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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 Thorpe429
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to ygtbsm94 for sharing a bottle of the 2006 vintage of this. Also had a separate bottle more recently, at which time I took better notes. Review from those.

Served in a wine glass. Gushed quite a bit, overflowing after I opened it. It was probably a bit too warm. Loads of floaties, though this is quite explainable given the gushing. Pours brown-garnet with a moderate head that quickly falls into a collar with a speckled cap. The nose is strong, earthy red grapes with some caramel and plum in the background. there are also some other dark fruits and a good measure of sweetness as well.

The taste is not quite as complex but there are strong grapes and a bit of cherries. This is quite sweet but never cloying. There is a bit of darker malt in the background; no roast. The feel is medium and cream. Light--though very fitting--level of carbonation. Incredibly drinkable. Likely my new go to Belgian beer.

Thorpe429, Dec 29, 2010
Photo of crnipeter
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

330 ml wit BBE date 1. December 2012, into Chimay chalice. Pours effervescent, nonuniform body of hazed amber with snowstorm of yeasty particles, topped by off white head that fades to a patch of lace encircled by peripheral ring. So obviously unprocessed beer, almost rude in appearance which is not necessarily a negative feature. In contrary to the look, the aromas and flavors are extremely sophisticated and although no sugars have been added to this one it's generally on the sweet side. The nose is rich malty sweetness, plums, figs and raisins, fine cognac like alcohol, ginger spiciness while the taste is orchard of plums, figs and raisins rolled in rich malt with bready qualities , fruit sugar, hint of peppery spiciness and touch of alcohol to counterbalance the malt. A mellow, medium bodied beer with moderately high carbonation, medium-dry finish and pleasant alcohol warmth. Albeit labeled as "Abbaye" this is not an abbey beer and it's hard to believe it has no trappist ancestry.

In short: Fruity, sweet, skillfully made strong dark ale on pair with the best of trappists.

crnipeter, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of waughbrew
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Auburn with a light creme head with great R&L. Aroma is distinct - apple spiced with cinnamon and coriander. raisins, pepper. sparkly metallic hops like a firework. Tastes and looks like Autumn - a bit sweet, but spice and slight darkness balances it well. The apple character continues, and as I drink the 750, the cideriness comes out a bit more than I would like. Soft on the tongue, not too fluffy, yet high carbonation. Little trace of the 9% is there, so it will sneak up on you.

Great brew. I think this would be perfect for the Fall. Subtle flavors and perfect feel. I would love to have this any time.

waughbrew, Mar 19, 2006
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 GCBrewingCo
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
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 tavernjef
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
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 Doppel07
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
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 kmpitz2
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a nice rubyed brown color wit ha 4 finger head that retains at about 2 fingers. The nose is raisins soaked in cherry juice with a dose of pepper and spice for good measure. What a nice flavor. Sweet cherry and raisin move to peppery spice, finishing almost at a coffee, but not quite. Very nice. The feel is good smooth moderately thick, with some texture in there from the floaties that abound. Drinkability is as good as can be for a beer of this size. The flavor and fee just add to the experience. Top notch. Thanks to clvand0 for sharing this with me.

kmpitz2, Dec 21, 2004
Photo of francisweizen
4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Kulminator in Antwerp, BE. This was a 1999 (?) vintage. The aromas are that of spices, alcohol, red wine (port?), yeast, candy sugar, and more. The taste is very boozy, malty, sweet, spicy, and wine-like in nature. The mouthfeel is thick and great. The drinkability is excellent and intriguingly good!

francisweizen, Nov 05, 2003
Photo of lpayette
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

lpayette, Aug 15, 2008
Photo of DrJay
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky toffee with reddish highlights. Tan head composed of very fine bubbles that produced thick lace and stuck around til the end. Plum aroma with an incredibly balanced combination of toasty malts, dark grain and a hint of alcohol. Plum/raisin flavour with a light sourness and citric character. Smooth, mild finish with some additional sweetness and a bit of spice. Fine carbonation, mild texture with just a hint of slickness. Dry finish. A superb beer, I'll definitely be having this one again.

DrJay, Nov 03, 2005
Photo of Vancer
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

So this is a freakin Belgium <Brown> ale, eh?? Whoo, what a hammer-jack of a fine frosty. Glad I had 750ml for me and the wifey.

Nice cola brown pour, semi – hazy and lots of yeasties, more as you swirled along the way. Frothy-ass ivory head with nice head lace.

Just get a whiff of all that spice and coriander, move well into the taste. WHICH, has that and a smorgasbord of Belgium yeast sugar cane, tons of dark fruit, heavy on the cherry. And here comes the molasses for a ending touch. Finishes on the sweet, no problem.

NO hint of 9%l this is an exceptional drinker, slowly chief, then move to a lower alcohol brew for a evening session.

Vancer, Jul 01, 2007
Photo of corby112
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

corby112, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of rye726
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Haze a glowing brown color with a creamy tan head.

Ripe dark fruits, bready malts, spicey yeasts, red grapes and tart citrus.

Quite delicious mixture of sweet yet sour fruits, subtle candy, rich malts and peppery yeats.

Full, silky body is perfectly carbonated.

Good cross between a strong ale and a flanders brown ale. Very nice, I like.

rye726, Jan 27, 2008
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 DaPeculierDane
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally! I’ve been searching for this brew for three years. A t every liquor store I go to I find Brune Gran Cru staring back at me. I can never find the regular old Brune, but now, on a random stop in at Steve’s Liquor Mineral Point, I find one bottle tucked away in the back cooler. How thrilled I am to try this, especially after enjoying the Tripel Imperial and Gran Cru so much.

After a long a bumpy drive through the country, I could not wait for the yeast to settle so I popped this bottle open and let it pour marvelously into my glass. Appearance is stunning. Body is a light red amber with suspended reddened tan yeast particles throughout. Carbonation is ample and a thick white head lasts for several minutes before dissolving, leaving a rather wine like appearance for this beer.

Aroma is wonderfully verdant. Granny smith apple lunges forth from the glass followed by a menageries of other delightful fruit including musk mellon, unripe grapes, and mangosteen. Grass and hay finish the nose.

The flavor is nearly as bold as the nose. Tropical in the extreme and depthfully complex, I feel as though I’m on the beach in Thailand drinking rum mixed with fruit punch. There are massive fruits here. Not only can one make out the aforementioned four, but also pineapple and ripe naval orange all rounded out by some sweet caramel malt. Fantastically, this beer is kept far from any hint of cloyingness or fruit overkill by a steady supply hay, barnyard character, and sourdough bread fresh from San Francisco.

The body is vinous and full. Sweet and sour play off each other like Russian chess masters. Drinkable? You betcha!

DaPeculierDane, May 21, 2007
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 kmcnair
4.6/5  rDev +9%
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 guitarmage
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy maple, the foamy head formed easily but dissipated quickly. Ring around the glass, a few bubbles linger.

Smell: Sweet brown sugar malt melds with a nice spiciness, peppery, caramel, alcohol, coriander.

Taste: Sweet malt makes a short appearance, and then a spiciness comes in, coriander, anise, warming alcohol, peppery hops linger but aren't prominent.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth with pricklely tight carbonation, smooth and tasty.

Drinkability: A lot light in overall flavor, savory compared to other Belgian Strong Dark Ales, which are sweeter, this is peppery and light, tasty and easy to drink.

guitarmage, Feb 28, 2007
Photo of canucklehead
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This bottle was in the cellar for a year and a half and the age was quite pronounced in this beer. The colour was dark brown with red notes. The smell was old fruit and leather. This is a great sipping beer as it opened up with each mouthfull. The smoothness imparted was age induced as some of the hops had dropped off. Great with big cheeses and chocolate this is Belgian gold.

canucklehead, Mar 31, 2005
Photo of biegaman
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

biegaman, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of yemenmocha
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

yemenmocha, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of nickfl
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Mountainous, four finger, light brown head that settles slowly and leaves lots of lace behind. Nice, amber colored body with good clarity but lots of chunks floating in it.

S - Aromas of raisins, plums and dark chocolate. Some fruity esters and a bit of alcohol with cinnamon and yeast spice.

T - Big caramel flavors up front along with some fruitiness from the yeast. Dark grain character comes in next with notes of chocolate, plums, and some surprising, perfumey jasmine flavors. Some spicy hop flavors arise next with a reasonable shot of hop bitterness that slowly transitions into dark malt flavors that ride out the finish with fruit backed notes of chocolate and tobacco.

M - Medium body with moderately high carbonation and a dry finish.

D - Very complex and drinkable. Compares favorably to Rochefort 10. The dark flavors are deep and interesting with some surprisingly bright fruit characteristics. My only complaint is the very large amount of suspended solids in the beer. I was afraid at first that I had gotten a bad bottle, but it is well within date and the excellent flavor and aroma would seem to indicate that it has not been mistreated.

nickfl, Apr 05, 2008
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 hotstuff
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my very favorite beer styles! It poured a medium sized tan head that contained fine-small sized bubbles that was mostly diminishing. The body was carbonated, there was floating particles observed and the body was hazy with a copper hue. The nose was malty, caramel, sweet, and had various fruit notes to it. The flavor was a bit bitter, acidic, caramel, some alcohol notes, and a bit tart/tangy. The palate was smooth and light-medium bodied. This beer had excellent lacing to it. The appearance would have received a 5 rating if it had not been for the floating particles.

hotstuff, Oct 26, 2003
Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 422 ratings.