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RATINGS: 1025   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 318   ABV: 10.6%
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Bottle conditioned.
AleSmith Grand Cru really needs to be tasted to be truly appreciated. Toasty, caramelly flavors, as well as flavors imparted by the Belgian yeast strain, predominate over a tapestry of subtle nuances. Winner of the blue ribbon at the 1999 California State Fair, it is a thing of beauty. It is available in 750 ml. champagne bottles. Appearance: Crystal clear (when served properly), with a toast-brown color. Flavor: Starts with the tangy flavor of our championship Belgian yeast, then fades to a medium-light flavor of vanilla, caramel and chocolate. Finishes dry and well-balanced with a slightly toasty flavor. Aroma: Vanilla and chocolate aromas predominate, along with the Belgian yeast characteristics. Mouthfeel (body/texture): Clean and crisp, medium-bodied. Warmth from the high alcohol content makes it feel like a fine wine.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
ChillCoat (1029) - Concord, California, USA - AUG 2, 2005
Bottled. Pours a dark mahogany color with a bit a of a bubbly white head. Wonderful caramel aroma. Sweet flavor with candi, prunes, banana, chocolate, coffee, oak, and a bit of spivce. Alcohol warmth kicks in towards the end. Drinks like a fine port.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
trokini (1025) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 29, 2005
UPDATED: APR 17, 2007 Reddish-brown color, with a sweet malty smell. Malty sweet, almost like bread pudding, but a dry finish. Alcoholic warmth is very noticeable. Have never been a big fan of Belgian Strong Ales, but this beer may change my mind.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
timmy300 (203) - bloomington, Illinois, USA - JUL 21, 2005

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
RateandPillage (426) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JUL 18, 2005
Sampled at brewery. Aroma of yeast, bread, and holiday type spices like clove and cinnamon. Flavor of toasted malt, dark fruits, and just lots of malt. Lots of complexity in the flavor, with a smoothness on the palate. Alcohol warmth is disguised well. Very nice.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Styles (2014) - Lincoln Park, Michigan, USA - JUL 7, 2005
Courtesy of Pailhead via Wohlfs. Medium to dark brown with mahogany highlights. no head. aroma is all sweet malt with some alcohol. Flavor the same but weaker. Don’t know if this beer lives on reputation or we had a bad bottle. But dissapointed nonetheless.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Ray1975 (251) - Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, USA - JUN 30, 2005
2003 bottled.. Poured a dark redish brown with little to no head.. Aroma was very sweet with raisins, plums, clove, yeast and bread.. Flavor follows suit with a sweet kick of raisins, plums some citrus and a nice alcohol finish.. Medium to thick mouthfeel..

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Jonathan3584 (323) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - JUN 29, 2005
UPDATED: JUL 9, 2005 Tasted right after Westy 12, which I had expected was going to blow this beer out of the water, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it did not. Not only did I find this fruity, slighlty sour, complexly malty beer delicious, but it legitimately competed with Westy as to which was the better beer. Dark amber pour with minimal head. Aroma is of yeast esters -- lots of spice, clove, nutmeg, banana, dried cherries, raisins, etc. Malty, bready flavor with a slight roast to it. Incredible yeast ester profile. Everything that’s in big trappists is there. Banana, clove, citrus, raisin, dates, figs, dried cherries. In addition, there is a good amount of chocolate malt and some serious roast to it. There is a slight background sourness that helps balance the beer very nicely. Dry finish. Solid beer, even without the Westy hype.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Mangino (1027) - Mississippi, USA - JUN 28, 2005
00’ Vintage. HUGE thanks to Footbalm for sending this my way! Pours a dark amber color, no head. Aroma is cherries, bread, slight spices, very malty. Flavor is full of belgian yeasty esters, banana, cherrie, more spice and a citrusy hop finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
MIBRomeo (2537) - Wisconsin, USA - JUN 27, 2005
a vintage 2000 thanks to matt for sharing from footbalm who sent this in his absence at our last local tasting a nice copper color w/ a tall thick off white head w/ some nice lacing. Smells of belgian yeast a light carmel malt and hint of vanilla. Palate is lightly creamy a nice carbonation and a warming swallow. Flavor can taste the alcohol as well as some sweet carmel malts a touch roasted w/ raisens. Overall a good beer but something just a little off in it to me.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
OlivierMTL (711) - Quebec, CANADA - JUN 25, 2005
Vintage 2000. Cuivrée aux reflets brunâtres, mousse beige plutôt persistante. Arômes pleinement caramel brûlé, toffee et mélasse sous une forte présence de levure rappelant la croûte de pain brun. Superbement maltée en bouche, un peu de cacao et de noix grillées mais devenant rapidement unidimensionnelle. On sent que le corps est sur son déclin, par la présence en bouche rappelant le sherry et par l’oxydation qui demeure facilement observable. Texture et sensation plutôt vineuse en bouche, corps d’épaisseur moyenne, carbonatation à peine existante Bouteille partagée avec le grand ClarkVV dans le cadre de l’après American Beer Fest, 18 Juin 2005.

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