Angel City Abbey | Angel City Brewery

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Angel City AbbeyAngel City Abbey
21 Ratings
Angel City AbbeyAngel City Abbey

Brewed by:
Angel City Brewery
California, United States

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BrewMaster on 11-14-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 21 |  Reviews: 19
Reviews by JohnPecod:
Photo of JohnPecod
4.45/5  rDev +52.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Initially, I was an Angel City skeptic like many but they are producing some damn fine beers and this is no exception.

Is this a mind-blowing Dubbel? No, but it is a solid effort that is true to style and one you could easily session.

If you slapped a Bruery or Port label on this beer the reviews would be drastically different. Give it a chance.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
2.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Beer review from BA Mag Sep 2007.

It seems many brewers are throwing their hats into the Belgian ring. This one is brewed with sugar, which many American brewers are hesitant to do--even when brewing Belgian styles.

Completely hazy rusty water color. It is also lacking in the head retention department, with a snap, crackle and pop yielding a diminishing ring of lace. Brown sugar and rum aromas and flavors. A little hot in the nose. Thin and slick mouthfeel, with a bit of chewy malt that stays hidden for the most part by alcohol and medicinal phenols. Overripe fruit, minimal hops. Really sweet and fruity. Yeasty with a hot, spicy alcohol within the ongoing rash of sweetness.

Between the clumsy higher alcohol notes, a lack of head retention and clarity and none of the flavors ever really melding together, this beer comes off as a bit of a jumbled mess. If the alcohol was a bit tamer, the yeast was kept in check and the head retention was enhanced, this would be a decent beer.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
2.96/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

From notes. Pours into my glass a deep amber with a small white head and nice steady carbonation. Aromas of apple and light fruit upfront with brown sugar, caramel and somewhat of a vinegar sour twang in the background as well. Interesting, but it seems a bit off as well.

First sip brings sour fruit upfront, apple and lemon peel. Brown sugar and caramel sweetness midway through. Flows down with a light vinegar twang and a weird play of sweet and sour flavors. Odd brew here.

Mouthfeel is on the medium to lighter side with good, sturdy carbonation. Goes down fairly easy but the overall flavor just doesn't mesh well at all. This one didn't do it for me and I'll be passing on any more Angel City unless I can get it at the source.

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Photo of sloejams
3.75/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this a few times on tap in the Los Angeles area, but just saw they released it in 22s at my local shop. The red hue appearance is a bit misleading as the taste is not as strong as first expected. Certainly not the best dubbel I've had, but the price and availability is right. Very drinkable, I recommend

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Photo of IntriqKen
1.73/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Whoa! I don't know what I'm reviewing here.
Pours a decent amber but a very, VERY disappointing head that melts to tiny lacing on the ring of the glass within seconds.
Aroma is initially begium malt/yeast although a little weak for the style.
Taste is a total shocker for me. Initally a mildly sweet malt that gets overpowered and disappears completely to a very sour lemony bitterness upon swallowing. Not a hop citrus...merely a lemony bitterness without a hint of sugar.
Aftertaste is both lemon peel and something metalic.
The mouthfeel lacks all of the fine carbonation richness that should be present in a conditioned beer of this sort
I wish I could say that this was merely a bad bottle but in truth, the flavors seem intentional and as such just do not belong in this style let alone beer at all.
Sorry Angel City....Abbey it's not...belgium it's Only by ingredients.

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Photo of scottoale
2.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours from a 22oz. brown bomber, into a chalice, a murkish brown-copper with a minimal head that vanishes instantly. It has a negative head retention, I think it was off-white? Seems very low on carbonation visually.

Sweet, thick malt is about all that's coming out of this brew to my nose. Smells like a malt concentrate.

The taste is pretty much proof that my sniffer hasn't gone South (yet). Big, thick syrupy malt flavor and that's about it. I don't taste or feel anything 8.0% ABV about it. No Belgium, no hops, no strength...wrong catagory for style?

Mouthfeel is thick and syrup like, you could call it smooth, I guess. Drinkability? I'm truly sorry, just call em how I taste and see them.

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Photo of gthornton
2.83/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Syrupy, thick, golden brown with no head or lacing.

S: Mild coriander lingering over a subdued caramel.

T: Not outstanding, but tasty. Not as complex as the stye can be, and it might speak to the age of the keg here onsite at Porter's Pun at UCSD, but lacks freshness overal. The reviewer that got this straight from the brewery seems to have the highest thoughts about it... so maybe that is the key.

Has a lingering boozey-ness.

M: Very little carbonation, a sticky heaviness on the tongue, and what I think to be too much booze sting.

D: Worth the try I suppose. Perhaps if I went to the brewery to taste it, but unfortunately this beer does not inspire me to make that trip. It has a strong ABV, so weigh that how you will...

Overal I get the sense that the brewers hopes to make a beer with a high ABV interfered with their focus on making a great beer. Too bad... has potential.

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Photo of Zorro
1.58/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Pours a medium brown colored beer with no real head.

Smell is sour and a bit fruity. No coriander or other expected smells.

Taste is sour like a lambic with a slight fruity flavor. Tastes spoiled.

Mouthfeel is bad.

Not real drinkable, a waste of my money here.

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Photo of hopdog
3.15/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed from a 22oz bottle.

This one poured a medium and cloudy amber color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas of yeast, dark fruits, and just all around fruitiness. Tastes of dark fruits, caramel, and light spices. Light alcohol in the finish.

Notes from 12/17/07.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.77/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

reddish to copper in color. had to pour failry stiff to get the head I was looking for and then it fizzled out to a thin film. slippery lacing that leaves little trace of existence.

Smells like a dubbel for the most part minus any rich malt background. Some cloves, yeast and sour notes.

Smack of sour right off the bat settled by a very subtle malt profile that has a slight dark fruit presence. mouthfeel is light and lacking any texture. No warming even for an 8%.

Notes: My first beer from this brewery and we are not off to a good start. Maybe this was their first stab at a belgian, I have no idea but I do know this is not a worthy Dubbel nor will it find my fridge anytime soon.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.12/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 22 ounce Bomber with a standard brass colored crown cap and a colorful 1930’s art-deco style label with the words Angel City Brewing. Gold lettering has the beer listed as “Angel City Abbey – is made with Belgian Yeast, Malt and brewing sugar. Smooth and complex, allow this beer to warm to bring out new flavors“. No freshness date but listed at 8.0% ABV.

Appearance: Disappointing return on investment, especially as I cracked out and freshly cleaned a Maredsous Goblet for this one. Slack head that relaxes from 1” to “No” Inch in less than 30 seconds, only a wispy beige halo froth remains. Dark amber body with ruddy tones is clear and looks good, but the overall impression is woefully let down by the flaccid head. Conditioning is very fine and should support the head more than it does.

Nose: Candi sugar and warm Belgian malts mix with a toffee like Caramelized finish. Aromas of skinned crab apples, baked pears, crumbling damp rotten wood, and a yeasty twist at the death. The odors are warming of sorts too.

Taste: Hints of dark fruits sit loosely against the Belgian malts and doughy yeast aspects. Tartness when chilled seems more acidic as it warms with some metallic elements too…..which I recognize, no wait, don’t tell me….<edit>…..I got it!!! It reminds me of the first time I was dared to lick a strip of Magnesium during a Chemistry practical at Secondary School in England. Hmmm, didn’t like it then and I don’t care for it now. I am half wondering if this is intentional OR if I have a suspect brew!? Hmmm, knowing that these bottles were fresh at Hi-Times days before I picked them up means that I suspect the former - so will go with this Review for now. Starts off pretty good but finish with a messy ending. Sweetness increases with the warmth of the beer as well which becomes tacky and cloying.

Mouthfeel: Soft caramel and infused toffee in the Mouthfeel, creamy and chewy mix effortlessly in an easy going way that supports the tastes adequately.

Drinkability: Reasonable effort that doesn’t tax the senses too much but it can become a little “so-so” half way through, and a tad “so-what” when finished.

Overall: Cost $3.49 during a recent raid at Hi-Times in Costa Mesa. Pulls up towards the end after a disappointing start to manage an “average” vote overall. I couldn’t help but note these words on the AC WebSite. “The goal of Angel City Brewing is to grow and develop into a regional microbrewery along the lines of an Anchor Brewing Company or Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.” Having had five Angel City brews to date, I can honestly say that they are way short of the mark here, and I so wish they weren’t, we need a good regional microbrewery in LA. Average and the second best of the AC brews that I have had to date, but sadly there far too many better options out there to even think about picking this one up again. Hope they improve this over time and with honest feedback.

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Photo of beerpadawan
3/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of BrewMaster
3.41/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer at a friend's brithday party. The brewer from Angel City was there and apparently this was an early release straight from the fermenter. The beer tasted a little young, but good nonetheless. The beer was a dark but clear brown with a slight reddish tint. It had a thick tan head on top that did not last too long. Very little aroma came from this brew and there was not much flavor either. Light notes off sweet malt with a bit of corriander spice. This beer definately needs time.

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Photo of brentk56
1.94/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber with a surprisingly modest head that fizzes away quickly without a trace

Smell: Somewhere in there is a nice malty aroma, but the phenols on this beer are so nasty that you don't want to search for them

Taste: Opens pleasantly enough, with a sweet Belgian caramel base that moves in a banana and clove direction by mid-palate (more like a trippel than a dubbel); then, all H#ll breaks loose with phenols everywhere detracting from the flavor profile, leaving a prickly, spicy, phenolic, medicinal aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very modest carbonation but considerable mouth burn

Drinkability: Really tough to finish this one; headed for the drain

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Photo of domtronzero
1.93/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours a murky and hazy orange brown with a short-lived tan fizzy head that disappears into the beer almost immediately. No lacing.

Aroma is typical of any run-of-the-mill American microbrewery attempt at a Belgian ale. Too much banana esters. Slight pears and apples with an offensive solvent-like alcohol smell. Caramel malts are muddy and thick and smell like a catastrophe.

Flavor is thin and lacking. Again, too much banana. The esters and sweet malt flavors are a lot more subdued than the aroma suggests. Light hop bitterness isn't firn enough to lend to a clean finish. Sickly sweet and cloying, this beer's flavor just won't vacate my palate.

Thin and oily mouthfeel, not typical of any true Belgian ale I've had recently. Not enough carbonation. Alcohol is hot and solventy in the mouth.

Drinkability is terrible. Absolute drainpour. After trying the IPL and Belgian IPA from this brewery I was interested in trying their Abbey style dubbel. My expectations were way to high for this beer and it was a real letdown. I'll pass on this next time.

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Photo of Vlar
2.88/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looked great in the glass, lookes smooth...

Smelled something horrible (skip the sniff, drink it), like a leftover, leftover 3 weeks past due.

Sour (sweet)! .. but not so much a bad sour, more like a candy sour. I wasn't expecting it after finishing a bomber of smooth red, but this hit me like a brick wall after my last. Its very drinkable to me, but a contrast to a mellow smooth brew.

Get past or get over the sour, goes down nicely.

Not a session beer for sure, but a good taste for a few pulls, but more of a novely candy sour to me. Probelly not again...

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Photo of zestar
3/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of blitheringidiot
2.26/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Peeling away the thick gold foil had me looking forward to this beer. Life is full of disapointments.

Pours with a cloudy soupy brown beef brothy hue with a spotty collar.

Scents are soury lemon and a hint of malt.

First swigs: Sour lemony pucker and a cran-grape-fruity juice twing. Not impressive. Diluted hodgepodge. Too sour. No belgian aspects whatsoever.

Feel is dry and undercarbonated.

Last swigs: Drain pour #2 from Angel City this week in Irvine, CA. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. When the best aspect of your beer is 8.0% and $3.49 a bomber, something is amiss.

Beer is good. Happy (better than this) beering.

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Photo of KevinBrewer
4.2/5  rDev +43.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bomber of this fresh from the brewery. Pours cloudy with a wild array of colors that reminds me of red clay. Reds, browns, and yellows all meld together.

Smells of caramel and candy sugar with a clean malt profile for support. There is also a light fruitiness (apple?) and a very slight floral hop aroma that reminds me of Stone's tripel.

The taste is sweet and twangy. Candied sugar and floral hops. Very little malt flavor.

Medium-light body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

This was an enjoyable brew. Very drinkable.

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Photo of t0rin0
2.82/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I thought at first that this was a dark tripel but this website calls it a dubbel, so I'll go with that.

It poured a cloudy reddish orange and produced very little head, mostly just a fine layer on top of the strange looking liquid. The one good thing about the appearance was the color, it was strange but interesting.

The aroma was both good and bad. The good part was the pleasant sweetness and malty smoothness of a dubbel. The bad part was the sour/alcohol aroma that came off the beer. The flavor was quite similar to the aroma. A bitterness (possibly hops, possibly something else) that I would expect more from a young tripel or a uder spiced wit was dominating. There was also a medicinal quality that I can't quite describe in there. The best parallel that I can draw is the tripel from Green Flash that I got from the brewery in the form of low-fill bottles.

The body was relatively light, as was the color for this style. It helps the drinkability some and was unexpected from the appearance. The drinkability however was only alright because of the distractions in the taste.

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Photo of pjwilson
4.24/5  rDev +45.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Angel city abbey ale, april 14 2006

Angel city abbey ale, april 14 2006

Appearance: a weak point of the beer. Even with the most vigorous pour the Belgian style abbey ale only produces a film of a head, which quickly fades. The beer is very cloudy and even with careful pouring, suspended yeast particles abound. Color wise, the beer is an amber color lighter than a traditional dubble, and darker than a traditional trippel. Without a taste, you could either way. 3.5/

Smell: after a disappointing dunkle by Angel City, a quick glance at a few poor reviews a few weeks ago (I’m typing this from Sea Ranch on the Sonoma county coast far from any internet connection), I was preparing for the worse. Instead I am greeted by one the most pleasant beer smells I’ve had in the past few days. This smells like a very fruity trippel. Pears and plums abound on this one. A sweet molasses like candy smell is here as well, although not as pronounced as a dubbel. With a blindfold on I would say this is a trippel. A very nice smelling beer, that makes you want to keep sticking your nose in the glass. 4.5

Taste: I use the descriptors of pears and plums a lot when describing Belgian beers, but this is like drinking pear juice. An extremely fruity tasting dark trippel, and very “Belgian” tasting beer. This could sit in with the best of amber Belgians from the native land. The yeast is this beer is just something else and quite nice. 4

Mouthfeel: a nice Belgian strong ale, light body for the strength, no complaints. 4.5

Drinkability: a fun hour or so to spend with this bomber, certainly a good drinker, although more of a sipper than a slugger. 4.5

I got this at the Torrance bev MO for 2.99 a bomber, probably for the money, the best damn Belgian style beer, I’ve had at that price. Only available in the LA area, but well worth a purchase at any price. Recommended, most American Abbey Ales don’t have this much character.

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Angel City Abbey from Angel City Brewery
Beer rating: 2.92 out of 5 with 21 ratings
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