Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Houblon Chouffe Dobbelen IPA

Beer: Brasserie d'Achouffe's Houblon Dobbelen IPA
Brewery Location: Achouffe, Belgium
Style: Belgian IPA
Serving Style: Bottle
ABV: 9.0%

Ahh... Belgium. I have never had a beer that I wasn't ready to at least give a try, but I have never met a Belgian beer that I didn't love. This offering from Chouffe is no different. Chouffe is from Brasserie D'Achouffe in the Ardenness of Belgium.

It's called a Belgian IPA. The style actually isn't that old at all. It was made for the American market and American drinkers. According to beeradvocate a Belgian IPA is actually to hoppy for the the locals.

I was looking forward to trying this all day long. I tried it once about six months ago, but I am usually more excited the second time around to try a beer. The first thing you really notice about this beer is the coloration in the bottle. You can easily see that the beer is bottle conditioned and there is sediment at the bottom of the bottle. This is something about Belgian beers that I really love. Some Belgian beers use spontaneous fermentation. That just means they simply pour the wort (Essentially beer before yeast) into a vat and leave it out overnight. Instead of inoculating it with yeast cultures they let the special Belgian air do it naturally. I don't know if this beer was made that way, but hey, at least you learned something new.

I poured this into a La Chouffe glass. It pours an amazing straw gold color. You have to be careful because of the amount of hops in this beer it creates one of the most amazing billowy white heads I have ever seen on a beer. The head is very sticky and not only leaves lacing on glass but large chunks of white head clinging to the glass all the way down.

The smell is something you would expect from a Belgian, but with a nice twist of florals and grapefruit. I just can't get away from the smell of the yeast though.

The taste isn't really an IPA in the American sense. It's toned down, and I really like it. Many IPA's are just hop bombs that cover up mistakes by the brewer, but this is light, clean, crisp, and slightly malty on the way down. The alcohol is very well hidden I can barely pick it up and this beer is 9.0% ABV.

This beer is an amazing offering. If you can't quite get into American IPA's give this a try. The only thing keeping this from being close to 5 Pints is the price. I would drink this much more often if it were not $5.00 a bottle, but in terms of a Belgian that's not bad, but as Stone Brewing says "It's not expensive, I'm just cheap."

4.45 Pints out of 5.

No comments: