Abbaye des Rocs’s Saison

33cl bottle, yellow cap. Lovely mid-golden pour with a half-inch head. Average retention, some nice lace. Nose offers simple grains, a touch of hops. Plenty of fruit in those initial tastes with a lot of citrus. However, it’s not sharp or tart, but has a lemon sweetness about it. Dry start, and the beer is highly drinkable at 5.4%. The dry element continues and builds, and it’s then that the hops truly kick in. Ultimately, a decent hop note, and one that I wasn’t expecting. Some yeasty tastes,...

Black Rocs 1979

L1933 00909, 17/01/22 Well, I don’t know. What has become of the once great l’Abbaye des Rocs? Some things as good as ever, most things not, and then there’s this. Is it a stout? Sort of. Is it a coffee stout? Absolutely not. Is it a 'flavored stout' (whatever than means, and what it says onthe label)? No. Is it a Belgian Dark? Some elements of it might feel a bit that way. It is a little insipid? Yes. Too thin? A bit. Frankly it’s all over the place and not really in a good way. The pour us a...

Abbaye des Rocs Spéciale Noel

33 cl bottle. Finest Belgian Beers. Lot L2006 02369 26/10/2022 Turbid brown, murky Duddel like pour, with a decent but poorly maintained head. Nose offers a few, light fruit, and bitter notes. Something similar breaks across the plate early. This smooths out over the course of the bottle, and really becomes quite sweet. If one concentrates it is possible to pick out a touch of nutmeg, and little prickly carbonation, and some deeper plum like fruit, but this is one of the those odd times when...

Blanche Des Honnelles [Brasserie Des Rocs Blanche Double]

$7.00 via mail from Brusin' Ale, Asheville, NC, USA. 750 mL black foiled and capped. Blue and silver notes accent the usual ABdR label. Presentation is nice. Minor gusher. Note: This is marked "Best Before end of 2008", so may be a touch past its prime. Nothing to really worry about, but to be honest the beer did seem a little tired. Pour is a little more orange than I was anticipating and the head, although good initially, has a touch less retention and lace than I've become accustomed to...

Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special Brown Ale

Notes added 02/10/22. 13 years since I last took notes on this beer. 33 cl bottle, pictured. Quite a carbonated initial pour with some real fizziness. Surprising. As I noted in the initial notes from 2009, the beer is quite light, especially considering the 9.5%. Plenty of balanced sweetness and even a touch of banana up front. This lingers and builds down the bottle, a the subtle banana note becomes some thing that I walk away with more than anything else. The “light” nature of a beer in this...

La Montagnarde [Brasserie Des Rocs Ambree]

Notes added 09/04/21 New look labels that have been a round for a few years now, pictured here. In its sixteen year evolution since the original review in 2005, it still feels ‘mild’ - I stand by that word. The BSDA style classification looks ‘wrong’ when when considers the color (mid, golden orange), and the lack of punch that the ABV should deliver. It looks like a Tripel, but lacks any white pepper spice, and there are no dark fruits here. Amber also seems wrong. To be honest, this remains...

Brasserie Des Rocs Triple Impériale

Notes added: 08/27/21 750 mL bottle with the newer, but paradoxically old school labels (pictured), from Finest Belgian Beers. 13/04/23 as the date, L2150 17.16 as the lot. Having been really disappointed with a couple of recent bottles of newer Des Rocs, and after learning from Bob Sylvester that there had been a changing of the guard over there, I was ready for another let down today. NOT SO! This Triple Impérial is as good as the old days. Perfect appearance, rich, sumptuous dark fruits...

Nounette [Brasserie Des Rocs Blonde]

Nice presentation with the very attractive yellow label. Poured into the Duvel tulip (which happens to be very appropriate) with a cloudy orange color, a fantastic head and the yeast sediment finishes the pour by dropping on to the white head with a lovely rich, brown "splat"! Lots of dry fruits in the yeasty alcoholic aroma and taste. Nice alcohol in the finish. Massively quaffable, this is a Duvel clone and it's a worthy one!

Abbaye Des Rocs [Brasserie Des Rocs Brune]

Notes Added 08/06/21: 33cl bottle, Batch/Lot L2005 03678 03/06/2022 Difficult to square this beer in 2021 when compared to 2005. For a start I've hated the label change for years, but I suppose that's a different story (picture here is that new label, please love the old ones instead!). There's a thinness about the beer that I was not a feature of this previously. Also there's a light acidity here that takes away from the depth of Belgian dark, plum character that I remember from the past....

Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Belgian Special Brown (on-tap)

On-tap, The Brick Store, Decatur, GA, USA. Very red/copper color, with a small but beautiful head, some light lacing and served in the correct glassware, this looks like a dream. Very, very complex. I get so many contrasting sensations I find it very hard to categorize and list them. Alcohol is there, so is deep fruit character, at the same time a creaminess and bitter finish. Some chocolate, a little smoke, the list goes on. In order to pin all of these down I'd need to come back to this...