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]

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

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Reviews: 322 | Ratings: 497
Photo of troutmask96
2.43/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Boy, I'm like a few reviewers below me. This brew just didn't do it for me. From the moment I popped the cap, the smell had me anticipating a world-class experience. But this ale is just too sweet and the smell and aftertaste much like my grandma's perfume. Brasserie's Grand Cru is much preferred...

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Photo of largadeer
2.7/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dark mucky brown in appearance with a ton of suspended sediment, as seems to be the norm for this brewery. The nose and taste are both equally cloying, bringing to mind overripe figs, candied fruit, raisins, toffee and rum. Mouthfeel is syrupy despite the ample carbonation. Too sweet and candy-like, with no bitterness to be found anywhere. I guess this brewery is simply not my bag, as I've disliked everything I've tried by them.

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Photo of champ103
2.76/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a murky reddish/brown color. At first a one finger tan head forms and recedes to a rim quickly. Light patchy lace.
S: Moldy, dry wood with some dark fruity esters and yeast. Lots of alcohol from the start.
T: Again, very dry wood, and charcoal. Sweet caramel malt that is almost cloying. Some dark fruit flavors. Alcohol again. One of the driest and sweetest beers I have had in a long time.
M/D: A medium body but way over carbonated. The heavy prickly carbonation, mixed with the alcohol and dryness really makes for a hard beer to drink.

I can see how this would appeal to some people. It is worth a try. I don't think this is for me though. I do enjoy beers on the drier side, but this seems like liquid wood to me.

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Photo of kemoarps
2.76/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I have to say I was extremely disappointed with this beer. After reading so many positive reviews, I guess I had high hopes, but it reminded me more of a homebrew gone wrong than a world class belgian brown.

It poured a russet amber, clear but with a lot of sediment. I assume the sediment is intentional, so it doesn't really bother me. The foamy creamy coloured head lasts, but leaves no lacing as I drink.

The nose smells off. It's way sweet and flowery. There's almost a gummi-bear undertone to it. You can smell some molasses/brown sugar underneath as well.

The taste is sweet. Brown sugar and molasses. As previously mentioned, it reminds me of a homebrew I had that hadn't fermented properly and had too much molasses/brown sugar added to it. It almost tastes like gingerbread cookies in beer form, but not as glorious as that could sound. There's some bready malt in there as well, and a bitterness to the finish, that could be balancing, but just seems... thrown in.

It's a weird one to drink. Not undrinkable (I'll finish this pint), but not one that I would seek out. You won't find me buying this one again. Maybe there's something off about this bottle specifically, but this doesn't taste like a beer that went bad, just a poorly constructed brew. I wouldn't purchase it again, but if someone else had one I'd taste it off the strength of the other reviews. Proceed with caution.

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Photo of dsa7783
2.88/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From a 1pint, 9.4 fl. oz bottle with elegant black foil, this beer pours an off-color purple, reddish-brown color with minimal head... very similar to the brewery's Triple Imperiale, the smell is distinguished with a strong alcohol essence in addition to sweet caramels and dark Belgian brown sugar... Taste is very rich and thick, with a rich, malty, medicinal-like component... alcohol is very detectable and is not well masked behind a strong conglomeration of flavors... somewhat bland and watery mouthfeel detracted points, and the heavy alcohol presence chipped away at the drinkability... certainly a unique and distinguishable brew, but this one's not for me... for the price paid, not recommended...

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Photo of bskrtz
2.95/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.2 ounce bottle, poured into Belgian style chalice, approx. 40 degrees

A) Brown shoe leather, slightly hazy, very little head

S) Root beer & licorice

T: Raisins, sweet & sour candies

M) Flat and thin. Not the best example of Belgian strong ale

D) I had higher expectations for this beer. I purchased a 4 pack and have downed 3 of them over the past 2 weeks. I was dissapointed with the first, so I've waited until the 3rd to complete this review. This beer is lacks carbonation and thus rather flat.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
3.05/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Okay, I had this problem before with their Grand Cru.

Be extremely, extremely careful when opening this. Actually, don't be careful, be very aggressive, and have your glass handy. The cap is oversized, so if you save your caps like I do, you're usually careful not to bend them - and any regular bottle opener doesn't work. Trying to get the cap off results in fountains of this beer going everywhere - pop it off as fast as you can, and get the foaming mess into your glass, because if you're not fast, you'll lose it to the floor.

I don't know why the hell this stuff is so overcarbonated. It's really annoying, actually. If everyone else can get bottle-conditioning right, these guys should be able to, with their reputation.

What you get in the glass is dark brown with ruby highlights, capped with a yellow-tan head. It leaves behind no lacing.

The scent is of raisins dipped in brown sugar then braised in a pan with a few dollops of rum and whiskey - a slightly roasty, alcoholic brown kind of smell with fruit and sugary tones.

Taste echoes the smell, but isn't as good - roasty oak, some dark fruit, rum, burnt sugars, and a bittering finish.

Mouthfeel is just way off - way too carbonated, it results in an unpleasant swishy, frothy feel, and it seems like you can actually taste the excess of carbon dioxide.

Drinkability... it's not bad.... but for a belgian strong dark, I expect a lot better.

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Photo of nick76
3.06/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

The aroma has caramel, toasted malt, spices/fruit (orange, ginger), and yeast. The appearance is deep amber with a two finger head. There are lots of floating particles. The flavor is complex and like the aroma. The palate is sticky but thin. The aftertaste is bitter and toasty. Despite the positive qualities it doesn't strike me as great. I am not a huge fan but it's interesting.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.06/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours out to a cloudy dark amber, forming a peaking whipped beige head with superior retention and very nice lacing. There is a copious amount of disgusting debris (which looks and smells like fish-flakes) floating in the beer...quite a turn off, and I'm not quite sure I want to drink this (I have bad memories of Kwak). It's tough giving this an even rating because the head is gorgeous, but damn, this beer looks honestly disgusting. The aroma is very rotting barnyard hay soaked in horse urine, wet horse (Brett at it's most distinct), very, very rotten fruit (bananas, apples, and cherries), the stink of rotten mushrooms, syrupy dark fruits, faint skunk, distant malt vinegar...the aroma is as revolting as it sounds, but I am brave. Mouthfeel is initially spritzy, then soft with a deceptively light body. It gives me a queezy feeling to the stomach, probably because the aroma is initially just so revolting. Taste begins with medium intensity fruity sourness (like spontaneously fermented raw apple cider), gives way to plentiful prunes, dates and figs, followed by a very pervasive and off-putting metallic note with a light amount of skunk. The mouthfeel towards the end becomes wet, and slightly oxidized. Alcohol is perceptable as warmth, and lightly so in flavor. An aftertaste of rum-soaked dates and Djarum's lingers forever on the tongue. I eventually get used to the aroma and it isn't quite so bad now...kinda like the first time you eat sushi and realize you're eating raw fish. It's not so much the actual taste, but the thought that grosses me out. BTW, this brew induced a brief episode of manual dyshydrosis and mild bronchospasm about 40 minutes after I started drinking it (Just FYI..May I suggest diphenhydramine prior to imbibing?).

Well, what can I say. This is a mixed bag. I can certainly appreciate the craftsmanship put into this beer, but that doesn't necessarily mean I consider someone dumping a jar of fish-food into my brew-ha "crafty". Though I can get used to the odor, the metallic twang is too strong to dismiss, and it ultimately limits the appeal of this brew. Personally speaking, a mild allergic reaction also limits it's drinkability. Considering the rave reviews, I'm glad I've tried it. Perhaps some day it will grow on me, but today I'll stick to my Sour Flemish Ales, Tripples, and Dubbles. Plus, these brews don't make me vasodilatory:)

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Photo of Hanglow
3.1/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Smells like yeasty Panda Cola.

Tastes of yeasty alcoholic panda cola

Fizzy like cola, looks like cola.

Takes me back to being a kid when panda cola was about 5p cheaper than Coke, so was the obvious choice as it was pretty tasty and 5p got you a good few sweets as well.

No sweets with this, but at 9% it certainly warms you up.

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Photo of texashammer
3.2/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

deep and dark in color with some red showing. very nice head. smells boozy! dark flavor/smells like raisins, chocolate, toffee, plum. too much booze in the palate. rich and pruney flavors. creamy and full bodied. slightly too much alcoholic flavor for me; I wish it were a little more graceful.

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Photo of CRJMellor
3.21/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very opaque and cloudy light brown and amber with an ecru head that has some staying power and produces lots of spider-web like lacing on the goblet. Lots of yeasties floating in the glass
Aroma has a musty hay and grass underpinning with some chocolate, caramel, bread and coriander tones also.
Flavor starts with some darker spectrum fruitiness on the sour side and then moves to a more chocolate/caramel type of note but the sourness persists. Almost wonder if bottle is bad, the musty and sour notes are a tad off-putting.
Mouthfeel is dominated by citric sourness, alcohol presence cuts this a bit but not enough to save the beer in my opinion. Just doesn't offer the range of palate feel I expect from world class Belgian brews, very one-dimensional.
Drinkability was slightly above average but only just. In a blind tasting i would have bet this come from Jolly Pumpkin, not Abbaye Des Rocs. Very much a let down given the excellence of the other offerings from this excellent brewery.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.3/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle (best by 2010) into a Duvel tulip.

The amber-copper body of Des Rocs Brune mingles with hues of ruby red and plum; small bits of yeast float throughout. The fizzy-sounding, light tan head builds slowly to an inch in height before quickly retreating to a thin cap and ring of tight bubbles. Spicier aroma than I was expecting, with dominant notes of dried orange peel, grass, and a pungent, flowery hop presence. The maltiness is more muted, suggesting dark bread, brown sugar, and molasses.

I'm fairly sure the bottle I purchased had not gone "bad", but my taste buds definitely disagree with the high marks this beer has earned. Starts off with a slightly oaken, almost sour bite balanced somewhat poorly by a sweet, sugary presence. Where did all the spice go? Finishes bland and semi-metallic, with no aftertaste from either hops or yeast. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, but the medium body takes on a syrupy, sticky-sweet consistency that disagrees with my palate. Overall, this was a fairly unimpressive beer...judging from other reviews, quality control seems to be an issue for this Belgian import. Still, I'll probably try it again sometime just in case I did happen upon an "off" bottle.

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Photo of nomad
3.31/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep dark ruby color, this beer had a tremendous amount of carbonation supporting a tough foam head with a perfect flat top and creamy sheen. Thick lace all over.

Ester scents, as well as sweet malt and som serious dough yeast scent. Had a soft roastiness that was barely sweet and some soft spices. Tasted of a smooth Grand Cru malt, rosy, firm, and full. I thought there was soft roastiness with a barky heft, but then again some cherries. Finished with plenty of alcohol and an astringent bitterness calming down to floral hop flavors.

Smooth and easy mouthfeel is very nice. But seriously, this is not one I’d necessarily go back to. Had the exact same experience with their Grand Cru. This never tastes that good, ever, no matter how many times I've tried their beers. The hops are nasty and overtake your mouth in the finish and the malt has little character. Maybe their results are inconsistent like Dogfish Head, because none of the charming scents and flavors are found in their beers when I drink them. Flat malt, doughy yeast, and distasteful hops. I love a delicate and subtle beer, but I'm catching none of what everyone else is heralding, only lackluster versions of what they're describing (i.e. spices, fruits, wine, etc.)

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Photo of ojiikun
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a big 750ml capped (not corked) bottle. Popped with little fanfare but then literally exploded onto my counter. A good 10% of the beer shot out as foam over the first 30 seconds of being open. The foam was dense with chunks of yeast or possibly grains. This bottle sat in cellar for a good six months without being disturbed, so I simply cannot say why it was so out of control.

Body is very cloudy dark orange, with big huge clumps from bottom to head. Head is massive, dark, and retains well. Little lacing, but the glass is flecked with debris all around.

Smell is hugely of cola and spicy funk. Not musty at all, but so yeasty it's overwhelming. Some orange peel and maybe some passionfruit. Cardamom undertones. Cedar.

Taste is sweet but light in body. Lots of candi, lots of dextrins. Mineral water base with tons of half-baked bread, molasses, and fig. Some backing spice, undefinable but almost chile-like.

On returning to the bottle for a second glass, the beer has once more crawled it's way out of the neck and onto my counter. This is one LIVE beer.

Warmer temps bring out some bitterness that compliments the fruit well but fights with the spice. Seems to become lighter still and more boozy rather than sweet. Ginger-like florals.

By the final glass, the beer was totally flat. No head could be coaxed from the last pour. This final glass was also 2/3 sediment - gritty and sour.

It's clear that I got an over-primed bottle, and possibly one of some age. Still, a great-smelling beer. Taste didn't carry the party line quite as well as I might have, but is a rewarding sipper all on it's own. Feels clean in the mouth, though you can actually feel the chunks of sediment, which is unsettling (so to speak). Would like to try again in hopes of better luck in finding a bottle I can actually finish.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.47/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - a ton of huge chunkies in this one, I don't mind some sediment, but this was excessive, deep rusty color, huge yellowish head, good retention and lacing

s - rum, sugar, overripe dark fruits, plum, raisins, caramel

t - strong caramel, plum, and raisin, lingering dark fruit and sugar, some booze

m - medium-bodied, lower carbonation, sweet finish, some alcohol warming

d - not overly drinkable for my palate, a bit too sweet, the alcohol isn't overwhelming though

Decent beer overall, but this is the second Abbaye des Rocs beer I've had with chunkage issues. I am drinking this prior to the best by date as well. Not my style, but worth a try.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I wanted (yet) another St Bernadus Christmas on tap, but the strength was just too high so I settled for a bottle of this on that fateful afternoon I first visited The Red Rose in Brugge.

The 9% ABV being a whole 1% less than the St Bernadus I felt very righteous and the wife didn’t notice the alcohol content (double bonus).

Nine tenths of the beer was poured for me into the glass, the remaining sediment infested tenth I swallowed at the end. The beer was a deep, deep brown, red, purple colour, mostly red I suppose: on top an off-white head that fades fair too swiftly.

The smells are mostly sweet: molasses and sugar on toast, there is also a yeasty, dirty aroma hidden away that comes out when the beer begins to warm in the glass.

This isn’t a gulper; you’ve got to sip it: the flavours are complex and confusing. Sweet up front with a malt flavour, leaning towards burnt candy floss and treacle tarts as you get into it.

Rich, but not as thick as you might imagine, certainly different to what I expected.

Strange brew, would have preferred another St Bernadus to be honest!

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Photo of aleigator
3.5/5  rDev -16.9%

Decent beige head, brown, black color.

Light on aromas, bready malts and hints of toffee, wood.

Warm, toasted malts at the beginning, which turn more present and sweeter at the same time. Carbonation is lively, vanishes soon, due to the intense malts. Interesting development on the palate, as the beer starts earthy, bready with hints of wood and rather dry, the malt needs a second to turn sweet and warming, with hints of fruit and also spices. Almost too sweet aftertaste, sticky. Refreshing at first, loosing its carbonation to the sweetness. Complex beer with a decent body, defined by malts, with an unusual high carbonation.

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Photo of rarbring
3.51/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is clouded light brown, a warm off-white extremely large head that leaves good lacing but rather small curtains.

Sweet dried fruits, some spices and yeast.

Sweet bread, raisins, dates, syrup, orange and plum marmalade, some bitter orange peel.

High carbonation, small intense bubbles, sticky with a good body, a short dry finish.

Sweet, potent and powerful.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.56/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle - nice to see some offerings from this Belgian brewer showing up here in Alberta.

This beer pours a clear, dark orange-brick brown colour, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and fizzy tan head, which leaves very little in the way of lace anywhere near the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of bready and doughy caramel malt, besotted raisins, thin brown sugar syrup, muddled earthy spices, a touch of testy Low Countries yeastiness, and some very tame leafy and floral noble hop bitters. The taste is semi-sweet, grainy and crackery caramel malt, some ephemeral biscuity toffee notes, tacky yeast, dark candi sugar, indistinct black orchard fruit, still hard to differentiate seasonal spices, and a mildly perfumed floral and herbal hoppiness.

The carbonation is fairly active in its robust frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and sort of smooth, with the yeast taking things down a peg or two here. It finishes off-dry, just, as the brown sugar and malty essences struggle to keep their going concern, um, going.

Overall, this is one of the poorer versions of this heady style that I have yet come across - it seems kind of astringent, instead of fruity and velvety. Not bad, per se, but much more difficult to appreciate than I had imagined coming in, so approach with a healthy dose of awareness.

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Photo of Sixpack595
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Geat looking garnet brew with a long lasting off white head. Aroma is sour and slightly fruity. Flavor is very complex whit dark fruits, bannana, melon and more. The malty, sweet taste gives way to a sour then spicy finish. Mouthfeel is fairly substantial, adding to the long list of this beers good qualities. The downside? It really doesn't taste very good. 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.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.6/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 8-17-09
Best before 2-14-11

Pours a very cloudy orange-brown color, with almost no head and sticky rings of lacing.

Smell is very pungent, lots of huge alcohol fruitiness, with big citrus aromas that are surprisingly enjoyable. Very Belgian, and a hint of cloves if you look for it.

Taste is quite bland, given the smell. Slightly Belgian, a little alcohol sweetness. and slightly harsh finish. That's it.

Mouthfeel is a little too thin, not helped by the sizable carbonation.

Drinkability is actually quite good, the alcohol is surprisingly well masked.

Overall, pass.

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Photo of Conrad
3.61/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My bottle was stored lying donw in the fridge, and I couldn't see the sediment through the dark glass. So when I poured, a lot of chunky sediment came out and stayed floating in the glass throughout the drink. If the bottle had been stored upright, I'm sure the appearance would have been much better.

Short and to the point:
A: Not pretty. Deep copper-ruby colour. Head was not high, but was very dense.
S: Mild malt, a bit of fruity sweetness that faded fast.
T: Big taste with lots of complex sweet-spicy notes.
M: This changed and became a bit too much as time advanced and the beer warmed. The finish was long, dry, and smooth.
An interesting beer experience, but I won't have another.
Pretty lable for the collectors.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.62/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Toughest bottle I've opened yet. Massive metal cap that was non-compliant with my bottle opener. And a stubborn cork that wouldn't come out. After tending to my bottle opening injuries, I sat down to enjoy my beer on Christmas eve.
Pours a cloudy golden amber with a lot of yeast floating around. Great head that retains for quite some time. I get caramel, butterscotch, and nuts in the nose. Real bready and grainy tasting. Sweet and just enough of the alcohol. Nice dry aftertaste.
To carbonated and bubbly in the mouth. It's drinkable, but I think it would be hard to finish of the bottle with out a partner.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.65/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally sampled from bottle 27 June 2002. Abbaye des Rocs greets you with a nice head and beautiful mahogany color. The alcohol is very well hidden, chich I always appreciate. It has a malty, yet slightly sweet taste. This is a very elegant beer to drink.

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Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
4.21 out of 5 based on 497 ratings.
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