I got to stop by Old Abbey Ales in Abbotsford a few days ago. I was doing some outsourcing for work and I was nearby so I figured, why not grab a few bombers while I’m close? I don’t often go to Abbotsford (there’s no reason to go there unless you live or work there) and I have not tried any of their brews yet, so I grabbed a ‘Belgian’ quad, an IPA and this one, a Belgian Pale Ale.
The brewery itself is, basically, a unit in a big box warehouse. Not flashy in any way. There was a makeshift bar and about 15 (!) beers on tap, which made me sad, because I couldn’t stay for a sampler due to the fact that I was on shift. My bosses probably would frown on me getting tuned up while still on the clock.. And driving a company cube van.
The label is classy looking, and feels like a thick sticker. It actually feels like quality sticker paper. Overall I get a sense of regality from it, not too showy but elegant in its simplicity.
On to the pour then. This pale pours a fizzy, golden yellow with no retentive head and a miniscule collar. The smell is strange and exotic. Hints of cinnamon, crabapple and a tinny, dry sourness that is reminiscent of barrel aged cider.
The taste was a little shocking, with cinnamon, vanilla, melons and exotic citrus berries over top of a caramel and salty cracker malt base. It sounds like an odd combination, because it absolutely is. The flavors seem to change throughout the beer, with each note taking turns in the spotlight. Just like a strip club. It gives spicy ‘aftershocks’ that culminate in a building warmness, like I was drinking hard liquor. Very unique and pleasant.
I really thought the cinnamon would turn me off (fuck cinnamon, unless it’s in bun-form, sans disgusting raisins, which are also poison), but it works great as an additive flavor, rather than being the featured flavor.
It’s got a light body and medium mouthfeel, that has a good lingering aftertaste. It’s also fairly creamy for a beer with zero head. It’s like a Pale ale crossbred with a sour, and there’s nothing wrong with that in my books.
I’m glad this weird beer was so good, it gets me excited for the prospect of weirder beers. They’re out there. I just have to find them.
4/5 Pretty damn good! I wouldn’t drink it all night, but one of these every now and then will be delightful. A very unique, spicy experience.