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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

412 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 412
Reviews: 305
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
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: 412 | Reviews: 305 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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 26, 2004
Photo of granger10
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Amazing!

granger10, Sep 30, 2004
Photo of bditty187
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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
Photo of koolk
4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Orange outer with a deep red centre. Thick and creamy head that lasts all the way down.

Aromas aren't over powered, or over dominate in one aspect. Pine, caramel and white fruits are the main aromas with many other aromas ducking in and out (chocolate, oak, nuts)

Sweet front palate with deep flavour gives way to a generously bitter palate with some nice green leafy aftertaste. Carmel flavours and darker fruits (currants, cherries and small red fruits) are evident (palate continues to change as it warms even more - toffee, coffee) Very creamy, very long, wonderfully warming stuff.

Wow, a fantastic beer with an awesome palate.

koolk, Jun 18, 2004
Photo of egajdzis
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

065/759976... Poured a ruby color with a large off white head and lots of lacing. Yeasties floating around. Musty old dried fruits, caramel, red wine, and just a bit of alcohol in the aroma. Chocolate, caramel, and cherries taste had a soft mouthfeel. This was beautiful and something I could closely compare to Westy 12.

egajdzis, Jun 15, 2004
Photo of jlervine
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy ruddy brown with a lovely off-white creamy head. The aroma had hints of rum, lowland scotch, alcohol, and just a touch of fruitiness. The taste is all over the place. Rum soaked fruits, spicy finish, caramel malts in the middle. Alcohol makes it's presence known, but doesn't dominate. Mouthfeel is very light considering the dominating flavors of this beer. Deceptively easy to drink, but I know this beer wouldn't think twice about mugging me in a back alley to take my wallet.

jlervine, Jun 14, 2004
Photo of tavernjef
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
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!

tavernjef, Jun 06, 2004
Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy ruby-amber color, topped by a light brown head, that is raised to a three-finger thickness by a solid carbonation. Interesting, almost wine like aroma, joined by notes of tannin, apricot, sweet herbs, musty cellars, dust, and a spicy peppery note. There is quite a complex nose on this beer. The taste is lightly sweet, fruity, with perhaps a hint of sherry. The fruity notes are reminiscent of sour plum and apricot. Quite a bit of musty cobweb type notes going on here as well. Complex tasting, definitely a bit aged, as this is showing bits of oxidation around the edges, nothing harmful yet, it just adds to the maltiness and complexity of this brew.

Gueuzedude, May 31, 2004
Photo of Sixpack595
3.58/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Geat looking garnet brew with a long lasting off white head. Aroma is sour and slightly fruity. Flavor is very complex whit dark fruits, bannana, melon and more. The malty, sweet taste gives way to a sour then spicy finish. Mouthfeel is fairly substantial, adding to the long list of this beers good qualities. The downside? It really doesn't taste very good. I rate it above average in taste and drinkability only because it is a very engaging beer. Theres so much going on that its hard to put down even if it does taste a bit funky.

Sixpack595, May 04, 2004
Photo of Crosling
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Light burgundy. Beautiful color. The head is big, thick and creamy.

I have been smelling this for the last 10 minutes without tasting it at all. I am truly in awe. Oranges, caramel, cherries and freshly chopped soaked wood along with some grainy notes and a citrus kick. 15 minutes later, I am ready to move on to the next step.

This is a lovely tasting beer. It's quite odd really. Chocolate, caramel, cherries, plums, oranges, wood and oranges are all present but are dominated by plum pit notes. The bitterness at the end is well taken. The 9% is noticeable but not offensive.

The sweet malt and candy aspects of this beer is amazing considering that no sugars were used at all.

Vintage 1987: Kulminator - Antwerpen
Aroma: 4.5
Appearence: 4.5
Taste: 5.0
Drinkability: 5.0
Mouthfeel: 5.0

Crosling, Apr 17, 2004
Photo of Globetrotter
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For my 500th review, I'll take Abbaye de Rocs, please Alex. Found this gem in a dumpy bar next to a Moscow metro station - diamond in the rough, the waitstaff and bartender don't know what they've got. Brown 33cl bottle with tapered neck. Best before end 2006, I had it on 4/8/04.

Poured a nice cloudy dark cola-like amber hue under a light tan two finger head that settled quickly but couldn't muster much contour or lace. Large chunks of sediment poured into the glass. The nose is very strong of fruits and malt. The mouth is highly carbonated and quite heavy. The taste is sweet - honey, plums, cherries and a bit of spice. There is also a substantial malt backbone, and plenty of doughy yeastiness. Served to cold, the flavors got better as it warmed, bringing out the hops and the malt to balance the sweetness. Drinking this lovely beer in that miserable dive was a surreal experience. Not my favorite beer, but I wouldn't turn down a second one.

Globetrotter, Apr 08, 2004
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 tjd25
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An intense dark copper color. This beer has to be good. Maybe a smell of some caramel, but I’m not sure about that. The taste is strong, sweet, very complex. A very enjoyable mix of fruits and spices. Some thickness, but it doesn’t take the beer’s drinkability away. The alcohol is wonderfully hidden by the subtle diversity of flavors. A really nice beer. I wishe I were able to find better words to describe it…

tjd25, Mar 18, 2004
Photo of krberg
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thick cream-colored head. Deep brownish-orange. Lots of CO2 streaming upwards.

Smells like chocolate and berries. Potent, amazing. Lots of alcohol in the nose as well.

Smooth and rich. Very simple and wonderful. Mildly sweet. A cocoa powder like chocolate flavor with raisins. Reminds me of a well made cake. Alcohol warmth leaves my nose and the aftertaste is a light sweetness. I can find no hops.

Perfect mouthfeel for this particular beer.

This beer disappears from my glass almost as fast as I can pour it. Its lack of typical Belgian spicyness keeps this beer easy drinking. I really think I could drink it all evening long. It never feels too filling and, in fact, I'm already thinking about having another beer.

Great great great! A worldclass beer for sure. It has been a long time since I have had an import that has made me so happy. This might be a good beer for those that don't like or aren't familiar with belgians. Would go great with roasted red meats (prime rib), amazingly with duck, almost any cheese, and nuts. By all means grab yourself a Abbaye des Rocs.

krberg, Mar 16, 2004
Photo of ZAP
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
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...

ZAP, Mar 14, 2004
Photo of pio
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

rich, deep amber with bronze highlights and slightly hazy. sturdy tan head that has a foamy consistancy and is about an inch after it settles a bit. the head is constant and it leaves pretty, yet sinking laces with sticky bunting here and there.
the scent filled the room shortly after i pulled the cap off. piquant apricots, melon, kiwi, caramel and nougat. a floral yeasty scent and a tenuous spice scent - tweak ginger and cinnemon. brown sugar and molasses back drop these wonderful up-front scents. no alcohol detected but a thin presance.
this is one big silky body. the flavor is amazingly full bodied with sweet fruit bread, bread crust, dark breads and ginger snaps. a warming alcohol. a bitter finish that could be either or both hops and roasted grains. this lingers with a touch of a sweet note with above mentioned fruit complimented nicely with a strong licorice note. as curious as it is delightful.it has a pretty crisp effervescance on the mouthfeel and a great big silky smooth body, my god. there is just the slightest bite on the center of the tongue whose origin i think is alcohol.
this is one wowzer of a beer and unless someone dosen't like licorice this is sure to be one of the most drinkable beers i've had.

pio, Mar 09, 2004
Photo of kmcnair
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Abbaye des Rocs and it rocks! This is a great beer.

Pours a deep, dark amber color into my goblet and creates a very thick off white head.

The boquet is complex, very malty and earthy. Very inviting, I can already tell its going to be a good one!

Taste is also rich and earthy. It is spicy, estery, very smooth with a hint of nutmeg. This one gets nicer as it warms. A swirl in the mouth wakes up every point of the palate. This is a very complex brew.

Mouthfeel is thick and coating, a bit syrupy. Warms as it goes down, the alcohol is in there but not overbearing.

So sad that I only bought one of these, I could definitely drink a couple more.

kmcnair, Feb 18, 2004
Photo of ChicoraBoy
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sweet nose. Malty and froth bitter, orange oil, wheat beer esters, some straw. Copper-amber clear with cream colored lasting, lacing, foamy head. Medium watery body and medium carbonation, well-balanced. Mild sweet start. Big malts punctuated by alcohol, a little fig, and a bit of barley or wheat grain. Nice hops flavor toward a medium bitter, dry finish. Light bitter and sweet nutty after. Nice beer for under 2€.

ChicoraBoy, Feb 04, 2004
Photo of euskera
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330cl bottle poured into a Gulden Draak glass. Dark cognac color, nice small but lingering head. Smell is malty and spicy, with just the hint of banana in there. Taste has hints of wine, spice, citrus. There's just a LOT in there as I drink it. A somewhat sour sensation in the finish with an alcohol backbone. Tasty and complex. I'll come back to this one whenever I see it..

euskera, Jan 31, 2004
Photo of HiroProtagonist
3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Tripel Karmeliet glass, with an ample tan head rising up and settling to leave thick blanketing lacing behind. The color was ruby-orange, and with large flakes of precipitate swirling around the cloudy liquid with vigor. The smell was...curious. The earthy spice aroma had components of anise, beef jerky or Slim Jim, and a slew of spices I was not able to decipher. Taste...the beer had a light malt backbone with heaping accents of molasses, cane sugar, nutmeg, rum, and coriander seed, finishing rather dry with a satisfying bitterness...quite delicious. The mouthfeel was right...full, smooth, and a bit fluffy. All in all an innovative and enjoyable beer.

HiroProtagonist, Jan 23, 2004
Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 412 ratings.