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
93
outstanding

147 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 147
Hads: 318
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 5.98%
Wants: 50
Gots: 36 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 147 | Hads: 318
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
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 (1,051 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (1,842 characters)

Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (724 characters)

Photo of bishopdc0
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
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. (381 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.77/5  rDev -9.8%
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. (886 characters)

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.6/5  rDev +10%
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. (1,489 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.18/5  rDev 0%
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. (702 characters)

Photo of thierrynantes
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
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. (290 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (577 characters)

Photo of DenverLogan
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
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. (747 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (1,803 characters)

Photo of PHSCAPT
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
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 (321 characters)

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (954 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.68/5  rDev -12%
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. (565 characters)

Photo of Impfan
4.73/5  rDev +13.2%
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. (286 characters)

Photo of avalon07
4.6/5  rDev +10%
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. (564 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (728 characters)

Photo of rarbring
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (396 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Chez Moeder Lambic Fontainas (Brussels, Belgium) on 7/5/12. Served in goblet.

Pours a near black in the glass, topped with 1 ½ fingers of rich off-white froth. This retains with a thin creaminess that soaps the sides of the glass with thick swathes of glass. The aroma is a dark fruit explosion, with a strong spiciness (anise is really sticking out) and a sticky underpinning of molasses and brown sugar flavors. This is very rich and flavorful in the nose.

The taste is RICH! Dark fruit, cocoa, molasses, brown sugar, toffee, and licorice all leading into a dry and spicy feeling finish. The mouthfeel is fuller bodied, with a light prickliness on the tongue and then more of a smooth silkiness that fills out the rest of the mouth. The alcohol here is present and while not overly warm in any way, it does start to wear on the palette just a bit.

Man, this was a damn good Quad! It was extremely flavorful and smooth for the size and was just a real treat to end our meal with. I’m glad we can get these beers in the States. Val-Dieu is on my radar in a big way now. (1,087 characters)

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured in a snifter.

A: Pours a deep dark amber color forming a huge yellow head. Particles floating around. Good retention and many lacings left

S: Very sweet and fruity (plums). Candy sugar, caramel malts, Belgian yeasts and alcohol. Bit of earthy hops

T: Follows the nose. Sweet upfront. Very malty. Candy sugar, Belgian yeasts, dark fruit esters (plums and raisins). Alcohol in the end. In overall, a sweet beer

M: Heavy creamy and molasses body. Good mild bitter aftertaste

O: Good drinkability. Nice Quad (528 characters)

Photo of Reagan1984
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had first heard about this beer from Ml67 (Mark) and he said it was incredible. While visiting Moeder Lambic in Brussels I saw this on the menu. Just had to have it. Very glad I did. Excellent beer.

Being in Brussels needless to say it was served in the proper and specific glassware. There was a thick/tight beige head with awesome retention. Dark brown with burgundy/purple tones. Some foam lines the glass as you work through the beer.

Aroma hangs heavy in your nostril and if filled with sweet, rope dark fruit. Plum, fig, light spice and some yeast notes. There is a sweetness to this that is very pleasant.

The flavor follows the aroma, but is a bit more complex. Raisins, plums, fig present along with some cherry coke. Black Pepper and subtle anise. Lots going on here. The layers of malt flavor are very nice.

Thick body, shy of sticky…but in the neighborhood.

Mark was right. (not that I doubted him) This is a great beer. (939 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Moeder Lambic Fontainas, served in a Val-Dieu goblet.

A: Deep persimmon body under a finger of creamy, very fine tan head. Great retention, good lace. Excellent.

S: Rich, sweet dark fruits, dessert wine, and a chocolate. Lots of figs, grapes, raisins, and plums. Minor spice, chocolate, and alcohol. Terrific.

T: Fruity up front, with some rich malt sweetness building in behind the dark fruits. Spicy booze on the finish. Sweet, complex, and great.

M: Fairly full-bodied, sticky, and full of creamy, rich carbonation. Decadent.

O: This was a spectacular Quad, probably my favorite that I drank while in Belgium (no, I didn't have Westvleteren, but I did have tons of Rochefort 10).

Cheers! (706 characters)

Photo of danedelman
4.42/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-dark brown with creamy white head. Nice lacing on glass as you drink.

S-dried fruit, candi sugar, molasses and malt dark

T-very smooth at 10.5%. Lots of raisin, fig, and dark candi sugar all very well blended together. All work well together and produce an awesome brew.

M-very drinkable, if the abv wasn't so high could session this one!! (344 characters)

Photo of wedge
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

@ Woody's

Served in a Val-Dieu chalice, which was a nice surprise. Very dark brown, nearly black in the dim lighting with an attractive silky beige covering on top. Sweet raisin aromas dominate upfront, opening up to reveal strawberry, cherry, caramel, chocolate, banana, and vanilla...very nice. Somewhat less fruity flavor, though the raisin continues along with plum, fig, and caramel malt. No booze at all. Medium-full bodied with very light carbonation making it satisfyingly smooth. I really liked this one... (516 characters)

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 1/2" tan coloured head that remained and left a nice lacing over a deep and rich coloured dark brown liquid. The carbonation was steady. Beautiful.

S: Very sweet. Strong Belgian yeast smells of cherries, figs, plums and pears dominate the smell profile.

T: The taste is very similar to the smell. Very sweet with flavours of figs, plums, cherries, dark grapes and some pears on the back end. The malt is sweet and biscuity with a hint of toffee. I would give it perfect marks taste-wise, however, I found it to be a little too sweet and just a faint bit metallic on the back end.

M: Medium to thick viscosity and a high level of fine carbonation.

O: A beautiful beer that ranks up there with some of the best Quads and Belgian Strong Dark Ales that I have tried. (769 characters)

Val-Dieu Grand Cru from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
93 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.