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

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

509 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

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Reviews: 509
Hads: 693
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 50
Gots: 38 | 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:
Beer added by: rosebud on 07-30-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 509 | Hads: 693
Photo of adamette
3.76/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Live review. Poured from the 11.2 oz. brown bottle that I bought from Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor for $3.75 a few weeks ago into my silver rimmed Orval Chalice. "Best before end" of 09/01/2012 stamped on the lower right of the back label. My bottle features the name "Brasserie Des Rocs Grand Cru."

A Nice light brown creamy head over a brown only slightly translucent body with visible chunks of sediment that I could see as I poured from the bottle and are currently floating on the top of the liquid. Nice, classic look. Bump by 0.5 for a cool darker color on the head where the last pour was, a feature that reminds me of Westvleteren 4.5

S Sweet, bready malt and a nice Belgian yeast smell as well. 3.5

T Bread like sweet malt smell carries right over into the taste. The Belgian yeast smell is not as obvious in the taste and I simply do not taste the ABV listed at or about 10.0%. This, therefore, can be one of those beers that sneaks up you so be careful with this one! 4.0

M Big, thick, chewy, especially with the chunks of what I believe to be yeast sediment (I spooned a few of the larger ones out but felt several others go "down the hatch"). This is a big beer but it is smooth anyhow. Really good feel for the style. 4.5

D One and done for me with the size of the beer, the ABV and, I'll say it, the cost. $3.75 apiece will keep this from being a session beer. Of course I know that the beer is not trying to be a session beer, though. I think that the drinkability is on target for the style but not much higher than that. 3.0

Notes: BA lists it as a retired beer but my local store has about 10 of them with an expiration date in 2012 so maybe it is not retired? (1,694 characters)

Photo of Shaw
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep, deep cloudy ruby in color with some sediment, even after pouring carefully. Plenty of carbonation.

The smell is quite complex. I detect fruit like dates and raisins as well as nutty aromas and alcohol. It smells like a good fruitcake. There is also a light funky, earthy smell.

Its taste is equally complex. The flavors of raisins and dates and other fruits are quite apparent, while the high alcohol level is essentially invisible. Tastes of nut mix with some bread-like flavors. It needs just a bit more flavor, in my opinion.

The body is creamy and smooth, though a little light for me.

A fine strong dark ale. (625 characters)

Photo of nopucophop
3.74/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a gorgeous dark brown with a nice thick head. Although the head did not hold long the initial appearance really got my mouth watering. It was upon further looking I noticed this had a TON of floaters. So many I thought it may have been frozen. No ice just a bunch of floaters.

The smell was great! A nice sweet smell with a appley undertone and a touch of caramel.

The flavor is much as the smell. Sweet with that apple ester. The alcohol is not present and there really is no hop flavor. It has a ever so slight dry finish which really balances the sweet front nicely.

It is hard to get past all the floaters. Really brings a beer you can chew to a hole new light. It was well carbonated maybe a touch pringly with a creamy feel.

All in all this is a good beer that really goes down easy. I look forward to another one. I hope they are not all this full of floaters. I think it is a decent representation of the style. (935 characters)

Photo of aracauna
3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This had a great cherry and cotton candy aroma on the nose. The beer has a nice head on it with the color hinting at cherries as well. The cherry was a little less apparent in the flavor but the candy sugar flavor ther, almost a brown sugar flavor. It was a little too sweet almost. (282 characters)

Photo of Padron4KM
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle, best before 10/08.
Cloudy, hazy, brown with an orangeish tint. lots of yeast in suspension.
Aroma is dried cherries, chocolate, alcohol, yeast.
Flavor is tart cherries, chocolate, honey. a lttle yeast in there as well.
Alcohol for the most part is hidden well, starts out not noticable but as it warms in the glass it starts to peek out and burn the throat a little. (386 characters)

Photo of maddogruss
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a bottle of this from the Cloverleaf Tavern.

A: Pours a hazy kind of bloody, amber body with a small, off-white head with pretty decent retention and lacing.

S: A musky, fruity smell with some slightly bitter and alcoholic undertones.

T: A smooth, sweet toffee taste with a brown sugar sweetness to the taste. There was a pretty sweet, burnt toffee aftertaste as well. As the beer began to warm up, the alcohol made itself more present, but it was welcome and not overbearing to the taste.

M: A pretty smooth and light, medium-bodied mouthfeel that seemed ok overall.

D: An ok mouthfeel and taste combination. As I noted earlier, the alcohol makes itself evident as the beer warms up, adding a slight tartness and biting warmth to contend with the sweet toffee taste. Overall, a nice tasting beer. (806 characters)

Photo of jjayjaye
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

WARNING... recommend opening this product over or near a sink!

After the explosive eruption of foam settles..pours a slightly hazy dark amber color. The effervescence of tiny bubbles continues of course. Less than a full finger tan butterscotch colored head fades fairly quickly to surface. Little lacing observed.

A very sweet smell. Distinctly plum and molasses.

The flavor and smell are very much a like. The sweet fruitiness lingers slightly.

The immediate mouth feel tingles from the carbonation, but once that settles down there is a timid hop signature. The alcohol hides behind fruit, but the warmth is definitely present.

Drinkable but i'd prefer a more fig-like flavor. (694 characters)

Photo of JulieRFoster
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

I received this beer as a gift from a friend in Belgium, and force of circumstance (he gave it to me at 7am) meant that I brought it back to Paris, let it sit in poor conditions in my apartment for two months and then lovingly carried it back with me to the States. Therefore much of my perception of this beer is tainted by my horrible treatment of the bottle, but I enjoyed it all the same.
A friend who I shared this with characterized it as "Kind of like your standard good beer." Despite its sweetness, it had a good drinkability. The flavor was a little unbalanced with a little too much sugar, and a mouthfeel that was a little too light. The carbonation was good, and it would have been perfect if the texture was slightly more viscous. Of course, that's most likely a product of transport.
The nose was very pleasant, although not too complex: some strawberry and other red fruits (merteuille), a little oaky, lots of yeast and some alcohol (which detracted from its overall appeal).
I would describe the taste similar to how I described the appearance (if that makes any sense). It comes off kind of like a Flemish red ale; a cloudy burgundy yeasty color. However, this beer had a nice little bite, with a pinch of something peppery (which was delightfully augmented by the carbonation) and some strong malts that were subtly blended to be incredibly smooth (adding to its drinkability). This beer makes me think of Ghent - it's in Belgium, and it has lots of French Belgium characteristics, but everyone only speaks Flemish. (1,539 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
3.69/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a very dark amber/brown with a very full 2 finger off white soft head that melts slowly to sticky lace but still manages to cover the top of the beer with a quarter inch of foam.
Aromas are sweet toasted dark malts and candy.
Flavor is not as multi-dimensional as many Belgium's I've had. I catch the sweet amber malts, the brown sugar, the caramel, and a little of the dark fruits, but somehow it doesn't hit me like others. Possibly because I just finished a Trappist Rochfort 8, but then comparison is how you can rate equitably, no? (545 characters)

Photo of Auracom
3.67/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Holy crap I have so many reviews to catch up on. This was my first brew on my trip to New York; had this on-tap at the Old Toad in Rochester, served in a pint glass.

Pours a very dark, amber-like brown with a reddish tone to it (depending on lighting). Off white head is extremely thin with no retention or significant lacing. Looks just alright.

Aroma is strongly of estery fruit and yeast qualities, including caramel and a little breadiness. Flavor is similar - lots more yeast with malty sweetness, some fruit in the vein of tart apple, a little spice, a slight note of some dark fruit. There's an overlying bite to the drink that's kind of surprising.

Mouthfeel exhibits good carbonation, medium body, a longer finish that isn't all that dry, and a bready aftertaste.

All in all, it's just alright for drinkability. The taste is respectable but it's not all that inviting from the get-go and probably not worth a revisit from me. One positive note - had no clue this was 9.5% until just now. Very little abv presence in this drink. (1,043 characters)

Photo of sacfly
3.67/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish brown with big chunks circulating around, even with a gentle pour. Thin head of brown bubbles. The head is ever replenished due to the high carbonation on this one. Ginger immediately comes to mind in the aroma. Mild alcohol and a hint of spicy yeast. Taste follows suit almost to a tee. Light to medium body. I think this one is a bit past it's prime. Good, but glad it is retired... (400 characters)

Photo of budsboy
3.67/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best before 2008.

A creeping, slow eruption of white-tan foam on opening, champagne bubbles in there. Milky brown, tan head quickly shrinks back to a sticky residue on top.

Sugary, bready smell, plum, raisen, hint of citrus.

Phenols are apparent but not overwhelming. Spicy, fruity and sharp bitterness on the finish. I expected more, frankly.

Full-bodied and fluffy. Very gratifying.

A brew I couldn't wait to open, and it left me somewhat disappointed. Gets better as it warms. I just don't like phenolic beers, period. Even though this is only slightly so, it steals a bit from me. Still a fine beer, but not the kind to knock me for a loop. (659 characters)

Photo of botham
3.67/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a goblet. pours a deep caramel color with garnet highlights and a single finger of light tan head that dissipates in one minute. coarse sediment is suspended in the brew.

aroma is mildly sour, with fruit notes of raisen, apple, grape, and a bit of apricot. malt notes include caramel and a distant hint of roasted malts.

taste is mildly sour as well, with a sweet character and fruit notes of apple, grape, and raisen. the same caramel malt is present here as well, with a finish of residual fruit and a sweet and sour character.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with a strange feel from all the sediment (or suspended matter, as it is experienced). soft CO2 is prevalent, with a smooth finish.

drinkability is good. this is a rich brew with a notable amount of sediment in the brew (which was unavoidable from the pour), but that does not take away from the flavors present. a solid belgian. (915 characters)

Photo of shivtim
3.66/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A mean-looking beer. It's a clear red/brown, but with evil little chunkies floating in it. Good lacing. The nose is sweet and syrupy, with some sweet and tangy apple and a whiff of alcohol. Taste is again sweet and syrupy (a little too syrupy) but has some good hop flavor. Mouthfeel is fine, and drinkability is not bad for the ABV. (333 characters)

Photo of ryanonline
3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

dark brown pour and and a very big spritzy head that doesnt stick around and leaves little on the glass.

raisins and figs on the nose, maybe some dark cherries. toffee? i can't tell its got a lot of carbonation.

taste is the same but more earthy and sweet(brown sugar).

slightly creamy but too foamy for my taste.

too foamy and a little heavy, but not bad.

mine had a lot of sediment, i don't know if thats normal....? (423 characters)

Photo of Litterbean
3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden brown with a chunky head. Nice to look at.

There's a plethora of aromas in this one. I detected much sweetness, along with nuttiness, maltiness, and several different fruits, such as prunes and raisins.

The taste is sweet. I detect what seem like cashews mixed in with the aforementioned prunes. The beginning is a little watery, but it has a creamy finish. As I said, this is a sweet beer, a little too sweet. It seems like this one is just packed with sugar, and I can feel it on my tongue and lips after each sip. Not that great, I'm sorry. Above average, but not good. (593 characters)

Photo of bitterdestroyer
3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

i strike again. hiiiiyooo YES!!!

appearance: deep dark amber/brown like molasses

smell: nice bouquet of fruit and sugar cane. very nice, very belgian.

taste: very full bodied, nice mixture of sugar, fruit, and just the right amount of alcohol to make you respect and sip this grand cru. sweet and warm.

mouthfeel: very creamy, with a nice flow of carbonation.

drinkability: great, so long as you're only gonna have one 750ml of this bad boy. (457 characters)

Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark redish brown with a bit of a head, not much lacing. Smells of sweet plums. Tastes of sweet plumbs and hints of brown sugar. Warming alcohol that hits hard and fades quick, you get use to it.

Overall and interesting brew, but not overly impressive. (256 characters)

Photo of Dope
3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle states best before 06/08/2013. Whoops!

A: Gusher bottle, managed to save it. Pours a nice dark brown. Enormous fluffy light light brown head. Head takes forever to dissipate. Marginal lacing but great retention.

S: Big overripe dark fruits in the aroma. Sweetbread aroma too.

T: Hmph. Kinda funky overripe fruits from start to finish. There's raisin, dates, cherry, banana? A little brown sugar. Sweetbread malt, tastes like poundcake (had another beer that tasted the same just recently, funny). Kind of a sickly sweet aftertaste, like molasses maybe? No sign of alcohol at all.

M: Heavy and sticky.

O: Very interesting and unique BSDA. I honestly can't decide if it's good or bad. Lots of fruit and poundcake. Kinda odd flavors overall but at the same time I can't call it truly bad. Not sure if it's just old or if it just doesn't suit me. I gave it sorta middling scores, I didn't particularly enjoy it though I liked most aspects of it (none of that probably makes any sense). I tried to be nice due to the age (past the "best by"), this one clearly does not age well as I'm reading past aged reviews. (1,118 characters)

Photo of twelvsies
3.62/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What's all the hubub? I was really pumped to try this and honestly I was a bit let down. Sure, it's a good beer, but not particularly amazing, not even within its style. Appears a ruddy light brown, bubbly with a decent head. Smell is sweet and spicy, with pepper and a whif of orange or some fruit. Taste is much the same. This is a complex beer, certainly, but something about it just doesn't get me going. It really just reminds me of a beered-up tea or something, with some nutrasweet. Really I'm being a little harsh, it's a good beer, but judging by the scores here and reading the top reviewers takes on this one I was surprised when I found it to be a pretty typical Belgian Ale. (687 characters)

Photo of Sixpack595
3.62/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice looking ruby brew with a long lasting off white head. Aroma is biscuity, malty, sour and slightly fruity with a musty touch. Flavor is very complex whith overripe fruit, bannana, melon and more. The malty, sweet taste gives way to a spicy then sour finish. Mouthfeel is moderate. I rate it above average in taste and drinkability only because it is a very engaging beer. Theres so much going on that its hard to put down even if it does taste a bit funky. (460 characters)

Photo of IceAce
3.62/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml green bottle with a 'Best before end: 2007'

Pours a ruddy / hazy brown with moderate coagulation settling to the bottom of the glass. Light tan foam collar dissapates quickly leaving 20% lace on a beer-clean tulip.

Nose is rich with sweetly spiced apples and plums along with alcohol esters. Entry is an adventure with tiny-bubbled carbonation providing a wake-up call for the palate. Midtaste shows candi sugar, plums and alcohol soaked raisins.

The finish features a nicely funked earthy Belgian yeast fade with just a little warming of the throat from the 9.5% abv.

Many thanks to Brewfan for trading this to the Left Coast! (646 characters)

Photo of Rassputtin
3.61/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best by 16/10/2012

Pours deep brown. Inch of off white head moderate cling. Lots of suspended globlets.

Smells of tarty fruits but not quite sour. Carmal, malty.

Taste is fruity a little but ends carmally and malty. Strong aftertaste.

Mouthfeels is good, kind of dry
Decent beer not quite my style. (303 characters)

Photo of Eldyr
3.6/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nice aroma and coloring. Banana notes and estery aromas and flavors typical of the Belgian Dark style. To much alcohol on the middle and end and the flavors in-between are lost to the strong alcohol. Somewhat of an astringent bitterness also that, while not overpowering, is noted in the middle taste. Likely a better winter beer than summer. Might be slightly better oaked or fresh from the tap. (396 characters)

Photo of tjthresh
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Rich malts and sugars, Belgian yeast character, all very subdued. Ruby/garnet with a lasting dirty white head. Nice clarity. Very soft flavor. It will kick you in the ass if you are not carefull. Lots of bubbles as it folls over the tongue. I enjoy this a lot. (260 characters)

Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special Brown from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 509 ratings.