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

322 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 322 | Ratings: 497
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!

 1,096 characters

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.

 1,398 characters

Photo of ConchobarNessa
4.21/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Classic belgian bruin. Dark clear-brown, you can see through it but you can see this is going to be heavy. Tony off-white bubbles with a generous head that slinks away pretty fast.

Smell- Lots happening here, spicy, sweet, burnt sugar and dates.

Taste- Awesome taste, the malt is dominating this beer. A little alcohol burn, just the perfect amount to tell you you're alive.

Mouthfeel- Very liquid that is lifted up by the carbonation. Not quite as heavy as some I've had.

Overall- Sweet beer, try it, its an awesome belgian bruin.

 548 characters

Photo of Intrinsic
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is quite an amazing beer. The head grows on it just like an Orval would and has a light brown colour. The beer itself is an almost opaque medium brown.

Its brimming with all sorts of good smells like Belgian yeast, loads of toasty malts, and other spices. Very nice.

The taste is quite good, mostly dominated by malts. Good mouthfeel, medium bodied. Overall, its worth trying at least once and if you're lucky enough to have access to it, then why not a couple more times as well!

 487 characters

Photo of flipper2gv
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Like most Belgian Dark Ales, this one is unfiltered so it has this murky brown color with the light beige head. Retention is sub par compared to other beers in this category. Lacing is ok but also sub par.

S: The first thing that I notice is how sweet this beer seems to be. Strong toffee, caramel, brown sugar and dried dark fruits seems to be the dominant sweet flavors in this, with a slight maple syrup tone.

T: Again, VERY sweet, a bit too much too. Strong toffee, brown sugar, dark dried fruits, molasses with definitive maple syrup like flavors. Typical Belgian Dark but with more sweets than usual.

M: Strange mix of typical Belgian like light feel but with some stickiness to it too.

O: Pretty good, but like I said, a bit too sweet. Still, the flavors are nice and I think I would get it again.

 813 characters

Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Chimay goblet.

A: Pours a beautiful deep burgundy with a reddish/brownish/whitish head that fades rather quickly.

S: Smell in funky and intense, with molassas, black grapes, roses and pepper.

T: All the aromas come through in the taste, but there is a pretty strong booze element that I didn't expect. It finishes slightly dry and rough with a hint of charcoal.

D: Like I said, a tad boozier than most BSDA. It is, however, very complex and intense and makes for a slow, but tasty sipper.

Overall: I would definitely pick this one up again. It is original, even within its style and I would love to take another crack at it and see what other flavours and aromas it has to offer.

 719 characters

Photo of spinrsx
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml Bottle

Appearance – Hazy brown colour with a massive size fizzy beige/light brown coloured head. It's too hazy/dark to see the carbonation level and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, molasses, dark fruits, smoke, chocolate, wood

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a high amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, molasses, dark fruits and what I thought to be soya sauce.. I couldn't quite put my finger on what the taste was. Anyways, there was also some smoke and a woody flavour and towards the end I could also taste chocolate. The beer finishes with a smokey and malty sweet aftertaste.

Overall – A complex beer that has a whole bunch of flavours going on. It's not something I'd want to drink every day, but I'm going to keep a few on hand for sure. The alcohol was really well hidden and it's a must try beer in my opinion.

 906 characters

Photo of nickd717
4.09/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle via trade thanks to Crack1Open.

Pours hazy brown, a little reddish, with a small khaki head.

The aroma is nice, with caramel, toffee, brown sugar, Belgian yeast, and slight dark fruits.

The flavor is sweet but good, with big caramel malts, English toffee, sherry-like oxidation, Belgian yeast, and berries, blueberries even as crazy as that is.

Medium-full body with lower carbonation. Solid stuff, even if it’s possibly a little past prime.

 460 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Oxblood brown with a fast-fading kola beige head and some serious chunks of sediment and continuous streams of bubbles. Carmelized sugar, oak and figs on the nose.
Dates, port, shortbread, and stewed apple then some earth, kola spice and orange oil hops. Candied black grape end and numbing menthol linger.
Buttery feel; medium, chewy, lively, round.

The dandruff shower of sediment is seriously off-putting. Some brandy-like complexity, and I appreciate this gets all that sweetness in there but is still all malt. But can't live up to my sky-high expectations.

 565 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep red, poured into a wide-mouthed branded goblet at 't Brugs Beertje. Body is clear and fine, quite slight bodied, but the head is full and attractive. Some sticky lacing looks more like a continuation of a subsided head. Colour is awesome, overall, it looks very pleasant indeed.

Nose is quite astringent and strong with booze and a savoury sweet character, a little like ketchup. Sweet tomato, slight spice and savoury moreishness. Full and quite lovely; before it gets too intense, there's a touch of lemon freshness to cut through. Very special and a little unique.

Taste is soft and flavoursome, with more of that savoury character and a lingering vegetative sweetness. All of this is softened with caramel, port, cream and herbal tones. Vanilla sweetness comes though, with even a hint of cherry or kirsch. Very filling, and rather finely and strongly carbonated however.

Smooth and strong, and quite full on, but nonetheless dry and respectable. Harder to drink than some; the carbonation is very high. But it's an impressive beer, no doubt.

 1,054 characters

Photo of rvdoorn
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: the beer pours a caramel brown color with a nice head.
Smell: Roasted malts, caramel, toffee, nuts, caramel and spicy hops
Taste: Dark fruits, nuts, yeast, caramel, pepper, and grains. Nice spicy medicinal aftertaste
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation and a bit thin body
Overall: Not bad, not great

 300 characters

Photo of gdrydenc
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a light caramel color, but when I look through it through a tulip it's nearly opaque. A solid 2 fingers of off-white head that lasts a long time. There's also a lot of sediment in this, a lot more than I was expecting, but it doesn't hurt at all.

S - Dark, sweet fruits at the forefront. There's also a bit of spiciness in the nose. Very solid smelling BSDA. I'm excited to try it!

T - The taste totally lives up to the smell. Slightly sour, but mostly dark sweet fruits, once again. It's a delicious, very complex beer. This one has been sitting for a while, so I think it's been able to mature a while.

M - The mouthfeel is the only slight issue that I see. It's a little bit watery, but it doesn't detract a ton from the beer overall.

Overall, this is a very complex, great beer. I'm glad that this was sold in a 4 pack!

 837 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a bottle of this beer from the Bethlehem Speakeasy about a year ago. I had purchased a bottle of Baladin Xfume for about $50 to take home with me. The bartender had then brought out the bottle of Des Rocs for me and started pouring it out. I asked what it was, he said it was a Dark Belgian Strong ale that they had just gotten in. He told me it was on the house for being a such good customer to them all the time. I thanked him and proceeded to enjoy this beer to it's fullest. The beer poured out as a really nice brown color with a tan foamy head. The lacing was pretty good on the glass. The aromas of brown sugar and dark fruits flooded my nose, there was also some yeasty aroma in there and some fresh wood also. The aromas were all very well balanced. The taste of the beer was lightly roasted, the sweetness upfront from the fruits carried over into the caramel wooden aftetaste. The mouthfeel was elegantly smooth and very eacy to drink. Overall I found this beer to be very good on just about every level. I'd love to have it again one day.

 1,055 characters

Photo of claspada
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aromas of caramel, toffee, nuttiness, a little oak, and some dark fruits as it warms (mainly raisins).

The tastes begin with nuttiness, milk chocolate, biscuity/sugar cookie. As it warms you get more of the dark fruit and oak you detected from the nose.

The mouthfeel is a tad thin for the style in my opinion, not a deal breaker, I just prefer more; carbonation is fine for the style. Overall this is a good beer, top of the style, no, but still good. Not bad for the price and availability. Recommended but don't break your back to find it.

 544 characters

Photo of megahurts4
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brassiere des Rocs Brune

Appearance: brown, small head, and some good lacing.

Smell: dark fruits such as raisins and dates and some nice yeast and malts.

Taste: dark fruits, pleasant malts, and a slight yeast.

Mouthfeel: medium.

This has a nice aroma. The taste is also very well balanced and equally as appealing as the aroma.

 342 characters

Photo of bylerteck
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle from ABS Drinks. From notes.

A - Huge gusher to start. Head fades really fast. Muddy, streaky, dark brown colour. Head leaves a leaves a thin ring.

S - Rum, butter, yeast, breadiness, sugar, and some booze.

T - Rum and butter candy. Sweet with some yeast and dark fruit. Quite complex. Lot's of dark fruit comes out later.

M - Mild carbonation and a medium body. Sweet, dry finish. Seems like more body is in order.

O/D - Nice beer. Could use a bit more body and dark fruit character but the complexity is there for sure. A tasty and interesting beer.

 563 characters

Photo of Starless
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a Maudite glass. Not sure quite how old it is, but it says best before 2011, and I know it had been in the store for a while. Been refrigerated though, so despite the green bottle hopefully it's aged gracefully. Picked it up on sale for $4 as they stocked more then they could sell, hard to beat that deal.

It pours a very dark, reddish brown, almost an exceptionally deep garnet. Clear, but with oodles of little globules of yeast floating around. A rich off white head immediately billows up, and then just as immediately vanishes completely. Odd. Just a trace of lacing around the edges, though with a constant spring of bubbles in the center. Almost like champagne.

The smell is deep and rich, and very sweet. Brown sugar and maple malts left me a little worried that it might end up tasting just like a big glass of maple syrup. A bit of cherry lingering in the aroma as well. A bit of overripe dark fruit, and just a faint hint of sourness, almost a wild ale sort of sourness.

The taste, though, blows the smell away, especially as the beer warms to proper drinking temperature. The cherry scent hinted at in the scent explodes in the taste.

Cherry, cherry, cherry. Definitely the first and foremost flavor. It's very sweet, but the slight sourness in the aroma translates to a faint tartness in the taste that balances out the sweetness exceptionally.

Early tastes were rich with that slightly tart cherry, as well as a little green apple. A few more tastes, and I'm getting a lot of brown sugar, and some yeasty spiciness.

As the beer continued to warm the cherry flavor intensifies but also opens up, and changes a little. Almost a bourbon soaked sort of cherry, with a hint of oakiness. Eventually becoming almost a chocolate or dark chocolate covered cherry as the predominant flavor.

Very tasty!

As for the mouthfeel, it was a little surprising at first. The carbonation was very bubbly, almost effervescent. Much like the little ring of bubbles in the center reminded me of champagne, so too did the mouthfeel early on. Very bubbly, and very dry.

As the beer warmed, the mouthfeel grew a bit more full, and creamy.

Overall an excellent beer, one of my favorite Brown Ales, I think.

 2,240 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a cervoise glass. Best before 6 May 2013.

A: A massive head crowns the beer and fades tantalisingly slowly. Medium-dark chestnut brown with microscopic bubbles filtering up in droves through light sediment. Opaque, but light. Sticky lace.

S: Abundant fruit, candy sugars, very strong and sweet. Some spiciness, but I can detect but little yeast about which other reviewers commented.

T: Yum, lots of light fruit. Grape, apple, berry, maybe even some citrusesque satsuma. A mild carbonation complements a pleasantly light body. Loads of malts provide a sweet foundation. The finish is sweetish as well, but with throwbacks to the initial fruitiness. Aftertaste is lamentably brief.

M: Truly grand. Everything you'd want to feel in a beer.

D: A wonderful beer; recommended. Still, I somehow feel it lacks that je ne sais quoi, that ineffable quality that thrills your core and instils a sense of joy. Good, but not transcendently so -- something is amiss somewhere, but I'll be damned if I can find any specific to complain about. You try.

 1,073 characters

Photo of maleman
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a pint glass. Thick, opaque brown with a khaki colored two-finger head that receded into a one-finger head with visible sediment. Thick lacing.

S - Very malty. Could detect a good bit of alcohol in the smell.

T - Very tasty! The smell of alcohol belied the taste as it is almost non-existent. I sensed a good bit of caramel.

M - medium-bodied, smooth with very little aftertaste.

D - although I'm not in an area where this beer is readily available I will be keeping an eye out for it. Where I see it...I'll certainly buy it!

 570 characters

Photo of Robertgc
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

appearance. Kinda like a brown snow globe. Lots of yeasty goodness floating around in there. My bottle said best before 2009. I will challenge that! Smell is very nice. "Oak" comes to mind, then after a taste, a sweetness and a full bouquet of spices. Malty and sweet first, then a slight alcohol warmth. My tastes fall more towards the sweet, so this beer definately works for me. Very highly recommended.

 406 characters

Photo of pioppo
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber/Red. Fine and very persistente beige foam.

S - Cherry over all!! Then hot spicies (paprika and cinnamon). Dried fruit (figs). After a few minutes became evident the aroma of roasted coffee and the ethylic. In the final also chocolate from malting.

T - Cherry and spicies went out also in the flavour in a triumph of sweetness!!

M - A very good and smooth body!! The fine hopping balances sweetness and alcohol.

D - This beer it's very drinkable. It's impossible to ask not another again!!

 502 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.69/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to ygtbsm94 for sharing a bottle of the 2006 vintage of this. Also had a separate bottle more recently, at which time I took better notes. Review from those.

Served in a wine glass. Gushed quite a bit, overflowing after I opened it. It was probably a bit too warm. Loads of floaties, though this is quite explainable given the gushing. Pours brown-garnet with a moderate head that quickly falls into a collar with a speckled cap. The nose is strong, earthy red grapes with some caramel and plum in the background. there are also some other dark fruits and a good measure of sweetness as well.

The taste is not quite as complex but there are strong grapes and a bit of cherries. This is quite sweet but never cloying. There is a bit of darker malt in the background; no roast. The feel is medium and cream. Light--though very fitting--level of carbonation. Incredibly drinkable. Likely my new go to Belgian beer.

 925 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!

2006 Vintage

A: Light brown to dark orange in color, with a half inch of white, fluffy head that leaves a healthy amount of lacing. Some sediment can be seen floating in the beer.

S: Distinctly Belgian aroma, with scents of Belgian yeast, malt, fruits.

T: I was shocked by this beer. It was delicious. I will definitely be hooking myself up with some of this. A tantalizing Belgian yeast flavor in tandem with subtle fruits and a wonderful malt profile make this beer utterly delectable.

M: Smooth, creamy, and slightly sweet. Silky smooth on the palate. Age must have come into play, as this beer is just effortless to drink.

D: Slightly sweet, but I could definitely enjoy a full goblet of this.

 743 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 12/12/10 notes. Had at a local tasting thanks to ygtbsm94; thanks Brad.

a - Pours an amber color with two fingers of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Some sediment floating in the beer.

s - Smells of molasses, dark fruits, caramel malts, and a little bit of spice.

t - Tastes of dark fruit, caramel malts, spices, sugar. Definitely some sour fruit in the taste as well.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - Overall I thought this was a pretty good Belgian dark ale. I really like the sour fruit taste and the mouthfeel. Would like to try again.

 577 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Bruery tulip. Lots of sediment in this one. Luckily I have a strong constitution.

Beer is brown, dark, and really hazy with chunks floating in it. Brown thin dusty head, medium bubbles, nice lacing, strong forward carbonation.

Aroma sweet and bready. Mild, good though.

Beer is pretty sweet. Lots of carbonation on the palate, some caramel flavors, breadiness and esters on the midpalate, finish is a little dry, not too much though. Overall a nice beer.

 486 characters

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.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.