Dubbel by Brouwerij Westmalle
The Original Belgian Dubbel, 7%
It’s a job to know how much this beer has evolved over the last 160 years or so but it’s easy to see why it was a style that was quickly imitated by the other Trappist breweries. The deep mahogany brown colour is the first thing that strikes you about Westmalle’s Dubbel. The dark sugar added during the brewing process, along with the highly-kilned dark malt are what we have to thank for that. Give it a sniff and you’ll get chocolate, raisins, a hint of spice and a bit of ripe banana that only a Belgian yeast can provide. It’s not until you take a swig that the magic really happens though. Rich, sweet malts dance with the complex tropical fruit flavours, leading to a long, dry and malty finish. It’s far more drinkable than its 7% ABV suggests. It’s also almost good enough to make you want to be a monk. Almost.