1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

399 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 399
Reviews: 303
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.93%
Wants: 55
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
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)
View: Beers (8) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 399 | Reviews: 303 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2005 22:07:39 | More by Derek
Photo of chinchill
chinchill

South Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle served in a St. Bernardus snifter.

A: Poured with a thick creamy light tan head on top of a reddish-brown body that has lumps of dark soft solids floating about. Not appealing, but the solids have no nasty effects on feel or flavor, and settle to the bottom anyway so that they could be avoided ... that is, if the beer wasn't so darn good you'll want every drop. Still, a downgrade on looks; it remains high due to the stellar head and lacing.

S: Smell is bready-fruity-floral, with hints of cumin, orange juice, and champagne. Some additional, more earthy and less attractive alcohol esters.

Taste: rich, even given the aroma, and mainly fruity and spicy, although the flavor is subtle and complex. Making appearances are raisins and dates, dark bread, coriander, cumin, ginger and oranges. There's a faint hint of smoke in the aftertaste. This beer is rather sweet but the bitter/sweet blend seems on the spot.

M: Body seems medium-full and, at the same time, light and airy. Very very soft. Only a soft alcohol heat despite 9% ABV.

O: superb; a real treat.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2013 23:49:46 | More by chinchill
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

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

WOW!, If there is a better sniffing beer than this, please let me know. Pours a deep opaque brown, mountainous frothy beige head and tonnes of lace. Nose is a ripe banana, sweet cherries, with a touch of grainy malt. Start is sweet, top skimpy, the finish is benignly acidic, and a magnificent hop presence, dry and a somewhat bitter aftertaste "MAGNIFICENT BEER", one well worth the cost of sampling, and a must for us "Belgiephiles".

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2002 05:41:51 | More by Gusler
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 18:41:17 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of drummermattie02
drummermattie02

Texas

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

07-03-2013 16:04:40 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml corked and bottled capped bottle that said Belgian Burgundy Ale under the breweries logo.

Appearance- Pours a swampy bron with a few fints of garnet and red grape skin. Only a little head makes an appearance in this beer. Some slight lacing visible when held to the light.

Smell- A mix of leather, slightly musky flowers and some fruit cake.

Taste- Starts out with a good does of browned sugared malts mixed well with some old fashioned oatmeal. A little toasty hint of white bread to mix with a few dark fruit notes.

Mouthfeel- Although the carbonation was a little tricky to see, it made it's presence known on the center of the tongue.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2006 06:27:13 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

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

Acquired via trade (available locally though). Dark chestnut color with a thick beige head that lasts a long time, and sheets of lacing. Toasty aroma of malt and spice with some cherry. Rich body and very drinkable with sweet sugary malt flavors, as well as caramel, dried fruit and a bit of yeast. The finish is very sweet and lingering, yet has a nice hops element. The alcohol level complements the beer perfectly too. Thoroughly enjoyable brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2005 18:23:26 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
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!

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2004 01:28:45 | More by tavernjef
Photo of WOLFGANG
WOLFGANG

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

07-04-2013 23:38:28 | More by WOLFGANG
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper with a nice fizzy off-white head....nose is musty...enticingly yeasty too....full bodied...charged up...very sweet flavor....with some nice spicy sub-notes...also some musty notes....this is a great sipping beer....I love the sweet maltness and the way the spicy notes compliment it...

A top notch Belgian...thanks to Big Huge Person for sharing this...

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2004 02:12:04 | More by ZAP
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aromas of caramel, toffee, nuttiness, a little oak, and some dark fruits as it warms (mainly raisins).

The tastes begin with nuttiness, milk chocolate, biscuity/sugar cookie. As it warms you get more of the dark fruit and oak you detected from the nose.

The mouthfeel is a tad thin for the style in my opinion, not a deal breaker, I just prefer more; carbonation is fine for the style. Overall this is a good beer, top of the style, no, but still good. Not bad for the price and availability. Recommended but don't break your back to find it.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2011 18:56:02 | More by claspada
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2003 01:02:19 | More by RoyalT
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big, sweet, malt aroma with notes of clove and orange. Slight anise note. Slightly bready in the way that Munich malt is bready.

Somewhat hazy, deep brown with copper highlights. Small, light tan head with moderate retention.

Again, big, almost sickly malt sweetness. Light spiciness and lots of bread. Little to no bitterness.

Medium-full mouthfeel with moderately-low carbonation. Decent.

Something here doesn't quite click. The sweetness is over the top with no real complexity. Decent but not great.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2010 10:26:14 | More by dgilks
Photo of Evil_Pidde
Evil_Pidde

Sweden

4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pour is murky brown with a large tan compact head that sets into decent lacings.

S: Rich dark dried fruits gives it a very sweet smell. Kind of sherry-like. Syrupy. Yeasty, and some spices.

T: Tart, syrupy sweet. Lots of dark dried fruits. Spices and yeast. Very Belgian, and very nice.

M: Long sweet aftertaste. Body is syrupy full, almost like molasses. Carbonation is well hidden. A bit alcoholic, but not very obvious.

O: Sweet in more than one sence. Nice!

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 17:41:59 | More by Evil_Pidde
Photo of gford217
gford217

Georgia

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

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

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

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

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

The mouthfeel is velvety smooth with plenty of carbonation.

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

Serving type: bottle

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

Ontario (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml Bottle

Appearance – Hazy brown colour with a massive size fizzy beige/light brown coloured head. It's too hazy/dark to see the carbonation level and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, molasses, dark fruits, smoke, chocolate, wood

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a high amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, molasses, dark fruits and what I thought to be soya sauce.. I couldn't quite put my finger on what the taste was. Anyways, there was also some smoke and a woody flavour and towards the end I could also taste chocolate. The beer finishes with a smokey and malty sweet aftertaste.

Overall – A complex beer that has a whole bunch of flavours going on. It's not something I'd want to drink every day, but I'm going to keep a few on hand for sure. The alcohol was really well hidden and it's a must try beer in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 18:04:39 | More by spinrsx
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

2.78/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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

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

Serving type: bottle

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

Alaska

4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2003 20:08:59 | More by francisweizen
Photo of mrfrancis
mrfrancis

Kentucky

4/5  rDev -5.4%

07-01-2013 23:30:34 | More by mrfrancis
Photo of tbeckett
tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle from ABS Drinks. From notes.

A - Huge gusher to start. Head fades really fast. Muddy, streaky, dark brown colour. Head leaves a leaves a thin ring.

S - Rum, butter, yeast, breadiness, sugar, and some booze.

T - Rum and butter candy. Sweet with some yeast and dark fruit. Quite complex. Lot's of dark fruit comes out later.

M - Mild carbonation and a medium body. Sweet, dry finish. Seems like more body is in order.

O/D - Nice beer. Could use a bit more body and dark fruit character but the complexity is there for sure. A tasty and interesting beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2011 12:16:26 | More by tbeckett
Photo of cokes
cokes

Wisconsin

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2003 02:07:08 | More by cokes
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Serving type: bottle

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

Indiana

4.93/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2006 04:03:01 | More by mynie
Photo of alexgash
alexgash

Connecticut

4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich, rusty…well, burgundy colored, lightly cloudy body. Puffy, thick, light brown head. Some sediment. Good lacing.
Smells of tangy, yet medicinal fruit. Vinous. Yeasty. Faint sugar sweetness too.
Rich, wheaty malt flavors start off, with building sugary sweetness. Notes of ripened fruit (plums, pears), and spice. Sweetness is tempered by a muted roasty bitterness. Finish is bittersweet, with lasting sweetish fruit tones. Big, thick, velvety mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2004 22:18:07 | More by alexgash
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2008 02:53:07 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 399 ratings.