I've done a couple posts on Ommegang already, but somehow I have yet to cover the Abbey Ale. Somehow the Abbey Ale is commonly forgotten. I rarely find it on tap anywhere apart from the brewery. It is a Belgian-style dubbel that is 8.5% ABV, so it is best to share.
Outside of Belgium, I would say that this is the best dubbel you will find. It is even better than a bunch in Belgium too. It has won awards at worldwide beer championships in the Belgian dubbel category. This should give you an idea of the quality you are looking at from the Abbey Ale.
In terms of flavor, it is a really rich, tasty beer. It has all of the dark fruitiness that you might expect from a dubbel, with a spicy sweetness that finishes off the flavor. It is smooth and delicious, so if you haven't tried it before, go for it. The Abbey Ale is a good candidate for aging, as the dark malts and the yeast used both respond really well to aging. This particular one was aged for a year and a half. I also have a barrel-aged version that I have been aging for a while. It is fun to age beers because they change as time goes on. Flavors evolve over time and you can compare and contrast a new bottle from an old bottle. If you save up a couple years you can also do a small "vertical tasting" with a couple friends.
I didn't cover a lot about aging your beers, but generally darker, stronger beers respond the best. More to come on aging in a later post.
Glassware: Goblet, snifter, tulip
Synonym Beer: Westmalle Dubbel
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