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Beer Reviews

Phat Abbot Belgian Dubbel

Arbor Brewing
Ann Arbor, MI

Style: Abbey Dubbel
ABV: 9.0%

Eddie’s Rating:
one beerone beerone beerone beerone beer   (Outstanding within its style.)

Pair With:
On my latest trip to Michigan I brought home two beers from Arbor Brewing, Sacred Cow IPA and tonight’s beer du jour, Phat Abbot Belgian Dubbel. You’re not going to find too many brews like a bona fide Belgian dubbel. Dark and wine-like, they usually come with a hefty ABV (Phat Abbot’s is a whopping 9 percent) and a thick, estery body. The definitive dubbel is the famous Chimay Red, one of the world’s great beers. I have to say I wasn’t expecting a brew from an otherwise nondescript central Michigan brewery to throw out a take on the style that could sit alongside the Chimay.

Phat Abbot pours a dark, slightly viscous copper with a perfect finger’s height of a tan, sticky head. The nose is huge, leading off with loads of Belgian-yeast spiciness, plums, and toffee-like roasted malt. On deep sniffs, hints of that 9 percent ABV scurry in the background.

The sip puts the “phat” in the beer’s name. A big, fat body sporting a medium, unobtrusive mouthfeel could easily stand up to rich food like roast beef and wild game, but this boldness never comes close to making it hard to drink. The star is sumptuous, roasted toffee malts, backed by raisiny esters. This is one brew that you absolutely have to let warm to cellar temps, up around 55° to 60°. That’s when the rich maltiness comes out in full force to play with the dark fruit notes, along with a hint of that big ABV, to create a complex, immensely enjoyable drink.

Finally. A Phatty I can get into …

Reviewed by Eddie Glick on October 8, 2008.
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