Friday, June 7, 2013

American Dubbel Duel

Ligher, easier drinking Allageash on the left.
American Dubbel Duel podcast on WFMU

I love malty beers, and some of my favorite ales that put malt character way before hops are Belgian Dubbels. Two East Coast American breweries known for their focus on brewing Belgian styles, luckily, are readily available in the neighborhood -- Ommegang from Cooperstown, N.Y. and Allagash from Portland, Maine.

Ommegang, on the right, was the headier of the two.
I thought that it would be fun to do a side-by-side taste comparison of these two American made Dubbels, and make it a little more interesting by having B.R. do it blindly.
While we weren't surprised by the Ommegang's enormous yeast character, we were surprised at how the Allagash seemed so subtle when tasted next to very complex Ommegang, which, on comparison, came off as a bit heavy. We both agreed that if we were having more than one, the Allagash might be the choice. But if the mission was only one beer, Ommegang would probably be the way to go.
B.R. thought that the Allagash was a bit like a Belgian Pale Ale, which is understandable when put next to the Ommegang, with it's long list of spice ingredients: coriander, sweet orange peel, star anise, licorice root and cumin. Allagash's Dubbel reminded me a bit of Westvleteren 8, with its simple, easy drinking malt center. By mixing the two in equal proportion, the heaviness of the Ommegang was spread out while maintaining its rich estery qualities, as it also upped the complexity of the simple, solid maltiness of the Allagash.

  [link to podcast page]

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