Black Diamond Grand Cru (Brandy Barrel)

RATINGS: 61   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.54/5   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
Each Autumn, we fancy a good Dubbel, a rich, malty pleasure thats the perfect accompaniment to those longer fall and winter nights. Three years ago, we began to play around with -what by then had become our Winter Ale and see where it might take us. After much tinkering, including a number of crazed fruit experiments, wood barrel aging in various vessels, and finally finishing with mind-numbing blending trials, we offer our Grand Cru.

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 (available as our winter seasonal) has been taken to the next level by the careful blending and aging techniques. We believe weve created a classic to be enjoyed throughout the winter months.

This will be a limited release in both Bourbon and Brandy versions. In these batches, weve added locally sourced Zante currants and Black Mission figs, aged 20% of the blend in used bourbon and brandy barrels for 12 months - in which time the warmth of the spirits, along with toasted oak and vanilla flavors are 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 esters. In both, the taste starts with the rich sweetness of fruit, carries through with a rich mellow center and finishes dry, yet these Brandy and Bourbon siblings take you there via their own routes.

Suggested Pairings:
Lamb, wild game, charcuterie, braised short ribs, cherry reductions. Try with braised pork & red cabbage, Moussaka, mushroom dishes (think risotto or polenta) grilled salmon, tuna or sardines, or try a secret weapon side dish: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Jam in Maple Syrup/Grand Cru reduction.

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Reid's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Reid (2497) - Salem, Oregon, USA - JAN 6, 2013
22oz from"Lifesource" in Salem. On sale for $4.99 Pours a dark almost mahogany brown with a nice sized thick and creamy coffeen creme coloured head. Nice spicy,brandy,wood and earthy aromas..nice. Very nice smooth balanced, spice,brandy,oaky notes, coffee and cream,slight walnut aspect.Dark fruits especially date or fig in the end. Great silky creamy well integrated mouthfeel to this one. Very nice beer indeed and for the price i paid fantastic

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
Beerathon (1683) - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 16, 2014
2011 Vintage Pours deep mahogany with slightly creamy, yet still fizzy somehow, head. Brandy, raisins, plum in the nose. Same in the flavor along with sweetness and alcohol warmth from the brandy along with some dark cherry, fig, and woodiness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
DrSilverworm (9671) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - DEC 5, 2014
Sample at a bottle share, post Jackie-Os 9th Anniversary. Totally hazy red orange color. Thin off-white head. Medium body. Smooth, kind of soft, lighter carbonation. More dry finish. Dark fruit, mild metallic, some caramel. Kind of tart taste, moderate to bigger sweet, lots of tannic. Not much brandy character, but definite wood barrel. An alright barrel aged belgian strong ale. Lots of wood, tannic, mild oxidization...

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - NOV 5, 2014
22oz bottle - The few times Ive had Black Diamond, they have been a little underwhelming at times. No, not downright awful, but nothing to make me light-up when I see their product in the stores. But this caught my eye, a "grand cru" aged in brandy barrels. Im always a sucker for this, so I felt fairly confident that this would be at least an average beer, but in the end it was much better that average. The beer pours out a dark burnt orange body, hazy with a creamy, slow-melting tan head. Aroma start popping out all over the place with notes of allspice, fruit cake, light-brandy, and vanilla. Flavor has a noticeable brandy/sweetness profile, but its not over-done in any ways. Light brown sugar, chocolate cake batter, brandy, and a very light woody-ness to it. In the end, very happy with getting this and will definitely want to try the Bourbon Barrel version.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
cmonster (1000) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 15, 2014
Aged bottle served in a snifter. Pours dark orange-brown with a large khaki head. Excellent retention and lace. Nose is complex: Malty, a little hot, full of fruit and plenty of oak. Medium-plus sweet attack, then a little sour. Medium body, soft carbonation and a mild fruity finish. Ok... So Ive never had brussels sprouts with bacon jam in maple syrup/grand cru reduction, but... I agree... it would (likely) be superb with this tasty brew.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Sammy (11964) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 31, 2014
brandy and citrus and dark fruit dark ale is complex and requires food. Some tartness and is it figs? Nicely balanced, just missing something but I liked it. An interesting beer for sure.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Bacterial (2960) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - FEB 10, 2014
Dark amber pour with a light tan head. Dried fruit (cherry, raisin), some lighter alcohol notes slightly sweet finish. Thick and complex, coating your mouth in goodness. Some vanilla and toffee in the finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jredmond (8096) - New York, New York, USA - FEB 4, 2014
Bottle courtesy of Clocks. Pours a deep brown body with thin off white lacing. Aroma is sweet brandy, oak barrel, sweet malt character and caramel. Mouthfeel is on the thinner side of medium with notes of oak, sweet candy, brandy, light alcohol character and light caramel.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Gription79 (2886) - Bountiful, Utah, USA - OCT 10, 2013
Poured from a 22ml bomber. This is fantastic. The barrel aging really changed this beer. Grapes, chocolate, berries, vanilla. This is a rich decadent beer with a dry finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Cirrhosis (1283) - Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA - SEP 28, 2013
Deep amber brown, with a thick film floating on top that leaves behind very ropey and very sticky lacing. Man the vanilla really shows up in the flavor, its huge! Blueberry? Not really sure what brandy taste liked but I taste some kind of alcohol aged here, so Ill assume its brandy. Heavy milk chocolate in the body, some bitterness. I got nothing ells to say.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Strykzone (7247) - Wood River, Illinois, USA - AUG 28, 2013
Bomber from Hayduke. We had it together via facebook chat. This poured kind of reddish brown and had a tan creamy foam layer. The aroma was rich malts with complex red wine fruitiness and chocolate. The flavor was so complex and seemed to change with every sip. That is an aspect of some beers that make rating so fun. Chocolate syrup came right after plums. Wood was tasted but not really vanilla. A sourness popped up and it is my only negative with this beer. Yeast notes, grapes, big malts. This was flat out fun to drink. Thanks, Ron, for this one.

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