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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

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685 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 685
Reviews: 508
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 10.69%
Wants: 42
Gots: 33 | 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: rosebud on 07-30-2002

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 685 | Reviews: 508
Photo of JoeyHotrod
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite a beautiful beer to look at here, with it's brown body and huge head that doesn't ever go away and the nice lacing left throughout the glass.

From a scent standpoint this beer has elements of fruit, malt and a touch of alcohol, though by no means overbearing and in fact quite tame for a 9.5 percent beer.

The taste is what you would expect from the style. Dark Fruits, malt and a touch of spices. Again the alcohol is there, though undervalued enough not to be a disturbance.

This is a quality beer to had here. My first ale from these guys, though with my love of Belgian Beer and if this is an example of what these guys are capable of, I hope to try some others.

Photo of jpro
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle from JI Pig (50% off sale)...

A: Pours a light, tawny copper; a bit cloudy.

S: Light sweetness and bready.

T: Again, bready; a cornucopia of Belgian spice / yeast aromas accompany.

M: A little thinner than expected.

O: Not bad; quite drinkable.

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

Sampled at a tasting with biegaman, northyorksammy, and grub. Thanks guys!

Poured a cloudy gold into a tasting class, lots of sediment. Surprising amount of carbonation, and quite a bit of lacing.

An aromatic beer, with both malty caramel and peppery spice competing for dominance. Flavour was extremely malty, caramel and bread, with very little hop presence except for a little bit of that 'pepperyness' coming through. Great mouthfeel, sweet aftertaste. Liked this one a lot, and was glad to be able to share it with these guys!

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.

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Came out of the bottle gushing and a large tan head in my snifter, which was well-needed as brown yeast floaters were in the head - some quick swishing mixed them in and released a great smell that was balanced between sweet caramel malt along with some fruit notes like orange, some yeast and a hint of spices. Mouthfeel is more of the same and covers all the bases. Sticky, sweet, smooth, creamy, has a bit of dry backbite thanks to some hop bitterness and spice. The taste is comprised of sweet malts like caramel and cocoa, maybe some roasted, and also has some heavy fruits like orange in there along with some yeast, figs and a hint of spice like clove. A great example of how the Belgians can make a complex beer and I really enjoyed this brew.

Photo of Higravity
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 Vintage, the bottle was covered in a heavy amount of dust, tuck away in the back at Max's and for $30 it was sold. Poured hazy brown with a slight red tinge and a small bubble white head that receeded just to hang out. Smells of old red apples ready for juicing, strong malt with a nutty quality and a charged spice with the yeast. Taste is a melding of several flavor from the nose but it brings a sweetnes that is at first strong but the dryness helps settle it out. The mouthfeel was a little too slick but overall fine. Very drinkable, but this is a rather elusive find around here.

Photo of JayQue
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy mahogany color into my Chimay goblet. Good size antique white head. Good enough retention for this alcohol level. Minimal lacing.

Aroma is dark fruit, plums, figs and raisins, fairly pronounced and pleasant.

Taste is more of the same, dark fruit, some sweetness (brown sugar) and Belgian yeast. The taste is strong and satisfying without being all that complex.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth. The alcohol is well hidden, just some warming effects. East to drinnk even at 9% abv.

Well worth seeking out.

Photo of joe1510
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz Bottle
Binny's Orland

Best before 2007

As with other Des Rocs ales the Grand Cru pours loaded with big heavy protein chunks. They break up somewhat but are still thick. The body of this beer would look amazing if not for the floaties. Glowing ruby body with a 1+ finger loose ivory head one the pour. Head fades to a thick half finger cap. Leaves spotty lacing.

Smell is absolutely packed with different aromas. Sweet doughy malts combine with spicy alcohol up front. Brown sugar and dark fruits show up halfway through. Cherries, plums, and figs. The backend brings powdered sugar, nutmeg, and a faint spicy hoppiness. The longer your nose stays in the beer the more the aroma changes.

Flavor is a little of a let down after the wonderful aromas. Much like the smell doughy malts kick things off. Mid palate a some of the darker fruits that were mentioned in the smell hit the tastebuds. There is also, a very mild metallic twang every now and then. Not bad but not an improvement either. The swallow brings brown sugar, slight alcohol warmth, and a mild floral hoppiness. This beer gets much better as it warms.

Medium body with a coating mouthfeel. Slightly sticky. The mouthfeel is good but I just don't like getting one of those bigger protein chunks.

Good flavor and a wonderful aroma help this beer go down pretty easy. To me it seems like it would be more appropriate for cooler weather instead of a hot night like tonight.

Another tasty treat from Des Rocs. My only complaint of their beers are the huge amount of chunky settlement. Des Rocs beers are excellent but if the sediment was taken a little better care of they would be world class.

Photo of danbar
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle; label says best buy 14/03/11. Phew...just in the nick of the time.

A: A nice, dark brown color with a thin head and...massive chunks of yeast. Was this beer supposed to be strained?

S: Sweet, malty, caramely goodness with a hint of dried fruit.

T: Taste is good, follows the nose with a sweet, tad smokey flavor and that Belgian yeast. No sign of hops. Finished very smooth.

M: The yeast is actually not bothersome when drinking. I didn't really notice it. Decent level of carbonation.

D: Alcohol is very well hidden - do not taste a sign of it (until I stand up). Finished half of the 750 very easily and could've had more.

Overall, a very good beer but does not really stick out as a top-notch Belgian dark ale compared to others at the top of the style.

Photo of codewarrior
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL Bomber (L100108072), poured into a chalice.

The label on this bottle - along with it's entire dress - is hilarious and tacky, and it's not surprising that no one yet has uploaded a picture of the bottle. I have a photo of the labels as they are in my journal ... we'll see if that's up to BeerAdvocate snuff.

A: Murky dark brown, very little head.

S: Smells of sweetness and booze, with a little fruit.

T: Sweet and sticky. Iron here in the back, fat bloody finish. Damn good.

D: Complex and lovely in 4 of the 5 or so stages. The finish itself is immaculate, at least 2 stages to it alone, and it goes on for days. Beautiful beer. Beautiful.

Photo of MiScusi
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap at Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena. Appearance was dark brown almost black with a thick off white head. Lots of earthiness and sour yeast in the aroma. Taste does not differ except some caramel present, hops add a small amount to the finish.. Very drinkable and a nice carbonation gives it a bite.

Photo of mntlover
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark burnt orange and hazy with a nice tan head that falls to a cap of foam that leaves behind some lace.
Aroma is floral sweet and fruity raisins, grapes, apples, prunes some melon mixed with light spice inviting and tastey.
Taste is like aroma its sweet, floral almost, mix with toffee and caramel candy like sweetness and fruity goodness raisin, apple mix then some carbonation appears front stage as it leaves their is a linger spice cinnamon and pepper mix with some hops that are also spicey in nature.
Mouthfeel is smooth carbonation about perfect but seems a little light for some reason.
Drinkability is good alcohol well hidden just a warming sensation is all that is felt a nice Belgian Strong Dark Ale but hard for me to see why its rated as high as it is good no doubt but not the best by anymeans.

Photo of dsa7783
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yesterday, I sampled Brasserie des Rocs "Triple Imperiale" and absolutely hated it... rated it very poorly... this one however, is much, much better... definitely quality stuff, and the flipside from the "Triple Imperiale"... Pours a very attractive dark brown color with a frothy and foamy head... smell is replete of brown sugars, figs, and dark malts... taste is saturated with prune and malt flavors, plums, dark fruits, esters, alcohol, and yeast... really good, warming, wholesome taste true to the Belgian style... a very satisfying and pallate-pleasing brew that is rich and thick without being too cloying or overbearing... mouthfeel was good... creamy, rich stuff with a pretty easy drinkability considering the hefty 9.5% ABV... alcohol is not as noticeable as the wonderful combination of flavors that permeate from the terrific interwoven style that tackles this beer... Certainly Recommended...

Photo of flagmantho
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 330mL bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: rich, dark, cloudy brown with a finger of creamy tan head. Quite nice.

Smell: sweetish but subtle; there's a good chocolate aroma right at first, with a very light grainy element and some alcoholic fruitiness. There's a little dusty tobacco thrown in to boot; it's very nice indeed.

Taste: interestingly fruity; in addition to subtler dark fruits of date, fig and that ever-present tobacco, there's something oddly bananalike here too, although not in a hefeweizen kind of way. The sweetness and fruitiness are very good, but there's something here that just a little bit off to me.

Mouthfeel: medium-rich body with a silky smooth feel and a great creaminess. Wonderful.

Overall: I can't put my finger on why this beer is so weird to me. I like it a good deal, but I wouldn't say I love it. It's still a beer absolutely worth trying, however, perhaps especially for its weirdness.

Photo of illidurit
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Poured into a snifter. Dark amber with tan 2 finger head. Great retention, modest lacing.

Aromas of maple syrup and cherries.

Flavor includes a sourish overripe cherry note up front, with a brown sugar finish.

Smooth on the palate, well carbonated.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a Westveleteren chalice. Murky brown color with thick foamy tan head. The smell reminds me of Gouden Carolus Carolus D'Or a little. Also Nostrodamus.

The taste is syrupy sweet and a little cloying. I can't tell if any hops at all were used. The alcohol shows up in the after-taste but isn't too offensive.

Good stuff but not an everyday beer. Also 11.2oz is just enough. I bought this at Beverage Warehouse in LA for about $4. I wish the small bottles were available here in OH...

Photo of bennetj17
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Murky, mahogany color, medium thick head, tan, made of tiny bubbles, with nice retention.

S: Rather sweet, cinnamon raisin, aspirin, slight alcohol fume.

T: Tangy sweet, caramel and dark fruit malt flavors, light alcohol and hint of bitterness in finish.

M: Medium thick, lightly creamy on the palate with subtle carbonation.

D: This one opens up smelling like their Triple Imperiale, but the taste doesn't have the same complexity. I would try it again...

Photo of einman
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of EgadBananas
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Small bottle. Pours dark red. Off white foamy head, tremendous retention. It really looks like it's raining chucks of yeast.

Fruity, yeasty, nutty, dark fruits and a hint of alcohol. Caramel.

Dark fruits, sweet malts, caramel and nuttiness.

Full bodied, creamy and lingering.

A nice robust Belgian ale. It's at the end of it's life according to the label, but I think it'll do fine for years...

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

delaney's new haven, 4/17/05

appearance: murky dark orange reddish mess. tight head, one more suited to a nitrous pour. active and busy to the eye. foam is resilient and keeps the beer covered for the life of my drink. tough lace which coats the glass like regurgitated toothpaste spittle.

aroma: apricots come through here, backed up with even more sweetness and a yeast note. no bitterness or sourness in the nose.. strawberry pokes its head out and says hello. much more defined on tap than in the bottle, where it is a fruity conglomeration.

taste: pretty much the same as in the bottle. smoother perhaps with a denser carbonation and more life. all the characters in the aroma come out in full saccharin force, leaving no bitterness, hops, malt aftertaste or anything other than ambrosian sweetness. drinkable when you're talking 8oz sample, 750mls would be a tough feat at this point for me.

Photo of Fuller
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

slighty cloudy brown body with some reddish hues. Large tan head that disappeared quickly leaving medium lacing. More sediment floating around in this beer than just about any other I've tried. Nose is not what I expected and it is not nearly as strong as I expected. The yeast and roasted malts that I normally smell in Belgians is hardly noticeable in this one. The smell is mostly of fruit, but not just of the darker fruit, this has some citrus to it. Taste is very sweet and malty. The citrus in the smell is not near as evident in the taste. As it warms, spice and alcohol start to come through at the end. Mouthfeel is full and creamy. Very good beer but drinkability is hurt a little because of how sweet it is.

Photo of drabmuh
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Beer is brown and hazy and forms a tan dusty head of small bubbles that leaves a little lacing on the glass. Carbonation moderate.

Aroma is sweet and bready with notes of citrus in there. Smells really nice!

Beer is medium in body and heavily carbonated on the palate. Its bright up front with a mixture of citrus and sweetness, good malt backbone. The finish has a slight roast to it but overall its a really nice beer. Well balanced. I think the brightness of the citrus gives this one some character the others were lacking. It's a very good beer.

Photo of dankbrew21
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Best before 2010.

A- Transparent, blood red. Thick, foamy, white, head. LOTS of yeasties susspended in every level of the beer. Looks thick. Slow head retention.

S- Spicy! Strong, dark fruit presence. Smells very good! Little to no hop presence.

T- Very sweet!!! COMPLEX FLAVORS. Flavor bursting...can't control it....j/k. This beer has super flavor, again, very sweet. Mini alcohol burn.

D- definitely a sipper.

NOTES: I like it, a little to sweet though.

Photo of John_M
4.01/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Mahaffey's the other night.

This beer pours a very lovely light orange brown color, with decent head and lacing. On the nose I got very little, just a trace of Belgium spice. On the palate this beer was just delicious. The beer was not heavy at all, and quite reminded me of a beer version of sweet milk chocolate, interlaced with Belgium funkiness and spice. Aboslutely delicious. Considering the abv., this beer is remarkably light and drinkable, probably dangerously so. I never would have guessed this was a 10% abv., at least until I walked out of Mahaffey's. (then I certainly noticed it). The beer finishes with a very good sweet finish.

Granted, this beer is a bit simple and a bit more complexity would be nice, but for all that it was a very nice beer to sip on.

Photo of jamesdergen
4.01/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a beautiful dark orangey, carmel color with a frothy tan head that dissipates rather quickly. Lots of sediment floating around. Gotta love it.

Smell: Can't really pick up a whole lot here. Some dark fruits and a carmelly smell as well.

Taste: Wow, this is a great-tasting brew. I'm picking up some dark fruits, mostly raisins, and maybe some apricot as well. Awesome carmel maltiness and a buttery smooth finish. As I get closer to the bottom of the bottle, the beer takes on more and more of a brandy-like quality, definitely a sipper.

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated with a nice medium-bodied mouthfeel. Leaves a tingly, dry feeling in the mouth.

Drinkability: Goes down easy. Maybe too easy... Doesn't feel too heavy and the alcohol is well-hidden.

This is one of the better dark Belgians I have had. I really like the unique carmelly taste and smell. I would definitely recommend this one.

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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 685 ratings.