Red Hill Brewery ‘Christmas Ale’ Belgian Dubbel


91567587_1340276162823192_3039530591394463744_o“A Strong Belgian Ale, deep orange in colour with a lasting creamy head, spicy hop aroma from our own Hallertau and Tettnanger hop flowers, and a complex malty finish. Brewed with almost religious fervour with extra long maturation and dry hopped.”

Glassware: Trappist Chalice.

Appearance: Hazy burnished orange with a finely beaded two finger head perched up top. Excellent retention and lacing as we indulge.

Aroma: Belgian yeast galore – banana runts, clove, white bread crusts, pear/apple, coriander/parsley and a subtle lick of bubblegum. The only downside is this faint inkling of VB which we all know is a bit risky. There’s a lovely zesty-ness happening as well. One thing we dislike about non-Trappist Dubbels is that cloying sweetness but thankfully it’s not present here. Hooray!

Flavour: So we were just going on about non-Trappist Dubbels being too sweet…well, this isn’t sweet enough! Certainly getting the yeast components – banana bread, clove, spicy herbs and pear/apple) but that indulgent caramelised sweetness is MIA. Could also explain the lack in depth of colour. It carries through nicely and finishes with a classic Belgian yeast profile.

Mouthfeel: Dense yet foamy with a slightly lifted Co2. The 8.3% ABV is reasonably well concealed.

Overall: We’re not going to nit-pick coz we know full well this is a bloody difficult style to brew. We just feel the lack of malts (or the right malts) has let it down. The top rung Dubbels i.e Westmalle and Westvleteren have that syrupy caramel sweetness oozing out of them and we feel it’s a miss here. Still, not a bad attempt.