This was on as a special in my old local. Seeing as it came with all the right paraphernalia I would have been a fool not to try it. All the paraphernalia you ask? Yes a serving tray, 2 different sized glasses and the beer itself. I love some theatre in my beer presentation and so without further ado I jumped right into the spectacle. The marvel that is beer.
Now it’s not often you get stuff to do when you get a beer. It’s usually poured out for you by our dear friends, the bar staff. The only main thing to do is admire it and then, drink it. However with beers of this nature, typically Belgian in origin, you may get a bit more theatre with your pint. Here, with this Affligem Dubbel, you are greeted with a serving tray upon which has three recessed gaps. Into the left hand one your main chalice is placed. Obviously an Affligem Dubbel glass, no other one should be served, we are doing it right by the Belgians on that front. Into the right hand a smaller version of the main glass, more like a shot glass in size. Finally the main event arrives in the centre. The bottle of the beer in question, served between 6-10ºC naturally. The first glass is for your main part of the beer and it, being double fermented and so having live yeast in the bottom, takes the top most unsedemented part of the ale. The right hand glass is for the more yeasty thick bottom part of the beer. The separation of said ale into its constituent parts gives two very different flavour profiles.
Firstly the pour. The beer is highly carbonated due to the yeast still being present in the ale and so it is very lively when poured. The main head of the beer is large and creamy, full of effervescence and life. The second glass has a minimalist head due to its size and the release of the inner gasses to the surface in the first pour. The beer being of a dark browny-red liquid, deep and rich in colour which only allows a little light through where the glass is slimmest.
The main aromas that come from this beer are a fruity nature. Mainly banana followed with hints of raisin and molasses. Thick in character but never overpowering the smells are intoxicating however milder notes are present, cinnamon and clove come to the fore and mix around in this complex number. The flavour initially has hits of that clove straight off the bat. A delightfully creamy finish to the beer allows this clove to mellow into a much softer, fruitier flavour as the banana and hints of raisin come back to mingle on the palate. The flavours mingle together nicely and have an overriding caramel feel to them but never burden the beer with sweetness. A good hop background note keeps it all in check well. The smaller yeasty glass has all the flavours of the main beer in spades. This time however a full thick bread-like malty backbone holds the beer together. This gives the ale a fuller richer flavour and has slight nutty characters to the already flavoursome beer.
All in the effort of the two glasses and the theatre in the pouring comes through well. The two parts of this beer are distinct and good beers in their own rights. They also marry together well, which is fairly obvious coming from the same bottle, giving the drinker a beginning and end to the ale almost like a meal. The thick full more dough-like ending being like a desert to the lively crisp beginning. The ABV of 7% is well-rounded into the beer, marrying all the flavour profiles together seamlessly and giving it a good kick too! Thoroughly enjoyable.