As Belgian Shop says, "The most popular Trappist beers in the Flanders are without any doubt the ones brewed in Westmalle, where the largest trappist brewery of the whole country is located." And it’s obvious why the beer is so popular. Westmalle is regarded by many as the best beer in the world.
The town of Westmalle is the western side of the small village of Malle that lies about halfway between Antwerp and Turnhout not far from the Dutch border.map It was here that in 1804, the Cistercian order of monks established the abbey of Dame du Sacre Coeur or "Our Lady of the Sacred Heart" and began brewing beer 32 years later in 1834.
Today, besides dairy farming, the monks are brewers of two strong beers for the outside world. They brew another lighter beer called “Pale Extra” for consumption only within the walls of the abbey. The golden Tripel, the first of its kind and widely imitated, is a remarkable world class beer. The other is the locally preferred Dubbel.
The Dubbel is dark brown in color with tan creamy foam. If you stick your nose into your glass you’ll get floral/herbal and yeasty aromas familiar to all-agave tequila fans. Flavors and aromas along the way are a roasted cereal, nuts, toffee and possibly hints of fruit zest, pepper and bubblegum. Phenol is also often described and might evoke what your Bactine-laced Band-Aid smelled like a day after your skateboard accident and may very well separate the timid from the explorative.
The Dubbel goes very well with a dinner of beef, lamb or the more flavorful poultry. This recipe for rabbit and prunes is made with an entire bottle of Westmalle Dubbel while thismushroom risotto is made as a compliment to the fine beverage. The authors also say the dish goes great with Orval. Because of the beer’s popularity and complexity, even SPAM lovers have tried their dubious food product with Westmalle.
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Many know of Westmalle Triple, widely regarded by beer professionals and amateurs alike as one of the greatest beers in the world. The Dubbel on the other hand is less propped up, though it’s more popular than the Trippel in Flanders.