Beer Review 0094: Allagash Dubbel Ale

This is the first beer I have reviewed by Allagash, a brewery that specializes in Belgian-style ales located in Portland, Maine.

Kicked off in 1995, Allagash was a one-man production by Rob Tod, created after he noticed Belgian flavors and traditions were missing from American-made craft beer. He started a small 15 barrel brewhouse and produced his first beer — Allagash White — a Belgian Wit beer.

The Wit beer went on to be a bestseller, and is the flagship of the brand to this day. Allagash produces six year-round beers, as well as many specialty and one-off brews.

The beer I’m looking at today is Dubbel Ale, which is a year-round serving, and comes in at 7% ABV (alcohol by volume). The description says this beer is deep red in color and boasts a complex malty taste. Dubbel Ale won the gold medal at the World Beer Cup in 2008.

The pour made an average size head that was frothy and lasting. The beer was an amber-orange color, moreso orange when held to the light (see the illuminated picture below), with thick wisps of yeast floating throughout, making the body hazy. This beer had light particles and sediment, and was a very nice looking brew, with some phenomenal lacing to match. Going to take quite a scrub to clean this glass.

On the aroma, this one was equal parts malt and yeast. There was an orange scent combined with some clove going on up front, a typical Belgian funk, along with a background of caramel malt and sweet coffee. The whole scent was generally sweet with a doughy component to it, and as it warmed, the yeast stood out more, displaying a slight spiciness and bread note.

This Dubbel was medium-bodied to my palate, hitting things off with a blast of candy orange, opening up to reveal complex flavors of coffee, clove, and licorice. The middle of the taste had some bread before drying your mouth and finishing sweet, but with a twang, riding the candy orange and coffee, slightly spicy, and becoming a tad bitter as it faded.

Without a doubt, this is a nice take on the style and an easy drinking beer. I thought the flavors were a little light but the depth was outstanding and I think this is worth the time of any drinker partial to the Belgian styles.

A great start for me and Allagash; I look forward to more of their concoctions in the future.

Allagash Dubbel Ale, 90 points. Price: $2.99 US for one twelve ounce bottle.


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