Merchant: Green’s Fine Foods Decatur
Service: 32 oz Growler
Style: Belgian Style Dubbel (with oatmeal and coffee)
Color: Black (38 SRM)
Pour: Dubbel Shot came out of the bottle pitch black as used motor oil. The big Coca-Cola style fizz sound (which has come to imply “fresh”) coming from the glass until the pour was almost completed was an interesting contrast. There was no head at all in the glass.
That being said, some context is in order. I had just walked home with the growler in a fancy-pants shoulder slung coozy thing, with two large dogs on leash and my daydreaming daughter in tow munching on some trail mix. Not. Moving. Fast. I was the only one in the posse interested in getting home in a reasonable amount of time — because the slung growler was beating me in the leg. When I finally got around to this pour the beer wasn’t cold anymore. Which is actually good for the nose (cold beer is less odorous) so to embrace the predicament I let it sit another 20 minutes before putting it to my nose hoping it would then be wide open. That, and my laptop wasn’t open and ready to begin typing this post as I imbibe.
Smell: I was expecting it to have a sweet aroma and it kind of does but the big dark chocolate and espresso jump right out in front. There are very subtle hints of clove and black cherry.
Taste: A fruity and creamy first sip gives way to a wave of coffee. This is a very complex brew. It may take two pints to…kidding. Even though you can’t taste it the mouthfeel effect of the oatmeal mellows Dubbel Shot out quite a bit, a Belgian double typically packs a lot more carbonation.
It’s smooth well into the middle of the glass and the coffee gets even deeper. The body isn’t all that big or heavy, there is a lightness to the malt backbone here that makes it more drinkable than you might expect. Body-wise it’s lighter than a Guinness (This tastes nothing like Guinness by the way. I just thought that would be a good measurement for body.). There are only hints of fruity Belgian yeast but not much at this point. Have I mentioned that it tastes a lot like coffee? I’ve had ester rich beers, fruit beers and coffee beers but I’ve never had them all packed together and I gotta tell you, it’s fantastic. One small surprise comes at the bottom of the glass — even at 8% Dubbel Shot never gets boozy.
It all adds up to this being pure hair of the dog. Just defining the breakfast beer game and hey, no shame.
As a draft only brew you’re going to have to call around to find it. And since it’s a limited release you really don’t have much time.
Pair with: Bacon, buttered biscuits, you could also go all big Irish breakfast but I’m thinking salmon and cream cheese omelet with some tots.