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Belgian-Style Abbey Ale | Cathedral Square Brewery

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BA SCORE
81
good
30 Reviews
Belgian-Style Abbey AleBelgian-Style Abbey Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Cathedral Square Brewery
Missouri, United States
cathedralsquarebrewery.com

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This traditional Belgian-style ale is brewed using five malts, two hop varieties and authentic Trappist Belgian yeast.

Added by brownbeer on 03-10-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
30
Ratings:
64
Avg:
3.5
pDev:
19.71%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
12
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 64
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.56/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

not bad, not amazing, my first beer from these guys is a unique one, but definitely not my favorite. its a nice mahogany color with a head that looks very belgian, almost two inches tall and lacy and airy. it sells like dried red fruits, a little soy, clove, weighty crystal malts, and spice cake. the yeast is great, hints of red wine and white pepper from it, thats easily my favorite element here. i wonder if they used an extra non-grain sugar source, sort of has that brown sugar or honey quality to it, with some residual sugar for sure, but lots of cherry and raisin flavors too. medium bodied and well enough carbonated, they got that part down pretty well. this is a hard one to put my finger on, its like a little dubbel, without quite the malt depth, but there is some strange off flavor i dont care for here subtly, like it was fermented just a bit too warm or something, i cant get past it, and it turns me off from liking this as much as i would otherwise. i would like to try some of their other beers, seems like they have some cool recipes working, but this one seemed a little amateurish to me, as drinkable as it was.

 1,136 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.86/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Cathedral Square's Belgian Style Abbey pours a cinnamon color with a creamy 1 finger head forming a tight ring at the top. 30% opacity.

Even with some agitation, the aroma is hard to detect, but I get a touch of caramel-cocoa malts and dusty bubble gum. A little fruit rind as well.

The flavor exhibits most everything I look for in an Abbey : a rich, roasty malt character, a kiss of lactose, some backing of bubble gum, and a yeasty, wheaty finish. On top of that there's a bit of alcohol rub, making for a hot, toasty finish.

Feel is medium bodied, hard water carbonation, semi dry finish and breaths of alcohol.

Overall, Cathedral Square created a by-the-book Abbey with no bells and whistles, but that's okay. I'd buy this again, and enjoy it on the regular - if New Belgium's Abbey wasn't so available and less expensive ;-)

 838 characters

Photo of MLoxxer
2.61/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I purchased this beer in a 12 ounce bottle. When I poured it into my chalice I noted the nice dark chestnut color and a pleasant musty aroma one comes to expect from Belgian style beers. The head produced was short lived and left faint lacing. The one thing that detracted from this ale’s look is the lack of haziness. The flavor is a little watery compared to the Belgian imports I am accustomed to. I was also a bit disappointed in the flavor’s hop character that I do not feel is becoming of an abbey style. The mouth feel is quite understated. Although I may not go out of my way for this one again I cannot say it is a bad beer. I am glad that more and more of our domestic brewers are trying to emulate these Belgian ales.

 733 characters

Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.49/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Two full fingers of biscuity tan head is easily achieved with a medium pour. Head has nice retention and slowly turns to a creamy skim. Body is a beautiful brownish amber tone. Nose is very attractive with tons of sweet malts and rich dark fruits. It really smells nice. Taste doesn't replicate the nose much at all. At first I get dry bitter, almost burnt malts that are far from sweet. The malt flavor is actually a bit off. Almost comes off a bit cardboard like. There is some nuttiness there and a hint of rustic hops. This beer had such promise between the look and smell. Overall it just a ok beer.

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Photo of IPA1978
3.34/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This beer is so close to a belgian abbey (from belgium) but just a bit muted in most aspects. Tastes of very light malty/raisin sweetness with light bready, floral, leather, faint bitterness and estery yeast. Body is a bit thin for the style. I love a good belgian and trappist beer and this is damn close, worth a try and I will buy again.

 344 characters

Photo of Clockwork420
4.06/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - Dark copper, reddish hue. Creamy three finger head. Poured aggressive. One finger head remained.

S - Floral scent, nothing in particular I can pick out. Smells metallic. Fresh baked bread.

T - Initially sweet. Middle was very floral. Had some bread in there too. A bit of the metallic taste was noted. Faded with a hint of bitterness. It was like it was telling a story, every stage was a bit different through out from beginning to end. Alcohol is hardly noticeable.

F - Carbonation was good. I thought the viscosity was proper.

Overall, I liked the complexity. It was not too busy to not give me certain notes but it wasn't plain Jane by any means. Mostly the beer never got boring and every drink was telling me different things about it. I like that in a beer. Drinkability for me would be fairly high on this one given its a 6.5% brew.

Would purchase again, would love to share it with my friends.

 916 characters

Photo of Suds
3.79/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reddish-brown hue, mostly clear liquid with just a slight haze. Blanket-like foam head. Decent lace. The smell is estery and malty...spice and dark fruit. Nice complexity. Semi-dry, with good malt and yeast flavor. Solidly good.

 234 characters

Photo of Henrich
3.84/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with one finger of fleeting foam, which melts into the beer momentarily leaving a tight ring around the glass. Belgian lacing could be better, but it is present. Color is beautiful golden brown.
Smell: Lightly estery and sweet. I'd like a little stronger smell, but what's there is pleasant.
Taste: Doughy, slightly fruity, and delicious. Great, refreshing taste that doesn't longer long.
Mouth-Feel: Medium body, with perfect just-shy-of-fizzy carbonation. No noticeable astringency or fusel components.
Overall: This is a solid beer; if you're a fan of the style, you'll enjoy this one. It won't blow you away, but I'd definately buy it again. Good job!

 673 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.04/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

22 oz bottle.

Pours a hazed dark copper with a bubbly, dense light tan head. Thick clumps of lace and long lasting retention. Buttery nose, bready, plums, caramel, bubblegum and dough. Thick, full body with light carbonation and a cloying finish. Flavor is dominated by malt, doughy and bready, bubblegum sweet and minimal yeast. Not bad, but not much contribution from the Trappist yeast and too sweet.

 404 characters

Photo of Entropy501
3.94/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really enjoyed this beer. I have a bias for Belgian beers and especially anything with a trappist yeast.

The malt and hop notes were meshed very well with the trappist yeast. The price on this beer and alcohol level are perfect and really a great way to enjoy a beer with the quality of Chimay or Orval but without the price.

 326 characters

Photo of BryanCarey
3.99/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper/brown in color with a completely clear body, this beer has a nose that offers such aromas as plum, caramel, and figs. The beer leaves some good lacing on your glass as you drink and its appearance is certainly indicative of a quality product.

This beer has an interesting flavor profile, with tastes of bready malt, a touch of sourness, plums/prunes, yeast, caramel/toffee, herbal notes, and even a little bit of smokiness. It is certainly a complex beer with many different flavors fighting for recognition.

Cathedral Square certainly has an interesting product here. There is a candy- like component to the taste and the complexity doesn’t quit. It isn’t a session beer for these and other reasons, but that should take nothing away from the tasting experience. I liked it more and more with each passing sip and I recommend seeking it out.

 855 characters

Photo of soju6
3.7/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep reddish-brown with a decent head and nice lacing.

A: Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate, dark fruits with a bit of coffee and spice.

T: Taste is a blend of roasted malt, chocolate, dark fruit and some spice. Mild bitterness in the background and a clean finish.

F: Medium body, smooth and quite creamy. Nicely balanced.

O: Good drinker. Solid offering from a local brewer.

 390 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #54 (July 2011):

Brewed with an authentic Trappist yeast. The lacing is simply amazing; light haze in the reddish brown color. Brown bread, mango, plum pudding, banana taffy and some lemongrass all make for a complex nose. Toasty and sweet maltiness plays off the palate very well; well-rounded smoothness and a creamy medium body adds to the drinkabil- ity. Kiss of alcohol is clean with a small hit of dried fruit. Hints of spice and herb in the semidry finish. Someone did their research here—we closed our eyes and thought we were in a café in Belgium.

 600 characters

Photo of bnes09
3.02/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark copper color. Ivory head, good retention and excellent lace film.

Yeast aromas, mostly musty and stale. No caramel or biscuit character.

Some buttery biscuit notes in the taste. Sweet caramel is there yet weak. Not much hop flavor. A hint of cider spice. Odd musty yeast aftertaste.

Full in body, descent carbonation, semi-coarse texture.

Ok but a little rough around the edges. So far, this brewery has not impressed me much. Maybe it will just take time for them to refine their recipes.

 498 characters

Photo of TheWhiskerReview
3.35/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a brilliant garnet with a 1.5 finger head. Reduces to a .5 finger layer of retention- rich soapy lace.

Nose is rather simple for a Belgian Abbey, but the aromas of caramel, prunes and spices are very pleasant.

On the palate, the malt is rather moderate and weak in flavor allowing a lot more of the spiciness to shine- flavors of black pepper, clove, caramel and a touch of chocolate.

Overall, I wasn't too terribly impressed, but I certainly wasn't upset in any way at all either. There definitely needs to be more malt, but the beer was very drinkable. This seems to be a pretty fresh brewery, and the fact that their bombers retailed 2 for $7 makes me think that they are fully aware that they have lots of room to grow. I wish them all the best.

 758 characters

Photo of TheSarge
2.5/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this one into a Chimay chalice. Hopefully I didn't desecrate my glass!

Pours decently with a finger thick tan head, and has a cloudy dark caramel colored body.

The aroma is earthy, fig, and a hint of metallic hops character.

This brew has some of the traits of sour Belgian yeast, a dark cracker approach, and a hint of a fruitiness I can't pin down.

Powdery and dry to the middle and leaves the palate moist.

Overall a step in the right direction, but needs more malt backbone. Improve upon this, and it may eventually become worthy in my opinion.

 560 characters

Photo of GossageBrewery
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle, into a pint glass. It poured a clear reddish amber color. It produced a decent white head, and head retention was very good. Above average amount of lacing. The aroma was earthy, burt malt and toffee. The beer was medium in body. Well carbonated. The taste was malty and dominated by an earthy toffee taste and it finishes slightly sweet and has a bit of a bitter hop flavor. Interesting beer. By far my favorite beer from Cathedral Square.

 468 characters

Photo of orsulacp
3.26/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Slightly cloudy brown with hints of orange under a creamy off white head. There is a metallic smell, with some roasted malts and a little yeasty musty smell. The taste has a nice heavy malty nuttiness, a little woody bitterness, and a hint of dark fruit like a plum. It has a heavy mouthfeel with tight carbonation, fairly drinkable.

 333 characters

Photo of meatmallet
2.7/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Even with an aggressive pour I get a small white head which dissipates quickly. Dark amber body.

Smell: Earthy and slightly sweet. Plum and fig are the strongest on the nose with some caramel and molasses.

Taste: Its a bit odd. Starts sweet and finishes sourish and bitter with an almost piney hop flavor. More malt than anything and the fruits from the nose are barely detectable.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Medium to light bodied with rather high carbonation.

 474 characters

Photo of jar2574
3.42/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown color, very thin head, decent lacing. An average looking beer. Smells pleasant, smells sweet with a touch of a fruit like cherry. Taste: Very light on hops, heavy on maltiness, a touch of honey and cherries. I think the mouthfeel is a little too watery for this sort of beer, there's not enough heft to the beer. But it's pretty enjoyable and easy to drink. It reminded me more of a brown ale than a Belgian ale.

 418 characters

Photo of Zundo
3.67/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber in color medium/heavy body with one-finger tan head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: very sweet and Figy. Bready toffee malts.

Taste: Toasted toffee malt it is a bit odd really

Mouthfeel: smooth and frothy

Drinkability: Easy drinking beer. The taste leaves a little to be desired.

 303 characters

Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.08/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a snifter.

A - Pours a very light brown with some nice reddish and amber hints. A thin .25 inch off-white head forms that is dense but recedes quickly. It recedes down to a thin film.

S - Nice toasty, bready and sweet malt aromas are present in the nose. Some mild toffee and caramel in the nose as well as slight spices such as cinnamon.

T - Starts of with nice bread hints and then becomes sweet malt. The sweet toffee and caramel malt flavor is very present as well as some prunes. There is very little in the way of hops and the malt although sweet lacks something. There are very little phenols.

M & D - Mouthfeel is medium bodied with some fluffy CO2 but not as complex as expected. Drinkability is low on this one not a winner in my book.

 782 characters

Photo of Tone
3.74/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, red/copper color. 2/3 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and great lacing. Smells of strong sweet malt, dark citrus, strong yeast, slight spice, alcohol, hint of banana, and slight hop. Fits the style of a Belgian Dark Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and clean with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong sweet malt, strong yeast, slight spice, alcohol, hint of banana, hint of earthy malt, and slight hop. Overall, good complexity, good aroma, but citrus dominates the body.

 504 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.35/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours out a clear, darkened amber body with a fine layering of beige foam on top.

Smell: Lightly sweet-scented, toasted malts team up with juicy, plum-like esters and spicy, clove-scented phenols.

Taste: Toasty, bread maltiness given a thin crust of sweet candi sugar. Carryover of the ripe dark fruitiness from the nose. Minor bitterness. Things soon dry out as the phenols and alcohol take charge. Slight kick of peppery alcohol. Meager amount of enduring maltiness on the dry, clove-packed finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-light carbonation.

Drinkability: Certainly a noble effort from a relatively new brewery, but it falls a bit shy of the mark. I'd say it could benefit from a little boost in the body and carbonation. Still, it's by no means a bad beer.

 784 characters

Photo of birchstick
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a brownish red with a creamy .5 finger head

S - figs, spice, toasted and chocolate malts

T - taste follows the nose, but not as strongly. There is a nice blend of darker fruits and chocolate and toasted malts. Not a ton going on, but enough to make it enjoyable.

M - medium bodied and creamy. Pretty good mouthfeel

D - I took down the bomber in relatively easy fashion - nice session beer. This was a solid introduction to Cathedral Square. This was a good Abbey Ale, one that I will visit again.

 510 characters

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Belgian-Style Abbey Ale from Cathedral Square Brewery
3.5 out of 5 based on 64 ratings.
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