Avery Brewing Co – The Beast Grand Cru

I have already spent some time on this blog professing my love for Avery Brewing Company.  Some breweries put out some crazy collaborations and special releases that help keep everyone interested and excited.  I’m looking at you Stone.  However, other breweries somehow keep people interested through just continually producing great beer year after year.  Avery is one of these breweries.  If you check out their site, they group the different types of beers they brew into different categories.  They of course have their releases you can get just about any time, but they also have beers they categorize into other various special categories.  They  have their seasonal beers, the holy trinity of ales, and the dictator series.  The category this beer comes from is the demon of ales.  Avery describes their demon of ales as having “…a common thread (that) runs among all three: brewers establish a flavor profile to achieve, throw out all prior notions and perceptions of brewing limitations and proceed with the crafting of the beer”.  Essentially they take established types of beer and beef them up.  Perhaps that’s why none of them are below 14% Abv.

This beer is described as being a grand cru, which I know is Belgian, but I never actually understood as a style.  I definitely like Belgian beers in general.  I am always happy with a good trippel, but I understand what I’m getting into.  Doing a little research online reveal only more questions.  Is grand cru really even a style?  From what I have found, grand crus are also known as Belgian Strong Dark Ales.  The description continues to say that the booziness can either be obvious or hidden, and hop and malt character will vary.  This really seems like a type of beer that allows for a lot of leeway to do as you please.

I can never seem to help myself when it comes to interesting brews out of Avery.  I’ve enjoyed just about everything that I have had from them, and I definitely jumped at this bottle when I saw it.  It’s the first in the demon section in my collection, and I was definitely excited to give this one a taste.

This one pours out a very deep rich auburn color.  There is some clear hints of orange in there as well.  The head doesn’t really develop very much, but there is a slight white foamy head that accumulates on the pour.  The head may not last very long, but it does comes back really strong with a little swirl of the glass.  You can tell this beer has a very high ABV level.  There is some ample and sticky lacing that develops on the sides of the glass.  The very hazy nature of this beer is quite apparent; however, there seems to be very little carbonation to this composition.

The smell is really reliant on rich citrus and dark fruit aromas.  There is a really sweet quality to it that are combined with the heavy booze scents on this one.  The thick sweetness comes from some hints of molasses in here.  You definitely get some really ample bready malts on the aroma as well.  There is definitely some spiciness that I believe comes from a little bit of cloves and yeast.

This beer intros with some really sweet dark fruit flavors.  These fruits have some ample sweetness to them from some rich molasses flavors.  The sweetness is broken up by some surprisingly strong spices.  These spices have a clove quality to them; however, it is more of a spicy yeast feel overall.  The clove flavors continue past the yeast spices and mix with a little more sweet dark fruits.  The strong dark fruits follow through into a very strong booze finish.  Really the entire tasting is very boozy overall.  This one definitely doesn’t let you forget the fact that you’re drinking alcohol.

The mouthfeel here is interesting.  There is some very clear carbonation in the taste, but there is a lot syrupy sweetness throughout most of the profile.  The entire beer really coats your mouth and warms you from deep in your belly.  There is a lot of booze and tang on the aftertaste.  If you’re not into a boozy drink at all, you really won’t like this one.

Avery has definitely managed to produce another good beer here.  There is no way you can drink more than one of these in a sitting, unless of course you’re dying to get drunk real quick.  If you like full flavored beers that are guaranteed to fill and warm you up, then you are guaranteed to really like this one.  It is definitely not for the normal light beer drinker though.  Hopefully I can find the last bottle of the three in the demon of ales series soon.

Teacher Grade: B+



  1. What was the vintage? This beer improves a ton with some age on it. Of course, if it’s a 2009 or older, that’s about as good as it gets.

  2. […] take on this beer from someone else who liked it, head over to Lyrics, Libation, and Life for his review. He hits on some of the important Belgian qualities of the brew. Share […]

  3. […] called a Grand Cru, it is also considered a Belgian Strong Dark Ale.  Having really enjoyed The Beast a few days before, I was really excited to give this beer a try.  Of course, The Beast had a much […]

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