Thursday, February 3, 2011

Belgian Dubbel-Something Tasting

I honestly don't know where to start with this one. Let's just say I combined a bunch of pilsner malt, the grains necessary to make a dubbel, some Wyeast 1388 I had sitting around, and a whole bunch of homemade amber candi sugar that needed a home - and made a beer out of it. I am almost tempted to say this beer could pass off as a dubbel in a competition, but it probably wouldn't... ah, I don't know. It's like nothing I've ever made or had before. Imagine mixing your favorite bottle of dubbel, golden strong, and non-funky kriek together into one glass; you'd probably get something like this.

Life and Loam: Belgian Dubbel-ish

Appearance – A very nice looking dark amber-red color, suffering from a particularly bad case of chill haze. The head is a bit weak, lots of big bubbles and not enough carbonation for such a big beer. All things that should improve with some age.


Smell – The aroma coming off this one is incredible; lots of caramelized sugar, dark rum, clove, cinnamon, a hint of banana, and a lot of something that reminds me of candied cherries (if there ever was a thing). Just the slightest bit of alcohol aroma, enough to let you know this beer is 9%. Slightly sweet smelling.

Taste – Lots going on here. Starts with a sweet maltiness that grows into an explosion of dark fruit, caramelized sugar, rum, and spice. Tons of candied cherry flavor - it's incredible how much cherry flavor is going on here, like a smooth schnapps or kirschwasser. Not much perceptible bitterness or alcohol warmth and finishes dry. Would like a bit more harmony between the balance of flavors, though its pretty good as is.

Mouthfeel – Prickly bubbles on the tip of the tongue that fade quickly and medium-full mouthfeel. Finishes dry, though there is enough residual sweetness to provide a somewhat creamy texture. Needs more carbonation.


Drinkability & Notes – Considering this beer is only one month in the bottle, I am very pleased with how it is coming along. One of the most interesting and tasty strong Belgians I have made in a long time. I originally had worries about this one, considering the combination of ingredients, and was holding off trying a bottle of it for fear it was going to be pretty nasty; what a surprise then! I am excited to see how this one ages and if the chill haze and carbonation problems get any better. So far so good!

O.G: 1.072, F.G: 1.003, 9.0% ABV, 28 IBU, Wyeast 1388 Golden Strong.

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