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Featured Craft Beer of the Week: The Westmalle Trappist Dubbel Belgian Ale

westmalle trappist dubbel belgian ale 1 Featured Craft Beer of the Week: The Westmalle Trappist Dubbel Belgian AleMade by Trappist Catholic Monks in Belgium

By Matt Goldstein

The Westmalle Trappist Dubbel Belgian Ale is made by Trappist Monks at the Westmalle Abbey Monastery in Belgium.  An Abbey is a Catholic Monastery and Trappist is the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, a Roman Catholic Religious Order.  According to Westmalle, out of all the beers in the world, only seven of them can use the name ‘Trappist’: Achel, Chimay, La Trappe, Orval, Rochefort, Westvleteren and Westmalle, all of which have an “Authentic Trappist Product” logo.  A Trappist beer is only given this name if the beer is brewed within the walls of a Trappist abbey, by the monks themselves or under their supervision.  The brewery must be controlled by the monastery and be monastic in its business.  The profit from the beer and cheese making is only for the modest livelihood of the Monks and the up keep of the abbey.  Having brewed beer since 1837, there are three beers brewed at the Westmalle Trappist Abbey, the Westmalle Dubbel or double, the Westmalle Trippel, and the Westmalle Extra.

For a Belgian Ale the Westmalle Dubbel is actually pretty mild and balanced.  Many Belgian Ales can be extremely strong in alcohol and yeast, but the Westmalle Dubbel is subtle in both.  A dark, reddish-brown with a secondary fermentation in the bottle the Dubbel is subtle enough for the malts to shine through the yeast and 7% ABV.  With flavors of fruit, toffee, chocolate and coffee, the Westmalle Dubbel is complex but not overbearing and could be considered a session beer when comparing it to other heavy Trappiste beers.  The Westmalle Dubbel is simply one our favorite beers and absolutely recommend it.

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3 comments to Featured Craft Beer of the Week: The Westmalle Trappist Dubbel Belgian Ale

  • A wonderfully complex beer. Really enjoy the dark fruit, toffee, chocolate and roasted coffee notes, and the nice clean finish.

    Cheers!

    [Reply]

  • Gourmonster

    I’ve always found the Trippels to be the overly yeasty, and sometimes overpowering, brews; the Dubbels (no matter which monastery brews them) tend to be a much smoother ale.

    [Reply]

    WGM Reply:

    I completely agree. Although I like a crisper beer, the yeast can be too much in a trippel. I am more of a fan of dubbels.

    [Reply]

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