Abbey Ale | Brewery Ommegang

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Abbey AleAbbey Ale
4,631 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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,631 |  Reviews: 1,771
Photo of cretemixer
3.48/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 ml corked & caged bottle. The cork almost pops out on its own. Minimal effort needed there. Pours a dark brown with red tinges with a full tan head that fades to a carbonation fed layer after a couple of minutes. Aroma is very vinous. Alcohol & fruit on the nose. Smell of red wine. Taste is very much in line with the nose. Vinous, astringent, and pruny, with a grapefruit bitterness. Mouthfell is slightly sticky, carbonation is appropriate for the style. Although I drank the whole bottle, I wouldn't rate this one high on the drinkability scale, not for me anyway. I'll go for the Hennepin again before this one.

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Photo of Mitchster
1.4/5  rDev -66.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Ruby-amber clear brew forms a HUGE tan head with sticky, tenancious lace, despite moderate to low carbonation. The huge head is actually a detriment in this's overly ridiculous...larger than Duvel (even with a careful pour). Aroma is medicinal, fusel alcohols, and flat, rubbery oxidized hops. Beer starts out with a cloying, syrupy mouthfeel and gives way to metallic notes, leads into more of the rubbery oxidized hops, and ends with a potent kick of fusel alcohols. I think this beer is awful...given the excellent ratings this beer has, I was very disappointed. This tastes like homebrew gone bad. The store I bought this from said that they sell alot of it, and this was a fresh bottle. It made my girlfriend gag..she affectionately refers to it as "Crappegang".
I am a professed Belgian advocate, and I would never buy this again. Just because it's "supposed to be a Belgian", does not a good beer make.

Update: After a few protests from people, I've decided to try this brew again, this time from a known fresh 12 oz. bottle. The head was not a problem on this pour, making me think that my last bottle was contaminated....that was until I tasted it. I still stand by my original review. I think this beer is horrible, yet I will make a few additions. 1)The aroma...I notice this time around that there is a strong tang of toffee and dark candi sugar, though I don't think it is brewed with it. 2)There is a huge pepper note on top of the potent fusels. 3)The lace is nonexistant, so I'm going to take another 0.5 points off for looks. 4)The bittering hops are rubbery AND earthy. 5)It took me 20 minutes to get about 6 oz. of this down, and I already have a mean headache. Ugh. This beer really chaps my ass. Down the sink it goes.

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Photo of Admiraldinty
4.67/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml. bottle. Oh so very good. Burgundy in color with a nice and plentiful white head. Fruity, with what seems to be raisins(?) prunes(?). Extremely complex and extremely good. Alcoholic tasting. Definitely One that you have to respect. Extremely reasonable price ($4.50 for a 750 ml. bottle). I drank the entire bottle, and would gladly return to it again.

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

Burgundy in color with a light brown head. Leaves a bit of lacing. The aromas I get are of alcohol, orange peel, sweet caramel maltiness, and a touch of vanilla. The flavor is spicy, and medicinal. It has a candi sugar sweetness, and fruity fig or date flavors. It is medium in body, alcoholic, with a dry finish. Overall a very complex beer, I would definitely drink this one again.

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Photo of IPAlot
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am a reliable consumer of Ommegang's beer. They're local, the price is right, the love is in the beer, and it's fresh. I'm not one for all the plummy oaky-type descriptors, but I agree with the BA's description of cloves and citrus for the Ommegang. Otherwise I just think of beer flavors, and whether the beer is balanced and multi-dimensional, This beer definitely has strength, a malty mouthful of flavor, and character. a good winter beer to drink slowly and savor. I usually pour a couple mouthfuls at a time from a liberal height to set the head off nice, and this beer holds it nice, and the gas in the beer makes it nice and creamy. An excellent blend of texture, assertiveness, and flavor....gotta do these guys the justice of buying a belgian glass.....

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

This brew pours a hazy copper with a tan head that does not stay for a while, but it does leave a nice sexy lace behind. The wonderful smell of fruits pour out of the glass to the nose, cherries and melons are what I can make out. A strong alcohol flavor hits the palate upon first sip. The flavor of melons and cherries is in the palate also which was very strange at first because I have never had melon in my flavors but I was really turned on by it. A plum aftertaste is strong a last a little while after finishing the brew.


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Photo of ethosx19
4.38/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich burgundy, with a light fruity aroma. The taste is sweet grapes, malt, and a small woody hop finish. This strong ale reminded me of a fruit wine without any of the off-taste I find in most barley wines. I'm glad a Belgian of this quality is being made in the US.

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

Cloudy dark brown in color with a half inch tan head that lasts long enough to leave a nice lace. I have had this beer one other time but this is the first time that I have sat down to review it. The smell it big, malty and sweet. The taste is similar but also has hints of something citrus. A great warming feeling as well is present. The aftertaste has some hints of bananas but nothing to over powering.

I would love to try the cave aged version of this. I think that it would take away some of the more jagged edges. (Not that there are that many) I am not a huge Dubbel fan but this one is nice!

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

The burgandy reference in the description is what caught my eye. This was a promise I wanted to see furfilled. I was not dissapointed. Very fruitiful with great wine like qualities. The name is alittle hard on the tongue, but everything else is easy on the pallette.

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Photo of Myk
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i love the pop of a cork. slow not vigorous pour into my NBB snifter the color was a brilliant ruby red, much like cranberry juice with a nice thick, small bubble head of light tan. bought 1/2 inch thick which slowly disipated as i drank. the aroma of sourgrapes, and sweet malt burst through the rim. slightly winey taste to it, grape and banana fruit, spicy kick it was medium bodied with no long after taste, just a slight sour note. all in all pretty good, little too sour to drink more than one 750. high carbonation and dry finish

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

Well, the original Ommegang is quite a good dubbel on its own right so when I visited the brewery, i was looking forward to the cave aged Ommegang (Supposedly, they cave aged 1716 bottles in Howe Caverns, but my bottle was numbered 1742). Where the original Ommegang lacks the "punch" other Belgian dubbles/dark ales (Maredsous, Chimay Grand Reserve, etc) have, the cave aged version just about equals them. It was much more chocolatey and smooth... almost perfect. It's almost as if this was the beer the Brewery Ommegang was attempting to create instead of the young version. The best way to describe it is it's depth. It makes the young Ommegang look simple in comparison and rivals Belgian dark ales. If for some reason, you don't like the young Ommegang, and you like other Belgian dubbels/dark ales, try to get your hands on the cave aged version. It will surprise you.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another surprising good Belgian style dubbel from the good ole' US of A. I really enjoyed this. The hops are stronger than most of their other styles which is pretty much an automatic plus as far as I am concerned. The blend of hops is smooth with a hidden bit of a bite. The are contrasting flavors in this beer and it leaves the palate clean afterwards. An thick and creamy head that resembles shaving cream almost. If you have not had this one I recommend trying it.

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Photo of jackndan
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ommegang: Wow is this a nice beer. In the big 25 ounce bottle. It pours a very nice looking reddish/brown, with not much head, but what there is is a nice off-white, that leaves a skim of lace. The aroma is much closer to wine than lots and lots of other beers out there on the market. Very fruity with a hint of a rich red wine on the nose. The taste does not stray far from the aroma, with a very prominent fruit flavors with a hint, and a bare hint of yeast/bananas over a crisp, dry wine-ish flavor. Very easy to drink, but watch out for the alcohol warmth, and the heat. Very nice.

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Photo of hyuga
4.69/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks delicious! A deep red that looks brown without backlighting. Should be poured with some vigor for a good-sized head to form. Oh my, what an aroma! Dark and dried fruits galore, raisins, grapes, and grape leaves dominate. Spicy yeast undertones are also present. I think I'm getting slight spicy alcohol as well. I'm noticing a trend with the grape aromas in Brewery Ommegang's beers. That's why I mention grape and not just raisin, it's kind of a mixture of both dried and fresh grapes. I think it's great! Not so wine-like in that it, well, doesn't smell almost like vinegar. Anyway, on to the most anticipated part. The flavor! Surprisingly big hop character here, but not at all too much. That hits first, then spicy yeast comes in. These are the two most noticeable characteristics. Fruitiness here is quite subdued compared to that of the aroma, but still present in a little raisin and plum, especially in the back. Spicy alcohol warms the mouth soon after imbibing is commenced. Maltiness is mostly caramel, but a bit bready in the finish and aftertaste. Leafy character in the quality as well. This is my favorite dubbel so far! Great combination of ingredients. When I get more of this, I'll have to make some Belgian frites (fries) to eat with it. This will make you think that Cooperstown, New York is actually part of Belgium! Highly recommended.

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

Redish-brown color, bannana- clove fruity aroma, light foamy head, leaves a thick lace in the glass, full and chewy mouthfeel sweet caramel candy malty flavor, beautiful lasting finish. Hides the alcohol very well, nice..

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.87/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When poured it was a dark hazy brown with a light brown foam. The smell was of hops, malts and citrus with a hint of yeast. All was good until I tasted this beer. Although the taste of malts, citrus (green apples) and a hint of caramel the downer was the sour taste that I got in my mouth and palate. The little bitterness was well balanced that could have made this beer absolutely great, except for that sour finish. If the sour after tase was gone, I would have really like it!

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Photo of HossMcGraw
3.38/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had to rewrite my review for this one. When I had it initially, I was still pretty "green" to the craft beer world, and this I thought was the pinnacle of what it can offer. In it's defense, it is absolutely a well crafted brew that I can appreciate, but I just don't like the flavor. It's very heavy on the cherries and raisins, but no interesting malt or yeast flavors for support. I'd skip this one and get Hennepin instead.

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Photo of Morris729
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking this beer reminded me a lot of enjoying a fine vintage port with its sweet, yet very complex bouquet and flavors. It pours a deep copper color with a very lovely thick, off-white colored head. A very nice looking beer. The aroma is a sweet fruitiness of plum, raisin, and banana and a touch of molasses. The taste is complex with notes of sweet fresh fruit that seem to diminish somewhat as the beer warms as it then takes on more of a sweet malty and nutty flavor. It has a very nice creamy feeling in the mouth and is quite smooth. I really like this beer. And, as others have mentioned, for $3.99 for a 750ml, it’s a great buy!

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Photo of aracauna
3.52/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark, cloudy brown body with an airy, faded khaki head. The aroma is surprisingly whiskey-like. Caramel and toffee ride over a light burn of alcohol. The carbonation is cottony but not too much so. There's a very faint acidity underneath the malt.

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Photo of mjohn27603
4.45/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml corked bottle. Carbonation caused beer to overflow out of bottle upon opening. Huge head developed in glass. Dark amber in color. Aroma of suagary caramel, molasses, and rum cake. First sip indicates presence of alcohol, peppery flavor, a little on the dry side. Some burnt and roasted flavors. A little on the thin side for what I would like out of a dubbel. Chewing the beer reveals a little banana flavor. Although I rated them the same I enjoy the aroma a little more than the taste. $4.22/bottle.

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Photo of Lupe
3.82/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy with a reddish amber color. Decent beige head and nice lace, but you have to pour a little harder to get the head going. Huge malt aroma with lots of different scents that come at you: bubble gum, dark fruit, candy, burnt toffee, licorice, pepper, and spice. Full body with a creamy mouthfeel. Rich flavor that is alot like the aroma. Starts sweet with hints of banana and candy, then comes some licorice and spice. Finishes dry with some alcohol. Tends to be a bit cloying at times and could do with some more balance. Definitly a sipping brew to end the night with.

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Photo of doho95fu
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer. The bottle alone is cool - makes it look like they have been around alot longer than they have. The beer is a cherry brown and has a good head and moderate lacing. The smell and taste bring one word to mind for me - spice. It was a mix of molasses, nutmeg and lemon, some nuttiness too. Really, based on taste alone this beer cannot dissappoint. For an ABV of 8.5% there is no alcohol burn at all. Very drinkable as well.

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

The pour an opaque dark cherry red, the head adequate, but dissipates quickly, leaving skimpy lace. "Ah! That nose", malt, bubble gummy, sweet, plummish, quite delectable. Front is sweet, malt laden, the top is moderate, the finish parched, alcohol bitter, masterfully hopped, intensely acidic, but a most drinkable beer that deserves a sample. Ranks #224 on my current 1000 beer master list.

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Photo of MaineBeerMan
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark, nearly opaque brown beer with a huge merangue like head of bubbles. Aroma was very sweet, loaded with malt and raisins, prunes and molasses.
Flavor is amazing, every sip you dicover a new hint of background flavor lurking in the huge malt that dominates. Hints of raisins, molasses, bitter chocolate, banana, yeast, prunes, the list goes on and on. Very big creamy mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation. This is a great beer all around and an exceptional value, local price is only $3.99 for a 750 ml. magnum. If you haven't tried this beer, I say you should.

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Photo of Suds
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I first had Ommegang about 4 or 5 years ago. At that time, I thought it was good, but didn't fully appreciate it. Since then, I've grown to believe that this is one of the best values around. The beer is beautiful - ruby-brown color with a tan, wispy head that lasts to the bottom of the glass. The aroma is spice, berries and a hint of alcohol. Taste is spice and berries, balanced with a terrific malt backbone. This is a world class beer for a bargain price.

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Abbey Ale from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 4,631 ratings