I got my first taste of Dubbel D’s,
Sweetwater Brewing Company’s newest addition to their line, a while back at
their grand opening for their new brewery tap room. I was pretty impressed
with it, despite the fact that that I had already imbibed more than a few
brews before touching the stuff. It seemed a very credible stab at the
Belgian Dubbel style, and I only wished I could bring home a sixer of the
At the time, they were calling it “Dubbel Trouble”, and from what I
understood then it was a beer only available at the brewery. And to be sure,
you can still get it there if you attend a
brewery tour ,
which ends up being more of a party than anything else. It’s pretty
interesting when I ride the MARTA line home from work on Wednesdays and
Thursdays (the brewery is visible from the rail line) and see the parking
lot packed with revelers. But I digress, if only slightly.
But the stuff turned out so bloody well that Sweetwater is sending 48 kegs
out to the Atlanta area, with most of it going to local Taco Mac and Summits
establishments. You can bet, then, that at some point distribution will be
wider, just as it ended up being with
Happy Ending Imperial
Sweetwater’s press release on their website is slightly less than coherent,
referring to a gentle “hope character” and claiming that The 1st
fermentation uses generous amounts of imported English malts. (Marris Otter
Pale Malt, Mutons Dark Crystal, Wheat, Munich, and Chocolate Malt.) One
assumes the second fermentation uses the same malts, since at times the
yeast strains change by fermentation. Malts generally don’t. Ahem.
Anyway, they claim to use the same Belgian yeast strain for two separate
fermentations and add liquefied rock candy to the fermenters. This boosts
the beer’s alcohol content to a very respectable 8.6% by volume.
Sweetwater Dubbel D’s pours to a bright and clear brown color with a
rich creamy head and a rich, nutty malty nose. A thick film of Brussels lace
chases the liquid down the glass as I sip. The palate is immediately
slightly sweet with a decided nutty malt flavor. A touch of chocolate is
present too, with hints of fruit and sweet dark malt notes.
The candy sugar and crystal malts add a distinctive candyish flavor that I
have always likened to rock candy in many Belgian ales of the style. It’s
very authentic here and adds a wonderful dimension to the brew.
There are also some funky, slightly mushroomy Belgian yeasty notes too. The
beer finishes on the sweet side with a definite alcohol warmth. The
sweetness is lightly tempered by a touch of grassy hops, but only lightly.
All in all this is an excellent little beer, and one worth seeking out if
you’re in the area. If not, don’t worry. This one is so good it’s sure to be
And remember, try a new beer today, and
drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For
reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.