Abbey Belgian Style Ale | New Belgium Brewing

2,218 Ratings
Abbey Belgian Style AleAbbey Belgian Style Ale

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

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

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Ratings: 2,218 |  Reviews: 773
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.

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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.

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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..


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.16/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

obtained via trade. tasted in early june 2009

12oz bottle w/ best by date "05 feb10". poured into tulip glass.

coppery gem-like amber. almost clear despite full pour w/ bottle conditioned sediment, 2-finger off-white head, gradually fades to wisps and ring. great lacing, almost curtain-like further down the glass.

aroma: malty caramel, spiced with anise or licorice. dates or figs, dried orange peel. mild euro hopping w/ dried grass, floral and herbal character. more gentle spicing and mild phenols w/ fruity esters in back. whiff of... carob? cocoa?

taste: toffeeish, caramelized malt, quite rich, balanced by grassy euro hop, moderate bitterness, combined w/ spicing and fruity character brought out by phenols and carbonation.

medium body, smooth, w/ astringent note before and faintly into finish. carbonation is almost fizzy, but gives crispness and lifts flavors, plus moments of fluffiness or almost creaminess.

great american attempt at the style. not as rich as some of the belgian originals, but NB's malt profile is something i'm really growing to like.

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Photo of mytireisfat
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

from a bottle poured into a glass

A: Red/copper color, one and a half finger head that retains well and was a brownish white color, low carbonation.

S: Sweet malty flavor, and caramel flavor.

T: Not anything like it smelled or looked like. Dark roasted malt and chocolate taste.

M: Light to medium body.

D: I could drink 2 or 3 at a setting. most likely i would switch styles after that tho. but would buy again for sure. it was a good beer. and the new labels are pretty cool. the explorer series.

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Photo of Misfit138
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A- Rust in color with a bubbly head that quickly vanished.

S- I would describe the smell as caramel malts, banana and citrus

T- Somewhat a mix of caramel malts with perhaps some honey which give way to banana/clove and a tart cherry finish. Somewhat complex.

M- Medium bodied, more carbonated than expected.

D- Very good beer. At 7% it probably isn't a session beer, but it is pretty tasty.

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Photo of thatguy3579
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Brown with hints of read. Thin head which dissipated quickly. Not cloudy at all. Moderate bubbling on the glass.

S: Smells bready, with perhaps hint of banana.

T: Initial flavor is a little tart. Hints of alcohol. Fades to a dull bready banana sweetness.

M: Medium carbonation. Medium bodied.

D: While quite flavorful, and noticeably alcoholic, but not cloying. Could easily tolerate 2 or 3 in one sitting.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.19/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into my Orval glass, true abbey style.

The beer pours a medium brown that is super light, just lets the light through and makes it look super watery. The head is light tan, rises only about a finger and is gone right away.

The aroma is on the lighter side and tries very hard to be like a trappist but falls short. There is a ton of malts, dark fruits, prunes, caramel but there is a stale fakeness to it that doesn't make it wholly appealing.

The taste is the same as the aroma, similar to trappist but just not there yet. I can't put my finger on this, but its just so sub below a beglian.

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Photo of brewdoc75
3.13/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Brownish-amber. Very clear, almost too clear. Reaspnable head, but dies realitively quickly.

S: Holy bubble gum batman! Tons of ester right off the bat. Quickly it goes to some brown sugar and biscut notes. Pretty clean aromas overall, wothout much excitement.

T: More of the bubble gum esters followed by some "belgiany" malts. Biscut, prune, fig, and nice sweetness. Unfortunately it is there and quickly goes away. The yeast is a bit one-dimensional with strong bubble gum notes and maybe a hint of spice and that's it.

M: Light bodied and dry. Good carbonation. Fits the style well.

D: With all of the phenomenal dubbels and Belgian abbey ales out there, this is really average. The yeast was a touch too bubble gummy for me and the malts lacked complexity. The price (8 bucks a sixer) is definately right for a Belgian lover on a budget.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Beautiful crystal clear brown body full of medium bubbles rising to a silky off-white head that retains exceptionally well and laces to match. One of the best looking beers I have seen a quite a while.

S: Some banana bread and cloves hoisted up on a framework of caramelized sugar and well roasted barley malts.

T: Sweet bready banana and clove show up immediately, and run throughout the malty sweet taste. A very slight hop bitterness shows itself for a bit, but does not linger (just how it should be). The aftertaste is rather like banana bread (but amped up with a ridiculous amount of malt- so tasty!)

M & D: Carbonated in a lively manner, but still a bit smooth. Alcohol does bite a bit in the mouth, which detracts from the drinkability. Medium body could use a little more heft, but still it is good for the style.

Overall: Strong Work from New Belgium on this classic Belgian style. Try this if you haven't yet.

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Photo of Takahiro
3.66/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into my duvel tulip

Color: Clear amber with a 1/2" off-white head with tiny bubble. The bubble stayed for 5 min. or so. No lacing.

Smell: Fruity, with a hint of prune. Dark malt smell (Munich)

Mouth: Malt sweetness, some alcohol and a liittle bit of acidity. Well balanced.

Taste: malty sweet upfront, which fades away pretty quickly, followed by acid/alcohol. These acid/alcohol lingers on your tongue for a while, giving a nice taste. It is not as dry as I thought it would be.

Drinkability: it is relatively sweet on my palate, and won't be a good thirst-quencher, but it is a nice sipper.

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

Appearance: A crystal-clear reddish-brown body capped by two fingers of off-white head that leave patchy lacing.

Aroma: Sweet, earthy, and slightly vinous malt accompanied by fruity and spicy Belgian yeast

Flavor: Rich earthy malt with notes of burnt sugar, lots of banana and cloves from the Belgian yeast, and some leafy hops to keep everything from being too sweet. Balanced nicely, nothing really sticks out here. Toasty malt and spicy yeast in the finish.

Mouthfeel: A creamy medium body with smooth medium carbonation and a somewhat dry finish.

Drinkability: Easily quaffable, you'll have to keep an eye out for the moderately-high alcohol content here.

Verdict: Rich, balanced, and solid all around, New Belgium's Abbey is a pleasant beer and a worthy American impression of the Dubbel style. If you're looking for somewhere to start in the New Belgium lineup, this is it.

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Photo of elniko
4.44/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into New Belgium globe glass. Bottle marked best by 11/26/2010.

A: Glowing rich amber coloring with nice frothy head and heavy lacing. Good looking brew.

S: Wow what a nose on this brew. Rich toasty malt tones with the standard New Belgium yeast notes. Just wonderful.

T & M: Medium bodied brew. Notes from the nose come through in the taste. Rich malt with some chocolate and possibly banana tones coming through.

D: Highly drinkable, the 7% ABV is not apparent at all. This brew and Fat Tire made New Belgium what it is now and I can see why with the quality of Abbey.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into chalice.

Pours clearish dark red- brown with ruby hues, very little head on top. What's there there fades quickly away into some wispy suds. Really nice, vibrant color, but the clarity is surprising, and the lack of head formation/retention is a knock.

Nose is replete with spicy clove, bit of alcohol, caramelized dark sugar and ripe dark fruit, with just a touch of nutty chocolate in there as well. Lot going on in this one, tasty too.

Taste comes round with more of what the nose promises - huge dark, ripe fruit, banana and clove, loads of caramelized brown sugar and a toasty, nutty chocolate edge underneath it all. Finish is long and drying, almost spiced tasting - cinnamon? - with more of the caramelized dark sugar notes.

Mouthfeel is a strong point also, fluffy without being too sharp or harsh with the carbonation, full bodied without being syrupy or sticky. Well made, and quite drinkable.

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Photo of bwiechmann
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an etched New Belgium Globe Glass. Served as per bottle instructions at 50-55 degrees.

A- Pours a mahogany/amber hue with a nice fluffy white head which lingers and laces nicely.

S- Smells of yeast and spice with a solid fruit background (a delicious ripe banana scent is most prominent), also get some hints of mild phenolic

T- Delicious. Malt forward with a strong fruit presence (again banana is most noticeable). Some bread is there too along with the creamy phenolic. You can tell it's 7% abv as it has a little alcohol bite to it

M- Medium bodied with a little creaminess to coat the tongue. Low carbonation

D- VERY drinkable. An awesome value if you are looking for that Belgian Dubbel taste without the cost of it actually being from Belgium. Impressive brew.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, deep amber color with a small white head that leaves little lacing on the glass.

Smells of a fruity aroma and a bit of yeast spice.

Tastes of sweet fruits followed by some spice. Caramel malt is evident and gives the fruit the sweetness. Fruits are raisins and bananas. Notes of clove dominate the spice.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with an effervescent amount of carbonation.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a best before date of 08OCT10. Pours a very clear, light caramel color with a voluminous 3 fingers worth of light tan foam. Retention is decent, but the lacing is ridiculous...very nice looking beer.

Hmmm, pretty impressive nose as well. The Belgian yeast is showcased nicely here. Deep breadiness and yeasty spices come through, cinnamon and nutmeg almost. There is some fruitiness, but not a whole lot. Kind of like a freshly baked loaf of cinnamon raisin bread. Plenty of sweet maltiness here as well, similar to a Skor candy bar.

Bready yeast flavors mingle with some raisin-like fruit notes to give a pretty nice Belgian taste. There is more of a piney hop presence than some Dubbels I have had from across the pond, but that is accentuated by more of a toasty maltiness than a sweet one. Still has some candi sugar sweetness, but does not seem as full and creamy as maybe a SB Pater 6. Still an immensely delicious American version of a dubbel and quite a surprise coming from New Belgium. I like it.

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

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. It pours a beautiful amber/red color. A 2 inch off-white head forms and reduces to a thick and full coverage lacing. Carbonation is readily visible and no sediment.

The aroma is a good blend of banana and yeasty components with some coriander and a solid dose of fruity sweetness.

The taste seemed just a bit weak but nice flavoring including a yeast banana bread flavor that includes walnuts. There is a dark fruit maltiness that gives a nice blend overall. A hint of alcohol is also present.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and almost thin. The carbonation is mild and quick to dissipate off of the palate. A nice dryness lingers at the finish.

Overall, this is a decent beer and well worth having. I could easily have more as the ABV is not destructive and the flavors although not particularly intense, also make it fairly drinkable.

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Photo of climax
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This abbery poured bright amber/orange with a good zied fluffy head. The retention was pretty good, as was the spotty lace.

The nose was excellent. It was sweet and spicy, packed full or pear, coriander, ripe banana, walnuts, and especially yeasty tones.

A bit more of the spiciness and pepper comes out in the flavor. Tons of yeast and fruit (banana, pear, and even cherry) dominate the mouth. More recessed notes of coriander, alcohol, brown sugar, and caramel. The finish was clean and had somewhat of a peanut flavor. Interesting and awesome.

The body was quite full, and the feel was excellent, mouth-coating and smooth. A bit of a cottony/fluffy character and crisp carbonation kept a full body feeling light and almost weightless.

This beer is packed with flavor, and does everything well. Good work NB.

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Abbey Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing
4.02 out of 5 based on 2,218 ratings.
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