Val-Dieu Grand Cru - Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
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Ratings: 268 | Reviews: 140 | Display Reviews Only:
4.25/5 rDev +1.7%
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.
02-25-2014 18:46:25 | More by BEERchitect
4.25/5 rDev +1.7%
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.
05-13-2011 04:18:18 | More by Wowcoolman
4.25/5 rDev +1.7%
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...
04-13-2009 07:15:01 | More by sweetbrew82
4.24/5 rDev +1.4%
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.
02-13-2013 03:47:25 | More by biboergosum
4.22/5 rDev +1%
Served in a Val-Dieu chalice, which was a nice surprise. Very dark brown, nearly black in the dim lighting with an attractive silky beige covering on top. Sweet raisin aromas dominate upfront, opening up to reveal strawberry, cherry, caramel, chocolate, banana, and vanilla...very nice. Somewhat less fruity flavor, though the raisin continues along with plum, fig, and caramel malt. No booze at all. Medium-full bodied with very light carbonation making it satisfyingly smooth. I really liked this one...
02-03-2012 14:05:46 | More by wedge
4.2/5 rDev +0.5%
Bottle with a 02/10 date poured into a Chalice produced a good two fingers worth of off white to tan bubbly head that goes to a thick lace. The body is a dark burgandy color on this brew.
Aromas of dark fruits, raisins and plumbs along with a whiff of yeast
Great flavors of fruit, candy, spice and bready yeast filled my mouth. Full creamy mouthfeel nice carbonation on the tongue as well.
Great drinkability on this, a little high in the alcohol department to drink too many of these in one sitting. I guess though it depends how the night goes.
09-06-2008 22:47:03 | More by joepais
4.19/5 rDev +0.2%
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.
05-31-2013 02:57:04 | More by metter98
Val-Dieu Grand Cru from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
93 out of 100 based on 268 ratings.