Pike Tandem Double Ale | The Pike Brewing Company

Pike Tandem Double AlePike Tandem Double Ale
Liked This Beer
3.54 w/ 84 ratings
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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 84 |  Reviews: 70
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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Photo of russpowell
3.9/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This version weighs in at 7.5% ABV, decanted into a Duvel Tulip. Above average head retention & lacing

Bomber pours an effervescent mahogany with 2+ fingers of tan colored head.

S: Dirt, a bit of chocolate, & some figs & alcohol as this warms

T: Chocolate, a bit of iron, some leafy hops, & slight fruittyness (think dates, raisins, figs) up front. Roasted grain, earthyness, a whisper of licorice, & much more fruittyness, as this warms. Finishes dry with a bit boozey warmth, & jammyness, & bit of peppery hops, plus some booze warmth. Almost gave this a bump to 4.5 on taste

MF: Medium bodied, low carbonation, & fairly dry

Drinks fairly easy for the style & abv. I'd put this up against Allagash any day

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Photo of ojiikun
3.56/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the undated, pictured orange-labeled bomber into a handy tulip. Body is quite dark, quite hazy, and fringed with orange when held aloft. Head was easily coaxed and is as dark as caramel with fine bubbles that don't stick all that much. One lone island. No flecks in the body, but the fog looks to be more than chill haze.

Smell is that dreaded cooked-green-peas scent that some yeasts carry. However, here it's a lot more fresh and herbal rather than simply off-putting. Lots of mineral water and dry, bitter herbal notes. Malt is appriciably dark, and a bit toasty. Some dried citrus peel, maybe blood orange. Hints of black pepper.

Body is quite dry for a dubbel. Insanely malty, with the odd yeast found in the nose yielding to something more bready. More cocoa. More tart than purely bitter, and not much of either, save for the overall level of dryness. Pomegranate. As it warms, the whole experience gets more dough-ey - lighter malts and fresher yeast come out. The only notes of candi are in the dextric background. Maybe the tiniest bit of paprika at the last sip.

Feels light when cool, and then bottoms out as something fairly sticky and coating on the second half. That said, the finish is pretty clean, which saves this a bit. Carbonation could be much, much fimer. Great dryness makes up for these and saves it from being undrinkable, though.

This brew is neither spendy not all that remarkable. The flavours aren't necessarily simple, but the balance isn't there to appriciate them individually. The down-marks for the smell might be personal preference, but I can't imagine anyone likes that characteristic smell that I've found in about one in fifty dubbels - at least this one pulls it off better than any other victim I've had.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Mahogany coloured ale, with a small,yet persistant, creamy tan head. Nice. Nice malty aroma, milky chocolate comes to mind. Very nice taste all sweet ,malty good ness,, caramel, toasty somewhat, milk chocolate candy sugar. Ok on the palate, avoids being cloying for one so malty. Overall a very nice beer that malt lovers will enjoy, though hop-heads may find boring. I dont see how this is a doppelbock. More of a darker English Strong.

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Photo of BrewnZ
3.2/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this last month at the Pike Brewery. If I were to review is at a dopplebock I would pan it - the intention seems to be Abbey double so that's how I treated it. As evidence here is part of the menu description:

"Dark brown ale with barley and 10% wheat plus candy sugar"
25 IBU's, 1.075 OG, 7% abv

A: Very deep copper - brown, low CO2 = low foam stand.

S: Malt, alcohol, old yeasty, toasty

M: Medium

T: Big, soft malt character followed by alcohol, then sticky light brown sugar. Much more like an Abbey double. Alcohol / sweet finish . . . .phenols? Some hop bitterness lingers . . . bit rough. Should benefit from age, allowing the flavors to meld.

D: Very good first pint, not so sure about a second. Medium drinkability. But a promising beer I will try in the future.

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Photo of beals
4.65/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Not nearly as dark as the description leads you to believe. Light-brown.

S: Sweet, slightly spicy.

T: Strong, boozy to start.. then delves into sweetness. Smooth finish.

M: Good body, just the right amount of carbonation (not too much, the way I like it).

D: Outstanding! Insanely drinkable, which is dangerous at an ABV of 7.0%.

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Photo of Redrover
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was able to sample this one on cask during my most recent visit to the Pike. It is brown with red highlights. It has a lighter brown head with decent lacing.

The beer smells of lightly roasted malts and brown sugar.

The taste is sweet. I like the lightly toasted malts, which seem to be the backbone the rest of the tastes hang off of. It is slightly smoky and even sweetens a bit more late (perhaps due to the candy sugar).

Nice cellar temp. Slightly thin but smooth mouth. I liked it, but it is a little too sweet to session.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.08/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Smells like amber malts and prunes...just a bit of brown sugar in the nose as well.
Head is nicely sticky and seems to hang around for quite a while.

Creamy mouthfeel while also tingly from the tiny carbonation and hints of hops.

No big malt backbone like you would expect but a smooth maltiness followed quickly with northern hops, as you would expect from the PNW.

Aftertaste is slightly sweet from the malt (again, expected from a doppelbock but disappointed that you don't notice that as much in the taste). some drying from the hops

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Photo of Slatetank
4.03/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 22oz bottle w/out freshness date into a snifter cool.

A - A deep burnished garnet w/ a 2 fingered cream colored head. A spiral pattern of lace clings to the sides well.

S - Malty aromas and bready grain scents w/ a woody hop and dry fruity scent similar to dates. Caramel is a strong aroma aspect found within this ale.

M - A malty feel gets a boost of carbonation early on. A nutty texture gives a certain dry feel. Tinges of spice and grainy texture that lasts until the flavor takes over.

T - An overwhelming caramel malt with dry cereal taste and dried fruit-like apricot and a crisp yellow pepper flavor. A serious roasted German malt flavor follows w/ subtle pepper and more toffee-like tastes.

D - This was described as a Doppelbock at the retailer which isn't far off even though it is an ale. A great taste nevertheless, plenty of flavor. I would drink this any day of the week. A great beer for pairing with a steak.

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Photo of jclzony
4.12/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured from a 650 ml bottle a rich ruby brown. It was topped with a lasting tan creamy head that left nice lacing as it gradually settled. It is slightly sweet up front with lots of caramel then joined by some darker malts and hints of alcohol. Flavor was malts, citrus hops, and a hint of coffee. Finish is good, and has just a touch of bitterness. This ale is smooth drinking, and quite enjoyable.

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

Darkest russet that becomes black cherry with orange peel trim when light is allowed entry. The khaki colored head is a modest two fingers in height after a vigorous pour and is more than capable in the lace department. This is pretty much how I expect a doppelbock, or even a dubbel, to look.

The nose is almost as hoppy as it is malty; no surprise since it was brewed in the Pacific Northwest. I love me some hops, but I hope Pike didn't ruin what is supposed to be a malt dominant beer by adding too many little green cones. Dark caramel, cocoa, earthy pipe tobacco and white grapefruit peel gets it about right.

Tandem Double isn't much of a dubbel and it isn't much of a doppelbock. It is, however, good beer. The first several mouthfuls tell me that it's actually an Imperial American brown ale with a hop fetish. I have a feeling that I'm drinking this bottle pretty fresh, so that could account for the flavor profile. If you aren't a hophead, just age the bomber for a year or so.

The malt backbone is on the sturdy side, with quite a bit of dark English toffee, molasses and date puree. If it contained even a hint of smokiness, I might compare this beer to a Scotch ale. There are plenty of malt sugars (and added candi sugar) on hand to offset the bitterness of the hops. The finish, however, still manages to be impressively grapefruit tangy and alpha acid drying. Complex, it ain't. Delicious, it is.

The mouthfeel is much closer to medium than it is to full. It's also silky smooth and becomes ever so slightly creamy as the beer sits. I was wondering if this might not be a lager... until I glanced at the label and saw 'Double Ale' as plain as day.

Tandem is a tasty little treat for those of us who like hops in just about everything. It occurs to me that this Pike Pub and Brewery offering is perfectly named. Malt and hops work in tandem to create a lip smacking ale that should appeal to a wide range of craft beer lovers... as long as they crack the crown at the appropriate time. Fresh definitely suits me best.

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Photo of rkuhnel
4.03/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured from a 22 oz bottle a very rich red. The head was moderate in size and attractive, and left good lacing rings as it slowly settled. A first sniff provided a mild nose of malts and mild hops. Å swish of the glass released some citrus, spices, and this time some roasted malts. Body is rich and a bit oily, and feels good in the mouth. Flavor was malts, citrus hops, and a hint of coffee. Finish is good, and has just a touch of bitterness. While on the mild side for a strong ale, it is smooth drinking, and quite enjoyable.

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Pike Tandem Double Ale from The Pike Brewing Company
Beer rating: 31% out of 100 with 84 ratings
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