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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

644 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 644
Reviews: 499
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 31
Gots: 25 | 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: jdhilt on 10-08-2005)
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Ratings: 644 | Reviews: 499 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

1.08/5  rDev -74.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Bottle says best by 2007 – and they weren’t kidding. Still, how something has turned this rank, I have no idea. The beer is an absolute pleasure to drainpour. It smells like an NYC alley, but worse, or like hot garbage, with a strong metallic-rust note to boot. Also like vomit. Just horrible. Also, overly foamy, like a Coke-float or something. From the appearance to everything else, nothing is even moderately acceptable about this brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 04:40:11 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

1.65/5  rDev -60.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

330 mL bottle poured into a McChouffe chalice... and then a CCB snifter to catch the overflow. This bottle gushed on me big time. The bottle date has been smudged off.

Appearance - So after the bottle erupted all over my hands and the counter, I could watch the stream of murky brown liquid pour into my glass. Chunks of sediment flowed with it. The huge head has specks of floaties all over it. I suppose the head retention is good, though...

Smell - Sour apples and some dry vinous malt aromas. It's be transformed horribly. Sour smelling, but not awful.

Taste - And it's awful. Astringent and the tartness is piercing in the most unpleasant way. Dry and bitter in the finish. Just not good.

Mouthfeel - Dry and leaves the flavors on the palate for far too long. The aftetaste is far worse than the flavor.

Overall - Drainpour and two dirty glasses. Great. Clearly an infected bottle and not a nice infection, either.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 02:35:38 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of Seabass1964
Seabass1964

Arkansas

1.75/5  rDev -58.4%

04-26-2014 06:55:43 | More by Seabass1964
Photo of Cresant
Cresant

Kentucky

2.17/5  rDev -48.5%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Poured this 11.2 oz. brown bottle into a Chimay goblet. Dated "best before: 2008" Difficult to read due to smudged ink. This one felt lumpy as I poured. I thought I was imagining this. I poured gently from a bottle that had been resting upright in my fridge for weeks. When held to the light I could see chunks of gelatious yeast (I hope). My beer looked like turtle aquarium sludge.

Smell was okay. Juicy fruit and later cola. Proceed, I carefully sipped...

Taste was sweet raisins and somewhat tangy/sour. Pleasant but I could not handle the texture. I got a kitchen strainer and poured this into another glass. I didn't strain out much but broke up the huge chunks. As it warmed further it had a cola-like quality. I could not finish this one due to the nasty texture and foul impression it made.

From reading other reviews I see this "chunkiness" is rather common.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2007 13:45:00 | More by Cresant
Photo of bowersdm
bowersdm

Ohio

2.42/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

11.2 oz bottle poured into an oversized wine glass.

A - brown color, like apple cider, with no head so speak of save for a thin film of carbonation. The beer had a chunky appearance (I didn't pour the yeast in.)

S - very sweet, but weak: sweet malts, cherries, grapes, apples. Overall, it seemd kind of vinous and almost doppelbock like, but it wasn't strong and it wasn't complex.

T - sweet malt, yeast, some spice and a grassy hop-like finish. that's it. none of the complexity that I heard of. It's a very weak BSDA and definitely one of the worst that I've had.

M - pretty good, considering they (the brewers) couldn't seem to get any of the other parameters right.

D - I'll stick to Rochefort, St. Bernardus, and Chimay. This one just doesn't cut it.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2009 08:40:21 | More by bowersdm
Photo of PBoegel
PBoegel

New York

2.65/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from 11.2 ounce bottle with a best by 2012 on the label, into a Chimay Goblet.

The beer began to gush and foam over about opening and I could see the yeast and sediment shooting off the bottom as if it was a lava lamp.

The beer poured deep reddish brown with chunks of sludge out of the bottle that you could actually feel as they plopped out into the glass.

The appearance was murky and uninviting with a very poor head.

Smell was sweet, slightly fruity, some flower like notes. The taste was sweet, slightly woody, earthy and lightly sour. The texture was just awful and the mouthfeel was slick, oily and carbonated like a soda with popping fizz.

This beer was awful. Based on the overall ratings on BA my guess is that it is a hit and miss of getting a stable bottle, but I am not playing Russian Roulette at $6 a pop. I will stick with Rochefort, Chimay and Westmalle among some other top Belgians. The brewery and the importer should be sending refunds out for their unstable product.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2010 16:36:31 | More by PBoegel
Photo of ChampionJaguar
ChampionJaguar

Illinois

2.78/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bias alert - I'm not into hoppy beer.

I should avoid reading reviews before writing them because I had such high expectations and I'm severely disapointed. I poured the 750ml bottle into a St. Bernadus goblet and it's a looker - a nice head and pretty dark redish brown color looks just like you would expect from a great Belgian brown. That's where the joy ended for me.

Smells like hops and hops and a touch of caramel malt. Nothing special to be found here.

The taste - well I don't like hoppy beer and I'm noticing that on this site many people do like hoppy beers - even when they are hopped beyond what the style normaly calls for. All I taste is the friggin' hops and a touch of sweetness with just a faint sour in the finish. I guess this is fairly complex if you can get past the hops but after about 6 ounces - I still can barely taste past the hops. It's a shame really because I think there's a good malt backbone here - if only it wasn't so buried. After about 15 minutes in the glass and at room temperature - I still taste hops over anything else. There is a slight plum-like yeast finish that's kind of nice but hardly what I'd rate a perfect 5.

The mouthfeel is nice as the relatively high carbonation work well with the high alcohol content. This almost feels like a Delerium T in that it's bright but warm.

This has low drinkability for me and I honestly wanted to just pour it down the sink after the first 10 or so ounces. This is just too bitter and I'd swear someone snuck a hoppy microbrew in this bottle if I didn't know better. If it had an American lable on it - I'd be impressed - but knowing this is a Belgian ale - I'm disapointed and knowing that this is rated among the top Belgians on this site concerns me. This is in no way better than any trappist, any 't Smisje, any De Dolle etc etc. Taste is relative and if you're a hop-head looking to get into Belgians - maybe this is your gateway.

Upon reading more reviews I'm noticing that few others have called this hoppy - my bottle says best by 2008. Did I get a different year than what other people are reviewing? I'm aware I've presented the lowest rating so far and I'll stand by it.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2005 02:13:54 | More by ChampionJaguar
Photo of klewis
klewis

Ohio

2.88/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Best by 2008

A: Caution! This bottle was very highly pressurized, and I lost a bit upon opening. (Other reviewers mention a corked bottle; I didn't get one.) Pours a murky brown with a big foamy head. Huge gelatinous globs of sediment fill the glass. A bit of sediment is fine, but this looks kind of gross, or it would otherwise get a 5 here. Lots of lacing on the glass.

S: Odd aroma. There's a bit of fruitiness, but also something unpleasant that I can't quite describe... meat maybe?

T: Sour and spicy with fruity flavors and notes of sourdough, lemon, and a bit of Belgian funk. The alcohol is well hidden.

M: Medium-full in body with moderate carbonation. A bit of warming from the alcohol. The sediment is noticable as it slides down the throat. eeewww...

D: I could probably deal with the sediment if the taste was better, but alas. I'll finish the bottle without too much trouble, but I won't be buying this again.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2006 23:47:04 | More by klewis
Photo of jujubeast6000
jujubeast6000

Texas

2.95/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Reviewed 12/2/2007 (bottle BB 2010):

Darkish brown body, fizzy w/sediment suspended but quickly settling. Foamy off-white head, average & somewhat lasting. Very strong dark grape/plum aroma. Some alcohol, some floral. Some bourbon-like aroma. Some of that bourbon in the taste, floral aftertaste. Some alcohol but mostly dark plummy taste. Goes good with chocolate, it mutes the flavors. Better as it warms.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2008 21:23:57 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of Stoutsman
Stoutsman

Kansas

3/5  rDev -28.7%

01-14-2012 21:57:26 | More by Stoutsman
Photo of Zachtheporter
Zachtheporter

Wisconsin

3/5  rDev -28.7%

03-20-2013 02:58:04 | More by Zachtheporter
Photo of jwinship83
jwinship83

Illinois

3/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

750ml capped bottle that started to gush before the cap was even fully off. theres a best by date on that back of the bottle, but its too blurry to read. poured into my duvel tulip.

A- this one pours a murky brown with a long lasting and tall beige colored head that leaves a solid wall of lacing behind. more visible "floaters" than i have ever seen before.

S- this one smells lightly of vinegar and something funky. past its prime maybe? lots of summer fruits as well. apples, pears, and green grapes.

T- its starting to turn sour. pretty fruity with apples, pears, raisins, and green grapes. not at all what i was expecting but still nice.

M- vile. the "floaters" feel chunky on my tongue. this is the first time ive ever tried a beer with them and actually felt them. its hard to get past that. light to medium body with a high level of carbonation.

D- hard to finish. beer should not be chunky. strong candidate for my first drain pour. never again for this one.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2009 02:12:46 | More by jwinship83
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

3/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle poured into my Narke tulip...Shiney medium copper, much lighter on the sides. Lots of yeast floaties throughout. A tope head rises about two fingers, then falls quickly to a half finger full cap, decent lacing...The aroma is challenging to say the least, tea, yeast, alcohol, and vomit...The taste again is lots of yeast and iced tea, just not feeling this beer at all. Pass.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2011 04:00:21 | More by jrallen34
Photo of bskrtz
bskrtz

Illinois

3.03/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured cold to tullip shaped beer challice.

A) Dark root beer brown liquid with yeast floaties a-plenty. Surprizingly clear but very dark

S) Sweet molasses. Banana nut bread. Cookie dough.

T) Alcohol is a bit harsh. Sweet fruits -- dates, raisons and figs. Gingerbread pastry

M) I find this a bit flat.

D) This is my second try from seperate purchases -- both were a bit flat.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2009 22:25:05 | More by bskrtz
Photo of philipquarles
philipquarles

Connecticut

3.1/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

33cL bottle with BBD of 2011. Pours a hazy red-brown with a creamy beige head and a good deal of sediment. Smells very fruity with a bit of caramel. Plenty of orange makes it reminiscent of Cointreau. Sweet malt and dough taste. Lots of dark fruit character and a bit boozy with an almost cloyingly sweet, warming finish. Moderately thick body with a lot of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2009 02:51:04 | More by philipquarles
Photo of cdkrenz
cdkrenz

Wisconsin

3.13/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

I bought this brew from a liquor store in Milwaukee. I can't remember the name.

Appearance - Not the most attractive of beers. Redish brown with a lot of yeast residue. The head poured 2 inches + initially and faded to about an 1/8 of an inch which it held strong.

Smell - The scent is perfect. It has the sweet aroma of a strong Belgian brew with that hint of alcohol for a push.

Taste - Really not what I had expected. I can't get past the texture to enjoy the taste.

Mouthfeel - Like I said.

~ I really hope I got a bad batch/bottle because I've read great things about this brew. The other possibility is that I incorrectly poured the beer. If you read this and have some insight, please, drop me a message.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2007 00:54:21 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of sabrills70
sabrills70

North Carolina

3.13/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle capped green bottle with a best before end of date of 2008. Upon opening foam rolled freely out the top of the bottle. Pours a medium dark mahogony with a big head, longevity OK and just OK lace. Fair amount of sediment in the bottle, but not chunky sediment as I found in the standard brown ale. Lots of old malt smells. Dried dark fruits, brown sugar, yeasty and earthy. Big malt flavors up front again with dried dark fruits. A bit of an "off" flavor but I am not quite sure what it is. It's kind of an weird tartness/sourness, similar to what I had in a batch of homebrew once. Still drinkable but just an off flavor. Alcohol lingers in the finish. Overall an average brew and nothing to write home about. IMHO the standard brown ale is better.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2006 02:22:19 | More by sabrills70
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

3.18/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a dark brown color and a thick consistency. Lots of floaties. There was a half inch of foamy head and virtually no lacing.

S: Not a whole lot of smell here. Some dark fruit and malt, but little else.

T: Tasted of malt, dark fruit (figs, etc.) and a little hops. Not nearly as bold, flavorful or complex as some of its Belgian brethren.

M: A very average amount of carbonation with a somewhat slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This one was not my favorite. Not the worst thing ever, but definitely not a winner.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2009 03:29:35 | More by avalon07
Photo of Prufrock
Prufrock

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

25.6 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

pours a nice mahogany with half an inch of white head. a touch of sediment.

earthy sweet aroma. caramel, yeast, some raisins and sugar.

malty, sweet and a touch alcoholic. thick and richly smooth. toffee, cherries, yeast, and a sweet alcoholic kick. sweetness and alcohol get to be a little overwhelming after a while.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2006 01:49:57 | More by Prufrock
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.3/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 7/26/08. 33 cl bottle, I think it said best by 2/5/2008 but it was quite hard to read...in any event, an aged bottle. Pours a dark brown with a huge tan head. No floaties! Aroma of sweet fruit. Flavor of yeast and fruit. It seems that the age dulled any specific fruit notes, as I mostly just got general sweetness from it. I'd like to try this again, fresh, in a 750 as I think it would be a lot better. As it was, just ok.
7/4/6/4/13 (3.4/5)

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2008 23:45:00 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of BeerRun13
BeerRun13

California

3.33/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a super cloudy amber/ dark orange... quite dark orange. Too much carbonation, as I had to really let this one settle after a gentle pour. Nice eggshell head with some good lace after it calms down. Some floaties in there.
Sweet in the nose. A little banana/clovelike.
Good flavor, but nothing special. Actually quite 1 or 2 dimmensional. Sweet banana/clovelike with maybe a touch of candi.
Full bodied and highly carbonated. Dry enough but the sweetness is still there. Almost cloying.
Over rated in my opinion. At least I scored another 11.2 oz bottle for homebrew

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2007 22:41:40 | More by BeerRun13
Photo of AltBock
AltBock

Ohio

3.35/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml capped dark green bottle that has a plain and simple label of a stone walkway that is probably located in Abbaye des Rocs. In front of this stone walkway is their brewery crest. The back of the bottle has a small square label that contains the US Government warning, brewery address, US importer, refund value, proper glassware, proper serving temp, barcode, and a "best before end" year. Mine was best before the year 2009.

Appearance: When this beer was poured into a Corsendonk Christams Ale goblet, I found out that this "special brown ale" apeeared to be a dark cranberry amber, but as it turned out, it was actually a golden amber color. I couldn't but notice that all through out the appearance, there were at leat a million chunks of yeast floating around. These chunks of yeast made the beer look filthy. Anyway, it had a nice sized creamy head of white (almost tan) colored foam. This head of foam was self rising. Once you would pour the beer, the head of foam would self rise and overflow the glass. It didn't matter how much you poured, it always over flowed. Hell, the head of foam even did that from the bottle. Let's just say that it annoying real fast.

Smell: It wasn't the most complexed smelling Belgian beer out there, but it was still very good, but an average quality. In the beginning the aroma was fruity, almost grape like. That was it until it was swirled around. That is where the fruits completely left the aroma and a milk chocolate like aroma with a small spatter of fruity hops behind that emerges. Surprisingly, with all the yeast chunks floating around, there was no yeast in the aroma. There wasn't even a faint whiff of it.

Taste: For a beer that smells fruity as much as this beer, the taste wasn't fruity at all. Instead it was lightly malted with faint sweet tea leaves, milk chocolate, and a quick splash of roasted citrus hops at the finish. And just like the aroma, surprisingly there was also no yeast in here. I couldn't figure out why it didn't come through. There weren't that many flavors in the taste to cover it up. The taste was kind of a let down. I honestly though there was going to be more flavors in the taste.

Mouthfeel: This beer had a simply slick mouthfeel! Where was the 9.50% ABV? It wasn't in the taste and it certainly wasn't in the mouthfeel. That was great and all, but there wasn't much of an aftertaste here. The only aftertaste was that of lightly toasted malts, tea, and yeast. Oh, so this is where the yeast comes into play. It's about time. Talk about being late.

Drinkability: I really felt that this beer didn't have much to offer, except for the fact that it masked its alcohol content. There wasn't much of an aroma to it and there wasn't much of a taste to it either. I know I said it before, but it's true. This beer was a let down. I won't be forking over any more money for this Belgian beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2008 22:44:39 | More by AltBock
Photo of scooter231
scooter231

New York

3.38/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer has me going back and forth- I think I like it, then I think I don't. It's very pretty, pours a dark coppery red with lots of a creamy colored tan head, very inviting looking. The smell is orangey, with hints of other citrus flavors, and I get some almond in there as well.

Taste was a little disappointing to me after the smell- it's quite different. Coffee, chocolate, toffee, and some dark juicy fruityness. Way sweeter than I'd have thought. Mouth feel is nice, a bit heavy though. Not too much carbonation, but there's a sliiiight sour aftertaste that's not so tasty to me.

Overall I'd say this is a good beer, but the drinkability factor, not so much. It's too heavy, and way too sweet after a while- and it's just so bumming when things don't taste the way they smell, especially when you think they smell soooo good.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2005 10:37:48 | More by scooter231
Photo of tomordonez
tomordonez

Florida

3.38/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It pours into a nice head. It comes with chunks of something other than yeast. Smells like raisins. Guess what, it has raisins. That tiny spec floating on top of the head is fermented raisin. Very nice smell. Medium carbonation with a heavy body. Very very rich. Too rich and too sweet. This could be a meal. I prefer the regular non grand cru.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2014 02:16:39 | More by tomordonez
Photo of BitterLover
BitterLover

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 1 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle. The "Best before end" year was 2008. I bought this bottle for my wife because she likes brown ales. But once she saw the floaters in it, she would have nothing to do with it. And this was even after the bottle had sat undisturbed in the back of my fridge for weeks.

A - Dark reddish mahogony color with a three fingers head (must have poured it too vigorously). The tan head died down pretty quickly tho, leaving just an 1/8" thick skin on the top of the beer that was speckled with darker flecks. Curious about these flecks, it was at this point that I noticed that the beer was chock full of some sort of sediment that looked like parsley flakes or something. It reminded me of the scene from "Strange Brew" where the boys poured the beer out of their dog's bowl into a glass for their Dad. :-)

S - Mostly smelled like brown, sticky stuff -- molassas, brown sugar, caramel and brandied fruit. Nice and malty.

T - Really sweet, with a faint sour note on the finish.

M - I'm trying to detect the copious flakes on my tongue, but I really can't. They must be very diaphanous and just melt. Very thick and heavy mouthfeel.

D - Too sweet for my taste, but I'm sure my wife would have liked it if it hadn't been for the detritus.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2007 16:10:02 | More by BitterLover
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Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special Brown from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 644 ratings.