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

BA SCORE
88
very good
66 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Abbaye Des Rocs Spéciale NoëlAbbaye Des Rocs Spéciale Noël
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: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 09-22-2003

BEER STATS
Ratings:
66
Reviews:
42
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
9.68%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
3
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 66 |  Reviews: 42
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.

 1,132 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled during a visit to the Taverne Du Château on Monday 12th April. Situated in Montignies-sur-Rocs, a lovely small village in Northern Hainaut close to the French Border, and also home to the Brasserie de l’Abbaye des Rocs. The Taverne Du Château stocks a great range of the AdR beers and is one of the best places to sample them.

The fourth and last of the AdR beers that we sampled here was offered to us, presumably, by the owner of the Taverne Du Château. He realized that he had a Taverne full of beer geeks and knew that we were ordering our last beer of the afternoon before leaving. He had some excellent on-trade and bottle sales from our party of 30 for what was a quiet Easter Monday afternoon. So he offered a limited number of us a few cellared Abbaye des Rocs Spéciale Noëls that were definitely not on the Beer Menu and had been aging for around 8 years!!! A jolly nice chap he was, of course we just had to take him up on his very kind offer, and we didn't want to offend him after all!

Presentation: Another 750ml capped green glass bottle. Standard AdR presentation which includes a generic design for the main label, a gold edged simple crown shaped formed from 3 tall arched windows topped in the center arch with a red, white & gold coat of arms. This sits against a dark blue background. Sadly one of our party peeled the label off our bottle before I had chance to snap a picture of the bottle, such is the rarity of this one. The neck label has the same dark blue background, but unlike other AdR offerings that have pictures of the coat of arms and the name of the Brewery, this one simply states “Spéciale Noël” in gold lettering.

Appearance: Dark orange-amber body that was thick in character but which may have faded over the years. The bottle had a large track of yeast down it length indicating that this had been kept on its side for many years. As such, relatively little sediment emerged with the contents, the sediment appeared welded to the side of the bottle. The head formed easily, the inherent conditioning was still lively and assisted in forming a nice 3” deep off-white collared head that slowly collapsed to a rocky mass that laced well. Even after all these years this one looked bloody good.

Nose: Powerful fruity aroma. Tripel like, it had a strong bitterness set amidst some gorgeous fruity aromas. Apples and Pears, cooking spices, some ginger, toasted malts and lots of alcohol soaked plums. Wow, quite the nose on this mature Xmas beer.

Taste: Chewy at first, the bitterness has matured to become very smooth and it balances the large toasted malts about the fruity fulcrum with perfection. Big & bold but never brash, this is more like a Brandy than a beer. Incredible tastes that are almost beyond comprehension and description.

Mouthfeel: The extremely powerful Noël has a massive mouthfeel, incredibly large, all-consuming with a huge alcohol base that warms yet spices the mouth with vanilla soaked ginger and sponge cake. The infinitesimally small carbonation is like a lifeboat that keeps this powerful monster afloat at all times.

Drinkability: Powerful as it was, it was a very drinkable sipper that increased in quaffability as you got used to dissecting its complex character. Shared amongst several of our group, this was a warming ale that nevertheless has appeal and is far from overpowering.

Overall: It seems that later versions of the Abbaye des Rocs Spéciale Noël has gotten darker over the years and more heavily spiced. It was a real treat to have this older version that was most certainly more Tripel-based in character at one time it seems.

I cannot praise the welcome and service that we received at the Taverne Du Château in Montignies-sur-Rocs highly enough. And to have this special cellared treat before we left. Just Incredible! This was a fucking great beer to finish the afternoon with!! Most Impressive. The first time that I ever seen this offering from AdR, let alone tried it, and at 8 years old I can tell you that it was awesome. To think that I may never try this again.

If you see any aged versions of the Abbaye des Rocs Spéciale Noël do not hesitate to snap them up!

Seriously Recommended.

 4,235 characters

Photo of WOLFGANG
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of Foley67
4.54/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bbadger
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

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.

 637 characters

Photo of lmaduells
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

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

From a 750ml bottle. Dark rusty red/brownish colour with a nice head of tanny froth that lasted and left some excellent lacing. Aromas are spicy and doughy with definitive peppery hints, and some exquisite fruitiness as well. Taste is fruity and spicy with peppery hops in the mix with doughy malts. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lush with carbonation. Drinkability is very good, especially condiering the 9% abv and the complexity of the flavor here. Quite wonderful, unique, and hard to describe, I hope to visit it again...

 527 characters

Photo of stephenlee
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

 343 characters

Photo of cypressbob
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle

Pours with a murky light brown body, tawny head forming at about an inch or so thick, decent retention

Smell, strong esters, dried fruit and a strong whiff of alcohol

Taste , fruity and dry, nice warming alcohol and a thick malty body

A very good belgian ale, another fine example of a great style

 322 characters

Photo of canucklehead
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this for my Birthday as it near Xmas. The beer overflowed like a geyser but the pour itself was no problem. The nose is spice and dark corners with the promise of friutcake. I liked the complexity married with a smoothness inherent in the finish. I also suggest cellaring a few bottles for the following Xmas.

 317 characters

Photo of josanguapo
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

111 characters

Photo of Naerhu
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I am neither a great fan of Belgian, nor am I fan of winter/spiced ales, but I was definately a fan of this fine beer.

A - Prodigious amount of floaties in a nice red/amber body.
S - Rich, spicy, cinnamon, spruce, hops and nutmeg.
T - Complex maltness hiding behind all of the nicely integrated spices.
M - I couldnt tell that this beer was a percent over 4. Amazing. Smooth, yet lively.
D - The brewer of this beer should be arrested for contributing to my delinquincy. Smooth, lively and complex, what more could you want?

 532 characters

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.

 1,159 characters

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.

 819 characters

Photo of Antyk
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SeanChouffe
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very lively beer. Jumped out of the bottle as soon as I cracked it. A deep red/brown color with some haze. Head is a light tan and diminishes relatively quickly. Aroma is slightly astringent and spicy. Flavor is a nice mix of spices, malt and hops ? a well balanced taste with character, but not overdone. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, creamy and lively.

Damn good. These Rocs all seem to have a similar sharp aroma, but the taste is world class.

 450 characters

Photo of steverx8
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of uturn
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

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

Pours nice and cloudy brown with a brownish head that is strong but not excessive. Smells malty and of spices. Taste is similar, with more emphasis on the malts. Detectable spices. Not too bitter. A little too fizzy, but easy to drink. Did not have a problem with the carbonation as others seem to. A high ABV limits drinkability.

 330 characters

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of silenius
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brought back from Belgium to enjoy at home.

Poured from the bottle with a best before the end of 2007 date.

It is a dark and cloudy ruddy orange with a moderate sized head that manages a cap throughout the session. No lacing.

Smell is sweet mandarin oranges and lime with slight dusting of spices and some molasses in the background.

Taste is on the sweet side with oranges and limes dominating the flavor with some light spices and smoke in the background. Leaves with a nice bitter dryness.

Mouthfeel is lively without being prickly.

A very drinkable beer.

 576 characters

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

 581 characters

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.

 422 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Abbaye Des Rocs Spéciale Noël from Brasserie de l'Abbaye des Rocs s.a.
4.03 out of 5 based on 66 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More