A Dubbel is a Belgian style ale with a name that means "double" for its increased intensity, yet it is not big enough to surpass its fellow Belgian style tripel and quadruple. Dubbel's can come with various names that pertain to their origin and differentiations. Belgian Dubbel and Trappist Dubbel are interchangeable terms for a dubbel ale that was produced and sold by monks pertaining to the Trappist order within the walls of the monasteries. An Abbey style Dubbel beer was manufactured and made famous by the by Belgian Trappist monks, but was not produced in the Trappist style or within the monastery walls. Many breweries today make similar Trappist and Abbey Dubbel beers. A Baltic Dubbel is one of the best Belgian Dubbel beers made by Insel Brauerei in Germany.
Dubbel beers range in color from medium amber to a very deep brown featuring highlights of red along the edge of the glass. Malty flavors and aromas of cocoa, caramel, and dark fruits, yeast generated fruity esters of banana, and mild hop bitterness with no lingering hop flavor characterizes the Dubbel. Compared to other Belgian brews, the Dubbel falls somewhere between a Belgian blonde and Belgian Dark Strong Ale. The Belgian Dubbel beer style shares its strength level with the Belgian blonde, and more of its flavor profile with the Belgian dark strong ale.
The first, and still one of the best Dubbel beers is the Westmalle Dubbel. The Dubbel ale has an ABV in the 6-9% range and is best served in a tulip glass. The brew has a medium body and expressive carbonation, which gives it a large cream head. Belgian Dubbel food pairings consist of barbecue, smoked sausage, steak, cheeses such as Brie and Havarti, and any chocolatey desserts.
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