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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 594   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.59   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
This beer, robust in taste and strength (9%) is the tops for flavour. It has a fruity and spicy bouquet, it has a stark taste, between a sharp bitterness and a caramelised flavour. It has no sugar, and this pure malt beer oscillates between various tendencies which all round off the bitterness. It has a peppery taste at the back of the mouth and a sharpness on the tongue. It is active in the mouth and lets each flavour express itself individually. It is very active in the glass which gives it a full, lasting, head. It has a long conclusion and puts emphasis on an ever present bitterness but less supported by the caramel. The final impression is one of gingerbread without sugar.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
kepano (249) - Los Angeles, California, USA - MAR 20, 2006
The bottle was marked for drinking before then end of 2006 and seemed the oldest of my Abbaye des Rocs lineup, so I decided to give it a try. Even with cautious use of my bottle opener, an eruption of foam bubbled out the semi-open seal. As I poured into my Trappist glass, a voluptuous cappuccino head fluffed up from the deep sanguine body. Suddenly, the volcanic container began to ineluctably vomit a legion of large chunks. From experience, attempting to decant the liquid is absolutely futile, and I would instead suggest capitulating to the valuable nuggets by gently stirring the bottle halfway through to homogenize the mixture. What resulted from this nearly disastrous pour, was actually more than potable.

The nose is powerful and striking in richness and complexity. Initially pineapple and chocolate dominate in a surprisingly agreeable blend and with minimal effort one can dissect the three chocolates in the aroma. Dark, milk and white are equally present and create a smooth creamy yet slightly bitter character. With a second sniff, café au lait appears in conjunction with a thick bready odor that provides a dusty and slightly musty aspect continually accumulating in complexity. The dynamism of Montagnarde’s nose makes it difficult to untangle as each inhalation reveals new scents. The general aroma feels earthy and smooth, malty and yeasty but also fruity and spicy. Green vegetables such as artichoke and string beans are present and reflect the slightly caramelized, brown sugar sweetness that one might find blended in nouvelle cuisine. Figs, plums, banana, apple and vanilla appear as soon as you think of fruit. Irish cream emanates from the background leaving a buttery yet slightly sweet alcoholic tinge in the nose. A woody and gradually spicier fragrance becomes noticeable as the liquid warms.

Finally, I take a sip. Beautiful lacing covers the glass and slides down phlegmaticly as it leaves a speckled painting reminiscent of Jackson Pollock’s work. Coffee and vegetables appear first: carrots, green beans, brussel sprouts, flavors skip from one to the next as the liquid wraps smoothly around the tongue. Goat cheese, meat, steak sauce, bread, a veritable dinner in a bottle! L’Abbaye des Rocs’ Montagnarde is what Willy Wonka’s gum must be like. A substantial brew that displays incredible complexity, an instant favorite. The creaminess of sweetened fromage blanc emerges in conjunction with caramel, butter and a slight burnt character. Spices mark the final touch as the velvety liquid ends in a bloom of milky flavors and the gentle trace of alcohol. The deScription is spot on with gingerbread in that finishing gust of spices which also includes black pepper, cinnamon, anis, cardamom and nutmeg. A brilliant concoction that has left me tremendously impressed.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
biz82 (1328) - austin, Texas, USA - MAR 18, 2006
Pours amber thick, hazy, carbonated and chunky. 1" loose head. Spicy, papery aroma with some pear. Nice body with flavors of caramel, apple, pear, dried green raisens. A bit oxidized. Finishes a little tart and bitter. Quite effervescent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
skaughty (652) - Marietta, Georgia, USA - MAR 16, 2006
Pours brass colored, with a small,but infinite head. Aroma is supremely yeast,with banana and caramel. Flavor is a similar mix, with a emphasis on the banana. Finish is hoppier than exected, as well as being surpringly dry. The spices carry from start to finish. Alcohol is not well masked, and dominates at times. A little sharp.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Storm (2684) - Amager, DENMARK - MAR 7, 2006
33 cl bottle. Yeast at the bottom. Brown colour with a weak head. Aroma of candy, toffee, yeast and kandis. Very smooth great flavour of complexity, dried fruit nearly like portwine. Ends up with a sweet and warm feeling from the alcoho, very nice endeed.l

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
DrGonzo (625) - Somerville, Massachusetts, USA - FEB 25, 2006
From 750ml bottle. Orange and golden color with thick white head, some floaties. Citric aroma, apricots and flowers. Spicy body, fruits (apricot and pear), medium weight. Finishes a bit thin and dry. Good overall, though nothing too remarkable for the style.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
schuimkroaat (427) - Leuven, BELGIUM - FEB 19, 2006
33 cl bottle, bottled/’bbe’? Dark orange to light brown, non-transparent with a fine network of yeast particles. A biggish frothy head that laces quite well. The aroma is initially sweetish and sticky, almost syrupy; then herbal notes (turnip?) and some dried exotic fruit come through. The taste begins sweetish, followed by strong peppermint that fills the mouth accompanied by earthy, light spicy notes. A sticky body with a bitter-sourish finish. Nice, but a little too sweet. In any case, malt power remains the trade mark of Abbaye des Rocs.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Dickinsonbeer (5075) - Hoboken, New Jersey, USA - FEB 14, 2006
Pours pretty nice- big fluffy head and nice lace. First pour was clear very light amber- more of a light copper. Consecutive pours get more clumped proteins in suspension. I really didnt like the aroma, as I initially thought of solvent like phenols, which later gave way to some wierd fruityiness- tropical fruits like mango etc. Flavor is slightly solvent-like with a burning alcohol sensation as it goes down. Lightly sweet aftertaste. Not what I expected from a brewery that makes other amazing beers as the brune, grand cru, and tripel imperiale. Kind of a let down.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
stegosaurus (1882) - Levittown, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 11, 2006
pours hazy orange-gold color with a large fluffly off white head that just rises to the top of your glass(careful it may go over) aroma is sweet,citrusy, spicey, and yeasty. The flavor is, sweet, belgian style spices are present, citrusy fruit. Typical Abbaye des Rocs good till the last drop, good body and mouth feel, great brew.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
ALLOVATE (2681) - Perth, AUSTRALIA - FEB 8, 2006
Second of a bad batch to arrive in my cellar. Feel a little guilty in rating it as it wasn’t infected to the point of aroma and taste, it just seemed to lack what a live bottle would have offered. It seems the batch I purchased this from suffered a trip from Belgium to Oz without the air-con on! The yeast has become dormant during the trip to grow into a slurry of slimy fungus that took up a third of the bottle. As I poured, it charged forth, broke up and plopped into the chalice like a clear soup during the addition of lentils and bread cubes. Really quite off-putting; you could say this was what they mean by liquid bread as it had the look of soaked ’wholemeal’ and vomit, that I’d say any monk in their right mind would pass on this one during lent. Aroma was clean and free of nasties with fruit and walnut loaf; quite generous and spicy like it was soaked in sherry. First sip had a gag reflex in accompaniment, so I sieved it through a sparge net. Now devoid of carbonation, and looking like a huge glass of whisky with a little froth, I took my second sip. Sweet in the mouth, dominated by flavours of burnt sugars, toffee and caramel. Lightly yeasty and doughy with a good whack of the ginger mentioned in the product deScription yet more like an extract used in the production of Ginger beer. The sweetness becomes cloying in the back with figs and prunes delivering the last blow for this heavily unbalanced strong ale. Holds it’s alcohol well for all I could tell as it sat on the tongue with the feel of skim milk and finished off long, malty and rather dry. Another Abbaye des Rocs for the re-rate bin!!! (33cL, BBE 2006)

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
luckygirl (1223) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - FEB 5, 2006
Sharing Ern’s bottle so that he’ll quite jumping around raving about the aroma and let me be. :) Poured a murky, medium-orange color. And, despite the volcano impression the bottle is doing in the sink, the head is just average-sized, frothy, off-white, mostly and quickly diminishing head. The aroma is sweet and moderately malty with notes of caramel and toasted grain; Lightly hoppy with notes of dried apricot and grass; Heavily yeasty with pungent notes of cellar; and busting with heavy, fruity and spicy miscellaneous notes that include: orange rind, pumpkin, white pepper, honey, ginger and plenty of spicy, warm alcohol. Sexy, indeed. The flavor is heavily sweet, lighlty acidic and lightly bitter with a long, clean, warm, moderately bitter finish. The body is medium-to-full, the texture is creamy and the carbonation is average-to-soft. The alcoholic feeling in the finish is cozy and warming rather than harsh. Wow! Okay, this is something to rave about!

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