This entire concept for this beer was born out of a desire to make a Belgian Quad. Of course, I am not paying $8 for a pound of sugar that I can spend around $2 on and an entire day of work. Before I invested 2.5# of my first attempt and making Belgian Candi Syrup on a massive Quad, I wanted to give it a test run. Thus this Belgian Dubbel. I kept it simple, Pils malt, Vienna malt, and the sugar. What started as a "better make this beer to test my sugar experiment" turned into a wonderful beer. This could easily work itself into a normal rotation with an addition of Special B and a different yeast.
Rich aroma of caramelized raisins and toasty malts. There is a moderate sweet Pils malt and crackery notes as well. Mild banana esters give way to perfumy alcohol and a touch of funk (not a pure yeast pitch). There is a hint of clove in the background, subtle. Fruitiness dominates the nose and burnt sugar, some cherry and plum.
Pours a deep clear copper with a billowy off white head that persists to the end leaving trails of sticky lace down the glass.
Sweet and toasty malts wash over the tongue first giving way to caramelized raisins, plum skins, and dried cherries. Almost candy like. There is a moderate rosey alcohol note, clean, but evident. Mild phenols spice it up at the end of the swallow. Light banana and pear esters step aside to expose a low spicy and herbal hop note. Low bitterness balances the finish and cleanses the palate. Alcohol warmth lingers after the drink is swallowed.
The medium body gives way quickly to a dry finish that pulls a little at the sides of the mouth. Bitterness is low but balances the candy sweetness well. Medium-high carbonation gives way to alcohol warmth.
Stunning beer to look at, especially now that it has cleared (the Biere de Garde strain stays in suspension forever). The interplay of candy, toast, alcohol, dried fruits, esters, and phenols is very balanced and complex. Could benefit from a touch more dried fruit character, maybe some Special B. Also needs a better yeast, the old repitch of 3725 made beer, but it isn't totally clean and doesn't produce as many phenols as this beer could have used. The Belgian Candi Syrup was spot on.