Grand Cru
Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu

Grand CruGrand Cru
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Style:
Quadrupel (Quad)
Ranked #23
ABV:
10.5%
Score:
93
Ranked #2,254
Avg:
4.19 | pDev: 10.5%
Reviews:
184
Ratings:
436
From:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
 
Belgium
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  60
Gots
  75
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Grand CruGrand Cru
Notes: Dark in color, with a brownish and creamy head, the Grand Cru is a rich, whole and powerful beer with a delicious long aftertaste.
We find complex and surprisingly sweet aromas in view of the high degree of alcohol, subtly hidden.
The caramel mousse and roundness in the mouth are in perfect harmony with a medium bitterness and coffee flavors. Produced with heavily roasted malt from
which it derives a more tangy taste.
Reviews: 184 | Ratings: 436 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of hman43
hman43 from North Carolina

4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: It pours dark mahogany brown with a tan, frothy head. Head retention is medium.

Smell: It has as strong malty and sweet presence in the nose. It has aromas of raisins and dried cherries with a bit of caramel. There is a slight perfume like presence as well.

Taste: It is sweet up front with the flavor featuring raisins. There are some dark caramel notes in medium quantities with dried cherries.

Feel: It has a full body with smooth alcohol warmth. The finish is dry with some sweetness.

Overall, dark fruits are the strongest element with the malt in support.

Mar 12, 2021
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2015 vintage
Pours a med fizzy off-white head with med retention, fair soapy lacing, semi hazy dark auburn chestnut color

Nose some booze, lots of sweet characters, bootstrap molasses, dark Belgian candi sugar, nutty toffee, some winey port-like oxidation notes but a little papery as well, rich candied dark dried fruits with fig and date up front, prune, candied raisin, more wine characters

Taste big rich malts, toasted sweet brownish malts with some biscuity Belgian malt, a hint of chocolate, more sweet flavors with more bootstrap molasses, Belgian dark candi sugar, toffee, a bit nutty with that, caramelized brown sugar, rock candy, lots of fruits again, dried sweetened raisin, prune, date, some candied fig, back into some winey port oxidation notes, no paper or cardboard, a bit of hot alcohol and phenol notes,

Mouth is fuller bod, rich chewy syrupy, med foamy carb, a bit of warming slight tingly alcohol

Overall solid Quad, about usual for the style, would like to see a barrel aged version of this

Feb 26, 2021
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

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

750ml brown bottle. Back label has best by date of '07/05/22'.
Ruby brown colored body, Light beige head. Leaves behind scattered patterns of lacing.
Aroma is slight. Dark malts and caramel. Dark fruit that reminds me of figs.
Taste is much more expressive than the nose. Cherry cola up top, figs, raisins, and prunes in the middle, and the roasted malts as a base, with caramel, toffee, and a hint of chocolate. There is an herbal spiciness too.
Thicker than average mouth feel, with slight stickiness. Good carbonation.
Certainly more sweet than bitter, with a creamy melange of dark fruit jam and spicy bread.

Jan 03, 2021
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Gajo74 from New York

4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor, NYC.

Pours an elegant, chestnut brown color. A moderate creamy tan head gives way to swirls of lacing.

The nose opens with notes of toasted and biscuity amber/brown malts. Aromas of toffee, caramel and a hint of chocolate. Aromas of dark fruit include raisin, prune, dates and figs. Although sweet overall, there is a hint of cayenne like peppery spice.

Sweet and complex with notes of toasted, biscuity malts, toffee, brown sugar and sweet alcohol. Fruity notes of raisin, prune, dates, figs and grapes. There is a gentle touch of nutty and roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, woodsy and earthy hops and peppery spices. The finish is smooth, spicy and dry.

Medium to full bodied with a vinous lightness. The mouthfeel is smooth, velvety and creamy. The carbonation is moderate.

A nice complex and wellbalanced Belgian Quad. It is rather drinkable despite the 10.5% ABV.

Nov 21, 2020
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officerbill from New York

4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Medium pour into a chalice from a BB 13/02/22 bottle
L: deep chestnut bordering on coffee brown with a tall tab head that slowly dissolves and laces the sides
S: figs and raisins and toffee
T: follows the smell with figs, raisins, prunes, toffee, burnt sugar, malts, no noticable hops.
As it warms the fruit flavors fade and the coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate bitterness come to the front.
F: thick, mild carbonation, slides over the tongue with a dark chocolate aftertaste
O: this is a seriously good quad. Complex and fulfilling with a body you can feel. Rich without being cloying. A beer that evolves and changes as you drink. Hides the 10.5% ABV well, and that okay because sipping on one satisfies you.

Nov 07, 2020
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4.49/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A real nice rusted ruby color, deep brown with some actual clarity as well. The head makes about a finger on a simple pour, and retains a nice khaki colored collar around the glass. Very beautiful looking quad.

Real wonderful nose. Deep notes of thick chewy raisin like fruit. Ripe figs. Some wine like quality of a nice fruity merlot even. Very impressive aroma.

Real delicious palate. Rich fruity sensations with a thick rich pulling body. Pie like density of figs and caramel, followed by a light touch of wine like cherry and blackberry fruits. Creamy vanilla, soft raisin, even some oatmeal like cookie flavors jump in as well. Spicy finish with a real hint of splinter woody and pine.

Excellent quad.

Oct 31, 2020
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russpowell from Arkansas

4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Consume before 07/01/21; not sure if that means July or January

Pours a effervescent chestnut hued hazel with 3+ fingers of tan head. Insane lacing & almost as good head retention

S: Figgyness in spades, not really anything else

T: Follows the nose, much jammyness, a little sweet red grape, candi sugar & leafy hops up front. Woody hops, juicy-fruit, & figgy jammyness as this warms, plus concord grapes. Finishes with leafy hops, concord grapes, a little dryness & figgyness

MF: Medium body, slight carbonation

Pretty good Quad, ABV is subtle to say the least

Oct 16, 2020
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JonnoWillsteed from England

3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L- Very deep chestnut with some sediment in the pour (despite being v well rested. More sediment left in the bottle). Pours with 3mm off-white head.
S- Surprisingly light, just the subtlest hint of stewed fruit.
T- Quite deep, quite rich, with some hints of sweetness. Puddingy (in the British sense!) stewed fruit or steamed Xmas pudding. The hints of sweetness are like the deep/toasty/rich flashes of flavour you'd get from an Xmas mince pie.
F- Rich, deep, a slow-sipping winter-warmer. Just to the sweet side of rich but not risking being OTT sweet at all. ABV% is very subtle on the palate for 10.5%; I get a sherry-ish 'brush of mild liquor' across the palate, but zero ABV%-zing. CO2 in the mouth is great, just enough to feel good but not draw attention.
O- Quite godly, in that for a 10.5% Quad it could steam-roll in on the palate but it's relatively under-stated.
330ml bottle BB: 05/03/2022. Euro2.90. Bought from [email protected] for home delivery to me in London.

Jun 17, 2020
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teromous from Virginia

3.66/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the rear label "Best before end 11/20/20 11:46"

Appearance: The body is dark and between black and very dark brown. The head has an off-white color that is creamy textured with a frothy cap of various bubble sizes. There is excellent lacing on the sides. It is a very impressive looking beer.

Aroma: Dates, maple syrup, brown sugar, and prunes all come into the forefront of this beer.

Taste: Up front there is a rich caramel flavor and a raw sugar character. This immediately jumps to toffee and a hint of coffee flavor. It has a nice base of flavors and it is also very sweet tasting.

Mouthfeel: It is smooth and thick with a full body but it feels underattenuated and a bit chewy.

Overall: It's not the best Belgian Quad, given that it is overly sweet and is a bit chewy, but it has a nice array of Belgian flavors which are pleasant. Aside from the overt sweetness it is pretty good but it wouldn't be a first-pick. If you have a strong sweet tooth then it's worth picking up. Overall I probably would drink it again but it would most likely be a "one and done" beer.

Jan 18, 2020
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DoctorZombies from Florida

4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured at 49 degrees, a frothy rocky beige head three fingers thick sits atop dark brown liquid; good clarity under a long lasting cap; heavy lacing; thin legs. Sweet raisins and a whiff of clove in the nose. Taste follows nose; sweet dried fruit, raisins, prunes; plums and pears; caramel, fig, tobacco and leather as beverage warms. Crisp medium body; medium plus carbonation; some warmth from 10.5% abv. Overall an enjoyable, well balanced ale up there with TR10, etc., flavors wise, but not as chewy or as complex. Would definitely drink again.

Oct 30, 2019
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josanguapo from Spain

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

En copa Val Dieu. Viendo Mr. Robot 1x06-07. Agradable sabor a frutas oscuras, con alguna nota regaliz. Se disfruta cada sorbo, aunque desgraciadamente se sube bastante a la cabeza

Sep 27, 2019
Photo of ThaneMcC
ThaneMcC from Germany

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

Poured from a 75cl bottle with good by date of 10/10/20
Pours deep reddish brown with copious light tan head and fair amount of sticky lacing. Smell is those classic Belgian yeast notes, herbal, prune, bready, burned caramel. Taste is sweet notes forward with some jammy notes of raisin, molasses, candied yam, cocoa and leather with a bitter, almost metallic taste mid-note and a residual lingering taste of cherry and prune. Mouthfeel is medium, a bit syrupy with only a fair amount of carbonation. Rather malty – but not in a bad way.
Paired up with a strong cheese (blue) – this is quite good and easily one of the best of the Belgian quads.

Aug 03, 2019
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VABA from Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Pours a dark color with a generous head and lacing
A-Aroma has very nice fruity and spice hints
T-Taste follows the nose with a very nice fruity and spice flavor
M-A medium bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A good Belgian Quad

Jul 28, 2019
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OlaB from Norway

4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown color with a lot of sediments floating and a medium top of beige head that dissolves rapidly. Aroma is of dark and dried fruits like plums,raisins,figs and dates, dark malt,candied sugar and spices. The taste is sweet with notes of dark and dried fruits, while it is strong malty and toasted notes in the back. It then get a good amount of spices in the flavour, while the finish has some slight bitterness nicely balanced with the malts and sweetness. The aftertaste has a great lenght. The mouthfeel is creamy and oily with a medium body and moderate carbonation.
This is a great quadruple. Very close to the top.

Aug 18, 2018
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patre_tim from Thailand

4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown and deep ruby when held to the light. Topped with 3 fingers of light beige head.

Smells of prunes and peaches, dates and pungent spices, caramel and dark toasted malts.

The taste follows the nose on the palate, adding phenols, Belgian yeasts and a hint of toasted dark malt bread.

Medium body with a balancing heavy, but smooth carbonation giving it a slick feel.

Got at LCBO, drinking on Lake Muskoka, April 28th, 2018. Excellent brew.

Apr 29, 2018
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BHapeman from Virginia

4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful dark, cloudy color with a nice dense head. Lovely malt smell. Tastes exactly like a quad should taste - malty with hints of molasses and dark fruit. Light carbonation with a solid mouth feel.
Really enjoyable beer to drink.

Apr 24, 2018
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taxandbeerguy from Canada (ON)

4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml cork and cage bottle from the LCBo for about $10. Anno 1216, so these guys have 800 years of brewing experience. Served fairly cold into a Chimay chalice. Best before 11/04/19. Needed the corkscrew to get this open and opening with a satisfying pop.

Appearance - Very, very dark brown, appearing virtually black in the glass. Two fingers of loose and soft looking tan head sit casually on top. Great staying power, looks like it could stay for days. lots of bubbles right at the edges of the glass and streaks of lacing form as the head diminishes. Phenomenal looking.

Smell - Interesting combo, as initially its musty, earthy aromas, but then moves to some sweetness of candi sugar, brown sugar and dark fruits namely figs and cherries. Boozy on the nose too. Interesting complexity.

Taste - Earthy and musty again with the first sip then BANG, flavor sensors go into overdrive. Chocolate, figs again, brown sugar, cherries, booze and molasses all combine in many pairings, giving a slightly different flavor every time.

Mouthfeel - Body is pretty light, but sticky, carbonation is present, but drinks like silk. Lots of heat in the back of the throat as the booze quotient certainly isn't shy here.

Overall - Pretty sensational quad, reminds me quite a bit of Chimay Blue with a touch more bitterness, or perhaps the absence of sweetness. Top notch and really enjoyable beer. Will certainly keep my eyes peeled for another couple of these before they're all gone.

Apr 14, 2018
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Dope from Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2/28/19 date, I assume this is probably about a year old

A: Pours a very dark brown with an enormous frothy head. Excellent head retention and lacing.

S: Strong belgian spices and earthiness in general.

T: Big malty sweetness right out of the gate. Sweet caramel and toasted sugars. Lots of dark fruits as well, fig and raisin I'd say. Bittering spices and light hops on the back end help try to balance it out and keep it from being cloying. Still very big and sweet but thankfully it is reasonably balanced.

M: Heavy, sweet, thick. Nearly syrupy.

O: Very nice BSDA. On the extremely malty side but this is how I like it.

Apr 04, 2018
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Cramshawbar from Canada (ON)

4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Lovely. Coming close to St. Bernardus territory but the slight sweetness knocks it down a bit. But it still easily beats this year's version of Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw. It won't be available for long in these parts, so I'd better buy a couple more.

Mar 17, 2018
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polloenfuego from Canada (NB)

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

Pours a lovely ruby brown with a thumb of head. Retention is quite nice, and upon break you see a thin layer of foam with some nice lacing.

Smell is in line with the category. I get sweet dark fruits, Belgian yeast, candi and some spices. All work nicely together for a great aroma.

Taste follows the nose, with dark fruits such as fig and prune leading the race. Then come the sugars and yeast, with a mild spice finish.

Feel is quite full and thick/chewy. Carbonation is about right for the style, and the finish is sweet but perhaps less so than others in the style.

A nice quad, I'd say it is a very nice example of the style. Fruity, a bit sweet and it hides the booze extremely well. I would definitely revisit this beer.

Mar 09, 2018
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Beginner2 from Illinois

4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

In evaluating quads, those that are above average tend to conceal their alcohol and control their sweetness.
Val-Dieu does both well and is above average for a style that I love as it helps chase Chicago's winters.

Grand Cru's Looks start good and are inviting, then the foam fades into a nice lace and the active protein continues... sign of a good yeast. Smells are standard quad (brewers sugar, dark dried fruit, active yeast and probably in that order of prominence.) However, Val-Dieu has some mystery spices that are very comforting for the dry winter air. (Call it Holiday therapy !) Tastes are true to Smell as I detect little difference... except the well-concealed alcohol eventually comes knocking. Feel has that abbey active carbonation whose purpose I better appreciate... but still cannot understand because Grand Cru, in particular, is ever so exceptionally soft.

Overall, a fine quad. Glad I Had it and, now, have completed Val Dieu's four beers with distribution in the Midwest. I will have Grand Cru sparingly with a stewy dinner because I'm on a diet and can only drink my dessert ! And as much as I like dessert, it really is no sacrifice to drink the rest of this Grand Cru.

11/15/20 Poured into my Val-Dieu mini-tulip. Getting I've edited my review and increased the rating slightly. I also should add that Val-Dieu is close to being on my Belgian Brewer Bucket List. In addition to the monastery, they have a cheesery and a bakery. My only concern is that I could not find the English language button and my French is not good. So maybe if I can figure that out, I will come visit them. For now, I'm keeping count over at UnTappd.

Feb 09, 2018
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citizencane from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From bottle into glass at room temp. Appears dark rust red. Interesting, because the liquid looked light tan while pouring, Slight thin foamy head that leaves an impressive amount of lacing. Taste is roasted bread, berries, toffee. Dare I say this smells like a fermented blueberry bagel? Fantastic.

Dec 18, 2017
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JamFuel from Sweden

4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into correct glasssware at De Garre in Bruges.

Pours a murky, dark reddish brown, with some fine foam. Not the prettiest beer, and darker that usual for the style.

The smell is fruity and a bit sweet. Plums, raisins and some brown sugar are prominent.

The taste is spicey and fruity, with the brown sugar and raisins from the nose making a return along with some cinnamon and cardamom. Delicious!

Mouthfeel is medium and chewy, good level of carbonation.

Overall, a very good quad, with some unique elements. Not pretty, but tasty!

Sep 17, 2017
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

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

i had this on tap recently and wasnt very impressed, it definitely didnt live up to the ratings here. a thin murky brown beer without very much head after the initial pour and a real lazy look about it for a belgian specialty brew. the nose is good, darker than some quads, more chocolate notes than dried fruit, although suggestions of dates and raisins are surely here. i smell alcohol and brown sugar, and less belgian yeast than i had anticipated. it tastes kind of old, not exactly oxidized, but tired, like it had been in the keg or the line too long, or had been subjected to extreme temperature fluctuations. feels and tastes flat to me, and the belgian yeast seems fatigued as well, some clove spice, but still a lot of sweetness and less fruitiness than many quads have. cocoa for sure, some odd cherry quality, a bitterness to finish with the sweet, molasses, wet wood, and slight maple. it tastes good, but it lacks the depth and invigorating feel of the best examples of the style. id like to try this fresher, or in the bottle, i bet its a much better beer, but in this instance, my first beer from these guys is well below what i had expected from it. they cant all be great, but i suspect time and distance from the brewery are at fault rather than a lackluster beer. until next time...

edit: just had a carefully cellared bottle of this from 2009, and it was an entirely different experience. mellow belgian yeast, dark specialty malts, tons of dried fruit, and none of the oxidation and staleness of my draft experience from earlier this year. highly recommended in the bottle, and with the age on it, its delightful. editing some scores to line up with this second, vastly superior experience!

Jul 28, 2017
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Viaduck from California

3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Opens with a nice pop, pours coffee/cola color, generous light tan head with large frothy bubbles. Aroma is typlal Belgium ale plus raisins & plum. Flavor is alcohol, raisin & plum & chocolate. Mild alcohol burn & plenty of carbonation tingle.

May 07, 2017
Grand Cru from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 436 ratings