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Old 07-11-2012, 03:28 PM   #1
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Default New Belgium Abbey Ale = Ginormous Headache

So last week in my continuing mission of trying new beers and styles I bought a mixed six pack of beer. One of my choices happened to be New Belgium's Abbey since I hadn't had a dubbel before and figured this would be a good intro to this style. Wow, right after pouring this beer in the glass I knew this was going to be a unique experience. Talk about banana aroma. At first taste this ale lived up to its aroma and the flavor was definitely a spicy banana taste. After drinking about half of the beer I noticed an intense almost migraine like headache coming on. This headache stuck around the rest of the night and was with me through part of the next morning. I am pretty sure it was the beer that brought this on, and thinking about this style I am wondering if it was the characteristic esters of this style that brought on this headache. I am perplexed though since I have never had this problem with other estery beers like hefeweizen. All I can say is that I am unsure I will try another dubbel in the future since I really didn't enjoy the end result, plus I can't say I really enjoyed the funky belgian flavor anyway.



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Old 07-11-2012, 08:14 PM   #2
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Were you drinking on an empty stomach and decided to finish all 6 of your mixed pack?

In any case, I agree with you on the "belgian" taste. I don't know enough whether it is the water chemistry or yeast flavors but I just cannot enjoy them at all. Any belgian beer that is...



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Old 07-11-2012, 10:15 PM   #3
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I wish I had drank my entire six pack, maybe that would have solved my problem. The Abbey was my second and final beer for the evening and it was hard for me to get the Belgian funk off my palate the rest of the night. No matter what I did the lingering aroma and taste of overly ripe bananas stayed with me. If this is any indicator Belgian style beers may not be for me.

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Old 07-12-2012, 01:23 AM   #4
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Ha!

I bought a 6'er of the NB Abbey tonight for the first time! (along with a 4 pack of La Fin Du Monde thank the beer gods)

I logged on planning on starting a thread about Belgians in general and I'm about to...but figured I have to post here also.

There's just something about the New Belgium beers that I really don't like. It's a particular aftertaste that I can't place. I've read Randy Mosher's Tasting Beer book twice...great book. I assume it's some type of malt and not a spice. The taste I'm referring to is VERY strong in the NB Tripel and it's really not good. It's there in the Abbey (dubbel) although a bit muted and got slightly better as it warmed.

All in all....all of the New Belgium beers I don't care for and are nothing like the actual Belgian stand outs (Duvel, any of the trappists, etc) or even the Unibroue offerings which are all amazing.

Fat Tire is meh...though pallatable. Some restaurants around here will have all the BMC beers, Shiner Bock, and Fat Tire. I'll go back and forth between the Shiner and Fat Tire.

The 1554 is ok, and on special at my new Taco joint for 2.50 a bottle, but I just can't find one that I like. The summersault was also ok...perhaps the best of them, which is sad really.

Disclosure: never had the Ranger IPA, I hear good things

Anyhoo I'll stop my semi-drunken rambling I don't really remember what the original post said haha.


edit- ok i re-read the OP. If you like beer don't give up on the Belgians after trying a new belgium beer. they are by far the worst "belgian" I've ever had except for maybe Victory Golden Monkey which I think is actually Monkey piss fermented and bottled.

go buy a 750ml bottle of Duvel, Hennepin Saison (also made by Duvel), La Fin Du Monde (or anything from Unibroue really, they are from Quebec), and maybe something like an Ommegang, and any Trappist offering you can find.

If you don't want the banana flavor...go for something dark like Unibroue Trois Pistoles or Terrible

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Old 07-12-2012, 01:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoppyGilmore View Post
except for maybe Victory Golden Monkey which I think is actually Monkey piss fermented and bottled.
I've never had the New Belgium dubbel, but have had their tripel, wasn't happy with it. But I thought Victory's Golden Monkey was a solventy disastrous mess, and it gave me a nasty headache too (I'm assuming from all the higher alcohols I was tasting, don't know how hot Victory actually fermented but it tasted like they fermented it at 100 degrees). Possible that's what happened to you.

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go buy a 750ml bottle of Duvel, Hennepin Saison (also made by Duvel), La Fin Du Monde (or anything from Unibroue really, they are from Quebec), and maybe something like an Ommegang, and any Trappist offering you can find.

If you don't want the banana flavor...go for something dark like Unibroue Trois Pistoles or Terrible
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Old 07-12-2012, 01:16 PM   #6
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Hennepin is made by Ommegang, although Ommegang is owned by Moortgat, which produces Duvel.

I've never had that problem with any of NB's beers. Abbey and 1554 are the only two beers in NB's regular line up I like. Abbey really isn't a great rendition of a dubbel IMO but still a good beer. Not sure what the problem was, maybe you just have an intense sensitivity to one of the yeast byproducts from the strain NB uses.

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Old 07-12-2012, 01:47 PM   #7
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Hennepin is made by Ommegang, although Ommegang is owned by Moortgat, which produces Duvel.

I've never had that problem with any of NB's beers. Abbey and 1554 are the only two beers in NB's regular line up I like. Abbey really isn't a great rendition of a dubbel IMO but still a good beer. Not sure what the problem was, maybe you just have an intense sensitivity to one of the yeast byproducts from the strain NB uses.
1554 is one of my favorites, and although the Abbey is quite light for a Dubbel; after a month in the frige, it actually started to taste pretty damn good (for what it is straight off the shelf).

Try Unibroue, their beers are not overly funked Belgian style ales, but they are well crafted. Trois Pistoles is fantastic, along with La Fin as mentioned, and if you want something light, try the Blanche De Chambly. Don De Deou is my personal favorite, although after a 22 ozer of that, you are completely
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Old 07-12-2012, 02:30 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=ReverseApacheMaster;4245629]Hennepin is made by Ommegang, although Ommegang is owned by Moortgat, which produces Duvel.

QUOTE]

Ah yes! I stand corrected. I think there's a picture of the Duvel label on the Hennepin bottle which had me confuzzled.

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Old 07-12-2012, 03:01 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the recommendations! The sudden onset of the headache just really threw me off. I was pretty excited about the banana aroma and flavors to begin with, but now I sort of associate that flavor with my headache. I am going to give the dubbel another go, but I would guess it will take me awhile to want to even go near an NB Abbey again.

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Old 07-12-2012, 03:17 PM   #10
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Funny, of the offerings I can afford around here, I prefer New Belgium to most of them. Boulevard Brewing has gotten too bland and even went to twist-offs. Our local micro, Empyrean, makes a few good beers (a sweet stout, an oatmeal stout, and a few more basic ales that I like), too. I'm a big fan of Ranger. That, Lakeside, and Goose Island are among my favorite "basic" IPA's. I bought Belgo last night (belgian IPA) and it was OK, more palatable than most IPA's (wife even drank half of one and she doesn't like hoppy beers) but I've been on such a belgian-esque kick lately that the bubblegum didn't seem right with the hops, or maybe I'm growing tired of it due to oversampling.

Fat Tire is a great alternative to BMC beers as a session beer. Shift is too. I wasn't a huge fan of their wheats, but all-in-all I think they make the most beers I enjoy. The Tripel was OK, but a bit too much ABV for me, plus I drink fast on lighter bodied beers.

They're not really true to the Belgian styles, but rather influenced by them. That's OK, too.



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