Homebrew Review: Spiced Dubbel

The second batch of beer I’ve made is complete, it’s done fermenting, and has finished it’s conditioning in the bottle.  So in the spirit of beer advocate, and reading through their mostly crappy and sometimes good reviews about particular beers, I’ve decided to review my own concoction.

The beer is a recipe for Belgian Dubble from the homebrew store, but I’m never one to stick to the script and decided to add my own twist to it, and spiced it up a little bit.  I added juniper, coriander, orange zest, clove, and anise spice to it.  I must say, it’s turned out to be some decent beer.

It pours out a good amber color and quickly gives rise to a strong head. The initial aroma is strong, the spices are noticeable from the beer, but unable to identify the individual spices used.   The head quickly disappears, and does not leave any lacing on the glass.

The taste is pretty mild for a dubble, because this beer comes in at just slightly more than 6%, it doesn’t have the full flavor usually found in a dubble.  It has a complex flavor. I am unable to identify the specific spices, but I do notice a complex caramel flavor and slight apple flavor in the beer.

The feel of this beer is what is off about it and what bugs be.  The first sip is definitely the best.  When the head is there and the carbonation is strong, it gives a very complex and full flavor that fills the mouth and doesn’t linger too long.  The beer changes a lot after it has been open for a few minutes.  The carbonation quickly dissipates leaving the beer feeling flat, and the finish leaves something to be desired.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the beer, but feel that some changes I would make if I made it again.  I would changes the spices, getting rid of the coriander, orange zest, and cloves.  I would look into adding some spruce tips or rose hips as well. I want the spice mixture to be more straightforward and identifiable, it all got cluttered.  I would also look into learning what to do to increase the head retention.  It just didn’t last at all.  I also would like it to be slightly stronger and hoppier  The beer came across as almost a sessionable dubble.  Just a little light for my tastes.

As long as I keep doing it and learning, I can only get better.

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