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Abbey Belgian Style Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Abbey Belgian Style AleAbbey Belgian Style Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,820 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,820
Reviews: 719
rAvg: 4
pDev: 12.75%
Wants: 139
Gots: 127 | 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
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Ratings: 1,820 | Reviews: 719 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wagenvolks
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle at the New Belgium Brewing Hub in the Denver airport. Best by 10/31/2008.

Pours a clear, mahogany-copper body with a somewhat fleeting, khaki head. Foam starts off as a half finger's width and recedes to a rocky patch of small bubbles that retains quite well. Decent lacing, too. The aroma brings notes of sweet caramel malts & lots of fruity yeast. Hints of grapefruit, plum, banana, and bubblegum sneak in there as well.

Taste is predominantly wheat, alcohol, yeast, and bubblegum. There's a nice complexity, here, as a heavy yeast finish goes down smooth & leaves a pleasant, chewy aftertaste. The body is thick, and packs some heavy heat from the alcohol, even at its moderate 7% ABV. This was an all-around solid interpretation of the belgian Dubbel style, and one of the better airport beers I've found in quite some time. The alcohol finish could be a little less imposing, but there's really no reason to pass up this beer should you come across it.

wagenvolks, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of b5d106
4.83/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark brown with a frothy off-white head. The smell is wonderfull, with all kinds of fruit and malt scents. The beer taste very balanced with malts and fruits up front and a little alcohol bitterness in the finish. The mouth feel is great with a little creaminess and some very nice carbonation. This beer is extremely delicious.

b5d106, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of JDV
2.78/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown pour with a good tan head in a trappist glass. Standard fruity belgian yeast smell, but more lightly than most of the style, and mixed with a dark roasty malt like smell and flavor as well. As it warms big notes of licorice come through and stay. Taste was similar to the smell and was perhaps my favorite belgian beer, and I'm not a huge fan of them. I could definitely see this growing on me, and could get this again.

JDV, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of DIM
3.18/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: This one is a clear dark copper color with orange and yellow highlights. it pours with a nice two finger white head that has decent retention.

s: One dimensional; a nice funky yeasty cherry smell.

t: Somewhat bland actualy. This a mild tart cherry flavor and some pepper.

m: The carbonation is nice, but the body is watery and thin.

d: Thanks to JDV for the chance to try this one. I thought it was an average offering.

DIM, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of mwilbur
4.97/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap from the source: New Belgium Brewey itself.
Appearance is dark amber. Perfect head forms.
Smell is intoxicating and taste backs up the promise. A wonderful amalgam of banana, clove, and malt. Very drinkable...excellent sessionability. An unbelievable brew and one of my favorites of any style. (Note: speaking from experience, this beer doesn't age well; no reason to save this one...Drink Up!)

mwilbur, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of MisterClean
3.18/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz from Bev Mo (see the comments above about aging, he wasn't kidding)

A - Light burgundy, tan foam, dissipates moderately. The lightness of the burgundy doesn't speak highly of the abbey style.

S - Pears, honey, almonds, with a peppermint ester.

T - Black cherries, pepper, cloves, and chewy malts.

M - Very carbonated, possibly over carbonated, and lots of pepper. Perhaps, too much Saaz.

D - The look and mouthfeel on this beer really disappoints. While I love abbeys, this one did not hit me as a really good beer.

MisterClean, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of BMan1113VR
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is harsh burnt malts with banana and honey with little else. Appearence is a clear light brown with some red and a smallish head. Taste is odd, not anything like an Abbey Dubbel. Tastes like a watery porter but with elements of the aroma, not the biggest fan. Goes down dry and fizzy. This beer seems a bit overrated to me.

BMan1113VR, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of cswhitehorse
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Abbey poured a dark amber with a finger foam head and some decent retention.

In the aroma category I got that normal Belgian yeast smell with spice and caramel.

The taste was bananas and spiciness. It was bitter in the middle and a carob flavor in the finish. The feel was dry in the mouth. I will drink this one again.

cswhitehorse, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of czechsaaz
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pepper spice aroma right off. Little hints of roast malt follows. Some fruity ale esters and just a tiny bit of Belgian yeast "Funk." Not in a lambic/sour funk but the aroma that only comes from Belgian yeast strains.

Deep roby colored with a small but persistant white head that leaves small amounts of lacing. Very clear with fine lines of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass.

Very fruity ale character. I get sweet cherries and grapes. I still get just a hint of roast malt. I also get nice amounts of light caramel malt too. Hop bitterness is pretty high to balance it out but there's no hop flavor or aftertaste. Nice complexity with yeast effects of bread and biscuits and spice that seems to be subtle a pepper and herb.

Medium bodied with a pretty strong carbonation level.

Considering that this can usually be picked up for under $8 per six, a really excellent choice. Good Belgian-style ale.

czechsaaz, Feb 06, 2008
Photo of pmcadamis
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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!

pmcadamis, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of srroos
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

srroos, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of kcillini77
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

kcillini77, Jan 12, 2008
Photo of AgingWarrior
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

AgingWarrior, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of champ103
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

champ103, Dec 28, 2007
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

JohnGalt1, Dec 27, 2007
Photo of CamuMahubah
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

CamuMahubah, Dec 25, 2007
Photo of NatetheGreat
4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

NatetheGreat, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of bloberglawp
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

bloberglawp, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

SafeAtFirst, Dec 07, 2007
Photo of ArrogantB
2.98/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

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.

ArrogantB, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of Tolann
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Tolann, Nov 24, 2007
Photo of BradLikesBrew
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"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.

BradLikesBrew, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of jeffjfindley
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

jeffjfindley, Oct 18, 2007
Photo of Strix
4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Strix, Oct 13, 2007
Abbey Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 1,820 ratings.