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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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

509 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 509
Hads: 693
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 10.93%
Wants: 50
Gots: 38 | 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: 693
Photo of tomordonez
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It pours into a nice head. It comes with chunks of something other than yeast. Smells like raisins. Guess what, it has raisins. That tiny spec floating on top of the head is fermented raisin. Very nice smell. Medium carbonation with a heavy body. Very very rich. Too rich and too sweet. This could be a meal. I prefer the regular non grand cru. (344 characters)

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

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. (312 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.45/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

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. (651 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 bunnyhustle
3.47/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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. (666 characters)

Photo of keithmurray
3.51/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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. (908 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 nomad
3.56/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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....) (593 characters)

Photo of tjthresh
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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. (260 characters)

Photo of argock
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (738 characters)

Photo of Eldyr
3.6/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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. (396 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 twelvsies
3.62/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. (687 characters)

Photo of Sixpack595
3.62/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (460 characters)

Photo of IceAce
3.62/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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! (646 characters)

Photo of bitterdestroyer
3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

i strike again. hiiiiyooo YES!!!

appearance: deep dark amber/brown like molasses

smell: nice bouquet of fruit and sugar cane. very nice, very belgian.

taste: very full bodied, nice mixture of sugar, fruit, and just the right amount of alcohol to make you respect and sip this grand cru. sweet and warm.

mouthfeel: very creamy, with a nice flow of carbonation.

drinkability: great, so long as you're only gonna have one 750ml of this bad boy. (457 characters)

Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (256 characters)

Photo of Dope
3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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. (1,118 characters)

Photo of ryanonline
3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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....? (423 characters)

Photo of Litterbean
3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden brown with a chunky head. Nice to look at.

There's a plethora of aromas in this one. I detected much sweetness, along with nuttiness, maltiness, and several different fruits, such as prunes and raisins.

The taste is sweet. I detect what seem like cashews mixed in with the aforementioned prunes. The beginning is a little watery, but it has a creamy finish. As I said, this is a sweet beer, a little too sweet. It seems like this one is just packed with sugar, and I can feel it on my tongue and lips after each sip. Not that great, I'm sorry. Above average, but not good. (593 characters)

Photo of shivtim
3.66/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A mean-looking beer. It's a clear red/brown, but with evil little chunkies floating in it. Good lacing. The nose is sweet and syrupy, with some sweet and tangy apple and a whiff of alcohol. Taste is again sweet and syrupy (a little too syrupy) but has some good hop flavor. Mouthfeel is fine, and drinkability is not bad for the ABV. (333 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 sacfly
3.67/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish brown with big chunks circulating around, even with a gentle pour. Thin head of brown bubbles. The head is ever replenished due to the high carbonation on this one. Ginger immediately comes to mind in the aroma. Mild alcohol and a hint of spicy yeast. Taste follows suit almost to a tee. Light to medium body. I think this one is a bit past it's prime. Good, but glad it is retired... (400 characters)

Photo of budsboy
3.67/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best before 2008.

A creeping, slow eruption of white-tan foam on opening, champagne bubbles in there. Milky brown, tan head quickly shrinks back to a sticky residue on top.

Sugary, bready smell, plum, raisen, hint of citrus.

Phenols are apparent but not overwhelming. Spicy, fruity and sharp bitterness on the finish. I expected more, frankly.

Full-bodied and fluffy. Very gratifying.

A brew I couldn't wait to open, and it left me somewhat disappointed. Gets better as it warms. I just don't like phenolic beers, period. Even though this is only slightly so, it steals a bit from me. Still a fine beer, but not the kind to knock me for a loop. (659 characters)

Photo of botham
3.67/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a goblet. pours a deep caramel color with garnet highlights and a single finger of light tan head that dissipates in one minute. coarse sediment is suspended in the brew.

aroma is mildly sour, with fruit notes of raisen, apple, grape, and a bit of apricot. malt notes include caramel and a distant hint of roasted malts.

taste is mildly sour as well, with a sweet character and fruit notes of apple, grape, and raisen. the same caramel malt is present here as well, with a finish of residual fruit and a sweet and sour character.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with a strange feel from all the sediment (or suspended matter, as it is experienced). soft CO2 is prevalent, with a smooth finish.

drinkability is good. this is a rich brew with a notable amount of sediment in the brew (which was unavoidable from the pour), but that does not take away from the flavors present. a solid belgian. (915 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.