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This medium- to full-bodied, dark amber to brown-colored ale has a malty sweetness and nutty, chocolate-like and roast malt aroma. A faint hop aroma is acceptable. Dubbels are also characterized by low bitterness and no hop flavor. Very small quantities of diacetyl are acceptable. Yeast-generated fruity esters (especially banana) are appropriate at low levels. Head retention is dense and mousse-like. Chill haze is acceptable at low serving temperatures. Dubbels, or "doubles," are darker in color, sweeter in flavor and weaker in alcohol content than their counterparts, the Tripels.

Abbey Tripel

Tripels are often characterized by a complex, spicy, phenolic flavor. Yeast-generated fruity banana esters are also common, but not necessary. These pale/light-colored ales may finish sweet, though any sweet finish can be light on the palate. The beer is characteristically medium to full bodied with a neutral hop/malt balance. Brewing sugar may be used to lighten the perception of body. Its sweetness will come from very pale malts. There should not be character from any roasted or dark malts. Low hop flavor is okay. Alcohol strength and flavor should be perceived as evident. Head retention is dense and mousse like. Chill haze is acceptable at low serving temperatures. Tripels are paler, stronger and drier than the Dubbels

Abbey Quadrupel

Nebulous style of Abbey beer stronger than the Dubbels and Tripels. Quadrupels are generally strong dubbels. A quadrupel is only brewed in a handful of breweries around the world. The original was brewed by La Trappe, a Trappist brewery in the Netherlands. Domestic examples are brewed by Weyerbacher (PA) and Avery (CO).


Copper to brown in color, this German ale may be highly hopped and intensely bitter (although the 25 to 35 IBU range is more normal for the majority of Altbiers from Düsseldorf) and has a medium body and malty flavor. A variety of malts, including wheat, may be used. Hop character may be medium to high in the flavor and aroma. The overall impression is clean, crisp and flavorful, often with a dry finish. Fruity esters can be low to medium-low. No diacetyl or chill haze should be perceived.

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