Grand Cru
Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu

Grand CruGrand Cru
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Style:
Belgian Quadrupel (Quad)
Ranked #23
ABV:
10.5%
Score:
92
Ranked #2,077
Avg:
4.19 | pDev: 10.5%
Reviews:
176
Ratings:
423
From:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
 
Belgium
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  58
Gots
  75
SCORE
92
Outstanding
Grand CruGrand Cru
Notes:
Reviews: 176 | Ratings: 423 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of teromous
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.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
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.

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Photo of josanguapo
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

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Photo of ThaneMcC
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.

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Photo of VABA
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

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Photo of OlaB
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.

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Photo of patre_tim
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.

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Photo of BHapeman
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.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
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.

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Photo of Dope
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.

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Photo of Cramshawbar
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.

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Photo of polloenfuego
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.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | 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.

While Grand Cru's Looks start good and are inviting, the foam fades. 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. (Holiday therapy !) Tastes are true to Smell as I detect little difference... except the 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 soft.

Overall, I fine quad. Glad I Had it and, now, have completed Val Dieu's four beers with broad 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 is no sacrifice to drink the rest of this Grand Cru.

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Photo of citizencane
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.

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Photo of JamFuel
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!

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Photo of StonedTrippin
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!

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Photo of Viaduck
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.

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Photo of donspublic
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into sniffer, minimal head and lacing. Dark brown in the glass, little or no light gets thru. Fruity Belgian esters on the nose with plum, raisin on the nose. Taste is initially chocolate, fruity yeast and flows into dark stone fruit, plum comes to mind. Finish is a semi sweet, but a small amount of bitterness keeps it in check

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Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750mL caged bottle into a tulip

Pours a fine, if not inordinately dark, color for the style. Despite the careful pour, there is a significant amount of sediment and particulate yeast here, and it is a little unsettling in its turbidity. A bit lacking in head, but excellent lacing throughout.

The aroma is the weakest factor, but not because it is offputting. There just isn't much of it. Dark fruits and sweet malts mixed with dark chocolate and anise are present, but very subdued.

After the somewhat disappointing subtlety of the aroma, the flavor is unique and outstanding. It isn't a typical Quad in any sense of the word, but it hits all of the right notes. The most prominent note is yeast, yeast, and more yeast. It hits you right in the face and, if you are a fan of the dark Belgian arts, that is a good thing. The quintessential Belgian yeast note is as strong in this brew as in any other I've tried. But it does not overwhelm. Malty sweetness, herbal anise notes, and bitter dark chocolate/espresso flavors round out the brew, with a fairly strong, but not quite solvent, boozy punch at the end. Deceptively dry and bitter at the finish.

The carbonation is stronger than expected given the lack of head, but a bit more carbonation, and a bit more subtlety on the alcohol bite would serve this well. Still, very drinkable, and not at all cloying. In fact, some may find this less sweet than they might expect from the style.

Overall, a unique but still excellent take on the style.

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Photo of Dentist666
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice hazy dark brown appearance, long beige head retention, fruity and spicy smell.
Full body, spirituous, warming, sticky. Moderate to high carbonation level.

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

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a very dark reddish brown with a fine two finger khaki head with excellent retention and thick lacing. Aroma of candi and caramel malt, dark and light stone fruit, raisins, hints of dates. Flavor is bready and candi malt, dates, raisins, plums, apricot, hints of cherry, fruit cake, light apple and pear, clove and Belgian yeast. Finishes with more mixed fresh fruit, dates and fruit cake. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A really nice quadrupel with complex fruit flavors and periodic bursts of fresh fruit esters. A little on the sweet side, but leans towards fructose; well within style and pleasant all evening. A bit brash on flavor compared to some of the old classics, but the complexity carries the flavor well. Excellent.

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Photo of REDAMI
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into Orval chalice.

L-Deep, golden brown color with a light tan, creamy head. Excellent head retention.

S-Caramel, yeasty bread, like bread pudding.

T-Toffee, raisin, malty sweetness, brown bread.

F-Creamy with thinning alcohol on the back.

A pleasant surprise. Well balanced and flavorful. A nice treat for those who enjoy Rochefort 10, Westvleteren 12, or St. Bernardus 12. It can hold its own among the big boys.

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Photo of KEH
4.84/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I first tried this during Belgian Fest at Ashley's in Westland, MI, and was blown away!

Pour: Deep brown color (almost like black coffee) with a thick, beige head
Aroma: Yeasty and sweet
Flavor: Very malty and a bit sweet. This beer has an almost red wine-like finish.

Currently enjoying from a bottle, served in a tulip glass.

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Photo of stevoj
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh but to be enjoying this on a crisp winter’s night. Pours dark reddish brown with a small silky beige head. Aroma wafts with dried fruit, brown bread, oak barrel smells. taste is just as rich, smooth and creamy. Nice sticky aftertaste and very, very mild alcohol burn. A treasure.

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Photo of Dzu
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 0.33 bottle into goblet.
L: Turbid dark brown with a weak foam head.
S: Wine notes, plums, caramel.
T: Sweets fruits, raisin, appleas.
F: Fuul body and soft carbonation. Great balanced.
O: may be too sweet but aftertaste is great as taste.

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Grand Cru from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 423 ratings