Grand Cru (2016)
AleSmith Brewing Company
A Note on This Beer
Kim is one of those people with a to-do list longer than her forearm. She’s an expert at texting single-handed, and she only sits down was when she lays down for bed.
It stresses everyone out, even her, which is why her Mom sent her to meditation classes and her sister bought her aromatherapy candles. Neither worked. But I had another idea: What Kim needs is a beer made explicitly for savoring by brewers who know how to create stop-worthy experiences.
One sip of Grand Cru -- AleSmith’s rare, GABF award-winning Belgian Ale -- was all it took to turn “go-go-go Kim” into “stop-sip-stop Kim.” First I had to wave the gold-topped bottle in between her cell phone and her face. Is that wine? She asked, despite herself. No, I replied. It’s elegant like wine, but softer.
Then I explained that this beer’s been cellaring since 2016, giving it the complexity of wine and the smoothness of cognac. If she just took two seconds to taste it, she’d understand why it’s rated in the Top 75 of its Style on BeerAdvocate. Kim didn’t know much about BeerAdvocate, but the “best in class” accolade piqued her competitive curiosity.
Oh wow, she said when she tasted it. It smells like brandy-soaked cherries. With the plummy first sip, her shoulder blades sunk down her spine. The toasted chestnut bite pushed her back into the armchair; the butterscotch flavor was like a blanket around her shoulders. And as the brown sugar notes coated her tongue, Kim actually stopped talking. In that moment, she learned to feel satisfied. She had an appreciation for the slow and the smooth.
Now, Kim and I pull a bottle of Grand Cru from my cellar whenever she falls back into her beyond-busy lifestyle. I invited her to join me the last time I visited AleSmith’s taproom, voted City Beat’s Best in San Diego. Of all the breweries in SD, this is the place where craft beer drinkers go to unwind. Now, Kim’s one of them.
Rated 4.05 on BeerAdvocate; GABF Award Winner; Multi-Award Winning at the California State Fair
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