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

Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune]Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune]

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

388 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 388
Reviews: 297
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.91%


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)
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Ratings: 388 | Reviews: 297 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 750 mL bottle of Brune served in a Chimay goblet. The ale is cool to room temperature.

A: The ale is a deep auburn color with big head on pour that does not retain well.

S: Nose is alcohol and fruity, with orange peel standing out. Yeast adds a nice aroma as well.

T: Taste is curacao with hints of cinnamon and thyme. Taste is very intense, on par with the grand cru brown in terms of alefruits and depth.

M: The mouthfeel is a cornucopia of flavors, quite nice.

D: Very dinkable, although the 9% abv is a little high.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2006 12:50:10 | More by akorsak
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
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)

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2005 23:45:05 | More by Billolick
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2007 03:39:51 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep red, poured into a wide-mouthed branded goblet at 't Brugs Beertje. Body is clear and fine, quite slight bodied, but the head is full and attractive. Some sticky lacing looks more like a continuation of a subsided head. Colour is awesome, overall, it looks very pleasant indeed.

Nose is quite astringent and strong with booze and a savoury sweet character, a little like ketchup. Sweet tomato, slight spice and savoury moreishness. Full and quite lovely; before it gets too intense, there's a touch of lemon freshness to cut through. Very special and a little unique.

Taste is soft and flavoursome, with more of that savoury character and a lingering vegetative sweetness. All of this is softened with caramel, port, cream and herbal tones. Vanilla sweetness comes though, with even a hint of cherry or kirsch. Very filling, and rather finely and strongly carbonated however.

Smooth and strong, and quite full on, but nonetheless dry and respectable. Harder to drink than some; the carbonation is very high. But it's an impressive beer, no doubt.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 07:27:47 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Oxymoron

750ml Bottle/Foiled

Pours a clean/clear amber color, nice carbonation, very nice two finger creamy tan head, very nice islands and sticky lacing throughtout the drink. The nose is very nice of malts, grapes, figs, prunes, yeast and caramel. The taste is also delicious of sweet malts, grapes, figs, prunes, with a nice caramel undertone, the ABV is hidden very well. Medium body, a well rounded/complex brew. Very drinkable, an absolutely delicious brew, highly rocommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2007 03:19:47 | More by Wasatch
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark reddish-brown color with a thin, tan foamy head. Nice malty aroma with hints of dark berries. Very smooth drinking beer with a sweetnes that is a nice compliment to the slightly roasted malt flavor. Hints of dark cherries, raisin, prune and fig.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2008 05:44:43 | More by corby112
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle purchased as a single somewhere in NoVA, either WF/Vienna, WF/Annadale, Norm's, or Rick's. Black foil, and huge amount of floaties settled near the bottom, about an inch's worth. Best before end of 2007.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1 1/2" tan head above the brown brew, which is filled with large floaties, even after a careful pour. Head snow-cones above the edges of the glass, due to vigorous and seemingly unending carbonation eminating from the bottom of the glass. Once the head finally begins to recede, lacing consists of heavy foam completely coating the sides. Aroma is sweet malts, coupled with some fruitiness. Taste follows along the same lines. Mouthfeel is extra creamy, but I just don't liek the feel of those big floaties scraping across my lips. Drinkability is nice as well, except for the heavy sediment. Guess it's just something I either need to get over from Brasserie des Rocs, or drink something else.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2005 02:04:06 | More by ppoitras
Photo of wl0307
wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

BB 2009, served cool in Hapkin's tulip-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: a dark ruby to russet hue comes with a slowly dissipating beige head, mild carbonation, and an incredibly dirty texture of chunky, soak-bread-like yeast sediments.
S: lusciously yeasty, lightly stale (but only just) and deliciously rich on the fruit esters (black cherries, oxidised apples, perfumy overripe dark plums, huge and fat black prunes and raisins, and a touch of alcoholic orange as well)... The malt components lag behind, but still ejecting hints of crystal malts, chocolates and licorice. Candy sugar is another main element on the nose, remaining rough and uncompromising on the whole, but still well-intertwined with the fruitiness.
T: the semi-thick yet marvellously soft swallow of yeast sediments and fruit-estery flavour - mainly black cherry preserve and smoked black prunes - is followed closely by fulsome, licorice+ginger like mixed-spiced bready and black-sugary malts; the whole palate slowly turns lightly bitter and semi-dry in the aromatic aftertaste, witnessing the good work of yeasts as much as hops used in the brew.
M&D: this ale is simply lovely, with all the floating, dirty, chunky yeast sediments providing a bit more body for the palate, while fruit esters and malts are beautifully intertwined to render a fruit-cake like performance - rightfully/rightly satisfying. From the first second of the tasting up to the last, the texture remains moderate, but quite "a mouthful" still, as it goes neither thin nor cloying. Adding to the high drinkability is the overall mouthfeel that is mellow, smooth, softly carbonated, while never is any trace of alc. shown on the palate. Deceptively enjoyable~~

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2009 13:56:19 | More by wl0307
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to TomDecapolis for this...
Appears a hazy amber brown with a small white head that slowly fades out.
Smell is of sweet, sugary hard candies, caramel, traces of tropical fruit, and musty yeast.
Taste is of the same aromas but it comes together nicely in the mouth, making for a nice Belgian brew.
Mouthfeel is sugary, musty, and smooth along the tongue.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2006 16:43:13 | More by weeare138
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amaretto and orange blossom - this is hardly brown for a beer labeled "brune". Its head is comprised just mostly of an accentuating contour. In typical Abbaye Des Rocs fashion the beer is entirely polluted with coagulated proteins. It is terribly unsightly and even with a careful pouring technique, seemingly unavoidable. Every ABR beer I've had in the last four years has been the exact same story...

I knew it would take a wonderful bouquet to calm me down and disregard the dreadful appearance; fortunately, this does posses such a thing. Citric and dried fruits are wrapped in fresh cut sugar cane and then baked into some sort of caramel centered confection. This has almost every delicious element one could ask for: citrus, spice, toasty malts, nuts, fruit, and enticing sweetness. I don't care what this looks like anymore...

And the taste is further reason not to. Those same characters that greeted me so kindly in the aroma are quick to pounce on the palate, too. It's an unlikely cast of oranges, mandarins as well as nectarines and peach. It's light colour seems to correspond to a cast of mostly light coloured fruits. The taste of honeyed oats, almond brittle and a delicious caramel coffee cake also pamper the taste buds. I wish I could tell you where all this flavour was coming from.

The beer is fairly sweet and also surprisingly citric. It is not overly rich despite a tremendous flavour profile. Neither bitterness nor alcohol ever factor in. This particular sample (already beyond the posted 'best before' date) attests to not only the beer's aging potential but also the silliness of having to post such a thing as legal requirement. I like to know when a beer is made but may I suggest instead a "best after" date?

This is amazing beer, it just isn't amazing looking. Its flavour is so distinctive that it makes the high price tag and off-putting appearance more than worthwhile. It reminds me exactly of a Grand Marnier creme brulee I once had. I can't say enough that this is delicious beer. If Abbaye Des Rocs could get this coagulated protein issue under control then I wouldn't hesitate to call them one of Belgium's best exports.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2009 20:04:22 | More by biegaman
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very cloudy dark brown with nice orange highlights. Chock full of chunks, nice off white head forms, settles down then stays the whole glass, nice lacing.Smell is very perfumy and hoppy, jasmine and sweet fruit, some alcohol as it warms. Taste is very fruity, strawberries and raspberries, hoppy spicy middle, some alcohol at the end and a dry bitter finish. Mouthfeel is medium, very dry, smooth and medium carbonation, slight burn near the end, very warming.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2005 01:11:33 | More by Viggo
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm wondering if the shelf life of this beer was pretty long. I think it's pretty good, but not out of this world as the other reviewers believe it to be.

Very murky looking beer. Deep amber colored. Like a light shade of scarlet red. Pours like champagne with a big fizzy head that has good retention. Some faint banana esters on the nose. A little bit of yeastiness. And some sweet candy crusted maltiness. Pretty light in body. Glides over the tongue fairly effortlessly. There is a sweet and sour battle going on in the mouth. Tartness hits the tongue at first, sour cherry, vinegar. Then I pick up some sweet tones as well: some fruity esters, bubblegum esters to a lesser degree and maltiness. Overall, the interplay on the palate is pretty nice. Alcohol is present to a small degree. This is pretty drinkable for 9 % a/v.
good.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2002 19:51:49 | More by Bighuge
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky toffee with reddish highlights. Tan head composed of very fine bubbles that produced thick lace and stuck around til the end. Plum aroma with an incredibly balanced combination of toasty malts, dark grain and a hint of alcohol. Plum/raisin flavour with a light sourness and citric character. Smooth, mild finish with some additional sweetness and a bit of spice. Fine carbonation, mild texture with just a hint of slickness. Dry finish. A superb beer, I'll definitely be having this one again.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2005 03:22:26 | More by DrJay
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 01:52:04 | More by glid02
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW!, If there is a better sniffing beer than this, please let me know. Pours a deep opaque brown, mountainous frothy beige head and tonnes of lace. Nose is a ripe banana, sweet cherries, with a touch of grainy malt. Start is sweet, top skimpy, the finish is benignly acidic, and a magnificent hop presence, dry and a somewhat bitter aftertaste "MAGNIFICENT BEER", one well worth the cost of sampling, and a must for us "Belgiephiles".

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2002 05:41:51 | More by Gusler
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!

2006 Vintage

A: Light brown to dark orange in color, with a half inch of white, fluffy head that leaves a healthy amount of lacing. Some sediment can be seen floating in the beer.

S: Distinctly Belgian aroma, with scents of Belgian yeast, malt, fruits.

T: I was shocked by this beer. It was delicious. I will definitely be hooking myself up with some of this. A tantalizing Belgian yeast flavor in tandem with subtle fruits and a wonderful malt profile make this beer utterly delectable.

M: Smooth, creamy, and slightly sweet. Silky smooth on the palate. Age must have come into play, as this beer is just effortless to drink.

D: Slightly sweet, but I could definitely enjoy a full goblet of this.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2010 04:37:07 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: I really wanted to like this beer more than I ended up doing, primarily because of all the floaties in it. It really detracted from the experience. Beyond that, it pours a dark hazy amber with a big but not overwhelming head.

S: Rich and winey with a dark caramel malt and yeasty smell. There are stone fruit smells on the finish as well.

T: Complex. Starts with apricot and yeast flavors with some spice and a long dry finish.

MF: Surprisingly dry. Good carbonation, good body. Once again, the sediment is particularly distracting.

D: would be higher but for the chunks of sediment.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2006 04:57:42 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into chalice, best before 2/12/2013. Pours moderately cloudy reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with plenty of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big raisin, prune, fig, apple, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, brown bread, pepper, light clove, and earthy yeast spiciness. Incredible aromas with big complexity and great balance of dark malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of raisin, fig, prune, apple, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, pepper, light clove, brown bread, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light and dark fruits, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, brown bread, pepper, light clove, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity of malt and spicy/fruity yeast esters; with a great balance of malt/spiciness and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and moderately prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic Belgian strong dark ale! Great complexity and balance of malt and fruity/spicy yeast esters; and very smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2013 03:51:53 | More by superspak
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy to murky dark brown in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some ruby red highlights along with significant amounts of yeast sediment in suspension near the bottom of the glass (dark yeast sediment). The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy dark beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Overall the aroma for this beer is sweet with notes of caramel and toffee malts and some dark fruits + spices.

T: Similar to the smell, upfront this beer has moderate to strong flavors of sweet malts with notes of caramel and toffee. There are moderate flavors of dark fruit and just a hint of spices. Light amounts of bitterness which fades quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Relatively smooth.

O: Overall the alcohol in this beer is extremely well hidden and this is a very enjoyable beer. Easy to drink and definitely one I would get again. The flavors and aromas intensify as the beer warms.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2013 21:26:54 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Best Before End 2006", whatever that means?

A: Coppery brown, fairly opaque. Not a lot of off-white head, but it's fairly well retained, and leaves some lace. Lots of yeast sediment in the bottle (even for a Belgian). Careful decanting, mine was a little mirky.

S: Raisins and prunes are VERY strong, with a little spicy fruit-bread and sweet caramel maltyness. Very strong nose, very Belgian aroma. Exceptional.

T: Raisins and prunes with a tannic, wine-like flavour. VERY Belgian. No hop flavour, a little bitterness comes in at the finish.. Some dark, slightly spicy, fruit bread-like flavour. It has a really nice sweet, slighty tart and slightly alcoholic (more-so with temperature) balance. Very well rounded, but with plenty of depth. Truly exceptional.

M: Moderate body is very well attenuated for an all-malt brew, but still has a bit of a syrupy feel. It's highly carbonated.

D: Very drinkable, expecially considering the strength.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2005 22:07:39 | More by Derek
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade (available locally though). Dark chestnut color with a thick beige head that lasts a long time, and sheets of lacing. Toasty aroma of malt and spice with some cherry. Rich body and very drinkable with sweet sugary malt flavors, as well as caramel, dried fruit and a bit of yeast. The finish is very sweet and lingering, yet has a nice hops element. The alcohol level complements the beer perfectly too. Thoroughly enjoyable brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2005 18:23:26 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Chill hazen rubyish brown, tall, lusciously thick and frothy ivory top adorns the top portion of the glass with a solid girth. Resides softly down to a hefty, always present skim, lacing in delicate whispy sheets.

Aroma is of crispy pine notes, lemon rinds, tropical fruitiness, pale earthy wood and dirt, candyish melons and more fresh fruits. Quite an inticing nose, albiet, its soft, hardly overpowering in any sense, very subtle and pleasantly so.

Taste is a wonderful array of tropical fruits, well rounded, lush, and full of candy-like fruitiness thats quite ripe, not sour, nice juices interminging across the palate. Banana, mango, dark orange, pineapple, grapes, and perhaps more to this fruit salad. It works its fruity magic for a good bit before the finish sneaks up bringing light wood pulp, hoppy herbal spice, and a super fine easy dryness. As well as some residual sugars and fruits lay way in the back late in the finish.

Very fine mouthfeel, full, smooth, well rounded, with a fluffy carbonation thats biting and warm in just the right amount nearer the end, never uneven, and seems to almost thicken up as it goes, like a really nice chocolate.

The drinkability is exceptionally enjoyable. A fruit laden wonderment with a complexing palate to say the least. Delicate yet brazen. Beholdingly gratifying...um...great stuff!

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2004 01:28:45 | More by tavernjef
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

2.68/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark mucky brown in appearance with a ton of suspended sediment, as seems to be the norm for this brewery. The nose and taste are both equally cloying, bringing to mind overripe figs, candied fruit, raisins, toffee and rum. Mouthfeel is syrupy despite the ample carbonation. Too sweet and candy-like, with no bitterness to be found anywhere. I guess this brewery is simply not my bag, as I've disliked everything I've tried by them.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2008 20:08:51 | More by largadeer
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2003 01:02:19 | More by RoyalT
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper with a nice fizzy off-white head....nose is musty...enticingly yeasty too....full bodied...charged up...very sweet flavor....with some nice spicy sub-notes...also some musty notes....this is a great sipping beer....I love the sweet maltness and the way the spicy notes compliment it...

A top notch Belgian...thanks to Big Huge Person for sharing this...

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2004 02:12:04 | More by ZAP
Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 388 ratings.