Updated: Mar 17, 2020
Ok, let's talk about beers perfect for winter! Here in the Shuswap, we've had one heckuva season with more snow and frigid temperatures than I would rather. Don't get me wrong, I love living in a place with 4 distinct season and I love snow...it just feels like we've been living in a flurry since Christmas!
So what better thing to do than to curl up with a season-appropriate brew. I don't know about you, but this time of year I'm reaching for more malt-forward beers, dark like most of the hours we're living in, and with a higher alcohol volume to cut through all the heavy stews and fatty roasts we lean to this time of year.
So today on Thirsty Thursday we're gonna talk to you about one of my go-tos...the Dubbel. Lemme tell you, if you've got one of these on your tasting room menu right now, I'm-a-gonna order it.
A little history on the Dubbel before we crack anything open here. This big bad boy originated from Belgium monastaries. Why Dubbel? Well, here's a hint: there's also a Tripel and a Quadruple - names all inspired by their alcohol content, and adopted to describe a specific type of beer. These beers fall anywhere between dark amber and dark brown in color and have an ABV of 6%-7.5%. You'll notice this has a low hop profile, and a rich malt forward flavor profile. When sipping on a Dubbel look for cocoa and caramel flavors on the tongue, and aroma on the sniffer. If you're really trying hard, many of these will also feature fruit subtleties from yeast, like banana, prune or raisins.
Pro tip: watch out, many Dubbels are bottle conditioned, so watch out as you near the bottom of the bottle - you don't wanna gulp what's stewing down there.
Ok, so now that you're a Dubbel expert let's take a look at a couple that we found at our local haunt, the Blind Bay Village Grocer!
Strange Fellows has a Limited Edition bomber (750mL) bottle that they've dubbed Krampus Abbey Dubbel (ABV 8.5% IBU 30). I love their bottle, as it provides the tasting notes you would have access to in their tasting room - they highlight what to look for on the nose and on the tongue: ideal for wanna be beer geeks and already craft nerds alike! This one poured beautifully for me, demonstrating nice head and some lacing after the fact.
While their website notes an aroma of red twizzler (how fun) I found cherry chocolate and a hint of pepper and spice. A warm me up kinda smell! Take a sip, and you'll find a delightfully but not overdone sweetness, with those cherry notes playing a leading role. Overall, I'm finding this a perfect beer to enjoy in front of the fireplace, and it's makin me feel better about watching more flakes fall from the sky!
You may recall, we had previously sipped on the Dubbel at Red Collar in Kamloops. We snagged a bomber of this one to round out our Dubbel day.
The Red Collar Dubbel is available in their tasting room year round, and it's no wonder. In Jody-terms this is a big boy beer: dark, rich and heavier than it's Stranger Fellow's counterpart. After a sweet start with rounded toffee notes, I found the bitterness on this beer to be much more forward, and the coffee to be a prominent after taste in all the right ways. This Dubbel weighs in at 6.0% ABV and 23IBU. It pours dark, and is the perfect blend of warming and moody - just like winter!
We'd love to hear from you! Have you had a delicious Dubbel?