Abbey Ale | Brewery Ommegang

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Abbey AleAbbey Ale
4,672 Ratings
Abbey AleAbbey Ale

Brewed by:
Brewery Ommegang
New York, United States

Style: Belgian 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: 4,672 |  Reviews: 1,781
Photo of longpondbeerman
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now this is a good ale. The 750 ml. corked bottle has a classy label, and the ale pours with a sparkling deep red color and a modest dark tan head. The smell is rich with complex fruitiness and a touch of spice (licorice?), and the glass has a lively dance of bubbles that keep popping away throughout. This carbonation is immediately noticeable in the mouth, but the taste is excellent; the initial tang mellows pleasantly, and there is just a little hint of the high alcohol content (8.5%). I'm rapidly becoming a convert to these Belgian-style ales. Not all that expensive, and well worth it.

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

I finally broke down and bought a 12oz bottle of this. The bottle itself is quite attractive, and the label colors do a good job of preparing you for what you're about to drink. The beer pours a wonderful aged copper color with the fuzzy head you'd find on one of your "early" batches.

The smell is just what you'd expect from the style, apple orchard in the fall. The windfalls and bird pitted fruit have started their own special brew on the ground, and the sweet aroma is surprisingly pleasing.

The taste is surprisingly sweet, and fruity, and good. The body itself is quite large, which is somewhat masked by the fruity smell. Its quite filling, so I'm glad I didn't purchase the large bottle. This is a treat, and should be served as desert, or as a way to surprise your wine drinking friends.

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Photo of GreenCard
3.63/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Judged according to BJCP guidelines...

Aroma: big banana esters detected even before raising the glass, a somewhat cloying sweetness, negligible hop aroma, some wisps of alcohol
Score: 9 of 12

Appearance: poured with a beautiful thick dark tan head, beer is a ruddy brown with quite a bit of haziness, sediment doesn't stir up as easily as many other bottle-conditioned Belgians
Score: 3 of 3

Flavor: a lot of sweetness and a big banana hit up front, some good continental hop flavor in the mid-range, bitterness is low but to style, long sweet raisiny finish
Score: 16 of 20

Mouthfeel: full-bodied, tight prickly carbonation, lots of alcohol warmth!, still pretty creamy though
Score: 5 of 5

Overall Impression: Had tried Hennepin before and was not impressed. I find that many American renditions of the classic Belgian styles miss the mark. However, after trying this one and Rare Vos, I give this brewery my "seal of approval". To my taste, this beer is the best of the three. Best enjoyed after dinner with dessert or as dessert!
Score: 8 of 10

Total score: 41 out of 50

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

Impressive. I don't know why I was expecting an alcohol-laden, fruity beer. This is a fine beverage. Pours out to a bizarre mix of amber and brown, we'll call it brownber, in the glass with a monsterous candy-brown head. Smell is that of fruit, prunes, licorice and spice. Taste is sensational. A very nice blend allows the malt to shine on without anything, including the high ABV overpowering it. Light fruit, biscuit and to some extent licorice come through. Very nicely done.

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Photo of Stubbie1
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yea, ok, a Belgian style beer brewed in New York. This I need to try. I popped the top and here is what I found.

Pours a deep garnet read. An off white head, think and creamy develops at the top of my glass. Suborn, the head leaves to leave a think rich lace. A work of art!

Aroma. A fruity aroma meets the nose, raisins, plumbs, malt, maybe a hint of caramel and alcohol also .

Flavor is strongly malt, fruitiness again, sweetness, excellent carbonation and great taste and finish. Alcohol provides a warm and fuzzy feeling in the belly.

The verdict? An OUSTANDING brew. Almost my first all 5’s. I can't be honest and give it all 5’s because I’m still new to these types of brew!

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

My first Ommegang and I can see why it is so highly touted...this is one heck of a beer and I'm not even a huge Belgian head...The drinkability and flavor of this beer is something else...

It pours a scarlet brown...with a nice creamy tan head...nise is of apples and fruity....Taste begins with the apples and a tich of picy alcohol....but then some wonderful maltiness emerges...a bit like a doppelbock but without the heavy molasses and brown sugar flavors..mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, and a tich fizzy...drinkability is a 5.0...this should be sipped but it's not lasting very long in my glass....I din't think I'd like this one that much, but I am impressed....worthy of it's highly esteemed reputation....

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Photo of Darkale
3.28/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I believe that this is a great beer that I don't like very much. By which I mean, I am able to appreciate its complexity, but it's not a beer that I would ever wish to have again.

Beautiful label, very well designed; I bought the 12 oz. version, and it emitted a loud and powerful "snap" when I opened it; as expected, it erupted into a fabulous, large-bubbled tan head. Immediate fruity aroma, with the most evocative banana scent that I have ever encountered in a beer.

I was surprised, though, that there was no hint of bananas when I pushed past the head and drank the actual beer. Instead, I found a broad wash of hops across my tongue, a powerful, smoky push up against my palate, and a crisp, grainy mouthfeel, as if a couple of ounces of black pepper had been turned into beer.

Over an hour later, I can still taste it in my mouth. But, I do not revel in the lingering taste. I wish sincerely that I loved this beer, but when I drank it, I felt like a tone-deaf person at the symphony. I want to dance with my beer, not fight with it. It's the beer version of a broad-shouldered red zinfandel wine, or one of those filling-rattling cabernet sauvignons. My senses were definitely engaged, but they did not like it. Too sharp, too harsh, too peppery.

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Photo of Sixpack595
4.4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am impressed. This is one good beer. I was never a fan of Belgian styles, but tried this one anyway. Nice red color with a fair bit of head that rapidly fades to a thin nut persistant layer with no lacing. Aroma is fruity with alcohol obvious. Taste mimics aroma, vinous and strong. I think I'll give this style a second look, and this beer several more.

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Photo of kbub6f
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle bought locally (Grapevine refrigerated shelves), about a week in my fridge, reviewed 45F-55F.

A big, coarse, dark yellow head collapses into an even more coarse flat layer of foam. Not much lacing. The beer is dark brown, with fine, dark swirls of sediment.

The smell is spicy, fruity, fairly light.

The front is spice and apples! The middle is just a little sour, with malt and more apples. The alcohol shows up a little in the dry, bitter spicy finish. It feels a little thin, but it's a good, interesting beer that's very drinkable for 8.5%. I prefer the Rare Vos.

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

Mmmmmm... corked beer! Pours out a dark ruby with a nice head. There is a lot going on in my mouth. Malts are rich and powerful, even a bit fruity. The brew has some sweet to it, also some spice, and quite a bit of all things nice. I enjoy the bottle conditioned beer. Cooperstown really hit a home run here.

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Photo of AudioGilz
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown, huge fluffy tan head. And wow the aroma! I love the aroma....strong, sweet, fruity(plums and cherries are what I noticed the most), amazing.
Flavor is strongly malt, fruitiness again, sweetness, moderate carbonation feel, smooth smooth taste and finish. Alcohol provides a little warming effect on the palate and esophagus. What a beer for the price! I'm a broke college student and I can afford a yummy Belgian style! This is most highly recommended.

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Photo of zerk
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with very little head. I've had this brew quite a few times before, and it always had a large head, so I'm thinking there are either some consistency issues at Brewery Ommegang, or more likely, an issue with the cork. The aroma was sweet and fruity, with notes of chocolate, plums, and cherries. Flavor begins quite malty, with caramel, chocolate, dried fruits and grapes... followed by some warming alcohol. Mouthfeel is quite rough and prickly, with a medium body.

I had this with dinner and chocolates, and a couple of things should be noted: Do not have this with spicy foods... it really intensifies the spices! Do accompany this with chocolates, as it complements the flavors quite well.

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Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Real nice burgundy in color with a great head,with nice Belgian lace left there.Somewhat medicinal in aroma with a little bit of fruit showing up there.Taste was sweet the some chesnut in there as well incredible smooth,the alcohol showed up fast as well.Became stronger as it warmed,about as authentic as you can get,the know what they are doing up there in Cooperstown.

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Photo of rabidawg
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL corked bottle.

I confess that I don't have the proper glassware to accomodate this style of beer (my birthday's April 16th . . . .), so I used a large, long-stemmed bordeaux glass. It actually worked rather well, and it seemed to accentuate the smell just as it does for wine.

Appearance: Beautiful burgundy color, just as stated on the label. Poured a nice creamy head that left an oily, wine-like tearing down the side of the glass. I have a feeling that my choice of vessel affected the duration of the head.

Smell: Absolutely incredible. The high abv definitely made itself known, but balanced nicely by a burnt sugar/confectionary nose. I probably spent four or five minutes just inhaling the aroma of this beer.

Taste: Initial sour, yeasty flavors. A sweet middle, with a dry finish, accompanied by the slight numbing of the tongue due to the relatively high abv. Afternotes of fruit and slight malt. Well balanced, but almost a little too dry.

I've had this beer in the 12 oz. bottle as well as this larger size. Although I didn't take any notes of my prior tasting, this beer seems to be slightly more powerful in the larger bottle, with a dryer finish. Excellent overall, though, no matter the container.

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Photo of dwarbi
3.47/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Too much fizz -- looks and feels like 7-Up with corn syrup. Nice and dark, but doesn't make up for the poor head. Tastes pretty good, but I'm definitely done after having one... no desire to pop another one right away. Sad that the brewery making Hennepin considers this their namesake beer.

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Photo of cbl2
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, this brew is dark brown with hints of red, and a rather large head that settles slowly leaving behind a nice lace.

Smell: Musty with sweet malty undertones

Taste: Tastes like chocolate covered cherries dipped in rum!!! Very good, but more than one and you'll be hurting.

Drinkability: This stuff is like nectar from the gods, but the 8.5 % ABV makes drinking more than one of these a rather bad decision.

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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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Abbey Ale from Brewery Ommegang
Beer rating: 4.16 out of 5 with 4,672 ratings