Beer Deluxe, Federation Square (Melbourne)
Belgian-style beers are now firmly on the radar once more.
...And here we go.
From the cold, ashen, desolate remains of the long extinct volcano that was any interest in Belgian and Belgian style beers, the spirit has awaken. With just one contemplative sip of Victoria's Bright Brewery: Fainters Dubbel, I am hooked once more.
Fainters Dubbel is an exceptional, exciting Abbey-style brown ale.
Please do not ask of its aroma just yet, for I am fending off one of the worst colds I have ever contracted. All I am getting on the nose here is "floral sweetness." That will have to do you, I'm afraid. Mouthfeel, meanwhile, is just lovely. It is really polite with it; smooth, but contrastingly well carbonated.
If you are cooking or enjoying a lamb roast, you will want this beer to accompany it. See, summer sucks, because there is no chance of a good n' proper roast dinner once the temperature heads north above 30º, however there is every chance of catching a summer cold. I love winter and believe people only pretend to enjoy unrelenting, searing summer heat and it is beers just like Fainters that I use to back up my case for the cooler months.
The character and flavour profile of this marvelous ale, getting back to the point, will have your lamb shoulder or shank singing like Dean Martin after a few too many glasses of wine. There is a huge herbal quality to Fainters, with not at all subtle suggestions of rosemary, amongst other things. It is big on caramel sweetness, too, thereby rounding off the balance. The flavours dance around the palate like they did in the 40s.
Please excuse me while I lament the fact we are faced with more than six months of relentless heat, thereby reducing myself and other craft beer lovers to drinking flavourless lager, "session IPAs" and saison after saison.