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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

647 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 647
Reviews: 499
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 32
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 647 | Reviews: 499 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of soulgrowl
soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

3.38/5  rDev -19.9%

Appearance: An unstoppable spray of foam emerges from the bottle upon opening, spilling more than half the beer on the floor. Great. Freshness date indicates that this is not a bad bottle, and it was not shaken. Pours a reddish chestnut color with a mockingly pathetic head.

Smell: Sour yeast, citric and estery hops, nice nutty malts.

Taste: Earthy, tart, leafy, kind of fruity. Not as complex as I would have hoped, but not bad. Something about this makes me want to pair it with Indian food. Overall, sweet and sour dominate, but the finish is quite yeasty and dry.

Mouthfeel: Flat, thin, powdery from the yeast.

Drinkability: I'd like to try this again, because I have a feeling this bottle was something of an aberration in all departments. Still, it is not a bad beer, and it hides its alcohol well.

04-17-2006 08:36:48 | More by soulgrowl
Photo of morebeergood
morebeergood

Massachusetts

3.38/5  rDev -19.9%

Picked up a bottle at Bauer on Newbury Street for this past Friday night. After popping the cap, I got some overflow, not quite an explosion, but enough to spill down the sides. After letting it settle down a bit, I poured myself some into a Belgian chalice. Wow, there were a lot of chunks of yeast. Too many, almost to the point of distraction. I let the glass sit for a bit, and upon first taste, I liked it. The taste was of caramel and fruit, with a smoothness that hid the alcohol level. But those chunks, they are hard to ignore. For the second glass, I poured extremely slow, and most of the yeast stayed in the bottle. This was an enjoyable beer now. But the third and final glass was 1/3 yeast chunks, so not so great. This is a great tasting beer, but I think I'd only get it on draft, and never in a bottle again.

10-20-2007 19:22:09 | More by morebeergood
Photo of trevorjn06
trevorjn06

Washington

3.4/5  rDev -19.4%

This is labeled as a "Belgian Special Brown Ale" and is 9.5% ABV. That's really all I know about this beer.

Pours a mahogany/dark copper with good clarity. A thick, tan head recedes quickly.

Aroma is dark fruits, raisins and figs with some caramels and very light toastiness. Fairly straight forward but pleasant.

Taste is a bit thin, it includes raisins, light fig and a bit of caramel. The finish is lacking of richness and leaves a thin, malty flavor with a slight phenolic edge. There are hints of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly syrupy on the finish.

Overall very underwhelming. Lacks complexity and is too sweet.

07-30-2011 21:44:55 | More by trevorjn06
Photo of becktone
becktone

Ohio

3.43/5  rDev -18.7%

This Belgian Strong Dark pours an opaque cloudy light brown color. The head- cascading during and for a short amount of time after pour- is an off white tea stained color. The size and retention of the head are alright, lacing however could be improved. Compared to the other Belgian Strong Darks that I've had this one doesn't look quite as good.

The beer smells of dark fruits-perhaps raisins-, caramel and there is a faint smell of alcohol. The nose is all around is fairly weak and I think it could be improved if it were a bit more pronounced. Smells good, but again I've smelled better.

On the tongue this beer is pretty good one of the first things I notice is that the taste doesn't linger very long. This beer is pretty short lived on the palate. Lots of sweetness in the flavor of this beer. Sweet caramel and candi flavors abound in this beer, but it isn't as complex or nearly as good as others I've had. Alcohol is also apparent in the flavor and adds a nice dimension. The dark fruit aroma is somewhat precievable in the flavor, but isn't noticed unless its looked for. Overall this is a good brew, but it fell short of what I expected. Flavor of this beer is perhaps it's most redeeming quality.

As mentioned above this beer is short lived on the palate. I don't like that quality about this beer. It makes it too easy to drink and too easy to forget what it tasted like. The mouthfeel was a little lighter than I expected, espicially for such a big beer. I would buy this beer again, however with so many Belgian Strong Dark Ales that I've not yet tried this is one that I prolly won't be coming back to any time soon. Its good but not good enough to get me hooked on this specific beer.

Note: reviewed as listed stylistically on this site, I realize that this is not A Strong Dark but is really Brown Ale, ohh my first one.

07-22-2006 23:33:56 | More by becktone
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

3.43/5  rDev -18.7%

11.2 oz. bottle, review #1500, my 100th review was an Abbaye Des Rocs beer, so it seems appropriate for another milestone,

A: Pours a reddish copper brown with a very long lasting off-white head which was a real gusher upon opening.

S: Candi sugar, cake batter, molasses, reminiscent of Prior 8.

T: Definite dark fruit, raisins, cardamom, very yeasty. Too boozy for me on the back end, but classic Belgian flavours.

M: Medium-bodied, light ethanol burn going down, very soft carbonation.

D: A solid Belgian Dark, this needs some aging for sure to lessen the EtOH, not too drinkable at this point, but something to retry with a couple years on it.

06-02-2010 05:55:25 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of jcalabre
jcalabre

California

3.45/5  rDev -18.2%

orginally sampled on 25 March 2003. Huge white head w/ big bubbles & a slightly hazy golden brown color are the first things that catch your eye. It's very thick on the tongue, notes of honey & dried fruit abound. It has some complexity, but not on the order of some other well known beers. It's an elegant brew.

06-15-2003 19:39:50 | More by jcalabre
Photo of Sneers
Sneers

New Jersey

3.45/5  rDev -18.2%

Best by April '12. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours an intense yet dark red-brown with orange highlights, capped with a thick, frothy ecru head. The matter suspended in the glass, however, is far less than appealing. Small globules of yeast/protein/whatever, are present en masse, and I've even had this carefully stored upright for months.

The first notes of the aroma are of slightly tart cherries and a bit of yeasty esters. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot more going on here.

The taste is bold and cidery, with said cherries. There's an ever so slight bitterness present, as is there alcohol. Sweetness is there to keep things in check and stays in the background; it reminds me of dark, caramelized sugars. The finish is quite dry. Overall, the taste gets better with warming, with the sweetness especially coming through.

The mouthfeel is pretty full and supplemented by a generous carbonation. The sediment globules aren't noticeable, which is appreciated.

This is really a pretty good beer. While it meets what I expect from the style, and the taste is great, it lacks the complete package of what I expect from BSDAs. If you're into the style, I recommend checking it out; if you're just dabbling with Belgian beer, your money might perhaps be better spent elsewhere.

05-09-2011 01:27:44 | More by Sneers
Photo of keithmurray
keithmurray

New York

3.48/5  rDev -17.5%

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Duvel snifter

Appearance - Redish brown color, aggresive pour yielded no head. Lots of sediment floating around on this one

Smell - This smells sweet and rich, brown sugar, plums, raisins, red wine, grapes

Taste - Feels like I'm drinking red wine instead of a belgian brown. Red wine, grapes, booze is prominent

Mouthfeel - So much Sediment floating around in this one that the first couple of sips felt like a slushie, remove the sediment and the mouthfeel on this one is a bit thin for a Belgian ale, no carbonation to speak of here, which is puzzling me a bit

Drinkability - compared to other BSDA's I've had, this is far down the list in terms of beverage quality. I may have gotten a bottle that wasn't stored in optimal conditions, but with all the nice choices out there for BSDA's and factoring in the price (~$6 for 11.2 oz) I can't see myself re-visiting this one.

12-14-2010 04:30:25 | More by keithmurray
Photo of sammy806
sammy806

Maryland

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

08-08-2012 01:03:00 | More by sammy806
Photo of Kahlerbock
Kahlerbock

Kansas

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

01-27-2012 16:20:52 | More by Kahlerbock
Photo of davidwhatshisnam
davidwhatshisnam

New York

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

06-19-2014 01:30:56 | More by davidwhatshisnam
Photo of allbrigs
allbrigs

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

03-08-2013 04:57:55 | More by allbrigs
Photo of bunnyhustle
bunnyhustle

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -16.4%

Interesting beer...Pours rich brown into chalice glass with good thick head with great retention, very little lacing. Lots of sediment! I've never seen anything like this, I dont know if its this bottle of what but there are large chunks, the settle in the glass leaving the last drink undrinkable. Smell is of alcohol, yeast, bread, and sour tart fruit. Taste is good, they got something right here. Taste is of raisin and some alcohol, tart cherry, a bit of apple, and a warm caramel sensation as it goes down. Lower carbonation with a medium mouthfeel. This beer tasted good to me but I couldnt get over the large amount of sediment in the little 11.2 oz. bottle.

12-07-2007 00:32:44 | More by bunnyhustle
Photo of Reaper16
Reaper16

Alabama

3.53/5  rDev -16.4%

12oz. bottle served into a tulip glass

This is my second des Rocs beer of the night, and like the first one the Grand Cru comes hard with the gigantic, gross yeast/protein clumps. They look like genetic mutations. I'm pretty sure there was an entire episode of Fringe based around stopping these things from killing the world's population. These things are so big that the Vancouver Canucks should have been suiting them up at goalkeeper instead of Roberto Luongo. This is the Orbitz of beer. As for the color of the beer, it's a tawny, reddish brown. More red than brown when held to direct light. I poured this beer very, very gently, so as to prevent the man-sized floaties, so I generated next to no head. I won't hold that against the beer, especially considering that my strategy failed.

This actually smells damn good for a brown ale! Brown malt meets breadcrusts as the base, but touches of wild honey, cinnamon, and white flowers round things out. Very cool. My only complaint is that the aroma is too subdued. I like what's here, there just isn't very much of it.

Of course, as I say that about the aroma I want the very opposite thing done about the flavor. It's too spiced, too floral, too herbal. The malt character gets somewhat lost amidst the aggressive spices. But this is nitpicking. This is certainly an above average Belgian take on the Brown Ale. It ventures too close to being potpourri to be considered "good" though.

The mouthfeel here, if you can somehow strain the floaties out, is adequately spritzy with carbonation. Perhaps a little hollow in the body, but nothing too egregious.

Overall, this beer from Brasserie des Rocs is a vast improvement of their "Tripel Imperiale" that I had earlier tonight. This has more unique flavors and doesn't just rely on base sweetness. If you like brown ales then this is something you should go out and try.

06-15-2011 03:39:01 | More by Reaper16
Photo of Eldyr
Eldyr

Texas

3.53/5  rDev -16.4%

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.

05-30-2013 23:44:33 | More by Eldyr
Photo of nomad
nomad

Kansas

3.55/5  rDev -15.9%

Poured a resplendent mahogany color, with a head that exploded and then fell faster than any beer I’ve ever seen. Had tons of carbonation so the cream-colored foamy head sat well. Surprisingly, had mediocre lace. Smelled of cherries, oak, and an alcohol scent, but rounded nicely. Taste was oaky from middle through finish, with a nice true cherry flavor up front. Tasted some roast and “green” flavors at the end – hops, yeast, both?. Left an oily and creamy coating on the tongue. A decent example of the style, but a bit basic and not as fascinating as some others (Allagash, hmmmm....)

08-08-2003 17:13:14 | More by nomad
Photo of tjthresh
tjthresh

Indiana

3.58/5  rDev -15.2%

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.

08-24-2005 12:35:19 | More by tjthresh
Photo of argock
argock

Virginia

3.58/5  rDev -15.2%

Poured from a 11oz brown bottle into a clear oversized wine glass. Enjoy by 2011 date on side of label. Single purchased at Stein's Deli (New Orleans, LA) for $3.79. Review from notes.

A: Velvety brown with thin cap of off-white head and no lace rings.

S: Candy sugar and herbal hops are the most prominent, but sweet alcohol is also easily detected.

T: Very heavy and distinctive alcohol presence detracts from the overal whole. Herbal hops are layered on a very complex mix of sweet maltiness with more than a little candy sugar accentuation.

M: Medium-bodied with average carbonation for style with a highly alcoholic aftertaste.

D: This one NEEDS some cellar time -- too boozy for me but I bet it grows into something impressive.

10-19-2009 02:36:51 | More by argock
Photo of Rassputtin
Rassputtin

Pennsylvania

3.6/5  rDev -14.7%

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.

05-14-2011 00:24:50 | More by Rassputtin
Photo of twelvsies
twelvsies

Maine

3.6/5  rDev -14.7%

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.

06-09-2005 01:00:34 | More by twelvsies
Photo of IceAce
IceAce

California

3.6/5  rDev -14.7%

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!

01-07-2006 08:16:30 | More by IceAce
Photo of Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

3.61/5  rDev -14.5%

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.

08-14-2013 02:44:27 | More by Dope
Photo of NiceGuyMike
NiceGuyMike

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -14%

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.

12-28-2005 04:47:34 | More by NiceGuyMike
Photo of Sixpack595
Sixpack595

Michigan

3.63/5  rDev -14%

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.

05-07-2004 08:02:18 | More by Sixpack595
Photo of ryanonline
ryanonline

Florida

3.63/5  rDev -14%

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....?

01-05-2010 05:47:59 | More by ryanonline
Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special Brown from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 647 ratings.