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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: 325
Avg: 4.16
pDev: 16.83%
Wants: 53
Gots: 40 | 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: 325
Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 1/2" tan coloured head that remained and left a nice lacing over a deep and rich coloured dark brown liquid. The carbonation was steady. Beautiful.

S: Very sweet. Strong Belgian yeast smells of cherries, figs, plums and pears dominate the smell profile.

T: The taste is very similar to the smell. Very sweet with flavours of figs, plums, cherries, dark grapes and some pears on the back end. The malt is sweet and biscuity with a hint of toffee. I would give it perfect marks taste-wise, however, I found it to be a little too sweet and just a faint bit metallic on the back end.

M: Medium to thick viscosity and a high level of fine carbonation.

O: A beautiful beer that ranks up there with some of the best Quads and Belgian Strong Dark Ales that I have tried.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a deep amber/brown color with a tan colored head on top. The smell of the beer was a little sour ot funky... It worried me a little bit, I was expected a sweet malty aroma and I got something that reminded me of a Wild Ale. The taste however completely made up for the aroma. The sweet malt and candy like flavors that a quality Quad has were in there and very pronounced. The beer tastes sweet with minimal bitterness. The mouthfeel was pretty good, it was moderately thick feeling with a low carbonation to it. Overall I enjoyed it, the smell still doesn't please me but the beer in general is quite good.

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Photo of gfreed
3.51/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found a bottle gathering dust at one of the beer stores on my regular route. Given the ABV and the quadness, I figured that even if it really had been sitting eternally on a shelf it wouldn't be rotten and old. As it turns out, this really wasn't too bad but it leans toward being gritty-sweet, similar to the frosting on a supermarket sheet cake. Dark-brown to near-black; decent head, if a bit thin; sugary aroma mixed with a Dr. Peppery pruniness; a taste of peaches and figs and then the slightly out-of-bounds sugar. Definitely mellows out upon warming, and makes a nice winter accompaniment to beef stew, popcorn and a decent Hollywood Western. I took about 90 minutes to drink half the bottle; by the bottom of the glass my opinion had definitely risen (although that may just have been the 10.5% talking).

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Photo of draheim
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL (best by 12/11? on cork) poured into a chalice. Crystal-clear mahogany color w/ a 1-finger khaki head. Nice bright carb.

Aroma is vinous grapes and some dark sugary fruits.

Taste is plums, dark candi sugar, grapes, and sweet malt. A little alcohol burn too, which I actually like.

Mouthfeel is velvety and smooth, with a clean dry finish.

Overall this one surprised me, I really liked it as a sipper over a dinner of Thanksgiving leftovers. Nice and warm and tasty.

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

Val-Dieu Grand Cru

Abbey Ale from Belgium, the Val-Dieu Grand Cru pours a clear deep amber hue with an inch of bubbly film. Active carbonation rises from the bottom of the etched goblet. Aromas of grape, belgian yeast, and sweet malts. In the taste, raisin, brown sugar, mild sweetness and finishes clean and dry. Effervescent, medium bodied with very solid flavor. Enjoyable for being surprisingly light given it's strength, and flavorful at that. A fine example of a Quad.

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Photo of beerpirates
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ moeder lambic " zwanze day "

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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Moeder Lambic Fontainas during our trip to Belgium last week. Reviewed from notes.

Served in a Val-Dieu chalice.

Pours a very dark brown with hints of mahogany and a really nice light tan head that lasts for quite awhile.

The nose brings some light roast as well as a good amount of dark fruit and a fairly-prominent anise character. Light booze. Flavor mixes dark fruits and anise quite well, leading to a nice finish after a medium body. Really interesting and tasty.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Thirstybird for sharing. 750ml corked and caged bottle purchased in 2009. Cork reads 02/10. Pours a hazy mahogany with an off-white head and thick bands of lacing that are revealed as the brew is consumed. Nose suggests a bit of oxidation, yeast and dark fruit (primarily prunes). This beer taste great - vinous, dark fruits interspersed with a subtle spicy character. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a crisp carbonation that leaves a residual bite at the back of the throat. A very solid Quad - carbonation is bit too assertive, but not overly off-putting. Not mind-blowing but really quite pleasant.

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Photo of Mar02x
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tried this beer on the Zythos beer festival in March 2011 for the first time, and it was the winner that day!! I loved it ever since.
At a beer tasting on the 26th of august this year, this beer had the honor to be tasted after the Dark Lord 2010. It hurts to say that it made a knee fall that evening. To the 'Brabander' I would like to say: I'll be back!

A - Beautiful dark brown with a nice head.

S - Very nice on the nose, dark fruit, some vinous characteristics.

T - Very rich flavor profile, a bit sweet and some wine like flavors.

M - Good carbonation, and smooth but maybe not quite as smooth as the Westvleteren 12.

O - Strong taste, nice after dinner beer. A very, very good beer.

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Photo of Brabander
3.72/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

We drank this beer during at tasting at Mar02x place in Vlissingen a week ago. This beer had bad luck to come just after we tasted a Dark Lord. I did quit nice....

Fluid is normal to darkbrown. Little head. Smell and taste are a bit sweet. Well balanced beer where the alcohol was pretty well hidden. Corbonation was normal.

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Photo of BobZ
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I’ve wanted to sample this ale for a while, finally found a bottle at a shop in Maine. 25.4 oz. bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Murky dark brown with a very nice tan head, building to about an inch. Very nice lacing.

Smell: Very nice on the nose, dark fruit, some vinous characteristics, plus some hints of spice. As the beer warms the aromas become richer and more intense. This beer smells as good as St. Bernardus Abt 12 (maybe even a bit better).

Taste: Very rich flavor profile, the same as the nose plus some chocolate. As the beer warms the flavors really develop, again similar to the Abt. 12 with the wine like characteristics really adding to my enjoyment of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Pleasant on the palate, good carbonation, and smooth but maybe not quite as smooth as the Abt. 12.

Overall: Very, very good, in fact much better than I anticipated. This beer may very well end up in my top 10 quad/Bsda’s.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Dark amber, ruby, and brown with a very thin khaki head. Lined lacing down the glass. Can't come out looking much better from the tap.

The aroma is of prunes and raisins, some alcohol, rye bread, and a bit of spicy, tangy yeast. Good, but I wish there was less of an alcohol presence.

I have a similar complaint with the flavor. The dark fruits, yeast, and tangy rye bread are all very good, though (and perhaps because I tend to judge my quads tougher than most any other style) I'm disappointed in how present the alcohol is in the flavor. A delicious sipper, though it does have room to improve. I would love to try this one aged.

Medium to thick mouthfeel. Somewhat thick and creamy.

A good quad, with just a touch too much alcohol heat.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from notes
deep amber in color bordering on a nice brown with a small head of light off white color that quickly faded into obscurity and left some nice lacing along the sides of the glass. Deep boozy aroma here, lots of alcohol present along with some nice caramel malts and a touch of light grassy notes as it warmed. Some nice fruit flavor on the first sip but this is drowned out quickly by the hot nature of the booze. Really could use some time to sit down as it is just too fresh I feel. Still though I push on letting it warm and come through some light touches of raisins, perhaps a touch of light fig now mixing in as well. Smooth, light and subtle carbonation leaves the mouth dry

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours black w/ a massive three finger cocoa head. Excellent carbonation and lacing. Head sticks around for a really long time, leaving tons of lacing on the glass. No light gets into this brew, it's super dark.

S- Malt, yeast, cherry, and dark fruits. Nose isn't as strong as I'd like, but still very pleasant and balanced.

T- Plum, cherries, malt, alcohol, yeast, and some dark fruits. This is a really tasty Quad. Nice smooth aftertaste as well. Really enjoying this beer- glad I found it.

M- Very smooth, and the malt coats your throat w/ a nice thick layer of Quad-ness. Full bodied beer that goes down fairly easy, especially for the style.

O- Really nice beer in one of my favorite categories. Opens up quite a bit w/ warming. If you see it, buy it. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Ebenezer's Pub, Lovell, ME

Served on tap, poured into a chalice; a dark mahogany brown with a small eggshell head that left some nice lacing on the glass. Aromas of dark sugars, rich maltiness, and notes of dark, dried fruit. Nice array of flavors on the palate, with yeasty bread, brown sugar and caramel, raisins, pears, plums. Smooth and medium-bodied, and pleasantly drinkable.

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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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Poured a deep purplish color with good carbonation leaving a nice dirty cap and bubbles, some lacing

S: Sweet candy, loads of fruit(grapes, lighter prunes, figs, very nice

T: Amazing. The moment I sipped this I said "Wow". Very tasty. Loads of nice dark grapes, not overly ripe but fresh, some figs, raisins and a light prune, some candy sugar, brown sugar, molasses. So sweet and easy toi drink. The booze is light but no way did it taste at 10%. Killer beer.

M: Medium body, not heavy, booze is masked well, loads of flavor

O: I believe this sets the standard for Gran Cru's. I found it to be awesome and it beer be at $9

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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.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
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).

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Photo of Wowcoolman
4.23/5  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.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of Sachsenfreude
3.87/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of liamt07
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of mithrascruor
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

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Photo of impending
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
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

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