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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.

1,746 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,746
Reviews: 718
rAvg: 4
pDev: 12.75%
Wants: 132
Gots: 96 | 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: 1,746 | Reviews: 718 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ColoradoBobs


4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle-conditioned: i.e., re-fermented with the addition of yeast to the bottle. 355 ml (i.e. 12 oz) bottle, as in the picture. Served at about 45 degrees, just a bit cooler than the 50 degrees recommended on the bottle. As the glass warmed, things got better and better.

Dark red/brown, mahogany color with a smallish head that gives way to just a persistent light lace. Nice appearance.

Smell is definitely fruity (raspberry and cherry?) with some chocolate and fig.

Taste is chocolatey, sweetly dark and rich like figs, with a depth of toasted malt in the aftertaste. Also picked up some pepper and grapefruit (!). Not overly toasty, just warm and rich. I'm sure there are some hops in there somewhere, but their presence is delightfully subtle. The alcohol is there but masked by the spicey fruit and pepper.

Mouthfeel is where this beer delights! So smooth and round, you want to swirl it around in your mouth! Mmmm.

Perhaps a bit too rich for drinking many of these --- two or three is the limit. The alcohol limits consumption a bit as well.

I really enjoy the yeast in this beer -- it's ALIVE! Overall, a really nice American example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2004 03:48:14 | More by ColoradoBobs
Photo of brewQ


4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another vintage before Sep30-04

You can hear the effervescent head on this brew taking shape!
The rush of fine carbonation creates a long lasting but not especially clingy foam.

And then the aroma- it might stop or bewilder those who are new samplers of craft beer, but the winelike fruitiness is very intriguing.
I found a touch of citrus balancing the full body. Fruits, chocolates, this is a considerable beverage. A warming note of alcohol precedes a malty but clean finish.

While it's not a session beer, in the right situation one could enjoy several of these quality beers.

Beyond the drink, I like the neck ring on the bottle. I also like the fact I live close enough to get all of New Belgium's brews anytime!

I believe this is the first time I gave ratings of 4 or more on all attributes.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2004 01:08:16 | More by brewQ
Photo of hyuga

North Carolina

4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark brown with about a half-finger off-white head. The retention is quite impressive, I've been letting it sit and warm for a long while and the head hasn't shown any signs of dying down in the least. This is a hugely aromatic beer, many fruity aromas are present. Very spicy dried fruit smell that contains hints of raisin, fig, berries, and even some nutty character, as well as evidence of the yeast. More of the same sharp, spicy fruit on the palate. Finishes with some bitterness and a malt presence in the background. Yeast is again present, and rounds everything off well. I love spicy beers, and the particular spicy dried fruit character of this dubbel really hits the spot for me. It's a unique dubbel. New Belgium's brews are exceptional and impressive, and very affordable compared to the imports and even most better American craft brews. Let's hope they widen their distribution so the rest of the US can have a chance to appreciate their fine beers.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2004 07:34:33 | More by hyuga
Photo of beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A light tan head settling over pretty much clear dark amber-red liquid upon pouring. A yeasty, fruity nose with notes of banana. The taste is authentically Belgian, with a bit of the "horse blanket" yeasty esters. Then some nice candi sugar and light chocolate mixed with moderate hop bitterness. Finishes fruity with more of the chocolate character...not a hint of alcohol detected. A superb rendition of the Dubbel style. Much preferred to the Trippel, IMO.

Thanks to CRJM for the bottles!

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2004 15:37:21 | More by beerluvr
Photo of Jason


4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with a best before date on the side of the label. Info about the brewery and beer are on the label as well.

Appearance: The loose yeast ended up making its way into the chalice though with the color being a deep leather brown it did not affect any kind of clarity. Decent lacing with a good stickage down the glass.

Smell: Creamy phenolic, crushed bananas and plums, anise and black pepper with mildly solvent alcohol in the back.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a creamy backing, turbid crispness ends with a sharp bite. Malty with ripe fruit all over, playful phenolics help to balance. Hard pinch of alcohol shows its 7% abv. Some brown bread in the finish, semi-dry with a slowly fading bitterness.

Notes: Very drinkable and comparable to the real Trappist brews. WOW! What an amazing American brewed Belgian Style beer … I hope to have this beer in the Boston area some day soon as one bottle was just a tease.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2004 04:16:58 | More by Jason
Photo of jonnylieberman


4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured into a pint glass with a nice head. While the beer appeared mostly brown, the narrower part of the glass showed some copper. Complex!

Smells like brewers candy. Yum.

Taste is very malty and sweet. A little bit of licorice, lots of citrus and just generally a sweet, fruity mix. Very nice.

Excellent mouthfeel. Full and it lingers.

I could knock back many of these without much trouble. A great beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2004 08:52:46 | More by jonnylieberman
Photo of watermelonman


3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I think I'm still adjusting to this style, but this beer was pretty approachable. Looks and smells very nice. My friend likes the 1554 quite a bit, while I think I prefer this beer. I'll probably pick up a full 6 pack of this some time and trade him for one or two of those 1554's.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2004 21:45:22 | More by watermelonman
Photo of filabrazilia


4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a small white head that disperses great lace on the glass.

Spice, pepper, and chocolate sweetness are the prominent aromas.

There is a malty character in the taste. The pepper balances the malt nicely. There is a slight bitter finish in the end.

This is a pretty creamy beer. A carbonation bite stings the cheeks and the sinus. A good bitter finish to counter the sweet malts.

This beer is better then I remember and I was pleasantly suprised. This is a nice example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2004 17:23:29 | More by filabrazilia
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz poured in a Leffe glass: Almond brown clear robe with a smallish off-white head that lasts, leaves lots of sediments to be found at the bottom of the bottle. Aroma is candy bananas, cherries and chocolate malty. In mouth, we find the same flavors than the nose anticipated as well as a lightly tart licorice festival. Medium bodied. Neat balance, nicely yeasty with a dry finish. Quite my type of beer! Thank you Ecrvich!

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2004 02:46:11 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of genaro


4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It starts off with a big frothy head. The color was a cloudy, dark amber. The lace was good, as was expected. I got a lot out of the aroma as the beer warmed up. It began yeasty, clovey, with grapefruit and later included apples and hints of cinnamon. The aroma was complex enough to make me assume the taste would be more like an actual Abbey ale. However, the taste was actually mellower than anticipated. It was caramelly, and citrusy with a little sweetness and traces of alcohol. The finish was smooth,dry and clovey with a lingering clove aftertaste. Now I don't really like a lot of Abbey ales because the yeasty, mediciney, and citrusy taste can be overpowering. This New Belgium version was just right for my taste buds. Another good point is the bottle is dated.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2004 20:56:44 | More by genaro
Photo of BeerResearcher


4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a dark amber-tinged brown with a thin off-white head on top. Aromas of cloves, hops, malt and cut hay fades away slowly. A smell over-ripe bananas and rum take over where the others fade. The medium biscuity malt body houses flavors of toffee, candy sugar, hint bananas and tobacco. The hops are mainly of the peppery variety with a bit of citrusy and orange zest. A light medicinal astringency peeks through as it warms. The fine effervescence lasts. All in all, a pretty decent forgery of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2004 00:52:36 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of chilidog


3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got thisone thanks to the holiday gift exchange and mrpicklerelish. I was impressed with the appearance of this med/full bodied brew. Its dark ruby color, well carbonated but not fizzy, put on a great show with a full size healthy off-white head. The lace was amazing. A fine web that covered the glass, wispy and tightly woven. The aroma was fruity and of sweet malt. The taste was also of sweet dark fruit like plum and raisin. Hints of spice, sugars and alcohol can be noticed. The mouth is left a silky dry if thats possible. Alot going on with this brew affecting the drinkability for me. A good overall attempt at the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2004 19:43:13 | More by chilidog
Photo of PhantomVodoo


4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Off-white to light tan head. Dark amber to light mahogony in color. Bottle-conditioned, therefor yeast on the bottom of the bottle.
Nice aroma of sweet, rich, toasty malt. Plenty of yeast, clove, spice, and banana.

Taste shows a rich, sweet, toasty malt backbone. Yeast plays large in the flavor with notes of clove, fruit, banana, and spice. Nicely balanced. Finishes well with some malt sweetness lingering on the palate. Taste could be a bit bolder, IMO.

Good mouthfeel and drinkability.

Overall, a good Belgian double.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2004 00:33:07 | More by PhantomVodoo
Photo of BierReise


4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew poured a beautiful clear deep amber color with about an inch of head on top. The aroma is fantastic and is as aromatically pleasant as any Belgian ale I've had. Sweet malt and fruity with punctuating notes of banana which is surprisingly nice yet just as curious. Mouthfeel is effervescent and lively and very Belgian. This is an impressive brew for an American brewer. Flavor is fantastic, a nice malty sweet treat that hints at fruit, candy sugar and Belgian yeast. Overall one of the most impressive Belgian styles brewed in this country in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2003 22:16:51 | More by BierReise
Photo of Boilermaker88


3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in Phoenix over Thanksgiving. Presented in a 12oz. brown bottle as depicted with a “best before” date of 7-20-04 on the label. Had a murky dark brown color and an off-white for a head that left behind some wispy sheet lace. I don’t know what went wrong there.
The smell was an enticing blend of bready malt and dark fruits, candy sugar, and light spices. The taste was quite fruity with plum and raisin and a hint of apple melding with a gentle floral taste. More sweetness piled on in the form of candy sugar and caramel, present over an earthy malt backbone. A light spiciness and hops bite came through in the finish, as did a mild alcohol note. The feel was medium bodied, with very light carbonation, and a bit watery.
Overall, a decent attempt at the style. New Belgium’s abbey dubbel simply lacks some of the complexity and richness found in some of the others of the style I’ve had before. The appearance was particularly disappointing. Still, I’m looking forward to trying out their Tripel.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2003 17:12:53 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of Crosling


3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured dark ruby with a dense white head. Good retention throughout and lacing was certainly not as issue. A think lace left on the glass.

The nose was full of sugars, yeast, dark fruits, cloves and apples.

A variety of different flavors in this beer: raisins, clove, banana, pear, apricots, caramel and the alcohol was very well hidden.

Overall very good for the style but with similar American interpretations like Ommegang and Allagash Dubbel this beer is simply not up to par.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2003 16:58:46 | More by Crosling
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep ruby brown with a nice tan head decent sized leaves behind Belgian style lacing. Aroma: Candi sugar, plums, nice toasted malts it ties all the tones together very well. Taste: Crisp balance alcohol, fruit esters, darker malts, with sweet candi sugar and soft water. Mouthfeel: Medium body but very refreshing decent carbonation. Drinkability: Not as complex as some dubbels out there but this one does an awesome job of making it incredibly satisfying and drinkable, hell yeah.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2003 22:08:11 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of francisweizen


4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a lovely, dark red coloured brew with a nice tan head of foam. The aromas are all belgian yeast, candy sugar, dark roasty malts, alcohol, and more! The taste is a nice blend of the yeast, malts, and alcohol, with just a tiny touch of hops on the end. The mouthfeel is creamy and good, but this beer just lacks the complexity of some other doubles that I have sampled int he past. The drinkability is very good though, and this is almost like a less complex version of Westmalles wonderful version.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2003 18:10:06 | More by francisweizen
Photo of freed


3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep straw with rim of flat colored bubbles. Aroma has an earthy malt prescense. Its mild, but also kind of unpleasant.

Taste is pretty full, with a creamy and smooth entrance, slowly warming to a dull malt sweetness. The wild flavors of the old countries are pretty close, but still somewhat rough. Hop flavors are mild, but keep the beer balanced.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2003 04:44:27 | More by freed
Photo of HardTarget


3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Dark roasted malt and alcohol
Appearance: Clear dark brown with red hints with backlighting. A thin tan head formed but collared, and left a light lace
Flavor: Caramelized banana, with a similar sour note like their porch swing ale. The taste works better here. Mild smoky taste when it warmed. Balance on the malt.
Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy
Overall Impression: A darker, toasted Porch Swing Ale. I didn’t like the Porch Swing, but the darker notes helped even out the sour taste. I’m guessing it’s a yeast-based taste.

Re-visited 11/04
I'm even less impressed this time. I don't get as much of the sour, but some artificial grape and a hint of bubble gum/Belgian yeast. Carbonation is a bit high as well. I'm not going to adjust the numbers, but I'm tempted to take them down a bit.

Re-re-visited 05/06
I'm much happier this time. I aged the bottle a bit, maybe 6 months, and got a much nicer bubble gum, brown sugar, Belgian taste going. I don't know if I've changed, or it has, but I'm glad for it.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2003 05:46:24 | More by HardTarget
Photo of ManekiNeko


3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served chilled in a Delirium Noel glass.

Appearance: Brown with reddish highlights. Nice tan head, about 3/4" in height. Head fades to a fine film of bubbles and leaves a modest amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Prominent banana esters and bubblegum aromas in balance with each other. Slightly medicinal and peppery. The banana smells are those of a nice ripe one, one that's maybe a day away from only being suitable for banana bread.

Taste: A bready and grainy caramel malt flavor underlies the banana and bubblegum tastes. Bits of pepper here and there. Faint herby hops on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light in body with some nice aftertastes.

Drinkability: If you like a beer with banana and bubblegum flavors, this is for you. I'm not so much into it, but I'll gladly have the last two bottles with no complaint. I liked Dominion's dubbel a bit more.

Thanks to prAna for the sample

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2003 02:33:36 | More by ManekiNeko
Photo of BeerBard


3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium brown beer with a fine white head. Not much special about the smell. Taste and mouthfeel great compared to the average American beer, but compared to the majority of Belgian "Double" ales, which is what the label suggests is the style it represents, it falls short in the complexity of flavors. Less aromatic yeasts yield less character to the taste and only a hint of spice. On the other hand, the less rich taste lends to a beer that can more easily be drunk over the course of a long evening, since the the style doesn't lend itself to bountious consumption. I'm happy this beer is around, as the popularity of beers like this is helping to get microbrew beers served at more restaurants around Austin, it just doesn't stack up well compared to many other Belgian or American "Belgians" available today.
P.S. The bottle is a "keeper" for those who brew at home and bottle.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2003 03:50:34 | More by BeerBard
Photo of Nytemare


4.28/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper with a huge off white head. The head fights and fights alas it cannot hold forever. Almost though. Nice sticky lacing down the side of the glass.

Smells of light fruits like apples, some pepper, some sour somewhat metallic notes from what I believe to be the yeast, and a sweet bisquity malt underneath it all.

Taste is somewhat subdued, but very good. Soft and supple one might say. Some fruitness is definately present right up front. It quickly gives way to some spicyness, followed by some sour fruits along with a light amount of hops. Leaves a nice sweet bubblegum and malt flavor in the mouth. Yummy yummy.

Moderate carbonation leads to a slight crispness overall. Moderate body. Pleasant.

I wouldn't drink a lot of this in one sitting, but I could definately consume gallons upon gallons of this over a lifetime. I'm curious to see how it's going to age. I bought a sixer of this and two went immediately into storage. I guess we'll see within the next year or so. Very good overall. Once again, New Belgium makes me quite happy.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2003 02:27:35 | More by Nytemare
Photo of pezoids


4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a bright copper/amber color and had a huge rising head. The dense creaminess remained intact for the entire drink. Sweet candy, bananas and bubblegum in the aroma. (Can someone say Bubblelicious?). Slight metallic presence, but the sweet malt flavors overwhelmed everything else. Leaves a sweet and pleasant aftertaste in the back of the throat. Smooth, semi-sweet and very drinkable. One of their best.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2003 23:03:53 | More by pezoids
Photo of RenoZymurgist


4.68/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a thick sticky white head atop a deep garnet ale. Aroma was exceptional with pear and apple esters along with the barest hint of hops. The flavor was rich in a dark carmel malt sweetness and a fruitiness from the yeast balanced by a delicate hop spiciness. Mouthfeel was definetly belgian as it had a strong carbonation though the body was a bit weak. Very drinkable though the 7% abv makes this one a poor session beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2003 06:34:32 | More by RenoZymurgist
Abbey Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 1,746 ratings.