1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special Brown - Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.

Not Rated.
Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special BrownAbbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special Brown

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

665 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 665
Reviews: 503
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 35
Gots: 29 | 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: jdhilt on 10-08-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 665 | Reviews: 503 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of esanchlsu
5/5  rDev +18.8%

esanchlsu, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of Stingray5
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 was a tough cork to pop, but with a little elbow grease she was extracted without incident. Oh was it worth the effort, as i poured this deep red goodness into the glasses. "I can't drink this!" proclaimed my wife, reacting to the large amount of floaties in her glass. "Smell it" I retorted, and she was quickly convinced, due to the rich caramel, dark fruit and sweet huckleberry pie aromas. First sip reveals the uber-smooth texture of this brew. Rich caramel malt, prunes, light pepper, and spices abound. Sweetness in the finish. Alcohol is felt but not heard. I just can't find any more words to describe this. It simply needs to be tasted.

This was my wife's first true Belgian beer. I couldn't be happier that I chose this as her introduction. My first Abbaye des Rocs, and far from my last. Finally, perfection!

Stingray5, Oct 27, 2003
Photo of DESTRO
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

ive heard about this legend for sometime and i see it every time im in the store...so finally, i sprung for it. capped and corked, it pours out a deep amber hue with a puffy/rocky tan head. looks great. a welcoming aroma of sweet malt, clove spice, hints of alcohol and dark fruits...very nice. pleasant and full in the mouth, but not too heavy. slightly sticky, nice carbonation, seems to have the perfect balance between being hearty but also smooth and enjoyable. right off the bat you get hit with a huge malt profile. toffee and caramels are strong, light spice and sweet molasses. dates and figs come to mind. finishes with an almost cotton candy like aftertaste. fackin glorious. most drinkable and outstanding in every way. this gets two sets of horns, a head bang AND and iron maiden tribute (aces high) on full volume. thank you, beer god.

$6.99 for a 750ml

DESTRO, Mar 07, 2004
Photo of sjstraub
5/5  rDev +18.8%

sjstraub, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of bobojuice
5/5  rDev +18.8%

bobojuice, Oct 21, 2012
Photo of AnitaBrewski
5/5  rDev +18.8%

AnitaBrewski, Oct 14, 2013
Photo of TastyTaste
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

25.4 ounces of green glass bottle, very fancy looking, all capped and corked. Very loud pop when the cork is pulled. Pours a dark but crystal clear and brilliant cranberry/scarlet color. Very light tan head is massive, even after a conservative pour. Smell is rich and earthy, spicy and sweet. Light alcohol in the nose. Taste is full and satisfying. Bitter and slightly musty, so much going on throughtout the beer which ends mucgh drier than it starts. Very warming on a cold February day. Excellent beer, demolishes many others in the style.

TastyTaste, Feb 15, 2005
Photo of kegerator
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

from the first pour to the last drop, what a nice beer.
at first glance and taste all i could think was westy 8.
poured out a hazy brown with a beautiful fizzy but frothy head. the head was creamy white to off white and about 1 inch or so, it left great lacing thoughout...
smell was very malty, light spice in the far back, sugars, and slight alcohol.
taste was superior, at first sip i got hit with malt which seemed to have a chocolate taste, then it hit with some port and sugars and warmed the mouth and the throat as it went down.
this was one outstanding ride. very very similar to westy 8 in my opinion and at 7.99 a 750 compared to 8.99 for a 12ounce bottle of westy this dog will hunt. I will definitley be drinking this one over and over.

kegerator, May 21, 2004
Photo of dell4life
5/5  rDev +18.8%

dell4life, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of DPM5009
5/5  rDev +18.8%

DPM5009, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well strap me to a tree and call me Brenda. There it was – in between the Cantillon and Fantôme - Abbaye des Rocs Grand Cru, a new and very welcome addition to the Wine Country in Long Beach. An old friend, a dear old friend that I had met several times in Belgium, even at his home during a Brewery Visit at Easter 2000 when I stayed in Poperinge. It was just marvelous to see that distinctive bottle again – the first time since I had come to the USA.

Presented in a 750ml green glass wine style bottle. The neck label and crown cap have the Abbaye des Rocs Coat of Arms. The cork was easily extracted, but surprisingly it had no date on it – I am sure previous examples did. The main label has the distinctive AdR generic label, with red writing in this instance. 10% Alc. /Vol. listed, recommended serving temperature 55°F (12.8°C)

Awesome Appearance - Sheer Perfection. It does not get any better than this. A veritable perfectly unbroken sheer smooth velvety tan-beige head sits atop the lucid reddish-brown body. Streamers throughout the beer. Incredible lacing. The use of my Westvleteren Glass is highly warranted.

Beautiful aromas, the winged angelic arms of the beers odors reach out and wrap themselves around your head – they pull you closer like a mother pulls her child into her Bosom. Deeply inhaled this is the nasal elixir of life – the whiffs of rich enticing malts, dark alcohols, fruits and sweet candy lick the edges of your nose invitingly. The Tastes are a marvelous emulsion of rich malts, fruits, herbs and spices – Fuck It ! - I need 10,000 words to describe this beer!!!

A lady of the night, the AdR GC treats you well in the mouth. It immerses your aural cavity in immense pleasure; it licks at your extremities – leaving you with a real buzzed feel. You know it’s so wrong to enjoy this.

It’s 10% and you would never know it. Smooth, silky and lubricated to the max, this goes down oh, so well.

Sheer brilliance – splendid, marvelous, supreme…just fucking brilliant and worth way in excess of the measly $6.99 I paid for it. You want to know what a Belgium Grand Cru is? – look no further than Abbaye des Rocs.

How you can I possibly say this beer can be better?
I tried - Honestly – I did try – but I just can’t!!!

This surely is one of the best Belgium Grand Cru’s.
The hairs on the back of my neck are still standing up!!!

Review #666 - More Beer Vicar?? Vicar !

TheLongBeachBum, Nov 30, 2003
Photo of lmaduells
5/5  rDev +18.8%

lmaduells, Oct 20, 2014
Photo of Boonedoggle
5/5  rDev +18.8%

Boonedoggle, Jan 25, 2013
Photo of peteh2112
5/5  rDev +18.8%

peteh2112, Jul 19, 2014
Photo of pipinmalikonj
5/5  rDev +18.8%

pipinmalikonj, Nov 20, 2013
Photo of 1up
5/5  rDev +18.8%

1up, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of drewbage
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled at Lucky Baldwin's in a Moinette glass.

Here's the kicker.. the keg has been in storage since 1998. Woo Hoo!

Glass is filled with a deep brown liquid with light red highlights and almost no head.

Aroma is leather, sour cherries, brown sugar oxidation and tropical fruits with a sweet punch character at the finish.

Flavor is deeply spiced with a light malt and brown sugar and a long ground spice mixed with pineapples, mangos, guavas and oranges.

The finish finally comes with a light sourness to cleanse the palate for the next sip.

As David Farnsworth (owner of Lucky Baldwin's) put it, "This is liquid heaven, is there anything better?" My only response is "Yup.. to be having it in Belgium." Heigh thee forth to Lucky's and get a sip of this, but if you don't do it soon David will have drunk it all. Jeez.. my first 5.

drewbage, Dec 12, 2003
Photo of assurbanipaul
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark amber brown with a mountainous head, more than 2/3rd of the glass. Nose is spicy, malty, elements of cinnamon and coriander with a slightly sweet fruity character. To call it a "nose" is disparaging -- this beer has a bouquet.

Initial taste has a bit of a tang to it, not quite sour but soon yielding to a soft malty sweetness. Flavors of candy sugar, some mild spices, some yeasty tangy elements again covered with caramel and tea flavors. Very, very light cinnamon and lemon rind, very light buttered toast. A symphony of flavors with a lingering spicy-sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is soft and fluffy, carbonation keeps a bite to it. Smooth and dangerously easy to drink, no hint of a suggestion of a trace of alcohol, regardless of its ABV. Outstanding, a beer without a flaw. There simply is no way I can score it any less.

Label says "Brasserie des Rocs," Belgian special brown ale, 9.5% ABV.

assurbanipaul, May 29, 2005
Photo of feloniousmonk
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

POP!
The cork is off, there's no turning back, in we go...

A lovely, hazy tumult of deep auburn colored brew pours into my glass, joined by a Brobdignagian layer of fizzy, creamy, off-orange foam. Looks good so far, I'm tingling so far.

Aroma: lemon...biscuits...orange...must...sour...but sweet...cinnamon...a spiced lemon cookie, to wrap it succinctly. Nice. Lively, luscious, in an utterly other realm than any other beer I've ever sniffed.

Taste...Good Idea, let's!
Oh, it's happening again! A shockwave of pleasure engulfs and enwraps my body and all the senses. Certainly very winey in flavor, but uniquely beery, too! Softly peppery, deep in dark fruit (besides grape, we wander among fields of cherries, berries, melons), it's a grand melange, a masterful marriage of flavors. There's something uplifting here, something that sets my soul free, something that happens in few brews, and you know it when you feel it, and it's happening now! Something ancient exists in this, a collection of metaphysical passages through the centuries. It feels light at times, deep at others, citric for a stage, then a touch woody, even oaky, showing some malt, as if peeking through peepholes in a glimpse through time itself.

If my remarks seem grandiose, forgive this foolish ale imbiber, for there's simply no better way to transmit the feelings this glorious brew delivers than to let imagination soar, and transplant the sensations into corresponding comments that may seem at times beyond the ordinary. So be it, for this beer is...I'm still drinking, it's still changing, tasting sweeter now, with a sharp candyish feel, still an underlying layer of tart. The tongue dances and darts, utterly delighted by the play it encounters from this frisky brew.

Sweet, deep, dark, toffee-ish, completely original, a meal in a bottle, a dream trapped under a cork, ...

Oh, so very, very, very wonderful!
I wish it would never end.

feloniousmonk, Dec 07, 2003
Photo of hyuga
4.97/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For my 100th review, I chose something from my favorite style that has been highly recommended to me. Let's see... Pours a deep mahogany brew, which is slightly hazy. A thick cream-colored head forms on top. A beautiful beer. The head retains quite well. Well, this has to be one of the best beer aromas I've ever smelled! All kinds of complexities in here. Most obvious I'd say is a sweet raisin aroma. Many spices are present that I wouldn't expect out of a beer in this style, but that just makes it all the more unique and wonderful. Kind of hard to place, but I'd say cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg... things like that. It's also very fruity, like passion fruit or something tropical. There's a hint of sourness in there as well. Maybe some banana? It's just a pleasure to sit back and take in this aroma! Now for the flavor. A wave of caramel sweetness with the aforementioned spice twang riding in on top enters your mouth ever so smoothly. A bit of hop bitterness is detectable when it hits the middle. Cherry bourbonish flavor. Dark fruits are present throughout (raisin and plum). Some berries here and there. Slightly bready in the malt department besides the caramel. Wonderful mouthfeel. Smooth, thick, and rich. The finish is just as smooth as the rest. I want to say it's full-bodied, but it's so subtle. I'd say medium-full. I would never have guessed at the 10% abv if I hadn't looked at the bottle. A great beer to relax with, incredibly drinkable. Overall, this is one of the best beers I've ever tasted! An excellent pick for my 100th, I must say. I'm speechless!

hyuga, Jan 22, 2003
Photo of rosebud
4.97/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pure enjoyment from the 1st sip. The aroma was that of fresh baked fruitcake. The taste was like chocolate covered cherries, with it starting off sweet and finishing dry. The creamy texture stays in your mouth and in your glass forever. I took a chance on this beer and it was a chance worth taking, truly an amazing tripel, and a must have no matter what time of year.

rosebud, Jul 30, 2002
Photo of RBorsato
4.97/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Solid brown with a full creamy light brown head that lasts, lots of sediment, great carbonation, and sheets of lace (but unpredictable). Turns a good bit darker when sediment is poured. Aroma is lightly sweet with lots of other complexities: Dark fruits, spicy, raisins, etc... Big fruity flavors (and burps) and much like it smells. Medium bodied; creamy and airy at the same time if that's possible !!

A great Belgian -- very complex !! A must buy and must try !

Label states "Belgian Dark Ale"

Purchased: 11/16/02
Tasted: 02/11/04

($6.29 / 25.4 oz. Green Champagne style bottle - Corked and capped)

RBorsato, Feb 17, 2004
Photo of mzwolinski
4.97/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yippie! I’d been looking forward to this one for a while, but it takes a special occasion to break open a bottle this big of a brew this potent. On second thought, no it doesn’t. Being alive is occasion enough! Lovely garnet in color with some sediment floating about. Medium sized, light tan head fades to a moderate, creamy and persistent top. The aroma is simply to die for. Malty sweet, maybe a bit nutty, with a healthy dose of candi sugar and a deep fruitiness. God I love these Grand Cru’s. Taste starts off sweetly malty, perhaps just a bit toasty, then becomes fruity with an ever-so-slight hint of tartness. Lightly peppery toward the finish. Sheesh, is there alcohol in this beer at all? If there is, it’s damn hard to find amidst the big creamy and oh-so-smooth body. Delicious. Treat yourself to a bottle – if you haven’t done something to deserve it yet, this beer will certainly inspire you to do so!

mzwolinski, Apr 18, 2003
Photo of rkhaze
4.97/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a slightly hazy red/amber. Medium sized dense and rocky tan head. Lots of suspended yeast and carbonation. Big aromas. Earthy sweet malt, sticky fruits (red and tropical) a port like woodiness and tart yeast.
Gutsy flavor bordering on musty before all the malt, ripe fruits and herbal notes kick in. Brown sugar sweetness and a fortified wine alcohol note. Hints of nuts, wood and yeast in the finish. Exceptional melange of flavors.
Medium bodied with a soft carbonation that makes this a very drinkable offering. The 10% alcohol is hidden well until it warms up the stomach. Very well done.

rkhaze, Dec 27, 2003
Photo of mickeymac
4.97/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Now this is what Belgian beer is all about. It pours a beautiful reddish brown with a smallish head that disappears rather quickly. The smell is absolutely remarkable, with floral, fruit, and pepper/spice aromas on top of a slightly musty smell. I was almost afraid to start drinking it out of fear that I'd be left without that wonderful smell. However, the taste makes the next step more than worth it. Cherries, flowers, caramel, pepper, and a host of other flavors swim around and work together perfectly in this spectacular beer. The alcohol is warming but certainly not overwhelming; it doesn't taste or smell like a 10% beer. If you see this don't leave without out it. I can't wait to try the other beers from Abbaye des Rocs.

mickeymac, Jan 19, 2003
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special Brown from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 665 ratings.