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Grimbergen Dubbel - Brouwerij Alken-Maes

Not Rated.
Grimbergen DubbelGrimbergen Dubbel

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

927 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 927
Reviews: 492
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 20
Gots: 77 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Alken-Maes visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-11-2001

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 927 | Reviews: 492 | Display Reviews Only:
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4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

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4/5  rDev +5.3%

Chocolate, raisin, toffee, caramel, and a nice touch of brandy as it warms.

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Fruity flavor. Melts. Refreshes.

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3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

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3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Branded on the label over Grimbergen's flagship phoenix is the phrase "Ardet nec consumitur" - "burns but does not perish". In fact, the Double (or Dubbel or Ambrée depending on your market) does both; its sooty, dark complexion becomes aflame when held into the light and its head all but withers not long after the pour, leaving only a thin, glassy sheet over the top.

Don't for a second buy into the brewery's claim about heritage dating back to 1128 - beer may have been brewed in the town of Grimbergen since around that time, but this particular recipe is much newer than that and is currently manufactured, not in an abbey, but rather a collection of industrial facilities belonging to the subsidiaries of its current owner, Heineken. It may be named after monastery with 12th century roots, but that's about as far as it goes.

Granted, this is not to say the beer is without integrity. To be sure, it's a thinner, sweeter, and slightly weaker version of a Dubbel - something better suited to mainstream tastes - but this recipe has retained a good deal of the style's characteristics. Both the aroma and taste are distinguished by a strong raisin-y flavour, hints of spice, orange peel, and an almost molasses-like maltiness.

The Technicolour dried fruit notes and gentle fruit-cake spicing are all well and good, but Grimbergen is lacking where it counts most for a Dubbel: the mouthfeel. As stated, this is thinner and sweeter than others, and as such fails to provide the same level of satiation. It is pleasant and easily quaffed, but great examples of the style are mind-bogglingly complex as well.

Grimbergen is a mass-produced beer which means, like mass-produced anything, it offers average-quality at best. But if you're new to dark, Belgian, or Abbaye beers it's one you'll likely fall in love with (that is, until you try the likes of Westmalle, St. Bernardus, Rochefort, or Corsendonk). But even experienced drinkers are still likely to find it a perfectly serviceable, enjoyable ale. I do.

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Grimbergen Dubbel from Brouwerij Alken-Maes
86 out of 100 based on 927 ratings.