Beer Review: Brasserie des Rocs Brune
Drink if you like: Newcastle, bread, sweet dark fruit, Grammy awards, and doing things the “old school” way
Style: Belgian Brown Ale
The talented Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis once said “Don’t settle for style. Succeed in substance”. Since 1979, Brasserie des Rocs in Hainaut province (situated between Belgium and France) has unknowingly taken this mantra to heart. Not only do they brew top-notch, world-class beers, they expand on these wonderful styles by brewing these under “Method Traditionelle des Annes 1900” (traditional method of the 1900’s). The focal element of this process is the lack of filtration in their ales. These ales contain all the yeast, proteins, and other natural ingredients they were originally brewed with. This harmless visible sediment aids in the additional fermentation within the bottle. This is where the magic happens and this is where the substance turns to success. Brasserie des Rocs Brune, in BJCP style, is labeled a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. In taste, this is a Belgian version of the ever-popular Brown Ale (think Newcastle and Samuel Smith, but better). This beer is very approachable by even the greenest of craft beer fans. It’s just plain delicious! Let’s indulge:
This beer pours a dark and deep garnet opaque form. The tiniest beads of yeast sediment are stirred by microscopic bubbles, generating a vortex of amusement in the snifter. A large tan head fades slowly, leaving a think lace overlay. The smell is sweet and bready. A wonderful combination of Belgian yeast, figs, brown sugar, caramel and spices are quickly announced. There are endless similarities in the nose and the taste of this exceptional beer. A great layering of flavors beginning with a dark fruit and toasted-malt sweetness. Figs, raisins, and sour cherries can be deciphered from this sugary introduction. Belgian yeast and a bite of spice fill the mid-palate, balancing the sweetness. The alcohol is cleverly disguised. An inviting medium-full body and medium carbonation create a mouthfeel as smooth as Wynton Marsalis, himself.
Brasserie des Rocs Brune is a very unique and remarkable beer. One we’re very fortunate to have in our state. This beer received a Gold Medal “Exceptional” rating at the 2006 World Beer Championship. A big thanks to Glynnis at Shamrock Liquor in Fort Smith for recommending this to us.
You can find this amazing beer at the following places:
Colonial Wine & Spirits – Little Rock
Liquor World – Fayetteville
Springhill Wine & Spirits – North Little Rock
Macadoodle’s – Springdale
The Wine Rack & Spirits Shoppe – Hot Springs
Shamrock Liquor Warehouse – Fort Smith
Beef O’Brady’s – Fort Smith
We gave this beer 5 diamonds.