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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Style:
Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #75
ABV:
9%
Score:
88
Ranked #9,009
Avg:
4.03 | pDev: 9.93%
Reviews:
45
Ratings:
69
From:
Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
 
Belgium
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  9
Gots
  7
SCORE
88
Very Good
Abbaye Des Rocs Spéciale NoëlAbbaye Des Rocs Spéciale Noël
Notes:
Reviews: 45 | Ratings: 69 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Magnificent_Bastard
3.57/5  rDev -11.4%
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

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Photo of The_Bujon
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of Hanglow
3.27/5  rDev -18.9%
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)

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Photo of cyrenaica
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
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

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Photo of Bruno74200
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
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

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Photo of Spike
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.17/5  rDev -21.3%
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.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.99/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.95/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.26/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Cheers!

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured in a chalice.

A: An alive beer! As you open it, it wants to jump out the bottle :). Pours a dark amber to brown color. Very dirty, traditional des Rocs style with many chunks floating around. A huge beige head is formed when its poured, however, the retention is medium. It dissipates leaving a thin tan layer on top. Very few lacings left. Beautiful Belgian Strong Dark Ale

S: Sweet on the nose. Brown bread and Belgian yeasts are a must. Reminds the Brune version. Dark fruits, mainly raisins, caramel, malts, wood and alcohol. Very reach on smell

T: Sweet caramel malts, Belgian yeasts, brown bread, dark fruits (raisins), spices. Molasses and syrupy. Mild bitter end. Complex on taste. Delicious

M: Full body, creamy and molasses. Reasonable carbonation. Great sweet-bitterness balance. Warming with a bit alcoholic end

O: Abbaye Des Rocs = Quality Belgian trademark beer

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Photo of impending
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl into a tulip. Pours a dingy dark orange brown, nice creamy head is very slow to subside, ok lacing.

Aroma of a dark Noël with ginger, cloves and orange peel atop dark fruits. Mild vinous characteristics. Spicy and sweet, very nice.

Taste follows the nose and adds a phenolic touch. Quiet anise appears which I didn't detect in the aroma. Pleasant long lasting aftertaste is dominated by spicy dark fruits. No sense of the alcohol. Warms well.

Full creamy yet prickly mouthfeel.

Belgian dark Noëls are in a category all their own and this is a welcome addition!
cheers
jd

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Photo of Kakaraht
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep brown with chunks of delicious sediment floating around in it. The head was thick and chunky with excellent retention.

S: Sweet and dark with dried fruits and heavy malts. There is also some spiciness in the background.

T: Oh so heavenly, with that dark Belgian yeasty flavor up front. I find raisins and caramel and molasses. As it warms the spices in the beer come out to play, with a star anise cardamon type flavor.

M: Full body, medium carbonation, and a kick ass lingering note of Belgian yeast.

D: Top notch beer,uber drinkable. It is absolutely incredible. If you see it buy it, you will not be disappointing.

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Photo of basica
4.82/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a translucent dark orange amber into my De Struise glass creating a really thick, rocky and foamy tan head that retains very well (4)

S - The nose is sweet and fresh, with notes of caramel, dark fruits, spices and some liquorice and trace hints of yeast and nuttiness (4.5)

T - Syrupy malt sweetness meets the palate upfront exploding into flavors of spices, caramel, molasses, liquorice and loads of dark fruits with phenolic notes of dates, raisins, berries and more. The after taste is pleasant and lingering with dark fruits and a nice malt background; fairly complex and interesting blend of flavors (5)

M - Close to full-bodied mouthfeel, almost chewy; moderate carbonation with a syrupy yet very creamy smooth texture. Goes down easy and with a light, pleasant warming (5)

D - Exceptional flavors and great creamy smoothness with the 9% ABV never getting in the way. A top class Belgian strong dark ale from Abbaye des Rocs, not to my surprise; definitely qualifies to be a new addition into my favorites list (5)

Procured online from BelgianShop.com for the Christmas season and consumed on December 25, 2010.

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Photo of jeranbrews
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage 75cl consumed 12/23/10 from a tulip glass.

A - This beer's body is medium dark brown with huge puffy beige head. It has a slightly cloudy yestiness too it like many of their other beers. Strangely not that much lacing. Like most of these seasonals it comes in a champagne bottle, althought this one didn't have a cork instead a normal bottle cap. I gently eased the cap off and the thing foamed up and spooged all over the floor. A sticky tasty mess.

S - Aroma is spicy and rustic. Vaguely like gin, but more specifically like a spruce tree. It has that sappy Christmas tree smell. Smells are less malty and more bready for some reason. Also picked up some hoppy moss smells.

T - Starts with a thick stout maltiness but quickly moves to a cool mint initial flavor. After taste is smooth malty and sweet so nice. Goes down easy.

M - It's a bit thick, chewy like gum. Smooth yummy. First class. Rolls around and fills your mouth while coating the throat. No burn and just enough spice to warm your heart.

D - This is a yummy seasonal fresh although slightly tree sappy brew. Another win from this brewery. I really want to try this one again.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dany (glouglouburb on RB). 750mL green glass pry-top bottle. 2010 Vintage. My first Abbaye des Rocs.

Pours a deep reddish mahogany with creamy off-white head.

Nose is a little skunky (green glass). Nose is creamy with some black cherry skin, real hand-made caramel, big red wine note (like a Cali Cab), tobacco leaf and some floral notes, like maybe lavender?

Palate is bright and prickly with carbonation and alcohol. Medium bodied. There's big caramel malt right up front but it fades out into some spicy notes and I catch tarragon on the finish. Carbonation turns creamy, but the alcohol is still really prickly on the tongue. Finish is nice and round.

Notes: Not bad at all, my only complaint is that it's too hot. Nicely integrated flavors and finish. Would probably be better served on the dinner table than by itself.

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Photo of RuudJH
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first encounter with Abbaye des Rocs. It seems to have a good reputation, making me curious too.

Red brown , clear ale, creamy head, massive carbonation on this sample.
Smell is fresh fruity and some roasty malts. Also a bit tart, like wine.
Taste is similar.
Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, the alcohol is well hidden.

All in all, this is excellent seasonal beer.
Also, I'd like to try some others from this brewery.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought from BelgianShop.com... aged for about 18 months...

Poured a deep dark burgundy red colour. Creamy head poured quite loose and foamy then faded to just a thin ring around the edge... light carbonation... some sticky lacing...

Aroma - Strong rich dark fruity sweetness (black cherries and black currents mixed together, some red grapes), some light Flemish sour ale notes, the faintest hint of tobacco just noticeable, allspice, charcoal traces, lots of liquorice mixed with some chocolate, molasses, some balsamic vinegar...

Taste - Lots of rich dark fruits (black currents and red grapes) mixed with liquorice and chocolate... reminded me of a Black Forest Gateau. Kirsch alcohol notes, black treacle sweetness, some burnt nuttiness, faint smokiness, Christmas pudding, brandy notes, definite sour ale traces...

Feel - Pretty smooth and creamy... medium / full bodied.. very drinkable for 9%

Overall - A superb and very original Christmas brew... definitely recommended...

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Photo of haz77
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - BBE 2008. Pours a cloudy chestnut brown with a lot of floaties (despite a careful pour). A finger of fizzy tan head falls to a thin island/ring, but is easily refreshed.

S - Rum, fig, raisin, plum, light whiff of farmyard and some plasticy phenols.

T - First flavour to appear is molasses, although this becomes more toffee-like in the middle. A violet flavour lingers in the background and the finish is dark fruits.

M - Very full, syrupy and coating. Carbonation builds throughout the drink and really cleanses the palate at the finish.

D - Not my favourite dark Belgian as I found it quite one-dimensional. Mouthfeel in particular is good, with the cutting carbonation at the end contrasting the syrupy texture.

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Photo of tmoneyba
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle on 02/16/2006.

Pours a hazy deep amber with a large creamy off-white head that lasted with excellent lacing. Heavy complex toasted caramel and allspice aroma. Medium body with a sticky texture. Moderate sweet spice flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of long duration.

Good winter brew that went well with a big meal.

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Photo of dnichols
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I poured a 330 ml capped bottle into an Achel chalice.

A: It poured a dark murky brown with ruddy cherry highlights when back lit. The head was composed of tight tan bubbles and rose moderately after an aggressive pour. There was an inconsistent long legged lacing that clung for a moderate amount of time before receding back into the liquid.

S: It smelled of dark sweet malts, molasses, dark Belgium candies and light dark spices.

T: It burst with creamy, yeasty dark malts and fruits. It tasted like oranges and lemons flavored with smoked almonds and cloves. The alcohol was well hidden.

M: It was a creamy, sweet, spicy full-bodied brew with a dry and warm finish and clean after taste.

D: It's full body, high ABV and spicy flavor make this a great seasonal brew meant to be consumed on a cold winter night.

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Photo of dogfooddog
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BBE 2007, small bottle. I think I have had this bottle somewhat over 2 years (label old style, 'abbaye de rocs'.)

Pours 25% head in a kasteel chalice. Immediately rich odors of dark raisiny liquor permeates, very sweet. Fabulous aroma, the classic de rocs nose but hyper-sweet.

Taste is somewhat thick, initially sort of muddled, followed by clear sweet cake or candied fruit notes, there is an underlying malty undertone which supports this. That said, it is a bit slow drinking, more than normal for the style for me. Aftertaste is somewhat bittersweet, almost like an un-sweet candy coating in the mouth along with some bitterness.

I really like this brewery's beers and while this is not my favorite, it is still great.

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Abbaye Des Rocs Spéciale Noël from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 69 ratings