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Val-Dieu Grand Cru - Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu

Val-Dieu Grand CruVal-Dieu Grand Cru

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

249 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 249
Reviews: 136
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.26%


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
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Ratings: 249 | Reviews: 136 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.65/5  rDev +11%
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

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2011 01:53:10 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of Wowcoolman
Wowcoolman

California

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-13-2011 04:18:18 | More by Wowcoolman
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2010 23:50:38 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of beertunes
beertunes

Washington

4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2010 19:29:12 | More by beertunes
Photo of ekmoody
ekmoody

Wisconsin

4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2010 14:01:12 | More by ekmoody
Photo of OneDropSoup
OneDropSoup

Pennsylvania

4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2009 12:17:49 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of Soneast
Soneast

Wisconsin

4.15/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2009 00:58:04 | More by Soneast
Photo of willjschmidt
willjschmidt

California

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2009 15:46:16 | More by willjschmidt
Photo of discovolante65
discovolante65

Rhode Island

4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
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!!!

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2009 21:42:20 | More by discovolante65
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2008 09:02:11 | More by corby112
Photo of Atron67
Atron67

Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
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

Serving type: on-tap

05-31-2008 22:27:10 | More by Atron67
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's rare to see this beer and I've never seen it on tap before. Oh that's right, I'm at 72 hours of Belgium at Max's.

The beer pours a brownish color with great head retention and lacing. On the nose one gets chocolate, brown sugar and honey. The flavor profile replicates the nose and is just delicious. Very soft and creamy on the palate. The abv. is well disguised.

Fabulous stuff. Just absolute nectar.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2008 18:11:59 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of mrasskicktastic
mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep mahogany with a medium head, bubbles clinging to the sides under the surface. The head is thick and clings to the sides of the glass.

S - Prunes, raisins, caramel malt and molasses. An okay aroma, abv is faintly detectable.

T - Malty, raisins, dates, a touch of dry grapes and alcohol. Aftertaste is faint linger fruitiness and alcohol. A touch of overripe bananas,

M - Thick, smooth, slick, very frefreshing and delcious.

d - Pretty good. I'd have it again, but I am in no hurry to do so.

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2007 03:15:54 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2014 18:46:25 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of jtierney89
jtierney89

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep tawny color with relatively good clarity. big fizzy off white head. Rich hearty, currants, figs, booze soaked dark fruits. There really is a nice hearty grainy smell that overrides the other smlls in this beer. Smells like theses hearty rustic pretzels I had at a german beer garden.

The flavor is incredibly subtle and delicious. Slightly sweet dark fruits, some dark belgian candi sugar, that hearty grainy flavor comes up on the back end for a bit of balance, a little bit of alcohol heat on the back and a little bit of lingering sweetness. Incredible subtlety though with a velvety medium body and prickly carbonation. It's a really great beer, for being so big it drinks so easy, simple but well blended flavors.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 05:15:15 | More by jtierney89
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.76/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750ml caged & corked bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a murky medium brown color, with a large off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, caramelized malts, dark fruit, brown sugar, some spice and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar, spices and some fruit. Then some breadiness comes in from a strong Belgian yeast backbone and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid Quad to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2013 02:53:02 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of deadonhisfeet
deadonhisfeet

Kentucky

4.61/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a corked and caged bottle into a Rochefort chalice. It's a deep, dark brown pour; clear when held up to the light. I get a nice lacing of khaki head that dissipates down to a thin film with lacing around the edges, but doesn't ever seem to vanish completely. The nose is divine. It has all the indications of a fantastic quad. There are big sweet bready notes, sugary cakes fresh from the oven, chocolate, and figs soaked in rum with fudge. Simply heaven.

One sip of this one and I was staggered. Full body and an overload of sweet, boozy, dessert-like flavors. Tons of spice cake, dark fruits, and brownies, all swimming in port. It's very reminiscent of Pannepot, only with a bit more booziness up front. The sweet flavors are so intense, it keeps catching you by surprise (even after several sips). As the beer warms a bit and de-gasses, the port-like notes start to deepen a bit on the back of the palate and the booziness starts to seem more tempered. Either that, or it's the buzz kicking in.

This beer is like a dessert and after-dinner liqueur all rolled into one. My only gripe is that the booziness, while delightful, is perhaps just a bit too prevalent and lends the beer a somewhat cloying character, reducing the drinkability. Perhaps my palate is just too sensitive and is over-reacting to too much of a good thing. At any rate, this is certainly one of the best quads I have had yet. A delightful drinking experience I must recommend to every fan of the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2013 13:40:42 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 02:57:04 | More by metter98
Photo of thierrynantes
thierrynantes

France

4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (75 cl.) purchased from "Bières d'ailleurs", and tasted in 2013.

Appearance : reddish brown color, with tan foamy head.
Smell : roasted malt and spicy aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : alcohol and malty flavors, with vineous notes.
Drinkability : a nice beer in the style Quadrupel.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2013 18:54:13 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of DenverLogan
DenverLogan

Colorado

4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Corked bottle...nice pop...poured in a Corsendonk chalice. Cork says 10/2014.
Dark brown with a beige head.
Rich aroma of sweet malts, slight plum, pear & prune.
Significant carbonation and big mouthfeel.
Flavors of candy sugar, molassas, dark roasted malts, caramel, cocoa, slight carob, rosemary, sarsaparilla...lets give this a few minutes...
Yeah baby...there's a small remaining head and the aroma remains strong and sweet...flavors are strong with a sweet biting malt distinctiveness.
I'll admit I did represent this brewery in California in 2007 and found all their brews excellent...great yeast and big malt profiles. The Grand Cru has a touch more of a bite than the others, but nevertheless a lovely beer, fresh or with a few years age.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 03:39:12 | More by DenverLogan
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2013 03:47:25 | More by biboergosum
Photo of PHSCAPT
PHSCAPT

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A – mahogany dark, turbid orange when held to a light; poured at 60F into a Chimay goblet; a pinky finger of creamy white head
S – seriously…I get macaroni and cheese mixed with an apple shed
T – Nicely boozy; sweet dark fruits with slightly dry finish
M – finely carbonated, very smooth
O - Definitely a re-buy

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2013 21:45:21 | More by PHSCAPT
Photo of siradmiralnelson
siradmiralnelson

Iowa

4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml corked and caged into Westvleteren chalice.

A. Pours 2 finger head. Thick lacing. Really good retention. Color is very dark brown.

S. Caramel, dark fruit, oaky earthiness, belgian yeast. Smells like it is a dryer quad. Gets a little bit sweeter smelling as it warms. Brings out some candi sugar. Also get a bit of creamy spice as the beer warms. Interesting depth of aroma.

T. Drinks pretty dry too. Very interesting. Lots of caramel malt. So much caramel malt flavor it almost pulls the beers flavor away from being called a quad. Get belgian yeast, and a bit of spice on the back of the tongue. Not very sweet.

M. Medium/full bodied. Medium carbonation. Finishes pretty dry.

O. Really good beer. Great aroma. Flavor is not on par with the very best quads. Just not the traditional Belgian flavor of the very top Quads. Has a lot more caramel flavor, and lacks some of the sweetness. Never the less, this is a really good beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 01:21:40 | More by siradmiralnelson
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

3.65/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle courtesy of fthomasl pours a rich crimson color with a fluffed tan head. Awesome lacing upon a decent retention. A good looking beer for sure.

Nose is bananas and chocolate....almost reminds me a bit of Aventinus. Lots of yeast esters and malty goodness....mmm

Taste is chocolate covered bananas with a dusting of cloves...interesting and tasty belgian offering. Id go more BSDA than quad but that is mainly due to the spicy zestiness the beer throws down. Interesting blend of flavors, but a bit on the sweet side for me and the phenols are raging.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2012 00:31:07 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of Impfan
Impfan

Washington

4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma and flavor of dark, candied fruit, caramel, toffee, clove, banana, tart Branston pickle, ginger, lemon and orange peel, and honeyed melon, cherries, grapes, and pears. Very complex and appealing with just the right level of carbonation. One of the better Grand Crus I’ve tasted.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2012 20:02:31 | More by Impfan
Val-Dieu Grand Cru from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
93 out of 100 based on 249 ratings.