Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special Brown | Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.

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732 Ratings
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Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special BrownAbbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special Brown
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 rosebud on 07-30-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
732
Reviews:
516
Avg:
4.2
pDev:
10.48%
 
 
Wants:
62
Gots:
44
For Trade:
1
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Ratings: 732 |  Reviews: 516
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks awaisanen. A incredibly smooth Belgian, milder on the corriander and spice. and sweet spice side, including ginger. Good creamy mouthful.Nutty, alcohol is disguised. Lovely brown colour and foamy head. Above average carbonation.
Had it again four years later and noticed the lace, a pleasant yeast treat.

 311 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Bier Academy in Canyon Country, CA.

Best by 2/12/13.

Pours a murky dark brown with a 2 inch foamy dark khaki head that settles to a small cap. No lacing forms on the drink down. A ton of sediment is suspended in the beer after the pour. Smell is of toasted malt, dark fruit, toffee, spices, leather, and alcohol. Taste is of toasted malt, dried dark fruit, leather, clove, and an alcohol kick. There is also a slightly metallic flavor that comes out as the beer warms. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly thick and sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice and interesting aromas and flavors.

 657 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. pours a seductive amber dark maple syrup color with a hazy red glow, some yeasty floaters, and a receding off white head that falls back to a quarter inch. leaves not lacing but pancake batter like froth on the sides of my tulip glass. smells is crazy, funny fruit up front, almost like a white grape juice, mellowed out with a raisiny like sweetness, and a funky tart musk vibe from the yeast. flavor is extraordinarily complex. only noe does the brown ale part of this start to make sense, roasty sweet caramel malts dominate, with all kinds of subtle action, dried fruit again, almost winelike. huge belgian yeast profile too. mouthfeel is quite good, a little sweet, but thats just me. really a nice evolving aftertaste and good carbonation, alchohol kick as well. overall an excellent beer, ive got food pairings dancing in my brain

 851 characters

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of metter98
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is cloudy brown in color and has yeast particles near the bottom of the glass. A thin layer of bubbles is covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of dark fruits and malty sweetness in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is complex and rather sweet. It has lots of malty and fruity flavors. A very slight amount of bitterness is also perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There is a light amount of warming from the alcohol.
D: This is a good beer to sip and appreciate the complexity in the flavors.

 581 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's basically all in there. If it's every been in a beer, then you'll find it in this Grand Cru (except for, perhaps chili peppers and chicken wings...don't ask). Right from the pour, a muddy bronze, rust color emits aromas that are distinctly Belgian, but with even the kitchen sink. Aromas lead right into the flavors with: bready, malt, spicy, fruity, vineous, musky, grape, figs, dates, nuts, toast, candy sugar, yeasty, astringent, sherry, citrus, alcohol, peaches, woody, pears, mangos, fruitcake....the list goes on and on. All of the flavors meld together and are well aged into a delicate, yet bold prague for the beer lover (it's all in there). The feel to the mouth is everywhere from astringent to sweet to dry to full. The finish is lightly dry, tart, and sweet. One of the more complex beers out there, but difficult to put into perspective. Could be a bit cleaner.

 880 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle @ 9.5% ABV, with a totally different label, and the 'l'Abbaye' dropped from the name. Happy bloody Canadian Thanksgiving, y'all!

This beer pours a murky, medium orange-brick amber colour, with two chubby fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and fizzy tan head, which leaves some emaciated limestone grotto lace around the glass as it quickly dissipates.

It smells of gritty and grainy pale malt, a lesser caramel/toffee sweetness, edgy earthy yeast, muddled dark orchard fruit (maybe some plum, prune, and bruised red apple), a touch of that musty under the basement stairs thing, and a slightly testy metallic booziness. The taste is bready and doughy pale malt, still understated caramel wafers, some toasted apple pie and pear compote fruitiness, a hint of cocoa-laced black coffee, subtle musty yeast, faint earthy spice notes, and a hint of muzzled alcohol astringency.

The bubbles are fairly active in their pleasingly plump frothiness, the body a decent middleweight, and mostly smooth, maybe the yeast and burbling booziness taking things down a notch or two here. It finishes off-dry, but not by much, as the malt seems to bottom out, and the acrid fruitiness and musty yeast take full advantage, as such.

Overall, this is not a bad version of the style, but I found myself questioning its provenance on a few too many occasions - what gives? It's not an old bottle (not that that would really matter), yet the musty essences overcome the fruit and malt character just a little too readily, IMHO. Can't say I'm all that dissatisfied, however - this bad boy cost barely more than 10 Canuck bucks, so who am I to complain, eh?

 1,651 characters

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Heavens, we have a gusher! Pours a cloudy mahogany with a decent head (even though quite a bit was lost in the gush) that persists well and leaves sheets of lace

Smell: Vinous aroma of fruits (dried figs and apricots, primarily); brown sugar and alcohol

Taste: Starts with a sweet dried fruit flavor; that is joined, mid-palate, by an increasing sour apple and cinnamon complexity; after the swallow, the sour flavors build and combine with the sweetness to create a well-balanced blend

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation

Drinkability: Not the best in the category, but certainly a quality brew that deserves a try

 651 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.09/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.26/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (courtesy of Xproudfoot) : Poured a deep brown color ale with a huge foamy off-white head with perfect retention. Aroma of dry raisins, caramel malt and a touch of spice. Taste is also dominated by raisin-like sweetness with a very distinctive yeast signature. Body is full, alcohol well hidden and carbonation is almost off-the-wall. Nice strong Belgian ale the way I like them.

 386 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into chalice, best before 4/5/2013. Pours very cloudy deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger foamy cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with plenty of carbonation streaming up retaining the head. Aromas of big raisin, fig, apple, pear, prune, fig, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, light chocolate, clove, pepper, and earthy yeast esters Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy esters and malty notes. Taste of raisin, apple, pear, prune, fig, caramel, toast, molasses, toffee, pepper, dark bread, light chocolate, clove, and earthy yeast esters. Lingering notes of light and dark fruits, caramel, pepper, molasses, toast, toffee, dark bread, floral, light chocolate, clove, and earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance and complexity of fruity, peppery, and dark malt flavors; with zero cloying sweetness present on the finish. Medium-high carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a creamy, fairly slick, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Very smooth to sip on for 9.5%. Overall this is an absolutely incredible Belgian strong dark ale! Big complexity and balance and fruity, malty, and spicy flavors; and extremely smooth to sip on the for the strength. An extremely delicious offering.

 1,441 characters

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.97/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at City-Wide in South Bend, Indiana. "Best buy" date of 2010. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pours a moderate caramel-red color with loads and loads of floaties. Bit of a light tan head that goes away fairly quickly and doesn't leave behind much lacing. The nose has some dark fruits and a bit of sweet malt. Some dark sugar there and a bit of yeast. The flavor is along the same lines. It's nice and smooth, but there isn't much complexity to it, especially considering its age. Feel is medium with low carbonation. Somewhat chewy, adding a breadiness to the flavor. Pretty good, but not earth shattering.

 630 characters

Photo of oberon
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a great chance to have this on tap yoday at a Belgian beer dinner at the Spring House Drafting Room.Pours a rich brown color with a sticky head,aroma was rich and nutty with some nice warming alcohol with some fruity estures.This Belgian Dark has a real nice hop profile to go along with a rich nutty flavor and some spicey/yeasty notes.Glad to finally try this beer and it was on tap to boot.

 398 characters

Photo of chinchill
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Large bottle from the back of my beer fridge served with the New Years' Day bowl games. Bottle is dated stamped Oct. 2014. Initially served at about 48-50F but improved with warming.

Body is a deep reddish-brown, more or less clear excepting a large amount of suspended particles, some of which are rather large. The suspended particles really detract from the appearance, but i have previously encountered excellent Belgian beers with this trait. The particles had no detectable effect on mouthfeel.

Aroma: excellent; rich, fruity and complex. Changed with warming.

Flavor: a harmonious blend of a multitude of flavors, including dates, raisins, dark bread, roast nuts, toffee and dried cherries. Some chocolate and darker malts in the finish. Excellent bitter-sweet balance.

Feel: medium-full body with light carbonation.

 835 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.85/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Carefully poured from a long-standing bottle its body is a brilliant dark ruby/chestnut beneath a creamy cap of off-white (almost tan) foam. The head retention is quite good, and it leaves splashes of lace about the glass. The nose combines a sweetish, caramel-dripped and subtly buttery biscuit-like maltiness with some fairly bold fruitiness (flashes of orange, raspberries, cherry, and a waft of lime). It's airy in the mouth with a combination of dextrinous mouthfeel and CO2 breakout that billows up softly and then fades away with just a light zest on the palate. A richer maltiness and some exceptionally nice, delicately spicy alcohol appear in the flavor; as well as some floral hop notes and wider range of fruitiness (papaya, cocoanut and pineapple perhaps?, and some green apple). It's much more balanced (less sweet) than the standard Abbaye Des Rocs; and it offers exceptional drinkability with a certain level of richness and complexity that does not overwhelm the tastebuds but certainly keeps you coming back for more. It finishes dry with some lingering alcohol spice (although the alcohol never hinders!) and maltiness that reminds you of the beautiful flavors you've just savored. This is an exceptional beer that probably deserves more notoriety, and should not be missed. Brilliant!

 1,304 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On-tap 1/3/2016 at Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a large beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, brown sugar, some fruit, maple and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character. Then some sweet flavors of caramel, maple and brown sugar quickly follow along with some background dark fruit flavor. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a good beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

 879 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of dcmchew
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

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Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special Brown from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
4.2 out of 5 based on 732 ratings.
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