Tracy Hensley's picture

Préaris Grand Cru 2015

April, 2017
Judges Rating: 
22 / 24
6 / 6
36 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
18 / 20

Préaris Grand Cru 2015 is a spiced Cognac barrel-aged Belgian Dark Strong Ale, and was evaluated as a Mixed-Style Beer (2015 Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Category 34B) offering according to BJCP guidelines.  For this style, the main characteristics are harmony and drinking pleasure.  Préarís Grand Cru displays all elements of a spiced, barrel-aged, Belgian, dark, high-alcohol beer, but the alcohol and tannin levels are too high.

The aroma begins as dried prunes, mission figs and walnuts with low dried ginger. After a minute, nose-warming toasty vanilla with dark raisin walnut and almond bread with a slight sour twang character emerges. The ale is an opaque dark brown with amber highlights color supporting a low fine tan head with two inch legs.  

The flavor starts out with noticeable alcohol warming followed by dark caramel, spicy vanilla, dried prunes and figs. The finish is soft and dry with a dried red and green raisin mélange blended with spicy cinnamon tannin. The chewy mouthfeel is supported by moderate carbonation with slight prickingly mouthwatering acidity.

Overall, Préarís Grand Cru 2015 has complex, evolving aromas and flavors regrettably overwhelmed by strong alcohol, tannin, and a slight acidic twang.