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Brouwerij Westmalle ABV: 7%No journey into the decadent world of dubbels is complete without Westmalle’s iconic ale. Since the brothers boosted the original brown ale’s potency in 1926, it has inspired legions of imitators. Many are good, but few are better than this ruddy-brown malt bomb that creamily sashays across your palate. There’s a nose of nuts, raisins, and bananas, which jibe well with rich, indulgent flavors of caramel and malt. One important note: the dubbel matures differently in the larger 750-ml bottle. The aftertaste is slightly subtler.
Brouwerij Corsendonk ABV: 7.5%Founded in the late fourteenth century, northern Belgium’s Priory of Corsendonk once contained a sizable brewery, which cranked out beer from the 1600s until the priory was shut down by the Austrian emperor Joseph II in 1784. Fast-forward 200 years, and Corsendonk beers were once again being produced—minus the monks. Nonetheless, you’ll find monastery- influenced releases that include the dubbel-style Abbey Brown Ale. The lively ruby release has a spicy nose and tastes of brown sugar and toasted bread chunked with dried plums and raisins. It’s delightful.
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