If you’re new to the Belgian style then this might just be the place to start. I originally tried the Grimbergen Dubbel with a pretty heavy meal, so I wanted to try it again – this time without food – to see if it was enjoyable as I remembered. It poured a chocolate brown with hints of garnet and a nice, albeit modest, head which dispersed fairly quickly. On the nose there are hints of raisin, sweet malt, and fruit, with a touch of a clove spice presence. There is also a pleasant toasted quality which ties the nose to the flavor and serves as a nice backbone to the ale overall. Aside from a pretty aggressive amount of carbonation, there is very little that dominates this beer, which is why I feel like it could serve as a great introduction to the style. The body is relatively light and refreshing, while still offering up some complexity, finishing with a fruity malt richness which respects its Belgian roots. I don’t always feel like a Dubbel is the easiest style to pair with food, but the Grimbergen seems as comfortable in front of a steak as it does all alone, and it’s the ease of this beer that is most appealing to me. I wouldn’t put this in a class with, say, a Maredsous 8, but I would definitely recommend it to all Belgian lovers and to those who are simply interested in becoming one.
– score 3.75