Last week I posted a ranking of the 21 best beers I reviewed in 2021 and I was a little disappointed in the style diversity in my list. I am usually pretty good about writing reviews of a wide range of beer styles, but my list ended up being about half IPAs. I am a lover of hoppy beer, I definately drink more IPA than any other beer style, but that percentage is way too high for my liking. So I am going to make a concerted effort to review a more diverse range of beer styles in 2022, with the hope that the effort will pay off when I publish my next best-of list. One style I have always enjoyed but is extremely underappreciated is the dubbel, a malty and slightly spicy staple of Belgian abbeys. A few years back I was doing a "style of the month" theme to highlight some different types of beer and I struggled to find many local dubbels to review. Even noted Belgian-style brewer Allagash recently stopped regular production of their long running dubbel. Thankfully I am starting to see a small resurgence of the style, and I've tasted a number of well made local dubbels in the last couple years. One good example in Milou, brewed by Cambridge, MA standout Lamplighter Brewing Company. Lamplighter Milou is available on a rotating basis on draft and in 16 oz cans.
Lamplighter Milou pours cola-brown with a solid off-white head. The aroma features a mixture of spicy Belgian style yeast along with dark fruit scents from the malts. The yeast hits your tongue first, notes of peppercorn, cardamom and apricot. This is nicely complemented by the dark malts, hints of raisin, plum and brown sugar. The hops take a backseat, which is appropriate to the style, just a touch of herbal flavor and bitter balance. Milou is medium-to-full bodied, smooth, and packs a little punch a at 7.3% ABV. The finish is dry with a bit of lingering malt and yeast flavor. Overall Milou is a tasty and true to style Belgian abbey dubbel, perfect for a cold winter evening! Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.