RATINGS: 174   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.42/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
Brewed with imported Belgian malts and a blend of exotic spices, BJ’s Grand Cru has a malty character with a whirlwind of fruit and spice flavors. First brewed to celebrate the new milennium, BJ’s Grand Cru has been a seasonal tradition ever since. This Belgian-style amber ale is bottle-coinditioned and flavorful enough to age in the bottle for many years. Like a fine wine, the beer will change over time as some flavors mellow while others become more pronounced. For optimal aging, we recommend that you store BJ’s Grand Cru for at least one year at between 55 and 65°F. Or enjoy it now!

Silver Medal winner (Belgian-style specialty ales) Great American Beer Festival (2002) World Beer Cup (2000)

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Ratman197 (14946) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - JAN 14, 2007
On tap @ BJs Westminster poured a clear reddish brown with a small lingering light amber head. Aromas of dark fruit, carmel and brown sugar. Palate was medium bodied and crisp. Flavors of carmel, toffee, brown sugar and a hint of cherry with a warming lingering bittersweet finish.

FlacoAlto (4197) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JUN 4, 2006
UPDATED: JUL 9, 2008 Brewed at the Bjs Chandler location
A frothy, amber tinged, tan colored head sits atop a dark red colored beer that shows a brilliantly clear reddish amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma is strikingly of rich fruit and a touch of phenolics; a mix of raisins, sweet plums, a touch of fig, some notes of clove and perhaps a hint of bubble gum.

The taste is definitely sweet, though not sticky, and the finish has that characteristic earthy spicy note that I associated with a Chimay derived yeast strain. The fruit notes are in the flavor as well, found up front, I get notes of sweet plums, raisins and apples. The finish is dominated by that earthy spiciness, which leads into an astringent, slightly phenolic (a mix of smoke and plastic), lingering finish. The spice notes remind me of cloves, a touch of ginger, perhaps some coriander and perhaps even something like cardamom. I can see this beer really appealing to some, to me it seems a touch out of balance though; it is just a bit too phenolic in the finish.

<font size=-4>Sampled on tap at: <a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/Place/arizona/sc Brewing Co, Scottsdale, AZ<!font size=-1>

DarkElf (3062) - La Jolla, California, USA - MAY 7, 2006
(Draft: O’Brien’s in San Diego, CA) 2006 release. Mmm, spicy! Reminds me of a saison, both in flavor and nose. However, the flavor is showing more darker malts and more sweetness than I expected based on the nose. Medium body, very clean on the palate, moderate carbonation. Light red-brown color, fairly clear, topped by a small, off-white head that dissipates fully. Much better than I expected from BJ’s, but I haven’t had enough of their "better" beers to make a judgment. My opinion has certainly been elevated after this one.

BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - APR 13, 2006
Tap at O’Briens: Pours a dark amber/crimson color, no head, no lacing. Let me just say this upfront, very little to no carbonation going on here. This doesn’t seem like an anomaly though, looks like the norm. The nose isn’t too pronounced but what’s there is strong with esters, bubblegum and alcohol. The flavor is cloying with sweetness and spice that would all blend out under the right carbonation. Seems like a recently fermented belgian homebrew that’s still in seconday. Could use age and more carbonation, that’s for sure.

mjg74 (3114) - La Mesa, California, USA - APR 7, 2006
UPDATED: APR 9, 2006 Tap. Pours a very dark amber color. Strong yeasty bubblegum aroma. Very sweet flavor. Some yeastiness and a little soapy like quality.

awaisanen (1304) - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, USA - FEB 27, 2006
On tap at BJ’s, Irvine (CA). Cloudy, nut brown, raspberry coloring with barely any head. The small semblance of carbonation appears to be in the shape of medium sized bubbles. Unpleasantly familiar aroma of cherry Cepacol with a menthol tingle on the nostrils. Syurpy texture, this beer’s flavor reminds me of Sudafed DM. Yeasty smack of sourdough bread gives this beer a strange, albeit interesting extra dimension.

omhper (25243) - Tyresö, SWEDEN - FEB 13, 2006
Draught at BJ’s, Burbank (CA). Cloudy mahogany colour. Aroma of cinnamon and sage. Sweet and full bodied with sticky mouthfeel. Notes of raspberry and band-aid. A bit artificial, overly spicy and cloyingly sweet.

Bockyhorsey (2628) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - JAN 26, 2006
On Tap Mesa, Az
The mix of alcohol and sweet malts gave this a sweet brandy aroma. Amber/orange body color with decent head. Flavor had like a moderate sweet cherry with the malts adding some texture to the body of beer. Smooth on the palate. Served in a tulip glass with a 2006 Aniversity Grand Cru logo on it. Server wouldn’t let me have the glass, nuts.

turbo (1271) - Arizona, USA - JAN 25, 2006
On tap Mesa
Served in a tulip glass. Dark copper amber with a nice thick head that burned off to a thin skim. Aroma is a mellow Fruit and yeast. Flavor is a very sweet ripe fruits, caramel, yeast and spice with a sweet finish.

omnivore (270) - San Francisco, California, USA - JAN 18, 2006
Pours a deep, golden yellow with a fluffy white head. Nutty, malty aroma. The flavor is very strong on the hoppy end, and it almost overpowers everything else about the beer. Leaves a bitter, hoppy pucker in the mouth. Not fantastic, but not horrible.

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