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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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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

429 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 429
Reviews: 307
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 58
Gots: 19 | 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: 429 | Reviews: 307 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jak
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of smibroncos
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of Onslow
4.97/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Every now and again, a true beer lover will run into a beer of pure enlightenment or unabashed excellence.. ladies and gentlemen- this beer is one fine example!

..After trying 2 other offerings from this world class brewery I had high hopes with this brew and it didn't disappoint...

The aroma is first to blow you away!! --- complex is a word that loses its fight to describe the beauty of aromas coming from my chalice, dried fruits from all over, lots of berry, chocolate from those old fashioned metal tins, candied plum sugar, fruit rum- amazing stuff here

Pours a dark slightly murky ruby-brown colour with a hearty coco like head..and the lacing is truly A+...

now the harder part of my review, trying to pull all the crazy good flavours out of this beer, from the spectrum of wonderful sweet fruits to the delicious tangy bites of this amazing beer.. just so flavourful and complex!!

I can't say enough about this brew. I have only enjoyed a handful of beers that have blown me away so much.

A true joy to drink and experience!

Photo of ChrisBowers
4.95/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

You know that Sam Adams Light commercial where the guy takes a sip and goes nuts, screaming and yelling? Thats basically what I did when I had this beer. Poured out of a 33cl bottle with a nice head and deep brownish-red color, the smell was incredible. Chocolaty and malty with a spicy tinge to it. The first sip was incredible. Unbelievably balanced for a beer with such a high ABV. It was like having all the best characteristics of every belgian beer you've had rolled into one: Chocolate, Coffee, Fruit, Wine... All in perfect balance. A very warming beer, Do yourself a favor and go get some of this today.

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.

Photo of inebrius
4.95/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I feel like Violet Beauregarde chewing on the "dinner in a gum" at the chocolate factory.

Swampy amber teeming with schools of yeast chunks under an elephantine egg cream bonnet. The aromas! Caramel coated fruit, honeysuckle, ripe cantaloupe and August wet pavement, history and future and life seething. Sweet on the attack turns beech and maple old growth forest and the leaves and brown ferns and fungi filling the air with scents of existense and then a little sour finish and a need for more. Meaty this beer, yet light and fanciful. It's all in there and I haven't turned into a blueberry yet.

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!!!!!!!

Photo of dauss
4.93/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served room temperature at the Kulminator in Antwerpen. Only paid 3 Euro for a 2002 vintage.

Appearance: Extremely effercesvent, a deep amber color with a massive tan head that rests on top. As time went on, the head "egg crates" but had excellent retention and lacing.

Smell: Tons of sweet malt, brown sugar, dark fruit, belgian yeast, nutmeg, cinnamon, subtle alcohol notes, and damp forrest.

Taste: Amazing. Sweet but not cloying. Loads of dark fruits, malt, yeast, and a flash of bitterness in the finish. After you swallow a very slow moving wave of roasty malts and chocolate wash over the palate. Very effervescent, and the alcohol was perfectly hidden at cellar temp.

Notes: The body is full, but the alcohol thins it out a little bit. After it warms up a bit, you can feel the alcohol in the nose. Very warming, and an amazing beer. I need a case of this.

Photo of mynie
4.93/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of basica
4.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have been curious about this renown Belgian Dark Ale for a long time. It used to be more
commmon in Singapore sometime around 2005. Today I think you only can find it in Brussel Sprouts.
Brussel Sprouts gave me an out of stock answer for more than a month and last weekend I finally
manage to catch the incoming stock (before they even sort things out properly) and grabbed a
bottle gleefully. I poured this wonderful beer in my new Trappist Achel Goblet; it pours out with
a brownish color shade and a medium creamy looking head with average retention. It smells
intensely fruity (like the Westmalle Dubbel) and feels very mellow. When I tasted it, an array of
dark fruits became apparent; the fruitiness is higher than many Belgian dark ales and within this
array of fruits, I could pick up raisins, plums, grapes, apple, berries and what not. It finishes
slightly dry and with a nice fruity punch to end it off. The after taste was another party for
the pellates; it goes strong on plums and berries and after ligering for a bit, it becomes a
grape or raisin like taste; simply wonderful! The taste was generally rich, yet mellow and not at
all alcoholic albeit this one's a 9% ABV; to top things up, it was silky smooth in the mouth and
down the throat with a medium body and an apt light level of carbonation. A thicker body may
have been the factor to perfect this beer but it is really nothing short of a great beer at it's
current level. Fruity, tasty, mellow, smooth Belgian Strong Dark Ales are the way to go for me;
I appreciated this beer whilst listening to chill-out bar style music and it created the
perfect atmosphere. Although I only took one bottle, I am sure that I can have a few of this
at one single sitting!

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My first sampling of this brew in several years and I'm all atwitter!
Cap and cork are removed and the prey is sighted, the creamy nodule of foam that peeks from the neck, waiting to escape from the green bottle and into a worthy glass, eager for my consumption.
Cast in a gorgeous garnet color, cherry red, a sumptuous sight, the foam a lovely thing, all lace, all bubbly.
Nose is velvety soft, angelic, sexy. This aroma is a herald to beer nirvana, beautifully yeasty, happily hoppy. I reel in orgiastic delight, sent from the ecstacy of it all.
We sip, and the tastebuds are enticed, excited, set aflame, aglow, tossed back, and laid low...a graniloquent effect, indeed.
Magnificent maltiness! Abundant fruitiness! A symphony of rich, rounded flavors rings loudly through all corners and corridors of mind, body, and soul.
Sip after sip, a massive power sweeps over, wave after wave...magniloquent, effervescicant, scintillastic, etherealistic...I'm left inventing new words to truly transcibe such transcendence.
Like soaking in happiness, trading in your every cell for burgundy bubbles and floating into unearthly ecstacy. The very thing to judge others of this style by, Does it flood the mouth with flavor?
Does it devastate the senses?
Damn, but this sure does!

Thanks to MenekiNeko for reacquainting we two!

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.

Photo of granger10
4.88/5  rDev +15.6%
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!

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.

Photo of chromestar
4.88/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of bditty187
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
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!

Photo of techdiver
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A first for me, uncapped bottle foamed over the top. Pours a cloudy deep mahogany yeasty bits floating under a frothy cream head that dissipates to a small cap remaining throughout.

Awesome smell with malt and fruit predominant, with faint alcohol evident in the background.

Great taste, well balanced as well as complex. Sweet malt and fruit with faint hops. Alcohol well hidden in the taste.

Just the right amount of carbonation, fairly full bodied and a bit syrupy.

Very drinkable despite the ABV. A most enjoyable brew and my first from Abbaye Des Rocs.

Photo of ChuckD
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of Derek
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Best Before End 2006", whatever that means?

A: Coppery brown, fairly opaque. Not a lot of off-white head, but it's fairly well retained, and leaves some lace. Lots of yeast sediment in the bottle (even for a Belgian). Careful decanting, mine was a little mirky.

S: Raisins and prunes are VERY strong, with a little spicy fruit-bread and sweet caramel maltyness. Very strong nose, very Belgian aroma. Exceptional.

T: Raisins and prunes with a tannic, wine-like flavour. VERY Belgian. No hop flavour, a little bitterness comes in at the finish.. Some dark, slightly spicy, fruit bread-like flavour. It has a really nice sweet, slighty tart and slightly alcoholic (more-so with temperature) balance. Very well rounded, but with plenty of depth. Truly exceptional.

M: Moderate body is very well attenuated for an all-malt brew, but still has a bit of a syrupy feel. It's highly carbonated.

D: Very drinkable, expecially considering the strength.

Photo of merlin48
4.78/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

33cl brown bottle. Pours into a Belgian goblet a ruby hued cherry wood colour. Quite impressive. Healthy beige head with patchy sheet lacing. Aroma is interesting. Freshly tanned leather, a new aroma to me, is apparent. Apple molasses, served with cinnamon butter, on banana bread is the taste I'm getting, as well as the aroma. Fascinating! Toffee and caramel also jump into the profile.Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and is appropriately carbonated. Taste has some of the best malt notes I've ever experienced. This one will proudly reside in my top ten. Very similar to a Rochefort 10.

Photo of Paddez
4.78/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Came in a 33cl bottle with a slightly tacky label. Upon opening; foam started to rise twoards the top of the bottle. Poured a cloudy brown-amberish brew with a big head that only stayed for a short while and then started to diminish. Lots of sediment at the bottom. It proved almost impossible to keep it all in the bottle. Doesn't matter, it can only make the appearance more intresting.

Smell: Oh boy. Flowers, citrus fruits, prunes, nuts and tea. Deliciously rich and complex. Very floral for such a dark beer.

Taste: Prunes, roasted malts, yeast, honey, and slightly dry walnuts near the end. Magnificent!

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: The brew is so creamy it seems to coat your tongue. The medium carbonation fits the smooth characteristics very well. The high ABV is deceptivly well-hidden, wich adds to the drinkability. I could've easily quaffed another but this stuff is so complex that one is enough.

Conlusion: A most unique brew. Maybe not to everyone's liking but in my humble opinion one of Belgium's greatest.

Photo of koolk
4.78/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

Photo of Dellpepper123
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of killcore
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of Elfastball7
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 429 ratings.