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New Belgium Abbey

Judges Rating: 
21 / 24
5 / 6
33 / 40
8 / 10
Overall Impression: 
17 / 20

Now entering a third decade of production, New Belgium founders Jeff Lebesch and Kim Jordan launched their brewery with Fat Tire and Abbey Belgian Style Ale. Brewed loosely in the Belgian Dubbel style, Abbey abounds with aromas of lightly burnt caramel, black cherry, and ripe damson, supported by sweetish alcohol notes. Tim praised the hints of fragrant mountain cherry and plum, but felt the malt was “under represented” in the nose. As he drilled down further, Tim also picked out some faintly woody hop notes deep in the background. The delicate vanilla notes impressed Tom and he enjoyed their give and take with the deeper plum and caramel aromas. This beer pours a glitteringly clear, deep glowing bronze, capped by a small, finely beaded head that recedes surprisingly quickly. Sweet and lusciously malty at the front end, the flavor tapers to a bready, fruity middle and a slightly dry alcohol-fueled finish. Pete found the initial sweet, rum-like flavor appetizing and commended the spicy hints of clove, pepper, and cinnamon that followed. He was also impressed by the “stealthy alcohol lurking beneath the waves of fruit and spice.” The nights grow chillier, thoughts turn toward the reality of winter on the horizon, and New Belgium’s Abbey is just the thing to see one through the waning autumn days.