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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

270 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 270
Reviews: 141
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 45
Gots: 15 | 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: 270 | Reviews: 141 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of augustgarage
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cork date of 04/12 - not sure what vintage that makes this...served lightly chilled. Poured from a caged-and-corked 750mL bottle into my Trappist Westvleteren goblet.

The cork emerges with a burst of smoke and lends the air an immediate scent of currants and dessert wine.

Bottle glass brown body, reveals itself to be a complex mixture of garnet, carmine, and other deep reds with lighter highlights when held to a strong light. Extremely dark, yet with good clarity on first pour. A thin finger of creamy lasting wheat colored foam forms a dense sheen above the liquid's surface. Pasty tiers of lacing coat the sides, and a fine clear gloss rides down just beyond the edge of foam.

The aromatics are densely packed with esters, including a mixture of berries, currants, and wine (as mentioned above). As the beer warms and breathes, a hint of spice and leather emerges as well, while the yeast contributes it's own subtle complexity behind a bready malt note.

Tart around the edges, but primarily sweet, fruity, potently malty, with a wide array of secondary flavors from green figs to a light herbaceous quality that emerges in the finish. Hints of chocolate malt arrive long after the aftertaste should have given out - very impressive how slowly the flavors morph and evolve. Relatively sweet finish, though never cloying. A contemplative flavor profile which would lend this beer towards inclusion in the preparation of a meal, or paired with a good blue cheese (e.g. Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Bleu d'Auvergne) or ripened chevre (e.g. Humbolt Fog, Purple Haze, etc).

Effervescent, rich, full bodied mouthfeel, with hefty but by no means overwhelming alcohol content.

An excellent quad, a good value, with decent aging potential (maybe not enough to warrant picking up a 6L methuselah, but it's nice that you have the option).

augustgarage, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of Wowcoolman
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thank Hop-head Mike for making sure I've had this both on-tap and from the bottle. Either way try to check this one out.
There's a noticeable jump in character from the Val-Dieu Triple. It's bigger, darker, and sweeter. The sweetness is a fundamental driving character here- we get notes of caramel and brown sugar and some dried fruit backed by the malt. This is pure Candyland for adults, with the alcohol subtly enhancing the mix, but not overpowering.
There are quads out there that have more complexity and bigger flavor profiles. Compared to some of those, this one may not be the greatest beer on the planet. Let those ones stand as a main course. This ones for dessert.

Wowcoolman, May 13, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4.43/5  rDev +6%
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.

womencantsail, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of Sachsenfreude
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance; thick and creamy beige head, perfect retention throughout the drink. Beautiful chunky lacing, dark, brownish amber body.

smell; much like the style but muted and lacking the complexity of some of the big boys. A bit of stale grass and sugar with alcohol stands out.

taste; a tad bit too sweet, very nice aftertaste, complex with a good, touch of light hop balance and alcohol. Hints of cherries soaked in whiskey.

mouthfeel; on the light end of heavy bodied, creamy and warming with a sticky finish.

overall; A nice drink but lacking the usual complexities of the style. Still a great drink and well worth the price.

Sachsenfreude, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of liamt07
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle split with Steve and crew at Beer Bistro. 75cl, 2006 vintage. Into a few tulips.

Pours dark brown, relatively opaque with some great head and retention. Mild spotty lace. Nose of dark fruits, tons of spice, cloves and pepper, all taking on a subtler and well integrated flavour given the 5 years of age on it. Taste has more of the dark fruits, plum, spice and a nutty quality. Fruits are rich, as is the body. Grape skins and chocolate. Alcohol hasn't yet disappeared. Full body and rich feel to it, not overwhelmingly so. Complex and a nice treat.

liamt07, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of mithrascruor
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: A very dark pour, with reddish-brown highlights at the edges. Nice off-white head is creamy and foamy, with good retention. Some nice lacing as well.

Smell: Quite different than I imagined, since it is not heavy at all. I am getting the lightness of, say, strawberries and cream, though the actual aroma is more of caramel and fruit.

Taste: Has a pretty mellow fruity caramel flavor. I catch some raisins, apples, and hints of spice (cinnamon, nutmeg). Not much in the way of darker fruits, clove, yeast, or brown sugar. There's some more sweetness up front, and a bit of bitterness in the aftertaste, but overall, a pretty even keel throughout.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and smooth with light yet constant carbonation.

Drinkability: High ABV but not really apparent in the flavor.

A nice beer, but I don't really feel impressed by it. It lacks the dark, heady flavors that I generally associate with this style, and after a while starts to taste a tad too sweet. Not bad, but I was expecting something more and I'll pass on this in the future.

mithrascruor, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of impending
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml into a tulip. Pours a clear dark copper, backlit reveals a dark garnet. Dense towering head recedes leaving clumpy froth dangling.

Aroma as if a strong dark noël. Crisp clean spicy. Some smells seem happy, no reason really they just do, as does this. Superb

Long evolving flavor. Lots of candied dark sugars. Indigestion is a possibility. Nice peppery alcohol punches through momentarily before the phenolic long sweet finish begins. Warms well. Aftertaste till tomorrow. Thick viscous mouthfeel.
more of a strong dark than a quad
cheers
jd

impending, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of brewdenver
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

brewdenver, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of eric5bellies
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a Chimay Chalice

A - Pours a dark mahogany colour, off white creamy head that stays around for a while.

S - Heavy aromas of maly and sweet stewed fruits with some spice.

T - Complex flavours of malt and spice with some stewed fruits a hint of molassis. very well balanced indeed.

M - Medium to full body and medium carbonation.

D - This is a top shelf quad, that I enjoyed very much.

eric5bellies, Nov 30, 2010
Photo of alcstradamus
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Near black pour with a huge foam head and good lacing.

Aroma is raisin/caramel sweetness and some roasty malt. Notes of yeast and spices. Very peppery.

The flavor is toned way down in the spice department and the raisin is kicked way up. This is pretty damn good! Lots of yeast and a very light bit of acetone in the finish.

The body is on the fuller side of medium. Carbonation is high but soft and still keeps the beer a bit creamy.

Overall this is a very fine quad. Not complex at all, but quite tasty and easy drinking for the huge ABV.

alcstradamus, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of charlzm
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed October 17th, 2010 at the Los Angeles Beer Week Festival.

Beer pours a clear but very dark brown with a clingy one finger off-white head.

Nutmeg and dark sweet malt in the nose.

The flavor is mostly about bready malt; molasses, nutmeg and prunes play supporting roles. A sharp white grape note leaps in near the finish.

Smooth but boozy on the finish.

Its heft renders it not terribly drinkable, but impressive nonetheless.

charlzm, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of dasenebler
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.

dasenebler, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of WoogityBoogity
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.

WoogityBoogity, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of JoeAmerican77
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?

JoeAmerican77, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of ArrogantB
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.

ArrogantB, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of rapidsequence
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.

rapidsequence, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
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.

Huhzubendah, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of Derek
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.

Derek, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of Halcyondays
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.

Halcyondays, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of 89Vision
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.

89Vision, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of beertunes
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.

beertunes, Jun 02, 2010
Photo of weeare138
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

weeare138, May 26, 2010
Photo of ekmoody
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.

ekmoody, May 16, 2010
Photo of stbfan
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.

stbfan, May 03, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
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.

Mora2000, Mar 17, 2010
Val-Dieu Grand Cru from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
93 out of 100 based on 270 ratings.