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Review by joe1510 on 11/17/09  
 
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
88 2 10 18 5 9 2009
750ml
$8.99
Binny's, Plainfield

2007 Release
10% ABV

I picked this bottle up about 15 months ago and it's been in the cellar ever since. Grand Cru of the Emperor fills this here little goblet with a murky, deeply red liquid that appears black unless backlit. When the light sits directly behind the glass there are tiny yeasties suspended throughout and large, slow rising carbonation making its way to the surface. A soft pour brought about a one finger head that settled to a solid cap and thick creamy collar that leaves behind some impressive sheet lacing.

The first thing that hits me when I stick my nose in the glass is anise but as my nose gets deeper somehow dips into dark molasses. There are handfuls of dark fruits loaded into this brew with prunes, figs, and spicy rum soaked raisins being most prominent. Bready caramel stays steady throughout the nose and mild fruity esters float through the background with banana leading the way. When this hits room temperature a surprising cherry note leaps from the glass and is very prominent. That just boosted the score! A deep pull brings forth some spicy alcohol that adds to the overall aroma.

This beer is the essence of what these BSDAs are all about in their glory. Hugely complex flavors layer each other and seem to shift after every drink. Bready and caramel sweetness lay it down while the dark fruits have a hand in all the intricacies. The banana is mild but noticeable while the Bing cherry plays a large role as this beer warms. There's a spicy alcohol on the finish that adds yet another layer of depth to an already deeply complex beer.

The body of this beer is what I've come to love in the finest brewed Belgians out there. This beer weighs in at 10% and has a moderate body with an airy enough carbonation to bring out that perfect velvety texture. There's not a hint of alcohol in the flavor but there is a faint fume or two rising through my nose. You can't ask for any better than this!

This beer goes down incredibly easy, so easy in fact the booze can catch up to you fairly quickly. Besides that this is a beer to be sipped and savored. It really opens up for the better as it breathes and is purely drinkable for such a bruiser.

I've sampled this beer a few times over the years and have thoroughly enjoyed every bottle I've come across. This year-plus old bottle is outstanding just like the others. This truly is a classic and one of the best in its loose fitting style.

Reviewed: 3/16/09

Price: $8.99 Served In: Goblet