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Trafalgar Abbey Belgian Ale | All or Nothing Brewhouse

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Trafalgar Abbey Belgian AleTrafalgar Abbey Belgian Ale
19 Ratings
Trafalgar Abbey Belgian AleTrafalgar Abbey Belgian Ale

Brewed by:
All or Nothing Brewhouse
Ontario, Canada

Style: Belgian Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
The flavour of Belgian style ales is unique in the world of beer. Trafalgar’s version runs to rich and spicy and citrus notes and complex flavours. As dictated by the style, the hop bouquet is very subtle. the higher alcohol results in a gentle sweetness that lends itself to after dinner sipping with desserts and fine chocolate.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-16-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 19 |  Reviews: 18
Photo of cfalovo97
2/5  rDev -31.7%

Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never heard of this one before. To be honest some of the things I get in the mail it's a wonder they ever make it down to me. Served chilled and poured into an oversized goblet, this one was consumed on 01/12/2010.
The pour was probably the best part of this one as the rich, dark brown liquid poured down into the glass. A huge head of tan then rose up to a height of around two inches before settling back down into a frothy and foamy cap that stayed with it throughout the session. Only real knock here being too much head if anything. Aroma was fairly light, nice spice notes up front, hints of caramel, dark prune like fruit notes and a hint of cinnamon of all things. Carried over well in the flavor which was equally rich. Strong notes of spice up front and a smooth, mellow texture that really seemed to hit the nail on the head. Earthy and herbal with nice hints of dark fruit, I really felt it summed up the part quite well. Very drinkable and the rich, fruity profile lended itself well to being a fine sipper.
Overall a very solid and lighter dark ale. I had no issues at all with being able to put this one down and found it to be quite rich and enjoyable. Very solid offering.

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Photo of ecoastman
3.47/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Drinkability - Quite easy to drink and a very good local alternative to the macro beers that suffocate Ontario. I would definitely try this at a local pub on tap if available.

Appearance - Dark brown with ruby red when held against the light. The carbonation provides a thick cola-like tan coloured head to start which recedes to a thinner uniform layer in my stein in a short time. Very little lacing and head by the halfway point.

Smell - malty sweet, chocolaty, nutty with cinnamon. There is something slightly soapy-herbal in the background that's probably from the spice.

Taste - the start is like the smell. The middle has a slightly metallic taste in the first few sips until the pallet adjusts. There's some molasses in the slightly dry finish with low bitterness. The higher alcohol is well balanced.

Mouthfeel - smooth, with low carbonation that is more like a stout. Feels a bit watery and the carbonation is lost before I can finish the bottle in relatively short time.

Note - This is my first Belgian Dark Ale styled beer so I don't have a standard to compare to yet. I'm probably biased a little high on this review with the local value vs macros in Ontario.

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Photo of EatsTacos
3.84/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I drank this from a tall pilsner glass. Very dark amber-brown. Almost no head and no lacing.

The smell is quite spiced and a lot of caramel malt. Dark fruit aromas like prunes and raisins.

The flavour is decently complex. There is a good amount of spices, but they aren't ever overpowering. A little off balanced and heavy on the malt, but that suits the style. Alcohol is there too but pretty light.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a very soft carbonation. Drinkibility is very good.

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Photo of cyrenaica
3.58/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650ml bottle
6.2% abv

I tried this beer on December 22, 2007 after purchasing from my local LCBO outlet. The beer pours a brownish black with a small head that disappears quickly. The odour is that of roasted malts with some spices such as clove. The mouthfeel is creamy, medium bodied, somewhat dry, and very little carbonation. The flavour is more of the malt and spices that come through in the aroma.

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Photo of Antilochus
3.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This bottle was purchased at a Kingston, Ontario LCBO. Best before April 0. Does that mean 08? If so this is pretty old. 65cl, 6.20% abv. Poured into my Chimay chalice.

Appearance is turbid cola, off white bubbles that leave a bubbly collar and some fizz. Gets more and more opaque as you top it up.

Nose is delightfully complex, rye, licorice, cherries, honey, old coffee, bitter chocolate, banana, lots of brown sugar, caramel, maybe a little smoke. Prunes. Bam!

Palate is medium sweet, lots of bread, banana bread - overripe and sugared, raw vanilla, tannic oversteeped tea, bitter finish, earthy herbiness. Dirt. Finish is abrupt, but long. Finish is perhaps overly herby - almost like bitters. I realize all I'm saying here is bitters and herbs... but that's what I'm getting. Maybe a little rust and metal? Cap had a rusty rim but I wiped it off. Alcohol well hidden.

An odd interpretation of a dark ale.

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Photo of Quej
2.35/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A - Looks like dark cola, with no head and lots of carbonation.
S - Smells mostly fruity and herby like cherry coke or Brio.
T - Tastes mostly of Jagermeister-like herbs giving it an almost identical taste to Brio cola. Hints of dark berries come through, but hops do not.
M - Very watery and fizzy, once again a lot like coke.
D - Hard to finish.

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Photo of allergictomacros
2.4/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a clear ruby. Half inch cream colored head on a really hard pour. Bubbles are on the loose side and foam drops quickly.

S - Dark fruit, spiciness, coffee, and funk.

T - Hmm. Sweet and buttery with the alcohol really showing through in the back end. Roast and spice seem to be covering up overly fruitiness and a tart edge.

M - Kinda watery, weak body.

D - Bland, and even a little off-tasting. Not bad enough to drainpour a whole bomber, but not something I'll revisit.

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Photo of irishkyle21
1.5/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

And I thought they were getting better. This is one of the worst beers I have had from Trafalgar and believe me I have had some bad ones. I am sorry but my review is extremely negative. The beer pours with a soapy head, no retention or lacing whatsoever. Has a nice color but any idiot can add some darker malts for color.

Smells sour (not the good kind of sour) it seems all the beers they make are infected, and some sweet malt.

Tastes awful, sour (as usual), mixed spices and thats about it. This is a very rare (and I mean VERY RARE) drain pour for me. This will be my last offering from this brewery until they make some big changes.

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Photo of bobsy
2.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle from the LCBO. What little head there is on top of the cola-coloured body diminishes quickly. Sweet and bready on the nose. Tastes of honey and cinnamon - mostly from the sweet malts, I'm guessing. There's almost a complete lack of carbonation, which I haven't seen before in the style. This makes the palate a little thin and unsatisfying. The alcohol is well-hidden, and the beer lacks the sharp mustiness of some of the brewer's other offerings. An inoffensive, but nondescript beer.

 493 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
1.83/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bottle: Poured a clear deep brown color ale with almost no head and minimal retention. Aroma consists of a weird mix between some adjunct sweet malt and some spices mix that doesn’t fir very well. Taste is also quite disappointing with some gross malt and light spices. Body is about average with almost no carbonation. This beer tasted like it was brewed from a homebrew kits; I really don’t get this brewer.

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Photo of TerryW
2.08/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Typical Trafalgar offering.

Fizzy cola head on pour, immediately gone, no lace, handsome chestnut colour though. No meaningful aroma or taste. Thin bodied, sparkling, characteristic sourness, understated. Better as it warms, but still unremarkable.

Give it a pass.

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Photo of crwills
2.88/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bought two bombers of this when I was at the brewery to pick up a bunch of Critical Mass. This was the first of the two (still have the second).

Poured into a wine glass. Muddy brown with reddish tints and a small head. Mild aroma, difficult to discern. Some roasted malt in there, fake dried spices, cinnamon or ginger.

The imitation spice is really prominent in the flavour, and doesn't help it at all. Some mild raisin notes and chocolate are OK, but very muted.

Mouthfeel is watery, and the aftertaste is odd... like eating too much sweet stuff or something.

I really didn't like this at all... a poor effort.

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Photo of pootz
3.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a dark chestnut brown with garnet highlights in my chalice....smallish frothy tan cap that reduces to a thick surface lace which lasts.

Aromas of musty rye bread, dates, some spice and light whiffs of alcohol.

Body is medium, good malt spine, oily-sticky mouth feel.

Flavor profile: big dose of bready malts up front then some nice layered tastes of dried fruit,dark treacle,cocoa,walnuts and spice....finish is long and wet lightly sweet and malt pronouced. Hops are attenuated and hide behind the spice tones but provide a light grassyness to the drink until the finish where they appear momentarily as a light herbal bittering which is quickly over come by malts and alcohol warming. This ale hides its alcohol well.

Overall this ale is malty, on the sweet side without cloying, layered, spicey, well rounded and mellow...were it not for the spice sharpness it would be a great bock....it obviously strays from the traditional Abbey style ale profile but this is a delicious departure.

This dark spiced ale is one of the 2 best brews from this brewer. I can recommend it.

 1,098 characters

Photo of Derek
3.88/5  rDev +32.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased 650 ml bottles from brewery.

The first one had a moderately strong lactic sourness, more like a flanders-brown than an abbey-style belguim beer. It wasn't as strong as a Rodenbach Grand Cru. I found it more drinkable.

The label says to keep refridgerated, but I cellared it at 54 F. After one month, the tarteness was almost gone. Only a very slight tang. Very refreshing & very drinkable.

I've had it on tap at the brewery as well. It tasted smoother and more well rounded. Perhaps they cellar their kegs for some time.

Mouthfeel was light (considering its strength) and appropriate for this style. It should have a little more carbonation for the Belgian style.

 685 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
2.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I had this on tap at Cest what. Its a cloudy brown color with a shortlived little head and no lacing to speak of. The aroma is sweetish with fruit and spice notes. The taste is very sweet. It doesnt have much malt thickness. Its just cloyingly sweet, without hops. Theres a tangy yeast note in the back as well as a little spice. The mouthfeel is thick with very low carbonation, this only emphasizes the sweetness.

This beer is unbalanced, and its not very 'Belgian-like' either. Its just sweet and bland. This brewery's ESB is also pretty bad.

 549 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A bit of yeast up front. Aggressive on carbonation. Better than the on-tap version. Some spice, cloves and others. Thin mouthfeel. Spice aroma. Me mates thought this to be similar to a coca-cola, yet a beer. I would concur, but more to me like a quality soft drink and a beer.

 276 characters

Photo of Popsinc
3.32/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2004 version, now brewed on a year round basis. Currently available on tap at C'est What.

Appearance: 650ml bottle purchased @ the brewery. No label on the bottle. The pour is a very dark mohogany colour. Minimal head that fades down to a ring.

Smell: The nose is light and woody with little bit of fruitiness and maybe some rye. Spicey too.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Hmmm...not sure how to describe this one. Up front there is not much happening here. Some bubbly mouthfeel but not much else. Mid-sip the flavours go to a semi-sweet fruitiness but i can't put my finiger on it. Towards the end, everything seems to creep forward. Spice becomes more prominent again highlighted by a slight woodiness. Whiskey malt in there maybe? A touch of tang on the finish. Bitter, lingering finish. Smoothes out at the end.

Drinkability: I'm not sure what to make of this beer. It should be an Abbey-style ale. Not sure it lives up to that billing. Somehow this beer seemed to underachieve for me. In fact, it reminded me of homebrew. Still, interesting in some aspects (spice/rye) but overall, not highly recommended.

 1,111 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.52/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer was a very deep dark red, almost brown, topped by a thin head. The aroma was a little sharp, with citrus and spice dominating and a faint underlying malty sweetness. It had a fruity bitterness balanced by roasted malts, warm spice and an acidic citrus flavour that made me think of limes. The finish was relatively clean and dry, with some lingering spicy bitterness that built up by the end of the pint. Decent body and surprisingly light for a higher alcohol beer. Not bad.

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Trafalgar Abbey Belgian Ale from All or Nothing Brewhouse
Beer rating: 2.93 out of 5 with 19 ratings
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