Abby Normal
Valkyrie Brewing

Abby NormalAbby Normal
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Brown Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #118
Ranked #46,054
3.33 | pDev: 21.02%
Valkyrie Brewing
Wisconsin, United States
Abby NormalAbby Normal
Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 32 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lemke10
Lemke10 from Wisconsin

3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a dark, medium brown color with a slight head. The aroma is sweet with caramel malts, molasses, and sugars. The taste is sweet and smooth which is very uncharacteristic of an Abbey Tripel as it drinks and tastes more like a thin stout. This very unusual taste will probably turn you off if you are Tripel drinker.

Dec 29, 2013
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Callisto from Utah

1.3/5  rDev -61%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This is a horrible beer. It tastes like a mistake made by amateur home-brewers. I suspect that the fermentation was stuck either because not enough yeast or starter was used, or it was not oxygenated properly. It tastes like malt extract, not brewed beer, overly sweet and cloying with an off-putting apple cider flavor (probably from extract or sugars being added inappropriately). It has no real 'Abbey' character. It is undrinkable and I dumped it. I would recommend that the brewers taste some Abbey ales and other Belgian beers and do some brewing research as to how to produce this type of beer.

I want these brewers to survive though. They are near my stomping grounds.

Feb 06, 2010
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Wisconsin from Wisconsin

3.13/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle from the brewery into a pint glass

A - Pours a dark brown body with a tan head that is about a half finger thick. The head fades to a lace after a couple of minutes. Carbonation though is visible only when held up to the light seems to be plentiful. Much darker than I was expecting but somewhat intriguing regardless.

S - Dark malts and grains with some sweet fruit notes, maybe apples. Faint spices are also present. Nothing that is mind blowing.

T - Initially the flavor is a strong blast of sour apples that is slightly sweet with some caramel and malt notes. Medium bodied with ample amount of carbonation.

M - As much as I like the incorporation of the apples, it doesn't seem to balance well enough with the malts and caramel. Its too strong up front and the other aspects are somewhat drowned out. Decent amount of carbonation.

D - Viking seems to be on the brink of greatness, but there is just something missing with some of the beers I have had. If they can improve the malt/caramel characteristics in this beer so it is better balanced with the sour apple taste I think they will have a solid beer. Until then, I can't see myself having too much of this.

Sep 10, 2009
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mrquartetman from Illinois

2.88/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer bills itself as a "Trippel Abby-style Ale" and says of it that the "Flavor is sweet toasted buttery malts, honey and some candi sugars. Also spicy with notes with green apples and molasses and a floral hop garnish."

A trippel it's not. It is more like a brown ale in appearance and, to an extent, in taste; but other than that, it does not at all act like a trippel OR a Belgian brown ale. It has very little aroma - slight malt - and pours almost entirely without a head. It does have a somewhat buttery taste and a certain sweetness, but candi sugars? Where are they? If there's a floral hop, it wilted.

Don't get me wrong. Forgetting its labeling, it's a rather nice beer of indeterminate variety and is decently drinkable. I had hoped for more.

Dec 19, 2008
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

2.6/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

"The only normal people are the ones you don't know very well."

--Joe Ancis

Black cherry with an infusion of brighter orange at the edges of the glass. The pale golden crown, only a single skinny finger after the pour, doesn't have an abundance of character. It isn't much in the lace department either. A short, thick collar of suds is about it.

Clearly, this isn't a 'Tripel' as it says on the label. The color is the first clue and the nose is the second. Abby Normal smells like a Belgain dark ale (to some extent), but isn't exactly jumping out of the glass. That might be due to a lack of aerosolization, which is due to a serious lack of carbonation. There's a meager dark maltiness, some dark fruit and a faint yeasty spiciness.

Not good. Not good at all. This VBC brew would get laughed out of any comparison to a real Belgian ale. The outlines of a decent beer are present, but they aren't filled in with anything of substance. Not enough malt, not enough flavor, not enough yeastiness and not enough bubbles. Any other questions?

Although the flavor profile doesn't deliver many off-flavors, it doesn't deliver many on-flavors either. I can appreciate well toasted grain, caramel extract, an undercurrent of green apples, a certain nuttiness and a stale spiciness that tastes like it's coming from a bastardized Belgian yeast strain that graduated at the bottom of its class.

The mouthfeel is a little bit light and a lotta bit underbubbled. I can't emphasize too much how improperly carbonated beer can't possibly make a good impression, no matter how delicious it might be otherwise. This one isn't 'delicious otherwise', although the bubble shortage doesn't help.

I haven't had enough Viking beer to know if there is a huge amount of batch-to-batch variation or if some of their offerings are simply less than good on a regular basis. If this bottle is at all representative, Abby Abnormal is not a beer that I have any desire to drink again.

May 18, 2008
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MuenchenerKindl from Germany

3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz stubby to a snifter, the liquid is a dark brown with good carbonation. The head is thick fluffy dark tan and leaves very little lace.

The smell is ok, sweet malt and sugar, with mild yeast.

The taste is nice, sweet dark roasted malt yeasty zing, and all that dark fruit complexity stuff.

The mouthfeel was ok could be a bit smoother. The body is good the carbonation is ok.

The drinkability is ok as well. Not a bad brew at all. Prosit MK

Mar 31, 2008
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happygnome from Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pours a ruby color with big pillowy tan head that doesnt dissapear too fast but when it does it leaves a good amount of lacing on top of the beer
s: deffinate notes of fruit maybe apples? deffinatly a yeasty/earthy smelling beer
t: kind of strange yeasty flavor notes, sweet and tart as well, dark fruity notes come out more and more with each sip
m: medium to full bodied beer with a good amount of carbonation

overall, i really liked this brew and will deffinatly try it again

Mar 06, 2008
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brdc from Wisconsin

2.75/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

According to the bottle, this is a trippel.
It is very dark, but has very little head, and after one-two minutes, absolutely none.
Smell is interesting, but sadly very faint, resembling coffee and guarana seeds.
It is very thin on the mouth, bitter, with hints of rhubarb.
I was very disappointed.

Apr 02, 2007
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marcobrau from Illinois

4.02/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A much darker beer than I anticipated, pouring a medium-brown hue, with ample carbonation along with a caramelly, fruity aroma. Very smooth and rather tart. The bottle says abbey, but this is drinking a little bit more like a sour brown ale (I'm not complaining). A very refreshing brew that is very drinkable. The fine bead of carbonation forms a tight ring of bubbles enhancing the appearance. As the beer warms up, a bit of rown sugar, allspice and a hint cinnamon surface in the aroma. This beer has some very tasty, fruity flavors (think: tamarind). The finish is a bit tart and delicately hopped for balance. A very pleasant and enjoyable Belgian-style beer.

Nov 29, 2006
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demcorhip from Canada (ON)

3.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a deep hazy brown. Amber came through around the edges when inspected in the light. A half finger head resulted from the pour, and only very scant lacings remained after the head setted.

Oak, alcohol, caramel malts, sour green apple, and a hint of dark fruits.

Much like the aroma. Oak, with a hint of vanilla, caramel roasted malts, a hint of dark fruits, and a sour green apple funk. I should have checked the date on this one. Seemed "fresh" and perhaps cellaring would allow for the flavours to develop and sort themselves out a little more. Theres lots going on in this beer, just not as refined as it should be?

This is a decent bodied brew. Malty sweetness balanced by oakiness, alcohol, and green apple funk.

Decent brew, may have been too "fresh". I'll try cellaring this one to see just how it sorts itself out. I'll review it again at that point and decide whether or not to buy it again then.

Sep 05, 2006
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CharlesDarwin from Rhode Island

3.3/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed September 17, 2005. Bottle sampled at the Big Lake Brewfest. Light raisin aroma. Dark murky pour, sans much of a head. Sugary, bready and yeast, but without much depth. Almost some rich olive oil notes. Finishes cloying and clingy.

Aug 13, 2006
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DarkerTheBetter from Minnesota

3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours dark brown and clear, like coffee, with some plumb highlights. The head consists of thin wisps of white bubbles. Smells predominantly of pomegranate with some hints of dry and sour coffee and a honey sweetness. The flavor begins with a tough lemon and unripe nectarine sourness, especially around the edges of my tongue, and then reveals a coffee and molasses smoky malt. It then fades back into citrus rind and pomegranate sourness and finishes with a smooth oat and coffee. Interesting flavors and fantastic dynamics. Mouth feel is medium to heavy body with a light carbonation.

Jan 06, 2006
Photo of iron78
iron78 from Wisconsin

3.71/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thick breamy off white head on a carmal colored pour.
spicy, sweet malt aroma. cinnamon maybe?
wow, interesting combination of flavors. strong malt flavors. many dried fruit flavors. can't really pin them all down. more complex than i was expecting. maybe a slight hint of brown sugar or molasses.
good body. fun to drink. not very familiar with this style, after this will go looking for more.

Dec 29, 2005
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TastyTaste from Minnesota

3.64/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I will admit I am a little nervous about this beer. A Viking Belgian Ale? Hmm. Pours out a dark brown cola, pretty much no head. Smell is dark roasted malts, and brown sugar and molasses. Taste is dark and fruity, slight coffee and more molasses, carmel and toffee. A very sweet dark beer, that is unique, if nothing else. Mouthfeel is flat, like most of the Viking beers. Not the best, but unique.

Sep 12, 2005
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BeerBuilder from Minnesota

4.12/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer a couple times before, and I gotta say now that I am sitting down to review it, it is tasting way better than the previous times I've had it.

Pours to a ruby/grape color with a creamy tan head. The lacing is pretty good as well. The aroma is very fruity. I get apple skin and pears as the predominant fruit. And as others have said there is a yeasty, earthiness to it, but it is in the back to the fruit on my sample.

It has a very unique yeastiness in the flavor unlike other beers I've had. It has a sweet tartness throughout. The fruity flavors flow through each sip. I get the apples again, along with cherries, and some dark fruits toward the end.

It is easy drinking, the sweet and tartness are well balanced, not overpowering. It is drying in the finish. I believe that this one has to be up there in the alcohol, because I get a bit of warmth with it.

I gotta say I would have this one again. I don't know if the Viking beers are hit and miss, but this time around this one was a hit.

Nov 09, 2004
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feloniousmonk from Minnesota

3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep plummy, crimson hue, brighter at the bottom, with a thin, perfunctory layer of foam on top.
Aroma is rich and sweet, very unique, nothing I could tag as this-or-that, ...I'll struggle some for awhile, though, for your amusement...molasses, carob, apple, anise, ..sure as heck not what I was expecting!
taste is dark, yet smooth, and tasty. dark fruits running rampant here, cherries chiefly, raisiny at times. But it seems as if they're shooting for an Abbey Dubbel, but just missed it, lacking the zip and zing on the palate, and the greater complexities that the better examples provide.
A nice enough beer, yummy as it goes, but falls a few shades short of where it's trying to go.

Aug 17, 2004
Photo of faernt
faernt from Illinois

2.83/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is my first Viking Brewing Company beer. It pours fine enough. It doesn't have the rocky, fine bubbled foam of a Belgian Abbaye Beer but it has a decent head and a pleasant portlike color. The initial pour offers a pleasant spicy smell having a little raisin and port aroma but it quickly subsided to a faint version of itself.

The taste is curious. I'm expecting a Belgian Dubbel and I get somewhat of a weizenbock. The flavors don't seem to be blending yet. There is a thinness to the flavor that is followed by bitterness. The mouthfeel is thinner than I want it to be and I'm getting a little metallic aftertaste now.

I'd say that some age might blend the tastes together but some of these tastes I don't want in here. I don't know enough to know whether or not the metallic bitterness will leave in time but, it gets in the way of my interest in buying more to age.

Jun 06, 2004
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Skidz from Wisconsin

3.85/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a light brown and sits a deep amber in the glass with a small light tan head on top.

Smells of dark, fruity esters, a sweet, yeasty aroma, cinnamon, light roastedness and some woody/eathy hues. A decent aroma.

Tastes lightly malty, with some strange fruity characteristics. All the flavors of this brew are light in their loads, nothing stands out from anything else. Cherries, plums, pears, caramel, chocolate,'s all there, mixed together in a overall strange, yet delightful tasting brew. Light, bready finish that's just mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is clean, refreshing and is medium in body. This brew is very unique and tastes like nothing I've ever had before. I wasn't too sure about it at first, but it's definately got something there worth drinking.

May 10, 2004
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ADR from Pennsylvania

3.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy brown color, with a purplish cast to the appearance. Flattish head, tan, average staying power -- a little dissappointing. Laces thinly but with some pattern. Aroma is strikingly yeasty, almost compost in earthiness. Undercarbonated and flattish, mouthfeel needs more here. The flavor is interesting, starts cocoa mulch and somewhat uninteresting but by mid mouth, it gains a lot -- prunes, currants, damp top soil, and wet canvas. The bittering is truly close to an acrid Spring aroma on the farm. Really different, kind of interesting, but I have to feel that this one is more heavy-handed in approach (disinctive yeast) than expertly executed.

Mar 29, 2004
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tavernjef from Minnesota

3.61/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice hazen darkened ruby reddish color with a thin and loose tan head of big bubblyness, popping down to leave some of those bubbles clinging and grouping around the edge, inky blots of lace stick.

Aroma doesn't have to much to offer up in the way of impressionable, has a very slender quality about its appoach. Dried peet moss, dirt, dust, earthy, slight roastyness, lighter then air yeast which gains a better presence as it warms.

Taste is milder than most belgains, but what it lacks in power and strong flavors this makes up for it and more in extreme subtlities. Wow, I could get use to this, nothing strong here, mild and calming through and through. Starts dulled in malty fruityness, again, nothing over the top, just a drop, a hint if you will, actually, a dusting, how 'bout a mist of dulled fruits bringing a bit of fig, starfruit, and persimmon. And guess what, thats just the front, and its over pretty quick, from there more of a blankness of roastyness thats attuned to the same dusting of strength and longevity, which ain't much I'm afriad, the only part thats missing in the flavors is in the middle. Oh but the finish is crazy with subtle layers of fantastic little things, if only the whole thing was like this...basically it goes from lightly earthy to a nice lighter chocolatey drying within a another small stint of palate time before it dries out very mildly, milder still, where a nice deep flavor of whole grain bread coming through very late...wait for it...ahh, there it is, wow, very cool and a very nice effect. By far my favorite part of this beer, a timely, somewhat helpful late lingering malty breadish finish. If it didn't have it, this would've been nearly hollow. Although, it does seem to be missing alot of gumption, I gave it a boost in my numbers for taste and palate due to the intreguingly interesting yummy little finish. As far as the feel it doesn't quite live up to a good fullness and roundness, its just kinda there, with a milding texture, subtle drying, and tangy yet plain carbonation.

An OK beer really, nothing I would seek out again I think, I am torn between wanting to give it a bit better numbers, but it doesn't impress me enough, even though the subtlities were nice, I need a bit more out of it. I kept hoping it was going to improve as I got through the bomber but it primarily stays the same. This is one of those beers thats not bad, and its not excellent either, it does however promise subtlity and tries to keep you interested, but in the end its time for something else.

Mar 02, 2004
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budgood1 from Minnesota

3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours out a nearly opaque crimson and maroon colour. a very tight off white head appears after a rough pour. thin wisps of lace are present on my "hamm's chalice". aroma is surprisingly tame this time around; only hints of the musty and sourish aromas that have slapped me silly in prior viking samples. not much malt nose either...that's somewhat surprising, too. the flavour of this beer pulls through in true viking and belgian flair, though. musty, dusty and rusty are three adequate adjectives to describe this beer. musty for the yeasty and papery notes...dusty for the dirt and earthy hints, and rusty for the bitter burnt malts and slightly rough hop bite. the overall mouthfeel is well rounded and smooth, just not full enough to be considered too far above average. what's left in the aftertaste is more of those wacky, yeasty flavours that some might consider off, or worse, offending.

for the style, i expected more. and unlike the previous reviewer of this beer, i was not left wanting more after finishing off the 22oz. bomber.

Dec 17, 2003
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cokes from Wisconsin

4.07/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed burgundy with a quickly faded tan head.
Loud and earthy nose jammed with prune juice, cherries, clumps of sod, fallen logs, spruce, and dried leaves.

(A caveat: anyone that bitches about K'zoo's house yeast will recoil in horror in the presence of Viking beers. Easily the funkiest yeast I've been exposed to. It is rather endearing once a person becomes acclimated).

Begins quite fruity, with dried cherries, figs and prunes. Not very sweet, just fruity. This is immediately swallowed by a huge forest undercanopy of cedarwood, spruce twigs, potting soil, mushrooms, moss and fallen leaves. Dry, yet damp and musty. Finishes with more forest decay, a dusting of chocolate shavings, a resurgance of cherries, and an exiting burst of alcohol. Leaves a trail of bitter dirt for a long while afterward.
Moderate within the mouth with very little carbonation. Thins a bit as it rests.

Hard to rate. This is a very bizarre beer that I absolutely hated initially, accepted by mid-glass, and needed more of by the time the bomber emptied.

Mar 03, 2003
Abby Normal from Valkyrie Brewing
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 32 ratings