The beer began with a strongly spiced smell, cloves, maybe coriander, and a suggestion of pepper, with a light touch of alcohol peaking through. Even though it’s not a Christmas beer, per se, it had an aroma that whispered “Christmas” into my nose. Hmm … that’s an odd statement. Anyway, it’s a pleasant and inviting scent.
The taste carries a touch of the spice that came through in the smell along with a large dose of yeast, almost like rising bread dough. With a medium body and a light hint of carbonation, the Abbey finishes with a warming caress of alcohol. Yes, that 7% ABV actually does come through in the taste.
Overall, I enjoyed New Belgium’s Abbey, but I doubt I buy this one very often. For me, 1554 is just too good to pass up when I mosey past the New Belgium section of the store.
Brewer: New Belgium Brewing
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Alcohol Content: 7.0% ABV
Interesting Note: If you get a chance, read through their employee perks (http://www.newbelgium.com/Files/nbb_employee_perks.pdf). I’ve heard people say that New Belgium is one of those few companies with a culture that combines hard work with a love of the job and a lot of fun. Their “perks” highlight this with things like:
- A “Fat Tire” bicycle on your one year anniversary
- An on site Cyclocross course
- A 12-pack of Employee beer per week
- And … yes, it’s awesome … one “shift beer” after you clock out!