New Belgium Abbey Dubbel

September 11, 2008 by Aaron Goldfarb | Filed under Brewer: New Belgium, Country: America, Grade: B plus, Style: Dubbel.

7% ABV

memo to bosses re: hungover workers

When someone in your employ arrives at the office with two 32-ounce bottles of Gatorade, a large black coffee, and a greasy, greasy bacon, egg, & cheese sandwich, all of which he summarily devours at his desk in under five minutes–well that’s a hungover employee on your hands. Leave him alone for a bit.  He’ll work things out.

Last night I revisited old favorite 123burgershotbeer* with a pal and after an evening of aggressive drinking, found myself near comatose this morning. I needed a three-egg, sausage, and cheese breakfast burrito grease-missile, an extra-large iced coffee, two Propels, and a Diet Mountain Dew just to get me back to sea level, just to get enough synapses firing in my gray matter in order to pen this piece…

You can’t deny your honest feelings, but I still feel somewhat bad for bashing Fat Tire yesterday. New Belgium is a company that obviously takes beer seriously, that’s for certain. Like most microbreweries, I assume Fat Tire is their money-maker, their beer made for the masses, their beer made to fund the rest of the brewery’s more unique efforts. You can’t expect the public to consume high-ABV barley wines, saisons, and stouts in bulk. They need weak little sissy beers for their sensitive and unadventurous palates.  So enter Fat Tire. A beer snob should be concerned when everyone and their mother likes a certain brew. Everyone and their mother doesn’t typically know shit. Everyone and their mother loooooooves Fat Tire.  It’s a maxim I knew yet still didn’t follow.

Thus, I was glad my friend also brought back New Belgium’s version of a dubbel. It looked fantastic on the pour. And smelled just like the brilliant Westmalle. Wow, I was excited. Could an American brewery possible emulate with accuracy a trappist beer?!


Not quite. It does not really have a strong flavor at all.  The most mild hints of banana, sweet bread, and malt.   Dubbels should have more body than this.  More bite.  This beer has about as much bite as a newborn still not teething.  The Abbey simply lacks the “oomph” that makes Westmalle so special and world-class.

Having said that, this dubbel was undeniably drinkable and still a very worthy effort.  I wish more American breweries had dubbels. I have a feeling that someday I’ll have a New Belgium I truly love. It’s inevitable.


*Re-review of 123burgershotbeer–The burgers are still a buck and tastier than I recall, I recommend dressing them with this spicy chipotle sauce condiment on the bar. The goofily-named shots still cost a Thomas Jefferson and are still only ordered by the kind of men that say “Woooooooooooooooooooooooooo!” and then give each other homoerotic high-fives post-shot slam. And the beers are still gloriously chilled and three bucks, though poured into deceptively small mugs which I would reckon are only 10 ounces. The waitresses and female bartenders there continue to make 123 a (marginally more) upscale Hooter’s, wearing hot pants so short one can see ass curvature in the back and labium in the front. And, I now realize why 123 has such a pricing scheme. It’s not a gimmick, no, it’s just so the Communist bloc cuties and the modelishly handsome lunkheads manning the bar don’t have to think so hard to compute one’s tab. I couldn’t see, but I imagine the cash register only has three buttons: a giant Fisher Price-sized 1, 2, and 3. Oh, you ordered six beers? The drink-slinging dummkopf goes to the register and mashes the giant 3 button six times before the See n’ Say voice says “18 dollars.”

2 Responses to “New Belgium Abbey Dubbel”

  1. Gabriel says:

    I agree this isn’t the BEST Dubbel in the world, (my favorite is Maredsous 8), but if you look at the price value then NB Dubbel is really hard to pass up. I can buy a single 12 oz’er for $1.25 compared to $11 for a 750ml of Westmalle.

  2. Aaron Goldfarb says:

    Yes, that is a pretty good point Gabriel.

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