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

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

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311 Reviews
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Reviews: 311
Hads: 453
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 8.04%
Wants: 62
Gots: 29 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-13-2002

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 311 | Hads: 453
Photo of ChrisBowers
4.95/5  rDev +17%
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. (612 characters)

Photo of SetarconeX
4.34/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Well now, this is an interesting little find. Belgians aren't usually the direction my tastes go towards, but this one is unexpectedly good. Appearence is a strange sort of light red carmel, not quite like anything I've ever seen before. Highly carbonated, so watch out when you uncork this one.

The smell isn't half bad either. Not as strong as it could be, but it does have a nice light maltiness, with a hint of citrus. The citrus comes out fairly strongly in the taste itself, without being too overwhelming. At heart, it's really not anything unusual, but is more a straight, few frills, Belgian Ale done to near absolute perfection.

Mouthfeel is fairly smooth, considering the ABV on the brew. This is perhaps the most drinkable 10% ABV I've encountered in recent memory. (784 characters)

Photo of Winter
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml green bottle that's capped and corked. Pours a clear copper with an unsustainable light tan head. Aroma consists of apples, candied raisins, malt, some spiciness and alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and smooth with an effervescent crispness around the edges. Very nice. Initial taste reminds me of brandy. Caramel and candied sugar flavors populate the front. Ale glides over the tongue and some alcohol is noticed in the middle, though not in a bad way. The 9% abv is handled very well. Some spiciness and malt, right before the green apple finish. Warming sensation from the alcohol permeates the chest. I'm glad I was able to find it around here. Definitely worth it. (680 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.9/5  rDev +15.8%
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! (1,330 characters)

Photo of ManekiNeko
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cL bottle served chilled in a Trois Pistoles goblet and allowed to warm up as the beer was savored.

Appearance: Murky reddish brown topped by a large and substantially thick beige head. Things settle down in good order, but there's a thin layer of bubbles left to produce some small amounts of lace. I was expecting more, having had some impressive lacing from other beers this brewery makes.

Smell: Very malty and complex nose. Ginger, malty sugars, cherries, whiffs of bergamot, and raisins. Wowing, but not as leave-you-incredulous as their Grand Cru.

Taste: Sweet, but not cloying, overall. Ginger, pepper, and cinnamon notes. Caramel malt and candi sugar flavors. A slightly jarring herby aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Lusciously smooth and medium bodied. This is 9% ABV?!

Drinkability: This is a really great beer and quite the bargain, but I must say I prefer the AdR Grand Cru to this. I'd never turn one of these down, though... Ever.

Other: Make sure you drink most of this at cellar temperature. The flavors blend together so much better. (1,063 characters)

Photo of inebrius
4.94/5  rDev +16.8%
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. (603 characters)

Photo of moulefrite
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Awesome deep amber in color, head starts fairly ambitious then fades after a minute or two. Firm and generous lace with good stick throughout. My only complaint is that this thing looks like a back woods pond in terms of floaters. I'm talkin mega chunks here-big ones that go plop when they enter the glass. Aromas are similar to the grand cru, with first impressions again of very fine dark choclate, then a fruitiness redolent of kirsch, and the inside of a really good chocolate covered cherry. Candy sugar and soft malt also comes through. The mouthfeel is rather buttery and warming-the alcohol is very nicely hidden. Rather wine like and very easy to drink. In fact, I'm heading into the bedroom with a second glass to see how it pairs with my newest read. Buy it if you find it! You might want to strain this sucker through a coffee filter if any guests are the faint of heart type. (889 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.67/5  rDev +10.4%
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! (316 characters)

Photo of hotstuff
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
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. (580 characters)

Photo of saltydog
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1987 vintage bottle, at the Kulminator, in very good condition. Appearence: Slightly cloudy. Orange color. Big head, but fades rapidly. Aroma: Spicy hops and malt. Some sherry notes. Flavor: Crisp, spicy. Probably,antioxident character in spices leaves beer very lively. Finish: Crisp, rich spicy finish. Very good shape. (321 characters)

Photo of GreenCard
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

Overall Impression: Having been "talked-up" by many people, the reputation of this beer was built up quite a bit, so I was setting myself up for potential disappointment. However, as you can see, that wasn't the case. There is as much delicacy in this beer as there is brute force. Plays out like a barleywine, done Belgian-style. I can see why it's a big hit with malt-fiends and strong ale fans. This 750 ml bottle is a bit much to take on alone... I'm going to have to sequester myself! (1,200 characters)

Photo of beerguy101
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Medium brown color, cloudy with lots if suspended yeasties. Medium beige foamy head. Aroma is fruity (bananas, cherries and plums), malty (bready and grainy) with all the typical Belgian sweetness, spiciness and complexity that you would expect. A full bodied Belgian Ale. Malts are bready, fruity and sweet. Touch of spiciness. WOW There is a lot of competing flavors going on in this beer. Its mostly sweet malts, but there are hints and flavors of raisins, apricots, oranges, chocolate and toffee. Very smooth and mellow tasting. Excellent beer. It hides the 9% alcohol very well. Finish is incredibly smooth. Note the bottle I tasted had lots of “stuff” floating around in it, but it did not detract from the taste at all. Mouthfeel is very full and round. Finish is smooth and a touch dry. Aftertaste is sweet. with hints of chocolate. (842 characters)

Photo of marburg
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
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. (1,110 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.71/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A vibrant glowing ruby brown tone with a tan thicket of frothy foaming head, leaving thickets of scattered bars of lacing just amazng appearance. Aroma: Doughy yeast spreads into a vegetable tone with a warming musky combonation of alcohol and yeast notes simply nothing like it out there in my opinion. A floral pine musty hop with a decadence of following flavor what a complex belgian style ale. Taste: Musty stir fried vegetables especially peas and carrots but somehow it works as a flavor with a woody finish and genuine sweet vegetables, it's a big question mark of what the fuck happened to this beer. Mouthfeel: Fuller bodied orgininal true to a mindblowing experience of flavor brew, very interesting could take some getting used to. Drinkability: Althought musky this beer does every questioning to one's senses I can imagine, wow I guess all I can say is try it and hope I am ready for this caliber of complexity. (937 characters)

Photo of DarrellK
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (764 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
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. (3,130 characters)

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice burgundy, with a huge, lasting head. Significant Belgian lace sticks to the glass. Fruity winey aroma. Significant carbonation, almost lambic-like.Taste also reminiscent of a wine, but as it warms it mellows. Becomes creamier and sweet, more like other Belgian dark ales. Still, remains unique, and is a very high quality ale. Strongly recommended. (361 characters)

Photo of jcalabre
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally sampled from bottle 27 June 2002. Abbaye des Rocs greets you with a nice head and beautiful mahogany color. The alcohol is very well hidden, chich I always appreciate. It has a malty, yet slightly sweet taste. This is a very elegant beer to drink. (258 characters)

Photo of BeerAngel
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
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! (495 characters)

Photo of importguy
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

First drink I was instantly hit with the spicey flavour with a touch of sweatness. My first thoughts are cinamon and then caramel. Leaves with a nice smooth finish creamy malty flavour. In my limited beer experience this is the best beer I have tasted. All the flavour complimented and enhanced this beer to be a most enjoayble drinking experience. (456 characters)

Photo of Darkale
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

Aroma is malty and roasty, Christmas-eve sweet.

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

But, not overpowering. Mellow and ponderous. (281 characters)

Photo of sponberg
4.57/5  rDev +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. (1,321 characters)

Photo of mzwolinski
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
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. (681 characters)

Photo of Naerhu
4.94/5  rDev +16.8%
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. (265 characters)

Photo of cokes
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am still spinning.

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

Additional notes:
Old, white label. Not sure of the year, but guessing it carries some age. Just had one today (07/16/10), probably at least 10 yrs old, and I still maintain it's likely the best thing I've ever had.
Newer stuff is still excellent, but would get knocked down a peg or two due to the snow globe yeast clots, with their impact on appearance and especially mouthfeel. (2,002 characters)

Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 311 ratings.