Style Details

Bel­gi­an Dubbel
Trap­pist Ale
BJCP Style Code
26 B
Dark amber to cop­per in color, with an attrac­ti­ve red­dish depth of color. Gene­ral­ly clear. Lar­ge, den­se, and long-las­ting cre­a­my off-white head.
Com­plex, rich-sweet mal­ty aro­ma, pos­si­bly with hints of cho­co­la­te, cara­mel and/or toast (but never roas­ted or burnt aro­mas). Mode­ra­te frui­ty esters (usual­ly inclu­ding rai­sins and plums, some­ti­mes also dried cher­ries). Esters some­ti­mes include bana­na or apple. Spi­cy phe­nols and hig­her alco­hols are com­mon (may include light clove and spi­ce, pep­pery, rose-like and/or per­fumy notes). Spi­cy qua­li­ties can be mode­ra­te to very low. Alco­hol, if pre­sent, is soft and never hot or sol­ven­ty. Low to no spi­cy, her­bal, or flo­ral hop aro­ma, typi­cal­ly absent. The malt is most pro­mi­nent in the balan­ce with esters and a touch of alco­hol in sup­port, blen­ding tog­e­ther for a har­mo­nious presentation. 
Simi­lar qua­li­ties as aro­ma. Rich, com­plex medi­um to medi­um-full rich-sweet malt fla­vor on the pala­te yet finis­hes modera­te­ly dry. Com­plex malt, ester, alco­hol and phe­nol inter­play (rai­si­ny fla­vors are com­mon; dried fruit fla­vors are wel­co­me; clove or pep­per spi­ci­ness is optio­nal). Balan­ce is always toward the malt. Medi­um-low bit­ter­ness that doesn’t per­sist into the after­tas­te. Low spi­cy, flo­ral, or her­bal hop fla­vor is optio­nal and not usual­ly present. 
Medi­um-full body. Medi­um-high car­bo­na­ti­on, which can influence the per­cep­ti­on of body. Low alco­hol warmth. Smooth, never hot or solventy.
Over­all Impression
A deep red­dish-cop­per, modera­te­ly strong, mal­ty, com­plex Trap­pist ale with rich mal­ty fla­vors, dark or dried fruit esters, and light alco­hol blen­ded tog­e­ther in a mal­ty pre­sen­ta­ti­on that still finis­hes fair­ly dry.
Typi­cal Ingredients
Bel­gi­an yeast strains pro­ne to pro­duc­tion of hig­her alco­hols, esters, and phe­n­o­lics are com­mon­ly used. Impres­si­on of com­plex grain bill, alt­hough tra­di­tio­nal ver­si­ons are typi­cal­ly Bel­gi­an Pils malt with cara­me­li­zed sugar syrup or other unre­fi­ned sug­ars pro­vi­ding much of the cha­rac­ter. Saa­zer-type, Eng­lish-type or Sty­ri­an Gol­dings hops com­mon­ly used. No spi­ces are tra­di­tio­nal­ly used, alt­hough res­trai­ned use is allo­wa­ble (back­ground strength only).
Ori­gi­na­ted at monas­te­ries in the Midd­le Ages, and was revi­ved in the mid-1800s after the Napo­leo­nic era.
Most com­mer­cial examp­les are in the 6.5 – 7% ABV ran­ge. Tra­di­tio­nal­ly bot­t­le-con­di­tio­ned (or refer­men­ted in the bottle).
Com­mer­cial Examples
Aff­li­gem Dub­bel, Chi­may Pre­miè­re, Cor­sen­donk Pater, Grim­ber­gen Dou­ble, La Trap­pe Dub­bel, St. Ber­nar­dus Pater 6, Trap­pis­tes Roche­fort 6, West­mal­le Dubbel
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
1.062 - 1.075 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.008 - 1.018 SG
10 - 17 SRM
6.0 - 7.0 %vol
15 - 25 IBU