Abbey Belgian Style Ale | New Belgium Brewing

770 Reviews
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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Reviews: 770 | Ratings: 2,198
Photo of Redneckwine
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into tulip

Appearance - Dark, murky brown with a reddish tinge. 2 finger head recedes to a foamy cap pretty fast, leaves some lacing here and there. Upon close inspection one notices little offwhite floaties in suspension.

Smell - Definitely all about that Belgian yeast, but in a light and refreshing way: fruity and spicy banana/clove action. This sounds weird, but getting kind of a "fishy" scent, but not in a bad way... More like ocean water and the beach.

Taste - Belgiany goodness right up front : yeasty candied dark fruits, a touch of bubblegum and banana, spicy with clove and other subtle spice notes, that strangely good ocean character takes on clean mineral water qualities, alcohol very well hidden, toasty sweet bready malts peek in towards the wonderfully dry finish.

Feel - Crisp, smooth, and creamy for its ABV. Carbonation is gentle yet ample. Medium-full body feels quite light and drinkable.

Overall - A wonderfully complex, tasty, drinkable dubbel - and what a bargain! New Belgian never ceases to amaze by putting out delicious, flavorful, year-round beers like this at amazing prices. $6.99 sixpacks of an outstanding dubbel? C'mon, man... That's unheard of.

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Photo of dcscientist
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent Belgian-style beer. Fast moving up my list of beers I'll seek out at the store. Very tasty dubbel, not too heavy, and available year-round. What's not to like?

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%

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?

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.04/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear medium to dark amber in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation slowly rising from the bottom of the glass and some faint reddish brown highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy light tan head that reduces to a medium sized patch of thick film surrounded by a large patch of thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of dark and toasted malts with some dark fruits (plums/figs) and moderate to strong aromas of candi sugar. Light notes of spices as well.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of dark and toasted malts with a moderate amount of caramel + toffee sweetness and some light to moderate flavors of dark fruits (plums/figs). There are light to moderate flavors of candi sugar with light notes of cocoa and spices from the yeast.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Hints of creaminess initially with a touch of spicy drying in the finish.

O: A very nice example of the style with really nice complexity of aromas/flavors without a lot of associated sweetness. Easy to drink and enjoy though this is much more of a sipping beer than a session beer.

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Photo of TheBeerDrinker
4.73/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured out dark maroon/basically brown in color (little red tint in the light) with a nice three-finger white head with good retention and some really nice lacing.

Smell is of nice Belgian yeast, bananas, the usual spices (I don't know what they are), and basically some really nice sweetness that we all know and love in this type of beer.

Taste is much like the nose although the yeast and spices are more prominent than the bananas but they are still there to light up this beer.

Mouthfeel is semi-thin/thick for the style as it should be. Not thick like a stout but thicker for the style due to the carbonation

Overall I really like Belgians and Belgian style beers and after steering away from this beer for a while I found it is really good and pretty darn close to style. Not sure what could be improved here. Just a really nice American take on the style to be sure.

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Photo of TangoMike
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet/chalice. Color is right on the money as it is a dark reddish amber. I thought the head was a little thin, and it didn't persist as long as I thought it should. It may be slightly under carbonated, and if I were to grade it down in one area in particular it would be mouthfeel. That said, it is very clear (don't think this beer is bottle-conditioned) and is in the right ballpark as far as the complexity of flavor you would expect from a Belgian Dubbel (raisin, clove spiciness, etc.). It leaves scattered lacing on the side of the glass. Maybe the slightest taste of alcohol but very subtle. Overall I really enjoyed this beer and will come back to it again (it was half the price of a Chimay Red 4-pack which, while superior, is not an everyday beer).

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Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a copper body with good head and lace ring along with an aroma of dark fruits and hints of caramel/candi sugar malt sweetness and touches of spice. Rather light bodied, maybe medium, with a smoothness that belies the dark fruit and sweet tastes b/c there are some raisins and figs in here, possible other fruits like tropical but can't get a handle on them, but there is also a great underlying sweetness to this beer that I can only describe as really sweet (caramel, the figs, toffee, candi sugar, sweet fruit...just can't pinpoint it). A rather light and easy to drink Belgian style ale that is quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Premo88
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into chalice

L: brown, amber, crystal clear; 1/4-inch tan head of semi-thick foam -- looks much cleaner with less head than a typical belgian, but it's pretty

S: wine ... sour grapes; yeasty, gets sweet ... like bubblegum, almost banana; licorice at times

T: fruity, bubblegum ... some woody/oak taste at times; licorice at times

F: solid but not spectacular ... good carbonation, lightweight

O: weird balance between super sweet light bubblegum notes vs. dark licorice/prunes. it's enough like a dubbel to score well for style, but it's also no Rochefort 6. a little darker than most Belgians.

one thing it has that almost no other dubbel I've tried has is a cool nutty flavor. it shows up at different times and might be most present in fresher bottles (this one has been in the fridge a month, and the nut flavor is not showing up much). it's fantastic when it's there, though it's not part of the style.

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Photo of Henrich
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark brownish ruby with a quickly dissipating head, which falls into a slight thin layer on top. Nice color. Excellent lacing in the glass.
Smell: Very distinct belgian smell. Fruity with an undertone of malt and alcohol. Great bouquet.
Taste: Sweet up front, with a lingering bitterness. Light grainy character. Nothing overly impressive.
Mouth-Feel: It's nice. Lightly carbonated, but a bit thin tasting.
Overall: it is a decent interpretation of authentic dubbels, but I don't really agree with the outstanding ratings. Good, but not amazing.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with enjoy by date of October 05, 2014 printed on the label. A new beer to me from New Belgium, acquired as part of the winter folly pack.

Poured into a Coca-Cola goblet / chalice.

A - Pours a ruby-ish plum colored body with two fingers of frothy off-white head. Very nice head retention and nice big sheets of white lacing.

S - Huge banana on the nose. It's hard for me to get past it. Some funky Belgian yeast detectable, candied sugars, brown breadiness / malt, clove spice, some other dark fruity notes like prune or fig. Alcohol fumes noticeable.

T - Taste follows the nose - lots of big banana, mild hints of roast / char, brown bread, mild nuttiness, and clove spice. Fairly traditional in it's approach, which is a good thing for a bigger brewery like New Belgium, and it hits it's mark, I'd say.

M - Feel is extremely smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with good, slightly prickly, slightly filling carbonation. Lightly sticky on the finish. Some lingering banana.

Overall, while these aren't my favorite style to begin with, this was a nice effort from New Belgium. Like others have said, it is nicely authenticated for being as widely available as it is.

New Belgium Abbey Belgian Style Ale ---3.5/5

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Photo of kojevergas
3.52/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Best before: "03Aug14." 7% ABV. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with simple appealing label art and iconic red/orange branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local grocery store and served into an Avery stem-tulip in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given its current 90 rating as well as the brewery, whose Trippel [sic] I quite like. Reviewed as a dubbel since the label's description identifies it as such.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of pale khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Has a nice soft complexion. Even smooth consistency. Head retention is pretty good for the above average ABV - about 4-5 minutes. Nice albeit inconsistent lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. It's a supple appealing head overall.

Body colour is a dark translucent semitransparent amber of average vibrance. Clean; no floating yeast particles or sediment is visible. Appears adequately carbonated.

Overall, it's an appealing appearance for a dubbel and I'm looking forward to the first sip, but it doesn't hold a candle to the appearances of the best traditional beers in the style.

Not unique or special. There are no egregious flaws.

Sm: Has a definite Belgian yeast vibe. Candi sugar, plum, prune, Belgian amber malts, lovely banana notes, cream, and light bready malts. It's pretty impressive for a dubbel at this price point; I'm surprised. Definitely fits into style conventions.

No hop profile, overt alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

A pleasant, inviting aroma of mild strength. Really solid for a dubbel. I'm craving the first sip. The subtle banana and luscious plum notes are simply fantastic.

Mf/T: Has a lovely creamy texture with an aptly medium body and comforting feel on the palate. Well-carbonated, with apt thickness and weight. Soft, smooth, and wet without feeling weak. Has good overall presence on the palate and the texture suits the taste quite well. Supple and almost refreshing. Very approachable.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

Banana and plum dominate this surprisingly well-balanced flavour profile. The malty core is a great complement to the more refined notes, offering Belgian amber and brown malts alongside some light bready character and subtly integrated caramel. Has unexpected subtlety and some fair complexity, but in terms of complexity and intricacy relative to traditional examples of the style, it's lackluster.

Still, for a dubbel at this price point which is so widely available, I'm taken aback by its quality. Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. Build is cohesive but not gestalt.

Dr: Very drinkable; I'll have no trouble finishing this bottle and I look forward to doing so. Hides its ABV pretty well. A surprisingly good seasonal brew from New Belgium that I'll look forward to picking up again in the future. Probably the best widely available U.S.-brewed example of the style. Well worth trying. Amongst New Belgium's finest mainstream efforts - right up there with Trippel [sic].

Borderline B-/B

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

Appearance - Pours a quick finger of lite khaki foam, color is a translucent and brilliant amber orange/red, dwindles to a broken cap that leaves webbed lacing that covers the glass.

Smell - Big banana nose, belgian yeast, light clove and nutmeg, and a whiff of sweet vanilla

Taste - Very much like the nose, starts with really big banana esters and sweet yeasty wheat bread, almost immediately followed with belgian spiciness of nutmeg and light clove, I get some faint pears and white grape as as you swallow, with some sour pear and white pepper long into the finish. As this warms I almost get a slight amaretto flavor in the back with some very light heat.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel, smooth silky carb that finishes with some nice edges that accentuate the slightly tart and dry/slightly chalky finish.

Overall - This is a pretty solid belgian that has bod flavors of banana, yeast, spices and pear and white grape. Really nicely complex and balanced, and a pretty impressive offering from New Belgium. Take your time with this one and enjoy the flavors that build and transition as it warms up a bit, recommend, and great price point.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium goblet. Label says 05OCT14.

A- Pours a dark reddish amber color with a 3/4 inch light tan head that retains well before sinking down to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a small center patch of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing slides slowly down the glass.

S- Very sweet aroma of Belgian yeast and candi sugar. Lots of phenols and some clove notes plus some vanilla bean.

T- Taste is a little less exciting with more candi sugar and some bready malt. Smooth and flavorful and the alcohol is nicely concealed. Not as sweet as the aroma leads on.

M- Tangy and somewhat dry with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- A pretty tasty dubbel which is saying something since it's hard for me to greatly appreciate the style.

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Photo of bennett_loves_good_beer
3.62/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Poured into a new belgium globe. Best by date is ovtober 2014. Pours a deep amber red. With a thick, lumpy two finger head that continues to slowly build from the bottom. Lots of carbonation visible if you look closely. Tons of lacing sticking on the glass.

Smell: Strong belgian yeast aroma. Bananas, phenolic, spices, clove. Very nice.

Taste: Bananas, clove, belgian spices and a touch of alcohol come together nicely.

Mouthfeel: Quite a bit of carbonation but body is a bit thin.

Overall, one of my favorite year round offerings from new belgium.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Stone Ruination IPA pint glass
From: VONS in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $14.99 for Folly variety 12-pack
Purchased: Dec. 30, 2013
Consumed: Dec. 30, 2013
Misc.: N/A

Poured a reddish amber clear color with 4-to-5 fingers of frothy khaki cream head. Almost poured the head over the top. Lots of bubbles coming up. Layered foamy lacing along the sides of the glass. Great retention on the top all the way down.

Smelled bananas, cloves, Circus Peanuts, Belgian spices, kiwi and green grapes. Very nice on the nose.

Tasted wet bananas, cloves, apples, Belgian spices, peppery spices, faint Circus Peanuts, sour kiwi, pears and grapes.

Medium body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Average-to-lively carbonation. Smooth finish.

Just a really great beer. I would definitely have it again. The only surprise is that it took me this long to try one. Nice.

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Photo of Theheroguy
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I am immediately reminded of the new Belgium trippel I had earlier today. Both of these beers have a huge Belgian yeast presence adding fruitiness to the beer. Unlike its brother Abbey doesn't have much tartness at all. The malt body reminds me of a dopple bock (makes sense seeing as this a Belgian dubbel) a lot of specialty grains went into the mash for this. Chocolate and sweet sugars are very prevalent. This is really smooth and drinkable especially for 7% abv. All the flavors come through cleanly and in full force. The hop presence is negligible.

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Photo of kenyattabush
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is my first Abbey, it's great ale with lots of body. After my first sip, i thought that this was a typical ale, but after about three swallows, the flavor exploded and I immediately fell in love with this beer.I thoroughly enjoyed this drink. I highly recommend.

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Photo of Kevin-Wieken
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Abbey Belgian Style Ale
New Belgium Brewing, Colorado
---from bottle to chalice---

Nice reddish/brown copper, three fingers of off white head, decent lacing. Pours beautifully.

Bananas, peppery, sweet bread, a touch of alcohol runs through – but not to its detriment.

Bananas come through, spicey clove, bready. Warming alcohol, which again, is not a bad thing with this beer.

Medium body, well carbonated, very drinkable, chewy vanilla malt comes out toward end of beer. Finishes dry.

Great beer. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this beer. Vast array of flavors and aromas make this beer fascinating; presence of alcohol is alluring… this beer evolves as you drink it.

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Photo of BeerDocT
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance 2.75: Light brown initial pour faded to deep walnut as the glass filled. Just looked cheap to me until the glass was full. Fizzy CO2 head that did not rise above 1/4" and quickly faded into nothing. BIG letdown from the past few dubbels I have tried.

Smell 4.0: Pleasant and refreshing after the letdown regarding the pour. Malt forward notes with nice hints of spicy Belgian yeast. Subdued and balanced.

Taste 3.75: Front is slightly sweet, with hints of noble hops and smoked grains. Middle is dry with some notes of the Belgian yeast. Finish is pleasant with a nice barley sweetness, Belgian spiciness, very slight smoked grains flavor and a cloying dry grass flavor. Aftertaste is short and features more of the Belgian yeast elements.

Mouthfeel 3.0: Mouthfeel was just OK. Dubbels have a silky, smooth character that this brew misses out on completely. However, rather than mark them down on the standard, I think that the mouthfeel of the current brew does not accentuate the beer but does not negatively impact the enjoyment of it. Thus, my neutral rating.

Overall 3.25: Better than OK. That's the best way to describe it. This brew has a very nice nose, a far better than average taste, but the other elements...that's where the MACRO is obvious and throws the average score of the beer off. Appearance and mouthfeel were strictly amateur. Sorry to be so harsh, but those are the breaks.

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

Pours out fairly dark brown but still clear to some extent. Not dark brown. But had a tiny half-finger head. I think the head was fairly white but missed it looking at the color of the beer. If I had to make an educated guess it was white with just a tiny tinge of brown. Smell is definitely Belgian sweetness that I haven't smelled in a while. Been a while since I drank Belgians. Really sweet, banana, yeasty smell that is just heaven to the nose. Maybe it's just cause I haven't drank a Belgian lately but just smells amazing. Taste is much like the nose. Definate Belgian yeasty taste like bananas and cloves. REALLY tasty. Mouthfeel is a lighter medium and definitely fits the style. Overall I am really surprised how much I like this beer. Just got a mixed 12er for session beer tonight and thought I'd give this a try. Glad I did because of this beer.

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Photo of zac16125
4.01/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into chalice
Best before:24Sept14

A: Dark copper with amber hues, less than 1/2 fingers width of light tan head. Head dissipates quickly, leaves only a few small patches of lacing.

S: Yeasty, sweet, clove, doughy, sweet bread.

T: Darker malt flavors are the first thing I get, and I didnt get them in the aroma. Cocoa, roasted malt, lots of spice, black pepper, a touch of bitterness. Its not my favorite flavor profile for the style, but the flavors are very strong so it gets bonus points.

M/D: Moderate to heavy carbonation, light body. I would prefect a heavier mouthfeel. Drinkability is average.

O: Overall, a nice beer. Nothing special, but certainly worthy of a drink.

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Photo of tmm313
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brownish red with creamy 1.5 finger head. Excellent lacing and trailing. Dissipated into thick ring with the biggest bubbles I've ever seen in a head.
S- Big banana, coriander, clove, caramel, yeast, and a little cherry.
T- Follows the nose pretty closely with the addition of a dry, peppery finish.
M- Medium body with light, semi aggressive, carbonation. Drying with banana aftertaste.
O- I enjoyed this beer. The flavors and aromas were very well balanced. I'm not a hug fan of the style, but if I were, I would probably buy this from time to time.

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Photo of brurevu
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I have always enjoyed the New Belgium beers and the Abbey (along with the Trippel) is my favorite of their regular line-up. It pours a deep transparent amber with a decent creamy head and a generous amount of carbonation. The aroma hits you instantly with the sweet Belgian yeast that follows through to the taste. There are also hints of banana, caramel, and fruity malt in the smooth full bodied mouthfeel. There is definitely a lot going on in this complex and well balanced beer especially for a regular offering from a brewer.

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

Served from the bottle into a goblet.

A- Poured a murky reddish brown color with big fulffy off-white head with big bubbles that left webbed lacing.

S- Big banana, clove, sunscreen lotion scent, honey, spicy yeast notes, and black cherry.

T- Big spicy yeast notes, clove, banana, honey sweetness, bready, black cherry, and light raisin notes.

M- Medium body, soft carbonation, dry,

O- Great balance of sweet malts and spicy yeast notes. A very flavorful and affordable Abbey style ale.

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Photo of a0lbudman
4.49/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-deep amber or mohogany color with an off large off white head that laces the glass heavy
S-bubble gum, banana with a nice touch of spice
A-spice and banana with a sweet caramel malt with a warming, pepper like aftertaste that also gives you a little roasted taste that turns into a dry finish
M-very creamy with medium body
O-this was a complex beer that has many things going on. As the beer warms it seems to bring more flavors

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Abbey Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing
4.02 out of 5 based on 2,198 ratings.
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