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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.

1,928 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,928
Reviews: 724
rAvg: 4
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 145
Gots: 175 | FT: 1
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: 1,928 | Reviews: 724 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Photo of littleshamrocks
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of dnichols
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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!!!

Photo of yemenmocha
4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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!

Photo of WaveRebel51
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of jar2574
3.33/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of brdc
4.78/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 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.

Photo of burtonbe
2.9/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.78/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of jbm5
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Risser09
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter - Best before Oct. 19th 2007

Appearance: Harsh pouring reveals a generous 2" head that lasts quite a long time. Deep copper and ruby colored beer waits inside the glass. The head is tan with tiny bubbles that leaves a bit of lace behind.

Smell: Sweet fig, plum, and a bit of roasted malt. An earthy aroma comes out as well. Maybe ferns.

Taste: Roasted malt right up front and plenty of belgian flavors. Spicy with nutmeg and an almost gingerly taste. Starts sweet and ends dry and malty. Perhaps a better finish is needed here.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy carbonation and smoothe in the mouth. Ends sort of dry with nuttiness all around.

Drinkability: Great. Barely any alcohol presence and low enough to keep going for a quartet or even more. The taste is lacking in complexity but if I ever get the chance to drink more of this I will.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle (my bottle is different than the one pictured: The bottle is adorned with a picture of an "abbey" with two large wooden barrels to the left and a horse drawn carriage, sans horse, with a wooden barrel, to the right of a pathway leading from the abbey to the outermost wall where a glass of beautiful elixir rests, waiting for one to grab the glass and consume its contents) with a best by date of 19Oct07. Dispensed into a New Belgium chalice. A bright, deep ruby and mahogony beer emerges and it topped by a huge, two fingered, rocky and dense head that is slightly sea foam in color. Tons of lacing from the top of the glass to the top of the beverage.

Aroma is sweet and very yeasty. Nice hop aromas as well. Seems to me to be just about like most other Belgians I have sampled. I am, by no means, an expert on Belgian aroma.

Tongue is greeted by sweetness and some tiny chocolate notes. Caramel malts, and the slightest bit of hop tinge on the side of the tongue. Belgian candi and a spicy clove and peppercorn flavor round out the tastes.

This beer feels perfect on my tongue. Perfect carbonation, full bodied mouthfeel, slick feelings on the tongue and teeth. I will be the first to admit I am not a big Belgian fan, but this is one damn tasty beer. Cant wait to see what the Tripel is like!

Photo of shadow1961
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

New Belgium's Abbey pours a finger of dense foam over
a surprisingly clear deep ruby brew. The nose is dark fruit,
a bit of bubble gum, and a tang of alcohol. The flavor is sweet-
ish dark malts and fig up front with a bit of herbal hop in the
finish. Carbonation is quite active, and the mouthfeel is crisp
and surprisingly light as well. Additionally, the alcohol bite is
pretty well moderated by the dark malts and hop finish, though
there's a definite warming effect. Save the clarity of the brew
(even after swirling the dregs and dumping them in the glass),
and a slightly bigger hop profile, this is a faithful and tasty take
on the Belgian Dubbel style. Get some if you can.

Photo of TPSReports
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the brewery in CO. We were given samples of 4 beers each, probably about 3 onces in small glasses. This was my favorite by far. Normally I prefer a trippel or quadruppel, but I found the trippel lacking.

At the end of the tasting I gladly purchased a six-pack of this brew. Unfortunately, it was much better on tap than out of the bottle.

To the review:

The brew was a gorgeous rich amber color, with a very light head. The nose wasn't memorable.

The taste was very nice -- not hoppy. Big yeast flavors. Light carbonation with a long finish.

I wish this beer were available East of the Mississippi River.


Photo of msubulldog25
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle (Best Before: 28MAR08) to a small tasting goblet, appropriately from "Portland's Cheers to Belgian Beers" event. Picked this up recently at Beaumont Market here in Portland. Served cool as recommended, 45-50F.

A: Beautiful color, the perfect mahogany color with ruby highlights. This beer has a clear complexion and shows off an abundance of rising tiny carbonation, which is where it varies from the Belgian-made version of a dubbel - no yeasty sediment here. Lovely 1-finger of creamy khaki head, dense and bubbly. Well done!

S: True to the style: spice, yeast and ample fruity sweetness. Not terribly intense nor complicated, but all the requisite (delicious) aromas are there.

T: Full of toasted grain, spice and floral hop notes. Vinous raisins, some candi sugar, and a generous flavor of shaved chocolate. Tasty.

M: Creamy and soft, carbonation is gentle in the mouth and leaves a tingling coating which fades slowly. Cocoa powdery dry finish, with a little lingering spice and sticky malts on the lips and cheeks. Alcohol warms unobtrusively.

D: A terrific example of a style I really enjoy. Admirable comparable to the better Belgian dubbels; my cap (if I were wearing one) is off to NBB for this fine brew. Worth seeking out and one I'll be having again.

Photo of DaveFL1976
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From my notes in a state of euphoria within the halls of New Belgium:

Nice! Clear, deep mahogany/cherry. The smell is sweet; raisins and mild alcohol. The taste: malty, sweet, a bit vinagery at the end;tangy. Would be better with a bit of age. Mouthfeel is thinner than I expected. I have to say that the mouthfeel is a bit disappointing. Drinkability would be better if you could get past the hotter alcohols. But maybe that's part of the recipe.

Photo of seedee17
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, ruby when held up to a light, with a foamy and sticky tan head. Smells great, very earthy and woody, like a new pencil, hints of smoke, brown bread, slight chocolate aroma and fruity esters. Flavors of banana chips and dried apricot lead into a smoky wood flavor, and finally a slightly medicinal raisin finish. Smooth, creamy yet light mouthfeel. Though this beer does lend itself to sipping and contemplating, the 7% abv is well hidden, so it is quite drinkable. Can't beat the price.

Photo of mbutter1997
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark amber in color, 1"+ of light brown frothy head. Good glass retention throughout.
S - Rich aromas of caramel malt, yeast and light hops with fruits as well.
T - A succulent blend of malts with mild fruit flavors and hop character. Of all of New Belgium's commonly available beers, the taste of this one is my favorite. Lots of caramel in the palate as well, the hops are there but only subtly.
M - Mild carbonation, quite smooth with slight alcohol undertones.
D - Very easy drinking beer. Always have enjoyed this style, while it is no Westmalle, it is a quality dubbel and very enjoyable.

Abbey Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 1,928 ratings.