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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

147 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 147
Hads: 320
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 8.85%
Wants: 52
Gots: 38 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-02-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 147 | Hads: 320
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. (335 characters)

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. (260 characters)

Photo of fragilemacabre
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
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) (583 characters)

Photo of ommegangpbr
3.33/5  rDev -20.3%
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. (1,090 characters)

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
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. (745 characters)

Photo of clayrock81
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. (635 characters)

Photo of rhinos00
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (1,050 characters)

Photo of alfistheman
2.51/5  rDev -40%
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. (1,219 characters)

Photo of Sammy
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. (255 characters)

Photo of pinotboy007
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. (569 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
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. (1,204 characters)

Photo of Soneast
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
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. (1,276 characters)

Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
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. (1,162 characters)

Photo of HeyItsChili
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Pours dark garnet/raisin with a booming, creamy khaki head that sloooowly dissipates.

S - Dark fruits, malt, dark brown Belgian candy sugar.

T - Really amazingly rich and detailed. Tons of dark fruits, prunes, raisins, dark brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, a really dark abbey ale quality.

M - Creamy, velvety, decent carbonation. (387 characters)

Photo of Proteus93
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very deep brown with rusty red hues highlighting the beer throughout. Nice forming head, off-white, though it is ultimately just a touch thin looking. Retention and lacing is pretty decent.

S: Apple notes seem to really stand out, with a nice dark fruit aroma blending in beautifully... particularly prune and fig.There are some soft malty and hints of chocolate. Very nice.

T + M + D: Flavour is excellent. Creamy, smooth malts - again, a bit of a chocolate, and some breadiness. That provides something of a fruitbread hint with the yeast flavours. Smooth and incredibly easy to sip liberally. Mouthfeel isn't as shimmering, rich, and full-bodied as many of the other quads out there, but it's amazingly smooth. An incredibly tasty beer, and the value is great to boot! Recommended drinking. (800 characters)

Photo of GilGarp
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a chalice glass.

Cork is so far down in the bottle I needed a corkscrew to get it out. Date is best by 03/09 so maybe a little older than the brewery intended.

Pours a deep dark mahogony brown with red highlights and creamy white head. The head is neither as thick or long lasting as I would have liked. Some lacing is left behind.

Aroma is coaxed out with a little swirling. It is pretty mild but has some nice sweet fruit and spice notes.

After lack-luster appearance and aroma, the flavor comes as a pleasant surprise. Depth and complexity are certainly not for want in this beer. Lots of rich dark fruits, raisins, green grapes, spice, and yeast all in abundance. Perhaps a little pumpkin but it's favorable. Sweetness prevails but there is a nice bitterness midway through and it finishes pretty dry with the alcohol evaporating off the tongue.

Mouthfeel is full body and pretty smooth considering the big carbonation. Very drinkable as the alcohol is only detected on the finish and it's well-hidden.

Overall it's not my favorite quad (there are many great examples) but it's very enjoyable and worth a try if you're a fan of the style. (1,171 characters)

Photo of jwinship83
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle with a cork that put up an unnaturally hard fight. after getting the cork out, i see that it reads "03/10." i assume this is a best by date. great thinking! let's put it where you cant see it until youve already opened it! into the duvel tulip it goes.

A- this one pours a murky and very dark brown colored body. hints of ruby can be seen along the sides of my glass. small bubbles can be seen racing to the top if held up to the light. on top forms a large creamy looking light khaki colored head thats composed of tightly knit bubbles. the head lasts forever, and leaves behind a wall of sticky lacing. perfection in quad form.

S- sweet and bready malts upfront with lots of dark fruits following closely behind. cherries, plums, figs, pears, and raisins. somewhat spicy. anise mostly. very nice. i really like where this beer is going already.

T- very sweet bready malts. very fruity. cherries, plums, figs, grapes, pears, and raisins. a decent bite from the alcohol, but its a quad, what do you expect? spicy with pepper and anise.

M- medium to full bodied. fuller than i would expect from this style. a lower level of carbonation as well. both of those things really work for this one. a pretty severe warming from the alcohol (considering the modest amount for a quad). i would guess its stronger than 10.5%.

D- too strong to be sessionable, but goddamn would i want another! very underrated. check thsi one out if you get the chance. one of the best quads ive ever tried. (1,498 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
2.99/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours from the corked and caged bottle a chocolate brown color with a large, dense and creamy, stark white head. Tons of lacing. The head is almost like a large marshmallow on top of the beer. Very nice indeed.

Aroma was slightly sour and yeasty. Not typical of other quads I have had. This one lacks the sweetness and candi sugar.

A little more sweetness in the flavor. Yeast, dark fruits, and a sort of cola flavor like cardamom. Interesting flavor.

Although the head is large and dense, the carbonation is rather low. This was decent but tasted like Coke with yeast. Cant say it is my favorite or even one of the best of the style. (639 characters)

Photo of grayburn
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer laces forever. That is the only thing to say, absolut lace-heaven. Midnight or dark dark brown color with a heavy cream head. Great retention, I couldn't ask for any more in a beer.

I must preface my review for smell and taste with the fact that this beer is young. The date on the cork says 02/09, therefore the 10.5 percent was definitely evident. The smell was some nice belgian yeastiness, the dried fruit and sourness, coupled with some strong alkyhol. The taste followed suit, very nice and fruity, a bit hot though.

The high carbonation and clean finish really helped this beer along, the body seems surprisingly light for all the flavor, very nice.

This beer will only improve, I am already very impressed. Time to set a couple back for 2 or 3. (765 characters)

Photo of micalj
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A -- very dark, but drank this at night in the hot tub...
Bottle -- 1 pint 9.4 fluid ounces, APV 10.5% per label.
S -- In my opinion, the frothy creamy head seemed to blanket the smell, acting as a great insulator for the wonderful surprise underneath.
T -- Wow! This is very enjoyable. I tried to separate the flavors, but it works so well together, I had difficulty here. I did get raisins, molasses, and a bit of brown sugar mixed with a warming but subtle alcohol. Overall, the taste blends together to be just down right soft, delicios and warming.
M --Smooth and creamy. The head persists, and while it becomes more airy as the head settles, it remains creamy. Warm and wonderful rum cake sweetness followed by just a bit of bitter finsih.
D -- What can I say. I enjoyed this brew. It is worth an extended taste test. I would by another case of this, but there are so many beers to try, I will move on for now. (916 characters)

Photo of sweetbrew82
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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... (1,460 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.52/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #1000!
Served in the small Val Dieu Grand Cru goblet, it's dark brownish red with a big light tan head, creamy on the edges but some bigger bubbles in the middle, leaving heavy sheets of foam. On draught (at La Trappe in San Francisco), which normally is a nail in the coffin for the style, but really didn't hurt the head much at all here.

Smell is strong rich malt, big grape flavors, but an equally assertive spicy ester, as well as perceived dryness. Very unique and distinguished for the style.

Taste is pretty smooth, rich, but really not as intense as the noes, which is first a let down. Still, it's pretty full, lot's of special B like raisin notes, red wined, with some noble hop spice, grass, light hints of bread pudding and caramel, alcohol character.

Mouthfeel is highly digestible, medium light body, with a bit of a dry chalkiness as well. Super smooth.

Drinkability is pretty good, one of the fruiter quads, big flavor without being a palate buster. The light body also really drives home what a benchmark example this is of the style. (1,068 characters)

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

Served on-tap at La Trappe in SF in the proper glass.

A: Pours a dark brown hue with a tan head.

S: Sweet dark fruits, some brown sugar.

T: Dark fruits in the form of plums, figs, and some cherries. Some brown and candied sugar in there as well. A great quad.

M: Smooth and rich.

D: A very drinkable beer, I could easily sip this all night although the high ABV would get me in the end. (391 characters)

Photo of JoBoTo
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The cork kicked my ass on this one. Took me a good 5 minutes to get this little thing loose. Didn't want to crack it so I took it slow, but it was in there tighter than... Nevermind. 75cl, 50-60 degrees, cork says Val-Dieu 03/10

Pours what originally was a brownish gray from the early on, but ends up a dark mahogany. Poured into a Duvel Chalice. Gave it about a finger and a half of head. Looking for lacing or colored edges and I am seeing nothing. Not like Stone XII dark, or Yeti dark, but still completely opaque, and no edging. Head is still there lingering and not dissipating quickly at all.

Smells of malt, yeast, and sweet...raisins. Sweetness is detectable, cherries cam to mind also, but can't relate it to a high or low, just in there quickly and disappearing rapidly. Seems like a cinnamony, spicy in there too. Sadly, I smell the metallic, (maybe yeasty) smell that I commonly smell in tripels and quads. I can feel my heart burn starting already.

Medium to thick body, wow, I was moving it around my mouth and a little got to the back and just attacked my throat. Needed to swallow before I got my ass kicked. Let's try this again. Tongue tingle is mild, with feeling all over. Leaves behind a nice coating of yeasty goodness. No alcohol burn, despite being 10.5% Seems to tickle your tongue tip more than any other area. Foams when played with

Yeast and an astery onslaught. Prunes maybe... raisins. Seems to be a fruit that I am not commonly familiar with. Definitely a sweet flavor in there that threw a rock at my attention, but is hiding when I turn to find. There is no metallic taste, thankfully, I was really hoping there wouldn't be. A darker malt... good all over flavor. The entire tongue gets to play in the beer. Thick coating left throughout your mouth. Feels like you could chew the residual left over. Just all over your mouth.

This is a good little find. Picked it up while in Spain for I believe 6 euro. Not bad for 75cl. I could see this being a gateway to some of the more complex. Not overly aggressive, except its drop kick to my uvula. I enjoyed it, and would recommend it to those that enjoy this style. (2,150 characters)

Photo of TomGavin
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 750ml bottle into a Chimay goblet. Pours rootbeer brown with a gray-ish white head of about 1/8th of an inch. Great head retention and lacing.

Nose: Caramel covered almonds, rhubarb, cola malt and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy with mild carbonation.

Taste: Chewy caramel, wether's originals--but without any diacetyl slipperiness--and roasted vanilla smores malt. The finish is fruity and brief, but satisfying nonetheless.

Comment: I never noticed the ABV--10.5%--and this is the charm of a well executed and dangerously tasty beer. (561 characters)

Val-Dieu Grand Cru from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
93 out of 100 based on 147 ratings.