Beer Review 0267: Boulevard Nommo Dubbel

In the next few reviews, I’ll be looking at Boulevard Brewing Company’s (Kansas City, Missouri) Dubbel, Tripel, and Quadrupel — their beers inspired by Belgian Trappists.

Nommo Dubbel is part of Boulevard’s more experimental Smokestack Series, but unlike the Tripel and Quad, this is a limited release, sent to bottle shops each fall in 750 ml corked and caged bottles. The story behind the name: Nommo are ancestral spirits worshiped by the Dogon tribe of the West African nation of Mali. Nommo is a Dogon word for “to make one drink.” The actual Nommos themselves are described as amphibious, fish-like creatures, and were multiplied into doubled sets of twins by the sky god Amma.

So…now for the truth about the beer. Nommo is 8% ABV (alcohol by volume) and 25 IBUs (International Bitterness Units). The malts and adjuncts used are a fairly long list, but worth knowing: Amber 50, anise star, candy sugar, Cara 300, cinnamon powder, coriander seed, dark sugar, Irish moss, malted wheat, Pale malt, Roost malt, and zinc chloride. Umm…zinc chloride? You lost me on that one. The hop bill makes more sense: Magnum, Saphir, and Simcoe.

The pour issued up, as expected, a large head, off white in color, and fluffy in texture. It was long lasting atop a deep ruby-brown beer. In regular light, the beer was opaque, but it is actually clear in body and free of particles and sediment. The lacing was not impressive, only leaving a couple of very small patches that were easily dissolved by agitating the beer around the glass.

The aromas were fairly typical for a dubbel, with plenty of caramel and bready sweetness. There was a pretty big orange presence, coupled with some dark fruit (prune), hints of licorice, and musty yeast.

Nommo offers, just like the aroma, plenty of caramel and orange up front, leading to a transition to darker fruit and a chewy breadiness. The beer is exceptionally creamy and foamy on the tongue. Then, the complexity ramped up on the finish, where this sweet beer opened up to present minor notes of banana, clove, licorice, and ultimately concluding on a sweet note that turned mildly bitter as it played out. The finish dried out the mouth, readying the palate for another sip.

This is a nice beer that is above average for the style. Up until the finish, there isn’t anything remarkable, but the subtle complexities of all the flavors working together, especially the banana and clove, really bring things together. That being said, I found the finish to be lacking a little in terms of length. Nommo is a nice beer but I’m not sure it is worth the premium to get in 750 ml bottles.

Boulevard Nommo Dubbel, 89 points. Price: $9.99 for one 750 ml corked and caged bottle.

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