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Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] - Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.

Not Rated.
Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune]Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune]

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

405 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 405
Reviews: 303
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 57
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 405 | Reviews: 303 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Dope:
Photo of Dope
3.96/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 17/12/2011, almost 2 years old.

A: Very dark reddish-brown pour. Almost opaque. Big fizzy tan head. Head sputters out somewhat quickly like a fuzzy soda. Minimal lacing but good retention. LOTS of floaties, almost to the point of ridiculousness.

S: Lots of sweet brown sugar in this one. Dark fruits, fig and raisin and maybe even some prunes? Decent belgian yeast with some cloves adding some spiciness.

T: Again with the sweet brown sugar and lots of dark fruits. Very similar to the aroma. Heavy on the belgian yeast, cloves and earthy spices everywhere. Tastes a lot like a dubbel, just a bigger, sweeter one. Malt is sweet and bready, kinda reminds me of fruitcake if I'm honest. Mild toasted malt floating around and lingering between sips.

M: Nice medium bodied and very smooth.

O: Nice sweet and fruity dubbel-esque BSDA. Great complexity, great smoothness of body and flavors. Huge chunks of sediment everywhere was a bit disconcerting but it is what it is. Overall definitely in the upper echelon of BSDAs.

Dope, Sep 16, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – Deep, orangish-brown body with a few shades of red. There’s lots of carbonation going on in there along with monster sediment. I controlled the tight, foamy head at the pour, keeping it at about an inch or two, but it took quite some time to dissipate.

Smell – I could review the aroma from across the room (although I’m not). Alcoholic fruit leapt from the glass. I can pick up some orange and banana along with cherry/cranberry juice. There’s a little bit of spiciness as well. The base of the nose comes after, a complex mix of malts and some light yeast.

Taste – The malt flavors come out a little bit more on the tongue, but at first it’s the fruits that run away with the show. The sediment and orange, along with the alcohol notes, give the feeling of drinking a high class screwdriver (pulp orange juice, dry champagne, and a shot of Grand Mariner). Add to that some smooth banana liquor, sweetened cranberry juice, and a cherry garnish. Plop a dribble of the juice from the cherry jar and there you have it.

Then comes the malt. Nice, ever-so-lightly toasted, sweetened with loads of caramel then balanced with a drop or two of anise. Overall, a very complex mix of flavors working exceptionally well together.

As this warms, the sugars come out in force. Rich, dark drippings of melted toffee, brown and powdered sugar, and overly ripe pears and apricots. It finishes with a strong punch of freshly pressed cinnimmon-laced apple cider.

Mouthfeel – Healthy carbonation and a full body keeps the drinking moving at the right pace with this 9.0 ABV juggernaut. This is chewy and sugaring and sticks in between your teeth. Your dentist will hate it.

Drinkability – Nothing says, “special occasion,” like an Abbay des Rocs bottle. This was a real treat.

Comments – This was a very sweet BSDA, sweeter than most of the other ones that I have tried. This was really in the same ballpark as their Grand Cru. I thought it could have used a little more malt backbone, but the beauty of beer tasting is in recognizing the habits and characteristics of individual brewers. This is an absolute classic.

Update – The 2004 vintage has a few bad bottles going around. I actually think that it’s an off batch. The ale wasn’t flat like it hadn’t been bottled properly; it just had an off flavor that I thought made it an overall sub-4.0 offering.

I got a hold of a good ’04 bottle and included it as part of a tasting. It really is head and shoulders above all other Belgians that I’ve had. This one wasn’t quite as heavy on the sweets like the ’03 that I reviewed and it was more heavily carbonated, which led me to believe it may have been a bit fresher. Either way you cut it, this is a tremendous brewery and the Brune is one of their better offerings.

Update – I popped a vintage ’02 for the same taste test that we did the ’04. The two years really blended the flavors together more and gave it a huge sweetness that was incredibly smooth. The Grand Cru was in the test also and it was difficult to tell the difference between the ’02 Brune and the ’04 Grand Cru.

RoyalT, Sep 16, 2003
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally! I’ve been searching for this brew for three years. A t every liquor store I go to I find Brune Gran Cru staring back at me. I can never find the regular old Brune, but now, on a random stop in at Steve’s Liquor Mineral Point, I find one bottle tucked away in the back cooler. How thrilled I am to try this, especially after enjoying the Tripel Imperial and Gran Cru so much.

After a long a bumpy drive through the country, I could not wait for the yeast to settle so I popped this bottle open and let it pour marvelously into my glass. Appearance is stunning. Body is a light red amber with suspended reddened tan yeast particles throughout. Carbonation is ample and a thick white head lasts for several minutes before dissolving, leaving a rather wine like appearance for this beer.

Aroma is wonderfully verdant. Granny smith apple lunges forth from the glass followed by a menageries of other delightful fruit including musk mellon, unripe grapes, and mangosteen. Grass and hay finish the nose.

The flavor is nearly as bold as the nose. Tropical in the extreme and depthfully complex, I feel as though I’m on the beach in Thailand drinking rum mixed with fruit punch. There are massive fruits here. Not only can one make out the aforementioned four, but also pineapple and ripe naval orange all rounded out by some sweet caramel malt. Fantastically, this beer is kept far from any hint of cloyingness or fruit overkill by a steady supply hay, barnyard character, and sourdough bread fresh from San Francisco.

The body is vinous and full. Sweet and sour play off each other like Russian chess masters. Drinkable? You betcha!

DaPeculierDane, May 21, 2007
Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -5.4%

warnerry, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of sponberg
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm glad I'm not the only BA who had a bird trying to get the cork out. It took two corkscrews and a cork pull, but that sonofagun finally popped. No wonder. If I were in constant contact with this brew, I wouldn't give it up without a helluva fight either.

Medium-dark amber/copper, with a really neat, really big two-stage head if you pour it right - coarse bubbles near the beer, and a creamy, fluffy off white head atop it. Simply an incredible aroma - fruit, yeast, Belgian esteriness, hints of spice - perfect.

Possibly the most complex brew I've ever tasted. Starts with a very round, fruity (pear, apple, melon, tropical...), and very earthy maltiness, then things get really fun. Cherrylike flavors kick in, along with a healthy yeastiness which brings along even more earthy, estery flavors. The hops kick in towards the end, giving it a solid underlying bitterness, along with more apple and some chocolatey notes. The alcohol makes itself known more as it goes down. The aftertaste is best described as "more, please." I'm glad this is in a 750. I'm sad it's not in a 1.5 liter. Can't wait to try the Grand Cru.

I did notice a slight tongue-numbing sensation after a while, which may be due more to an overindulgence of salt and vinegar chips eight hours ago than anything brought along by this brew.

sponberg, Feb 21, 2003
Photo of Beaver13
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. Pours a hazy copper brown with lots of huge yeast floaties. The head is large white and creamy with good retention and lacing.

The aroma is sugary caramel malts, figs and cherries and wood and alcohol.

The flavor is sugary caramel malts, tart cherries and some vinous alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium and velvety and slightly gelatinous due to the yeast globs.

Overall, a very fine Belgian. It's a little too much on the sweet and sugary side.

Beaver13, Dec 27, 2007
Photo of tjthresh
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This thing has a bit of stank on it. Some woodyness. Low level fruitiness. Poured an deep auburn color with an impressive head. This thing is all about subtelty. Nothing really stands out. There is a definate woody character. Very fully yet silky body. I wonder what this beer tastes like a bit fresher.

tjthresh, Dec 10, 2006
Photo of merlin48
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

33cl brown bottle. Pours into a Belgian goblet a ruby hued cherry wood colour. Quite impressive. Healthy beige head with patchy sheet lacing. Aroma is interesting. Freshly tanned leather, a new aroma to me, is apparent. Apple molasses, served with cinnamon butter, on banana bread is the taste I'm getting, as well as the aroma. Fascinating! Toffee and caramel also jump into the profile.Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and is appropriately carbonated. Taste has some of the best malt notes I've ever experienced. This one will proudly reside in my top ten. Very similar to a Rochefort 10.

merlin48, Jan 21, 2004
Photo of Billolick
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, capped and corked. Oh baby, this is my kind of beer, alot going on! Pours dark, murky and very cloudy, with a S*&% load of floating sediment. Nose is of burnt malts, ripe fruit, licorish and funkyness, Head is light tan, with amazing retention, frothyness, density, and creamyness. it was as thick as shaving cream for awhile. Respectable, thick and well developed lacing left sticking to the glass.
Lovely smooth mouthfeel, light and velvety on the tongue, coating the entire mouth and throat.
Tastes of rum, fruits of a thousand nations, vanilla, honey, light maple syrup. Yum Yum The yeast at the botom of the glass, adds a further layer of complexity to the mix. Nutty, smooth, heady stuff!

World class brew, seek out and enjoy!

The term "Nectar of the Gods" comes to mind

(Also a huge bargain- $6.99 @ American bev. in Bklyn NY)

Billolick, Jan 29, 2005
Photo of Mora2000
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a medium brown color with a cream-colored head. There are huge chunks of yeast that come out of the bottle. (I also got this is then Grand Cru from this brewery.) Not very appetizing. The aroma is brown sugar and dark fruit. The flavor is dark fruit, alcohol, brown sugar, yeast and some darker malts. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, May 29, 2010
Photo of jisak74
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

jisak74, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of chickenm
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

chickenm, Jun 18, 2012
Photo of BGDrock
4.31/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark brown with hint of mahogany, sandy head s fine but doesn't stick around; specks of yeast are visible. Mash-up of prunes, dates, root beer, dark cherry, and lightly burnt caramel in the aroma. Buttery texture. Getting cherry, earthy root, lightly bitter dark chocolate, rich caramel - basically everything in the scent and more. Spices like pepper and nutmeg.
Exactly what you'd expect from a proper Belgian brune, warm, complex, full flavour with a soft, smooth mouthfeel - everything done right

BGDrock, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of ADR
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy brown appearance, big creamy head, almost orange tinged. Laces and laces and laces -- thick styrofoam sheets. Fanatastic aroma, perhaps the best smelling beer I've yet to witness, winey with plum and masterful yeast notes. Great mouthfeel as well, prickly carbonation but laying on the tongue with gravity so that the flavors just pop up in their order. Tastes of prune, peach, red wine, hay that's been bailed for two months, anise. Could be just a shade brighter but very good. Dries to a bready and lightly bitter finish (some expresso) and the alcohol warming is just about right. High, high marks in practically all categories, great to see it in Minnesota again. Geez, even the cork under the cap was of the highest quality!

Later Note: A lot of suspended and gloppy protein flakes, far beyond a spray of yeast seems to be dogging recent bottles of this beer.

ADR, Apr 04, 2004
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A vibrant glowing ruby brown tone with a tan thicket of frothy foaming head, leaving thickets of scattered bars of lacing just amazng appearance. Aroma: Doughy yeast spreads into a vegetable tone with a warming musky combonation of alcohol and yeast notes simply nothing like it out there in my opinion. A floral pine musty hop with a decadence of following flavor what a complex belgian style ale. Taste: Musty stir fried vegetables especially peas and carrots but somehow it works as a flavor with a woody finish and genuine sweet vegetables, it's a big question mark of what the fuck happened to this beer. Mouthfeel: Fuller bodied orgininal true to a mindblowing experience of flavor brew, very interesting could take some getting used to. Drinkability: Althought musky this beer does every questioning to one's senses I can imagine, wow I guess all I can say is try it and hope I am ready for this caliber of complexity.

WVbeergeek, Sep 28, 2003
Photo of chinchill
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle served in a St. Bernardus snifter.

A: Poured with a thick creamy light tan head on top of a reddish-brown body that has lumps of dark soft solids floating about. Not appealing, but the solids have no nasty effects on feel or flavor, and settle to the bottom anyway so that they could be avoided ... that is, if the beer wasn't so darn good you'll want every drop. Still, a downgrade on looks; it remains high due to the stellar head and lacing.

S: Smell is bready-fruity-floral, with hints of cumin, orange juice, and champagne. Some additional, more earthy and less attractive alcohol esters.

Taste: rich, even given the aroma, and mainly fruity and spicy, although the flavor is subtle and complex. Making appearances are raisins and dates, dark bread, coriander, cumin, ginger and oranges. There's a faint hint of smoke in the aftertaste. This beer is rather sweet but the bitter/sweet blend seems on the spot.

M: Body seems medium-full and, at the same time, light and airy. Very very soft. Only a soft alcohol heat despite 9% ABV.

O: superb; a real treat.

chinchill, May 07, 2013
Photo of imullica
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Serving from a bottle into a pint glass.
Appears reddish brown with so much sediment it's like extra-pulpy oj.
Smell is a bit funky.
Taste is absolutely delicious; funky, smooth, relaxing with a slight alcoholic aftertaste to round it out.
Mouthfeel is smooth with a slight carbonation.
It is dangerously drinkable for it's abv. Drinker beware! This is some seriously good stuff.

imullica, May 21, 2010
Photo of glid02
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly hazy chestnut brown color with loads of floaties and a half-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of brown sugar, caramel malts, and hints of raisins. As it warms the brown sugar aromas strengthen and slightly bready malt aromas make an appearance.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet brown sugar and caramel flavors up front with dark fruits lurking in the background. As it warms the flavors become a bit more fleshed out and the sweetness subsides. The ending is definitely on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with soft and grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing the bottle and could have another glass.

Overall I ended up buying a second bottle of this after being accosted by yeast in the first bottle however the second bottle was more of the same. I would think it would be better without all of the yeast but even as it is it's worth a shot.

glid02, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of rastaman
4.93/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hooray!!! What a great brew, very spicy chocolaty aroma. On the sweeter side, but still dry enough, very firm malty chocolate flavour, great spice that surrounds your tongue, mild bitterness, a malt lovers delight, yummy!!!!!!!

rastaman, Jul 13, 2002
Photo of DarrellK
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is medium brownish with some hint of red and almost opaque due to it's being a bit cloudy. Head is very full and a slow pour is essential to keep it from over flowing. It is right on target for a Belgian Red.

It has a real fresh aroma that is quite fruity and the nose stayed to the bottle of the glass and is good enough to be enjoyed on its own.

Taste somewhat winey but with the fruity aroma combines with the taste to give it wonderful character. The mouth is fairly high viscosity but with most of the carbonation stayng in the head it lightens up as the head stay to the bottom.

This brew and this style really pont out the need to have the correct glass to enjoy. A large mouth goblet or large snifter make this a great afterdinner brew.

DarrellK, Sep 17, 2003
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a chalice)
Best before 2008
A- This beer has a thick creamy light tan head on top a slightly dense warm reddish-brown body that has big lumps of jetsam slowly gliding around the body unaffected by the strong carbonation of tiny bubbles. No matter how gentle or slow the pour large lumps continued to flow with each glass.

S- The smell of light brown sugar and champagne notes has a light perfume honey note. The finish has a nice light spice note with some faint toffee hints.

T- This beer has a light caramel malt sweet flavor with some light cider and sweet champagne notes. There is a light sweetened condensed milk note in the finish with a nice alcohol note. The finish has a very light bitter hint that goes well with the alcohol.

M- This beer has a light airy mouthfeel with a light zing at the finish that is not really alcohol or tartness. There is also a soft alcohol heat after that which is nice at cleaning up the beer.

D- This is the lumpiest beer I have ever drunk. I didn’t taste the lumps or even feel them in my mouth, I only saw them during the pour and in the body. The beer was so tasty that I didn’t mind the lumps. This beer had a soft flavor but there were lots of layers and some nice complexity. The sweetness was also soft but balanced with the alcohol heat. Very nice and goes down very smooth.

rhoadsrage, Sep 03, 2007
Photo of SetarconeX
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Well now, this is an interesting little find. Belgians aren't usually the direction my tastes go towards, but this one is unexpectedly good. Appearence is a strange sort of light red carmel, not quite like anything I've ever seen before. Highly carbonated, so watch out when you uncork this one.

The smell isn't half bad either. Not as strong as it could be, but it does have a nice light maltiness, with a hint of citrus. The citrus comes out fairly strongly in the taste itself, without being too overwhelming. At heart, it's really not anything unusual, but is more a straight, few frills, Belgian Ale done to near absolute perfection.

Mouthfeel is fairly smooth, considering the ABV on the brew. This is perhaps the most drinkable 10% ABV I've encountered in recent memory.

SetarconeX, Dec 03, 2003
Photo of CloudStrife
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Best before 02/12/2013.

A: Pours a cloudy ruby with lots of chunks and a 1 finger dense white head. Leaves a real nice head, doesn't dissipate past 1/8" throughout the glass. No real lacing.

S: First there is a woody lemon and yeast. Orange and raisin, maybe some fig. A hint of booze but really not much. A breadiness to it.

T: A cereal malt taste with dark fruits and a hint of hop. Almost a maple syrup taste to it. Very well balanced. A nice malt/fuirty belgian beer.

M: Fairly light yet a dense feel in the mouth. Crisp and easy drinking. Could use some more carbonation. Booze is well hidden.

Overall a well balanced and drinkable dark ale. The aroma is very tasty and lends to a drinkable brew.

CloudStrife, Nov 18, 2012
Photo of BlazerT
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: dark brown, with dense, medium, white head, which lasts for not so long, low lacing;

S: complex malty sweetness, low caramel and bready moderately low dark fruit esters - plums, raisins, really interesting spiciness with some pepper and mint aromas, which makes it quite refreshing, very low hop aroma, moderate intense perfumy and spicy alcohol notes;

T: moderatly rich maltiness, sweet, low caramel and bread falvors, low dark fruit esters, again very interesting spiciness - peppermint, low bitterness, alcohol balance rich and malty character, it's more like vinous-alcohol, semi-sweet finish

M: thin, medium bodied, moderate carbonation, moderate alcohol warmth.

O: rich, complex and strong beer with powerfull maltiness, balanced with alcohol and spiceness.

BlazerT, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of azorie
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

azorie, Nov 16, 2011
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Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 405 ratings.