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RATINGS: 76   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.58   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
For the winter season, we traditionally make a Belgian-style Dubbel; a rich malty pleasure that is the perfect accompaniment to those long winter nights. Last year we decided to play around with the concept and see where it might take us. 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.

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 Dubbel -a great beer itself with a loyal following- has been taken to the next level by the careful blending and aging techniques. We believe we’ve created a classic to be enjoyed throughout the winter months.

For 2010, we offer a very limited release of (only 48 barrels) our Winter Grand Cru. In this batch, we’ve added over 100 pounds each of locally sourced Zante Currants and Black Mission Figs. We aged 20% in used Bourbon barrels for 12 months - in which time the warmth of the Bourbon, along with toasted oak and vanilla flavors were released from the wood. Whole Vanilla beans compliment the wood and bring forth a velvety smoothness and richness. The fig flavor is forward on the nose along with the bubble-gum/banana ester derived during fermentation. The taste starts with the rich sweetness of fruit, carries through with a rich mellow center and finishes dry, allowing for another glass as you sit by the cozy fire. Á votre santé!

Pairings: Lamb, wild game, charcuterie, pâté, duck, rabbit, braised short ribs, cherry reductions, bread pudding.

2010 Vintage - 8%ABV.
2011 Vintage - 9%ABV.


0.9
   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 1/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 1/20
DYCSoccer17 (3446) - Woodland, California, USA - JAN 29, 2014
2012 22 ounce bottle purchased at Granzella’s in Williams, CA. This was in the cooler. The aroma definitely has some infected tart character present. Stale wood and oakiness. Virtually no bourbon character or really anything else. Christ. Transparent amber body with a small, fairly wispy light tan head present. Starts super sour, tart, and incredibly infected. Horribly infected and sour. Just undrinkable.

3.7
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
pdx76 (651) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JAN 25, 2014
On draught at baileys cellar fest - '11 pours cloudy amber with small head. Nose of booze, brandy, and tart fruit. Taste is of brandy, oak, bourbon, and sour cherry/cranberry. Dry finish. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
alexsdad06 (6567) - Ohio, USA - JAN 12, 2014
Bottle shared by b3shine 2012. Pours a deep amber color with a small beige head. The aroma and flavor have sweet caramel, bourbon, vanilla, cherry notes, raisins and dark fruits with some mild woody character. Finishes on the dry side.

3.7
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Arayaga2 (1866) - portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 15, 2013
Opaque red with an inch of poofy tan head. Aroma is raisins, tart cherries, and a hint of cinnamon, with some cola notes. That mostly covers the taste as well, but the vanilla takes a prominent finishing note, and it’s less tart than the aroma would suggest. Seema says "What the hell is that? It tastes like rancid pop!" She doesn’t normally dislike sours, either. $7/22 (11th ann)

3.8
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
hopscotch (9954) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - DEC 3, 2013
Bottle... Murky brown ale with a small, quickly dissipating, khaki head. The aroma provides generous measures of caramel and toffee flanked by notes of soil, grapes, oak and fallen plums. Full-bodied, but watery with lazy carbonation. The flavor delivers complex layers of caramel, milk chocolate and toffee with undercurrents of tart, tannic plum skins and bourbon. Finishes bittersweet, malty and vinous with long-lasting, light bitterness.

4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bu11zeye (12100) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - NOV 11, 2013
(22oz bottle, 2011 vintage) Pours an amber-brown body with a medium beige head. Aroma of caramel, raisins, vanilla, oak, and marshmallow. Flavor of bourbon, figs, raisins, vanilla, and caramel.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Nocturne (1040) - Cheshire, ENGLAND - OCT 24, 2013
650ml bottle. Dark brown, perhaps ruby in shade. Nice long-lasting head. Aroma is quite muted at first. Bourbon and toffee shyly come forth, then later some bubblegum yeastiness. Malty, brown sugar, bourbon-rich taste. I like the barrel influence. Solid stuff but nothing to pay over the odds for.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
superspak (3140) - Michigan, USA - OCT 3, 2013
22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, 2011 vintage. Pours hazy nearly opaque dark ruby red color with a 2 finger moderately dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of raisin, prune, fig, toast, chocolate, cocoa, light roast, molasses, light vanilla, clove, oak, dark bread, herbal, light bourbon, light banana, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt, fruit, and yeast ester notes with a fair amount of barrel presence; and good strength. Taste of raisin, fig, prune, toast, chocolate, cocoa, light roast, molasses, light vanilla, clove, oak, dark bread, light bourbon, light banana, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Light fruity and earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruits, toast, molasses, cocoa, light roast, clove, oak, light bourbon, dark bread, light banana, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt, fruit, and yeast ester flavors; with moderate barrel presence and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and moderately slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice blended Belgian dark ale. All around nice balance and compelxity of malt, fruit, yeast ester, and moderate barrel flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jkwood04 (4441) - Connecticut, USA - SEP 20, 2013
22oz bottle in a tulip. Pours deep ruby/brown with a lacy, beige head. Aroma of spicy yeast, hints of vanilla and bourbon, a good amount of dark fruits, some caramel malts and a little chocolate. Flavor the same. Average texture. Not bad but a little too much going on and it doesn’t blend perfectly.

3.3
   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ThisWangsChung (826) - Leonardtown, Maryland, USA - SEP 17, 2013
750 ml bottle (I think, I wasn’t arsed to check) into a tulip. 2011 vintage, from yesterday. A: Pours a hazy dark brown color. The head is a one finger off-white shade. Retention is low, and so is lacing left on the glass. Pretty unremarkable looking. S: Also unremarkable on the nose. All I really get are some light fig/currant notes, with the faintest kiss of the barrel. That’s about it. T: This is almost ridiculously estery. The opening flavors are heavy in fig, currants, and raisins. One really has to work hard to find barrel qualities, which is disappointing considering how long it spent in there (12 months!) The flavors are far more enjoyable than the nose - still, it lacks the complexity and nuance to be a world beater. M: It has a medium body with medium carbonation and medium drinkability. Absolutely no booze is found anywhere on the feel, which is always good. My only nitpick is that the sweetness could be toned down in the finish some. O: I think this one is decent, just simple to a fault and not impressive in the aroma. Even if it’s not the greatest beer, it does a solid job of standing out from its peers, so it deserves at least some respect. I’d drink it again, gladly.


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