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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

48 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 4
Gots: 1 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: brewdlyhooked13 on 09-22-2003)
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Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tmoneyba
tmoneyba

Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2008 16:30:58 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of dnichols
dnichols

Washington

4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I poured a 330 ml capped bottle into an Achel chalice.

A: It poured a dark murky brown with ruddy cherry highlights when back lit. The head was composed of tight tan bubbles and rose moderately after an aggressive pour. There was an inconsistent long legged lacing that clung for a moderate amount of time before receding back into the liquid.

S: It smelled of dark sweet malts, molasses, dark Belgium candies and light dark spices.

T: It burst with creamy, yeasty dark malts and fruits. It tasted like oranges and lemons flavored with smoked almonds and cloves. The alcohol was well hidden.

M: It was a creamy, sweet, spicy full-bodied brew with a dry and warm finish and clean after taste.

D: It's full body, high ABV and spicy flavor make this a great seasonal brew meant to be consumed on a cold winter night.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2008 04:17:15 | More by dnichols
Photo of dogfooddog
dogfooddog

Panama

4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2006 03:29:03 | More by dogfooddog
Photo of wl0307
wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.1/5  rDev +2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2006 00:18:47 | More by wl0307
Photo of Naerhu
Naerhu

Japan

4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I am neither a great fan of Belgian, nor am I fan of winter/spiced ales, but I was definately a fan of this fine beer.

A - Prodigious amount of floaties in a nice red/amber body.
S - Rich, spicy, cinnamon, spruce, hops and nutmeg.
T - Complex maltness hiding behind all of the nicely integrated spices.
M - I couldnt tell that this beer was a percent over 4. Amazing. Smooth, yet lively.
D - The brewer of this beer should be arrested for contributing to my delinquincy. Smooth, lively and complex, what more could you want?

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2006 15:16:41 | More by Naerhu
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2006 21:05:11 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage

California

4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2005 05:10:01 | More by GClarkage
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Alaska

4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750ml bottle. Dark rusty red/brownish colour with a nice head of tanny froth that lasted and left some excellent lacing. Aromas are spicy and doughy with definitive peppery hints, and some exquisite fruitiness as well. Taste is fruity and spicy with peppery hops in the mix with doughy malts. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lush with carbonation. Drinkability is very good, especially condiering the 9% abv and the complexity of the flavor here. Quite wonderful, unique, and hard to describe, I hope to visit it again...

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2005 19:22:02 | More by francisweizen
Photo of silenius
silenius

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brought back from Belgium to enjoy at home.

Poured from the bottle with a best before the end of 2007 date.

It is a dark and cloudy ruddy orange with a moderate sized head that manages a cap throughout the session. No lacing.

Smell is sweet mandarin oranges and lime with slight dusting of spices and some molasses in the background.

Taste is on the sweet side with oranges and limes dominating the flavor with some light spices and smoke in the background. Leaves with a nice bitter dryness.

Mouthfeel is lively without being prickly.

A very drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2005 22:00:40 | More by silenius
Photo of paterlodie
paterlodie

Belgium

3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2005 14:18:42 | More by paterlodie
Photo of Sigmund
Sigmund

Norway

3.78/5  rDev -6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2005 22:11:24 | More by Sigmund
Photo of BDTyre
BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nice and cloudy brown with a brownish head that is strong but not excessive. Smells malty and of spices. Taste is similar, with more emphasis on the malts. Detectable spices. Not too bitter. A little too fizzy, but easy to drink. Did not have a problem with the carbonation as others seem to. A high ABV limits drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2004 03:19:38 | More by BDTyre
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this for my Birthday as it near Xmas. The beer overflowed like a geyser but the pour itself was no problem. The nose is spice and dark corners with the promise of friutcake. I liked the complexity married with a smoothness inherent in the finish. I also suggest cellaring a few bottles for the following Xmas.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2004 17:55:55 | More by canucklehead
Photo of crookedhalo
crookedhalo

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2004 17:59:07 | More by crookedhalo
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2004 04:19:00 | More by Sammy
Photo of SeanChouffe
SeanChouffe

New Mexico

4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very lively beer. Jumped out of the bottle as soon as I cracked it. A deep red/brown color with some haze. Head is a light tan and diminishes relatively quickly. Aroma is slightly astringent and spicy. Flavor is a nice mix of spices, malt and hops ? a well balanced taste with character, but not overdone. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy and lively.

Damn good. These Rocs all seem to have a similar sharp aroma, but the taste is world class.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2004 03:32:45 | More by SeanChouffe
Photo of IronDjinn
IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2004 17:32:50 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2004 23:24:11 | More by Crosling
Photo of Rastacouere
Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2004 18:45:51 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of cypressbob
cypressbob

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle

Pours with a murky light brown body, tawny head forming at about an inch or so thick, decent retention

Smell, strong esters, dried fruit and a strong whiff of alcohol

Taste , fruity and dry, nice warming alcohol and a thick malty body

A very good belgian ale, another fine example of a great style

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2004 14:23:41 | More by cypressbob
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

4.78/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled during a visit to the Taverne Du Château on Monday 12th April. Situated in Montignies-sur-Rocs, a lovely small village in Northern Hainaut close to the French Border, and also home to the Brasserie de l’Abbaye des Rocs. The Taverne Du Château stocks a great range of the AdR beers and is one of the best places to sample them.

The fourth and last of the AdR beers that we sampled here was offered to us, presumably, by the owner of the Taverne Du Château. He realized that he had a Taverne full of beer geeks and knew that we were ordering our last beer of the afternoon before leaving. He had some excellent on-trade and bottle sales from our party of 30 for what was a quiet Easter Monday afternoon. So he offered a limited number of us a few cellared Abbaye des Rocs Spéciale Noëls that were definitely not on the Beer Menu and had been aging for around 8 years!!! A jolly nice chap he was, of course we just had to take him up on his very kind offer, and we didn't want to offend him after all!

Presentation: Another 750ml capped green glass bottle. Standard AdR presentation which includes a generic design for the main label, a gold edged simple crown shaped formed from 3 tall arched windows topped in the center arch with a red, white & gold coat of arms. This sits against a dark blue background. Sadly one of our party peeled the label off our bottle before I had chance to snap a picture of the bottle, such is the rarity of this one. The neck label has the same dark blue background, but unlike other AdR offerings that have pictures of the coat of arms and the name of the Brewery, this one simply states “Spéciale Noël” in gold lettering.

Appearance: Dark orange-amber body that was thick in character but which may have faded over the years. The bottle had a large track of yeast down it length indicating that this had been kept on its side for many years. As such, relatively little sediment emerged with the contents, the sediment appeared welded to the side of the bottle. The head formed easily, the inherent conditioning was still lively and assisted in forming a nice 3” deep off-white collared head that slowly collapsed to a rocky mass that laced well. Even after all these years this one looked bloody good.

Nose: Powerful fruity aroma. Tripel like, it had a strong bitterness set amidst some gorgeous fruity aromas. Apples and Pears, cooking spices, some ginger, toasted malts and lots of alcohol soaked plums. Wow, quite the nose on this mature Xmas beer.

Taste: Chewy at first, the bitterness has matured to become very smooth and it balances the large toasted malts about the fruity fulcrum with perfection. Big & bold but never brash, this is more like a Brandy than a beer. Incredible tastes that are almost beyond comprehension and description.

Mouthfeel: The extremely powerful Noël has a massive mouthfeel, incredibly large, all-consuming with a huge alcohol base that warms yet spices the mouth with vanilla soaked ginger and sponge cake. The infinitesimally small carbonation is like a lifeboat that keeps this powerful monster afloat at all times.

Drinkability: Powerful as it was, it was a very drinkable sipper that increased in quaffability as you got used to dissecting its complex character. Shared amongst several of our group, this was a warming ale that nevertheless has appeal and is far from overpowering.

Overall: It seems that later versions of the Abbaye des Rocs Spéciale Noël has gotten darker over the years and more heavily spiced. It was a real treat to have this older version that was most certainly more Tripel-based in character at one time it seems.

I cannot praise the welcome and service that we received at the Taverne Du Château in Montignies-sur-Rocs highly enough. And to have this special cellared treat before we left. Just Incredible! This was a fucking great beer to finish the afternoon with!! Most Impressive. The first time that I ever seen this offering from AdR, let alone tried it, and at 8 years old I can tell you that it was awesome. To think that I may never try this again.

If you see any aged versions of the Abbaye des Rocs Spéciale Noël do not hesitate to snap them up!

Seriously Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2004 06:24:31 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of Popsinc
Popsinc

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +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.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2003 21:26:06 | More by Popsinc
Photo of rastaman
rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

4/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2003 00:29:40 | More by rastaman
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Abbaye Des Rocs Spéciale Noël from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
89 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.