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Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Allagash Dubbel Ale

Allagash Dubbel Ale is a  Belgium Dubbel brewed by the Allagash Brewing Company of Portland, Maine. Allagash was one of the early craft brewers of Belgium-style beers in the US. The Dubbel was their second brew, the first being the Allagash White. All of Allagash's beer are bottle conditioned.

I had this beer at a friend's house, who bought it from BevMo. But Allagash brands are available at Whole Foods, Nugget Markets, Taylor's Market, and the soon to be open Pangaea Bottle Shop. Pangaea will often times have at least one Allagash brand on tap. I'll add a price next time I'm at the store. The ABV is 7%.

This is a cloudy beer with a dark copper color and a tan, foamy head that leaves very thick lacings. The aroma is sweet with prominent dark fruits. The body has high carbonation, and a medium, crisp body. The Belgium yeast, dark fruits are prominent. There are also hints of banana. The website says there are subtle hints of chocolate and nuts but we didn't get that. Not sure if our palates are sophisticated enough or as we all agreed the very high carbonation made it hard to taste. Whenever we went to swirl it or get a big mouthful the carbonation dominated. We could only get good flavors at the finish.

Overall this wasn't a bad beer, but if I'm going to have a Dubbel there are plenty of others to choose from. I think the high carbonation took a lot away from the taste. I enjoy highly carbonated Belgium ales, but went beyond that. The description of choclate and nuts intrigued me, but none of us got those flavors.

I like Allagash, but it terms of choosing their Dubbel over other brands, I would Skip It.

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