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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]

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404 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 404
Reviews: 303
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 56
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a. visit their website

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: 404 | Reviews: 303 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TPSReports
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%

Pours a deep ruddy amber color into my chalice at 50 degrees forming a two finger head of very light brown.

One of the hoppier Belgian ales I have sampled, but not overpowering. I think the malt is a bit underwhelming. As I get further into the glass, the true beauty of this beer begins to shine. It is complex and balanced with hints of malt, toffee, caramel, a hint of cinnamon balanced with light hops.

This is a moderately carbonated beer that is delicious and easy to drink.


TPSReports, Jun 29, 2005
Photo of ejquin
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%

App: Cloudy deep pumpkin orange, almost ruby color with a thick white head that dissipates and then just sits right on top for the remainder of the brew.

Smell: Malty caramel and phenols. Yeast and hops with some spice there as well.

Taste: The sweetness hits you first with sligh banana fruitiness. Fades to a light melon taste and then a real spicy finish of coriander and pumpkin spice. Dry on the finish with very little alcohol perception.

Mouth: High amount of carbonation works, but is a bit on the thin side.

Drink: Excellent with little pereption of the 9% abv.

Overall: This beer is unique and a fine example of a complex strong beligian. I can't wait to try the grand Cru.

ejquin, Jun 12, 2005
Photo of walleye
4/5  rDev -5.4%

shared a bottle with bieristgut. poured mahagony, with a light tan with lots and lots of floaties. aroma sweet tarts, cherries, caramel, malts, semi sweet red wine, hints of hops as it warms hints alcohol. flavor,fruity wine, a nice smooth mouth feel, with a nice touch of bitterness. did get a hint of the wood, a nice hint of chocolate, cherries, malts, honey.

walleye, May 19, 2005
Photo of Sigmund
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%

330 ml bottle, bought at Pivni Galerie, Prague. Murky brown colour with floaties, enormous lingering head. Strong fruity aroma (cherries, prunes) with notes of leather, caramel and oak, hints of barnyard. Flavour is intensely oaky and malty with notes of smoke, dried fruits and spices. Alcohol is evident. Moderate sweetness, bitter and oaky aftertaste. Not for beginners this one.

Sigmund, Apr 05, 2005
Photo of canucklehead
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%

This bottle was in the cellar for a year and a half and the age was quite pronounced in this beer. The colour was dark brown with red notes. The smell was old fruit and leather. This is a great sipping beer as it opened up with each mouthfull. The smoothness imparted was age induced as some of the hops had dropped off. Great with big cheeses and chocolate this is Belgian gold.

canucklehead, Mar 31, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%

Capped 25.4oz best before '07. Poured into a Val-Dieu chalice.

Medium brown with a tan head that fluffs up, then slowly falls to a 1cm sheet of foam. Good lacing effect.

Smells of lemon bread with a whiff of alcohol. My tastebuds responded immediately.

The taste is very balanced with malt, slight spices I can't pinpoint, and a finish that is dry, almost tart. No alcohol detected, even after warming. That's always a bonus.

I found the mouthfeel a bit weak. The appearance and aromas had me expecting something with more body. The carbonation does lends itself to the finish.

For the high abv, this one is very drinkable especially when paired with a meal. Roasted pheasant and wild rice would be a good meal to wash down with this one.

ypsifly, Mar 29, 2005
Photo of blitheringidiot
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%

Picked up this find for $10.99 a 1 pint 9.4 oz. Attractive black foil wrapped big magnum boasting 9% ABV and 52 - 56 degress with a tulip suggestion and best before 2007 4B18. (?!)

Poured a mountainous khaki head cap frothing to the hilt over a russett amber brown hue with plenty of yeasty suspended particles leaving splendid "projection map of the world" lace inside the glass. Appearances don't get any better than this. Reminded me of a Kalamazoo or an Allagash pour.

Leminy citrous aromatic with tea herbal and wildflower outdoorsy open bouquet. Wafts of 1/2 & 1/2 lemonade and iced tea confectioners sugars.

First swigs: Sugar sweet iced tea and some palateable yeasty bite. Reminds me of May wine gallon jugs with a winsome awl-kee -hawl flavor. Home mead fresh wine. Devilishly clever spiced Brune. Dry aftertaste with a linger of pecan. Bonus points for a superlative complexity, like a fine pastry. There is a glazed donut in there somewhere.

Feel is a taunt focused carbonation. Medium body. Lip smacking richness. Smooth and sugary.

Last swigs: White wine vinous & lemon peel. pecan extract dessert. Delight! When is the las time you were excited over a brown? When it's Abbey de Rocs Brune. Exquisite. "Must try." I picked this up without having any idea that it was so highly reveared.

blitheringidiot, Mar 18, 2005
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%

A top-notch Belgian. Poured with a ton of head. It goes down, but a thick lacing remains. Cloudy brown due to yeast. Smells of malt and a bit of Belgian spiciness.

The taste has a nice amount of Belgian yeast esters, with a tinge of sourness underneath. Maybe it was aged in oak casks or something. Quite nice. Mouthfeel is very smooth. For a 9% beer, this is quite drinkable.

GeoffFromSJ, Mar 06, 2005
Photo of troutmask96
2.35/5  rDev -44.4%

Boy, I'm like a few reviewers below me. This brew just didn't do it for me. From the moment I popped the cap, the smell had me anticipating a world-class experience. But this ale is just too sweet and the smell and aftertaste much like my grandma's perfume. Brasserie's Grand Cru is much preferred...

troutmask96, Feb 14, 2005
Photo of swamiswamu
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Pretty tasty. I think this is a great beer to introduce to wine drinkers. The bottle says burgundy ale and they mean it. The aroma is strong in malt, esters and especially fruity. The flavor comes on like a great bordeaux. It is just huge and fruity. There are hints of grapes, apricot, apple and some pepper. The 750 is pretty easy to polish off. Cheers.

swamiswamu, Feb 12, 2005
Photo of Billolick
4.72/5  rDev +11.6%

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 paterlodie
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%

My favorite bier of Abbaye des Rocks. Always a good pour, though this one( no productioncode but good till end 2006) came out of the botle just after opening it. Further ok, dark brown colour and a yellow head. Smell is sweet malty, brown candysugar and spicy yeasty. Taste is sweet, alcoholic, matly( partly roast) and goes then to bitter. Aftertaste is bitter with some roastleftovers, good beer.

paterlodie, Jan 09, 2005
Photo of clvand0
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%

This beer pours a pretty red/amber color with a tall head that has great retention and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. There was also a ton of floaties (yeast sediment). The aroma was sweet and full of cherry juice goodness. The flavor had a great sweet maltiness and lots of cherry notes. Some spice in there as well. The body is moderate, but fine for the style. Drinkability is great ... just try to keep all that sediment in the bottle, because there is a ton of it.

clvand0, Dec 22, 2004
Photo of kmpitz2
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%

This beer pours a nice rubyed brown color wit ha 4 finger head that retains at about 2 fingers. The nose is raisins soaked in cherry juice with a dose of pepper and spice for good measure. What a nice flavor. Sweet cherry and raisin move to peppery spice, finishing almost at a coffee, but not quite. Very nice. The feel is good smooth moderately thick, with some texture in there from the floaties that abound. Drinkability is as good as can be for a beer of this size. The flavor and fee just add to the experience. Top notch. Thanks to clvand0 for sharing this with me.

kmpitz2, Dec 21, 2004
Photo of Mitchster
3.15/5  rDev -25.5%

Pours out to a cloudy dark amber, forming a peaking whipped beige head with superior retention and very nice lacing. There is a copious amount of disgusting debris (which looks and smells like fish-flakes) floating in the beer...quite a turn off, and I'm not quite sure I want to drink this (I have bad memories of Kwak). It's tough giving this an even rating because the head is gorgeous, but damn, this beer looks honestly disgusting. The aroma is very funky...like rotting barnyard hay soaked in horse urine, wet horse (Brett at it's most distinct), very, very rotten fruit (bananas, apples, and cherries), the stink of rotten mushrooms, syrupy dark fruits, faint skunk, distant malt vinegar...the aroma is as revolting as it sounds, but I am brave. Mouthfeel is initially spritzy, then soft with a deceptively light body. It gives me a queezy feeling to the stomach, probably because the aroma is initially just so revolting. Taste begins with medium intensity fruity sourness (like spontaneously fermented raw apple cider), gives way to plentiful prunes, dates and figs, followed by a very pervasive and off-putting metallic note with a light amount of skunk. The mouthfeel towards the end becomes wet, and slightly oxidized. Alcohol is perceptable as warmth, and lightly so in flavor. An aftertaste of rum-soaked dates and Djarum's lingers forever on the tongue. I eventually get used to the aroma and it isn't quite so bad now...kinda like the first time you eat sushi and realize you're eating raw fish. It's not so much the actual taste, but the thought that grosses me out. BTW, this brew induced a brief episode of manual dyshydrosis and mild bronchospasm about 40 minutes after I started drinking it (Just FYI..May I suggest diphenhydramine prior to imbibing?).

Well, what can I say. This is a mixed bag. I can certainly appreciate the craftsmanship put into this beer, but that doesn't necessarily mean I consider someone dumping a jar of fish-food into my brew-ha "crafty". Though I can get used to the odor, the metallic twang is too strong to dismiss, and it ultimately limits the appeal of this brew. Personally speaking, a mild allergic reaction also limits it's drinkability. Considering the rave reviews, I'm glad I've tried it. Perhaps some day it will grow on me, but today I'll stick to my Sour Flemish Ales, Tripples, and Dubbles. Plus, these brews don't make me vasodilatory:)

Mitchster, Nov 22, 2004
Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Corked and capped mag. Not sure the date of bottling, but signifcant brown sedimentation that decanted at the end, despite best efforts at a careful pour. Not as "burgundian" as some in the style (notably Ommegang's), but that is not a bad thing - rather than tasting like a malty red wine, this was much more sophisitcated and well mannered - like beer that had been fermented in a red wine cask. Quite mellow for the style, with the abv hiding below the surface. A bit woody, with an interesting vinegar whiff in the aroma that was not unpleasant, and did not show up in the flavor.

Brent, Nov 13, 2004
Photo of alexgash
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%

Rich, rusty…well, burgundy colored, lightly cloudy body. Puffy, thick, light brown head. Some sediment. Good lacing.
Smells of tangy, yet medicinal fruit. Vinous. Yeasty. Faint sugar sweetness too.
Rich, wheaty malt flavors start off, with building sugary sweetness. Notes of ripened fruit (plums, pears), and spice. Sweetness is tempered by a muted roasty bitterness. Finish is bittersweet, with lasting sweetish fruit tones. Big, thick, velvety mouthfeel.

alexgash, Oct 31, 2004
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%

The beer poured chunky and disgusting medium to deep amber with an off-white to almost tan head that was persistent and stayed around to lace the glass.

The aroma was deeply complex with dark fruits and caramel. The fruits were raisins and plums/prunes. Also present is a muted spiciness in the background of Belgian yeast. Some esters from higher alcohols were present.

The flavor was crisp and malty with dark caramel and dark fruits. The alcohol contributed to the mystique of the beer and adds complexity rather than being harsh. The bittering was enough in conjunction with the carbonation to lead to a drying of the flavor. Belgian yeast spiciness was subdued and contributed excellent complexity of flavor.

The finish was dry with a spicy yet fruity flavor that lasted pleasantly long into the aftertaste. The body was medium full but seems less due to carbonation and creaminess on the palate.

750 ml capped and corked bottle. A great beer, if it poured into the glass without looking horrendous it would rate even higher.

GCBrewingCo, Oct 25, 2004
Photo of granger10
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%

Pours a slightly burnt hazelnut color with a large and sticky beige head that holds for the duration of my drinking. Good amount of lacing. Lots of large sized chunks of yeast suspended in the glass.

The smell is very fruity esp. on the dark fruit side with notes of alcohol and spices.

The depth of flavor in this beer is astounding. I really cannot describe the complexity in this beer. There's a sharp stinging initial hit on the front of my tongue that reminds me of tarty fruits. Lots of fruitiness in there. The fruitiness is light at the start with an apple taste but it then becomes dark with more of a fig and plum flavor. There's a breadiness underneath that dries out the sweetness of the fruits. But then more sweetness comes with a dark chocolate tone but then once again there's a bitterness, this time possibly from the spices which are abundant yet perfect in their matching with the malts, that offsets the sweetness.

There's a constant struggle between the sweetness and dryness in this beer with neither winning but each making their case. Port-like initially but the yeast flavor and spices help reduce the winey flavors of this beer. The finish has no acidity whatsoever, has a real sweetness to it, and is extremely smooth. This one is well worth its acclaim.


granger10, Sep 30, 2004
Photo of bditty187
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%

Brown in hue with noticeable peachy-orange influences, I’d say there is even a suggestion of bronze in the mix. There is a bit of density to it, as I can’t see through it and this says nothing about the big, cream-colored suspended bops of yeast. The head was beige in color; at the apex it was three fingers in height, tightly bubbly, not loud (I listened to it). The head retention was good; it faded in the middle first but held fantastically well on the sides. It looked like a volcano; the dark liquid peeking through in the middle is the lava… after a few more minutes the cone collapsed to a bubbly cap. Subsequent lacing was more prevalent in spots than others, it poorly clung in others spots, but as a whole the lacing was unorganized but in abundance.

The potency in the nose really isn’t that loud, I am a stickler for things like this. I want big beers not to be bashful. Regardless, there are many levels to the bouquet. The malt provides the foundation, it is quite sturdy, and sweetness prevails with undercurrent of chocolate and toffee, maybe even a trace hint of coffee. These sweet aspects are mixed beautifully with dark, tropical fruit plus aromas of plums, purple grapes, and red apples. And then come some spiciness, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The complexity doesn’t stop. Vanilla. Leather. Molasses. The finish shows just a hint of acidic citrus. If the smells were just a tickle strong this aspect of the beer would be perfect. Still, it is amazingly complex and truly inviting.

The palate is simply amazing. It is as every bit as complex as the nose (and then some), plus the taste is assertive! The start is airy but not empty, lots of carbonation but the middle (and finish) is one full on blast of flavor. There is great sweetness; it ranges from tropical fruit sweetness to toffee to chocolate to caramel to brown sugar. The best part is, this beer is not cloying at all. Amazing. The sweetness alone is so incredibly complex. Then add it the fruit that I mentioned before. Now add some apples (red and green), purple grapes, plums, and melons. Is that all? Hell no! The spice follows the fruit, what a pair! Cinnamon (almost like the cookie), nutmeg, coriander, and a hint of ginger are all in the mix. Vanilla. Then there is more brown sugar and even some molasses. As the palate comes to and end the best part of the flavors is found, the acidic/citrusy bite that is just strong enough to penetrate the malt and then it reaches a point and stops, it almost turns orangey. My god is this good. The alcohol adds another layer, just a bit of heat but it doesn’t play like a 9% beer. I think this is the best tasting beer I have ever had. Seriously.

Medium/medium-full in body, the carbonation is pretty big, this a nice touch, it slips a little (as in it becomes slick) as a swallow but not enough for me to complain. The mouthfeel is very good. It is not stellar or really big but it is very fitting for this beer.

To ask if this beer is drinkable is to ask if the sun is hot. I actually bought this beer in Nebraska. In Lincoln to be exact, at a grocery store that sells very little other good beer. I bought this many months ago and I hope the God there is more! Highly Recommended!

bditty187, Sep 10, 2004
Photo of Doppel07
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%

Deep amber body and fading beige head. Fantastic, indulgent smell of dark fruits, cherries, and spice. Flavor includes hints of raisins, leather, and burnt caramel. This is an ultra-smooth and heavenly concoction. My alltime favorite beer at this point.

Doppel07, Sep 09, 2004
Photo of IronDjinn
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%

Finally found a bottle of this when I was in Vancouver, some of the last of the stash that I brought back with me. Long slender 330 ml brown bottle, best before date is the end of 2006.

It's a deep ruddy amber with orange highlights along the sides of the glass, cloudy with suspended yeast particles (yes, I poured the whole bottle in, gotta get all those extra flavours). Medium-sized spongy tan head, it leaves a thin cap all the way down the glass. Very fruity aroma, raisins, dried dates and currents, ripe papaya, and some vinuous white grape as well. Rich malt beneath all of that, I'm even picking up some brown sugar and chocolate. Intense brown sugary malt at first, sour cherry, treacle and some brandy alcohol in the middle, the flavour starts to become a bit sour towards the finish where all the more fruity esters start making an appearance. For me the aftertaste is predominated by dates and black currents. Incredibly full and creamy rich mouthfeel, yet light and fluffy as well in parts. A Belgian with personality, I enjoyed it a great deal, yet couldn't see myself reaching for another in a sitting, I'd liken this more to a special occasion beer to help savour the moment with.

IronDjinn, Jul 31, 2004
Photo of SheepNutz
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%

Ahh, my 300th review.

750mL bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep ruby red color with three fingers of head. There are lots of yeast chunks floating around, even on a slow pour into the first glassful. Not much lacing on the glass. The smell is of over-ripe cherries, grapes, and a hint of dates. Sweet and malty, with a touch of alcohol on the end of the nose. The taste has a sweet, slighty tart character, some fruitiness and even a hint of cocoa maybe. No hops to be found, but none needed. The mouthfeel is thick and full, yet light and effervescent at the same time. The drinkability fairs very well for a 9% brew. A unique beer that is a pleasure to drink.

SheepNutz, Jul 20, 2004
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Bottle: Poured a dark brown beer with a huge foamy head with good retention. Incredible amount of yeast is contained at the bottom of the glasses and I decided to pour those in my glass. Aroma of roastiness mix with some nice fresh sweet fruit (Apricot/peach) creates quite an incredible combination. Taste is quite complex as it start with some sweet flavour and then roastiness come aboard and ends with a subtle bitterness coming straight from the hops. Wow! Almost up there with the Rochefort/Westy 8.

Phyl21ca, Jul 12, 2004
Photo of rkhaze
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%

Pours a murky reddish copper color. Big active spongy tan head. Lots of floating yeast particles.
Aromas of bready malt, brandy, brown sugar, ripe fruits and spices.
There was a mild alcohol note and some yeast.
Taste is like a brandy soaked, dark fruitcake. Toasty malt, raisins, plums, mild tropical fruits and brown sugar. Finished subtly bitter with a light tart yeast flavor, some spice and a bit of wood. The alcohol was well hidden.
Medium bodied with a rich, full and creamy smooth mouthfeel that was lightened nicely by the great carbonation.
Great drinkability for such a rich, high alcohol beer.
Didn't seem as rich or complex as the Grand Cru, but an excellent beer nonetheless.

rkhaze, Jul 04, 2004
Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 404 ratings.