you’re an American startup brewery and you’re going to make a
Belgian-style beer you’d better make it exactly to spec or else do
something experimental to make it interesting. Green Wolf’s “Abbey
Gargoyle” is a Belgian-style dubbel, but it is not to spec. That being
said, it’s still a solid beer that could be much better with a few
I poured a 22oz bottle into a tulip glass. There was no freshness date and it cost $9 ($0.41 per ounce).
Appearance: Raspberry tea complexion of a reddish/brown hue over and
opaque body. Pours to a small, off-white, foamy head which laces and
retains fairly well.
Smell: Mild nose but standard Belgian aroma of banana and clove.
Taste: I am genuinely impressed, and surprised, by the malt flavor that
comes through in this palette. A sweetness of dark grain that’s
accentuated by the Belgian yeast character. A mélange of dark fruit is
noticeable throughout the first half, though no individual, distinct
flavors seem to jump out other than a slight cherry note. The second
half is much better, though, as the esters begin to take over. There’s a
noticeably banana taste along with a general spicy/smoky character
(usually this indicates yeast stress). The problem is, this all fades
away quickly, which is a shame because it’s rather enjoyable. While not
exactly a to-spec dubbel, this beer makes a decent effort at least.
Drinkability: When I drink an 8.5% ABV beer, I expect complexity and
robustness and I hope for easy drinkability. Green Wolf Abbey Gargoyle
is at least easy to drink, but lacks the body that ought to come with a
beer of its size. The mouthfeel is rather thin and under carbonated,
though not flat and watery per se. It’s actually rather refreshing while
it crosses the tongue, though there’s a dry bitter sensation that
lingers (but it’s not bothersome). For what it’s worth, I had no problem
drinking the entire bottle myself.