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RATINGS: 1064   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
jazz88 (2571) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 15, 2004
UPDATED: MAR 5, 2006 Rating #1 Bottle - 2003 Vintage (8 3 8 4 18). Brown color with a laced light foamy head. Strong plum, toffee, sweet caramel, banana, pepper, and alcohol aroma. Immediately spicy with a deep complex malty flavor accented by wood, vanilla, and figs. Rating #2 Bottle - 2003 Vintage (7 3 7 3 16) - A hazed brown color with a diminished light brown head in a Trappist glass. A malty banana aroma and flavor with pepper, earthy notes.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
rickgordon (3845) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - AUG 9, 2004
Bottled. Deep mahogany colour, with a light brown head. Big aroma, notes of vanilla, chocolate and brown sugar. Wonderful, delicate flavour with vanilla, smallish notes of chocolate plus a lemony fruitiness. Sweet and lovely.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
madsberg (10480) - Søborg, DENMARK - AUG 1, 2004
Bottled 2003 vintage: Burgundy coloured. Light brown head. Aroma of alcahol, berries, fruit, malt and some spices. Alcahol, some prunes, sweetness, chocolate and malt in the flavour. Alcahol dominates the flavour too much for my likings. Is sweet and alcaholic in the end.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Nate (3792) - Indiana, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 28, 2004
2003. Wonderful sweet vinuous aroma. Vanilla, oak, toffee, toated sugar. Prune, molasses. Warm red-brown glow, hazy, with thin lacing head. Thick oily body with light carbonation. Warming alcohol. Nice and sweet, oak, vanilla, raisin. Finish has some vinuous port quality, alcohol. Cloying sweetness on tongue for he after. This is really good, but still a little thin. I’d like to try this in about 3-5 years.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
omhper (20166) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - JUL 28, 2004
Bottled. Nut brown, clear. Aroma of molasses. Sweet, rich and very malt. There are some chocolate and a apeppery sensation from all the alcohol. Salty finish. There are some really big flavours here, but I wouldn’t call it complex - which of course doesn’t mean that it is not a really good beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
JagerQueen (123) - Shoreline, Washington, USA - JUL 20, 2004
Pours a very dark, dark color with a slight amber light. No head, little bubble. Aroma is very fruity, strong, lots of fruits, raisins, dates, vanilla throughout. Taste is very warm and creamy, the fruits mentioned before prevelant, almost as though they were dried, the flavor sealed in and then put inside the Grand Cru. Light hops, more creamy fruit.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
beerinmarch (2830) - Washington, USA - JUL 18, 2004
Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a small ivory head. Aroma is moderatly spicy, fruity. Taste starts sweet with a great spice to it and ends with a nice hop balance. Very smooth and creamy.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
SDbruboy (1864) - San Diego, California, USA - JUL 16, 2004
Draft. Dark rich reddish amber with a creamy white head that lasts well. Sweet, yeasty aroma wiith hints of spice and wood (oaky). Sweet malty-friuty flavor with nice yeast, tartness and a slight hoppiness. Medium body with very creamy carbonation.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
stubby (334) - Santee, California, USA - JUL 6, 2004
Nice body, nice color, but where’s the Belgian flavor? I suppose it must age well because I’ve only had it fresh from the brewery in a growler. Quite sweet and very good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Kasteelfreak (341) - Fallbrook, California, USA - JUL 5, 2004
Wow! This beer pours a dark reddish brown with almost no head. Aroma has a lot of apple, dard red ripe fruit, candi sugar and Belgian yeast to it. Flavor is incredibaly complex. Some of the flavor I pick out are chocolate, ripe red cherries and strawberry, vanilla, grape juice and apple. It keeps getting better as it warms a little. Aftertaste has a lot of alcahol to it. Just like drinking a fine liquor, that’s not a bad thing. A top quality Belgian. Rerate: Same tasting as the original review. As the beer warms I get more orange peel and caramel. It kind of tastes like Abbey Des Rocs Grand Cru if I remember it correctly.

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