Grand Cru - Great Divide Brewing Company, Denver
Great Divide's beers appeal to be on several levels, the least of which is flavor. It seems like, for a period of time, I was bringing these beers home from the liquor store and I was often disappointed with how they tasted. There's a lot of like about Great Divide and I really want to keep giving them chances, even if it doesn't always pan out... They've got a great label design, their beers are priced fairly and they're from Denver. Like I said, Great Divide has a lot going for it, unfortunately their beers aren't always on that list. It's not all bad though, there are some bright spots in their line up and those are the beers that keep me coming back to Great Divide.
This bottle of Grand Cru is the newest beer in Great Divide's line up. It says Grand Cru on the label with a subtitle of Belgian Style Dark Ale. It seems odd to me because I always understood Grand Cru to be a French style, not a Belgian one. Sure, both countries speak French so it's not that big of a deal. If this is a Dark Ale style beer I'd just rather they called it that instead of a Grand Cru. Anyways...
The Great Divide Grand Cru pours a very dark red color and settles into it's clear body with a nice thick light tan colored head. The bubbles subside quickly and only a little lacing is left behind. The aroma reminds me of a sweet Belgian Dubbel, with dark candied sugars, plums and a good deal of alcohol.
The flavor is similar but more complex, which came as a pleasant surprise. There's a rich dark fruit and sweet candied Belgian sugar flavor to this beer that I was expecting, but there's an almost wine-like reg grape sweet, but not-quite-tart, flavor that really keeps things interesting. I found this beer to be much more complex than I expect. I enjoyed all of the flavors in this beer and came away from it thinking it was almost too easy to drink at 11% ABV.
If you're looking for an easy to drink dark Belgian style beer that is strong enough to bring your night to an early end, this is the beer for you.