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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.

1,860 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,860
Reviews: 721
rAvg: 4
pDev: 12.75%
Wants: 143
Gots: 143 | 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: 1,860 | Reviews: 721 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phyl21ca
3/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a hazy red brown colored beer with a medium head with average retention. I noticed lots of sediment floating in my glass. Aroma is quite sweet with a nice malty tone underneath. At first, I was surprised with the sweetness of this beer, which hides some of the floral malt used in this beer. The end is quietly bitter but lack some roastiness. Something is missing here, not the best dubbel I had…

Phyl21ca, Aug 30, 2004
Photo of meathookjones
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This poured a deep reddish brown color with a slight light tan head. Even the head goes down to maintain a covering of bubbles that leaves nice sheets of lace decorating the glass with each sip. The smell is rich with rich sweet rip fruits a bit of light spicing and a touch of caramel. Very tasty aroma here that really gets you looking forward to that first sip. Ahhh the taste of fruit when this first meets your lips is excellent. There must be hops in there balancing this out because it never really gets too sweet. The finish is malty with a bit of spice. Full creamy mouthfeel lends to this great brew as it goes down very smoothly. This was one of the most drinkable Belgians I have ever had, I couldn't stop sipping it. Overall a good beer that I definitely would recommend trying. Thanks to bditty187 for the trade.

meathookjones, Aug 25, 2004
Photo of allengarvin
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep ruby red color, a little hazy, with a sold, lasting head about a pinky finger's width. Nice lacing. Lightly malty nose, with a sweet, strongly fruity component. Excellent yeast character in the taste: clove-like phenols, lightly spicy, with a raisin, perhaps slightly cherry ester. Somewhat bread-like malt. Hop bitterness is moderate but no hop flavors. Lingering, ever so slightly astringent flavor. Creamy, moderately full body.

One of the great American interpretations of the style, and also one of the easiest to find.

allengarvin, Aug 17, 2004
Photo of texashammer
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Twelve-oz. bottle, freshness date of May 2005. Label tells me what glass and what temperature to use, which I appreciate even though I could have figured it out myself.

Upon pouring into a snifter, this beer shows a deep brown color until held to the light, which reveals a beautiful deep ruby red. Head is almost an inch thick, with active big and small bubbles. As I drink, it laces the glass and stays there. I appreciate this.

Aroma is at first very yeasty, bready. First taste is roasty malt, some coffee; I feel that it is rich and I don't know what that is that I'm tasting. While it is only medium-bodied, the mouthfeel really fills my mouth, bubbly and effervescent. Coats my taste buds and gives a long, sweet finish. I get lemon in both aroma and taste as it warms. Head is shorter now but seems permanent; still good lacing. I eventually taste some berries, apricot, and some chocolate, or no, maybe hazelnut. There is a lot going on. Sweet malt certainly, and yeast. I can feel the alcohol too.

Certainly drink this beer at a warmer temperature, is my advice; it was too cold coming out of my fridge and I was impatient. Very complex and good. I would really rather have a real Belgian but this is a really good buy for the price and a good beer.

texashammer, Aug 09, 2004
Photo of beertaster13
3.03/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a gorgeous ruby red with an off white head that is incredible to the eye. The smell is of fruit and nutty malts. A slight hop detected. The taste is to syrupy and sweety fruit for my liking, where is the hop counterbalance? Like drinking sappy fruit, not my taste, Medium bodied and creamy in the mouth, fills you up, won't drink again, not my style.

beertaster13, Aug 04, 2004
Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice ruby brown color with a big head - at first - made up of very fine bubbles. The smell is on the subtle side - can't tell if it is just weak or intentionally subtle. Mostly has smells of alcohol and flowery herbs.

Taste is actually quite nice. Starts off mildly with a fresh, spring flavor that is herby and has an light ale feel. The beer then starts to kick in to a full scale alcohol assault carried in on waves of malty flavor. Pretty fun to drink actually.

The body is a little thin, but for the price, it imitates an abbey alright.

GuinnessSmurf, Jul 30, 2004
Photo of Lupe
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber color with a thin tan head that leaves sticky lace behind. Malty aroma with caramel, some dark fruit, alcohol, and a touch of funky yeast. Fruity flavor, bannana and apple, with toasted grain, bubblegum, and caramel. The yeast adds some spice and a little funkiness. Alcohol is present and helps balance the malt sweetness. Finishes with a light fruitness and has a warming quality. Medium-full in body, smooth and creamy. Very drinkable and enjoyable. An excellent US brewed Belgian-style ale.

Lupe, Jul 23, 2004
Photo of DPMomutant
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber/brown with a finger and a half head that retains well. Decent lacing is noted.

Smells very fruity. Banana is most noticeable here. Lots of ginger-like spiciness too.

The taste upfront is also spicy banana. The end brings out some bitterness and noticeable alcohol.

A bit of carbonation in the beginning, but not too much. Fairly thick consistency with warming alcohol at the end.

This would make a good after dinner/nightcap type of beer with the sweetness and warmth of the beer. Quite drinkable and at 7% you might get away with more than one bottle if you don't have anywhere to go.

DPMomutant, Jul 09, 2004
Photo of pnkermiz
4.97/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just finished a 12 oz. bottle that I cellared for 2 years (picked up six pack at the brewery in 6/02). Not surprised that the beer held up and actually improved over time. No change in the dark brown, chestnut-y color. The flavor has smoothed out even more so than when new. Of any of the original flavors, the chocolate and smokiness has come to the forefront and the banana, fruitiness has fallen off and/or mellowed out. Carbonation all but disappeared. I have to give a five for the drinkability as I couldn't stop sipping the damn thing - and then it was gone before I knew it... Five more sit in my closet. I'll try another next year and follow up.

pnkermiz, Jul 03, 2004
Photo of bigbeerdrinka
4.6/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: This beer pours a dark brown with creamy offwhite head about an inch thick. As the head recedes it nicely laces the glass.

Smell: Notes of banana, cream, and a little hint of chocolate hit the nose. This beer smells damn good! Other subtile fruit tones are present.

Taste: This beer upfront is mildly fruity with cream notes and banana finishing off in the end. Also a minor chocolate tone is present along with what I believe to be some dark fruit, maybe plums or raisins.

Mouthfeel: This beer is medium bodied with the perfect amount of carbonation. This beer feels creamy in the mouth and goes down really smooth.

Drinkability: This beer feels and goes down really nicely. For a belgian I can't believe it.

Overall: An exceptional brew that goes down great and tastes phenominal. By far my favorite dubbel I ever had! To bad I only had the single bottle which my buddy brought back from CO. Looks like I'll need to make a trip soon!

bigbeerdrinka, Jun 16, 2004
Photo of Zraly
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pretty dark walnut color with a tiny head that laces like a spiderweb. The most heavenly smell of banana, lavender with an underlying notes of bubble gum and alcohol.

Smooth and rich, smokey and complex, this is a true delight to sip. Forward flavors of coffee and breads, with a smooth fizzy backdrop that is rose-floral in nature. Chocolatey, smokey, somewhat fruity (think plump, dark grapes) and a tiny feel of a chewy-leather goodness. Subtle, dry finish. This is full-flavored, yet retains some notion of a delicate and deep nature. Like a sweet-but-stormy woman.

I will pair it up with roasted garlic, olive oil and basil smashed on peasant bread with a touch of crumbled blue cheese. However, right now, I am savoring this cool (not cold...like the bottle label says) right now all by itself. This is a rather divine offering from New Belgium, which has proved to be a rather consistent and good brewer. If you get a chance to try this one, please do. I think I have found a new "favorite sipper".

Zraly, Jun 13, 2004
Photo of BrewMan82
2.88/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours reddish/amber with a huge off white head. Left lots of lacing. Aroma at first is a huge whiff of alcohol that clears away to reveal some apple and strong fruity smells as well. Alcohol taste was at the forefront, which mellowed out to a smoother somewhat fruity middle and a warm, alcohol aftertaste. I had a bit of trouble truly enjoying the flavors here - the alcohol taste was much too strong, and the unbalance here overpowered any other flavor nuances that may have been present. I found the flavor to be less than the aroma indicated. Good mouthfeel, medium body. This dubbel was pleasant, but rather docile as far as flavor goes. I have been far more impressed by other dubbels.

BrewMan82, May 03, 2004
Photo of Trentonator
4.6/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clearly New Belgium's finest offering, this beer pours a stunning reddish brown and has a floral, almost cologne-like smell that is top notch. The head is about a finger high, but it sticks around and leaves a nice lace. The taste is fruity, notes of cherry and currant, maybe even some anise/licorice undertones. Soft on the mouth, very drinkable. Best served slightly cool, not ice cold (as recommended on the bottle). An A+ beer.

Trentonator, Apr 26, 2004
Photo of Beaver13
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The Abbey poured an amber with red highlights. It had a fizzy light brown head that quickly went to a thin film.

Its aroma is a yeasty malt with bananas, cloves and a hint of alcohol.

It has a creamy, full mouthfeel. The taste is sweet malt up front with a strong, musty, banana flavor and a slight alcohol finish.

Overall, it's a nice, well-made beer. I really don't like bananas, so that brings it down for me (perhaps unfairly).

Beaver13, Apr 13, 2004
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.

ColoradoBobs, Mar 25, 2004
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.

brewQ, Mar 21, 2004
Photo of hyuga
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.

hyuga, Mar 15, 2004
Photo of beerluvr
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!

beerluvr, Mar 14, 2004
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.

Jason, Mar 03, 2004
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.

jonnylieberman, Feb 21, 2004
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.

watermelonman, Feb 13, 2004
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.

filabrazilia, Feb 10, 2004
Photo of Rastacouere
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!

Rastacouere, Feb 06, 2004
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.

genaro, Jan 25, 2004
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.

BeerResearcher, Jan 23, 2004
Abbey Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing
90 out of 100 based on 1,860 ratings.