Pike Tandem Double Ale | The Pike Brewing Company

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Pike Tandem Double AlePike Tandem Double Ale

Brewed by:
The Pike Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Pike reconfigured the recipe for Tandem so it is now brewed with coriander and fermented with Belgian ale yeast as a Belgian-style dubbel. Since it's entirely different from the old Tandem, this listing should be retired and the new one allowed to take its place.

Added by Todd on 10-15-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 70 | Ratings: 84
Photo of smcolw
2.48/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Deep amber/brown with a strong ruby hue to the liquor. Moderate head with good lasting time. Decent lace.

Smell: strong caramel with a dash of licorice. Light hop in the background.

First impression is that this is a far thinner beer than I expected with a low carbonation level. Reminds me of a homebrew. Mild flavor: some burnt malts and some crystal. Good hop finish, but I would not describe this as hoppy. Nothing "bad" but it just sorta fizzles--sorta like catching a fish below the minimum size: you get some fun, but you're gonna throw it back anyway.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a slightly hazy reddish dark copper hue, with a few fingers of soapy light beige head, that leaves a bit of lace around the glass as it slowly recedes. It smells of sweet caramel malt, and earthy, spicy hops. The taste is a light pine hoppiness, and lightly toasted caramel malt, with some very faint anise-like spiciness lingering. The carbonation is quite moderate, leaving the body nice and smooth with a good weight. It finishes dry and hoppy, showing a bit of citrus in the end. The 7.5% ABV is hardly noticeable, blended well into a very decent quaffer for a cool spring day.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sample at the brewpub. Pours a dark brown color with a medium thin and foamy beige head that diminishes steadily. Stringy lacing. Light grassy hops and malt in the nose. Medium body with flavors of malt, yeast and hops. Some fruity flavors are present as well. The finish is sweet caramel and malt at first with a short light hoppy aftertaste. Decent overall.

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Photo of Shadman
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got to admit I kinda like this beer style/category. Maybe it should be called American Mad Scientist Ale because it seems just about anything goes.

Blood Moon reddish when held up to the late afternoon Alberta sun. Awesome off white head. You have to be patient as it takes a long while to receed.

Caramel coffe malt with a definate date like fruitiness. Floral hop with a hint of pine as very prevalent.

To be honest, the flavors are good, just a little out of balance. Still enjoyable. Citrus/oily pine hop throughout with the malt moving in and out at various intervals. Malt flavour tend more towards date ( which I'm not a big fan of) vs caramel coffee. Finish is quite strong on the grapefruit rind end of things. The high ABV is really not all that noticeable.

Smooth, easy on the palate.

Quite nice and certainly well crafted, but just seems to be lacking balance. As mad scientist experiments goes, this one is still quite good.

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Photo of RJLarse
2.76/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I bought a bomber of Pike Tandem at a grocery store, poured in to a pint tumbler.

Pours a garnet red color and is generally clear. Bubbly sticky beige head yields plenty of lace. many bubbles can be seen rising in the glass.

Smell is a dark fruit aroma, dates and plums. There is an acerbic scent like sweet vinegar or liquor.

Taste is a smoky bitter caramel malt flavor, licorice and a bitter hop finish.

Mouthfeel is sharp and cloying. There is a piercing presence and a bitter aftertaste.

Not a real drinkable brew. the ABV makes it less than sessionable, and it has a cloying and filling nature. One bomber is about it I'm afraid.

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Photo of israel
3.46/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark amber to mahogany with a nice head that fades to a thin topping, lots of impressive lacing down the entire length of the glass.

S- Roasted chocolate nuts, toast, there's the smell of burnt sugar that seems pretty dominate to me.

T- smooth, creamy, chocolate, toasted nuts much like the aroma.

M- silky smooth with a dry finish and a hint of hops at the end

D- a couple perhaps...more than that might be tough with the abv

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Photo of Spikester
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mahogany with a one finger light tan head. Good amount of lacings. Aroma is caramel and bready. Taste is caramel malt with a nice earthy bitter hop flavor. Mouthfeel is fine with medium carbonation. A bit of spice and smoke in the finish. Overall a decent brown with plenty of punch. A little on the sweet side for multiple beers.

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Photo of ritzkiss
4.18/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark caramel color with lots of light caramel head, good looking pour. Good lacing all the way down.

Smells of pineapple and citrus, some nice caramel, light malts. Each sip smells like I'm opening a can of Dole crushed pineapple! As it warms, some of the caramel and malt comes forward.

Taste is caramel, nice malts, some citrus and light pineapple. Hops hides in the background and adds some nice depth. As it warms, like with the taste, the citrus/pineapple moves back and malts, hops, etc... come forward, also some sweetness moving up. Medium body, light carbonation.

Nice drinker. I could easily enjoy this just about any time, thinking summer especially though. Hides the alcohol nicely, so dangerously good!

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle tried 3 Jan 2009.

Poured in shaker pint. Medium tan head. Well carbonated. Looks almost like coca cola. Aroma of molasses, dried cherries, prunes. Begins with some molasses and milk chocolate sweetness, turning roasty and warm. Aftertaste is pecan sweet, cinnamon, slightly astringent. Light body, almost watery. Ethanol moderate.

Nothing to make this really stand out.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.59/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is dark brown with a thin head. Smell has roasted malts with prunes and a light caramel sweetness. You can taste that it is a double, but without being overpowering in flavor or alchohol. has sweet caramel, roasted malts and dark fruits. mouthfeel is medium - light with good carbonation that is easy to drink. Nothing fancy, but a good drinker.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle into a Duvel chalice.

Pours an attractively murky, dark plum hue with a core of chocolate and mahogany. A wispy lace of tightly packed beige bubbles and a ring of foam form, but doesn't offer much to the overall appearance. The aroma offers intricate layers of chocolate and toffee malts with a background laced by raisin, fig, and rum. It comes across more as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale than a Double Ale, but I'm diggin' it, so what the hell.

The flavor is interesting, to say the least. Too many tastes all compete for tastebuds at the same time, making it difficult to sift apart the complex notes of coffee, chocolate, hops, sherry, and prune. The lingering, hoppy bitterness and booze on the finish is a welcome addition, but still both feel a bit out of place amongst the multitude of malty layers. Mouthfeel is thin and surprisingly watery, and could use a boost to its carbonation. Pike Brewing has made an interesting beer with Double Tandem Ale, but unfortunately it misses the mark with too much going on and a wimpy body. I am in no way dreading the second glass, but I can't see myself buying another any time soon.

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I asked the bartender for a pint of Tandem and watched as she poured me a Kilt Lifter. I corrected her on this; she apologized and then immediately started to pour another Kilt Lifter. This time she caught herself more quickly and on the third go I finally got my Tandem.

Even so, I tasted so much smokiness here as to wonder whether at some point the lines were crossed and I still ended up with a Scotch ale. Tandem is a very smoky, rauch-like ale brewed with candi sugar and 10% wheat malt. It is dark tawny-saffron and casually sweet, with a range of melanoidic fruits, and low suds. Tandem doesn't project a lot of flavor and it doesn't service style categories easily. But the available flavors are entertaining in their fruited, smoked complexity and I don't think I'd mind drinking this one again.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.58/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a four-finger thick, frothy, fairly dense, amber tinged, tan colored head. The beer is a dark, burnt amber color that shows a clear, cranberry hue when held up to the light. Sticky, sweet, caramelized malt aromas are noticeable as I pour this brew and a more focused look at the nose tempers this nicely with lots of toasted malt and browned whole grain bread notes. This is definitely heavily focused on caramelized malt, but there seems to be a touch of herbal / citrus hop character just noticeable underneath the heavy malt. There is a soft, toasted nuttiness here towards the end of the aroma. There is also a fair amount of caramelized, berry fruit notes in the nose.

Rich and creamy up front, sweet malt dominates as it starts to move across the tongue, but a herbal, lightly biting bitterness actual comes in to play and lingers on a bit in the finish (surprisingly for only 25 listed IBUs, though definitely on the light side). The finish really ends with some toasted, whole grain leaning, almost grain husk notes that can't quite dry out the up front sweet malt. Some berry, or sweet raisin notes get wrapped up in the caramelized malt sweetness that is prominent in this beer and there is a soft, but noticeable, grapefruit-leaning citrus character here towards the middle. A touch of almost roasted grain towards the finish can at times taste a bit nutty, but definitely adds a solid toasted whole grain bread character to this beer. While this definitely has a body to it, I like that it has a certain creaminess to it without being overly heavy, it even manages to have a certain quaffable quality to it. As the beer warms up the malt begins to smooth out / over-take the bitterness.

Not a bad beer, you definitely need to enjoy a crystal malt balanced / focused brew, and this does have a touch of malt astringency to it, but it is actually pretty decent.

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Photo of erikm25
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Had this on tap at Pike. Sat in the glass a nice thickened chocolate brown with slight crimson lacing in the light. Head was minimal and white. Nice snaked lacing down to the end.

S: Smells of roasted chocolate and toasted wheat breads. Brown sugars. Some hops in the nose as well. It finishes off with a dash bit of spice like nutmeg or coriander.

T: Tastes are an interesting mixture of dark fruit richness and caramel roundness. Some nutty and almond like flavorings coupled nicely with sugary molasses. A bit of hops here, but like the aroma, they are subtle and add a nice backdrop to the complex flavors. Not even the slightest taste of alcohol.

M: Medium body. A syrupy and sweet treat from the tap.

D: This is a cool example of a brown ale with a NW spin (as they claim). I'd be curious to see what it is like from the bottle. However, Pike beers strike me as the kind that are worth going in and grabbing on tap if you have the option.

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Photo of froghop
3.36/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

on tap at the pike pub in seattle.

pour is dark brown with a tint of red, with a very thin beige head.

smell is roasted malts, brown sugar, nutty, touch of sweet cocoa.

taste is smooth, creamy, chocolate, toasted nuts, leaves the mouth a little dry, ends with a bitter kick.

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Photo of Vancer
3.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another Pike brought back by my son for the T-day holidays.

Deep cola brown pour in the Corsendonk tulip, a tan head tries to pop up but quickly fades. Good dose of piney hops in the aroma, and the quaff. Although it does have a sturdy backbone of doughy malts to really balance it out. Finishes dry and crisp. Nice bit of caramel and winter spices in this brew, very tasty and a fine fall sipper while checking out football.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, a few things wrong with the listing, like a "dubbel". This is more of an old ale, like Arrogant Bastard. Also, go a bottle in Austin, so I don't think it's retired.

A) Very dark with thick hazy ruby edges.

S) Black bread with hops and soy sauce

T) Full of hop flavor, but the bitterness is pretty mild. The hops are mostly west coast citric, but some woody earthy British elements. It goes a bit sweet later in the glass, a bit under attenuated in my view. There's some oxidation.

M) Heavy body is helped by strong carbonation, but no where near fizzy.

D/O) A massive beer, yet balanced. A bit rough around the edges, but I enjoyed the bottle.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.17/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nose is malty and spicy - almost like a winter spice ale. Caramel malt with nuttiness. Mild hop suggestions.

Pours a a very dark leather brown, good clarity as little as I can see through it, small fizzy soda-like head with little retention. A little yeast on the bottom on the bottle.

First sip shows a little nut brown malt with nutty mouth coating. Faint hops add floral splash and fresh leafy/earthy blossoms in the finish. Caramel malt and light sweetness. A little more hop-like bitterness than sweetness. Slight astringent bitterness, maybe from roast? Subtle alcohol heat. Finishes dry and bitter and leaves behind that nutty coating.

Medium-to-medium-thin body, little carbonation.

If this is Pike's double ale, I have no interest whatsoever in trying their regular ale.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Pike Tandem Double Ale poured a dark brown with a real tight bubble pattern with a small foam head, probably around a finger. The lacing was not much of a looker.

The smell was super malty with some chocolate overtones. The taste had a biscuit maltiness to it and semi tart with caramel bitterness on the finish. It was semi creamy in the mouth and overall a pretty good brown ale.

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Photo of Atlas1
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found some Pike bottles up in Austin a week or so ago. I grabbed a Tandem, since I'd never had it before. Haven't yet seen them in San Antonio, though.

Bottle says 7.5% ABV, as opposed to the 7% that BA lists. I'll defer to the bottle, thank you very much. Poured vigorously into a barrel pint glass, the Tandem is a nice brown color. But it yields a bright mahagony hue when held up to the light; a pretty color for sure. The head is a light tan color that settles fast and provides some bits of lace. The nose is full of roasted grains. Very bready. Some light fruit scents as well, but mostly a roasted, bready smell. Faint, but lingering, malty sweetness too. Tad bit of smokiness. The taste is also filled with roasted, smoky notes, that hover over each sip and cling to the back of the tongue. Caramel malty sweetness mixes with strawberries and green apples to produce a pleasant tartness. Some peppery coffee bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, but crisp enough to be thoroughly refreshing.

I really like this beer. I'm not completely sold on the "dubbel" listing here; it reminds me of a nice big brown ale. But it's a solid beer and totally drinkable. The alcohol is hidden well, and I really like the bitter hop finish. Would go just as well with a blue-cheese burger as it would with a marinated flank steak.

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Photo of Gavage
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear brown in color with a short 1/2" head that breaks apart slowly.

Smell: mild roasted tones and caramel sweetness are soft and tough to pull out of the glass.

Taste: caramel, doughy bread, dark fruit sweetness, and very soft bitterness. There is a hint of alcohol and mild roasted tones throughout.

Mouthfeel: lighty crisp at the start, smoother and a touch dry at the finish. Aftertaste is short. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: easy to drink but overall the higher alcohol is not paired with a bolder flavor. Worth a try.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
2.78/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is not retired. Whoever said that is wrong. I had it on-tap last night at the brewery. The site says it is available year round. I have submitted a change request to the BA gods.

Consumed from the tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: darker brown, no head, no lace

Smell: chocolate, malty, no hops, sweet

Taste: Malt, baked bread, brown sugar sweet, still no hops, not very complex

Well this was a disappointment. I was expecting a freshly brewed abbey style dubbel but instead I got a regular, ale tasting dubbel. It didn't have the depth and complexity that the style demands. Kind of a half assed attempt to make something Belgian. I might try it again to see if I got a bad batch, but don't count on it. Sorry Pike's, you let me down.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.57/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Just arrived in Dallas. This beer is a murky brown color, with a quickly fading head. Nice sweet aroma with a moderate maltiness, and a lightly fruity scent underneath. It's hard to detect any Belgian character here: There's a very lightly coffee-ish flavor with a tad of bitterness. It's fruity in a typical ale fashion, but shows no characteristics of typical Belgian yeasts. And it's a bit watery.

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Photo of warmstorage
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber, $4.69 at Brown Jug Warehouse, Anchorage, AK. Bottle states 7.5% ABV, 25 IBU, OG 1.070.

Appearance: hazy, nearly opaque deep reddish-brown. Dense beige head with light but full lacing.

Aroma: fruity esters, brown sugar, and some unidentifiable fruit.

Taste: lots of fruit, like a fruit salad, brown sugar and toasy malt, minimal hop presence, finishes with some hints at Belgian esters but likely only because I'm looking for them.

Mouth: average thickness, tingly carbonation present, very slight alcohol warmth.

Overall: Decent, drinkable if I was sitting at a bar, but nothing I'd buy again, even at a low price for a moderately high gravity ale.

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Photo of ccrida
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On draught at the Pub, served it's namesake shaker, Tandem Double is dark brown with small off-white collar and light lace.

Smell is soft caramel malt and a bit of noel like spices, with maybe a touch of citrus/coriander as well.

Taste is very spicy and dry, with some earthy hops and a dry, clean finish. Very similar in profile to their Auld Acquaintance, but with more crystal malt, I'd prefer less spices (or better integration) and more malt depth and esters, which are pretty much non-existent. This is really more like a winter warmer then a dubbel, in which case it's not bad.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated with a medium-light body.

Drinkability is a tad above average (as 7% beer, not as a dubbel). Easy drinking but boring other then the out of balance spices, which are at least pretty inoffensive, if just layer on top.

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Pike Tandem Double Ale from The Pike Brewing Company
3.54 out of 5 based on 84 ratings.
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