The Belgian dubbel style, the malty and darker beer originally developed in Trappist monastaries, is not nearly as coveted by American craft beer enthusiasts as other similar styles. When it comes to Trappist styles it seems like more breweries make the bigger and boozier quadrupels and the lighter colored tripels that are amenable to higher doses of hops. Dubbels meanwhile compete for shelf space with other malt-forward styles like stouts, porters, Scottish ales and barleywines. I actually really enjoy a well made dubbel, the fruity and spicy Belgian yeast nicely complements the full body and malt sweetness resulting in a complex beer without the huge ABV. One of the flagship ales of Allagash Brewing Company in Portland, ME has long been their Dubbel. This is a good example of how the dubbel style can fall through the cracks, it is much less prevalent than their ubiquitous White beer and less sought after than some of the special releases that Allagash brews. It is too bad because this is a great beer in this style and is usually pretty easy to find. It is distributed on draft or in 12 oz. bottles and 750 mL bombers.
Allagash Dubbel pours a deep amber with a mild cream colored head. The scent is a mixture of estery/spicy yeast and a little malt sweetness. The taste starts with the famous Allagash house yeast, notes of pepper, clove, apple and pear. This is balanced by significant malt flavor, hints of caramel, crackers, honey and nuts. There are minimal hops, just a little balance and dryness in the end. The beer is full bodied but still pretty easy to drink, the finish is clean with just a slight lingering sweetness. At 7% ABV Allagash Dubbel is by no means a light beer, but it is still lower in alcohol than many Belgian style brews. This is a very solid version of a dubbel, worth checking out if you aren’t familiar with the style or just feel like mixing it up. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
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