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Abbey 8 | McKenzie Brew House

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16 Ratings

Brewed by:
McKenzie Brew House
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by NeroFiddled on 08-22-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 16 |  Reviews: 15
Reviews by NoLiberty:
Photo of NoLiberty
4.17/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A note to start: This sample was hand-bottled from a keg so the flavors and carbonation may have been slightly off from a brewery prepared offering.

Appearance is very deep walnut color with a brown low head. Nice clear, rich color. The aroma is mostly roasted malt nose with toasted caramel notes. There's an interesting fresh garage smell with clean oil. Not sure what that's from. The taste is nice and warming, but clean. Slight alcohol with a rich nutty flavor, good sweetness and, and mellow spice that all blends into a delicious combination. Very simple but well done. Mouthfeel is good, with subtle carbonation. I could definitely drink a few of these.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of shapudding
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased on the BA swarming event when Morrison bottled a bunch of 750's, and we all scrambled to get them all before they were gone!
Brewed August 2004.
First enjoyed this at BigDan's new year's eve brunch party, but just cracked this one recently. I was thinking that it was a nice dark ruby color, but the label says it is chestnut... Nice creamy, thick almond head in a wide ring and thick dusting that clings to the sides for a second before being sucked back down. Scents of sasafrass and maybe merlot. Another perfect carb for McK's. Almost feels non-existant when it is there. Smooth and light/medium bodied. Tastes of sasafrass, bit of dark caramel sweetness, bit of cola, confectioners sugar meets molassess... There is a bit of sweetness left in your mouth after each sip, and it becomes just a bit sweeter as it warms. Seems to become more complex as it warms, very enjoyable at all stages of temperature. Easy to kill a bomber of it, nice sipper, maybe not a session, but damn good.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a cellared bottle. A hazy, chestnut brown body displays glowing copper and brass highlights when held to the light; and its tall, rocky, off-white head rises up just slightly above the lip of the goblet. It slowly erodes to a half inch or so, and is visibly bolstered by the steady rush of fine bubbled carbonation coming from beneath. Later pours from the 750 ml bottle leave some very small, visible particles in suspension. Lightly vinous fruits, sugary cookie dough, alcohol, and rock candy mingle in the nose along with some mild peppery spiciness. Despite it's effervescence, it's just lightly tingly in the mouth before warming to become more soft and airy. The body is medium but almost seems lighter due to it's fine, bubbly carbonation. The flavor is richer and more supple than the nose suggest with a wider range of fruitiness. It mainly expresses the soft, dark fruitiness of raisin and prune, but there's also a lighter side to it that's reminiscent of figs, yellow raisins and dried apricots. The alcohol is also more apparent, and lends a nice touch of spiciness that helps to liven it up. The sugary dough delivered by the malt is also carried over from the nose but it's much softer, more bready, and even a touch nutty; and the candyish character is more subdued. It finishes dry with a flourish of peppery spiciness, a slap of alcohol, some dark fruit skins, and a light note of rum-soaked almond cake drizzled with liquid sugar. Wow! Most impressive! An American brewed Belgian-styled beer that rivals it's inspiration. It's just as rich and exciting, albeit it a bit cleaner. Well worth seeking out!

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Photo of tempest
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Malvern location, served in a 12 oz. pilsner glass. Appears a murky brown with a tan head.

This beer is very smooth, drinkable, and tasty, but I've had mroe complex for the style. The flavor has a mix of caramel, with prunes, and blackberries, while the aroma just focuses on the caramel malts. Still, a great beer and worth trying. It's not often your local brewpub can whip up something this great.

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Photo of oxmasterscream
4.13/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle brewed August 2004.

Poured a deep, clear, cherried-amber with an anormous, pillowy light tan head, which left thick lacing behind as it head dissolved.
Smelled mainly of cloves and spice. Other smells were fruity, but surprisingly not of the dark type... more like apples and pears.
Taste was similar to its smell. Spicy cloves up front, apples and cherries, caramelized sugars, grenadine in the middle and a mouth-drying bitter finish to wrap things up. The high ABV goes entirely unnoticed. Nice.
Mouth is a quilt of tightly-knit, prickly bubbles... medium-bodied, creamy and spritzy.
As for drinkability, this stuff is delicious and with the ABV barely showing its face, it seems damn near chuggable.

 725 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep and mostly clear amber and light maroon hue with a big, soft, large-bubbled off-white head whihc left scattered lace on the goblet.
Aroma had little bit of musty clove, with some figs, dates, a hint of apple and lighter citrus.
Flavors highlighted included apples, sweet cherry, some brown sugar and dark wheat bread. Kind muted flavors on this one, somehow the blend just doesn't quite stand out for me. Feel like this beer isn't quite sure what it wants to be.
Mouthfeel is tightly carbonated but medium overall. Gets a little bit too sweet as it warms and a slight bit of the hot alcohol is present.
Drinkability is very solid but I've come to expect big things from McKenzie and for some reason this one just didn't seem to pull it off. High ABV was for the most part hidden but the amalgamation or blend of flavors just didn't seem to flow and provide a great beer.

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Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Photo of meathookjones
4.53/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 1/19/05 from a 750ml bottle purchased at the brewpub that was brewed august 04. This appears a murky reddish brown with a tall fluffy light tan head. The head stays intact the whole time leaving sheets of lace covering most of the glass. Aroma is full of sweet dark fruits such as raisins and prunes along with a good mix of various spices. Notes of yeast also are intermingled. The taste starts with a dose of sweet fruits before a bit of spice hits you. A bit of candy like sweetness was noticed throughout. Caramel and yeasty flavors were present. Finishes on a spicy sweet note. Body was medium-full with a rich creaminess about it. Excellent example of the style that is complex and very drinkable. I will be picking up a few more bottles next time I am up that way, awesome stuff.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am sampling a 750 ml bottle at room temp in a pint glass. The brew pours clear mahogany with large eggshell white head. Very creamy and fluffy head that fades gradually to a surface layer leaving spacious latticework on the sides of the glass.
Aroma is grassy hops and oranges and lemons. A hint of caramel and white grapes too.
First sip reveals average body and fine gentle rolling carbonation. Flavor is fruity with some berries and pears. The finish has some vanilla as well. Very smooth and easy to drink. Another winner from Scott!

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Photo of Biscuit033
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy dark dark amber, with about a finger of head that leave lace the entire way down.

S: Fig and dried fruit, malt sweetness, cheeries, earthy spices, and a bit of bubble gum.

T: Bubble gum, dates, figs, prunes, bread, yeasty spice, and alcohol.

M: Full and creamy with a smooth alcohol finish.

D: The alcohol is not noticable at first but builds the more you drink. One of the beeter Dubbels made in the America and something that I will continue to look for on tap at McKenzie's.

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Photo of cpetrone84
2.68/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is a chestnut brown color with light tan head. The nose is overly sweet, cherries, woody and boozy with a touch of acetone. Similar flavor, sugary, sweet cherries, boozy and woody. Fuller body, syrupy and creamy with a juicy feel and light carb.

 250 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Label: Aug 2004.

Mahogany ruby hues with a tan instantly dissapating head cap, followed by some lace. A few healthy swirls elicit a coating but just to a slick.

Candied fruit nose, and spices of brown sugar, bunt cake malts. Detectable yeast aromas with some fruitiness of cherries and bananas.

First swigs: Confectioners sugar, raspberries, and some root beer schnapps liquer flavors. Hints of molasses and maraschino cherries and bananas. Hard candy runs into doughy finish.

Medium body with gentle carbonation. This is fizzy if it sits on the ole tongue.

Last swigs: Root beer barrel candy schnapps & plums. Maybe a 5'er for flavor but not sure on the style? Complex with a multitude of sugar flavors running the spectrum.

Beer is good. Happy local Belgian beering.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, muddy brown colour, reminiscent of Aventinus. Great head of off-white foam that does not quit. Aromas of cloves, bananas, other various fruits and spices, fresh german/belgian hops, and a nice yeastiness that is usually reserved for German beers (most notably weizenbocks...) The taste is a wonderful blend of Belgian and German stlye brewing. Yeasty up front with some wonderful clove, fruit and banana esters. The middle is more Belgian with wit-like spices, and a true malty character that is very Dubble-like in nature. The fruitiness is also juicy and I pick up black currants and cherries amongst other fruits. Mouthfeel is yeasty and creamy and drinkability is nuts. I don't know what to say about this beer. It was certainly awesome, and confusing. A weizenbock-dubble or maybe i'm just nuts!?

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this bottle in the last great rush of McKenzie bottles. I'm not quite sure when that was, but it may be almost two years old. At the very least, a little shy of a year and a half.

I give that background, because by the time I got to this bottle there is a noticeable but pleasant sourness to the beer. The regular belgian esters up front fade away and turn into something aking to a flemish sour red. Not only pleasant, but wonderful.

Mouthfeel is smooth. Big, volumnous head. Nice brown color. Despite the head, for whatever reason, I can't give it a perfect score. Not sure why, but I have to go with my gut.

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Photo of egajdzis
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy copper color with a small greyish head and spotty lacing on the glass. Yeasty, roasty banana and blueberry aroma. Light roast and chocolate, yeast, and tart a cherry taste. Nice round mouthfeel. I can see the resemblance to Chimay Red, though this is much better.

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Photo of slvrmon82
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Unfiltered belgian dubbel with dark fruits. It was one of the best i have had. Served in a large goblet. Very dark amber color. Not a lot of head. That went away almost immediately. Smell was that of lots of fruits and malt with a little hops. Taste was right on. Nice and dark but not to sweet with some hops characteristics at the end. Mouthfeel was a little heavier than anticipated. Drinkability was a little low due to the heaviness of this beer.
Very enjoyable winter ale though.

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Abbey 8 from McKenzie Brew House
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 16 ratings
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