grains (aromatic, pale wheat, roasted wheat, and Special , hops (Magnum, Galena, Saaz, Hallertau, Tettnang, and Hersbrucker), brewing sugars (raisins, dates, blackstrap molasses, alfalfa honey, turbinado, and dark Belgian candy sugar), water, Belgian yeast and another hellion of a yeast strain.OG: 1.138 
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Obtained from a beer trade with my good friend Richard. He definitely went out of his way to find this one. I have heard of this beer but I have never really found it. This review goes out to him. Thanks again man . The Grand Cru style is one I don’t often get to try but from the many I have tried, they have all been great. This one is no exception

Aromas are of caramel, grapes, rich strawberry and blackberry preserves, cherries, raisins, plums, candi sugar, biscuit bread, walnuts, vanilla, fruit cake, citrus and rye

The flavors are of lots of sweet forward strawberry preserves, blackberries, raisins, rye bread, caramel, pecan pie, candi sugar, cherries, fruitcake, vanilla, apricots, citrus, hints of coconut and oak

The beer is quite boozy but the flavors cover up any alcohol burn. So while you still get to feel the alcohol potency, the complex flavors help it out a lot.

Overall the beer is freaking great, strong, deliciously complex and it will take control once you finish the last drop. I would definitely recommend this one if you can find it. Also, I wish I had more bottles of this. This is too good to pass up 

Grand Cru by Alesmith Brewing

487395_10101297402412130_346199578_n 1000856_10101297404702540_549048764_nRating: 5.35/5*

Grand Cru by Alesmith Brewing is a 10%ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Label: 
25.4 fl. oz. – First place California State Fair. Grand Cru is a term designating excellence and is reserved for the finest offering from a brewery. AleSmith Grand Cru is brewed once per year in small batches for limited vintage release.

AleSmith Grand Cru is a complex, amber-colored, malty Belgian-style ale. It is brewed using only the finest imported malts, hops and candi sugar, along with an authentic yeast strain from a Belgian Trappist Monastery. Traditionally bottle-conditioned, the secondary fermentation occurring in the bottle gives this ale a natural effervescence.

Taste this truly Grand Cru and you’ll agree: AleSmith’s hand-forged ales are crafted to perfection. 10% alcohol by volume. Brewed & bottled by AleSmith Brewing Co., San Diego, CA.
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Been passing this one up for a quite a while. Alesmith makes really great beer but I never got around to try this one. No longer though. I was able to find this one to give it a try and do a review. Grand Cru is sometimes a complex type that doesn’t really fall into a particular style other than some type of Belgian beer that is really awesome. I’ve considered some of the Grand Crus I have tried in the best as very Epic, this one is no different. In fact, it rates outstanding to world class in some of the beer rating websites.

Aromas a complex conundrum of good stuff. Dark fruits like figs, raisins, plums, wine grapes, cherries, raspberries, Dulce de leche caramel on rye toast, dates, vanilla, somewhat bourbon vanilla character, chocolate, coconut, pecan and hazelnut pie, cloves, bananas in caramel, toffee, butterscotch, candi sugars, brown sugar, apples and apricots.

Flavors are simply phenomenal! Lots or dulce de leche caramel, pecan and hazel nut pie covered in vanilla cream, chocolate Almond Joy with coconut, figs, raisins, plums, slight wine grape notes, dark cherries, raspberries, dates, caramel covered bananas, toffee, biscuit bread, phenols, clove spices, nutmeg, apples, peaches, candi sugar and butterscotch

This beer is kind of crazy as it reminds me a bit of the St. Bernardus and to some extent, hints of the Westy 12. The beer has definitely has a lot going for it. It is a little boozy but that is quite fine as the bready caramel and rich fruits cover that all up nicely. This is a great beer and many Belgian beer lovers will love this one. Alesmith, very well done.

*I Love sweet and Complex beers, this one put it over just a bit. This is my highest rating for a Grand Cru so far

Second Anniversary Grand Cru by Figueroa Mountain Brewing

524681_10101129754165560_1250385001_nRating: 5/5

Second Anniversary Grand Cru by Figueroa Mountain Brewing is a 10.7% ABV Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Label: 
Hand picked – imported – specialty malts, and a yeast strain from the Brasserie de Rochefort gives this Belgian-style strong ale aromas of dried stone fruit, raisins and dates atop caramel and toffee. Rich and malty-sweet but with a dry, warming finish.
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Looking back at the first time I tried this beer in Pasadena’s own King’s Row Gastro Pub, I remember I had to order this one like 3 times. What can I say I realized it was an amazing beer. I only recently was able to get one of these for review. Aromas are of delicious Belgian beer goodness. Dark fruits like plums, cherries, raisins, dates, figs, dulce de leche caramel, whole cane unprocessed sugar cones, sweet bread, biscuit, like a port wine reminiscent of Trois Pistoles, grapes and some minor chocolate. The flavors is where it’s at. The flavors are close to the Cherry and Belgian bread from Three Philosophers but lighter in terms of mouth feel. You get raisins, cherries, toffee, dulde de leche caramel, dates, apples, plums, minor banana esters and cloves, grapes, brown sugar, honey biscuit and Belgian bread dipped in a light port wine. This beer is great since it allows the great complexity of some Belgian beers but drinkable level. It is not a quad, but it is close to the Trappists as it is using Rochefort yeast. Overall, this is definitely a must try. Now I need to go back to Pasadena and get some more on tap. This little bottle was kind of pricey but very worth it. Just supporting local breweries here in California 😛