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

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Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special BrownAbbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special Brown

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 rosebud on 07-30-2002

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Ratings: 735 |  Reviews: 516
Photo of cvfish
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a dark orange/amberish color that produced a beautiful, decently sized, tan head that had great retention and laced the side of the glass nicely

S - The aromas produced by this beer had some lightly roasted malts, dark fruits, and some earthy, grassy hops on the finish

T - The taste of this beer is quite in line with most of the Belgian beers I've had, just amazing, with a start of bready, lightly roasted malts, a good burst of dark fruits, some brown sugar, spices, and grassy hops on the finish

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium to heavy body to it, and a moderate amount of carbonation that felt natural

D - This was a very good beer, complex and filling, all the things I love about a good heavy Belgian beer, do yourself a favor and pick this one up for a try

 803 characters

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

750ml corked bottle. Deep amber with a reddish hue and tan head. Superb aroma of fruit and malty caramel. Dried figs,cherries and something nutty. Lively carbonated mouthfeel and a full body. Has a nice warming sensation. This is a high quality Belgian. Nice.

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Photo of dgallina
4.92/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on-tap in an Abbaye Des Rocs chalice.

Arrived a completely clouded and yeasty pale red-brown. Strong effervescence with a small film of foam and huge amounts of clingy lacing. Smells massively yeasty and fruity; peppery biscuits intermingled with dark cherries and caramel malts. Complex interplay of flavors; zesty spices blended with yeast and abundant sweet cherries dipped in caramel. Finishes with a mellowing grainy dryness. Light, tingly, refreshing in the mouth.

One of the best beers I've had and a pleasingly different experience in the bottle and on-draft. The bottles have more wine-like acidity and are dryer, more champagne-like. The draft is intensely yeasty, with superb cherry and caramel malt notes.

 731 characters

Photo of mwa423
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep brown color with two fingers of head and tons of floating yeast, as in, giant floaties.

S - Very complex aroma, lots of dried fruit, some belgian yeast, brown sugar, and I feel like there is more and my palate can't find them now.

T - Very complex (and excellent) flavor. Strong nutty flavor with some sweet malt flavors, followed by Belgian yeast and so many other flavors I can't quite detect.

M/D - Mouthfeel is a bit rough, only because the large clumps of yeast. This is reasonably drinkable, the complex flavor makes this a sipper and not a fast drinker.

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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 tulip.

This struck me as essentially the same as the Brune, so I won't waste my time reproducing my review. Suffice to say that it's chock-full of bready, plummy goodness. In fact, now that I think about, they would both be great Christmas beers. Hope you like sediment, though.

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Photo of Stunner97
4.61/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Dark brown hue, amazing look to it right from the pour, very thick foamy head, high carbonation with beautiful small bubbles running up the side of glass, looks so alive and beautiful

Smell- Apples, fruits and citrus nose, heavy sweet malty jumping out at you,

Taste- Slight almost wine flavor, very advanced and complexed amazing flavor that just feels like so much is going on, smooth well balanced with and amazing finish, really really tasty sweet Belgian style brown ale

Mouthfeel- Soft, smoothly carbonated, best described as heavy and full bodied

Drinkability- Extraordinary tasty beer that is one I definitely will be having again every so often when mood for good Belgian style beer, this is a strong beer that will knock you on ur butt before you even know it with its great flavor giving you know idea of how hard its hitting you, if you can get it near you definitely give it a try you wont be disappointed

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Photo of baos
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Atlas Mason jar.

A: Looks like iced tea. Huge head goes right away with a nice halo and really nice lacing on the tip-to-drink.

S: Deep floral smell cross between butterfly bush and wild roses. Honey wheat and maltiness and moldering apples under Grandmama's apple tree.

T: Wow there's a lot going on here. Fig Newtons, strong cider (if strong cider was awesome). You get a nice wheatiness and hoppiness too. Nice booziness too, not too much , but just enough to add to the overall taste. This brewer doesn't fuck around. This stuff is pretty fucking awesome and he more it warms in your jar the more it warms on your pallet.

M: Big and bubbly. It it were just one smidgen fuller this beer would be a perfect score.

D: This is a strong beer.
Real men drink strong beer.
Therefore, drinkability is a one. Try one on it fits rather nicely!

 855 characters

Photo of cyrenaica
4.7/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle
9.5% ABV (as written on the bottle)
Smokeless Joe (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
December 15, 2010
The beer poured a translucent reddish-brown (when held to the light) with a huge genrous foamy light brown head that lasted long after the beer did. The aroma was dark caramel malt, candy sugar, plums, and yeast. The mouthfeel was full-bodied with ample carbonation. The flavour was sweet malt, candy sugar, yeast, dark fruit.....and a nice bitter finish. An excellent beer.

 490 characters

Photo of blitz134
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of carbonation when I opened the bottle. Had to do an early taste off the mouth of the bottle to keep the rising foam from spilling over the edge.

Upon pouring I was expecting a head explosion when it hit my goblet, but all was well. Pours a gorgeous dark ruby garnet color. Clear body that barely lets any light through. Head is off white, bordering on light tan, and a solid finger thick. It doesn't want to go away either. High marks for this.

Smells typical belgian dark ale. Ripe, tart, dark fruits coming through in the nose, liqour soaked bananas and clove. Candy sweet with a hint of sweet caramel malts. Very nice.

Taste is dark ripe fruits with a bit of sweet alcohol in the finish. A little tart apple rounds out the initial fruit flavors and then goes into a sweeter plum, raisin concoction. Finish is slightly dry. Up there with the best, but doesn't offer anything any other great belgian can't offer as well.

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated which added a crispness to this. I haven't noticed as much carbonation in other beers of the style. Mouthfeel is good but could be a bit fuller. Some of the body might be masked by the carbonation levels.

Drinkability is nice as well. The alcohol doesn't warm as much as some of the others of the style. That alone brings the drinkability up, although this is still a sipping beer.

Overall a good belgian dark. Its hard to stand out with so many good examples of the style, but this one does its part and hangs in with the best of them.

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Photo of blakesell
3.77/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into a pint glass (if you don't like it, you can give me more clean glasses, Belgium).

Appearance- Pours a dark amber with a frothy pillowlike head that lingers forever.

Smell- plum, spices, nutty essences, dark fruits, FIG!, carmel covered breads, toffee.

Taste- Candi sugar sweetness and spices upfront, rich carmel flavors with once again, dark fruits such as the ever infamous fig coming back into play. No alcohol burn for a 9.5% beer. Impressive.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and sticky with lingering carmel and plum. Ok, so there is some detectable alcohol in there. Smooth carbonation.

Drinkability- Very nice. I would drink this again and will as it came in a 4 pack. Rich and delicious, very good for unwinding in cold weather.

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Photo of pentathlete
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Translucent dark ruby with mellow golden edges, so beautiful under the light. Chucky yeasts floating around and a prodigious head that lasts for many minutes before leaving a latticework of lacing. Smell is that Belgian candi smell, but with some alcohol and a mildly bittering odor, nuts maybe or a spice. Taste is not as sweet as I expected. Mildly malty with a trace of hops, wonderful dark fruits bathed in alcohol. I love this kind of stuff. I wish 5% beers would taste like this so that I could have more on a school night. Mouthfeel is slick, medium, super long finish and that alcohol warmth. Not a great beer for a 90+ F day, but I'm in air-conditioning...I can wear shorts and a t-shirt and put my feet in a bucket of ice. This brew is worth it.

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Photo of Franchise
4.82/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This belgian pours a cloudy brown with lots of nice yeast floating around the body. It leaves a thick frothy tan lace that sticks to the glass and looks magnificent. The aroma is fruity peach, plum, raisin, dates, figs, honey, spicey vanilla the nose is so complex. The taste is so smooth, is this really 10% abv? cause it can't be found in this brew it is very well hidden and the fruit, and the slight hops in the beer just compliment each other so well. It finishes bitter sweet syrup thick and creamy. This is one of the best crafted brews I've had in awhile, fantastic.

 574 characters

Photo of orfeu
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330 mL crowned bottle, 9.5% abv. After uncapping, a slow, steady stream of foam snaked its way out of the bottle. A murky, reddish mahogany colored beer with a thin sandy ring inhabits the oversized wine goblet into which it was poured. I tried to avoid pouring the thick protein globules I could see floating in the bottom of the bottle, but they all started glugging out the mouth of the bottle, even with a slow pour, so I just said, "fuck it," and emptied the thing into my glass. Long story short: there's a ton of floating protein-yeast chunks in the glass. "Good," I guess? Anyway, aromas of cherry soda and prune juice predominate; a slight yeast scent and a scant vapor of alcohol show themselves as well. Cherry-prune juice blend with caramelized sugar added as an additional sweetener! Aftertaste of Bing cherry skins. Alcohol is mildly detectable in the taste, but the flavor profile is so big that it's most noticeable as a buzzy numbness on the tongue afterwards. Near the end, a characteristically "Belgian" yeasted flavor comes in as well. Mouthfeel is thick: syrupy with expansive carbonation that lightens it up a bit. Still pretty full-bodied, though, and not because of any slimy floaters! Although sweet beers are usually less drinkable on my scale, this one has enough funky Belgian yeast character to keep it extremely interesting. "Best Before End of 2008." A couple more years in a cool, dark place would probably meld the alcohol a bit more, making this one truly sublime. World class, and then some.

 1,526 characters

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a nice head that dissapated into a small head with a lacing that's slighty sticky. The color is bright red to dark. Smells very nice, pretty sweet and it's very smooth on the palate. It also has a little nutmeg flavor in it with some slight orange undertones. It's a little smooth and slightly crisp. I feel like it could've had a better head and mouthfeel, it seems like this beer had been abused and incorrectly aged.

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

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tasting snifter. Pours a cloudy/hazy looking amber color. Fills the glass mostly golden, with a TON of sentiment floating around. Sentiment pieces are rather large. Small creamy off-white head. No lacing at all.

Aroma is full of fruit and slight spice. At first smell, I said it reminded me of grape soda. Then the booze becomes pretty noticeable. Belgian yeast and candi sugar.

Crisp, carbonated, fruity, funky. Over-ripe fruits on the palate. Booze isn't very noticeable until a small warmth torwards the end. Overall, very solid...but not the best out there. Very enjoyable though.

 620 characters

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

Poured from a double magnum into a chalice glass. Deep red-brown in color with a dense tan head that just keeps giving. The smell is malt with citrus, sour cherries, and nutmeg from the yeast. My mouth is watering. The taste is very sweet at the front, almost syrupy. The finish dries it out nicely and gives it a great balance. The alcohol follows the liquid down & gives you that glow that says the beer loves you. Really. I promise. The finish is bitter after a few sips but once the alcohol kicks in you really don't mind so much. The mouthfeel has great carbonation held in check by a silkiness that's just sexy. The drinkability is good. Good enough to finish 1.5 litres of the stuff, I'd say. This one has potential. I think I need to get another bottle & age it. This one may have died too young. A moment of silence, please.

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Photo of sabrills70
3.15/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle capped green bottle with a best before end of date of 2008. Upon opening foam rolled freely out the top of the bottle. Pours a medium dark mahogony with a big head, longevity OK and just OK lace. Fair amount of sediment in the bottle, but not chunky sediment as I found in the standard brown ale. Lots of old malt smells. Dried dark fruits, brown sugar, yeasty and earthy. Big malt flavors up front again with dried dark fruits. A bit of an "off" flavor but I am not quite sure what it is. It's kind of an weird tartness/sourness, similar to what I had in a batch of homebrew once. Still drinkable but just an off flavor. Alcohol lingers in the finish. Overall an average brew and nothing to write home about. IMHO the standard brown ale is better.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle reads best before: 13/12/2014.

(4.0) A: Ruby red with a fingers worth of micro-bubbly foam head. Commendable retention and patchy lacing.

(4.0) S: Raisins, figs, cherries, brown sugar, chocolate, spices (including nutmeg), and plums. Rich and hearty aroma that is spot-on for the style.

(4.25) T: Dark and dried fruits with a touch of sour citrus zest that compliments the taste nicely. Roasted malt in the form of dry cocoa coupled with bitter floral notes. Incredibly easy drinking with the alcohol well hidden.

(4.25) M: Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Quite light bodied considering the ABV with enough slickness. A slight gritty-chewy texture.

(4.0) D: This is kind of like a lighter bodied dubbel with a touch of sour, and I find it tasty and dangerously easy to drink.

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Photo of sjstraub
5/5  rDev +19%

Photo of Florya
4/5  rDev -4.8%

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

This is what only the Belgians can do. Of all the world's beers, Abbaye de Rocs Grand Cru is perhaps the most arrogant name, but it lives up to its image as wine. Vinous as hell without being particularly grapey (like many strong, dark Belgian beers are), the Grand Cru is closest to an old vintage port. Spicy alcohol and sweet red berry fruit flavors are well balanced with a dry finish of cocoa powder and the slightest but most welcome Starburst-like tartness. The alcohol and yeast lend flavor and creamy, supple texture without ever being heady, astringent, or offensive in any way. The carbonation is soft, but present enough to resemble some acidty.

Relax, relax.

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

Photo of HipHopsHooray
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mintjellie
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Cola brown colour. Poorly-retained fizzy beige head leaves no lace. Aroma is malty and estery with toasted nut, brown sugar, caramel, dried fruit, and banana notes. Light alcohol nose. Malt-foward and fairly sweet with a bready and nutty character, also caramel, then raisin and gentle black pepper mid-palate. Fruit continuing into the finish alongside a very subtle bitter note. Banana burps. Medium-bodied with light, soft carbonation. Feels smooth and deceptively light for its weight, if that makes sense. Alcohol is well-hidden, with only the slightest hint of warmth. Straightforward but big and boldly flavoured. Very good beer.

 636 characters

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

Another fine example of a great style. Very creamy, full bodied and sweet. Alcohol not noticeable in taste, but in effect! Goes down easy, flavorful and subtle. Different enough to distinguish itself. An excellent Belgian, from a terrific brewery. Don't hesitate!

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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 735 ratings.
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