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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

406 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 406
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: 406 | Reviews: 303 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of carln26
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown in color, and very hazy, this beer is topped a thick, long lasting off-white head. The head displays great retention, and is refilled with some champagne bubbles rising from the beer. Deep malty aroma. Dates, figs, spice in the form of nutmeg, cardamom. Just a touch of pear and green apple. Not as much yeast/French bread character in the aroma as I expected, although it is there. The flavor has a bit more spice, touches of nutmeg, a little clove, more of the cardamom. Deep, rich malt in the form of figs, a little dark berry and green apple. Slick, mildly tart mouth feel. Very drinkable, very little alcohol heat.

carln26, Jul 22, 2006
Photo of haz77
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a murky light brown with an inch of tan head. Foamed up on opening and the carbonation is apparent with loads of streamers and chunks of yeast being churned around (despite a careful pour). The head diminishes to about a finger thick.

S - Yeast, candy sugar, dates, pear, toffee, honey, some alcohol.

T - Sweet, coating malts with some background fruits at first. Toffee and dates follow with a rum-like flavour. No trace of alcohol.

M - Medium-full body, coating and silky smooth.

D - Excellent beer and definitely worth trying, but lacks the depth of others in the style.

haz77, Jul 13, 2006
Photo of Foxman
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a deep, flinty clear brownish amber, save for considerable particulate. Two full fingers of pithy light beige head sustan well. Fuzzy lacing slips along the inside of the glass.

The aroma slings a dense roasted malt sweetness, rife with caramel, cocoa, prunes, and vanilla. A vague spicy nature presents itself along with a credible vapor or alcohol.

Upon tasting, there gushes a rich, roasty, slightly charred maltiness, sweet and fruity and notable for its dark caramel, earthy berry, and rounded coffee notes. Plum and black cherry come through, along with a general floral hop signature. Alcohol is a veritable entity, though in no way distracting. The malt sweetness reasserts near the close, and the finish is a steadily more bittering lingerance. Big and full, it's bold, reasonably complex, and quite enjoyable.

Full bodied, it's chewy and the sweet grain coats the palate like savory syrup.

It tastes like it rose from the earth, and I mean that in the best ways: rich, dusky, and hearty. It's complex but nicely blended, and its beefiness is a manly man's delight, if I may be so sexist. The floaties could disconcert, but they're quite inconsequential. The ABV is healthy, and not at all shy, but it's workable with some sound sense. I finished this bottle in the wee hours of Father's Day, which is somehow fitting. Do I smell a new tradition?

Foxman, Jun 22, 2006
Photo of Conrad
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My bottle was stored lying donw in the fridge, and I couldn't see the sediment through the dark glass. So when I poured, a lot of chunky sediment came out and stayed floating in the glass throughout the drink. If the bottle had been stored upright, I'm sure the appearance would have been much better.

Short and to the point:
A: Not pretty. Deep copper-ruby colour. Head was not high, but was very dense.
S: Mild malt, a bit of fruity sweetness that faded fast.
T: Big taste with lots of complex sweet-spicy notes.
M: This changed and became a bit too much as time advanced and the beer warmed. The finish was long, dry, and smooth.
An interesting beer experience, but I won't have another.
Pretty lable for the collectors.

Conrad, Jun 20, 2006
Photo of Blakaeris
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours murky red-brown. Head is huge, fizzy, and hangs around awhile.

Smell is sweetly fruity with strong alcohol presence. Yeasty spiciness and pleasant oak notes. Interesting.

Taste is surprisingly spicy with corriander, pepper and nutmeg. A little toffee and chocolate. Strong alcohol and dark fruit flavor lends a brandylike quality. Oak and Vanilla. There is a lot going on here. Sweet malt provides a strong backbone. Finish is smooth and dry.

Mouthfeel is full and round. Generous carbonation.

This is an enjoyable and complex brew. However, the sweetness can become a little cloying as the bottle warms. Still, this is a wonderful treat.

Blakaeris, Jun 16, 2006
Photo of instrumentality
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I received a shipment from Belgium today, including four of these bad boys. This is my first sampling from the package.

As soon as I cracked open the cap, this beer wanted OUT! I had to get the cap off quickly and pour it before all the foam ran down the side of the bottle. It left a hearty, heavily carbonated tan head that settled down to about a finger. Beneath this was an opaque, cloudy copper.

The smell was out of this world. I remember the Grand Cru (the brown, not the one everyone loves) smelling interesting, but this one took the cake. It smelled like a mix of brown sugar, cherries, a bit of citrus, caramel, and malt. I felt like I was about to have not a beer, but dessert.

I took a sip. I remembered the Grand Cru brown tasting kind of watered down. This one was anything but. The first thing I tasted was alcohol. Ooh...it burns. Mouthfeel not so good. Lots of alcohol, lots of carbonation, this thing is throwing a party in my mouth.

Aside from the alcohol, the taste was very balanced. All of the odors I sensed came through on my palate with the possible exception of the citrus. Then it chilled out and left a cooling aftertaste, primarily of cherries, brown sugar, and malt.

From the smell, I can tell this beer has a lot of potential, but right now the alcohol overpowers everything else. I'm glad I bought three more of these (although I'll probably stumble upon them at a local liquor store and kick myself as I'm already doing with the St. Bernardus), as I plan on stowing at least a couple of them away for awhile. I'm not that experienced with aging beer, but as I understand it, over time, a potent beer like this will mellow out a bit and allow its intricacies to come to the surface. Let's hope so.

instrumentality, Jun 16, 2006
Photo of CRJMellor
3.2/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very opaque and cloudy light brown and amber with an ecru head that has some staying power and produces lots of spider-web like lacing on the goblet. Lots of yeasties floating in the glass
Aroma has a musty hay and grass underpinning with some chocolate, caramel, bread and coriander tones also.
Flavor starts with some darker spectrum fruitiness on the sour side and then moves to a more chocolate/caramel type of note but the sourness persists. Almost wonder if bottle is bad, the musty and sour notes are a tad off-putting.
Mouthfeel is dominated by citric sourness, alcohol presence cuts this a bit but not enough to save the beer in my opinion. Just doesn't offer the range of palate feel I expect from world class Belgian brews, very one-dimensional.
Drinkability was slightly above average but only just. In a blind tasting i would have bet this come from Jolly Pumpkin, not Abbaye Des Rocs. Very much a let down given the excellence of the other offerings from this excellent brewery.

CRJMellor, May 26, 2006
Photo of EStreet20
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle poured into a DFH Goblet.

A - A beautiful bright red color with a very fizzy, nice sized white head sitting atop. The head seems to stay well fading a little bit but caking up nicely in the middle.

S - Some candy sugar and nice Belgian yeast smell along with some fruits. Banana and a tiny bit of berries in there.

T - A big Belgian yeast dominance on the initial sip here gives way to some nice fruity flavors. However there is a bit too much of a sugary kick for my taste and there is a bit of a metallic taste on the finish.

M - A nice bubbly feel in the mouth.

D - Not bad but nothing great. The sugary taste is a bit much and that metallic aftertaste kills the drinkability a bit here.

EStreet20, May 25, 2006
Photo of HochFliegen
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Upon opening this beer it began to gush and gush, luckily I was able to catch it all in my glass and not my floor.
The color was a very dark red with a nice tanish colored head. Large sediment particles floated around in my beer and slowly settled to the bottom of the glass. Must have been from the gushing of the beer upon opening that mixed it all up in the pour. I dont mind the sediment but it doesnt look appealing to me or others less informed. If it werent for the large floaties I would have given it a higher grade on appearance.
The smell was malty and very sweet. Honey like, some cloves and fruity in the nose as well mainly plums.
The taste was sweet with a heavy malt flavor mixed with a slight clove like spice and fuity plum flavor. There seems to be a little toffee flavor as well after it has warmed. The fruit flavor really comes out in the aftertaste. There is a definite alcohol warming as it goes down. Nice carbonation and fullness in the mouth. For sure a sipping beer being 9% but it doesnt show in the flavor profile at all only as it goes down. A very nice beer.

HochFliegen, May 24, 2006
Photo of shertzogovina
3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 11.2 Oz bottle.
I've seen some DeRocs beers gushing out before, but mine was just fine, poured deep brown with a turbid appearance. Lots of sediment left out in the bottle and only some ended up in my glass.

Aroma is very fruity and pleasant - Honey, dates, prunes and toffee.
No hop aroma.

Taste is very malty with hops spicyness and fruity aftertaste.
Warming alcohol fills the mouth but overall does not play a major role.

Nice mouthfeel - Medium to full body, perfect carbonation (when the glass was full you could see tiny bubbles floating up in rows, and larger bubbles linger in the bottom).

A good dark belgian ale. even better when it gets warmer.

shertzogovina, May 10, 2006
Photo of rodrot
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was poured from a 750 ml capped bottle. Upon cracking this beer open, a continuous river of foam came out of the bottle. I had to put it over the sink to prevent a mess in my kitchen. Not a good start. The beer poured a nice reddish amber color into the glass with a huge frothy head. I could also see a large amount of sediment floating around. I don't mind some sediment, in fact it's good for you healthwise, but it detracts from the appearance. The aroma was very malty and caramelly, with a hint of hop spiciness. Taste was damn good. Very malty and chocolatey with hints of spice, dark fruits and maple syrup. This was a full bodied beer with tons of flavor. Also a slow sipper due to the 9.0 abv. I like it, the only downside being the excessive floaties that seem to be in every sip.

rodrot, Apr 30, 2006
Photo of sabrills70
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle capped green bottle. Best before end of 2008 date stamped on back of bottle. Pours medium dark amber with a huge head, OK longevity and good lace. Upon opening the bottle foam came out the top (no, I did not shake or otherwise disturb the bottle except for careful opening procedures) Lots of sediment in the glass - even after careful pour. Lots of prune and raisin smells. Some roastyness and chocolate. Some vanilla. A bit sherry like. Again good prune and raisin flavors. Brown sugar and dark candy flavors. Slightly alcoholic but still well hidden for 9%. I have to score low on the mouthfeel due to the sediment. You can feel the solid "chunks" in your mouth and that is just a turn off to me. (Again I did not disturb or otherwise do anything crazy to the bottle upon opening. It had been in my fridge for 3 weeks). Easy drinking even for its its decent complexity. A good beer, except for the chunks.

sabrills70, Apr 27, 2006
Photo of Jredner
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is kind of sweet cake toasty with mild spices. Light, cloudy brown in color with a huge fluffy tan head. Taste some black licorice, strongly, in the fore. Also get some darker fruits and brown sugar and some camalized sugar flavors. Has a toasty quality to it I hadn’t expected. That strong and lingering licorice flavor was also unanticipated. There is a slightly spicy/hot alcohol note int he finish that reminds you this isn’t just some crazy licorice tasty cake in liquid form, but a high abv beer.

Jredner, Apr 24, 2006
Photo of GClarkage
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

04/24/06- Purchased at a B.C. Provincial Liquor Store in Penticton, British Columbia.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle. Not sure how old it is, but assuming at least 3 years as the best by date is set at the end of '06. Don't have a des Rocs glass yet, so poured into my Rochefort chalice.

Appearance- Milk chocolate colored brown pour. Murky with tons of yeast sediment on the bottom of the glass. Full inch plus head with a nice quarter inch remaining to the finish. Very nice lacing streak for this style.

Smell- The first scent I got was an overpowering raisin and prune smell. My only mark against the smell is that it died down somewhat as I was consuming the beer. Good amount of dark fruits and caramel malt.

Taste- I was welcomed by a large chunk of yeast on my first sit. Kinda freaky as I have never swallowed a rather hardend chunk of yeast before in a beer. I won't hold it against the beer though. Still getting a solid prune and fig flavor that overwhelms all other tastes. Nice and sweet, very malty with a nice toffee and caramel mixutre. Alcohol is very nicely hidden.

Mouthfeel- Smooth, creamy, with a medium to lower carbonation level. Lips stick to the glass because of the sugary sweetness. Light warming sensation.

Drinkability- Quite the fine example. Still tasting sugary dark fruits in my mouth. Haven't been able to track down the Brune in California, but have several of the Grand Cru to look forward to. Excellent beer and highly recommended.

GClarkage, Apr 24, 2006
Photo of weeare138
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

weeare138, Apr 21, 2006
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml capped bottle. This beer pours out a dark brown color with a huge amount of suspended white chunks. The beer is topped with a gigantic head. Delicious smelling aroma of caramel, licorice, dark fruit, and ginger. The flavor is equally enticing - malty, sweet, and spicy. The malt gives this beer a tasty caramel flavor. Yeast provides, I assume, the fruit and spiciness. There is no noticable hop flavor. The mouthfeel is thick, as most of the beers from this brewery are. The flavor is never cloying. I purchased this beer at Discount Liquor in Milwaukee for $5.99. It's a great deal.

beveragecaptain, Apr 16, 2006
Photo of bashiba
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice clean dark brown with tons thick head.

Smell is a nice mixture of sweet caramel and wood odors.

Taste has a nice toasty bread flavor mixing in with some nice sweet sugary notes, some great spices, a bit of apple with a very nice smokey finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full and a bit dry.

An easy to drink belgian treat.

bashiba, Apr 08, 2006
Photo of scruffwhor
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml corked and bottled capped bottle that said Belgian Burgundy Ale under the breweries logo.

Appearance- Pours a swampy bron with a few fints of garnet and red grape skin. Only a little head makes an appearance in this beer. Some slight lacing visible when held to the light.

Smell- A mix of leather, slightly musky flowers and some fruit cake.

Taste- Starts out with a good does of browned sugared malts mixed well with some old fashioned oatmeal. A little toasty hint of white bread to mix with a few dark fruit notes.

Mouthfeel- Although the carbonation was a little tricky to see, it made it's presence known on the center of the tongue.

scruffwhor, Mar 24, 2006
Photo of waughbrew
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Auburn with a light creme head with great R&L. Aroma is distinct - apple spiced with cinnamon and coriander. raisins, pepper. sparkly metallic hops like a firework. Tastes and looks like Autumn - a bit sweet, but spice and slight darkness balances it well. The apple character continues, and as I drink the 750, the cideriness comes out a bit more than I would like. Soft on the tongue, not too fluffy, yet high carbonation. Little trace of the 9% is there, so it will sneak up on you.

Great brew. I think this would be perfect for the Fall. Subtle flavors and perfect feel. I would love to have this any time.

waughbrew, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of BeerBuilder
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a reddish-brown color with a thick, creamy tan head. The aroma is yeasty with a bready maltiness. It has a slight brown sugar spiciness and a bit of dark fruits.

The flavor is yeasty and spicy, with a semi-sweet maltiness throughout. It is medium in body with a drying finish. A very nice beer.

BeerBuilder, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of Tupperwolf
3.03/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Okay, I had this problem before with their Grand Cru.

Be extremely, extremely careful when opening this. Actually, don't be careful, be very aggressive, and have your glass handy. The cap is oversized, so if you save your caps like I do, you're usually careful not to bend them - and any regular bottle opener doesn't work. Trying to get the cap off results in fountains of this beer going everywhere - pop it off as fast as you can, and get the foaming mess into your glass, because if you're not fast, you'll lose it to the floor.

I don't know why the hell this stuff is so overcarbonated. It's really annoying, actually. If everyone else can get bottle-conditioning right, these guys should be able to, with their reputation.

What you get in the glass is dark brown with ruby highlights, capped with a yellow-tan head. It leaves behind no lacing.

The scent is of raisins dipped in brown sugar then braised in a pan with a few dollops of rum and whiskey - a slightly roasty, alcoholic brown kind of smell with fruit and sugary tones.

Taste echoes the smell, but isn't as good - roasty oak, some dark fruit, rum, burnt sugars, and a bittering finish.

Mouthfeel is just way off - way too carbonated, it results in an unpleasant swishy, frothy feel, and it seems like you can actually taste the excess of carbon dioxide.

Drinkability... it's not bad.... but for a belgian strong dark, I expect a lot better.

Tupperwolf, Mar 11, 2006
Photo of mynie
4.93/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big ol bottle wasn't exactly flyin off the shelf when I bought it, aged an additional year in my fine closet.

Wonderful Duvel glass pour! Two finger retentive sandyblonde head sits atop dark forest amber. Pretty.

There's a distinct smell two full feet from my nose. Intense zippy sweet Belgian fruit. This is my first from Abbaye Des Rocs, but I can say for certain that it smells and awful lot like a De Dolle beer. Much more fruit than spice, wonderful alcohol burning lightly, like a candle. Juicy fruit, too. Pears. And those candied orange slices that aren't real orange but they taste like Orange Crush.

Smooth start rushing quickly into wonderfully zippy fruit and alcohol. Jesus it's like a wonderful organic soda pop. Oranges, pears. Then it smoothes out a little bit, gets a little bready, and then it ends on a distinct node of citrus. Wonderful.

One of the ten best beers I've ever had.

mynie, Feb 25, 2006
Photo of Prufrock
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle into a goblet.

cloudy reddish brown with an inch of tan head that falls quickly, leaving touches of lace.

aroma is slightly metallic. getting beyond that, it's very nice; buttery rich toffee, sweet cherries and bready malts. just a hint of bananas.

rich, smooth feel. buttery flavors with a malty sweetness. incredibly smooth and drinkable, especially for its strength.

Prufrock, Feb 23, 2006
Photo of ChuckD
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler from Shoreline poured into a chalice. A gigantic, tawny lacing - bubbling all around on top of a shiny burgundy/copper body. The pour is outstanding and needs to be observed.

To the nose, very complex and intriguing. I notice fresh fruits in the front - that quickly give way to mountains of sweet malts. The esters are there - but not overpowering. Take big whiffs.

In the mouth, all of the smells are verified - and then some. Layers and layers of fruits and spices surrounding a malt mainline that is rarely exhibited in any beer. The malt character of this beer is unbelievable - so full and sweet, but integrated into the whole so there are no breaks anywhere.

The feel is nearly perfect for the style. On tap - this was probably a little lighter than bottle, but the body was still full and chewy. The carbonation is ideal - allowing the underlying sweetness to meld with all of the other flavor layers. Alcohol is present - but not unpleasant and gently disappears into nothingness. The finish is dry - but still full and turning organic and woodsy in the back.

Musings: This is perhaps as close to perfection as you can get. The tastes will blow you away. On tap, I think it is a little lighter than bottle, but either way, you can't go wrong. There's a weirdness to the drinkability of this stuff. So strong - yet so delicious and approachable. Amazing brew.

ChuckD, Feb 22, 2006
Photo of brentk56
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a murky garnet brown body with all kinds of suspended yeasties floating around (I had to run it through a sieve to break them up); the head is strong (and the bottle was a foamer) but doesn't last long; plenty of splashy lacing, however

Smell: Caramel, toffee, hazlenuts, balsa wood, raisins but not the bounteous aroma that others have noted

Taste: Nice and balanced, starts with a hazelnutty, cookie dough flavor that builds into a dark fruit melange with a woodie finish

Mouthfeel: A touch thin for the style, but well carbonated

Drinkability: Either I had a mishandled bottle or this one is going downhill since earlier reviewers hailed it with all kind of superlatives; a nice beer but not top notch

brentk56, Feb 22, 2006
Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 406 ratings.