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Abbey Ale - Abita Brewing Co.

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Abbey AleAbbey Ale

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537 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 537
Reviews: 227
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 13
Gots: 43 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Abita Brewing Co. visit their website
Louisiana, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: theboozecruise on 10-26-2008

Abbey Ale honors the ancient tradition of monks who perfected the art of brewing beer to support the monastery and their "liquid bread". We offer up our support and thank them with a 25¢ donation to St. Joseph's Abbey with every bottle sold of this heavenly brew. Dark amber in color, the aroma of caramel, fruits and cloves invites you to contemplate the creamy head of this "Dubbel" or double ale. Abita Abbey Ale is a malty brew, top-fermented and bottle aged to rapturous perfection.

32 IBU
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 537 | Reviews: 227
Photo of medic25
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a chalice from a nicely painted bottle. Chestnut brown color with a thick head. Fruity aroma. Taste is also dominated by a fruity, raisiny type of character, along with a biscuity malt and very little bitterness. Not the most complex Dubbel I've tasted, but certainly a strong effort by a brewery I've never associated with Belgian styles.

Photo of Billolick
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Large bottle, with nice artwork etched onto the bottle, a decent deal at $4.99 purchased from Big Z bev on good ole Long Island, NY. Pours muddy chocolate/brownish amber, khaki short lived head, but leaving plenty of sheeting and fine lacing. Sweet dubbel, with light chocolate, toffee and malty notes. Ripe fruit adds some complexity. Nothing special, just an easy drinking beginner friendly Belgian style brew, with a well hidden 8% jolt

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lightly cloudy ruddy brown, with a reasonable, but not very boisterous head of beige foam. The colour is nice, but otherwise it looks a little insipid.

Some genuine Belgian notes on the nose, sweet-savoury yeast characters, bread-and-spices, dark citrus, crackers with a light funky cheese note, which actually goes rather well. Certainly a pungent nose, and one that I respect.

Some light sweetness on the palate, and lots of that big Belgian yeast character, skimming the border between sweet and savoury. Biscuit again, but quite luscious. The mouthfeel is light, but very smooth - a good sign in a dubbel.

A fair bit of character to this one - perhaps not the layered complexity of some of the better examples, but the important elements are there. It's got the pleasant light body and hidden alcohol of a good dubbel, so at least it's readily drinkable. Not a bad drop at all.

Photo of BayouBengal1537
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. Bomber poured in my imperial pint glass. Very cool bottle, I like the design.

A - Poured a dark copper orange haze color. Off white head at first but dissipates and leaves little lacing along the glass

S - At first strong aroma of sweet malts, dried fruits (plum, raisins), spice, slight nuttiness to it as well

T - sweet malt, spicy up front but not much left on the back of the tongue. a little disappointing. Bready, biscuity taste noted. Sweet caramel is present as well

M - i'd say almost medium body, medium carbonation

D - Drinkability is good. Can easily finish this bomber with a smile.

Overall I like this beer. It is a good ale and I enjoy the flavors that are present.

Photo of fostwal
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is an interesting beer that starts out great, and finishes alright. The appearance is a nice, dark caramel color with a slight haze to it. The scent is sweet and malty. The taste is just average. That's the surprise. The smell and appearance lead me to expect a full bodied malty taste. This brew has a light taste that has no hop bite or any other flavors that hit the back of the tongue. All of the taste is felt on the front half of the mouth. The short finish makes the beer an easy one to drink. You wouldn't know that it was 8%.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, I love the silk-screened 22 oz bottle. Nice graphics, nice earthy colors. This one and the Andygator look great, and I'm sure it will help to sell the beer.

It pours a hazy, very deep crimson and orange accented chestnut brown beneath a full cap of frothy off-white foam. The head retention is really quite good, and it leaves solid walls of creamy lace about the glass! Quite nice.

In the nose it's sweetish with notes of dark candy sugar, light caramel, and dried dark-skinned fruits... plum, raisin, date perhaps fig... a very minor hint of nuttiness... some minor clove from the yeast adds to it's sticky dark-fruit sugariness.

It's a little sweet initially, but after a few sips your palate adapts to it and it smooths out. Everything noted in the aroma carries over along with a little bit of spiciness from the yeast (and perhaps the alcohol as well - but clearly the yeast, White Labs WLP550 Belgian Ale Yeast). There's a suggestion of very light cocoa or chocolate but it never really comes through. The caramel is there, but the cocoa is just a very light dusting. Leafy hops, on the other hand, make a solid appearance; and a firm bitterness lies beneath the phenolic-sweet malt bed. It finishes drying as the alcohol washes away the residual malt sweetness and the spiciness is left behind with hints of leafy hops here and there. There's a minor note left behind that's reminiscent of red wine, but the clove and spice mostly disguise that (I'm not sure if that's good or bad - I'd like to see that vinous note more towards the front with a bit of dark fruit and chocolate); and on the down side, there's a bit of a vegetal note that runs through it, ever so slightly up-front, but which becomes more amplified in the finish. Odd. It's not too offensive though.

Overall it's a really nice abbey-style beer. A little bit more depth of character to the maltiness (perhaps a stronger hint of cocoa or soft milk chocolate?) would be great, and a tighter focus on the balance (softening the bitterness in the finish, and smoothing the sweetness at the outset - eliminating the minor vegetal note) would make this quite nice. Drinkable though! The alcohol is pretty well cloaked. Worth trying.

Photo of grub
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

another one that Viggo brought over. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled may 16/09.

pours dark orange with a small fine off-white head. the head drops fast and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is nice. more tropical than dark fruit. bit of spice. lightly toasted white bread. bit of cracker. light alcohol. some barnyard funk, but nothing too extreme.

taste is nice. lightly toasted white bread with orange marmalade. bit of biscuit. light nutty character. some mild dark fruit. bit of alcohol. fairly sweet caramel - more than i like.

mouthfeel is good. just under medium body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is nice. decent balance, unbalanced towards sweetness but hiding its alcohol fairly well. just not a very exciting beer.

Photo of atsprings
3.46/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bomber into a Duvel snifter a crisp bubbly dark orange almost brown with a nice frothy khaki head that lasts as a thin layer and leaves great lacing. Aroma is a nice amount of brown malts and dried fruits. The taste is an interesting blend of fruits, spice and malt, but a bit on the bland side, as is the case with most Abita beers. The beer is medium bodied with some present alcohol. This one ended up being just about what I expected, Abita's half-ass attempt at a Belgian.

Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a seethru copper brown with a thick, saopy head. The smell is a yeasty combo of dark fruits, caramel malt and figs w/ a hint of hop bitterness. The taste is more of the same with faint pulses of well-balanced malts and hops. Goes down smooth and creamy, as the hops produce a slight dryness and give off grape/orange flavor notes that mix with sweet malty goodness.
A pretty decent dubbel that is worth a try; nothing spectacular though.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber into an over-sized wine glass.

Abita's Abbey Ale pours beautifully for a Dubbel, with a rusted, auburn-copper hue topped by a creamy, retained head of tan bubbles. Not much in the aroma impresses me, as a faint hint of red apple rind, white grape juice, and some spice are backed by a sweetness of caramel malts and Belgian sugar.

Flavor is decidedly better than the aroma, starting with notes of toasted biscuit, amber malt, and spicy hops. Transitions midway to fruits and booze, with sour apple, rum, and whiskey coming to mind. Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than most Dubbels, with a spicy heat and slightly dry finish that somewhat limits its drinkability. Overall, a solid Belgian interpretation from Abita; recommended, but I'll likely pass on this in the future with so many better options.

Photo of Viggo
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz silk screened bottle, looks nice. Believe my boy GregMcQ sent this one my way.

Pours a cloudy amber/orange, very bright in the light, thick light tan ring forms, great retention, some nice chunks of lacing stick to the glass. Smell is nice, lots of caramel and raisin maltiness, fruity, kind of nutty, some toast and biscuits, lightly grainy, pretty interesting. Taste is similar, sweet and fruity at first, some raisins and brown sugar, apricots and some tropical fruit, lightly vegetal, yeasty, some graininess and caramel in the finish, not bad. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Pretty interesting and tasty ale, although the graininess is something I would say shouldn't really be in a Belgian ale. Still, I liked it. Thanks Greg!

Photo of farrago
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gargantuan head on the pour, three fingers plus with many super-large bubbles, steadily settles down into a think layer across the surface, leaves a thick, frothy lacing behind. Copper red to brown in color, average darkness. Moderate penetration to the nose, golden raisin, date and clove spice, then fresher peach to banana fruit, cocoa and carob, the malt dimension actually less forceful than expected, allows for a trace of mixed white citrus and something like celery to come through, overall drifts off slowly like a cloud on the horizon. Medium-bodied with a thick foaminess in the mouth, more of a smoky, caramelized character to the chocolate, toffee flavors than in the nose. The banana and esters ratcheted up, less concentrated date or glazed fruit aspects. The clove, nutmeg in the house, yet, the mineral water derived dry freshness opposes the deepening of any sweetness. Not especially yeasty nor bready, there is some moss or wet underbrush tones, again perhaps linkable to the mineral water. A touch monochrome but not a chore to drink.

Photo of ohmybock
2.82/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

First of all, let me say that I am very happy to see these new "special" bombers from Abita. I really want to like Abita brews, but none of the regular 12oz beers have stood out in my mind. Sadly, they just don't make me want to buy them again. Well, with the new, 22oz brews, hopefully that'll change.

The Abbey Ale pours with a decent head and looks nice. The aroma is a bit off-putting, though. I appreciate the phenolic character of some Belgian yeasts, and there's some of that "goodness" in this brew, but there's also some bad phenols as well. (For reference, I would say Chimay red or blue has a very good phenolic character.) The taste is better than the aroma, but the "bad" phenols are still there. This is an interesting attempt at an Abbey ale and one that almost works, but ultimately it needs more finesse. Much like the Andygator, the flavors in this brew don't quite gel and makes me think the recipe needs more time to work out the kinks. Well, to be honest, I had Andygator a number of years ago when it was still draft-only. I thought it was "odd...if not off" back then, and I still think it tastes the same in the new bottled form. Odd... Whatever the case, this Abbey Ale is a better Abita beer than most other Abita brews out there. Hey Abita, I'm still pulling for you. Seriously, keep trying with the special release bomber series. I still have faith that you guys can make some killer brews!

Photo of Shaw
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was excited to see new (for me) Abita brews in town. And at $4 for a 22-ounce bottle, it's a bargain.

This pours a deep amber in color with a thick foamy head that doesn't vanish.

The aroma is classic Dubbel, with yeasty notes mixing with dried fruit aromas. Very nice.

Flavors of dried fruit like raisins and dates mix with musty and earthy notes, as well as a sharp dryness. It's lightly sweet, less so than others of the style.

The body is smooth, but a little watery.

Overall it is a pretty good Dubbel, especially for the price.

Photo of GRG1313
4.47/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown/orange in color with a nice thick head. Wonderful fruit/malt nose. Nice creamy mouth feel. Flavors are layered and complex of fruit, carmel, malt and clove. A very pleasant dried apricot light hop finish. Best Arbita brew I've tried. Great take on an Abbey Ale.

Photo of Naugled
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle served in flute

A: very attractive, dark copper and crystal clear. almost too pretty for an abbey. nice rocky head with a silky surface

s: very malty and caramel in the nose

t: again malt, malt is definitly the dominate force here, in the back ground I do taste a subtle spiceness and fruit, a cooked orange flavor

m: rich and thick and full, lots of soft carbonation

d: very drinkable. I like my abbey's a little drier, less malty and more interesting, but this is a very nice malt forward example and very easy to drink.

Photo of Pencible
3.46/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This poured a hazy dark copper with fluffy light tan head. It smelled like strong wild Belgian yeast and salt, with banana and apricot and vinegar, and a bit of earthy caramel. It tasted like sour wild yeast and salt and apricot, with some banana and nutty malt. It was slightly thick with some carbonation, and had a sour aftertaste. Overall this had a very clean flavor, but it wasn't very enjoyable for my tastes, with a dominent sour character. To me, dubbels should be maltier. It had good body and was fairly easy to drink. This wasn't necessarily a bad beer, but I don't think it fit the style and it definitely isn't the type of Belgian ale I personally prefer.

Photo of KeefD
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to deepsouth for this extra in a trade! Nice painted label bottle. Pours a nice dark amber color with a small head that was gone quickly, leaving sparse lacing. Aroma is Belgian yeast, clove, caramel, light chocolate notes, bready, warm. Flavor is nice! Good amount of Belgian yeast, some burnt toffee and caramel, a touch of chocolate, light raisin, dark fruit, light spiciness. Not really complex, but can't complain. It tastes good. Alcohol is a little too prevalent, though. A bit thin on the tongue, alcohol warmth is there, but it's fairly well integrated. A nice take on the style.

Photo of Gyle41386
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip.

Pours a deep, dark amber. Medium sized head. Pretty good retention. Plenty of lacing.

Aroma is of bready malts. Loads of yeast. Tons of sugar. Fruit like banana and raisins. Peppery spice. Has all of the elements of a dubbel.

Flavor pretty much follows the nose. Where most dubbels have that typical Belgian candi sugar, this tastes more like artifical sweetener. Still very sweet, with a big spice kick. Some very light hop bitterness. Also a light warming sensation.

Medium body, appropriate carbonation.

This isn't a bad dubbel. I find most beers from Abita to be pretty average, but this is a solid try at a Dubbel, and I liked it better than Allagash Dubbel.

Photo of thryn
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into the trusty St. Bernardus goblet. It is a cloudy reddish-caramel color with very creamy looking off-white head, but not much of it. Some lacing.

Citrus, spice, a ton of candy sugar in the nose. Some yeasty and banana notes.

Sweet candy sugar. Caramel, clove, prominent banana. Faint, ever so faint grapefruity hops. A bit out of balance, but pretty good. The alcohol is not at all aggressive, but if you are looking for it it's detectable. I have not always been the biggest fan of Abita's offerings, but this and the Andygator were $4 for a bomber, so I figured what the hell.

Mouthfeel is a bit hefty but not thick at all. Doesn't quite have the carbonation I would expect.

Drinkability is decent, but would be better if the sweetness was tempered just the slightest hair.

Overall, I can definitely see buying this on occasion as something of a treat for my boyfriend, who likes the sweet Belgian-style beers a lot but doesn't have the world's most discriminating palate. In fact, I might let him have the other half of this one ... not because it's at all bad, but because I suspect he'd very much love it.

Photo of jacobseyb
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A=Deep ruby Cloudy color with an off white head nice lacing

S=Fruity of bananas, creamy with some caramel malts hiding

T=Fruity, sweet, balanced caramel malty thickness

M=Well carbonated, bready and fluffy

D=good but not quite sessionable a little to sweet

Photo of cjgator3
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark reddish brown color with a light tan colored head.

S- The aroma is dark ripe fruits with bananas, cloves and other spices and some yeast.

T- The taste like the aroma suggests features a lot of bready malt and dark fruit (raisins and plums) with some spices. There is a touch of hops in the finish as well as some alcohol.

M- The mouthfeel is in between light and medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overal, I am very impressed with this beer. It has definitely exceeded my expectations. Recommended!

Photo of cameraman
3.62/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A deep amber color, more like a light mohoganey, with a thick half inch high head top. The head lasts substatially long and clings to the glass for some time. The scent of malt is strong, with bread like fragrances. The yeast brings it spiciness and fruity esters along for the ride. The taste has the malt at the front, almost like a spicy bread, touches of sweet spices nutmeg and cinnamon, and dried fruit. I am tasting some chocolate, don't why but I am, it then ends mild earthy bitterness. A creamy texture at the front. thinning itself out as it rolls across the palate. A mild dry finish on the back end, with slight crispness to follow. The flavors do not seem to meld together, though the look and feel are very appealing, taste is what makes a beer. There are just to many things going on in the taste that hamper this beer from becoming a very good one.

Photo of bbothen
3.11/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours out a hazy rust like color with a thick & bubbly 2 finger deep tan colored head. Looks inviting.

Smells of bread, spice, clove, fruity, banana bread, slightly boozy.

Fruity, apricot, some sourness, yeasty, sugary, peppery, clove, leather, smoke. The taste doesn't meld well for me, but there is considerable flavor here.

Medium bodied, nicely carbonated, slick, sticky.

Hmmm. Don't quite know what to think of this one. Some recognizable Dubbel qualities and some other flavors I particuarly care for. Considerably better as it warmed.

Photo of nick76
3.02/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The aroma is fruity and yeasty with malt. The appearance is amber with with an average head. The flavor is average too despite tasting like the aroma. The palate is thin. Overall it is better than average but not by a lot. This is worth a try but don't expect too much.

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Abbey Ale from Abita Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 537 ratings.