1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Abbey Belgian Style Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Abbey Belgian Style AleAbbey Belgian Style Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,786 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,786
Reviews: 718
rAvg: 4
pDev: 12.75%
Wants: 137
Gots: 116 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-02-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Abbey Belgian Style Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,786 | Reviews: 718 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pmcadamis
pmcadamis

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +4.5%

A - A big four finger khaki head rises above a clear russet-red brew that shows garnet highlights. The head gets chunky and rocky, and leaves a lot of lace on the glass as it slowly reduces to a finger and a half and stays put. Excellent retention and chunkiness!

S - Dark dusty yeast, dark dried fruit...raisin and prune, along with some ripe plum and tart plum-skin notes. This is really spicy too, with suggestions of cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Cinnamon Toast Crunch with prune juice in stead of milk...sounds nasty, but it smells really good. Plum mashed baby food, with mashed banana Gerber's too.

T - Lots of dry powdered spices...cinnamon and nutmeg. Not as fruity or complex as the nose, the flavors really focus on the spices and dank yeast.

M - Medium bodied and lushly carbonated with an extremely dry finish that feels like putting plain cinnamon in your mouth. This stuff is SERIOUSLY dry...it's almost like I can't swallow because my mouth is full of cinnamon powder. Neat!

D - This is a damn fine dubbel, and it stands out among American interpretations of this Belgian style...it's not quite up to par with the actual abbey dubbels though...something special that those monks do just make those beers a little better. Maybe the actual abbey beers are made with holy water or something, but New Belgium has done a damn fine job here!

02-03-2008 13:55:11 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of srroos
srroos

California

4.22/5  rDev +5.5%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Pours dark brown and opaque, but not thick looking. The one finger head reduced to a cap.

S: Sweet and malty, with notes of rasins. Very appealing.

T: Lots of malt and lots of spice. Very typical Dubbel.

MF: Well carbonated and medium bodied. Very pleasing mouthfeel, if perhaps a little thinner than say St Bernadus Prior 8.

D: Very tasty brew, but the heavy spices makes me feel like 12oz is a good serving.

As others have noted, a very good value in a six-pack.

01-16-2008 00:13:49 | More by srroos
Photo of kcillini77
kcillini77

Kansas

3.58/5  rDev -10.5%

Nice, 2 inch head when poured into a Duvel tulip. Good head retention and lacing.

Smell is strong, malty, sweet - dates and raisins mostly.

Taste is initially sweet, malty, some prunes and raisins. On the swallow there is a little of the "earthy taste" I associate with most of New Belgium's beers - finishes with a brief straw-like taste.

Probably my favorite of New Belgium's offerings, with the possible exception of 1554. A good occasional sixer to pick up when craving some Belgian ale but not wanting to shell out the big bucks.

01-12-2008 02:16:47 | More by kcillini77
Photo of AgingWarrior
AgingWarrior

Florida

3.78/5  rDev -5.5%

This was my first experience with the Belgian style brew. It poured a nice dark brown color with about a one finger light brown head. Plenty of lacing in the frosted mug that I used for this brew. The taste is a bit hoppier than my usual taste in beer, but like I said, this is my first dance with the Belgians. I love the mouth feel and after taste of this brew and the 7% abv did nice things for my mood! I'll definitely sample more Belgians and more of this brew.

01-01-2008 23:39:33 | More by AgingWarrior
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +8.7%

Wow. Okay. A home run from NB. Pours a slightly cloudy ruby. Nose is very like, well, a Belgian brew. Yeasty with a sweet and citric tone. Taste is very good. Smooth and even. You get that slightly sweet edge that comes and goes with the rolling of the flavors. Overall a very good brew I think. Recently I was getting so irritated at the lack of interesting stuff from NB that I was about to just write the whole brewery off. But this one is redemption in a bottle. Damn good. The feel is slightly thick, but a bit lighter than some other Belgian brews. Definitely drinkable.

12-30-2007 08:23:50 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.45/5  rDev -13.8%

A: Dark ruby color with a big white head that leaves tons of sticky lace down my snifter.
S: This bear has a great aroma. A wonderful medley of fruit aromas going on. Banana, raisins, plumbs, ect. The best aspect of the beer.
T: The complexity in the nose is almost gone as I take a sip. What happened? There is some malt and banana. Overall it is disappointing with an almost metallic flavor, and very watery and thin. The taste and mouthfeel leaves you wanting so much more.
D: Not bad in this department. Smooth and easy to drink.

I remember the flavor of this Dubble being so much more the first time I tried it. That was about a year ago, and maybe my palate has changed since then? It surprises me a bit that the taste is so off, I think I need to try this again soon to make sure.

12-28-2007 01:48:09 | More by champ103
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

3.8/5  rDev -5%

12oz from the Coop for about $1.45.. poured into my Kasteel tulip.

Very nice long lasting head atop a crystal clear chesnut brew.. appealling cherry highlites.

Aroma is raisins.. figs.. milk chocolate and big cloves ... the clove smell is something I have never encountered before... I don't know what to say other than it is there... not appropriate at this level... but not horrible and only slightly distracting.

Big Belgian spiciness.. medium caramel sweetness.. chocolate notes and a distinct roasted grain appearance. dried cherries and raisins... really actually pretty flavorful. body is nice and carbonation is dead-on. Flavor lends itself a little to the yeasty spiciness.. but I am chalking it up to "different" ...

The Abbey is another one of the brews that I buy when I want a taste of Belgium but don't feel like throwing down $4-5 for a bottle.

Edit: the bottle says "refermented in the bottle"; this is wrong, there is NO yeast to be seen.. very clear brew and no sediment in the bottle.

12-27-2007 08:52:00 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of CamuMahubah
CamuMahubah

Nebraska

4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Best Before 18 JUL08 22190

The monk is gone replaced by a glass of Abbey with presumabley a monastery in the background.

On the side of the bottle it says this American made dubbel pours a mahogany. Mostly true to my eyes but I say more of a dark brown than a black.

Smells like cherries and gingerbread.

The Taste is divine consisting of myriad spices. Cherries and walnuts!

Excellent body, chewy with my stomach screaming, "Drop it like it's hot!" and my tongue refusing, "Just a bit longer, another swirl perhaps!'...

One prefers this beer chilled but as the bottle is slowy slipped to completion one notes the the subtle increase of character.

12-25-2007 08:43:22 | More by CamuMahubah
Photo of NatetheGreat
NatetheGreat

Nevada

4.58/5  rDev +14.5%

A: deep amber color with transluscent quality. Nice head upon pouring, but fades quickly.

S: spicy, cinnamon, rich fruitiness. Complex, excellent aroma. Very enticing and curious too: there's something I just can't put words to, but it's great

T: delivers on the aroma. Sweet malt right away. Red grape, plum, spicy nutmeg/clove/cinnamon. Sweetness becomes sugery in the finish.

M: Smooth, not overbearing, but definately not light.

D: +7% abv not too noticable, but still there. Easy to drink, but so complex and tasty, you want to drink it slowly.

Overall, excellent beer, really tasty and the aroma is one of the best I've ever smelled.

12-10-2007 03:31:25 | More by NatetheGreat
Photo of bloberglawp
bloberglawp

Quebec (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -2.5%

Well you can blame James Spencer, Jeff Bearer, Greg Weiss, and the guys at Big Foamy Head (forgot your names... you know who you are) for making me go all out just to get my hands on some Avery, New Belgium and other american caft brews... thanks for all those podcasts guys! It makes my janitorial work a whole lot less boring every night.

Big thanks to jasonjlewis for this bottle!

Pours deep redish brown in "unibroue maudite" snifter, big pillowy off-white head that dissipates very slowly dwn to a fine lace on the glass. Faint fruity (almost prunes) and earthy aroma followed by a sweet and a light liquorous alcohol aroma, a bit of burnt caramelised malts in there to.

Taste... wow that's very nice! All over the place with rich malt flavors from burnt raisins and porto-like flavors with a dry finish. Alcohol is well cloaked and then it hits you with a nice warming effect.

This makes this a pleaseant sipper, good beer from new belgium.

12-09-2007 03:42:44 | More by bloberglawp
Photo of SafeAtFirst
SafeAtFirst

Wisconsin

4.43/5  rDev +10.8%

Best Before: 09MAY08

Mahogany with a light tan head that settles into a light but fully covered film with light lacing on the side of my snifter.

Starts off with aromas of bannana cream with a hint of caramel. Very pleasing in the nose.

Fairly complex taste starts with a sweet maltness that fades into some dark fruits then progresses to a leafy and slightly spicy finish. Bottle conditioning gives it just enough carbonation to balance the smooth, creamy body.

Overall this is a great drinking beer with enough complexity to keep my interest through multiple bottles. Sometimes I forget what a great dubble this is and it's a great value at about $7 for six.

12-07-2007 19:14:21 | More by SafeAtFirst
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

2.98/5  rDev -25.5%

Dark ruby-red color like cherrywood. Smells yeast and like fruits. taste is a nice fruity, earthy, yeasty flavor which I like. Unfortunately this beer upsets my stomach something awful so drinkability is ruined for me. I wanted to like this beer so much but it hurt my belly.

11-26-2007 03:35:04 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of Tolann
Tolann

Colorado

4.08/5  rDev +2%

A - Dark brown in color and clear, not cloudy. Pours a bit of a head. Leaves some lacing

S - Rich caramel and malty smell. Seems better with a lil warmth. Hops hidden in there as well.

T - Sweet and malty up front. Hops bitters hit you near the end, but finishes off with a smooth touch. Seems biggest on caramel.

M - Smooth and easy drinking. Not bad at all. Not a ton of aftertaste. No offending characteristics.

D - Quite good and another easy drinker from New Belgium. Again, I didn't open this beer knowing too much or with too high expectations. I only brought home 1 bottle this time, but if it comes home again I think there will be at least a 6pack

11-24-2007 05:55:49 | More by Tolann
Photo of BradLikesBrew
BradLikesBrew

Missouri

4/5  rDev 0%

"Best Before 13JUN08"

a: Pours a deep, dark amber brown.
In fact, the label's right, it is "mahogany in color"
The huge white head fades quickly.

s: Banana, dark fruits, sweet malts. After seeing some other reviews, I must agree with yemenmocha: bubble gum is perhaps the best way to describe the smell (in a good way).

t: A complex flavor in this one: Bananas, plums, sweet malt, maybe some cherries. One of those beers that you notice new flavors in each time you have it.

m: Medium to full body, dry finish.

d: New Belgium's first beer is still one of its best.
I think this beer is sort of a symbol for the brewery.
New Belgium doesn't make IPAs or Imperial stouts, it is an American Brewery that excels at making Belgian style beers that are accessible to the typical American palate. Abbey is the perfect embodiment of this: it was the first Dubbel I drank and while I have since had better Dubbels, this is the beer that got me interested in the variety to begin with and it still stands up to many from Belgium.

As far as drinkability: its drinkable, more so than many dubbels, but the alcohol is certainly there.

11-13-2007 23:15:11 | More by BradLikesBrew
Photo of jeffjfindley
jeffjfindley

California

3.98/5  rDev -0.5%

A damn fine beer, one of New Belgium's best. Stunning appearance, mahogany with brilliant clarity and a superb head. Smell is very nice, but not remarkable for the style. Fruity esters, raisiny. Taste is very nice, like all NB brews, it's very clean tasting with an exquisite finish. Again when you take the great beers of this style into account, it's not extraordinary, but beautifully executed. I will definitely not hesitate to go this route again.

10-18-2007 07:08:05 | More by jeffjfindley
Photo of Strix
Strix

Wisconsin

4.28/5  rDev +7%

This is a nice beer. Smells delicious, roasted, malty, bready with a touch of alcohol. The taste is very complex with alcohol, roasty malt, banana, cherry, and breadiness. Mouthfeel is wonderful, has depth, smooth with satisfying carbonation. Quite drinkable, but I prefer this in sips, and the higher alcohol content will slow me down on this. Lots of flavors in this one, I'll have to remember this.

10-13-2007 00:13:23 | More by Strix
Photo of littleshamrocks
littleshamrocks

Kentucky

4.15/5  rDev +3.8%

12 oz bottle with the best before date clearly marked on the side of the label.

Pours mahogany in color with a large, frothy off white head. Good clarity with moderate carbonation. Left a substantial lace pattern all down the glass. The aroma hits you with fruity scents, I picked up some banana as well as some darker fruit (raisins?). Also, coffee, smoke, licorice and alcohol hit the nose. The taste is all that was advertised in the smell with a ton of fruity esters coming through. In addition, I got some hints of spice, coffee, roasted malt, earthy yeast, and light floral hoppiness. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, with a dry texture. The carbonation was somewhat softer than expected and the finish was mildly chalky.

Wow, what a complex brew we have here. The multitude of flavors work well together, creating a very fine example of the style. This is definitely a beer worthy of high praise.

10-10-2007 00:55:32 | More by littleshamrocks
Photo of dnichols
dnichols

Washington

4.18/5  rDev +4.5%

A: It poured a bright amber with a robust four finger milk chocolate head that receded to a thin even layer over the brew.

S: It had a full, rich aroma of light white chocolate, dates, and toffee.

T: It had a smooth creamy malty flavor with a massive light chocolate early on followed by raisins and a blast of alochol. Warming clean finish. No bitterness.

M: Medium to full body with a crispness fed by active carbonation and a warmth generated by a late in the drink alcohol burst that left a slightly dry aftertaste.

D: It was a bit too sweet for me but it is an easy beer to drink. It is smooth and creamy with a nice alcohol kick.

Comment: Nice domestic double. I'll be back!!!

10-09-2007 01:51:54 | More by dnichols
Photo of yemenmocha
yemenmocha

Arizona

4.53/5  rDev +13.3%

Pours transparent brown with generous thick head. Nose is very aromatic of brown sugar bubble gum (in a good way), fresh brown breads, and yeasty esters. Extremely appetizing before the taste.

On the palate is a complex spice & dark roasty sweet flavors, again with brown sugar sweetness and a good bubble gum component.

Finish is medium with more malt sweetness, fresh breadiness, and leaves with a teasing note that makes you want another sip. Very good!

10-01-2007 04:49:55 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of WaveRebel51
WaveRebel51

Nebraska

4.35/5  rDev +8.7%

A wonderful, truly complex and tasty beer that will please the palate and the nose. Starts out with a deep, cherry-red appearance. Smells like a malty, chocolate covered banana ... yummy. So much going on with the taste -- sweet, fruity notes, combines with a malty sweetness also mixed in with a hint of spiciness . That sounds like an odd combo, but it works, trust me. I've tried (although not reviewed) most of New Belgium's brews, and although I like Fat Tire, 1554 and Sunshine, etc., Abbey is clearly the best of the bunch.

09-29-2007 05:57:51 | More by WaveRebel51
Photo of jar2574
jar2574

Missouri

3.33/5  rDev -16.8%

Dissapointing head that disapears quickly. Average carbonation, very dark brown-red color.

Licorice, chocolate, banana, and dark fruit in the scent. Interesting.

Reminds me of a stout, in that it's very malty. But there's a slight fruitiness to it. Less than other dubbels.

It doesn't live up to expectations, being as it is in the Belgian dubbel style, and that is one of my favorite kinds of beers.

09-29-2007 00:32:45 | More by jar2574
Photo of brdc
brdc

Wisconsin

4.78/5  rDev +19.5%

Small capped bottle, freshness date May 08.
Beautiful, luscious tan head with average retention but good sticky lacing to the side of the glass, crowning a dark brown brew with multiple amber highlights.
Very fresh, aromatic and pleasant, bubblegum, fruits, alcohol, yeast, pepper and bread.
Full bodied and creamy, amazingly drinkable, with a candy sweetness, some caramel, yeastiness, warming alcohol, peppery nuances, a very mild but discernible bitter bite; quite complex and pleasant.
Another very impressive belgian style from New Belgium.

09-26-2007 01:55:41 | More by brdc
Photo of burtonbe
burtonbe

Nebraska

2.9/5  rDev -27.5%

A - Dark red/brown with a 1 finger head, which dissipated down to a dense thin layer that lingered. Almost opaque in glass, yet when held up to a light appears very clear.

S - Strong fruity odor. Black Cherries and woody oaken scent. Somewhat formidable. No hoppyness, which fits the style.

T - Strong black cherry flavor. Blunt and apparent, with woody complexity. Not as complex as other dubbels however. That's disappointing. Slightly malty but not overly sweet. Tastes like I'm sucking on a plank of oak soaked in black cherry juice. Mesquite flavor is apparent on the aftertaste.

M - Creamy and full. Every time I take a sip, I feel as if my mouth is coated with a layer of velvet.

D - This is a beer that requires small to medium sips that must each be enjoyed fully. Not sessionable. Unchuggable. Acceptable for the style.

Overall I was disappointed with this one. It was pretty good, but compared to other dubbels it just doesn't stack up. The price is right though.

08-23-2007 23:29:17 | More by burtonbe
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.78/5  rDev -5.5%

Acquired via trade from Wasatch, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of Belgian yeast, dark fruits, spice and caramelized malt.

T: The taste is malty with flavors of dark fruit, Belgian yeast, some smokiness and a little spice. There’s a mild hops presence that brings a little balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and a little sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not very filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it’s good beer to drink for a while. There are a couple of others that I might choose within the style above this one, but it’s still pretty good.

08-23-2007 02:55:17 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of jbm5
jbm5

Missouri

4.13/5  rDev +3.3%

Poured dark red/mahogany into my pint glass. Medium head with good lacing. Smells of roasted malt with a little under sourness. Taste is heavily malted with a good roasted feel. Presents a strong presence in the mouth and lets you know its there. Overall, a very good beer that I will definitely get again. Watch it though because it has a pretty good EtOH content and it sneaks up on you.

07-15-2007 04:07:39 | More by jbm5
Abbey Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 1,786 ratings.