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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
318 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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 | 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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
318
Ratings:
480
Avg:
4.21
pDev:
12.11%
 
 
Wants:
76
Gots:
35
For Trade:
1
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 318 | Ratings: 480
Photo of tbeckett
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 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 dgilks
3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big, sweet, malt aroma with notes of clove and orange. Slight anise note. Slightly bready in the way that Munich malt is bready.

Somewhat hazy, deep brown with copper highlights. Small, light tan head with moderate retention.

Again, big, almost sickly malt sweetness. Light spiciness and lots of bread. Little to no bitterness.

Medium-full mouthfeel with moderately-low carbonation. Decent.

Something here doesn't quite click. The sweetness is over the top with no real complexity. Decent but not great.

 507 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

 678 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in my DFH snifter. Bottle was a gusher. Poured a murky mahogany with a 1.5 inch off-white head the quickly dissolved into a skim with a heavy band around the shoulders; no lacing present during the tasting. Nose was dark fruit (grape skin and plum), caramel and yeast. Taste consistent with nose, but caramel sweetness is much more in the forefront, with the dark fruit in the back; sugary sweet with a little tartness. Also picked up a hint of chocolate somewhere in the mix. Medium-bodied mouthfeel with a tickle of effervescence. Nice belgian strong dark; a very pleasant sipper.

 589 characters

Photo of glid02
4.14/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

 1,057 characters

Photo of Gusler
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

 435 characters

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.

 729 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 ZAP
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark copper with a nice fizzy off-white head....nose is musty...enticingly yeasty too....full bodied...charged up...very sweet flavor....with some nice spicy sub-notes...also some musty notes....this is a great sipping beer....I love the sweet maltness and the way the spicy notes compliment it...

A top notch Belgian...thanks to Big Huge Person for sharing this...

 376 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 papat444
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to franksnbeans for this one!

Poured from a 750ml. bottle

Paired with country-style beef platter.

Appearance: Very thick, insistent head (nearly 3/4 of the glass). As it gently recedes, flakes of yeast swim in the dark, copper body. Reminds me of a tiny snowstorm in my glass.

Smell: Nice sweet smell (caramel?)

Taste: Sweet tasting, almost nutty & caramel-like with a chewy type aspect.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, malty feeling in the palate.

Drinkability: The taste belies the alcohol content as it was easily drinkable. Shared the bottle with my wife and could have easily had the bottle to myself.

Overall: Love it. I was a bit hesitant at so much yeast, but i was told it's a good sign of a belgian beer's freshness & didn't interfere really with the taste. Drank on a cold, winter night, something about the sweet & maltiness seemed comforting. Definitely a winner!

 883 characters

Photo of mynie
4.92/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

 911 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aged one year.
Pours copper/ruby, lots of floating yeast, small off-white head.
Nose is very sweet, loads of golden syrup, brown sugar, toffee, bread and candi sugar. Some soft phenols provide further complexity.
Flavours are very similar, more bready notes though. Still intensely sweet, but hardly any noticeable alcohol, just a little bite on the finish to counter the sweetness.
Moderate carbonation but very fine and smooth; fits the beer well.

 449 characters

Photo of FLima
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown color with one finger head with short retention and several floating particles. Not it’s forte.
Malty aroma with notes of prunes, molasses, nutmeg, pine wood, some tangerines and grapes.
Bold flavor with notes of prunes, cloves, molasses, mint, herbal and earthy hops, apple puree, whole fig, raisins, ginger and candied oranges. A hint of Port Wine and finishing with a bit of chocolate after your mouth dries for a while.
Medium body with good carbonation. Alcohol of 9% abv is in harmony with the overall beer.
Good Belgian Dark Strong Ale with good malt balanced complexity. Interesting they have done this without adding sugar. You do feel it sweet, but it is not cloying given its choice of hops, dryness and refreshing spices. This is the type of beer that you start with slight above average score and then once it starts to warm up you have to keep raising it once its complexity blossoms.

 906 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a cloudy brown color with amber hues around the edges. The head is billowy, rocky and off white in color. The aroma is massive. Dark fruits, butter, more dark fruits, caramel, and then some spices. The taste is of dark fruits and butter, cut with spices and alcohol. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lot of carbonation, perhaps a little too much as it masks the flavor a bit. Overall, this is a might fine brew. Very enjoyable.

 448 characters

Photo of andrenaline
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pleasant surprise to find at te LCBO's in Northern Ontario.

A - Pours a rich ruby red, black in the middle and ruby on the edges, solid thumb of head with decent retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Rich caramel and burnt sugar, bready malts and a candied caramel apple finish.

T - Much like the nose the burnt sugar and caramel flavours dominate the palette alongside hints of dark fruit, musty caramel and a bready finish.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and surprisingly wet.

O - A tasty brew loaded with flavour and well worth seeking out. Glad I had a chance to try it and will grab an extra bottle or two before they disappear.

 637 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade (available locally though). Dark chestnut color with a thick beige head that lasts a long time, and sheets of lacing. Toasty aroma of malt and spice with some cherry. Rich body and very drinkable with sweet sugary malt flavors, as well as caramel, dried fruit and a bit of yeast. The finish is very sweet and lingering, yet has a nice hops element. The alcohol level complements the beer perfectly too. Thoroughly enjoyable brew.

 448 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Chill hazen rubyish brown, tall, lusciously thick and frothy ivory top adorns the top portion of the glass with a solid girth. Resides softly down to a hefty, always present skim, lacing in delicate whispy sheets.

Aroma is of crispy pine notes, lemon rinds, tropical fruitiness, pale earthy wood and dirt, candyish melons and more fresh fruits. Quite an inticing nose, albiet, its soft, hardly overpowering in any sense, very subtle and pleasantly so.

Taste is a wonderful array of tropical fruits, well rounded, lush, and full of candy-like fruitiness thats quite ripe, not sour, nice juices interminging across the palate. Banana, mango, dark orange, pineapple, grapes, and perhaps more to this fruit salad. It works its fruity magic for a good bit before the finish sneaks up bringing light wood pulp, hoppy herbal spice, and a super fine easy dryness. As well as some residual sugars and fruits lay way in the back late in the finish.

Very fine mouthfeel, full, smooth, well rounded, with a fluffy carbonation thats biting and warm in just the right amount nearer the end, never uneven, and seems to almost thicken up as it goes, like a really nice chocolate.

The drinkability is exceptionally enjoyable. A fruit laden wonderment with a complexing palate to say the least. Delicate yet brazen. Beholdingly gratifying...um...great stuff!

 1,352 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.85/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 3,130 characters

Photo of gford217
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

 980 characters

Photo of Dope
3.94/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 17/12/2011, almost 2 years old.

A: Very dark reddish-brown pour. Almost opaque. Big fizzy tan head. Head sputters out somewhat quickly like a fuzzy soda. Minimal lacing but good retention. LOTS of floaties, almost to the point of ridiculousness.

S: Lots of sweet brown sugar in this one. Dark fruits, fig and raisin and maybe even some prunes? Decent belgian yeast with some cloves adding some spiciness.

T: Again with the sweet brown sugar and lots of dark fruits. Very similar to the aroma. Heavy on the belgian yeast, cloves and earthy spices everywhere. Tastes a lot like a dubbel, just a bigger, sweeter one. Malt is sweet and bready, kinda reminds me of fruitcake if I'm honest. Mild toasted malt floating around and lingering between sips.

M: Nice medium bodied and very smooth.

O: Nice sweet and fruity dubbel-esque BSDA. Great complexity, great smoothness of body and flavors. Huge chunks of sediment everywhere was a bit disconcerting but it is what it is. Overall definitely in the upper echelon of BSDAs.

 1,036 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a goblet. Best before 2010...oops.

2.0 A: Fucker gushed on me big time. Dark brown color. Unthinkable amounts of yeast particulates and floaters throughout. Big frothy tan head. Retention is below average and no lacing is left. I know this would look much better if it didn't gush, but it did, and my score will reflect what I got. An ugly ass brew if I've ever seen one.

4.5 S: The aroma, on the other hand, is quite fine. Perfect balance between sweetness, fruit, earth, and spice. Toasted malts to start this one off with a subtle nuttiness. Raisin and date fruits. Woody earthiness. Pepper spiciness with clove undertones. Sweetness from candi sugar residue. Well balanced with all the flavors in perfect harmony like any of the world class Belgians.

4.0 T: Taste is almost as good, but it seems hollow at times. Toastiness, nutty, earthy, woody, pepper and clove spice, raisin and date fruits. This is much drier than the nose suggests and I think a little more sweetness is just what this brew needs. That extra fermentation is likely the culprit. A little more maltiness would really balance the taste. Still, it's very good.

2.5 M: Light to lighter medium body. Good spritzy carbonation and a pleasant creaminess. This could easily be a 4.5. But, it isn't because all those floaters are really offputting. I can't help but think I'm drinking vomit every time a clump of something passes over and tickles my tongue.

3.5 D: While still very enjoyable, it's clear to me that I need to find this brew fresh. In an unadultered form, I bet this is fantastic. When I do track another bottle down, I'll probably re-review.

 1,640 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the Kulminator in Antwerp, BE. This was a 1999 (?) vintage. The aromas are that of spices, alcohol, red wine (port?), yeast, candy sugar, and more. The taste is very boozy, malty, sweet, spicy, and wine-like in nature. The mouthfeel is thick and great. The drinkability is excellent and intriguingly good!

 316 characters

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

BB 02/03/2014

Beer is dark brown with an epic off-white head. Huge and lasts a long time.

Smell consists of Belgian yeast and dark fruit (prune and raisin).

Taste is the same as the smell but smoother. Yeast, bready malt, dark fruit. All works very well together, very integrated. Dry. Very nice.

Full bodied, moderate carbonation, very smooth.

Overall, excellent. Better than the Grand Cru and Triple Imperial, in my view.

 428 characters

Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune] from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
94 out of 100 based on 318 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe