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

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Grand CruGrand Cru
BA SCORE
4.16/5
Exceptional
396 Ratings
Grand CruGrand Cru
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
Belgium
val-dieu.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,832
Reviews:
168
Ratings:
396
pDev:
10.82%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
60
Gots:
68
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 396 |  Reviews: 168
Photo of Glorithm
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of WynnO
3.6/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of taxandbeerguy
4.41/5  rDev +6%
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.

 1,477 characters

Photo of Dope
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

 628 characters

Photo of DannyBaldoni
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tux_alin
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StormAles
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of nullbort
3.78/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Cramshawbar
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

 251 characters

Photo of Jcarriglio
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of polloenfuego
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

 734 characters

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.

 305 characters

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

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Grand Cru from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 396 ratings