Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] | Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.

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Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune]Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune]
515 Ratings
Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune]Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune]

Brewed by:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-13-2002

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 515 |  Reviews: 326
Photo of cokes
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A Look to the Sky:
A stormy, ethereal, swampwater, golden-amber, with a cumulonimbus pale tan head. Warns of the approaching frontal system.

The Sky Darkens:
The sirens go off, as the howling West wind blows forth grapes, tart apples, muskmelon, mangos, honey, freshly fertilized pasture, and caramel.

Rain Begins to Fall:
The mouth is saturated with caramel coated apples, tart grapes, balsamic vinegar, and farmhouse mustiness. Thin and sparse at first.

Lightning Strikes:
As the beer temperature rises, the torrent increases. The senses are inundated with the tropical fruit monsoon. Hail pellets of peaches, pineapples and oranges are littered across the countryside. Trees, dripping with toffee and candy sugar, bow under the onslaught. The neighboring farm fields are stripped clean in the flood. Horse and barnyard flavors are streamed turbulently into the esophagus.

The Funnel Descends:
The brew increases in viscosity. Chocolate-coated grapes are sucked into the vacuum, along with sourdough bread. A debris cloud forms of puckering green apple tartness, with oak splinters.
Floral, yet grassy hops swirl about the palate, with understated, yet ferocious force. An unseen shaft of alcohol downs power lines inside the stomach, igniting a warming fire within.

Surveying the Destruction:
It was an incredible rotating vortex of sweet and sour.
Everything started benignly. Once it began to warm, nothing could be done. Simply leveling.

There may not be a better beer on the planet.
Find a white labeled bottle and prepare to wet yourself.

I am still spinning.

Bighuge....what can I say? Thank You!

Additional notes:
Old, white label. Not sure of the year, but guessing it carries some age. Just had one today (07/16/10), probably at least 10 yrs old, and I still maintain it's likely the best thing I've ever had.
Newer stuff is still excellent, but would get knocked down a peg or two due to the snow globe yeast clots, with their impact on appearance and especially mouthfeel.

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Photo of benlhoest
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Gusler
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW!, If there is a better sniffing beer than this, please let me know. Pours a deep opaque brown, mountainous frothy beige head and tonnes of lace. Nose is a ripe banana, sweet cherries, with a touch of grainy malt. Start is sweet, top skimpy, the finish is benignly acidic, and a magnificent hop presence, dry and a somewhat bitter aftertaste "MAGNIFICENT BEER", one well worth the cost of sampling, and a must for us "Belgiephiles".

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Photo of Matagal
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of CopeTech
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of cdwil
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of pietroune
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of jayhawk73
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of bkaj21
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of topopardo
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of cyrenaica
5/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

330ml bottle
9.0% ABV
Smokeless Joe (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
July 16, 2007
I loved the label.........I'm not a religious person, but the label was beautiful. Anyway, the beer poured a dark brown into the glass with a half inch head that lasted throughout the experience. The aroma was very yeasty with some hints of pears. It was silky smoth and full-bodied on the tongue with hints of carbonation. The flavour was outstanding...malty, yeasty, with a tinge of sweetness. Just a smidgen below the St. Bernardus Abt 12.........but not much.

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Photo of jak
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of smibroncos
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Onslow
4.97/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Every now and again, a true beer lover will run into a beer of pure enlightenment or unabashed excellence.. ladies and gentlemen- this beer is one fine example!

..After trying 2 other offerings from this world class brewery I had high hopes with this brew and it didn't disappoint...

The aroma is first to blow you away!! --- complex is a word that loses its fight to describe the beauty of aromas coming from my chalice, dried fruits from all over, lots of berry, chocolate from those old fashioned metal tins, candied plum sugar, fruit rum- amazing stuff here

Pours a dark slightly murky ruby-brown colour with a hearty coco like head..and the lacing is truly A+...

now the harder part of my review, trying to pull all the crazy good flavours out of this beer, from the spectrum of wonderful sweet fruits to the delicious tangy bites of this amazing beer.. just so flavourful and complex!!

I can't say enough about this brew. I have only enjoyed a handful of beers that have blown me away so much.

A true joy to drink and experience!

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Photo of ChrisBowers
4.95/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

You know that Sam Adams Light commercial where the guy takes a sip and goes nuts, screaming and yelling? Thats basically what I did when I had this beer. Poured out of a 33cl bottle with a nice head and deep brownish-red color, the smell was incredible. Chocolaty and malty with a spicy tinge to it. The first sip was incredible. Unbelievably balanced for a beer with such a high ABV. It was like having all the best characteristics of every belgian beer you've had rolled into one: Chocolate, Coffee, Fruit, Wine... All in perfect balance. A very warming beer, Do yourself a favor and go get some of this today.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.94/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Off white/brown head, brown/opaque body, fruity aroma, everlasting lace. Fine-medium bitterness, cinnamon flavor, raison, malty sweetness brilliantly balanced by the bitterness and full body. This is a mad intensely flavored brew. It redefines richness and balance.

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Photo of inebrius
4.94/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I feel like Violet Beauregarde chewing on the "dinner in a gum" at the chocolate factory.

Swampy amber teeming with schools of yeast chunks under an elephantine egg cream bonnet. The aromas! Caramel coated fruit, honeysuckle, ripe cantaloupe and August wet pavement, history and future and life seething. Sweet on the attack turns beech and maple old growth forest and the leaves and brown ferns and fungi filling the air with scents of existense and then a little sour finish and a need for more. Meaty this beer, yet light and fanciful. It's all in there and I haven't turned into a blueberry yet.

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Photo of rastaman
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Hooray!!! What a great brew, very spicy chocolaty aroma. On the sweeter side, but still dry enough, very firm malty chocolate flavour, great spice that surrounds your tongue, mild bitterness, a malt lovers delight, yummy!!!!!!!

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Photo of dauss
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served room temperature at the Kulminator in Antwerpen. Only paid 3 Euro for a 2002 vintage.

Appearance: Extremely effercesvent, a deep amber color with a massive tan head that rests on top. As time went on, the head "egg crates" but had excellent retention and lacing.

Smell: Tons of sweet malt, brown sugar, dark fruit, belgian yeast, nutmeg, cinnamon, subtle alcohol notes, and damp forrest.

Taste: Amazing. Sweet but not cloying. Loads of dark fruits, malt, yeast, and a flash of bitterness in the finish. After you swallow a very slow moving wave of roasty malts and chocolate wash over the palate. Very effervescent, and the alcohol was perfectly hidden at cellar temp.

Notes: The body is full, but the alcohol thins it out a little bit. After it warms up a bit, you can feel the alcohol in the nose. Very warming, and an amazing beer. I need a case of this.

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Photo of mynie
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big ol bottle wasn't exactly flyin off the shelf when I bought it, aged an additional year in my fine closet.

Wonderful Duvel glass pour! Two finger retentive sandyblonde head sits atop dark forest amber. Pretty.

There's a distinct smell two full feet from my nose. Intense zippy sweet Belgian fruit. This is my first from Abbaye Des Rocs, but I can say for certain that it smells and awful lot like a De Dolle beer. Much more fruit than spice, wonderful alcohol burning lightly, like a candle. Juicy fruit, too. Pears. And those candied orange slices that aren't real orange but they taste like Orange Crush.

Smooth start rushing quickly into wonderfully zippy fruit and alcohol. Jesus it's like a wonderful organic soda pop. Oranges, pears. Then it smoothes out a little bit, gets a little bready, and then it ends on a distinct node of citrus. Wonderful.

One of the ten best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.9/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

My first sampling of this brew in several years and I'm all atwitter!
Cap and cork are removed and the prey is sighted, the creamy nodule of foam that peeks from the neck, waiting to escape from the green bottle and into a worthy glass, eager for my consumption.
Cast in a gorgeous garnet color, cherry red, a sumptuous sight, the foam a lovely thing, all lace, all bubbly.
Nose is velvety soft, angelic, sexy. This aroma is a herald to beer nirvana, beautifully yeasty, happily hoppy. I reel in orgiastic delight, sent from the ecstacy of it all.
We sip, and the tastebuds are enticed, excited, set aflame, aglow, tossed back, and laid low...a graniloquent effect, indeed.
Magnificent maltiness! Abundant fruitiness! A symphony of rich, rounded flavors rings loudly through all corners and corridors of mind, body, and soul.
Sip after sip, a massive power sweeps over, wave after wave...magniloquent, effervescicant, scintillastic, etherealistic...I'm left inventing new words to truly transcibe such transcendence.
Like soaking in happiness, trading in your every cell for burgundy bubbles and floating into unearthly ecstacy. The very thing to judge others of this style by, Does it flood the mouth with flavor?
Does it devastate the senses?
Damn, but this sure does!

Thanks to MenekiNeko for reacquainting we two!

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Photo of basica
4.89/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have been curious about this renown Belgian Dark Ale for a long time. It used to be more
commmon in Singapore sometime around 2005. Today I think you only can find it in Brussel Sprouts.
Brussel Sprouts gave me an out of stock answer for more than a month and last weekend I finally
manage to catch the incoming stock (before they even sort things out properly) and grabbed a
bottle gleefully. I poured this wonderful beer in my new Trappist Achel Goblet; it pours out with
a brownish color shade and a medium creamy looking head with average retention. It smells
intensely fruity (like the Westmalle Dubbel) and feels very mellow. When I tasted it, an array of
dark fruits became apparent; the fruitiness is higher than many Belgian dark ales and within this
array of fruits, I could pick up raisins, plums, grapes, apple, berries and what not. It finishes
slightly dry and with a nice fruity punch to end it off. The after taste was another party for
the pellates; it goes strong on plums and berries and after ligering for a bit, it becomes a
grape or raisin like taste; simply wonderful! The taste was generally rich, yet mellow and not at
all alcoholic albeit this one's a 9% ABV; to top things up, it was silky smooth in the mouth and
down the throat with a medium body and an apt light level of carbonation. A thicker body may
have been the factor to perfect this beer but it is really nothing short of a great beer at it's
current level. Fruity, tasty, mellow, smooth Belgian Strong Dark Ales are the way to go for me;
I appreciated this beer whilst listening to chill-out bar style music and it created the
perfect atmosphere. Although I only took one bottle, I am sure that I can have a few of this
at one single sitting!

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Photo of chromestar
4.88/5  rDev +16.2%

Photo of RoyalT
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – Deep, orangish-brown body with a few shades of red. There’s lots of carbonation going on in there along with monster sediment. I controlled the tight, foamy head at the pour, keeping it at about an inch or two, but it took quite some time to dissipate.

Smell – I could review the aroma from across the room (although I’m not). Alcoholic fruit leapt from the glass. I can pick up some orange and banana along with cherry/cranberry juice. There’s a little bit of spiciness as well. The base of the nose comes after, a complex mix of malts and some light yeast.

Taste – The malt flavors come out a little bit more on the tongue, but at first it’s the fruits that run away with the show. The sediment and orange, along with the alcohol notes, give the feeling of drinking a high class screwdriver (pulp orange juice, dry champagne, and a shot of Grand Mariner). Add to that some smooth banana liquor, sweetened cranberry juice, and a cherry garnish. Plop a dribble of the juice from the cherry jar and there you have it.

Then comes the malt. Nice, ever-so-lightly toasted, sweetened with loads of caramel then balanced with a drop or two of anise. Overall, a very complex mix of flavors working exceptionally well together.

As this warms, the sugars come out in force. Rich, dark drippings of melted toffee, brown and powdered sugar, and overly ripe pears and apricots. It finishes with a strong punch of freshly pressed cinnimmon-laced apple cider.

Mouthfeel – Healthy carbonation and a full body keeps the drinking moving at the right pace with this 9.0 ABV juggernaut. This is chewy and sugaring and sticks in between your teeth. Your dentist will hate it.

Drinkability – Nothing says, “special occasion,” like an Abbay des Rocs bottle. This was a real treat.

Comments – This was a very sweet BSDA, sweeter than most of the other ones that I have tried. This was really in the same ballpark as their Grand Cru. I thought it could have used a little more malt backbone, but the beauty of beer tasting is in recognizing the habits and characteristics of individual brewers. This is an absolute classic.

Update – The 2004 vintage has a few bad bottles going around. I actually think that it’s an off batch. The ale wasn’t flat like it hadn’t been bottled properly; it just had an off flavor that I thought made it an overall sub-4.0 offering.

I got a hold of a good ’04 bottle and included it as part of a tasting. It really is head and shoulders above all other Belgians that I’ve had. This one wasn’t quite as heavy on the sweets like the ’03 that I reviewed and it was more heavily carbonated, which led me to believe it may have been a bit fresher. Either way you cut it, this is a tremendous brewery and the Brune is one of their better offerings.

Update – I popped a vintage ’02 for the same taste test that we did the ’04. The two years really blended the flavors together more and gave it a huge sweetness that was incredibly smooth. The Grand Cru was in the test also and it was difficult to tell the difference between the ’02 Brune and the ’04 Grand Cru.

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Photo of granger10
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly burnt hazelnut color with a large and sticky beige head that holds for the duration of my drinking. Good amount of lacing. Lots of large sized chunks of yeast suspended in the glass.

The smell is very fruity esp. on the dark fruit side with notes of alcohol and spices.

The depth of flavor in this beer is astounding. I really cannot describe the complexity in this beer. There's a sharp stinging initial hit on the front of my tongue that reminds me of tarty fruits. Lots of fruitiness in there. The fruitiness is light at the start with an apple taste but it then becomes dark with more of a fig and plum flavor. There's a breadiness underneath that dries out the sweetness of the fruits. But then more sweetness comes with a dark chocolate tone but then once again there's a bitterness, this time possibly from the spices which are abundant yet perfect in their matching with the malts, that offsets the sweetness.

There's a constant struggle between the sweetness and dryness in this beer with neither winning but each making their case. Port-like initially but the yeast flavor and spices help reduce the winey flavors of this beer. The finish has no acidity whatsoever, has a real sweetness to it, and is extremely smooth. This one is well worth its acclaim.


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Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 515 ratings