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Brewed by Brasserie de l’Abbaye des Rocs
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Montignies-sur-Roc, Belgium

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1342   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.05   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
Abbaye des Rocs (9% alcohol vol.) is a pure malt beer, with no added sugar. The entire range of tastes is directly linked to the double fermentation, the precise quantities of malts (7 types) as well as the mixtures of three kinds of hops (Belgian, German and Czech). Its colour is a striking deep and majestic red. Its taste is rich and full of subtlety. It is tasted like a red wine with which it shares the ruby colour without having the tannin. It develops a strong sweet smell. It confirms the initial impression in the first mouthful, with a sharp body that is balanced with a certain fruitiness. It frees itself on the palate and develops an impressive depth of taste. Some traces of burnt wood are detectable, but never scorched even if it contains this kind of malt. The foretaste is very prolonged because of its rich and unctuous development throughout the mouth. The bitter and sugar tendencies (even though there is no sugar in its composition) compete and come back together to the taster's great satisfaction. It is a deep, mystic and extremely mature beer to be classed among the great products of our soil.


4.1
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
ClarkVV (3891) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - OCT 6, 2003
UPDATED: APR 7, 2004 Pours a murky caramel brown, however, there are some drab brown tinges in there as well. Pretty dark stuff. Smells fairly stiff and pungent, but not overly aromatic (wow, i guess I am on my own here, though I did have a cold, I'll have to sniff some more of this soon!). Alcohol noticeable. Small fizzy brownish/yellow head. Bubbly and moderately clouded. Initially was quite carbonated and that added a harsh element to the palate. Beer begins with big hops flavors mixed in with lots of dry caramel and lush raisin. The caramel malt flavor continues to build up on the palette, growing sweeter with some chocolate covered cherry appeal towards the finish, maybe some raspberry in there too. Finish is soft and warm, some small hops flavors detectable, and a very unique roasted peanut flavor is faintly detectable. Moderately astringent flavor up front is my biggest problem, but as the beer warms and breathes, this dies off somewhat (though it never really loses its dry, loose initial flavor). More hops would help out up front, though the main body is medium full and perfectly malty. As I finished the bottle off over the next hour or so, it just got better. No cloyingness, great depth and still tastes great at almost room temperature. I definitely need to try terrible and then rerate the des Rocs Grand cru as well.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
CapFlu (4469) - Victoria, British Columbia, CANADA - OCT 4, 2003
(33ccl bottle) Pours an almond, foamy head and a cloudy, copper body. Sediment the size of minced garlic... and plentiful? Nose of citrus and perfume malt. Bountiful flavours of caramel, malt and plums. Excellent Belgian Strong but not to the standards and complexity of La Terrible and Westy. Many thanks to both Lubière and MartinT for making bottles of this beer available to me...

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - OCT 3, 2003
Smells woody, earthy, with caramel. Well-balanced BSA, with a variety of fruits, and a quaint bitterness to it. Not too sweet at all. Many flavors going on at once. I think I do prefer the Grand Cru, notalush.

4.6
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
notalush (4788) - Denver, Colorado, USA - OCT 3, 2003
Pours with little head, but a nice lacing none-the-less, and an attractive amber color - extremely inviting aroma of flowers, perfume and fruits (cherries mostly) and candy - big time malt flavor, but not overly, sweet or cloying - fruit flavors of cherries and strawberries - chocolate, toffee, caramel and coffee - complex is an understatement - finishes with a touch of hops and a bready toastiness - deservedly in the top 50, but I'm not sure if it's any better than the Grand Cru.

4.4
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
beerguy101 (5277) - Newark, California, USA - SEP 2, 2003
Medium brown color, cloudy with lots if suspended yeasties. Medium beige foamy head. Aroma is fruity (bananas, cherries and plums), malty (bready and grainy) with all the typical Belgian sweetness, spiciness and complexity that you would expect. A full bodied Belgian Ale. Malts are bready, fruity and sweet. Touch of spiciness. WOW There is a lot of competing flavors going on in this beer. Its mostly sweet malts, but there are hints and flavors of raisins, apricots, oranges, chocolate and toffee. Very smooth and mellow tasting. Excellent beer. It hides the 9% alcohol very well. Finish is incredibly smooth. Note the bottle I tasted had lots of “stuff” floating around in it, but it did not detract from the taste at all. Mouthfeel is very full and round. Finish is smooth and a touch dry. Aftertaste is sweet. with hints of chocolate.

3.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Kinz (3256) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - AUG 31, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 12, 2006 I just can’t get into this brewer. Decent deep orangey brown color, rapidly collapsing head. Aroma of cooked green vegetables. Uh-oh. The flavor was also dominated by a cooked, flowery hop flavor. It seems to be the house style, and I unfortunately despise it. As it warmed, the malts kicked in more, and some port like sweetness kicked in, salvaging the beer. I can see why a person who likes the flavor of overcooked brocolli would like this beer, but can’t fathom how so many people on this site seem to go for it. RERATE: 12/10/06 at the 4th Richmond Gathering. The broccoli flavors I remember were forunately replaced by an orange marmalade note. Markedly better, new numbers posted. Previous rating was 3,3,4,3,8.

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
bluevegie (3051) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - AUG 30, 2003
Spice, apricots, chocolate, caramel, alcohol all this and more in my first belgian strong ale, takes a little getting used to but I am sure I will get to like the style.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
matta (1140) - Tampa, Florida, USA - AUG 16, 2003
I was expecting to be swept off my feet with this world class rated beer, but I never really began to hover? ** The appearance is a deep controlled burgundy, with an initial off white fizzy head, however a few minuets later, I was stunned to find no indication of lacing at all. The Abbaye des Rocs had a rich toasty malt flavor, very acidic, like a cabernet wine, also, yeasty, something reminded me of an aged brandy. The alcohol is somewhat noticeable throughout the drinking experience, and I was picking up on some fruity notes like apricots. The finish was dry, reminiscent of brute champagne, a fine beer but not one that swept me away and sent me to Oz.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Jayb0 (1001) - Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA - AUG 14, 2003
Deep red, foamy, lingering head. Aroma is perfumy and spicy, cinnamon, clove, ginger, vanilla. Creamy, sweet and malty in the mouth, great mix of fruit and caramel, sour underpinnings layered with a firm sweetness. Finishes soft with no off flavors. Alcohol is surprisingly subtle. Great beer.

4.2
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Wiseblood (700) - Clarksville, Tennessee, USA - AUG 5, 2003
Ruby-dark and rich. Intense aromas of wood, fruity sweetness and a slight tobacco note. The woodiness continues into the flavor, which is mostly sweet and malty, and bursting with fruit: cherries, raspberries and a little citrus, with flashes of warming alcohol. Long-developing finish, with tangy hops balancing the delicious fruitness. A great slow-sipping beer.


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