Tuesday, August 2, 2011

TAKING STOCK OF THE GRIMBERGEN “DUBBEL”

There’s a category of still-solid Belgian beers that almost fall into the “macro beer” category, as least when relatively compared with the wealth & abundance offered up by the many outstanding Belgian ales on the market. These are the well-distributed but lightly-regarded beers that you always see around, but never seem to try. I’m not talking Stella Artois. I’m talking Kwak. I’m talking Leffe Blond. I’m talking Poperings Hommel. I’m talking Duvel. Don’t get me wrong – some of these, particularly the latter, are excellent beers, and all are worth trying at some level. Yet when stacked against the Trappist ales, to say nothing of worldbeaters like BRASSERIE DE L'ABBAYE DES ROCS’s “Triple Imperiale” – well – it’s like comparing sh*t and shinola. There’s just no comparison, am I right?

With this in mind, I tried one of those semi-omnipresent Belgians that I’d passed up for greater riches time and again. GRIMBERGEN is the brand name of the beers from Browerij Alken-Maes in Alken, Belgium. This happens to be their dubbel – and we love Dubbels. GRIMBERGEN DUBBEL is a chip off the old dubbel block, just thinner and with a little less oomph than others of its much-celebrated ilk. It pours a smooth and tasty-looking reddish/brown, and certainly is made up of the components of a good Belgian – some spiciness, ever-present yeasts, tongue-coating malts, and certified drinkability. And that’s about it. Remember how I pegged this sort of beer, way back in the first paragraph, as “macro” compared to the rich offerings we’ve come to expect from choosing a random unsung Belgian ale off the shelf? Prejudice confirmed. I’d still drink it again, just not like next month or anything. 7/10.

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