Abbey Belgian Style Ale | New Belgium Brewing

772 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: 772 | Ratings: 2,205
Photo of neonbrown82
4.48/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours to an opaque nutty brown color, almost black, with a decent tan head. Smells of biscuit malts and sweet fruity esters. The taste is unbelieveable. Tastes similar to a Chimay with the clove spiciness, but has its own distinct flavor. The finish leads me to believe that I had just eaten a banana. Has a wonderful body. I would drink this all night if it were a bit lower in alcohol content. One of the few well done American attempts at a Belgian style I've tried.

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Photo of bashiba
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly cloudy dark amber color with a small half inch of creamy off white head.

Smell is very nice, a strong sweet caramel maltyness mixing with the heavy yeast odor.

Taste is slightly underwhelming. After getting hit by the huge scent I was expecting more flavor as well. Overall the taste is a rather subdued maltiness with a touch of woody tones an just a slight hint of yeast.

Mouthfeel is good with a nice full creamy charachter to it.

Drinkability is good, a very smooth interpretation of the style, just not quite as full flavored as I would have liked.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from Secret Santa ninjaworm. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1" light beige head above an effervescent clear reddish caramel brew. Head stays constant, due to effervescence from bottom of the glass, and lacing is excellent. Aroma is sweet malts, Belgian-style spiciness, with alcohol apparent. Taste is sweet and sugary up-front, spiciness coming on in the middle, and a dry alcoholic finish. Warming in the mouth and throat. Mouthfeel is a bit lacking with the somewhat overpowering sweetness, and drinkability is affected by same. Not a bad brew, by any means, just seems a bit over the top with the sugaring.

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

Particulate-laden orangish bronze with a monumental head of creamysoft beige foam. The cap begins its slow motion descent as surface bubbles languidly pop, resulting in random squiggles of soapy lace. The color is on the lighter end of the dubbel scale, but is plenty pleasing to the eye.

The nose is dominated by Belgian yeast. No surprise since 'an authentic Belgian yeast strain' is in use according to the label. Clove spice is dominant. It isn't as brown malty as expected, nor as fruity. A little more power would be great.

The flavor is wonderful and changes in fascinating ways over the course of each sip. It's malty sweet with a spunky carbonation out of the chute, is darkly fruity and spicy on the backstretch and develops a deepening, expanding burst of fruit and spice--and warming alcohol--at the wire. It also improves noticeably with warming. The mouthfeel is incredibly well-mannered with a smooth richness that retains a light elegance thanks to a perfect amount of carbonation.

Abbey Belgian Style Ale (the name is too generic) is a wonderful homage to the original dubbels of Belgium. It's no Westvleteren 8, but is unquestionably the best American-brewed dubbel that has ever crossed my lips. New Belgium's best? Even though I haven't tried their entire lineup, it's hard to imagine that they could top this.

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

Very solid offering from New Belgium. Not necessarily the truest to the dubbel style, but a very good belgian style brown ale nonetheless. Pours with a nice frothy head and excellent lacing. Smell is sweet with some banana/cloves present. Somewhat phenolic. Taste is yeasty, malty, definite clove presence with a creamy finish. Maybe a tad too much carbonation when its first out of the bottle though. Definitely benefits from some oxidation. A very drinkable, enjoyable beer. Can't beat the price either if you like to drink good Belgian style beer on a daily basis.

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Photo of kosmoraios
2.67/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I love Belgian ales, and I have tried quite a few, so this one was up against some excellent competition. For it's style, I must confess, it is quite below par in my opinion. Pours a brownish amber into my tulip glass, with almost NO head whatsoever, even on an extremely aggressive pour. Smells of yeast and caramel, with some artificial-smelling fruity hints like bruised apple and pear. The taste just doesn't cut it for a Belgian-style dubbel. A bit of frutiness, alcohol is noticable, much caramel and a bit of phenolic acidity. In almost all New Belgian ales, I find there is a "artificial flavor added" taste to them. That may or may not be the case, but I feel like they add coloring and flavor to some of their ales. The mouthfeel of this ale is oily and plain flat. For those reasons, the drinkability of this ale is below average. I am reviewing it for the style, so all in all, not impressed.

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Photo of KoG
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The lackluster head and no lacing made me a bit disappointed. Maybe the other 5 bottles will be better in this department. Nice dark brown with a redish tint however.

Smell is fruity. A touch of spice and a bit piney. Somewhat remeniscient of a winter warmer.

Taste is fruity and a bit phenolic. Alcohol is lightly prevolent in the finish. Slightly dry with a bready hint. Smooth finish and nice creamy mouth with a touch of carbonation.

Leaves a bit dry due to the alcohol, but very drinkable.

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Photo of charlatan
2.76/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Must confess that I rarely try beers as yeasty as I expected this one to be. It came as some surprise to me that the beer poured a slightly reddish, fairly dark brown colour. There was little head.

Smells yeasty with a little hint of some spice.

Carbonation is more noticeable than I would have expected. Initially I notice some spicy banana flavour. Then the yeast and the rather subtle hops hit me at the same time.

I wouldn't drink another, but that is no real reflection on the beer's quality. I found New Belgium's Trippel (also from the bottle) much more palatable when I tried it a few weeks ago.

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Photo of Fish113d
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pouring into my goblet...Holy Head Batman!!!! I like a little beer with my head from now and then, but this is beautiful! 4 inches of frothy tan head (looks like sea foam) clings to the glass like white on rice, atop of a nice ruby-brownish colored partially clear brew! Not much dissipation here on this one from the head at first, but it then starts to settle. Plums, raisins, and sugary malts come out of this one in aroma. Maybe even some cherries or grapes come through, as well as a little nutmeg, but most of the aroma is fruit malts. A slight twang of alcohol clears my sinuses a slight bit as well. The smell doesn't exaclty match the taste in this one though. The fruitiness that I smelled is much more mild on the sip. The spice comes through a bit more on taste, as well as some of the fruit. Also, some wheat flavors come through. No real hops at all, and the alcohol burns a little on the swallow. Full-bodied, not too much carbonation (which actually you feel more on the sides of your tongue), and this beer creates a bit of a puckering effect (you can feel it in your jaw). Overall, a nicely balanced beer. I can say this is one of my recent favorites of balance and fun! I'd love to have another!

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Photo of danadeny
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clrear brown body, average head. Smells fruity, sweet ands a bit of malt. Tatses light up front, musty-earthy middel tines, and a decent hop finish. Aftertaste is like apples. Drinkability is good, and it evaporates nicely. Overall a good beer, didnt wow me, but didnt dissapoint.

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

Pours a brilliantly clear full amber color with ruby highlights when held up to the light. It is topped by a thin light brown head and has a persistent level carbonation. The aroma is full and rich with sweet notes of fruit, and alcohol. I get aromatic notes of raisins, dried plums, figs, rum, and brandy. The taste is light and fizzy up front with a fruity sweetness throughout, though the sweetness is light and in line with the light palate of this beer. This beer is predominantly fruity with notes of concentrated plum, raisin, and fig. The alcohol that was evident in the nose is nicely muted in the taste. This is a solid example of the Belgian Dubbel, it is perhaps a bit too clean, but that has it's niceties, no higher alcohols or off astringencies.

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Photo of aquatonex
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A wonderfully interesting US made Belgian ale...

Pours deep brown with a small head. Good amount of carbonation. Caramel malts and a sniff of alcohol in the nose. Taste is much more interseting though! Starts with the creamy sweet malt, gets a little bitter from the alcohol and some mild hops. Then, comes fruity (banana) notes at the end, leaving you wanting more. A good, interesting beer.

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

pours a nice orangy brown with a fluffy tan head, though it didn't stick around long

well carbonated and nicely dry. suprising banana and clove make themselves quickly apparent (this brew actually reminds me of a dunkelweizen i once brewed), with a nice, fruity, belgian yeastiness. though an abv of 7% is starting to get up there, the beer had no noticeable alcohol taste

good pick by my pops. too bad we left the rest of the sixer with relatives in dallas!

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Photo of GClarkage
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/05/04- Purchased at Piazza's Market in San Mateo, CA

Appearance- Pours a nice cloudy amber color. A nice inch head and great lacing. The only thing that kept this from getting a 5 was those cool little galaxy looking circles that form in good belguins.

Smell- Nice scents that include caramel and some fruityness. Maybe dates and raisins.

Taste- Nice malty and sweet fruity flavor. At first it seems very sweet, but when it hits the back of your tongue and goes down it is less sweet.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth going down. Can't really sence the alcohol. Nice carbonation level.

Drinkability- New Belgium does a terrific job with their beers. I haven't had any abbey style beers made in the US that come as close as they do to hitting the bullseye. Nice beer that anyone should give a try if they like this style.

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

Purchased in a 12 oz. bottle, pours a root beer color with a two inch head that dissipates to 1/4 inch.
The smell is malty sweet with caramel flavors.
The taste is a dark malty caramel with limited carbonation that goes down with a cabonated feel.
The mouthfeel is slightly syrupy with evidence of carbonation but not to bad.
Drinkability is good the dark malty feel combined with the carbonation will certainly not grant this a session beer.

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Photo of clvand0
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours an amber color with a small head that dies off quickly and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is slightly malty with hints of banana and clove. The flavor is a little sweet, but nice and malty and has a nice subtle spice from the yeast. The alcohol is slightly apparent. Mouthfeel is good and drinkability is good. Nice beer.

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Photo of Rio
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice brown color with a bit of an off-white head and nice lacing. Sweet smell of fruit, plum seems to come to the top for me.

Malty tastes of fruit heavy in this one, with a bit of the alcohol showing through in the taste. A bit dry, and finishes with a bit of a bitterness.

Very drinkable, and a nice shot at a Belgian style by an American brewer. While it doesn't measure up exactly to a true Dubble (IMNSHO), I imagine it makes a nice entry point to the style for the uninitiated.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is poured into a duvel tulip. The beer departs the bottle a brownish amber color with a very nice head, about 3 fingers, that falls to a finger over the head. The nose is some caramel covered banana, maybe a hint of cherry in there as well. Overall, its nice. The flavor is nice as well. The alcohol is a bit too aparent for me, but there is a subdued hint of banana, dominated by caramel and some roasted, somewhat nutty/earthy tones. Feel on this one is just moderate. Drinkability is not all that bad. This is a decent beer, and I would probably drink it again. Not a bad beer.

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

A mahogany color, transparent with lots of light co2. The head is full and off-white with a sticky lace. Aroma is of bread, bananas, caramel, and lightly metallic. Flavor is sweet and malty, and tart with some bananas -- slightly acerbic. Finish has a slow on-the-uptake bite. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and creamy with an acidic middle and a light hop finish. One of the better American, Belgian style beers I have sampled. A well-balanced interpretation of the style and defiantly more Belgian than Fat Tire.

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

12 ounce bottle dated Jun05- Maybe I'm drinking it a little young. Pours into a snifter (no chalice), a deep clear mahogany, with an ecru two-finger head that persists nicely. Nose is molasses, malt, and fruit... banana and prunes? Tastes fruity and malty,with plum and grape nuances. Moderate to light carbonation, nice mouthfeel and finish. Some subtle spices in the close, with fruit and molasses in the finish. Very drinkable. I'll set some aside and try in several months to a year.

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Photo of GreenWBush
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Deep ruby copper with a gorgeously frothy head and lacing.

Rich, candied sugar leaves its track all over this beer.

The nose was like mulled cider with wildly Duvelian astringent carbonation, puckering the otherwise overwhelming sweetness. A toasty grain is the highway of this beer on which we ride the politely coherent hoppiness on-top of the warm smoothness of candied sugar and high gravity malts.

Alcohol is nowhere to be found here, except for in your brain as you polish off two of these A+ domestic examples of the style.

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Photo of rastaman
2.42/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bottle. sweet candy sugar apple, brown sugar. This is a joke right? Poor effort, this isn’t a double. And despite some Belgian yeasty flavour (minimal), it doesn't even taste true to the Belgian style, just sweet, flat and dull. Quite sticky and one dimensional. Very dissapointing.

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Photo of zacharius
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an dark amber almost brown ale with a tight bubbled head sitting on top. Belgian lace on the sides of my glass. Intense smell of sweet candi sugar, spicy and fruitty yeast esters. Taste is esters of banana, pepper and spice. Has a sweet taste to it and you can taste the alcohol as well. Nice and thick bodied beer has a good mouthfeel.

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

Initially thin with a gradual increase in body that displays, with meticulous detail, subtle, grainy, just barely phenolic Belgian yeast and dry, dusty cocoa. Hints of chocolate-covered frozen banana. Elegant, grassy hops in perfect proportion to the malt that brings out clean, full alcohol.

Ultimately hard to believe this wasn't made in Belgium.

Relax, relax.

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

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep reddish-brown, almost black color with about half a finger of head. There is only minimal lacing. The smell is malty with some sweet fruit like plum and grape, and a bit of a bready aroma. The taste is also malty. It's sweet at first, with plum and currant fruits coming through. In the middle you get a little bit of the yeast flavor in there. The finish has just a hint of roasted coffee. The mouthfeel is fairly thick and strong, yet smooth on the tongue. The drinkability is great for a 7% dubbel. A nice treat from New Belgium!

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Abbey Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing
4.02 out of 5 based on 2,205 ratings.
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