Nick Carr on May 23, 2016 0 Comments Quick Characteristics Brewery: Green’s Brewing Location: Lochristi, Belgium Style: Belgian Dubbel ABV: 7.0% IBU: 24 Appearance: Dark mahogany with red highlights; Small-bubbled tan head climbs two fingers tall. Aroma: Heavy with sour sweetness; Slightly herbal with notes of red wine, cherry & grape skins; No toastiness. Flavor: Upfront sweetness followed by red fruit tart; Notes of slightly sour red wine, plum & cherry; Mild earthy & graininess mid-palate; Very dry finish; Notes of nectarine & mustiness aftertaste lingers. Hops: ? Malts: Millet, Buckwheat, Brown Rice, Sorghum Shelf Life: Approximately one year, give or take. Suggested Glass: Snifter or Tulip Serving Temp: 48° – 50°F Availability: Year Round Pairs With: Italian Antipasto, “Pomme Frites,” Roquefort Cheese, Dark Chocolate There are two ways to approach gluten free brewing. There is the newer option of using regular ingredients and then adding an enzyme to break down the gluten, rendering it unrecognizable to the body. Whether the gluten reduced beer is as safe for celiac sufferers as the gluten free, is a question that has yet to be answered with any resounding assurance. Some have said they can drink it with no problem, others have said it still causes problems. This could be due the severity of a person’s celiac allergies. Who knows? But if you are only mildly sensitive, just trying to avoid gluten, or your reaction to it is something you can handle for an experiment; the gluten-reduced options are worth checking out. On the other hand, if you have terrible reactions, best err on the side of caution and avoid them. On the other side of the coin are the gluten free beers. These are made from completely gluten free ingredients, such as; sorghum, millet, buckwheat, rice, honey, candi sugar, maltodextrin, etc. Unless other allergies exist these should be fine for anyone no matter the severity of their celiac allergy. Neither of these two routes has managed to find much of a door into darker styles. As far as gluten free beer options go it’s still a pretty limited playing field out there and the field narrows extremely quickly for those with taste buds searching the complex caress of darker palate music. You can find gluten free pilsners, other lagers, blondes, pales, IPAs, and saisons; but there are few recipes that wonder into the realms of dark grain bills and profiles. This is understandable for sure. It’s hard enough making a decent beer from a non-gluten containing grain bill, but it gets extremely tricky when you factor in roast, toast, chocolate, caramel, and dark fruit complexity, much of it coming directly from kilned barley malt. Green’s Brewing, an English company brewing their beer at the DeProef Brewery in Belgium, is one of the original Gluten free brewers. It was founded in 2002 by Derek Green who suffers from celiac disease. The company started with brewing beer from non-gluten ingredients. Then in 2010 they added a line of gluten reduced beers. As far as I can find, the five styles that are exported are all still brewed with gluten free ingredients, though it seems at least a couple of the recipes have been changed to gluten-reduced barley in Europe. Those available in the U.S. include an amber ale, a dry-hopped lager, an IPA, a tripel, and the Endeavour Dubbel. The Endeavour Dubbel Ale is one of only a handful of darker gluten free beers on the market today. It won the silver medal at the World Beer Cup in 2014 in the Gluten-Free Beer category. THE TASTING Below are the tasting notes I took while drinking Endeavour Dubbel Ale. If you tasted this beer, please share your tasting notes or thoughts with me in the comments down below. Pour and Aroma: Pours a dark mahogany with red highlights. A small-bubbled, rough, and rocky tan head climbs to about two fingers. It disappears over a couple minutes leaving island traces behind. The nose is heavy with sour sweetness. Red wine, cherry, grape skins, sherry-like alcohol. No signs of toast. Slightly herbal. Mouthfeel and Taste: Prickly with medium-high carbonation helping to dry and carry the big sweet opening. Body is medium-full and carries the alcohol well with only low reminders of the 7.0% it’s totting. Taste is sweet upfront, but slightly less so than the nose might lead you to expect. A red fruit tartness carries all the way through; slightly sour red wine, plum and cherry, drying grapes. There’s mild earthy, graininess floating mid-palate along with rumors of Belgian funk. Finish is very dry with the continued back and forth of sweet and sour. Interesting low nectarine and mustiness hangs in the aftertaste. FINISHING THOUGHTS Though not completely true to the Belgian Dubbel style — it is missing much of the caramelized and toasty flavors leaning more on an experience of dark fruit flavors and sweetness — it is a very enjoyable brew. If I had an allergy to gluten I’d definitely make this one of my go to beers… of course I’d keep searching for others too. Variety is part of the excitement of loving craft beer, right? Cheers!