Abbey Ale | Brewery Ommegang

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Abbey AleAbbey Ale
4,646 Ratings
Abbey AleAbbey Ale

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Abbey was Ommegang's first beer and was styled after Dubbels produced by Belgian Trappist monks. A deep, rich and malty ale, Abbey uses several Belgian specialty malts and spices resulting in a very aromatic, flavorful beer.

Deep burgundy in color, topped by a dense tan head, Abbey Ale is rich on the palate but with a dry finish. Suitable for cellaring, Abbey develops wonderful caramel, fig, and currant notes with age.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-18-1998

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Ratings: 4,646 |  Reviews: 1,774
Photo of Mavajo
3.55/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours orange coming from the bottle, but settles into a rich, dark chestnut brown in the glass with a moderately fluffy off-white head. Retention isn't that great and quickly settles into a thin crown before disappearing entirely. No lacing.

Nose is caramel/toffee with some fruits and malty. Taste brings the same notes but has a strong sour/tart undertone - from the yeast? Whatever it was, I didn't like it. I also found this brew to be over-carbonated and quite boozy. Each of those things contributed to fairly ho-hum drinkability. I actually had trouble getting the whole bottle down. The drinkability improved a bit as it warmed, but was downright caustic at the recommended serving temp (chilled @ 50 F).

This was pretty much the brew that got me into craft. I'm not sure what happened - maybe my tastes just changed. But I didn't really enjoy this at all and will probably scratch it off my list of favorites. It just fell way short of the true Belgian dubbels - wasn't even close.

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Photo of mklinger
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a large Belgian bottle into a goblet. Deep amber to slight brown color with a crazy lot of carbonation. Thick rich head.

Smell was wonderfully complex. Some caramel sweetness, candied fruit, citrus, and spices.

Taste was similarly complex. Really pleasant with a interesting combination of sweetness and dryness.

Very drinkable, great abbey ale. I drank 2/4rds of this big bottle and found it so easy to drink this for a high gravity beer.

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Photo of sirdrinkwell
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pours a nicely hued transcluscent ruby color with a sizable amount of creamy head...

s: the nose is wheat, yeast, and malts all the way...

t: sweet malt greeting, and underwhelming yeast and hops finish...

m: this is a nice mouthfull, rich in its character and full bodied...

d: while its popularity is justified, this is not my favorite from the Ommegang crew...


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Photo of puboflyons
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pop goes the cork from the 1 pt. 9.4 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on December 23, 2009. It pours a handsome tone of burgundy-brown with a generous topping of foamy tan head about two inches deep. Not as hazy as traditional Abbey Ales but still inviting. The aroma is an appetizing balance of wheat, caramel malts, and yeast with only a hint of alcohol in the distance. A well-bodied mouthfeel keeps me interested. The taste is a very pleasingly bitter combination of sweetness and licorice with a subtle hoppy ending. Very authentic. Ommegang gets it right again.

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Photo of BarrelO
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Deep reddish brown with a big Belgian head that leaves good lacing.

S: Mostly dark fruits with a bit of alcohol. Heavily phenolic. Not too appealing.

T: Tastes better than it smells. Dark fruits and toffee. A bit bitter.

M: A tad too thin.

D: It's a bit too boozy to be an "authentic Belgian dubbel." Still a solid Belgian.

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Photo of TommyW
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark amber with a thick, off-white head that sticks well to the glass.

S- Caramel malt base with notes of rock sugar sweetness, clove and spice.

T- Steely caramel malts with some dark fruits (raisins soaked in dark rum come to mind and some plum) and yeasty earthiness. There is a noticeable alcohol presence. The finish is dryer but still slightly fruity sweet.

M- Big feel with an assertive carbonation.

D- Really a solid dubbel; the higher abv and complex flavor profile make it a great sipper.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 8/9/09. 12 oz. bottle. Pours a cloudy deep brown with a thick light tan head. Aroma of yeast, bready malt, anise star, licorice, molasses, plums, and sweet malt. Flavor of sweet malt (almost cola malt) with spices, licorice, anise star, fig. A good dubbel, a touch on the sweet side (your typical American dubbel). Just ok for me though, nothing special.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
4.02/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark murky reddish brown, not much head for a Belgian ale, and it dies down quickly.

The first thing I smell is red wine, apple cider, brown sugar, dark fruits and some alcohol.

Tastes like it smells, Belgian yeast, lots of sugary sweetness, sort of nutty, dark fruit, spicey and somewhat medicinal, delicious.

Thick syrupy mouthfeel and pretty drinkable, the alcohol is hidden well. Overall a decent Dubbel, worth trying.

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Photo of brystmar
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into my Chimay chalice. This is a handsome beer, dark brown in color with just over a finger of thick, tannish head comprised of tiny bubbles. Most of the head disappeared rather quickly and left minimal lacing on my glass.

Aroma brings strong roasted malt with hints of caramel and chocolate. Smells like a delicious Belgian dubbel!

The roasted malts hit you right up front in the taste, which continues all the way through the aftertaste. Notes of caramel in the middle, and it finishes with dry, but nicely sweet and darkly fruity flavors.

This is a full-bodied beer on the stronger side of the carbonation scale. I'm not one for lots of fizz, so that's pretty much my only dislike about this beer. This brew has a very crisp feel to it as it goes down and is easily sessionable. I enjoyed this beer very much!

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

I have my own bottle of this which I plan to taste and review at further length, but I wanted to put down a few thoughts on a two year old bottle that Troy was kind enough to share.

Two year old bottle: Classic mahogany pour with a finger of bubbly tan head. Decent retention and lace. Sweet fruity malt aroma - lots of good dark fruit, and a bit BSDA in feel. Some yeasty spice in the tail. Smooth flavour. Again lots of dark fruit. I'm thinking dates, figs and raisin. A good dose of caramel, and a nice sweet spicing that lingers in the finish. Medium mouthfeel, with a smooth, luxurious carbonation. I'm thinking a bit of age on this works well, as the ABV is completely absent. I'll crack the relatively fresh one soon...

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Photo of bob3701
4.17/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a standard pint glass. Cloudy copper color with a vey light tan head that starts out thick and goes slowly into a thick film. Great lacing. Fruity spicy aroma. Sweet and sour in taste and alcohol is very noticable. A very complex and well made brew.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A very attractive Belgian, with a mahogany color (garnet highlights) and a frothy tan head that splashes a lot of lacing around the chalice

Smell: Raisin spice cake, brown sugar, and rum-soaked dried dark fruit

Taste: Dark fruit, up front, with developing fig and golden raisin elements, followed by an increasingly sweet candi sugar aspect that adds a spice cake flavor by mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavor is more sweet than complex, with a hint of coconut on the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation; a hint of warmth in the gullet

Drinkability: I think I was spoiled by the cave aged version, or perhaps this one should have spent more time in my cellar (I purchased and drank it on the same day), but it seems to lack a depth of complexity; still, quite a nice dubbel

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Photo of rosmhuire
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark amber coloring. Substantial head. Significant carbonation.

S: Malty

T: Nice sweetness but still crisp.

M: Lots of carbonation. Nice feel in the mouth.

D: As far as Dubbels go, this one is highly drinkable. Another winner from Ommegang. These guys do Belgian brews just as well as the Belgians do!

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Photo of sevenredrabbits
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is gorgeous.

Appearance : Dark reddish brown. Thick massive head.

Smell : Fruit(can't be anymore specific as it's something i smelled when i worked in a produce department. Alcohol is apparent but not obvious.

Taste : Prunes, molasses, gorgeous.

Mouthfeel : Like liquid silk.

Drinkability : This is gorgeous.

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

A- pours a chestnut red with a brown foamy head. lots of carbonation. good looking beer

S- releases a nice bouquet on the nose. malts up front with caramel, brown sugar, raisin, fig & bananas. very sweet but well-balanced

T- taste like it smells...sweet. malty backbone with good balance of molasses, figs, bananas & biscuit.

M- medium bodied that is velvety on the tongue. lots of carbonation.

D- this is one of the better beers I've had in a while... definitely the best Dubbel. ABV is well hidden in this balanced brew.

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Photo of alexgash
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, corked and caged.

A nice pop and pour reveals a dusky garnet to brown body. Large, fluffy, rocky, dark sandy brown head. Nice lacing. Sugary malt s, brown sugar, raisins, plums, bananas, and toffee on the nose. There's some nice spicy, clove-y yeastiness going on as well.

Toasted sugar and caramel roll malt up front. Yeasty, estery bananas and rummy fruit sweetness follow. Some plum, more caramel, and cocoa near the finish. More delicious yeasty spiciness in the finish, with lingering estery fruits. Full-bodied with lively bottle-conditioned carbonation, and a creamy feel. A delicious classic, that rivals Belgium's best!

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Photo of Bulkman
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a 4 pack of this as a break from my usual fare of stouts & porters. A little wary as I'm not a big fan of Belgians, I soon became intrigued.

Anxious to try this, I took one out of the pack, poured it into a snifter, cold right from the fridge. Big mistake. And I knew it right away. I knew I was missing out on everything this beer has to offer.

Let it sit for about 10 min. and the amazing aroma will be very noticeable from a few feet away.

A: Not a very aggressive pour (to avoid getting sediment in my glass) & there was easily 1-1/2 inches of beautiful tan colored head. Dark brown color.

S: Sensory overload on this. Very strong of sweet, roasted, caramel malt with spice & a hint of citrus.

T: Incredible balance here between the malt flavors & hops, finishes very smooth, dry & crisp.

M: Smooth with a warm of alcohol. Nice.

D: Extremely drinkable, the alcohol content takes nothing away from it.

I'm very impressed with this. I'd place it in my top 5 easily. Maybe top 3.

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Photo of scifan
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe I've never reviewed this one as this was one of the first beers I had that made me realize beer could have tons of flavor. It used to be one that I had about one every week or so and started my love affair with truly great beers. So I picked one up to have with thanksgiving dinner and like always it didn't let me down. It pours a dark brown with ruby highlights when held to the light. Has a nice tan head that leaves some nice lacing. Smells great. Lots of sweet dark fruit aromas, with a nice bready yeast in the background. Also picking up quite a bit of alcohol as well. Taste closely follows the nose. Nice fruity flavors, like plum and fig. Has a slightly sweet burnt sugary notes as well, and is slightly alcoholic. Very carbonated with a nice clean dry finish. Very nice beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of Tone
4.06/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, ruddy amber with a lighter copper along the bottom of the glass. One inch head of a pale tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of alcohol, sweet malt, dark citrus (cherries/plums), sweet malt, and slight tart malt. Fits the style of a Dubbel. Mouth feel is smooth and slightly thick with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, citrus, tart malt, sweet malt, and slight yeast. Overall, a great body, blend, and appearance.

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Photo of josefnewsong
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best examples of the style. What really makes it stand out from other dubbels is the creaminess of the body. Lots of candied sugar and caramel flavors with some yeast and spicy characteristics. Also it's a very pretty beer. I always have a small stockpile in the cellar. Can become cloying after a while.

update: This is a world class brew on tap. draft version is beautiful. sweet but with a creamy mouthfeel. not as cloying as it is from a bottle

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Photo of Cakanator
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Last had at Ommefest. Just as I remember it being such a great all around beer, great color and aroma. Plenty of spices and slightly sweeter aromas with nice dry finsh, so good. The most solid brew that ommegang makes year in and year out. The dark brown color and full flavored palate makes me wonder why so many other breweries are making crappier beer for more money. Truley a gem I think we all overlook.

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Photo of DoctorDog
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: ~7oz sample from 750 ml bottle, poured into a small, stemless wine glass.

A- Pours a deep slightly reddish-brown. ~2 fingers of creamy tan head, which fades very slowly, leaving a nice cap. Heavy, sticky lacing.

S- Quite solid dark fruit scents dominate...raisins and cherries and such. Solid malty sweetness, with a sturdy amount of booze in the nose.

T- Unsurprisingly, flavor follows olfaction. Dark fruitiness of raisins and the like. Solid malty sweetness. Sturdy alcohol presence on the finish.

M- Moderately high carbonation. Body is medium, and the incredible head retentions helps to give it a creamy feel.

D- Pretty decent. This was a great beer to share and sip, but could easily be enjoyed in a "full size" serving and beyond.

Future outlook: Very good drink, and readily available. I can easily envision crossing paths again.

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Photo of WitteBelgique
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Always a good Dubbel in my opinion.

A: Nice dark brown caramel color.

S: I'm no expert(although my wife is Belgian...thus I've had a lot of Belgian beer), but to me it has that classic DubbleTriple rich malty smell. In this case it isn't too strong. I've had some Triple's that were just overpowering in this regard.

T: Good solid flavor...I won't throw inane candied fruit or bananas at just has a nice smooth taste.

M: As others have said it is very carbonated, you'll get a nice 3 finger head on this one. So it does have a nice mouthfeel.

D: Very drinkable IMHO, I could drink 2 of these and be all set at 8.5%. Certainly a very respectable beer and Brewery Ommegang is doing a right good job up there.

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Photo of GeezLynn
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown apple cider color with a frothy tan head than slowly recedes to the center. Strong old sugary fruit aromas, especially plums and raisins. Yeast and alcohol are also quite noticeable. Flavor is sweet dark fruits (figs, prunes come to mind), some licorice, clove spice, with a slightly bitter, yet sticky finish. Plenty of complexity for sipping.
Mouthfeel is overcarbonated in the foamy sort of way. Improves slightly after sitting awhile.

Flavor is interesting for awhile, but the mouthfeel really detracts from the drinkability of this beer.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.66/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a Delerium Tremens pink elephant snifter. 8.5% ABV on bottle

A - refreshing pop of the cork leads to a dirty brown pour with a massive off-white head

S - banana/fruity yeast aroma - very pungent and not particularly to my liking

T - instant taste of maraschino cherry, candied fruit. Aftertaste is more of plum and sweet roasted malts. Pretty good!

M - highly carbonated, this beer fizzles on your tongue

D - this is a very drinkable 8.5% abv - was able to get through the whole bottle.

I think I may tend to confuse fusel alcohol flavors with Belgian yeast flavors, miscategorizing fusel beers as "belgian tasting". While I don't typically prefer beers of this style, I'm digging this one - maybe I need to try some other good belgian style beers.

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Abbey Ale from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 4,646 ratings