Style: Abbey Dubbel
Well, I’m hoping to get back in the saddle here as I’ve been away from actually writing about beer, even though I’ve managed to keep the sampling pace going.
I recently had the chance to enjoy a Grimbergen Double Abbey, a lovely treat from the Flemish town of the same name, just north of Brussels. Its history dates back to 1128 at the abbey that Saint Norbert of Xanten (I’ve even been to Xanten—a tourist trap of “Roman” ruins if there ever was one) built for Premostratensian Communists of the day—a communal society in the area, which became famous for their hospitality. Now owned by the Alken Maes group (and unfortunately no longer brewed at the abbey), they churn out a half dozen traditional brews of ascending color and strength.
The Double—or Dubbel—is their brown ale, checking in at 6.5 percent ABV. It pours deep brown with low carbonation and a soft body. The nose opens with a maple sweetness and hints of a young yeast, which is rather surprising considering the travel time. The glass nonetheless laces wonderfully on the way down as the soft, white head keeps count to the final sip.
This one is better than most, particulary as an import.