Brouwerij Affligem – Affligem Dubbel (2015)


What sort of beer would you want at a metal gig? Strong, savage perhaps, but flavorful. What about a metal gig with keyboards? There you might have Affligem Dubbel, a tasty and strong double-fermented beer with a fruity and spicy undertone that is less extreme than found in most Belgian ales. It pours in a thick medium brown stream with minimal head, and immediately presents the scents of a rich beer. In flavor, it is mostly a darker sensation with mostly a malt flavor, some bitterness from spices (coriander in a blend unique to this variety of beer) and as it spreads and warms on the tongue, a fruity flavor like apple and pear baked together with a citrus topping. Alcohol flavor melds smoothly with the beer and is hardly detectable, melding into a strong caramelized flavor with a pleasant aftertaste of molasses. If you want a comparison to more familiar beers, consider this a richer and denser German-style version of Newcastle Brown Ale as made by Belgium corporations… err, Trappist monks (the first hipsters to popularize the beard). At 6.8% alcohol, this beast provides enough of a dose in a single 750ml serving to satisfy the metalhead who still wants to remember the show. Affligem Dubbel succeeds at making a beer for daily enjoyment, which is a process of understanding how flavors meld to make a satisfying beer experience, and its wide availability suggests it is geared for a market other than the foodie-style novelty crowd. It does not yet rise to the level of an iconic taste like many of the best-loved beers, but presents a solid middle ground which incorporates the Belgian style without going over the top. While many of the nu-Belgian style coriander-and-citrus beers are outright disgusting, this one is worth the time and fighting through the burly men with long bears and tattoos who are buying IPAs at the beer counter.

Quality rating: 4/5
Purchase rating: 3/5

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6 thoughts on “Brouwerij Affligem – Affligem Dubbel (2015)”

  1. LordKrumb says:

    Never seen Affligem Dubbel before, but will look out for it. Sounds like the kind of Belgian beer I like.

    I’m surprised at your appreciation of Newcastle Brown Ale! I consider it to be a very mediocre beer, although I admit I haven’t tasted it for a long time. I’ve also seen Sam Smith’s beer being mentioned favourably elsewhere on DMU. I’d probably rank Sam Smith’s higher than NBA. I take it both of these ales are widely available as imports in the US?

    I’m wondering what other British ales might be available to you in the US, that perhaps you’ve overlooked or not got around to trying yet? Below are some recommendations brewed by old, traditional regional breweries who have been brewing since the 18th/19th century and are still family-owned, as far as I’m aware. Each beer is distinctly different in character, but all are satisfyingly malty with complex, well-balanced, subtle flavours and after-tastes: (my favourite)

    I know that some of these breweries export to other countries in Europe, so perhaps some also export across to the US as well.

    1. Dualist says:

      Only Real Ale is Real.

      1. LordKrumb says:

        Is cask-conditioned ale even available in the US? Or do they only get Fake Ale over there…?

    2. hhhhhh says:

      I’ve never seen any of those beers in the US. If they’re here, they must be extremely rare (available in a only a handful of stores nationwide). The only readily available quality English beer in the US is Samuel Smith’s, which is my favorite brewery at the moment. Usually only the Nut Brown Ale and the Oatmeal Stout is available, though if you look hard a store might occasionally have another of their beers. I’ll keep an eye out for those recommendations. And for reference, any quality beer in the US costs, at minimum, $3 per bottle(averaged when buying a 4-pack) at the store and at least $6 at a bar. I imagine those prices are outrageous to Europeans.

  2. Nathan Metric says:

    Err, how about something that keeps you hydrated through the day. You know, like a Mexican beer?

  3. hhhhhh says:

    Cask conditioned beer is not available in the US as far as I know. Some guy told me once that some breweries have it available at their bars, but if that is true it must be exceedingly rare and likely of terrible quality.

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