Dark Abbey | Harriet Brewing

very good
13 Reviews
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Dark AbbeyDark Abbey

Brewed by:
Harriet Brewing
Minnesota, United States

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by cmannes on 03-05-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 75
Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap, from a growler and a bomber. Bomber was the better beer.
L: Pours brilliant auburn under a 1” sudsy cream colored foam collar that hugs the side of the glass.
S: Spicy, fruity nose with traces of plum and dark dried fruit.
T: Fruit palate featuring plums and prunes backed by traces of orange and banana and over ripe fruit.
F: Creamy medium to a little more on the carbonation with medium full body.
O: The bomber better features the Belgian beer texture and the Belgian yeast flavors than do the tap or growler versions.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Punch Pizza in Woodbury, MN. Served in a tall pint glass.

Appearance: Color is a dark and hazy brownish amber. Moderate amount of bubbles and about one finger of off white head that fades into a thin creamy layer. Leaves some good lacing.

Smell: A fruity and spicy Belgian style aroma with good hints of dark fruit and spices. Belgian yeast with some spice hints of clove, peppers, and cinnamon. Toasted malt with bready hints of biscuit, grains, straw, toast, caramel, and subtle chocolate roast. Sweet hints of Belgian candied sugar. Big presence of dark dried fruit with hints of grapes, raisin, fig, prune, and dates. Also some fruit hints of banana and apple. Hops are pretty subtle. A pretty good aroma.

Taste: Like the smell suggests, a yeasty, fruity, and spicy Belgian Dubbel style aroma with notes of dark fruit and spice. Upfront Belgian yeast with spicy notes of peppers, clove, and cinnamon. Toasty malt with some bready notes of biscuit, toast, grains, straw, caramel, and slight chocolate. Good presence of dark fruit with dried notes of grapes, fig, raisin, dates, and prune. Also some notes of banana and dried apple. Very light note of earthy hops in the background. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Creamy, juicy, and fairly drying on the finish. Pretty smooth.

Overall: A very good take on a Belgian style Dubbel. Nice mix of fruit esters and yeasty spices.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A $4 pint (or so) dubbel. That's pretty damn good. Served at the brewery tap-room.
Dark Abbey is a bit of a misnomer, as the drink itself is not that dark. In fact it is kinda' light colored, more of a darker gold with amber than amber. Poured with smallish head (which is fine), but even that showed a little lacing.
Light and spicy, or lightly spicy, aroma. More yeast than malt. Similar to the Bel. Strong Pale Ale, but holding a bit of a stronger malt background. This come through more in the flavor, where the dubbel character is more evident. Still this is a yeast forward drink overall, and probably a result of it being so damn fresh. Yeast holds a peppery quality at times, some tingly spiciness and some phenolics. There is a good amount of drying on the finish.
A moderate to slightly more body, but at times it impresses as heavier than it is. Real nice creamy smoothness, even with the prickly carbonation.
A nice solid drink enhanced by the spinning of Playing in the Band from Ace, which I hadn't heard in nearly 20 years, or more.

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Photo of gatornation
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap @ busters
A- pours a hazy dark golden color with a white head and minimal lacing

S- is belgian yeast and bread, with banana and clove,sweet fruits

T- banana and clove with sweet fruit and baked bread malts, a light hop precense

M- good carbonation crisp and sweet

O- drinks more like a golden ale but still tasty on tap and will drink it again when spotted on tap in Minneapolis

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

Poured a nice, rich, dark amber, slightly hazy, with a 1 finger of white head, lasted a couple minutes, but faded.

Nice nose of dark fruits (albeit not as strong as I was hoping for), toffee, yeast, spices along with the classic banana and clove.

A nice rounded, sweet taste, as expected. Dark fruits: figs, raisins. Spices: clove, mace, allspice. Caramel. Bread.

Mouthfeel was a bit light, was hoping for a bit more body. A nice, dry finish was surprising for the sweetness of the beer. Nice, moderate carbonation. Not flat, not nose-tickling, just right.

Overall, a pleasurable brew. Keep up the good work, Harriet!

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Town Hall tap. This beer arrives a cloudy brown color. The head is a half inch of white foam that recedes into minimal lacing. The aroma is of raisins, dates, figs, yeast, and flowers. The taste is similar to the aroma with nice malt and yeast complexities. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with a velvety texture, and lively carbonation. Overall, this is a fine beer that I will certainly drink again.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis.

Pours a deep slightly reddish amber color, mostly clear, with two fingers of cream-colored head. Good retention and nice lacing.

Smell is, to be honest, a lot like most of Harriet's beers. It seems that their yeast strain imparts similar fruit and spice aromas to many of their beers (hefeweizen, saison, and this one). They work okay in a dubbel, though they are a bit on the light and airy side, and more suited to hefes and lighter Belgian styles IMO. Banana, a bit of clove and nutmeg. Cocoa and fig come through more as it warms up. Not as much of the darker fruits that ought to be present.

Taste is more in line with the style - stronger, deeper malt flavors, though it does still have that lightness that seems like it doesn't belong. Some candi sugar comes through. The taste evaporates - I really think the sweetness should be more persistent.

Medium-bodied and pretty sugary, but with rather low carbonation. Much drier than I'm used to from dubbels, especially in the finish (which feels more like a tripel).

This is an interesting beer. It's tasty, but it's definitely not a straight-up dubbel. Has elements more suited to several other styles. They come together fairly well, but the sweetness and the body kinda clash.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up my first growler from Harriet Brewing tonight. Very fun place that I will review when I do the tour, hopefully over Christmas break. I'm on my second glass of this Belgian dubbel tonight, and the 7% ABV is apparent a bit in the nose and more in the feel. First glass has a huge bubbly head with massive bursts of gas that collapse in a haphazard way. The irregular head can be seen a bit in the picture. For the second glass, the off white head formed much more nicely with tight bubbles and a much prettier presentation.

The nose is my favorite part of this beer. Strong Belgian yeast combined with a superb dark fruit, cherry and fig on top of a heavy chocolate malt base. Very pretty and intoxicating to breathe in. Taste doesn't match up to the smell, for me anyway. However, I like the growler better than my first draft of the beer at the Blue Nile in October. I'm quite sure Al served it well, but I'm starting to think that I drank it a bit too fast the first time. Warmed up, the taste opens up significantly. More yeast notes, dark fruits rest on the tongue more, and there's a light spiciness that lingers pleasantly. On Harriet's website, they add the description of rum-raisin to what I've tasted, and the alcohol note is reminiscent of rum. I had planned to order a different beer when I walked in the brewery, but the person in front of me literally ordered the last one, so ordering the Dark Abbey with the West Side was the only option left for the day. As this has been a very pleasant night, thank god for happy accidents.

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Photo of tempest
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a tulip glass at the Pig & Fiddle in Edina. Just like their Divine Oculust, this is tasty stuff. I should say that it's a bit out of style. It's too fruity to really be a dubbel, but it's a fantastic Belgian dark ale. The nose and flavor are a rich, but not too thick, mix of date and mild cocoa roast. The finish is dry and the flavor never gets too sweet, but it's strong in a good way. I could already smell the beer when our waitress set it down. The fruity Belgian yeast just literally jumping out of the glass. Also like the Divine Oculust, this beer reminds me of the best of Unibroue.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Harriet Brewing opened their front doors to the public for the first time on Saturday, February 26, 2011, also the release of the Dark Abbey dubbel. I didn't have time to hang out and listen to Lonesome Dan Kase, but I did visit my records. Jason transferred my LPs from the bag I brought them in, to their own box, the Al Box, isn't that awesome. Chatted a bit, with J. and other folks, then off to work. Had the growler (the entire one, if I remember right) that evening after work, and these were the notes:

"Harriet Brewing Dark Abbey Dubbel, 64 ounce growler. And now, an orange growler. No matter what color, I firmly believe that they have the brewing world's coolest, trippiest logo. It's like those hops are in 3-D, comin' at ya!

Starts with a head, but it goes down a bit quickly. Mahogany hued, reddish-brown around the edges.

Slightly sweet, caramel malt aroma, toffee, then the dark fruits turn up, some raisin and rum, a bit of fig.

Taste: Sweet malt is full in charge, toffee flavors mix with dark rum, molasses, dark fruit. Very balanced, clean, with a well-rounded, judiciously sweet finish. Well-rounded is what I want to come back to, again and again. The IBUs are low, but the bitterness makes a mark. Very nice little buzz on the palate. Yum. I take another sip, and the flavor roars back. There's fullness here, but it never spills over. Begins sweet, stays clean and lean, finishes very moderated. Is it strange that I'm applauding a beer for being restrained? It's just right.

I'm having a crisis of conscience. Have to recalibrate my recollections of what I like in dubbels. Do I really like them bigger and fatter and richer than this? Do I need them beefier and bolder? Is that truly my preference, or am I imagining it? Maybe it's time for a little sit-down with some great dubbels and toss this one in the mix. I know it will hold it's ground. All in all, I'm thinking ...what was I thinking? All misgivings are over and through. I am utterly and thoroughly happy with this brew. It has everything I want, and lacks nothing. It has nothing superfluous, and contains no unwanted elements. There is no lack of satisfaction in consuming this beverage.

The growler is empty, the remains are in my glass. And it is excellent. It is exactly what is should be, and nothing of what it shouldn't. This should make any beer lover happy. It's doing it for me, that's for sure. "

I guess I did finish it, didn't I?
And a week later I did that blind tasting, matching Dark Abbey against Westmalle, North Coast's Brother Thelonious, and Ommegang. I identified them all correctly, and the Harriet brew fell in last place. It's fine, just doesn't compare to those others, brewers that have been around for decades, mind you, when it comes to body, mouthfeel, and fullness of flavor.

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Photo of deebo
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the first Minneapolis brewery to open in over 10 years, their second public offering is one of my favorite styles-a Belgian dubbel.
A-A muddy dark red/brown with very little head
S-Lots of sweet yeast fruit esters.
T-Well balanced, unlike most Belgian dubbels this one has what tastes like NW US hops, which gives a hint of grapefruit/pine at the end of a drink. Plenty of toasted malt fruity/yeasty with a touch of sweetness.
M-lightly carbonated with moderate mouthfeel for the style
D-Very drinkable-a growler goes quickly.

Many people who tasted this with me found this one to be a winner.

I hope they keep this one in their regular rotation. Well done.

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Photo of jera1350
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium brown in color with a ring of tan foam. No lacing.

Lots of ripe banana, some dark fruit, and caramel sweetness.

The Belgian yeast offers up lots of banana. Caramel malt, candi sugar and some fruit. Light hop presence. Very tasty. A hint of alcohol.

Smooth, medium bodied. Maybe a bit undercarbonated.

A really nice dubbel. Glad to have a new brewery specializing in belgians. Easy to drink. I shared this with some inexperienced beer drinkers and all of them loved it. Will get this again.

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Photo of cmannes
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler poured into a Surly Stein

Appearance: Deep Red amber color. White head which doesn't last long.

Aroma: Sweet Belgian Yeast, very clean/crisp smell.

Taste: Sweet, caramelly, almost no hop at all. Clean finish.

Mouthfeel: A little syrupy, but not in a bad way.

Overall: A very straightforward Dubbel. Very good for the style, but it's not trying to be fancy.

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Dark Abbey from Harriet Brewing
4.04 out of 5 based on 75 ratings.
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