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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

148 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 148
Hads: 325
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 16.83%
Wants: 53
Gots: 40 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu visit their website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 148 | Hads: 325
Photo of Knapp85
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a deep amber/brown color with a tan colored head on top. The smell of the beer was a little sour ot funky... It worried me a little bit, I was expected a sweet malty aroma and I got something that reminded me of a Wild Ale. The taste however completely made up for the aroma. The sweet malt and candy like flavors that a quality Quad has were in there and very pronounced. The beer tastes sweet with minimal bitterness. The mouthfeel was pretty good, it was moderately thick feeling with a low carbonation to it. Overall I enjoyed it, the smell still doesn't please me but the beer in general is quite good.

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Photo of TomGavin
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 750ml bottle into a Chimay goblet. Pours rootbeer brown with a gray-ish white head of about 1/8th of an inch. Great head retention and lacing.

Nose: Caramel covered almonds, rhubarb, cola malt and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy with mild carbonation.

Taste: Chewy caramel, wether's originals--but without any diacetyl slipperiness--and roasted vanilla smores malt. The finish is fruity and brief, but satisfying nonetheless.

Comment: I never noticed the ABV--10.5%--and this is the charm of a well executed and dangerously tasty beer.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to thirdeye11 for sharing this bottle.

Pours a murky medium-dark brown color with a white head. The aroma is cherries, dark fruit, malt and some sweetness. The flavor is dark fruit with a strong malty sweetness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a chalice)
cork says 2/10
A- This beer pours a dark dense brown body with a light brown glow at the base of the glass. There is a big beige oatmeal head that is rocky but simmers down to a thick creamy head as it sticks to the glass with each sip. There is a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles that keep the head strong.

S- The mysterious aroma is well blended and hard to describe with qualities of dry brown malt and old wood notes without oak but it has some cream and some molasses hints. The finish has some dry dark toffee notes.

T- The light brown malt flavor is well blended and fairly dry with a dry aged wood note and a slight tart hint that has some roasted malt qualities which grow as the beer warms. The finish is a dry candy sugar flavor with some grapefruit rind and brie rind flavors that are from yeast not hops.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat until it warms a good bit and then there is only a soft boozy alcohol flavor.

D- This beer really opens up as it warms and has a nice mysterious complexity making it a easy drink especially for a 10.50 ABV. It didn't have that wow flavor that pulled in lots of flavors but it was pleasant to drink.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear deep brown color ale with a full foamy head with good retention and great lacing. Aroma consists of sweet malt with some candi sugar and some dry fruit characteristics. Taste is also a well balance mix between rich Belgian malt with notes of candi sugar and some dry fruits such as raisins and plums. Full body with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done and some thing that I would have on a regular basis.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from notes
deep amber in color bordering on a nice brown with a small head of light off white color that quickly faded into obscurity and left some nice lacing along the sides of the glass. Deep boozy aroma here, lots of alcohol present along with some nice caramel malts and a touch of light grassy notes as it warmed. Some nice fruit flavor on the first sip but this is drowned out quickly by the hot nature of the booze. Really could use some time to sit down as it is just too fresh I feel. Still though I push on letting it warm and come through some light touches of raisins, perhaps a touch of light fig now mixing in as well. Smooth, light and subtle carbonation leaves the mouth dry

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A gift from brewandbbq, thanks for the opportunity Jeff!
Pours a deep reddish orange color with a huge bubbly off white head that persists forever. The smell is quite fruity. Orange and cherries and raisins in front of a solid caramel and darker sugar back drop with a hint of alcohol. The flavor is quite fruity as well with orange and citrus mixed with some sweet cherries raisins and plums. A solid caramel and melanoidin malt sweetness provides a nice balance against the fruit. There's a warming alcohol, but its very faint and never harsh. Medium to thick body with a moderate to high level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. This is a very nice quad, the citrus flavor adds a nice dimension to this brew.

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Photo of Premo88
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dense black body that leaves a big head and lace ring down the entire glass. A mix of roasted, coffee, burnt chocolate, toffee, oak, maple...I'm picking up a lot of malts and hints of fruit. A thick bodied and stick beer that is a little dry, has a large portion of roasted and burnt malts with some sweetness from chocolate, vanilla and caramel (even licorice). Not quite sure but I know tasting something like maple or molasses along with a berry type fruit. Finish is dry and a tad bit of an alcohol burn. A quality quad that is meant to sip and enjoy for a very long time...it's just that heavy and like a meal in a bottle.

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Photo of treyrab
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at Zeno's, State College last night and split with a fellow BA...

A: A semi-hazy dark Belgian color. Murky dark copper with a nice big head that lasts and laces decently.

S: Tons of banana, dark fruits, clove, spice. The smell here is really robust.

T: Does not lack complexity by any means. Very flavorful with sweet fruits dominating. This reminds me a lot of Southampton Abbot 12, but not as sweet. A lot of banana and clove in the taste as well..

Overall, this is a great Grand Cru and/or Quad.

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Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured very dark and clear into goblet
nice lacing

toffee, caramel sweetness in the aroma

The taste was surprisingly sweet (even for a strong Belgian beer) and lacked complexity as compared to other vleteren quads. I got some toffee/caramel/candy sugar, and a little alcohol. Maybe a little raisin. But not really much else. This was sort of like a St Bernadus 12 "light" in flavor -- it had the same top notes, but not much behind it.

Glad I tried it, and nothing wrong with it. But there are other quads I prefer.

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Photo of phishgator
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay glass. Deep brown in color with a medium head, low carbonation. The aroma is of rasins and plum. The taste is a touch of sour rasins, but a mix that is warming as it goes down. The alcohol is well hidden, but hits you at the end. The body if full and rich. This makes for and enjoyable drinking experience. A very smooth drink with a good amount of subtle flavors.

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Photo of rarbring
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The brew is clouded chestnut, an off-white small head with little lacing but heavy curtains.

Smelling of dried or ripe fruits, bananas, spices, some acidity. Much Belgian.

Tasting sweet, brown biscuits, syrup, brown sugar, ripe fruits, some faint bitter cherry seed nuances.

Medium carbonation, foamy small bubbles, soft and smooth, a big body.

A very rewarding and in every sense great beer.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep violet, opaque, nearly black, almosr, under a fine sheath of creamy froth...I like the look, so far...
Dark chocolatey color, style-appropriate. Nice.
Big yeast carbonation in the nose. "Dark" spices - pepper, anise.
Good flavor, a touch understated for a quad, which can be nice. Dark malts, roast, coffee. Carbonated enough to be reminiscient of spiked Coke. Honestly, it smells like bread yeast. It's good, not overly complex but not a pretender. Full bodied, but hides double digits nicely.

Thick in the mouth, gets more viscous when warm. Good for the style and the aftertaste is less intense than others 10+% beers. Finishing the bottle was hard for me, not necessarily the taste just the heavy characteristics. Great beer.

Taste: mmmm-MMM!!!Espresso whispers, cola hushes, dark fruits and anise, black pepper peeps in, black and chocolate malt, and delicious Belgian malt and yeast. Mmm, darkness and spice aplenty! Yu-um! That's what makes this special, this particular sparkling spiciness....a bit rough in the texture, burrs against the buds to much, methinks...but then this unique and wondrous flavor creeps in ...too much...

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Photo of ehammond1
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Dark amber, ruby, and brown with a very thin khaki head. Lined lacing down the glass. Can't come out looking much better from the tap.

The aroma is of prunes and raisins, some alcohol, rye bread, and a bit of spicy, tangy yeast. Good, but I wish there was less of an alcohol presence.

I have a similar complaint with the flavor. The dark fruits, yeast, and tangy rye bread are all very good, though (and perhaps because I tend to judge my quads tougher than most any other style) I'm disappointed in how present the alcohol is in the flavor. A delicious sipper, though it does have room to improve. I would love to try this one aged.

Medium to thick mouthfeel. Somewhat thick and creamy.

A good quad, with just a touch too much alcohol heat.

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Photo of ekmoody
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice deep ruby colored beer with about a finger of white head. Aroma of dark fruits, bready yeasts, some mild sweetness. Taste is similar to the smell, a delicious blend of fruit, spices, and malt. The 10.5% abv is definitely not apparent in the flavor. Overall I really enjoyed this one. Of course, it's not something I'd have more than one of in a sitting, but I'd certainly have one again.

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Photo of stbfan
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice looking, dark brown with ruby hues to light. lots of sediment. Huge off white head. Smells of cloves, bread, yummy. Tastses like a medium to thick mouthfeel.tastes of cloves, belgian yeast, a little bitterness in finish. almost metallic. Very drinkable.Nice quadruple. Nice lacing on glass. Finish is a little lacking though.

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Photo of bishopdc0
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of brdc
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Large corked and caged bottle, poured into a goblet.

Very nice looking, very dark brew with multiple reddish hues, a nice tan, creamy-looking head that is very small despite my efforts (?), but the small amount that I can make holds well into the end, with very very nice lacing - sides of the glass are all covered.
Aroma is pleasant, but less pronounced than most quadrupels; it is quite delicate here. Fruity, mostly berries, yeasty, sweetish malts mostly caramel, but you really need your nose deep into it, it is not coming out as I expected. Still nice, though.
Very creamy, even velvety on the mouth, with a pleasant taste, although similar to the aroma, not as powerful as I expect from a quadrupel.
Fruity, mostly sweetish and showing multiple notes of berries and caramel, with a reasonably dry finish that asks for more. There are also some spices coming and going, mostly peppery.
There are a number of better quadrupels out there, but this one is still very pleasant and worthwhile.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of fourstringer
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
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.


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Photo of WoogityBoogity
4.07/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Artificial cork, date stamped "05/12". Cork was a bitch to remove, and it seems as if there was barely any carbonation.

A - Dark mahogany body... poured straight down tulip glass and barely any head formed. Cleary body, although dark. After a minute, head settles to almost a tiny froth. If twirled, microbubbles reduce from body.

S - Simple malt, cinnamon aroma. Very mild fruity esters for a "Grand Cru".

T - Malt complexity is limited... but stands out. A few peppery spice phenols. Finish is dry. Label claims 10.5% ABV, though alcohol taste is well hidden (or is lying).

M - Medium body, low carbonation.

D - Very drinkable; would pair well with dessert if you're looking for a Quad that doesn't overpower.


It almost seems like the beer I tasted was way too young.

I'm not sure if I, like the person just below me, got a bad batch - but it seems like this was bottled before tertiary fermentation was completed. I believe Val-Dieu doesn't use bottle fermentation, so it almost seems like after racking, Val-Dieu didn't complete the carbonation process.

Either that, or very simply... this beer is way too young (which I don't believe). As it's bottled, it travels from brewer to importer over seas by boat (30 days), then to distributor's warehouse (another 30 days), to store shelf (couple weeks)... so I'm not sure of the situation.

But recent reviews don't match previous reviews.

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Photo of CWiggins
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I mistook this for the blond ale by the same brewer, and opened it without realizing what I had! Imagine my surprise after the first gulp, when those dark, malted candy sugars and intense alcohol hit my tongue. Whew!

I purchased this some time back, while picking up several items from Sam's in Durham. It poured a very dark brown into my Unibroue glass, and the tan head hung around for some time. Lacing continued around the perimeter until the glass was empty. The aroma is rather weak; there are hints of brown sugar, dark cherries and alcohol, but they're just not very strong. With a deeper sniff I noticed the scent of Concord grape juice!

The flavor is superb. It's full of dark sugars and chocolate, with a slight espresso accent at the finish. There's a nice warmth here as well, probably due to the alcohol. It's full-bodied and contains a little more than medium carbonation.

A very nice Quadrupel. It's nice to know there are so many good Quads on the market.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Moeder Lambic Fontainas during our trip to Belgium last week. Reviewed from notes.

Served in a Val-Dieu chalice.

Pours a very dark brown with hints of mahogany and a really nice light tan head that lasts for quite awhile.

The nose brings some light roast as well as a good amount of dark fruit and a fairly-prominent anise character. Light booze. Flavor mixes dark fruits and anise quite well, leading to a nice finish after a medium body. Really interesting and tasty.

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Photo of pinotboy007
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep mahogany but nearly opaque with a rich khaki-colored head and plenty of lace. Superb!

S - Oaky vanilla and malt. (I suspect this needs to warm up a bit more.)

T - Slightly sweet, oaky vanilla with a hint of an exotic single malt and leather. Very nice!

M - Slick and satiny; impressive by any standard. There's only the slightest touch of fizz and the creaminess is simply amazing. I'm getting only a tinge of alcohol burn on the back end, impressive given its ABV.

D - Dangerously so. Buy a few of these and save them for those splendid autumn afternoons.

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Val-Dieu Grand Cru from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
92 out of 100 based on 148 ratings.