Val-Dieu Grand Cru - Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu

Not Rated.
Val-Dieu Grand CruVal-Dieu Grand Cru

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

307 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 307
Reviews: 146
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 50
Gots: 33 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-02-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 307 | Reviews: 146
Photo of JayQue
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Good Quad!! Pours a hazy mahogany brown color into my Chimay goblet. Very little light comes through at the base of the glass. Fairly big off-white head ( good for this abv level) with better than average retention. Plenty of filmy lacing on the glass. Strong aroma of dark fruit (raisins, plums and some cherry), malt and some Belgian yeast and candi sugar.

Flavor is more of the same with the dark fruit and malt most dominant with the yeast and sweetness taking a less prominent role. Very flavorful, not a whole lot of spices but the flavor is strong and very appealing.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth with a little alcohol presence, warming with just a little bite. The sweetness is just right.

Just a step below my favorites, such as St Bernadus abt 12 and Westvleteren. Relly good Quad.

Mouthfeel

Photo of Premo88
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

25.4 oz. bottle poured into Orval goblet
(courtesy of good friends back from a Belgian vacation)

L: clear brown -- MUCH clearer than any quad I've seen; 1/3-inch tan foam; keeps a nice half skin of foam and active bubbly collar; burnt orange up to light

S: dark fruit ... raisins, plums ... toasted fruit cake; molasses ... LOTS of molasses; smell just a hint of alcohol/red wine; toasted honey-roasted nuts (gets a bit of a nutty note)

T: red wine, grapes, very sweet raisins, dates -- very sweet and fruity even when it tastes on the darker side of the range of abbey ale malt flavors, basically getting more molasses than licorice; does show a little licorice in there at times

F: fantastic ... bubbly midweight and easy going down; some might say a bit light for a quad, but I'm saying perfect

O: a bit sweet and definitely darker -- the licorice note exists, though it's not omnipotent here -- but hard not to say it's quite yummy. fun getting a chance to try it straight from foreign lands. it's not anything I'd go to great lengths to find, but good brew.

Photo of barczar
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very raisiny and prune dominant in aroma, with rich melanoidin character and toasty malt.

Flavor echoes, but is more dry than expected, with a bit of alcohol bite.

Photo of keithmurray
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - eggplant colour body with white head

Smell - raisins, plums, figs, sherry, port

Taste - plums, figs, raisin, sherry, port, nutmeg, blackberry, grapes

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, medium carbonation, slight sweetness upfront from the dark fruits, spices from the belgian yeast on the back end

Overall - this is a great Quad - I would dare to say this is right up there with St Bernardus Abt 12 and Rochefort 10. very well done. I would easily re-visit this

Price Point - $10.95/750ML bottle

Photo of Bierman9
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%

I swung into Cafe Frape in Maastricht on 29SEP14 for a libation or two... While perusing their extensive menu, the friendly owner suggested I try this offering, fresh on tap. Sure, why not? A 0.33l chalice was priced at €3.75. Quite reasonable...

The glass was filled with a dark, deep chestnut-hued bier; quite opaque all in all. Had a layer of fine, tan foam which ebbed to a thin coating along with some solid lacing. Aroma was of sweetish dark fruit, like raisins and dates, with a splash of cherry. It was medium-plus body-wise, and silky smooth passing across the tongue.

Flavor also had a pleasing level of sweetness, with LOTS of dark fruit present. I found raisins, dates, currants and cherries mixed in, with some mild hopping at the finish. A super bier! I loved it and bought three, plus was comped a fourth from the owner. Much obliged, my friend!! Zum Wohl!!

4.35/5 rDev +4.1%
look: 4.20 | smell: 4.10 | feel: 4.15 | taste: 4.45 | drinkability: 4.50

1676

Photo of argock
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%

Poured from a 750 ml brown bottle 3 ways into a clear tulip. No freshness date (on label says to look at cork) and cork has "REF -- 18" labeled. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Very dark brown with amber edge ringed by a 1/2-finger beige head that falls away pretty quickly but leaves a thin line of lacing. (3.5)

S: Big fruity malt aromas of fig and dark purple/black grape mixed with brown sugar and some molasses. Hops are not really there. Yeast esters are light but carry the fruitiness with minimal phenols and minimal to no hot alcohol. (4)

T: Stellar flavor with delicious sweet graham cracker cookie, fig, brown sugar, and light molasses. It really has a lot of Fig Newton notes. Hops provide moderate bitterness to this big beer. Yeast flavors are minimal and alcohol is very well-hidden. A masterful quad with a good balance of bitterness and malty dark fruit sweetness. (4.5)

M: A very drinkable beer with moderate viscosity with a little bit of syrupy fading to medium body, light carbonation overall, a delight to drink. (4.25)

O: A grand beer with big malty flavors, balanced evenly with bitterness and with abundant dark fruity notes. A really nice classic quadrupel that puts many to shame and drinks more like a BSDA with its medium body and low-medium carbonation. Val-Dieu brings it again and it is one of the unsung Belgian breweries in my opinion. I expect excellence from them and again they have delivered!

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

An excellent offering from Val-Dieu. Ale pours with a nice ruby brown hue and thick frothy
foamy head that leaves significant lacing. An exceptional nose of dark plums, Belgian candy
sugars, dark cherries, sweet earthy breads, and light Belgian spices of coriander and anise.
Taste is unbelievable. Dark fruits wash over the palate in waves....plums, figs, black raisins,
and that wonderful sweet Belgian candy sugar. Alcohol is far from present on the nose but
well represented on the back with coriander and a hint of sweet orange. Sweet finish that
lasts long and full. A sweet treat for all Belgian lovers. A WOW kind of experience.
Best of the Val-Dieu's I have had. Outstanding. One of the best ales I have had this year to
date.

Photo of fourstringer
4.07/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL corked & caged bottle into a Duvel tulip. Moderate hand. Cork is dated 10/2014, indicated as a best by date according to the label.

A: Deep ruby-brown body that is essentially opaque black viewed straight on. 2-3 fingers of rocky, off-white/beige head. Good retention. Impressive lacing. Really nice looking brew.

S: Dark fruit, raisin, black cherry, date. Sweet bread. Molasses. Toffee. Faint banana. Trace dark chocolate. Spice cake.

T: Richly sweet malt with a strong dried fruit presence up front. Baking spice. The sweetness gradually yields partially to some balancing hop bitterness. Finished semi-dry. Notable alcohol presence with some lingering warmth and dark chocolate notes in the aftertaste.

M: Moderate carbonation with a moderate to full body. Very palate coating. Slightly sticky. A touch prickly.

O: This one is certainly more suited to December than August - fairly boozy, sweet and heavy. Did get a bit cloying finishing off the fifth myself, but very nice scents and flavors. Will definitely revisit come more quad-appropriate weather.

Prost!

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into chalice, best before 4/2015. Pours fairly cloudy deep reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, cherry, pear, apple, light banana, dark candi sugar, clove, pepper, light caramel, toast, brown bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Incredible aromas with awesome complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and bready/candi sugar malt sweetness; with great strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, cherry, pear, apple, light banana, clove, pepper, dark candi sugar, light caramel, toast, brown bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Good amount earthy yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, cherry, pear, apple, light banana, clove, pepper, dark candi sugar, light caramel, toast, brown bread, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and bready/candi sugar malt sweetness; with an awesome malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding quadrupel style! All around fantastic complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and bready/candi sugar malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

(11.2oz bottle - best by date: Apr 9 201x - last digit cut off)

A: exceptionally brooding, leather, raw umber liquid, ruby highlights... decent finger width of foam on the pour, keeps a

S: dark-toasted muffin, raisin... perhaps a bit of roasted grain... bit of a spicy note on the tail end... simply enticing and drool-inducing for lovers of dark Belgian ales and muffins

T: dark, rich, melanoidin-y (a la doppelbocky decoction) maltiness... hint of dark roast coffee grounds in the finish... unique shade of pan-earthy-fruity (fig-violet-grape-date) booze, sand-blasted in drive... sort of citrus-pithy bitterness lingering, alcohol and milk chocolate hanging

M: decadent, marginally-spongy muscle of malt with a distant, fiery, halo glow of mellow-acidic ethanol... the sauce is on top, feather-light, sub-levels circling the perimeter, while the numbing, (tongue-)tranquilizing eth-knock more than cuts off the stab of sweets

O: like they all said at work - fan-freakin-tastic... a 'quad' with a bruised, fleshy tone... try this shit... do it

Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beautifully balanced, powerfully complex and highly spiced; yet the ale has a delicate side that makes it approachable and way more drinkable than a beer of this stature should. But that's the seductive nature and the charm of authentic abbey ale.

Lighter in its tone than many Belgian darker, stronger ale- its finesse dark honey hue shows even in the beer's appearance. Lightly creamy in its froth, a slowly smoldering white cap builds on the beer and retains with a daintiness and subtlety that laces the glass quite intricately.

Its medley of fruit and spice dances in the nose with a back and forth of apples, clove, dates, black pepper, plum, fennel, cherry, coriander, raisin and white pepper. Its balanced scent is supported with the scent of brown sugar dominance but also pulled candy. Even its rounded alcohol spice plays out in its scent like spiced rum and vinous acidity.

To taste, fresh fruitcake comes to mind as all those bready-sweet tastes play out on the early palate like coffee-cake or rum-cake. In the middle, fruit flavors pile on with those savory pitted fruits, dark fruits, stone fruits and with a pep of rose wine to boot. Mildly spicy with pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove- these flavors are delicate and supportive, seeming to arrive via its yeasty backdrop. Finishing with spicy rum and wine, the complexity of the ale keeps building as it reveals more and more flavors as it warms.

Medium-full on the mouth, the beer's sweetness is pulled from the tongue by its soft but racy carbonation. Creamy and yet semi-dry, the beer ushers in a steady procession toward a malty-dry finish with spicy warmth and lingering fruit in aftertaste.

Val Dieu shows why the legacy of Belgian ale will live on and in the highest of quality possible. Its a unique recipe but is also true to form. Its taste is simply divine.

Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep tawny color with relatively good clarity. big fizzy off white head. Rich hearty, currants, figs, booze soaked dark fruits. There really is a nice hearty grainy smell that overrides the other smlls in this beer. Smells like theses hearty rustic pretzels I had at a german beer garden.

The flavor is incredibly subtle and delicious. Slightly sweet dark fruits, some dark belgian candi sugar, that hearty grainy flavor comes up on the back end for a bit of balance, a little bit of alcohol heat on the back and a little bit of lingering sweetness. Incredible subtlety though with a velvety medium body and prickly carbonation. It's a really great beer, for being so big it drinks so easy, simple but well blended flavors.

Photo of bishopdc0
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap part of my uprising

Served in a Val-Dieu goblet

The beer is deep red with a dark white head. The beer laces very well.

The nose is sweet with hints of berries, heavy malts and a pleasant alcohol back

The taste is a classic quad, malty earth with hints of leather and almost red wine. There is a noticeable amount of alcohol but it cuts the mouth making a nice dry mouth.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.77/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750ml caged & corked bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a murky medium brown color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, caramelized malts, dark fruit, brown sugar, some spice and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar, spices and some fruit. Then some breadiness comes in from a strong Belgian yeast backbone and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid Quad to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a corked and caged bottle into a Rochefort chalice. It's a deep, dark brown pour; clear when held up to the light. I get a nice lacing of khaki head that dissipates down to a thin film with lacing around the edges, but doesn't ever seem to vanish completely. The nose is divine. It has all the indications of a fantastic quad. There are big sweet bready notes, sugary cakes fresh from the oven, chocolate, and figs soaked in rum with fudge. Simply heaven.

One sip of this one and I was staggered. Full body and an overload of sweet, boozy, dessert-like flavors. Tons of spice cake, dark fruits, and brownies, all swimming in port. It's very reminiscent of Pannepot, only with a bit more booziness up front. The sweet flavors are so intense, it keeps catching you by surprise (even after several sips). As the beer warms a bit and de-gasses, the port-like notes start to deepen a bit on the back of the palate and the booziness starts to seem more tempered. Either that, or it's the buzz kicking in.

This beer is like a dessert and after-dinner liqueur all rolled into one. My only gripe is that the booziness, while delightful, is perhaps just a bit too prevalent and lends the beer a somewhat cloying character, reducing the drinkability. Perhaps my palate is just too sensitive and is over-reacting to too much of a good thing. At any rate, this is certainly one of the best quads I have had yet. A delightful drinking experience I must recommend to every fan of the style.

Photo of metter98
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: The beer is slightly hazy brownish amber in color. It poured with a finger high off white head that gradually died down, consistently leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of dark fruits are present in the nose - plums seem to stand out in particular.
T: Like the smell, the taste has lots of flavors of dark fruits along with a moderate amount of sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: While you can tell that this is a strong beer from the sweetness, it hides its alcohol very well from the taste. This is exactly how I like my quads - with lots of fruits and a good amount of sweetness.

Photo of thierrynantes
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (75 cl.) purchased from "Bières d'ailleurs", and tasted in 2013.

Appearance : reddish brown color, with tan foamy head.
Smell : roasted malt and spicy aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : alcohol and malty flavors, with vineous notes.
Drinkability : a nice beer in the style Quadrupel.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a clear dark orange-brown with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, dark fruit, and slight spice aromas. Taste is much the same with fruity and spice flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Photo of DenverLogan
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Corked bottle...nice pop...poured in a Corsendonk chalice. Cork says 10/2014.
Dark brown with a beige head.
Rich aroma of sweet malts, slight plum, pear & prune.
Significant carbonation and big mouthfeel.
Flavors of candy sugar, molassas, dark roasted malts, caramel, cocoa, slight carob, rosemary, sarsaparilla...lets give this a few minutes...
Yeah baby...there's a small remaining head and the aroma remains strong and sweet...flavors are strong with a sweet biting malt distinctiveness.
I'll admit I did represent this brewery in California in 2007 and found all their brews excellent...great yeast and big malt profiles. The Grand Cru has a touch more of a bite than the others, but nevertheless a lovely beer, fresh or with a few years age.

Photo of biboergosum
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, best before Jan 2014. I had no idea that this was a Quad - otherwise I might have gotten to it much sooner upon its arrival in Alberta a while back. It possesses a crappy, unmovable Champagne-style cork, which at least gives my recently idle corkscrew something to do - silver linings!

This beer pours a hazy, fine sediment-strewn dark copper-amber hue, with three ambitious fingers of puffy, shiny, thinly foamy ecru head, which leaves a few dense, sudsy instances of hanging curtain lace around the glass as it duly melts away.

It smells of dark, complex sour fruit - plums and bruised banana, mostly - earthy yeast, light caramel malt, a bit of astringent woodiness, a touch of brewer's sugar, mild nutty chocolate, and a musty, somewhat dank hoppiness. The taste is a fair bit sweeter than let on by the nose, with a steadily subtle caramel/toffee malt, some nicely muddled black/brown fruit - again led by overripe bananas and saucy prunes - bittersweet chocolate, mild clove and faint white pepper spice, ethereal Belgian yeast, and a dull hum of moderately musty, dusty, earthy hops.

The carbonation is average, with a bit of lifting pep, and nothing more, the body an almost hefty, but that's a-ok, medium weight, with a dulcet, understatedly creamy smoothness. It finishes on the sweet side, but in a oh-so moderated manner - fruit, malt, yeast, and a conspicuously absolute absence of booze warming.

While maybe not on a totally even par with the Rocheforts and Westvleterens of this focused little world, Val-Dieu's Grand Cru (I just love saying that, for some reason) still comes off as a serious player, in both flavour and otherworldly complexity. I still can't inwardly reconcile how they sneaked a 21-proof ABV offering past me so cleanly, so additional kudos for that.

Photo of PHSCAPT
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A – mahogany dark, turbid orange when held to a light; poured at 60F into a Chimay goblet; a pinky finger of creamy white head
S – seriously…I get macaroni and cheese mixed with an apple shed
T – Nicely boozy; sweet dark fruits with slightly dry finish
M – finely carbonated, very smooth
O - Definitely a re-buy

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml corked and caged into Westvleteren chalice.

A. Pours 2 finger head. Thick lacing. Really good retention. Color is very dark brown.

S. Caramel, dark fruit, oaky earthiness, belgian yeast. Smells like it is a dryer quad. Gets a little bit sweeter smelling as it warms. Brings out some candi sugar. Also get a bit of creamy spice as the beer warms. Interesting depth of aroma.

T. Drinks pretty dry too. Very interesting. Lots of caramel malt. So much caramel malt flavor it almost pulls the beers flavor away from being called a quad. Get belgian yeast, and a bit of spice on the back of the tongue. Not very sweet.

M. Medium/full bodied. Medium carbonation. Finishes pretty dry.

O. Really good beer. Great aroma. Flavor is not on par with the very best quads. Just not the traditional Belgian flavor of the very top Quads. Has a lot more caramel flavor, and lacks some of the sweetness. Never the less, this is a really good beer.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle courtesy of fthomasl pours a rich crimson color with a fluffed tan head. Awesome lacing upon a decent retention. A good looking beer for sure.

Nose is bananas and chocolate....almost reminds me a bit of Aventinus. Lots of yeast esters and malty goodness....mmm

Taste is chocolate covered bananas with a dusting of cloves...interesting and tasty belgian offering. Id go more BSDA than quad but that is mainly due to the spicy zestiness the beer throws down. Interesting blend of flavors, but a bit on the sweet side for me and the phenols are raging.

Photo of Impfan
4.73/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma and flavor of dark, candied fruit, caramel, toffee, clove, banana, tart Branston pickle, ginger, lemon and orange peel, and honeyed melon, cherries, grapes, and pears. Very complex and appealing with just the right level of carbonation. One of the better Grand Crus I’ve tasted.

Photo of avalon07
4.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. had a dark brown color and a cloudy consistency. There was a two inch, off white, foamy, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A big aroma of dark fruit, yeast, sugar, and malt.

T: Tasted of Belgian yeast, toffee, malt, dark fruit (plums, raisins), and some spices (pepper). Slightly boozy, but not overwhelmingly so. A very focused, complex and powerful flavor.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a smooth, prickly finish. Medium-bodied.

O: One of the best Quadrupels I've tried in a while (or ever). Very, very drinkable.

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Val-Dieu Grand Cru from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
92 out of 100 based on 307 ratings.