Originally published in BEER February 2006.
To read about more beers stocked by Morrisons, see previous post.
ABV 7 per cent
Origin Arcen, Limburg, the Netherlands
Buy from Morrisons
The Arcense Stoombierbrouwerij (Arcen steam brewery) in hilly Limburg dates back to 1915. Relaunched with a management buyout in 1981, it was at first prevented under the terms of the sale from making lager-style beers, so the new owners concentrated on developing the speciality ale market, becoming pioneers of the new wave of Dutch brewing.
The brand, Hertog (Duke) Jan, underlined a Belgian influence by alluding to Duke John I of Brabant (ruled 1267-94), also known as Gambrinus, the King of Beer. With its beers stocked in supermarkets throughout the Netherlands as a home-grown answer to imported Belgian brews, the brewery soon caught the beady eye of the multinationals and is now in Interbrew’s hands.
Dubbel, now stocked by Morrisons in 50cl ceramic crocks, is an abbey-style dark ale made with roasted malt, malted wheat, brewing sugar and caramel colouring. It pours a deep reddish brown, with a nice soft fawn head and a chocolate roast aroma with herbal notes and a sharp tang.
The palate is soft but dry and coffeeish, with restrained doses of sharp hops, roast and herbs and a touch of chocolate syrup. There’s a malty, tangy finish with faint roast tones and some pleasant raisiny notes. Not the best example of an abbey double by any means, but new to the UK market, bottle conditioned and decent enough.
Among others worth investigating on the Morrisons list are Vienna-style 1664 Premier Cru, Schneider and Franziskaner wheat beers from Bavaria, and California’s Sierra Nevada pale ale. British Real Ale in a Bottle is currently limited to Coniston Bluebird, Brakspear Organic and Hopback Summer Lightning, good beers all, with Innis & Gunn and Marstons Old Empire noteworthy among the filtered ales.
Read more about this beer at ratebeer.com: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/hertog-jan-dubbel/5303/