Home > Belgian Strong Ale > Abbaye Des Rocs Spéciale Noël

Abbaye Des Rocs Spéciale Noël

Rating: 3.35

My first Belgian beer in some time and my first from the brewery formally known as Brasserie de l’Abbaye des Rocs before being renamed simply as Brasserie des Rocs. This is a bottle that I picked up with the intention of trying around Christmas time (the name was probably a give away) but never got round to it and have opted to try it now before the weather really picks up and turns to summer. I must admit that I picked this one up thinking that it featured on the 1001 Beers lists only to find out upon getting it home that I was mistaken, despite this it is still one that I’m looking forward to trying. The beer is triple fermented and although not a name I was familiar with until buying it, the beer is exported around the world with the United States and Japan being two major importers. Hopefully that is a good sign and the beer is a good one, it’s been a little too long since I’ve tried any new Belgian beers so I’m hoping this one doesn’t disappoint.
Abbaye Des Rocs Spéciale Noël

Appearance (4/5): Medium brown in appearance with some red tinges and a slightly cloudy body. The head is a bubbly one that is a sort of brownish-white in colour and starts at roughly half a centimetre in height before disappearing almost instantly, leaving a patchy lacing dotted about the surface of the beer.
Aroma (7/10): Spicy with a lot of sweetness coming through, mainly from some dark fruits such as prunes, plums and some dates. There is a toasted malt aroma that is complimented by some sugar and a medium strength alcohol smell also comes through alongside touches of oak and some faint vanilla.
Taste (6/10): Spicy with lots of sweetness both from the dark fruits mentioned in the smell but also from quite a lot of sugar. There is a strong taste of prunes with some vanilla accompanying it and there was a sort of Christmas pudding taste that was reminiscent of some alcohol. This one was definitely a winter ale but I still felt it was a little strong, and the alcohol in particular could have been better hidden in my opinion. 3.25
Palate (3/5): This one was quite a spicy, sweet and medium bodied beer that had a slightly warming alcohol taste to it. There was a fair amount of carbonation in this one and the beer seems boozy with a sticky finish.

Overall (13/20): This was was an okay Belgian offering but it never really hit the heights of some of the countries better strong ales, coming across a little strong and without the best of balance between flavours. I found this one too sweet and boozy although it did have a nice mix of flavours but it really didn’t do enough to distinguish itself from the crowd and as such I doubt I’ll be picking this one up again.

Brewed In: Montignies-sur-Roc, Honnelles, Belgium
Brewery: Brasserie des Rocs
First Brewed: Brewery since 1979
Type: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Abv: 9.0%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: The Good Spirits Co. (Glasgow)
Price: £3.80

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