Sunday, August 5, 2018

Westmalle Dubbel

Best before date: 6/10/18

Judged to 2015 BJCP Style Guidelines for: 26B Belgian Dubbel

AROMA: Belgian yeast esters are still present and create for classic candy sugar-derived raisin/cherry/plum bouquet, but less intense than usual due to age of bottle. Subtle spicy phenols. Noticeable sweet, candy-like notes; though nothing in the way of specific malt character. No hops (none needed). Minor clean alcohol presence. 9/12

APPEARANCE: Deep burgundy/maroon hue (34 SRM). Body is rather cloudy. Large tan soapy suds when pour evaporate and leave no lacing. 2/3

FLAVOR: Complex palette, but not quite as robust as it could be. Begins with a mild clove/rye spiciness immediately followed by sweet confectionery flavors of caramel and vanilla. At the apex and into the finish the yeast character emerges with a lovely fruit basket assortment of flavors. Hops are still present and offer a subtle earthy/spicy taste and a moderate amount of bitterness for balance. Alcohol is also noticeable with a clean sensation that seems to enhances both the sweetness and the spiciness. Aftertaste is mildly spicy, but otherwise clean. Faint oxidation notes, though they are easily overlooked and ignored. 17/20

MOUTHFEEL: Medium body; high carbonation at first, though it calms down rather quickly. Smooth texture with gentle alcohol warmth. Feels like a bigger brew despite being only 7% ABV. Overall drinkability is quite good. 4/5

OVERALL IMPRESSION: One of the classic examples for sure. Holds up well with some age, though fresher is a better choice. 9/10


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