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

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Grand CruGrand Cru
385 Ratings
Grand CruGrand Cru

Brewed by:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-02-2006

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 385 |  Reviews: 164
Photo of Beginner2
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

 1,093 characters

Photo of travelguy
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of citizencane
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
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 mtbdonn
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of AGust82
3.5/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of JamFuel
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
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!

 559 characters

Photo of nuts43
3.56/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Photo of unclekeith
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Pro_Magnon
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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!

 1,713 characters

Photo of mishi_d
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of toddyrob76
4.59/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.99/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Pav5069
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Viaduck
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
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 igl
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of donspublic
4.09/5  rDev -1.7%
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

 348 characters

Photo of WilliamBrasky
4.54/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Can_has_beer
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BelgianBeerChef
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of RBuckley73
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mindcrime1000
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

 1,531 characters

Photo of mmilyko
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Dentist666
4.2/5  rDev +1%
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.

 159 characters

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Grand Cru from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 385 ratings