Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] - Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
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Ratings: 401 | Reviews: 303 | Display Reviews Only:
4.88/5 rDev +15.4%
Appearance Deep, orangish-brown body with a few shades of red. Theres 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 Im not). Alcoholic fruit leapt from the glass. I can pick up some orange and banana along with cherry/cranberry juice. Theres 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 its 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 its an off batch. The ale wasnt flat like it hadnt 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 Ive had. This one wasnt 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.
09-16-2003 01:02:19 | More by RoyalT
4.88/5 rDev +15.4%
Pours a slightly burnt hazelnut color with a large and sticky beige head that holds for the duration of my drinking. Good amount of lacing. Lots of large sized chunks of yeast suspended in the glass.
The smell is very fruity esp. on the dark fruit side with notes of alcohol and spices.
The depth of flavor in this beer is astounding. I really cannot describe the complexity in this beer. There's a sharp stinging initial hit on the front of my tongue that reminds me of tarty fruits. Lots of fruitiness in there. The fruitiness is light at the start with an apple taste but it then becomes dark with more of a fig and plum flavor. There's a breadiness underneath that dries out the sweetness of the fruits. But then more sweetness comes with a dark chocolate tone but then once again there's a bitterness, this time possibly from the spices which are abundant yet perfect in their matching with the malts, that offsets the sweetness.
There's a constant struggle between the sweetness and dryness in this beer with neither winning but each making their case. Port-like initially but the yeast flavor and spices help reduce the winey flavors of this beer. The finish has no acidity whatsoever, has a real sweetness to it, and is extremely smooth. This one is well worth its acclaim.
09-30-2004 02:54:59 | More by granger10
4.88/5 rDev +15.4%
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.
02-14-2003 06:25:19 | More by mzwolinski
4.85/5 rDev +14.7%
Brown in hue with noticeable peachy-orange influences, Id say there is even a suggestion of bronze in the mix. There is a bit of density to it, as I cant 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 isnt 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 doesnt 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 doesnt 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!
09-10-2004 19:46:48 | More by bditty187
4.83/5 rDev +14.2%
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.
04-15-2007 19:54:21 | More by techdiver
4.83/5 rDev +14.2%
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.
02-22-2006 14:45:09 | More by ChuckD
British Columbia (Canada)
4.8/5 rDev +13.5%
"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.
12-28-2005 22:07:39 | More by Derek
4.78/5 rDev +13%
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.
01-21-2004 04:29:31 | More by merlin48
4.78/5 rDev +13%
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.
08-09-2005 18:36:42 | More by Paddez
4.78/5 rDev +13%
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.
06-18-2004 11:12:52 | More by koolk
4.75/5 rDev +12.3%
I bought this 2 years ago on a trip. First time to have it. Popped the cap. The cork was moist despite having been stored upright. Poured into a St Bernardus wide-mouthed chalice.
Comes out an absolutely lovely ruby-brown with a thick off-white head and more swirling yeast chunks than I've *ever* seen before, despite a gentle pour. Sweet candied fruit aroma, cherry and ripe sweet apple. Intense malt flavors (rich toffee, licorice, rather nutty and quite sweet), together with some of the most prominant fruity esters I've ever tasted in a beer (think ripe cherries, caramalized slowly in a pan). The tartness in the finish balances the sweetness and accentuates the fruitiness. Just wonderful.
Very impressive. I'd love to get a case of this, but unfortunately it's not sold in my state.
10-18-2006 00:52:47 | More by allengarvin
4.72/5 rDev +11.6%
Large bottle, capped and corked. Oh baby, this is my kind of beer, alot going on! Pours dark, murky and very cloudy, with a S*&% load of floating sediment. Nose is of burnt malts, ripe fruit, licorish and funkyness, Head is light tan, with amazing retention, frothyness, density, and creamyness. it was as thick as shaving cream for awhile. Respectable, thick and well developed lacing left sticking to the glass.
Lovely smooth mouthfeel, light and velvety on the tongue, coating the entire mouth and throat.
Tastes of rum, fruits of a thousand nations, vanilla, honey, light maple syrup. Yum Yum The yeast at the botom of the glass, adds a further layer of complexity to the mix. Nutty, smooth, heady stuff!
World class brew, seek out and enjoy!
The term "Nectar of the Gods" comes to mind
(Also a huge bargain- $6.99 @ American bev. in Bklyn NY)
01-29-2005 23:45:05 | More by Billolick
4.72/5 rDev +11.6%
Nice big head tan head (about 1/2" with excellent retention). Body is a deep maroon color, clear in body, yet very dark, with some visible carbonation. Great lacing. Dark fruit in the nose, strong belgian yeast and alcohol, more dark fruitiness, and spices (nutmeg, cinnamon). Taste is big and funky, alcohol presence is there, but not a distracion from the complex flavors. Brown sugar, dark fruit, big hops, that funky banana belgian yeast. Moderate carbonation, which is just alright. Excellent, another outstanding beer from Abbaye des Rocs.
07-15-2005 03:11:20 | More by TastyTaste
4.72/5 rDev +11.6%
This is an impressive brew!
A beautiful hazy, reddish brown beer with huge chunks of what I presume are yeast sediments, heavily carbonated that starts to leave the bottle upon opening.
A great tart smell, with accompanying bread, bananas, powerful malts, alcohol and perhaps hops - something bitter in there.
The taste is also remarkable, and this full-bodied beauty begins with something tart and acidic, followed by sweet malts, warming alcohol and something dry and tart again at the end, cleaning up the sugars.
Deliciously easy for something so powerful, indeed a remarkable brew, to be had multiple times in the future.
02-13-2007 01:04:21 | More by brdc
4.7/5 rDev +11.1%
Pours with a big light brown frothy head and lots of large bubbles around the outside of the glass. Clear reddish brown in color with some bubbles rising to the surface. The head slowly recedes to a thick frothy lace. The nose is quite heavy with all sorts of aromas. Dark fruits, vinous notes, oak, brown sugar, and a hint of cherry are all noticeable. I can keep my nose to the glass for ages. Tons of flavors on the palate. I cant believe that this one is 9% ABV. The drinkability is outstanding. The start is slightly bread with good malt tons. Fruitiness of plums and raisins along with some cherry hints stand out. Vinous flavors are apparent (port wine?) with oak notes that sneak in toward the end. The finish is slightly warming. Spices are present, but to a much lesser degree then other Belgian Ales. No worries though. This is an absolutely wonderful brew, that probably couldnt be better if it tried. So many flavors and aromas all melding together perfectly.
12-12-2003 20:41:49 | More by byrd
4.7/5 rDev +11.1%
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.
01-01-2003 07:16:17 | More by marc77
4.7/5 rDev +11.1%
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.
03-09-2004 21:45:58 | More by pio
4.68/5 rDev +10.6%
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.
04-04-2004 20:32:23 | More by ADR
Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 401 ratings.