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

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

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148 Reviews
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Reviews: 148
Hads: 323
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 16.83%
Wants: 52
Gots: 39 | 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
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Reviews: 148 | Hads: 323
Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour black, with not a thick body, virtually no head, I think this one 5 years old. Still good mouthfeel conistency. Spicey aroma. Taste of cocoa and licorice predominately, still very nice with supper. Rich aged taste, not your coriander. Sweetish spice.

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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 t0rin0
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my favorite quadrupel (of the 13 I've tried). It pours a dark brown color that is pretty clear. The head is white and thick and sticky, pretty cool for a Belgian beer.

The smell is mostly of raisin and plum but there are other sweet smells coming out as well. There is also some yeast to be smelled when its been sitting in the pint glass for a couple minutes. Alcohol doesn't make itself noticeable until the temp rises.

The taste is wonderfully strong and sweet. No hop flavor as usual but theres plenty of yeast and fruit flavor. Tons of malty goodness. Some small amounts of spices noticeable but not so much in the taste, more in the mouthfeel of the beer. Just a wonderful flavor all around. Everything balances nicely and no one flavor dominates the rest. Not the most complex beer in the world but thats alright, sometimes (like in this case) simpler is better.

Medium/heavy body. Its not really that viscous but once it hits the tongue it really coats everything nicely. Very drinkable, if it were cheaper I would buy a ton of this stuff.

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Photo of metter98
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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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 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 brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a classic Belgian head that sheets the chalice with lace; nice retenttion, too

Smell: Plum-sweet aroma, with cherry, licorice and bubblegum influences

Taste: Opens with bubblegum, although not quite that sweet and then expands into a range of interesting fruity flavors, predominately plum, but also cherry, strawberry, green apple and pear; after the swallow, the darker influences emerge, with fig, licorice and a hint of tobacco

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body and creamy; could stand to be a tad thicker; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Great example of the style; I often see the other Val Dieus around, but this should be more widely available

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

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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 biboergosum
4.24/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cork had a date of 03/09

A - Poured out a semi-opaque, very dark burgandy color with a tan, bubbly, four-finger head. It left some soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of cherry and raisin. Also, malty and spicy aromas. Alcohol was also present in the nose.

T - It tasted of dried fruit and sweet malt. The spiciness increased as it warmed up.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to heavy-bodied beer with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This is a very good Quad. Only drawback is that it became very heavy by the end.

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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 womencantsail
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The pour is slightly yeasty, so there's a bit of turbidity to it, but the color is mahogany with a big off-white head.

S: Wonderfully sweet on the nose with plenty of maple syrup, caramel, and brown sugar. There's a little bit of vanilla aroma and plenty of dark fruits.

T: A really solid dark fruit flavor of raisins, currants, and plums starts things off. Dark brown sugar, caramel, and toffee give a nice maltiness and sweetness and I get some maple syrup as well.

M: Medium to full in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: One of the better Quads out there. One of my favorites.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.77/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Ebenezer's Pub, Lovell, ME

Served on tap, poured into a chalice; a dark mahogany brown with a small eggshell head that left some nice lacing on the glass. Aromas of dark sugars, rich maltiness, and notes of dark, dried fruit. Nice array of flavors on the palate, with yeasty bread, brown sugar and caramel, raisins, pears, plums. Smooth and medium-bodied, and pleasantly drinkable.

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Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep violet, opaque, nearly black, almosr, under a fine sheath of creamy froth...I like the look, so far...

Aroma: lovely, and uplifting, sweet and delightful...yeasty, brady, some delicate fruit...some dark malt notes, too, some black pepper, licorice, cola....

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...

Wonderful beer...wish I had a caseful at hand...alas, and alack!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared a bottle with Rob earlier this summer. Review from notes.

Poured into two goblets from a 750mL bottle. This beer appears a cinnamon brown hue with a decent sized head and adequate lacing on the glass.

Belgian yeast aromas with sweet malts, figs, alcohol.

This beer is a little hotter and a sweeter than I would prefer. There are some nice notes of dark fruits soaked in alcohol and classic Belgian yeast strain flavors, but this is a step below the upper echelon of Belgian quads.

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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 Gavage
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a clear reddish dark amber color. One finger head falls to a thick surface covering. Nice lacing paints the glass.

Smell: yeast, alcohol, and caramel candy are pleasant on the nose.

Taste: caramel, bread dough, plums, grapes, honey, spicy yeast, and mild alcohol tones are wrapped in a nice bitterness. This is a hearty Grand Cru.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth throughout. Long caramel and bready aftertaste.

Drinkability: this beer represented the style well and is a slow sipper. Alcohol will catch up to you with this one. Nice beer worth finding.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.58/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a dark brown with a remarkably white head compared to the base beer. Some nice lace.

S: Brown sugar, raisins, dark candi sugar is prominent.

T: Has the classic dark candi sugar quad flavour but really nothing else. Some raisin and prune, but lacking complexity. Just going through the motions.

M: Medium-bodied, very smooth, light carbonation.

D: A solid quad, but the complexity and flavour was considerably better in the Brune which I had back in the day.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.37/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the second beer I drank on 30th Aug 2007, to celebrate the lives of John White and Micheal Jackson. I bought the bottle at the brewery shop this year and had been saving it for a special occasion.

Brown 75cl corked and caged bottle, the cork carries the best before date of 03/09. The cork was long and difficult to remove, so the bottle was slightly wobbled, the sediment moved into the beer and may have messed up the scores a bit!

Poured in a Duvel glass and a Hoegaarden Grand Cru one.

Very dark, almost black in colour, with a white head sitting proudly on top. If I looked closely, which I did, the sediment was washing around just below the surface and throughout the body of the beer, pity.

I could detect no aroma what so ever, which in its self is very strange, because the taste was full bodied and strong.

The taste as already mentioned was full bodied, it was also fairly sweet, very alcoholic and suggested plums, raisens and a light liquorice presence.

The flavours hung around in the mouth and although it is a strong beer, the thickness wasn't rich or pudding like. Can't put my finger on it, but something was missing. Which is why the drinkability is only a 3.5 score. The no show of any aroma doesn't help either.

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Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bottle from Abe's for about $9, served in a chalice.

This is big, sweet quad with enough spice to make you wonder if the yeast can really do that much work. It's fruity, of course, with dark fruit of blackberries, dates, and raisins. The spice elements is all very smooth with light vanilla, corriander, white pepper, and cinnamon. My only complaint is that while this doesn't drink cloyingly sweet, it can become a little much and this is a must-share beer.

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