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

Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune]Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune]
BA SCORE
88.5%
Liked This Beer
4.2 w/ 504 ratings
Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune]Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune]
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
Belgium
abbaye-des-rocs.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,270
Reviews:
322
Ratings:
504
Liked:
446
Avg:
4.2/5
pDev:
10%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
79
Gots:
40
Trade:
1
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 504 |  Reviews: 322
Photo of glid02
4.14/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly hazy chestnut brown color with loads of floaties and a half-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of brown sugar, caramel malts, and hints of raisins. As it warms the brown sugar aromas strengthen and slightly bready malt aromas make an appearance.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet brown sugar and caramel flavors up front with dark fruits lurking in the background. As it warms the flavors become a bit more fleshed out and the sweetness subsides. The ending is definitely on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with soft and grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing the bottle and could have another glass.

Overall I ended up buying a second bottle of this after being accosted by yeast in the first bottle however the second bottle was more of the same. I would think it would be better without all of the yeast but even as it is it's worth a shot.

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Photo of Otesanek
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz'er poured at 55° into a snifter. Drunk on 12.14.08, best by 2010 7 01. Music: Cannibal Ox's Cold Vein EP, brutal.

Exploded out of the bottle upon opening, extremely carbonated. Interesting burnt umber, pretty murky with lots of yeast floaties even after a careful pour. Light lace around the glass, a pretty constant 1/2" off-white head. Nice fresh clean aroma, reminds me of their grand cru, must be the house yeast. Notes of amber candi syrup and dusty orange pith, brown crusty bread. The aroma is faint, reminds me a little of chimay red. Flavor has a great juicy acidity, an interesting hint of cocoa powder, spicy cinnamon stick, pale caramel. The acidity gives the impression of sweet-tart oranges, and some vague stone-fruits. Head has receded to a cloud cover of suds. I'm not finding any of the 9% in there, and the only hops I'm finding are on the back of the palate as a subtle orange rind and green peppercorn bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium/heavy, goes down smooth and easy, lightly coating, balanced out by the now toned down carbonation, the acidity really helps it feel crisp on the finish.

outstanding.

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Photo of BarrelO
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a Palm snifter. Best by sometime in 2011. The date is smudged, so I can't quite make it out.

A: Deep brown body with a big Belgian head. There's also a ton of sediment, which detracts from the overall appearance.

S: Brown sugar and dark fruits.

T: There's so much that it's rather difficult to put into words. The sugar and fruits from the nose are present, but they're fairly subtle and nowhere near cloying. In addition, there are strong notes of bready maltiness. There's even a hint of chocolate. In all, reminiscent of gingerbread dipped in plum pudding.

M: Thick and creamy. Not nearly as grainy as you would expect with the sediment.

D: A world-class BSDA. If you can get past the sediment, you should definitely give it a try if you're a fan of the style.

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Photo of brystmar
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brownish and caramel-y with a hint of orange. Cloudy. Lots of head when poured, but it settled quickly.

S: Tons of yeast with an equal amount of oak. Very sharp.

T: This is where the beer truly shines. It's got everything I want in a brown ale: dark, oaky flavor; hints of fruit with a little sweetness in the middle; and a pleasantly smooth, dry finish. Not overly alcoholic, despite its ABV. Very smooth and beautifully complex in oh so many ways.

M: Quite pleasant and, again, not overly sharp from its alcohol content. Lightly carbonated; anything moreso would take away from your enjoyment of the beer's delicious flavors. The word that keeps coming to mind is smooth.

D: High ABV, so be careful, but it's quite drinkable. Goes down exceptionally easily, which is quite misleading for a 9% beer.

One of my favorites for sure. Highly recommended!

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Photo of bulletrain76
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

33cl bottle at de wildeman, Amsterdam, 11-30-07. Dark brown with a big off-white head. Very refreshing aroma with some tart green apples, citrus, chocolate, and lots of spicy and doughy yeast. The flavor is perfectly middle of the road sweet for a belgian ale, some banana, very yeasty and spicy. Finishes with a lot of hops for the style, and they perfectly balance it out. Palate is very silky, without being to thick and sticky. Bomb. I love it. Probably should have bought a bottle to take home... :(

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Photo of bobsy
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bottle drank at the Only Cafe in Toronto. Best before date of 2012.

Even with a careful pour the carbonation produces a massive off-white head and requires me to place the bottle down and let it settle before finishing off. Bizarrely, the head fizzles to a thin cap for the duration of the drink, leaving a few fingers of sticky lace on the way down. The aroma is classic Belgian Dark Strong, but played with a lighter hand. Raisins are the most prominent feature, backed up with huge sweet, bready malts, spicy yeast and brown sugar. While the flavour is nicely done, it feels like its lacking a the complexity of the top tier brews. Sweet malts from start to finish, interspersed with raisins, chocolate, and a good dose of spicy yeast, which provides a good breadiness to proceedings. Perhaps my slight disappointment is caused by the body, which seems lacklustre in comparison to its compatriots, and its lightness seems to weaken the intensity of the flavour profile. Reading through the reviews, there seems to be a lot of variation on this one, which could be caused by batch differences or the effects of ageing. Certainly, the body on this particular beer is not the thicker one mentioned by others, and it needs to be amped up.

The Belgian Beer Guide isn't as glowing about Abbaye des Rocs Brune as sites like Beer Advocate, and on the basis of this experience I think I agree with it.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
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 scottyshades
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy, unfiltered hazelnut color that pours out little chunks of yeeast as you go. The head is absolutely massive and grows exponentially when poured. Slightly off-white

S: The nose is spicy, funky yeast (Brett?), bread, along with some corriander and cloves. Pretty heavy on the malts as well. Nice Belgian nose, very classic and delicious as well. Also, as the brew warms, fruity notes, and wintergreen/bubblegum come out.

T: Very smooth, little carbonation on the tongue, funky yeast comes out, bready notes, and slight/subtle spices that provide a truly amazing flavor profile. Vinegary-fruitiness as well. Classic Belgian right here + some. Very nice right before dinner or with some friends. Loveable by all.

MF/D: Very thick and syrupy body, subtle carbonation (just right for the style). Highly drinkable, just watch that ABV!

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Photo of champ103
2.76/5  rDev -34.3%
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 wl0307
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

BB 2009, served cool in Hapkin's tulip-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: a dark ruby to russet hue comes with a slowly dissipating beige head, mild carbonation, and an incredibly dirty texture of chunky, soak-bread-like yeast sediments.
S: lusciously yeasty, lightly stale (but only just) and deliciously rich on the fruit esters (black cherries, oxidised apples, perfumy overripe dark plums, huge and fat black prunes and raisins, and a touch of alcoholic orange as well)... The malt components lag behind, but still ejecting hints of crystal malts, chocolates and licorice. Candy sugar is another main element on the nose, remaining rough and uncompromising on the whole, but still well-intertwined with the fruitiness.
T: the semi-thick yet marvellously soft swallow of yeast sediments and fruit-estery flavour - mainly black cherry preserve and smoked black prunes - is followed closely by fulsome, licorice+ginger like mixed-spiced bready and black-sugary malts; the whole palate slowly turns lightly bitter and semi-dry in the aromatic aftertaste, witnessing the good work of yeasts as much as hops used in the brew.
M&D: this ale is simply lovely, with all the floating, dirty, chunky yeast sediments providing a bit more body for the palate, while fruit esters and malts are beautifully intertwined to render a fruit-cake like performance - rightfully/rightly satisfying. From the first second of the tasting up to the last, the texture remains moderate, but quite "a mouthful" still, as it goes neither thin nor cloying. Adding to the high drinkability is the overall mouthfeel that is mellow, smooth, softly carbonated, while never is any trace of alc. shown on the palate. Deceptively enjoyable~~

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Photo of GilGarp
4.28/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best by 2011.

Foiled and capped 750ml bottle. Served at cellar temperature, it pours into a globe glass with rich redish brown color and ample head. Very good retention and clarity in this first pour. Lots of suspended yeast remains in the bottle.

Aroma is very yeasty and complex with some good fruit esters. It's very pungent but not one of the best smells I've enjoyed from Belgium.

Flavor is where it's at. It's everything a good strong dark should be. There are lots of dark fruits and dried fruits, caramel and dark bread. There is a nice raisin sweetness up front that turns to slightly sour funk in the middle before finishing with a dryness from the alcohol. Like any good Belgian it's complicated but enjoyable and every sip introduces something new you hadn't noticed before.

Mouthfeel is full in body and carbonation with a good balance between sweet/dry and sweet/bitter.

Overall it's a good example but one of many that are now available here in the states. It's not my favorite one but it's a solid choice.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.3/5  rDev -21.4%
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 gford217
4.39/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a snifter, after getting this gusher under control.

Pours a slightly murky reddish brown that shows amber when held up to the light. There are plenty of floaties in there and the head is large and lingers for quite a while, leaving a little bit of lacing.

The aroma is big with tons of sweet dark malts and lots of dark fruits, especially raisins and figs. There seems to be a molasses sweetness as well. There is a bit of an alcohol burn in the nose as well.

The taste was great, much like the aroma. Tastes like raisins soaked in a highly sugary alcohol. The malt base is still dominant throughout and though I mention the sweetness, it's definitely not overpowering as in some versions of the style.

The mouthfeel is velvety smooth with plenty of carbonation.

This is a nice example of a Belgian brown, one of the better I've had recently. I definitely feel lucky to be able to walk into my local shop and pick this up whenever I want. Good stuff.

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Photo of biegaman
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amaretto and orange blossom - this is hardly brown for a beer labeled "brune". Its head is comprised just mostly of an accentuating contour. In typical Abbaye Des Rocs fashion the beer is entirely polluted with coagulated proteins. It is terribly unsightly and even with a careful pouring technique, seemingly unavoidable. Every ABR beer I've had in the last four years has been the exact same story...

I knew it would take a wonderful bouquet to calm me down and disregard the dreadful appearance; fortunately, this does posses such a thing. Citric and dried fruits are wrapped in fresh cut sugar cane and then baked into some sort of caramel centered confection. This has almost every delicious element one could ask for: citrus, spice, toasty malts, nuts, fruit, and enticing sweetness. I don't care what this looks like anymore...

And the taste is further reason not to. Those same characters that greeted me so kindly in the aroma are quick to pounce on the palate, too. It's an unlikely cast of oranges, mandarins as well as nectarines and peach. It's light colour seems to correspond to a cast of mostly light coloured fruits. The taste of honeyed oats, almond brittle and a delicious caramel coffee cake also pamper the taste buds. I wish I could tell you where all this flavour was coming from.

The beer is fairly sweet and also surprisingly citric. It is not overly rich despite a tremendous flavour profile. Neither bitterness nor alcohol ever factor in. This particular sample (already beyond the posted 'best before' date) attests to not only the beer's aging potential but also the silliness of having to post such a thing as legal requirement. I like to know when a beer is made but may I suggest instead a "best after" date?

This is amazing beer, it just isn't amazing looking. Its flavour is so distinctive that it makes the high price tag and off-putting appearance more than worthwhile. It reminds me exactly of a Grand Marnier creme brulee I once had. I can't say enough that this is delicious beer. If Abbaye Des Rocs could get this coagulated protein issue under control then I wouldn't hesitate to call them one of Belgium's best exports.

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Photo of bskrtz
2.95/5  rDev -29.8%
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 joepais
3.66/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to joe1510 for this one
750 ml bottle with a best by date of 2010 poured into a chalice produced a small brown head that turned to a light lace. Wow this is the first bottle I have got from this brewery that wasn't a gusher or had floaties. The body of this brew was clear reddish brown in color.

The initial whiff I got seemed a bit sour. Then malts are huge on this bottle, very much overpowering all the other aromas. The flavor is very sweet lots of candy sugar and caramel. This brew had a medium mouth to it with light carbonation exactly what I would expect from a Belgian brown.

Easy to drink I was kind of confused not seeing any floaties in this bottle I will have to revisit this brew some time, not as good as the grand cru from them

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Photo of csmiley
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a murky medium brown with just a hint of red that shows in the light. The tan head was pretty minimal and only mustered about a quarter inch. Retention is average but given the amount of head that is as good as can be expected. Some lacing is present but is spotty at best.

S - A nice smooth malty aroma comes at the nose first. Comes across as toasted bread and pastry dough. That gives way to a white bread and just a little alcohol. Some dark fruit comes in at the very end and stays very mild. Could be raisin.

T - Malt complexities come on go throughout this beer. Fruitiness is more noticeable in the flavor. Getting raisin and fig notes. Very bready in the middle with some strong hints of yeast. Ends sweet with flavors of sweetened tea and brown sugar. Alcohol stays out of the way but still gives a nice smack of heat when needed.

M - Much lighter than expected with minimal carbonation. Finish is sweet and pretty clean for a 9% brew. Really excels in this category.

D - Drinkiability is great for a beer this big. I could quickly put a few of these down before realizing it weighs in at 9%. This one can be vbery sneaky. Nice flavor and aroma mixed with this mouthfeel makes for a winner in my book. Kudos to des Rocs for an easy drinking Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Glad I got to try it and this one makes me look that much more forward to trying the rest of this breweries selections.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.11/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cellared this for about 8 months.

A: Chunk city. Nice brown color with minimal white head. A good amount of lacing especially considering the style.

S: Some dates and raisins with a subtle funk. Kind of a tight nose but still there.

T: Very nice sweetness. Tons of dark fruit. A nice but weird mix of yeast and malt.

M: Very nice full medium mouthfeel. The chunks are a wonderful detraction. Very dry in the finish.

D: Very nice. Glad I split this. A nice example of the stlyle.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle, $3.99 at Whole Foods in Columbus. The beer is murky reddish brown, no floaters but still a little hazy with a thin wisp of a head. The smell is easy to peg as a product of this brewery, with the classic mix of sweet maltiness, yeasty esters, and a little bit of cough syrup. Actually I don't really appreciate the cough syrup, but it's there in the Abbaye des Rocs beers I've tried, and several other breweries too (Gouden Carolus, even very aged St Sixtus ABT 12). The taste is as good or a little better than the aroma, less cough syrup and more dark fruity esters. Very nice aftertaste that lingers. Solidly above average, more than worth a try.

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Photo of drseamus
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Chunk city. Somewhat to be expected. Brown body with a thin off white head.

S: Slight funk with big malt. Raisins, brown sugar, dark fruit. Pretty tight nose.

T: Rich flavor. Very malty. Super smooth. Nice caramel sweetness with a somewhat dry finish.

M: Super smooth, medium body, very rich.

D: Great brune. Very drinkable with no hint of alcohol.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 5/16/08. Bottle. Pours a cloudy brown with a small white head (surprisingly without the floaties present in Grand Cru). Aroma of light fruits. Flavor of spices, Belgian yeast, anise star, and molasses. Sweet with a slightly heavy mouthfeel. An enjoyable Belgian strong ale.
7/4/8/4/15 (3.8/5)

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Photo of corby112
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark reddish-brown color with a thin, tan foamy head. Nice malty aroma with hints of dark berries. Very smooth drinking beer with a sweetnes that is a nice compliment to the slightly roasted malt flavor. Hints of dark cherries, raisin, prune and fig.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.16/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle on 12/21/2005.

Poured a hazy brown color with a huge frothy light brown head that was fully lasting and produced excellent lacing. Heavy malt, brown sugar and citrus aroma. Medium to full body with a sticky texture. Full balanced sweet bitter flavor with the same long finish with a very small alcohol tone.

Great well balanced brew.

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Photo of nick76
3.06/5  rDev -27.1%
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 hopdog
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle.

Poured a medium to dark mahogany color with a large tan head. Bready, nutty, earthy, caramel plums and raisin aromas and tastes. All nice and subtle - working very well together. Slightly sweet. Alcohol very well hidden (hard to believe there's 9% in this one). Very good beer.

Notes from and tasted on 9/17/04.

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Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
Beer rating: 88.5% out of 100 with 504 ratings
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