Brouwerij Alken-Maes - Grimbergen Double-Ambrée
- ABV: 6.5%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 22
- Serving Temperature: 45-52° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Chalice, Goblet
As we expect for a Belgian dubbel, Grimbergen's Double-Ambrée pours fairly dark, in this case a very attractive deep brownish red topped with a moderate level of foam. Immediately apparent are the fruity aromas we love in this style. In this case, we got notes of grape, fig, cherry, and candied berries. Look for some undercurrents of brown sugar and hints chocolate. The fruitiness comes though loud and clear on the palate with a mildly tart impression of raisins and figs. There's also a vinous quality reminiscent of certain port wines and dark rums, with a light spicy note bolstering the rum-like character. Moderately sweet and on the full side of medium-bodied, Grimbergen's dubbel never veers into chewy or cloying territory, remaining quite drinkable for the whole bottle (or two), making it a good candidate for pairing with food. Try it with some smoky and spicy sausages or a roasted pork loin with gravy. Cheers!
It was 1128 when Saint Norbert founded a monastery in Grimbergen, Flanders, not far from Brussels. Despite being destroyed by fire three times, the Grimbergen abbey was rebuilt again and again, with the monks adopting the phoenix as their symbol. Like monks in many other abbeys across Europe, the Norbertine monks at Grimbergen made brewing an integral part of their way of life. Beer provided sustenance and nutrition for monks during periods of fasting, and could be sold to raise money for their monasteries. The image of an inebriated Friar Tuck may be a caricature, but the association of monks and friars with beer is not an accident. Even today, several European beers sport a monk or friar on their labels (typically with a satisfied or even beaming look on his face); Franziskaner hefeweizen and the classic St. Bernardus abbey beers come immediately to mind.
In 1880, a few hundred years after the founding of the abbey at Grimbergen, a gentleman named Egied Maes took over the operation of the Brouwerij de Sint Michael, near Antwerp. By the turn of the 20th century, his sons Ferdinand and Theophiel had taken the reins, modernizing the brewery with a steam engine to run new mechanized brewing equipment. The brothers Maes were also ahead of their time by appreciating the growing demand for lager beer, introducing their first in the 1920s. In the succeeding years, Brouwerij Maes stayed a family affair with new generations of Maes family brewers coming into the fold.
But man cannot live on lager alone, so in 1958 Brouwerij Maes approached the Grimbergen monks with a business opportunity. The parties struck a deal for Maes to brew Grimbergen beer for retail sale across Belgium (and ultimately beyond). In 1988, Maes merged with another Flemish brewery, Brouwerij Alken, to form the Alken-Maes brewery of current times. Grimbergen beers remain key products for the brewery, and we're pleased to bring you two of their classic beers freshly imported just for you. Cheers!
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