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.
Belgium | website

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: 318 | Ratings: 481
Photo of jlervine
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy ruddy brown with a lovely off-white creamy head. The aroma had hints of rum, lowland scotch, alcohol, and just a touch of fruitiness. The taste is all over the place. Rum soaked fruits, spicy finish, caramel malts in the middle. Alcohol makes it's presence known, but doesn't dominate. Mouthfeel is very light considering the dominating flavors of this beer. Deceptively easy to drink, but I know this beer wouldn't think twice about mugging me in a back alley to take my wallet.

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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 guitarmage
4.59/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy maple, the foamy head formed easily but dissipated quickly. Ring around the glass, a few bubbles linger.

Smell: Sweet brown sugar malt melds with a nice spiciness, peppery, caramel, alcohol, coriander.

Taste: Sweet malt makes a short appearance, and then a spiciness comes in, coriander, anise, warming alcohol, peppery hops linger but aren't prominent.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth with pricklely tight carbonation, smooth and tasty.

Drinkability: A lot light in overall flavor, savory compared to other Belgian Strong Dark Ales, which are sweeter, this is peppery and light, tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of waldowin
4.31/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL champagne-style bottle, with a...cap? No cork, massive metal cap. Threw me for a bit, I almost didn't fit the bottle-opener around it. Opened with a definitive *snap*, and foam immediately began fighting its way out of the bottle. A very careful pour left a glass 1/3 beer and 2/3 *thick* foam. This stuff is the consistency of meringue topping, and lasts for ages with massive lacing. Beer itself is a murky ruby, fading to brown at the center.

Smells of dark malts, alcohol, and some hot spices.

Tastes heavily of raisins and walnuts. A slightly dry edge to it, with a sweet finish. Not terribly complex, but very good.

Mouthfeel is foamy, big, and carbonated. The carbonation cuts the mouthfeel nicely, leaving almost a champagne-like finish. A dry sweetness is left on your throat, and a roasty raisiny finish on your tongue.

This stuff is very rich, and fairly high in ABV, but I'm still making a go at the 750mL bottle by myself. Hopefully I'll be conscious tomorrow.

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Photo of Jetulio
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chalice Glass from 330 ml bottle.

App--- dark brown clour with big head ( 2 fingers, beige) long lasting
S--- fruits and sugar. Sweet.
T--- sweet syrup and a bit spicy. It is a classic Belgian strong ale .
M--- long aftertaste. Medium body with medium/high carbonation. A little bit of alcohol in mouth.
O--- all that you expect in a belgian ale. Next time I will drink this one in a big tulip (Judas glass). I rate high this beer even when I like ales with more bitterness

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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 byrd
4.72/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours with a big light brown frothy head and lots of large bubbles around the outside of the glass. Clear reddish brown in color with some bubbles rising to the surface. The head slowly recedes to a thick frothy lace. The nose is quite heavy with all sorts of aromas. Dark fruits, vinous notes, oak, brown sugar, and a hint of cherry are all noticeable. I can keep my nose to the glass for ages. Tons of flavors on the palate. I can’t believe that this one is 9% ABV. The drinkability is outstanding. The start is slightly bread with good malt tons. Fruitiness of plums and raisins along with some cherry hints stand out. Vinous flavors are apparent (port wine?) with oak notes that sneak in toward the end. The finish is slightly warming. Spices are present, but to a much lesser degree then other Belgian Ales. No worries though. This is an absolutely wonderful brew, that probably couldn’t be better if it tried. So many flavors and aromas all melding together perfectly.

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Photo of mconner666
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle, bottled on 1-27-14, poured into a Chimay Trappist glass.

A finger or two worth of foam came straight up through the top of the bottle. It poured a dark brown, with a nice head, and I could see a lot of dregs as I poured. The nose came off very banana with a hint of cloves, which turned more bread like within a couple of minutes.

The flavor was similar to the nose, kind of a banana nut bread, that was sweet with some raisin notes also. This was definitely what beer was meant to be many years ago, bread in a bottle. At 9.0%, you would not know it, there was little to no alcohol taste or burn.

Overall a very good representation of the style. I will definitely by again, when I can.

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

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a snifter. A murky brown color with some fine scattered sediment. A short head that holds up well and produces some decent lacing.

A very complex wonderful smell. Rum soaked raisins and brown sugar come to mind. Alcohol not very apparent.

Taste is sweet, but not cloying. Sweeter than some of the others of the style. Brown sugar, chocolate, covered cherries, toffee, spiced rum. A great combination that always leaves you wanting more

Smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Goes down frighteningly easily. Alcohol is not detectable in the taste, but really hits you.

A wonderful beer. I'm really partial to the style, but this is one of the better ones and really holds up to other more notable beer such as Chimay Grand Reserve.

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

330cl bottle poured into a Gulden Draak glass. Dark cognac color, nice small but lingering head. Smell is malty and spicy, with just the hint of banana in there. Taste has hints of wine, spice, citrus. There's just a LOT in there as I drink it. A somewhat sour sensation in the finish with an alcohol backbone. Tasty and complex. I'll come back to this one whenever I see it..

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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!

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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 swamiswamu
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty tasty. I think this is a great beer to introduce to wine drinkers. The bottle says burgundy ale and they mean it. The aroma is strong in malt, esters and especially fruity. The flavor comes on like a great bordeaux. It is just huge and fruity. There are hints of grapes, apricot, apple and some pepper. The 750 is pretty easy to polish off. Cheers.

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Photo of pio
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

rich, deep amber with bronze highlights and slightly hazy. sturdy tan head that has a foamy consistancy and is about an inch after it settles a bit. the head is constant and it leaves pretty, yet sinking laces with sticky bunting here and there.
the scent filled the room shortly after i pulled the cap off. piquant apricots, melon, kiwi, caramel and nougat. a floral yeasty scent and a tenuous spice scent - tweak ginger and cinnemon. brown sugar and molasses back drop these wonderful up-front scents. no alcohol detected but a thin presance.
this is one big silky body. the flavor is amazingly full bodied with sweet fruit bread, bread crust, dark breads and ginger snaps. a warming alcohol. a bitter finish that could be either or both hops and roasted grains. this lingers with a touch of a sweet note with above mentioned fruit complimented nicely with a strong licorice note. as curious as it is has a pretty crisp effervescance on the mouthfeel and a great big silky smooth body, my god. there is just the slightest bite on the center of the tongue whose origin i think is alcohol.
this is one wowzer of a beer and unless someone dosen't like licorice this is sure to be one of the most drinkable beers i've had.

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Photo of ChuckD
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Growler from Shoreline poured into a chalice. A gigantic, tawny lacing - bubbling all around on top of a shiny burgundy/copper body. The pour is outstanding and needs to be observed.

To the nose, very complex and intriguing. I notice fresh fruits in the front - that quickly give way to mountains of sweet malts. The esters are there - but not overpowering. Take big whiffs.

In the mouth, all of the smells are verified - and then some. Layers and layers of fruits and spices surrounding a malt mainline that is rarely exhibited in any beer. The malt character of this beer is unbelievable - so full and sweet, but integrated into the whole so there are no breaks anywhere.

The feel is nearly perfect for the style. On tap - this was probably a little lighter than bottle, but the body was still full and chewy. The carbonation is ideal - allowing the underlying sweetness to meld with all of the other flavor layers. Alcohol is present - but not unpleasant and gently disappears into nothingness. The finish is dry - but still full and turning organic and woodsy in the back.

Musings: This is perhaps as close to perfection as you can get. The tastes will blow you away. On tap, I think it is a little lighter than bottle, but either way, you can't go wrong. There's a weirdness to the drinkability of this stuff. So strong - yet so delicious and approachable. Amazing brew.

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Photo of instrumentality
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I received a shipment from Belgium today, including four of these bad boys. This is my first sampling from the package.

As soon as I cracked open the cap, this beer wanted OUT! I had to get the cap off quickly and pour it before all the foam ran down the side of the bottle. It left a hearty, heavily carbonated tan head that settled down to about a finger. Beneath this was an opaque, cloudy copper.

The smell was out of this world. I remember the Grand Cru (the brown, not the one everyone loves) smelling interesting, but this one took the cake. It smelled like a mix of brown sugar, cherries, a bit of citrus, caramel, and malt. I felt like I was about to have not a beer, but dessert.

I took a sip. I remembered the Grand Cru brown tasting kind of watered down. This one was anything but. The first thing I tasted was alcohol. burns. Mouthfeel not so good. Lots of alcohol, lots of carbonation, this thing is throwing a party in my mouth.

Aside from the alcohol, the taste was very balanced. All of the odors I sensed came through on my palate with the possible exception of the citrus. Then it chilled out and left a cooling aftertaste, primarily of cherries, brown sugar, and malt.

From the smell, I can tell this beer has a lot of potential, but right now the alcohol overpowers everything else. I'm glad I bought three more of these (although I'll probably stumble upon them at a local liquor store and kick myself as I'm already doing with the St. Bernardus), as I plan on stowing at least a couple of them away for awhile. I'm not that experienced with aging beer, but as I understand it, over time, a potent beer like this will mellow out a bit and allow its intricacies to come to the surface. Let's hope so.

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Photo of Paddez
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Came in a 33cl bottle with a slightly tacky label. Upon opening; foam started to rise twoards the top of the bottle. Poured a cloudy brown-amberish brew with a big head that only stayed for a short while and then started to diminish. Lots of sediment at the bottom. It proved almost impossible to keep it all in the bottle. Doesn't matter, it can only make the appearance more intresting.

Smell: Oh boy. Flowers, citrus fruits, prunes, nuts and tea. Deliciously rich and complex. Very floral for such a dark beer.

Taste: Prunes, roasted malts, yeast, honey, and slightly dry walnuts near the end. Magnificent!

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: The brew is so creamy it seems to coat your tongue. The medium carbonation fits the smooth characteristics very well. The high ABV is deceptivly well-hidden, wich adds to the drinkability. I could've easily quaffed another but this stuff is so complex that one is enough.

Conlusion: A most unique brew. Maybe not to everyone's liking but in my humble opinion one of Belgium's greatest.

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Photo of BlazerT
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: dark brown, with dense, medium, white head, which lasts for not so long, low lacing;

S: complex malty sweetness, low caramel and bready moderately low dark fruit esters - plums, raisins, really interesting spiciness with some pepper and mint aromas, which makes it quite refreshing, very low hop aroma, moderate intense perfumy and spicy alcohol notes;

T: moderatly rich maltiness, sweet, low caramel and bread falvors, low dark fruit esters, again very interesting spiciness - peppermint, low bitterness, alcohol balance rich and malty character, it's more like vinous-alcohol, semi-sweet finish

M: thin, medium bodied, moderate carbonation, moderate alcohol warmth.

O: rich, complex and strong beer with powerfull maltiness, balanced with alcohol and spiceness.

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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 pheggeseth
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours yellow gold, settles to reddish yellow/gold brown, one inch tan head that tapers to a fine layer
S: yeast, sour strawberry mixed with caramel, faint hops in the back, slight alcohol
T: caramel and strawberry again, yeast in the middle
M: smooth, little carbonation, creamy
D: unexpectedly fruity, very good, not too strong, pretty unique in my opinion

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

Duvel glass. Nice beige quarter-inch head which stays and stays.

Warming. The classic dubbel flavor profile. Lots of ethanol; hot. Raisin/fig/caramel sweetness, with a complex grapey, pinot noir finish. Some bracing flavor hops towards the end.

This is a sipper. The flavor is dense, sweet, and concentrated.

Maybe a few years of cellering would bring out the vinous character that I was looking for.

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Photo of TPSReports
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep ruddy amber color into my chalice at 50 degrees forming a two finger head of very light brown.

One of the hoppier Belgian ales I have sampled, but not overpowering. I think the malt is a bit underwhelming. As I get further into the glass, the true beauty of this beer begins to shine. It is complex and balanced with hints of malt, toffee, caramel, a hint of cinnamon balanced with light hops.

This is a moderately carbonated beer that is delicious and easy to drink.


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Photo of krberg
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thick cream-colored head. Deep brownish-orange. Lots of CO2 streaming upwards.

Smells like chocolate and berries. Potent, amazing. Lots of alcohol in the nose as well.

Smooth and rich. Very simple and wonderful. Mildly sweet. A cocoa powder like chocolate flavor with raisins. Reminds me of a well made cake. Alcohol warmth leaves my nose and the aftertaste is a light sweetness. I can find no hops.

Perfect mouthfeel for this particular beer.

This beer disappears from my glass almost as fast as I can pour it. Its lack of typical Belgian spicyness keeps this beer easy drinking. I really think I could drink it all evening long. It never feels too filling and, in fact, I'm already thinking about having another beer.

Great great great! A worldclass beer for sure. It has been a long time since I have had an import that has made me so happy. This might be a good beer for those that don't like or aren't familiar with belgians. Would go great with roasted red meats (prime rib), amazingly with duck, almost any cheese, and nuts. By all means grab yourself a Abbaye des Rocs.

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Photo of santa109
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at L'autre-oeil in Gatineau, QC.

A: Poured a dark brown with very little head despite an aggressive pour into a chalice. The head retention was disappointing as it took about 20 seconds for the head to completely fade away.

S: Caramel, malt and candy sugar are the dominating aromas. Belgian yeast is also present. Hard to really define.

T: Candy sugar and some ripe dark fruitiness. There is also some brown sugar in there.

M: Medium-bodied with low carbonation. Nothing to brag about in this department.

D: This was the best part of this beer. The alcohol made its presence felt but it was really apparent in the taste.

Overall, it was enjoyable despite being hard to define in the smell and taste departments.

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

1987 vintage bottle, at the Kulminator, in very good condition. Appearence: Slightly cloudy. Orange color. Big head, but fades rapidly. Aroma: Spicy hops and malt. Some sherry notes. Flavor: Crisp, spicy. Probably,antioxident character in spices leaves beer very lively. Finish: Crisp, rich spicy finish. Very good shape.

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Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 318 ratings.
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