Sunday, 8 January 2017

Westmalle Dubbel

Origin: Belgium | Date: 2008 | ABV: 7% | On The Beer Nut: October 2007

It's a longtime favourite today. Westmalle Dubbel goes back to the very beginnings of my discovering beer, and my first drinking excursions to Belgium. Just one sip and I'm back at A L'Imaige De Nostre Dame in Brussels. But I've no idea how an aged bottle tastes. The original of the style is also the weakest I know of, and it's possible that a mere 7% ABV will not provide enough for time (eight years) to build upon. I'd better open it.

I haven't had a fresh one of these in a while, but I think it smells more pungent than they do, and an almost Pedro Ximinez level of ripe boozy raisin. There's sweet sherry in the flavour too, which is possibly just oxidation at work, but it does transform the beer in a fun and pleasant way. It hasn't become magically heavier than usual, but it has elements of the things you find in double-digit dark Belgian-style beers: the fruit, the cake, the rounded estery greasiness, though not the heat. It still remains lightly textured and easy drinking.

Seems to me like a handy way to upgrade your Westmalle Dubbel into something more complex is leave it alone for a few years.

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