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That the Floreffe Dubbel from Brasserie Lefebvre showed such fine character should not really have come as that much of a surprise to me; the last time I tasted it at the brewery tap in Belgium, it left a very good impression indeed. But for it to score above such fine ales as Maredsous 8 and Affligem Dubbel must still be considered a bit of an underdog victory.

Right from its big chocolaty nose, tweaked by light hints of maraschino cheery, the Floreffe caught my attention. Then it offered more of that chocolate along with some fruit (apple, faint berry) and a bit of spice in a not-too-sweet body and I was hooked. The coup-de-grace was furnished by an off-dry, warmingly alcoholic finish.

The Floreffe Dubbel is a great beer for pairing with chocolate or soft cheeses and has the character to stand on its own, as well. It is also a beer I will not soon overlook again.

Belgium, 1973, Floreffe Abbey


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