New Belgium Grand Gru Abbey Ale Review

New Belgium Grand Cru Abbey Ale

Grand Cru/Abbey Ale [Type 29] 9.5% ABV

Vital stats from New Belgium:

ABV -     9.5%
IBU -     20
Calories -     270
Hops -     Willamette, Target, Liberty
Malts -     Pale, Chocolate, Carapils, C-80, Munich
OG -     16.2
TG -     2.6

Rating

A really good beer that could be cellared and aged. The head needs a little warmth to come out, so when it was poured straight out of the fridge you can see the results in the picture above. The beer is dark and sweet, but I was surprised to find that it was not syrupy. A smooth, creamy, fruity beer with delicious Belgian yeastiness. The alcohol is potent, but pleasantly warming. Just the thing to enjoy after a long day at work.

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Beer Club March 2011

Beers of Central and Eastern Europe

Baltika #5 Gold

5.3% ABV, Euro Pale Lager. [Type 12] A pretty good lager, tastes a lot like a Heineken. 3 beers. I'd drink it.

Stout homebrew

More delicious homebrew that we have had in months past.

Czechvar

5.0% ABV, Czech pilsner [Type 37] An alias for Budweiser Budvar. The other Budweiser. Similar to Pilsner Urquell, a light refreshing beer. 2 beers.

Werewolf Lithuanian

A Belgian dark ale [Type 29]. 8.2% ABV. Sweet and sour. Pretty heavy. Not the best Belgian I've had. 4 beers.

Primator Dark Lager

Munich Dunkel. [Type 39] 4.8% ABV. Has that distinctive German maltiness.

Primator Maibock

A Hellesbock, or light bock beer. [Type 13] 7.5% ABV. Strong, malty, some fruitiness. A fun beer.

Baltika #4 Dark

The Baltika version of a European dark lager. [Type 39] 5.6% ABV. Sweeter than the Primator.

Okocim Full Pale

A Polish pale lager [Type 12] 5.6% ABV. This is a pretty good lager. Tasty and creamy, a pleasant beery taste. 2 beers.

Baltika #8 Wheat

Type 14. 5.0% ABV

Primator Double Bock

Amazingly strong doppelbock. [Type 26] 10.5% ABV. Pretty thick and sweet, a bit like cough syrup.

Celebrator Ayinger

Another doppelbock. 6.7% ABV. Everyone remembers this as the goat beer.

Old Rasputin

A Russian Imperial Stout [Type 50] 9.0% ABV. More bitter and stronger than a mere Imperial Stout.

Beer Club February 2011

Belgian Ales

Always a favorite of mine, we return again to Belgian Ales. We had a particularly good selection this year, with two kinds of Golden Carolus, a new front runner for my favorite Belgian brand.

Belgian Ales February 2011Cuvee van de Keizer Rood

10% ABV Golden Ale [Type 3]. Tastes like cherry and apple. Dry and crisp. One beer.

Lost Abbey 10 Commandments

A California Beligan Style brewery, Lost Abbey makes strong, often hoppy beers. This one tastes like raisins and honey. A Belgian dark ale [Type 29] 9.0% ABV. Three beers.

Golden Carolus Hopsinjoor

A hoppier version from Golden Carolus. A Belgian Pale [Type 16], perhaps shading towards the IPA. 8.0% ABV. A great pale ale, with fruit, hops, a dry finish, and lots of fizz. One beer.

Belgian homebrew

Sweet smelling with a cherry finish. Mellow overall. Two beers.

Adriaen Brouwer Finest Dark [Type 29] 8.5% ABV. Sweet, with a quick finish. Pretty easy drinker. Two beers.

Delirium Nocturnum

Pink elephants on parade. Belgian dark, 8.5% ABV.

Piraat

Belgian pale [Type 16] 10.5% ABV. Belgian sourness followed by sweet cherry.

Dogfish Head Red & White

Belgian wit [Type 4] 10.0% ABV. An usual beer due to the presence of pinot noir juice and aging in oak casks. It combines the qualities of a white beer with a red wine. Very unusual, but very good. One beer.

Lucifer

Belgian pale [Type 16] 8.0% ABV.

Kwak

Belgian pale [Type 16] 8.4% ABV

And three for which I have no notes other than name, for some reason.

Corsendonk Pale Ale

Lost Abbey Lost & Found

Delirium Tremens

Beer Club January 2011

Strong Ales

This month's theme was beers of greater than 10.0% alcohol by volume. This means lots of flavor and thick mouthfeel. There are a number of styles that find their way into this category. There are barleywines, Belgian ales, and imperial styles that have extremely high alcohol contents. Barleywines can be aged, hence the name. Their flavors vary widely, it is an old style of beer, but expect a thick, heavy beer. Dubbels, Trippels, and Golden Ales tend to be strong due to the amount of malt used. Imperial [or double] styles are double doses of whatever goes into them. You can have an imperial anything, but the prototypical example is the imperial stout. We see a few Christmas ales as well.

Strong Ale Lineup 1Strong Ale Lineup 2

Old RuffianOld Ruffian Barleywine [Type 64] was the first tasting of the night. Brewed by the Great Divide Brewing company in Colorado. It is a red beer, very hoppy 90 IBUs. But the hops are sweet instead of bitter, with melon flavors. The hops balance the thickness of the beer well. 1 beer. 10.2% ABV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2010 Reserve Boardhead2010 Reserve Boardhead Barleywine [Type 64]. This is from Full Sail. Much drier than the Old Ruffian. There is a sharpness to the beer you can feel on the sides of your tongue. A very good beer, 1 beer. 9.0% ABV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imperial Stout Homebrew

We enjoyed an imperial stout brewed by one of the beer club members. It was an excellent example of the style. So dark it is almost black. Tastes of brown sugar, roasted malts, and celery. Brewed using 9# dark malt extract, 1/2# chocolate malt, 1/4# crystal malt, and 2 oz of hops of an indecipherable variety. Thanks for sharing!

Mikkeller BlackMikkeller Black 黒 is an Imperial Stout [Type 36]. Anything with Imperial modifying it is usually hoppier, stronger, or sweeter version of the original. Sometimes this is taken to extremes. This is definitely a case of that. Mikkeller Black is one of the strongest beers I have ever seen in person. It pours like used motor oil, slow, black,and thick. It has a sharp flavor. Coats the tongue. This would be a great topping on vanilla ice cream. It has a roasted-coffee flavor, better than I expected for the alcohol. It is more like a liqueur, something to sip after dinner. 17.5% ABV, 1 beer rating.

 

 

 

 

 

Le FreakLe Freak by Green Flash. A western take on the Belgian Golden Ale style. Quite hoppy, lots of grapefruit flavors. But a balanced beer. The malts and hops were balanced. 1 beer. 9.2% ABV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cuvee van de Keizer Blau

Cuvee van de Keizer Blauw. This is my undisputed favorite of the evening. Oh. My. Goodness. This beer tastes like candied apples. Caramel and green apples. A Belgian Dark Ale [Type 29]. 11.0% ABV. 

This beer is brewed for the birthday of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.  Charles V was Emperor during a crucial time for Europe. The Turks were first defeated at Vienna in 1529, giving Central Europe relief from the unstoppable advance of the Ottoman Empire. This was also the time of the Council of Trent and the Counter-Reformation. Charles was a contemporary of Henry VIII, and Catherine of Aragon's nephew.  

 

 

Three PhilosophersThree Philosophers Quadrupel. 9.8% ABV. Like a Trippel, but more so. A blend of Kriek and Belgian Dark Ale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Double Bastard Ale. A Stone Brewery Beer. 11.2% ABV. A sweet, hoppy beer.

Delirium Noel Delirium Noel, Belgian Dark Ale [Type 29] 10% ABV. A Christmas version of Delirium Nocturnum. Tastes like sweet cherries.

Hairy Eyeball. From Lagunitas, 9.0% ABV.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hairy Eyeball Lagunitas 9.0% ABV

Noel de Calabaza Beer Review

Noel de Calabaza

Belgian Dark Ale, [Type 29] 9.0% ABV

This beer shares sour notes with its close neighbor, the Flanders Red style. The sour flavor is foremost, but not overwhelming. Some fruity sweetness is also present. No noticeable hop flavor. Dark brown, with an impressively fluffy head.  Aged in oak barrels.

Rating

Noel de Calabaza is a Christmas Ale, and is well suited to bringing out on special occasions. As a sour ale, don't try it if you don't like the style.

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Beer Club November 2010

Brown Ales

November 2010 Lineup

Brown ales originate in England. The original brown ale style is made from 100% brown malt. There is some difference between American brown ales [Type 33] and English brown ales [Type 47], with the American styles tending to be drier and hoppier.

New Belgium La Folie

Although labeled by New Belgium as a Sour Brown, this beer is very much like the Flanders Red [Type 28], a sour, fruity beer. Nearly everyone did not like this beer, but I loved it. The intense sourness coated your tongue with an aftertaste of vinegar and sour cherries. A very unusual beer. 1 beer/6 beers. 6.0% ABV.

Boddington's Pub Ale

Not a brown ale, but an English Pale Ale, we used this to cleanse our palates after the Flanders Red.

Newcastle Brown Ale

Newcastle is one of the most widely distributed English Brown Ales. 4.7% ABV. A lighter brown ale, Newcastle is a sweet malty beer, easily drinkable and easy to find too. 3 beers.

Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar

The Magistra's favorite of the moment. Rogue's Hazelnut Brown is an intensely full, nutty beer. It has tastes of chocolate that make it taste like Rocky Road ice cream. Our host favored this beer as well. 6.2% ABV. 1 beer.

Nostradamus

This beer tasted like apples and malt. Very thick, much like a barleywine. This is a Belgian dark ale [Type 29]. 9.5% ABV. 1 beer. A host favorite.

Mountain Standard Reserve

Sweet and foamy with an intense burst of flavor as it hits your tongue. 8.5% ABV. Pretty expensive for the taste. 3 beers.

Saboteur 

Aged in oak barrels, this beer tastes like Kentucky bourbon. Not as popular due to the oakiness, but it has a sweet finish like pineapples. 3 beers. 10.0% ABV.

Humboldt Brown

A hippie beer brewed with hemp. This actually isn't that unusual, because hops are a member of the Cannabaceae family anyway. 5.7% ABV. Good flavor, but nothing special. 3 beers.

Session Black

A black lager or schwarzbier [Type 53], Session Black is a smooth dark beer with little hops and intense malty sweetness. 3 beers. 5.4% ABV

Moose Drool

A drier brown, with cocoa notes. 5.1% ABV

Bitch Creek

An ESB [Type 45], this beer starts bitter but finishes sweet. 6.0% ABV

Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale

5.0% ABV

Lost Coast Raspberry Brown

A rather weak tasting beer, the raspberry was not backed up by anything more substantial. 5 beers. 6.5% ABV

Abita Pecan Harvest

5.0% ABV. Another host favorite.

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