Belgian Abbey Red was part of the Cask Ale series that Karl Strauss runs (although this batch was not casked, damn). It clocked in with an 8.1%ABV and 20 IBU.
I picked up this beer at the Karl Strauss brewery-restaurant at Universal Citywalk. Sadly, I did not get a photo.
FROM FROM THE BREWER: A deep reddish brown, medium-bodied Belgian Strong Ale with plum, raisin, and caramel flavors that are balanced by a slightly spicy and warming finish.
The beer pours with a deep red, almost crimson color. It’s a very enticing, and intriguing looking brew. A thick, foamy head was perched on top of the beer. It lasts forever and leaves slight lacing when it goes.
My first two notes for the smell of this beer are, “smells sweet and smells like warmth”. The alcohol that accompanies the high ABV is forefront in the nose, with the (Belgian) sugars coming in a close second. Slight caramel notes are hiding in there also.
The pattern continues with the taste of this beer. B.A.R. is a sweet beer, with the alcohol very present. It almost reminds me of a red wine. They say there are raisins in this beer and you can taste them.
Mouthfeel is light, but has mucho bite. It’s quite sticky and leaves dryness at the end.
Belgian Abbey Red is a sweet, but strong beer. The brewers at Karl Strauss do not lead you astray with their description of this brew. It’s a little too sweet by my standards and I had a hard time getting through my second pint (we bought a pitcher). I’m glad I had it once, but I probably wouldn’t order it again.
Overall: 4 out of 10
As a BELGIAN STRONG ALE: 5.5 out of 10