Abbey Ale | Brewery Ommegang

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Abbey AleAbbey Ale
4,630 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: 4,630 |  Reviews: 1,771
Photo of bbeane
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a 16oz pint glass... Nice rocky head. Dark red in color with alittle activity going on... some yeast sediment moving along from the carbonation

S- After swirling the brew in the glass... some malty smells with sweet citrus overtones

T- Rich, sweet, malty tasting with a hint of fruit

M- A bit on the chewier side with little carbonation... flavor clings to your taste buds after swallowing

D- Very tasty, I would definately reach for another


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Photo of tj4288
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from beautiful 750mL bottle into goblet.

poured slightly thick and syrupy. nice 2 finger head that hangs around a while. no lacing. a very murky dark brown with some ruby color around the thinner parts of the glass.

smells of dark sweet fruit. fairly week on the nose.

taste is very complex with obvious notes of dark fruit, and a sweet, slightly sticky, syrupy mouthfeel. fairly light carbonation.

very good drinkability. i noticed more flavor and smell come through as it warmed. i paid $5.99 for this bottle and was very pleased. i guess i would buy it again if given the chance. not an everyday drink, definatly something special to share with friends.

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Photo of tigg924
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, mahogany, 2 inch creamy head, high carbonation

Smell: apple, caramel, yeast, and malt

Taste: caramel, apple, toasted malt, dried fruit, and Belgian spices

Mouthfeel: sweet, smooth, crisp, with a slightly sour aftertaste

Drinkability: Excellent for the style. I will certainly get this again. I love the fruity flavors.

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Photo of BeerTaster
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: a mix of dark red and some brown, 2 fingers of foam that fall slowly, moderate carbonation

Smell: plum, chocolate, cherries, some earthiness, caramel

Taste: some pepper, caramel and chocolate, fruit mixes nicely with alcohol and other flavors

Mouthfeel: creaminess broken up by moderate carbonation, slight alcohol

Drinkability very nice would be a great beer for a nice stew

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

Ommegang Abby Ale.
8.5% Alcohol.

A- Heavy duty dark brown fluid with hints of red undertones. Mild but efficient of white head that falls to a nice frothy head with excellent lacing.

S- Robust red wine smell upfront with a floral bouquet of hops and malts. Very fresh scent of alcohol on the nose with spicy herbal accents.
Carmel malts are noticable as well, at a warmer temperature.

T- Massive complex of red wine flavors, sweet fruits (plums, grapes, and maybe alittle peach), mild hoppy bitterness, and nice alcohol esters dominate.

M- Dry feel, with a warmth from the amount of alcohol this one packs. Smooth on the tongue with little to disrespect the taste buds.

D- Dangerously drinkable in the aspect of a dark strong ale. Try it, it will not let you down.

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Photo of blackearth
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased from Ray's Liquor in Wauwatosa, WI. Poured into a snifter, this beer was an extremely dark brown and looked a bit hazy. It had a fluffy off-white head. Aroma of grapefruit and citrus, reminiscent of a white wine. Full bodied with flavors of molasses and brown sugar that lead to a pleasant warming aftertaste in the back of the throat. Good drinkability in spite of the alcohol content.

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Photo of schmitter
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle(cellared for about a month( into a chalice. 2 finger head, good carbonation. sparkling mouthfeel with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Smells of caramel with a sweet alcohol note. I've seen better lacing, but its happening. Tastes of banana bread (slightly nutty), with a sweet hoppy finish. It's becoming harder to review this beer as a I drink more. Love it!


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Photo of montecristo2
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz brown bottle into a chalice.

Pours a deep mahogany color with subtle redness around the rim. A decent head that dissipates to a 1/4 inch of small bubbles that last into the middle of the glass.

Smells like dried fruits and spices.

Tastes the same- raisins and spices, would go really well with a big feast like a Thanksgiving dinner.

A potent brew, I can only do one glass before I feel the effects, but I still love it. One of my favorite offerings from Ommegang.

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Photo of shark262
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: a mix of dark red and some brown, 2 fingers of foam that fall slowly, moderate carbonation

Smell: plum, chocolate, cherries, some earthiness, caramel

Taste: earthy with minimal funk, some pepper, caramel and chocolate, fruit mixes nicely with alcohol and other flavors

Mouthfeel: creaminess broken up by moderate carbonation, slight alcohol

Great beer - I will be keeping an eye out for this around town.

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Photo of Anthony1
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

pours a amber with a red hue, like a deep cherry color. has a thick sand fluffy tan head.

dark aroma, smells spicy, some fruits (dark/dried) and some sweetness. Perhaps a caramel/toffee or sugar taste. flavor is similar, but with an extra sweetness to it. nice medium feel with a sweet taste ending with a bit bitter and dry. good feel, enjoyed drinking

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Photo of mjaskula
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On draft at Mompou in Newark on 2009-05-05. Served in a Ommegang chalice.

Pours dark black with a dark tan head that stays. The aroma is faint, of coffee and dark fruits. Taste is mildly sweet and malty balanced well with mild hops. More sweetness and fruit as it warms. Very pleasant, though I enjoyed it more from the bottle.

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice corked and caged 750.

Appearance: Close to perfect. Dark red brown with a little haze. Thick, thick whitish head that leaves great lacing-- not just lacing, thick chunks of head stuck all the way down the glass.

Smell: Belgian yeast, sweet fruit, spiciness.

Taste: Just delicious. A little bready. Some bitterness up front fades quickly. Sweet fruit with some medicinal taste to it. Nice spice. On the back end its very sweet and bready.

Mouthfeel: Nicely carbonated with good full mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I never want this bomber to end. I hate to grade a beer down because it makes me a little drunk, but...

One of my favorite dubbels.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a chalice,this beer is a deep brownish red with a nice head.

smell is rife with caramel and a little bit of yeast spiciness.subtle cocoa with a hint of alcohol is also in the noise.

taste is mild,caramel and dark candi sugar flavors dominate.not overbearing on the palate,i feel like there is something to be desired though.there is a hint of alcohol in the finish as well.

mouth feel is fitting for the style.i could drink a few of these with some bbq,overall i was a little bit disappointed.i've had this beer before and felt it was much better then than now.

i think i might be victim of a bad bottle here.maybe too old.for some reason i feel dubbels are much more enjoyable fresh rather than old as opposed to other styles.

i will review this beer again.

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Photo of NODAK
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is very rich...dark fruit, sweet molasses, some alcohol....this is a big brew.

Pours a dark, yet cloudy, amber color with a decent head that disippates.

Carbonation is pretty low here....taste is of fruit (plums, perhaps?), molasses and alcohol. There are some spices evident as well (cloves, coriander? Never been too good with those). The boozy taste hits in the finish, although not too bad when the beer is cold. There isn't quite as much of an aftertaste as I would have figured, but what is there is somewhat sweet and sticky on the tongue. The exhale after taking a drink certainly reminds you that this is a high ABV beer.

As the beer warms, the alcohol definitely becomes more noticeable and the drinkability decreases.

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Photo of wheatman106
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was fortunate enough to experience this with capra12 and Jimmy.

A: Reddish brown with a medium, unexciting head.

S: Unfortunately it lacks strong aromas, but those that do linger are of ripe stone-fruits with an essence of berry.

T: Mild on the hops throughout. This Cooperstown beauty opens mildly and embellishes to a cranberry and raisin flavor. The finish is long and moderately alcoholic with little to no lingering aftertaste.

M: Full body, and slightly coarse/rough, like unfiltered apple or grape juice which adds to the variety of elements found in this precious vial.

D: Very high. I would buy this beer by the case. The brewmasters at Ommegang struck gold with this brew.

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Photo of melagnus
4.72/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cave-Aged in How Caverns at a depth of 156 ft., at a constant temperature of 52˚F from October 2005 through September 2006 and brought to my lips yesterday! Between the cave aging and the bottle conditioning, this beer definitely had a level of complexity not normally found in the standard Ommegang, or so I found at least.

A - Frothy off-white head that looks slightly smoked in color. Two-finger thick and holding strong! Fizzles down to a solid film that rouses with little effort upon swirling in the snifter it was poured in stays around and leaves a wonderful array of sticky spider webs on the sides of the glass. The color is Deep Amber (SRM 15) hue with no clarity and has a reddish depth to it. Still seems a bit cold to the touch, so probably this haziness is more due to chill haze than anything else.

S - Incredibly strong aroma fills the sense upon first pour! A bourbon maltiness rises deep into the nose, with notes caramel and dried fruit (plum?). Sweet alcoholic esters are coming through in the background of a oak-aged presence.

T/M - Malty gumminess coats the palate with medium body (sugars probably helped to thin-out the body!) that finishes somewhat dry and with low levels of bitterness. The carbonation seems medium-high, as a tingly feeling titillates the palate, especially upon swishing the beer. There is no doubt that this beer is warming (8.5% ABV listed on-bottle, though with cave aging, etc., I wouldn't be surprised if it was higher!). Hints of vanilla also come through! Although high in ABV, the temptation to drink more is always there; no doubt the choice to do so will lower your level of consciousness though!

C - This beer is by far one of the best beers I've ever had. This brewery continues to amaze me with the quality of its beers and with the incredible ingenuity by which the company goes to. Cave aged from 2005-2006 and drunk today 6-13-09; truly an amazing world we all live in!

Lastly, although a Dubbel, the ABV is a bit high to be considered one, as the Dubbel-style max ABV is 7.6%, or say states the 2008 Style Guidelines. Either way, this bottle-conditioned cave-aged gift from the Gods is clearly a force to be reckoned with!


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Photo of MaxBrews
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz bottle poured into an oversized wine glass. Sorry did not have the proper chalice.

Appearance: Dark burguandy read, nice head with decent retention, thin soapy lacing, mild carbonation.

Smell: rich cherry or grape, extremely fruity and slightly alcoholic.

Taste: Extremely fruity with an alcoholic warmth, surprising for the abv.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly carbonated but in a crisp way not upsetting to the mouth. Very crisp and affirmative:.

Drinkability: much like a crisp and refreshing wine, extremely drinkable for a higher alcohol beer and for one with such a fruity and alcoholic flavor.

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Photo of TheNightbird
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A deep copper color, violet when held up to the light. Ommegang has great head retention.

S- Very fruity aroma, with hints of carmel and toffee. Chalky and earthiness.

T- Fruit and camel tastes are upfront, then Ommegang has a raisin syrup and scotch. Finish is dry and has a chocolate aftertaste.

M- Medium mouthful with burst of carbonation.

D- Good drinkability, all around a nice Dubbel.

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

From the 750 ml corked bottle.

Appearance - dark raspberry color with a huge head.

Smell - fruit, clove, and alcohol. A bit of caramel too.

Taste - Nice. Fruity without feeling girly. The carbonation jumps on your tongue as you savor all of the flavors of this ale. The high alcohol content is not hidden as it comes on in a fury after the fruit/sugar flavors subside.

Mouthfeel - bubbly and dry.

Drinkability - For such a complex ale to be brewed in New York and offered to the masses for less than $8 per bottle is a blessing. If you're interested in trying the Belgians but are put off by the high prices, try anything from Ommegang; it won't disappoint.

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Photo of ken2cart1
4.55/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into my sam adams "perfect pint" glass

A- brown, reddish, with amber hints, big 3 finger frothy head, with excellent lacing clinging to the sides of the glass, excellent head retention

S- smells like belgian yeast, peppery, spicy, estery, fruity, caramel malt, toasty

T- WOW, delicious, a big malty backbone filled the crystal malt or caramel malt, toasty, spicy, pepper taste, slightly fuity tasting...maybe dark plums or raisins, finishes with a lingering spicy and sight clove taste that makes u crave for more ...after the beer warms you can taste the belgian yeast a lot more and it is a strong taste of cloves..warms your body quite a bit

M- full-bodied and very creamy

D- could probably only have 2 in one sitting, but no point in having more, its just spoiling yourself, after every sip the beer parches your mouth almost and it just forces u to grab the beer for some more ( i have no problem with that)

overall: unreal beer, one of my favorites thus far in my beer adventure

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

Pours a beautiful reddish yellowish brownish color with an explodingly tight tan head. I still haven't gotten my pour technique down with these corked bottles, just can't seem to keep the mountain of foam away. Smells of cherries, spices and citrusy sticky hops. Tastes like cherries, and the malty spices come through. Mouthfeel is surprisingly on the lighter side, and hardly a hint of alcohol. Drinkability is great with the complexity coupled with a light body.

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Photo of sweetbrew82
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ML into a snifter/ no freshness date

P: Deep burgundy-shaded copper with a healthy, 2 fingered tan head that's soapy and slightly frothy with small bubbles. Shows good retention and forms a thin skin of foam on top.

A: Sweetly toasted caramel malts, toffee, dark fruits that remind me of raisins, dates, and plums. Also some yeast and light alcohol. Good strength to the aroma!

T: Caramel malts are definitely the star of this show, as they should be. They're sweet, full-feeling, and gently smooth to the tongue. Dark fruits play off of this with big flavors of raisin paste, figs, dates, and plums, while some toffee/butterscotch notes lay underneath. Clove-like spiciness is somewhere between low and moderate, but is a welcome addition to the sweet profile on the back end. The alcohol is pretty soft and stays well-hidden.

M: Medium-full, rich and slick, and very smooth. However, I did feel that it was over-carbonated as it expanded in the mouth almost to the point I didn't think I could hold it in!

Notes: This is, obviously, a well-made beer that features some good flavors that I enjoyed. But, this is just way too sweet for me. Very good representative of the style, but dubbels just aren't my cup of tea. If they are yours, however, seek this one out for sure!

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Photo of biegaman
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich colour and satiny complexion, Abbey Ale's reddish-brown coat appears like red fox fur. It's actually difficult to accurately portray the beer, it changes depending on the angle of light and consists of so many different shades (oranges, reds and browns) and tones both bright and dark. Its head, on the other hand, is consistent. Its creamy ecru stained wash engulfs the glass in its filmy skin.

If Ommegang Abbey Ale ever committed a crime I could sniff it out and have it behind bars in 10 minutes! This bouquet, so spicy and fruity and floral and malty, is the pinnacle of Belgian brewing in the New World. It smells every bit as authentic as anything actually made in Belgium and clearly uses an appropriately well cultured strain of yeast to procure such a smorgasbord of esters and phenols.

The beer tastes like a fruit compote that features pear, plum, fig and dates. There are also hints of candied cherries and rum-raisin. (Would this make a good ice cream flavour? I might be onto something...) The maltiness is sweet and toasty, imparting notes of toasty multi-grain breads and creamy caramel. A hint of alcohol is superseded by a rich and long lingering sensation of bitter licorice and sweet honey.

This label should really depict a knife and fork because it has paired well with just about any food I've thrown at it. Grilled red meats, pink fishes, roasts, stews, wild game, cheeses, fruits and desserts (and has also gone just as well in the creation of some of those dishes, too!) It possesses a complexity not always found in beer and has aged well for me. Wine lovers could easily substitute this in place of their favourite French red or after dinner Porto.

Of all the flagship beers in America, it would be hard to convince me that Ommegang's Abbey Ale isn't one of the best. It is sophisticated, layered with aroma and flavour, pairs well with a diverse range of foods and, above all else, is an absolute pleasure to sit down and get to know over the course of an evening. If you've yet to become acquainted I suggest you introduce yourself.

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Photo of nickfl
4.32/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Two fingers of off-white head with a toffee colored tinge. The body is a hazy dark brown and as the rocky head settles slowly, it leaves moderate lace.

S - Toasty malt with notes of caramel and toffee. Noticeable yeast character including some pepper notes and a light plum aroma.

T - Complex brown malt up front; toffee, caramel, chocolate covered raisins, and figs. The yeast character remains in the middle with lingering dark fruit notes. Malt takes over in the finish, lots of toast and caramel with just a hint of hop bitterness balancing.

M - Medium-heavy body, moderate carbonation, and a reasonably dry finish.

D - Very drinkable with a well balanced, but complex malt profile. The yeast contributes the necessary fruit notes without any hot alcohol and the hops never assert themselves, but are still able to contribute balancing bitterness. This is a great example of the style, and the price is pretty much impossible to beat.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.22/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a large wine glass. Pours a medium mahogany with some red highlights, and with a bubbly inch of off white head. Head surrenders to a surface ring and yields only temporary lacing.

Sweet dark fruits and spice dominate the nose with some yeast notes present as well but are overwhelmed by the malt structure of this brew. Half way through the glass a good swirl brings out some malt muddled yeast if only temporarily.

Taste follows the nose with malts and dried fruit, a pleasant carbonation on the swallow and a lingering return of date and cherry flavors and a bit of alcohol. Rather full bodied given the light effervescence of the carbonation and the robust malt flavors. Drinkability is decent but limited by the thick and rich nature of this beer.

This beer seems to offer the sweetness of a Quad but with only the complexity of a Dubbel.

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Abbey Ale from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 4,630 ratings