New Belgium Brewing Company

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
4.04 | pDev: 11.88%
New Belgium Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Our award-winning Abbey stays true to tradition with an authentic Belgian yeast, six malts and a guarded recipe.
Reviews: 823 | Ratings: 2,364 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
Jason from Massachusetts

4.49/5  rDev +11.1%
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.

Mar 03, 2004
More User Reviews:
Photo of hoptheology
hoptheology from South Dakota

4.28/5  rDev +5.9%

This one has been staring me in the face every time I open my fridge. I said enough's enough. Time to review this sucka!

Serving style : 12 oz classic New Belgium Bottle poured into clear glass for appearance

Appearance (4.75) : Massive head. Like four fingers. Impressive, yo. Dense copper red body. Leaves nice lacing on the glass. (I'm counting five rings at the end of the review.) The head just stays for days. I mean it. Floats frothy on top and won't go away. I have to give this beer props for appearance.

Smell (4.5) : Very fruity. Clean water. Heavy on banana and cinnamon. Some extra spice. Plums, figs, more cinnamon. Slight, slight booze. Smells just like my wife's fruit salad. Lovely.

Taste (4.25) : Delicious. Delicious with an alcoholic bite. A fresh carbonated zip gives way to pineapple, banana, and raisin. A lot like drinking a cinnamon fruit salad. I love it. A tiny sour and yeasty malt character clashes just a bit but nothing overwhelming. If it wasn't there, it wouldn't be beer. A spiced banana flavor with cinnamon and cloves. Banana bread finish. Fruity hops. Hints of figs and raisin. Zippy. Delectable.

Mouthfeel (4) : Light to medium bodied, lightly carbonated, rich, a little prickly, and then smooth. Slight sour bitter on the finish but nothing cloying or otherwise offensive. Finishes sappy, dry. Excellent.

Overall (4.28) : I've actually tried this with ice cream. Apart from the slight alcohol off-taste, it makes a good float. Not kidding! I'm having a fantastic night with beers. This beer rocks my world. Abbey is worth a serious look. Thoroughly impressed here. I'm totally in a good mood now. See what great beer does to a man?

Sep 08, 2014
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82 from Texas

4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deep mahogany color with some ruby highlights and a small off white head of fizzy foam. The head fades rather fast leaving a bit of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is huge of a nice big fruity smell of a darker fruit nature, with plenty of raisin, plum, and some cherry. Along with these aromas are a nice blend of a yeasty smell as well as some aromas of a more roasted malt smell with some aromas of a coriander and clove mixed in along side. A little bit of a boozy smell is there as well, creating a nice fruity and warming dubbel aroma overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a good dark fruit flavor of raisin and plum predominantly, with some lighter hints of cherry as well. Along with the fruit there is a little bit of a roasted taste as well as a very light boozy flavor. As the taste advances, the booziness increases all while fruitiness decays a little bit. At the same time, some yeast and spice of coriander and clove and a hint of banana and bubblegum come to the tongue. Some boozy tastes and a resurgence of the dark fruit occur at the end, leaving one with a fruity and warming dubbel flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is rather average as well. For the mix of fruity, yeasty, and boozy flavor of the brew, the feel is rather nice and does a good job of balancing the booze with the sweet fruit, making for a good moderate pace drinking dubbel.

Overall – A rather nice Abbey style ale overall with a nice drinkability and a good blend of fruit, booze, and yeasty spice. A rather well done dubbel that is quite nicely priced. A good go to dubbel style ale.

Jan 07, 2015
Photo of Brutaltruth
Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed in a Chimay snifter from the 12 oz bottle. This FINE dubbel pours a very clear dark reddish brown with a solid light tan head of dissipating foam that settles to a nice 1/2" thick pool of foam and nice lacing. Nose of brown sugars, raisins, strong banana notes from the yeast, light spice, and a moderate grain alcohol note. Flavors follow the nose with brown sugars and banana ester notes to all sides, raisins, plums, and a light nutmeg note comes through on the back and aftertaste making for a fantastic symposium of a Belgian done right in America. Warmth adds to the ester notes from the yeast with a moderately dry finish yet with a creamy smooth mouth feel from good carbonation. An A plus in my book!


Jun 06, 2015
Photo of Sammy
Sammy from Canada (ON)

4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very creamy foamy head on amber brandyish body, a bit of yeast sediment as expiration date in 2 more months. Fruity yeasty aroma and taste. Very creamy mouthfeel like whipped cream. Tangy fruitiness and hops kick finish so that aftertaste is melange of malty, yeasty and moderately bitter. Very enjoyable American version that stands up there with Ommegang and Unibroue. Only 7%.

May 16, 2006
Photo of Libeertarian
Libeertarian from Montana

3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For a time, as I was still cutting my teeth, this may have been my favorite beer. Well since then, quite recently in fact, they have changed the recipe. That's okay, nothing lasts forever. I'm sure the new one will still be worthy of its name. I am currently reviewing the old recipe ("expires" 20th of September, 2015), but I intend to update this review for a comparison with the new ("expires" 19th of June, 2016 or later) very soon (and to do the same with NB's Trippel). I am hoping they will be close enough to where I won't have to get too creative with my number rating. Here goes:

Old recipe first. Poured into New Belgium short chalice that was gifted to me at a City Vineyard educational tasting here in Billings, Montana. Appears a mostly clear dark brownish copper, nearly ruby. It's quite bubbly with fine creamy tan head of decent retention. Lace is thick, but wet and heavy, doesn't stay for long. Smells like good banana nut bread. Also a bit phenolic, stewy, spicy, boozey, though hardly any vinegar. Taste has same robust phenolic presence and slight alcoholic edge to it, but both are tamed by strong flavors of caramel, dark fruits, overripe banana, bread crust, light toastiness. Retro-olfaction and aftertaste consist primarily of clove notes and secondarily of peppercorn. In any case, both are more powerful than the earthy, leafy, tea-like hops in the finish. Good balance here and an excellent introductory Belgian style ale. Fuller end of medium, very smooth, slick, and sloshy, with fair amount of gentler sudsy carbonation and cheek-heating charm.

Now for the new recipe, reviewing only about a day later. Looks the same. On the nose I can detect more of a rubber band or brewers yeast aroma, and less banana nut bread. Other notes are all present, but more subdued. Honestly, it's hard to tell the difference in the taste without doing a literal side by side comparison. Caramel base. Less fruit and banana and therefore more bread and toast. And then more alcohol and peppercorn shining through. Also faint Band-Aid or medicinal notes that I don't think were here before. Feels fuller and more heavily laden with carbonation, but on the whole about the same. Truly, there's not enough of a difference here, on my palate, to modify my number rating.

In February, 2018 (as soon as I locate my New Belgium Chalice again), I am finally able to review the new version of the Trippel. I just didn't see it around at all between late 2015 and now. Found some (along with more Abbeys) in New Belgium's Blend Like a Brewer 12-pack. That 12-pack was a bit gimmicky and silly. No way was I going to blend those beers as they suggested. Sorry! But appreciate the variety in the pack, at least.

Nov 04, 2015
Photo of stlfatguy
stlfatguy from Missouri

3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cola color with a nice red tint when it hits the light. Khaki colored head was smooth with nice lacing but Didn't last. Smell was sweet, fresh, spicy... but not overpowering, very smooth. Taste was the same. Very smooth and balanced. Hints of cinnamon bread maybe. Spicy but sweet. Light malt, peppery aftertaste builds as you drink. Compared to other Belgians, this one had less banana yeast flavor (which is fine with me) although it was still present. Alcohol was warming but not overpowering. Not my favorite style, but this one was nice.

Sep 18, 2015
Photo of Squire
Squire from Mississippi

4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep red brown color leaning toward dark garnet with slightly off white cap and lacing.

Rich scent of dark malt, ripe black figs, something like cola and dark yeasty bread.

Flavor is a complex mixture of the scents with all combining into a seamless whole. I do not really notice alcohol or hops except a slight hoppy bite in the finish and aftertaste. A touch of roasted chestnuts as well.

Full texture with balancing carbonation.

I have read reviews comparing this to Westmalle Dubbel and speaking as a Westmalle fan that's a fair comparison. Except this New Belgium expression drinks a bit cleaner and dryer than Westmalle. This is really good stuff.

Apr 20, 2018
Photo of whynot44
whynot44 from Missouri

4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Medium bodied, hazy brownish garnet color with a nice tan head.

Aroma is fruity - banana, apple, pear (bubblegum!!) with a bit of caramel and a touch of spice.

Taste is similar, but with fruitiness more subdued and more of the caramel malt, fortunately not as sweet as the aroma, carbonation is too evident but somewhat subdues the sweet malt for a somewhat dry finish with a touch of grassy hops spice.

May 22, 2005
Photo of pmcadamis
pmcadamis from Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A big four finger khaki head rises above a clear russet-red brew that shows garnet highlights. The head gets chunky and rocky, and leaves a lot of lace on the glass as it slowly reduces to a finger and a half and stays put. Excellent retention and chunkiness!

S - Dark dusty yeast, dark dried fruit...raisin and prune, along with some ripe plum and tart plum-skin notes. This is really spicy too, with suggestions of cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Cinnamon Toast Crunch with prune juice in stead of milk...sounds nasty, but it smells really good. Plum mashed baby food, with mashed banana Gerber's too.

T - Lots of dry powdered spices...cinnamon and nutmeg. Not as fruity or complex as the nose, the flavors really focus on the spices and dank yeast.

M - Medium bodied and lushly carbonated with an extremely dry finish that feels like putting plain cinnamon in your mouth. This stuff is SERIOUSLY's almost like I can't swallow because my mouth is full of cinnamon powder. Neat!

D - This is a damn fine dubbel, and it stands out among American interpretations of this Belgian's not quite up to par with the actual abbey dubbels though...something special that those monks do just make those beers a little better. Maybe the actual abbey beers are made with holy water or something, but New Belgium has done a damn fine job here!

Feb 03, 2008
Photo of tmoneyba
tmoneyba from Ohio

4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pourd dark copper color with a large frothy off-white head that lasted and produced good lacing.

Complex fruity and yeast aroma.

Medium body with a sticky texture and soft carbonation.

Full complex dark fruit flavor with a small alcohol finish.

Well balanced complex brew that is one of my top six for style.

Jan 11, 2009
Photo of eawolff99
eawolff99 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Oct 20, 2014
Photo of Jparker37
Jparker37 from Wisconsin

3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a goblet.

A - Golden amber in color with ruby highlights. The head is small in size but leaves a tiny cap of that caramel colored head. Has brilliant clarity.

S - Off the bat I get a heap of overripe banana esters. Green apple skin is in there. I get a hint of some ripe red fruit as well. No big phenolics.

T - Has a malt bill consisting of some nice toasty grains sprinkled with chocolate inducent roast. Midway on the palate I can find a smooth raisin fruit quality. I also get a smokey phenol midway. The taste finishes dry with a warmth from its alcohol.

M - Moderate body, mid to low carbonation, Good dryness, finishes with a touch of warmth.

O - Appearance was good but lacking substantial head. Smell showed no alcohol nor malts but had a nice estery profile. Taste was by far its best feature with wonderful complexity. Could use a bit of carbonation.

Sep 13, 2012
Photo of UrbSuburb

4/5  rDev -1%

May 03, 2012
Photo of instinct2
instinct2 from Indiana

3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Dec 22, 2013
Photo of atrocity
atrocity from Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Sep 11, 2014
Photo of akward
akward from Texas

3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jul 24, 2015
SPLITGRIN from Kentucky

3.56/5  rDev -11.9%
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.

Aug 09, 2008
Photo of Beerenauslese
Beerenauslese from California

4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My expectations for an abbey ale from New Belgium were not high. But since brewers and breweries evolve, I thought I should give this a try.

Pours clear orange/copper with a modest tan head that dissipates to a fine ring of bubbles around the glass, with some lacing.

Aromas of wet hay, some fruit (orange), and some hops way in the background.

Taste follows the nose with sweet malt, orange, lemon, a hint of milk chocolate, then a dry hoppy and somewhat spicy finish. Overall, this is tasting to me like a dubbel light.

Body is light, with good carbonation, it has a moderately creamy mouthfeel.

This is a drinkable dubbel style beer, but is lighter in substance than most Abbey dubbels. At only 7% ABV, it is more drinkable and also more affordable than most Belgian abbey doubles. Might serve as a good introduction to the style for those who are experimenting in that direction.

Aug 31, 2010
Photo of FatCaster
FatCaster from Washington

4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Oct 17, 2008
Photo of RunForYourBeer
RunForYourBeer from Indiana

4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a New Belgium globe.
A: Pours a dark copper color with a thin white head.

S: Strong on cloves with some yeast smell.

T: Starts with cloves before going into some light fruit and yeasty flavors. Finish with a bit of bready malt in the aftertaste.

M: Medium with a proper amount of carbonation.

D: Medium to high. Strength could become an issue.

One of the better beers I've had from New Belgium.

Jan 02, 2011
Photo of randalem
randalem from California

5/5  rDev +23.8%

Dec 11, 2011
Photo of beernads
beernads from Florida

4/5  rDev -1%

Sep 12, 2013
Photo of Lynn1451
Lynn1451 from Washington

3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Mar 18, 2015
Photo of Stofko1992
Stofko1992 from Pennsylvania

3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jun 04, 2016
Abbey from New Belgium Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 2364 ratings