Brugse Zot Dubbel (7.5%, 33 cl)

Ahh it’s been way too long since I have reviewed a Beer. Wow, it’s almost a year back! Sure Whisky takes up a large part of my life (when talking about booze that is), but I sure do enjoy other drinks as well. I really have to do more with Beers and Rum and I have to say other drinks are also in the pipeline. Lets get back to basics (for me) and review a Beer from the number one Beer country in the world: Belgium! This time we’ll have a look at Brugse Zot Dubbel. Brugge is a really beautiful town in Flanders, Belgium. Highly recommended if you haven’t visited yet. Get yourself a Vlaamse Stoverij (Beef stew) with any great brown Beer, and you’ll be king for the evening! Brugse zot (Jester from Brugge) is a Brown Beer brewed by Brouwery De Halve Maan.

Brugse Zot DubbelColor: Red brown, mahogany with a lot of Cappuccino foam.

Nose: Fresh air and hints of citrus. Quite a yeasty, yet clean smell carried by carbon dioxide. Creamy winey honey, but all the way through it keeps its acidic freshness. Candy Sugar and only a hint of mustiness or cold dishwater. No sign of anything burnt.

Taste: Quite a lot of bitterness at first. It tones down a bit for the (lighter) body but returns and stays behind on the tongue for the warming finish, which must come from Saaz hops. Brown sugar candy and muscovado sugar, but having said that it’s absolutely not a sweet Beer. Here also that typical hint of fruity acidity. Slightly burnt sugar and a hint of vegetal and dry licorice. The unexpected fruitiness comes even better to the fore when the Beer is drunk with big gulps and chewed.

This Beer is known for its usage of six different malts for a complex aroma, but tasting this Beer now (at the right temperature of 8 C) it doesn’t seem too complex. When reading the list of malts and the usage of hops this also tastes like a beer that has been designed to be like this. It works well. Its all right by itself but probably even better with a Flemish stew as mentioned above (also made with brown Beer).

Points: 78

Bik & Arnold Dubbel (8.5%, 33 cl)

The Muifelbrouwerij was featured earlier on these pages with its Bergs Bier. That Beer was made for the town of Berghem. This Bik & Arnold is also a commissioned Beer. This Beer was made for Slijterij Zeewijck in IJmuiden, The Netherlands (An off licence). Zeewijck commissioned three Beers from Brewer Martin Ostendorf. The first one being a Blond Beer, called Blonde Kaairidder, which in comparison to other Blond Beers is quite high in alcohol. The second, a Dubbel, is this Bik & Arnold. And the third one is a Tripel called Breesaap. Lets start off with this Dubbel, a dark brown Beer, which hopefully isn’t too sweet, because I’m not very fond of those über-sweet brown Beers…

Bik & Arnold LabelColor: Very dark brown, with light Cappuccino foam (not a lot) and some yeast depot.

Nose: Hints of roasted malts, dark candy sugar and some vegetal notes from the coriander. Also the typical dishwater note returns. I know it sounds horrible but it isn’t. Murky and yet also fresh.

Taste: Hmmm nice, very easy and not as sweet as I expected, but it is sweet like light honey. The dark color and all the Belgian Dubbels, made me expect something more heavy and cloying, sweeter too, but this is another kind of Dubbel. Lighter in style and subtle. Very tasty and easy drinkable due to its slightly fruity acidity. It has a slight bitterness on the finish from roasted malts and chocolate but mostly dark candied sugar. Also the dishwater note settles in the finish.

For a beer that is as dark as it is, I expected a bit more of those dark Beer, or Dubbel, components. do I miss it? Nope. Due to the cloying sweetness some Dubbels have, I am not a fan of Dubbels. The beer is very good as it is. A nice light and refreshing Dubbel where every component seems to fit. Good balance and well made.

Points: 82