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Test Batch Dubbel - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Test Batch Dubbel
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BA SCORE
82
good

13 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 13
Reviews: 11
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 22.56%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co. visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: beernut7 on 08-31-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13 | Reviews: 11 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by radioscooter:
Photo of radioscooter
4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a test bottle of Batch 2 in a great BIF from BastionShaw. Could not wait to try.

Pours cloudy dark honey color with a small froth of tiny bubbles.

Aroma is medium spicy fruit, candied coriander... - in a word: Belgian.

I wasn't too excited at that point. I've had enough fake American Belgians to not anticipate much. I was wrong and overjoyed. Excellent, medium bodied taste - right in line with a Dubbel - maybe pushing slightly toward Tripel BUT the ABV and the carbonation are matched perfectly. Just my style.

The taste/body are SLIGHTLY thin - but it's a GOOD thin. There's no argumentative yeastiness, no slam of candied fruits. It's a well-balanced meal.

Second pour (the hard one) kicks up the traditional Belgian fast dissipating froth, but it looks wonderful.

Slightly vapory from the alcohol but really just a delight. This is a wonderful domestic Belgian that KILLS anything Ommegang has ever made, IMO. A session Belgian Strong - if you will - for those of us who are content to drink Chimay Red all night long on a school night.

So what would I change? Nothing really. You could tweak this to make it more like something else - but why bother? It's in a unique, perfect situation as-is. This fits a perfect slot of not-too much of a good thing.

Beautiful finish.

If it were on the shelf, I'd buy this as-is as my regular "Belgian".

radioscooter, May 06, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of Marc33
1/5  rDev -72.1%

Marc33, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of BigE90
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Tulip Glass

A: Poured a deep amber color, 2 finger head, thick, slow to dissappear.

S: Evidence of Cedar present right a way, a very clean fresh beer smell to it

T: The wood tannins are present at first taste, a floral hoppiness comes through too. Clean finish.

M: Mainly hitting the back of the tongue, just a little weight to texture, dissapates quickly from mouth.

O: Not bad, no real complates but this style is not making me go wow either. Enjoying it but would not add this to my regular rotation.

BigE90, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of nickd717
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

RARE TICK HELL YES! 12oz bottle with a ghetto piece of tape inscribed with "dubbel." I only believed it was legit due to the Boulevard cap.

Pours slightly hazy reddish with a small off-white head that fades to a ring.

The aroma is somewhat minty with Belgian yeast and dark fruits.

Flavor has slightly sweet malts, mint, spice, and Belgian yeast. Above average but not great for the style.

Decently dry on the palate with medium body.

Better than many American dubbels but not great overall.

nickd717, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of bditty187
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Test Batch Belgian Dubbel called “Abbey Normal.” This batch/bottle has an abw of 6.6%.

Hazy, peachy bronze in hue plus a gold highlight; there is a fairly large amount of suspend yeast. There is some animation dancing towards the head, which was off-white (almost beige) in color. At the apex the foam was one-finger in height. Head retention was fair; it quickly faded to a soapy cap. For the style the head size and lack of great staying power is notably negative. I like the warmth of the liquid however. The subsequent lacing was, sadly, nonexistent. On the whole, this beer looks well enough.

The nose is airy with a Belgian undercurrent. The clearest aroma is the fruitiness, dates and raisins upfront with a tropical backdrop. Alcoholic, it is a little winy with some brandy notes. The malt is not all that rich. A Dubbel, IMO, should have a very rich and aromatic malt profile. This Dubbel just doesn’t contain this quality. Overall, the nose is alright. I’ve sniffed much better. While not bad or flawed, it just isn’t very impressive… still, I’ll call the nose inviting.

The palate is very pleasant. The maltiness is fuller then the nose indicated. This saved the beer. Caramel, toffee, a kiss of toastiness, and some dry chocolate. Fruitiness is secondary, dates, raisin, prunes, and then a medley of tropical fruit. Alcoholic, winy, some sherry too; the rather high abv is nicely hidden. I think the palate is very well-crafted. The nose is lacking “it” but not the flavor profile. Sure, it is a bit clean but that is common in many non-Belgian brewery beers (domestic or not). I think it is on par with NB Abbey. Both beers are good but neither are World Class offerings. It is a shame this beer is not bottled for public purchase.

Medium/medium-full in body, the mouthfeel is fairly thick and filling, the carbonation is low and the mouthfeel is kind of bulky… but in a good way. I like the heft. Agreeable and fitting mouthfeel… it feels like I need to sip and savor.

I feel very lucky to try this beer. I want to thank Bill (via Carl) from the Crescent Moon for the bottle. Thanks for thinking of me. Anyway, this beer is plenty drinkable and just as likable. Boulevard needs to release this beer as this is a quality product. If you have the chance to try it at the brewery, do so.

bditty187, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of theminutemen
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%

theminutemen, May 25, 2012
Photo of marc77
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy dark garnet hue becomes murky with the pouring of yeast. Thick, creamy, beige head settles into a thin, tight layer. Sparse lace remains. Vinous waft of sherry and alcoholic fruit upfront in aroma, followed by biscuit, raisiny Special B and understated notes of carob and bubblegum esters. Toffee laced sweetness intially in flavor is ceded by drying notes of biscuit and baker's chocolate. Mellow fruitiness emerges mid palate and is of a prune and date like nature. Persistent undertone of banana esters. Tinge of molasses perhaps from dark brown sugar emerges late. Lightly bodied, with a passably dextrinous mouthfeel. Finishes with a snap of hop bitterness yielding to lingering cidery sweetness. Quite an enjoyable dubbel. Perhaps a touch too light on the palate and overly "clean", but as a result it's very drinkable. Boulevard should release this one.

marc77, Mar 08, 2003
Photo of Reaper16
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

served on-tap @ Boulevard Brewing Co.

Pours a fulvous shade of brown, not hazy or anything but not fully translucent either. About oneish finger of off-white foam composed of small, soapy bubbles. Nice lacing forms in high arches. The lack of yeast haze bumps the score up from a 3.0.

Lots going on in the nose of this Dubbel. Clean bread aromas meet an old rear-view-mirror-air-freshener sort of spice bouquet. Some walnuts and some spiced rum cake. Raisins for days. There's an ester character here that tricked someone I was with into thinking there is wheat here; the banana bread esters are reminiscent of a dunkelweizen. A gentle bit of chocolate malt aroma peeks through after a while. The only drawback to the nose is the spike of alcohol.

The flavors here are good, but the beer itself is not ready for primetime. The balance and the finish are out of sorts. The spices hit the tongue first, transition to the red and green raisin flavors, then take a sharp right turn into a blunt bread crust flavor. Then the flavor falls off, with no real finish to speak of. Again, too much alcohol for my liking. Just some minor tweaks here and there and this beer could be something. It's already solid as is.

The heavy flavors don't get a mouthfeel that best accentuates them. This Dubbel is too thin in the mouth. The boozy character as well as the blunt, cliff-like finish make for an average-at-best Dubbel when it comes to drinkability.

Boulevard has been working on test batches for a Dubbel off-and-on throughout the years. I'm not sure what number this recipe is in the lineage, but it is almost there. As is, it wouldn't be up to the par they have already set by the Smokestack Series. But as a six-pack seasonal offering? Now we're talking.

Reaper16, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of zimmerbloke
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this one blind thanks to Onion, Blind Beers #3 BIF. Thanks, man!

A: Pretty hard pour doesn't give much in the way of head, pretty much just a ring and some patchy spots on top. Bright translucent amber, fairly viscous and sticky when swirled in the glass.

S: Hmm... interesting. Smells a little bit yeasty and sweet. Getting a weird aroma at first... soap, maybe? After the beer warms a little, aroma definitely improves and aligns itself better. Definitely strong yeast notes and a really bready malt backbone. Still a little bit muddled, but definitely Belgian and a little bit boozy.

T: Definitely Belgian,.. yeast notes and a dark candy sweetness dominate. Malt is very bready and almost fresh, just the slightest bitterness on the finish. As it warms, the alcohol becomes more and more apparent, to the point where it's warming as I finish the last third of the bottle. Some nice fruit notes as well.

M: Fairly viscous with mid-to-low carbonation, almost flat. A little cloying and sticky. Seems to fit the flavor profile well.

D: Okay. Once this took a little time to warm, it was much more enjoyable as a sipping drink. Not the best I've had (for what I'm guessing is some sort of Belgian strong dark), but enjoyable.

I had been guessing an older Founders beer thanks to the bottle shape and screw off top, but I'm really happy to have tried this one. Curious about the story (handwritted BLVD Test Dubbel on the bottle) and how it came to me... thanks, Matt!

zimmerbloke, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of beernut7
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This test batch Belgian representation is a deep dark amber color with a creamy thick head. The aroma is of light Belgian yeast . The flavor is prominently malty with a brush of roasted malt and a lingering yeast touch. Very heavy and quite tasty, this one could stand a bit more time mellowing.

beernut7, Aug 31, 2002
Photo of Quaffer
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Vintage 2001

Appearance: A slightly hazy, ruby red and amber beer. The dark tan head rose up easily and was coarse and fizzy. It did become a little more dense as it settled and, therefore, stuck around for awhile. It evetually thinned out to nothing. There was no lacing.

Smell: Right after the pour, very airy, light, and fruity smelling. There was also a good portion of hops and some yeast. This was the only time that this beer resembled a dubbel, both in aroma and flavor. After the head settled, the beer became strongly smokey and peaty. Very odd for a dubbel.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and a little rough from the carbonation.

Taste: Very odd indeed. Extremely smokey tasting. There were hops and some dark fruits underneath, but the bulk of the flavor was smoke. Slightly yeasty on the finish.

I'm stumped. At first I thought maybe this wasn't actually the dubbel. When Boulevard actually bottles their test or specialty beers there is no label except for on the neck, and it only states the year and has all the employees names on it. However, I have been assured that this is the dubbel. I would have sworn it was a rauchbier of some kind. I'm not a big fan of rauchbier, but this was pretty tasty. Of course, that doesn't really matter since that's not what this was. Very confusing. Anyway, a tasty beer, but there was nothing dubbel-like about it. That made it hard to rate.

Quaffer, Feb 25, 2005
Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was one of two "sample batches" on tap at the Boulevard tasting room on 1-09-10. The tour guide (who was quite good) said that they were just playing around with styles, trying to gauge a reaction from the public. I went for the Dubbel, as the other style, American Amber, isn't really my thing.

The nose was intensely fruity, with loads of banana puree and a HEFTY hint of spicy, at times nearly medicinal, phenols as well. There was sweet caramel in the background as well, but this was all about the esters and phenols; in that, it was a little bit less malty/bready than I'm used to in a Dubbel, but was still pleasant.

The flavors followed suit. Lots of banana and spice, with some toasty caramel in the background. My personal opinion is that, given some time (6-10 months) in the bottle (I THINK this might be a candidate for the Smokestack Series) this could turn into a damn fine beer. Right now, the vibrancy of the flavors was almost a bit much; they needed to mellow out and blend a bit.

BedetheVenerable, Jan 10, 2010
Photo of ShogoKawada
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Test batch, sticker-labeled 'DUBBEL', bottled 12/2/09

A- Nice rusty brown, sandy off-white head that's 3-fingers and sticky. Slowly recedes and laces pretty well.

S- Really fruity, plums, bananas, cloves, a dash of cinnamon.

T- Boozy, but once that passes I get a strong banana and brandy note. Spices are here but not hot or peppery, provide a good counter to the fruit. Interesting. Alcohol is very assertive. Rosewater in the finish.. Odd but welcome.

M- A bit rough. Easy drinkin', good warming note, decent heft, but not for the faint of heart.

D- I liked it despite its unusual high-booze presence. Perhaps this says something about the kind of beers I like. If this made its way into the smokestack series, I'd buy it. Protip, though- figure out a way to dial down the booze.

ShogoKawada, Jun 28, 2010
Test Batch Dubbel from Boulevard Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 13 ratings.