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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

422 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 422
Reviews: 307
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 57
Gots: 18 | FT: 1
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: 422 | Reviews: 307 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of saltydog
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1987 vintage bottle, at the Kulminator, in very good condition. Appearence: Slightly cloudy. Orange color. Big head, but fades rapidly. Aroma: Spicy hops and malt. Some sherry notes. Flavor: Crisp, spicy. Probably,antioxident character in spices leaves beer very lively. Finish: Crisp, rich spicy finish. Very good shape.

saltydog, Oct 15, 2003
Photo of GreenCard
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled a 750ml bottle with a BBD of 8/2006...

Appearance: dark copperish brown, good clarity, a thick tannish layer of foam develops on a proper pour, head slowly condenses as the bubbles combine, reduces to a thin creamy layer, some lace

Aroma: richly sweet, caramelly and malty, slightly clovey, a bit of figgy fruitiness, alcohol, a touch of woody hops, slightly vegetal

Flavor: huge malt backbone (and musculature!) in the vein of an English barleywine, nicely balanced with an earthy hop flavor and bitterness striking in unison, a bit yeast/meaty, finishes sweet with a long malty aftertaste

Mouthfeel: medium-full body, terse carbonation, mellow alcohol warmth, a bit slick on the tongue

Overall Impression: Having been "talked-up" by many people, the reputation of this beer was built up quite a bit, so I was setting myself up for potential disappointment. However, as you can see, that wasn't the case. There is as much delicacy in this beer as there is brute force. Plays out like a barleywine, done Belgian-style. I can see why it's a big hit with malt-fiends and strong ale fans. This 750 ml bottle is a bit much to take on alone... I'm going to have to sequester myself!

GreenCard, Oct 09, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Medium brown color, cloudy with lots if suspended yeasties. Medium beige foamy head. Aroma is fruity (bananas, cherries and plums), malty (bready and grainy) with all the typical Belgian sweetness, spiciness and complexity that you would expect. A full bodied Belgian Ale. Malts are bready, fruity and sweet. Touch of spiciness. WOW There is a lot of competing flavors going on in this beer. Its mostly sweet malts, but there are hints and flavors of raisins, apricots, oranges, chocolate and toffee. Very smooth and mellow tasting. Excellent beer. It hides the 9% alcohol very well. Finish is incredibly smooth. Note the bottle I tasted had lots of “stuff” floating around in it, but it did not detract from the taste at all. Mouthfeel is very full and round. Finish is smooth and a touch dry. Aftertaste is sweet. with hints of chocolate.

beerguy101, Oct 07, 2003
Photo of marburg
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, I got to see what all the hype was about. The color is burgandy-minus -- that is, a few shades lighter, yeilding a muddled brown-red color. In the second glass, huge chunks of yeast float freely and bob around in the brew. The head starts large and puffy and retreats to a thin film atop the beer. However, the lacing is always coating the sides of the glass with every sip. A really sharp looking beer for sure. Plum skin, alcohol, sugar, banana bread, and fruit grace this beer's tremendously potent nose. I can't even begin to describe such sweet redolence -- a bouquet of purely epic proportions. The Star Wars of the beer aroma world. And it follows through. Melon, fruit, and strong sugary sweets make up a flavor profile that finishes with a slight alcohol bitterness that becomes more and more noticeable as the beer warms beyond ideal consumption temperatures. Upon first sips, however, you could never predict a 9%abv if you were unfamilar with Belgian beers. Truly a well-blended balance of unique flavors. And supremely drinkable for such a strong, flavorful brew. World-class all the way.

marburg, Oct 01, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

WVbeergeek, Sep 28, 2003
Photo of DarrellK
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

DarrellK, Sep 17, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
4.88/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RoyalT, Sep 16, 2003
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice burgundy, with a huge, lasting head. Significant Belgian lace sticks to the glass. Fruity winey aroma. Significant carbonation, almost lambic-like.Taste also reminiscent of a wine, but as it warms it mellows. Becomes creamier and sweet, more like other Belgian dark ales. Still, remains unique, and is a very high quality ale. Strongly recommended.

JohnnyDuvel, Jul 12, 2003
Photo of jcalabre
3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally sampled from bottle 27 June 2002. Abbaye des Rocs greets you with a nice head and beautiful mahogany color. The alcohol is very well hidden, chich I always appreciate. It has a malty, yet slightly sweet taste. This is a very elegant beer to drink.

jcalabre, May 26, 2003
Photo of BeerAngel
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber brown with a nice light tan head that sticks around. The smell of light spices and fruit along with faint alcohol and yeast are blended very nicely. It has a nice spiced fruit with a strong carb bite and tapers into a mouth-watering light sweetness with a warming alcohol and light yeasty finish. It is a medium bodied brew and drinks down fairly easy for the ABV. Overall,...Superb! Thanks to BelgianBum for the opportunity to experience this awesome brew! Op uw gezonheid!

BeerAngel, May 20, 2003
Photo of importguy
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber colour that pours with a small head and a little lace. Smells sweet with almost a honey feel.

First drink I was instantly hit with the spicey flavour with a touch of sweatness. My first thoughts are cinamon and then caramel. Leaves with a nice smooth finish creamy malty flavour. In my limited beer experience this is the best beer I have tasted. All the flavour complimented and enhanced this beer to be a most enjoayble drinking experience.

importguy, May 05, 2003
Photo of Darkale
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A fast, khaki-colored head, nice and fizzy, and a deep, ruby-brown color.

Aroma is malty and roasty, Christmas-eve sweet.

Taste is sweet, deep... a doppelbock writ large. Chewy, very chewy. A hint of hops with moderate lacing.

But, not overpowering. Mellow and ponderous.

Darkale, Apr 04, 2003
Photo of sponberg
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

sponberg, Feb 21, 2003
Photo of mzwolinski
4.88/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Orangeish/burgundy in color with a foamy, surprisingly persistant, light tan head. Lots of chunky sediment floating about, though I took care to pour it slowly. The aroma is malty, with a sort of melony fruitiness to it and a noticeable yeast character. Quite sniffable, but the flavor is the real treat. It simply melts in your mouth. A rather toasty malt starts things off with a toffee-like character. A surprisingly tropical fruitiness kicks in mid-palate, followed by a moderate but pleasing hop bitterness. Rather spicy throughout. Medium-full body with a light alcohol warming. I just can't believe how well these flavors blend into one another. Exceptionally well-balanced.

mzwolinski, Feb 14, 2003
Photo of Naerhu
4.95/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Off white/brown head, brown/opaque body, fruity aroma, everlasting lace. Fine-medium bitterness, cinnamon flavor, raison, malty sweetness brilliantly balanced by the bitterness and full body. This is a mad intensely flavored brew. It redefines richness and balance.

Naerhu, Jan 31, 2003
Photo of cokes
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A Look to the Sky:
A stormy, ethereal, swampwater, golden-amber, with a cumulonimbus pale tan head. Warns of the approaching frontal system.

The Sky Darkens:
The sirens go off, as the howling West wind blows forth grapes, tart apples, muskmelon, mangos, honey, freshly fertilized pasture, and caramel.

Rain Begins to Fall:
The mouth is saturated with caramel coated apples, tart grapes, balsamic vinegar, and farmhouse mustiness. Thin and sparse at first.

Lightning Strikes:
As the beer temperature rises, the torrent increases. The senses are inundated with the tropical fruit monsoon. Hail pellets of peaches, pineapples and oranges are littered across the countryside. Trees, dripping with toffee and candy sugar, bow under the onslaught. The neighboring farm fields are stripped clean in the flood. Horse and barnyard flavors are streamed turbulently into the esophagus.

The Funnel Descends:
The brew increases in viscosity. Chocolate-coated grapes are sucked into the vacuum, along with sourdough bread. A debris cloud forms of puckering green apple tartness, with oak splinters.
Floral, yet grassy hops swirl about the palate, with understated, yet ferocious force. An unseen shaft of alcohol downs power lines inside the stomach, igniting a warming fire within.

Surveying the Destruction:
It was an incredible rotating vortex of sweet and sour.
Everything started benignly. Once it began to warm, nothing could be done. Simply leveling.

There may not be a better beer on the planet.
Find a white labeled bottle and prepare to wet yourself.

I am still spinning.

Bighuge....what can I say? Thank You!

Additional notes:
Old, white label. Not sure of the year, but guessing it carries some age. Just had one today (07/16/10), probably at least 10 yrs old, and I still maintain it's likely the best thing I've ever had.
Newer stuff is still excellent, but would get knocked down a peg or two due to the snow globe yeast clots, with their impact on appearance and especially mouthfeel.

cokes, Jan 09, 2003
Photo of marc77
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Garnet hue, w/ a light haze. Animated threads of bubbles support the dense, stiff, thick, but manageable vanilla white head. Waft of sweet, ripe grape and lychee like fruitiness upfront in aroma, followed by mellow must and notes of green apple. Tart hints of acidic lime like citrus along with dark caramel round the aroma out. A pleasure to inhale. Tinge of perfume laced bittersweetness is perceived initially, then is ceded by a dark, Boston brown bread like molasses and whole wheat bread combination. Grape and golden raisin like fruitiness run parallel with a floral, rose like impression. Late surge of dark caramel. Hint of peppery alcohol and trace clove adds a pleasantly spicy and herbal undertone. Moderate in body, with a lightly dextrinous and agreeably slick mouthfeel. Hop bitterness is noticed indirectly by its superb offsetting of residual malt sweetness. Long finish of honey drizzled rustic bread, preceded by a snap of yeast must. Luxurious. Uniquely clean and light on fermentation byproducts, yet tremendously deep in flavor profile. Supremely drinkable and thus beautifully dangerous. One of the most delicious Dark Strongs, and only a small notch below their Grand Cru.

marc77, Jan 01, 2003
Photo of maxpower
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, pours deep reddish-brown in color, foamy ass tan head, clings to the sides of my glass, sweet malty, brown sugar aroma. Dark chocolate, fruity and smokey flavor, full body. This is an awesome ale, worth a try.

maxpower, Dec 11, 2002
Photo of Bighuge
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Bighuge, Oct 31, 2002
Photo of Gusler
5/5  rDev +18.5%
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".

Gusler, Oct 29, 2002
Photo of aracauna
3.73/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice looking beer. Active head settles into nice foam that never gets small even. Aroma is initial shock of wine followed up by some yeastiness and sweet malt. When warm, the flavor is dominated by a thin bitterness, but chilled a little more, the yeasty flavors come out and a nice spice fruitiness comes more to the fore.

aracauna, Sep 13, 2002
Photo of rastaman
4.93/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

rastaman, Jul 13, 2002
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Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 422 ratings.