kepano (283) - Los Angeles, California, USA - MAR 25, 2006
I stated a few months ago that I wanted to get a better impression of l’Abbaye des Rocs after tasting their two showpiece beers. The result has, so far, been astounding and indeed completely obliterated my expectations. Some of these are, in my opinion terribly underrated and seem far more worthy of the Top 50 than the Brune and Grand Cru, which, mind you, are still exceptional products. Triple Impériale begins at the explosive pop of the cork as a cascade of puffy custard foam fills the glass and reduces to a creamy layer above the deep cloudy mahogany body. A wonderful hue that seems to oscillate between Bordeaux and nearly purple highlights. The thick aroma of fresh bread is immediately apparent. Progressively spices and malts build the complex character of the nose. Orange, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper and apple scented soap, interact with the rich but soft sweetness of caramel, butter, white and milk chocolate, cappuccino and steamed white rice. As the liquid warms, the sweetness is further expressed by an eruption of strawberries and cherries. Again the yeasty qualities are first noticeable in the flavor but as you let the tongue explore each sip, the unctuous qualities begin to shine. A very subtle combination of chocolate and coffee create the basic savor which is complemented by butter, red wine, cookie dough and a sweet creaminess. The soft carbonation gives a mellow and velvety texture to the liquid that soothes the tongue as it slips suavely down the throat. The finish begins with a yeasty contour slowly dissolving to reveal a soft cappuccino and chocolate aftertaste that coats the mouth forever. A remarkable effort that simply leaves me in great anticipation of my next Abbaye des Rocs! iowaherkeye (2804) - Ocean Beach, San Diego, California, USA - MAR 24, 2006
11.2oz bottle, best before end 2006 or 2008, I can’t tell which one. Pours a hazy mahogany with a large beige headinto a trappist glass. Smells of graham crackers, raisins, brown sugar, slight tartness, yeast, and caramel malts. Has some slight tartness in the beginning, with most of the flavors described above coming through in the taste, with a sweet finish. Alcohol very well hidden for 10%. Moderately carbonated. MIBRomeo (2579) - Wisconsin, USA - MAR 19, 2006
pours a very murky thick lookign brownish color w/ a huge well laced tan head. Smells fruity plums & red grapes w/ tons of carmel & hints of alcohol. Full palate lightly chewy and creamy. Flavor is subdued not over the top sweet as I expected from the aroma. Good carmel malts and lots of dark fruits. Some good stuff. 1FastSTi (3360) - Glendale, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 18, 2006
11.2 oz bottle. The beer pours to a very murky brown body. The beer leaves a thick brown head and nice lacing. The aroma is very strong but very balanced. Nice white grapes, raisins, interesting light spicyness. Very nice aroma. The flavor is very nice as well. Yeasty, suggary, buttery, toffee, insane maltiness and nice fruitiness and port wine. The body is really chewy. Full bodied. Nice feel. A really great BSA. OldMrCrow (2446) - Seattle, Washington, USA - MAR 7, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 1, 2013 Fresh Bottle March 7th 2006. Pours a dark tan with a reasonable head with strong lacing; from some bottles, a huge amount of gelatinous floating matter drifts in my chalice like a school of jellyfish, prevelant to the point that I prefer not to look too closely. The vast aroma is dominated by sweet muscat grapes, with a bit of grapefruit rind and hints of cloves, plenty of brown sugar.
sneagrams3 (2337) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - MAR 6, 2006
The flavor is a sweet, rich creme brule, followed by a spectrum of tangerine and citrus, leading into the yeasts and ultimately revealing its hops which add spice to the sweetness but never cut it entirely.
The mouthfeel is simultaneously prickly (from the high level of fine-bubbled carbonation) and voluptuous (from the way that the thick oily liquid melts into a frothy rich foam on the tongue).
This is a very nice beer in the sweet strong Belgian vein; its overall character is ialso elusive for me, not so much in its overall complexity as in my inability to grasp any single sip the totality of what it has to offer. 8/3/8/4/16=3.9
Two year old bottle Feb 12 ’08. A bit of a gusher as with other aged des Rocs 11.2 oz bottles, but not out of control like some. The usual jellyfish swarm floating in my glass. Most of the muscat and grapefruit is gone now; the carbonation is actually subdued, and I’m left a beer that is very sweet in a candy-sugar sort of way, rather thin for the ABV, and flavored mostly by the spicy house yeast. It’s not overwhelming in this condition at all and I can only conjecture that doesn’t age particularly well. That’s an understatement: two years has eviscerated this beer. I’m looking at something like a 7/3/7/3/14=3.4 --- and that’s being generous with a 4 for appearance.
Five year old bottle This is pretty good, actually, if one is in the mood for a sweet dark tripel. Brown sugar and kumquat peel, muscat and and creme brule. A curious and somewhat unpleasant bitterness late. Huge floaty masses clumped together more than ever; I filtered this through a gold filter (with considerably loss of carbonation, unfortunately) because the pill-sized lumps were just too much. 9/2/8/2/16
Draft Jan 24, 2007. Brouwers in Seattle). Lovely smooth and sweet dark tripel, dominated by brown sugar and caramel, intriguing under-flavors of vanilla and tropical fruit; adequately spicy finish never turns dry but closes out the sweet flavor profile nicely. 8/4/9/4/17=4.2
Summary. After several experiences with this beer from 11.2 oz bottles and several with it on tap, I’m getting a pretty significant divergence between the quality of the two. I really prefer this one on tap; my rating reflects the average of the two.
330 ml bottle. Hazy, brown garnet hue. Off-white head. Aromas of grapes, prunes, raisins, sugar, sherry and citrus. Flavor is sweet with a burnt sugar, wine and port flavor. Cloying sweetness. Port-like smoothness and alcohol burn. Absolutely delicious! GreenDragon (219) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 1, 2006
Pours a hazy light brown orange with a small white head. Strong aroma of fruits, citric hops. Strong lively taste of fruits, particularly citric fruits, to be more specific, gooseberries. Strong thick body wth a pleasant citric aftertaste. maniac (3800) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - MAR 1, 2006
Hazy dark cherry color with a large frothy off-white head. Aroma of citrus with hints of sourness, a good helping of sweet malts along with some spice. Flavor of fruit with hints of raisins. Lots of spice, and sweet malt. Very gentle for 10%. Nuffield (4202) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - FEB 24, 2006
Dark amber, bordering on light brown, with a curious head (at first irregular then dense and creamy, off-white). Citric, fruity aroma. Light barleywine qualities with a layer of bubblegum. Frothy, soft. Enjoyable. crzybob77 (530) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - FEB 22, 2006
Hazy brown. Has the typical belgian characteristic of strong alcohol balanced by extreme sweetness. But, this one is more balanced than most this strong. So, this one works for me.