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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

509 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 509
Hads: 694
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 52
Gots: 37 | 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: 694
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Bier Academy in Canyon Country, CA.

Best by 2/12/13.

Pours a murky dark brown with a 2 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap. No lacing forms on the drink down. A ton of sediment is suspended in the beer after the pour. Smell is of toasted malt, dark fruit, toffee, spices, leather, and alcohol. Taste is of toasted malt, dried dark fruit, leather, clove, and an alcohol kick. There is also a slightly metallic flavor that comes out as the beer warms. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly thick and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice and interesting aromas and flavors. (657 characters)

Photo of SLeffler27
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big, beige head quickly builds and falls leaving no lace but a thin film. The beer is dark brown with lots of carbonation and chunky floaters.

Sweet with dark fruits such as figs and plums. There is also a distinct aroma of molasses.

Flavor is again dark fruit with nuts and oat added in as well as candy sugar sweetness.

Vigorous carbonation with a full body and syrupy texture. The Dogfish Head snifter has its work cut out for it. There are also chunks of yeast and the alcohol is pleasantly tamed.

Warms well and is easy to drink while relaxing or reading.

The draught version is similar, though with no yeast sediment. (630 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.15/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. pours a seductive amber dark maple syrup color with a hazy red glow, some yeasty floaters, and a receding off white head that falls back to a quarter inch. leaves not lacing but pancake batter like froth on the sides of my tulip glass. smells is crazy, funny fruit up front, almost like a white grape juice, mellowed out with a raisiny like sweetness, and a funky tart musk vibe from the yeast. flavor is extraordinarily complex. only noe does the brown ale part of this start to make sense, roasty sweet caramel malts dominate, with all kinds of subtle action, dried fruit again, almost winelike. huge belgian yeast profile too. mouthfeel is quite good, a little sweet, but thats just me. really a nice evolving aftertaste and good carbonation, alchohol kick as well. overall an excellent beer, ive got food pairings dancing in my brain (851 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
1.69/5  rDev -59.9%
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. (924 characters)

Photo of OttoPeeWee
4.74/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks very strange. I have had many of these an most have floaties. Scratch that, chunks swirling in your glass. They look like the chunks that form when milk starts to curtle. I don't mind a bit. Smells fantastic, like molasses and apples. Tastes better, like sublte burnt sugar, or caramel corn (without the corn...). Scary that there is 9.5% alcohol. So subtle there isn't even a warming sensation. One of the best from our friends in Belgium! In fact, I can't think of a better strong dark! (494 characters)

Photo of tobelerone
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More of a dark apricot/amber color than true brown; fluffy, fast-falling tan head; very little lace. Cloudy with a fair amount of floaties; disturbed a lot of yeasty chunks in the pour.

Sweet, fruity, yeasty aroma, very typically Belgian; nice spice; touch of sourness. Flavor follows the nose; very low bitterness; pleasant fruitiness with modest candy sugar sweetness. Well balanced with spices, dark fruits, faint booziness in the finish. Trace sourness and woody tannins. Quite tasty.

Solid carbonation; just a little sticky; lingering sweet and sour aftertaste. Slight alcohol warmth in the end. Very good BSDA. (618 characters)

Photo of brendaniel
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber brown in color - relatively clear, with minimal head and little lacing. Strong aromas of candied fruits - some brown sugar and molasses. Flavors were terrific - sweet, a hit of raisin, very smooth and minimal alcohol notes. Medium body with a lingering sweet finish -- improving as it warms to room temperature. Outstanding!! (331 characters)

Photo of rel
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stuff is awesome.

Pours a hazy yet vibrant chestnut color with a huge foamy head. Great retention but average lacing.

Smell is sweet and malty, with lots of dark fruits, and light fruity hops accompanied by an alcoholic ester.

A combination of lightly roasted malts and sweet mellow sugars. The taste is much sweeter than the alcohol smell would lead you to believe. It has a warming tingle, but doesn't taste alcoholic.

Beautiful beer. Will definitely pick this up often. (481 characters)

Photo of jrenihan
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before 06/08/2013

Beer is a dark chestnut brown in colour with a moderately-sized beige head. Phenomenal retention- head sits there immobile for a long while. Moderate lacing.

Nice deep malty scent off the beer, quite bready. Brown sugar, spices and candied fruit. Belgian yeast.

Taste is very similar to the nose. Bready, spices (clove, pepper) and a little bit of dark fruit. Not as sweet as expected, even a slight bitterness at the end, but still a sweet beer overall.

As for mouthfeel, beer is overcarbonated. Gets in the way of the taste a bit and is somewhat irritating. Other than that, pretty good. Full bodied, chewy.

Overall, very enjoyable. Not quite a 4.5 taste-wise, but a strong enough 4 that I use the 'overall' to boost a little. (756 characters)

Photo of ktrillionaire
1.09/5  rDev -74.1%
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. (444 characters)

Photo of mrfrancis
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a glowing amber with a puffy, fizzy beige head that dissipates quickly. Big chunks of yeast in the pour mark this beer as being unfiltered.

S: Initially, the nose is dominated by scents of candy sugar, caramel, and heavy spices. As the beer settles and warms, scents of roasted nuts and dark bread emerge, while the spice aromas separate.

T: Sweet and spicy on the entry with flavors of candy sugar, dark bread, earthy hops, licorice, star anise, roasted nuts, coriander, and a playful prickle of warming alcohol. The finish is long and rich with notes of spices, sugar, and bread soaked in alcohol. Very balanced and surprisingly restrained for such a heavily spiced ale.

M: Full-bodied but with an initially slight, slick mouthfeel that disguises the heft of this beer. Grows heavier and even smoother just before the fade.

O: Very nice. This is an excellent Belgian strong dark ale. (899 characters)

Photo of jeff1973
4.89/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a Moinette challis. Best before date of 10/16/2012.

A - Dark ruby red. Light tan heads leaves pretty good lacing. A lot of yeast "floaties" throughout beer, not just in the bottom of the bottle.

S - Dark ripe fruit (plums, cherries), touch of licorice.

T - Dark fruit explosion. Lots of cherry, very juicy. Taste then mellows out to acidic wine-like flavor with a touch of licorice before drying out nicely to cut the sweetness.

M - Medium carbonation. Medium mouthfeel. These contrast enough to make the beer refreshing and complex at the same time.

D - Medium high and dangerously so.

Great beer! Very complex taste and mouthfeel. Really coats the mouth with all the great flavors without being too heavy. (747 characters)

Photo of impending
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl into a tulip. Pours a dull deep copper chestnut, minor mocha colored head, minor lacing.

Aroma is rich in grape Hi-C, nearby are dark fruits that have begun to rot. spicy

Deep complex taste. Figs, prunes, grapes and a tiny smokiness. Rummy fruit cake. Perfect phenolic note sits in for bitter. Surprisingly dry finish. Aftertaste evolves nicely as it fades slowly. Thin to medium bodied mouthfeel.
cheers
jd (414 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Church Key in SF.

Deep reddish-brown color with an off-white head.

Aroma of dried fruits, caramel malt, yeast, and spices.

Flavor is very fruity - lots of cherries - with other fruits and toffee also.

Smooth, medium-full palate. Good stuff. (254 characters)

Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color matches my dark orange credit card almost perfectly. Half a finger of matching head drops of the chart without a lace

Some oranges and chewy Flintstones multi vitamins, sweet molasses and yeast banging off of my nostrils, quite the nose

Heavy wet bread, sourdough yeast. Some belgian candy and a hint of garden vegetable, with a little black pepper. Really thin though for what I was expecting

Medium to heavy bodied ale, some syrupy texture with a hint of warmth mentioning the alcohol within

Overall a solid beer. I highly recommend it. Not too expensive either at 11 bones. (590 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

hazelnut brown color being presented in front of me. A smallish head, maybe an inch and a half came up over the top and settled down gently, forming a very nice pillow of tan across the top. Some nice carbonation could be seen streaming up as well.

The aroma was rich, lots of caramel and brown sugar mixed in with a fig and prune like fruit. Dark, with a touch of alcohol, though I have to admit, very well hidden indeed. The flavor was more of the same, rich and decadent with a large dose of sugar balancing it out quite well. All hotness had faded from this one now, as it was mellow and smooth as hell. (608 characters)

Photo of trevorjn06
3.45/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. (661 characters)

Photo of Rijtjeshuis
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in oversized wine glass.

LOOK (4.5/5) This one pours a rich mahogany brown. Clarity is a bit poorer than I would have thought - it is between hazy and opaque. Head is a real treat! It comes up huge and billowing out of the bottle; it is light beige and mousy in texture. It took a while to fall to a cap, but lacing was a bit disappointing.

SMELL (4.5/5) The nose is rich and malty with a good helping of fruit and a touch of pepper. The malt is largely vienna/munich with it's characteristic melanoidin flavor (plums/prunes/dates) it has a hint of caramel, but no roasty/toasty notes. I get a hint of orange peel and other light fruits. The finish is sweet, but has a touch of pepper.

TASTE (4.5/5) The flavor is very similar to the nose, but the relative strengths differ a bit. The malt is still full of those mailard flavors (dark, dried fruits). I get the impression that the yeast adds a lot of lighter notes to the dark fruit flavors. A good helping of pepper and a surprisingly tart finish round it out. The balance was still malty.

FEEL (5/5) Moutfeel is ideal for the flavours going on here! Medium-full bosy adds some weight and depth to the flavor - the latter is a great transition to the finish and gets that fluffy feel I like.

DRINK (5/5) For a rich, complex brew drinkability is really good because of the lighter fruitiness and the drier finish. Great, refreshing, and complex. Very, very nice!

I'd have to have this with a desert with some nice sharper or more acidic fruits like oranges or berries. (1,531 characters)

Photo of cyrenaica
4.7/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle
9.5% ABV (as written on the bottle)
I tried this beer on December 15, 2010 at "Smokeless Joe's" in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The beer poured a translucent reddish-brown (when held to the light) with a huge genrous foamy light brown head that lasted long after the beer did. The aroma was dark caramel malt, candy sugar, plums, and yeast. The mouthfeel was full-bodied with ample carbonation. The flavour was sweet malt, candy sugar, yeast, dark fruit...and a nice bitter finish. An excellent beer. (510 characters)

Photo of Reaper16
3.54/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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. (1,878 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 jbonapar
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a wonderful amber with lots and lots and lots of yeasty sediment. A nice head that quickly dissipated.

Smell: Candy surgars, toffee, Butter. a Slight pine.

Taste: Wow....amazingly smooth for a 9.5% beer. Unbelievable. Rich Toffee, Butter Toffee rather...with a hint of raisins and prunes.

This is one of the nicest Belgian Brown's I've ever had. (358 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 Thorpe429
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at City-Wide in South Bend, Indiana. "Best buy" date of 2010. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours a moderate caramel-red color with loads and loads of floaties. Bit of a light tan head that goes away fairly quickly and doesn't leave behind much lacing. The nose has some dark fruits and a bit of sweet malt. Some dark sugar there and a bit of yeast. The flavor is along the same lines. It's nice and smooth, but there isn't much complexity to it, especially considering its age. Feel is medium with low carbonation. Somewhat chewy, adding a breadiness to the flavor. Pretty good, but not earth shattering. (630 characters)

Photo of BretSikkink
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was one of my early, fortunate forays into great beer (four years ago...) I was surprised but happy that I hadn't reviewed it - a great reason to revisit a classic.

Somewhat clear but fairly opaque brown color with a sticky tan head. This one got shaken before opening and therefore poured with extreme height and stick. Good bubbling and head retention. Nice look, but the lacing is a little disappointing.

The aroma is dark fruity, overripe but not quite to sour territory. Caramel malts with phenolic overtones and an earthy hoppiness. Good power, decent overall.

Malty. Very malty. Raisin bread with butter up front, with brown sugar and fermenting apples on the side. Fairly spicy, which is kind of lost in the whole production. With warming, the flavors grow intense and the body quite full.

Pretty excellent. Get after this one for an authentic Strong Dark experience. (888 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.