Abbey Belgian Style Ale | New Belgium Brewing

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
2,209 Ratings
Abbey Belgian Style AleAbbey Belgian Style Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States
newbelgium.com

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our award-winning Abbey stays true to tradition with an authentic Belgian yeast, six malts and a guarded recipe.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-02-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,209
Reviews:
772
Avg:
4.02
pDev:
12.19%
 
 
Wants:
224
Gots:
341
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,209 |  Reviews: 772
Photo of JMad
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle to a pint glass...
The beer pours a deep brown color, cream colored 1 finger head with a little lacing.
Smells of sweet caramel malt, dark fruits, fig and raisin.
Tastses nice and malty, a hint of toasts and lots of dark fruits.
It's medium bodied and very smooth.
Abbey Ale has good complex flavor, not much of a session beer but it's mighty tasty.

 363 characters

Photo of webmanspidey
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass. This is a medium caramel/amber brown color, translucent with almost no head. Smell has a strong bubblegum character... along with apple juice and brown sugar. Taste is very prominent in apple juice, with a slight glaze of brown sugar. There might be some other dark fruits (plums?) lurking in there as well with a mix of spices. Excellent drinkability here.

 406 characters

Photo of OneDropSoup
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big up to bstaffor for sending me this in the Hoppy Summer to You BIF!

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Handsome ruby-brown, verging on burgundy, with brighter ruby highlights. Thin, tan head that clumps in places & reminds me of a lunar landscape. A few flares of lacing.

Smells of dark fruits -- prunes, raisins, figs -- with a bread dough undertone & some pronounced spice, something like nutmeg. A little banana? Good, & at the same time kind of close to a weizenbock.

Taste follows with the dark fruits, drier than the aroma suggests, gaining a little more spiciness. Some alcohol presence, with a cool caramel around the finish. Aftertaste is dominated by spices. Do I taste a hint of tobacco, too?

Medium-full body, a little on the fluffy & chewy side. Some heat.

Good stuff here, very rich flavors that can get to be a little much. One of the more spice-heavy dubbels I've had. Booze creeps in but doesn't become overpowering. I'd have it again, but one at a time is satisfying.

 987 characters

Photo of impending
3.01/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz into a tulip. Pours a dark clear garnet, unexceptional head.

Aroma is traditional dubbel but subdued. Phenols are obvious.

Thin mouthfeel, slightly watery. Has an earthy yeast backbone and undertones of roasted wood but lacks a true belgian complexity.

I want to like this more than I do - unfortunate. Kudos must be given for price performance which is excellent but think I'd rather spend a bit more and go for something like an Ommegang Abbey Ale which may be the closest in price but much superior a brew.
cheers
jd

 528 characters

Photo of NODAK
4.19/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nose is of banana esters, and some caramel sweetness mixed in. Maybe a little alcohol. Pretty good.

Pours a deep amber red with minimal to no head.

Taste is of very smooth sweetness. The body of the beer is mostly of banana esters. It's not sweet enough to be cloying or a detraction. At the finish, there's a small hop bitterness touching the back and sides of the tongue as the beer goes down. There's also a bit of caramel sweetness that shows up at the end as well. What's left for the aftertaste is mostly residual sweetness that doesn't last for long. I don't get any spiciness in this beer, nor yeast.

As far as I can taste, there isn't a lot of complexity in this beer. Somebody described it as "Belgian light", and I think that could sum it up. It is very drinkable however, and would probably make a good entry beer for a person who hasn't drank much craft beer yet.

 880 characters

Photo of eatabagofbooger
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12pz bottle to a goblet.

A: Dark murky brown with a small white head. Actually a lot more appetizing than my description.

S: Sweet, yeasty, and fruity in a vague and hard to pin down way.

T: Yeasty and sweet followed by spicy. Bananas, raisins, and cloves with a touch of funk. Hops are subdued, as expected, but faintly present.

M: Full bodied with ample, but not overbearing carbonation.

D: I am new to Abbey style ales, but if most of them are as good as this, I'll be drinking a lot of them in the future.

 528 characters

Photo of bnes09
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beatiful amber, copper color. Off white head sticks around in a quiet foam and makes some sticky lacing.

Fruity, yeasty aromas of banana and clove. Slight alcohol spicy. Subtle and intriguing.

Starts off with the fruity banana flavors then goes into a slightly roasted chocolate flavor. Rich and smoky. Mild citric hop adds a subtle spice. Finishes with a hint of alcohol, scotch-like in character. Exceptionally well rounded flavor.

Solid medium body and a bit sticky on the lips. Well-carbonated and smooth throughout.

This is my first belgian dubbel and I must say it was quite a treat. The flavor profile is incredibly complex and seems to change with each sip. Highly drinkable and delicious ale. Definitely buying this one again.

 739 characters

Photo of Beerenauslese
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 891 characters

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

new belgium dubbel

a 3.75-4 clear coppery amber, short off white head, sheet style lacework.

s 3.5 somewhat toasty, spicy. not a very pronounced aroma.

t 3.5-4 toasted caramel and black peppery spice (partly due to uncloaked alcohol, but not offensive); the sweetness is not very big and is easily offset by tang. the flavors are not many (that i can pick up on at least) but they linger admirably.

m 4 medium full body; ample, creamy carbonation.

d 3.5-4 not quite up to my expectations on this one. good nonetheless.

 523 characters

Photo of Briken
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Light clear mahogany with thin tan head with good retention and floating lacing. Brown sugar and yeast aromas. Nice plum and bubble gum with brown sugar sweetness. A little bready and slight hop finish. Thin with slightly high carbonation for the style.

A great dubbel particularly for the price although there seemed to be some inconsistency because some of the six pack had a more hoppy and slightly salty taste. It's certainly better warmed and well worth it.

 463 characters

Photo of Radome
3.56/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12 oz bottle to a goblet.

A - Beer is visually beautiful. A brilliant clarity with a medium brown color and a thick off-white head that fades to a thin, delicate ring of foam around the glass. The overall impression is refined and even delicate.

S - The smell is dominated by sharp grain with a burnt, smoky note. There is also a vegetal, almost sour hop aroma that I find as a "house" characteristic of all the New Belgium beers I've had. I am not sure if it is hops or a yeast note, but I personally think it detracts from the otherwise pleasant aroma. There are some faint raisin or plum notes, but very much in the background.

T - The taste starts with mild, nutty malt, then some dark fruit and finally some smoky, roasted notes. There is a moderate hop bitterness and taste. Overall, the taste seems a little disjointed to me with all the elements not quite working together in harmony.

M - Body is a little thin with just a little carbonation tingle and hop burn. The alcohol is well-hidden.

D - I love all Belgian styles, especially darker ones, but I don't consider this a great abbey beer. I don't care for the "house" aroma and flavor that I always detect in New Belgium beers. Also, I feel this has a bit too much of the roasty, smoky smells and aromas and not enough of the fruity raisin and plum notes that I enjoy in more traditional Belgian examples.

 1,389 characters

Photo of Erish
4.54/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: clear, like a very dark tea, the head vanishes quickly and the lacing in nonexistent.

S: dark fruity esters, toasted caramel, clove, hint of bubble gum.

T: pear, cherry, toffee, toasted caramel, taffy apple, and clove, the middle brings a gentle wave of floral and fruity yeasty goodness, and the finish is pleasantly dry and long-lasting.

M: middle-weight, good carbonation, velvety, very much in line with the style.

D: this is a damn good beer! I can't believe how good it is for $8 a six-pack. Try this beer.

 571 characters

Photo of Bbloom1989
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Pouring this into a New Belgium sniffer glass allowed for a wonderful dark amber brew to fill the glass. A off white head opened up into the glass allow a small yet lush lacing to occur at the top of the glass. The smell was that of a rum like date or fig smell. I t was a wonderful surprise to have such a unique aroma that gave off so many different smells. I was able to smell fruit, spice, and malt that was quite developed and was able to keep me guessing to was was added. My first sip gave off the wonderful spicy date that I smelled. Its mouth feel was full and robust, forcing me to let the flavors rest in my mouth, to not let them over whelm my taste buds and make me lose any of the flavors in the stronger spice. Overall, a wonderful beer that should be savored over as long as you can stand.

 805 characters

Photo of Flightoficarus
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type - 12 oz bottle into goblet

A - Pours a deep, mahogany-ruby, with minimal head and mild lacing.

S - Smell is of brown sugar, banana, candi, yeast, dark fruits.

T - Taste is of brown sugar, banana, belgian candi, and slight raisin/cherry notes.

M - Moderate/slightly lighter than moderate body, with mild carbonation.

D - Quite quaffable for a 7% beer, thanks to a not super-heavy body, and near zero alcohol presence in the flavor.

Overall - This is definitely one of NB's better offerings, possibly their best. For what a six pack goes for, and the quality here, this is a steal of a deal!

 609 characters

Photo of blackc5
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Ruby brown, and a bit lighter than expected. Decent offwhite head and thin lace.

S - Sweet roasted malt and lots of dark fruit. Some spice and yeast.

T - Quite fruity - mainly raisin, dried cherry and fig, but also ripe banana, especially in the aftertaste. Some brown sugar sweetness with a touch of burnt caramel. Bready and spicy (clove) as well, and a bit of floral hops for bitterness. Complex.

M - Heavy body and thick. Moderate in carbonation, this leaves a nice creamy feel on the palate.

D - Great beer for the price, and smelled and tasted a lot better than it looked. Color me impressed.

 606 characters

Photo of haddon
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark cola that is translucent and releases a ton of carbonation bubbles. head is thin and fades fast. not a whole lot of lacing

all sweet malts on the nose: figs, banana, raisin & bread dough.

taste much like it smells... mostly banana and a strong doughy. fruity yeast with a hint of alcohol on the end

medium body with carbonation on slighty on the high end. however, with the malty backbone does add a touch of smooth creamy feel as well. good balance.

overall, nice Dubbel that I will have to try again due to the fact that I had spicey Tai for lunch and may have singed my tastebuds a bit!

 607 characters

Photo of humuluslupulus8
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer was a mahogany/ruby color. There was a dense, off-white head that left plenty of lacing along the walls of the glass.

S: The smell was similar to the taste- mainly dried fruits.

T: The taste of this beer was very complex and leaning toward the sweeter side of beers. I would describe the flavor as similar to dried fruits with a faint bite from the alcohol.

M: The mouthfeel was very nice. The head was foamy, and the liquid portion had a noticeable thickness that I loved.

D: This beer is very drinkable. However, I would not want to drink it all the time since the flavor profile is so deep; I want to appreciate all the different aspects of this beer each time I drink it. I'll probably use Abbey Belgian Style Ale to celebrate small victories in my life since it's relatively inexpensive and is a treat because of its complexity.

 849 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.13/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip. Bottle says it is best by 4/24/2011, so freshness should not be an issue.

Appearance: rich amber hue with an extremely clear body and two fingers of pillowy ivory foam. It's not bad, but I'd like to see a little haze here. I'm guessing based on the clarity that this beer is not bottle-conditioned.

Smell: aroma is biscuity and clovey without much of the dark fruit type aromas I love so much in a dubbel. I'm saddened that this simply does not do it for me -- a trait shared by not a few New Belgium beers it seems.

Taste: more of the same profile as in the aroma. It seems well-crafted, and isn't "bad", per se, but the direction the brewers decided to go here does not float my boat. Again, it is lacking in a lot of the complex and enjoyable fruity malt flavors that so many made-in-Belgium dubbels display.

Mouthfeel: an appropriate level of cabonation combines with a medium body to create, actually, a very good creaminess. Mouthfeel is my favorite part of this beer, hands down.

Drinkability: if you like the flavor, then this beer is entirely drinkable, especially considering its ABV. Feeling as I do about it, though, I have to just call it average.

 1,204 characters

Photo of aval89
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured a amber to brown color.. pretty good clarity.. nice creamy off white head with decent lacing..

smell: dark fruits, raisins, fig, brown sugar, candy, yeast, cloves, spices, hints of caramel, and mild booze aroma..

taste: fruity up front... dark fruits, burnt sugars, bit of warming alcohol, toffee, bready notes

mf is rich smooth and creamy.. warming sensation in the mouth..

pretty decent drinkability but there's better dubbels out there..

cheers!

 460 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Nice looking but could have used a bit more head and lacing. Color was a pretty amber-brown color, clear and clean looking. Rising bubbles.

Smells of brown sugar, yeast, spices and some malt, with just a tinge of alcohol. Really smelled good to me, I kept sniffing the glass over and over.

Tastes absolutely wonderful. Sweet and fruity, spicy, roasted malts and a touch of earthy hops are the flavors that come to mind. A very complex and tasty brew, I really like this beer!

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with flavors that dance across the tip and down the sides of the tongue. Moderate carbonation isn't overpowering, but also isn't flat. Just a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste.

Definitely a drinkable beer that I'll be buying on a regular basis from now on. Since many of my sessions are after work, at home, consuming around three beers, this is just fine for those nights.

Rating and review slightly adjusted on 25sep10. Taste slightly lowered after trying more of this style. Still a top quality beer tho for any style, and within the style.

 1,061 characters

Photo of Vonerichs
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with slight off-white head.

Heavy on the brown sugar with a slight medicinal phenolic yeast smell.

Nice combo of malts and yeast. Brown sugar, toasty, phenolic (almost like a band aid,) and a brief but crisp hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium body, moderate carbonation. Finish is slightly dry with a funky aftertaste that lingers.

Drinkability is about what I expected from a dubbel. This is decent for the style. Not nearly as good as a true Belgian, but for $8/sixer I definitely won't complain. This is a nice addition to their regular distrubution in Illinois and while New Belgium has never impressed me, this is one of the better beers in their lineup.

 679 characters

Photo of jwinship83
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle drank from my new belgium globe glass like the bottle tells me to. picked up this sixer the first time i saw it in chicagoland.

A- this one pours out a hazy dark brown colored body with ruby red highlights when held up to a light. a modest off white head forms and then fizzes away. little to no lacing left behind.

S- brown sugar and belgian yeast. a little bit of ripe fruits. plums, raisins, and figs. a little bit of alcohol can be smelled.

T- sweet brown sugar and molasses. the fruits i could smell come though stronger in the taste than in the nose. cherries, figs, plums, and raisins. the alcohol is barely detectable.

M- light bodied and fizzy. a little warming from the alcohol.

D- meh, this was OK. the americans typically dont do the classic belgian styles justice. i might have another one of these in a year or so.

 848 characters

Photo of aristeros
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Last of the six pack. Pours a dark caramel-amber with a two finger off-white head from a vigorous pour. Little visible carbonation. Little head retention, very light lacing. Interesting nose has overripe red and yellow fruit, some dark fruit--dates--and lots of sweetness. Molasses? Similar to a dubbel.

Brown sugar and heavy fruit up front. Quite sweet, almost cloying. Taste evokes cloves, likely from the yeast rather than because they were added. Hops lend an herbal, freshly-turned-earth character to the middle. Sweet, drying finish has banana and caramel. Not my style, but very well done. Some alcohol presence and warmth in the finish and I was surprised it was only 7% ABV.

Heavier body, lower combination, Bit more sessionable than expected. I would polish off a six pack and regret it the next morning!

Did not pair well with bratwurst, but I'd happily enjoy it with grilled meat and fish, particularly if it had a rub or marinade that wasn't sweet.

 965 characters

Photo of Tone
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of floral hops, sweet malt, yeast, slight alcohol, slight dark citrus, spice (coriander), and slight earthy malt. Fits the style of a Dubbel. Smooth and creamy with an average carbonation level. Tastes of earthy malt, hint of roasted malt, slight sweet malt, spice (clove and coriander), hops, and some yeast. Overall, good body, blend, and aroma.

 452 characters

Photo of trevorjn06
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't had this brew for awhile so I figured I would re-visit it since I have become much better acquainted with true Belgian Abbey style beers.

Appearance: It pours a dark caramel/brown color with 2 inches of off white head that takes a few minutes to dissipate and leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma is dark fruit, caramelized fruit, dark malt and alcohol. There is some anise, clove and a slight orange smell. It strikes many of the same notes as a Belgian dubbel, though it doesn't seem to have the same yeast profile.

Taste: Dominate flavors are dark caramel and fruit with a bit of brown sugar sweetness. There is a hint of earthy hops and a bit of spice, more anise comes through. The finish is sweet, fig and a bit of banana.

This beer has a moderate carbonation and a medium/thick mouthfeel.

Overall I enjoyed this beer quite a lot, it's not a true Belgian and it's not quite as strong or flavorful, however the flavors that are there are true to style.

 987 characters

Abbey Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing
4.02 out of 5 based on 2,209 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe