Style: Belgian golden ale (enkel/single)
Origin: Westmalle, north east of Antwerp
Westmalle Dubbel was one of the first Trappist beers that I remember tasting. The mix of sweetness, dried fruit and a hint of metal make it a curious but delicious bottle to try. I really wanted to put the Dubbel into this selection, however I have already had in a tasting recently, and so I decided to go for another Westmalle instead. I had never tried the extra before, as it has only been available to the public since 2020. Before then, it was only brewed for the monks themselves to enjoy (this type of low alcohol beer is also referred to as the “Enkel” or “single” style). I was happy I managed to get my hands on this though as it was an enjoyable and refreshing beer.
It was cloudy lemon juice in colour with a thick, frothy head that formed and stayed well. When swirled in the glass, it was obvious that it was medium bodied as it laced the glass nicely. The aroma was nice but light, with hay, banana, honey and a good hint of yeast all noticeable. These all continued into the taste, with the honey and yeast especially at the forefront. There was a fresh aftertaste with a hint of hop bitterness coming through at the back of the throat after swallowing.
This is definitely what I would describe as a “palate cleansing beer”. Light, fresh and easy to drink, this is the perfect sort of beer to put into a night to reset the palate after some heavy IPA or stout. I really liked this and I could absolutely try this again soon.