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

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157 Reviews
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Val-Dieu Grand CruVal-Dieu Grand 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
Reviews:
157
Ratings:
368
Avg:
4.17
pDev:
11.03%
 
 
Wants:
61
Gots:
62
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 368
Photo of phishgator
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay glass. Deep brown in color with a medium head, low carbonation. The aroma is of rasins and plum. The taste is a touch of sour rasins, but a mix that is warming as it goes down. The alcohol is well hidden, but hits you at the end. The body if full and rich. This makes for and enjoyable drinking experience. A very smooth drink with a good amount of subtle flavors.

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Photo of fourstringer
4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL corked & caged bottle into a Duvel tulip. Moderate hand. Cork is dated 10/2014, indicated as a best by date according to the label.

A: Deep ruby-brown body that is essentially opaque black viewed straight on. 2-3 fingers of rocky, off-white/beige head. Good retention. Impressive lacing. Really nice looking brew.

S: Dark fruit, raisin, black cherry, date. Sweet bread. Molasses. Toffee. Faint banana. Trace dark chocolate. Spice cake.

T: Richly sweet malt with a strong dried fruit presence up front. Baking spice. The sweetness gradually yields partially to some balancing hop bitterness. Finished semi-dry. Notable alcohol presence with some lingering warmth and dark chocolate notes in the aftertaste.

M: Moderate carbonation with a moderate to full body. Very palate coating. Slightly sticky. A touch prickly.

O: This one is certainly more suited to December than August - fairly boozy, sweet and heavy. Did get a bit cloying finishing off the fifth myself, but very nice scents and flavors. Will definitely revisit come more quad-appropriate weather.

Prost!

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Photo of Sachsenfreude
3.87/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance; thick and creamy beige head, perfect retention throughout the drink. Beautiful chunky lacing, dark, brownish amber body.

smell; much like the style but muted and lacking the complexity of some of the big boys. A bit of stale grass and sugar with alcohol stands out.

taste; a tad bit too sweet, very nice aftertaste, complex with a good, touch of light hop balance and alcohol. Hints of cherries soaked in whiskey.

mouthfeel; on the light end of heavy bodied, creamy and warming with a sticky finish.

overall; A nice drink but lacking the usual complexities of the style. Still a great drink and well worth the price.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.9/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App-Poured a rich dark mahogany, very little head which sooner than later equalled no head.

Smell- Smells faintly of dark fruits and alcohol, a little bit of licorice root. A slight sourness to the aroma almost lambic like.

Taste- A soft Sweet, front meets you from the get go. Generous amounts of candy sugars and phenol nips. A thick mallasses flavor and some sour citrus in the back. Once warmed is opens to a thick and sweet treat.

Mouthfeel- Full-bodied and thick in the mouth, blankets the tongue. Lightly dispersed carbonation and the alcohol tends to help clear the palate in a decent way at the end of each sip.

Drinkability: Heck yes, get one and enjoy the dark flavors that await. Brewery's best offering maybe?

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Photo of Yesac
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Appears solid black in the glass. The head is extremely foamy and a pain to manage. The foam is sloppy and sticks to the glass unevenly.

S - caramel, roasted nuts, fruity accents, some tartness.

T - Pretty complex. Sweet fuits.. and a yeasty finish. It's watery-light overall which I'm not keen of. Smooth drinking.

M - Highly carbonated.. bubbles dancing across the tongue. Alcohol warming effect.

D - So smooth, thin and complex. The 10.5% is extremely well hidden.

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Photo of Kraken
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wonderful Beer poured from from caged and corked 750ml bottle. Smells of raisins and fermented apples. Deep Brown color, thin foamy head with nice lacing, head diminishes over time. First sip of the dark caramel-goodness is raisin/plum with citrius and vanillla notes. Slight alcohol taste upfront, alcohol becomes more noticeable as if warms. Nice finish, apples, caramel and yeast become more prevalent as beer warms. Complex but not cloying as some other quads. Fantastic beer highly recommend if you can find. Took my bro and I 2yrs to find our second bottle!

 563 characters

Photo of pinotboy007
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep mahogany but nearly opaque with a rich khaki-colored head and plenty of lace. Superb!

S - Oaky vanilla and malt. (I suspect this needs to warm up a bit more.)

T - Slightly sweet, oaky vanilla with a hint of an exotic single malt and leather. Very nice!

M - Slick and satiny; impressive by any standard. There's only the slightest touch of fizz and the creaminess is simply amazing. I'm getting only a tinge of alcohol burn on the back end, impressive given its ABV.

D - Dangerously so. Buy a few of these and save them for those splendid autumn afternoons.

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Photo of CWiggins
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I mistook this for the blond ale by the same brewer, and opened it without realizing what I had! Imagine my surprise after the first gulp, when those dark, malted candy sugars and intense alcohol hit my tongue. Whew!

I purchased this some time back, while picking up several items from Sam's in Durham. It poured a very dark brown into my Unibroue glass, and the tan head hung around for some time. Lacing continued around the perimeter until the glass was empty. The aroma is rather weak; there are hints of brown sugar, dark cherries and alcohol, but they're just not very strong. With a deeper sniff I noticed the scent of Concord grape juice!

The flavor is superb. It's full of dark sugars and chocolate, with a slight espresso accent at the finish. There's a nice warmth here as well, probably due to the alcohol. It's full-bodied and contains a little more than medium carbonation.

A very nice Quadrupel. It's nice to know there are so many good Quads on the market.

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Photo of DenverLogan
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.48/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

On draught and the J. Clyde in Birmingham

Deep almost opaque brown cola color mild lacing creamy head weak retention

Smells of raisins and dark fruit (jams and jelly) brown sugar malt baked bread

Good deal of bitterness up front for a quad
More dark fruit and the malt profile of a dubbel though it is scaled back a bit here for balance though still noticeable, a bit of nondescript tartness warm and rich

Creamy and smooth

Overall a pretty decent BSDA but I would always reach for the ABT 12 before I'd reach for this, it is definitely worth a try tho

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Photo of sweetbrew82
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ML bottle/ best before 03/09 (date consumed)

P: Sits very dark brown in the glass with the only light coming through the edges. The 1 finger, off-white head is soapy with small bubbles. Showed decent retention before settling to a thick cap of foam, while leaving intricate webs of lace.

A: Lots of dark fruits that aim to please! Grapes, raisins, and figs on top, with some nutty maltiness and brown sugar underneath. The alcohol smells vinous to me.

T: Silky smooth malt bill holds the palate's attention with a deeply toasted/ slightly roasted flavor that brings life to chocolate and tree nuts. Its slick & oily, mouth-coating richness is the star of the show. As for the fruit, the grapes and raisins are probably the most pronounced, with figs underneath. Hops lay low, but do deliver some earthy flavors and a spicy stab that works great with the brown sugar complimenting. The alcohol is very soft & mellow. Its non-abrasive, non-intrusive nature never overwhelms, but does warm the chest nicely. This is fantastic!

M: This Grand Cru is full-bodied, slick & oily, rich & luxurious. It's ridiculously smooth while feeling a bit chewy as it warms.

Notes: This is a fantastic Belgian Ale that is almost like a Belgian Stout! Good complexity, intriguing depth, great flavors, and good drinkability. I'm going to go snag the last bottle off the shelves the next chance I get. Now, if I could just get my hands on the rest of the Val-Dieu lineup...

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Photo of Impfan
4.73/5  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.

 286 characters

Photo of jisom123
4.52/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Belgian from Belgium.
Lighter in color than most Quads.
Fresh sent. Fresh flavor, notes of light apple and grain.
abv was 10.5 but you could only taste 8. kind of cloudy appearance, not unlike Erdinger.
Would go perfectly on a picnic, or another hot day when you normally would not want to bottoms up a quad.

 310 characters

Photo of danedelman
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-dark brown with creamy white head. Nice lacing on glass as you drink.

S-dried fruit, candi sugar, molasses and malt dark

T-very smooth at 10.5%. Lots of raisin, fig, and dark candi sugar all very well blended together. All work well together and produce an awesome brew.

M-very drinkable, if the abv wasn't so high could session this one!!

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Photo of trevorjn06
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany/brown with a thick, tight mouse-like head that lingers. Thick lacing down the glass.

Aroma is rich stone fruits, figs, plums, raisins, molasses, burnt sugar and dark caramels. Wonderful.

Taste follows the nose with sweet, dark caramels and dark fruits. There is a bit of burnt sugar, sweet malt, molasses, moving into plums, raisins, figs and a bit of Munich malt like bready character. Finish has hints of alcohol and dark fruits that linger for awhile. A very pleasing taste that lingers.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall this is an amazing beer: strong, full bodied flavor with a great complexity and lasting finish. Highly recommended.

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Photo of abents
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish brown color with huge light tan head that laces sporadically. Smells of yeasty bread with a hint of sweetness.
wow this an interesting brew a whole lot going on with the taste buds. Sweet malty, fruitiness lead into various spices, maybe anise, pepper?, and red fruits. Way more complex than what my lowly palate can detect, but sooo interesting and delicious. Slight alcohol at the finish, but so smooth and exciting, this is one BIG beer.
Mouthfeel is probably one of the best I have ever had, it has this creamy texture upfront that leads to a refreshing crispness at the end. Great, great beer put on to try again list.

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Photo of REDAMI
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
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 Mindcrime1000
4.13/5  rDev -1%
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 JohnnyS17
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is a nice mahogany with a slight reddish or purple tint. A tall white head with a hint of tan. Relatively transparent with some cloudiness. It smells sweet like maple syrup and brown sugar. It kind of reminds me of pancakes, but with a hint of alcohol. Haha.

The taste is nicely sweet, like raisins and brown sugar. The high ABV is hidden well with the sweetness. A light medium body that brings back the maple syrup idea. Light carbonation.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. I paired it with my saltier steak and it was perfect.

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Photo of WoogityBoogity
4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Artificial cork, date stamped "05/12". Cork was a bitch to remove, and it seems as if there was barely any carbonation.

A - Dark mahogany body... poured straight down tulip glass and barely any head formed. Cleary body, although dark. After a minute, head settles to almost a tiny froth. If twirled, microbubbles reduce from body.

S - Simple malt, cinnamon aroma. Very mild fruity esters for a "Grand Cru".

T - Malt complexity is limited... but stands out. A few peppery spice phenols. Finish is dry. Label claims 10.5% ABV, though alcohol taste is well hidden (or is lying).

M - Medium body, low carbonation.

D - Very drinkable; would pair well with dessert if you're looking for a Quad that doesn't overpower.

---

It almost seems like the beer I tasted was way too young.

I'm not sure if I, like the person just below me, got a bad batch - but it seems like this was bottled before tertiary fermentation was completed. I believe Val-Dieu doesn't use bottle fermentation, so it almost seems like after racking, Val-Dieu didn't complete the carbonation process.

Either that, or very simply... this beer is way too young (which I don't believe). As it's bottled, it travels from brewer to importer over seas by boat (30 days), then to distributor's warehouse (another 30 days), to store shelf (couple weeks)... so I'm not sure of the situation.

But recent reviews don't match previous reviews.

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Photo of discovolante65
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
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!!!

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Photo of brewdenver
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful beer. Active frothy head with pour. Used a New Belgium .47L tulip glass. Color is dark, around 18-23 lovibond. Taste was sweet with hints of caramel and red wine. Had a sort of resin aroma. Very active on the palate. Definetly getting more for the price I found it.

 275 characters

Photo of fragilemacabre
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I first tried this fresh from chillage, and I was NOT pleased. It reminded me of the bitter, flat characteristics of Gulden Draak (which I had been led to have high hopes for).

Another try while it was warmer, however? It has a good bready smell to it, almost a sourdough, with a deep, dark sweetness to it, and its head and lacing upon warming up are impressive. The molasses flavor that was overpowering and cloying while cold mellow out into a maltier and bittersweet profile.

I won't ever drink this cold, but warmed, it is happy for the taste buds (and the warming of cheeks)

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Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured very dark and clear into goblet
nice lacing

toffee, caramel sweetness in the aroma

The taste was surprisingly sweet (even for a strong Belgian beer) and lacked complexity as compared to other vleteren quads. I got some toffee/caramel/candy sugar, and a little alcohol. Maybe a little raisin. But not really much else. This was sort of like a St Bernadus 12 "light" in flavor -- it had the same top notes, but not much behind it.

Glad I tried it, and nothing wrong with it. But there are other quads I prefer.

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Photo of stbfan
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice looking, dark brown with ruby hues to light. lots of sediment. Huge off white head. Smells of cloves, bread, yummy. Tastses like a medium to thick mouthfeel.tastes of cloves, belgian yeast, a little bitterness in finish. almost metallic. Very drinkable.Nice quadruple. Nice lacing on glass. Finish is a little lacking though.

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Val-Dieu Grand Cru from Brasserie de l'Abbaye du Val-Dieu
4.17 out of 5 based on 368 ratings.
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