Abbey ale, also known as abbey beer or abbey-style beer, is a type of Belgian beer that is brewed in the style of the beers traditionally made by Belgian abbeys. These beers are often strong, complex, and flavorful, and are typically amber to dark brown in color.
They may be fruity, spicy, or malty in flavor, and may be bottle-conditioned, meaning that they are fermented a second time in the bottle to create carbonation. Some examples of abbey ales include Chimay, Rochefort, and Westmalle.
Abbey Ale Flavors
Abbey ales can vary widely in flavor, as they are a diverse category of beer. However, some common characteristics of abbey ales include:
Fruity flavors: Many abbey ales have a fruity taste, with notes of dark fruit such as raisins, figs, or plums.
Spicy flavors: Some abbey ales may have spicy flavors, such as clove, pepper, or coriander.
Maltiness: Many abbey ales are malty in flavor, with a rich, toasty, or bready taste.
Dark colors: Many abbey ales are amber to dark brown in color, which can contribute to their flavor profile.
Strong flavor: Abbey ales are often strong beers, with high alcohol content and a full-bodied flavor.
It’s worth noting that abbey ales can vary significantly in their flavor profile, and the specific flavors present in a particular abbey ale will depend on the specific recipe and brewing techniques used by the brewer.
Types Of Abbey Ale
There are several different types of abbey ale, which can be distinguished by their strength, flavor, and brewing methods. Here are a few examples:
Single: Single is a type of abbey ale that is pale in color, with a light, crisp flavor and a low to moderate alcohol content (around 4-7% ABV). It is named after the single portion of malt that is used in the brewing process.
Dubbel: Dubbel is a type of abbey ale that is typically amber to brown in color, with a malty flavor and a moderate to the high alcohol content (around 6-8% ABV). It is named after the double portion of malt that is used in the brewing process.
Tripel: Tripel is a type of abbey ale that is pale to golden in color, with a spicy and fruity flavor and a high alcohol content (around 7-10% ABV). It is named after the triple portion of malt that is used in the brewing process.
Quadrupel: Quadrupel is a type of abbey ale that is dark brown to black in color, with a rich, malty flavor and a very high alcohol content (around 9-14% ABV). It is named after the quadruple portion of malt that is used in the brewing process.
Belgian Strong Dark Ale: Belgian Strong Dark Ale is a type of abbey ale that is dark brown to black in color, with a rich, malty flavor and a high alcohol content (around 7-12% ABV). It is similar to a quadruple, but may not be brewed according to the traditional abbey ale methods.
How To Find Abbey Ale
Abbey ales are widely available at bars, restaurants, and stores that sell craft beer. You can often find them at specialty beer stores or at stores that carry a wide selection of imported beers.
You can also try looking for them at bars and restaurants that specialize in Belgian beers or craft beers.
If you are having trouble finding abbey ales in your area, you may be able to find them online from retailers that specialize in selling craft beer. Many breweries also have online stores where you can purchase their beers directly.
The availability of specific abbey ales may vary depending on where you are located and the specific retailers and distributors in your area.
DIY Abbey Ale Recipe
Here is a general recipe for making abbey ale at home:
- 1 lb of Munich malt and 10 lbs of pale malt
- Caramel malt, 1 lb (60L)
- Belgian Candi sugar, 1 lb.
- Yeast – Belgian abbey ale
- Styrian Goldings hops, 1 oz for bittering
- East Kent Goldings hops for aroma
In a mash tun, smash the malt and combine it with 3.5 gallons of water. Heat the ingredients to 152-154°F and keep them there for 60 minutes.
After mashing, bring the mixture to a boil and stir in the bittering hops. Boil for 1 hour, then add the aroma hops and continue to cook for another 15 minutes.
After boiling, allow the wort to cool down to room temperature before transferring it into a fermenter. Aerate the mixture after adding the yeast.
Ferment the combination for seven to ten days at 70 to 75°F, or till the fermentation is accomplished.
Bottle the brew with priming sugar and leave it to carbonate for two to three weeks at room temperature.
Have fun with your homemade abbey ale!
Abbey ales are a diverse category of Belgian beer that can vary widely in flavor. They are often strong, complex, and flavorful, and may have fruity, spicy, or malty flavors.
They may be amber to dark brown in color and may be bottle-conditioned to create carbonation. There are several different types of abbey ale, including dubbel, tripel, quadrupel, single, and Belgian Strong Dark Ale, which can be distinguished by their strength, flavor, and brewing methods.
Abbey ales can be found at bars, restaurants, and stores that sell craft beer, and can also be purchased online from retailers and breweries. They can also be made at home using a variety of ingredients and brewing techniques.