THE BEAST...Grand Cru (Avery Brewing)

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    This week’s beer has been one that I’ve wanted to try for a couple of months now. It’s from Avery Brewing, and it’s my first brew by them.  As I mention over and over again, I like strong intense beers, and I thought what better way to experience the brewing artistry of Avery than to have their “The Beast Grand Cru”. Saturday night G came over to review, and I popped open this beer - I think both of us were curious about The Beast. The curiosity for myself stemmed from flavor description on the bottle as well as the alcohol content. Avery write this about “The Beast Grand Cru”:

    The Beast is a seducer - accomodating, complicated, powerful, dark and created to last the ages. With a deep burgundy color and aromas of honey, nutmeg, mandarin orange and pineapple, this massive and challenging brew has flavors akin to a beautiful Carribean rum. Dates, plums, raisins and molasses are dominant in a rich vinous texture. Cellarable for 10+ years.

    You can also check out more about this beer on their website, but the interesting thing about the stats on their website is the alcohol content listed is different on my bottle, o well.

    Avery’s “The Beast Grand Cru” comes in at a whopping 16.21% alc./vol. and 68 IBUs. The head pours small, which is consistent with the strong ale style. It’s slightly off-white, but doesn’t stick around long enough for you to really notice. The look is a reddish copper tint, or as G put it a “golden cognac appearance”, and has a small amount of carbonation. Head - 7, Look - 13. The alcohol hits the nose hard followed by a heavy sweetness. G could really smell the molasses, but I noticed the date and raison presence a bit more. The Belgian yeast came through with the sugar, and the smell finished with hops and roasted malt notes. There’s such a complexity to the smell of this beer, which makes it something special. Smell - 24.

    Obviously, after such a unique complex smell the bar was raised high for this beer. All I have to say about my first sip was - wow. My initial reaction to the flavor was there was so much happening on my palate. It was slightly overwhelming. The alcohol is definitely present and in charge, which gives a nice warming feel. G found his initial taste to be of a strong lingering alcohol taste. The aftertaste was slightly dry and hoppy, but with sugary sweetness coming through with the heat of the alcohol. G felt similar, tasting a good amount of sugar - almost candy like - in the aftertaste. Palate - 9.5, Aftertaste 8.5. The sugar and alcohol for G were the main players in the overall flavor, but the sugar didn’t play as big a role for my taste buds. The Beast hit the palate with heat from the alcohol and some carbonation expanding in my mouth, which is what I expect from a good full flavor beer. The uniqueness from Belgian yeast (somewhat sweet) came through next with fruit notes and hints of roasted malts providing some good balance. The sweetness from this beer got a little strong after continued drinking, which is my only big complaint. The Beast finished with a consistent aftertaste that was described above. Flavor - 26.5.

    The Beast gives me high hopes for a couple other Avery beers I have cellared at home, and I’m definitely going to be trying some of their other ales. The Beast is just that - a beast. It’s so full of flavor and complexity that I’m left puzzled while drinking. I think I understand what I’m tasting at one moment than the next I’m tasting something completely different. It was a delicious beer to try, but I truly think this beer is meant to be enjoyed after a year or couple years of aging. With that said, pick yourself up a couple, and enjoy one now and the other in a couple years. With an Overall Flavor of 44.5/50 the Beer Fusion give Avery Brewing’s The Beast Grand Cru...

    Rating: 88.5/100

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