What a day. Burlywine is released at Half-Pints and Surly Darkness 2017. It was a good day for a lover of big beers. I am super excited that Burlywine is back. It’s been on hiatus since 2014 and I only recently drank my last bottle. I’ve also got a 2015, 16, and 17 Surly Darkness now and I’m excited about doing a three-year vertical (with friends of course, I’m not crazy). All this and it’s also day 2 of the Craft Beer Advent Calendar.
The beer we have today is a special beer brewed just for the calendar. Dubbel Advent is a Belgian Dubbel brewed by a brewery I really enjoy, Nønge Ø.
This brewery, located in Grimstad on the southern coast of Norway about 232km from Oslo, is the largest supplier of craft beer in Norway and the first brewer of sake in Europe. The name, Nønge Ø, means “naked island”, a term used to describe the barren rocky outcroppings visible in the sea. In 2013 it was acquired by Hansa Borg Bryggerier who own a family of regional breweries in Norway: Hansa, Borg and Christanssand Bryggeri.
While the founder and head brewer, Kjetil Jikiun, who started Nønge Ø in 2003 mainted his position initially, he decided to part ways left Nøgne Ø on July 31. 2015. He still hold shares at Nøgne Ø. It was under his passionate drive and uncompromising mind for quality that allowed this brewery to grow from 300 HL up to 3500 HL in only 7 years. A dedicated team of 24 employees are carrying on and further developing the initiative made possible by the two founders Gunnar and Kjetil. Today, they produce over 20 different styles of beer and have a brilliant mind for flavor.
The style of beer we are drinking today is a Beligan Dubbel. The name Dubbel comes from the brewing process of this beer. Essentially it means you are adding twice the malt as you would in a Beligan “simple”. This increases the sugar content in the beer and results in a more alcoholic beer. They have a dark amber to copper colour and bring complex aromas from rich-sweet malt, to caramel, to chocolate. This style originated in the middle-ages and was revived in the mid-1800s after the Napoleonic era. Most commercial styles are between 6%-7.5%. The one we will be trying today comes in at a whopping 8%. Let’s get to the beer.
Appearance – Pours dark brown with a nice tan head.
Smell – Lots of raisin and dark fruit along with notes of caramel and chocolate.
Taste – Those malt notes come through bringing with them caramel, raisin and dark fruit notes. The Demarra sugar comes through as well bringing a nice sweetness that lingers. It’s a bit on the boozy side.
Mouth feel – Medium full body with medium carbonation and lingering sweet finish.
Overall – Overall, not completely authentic dubbel, it hits on some of the high notes. It has that complex malt, but finishes a bit sweet compared to a drier finish. The boozy/sweet finish on this is a bit uncharacteristic.
Do I like it? – I did enjoy it. I found it to be more to my liking, style wise, then yesterday’s beer and I felt it was a solid showing for day 2.