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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

259 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 259
Reviews: 138
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11%
Wants: 44
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-02-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 259 | Reviews: 138 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dasenebler
dasenebler

Maine

2.83/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml, Netherlands, best by cork date 03/12.

Brooding brown, very dark. Great head laces with some serious staying power.

Aroma is quite bready and warmly spicy. Dark fruit notes.

The flavor is not terrible, I just find it too sweet and flawed in the end, sort of like the beer hasn't finished fermenting yet. Lots of brown sugar and toffee, coupled with slight dark cherry flavors. That's it really. I was expecting more depth. Alcohol and spices start to kick in as the beer comes to room, but overall the alcohol is well-disguised. Slick and oily mouthfeel. Soft, creamy carbonation.

This beer succeeds in every aspect except the most important: flavor. Maybe this bottle needed more age. Yet, with a cork date of 3/12, I would expect this to have been bottled in 2008 or earlier, so it should really be much more drinkable than it is.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2010 00:09:54 | More by dasenebler
Photo of WoogityBoogity
WoogityBoogity

Florida

4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2010 01:58:29 | More by WoogityBoogity
Photo of JoeAmerican77
JoeAmerican77

Colorado

3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App-Poured a rich dark mahogany, very little head which sooner than later equalled no head.

Smell- Smells faintly of dark fruits and alcohol, a little bit of licorice root. A slight sourness to the aroma almost lambic like.

Taste- A soft Sweet, front meets you from the get go. Generous amounts of candy sugars and phenol nips. A thick mallasses flavor and some sour citrus in the back. Once warmed is opens to a thick and sweet treat.

Mouthfeel- Full-bodied and thick in the mouth, blankets the tongue. Lightly dispersed carbonation and the alcohol tends to help clear the palate in a decent way at the end of each sip.

Drinkability: Heck yes, get one and enjoy the dark flavors that await. Brewery's best offering maybe?

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2010 05:01:10 | More by JoeAmerican77
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

3.05/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle $10. I have always passed up Val Dieu beers and for some reason this caught my eye. Maybe it was the black label? Anyway, this poured a very dark brown and looks like your typical Belgian quad. The smell was fruity and sweet, almost too sweet. The flavor was raisins and sweetness, cloying sweetness. This was not my favorite quad and now I may know better about buying Val Dieu beers.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2010 00:22:10 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of rapidsequence
rapidsequence

Virginia

3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked bottle. $8.50 from Pints O Plenty.

Appearance: A very dark, clear ruby color. Big, soft cottony looking head with infinite retention. Very nice lacing. Helluva good start.

Smell: Smells very sweet. Dark fruit and yeasty spiciness. A nice maltiness and a tiny, unexpected whiff of sourness.

Taste: Very, very sweet. Too sweet. Raisiny syrup flavor, some spice, a nice bready yeast finish. The alcohol is warming, but hardly tasted at all. Not all that complex, and just too damn sweet.

Mouthfeel: Well this part is really nice. Full in the mouth and very smooth. The carbonation gives an exceptional softness.

Drinkability: This is a pretty good beer, but not that great of a quad, especially for an actual Belgian. Its just too sweet and not multifaceted enough. It was enjoyable enough, but I won't buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2010 01:28:16 | More by rapidsequence
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2010 03:35:37 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

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

A: Very dark, brown-black with a huge, bubbly, light-tan head. Excellent retention & lacing.

S: Dark fruit & pleasant spicy phenols. Truly excellent.

T: Figs, raisins, cherries, light spicing, brown sugar, cider, nuts, hints of cocao, nicely balanced bitterness, slight alcohol warmth, though I'd never guess it was this strong! Flavourful, perfectly balanced, well-crafted.

M: Well-attenuated, moderately full body has only a slight hint of residual sweetness. Good carbonation.

D: A really easy-drinking Belgian for its strength.

I'd say this is more of a strong dark than a quad, but all around, it's a great brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2010 20:36:07 | More by Derek
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2010 23:50:38 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of 89Vision
89Vision

Virginia

3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2010 02:06:38 | More by 89Vision
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a glass that was a cross between a flute and a tulip. Poured a very dark brown, really light black, with 3/4 of an inch of tan head that had good retention and lacing.

The aroma was a slightly sweet blend of malt and fruity scents, not really any yeast on the nose. the flavors were also rich and dark, featuring a bit of fruit, solid malts and a bit of yeast.

The body was full, rich and smooth. Drinkability was great, couldn't be better. Overall, a true gem of a beer, worth seeking out.

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2010 19:29:12 | More by beertunes
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a copper toned amber with a small off white head that slowly fades after a decent retention. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of ripe fruit, freshly baked bread, brown sugar, esters of bubble gum and spice.
Taste is of tropical fruit, plums, brown sugar, and raisin bread.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, smooth, well balanced, tasty, and lightly boozy

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2010 00:05:01 | More by weeare138
Photo of ekmoody
ekmoody

Wisconsin

4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2010 14:01:12 | More by ekmoody
Photo of stbfan
stbfan

Alabama

4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2010 04:56:56 | More by stbfan
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

4/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2010 03:22:48 | More by Mora2000
Photo of fragilemacabre
fragilemacabre

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -6%
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)

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2010 08:16:38 | More by fragilemacabre
Photo of ommegangpbr
ommegangpbr

New York

3.35/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I'm pretty sure I tried the Brune from this brewery but somehow neglected to review that one. I kinda recall liking it but don't recall specifics.
Pours a very, very dark cola color just shy of being opaque. Not very much head forms, the head that does is bright white.
Not a whole lot comes out on the nose but there is a sour scent that makes me a bit wary. A sourness that would be appropriate in a flanders red ale, in here, makes me think that something may have gone wrong.
Flavors are less worrying, if a bit one dimensional. Almost overtly sweet with dark sugar candy flavors. Molasses undertones with edges of port wine in there. Very fermented, overly ripe dark fruits, maybe a flash of fig?
Better warmer than colder, misses out on some balance for my taste. The 10.5% alcohol is, indeed, extremely sneaky and belly warming. Maybe serve with a dessert? A boozy fruit cake, maybe? Something in a rum cake? Rum raisin ice cream does come to mind when having this.
Worth a try, especially if you like the style. Probably worth a trying in a taste test next to something similar.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2010 06:23:44 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of OneDropSoup
OneDropSoup

Pennsylvania

4.68/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at 6 & Save in New Kensington, PA.

Poured into a goblet very dark, looked medium-bodied, with a thin dusting & ring of head. Ruby highlights. Full lacing, like the inside of the glass was coated in gauze.

Smells of dark, rich fruit: cherry, grape. Like a pudding.

Taste is fab! Rich, candied fruit, bready, spices like cinnamon & sugar. Under that is kind of a crispy, biscuity malt character reminiscent of an Oktoberfest, gives it a little backbone. Some caramel pops up. Wonderful.

The mouthfeel is full, kind of sticky sweet, to be expected.

This was delicious. Did not find the alcohol imposing, or even really noticeable. This is like a rich dessert: one is plenty, but you can't help yourself going back for another helping.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2009 12:17:49 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

4/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2009 13:37:53 | More by clayrock81
Photo of rhinos00
rhinos00

Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a Rochefort chalice. Cork had a date of "3/09."

A- Pours a dark ruby / crimson color, almost black. Produced a fingers width of white creamy head. As the beer warmed, lacing became more prevalent.

S- I love the smell of aged quads. Loads of dark fruit consisting of figs, prunes, and raisins along with ripe pear. Also carried some sweetness from malts. Just fantastic.

T- Much like the nose...great combination of ripe fruits and sweet malts. Really enjoyed how the fruit flavors were distinct. Sometimes the sweetness can be overdone in big beers, but this had just the right amount. Very mellow and blended perfectly.

M- Medium to full bodied. Pretty carbonated. My only knock is that it could have been a bit more viscous.

D- While the aroma and taste were great, this is still a big beer. That being said, the alcohol really mellowed out as compared to the fresh version.

Overall, highly recommend aging this one. If only they made it more convenient by placing the date on the bottle instead of the cork.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2009 05:49:29 | More by rhinos00
Photo of alfistheman
alfistheman

Florida

2.45/5  rDev -41.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2009 22:11:52 | More by alfistheman
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2009 02:44:05 | More by Sammy
Photo of pinotboy007
pinotboy007

Virginia

4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2009 21:58:40 | More by pinotboy007
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2009 14:04:44 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of Soneast
Soneast

Wisconsin

4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at Brasserie V in Madison, served in a Val-Dieu chalice. Pours a brown color with some copper tones. The light brown head is thick and pillowy and hangs on for the entire ride. I had to drink through suds right down to the very last sip. Great retention! Lace....Talk about lace! This more or less pulled a sheet of bubbles down the entire glass as I drank.

The aroma reminded me of black cherry so definitely some dark fruits on the nose as well as a well defined sweet malt and some brown sugar-ish/toasted caramel presence with little to no alcohol detected.

The flavor is quite complex, although predominated by the dark fruit character with black cherries being the dominant fruit I'd associate it with, as well as an underlying raisin, some brown sugar flavors, a mild chocolate presence throughout, and just a hint of hop spiciness towards the end to round out the flavor profile.

I was thoroughly impressed with this beer. Just silky smooth, leaving a delectable presence on the palate. Quite an easy drinker too, although it would probably be best to keep this to one or two glasses. Those Belgian Strong Dark Ales and Quads never cease to amaze me with their ability to pack an amazing flavor-punch, yet retain a low alcohol presence, despite the high ABV.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2009 00:58:04 | More by Soneast
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
ALESwhatCURESya

Wisconsin

4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked
Purchased after meeting with the North Shore FD to get my daughter Marlie's car seat installed. I also finished another semester of grad school so I figured it was a good time to have a grand cru of sorts.

A-Deep dark brown body with traces of rusted ruby in the light. Initial pours produce a very clear body with a nice dense layer of beige head. The lacing is quite impressive and clings all over throughout the session. Heavy yeast sediment on final pour.

S-Toffee, raisins, alcohol, and minerals fill the nostrils. Major hits of dark, candied fruits.

T-Much like the aroma, there are large doses of caramelized sugars and dark fruits. Moderate levels of spiciness comes through as the beer warms. Bready and doughy with a wonderful sweet finish to match.

M-Highly carbonated and dry for such a big beer. Wonderful blend of intense Belgian flavors and refreshing finish. The alcohol is evident at first but dissipates as the beer warms to room temp.

D-Every day beer....No, but it is a wonderfully crafted Belgian Quad that could be considered a great example of the style. This is the type of beer that I strive to create as a homebrewer.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2009 01:30:27 | More by ALESwhatCURESya
Val-Dieu Grand Cru from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
93 out of 100 based on 259 ratings.