Abbey Belgian Style Ale | New Belgium Brewing

771 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: 771 | Ratings: 2,199
Photo of KEH
4.36/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The NB Abbey Ale quickly became one of my favorite standby brews ever since they revamped the recipe. The original had too much of that artificial banana flavor going on. The new version, however, got rid of it (and also boosted the ABV!) A six pack runs under $10 at local grocery stores here, so the quality you get for the money really helps this brew stand out. Sure, I prefer imported Belgian ales, but imports are hard to come by in the UP. I'll gladly drink this up!

Pour: Deep reddish brown with a tan head
Aroma: Yeasty and malty
Flavor: Roasted malt, caramel, and a bit sweet

Typically enjoyed from a 12oz bottle, poured into a tulip glass.

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Photo of THSdrummer
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark brown, nearly black in certain light conditions. The khaki head is nice and foamy with modest retention and lacing remnants. The aroma is toasty, with toasted malts, clove, and dark fruit notes. Banana and clove work towards the front of the flavor profile with strong yeast and dark fruit characteristics behind. Nice and smooth flavor that is well blended and balanced. Mouth feel is velvety, and filling. It has a nice presence and texture. The consistency is medium. Overall, it's a tasty brew that is hard to go wrong with picking. It may not be the best abbey-style beer, but it still performs well and it's easy to pick up.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of singularity6
4.58/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I tried the old recipe a long time ago, and didn't care for it, much. Too much "Laffy Taffy Banana" in the flavor. Well, I just had some of the new recipe this weekend, and I'm glad I did! (Especially since I've moved to a place where actual imports are hard to come by.) The New Belgium Abbey Ale might now be one of my go-to brews, especially for the price! I really enjoyed the rich malty flavor. The beer also felt like a proper Belgian dubbel.

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip. best by 11/27/16.

looks pretty good on the pour, brownish red body with a generous head which retains in some form throughout. leaves very attractive lacing.

nothing but a malty sweetness on the nose.

i confess that dubbels are not really my thing. this combined a sweetness from the malts, and a quite strong plumminess. not bad.

feel was about medium, left a dried fruit taste in the mouth.

overall, as i said, dubbels are not something i usually enjoy, but this was an ok brew in my book. cheers.

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Photo of Martin194
4.41/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: Nice dark brown look, clear, small tan head that goes away quickly.

Smell: Chocolate and caramel up front, some fruity undertones

Taste: Definitely tasting the chocolate, slightly bitter, roasty aftertaste

Feel: Normal carbonation, nothing much to report really

Overall: I liked it, it's a solid choice. This is the second New Belgium product I've tried (after Fat Tire) and I'm once again satisfied, looking forward to trying more from them.

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Photo of AleMan66
4.34/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from a bottle into a clear teardrop glass. It pours a dark reddish brown with a one finger ocean foam like head. The taste is awesome! I taste dark fruits with no hops aftertaste, which is refreshing. Love this style!

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby color with brown tints and a rocky, fluffy off white head. Aroma is dark fruit, chocolate, and belgian candi sugar. Taste follows with big dark fruit, chocolate, toasted malt, some spice, banana, and belgian candi sugar to round out with some sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium and well carbed. Overall, this is a good abbey ale, although I think I liked the old recipe better.

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Photo of superspak
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature globe glass, best before 10/23/2016. Pours fairly crystal clear reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice dense soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, light chocolate, pepper, clove, light banana/bubblegum, herbal, floral, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with awesome complexity and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity/spicy yeast, and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, light chocolate, pepper, clove, light banana/bubblegum, herbal, floral, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate herbal bitterness/yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruit, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, toasted biscuit, nuttiness, light chocolate, pepper, clove, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity/spicy yeast, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from bitter/spiciness as well. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and lightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible Belgian dubbel style! All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, fruity/spicy yeast, and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of stevoj
3.11/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Albertsons. Nice looking pour, fluffy off white head on clear dark brown body. Taste follows the smell, both providing too much candy sugar sweetness. Some chocolate, some savory spice, too sweet, not enough fruitiness. Close but no cigar

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Photo of BB1313
3.92/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoy by 11/27/16. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a dark auburn with solid clarity; fluffy light khaki head that slowly falls leaving great retention and sticky lacing. The aromas are full of dark fruits and lots of malts. Some banana in the mix due to the yeast. The flavors are very nice. Lots of dark cherries. There's also some raisin, plum and fig in the mix. Hints of sweet caramel. Lots of malts. More banana. The yeast does its thing. Alcohol goes completely unnoticed. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's very fluffy and creamy. Very smooth stuff.

This is a very enjoyable brew. New Belgium always comes through with the Belgian-style ales. Well done.

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Photo of jtwant
4.64/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Picked this up tonight because Belgian style ales are my all-time favorite beer. I didn't realize Fat Tire made this style. Boy was I surprised! It's malty, it's rich, it's flavorful. This is the best commonly available Belgian Dubel Ale on the market. I'm going to spare you the nerdy technical stuff. The point is, this beer is DELICIOUS!

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Photo of Tele
4.09/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type: Bottle (Best By 9.11.16)
Consumed: 2.10.16

A: 4.5 Pours a clear, reddish-brown with a one-inch, light tan head.

S: 4.25 Impressive aromas, if a bit muted. Smells a lot like a classic dubbel with a good amount of toffee, caramel, spice and esters from the Belgian yeast, and a bit of roast from the malt.

T: 4 Taste is very similar to the nose, but even milder. A bit of sweetness and clove start things off before getting more esters from the yeast. A very light fruity bitterness lingers on the finish. It’s all nice, but a bit watery.

M: 4 Good carbonation, but feels too light and not quite substantial enough.

O: 4 Definitely a solid dubbel with good flavors and an excellent price. Flavors and body aren’t quite up to par with the Belgians, but it’s still very enjoyable.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a maroon-purple color with a thin, white head. A crisp, dark fruit smell. Tastes great! Dark fruit abound, especially the cherries. Produces a nice Abby yeast/malt funk that puts all the fruit together. A thinner mouthfeel for an abbey, but I think makes more enjoyable. May need to revisit New Belgium!

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Photo of bubseymour
4.37/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nice purple hue with 1 finger head. Beautiful in the glass. Smell is somewhat muted, but some yeast sweetness, breadyness and slight dark fruit smells. Taste is very good, with a nice bready, slight sweet taste with some dryness and hop crispness in the finish. Would prefer a touch more sweet dark fruit and less dry/hoppyness, but overall it's quite tasty none-the-less. A superb American made Belgian Dubbel.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a dark reddish caramel, light fluffy off-white head that dissipated pretty quickly but left some nice lacing that held onto the glass well. Pretty strong aroma with banana, dark fruit, and caramel. The dark fruit is there in the taste with some spice, I would say pepper. Medium mouthfeel, the pepper spice hits with a dryish finish and a small late lingering bitter that not really my preference. Overall this was a surprising offering by New Belgian, outstanding Dubbel for a shocking price.

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Photo of K_schrim
4.74/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured into tulip glass. Color is a very pretty dark red/Amber. Light tan head. The SMELL, THOUGH!!! It smelled like I was 19 years old in a German pub again! Taste-German pub! Maybe I've had this before? Feel-meh. Kinda thin. I'm in love, though, and will soon invest in a sixer.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of ChicagoPartisan
4.6/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


Standard pint glass

A – A beautiful dark redish color. Slight head, maybe a quarter of an inch. Moderate carbonation.

S – Rich plums shine through the rest. Hints of cherry. Fairly mute.

T – Cherries dominate with a strong chocolate presence on the back end. Subdued is notes of raisin and dried plum. Incredible.

M – Medium bodied. Fairly wet on the palate.

O – What an excellent selection. I am fairly unacquainted with the style, but an excellent beer overall. Drinks like a warmer. Perfect for a cold evening in late Fall.

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Photo of stlfatguy
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of sculls65
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A nice Belgian . deep amber color. Smells of banana raisin brown sugar. The yeast dominates the flavor. Banana, raisin, pepper before finishing with dry bread notes from the malts. An excellent choice.

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Photo of infinitebruner
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

July 8, 2015

12 oz bottle, tulip glass

A – Very deep amber, basically mahogany but extremely clear, though dark. Off-white moussy foam sits on top, with long retention, never fully dissipating.

S – Plums and raisins with some light chocolate and low, rich caramel and toffee. A minor touch of cherries. Some light herbal hopping.

T – Light chocolate and caramel, and subdued plums and cherries. Very low herbal-floral hopping. Only a bit of hop bitterness.

M – Medium to medium-full body with moderate, lightly sudsy carbonation. Somewhat juicy up front and mildly dry the rest of the way. Only light bitterness.

O – A valiant attempt to duplicate the style but overall a bit too subdued, unremarkable. Serviceable, but not a great beer.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Brilliant dark amber to brown under a 2” cream colored foam collar. Persistent and lacy.
S: Earthy hops, faint chocolate, hints of fruit cake.
T: Malty sweetness wrapped in a big moist chewy brown fruit cake with faint ginger, cinnamon and cardamom, some raisins, a hint of plum and pepper, finishes dry with a bit of grain. Layered and complex.
F: Very creamy, above average soft carbonation, medium body.
O: A very nicely done dubel.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.18/5  rDev +4%
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!


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Photo of car2052
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into Belgian goblet. (Left in freezer a little too long)

A: Clear deep garnet, with a inch of light tan head.
S: Nice banana from the yeast, caramelization, dark sweet bread, slightly burnt aroma. A little vanilla too.
T: Reminds me of a sweet dark bread with a spice. A lot of caramel, raisin, vanilla, banana, and a whiff of bourbon/rum. Nice roasted malt.
M: Thick side of medium. Bitterness is low.
O: Great beer with a nice sweetness to it. I liked this better than the Ommegang. Easier-drinking.

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Photo of gmossii
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I really wish I have tasted an actual Belgian Dubbel so I'd have a true benchmark of a Dubbel; however, I have to say that this is a very good beer. You can truly tell that there is a detailed blend of six different malts. It results in an incrediblely smooth beer that is almost like a malt ball in a glass. This is also a nice change to the IPA dominated market right now.

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Abbey Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing
4.02 out of 5 based on 2,199 ratings.
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