Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

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: 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 148 | Hads: 323
Photo of Kraken
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wonderful Beer poured from from caged and corked 750ml bottle. Smells of raisins and fermented apples. Deep Brown color, thin foamy head with nice lacing, head diminishes over time. First sip of the dark caramel-goodness is raisin/plum with citrius and vanillla notes. Slight alcohol taste upfront, alcohol becomes more noticeable as if warms. Nice finish, apples, caramel and yeast become more prevalent as beer warms. Complex but not cloying as some other quads. Fantastic beer highly recommend if you can find. Took my bro and I 2yrs to find our second bottle!

 563 characters

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.

 569 characters

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.

 975 characters

Photo of DenverLogan
4.45/5  rDev +7%
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 sweetbrew82
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ML bottle/ best before 03/09 (date consumed)

P: Sits very dark brown in the glass with the only light coming through the edges. The 1 finger, off-white head is soapy with small bubbles. Showed decent retention before settling to a thick cap of foam, while leaving intricate webs of lace.

A: Lots of dark fruits that aim to please! Grapes, raisins, and figs on top, with some nutty maltiness and brown sugar underneath. The alcohol smells vinous to me.

T: Silky smooth malt bill holds the palate's attention with a deeply toasted/ slightly roasted flavor that brings life to chocolate and tree nuts. Its slick & oily, mouth-coating richness is the star of the show. As for the fruit, the grapes and raisins are probably the most pronounced, with figs underneath. Hops lay low, but do deliver some earthy flavors and a spicy stab that works great with the brown sugar complimenting. The alcohol is very soft & mellow. Its non-abrasive, non-intrusive nature never overwhelms, but does warm the chest nicely. This is fantastic!

M: This Grand Cru is full-bodied, slick & oily, rich & luxurious. It's ridiculously smooth while feeling a bit chewy as it warms.

Notes: This is a fantastic Belgian Ale that is almost like a Belgian Stout! Good complexity, intriguing depth, great flavors, and good drinkability. I'm going to go snag the last bottle off the shelves the next chance I get. Now, if I could just get my hands on the rest of the Val-Dieu lineup...

 1,460 characters

Photo of jisom123
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Belgian from Belgium.
Lighter in color than most Quads.
Fresh sent. Fresh flavor, notes of light apple and grain.
abv was 10.5 but you could only taste 8. kind of cloudy appearance, not unlike Erdinger.
Would go perfectly on a picnic, or another hot day when you normally would not want to bottoms up a quad.

 310 characters

Photo of danedelman
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
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 trevorjn06
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany/brown with a thick, tight mouse-like head that lingers. Thick lacing down the glass.

Aroma is rich stone fruits, figs, plums, raisins, molasses, burnt sugar and dark caramels. Wonderful.

Taste follows the nose with sweet, dark caramels and dark fruits. There is a bit of burnt sugar, sweet malt, molasses, moving into plums, raisins, figs and a bit of Munich malt like bready character. Finish has hints of alcohol and dark fruits that linger for awhile. A very pleasing taste that lingers.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall this is an amazing beer: strong, full bodied flavor with a great complexity and lasting finish. Highly recommended.

 692 characters

Photo of Impfan
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
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 abents
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish brown color with huge light tan head that laces sporadically. Smells of yeasty bread with a hint of sweetness.
wow this an interesting brew a whole lot going on with the taste buds. Sweet malty, fruitiness lead into various spices, maybe anise, pepper?, and red fruits. Way more complex than what my lowly palate can detect, but sooo interesting and delicious. Slight alcohol at the finish, but so smooth and exciting, this is one BIG beer.
Mouthfeel is probably one of the best I have ever had, it has this creamy texture upfront that leads to a refreshing crispness at the end. Great, great beer put on to try again list.

 645 characters

Photo of JackRWatkins
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

On draught and the J. Clyde in Birmingham

Deep almost opaque brown cola color mild lacing creamy head weak retention

Smells of raisins and dark fruit (jams and jelly) brown sugar malt baked bread

Good deal of bitterness up front for a quad
More dark fruit and the malt profile of a funnel though it is scaled back a bit here for balance though still noticeable, a bit of nondescript tartness warm and rich

Creamy and smooth

Overall a pretty decent BSDA but I would always reach for the ABT 12 before I'd reach for this, it is definitely worth a try tho

 559 characters

Photo of JohnnyS17
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is a nice mahogany with a slight reddish or purple tint. A tall white head with a hint of tan. Relatively transparent with some cloudiness. It smells sweet like maple syrup and brown sugar. It kind of reminds me of pancakes, but with a hint of alcohol. Haha.

The taste is nicely sweet, like raisins and brown sugar. The high ABV is hidden well with the sweetness. A light medium body that brings back the maple syrup idea. Light carbonation.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. I paired it with my saltier steak and it was perfect.

 544 characters

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.

 1,403 characters

Photo of discovolante65
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Track84 in Warwick, RI

Pours a prune-purple brownish color with a 1-inch off white head that reminded me of sea-foam.

Smells of brown sugar, malty/toffee goodness, and raisins/cherries. Slight alcohol smell at the end.

Tastes of malts/brown sugar, toffee and maybe caramel. The taste is almost an exact replica of the smell.

Mouthfeel is creamy, fizzy,and lingering with deliciousness. coated my mouth and throat nicely for quite a while.

Drinkability- were it not for the high ABV, I would've had more, but I was driving, so I shifted to something with a lower ABV. Next time I come here, not driving, and having more than one of these. Excellent Quad!!!

 679 characters

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

Wonderful beer. Active frothy head with pour. Used a New Belgium .47L tulip glass. Color is dark, around 18-23 lovibond. Taste was sweet with hints of caramel and red wine. Had a sort of resin aroma. Very active on the palate. Definetly getting more for the price I found it.

 275 characters

Photo of fragilemacabre
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I first tried this fresh from chillage, and I was NOT pleased. It reminded me of the bitter, flat characteristics of Gulden Draak (which I had been led to have high hopes for).

Another try while it was warmer, however? It has a good bready smell to it, almost a sourdough, with a deep, dark sweetness to it, and its head and lacing upon warming up are impressive. The molasses flavor that was overpowering and cloying while cold mellow out into a maltier and bittersweet profile.

I won't ever drink this cold, but warmed, it is happy for the taste buds (and the warming of cheeks)

 583 characters

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.

 519 characters

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.

 335 characters

Photo of 89Vision
3.64/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The first thing I noticed about this beer upon uncorking it was the smell. It has a very sweet smell with a faint tartness that I found to be quite pleasant, though a little stronger than I'm used to from Abbey ales.

Poured into a chalice, the color is a very dark, deep brown. I was disappointed that there was no real head to speak of, and it quickly faded. The color was nice and about what you'd expect from a quad, but the head retention was much less than what I've come to expect from an Abbey ale.

The beer was colder than what was suggested on the bottle, but I was impatient and dove right in. The taste was about what I was expecting form the aroma. Very sweet, tasting of grapes, a faint taste of cherries, and the raisin/fig quality found in most Abbey ales. When colder, its definitely a little too sweet for my liking. As it warmed, it mellowed out and the taste was significantly better. The high alcohol content (10.5%) is also hidden quite well.

In all, I enjoyed this beer, but I don't think its something I would seek out again. To me, it was a little overpowering and less subtle and complex than other Abbey ales.

 1,139 characters

Photo of alfistheman
2.51/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

750ML bottle, with 2/11 drink by date on cork
Good appearance, light brown semi transparent with good amount of lacing.
Smell is of fruits and chocolate, hard to seperate the complexity.
There is an immediate off taste that over powers the taste of the malt and yeast... is that dextrose? I drink natural ice time to time and I know that offending flavor... Maybe the Belgium call it sucrose... but I believe thats a different flavor, more sweet than chemical like adjunct. This tastes like adjunct and it over powers all the other flavors... i get a little hint of chocolate on the after taste and a big alcohol bite which is expected at 10.5%
The mouthfeel is pretty good, bubbly carbination, little oily but thats what caries the after taste... the mouthfeel is only thing even coming close to saving this!
Drinkability... well it was a 750ml and I won't be buying it again. I had to force myself to get the last glass down. My GF didn't like it either and agreed it had a Macro American taste even though its from Belgium.
Can't believe the reviews give this an A! This is the only Val-Dieu offering i've had... and the only Quad but this doesn't come close to american belgium offerings from Allagash and Ommegang.

 1,219 characters

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.

 561 characters

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.

 394 characters

Photo of PHSCAPT
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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 graywalker
3.43/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours very dark, with very little head that dissipates quickly. Aroma is lots of malt, dark fruits, and a little bit of spice. The alcohol is barely present in the aroma and does not even come to the front in the taste. Mouthfeel and carbonation are very nice but this beer is way too sweet for me. I love quads but I think I would turn this down next time. Give me a Rochfort or Pennepot Fisherman's ale instead.

 413 characters

Photo of JoBoTo
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The cork kicked my ass on this one. Took me a good 5 minutes to get this little thing loose. Didn't want to crack it so I took it slow, but it was in there tighter than... Nevermind. 75cl, 50-60 degrees, cork says Val-Dieu 03/10

Pours what originally was a brownish gray from the early on, but ends up a dark mahogany. Poured into a Duvel Chalice. Gave it about a finger and a half of head. Looking for lacing or colored edges and I am seeing nothing. Not like Stone XII dark, or Yeti dark, but still completely opaque, and no edging. Head is still there lingering and not dissipating quickly at all.

Smells of malt, yeast, and sweet...raisins. Sweetness is detectable, cherries cam to mind also, but can't relate it to a high or low, just in there quickly and disappearing rapidly. Seems like a cinnamony, spicy in there too. Sadly, I smell the metallic, (maybe yeasty) smell that I commonly smell in tripels and quads. I can feel my heart burn starting already.

Medium to thick body, wow, I was moving it around my mouth and a little got to the back and just attacked my throat. Needed to swallow before I got my ass kicked. Let's try this again. Tongue tingle is mild, with feeling all over. Leaves behind a nice coating of yeasty goodness. No alcohol burn, despite being 10.5% Seems to tickle your tongue tip more than any other area. Foams when played with

Yeast and an astery onslaught. Prunes maybe... raisins. Seems to be a fruit that I am not commonly familiar with. Definitely a sweet flavor in there that threw a rock at my attention, but is hiding when I turn to find. There is no metallic taste, thankfully, I was really hoping there wouldn't be. A darker malt... good all over flavor. The entire tongue gets to play in the beer. Thick coating left throughout your mouth. Feels like you could chew the residual left over. Just all over your mouth.

This is a good little find. Picked it up while in Spain for I believe 6 euro. Not bad for 75cl. I could see this being a gateway to some of the more complex. Not overly aggressive, except its drop kick to my uvula. I enjoyed it, and would recommend it to those that enjoy this style.

 2,150 characters

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