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Grimbergen Dubbel - Brouwerij Alken-Maes

Not Rated.
Grimbergen DubbelGrimbergen Dubbel

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

912 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 912
Reviews: 488
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 12.63%
Wants: 20
Gots: 58 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Alken-Maes visit their website

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-11-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 912 | Reviews: 488 | Display Reviews Only:
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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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250ml Bottle (Gift from France):
A very nice Belgian beer here that didn't pour great but started to pick up soon after that, it was malty and had some sweetness in there giving it a fairly basic but pleasant taste that was well balanced and went down quite easily. There was a touch of alcohol on the nose but this didn't seem to follow through to the taste in any significant way, a good beer and one I wouldn't be against trying again.

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A – Dark reddish brown colour with a finger of murky cream coloured head. The head dies to a thin cover and leaves very light lace down the side of my chalice.

S – Aromas of prune, raisins and plum. Good toffee sweetness and red grape wine aromas. There is a note of alcohol in the red grape wine smell but no hops to be smelt.

T – The flavour is very similar to the smell. Plenty of dark fruit with red wine alcohol, deep syrup/toffee sweetness with a slightly Smokey character and a light note of biscuit flavours.

MF – Very full in the mouth but with a slightly drying edge.

O – A cracking example of the style this beer has no flavour out of place. I have come across other that had more complex flavour but this beer gets by just fine doing what it does and doing it well.

Grimbergen Dubbel from Brouwerij Alken-Maes
86 out of 100 based on 912 ratings.