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

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Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special BrownAbbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special Brown

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676 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 676
Reviews: 507
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 10.69%
Wants: 37
Gots: 31 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a. visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jdhilt on 10-08-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 676 | Reviews: 507 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Zekenyce
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of Viggo
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a chunky ruby red/brown, medium off white head, lots of sticky lace. Smell is sweet, molasses/caramel, orange, spice, alcohol, chocolate/coffee, yeast, and cherries. Taste is molasses/brown sugar, apple/pear, cherry, yeast, chocolate, caramel and orange. Mouthfeel is smooth, medium to high bodied, medium carbonation, lives up to reputation. Thanks DrJay!

Photo of John
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy brown with floating and suspended yeasties. Head is quickly reduced to a creamy, swirly layer of foam. Aroma consists primarily of dark ripe fruits, carmelized sugar and a whiff or two of alcohol. Initial taste is tart with tight carbonation. Mouthfeel smooths out as the brew warms. Flavors are a blend of fruity esters; raisins, prunes, dates and a bit of a yeasty tartness. A mild ethanol burn follows each sip. The sweetness of this beer has moments of stickiness, but is never cloying. Not quite as spicy as some grand crus, but a solid, very tasty dark Belgian strong ale.

Photo of stof0048
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep hazy brown with hints of red and a slightly tan head that sits between 1/4 - 3/4". Heavy lacing coats the glass as I drink it down.

S: Dark malts, slightly sweet smell, complex.

T: Dark malts, slightly candied flavor (plums, brown sugar...), hint of alcohol but it is well balanced with the other flavors.

M: Very smooth, medium to full bodied, has an almost creamy texture, quite nice!

D: A little on the sweet side to drink a lot of this stuff, but still a winner. This is perhaps one of the best brown ales I've experienced... and I mean experienced, not consumed. Very good to curl up with, especially on a cold winter night and enjoy with the closest of friends!

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

We’ve got a gusher here.

Pours a very murky amber with some head. Nose is extremely sweet. Cherry seems to be on the nose. Flavor is strong with caramel, but doesn’t stay constant. It moves and shifts and takes you on a bit of a ride. Starts off extremely sweet and smooth and then gets calmer, though not for lack of character. Feel is nice. Smooth with a touch of bubble. For a 10% you don’t really feel it...extremely drinkable.

Photo of ipogios
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

To start with... the appearance of this beer is excellent. Pours a moderate brown colour which is topped with a nice head which settles rather easily. The smell is quite good with hints of caramel. The taste is simply STRONG and makes your mouth really feel this beer. A very good Dark Strong Ale with 10% alcohol level. Especially with this beer DON'T drink and drive

Photo of whartontallboy
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish-brown pour from a 750 with a huge beige head of creamy meringue; looks downright delicious and leaves ridiculous sheets of lace in my St. Bernardus goblet. Really one of the 4-5 best-looking beers I've ever seen.

Smell is quite malty and sweet, with a nice fruitiness that speaks of peach, plum, and other dark fruits.

Flavor is incredibly complex, with a nice mix of malty sweetness that's permeated with a certain candy-sugariness, a nice punch of fruit (again, I'd say it's plum, raisin, orange, and grape), a slight minty flavor, and, as it warms, a little bit of roasted smoke flavor in the finish. Very nice. The only hint of the massive ABV is a slight note in the finish; it's really, really well-masked.

Overall: Wow, this one is killer. One of the better Belgian ales I've tried, and that I got it for seven bucks a bottle makes me even more excited. You could pay a lot more for a brew, but I'm not sure you could find one that tastes much better.

Photo of walleye
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

from the bottle. poured brown with lots of bubbles and with a big and I mean big fluffy light tan head. aroma lots of fruits going on here, cherries, peaches, and a trail mixture of dried fruits, malt. flavor, malts all those fruits, honey . caramel, chocolate covered cherries and brown sugar as it warmed. like this one nice and smooth very drinkable

Photo of nickss
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bad first impression!... I open the bottle only to have about an ounce of it explode out of the top in the form of foam.
However, first impressions are quickly overcome as I pour the brew into the chalice. Deep ruddy brown with some ruby highlights, capped by a beautiful 2" head which refuses to subside.

Wonderful berry notes mingled with a spicy alcohol aroma. A certain breadiness as well... quite nice, yet not as pronounced as I would like.

Huge and complex... a very nice tasting brew. Berries, chocolate, cookie dough... fantastic.

Crisp with some heady carbonation, but moderately thick. Nice.

Quite drinkable for a brew of this abv. 9.5%, youve got to be kidding.

Photo of tastybeer
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Best by 08)

Pours a very dirty auburn color and when held directly up to the light glows orange-red from the inside out. Heavily murky with noticeable suspended bits throughout. Head is small and retention is not more than a rim around the glass. No lace. Aroma is soft, sweet, and fruity with a touch of delightful intoxication. Dark juicy fruits, ripe green apple and green grapes blend into woody cocoa and vanilla. Its hard to break from smelling this. Taste matches aroma well but the maltiness becomes more distinct though still thoroughly blended. In aroma and flavor theres a fruity, alcoholic acidity which adds character. Carbonation is just about right and adds a light, even prickly sensation as you become aware of the alcohol, middle to finish. Mouthfeel is light in feel but approaching full in quantity. The texture is slick and is evenly coating. This is very drinkable especially with the high abv.

This is high on the yummy scale and I think I might have sucked it down a little too fast.

Photo of blaje
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours reddish brown,. Creamy white head topping the beer nicely and with a nice lacing. Many big floaters swimming around

N - fruits, alcohol, caramel, Figs

M -, creamy, sweet, bitterness is very mild. Medium to full body. Alcohol is not dominating, even with its 9.5%. Carbonation is medium. Feels oily and smooth

T - dark  and red fruits as present in nose. Sweetness of caramel, ,  figs, nuts, raisins.

Overall a very nice beer from this brewery. Well balanced and very drinkable.  good to comme back to belgian style beer after a few years of ruining my tastes buds with american hops. Very very pleasant.

Photo of geexploitation
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown with ruby highlights, off-white head with no lace but some staying power. Aroma hints at sweet tastes that lay ahead. Savory spice, beet sugar sweetness, and dusty yeast aromas compose the nose. On the palate, big carbonation first off, then nutty sweetness and a touch of fruity acidity. For a big, rich, beer this has a surprisingly light touch -- the yeast has left over plenty of fruity esters and, along with some bubblegum flavors and big carbonation, this makes for a light touch. On the bottom end, the palate has plenty of malty, dark candi sugar sweetness, along with some earthy, tobacco-like notes. Mouthfeel is pretty heavy, but lightened somewhat by present alcohol and big carbonation. Overall, this is a very good Belgian strong dark ale. Lots of sweet notes, good carbonation level, a bit heavy in mouthfeel, but all this is counterbalanced by light yeasty and fruity notes. Quite good.

Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into chalice, best before 4/5/2013. Pours very cloudy deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger foamy cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with plenty of carbonation streaming up retaining the head. Aromas of big raisin, fig, apple, pear, prune, fig, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, light chocolate, clove, pepper, and earthy yeast esters Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy esters and malty notes. Taste of raisin, apple, pear, prune, fig, caramel, toast, molasses, toffee, pepper, dark bread, light chocolate, clove, and earthy yeast esters. Lingering notes of light and dark fruits, caramel, pepper, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, floral, light chocolate, clove, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and complexity of fruity, peppery, and dark malt flavors; with zero cloying sweetness present on the finish. Medium-high carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy, fairly slick, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Very smooth to sip on for 9.5%. Overall this is an absolutely incredible Belgian strong dark ale! Big complexity and balance and fruity, malty, and spicy flavors; and extremely smooth to sip on the for the strength. An extremely delicious offering.

Photo of depechemode1983
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a medium mahogany color with pristine clarity aside from the huge chunks of particles floating around the bottom of the glass. The head is tan and thick and durable. There isn't too much lacing but enough to satisfy. The nose is full of dark fruits and candy sugars, with hints of spice. Figs, raisins, brown sugar, nutmeg and Belgian yeast make up and excellent and complex nose. I'm surprised alcohol doesn't come into play. It's completely hidden. There is an immediate candy sweetness in the taste, but not a cloying sweetness. Sweet figs take center stage here only this time the alcohol comes through just barely. The mouth feel is on par with the rest of the beer. It's full bodied, soft and with moderate carbonation. Some of the yeast particle can be felt on the tongue as the beer finishes from the glass. As far as Belgian Strong Dark Ales go this one is above par. The taste, smell, feel and appearance are second to none. Highly recommended to any Belgian lover. It makes a great substitute for a fine port as well.

Photo of SaintsFan
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

True to the name, it pours a dark brownish amber. Medium head with no lacing.

Very aromatic...brown sugar, malt, raisin. Excellent.

Taste is very sweet, with rich chocolate, caramel, and toffee, as well as the dark fruit. Slight alcohol burn in the finish. Quite a lot going on, and a real treat to drink.

Mouthfeel is a bit sticky and chewy, but appropriate for a beer of this complexity. Super drinkable.

A great beer from a great brewer.

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours deep reddish hazy brown with an almost ridiculously large tan head. Dissipation sets into nice lacings, but rather quickly.

S: Sourness (in a very nice way) with loads of dark dried fruits. Sweetness. Green apples and lemon sezt. Smells almost like molds – like an Oud Bruin and a Strong Dark Ale had a love-child. Some oaky notes.

T: Again the cross between Oud Bruin and Belgian Strong Dark Ale – man this is something else. Sourness and dark dried fruity sweetness in a great combination. Vinous, like a well aged red wine.

M: Aftertaste is rather short and holds nice sour but also sweet notes. Body is medium to full while carbonation is moderate. Smooth and nice.

O: Like I wrote above – a fun mix between a Oud Bruin and this style. Fantastic.

Photo of Zorro
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mildly cloudy brown brew.

Smell is of apple, with a laid back malt and spice scent with a touch of honey.

Taste is sweet and husky malt flavor with a woodiness to it. Lots of fruit and herb flavors to this one, the flavor shifts like a top notch Belgian should. There is a persistent bitter note to this that keeps it all balanced.

Mouthfeel is almost too much; you have to sip it.

Very drinkable brew, a sipper not a chug beer.

Photo of truthbrew
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Enjoyed on-tap at the Blue Nile (3/30/04).

Muddy brown color with fluffy, thick tan head. The keg at the Blue Nile was just transported and the beer was quite cloudy. Aroma was minimal but good, malty sweetness was evident. Excellent carbonation level, felt like millions of very small bubbles, not sharp at all. Reminded me of cask conditioned carbonation, though more of it. For a 10%ABV, a very easy to drink and well balanced beer.

Very cool having this beer on-tap, thanks to FeloniousMonk for getting a keg of this for the Nile.

Photo of scruffwhor
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle.

Appearance- Poured a nice one finger head swith steady retention and had a solid grip on the inside of the goblet with each sip. Even though this medium brown brew looks like brown shoe leather, you can still see the excellent and neverending lacing.

Smell- What a mix of peppery sweet malts and lilacs of all things. All wrapped around a sweet candied apple with a bubble gum accentuation.

Taste- Starts out with a gebneral apple and licorice sweetness. The lightly cooked malt then starts to make its presence known, but then turns into a sweet black cherry pie. The finish was a crushed black pepper.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth even though teh tongue got a litle grainyness from the yeast sediment.

I always have my doubts about my reaction to the best 100 beers of BA, but the flavor of this beer made things very clear. There is no doubt why this beer is one of the best beers on BA or in the world. This was a very rewarding beer.

Photo of sevineyes
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a brown bottle featuring arches on the label.

A: Started with about an inch of dense off-white head. Cloudy pecan in color.

S: Rasins. Sweet berries. Very clean smell. White grapes. Yeast tones. Crabapples. Something like a weak rum in there over time. Overall, not a very strong aroma.

T: Starts somewhat vinous. Leads to dark fruit flavors. Prunes. Tart like sour cherries and taffy. Caramel and toffee. Dark sugars. Sugared rasins. Finishes with dark cherry. Still pick up some berry flavors. Something like dried blueberries. Plum. Aftertaste is a lingering fruit sweet. Something in there like sweet tomato skins.

M: Nice body, not too heavy. Full and wet. Good balance of carbonation. Very smooth. Silky. Get a feel off my tongue like mint leaves would leave.

Overall: This is a dangerous beer. They just slip away so fast, but are just so enjoyable to drink. I really don't pick up on the alcohol hardly at any point. Very powerful flavor that just continues to evolve. Even now I'm finding more complexities to the flavor that I just can't describe. This is definitely not one to miss if you enjoy the style.

Photo of HogHill
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 purchased at Premier Gourmet in Buffalo NY. Best by date is 2007. Drank on a dreary, rainy night in June.

This one poured into my St. Bernardus chalice a reddish brown with a two finger tan colored head. Small bits of yeast slowly settle to the bottom of the glass.

Smell: dark malt along with some medicinal aromas and toffee.

Taste: Major malt backbone here provides sweet flavors of toffee and a little bit of caramel. Dark fruits like figs and prunes supplement that the taste along with some belgian dark candy sugar. Some black pepper on the finish, very rich and complex!

Mouthfeel: is medium bodied,with a awesome creamy feel despite modest carbonation.

Drinkability: well at 10% ABV (though the alcohol is more subtle) and being packaged in a 750, you've got your work cut out for you, much more enjoyable with dinner. That, or get a buddy and split this monster masterpiece.

Overall: I really enjoyed this Grand Cru it's a top notch dark strong ale for sure. I look forward trying more from the brewery, the Imperial Triple is next.

4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. Orval Chalice glass. Revisited on jul´12. Brownish color, reddish to the light. Light brown head & thick lasting crown. Belgian yeast, lots of sweet & fruity –caramel, brown sugar, figs & prunes- aromas to the nose. Flavors as expected: sweet & spiced, toasted malts. Chewing yeast sediments. Full body. Moderate carbonation. ABV well masked by dark ripe fruits in the middle. Kind of sweet flavor & gentle warming sensation in the finish. Delightful.

Photo of Fugazme
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice big gusher!

Settled down into a murky, brown color... giant head, but I had to pour fast. After a few minutes there was a nice fluffy head... excellent swirl and stick.

Complex nose with maple, fig, apricot, chocolate, yeast, spice, banana, orange... Huge and wonderful.

Pretty nice mouthfeel... silky upfront, full... a little alcohol bite on the back.

Bready smooth and yeasty flavor. Some good cola notes and a sweet finish.

Great beer.

Photo of marburg
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber color with offwhite head -- not nearly as carbonated as I was expecting for some reason. Baskets of ripened plums. Sugary sweet aroma pushes into a sweet palate highlighted by the way roses might taste if one were to eat roses. Something of an herbal tea taste. While more fruity in aroma, very floral in taste -- if that makes sense. I suspect that the semi-sweet finish is derived from some type of hops -- not really bitter but not really sweet. Just delicately balanced. Chunks of yeast sediment settle around the bottom of the glass but are easily stirred -- gives the beer a slightly heavier feel as you gulp a little much of it at the end. All in all, the sweetness is a tad powerful. But considering the abv on this, it's impressively well done.

Photo of drjay44
4.44/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

25.4 bottle. Served at the correct temperature, but unfortunately, exploded out of the bottle, and some of the precious liquids were lost. Thin creamy light head, with minimal duration, no lacing, over a cloudy, yeast chunked body (it reminded me of some of the stages one sees in waste water treatment plants- when floculation occurs)....nose is very complex, malty, yeasty, phenolic, licorice, cherry and other fruits...tastes are spicy, malty and fruit with cherry dominating the latter, a sweet malt finish. Mouthfeel quite good. This reminded me of Ommegang's "Three Philosophers" with added refinement.

Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special Brown from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 676 ratings.