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RATINGS: 1077   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
MayorQuimby (100) - Santa Barbara, California, USA - JUN 5, 2005
Bottle, 2004 vintage I believe. Pours a deep ruby brownish color, transparent, thin white head that left behind some nice lacing. Nose has a toasty, yeasty, alcoholic blend going on, very nice balance to it. Flavor starts off with some toastiness, caramel, and the unmistakable yeast flavor, there is also notes of dark fruits (mostly plums) and a hint of roasted malts before the warm ethanol taste takes over. Finish is dry with a lot of alcohol left over. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, lightly carbonated, very resilient as it hangs around with a nice balance of flavor after each sip. I’m a huge fan, I was saving this one until my birthday and it didn’t disappoint, another wonderful beer from Peter and the AleSmith crew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jimmack (1223) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - MAY 25, 2005
750ml. bottle thanks to Joeec5. Hazy, light brown color with a good sized light tan head. Nice aroma of dark dried fruits, caramel and freshly baked bread. Flavor was also fruity, with a bit of vanilla and dark chocolate. Nice thick mouthfeel. This one should mellow and age nicely.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
richlikebeer (838) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 25, 2005
the last of my notes from the jimmack invitational, this bottle donated by joeec5, poured a dark amber with a thick white head, aroma of spices, caramel, vanilla, yeast, and some fruits. the flavor matched almost exactly, and was superbly balanced and extremely smooth. no hint of the abv in the slightly hoppy tail, which had a slightly wine-like tinge.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
davidflores99 (225) - Long Beach, California, USA - MAY 2, 2005
Poured with a pretty dark amber color, with a tan head. Aroma was malty, caramel and yeast, flavor was also yeasty, malty, caramel with spices. A very nice mix and smooth finish. Nice brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
IPFreely (1470) - Sanborn, New York, USA - APR 29, 2005
I believe this was a 2004 bottle. Pours a rubyish brown color, tan head. Hazy. Full fruity aroma, plum, some cherry, caramel, spice and yeast. Flavor is not all that different from the aroma but it gets overwhelmed with the alcohol that comes through. Bigger bodied, but too hot, and strong carbonation. This needs a few years to mellow and it will be just lovely.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
NVBeer232 (467) - Reno, Nevada, USA - APR 28, 2005
BAM!!!! This is intense stuff! Mahogany body with a light tan head. Nice ’belgian lace’. Complex nose that is very malty, yet the yeast, and spice still show through. Very nice balance. Slightly agressive carbonation, but hey, it’s a Belgian! Equally complex flavors. this is what Gran Cru is about!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
BCAR (222) - Naperville, Illinois, USA - APR 27, 2005
Deep amber with quickly-dissipatingl head at the pour. Rich malt, banana, sugar, and alcohol esthers assault you. Initially I drank a glass too cold and it was a waste. After 30-45 minutes out of the cold, it was so much more of a standout. The individual flavors: the malt, yeast, alcohol, dried fruit, and sweetness leaped out of the glass. Just glad I travelled to Ohio for this.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mybrainhurts (370) - North Dakota, USA - APR 27, 2005
Beautiful amber pour, with a short lasting off white head. Yeasty, deep caramel malt, hard fruit, and peppery aroma. Apples, pears, figs, sticky caramel, and peppery alcohol for flavor. Chewy and hearty mouthfeel. Complex, well done brew. Alesmith is tops!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - APR 20, 2005
Vintage bottle 2003, Sampled April 2005
This beer sits a rich amber color, and pours with a thin head that disappears pretty quickly. The aroma is thick with notes of dark fruit, I get notes of raisins, figs and a solid caramelized bread note. The aroma is quite evident and quite enticing. The taste is sweet with a thick-mouth coating feel to it that is quite satiating. The flavor is quite fruity, again I get notes of raisins as well as notes of prunes. I was not expecting this beer to be so thick and hearty, but it is and I really like it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
rudolf (2342) - Buffalo, New York, USA - APR 19, 2005
Brown/ruby, head disappears almost immediately. Nose has fig, brown sugar, alcohol, hops, tea, orange, dark fruits. Loads of caramel, tobacco, fig, warming alcohol, brown sugar. Marvelous caramel , tobacco and leather finish. Mmm.

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