Squatters Little Orphan Abbey | Utah Brewers Cooperative

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12 Ratings

Brewed by:
Utah Brewers Cooperative


Style: Belgian Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by alexgash on 11-16-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Ratings: 12 |  Reviews: 9
Reviews by drumline:
Photo of drumline
3.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in a pint glass

Appearance - Pour a clear dark red/brown; nice head with good lacing.

Smell - Bready yeast, cloves, bananas, dark fruits, spices

Taste/Mouthfeel - Fairly sweet, fruity malts, with banana, clove, and slight spice flavors. Bready Belgian yeast flavors as well.

Drinkability - at only 4% ABV, this is very drinkable and wouldn't make a bad session brew

Overall, this isn't a bad brew, especially given the crazy alcohol laws the Utah brewers have to deal with. Quite far from a "true" Belgian Dubbel; it would make a pretty good session beer.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Hugh37
3.25/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of CHL
3/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I like a lot of Utah retail 4.0 beers, but this is probably one they shouldn't attempt at retail. All of the reviewers make excuses because of the law, and there's a reason for it; this beer needs more malt to get off the ground. I would buy one of Utah Co-op's other fine beers instead--and they do have many fine beers.

It looks ok, but the smell is Belgian yeast with some spice and coriander. Hardly any malt in the taste--presumably because brewing with more would push it over the alcohol limit. It really tastes more like a weakish hefe with maybe some added orange peel. It's not bad, but it can't really hold this style. I'd much rather have their pilsner or witbier or porter or kölsch or premium American lager or etc.

This should be reformulated for sale at state liquor stores and their brewery store (where no alcohol limits exist). This 4.0 formulation should be replaced in their retail samplers with one of their other tasty brews. Or perhaps this could be tweaked to work as some other style--dubbel is out of reach at 4.0%. Very sorry guys.

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Photo of flexabull
3.47/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark amber color, with an initially decent head that faded to almost nothing.

Beer smells sweet, dusty, and apple like.

Flavors are fairly true to the style... even though this is brewed to be sold in Utah. Mouthfeel is light, and watered down, but the flavors are decent.

The flavors are apple like, cereal, and grainy. Beer is a tad sour and bitter on the finish.

Squatters/Wasatch continue to amaze me. They make pretty decent beers that can slide under the 4.0 ABV cap that the State of Utah has imposed. These aren't beers I would ever buy in California, but the next time I visit Utah, I won't be unhappy when I drink their product. Not bad at all...

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Photo of SCW
2.16/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I guess it's going to be hard to make a Belgian Dubbel when you're restricted to keep your ABV at 4.0% That being said, there were many other things wrong about this beer besides the low ABV.

My sample poured with a nice head with decent lacing. The aroma was nice - spicy and complex, and not too much hops. However, the taste was definitely flawed. My sample tasted infected - there must have been some bretta in this beer. It had a sour aftertaste that was very unpleasant.

I struggled to finish this one, and I was not impressed. I have some other styles from them; perhaps there will be redemption.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
3.65/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Those poor brewers in Utah. The archaic rules they're forced to toil under boggle the mind. Cheers to these guys for making the best of it. All and all not a bad attempt, I've had way worse. Its actually hard to believe it has such a low ABV. Lots of candied sugar and cloves. Almost tastes like its made with some sorta german hefe yeast. Maybe it is? Pours a murkey brown. Decent lacing. I was talking to the bar tender, he said they need to sell their beer to the state, then the state sells it back to them. Hmm... thought church and state were separate? Well, anyways, a nice drinkable brew.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a Fall/Winter Sampler pack.

Pours a clear dark golden brown color, nice little fizzy head which dissappears quickly, some lacing around the edges. Scents of sweet malts, yeast, spices, and banana's. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, spicy. Reminds me more of a hefe, but given the screwed up laws here, a good shot at a belgian style brew. Medium body. Very drinkable, and tasty. Would recommend.

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Photo of xymyl
1.78/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Thin white head that drops fast to reveal crystal clear brown beer.

Nose is coriander and muted Belgian esters with no backbone.

Taste is a clearly from a Belgian yeast strain, but that's almost all that shows up. Some hop and dark malt bitterness, 3/4 of the way through an odd sweetness arrives and makes it even less interesting than it already was.

Way too light and way too nothing and way too out of style. As for drinkability, it is almost as drinkable as bitter water.

This almost seems like they took the recipe for their brown ale and put some Belgian yeast in it. Yawn.

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Photo of alexgash
3.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I wanted to enter this in under "Belgian Mild Ale," but none such category/style exists. But, if it did, this would be a perfect fit for it. This ale is a great example of what results when a state limits brewers to a 4% abv ceiling. Anywho, cheers to Squatters for at least trying to brew creatively under these conditions. Poured a medium golden amber with a small, wispy, off-white head. Smells of light Belgian candy sugar, wheat malt, light fruit, and traces of yeast. Mild aromas, but definitely Belgian-inspired. Taste is faintly sweet, with fruity malt, light banana, yeast, and a bit of spice. Imagine a watered down dubbel...that's not very sweet. Although lacking in ummpph, not bad, and quite drinkable

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.65/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Transparent orangish bronze topped by a two finger crown of sandstone colored foam. Needless to say, Orphan Abbey doesn't look much like a dubbel. I don't expect it to smell like one, taste like one or feel like one either. The cap is on the frothy side, yet still manages to leave a few soft streamers of lace on the glass.

I don't feel any sense of vindication in noting that the nose is nothing like the stated style. It's pretty obvious that it's no more possible to create a 4.0% dubbel than it is to create a 5.0% barleywine or RIS. Well, a good one anyway. The aroma is moderately fruity and slightly spicy. I'm not impressed.

UBC made an attempt to recreate the classic Belgian style. Not a very good attempt, but an attempt nevertheless. Trouble is, the Utah ABV cap makes it damn near impossible to get enough malt into this sucker to make it turn out halfway decent. The basic flavors are there though, as bastardized as they may be.

An osteoporotic caramel malt backbone fails to hold things in proper alignment and the beer tastes unrefined as a result. Skittish notes of dark, musky fruit and spice aren't enough to carry the day. Dubbels ought to be warm and inviting. This one is cold and sterile. If I didn't know better, I'd have called it an undermalted Scottish ale since that's what the flavor profile most resembles.

It's no surprise that the mouthfeel isn't up to the task at hand. It's way too light, unless one compares it to a style that it was never meant to be compared to. I'd even go so far as to say that it acheives wateriness on the swallow.

Squatters Orphan Abbey Belgian Style Ale isn't Belgian-like in the least. It isn't any sort of a good knockoff, but then what should one expect when the brewers are forced to labor under a ridiculous ABV law that precludes the creation of malty, complex beer. This one should never have been attempted. I shudder to think that Utahans may be led to believe this is what Belgian beer actually tastes like.

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Photo of Unchi
3/5  rDev -2%

Squatters Little Orphan Abbey from Utah Brewers Cooperative
Beer rating: 3.06 out of 5 with 12 ratings