dsc01600Cracking open one of your homebrew creations is a pretty cool experience. Ideally, it tastes great and impresses your friends and family. But sometimes it doesn’t, and you take a close look at what could have gone wrong somewhere throughout the process. Either way, you learn something, which is pretty cool.

Tonight I had the pleasure of enjoying my Belgian Dubbel, or the “Dubbel Deuce” as I nicknamed it while it quietly fermented. I actually brewed this late December, so it really didn’t take too long to ferment and carbonate in the bottle, all things considered. I was sort of hoping this would come out somewhere in the vicinity of Chimay Red (don’t we all wish that), a beautiful dark fruit and yeasty aroma paired with a rich and complex maltiness. What I got was a little different, more in line with say New Belgium Abbey. But very nice, nonetheless.

My Dubbel Deuce pours with a very frenetic head that slowly dissipates into a calm and placid white sliver of carbonation. Would be nice if the head stuck around longer, but it doesn’t detract too much. Right away you get a nice aroma of fruits, maybe dark cherry, as well as spicy clove. The slightest hint of banana ester hangs out in the background, rounding out the nose. No hops to speak of. Color is a nice dark amber with a decent amount of clarity. Some yeast are present.

The flavor is very similar to the aroma. Very malty sweet, more of the cherries or possibly raisin, but not sweet like crystal malt. You also get a subtle tinge of alcohol (about 7.5% ABV) in the relatively dry, yet smooth, finish. Mouthfeel is a little on the light side, but the carbonation does help to fill it out.

Overall, a nicely complex and very drinkable example of a dubbel. I have about two cases of the stuff that I’ll age for some time to come, so I look forward to giving this another shot over the coming months to see how the character changes. I am very happy with this one.  

Rating: A-