Arbor Brewing Phat Abbot Belgian Dubbel | Arbor Brewing Company

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Arbor Brewing Phat Abbot Belgian DubbelArbor Brewing Phat Abbot Belgian Dubbel

Brewed by:
Arbor Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-20-2002

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Reviews: 37 | Ratings: 70
Photo of optimistictour
4.33/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First of all, I've become a recent convert to the wide range of style, depth, and taste of Belgian brews. Especially the dubbels, of which this one is a particularly vibrant example.

Poured into my pint glass there's a finger and a half of head, tops, which quickly receded into a slight ring and all but disappeared not halfway through. Normally this would take the visual score down a whole notch but the beautiful deep dark - yet inviting - texture really sets this one apart. Darker than most Belgians I've sampled, it's still nowhere near the black hole appearance of a stout or porter. This is pretty much what I could hope a beer of this sort to look like.

Smelling only faintly like it contains any bite at all, this brew gives off hints of fruit, spices, and the tiniest whisp of smokiness while actually masking the normally semi-pungent Belgian yeast odor. Not that that's a bad thing; it's actually more inviting than some half its strength.

When it hits my tongue the real magic starts. This one starts on the tip of my taste buds with the familiar citrus note of most Belgians I've tried, yet instantly moves on like some high-speed film, whisking my mouth through a cornucopia of textures and tastes from apples (especially green apples) to grapes to... well mostly on the sour end of the fruit spectrum. But that's fully balanced by the smoky, rich velvety texture coating my entire mouth - a texture that doesn't linger an inordinate amount of time; just enough to speak it's mind and move along.

All in all, Phat Abbot dubbel is a beer I'd gladly gulp down 2 or 3 or 6 of in one sitting. It's got a great balance of sour and hearty tastes, a nostril-opening smell and enviable looks. Thankfully the 8% abv becomes readily apparent after one bottle so I wouldn't actually make the mistake of draining a whole pack at once. Simply put, the taste feels refreshing enough to quench thirst. If only it could!

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Photo of Biffster
4.16/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer is a deep mahogany dark brown with copper and golden highlights. I poured the beer in a snifter to sample. It is clear but not brilliantly so, and it has a fairly quickly dissipating tawny head that clings to the glass.

There is a big dark malt aroma. Lots of dark ripe fruit like cherry and strawberry, along with strong raisin and even plum and a touch of prune come through along with notes of cocoa and a touch of caramel as it warms. There is a strong dark bread crust aroma and notes of toasted wheat bread. There are lots of inky clovey phenols, along with estery bubble gum and circus peanut like notes.

The beer is sweet and raisiny at the sip and moderately to strongly spicy without being hot. There is a strong graham cracker and caramel taste that is dried by the peppery spiciness. THe spicy dryness counters the malt sweetness well all the way back and the the beer is predominantly spicy at the swallow, with a bracing but not overpowering warmth and spicy bitterness in the finish.

The body is medium to medium full. The carbonation is actually medium, but seems lower because of the creamy nature and the bigger body. There is some alcohol warming but it is not hot or solventy at all.

I had every intentions of giving this a lower score when I opened it. Ive had it on tap at the brewery a long time ago and remember not being overly impressed I remember a fuller bodied, cloying and lower carbonated beer. This, I have to say, is tasty, balanced, and a pretty solid example of the style.

More importantly, the big malt and moderate creamy bitterness is screaming for food. This would be a great pair with everything from a peppery pork loin to steak to pot roast. Its body and carbonation would do well with sausage or even a saucy noodle dish like stroganoff. It would probably handle chili or stew pretty handily too.

I dont think this is a particularly extreme or classic example, but I am seriously impressed with this beer as a great rendering of a serviceable and tasty Belgian Dubble.

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Photo of icetraxx
4.15/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark murky brown with a half finger head that quickly evaporates into a cap. I can't see much light through it. 4

S: An entire smorgasbord of aromas come off this one: banana, pear, apple, licorice, molasses, agave nectar, belgian yeast funk, and even some varnish-like esters make way. This definitely smells like a beer that I want to drink. 4

T: The taste starts with some subtly fruity esters that make way for a restrained level of classic Belgian yeast. Malty, yet never sweet. The finish is clean and dry, with a slight lingering bitter chocolate undertone. There is also a hint of roasted malt in the flavor profile, that reminds me of an imperial stout. There are numerous other flavors that I am having trouble describing, but are quite pleasant. The aftertaste has a coffee/toffee like flavor which makes me want to take another sip. The flavor does not hold up side by side with Westy 8, FYI . 4

M: Medium to almost heavy bodied with a velvety creaminess. Nicely carbonated and properly bottle conditioned. 4.5

D: Very easy to drink. I could easily drink a second. 4.5

O: A good dubbel that I will follow up with a 2 year old Westy 8. That is probably not a fair comparison.

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Photo of BMoney575
4.07/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 8-29-08

Pours a very deep brown, with just a few floaters. No real head, and thin, filmy lacing.

Smell is very fruity and super boozy, in a good way. Some sour apple in there too, with a little bit of raisin.

Taste is sour apple again, with lots of dark fruit in the end. The finish is big alcohol, with a light roasted/oaky character.

Mouthfeel is good, nice and thick.

Drinkability is surprisingly good, the strong alcohol smoothness is very enjoyable.

Overall, an very good beer. Lots of flavor, well-balanced, a perfect strong sessioner.

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Photo of david131
4.07/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A very murky brown with some rapidly rising streams of carbonation. The head is thin and white, but covers the entire surface of the liquid.

S- Lots of fruit, most notably apple. I also get some brown sugar and vanilla. Smells very good. I am impressed.

T- Much like the aroma, but has a definite smoky aspect to it. It is complex, but there is something a bit off here.

M- Pretty light, a tad over carbonated.

D- It is very good, but it does not stand up to the Belgian brethren. The alcohol is hidden well. I am impressed overall.

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Photo of shivtim
4.03/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice beer from ABC. Served in a chalice, it's dark brown/black, nearly opaque, with a thin off-white head.
Nose is wheat and yeast, some malts, and citrus. Some alcohol comes through on warming. Taste is sweet oranges and deep maltiness, with hints of hops. Very well balanced. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both above average.

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Photo of weasbri
3.92/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet, ended up with no head to speak of. Still, a nice dark brown color, slight bit of yeasty haze in there too. Definite yeasty aroma quite present too.
I'm tasting raisin/prune of course foremost, quite sweeter than I expected, with a very slight hoppiness. Fairly clean finish, though a bit thin, if that's a criticism. That does make it more drinkable though, as I don't get hit with a heavy dose of alcohol.

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Photo of Evocatus
3.91/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with no head. Smells fruity, but not citrusy. More along the lines of apples. Taste had a mix of apples, sweet raisins, and a little woodiness to it. A little bit thinner than what I expect a dubbel to be, but nothing terrible. for an 8%, the alcohol kick was surprisingly absent.

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Photo of GbVDave
3.89/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a St. Feuillien chalice.

A: Pours a slightly reddish cola-brown. Very still and absolutely no head, just a small off-white ring and skim that left tiny dots of lace in the glass.

S: Nice aroma of chocolate, nut, raisin/plum/currant, roasted malt, and sweet cola nut.

T: Dark chocolate, pan roasted nut, ripe dark fruit, a hint of berry, black cherry, cocoa, roasted malt, and spicy/peppery hops. Tiny bit of berry tang in the finish.

M: Starts slightly sweet, becomes drier and peppery, and finally takes a miniscule tart upswing at the finish.

D: Not as creamy, sweet, or thick as I expected, but this kept my interest from beginning to end.

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Photo of BierFan
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Black with a small tan head. The head drops kinda fast to a thin layer. Doesn't look that impressive.

Smell: Dark sweet fruits and alcohol. The alcohol dominates the smell as it warms.

Taste: Some sweet figgy taste with alcohol.

Overall it was ok, but I was hoping for something more complex.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap December 09.

Pours a dark chestnut with a garner hue and an off white to tan head that leaves some sticky lace rings. Nose brigs a bit of dark fruit but is fairly faint. Taste brngs much more, adding in raisins, brown sugar, and a bit of booze. Feel is bit light and hot, but overall this drinks pretty well.

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Photo of HopDerek
3.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy brown color with ruby highlights and thin bubbly tan head. Little retention and thin lacing. Smells of raisins, chocolate, nuts, lemon, and lactose. Tastes of raisins and plums up front followed by some nuttiness, chocolate, molasses, spices, and roasted malts with a slightly tart citrus hop finish. Medium in body but a little thin with low carbonation but some effervescence. Sweet and fruity up front with a nice chocolate and roasty backbone and a touch of tartness in the finish mixing with some spices. A drinkable attempt at a dubbel with good flavors and not too much ABV.

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I found the Belgians here to be the pleasant surprise. The Dubbel was very dark brown with a yeasty head and yeasy aroma. The mouthfeel was thinner than I would expect but the taste was sweet with candy and complex dark fruity and yeasty and quite drinkable.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into chalice, no bottle dating. Pours very hazy dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger fairly dense cream colored head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of raisin, banana, prune, clove, pepper, molasses, toast, caramel, candi sugar, dark bread, and earthy yeast spiciness. Nice aromas with good complexity and balance of malt, fruity, and spicy ester notes; fairly strong on the spicy and earthiness. Taste of raisin, prune, banana, molasses, toast, caramel, clove, pepper, dark bread, candi sugar, and earthy yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, banana, molasses, toast, clove, pepper, caramel, dark bread, candi sugar, and earthy yeast spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of malt, dark fruit, and spicy ester flavors; with good complexity and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly slick, earthy, and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very good dubbel style. Nice complexity and balance of flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of hopdog
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked bottle bought directly from the Brew Pub a few months ago. Brewed on Sep '05.

Poured a dark, dark and murky brown color with a large sized off white head. Aromas of grapes, lots of prunes and raisins, some yeast, and apples. Tastes of strong tart grapes, prunes, raisins, and yeast. The tart and puckering finish took me by surprised but really grew on me as I drank more. Sweet with a stronger tart / puckering finish. Different than a lot of Dubbels...

Notes from 10/5/06

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Photo of Brenden
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Phat Abbot is a thick dark brown with red hues. The light brown head is nicely creamy and fairly tight. It doesn't quite reach one finger, but comes close and holds itself pretty well. It remains as a strong foam that leaves solid creamy lacing after it.
Some candi sugars seem to be there in the aroma, but this doesn't quite have the sweetness most Dubbels seem to, either from those sugars or the nature of the yeast. What imparted instead is more of the earthy and spicy elements with lots of dark breads in the malts. A bit of clove and just a hint of bubble gun ease out as it warms.
The same goes for the flavor as to the overall nature. There's definitely some phenolic character on the tongue, and it tingles a bit. Lots of earth and breads hold it down for the spiciness, gentle but firm. Clove and pepper are assertive without biting too hard, and, while it takes some warming, some banana and maybe a ghost of dark fruits sneak out.
The body is medium, but the feel is missing some of the real richness and character that makes the great Belgians great. It has a little texture but not the full depth, though it's pleasantly crisp and smooth.

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Photo of weeare138
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hopdog for opening this...
Appears a dark brown with red edges when held to the light. Small, light tan head fades to a small cap. Spotty streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of prunes, cocoa powder, grape juice, caramel, sweet fruits, tart apple, and vanilla. I'm guessing Westmalle yeast but I have no idea with the esters coming off...I'm guessing higher fermentation temp.
Mouthfeel is tart, sweet, bubbly, grapey, and plummy prunes.
This one actually grew on me a bit. It was sort of funky at first b/c it wasn't what I expected but it warmed up, got a little better and I would actually seek it out again.

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Photo of Deuane
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear dark brown with a thin tan head that reduced to a ring and left spotty lace.

S-Faint sweet malt and a touch of Belgian sugar and yeast.

T-Complex sweet and sour dark fruit and with the teltale Belgian yeast spiciness. Dry woody finsih.

M-Medium-light bodied with decent lasting flavour and a dry afterbite.

D-Other than the lack of aroma this was a tasty and quite drinkable brew.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.72/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is a brown color with lots of lighter copper highlights, and a smallish head that dissolves fast. Nose is raisins, chocolate, and cookies. Taste is dried fruit, cherries, brown sugar. Molasses and some light sourness. It's also fairly unbalanced, in terms of the massive distinction between the early sweet malt and the later hit of bitter hops that sticks on your tongue. Body is a little thin, but with a good aftertaste. Not bad, but that divide in flavors is a little jolting.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.67/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

reviewing a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. i have had it on tap before and bottled multiple times though.

appearance- a deep brown. very small tannish head that faded quickly left behind a lacing.

smell- strong maltyness, and a little bit of yeast and some raisons

taste- follows the nose pretty well. strong malts, the yeast and raisons come in stronger that the nose.

mouthfeel- medium body, not very carbonated.

overall- a good, but not great dubbel. i would certainly drink it again but am not going to search desperately for it. I paid ~$12 for a 6 pack and had it on tap for $4 for a 12oz serving at Arbor Brewing

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Photo of kbeals
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours out with about 3 fingers of tan, fizzy head on top. Not much lacing but decent head retention. The beer is very dark on the top and fades to sort of a dark amber color on the bottom. Smells are of malts, dark fruits, and a touch of alcohol. Almost reminds me of grape juice. Taste is mostly fruity and tart, a bit of a malty finish touched off with an alcoholic warmth left in the chest. This beer was very carbonated, and light to medium bodied. Overall, it wasn't bad, I might try it again.

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Photo of drxandy
3.61/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz to tulip glass, pours a nice brown/reddish shade, foamy tight laced bubbled head fades fairly quickly, looks pretty good

smells of belgian yeast, malty breadiness, dark fruit sweetness

taste is of figgy sweet heavy yeastliness, alcohol is hidden well but shows itself in the finish, low carbonation, creamy, appley, wood, interesting take on a dubble

mouthfeel is a lot going on, slight bitterness, slight sweetness, somewhat dry finish, lots of nuances of different flavors, heavily focused on the yeast, overall an interesting beer

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Photo of TheStove
3.59/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Belgian (St. Bernardus) beer glass.

Pours nice and brown having a cola like appearance with initial head during pour that quickly fades into a thin layer. Almost looks like a stout.

An initial smell is quite enticing. Fruit flavors (a bit of plum or raisin?) and nice candy sugar come through the nose initially. A few repeated smells almost have me thinking cherries as the similarity to red wine seems not too far off.

Excellent flavors as those fruits and yeast hit right away. It's sweet through the sip with some very slight hop taste noticeable at the end. Otherwise flavors of candy and fruit pervade the beverage. Enjoyable mouth feel, nice and airy but with some syrupy qualities to keep the flavors sitting on your tongue. I'd call it faithful to the style.

A great take on a dubbel. It seems like any Belgian style beer released in six packs ends up being some half-assed attempt however this is enjoyable. Not as complex as the top line of Dubbels but will do in a pinch if it's available and you're on a budget.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.54/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Opening the cap reveals a mellow psssht, indicating low carbonation. As I pour it, it's barely able to achieve a head, let alone sustain one. The head is very flimsy and lasts a few seconds, receding into a thin scum of bubbles around the edges. No lacing. Very dark brown, near black, as dark as a typical schwarzbier and darker than a brown ale. Carbonation is very mild to absent. Having had some Arbor BC beers in the past that were not good at all, I'm surprised to say that this actually smells like beer. Does it smell like a dubbel, you ask? Not at all. If anything, it has a nose akin to a stout. There is burnt grains, coffee, distant chocolate, treacle, and sour milk when swirled. Medium bodied. The taste begins with a very odd rotting black cherries and maybe a touch of clove spice. There is a very familiar taste that I now recognize...the burnt rubber and asphalt of the Bell's Wheat series. I wonder if this is the same yeast. It sure tastes like it. In the middle, there is some mild burnt chocolate, then a mild herbal bitterness, and the finish is of sour malted milk. Very mild, and mostly on the sweet side.

Hrmm, I don't even know where to begin with this one. It's not a Belgian Dubbel to be sure. I can't even categorize this one, but not in a good way. I guess the closest beer in style might be a funky scottish ale. The yeast is completely wrong for this beer, and the ingredients must have been what was left-over on the floor of the brewery. Ironically, and despite the complete disregard for style, it's the most drinkable beer I've had from the brewery. I could actually put about 3 or 4 of these away, they're so easy to drink. Obviously, not rated to style.

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Photo of oberon
3.52/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Pizza Plant on Main,I didnt get to Arbor when I was AA last weekend but its nice to see I can still get a few of their wares here in the B-lo area.Poured into a standard pint glass a deep slightly hazed dark brown with almost no head to speak of sure it wasnt the proper glass ware but I would have liked to have seen more on top no doubt.Belgian yeasty aromas a touch of clovey-like spice and raisin to go along with small dose of candied sugar.Flavors are alot like the nose somewhat yeasty to start with that spice and dark fruit almost like a Xmas fruit cake,big and malty.Not bad granted its not my favorite style but it has flaws.I would say a bit above average.

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Arbor Brewing Phat Abbot Belgian Dubbel from Arbor Brewing Company
3.55 out of 5 based on 70 ratings.
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