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Abbaye Des Rocs Spéciale Noël - Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.

Not Rated.
Abbaye Des Rocs Spéciale NoëlAbbaye Des Rocs Spéciale Noël

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BA SCORE
89
very good

38 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 38
Hads: 56
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 7.69%
Wants: 6
Gots: 3 | 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: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 09-22-2003

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 38 | Hads: 56
Photo of cpetrone84
3.17/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pour is a dark ruby red with a tight light tan head. Nose is caramel, candied sugar, light metallic note, and banana in back. Taste is sweet, caramel is light, a touch sugary, faint seltzer and metallic not mid palate, light banana lingers through the finish. Lighter body, hides alcohol very well, moderate carbonation, and slightly empty on the finish. (354 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.26/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

0.75 litre bottle: best before 9 Nov 2013, poured into three chalices during a random tasting evening at my house in Aug 2012.

The sediment came up with the pour and at a pace: so each glass ended up with a messy, chunky, hazy liquid within. The actual colour of the brew is dirty brown and no head wanted to be seen on top.

The smells were of a spiced fruit cake which had been caramelised and over cooked: the taste was very similar to the aromas and the lumps did break up a little as the beer warmed, but it wasn’t the greatest Belgian Christmas experience you’re ever going to get.

I’m going for OK rather than good, even though the brew has some fine flavours it lets it’s self down with the overall look and the floating sediment. (748 characters)

Photo of Crosling
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled at Stillen Genieter in Mechelen, Belgium.

Brown.

Unusual aroma. The nose mainly consisted of old hop pellets, seriously it did. Strong spices as well, pumpkin and coriander. Vanilla, chocolate, caramel and molasses were present as well.

Small for it's size. Mainly malt notes (caramel and toffee) with some notes of plum and raisins. Unbalanced. This just didn't please me. I'd like to try another bottle sometime soon and rereview. (449 characters)

Photo of flyingpig
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

330ml Bottle from Good Spirits Co, Glasgow (£3.80):
Medium brown with red tinges & a cloudy body. A bubbly, brownish-white 0.5cm head that fades to a fine lacing quite quickly.

Spicy with a lot of sweetness, mainly from some dark fruits such as prunes, plums & some dates. There is a toasted malt aroma that is complimented by some sugar & a medium strength alcohol smell also comes through alongside oak & faint vanilla.

Spicy with lots of sweetness both from the dark fruits mentioned in the smell but also from the sugar. There's a strong taste of prunes with some vanilla & alcohol.

This one was quite a spicy, sweet and medium bodied beer that had a slightly warming alcohol taste to it. There was a fair amount of carbonation in this one & the beer seems boozy with a sticky finish.

An okay Belgian offering but it never really hit the heights of some of the countries better strong ales, coming across a little strong and without the best of balance between flavours. I doubt I'll be picking this one up again. (1,022 characters)

Photo of haz77
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - BBE 2008. Pours a cloudy chestnut brown with a lot of floaties (despite a careful pour). A finger of fizzy tan head falls to a thin island/ring, but is easily refreshed.

S - Rum, fig, raisin, plum, light whiff of farmyard and some plasticy phenols.

T - First flavour to appear is molasses, although this becomes more toffee-like in the middle. A violet flavour lingers in the background and the finish is dark fruits.

M - Very full, syrupy and coating. Carbonation builds throughout the drink and really cleanses the palate at the finish.

D - Not my favourite dark Belgian as I found it quite one-dimensional. Mouthfeel in particular is good, with the cutting carbonation at the end contrasting the syrupy texture. (723 characters)

Photo of Rastacouere
3.52/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I got this bottle from frink. Thanks! Almond skin brown pour with a surprisingly fully diminishing light brown head. It looks fairly still with the tons of small floaties not moving at all. Aroma is mostly big malt and spices, very chocolatey straightforward with mint, dark bread, and ripened dark fruits undertones (raisin, dates). Thick body could use a bit more carbonation. Palate is very sweet and not as balanced as others. I like the grassy hops from the grand cru and the regular seems far less candyish and spicy chocolate syrup like. Slightly cloying finish with a long spicy aftertaste (cloves, mint, pepper). I expected more frankly. (646 characters)

Photo of crookedhalo
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty much blew the bottlecap off. Pours an opaque chestnut brown with a light brown head. Chalky, malty nose with suggestions of dark berries and leafiness. Very malty and thick bodied, chalky and yeasty. Some suggestions of spice, but I don't think they really use any. Pretty enjoyable, but not my favorite Christmas-style offering. (336 characters)

Photo of Sigmund
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(330 ml capped bottle, bought at Borough Market, London.) Pours with a collossal head, beer is clear reddish brown but with an enormous amount of lumpy yeast floaties which are not dissolved in the beer when pouring, thus making the beer in the glass look rather unappetizing - you may actually feel the lumps when drinking. I normally prefer to pour the yeast in with most bottle conditioned beers (enhances the flavour IMO), even when the brewers tell me not to - but in this case it is definitely not to be recommended! Aroma is initially surprisingly mild and one-dimensional malty sweet, improves as the beer warms up - vinous notes with some toffee and oak appear. Flavour is caramelly, oaky and spicy, with a nice alcoholic warmth. Decent enough, if disregarding the lumps. (780 characters)

Photo of tmoneyba
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle on 02/16/2006.

Pours a hazy deep amber with a large creamy off-white head that lasted with excellent lacing. Heavy complex toasted caramel and allspice aroma. Medium body with a sticky texture. Moderate sweet spice flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of long duration.

Good winter brew that went well with a big meal. (330 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A strong nutmeg beer, and cinammon and ginger and licorice and orange peel. Some malts and candy sugar to tone down Belgium spice. White foam. Basically syrupy. Some brandy alcohol. Three years of aging would add to the experience. Thanks Irondjinn for the sample. (264 characters)

Photo of SFLpunk
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dany (glouglouburb on RB). 750mL green glass pry-top bottle. 2010 Vintage. My first Abbaye des Rocs.

Pours a deep reddish mahogany with creamy off-white head.

Nose is a little skunky (green glass). Nose is creamy with some black cherry skin, real hand-made caramel, big red wine note (like a Cali Cab), tobacco leaf and some floral notes, like maybe lavender?

Palate is bright and prickly with carbonation and alcohol. Medium bodied. There's big caramel malt right up front but it fades out into some spicy notes and I catch tarragon on the finish. Carbonation turns creamy, but the alcohol is still really prickly on the tongue. Finish is nice and round.

Notes: Not bad at all, my only complaint is that it's too hot. Nicely integrated flavors and finish. Would probably be better served on the dinner table than by itself. (838 characters)

Photo of jrenihan
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle BB Nov 9, 2013. Not sure how old this makes it.

Beer is a relatively dark brown colour, a bit toffee-hued. A big-off white on top, this thing just leaves mammoth amounts of head. Lots of sediment in the beer, even when only the top half of the bottle has been poured. Little lace.

Smell contains dark fruits in the front, primarily plum and raisin. A sweet, bready malt scent accompanies. I don't know if this beer actually contains spicing, but I don't really get any in the nose.

Taste focuses on the sweet, bready malt scent. Unsurprisingly, this is a malt-focused brew. Raisin and plum there again, along with some caramel. Some light spicing is present, but no spice particularly sticks out. To the extent that "christmas" ales tend to taste like a fruitcake, I think this one is pretty mild in that regard. A bit of booze is noticeable.

Medium to full bodied, moderately carbonated. Sticky.

Overall, good, but not the best this brewery does. (959 characters)

Photo of paterlodie
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is OK but seen better from beers from brewery Rocs specialy in foaming but all in all good. Pours out with a yellow head up on a clear dark brown beer. Smell is candysweet full malted, hoppy and litle koreander. Taste is warming by alcohol, full malted( partly roast), candy-sugar and hops. Drinkability is great, nothing to stop you enjoying and every sip ends sweetbitter; isn't that nice for a christmas brew? Humm. (429 characters)

Photo of thierrynantes
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33 l.) purchased from La Cervoiserie, and tasted in 2013.

Appearance : brown color with white foamy head.
Smell : roasty malt and spicy aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : dark fruity and caramel flavors.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Belgian Strong dark ale. (275 characters)

Photo of rastaman
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very christmasy, raisiny, orangy, spicy, caramelly. Nice soft yeast character.Long spicy, slight bitter finish, with some acidity, yeah, i dig it. Pretty much what i'd expect in a Christmas beer. Quite complex and manages to cover every inch of your tongue, beautifully soft texture, ver tasty. (294 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a muddy dark brown color ale with a huge off-white bubbly head with better then average retention. Aroma of big sweet malt with a distinctive yeast presence. Taste is semi-sweet caramel malt with some faint presence of prunes with a slightly funky yeast presence toward the end. Body is quite full and alcohol is very well hidden. I still feel that it lack a little something to make it truly spectacular but very good beer nonetheless. (451 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle into a Duvel tulip. Best by 9/8/14.

A: Gusher; like, seriously. Once I get it into the glass, though, the head disappears almost immediately - and without leaving any lace. THe body is a cloudy brown. Not a great looking beer.

S: Sweet, fruity, complex malts. Brown sugar, prune, vanilla, toffee, and a unique tequila-esque piquancy. Interesting and lovely.

T: The tequila aspect jumps out up front, with the toffee and fruitcake notes right behind; some spicy alcohol on the finish. Highly intriguing, and rather delicious.

M: Way too carbonated, and a bit sticky. Disappointing.

O: This would have been tremendous if it weren't for the ridiculous overcarbonation. As it was, it was a deliciously flawed novelty. I've never tasted anything quite like it.

Cheers! (781 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Whoa, Caution, Contents Under Pressure!!! Granted that this spent the trip from the West Coast to the Eastern border of the Rockies in my trunk, but has been sitting in my fridge ever since. The moment I popped the cap off cinnamon speckled tan foam came shooting out like champagne, getting all over the keyboard and floor and myself. My first reaction? I put my mouth over the lip of the bottle to prevent it from spilling anywhere's else. The pressure was immense, the stuff started coming out of my nose! Still, from that bizarro sample alone I could tell this was good stuff.

Okay, so when I finally do get it in a glass, it's a deep burnt almond tone, cloudy with suspended particles, with a tall sticky tan head, which eventually lowers to a thick cap and leaves many traces of sticky lacing. On the aroma is rich caramel malt, toffee, orange zest, licorice, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisin, faint ginger, and then a deep brandy alcohol presence. Yet in the flavour it starts with an unmistakable butter/rum character, followed by orange peel, licorice and nutmeg, with even a bit of sweet chocolate nearing the finish. The mouthfeel is very light for a 9% abv, but has such an enticing creamy texture, very smooth, with the smallest of alcohol kicks on the aftertaste, like trying to strike a wet match. A very fine seasonal, I could definitely not drink this every day, but would love it on a regular basis when the weather is freezing outside near the Yule holidays. (1,472 characters)

Photo of wl0307
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

BBE 2007, served lightly chilled in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.

A: lovely dark copperish hue, relatively clear; a beige-hued foamy beer head comes rather moderate but sustains well, on top of a gently-carbonated body.
S: perfumy fruity, malty and yeasty-spicy--very ripe dark berries and plums, cherry-liquor, brown-sugary as well as candyish malts, sweet fig-jam, a slightly sharp edge of fruit-syrup, a faint tinge of sweetened tangerine/Curacao peel, plus a cinnamon-like spicy hint... The nose is reasonably complex and thick as a 9%abv. Belgian ale should be, but lacks an evolving structure which I'd prefer. Pretty nice still.
T: sweet caramely maltiness and candyish fruity flavour upfront, backed by lots of sticky sour-sweet fruits, like black plums, black cherries, figs, a little bit of citrus peel, plus a soft touch of mixed spices (cinnamon, coriander seeds, white pepper); after the mid-taste it turns slightly drier and the sweet edge also softens, as a welcoming but understated citrus-hoppy flavour develops at the back; a fruit-jammy and slightly licorice palate stays in the short aftertaste, with a subtle flow of warming alc. creeping down the throat. Satisfying and warming finish, albeit a bit sugary-sticky for me.
M&D: the carbonation is executed just beautifully, making a soft and creamy mouthfeel throughout; full-bodied, full-flavoured yet so easy to drink, this X'mas special is IMO a successful beer in its skill of blending all pronounced flavours so well, with a soft touch. A solid, though not heavenly, beer well worth a try. (1,569 characters)

Photo of Popsinc
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A dark brown pour with a mall off white head.

Smell: The nose was of both spicey cinnamon and dark, ripe fruuit cake.

Taste: Farily complex with fruity sweetness and subtle spice along the way. I found the taste to be much more mile than the nose might have suggested. A very warm and semi-sweet finish due to the high alc %

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and medium bodied. Warm and comforting...if that makes sense.

Drinkablilty: I really enjoyed this beer. Very good but i wouldn't want this one all too often. It has a time and a place. (556 characters)

Photo of mdagnew
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from BelgianShop.com... aged for about 18 months...

Poured a deep dark burgundy red colour. Creamy head poured quite loose and foamy then faded to just a thin ring around the edge... light carbonation... some sticky lacing...

Aroma - Strong rich dark fruity sweetness (black cherries and black currents mixed together, some red grapes), some light Flemish sour ale notes, the faintest hint of tobacco just noticeable, allspice, charcoal traces, lots of liquorice mixed with some chocolate, molasses, some balsamic vinegar...

Taste - Lots of rich dark fruits (black currents and red grapes) mixed with liquorice and chocolate... reminded me of a Black Forest Gateau. Kirsch alcohol notes, black treacle sweetness, some burnt nuttiness, faint smokiness, Christmas pudding, brandy notes, definite sour ale traces...

Feel - Pretty smooth and creamy... medium / full bodied.. very drinkable for 9%

Overall - A superb and very original Christmas brew... definitely recommended... (999 characters)

Photo of dogfooddog
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BBE 2007, small bottle. I think I have had this bottle somewhat over 2 years (label old style, 'abbaye de rocs'.)

Pours 25% head in a kasteel chalice. Immediately rich odors of dark raisiny liquor permeates, very sweet. Fabulous aroma, the classic de rocs nose but hyper-sweet.

Taste is somewhat thick, initially sort of muddled, followed by clear sweet cake or candied fruit notes, there is an underlying malty undertone which supports this. That said, it is a bit slow drinking, more than normal for the style for me. Aftertaste is somewhat bittersweet, almost like an un-sweet candy coating in the mouth along with some bitterness.

I really like this brewery's beers and while this is not my favorite, it is still great. (732 characters)

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured in a chalice.

A: An alive beer! As you open it, it wants to jump out the bottle :). Pours a dark amber to brown color. Very dirty, traditional des Rocs style with many chunks floating around. A huge beige head is formed when its poured, however, the retention is medium. It dissipates leaving a thin tan layer on top. Very few lacings left. Beautiful Belgian Strong Dark Ale

S: Sweet on the nose. Brown bread and Belgian yeasts are a must. Reminds the Brune version. Dark fruits, mainly raisins, caramel, malts, wood and alcohol. Very reach on smell

T: Sweet caramel malts, Belgian yeasts, brown bread, dark fruits (raisins), spices. Molasses and syrupy. Mild bitter end. Complex on taste. Delicious

M: Full body, creamy and molasses. Reasonable carbonation. Great sweet-bitterness balance. Warming with a bit alcoholic end

O: Abbaye Des Rocs = Quality Belgian trademark beer (900 characters)

Photo of RuudJH
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first encounter with Abbaye des Rocs. It seems to have a good reputation, making me curious too.

Red brown , clear ale, creamy head, massive carbonation on this sample.
Smell is fresh fruity and some roasty malts. Also a bit tart, like wine.
Taste is similar.
Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, the alcohol is well hidden.

All in all, this is excellent seasonal beer.
Also, I'd like to try some others from this brewery. (422 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12-26-05- Purchased at a B.C. Provincial liquor store in Kewlowna, B.C.

Presentation- 11.2 oz bottle with a dating strip on the side of the label. Best by 2007. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Dark brown colored pour, full inch head after I barely got the bottle to the glass before it overflowed. Decent to lighter lacing.

Scent- Sweeter caramel malt, definite dark fruits as well. Plums and dates mostly.

Taste- Plums come into play big time in this tasty brew. As well as a nice caramel malt base and a pinch or two of powdered sugar. Spicy as well, but not overplayed.

Mouthfeel- Lightly creamy with moderate to a lower tight carbonation level.

Drinkability- Have another one of these aging and may pick up another one or two when I go back to Canada in February for skiing. Tasty as is, but may turn into a true gem in a few years. (872 characters)

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Abbaye Des Rocs Spéciale Noël from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
89 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.