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

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

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388 Ratings
no score

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

Brewed by:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a. visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-13-2002)
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Photo of scottyshades


4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy, unfiltered hazelnut color that pours out little chunks of yeeast as you go. The head is absolutely massive and grows exponentially when poured. Slightly off-white

S: The nose is spicy, funky yeast (Brett?), bread, along with some corriander and cloves. Pretty heavy on the malts as well. Nice Belgian nose, very classic and delicious as well. Also, as the brew warms, fruity notes, and wintergreen/bubblegum come out.

T: Very smooth, little carbonation on the tongue, funky yeast comes out, bready notes, and slight/subtle spices that provide a truly amazing flavor profile. Vinegary-fruitiness as well. Classic Belgian right here + some. Very nice right before dinner or with some friends. Loveable by all.

MF/D: Very thick and syrupy body, subtle carbonation (just right for the style). Highly drinkable, just watch that ABV!

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2009 21:53:00 | More by scottyshades
Photo of champ103


2.78/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a murky reddish/brown color. At first a one finger tan head forms and recedes to a rim quickly. Light patchy lace.
S: Moldy, dry wood with some dark fruity esters and yeast. Lots of alcohol from the start.
T: Again, very dry wood, and charcoal. Sweet caramel malt that is almost cloying. Some dark fruit flavors. Alcohol again. One of the driest and sweetest beers I have had in a long time.
M/D: A medium body but way over carbonated. The heavy prickly carbonation, mixed with the alcohol and dryness really makes for a hard beer to drink.

I can see how this would appeal to some people. It is worth a try. I don't think this is for me though. I do enjoy beers on the drier side, but this seems like liquid wood to me.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2009 16:11:53 | More by champ103
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

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


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

Best by 2011.

Foiled and capped 750ml bottle. Served at cellar temperature, it pours into a globe glass with rich redish brown color and ample head. Very good retention and clarity in this first pour. Lots of suspended yeast remains in the bottle.

Aroma is very yeasty and complex with some good fruit esters. It's very pungent but not one of the best smells I've enjoyed from Belgium.

Flavor is where it's at. It's everything a good strong dark should be. There are lots of dark fruits and dried fruits, caramel and dark bread. There is a nice raisin sweetness up front that turns to slightly sour funk in the middle before finishing with a dryness from the alcohol. Like any good Belgian it's complicated but enjoyable and every sip introduces something new you hadn't noticed before.

Mouthfeel is full in body and carbonation with a good balance between sweet/dry and sweet/bitter.

Overall it's a good example but one of many that are now available here in the states. It's not my favorite one but it's a solid choice.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2009 00:19:02 | More by GilGarp
Photo of wagenvolks


3.28/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle (best by 2010) into a Duvel tulip.

The amber-copper body of Des Rocs Brune mingles with hues of ruby red and plum; small bits of yeast float throughout. The fizzy-sounding, light tan head builds slowly to an inch in height before quickly retreating to a thin cap and ring of tight bubbles. Spicier aroma than I was expecting, with dominant notes of dried orange peel, grass, and a pungent, flowery hop presence. The maltiness is more muted, suggesting dark bread, brown sugar, and molasses.

I'm fairly sure the bottle I purchased had not gone "bad", but my taste buds definitely disagree with the high marks this beer has earned. Starts off with a slightly oaken, almost sour bite balanced somewhat poorly by a sweet, sugary presence. Where did all the spice go? Finishes bland and semi-metallic, with no aftertaste from either hops or yeast. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, but the medium body takes on a syrupy, sticky-sweet consistency that disagrees with my palate. Overall, this was a fairly unimpressive beer...judging from other reviews, quality control seems to be an issue for this Belgian import. Still, I'll probably try it again sometime just in case I did happen upon an "off" bottle.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2009 02:40:46 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of gford217


4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a snifter, after getting this gusher under control.

Pours a slightly murky reddish brown that shows amber when held up to the light. There are plenty of floaties in there and the head is large and lingers for quite a while, leaving a little bit of lacing.

The aroma is big with tons of sweet dark malts and lots of dark fruits, especially raisins and figs. There seems to be a molasses sweetness as well. There is a bit of an alcohol burn in the nose as well.

The taste was great, much like the aroma. Tastes like raisins soaked in a highly sugary alcohol. The malt base is still dominant throughout and though I mention the sweetness, it's definitely not overpowering as in some versions of the style.

The mouthfeel is velvety smooth with plenty of carbonation.

This is a nice example of a Belgian brown, one of the better I've had recently. I definitely feel lucky to be able to walk into my local shop and pick this up whenever I want. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2009 02:00:57 | More by gford217
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

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


2.95/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.2 ounce bottle, poured into Belgian style chalice, approx. 40 degrees

A) Brown shoe leather, slightly hazy, very little head

S) Root beer & licorice

T: Raisins, sweet & sour candies

M) Flat and thin. Not the best example of Belgian strong ale

D) I had higher expectations for this beer. I purchased a 4 pack and have downed 3 of them over the past 2 weeks. I was dissapointed with the first, so I've waited until the 3rd to complete this review. This beer is lacks carbonation and thus rather flat.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2009 00:49:54 | More by bskrtz
Photo of joepais


3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to joe1510 for this one
750 ml bottle with a best by date of 2010 poured into a chalice produced a small brown head that turned to a light lace. Wow this is the first bottle I have got from this brewery that wasn't a gusher or had floaties. The body of this brew was clear reddish brown in color.

The initial whiff I got seemed a bit sour. Then malts are huge on this bottle, very much overpowering all the other aromas. The flavor is very sweet lots of candy sugar and caramel. This brew had a medium mouth to it with light carbonation exactly what I would expect from a Belgian brown.

Easy to drink I was kind of confused not seeing any floaties in this bottle I will have to revisit this brew some time, not as good as the grand cru from them

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 21:29:40 | More by joepais
Photo of csmiley


4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a murky medium brown with just a hint of red that shows in the light. The tan head was pretty minimal and only mustered about a quarter inch. Retention is average but given the amount of head that is as good as can be expected. Some lacing is present but is spotty at best.

S - A nice smooth malty aroma comes at the nose first. Comes across as toasted bread and pastry dough. That gives way to a white bread and just a little alcohol. Some dark fruit comes in at the very end and stays very mild. Could be raisin.

T - Malt complexities come on go throughout this beer. Fruitiness is more noticeable in the flavor. Getting raisin and fig notes. Very bready in the middle with some strong hints of yeast. Ends sweet with flavors of sweetened tea and brown sugar. Alcohol stays out of the way but still gives a nice smack of heat when needed.

M - Much lighter than expected with minimal carbonation. Finish is sweet and pretty clean for a 9% brew. Really excels in this category.

D - Drinkiability is great for a beer this big. I could quickly put a few of these down before realizing it weighs in at 9%. This one can be vbery sneaky. Nice flavor and aroma mixed with this mouthfeel makes for a winner in my book. Kudos to des Rocs for an easy drinking Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Glad I got to try it and this one makes me look that much more forward to trying the rest of this breweries selections.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2008 03:13:06 | More by csmiley
Photo of aerozeppl

New York

4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cellared this for about 8 months.

A: Chunk city. Nice brown color with minimal white head. A good amount of lacing especially considering the style.

S: Some dates and raisins with a subtle funk. Kind of a tight nose but still there.

T: Very nice sweetness. Tons of dark fruit. A nice but weird mix of yeast and malt.

M: Very nice full medium mouthfeel. The chunks are a wonderful detraction. Very dry in the finish.

D: Very nice. Glad I split this. A nice example of the stlyle.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 02:53:55 | More by aerozeppl
Photo of TurdFurgison


3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle, $3.99 at Whole Foods in Columbus. The beer is murky reddish brown, no floaters but still a little hazy with a thin wisp of a head. The smell is easy to peg as a product of this brewery, with the classic mix of sweet maltiness, yeasty esters, and a little bit of cough syrup. Actually I don't really appreciate the cough syrup, but it's there in the Abbaye des Rocs beers I've tried, and several other breweries too (Gouden Carolus, even very aged St Sixtus ABT 12). The taste is as good or a little better than the aroma, less cough syrup and more dark fruity esters. Very nice aftertaste that lingers. Solidly above average, more than worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 18:41:17 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of drseamus

New York

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

A: Chunk city. Somewhat to be expected. Brown body with a thin off white head.

S: Slight funk with big malt. Raisins, brown sugar, dark fruit. Pretty tight nose.

T: Rich flavor. Very malty. Super smooth. Nice caramel sweetness with a somewhat dry finish.

M: Super smooth, medium body, very rich.

D: Great brune. Very drinkable with no hint of alcohol.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 17:10:58 | More by drseamus
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 5/16/08. Bottle. Pours a cloudy brown with a small white head (surprisingly without the floaties present in Grand Cru). Aroma of light fruits. Flavor of spices, Belgian yeast, anise star, and molasses. Sweet with a slightly heavy mouthfeel. An enjoyable Belgian strong ale.
7/4/8/4/15 (3.8/5)

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2008 02:53:07 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of corby112


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

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

Serving type: bottle

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


4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle on 12/21/2005.

Poured a hazy brown color with a huge frothy light brown head that was fully lasting and produced excellent lacing. Heavy malt, brown sugar and citrus aroma. Medium to full body with a sticky texture. Full balanced sweet bitter flavor with the same long finish with a very small alcohol tone.

Great well balanced brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2008 16:20:15 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of nick76


3.05/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

The aroma has caramel, toasted malt, spices/fruit (orange, ginger), and yeast. The appearance is deep amber with a two finger head. There are lots of floating particles. The flavor is complex and like the aroma. The palate is sticky but thin. The aftertaste is bitter and toasty. Despite the positive qualities it doesn't strike me as great. I am not a huge fan but it's interesting.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2008 05:05:46 | More by nick76
Photo of hopdog


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

750ml bottle.

Poured a medium to dark mahogany color with a large tan head. Bready, nutty, earthy, caramel plums and raisin aromas and tastes. All nice and subtle - working very well together. Slightly sweet. Alcohol very well hidden (hard to believe there's 9% in this one). Very good beer.

Notes from and tasted on 9/17/04.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 13:09:54 | More by hopdog
Photo of srandycarter


3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Best by end 2009

A - Pours dark amber with near white fluffy head. Thin bubbled persistent lacing. Lots of floaties - yeast, I gather, that remain suspended throughout the review.

S - Banana and spices. A little crisp apple too, perhaps.

T - Taste follows smell mostly.

M - Ok, the yeast is discernible as it enters the mouth. Not really into chunky beer. The mouthfeel starts large, coating and carbed but gets somewhat lean at the end.

D - I couldn't drink this for long, with the extra goodies that come with the beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2008 04:25:45 | More by srandycarter
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in my DFH snifter. Bottle was a gusher. Poured a murky mahogany with a 1.5 inch off-white head the quickly dissolved into a skim with a heavy band around the shoulders; no lacing present during the tasting. Nose was dark fruit (grape skin and plum), caramel and yeast. Taste consistent with nose, but caramel sweetness is much more in the forefront, with the dark fruit in the back; sugary sweet with a little tartness. Also picked up a hint of chocolate somewhere in the mix. Medium-bodied mouthfeel with a tickle of effervescence. Nice belgian strong dark; a very pleasant sipper.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2008 01:50:26 | More by Jwale73
Photo of prototypic


4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It's very hazy and a dark, caramel brown color with some ruby highlights around the edges. It's capped by a two finger deep, off-white head. Active carbonation shortened retention a bit. A light coat of lace lined the glass.

Smell: The nose is malty and sweet smelling initially. Smells mostly like caramel malts. There's a hint of cherry and dark fruit on the secondary level. It definitely has a yeasty aroma that's prominent throughout. Smells a little spicy, but not quite as much as I expected. There's a bit of leather and tobacco that emerge late. They're more faint than anything. No alcohol is noted. It's got a nice smell, but it doesn't really blow me away.

Taste: Caramel malts are sweet and provide a nice foundation. There's a nice cherry flavor that adds some tartness to it. It has a really nice effect that's not apparent on the nose. There are some light spices that add complexity and depth, but they're unidentifiable (at least to me). Belgian yeastiness is noteable. I really like that aspect. The leather and tobacco notes on the nose are here and are every bit as subtle (and effective). Alcohol is slightly noticeable. All in all, the flavor profile is really impressive. There's a few aspects that really shine here that you can't expect from the nose.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It features a medium body and is very smooth. Despite its active carbonation, it retains a silky, smooth character. Drinkability is very high. This one's going to down way too easy.

This is a really impressive BSDA. I'm unsure if this beer is still in the Top 100 list, but it certainly deserves to be. It's very deep, complex, and flavorful. Probably a little more impressive than I expected. Definitely recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2008 01:48:51 | More by prototypic
Photo of bkilpatr


4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into a Chimay glass. 09/08/08.

Pours a dark burgundy color with about a finger of bubbly beige head. The head quickly dissipated into nothing, leaving no lacing. Aroma is heavy with toffee, caramel, dark fruits (raisin, fig, date), cherry, sweet brown sugar, and Belgian yeast. Very nice aroma.

Taste is similar to the aroma but a bit less powerful. Plenty of caramel, brown sugar, and toffee, but the dark fruits are not as apparent. They are still there - raisin, fig, date, and plum - just not as prominent. The nice Belgian yeast / bread-like taste is there as well. The alcohol is nowhere to be found in the taste. The only downside on the taste is that it's a bit on the sweet side.

Feel is smooth yet well carbonated. It has a medium body, not that heavy at all. Drinkability is pretty good. The alcohol is not noticeable at all, and it goes down so smoothly. If it weren't for the sweetness the drinkability would be higher.

Overall, a really good Belgian brown ale. A bit pricey ($4.50 for 330 ml), but it's worth it.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2008 02:04:16 | More by bkilpatr
Photo of yemenmocha


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

Pours off brown to amber with light tan head.

Nose has black tea aromas, and holiday spices with fruit (chocolate orange maybe).

Palate is cinnamon spicy, medium bodied, tea flavors again, and mixed fruit (passion fruit) is in the mix.

Finish is somewhat on the sweet side, with the carbonation doing a little tease on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2008 04:32:58 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of lpayette


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

This has been aging for a while, not sure exactly how long. bottle says LOT 2009.

Pours a nice brownish ruby color with an excellent and active head even on a slow pour. The carbonation was enough to unsettle a lot of the yeast. A lot of staying power in this head.

The smell is fruity and just a touch sour. Just a bit of barnyardyness.

The taste is just endlessly complex and enjoyable. subtle notes of sour cherries and other dark and ripe fruits come to mind. A small hint of chocolate overlays. Everything is done so subtle as far as flavor yet when combined it produces a big cohesive flavor that works extremely well.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2008 04:40:17 | More by lpayette
Photo of goethean


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

Duvel glass. Nice beige quarter-inch head which stays and stays.

Warming. The classic dubbel flavor profile. Lots of ethanol; hot. Raisin/fig/caramel sweetness, with a complex grapey, pinot noir finish. Some bracing flavor hops towards the end.

This is a sipper. The flavor is dense, sweet, and concentrated.

Maybe a few years of cellering would bring out the vinous character that I was looking for.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2008 01:46:01 | More by goethean
Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 388 ratings.