Grimbergen Dubbel

My first experience with this beer was last Summer, when I had a sip of my brother’s two seconds after I’d had a few sips of Avery Maharaja (read: HOP BOMB EXTRAORDINAIRE). Suffice it to say that, in my over-hopped mouth-state, I had no idea what the Grimbergen actually tasted like – my mind retained a dim idea of something along the lines of “apple,” and “apple” seemed roughly like the type of thing my tastebuds would come up with after the Maharaja(i.e., something wrong). So I was surprised when “apple” came to mind even on perfectly fresh taste buds.

It’s nice to find out sometimes that I’m not completely out of my mind.

Basic Info:
Grimbergen Dubbel
Origin: Brouwerij Alken-Maes, Belgium
Style: Dubbel
ABV: 6.5%
IBU: no idea, but low
I drank this: at Barley’s, Shawnee, KS

(The real color of the beer is closest to the edge right around the bottom of the glass. Or, well, the pen next to the glass.)


This beer is a lovely deep auburn color with a nice, thickly-bubbled head. I don’t think the color shows up well here at all – if anyone out there knows how to make the flash on a Samsung Transform flash not *quite* so blindingly, I’d love to learn the secret.

Anyway, it smells like fruity-caramelly brown sugar, definitely leaning into the apple range of fruitiness. It’s a pleasant smell – the type of thing that makes me think “this would be AWESOME with brie.”

This is a really lovely, fairly sweet ale with touches of maple, apple, brown sugar and tons of malt. It’s a full and rich and layered flavor. It goes to straight apple right at the swallow, and then shifts into a malty, almost slightly white floral aftertaste.* For some reason, paperwhites came to mind in the aftertaste phase.

It’s a nice switch from the Chimays out there. Chimays tend to be really high in carbonation – to the point where it’s almost painful to drink – whereas the carbonation in the Grimbergen Dubbel is quite low for a Belgian Ale. It has a soft mouthfeel, almost creamy, but coupled with just enough acidity to keep it from being syrupy. This is a beer that would be really good with food.

 For a Belgian beer, I think this is one of the more approachable brews available. Belgians can be really difficult to get into because they tend to be quite a bit different from everything people are used to. They’re stronger, sweeter, thicker, and some of them – namely Saisons – can get into all kinds of sour yeast horse barn funk that is really off-putting at first (kind of like hops can be, when I think about it). The Grimbergen doesn’t have any of the sour funkiness that a lot of Belgians have, so it’s a great gateway beer. Try one sometime, especially if you’ve had/liked Chimay’s Red label.


*I’m still blown away that I noticed apple in there, because I was absolutely convinced that my thoughts of apple last August had more to do with hop-mouth than with anything actually going on in the beer. Basically, I feel far too proud of myself right now.


About Kim

Kim spends a lot of time writing, thinking about writing, reading, writing more and dealing with writer's block. When she's not writing, she might be found having a beer. She often combines the writing experience with the beer experience. The combination tends to lead to more creativity but significantly impaired spelling.
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3 Responses to Grimbergen Dubbel

  1. merrilysd says:

    You could try putting one of those white coffee filters over the flash, I’ve heard people doing that to diffuse the light.

    Great post by the way, I like your style.

  2. Kim says:

    Aw, thanks! I clicked over to your blog too – I didn’t see a way to subscribe, but I totally will if there is a way to.
    Thanks for the coffee filter tip – I will try that ASAP. I love finally being able to add pictures to this blog, but it’s frustrating that the pictures are turning out wonky because the light’s all wrong.

  3. merrilysd says:

    Great suggestion on the subscribe button.

    Another thing you could try when shooting the beer is using a separate light source? Looking forward to seeing what works out.

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