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Abbey Belgian Style Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Abbey Belgian Style AleAbbey Belgian Style Ale

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1,997 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,997
Reviews: 739
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 12.47%
Wants: 156
Gots: 214 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-02-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,997 | Reviews: 739 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jkdrummer
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours nice dark reddish brown. Nice thick head that quiets down into a thick lace. Aroma is yeasty but malty. The taste is pure Belgium style with bubble gum and banana overtones. For some reason the body to me is a bit weak when compared to say a Chimay red label. Overall not bad for a domestic. Recommended.


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

I haven't tried many of the New Belgium brews for a while, so I figured I'd mix up a six pack and see what comes of it. I don't think I've ever tried the Abbey Ale yet.

Pours a handsome dark amber color, described on the bottle as mahogany. I'll give it that, it's the color of some expensive wood floor. Impressive khaki head almost overflows my pint glass and lasts a very long time. Much better retention than most beers you can buy at the grocery store. Leaves nice lacing, to boot.

Really nice aromas, I'm surprised by the amount of yeasty dark fruits, banana and spice. It smells like a real Belgian! I'm gratified to read they use an authentic yeast strain. I believe it. Noticing brown sugar and very sweet candied nut malts.

Yeasty sweetness dominate flavors, but there's a lot going on here. Noted banana, brown sugar, figs, sweet, nutty malts and just a bit of hoppy bittering at the end. Speaking of the end, finish is smooth and pretty long. Maybe loses a little bit of steam after the excellent aromas, but the balance and intensity of flavors are matched very well by the creamy, semi-full body.

Probably not a beer I'd down a ton of, but very enjoyable! The most authentic stab at a great Belgian style by a non-Belgian brewer that I've had. As always, price and availability factor in my drinkability score. This one does pretty well in both respects, especially if you find it on sale. Excluding La Folie, the best I've had from New Belgium. (but more to try)

Photo of GilGarp
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a pint glass with a beautiful red amber color, perfect clarity, and huge amounts of rocky white head. The head sticks around very well and leaves nice lacing behind. An all-around exceptional looking beer.

Aroma is fresh and appropriate for the style. It's fruity and sweet with a great Belgian style yeast smell.

Flavor is very good as well. Dark fruits, nuts, spices and banana all blend together perfectly. A good balance between sweet and bitter too.

Mouthfeel is nice in that it isn't as carbonated as the Belgians which can sometimes be over done in that department.

Drinkabilty is good for the style but it's high in alcohol and so it just won't be an all-night beer.

I enjoyed this one a lot when I first moved to Colorado so I thought I'd give it another try. I'm glad to say it's as great as ever.

Photo of Floydster
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into my Trappist Westvleteren chalice, purchased as a single from Hi-Times I believe for under two dollars

A-Medium brown with some darker tones, thin 1/2 inch creamy vanilla colored head that did not last, not much retention, no lacing
S-Very fruity, Belgian yeast, roasted nuts, bubble gum, caramel, brown sugar, lots of berries, sweetness, and
T-Starts off with a fruity malt taste, some nuttiness in the middle with some brown sugar, berries and sweetness in the finish, did not taste as good once it warmed, caramel became stronger and the beer just seemed flat at times, more fruity than expected but still a nice flavor, would have liked to see some more complexity but the taste was not bad overall
M-Sweet, nutty, and roasted mouthfeel, medium bodied, fair amount of carbonation, taste lingers a little bit
D-Could drink a few of these at a sitting, not too heavy and smooth, alcohol content is not high for the style either, sweet stuff gets old though

One of New Belgium's best bottle offerings but still nothing compared to La Folie, what is though, would like to try the Grand Cru version someday and see the differences, have not seen this around too much but a few times recently on draft at various locations, I would probably buy this again down the road, recommended

Photo of Tolnik
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this beer on-tap from the brewery.

A - A Ruby Brown ale that when poured it has a good head and comes to a lacing.

S - Good Orange smelling malt beer. Great aroma as you pick up on the clove and fig.

T - Malty beer that has a low hop taste with a good citrus initial reaction. Yet as an aftertaste there is a distinct banana taste and the clove and fig comes out.

Photo of tr4nc3d
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice mahogany color with a huge bubbly head that leaves lacing on the glass.

Smells sweet, like pears, raisins, dark fruit.

Has a warm inviting taste on the mouth. Its smooth and sweet with a biscuit like taste to it.

Mouthfeel was medium body and creamy, once again nice and smooth taste to this one.

I would say theres drinkability to this one due to its good taste and cheap price.

Photo of FatCaster
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug from bottle, has a very uniform white head almost geometric pattern to the bubbles. Flavor improved (as said on the bottle) as it sat in the glass as drunk.

A--Appears dark brown, but held up to the light, reveals a deep ruby red that fades to an earthy orange.

S--Sweet smell with notes of raisin a piney burst of hoppiness.

T--This is where this beer really shines. Starts smooth and slightly fruity, and ends with a sort of a crisp tingle that spreads through the mouth. Hard to place the finishing taste...

M--Just thick enough that it sticks around in the mouth for a second or two, and just enough carbonation that the flavors bubble around your mouth.

D--I enjoyed it a lot, and could put a few down, but had to rank it down because the two people with me have both said they didn't think they could drink more than a couple.

Third best New Belgium I've had, and a definite addition to regular rotation.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a dark red/maroon with a light off-white head, good retention.

S: Dried fruit, lots of sugar, molasses.

T: Has a lot of brown candi sugar taste to it, very sweet. Raisin and fig juice predominate. Good flavour and it has clear Belgian yeast characteristics if not the interesting complexities of the great Belgian dubbels.

M: Strong, full body, this beer is built really well, no trace of alcohol sharpness, very smooth.

D: A nice beer, my of my favs that I've had from New Belgium. Good, drinkable tasty dubbel.

Photo of Offa
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is pretty good, one of the better New Belgium beers to me and one of the better and more interesting dubbels I've had.

Dark red with a little brown, it has a dense, tan, medium-big head that slowly shrinks and leaves a little lace.

The aroma is stewed dried fruit, a little chocolate, leaves, prunes, brown bread - overall, very nice.

The taste is not as great, but still good with dried fruit and fresh, juicy fruit, leaves, bread crust, a little sweet at first to a drier finish. It's tasty, easy to drink, but still a little on the bland side, especially with food.

Photo of aforbes10
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark, with a nice big white head that gets smaller but doesn't fall off completely. Laces strongly and uniformly. Held to the light, its a deep crimson colored body with some nice carbonation. Strong nose of dark fruits and alcohol, with some nice sweetness in there too. Flavor is a fruity, nutty malt. Tastes of sweet prunes, alcohol, caramel malt, a hint of dark chocolate, nutmeg. Finish is a little flat but the malt and fruit stick around long enough. Medium to full bodied. Holds up extremely well with the best of the Belgian abbey ales, better than most, even.

Photo of mbrandon2w
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet.
Nice tan head fades quickly to a thin layer of lace.
Smell is raisiny, plummy, with a sweet caramel malt background.
Flavor is of candied dark fruit, figs and plums. Really very tasty. Probably would be excellent with some grilled red meat.
Very smooth and easy drinking. Really nice beer. Wish I could get more of it.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Chimay Goblet
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Very impressive DARK amber color. I thought it was brown, until 'lighting' it. Nice. Minimal head. Minimal lacing.

Great dark fruit scents. Dark cherries, dates, figs. Big sweet malts. Banana notes. Caramelish brown sugar notes.

Sweet maltiness. Spiciness like cloves. Fresh bread covered in brown sugar run under the broiler so that it carmalizes. Nice dark fruits again.

Good body on this one. Nice and creamy. Definite medium level of thickness, here.

Very good, very drinkable bottle.
This isn't Chimay, by any means, but it would be an acceptable substitute, at a cheaper price, when finances dictate.

Photo of SpecialK088
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap in a goblet

A-Light copper big long lasting head with a very sticky lace.

S-Alcohol dominates the nose with some barley and grain notes and a very strong bannana note.

T-Suprisingly the nose doesn't reflect alot on this one to me the alchol was present but not at all overbearing the bannana seems to come out most noteably with some sweeter malt qualities.

M-nice classic dubble feel to it medoum to heavy body and a nice slightly burning finish.

D-I would have one or two of these in a sitting very good dubble

Photo of TucsonPIRAAT
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this beer at a beer tasting event at the Plaza in Tucson. The tasting included other New Belgium beers.

I was very pleasantly surprised at the replication of the belgiumesque taste. Abbey ale is sweet, clean, a hint of hops, with taste bud tantalizing malts. The alcohol level is just right, with a fine finish. This could be my new favorite affordable American beer!

There Be Pirates After That Beer!

Photo of marcpal
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks CKeegan for this beer.

I have been through most of New Belgiums beers even though I cant get them out here on the East Coast and am rarely disappointed. This one didnt let me down either, really hit the mark.

12 oz bottle poured into a weyerbacher tulip glass.

A: Ooph, a good looking beer. Mahogany red, a thin white head, patchwork lacing and low level of apparent carbonation.

N: Bananas, some heat, and sweet fruits. Nothing abundant but pretty mild hint of bubblegum yeast.

T: Much stronger than the aromatics. Banana flavors follow suit, good fruitiness otherwise to round it out. On the back end, the malts come through and finish it off well. The belgian sugar is apparent and inviting with the sweetness and yeast being a great marriage. Pears and other fruits, really sweet.

M: Very light on the palette and super creamy. Warming indeed and more carbonation on the tongue than in its look. Alcohol provides some warming texture and ends with a ton of sweetness, if possible too much.

D: For a dubbel, this one can be sessionable using the term loosely. Could see this going by itself or with all types of cusisine. Among the best dubbels from this side of the pond. Can disguise itself as a sipper or a night can be had with a few, a good night.

Another winner from this brewery. Get yourself to Jersey, please.

Photo of stumac
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours up a dark brown color with crimson edges. a nice big, bubbly tan head with great lacing. the nose is delicious! notes of cocoa, chocolate malts, sweet Belgium(?) malts, subtle brown sugar, dark fruits (dark raisins), bananas, slight Belgium candy sugar. the taste is cocoa, dark fruits (figs maybe), Belgium yeast, sweet malty. as the beer warms you get roasty, chewy, burnt wood, spicy (maybe from the hops), fusel alcohol, tobacco. medium to full bodied, medium spritzy carbo, pretty dry finish. Definately my favorite "readily available" New Belgium beer. Hands mutha effin down!

Photo of FSUmac
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle that I allowed to warm for a bit out of the fridge into a goblet....

Appearance: A murky brown color. 2 finger pillowy head.

Smell: Very frangrant. I smell plum, cherry, tannins. Also a hint of roasted malt.

Taste: Fruity at first with a raisin flavor and noticeable bitterness. This fades to a pleasant maltiness as it goes down.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick mouthfeel. Definitely feel the carbonation as it goes down.

Drinkability: I've had a few dubbels and I must say this a great one. At $8 for a 6 pack, how can you go wrong? If you can find it, try it!

Photo of PhxHorn
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Papago's in Scottsdale, AZ. It's a purple-brown color with half-inch of off-white head. Smells weakly of fruit and wine. Tastes moderately of figs, raisins, with a wine-line aftertaste. A decent flavor, just not that much of it, which is the problem with dubbels in my opinion, but this is a good interpretation of the style. I'd recommend it if a true Belgian isn't available.

Photo of Fumanchu
2.2/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

When I first had this about a month ago, I figured that is is a noble attempt at an American brewery going after a Belgian Abbey Ale. With first taste, it seems like it may mimic an authentic (currently my favorite is Chimay Grand Reserve). I'm sorry if I don't review beers according to the 'standard.'
A) Don't really care - beer is for my tastebuds, not my eyeballs.
S) Not too bad, smells like an authentic Belgian Abbey, makes me happy since there's a possiblity I can pay American prices for an imported Abbey beer.
T) This is (of course) the most important review. At first, it meets all expectations. Holy crap, this tastes like an authentic Abbey brewed Belgian brew! Unfortunately, it fades into a metallic aftertaste. My quest for a Chimay Grand Reserve replacement continues. My goal is to find an accectable cheaper (and more reliable replacement) for Chimay and it continues. Sorry, but as much as I congratulate New Belguim for this attempt, the aftertaste kills this beer.
M) Yea, it's OK. My determining factor is the taste, and the aftertaste kills this one.
D) Since I bought a sixer of this one, I will drink it, but it's not an enjoyable one.

Photo of ckeegan04
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Nut brown with bright ruby hues when held up to light. One finger head fades away and leaves very little lacing.

S - Sweet aroma of banana dominates. A dark mlat sweetness backs up the fruity aromas. A little clove mixed in as well.

T - Sweet and spicy up front. Tastes of tobacco and clove with dark fruity backing it up. Hints of alcohol come through as well.

M/D - Med to full bodied and nice crispness to it. A great dubbel for the price.

Photo of biegaman
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lucent scarlet blush that glares especially brilliant when held to the light. A golden tone of copper lines its edges and rest on its underside. Head was quickly convoked but almost as quick to disassemble. Its shine and complexion is healthy; what a lustrous tone! I couldn't take my eyes off of it.

The aroma smells of a few things but all of them attributed to just one: the yeast. It is plenty full of spice, although I'm sure no actual spices are used. It is just phenolic enough to enhance spice and provide a bit of a kick. Smells darn good.

The taste is slightly more than darn good. A hefty malt bill aids in dosing the palate with buttered biscuits and sizzling brown sugar. This taste of freshly baked bread with heated brown sugar is complimented by faint notes of raisin and nutmeg; each sip is a delight. This would pair wonderfully with a never ending number of entree dishes (venison, maybe?)

I have read that the original house yeast was cultivated from the dregs of a bottle of Chimay Red. This is quite similar and there is no doubt "Abbey Belgian Style Ale" is meant to mirror the great Trappist examples of the dubbel - it has. This New Belgium ale offers every bit of quality and craftsmanship as the great breweries of Old Belgium.

Photo of Tallboy
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a striking leather brown with fluffy beige tinted head, with some decent lacing left over.
Scent - Very bready and earthy with some caramel and raisin undertones.
Taste - This was rather sweet at first, followed by the rush of malts. some spices and dried fruits noted at the end.
Mouthfeel -Medium bodied with light carbonation and a robust 7% ABV finish.
Drinkability - I thought this offering from New Belgium was a pretty nice American Belgian styled dubbel if I do say so myself.

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A long time favorite beer of mine, a very fine dessert.

a: pours a deep reddish brown with a tan head that reduces to a film. the beer is clear and very rich looking, somewhat bubbly, but not entirely too much.

s: bananas caramel sweet pastries and breads, there is also a slight hint of alcohol as well, some other fruit smells as well.

t: very rich with many of the flavors from the smells. the banana and caramel really stick out every time i drink this beer. there is a nice roasted malt profile near the end. a slight hit of alcohol is there, which is somewhat out of character. its a little stronger than normal. could just be this beer.

m: thin, warming, sticky, but with a rather dry finish. all in all very good in the mouth, exactly to style. the alcohol warms a bit on the way down.

d: not a session beer in the least. this is a beer i cap at two, even though it is delicious enough to drink a few. it really makes for a fine after dinner beer and pairs well with most sweet things. this is really a special beer from new belgium and definitely my favorite of their offerings, other than la folie of course.

Photo of kemoarps
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Abbey is a delicious beer. now that I have that out of the way, I will give the good old fashioned full review. but seriously. it is tasty.

it poured an lustily enticing deep brown mahogany red. The head was thick, and lasting

the smell is a little underwhelming for what is to come (although the fact that I have always had a slightly below average sense of smell could come into play on that), but it leaves a sweet rich fruitful aroma.

Once it hits the palate, that's when it REALLY starts to shine. I'm not sure exactly what it is about it that is so good, but it is definitely enjoyable. It continues this pseudo fruity flavour, though not tasting like a 'fruit beer' per se. The predominant fruit, as others have mentioned, seems to be banana. You CAN taste the alcohol, though it is not nearly as strong as I would expect from a 7% beer. A rich flavour. tasty.

The mouthfeel is creamy, but not in an overwhelming overly coating manner, it has a little zesty tinge to it, and plays on the tongue. it's calm and soothing.

The beer has a high alcohol content, but is not overwhelming, and is very drinkable. It doesn't fill you up quite like some other similar heavier beers, though the lingering bready aftertaste is still there, so there does reach a point of saturation.

overall, I must admit, this is one of my top probably ten favourite beers. So it's not exactly an unbiased report. but it is a tasty report. one for whose research I will go back to again and again.

3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Three big fingers of fat bubbled tan head that has nice retention leaving some scattered lace. Body is a bold brown with ruby tones around the edges. The nose is yeasty with very soft spicey tones with hints of clay and some dark fruit. Flavor is spice led from the front but very sessionable. The dusty almost phelonic spices are so consistant that they almost become creamy on the mouthfeel. A hint of vanilla and banana bread develop also. Not my favorite of the style but it is good.

Abbey Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 1,997 ratings.