1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

287 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 287
Reviews: 142
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 12.02%
Wants: 46
Gots: 21 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 287 | Reviews: 142 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of eric5bellies
4.45/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of alcstradamus
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of charlzm
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Photo of dasenebler
2.83/5  rDev -32%
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.

Photo of WoogityBoogity
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
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?

Photo of ArrogantB
3.05/5  rDev -26.7%
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.

Photo of rapidsequence
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

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.

Photo of Derek
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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.

Photo of 89Vision
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

Photo of beertunes
4.53/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Photo of weeare138
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
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

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.

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.

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.

Photo of fragilemacabre
3.93/5  rDev -5.5%
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)

Photo of ommegangpbr
3.35/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of rhinos00
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of alfistheman
2.45/5  rDev -41.1%
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.

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.

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.

Val-Dieu Grand Cru from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
93 out of 100 based on 287 ratings.