Evening Vespers by Laughing Monk Brewing

Rating: 5/5

Evening Vespers by Laughing Monk Brewing is a 7.1% ABV Belgian Dubbel

Description:
A classic Belgian style Dubbel with notes of dried fruits and chocolate emanate from the glass. Pleasant flavors of Plum, Dates, and Raisins hit the palate with an undertone of chocolate and bready notes. Lingering finish holds similar flavors to the palate, with a more accentuated bready note.

Damn, burnt candy sugar and Smokey notes, maple dark fruit, bananas clove spices and lots of awesomeness

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Naránjdanos Celestiales by Nubis Sanctum Ales

12697034_10103054371117760_927499355833596450_o 12646989_10103054372979030_7270311269485518794_n 12694914_10103054371986020_4617245862347928769_oRating: 4.25/5

Naránjdanos Celestiales by Nubis Sanctum Ales is a 6 %ABV A Belgian Dubbel brewed with Oranges, Blueberries, Soft Candi Sugar and Coriander spice.

==Introduction==
12240455_10102910050582270_1789850886825821227_o

Project# 13 was an idea for a beer which combined the flavors or Orange and Blueberries. The name of the beer comes from the Spanish combination of Oranges or Naranjas and Blueberries or Arandanos. The fusion of the two and the fact that this is a Belgian Dubbel, like the ones Monks make in Abbeys, lead to the name of the Celestial OrangeBlueberries or Naránjdanos Celestiales. Originally, I was shooting for a chocolate orange and blueberry beer, but my friend Juan suggested otherwise in which case I did not add the chocolate. Namely being, he reminded me other delicious blueberry beers I had tried in the past. So to make the Blueberries stick out well with the oranges I also added coriander spice which frankly, with the orange zest, gave this fruity pebbles type of aromas. All and all, fermentation went through well and people seemed to love this one. Now, I take my personal thoughts on this one. Let’s take a look.

Aromas:
Tart Blueberries, fruity pebbles hint, oranges, tart grapes, candi sugar, tangerine hints, brown sugar, lemon candy, stone fruit hints and dark fruits.

Flavors:
Blueberries, Candi Sugar, Coriander spice, caramel, biscuit bread rye bread, tart grapes, citrus, orange zest, lemon candy, dark fruit raisin hints, figs, plums, tart cherry notes, sugar cane, brown sugar hints, apple notes, stone fruit apricot, peaches and tangerine notes.

Aftertaste:
Finishes with some candi sugar notes, tart blueberry notes, citrus, coriander spice, tart fruit pebbles.
No alcohol in the taste, Orange Honey full body, crisp, refreshing and silky mouthfeel and easy to drink.

Overall:
A very good light Dubbel. While I think the tarty blueberry adds some complexity, ultimately it has to be drunk at close to room temp to get more complexity. In cold temps it is easy to drink with tart and the citrucy notes. While I think this was good, I don’t think orange and blueberry may have not paired too well, only slightly. I think if I make this again, I might use a different fruit to pair with the orange or I think I will add the chocolate next time. Eitherway, still a delicious little homebrew.

Anime Corner:
Konan from Naruto was used in this pairing as I wanted to pair with the ingredients of the oranges and blueberry flavors and colors as you can see from Konan’s hair and eyes. The fact that she is wearing a cloak is like the ones monks wear as this is a Belgian Dubbel so it definitely goes with the style. My intention with this beer is to pay tribute to Jiraiya’s original team of Nagato (Red like the body), Konan (Blueberries) and Yahiko (Oranges with the Orange Hair). All these characters were important in the Naruto Series.
12651028_10103054373707570_5466942927538710404_n
Sources:
http://static.zerochan.net/Konan.full.1168065.jpg
http://narutoclan.ru/_ph/618/2/165912823.jpg
http://static.zerochan.net/NARUTO.full.1817405.jpg

Virtuous Endeavor Dubbel Ale Confluence brewing of Des Moines Iowa

1917062_10102989068759210_4971457285916115781_nRating: 4.75/5

Virtuous Endeavor Dubbel Ale Confluence brewing of Des Moines Iowa is an 8.4% ABV Belgian Dubbel.

Label:
For nearly 425 years, brewing beer has been central to the lives of Trappist monks who view it as a way to create revenue to support their community and as part of a higher calling. Confluence Brewing Company’s three beer Virtuous Endeavor Series – feature Dubbel, Tripel, and Quadrupel Ale – was inspired by the care and craftsmanship the Trappists put into the style of beer they still brew today All Virtous Endeavor beers are bottle conditioned and will continue to mature in the cellar, but can be enjoyed today if you choose.

BELGIAN-STYLE DUBBEL ALE

A grain bill of Belgian and German malt combines with dark Belgian candi sugar and rich fruity flavors to create this sweeter version of a Belgian beer. Dubbel has the lowest ABV for the series at 8.4%

==Introduction==

Obtained this one from my friend Steve in Iowa who was able to ship these to me after my visit to Ames and Iowa State University, my Alma Mater. This one caught my eye as it was a Belgian style but brewed in Iowa. So naturally with my love of the Belgian beers, I had to get this one. This one is a Belgian Dubbel and while I could not find the Quad, a Belgian style none the less is delicious I figure. So with this one, let’s take a look and see what this Belgian has to offer, cheers!

Aromas:
Citrusy Oranges, honey, dark fruit plums raisins, plums, dark cherries, figs, dates, Dulce De leche caramel, vanilla, flan, stone fruit peaches, apricots, tropical guava, raspberry, coriander spice, phenolic notes, peppercorn spices, pecan pie, waffle cone, Belgian Candi Sugar, clove spice, bubble gum, honey and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Oranges, citrus, Dulce De leche caramel, vanilla, flan, stone fruit peaches, apricots, dark fruit plums raisins, plums, figs, dark cherries, dates, tropical guava, raspberry, Belgian Candi Sugar, clove spice, bubble gum, banana notes, coriander spice, phenolic notes, peppercorn spices, pecan pie, waffle cone, honey, rye bread, brown sugar, coffee cake hints and chocolate.

Aftertaste:
Residual Belgian Candi sugar, stone fruit, dark fruit, clovey spice and bananas linger. So damn good No alcohol in the taste, Honey colored full body, smooth, creamy and effervescent mouthfeel with a moderate to supping drinkability.

Overall:
A very delicious Belgian Dubbel focusing more on its fruitier, citrusy and Belgian Candi side than the dark fruit side. Different Belgian styles would give different flavors but I think I really liked this one as it felt more unique than the average Dubbel. If you are able to find this one or purchase this, definitely give it a try. It is always good to try Iowa beers!

Anime Corner:
Dark Sakura from Fate Stay Night was used in this pairing as I wanted to pair with the aspect of Double or Dubbel but also the label colors. The flavors of dark fruits like cherries go with her name and as she emerges from the darkness it is synonymous to the way the flavors emerge with each temperature changing sip.

Sources:
http://i.imgur.com/nXOlpLE.jpg

 
 
 

 

Shadowboxing by Monkish brewing

12042702_10102824687760050_832628104663881439_nRating: 4.5/5

Shadowboxing by Monkish brewing is a 7% ABV Belgian Dubbel

==Introduction==

Obtained a growler fill at Monkish. Many of the great beers I have tried but this time I wanted to bring an original Dubbel style from them. The Shaolin Fist was the dubbel but with Szechuan peppercorns and this is the original. I may do a review on the Shaolin Fist sometime in the future but for the mean time, here is the review for the original athlete, the dubbel! Cheers!

Aromas:
dulce de leche caramel, rock candy, candy sugar, Dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, cherries, blackberry, dates, vanilla, biscuit bread, clove spice, banana notes, Stone fruit peaches and brown sugar notes.

Flavors:
Dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, cherries, blackberry, dates, Stone fruit peaches, vanilla, biscuit bread, clove spice, banana notes, rich dulce de leche caramel, rock candy, candy sugar, toffee, molasses, blackberry marmalade, pecan pie hints, raisin bread pudding and fruit cake hints.

Aftertaste:
Nice rich dark fruit, clove spice, banana notes, earthy notes and candy sugar finish. No alcohol in the taste, medium brown body, smooth, syrupy and creamy mouthfeel and an easy to moderate drinkability.

Overall:
Very delicious Dubbel reminiscent of the delicious Dubbels of Belgium. Sweet mainly and some spicy goodness as part of Dubbels to keep stuff balanced. A good amount of the dark fruits, Belgian candy sugar and more all over. I recommend a try if you are ever at Monkish Brewing.

Anime Corner:
Original Boxer girl was used in this paring as I wanted to pair with the theme of boxing mainly. The name of shadowboxing is the style and training one does to compete in the sport. How does the beer relate to the name it is given? I do not know but two fist are needed to box. If boxing was a form used by monks of Asia (I guess Kick Boxing would work) then the relation to Monks by name and a tie to Belgian Monks and Tibet monks then the beer might have its link by proxy.

Sources:
http://lh5.ggpht.com/-dPstQVRYKoM/TcL2IeYCHCI/AAAAAAAAIJw/fNyu3KN_920/s9000/BoxerGirl.jpg

Valar Morghulis by Game of Thrones and Ommegang

1780673_10102129212428190_4303954624754454680_n 10151340_10102129212043960_9160010245517754727_n 10301435_10102129211105840_7997889876574959697_nRating: 4.65/5

Valar Morghulis by Game of Thrones and Ommegang is an 8% ABV Belgian Dubbel.

Label:
WHEN CONFRONTED WITH THE MOST FEARED SAYING IN HIGH VALYRIAN, TAKE A SIP AND CHOOSE YOUR WORDS WISELY. FOR ALL MEN MUST DIE, AND ALL MEN MUST SERVE. ENJOY RICH AROMAS OF CARAMEL AND RIPE FRUIT WITH DEEP FLAVORS OF MALTY SWETTNESS AND FRUITY ESTERS. POUR SLOWLY, TO NOT DISTURB YEAST SEDIMENT, BUT WITH VIGOR TO MAKE A LUXURIOUS HEAD AND FREE BOUQUET.
___

The 4th installment of the Game of Thrones beer is here, Valar Morghulis or “All Men Must Die”. You can buy it at many craft beer markets where they sell Ommegang beer. I have yet to see the show but I love Ommegang beers. The previous entries have been very good. Since they brewed a Belgian Dubbel (Double Fermented Ale), I had to try it and bring it here to the site. If you have not tried a Dubbel before, you know it is going to be a heavy one and not your typical light beer. If you enjoy Belgians, well, let’s see what this one as in store.

Aromas:
Dark fruits like raisins, plums, dark cherries, light stone fruit like peaches and apricots, pears, apples, pineapple hints, brown sugar, bubble gum, clove spice, banana hints, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, vanilla, peppercorns, earthy notes, biscuit bread and chocolate hints.

Flavors:
Dark fruits like raisins, plums, dark cherries, clove spice, banana hints, peppercorns, dulce de leche caramel hints, brown sugar, biscuit bread, chocolate hints, bubble gum hints, vanilla, apricots, peaches, candi sugar, cinnamon, pears, coriander hints, pineapple hints, earthy hop hints and toffee.

Aftertaste:
Biscuit bread, phenolic notes, clove spice, caramel, dark fruit, peppery spices and earthy notes linger. No alcohol in the taste, medium to full crimson body, moderate drinkability and smooth and almost watery mouthfeel.

Overall:
A very good Dubbel and possibly the best one so far in the series. Belgian Dubbels are incredible beers just like the Singles, Tripels and Quadruples. Although Quads are my favorites. Dubbels do generally fall into that category of dark fruit and malty but not overwhelmingly intense. So for fans of the show who typically don’t drink craft beer, this may definitely be a sipping beer but it won’t be like super overwhelming, just moderate. Still, Ommegang kicking ass again with another awesome beer.

Anime Corner:
Saber from Fate Stay Night/Zero was chosen once again to represent the world of fantasy in Game of Thrones. I was typically looking for something that would pair well with the name of the beer, the show, the color and to some extent the flavors of the beer as well. As you can see, All Men Must Die is in reference to bloody war as show cased in the sword battle. The devastation of medieval war is nothing but rot and chaos as the bloody color of the beer and its medium to full body is the consistency of that blood. Conquering others is what it is all about but like the phrase says, “No Victory without suffering, No freedom without Sacrifice” goes hand in hand with the saying of “All Men must Serve, All Men must Die” and how a war between the conflicting quotes arises due to those who do not see eye to eye. Even like the coin in the label, the good and the bad.

Sources:
http://anime-pictures.net/pictures/get_image/208475-1500×1777-fate+%28series%29-fatestay+night-fatezero-studio+deen-saber-misako12003.jpg
http://www.zerochan.net/1393132#full

Abbey Normal by BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse

10365921_10102019956917110_1571724735164320888_nRating: 4.85/5

Abbey Normal by BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse is a 6.6% ABV Belgian Dubbel.

Label:
BJ’s Abbey Normal is a light brown ale with a sweet malty profile. The style is what the Belgians call Abbey Ale, molded after the famous ales brewed by Trappist Monks. BJ’s Abbey Normal is full-bodied and rich tasting, with a complex bouquet of fruit and spice derived from fermentation with an authentic Trappist yeast. Subtle aromas and flavors emerge as the beer warms up – caramel, plums, raisins, currants and figs. BJ’s Abbey Normal may not be brewed in an abbey but it sure tastes heavenly.

This ale is bottle-conditioned and flavorful enough to age in the bottle for several years. Like a fine wine, the balance of flavors will change over time. For optional aging, we recommend that you store BJ’s Abbey Normal at between 55 and 65°F. Or enjoy it now!
___

Since 2010, when I first really started exploring beers, BJ’s brewhouse was a central theme to explore different beer styles as well as different beers. Abbey Normal was one of the first Belgian style beers and it was damn good back then. I never realized until a recent visit with my brother and my friend Alex that they started releasing these beers in bottles. I definitely had to bring one home for review as they ran out of the tap. So if you happen to visit BJ’s, this maybe something to try that is out of the ordinary there. Unless they have Westmalle which is more expensive but way more awesome. Either way, this is a very good Belgian dubbel even pre-review.

Aromas:
Dark fruit raisins, plums, figs, dates, phenolic banana notes, clove spice, stone fruit apricots, peaches, apples biscuit bread, dulce de leche caramel, toffee, honey, rock candy, pecan hint, ginger bread, chocolate hints, cinnamon and hints of brown sugar.

Flavors:
Phenolic notes of bananas, clove spice, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, dark fruit raisins, figs, plums, trappist yeast hints, rock candy, candi sugar, pecan notes, hazelnut hints, dark cherries, ginger bread, cinnamon, chocolate hints, coffee, nutmeg, biscuit bread, bubble gum and toffee.

Aftertaste:
Biscuit bread, rye, dulce de leche caramel hints, dark fruit and phenolic hints fade into a dry finish. No alcohol in the taste, medium drinkability, amber medium to full body, light to medium mouthfeel.

Overall:
A very good Dubbel for sure despite this comes from restaurant & brewhouse chain. I love sweet Belgian beers so even at the ABV presented, this drinks like champ. It nice in terms of balance providing you a very nice rich complexity of flavors while still not being over powering. Wish I had this more often but now I realize why I loved this one so much back then. This one I would definitely recommend if you are able to get it at BJ’s on tap or snag a bottle from them to take home and relax.

Anime Corner:
Stocking Anarchy from Panty & Stocking with Ganterbelt was used in this pairing in relation to how awesome this beer was back in the day. At my youth of craft beers, this presented me with something very distinct that I had never had on tap and really drove me to try out more beers. Now, how it relates to the Abbeys, the monks and heaven, well guess what, Stocking, along with her sister Panty are angels fighting for humanity vanquishing ghosts. She is lover of sweets to the point where she should be diabetic but she is not. The colors of the label fit her perfectly and in respects to heaven, she is just that. The flavors of dark fruits and dark sweet flavors are basically her whole embodiment. She is a sweet dark Gothic angel with a lot of heart and power.

Sources:
http://oi61.tinypic.com/2cgf23k.jpg

Couverteur by the Bruery

10371987_10101867880514440_2404305962623761860_n 10393841_10101867880888690_6381496531178042283_nRating: 5.25/5*
*NOTE: Please be advised that this beer was removed from production due to lactobasillicus found in the beer. This review rating was set at the time beer was fresh!

Couverteur by the Bruery is an 8% ABV Belgian Dubbel brewed with Cacao Nibs and Vanilla Beans.

Label:
Couverteur is a Belgian-style dubbel that has been fermented with cacao nibs and vanilla beans adding a layer of chocolatey complexity to the malt rich ale. Couverteur is best enjoyed fresh. Please store in a cool, dry place. The ideal serving temperature is 50° F (7° C). Best served in a tulip or wine glass.
___

The name I believe is in reference to Belgian Chocolates, a type of Belgian Chocolate brand or something that is Coveted. I could not find much information on the name but this information I found definitely seems to find the description. As part of the preserve or reserve society too, this beer can be obtained from the Bruery’s online store. This would the be time to sign up if you want to try out this beer. A Belgian Dubbel with cacao nibs and vanilla? Starting to remind me of Seme De La Vita Tripel, except that one has pistachio and vanilla beans. Either way, let us see just how sweet this beer can be.

Aromas:
Belgian Chocolate, Chocolate Yoohoo, Milk chocolate powder, dark fruits like raisins and prunes, dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, cherries, candi sugars, toffee, pecan pie, tootsie rolls, bananas, clove spice, biscuit bread, peanut butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.

Flavors:
Milk shake Chocolate, dark cherry, dark fruit raisins, prunes, vanilla, rocky road ice cream, marshmallow, cinnamon, peanut butter hints, dulce de leche caramel, candi sugar, pecan pie, toffee, tootsie rolls, bananas, clove spice, biscuit bread, brown sugar, nutmeg, all spice and wafflecone.

Aftertaste:
Chocolate Vanilla, caramel, dark fruit hints and biscuit bread with a somewhat dry finish. Easy to moderate drinkability, no alcohol in the taste and medium mouthfeel.

Overall:
Simply amazing!! Definitely getting that extra credit with the whole tasting closer to chocolate aspect as it goes. The Dubbel is there but the chocolate and vanilla does lend the extra hand to remind you that yes, this is a chocolate dubbel. The beer is very good and I have to say I like it because of the chocolate. If you do not like chocolate or at least more natural chocolate flavors, then this beer may not be the one for you and you want to try a different dubbel. For those that love chocolate and dubbels, this is a real treat!!

Anime Corner:
Etna from Disgaea makes a return into the beer pairings because I wanted to do something for her in terms of pairing her with a Bruery beer and also to the fact that she fits the bill in terms of the label and the overall sweetness of chocolate and vanilla that the beer has to offer. While the ABV is not over the top or super duper complex, it is still very rich for what it is and as the picture shows, Etna, quite like Couverteur explodes with rich flavors.

Sources:
http://cdn.myanimelist.net/images/characters/11/33671.jpg
http://s3-ak.bebo.com/image/4234498863a12957633498l.jpg

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel by Brouwerij Westmalle

10299929_10101781315087250_2476054496409003819_n 10300029_10101781315356710_6285675966911128119_nRating: 5.25/5

Westmalle Trappist Dubbel by Brouwerij Westmalle is a 7% ABV World Class Belgian Dubbel.

Commercial Description:
Westmalle Dubbel is a dark, reddish-brown Trappist beer with a secondary fermentation in the bottle. The creamy head has the fragrance of special malt and leaves an attractive lace pattern in the glass. The flavour is rich and complex, herby and fruity with a fresh-bitter finish. It is a balanced quality beer with a soft feel in the mouth and a long, dry aftertaste. The Dubbel contains 7% alcohol.

Since 1856 the monks have also been brewing a dark Trappist beer along with their table beer. Since the recipe was modified in 1926, they have been brewing slightly heavier beer. This is the foundation of today’s Dubbel.

The 33 cl bottles are distributed individually, in baskets of six or in 24 bottle crates. The Westmalle Dubbel is also the only dark Trappist beer available on draught in some 300 selected hotels, restaurants and cafes, from kegs of 30 and 50 litres. Dubbel Trappist continues to ferment, making the draught version slightly sweeter than the bottled version.

Dubbel Trappist is also available in 75 cl bottles, in which the beer matures differently than the smaller bottles. You will particularly notice a more subtle aftertaste.
___

The need to try some of the Trappist ales of the 10 Trappist Monasteries of the world got me to finally pick up a bottle and do a review. I have tried this one long ago at a restaurant but I had yet to do a review on it. What a better time than now. Many of the craft beer shops will sell this one as it is easy to find like Trappist Rochefort or even Chimay. I have done reviews for about 6 (including this just now) of the monasteries and some of their beers but I still got 4 more to go. All world class so far, you really can’t go wrong. So let’s check this one out.

Aromas:
Very rich dark fruit raisins, plums, prunes, figs, dates, cherries, currants, dulce de leche caramel, candy sugars, raisin bread pudding, pecans, hazelnut, chocolate notes, vanilla, pears, blackberry marmalade, rum, oak, brown sugar, toffee, cinnamon, bananas, phenolic notes, clove spice and molasses.

Flavors:
Once again, rich dark fruits, raisins, plums, dates, toffee, candy sugars. Rich raisin bread pudding notes, pecans, walnuts, hazelnut, vanilla, blackberry marmalade, pears, blackberry marmalade, chocolate notes, bananas and clove spice, molasses, peaches and cherries.

Aftertaste:
Raisins, blackberry marmalade, vanilla, rum hints, dulce de leche caramel and brown sugar lingers. No alcohol in the taste, sipping drinkability with almost syrupy mouthfeel.

Overall:
Perfect Belgian Dubbel with some exceeding great qualities. Seems like the hidden secrets of the Holy monasteries can brew up something that cannot be copied but may be similar. This is the second best dubbel in the world and rightfully so. When drinking this, it really is raisin bread pudding in a bottle. No joke at all, this stuff is sweet and bready. This really comes close to the Partridge in a Pear Tree except not as strong and its not using pears. It seems like a base for that beer though.

Anime Corner:
Mikasa Ackerman from Attack on Titan was used in this pairing to pair with the colors of the label but mainly the abbey aspect. While it is not shown in readily in the the background, but if you know the Attack on Titan Story, she fights for unveiling the truth outside of the walls which protect from these giants called Titans who destroy and eat humans, which you find later on are tied to the religious sects. While Westmalle is a holy trappist monastery, and it seems to share a special flavor of the Dubbel Belgian style which even the best, Westvleteren will not share since you actually have to visit. Nevermind the complexity of getting the Westvleteren 8 but either way, Westmalle is knows of making the second best and even then, is responsible for sharing the best strengths to the world of its style. Mikasa is all about being the best but at at the same time humble and only doing for her only family member left, Eren Jaeger of the series. The Red scarf she wears represents the hard work of the monks in getting this special style together for everyone to try. Mikasa always wears this scarf which was given by Eren, like Westmalle wears the proud logo of the Trappist.

Select Monk 2 by Monkish Brewing

1900138_10101714121299140_939680222_n 1902861_10101714122167400_1771643167_nRating: 4.5/5

Select Monk 2 by Monkish Brewing is an 8.7% ABV Belgian Dubbel brewed with Figs.

Celebrating Monkish Brewing 2nd year brewing Belgian inspired beers, this was sold at the brewery and at the Select Beer Store in Redondo Beach. It isn’t often that Monkish is bottling their beers, but I figured I spread the word a bit by picking this up and doing a review for the fans. I have reviewed some of their other beers, especially the Seme De La Vita and others as well.

Aromas:
Dark fruits, raisins, plums, prunes, figs, cherry hints, dates, dulce de leche caramel, clove spice, stone fruits like apricot, peach, mild roasty coffee, mild banana, mild chocolate notes and brown sugar.

Flavors:
Peaches, apricots, figs, dates, raisins, caramel, mild cherry notes, plums, bananas, clove spice, mild roasted barley, tart berry, mild pecans, hazelnut, raisin bread pudding and earthy notes

Aftertaste:
Figs, earthy notes, raisins, tart berry and a bit of caramel. No alcohol in the taste with a moderate to sipping drinkability.

Overall:
A very good beer but best drunk at warm temperatures. I will admit, while this is delicious, I have tried other dubbels that were up to par or better. Nevertheless, this one I feel is definitely worth trying because it is what a very good example of this style is like. Delicious and sweet.

Anime Corner:
Pain (Animal Path) from the Naruto series was chosen for this pairing to compliment the colors of the beer but mainly the flavors and the monk like robe as well. She is a very powerful summer along with the other 5 paths of Pain. She can unleash many types of giants and indestructible entities. Like this beer which delivers a great amount of flavors. Her eyes tell the stories of the darkest and delicious fruits while her hair is spice of life. She is representative of the ever growing greatness that is Monkish and Belgian inspired beers and many more years to come. Cheers to Monkish!

Lips of Faith series Wild² Dubbel by New Belgium

1511912_10101650975992840_757577343_n 1186190_10101650976965890_1269245178_nRating: 4.75/5

Lips of Faith series Wild² Dubbel by New Belgium is an 8% ABV Belgian Dubbel Brewed with Schisandra Berries.

Label:
This wild Colorado version of the Belgian Dubbel ropes you in with clove and dark fruit aromas. Deeply rich and malty, every sip has a creamy texture true to Belgian tradition before it rides off with hints of black pepper and cinnamon from the addition of shisandra berries.
___

Been looking for this beer since November. Yes, it was quite the damn elusive find even for a brewery who is well established with distribution. Got this one at the liquor mart in Whittier California but you most likely can find it in many stores that sell the New Belgium Lips of Faith series. The series has ranged from hit or miss beers but over very good beers. This was the last beer from 2013 in the Lips of Faith Series. I can’t wait to see what we get this year. For now, on to the review and cheers friends!!

Aromas:
Lots of banana, cloves, dark fruits like figs, plums, raisins, raspberries, peppercorn, soy sauce, dulce de leche caramel, cinnamon, flowers, herbs, chocolate, biscuit, apricot, peaches, brown sugar and candy sugar.

Flavors:
Not sure what Schisandra berries are supposed to taste like but if they are anything like raspberry or currants, it is close. The banana, bubblegum and clove spices is there but mixes with like a plant and soy sauce. That is not the dominant though as you can still tell it is a dubbel by the dulce de leche caramel, vanilla, raisins, dark cherries, toffee, plums, figs dates, apricots peaches, brown and candy sugars. Some other flavors are of chocolate, biscuit bread, rye, cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns, citrus, pineapple, pear and coriander, herbs and other spices.

Aftertaste:
The raisin and caramel notes linger along with some earthy notes. No alcohol in the taste with medium to full body mouthfeel and easy to moderate drinkability. 

Overall:
Very good dubbel with lots of complex flavors but I just cant help feel like there is this Chinese gourmet aspect to it. It is isn’t a bad thing but if you have had Belgian beers with Szechuan peppercorns, you know the type of spice I am talking about. It makes the beer that more awesome!!It is like adding their Abbey Ale with the berries adds this complex experience. You definitely have to try it to understand what I mean. I think this beer is definitely on par with the quad I had last year.

Anime Corner:
Lily Salvatana (purple hair) and Franco il Nero (Teal hair) from Tre Donne Crudeli/Outlaw Django were the perfect pairing in this beer because I wanted to show case the cowboy aspect of the beer but also the flavor profile of this beer. Beginning with Lily who represents the dark fruit and caramel of the Dubbel style and then Franco with the stone fruit, herbs and spices added from the Schisandra berries. Yeah it goes all over the place. A takes two to make a Dubbel. Can you find any awesome details about this pairing?

Abbey by New Belgium

1512801_10101561386106690_1780227651_nRating: 4.8/5

Abbey by New Belgium is a 7% ABV Belgian Dubbel

Label:
A beauty of a Belgian dubbel with six different malts and an authentic Belgian yeast strain that’s happiest being served in a New Belgian globe glass.
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Yes, I agree. While it would be plain and simple to use the NB globe glass, I decided against it since I wanted to use the Monkish glass to appeal to the art pairing. Anyways, this beer comes out every year around the Fall/Winter season ready for X-mas. I have never got a chance to review it since the last time I bought a 6 or a Folly 12 pack, they are all gone. This one did not get away and is here for the review. You can get this nation wide in 6 pack or the NB Winter Folly pack.

Aromas:
Rich banana bread, dark fruits like raisins, plums, figs, dulce de leche caramel notes, vanilla, chocolate hints, cinnamon, ginger bread, nutmeg, biscuit and toffee

Flavors:
Dulce de leche caramel notes, dark fruits forward from the raisins, the plums and figs, dates, banana bread, coffee and chocolate notes, cinnamon, ginger bread, nutmeg, earthy hop notes, molasses, anise notes, clove and coriander spice, peppercorns and bubble gum hints

Aftertaste:
Close to a dry finish but some biscuit, raisins, earthy hop bitterness and caramel linger for a little bit. Despite being a dubbel quite the easy drinking. No alcohol in the taste either.

Overall:
A Great beer very delicious. To the height of many of the New Belgium beers that I have tried, only some have made it with a high rating. This one takes the cake and is probably one of my favorite annual releases from New Belgium. This beer definitely makes it to the world class (14th best dubbel according to beer advocate). Belgian beer lovers will love this one

Anime Corner:
I am not sure who created this piece but I was able to find it when looking for different pictures online. This was a perfect pairing because it includes everything about Belgian Abbeys, monks, monasteries and so forth. A tribute to the Belgian abbeys

Dubbel Dare (Dubbel Coast) collaboration between Cigar City and Alesmith

1459307_10101525490147480_1146607088_n 1422351_10101525489972830_1553672955_n 488015_10101525490002770_940875465_nRating: 4.56/5

Dubbel Dare (Dubbel Coast) collaboration between Cigar City and Alesmith is an 8.5% ABV Belgian Dubbel

Label: 
COLLAB

A tropical interpretation of a Belgian-Style Dubbel, Dubbel Dare is a collaboration created by AleSmith Brewing company and Cigar City Brewing. Keeping their local environments in mind, this dubbel was crafted implementing Coconut Palm Sugar instead of Candi Sugar. Coconut Palm Sugar adds caramel notes to the already complex malt flavor and has lower glycemic index than other simple sugars.

Deglet Noor dates and Black Mission Figs were added during active fermentation, adding another complementing sweetness to the grist bill and tying in beautifully with the spice & fruit aromas and flavors provided by fermentation with a traditional Abbey yeast strain.
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Inspired by the late 80’s / early 90’s TV game show, Double Dare, this beer was brewed as a throwback honor to the challenge of creating a beer that was both a Belgian Dubble yet tropical. 

Aromas:
A mix of dark fruit and tropical fruits, rich caramel, pineapple, raisins, figs, dates, plums, mango, flan, peppercorns, apricot, coriander spice, nutmeg, cinnamon notes, chocolate hints, slight coconut, brown sugar, pecan pie, fruit cake and brown sugar

Flavors:
Nutmeg, caramel, pineapple, mango notes, pineapple notes, apricot, peach, raisins, figs, dates, plums, flan, orange slices, coriander, pecan pie notes, mild coconut sugars, coconut hints, kiwi, strawberry notes, biscuit bread, banana notes, clove spice, chocolate, peppery spice notes, cinnamon and hints of fruit cake

Aftertaste:
The flavors of caramel, tropics, dark fruit, pecan pie and nutmeg linger. Moderate to sipping drinkability. Hidden alcohol as well

Overall:
It is a very good beer, but not a super duper dubbel. While it meets the challenge of diversity and tropics, it still not the best dubbel ever. Very good dubbel never the less and if you love Belgian Dubbels still up there with some of the greats. I would recommend a try from it but you may find others to be more inciting.

Anime Corner:
In this set of anime pairings, I have brought back Shiro and the gang from Deadman Wonderland into the mix. The relation to the beer has mainly to do with the whole aspect of audience entertainment and game shows. You see, Deadman Wonderland is a show about part of Japan being sunk into the ocean due to an earthquake and the main character, Ganta Igarashi, trying to save his hide as a prisoner by participating in prisoner games to gather points to save himself from a crime he did not commit. The whole setup earns money from the audience who watch inmates struggle through these twisted theme park games all for the purpose of rebuilding the cities. Shiro, the albino chick is Ganta’s child hood friend who helps him out. They find out that their blood posses some type of special power which helps them out through the ordeals. If we were to set who is who, Ganta is Cigar City and Shiro is Alesmith. These two are fighting the challenge which is Deadman Wonderland or Dubbel Dare to bring forth and awesome brew. The Red of the label represents the blood of their struggle. The artworks also fits with the beers as it shows Shiro eats a tropical dessert but also the fact that the beer uses coconut palm sugars. Sweet White sugar is a representative of Shiro, the albino girl as well as coconut being white on the inside. What other things can you find in this beer pairing?

Holy Sheet Heavy Seas Uncharted Series 2013 by Clipper City Brewing

934683_10101327425635350_1681737459_n 999123_10101327426977660_1777526877_n 1098173_10101327426463690_1603637619_n 543858_10101327426423770_332987039_nRating: 5/5

Holy Sheet Heavy Seas Uncharted Series 2013 by Clipper City Brewing is a 9% ABV Belgian Abbey Dubbel aged in Brady Barrels

Label: 
Rich, complex and unique. Abbey style ales are transcendent, and ours stands proudly in the ranks. Aged in brandy barrels, Holy Sheet is a mahogany ale brewed with Belgian Abbey yeast, candi sucre, and unique crystal malts. Rounded, spicy caramel flavors mixed with vinous notes and oak overtones, this ale pairs well with quiet contemplation…

Uncharted Waters explores the unique changes that happen to beer when exposed to wood. Each beer showcases a robust style, carefully matched with a wood treatment to showcase a range of complex flavors. Vintage dating encourages further exploration on the aging process. As much about the voyage as the destination we hope you enjoy these beers in the spirit in which they were brewed.
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Been looking for this beer since I first heard of it. It was not an easy find at all since many of the Heave Seas Beers aren’t normally sold around in the west coast. Thank goodness for online stores.

Aromas are of dark fruits and caramel like cherries, raisins, figs, dates, grapes, preserves, some vanilla and toffee notes, apple, white wine notes, banana, coconut, brandy, oak, rye and biscuit bread.

Flavors are of coconut, dark cherry preserves, rich dulce de leche caramel spread on raisin bread pudding, biscuit, vanilla, toffee, raisins, dates, figs, oak, brandy, candi sugars, banana phenolic notes, marshmallows, grapes, minor white wine notes and chocolate on rye bread

The aftertaste leave sweet and slightly boozy but not too boozy. This works very well as the alcohol is hardly present overall and is very pleasant. This makes it quite the moderately drinkable beer at that.

Overall Holy Shit I mean Sheet is very fucking delicious. This is my second Heavy Seas beer and already I love the beers I have reviewed so far. Definitely recommended for those that love Barrel Aged beers but also Belgian beers.

Palmero by Hangar 24

971536_10101182706383890_2022236916_n 734187_10101182710485670_1241422919_n 205518_10101182708165320_399920245_nRating: 5/5

Palmero by Hangar 24 is 7% ABV Local Fields Series Dubbel brewed with Dates

Label: 
Named after the skilled laborers who tend the date palms from the Coachella Valley. The delicate sweetness of dates brings out the fruity esters of the Belgian yeast, producing flavors of caramel, raisin, rum, and spice. This rich, dark beer can be enjoyed now or reserved to deepen its wonderful flavors and aromas.
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Here is another release from the Hangar 24 Local Fields series. This one was released in April and it is their Belgian Dubbel inspiration ale. First time trying it and pretty exited about it too.

Aromas of this beer start off with strong scents of dates, caramel, raisins, cherries, capirotada raisin bread pudding, cinnamon, spices, rum hints, some bananas, toffee, bubble gum, candi sugars and a slight coca cola fragrance. The flavors are rich like a lot of the Belgian beers I enjoy. It actually has some nice quad flavors even if it is a dubbel. You get dulce de leche caramel, bananas, raisins, toffee, dates, bubblegum, slight coriander citrus, apricots, cherries, molasses, slight rum and coke flavor, raisin bread pudding and pecans. The local fields series has had a very nice array of beers. This is no different and is very delicious. Although somewhat clear, the mouth feel is not too heavy making this one nice and well drinkable. I would like to say that this one is a lot like the Doppel Dubbel from He’brew but more smooth. I really like Doppel Dubbel, but this one is smooth and drinkable and still has some great flavors.

2013 He’brew Rejewvenator Dubbel Doppel by Shmaltz Brewing

295315_10101154825118170_110104178_nRating: 4.85/5

2013 He’brew Rejewvenator Dubbel Doppel by Shmaltz Brewing is an 8% Hybrid Ale consisting of a Belgian Dubbel and a Doppelbock Euro Lager brewed with all natural dates and Figs

Label: 
How better to celebrate the evolution of the year than with recipes inspired by generations of the original craft beer warriors, the Monks! Top with a healthy dose of Shmaltz and witness the rebirth of Rejewvenator! “The winter of bondage has passed, the deluge of suffering is gone, the Fig tree has formed its first fruits, declaring all ready for libation.” -Song of Solomon. Dates were used to sweeten beer in Ancient Egypt as early as 3500 BCE. Genesis 3:7: “Their eyes were opened, and they knew that they were naked; they sewed fig leaves and made themselves aprons.” Queen Vic commissioned an 18″ plaster fig leaf for her cast of Michelangelo’s David. “The statue that advertises its modesty with a fig leaf brings its modesty under suspicion.” -Mark Twain. Under a fig tree, Romulus and Remus, mythical founders of Rome, were nursed by a she-wolf and worlds away Buddha found enlightenment. Zechariah: “Nations shall beat their swords into plowshares – all will sit with their neighbor under a fig tree, never afraid.” Mohammed: “Whoever eats seven Tamr (dates) at breakfast shall rise above magic and poison that day.” The Hebrew word for Date palm “Tamar” connotes a woman’s grace. “The only difference between a first date and a job interview is not many job interviews have a chance you’ll end up naked.” Jerry Seinfeld. Psalm 92:12: “The righteous shall flourish like the Date palm.” Thankfully all we need to do is pop open a bottle and rejoice… L’Chaim!
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I picked this one up since I was really curious. Dubbles and Doppel bocks are both really good beer styles in Belgium and Germany. However but to put them together and with figs and dates, this was definitely up my alley in terms of sweet beer goodness. The aromas of this beer include raisin bread, nuts, caramel, figs, toffee, fruit cake, bananas and cloves. The flavors are quite pleasant. You definitely get those nice Belgian bready notes and some toffee rich notes of the doppel along with bananas, raisins, dates, figs, plums, dried fruits, pecans, some hazelnut, caramel, earthy and spicy notes, fruit cake, slight vanilla, tangy and slightly tart cranberries, passion fruit, very small minty, molasses and licorice hints as well as a slight port wine flavor to it that reminded me of a Trois Pistoles light (If there ever was one). Ofcourse this is not the almighty Trois Pistoles, but needless to say, this beer turned out to be good. The earthy and minty or licorice like notes keep some of the excess sweetness away which tries to keep this hybrid balance. Overall I enjoyed this beer quite a lot. Definitely worth trying. So much so that I might get another one soon.

Prior 8 by St Bernardus

ImagePrior 8 by St Bernardus is the Dubbel version of their great ales. By Dubbel or Double it is double fermented unlike the quad abt 12 which is quadruple fermented. This ale I had to give a try as I was stunned by the number 12. Well for this beer, they sure know how to impress at Belgium. This ale has that caramel, brown sugar, bready taste from the yeast and malts but it is not as strong. In fact if I ever wanted a lighter version of the great 12 this would be it. This beer also has some kind of nice wine feel to it as well. Very complex and ages extremely well. Sweetness hints of dark figs, raisins as well as a very subtle hint of hops. Sure a Belgian brew I would try again as I like the different St. Bernardus ones and this would equate to their “light” version. Low in alcohol, full in complex flavor. 😛