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

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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 739 |  Reviews: 516
Photo of BigJTrucker
3.92/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured some of this 750 into a glass snifter, Lots of yeasty floaties, even with a careful pour.

Head settles surprisingly quickly.

Aroma is fairly fruity with bits of caramel & yeast.

Taste is very yeasty, fruity, and lots of malt.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly fizzy.

Not my favorite Belgian strong, but it's pretty good. At 9.5%, i doubt I could finish this whole 750 by myself tonight.

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Photo of nbree00
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: Really dark murky red and orange colors with a pretty decent amount of carbonation, the head does run for cover quickly however with not a trace of lacing on the glass.

S: Very rich fruit smells, mostly plum and berries.

T: Pronounced flavors of blueberries and plums on top of caramelized malt and some biscuit. Relatively sweet through out, although you can't really taste the high ABV, with just a hint of a dry finish at the very end.

M: Feel was quite smooth, not to thick not to thin.

D: Is actually quite drinkable at 9.5% ABV, finished all I had and still wanted more. Its on the sweet side but accompanied nicely with the fruit flavors and a very light hop character.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.03/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yesterday, I sampled Brasserie des Rocs "Triple Imperiale" and absolutely hated it... rated it very poorly... this one however, is much, much better... definitely quality stuff, and the flipside from the "Triple Imperiale"... Pours a very attractive dark brown color with a frothy and foamy head... smell is replete of brown sugars, figs, and dark malts... taste is saturated with prune and malt flavors, plums, dark fruits, esters, alcohol, and yeast... really good, warming, wholesome taste true to the Belgian style... a very satisfying and pallate-pleasing brew that is rich and thick without being too cloying or overbearing... mouthfeel was good... creamy, rich stuff with a pretty easy drinkability considering the hefty 9.5% ABV... alcohol is not as noticeable as the wonderful combination of flavors that permeate from the terrific interwoven style that tackles this beer... Certainly Recommended...

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

I shared a waxed, capped and corked bottle with friends while making a home brew of abbey style beer. We shared a 1.5 L wax capped and corked bottle.

AL It poured a strawberry brown tinted body with a mighty two finger off white head that didn't linger long and left a stringy, leggy lacing. There were massive amount of floaters dancing in the glass.

S: There were pronounced aromas of a variety of fruits including lemons, tangerines and cherries. The fruits were supported by a sweet light malt that was present throughout the experience.

T: WOW!!! The sweet malts and major sweet ripe fruits make this a real taste treat. This is as complex as any Belgium I have experienced. It is smooth and rich with a wonderfully clean finish.

M: There was a lively carbonation that make this light to medium bodied brew dance in my mouth. It was smooth, sweet and had an awesomely clean and crisp body with a refreshing finish that make me want more.

D: I had no problem polishing off the bottle and lusting for more. This is a rare bread of Belgium's that is complex enough to make anyone addicted to having just "one more glass" yet high enough ABV to pack a punch.

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Photo of Shaw
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep, deep cloudy ruby in color with some sediment, even after pouring carefully. Plenty of carbonation.

The smell is quite complex. I detect fruit like dates and raisins as well as nutty aromas and alcohol. It smells like a good fruitcake. There is also a light funky, earthy smell.

Its taste is equally complex. The flavors of raisins and dates and other fruits are quite apparent, while the high alcohol level is essentially invisible. Tastes of nut mix with some bread-like flavors. It needs just a bit more flavor, in my opinion.

The body is creamy and smooth, though a little light for me.

A fine strong dark ale.

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Photo of joepais
3.96/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The bottle well lets just say we have a gusher here. After waiting along time poured into a challis caramel brown with a brown head tons of yeast particles.

Aromas of fruit (yeast) brown sugar malts fill the nose

Tastes of sweet sugar candy malts and a nice light spice bitter

My mouth loves the sweet creaminess of this

Ok let’s not pull any punches the floaters take away from the experience but the flavors make up for a lot. I would get it from a tap or a large bottle again anytime but the small bottles seamed a waste to not pour the last little bit (I’ll admit I did strain the last bit it was that good) I liked the old grand cru better but this one is a good representation of what I expect from one

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

True to the name, it pours a dark brownish amber. Medium head with no lacing.

Very aromatic...brown sugar, malt, raisin. Excellent.

Taste is very sweet, with rich chocolate, caramel, and toffee, as well as the dark fruit. Slight alcohol burn in the finish. Quite a lot going on, and a real treat to drink.

Mouthfeel is a bit sticky and chewy, but appropriate for a beer of this complexity. Super drinkable.

A great beer from a great brewer.

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Photo of elmore
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Surly Girl in Short North - Columbus, OH. Came to the table in a Unibroue tulip. Golden, translucent brown with no visible yeast sediment. Nice tight 2 finger head that showed good retention with some lacing.

Not a strong nose, but sweet carmel and toffee maltiness dominated with hints of dark fruit, maybe some cherries. Taste was similar. Not as sweet as the smell and I didn't really detect any hops.

Excellent beer and very drinkable. This really hit the spot.

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Photo of RidiculedDisplay
3.88/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours with a one-finger very bubbly/frothy white head. Settles in a half-finger. Lacing is absolutely incredible - each swirl produces huge spotty, mountainous, "fingery" swaths of the stuff, which last for a good time. Body is a very sediment-laden apple cider color.

Smell: A fairly extreme vinousity greets the nose first - very dark fermented grape skins. Dark fuits linger underneath - plums, raisins, dates. Some pepper, thyme. Alcohol. It's a good smell, but the vinousity dominates, which is a little overpowering.

Taste: Vinousity again. Figs, plums, dates, a general dried dark fruit malt. Fairly complex and deep.

Mouthfeel: Nice and creamy.

Drinkability: Masks its alcohol well. Drinkable, definitely.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

We’ve got a gusher here.

Pours a very murky amber with some head. Nose is extremely sweet. Cherry seems to be on the nose. Flavor is strong with caramel, but doesn’t stay constant. It moves and shifts and takes you on a bit of a ride. Starts off extremely sweet and smooth and then gets calmer, though not for lack of character. Feel is nice. Smooth with a touch of bubble. For a 10% you don’t really feel it...extremely drinkable.

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Photo of alysmith4
4.9/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

This is truly an exceptional beer. Tried it at a new Belgian gastro-pub in DC called "Granville Moore's." It was recommended by the server after we tried a few other styles and described to her what we were looking for. She gave us this and it hit the mark.. and then some! Poured an amber body, with an off-white head. Smell was of cherry, caramel, and citrus - perhaps lime? The taste was incredible. Soft and chewy, with a fruity, yet creamy, mouthfeel. So well balanced, and so satisfying. I could have had 5 more. Definitely worth a try if you can get your hands on one.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.19/5  rDev -24%
look: 1.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

I bought this brew from a liquor store in Milwaukee. I can't remember the name.

Appearance - Not the most attractive of beers. Redish brown with a lot of yeast residue. The head poured 2 inches + initially and faded to about an 1/8 of an inch which it held strong.

Smell - The scent is perfect. It has the sweet aroma of a strong Belgian brew with that hint of alcohol for a push.

Taste - Really not what I had expected. I can't get past the texture to enjoy the taste.

Mouthfeel - Like I said.

~ I really hope I got a bad batch/bottle because I've read great things about this brew. The other possibility is that I incorrectly poured the beer. If you read this and have some insight, please, drop me a message.

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Photo of bunnyhustle
3.47/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Interesting beer...Pours rich brown into chalice glass with good thick head with great retention, very little lacing. Lots of sediment! I've never seen anything like this, I dont know if its this bottle of what but there are large chunks, the settle in the glass leaving the last drink undrinkable. Smell is of alcohol, yeast, bread, and sour tart fruit. Taste is good, they got something right here. Taste is of raisin and some alcohol, tart cherry, a bit of apple, and a warm caramel sensation as it goes down. Lower carbonation with a medium mouthfeel. This beer tasted good to me but I couldnt get over the large amount of sediment in the little 11.2 oz. bottle.

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Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into a tulip.

Pours a chocolatey brown with a huge head. As with every bottle from Brasserie de Rocs I've had, this one foams and stirs up that yeast something serious!

Smell is sweet malt and figs.

Taste is delicious! Dates and juicy figs with hints of chocolate and brown sugar. Even some plum in there.

Overall, this is an amazing beer from an amazing brewery. Every beer of theirs I've had has been very good.

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

Are we sure this beer has been retired? I just found a few out and about.

In any event, pours a hazy dark orange. Crazy amount of sediment, I mean there are gobs of stuff in here. No real head, just a thin white crust.

Smell is solid and appealing, with hints of fruit and a deep bread-y aroma. Taste is sublime. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy, this is lavished with apricots, apple ... citrus of too many types to name (with a lemon zest), and some sort of malty tropical backbone that's reminiscent of guavas and mangoes.

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Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared a 750ml bottle of this with some friends last night. None of them were beer nerds by any stretch, and they really enjoyed this one.

Poured part of a 750ml into a snifter.

Appearance - It produced a tannish white one finger head that slowly dissipated to a thin crown. It is a hazy translucent ruby brown color. The first pour had no yeast floaties, but all subsequent pours did.

Smell - The smell is pretty good. There are many layers to the scent - green and red apples, raisin, plum, bananas, pear, burnt sugar and caramel. The alcohol becomes more apparent as the beer warms to room temperature.

Taste - All of the scents that are present are also contained in the flavor. It tastes of red apples, raisins, plums, caramel and a slight spice - very sweet. The flavor is very complex and seems to change over the course of the drink, with the apple flavor trading dominance with raisin flavor.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light carbonation. Very creamy and smooth.

Drinkability - Extremely good. Although I shared this 750ml with other people, I could have easily drunk the entire bottle by myself. The smooth mouthfeel, flavor and scent make for a very nice drinking experience.

A really good Belgian. I recommend drinking this brewerie's beers out of the larger bottles. I enjoyed the flavor much more out of the 750mls than the 33cls. I am glad that these are now available in Texas.

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Photo of Trueant1
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown color. Has lots of yeastie floaties. Too much floaties. The beer is cloudy.

Smells sweet and spicy. Even smells of nice fresh wheat bread.

Tasts of sweet candy, caramel, and some bitter hops balance the extreme sweetness nicely. Some alcohol comes through on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thick sweetness. Lots of small carbonation that tingles your pallet.

This beer is way above average. However, just too sweet for my personal tastes. The sweetness made it just a tad hard for me to drink.

A good beer!

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Photo of Hemi
3.89/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours to a 3 finger off white head that almost completely disappears. Weak sporadic lacing. Cloudy mahogany in color with an abundance of suspended yeast clumps. I'm picking up a very fruity nose, a bit of banana and spices. No doubt the yeast strain contribute a lot of the characteristics. This is a very rich beer to the palate, similar to other Belgiums. I can taste a bit of belgium sugar candy, hints of plum and raison with a slight hop bitter finish. A bit thinner mouth feel then I would expect but not thin by any means. Its a good beer however I think the bottle was about as much as I can handle personally. A bit too rich to consume in large quantities.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.34/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a bottle at Bauer on Newbury Street for this past Friday night. After popping the cap, I got some overflow, not quite an explosion, but enough to spill down the sides. After letting it settle down a bit, I poured myself some into a Belgian chalice. Wow, there were a lot of chunks of yeast. Too many, almost to the point of distraction. I let the glass sit for a bit, and upon first taste, I liked it. The taste was of caramel and fruit, with a smoothness that hid the alcohol level. But those chunks, they are hard to ignore. For the second glass, I poured extremely slow, and most of the yeast stayed in the bottle. This was an enjoyable beer now. But the third and final glass was 1/3 yeast chunks, so not so great. This is a great tasting beer, but I think I'd only get it on draft, and never in a bottle again.

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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

First off, I don't remember the name of the place I picked this up at. It's a little liquor store on the opposite corner from the Hopleaf in Chicago. Nice place. Into the La Chouffe tulip...

A - Dark, with lots, I mean LOTS of floaties. Head was perfect in both retention and size.

S - Tart cherries and strawberries are the first things I noticed about this beer. Underneath that, I noted a tiny bit of alcohol, some cream, and sugarcane, with a sweet malt background. Very pleasing, if not as quite as complex as expected...

T - The entry focused again on tart fruits, with some nice spices mixed in. The alcohol picks up at midpalate, and becomes somewhat prickely in the finish. Deffinately some triple qualities going on here. The fuits become more sour towards the finish, and mix with some sour bread notes and the alcohol in what I can best describe as an appropriate finish to this beer. Wonderful lingering farmhouse qualities. I like what they did here.

M - Those damned floaties get in the way here...

D - I see myself buying this again, if for no other reason than to match with some good salty bleu cheese.

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Photo of ericj551
3.82/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

After my experience with another beer from this brewery, I opened and poured this very carefully, but I still ended up with tons of chunks of yeast in the bottle. On the one hand the beer is a beautiful color with an almost perfect head. Unfortunately the floating chunks really ruin it for me. The aroma is rich carmel corn with dark fruity esters. The flavor is more dark fruits, sweet and malty, with a delicious complexity. The low score on mouthfeel is from the chunks that really ruin it for me. They're very unpleasant and ruin an otherwise very good beer. I was hoping that the bottle of Tripel Imperial I had the other day was just a bad bottle, but with the same experience I have to assume its a brewery wide problem.

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Photo of irishkyle21
4.1/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The foam rushed out of the bottle as soon as I popped the cap. It pours with a fluffy light caramel colored head. Decent retention and lacing. Has a cloudy amber color. There was a lot of sediment in the beer even though I filtered what I could.

Smells of sour funkiness, a bit of peppery spice, winey alcohol fruitiness, caramel malt and wood.

Tastes of dark fruits, spices ( pepper comes to mind again) and some sweetness. A very drinkable beer, I would like to try a fresher sample and compare notes.

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Photo of rallison
4.62/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a Delirium Tremens glass. Immediately foamed out of the bottle - but that's ok, I was expecting it from this one.

Pours a cloudy reddish brown with lots of sediment. A nice 2 finger off-white head is also present that doesn't want to fully die.

Smells of delicious sweet fruits - dates and raisins - along with some sweet Belgian Candi sugar and red wine. Very nice.

Taste is very good. Belgian Candi sugar sweetness with red wine characteristics. Sweet cherries. Toffee. An intoxicating mix of flavors. What a dessert beer. Hmm, this could be quite nice to cook with as well...

Mouthfeel is exceptional. Rich and creamy with the perfect accompaniment of carbonation. Delicious. Drinkability is insanely high on this.

Highly recommended. I know I've had this before, but I forgot it was that good. And, whatever you do, make sure you serve this warm enough - it truly shines at warmer temps.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.33/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, with the ink on the best-before date so smudged as to be completely unreadable. Just arrived in Texas, so probably fairly young. Served in a Bernardus wide-mouthed chalice.

This pours a murky brown color with a moderate head. Little bits of yeast chunks swirl around a bit before settling. Highly fruity aroma, with notes of caramelized cherry, both tart and sweet, followed by a faint hoppiness. Very nice flavor. Fruitiness follows the nose, but adds a grapy tannicness and light sourness that makes it particularly delectable. A yeasty cloviness with a hint of anise rounds out the finish.

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Photo of atigerlife
4.23/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a Chimay chalice.

I had no idea this beer was retired. I bought mine over a year ago and was aging it. No idea of how old it was since I couldn't find any dating on the bottle.

Pours a beautiful dark brown with ruby highlights. A one finger light brown head forms with decent retention. Good lacing. Very nice beer to look at.

Aroma is of alcohol, malts, dark fruits, spices and some wood.

Taste is sweet, malts, and dark fermented fruits [dark cherries, apricots, plums]. Has some peach in there as well.

Mouthfeel is incredibly smooth and creamy with a medium body. Very impressive.

Overall, a very nice beer which somehow hides its 10%. Very drinkable considering the ABV. Complex and unique. Highly recommend it if you can find a bottle.

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Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special Brown from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 739 ratings
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