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RATINGS: 1141   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.85/5   IBU: 17   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
Bottle conditioned.
Grand Cru is a dark chestnut-colored Belgian-style Ale with vibrant fermentation aromas of fruity esters and spicy phenols. A sweet caramel malt, raisin, and plum-like character combines with the complex fermentation profile of our Belgian yeast strain and hints of bittersweet chocolate in the finish. Its full body and velvety mouthfeel make for a slow and satisfying drinking experience. Grand Cru is meant to be savored and will age nicely.

   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 (2570) - 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 (709) - 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.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
ClarkVV (5369) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - JUN 22, 2005
2000 vintage corked bottle, generously provided by Odeed. Shared with Olivier_MTL on 6/18/2005 post-ABF.
This unfiltered creation pours a thick-looking mahogany and dark-chocolate brown, with some dark beige/brass tones on the edges, quite murky, even though I was careful not to disturb the yeast. Head is a medium-tan, large initially, receding fairly rapidly to settle out at a retained covering. Head is lightly fluffy, but has some large bubbles in it. Lacing is left on the glass. Aroma has a full sherry oxidation note, which I always seem to pick up first, followed by molasses, dry toffee, crusty brown bread, vanilla extract and a subtle but strong Belgian yeast which is both perfumey (though that is held in check by the strong sweetness) and spicy, of hazelnuts, clove, light orange-rind notes and possibly some small amounts of alcohol. Flavor is very sweet, and richly malted. The extraction is wonderful as I have come to expect from AleSmith. Full toffee and marshmallows, with rich caramel and light chocolate. There is definite warmth from a vanilla liqueur-like heat which provides both drying alcohol and spice notes. Finish shows sherry, strong, oily vinous notes and bits of chocolate. My sample certainly was medium-full to full-bodied on account of the huge maltiness. Mouthfeel was slick, with low carbonation. The biggest problem I had was the lack of complexity. Aside from the caramel/toffee malt sweetness and spicy yeast and alcohol esters, there wasn’t much else going on. It’s hard to believe this bottle would be passed its prime at only 5 years of age, so I’m not really sure what the problem was. To be fair, I think I should get a bottle of Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru and age that for some time and compare it to an aged bottle of this. Still, as disappointed as I was, it was not a bad beer in the least.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Tmoney99 (13155) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - JUN 18, 2005
Bottle at tasting at Baskets Gourmet. Brown hue with large off-white head. Medium aroma of molasses and malt. Medium body with long finish. Malty sweet flavor with a small alcohol bite.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
11026 (1772) - Alabama, USA - JUN 18, 2005
Bottle. Deep brown in color with perhaps a bit of red tone also. Scant head formation. Aroma is richly malty but with undertones of tin. Flavor is decently malted, caramel and a bit chocolatey. Somewhat yeasty and peppery. Solid but not stellar.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
Pailhead (6347) - Plymouth, Michigan, USA - JUN 16, 2005
Bottle: Courtesy of wolhfs from his trip to Oregon. Lots of caramel in the aroma with some brown sugar and black licorice. Theres something else in the aroma that throws things a little off, but I can’t describe it. Pours a transparent red with an off-white ring for a head. Dark fruits and caramel up front. Finishes with a roasty nutty character with light chocolate. Metallic aftertaste is a big turn off. This beer just doesn’t work for me. Extremely let down by this one.

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