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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

650 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 650
Reviews: 500
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.9%
Wants: 34
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: 650 | Reviews: 500 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrBen
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the good stuff. Wonderful color and head retention. The beer is highly aromatic, and the flavors are deep, rich, round, and robust with complex fruits and malty sweetness all sharing the same bottle. This is an extremely substantial and satisfying beer. A classic for sure. I'm coming back for more!!!

MrBen, Sep 05, 2005
Photo of EPseja
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A big thank you to my friend Yelterdow for bringing this beauty over to kick off a premiere screening of American Beer tonight.

Served at just above fridge temperature in a chalice.

A - Cherrywood red/brown color with visible sediment in suspension. Large, creamy off-white head that starts out big and settles to a thin mat after just a minute or two. No real lacing to speak of.

S - Big, toasty malts - thick and sweet. Candied dark fruits; wild flower honey; flan. Very enticing!

T - The first thing that sprung to mind was the fact that this beer drinks like a quad. At the fore, sweet, candy-like maltiness presents itself like the shell of a caramel apple, but with sugared fig and praline inside. Hints of farmhouse funk pop up here and there in the middle, evoking characteristics of a good saison -- fermenting hay and a hint of pungent hops. Very subtle, but enough to make an impact. Finishes with a wisp of smoked-peatiness; very pleasing! The aftertaste reveals a dry hoppiness and an aftertaste of mild wild honey. At 10% ABV, this is an impressively complex and well rounded beer. Kudos!

M - Stellar! Enters the mouth slick and quick. Becomes dessert-like in its subdued foaminess (think meringue). Disappears down the throat without the slightest bit of discomfort, be it from alcohol or overcarbonationn. Wonderful!

T - I blew through an entire chalice of this beer in just 5 minutes while condicting this tasting... drinkable? You do the math.

EPseja, Sep 25, 2005
Photo of 99bottles
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: On-tap at Monk's. This came in a small tulip and had a nice orange-brown body. The beer itself was quite cloudy, with tannish yellow yeast giving the body a lighter apperance. A fine head of tan lace soon faded to a thin veil.

Smell: This had a very rich nose of sugary fruit like plum, fig and cherry. Some candied sugars and a syrupy sweetness also hint the nose.

Taste: This is intracite. There are so many flavors going on in this beer, that it's difficult to single them out. More of the dark fruit, sweet and also slightly sour, with some help from the spiciness of phenols. A neat burst of tropical esters like pineapple and mango mix into the taste. There are even some faintly bitter hops in the finish. It's unmistakably Belgian with the taste of residual yeast, creamy and satisfying.

Mouthfeel: Good balance for a beer of this much flavor. Never cloying, not overly heavy. Nice amount of carbonation given the body.

Drinkability: Very nicely put together, this beer is satisfying and complex. It's certainly one worth seeking out.

99bottles, Feb 24, 2005
Photo of waughbrew
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A glowing maple with a head that is sizzly at first with quick-rising bubbles keeping it afloat. It settles and fades a bit early, but leaves a little lace behind. The aroma is very strong. In fact, my friend walked into the room just after I popped the cork, and could smell it from five feet away. I really do not want to list all of the things I found to be in the aroma or flavor, because it would be long and do it little justice. Suffice it to say that there is a little bit of everything in this brew, and it is blended perfectly - the sweetness, the spiciness, the fruitiness, the alcohol, the body, the feel, and a very impressive drinkability for such a strong beer. Divine.

waughbrew, Apr 03, 2005
Photo of expatsteve
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Deep copper brown with slighty orange edges. Initially poured fairly cloudy with no visibility, but successive pours gradually darkened in color and lightened in visibility. No real head, but a residual film that clings to the beer and the sides of the glass. Light/medium viscosity that hangs brilliantly on the glass.

Aroma: Apples and apricots, with some raisin notes. Suggestions of brown sugar, with a sour malt finish.

Taste: Again, the front and middle palates of this beer changed the three or four times I had it. The first pour was thick and malty, with a front palate reminiscent of a rich sourdough bread. Apricot, plum, raisins, green apples notes. Later glasses had a hard cider finish that was refreshing, if a little suggestive at times of the alcohol content of the beer. Lighter middle palate with subtle almond notes. The sourdough finish relaxed as the beer warmed up, but continued to provide a foundation for the fruit flavor.

Mouthfeel: Crisp finish, low carbonation. Bready finish aded to mouthfeel, as it left the aftertaste earthy rather than bitter.

Drinkability: Light/medium body balances the booze and makes this an eminently drinkable beer. While I enjoyed my first two glass a little more than subsequent ones, it is nonetheless one of the most complex and yet most drinkable beers I've tried. Dangerous, but worth the risk.

expatsteve, Jun 23, 2006
Photo of Shiredave
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely beautifull to look at. Deep, burgandy color , foamy light tan head receeds to a thin cap and clings in clumps on the glass. Aroma is fruity and floral, intensely sweet with hints of cooked macaroni and earthy damp moss notes. Lush and smooth, lightly scorched malt enveloping the tongue with rich fruity flavors of cherrys and grapes dipped in liquid sugar. Hopping is subtle but noticable near the end with a great blend of dryness and dark grain bite mixing with the delicious sweetness and a unique doughy character.
Full bodied with incredibly intense, complex flavors Ive found in no other beer. A truely remarkable and highly recomended Grand Cru, however, I drank a full bottle on my own ( it was just too good to stop!) and it put me on my butt. Enjoy with food and friends is my advice.

Shiredave, Oct 13, 2003
Photo of meathookjones
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This came in a green 750ml bottle. The body was a deep brown with reddish highlights and a giant fluffy off white head peaking over the top of the glass. As this was consumed sticky rings of lacing were left hung around the glass. Very good head retention as even the last sips had a nice covering of the fluffy head still floating. The smell was sweet with a slight spice to it as well as strong fruit notes. The taste started off with a fruity caramel sweetness that mingled with a bit of spice and yeast flavors. Not overly sweet but just right, the aftertaste is a bit tart as well. Very good taste with a lot of things going on that I will have to have this again to pick up on more of them. This almost has a full body but just falls short not that it hurts it in any way, and it’s very rich and creamy on the tongue. This stuff was way too drinkable to be 10%, no real hints of the alcohol anywhere. I will have to pick up a few more bottles of this to keep around.

meathookjones, Sep 16, 2004
Photo of Tupperwolf
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So, while I'm trying to get the oversize cap off of the bottle without bending it, bubbles spill down the neck - and continue fizzing out until I manage to pop the cap off and get the beer into a tulip glass. Seems to be a common experience with this beer!

Pours out a ruby-highlighted brown with an eggshell-white head that fills the narrow portion of the tulip for a few moments before falling back to a thin ring and leaves little lacing. Deep, mysterious, strong-looking.

The smell is of raisins, toasted wheat bread, almonds, brown sugar, charcoal, caramel, plums... Damn... What a complex scent... It's such a delight to just sit and sniff this beer. There's a hell of a lot going on inside.

The taste begins with malt, malt, and malt - a brassy, bold, sweet malt that kicks the front of your tongue and then tag-teams its friend sugar. What's amazing to me is that the brewers claim that no candi sugar has been added, because this has a HUGE pack of very sugary tastes - unbelievable from an all-malt Belgian. It has a sharp, fruity body with a spicy but delicate hop finish - slight notes of smoke... Absolutely amazing.

The mouthfeel builds on the tongue, from a creamy beginning to a slowly building frothiness of tiny, energetic bubbles. They recede as you swallow, leaving behind sugary tastes that linger for a while and then dissappear, leaving the mouth feeling clean.

Awesome! I was really looking forward to trying this beer, and have been storing it for a few weeks. A bit of a wild mood was enough to dare me into popping it open for a glass. Definitely deserves to be rated so highly.

Tupperwolf, Feb 14, 2006
Photo of jeffboo
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm lookin for love in all the Grand Cru's and they seem to be lovin me back. This Cru finished # 2 in my tasting of 4 (of which all were incrediblly tasty).

This one was dark brown with a huge candy sugar aroma mixed with a sourish, spicy yeast. Smooth was the key word here, medium bodied with sweet dark fruit flavors (plums and cherries) with nice bubbly carbonation and a long fruity finish drying with cinnamon,vanilla and oak, and so very slightly acidic in a nice way. A very complex brew and very satisfying.

jeffboo, Sep 03, 2003
Photo of Crosling
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Gouden Carolus Chalice. I love this glass and it was such a beautiful sight to see that glass with such pristine liquid inside. Just brought this ale in to the Liquor store. I was so happy to find it distributed, hearing such great things.

Pours a hazy deep mahogany with a dense off white head. The head didn't explode out of the glass like I expected. A fast pour is required. Nice head retention and a thick beautiful lace clings for its life on the glass. Sticky and marvelous!

Incredible aroma! Upon opening the scents fill up the air around you and surround you in a bubble of brilliance. Orange peels throughout the nose with sweet candy, lemon, sour plums, pineapples with alcohol woven in slightly. Now the long anticipated first taste....Here goes.!.!.!.!

Nice soft and sensual flavor. Caramel malt with peppers and spices woven into the first sip. Dark and Tropical fruits in the mid-palate with sour cherries, lemons and raisins. Peppers come back on the finish with some tartness but not sourness, yeast and alcohol.

FANTASTIC!

Crosling, Jan 04, 2004
Photo of neonbrown82
4.78/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

After finishing up some spring cleaning, I figured I would give myself a treat by continuing the process in my beer fridge. I couldn't have asked for a better beer in the fresh spring time (although I could maybe ask for a little bit more sun and less chilly wind, perhaps). This would make the perfect "special occasion" beer for any occasion.

It pours to a rich caramel amber color with a massive off-white sticky lacey foam. The smell is very similar to wine, but the taste brings the beer back into the picture. The alcohol is well hidden, the mouthfeel is not fizzy at all, more similar to a wine, but the flavors are distinctly beer as opposed to grape. More specifically, I can taste sweet belgian malts along with candi sugars, perhaps lightly hopped with saaz. This is definitely a new favorite. It is far too complex for me to provide deeper analysis, but my tongue tells me that I like it far too much than is healthy.

---
Reviewed 03-23-05, but realized I reviewed the Brune instead. Thanks for the delete function.

neonbrown82, May 25, 2005
Photo of ejquin
4.78/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

App: Burnt brown with a ton of sediment. Poured a little to aggressively and I had a ton of yeast in my chalice. Very thick white head with some lacing. Cola colored.

Smell: Very Belgian to me. Pehonlic and piney with some malt and slight frutiness.

Taste: Devine taste. Very crisp. Fruity yet deep. Slight alcohol perception upfront which was different, but very quick. Finishes dry with nutty aftertaste and quite peppery. Some cherry in there as well.

Mouth: Nice rich and slightly chewy.

Drink: Little perception of alcohol and crispness of brew leads to phenominal drinkibility. Downgraded slightly because the very peppery finish can get a bit much after a while.

Overall: Amazing, amazing beer. Grand Cru alright. This is probably the most crisp 10% abv beer I've ever had. Defintely a step up from the normal Abbaye which is a great brew in its own right.

ejquin, Jun 26, 2005
Photo of clvand0
4.78/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber color with a nice head and nice retention. Leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma is malty and fruity. Orange mostly, some yeast, and some alcohol. Very nice aroma. The flavor was malty and sweet but very well balance with a subtle hop character. The mouthfeel and drinkability for this beer are great.

clvand0, Oct 25, 2004
Photo of kmpitz2
4.78/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The one poured a nice amber red color with one finger of head. The nose is both sweet and spicey, with some cherries coming through most prominently. The taste is great, a nice peppery spice, sweet caramel, sweet cherry. A treat to be consumed. The mouthfeel was moderate to thick. Drnkability is huge on this. I will be getting a few more of these next time I see them.

kmpitz2, Oct 24, 2004
Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A rather pleasing shoe brown in hue, with a thick, developing and lasting white bubble bath head, chunks of sugary patches that last as well. Where to begin with the aroma – an onslaught and mixture of fresh bubble gum, nuts, caramel, mango, pineapple, cinnamon and malts are all noted, and the aromas develop even further as the beer matures. Large malt based undertones, combined with port like tastings, peppers and slick Belgium spices. Brown sugar, raisins and wheat bread are tasted towards the finish; it’s a sad finish though, one of the best; oh so tasty and enjoyable; drink ability is off the charts!

GeoffRizzo, Aug 15, 2005
Photo of marc77
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Two fingered, uniform off white head tops a clear dark ruby hued brew if decanted off the yeast. True lace is left down the glass. Crisp, vibrant fruity esters reminescent of slightly unripe raspberries and citrus in aroma, accompanied by sweet biscuit and notes of buttery malt. Heaty alcohol is perceptible only with a deep inhalation. As the brew breathes the aroma takes on a floral, red rose - like character. Very enticing, and highly appetizing aromawise. Fruity sweetness upfront in flavor yields to a light malt profile comprised of bready and buttery malt. Sweetness becomes floral and perfume like mid palate. When combined with the malt profile, I am reminded of raspberry preserves on rustic bread. Moderate to full in body, with a smooth mouthfeel lent both by the relatively low carbonation and residual dextrins. Hop bitterness is appropriately low and would only detract from the layered sweetness. Yeast fermentation byproducts are surprisingly mild and consist of trace green apple acetaldehyde only. Finishes pleasantly sweet, w/ lingering rose petal notes. Abbaye de Rocs has produced a stellar Grand Cru. It's complex and enjoyably sweet, yet unbelievably clean, with a striking deep floral character. The drinkability is simply unparalleled.

marc77, Sep 10, 2002
Photo of Danny1217
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Danny1217, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of humulusphile
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

humulusphile, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of OttoPeeWee
4.75/5  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!

OttoPeeWee, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of Luiz0930
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Luiz0930, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of bbadger
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

bbadger, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330 cl bottle. Pours out a dark, brownish red color with a dense head. There are a lot of small chunks suspended in the beer. The aroma is rich and malty with toffee and tropical fruit. Big malt flavor with lots of toffee at first. Becomes fruity in the middle, especially plums. The finish is nice and spicy, like a winter warmer. Alcohol is noticable, but doesn't get in the way of the flavor at all. The mouthfeel is incredible. This beer coats the mouth, and the flavor lingers. Much more drinkable than any beer should be at 9.5% abv. This is an amazing beer.

beveragecaptain, Sep 14, 2005
Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very impressive head. Massive. After a minute it breaks up into huge rocky chunks but still manages to maintain its mass. Really impressive. Beautiful garnet red color. The yeast is a bring down though. Big huge chunks of yeast even after 2 weeks in the fridge and a careful pour.

Very impressive nose. Definately some Belgian spiceyness but mingles nicely with big fruity esters and a light candi sweetness. Get just a touch of ethanol in the nose too. Very nice.

Very nice flavor. Earthy and peppery and just enough sweetness to mellow everything out. This is the real Dr.Pepper!! Very nice. Just a touch harsh in the finish. Just a touch. The alcohol is well concealed. You feel it on your breath rather than taste it. Not 'hot' at all. Definately feel it in your mouth after a while though too. But still very nice. Actually, maybe that's some of the harshness in the finish.

Mouthfeel is right on for the style. Fairly light with high carbonation.

Dangerously drinkalbe for such a big beer!

Really stood up nicely against the lamb shanks my roomate made for dinner. And its hard to stand up to the meatiest of meats.

cerevisiaephilus, Jan 22, 2005
Photo of czechsaaz
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml cellared for about a year.

Very spicey aroma with lots of yeast esters. Some citrus-like yeast character and licorice. Malt aromas are complex cofee and honey and maybe a little biscuit. There's also a dessert wine effect with a little acidity in the smell but mostly sweeter aromas.

Light brown colored, pretty hazy but with a solid 1/2 inch layer of lasting tan head.

Flavor is first off malty sweet a caramel. Then lots of fruit flavors, cherry and baked apples and other things that whatever yeast they're using probably produced. None of the fruit is strong enough to indicate it was brewed with fruit. Very spicey too. Not sure how much of that is the yeast again and what was added. I taste cinamon and coriander and licorice again. All very subtle and hard to pick out for sure. Complexity here is pretty outstanding. All the flavors balance out really nicely. On the back end there's acidity and a light hop bite so it isn't overly sweet but on malty-to-hoppy scale this is definitely far on the malty side.

Very full bodied but not heavy. Carbonation level is pretty light and creamy. Just a hint of alcohol there so you can tell it's a big beer.

Very enjoyable complex sipper. Delicious beer but not for everyday drinking.

czechsaaz, May 25, 2006
Photo of tavernjef
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First rate pour of light brownish leather settling as a dark caramel brown with a slender reddish tone, dusky thick and opaque with tons of yeasties suspended within the murk. Head grows tall and fast of tannish fluff to a fine velvety smoothness becoming rocky and crusty as it begins to melt down which takes a good amount of time before finally a full haze on top and thickly fluffed collar sticks around the edge. Lacing is in sparitic globbuels.

Aroma is appetizing and soft with spices; delicate and easeful with a sufficient showing of lemon tea cookies and lemon and orange zest with small notes of giniger and cinnamon. Has some notions of dark caramel surfacing from underneath on big wiffs plus some yeast, phenolic, and warm alcoholic notes. More of the yeast and phenols come through as it warms, big time.

Taste is very complex and incerdibly inticing. Whew, what a mouthfull of things going on here. Simply amazing and fine with nothing to overpowering really other then the alcohol hitting fast as it goes down very nicely with a smooth zesty fullness that begins to make your head swoon just after half a glass and there's yet a whole nother serving in that 750ml bottle yet to come, oh boy...a long night ahead. Flavors are quick to enter with sharpening tones of citrus zest from lemon and orange with some light pineapple, white grapes, dulled grapefruit, and sweet mango inscribed within the mix along with small added notes of yeasty spicyness with kinda of a peppery, clove, nutmeg, citrus peel zest thing. Lots of zest! Lots of softened spicyness. And what makes it even more remarkable is there seems to be a very nice dark malty sweetness of toffee/caramel that kinda keeps those spices from getting out of control and too strong. Beautiful medley of flavors that intermingle and dance with each other in perfect harmony. Full bodied feel with a bit of sharpness and yeastyness that takes away just a nudge for me, but not by much. So goes the feel so goes the drinkability, in most cases anyways, and it does with me with this, by just another nudge mainly due to the untraceable alcoholic effect this has and smallish sharp tone of zest and yeast. But damn this is some very good stuff! Thank you very much ManekiNeko!!

tavernjef, Dec 29, 2003
Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special Brown from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 650 ratings.