Abbaye Des Rocs Spéciale Noël
Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.

Abbaye Des Rocs Spéciale NoëlAbbaye Des Rocs Spéciale Noël
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Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Ranked #73
Ranked #11,511
4 | pDev: 9.75%
Jul 08, 2022
Sep 22, 2003
Very Good
Abbaye Des Rocs Spéciale NoëlAbbaye Des Rocs Spéciale Noël
Notes: None
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Photo of AzfromOz
Reviewed by AzfromOz from Australia

3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
Purchased from the International Beer Collector Subscription in December 2021. Drunk in July 2022.

The beer pours a deep honey-coloured brown. The head dissipates quickly, leaving a thin rim clinging to the side of the glass. There is no evident carbonation.

Aroma is quite umami-centric, with an almost smoked note. There's some brown sugar and sweetness in there too. If I didn't know this beer had been in my fridge for six months at a constant 4.5 degrees C in a perfectly sealed bottle, I'd have suspected the beer was oxidated.

Taste is initially meaty, almost like beef broth, but sweet caramel malt, marzipan, dark fruits and molasses come to the fore. There's a slight metallic aftertaste and some alcoholic warmth on the swallow. The sweeter malt and darker fruits come out more obviously as the beer warms. Quite clearly this beer is meant for sipping.

In the mouth the beer is smooth, mildly carbonated and, as noted, slightly alcoholic.

Overall, this beer would be great sipped slowly and contemplatively in a warm room with a cosy fire. It's a miserable mid-winter night here in Australia as I write this and I think the beer is scoring higher than it might if drunk at any other time or circumstance.

Jul 08, 2022
Rated: 3.75 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Feb 21, 2022
Rated: 4 by mizx from England

Aug 30, 2021
Rated: 4.02 by Dentist666 from Russian Federation

Aug 29, 2021
Photo of Jack_14
Reviewed by Jack_14 from Italy

3.82/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
As soon as the bottle is opened, immediately hit of malty notes on the nose (hints of caramel, honey and candied fruit).
Abundant, creamy and even brown foam.
Dark beer, between ruby red and brown. Impenetrable.
Full-bodied, warm and enveloping beer in the mouth.
I rediscover the hints of caramel and dried fruit.
I distinguish notes of caramel, marzipan, dried fruit (almonds), candied fruit (raisins), honey, cloves, light cinnamon and final star anise.
On the final light iron tip, not out of place.
Long beer with sweet notes that echo for a long time in the palate.
Great complexity and many reflections that should be analyzed (savored) with extreme attention because, even if only with the changing temperature, new ones always emerge.
Dec 20, 2020
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
Reviewed by JonnoWillsteed from England

4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
L- A quite deep chestnut-red, pours with notable haze, unavoidable I think given the care this bottle has had. Pours with 5mm mid-tan head. [ps 15mins later, holds very well].
S- Quite malty and thank heavens the ABV% breaks cover and shows itself too, it's Friday evening after all...
T- Oooh > oooph... > puuuooo, that was literally my reflex response on the first three sips. It's big, it's bold, it's meaty, and the ABV% isn't being shy either. It's majoring on bit meaty malts here, would go great with Brit Xmas pudding.
F- Somewhat rich, meaty, ABV% is in plain sight. Presented like a Belgian Strong Ale to me - but lable says it's a Tripel.
O- I like it, the overall proposition is in plain sight. It's entirely of a style suited to winter. A slow-sippin' Xmas beer. I wouldn't mind a bit more detail in the taste/feel to keep me figuring out it's intracacies, it's pretty direct, WYSIWYG.
330ml bottle. Bought from TremblingMadness York/UK for home delivery to London. BB: 06/11/2021 £3.15
Oct 23, 2020
Photo of Magnificent_Bastard
Reviewed by Magnificent_Bastard

3.57/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Murky brown, well carbonated. Quickly fading tan head

Nose. a metallic aroma is the first thing that pops out from the glas, aluminium. This detracts from the grade. its not too dominating and beneath there is a dark roasted malt, caramel, toffee, clovesm, prune and licorice

Taste: sultana and plum, sweet caramel cream, with more licorice and spice on the finish. Nixe textured moutfeel which is more smooth than chewy, considering the high Abv. Taste is good and balanced, medium in richness/intensity
Feb 05, 2020
Photo of The_Bujon
Reviewed by The_Bujon from Ireland

4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Poors a deep sultry plum, with a moderate yet inviting head. Retention is great in the chalice glass.

Aroma is excellent, really packed with wintery spices dusting over a deep malt undertone.

Taste is almost as good, same fruit an malt, but laced with dark chocolate. Aftertaste is surprising welcoming, so much so you feel like you have taken a bite from the forbidden fruit.

Feel is also top drawer, really smooth, just the right consistency, with no artificial sweetness which is a bonus for a 9% brew.

Overall, one of the most well rounded beers I have tried. Big thumbs up! A must for any advocates seasonal stock pile.
Dec 24, 2018
Photo of Hanglow
Reviewed by Hanglow from Scotland

3.27/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
Botle, BBE 10/2018

Explodes out of glass, pours with huge carbonation and loads of chunky yeast. Really ugly, sewage like brown appearance. Ugly beer, ugly over carbonation. It's cool temperature wise too

Milk chocolate, chocolate liquor, coins in aroma. It's ok.

Taste is similar, no bitterness, not too sweet as there is some welcome dryness. There's some generic allspice in there, some brown sugar. thick body for a belgian. alcohol is there but not unwelcome .

Overall the beer isn't bad once you get it in the glass and avoid looking at it, but it's not one I'd buy again ( I do have a few in the cellar though)
Jan 20, 2018
Photo of cyrenaica
Reviewed by cyrenaica from Canada (ON)

4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5
330ml bottle
9.0% ABV
Bar Hop (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
February 8, 2013
The beer poured a dark murky reddish-brown with a half inch tan head that lasted throughout. The aroma was plums, yeast, bread, and sugar. The mouthfeel was medium bodied with medium carbonation. The flavour was sweet malt, molasses, dark fruit, sugar, and yeast
Jun 07, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by steverx8 from England

Feb 12, 2017
Rated: 4.54 by Foley67 from Scotland

Feb 03, 2017
Rated: 2.75 by Euroglot from Belgium

Jan 08, 2017
Photo of Bruno74200
Reviewed by Bruno74200 from France

3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75
This bottle might have some problems, with almost no carbonation and so there is no head over the hazy brown colour.
The smell is of Cognac, candied fruits, caramel. It's vinous and a bit spicy.
The taste follows but is a bit outdated.
This beer is flat, or almost flat.
It seems to be a good beer but I'd like to try it as it should be
Dec 18, 2016
Rated: 3.84 by RMentair from Panama

Feb 17, 2016
Photo of Spike
Reviewed by Spike from England

3.56/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
Very dark red-brown, almost black. Ruby red when held to the light. One-finger head disappears very quickly. Visible carbonation. Minimal lacing.

Little nose to speak of. A hint of sweetness. Some dried fruits.

Sweet, smokey. Some dried fruits. Some spice.

Nicely carbonated. Prickle of alcohol at the back of the throat. Thin mouthfeel.

An ok strong dark ale but would not purchase again.
Jan 03, 2016
Rated: 4.26 by Antyk from Belgium

Dec 16, 2015
Photo of josanguapo
Rated by josanguapo from Spain

4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
From Uvinum. In Teku glass. Watching Sons of Anarchy 2x13. Nice spicy touch. Low carbonation. I miss more body.
Dec 13, 2015
Rated: 4.42 by stephenlee from England

Oct 01, 2015
Rated: 4 by HopBelT from Belgium

Jun 17, 2015
Rated: 4.23 by Evil_Pidde from Sweden

Jan 03, 2015
Photo of Ciocanelu
Reviewed by Ciocanelu from Romania

4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Review from notes. Slightly hazy brown color with beige head. Aroma has nothing really special, just some malt character. Taste is quite interesting, malt, caramel, dark sugar, molasses and some liquorice. Nice one, balanced and drinkable yet really tasty.
Dec 18, 2014
Rated: 3.94 by leitmotif from Romania

Dec 18, 2014
Rated: 4 by Pretendbeard from Japan

Dec 11, 2014
Rated: 3.5 by olradetbalder from Sweden

Dec 05, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by lmaduells from Spain

Oct 21, 2014
Rated: 3.7 by mattfancett from England

Aug 26, 2014
Photo of flyingpig
Reviewed by flyingpig from Scotland

3.41/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
330ml Bottle from Good Spirits Co, Glasgow (£3.80):
Medium brown with red tinges & a cloudy body. A bubbly, brownish-white 0.5cm head that fades to a fine lacing quite quickly.

Spicy with a lot of sweetness, mainly from some dark fruits such as prunes, plums & some dates. There is a toasted malt aroma that is complimented by some sugar & a medium strength alcohol smell also comes through alongside oak & faint vanilla.

Spicy with lots of sweetness both from the dark fruits mentioned in the smell but also from the sugar. There's a strong taste of prunes with some vanilla & alcohol.

This one was quite a spicy, sweet and medium bodied beer that had a slightly warming alcohol taste to it. There was a fair amount of carbonation in this one & the beer seems boozy with a sticky finish.

An okay Belgian offering but it never really hit the heights of some of the countries better strong ales, coming across a little strong and without the best of balance between flavours. I doubt I'll be picking this one up again.
May 16, 2014
Rated: 4 by samEBC from Belgium

Mar 04, 2014
Rated: 4.12 by desint from Belgium

Dec 07, 2013
Rated: 3.5 by acurtis from New Jersey

Aug 13, 2013
Rated: 4.75 by WOLFGANG from South Carolina

Jul 05, 2013
Photo of cpetrone84
Reviewed by cpetrone84 from Pennsylvania

3.17/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25
Pour is a dark ruby red with a tight light tan head. Nose is caramel, candied sugar, light metallic note, and banana in back. Taste is sweet, caramel is light, a touch sugary, faint seltzer and metallic not mid palate, light banana lingers through the finish. Lighter body, hides alcohol very well, moderate carbonation, and slightly empty on the finish.
May 07, 2013
Rated: 4 by yancot from Canada (ON)

Apr 12, 2013
Photo of thierrynantes
Reviewed by thierrynantes from France

3.99/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Beer bottle (33 l.) purchased from La Cervoiserie, and tasted in 2013.

Appearance : brown color with white foamy head.
Smell : roasty malt and spicy aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : dark fruity and caramel flavors.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Belgian Strong dark ale.
Feb 15, 2013
Rated: 4.25 by uturn from Florida

Jan 16, 2013
Photo of jrenihan
Reviewed by jrenihan from Canada (ON)

3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Bottle BB Nov 9, 2013. Not sure how old this makes it.

Beer is a relatively dark brown colour, a bit toffee-hued. A big-off white on top, this thing just leaves mammoth amounts of head. Lots of sediment in the beer, even when only the top half of the bottle has been poured. Little lace.

Smell contains dark fruits in the front, primarily plum and raisin. A sweet, bready malt scent accompanies. I don't know if this beer actually contains spicing, but I don't really get any in the nose.

Taste focuses on the sweet, bready malt scent. Unsurprisingly, this is a malt-focused brew. Raisin and plum there again, along with some caramel. Some light spicing is present, but no spice particularly sticks out. To the extent that "christmas" ales tend to taste like a fruitcake, I think this one is pretty mild in that regard. A bit of booze is noticeable.

Medium to full bodied, moderately carbonated. Sticky.

Overall, good, but not the best this brewery does.
Dec 10, 2012
Photo of BlackHaddock
Reviewed by BlackHaddock from England

3.26/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
0.75 litre bottle: best before 9 Nov 2013, poured into three chalices during a random tasting evening at my house in Aug 2012.

The sediment came up with the pour and at a pace: so each glass ended up with a messy, chunky, hazy liquid within. The actual colour of the brew is dirty brown and no head wanted to be seen on top.

The smells were of a spiced fruit cake which had been caramelised and over cooked: the taste was very similar to the aromas and the lumps did break up a little as the beer warmed, but it wasn’t the greatest Belgian Christmas experience you’re ever going to get.

I’m going for OK rather than good, even though the brew has some fine flavours it lets it’s self down with the overall look and the floating sediment.
Sep 14, 2012
Photo of woosterbill
Reviewed by woosterbill from Kentucky

4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4
33cl bottle into a Duvel tulip. Best by 9/8/14.

A: Gusher; like, seriously. Once I get it into the glass, though, the head disappears almost immediately - and without leaving any lace. THe body is a cloudy brown. Not a great looking beer.

S: Sweet, fruity, complex malts. Brown sugar, prune, vanilla, toffee, and a unique tequila-esque piquancy. Interesting and lovely.

T: The tequila aspect jumps out up front, with the toffee and fruitcake notes right behind; some spicy alcohol on the finish. Highly intriguing, and rather delicious.

M: Way too carbonated, and a bit sticky. Disappointing.

O: This would have been tremendous if it weren't for the ridiculous overcarbonation. As it was, it was a deliciously flawed novelty. I've never tasted anything quite like it.

Apr 02, 2012
Rated: 4 by schopenhauerale from Arizona

Mar 21, 2012
Abbaye Des Rocs Spéciale Noël from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 75 ratings