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Notes on beers in the style

Dubbel
Ommegang Valar Morghulis

Ommegang
Valar Morghulis

750 mL in the usual corked and caged presentation. Head is rocky and significant at first, but fades. Really beautiful garnet color, atypical of Dubbels in general. Nice malty nose with plenty of fruit and alcohol. Caramel notes in nose and initial tastes. The beer is VERY fruity upfront. Drier and more bitterness in the back-end that lends an almost herbal quality. Finish is really quite dry. Fruit and dry notes linger as well, quite complex. Mouthfeel is smooth and the dry, tannin from plum...

Windowpane Series Fig & Raisin

Windowpane Series Fig & Raisin

Bottled 2013 - this bottle as a gift from my mate Stuart Arnold in NC. #3 in the Windowpane series, aged in NC Apple Brandy barrels. I took a look at some of the online reviews for this to get a feel for what I might be expecting. I'm not a fan of the traditional Dubbels very much, so the style puts me off a bit, but the idea of a Belgian inspired beer with figs and raisin elements certainly has me interested. Nose is more sugary than fruity with heaps of dark fruits, but they seem a little...

URkONTiNeNT

URkONTiNeNT

OK, here we go with another Dogfish Head experiment. The second one, Noble Rot being the first, that I have tried in their newly designed bottles. Brown, slightly garnet colored pour with a thin, smooth, nitro-like mocha head sitting atop the beer. Very little lace. Much more clarity and cleanliness than a traditional Belgian Dubbel and it looks better than I was expecting (my dislike of the Dubbel usual appearance is well documented). The nose is interesting. Light, Belgian candy and spice...

Letter of Marque

Letter of Marque

If the truth be known, over the years I have found the Mutiny Series a pretty average collection of beers, and I've said as much in my reviews. Underwhelming taste profiles have led to some pretty disappointing efforts in my book, so for some time my expectations have been dulled. Given that background, I found it rather odd that when I read this was a Dubbel, I felt it might be a style that the series could pull off. I'm really not sure WHY I thought that, but I did - more mind games! Many...

Ovila Dubbel

Ovila Dubbel

Corked & caged bottle with an unusual shape around the neck. Opens with a fearful pop with a button mushroom like cork - I suggest great care opening this one, but to be honest I would rather have it that way than without sufficient carbonation. Nice gun smoke. Attractive reddish brown hue which seems less muddy than the usual Dubbel appearance which is a bonus. Having said that beer is a dreadfully disappointing head and it fades horribly. No lace, no retention - shame. Light, alcoholic...

Ovila Dubbel

Chatoe Rogue First Growth Creek Ale

Without question my favorite of all of the First Growth Series so far. 22 oz bottle from Hop City, Atlanta, GA, the usual First Growth presentation. Not an especially attractive pour that generates a murky, reddish brown body, a nice, thick, creamy head but a carbonation that at first seems a little on the high side. After it all settles down it does produce a creamy feel and a less prickly mouthfeel than I first thought it might. Nose and tastes give some gentle tartness and a really fruity...

Ovila Dubbel

Green’s Endeavour

Older bottle (Best before 16/09/09). Interesting (again) in the non-beer/beer category. Pour is a lively, fairly well carbonated affair that yields a Dubbel-like, murky brown body and a little, thin foam that hangs around. It even produces a small amount of lace - no mean feat. Nose is VERY good with a strong sherry like, alcohol smell that is very enticing and promises much. The beer delivers some of the characteristics that the nose does, but they are somewhat muted. Some light fruit,...

Ovila Dubbel

Terrapin Double Feature

22 oz boxed, foiled and capped bottle into the (appropriate) Chimay chalice. Typical Dubbel color with a burned orange appearance with a better than average head. Some creamy remnants form on the sides of the glass and on the surface of the beer. The beer exhibits quite a lot of fruit in the nose and the taste with an emphasis on alcoholic, dry pineapples or peaches. Some marzipan notes as well. The combination of obvious malts and slightly more subtle yeasts drive this beer to a good place...

Pere Jacques

Pere Jacques

12oz single from Jungle Jim's, Cincinnati, OH, USA. 2009 vintage. Bottled pictured is a 22oz version in 2011. Bottled on 10/05/09. Also has 2019 printed next to it which I first thought might be a BB date, but that would contradict the text on the label that says it will develop in the bottle for up to 5 years. Maybe a batch #? Poured into the Terrapin snifter the beer ultimately settles to take on the appearance of a cognac. Still, light copper colored body with zero hint of head or lace....

Lost & Found The Lost Abbey

Lost & Found
The Lost Abbey

Additional notes 01/25/23 Bottled on 01/05/22 from Bine and Vine (I believe the old South Bay Drugs), San Diego, CA. Almost 14 years on and the pop on opening is still modest, BUT in this case the carbonation is OK - and it should be noted that this is a year old bottle. Great color here, a lovely, clear chestnut (that avoids a typical, murky Dubbel appearance). Delicious, deep raisins and figs as prior, with a great, yeasty, Belgian feel. Much more Strong Belgian than Dubbel here, with some...

Ovila Dubbel

Black Beauty

Popped in for a lunchtime brew today and decided to give the Black Beauty a run. Described on the beer menu as a Dubbel, this looks, tastes and drinks much more like a Quad, and even has a few RIS notes. I spoke to Crawford and he agreed about the Quad descriptor, but was less sure of my RIS comparison. He LOVES to brew these "style-defying" Belgian beers and this is another example of the fine art he is in the process of perfecting. Pretty much jet black on the pour as far as I could tell...

Ovila Dubbel

Smuttynose Winter Ale

12 oz single from The Charleston Beer Exchange, Charleston, SC, USA. Solid garnet pour with a standard (typical) Dubbel cloudiness but a little more red color than the traditional dirty brown. Thin foam and some sticky lace. I must admit I wasn't expecting a "Dubbel" or any Belgian influence on the Smutty Winter offering. Very sweet with some sour notes. Pretty interesting. Not a traditional Dubbel by any means, but strangely tasty. A mix of grapefruit and candy sugar. Very nice. Moreish, this...

Ovila Dubbel

Abbey Ale

22oz bomber from Tower on Piedmont, Atlanta, GA, USA. $4.99, I *think*. A little more attractive than your average Dubbel. More clarity and a slightly more reddish tinge rather than the dirty brown dishwater note that often accompanies the style. Head and lace are there, but fairly minimal. Serious fruity and bubblegum nose with some definite yeasty notes. Belgian character in the nose but it seems a touch artificial or "plastic" to me. The tastes reflect the nose. Yeast notes, some banana but...

Ovila Dubbel

Donder & Bliksem

750 mL corked and caged bottle. Slightly strange beast this. It's been at Green's for a little while now, but in the $15 range it makes me a little wary so I was happy to be a recipient of brickstoredave's generosity for a sampling at the pub (these bottles did not sell well apparently and are on their way out of the rotation at the BS). Serious carbonation on opening with a real gusher going on for a few minutes. Mocha foam. Dubbel pour (i.e. mid brown, cloudy and rather drab) with a small...

Ovila Dubbel

Ølfabrikken Abbey Ale (Special Reserve)

750mL corked & caged from Green's on Ponce, Atlanta, GA, USA. Non-descript cork. I was a little wary of this simply because I am not a big fan of Dubbels, but this (at least HALF) broke the mould. Poured into the Ommegang Chalice, the beer shows an exceptional color for a Dubbel. I am giving this a "5" for appearance based upon the fact that most Dubbels have a HORRIBLE, nasty dirty dishwasher appearance. This has much more clarity, a better "red" color and head and lace that is well above...

Ovila Dubbel

Affligem Dubbel

$7.99 from Merchant Package, Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, GA, USA. 11/03 on the cork from the corked & caged, 750 mL bottle. As usual that ugly, dirty brown murky pour - GOD I HATE the way Dubbel's look. Fine carbonation on the surface of the beer - a little prickly in the mouth, lace is thin. Yeasty taste with some acidic qualities. In fact the acidic nature of the beer shines through. A little thin in the mouth, but it's standard. Better drinkability than I expected. Dubbels just don't do...

Ovila Dubbel

Blue Moon Winter Abbey Ale

I HAVE DELIBERATELY MOVED THIS REVIEW TO THIS NEW LISTING (from the old Blue Moon Winter Ale), because I *think* that this is a NEW recipe for 2007 and should be listed separately. Maybe this is an error, but for now I think this is the right thing to do. If it IS correctly listed as a new beer, then other 2007 reviews of Blue Moon Winter should be moved here too; See this thread; http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/1140400 2007 release, now called Full Moon (as opposed to Blue Moon Winter...

Ovila Dubbel

Sterkens Dubbel Ale

11.2 oz single from Total Wine in Kennesaw, GA, USA. As usual, a horrible looking pour. Nasty, old dishwater color, no head, lifeless look and tobacco like floaties. Yuk. Aroma has some yeasty sweetness, but not much else. Tastes are better than the vision would suggest - just. Very light in the mouth = lacks body (apart from the nasty looking floaties), slight plastic influence (the kind I associate with dirty draught lines) and a mildly acidic finish. At the best of times I am not a huge fan...

Trappist Achel 8° Bruin

Trappist Achel 8° Bruin

Additional notes 09/13/23 (Pictured) I've drunk this a 100 times since those original notes from 17 years ago, but with the recent changes in the status of the brewery I wanted to go back and make some extra visits. It's ASTONISHING to me have those original notes are so out of whack with what I see in the appearance today. Now I have a crystal clear, beautiful, garnet/burgundy body with a fantastic head with great retention. Smell and taste are MUCH more reminiscent of a pure BDSA, so much so...

Ovila Dubbel

Sweetwater Dubbel D’s

On-tap, Taco Mac, Decatur, GA. Small tulip serving. If this truly is a Dubbel it's the best looking one that I have seen ever! It was a mid-brown, with a small head and most delightfully, it was crystal clear. It lacked the nasty, murky dishwater appearance of so many Dubbel's. Now, I guess that may be negative points in some purists eyes when we consider the style, but I was delighted with the look - it's DEFINITELY exceptional FOR THE STYLE, hence the 5.0. Aroma and tastes are all there in...

Trappist Westvleteren 8

Trappist Westvleteren 8

Additional notes 11/27/22 (pictured) This bottle has a great head; deep and pitted. The Westvleteren creamy mouthfeel and richness as the trademark is stronger in this bottle than I've seen in a number of others. Very robust beer that wipes the floor with other 'Dubbels', although to be honest, is this really a Dubbel in any way other than appearance? Additional notes 06/04/17 16.01.11 although the 6 could be an 8. Either way, a little older than it should be, but still just fine. First pour...

Ovila Dubbel

Max Abbey

Extermely nice, surpassed my expectations by some distance. Nice authentic brown color with some spotty head and a little lacing. This could be improved with a better pour, the presentation let it down a bit. Very creamy in the mouth, with a solid malt presence but also a distinct Belgian feel. Some mild spice apparent and very sweet. The sweetness did not overpower the beer, and I thought it was a pretty decent example of the style. Nice malt nose completes this very acceptable package. One...

Ovila Dubbel

Bornem Dubbel

330 mL Stubbie. Nice presentation. Typical dirty brown pour, with that distinctive light, frothy head and fairly severe carbonation that can both come with the style quite often. The lacing is fairly reserved, and does not stick. Kind of watery (lack of bady) body. Yeasty and acidic taste. Not very smooth. Some apple character and some citrus notes. Mouthfeel is light and feels a little fizzy from the cabonation. I don't know about the Dubbel style, it's just seems to continue to be a bit hit...

Ovila Dubbel

Val-Dieu Brune

Quite a dark pour, much more so than I expected. Lots of floaties that took some time to settle down. Some head, but it is airy and then disappears quickly to leave some lacing and a spotty, creamy thin head. Aroma is pretty non-descript, some alcohol and a little dark fruit. Obviously Belgian yeast presence in the taste and increasingly bitter as I drink it. Decent alcohol in the finish, and a little dry as the drink ends. A little prickly carbonation takes something away from the mouthfeel,...

Ovila Dubbel

Cru D’or

***Originally on BA this was classified as a Tripel and was the re-classified (correctly) as a Dubbel. Amber pour, with some chill haze, good initial head and some lacing. I'm looking for a lighter, more golden color in my Tripel's*** though. Very nice aroma that has a mixed ripe fruit character and that classic Belgian yeast strain present. A little bit of alcoholic edge to the taste, nice Belgian feel and a bit of a drier finish than I expected. Lacks the deep sweet alcoholic fruitiness of a...

Ovila Dubbel

Abbey Belgian Style Ale

Good looking deep brown pour with a quick fading head and a little bit of lacing. Aroma is a little bit of prune juice and some over-ripe bananas. Tastes reflect some alcohol and some mixed, soft, ripe, indistinguishable fruits. Nice warm alcohol in the finish too. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, very quaffable. Drinkable, and another example of NBB producing a very good quality beer that is really authentic and a good example of the style.

Ovila Dubbel

Allagash Dubbel Ale

Typical of the relatively unattractive nature of many Dubbels, this shows a dirty, drab, brown body, but a nice looking head. The head is small but leaves a nice film of lace on the surface, and some additional lace on the St. Bernardus goblet. Some mixed dark fruits in the aroma, and suprisingly little alcohol. This is a little confusing since it drinks above its 7% ABV, but has an aroma below it. Very, very smooth with some warming alcohol, a little banana and some tropical pineapple. Very...

Ovila Dubbel

Grimbergen Dubbel

One of the most delicious Dubbels that I have tasted in some time. Not normally one of my favorite styles, I sometimes find them lacking in depth and character, but not here. Almost reminded me of a Dopplebock, wuth loads of mixed fruits soaked in alcohol. Fantastic looking, dark brown pour with a lovely, large head that lasts wonderfullly with stacks of sticky lacing. Very smooth and full in the mouth making this a silky experience that goes down beautifully for a great drinkability...

Ovila Dubbel

St. Sebastiaan Dark

Somewhat disappointed by this. Novelty of the "ceramic" appearance "bottle" is lost quickly, although I do like the flip top potential of keeping the beer in the fridge for a couple of hours after it has been opened. Very malty, sweet nose, almost reminiscent of a pretty good doppelbock. However that's where the good stuff ended. Drab, brown pour with a large amount of (presumabley) yeast floaties. Alcoholic warmth seems very high for such a relatively low ABV. Taste has the malts with little...

St. Bernardus Pater 6

St. Bernardus
Pater 6

Additional notes 04/15/23 (pictured): Best Before 08 07 23 - Honestly, head isn't great. This always feels to me like a cross between a Dubbel and something more. I'm not a huge fan of Dubbels in general, but this one bites less so there must be something about it. Good depth and richness in the beer with a smooth experience that lingers on the tongue. Original Notes 05/13/05: Well, given the very high standards set by the brewery, this is not their best beer, but nevertheless a solid effort....

La Trappe Dubbel (Koningshoeven/Dominus)

La Trappe Dubbel (Koningshoeven/Dominus)

Additional notes 04/16/24 (pictured) 750 mL corked and caged bottle from a recent Colorado trip. Increasingly hard to find this is many parts of the USA. There's a yellow/orange hue to the head, and the usual, relatively unattractive color on the Dubbel body. Carbonation on this is adequate but also wispy and a little thin. In my experience it has always been that way with this beer. Dubbels aren't usually my bag, but this has always been an exception. Big rounded mouthfeel, and a really...

Ovila Dubbel

Corsendonk Pater / Abbey Brown Ale

Masssive flavors are present from the get go, with a solid malt backbone and alcohol holding the whole thing together. No messing about here, this is a solid, powerful brew with no punches pulled and authenticity about the beer that is often lacking in so many other beers. Here's what I like; It dark, it's rich, it's satisfying, it's rounded, gives a full mouthfeel, good alcohol content, and an overall experience that is complete. Plenty of fruity esters, but in the perfect combination with...

Ovila Dubbel

Brewer’s Art Resurrection

Flavorful certainly, but rather rough around the edges. This beer lacks a certain subtlety that detracts from its drinkability. That's not to say that it's not a decent drink, but if you are expect a drinkable, smooth, classic Dubbel you're going to be disappointed. Dark red appearance with lots of harsh alcohol up front. A little out of balance for me, and an aftertaste that lingers more than I cared for it to do. Worth a try, but a little too harsh for me. Countless better examples of the...

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel

Westmalle Trappist
Dubbel

Additional notes: Over time this has become my favorite Dubbel by light years, but mainly because it doesn't have many of the characteristics of many others in the style, especially the appearance. The beautiful, deep red clarity on it belies the so typical, dirty dishwater appearance for many others in the style. There's also a light, fruitless that comes with this beer that for me, places it in a category I might call "Light Quad" or "Light BDSA" IF such a thing made any sense. Original...

Ovila Dubbel

Maredsous 8 – Dubbel

750 mL bottle, Green's, Buford Highway, Atlanta, GA, USA. Fantastically complex and layered beer, with it packing every ounce of its 8.00 % ABV. I love this "Brune" Belgian style as it reeks of "real" beer. Tasty, with a subtlety that belies its relatively high alcohol content, it truly warms the cockles of the heart. I find that the alcohol in this brew takes on a real, depth, like a complex after dinner liqueur it has the ability to satisfy from all angles - aroma, taste, complexity, warmth,...

St. Bernardus Prior 8

St. Bernardus
Prior 8

Pictured 04/15/23 Notes added 08/07/21 Best Before 04/10/21. Dubbels are what they are for me. Considering the notes below, these days I get a lot less alcohol from Prior 8 than I apparently used to. The bread malt of course is still the dominant feature, and the beer still has an infinitely more attractive head than body. More fruit than I remember in recent years, and additional sweetness than I’ve recorded in the past. Finishes smooth. A better beer than I generally give it credit for, but...

Chimay Première (Red)

Chimay Première (Red)

Additional Notes 07/28/22 Great example of a Dubbel in my book, but I'm not a huge fan of Dubbels in general, so my notes are always slightly tainted. It's an easy drinker with the malts breaking constantly over the tongue, and a satisfying body to the beer. Not my favorite Chimay, but still a lovely beer that I would never turn down. Original Notes 08/31/2004 I've been drinking the Chimay range for years, both in the UK and in Belgium and what has always struck me about the Red is the...

Ommegang (Abbey Ale)

Ommegang (Abbey Ale)

Additional notes 07/28/23 It's great to witness the change over time that this beer has undergone. I bought this for $13.25 from the brewery in July of 2023 (compare prices below). They've done a decent job on the newer label, BUT the old one was just wonderful. This bottle (pictured) is corked and caged like the old one. This beer still feels so very rich. I don't think of it as a Dubbel at all, rarther it feels like a classic BSDA. Cherry notes with marzipan as before. Deep flavors permeate...

Trappistes Rochefort 6

Trappistes Rochefort 6

Additional Notes 08/23/22 As is sometimes the case, the original notes that I made about this beer are a bit naive to say the least, even if some of they do ring true to this day. My palate has changed a lot in the eighteen years since those words were typed, and Rochefort 6 is now one of my favorite beers. These days it has a strange way of reminding me of a perfect, English Bitter. Yes, I know that sounds nuts, but the creamy nature of the beer that I noted all of those years ago, and the...

Ovila Dubbel

Dogwood Winter Ale (2003)

Coffee, coffee, coffee - that is the overwhelming experience that I got from this brew. In fact very heavily sugared coffee. It poured a very dark, chocolate brown color with an initial sweet coffee taste. The mouthfeel is very smooth, almost syrup-like. It poured with a very light, small tan head that faded quickly.I don't think I could drink a huge amount of this stuff, but certainly an interesting, local aside.