#184 – ‘T Smisje Dubbel

#184 - 'T Smisje Dubbel

Size: 330 ml

ABV: 9 %

I continued my adventure in the Rake with another beer from ‘T Smisje. The Tripel (#183) had been so good that I opted for the darker double, and am therefore quickly able to continue the story of Johan Brandt following his move of premises to Mater in Oudenaarde.

Between 1995 and 2008 as De Regenboog, the brewery was famous for an extensive range of experimental beers in the traditional style, pulling on interesting and distinctive ingredients, fruits, herbs and spices. Brandt had tried beers made with mustard seeds (Wostyntje), valerian root and lemon balm (BBBourgondier), honey and raisins (Guido), and sloes (Sleedornbier). Brandt had also worked his magic on maturing an ale for six months in Calvados barrels (Calva Reserva), very much in the style of similar beers from de Struise, Alvinne and de Dolle breweries.

In 2010 however it was with regret that I heard that Brandt had decided to take a break from the wide range of beers, and to concentrate his efforts on one or two house beers. Only a new blond hoppy ale called Smiske survives, with a seasonal variant at Christmas to be produced. He hasn’t closed the door entirely though, and has given beer lovers the chance to still get their hands on one historic recipe per year if ten thousand people on Facebook will sign a petition for it. This has recently worked for the Duvel Tripel Hop, although I would hope in keeping with his fine traditions, Brandt doesn’t rip off his customers at 15 Euros a pop, as Moortgat did.

So it is with regret that this ‘T Smisje Dubbel was possibly the last one I would ever taste. In true Brandt fashion, this was no ordinary dubbel, having been made since 1997 with fresh dates and honey. At 9% strength it is also clearly no run of the mill double, abounding with plenty of guts and a sweetness that simply blows you away. I still probably reckon this is about the best beer I have ever had the pleasure of trying in a bar. My only regret was that I had taken the only one left in the overstocked refrigerators of The Rake. I will continue to look for it on my journeys into Belgium in the older and more eclectic beer stores, or else I may just have to hope a petition of like-minded souls can coerce Mr Brandt to somehow recreate this masterpiece.

 

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4 Comments

Filed under 9, Abbey Dubbel, Dog, Smisje

4 responses to “#184 – ‘T Smisje Dubbel

  1. tim dr

    I hear you. Wostyntje is one of my all time favorites and I was lucky to buy half a case when I learned it was discontinued. You can e-mail me if you want an inside tip on where to get some of the Smisje brews in Belgium. 🙂

  2. Thanks Tim, I will take you up on that offer !
    I was kind of relying on a trip to de Bierloods for my best bet in a few weeks time.

  3. tim dr

    you can delete this comment, just seems the only way I can contact you. There’s no contact form, nor an e-mail address on this blog. I suppose you can see my e-mail address as administrator of the comment?

  4. Ruben

    Apart from de Bierloods, Drankenhandel Geers also still has a few brews of t Smisje in stock though I fear some of them may be getting near their best-by date. Not much of an issue in the case of the dark varieties but probably less ideal for the blondes and ambers.

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