I have a confession to make. I have been straying from the Virginia Beers as of recently. It’s not to the fact that I haven’t liked anything that the Great Commonwealth has put out, it’s just been more about opportunity. Between the festivals and the ability to get out there, I haven’t found anything new.
Well that all stopped this past weekend when I was able to get my hands on a very interesting Dubbel seasonal release from Blue Mountain. And as far as experiences go, it was one that was unexpected and that was thoroughly enjoyable.
Evil 8 Degrees, Blue Mountain Brewery (Afton, Va.)
Belgian Dubbel, ABV: 7.7%
Presentation: 12oz bottle pour into tulep.
Appearance: Dark, deep brown pushing black. Very little off-white head that dissipated quickly.
Smell: Dark (I’m going to use this word a lot), sweet nose full of plum and raisins.
Taste: Decent, but not overpowering brown sugar/molasses, slightly thin up front, developing into the dark fruit from the nose. The interesting part of the brew is the finish of an almost tobacco-like finish, like one from a very well aged bottle of wine. It was not very predominant, but it was interesting.
ABV/IBU Feel: The 7.7% ABV is on the medium-upper limit of standard dubbels and is noticeable, but the overall malt/sugars mask a lot of it. If you try to compare this to other Belgian dubbels, the mouthfeel would be a little thinner, but it is not a huge detriment to this beer. IBU is slight and used for balance.
Overall: As I stated before, this beer was a great change of pace dubbel in our tasting. I really enjoyed the ‘fruit’ assertion over the standard molasses taste with other traditional Belgians/Trappists. This is a perfect BBQ beer, especially if you find some glazed ribs in a Cheerwine Sauce (hey, I know that’s an NC thing, just go with it). Alone, this is not more than a 1 or 2 beer sitting, and it is perfect for the winter months, but this is a seasonal release (January to April) and would get bumped out of rotation the warmer months. This is peak Dubbel time, so find this at your store today.