Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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 micalj
4.23/5  rDev +1.7%
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 +1.4%
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 +8.7%
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 +8.2%
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 -0.2%
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 -4.3%
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

Photo of discovolante65
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Track84 in Warwick, RI

Pours a prune-purple brownish color with a 1-inch off white head that reminded me of sea-foam.

Smells of brown sugar, malty/toffee goodness, and raisins/cherries. Slight alcohol smell at the end.

Tastes of malts/brown sugar, toffee and maybe caramel. The taste is almost an exact replica of the smell.

Mouthfeel is creamy, fizzy,and lingering with deliciousness. coated my mouth and throat nicely for quite a while.

Drinkability- were it not for the high ABV, I would've had more, but I was driving, so I shifted to something with a lower ABV. Next time I come here, not driving, and having more than one of these. Excellent Quad!!!

 679 characters

Photo of madtowndmb1
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a liquid brown sugar color.

S:Has the yeasty smell that you'd expect but it also has a hint of a belgian sour. hints of candi sugar as well.

T: Very calm across the board I think. Not a ton going on, nothinhg overpowers and takes control. There's almost a dusty taste mixed in with the sweetness and the tingle on your tongue.

I liked this. If someone was getting into Quads I'd point them in this direction. Very easy drinker for 10.5%!!!

 451 characters

Photo of mynie
4.77/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours like gingerbread and butter. Neat like them, too. Sandy offred. Nice head.

Smells of wonderful fruit and yeast and ethanaol and love. Lightly sour. Lightly burny.

Tastes perfect. Excellent. Excellent and perfect. Giant fruit, fresh and authentic like you're on a grove, walking amongst the fruit, and you just pull one right off the goddamn vine and bite into it. What fruit these are, I do not know. It's really fucking tasty, though. Moves into medium-bodied red wine, peppery yeast, pleasant alcoholic zing.

 520 characters

Photo of abents
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish brown color with huge light tan head that laces sporadically. Smells of yeasty bread with a hint of sweetness.
wow this an interesting brew a whole lot going on with the taste buds. Sweet malty, fruitiness lead into various spices, maybe anise, pepper?, and red fruits. Way more complex than what my lowly palate can detect, but sooo interesting and delicious. Slight alcohol at the finish, but so smooth and exciting, this is one BIG beer.
Mouthfeel is probably one of the best I have ever had, it has this creamy texture upfront that leads to a refreshing crispness at the end. Great, great beer put on to try again list.

 645 characters

Photo of glid02
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Daryk77 was nice enough to split this one with me.

Pours a hazy deep chestnut color with a big two-finger light tan head. The head recedes slowly into a thin pancake of bubbles on top and a thick ring around the glass. Lacing is sticky. The last of the bottle yields fine yeast floaties.

Smells of Belgian candy sugar with some breadiness along with dark fruits. Light hints of the alcohol come through as the beer warms.

Tastes great. Candied dark fruit flavors up front are backed up by very light bready flavors and even lighter spices. It's a tad sweeter than most other quads I've had.

Mouthfeel is great. It's got a good thickness and small, grainy carbonation that make this one smooth brew. Velvety.

Drinkability is great for any ABV, but especially for a 10.5%. I could have a lot of these.

Overall this is on the top tier of quads. All the flavors work very well together and it's so very smooth. Give this one a shot if you see it around.

 955 characters

Photo of daledeee
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I popped the cork from this 750ml bottle and fruit smell started emminating from the bottle. This beer has a head that will not go away with a dark brown clear body.

The nose is fruit, yeast and musty.

The taste is fruity like grapes or cherries. Background notes are sugar and caramel. Very very nice drink. Alcohol is very warming but this is an easy to drink beer.

 371 characters

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

Poured into a Chimay glass. Deep brown in color with a medium head, low carbonation. The aroma is of rasins and plum. The taste is a touch of sour rasins, but a mix that is warming as it goes down. The alcohol is well hidden, but hits you at the end. The body if full and rich. This makes for and enjoyable drinking experience. A very smooth drink with a good amount of subtle flavors.

 385 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a classic Belgian head that sheets the chalice with lace; nice retenttion, too

Smell: Plum-sweet aroma, with cherry, licorice and bubblegum influences

Taste: Opens with bubblegum, although not quite that sweet and then expands into a range of interesting fruity flavors, predominately plum, but also cherry, strawberry, green apple and pear; after the swallow, the darker influences emerge, with fig, licorice and a hint of tobacco

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body and creamy; could stand to be a tad thicker; moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Great example of the style; I often see the other Val Dieus around, but this should be more widely available

 697 characters

Photo of corby112
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served on-tap At brigid's in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a dark purple/black almost prune-like color with a thin off-white foamy head. Aroma is dominated by chocolate maltiness, dark fruit and toast. Very smooth drinking beer that masks the high abv very well. Smooth creamy maltiness lasts throughout with dark chocolate, fig, toast, caramel and toffee notes. Slight dry finish.

 376 characters

Photo of CrellMoset
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Five Points Bottle Shoppe, Athens, GA. Split with my father, with my portion poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a deep but still largely transparent orange brown. For a quadrupel of 10.5% abv, the head on this one is mammoth and has fantastic retention - I actually had to coax mine down, as it looked as if it not had intention of going anywhere anytime soon. It's a good two-and-a-half fingers, fluffy and solid-looking in places, bubbly, sudsy, and foamy in others, slightly creamy in color. It's also flecked with little specks of black, glittery, perhaps yeast matter or spices. The body itself is loaded with fine floaties, dancing around with one another, caught up in some kind of internal beer jet stream. I originally had this at a 4.5, but given how long the lacing and head stuck around, I'm really gonna have to bump it up to a 5.0. Just great.

Aroma: Intensely fruity and spicy is my first impression. Apples, pears, cherries, and other lighter fruity notes mingle well with a wide array of yeasty spices, an earthy, phenolic kick, and a bucketload of darker malts. It smells slightly more "medicinal" here than as described in the taste below, hence the score discrepancy, but by and large the notes are very similar.

Taste: A fantastic and complex array of flavors here. Ripe stone fruits are the main course here, apricots, buttery pears, slightly tart apples, flourishes of more tropical examples. The yeast - in addition to overripe bananas - imparts a huge amount of delicate spice which isn't limited to clove: I get definite anise and hints of allspice, as well, along with a number of other spicy and nondescript but nonetheless pleasant phenols. The obligatory Belgian quadrupel darker fruits are present as well, with raisins and prunes intermingling well with the other flavors present. Other malt notes - caramel, sweet chocolate, honey, candi sugar - put a cap on this very complex-tasting brew. Any alcohol prickle is hidden admirably both by the spicy phenols and the sweet, ripe fruits, both of which combine to do the job without either one of them becoming annoying in the process.

Mouthfeel: On par with the best examples of the style, it's incredibly soft and delicate. The "sublimation" factor is slightly less intense than in some other examples, but it's still a divine-feeling beer, pillowy, intense, exploding, like drinking a cloud. Great.

Drinkability: A damn fine beer. First, the reason it's a 4.0: it's sweet, intensely sweet, with tons of sugars hanging around, fruity, malty, etc. It's also slightly medicinal in the phenolic profile, which is enhanced slightly by the dominating lighter fruity flavors (dimetapp anyone?). The alcohol's also pretty high. On the other hand, that alcohol's well hidden, the phenolic, medicinal quality doesn't come through as strongly in the taste, and this is - on the whole - a really damn complex and good beer. I don't know if I can in good faith classify it as a quadrupel - there's too much yeast character and too little malt character - but, regardless, give it a try. Recommended, highly.

 3,102 characters

Photo of Yesac
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Appears solid black in the glass. The head is extremely foamy and a pain to manage. The foam is sloppy and sticks to the glass unevenly.

S - caramel, roasted nuts, fruity accents, some tartness.

T - Pretty complex. Sweet fuits.. and a yeasty finish. It's watery-light overall which I'm not keen of. Smooth drinking.

M - Highly carbonated.. bubbles dancing across the tongue. Alcohol warming effect.

D - So smooth, thin and complex. The 10.5% is extremely well hidden.

 477 characters

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

Had this at Zeno's, State College last night and split with a fellow BA...

A: A semi-hazy dark Belgian color. Murky dark copper with a nice big head that lasts and laces decently.

S: Tons of banana, dark fruits, clove, spice. The smell here is really robust.

T: Does not lack complexity by any means. Very flavorful with sweet fruits dominating. This reminds me a lot of Southampton Abbot 12, but not as sweet. A lot of banana and clove in the taste as well..

Overall, this is a great Grand Cru and/or Quad.

 512 characters

Photo of rye726
4.63/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This pours a deep mahogany color with a silky beige head. Very nice lacing as well. The nose is very fruity with a sweet candy, bready malts and a good amount of peppery yeasts. The flavor is full of ripe earthy fruits, spicy yeasts, biscuity malts and chocolate. Creamy body is well carbonated and suits this style perfectly. A rich yet well balanced brew from Val Dieu. I'll have to try the triple next.

 405 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear deep brown color ale with a full foamy head with good retention and great lacing. Aroma consists of sweet malt with some candi sugar and some dry fruit characteristics. Taste is also a well balance mix between rich Belgian malt with notes of candi sugar and some dry fruits such as raisins and plums. Full body with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very well done and some thing that I would have on a regular basis.

 448 characters

Photo of joepais
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

 552 characters

Photo of jisom123
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Belgian from Belgium.
Lighter in color than most Quads.
Fresh sent. Fresh flavor, notes of light apple and grain.
abv was 10.5 but you could only taste 8. kind of cloudy appearance, not unlike Erdinger.
Would go perfectly on a picnic, or another hot day when you normally would not want to bottoms up a quad.

 310 characters

Photo of GustoMan
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was my first taste of Val'Dieu Gran Cru and let me tell you that it wont be the last! Like I just read by another taster it has such a silky smooth mouth feel and the lightly well balanced fruity taste was well balanced with the high gravity alcohol level. There is also a slight spice taste that only sneaks in and doesnt take over. I might just have to visit Brasserie De L'Abbey DU Val-Dieu in Aubel Belgium someday and thank them for such a well done brew!

 465 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cork had a date of 03/09

A - Poured out a semi-opaque, very dark burgandy color with a tan, bubbly, four-finger head. It left some soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of cherry and raisin. Also, malty and spicy aromas. Alcohol was also present in the nose.

T - It tasted of dried fruit and sweet malt. The spiciness increased as it warmed up.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium to heavy-bodied beer with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This is a very good Quad. Only drawback is that it became very heavy by the end.

 521 characters

Photo of Atron67
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just had this over at Brasserie V in madison

A- was a deep walnut brown with a strong red hue under light with a thin tan head on top that lasted pretty long

S- big earthy characteristics, caramel and biscuit character, with a great yeast and fruit undertone throughout. pretty decent yeast character all over and really nice

T- this works together great, all the things that you can notice in the nose is there as well, and they all are blended together pretty smoothly and gives a really smooth overall character that has no hint of the alcohol. very rich and well enjoyed

M- creamy full body, light carbonation, lingering body

D- very good

 647 characters

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